Just this past Wednesday I got back from a 1 week vacation with my sister in Puerto Vallarta. It was a great week filled with a whole lot of relaxing and not much else. The perfect vacation.
To me the idea of vacation is that it’s a break from your normal routine. You do something different and for most you take time to relax. That’s what I did!
However, it may mean some difficulty getting BACK into your normal routine.
From my week away, I realized a few things.
1 – I love activity and I get bored pretty quickly by doing nothing.
I think this is an important element because it’s something that I consider in the whole concept of a ‘lifestyle change’. It’s what I consider to be my ‘normal routine’ and it’s all about momentum and habits.
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t exercise regularly and find yourself too tired to workout after work, that is your momentum and your habit. Your normal routine. You’ve built that through repetition. It’s hard to break out of that and into a workout routine because you’re going against your flow so-to-speak.
If you’re like me, and you’ve built a lifestyle of fitness, working out regularly and making healthy food choice are your momentum and habits. A few days of shitty food and no exercise would be going against your flow. After a few days of that you want to go back to your momentum. I found that after about 3 days of sitting by the pool I was ready to get up and move. I wanted a workout!
2 – I planned to rest and not much more.
On that third day I had decided I would go to the resort gym for a workout. However, when I packed for my trip I didn’t bring and running shoes, which of course are required in the gym. I had actually packed socks for my workouts, but at the last minute I recall tossing the shoes aside and saying “I’m only going to wear flip flops this whole week”. I wasn’t able to use the gym, but because I was in a workout mindset I ended up doing a few sets of push ups and pull ups near the pool. I made due with what I had in the moment, but had I planned for workouts I’d be better set.
That said, I’m actually a believer in a vacation being a vacation. Not just from work or other things you do, but from workouts too. Unless your vacation is pushing 2 weeks or more, having a week off from workouts can actually be a great thing for your body’s recovery. So I usually plan for the rest and plan to NOT workout.
3 – My metabolism is pretty good at managing calories.
A lot of people complain about gaining weight while on holidays. I get it and it makes sense. Especially when you’re at an all-inclusive like I was because the food and drinks are endless.
For me, because of my lifestyle as mentioned above and therefore the metabolism I’ve created in my body, I realized how well I self regulate. I had some indulgence of food and drink in the first day and a half. After that I felt like I wasn’t as hungry and I didn’t desire drinks as much. I wasn’t being active, my caloric demand therefore wasn’t as high and by filling it with greasy and sugary foods in the first couple of days, my body slowed me down and I didn’t feel hungry.
Again, I’m sure some people may experience the opposite of this and I’m not exactly a normal case here, but I do believe that it comes from my lifestyle and habits I’ve built.
4 – How you come back from Vacation helps dictate your momentum going forward.
Even though I wanted to exercise and I was pretty good at regulating my calorie intake during the trip, I did feel pretty lazy by the end of the week.
When I got back from my vacation on Wednesday afternoon and literally went straight to work. I coached classes at my gym that evening and again the next morning. I love what I do, but I was pretty tired.
I’ll be completely honest, when I came back I was completely planning on skipping my Wednesday night workout. I had plenty of excuses for why it would be best to wait till the next morning. Thankfully I’m slightly *cough* competitive and when one of my buddy’s came in to do the same workout I was supposed to do of course I jumped in.
I felt better afterwards and it kickstarted my momentum back into my normal routine. By jumping back into things, I jumped back on the wagon and regained my momentum of fitness and activity.
I think vacations can have a momentum to them. It’s good to relax and rest and recover if that’s what you’re going for. But doing that for a week or two gets you in that mode. I found that by the end of the week I was more tired throughout the day. I think part of it was from not having the best sleeps in my hotel bed, but also because that was the momentum I built. I had an inertia of not doing anything and my body was getting used to it and adapting.
For me, that’s a whole lot different than my normal routine. The key for me was that at the end of the week I broke that momentum and got back into my usual regimen. A couple days later I still feel a little more tired than normal, but I feel myself getting back on track.
Having the break is only good if you can get back on track again afterwards.