Why did I want to write this post? Well, holidays for me from the age of about 11 have been surrounded by weeks of worrying on either side. Before the holiday there’s all the stress about being on a diet so you look good in your swimwear (or as a kid so I didn’t feel as fat as I thought I was in front of the other kids) and then after the holiday you feel like a beach ball and want to diet back down to how you looked when you started the holiday.
With all that stress it’s a wonder why holidays used to be a fun thing at all. Now that my relationship with food and my body has changed so has my attitude towards holidays. In the weeks leading up to this trip, my honeymoon, I’ve been catching up with lots of friends and eating plenty of delicious food. With the mouthfuls of the tastiest morsels I’ve been declaring that ‘I’m on my beach body diet’ because my beach body is my body on a beach, nothing more, nothing less.
Holidays for me are about experiencing everything that place has to offer, especially once in a lifetime trips like this one. That means that we’re doing lots of sightseeing, lots of walking, lots of watching the world go by and lots of eating and drinking.
My biggest tip I can give you on how to eat on holiday is to eat according to your goals. For example, if you have a bikini competition 3 weeks after you get back from holiday then you’re going to need to stick strictly to your nutrition plan while you’re away (which begs the question why you’d be going on holiday at that particular time). Alternatively, if you’re in training for a strongman or strongwoman competition and you need to be in a calorie surplus to continue gaining strength while you train then you’re going to need to eat plenty of food but track it too to make sure you’re hitting your macros.
However, I am not currently in training for anything so my goal while I’m on holiday is to enjoy everything edible that Argentina and Mexico have to offer. I don’t want to come back having missed out on the dish of the trip because I thought I should probably eat the chicken salad with the dressing on the side.
So far, eating for this goal has meant that I’ve enjoyed the most incredible steak I’ve ever had in a local meat market, I’ve drunk far too much of the Argentinian Malbec and sampled plenty of empanadas with a variety of fillings. Then in Mexico I’ve eaten my fill of tacos, ceviche and sampled every guacamole I can get my hands on. Oh and the ice cream but don’t get me started on the ice cream.
Most of the hotels we’re staying in include breakfast so we’ve been eating a big breakfast each day of cereal, scrambled eggs, meat, cheese and pastries (with dulce de leche, obviously). Lunch has generally just been a small snack as we’re still full from breakfast and then dinner each night has created a lengthy debate about which of the amazing restaurants we should sample in each town.
We’ve also been quite active with some total relaxation days thrown in because #balance. We’ve been hiking through the jungle, bike riding to Mayan ruins, scuba diving, SUP yoga, horse-riding, kayaking and I’ve even managed to squeeze in a couple of gym sessions. For me the key to enjoying a holiday is to sample everything there is to offer, stay active and eliminate the feelings of guilt. Just enjoy it.
When I get home I’ll be starting a 6-month training plan to get my fitness back up so that I can take on the Olympic distance at the London Triathlon at the end of July, 5 days after my 30th birthday. My body composition will very likely change with the increase in cardiovascular workouts but this will be a by-product of my training, not the main goal. My goals for 2017 are about performance, not aesthetics and I can’t wait to get started. Right after I finish this margarita…