Bouncing back from holidays and events

In Trucker's Health, June 20227 MinutesBy Laura PeacockJuly 29, 2022

Setting a deadline or target for your health and fitness goals can be highly motivating. But what happens when you reach that goal? Do you carry on as you are, revert to old habits, or set even higher targets?

I recently got married and, of course, I wanted to look my best for my big day. So, I put a massive amount of work into my nutrition and training before the big day, losing 13kg over six months – not doing anything drastic but staying consistent and focused.

Now that my big day has come and gone like a gust of wind, I am asking myself – where to from here? My husband and I spent the past week in Queenstown living the dream, exploring the sights and bites the beautiful town has to offer. It can be daunting to return from holiday knowing you should get back into a routine. If you are like me and struggle, here are some simple tips.

1. Stock up the fridge and pantry

I don’t mean with alcohol and treats. If we want to get back on track, we need the right foods in the house. Once you are back from holiday or recovered from your event, as soon as you can, make sure you have everything you need to ensure healthy choices for the next week or so. You could even make a simple meal planner, so you know roughly what you’ll be having for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the coming week. It’s simple: if you don’t have healthy, nutritious options in your house, you will not eat healthily.

2. Drink plenty of water

If you have over-indulged on food and alcohol, your digestive system may be struggling, leaving you puffy, bloated and uncomfortable. Besides exercising, drinking plenty of water can help flush out and process that extra food. It’s also a great habit to get back into (or to start doing).

It is important to draw a line in the sand, reminding yourself that while enjoyed the foods and laidback lifestyle you had on holiday, but it isn’t something that you can realistically maintain. It’s about moderation and the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time doing the right things with your health and fitness and 20% of the time splashing out and enjoying delicious foods and cold bevvies.

3. Look at your diary or planner

It is absolute bliss to not be buckled into a schedule or looking at lists every 10 minutes. But after returning from a holiday or event, it is important to regroup and get your head around what commitments you have. I am a stickler for a physical diary rather than an electronic one as I enjoy highlighting, crossing things out and seeing the view of my month rather than just a daily view.

Whatever type of calendar/diary system you choose, it can help you to manage your workload. Being unprepared can make things seem even more overwhelming when getting back into work and routine.

4. Get moving again

Depending on how active or inactive you were before your event or holiday, you need to ease your way back. But everyone is different. Personally, I find the longer I leave it, the harder it gets. So, I normally crack straight back into everything I did before my event/holiday. This does not work for everyone. Some people feel overwhelmed when trying to tackle too many things at once and instead opt to build up to their previous training regime with baby steps – that is fine, too.

I also like to set out my training routine. This doesn’t have to be anything detailed or intricate. It could simply be: Monday – 30-minute walk before work; Wednesday – touch game with the lads; and Friday – 30-minute cycle. If people jot down the exercise they aim to do over the week, they are more likely to achieve it.

5. Be kind to yourself

If you are a perfectionist who tends to be a bit hard on yourself when you haven’t been following your usual routine – don’t. It is important to find a balance between eating nutritious foods and getting plenty of exercise, and enjoying life and eating delicious treats with loved ones. I didn’t stick to my usual nutrition and training structure on holiday because it was unrealistic. It was my honeymoon, and I felt I deserved a break from the intense exercise and fitness regime I had been following for months.

If you find you’re being a bit hard on yourself, remember that no one is perfect. Keep everything in perspective – you deserve to treat yourself. Having a break and enjoying yourself on holiday or at an event isn’t going to undo months of hard work and discipline. It is unrealistic for us to be 100% on point and motivated.

Motivation is not a personality trait; motivation is a feeling such as sadness or anger. No one has more power to harness it than anyone else. Discipline and determination will help you to get back on track. And taking these simple steps should ease you back into a routine without too much frustration.