For many of us, myself included, routine is essential to maintain consistency and reach our goals. Functioning on a daily basis within this routine ensures that maximum productivity is achieved and in turn this aids and/or speeds up progress. Adherence to this routine means we know exactly what needs to be done each day in order to reach our goals, from structured training schedules to meal plans. Does this mean that we can’t reach them without this routine? NO!
I’m on holiday in the Highlands of Scotland at the moment and having a lovely time with my boyfriend, Brandon. Am I getting up at 5.30am as I would be back home? Hell no. Am I going to let that ruin my time away? Absolutely not. Have I disregarded all the hard work and the goals I am working towards? Nope.
It’s been a tough slog getting to this point, however, I am finally in a place mentally where I can break my routine and be ok with it. This for me is ESSENTIAL in finding true happiness throughout any fitness journey. In order to lead a normal life, including family time, seeing friends, holidays, date nights, unexpected life events, etc; it would be impossible to stick to a routine 100%. It doesn’t mean you’re not dedicated enough. It simply means that life often requires flexibility.
How have I been staying active whilst on holiday?
The scenery around the cottage we are staying is incredible and we’ve taken advantage of the surroundings by running locally. The only thing interrupting our runs has been when the roads change to the national speed limit. Whilst it’s a little remote village, I’m not sure it would be the best idea to risk running on these so we’ve used that as our point to turn back. We’ve been running typically 2 or 3 miles so it’s nothing groundbreaking but at least it’s something! Whilst I’d definitely work out 5 or 6 days back home, it’s been amazing to relax here and not stick to a structured training plan. I’ve ran when I’ve felt like it and stayed in the cosy cottage with a bar of chocolate when I haven’t!
Another way in which we’ve been getting in our steps is walking. Note: we got really lucky with the weather! People travel from all over the world to walk in Scotland as we have some of the most beautiful scenery, so we’d have been stupid not to explore and enjoy it! We’ve managed to fit in 3 different walks (on the days we didn’t run) whilst we’ve been here; Skelbo Forest Walk, climbing Ben Bhraggie and the Loch Fleet, Balblair Wood Walk.
As we didn’t actually have a map or anything for any of these walks, we got lost at least once on each but it added to the fun and adventure. It also added distance too! After this week, I would really love to go on a walking holiday exploring the Highlands. Scotland has so much to offer and it was a nice change from lounging by a pool all day.
Have I been eating as I normally would whilst on holiday?
The honest answer is no. I wish I could say that I stuck to my usual pattern of eating well 80% of the time with an allowance for the occasional treat. But the main question I need to be asking myself is; did I enjoy indulging a little more? Yes! I loved it. I felt totally relaxed with my diet and I ate things that I wouldn’t normally. From having a cake with my coffee (wow, it tastes so good), a bit of chocolate whilst we were driving to Chinese takeaway and chips with dinner. I don’t feel great now after a week of eating like this and I have no intentions to continue in this indulgence but I relished it at the time. It’s important to me to appreciate moments with family, friends, etc and not feel restricted by your lifestyle. If you want to let your hair down and indulge on holiday, do it! Add a bit of movement and it won’t have as much of an impact. If you want to stick to your normal eating patterns and work out everyday, that’s also great.
The point of this post was to reiterate that your goals and passions should not inhibit your life or prevent you from enjoying things you want to do. It’s perfectly normal to have a routine, I do, but it’s important for your mental wellbeing that you are ok with this being broken/altered slightly.
Do you work out whilst on holiday or use the time as a break from training? Do you find it difficult or easy to break away from your usual routine?