I’ve been seeing someone.

It’s been going on for weeks. Mr FFF knows and is all for it. The ‘someone’ I’ve been seeing is a personal trainer and so far, it’s going well.

I made the decision back at the beginning of the summer. I have a personal training session once a week and then I go independently another 2 times. My reasoning for paying more on top of my gym membership for PT sessions is that I’m an obliger* – I find it difficult to meet expections that I set for myself but easy(er) to meet someone else’s expections of me. I don’t want to turn up to my PT session on a Saturday and have to say to my trainer that I haven’t been since I last saw him.

I’ve also chosen to go with a gym program for a couple of reasons, despite the fact that I’ve previously always found the gym to be mind-numbingly boring. Historically, I’ve always preferred to attend group exercise classes such as Zumba, Step and Body Pump. I love the music and find that I push myself harder when there is an instructor watching me (there’s that obliger tendancy again). However, my busy schedule during term time means that meeting or training sessions sometimes cause me to miss a class. The problem is, rather than simply going again the following week, this can be enough of an excuse to kick me out of the habit. Going to the gym, however, means that although I’ll still have scheduled times for attending, if I can’t make it for some reason, I can simply go at another time that day or during the same week as I’m not relying on a class timetable.

I’ve been going since the second week in July and so far haven’t missed a session, even when I was on holiday. Before I went, I also booked a PT session for my usual time on the day I came back from holiday to get me straight back into the swing of my healthy lifestyle rather than letting any holiday laziness continue until the following Monday.

So far, it seems to be working and I’m seeing small steps of progress. I’m already lifting heavier weights than I was when I started and finding it easier to do so. The thing I am most proud of is that I can now do 3x 1 minute planks. Previously, I’d always struggled to get to 30 seconds when doing them in a group class, but when there’s someone sitting right next to you with a stopwatch in hand watching only you, (that obliger tendancy kicks in again) you dig that bit deeper.

The real test is going to come now that I’m back at work and have to exercise afterwards rather than getting it done out of the way first thing in the morning. I’ll update you in a few weeks and let you know how I’m getting on.

Thanks for reading,

FFF

What are your top tips for keeping to your exercise routine when you’re busy with work? Let me know in the comments section.

(*For more information on obligers and to find out whether you are an obliger, upholder, questions or rebel, visit Gretchen Rubin’s website to find out about her Four Tendencies Framework.)

You can’t lose weight while you’re on holiday!

Or so I’d always told myself. But it turns out I was wrong (Ssshhh! Don’t tell Mr FFF – my official line is that I’m always right!). On my recent 14 night cruise, I somehow managed to lose 2lb! And no that’s not a typo. I actually lost weight whilst on a cruise where food and drink were available 24 hours. I’m still in shock. Last year, on an almost identical cruise, I put on about 7lb.

So how did I do it? Did I deprive myself and eat only lettuce leaves and plain, grilled fish whilst sipping water? No. But I did change my mindset towards the way I ate whilst I was away.

On holidays past, I would pretty much eat whatever I wanted, whenver I wanted and would justify it to myself by saying that I deserved it, after all I was on holiday. The thing is, for me, as for many others, it always seems to take longer to lose weight than it does to put it on. And, I’m lucky enough to go away at least a couple of times each year. I realised that my ‘enjoy it while you can’ attitude effectively meant that I was only ever gaining and losing holiday weight.

This realisation, coupled with my latest attempt to lose the weight for good, lead me to review my mindset towards holiday eating before I even packed my suitcase. I knew that there would be wall-to-wall food and drink available if I wanted it. I also knew that, while lots of the options available are at the less healthy end of the spectrum, there would also be plenty of healthier stuff too. So I decided to make the most of having healthy food freshly prepared for me at each meal.

I mainly ate omlettes, bircher muesli and fresh fruit for breakfast. For lunch I would generally load up on the various different salads offered in the buffet and add some chicken or fish to them. At dinner, I generally opted for the fish or chicken options and avoided anything that came in a creamy sauce. I didn’t eat like a fitness model all the time though. I had a dessert every night – but I didn’t have a dessert every lunchtime, just once or twice. I also ate breakfast pastries a couple of times, but not every day.

We also chose not to get the all inclusive drinks package on this cruise. There were several factors that played into this but the main one being in the past when we had a package, we sometimes felt like we were drinking just for the sake of it. I still drank wine with dinner almost every night and enjoyed several cocktails, but it was in moderation.

I think that exercising regularly also really helped. I went to the gym on every sea day as well as the one port day when we’d decided to only get off the ship for a couple of hours. In the past, I’ve had good intentions about exercising whilst on holiday but they’d usually stayed at that – intentions rather than actions. This time, I’d decided in advance that I would continue to get up early and go to the gym before breakfast. This would then give me the whole day to lounge around or take part in the activities offered. Although there were a couple of times when I was tempted just to lie in bed, I reasoned that, once I’d been to the gym, I could spend the rest of the day lying on my balcony reading if I so wished. Exercising first thing also helped me to make healthier choices with my food as I always feel like eating more healthily when I’m exercising regularly.

Better than the view from my local gym.
Proof that I was actually there!

The funny thing was, I didn’t feel deprived at all. I felt lucky that there was such delicious, healthy food being prepared for me for every meal. And I enjoyed being up early and in the gym when there were only a few other people about. Sitting on my balcony afterwards with a cup of tea and enjoying the peace and quiet was also something I really looked forward to each day.

So, it turns out I’m not always right; it is totally possible to go on holiday, enjoy yourself and still lose weight.

Thanks for reading,

FFF

How do yo holiday? Do you follow your usual eating and exercise habits or do you use the time to do as you please? Let me know in the comments section.