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.

Mission: Damage Limitation

Well, as you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been away from the blog for a LONG time.  This is partly down to me getting a promotion and getting my head around my new role.  But it’s largely down to the fact that I haven’t been prioritising my own health and fitness.  The result is that my weight has gradually been creeping up for the last few months.

I can't wait to be back here!

I can’t wait to be back here!

I have felt really annoyed at myself but I’m choosing not dwell on it as that’s not going to get me anywhere.

I’m now on holiday from work for 7 weeks (just over 6 left) and so my plan is to get my fitness and diet kicked back into shape.

Well, that was my plan but, as we all know, the only sure thing in life is change:

Originally, we’d planned to go to Tunisia for 10 days in the middle of the holidays.  I felt that I’d have enough time to get my prep for September done before going then have a couple of weeks when we got back to get back on track.

So, we’re now not allowed to go to Tunisia so are instead going to Mexico at the end of the holidays.  It gives me only a few full days to get back on track between coming home and going back to work.  AND where we are going is a Gourmet Inclusive hotel.  We’ve been before and the food and cocktails are absolutely to die for.  Now, we’ve paid a lot of money for this holiday so I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out BUT I also don’t want to have to pay for an extra seat to accomodate my backside on the return flight!

So, I’ve come up with a new damage limitation plan:  I’m working really hard to eat really well and exercise daily to enable me to be in as good a position as possible when I go on holiday.  We’re going to make use of the gym facilities at the hotel (if my sister is reading this, “Ssshh! It’s my holiday, I’ll do what I want!”).  I’m going to do some energetic swimming whenever I need to cool off (this really helped when I was in Turkey a couple of years ago and worrying about not fitting into my wedding dress) and I also really wnat to try the yoga classes that are available at the hotel.  I’m going to enjoy the food on offer but will make sure I make sensible choices and don’t go overboard.  When I get back, I’m getting straight back on track.

Sorry for the long post but it feels good to be back!  I’ll write a couple of shorter posts over the next couple of days with more info on my exercise plan etc.

If anyone’s got any suggestions for how to keep focused on making sensible food choices and how to motivate themselves to exercise on holiday, please share!

Thanks for reading

FFF