First of all, a big sorry for the lack of posts on here! I think the festive period and the start of my dissertation got the better of me, but I’ve managed to organise my time…and now I’m back 😉
I was thinking about recognition and what gets others recognised, and it occurred to me that recognition tends to favour the elite. You only have to scroll through Instagram, flick through a magazine or turn on the TV to see those who are the best in their niche, getting recognised – and rightly so. They have worked hard and no doubt have sacrificed a lot to be where they are today. This is why I love the iceberg metaphor of success; it reminds us not just to focus on the current success of a person, but to admire the consistent hard work that got them to where they are today.
However, what I do find strange is that as a society we appear to mostly recognise those who are the best in their game. This isn’t just on social media, I’ve noticed it throughout uni and school too, with only those scoring the highest on an assignment or those who do the most volunteering for the uni, getting recognised. This baffles me as to how we fail to recognise those who work hard day in day out. It’s almost as if we value the outcome of hard work more than the process that got us there.
Recognition to me means praising the hard work and good intentions of those of all abilities and skills, not just the crème de la crème. We should be praising dedication and hard work irrelevant of the outcome. We are not just a product of our success!
So this post is dedicated to those of you who work long hours, yet still make time to go to the gym, and smash your fitness and personal goals. It’s for the grafters who work hard with no complaints – you’re doing great ❤
First of all, I would just like to say that getting ‘summer ready’ shouldn’t be your only focus when it comes to going on holiday and enjoying your summer. I think we are so quick to focus on getting ‘bikini ready’ these days, rather than looking forward to the actual holiday itself. Remember, you’re on holiday too, you have every right to be carefree and body confident! However, I do understand the desire to want to look and feel your best when on holiday, especially as for most of us in the UK, it’s the one time in the year that we can whip out the sassy swimwear ;).
I set myself a goal, 4 weeks prior to my holiday, to work on defining my abs more, whilst keeping the progress that I had already made (the struggles :’). I didn’t want to drop my calorific intake too much, as I think I’ve found my maintenance level, but I did want to make my abs more defined. In order to achieve this, I increased the amount of cardio by doing treadmill sprints for 10-15 minutes for one session, stairmaster for another, and LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) for my final cardio session. Also, I included supersets on leg day (where you perform two exercises back to back) which really increases the intensity, and therefore the number of calories burned. Another thing I aimed to do, was to ensure I was snacking on healthy foods. For example:
Avocado on brown toast
Greek yoghurt and berries
30g of oats mixed with a scoop of whey protein
A handful of nuts
Banana and nautral peanut butter on toast
Below are a few tips that I would recommend if you wanted to shape up, however I do believe this should be something that is done way in advance of your holiday, as short-term weight loss plans are often so drastic and unattainable.
1) Are you actually hungry?
Our bodies are very clever when we are dehydrated at tricking us into feeling hungry when in actual fact we are thirsty. If you think you’re hungry you might actually be thirsty, have a drink and wait 10 minutes, if you’re still hungry after treat yourself to some food (healthy, of course ;))!
2) Increase your cardio
The thought of doing cardio is not as bad once you’re actually sprinting for your life, and the endorphins are keeping you company :’). HIT is the best for using up those energy reserves and helping you to get your sweat on!
3) Diet is key
Eating a healthy and nutrituos meals will do wonders for your wasitline! It really is that simple – eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snack healthy and you will be well on your way!
I don’t think that there is anything wrong with working towards getting your body ready to a point that you feel body confident, as I state in my blog post all about setting yourself a goal – this is a perfect example of that, and can be a good motivation. But what I do believe, is that we should go about this in a healthy and sustainable way, besides there is far more to life (and holidays) than looking good in a bikini. Be confident, be happy, and enjoy your summer break,
For me going on holiday involves relaxing, exploring and enjoying all things food. I Have not long returned from a lovely holiday to Gran Canaria, where I most certainly did all of the above! However, often the hardest thing is about finding the balance between staying healthy/maintaining your progress whilst also enjoying and indulging in all things food and culture.
For me, the key to finding this balance is in fact quite simple: take things back to their basics! This applies to many things such as exercise, food, treats, sleep, and relaxation. If this balance is achieved you’ll have one feel-good holiday. For example, I ensured I ate good food, went for lots of strolls (even if that was only to the shop to get some chocci ;)) had a good nights sleep, and importantly allowed some time to chill. I will be sharing with you my tips on how to have a great holiday and feel on top of your game at the same time.
Healthy airport snacks
I love the buzz of the airport. For me, the holiday starts as soon as I’m in the airport. This is the time that I’ll buy my snacks for the plane because who doesn’t love snacking on the plane?! Typically I’ll buy a protein bar, a packet of nuts and a small sweet something, this way you’re less tempted to fall for the sugar-filled plane snacks. To the right are a few of the snacks I purchased.
Be as active as possible
By this, I don’t mean spending hours in the hotel gym (because let’s face hotel gyms can be seriously hit or miss 😂) or even going for a 5 mile jog. I’m talking about making smaller changes such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the nearest beach or having a stroll around the local area. It just so happens that there was a massive hill (called Lomo de Tabaibales) near my hotel which of course I had to walk up, and I’m so glad I did as the views were stunning…even if it was in unpractical pretty sandals. I love going for a morning or evening walk as I find it really relaxing, and it encourages mindfulness – something we could all focus on more.
If you look closely, you’ll see the cross!
Plenty of good foods
Firstly I’ll visit the local supermarket to buy my essentials and to see what foods are available. Then I’ll do a rough plan of dinners that are full of micronutrients, protein, carbs etc. I don’t plan lunches or breakfast as I like to eat what I fancy on holiday, but I find planning dinner helps me to reach my macros. For example, some meals that I cooked this holiday include tuna and wholemeal spaghetti with olives, noodles with sardines, tomatoes and chickpeas, and a chickpea and egg Buddha bowl.
An example of some of the foods I purchased once I had completed my meal plan.
For an all-inclusive holiday, the temptation can be a lot harder when it comes to meal times what with the never-ending buffet full of yummy desserts…so tempting! For breakfast I’ll go for foods high in good fats and protein, and also carbs e.g scrambled eggs on toast with an avocado or oats with some fruit. For lunch and dinner I will always put my side salad on my plate first, then find a healthy protein source and some carbs, and of course, if there is a dessert I like, I’ll have it (in moderation!)
Below are some of the dinners I had whilst on my holiday:
potatoes with mackerel in tomato sauce, with olives and tomato slices.
An egg and chickpea salad.
Sardines with noodles, chickpeas, tomatoes and olives.
Pack a few things from home
As I know my protein intake tends to be lower on holiday, I pack some of my favourite protein bars from Grenade and Fulfill, which you can also buy from the airport. Also, instant oat pots such as those from ‘Oomf’ are great for a protein boost. Another thing I’ll pack are mini bags of salt, pepper, and other spices/ herbs to really add flavour to any food that I cook.
Oomf protein porridge pots are the perfect size to pack in your suitcase.
A selection of protein bars that I also packed.
Eat healthily, try to be active, and make time for you to unwind. Ultimately you’re on holiday, so of course, you have to indulge in a few drinks and nice food, but the key is to balance this out by making healthier choices elsewhere. Your progress and hard work will not be ruined over the duration of your holiday, in fact, you’ll probably return feeling full of energy and ready to smash some more personal bests!
I hope this blog post has proved that you can have your cake and eat it…quite literally 😉