Forgive Me Father for I have Binged…
So we’re off on our holiday of a lifetime, a whole month in Australia visiting family and touring as much as possible with two kids! I have the bags packed, the visas arranged, and the accommodations booked, but one thing I have recently overlooked is how this month away will impact my training and diet. I tend to live life in a small calorie deficit, or sometimes in maintenance, however, I can’t help to feel a little anxious at what a month away from familiar foods and lots of eating out will do for the waistline. Now, whenever we’ve been on holiday in the past, it’s usually a week or so. I just step off the gas and eat pretty much whatever I fancy… that’s what you’re meant to do on holiday right? Would you be willing to have this attitude for a month though? I can’t bring myself to accept undoing some, or most of my hard work by binging for a month. This realisation has made me start to have more of a plan.
Rest & Relaxation – and the Gym!
This holiday is a chance to recharge the batteries, Steve has quit his corporate job and we decided a few months ago, that now is the best time to have a holiday we ordinarily wouldn’t be able to. This break needs to be adventurous enough for us to not get bored, but with enough rest and relaxation that we can come back and feel totally satisfied we had an amazing time. I have managed to book all of our accommodations with a gym either onsite or nearby, this isn’t a weird obsessive thing for me, I enjoy the gym, the endorphin release, and the satisfaction that working out brings. I couldn’t go a month not moving my body in a purposeful way. So what’s the plan? Well I figure I should be able to get to the gym 4-5 times a week, I’m going to stick to my program as much as possible but, accept that some things will require modification. Sure not every gym will be amazing, or have equipment I need so I’m quite excited to see how I can adapt to this. I’ll be taking some resistance bands with me. Resistance bands are great for me, they take up hardly any space in the case and are so versatile – they’ll be packed in my gym bag all the time! I’m sure we’ll be posting a few videos whilst we’re away, so you can see the gyms we visit and perhaps see how creative we may have to be sometimes.
Food, Glorious Food
So whilst I have an idea in my head of what my workouts will be looking like, the food is an unknown. Firstly, we’ve signed up to not eating out three times a day, everyday. Can you imagine how expensive that would be?! Secondly though, this needs to feel like a home away from home in the places we stay. I still want to cook for my family but using local and new ingredients, perhaps challenging our children’s palates more than usual. Steve tracks his macros most days, and unfortunately when you eat out everyday, there is huge room for error. I have accepted though, that most days I will be in a calorie surplus. What does this mean exactly? It means that I envisage eating more calories daily than I expend. This formula equates to weight gain (not necessarily fat gain) – This is great for bodybuilders and such like, but a 5ft 3″, 114lb female? Argh, it sounds like a recipe for disaster. I have joked with friends that they will be seeing a ‘lot more of me’ when I’m back, but whilst this is in jest, I have to accept that some weight gain will be inevitable. Am I scared or worried about this? Well I’d be lying if I said no, but, in this instance I’m actually going to use this as a little experiment…
How Will My Body Look and Feel in a Surplus?
The above isn’t a place I’ve ever visited, I’ve never trained whilst in an intentional calorie surplus. Of course I have days where I know I’ve overeaten, meals out, Sunday roasts, that’s all part of enjoying life, but this is usually once or twice a week at most for me. I now have to embrace that this will be a daily thing. I’m a little nervous about this, I don’t want to come back two stone heavier for example. I will be having a higher NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) expenditure, as we’re going to be sightseeing and generally moving a lot more during the day than we usually do. NEAT is the energy you burn whilst doing anything that is not exercise. For me this is usually the school run, shopping, dog walking, vacuuming and such like. These are all great, but I imagine we’re going to do a lot more walking/swimming than we currently do.
All the above said, 30 days in a calorie surplus will have an effect on how my body looks and feels. Here’s the pros and cons of what I’m honestly expecting:
- An increase in strength – some weight gain could be muscle
- Setting of a couple of PB’s on lifts
- An appreciation for a larger calorie/protein intake
- Higher energy in the gym
- A weight gain of 7-10lbs
- A more softer look, especially round my tummy
- A negative body image of myself 🙁
- Sluggishness in the evenings
- Feeling full/bloated
As I said, this is a bit of an experiment so, some of the above may well happen… some may not. I’ll write a blog when we’re back, and I’ve caught up with my washing and I’ll let you know!
Follow Michelle’s Body Progress Journal as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions, ideas or motivation to offer, and please keep me honest to the above.