Last week I had the privilege of spending a few wonderful days in Bermuda with my family! It was fantastic–I got to relax, get some sun, and indulge my nerdiness with a lot of beach reading. Oh, and I ate a lot… a ton… Woops. #omnomnom
Having cut down to a very “clean eating” plan–check out Neghar Fonooni’s Lean and Lovely Recipe–prior to vacation, I certainly felt beach ready… for about the first day. After the first bite (in this case, sip) of indulgence I felt like I’d let myself down. What the hell, man? I’d trimmed down for the explicit purpose of giving myself an allowance to work with; however, that was just the problem. I worked so hard for so long to get in great shape, I wasn’t about to ruin it on just anything.
The war waged on in my mind (it’s a dangerous neighborhood) all week, but I still made it to the gym with prescribed “quick fix” tabata workouts that would allow me some intense metabolic boosts without cutting too much into family or beach time. And it wasn’t until my mom relayed an overheard conversation of two women outside the hotel gym in which one pointed to the room and said “oh, that’s just for the people who are really hard core” that I grounded myself with perspective, allowing myself some leeway.
The large takeaway from this experience (aside that I might be certifiably crazy… whatever) is that I don’t feel like ME without constantly trying to better myself, and as exhausting as that sounds, it’s more tiresome to NOT do it! After years and years of looking forward to my days off or cheat days of indulgence, I actually find them to be more of a mental burden. The hotel gym may not be the top priority for many on their relaxing vacations, but for me, I cannot relax UNTIL I’ve been to the gym. As unrelatable my experience was to my family (we’ve all heard the “You look great, so what if you skip a day at the gym? Stop worrying about it.” from one loved one or another before) I now have a deeper understanding of myself as an athlete, and quite frankly, I’m proud of it. I don’t just want to LOOK good, I want to FEEL good. And that, my friends, is quite a rewarding realization.