Last weekend I went away for my birthday with my boyfriend. We went to Munich and I honestly had the best time I have had in ages. But I think the main reason why I was so happy was because I felt free.
A year ago, I would have been slightly apprehensive. The idea of not being able to go to the gym, coupled with not knowing what was in my food, frightened me. It wasn’t normal, and it affected me really quite badly.
I have never had an eating disorder, nor have I been obsessed with exercise too badly. But thankfully, having developed my knowledge, my mental state, and my relationship with food and the gym, it means I didn’t step into last weekend with fear, but with a smile on my face; knowing I could enjoy the weekend without any guilt or regrets.
That doesn’t mean I went crazy. I’m not the type of person who has cravings, nor do I feel like I need to binge. I eat well because I love fuelling my body with good food which helps me to do what I want, exercise a lot, and reach my goals. I did eat all the bread, have a few drinks, lay in bed drinking our way through a bottle of prosecco and a share bag of crisps…
Equally, we also had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast (our hotel room had its own kitchen) and I had yoghurt, apples, and a lot of water. I even took protein bars, mainly because I need my regularly feeding…!
So what am I trying to say?
Maybe that I’m proud. That I have got to the point where I can let myself go and not wake up with a head full of guilt. That I can have 4-5 days off from the gym and know it’s doing my body good – because we need to rest every now and again.
But equally, that I have a relationship with food whereby I don’t feel the need to binge when I get to weekends like this. Nor do I feel the need to eat healthy on holiday 24/7. I think we all deserve time off, be that a weekend, a week or two weeks.
I don’t go on holiday a lot. The last time I had a ‘weekend off’ was in July. The next time I will may Christmas, most likely. I think this is exceptionally important for our mental health because our physical health relies on it. The two must align, and if they don’t, our stress levels will be high, our mood low, our training suffering because of it.
Holidays are there to be enjoyed, and I am incredibly happy I am now able to enjoy having weekends off and appreciating them, just as much as I appreciate my healthier lifestyle and fitness regime for the rest of the year.