In the past, traveling, while I absolutely love it, has been an easy trigger/excuse for me to completely get off track or feel unstable with nutrition, and training, especially when it's in the structure of moving forwards a physique or fitness goal. This time around, I felt things were really different, and I feel like not only I didn't regress on any goals or progress, but continued to move forward (maybe a bit slower, but progress is progress!) - and it really came down to mindset. I came up with a few of the tips that really helped me:
- Have a plan, but be flexible: as Bruce Lee said, "Be like water!"
In Holland, which was a longer trip of 7 days, I did keep consistent with weight training most days (with 2 days off - unplanned, just caught up on sleep and family time!) as I had access to a gym, which was a 30minute bike ride away. Back at home in Copenhagen, my gym is 3 minutes away, and on most days, I love to go twice a day (I split up 1 longer session into 2 shorter sessions), and it is no problem because it is so convenient.
I wanted to maximise the time I had with my family (my wonderful grandma), so instead of using another hour to bike to the gym to do an hour of training in the afternoon as well, I stayed at the house and just used what was around - nature and a few chairs, mainly ;)
So I just switched things around, biking to the gym to do weights when I got up (after my morning routine :) and when people were still asleep (gotta love that time to get stuff done!). In the pm I used a yoga app (Down Dog - such a nice free app) to do a short 15 minute guided yoga practice in the morning, or went for a walk in the countryside (or walked around the house with my darling grandma!), or do a bodyweight circuit.
I also realised how much distance has a huge impact on motivation! Maybe I am just more lazy than I realised, and I love cycling, and the ride through the countryside is lovely, but it was so much more of an effort to get myself to go to the gym compared to my 3-minute-away gym back here in Copenhagen!
In London, it was literally just non-stop the entire 2 days, so instead of stressing about trying to get a workout in, I just paid more attention to my nutrition and made an intention to let my body rest those 2 days, and set it up as an advantage. Mindset and how we frame a situation has a huge impact! Besides, I got plenty of activity in from walking - I forgot how huge London is!
- Keep the HABITS in place, but scale them as needed = keeping that consistency track record
My time was obviously more occupied by other things when away, so I scaled back the duration of my training, but kept in place the CONSISTENCY of the habit. So in the morning, when I would usually go and do around an hours training, I kept up the habit of movement, but scaled it to fit the needs of the situation - say 20-30minutes. So making a micro habit of the macro habit enabled my psychology to say "awesome! momentum is still there!" instead of loosing the habit completely and starting from scratch when at home.
Once we've lost the habits or routine during a period, it can make it harder to get back into routine when at home. So keeping the cues in place, I've found, will keep the habit and consistency in place (and keep my mind happy! ;).
- Morning routine
- Keep grounded throughout the day: meditation or moments of silence
- Get sleep!
- Keep hydrated
- Keep it simple
However, looking at the daily weight, it has fluctuated up and down (as much as 2kg) - which is totally NORMAL (but can be a total mindfuck = why I don't generally go by weight or take it as the absolute metric of progress)! Some days I retain more water, or eat significantly more sodium, or eat more carbs, or lower carbs, or don't sleep well, or have my period... and traveling a fair amount also contributes to this (dehydration, irregularity, higher cortisol, etc). So many factors can contribute to daily weight (and appearance) fluctuations, so what matters more, and is more informative, is looking at the general pattern and direction over the week(s).
But most of all, I am really ENJOYING the process, and instead of judging progress only on physical results, basing it around the consistency of my habits and effort, the development of "character" (putting virtues into practice: patience, dedication, "blissapline", etc ;) and the miraculous capacity of the human body to change, adapt, heal, and transform :=)
Meals in Pictures
I'm not following a strict IF (Intermittant Fasting) schedule, like a 6 or 8 hour window, but just pushing back my first meal to later in the day. It's become pretty natural to me now, and as I always tend to have my best training sessions fasted, my first meal is always after morning training, and usually around midday at the moment. Somedays it will be 10am, somedays it will be 4pm (my uni class schedule dictates this a lot!). I just have water and a hug mug of my new favourite reishi coffee when I get up.
Of course, it doesn't mean I always make the best choice ;) but for me it's about becoming more and more mindful, and view it as a SKILL to keep practicing to get better at.
My saving grace at the moment: hot chocolate! Well, my homemade version :P My basic recipe of freeze-dried organic decaf coffee (for 1L, I put 2tsp) + organic cacao powder (1/2 heaping teaspoon) + vanilla powder and stevia drops has now evolved (mainly thanks to my trip to Wholefoods while I was in London!) to include this awesome Tumeric Latte Mix of numeric, vanilla, cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, chilli and back pepper. Mmmm it just takes it to a whole new level! Sometimes (when I don't mind the extra bitterness), I also throw in a packet of FourSigmaFoods Reishi or Chaga (which I LOVE, and usually have a plain one in the morning).