The Holiday Effect

I just came back from a two-week vacation. Like many people out there, I used the excuse of being on holidays to overeat and under exercise. During those short two weeks, I managed to ignore completely all the health principles I teach and normally follow. I guess that just makes me a human being.

Besides being away from my regular daily routine, I found myself being ridiculously sedentary. Cold weather and lack of a plan contributed to me spending endless hours on the couch in front of the TV. I didn’t even walk much (we drove everywhere we needed to go, mostly restaurants). The result of that impressive lack of physical activity was that I felt sluggish and tired all the time, even though I wasn’t doing much.  

If that wasn’t bad enough, my diet was a complete wreck. Imagine eating no green vegetables for 15 days. My meals consisted of mainly refined carbohydrates (think bread, pasta, pastry, cake, cookies) and fatty protein sources (cold cuts of meat, sausages, juicy steaks, fried chicken). Dessert was a given. I had too much salt, fat and sugar, and not enough nutrients or fibre. I was consuming soda and sugary drinks (which I don’t even like!) just for the sake of having something other than water.

During the whole time, I was eating just for fun because I can’t say I was actually hungry. And I managed to ignore any sign of fullness. You see, many of the restaurants we visited were “all you can eat” which means that in order to be “worthy” I needed to eat a lot, even if I felt completely stuffed after.

You know what is the saddest thing of all? I was completely aware of what I was doing. I just didn’t care. I kept telling myself that I was on holidays so I had the “right” of acting that way. Did this ever happen to you?

Unfortunately, the effect that those sloppy days had on my body were devastating. On the first couple of days, I got sick. A bad cold. I blamed the long flight and lack of sleep but I know that not drinking enough water or getting proper nutrition wasn’t helping my cause. Because I was constantly dehydrated (not enough water, vegetables and fruits), my skin was dry and blotchy. My face became covered in breakouts. My poor eating got me constantly bloated and constipated. I felt worn-out and lethargic. But the reality only sank in when I weighed myself at a drugstore scale. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Four kilos in 15 days.

Now I’m back on track. Since arriving home, I have cleaned up my diet (no more indulgences for a while), loaded my plate with veggies and fruits, reintroduced whole grains, included lean protein sources in every meal, been drinking plenty of water (and water only). I’m also back to the gym (to work and workout). My plan is to exercise 6 days per week. I will be posting my exercise program, diet plan, and progress. Let’s see how long it’s going to take to shed those unwanted kilos.