‘You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute’ – Tina Fey
Holidays are great because they give you time to recharge and reflect. The ‘back to reality’ feeling is similar to New Years for me and I often find myself making post holiday resolutions. Partly because I’ve over indulged and feel I need a bit of a mental and physical detox but also because I think subconsciously I need something positive to focus on and look forward to amidst the harrowing prospect of the alarm going off at 7am on Monday morning.
These are my current holiday resolutions:
- Get back into running and eating healthily so I can finally lose that stone I said I was going to lose back in January
- We get back on 1st October – ideal time to give the liver a detox and participate in ‘Sober October’
- Stop spending money on clothes I don’t need, close my ebay account and save to go and see Meagan in Nebraska next year
- Stop worrying about work – it’s only work and no one thinks you’re crap
This is what I think will actually happen:
- I’ll probably lose the weight I’ve gained on holiday and be really chuffed with myself so will revert to my usual diet of coffee, marmite sandwiches and Twirls
- I’ll remember that I’m not back at work until Monday so technically still on holiday, and there’s post car crash Prosecco in the fridge
- Convinced myself that I MUST have the new F&F fur gillet I keep seeing in Tesco RIGHT NOW! It’s getting chilly you know…
- What did Edna in accounts really mean when she asked if I had a nice holiday? Was she secretly saying ‘because while you were sunning yourself in Greece, we were tidying up the mess you left behind’?
Whilst, having lived with myself now for 33 years, I know that the second examples are more likely, that doesn’t mean the first lot are impossible. What’s really to stop me achieving all those things I want for myself, other than myself?
It dawned on me during one of our lazy afternoons by the pool and we were getting ready to go into the pool to cool off when I was doing the whole girlie ‘afraid to jump in because it’s cold’ routine so Dave suggested we jumped in together. Suddenly, even though the pool hadn’t gotten any less deep or any warmer, I prospect of jumping in wasn’t so scary any more. I would feel the same doing a bungee jump incidentally; there’s no way in a month of Sundays would I jump off a bridge on my own accord but I would probably do it attached to Dave. Perhaps it’s because I trust him and I know he’ll keep me safe or perhaps I just like doing things with other people; sharing an experience that’s going to bond us further, even if it’s just jumping into a cold pool together.
I think it’s a similar thing when you want to achieve something. Everything seems much less scary if you have someone rooting for you along the way. It’s a proven fact that people attend more exercise classes if they go with a friend because it’s easy to convince yourself not to do something, if it’s not impacting on anyone else, but if you’ve made a commitment to someone else, there’s more pressure to get it done.
It’s no secret that Dave’s a superhero Ultrarunning badass (he ran 10K every day in the Greek heat on holiday earning him the nickname ‘Forrest’ by the staff in out hotel for the duration of our stay). Being fit and healthy comes naturally to him so I’ve asked him to help me stick to my holiday resolutions and not fall off the wagon the second the plane hits the tarmac at Newcastle. There’s no reason I can’t be a size 8 if i really want to be (other than I’ll never be able to be in the same room as a slice of cake again for the rest of my life) there’s not reason I can’t do any of the above if I really want to. He’s suggested we come up with some delish healthy meals to have a weekends, get back into the 5:2 diet and start doing weight training together. And all that has made me feel way happier about achieving my original goals, rather than just always falling into the same old patterns.
There’s something to be said for not only pushing yourself beyond your own capabilities, but pushing yourself beyond other people’s as well. I get so bogged down sometimes with what people think of me that I forget about what’s really important, and to use all that energy to focus on something positive, like exercise, rather than worrying all the time. Nothing worth having comes easy, and it’s easy to fall off the wagon, eat bad food and spend money on frivolous things, but it doesn’t make me happy (not in the long term anyway – ask me again when I’m starving hungry and I might say differently). Generally though I know that being fit and healthy (in body and mind) is what makes me happy, so I just need to get off my arse and do it!