Tuesday 21 June
Tomorrow I am jetting off to Portugal for a week for a very delayed girls’ holidays. The weather looks marvellous and I’m looking forward to a glow-y tan.
With holidaying comes lack of structure. Especially on “hot” holidays, you don’t tend to do a lot of planning. The main idea of the holiday is usually to sit in the sun by the pool or on the beach. There’s never really a strict itinerary, particularly when you go with a group of people who are all chill and aren’t as particular as you.
If you’ve been following my page for a while, you’ll probably have gathered that I love routine and order and basically knowing what I’m doing and when I’m doing it. It’s one of my personality traits, and that’s not a crime. I developed this sense of needing control and to be in charge since having an eating disorder (another perk of the condition then!!) So this holiday is a big deal for me.
We have not a lot planned for this holiday, which is a good thing because it challenges me to just go with the flow, be spontaneous and enjoy the little things and moments and time spent with friends who I don’t see all that often. But the one thing that’s niggling away at me is that I won’t have access to a gym, and probably the only form of exercise available is walking/running. Then, I’ll be hungover for a lot of the time spent out there (it’s a girls’ holiday, how could I not be!?), so exercising in the scorching sun is not going to be ideal when I’m shaky and dehydrated from the night before anyways.
Then there’s food. In my old mindset, if I’m not working out a ton, I’d want to restrict and not eat a lot. However, that’s ridiculous. We need food to fuel ourselves regardless of the exercise we do. It’s not normal to feel the need to restrict all the time depending on the exercise you have or haven’t done, or the time you’ve spent in front of the TV, or what you ate yesterday etc.
This is why this holiday is going to be the biggest challenge yet for me in recovery. As I lose the sense of control around what we’ll be doing out there and when etc, I will be gaining so much more: memories, fun and long-lasting memories. Food unites us and is so much more than fuel, although that is the main idea. It allows us to socialise and gossip and meet up and have drinks and eat snacks and laugh and enjoy time spent with others. And this is what this holiday will be for me: let go of the sense of control and allow food freedom to seep in. Allow it all and appreciate it all.
If I feel myself slipping into old habits, that’ll be another challenge. Already this week leading up to the holiday, I’ve felt my old desires of dieting and restricting before going on holiday. Yet I have challenged that feeling every single day. It’s scary knowing that perhaps I’ll gain weight on holiday. But as a well-known TikTok personal trainer said (and my sister keeps on saying), who doesn’t gain weight on holiday?
Holidays are a time to enjoy all the delicious local foods and try the cuisine, drinks lots of cocktails and beers by the pool, and sit around and chill. We all deserve holidays. We all deserve rest. The last two and a bit years have been incredibly difficult for us all in a number of ways. We have all experienced this time differently. But one thing remains the same for all: we deserve a break from life and to enjoy time spent with friends.
Another challenge perhaps for us all is the concept of body image. Summer and holidays is the time of year when the bikinis come out and along with that comes potential comparison and we forget about self-love and care for a hot sec. This is another reminder that we are all beautiful and there is no “bikini body” or “summer body”. We do not need to diet or restrict or go on a juice cleanse before holiday/summer. Or any time of the year. Eat what you enjoy and do what makes you happy.
If you can take anything from this blog post (as rambly and disconnected it is), take this. In no way should you feel like you need to workout or restrict when on holiday. If you do want to workout, take it slow and don’t force yourself to. I know that I’ll be going on a couple hikes in the mornings, but I won’t force myself to because I am going to enjoy this holiday to its max!
Pepetoe love ❤