For those of us who compete in any avenue, especially any kind of bodybuilding, we look forward to our vacations. Contest prep can be exhausting and it is nice to get away from our every day life and explore the world outside the gym. BUT, it is so easy to lose sight of our goals and allow the festivities to take over. Back in April I attended my brother in law's wedding in Hawaii and I blogged about how I stayed on track for the 72 hours I was there, and it was very easy. However, I have been fortunate to be given a 24 day trip to Europe to visit my sister, her family, and explore the countries. I couldn't have been more excited about this trip, but when I return in August I will be 14 weeks away from my next figure competition AND 2 weeks away from one of my favorite races of the year, Hood to Coast. For those of you who don't know Hood to Coast is a 200 mile relay race from Mt. Hood to Seaside, OR. Each team is made up of 12 runners and each runner runs 3 legs, I happen to have the highest mileage/difficulty of the 12 runners. Yea me! Anywho, my point is although I am here to enjoy myself on vacation, I can't lose sight of my goals and I don't want to digress on the progress and accomplishments I have made in the last year alone.
Arriving in the Netherlands my sister was awesome and had prepared some meals for me of my clean foods. Yams, chicken, salad, veggies and eggs. We hopped in the car the same day and drove from Holland to Rothenburg, Germany where we stayed for 2.5 days. What an awesome city. I had been before, but 11 years ago so it was a joy to go back. From there we travelled to Croatia, which I might add is a BEAUTIFUL country, exceeded my expectations and would love to travel back. For the past 9 days I did not have access to a gym, weights or any kind of fitness equipment. Luckily I planned ahead and packed two of my exercise bands and I started being creative with my daily workouts. I know what some of you are thinking, "You're on vacation!!! Take a break!"
The thing is fitness isn't an on season off season kind of thing for me. It's a lifestyle. I woke up every day and went for a 30 minute run, finding a hill to do 10-15 sprints up to challenge myself. From there I have incorporated all kinds of bodyweight movements working on different muscle groups each day. Lunges of all kinds, various squats, using a concrete barrier as a platform to do box jumps, various and tons of pushups, band work, pullups on balcony overhangs, burpees (I secretly love them), walkouts, etc. Although I miss the gym it was and has been fun to be creative and challenge myself in a different way. I only used 1-1.5 hours each day, which left plenty of time to sight see, and enjoy the locations I was at. We walked tons and while on the island of Rab in Croatia, we swam for hours each day. The water is amazing and so crystal clear. Really a slice of heaven.
Luckily food wasn't quite the issue I was thinking it would be. Big hotels are not as prominent as they are in the United States. Most people who travel rent apartments, which come with kitchens so preparing clean food is a breeze. Hit up the local grocery for staples like chicken, eggs, rice, veggies, fruit, oats, greek yogurt (which is soooo good here and soooo not loaded with sugar) and I also packed along sample packets and a bag of protein powder for a go-to meal in case. For the most part I prepared my meals and ate them throughout the day, saving a local fare meal for dinner. I have been able to enjoy myself with out overindulging, and I feel better. It worked out great and I am still on track. It also helps that the food portions when eating out are so much more reasonable that in the U.S. Lots of fish in Croatia and although fries and boiled potatoes are common with many meals, it's easy to ask for veggies or just have a little bit. :) Choices become easier when you set your mind to something and stick with it.
Back in Holland at my sister's home will make it easier to stay focused and I will have access to a gym, but I am able to enjoy my vacation, see the sights, have a treat here or there and I am not missing out on anything.
Vacation doesn't have to be stressful while trying to stay on track with fitness goals. Vacations are supposed to be restful, enjoyed and a break from our crazy lives. Don't be stressed, set your mind to your goals, and know that it can be and is possible to not lose sight. Trust me, I love to eat, I am enjoying some yummies, but definitely within reason.
Stay focused and keep training :)
Be Great. Be Non Human.
Marissa Card Hein
Be Non Human Sponsored Athlete
National Level NPC Figure Competitor