I hate Spring Break.
Well, no, I don’t have an issue with a week off in the sun with family and friends. This is even more true for those summer vacations many folks are thinking about or planning right about now.
Even from a coaching fat-loss perspective, there’s nothing wrong with a week off the program.
And yes, I do mean REALLY off: booze, tacos, pizza, zero exercise… IF — and it’s a big if — you are in a good groove leading up to the break (this means at least two months of consistent, stable calorie controlled eating and exercise) AND you hop right back on the plan the day after returning home.
If you’ve got that two months or more of consistency leading into your time off, I can almost guarantee any weight you packed on will disappear within 10 days. Often it’ll be gone in half that.
(With some clients who’ve really been killing it — and frankly, really needed the break — by day 10 they’ll not only be back to their pre-vacation weight; they’ll also be down a bit.)
But again: the lengthy lead time of consistency before the vacation is the most important factor. For many people, it’s also the most difficult. Getting back on the plan after the vacation is relatively easier.
Indeed, usually jumping back on the plan is actually pretty easy.
But note I said “usually.”
Because there’s just something about Spring Break.
It’s like folks are still on Island Time.
The first Monday after New Year’s Day, people have cleaned out their fridge and done an hour of cardio by 9 a.m.
But Wednesday following Spring Break and I’m getting messages like, “Can I use rum for carbs?” and “Hey, is a massage considered cardio?”
I guess it’s because it’s been a long winter and you had a brief taste of paradise (or even just time off) and you don’t want to return to the diet and exercise grind.
I get it.
It’s like how you gotta work to pay for… well, vacations from work. But the weird thing is you can’t just skip the work part and be in vacay mode 365 days a year. Even if you could, most people get bored pretty quickly. Yeah, sure, there’s balance. Burnout is bad.
But we all know there’s a certain satisfaction in earning a well-deserved break..
Same goes for fitness. You gotta earn it. Wanting it is easy. We all want it. But again: you gotta earn it.
Easy enough to say, but if you’re back from a break and you’re REALLY struggling finding your rhythm, what do you do?
Just start. Even if you aren’t feeling it, just do it.
It’s like that old adage about how journeys of a thousand miles start with the first step—and somehow, that very first step, no matter how small, is the hardest. The same is true after some breaks. You gotta get past that first small step.
Yeah, you will forget little parts of your daily process (none are that important) and maybe you’ll even feel like a bit of a newb again.
Don’t worry about it. Resume.
They come back fast: both your competence and your confidence. And your rhythms, too.
And—yes, that too—the pre-break body.
– Coach Bryan