My first trip abroad has been a massive challenge to my ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am really ready to resume my fairly tedious dietary life.
Yesterday in London was awesome for me. Why? I found a gym that had the basics I needed and did a double workout. I really craved the neural release that comes with being connected to my body, and loved the sense of normal that comes with exercise.
I was also benefitting from the confidence that comes with reestablishing a handle on my nutrition. After loading up Saturday at Holland & Barrett, I packed my bag with 2100 calories and 200 grams of protein, while also factoring in a half a piece of fish and some chips (I am in London after all).
The gym, Nuffield Health in Covent Gardens was a labyrinth, as so many city gyms are, stairs down and more stairs down and then stairs up and around to the changing room and gym floor. The staff was nice but the facility was so-so — not enough variety in equipment, no wifi — but it was clean and I was able to hobble together a kick-ass workout and then got in a full 2.5 mile run as well. I then ate a bit and ran around London. When I got back to my hotel room I looked in my food bag and was amazed — I had over 1000 calories I had no consumed. It seems my body clock was still off causing my under-eating. I was going to dinner at the London Playboy Club so at least I had plenty of room to explore.
At the Club, I had an amazing meal and hands down the best Caesar salad I have ever had. The meal was primarily meat to keep my protein up, but I still had to eat some more when I got back to keep my numbers in place.
And then today I made a major discovery — London takes Christmas very seriously. The tube shuts down, regional trains are closed, Victoria Station is sealed shut. I was going to store my bags at Victoria, grab a workout and then take a long self-guided walking tour before my flight. Luggage storage was all closed. No gyms are open, at least that I could find. So I walked 1.5 miles to an open Pret with my luggage and decided to wave the white flag. A $100+ Uber ride got me to the airport as it was that or a 2 1/2 hour bus ride with hundreds of other puzzled travelers.
So here i sit fairly late into the day and I still have a 9 hour flight ahead of me. So my day is going to be….
The above sentence is unfinished because my flight was called and I slid into business class, watched movies, played games and came to a realization: time off means time off from scrutinizing my diet and recording every morsel. I started thinking about the professional athlete I have worked with for years — I know he takes time off from his training and nutrition, he has talked to me about it many times. I started thinking about the coach of another big sport who has mentioned the importance time off plays in training for himself and his players. And I thought about basketball, baseball, football — all have seasons where players are on and equally off.
So that my friends, is the end of me attempting to control my diet when I am away. That said, healthy eating is contagious (just like unhealthy eating I suppose). Me “cheating” means using butter on a piece of bread or eating an extra protein bar, not downing a pint of ice cream or getting drunk and binging. So letting my hair down is not that big a deal based on who I am in 2017.
And the result of the overeating and under-eating and no gym? I weighed in at 5:30 EST — very nervous might I might add — and I gained a whopping 2.2 pounds while I was away. Big deal. All that worry for a 34-ounce gain.
So what now? Back to it folks. I know what happens when I don’t exercise and eat well — I get fat, out of shape and depressed. So the choice is clear and I’m going back to what I did to lose all that weight and keep it off. After all, I’ve still got major goals ahead!
Happy Boxing Day to you all — see you in the gym.