Holiday health – heaven or hell?

I’ve just come back from an amazing week’s holiday in stunning Malaysia. It was fab!


Stayed at a gorgeous beach resort in Lankawi, then a city break in Kuala Lumpur.

I don’t know about you, but going away on holiday, though fun and relaxing, can also, in my case, play havoc with my health!

First of all, I seem to swell in the heat, especially my feet. So those pretty sandles don’t get to come out of the suitcase. Outfits which looked good when I bought them, seem out of place and either feel too warm for the climate, or too tight. I tan really easily and love the sun kissed look, but makeup seems pointless as I dab away beads of sweat 5 minutes outside the air conditioning! Oh, and my hair frizzes. Straightening works for a while, until the wind blows it back out of shape. As for food.. inclusive of meals can mean potentially 3 stupidly big meals as you try just a tiny bit of this and a tiny bit of that. With not an avacado in sight. Exercise? Er… do you pack your trainers and gym stuff on holiday? Most of the time you probably think like me, you will be doing lots of walking, maybe swimming and watersports, hiking perhaps. Of course there is a lot of body envy going on too, and the relative familiarity of your local gym is no match for the buff and toned species you encounter in holiday.

Can you relate, or is this just me? I don’t want to sound like an old grumbly-pants, but it made me think. Why do we break our good habits and intentions on holiday? Does taking a break mean we can go back to the same old same old or is it a chance to really be who we want to be?

Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time; lying on a sun lounger reading a novel, getting massages and not doing any housework whatsoever was a pretty good switch off for me, however, I was restless!

I wanted to eat healthy, as normal. I wanted to go running on the beach in the morning. I wanted to do sun salutations on the balcony at sunset. I wanted to get through the 4 books I had packed. I wanted to dance into the night.

Clearly I couldn’t have wanted those things badly enough as they didn’t happen. This is huge. When we set goals and get nowhere near them, it’s because they really can’t be that important otherwise we we do it without fail. something must be holding us back, and coaching and hypnosis can help uncover this. Sure others things may get in the way, but unless we do small thngs, make small shifts towards our goals, consistently, they will always be a ‘nice to have/do someday’.

The irony is, where better a place to do all the things you want, than on holiday? Exercising, eating right, dozing at 3pm, laughing and having fun, exploring and marvelling at the wonderous sights and  having unique experiences, that’s what makes a great holiday right? These things I did do – riding an elephant, going up the Petronis Twin Towers, splashing about it the sea and exploring the mangroves, stunning wildlife, sealife and plant life. My guilty fess-up is the lack of exercise, as I knew the swelling in my feet was a result of inactivity, oh and the eating; traditional eastern foods I know don’t agree with me. To be honest, I used to love Thai green curry and satay. As my taste buds change, I found a lot of the food too heavy, salty and not as great as how I remember them! It was easy though, for me to avoid many of the things I don’t normally eat, so I’m pleased with that.

So, now I’m back. For starters, it’s a jog/run for tomorrow plus a 12 hour fast. It’s great to get away, but a healthy lifestyle should be exacly that, wherever you are, it’s about you, not the environment, and I need to remind myself of that too.

What’s your holiday health like? Do you come back carrying holiday weight? Do you get all worked up at the amount of emails, status updates and catch up tv  you need to catch up with? Do you get guilty and feel you have let business slide? Let me know! Reply by writing your comments below, I’d love to know.

Until next time,

To your goodness and your gorgeousness,

Your coach




  1. Hi Farah, I enjoyed this post! Your vacation sounds lovely but I can relate to the stresses. It’s really hard to let go, and usually takes a few days before I can really unwind. And then when it’s time to return, it’s hard not to worry about what’s waiting for me.

    I like your statement “a healthy lifestyle should be exactly that, wherever you are.” It’s true, although I let things -exercise and eating -slide when on vacation. To a degree I feel like that’s ok, but not to the point where I feel worse because of it?

    • Hi Angela, thanks for sharing! I agree, true, no good letting things slide to the point of feeling worse aterwards! If that happens, I think we need to look deeper into the motivation for allowing the slide. Holidays are often times of excess for a lot of people- for the bad stuff! Best to stick to enjoying the time away, feel good and all the benefits that come from it!

  2. I have a family vacation coming up in October. It’s hard for me to keep up with my regular ‘healthy lifestyle’ things because I tend to think of vacation as a break from my lifestyle. All of it.

    But then, we do spend most of our vacations walking, so we still get exercise…..

    I like the idea of a 12hr fast upon return. It would be a good sort of mental divider between ‘there’ and ‘here.’ A transition back into home.

    • Hey Angie, great you have a vacation coming up and take a break from all of it! Though it’s not easy, I did a fast from 5am to 5pm with breakfast at 5am (early riser, me!) so it felt like missing lunch really, but you can vary the times, eg 7am to 7pm. It’s a great practice for discipline! Good luck, and have a fab time in October!

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