“It’s all about balance and enjoying the other good things life offers.”


I have been a personal trainer and functional training coach for the past 7 years. Since 2017 I have competed in high level CrossFit which requires a lot of dedication and commitment to the sport to stay at that elite level. My original reason for going to the gym was so that I could 'eat more of anything I wanted' and not gain fat. My weeks consisted of body building and cardio, very drunken weekends & reasonably healthy meals with a few stops to 'McDonalds' or the local kebab house a few times a week. I stayed quiet fit and lean but wasn't able to grow muscle very well and I didn't have great 'definition'. Fast forward to 2017-2019 where I trained 6 days per week for 2-3 hours, counted macros, only drank on very special occasions and had one cheat meal per week. I was living to perform and that is okay if you're lucky enough to be surrounded with like-minded people. I gained muscle very easily & was very lean. I was so lean that if I decided to drink on the weekend or have a few more cheat meals - it showed in my body straight away and affected my performance for the following 2-3 days.




Now in 2021, I still train 6 days per week but cap my sessions at 90 minutes, I don't count macros - I listen to what my body is craving and find a healthy option. I drink socially and I'll have a cheat meal if I feel like one. Because I'm not counting every calorie that goes into my body and being super clean all the time, I don't really crave cheat meals anymore. Since changing my lifestyle, my body fat is up slightly but my performance is constantly improving & I recover from having drinks and naughty foods in a day.


Typically if I am having a big weekend, Easter, Christmas or New Years, big meaning lots of unhealthy food & alcohol, I will enjoy it and be in the moment with my family and friends. I'll down a big Powerade or Hydralite before I go to bed to reduce dehydration. The following morning, I'll make the breakfast I would normally eat in the morning (healthy - not fried eggs and bacon), then I'll make a strong coffee, make sure I drink plenty of water then go for a 3-5km super slow and cruisy jog to sweat out the alcohol and then l feel a million times better and I'll be ready to take on training the following day. This has worked for me for a long time and I think it's mentally better for you to take a break & enjoy the down time, so you return to training refreshed and more motivated! A long story short, taking a break and enjoying these things does not affect my training. It It's all about balance and a part of that is enjoying the other good things life offers .

Tara Jenkins
CrossFitt Athlete and Personal Trainer

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