It’s Tuesday Fit-Day. A weekly meditation on fitness goals, successes and failures. Thinking about it once a week is a step toward making it a part of everyday.
“Do you return from holiday fitter or fatter?”
This is a line from a travel agency commercial. I have to ask? Does anyone come a back fitter?
In the last year, I have to admit that I have packed ‘workout’ clothes for our holidays. And actually used them!! But I have never come back from holiday fitter, regardless of an occasional workout. In fact, in most cases I come back with a visibly bigger belly. This wasn’t always the case, however. When I returned from five weeks in Africa I was a size smaller. It’s amazing what four weeks of intense life experience can do for the figure. (Although, we all know it can go the other way as well.)
It started when I returned from visiting Pete in Croatia over Christmas 2005. I don’t know if you have experienced eating on a Croatian farm (I’m sure there are equivalents around southern Europe), but basically, you eat until you are full. I don’t mean lean-back-a-little-uncomfortable-but-content filled, like Thanksgiving. I mean so full that food is actually backed up in your oesophagus waiting for its turn at the stomach digestive juices and you can’t actually take a full breath. This is the point at which you have to submit to another helping or risk causing offense. At this point, if you’re strategic (after a few days practice), you can take a breath while the food is heaped on and spend the rest of the meal slowly moving the food around the plate while no one is looking so it looks like you have eaten enough. This doesn’t always work and you might still have to choke down some more forkfuls. These are the days your body becomes involuntary bulimic. This level of intake is normal and necessary for the labourers around the table, but not so much for the visiting foreign city slickers. On my return to the US, my stomach was so distended, my mom called me a ‘butterball.’
The second time I gained significant inches on holiday was our first honeymoon in Fiji. (We’re currently on what we are calling our ‘real’ honeymoon.) We were staying at the Viwa Resort on Viwa island. In an attempt to make things as easy as possible, we prepaid for our meals when we booked the room. This meant two courses each at lunch and dinner on top of the included breakfast. This sounded doable as the portions at previous resorts we had stayed at with preset menus were really small. Not the case on Viwa. The portions and courses were huge!!! The food was incredible!!! Plus, it was hot. Who eats two courses at lunch when it’s that hot? This meant that I was pretty much having dessert twice a day. Sometimes I just had a starter (cassava chips) and dessert. (Hello starch and sugar, haven’t seen you in awhile, why don’t you set up camp on my ass?) We didn’t want to waste the money, so instead we stuffed ourselves. Near the end of the week our clothes were getting a bit tight so we said ‘screw it’ to the money. We had another reception in a few days and it was a real possibility that we may not fit into the clothes from a week ago. On our arrival to New Zealand I planned to eat like a bird for the next four days. But it was the middle of winter and there wasn’t a green vegetable fruit to be seen. I was not a happy camper. Luckily I still had the Spanx I wore for the wedding. I doubled up. I got into the dress, but sitting was precarious.
So what will it be this time? Fitter or Fatter? I’m guessing Fatter, but maybe not to ‘butterball’ extremes. After all, I have that glass stone to remind and motivate.