What Happens Now

So what happens now?  My incredible 14-night cruise around Cape Horn has come to an end, and reality will be returning any minute.

As I have said, in more than one location and in more than enough goo and mush, I want to continue the personal growth I feel I started on this trip.

But there is also the … you know … less gooey and mushy stuff to think about too.  Like Weight Watchers.  As I mentioned in my travel logs, I had a, shall we say, difficult time sticking to a regimented Weight Watchers eating plan on this trip.  A few reasons come to mind:  1) the food on board the ship was just too damn good to pass up, 2) I couldn’t keep track of my points anyway because I didn’t have Internet access for most of the trip, and 3) for the love of Persephone, I was on vacation, and on vacation in another part of the world – I was going to experience it as much as I could.

And it is Reason # 3 that rings the loudest for me.  Because that is what life is all about.  It’s about experience.  About trying new things and exploring new frontiers.  And Weight Watchers is not a “diet” as I keep telling myself; it is a lifestyle.  I did try to adhere to it as best as I was willing to allow myself.  I kept breakfast to healthy dishes like oatmeal and toast.  Lunch almost always included a salad that featured such Weight Watchers gems as red kidney beans, carrots, peas, corn, peppers, and a low-cal dressing.  Dinner was almost always a salad too … and fruit … although there were a few exceptions when I had pasta.  And gosh, one night I did have steak.

But I can’t lie.  I had dessert with almost every lunch and every dinner (I passed it up one night at dinner but only because I had an extra large portion at lunch).  I had wine.  A lot of it.  And my portions were probably (okay fine, definitely) larger than they should have been.

Losing Weight Cartoon

So when I get back on the scale, yeah, I’m sure the numbers have gone back up.  But you know what?  It was worth it.  And I say that to all Weight Watchers aficionados out there:  when you’re at home, or even when you’re traveling locally, fine – be good and stick to your 23 points or whatever.  But when you have the chance to really fold yourself into the culture you are visiting, or the chance to try a new dish, or experience a new culinary sensation, take it.  If a couple of pounds come back on as a result, than that is okay – they will come back off when you go back home.

It is the extreme yo-yo dieting that causes the health problems after all.  If you gain 50 pounds and then lose 60 pounds and then gain 75 pounds, and then lose … then you’re looking at some serious health crises.  If you gain a few pounds while you’re on vacation, eh!  It’s a few pounds.  I’m sure I’ve put on somewhere around 10.  And as long as I don’t make it a habit of gaining and losing, then I’m not worried.

And I wouldn’t trade those 10 pounds for any of the desserts I had.  I tried dulce de leche, an Argentinian specialty, and it was gorgeous.  I tried different kinds of pastries and tarts – and South American gelato – and every time I thought about how many points I was consuming, I also thought about when I would be in South America again, and I realized … I can live with the 250,000 extra points that piece of chocolate fudge / dulce de leche cake is going to cost me because I won’t eat that again until, well, until I’m in South America again.

I also didn’t exercise beyond the walking required for the shore excursions.  Now, part of that was because I forgot to pack some workout clothes.  Otherwise, I would have taken a few of the Zumba classes the ship was offering on the At-Sea days.  But I would have taken the Zumba classes for the fun of taking a Zumba class, not for the exercise.  I told myself that I was not going to stress and worry about exercise on this trip.  Why?  Because I did that on the cruise I took in 2007, and while that trip was still fantastic, I can remember always having the stress of when and where I would “work out” weighing on my mind.  Oh crap – we’re going to that after dinner show tonight?  Okay, well if I forego the fancy napkin-folding workshop, I can squeeze in a run on the ship’s pool deck … or maybe I should just get up an hour earlier tomorrow and do it before breakfast because I really want to go to that fancy napkin-folding workshop…

That is entirely too much stress for a vacation.  Of course, a lot of that is me being me, but I didn’t like that I spent so much time on my last major cruise worrying about exercise.

So I took it out of the equation this time.

And you know what?  Aside from the fact that I kinda wished I had taken one of those Zumba classes, I feel fine.  I missed my bike.  I missed my bike like nothing else, but one of the many reasons why I am excited to go home is the prospect of getting back on my bike.  I am looking forward to going for a nice, long, ride……………. maybe at dusk now that Daylight Savings Time is over …………….. out to the LA River where I can see some black-necked stilts ……………. yeah, that sounds like pure heaven there.

So, all in all, did I make some unhealthy decisions on this trip?  Yeah, I did.  I can face it.  And admit it.  But I wanted to enjoy this trip, and I knew the stress of worrying about Weight Watchers and worrying about “squeezing in” exercise time, were going to take away from the experiences in front of me.  And considering everything I gained from those experiences, I can more than live with a few extra pounds and some cellulite.

Weight loss can wait... I'm eating that dulce de leche cake, with the ice cream, and the whipped cream...

Weight loss can wait… I’m eating that dulce de leche cake, with the ice cream, and the whipped cream…

Oh, and by the way, I was smart on the 2007 cruise too.  I often chose the cruise adventures over exercise then too, so yes, I took the fancy napkin-folding workshop 🙂

As a side note:  this particular blog entry, like Thinking at Sea, was written while I was on the vacation in question.  I did not have internet access so I saved it with the intention of posting it here when I got home.  I am happy to report that I only gained 5 pounds on this vacation, so I stick to every word I wrote above 🙂  I am also happy to report that I have returned to a diligent Weight Watchers regimen, so I’m sure those 5 pounds will be coming off in the next couple of weeks.  I hope.  I really hope.  Or else I’m gonna look like one big idiot.

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About jnglcat21

An aspiring writer who has a deep love for animals, tall ships, books, and anything that is 3,000 or more years old
This entry was posted in Travelin' On : Exploring the World and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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