When I went to the Whitsunday Islands I had the best intentions of ‘being good’, of course – I was going to eat healthily, exercise daily and only binge when I truly deserved it. But while I might have visualised fruit cocktails, an abundance of fresh fish and the healthiest of salads, my body obviously saw this holiday as time to partay.
There is something about the indefatigable holiday spirit that blinds you to the reality of what happens to your body the other 320 days of the year, if you take your finger off the diet pulse. It’s like the brain suddenly suffers a bout of amnesia and temporarily deletes all that knowledge about calories and their wicked ways, the discomfort of too-tight clothes and that feeling of dread when you stand on the scales.
It’s only a week, you justify – I’ll be good when I get back.
But somewhere in between those spontaneous, afternoon sparkling wines (that you only consume on holiday), sneaky sundaes and gin and tonics so massive they could fuel ten students at a Thai moon party, those vengeful calories leapt onto my hips provoking my body to waddle rather than walk, rather like a duck or a woman in her third trimester.
Not even my daily dip in the pool was enough to stop them squatting around my hips, nor the speed of my fight or flight Olympic swim back to our safety vessel when we snorkelled in Luncheon Bay and were cornered by the biggest, fugliest black Grouper fish, that was quite obviously JUST WAITING for me.
Nor did the times I thought about going to that yoga session but decided against it because it clashed with Happy Hour at my favourite bar.
Then there was the food. I can only blame the smorgasbord of dips, chips and cheese that catapulted into my gob during our holiday pre-dinner drinks to prepare my stomach-lining for the dinner ahead, because I only ate fish when we were out. Honest! The problem with dips and cheese, (and this is a proven medical fact), is that it’s physically impossible for the body to stop eating them until they’re finished.
And when you’re on holiday you HAVE to have dessert – it’s compulsory – especially when the old man ONLY allows us dessert on holiday, anyway. Torturous images of melted chocolate, doughnuts, ice-cream and salted caramel-anything still haunt my dreams, not to mention all those beach Snickers that helped get us through those dry periods between morning tea and lunch.
It all seemed like such a fabulous idea at the time. But alas, the party’s over now and sometime over the past seven days I’ve developed a waddle.
I’ve tried to convince myself that once I return to work, Kurt goes back to school and I reconnect with the detention department of his school and stress consumes my body again, that this unwelcome new weight will drop off as quickly as it invaded my body. But I’m not so sure.
Holidays are a wonderful invention. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Decisions I made only a few days ago feel like a lifetime away already. Two days ago that Hot Caramel Sundae looked like the perfect way to celebrate my seven days of limitless food freedom; that sundae has since become a visual representation of my immature, ostrich-in-the-sand mentality and sits proudly around my hips like some holiday trophy.
Next time I go on holiday, I will pack some self-discipline into my suitcase, too.