Blogged Out and Bloated

If you have ever been on a cruise, you will understand the title of this blog.  I have been off of the cruise ship for 3 days now .  I can finally write because the swelling in my fingers has finally gone down.  In all seriousness, I am soooo glad to be back in my normal routine.


Growing up, cruising was one of my most favorite things to do – and every year my immediate family would cruise to Bermuda.  The vacation always felt like a dream; so many memories from those trips.  I was always sad when the vacation ended.  My mom would always remind me that we now have next year’s cruise to look forward to.


I always have good intentions pre cruise.  I preplan my packing to make sure that I have the perfect dress for each night at dinner.  In the past, I have planned to wear the tighter fitting dresses earlier in the cruise.  But, this time I was confident that I would eat sensibly, work out daily, and possibly even lose weight.  I brought all form fitting dresses.


This year’s family cruise had been planned for over a year.  There were 8 adults and 4 children traveling.  I was so grateful that my older brother who was injured a month ago was able to join us.  The  cousins ages 3, 5, 6, and 8 would have some major bonding time. 


The first day on the cruise, we arrived at the buffet.  I had my game plan and was on point as I piled my salad high with healthy veggies.  I admired all of the wonderful looking food - and noted how many fellow cruisers were already enjoying the pastries.  Maybe I would have dessert a few times during the cruise?


I was making good use of my workout clothes that I had packed.  Doesn’t it feel good when everything is going as planned?  Day 2 was another success with healthy eating – at dinner I asked the waiter to hold the potatoes and sipped on a delicious glass of wine.


And this is where my fairy tale ends.


On Day 3, that bread stick at the lunch buffet looked too tempting to pass up.  The menu had that extra bread at lunch, extra entrees at dinner, and 3 glasses of wine plus dessert.  What a great idea, I thought!  The 11pm ice cream bar looked so scrumptious that I decided to join my daughters in this nightly indulgence.


For a brief moment, I started to be self-critical and feel bad about my food choices: “What happened to the game plan? …  I really should approach my eating on the cruise like any other day.”  This left me feeling defeated because I was not doing this. 


Alas, I was able to take a step back and reframe my thoughts to conclude that a day on a luxury cruise is not like any ordinary day, therefore, my approach to eating may be slightly different from my routine.  I felt a sense of relief.


Perfectionism can be a blessing and a curse.


There would be consequences if I decided not to deviate from my normal eating style; I would have missed out on some wonderful cuisine shared with my most favorite people.  Let’s face it, I am still having daydreams about the time spent sitting next to my husband sharing exotic Kobe beef sliders and amazing Sushi.


I am not saying that food and drink need to be present in order to make connections and have a stellar time.  I do believe that your experience can often be enhanced when you indulge your senses. 


If we are disappointed in ourselves during special occasions because of indulgences, then perhaps we set our standards to high?  Isn’t vacation a time to not have expectations?  If we have more reasonable expectations, then a vacation can be enjoyed how it is supposed to be.


On day 6, I had to wash my hands with soapy water to get my rings off; the swelling was outrageous.  I wore my loosest clothes to dinner.  I did enjoy wine and dessert and some pasta.  But, I was ready to go back to my normal food choices.


It is times like these that I reflect on how lucky I am.  It is a blessing that I was able to go on a cruise with my entire family.  I had the opportunity to experience new things.  I got to share chocolate chip cookies dipped in milk with my daughters.  I got to work on letting go. 


I learned a lot on this trip.  For starters, next vacation I will certainly have more reasonable expectations for myself.  I acknowledged just how much I trust myself. I can indulge knowing that I will go back to normal eating naturally. 


Cruises are wonderful, and they are very special to my family.  I enjoyed the entire experience, but I couldn’t wait to be home.  I am day 2 into my usual workout routine, and it feels so good to eat clean. 


I do think that this cruise acted as a reset for me.  The good news is that with my belief in the 80/20 rule, I will overall meet my expectations.  It’s the overall that matters most.  Just to make sure I meet my expectation for the year, this week I will be 100%......damn perfectionism.