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Challenges of a spur-of-the-moment vacation

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

After posting daily since Sept 17th (my first ever), I was ready to skip this morning. I’ve just got too much to do. Yesterday I wrote about DH’s great idea to spend 2 weeks on a river cruise in Europe. When you’re retired, you are able to take advantage of the great deal on one of the last cabins, drop everything and go. When searching for the good things about joining the ranks of senior citizens, this one tops the list – the short list. So in 10 days off we go!

DH & I have traveled a lot, but never in winter. This will be different. SP must be on the same wavelength as I am since the daily featured blog is “3 ways to avoid weight gain on vacation.

I’ve been so happy about my 3 years of maintenance that this is obviously a concern of mine. Yet I’m not too happy about their suggestions. They’re the same as I would observe when eating out here at home. But, I won’t be at home. These are different cultures, different foods, new people and places and I need a somewhat different plan.

Starting with the easy stuff
“Do a lot of walking” –
This one is easy. The tours are advertised as requiring a lot of walking. There’s also a “fitness room” onboard. So an extra few miles on the treadmill are doable. I’ll even pack my running clothes. Running along the Rhine will be a nice addition to the bucket list.

“Don’t make every meal a heavy one” –
It’s a CRUISE! Lots of food! At least we’ll be ordering from the menu for 2 meals a day when I can make good choices. Breakfast is buffet. As long as I avoid the bacon & pastry, I should be OK. I rarely eat a lot in the morning.
“Grabbing fresh produce from a market and making a salad in my room” doesn’t fit our situation. I wouldn’t do that even if it did.

“Sample the different flavors but don’t have to finish the meals” –
This one will not work for me. I won’t overstuff myself if there is really too much on the plate, but leaving something just to save the calories is for me a recipe for deprivation depression. This is not the state of mind I want while visiting the Christmas Markets.

Then there’s the title itself “avoid weight gain.”
If that was my only goal, I should stay home. My plan is to avoid excessive weight gain. If I come back a few pounds heavier (up to 4?), that’s OK. There will be a scale in the fitness room, so I can still weigh myself daily to keep things reasonable, just like I do at home. It’s part of my morning routine.

Here is my one unbreakable rule.
Except for the wine at dinner and the champaign at the captain’s reception, I will not drink ANY alcohol. First of all, I have to pay extra for that, usually a lot extra and that doesn’t agree with my thrifty self. If I’m going to get 400 extra calories, I’ll get it from the strudel.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great plans for your river cruise! Love your thinking ahead. All in moderation, and I know you can do it. Have fun - what a great way to see Europe - kinda like traveling the ancient highways. Enjoy packing and getting ready!
    1424 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Great healthy plans for the cruise. My husband wants to take a river cruise also. Get lots of walking in!

    1424 days ago
  • DAWN14163
    Not sure exactly where you are going, but I've noticed that here in Continental Europe, there are very few overweight people. Cycling and walking is part of the way of life. The unspoken motto regarding food/drink seems to be "moderation in all things" - it is regarded as very silly to get drunk, even though the bars are open at breakfast and don't shut until the early hours....
    You seem to have a good plan in place, but my advice would be "when in Rome, do as the Romans do".
    Enjoy your holiday - I have to admit to being slightly envious!!!
    emoticon emoticon
    1424 days ago
    Wow that sounds like fun! I hope you have a lovely trip.
    1424 days ago
    I know you'll have an awesome time and that you'll enjoy it so much more because you've got a sensible and realistic plan. I'm sure you'll undo any minor gains in no time once you get back home and back to your normal routine. Have a blast!
    1424 days ago
    What a great attitude. I'm the same way - if I'm in a different place, I want to experience the local food. I won't make a pig of myself, but I won't deprive myself either. Whatever weight I gain is worth it, and I won't mind the extra exercise when I get back. You may only get to do this once, so enjoy!
    1424 days ago
    Have a wonderful time and enjoy- eat and do what feels good for you. Getting in a few miles along the Rhine sounds like a super treat. Sounds like you have a great mind set AND won't be kicking yourself for missing out on something that could be a once in a lifetime treat... and by limiting the alcohol, you'll be less likely to snack more, doing yourself more benefit than just avoiding the calories in the glass.
    1424 days ago
    Food included in the price I paid! Oh no, there would be no way I would be leaving food on my plate. No way to take it back with me, save it - this would be a dilemma. But in the same vein, missing anything, not walking to every place I can see, using all the cruise's fun toys to play on (even gym equiptment falls in this category when it is included in the "price") - I would be there. So enjoy it all - you have done well for 3 years and you know how to do this! Have a great time.
    1424 days ago
    Sounds like you are making good tailormade plans for YOU. Have a wonderful time!
    1425 days ago
    My MIL went on one of these cruises years ago, and we've been drooling over them ever since, but we just can't plan DH's vacay far enough in advance to get the cheap advance rate, and we sure can't do the last-minute specials. Anyway, MIL took every shore tour she could and walked her tootsies off. Hope you have a blast!
    1425 days ago
    Have a blast! I'm envious... been looking at those river cruise brochures for years. Enjoy, walk a lot, and just be reasonable about your food without being obsessive...
    1425 days ago
    I love IAM53559's advice. Sample the good food, just know when enough is enough and stay active! Have a blast!!!
    1425 days ago
  • IAM53559
    Well, my husband and I went on an Italy/Adriatic cruise - Home of the carbohydrate and luxury eating - last year. I had been already dieting and working out and I too was nervous about weight gain but adamant I wasn't going to deprive myself. For Pete's sake, it was Italy! Would I ever get an opportunity to experience such a place as this again? I didn't want regrets. I wanted happy memories and stories to share. I figured I would just deal with any weight gain when we got home - I had spent a lot of money on this cruise and I was going to enjoy it.

    I ate pizza, steak, chicken, white bread with fresh butter every dinner and I indulged in dessert after every dinner. My favourite part of a meal is meat and veg so I chose to eat the mouth-watering fresh breads and only sample my potatoes, rices, and pastas - except the one night that I had ravioli for my dinner, I ate most of that emoticon .

    We played mini golf on board, swam in the pools, walked in each city we visited, and even went ice skating on the ship's ice rink. I don't think I made it to the on-board gym once...

    When we got home I was astounded! I had not gained any weight! I thought, "Oh, it'll catch up" but a week went by, no weight gain, then 2 weeks, three.... no weight gain.

    I think by not depriving myself, I felt I didn't need to over-eat anything. So I had decent portions of everything, including real, full-fat Gelato from local shops! I also think that the slow process of losing weight helped my body to accept my new, lower scale weight as normal. By eating regularly and ensuring I ate a wholesome variety of foods, my body didn't explode and go crazy. As far as my body was concerned, it was just a normal routine... with more sunshine emoticon
    1425 days ago
    That's a very wise plan, especially the alcohol part. I thought you said it was included, which would make it my downfall.
    1425 days ago
  • LEB0401
    Yeah! Enjoy yourself. emoticon
    1425 days ago
    When DW and I went on a European motorcoach tour, a 10 day multi country thing, we both gained weight. Returned home at my top weight ever. I think thosevacation pictures were what 'sparked' me to return to my formerly slim self.
    It seems to me the cruise ships pastries, cookies, etc are low fat. They just don't have the taste of 'real' pastries to me. We've been on lots of cruises and seldom gain weight, we walk a lot, and I use the ship's weight room, and we eat normally.
    You will do fine. Sample all the various special foods in moderation.
    Have a wonderful vacation. You deserve a special reward for all the entertaining blogs.
    1425 days ago
    I agree - you are going on holiday, you want to have a good time.
    This means doing what makes you feel good.

    Excessive weight gain would not feel good, but relaxing a little will feel terrific.
    So great that there is a fitness room - this will energise you, making the holiday even more fun.

    Any weight gain will go once you are back to normal routine.
    1425 days ago
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