Sunday, June 23, 2013
Nearly every summer, my husband, sons, and I vacation at a cabin on a lake in northern Wisconsin. Often, we will spend several summers in a row at the same cabin. Lately, it has been at Big Pine. Our activities are pretty much the same every year: fishing, eating, sleeping, eating, hiking, eating, kayaking, eating, fishing, eating…
Although, by necessity, I have almost always eaten a healthier diet than my husband and sons, I have in the past often indulged on these cabin vacations. We tend to pack and bring many of the foods that we don’t consume on a daily basis at home, such as chips, cookies, hot dogs, bacon, candy, soda, etc. At some point, a cabin vacation became synonymous with a vacation from self-restraint.
I suspected that maintaining a healthy diet this year might be problematic for me, so I planned ahead. I prepared and packed many of the healthier options I prefer to eat at home. I packed lots of fruits and vegetables. I packed popcorn and mixed nuts and pumpkin seed snack mix (which, minus the dried cherries and salt, is a SparkPeople recipe I highly recommend) and yogurt and cottage cheese. I packed chicken and salmon and quinoa salad and hard-boiled eggs. I felt prepared.
Imagine my surprise when, as we pulled up to the cabin and opened the van doors, I was hit by the urge to eat…and I don’t mean the healthy stuff. At home, over the past couple of months, I thought I had successfully put nearly all my cravings to rest. I’m disappointed to find that those cravings are alive and well; it took only the memory of past years to bring them to the surface. This year, I’m resolved to creating new memories. I will forever associate vacation with indulgence unless I put a stop to it. Now. Thus far, I’ve resisted the snacks my teenage sons are devouring, the smell of frying bacon, and the lure of a sweet treat (“just this once…”)
As I write this, I am sitting on a dock under a cloudless sky listening to waves beat against the bottom of an aluminum boat. There is no boat traffic (nor internet access or phone reception). I have seen a bald eagle soaring and have heard the cry of the loons. Vacationing is not about eating. I refuse to let it be.