The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days 172 to 184 – Fun In The Sun 13 August 2008

Well, I’m back!  It feels like I’ve been away forever.  Even sitting in front of a laptop feels a bit weird.

It goes without saying that we had a great time.  I’ve not been on a beach holiday for years, not least because me and swimwear have never been the best of friends.  And I’ve never been on an all-inclusive holiday like this one, ever.  As you know, I went with the Boy’s family, and their biggest priority is keeping his 7 year-old niece and 4 year-old nephew entertained (no small feat, I promise you), so this type of holiday is perfect for all concerned.  And I have to say that I felt bloody good … I was by no means the thinnest person by the pool, but I felt absolutely confident wandering about in my swimming costume and sarong.  It was actually quite emotional, if I’m honest.  I felt like I had a right to be there and that nobody was staring at me.  One of the big triggers for me embarking on lighter life was the knowledge that this holiday was planned and booked … it would have been unbearable had I not lost the weight.

From a diet point of view, this kind of holiday is potentially nothing short of disastrous 🙂  The supply of food and drink is unrelenting … obviously, as we all know, willpower does exist and nobody is ever forced to eat or drink, but for people with a tendency to overeat then all-inclusive holidays are a minefield.  Many people that I saw over the last few days were using their stay as a licence to indulge to alarming (and sometimes disgusting) degrees.  It wasn’t unusual to see people consume three loaded plates of food at one sitting and then pile up another plate with cakes from the dessert trolley.  I don’t mean to sound pious, but I was genuinely shocked.  It was like the barbecue effect (graze until you might explode) magnified a hundred times.  Now, as I’ve said before, people’s weight really is their own business, and if adults choose to be overweight then that’s entirely up to them.  What really got to me was the children.  It was absolutely heartbreaking to see young kids, some of whom were already significantly overweight, piling their plates high with junk, junk and more junk.  I think there’s something in the mentality of an all-inclusive package that says ‘well, I’ve paid for this, so it doesn’t matter if the food goes to waste’ which meant that some families’ tables were literally groaning with food … and if kids can help themselves to as much ice cream or chips or chicken nuggets as they can carry, then that’s exactly what they’re going to do.  It was incredibly sad.  These are the kids who are going to grow up to find themselves in the same situation as I did … overweight, unhealthy and downright miserable.

And how did I cope?  Well, I’ve not dared to go near the scales just yet, but if I’m not significantly heavier than when I left twelve days ago then I’ll be mighty surprised.  I didn’t go crazy, by any stretch of the imagination (although I have identified two major personal weaknesses in the form of bread and ice cream), but I was by no means perfect either.  Broadly speaking I limited myself to two meals a day (thanks to my trusty vanilla shakes), stuck to salad and protein, went easy on the carbs and avoided fried food.  Back in the bad old days I had an alarming fondness for chips, so I was delighted to discover that I could avoid them quite easily (I had them once in the whole time I was there).  I steered clear of beer, and drank mainly dry white wine topped up with sparkling mineral water.  That said, I’m still estimating that I’ve probably gone half a stone in the wrong direction.

A couple of posts ago I was discussing the fact that my counsellor has suggested that I go back into abstinence.  I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to do.  Not only will it help me to compensate for the excesses of the holiday, but I don’t feel that I’ve settled at a weight that I’m happy with.  Going into management early meant that I had no buffer zone and, frankly, I’ve come so far that it seems lunatic not to use this opportunity to get to where I want to be.  So as of this morning I’m back on the shakes and bars.  I’m hoping that I have the willpower to stick at it for those critical few weeks (I’m hoping no more than four, but who knows?).  If I really do find it impossible, then I think I will compromise with three food packs and one salad and protein meal.  Here’s hoping that I can do it.

Anyway, I must go.  I’m up to my eyeballs in dirty washing.  Deep joy!

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