I’ve been away for weeks … not just away from this blog but away from this country. I took a long-anticipated once-in-a-lifetime holiday to the US (a road trip from NYC to Miami via Tennessee and New Orleans, which I recommend to anyone!). And now I’m back and struggling slightly with the return to normality!
Staggeringly, I managed the trip without adding too many unwanted pounds to my waistline. My weight seems to have settled (finally). I would estimate that I’m between a stone and a stone and a half heavier than when I finished Lighter Life. I spent about nine months fluctuating, and that seems to be where I’ve netted out. I’m heavier than I want to be, but at least it’s stabilised and I can do something about it.
It is incredibly difficult to eat healthily on holiday, especially in a country that prides itself on portion sizes that are daunting to even the hungriest Brit. We also seemed to be travelling through states where the local specialities were fried, or carb-heavy, or both. I swear that finding a salad on some restaurant menus in Tennessee was like looking for Father Christmas in July. Instead we were faced with such exotic delights as biscuits and gravy, grits, buttermilk pancakes, jambalaya, po-boys and fried green tomatoes. And, of course, this was all washed down with beer … wine is prohibitively expensive (and pretty nasty, too, as people rarely drink it and it turns to sherry in the heat) and shorts are a no-no because the heavily chlorinated ice makes G&T taste like swimming pool water.
So, I tried to be sensible. I ate light in the evening, drank plenty of water so I didn’t confuse thirst with hunger, and endeavoured to keep active (more on that later) to counteract long, lazy hours in the car. I think I just about got away with it. Only just! I have to say I’m glad to be back home and to have more control over what I cook and eat. Vegetables and salad are going to feature highly on my menu over the coming weeks!
With good intentions I took my running gear with me. I ran 2 miles in a hotel gym in New York, and 3 miles around the suburbs of Washington. I went swimming in Asheville, but was slightly put off by the dead flies in the pool (yum!) and only managed an energetic paddle. Then we moved further south, and into the heat. I valiantly tried to run in Memphis, but struggled to manage more than a mile … the humidity was so high that I was chewing the air rather than breathing it. I did get raced down the street by a man in a street sweeping buggy, mind you! After that, I had to abandon the running and simply try to jump into any available pools or oceans whenever possible! I’ve not been for a run since coming home (I’m so jet-lagged I can barely walk, let alone pick up speed) but have good intentions of getting my backside back into training ASAP.
On that note, my lovely trainer has gone on his four month trip that will take him back to Australia. I really will miss him as we had a great relationship and I achieved things I didn’t think I could achieve. He’s recommended another trainer and I’m meeting him today … I’m hoping that I manage to click with him because it would be so easy for me to abandon personal training altogether, and that would be dangerous. I need to shift that surplus stone and get marathon fit!
So … back to the routine for me, and not before time! During the course of our travels we saw many, many people who were seriously overweight. Some of those people, sadly, were in their teens and twenties, alongside middle-aged people who travel on scooters because they’re simply unable to walk for any period of time. Looking at them made me realise how easy it is to be overweight in our society, how difficult it is (mentally, more than anything) to do something about it, but how rewarding a healthier lifestyle can be. So to all of us, let’s stick with it!