No one ever chose a vacation destination because the food would be bad.
However, I did believe that blah food in London would be my saving grace.
You see, I am inherently a lazy person. But I also want to fit in my skinny clothes. The problem is, those traits are incongruous. I’ve tried every trick in the book — home DVD programs, virtual trainers, couch-to-whatever apps, online workout buddies – but alas, the minute I would break into a glisten and I’m solo, I’d say to myself, “Well, that was a good workout. Phew!”
The only thing that works for me is public shaming, aka group fitness. And I’ve tried them all – step aerobics, body pump, spinning and my latest obsession, Orangetheory Fitness. Classes give me structure and workout “friends” who keep me accountable. And in the case of Orangetheory, they charge me if I miss. I admit, it’s kind-of fun.
The funny thing is that when this lazy-bones gets into the habit, I never want to miss class. And it had a domino effect – the better the results, the more I wanted to improve my chances. I’ve even buckled down and got my diet organized – the opposite of lazy. I shop and meal prep on weekends. Hell, I made my own yogurt!
The results were astounding — at 50, I dropped a size, was in a great routine and felt pretty damn good. I think I even had more good hair days. Which only meant one thing – something was bound to derail me.
All of the steps I was racking up on my Fitbit were no match for the pints of beer. Fish and chips for lunch? Yes please! Fresh clotted cream with my homemade scone at tea? But of course! I chose to ignore the 63 grams of fat per serving I was slathering on.
And how could I resist the AH-MAZING escargots at the oldest French restaurant in London (reportedly a favorite of Diana’s)? Those little snails were floating in the most delicious garlic butter, which was even better soaked in fresh bread. It all had to be washed down with wine.
No surprise, when I got home, my skinny jeans were snug – and not the kind of snug that stretches out in an hour. Snug that only comes from overindulgence in ale and chips. It was time to pay the piper, even with jet lag.
The problem is, as a lazy person, once I got out of the habit, it felt like a huge burden to get back to it. Back in the gym, I was so dragg-y that I left halfway through my first class. A series of burpees sent me walking right into a glass door. So much for quietly sneaking out of class. These high-intensity classes are always hard. But this feeling was beyond. It was like I was starting over.
I decided to just bite the bullet and go to class every day, whether I felt like it or not. My second workout was no picnic – that day’s fun included sprints on hills and a series of workouts on the TRX straps that must have been invented by the Marquis de Sade.
Following that, I had to grocery shop because I knew I needed to force the issue – left to my own lazy devices I would “ease” back into my routine and it would take me forever to make any progress.
Three grocery store trips later, I was home and ready to prep. And prep I did – chopping veggies, boiling eggs, making meals. I was ready! Monday came and I dutifully went to class. It wasn’t super fun – a long run, some hills, more rowing – but I didn’t quit, even though I was hungry. Day two was a bit easier and I planned my meals better so I had more energy. Sure enough, I went every single day, and even went to barre a couple of times (that never gets better. I never, ever look like a ballerina).
I would love to say I snapped back to my fighting form. It took time, effort and sheer willpower to stick with it when my sloth-like inner self didn’t want to glisten and glow. I’ve realized it is easier to get back into a routine following a minor blip than starting from scratch.
And the next time I encounter a trip with “blah” food, I’ll know. It’s about progress, not perfection.