Six Tips to Keep You From Becoming Another Cruising Weight Gain Statistic

Six Tips to Keep You From Becoming Another Cruising Weight Gain Statistic

Because the Mighty Google knows the answer to most things I need to know, I posed this question to her recently.

What is the average amount of weight people gain on a cruise?

I needed to know this because, well, if you’ve been following my blog for the past four months, you know I’m on a mission to get my 50-something self back into shape and to a healthy weight. And you probably know that within that four month time span I also went on a cruise. So this was a serious concern for me! I certainly didn’t want my dream vacay to mess up my dreamier weight loss goals.

The answer Google Girl gave me to my all important question was flabbergasting! According to cruise reviewers, whomever they may be, the average weight gain on a 7 day cruise is 5 – 10 lbs!!! Ummmm…NO THANK YOU!!! I didn’t like that answer one bit and had zero desire to become another cruising weight gain statistic! The cruise we were planning was 7 days so I knew I needed a way to break the “spirit of cruise weight gain” and mess up that average some! I had worked pretty hard to lose 30 lbs in the 3 months prior to our cruise and I didn’t want my dream vacation to send me on a backwards spiral to that place I once was.

But what was I to do? From what I had heard from my cruise lovin’ friends, the food on these ships seemed to take on their own very appealing lives. The vittles were the very thing so many of them looked forward to. In fact, if the grub wasn’t up to snuff, the cruise wasn’t either. Someone even told me it was plain old dumb to be on a “diet” while on a cruise!! Trust me! I agree with that last sentiment! “Diets” ARE dumb!!

So I did what I’ve become accustomed to doing when facing any sort of dilemma. I had a chat with my Bestie about this. And He simply told me, “Trust me. It’ll be OK”

And you know what? It was. The day we returned home from our 10 day trip I sheepishly stepped on the scale and held my breath. I closed my eyes and hoped for the best but I was nervous. Because I HAD eaten way more than normal over the previous week. But when I opened my eyes, I got a sweet surprise. I was only up half a pound which was basically nothing. Because three days later when I stepped on that scale again, I was four pounds less than the day vacation started. HallelujahthankyouJesus!

So how in the world did I do this, you might ask? How did I make the gain of cruisers past my loss? Especially with every food temptation known to man set before me! Because it’s still vacation season and because someone reading this may be worried about packing on unwanted pounds while traveling, I thought I’d share a thing or two that helped me bust right through the “myth” that all people on cruises come home heavier!

Actual burger with actual bananas and peanut butter eaten on our actual vacation. It was a temptation…but not to me. My man enjoyed it and lived to tell about it! Those tots though. Scrumptious!!

Thing #1…I never deprived myself

Yep, that’s right. Don’t you deprive yourself either. The second you tell yourself you can’t have something, what happens? Yep, you think you just might shrivel up and die if you don’t have it. The desire to eat that pizza or that piece of cake or whatever is screaming your name becomes so all consuming that it’s all you hear. And the longer you wait to bite into the delectable yumminess, the greater the craving gets and before you know it , you’re a shriveled up mess crying in some corner for your mommy or you’ve taken an entire pizza to your room where you can eat it and not be seen. So as soon as this very odd peanut butter banana hamburger and tater tots were set before I us, I didn’t think twice. I hope the burger doesn’t make him sick but I’m totally eating half those tots! And I did . Which leads to….

Thing #2…I didn’t over indulge

Yep, the tater tots were fried little chunks of potato perfection that I likely shouldn’t have had. But my self control with food is better than it’s been in years. So I knew I’d be able to have a few without eating them all. Side note…I wouldn’t have been able to do this with chocolate cake. There are still things I don’t even let myself take one bite of because I may not know when to stop! Which brings me to the next thing…

Thing #3 … I ate desert every night

Wait, what? Didn’t I just say I couldn’t stop eating chocolate cake if it was set before me? While the likeliness of that being true was high, I knew I didn’t want to deprive myself. So every night, no matter where we were eating, I asked for their sugar free desert option. There was always at least one. So every night on our cruise, I ate whatever this offering for the day was. I ate Black Forest Cake, Lemon Sponge Cake, Tiramisu and the best mint chocolate chip ice cream ever. It was actually that ice cream that made us ask the chef one night if the sugar free stuff was truly sugar free. That’s when we learned that their “sugar free” deserts were actually just “no sugar added”, which is a bit different. Still….better than a full sugar anything. These nightly less sugar treats curbed any craving that might come out of nowhere for it’s more sugary cousins.

This was the exception to my “sugar free” desert options. This was brought to our table on our first Gala night . Everyone at our table was celebrating an anniversary so we all got this along with a rousing performance of a “Happy Anniversary” song from our servers.

Thing #4…We ordered room service often

Who doesn’t love the luxury of someone bringing them a big fluffy omelet, some delectable fruit and a hot, steamy pot of coffee before you even get out of bed! The benefits of this go way beyond not exposing your lovely bed head and morning breath to the world. The biggest benefit I found in doing this was no exposure to all the breakfast lovelies set out on the buffet each morning. It’s easier to not have cinnamon buns and pancakes and a plate piled high with bacon if you never even walk by them! Ordering our breakfast the night before while our senses were still sharp certainly helped me stay in the healthy zone of eating that I truly wanted to be in. On the few mornings we actually went to the buffet to eat, I just made a bee line to the Amazing Omelet Making Man. I’d just wave at the pancakes and the waffles and the sweet gooey morning treats as I zoomed by them.

Omelets to the rescue! There were 23,400 eggs consumed by passengers on the Oosterdam the week we sailed. I made sure to eat my fair share!! On Weight Watchers Freestyle, eggs are F R E E!! And speaking of no point foods….

Thing #5 … I gave myself permission to make good food choices

I’m on a cruise. Vacationing in places far from home. Food choices and restaurants filled with delectable full fat, full sugar, high carb amazingness all around me. I could’ve had my fill. But I reminded myself of how gross I would feel if I filled my body with these foods. I remembered how fabulous I’ve felt since I started making good food choices and have been eating more lean meats and fruits and veggies. I wanted to feel nothing but good on this vacation! So I gave myself permission to skip the junk and fill up with the good stuff. Every day I could eat chicken or fish instead of hamburgers or bacon. Every day I could have vegetables cooked in a variety of ways or fruit presented like it was a gift. Oh wait, it was a gift…free fresh fruit was delivered to our room daily! I’d get my fill of these healthier foods that cost me ZERO points then I’d have more of my daily points leftover for the treats. But getting full on the good stuff really caused me to not want the junk as much. (Oooo, I sorta love the Spiritual truths of that statement as well!!)

Thing #6 … We went on excursions with pretty trails

While we did our fair share of lounging by the pool or in the spa or on our beautiful balcony, according to that little Health app on my iPhone, we managed to walk well over 10,000 invigorating steps every day. That didn’t count the steps I took on the treadmill in the gym or while doing laps on the Promenade deck. (Three times around was a mile!) It didn’t count the many hundreds of steps we made just getting to all the places on the ship we needed to go. And for the record, I now just get a good old chuckle at myself for ever praying for God to place our room on this cruise “near all the things” so I wouldn’t have to walk so much. Bwahahahaha!! Oh sometimes we’re just so naive, huh? My favorite walks, though, were those walks in our port cities that took us down luscious forest trails, by water falls and streams. Even the strolls down the city streets were marvelous. All the walking we did on vacation really made me wish our non-vacation lifestyle could be a bit more active.

I’m certainly no expert on this subject but I’ve discovered some things that have worked for me. On March 1st, thoughts of this June cruise to Alaska caused me to get serious about getting healthier. I set a goal before myself and I reached it in the days before we set off on this journey. I couldn’t do this on my own. I had tried many times in the past to lose weight and just overcome a stinky mindset by my own power. Every time I started the solo trek to a healthier lifestyle , I’d get sidetracked before I really even got started. But in March, I set off with the One Perfect Weight Loss Partner…the One who is always with me, who always encourages me and always gives me strength. Four months into this great adventure, my relationship with food is different. It’s changed. It’s better. Food isn’t the boss of me anymore! I’m half way to my ultimate weight goal. Vacation , summer time, holidays, date nights, family gatherings…none of these things have set me back. If you’re struggling with your weight right now, I’d love to leave you with these encouraging words…

You can do this! You’re able ! You’re worth it!

I’ll say it again!

You can do this! You are able! You are worth it!

Until next time…

PS….since I’m half way to my goal and I’ve been sharing this journey here on my blog since the day it started, here is a current “Before/After Pic”. A little more than my hair color has changed. Today’s Me feels so much better than the Before Me.

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You Sneaky Devil, You!

You Sneaky Devil, You!

It’s inevitable. Worry will hit you out of nowhere. Even if you’re basically not a worrier, life will often throw things in your path that will cause you stop and worry. Even if you KNOW that God has all things in His hands and you’re super great at handing Him your worries, sometimes you’re just not and worry sneaks in.

“Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Thank you Matthew 6:27 for reminding me that the obvious answer to this question is …

N O !!!!

Nothing good is added to our lives by worry! Worry is a struggle. It can make you feel like you’re being strangled; like it’s choking the very life right out of you. What does worry accomplish? It DOES have some side effects you need to stay aware of. In my best “commercial voice-over” voice, here ya go.

Worrying may cause sleepless nights, belly aches, constipation, diarrhea, frequent vomiting, big zits to appear smack dab in the middle of your face, overeating, under eating, sweaty palms, the shakes, an uncontrollable desire to incessantly text the one causing worry, smeared mascara, drippy down your face mascara, heart palpitations and an overall sense of doom.

Bad side effects or not, can we all admit there are times when it’s just hard to not get consumed by worry? I admit, I worry about things way more than I should. It could be caused by legitimate things…like the poor health of a loved one. Traveling on icy roads and your car has bad tires. Worry can be caused by things we have no control over…like decisions other people make. Regardless of how anyone else may deem our worry, in the moment the worry is very real for the worrier.

By no means, have I figured it all out. As I said, I DO worry about stuff way more than I should. I have, though, discovered some ways to not become consumed by worry when it hits me! So if I may, allow me to share a few ways to help you combat the worry…the legit and the not so legit.

  • Distract yourself with something positive. What do you love to do? What are you good at? Maybe a good mindless Netflix binge would help. Find a good show that will make you laugh and forget about your worries. Turn on your favorite music and sing at the top of your lungs like nobody’s listening. Dance like nobody’s looking. Getting lost in a good book can also occupy your mind and help you forget the worrisome stuff. THE Good Book is an amazing choice here. The Bible is full of sweet advice to help ease your mind.
  • Speaking of The Good Book, after you’ve picked it up and read some of it, you are sure to have found many, many verses that address your needs. Write these down. When I am in a period of deep soul worry or concern, I love to see scriptures in the places I look every day . So I’ll write verses ,such as Psalm 55:22 , on sticky notes. “Give your burdens to the Lord and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” I’ll stick these to my bathroom mirror or my kitchen cabinets . Anywhere I know my eyes will fall during the day. This helps so much to get God’s encouragement into my heart where it belongs. The more my empty places are filled with God’s truths, the less space there will be for worry.
  • Take a few minutes to just be by yourself and scream out loud. It’s OK! Cry! Stomp your feet !! Be mad at the fact that whatever it is you’re worrying about is taking up so much head space!! This release is strangely helpful.
  • And that takes us right into the next thing. While you’re screaming and crying in your “by yourself place” , cry out to God. PRAY!! If you’re worried or anxious about something and you think it’s His fault, He already knows that! So you can scream your worries to Him. They won’t surprise Him. He’s not gonna love you less because of it. You can cry out to Him for help. He’ll be there. He’ll listen. 1Peter 5:7 reassures us with this “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”   Let that sink in. God, the One who created the universe, CARES ABOUT YOU! So why do we worry in the first place?
  • Do something kind for another person. Serving others turns our focus off ourselves and on to them. When your mind is consumed with worry and concern, shifting your focus to the needs of someone else will take your mind off that worry! And turning your worry into something good and kind is a win!
  • Finally, TRUST GOD! This is the beat all , end all of how I cut out the worry. I trust that God has it. Whatever I’m worrying about, He’s on it, taking care of things in better ways than I ever could. Whoever I’m worrying about, He loves more. My self proclaimed life verse is Proverbs 3:5. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Oh how this verse has gotten me through a ton of angst. I don’t have to understand why things are as they are. I just need to trust God. It’s a choice I make daily.

Worry, concern, anxiety…they’re all just one way the enemy of our souls tries to distract us from the Lover of our souls. If the enemy can cause our thoughts to stray from God and onto ourselves and our worries , he’s winning. Yuck! The devil is NOT the one I want winning anything in my life!!! So promise me something. The next time you’re consumed by worry, scream out to the devil “NOT TODAY!!” Then do one of the things I suggested (or one of your own fool proof worry stoppers) to stop the worry in it’s tracks.

I’m leaving you with a song today. It’s one you can sing at the top of your lungs as you let the worries and concerns consuming you melt away. I hope you’ll listen. And sing it out loud and strong. I’d also love to know YOUR “beat all, end all” ways of stopping worry in its tracks. If you’d like to share your thoughts in the comments, your way may be a huge help to someone reading this today!