Vacation. An experience most of us mamas look forward to. It’s a time to enjoy new adventures, unplug from the stresses of daily life, and connect with what matters most – our families. But is it always that simple?
Not for me. You see, although I can’t think of anything better than time away with my loved ones, I fight a battle every time I step onto a plane and out of my routine. It’s part of a war I’ve been engaged in for decades, one that is so deeply entrenched inside of me that I don’t know if peace will ever be possible. I like to call it... The Battle of the Bulge.
This time, rumblings among the ranks began before we even left for the airport, when I skipped breakfast. Two plane rides and – wait for it – half a Potbelly egg and cheese sandwich, one bag of Baked Lays, one bag of Pretzel Crisps, a handful of cashews, and two bites of a Luna Bar later, I was ready to surrender. We hadn’t even landed in paradise, and I was already in food hell.
I decided to buck up, get tough, and exert some of the self-control that I’d recently discovered three weeks into my 60 Day Get Fit Challenge. Then I hit my in-laws’ fridge for a snack that accidentally turned into a full-on meal. Immediately afterward, we went for dinner at hubby’s favorite restaurant, where I accidentally devoured pizza, wings, and a beer that actually had the word "Fat" in its name. Do you see me waving the white flag?
On Day Two, I resolve to do better. Until I see the buffet by the pool. “I can do this,” I told myself. “I can eat only one bite of the marble cake, brownie, and cookie piled high on my plate, nestled gently against the bowl containing (fat-free) chocolate yogurt topped with chocolate sprinkles, Oreo cookies, hot fudge, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.”
Within minutes, it was gone. It was All Gone. I console myself with the knowledge that at least the marble cake was sugar-free for the diabetic members of my in-laws’ retirement community. Drats. Woman down, woman down.
Day Three involved collective bargaining, during which I tried to tell myself it was perfectly acceptable to take a few days off (didn’t they even do that on Christmas Eve during WWI?) of calorie counting and live it up – or eat it up, in my case – with my family.
Yesterday was Day Four, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think the troops are rallying. I’m working out a lot. In the morning I biked more than seven miles, and at dinner I mustered a convincing if whiny “no” to the rolls dripping, and I mean dripping, with butter.
Please tell me: Why do I fight this fight? It feels as if I inadvertently ignited a war over 20 years ago, one that has spread all over the region. If I don’t resolve it soon, I’m pretty sure my daughter will be drawn into the conflict. I can certainly see how my hubby’s feeling the heat. In fact, if I ask, “Do I look fat?” one more time this week, I fear he's likely to go AWOL.
In the trenches of vacation, where I can’t easily count calories and control my intake, I’m more like a prisoner of war than a carefree mama reveling in a week of freedom with her family. And that, my friends, is torture. Pure torture.
It’s time to finish this entry in my Battle of the Bulge war journal and head back onto the battlefield. Back to vacation, where hopefully this round of combat will be the last. After years of fruitless struggle, I’d like to believe that peace is finally on the horizon.
~ By Wendy Widom, Families in the Loop
The pic comes from our friends at Real Moms Guide.