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Cruise (Or, a lesson in how very much things change)

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Old 04-11-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
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Default Cruise (Or, a lesson in how very much things change)

I started writing this and it was a novel! Sorry about that. But it's hard to describe how happy I feel about this way my life has changed.

Sarah and I were looking to book a vacation to celebrate 10 years together (coming up this November). Now, I've been on cruises before - on our honeymoon when I was at goal but my lifestyle wasn't so strongly cemented, twice in high school when I was morbidly obese for a music competition - so they're not unfamiliar to me.

The first time I went on a cruise in high school, I did nothing active. Ever. I wasn't by the pool, when I wasn't rehearsing with my choir I was in my room, and all I remember was, sadly, the midnight buffet. And taking a plate, bringing it to my room, and binging.

The second time, I was on my honeymoon. In planning, I saw it as a *break* from all of the work I did to get to goal for my wedding. It was nice not to be afraid of photos because I was smaller, but I did overdo it food-wise, and we didn't really do anything active...I did work out one day of ten on the elliptical, and did start every day with a healthy breakfast, but then ended every night with cookies in bed. I don't have regrets about the trip, because it was truly what I wanted to do at the time, and I think that vacations should be focused on really enjoying yourself. At that point, my lifestyle was less solid...I had been doing it for a while, but I wouldn't say I was as committed/devoted. I did a lot of cardio and weights to look good in my dress, but ate lots of processed foods still if they were low calorie, and exercised primarily for the weight benefits...what I did was all about the weight loss, and I was happy that I looked awesome and felt awesome, and believe me, we had a WONDERFUL honeymoon.

Now, I'm really, by all counts, a devotee of a whole foods, healthy lifestyle. I want to enjoy my trip, but honestly, heavy French food doesn't make me feel good. I garden, cook every meal at home, make my own cheese, and can jams and marmalades from the produce I get on weekly trips to the farmer's market...all because I enjoy eating lighter, fresher food. I use my exercise not just as a tool for weight loss, but because it makes me feel awesome. And my body can do great things...it can hold a rockin' downward dog, climb mountains, and run for miles. And I love all of those things. And in planning this trip, I wanted something that would SUSTAIN that. I don't feel like I need a BREAK anymore - this is what I am and what feels good to me.

So we booked a cruise on Celebrity, which has a special class called "Aqua Class", designed for active people who love a spa experience. Perks include dining for breakfast and dinner in a restaurant which focuses on fresh ingredients, lighter sauces, and Mediterranean preparations, bottled water, iced tea, and fruit delivered daily to your room, a special room service menu with healthier options (and calorie counts!), and access to a library of wellness books to read during the cruise. The room has other perks to support calm (aromatherapy, access to the saunas and relaxation areas, etc). We're planning on booking very active excursions (hiking, ziplining, and biking are all being discussed). And I plan to take at least one sunset yoga class.

It's amazing to realize that not only do I maintain this lifestyle because it helps me maintain my weight, but because I really, really love it. I'm all about vacations being "special" and doing what I want on them, including food wise...but what I WANT, most of the time, is healthy, delicious spa-type cuisine and lots of activity. And yes, I WILL eat dessert and other treats on this vacation. But I'll do so in a way that fits with the way I choose to live my life. And that feels really, really good.
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:15 PM   #2
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Mandalinn, this is an extraordinary post - there's a lot to consider, and a lot to appreciate from where I sit. Thanks for taking the time to write it all out!
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:56 PM   #3
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Thank you. After considering why I felt so compelled to share this with my 3FC family, I figured it out. We talk so much about how you have to do this forever, how you have to make changes you can do for the rest of your life. That can be overwhelming for people just starting out, or even once you get to maintenance. Forever is a long time.

What doesn't get emphasized as often, I don't think, is how much YOU change. What starts as hard (how will I ever eat this way forever!) can become not only acceptable, but can also become what you really, really love and want to do.

I'm not thinking "Wow, I won't get bacon at breakfast". I'm thinking "fresh fruit and muesli cart?? OMG that sounds AMAZING". It's no longer what I just do for my health...it's what sounds the very best to me.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:08 AM   #4
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Mandalinn,
What a very inspiring post. I guess we do have the ability to lose old ingrained eating habits if we work at it as you have. I look forward to the day when this healthy way of eating and living will come as natural as it does for you now. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:26 AM   #5
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Mandalinn - That's all new stuff to me; sounds like a good fit for you. I've believed since I've started on my journey that a cruise was the last place I'd voluntarily place myself. You've opened my eyes that a cruise doesn't have to be a pig-out experience. Can't wait for the report.
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cglasscock1 View Post
Mandalinn,
What a very inspiring post. I guess we do have the ability to lose old ingrained eating habits if we work at it as you have. I look forward to the day when this healthy way of eating and living will come as natural as it does for you now. Thanks for sharing!
That sums up what I was going to say! I'm looking forward to your posts after the cruise.

Dagmar
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:38 AM   #7
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Congratulations on your mind shift, weight loss and anniversary!

The cruise sounds like a lot of fun.

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Old 04-12-2010, 10:32 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing this tidbit with us. I'm making a note of it right now. I had no idea such things existed.

I'm so glad you're going on that cruise, and I hope it's well-attended, so that the cruise lines see that there are people out there who can support offerings like that with $$$, instead of the, "Who-ee! Cruise & eat, eat, EAT AT THE BUFFET!" mindset.

And yes, I think this is evidence of having made a change that runs very deep, affecting so many aspects of the way you live, and very much the opposite of the idea of "dieting" as it's popularly understood.

I will eagerly await your report on your return.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:38 AM   #9
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That's awesome! Vacations for me do seem to be an "eat-fest". Very inspiring post.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:30 AM   #10
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Mandalinn, I appreciate you so very much. You have really inspired me so many times. Even though I'm fairly new, I understand the mind shift. It's good to know that even on vacations we don't have to view this life as a struggle. I've gone on two cruises, didn't eat nonstop and I worked out everyday. Ever time I've been on a cruise I have slept through the midnight buffet. My problem was I didn't do any healthy stuff before the cruise and would eat a lot of junk when I did eat.

We are planning a cruise as well but I'm not concerned about eating out of control and not working out. I will have to do something because it's who I am now. Thank you so much for your post.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:38 PM   #11
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That sounds like a great cruise!!
We just returned on Friday from a cruise with Carnival. I gained 5 pounds in 5 days even though I made mostly healthy choices and we snorkled one day and kayaked the other. I suspect most of it is water/sodium but I'll see in a week. They did have healthy options on their dinner menu and I ordered them almost exclusively. I will eagerly await your posts after your cruise!!
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:17 PM   #12
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I've also had a few moments where I realize that firstly, I really have changed the lifestyle I grew up with, and secondly that I enjoy it. I've come home from vacations that involved overeating and junk foods craving a fresh salad and a trip to the gym. When life has gotten in the way of me working out for more than two days, after my first trip back to the gym I always feel so physically satisfied and relieved. I don't stop to recognize and appreciate it often enough, but every once in a while I acknowledge, "yes, I really really have changed and am really far away from those overeating, junk-food habits of my youth". I sometimes forget our capacity to change and evolve as humans, that we are not static beings. Thanks for reminding me to think about my own lifestyle changes and for sharing your own thoughts.

Have fun on your cruise, too! Congrats on the 10-year anniversary. The spa cruise sounds lovely!
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:20 PM   #13
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Two things:
1) Where can I find information about healthy lifestyle cruising??? I've been wanting to go on a cruise for a long time but I've been kind of afraid of the food. That sounds great!
2) You are so right. We do change. True, I still have a soft spot for dessert, and I still like to eat a lot of unhealthy things. However, nowadays I just can't handle a lot of the foods I used to eat all the time (fast food, fried food, stuff like that). It just doesn't taste good anymore.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:31 PM   #14
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It's so wonderful to be in a place where people get why this is such a big deal.

If the option had been available for my honeymoon, I might have even chosen it because it was what I "should" be doing. But I don't imagine that I would have been *more* excited about it than anything a traditional, binge-tastic cruise experience could offer. The menus in the healthy dining room SOUND better. A hike sounds like SO much more fun than a party boat with food and alcohol. The idea of free unsweetened teas and bottled water and fruit makes me way more giddy than a traditional chocolate on the pillow.

The program is called "Aqua Class" on Celebrity Solstice, Equinox, and Eclipse. There's a special block of rooms in the class, and they come with multiple "healthy" type items...plus upgrades on things like linens, pillows, shower amenities, and the like.

http://www.celebritycruises.com/plancruise/ships/cabinclass/cabintype/home.do;jsessionid=0000uxfowk1d6o_eBEzXYXU3Fqb:12h dbcuh7?br=C&cabinType=AQ&cabincls=B&shipCode=EQ

The less healthy options will still be on the ship - I don't have to eat in the specialty dining room, and yes, I can get cookies delivered nightly by room service if I want to. But I love that not only do I plan to choose healthier things because they're good for me, but also because they sound AMAZING.

I compared menus with the specialty restaurant and the regular dining room - no contest. The healthy stuff sounds amazing. They have no sugar added dessert options nightly, in addition to the heavier items in smaller portions. It's just a great way to ensure I have the options that I like best available to me.

The cruise isn't for a long time yet, but I'm so, so excited. And thrilled at what this represents overall about how much I LOVE healthy choices.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:02 PM   #15
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Amanda, that is fantastic! How great to know that such options are available!

My tastes have also changed a great deal--it's really wonderful. You couldn't pay me to eat McD's, etc. I sure wish we could get that across to all the chickies who are just starting out... your tastes really WILL change, if you stick with healthy eating!

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