Friday, July 9

Le Tour de South

In honor of the Tour de France, Michael has christened our summer voyage, Le Tour de South. Stage One of the tour was a quick stop in Atlanta, Georgia.

Between visits with several sets of college friends, a tour through CNN headquarters, a stroll through Centennial Park, and a drive around my college alma mater, Georgia Tech, I managed to squeeze in a workout. At a gym. How about that!

It turns out I have another avenue for completing my fitness regime, one I hadn’t considered—sponging off my friends’ gym memberships.

My friend Donna kindly offered to take me to Gold’s Gym with her, which was quite generous. Not so generous is her idea of a quick morning workout. She likes to complete a double-header: 45 minutes of cycling followed by 60 minutes of weight training.

Fighting the urge to scream, “But, but, but, I’M ON VACATION!” I smiled sweetly and proclaimed, “That sounds fantastic. I’ll meet you there at 8:15 AM tomorrow.”

The next morning, after my two-hour stint at the gym, I took a quick shower and was ready for a day of sightseeing.

This is not how I normally vacation.

Before The Wellness Project, when I visited friends, an average vacation day looked like this: I’d stagger downstairs toward the coffee machine, pour myself a bowlful of my lifeblood and then spend the next four hours sipping its goodness and chatting with my friends. At some point I’d eat breakfast and shift the conversation toward afternoon activities and of course, lunch. After a moderately active afternoon of sightseeing, the discussion would again meander back to food. Specifically, what should we do for dinner? A few cocktails and some bad food choices later, I’d be ready for bed. Rising the next day it was rinse, and repeat.

Ah, the good old days. It’d be so easy to slip back into this mindset, to justify my indulgences with internal dialog like: “I’m on vacation,” or, “It’s only for a few weeks,” or, my favorite, “It’s a special occasion.” But it’s exactly that kind of self-talk that leads me to imbibe in four margaritas poolside, nachos for dinner, and a hot fudge sundae for dessert. Because, you know, I’m on vacation!

Unfortunately, that’s not going to work for me. First of all, I’m traveling for three weeks. That’s enough time to completely undo all the progress I’ve made up to this point. It takes me forever to lose weight and about a nanosecond to put it on. And now that I can see muscles in my legs and the beginning of a two-pack on my abs, I’m not willing to throw that hard work away. (At least not for nachos. Maybe the margaritas.)

The second issue I have with this “anything goes” mentality, it that it doesn’t really jive with this whole healthy lifestyle business. If I’m really going to make a lifestyle change, then I have to figure out how to vacation without going berserk.

Here’s my plan.

Just like at home, I’m planning my splurges. Anticipating when I’d like to go off-plan. And what are those you ask?

I’m saving all my calories for Texas, North Carolina, and Smith Mountain Lake. No, it’s not for the BBQ, or Tex-Mex, or biscuits and gravy.

It’s for the wine.

Not the actual wine, but the experience of enjoying a bottle and chatting with friends and family. That’s worth an hour of cycling class to me.

So I’ll skip the fried chicken at Bojangles, the chips and salsa at Don Juan’s Mexican Cantina, and the scattered-smothered-and-covered hashbrowns at Waffle House (although for this Georgia girl that was REALLY hard to pass up). But I did it, because I’m saving up for something more enjoyable. Something more precious. Time with friends and family.

Fueled by wine, of course. Preferably a hearty cabernet sauvignon from California. Not that I’m picky, but hey, if Jeff, Shelley, Mike and my mom are reading this, then you might want to stock up. I’m just sayin’.


  1. In our Orange Beach, AL condo there sits all the ingredients necessary for a frozen margarita, several actually. This afternoon, I plan to make a pitcher. I can't drink a pitcher by myself... Will she crack? How many will she have? Will it lead to the usual dancing on the balcony while hootin' and hollerin' at her southern friends (she's from the south after all)? Will the guilt lead her to an hour in the resort gym in the morning? Stay posted...

  2. I think we lived up to your request...need to go out and restock the wine cabinet now that you guys have left! I'm off to the gym and going to detox the rest of the week! Great fun though! Miss you already!