26 Oct, 2012 - The vision stopped me in my tracks. Wearing a cute leopard-skin-print bra and panty set, the lady that looked back at me was nevertheless looking annoyed. Good shoulders on her, decent cleavage, but the legs were looking a tad too chunky, and the stomach - oh my, the stomach - extended to a proud paunch, much too much for her 5’2” frame. She turned around for a look at her profile. Hmmm, the curves were in all the wrong places.
“Peter!”, I yelled after checking my reflection out in the mirror in our room at the Waikiki Parc. “I’ve gained weight!”
“My darling, I love you just as you are.”, he muttered with his eyes glued to his laptop screen. Looking up momentarily, he said with a chuckle, “Hey, you’ve grown quite a little belly there!”
“I know!”, I wailed as I covered my face with my hands.
“Do you know how much weight you’ve gained?’, Peter asked.
“I don't have the guts to jump on the scales, pardon the pun. I’ll save that for Sydney.”
Some women struggle with their self-esteem and body image. Others might compare themselves unfavorably with photoshopped images in magazines, adversely affecting how they feel about themselves and their bodies as they change and grow older. Personally, I’ve grown to love the body that I have in my 50’s. Flawed as it is, it has served me well for 5 decades and I am grateful for it. However, this was different. With a hiatus on exercise and a rich diet of restaurant food and 3-course breakfasts everyday over a 6-week travel time frame, my body was now crying out for help. I felt bloated, heavy and unhealthy.
For many passionate travelers, globe-trotting often leads to over indulging. After all, isn’t part of the allure of traveling about experiencing different cultures and cuisines? As unfamiliar foods derail the diets of even the most disciplined and B&B stays play havoc with exercise regimes, I challenge anyone to return home after a 6-week vacation without excess baggage in tow.
Grieving for all of two minutes, I snapped out of my state. I could A) continue my one-woman pity party and beat myself up for having gained 3-4 kilos, or B) formulate an exercise and healthier-eating plan on my return to Sydney and just enjoy the two days we had left in Honolulu. Being a realist, I chose the latter.
So what are our plans for the time we have left in Honolulu? Tonight, we dine at our favorite restaurant Nobu.
As for tomorrow, Peter and I will do what hoards of other Aussies do when they travel to Hawaii: fill up an empty suitcase with shopping at the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Until Aussie retailers can get their act together with regards to competitive pricing, customer service and an exciting product range in their stores, Aussie travelers will continue to spend their shopping dollars in the United States.