Tight pants - Delicious Gelato!
It is questionable if my pants actually fit right now. I have been in Europe for nearly five weeks, and despite all of the walking (and boy have we been walking), all of the Prosecco, gelato, dessert, pasta, pizza, bread and cappuccino have finally begun to catch up with me. I knew they would, and I am actually stunned it has taken five weeks. I am very glad I packed pants and skirts with elastic waistbands!
I struggle with my weight. I always have. When I was a size 6, I thought my hips were too big (they weren’t), and when I was a small size 8, I thought my thighs were touching too much (not true) and I have always, always thought my boobs live in another zip code (this is still debatable).
Now, I struggle because I teeter back and forth between a large 8 and a 10. Yuck: double digits. I know that size doesn't matter and that it is more important to be healthy, but that little voice in my head still gets the best of me sometimes.
In the past, if I got off track or noticed my clothes were tighter, I would run more miles to get myself back to what I deemed acceptable. In a week or two, I was fine. Now, weight is even more of an issue for me because I can no longer run, bike, swim or do any “real exercise.” Burning calories is difficult for me, and I really enjoy food. Until this trip, I had been on an 80/20 gluten free, dairy free, vegan diet. The 80/20 was honestly because 100% was too difficult and frankly a pain in the butt when eating at other people's houses or out to dinner! I ate this way because it made me feel better and helped me to manage my weight.
Before I headed off to Italy, I made the conscious decision that I would go rogue on this trip so that I could really enjoy the culture - and food is a huge part of it.
Hiking in Cinque Terra today, I was a bit distracted about newly acquired weight. Just as I was getting grumpy about the overstretched elastic in my skirt and thinking about how I should start skipping gelato and maybe even my beloved cappuccino, a nice Italian man at the top of the hill said to me, ”You are a nice looking woman.” I was surprised and said, “Thank you for the compliment.” He responded, “It isn’t a compliment; it is the truth.”
The universe has a way of putting things into perspective. Thank you, universe! Did that man know how many outfits I had tried on today or how I was feeling so badly about myself? Probably not. But I did, and I really needed that!
I mediate every day, and for the last few days, I have been doing what is called a “loving-kindness” meditation, which focuses on loving yourself and others. What use is mediating about loving yourself if you cannot practice it in real life? Loving yourself means loving all of yourself – the good, bad and ugly. This got me thinking – imagine how it would be if we all were as kind to ourselves as were are to our best friends, to our children or to those we love. We are all human, and no matter what, that little voice in our heads gets the best of us sometimes, but maybe if we were more aware, it would be easier to stop the constant inner dialog.
So the truth is: Yes, I have put on some weight in Italy, but I have had so much fun doing it! This has been a great adventure. I have decided that I am going to step out of my own way and continue to enjoy it. I am going to be kind to myself and realize that this is a trip of a lifetime, and I deserve to eat gelato, drink my cappacino and enjoy the food. I can worry about the few extra pounds when I get home. And, even then, I will try to be kind to myself as wean myself off of this new diet and go back to my clean eating slowly and mindfully.