‘Travel far enough, you meet yourself.’ — Cloud Atlas
I am leaving for a 16 day cruise.
Like… I’m in the Portland airport and waiting for my plane to board.
This cruise is for work. (I know, I know. I’m LUCKY and I really do have a great job!)
It’s a freaking once-in-a-lifetime-dream trip on a luxury cruise ship! Where do I get to go?! From Florida through the Panama Canal and up to San Francisco with stops in 7 AMAZING countries and ports! I am so lucky and truly honored that they would entrust me to represent our university and work with a bunch of adventure-seeking alumni. I want to make the most of this opportunity!
So, I’m sitting at the airport and waiting for my flight to board.
And I’m fighting some anxiety. I have been for a few months.
I love travel and adventure and meeting new people and seeing new places. That’s not at all what this particular anxiety is about…
This cruise is going to be an extended test of every piece of my lifestyle that I have worked so hard to cement, embrace and put in place. It’s seriously shaking up my carefully crafted, intentional routine.
There will be unlimited, gourmet food. No set routines. I’ll be ‘unplugged’ for 16 days.
Did I mention the unlimited food?
Sounds like a version of heaven-on-earth that most of us dream of — right?!
I’m not entirely sure as I get ready to board the plane. I’m a little scared about this adventure. But I think I’ve done my best to prepare.
This is really my first big trip since losing weight, reversing Type 2 Diabetes, learning to run and adopting a plant-based lifestyle.
I can’t help but compare the old/new me from time to time. In getting ready for this adventure I noticed a few really, really cool things about my new life:
- I didn’t have to worry about packing insulin, needles, prescriptions bottles.
- I got to buy a 2 piece bathing suit. (Polka dots!)
- My running shoes were the very first thing given space in my suitcase.
- I bought a sexy little cocktail dress that’s uncharacteristically daring for me.
- I won’t be needing the seat belt extender on the plane. 🙂
When the advertising pieces for this luxury cruise were sent out there was a lot of emphasis on the food, french pastries, buffets, restaurants, eating…
So of course, as a former 400-pounder, that’s what I’ve been worried about for the last four months.
My former self would have CHERISHED this opportunity to gorge, indulge, over-eat, have food be a central focus, try ALL the new foods with NO EXCUSES needed.
I have spent the last few months making sure ‘that girl’ doesn’t show up on this trip. She’s not invited. She’s not part of my life anymore. I know she lurks in the shadows at times, sometimes she sneaks back in beside me and I have to remind her to go away.
I knew this would be a test. A really solid opportunity for me to see how all of these changes in my life can work when I’m out of my carefully crafted routine.
They told me I had been selected to go on this cruise. And…
First, I panicked. (Hey. I’m human. This process of embracing a radically different lifestyle is NOT linear, as much as I would love it to be. How would my ‘new’ life work in this environment?)
Second, we reached out immediately and put a food plan in place with the boat. They know I eat plant based. They wrote me a really cool note telling me they were thrilled to be preparing food just for me.
Third, I have spent weeks reaching out to a handful of friends and asking for their support, encouragement, ideas. I got just what I wanted and needed from these wonderful souls because, well, I have amazing friends.
Here were their best advice and reminders…
- One meal at a time. That’s all I have to focus on. Make one smart food choice at a time.
- BE MINDFUL. Think about the food you choose to eat and make sure — each time — that it aligns with the goals you have for your life off of the boat.
- BE PRESENT. Relax. Enjoy. LIVE. Embrace the adventure. This is NOT just about food… Don’t make it all about food.
- Stick to an activity plan, but get creative and USE the boat, new friends and the port visits to keep moving.
- Journal and track your food. Those tools work for you, and they’re totally portable. 🙂
I’m boarding the plane and headed for the boat.
The trip of a lifetime.
I’ve packed and prepared and I think I am as ready for the adventure as I can be with good advice and a fabulous new polka dot bathing suit.
I’m ready to put this all to the test and see what new things I learn about myself in the process.