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Kicking It XII: The holidays take their toll

Happy 2020!

Alas, I can now share what happened over the holidays. Truth of the matter is that we took a 32-day round trip cruise through the Panama Canal. Surprise!

This was on our bucket list of things to do and now we’ve done it. I would recommend it as a no hassle voyage.

Furthermore, with the originating and ending port of call being San Diego, it was convenient to take the Coaster down to the Santa Fe Depot and walk two blocks to board the Rotterdam cruise ship.

The main reason I didn’t write about this trip before leaving is cruise ships prepare enormous amounts of food. That is the first problem.

The second problem is access to said delicious food begins when the buffet opens 7 a.m. and closes at 2 p.m., then reopens at 5:30 p.m. and closes again at 8 p.m., and then it reopens again at 10:30 p.m. for an hour of late-night snacking.

Meanwhile on the pool deck from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., there was freshly made pizza, Nathan’s hotdogs and grilled hamburgers with fries. Plus, a taco island.

Lest we forget the upgraded Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto restaurants on board? Naturally, there are two other dining rooms with full waiter service at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If one didn’t get enough to eat, there is always in-room dining service available 24/7.

And did I forget to mention ice cream? Lots and lots of ice cream and delectable bread pudding with vanilla sauce.

Concerned about my will power, I can proudly say I made it. I didn’t gain gobs of weight. As it turns out, I didn’t gain anything but 2 pounds of water weight. And to my surprise, I did drop 1 pound of body fat and increased my lean muscle mass 1 pound as well.

Overall, I am relieved avoiding weight gain can be done. I know now cruising does not have to be a fattening experience. And I even ate dessert. Actually, I’d take a bite, sometimes two if it was over-the-top delicious – most weren’t – and push my plate away. I did that a lot. Every calorie had to be rated a 10, otherwise I pushed it away if say it was just an 8 in taste value.

Granted it was hard going to the gym daily. I think I only made it about 13 times for the month. I admit to failing. It was too easy to laze around reading or playing gin rummy with Vincent.

When I did go to the gym it was to make the 9:30 a.m. stretch class. It was a free class which got me up to the gym. And once there, it wasn’t an effort to drift over to the weights and even the bikes.

Best of all, the panoramic views from way up high in the gym happened to be the best viewing spot to watch as the ship entered the canal locks. Furthermore, the gym was never crowded.

Here is the thing, just when I thought I could be a gym rat, it seems I am really a sloth. A couch potato.

Although I still have more weight to shed with only 62 days before departure, I accept going to the gym is now a real job. Just the same, with the finish line in sight, I will keep pushing forward.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached by email at [email protected].


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