Ship Shape

There comes a point in a cruise where I look at the menu and say,”I don’t want any of this.”  I will have zero courses tonight, thank you.  It’s easy to skip breakfast ( I do that 90% of the time) and pick at the buffet lunch, but dinner is another matter, since it is such a big part of the sociability of a cruise.

At my age, I just don’t need that many calories to maintain my body, even with moderate exercise, and it is so much easier to eat more than one needs than to lose weight by eating less than one needs, despite all the claims of magic diets.

I have been cruising for almost six years and have gained less than five pounds total. I think I am okay on My Year of Living Travelly so far, though I don’t have a scale. I have done this by having rules, and here are a few of them:

—No bread, except at dinner, and try to be reasonable about it then

—No desserts, except healthy ones, and the occasional exception for bread pudding or creme brûlée.  These are God’s gifts to the dessert tray and require indulgence

—No seconds—ever.  Enjoy the amount you took originally.  Period.

—Vegetables and proteins for lunch. Avoid starches.

—you don’t need to finish anything.  Have the amount you really want, then stop. You are an adult; you don’t need to clean your plate.

—pass on the little goodies at happy hour, and no afternoon snacking unless you missed lunch AND breakfast.

—have all the champagne you want!  As my late husband Jim used to say, “it’s a diet, not a sentence.”  Besides, champagne is lower in calories than just about any other alcoholic drink, and the glasses are smaller.  That’s  my rationalization and I’m sticking to it!

So what will it be tonight? Here’s a photo of the menu preview they leave in the room.


Carpaccio for starters I think, then either herb-seared shrimp, or, most likely, truffle-roasted chicken.  Note to self: pass on dessert.  It’s  not just about what I want today, it’s about how I want to feel tomorrow, next week and next month.  For me, that’s motivation enough to put down the fork.