Sunday, March 24, 2013

Part 2 - Fitness and Vacation: Two Things I Don't Normally Mix

My cruise week was the fourth and final week of my fitness commitment to myself.  Week four is the hardest week for me when it comes to fitness because my enthusiasm has worn off and I get tired of working out.  I figured the change of scenery would help me out to get over the hump.

Saturday morning I did my weigh-in and headed to work before leaving for our trip.  I told Chris ahead of time that I packed enough clothes to workout 7 days, but my goal was to complete 5 workouts.  I also told him that I was on vacation, on a cruise ship, and therefore would not be counting calories so he should just get it out of his head now that I'm going to eat whatever I want.  He is very supportive, but I know he is not a mind reader so I have learned to voice my goals clearly.

Interesting factoid:  The average cruise passenger gains 1.5lbs a day on their cruise.  With 7 days at sea I was set to gain 10.5lbs on vacation - a feat I did not think possible.  After seeing some people and what they were eating though I quickly realized some people were out to break that record. Chris, on several occasions, made sure to point out said people.  I think with his new "thin and fit" eyes he sees obesity around him to a greater degree than I do with my "on the journey" eyes.  I do concede that people that were unhealthy were far unhealthier than anyone I've seen before.  It was also eye-opening to see that Carnival was in possession of several wheelchairs in use by its passengers that I can only describe as double-wide because they were wider than the chairs in the dining hall and just cleared the sides of the disembarking ramp.

Vacation Fitness

Sunday - (boarded the ship) none
Monday - (Nassau) 5 hour walk around town, 10km cycle and 5 minute treadmill run in the gym
Tuesday - (sea day) 2km run on the outdoor running track...1 running lap, 1 walking lap for a total of 12 laps
Wednesday - (San Juan) arm and leg day...weight machines in the gym
Thursday - (St. Thomas) 1.5 hour walk to and around town, 1 hour swim in the ocean (including laps)

"The 99 Steps" in St. Thomas (there were more than 120 of them) 
Friday - (sea day) none...recovering from the plantar fasciitis I woke up with on Wednesday
Saturday - (sea day) none...foot still really sore, went for bamboo massage instead
Sunday - (left the ship) none

Final Verdict: I achieved 4 of 5 intended workouts.  Not the 7 I came prepared for, nor the 5 I had set as a goal, but it was 4 more workouts than I have done on any other vacation.  And, I must admit I was very disappointed about not being able to run on the jogging track more than once after I overexerted myself I pulled the fascia in my foot at the start of the week - hence the two non-running workouts on Wed/Thu.

Amber and Chris' Cruise Ship Elevator Rules
Note: Our cabin was located on deck 1 at the front of the ship with the highest deck being the spa above us on deck 14.  This makes it easy to take the elevator straight up to the gym without having to walk the full length of the ship in sweaty clothes.  Unfortunately the running track was at the back of the ship.


#1 When going either up or down it is ridiculous to take the elevator for 1 floor unless you have an injury, a wheelchair, a cane, or two babes in arms. It is amazing how many people waited lengthy periods of time for an elevator only to ride it for one floor.
#2 When going down you must walk if you are traveling 3 floors or less.
#3 When going up you must walk if you are traveling 2 floors or less.
#4 If you are going up 3 floors or more the following factors are considered:
did you just finish walking a lot from somewhere else? - ride
are you carrying lots of stuff? - ride
is the elevator door opening and heading in your direction - ride
did you just come from a nap? - walk
are you in a rush? - walk fast
are you racing to win a ship on a stick? - run
did you ask yourself all these questions and an elevator still has not arrived? - I guess you're walking
#5 When your wife is wearing high heels all rules stated above are to be disregarded.  You are taking the elevator or you are trading shoes with her.  It's your choice.

Food and Nutrition

Final Verdict: On previous cruises I've gained very little, if any weight and I did not workout.  This cruise I worked out and I ate what I wanted.  I gained 5lbs!  I was very surprised as I felt my activity level was increased dramatically.  However, so was the richness of the food I was eating.  I'm happy to report though that 1 week later with only mild effort almost all that weight has come back off.  Here's a comparison of my eating habits on and off the ship so you can see the difference.

On the Ship
Off the Ship
omelet (cheese/peppers/tomato/bacon)
bagel with cream cheese
1 piece thick French toast with syrup
fresh fruit salad

small skim milk

1st Lunch
local cuisine split 2 dishes with Chris
tortilla with cream cheese and sprouts
fish, rice & beans, plantain
conch fritters (fried)


Afternoon Drink
2nd Lunch
frozen banana daquiri (no alcohol)

cucumber slices

3 dinner rolls with butter
chicken breast
cream of pumpkin soup
green beans
split a didja with Chris - shark fritter
tomato salad
glass of skim milk
salmon entrée with veggies

grand marnier souffle with sauce

split a diet coconut cake with Chris



Evening Snack
Evening Snack
frozen yogurt
hot chocolate with marshmallows


  1. Amber,

    I am impressed, I have always planned to workout on vacation and NEVER have and I generally eat what I want and it is far worse than what you have listed above. I am sure that the 5 pounds was water weight and not actual weight gain especially if most of it is off. Drink 3 liters of water a couple days in a row and I get it would be gone!

    So good for you, you have much to be proud of!

  2. Hi Amber! I looked at your on-ship and off-ship eating and totally agree with your analysis. Rich foods have high calories. It's a good thing we don't often eat like that.

    Love rule #5. :D

    :-) Marion