I was getting fat. Fortunately, my 6’5″ frame could carry a bit of extra weight, but my pants were becoming increasingly difficult to button. In the past three years, I had put on 20 pounds, and what was alarming to me was that the pants were still getting tighter and the scales still inching upward. Where would it end?
Like many who cruise, I blamed my excess weight on my lifestyle at sea. But if cruising were to blame, why was Paolo, Silver Spirit’s hotel director, so fit and trim? What about Captain Corsaro? He lives a life at sea, and yet he’s no chunk. Nor were the others who work on Silver Spirit. Okay, there were one or two chefs who had a tummy, but those were testaments, no doubt, to their dedication and commitment to their craft.
Yes, cruise cuisine, ever abundant and delicious, tempts tummies, but it was time for me to take charge of my life – and my waistline. So last week, upon boarding Silver Spirit, I put into practice something I had long suspected:
There are few, if any, better places to begin a lifestyle transformation than on a long, luxury cruise.
Long and luxury are the operational keywords: Long, because any radical shift in lifestyle requires time to become habit; and luxury, because the quality – and variety – of food is typically greater on small luxury cruise ships than on large cruise ships.
Where better then to start my transformation than on Silver Spirit? Cruising from Dubai to Southampton, with more than four weeks on the luxury vessel, I decided to use the resources available on the ship to make a shift in lifestyle.
I made two commitments to myself.
1) I would exercise every day. That’s not to say that I would use the fitness center daily. Rather, I would take the stairs instead of the elevators, walk and/or run on the jogging deck, do pushups and other exercises on my balcony or in my suite, and yes, hit the gym occasionally.
Today marks my eighth day on Silver Spirit, and I’ve honored my commitment every day. I’m not burning huge numbers of calories (about 400 for 30 minutes of brisk walking), but the motion does help. Truth be told, I started preparing for this new lifestyle a few weeks ago, and I am beginning to see progress. My pants no longer require a shoehorn to button. And I am using a new notch in my belt.
2) I would consume in moderation. Not one to refuse a glass of bubbly, I vowed that I would limit alcohol consumption to no more than two glasses each day – and on some days, no alcohol at all.
I do love champagne, and Silver Spirit makes available half a dozen or so complimentary brands, so on this cruise, I’ve typically had one glass before dinner and a glass of red wine with dinner.
Also, I vowed that the majority of my meals would be healthy ones. I resolved that I would have to get used to eating food with the consistency and taste of cardboard. Not so.
First, Silversea emphasizes so-called “Slow Food,” a movement that encourages healthy ingredients, preparation and consumption. With its heritage in Italy, where the Slow Food movement began, Silversea is a leader in this healthy dining trend. Slow Food is delicious, the essence of real Italian cuisine and of Silversea.
Second, Silversea offers delicious wellness (and also vegetarian) options at every meal. A couple of nights ago, the wellness options comprised all three courses of the Relais & Chateaux (chef’s) recommendations. The wellness options are delicious and nutritious.
I’ll be reporting on my progress during the course of this cruise and providing tips that will, hopefully, help others facing the same challenges I confront.
Please join in the discussion and let me know how you manage your lifestyle at sea. What’s your strategy for eating and exercising on your cruise?