Did you know that every day we make more than 200 seemingly inconsequential health decisions? That’s according to Travis Stork, M.D. and author of The Lean Belly Prescription.
Think about it: Stairs or elevator? Nuts or chips? Balsamic vinegar and olive oil on that salad or creamy processed dressing? Soda water or soft drink? Exercise or not? Another glass of wine? You get the idea.
For years, I had been making all the wrong decisions, succumbing to a lavish lifestyle on luxury cruises, which responded by rewarding me with an additional 35 pounds. Sure, I saw the weight in my face and around my waist, but I was having so much fun.
The slap in the face came on day when my teenage son made a simple observation: “Dad, you’re getting fat.”
I promised to lose the weight by his 15th birthday, nearly a year away at the time. I began my transformation in the spring of 2011 on Silver Spirit. Boarding the ship with a plump belly and a wardrobe that I have since tossed, I decided to break the cycle of consumption.
My epiphany was that the lavish lifestyle was a choice. I could as easily choose to live a healthy lifestyle while cruising. You won’t find a better place than a luxury cruise to enjoy a great travel experience and the option to have food prepared to your preferences. Plus, there’s a gym and a fitness instructor to help develop a program for you.
And so I began making smart decisions whenever faced with any of those 200 seemingly inconsequential decisions. I chose the stairs over the elevator, nuts over chips, balsamic vinegar and olive oil over creamy processed dressing, soda water when the urge for soft drinks hit me, only a glass of wine with dinner, and I vowed to exercise every day.
I began to shed pounds, first a few, then five, then 10 . . . As my son’s 15th birthday approached I had dropped from 265 pounds to 238 pounds. Now, a year later, with his 16th birthday just a few weeks away, I am at 220 pounds.
My waist went from 42+ to 38. I had to have my belt trimmed by four inches. I keep that excess piece of leather to remind me of my accomplishment.
The fitness instructors on Silversea were instrumental in helping me develop an exercise program that I enjoyed, and still enjoy to this day. They were my personal trainers — and they did all of this at no additional cost. On other cruise lines, there is often a fee for instructors to make assessments and develop fitness programs.
I’m not alone in the gym here on Silver Cloud. Each day, I see guests and officers working out. There’s plenty of inspiration, Aziz, the maitre d’ in Le Champagne exercises two hours every other day (he’s been doing it 12 years), Jorge, the maitre d’ in The Restaurant runs in each port and on the upper decks on sea days (I’ve written about Jorge many times), and Alex, an officer, pedals with fury (he was on a national bicycling team when younger). They are all trim, fit and seemingly happy.
Silver Cloud’s gym is well-equipped with dumbbells (up to 70 pounds), elliptical trainers, stationary cycles, treadmills (all equipped with small television displays) and other Life Fitness weight-training equipment. A fitness instructor offers a variety of free classes, such as sunrise walks and yoga. As mentioned, he’s also there to help with training tips as well.
There’s no time like the present to begin making good decisions. If you could use a good place to jump start your healthy new lifestyle, a luxury cruise on Silversea is not a bad place to begin. After all, if it worked for me, it can work for you too.
Want to read more about my pursuit of a healthier lifestyle?