We are only human!

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It doesn’t matter how hard we want something, sometimes things may not go as we initially planned!  Why?  Because we are human!    It doesn’t matter how determined we are to achieve that perfect body sometimes life just gets in the way.  The important thing is what you do when things go wrong!

South Africa

I went on holiday to South Africa to visit my mother and sister-in-law last November.  I was on target and loved the way I looked and felt.   I really wanted to enjoy my holiday but I was very mindful that it was going to be a challenge to stay on track!

The food options you get in South Africa are very different to what I would get at home.  I didn’t have my go to products such as quark, fat free yoghurts etc.  They do however have lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and of course my favourite – Braai’s (BBQ for us british!).

I was over the moon when I realised that there was a pair of scales in the bathroom.  This meant that at I could keep an eye on my weight to try and not have a massive shock when I got home!  Or so I thought!

We were only going to be in Durban at my mother-in-laws house for the odd day as we have booked a trip to a game park in Imfolozi at the Mpila Camp.  Its a beautiful location.   I love doing game parks as you get to see so much wildlife in its natural environment such as elephants, giraffe’s, monkeys and so much more!

Because its out in the wild the electricity is turned off around 10 pm each night and not back on until 6 am the following day.  To get the best of the trip we always like to be out by 6 am on our game drive.  The plan is to get out early to see the animals just as they are waking – if you are lucky and I never have been, you might even see a ‘kill’!  If you have never been on one I recommend it.   As my husband is South African we do ‘self drive’ holidays but you can do organised ones if you are  a bit nervous of doing it on your own.

There are no shops in the game park so you have to take everything with you.  This is a god send when you are looking to plan your food choices.  The key theme of dinner’s out in the bush is using the Braai!  This is a great way to ensure you eat healthily as you can have salads etc with your meat!

The draw back to these types of holidays is that you don’t get to do much exercise.  You spend your day driving around the game park looking for the animals and birds.  For your safety you can’t get out of the car.  Well unless you want to be dinner for one of them!!!

For someone who normally does a lot of exercise whilst this type of holiday is really relaxing it puts my weight at a disadvantage.  Why – well yes I can eat healthily but I will also have some wine in the evenings!  I could be really strict and stick to water but I’m human!  I’m on holiday so I’m going to enjoy myself and a nice cold glass of South African wine is just what I need after a day seeking out the big 7!  Ok,  more than just the one glass, but I’m on holiday!

After a few days in the bush we head back to Durban for a day before heading off again for a few days in the Drakensburg.

Whilst in Durban we go for dinner at Roma Restaurant.  This is a revolving restaurant with fabulous views over Durban.  I’m really good for my meal choices here!  Smoked salmon for starter,  prawns for main and a fruit salad for dessert, which when you see what I could have had that is pretty impressive.  Of course though I’m going to enjoy some wine with dinner!

We head off to the Drakensberg the following day.  Its a few hours drive so again not much exercise is going on.  For those that don’t know, the Drakensberg is a mountainous area of South Africa.  The plan was that my hubby and I would get some walking in on this part of the holiday.

The day we travelled was absolutely gorgeous.  The sun was out and the views were amazing!

It was about 2 pm when we had unpacked the car so we didn’t have time to do a big walk.  There was a walk right from outside our cottage up to a waterfall.  I was so excited to be getting out and experiencing this beautiful area. That was until my husband warned me not to go off the path because of the poisonous snakes!!  Which can fall off trees onto you too by the way!!  Suddenly I wasn’t as excited!

There was a lot of wild baboons around as you were walking.  They don’t bother you and are very cute with their babies.  I wish my hubby had told me that as long as the baboons were around you were less likely to run into a snake.  This bit of information was only told to me by another South African friend when I got home.

The walk took us just a couple of hours but the views were stunning!

It was great to finally do some exercise.  Back at our cottage we had our usual braai!  I feel sorry for my in-laws as I always want a braai when I’m over there!  The weather is so much better than here so even when its cooler its still a good excuse for a braai for me!

The next day I was so excited.  We had planned a really long walk.  We were going to get up at 6 am, have breakfast then head off for the day.  The walk would include a chain ladder.  I was a little nervous about that as not great with heights but I really do love getting out with nature.  In South Africa the sun rises around 4 am!  I looked out of the window the next morning and was gutted!  All I could see was mist and rain!  We were not going walking today!

The day didn’t really improve much but my hubby and I did manage to get a short walk in.  It was a bit wet but we didn’t mind.

That night was a bit chilly so we had to light a fire.  It was a good job as I had put a box of wine in the freezer the day before and forgotten about it!  It was now truly frozen so the fire came in handy!!

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We were travelling back to Durban the next day so that was our last chance to really do some walking.  As is typical the next morning was gorgeous!

We headed back to Durban for our last night before travelling onto Dubai for a few days!

When I got back to my mother-in-laws I got on the scales!  Only 2 lbs on in 10 days!  Not bad not bad considering!  I could easily shift that when I get home!

Dubai

My hubby and I have been to Dubai many times – well ok we have been to the airport in transit to or from South Africa.  This year we decided to stop over for 3 days to see it!

Oh wow.  This is definitely a place to go!   Its outstanding.

We had pre booked some trips before we went including a 3 day hop on hop off bus trip, the Burg Khalifa and a desert safari!

Whilst we had the bus to get us around, I am pleased to say we walked our socks off too!   My hubby and I are definitely sole mates when it comes to travel.  We both want to see as much as we can in the time that we have!  We very rarely stop for lunch during the day as this wastes time!  Even with the bus we did over 20,000 steps each day!

Now considering my biggest concern in South Africa was the lack of exercise and wine, Dubai was the complete opposite.  I was now doing huge amounts of walking and we couldn’t find anywhere to buy alcohol so it was diet coke and water all the way!  Woo hoo!  This was going to be easy wasn’t it!

We had eaten on the plane but by lunch time we were hungry.  We were about to do a cruise around the Palm and didn’t have much time!   All we could find was a coffee shop that sold sandwiches and wraps.  I chose a chicken wrap which I thought would be the healthiest!

We didn’t return to the hotel until around 5 pm that night.  We were both exhausted so the plan was a quick dinner and then bed!

So the first night we head out for dinner!  We had had a long day!  We had travelled overnight from South Africa and arrived at our hotel about 6 am!  We couldn’t get into our room until later, so dropped our bags off and went straight off  exploring!

We found a restaurant opposite the hotel!  I ordered grilled chicken and boiled rice!  Well that was what I thought!  When it came I have never seen so much food!  It was half a chicken with fried rice, chips, flatbread, flatbread pizza etc etc.  We were starving and it was delicious.   I was on holiday so I didn’t really care – ok I did but what would it hurt!  It was amazing food.

We went for a little walk after the meal to walk it off then off to bed.

The next morning we were at breakfast early.  It was buffet style which I love.  Boiled eggs, salad, fresh fruit, ham and a bit of cheese would set me up for the day!

Again we literally walked our socks off that day!  We were due to go up the Burj Khalifa that afternoon.   By the time we hit the mall where it was located we were starving.  I think the heat and the amount of walking we were doing really made us need food more than usual.  Again time wasn’t on our side so we found a burger bar!  I ordered burger and chips but one with lots of speed food (I know daft but it all helps).  Unfortunately I got the wrong order.  We were short on time so I just decided to eat it.   Nice as it was!

Off we went exploring.  We wanted to see the fountains at night after the Burj Khalifa so had planned to get back to the hotel quite late so the late lunch really helped!

That evening we found a noodle bar that by hubby had spotted the day before.  The food was divine and I was hoping not too unhealthy.  Well the prawn crackers don’t count do they!

The next day we were up early again to make the most of the day.  We were due to go on our safari early afternoon so wanted to do as much as we could in the time we had.

The safari included a traditional meal and a show.  The food was buffet style so I did try and choose wisely but its so difficult when you didn’t cook the meal yourself!

For the first time we found alcohol so as it was our last night my hubby had some beers and me a bottle of wine!

Back at the hotel that night packing I found some scales in the wardrobe.  I thought for fun I would get on them!  OMG I had put on another 5 lb in just 3 days!

I returned home and  was back on my healthy eating plan.  When I went to my weigh in 5 days later I was not shocked to see I’d put on 5 lb!

Then Christmas hit and with all the parties and extra drinking I put on a couple more pound!

I was really cross with myself but then I sat and reflected!  I had the most amazing holiday in South Africa and Dubai.  I had a wonderful Christmas and New Year with family and friends.  Yes I could have drank water and only eaten lettuce but would I have enjoyed myself so much?  Would other’s have enjoyed being around me as much!  Absolutely not!  It was a life choice.  Not forever but for a few weeks.

We are all human.  We can’t always have a loss or maintain and be honest with ourselves that we don’t feel deprived.

Enjoy the odd treat, then come back and start again!  It’s how you get back on the wagon that counts not why you got off it!  We are all human after all!!

Enjoy yourselves, don’t feel guilty, just keep in control.  Draw a line and move on!

 

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