The pictures and happy tweets/facebook messages of the last few days are all one hundred percent accurate. I was thrilled to be in Florida at one of my favorite times of year. We ate delicious food and had a fabulous time, but something I did not discuss was my fear of traveling home…
I understand no one likes coming home from a trip; that’s totally normal, but what is not normal is a 24-year-old woman having a meltdown mid-flight because the guilt of her getaway smacks her in the face.
Let me explain…
Ryan and I love to travel. We are fortunate enough to do it pretty often and the last few years we have gone to some seriously awesome places. But the plane rides home become a nightmare for my poor husband.
Lets back track to two springs ago when we went to Europe to celebrate our one year anniversary. We cruised the Mediterranean, hitting up hot spots like Monte Carlo, the small cliff village of Eze, Barcelona, a few other picturesque towns on the Riviera; it was honestly the trip of a lifetime but it started on a horrible note (see post here ) and ended just the same.
We had a connection to get back to the states in Munich, and there were rumors that we might run into some trouble because a volcano erupted creating an ash cloud that spread throughout the continent.
We were one of the last flights to arrive in Germany because they decided to close the airports indefinitely, and there was pretty much no hope of getting out any time soon.
People were everywhere, baggage streamed all over the floor, tons of troops were trying to get home to their loved ones, and Ryan and I still had a few days off work so we volunteered to just hang out and re-book our flight when there was more availability. It turned out to only be one night, but Lufthansa was fantastic and paid for our accommodations, meals and transportation.
Pretty cool, right? We were getting at least an extra night of vacation in a very swanky hotel right outside Munich…but inside I was panicked…
This meant one more day outside my own kitchen, my normal gym, and a routine…
And then we get to the hotel around dinnertime…
Oh my gosh a buffet….
Dinner was a very large German spread of fod and I had no idea what most of it was.
Salad! Thank gosh there was greens, and plenty of balsamic vinegar. I assembled myself a plate of relatively safe foods and felt hungry, but somewhat ok with my choice.
Breakfast was the same sort of buffet but again, I kept “control” and ate only items I felt comfortable with.
And then the airline called and said we could get on a plane that night, so we headed back to the airport to wait.
We boarded an overnight flight, meaning dinner, snacks, free-flowing alcohol, and breakfast, all on the plane.
We flew Lufthansa for our honeymoon and on the way over, and obviously they are wonderful for how they handled the environmental situation. They even offer an option for low-calorie meals when you book your ticket (among other choices like vegetarian, kosher, etc.) which is pretty nice for airlines today.
Well what do you think I pick?
Low calorie all the way, which typically means some steamed fish or chicken, veggies, a small starch, salad with vinegar, and a fruit plate.
For comparisons sake Ryan’s meal usually had a hunk of meat, potatoes or pasta, butter, rolls, cheese, a dessert, and salad with buttery ranch. He was in heaven.
Breakfast followed a similar pattern.
Since we were not on our originally booked flight, they did not have my specially ordered low-calorie “meal,” only the “normal” choices pretty much everyone else selects.
When they came around with the trays I politely refused.
“Oh, no thank you. I had a big lunch.”
A turkey sandwich, fruit and some tea, nearly 7 hours before, hardly counted as a big lunch.
Ryan pleaded with me…
“CJ please eat something. We wont be home for almost another 24 hours. I don’t want you getting sick.”
He flagged down a flight attendant and asked if there were any other options.
They brought me about a million choices, including this buttery fish from the first class cabin that Ryan thought I was absolutely crazy to turn down.
Nope. After 10 days of “splurging,” which in my world meant having carbohydrates and cruise ship meals (the “ship shape” meals actually, which are definitely not a splurge!) there was no way in hell a “normal” entrée was touching my lips.
I think the final straw occurred when the totally patient and lovely flight attendants brought me fruit and a yogurt. At this point I was just being stubborn and again declined the offer, which prompted Ryan to reach the breaking point in his frustration.
He said he didn’t think he could help me get better at home and I might need to go back to the hospital.
Enter the temper tantrum.
Like a child I stamped my feet, cried, raised my voice and told my husband I hated him.
I told him he just wanted to ruin my life, make me fat, and I hated him.
Nice things to say to your spouse on a one year anniversary trip.
And I did end up going to the hospital about a week after we got home…
A few months later a similar situation happened on our flight back north from Disney’s Food and Wine Festival.
As we sat there on the runway, waiting to take off, my mind spun with destructive thoughts.
Knowing I wasn’t being my chatty self Ryan asked what was wrong.
And the floodgates opened.
Again with the stomping, hostility and accusations that he was just trying to turn me into an obese woman, and that I hated him.
How had he not found another woman by now? I mean seriously, I felt like I was going crazy, but nothing could convince me that my unhealthy lifestyle was wrong. All he did was wipe my tears, hug me tighter and tell me he knew I didn’t mean it.
The third and final time I told Ryan I hated him was this summer on my birthday cruise to central America. I told him that since it was “my special day,” I should be allowed to run or skimp out on my exchanges. He explained that this should be a day where I actually try to enjoy a dessert or relax, but I was totally not hearing it. So of course, what do I do? Tell him how much I hate him and that he should just leave me alone.
These fits pass eventually, but it doesn’t mean they are fun to experience, especially for the targeted party.
Since it was pretty out of character for me to say such mean things I really wanted to change my behavior, but that had to start by me stepping out of my box and actually trying to change my brain into a more positive, healthy mindset. For those of you who don’t know, GOOD nutrition does wonders for brain chemistry.
So because of this pattern, I was very nervous for our travel home after this trip; between a long day, airport food, constant sitting, and downtime for my mind to wander, the ingredients for a major melt down were all in order.
But it turned out ok. I did have a lot of anxiety, some major guilt issues, and negative self-talk I would have loved to avoid, but on the way to PA, Ry and I reflected on some great memories we made, ate good nutritionally balanced meals, planned out our Sunday to prepare for the week, and just had a nice time together.
I’m not one hundred percent okay with everything I consumed, or didn’t do in the gym, but I am proud and thankful for such an awesome getaway with my husband.
Food, family, and relaxation is something to be celebrated, so I am going to focus on the positive aspects of our trip, which in all honesty was pretty much everything, and keep reassuring myself that my irrational fears of immense weight gain, a totally ruined life, and a husband scheming against me, are all ED trying to creep back into my life.
Well go away ED, because I would seriously like to take another fun trip soon and there is no room for you in my suitcase!!!