Monday, October 27, 2008

The Most Amazing Thing About Mexico

... I did not gain weight.

This is truly amazing. Especially when you understand the quantity of crap I consumed, compared to what I eat normally.

Normally, I eat one container of yogurt for breakfast, a lowfat six-inch Subway sandwich and apple slices for lunch, a piece of string cheese and fruit for a snack, and a salad or four-ounces of meat and some fruit and veggies for dinner. I'm allowed 300 "discretionary calories" to blow on desserts and munchies and stuff.

At the resort, my breakfast consisted of pancakes or french toast (with butter and syrup), some yummy sweet pastry thing that looked like a dough bow-tie dusted in powdered sugar, scrambled eggs with mushrooms, and some fruit. Lunch was a hamburger or hotdog with fries. And I'm not even talking about good all-beef hamburgers and hotdogs. These just gave the impression of once having been near beef. And while dinner varied every night, some things were the same. The meat was always in a heavy sauce (which I never really understood, as the buffet always had 8 different sauces on it, but nothing sauce-less for you to put them on). The rice was always swimming in butter, except on "Oriental Night," when it was fried. (The beans, of course, were always refried.) The "steamed vegetables" had been steamed in a vat of butter. The breads were always served with butter (I don't think there was margarine in the place). All the cakes were soaked in alcohol, except the ones soaked in butter and alcohol. And if you were feeling decaffeinated soda-wise (which I was), your only choice was full-force Sprite, so there's 100 calories right there.

It sorta reminded me of how people cooked maybe thirty or forty years ago, when a "healthy meal" was all about having one item from each of the four food groups, and nobody paid any attention to calories or fat or anything pesky like that.

And did I mention that, during those two hours when (gasp) there was no food out, my friend and I kept ourselves going with creme-filled cookies and candy?)

And I did not gain weight.

This irks me a bit. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely happy that falling off the wagon did not cost me anything. But, a coupla years ago, I had my weight down to [insert cool number here] and (thanks to other vacations), it has moved up about 5 or 10 pounds, and even though I'm eating exactly what I ate the first time I lost this weight (and exercising exactly as little as I did then), I can't seem to lose it again. But when I pig out in Puerto Vallarta, the weight stays the same.

So I say to myself, "Self, what was different about Puerto Vallarta?" And I come up with three answers.

First, it was hot. It was really, really hot. Perhaps I actually needed the extra caloric intake to function because the sun was just sucking all the life out of me.

Second, I slept. Lots. Sometimes as much as ten hours. While, normally, it isn't unusual for me to get between 5 and 6 hours.

(Between these two items, I am totally understanding the whole siesta thing.)

Third, I was stress-free. Sure, there were small e-mail crises, but I didn't really realize how stress-free I was until around 3:00 today when I again became stressed. Work was being stressy, theatre critic stuff was being stressy, and the world was just, y'know, pissing me off. Whereas in Mexico, I was swimming with dolphins.

Conclusion: More sleep + less stress = weight loss.

Now. How to test this hypothesis... I think I need some dolphins.

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