One of the main reasons I visit this fitness that spa we go to in Mexico is to reboot my eating regimen. (See how I used “reboot” there, like I actually know what I’m talking about? I’m like the guy who hides his inability to speak French by speaking English with a French accent. “Ah, yays, ze ‘reboot.’”)
Along with super-healthy food offerings, the fitness spa also enforces strict portion control, provides nutritional between-meal snacking (“zucchini smoothies”) and, as a personal, much appreciated bonus, it awards me with a “Frequent Visitor’s” upgrade to more sumptuous accommodations located further from the dining hall so I can burn extra calories hiking the considerably longer distance on my way to my meals. The less luxurious rooms are, like, two minutes away! Oh well. They ought to visit more often.
All this is enormously remedial. Being home a lot, enjoying unfettered kitchen privileges, I must admit to numerous “snack intervals” in my regular routine. I finish a draft of a blog post – I celebrate with a handful of crackers. I take a break after my piano practice, I scarf down the leftovers from my lunchtime burrito. Then I eat more crackers, because crackers are addictive; you cannot just eat twenty of them. And when I run out of crackers, I pour dry breakfast cereal into my hand and I…
Do you see how that goes?
At the fitness spa, Spartanizing their food regimen even further, for me, it is “three meals and out.” That’s what I’m there for. No bread, no snacks whatsoever, no extra portions – and I am soon back on my dietary track.
It is the fitness spa’s discipline that makes that all possible.
Or so I believed. (Students of writing, label this “the turn.”)
I have been back for about three-and-a-half weeks. And with a minimum of exceptions, I have hewn assiduously to the fitness spa routine – regulated portion-size, “three meals and out.”
It began with – surrendering thirty-two years of resistance – our desire to install air conditioning in our upstairs bedroom, which in the past had heated up on those rare few days when the stultifying Santa Ana winds blew in off the desert. Recently, however, the climatological conditions seem to have noticeably altered. Now, though we are four blocks from the ocean and its cooling offshore breezes, the occasions when our bedroom becomes chokingly oppressive have gotten continually longer. As a result…
We ordered air conditioning.
The AC unit and ancillary tubing are installed. The bedroom wall cries when they cut a substantial hole in it. (Though that could have been me.) The next day, the electrical guy arrives to hook up the machinery.
In the process, the electrician blows out our bedroom cable TV box, along with my bedside CD clock radio that I only recently learned to program.
Hearing his report, I nod with “stuff happens” understanding.
Then I head to the kitchen for a handful of cashews.
I call up the cable company to order a replacement for the now decimated cable box. I am told that the “Service Visit” is free, but there will be an additional charge for the replacement cable box. I say “Fine” and I finalize the appointment.
I then head down to the kitchen and I eat a muffin. (I am purportedly “gluten free.” The muffin is not. Who cares? It has vanished in four bites.)
Next, our building contractor/handy man shows up.
“Did you notice your garage door isn’t properly aligned?”
Two weeks ago, while my car was being serviced, I had hit our garage door with the “loaner car.” I had immediately gotten the door repaired, but was too embarrassed to double-check on the work.
I call the garage door repair company, making an appointment for a “re-do.”
I return to the kitchen and eat an individual-sized pot pie.
Then the contractor tells me he has discovered some rotten wood in the outdoor siding.
I check it out, order it repaired, and race back to the kitchen for…
That’s when I realize that my real problem, the one the fitness spa most importantly protects me from, is not my egregious eating habits…
For the week I stay there, the fitness spa totally insulates me from decision, difficulty, aggravation and strife.
Today, four repair people are arriving – the electrician, the garage door repairman, our building contractor and a guy from the cable company.
(FOLLOWED BY FOOTSTEPS RACING DOWNSTAIRS TO THE KITCHEN.)
(REVERBERATING FROM THE DISTANCE) “I wish I could live at the fitness spa!”