It was just about the worst possible time to be thinking about my body composition. I was at the end of two back-to-back press trips which had involved eating and drinking from morning until night. Pastries. Cocktails. Liqueurs. Cream cakes. Baklava. More cocktails. You get the idea. So when, on the final day of my visit to the Gloria Resorts and Hotels in Antalya in Turkey, I was ushered into the BodPod – a super-accurate machine that measures your exact body composition (ie. fat vs. muscle), I wasn’t exactly leaping at the chance. As I sat inside the Pod, forbidden to move and longing to twitch, I wondered just how much weight I’d have gained. A big part of me – as you can probably see from my face – just didn’t want to know.
The results, which came through just an hour later, were startling. My body fat percentage was a mere 18.2%, which put me safely inside the “lean” category and only just above ultra lean. This was, by any standards, good news – the range is the best for health and longevity. But after the excesses of the previous week it was little short of miraculous.
When I thought about it, though, I realised it wasn’t so surprising. Yes, I’d been indulging in a diet that was a far cry from my usual fare. Cheese for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do. Three puddings, “just to try them”? Great idea. Another glass of wine? Oh, if I must. Yet alongside that I’d actually been pretty healthy and active.
I was a guest of the Gloria Golf Resort, a modern hotel set in lush, palm tree-lined grounds with its own beach. Needless to say, my first morning had taken me straight to the Gloria Golf Club – heaven for a serious golfer and pretty fun even for a non-golfer like me. I can’t say it’s time for me to ditch my day job and take up golf for a living – my hand-eye coordination is as lousy as it ever was – but a morning on the driving range was a lot of fun, and on the putting green I did, finally, get the ball in the damned hole.
Later, I headed to the sea and had fun hurling myself off the pier (a frozen Margarita giving me the courage to dive, even in a bikini) and swimming in the blissfully warm water. So yes, I had another cocktail afterwards – rude not to try the full range, right? – but at least I’d moved around first.
Over the next couple of days, in between heavenly massages (seriously, rating amongst the best I’ve ever had), I managed to burn off still more calories swimming in the plethora of pools across the three connecting resorts and hitting the well-equipped gym, too. The fitness equipment was from Life Fitness and there was a good range – certainly enough to work up a sweat. I’ll confess I stopped short of the tennis courts – I know my limits and my tennis is as abysmal now as it was at school – but my activity levels accumulated as the days went on. I even spent an energetic hour dancing at the night club to pass the time as we waited for our middle-of-the-night flight home. When I stopped to think about it I realised it was actually a pretty healthy holiday.
I also found that by filling my plate with lots and lots of vegetables and salads, and putting a few figs and slices of watermelon on my plate alongside the pastries, I could indulge in the treats without them going straight to my waistline. The great thing about a Mediterranean holiday – as I’ve said before and I’ll say again – is that with its emphasis on freshly-prepared vegetables and healthy oils, it’s actually super-heatlhy.
So really it comes back to the same message that I go on about – and on, and on, and on. Moderation, lovely friends. Yes, have the bellinis and the puddings. Don’t deny yourself the cake (look how slim Mary Berry is, after all). But keep moving. Eat fruit. Load up on vegetables. And if you’re brave enough to venture into the BodPod you should have nothing to fear.
For more about Gloria have a look at their website HERE.
Do you have any tips for how to have a healthy holiday? Let me know – I’m always looking for ideas!