There’s nothing I love more than baking. Except, maybe, eating what I’ve baked. There’s also nothing I love less than looking sadly at my swimming costume; worrying more about covering up than showing off. So with a family holiday near the Okavango around the corner, and a fresh batch of chocolate fudge cookies out the oven, I was indeed stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I pensively ate a warm biscuit and considered the upcoming trip: there was going to be hiking (oh god, the incline!), canoeing (I have zero upper body strength, a heavy book is major effort), and of course, considering my two jock brothers, probably lots of Family Activities. My ideal vacation has light exercise (a walk – no wait, a stroll – and maybe a paddle in the ocean) and lots of time in recline. Unfortunately my secret and fervent belief, partially rooted in reality, that I’m incredibly lazy and should at least attempt to keep up with my family has robbed me of many a peaceful read on my back. I vowed that this time would be different.
No games of cricket on the beach. No sir. Also no 7km beach hikes on Cannon Rocks, and certainly no five-hour ‘walks’ to Coffee Bay from our isolated B&B in the Eastern Cape (‘It’ll be fun!’ they said. Lies. Filthy lies.)
I’d packed my books and my knitting and I planned to loll around, relax, drink a mojito, stretch out and snuggle up. I’d shelve my body guilt and indulge in All Things Delicious and not worry that I’d had to buy a swimming costume with clever pleating and a distracting pattern to look semi-decent. It was a clever costume though. Its concept was to wrap me in lycra, like a burrito, and thereby rearrange my internal organs with the gaspingly strong material – and then distract everyone looking at me with a busy pattern (‘Where’d she go?’ ‘I have no idea, but did you see those polka dots!’). It worked over December and by god, it was going to work now.
I glumly considered my cookies again. I’d baked 110 and they neatly filled a Tupperware I knew, in my stomach of stomachs, I alone would nibble at. That’s OK though, I rationalised. I work hard. I’m allowed a treat. I’m also allowed to chill! I was going to have to Stand Up For Myself and not be bullied into strenuous family activities by insisting that I deserved more relaxation time – never mind that my brothers’ fit, healthy bodies showed the benefits of their lifestyle whereas mine, well…
I put down the cookie.
Sighed. Lightly touched a hand to my stomach. Winced. Maybe this holiday wasn’t going to be so different after all…