I went to Europe for five weeks. Five weeks of gallivanting around gorgeous countryside, quaint seaside towns, stunning landscapes and metropolitan cities.

And guess what?

I fucked up.

Hardcore.

Eating pizza in Italy

Pizza covered in olives. With olive oil drizzled on top. Not pictured: the bottle of wine to wash it down.

See, I was toying with whether or not I even talk about the fuck up on here (also called the elegant belly flop back into the comfort zone of old), but what’s the point of having a project and documenting the experiences if I leave the important shit out? The shit where I tell you that while I had every intention of working out along the way — hell, I even bought ankle weights and a resistance band, and looked up where spin classes were in the cities I was visiting — I worked out twice.

Yup. Twice.

The first full day in Bangkok and my first full day in Prague. That is it.

Oh, and I ate all the pasta, and foccacia and pizza. ALL OF IT.

And, I drank all of the wine. And amazing coconut beer (yes, it is a thing). And even dappled in some sensational honey brandy in Slovenia.

But, the mother of all fuck ups isn’t that I didn’t work out, because hell, I was walking across what seemed to be entire cities during my trip. And I was carrying a bajillion kilos of luggage up thousands of stairs. And I was trekking up hills overlooking cities. And hiking through wine terraces along the Ligurian Sea.

And the mother of all fuck ups isn’t that I ate whatever I wanted because I was exercising, even if it wasn’t dedicated cardio, I was moving. Nearly constantly. Like Shana from Fitweek suggested to me earlier in my European planning, I opted to stand whenever I could instead of sit, take stairs instead of elevators (even when my body was becoming bruised from hauling awkward luggage up stairs at train stations).

And the mother of all fuck ups isn’t that I drank because it is Europe and not drinking in Europe would be criminal. Criminal, I tell you.

No, the mother of all fuck ups is I lit up that first cigarette. In Milan, when I was coming down from a week of being with my friends and embarking on being solo and not really wanting to be solo and wanting my sweet old nicotine friend to join me while I waited for the train to take me to Trieste.

And, the fuck up continued the next morning when I was wandering Trieste and came across the Adriatic because the Adriatic has some serious heartbreaking memories for me, which flooded me as soon as I saw the sparkling sea. And then, it continued even more when I got to Ljulbjana and was alone and wanted to make friends. By then, the cigarette damage had been done. I had reasoned my way into smoking again.

“It’s like what you wrote about — the cigarette and travel just go together,” I said.

“It’s how you meet people at a hostel,” I told myself when the first night at Hostel Celica I met two girls traveling and immediately joined them at their table, bonding over rollies and wine (’cause I was totally drinking).

So it went from there. The rest of the trip. What started out so innocent, so disgusting tasting, so ill-feeling, once again became my stupid sidekick. My break from writing. My filler in between ordering food and eating. My wasting five minutes while I wait for a bus/train/boat.

The thing is this, I got mad, but not mad enough. Because, when I returned to Thailand a few days ago, I decided I was going to keep on being Fun Diana for the weekend. Seemingly, in the moment, I thought Fun Diana only comes out when beer, wine and cigarettes are involved. So, I drank. And I smoked. And I partied.

This afternoon when I went to the gym, I nearly cried.

I couldn’t do three sets of 15 tricep dips against my weight. My trainer smiled, laughed a little and said “Ah, Diana, today you only do 12 each set.”

My body, which had become accustomed to holding a plank for almost 40 seconds without collapsing, could barely make it to 25 without shaking. And my arms, my arms which I have looked at from every angle as deltoids and biceps and triceps emerge, well, they let me down.

No.

I let myself down.

I’m not even going to get started talking about spin class, because that was just an embarrassment.

So, yes, I crashed. Yes, I burned. Yes, I didn’t work out. I drank. I ate all the good food. But, I had one hell of a time doing it. And, I wouldn’t take back those experiences in Europe for anything.

I would certainly take back the cigarettes though. But, that’s what TCZP is about. It isn’t just about triumphs, it is about trials, too. It’s about falling down, and then standing back up, brushing your knees off and holding your head high and saying, “Yeah, I fucked up, but it’s OK. I’m back on track.”

Today starts another Day One for me. But, tomorrow is Day Two and that will be easier. And spin class tomorrow night won’t be as hard as tonight. And my lungs won’t hurt as bad. And, I will go from there … because this the ride I’m on. Thank goodness I’m driving.

16 comments

  1. I really enjoyed the writing, you made me chuckle. Because, really, nothing beats honesty. We’re here, we live, we fail, we win. You have done it before and you will do it again, take one day at a time. I believe in you.

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  2. Well written Diana, but I will be as honest as you were in your article. I was very disappointed when I read that you had started smoking again. I don’t know what it feels like to be a smoker and try quitting so I don’t know how hard it is. But, I’ve seen Nathan try many times over the years and he cannot stick to it so I imagine it must be very difficult. That is why I was so proud of you when you stopped smoking; I understood it is in no way easy. On the other side of that I must tell you I actually had a feeling overcome me when I read that, and you know me- for me to have a feeling is a big deal. I think it’s because I care so much about you that it affected me that way.
    Regardless, if I understand correctly you have ceased smoking and are continuing down the healthier path. I want you to know that I support you no matter what, and that I am proud of what you’ve done already and what you are doing. Love you, Diana- take care babe.
    Hollywood

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    1. Thank you, H. Trust me, I was far more disappointed in having to admit I did it than anyone could be in my behavior. But, the good thing is, three days now without, and back in the health and workout grind, so I am doing ok. Thank you for your love and support. Love you.

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  3. You enjoyed your time in Europe. Yes, you should eat and drink there. You should enjoy it, and all that walking is exercise. Bread, cheese and chocolate were my staples in chocolate. And then, you went back to the gym and did it anyway.

    Smoking, btw, is a bad friend. The kind of friend who sneaks back into your life easily. That you’ve had the courage to post it on your blog says worlds about you, too. (I always hid my smoking. Never said a word about it online.)

    You’ll get back to where you want to be faster than you are currently imagining. I’m sure of it.

    And it was fun following your adventures in Europe. I’m not traveling right now and won’t be for a little while longer, so I enjoyed it all vicariously.

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    1. Thank you for the support, Leigh. I struggled whether or not I wanted to address the whole smoking thing, since it is something I never talked about until I started TCZP. It says a lot when we hide something we do, doesn’t it? It is the worst kind of friend and yet the best, all at the same time.

      I did thoroughly enjoy my time in Europe. The bread. The wine. The croissants. And the walking. My body hurts super bad today, but I am going to the gym tonight and working out as hard as I can. And then doing it again and again until I get back to the point where it is hard, but hard in a good way versus a discouraging way like the other day. My trainer says it will take about a week or two to get back to where I was a month ago, which is about all the patience I have! 😉

      Thank you for following along, too. I’ve been following along in your life and so happy for you and your little new one!! xoxo

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  4. Oh D. It’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you pick yourself back up again. If we never F#@K up, we can never appreciate what it took to get us across the finish line 🙂 You’ll be back on track in no time! You’re always in the driver’s seat, and you’ll always do awesomely!

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  5. Diana,
    I enjoyed reading all your posts of TCZ. Glad to hear you are doing well. I left Las Vegas in 2011 and am enjoying the little village where I was born and raised many years ago in Ontario, Canada. It’s kind of like my own Comfort Zone Project and I too am happy with it. I have a son in Vienna Austria and in May spent 3 1/2 weeks visiting him. I could not imagine NOT eating all the food in Italy & Austria despite any diet or exercise plan. I went there with a plan to eat anything I wanted and pay the price later. It was well worth it!! All the best to you.

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    1. Howard, HI!! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read my work! Not eating all the food in Italy would be impossible. It is SO good!! I agree, enjoy and deal with it later. I’ve been back and working out now for three weeks and feel great! Glad you are enjoying! Keep in touch!

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  6. Another great post, Love your honesty.That European life can really get to a person. I don’t know if I’m deluding myself by thinking my location is a big factor or not, but I kind of feel like I NEED to get out of Europe (as much as I love it) because after three years of indulging in drinking, fatty foods, late nights, and smoking (although not ciggies….I live near the Netherlands) I’ve gained 20lbs and lost a lot of confidence and destroyed my self image. Every time I try to stop these things the lifestyle and people around me make it so hard and I fall back in again. Not saying it’s the fault of my friends, but god, temptation is just so evil.

    The expression I recently heard which applies to me right now: “Sometimes I wrestle with my demons, and sometimes we just snuggle.” But I’m hoping once I get to Thailand for my intense detox in that Muay Thai camp that Ill not only wrestle with my demons but this time actually succeed in winning the battle.

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    1. Thank you, Nicki! It is so easy to lose yourself in Europe. I think it is location plays a big factor, the same with the company you keep. I find when I’m around people who don’t drink or smoke, I don’t have any desire to either. But, as soon as you put me in a bar or with smokers, it is all I can think about. At the end of the day though, we are each only responsible for ourselves and how we treat ourselves. I like that quote. It is so true. Beat the crap out of those demons in the ring. Looking forward to meeting you in Thailand!

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