Ahead of Time

If you’ve seen as many movies as I have, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that time travel always works out for everyone.

Want to father future resistance leader John Connor? Find his mama in 1984. Want to save a hippogriff and your godfather to boot? Use your time turner with a friend. Want to smooch deceased heartthrob Keanu Reeves hours after he’s been smushed to smithereens in a city bus lane? Rent his lake house, write him love letters and try not to think too hard about the fact that this devastatingly flawed plotline violates every established rule of the space-time continuum. Luckily, everyone’s good-looking.

Oh whoops, and spoiler alert above. My bad.

But you know what time travel isn’t very good at? Helping you stay fit.

How do I know about time travel, you ask? Because I’m writing this on Saturday afternoon, and it’s arriving in your inbox on Friday night. Bam. Time travel.

That, or I’m on the other side of the international dateline for the next two weeks. You be the judge.

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When I signed on to work out of the Hong Kong office for a fortnight this month, I envisioned returning stateside the epitome of health.

I’ll run in the evenings! I thought as I packed up my Asics. I’ll catch-up on shut eye! I dreamed as a boarded the plane. I’ll detox my diet! I imagined as buckled my seatbelt, reclined my chair and prepared watch six feature-length films.


What I didn’t prepare for was being fed six feature-length meals before touching down in Asia. Let’s just say that I had to request a seatbelt extension somewhere over the Arctic Circle.

And the eating hasn’t slowed since. With a corporate expense account and no kitchen to cook in, I’ve been dining out three times a day in China’s culinary capital, and I have the waistline to prove it. On top of all the noodles and pork buns a girl for ask for, my office is also stocked full of just as many snacks as its New York equivalent, and my curious mind has had to try them all.

Like these M&Ms, for example. They’re in a different shape packaging than I’m used to! Maybe they taste different! Science demands I try them! (They are exactly like the U.S. version, turns out, but I still ran the experiment eight times to be sure.)

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Fortunately, the time difference has had one minor benefit on my health — the jetlag had me awake at 3 a.m. two times last week, allowing me to squeeze in a workout at my hotel’s 24-hour fitness center before rolling into the office at 5:45 a.m. Also, I start each morning eating an Asian pear — or are they just called pears here? — bringing my daily fruit/vegetable intake to a whopping count of one.

At least I’m not the only one eating out this week.

She tweeted this.
No, she’s not here with me. She tweeted this.

But while my first week here has been particularly indulgent, I’m intending to turn a corner tomorrow. After a week in the concrete jungle that is Central Hong Kong, I’m looking forward to escaping the city for a day of hiking with my colleagues on Lantau Island, home of the big Buddha. Hopefully seeing his giant, bronze belly will remind me that while there’s nothing wrong with a little food tourism, it’s probably best not to look like him when I land stateside in the near future — or, as we time travelers call it, the near past.

How do you stay healthy abroad?


2 thoughts on “Ahead of Time

  1. I just got back from a honeymoon abroad and everything was about moderation for me. I enjoyed all the goodies I could, kept myself moving, and didn’t feel guilty about it. I told myself I was lucky to enjoy it, and just kept everything in check with portion control and balance.

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