Our Friends Have More Power Than Our Conviction

This week, My Girlfriendships® highlights Puerto Rico as a great getaway for your girls trip. I agree! I was there once back in 2007 when Pete, the kids, and I joined Pete’s family at an all-inclusive resort. None of us had been there before, so we couldn’t wait to see what many of our friends had experienced. 

Let Me Set this Up for You 

When we got off the plane, my first thought was that it felt a lot like Florida, but it was warmer and the scent in the air was different. My best description would be “tropical”. I know that’s not very descriptive, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind. 

The all-inclusive resort was gorgeous. I would say it was on about 200 acres, with condominiums throughout the property. Each one of them looked exactly like the one next to it: white stucco with a dark-brown front door. They were simple, yet pristine. Each section of units were well-manicured with tropical, lush plants. (Sidebar: The beauty of those waxy tropicals mesmerizes me. I almost always have to stop and take a long, hard look whenever I see them. If you haven’t taken time to stop and look at their pure perfection, please do it next time. You’ll see artistry at its finest.)

Beyond the aesthetics of the landscape, the decor was attractive as well. And what was most attractive to me was the food. I know that comes as a shock, but dang it if I don’t love to eat! Before I got there, I didn't know how all-inclusive places like that worked. They have an extensive staff because they’re always serving. My kinda place! Food on display for the convenience of eating whenever you want. That can be a good and a bad thing right? I never got to find out which it was because I got sick the first night we were there. 

Here’s My Assumption of Why I Got so Sick

We arrived early in the day and went straight to the resort. We were starving by the time we got there. I love breakfast, so even though it was already about noon, I still ordered eggs. I remember a big bowl of eggs sitting on the counter of this really cool, authentic-looking outdoor bar. Terra cotta tile on the countertops, mosaic shiny tile on the floor, and a very open floor plan to enjoy the 80° temperature. I was in heaven. 

That night, we went to the steak house on the property. “When in Rome” as the saying goes, so I ordered a filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes, and a caesar salad. If meals were a uniform, that would be the one I would wear everyday. 

Skip This Part if You Don’t Like Gross Details 

I left dinner early to go back to our condo. That old, dark-brown door couldn’t have opened fast enough for me. Here’s the disgusting part so if you can’t “stomach” (no pun intended) gross stuff, then skip to the next paragraph. To say I vomited is an understatement. Because I had eaten that delicious steak moments prior to the rumbling in my belly, I choked on what subsequently came up. I thought I was going to die. I had left Pete and the kids at the dinner table so they could enjoy their first night with everyone, so I was alone. Thank God I finally dislodged the steak and could breathe on my own again. 

For the entire trip, I was sick. To this day, I am convinced that it was that egg for breakfast that had been sitting in the warm sun just waiting to be cracked and wreak havoc on my tummy. Ugh! 

We stayed there for about a week and towards the end of the trip, I was up and walking again, but without much of an appetite. Remember this is an all-inclusive and they didn’t stop serving just because I wasn’t eating, so in the main dining section, they had killer displays of food and drinks. 

Vacation + Vomit = Resolve

Now here’s the kicker—stay with me. 

The desserts were out in the open for anyone’s taking. Cheesecake designed in patterns like those lush tropicals that lined the walkways outside. Every flavor of ice cream that would satisfy any kid. Incredibly fresh, plentiful fruit laid out as if we were all vegetarians. But the dessert that caught my attention was the hot fudge fountain. Are you kidding me?! Now, like I said above, here’s the kicker—I had no interest in eating any of it. What?! 

“Hi, my name is Lisa and I am a sugaraholic, nice to meet you.” Yeah, I don’t ever pass up sweets, but this time I did. 

Being that painfully ill in Puerto Rico did have a silver lining (I always look for the silver lining).  For about 8 weeks after we left the country, I had no taste for anything. I only wanted chicken noodle soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I felt like I did in my first trimester of pregnancy. Nothing sounded good to me. Yeah, yeah what’s the silver lining? I know. 

Sugar-free for Seven 

So I took this opportunity to give up cookies, candy, cake, and ice cream. That is not easy to do for a sugar addict, but I went cold turkey. If I can pass up a hot fudge fountain, I can do anything. For the seven years after the egg incident, I didn’t consume sugar. I allowed myself sugar free cough drops if I had an urge, but that was it. 

Girlfriends Fueled my Focus

It was difficult to maintain my discipline. My friends were amazed at my willpower because usually, I’m not a girl who has much. I used their questioning and the inspiration that they felt from me to fuel my progress. I just kept going and going. 

One day in the summer of that same year, I took Lex and Kole to our neighborhood pool. My friend Kelly was there with her kids also. Kelly is not a person who holds her tongue. (Girl after my own heart, though it did break us apart at one time of our relationship. That’s a blog for another time so stay tuned). Anyway, we made our way to the lounge chairs to establish our space, Kelly looked at me and said, “Damn Lis, you look great! What are you doing?” 

You have to get the full visual here. I was in a leopard-patterned string bikini, feeling on top of the world and my most outspoken friend says I look “great”. Well, if that isn’t the best feeling, I don’t know what is. I told her the story and she was impressed and motivated to do something similar. I don’t remember her outcome, but I remember mine—I felt great. 

Years passed, parties were attended, and my girlfriends supported me every step of the way. My “good” friends didn’t try to push my beloved cocktails or desserts on me. Ironically, the ones who are no longer my friends were the same ones who would roll their eyes and say, “just have the cake for God's sake”. Yeah, those are the ones who I can do without thank you very much! 

The Lesson (There’s alway a Lesson)

We all need support in one way or another. I believe friends are more powerful than our convictions. How many times have you done something with your friends that you knew was not the right thing to do, but you did it anyway because they were doing it? Right, that’s my point. 

You need good girlfriends in your life to support your wise decisions. Cutting out sugar was a wise decision for me. My health became contagious to those who were supportive. I chose to be the leader and those who followed were grateful. I may have been able to do this on my own, but I was much more successful with the help of my girlfriends. 

A wise proverb once said, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

I love that you were with me today. See you next week!


 Loopie Signature

Lisa A.K.A Loopie 

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