After three weeks of consuming pure carbs or meat served with butter, let’s just say that my waistline and my skinny jeans are no longer compatible. Thus the purge begins.

Normally, I am a cautious eater. I have the metabolism of a hippo with diabetes. A leaf of lettuce usually gains me 5 pounds. Everything I eat eventually makes its way to my hips and thighs, where it coagulates into unbeatable layers of cellulite that refuse to dissolve despite long-term attempts at toning and/or starvation. If I ran 3 miles every day for a year, I would lose inches everywhere else on my body except in the region between my waist and my knees. Even my hair would get skinnier before that happened.

So, yes, I am a cautious eater. At least I am a cautious eater when I am at home and have some say over what I eat. Abroad, it’s a different story.

I was raised to always eat gratefully the things that are put in front of me. My parents did not raise a picky eater. There are very few things I will refuse to eat if a host offers them to me, largely because I believe politeness outweighs fitness in terms of importance. Naturally, then, I spent the last three weeks gratefully eating what was put in front of me, trying not to let myself mentally tally the damage as I ate cakes, fried meats, heavily buttered vegetables and those infamous deli doughnuts. As much as I like being fit, I like to enjoy life as well. While I will always emphasize the importance of maintaining good health and physical fitness, I hold to the motto “Real women eat.” So I ate. And it was very delicious, thank you very much.

But this morning, when I broke a sweat just trying to get my jeans zipped, I knew that I will have a long way to go before I feel fit again.

The good news is that I’m back home, and therefore I have some control over my diet again. If there was one thing I missed immensely when I was away, it was fresh vegetables and fruit. I have never craved spinach so much in my entire life. I want to eat everything raw. I’m avoiding bread. I got apples and dried apricots. My protein source is almonds.

And, yes, I am literally eating salad for breakfast. Spinach and romaine, topped with a sprinkling of almonds and feta cheese with a dash of low-fat dressing.

It’s delicious.