It starts at the airport with the comforting cappuccino and the plateful of dinky little mini-croissants and pains au chocolat, because after all it was such an early start and there wasn’t time for breakfast at home. Then there are the long hours of forced meals and zero exercise on board the plane. Then the extra meal on arrival when your body is screaming out that it is bed-time but everyone around you is on local time and raring to go.
Then the one-hour breakfast meetings at the all-you-can-eat hotel buffets with their waffles and pancakes and eggs cooked to order, mounds of fruit and perpetually refreshed coffees.
Then there’s food in the office – bagels and cream cheese in ICIS New York, durian pastries in ICIS Singapore. Gradually the pounds then kilos pile on. The belts are loosened by one notch. The pencil skirt is consigned to the bottom of the suitcase.
“Conference weight gain,” we call it, hoping that it will melt away like the snows of yesteryear when we are back to our relatively disciplined and active lifestyles.
There’s always the next trip to order the “Healthy Option” lo-cal breakfast, decline the after-work beers and take the recommended jogging path through the deafening and steamy high-rise canyons.