Boy, those two words (three, if you count the hyphenated words as two) can be scary together, can’t they? I mean, it’s hard enough to lose weight at home where all the conditions are in your favor, but what happens when you’re out of town and out of your element?
If you’re traveling by car, there’s no way you’re getting your regular workouts in – not on travel days, anyway. And, of course, you’re going to be eating out more, so how are you supposed to handle vacation while you’re trying to lose weight?
Last week my husband and I spent a week at Disney. Alone. Together. Just the two of us with no kids. It’s the first vacation I’ve been on since I began losing weight.
Just for the record, the last vacation was also at Disney with the whole family and I looked like this:
That’s me in the striped shirt trying to hide behind Brianna. Oh, and, incidentally, Josh (in the black Pirates shirt) is now a full head taller than me…maybe even more.
This year, I was much happier in front of the camera…even without my poor daughter to hide behind.
So, how did I decide to handle vacation? The same way I’ve handled most everything else during the last nearly two years – with balance and moderation.
I decided before I left that I was going to make good choices for breakfast and lunch, which we ate in our room, and not go crazy at dinner, but still enjoy myself.
We went shopping for groceries after we arrived. I got myself a box of Kashi cereal – the first time I’ve ever tried it…yum! – and some skim milk for breakfast. For lunch, we got some bread and ham for sandwiches, along with some hummus, jicama and red pepper. Brian ate chips, which I ignored for the most part, until the last day when my jicama and red pepper froze in the mini-fridge. Yuck!
We also stocked up on pineapple and grapes for snacking, along with some raisins, peanuts, and M&M’s for trail mix, and a case of bottled water.
You may or may not want to know what I ate for dinner. The first night we went to Olive Garden where I had the chicken gnocchi soup (not the healthiest on the menu, but yum!) and salad.
The second night, we went to our favorite place in Orlando, the Orlando Ale House, where we got our favorite meal – 35 fried shrimp. Yes, you read that right – 35 shrimp. Each. Before, I would have eaten every last one of them. This year, I gave at least a dozen of them to Brian.
Tuesday night we had our anniversary meal since we were planning on spending our actual anniversary at Hollywood Studios and figured we wouldn’t be eating anything too special. Our anniversary meal was a 12-ounce New York strip – I gave Brian about 4 ounces of it, but I thoroughly enjoyed the other 8 ounces – a baked potato and some yummy bread. I limited myself to one piece of bread and about a fourth of a second.
On Wednesday, our anniversary, we at lunch and dinner at Hollywood Studios. Lunch was a grilled chicken sandwich, which probably wasn’t too bad, despite the slice of provolone cheese and the big, crusty roll – with a side of cucumber salad. We were also given an ice cream sundae, on the house, for our anniversary. We split it, but I think Brian ate the majority of it.
For dinner, we ate at Pizza Planet – yeah, like in Toy Story. I had a veggie pizza and a Caesar salad…and, half of this little taste of heaven that we were given free for our anniversary:
Those are Heath toffee bits on the top, just in case you wondered. Did you know that Heath bars are a weakness of mine?
If you ever go to Disney on your anniversary, you want to wear the little anniversary pins. You get special treatment all day, which only adds to the specialness of the day.
Thursday night we ate at Planet Hollywood. That was the grand finale for me, food-wise. You know those burgers you get at places like Chili’s, Logan’s, or Applebee’s? Well, I used to eat those all the time. I hadn’t had one since I started losing weight in November 2009.
Yes, really. It had been almost two years since I’d had a steakhouse burger. Until last Thursday. I got the BBQ bacon cheeseburger. And, I ate it. All of it. It was so good! You know what the sad thing was? The whole time I was eating it, I was so worried that it was going to make me sick. It didn’t, which made it that much more enjoyable.
In my defense, I only ate half the fries, which required a great deal of willpower because they were very good.
We wound up eating out twice on our way home on Friday. The first time was at Chick-Fil-A, where I ate my normal, fairly healthy meal. The second time was at Moe’s, where I’ve never eaten and I’m pretty sure my meal wasn’t especially healthy. It was some steak taco stack thing.
In an effort to balance out the higher calorie meal choices and just because Brian and I actually enjoy being active now, we did make use of the resort’s gym on three of the four full days we were there. I ran on the treadmill a couple of days and used the elliptical the third day, as well as making use of the Nautilus equipment that I don’t usually have access to.
Of course, we were also pretty active the rest of the time, swimming in the pool and walking around Downtown Disney and at Hollywood Studios.
While we were there, I happened to catch a little bit of the Today Show (on the day that we went to the gym and I forgot my iPod). They were on a cruise ship and they mentioned that most people, on average, gain 8-10 pounds while on a cruise. Eight to ten pounds? That’s a lot for a week.
I was determined that I wasn’t going to gain that much, but I was equally determined not to ruin my vacation stressing over food. So, I decided to take Jill’s advice and not step on the scale until I’d been back on my regular eating and exercise plan as long as I’d been off of it.
Except, I couldn’t stand it and I stepped on the scale Sunday morning. At that point, I modified Jill’s plan to not stressing about what the scale said until I’d been back on my eating and exercise plan as long as I’d been off of it.
Still, as of Sunday, I’d gained 2 pounds. Two. I can totally live with that.
My official weigh-in day is Tuesday. I will weigh, just to know where I am, but I’m not going to allow myself to stress over it until next Tuesday, at which point, I plan for it to be back to where it was – or less – before I went on vacation.
Because, you know what? You only celebrate a 20th wedding anniversary once and, as Tina says, life is more than diets and workouts.
How do you handle weight-loss and traveling?
P.S. I’m not Catholic, but this post has me feeling a little bit like I might have an idea of what confession feels like. ;-)
Do or do not. There is no try.