Friday, April 16

The Difficulties of Travel

I’m recently recovering from a trip to Pennsylvania I took for about a week and a half (the Fam on Easter to the right). These trips to visit family are wonderful and fun, but rarely relaxing. My biggest concern prior to the trip was: how do I maintain control over what I am eating and when I am exercising outside of my normal environment and schedule?

The best thing I did for myself was plan! I planned what I was going to eat at the airport. I planned out with my mother to have foods at the house I could eat and dinners that were pretty close to balanced. I planned my schedule so I could see where I had free time—and then I planned trips to the gym or the park during those times. I scouted out where the gyms were in the areas I would be visiting. And, when possible, I dragged my friends and family out for exercise and activity with me!

So, with all the planning I did, how did my actual trip go? The results speak for themselves: with Easter weekend and a road trip to Tennessee squeezed in, I only gained a pound! Now, this isn’t to say I was sitting around on Easter eating rice cakes while everyone else had ham (I would never eat rice cakes for a meal, anyway, because they’re nothing but carbs!). But I was able to take everything I’ve learned about food and exercise and make good choices when I decided to go “off plan.”

Planning for the airport was great—there’s rarely any healthy food at the airport. There’s rarely food that anyone even likes to eat at the airport, so it wasn’t much of a sacrifice to bring my own. I packed my favorite protein bars, sunflower seeds, crackers and those Starkist Tuna Salad packs. I also packed a few M&Ms 100-calorie packs, because who doesn’t like a little candy when you’re traveling? All in all, the planning went well! I found that I wanted to splurge on breakfast, which wasn’t a horrible idea considering it gave me a good amount of calories to start my day. So breakfast came from a café at the airport. But the rest of the day, it was easy to depend upon the food I brought with me. They were foods that I liked and knew were balanced.

When I got to Pennsylvania, again, my planning paid off. I was able to eat pretty low-calorie for 2 meals of my day, then I usually made an exception out of dinner. I knew I wouldn’t want to try too hard on Easter, and I didn’t. I think Easter was the first holiday that I just let loose since losing all the weight. But it went well! Since my body is used to a specific amount of calories and has chemically normalized, I found that I would eat a big (and fatty) Easter lunch but wouldn’t be hungry again for 5 or 6 hours (I normally eat every 3 to 4 hours).

The road trip to Tennessee was another matter—my planning all went down the drain. I brought balanced snack foods with me on our trip, but wasn’t able to bring meals with me. If I thought eating well at the airport was difficult, eating well on the road is impossible! Once we got to Tennessee, I found I didn’t want to even try to eat well as I was visiting and sightseeing.

I have to say that I think the whole trip went well, but here’s the key to my success: this week, back at home, I’m back on my normal (or a little lower) calories range and healthy foods. The key during my weight loss and the key to my keeping it off will be my ability to bounce back from decisions—planned decisions and unplanned decisions—and jump right back into the eating I’ve established as normal.


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