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Big drop after 'mixing it up' while traveling

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Twice since I started watching my calorie balance carefully I have traveled, mixed things up in terms of food and exercise, and found that despite a gain on my first day back I had a BIG loss for the next week overall. Very, very interesting AND encouraging. Both times I overate on multiple days but didn't go all that overboard for the entire week.

One week I was on a 1 1/2 pound per week loss budget and went over by 3500 calories (so still under maintenance calories). I lost 0.8 pounds overall but had gained 3.5 pounds while traveling (which shows how much I had lost before that 3 day weekend!). Then I lost all I gained and a couple more pounds the following week and just kept going at over the 1.5 pounds predicted for a good stretch of time.

The other week I was on a 1/2 a pound per week budget and went over by 2000 calories (so basically at maintenance). I gained less than a pound (gone for 6 days) and lost it and 3 more (plus anything I might lose before tomorrow's weigh-in) upon my return. Way over the 0.5 pounds I'm shooting for.

In both cases I over ate some days but tried to be reasonable other days of the week. I both cases I was away from my home gym so had to get my activity in in ways that were non-traditional for me. I don't know if it's the food/calorie changes or the activity changes or both but I've read (somewhere!) about 'needing' to take weeks off from training (and maybe from strict food plans) to keep your loss going and I'm seeing it is true for me.

Soon I leave for a 2 week vacation. It will be an active vacation because this 2 week vacation is a family tradition and, save last year when I was injured, it is always our most active of the year. But it will not be gym-based activity. In fact, I've decided NOT to even look into a pass to a local gym. I've printed 4 sparkpeople workouts using body weight and resistance bands and bought a HRM hoping to do a bunch of walking and hiking (and *maybe* some jogging... I don't know, I have never once enjoyed running). Food will be a mix-up of our usual fare (cooked at the cottage) and eating out (I've got a list of 25 well-reviewed restaurants and I *will* be splurging!). I'm not sure I can pull off another 'kick-start' so close to the last one but even if I come home and my 1-wk post-vacation weigh in shows no gain I will be a happy camper (well, cottage-r LOL!).

Anyone else have stories to share about the impact of a vacation (be it traveling or just a break from the usual at home) on your weight loss journey? I'm so very curious because it's been over 15 years since I've been in the habit of taking a vacation and returning home and stepping right back into my usual routines and maintaining my weight long term.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOONSTORMER 8/8/2011 12:17AM

    they say that mixing up the food intake gives your body a shock - when you eat low cal for a long time your body learns to maintain with that amount... when you boost the calorie intake, it 'forgets' again. that's actually why the recommend a cheat/binge day - it keeps your body guessing.

congrats on the weight loss and enjoy the active holiday!

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What's the secret? What in the world is the secret? People ask. I don't know!

Friday, August 05, 2011

A while ago I added a signature - 'There is no secret. Eat less. Move more. Love yourself.' And I still believe that but is there more? Is there another ingredient in the mix? Can ANYONE who loves themselves eat less, move more, and see the change they desire? I'm just not sure and I've been thinking about it a lot.

Today I came across this picture:

And it got me thinking... Yes, I was finally loving myself, accepting my body, and I've known how to eat and that exercise was important for years... but those things weren't TOTALLY new when I began this journey. What was new was physical brokenness and accompanying emotional despair. I'd spent 6 months out of commission - sometimes able to do nothing more than sit absolutely still with my arm elevated and on ice - coping with a complex arm injury and not doing a whole lot more than whatever it took to cope with the neuropathy and pain caused by the set of injuries. I was probably more miserable than I'd ever been in my life. It's a close as I've been to rock bottom. It really had NOTHING to do with my weight except that all that sitting around and depending on someone else to cook most of my meals had brought me to my highest weight ever. When I saw that number after spending a much-anticipated vacation physically side-lined it was like something broke inside of me... broke in a good way.... like a trapped animal breaking free of the trap. I started carefully watching what I ate and I went back to the orthopedic surgeon and told him I had to get better so I could join the gym and I went to the physical therapist and told him I had to get better so I could join the gym. AND I DID IT. I had relapses, one of them quite prolonged, but I persevered and my arm did get better and I joined the gym and the rest, as they say, is history.

It's taken me almost a year to begin to admit how miserable I was. I coped by being as matter of fact as I could about the injury. But I was much more than physically hurt by what I went through. It leads me to believe that the mental aspects of weight loss are as important as eating less and moving more and that in addition to loving yourself you may need to face some sort of crisis that makes you stand up and say 'I will NOT let this break me!'. Soon I will return to the same cottage we vacationed in last year, when I couldn't even walk along the beach without my forearm going numb and horrible pain shooting from my elbow up and down my arm. This year I am 40 pounds lighter, stronger than ever, and I can NOT wait to walk through that door a STRONG woman, run down that beach, climb those rocks, proclaim in every way that I am anything but broken.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    It's the accomplishments that we feel after losing so much. But sticking with it is what we have to do. That is what I have done, and I will keep on!

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5KIDS4MEJESS 8/8/2011 3:38PM

    I think that the mental aspect of weight loss is the most important, otherwise nothing gets done. When someone decides to do something is when it gets done, not before, unfortunately for all of those who have to sit on the sidelines and hope that change comes before it's too late. I'm so happy that you got that motivation for yourself and made that change. I hope you have a blast running on that beach emoticon emoticon

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    Very powerful! Congrats to you on all your progress!!

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PIXIESTIX6669 8/5/2011 7:15PM

    Get DOWN with your bad self!! Great blog! Great job! You ARE AWESOME!! And it totally shows!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    emoticon blog and I'm so glad your healed and healthy!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EVELYN5877 8/5/2011 5:35PM

    It took being given tablets for depression, that made me feel truly awful, to teach me to value my mental fortitude, and good physical condition. They only lasted for ten days before I decided to stop taking them. As I improved I had an epiphany, I will never let me do that to myself again!

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I've lost 40 pounds!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

This morning's weigh-in was 135.8. I haven't seen 135 in any form since before I got pregnant with my firstborn in February 1998. That makes for a 40 pound loss for me :-) I also saw my lowest-yet body fat reading with my handheld unit - 23.5%. It's a happy happy day :-)

Unfortunately, I continue to lose muscle along with fat. I guess I need to have a sit down with my trainer after the kids go back to school and have a serious discussion of how to stop that. I know he doesn't think I should bulk up but maybe I haven't gotten through to him that I want this muscle LOSS to stop. I'm willing to make changes at the gym. I willing to eat more. But I'm not willing to tweak too much when it comes to what I'm eating. I'll change pre- and/or post- workout snacks which I look at as fuel for my body but I'm not messing with my meals. I want real (whole, clean, yummy) food for those.

I know I've worked hard. I know I've been dedicated and consistent. I know I deserve this success. BUT I am still in awe of this success. I have worked hard at dieting before and never had a body like this. I don't just mean how it looks either. The ways I can move now are incredible. I am more flexible at 40 than I have ever been in my adult life. I LOVE LOVE LOVE what working out has done for me.

I have more to accomplish but, honestly, if I hit a wall and my body told me that losing more fat would be a bad idea (ie, if I stopped cycling) I would be totally happy to maintain this weight/body fat and see how everything pans out as my skin shrinks down to fit what's left underneath it.

I maintained at 20-22 pounds less than this for years but I don't think I have ever been this happy with my body. EVER.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

5KIDS4MEJESS 8/8/2011 3:34PM

    I'm so happy for you, I can definitely feel your euphoria through this postand I know exactly how it feels. You are awesome!! emoticon

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    WOHOO!!! Way to go!!!
I concur with what you are saying. I think our bodies are very similar:)
Hope you have a great weekend!

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GRACIE4ONE 8/4/2011 10:33AM

    So proud of u! You are inspiration in motion!

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FROGGERHKC 8/4/2011 10:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISTERBALDY 8/4/2011 10:10AM

    Great to hear about your success.

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MOONSTORMER 8/4/2011 6:55AM

    wow! that is wonderful! emoticon

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HARTKITTY 8/4/2011 6:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
That is wonderful and you are an inspiration

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DFWHEATLEY 8/4/2011 6:51AM

  emoticon emoticon

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August Goals

Monday, August 01, 2011

1. Lose 4 more pounds. From the top of my bouncing around range this week, that will put me at 140 which is my first big goal.
~~~~~ I did this and have maintained +/- for 2 weeks now. I am currently just over 138 pounds.

2. Monitor %BF in the AM at least every other day. (I no longer think I need to have data every day.)
~~~~~I did this, save the week we were on vacation, and now have some decent data. Enough to know that once a week is probably fine so long as I do it on a 'good' day - a day I am properly hydrated.

3. Continue to work out 5 times a week, even when traveling. I may not hit the gym but I want to do something that makes me sweat!
~~~~~I did this, save the week we were on vacation. That week did 30' on the elliptical one day, a LOT of walking (I'm guessing well over 5 miles) the next, 6K+ of mountain hiking Wednesday, 6K+ of mountain hiking Thursday, then had a sick child Friday and didn't make up for the missed day on my usual weekend (rest) days.

4. Continue to not waste items from the CSA.
~~~~~This just isn't going to happen. It's just too much for our family and the next smaller one is just not enough. I will accept that there WILL be weeks that not everything gets used. I am getting better at leaving things on the swap table that I just know we won't use that week (like collard greens week after week).

** Lowering my % body fat was not part of my June goals but I *have* reduced it by about 2% to 25.5%. Very happy to see progress there! I hope that in August I won't be concerned so much with how much I weigh and will be, instead, working on my first body fat goal - 24%. (The top of the 'fit' range.)
~~~~~I did not set a body fat goal in July but I've had 24% or less on all my readings for over a week now. If I'm still there at the end of the week, I'll claim victory :-)

1. Maintain at 140.0 or below, EVEN INCLUDING VACATION.
2. Drop body fat from approximately 24% to approximately 23%. I'd be happy to be having consistent readings in the 22.5-23.5% range at the end of the month. A smaller drop than in past months because of VACATION.
3. Take the scale and the body fat monitor on VACATION to keep me accountable to myself.
4. Work out for a minimum of 30' EVERY DAY on our next VACATION. Even if I have to take off by myself because there is no other option. Get moving, get sweating, and don't feel embarrassed or like a pain for needing to do this for MYSELF.
5. Vanquish the guilt I feel for NEEDING healthy food to eat and time for exercise when my husband just wants to eat other food and sit around. If he needs THAT and I need THIS, we will just have to deal with the fact that there will be times I am off doing my own thing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

5KIDS4MEJESS 8/8/2011 3:31PM

    I love #5, it's something I struggle with ALOT with my family, and it was very hard for me to stop apologizing for wanting everyone to be healthy.

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MOONSTORMER 8/2/2011 12:12AM

    love the goals! definitely need to do this for yourself - you are the only one who has to live inside your body.

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Vacation Wrap-Up

Monday, August 01, 2011

I think I maintained this new lifestyle pretty well on vacation! I went into it with the mindset that I wanted to eat ONLY what I truly WANTED to eat and drink what I wanted to drink and be active.

Eating - was not as easy as I would have expected. We stayed places with free breakfast. Um, yeah, free carb-o-riffic breakfast. Seriously no protein to be found unless I wanted peanut butter on bread. Made my own breakfast a few days, made do with protein bars/fruit/coffee on others. Lunch was OK if we made it to a grocery store to get lunch. Picnic lunches are a awesome way to eat healthy on vacation - fruit, veggies, deli meat and cheeses. Score. Dinner was very touch and go. Restaurant meals are hard enough, toss in a bit of a language issue (we were in Quebec), a bit of a culture issue, and a total lack of nutritional info (no chain restaurants) and it was difficult to navigate. Night one awesome greek salad with grilled chicken. High in fat, sure, but good fat. Delicious meal. Night two was an Italian disaster. NOTHING on the menu didn't come with pasta so I did lamb chops and pesto pasta with salad bar. Salad bar was seriously a selection of premade fatty salads. Whoever heard of that? I couldn't MAKE a healthy salad, just choose from pre made salads. My lamb chops were crusted with something very high fat and well-done (who the hell does that to a beautiful lamb chop?), pasta was way overcooked, pesto was very very oily. My stomach was very NOT happy. Night three another disaster. I wanted pizza. Splurge, yes, but planned and much wanted and something, I thought, the family would like since we don't do pizza much anymore. CRAP pizza. Truly horrible. Definitely within my calorie budget (unexpectedly) but HORRIBLE. Night four was the best meal out because we made reservations at the 2nd best restaurant in Mont Tremblant according to tripadvisor. Delicious goat cheese salad, Nagano pork loin chop for dinner, trio of creme brulee for desert. Unfortunately it also came out to $50PP!!! Night 5 I cooked back at the hotel - crudite and olives, crusty bread with EVOO and balsamic, mustard-sauced Nagano pork loin chops, heirloom carrots and haricot vert in EVOO and garlic herb butter, baked potatoes, wine, and chocolate sorbet. Delicious, if I may say so myself. And so NOT $50PP. Night 6 Texas Roadhouse on the way home. I got my favorite - country fried chicken with a house salad and sweet potato w/ cinnamon. Stopped at 1/2 of the chicken and 1/2 of the potato but still had a bit of an off stomach from the grease. Guess I need to find a new favorite.

Drinking - Eh, I stuck with no more than 1 beer per day (it makes me bloat but I love it) and all the wine I desired. To me freedom to imbibe is part of 'vacation'. I need to eat healthily to feel well so no 'vacation' from that but I enjoy good beer and wine and most definitely will enjoy them MORE on vacation :-) I haven't had so much wine since February. Hahahah.

Activity - I think I did pretty well. We were gone 6 days and I feel like I got a decent level of activity on 3. I used an elliptical for 1/2 hour on day 1 (until I killed my itouch - I think it got too hot and fried - major bummer and major thanks to DH for not batting an eye when I replaced it with a shuffle when we got home and I couldn't even get itunes to see the itouch). Hiked over 6K (mountain hiking) on day 3 and again on day 4. I brought my resistance bands but the night I hoped to use them (day 5) or do my BW workout, I found out that the bag with my workouts was in the parking garage in the car and I just didn't feel like going out for it at that point.

Results - I came home a few pounds above where I left (weighing clothed after dinner), next morning I was less than 1 pound up all told, today I'm actually below my weigh-in the morning we left and still on track to hit my ultimate goal by the end of the year. Right before we left I got my first body fat measurement under 24% and it remains there so I'll claim victory over that goal at the end of the week if it stays there when I'm at normal hydration.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

5KIDS4MEJESS 8/1/2011 9:06AM

    Sounds like quite the gastric adventure lol. I'm glad you did so well though, it gives me inspiration for our upcoming vacation at the Shore. Thanks for the great tips on picnics and grocery stores. I'll be sure to make a grocery store run the second we get settled into the house because your blog just reminded me exactly how bad restaurant food can get lol. Yay for getting in a good amount of exercise and coming back within a pound or so of where you were when you left!! Sounds like you guys had a good time :-) emoticon

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