Saturday, September 03, 2011
I was nervous about going on my Alaska cruise. I didn’t want to gain weight, but I also wanted to enjoy myself. I read a helpful thread on Sparkpeople that gave me some wise tips which I used, coupled with a few of my own ideas. I was mentally prepared to gain up to three pounds and when I got home and got on the scale five days later I was down a pound! I had been one a few cruises before and despite my best efforts always gained weight – 6-8 pounds. So what was different this time?
1.) I mentally prepared myself and wrote myself a mantra for reflection the week before I left. “Enjoy this day and use the beauty of what I am seeing to be mindful. I will not be a glutton , but I will focus on pure enjoyment. I will not allow myself for feel denied and will be fully in each moment.”
2.) I pulled tactics from sparkers – Use the stairs not the elevator, drink water, and be careful of alcohol consumption as it is the gateway “drug” to excessive eating. Be as active as possible. At dinner don’t pick something from every course, if you have an appetizer don’t have dessert.
3.) I used my own tactics – Skimming – where I look at the plate and think, what can I eliminate from this meal that I will not miss. And “Half-sies” where I take something I really want but cut it in half ( lasagna –yum.) And most days no dessert, just a bite of whatever looked great from my kids or husband’s dessert.
4.) On travel day, I was on full spark, packing lunch and snacks so I would have one less day “off the grid.”
I wanted to treat myself (this was my one and only Alaska vacation after all) so I did have a number of things but was very mindful of what I took in. But let me tell you, I treated myself! Over the course of that week, I had three margaritas, wine and bread and butter at dinner every night, pancakes and bacon one morning for breakfast (egg whites with dry toast the other days – but the toast itself was a treat for me), one lemon tart ( which I told myself, if it showed up on the menu I would get one and eat the whole thing), One ice cream cone and even a hamburger and fries one day. But each of those indulgences was a choice, and every bite was enjoyed and I felt no guilt! When I wasn’t indulging, I was trying to make the best choice of the options available ( which btw wasn’t always the one on the “spa” menu) and I did not eat any crap ( candy etc.) when the kids did.
But still, that’s a lot of bonus calories for one week, and I still lost a pound.
I did something else that I never had done on a cruise before, and that is to be as active as possible. I only sat at the pool drinking margaritas one day – not seven. Instead throughout the week I did “stuff” – a 3 mile walk on the deck, a tai chi class, a four mile bike and two mile hike, an abs class (that was a mistake – can you say tourture chamber) and one hour on the treadmill. And we WALKED as much as we could on days in port. Another thing I did that I had never done before was to jump back “on the grid” (that’s my phrase of when I am logging in and logging what I eat) the DAY I GOT BACK. I didn’t wait a couple of days. I took off Monday morning to go to the grocery store and get some healthy food in the house and I logged into Sparkpeople the day I got home.
One of the things I have learned at Sparkpeople has been about the power of incremental change, so as a part of my planning, I knew I a key was to minimize the days I was off the grid.
I was going to wait a week before I got on the scale, that was a big tip from the thread – you eat so much more salt, and have water weight – but on Wednesday I went to my trainer who told me, “you are looking lean” and that gave me the courage to step on only four days after the cruise and voila’ – a pound down (actually .8 pound) which brought me to 10 pounds even. ( that’s 30% to goal for me.)
And even though I have been a member since 2009, I only became active in the community a few months ago and I credit all my spark pals for getting me through this and to stay on track, so a big THANK YOU to all of you.