Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week 4: There and Back Again

Just as I got my routine down, my water intake up, and my pantry properly stocked, viola--time to travel. If ever there were a lifestyle-change threat, it is this: leaving the zone which has been designed to enhance the chances of success.

In leaving home, I had to travel 4.5 hours. I left my walking routine, my scale, my precious gallons of 0% milk, and mostly, just control over when and what I ate. Almost.

A first line of defense was put into place with a cooler: sparkling water, fruit, low-fat munchables were stored in the car to ward off low-blood sugar attacks. Thankfully, we were traveling through larger towns and so at the fast-food stores, all the menu items had nutrition information. I could stay on track and have a satisfying meal. A small sandwich and chips and a drink and and I didn't fall off the wagon.

We were traveling for a basketball tournament and that meant two things: staying with friends and sitting for long periods of time. Uncertainty and fear of failure loomed over my head. What will we eat? How will I move around?

What I didn't realize is that new locations can provide a variation on a theme, or in other words, all was not lost. Far from it, in fact. One of the marvelous advantages I had not calculated was that our lodging was within walking distance of the games. Each day, sometimes four times per day, we'd be walking for 20 minutes in the fresh air. Water and fruit were easily carried in a purse and the concession stands had some acceptable choices if we were stuck over a meal-time.

Our hosts provided sumptuous eats and with my handy pocket guide, I could eat well with portion control. If I wanted to splurge on a specialty pizza, I limited myself to a slice and added salad and a beverage; I was satisfied and didn't feel as if I was on a "diet". I even had desert! (Am I sounding like a Weight Watchers commercial or what?)

What I am learning and sharing with others is that even the smallest changes such as measuring portions or changing cheese varieties can give the body what it needs without having excess to store. Moreover, it gives me tools that I can use my whole life, not just to complete "week x".

Sure, there was the return trip where, when dining with my in-laws, that I buttered my roll and added full fat sour cream to my potato...these habits are hard to break. In recording them, however, I see where fat adds up and where it doesn't.

Next time, I'll probably go for salsa and skip the butter. It's all a process.

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