My family has been very supportive about this process, and just as much in person as they have long-distance. My sister called before the trip to find out what she could do to help while I was staying at her home. My father picked me up at the airport and took me straight to a Trader Joe's all the way across town (in the opposite direction of my sister's house) so that I could pick up a few staples that I always use.
It's a house with five kids between the ages of 9 and 18, so naturally, there were things around the house that I don't usually keep around - sausage, chips, sugared cereal, for instance. But my sister's household is a very healthy one, so there was plenty of very nourishing food to choose from.
I had no problems on Friday, and I was fine on Saturday until the late-night hours. The jet lag played wacky with my eating schedule, and by the time midnight hit and everyone had gone to bed, my stomach started to tell me that it was dinnertime. Technically, it was. We frequently eat at 9pm following a Slimmons class. But I had eaten dinner already at 6pm (or 3pm for my stomach.) I ended up eating an extra sandwich, upping my daily calories to 1800, which was 400 over my goal.
But then came Sunday. I was feeling a little blue - a mix of genuinely being affected by an emotional show, plus nostalgia for my own high school theater days, and the realization that what was once my little nephew is now a fully-grown young man, about to head off on his own. How quickly life passes.
At the airport, I didn't have a lot of time to hunt for healthy fare. I chose a sit-down restaurant (usually choices are more plentiful there) and chose a grilled chicken sandwich with green beans. It turned out to be an unhealthy club-style sandwich, which I was disappointed about. But I was running out of time, so I ate it. And still hungry, I ate a scone, too.
By the time I got home, it was 9pm. You guessed it, "dinnertime." Again my stomach sent urgent growling messages to my brain, "this is when we eat." I was at 50% of the HALT warning signs: pretty tired, and pretty hungry. So I ate a protein wrap. Bringing my daily calories to... I wince to say it... 2400.
For some people, 2400 isn't so bad. For me... my metabolism just can't handle it. So, as I said, I expected a gain this week. But due to the on-target eating 5 of the 7 days, and exercise 7 of the 7 days, it turns out I've still lost 5 ounces. Which, while not as much as I'm capable of, is still movement in the right direction.
I made some mistakes I could have nipped in the bud, and while I'm not dwelling heavily on them, I want to write them out here, and try to learn from them.
- Keep up whatever counting method you use. I didn't, so I was eating blindly for four days. I wasn't clear on just how off my Sunday totals were until I counted on Monday.
- Pack food for the airport (or any major time you'll be away from the kitchen without having selected something from the menu.) It helps shield from temptation and the guessing game which is restaurant nutrition.
- If you're about to eat when feeling emotional - even if you want to numb it up so you can walk through the airport without sniffling - call your supporters. They will listen to you talk until you realize that the real reason you want that scone is that you're feeling blue.
But because I drifted away from prompt food logging, I'm going to do something new for a week. Each day while blogging, I will include the previous day's food log. I'm accountable for myself, but doing this in front of all of you, I feel doubly accountable. So here is the first in a series of seven:
Monday 4/18/11 - total 1405 calories
Breakfast: 1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup honey oat crunch
Lunch: 1.5 cups steamed broccoli with lemon juice, 1 samosa-stuffed baked potato, 2 tb fat free sour cream, 6 scallops, 1/2 banana
Afternoon snack: 3 small carrots, 1 tb honey mustard, 1 light string cheese
Dinner: 1.5 cups roasted beets & orange salad, 1 wrap sandwich (low-carb tortilla, 1 tsp veganaise, 2 cherry tomatoes, 2 oz grilled chicken, 1 oz brie)
Beverages: 42 oz water, 8 oz skim milk
Wishing you all a healthy and productive week!