Vacation Mode /Off

After 9 days away from home (what a grand trip!) and another 5 at home with neither of us working, I now have to face my not-so-daily routine while the spousal-type goes back to her demanding work. The good news, eating becomes more structured. The bad news, I really enjoyed having zero demands except those placed on us by the pets and our own expectation of not being totally worthless to the rest of the world — adios until next vacation.

Here is my reflection so far of how eating out and at home in a less structure manner went during that time:

  • Travel days were the most difficult. While protein bars might work for many folks, they are triggering to my “sweet lobe”. I did resort to using the new Cliffs Builders Bars, which have a higher protein:carb but still experienced cravings that had me throwing bars across the room in our hotel one night.
  • An unexpected long travel day (13 hours instead of 5) left us “stranded” with only airport food. Really poor choices in most airports when trying to keep low calories and balanced protein/carb/fat. That day I totally blew it – probably more from stress of trying to get home and dealing with the airline than lack of appropriate food. God knows I have enough fat stores to let me fast for 13 hours!
  • Eating in NYC without going to restaurants is completely doable, and we did it this time. Our focus this trip was culture and movement. By selecting a hotel in a wonderful neighborhood near a well-known market and having a kitchenette, we were able to choose wisely. I did get one bagel with nova lox and cream cheese – but only one! We shared a piece of cheese cake, but only one. Fruit, low-fat cheese, deli meats, salads made up most of our meals and presented nicely on our hotel room plates.
  • Writing (even a couple of brief blog entries) was a good distraction and zapped me out of some mindless eating one night, even though what I was eating was healthy. Mindless eating remains a major hurdle for me.
  • Walking! We walked everywhere; the subway was our only form of local transportation in NYC besides the limo to and from the airport; my knee was not that much a problem — what’s a little Tylenol and ice pack every night? My favorite walk was a 2-mile stroll from Brooklyn across the bridge back into Manhattan with hundreds of other tourists and locals on their lunch-time runs and bike rides.  I consider eating tied to my eating routine, so it fits here.
  • Once home but still on vacation, we were both reluctant to eat in our usual routine, and for the first 3 days I munched around on almonds, yogurt, salads, but at off hours. This felt a bit out of control. I also did not keep track of my intake – very much out control. Two days ago I snapped back into sleeping and eating in my usual pattern, monitoring my food, and reconnecting on blogs. Routines are VERY IMPORTANT – make that structure.
  • I lost one pound.

I’m still trying to figure out what all of this means for my next trip coming up in June when I have to spend time with my family for 2 weeks during my father’s surgery, recuperation, and caring for my mom and him. Just anticipating that visit makes me cringe because of the perceived threat to my weight loss and eating pattern. Planning ahead…

Times Square candy store

Candy everywhere!

Huge m&m on times square screen
Chocolate follows me to Broadway!
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4 thoughts on “Vacation Mode /Off

  1. Considering the temptations and challenges, sounds like you did a great job! I buy South Beach protein bars for when I travel. Not too many calories with little sugar and reasonable fiber and protein. But I also have trouble with them. I have resorted to now only buying the flavor that is least dessert-like to me. Sigh. But I am more likely to overeat them at home than on a trip. And there are some brands/flavors that I had to banish entirely. Too yummy.

    • I will definitely check out the South Beach bars for my next trip – thanks for the tip because I need something in reserve.

  2. Congrats on the pound loss -doing that on vacation is a True Accomplishment, and I notice it pushed you past a milestone to boot!

    I don’t use the bars but I do try to have nuts & other healthy snacks with me for when I travel. For me the bars are too processed & too close to candy (too much sugar!) so I avoid them completely, the same way I avoid all sweet drinks (juice, soda, etc).

    I’m impressed & a little awed by the idea of having a no-eating-out New York vacation, but was pleased you showed a human side by having a bagel & part of a slice of cheesecake. I personally would also have to have a good pastrami sandwich in order to make it out of NYC without regret…

    When I came back from vacation I had a hard time finding my way back to routine too.

    • Regarding a pastrami sandwich… Several times I stopped outside deli’s and asked myself how much did I want one (I absolutely drool over a good pastrami on rye). We even considered going across town to a deli the concierge recommended. In the end, I decided that all the past sandwiches still hanging on my body would have to do because I just didn’t crave one this trip. Also, we hadn’t planned to not eat out, we just were so busy that when it came time to eat I made myself stop and ask, “Do I really, really want to eat here or go where I know I have control over what is available.” This was an amazing change because just a few years ago we NEVER at home. I mean NEVER.

      Now if Anthony Bourdain wanted to take me on a culinary tour of NYC, don’t think I would pass that up!

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