I left 3 pounds in California

San clemente
We just got back from 16 (!) days in Southern California, and the first thing I did this morning (after waking up way too late) was step on the scale.

I was down nearly 3 pounds from before we left.

Enjoy those extra 3 pounds, California, because they felt more like a ton off my backside, and my psyche.

Before we left I was feeling really discouraged about my weight-loss progress. It was basically going nowhere and I honestly didn't know what to do. Flying to California, I fired up the Kindle and finally finished reading the book Always Hungry, one of those books I really don't want to read because it's going to tell me I need to eat fewer carbs (remember, I am a petulant food baby). 

But I decided I was not going to be a petulant food baby anymore so I finished reading the book and was relieved that the book doesn't completely cut out carbs. The first couple weeks your macros are 25 percent carbs, 25 percent protein and 50 percent fat -- yes, half your diet is fat.

Lemme tell ya, getting to 50 percent fat is fun.

The hotel breakfast bar was a starchy carb nirvana, so I stuck with scrambled eggs and bacon with fruit until I couldn't take it any longer. Then we headed to a grocery store where I bought some whole-milk plain Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries, along with a bag of ground flax/chia. I made a "parfait" of sorts and had that for about half the breakfasts. Lunches and dinners were either some sort of big salad with lots of protein and healthy fat, or a protein main course with vegetables and a little starch. I made sure the meals were substantial enough so that I didn't need an afternoon snack and I stuck to water, unsweetened iced tea and coffee.

Don't get me wrong -- it wasn't all grilled chicken and plain yogurt. While we were there I enjoyed, among the goodies:

  • Lettuce wrapped cheeseburgerA chocolate-covered frozen banana
  • An In-N-Out burger and fries (lettuce wrapped the burger)
  • A glass of wine
  • A fancy mint-cucumber cocktail
  • A strawberry lemonade Arnold Palmer made with real lemonade, not that diet stuff
  • Tacos
  • Strawberry-lemonade cheesecake pie
  • A big ol' bowl of ramen (very trendy over there)

True food kale saladBut that wasn't every day. I really and truly enjoy eating healthy food, so I tried my darndest to find the healthiest things on the menu -- one of which was this fantastic kale salad at True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica. I am so psyched that one is coming to Sunrise next year.

(Here's the recipe for the salad, without the chicken.)

I didn't feel restricted or like I was "on a diet" at all. The food was great, we did a lot of walking and I came back 3 pounds lighter and stronger in my resolve to finish the job.

I know I'm focusing on weight loss and food, but that's not what I focused on while we were there. I just wanted you to know that you can enjoy yourself while on vacation and even indulge now and then without dreading the scale once you get home.