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July 2013

Vacation weight loss is staying off, and then some

I know I don't do my weigh-ins until Friday, but I was getting a little concerned that the vacation weight loss might be coming undone, what with the return to home and my late-night ways, so I just weighed myself:

Ladies and gents, we're back to PRE-BABY WEIGHT again, for the first time in a couple of years.

Another pound and a half since last Friday.

Now that I know I'm still on track, I feel even better about STAYING on track.

My post-Fitbloggin’ lament and love letter

 At the first Fitbloggin’ in 2010 I was 250. In 2011 and 2012 I was in the 240s. This year I was in the 230s.

Progress, yes, but GLACIAL.

Inconvenient truth
Not at goal: My inconvenient truth.

(Actually, the glaciers are probably melting quicker than my saddlebags, with climate change and all.)

While the weight loss has been slow, this sister has been shrinking and, yes, I was smaller than I was last year. But while I heard a few “You look greats,” all I could think was “yeah, but…”

I’m not there yet.

Where is “there”? I used to think it was 150 pounds, but really, all I want to do is get below 200 right now (like RIGHT. NOW). Last time I was, I was a size 12.

That has been my Fitbloggin’ lament year after year – I want to be one of those inspirational success-story bloggers, not one of the strugglers on their “weight loss journey.”

Ugh, how I hate that phrase. Margo of Nacho Mama’s Blog and I share the same view of that phrase. Instead of a journey, which could go on for-freakin-ever, we refer to it as a weight-loss project. Projects have end points and project managers and I am going to project-manage the heck out of this one right now because my deadline is next June for Fitbloggin’ 14.

OK, that’s the lament – now the love letter.

Fitbloggin13 collage
The people: Kymberly and Alexandra, and Susan, and Roni, and Heather, and Sharla -- you guys are the best.

Year after year, Fitbloggin’ never fails to fill me with joy. The people, the discussions, the workouts – it’s like a battery recharge for my soul. And this year my motivation battery seemed to get recharged, too. I took part in a lot of great sessions and discussions that gave me new tools and sharpened the old tools.

So I wasn’t “there” at this Fitbloggin’ but, and I’m putting this out there in the universe …



That’s the sound of my proclamation hitting the universe.

As of this weekend, I’m only 37 pounds from that particular goal, which makes me giddy with hope.

One thing I noticed while we were on vacation (and what I notice every vacation) is that I lose weight away from home, and I need to take that vacation vibe and use it at home.

  • Perhaps I should replace the full-size refrigerator in my kitchen with a tiny mini fridge stuffed with expensive booze and sodas?
  • I could put outrageous price tags on all the food in my pantry, just like the hotel room. ($10 for a handful of almonds? No thank you!)
  • I could ditch the car and walk everywhere. (But, alas, we live in the ‘burbs and there’s not much to walk to.)
  • I could plop into bed at a reasonable hour, exhausted after a fun and productive day. (Now that I can do; perhaps I should retire my night-owl ways.)

So you heard me, universe. I will be THERE.

The yin and yang of eating on vacation, or ‘Yay me!’

Sorry for the late post today. We spent the day doing exciting things like getting me new tires (I’m  HORRIBLE at maintaining my tires), grocery shopping and celebrating the teenager’s birthday (15! How’d that happen so soon?).

But I did get on the scale this morning, gleefully, I might add, because I knew this would happen:

I nearly always lose weight on vacation. I think it has to do with lots of walking, lack of boredom, no late-night kitchen to call to me, and a laserlike focus on balancing healthy choices with little indulgences here and there.

That means if a restaurant has excellent fried calamari, we split an appetizer three ways and I order a veggie-egg white omelet. Or if we want to check out a boutique ice cream parlor we go there FOR dinner instead of AFTER dinner.

EAT ALL THE VEGETABLESI also seek out what I call “vacation vegetables.”

No, these are not tourists on lounge chairs. 

I make sure that every chance I can, I find some vegetables or fruit to cram into a meal. It's very easy to go an entire day with nary a bit of greenery when traveling. Salads, veggie-packed omelets, extra vegetables on subs, fresh fruit -- I look for them all. It greatly helps balance out the carby, meaty, saucy stuff. 

This may seem a bit food-obsessive, but what follows are some culinary stops along the way of our trip to the Pacific Northwest with my reasoning behind my choices. Maybe it'll help you find that happy balance between egg whites and ice cream.


Diy nori rolls
A DIY nori roll with edamame, sticky rice and nori sheets at Cafe Yumm in Portland. I skipped the sauce and kept it clean.

Diy nori rolls
A banh mi from a Vietnamese food cart in Portland. I got extra cilantro, which didn't add a load of veg but it's high in micronutrients, and I love the stuff.

Diy nori rolls
A few of us popped into a sushi place in Portland. I had already eaten dinner, but there's always room for a seaweed nightcap! (I kinda have a thing for seaweed.)

Loaded quiznos
Road tripping to the mountains, we stopped at a Quiznos and I loaded up a small turkey sub with every vegetable they offered.

Loaded quiznos
The cool thing about this pulled pork and slaw sandwich at the Urban Farmer restaurant in the Nines Hotel was that it was "happy hour" sized. Perfect little, toddler-sized gem of a sandwich, which I paired with a chilled white gazpacho-type soup.

Loaded quiznos
The Portland Penny Diner has a really creative selection of breakfast sandwiches. This one is the Hipster, which features egg, pepperjack cheese, tomato and hazelnut romesco sauce. The sandwiches were so good that I was pleasantly full before I could finish it, so I didn't. That's the great thing about eating real food; a little goes a long way.

Loaded quiznos
Across from Pike Place Market in Seattle, we found Tom Douglas' Rub With Love Shack, where I ordered a barbecued chicken sandwich topped with a vinegary slaw.

Loaded quiznos
Nope -- no vegetables to be found here. But I really wanted to try Portland's Salt & Straw ice cream shop, so we went there for dinner. I got a scoop of Stumptown Coffee and Burnside Bourbon, and a scoop of Sea Salt Ice Cream With Caramel Ribbon. Indulgent? Sure, but I figured we saved hundreds of calories by skipping the meal and cutting right to dessert.


Happy fitbitYes, we did more than eat our way through Washington and Oregon. We walked a lot, even getting in a 2-hour hike, which seemed like it was uphill all the way. 

The centerpiece of the trip, for me at least, was the fourth annual Fitbloggin' conference, which involved daily workouts, sometimes more than a couple. I walked, Zumbaed, danced, got my butt kicked by a Total Gym, and pounded the pavement in nearly 100-degree heat (Portland? What was up with that?).

What I'm trying to say is it's all about balance, balance, balance. The celery and the ice cream. The gin and tonics and the ice water. The doughnut samples and the 5K's. The bacon and the ... bacon. (Oh, hell, that hotel bacon was good.)

But I had two slices of bacon, not a plateful. I didn't beat myself up about anything; I made sure I logged everything in My Fitness Pal and checked my Fitbit throughout the day. 

And it all worked out splendidly.