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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Na, Na, Na, Na...

Hey, Hey, Hey...Goodbye...

So, when I was in Ottawa last week, my jeans were darn near falling off and it didn't look very attractive. I decided that since I was appearing in front of 300 of my colleagues I should buy a new pair because it just didn't look professional having a sagging rear end.

We didn't have much free time so during our lunch break we ran over to the Rideau Centre (which was conveniently connected to our hotel). I had no idea what size I would fit into. I picked out two pairs of Levi's in sizes that I thought I would have to lay down on the ground just to get them zipped up. I had planned to purchase a pair that was a bit too snug so I could wear them longer but I wanted to be able to at least breathe while wearing them.

To psych myself out, I started with the smallest pair (the ones that were four sizes smaller than what I was wearing). I figured by trying them on I would at least know how close I was to getting into them. You can imagine the look on my face when I put them on AND zipped them up without me having to shove myself into them. The best part was they were normally $75 but were on sale for only $23. I nearly pee'd myself with double excitement.

When I was trying to leave Ottawa the first time, I had to pack extra stuff in my luggage and was worried that my bag would be overweight. Turned out I was right. I shifted some things around and got it under the 50 pound limit but then my carry-on bag and backpack were weighing me down. I won't go into a rampage on why the heck it matters if you shift weight from your checked bags to your carry-on...the combined weight is still the same...anyway...that flight ended up being cancelled (after we were on the plane about 100 yards from the runway getting ready to take off...yeah...I won't go there...) and I had to stay another night in Ottawa so I took that opportunity to re-pack.

I asked one of my travel buddies from Denver if she could carry the 5 pound book that was given to us as a gift and ship it to me. I also took out some of the remaining food items I had shipped before I even got to Ottawa (which was at least another 3 pounds)...then I came across those jeans that were falling off! I didn't want to look at them EVER AGAIN so I stuffed them in the garbage can, stomped on 'em, sang "na, na, na,, na, na, na...hey, hey, hey...goodbye", and I left my pants in Ottawa!

I am traveling to Edmonton next week - I wonder what I can leave there...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Roadtrip Challenges

I recently got home from a 15 day working road trip and after putting in 20 hour days for a majority of this time, without a regular meal schedule, I was nervous to step on the scale when I got home. I was faced with some "funny" challenges and I discovered that habits are really hard to break.

When I took my first business trip for my current company 11 years ago, I was taught that when you travel for work you should eat really well (including dessert) because the company is paying for it. I had grown accustomed to this practice and would always look forward to my next trip because I would order things that I didn't have the luxury of eating at home.

Knowing I was going to be gone for two weeks, I had to be prepared. I shipped some food items before I left and carried a few things in my luggage including my little bowl and fork because I don't eat from a regular size plate anymore. It is easier to manage quantities with a pre-measured bowl and using a small cocktail fork helps me to take smaller bites. I even packed my lunch box so I could transport my meals to the office. After I arrived at my first destination, I had purchased some additional items at the local market to keep in my refrigerator in my hotel room. Needless to say, I was fully prepared with my own meals.

What I wasn't prepared for was the room service menu. I didn't realize until I was staring at it face-to-face that ordering room service was my "thing" when traveling. It was my "thing" to look over the menu when I checked into my room. I would carefully review each item and make my meal selections for however many nights I would be there.  Breakfast was always the meal I would spend the most time pondering because I never ate breakfast at home. I think I studied more breakfast menus than I have dinner or lunch in all my years of travel. Every night I would look forward to ordering my dinner AND dessert. I would also always order a pot of hot chocolate too. Again, this was my "thing".

So, there I was...sitting in my hotel room after I had checked in and I found myself staring at the room service menu out of nothing but pure habit. At that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks....I need a new "thing".

I managed to get through the first few days fairly well with eating my own meals but after working late one night (and a bit short on my daily protein intake) I decided that I couldn't be afraid of restaurant or room service menus. I knew that I would have to eventually face this anyway so I took the bull by the horns and ordered the healthiest thing on the menu...Grilled Atlantic Salmon. To be safe, I asked specifically for just the salmon and nothing else that came with it. Of course, they didn't listen and served the whole meal. Now...after eating out of a bowl that holds less than 1 cup of food, this plate looked GINORMOUS. I could only eat about 1/3 of the salmon before I was stuffed. Now, I was faced with a new challenge...being wasteful.  I remember thinking, "Geesh, this is going to be a long two weeks."

After being in one location for five nights, it was on to the next. I figured the new place would be easier to deal with because I knew I would be putting in long days and wouldn't be in my room for very long. Again, I had my refrigerator stocked with essentials (protein shakes, cheese, egg beaters, etc.) so I was fully prepared. What was the challenge this time you ask?? Working in a conference room on the bottom floor of the hotel and not being near my room to prepare my meals. I had to face the darn menu again.

To make a long story somewhat short, I got over it. I was very selective in my meals and got over my "being wasteful" challenge. I did eat well while I was away. I just ate very small portions and didn't have dessert or an entire pot of hot chocolate.  I enjoyed seared Ahi Tuna, grilled Halibut, grilled Atlantic Salmon, and grilled chicken. I even indulged in a Tim Horton's famous Double Double coffee.

I ate until I was satisfied and full (which wasn't very much at all) so I had no idea how many calories I was consuming.  It was driving me crazy. I knew that if I focused on eating mainly good protein and little or no carbs I would be okay. Not being able to weigh myself was driving me insane also and there just wasn't anything I could do about that. I had to tough that one out.

I couldn't wait to get home but at the same time I was very nervous about stepping on the scale. What if I didn't lose any weight at all or worse...what if I gained? There was no immediate joyous reunion with the Hubs or the Fam when I got home. I walked (more like ran) into the house while stipping off my clothes, emptied my bladder, took off my shoes and socks and stepped on my scale. I was prepared for the worst (a gain) but I discovered that I had lost nearly 6 pounds while I was away. I had stressed over nothing!

I learned a lot over the past two weeks. I went shopping during lunch one afternoon and learned that I am currently wearing jeans that are four sizes smaller than what I was wearing two months ago. I learned that you don't have to obsess over a restaurant menu and that it is okay to tell the waiter that you are on a special diet and don't want the sauce on your dishes (he won't give you crap and it is not announced over the loud speaker that you are a difficult/picky customer). I learned that a tall non-fat caramel macchiato from Starbucks only has 140 calories and it is okay to have one every now and again as long as you don't go crazy with it. More importantly, I learned that you have to take control of your habits and face your fears/challenges dead in the face in order to move past them. 

It's safe to say that I am ready for my next road trip.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Loss & A Gain

I went to my second post-op visit with my surgeon today. I was a bit worried because I have only lost seven pounds in the last three weeks and all of that came off in the past week and a half. Everyone hits a stall around the 2nd or 3rd week after surgery as your body adjusts. It was a good time for me to examine my diet and make some minor changes (like decreasing my carbs to less than 25 grams a day and increasing my water intake to 72-94 ounces a day). After I did that, the seven pounds just fell off bringing my total loss to date to 34.2 pounds.

Every appointment at my surgeons office starts with a visit to the scale room. Yes, a whole room just for the scale. The scale they have is amazing. It not only tells you the obvious (your weight), but also tells you how much body fat, excess fluid, and muscle you have.

As I sat in the room waiting for my doctor to come in I couldn't help but think she would be disappointed in my seven pound loss. When she came in, she had a big smile on her face and told me how great I was doing. I figured this was a standard statement for all patients so I gave her a half smile. She sat down and said "I know you are only seeing a seven pound loss on your scale at home what you cannot see is the fact that in the last three weeks you have actually lost 16 pounds of body fat and gained 9 pounds of muscle". She was still smiling and said I was doing awesome!

I left the office (wearing my favorite pair of Levi's from 2007 that I spoke about in my last blog) feeling like I was floating on a cloud. Here I had stressed about the scale not moving as quickly as I had wanted all the while my body was ridding itself of fat and bulking up my muscle. I'll never be mad at my scale least not for a while.

Speaking of my scale...

Starting Sunday afternoon, I will be traveling for a majority of the month for work and am a bit worried because...of all things...I won't have my trusty scale with me. I know this may sound silly to many of you but the scale has become my friend and I look forward to spending time with it every morning (even if it doesn't always tell me what I want to hear). I will have to wait a whole two weeks before I will see my friend again....sniff...
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