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Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Survived Walt Disney World...

...on a diet (and lost two pounds to boot).

The Hubs and I went to Walt Disney World in Orlando for six nights/seven days. This trip was my Christmas gift to him last year and was booked two months before I knew I was going to have surgery. I did not think about food options until it was time to make our dining reservations just a month after surgery (Disney lets you make reservations as early as 180 days ahead so you can ensure you eat where you want). When I booked the trip, they were offering the FREE dining plan, which allowed us a quick-service meal, table service meal and snack per person for every night of our stay. Each meal included an entrée, non-alcoholic beverage and dessert (I added up all of the receipts and we saved $615 with this free plan).

Now, I am not going to sit here and lie to you and tell you that I was not looking forward to eating all that delicious food when I booked the trip. Disney has some amazing dining options and I was looking forward to devouring every meal (especially the desserts). After my surgery, knowing I would not be able to consume much, I was looking forward to "just a taste". I knew the Hubs would be eating well on this trip because he would have the opportunity to finish what was left on my plate.

Since we could not make reservations until after my surgery, I carefully reviewed every menu Disney has posted on their website. They do not provide the nutritional values of their meals so I had to plan carefully. Of course, all my planning went to crap when I was face-to-face with the actual menu. Despite the arguments I had with my nose (the brain and the nose are best friends in an evil sort of way), I made good choices in my entree selections. Dessert was another battle - I decided that since we were on vacation, I would allow myself to divulge in a few bites (and I did just that...a few bites). It all goes back to the balance topic I wrote about a few months ago. We, as weight-loss surgery patients, have to learn how to live in the real world of dining out without losing control. 

Knowing the weather was going to be hot and humid, I was prepared with my water bottle. To save money on buying water, I brought along a supply of Crystal Light On-the-Go Packets and used the water fountains to refill my own bottle. Surprisingly, the water fountain water at Walt Disney World is nearly ice cold and tastes good (I won't comment on the horrible water at Disneyland). A little tip for all you water drinkers...every restaurant at Disney World must provide you a cup of ice water at no charge.

I got in TONS of expexted because we walked...and walked...and walked some more. This actually gave me an idea for a Disney Wellness Program for guests. My idea is - for a low nominal fee, guests can purchase an add-on wellness package that includes a pedometer for tracking how many steps/miles you walked each day, a water bottle to keep you hydrated, a guide to healthy eating options at each restaurant, and a map with a walking route for each park that could guarantee you a set walking distance. I just might have to pitch this to Disney...

We got home early in the morning on Thursday and I was eager to step on the scale to see if I had done any damage from my divulging (I nicknamed this trip my "carb fest" vacation). I was elated to see that I had lost two pounds! Even though I felt guilty for those bites of dessert and the extra carbs I consumed, I realized that I can manage my diet and can live in the real world without losing control. It is all about portion control and choices. How come this stuff never clicked before I had surgery?


To be as honest as I possibly can about what I ate while on my "carb fest" vacation, here is the list of everything I ate (menus are linked if available):

    • Boatwrights Dining Hall (Download Boatwrights Dining Hall menu)
      • Grilled Pork Chop (ate almost 1/2 the chop, one onion ring, and two bites of the cheesy grits)
      • No Sugar Added Lemon Pound Cake (ate a few bites)
    • Pecos Bill and Tall Tale (Download Pecos Bill menu)
      • Chilled Chicken Wrap (ate 1/4 of the inside and not the wrap)
      • Chocolate Cake (ate a few bites)
    • Nine Dragons (Download Nine Dragons menu)
      • Honey-Sesame Chicken (ate about 1/3)
      • Ginger Cake (took back to the room and snacked on it for a few days)
  • SATURDAY (my birthday)
    • ABC Commissary (Download ABC Commissary menu)
      • Angus Cheeseburger (ate almost the whole patty-no bun)
      • French Fries (had maybe five fries)
      • Chocolate Mousse (too sweet so only had a few spoonfuls)
    • Sassagoula Food Court
      • Beignets (I had 1, the Hubs had 2)
    • Spirit of Aloha Luau Dinner Show
      • Roast Chicken (took the skin off and ate the meat from a leg/thigh)
      • BBQ Pork Ribs (ate the meat from two small ribs)
      • Chocolate Volcano Mousse (not fond of raspberry sauce so I only had a few bites)
      • Glass of Wine (only drank half of it)
    • We spent Sunday with our good friends at their house and had a BBQ. For breakfast, I had a protein shake and for dinner I had a chicken wing, burger patty, and a few bites of baked beans. Later that evening I had some grapes.
    • Sunshine Seasons (Download Sunshine Seasons Food Fair menu) 
      • Sweet n Sour Chicken (ate 1/3)
      • Milk (made a protein shake)
      • Apple Caramel Crunch Cake (took a few bites)
    • 50's Prime Time Cafe (Download 50s Prime Time Cafe menu) 
      • A Sampling of Mom's Favorite Recipes (ate the pot roast, three bites of meatloaf, two bites of the fried chicken, a bite of collard greens, and three green beans)
      • PBJ Shake (the Hubs drank it though)
      • Apple Cobbler (I snacked on this for three days)
    • Riverside Mill Food Court
      • Bacon Cheeseburger (ate half the patty and no bun)
      • Apple Blossom Pie (took a few bites)
      • Milk (made a protein shake)
    • Goofy's Candy Co.
      • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie (I ate the whole thing)
    • Liberty Tree Tavern (Download Liberty Tree Tavern menu)
      • New England Pot Roast (ate 1/4 of the pot roast and a few bites of mashed potatoes)
      • Chocolate Milk (took a few sips)
      • Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake (ate a few bites of the cake and a bite of ice cream)
    • Riverside Mill Food Court
      • Beef and Blue Sandwich (only ate the beef and no bread)
      • Grapes (ate these in the car ride home after our five hour flight)
      • Peanut Butter Cookie (ate the whole thing on the five hour flight home)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Walk this way...

I attended a conference in Las Vegas last week and stayed at the Mandalay Bay Resort (which by the way is flippin' huge). The conference center is nowhere near the hotel rooms so I covered many miles in the four days I was there.

I attended this same conference at the same resort last year and I have to say that walking this year was not the chore it was last year when I was nearly 90 pounds heavier.

What I found funny was my stride. It is longer. That may sound strange but it is true. I used to blame my slowness on my short legs. Turns out it was just the friction between my thighs that was slowing me down and making me take shorter steps.

This year my thighs are much smaller and the friction is no longer there. My stride is longer in length and I walk faster. I made this little realization after I had to apologize to like the 10th person for walking on their heels.

In a way, I feel like I have to learn how to walk all over again. I guess this is not a bad problem to have...

I just hope I can learn to control my "new legs" when we go to Disney World later this week for vacation. I would hate to step on the heels of Mickey Mouse and make him fall over.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Non-Scale Victories ROCK

"Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality." - Ralph Marston

I have had many non-scale victories (NSV's) over the past six months including a few of my favorites (losing my pants and seat belt extender) but yesterday I had another one that will go on my Top 10 NSV list...

I was driving home from the gym last night (more on this is a minute) and I was struggling to reach the gas and brake pedals. For the first time in probably 10 years, I had to move my seat forward [insert full-on toothy smile here]. I had anticipated losing the seat belt at one point in time. I did not anticipate this at all so I actually think this little NSV was *this* much more exciting than losing the extender.

Now...back to the gym....

I had not stepped foot in an actual fitness center since 2002. I met my friend out front and I think I held my breath when we walked through the doors. I was actually anxious to try the elliptical machine so we hopped on those first...and after about 10 really long minutes we hopped off. Umm,..yeah....kicked my butt.

We got on the bikes next and rode those for about 40 minutes. I rode at a pretty fast pace for all 40 minutes and kept my heart rate up in the cardio zone. When I was done, I prayed that when I got off the bike I would not pull a Bridget Jones and fall because my legs and butt were numb. I didn't. Whew!

So, in total I only got in about 50 minutes of cardio but was only my first day and I cannot wait until my next visit (yes, I actually just said that). I that statement alone might be an NSV...
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