Monday, June 3, 2013

AIM: Road Maintenance


Vacations.  Work trips.  Sooner or later, you're going to venture away from home and deal with not normal eating.  Question is, will you come home with excess baggage?

For me, many times when I travel, I'm going to California, where I grew up, and home to many old familiar foods (like REAL Mexican, not Tex-Mex) that I can't get out here in Texas.  So of course, I want to eat!  In years past, a visit to my best friend would also include visits to Carl's Jr., Togo's, an incredible bakery near her house where we'd have ham and cheese croissants just about every morning for breakfast, the aforementioned Mexican food, See's Candies, and whatever else looked good along the way.  It's no wonder I looked like this for so many years:
California visit 2007 - I really ate my way through that visit!

And it's not just visiting California that would do me in - pretty much anywhere I traveled to, I put myself on a free pass to eating.  Road trip?  Lay in the snacks!  Don't forget to stop along the way for a strawberry milkshake.  Air travel?  Treats begin in the airport, naturally!  No wonder I kept gaining weight...this kind of extra eating, while fun at the moment, sure helped to compound my weight issues.

Cut to 2010.  I'd lost 110 pounds and had a visit to California scheduled.  Would this trip be a repeat of my 2007 eating extravaganza?  Nope.  I'd changed.  Barbara was also on a healthy eating trend.  We hardly ate out at all, and when we did, it wasn't at any fast food restaurants.  I did have some Mexican food, but I only ate what I really wanted (I believe I just got a side order instead of a full meal).  We cooked our meals, ate fresh fruit like crazy, and *get this* we exercised.  Yoga, walks, running - it was an entirely different visit - and I came home weighing the same as I did when I left!

Further proof - here's a shot from my visit the next year, wearing the shirt that Barbara was wearing in that 2007 picture:
  2011 - still managing to not overeat my way through a vacation, go me!

While different food is always tempting to me when I'm on vacation (and I will ALWAYS visit Ono Gelato in Maui when I'm there), I have been able to not go completely insane over eating when I travel.  For one thing, I'm able to discern when something is truly worth the calories - and also able to stop eating when it's not (even when I've paid for it, haha).  I've also realized how easy it is to gain weight, which makes sampling food, rather than cleaning my plate, a reasonable option most of the time.  Plus, I actually will exercise when I travel now - with the added bonus that I'm usually in a place where the weather is much nicer to get outside and take a walk or go for a run in, so there's extra enjoyment with it.  And, no matter what, I don't beat myself up if I do end up eating more than I mean to, because after all, a few days of wonky eating, over the course of a year, isn't going to undermine everything I've done to get where I am today.

My only real vacation/travel eating rule?  Normal eating begins the instant I cross back over the county line.  I can live with that...and I do, quite well!

AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you'd like us to address!

23 comments:

  1. Great post!

    I used to gain at vacations but the past couple of years our vacations have become more active and we walk a lot on vacation. Because we stay at Bed and Breakfasts most of the time, we don't have food in our room and only eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. The past couple of years I didn't gain, I sometimes even lost weight.

    But I do think vacations are also a bit about letting go of the daily routine except with maintenance instead of letting yourself go completely.

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    1. You and R seem to do so much during your vacations (which I accompany you virtually, did you know that?) that I'm not surprised you maintain/lose during them. :)

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    2. If only you could accompany us for real, that would be fun!

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  2. I like what Fran said, that vacations are also a little about "letting go of the daily routine." Eating non-plan foods once in awhile is what makes them special.

    BTW, I love that barefoot photo of you from 2007! Has it been that long already?? I remember reading that post!!

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    1. The barefoot photo is from summer of 2011 - but I agree, time is flying by!!!

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  3. and your one rule is the KEY huh?
    so simple---yet so so flipping challenging too.

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  4. I love that top Shelley! Great tips!

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    1. You know, I didn't even steal that top from Barbara - just tried it on for the picture!

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  5. I just found your blog. I have a Motivation Monday link up and we all get together with weight loss tips and progress. Will you join us today?

    http://www.dailydoseofdelsignore.com/2013/06/motivation-monday-4.html#.UayZOEAskYk

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  6. "Question is, will you come home with excess baggage?"--best line ever!

    Also, being able to discern whether something is worthy--that is still something I would like to improve upon. Because once I've bought it, I usually feel compelled to eat it.

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    1. It is much harder for me to stop eating something if I've paid for it (in a restaurant/cafe vs. groceries, which I also pay for); but I'm getting better at it.

      Thanks for the excess baggage line compliment - it fit so well with the post! :)

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  7. I wish I would have read this post BEFORE I went on vacation - ha! While I initially had a -2.4 loss on vacation, turns out a couple days later I was up 5 pounds, so I gained 2.6 - gah! But that moist brisket at Rudy's?? Worth it! I can't believe how close that place is to you!

    Happy Monday!

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    1. Oh vacation weight...why does that hang around when the vacation is over?!

      I like Rudy's but only eat there a few times a year. It's heavy food - delicious, yes, but not on my normal rotation.

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  8. But I thought *I* invented The County Line Rule! :) Oh well, it's comforting to know that another great mind is using the same strategy. Amazing how well it works, isn't it?

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  9. These are great tips! I ate so much while in Hawaii, but a lot of it was fresh fish, mac nuts and pineapple (and Ono Gelato, thanks to you!), and I was still staying pretty active, so I didn't even feel that bad about it. I think the key is exactly what you've said - to remember that "vacation eating" stops once you get back home.

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    1. Oh man, I could really go for some Ono Gelato right about now. Funny thing, I don't even consider eating gelato here...which is a good thing, truly - to me, Ono is the only gelato for me.

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  10. Great post Shelley! This one is hard for me. Trips mean(t) food from airport or car to outrageous meals of local favorites to snacks in bed in the hotel. Now that food is not the focus, I've found great yoga studios and spin studios in my favorite cities while still enjoying great food. It's very freeing. Oh and I love it when you put before and after pics in your posts. Never ceases to amaze me!!!!!!

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  11. Did I ever mention that I was an assistant manager at a TOGOs - #9, baby!!!!

    County line rule is a very good rule. It's too easy to keep stretching out the vacation days until you just go back to the old way of eating.

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  12. I've done really well when vacationing. Like you, though, I can allow myself a few indulgences without going nuts and eating everything in sight. My treat is usually ice cream...An occasional scoop of something chocolatey and creamy is always worth it to me. We're going to Maui this summer, and I am really planning a trip to Ono Gelato. Gelato rivals ice-cream any day!

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  13. I am loving how you and Cammy draw the line at the county line and I am going to adopt it for myself! I know that I feel crappy when I eat crappy and that I gain quickly and lose slowly so that helps keep me in line.

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  14. I think that's one of the best things to learn! What truly worth the calories. And if it truly is it doesn't usually take a lot of it to satisfy.

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  15. How wonderful that you could wear your friend's shirt the next trip!! :) I love that you also began to exercise when on vacation. I've also begun that when possible, even if it's only a morning walk. Thank you for sharing your insights on the AIM post again this month.

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