Monday, April 5, 2010

Staying on Plan on Vacation

I am feeling great this morning! I had a wonderful Easter yesterday, and this morning am down a pound (back to 219). That feels good!

While I was away on vacation, I faced the same challenges everyone does when their routine is changed. I was not as *in control* of my food as I am at home (mainly because who knows what the dude in the back is putting on my food, and who knows how many ounces that meat *really* is unless you bring a scale to the restaurant?) I had three days away from home, so the basic plan was to continue with the Medifast plan (5 Medifast meals and one meal consisting of measured, lean protein and low carb vegetables), but also on the one day I would be getting a large amount of exercise my nutritionist advised me to switch to a 4 & 2 plan (4 Medifast meals and two protein/veg meals). I was pretty active; I went swimming every day and did a fair bit of walking each day, but on Thursday I hiked several miles. That's the day I would do the 4 & 2 plan.

So I bagged up enough Medifast meals for three days (plus a few extra just in case). I chose things that needed very little prep: bars, pretzels, puffs, and hot cocoa mix. I also brought instant coffee so I could get my mocha fix. And this is how the rest of my meals went:

Day 1:
We did some driving and visited some cool places. I ate my bars in the car, and when we stopped for a 'picnic lunch' I had my water bottle and Chili Cheese Puffs while my daughter munched on whole wheat crackers with hummus and juice. At one point we stopped for a break and I got a coffee with sugar free vanilla syrup and a bit of half and half (on plan). For dinner, we went to Macaroni Grill. I have to say I highly recommend this restaurant! The menu was full of Mediterranean foods and came with a full sheet of nutrition information, including calories, fat, sodium, carbs, etc! I was thrilled! I chose the Simple Salmon (requested with no added salt) with sides of asparagus and broccoli (steamed with no fat or salt added) and a side salad of mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and a basic vinaigrette. It was all very good. The salmon looked like more than 5oz to me, so I picked off the edges and just ate the super moist middle. Excellent! I had water with fresh lemon to drink.

The funny thing was my daughter in all her 4-year-old glory, who wanted a pepperoni pizza. So she got her milk, and while her pizza was being made the waiter brought the most AMAZING looking/smelling loaf of crusty rosemary bread. Oh my gosh it was amazing (no I didn't taste it, but I felt it as I cut slices for her and the smell was incredible). He also poured some nice olive oil into a dish and ground some fresh black pepper into it. My daughter, I kid you not, ate the ENTIRE LOAF of bread, dipping it in olive oil, mmmm-ing and ahhh-ing about how great it was! She probably had a quarter cup of olive oil (which makes me happy because she is quite thin and has some eating issues and I am always trying to get healthy fats into her diet). And the waiter came and brought another loaf and she dug in. When her pizza came, she took one bite and said it was too cheesy. LOL! Well, the bread and olive oil was probably better for her than pizza anyway.

Day 2:
This was the 4 & 2 plan day. The hotel where we stayed had a full breakfast included so I planned to have a big veggie omelet. Imagine my surprise when the cook informed me that they ONLY had eggs, no vegetables! None, nothing. The closest thing on the spread to a veggie was salsa, which counts as a condiment on Medifast. So I asked for 3 scrambled egg whites (actually, 14 egg whites is a full Lean portion on Medifast, but I thought that might be excessive) and I ate them with a bit of salsa and cottage cheese. I knew it was NOT a full Lean & Green meal so I planned to make up for it at lunch. I drank green tea and water.

I also want to share that there were fresh waffles, hash browns, sausages, pastries, bagels with cream cheese, donuts, toast, juices, and granola on this spread. I helped my daughter get her waffles and juice, but I stayed away from that stuff. It looked good. It smelled good. But honestly the most tempting thing I saw was a banana, and I knew I could have lots of bananas sometime in the future so I just enjoyed my egg whites.

There were also big, FREE, freshly baked cookies in the lobby of this hotel, and while I allowed my daughter to bring one along as a treat, I did not have any. Crazy, but in the past I'd have taken several, and then snuck down to the lobby over and over all evening long sneaking more cookies because I was INSANE about cookies.

We had very limited lunch options so I asked for a plain salad with grilled chicken on it, and the lady said "we don't have that." I said, "well, there is grilled chicken on the menu, and there is salad. Can't you just put some grilled chicken on the salad?" She had to work at it a bit but finally figured out how to get me what I asked for. It was a pretty small salad of mostly lettuce, a few mushrooms and cucumbers, and a small piece of chicken breast that was obviously highly processed. I bit into it and it was seriously the most salty piece of meat I have ever tasted. Saltier than ham. I added a bit of blue cheese dressing. I drank water.

Dinner was at Outback Steakhouse and I had already looked up the nutrition information online so I knew what I was getting. I had the 6oz sirloin steak (medium rare) and requested no salt added, and I got a side of plain steamed broccoli and a side of steamed mixed vegetables (mostly broccoli and summer squash). It was pretty good but not the best steak I have had. I drank water.

I had my bars and pretzels and a few cups of plain herbal tea in between the bigger meals. I was surprised that I could drink so many kinds of tea with NO sweeteners added and enjoy them. They used to taste so bitter to me that I felt I HAD to add some sweetener, but not anymore!

Day 3:
Once again we hit the hotel breakfast and I had 3 egg whites and a cup of tea. I planned to subtract the protein from what I would eat at dinner. I ate my bars and pretzels even when we were in a cafe at lunchtime and there were big floppy slices of fresh baked pizza. I just stuck to my plan and fed my daughter sandwiches and juice and crackers I'd packed.

Dinner was not as planned. We got in some very bad traffic, moving at a crawl for almost 2 hours. I think there was an accident (as well as road construction). As a result we were not far into our journey home when it was dinnertime and I had to take any available options (although I drew the line at fast food. I am not doing that.) So we ended up at Shari's (which is basically a glorified Denny's)... not my favorite but workable. I ordered a "petite" grilled chicken salad and a side order of mixed veggies (which I ordered plain, but they came obviously seasoned and I think even a bit of butter on them... I considered asking for them to be taken back but I never saw the waitress again). The veggies were fine... mostly broccoli, cauliflower, and summer squash. The salad was decent but there was only about 3 oz of chicken on it. There was also a hard boiled egg on it so that made up the additional protein I needed. I had dressing on the side and only used about half. I drank water.

So that's basically it. I felt good about my choices and we had a really fun time!

Today my daughter and I are making deviled eggs from the beautifully colored Easter eggs we made on Saturday. I can have 3 whole eggs as my protein for dinner (6 deviled egg halves!) and will be grilling some fresh asparagus to go with it. I can hardly wait! Deviled eggs are heavenly.

I look in the mirror and half the time I see a hugely obese chick, and the other half of the time I am shocked at how thin I look. It's like having a trick mirror in the house. I never know what I will see when I look into it. Hopefully my brain will adjust soon and start seeing me as I really am.


christina said...

I have one of those trick mirrors too - I have lost 22.5 lbs as of today and sometimes I look and Im in awe and sometimes I look and think ewww.

You are braver then me with the rosemary bread - I wouldnt have allowed it at the table because I would have had to just take a "taste" that would turn into half the roll!

Missa said...

You really did a fabulous job. You stayed creative, and found the good choices while surrounded by the crap. That is what it is all about. Super proud of you!!


Lisa said...

so proud of you!

mbm1forever said...

You should be proud of your choices. You did do the best you could do. For me, I know that I am going to always have to make those choices and I do. Recently, I was stuck at a classy restaurant and they would not deviate from the exact menu items. I ordered the halibut, but it was swimming in some sort of sauce. I have found most places are willing to do what is asked for with these exceptions. My friends laugh at me when I order because I am so specific. I just know that this is what it takes and keep repeating to myself that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

Mad Woman said...

Be proud.....staying on plan when you're away and not in control is HARD. I'm proud of you :)

Can I have a trick mirror too?

Ice Queen said...

You rocked your plan, girl. Proof positive that we can make it work away from home. :D :D

I'm glad that you had a great time. Sounds like just what you needed.

Congratulations on your loss. :D

MargieAnne said...

You did great. It's so hard when travelling to get the food you plan so I congratulate you on doing so well.

It is always hard when you have to compromise and you did that well.

Anonymous said...

loved when you pulled a Jack Nicholson on the waitress, LOL

AGirlWorthLosing said...

You did amazing! You had so many opportunities to lose focus but you didn't! You gave me a lot of inspiration!! I am off to a out of town wedding for 4 days later this week so I will need to be just as good as you were! Thanks!

spunkysuzi said...

I think you did great with what was available!

Leslie said...

I'm seriously impressed, Lyn.
Don't know if I could have held up so well and stayed true to plan. I loved reading how you drink plain tea now but how it used to be too bitter for you. I remember how you always used agave syrup in it, because to this day I still haven't tried agave, and think it's best I not go there! Well done!

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

I Love love love love your last sentence. I had a hard time with this. I lost 58 pounds, gained 5 back and my brain instantly told me that I gained all 58 pounds back, I felt horrible, I felt heavy, I felt depressed andguess what - I BINGED. Until I told myself that it was ludacris, that I was still fitting in my clothes, that I didn't gain it all back, and saw myself as I really am, was when I felt as great as I did before I gained the 5 pounds. It was such a weird process but necessary. I am glad I went through it because I could of easily gained 10, 20, 30... all of it back in no time. Ya know what, when I stopped the negativity, the weight came off.

moonduster said...

Congrats on your successful holiday eating and on losing another pound!

You are getting closer and closer to Onederland! :)

Shelley said...

It sounds like you faced the challenges very well - glad you and your daughter had a nice vacation and you were able to stay on plan!

Splurgie said...

I admire your discipline on vacation. It's easy to ease up a bit and even easier to throw in the towel. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Lyn. Good for you with your choices while on vacation. I'm totally impressed.

Vegemommy said...

Just found your blog a few days ago and I so appreciate it. I know it's been a long journey for you but it's great that you have have kept with it. And, if you get off, you find your way back on track. I liked reading about your vacation because I'm already worrying about ours this coming June. Thanks for your recommendation for Spark people! I joined it and love it. My first week....I am down 3.5 pounds thanks to calorie reduction and breastfeeding my eleven month old. Yay! :)

Tammy said...

Holy crap I'm impressed with how good you did on vacation!!!! And I LOVE Macaroni's been a couple of years since I've eaten there, because they closed the one that was closest to me, but the last dinner I had there was porkchops, steamed broccoli and mushroom risotto. Oh good Lord...I still remember that meal. One of the best I've ever eaten!!! And probably over 1000 calories, lol.

Kyle Gershman said...

You are a pillar of should be very proud of your vacation food management.

Miz said...

man I LOVED reading this, Lyn.

you are doing it and more more importantly you are LIVING while doing so.

xo xo


Jamie said...

Lyn, Just so you know Shari's vegetables come frozen and preseasoned with butter and seasoning. My mom has a severe dairy allergy so they looked on the bag for her. Thankfully, so basically there is no option for unbuttered veggies there.

Deniz said...


You deserve to feel great. You did a grand job and should be so, SO proud of yourself. I'm really proud and inspired by your amazing strong will and dedication.

Hmmm, and tell that trick mirror that you are NOT an obese chick. It should show you gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

You are just awesomeness, Lyn! You did great!

Anonymous said...

You did do very well! However, it worries me that you will not allow yourself a few breaks. It may mean that the minute you get off Medifast or the idea of "dieting" and go back to healthy, mindful living, you'll take back everything you've been depriving yourself of. There will be many moments of pizza parties, dinners out etc. that you can't avoid because you shouldn't avoid them. They're what make life fun, and I'd hate to see you miss out.

Theresa said...

To Anonymous at 8:07 AM...... giving myself breaks (I will only speak for myself here!) is exactly how I regained the weight I had lost. A treat here and there, it's vacation, it's hot out, it's Tuesday. You get the idea. Sometimes we need the break from allowing ourselves every little whim to reprogram the body. I'm sure Lyn will gradually adjust her foods as she transitions back to meals etc. She does her homework and we all know she has been very successful!!! :)

Lyn said...


There will be a time for pizza and "breaks." I spent 18 months stalled in my weight loss efforts because I was eating healthy MOST of the time and "letting myself have breaks" a few days a month. What it got me was maintenance, not weight loss.

I want weight loss now. I am willing to be disciplined to get it. The plan I am on will not work if I go off and eat pizzas a couple of times a month. I think I have shown over two and a half years that I do know how to be moderate, have a piece of cake once in awhile, etc.

You stated that those things are what makes life fun and you don't want me to miss out. Well, I have to disagree. I didn't need a waffle or a cookie on this trip to make life fun. My daughter and I had an awesome time! I didn't need sugar or refined carbs for that.

screwdestiny said...

My mirror is tricky, too. Some days I think I look great, and other days I can't stand how disproportionate I look.

You did a great job on your vacation!