Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Vacation on a Diet

Last week I went on a week-long vacation. No cell phones, no internet, no supermarkets within 30min, no distractions- just pure, blissful relaxation. It was wonderful to be away.

How did I maintain CR while on vacation, you may be wondering? It was not easy.

My food recording has never been more difficult- even though I brought my digital scale and measuring cups. I have also not had that many days over my calorie prescription in one week since I began the study (4 days out of 6)... I could not plan meals as well as I do when I am home and when I did plan out my day to try to eat within my calorie prescription, I still ended up over. It was frustrating and not too fun or relaxing.

By the 3rd day of vacation I was feeling guilty- specifically for eating a piece of blueberry cobbler the night before, even though I knew when I ate it that it would put me well over my calories for the day. (BTW: it was totally worth it!)

Thankfully TE, my wonderful husband, helped me maintain perspective. He reminded me how well I had been doing before the vacation, and that if I am having a hard time maintaining the diet while on a vacation, that fact in itself is valuable information. At that point I decided I was not going to feel bad about what I was eating. I would record all the foods to my best knowledge, try to restrict calories when possible, and ultimately be honest with myself. He helped me remember something the diet counselor told me when we were talking about lapsing- the way you handle the lapse, mentally, determines how much damage it can cause and how easy it will be to recover from it.

I felt much better about the rest of my vacation after that realization- that is not to say it helped me stay under/at my prescription- but it helped me feel better about the situation. So in keeping with my honest approach of learning from my vacation lapse- I gained 2 lbs. That is 7,000 calories over what I burn (2226cal/day)- which if the weight gain is a true reflection of food consumed (and not something else like water weight) I ate a total of 10,336 extra calories while on vacation! Harsh.

On a positive note, I have been back for 2 full days and I have maintained my "pre-vacation" eating habits; staying at/under my calorie prescription, weighing and measuring everything, and eating healthy foods that keep me feeling satisfied. It is a vicious cycle: eating "bad" foods makes you want to eat more "bad" foods- break the cycle and making healthy food choices get easier.

It also helps that I don't make blueberry cobbler... :)


Rachel said...

Mmmm....blueberry cobbler. Yum.

I can't imagine how difficult it must be to adhere to a strict diet while in a remote cabin sharing food with other people! Your attitude is great - and you'll be back on track. You have a great commitment to this effort!

Your ipod songs were hard!

Welcome back!

Erica said...

So when we were talking earlier, I got to thinking about how choices are made with what we eat, etc... And I was just wondering, when you were a vegetarian for like 5 years, there were always things that you couldn't eat that you wanted to but you never caved. How is it different with CR, like knowing that you can eat whatever you want just in limited quantities. Obviously, counting is harder than eliminating an entire food group, but is there a different mental response when confronted with foods you know you shouldn't eat?