Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Lessons

Keeping weight off is a learning process, there is a lot of trial and error involved. As I have mentioned before, my husband and I are doing this together, which I think makes it easier. We just got back from spending Thanksgiving with my family. Going to visit my family has been a challenge for us because I come from a family of fabulous cooks, and my parents used to run a bakery, so there is that.

I wrote a bit in my last post about our struggle to get enough exercise when we travel to visit my family. This time, we tried to solve that problem by bringing some exercise DVDs with us. We woke up early and did our exercise videos (this worked for us because my dad has a big house and we could do it without waking everyone up). I also had a "dance party" for my niece and nephews while my sisters cooked Thanksgiving dinner, which worked well for about 45 minutes, the kids had fun and expended some energy without running through the kitchen, I had fun, and it was a nice little workout for me before the big meal.  So that worked well.

Another issue we have is eating on the drive up. Eating and drinking caffeinated beverages helps to keep us awake during the long drive. Unfortunately, those calories add up. We actually figured this one out last time - we pack a lot of fruit, which is very refreshing and helps. We also pack caffeinated Crystal Lite (which, admittedly, I'm trying to avoid where possible because of the artificial sweeteners in Crystal Lite - but it works beautifully for the drive).  We still end up getting a coffee about half way through the drive sometimes, particularly if, as was the case this time, we are driving through the night.  Starbuck's coffee is incredibly high in calories.  I order a "skinny mocha" with no whip - still quite a few calories, but it helps. My husband orders a soy mocha with no whip (he is lactose intolerant). Finally, to prepare for what I knew would be a challenging few days, I did two heavy exercise days before we left - so, even though we had the Starbuck's, I did not go over my calorie budget for the day.

Now for the issues on which we still need to work: I went over my calorie budget pretty substantially, even given the exercise, on two of the four days we were at my family's. I found that I gave myself permission to eat and snack more when I exercised. I also found myself snacking, a lot and despite the abundance of food, I did not get a lot of fruits and veggies into my diet. I think I can solve both of these problems next time. I need to cut out the unhealthy snacks and replace them with fruit and veggies - they have fewer calories and they are healthier. My husband and I can easily stop at a fruit stand and pick up some snacks on our first day.

I think that all in all I would give myself a B- for the Holiday. I have room for improvement, but it was not a disaster.  In the end, I gained 2 pounds. This is better than the 5 pounds I gained the last time I went up to see my family, and they are easy enough to take back off -  so I will count that as a partial success - next time, my goal is to maintain.

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