When I was in Baltimore last week, I did a lot of reflecting on where I am in my weight, how I feel about where I am currently and what might have gotten me here. The truth is, at 185ish pounds, I’m 15 pounds above where I feel good about my body. The harsher truth is, that isn’t just a number on the scale – that’s a reflection of the fact that I’m letting “sometimes” food sneak in a lot more often than I should. I had french fries twice in Baltimore and dessert more than once. I definitely want to live a life where I’m not restricted such that those are “never” foods, but mediocre fries in a Baltimore hotel are not a worthy indulgence. If I’m honest with myself, that’s happening far too often. I need to get back to focusing on a healthier diet overall. If the data in the study we talked about last week is true (which is might not be), then I don’t have as much room for error as someone who hasn’t lost a hundred pounds. I can’t take the approach of “everybody gains a few pounds on vacation – I’ll just lose them when I get home” if it is going to be harder for me to lose them and I’m going to count every work trip as “vacation.”
Travel is part of my job and will continue to be. I suspect travel for vacation and for work, with a few pounds gained each trip that I never manage to lose, is why I’ve gained 15 pounds in the last year. It’s time to get back to my proactive approach to eating on the road that I used when I was in the first year of weight loss. I used to be really good about planning for healthy meals and snacks. It takes a little extra planning, to scout out grocery stores and resist the peer pressure (or fatigue) that tempts me for desserts every night, but it’s worth it. If I can tighten up at work and at home a bit, then I can still have the TRULY occasional indulgence without feeling like I do now.
Truthfully, while I’m not happy with how my clothes are fitting, this is mostly about looking at how I’m eating and admitting to myself that a lot of things have been sliding. If I was really eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and at this weight that would be one thing, but I’m not. I’m going to focus on getting things in better shape between now and marathon training in August (because I know marathon training will be a different nutritional challenge!). I’ve tweaked my calorie goal down a bit in My Fitness Pal because the amount of calories it automatically gave me a) weren’t resulting in weight loss and b) were generous enough that I could have those unhealthy indulgences every day, which was snowballing a bit. I’m satisfied with 1700 calories of healthy food a day, so let’s use that calorie counting structure to keep me at that level rather than tacking on an extra 250 calories of snacks at night.
Fortunately, summer is a good time to get back to lots of veggies. Last night I had an old favorite – spaghetti squash with grilled veggies, roasted tomatoes, capers and a little feta cheese. The good news is that I don’t have any work travel until later in July, so I can firm up my good habits again at home before I hit the road again. I do have house guests coming next week and then again on Memorial Day weekend, but I’m taking this moment of motivation to use it to plan a healthy approach to those potentially tempting times.
I’m in no rush to lose this weight. I know it will take a while. However, I can no longer use that as an excuse to keep eating things I know aren’t great for me. It’ll all be okay. When July gets here and I’m looking at my third anniversary of reaching that 100 pounds lost milestone, I am going to be in a better mindset.
Do you find it easier or harder to eat healthy foods in the summer? The abundance of fruits and veggies I love makes it easier for me at home, but the travel and special events can be tricky!