HCB's Journal, 16 August 2012

Hey Buddies, I need some suggestions. Here is the story:

My best friend and her husband are coming to my home next week on Wednesday - then we leave for Yellowstone and parts West on Friday.

I am happy and excited but...concerned about how I will manage food and exercise while away from home. I have the discipline to make choices and will do some hiking and DVDs (I will bring them with me), but worry I will not be able to find the foods I want in restaurants. I can only bring some things - protein powder, turkey jerky for snacks, tuna in dry packets instead of cans, and will make grocery store stops for fruit and veggies, but...

You see, my dear friend and her spouse are "chow hounds" - they love to eat and go to restaurants, and they invariably make high fat choices! This is challenging because it becomes their focus sometimes: "Oh, when are we eating? Where are we eating? Shall we look up a good place to go to eat on the internet?"

I love her and her husband BUT IT DRIVES ME EFFING NUTS! I do not focus on food in that way. I know I am responsible for my own healthy choices despite what anyone else does around me. And, in fact, last time we were together I managed because watching all that eating motivated me to STOP eating!

BUT, I am still concerned that nearly two weeks around this will beat down my resolve. SO, I NEED suggestions on how to do vacation travel and stay on a reasonable food plan because I will be damned if I gain weight after all the hard work to get rid of it! Breaking even is OK by me, but not indulging so much that I lose my focus!

Any good ideas?

Diet Calendar Entries for 16 August 2012:
1001 kcal Fat: 20.06g | Prot: 104.12g | Carb: 118.94g.   Breakfast: milk, water, skim milk, coffee, Body fortress superadvanced whey protein powder. Lunch: Baby Spring Mix, LiteHouse Cranberry vinaigrette, trader joe's turkey jerky, water, raw red bell pepper, baby carrots, Chicken Breast (Skin Not Eaten). Dinner: olive oil, broccoli, sweet potato, water, Tilapia. Snacks/Other: blackberries, pineapple, Strawberries, water, Splenda, All Bran Buds. more...
3143 kcal Activities & Exercise: Circuit Training - 50 minutes, Driving - 25 minutes, Desk Work - 6 hours, Sitting - 7 hours, Sleeping - 8 hours, Resting - 1 hour and 45 minutes. more...
on diet HCB's own diet  

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Comments 
I see why you are worried. Well maybe your friend has a good idea by checking out local places to eat. What I would do is look them up for yourself and talk with a staff member that works there and explain to them you are lookking for lower cal, healthier foods to eat what is there suggestions and also see if they can email you there nutritional information or maybe they will have it on there web page. Then you will have a list of the foods that you want to order and will know how many cals you are taking in. I would make a list of places and with the foods at that place you would like to eat. hope this helps:)  
17 Aug 12 by member: bonthronm
It sounds as if you have at least a tentative itinerary. What about Googling restaurants ahead of time and making a list of places that offer something for everyone? Letting your friends pick from the list will give them an opportunity for their input yet still meet your needs. Will this be a road trip? Picnics are always fun. Pack the food in an ice chest and you're set to go. Better yet, involve your friends in preparing the picnic menu. It sounds as thought you've already thought this out and know what you need to do. Hang tough and have fun on your trip. 
17 Aug 12 by member: jenkie5
Maybe your example will help your friends get a grip on their eating habits. Perhaps you can explain how well you have been doing and that you don't want to mess it up and just be open about how you feel - and if they haven't seen you for awhile they will be able to see for themselves anyway how well you have done!! 
17 Aug 12 by member: triaby
Do the best that you can do.. perhaps suggest resaurants that have healthy options for you. If you find that you are lossing focus, maybe excuse yourself from a dinner or two and do your work out instead. I do not travel, so these are the only things I can come up with. Good luck and have a great weekend. 
17 Aug 12 by member: pam-u-la
I would bring a journal...and use it regularly. Two or three times a day, so you have a safe place to vent your feelings about this situation, and remind yourself of the path you have chosen, and how in spite of this challenge that you have ahead of you, you have the tools and disciplines to manage this....just like you will manage the other challenges that will present itself for the rest of your life. And, I would be sure to ask for exactly what you want when you are eating out. I routinely ask for no potatoes or toast when we go out for breakfast. They often try to substitute fruit, but I decline. With a salad, I ask them not to add croutons, and get oil and vinegar on the side. For dinner, I will ask for no potato or rice, and ask for an extra serving of veggies. I never feel deprived, and I find almost every time they have no problems with meeting my requests. Avoid things that have too many sauces, or lots of cheese, and you will do great. You can manage this, and not let it interfere with having fun with your friend. By the end of the two weeks, your friend might begin to copy some of your choices. I have seen that with my DH, and he doesn't have any weight issues. Will be keeping my fingers crossed for you! 
17 Aug 12 by member: yduj57
Whenever I vacation with other people I try to keep a balance between doing stuff together and doing stuff on my own (or with my hubby/family if we are there together). There is no crime or shame in deciding that you want to go to a different restaurant or that you just aren't hungry at the same time as them. You are entitled to enjoy your vacation just as much as they are and if that means eating healthy so you don't ruin all your hard work, then stick to your guns! Plus, I find that spending too much time together can sometimes cause a little friction during an extended time together so the little breaks you get from each other during some of the meal times would probably be beneficial to everyone's enjoyment of the trip. Best of luck to you! 
17 Aug 12 by member: evelyn64
Honestly I wouldn't see these two food hounds as a bad thing! First of all they are always planning their next meal so you know in advance where you will eat next. That means you have time to google the restaurant, it's menu, and look up the calorie/fat content and narrow your choices before you get there. And you're on vacation so instead of thinking oh no I can't indulge! Think.. strange place, strange food.. try something new! Healthy but new. You might find a couple new things to add to your current menu that are just as healthy as what you're eating now. Then you'll have something to talk about at dinner with the two foodies.  
17 Aug 12 by member: DairyFarmersWife
FABULOUS suggestions! A lot of these I already do like preview menus and calorie counts - but opting to exercise during the meal times, and making a list of restaurants for THEM to choose from are great ideas! I KNEW you guys wiuld help me with strategies. 
17 Aug 12 by member: HCB
Well, clearly, I'm late to THIS party ;) Everyone has already used up my suggestions, except for two. You mentioned hiking, which is good, but sounds like "hiking" isn't necessarily a part of each day. Get up early and go for a brisk walk to start your day. It will clear out the cobwebs and prepare you spiritually for the day ahead. BTW, what I've noticed out here in the west, especially, is that more and more restaurants are serving healthier choices. But barring all else, if you have to order a meal that is too heavy and rich, leave some of it on the plate. Above all, this is supposed to be FUN, so try to relax and enjoy your friends. I totally agree that you don't want to go backwards, and I'm betting on your great resolve and determination that you will NOT. And remember, we'll all be right here for you when you get back! 
17 Aug 12 by member: Baxie
@ Baxie - Yes, portioning is great, too - and I forgot that my husband is there and is my GREATEST fan - so he will likely share entrees with me and "kick me under the table" if I start to graze off track! LOL. 
17 Aug 12 by member: HCB
Just keep it basic and simple, stick with no starches (ditch the buns etc) and be sure to have your own food stash. And don't forget the string cheese and almonds!! If you slip, just do it in moderation and "punish" yourself with pushups and situps like I do (or even with burpees perhaps?) if you indulge more than you would've liked to ;). Stay disciplined and focussed. You'll be alllllllll right. I would kill to go to Yellowstone!! 
17 Aug 12 by member: CJT1217
Here's and example of what I usually do: A different friend and I will meet att the local Perkins today. I already am set to have egg beaters omelette with mushrooms and spinach. No sides - not even their icky fruit! The protein will sustain me and, according to their own nutrition information - zero fat, 28 proteins, and only 5 carbs. The slight drawback is soybean oil they use - but only slightly ups teh calories and 3 fat grams. SO, I know what to do - just don"t like too many surprises while everyone else pigs out at the table! 
17 Aug 12 by member: HCB
Wow, you have some clever and caring buddies! Sounds like the have been there done that. This is kinda selfish, but it is the only thing that I can get people to understand when in these situations: I am special enough to 'eat special'!!! When you have worked so diligently on your health and appearance, people can't help but see how that is working for you...surely THEY don't want to be the reason your progress comes off the rails! So, go along with things, have fun, stay eating the way you have, and let us know how it goes! 
17 Aug 12 by member: Steviefan1
Awww - Yellowstone is not THAT far from the Bay Area...it really is different and other worldly. The geyers and sulphur pools with the varied colorations, buffalo in the roads, and moose, bear, caribou, coyote sightings abound! And Yellowstoen Lake is quite beautiful, too. 
17 Aug 12 by member: HCB
Sounds like a great trip HCB. I am too late to the party as well and everyone else has already provided tons of great help. You are doing so well and I agree that your friends will be able to see the difference in you if they haven't seen you in a while. Lean on that "Dear Husband" of yours if you feel yourself slipping and I am sure he will help. Enjoy your trip and let us know about all the fun you had when you get back. Safe travels! :) 
17 Aug 12 by member: kimjinxie
Your dedication is AMAZING and I know you got it all under control. Watching them with be a constant reminder of what you do not want to do. Keep your preportioned snacks wit you and don't allow yourself to get too hungry. Sounds like you have a great plan and as for eating out stick to what is fresh and unsauced. I have fallen a bit lately but the key is if you are going to slip make it minor. Make special requests when ordering when possible, if bread is brought to the table have them place it out of reach, sneak your own dressings in your purse for salad (I do it all the time lol). When eating out and the portion is big I ask for a to go container at the beginning of the meal, make my portion and put the rest away. It helps me from over eating. Simple little things will keep you right on track. And on a vaca to Yellowstone you know you will be actie, BONUS! Most of all have fun! 
17 Aug 12 by member: thynes
I know it's tough to do, but I've almost made a game out of leaving half of what is served on the plate; it really makes your friends think that you've become a conqueror. It also makes it easier if you consume the contents of the water glass pretty quickly in the beginning. :) Don't spoil your vacation by obsessing about food. Just try to take what you've learned and do everything in moderation. You'll be fine. 
17 Aug 12 by member: DairyKing
Every year when I was growing up my entire extended family would go to Yellowstone for vacation. My fondest memories are of the picnics we had there. The place is so amazingly beautiful, I can't even imagine eating inside at a restaurant there. Try to convince them to at least do outdoor picnics for lunch because it is so nice to enjoy the view. Some of my favorites from our picnics: seedless watermelon pre-cut into cubes (it's so much fun to snack on that way), celery with peanut butter or cream cheese, iced tea, cubes of cheese, devilled eggs, fruit salad, mmm. Some of this could be problematic to procure without a home base. I think I saw some nice collapsible soft-side coolers at Walmart recently. Hopefully the place where you are staying has an ice vending machine. You are already planning to hit the grocery store and they usually have pre-cut veggies and fruits (though they cost more, ugh). Anyways, a picnic concept will allow you to be more in control of what you eat and the park gives you the excuse you need to not make it about the diet. For the rest of the trip, I think you've already gotten a lot of good advice. I especially like DK's comment of leaving food behind. I do it all the time. I even order meals by telling the waiter to leave off certain sides, even though sometimes they will still charge you full price, but I'd rather do that than have it sitting on the table, tempting me to eat it. 
17 Aug 12 by member: Eringiffin
And, don't be afraid to be bold at restaurants. They are there to serve you. Have a conversation with the waiter to ask how a particular dish is prepared and negotiate for subtitutions or modifications. For example, if a seafood dish like shrimp or fish is deep fried, ask if it can be grilled instead. Ask for the sauce on the side. Ask for broccoli instead of potatoes, salad intead of fries, etc. If your buddies are foodies, they will probably avoid fast food joints, so that is good. 
17 Aug 12 by member: Eringiffin
I agree about doing a food journalbut also do an exercise journal it will help you keep track as you go through your day. I did that on my recent vacation and was able to see if I had been sitting too long or what my daily activities were. Plus it helped keep me motivated, which you are! Be sure to ask the wait staff about calorie sheets, most restaurants have them even if they are not on the menu. Most of all have fun! 
17 Aug 12 by member: skwhite

     
 

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