I’m back! I just returned from a 2-week vacation in Portugal. That is the reason for my delayed (and Monday) posting of my weeks 5 & 6 Friday Fitness and Weight Loss updates. Before I left, I decided that I would not track my eating during my time abroad. It just seemed too difficult given many factors. I did, however, hope to remain mindful of my eating (and drinking) while abroad and to journal about it while away. I didn’t expect to lose any weight during that time, but of course I hoped to perhaps maintain, or at least not gain back too much. Well, below you can read what happened in the end.
Weight change (during my 2-week vacation):+3.2 lbs (+1.45 kg)
Exercise (above & beyond) during the last 2 weeks: Though I did not track my exercise during my stay in Portugal, I estimate that it increased more than a whopping 10-fold. My husband and I exercised several hours per day, most all days of our trip. Compared to my past 30 mins or so per day of deliberate exercise, this was a mind boggling increase. I imagine that my weight gain would have been far more without this physical activity.
My husband and I saw and did a number of wonderful things in Portugal, but I confess that I was plagued with stress, mood and anxiety issues quite a bit just prior to and through the vacation. We’ve been back for only a couple of days now and I’m still trying to recuperate. I guess this may not seem like a romantic summary of my time away, but it’s the reality. My bipolar disorder was a contributing factor, but so were a couple of other things.
Starting two and a half days before we left for the trip I began having severe headaches and upset stomachs. About 30 hours before, I was vomiting for hours. I actually got on the scale and found I had lost almost 3 lbs of water weight (and from no food in my stomach) in less than 24 hours because of the vomiting. I did not count that as weight loss knowing re-hydration and normal eating would bring it up again. Luckily, I did recover a bit and felt pretty good the day we flew out.
Going into a vacation having been ill is a sad situation. For me, that and the other factors led to the reemergence of some distress. I began to stress eat (and drink) and was incapable of the “mindfulness” I wanted to practice. My stress eating is often characterized by carbohydrate cravings, and I had them! “All you can eat” breakfast buffets with pastries galore, and the deliciousness of Portuguese rolls and wine didn’t help either. It was too much, but luckily towards the end of the trip I cut down a bit. I also eventually became more mindful about my lunch-time and evening eating, but I just couldn’t give up eating the big pastry-filled breakfasts. Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day, and I confess that when I diet I curb it a lot. When I have no will power, I obviously don’t. Thank goodness I’ll be back on my diet plan soon!
I consider the 3.2 pounds I gained in the last two weeks to be a lot, but I guess it could have been much worse. As summarized above, my eating was not accompanied by sloth, though the exercise increase turned out to be quite taxing, physically and mentally (I was dealing with a slight sprained ankle at one point, too). Ideally, I know that increases in exercise should be done somewhat gradually. Not that some days can’t be big leaps, but making huge leaps in physical activity day after day after months or years of little is usually ill-advised. I wish I hadn’t pushed myself as hard the day after my ankle sprain, but I did. Luckily, the day after that we did a lot of driving and found ourselves in cities with smaller hills.
My husband and I returned late this past Saturday. We spent yesterday dealing with laundry, picking up our pet bird from my brother’s house, and buying a few things from the grocery store. I still need to do a bigger grocery shopping trip to properly get back on track with my diet, but in the meantime we do have some reasonable food options. We started the day this morning with a much lower calorie breakfast than we’d been eating, and I have good options in mind for lunch and dinner. I’ll confess that yesterday we ate pizza. That was the last hooray for untracked eating. This morning I will begin to track again in MyFitnessPal. As for exercise, though I’m still physically exhausted and sore, I do think I should get outside today and do some walking. The weather in my area is beautiful and it sure would be nice to maintain at least some of my increased exercise.
How could I have prepared better for the vacation in terms of eating and stress? I’m not sure. Some of the factors that caused my difficulties were not easy to fix or negotiate in time. I suppose I could have had stronger coping skills in place. Well, that’s something to work on.
Now on to my interim goals.
Interim goals: Resume tracking my meals in MyFitnessPal, staying within 1,200 calories per day, plus any exercise bonus calories I earn. Normally, I try not to eat the bonus exercise calories, but I think that I’ll allow myself that THIS WEEK as part of an interim period. Plus, it would be great for such incentives to encourage my recently increased exercise. I won’t, however, expect myself to exercise nearly as much as I had been during vacation.
My week 6 Friday Fitness and Weight Loss update will be posted this Friday, despite only being five days away.
To read about the weight loss plan and tools I chose for this effort, click My Fitness and Weight Loss Plan Described. You can also read my very first post introducing this effort at Long haul healthy weight and fitness efforts – creation of a Friday post series.