What Happens in Vegas…

Well hello.  This might be the longest I have gone without updating my blog.  I had every intention (and several blog ideas) last week but I was just so busy I didn’t get a chance to write.  So I guess I’ll start with what is on my mind now and then try to catch up on the other stuff from last week in the next few days.

Bright and early on Saturday morning, I packed up the car with my mother-in-law and 2 daughters and headed from Phoenix to Las Vegas.  The purpose of the trip was to take my youngest daughter to her Regional gymnastics meet on Sunday afternoon but we turned it into a short family vacation that included my mother-in-law (who loves to gamble in Vegas).  We made great time and got there before lunch time.  We had fun poking around several casinos (mainly the Venetian Canal Shoppes) and then walked around a bit before checking into our hotel.

Our hotel had a small pool up on the roof of the building – the 38th floor.  They were having a happy hour and my girls wanted to swim so we went up and checked it out.  It wasn’t too exciting but the weather was beautiful up there AND I went out in public in a bathing suit for the first time since losing all this weight.  It was nice to just relax in the pool, Jacuzzi, and lounge chair without feeling self conscious.

My son had a basketball tournament he was playing in back in Phoenix.  Unfortunately they lost the championship after playing 2 other games earlier in the day – they were worn out!  A friend had given us a buddy pass airline ticket to use and my husband and son were able to fly out on a stand-by flight and meet up with us Saturday night after the tournament.

A mall food court restaurant entirely dedicated to lobster.  I think I'm in love.

A mall food court restaurant entirely dedicated to lobster. I think I’m in love.

Later on we went over to the Miracle Mile shops in Planet Hollywood (across the street from our hotel) and did some shopping and had dinner.  I should point out that I made the decision that I was going to just eat whatever I felt like, whenever I felt like it on this trip and see how it went.  Part of me just wanted to enjoy the trip and the access to some yummy food that I could not get back home.  I guess I felt like this was a fixed period of time, with a beginning and an end, and there is only so much damage that I could do.  I was justifying my desire to eat crap too much but, at the same time, I felt like the time had come to reintroduce a little of that back.  This was a vacation.  And so, I ate.  Yummy things – like lobster macaroni and cheese from a place called “Lobster Me”.  I ate tacos.  I ate a Krispy Kreme donut.  I ate Garrett’s cheese popcorn.

What scared me a little is how incredibly easy it was for me to eat so much junk or high calorie food.  I would not say I was “binging” because every meal I did do a few things right.  I made sure I ordered something that sounded very good and that I truly wanted.  I only ordered maybe half of what I would have in the past.  Most importantly, I really took the time to taste my food and then stop when I felt like I was satisfied and/or the craving for the taste of whatever it was had been taken care of.  I even had Optifast products while I was there – even on Mother’s Day morning for breakfast while my entire family went out for a big breakfast.  I did this mainly for logistics reasons because I knew that I had to get myself showered and dressed because we were cutting it close on time to get my daughter ready for her gymnastics meet.  I thought having an Optifast HP shake was a pretty good plan – I wouldn’t have enjoyed a big heavy breakfast because I would have been stressed about the time anyway.  The shake got my day started off on a good note.

With my hubby waiting for the Bellagio fountains.

With my hubby waiting for the Bellagio fountains.

Something else that was good – I went running.  On Saturday afternoon I put on my workout clothes and headed down to the gym in the hotel.  I always knew hotel gyms existed but I don’t believe I ever went looking for, or actually used, one!  It was a nice experience, truth be told.  I put on my headphones and ran a mile.  I’m pretty sure I had walked several miles straight on the Las Vegas Strip already that day but, I wanted to make sure I did this too.  The next day I didn’t work out in the fitness center but I watched my FitBit carefully and boy did we rack up some miles.  My daughter and I walked at least 3 miles straight Sunday night alone after everyone else had gone to bed.  I had so much energy on this trip.  I never felt exhausted or worn out physically.  What a nice change!

And so, finally, the exciting news!  The gymnastics meet.  You may (or may not) recall, last month my daughter had some issues at the Arizona State meet and did not qualify for Nationals on one of the events she needed (Double Mini – it is like a vault, except they are jumping/flipping off of 2 side by side trampolines).  This caused me some crazy internal emotional breakdown that I was not happy about AT ALL.  I wasn’t happy about my behavior/attitude and I know it stemmed from just being exhausted and worn out from driving my kids around to probably too many activities.  That day it seemed like she just didn’t care and that is what made me “lose it”.  I think what was really going on is that she is NINE and she didn’t get or care about all of the logistical details that went into her not qualifying at that time.  As time went on, however, I calmed down tremendously and I went to this meet in Vegas (her last chance to qualify) with a much healthier attitude.  Thank God.  Most of all, I just wanted to know what we were doing with our summer.  I took my daughter aside (several times) and told her that I was super proud of how hard she had worked to improve upon the issues she had at State and whatever happened at Regionals, I was proud of her efforts.  I absolutely did not want her to feel badly if she fell again and that she was somehow disappointing me – especially on Mother’s Day.  So I was super relaxed heading into the meet – which is good because the event she needed was the last one and she was one of the last kids to go…and then the scoreboard froze up and we had to wait even longer to see her scores.  But, I am overjoyed to report that she rocked it!

Celebrating Mother's Day with my daughter and her medals!

Celebrating Mother’s Day with my daughter and her medals!

She had really clean passes, got the Nationals qualifying score beat by over 2 points and … won the Regional championship in that event!  So, now we are all headed to Kansas City this summer for her to compete at Nationals in 2 events.  We will turn it into a fun summer vacation for the rest of the family and will get to visit with some dear friends that moved to that area a couple of years ago.  So glad that I can move ahead with our planning!  As I said, I would have been proud of her either way but it is very satisfying when you see the extra work that your kids put into something pay off.  She is learning about hard work and the benefit of practicing something.  Not even 6 months ago she could not (and would not) attempt the skill that is needed in these events and now she is performing them at a

Region 2 9 year old Double-Mini champion!

Region 2 9 year old Double-Mini champion!

pretty decent level.  THIS is why I drive my kids around all the time.  I want them to experience THIS feeling of accomplishment – in whatever they do.  I hope that they will draw from these lessons later in life – when the task or obstacle in life is even more intense than flipping off a trampoline and trying to land on their feet.

Back to reality and back to resuming “Maintenance”.  I jumped on the scale briefly this morning and was shocked at how high it was.  I am definitely in the “yellow flag” area.  So, I took a couple of steps today.  I went back to my eating plan that I was following before the trip.  I went to the gym and ran 3 miles straight (at least 300 calories burned).  And, finally, I realized that there was a maintenance and transition class being taught at Scottsdale Weight Loss by one of my favorite psychologists, Dr. Kim Feinstein.  They encourage us to re-take these classes and the timing on this was perfect.  I had taken this class with the other 2 dr.’s but I’m really glad I went today.  It totally put me back in the right frame of mind.  Maintenance is going to be challenging, no doubt about it.  Hopefully I can learn from this trip about what went right and what I need to work on for our next vacation.  I need to learn to practice a little more moderation when traveling.  But, for my first outing, I think I’m on the right track.

We let the kids zip-line over Fremont St. in downtown Vegas.  Nothing like watching all 3 of your offspring being suspended by thin metal wires....

We let the kids zip-line over Fremont St. in downtown Vegas. Nothing like watching all 3 of your offspring being suspended by thin metal wires….

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