Cancel Project Red Zone

Good morning.  We have been home from Missouri for a couple of days.  Most of the laundry is done.  The 2 foot stack of mail has been sorted.  My taxi-driving duties have resumed.

On the flight home Saturday night, I started thinking about how I would tackle taking care of the weight I put on during our trip.  Daily meals had included quite a few carbs and we had dessert just about every day.  I tried to make healthier choices here and there but many time, mostly due to time and location constraints, my options were fairly limited.  And, to be honest, I was on vacation and just wanted to enjoy some of the local specialties since I would probably would not be in that part of the country for a long time.   We did quite a bit of walking (averaging about 12,000-15,000 steps per day), and even some running a few of the days.   But, without my morning weigh-in, I felt a little out of control and pretty unsure about where things stood.  With my height, I think it would take at least 10 pounds of weight gain before I would notice it in my clothes.  But since they all felt pretty good still, I did have some reassurance that I had not gained 50 pounds in 10 days – despite eating what seemed like that amount of barbeque!

My original plan was to give myself until mid-week, tracking my calorie intake and resuming my exercising at Koko, before jumping on the scale after the trip.  But Sunday morning when I woke up I had a different idea.  I think it is important for me to document this sort of “recovery” so that I have some history to look back on.  My plan wasred zone to create a “Project Red Zone” blog post and keep a detailed record of how and how fast I cut the weight back down to my “Green Zone” – which is 168-172 lbs.  Right before we left town I was right at 170 pounds.  I had hoped to be much lower to give myself some extra leeway but I had just returned from the Santa Fe trip and all that eating/drinking and the kidney infection/antibiotics had definitely kept my weight right around the upper end of my range.

So, Sunday morning – first thing – I braced myself for what the scale was going to report.  I wasn’t very anxious I guess because I knew I had a plan to take care of it.  I decided that if I was more than 175 lbs., I would start back on the Optifast partial-meal plan (4 Optifasts and one “lean and green” meal) until back in the green zone.  Well, much to my shock, the scale read 171.5.  I was definitely not expecting that.  I actually stood staring at my scale for a full minute.  Only 1.5 pounds?  After all I ate over the last 10 days?  What the hell?!?

To be honest, I felt a little conflicted.  I think a big gain would have reiterated the fact that eating crap day after day has consequences.  The other part of me was relieved though.  It made me see that maintenance can be achieved while on vacation.  Looking back, I did a lot of things right – especially with the exercise.  Taking workout clothes and running shoes is now becoming normal for me and it is now part of my daily habit (thanks to streaking) to wake up every morning and figure out when my exercise time will be.  It is no longer a matter of “if” but “when”.  I also traveled with several boxes of protein bars – both Optifast, Fiber One protein, and a few other types.  I always kept several in my purse and spaced them out throughout the day to keep my blood sugar steady and reduce the temptation to head for the nearest snack bar when I got hungry.  Fresh fruit and veggies were pretty scarce but when I did have an opportunity to have them, I did.

There are still 1.5 pounds to get off though so I did start back with my normal “maintenance” diet which always consists of some sort of shake or smoothie in the morning and lots of bars to supplement throughout my day.  My meals so far have been what I have made for the family but I have been measuring my portions and recording the calories.  I am still sticking around 1700 calories per day and not including my exercise calories (which average 200-400+) in that.  So, my net calorie intake is probably somewhere around 1500 calories/day.  I made sure to get back on track with using MyFitnessPal, recording my morning weigh in, going running at Koko – all those healthy habits that have kept my weight off successfully so far.  I am happy to say that following this, the weight falls off so quickly after vacation.  I have gone from 171.5 -> 170.7 -> 168.8 in less than 3 days.  I am already well within my “Green Safety Zone”.

We are done with our summer vacations and the only other “food fest” in the near future is my birthday at the end of next week.  By keeping up with what is now my normal maintenance way of living, I should be able to splurge a little for my birthday and have a yummy meal or two and some treats.

Well, I suppose I had better get started on my day!  I’m working my schedule so that I can attend a class at Scottsdale Weight Loss taught by one of the dieticians.  I tried to take most of the classes by each of the different instructors just to get a different perspective.  This class is called “The Secret to Keeping it Off” … seems like the timing is pretty good.  Having taken this class before, I know that it reviews the key habits of those on the National Weight Control Registry.  Always a good reminder to hear them over and over.

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