I never approach a holiday, vacation or conference expecting to lose weight. I want to enjoy my life and all the many opportunities I have to experience new things. Food is part of that. I don't want to spend time worrying about counting points or fearing I will gain weight while on holiday. At the same time, I am very aware of all the hard work and effort I've put into finding ways to control my tendency to overeat and my weakness for emotional eating.
I'm not sure it is healthy that I seemed to ignore most of what I have learned about healthy eating during those two weeks in California. I was aware of what I was eating every day, and there were moments when I had pangs about how bad my portion control, snacking and meal choices were. Some days were better than others, but I did not have one "good" eating day where I stayed within my point/calorie count for the day. I didn't beat myself up about this, but I do wonder if I'd given myself too much latitude to overeat.
I knew when I approached the scale at Weight Watchers on the first Tuesday after I returned from California that it wasn't going to be pretty. I joked with myself that I hoped I hadn't gained more than 5 pounds, so I wasn't surprised to see I had gained 5.2 pounds. I didn't freak. My clothes still fit. It's not time to panic, but I didn't like to see that I'm now down only 27.4 pounds since 1/09, and I'm not particularly fond of how much I weighed that night. I can't change what I ate in California, and honestly, I had a really good time. I'm not going to beat myself up about it, but I do want to figure out if I should develop a different approach to holidays or vacations in the future.
Since January of 2009, I have gained weight during weeks with work conferences, holidays or vacations. I always lost that weight fairly quickly and went on to lose more. In fact, the last time I gained 5 pounds in 2 weeks was during August 2009, and that gain was what finally broke the exercise-induced plateau that had been haunting me for months that summer. It could be that this 5 pound gain is what will finally break this 3 month streak I had going of staying between 31 and 33 pounds down, and I will be able to start a several month long streak of losing weight. Naturally, I would have rather broken this (possible) plateau by losing weight, but I'll take whatever works.
All of this may be way too much optimistic spin, and I still don't know if I should change my approach in the future. While today is a day to honor military personnel who have died for their country, many also consider it the unofficial start of the summer. I have several more holidays and vacations to anticipate the next few months, the rest of the year and even this week. My birthday is this Friday. I plan to enjoy all my special occasions for the rest of my life, but I'm not sure I want to have any more five pound weight gains in two weeks during my journey to becoming and staying a healthy writer.
What do you think is a healthy approach to eating during holidays and vacations? Do you have any tips for me for my next holiday or vacation?
Michelle Butler has made becoming a healthy writer a priority. She lives, works and writes in the Washington, DC, area. You can follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/healthywrtr