Vacation & Dieting — Wishful Thinking or Reality?

Happy Memorial Day weekend to you.  I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.  While it’s nice for those that have that extra day off, I hope we take a moment to remember our fallen men and women that have fought for our freedom.  Monday just isn’t the unofficial start of the summer season.

While some will work Monday, many will have the day off for an extended weekend for barbeques and a trip to an area water attraction.  Back home it was the Lakes, in the Quad Cities, it’s the River, and for me this week, it’s the Lake.  Typically, I’m one of those that work holidays.  But, not this one.

This was the view out my window this morning when I woke up at 6:30 a.m. in Spirit Lake, Iowa, at Ray’s parents’ house.

I didn’t know what time it was since the clock chimed at the half hour.  I just knew that no one else was up, so it must have been early.  I’m accustomed to being up early.  Had Miss ABBA been here with us, we would have already been walking along the Lake and seeing what kind of trouble we could find.  And, I would have been trying to convince her, like Gretel, our soon-to-be 11-year-old daughter, that it’s too early to go swimming and the water is cold. 🙂

The bottom line is that we’re away this weekend and next week relaxing at Spirit Lake and Okoboji Lake in northwestern Iowa.  This will likely be our last visit here since Ray’s parents are selling their home on the Lake and moving away.

While my sister is back in Moline feeding our fish, watering our plants, and making sure that Gretel’s two cats have food and water, we have no responsibilities this week except for reading, relaxing, boating, and maybe, fishing.  Sounds rough, huh?

There will be one struggle!  The biggest challenge on this trip will be eating healthy and dieting.  As you may recall, Ray and I are on a diet and exercise routine to lose the weight that we’ve gained since we met each other more than three years ago.

And, while people are sweet and say, “you two look great, fine, (or insert word) and don’t need to lose weight”, we know that we’ve both packed on the pounds.  For me, it was about 18 pounds and for Ray, about 30 pounds.

We now eat balanced and smaller meals each day and we exercise more.  Both of us start the day on the treadmill, we take a walk in our neighborhood at lunch, and two or three walks in the ‘hood in the evenings.

So far, we’ve been doing very well.  Since Christmas, we’ve both lost 18 pounds!  It definitely is easier to put the weight on than to lose it!

When we get to our goals of less than 150 for me and 170 for Ray, we both have chosen rewards.  Me, Osaka Buffet for Chinese food and sushi and Ray has chosen pizza buffet!

However, being away on vacation and being more relaxed with the calorie counting is going to make maintaining or losing weight a challenge.  At home, we measure out our food to the tablespoons and cups, and for meat, we even bought a scale to weigh it to keep portion sizes in balance.  We weigh ourselves daily, even though we shouldn’t because of weight fluctuations.

We didn’t bring either scale with us on vacation.  We’re going to have to rely solely on guessing at portion size and exercising.  One thing that we do have is a website that we’ve been using now for about a month.  And, if you’re wanting to shed a few pounds, I’d highly recommend http://www.myfitnesspal.com

After building a profile with your age, height, weight, and how many pounds you want to lose (it allows you up to two pounds a week), it will give you a daily allowance of calories for you to eat that will help you achieve your goals.  You go in and add all of the food that you eat and how many calories you burn off exercising and it keeps track of it for you.

If you don’t know how many calories you burn walking, mowing the law, or working out, it helps you.

It’s been very instrumental in keeping us motivated and on track.  Once you do it, you will be amazed at how quickly calories add up and you will realize how easy it is to gain 20 or 30 pounds.

However, if you don’t eat the daily recommended calories to get to your weight loss goal in a healthy way, it will yell at you!

Something tells me that I won’t have that problem this weekend eating Papa Ray (Ray’s dad) and Donna’s great cooking.  He is a master of the grill and she makes the best fried walleye and baked fruit pies.  I hope she asks if we want her to make a pie this weekend.  Peach sounds so good!

And, I had planned on going fishing this week for the first time in thirty years.  If the weather isn’t crappy (not crappie) and cool, maybe I’ll catch a few walleye and say, “why don’t we fry these and make sandwiches.  Subtle?  Probably not.

Okay, I’ve been up one hour.  Everyone is still sleeping.  I think I will head out on my first walk alone to get a head start on my exercise for the day.  It’s so strange not having Miss ABBA lead the way, since this is my first trip to Spirit Lake without her.  But, she’s in my heart.  I’ll take my camera along and take some fun pictures.

Have a great weekend.

Anthony

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