I’m sorry for being so neglectful, blog! Ten days ago I headed out for NJ for my month long summer stay. Since I’ve been camerless, I only have sporadic, low resolution, usually blurry camera phone photos to share with you.
The upside: I’m right down the street from an adorable park with this view! The downside: that’s about the only pretty thing I’m remotely close to. NJ has a lot of pretty places, don’t get me wrong– I just happen to be wedged between mostly oil tankers when I come visit. There are some nice parks, but unfortunately the humid, hot weather has kept me from most outdoor activities. I did get to take advantage of one gorgeous day perfect for running on a track, but otherwise, it’s been the treadmill for me.
I left for NJ with a lot of healthy living apprehensions. How was I going to stay on diet with delicious, cheap italian food around every corner? What would I do without my varied exercise routine of Bikram yoga, climbing, step class, the weight room, and the treadmill? How could I say no to soft serve ice cream?
Well, it turns out all my worrying was for naught, since I’ve actually lost weight on my trip. I didn’t think it possible! I’ve been less active and my diet has definitely shifted, but somehow I’ve managed to drop a few pounds (I weigh in at 138-139lb now)! My goal was just to maintain my weight on my trip, but here are some theories I have as to why vacations may actually help you shed a few stubborn pounds, especially if you’ve plateaued.
- Changing your routine. In Arizona, I had gotten into a VERY specific eating routine. I would eat the same foods on the same days at the same time. Even if all of those foods were healthy and delicious, my body just got used to it! Out here, my schedule is totally different. I eat at wacky times, and even though the foods I eat may be a little richer, I eat less often because I’m usually at the mercy of other people’s schedules. I still make sure to eat a healthy breakfast of eggs, cottage cheese, or yogurt everyday, but my lunch and dinner are less regular, and I’ve been eating out a lot more. I order what I want at restaurants but usually sub out starchy rice, potatoes, or pasta sides for an extra serving of veggies. My favorite meal so far has been delicious fresh scallops over about 5lbs of broccoli raab drowning in garlic and oil. I’m bad at portioning restaurant meals, so often times i’ll share with someone, usually my mom. For example, when we went for chinese, I ordered a healthy protein dish and she got a healthy veggie one, and we mixed and matched. I always offer people portions of my food– if it’s on my plate, I’ll eat it all, but out of sight, out of mind!
- Exercising… less? As much as I hate to admit it, I was exercising so much in Arizona I might have been causing my body to hang on to weight! Out here, I’m much less active, and while I miss it like crazy, toning down my exercise may actually be tapering my waist line. On my busiest Arizona day, I would wake up, do 90 minutes of Bikram yoga, go to an hour-long step class at the YMCA, and then climb at Rocks and Ropes for 2+ hours. Even on my least busy day, I would either climb for 2+ hours or do a 90 minute Bikram class. It didn’t seem like a lot to me because I enjoyed it, but holy shit, that’s a lot of exercise! Out here, my typical day usually involves a 20 minute interval run on the treadmill and then either some basic calisthenics (push-ups, sit-ups, squats) or weight lifting. Big difference! I’m thankful that my two adventurous friends, Ruth and Steff, have gone climbing with me so I don’t go down any ranks while I’m here, but two times in ten days is still a far cry from the three times a week+ I was doing in Arizona!climbing adventures at The Gravity Vault
- Being relaxed. In Arizona, I was juggling all that physical activity with art work, a social life, daily chores, and romance. I felt like I was ALWAYS doing something. Here, I have time to sit back and relax. Studies show that sometimes stress can cause weight gain! So my stressed out, busy life because of healthy living may actually have been detracting from, well, a healthy living.
- Less late night snacking! I haven’t ingested one dark chocolate covered pomegranate seed since arriving. And while I already have big plans to devour an entire box of them when I go home, I’m sadly without any here. As much as I love Ian, having a constant companion who is unable to gain weight is definitely not good for my diet. Our midnight snacks of ice cream (that I’d want only “a bite” of), popcorn, and chocolate have ended. While I eat dinner out here MUCH later than I do in Arizona, the elimination of the late night snack more than makes up for it.
So, those are my theories! If you’ve hit a weight loss wall, try them out at home and see if they work for you! Switch up your eating habits for a week or tone down your exercise for a week and see if that actually confuses your body into weight loss like it has mine! I have one last exciting announcement: at a clothing swap my fabulous friend Steff hosted, I not only gained two new skirts, four new shirts, and a sweet pair of skinny leg jeans– I also sniggled a pair of size 6 shorts that actually fit me perfectly!!
I know it’s blurry, but I swear they say size 6. To be fair, they are Old Navy, which run very weird, and I’m still usually between a 8-10. But never did I imagine a size 6 anything would ever fit me! And I’ve got a vacation to thank for it!
So vacations don’t mean the end of a healthy living routine. Sometimes change is good!