Before I went on vacation I weighed myself, even though I really didn’t want to. Since getting down and dirty serious about my weight I grit my teeth and step on the scale at least once a week. It is the only way to keep a hawk eye on the insidious creep of weight gain.

I knew I wasn’t going to like whatever the scale told me, and I didn’t. My weight was 144.5. Just so you know, I am 5 feet, 2 and 1/2 inches.  144.5 pounds for my height and age has a BMI of, oh, I don’t know, 26.5, which is overweight! Some of you are going to say, oh don’t be so hard on yourself, it’s just a chart, and I get that. I just don’t feel fabulous at 144.5 and don’t I deserve to feel fabulous? Stubbornly I didn’t record the weight gain. Damn those extra pounds! If I don’t record them maybe they don’t exist! That was my thinking.

For our little vacation my family drove to the Adirondacks to stay for four days, then to NYC for five. We love the mountains and the city.

#1.  My body has learned new habits even if my head has yet to catch up. It’s been an entire year of working with dedicated food journaling. In that time I’ve lost about 18 pounds but something maybe more important has happened too. I just don’t crave junk food like I used to!

Road trips used to mean lots of junk food. I looked forward to  my once a year salty, fatty, sugary indulgence. Apparently not any more! I didn’t miss the salt or sweet at all so it wasn’t about feeling deprived or counting calories. It was almost weird because I found myself asking my body, ‘What is with you! Don’t you want those tortilla chips?’ and my body would shrug, ‘No, not really.’

Could it be that the past is no longer my eating habit destiny?

#2. Exercise does make a difference. The thing that I believe made the difference between gaining or losing weight on this vacation was how much we walked. We hiked like crazy in the Adirondacks where the elevation change is the same as in Colorado but the altitude is much lower. It was a revelation to all of us, me, my kids and husband. We go to the Rocky Mountains often and it usually takes two or more days to acclimate to the higher altitude. In the Adirondack mountains we could hike for as long as we wanted to right off the bat, and we did! Then in NYC we walked our asses off there, because that’s what you do in NYC. You walk everywhere! The one day we didn’t walk for miles we went to Jones Beach and swam like crazy!

#3 You don’t have to eat in front of the TV to enjoy your meals. I didn’t even realize this until I got home. There was very little TV viewing while on vacay. It’s not like we did this on purpose. It just happened that way. Whether at a restaurant, our bed and breakfast in the High Peaks country or my cousin’s house where we stayed in NYC, we sat at a table and actually talked while we ate. As a result I think I ate fewer seconds, snacked less and made better choices.

Believe me, it’s not like I deprived myself! I so enjoyed the local brew in Lake Placid, soul food in Harlem, empanadas in Queens and gelato on the Highline in Chelsea. Yum! This was a vacation after all!

So, the day after being back at home, it was time to face the music. I had to weigh myself. Sure I had gained at least a few pounds on top of the 144.5, I pinched my nose and closed my eyes. The scale said 142! It’s a vacation miracle! Or is it?

Catching up on the newspaper reading I missed while I was away I found this great article by Jane E. Brody, “Still Counting Calories? Your Weight Loss Plan May be Outdated.” In it a lot of my ‘discoveries’ turn out to be scientifically sound. Who knew?

Now I’m three pounds away from my goal weight of 139! Can I do it? Yes, I can! I’m feeling very empowered right now.

Love to you all! Thanks so much for your support!

Are you struggling with your weight? Tell me about! No, really tell me all about how you struggle, what works, what doesn’t. I’d love to hear from you.