Saturday, April 16, 2016

On the Road and Off the Rails

Corporation Beach, Cape Cod, MA

I took a little road trip recently, to attend a memorial service for my aunt. It was one of those bittersweet trips where the reason for the visit is sad, but the warmth of loved ones is a treasure. But for anyone who has ever dieted, you will know that these excursions are a recipe for diet failure.

The following picture shows what happened to me.

30-day report from My Fitness Pal

Slow and steady progress, until . . . 

I'd proudly stuck to my weight-loss goal of half a pound per week, but while on the road, had managed to gain two pounds in a mere six days. Two pounds may not sound like a lot, but it represents four weeks' worth of progress. It felt like a big setback.

But, upon reflection, I realized that two pounds would represent approximately 7,000 extra calories, or 1,000 extra calories EACH DAY that I was gone. This seemed highly unlikely, especially as I'd kept tracking my food (and do acknowledge that I went "over" on a couple of days, with no regrets) and made sure to meet my "steps" goals, except on the days that I was driving.

Then I remembered the passage in The Diet Fix where Dr. Freedhoff discussed those dramatic overnight weigh gains after a night of partying. (I don't have the book anymore, so I can't give the exact quote.) He cautioned that one should not be discouraged. A small spate of unhealthy eating could produce water retention as the body worked to purge toxins.

I'd certainly drunk a good bit of alcohol and had eaten some (delicious) restaurant meals that likely had more salt and fat than I eat at home. And, though I had packed healthy lunches, I'd succumbed to temptation and eaten some processed foods while on the road.

And, sure enough, you'll see that the pounds seem to have dropped off in record time. I can tell you that I have not taken any extra measures to do so -- I haven't reduced my calorie intake or increased my walking. I've just gone back to my regular weight-loss program.

And, as my niece Melissa reminded me, "It's still great, don't cheat yourself out of accomplishments :) ." And this chart puts it all into perspective.

90-day report from My Fitness Pal

It's just a blip in the road.


  1. I have been working out steady for 2 years now, and even one crazy, busy day with the kids or where I have a Guiding event can completely throw me off for a day or two... and it usually is reflected on the scale. But these setbacks are temporary ones just caused by Life Interrupting, and I find you bounce right back into your program quite easily. My coach says follow the 80/20 rule: where you follow your diet and exercise 80% of the time, so that when that Life 20% interrupts -- it is just a brief blip. And, you can even enjoy those detours some times.

    1. That's a great concept. I'm just afraid that my 20% could turn into a horrific binge. It would be so easy!

  2. Yep, just a blip. I have water retention days often. Always comes off within three days. You did exactly the right thing, realizing you couldn't possibly have eaten an extra 7,000 calories. Once you trust the math, the stress of a brief weight gain is no longer an issue. Keep on doin' what you're doin'! You'll get there. I have absolute faith in you.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Kathy. I'm still working it!

    2. I used to always say to myself "Keep doing what you're doing. It's working." Any time I thought I was stalling, just said my mantra and kept on going. I'm happy for you!


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