I’ve been back from vacation for about a week now. We went to Switzerland, and saw everyone in my host family (I was a foreign exchange student there 30+ years ago) again. Then to Italy to visit our former exchange student and her parents. And finally on to my husband’s family seat in Northern Italy. I’ve lost about three pounds since I returned, so I’m really back on track. The good news though is that I only gained ONE POUND during the three weeks I was away. I am frankly as shocked as anyone. This makes me back to a net two pounds additional weight lost, and an overall weight loss of twenty-two pounds.
Let me say that I wasn’t sure this was going to be the case. I set out determined to do a 3/3 plan, or even a 4/2 plan (i.e., 3 or 4 Medifast replacements and 3 or 2 Lean and Green meals). This fell apart pretty quickly! We were away 17 days, and 8 of those were spent with family and friends. While I set out to not “indulge”, it quickly struck me how important food is to the people I was with. Not just that they enjoy good food (a given), but that preparing food for special guests is a core part of how they show love and affection. Since we ate home prepared meals (feasts??) at 5 different homes and a three hour lunch at an unbelievable restaurant during our trip, it became almost immediately apparent that I would not be able to turn down EVERYTHING that wasn’t on my plan. I would need to give in on some levels for everyone. Okay, I’ll be honest. I really didn’t want to deprive myself of some of the things offered to me that I only enjoy every few years in Switzerland. I mean really! Tête de Moine? Knöpfli? Rösti? Prepared by some of the best cooks I know? I simply didn’t have the personal resolve or will to pass up these goodies. I DID forgo the chocolate though (but brought some home for when I can start adding other treats back into my life).
About a week into the trip, we arrived at the home of our Italian foreign exchange student, and for the first time saw a scale. Granted, my first time on the scale was in the afternoon fully clothed, but I almost fainted. Four full kilos (8.8 pounds) more than when I left home. In just a week! And a week where we did a 3 hour hike around Bielersee. Two days later, just before we left for our next stop, I was still 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) up. Now of course, who knows if that scale was calibrated the same as mine at home, but it certainly had me feeling a little glum.
However, the final week of our trip was spent in hotels. And sticking to a 4/2 plan and leaving the car parked at the hotel for most of the week seem to have reversed the tide.
So, here’s what I took with me:
- Medifast Oatmeal. I’m not a huge breakfast eater anyway, and having Oatmeal at my friends’ homes kept me from the bread, butter, jam and cheese! Except for the Sunday morning when our host had fresh baked Züpfe (Swiss braided bread). I had to try just one little piece of that!
- Medifast Bars. Easy to eat when on the run.
- Medifast Crunch Stuff. Parmesan Puffs, Pretzels. Also easy to have on the run.
- Medifast Cold Drinks. Raspberry Tea, Peach Tea, etc.
All of those worked well, except we only had a microwave when at our friends’ houses (we had to plug the one in at my host parents’ house – heehee – they really don’t use it at all!). For the hotel days, I had a coffee (or cappuccino) for breakfast, along with a bar. Then I’d have a cold drink mix mid-morning while walking about. A mostly “Lean and Green” lunch (with a bite of the pasta from one of the boys’ plates!). Another afternoon snack of a bar or pretzels, or a medifast drink. Since we were eating later, I typically had an late afternoon Medifast snack again, and finally a mostly “Lean and Green” dinner.
Now, could I have actually LOST weight on this trip? Certainly. If I had stuck to the diet entirely I’m sure I would have lost weight. And some might say that I missed an opportunity. I, on the other hand, realize that it took me years to gain this weight, and even though this diet has been the easiest weight loss I’ve ever experienced, and will take only a matter of 4-6 months of strict adherence to reach my goal, I only really traded 3 weeks of weight loss for a thoroughly enjoyable, stress-free vacation with my family and friends. It was a trade-off I was willing to make.