Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tales from the Road: St Augustine, Florida

 photo E3504315-ED51-41AD-BC44-E768C39C28C0_zpssxdzylq5.jpg

Chip is working in St Augustine once again, allowing us to spend time in one of our favorite Florida cities. We have the motorhome parked at Indian Forest Campground, as usual, can't beat the location for the price.

We headed north yesterday morning, rolled into town by lunchtime. One of the best things about RV travel is the ability to store and prepare your own meals, especially if you're on any sort of "diet." While I can find something to eat at most restaurants, I enjoy the security of knowing that my own healthy food back at home should I need it. Most of the time, I like my own cooking better anyway!
So, while Chip got everything hooked up outside, I popped my meal in the microwave and gobbled it up.

 photo 80184E7F-748D-4301-8B86-CA4203305099_zpszdhafehr.jpg
Indonesian Stir-Fry  Noodles

We walked around town for a bit and then stopped at OC White's for lunch. Since I'd already eaten, I was content with a snack, or so I thought! This Caribbean Citrus Salad was a huge pile of spring greens topped with pineapple, mandarin oranges, toasted coconuts and almonds. So good and refreshing on this unseasonably hot day!

 photo 84F787A4-A988-4BDD-A4AE-E2B952E0AF4E_zps2tsiwx4a.jpg

After lunch we walked over to the Lichtner Museum, spent some time soaking up the beautiful art & culture.

 photo FEA90516-85C3-4B71-B6FC-AE007F66D853_zpsr8un3mcm.jpg

 photo 887358FE-725D-46AA-9CAE-2763ABD14214_zps40qlcnav.jpg

 photo D9C6800E-A661-48B5-882E-AA0C16AC2258_zpsyyd05cbv.jpg

Happy Hour was spent at the Tiny Martini Bar, best Cosmo ever! Chip gives rave reviews for his Manhattan as well.

 photo 85CBA546-118A-40DC-96DC-9EEFC5FFCF9F_zps9a1javto.jpg

In addition to delicious drinks, we also enjoyed great conversation with new friends: Matthew and Courtney from Charleston, SC and Brooke, a newly-graduated University of Florida Mechanical Engineer. (Go Gators!)

I hesitate to share with you our dinner experience because it was a mix of good and bad. While the food at The Tasting Room was satisfactory, we had a little issue with our coupon that soured us a bit. Since the manager eventually honored the certificate, I'll refrain from elaborating, but we probably won't be going back there. Oh, and I'd like to mention one thing: too much oil spoils an otherwise delicious dish! So many chefs make the mistake of compensating for lack of meat with extra oil! My vegetables and grains taste just fine without drowning them in fat, thank you very much!

Today we are headed back home, looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Hope you have a nice one as well!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Progress Report

I composed this about a week or so ago and never posted it, oops! Well, I'm happy to report that since then I've lost another 2 pounds, bringing my total to 19. I hope to reach that 20 pound mark by next week! 

I thought it was time I checked in and gave a little progress report. Since I subscribed to the Meal Mentor plans, I've lost a couple more pounds, making my total loss seventeen. Slowly but surely, I'm getting there! Perhaps more important than the number on the scale is how I'm feeling, though. The structure the plans provide has given me such a sense of control and calm, it's amazing! I prepare several meals (or sometimes a weeks' worth) in advance, and then I'm done! I no longer have to think about what I'm eating for lunch, what I'm cooking for dinner, and how many calories I'm "spending." All of that is done for me, what a relief!

Another change I've made, and this is a biggie: I've cut waaaaay back on alcohol. If you know me, you're aware of my chardonnay love, and that no matter what "diet" I've been on, I've never given up my nightly glass of vino. Lately I've been thinking long and hard about that "habit," and what impact its having on my life. While I don't think I have a "problem," per se, I do think that alcohol, even in moderation, has become too much a part of my regular routine, and it's not good for my health or weight loss goals. Also, as we all know, alcohol lowers our inhibitions so I often found myself making poor food choices along with the wine. So, I decided to experiment, see what would happen if I cut down on the cocktails. I'm on Day 4 of this project, and so far it's been quite enlightening. I've learned that I can still go out socially, even to bars, and have fun without drinking. A glass of club soda with a twist feels special and fancy without adding hundreds of calories and a headache! I've already seen a difference in my sleep patterns and energy levels, feel less sluggish and bloated. I'm really shocked at the change, especially after such a short time. Now, I'm not saying I've gone from wino to teetotaler...grin...and I plan to have wine or a mixed drink at some point in the future, but just not as often, or as much. I can see having a glass or two on a Friday or Saturday night, and then that's it. Party over, back to club soda or even the occasional diet cola.

I must admit: the breaking of "bad" habits isn't easy.  I recently had a crappy day, a situation came up that had me feeling sad and anxious, and triggered some old emotions.  My first reaction was to shove those feelings down with food and/or wine, just numb myself out. I resisted the temptation, instead chose to talk it out w/Chip, take a bubble bath, have a little cry, and then simply went to bed. The next morning I still felt some residual "stuff," so I dusted off my yoga mat and did a quick workout. I felt so much better, and no residual guilt/shame for stuffing my face and my emotions. This was a huge deal for me, and I feel really proud of myself for the way I handled it. Now, I need to make that behavior a habit, letting go of the other one.

So, that's where I am right now. Still journaling, still cooking, still eating, still moving. This is a process, and I'm bound to have some setbacks, but overall I'm really happy with the progress I've made over the past month and know that these good habits will build on each other and will eventually become easier.

That's about it for me, have a great day!