Thursday, January 13, 2011

Road Trip Dining Plan

You are going on a four day trip, traveling a total of 1100 miles. Your trip includes long car rides, stops at areas of interest, two nights in hotels and one night visiting the home of a relative. Do you bring food with you or only eat in restaurants? Do you plan your meals in advance? Do you bring snacks in the car? Or do you say "Hey, I'm on vacation. I can take a break for four days. What's the big deal?"

Do you bring food? I do. Not all my food for the whole trip but enough to keep me from being in  position where I might be too hungry when the only choices are fast food and Cracker Barrel. I will be away for 12 meals. I am bringing enough for 7 of those meals and my snacks. I am planning to restaurant the rest.

Do you plan your meals in advance? I will have these meals with me but what day I eat what meal is not set. The meals at restaurants will be chosen when we know where we will be and what is available. Through the resource of the Internet I know what is available where we are going and I do not have to be concerned that I will be stuck in a place where the only food is cheese, pasta or breaded and fried.

Do you bring snacks in the car?
As in my normal day, the snacks are healthy and spaced between meals and sometimes not consumed because I am too busy to remember to eat them. I have them with me but I will not be eating them in the car unless we are in a 4 hour traffic jam during meal time. I do not eat while driving. I try to practice mindful eating: being aware of the food and eating it with thought as opposed to inhaling it with repetitive hand-to-mouth motions as I drive the interstate. 

Hey, I'm on vacation. It is only four days, what's the big deal?
There are people who swear that they can get back on course easily and that four days or a holiday or a single meal cannot possibly effect them to such as extent that they cannot get back on track right away. I want to be one of those people who have that dubious blessing. Am I one of those people? No. 

Will all I have learned and all I have experienced help keep me willing and able to return to my plan of eating after 'just four days' of being on vacation? Past experience has shown me the answer is no. Am I unique in this regard? If it was so easy to just get back on plan there would not be MILLIONS of obese people searching for the miracle cure for weight loss. The minute I think I can eat whatever I want for ANY length of time I will be on a very slippery slope that leads to gaining 200 pounds. If doing that works for you - go do it. As for me and my body, we will have to continue to trudge the straight road currently paved before me. It is the only thing that honestly works for me. 

With a little planning and adventure I can continue keeping the pounds off through another vacation. 


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