“Know thyself”

We are back from a trip through the Southeastern United States, visiting family and friends.  We went to a reunion with my cousins, and visited with friends who have moved to Alabama and Mississippi.  We made plans to spend time with cousins of my husband, who we haven’t seen in more than 20 years.  They virtually planned a reunion around our visit.  Then we visited more cousins in New Orleans, and more friends in Texas.

We talked, and sat, and ate.  Then we drove, and sat, and talked, and ate some more.  There were only a few days when we got any meaningful exercise.  Some places I could find healthy food, but many times we were eating Southern Comfort Food.  I ate more fried food than I have in years.  I could smile and turn down biscuits and bread…but I could not turn down homemade chocolate ice cream or homemade apple pie.  Thankfully, lots of our friends and relatives have gardens, so we also ate a lot of fresh vegetables.

Yet in spite of all that, I came home two pounds lighter than when I left.  How could that happen???

It started me thinking.  Whenever we return from a vacation, I almost always have lost weight.  On vacations where we do a lot of hiking, that is understandable.  But what about times when we take a tour? Or when we do a lot of driving?  It didn’t make sense.

It makes even less sense that within a few days of returning home I will regain the weight I had lost.  Even though at home I exercise more and eat healthier food.

So I started analyzing myself.

True I exercise for an hour every morning – always something that gets my heart pumping and usually something vigorous.  But then I come home and spend a large part of the day at the computer.  There is house work to do and yardwork in the spring and summer.  But there are also movie nights sitting in front of the TV with my husband.  At least when we are traveling, I am moving suitcases and carrying 25 pounds of camera equipment in my backpack.  I have realized that I really do spend a lot of time being stationary.   And I must be proactive to change that.

But the most significant thing I observed is that when we are traveling I get a plate of food and I eat it.  Then I don’t eat again until the next meal.  At home I will work at the computer until it is time to eat lunch.  Then I rush into the kitchen to start cooking.  I am already hungry, and I munch as I cook.  Everything I cook is healthy…but I taste and I sample and I snack.  Then I fill my plate.

The same thing happens for supper.  I am busy on some project and HH will say, “What time is supper tonight?”  He has caught me red handed – I don’t even have a plan.  I have lots of healthy food in the kitchen, and I can whip up an amazing supper pretty fast…snacking and tasting all the while.

Since we have been home, I have made a conscious effort not to eat except at meal times.  I fix a glass of iced green tea to drink while I cook.  Or I open a can of La Croix.  Or I put some L-Glutamine in fruit flavored water.

We’ve been home more than a week, and my weight has held steady.  I think I’m getting to know myself better.

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