While I was in Australia a funny thing happened. I lost 5 pounds. Last year was the first year ever that I did not gain weight over the holidays and I am off to a good start this year. Right now I weight about where I was at the start of the New Year – I weighed158 pounds this morning.
Now, while I was in Australia I did not have access to a scale. Here at home I weigh and record my weight every day. I would not say that it is an obsession (but I am sure you could say that it is) but I do like looking back on the data and charting the trends.
In years past when I have stayed with my sister I have gained weight (good beer was cheap in Texas but it is $$$ in Australia – there was not much drinking on this visit). My sister and her family are very healthy eaters but different than myself. They are grazers between meals. I do this also however I am much more regimented. I eat multiple small meals throughout the day. I have to have portion control – these small meals are containerized. I do not have much discipline when I am presented with a buffet type meal. You can forget chips and salsa and that type of food – I do not know when to say when.
So I have been asking myself what was different that allowed for me to lose 5 pounds. One of the differences is that there was always sliced vegetables out on the table during snacks and dinner. Her kids love vegetables but only when they are raw. I love them too but I rarely have a bowl just sitting out. I know that if I did I would also snack on them. I am going to start having broccoli and baby carrots in a side dish at dinner – every dinner.
I also ate a lot more fat. They are all big nut eaters. They are munching on almonds and cashews all the time. In addition, avocados were on every salad at dinner. My sister also ate an avocado for nearly every lunch. She would use rice crackers and scoop out the avocado. On top of this my sister also ate salmon for most dinners and I also had salmon several times while I was there. At least once a week. I eat a fair amount of nuts but nothing like I did last month. I also have to be careful with my portions – the calories in nuts add up quickly. I also do not eat much fish at all. I need to add a meal a week.
I eat a lot more chicken in my home life. I get a lot of protein from poultry – for better or worse.
However, I do not think my weight loss was strictly due to diet. I did run a lot while I was there. Sixty plus miles one week and more 10k’s than I can count. Many days I ran twice a day (10k x 2 = 12+ miles). And it was hilly to boot. I also walked the kids to school every day. I walked all around the city of Sydney. I walked to the grocery store and carried bags of food back home. I walked to the train station. I walked to friends houses that were 45 minutes away. I rode the train and then walked to about 10 different museums. Then once at the museums I walked all through the galleries. Even though I lead an active lifestyle full of exercise (about 15 hours of exercise a week) I am still tied to a desk for 40+ hours each and every week. My level of activity simply increased while I was in Australia.
Take home message –Just because we can run butts off does not give us the excuse to sit on our butts the rest of the day. We need to live a healthy, active lifestyle even when we are not exercising.