Diets and Family Trips do not Easily Coexist

I had the very best of intentions. Week two of my Shrinking Dad project with Nutrisystem was going to take place while I had the kids in Southern California for a week on holiday, avoiding the storm that hit Colorado with 7-10 inches of snow. We ran barefoot on the beach and admired the towering palm trees instead. Much preferred!

Oh yeah, we also visited with my Dad — the primary reason for the trip, actually — and my sister flew down from the far northern climes of Alaska to join us too. One day, in fact, it was 100-degrees colder where she lived than where we were, outside in the sunshine. That’s a lot of temperature differential!

Backpack with Nutrisystem Foods
My Nutrisystem Powered Backpack o’ Food.

But what about my Nutrisystems plan? Well, best of intentions. I grabbed a backpack and figured I could eat at least 50% of my meals from the NS menu, but as it turned out breakfast was the one I nailed each and every morning, along with a very small morning and afternoon snack. Otherwise? Well, the backpack sure wasn’t much lighter on the return trip than it was heading out of Denver a week ago.

On the other hand, it wasn’t a complete bust because after only a week, I’ve learned to be far more aware of both calories and portion size, along with eschewing — not chewing! — desserts and things that were obviously unhealthy. So I think I did pretty well, all in all, often ordering the lowest calorie item on the menu out of the entire family.

Actually, one thing I really like about California is that by law all restaurants must publish calorie counts on their menus, even if it’s just a board hanging above the register. So when we went into The Schwack Beach Grill in Dana Point, I could make a smart selection, an ahi tuna burger with slaw, no fries, and a water. I even left half the bun, though it sure was tasty. 🙂

The real test is when I weight myself tomorrow morning. Will I have lost weight, stabilized or gained weight? I did walk a lot, especially on the days we went to the LA Zoo [my critical commentary on the Zoo] and the great adventure day at Universal Studios Hollywood, not to mention all that glorious sand and surf on the beaches. Not a single soda, no desserts, and just a few nibbled french fries off my kids plates at various places.

Which reminds me: one thing I have noticed with some interest is how often I am stopping myself from grabbing “that one last bite” or “the last few” of something on one of my children’s plates. I think that the mantra of Don’t Waste Food is so deeply burned into my brain that I cringe even when my children aren’t eating everything on their plates. Doubtless a source of hundreds of uncounted calories every day that we’re together, and even on this trip, I really tried to balance relaxing and enjoying the trip — including our eating and the many different restaurants we visited — with eating sensibly so as not to torpedo my new eating habits.

The result? I’ll fill you in on what the scale reveals in my next installment. This time I’ll end with a question: If you’re trying to be careful and mind what you eat, do you also impose that on your children? If not, do you find it’s tricky not to graze off their plates?

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FTC Disclaimer: Nutrisystem is supplying my program free of charge in return for my participation in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program.

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