Losing Weight While Traveling

I’m getting ready for a trip next week. We’re going to Upstate New York to visit with my friend and her family. We’ll laze by the pool, go out on the lake, take walks in the woods, sit on the porch and talk or curl up on the sofa and read. In past years there was also the fun of making cookies, cakes and other yummy desserts. I have fond memories of learning the Toll House Cookie recipe and laughing about the tea towel version that says yield one cookie – because we ate all the dough! That memory is decades old, but still makes me smile.

I still want to bake cookies; it’s part of our history together. But now we’ll share more! There will be two men and three small boys to help us gobble them up. I probably won’t make the decadent chocolate cake I made one year – but perhaps we can pick or buy berries and I can make a beautiful fruit crisp – substituting a little splenda for sugar will make it weight loss surgery friendly. I know there are GBS friendly pie recipes on the bariatriceating.com board. I just need to find one and be prepared.

Being prepared – planning – is how I’ve been successful and lost 142 pounds. I make plans and backup plans so that when Plan A falls, I’ve got Plan B ready to go. Continuing to be prepared is how I’m going to lose the last 30 pounds and keep them off. Some might accuse me of being a control freak, but I’m okay with that because I’ve also been in control of my weight for the longest period of my whole life. So here is my plan for my upcoming trip:

The small lake town where we’ll be staying doesn’t have a wide selection for groceries, so we’ll stop in Burlington and do a week’s worth of shopping to fit the “Lake Trip Menu Plan”  I’ll create tomorrow. Once I have the menu plan, I can send it to my friend and we can tweak it so that everyone will be happy with it. I love to cook when I’m on vacation and her husband and mine are both great cooks, so we’ll figure out who will cook what.  Since she’s a vegetarian who eats fish, then we can focus on lots of fresh, local produce and add fish, chicken and beef or bison if I can get it! If I recall, there’s a nice bakery selection at the store near the house and a kitchen garden that we can raid for vegetables, plus fresh eggs from the farm. If we pick up meat and fish to grill, plus the grocery items I can’t live without, we’ll do great.

Planning for exercise should be easy – there’s a pool, a lake and lots of lawn space for activities with the boys. I’m going to take my running clothes and sneakers, my garmin 305 and heart rate monitor, plus the Couch to 5k podcasts I’ve been following. For 5 days I can run in the mornings along beautiful farm lanes and through the woods. I used to do that when I was a runner (briefly) in high school. I’m looking forward to doing it again. Will make a great change from running around my neighbourhood. I can take my resistance bands and with very little space in my bag, get a great workout while I’m there. Add in a few situps and some tricep curls with anything handy that weighs 5 pounds and I can not only maintain while I’m gone, I can continue to make progress.

This is my packing list so far:

Food List:
Pack food items from home in a cooler bag for the airport/plane
  • Protein powder for 6 days – 3 servings a day
  • Protein powder for my oatmeal that I’ll make at the Lake
  • Shaker ball cup for making protein shakes
  • Bottled water (will have to buy this after I go through security check point)
  • Labrada Rock n Roll protein bars – cut into 4-5 pieces
  • Almonds – measured out in single servings ~24 almonds
Exercise List:
  • Resistance bands
  • Running shoes
  • Garmin 305 heart rate monitor with footpad and chest strap and charger
  • Running shorts and jog bra and a couple of teeshirts
  • Running socks
  • Swimsuit
Shopping List for Burlington:
  • Fage 0% yogurt
  • Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
  • Splenda with fiber
  • Splenda brown sugar
  • Splenda granular
  • Sugar free jam/jelly
  • Kraft 2% Cheddar cheese slices
  • Kellogg H20 pink lemonade packets
  • Lactaid milk – 2% for the boys and FF for me
  • Cereal for the boys
  • Whole wheat flour

I’ll keep adding to this list once the menu is finished.

The Project Manager’s Guide to the Triathlon

After reading everything I can and doing a trial of the course, here is my plan for the triathlon this week:

Monday: Rest day after the weekend trials on the course (only walked one mile at lunch); begin to hydrate

Tuesday: Swim 1 hour

Wednesday: Bike 1 hour

Thursday: Run/Walk 45 minutes

Friday: Swim 1 hour; start to add a few more good carbs; get a super good night’s sleep


10:00 am Drive up to Lake Lanier and check in my bike and get registered for the event, pick up race packet

12:00 noon Attend race info sessions

1:oo PM race nutrition talk

2:00 pm -slow, easy trial swim along the swim course

5:00 pm back home for an early supper, pack the car, get ready for the race and then early to bed


4:00 am – up early for small breakfast and then off to Lake Lanier

5:00 am – get set up in transition with all my gear, nutrition and hydration, check on my bike

6:00 am – a last little food and water before the swim at 7:30

6:30 am – make my way to the swim area

7:00 am – Race starts

7:35 am – My wave (45-49 year olds) enters the water and the race begins for me!

My Goals

I thought it would be interesting to see how well I’ve estimated these later:

Swim (1/3 mile): 20 minutes – ACTUAL time was 18 minutes 22 seconds

T1 (1/3 mile walk, plus gear change, get on bike): 10 minutes – ACTUAL time was 6 minutes 8 seconds

Bike (18 miles) : 90 minutes ACTUAL time was 1 hour and 23 minutes – 83 minutes

T2: (Rack bike and helmet, grab hat and run water bottles): 5 minutes – ACTUAL time was 3 minutes 59 seconds

Run (3.2 miles) : 42 minutes ACTUAL time was 42 minutes and 42 seconds

Total time allowed is 3 hours and 30 minutes (210 minutes)

Total estimated time: 167 minutes ACTUAL total time was 2 hours and 34 minutes or 154 minutes

Total estimated lag time: 43 minutes – ACTUAL TIME  – had almost an hour lag time!

Gear List:

Here is the race gear I’ve put together – nothing fancy and as usual, my clothes are all from the Goodwill!

My triathlon “Costume” consists of:

1. An Under Armour long sleeve white shirt that I found at the goodwill. It wicks moisture away, provides some arm, boob and tummy control, which keeps painful flapping to a minimum and keeps me from burning in the sun.

2. A bright green running top with a good built in bra that combined with the under armour, keeps the girls from flopping around and hitting someone in the eye.

3. A pair of almost knee length Cannondale padded bike shorts that I bought on clearance in December (they were much too tight and are now just a touch too big, but not so much that they slip off in the water, thank goodness. (best $30 I spent so far!)

I will wear this the entire race. For swimming I will add:

4. My prescription swim goggles, the Iron Girl race cap and a nose clip. (I have three of them and plan to stuff 2 of them in my race cap as I cannot swim without them. Sad, but true, because I’ve tried.

For biking I will add:

5. My bike: a Giant FCR 1W – a woman’s bike that I bought used in December for $400 (normally goes for over $1000 – so I think I got a great deal and I’ve loved riding it.) I have the race cues/turns laminated and stuck to the handlebars in case I’m so slow that no one is around when I get to the turns, plus I have a spare tire, CO2 cartridges, chapstick and TP in my tiny little bike bag that fits under the seat. The bike came with a nifty cool little bike computer called a  Cateye that I LOVE and it shows me elapsed time, distance and speed. Very cool! (I’m such a geek!)

6. My helmet is a $40 Specialized I got last weekend when I discovered my really old helmet was not CPSC certified.

7. My prescription sunglasses and a road mirror (some of this course is on a 6 lane highway!)

8. My ocelet workout/bike gloves with the wrist wraps – really helps my wrists on a long bike ride, plus my grip when my hands start to sweat.

For running I will add:

9. My Shoes: Aasics GT-2150 and I wear these great Features running socks.  I got both at the Big Peach Running company and have been delighted with them. $100 including the socks as they were last season’s model. For $8 I added the easy-laces – those elastic laces so I don’t have to tie/untie my shoes, just slip them on.

10, 11 & 12. Racing belt – Nathan labs $10 and a bright orange hat to shade my face/nose and some wrist sweat bands

13: My two Nathan Labs running water bottle (the first was a really cool birthday gift – thanks Don & Sheila!)

14. My Garmin 305 – that in theory I could use for all five splits – but I really only use it for running/walking to see how far I’ve gone, my time and my pace.

For Nutrition and Hydration (sounds cooler than “what I’ll eat and drink, doesn’t it?)

Nutrition (Eating): May not need all these, but will have them just in case

Swim: 1/4 of a Labrada Rock n Roll bar in a baggie, between my under armour shirt and my running top to eat on the 5 minute walk up the hill from the swim (as a post-GBS-WLS patient, I will need a little boost after the swim and before the bike ride

Bike: 2 more pieces of the Rock N Roll bar, in a baggie, waiting at T1 to put in my shirt – 1 at half way point, 1 just before getting back to T2

Run: 1 more piece of the Rock N Roll bar, in a baggie, waiting at T1 to put in my shirt – to eat at the half way point

Hydration (Drinking)

Swim: Drink and pee about 30 minutes before the race begins

Bike: Drink a long drink from my running water bottle at T1; have a full bottle of my own homemade “GBS-Tri-Ade” with crushed potassium, salt and a Kellog H2O lemonade packet already loaded on the bike.

Run: Two water bottles, one with water and one with my “GBS-Tri-Ade”


In my transition area I will have  a small towel, some paper toweling to wipe off my feet after the swim transition (we have to walk barefoot for 1/3 of a mile – is that crazy?), a small tube of sunscreen to put on between bike and run and a roll of TP, ’cause I hear they always run out and after this race I know I’m gonna have to go! I’m having my bike checked out tomorrow and my husband has suggested I try to program my Garmin to tell me when the turns and hills are coming up, so I’ll play with that this week.