Travel exploits of a Single African American Woman traveling the world!
Hey Everyone! I hope all is well. My new life here in Austin is still awesome after living here for 9 months. 9 months! Wow, has it really been that long? With my short attention span, I never do anything for 9 months, especially stay in one place, LOL. I guess that is a true testament as to how damn cool this city is to live in and more importantly, how happy and content I am with my life here. For those of you that have never visited Austin, you should definitely put it on your list. In my next post, I’m going to write about all the great things there are to do here & why it fits my personality so much.
One of the downfalls with living in such a great city and having to build a new life from scratch is the fact that I have to be very social and being social = lots of eating and drinking with new friends. Austin is a city that has amazing and eclectic restaurants and food choices. I’ve spent the past 9 months indulging in my love for pizza, cheeseburgers, onion rings, Tex Mex, wine, cosmos and beer! I’ve
gotten in a lil exercise now and then, but really, not so much. As a result, I’ve allowed myself to gain back half of the 53lbs I released in 08. Yes, I am now up 22lbs! I actually like my new body. There were times where I felt I was a bit too skinny before and I am actually at a happy medium. Since I am 5’10″, I am blessed to be able to carry my weight proportionately. That being said, my hips, bootie and
tummy are bigger than I want them to be, so I am now incredibly focused on getting back down to a more manageable size. Not a stick, but definitely not too thick. I also want to be lean and muscular for the first time ever so I am incorporating in exercise which I did not do in 08.
One major hurdle that I have had to overcome in my quest for a new body is the fact that I am now officially a Road Warrior. I think of myself as a female George Clooney in ‘Up in the Air’ as I am on an airplane every Monday, jetting off to a new city to do work for my client and I do not come home until Thursday or Friday night. I spend a huge majority of my days driving hundreds of miles in my rental
car and the only food available is fast food. It had become my routine to go to McDonald’s for breakfast (sausage biscuit, hash brown & coffee), McDonald’s again for lunch (double cheese burger, large fries and large HiC orange drink) and some random fast food for dinner. Everyday of the freaking week!! I just got a nutrition chart from McDonald’s and the breakfast I was consuming was approx 600 calories, lunch was 1300 calories and lord knows what dinner was. I believe it takes 1800 calories to gain a pound, so at the rate I was going, I was gaining several pounds a week. These habits are the exact habits I allowed myself to follow prior to 2008 and it led to me getting to my all time highest weight of 215, size 16-18. Not good!! Since I have moved to Austin, I have gone from a size 10 to a size 12-14. I decided that this needed to stop now!
Two weeks ago, while driving across the state of New York on business, I prayed and meditated about my body and what I ultimately wanted my goal to be. One of the mistakes I made when I released 53lbs effortlessly in 5 months in 2008 was that my only goal was to get to 150lbs. Well, I reached that goal (152 actually), but then now what?? I managed to maintain the new weight for one year, even while traveling in Australia due to the fact that I was walking miles everyday exploring and I made the choice to not gain weight. In moving to Austin, I 100% gave myself permission to eat what I wanted to and to release myself from the “pressure” of monitoring my weight. This time, in my goal setting, it is not about hitting a certain number on the scales. I am now focused on dropping my body fat percentage, building muscle (I didn’t exercise in 08), majorly leaning out and working toward a much bigger lifelong personal goal that I won’t name here. It’s huge and daunting and I’m still nervous about it, but I’ll share if/when certain opportunities are created.
I’ve managed to put together what I am labeling as ‘The Road Warrior Diet’. I’ve taken all of my knowledge I have acquired from years of studying fitness mags & working with a doctor in 08 and created my own eating plan. I’ve made the decision to no longer make the choice to:
drink alcohol, (except for 1 glass of red wine once a week), eat fried foods, eat sugar or anything white (flour, bread), processed foods, sodas and unhealthy foods. Instead, I’m following the common sense plan of eating more vegetables, grilled chicken, turkey, minimal red meat, salads, drink lots of water, minimal bread (bread is my ultimate weakness), lots of fruit, breakfast daily, protein shakes, etc… While on the road, I have studied the nutrition charts of all of the fast food restaurants I frequent and I have been able to find very low calorie, healthy choices. At Taco Bell, their DriveThru Diet Fresco soft tacos have 150 calories. At McDonald’s, the choices will be the grilled chicken wrap, the Caesar salad with grilled chicken or their BLT salad with grilled chicken w/newmans low fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing. These 3 choices have 300 calories. Dinners on the road will consist of me finding full service grocery stores (whole foods, etc) and making healthy choices. If I am in a backwoods town (as I was in Wisconsin this week where I had to go to 3 stores to find non fried food!), I will go to KFC and order their grilled chicken and side salad – no biscuit- 450 calories. There are healthy choices while on the road, but is hard as hell to find them and I have to be extremely planful and diligent. I have found that eating the same foods everyday works for me as I am so picky, so it has been easy knowing what my limited choices are. I am targeting 3 main meals a day w/no more than 500 calories each and 2-3 small meals at no more than 200 calories. Small meals would be piece of fruit and 10 almonds or a protein shake.
I am elated to report that I started this new way of eating on Monday the 4th of April during my week long trip to Wisconsin. After one focused and determined week, I made healthy choices 98% of the time (I slipped twice and got cappuccinos & popcorn) and I released 2.5lbs!!! When I got home on Saturday, I went to the store and filled my fridge with healthy foods that I have been eating all weekend. I’ve also exercised 3 times this week. Working on amping that up to 6 days a week. P90x is a bad motha fuc*a ya’ll!!! I’ll be SheRa when I finish 90 days of that mess!!! Dayum!!
So anyway, I truly want to prove that there are no excuses when you put your mind to something and make a definitive decision. Being a road warrior is not an excuse to get fat. Living in a city with amazing restaurants is not an excuse to get fat. I’ll do a progress update every month. I would like to hit my 100% goal by the end of the summer.