This is the first of many weeks that I will be living out of a suitcase as I embark on a major move. As someone who has been on a weight loss journey for almost two years, this is incredibly daunting. I have faced other challenges along the way, but this will no doubt be the only time where I have much less control over my diet and activity levels. The anxiety really set in when I packed up my scale not knowing when I would be able to weigh myself again for the foreseeable future. I never realized how dependent I was on the scale. I feel like a child that has lost their security blanket. It really feels like I’m losing all the tools that got me where I am today.
Yesterday as we were driving around the vastness that is Lake Tahoe, I began to understand how losing weight requires at least some of stability in life. Even though I hated lockdown, it provided me the opportunity to cook all my meals at home and lift weights on my lunch break. Now, I will need to get much more creative in order to control my diet and work my exercise in. I didn’t do great yesterday at all— I had McDonald’s for lunch and pizza for dinner. I feel optimistic that I’ll be able to do better the rest of the week. I am comfortably settled in a beautiful, safe hotel that provides hot breakfast every morning and has a fitness center that just opened up today. I also plan on sticking to the Healthy Eating Plate I described in a previous blog post. I truly feel that each day is a new chance to get it right.
The pandemic really taught me that instead of focusing on what I can’t control, I need to focus on what I can. I decided to eat either at maintenance or at a modest calorie deficit of 250 calories a day while traveling. Today, I scoped out several nearby restaurants nearby that offer healthy options. Luckily, our hotel is close to two large shopping centers. I’m a bit hesitant to try out the fitness center. I’ve been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 since January, but these new variants make me think twice about breathing hard in an enclosed space around others. I will probably just find a public park to go walk in or do an online workout in my hotel room. I have a lot more options than I originally thought. Anxiety has been clouding my judgement lately, can you tell?
I’ve been struggling with anxiety, even though this move has been going pretty smoothly. I constantly worry about everything that could go wrong—especially about the COVID tests we have to take before our travel. I tend to be an emotional eater and anxiety is my number one trigger to overeat. I get anxious about overeating—further aggravating the vicious cycle. I decided that I should probably get back into yoga in order to start relieving my anxiety and get better sleep at night. I’ve struggled with sleep over the past few years and this struggle has come to a head lately due to the stress from the move. Hopefully a few minutes of sun salutations a day will calm me down! I’m sure cutting back on my caffeine intake would be a good idea too.
On top of all this, I’m also a graduate student and I’m halfway through my final semester. I never envisioned finishing my final semester on the road or graduating via an online ceremony. I was supposed to graduate in Fall 2020, but the winter COVID surge had other plans. I’m very grateful that I can finish my degree remotely, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to finish at all. Upon reflection, I can’t help but feel grateful for the way everything unfolded. Without the challenges I faced, I would not have grown as much as I did. Here’s to the next challenge— staying on track while traveling!
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Remember, be kind to yourself and keep moving forward.