I recently spent five days in Dallas for a conference. While I learned so much about the Technical Communication field and what other tech communicators are doing, I spent a good deal of my time in Dallas, socializing, eating, drinking and enjoying myself.
And yet I didn't gain a pound.
That's right. I chose whatever I wanted off the menu, ate until I was completely satisfied, enjoyed a few alcoholic beverages and only got to the fitness center two mornings of the five I was there, but I didn't gain any weight. In fact, I lost three pounds.
At first, I was totally shocked by this turn of events. After all, I hadn't been obsessing about workouts or counting every calorie (or any calories, for that matter). I wasn't eating fruit and salads all day long. I didn't refuse a glass of wine with dinner or a beer at the social gatherings.
As I thought about it more, though, I had a light-bulb moment. If I could lose weight in Dallas, surrounded by food and drink and so busy I didn't have time to get to the gym, then surely I could do it at home. But what was it about those five days that made possible? After some careful evaluation, here's what I came up with:
- I was walking everywhere. I wore my Gruve the entire time, and it turns out that I was burning so many calories my Green Goal increased twice by the time I got home from 10 days of traveling.
- I made healthy choices at most meals, but didn't deprive myself of treats. I may have had a few fries, a bagel for breakfast, or cream sauce on my cheesy enchiladas, but I balanced it out with salads, fruit, sushi and other tasty, but healthier, meals and snacks.
- I wasn't snacking all day and when I did eat, I was paying attention. While I carried a couple of healthy snacks with me at all times, I was too busy to think about eating them between meals. When we finally sat down to a meal, I was enjoying the dishes (and the company) so much that I ate them much more mindfully than I might at home on my couch.
- I was happy and less stressed. I was meeting new people, having stimulating conversations, learning new things and all-around enjoying myself. High happiness and low stress makes Ami less of an emotional eater.
This made it even clearer to me that I can stay fit and healthy if I:
- fit activity in wherever I can
- eat well and allow myself occasional treats
- eat snacks only when I really need them
- am mindful during meals and enjoy what I'm eating
- can manage stress with exercise and enjoyable activities
- surround myself with people, things and activities that make me happy