Monday, July 2, 2012

How I survived the family reunion!

I love summer for the sole reason that my little family takes lots of little vacations. However, it can really mess up my weight and training. With the #LoseAMarathon Challenge, I'm determined not to gain my usual summer pounds that come with lavish cookouts, relaxing in the heat and ice cold beer that flows too easily. Eating more and moving less is never a good combination.

Last Thursday, we packed up the camper and headed to Wisconsin for my annual family reunion. I love my family - they are all great cooks and fun to party with. Again, not a great combination for someone on a mission to lose a marathon... in pounds.  But I came prepared for battle!

I spent nearly a full day planning our food menu, grocery shopping and then preparing everything to load the coolers.  I made sure there were plenty of options for me to not "blow the diet".
A full veggie tray always comes in handy (dill dip made with greek yogurt)
This cold salad is one of my favorites for summer cookouts... black beans, corn, red onion, orange peppers, cucumbers, and avocado seasoned with garlic salt/pepper, lemon and banana pepper juice.

Key foods I brought along to "survive" the diet: chicken sausage (great substitute when everyone else is eating hot dogs and brats), grilled shrimp, prepared lettuce salads, corn, grapes, bananas, oranges, oh-my! 

I kept track of my calories the best I could via the My Fitness Pal app throughout the weekend.  Travel proved to be the hardest part.  I love my iPhone for looking up nutritional values before I even enter a restaurant.  We made a stop at both Subway and Culver's during the road trips.  I knew exactly what I was eating before I even stepped in their doors.

There was always chips and snacks present at the family camp. I refused to sit down at picnic tables where the food seems to stare you in the face until mindless snacking commences. Instead, I tried to sit in lawn chairs away from the food.

I drank water non-stop. Not only did it keep me hydrated in the weekend heat, but it also kept me feeling full. Another side effect, I had to use the restroom non-stop... and when you're camping, that means a nice little hike to the bath house. I probably walked a couple miles each day just using the toilet!

I packed my workout gear and my bike. These days, I never leave home without my running shoes.  I love vacation runs - getting out early to explore new areas while everyone else is sleeping.  The first morning in camp, I jumped on the bike for a 13 mile ride into town and back. By mid-morning, my family of four hit the pool to cool off. The campground was pretty empty yet, so we were the only ones in the pool. I took full advantage of that situation and swam laps for a good 20 minutes. Best swim I've ever had! On Saturday morning, I met the sunrise with an 8 mile run. I got a nice mix of gravel trail, country roads and even beach running along the shores of Rice Lake. The best part of being a morning runner is the views you get...

My beverage of choice is BEER. Yes, I'm a true Midwestern gal and I love it! But it also goes down too smoothly in the summer which means fast calories. Saturday night, I treated myself to a couple drinks during the family 'Mardi Gras' celebration... My favorite low-calorie drink is now Grape UV vodka and Diet Sierra Mist. Ice cold and refreshingly delicious on a hot day!

Me, hubby, my brother and sister-in-law
Our camp
So I survived the family reunion feeling pretty darn good about myself. I didn't feel like I missed out on the celebration as I did allow myself a slice of King Cake and small taste of dishes at the group dinner. In hindsight, I'm happy with of my pre-planning and self-control.  

When I awoke Monday morning, I was slightly scared of what the scale would say about my weekend... I was pleasantly shocked to see a -6.6 lb weight loss for the last week!!  Pure GLEE and incentive to keep on pushing.


  1. AWESOME!!! Your planning is inspirational. I had to google the UV grape vodka. Hmmm, may have to think about trying that one when on vacay. I am also a beer girl but hate the thought of the extra calories. :)

  2. Way to go! I love vacation runs too.
    Honestly, I am shocked and amazed at your +6 pound weight loss.
    **hangs head in shame after two visits to 5 Guys last week**

  3. That is AWESOME! Way to go, Jess! You are such a great role model for us. Keep it up!

  4. Great job! Your planning ahead paid off!

  5. Well done - you did a great job whilst away! I can't say that I'm half as good as you - I make some healthy food choices and get a spot of exercise in (e.g. sightseeing on foot and trying out the hotel gym). You should be really proud of your latest weight-loss :)

  6. Great job on the loss and the healthy weekend! :)

  7. Nice loss! Sounds like a great weekend!

  8. Great job planning ahead and eating healthy and amazing job losing over 6 lbs!

  9. If it's got vodka in it, it's definitely not zero-calorie!

  10. Way to go Jess!!! I'm a beer lover too and I'm impressed by how you stayed on track with your goals! Congrats on the -6.6lbs!!! Woohoo!

  11. Great week Jess! Congrats on the huge loss this week! I love that you pointed out drinking lots of water and indulging in a taste of your favorites. That's my plan for vacation!

  12. Wow, definitely an accomplishment! My family reunion has such good food...*sigh* Way to keep with the program.

  13. awesome job sticking to your guns at the reunion and that summer salad with corn and black beans looks SO good!

    I always drink tons of water and never go grazing like other people in my family tend to do at all family gatherings. I thought they did that because we are Italian and there's always food, but guess that's not just my family! Ha!

    Thanks for the motivation and the challenge, I'm really enjoying it and its helping me stick to running and up my mileage in this super hot weather!

  14. Wow, the morning run pictures are beautiful! Good job on surviving, Jess!

  15. did you lose over 6 lbs in one week? How much total weight are you wanting to lose to reach your goal? I haven't lost that much weight in a week ever....even when I first started my weight loss.....give me some ideas to boost my weight loss!


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