As you know, I was on vacation recently. As a result, I missed two Weight Watchers Weigh-ins. Was I worried. No, not really. I knew I hadn’t gone crazy and that once I got home, a week ago, I’d get right on track and back to my usual routine, but what I wasn’t looking forward to was either a gain or no loss at all. And I did just that. Got right back to it and this toasted tortilla is just one of the things I did this week to cut back a little bit more. Toasting my favorite vehicle for pork or shrimp and cheese and veggies is one way to make things even more Weight Watchers Points Plus friendly.
So, it’s time to ‘fess up. I GAINED ONE QUARTER OF A POUND. Why am I shouting and why no exclamation marks after that blast? Because after 9 days of being away from home, without my usual 7 point breakfast, container of fruit, salad bar for lunch and inspired dinners during most of the trip, and being exposed to food all day, every day from Tuesday through late Saturday night, at the conference, I ONLY GAINED ONE QUARTER OF A POUND!
And that’s good news. Very, very good news, so I shouldn’t complain.
But it has to be noted — I have lost weight EVERY SINGLE WEEK, without fail, since I began this journey on February 2 this past winter. Through thick and thin, rain, sleet or snow, I’ve made it to the coveted weigh-ins with my friend Kerri. I’ve had success written all over my face and in my cherished Weight Record each week. So, this week I got up, showered, dressed and took a deep breath when I walked up to the scale. But really, I knew how things were going to turn out. I get on the scale every day in the privacy of my own bathroom and I smile and fist pump the air when no one’s looking. Really, I do and I’ll be fort those of you that come here for help and support in your own weight loss efforts, you do very same thing in your own way. I’ll bet you do and I’d love to hear about it — I have to know I’m not alone, ya know.
We need to chat about what went on during the weekend I spent in Atlanta at BlogHerFood ’11. What is BlogHerFood, you ask? That’s a good question. BlogHer is a community of bloggers from all across the globe that write about all kinds of topics and I’m involved with the food community.
I learned about the BlogHer organization during my first-ever food blogging event; Food Blogger Camp, Club Med in January, 2010. The experience was so incredible I went back in January of this year, but that’s old news by now with words, photos and videos for you to look at if you want to see just how much fun camp, as an adult can be. The fun is not much different than 8 weeks at sleep away camp in the Adirondacks was when I was growing up and that’s probably why I enjoy these trips so much. What’s not old news is that the friends I’ve made at each of these events have carried over to the next. People I met at Club Med have attended other get togethers and conferences and it’s so much fun to see each other again in person, rather than just catching up with what’s going on in their lives through their blogs.
But back to the real purpose of this post… being on a weight loss journey and attending a food conference. Would it be possible, or was attending a food conference with a focus on ThinRecipes the Ultimate Oxymoron?
Maybe it was the fact that the conference was held in an enormous hotel with over 60 floors and long, wide hallways with colossal ballrooms to navigate, or that my mom is, and has always been, a proponent of healthy eating and the fact that I began my vacation at my parent’s house where the food is extraordinary, but lean that contributed to such a small gain, but I think it was something different.
It was all of this plus the fact that I have a fabulous family and amazing friends combined with the fact that I am laser focused on the goal. I’ve said this all along when people have tried to push me to eat something that I know I shouldn’t — “I’m not going to sacrifice all the good I’ve done for a momentary taste experience.” And I didn’t. Sure, I had some food that was far from plan, but I expected that.
Hell, when Sharfenberger and Masterbuilt, Barilla and Pom Wonderful are sponsors with Quaker and Starkist, Oxo and more, it’s ridiculous to think all will be well in the 29 Weight Watchers points a day category. But I didn’t have to eat it all. As a matter of fact, I found myself gravitating to the Bog’s Red Mill stand to pick up a little cup of Moroccan Couscous and to gawk at the little sample bags of quinoa.
I took just one packet home and probably should have gone back for more. When I landed and made it home I unpacked, threw my clothes in the washing machine and immediately ran to the kitchen to cook up that sample of quinoa with a little chicken for a quick dinner.
Sure, the lovely Sharfenberger rep (oh dear, I can’t remember her name!) offered dark chocolate tarts with graham cracker crust and a smile each time we stopped by, but I didn’t date take one in my hand. I had two bites and that was it. I knew there would be other food opportunities during the weekend and I didn’t want to pass up any unknown opportunities because the vendors, especially Sharfenberger are all very generous with their samples and I have plans for all of it starting with either a molé or chili using one of those packets of chocolate. Be on the lookout for a recipe soon.
A few of us went to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s upscale Spice Market at the W Hotel for dinner on Saturday and with all the incredible things on offer, more than half of us decided to order the tasting menu — 5 courses of 10 flavors for just $48, I was in heaven. Southeast Asian food is another one of my addictions and while some people were not as thrilled I, everything I tasted, even the shrimp that could have used more pop, hit the spot and was just what I wanted to hit my Asian food cravings. The food and the conversation with “old” and new friends like Rebecca from Kitchen Preserve and Cindy from Land O’ Lakes made me happy.
Was it all low in fat, carbs and calories? Ummm… NO! But it was worth passing on multiple chocolate tarts. I know I can have something chocolaty again, whenever I want because I was sent home with almost THREE POUNDS of chocolate and some secrets which I swore I wouldn’t divulge. And I came home with a jar of organic peanut butter. Just think of the possibilities! I am putting the Buckeye thought waaaay to the back of my mind right now.
And when I got home, aside from quinoa and salads of all kinds, I dove right into my tortilla addiction. And this is really what I wanted to talk to you about today … the corn tortilla.
You’ve seen me eat them soft and pliable from the microwave and most often, heated in a pan with a few pumps of Beroli Olive Oil Spray, but I decided to knock out any of the added fat, no matter now negligible, and heat them to a crispy crunch over the flame of my gas stove.
Call me crazy, but I like the charred bits. I suppose with my crazy imagination I see myself squatting over a portable fire, hand forming tortillas and holding them over the flame for dinner with other women who are doing the same for their families each day somewhere in the interior of Mexico.
And that’s how I got back on track. Getting back to the things I like best and know how to fit into my 29 Weight Watchers Points Plus values each day. And that’s how I managed to go on a food-centric vacation and get on the scale and register only a quarter of a pound weight gain.
So, there you have it. The answer to the question is a resounding NO! BlogHerFood and Weight Watchers are NOT an oxymoron. It’s all about planning and focus and a few tricks I had up my sleeve: Before we got on the highway and headed from Augusta to Atlanta, I asked that we stop at a supermarket. I picked up a container of chunked pineapple and a box of grapes along with a bag of deli flats and packages of salami and provolone, just like I have at home for my 7 point breakfast so I could avoid the dismal conference breakfasts. Last but not least was the bag of Weight Watchers Mini Bar dessert snacks I carried from home.
This, and the fact that throughout the 9 days I spent away from home, not one single person pushed me to eat food I was visibly attempting to avoid. From my mom, who planned for my needs to Maggie who thought of me when planning our welcome snack, and dinner and the extraordinary 8 hour food crawl, to my room mate and friends at the conference who politely offered treats, but quietly backed away when I politely declined, I had unending and unspoken support. And back at home was a Weight Watchers community who continued on their journey and was there when I returned this morning.
All in all, this has been a rewarding and fun weight loss journey and although I may not be a svelte celebrity on TV, I am an active Weight Watchers participant.
So, what about you? Do you have vacation plans? Are you concerned about the food situation? Or have you planned and gotten yourself all ready and you’re confident it will be no big deal? Let me know. I’d love to hear how you plan to handle it as I scribble plans for my next vacation — a VERY food oriented Culinary Expedition to the Philippines. I can’t wait to tell you more!!