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March 14, 2007

Dangers of travel

Recently my job sent me to Redmond, Washington. I was pretty excited about it but I knew that it would throw a big monkey wrench at my dieting plans. As if travel wasn't already difficult for me.

Last time I flew I was still in the 290 pound range. With the exception of first class, the seats on an airplane are just not meant for people in my old weight class. I usually had to request an aisle seat and even then I was stretched out into the aisle for most of the trip.

And if THAT weren't bad enough, I always had issues when checking my baggage. Apparently there is a man on the FBI's Most Wanted List that has the same name as me. Because of this, my name is on 'the list'. So whenever I try to check my baggage, I can't use the kiosk to do it. If I try it will tell me that I need to see the person at the counter. Then it will take them forever to figure out why I'm on 'the list' and to verify that I'm the GOOD Robert and not the EVIL Robert. Then I get singled out at the security check point for the same reason. It can add an extra hour to my check in time.

The funny part is that the EVIL Robert was put in prison years ago (I looked him up on http://www.fbi.gov/wanted.htm). But airports are funny about security nowadays, so I try not to make a big deal about it.

Anyway, I was looking forward to this trip as I'm much smaller (48 pounds smaller to be exact) and should fit more comfortably in the seats...even on a coast to coast flight. So I started preparing for my journey.

I knew I was going to miss some workouts so I checked with the hotel I was staying at to see what they had for gym equipment. I was disappointed to learn that they only had cardio equipment. That would have been fine for my cardio days but I needed some weights for my weight lifting days. So I checked with the YMCA database and found that there was one not two miles from where I was staying. So I had access to a full gym after all. I made a list of what muscle groups I was supposed to be working on the days I was gone so I wouldn't have to remember them.

Now there was the food part. The place I was staying had a kitchenette so I figured I would be able to mix up my protein shakes and cook up some healthy meals. I even picked out some protein bars and Ostrim sticks to carry with me on the flight so I didn't have to eat airline food. Hey...I was ready for this trip. And my diet didn't have to suffer at all.

That's when I learned that even the best laid plans can go all pair shaped.

Day One...

Water is a big part of any successful diet. You have to drink a lot of it. Airport security will not allow you to carry water bottles past the check points anymore. So you have to buy the water that they sell at the gift shops once you are past the check point. So you basically have overpriced water and no choice in brands. You have to drink what they are selling...even if it is Aquafina...probably the nastiest bottled water on the planet. And no telling how long it has been in the cooler...so it probably is going to have that plastic taste to it.

Then you can't take enough water with you on the flight to stay properly hydrated...not if you are flying from Georgia to Washington state. So I had to down a bunch of water before taking off. Then I remembered how much of a hassle it is to get to the airplane lavatory. I had a window seat...so I had to get everyone in my row to get up every I needed to run to the little boys room.

By the time I got to the hotel, the LAST thing I wanted to do was go shopping and cook. The last meal I had was an airport salad and it was hours ago. I needed food and NOW. So I found the list of delivery places that the hotel provided and looked for something decent...but something decent was not to be found. We (my wife flew with me) settled on some Chinese food that didn't sound too bad. But it was...it was terrible. It was a disgrace to all Chinese restaurants. I ate the shrimp...and tossed the rest.

So the day I traveled was trashed. I didn't drink enough, I didn't eat enough, and I wasn't going to get enough sleep...not if I wanted to hit the gym in the morning and then get to work on time.

Day two...

There are some days when you just don't feel like going to the gym. Then there are days when you have jet lag. Then are days you just can't pull yourself out of bed to do anything. That was day two.

By the time I tumbled out of bed, I had to jump into yesterday's clothes and rush down to the lobby to get my breakfast or I was going to have to go hungry. I've had healthier meals but I've also had much worse (I've eaten at Waffle House). But now I was all full from my meal and knew that working out was just not an option. So I moved my workout plans to the evening. I and my lovely wife would go pump some iron after I got back from work.

Yeah...right...that worked...

By the time I got back to the hotel, I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was sit on the couch with my sweetie and take in some mindless TV. Then the subject of food came up again. Who are we kidding? This isn't working. Let's be BAD...let's get a PIZZA! Yeah baby! Let's pizza-up this trip!

And we did too.

Day three...

I've been so bad...I feel terrible. I haven't worked out in days, I eaten junk and more junk. Damn it I'm going to the gym today if it kills me.

So we load up in the rental car and head for the YMCA. We get all checked in and go to the weight room. Then the rest of the plan falls apart. I had made a list of muscle groups that we needed to work on the days that we were gone but I didn't make a list of what exercises corresponded with said groups. I used to lift free weights so I figured it would all come back to me. Nope...I drew a blank. Guess I'd gotten spoiled on my Bowflex. I knew how to work a couple of groups but I didn't have a plan for the rest. I'm such an idiot some times.

So we left the gym, depressed and demoralized. We had cobbled together a mini workout but it just wasn't as intense as it should have been.

Then we made our last mistake. We stopped at the grocery store…while hungry. After that there was no stopping us. We were going to have a carb overload.

Day four...

Left over pizza, the last of the junk we got from the grocery store, and then checkout time. I freaking give up. Let's just get home and try to put our diets back together.

Day five...

Home at last. Now it is time to pay the piper. I step on the scales...

I gained 8 pounds (but don't be too freaked out...I'm sure most of it is water weight).

NOTE: I wrote this entry when I first got back from the trip. Over the next 3 days, I dropped 7 pounds. So it must have been all water weight.

Before(292 lbs)...During(255 lbs)...After(244 lbs)

Now bug off and leave me alone!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! You look great Dad! :) Good work silly...

March 14, 2007 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Token Fat Guy said...

Thanks :)

March 14, 2007 at 6:23 PM  

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