Dieting and Road Trips – Diet Day 23

One of the lessons I have learned during the first week of this diet is that whenever you can control your environment dieting is easy. What I mean is if you can somehow monitor and manage the external forces that may hinder your adherence to your diet; you stand a much better chance of success.

So far I have been pretty good at managing my diet. For the most part I have been either at work or at home so I could control what temptations were around. I’m not saying I don’t have willpower but rather why throw yourself into the middle of temptation if you don’t really have to. Still I had to wonder whether I was sticking to this because other food was out of sight/out of mind or if I was truly starting to make a difference in the food decisions I was making. Well today I was going to find that out.

Being the father of five children we never have to worry about not having something to do. Whether it is band concerts, dance performances, soccer, baseball, or in today’s instance track we seem to always be on the go. That’s ok; it gives me an excuse to be outside and at the very least I get exercise walking from the parking lot to the field.

Today though would be a bigger challenge. Our daughter Tiffany is competing in a track meet in Tucson and asked if we would go and watch her compete. I eagerly accepted without thinking through that decision. It’s not that I didn’t want to see her compete but I suddenly realized that this would be the first road trip I have made while on my diet.

I would no longer be in the comfort of my own home where I had mentally locked out all bad food choices. Instead I would be driving in a car for four hours and be in a location where we would be required to eat at a restaurant.

We had to leave fairly early to begin our trip. In the past what that meant was a quick trip to McDonalds to pick up a breakfast before jumping on the freeway and driving to the field. I would normally have a Sausage Egg McMuffin with Hash Browns and a large Orange Juice. I have to admit, it was one of my guilty pleasures. I had developed a taste for this high calorie, high fat content breakfast which made it even worse when I would be sitting in a car for two hours with no physical activity other than yelling at the other drivers who somehow forgot to engage their brains when they took the car out of park.

Today I would start my day was three small pancakes with a small amount of sugar free syrup. No offense, but that isn’t anywhere nearly as tasty as an Egg McMuffin with Has Brown. Instead of concentrated orange juice I had 32-ounces of water. Not only is that not as flavorful but it wasn’t exactly the brightest idea I had before being in a car for two hours with no rest areas along the way.

Before leaving I grabbed two meal replacement energy bars and a small bag of low calorie pretzel bites. That coupled with three bottles of water would suffice until we returned home this evening.

Obviously the food I selected would only feed me, not the family. They on the other hand didn’t want to pack anything. Instead they were looking forward to a day of not having to worry about food other than trying to decide what to get off the menu.

When we arrived in Tucson we dropped Tiffany off to begin warming up then everyone else was hungry and wanted to eat. We made the mistake of letting 2 year-old Lily select where we would have lunch and ended up at McDonalds so she could play on the toys.

I found a booth as out of the way as possible and sat while everyone ordered and returned with food. There on the table in front of me was such past food treasures as Big Macs, Filet O’Fish, Popcorn Chicken, Angus Burgers, and heaping piles of steaming French fries. This of course was washed down with highly sugared drinks that were continuously refilled.

I sat in the corner trying not to look or smell all that was going on around me. Instead I had a glass of water and one of the two energy bars that I had brought on the trip. At first it was hard to endure but after a while I filled my mind with the progress I had made and reminded myself of the 16 pounds I had lost so far.

By the end of the meal I was content and while others lamented that they ate too much and began bagging food to take with them due to the enormous portion sizes I left not hungry nor frustrated but with a new resolve not only to stay on this diet but to be just as diligent after I was done to not go back to these bad habits that I once enjoyed and instead find healthier solutions when it came to eating out of town.

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