Tag Archives: travel

Sort Of A Vacation

Well, I was supposed to be on vacation this week, but it has turned into something else.  As I have posted previously, my step-father was battling lung cancer.  Last week, he was in the hospital and they eventually sent him home on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, my mother fell and broke her arm.  She had been caring for my step dad up until then.

Once she broke her arm, she needed treatment too and could no longer take care of him.  My siblings and I decided we needed to schedule trips to Pittsburgh, spreading out the visits to make they would have someone there to help them as often as possible.  My sister drove to Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Saturday morning, my step-dad lost his battle with cancer.  Fortunately, my sister was there with my mom so that she was not alone.  The rest of us made immediate plans to get Pittsburgh.  I was there by 530pm.  My brother shortly after that.  My youngest sister and her husband flew in by 7pm.  The whole family is together again.  Of course, my mother’s house is now quite crowded, but we are all here.

On top of everything else, my mother is having surgery on her arm today.  The funeral will be Friday.

My step-brother and his wife have been an immeasurable help to my mom and step-dad over the past few months.  When my mom broke her arm, they dropped everything to get her to the hospital and get her taken care of as well.  I am so grateful they were there.

This week is very difficult.  Certainly, my whole family is grieving, but our grief is nothing compared to what my mother and my step-siblings are going through.  I know their dad was sick and they knew he would die from his cancer one day, but no one expected this quite so soon.  Nothing prepares you for the reality of a loved one’s death.  And losing a parent is hard.

I also truly feel bad for my mom.  She is really struggling.  I am very concerned about how she will handle things once we all leave town.  I am going to come up here again in a couple of weeks to help her out.  DC is just a short drive from Pittsburgh, so it is easy to get here, even in my teeny-weeny Smart Car, which got pretty good mileage on the way here.

So, blogging may be intermittent this week.  I can tell you that this trip has been rough on my diet.  I don’t think I’m eating anything particularly bad.  I did have to make a quick grocery run to grab some fruit and nonfat Greek yogurt.  I did not bring any protein powder, so I have doubled up on the yogurt.  I’m not too worried about being too low on protein as I am eating about 1200-1400 calories per day.  The Greek yogurt should tide me over until I get home or to a vitamin store or something.

I’ll be back on my regular blogging schedule next week.

Eating On The Road Post Bariatric Surgery

This week has really been a struggle for me while I was in Texas for training.  Nothing wrong with Texas, mind you, but apparently with my lack of planning. I thought I had planned out my protein/food/vitamin regime pretty well.  I was wrong.

I also failed to take into account how eating out for every meal would affect me.  I have eaten out several times since the surgery, but generally, I cook or have many options that fit well into my new diet. The ginormous buffet breakfast offered by the hotel was more difficult for me to deal with than I thought it would be.  They had so many bad food options and very little good food options.  The buffet was laden with bacon, sausage, ham, eggs, freshly made omelets, muffins, rolls, bread, cereals, etc as far as the eye could see.  No hard-boiled eggs.  No fat-free, plain Greek yogurt.  They did have lots of fruit, though.

I did the buffet the first day and made a bad choice.  Bacon. That’s all I’m saying. The last two days, I opted for oatmeal and fruit.  The only problem with that option is that there was no protein.  If they would have offered a plain Greek yogurt option, that would have been golden.  They did not.  I think I am going to send them a message and make a suggestion.  The hotel seemed open to recommendations, so that’s what I’ll do.

My first night there, I had wings.  Probably the best wings I’ve had in years.  I did limit myself to 5 wings and ate the carrots and celery.  That was too terribly bad.  The second night, our sales rep took a group of us out to dinner.  I ended up having steak medallions encrusted with artichokes and roasted vegetables.  I think I wrote about this earlier this week, but I really cannot remember.  Still, the steak sat heavy on my tummy.

I ran out of protein bars and bought some at the hotel.  They made me sick.  They said they had zero grams of sugar, but after a more careful reading, I noticed that it actually had 16 grams of sugar alcohol.  The worst part is, I got sick during my training class and nobody understood what was wrong.  I experienced dumping syndrome.  It really sucks.

So, I have been without protein bars and have had to find other ways to get my protein.  I ended up eating cheese or tuna salad.  The cheese was fine, even though it was a big calorie hit.  The tuna salad made me nauseous.  The tuna was fine, but the mayo may have been too fatty or something.  I have had that reaction from tuna salad in the past.

Last night I went out to dinner with a friend and we went to a Mexican restaurant.  Everyone says you have to do Tex-Mex at least once while you’re in Texas.  I agree.  I’ve had Tex-Mex in Dallas before and it is really good.  Well, I had refried beans, one taco, guacamole, and some corn chips.  I had the worst stomach ache after I got back to the hotel.  The chips may have been a bit much.

I do not eat chips anymore.  I did have a couple of corn chips one time since the surgery when I had some chili, so I thought I was good to have some more.  I guess not.  Live and learn.  I do not eat potato chips, junk food, pretzels, Doritos, cheesy-poofs, etc any more, but a good corn chip is tough for me to pass up.  I guess I’m going to have to do just that in the future though.

I was pretty good with lunch all three days.  I had small salads with balsamic vinegar dressing every day.  I had one small chef salad and two small apple, walnut, blue cheese salads over the course of three days.  So, not too bad there. Fortunately, the hotel had an exercise room and I did use it.  I rode the stationary bike every day while I was there.  I had to work off all those bad food choices.  I felt really good after I exercised too.  It really helped.

I am determined to join a gym when I get back home.  There is one very close to where I live.  It is time.  I have lost enough weight that I can breathe and I’m not in so much pain.  Time to rebuild my muscles and tone some of this up. The best part of the trip was the bed.  I love pillows.  I keep like 5 on my bed at home.  I can never have too many.  Someone must have warned the hotel because check this out!

photo (37)

Best part of the trip, let me tell you!

Well, I am on my way back home now.  I sure will be happy to get back on my normal food schedule/plan.  I cannot take too many messed up weeks like this.  I learned a lot about what to do next time though.

Here are some thing I plan on trying:

  • Get hotel room with refrigerator and an exercise room.
  • Bring protein powder.
  • Buy non-fat Greek yogurt to put in refrigerator.
  • Make better food choices when eating out; stick to salads, chicken, vegetarian options when possible.

Taking those steps will certainly go a long way to making eating while traveling much better.

Hilarious Morning Encounter

Today, because I have a flight at 3:00pm – ish today, I took my luggage, personal laptop, my work laptop with me on my daily commute.  Fortunately, my luggage had wheels and a place where I could strap one of my laptops down, so it wasn’t too bad.  My neck is killing me from carrying my other laptop bag, but I’ll live.

I arrived at the Pentagon Metro stop without too much trouble and decided to take the elevator down to the trains instead of trying to navigate the really big escalator with my bags.  I was waiting for the elevator and a woman comes up to me and says, “Excuse me, but can you tell me how to get to the Metro?”

I looked at her like she was mad and said, “Um, this…is…the Metro.”

It was all I could do to not laugh.  I nearly asked her if I was being filmed for some crazy Youtube video where they go up to people and ask them ridiculously obvious questions, but I didn’t. 

Then she asked me, “Yeah, but where are the trains?  I can’t figure out how to get to the trains.”

OK, so that’s fine.  If you’ve never been to the Pentagon Metro stop, it can be kind of confusing, I guess.  I mean, you could just follow the other 1.5 million people getting off buses and crowding themselves onto to the escalators to get to the trains.  Or read the signs and follow the arrows, but you know, that’s just me. 

I did point out the very obvious escalators she had to walk by to get to me.  And I told her that the elevator that I was taking will get her there, too.  I was a good fellow commuter and helped her on her way, but I still thought it was funny and I appreciate the bit of levity it provided for an otherwise crazy morning commute.

Leaving On A Jet Plane…

Tomorrow I am going to Dallas for training.  I’m not very excited about this.  I do not like to flying.  Plus, I’m going to a training class, so it’s not like it will be a fun trip.

I am hoping to connect with a friend while I’m there, so I hope to have some fun.  She was in my writer’s group here in DC and has recently moved back to Texas.  I am hoping to do some shopping while I’m there, too.

I may not be able to blog every day.  Or if I do get a chance to blog, my posts will occur at odd hours.  The good news is  my frequent flyer status was recently upgraded to “gold” which means I was able to get some pretty good seats on the plane.

I am a bit stressed out about food and this trip.  I have to take my vitamins and some protein supplements.  I bought some protein bars, which I am going to pack in the bag I am checking.  I am worried about waiting too long to eat because I may not be able to eat on the plane.  Generally, the airlines do not feed people any more.  Since I have a pretty tight schedule that I have to follow, this concerns me.  I probably won’t be able to get my protein bars and vitamins beyond the security people and I do not know if I will be able to get any food that I can take onto  the plane beyond that.  I am going to try to see what I can do, though.

While I’m in Dallas, I should be OK.  The hotel has a breakfast buffet.  I can generally have eggs and some kind of fruit without problem.  There’s a pretty good cafeteria at the training center.  And I can just get room service for dinner.

If I am unable to post Monday through Thursday of next week, I hope to have a good post up by Friday with all of my updates!