So yesterday, I made my way to Chicago! I happen to be staying in my old neighborhood, and seeing tons of old friends (so much so, that I haven’t really left any time for sight-seeing!). It’s also been a flashback into old (and lingering) eating habits.
Let’s just start with the worst of it and get that over with. I have not been to an airport since 2010. I used to travel quite a bit for travel and recall business travel being the time I “get” to eat at the airport. I would get to the Chicago airport with enough time to have breakfast at the airport Chili’s – dine-in. Yesterday though, I arrived at the airport with the intention of getting just ONE breakfast taco from the Austin Airport’s Maudie’s. Standing in line and reviewing the menu board, I see that there is a breakfast combo with two tacos for $6. And so without thinking, guess what I purchased? After receiving the two tacos, I recalled my plan, and decided to have one before my flight and save the other for the tail-end of my flight. Forgot again. Before I knew it, I’d eaten both tacos prior to flying and didn’t remember my plan until much later (when I was hungry again).
This frightened me slightly. How easy it is to mindlessly put on weight (I’d done it for years)! Even when TRYING to be mindful, the slightest distraction can well, distract you from the best of intentions.
So that was the worst of it, honestly. On the positive side:
(1) The airplane used to be a time for free soda. (Side note: I used to have a mantra that free food/drink trumps healthy food/choices). But, with the two tacos mentioned above, I also purchased a bottled water. So, I politely declined the beverage choices and peanuts, as I’d just had an unintentionally large breakfast.
(2) A friend of mine asked me to pick up lunch and bring it by his place (he’s not rude – just works from home and was on a 3-hour conference call). He’d asked me to pick up some Noodle and Company, though I had to talk him out of it, as the only think that looks appetizing (to me) on that menu is mac and cheese or grilled cheese. His alternate was Panera. Now, Panera might very well be a small part of the last 20 pounds I gained. I would spend my last Saturday’s in Chicago there, studying for the Teaching exams. I would typically order an Asiago bagel with garden veggie cream cheese and something else (nothing in particular). This may not be THAT bad for someone maintaining weight, but I was not in maintenance at that stage in my life. I just needed a good study spot. Still, I was surprised to see they had low-calorie soup options (and the salt wasn’t terrible either). Not the most nutritious, but considering I hadn’t eaten since 7:30 AM (and it was now 1:30 PM), I was mostly interested in kick-starting my metabolism again.
(3) I went to one of my favorite burger places here, The Counter. I am embarrassed to say that (a) I have day dreamed about this place and their pretzel buns and one of the most amazing veggie burger patties around. In addition to my standard, (b) I would always encourage the table to get an order of either sweet potato fries or Parmesan fries. This place would turn me into a bottomless pit. Yesterday though, I stuck to the burger and stole only a FEW fries off the plates of my friends. In the end, my meal was between 700 and 800 calories (including the fries). That’s more than my typical dinner, but my calories for the day were under 2,000, which still creates a deficit.
(4) I went grocery shopping upon arrival – to get breakfast and snack items, and identified the new trader joe’s near my “hotel” for other quick meals.
I’m really excited to be on vacation. I still want to get exercise in, but feel the tug to spend as much time as I can with friends. I know someone will post and say to work out with friends (and perhaps I will), but for the moment, I’m really trying to get on the road to see my 90-year-old great-aunt!!