Hi all – Juz here.
It’s been a month since I stared Operation Bridesmaid and it’s time for an update. Over the last month, I’ve learnt a lot about balancing budget travel with a healthy lifestyle and eating right. Many decisions on what to do and what to eat rely on conveniences that many take for granted. Will I have a shower or river nearby so I can clean up after a run? Is there room in our little fridge for more fresh vegetables?
Food choices are also at the whim of money allowances, and while I’d love to buy the artisan sourdough bread or the grainy, gluten free bread for $6 a loaf, it’s simply not smart. Therefore, the compromise is looking on the clearance shelf at the supermarket for relatively healthy, wholegrain breads that have been heavily reduced. Instead of paying $5.20 for a loaf of Burgen bread, we’re only paying $1.60, or a loaf of Abbot’s Bakery Light Rye is usually $5 but we got a loaf for $1.74.
Creating that healthy balance between enjoying our trip and maintaining health can be tricky in itself, but because I’m on a mission to fit into that beautiful bridesmaid dress by March the 23rd, I have to be extra disciplined and keep motivation levels high.
My first mission for Operation Bridesmaid was to focus on diet and simplify it to meat and veg. The mission was not 100% successful but due to the conscious effort to eat less processed foods and more whole foods, I can happily say that fruit and consumption has increased considerably. While this battle has been overcome, the goal of the war is to fit into that bridesmaid dress and there are many more battles to come before the war is won.
I used this strategy back at home to accelerate weight loss. The rules are simple. Allocate an 8-hour feeding window to consume your daily calories and don’t eat outside of this window. For me, my window is 8:30am to 6:30pm and all my meals fit perfectly between these hours.
The great thing about this technique is that it allows you to feel hunger, which I think is a healthy sensation to experience. From a budget traveller’s perspective, it also means spending less time eating and it gives me a break after 6:30pm from thinking about what to eat, because I know I won’t eat anything. If you’re interested to learn more about intermittent fasting, check out Precision Nutrition’s article.
I found that for a few weeks after we left for the trip, I was struggling with regularity. I looked at my ‘traveller’s’ diet to see what was different compared to when we were at home. I realised that I’m eating more cheese than normal and bread had weaselled its way into my diet .
The action plan was to eliminate both of these for a few days and increase fruit consumption to promote digestion through extra fibre and enzymes. There was a glimpse of success, and with the rationed return of wholegrain bread and lots and lots of water, I’m happy to say there is routine back in my life.
Another little strategy I’ve adopted between meals is to chew gum. It keeps my mouth busy and minty.
I love going for runs first thing in the morning. Of course, if there is no water nearby for bathing afterwards, I won’t go, but rinsing off in the river or at an outdoor beach shower is just fine, but nothing beats a hot shower at the local yacht club toilets or caravan park.
Dave and I have also had plenty of opportunities to go for walks and hikes – in cities, towns and national parks. It’s a great way to check out the landscape of the area, with many walking trails offering scenic lookouts over mountain ranges or turquoise bays.
I’ve decided to return to MyFitnessPal as another way to manage portion control. It’s a fantastic tool that does rely on measuring and weighing food, but luckily, I’ve done plenty of food measuring in the past so my estimates are fairly good (I think). The community that uses MyFitnessPal are really supportive and provide additional motivation and accountability.
I am also using MyFitnessPal for another side project that is in complete contrast to my first mission. I have started to consider calories and aiming for a 3500 calorie deficit every week. This mini-goal should, in theory, cause a 0.5kg loss every week. I’m interested to see if it really is as simple as ‘energy in, energy out’.
Also, I’ve changed apps from Sports Tracker to Runtastic to record walks, hikes and runs. This app syncs with MyFitnessPal and uploads calories burnt to my profile and allows me to determine whether I can have another meat biscuit or not.
As measured on Australia Day…
Bust with blue bra on: 94.5
Waist around my belly button: 83
Hips where my undies sit: 94
Thighs along shorts tan line: 57.5
Belt is now at the fourth hole.