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The Family Who GOLOs Together: Part II

Eight weeks in the program: 3/8/2020

At the 6-week mark of this program came the dreaded time for us to move our daughter over 3,000 miles away to Vancouver, BC.  She got accepted to a film school that has the exact program degree that she wants to have as a career.  She’s always been a shy kid, but she really wanted this and who are we to stomp on her dreams?  I was going out with her 2 weeks before her program started to get her set up in her apartment.  In addition to this being a sad time of letting our baby go and not seeing her every day, we also had to worry about staying on plan.  GOLO had become such an integral part of our lives, how would we manage this disruption?  At home we had such a set routine and all meals were set up ahead of time, including snacks and having safe healthy items around in case there were any desires to cheat.  I guess cheating is the wrong word because eating a few things off plan shouldn’t have a negative connotation, but is just a part of life. 

Thursday February 20, 2020:  My daughter and I at 4:00AM head off to the airport and we planned on getting some healthy snacks beforehand but didn’t have time.  I brought the Golo granola with me and some nuts.  After perusing all of the news stores in the airport, we found a few snack items that included cheese, fruit and healthier crackers.  However due to the length of the flight, this was just not enough since we didn’t have lunch which has been our biggest meal to eat.  We managed with the snacks we bought and stayed on plan despite how hungry we were.  I did have a wheat cookie that was the only snack provided on the very long flight that was even remotely healthy or didn’t cost a fortune.

 While we were flying across the country, we left Dad and my other 2 children at home.  The question was, would my husband and children be able to remain faithful to this plan without me being around to organize all of the food items?   I made many items such as zucchini turkey burgers, Mexican pulled pork, salad fixings and snack items.  I felt that they were in a good place to follow the plan while we were away.  I was going to be gone for 2 weeks.  Dad was going to meet up with us in Vancouver for the last 4 days to get Marissa settled and for him to be able to say goodbye.

For Marissa and I, in Vancouver, there were a lot of healthy (or seemingly healthy) restaurants around where you can find at least the basic food groups.  We learned when we landed in that the kitchen that was promised in the air BNB was not as expected.  There was really nothing in the kitchen to cook with.  There was a stove, oven, sink and fridge but no real pans or utensils.  I was extremely annoyed as we were hoping to use this kitchen to help keep us on plan and avoid the astronomical prices of eating out every day.  Well, we made do.  We went to the grocery store and bought items for breakfast figuring that we could at least do that.  I bought Ezekiel granola (who knew that the crazy bread was also a granola), milk, cheese, some cutie oranges.  We didn’t have pans to cook eggs or really anything else.  I ended up asking the Golo staff for advice about the granola and learned that its ok but in just ¼ cup amounts.  Being able to access this group and the staff during a difficult time was so helpful.  It’s like having advice in your back pocket. 

We ended up making the decision to spend more on breakfast and lunch and just do small snacks or small meals at dinner.  We did eat the granola and fruit and cheese some mornings but we felt like we could be healthier at breakfast/brunch than any other meal so we went out.  Salmon was something that I was really looking forward to.  I had salmon with eggs a lot.  Often the meals including a waffle or potatoes with the salmon and sometimes a creamy sauce.  It was easy to ask for it on the side and to change up  what the meal came with to keep it healthier.  I do admit that a few times I chose to eat what the meal came with but stuck to portion sizes.  My daughter stuck to the plan as best she could in terms of serving sizes and protein/carb/veg/fat combinations.  She did however, eat much less in the veggie department.  I did have 3 glasses of wine in 2 weeks and mostly I purchased them but didn’t finish them.  If I did have a glass of wine it was my carb and only had veg and protein.  I was surprised how easy it was to stick to this plan with the knowledge I had in my back pocket.  I didn’t eat great things the entire time.  I had poutine.  Don’t know if anyone here knows what that is, but it’s fried potatoes, cheese curds, meat gravy and sometimes some form of beef or pork protein.  Fat city, calorie city, but in fact it was a protein, carb, fat and veg all in one.  I didn’t feel deprived of exciting food on this plan because I could manage the portion sizes and the combinations of foods to hit the mark.  Although I did have poutine, it was in small amounts and a lot of vegetables eaten with it.  I had pizza.  I had sushi.  I had a green tea latte; chai tea latte and a few times had some seltzer water with cranberry juice.  I am trying to be real here.  This was us doing the best we could with the circumstances we had at the same time not feeling deprived.  Now, if this had been 3 months ago, I probably would have given up and just said I am on vacation and I can do what I want.  But armed with the right information we stuck to the plan the best we could.  Now did it work?  Was I able to keep my weight loss during this trip?  Did I gain weight? 

One thing that was very different than being at home though was how much we walked.  We walked and walked and walked.  There were hills to go up and down.  We chose often to not take the bus and to carry our purchases for her apartment.  We had many days with at least 20,000 steps.   As it turns out, this exercise and sticking the portions/combinations really truly worked.  In the 2 weeks that I was away, I lost 4 pounds.  Down about 4 inches in my waist.  Marissa lost 3 pounds.  I was completely amazed that despite having some items I would have never eaten on any other diet; it didn’t deter our weight loss progress! 

My husband as it turns out had a more difficult time due to the fact that he was now doing all of the transportation, working 60-hour weeks and handling all of the kid’s activities.  This is why I made so many items and froze them for him so he would have food to eat.  That wasn’t the issue, it was him forgetting to eat or not having time to sit down.  When I was home with him, I was forcing a 15-minute meal break especially at lunch time since that was the biggest meal for us.  He was often hungry due to the fact that he wasn’t eating a regular interval.  He was eating late at night.  He did manage to keep his breakfast under control, he was taking the Release and he was doing the best he could.  He didn’t lose any weight during this period but he really didn’t gain anything either. 

We did however notice, that he was beginning to retain water again.  My husband had severe leg edema before staring GOLO but after being on the program we noticed immediately his edema flat out mostly disappeared.  Not the case now.  The eating in between meals and not eating at regular intervals did a real number on his system.  He stopped keeping track.  I feel like this is the biggest issue that people have sticking to healthy eating programs.  You can’t stop keeping track of what you are eating.  When you get busy you may eat right at one meal, but if you forget what you had or you don’t follow the protein/carb combination then your metabolism gets confused.  He wasn’t even eating anything unhealthy.  We didn’t have those items in the house and he wasn’t eating out at all because he didn’t have time.  He just stopped eating at regular intervals and not enough at each meal.  So, now that I am back home, we are following the plan religiously and Ed has already lost another 2 pounds! 

8-week progress:

Tamara (me) – 23.5 pounds lost

40.5 inches in waist (was 44.5)

Marissa – 14 pounds lost

34 inches in waist (was 39)

Edward – 23 pounds lost

48 inches in waist (was 52.5)

Despite having this 2-week period of not being at home or my husband following the plan completely, we have still managed to keep plugging along.  My son is eating more fruits and trying new vegetables.  My daughter Eden is now eating our dinners and is picking healthier foods for lunch.   Still plugging along together as a family.

Update about Marissa:  She of course is enjoying herself as a newly independent teenager, however she is sticking to the serving sizes and food combinations.  Still losing weight and she has lots of energy.   Hope to check in in another 4 weeks at the 3-month mark. 

Thank you GOLO

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