Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Let's just say I'm trying hard not to let the scale beat me up today. I had a pretty good week in terms of exercise and diet followed by a questionable weekend, which all led to virtually ZERO weight loss at my Monday weigh in. Oi!

I'm not about to make any excuses, but let me document my thoughts on what went wrong. You see, the past 3 days represented the first long weekend of the summer for us Canadians. That's right - the May Two-Four weekend (Note the reference to not only the date of Victoria day, but also the not-so-subtle reference to a 24 case of beer?! I digress....). This weekend always includes a trip to my in-laws cottage in Northern Ontario. I learned a lot about how I'm going to have to change my cottaging ways based on the events of the past 3 days. Oh my - I never realized just how disgustingly unhealthy these cottage weekends are!

Let's start with a few positives.

1. Outdoor work
Managed to burn a few calories raking leaves and gardening.

2. Opportunity for fitness
I went for a good swim on Saturday and Sunday. I could do about 15 minutes of front crawl followed by 15 minutes of general playing around before I froze in the 68-degree water. ;)

3. Support
Told everyone about my goals and they were supportive (more on this later). Had a great time connecting with family and catching up.

To sum it up, I felt like I was just beaten down this weekend. Going into this trip, I knew I would have to plan ahead to bring some healthy snacks and get my fitness in. I had the encouragement of the in-laws at the onset of the weekend, but the constant barrage of terrible food, alcohol and laziness just left me feeling like I was out of options and a total outsider. At the end of the day, I over-estimated the number of healthy options I'd have at the cottage and under-estimated my will power to avoid temptation.

A few things that tripped me up:
1. Water
I totally forgot that the water at the cottage is undrinkable. It is lake water. Okay for washing, not for drinking. NOTE TO SELF: bring your own water cooler bottle if you expect to drink more than a glass a day. The inlaws brought up a 5L jug to last the WHOLE weekend (and that includes the dog's water!). I would've drank that myself if left to my own devices, ha ha.

2. Two breakfasts!?
I forgot about this, but my inlaws style is to wake up at 8-9am and have what I now lovingly refer to as First Breakfast (ie. toast or cereal, maybe some fruit) and then around 11am out comes Second Breakfast. Yes - you read that correctly. Second Breakfast consists of a huge spread of bacon, sausage, fried eggs and pancakes. I managed to skip Second Breakfast on Day 1, but by Day 2 and 3 I was right there in line with the rest of the family. What's worse, I had skipped my proper breakfast in anticipation of the caloric overload that was about to ensue, which left me famished.

3. Poor Meals
In my defence here, I DID offer to make dinner or lunch for a few days but my mother-in-law refused because she'd already planned each meal. I offered to at least bring side dishes (planning some salads and healthier stuff) but again, was refused due to the fact that "oh....I've already bought everything we need and we have a lot of options". Well, I should've realized that 'options' didn't necessarily translate into 'healthy options'. Sausage on a bun was on the menu for lunch. Salads were pre-made potato salad and coleslaw. Dinner was usually lean meat (thanks GOD!) but accompanied by more pre-pack fatty salad, potatoes in oil and garbage. At each meal there were giggles and comments about how "I guess we're not too healthy" and "tee hee hee, I guess we're not making this easy for you". Duly noted.

FOLKS - how do you manage these situations without totally insulting your host!?! I'm dumbstruck.

I planned to go for a few hikes/jogs this weekend, but the barrage of black flies and mosquitos kept me off the cottage roads. They were terrible!!! NOTE TO SELF: come armed with plenty of bug spray next time. Duh!

4. Snacks Suck
So, I guess this could be filed under the Poor Meals column, but OH. MY. GOSH. It requires it's own category. I couldn't believe how many terrible snacks we go through at the cottage. It's constant eating with chips, alcohol, fatty dips, fried hors d'ourves, candy, cookies, butter tarts...every single activity at the cottage comes with more and more food and awful snacks. I brought along bananas and pre-washed bags of celery sticks with Laughing Cow cheese wedges for each day we were up at the cottage thinking that would be enough to get me through. No way. NOTE TO SELF: just because everyone else is eating, doesn't mean you have to.
Here is the typical activity list with associated snacks. Looking back on it, we do this EVERY SINGLE TIME we're at the cottage:
Morning reading on the deck = plate of scones or muffins
Afternoon dock time = mounds of chips and spinach dip with Tostitos
Pre-Dinner = cocktails, wine and hors d'ourves
Post-Dinner game of cards = huge bowls of bridge mix or other chocolate candy AND plates of cookies and butter tarts.
This constant parade of food was too much for me. I'm not joking. My will power was strong on the first day (I avoided it all). On Day 2 I was sneaking just a taste of this and a bite of that. By Day 3 I was scarfing down all this garbage. Blech!

If you're read this far, you're a saint. I just needed to get this all down so that I can start making a plan to have better cottage weekends. In the meantime, I'm off to do some work and get back to my regular schedule and diet. Wish me luck!!



  1. I think making a plan is the best way. Most people will understand your new lifestyle and try to accomodate it. If they are not able to help with your food, then I would bring everything myself and eat whatever I need at the same time they are eating. When I first started to do this, my in-laws would chastize me. Then they started to see the relevance in what I was doing and starting trying to incorporate more of my healthy ways into their eating too.

  2. Just found your blog and am looking forward to following your journey! :-)

  3. My husband and I take many weekend trips during the summer. I am still trying to navigate how to keep myself in control while we are out of town.