Years ago, I created a travel “bucket list”. My list was mainly inspired from magazines like Conde Nast Traveler and from daily calendars that showcased a different beauty around the world. While a vast number of my bucket list items include the beach (I definitely prefer heat to cold), there was one magical destination that struck me.
The traditional European Christmas Markets. Specifically, those in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.
One tidbit about me? I’m not religious nor do I love Christmas. I find that time of year tedious, and, honestly, irritating with the expectation that I go out and do one thing I really do not like to do…shop! All in all, I would rather just forget about Christmas. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the time off from work and routine. I’m just not a fan of Christmas.
So, for me to want so desperately to visit Christmas Markets seemed a bit at odds with who I am. And I had a hard time telling people that this was a dream of mine.
But, there was something about the traditional Christmas market fares – the handmade trinkets, the lights, the food, the drinks – that drew me in.
Well, I finally did it – in December, my husband and I traveled to Europe for a month to visit the Christmas markets. My favorite, if you want to know, ended up being the one in Krakow, Poland. I loved the openness of it, the coordinated lights, and the more true-to-imagined handmade, local “things” you could buy. It was absolutely beautiful. Krakow itself is beautiful!
One of the things I’ve always prided myself on is my ability to stick to my high fat / low carb diet, the very one I’ve used for over 6 years now to maintain my weight loss through hormonal balancing, no matter where in the world I am.
Well…Europe kicked my butt this time!
Germany and Austria seemed to lack vegetables and only serve sausages, potatoes and bread. Oh, and the cheese was quite abundant too!
Czech Republic and Hungary were very similar with more dumplings and flour-enriched fare.
And, finally, well, Poland got to me. It turns out that I love Polish food! We did a wonderful, enlightening food tour one night, ate perogies, cabbage rolls, soups, and strudel…And it was so good that I had to do it all over again the next night!
Good thing we were only in Poland for 2 nights! (Though I highly recommend visiting this gorgeous country, with its friendly, helpful people and amazing food!)
Do I have to say it?
Yeah, my high fat / low carb diet went off the rails for those 4 weeks. If I wanted vegetables, I had to find a vegan restaurant, which always mean lots of rice noodles (carbs). The markets enticed me with delicious sweets and I had to try “dobostorte” in Hungary (a friend highly recommended it, after all).
By day 21 of our vacation, I was definitely feeling the extra weight of my poor dietary choices. And I was starting to get excited to get home, get back on track, and just reset my body and my eating habits.
With the very best of intentions, I made a meal plan and a grocery list while sitting in the airport to come back home on our last day. I got up early our first morning home to buy groceries. I was excited to just get back to routine.
Only…something inside me had shifted.
I was struggling HARD to get back on track. I didn’t want to eat my healthy groceries – I was still really into carb-heavy meals.
In fact, and I’m still ashamed to even tell you this, I spent the first week back home elbow deep in bags of trail mix and salt and vinegar chips.
I felt so lost!
I felt like I was a huge failure because I’m a hormonal fat loss expert; yet there I was doing everything you’re not supposed to, falling into really bad old habits that are a total weight loss killer, and feeling completely out of control.
Truth be told, I’ve felt out of control ever since we returned from Europe.
Each Monday comes along and I think to myself “okay, I’ve got this, I’ll get myself on track!”
And then something happens and I lose it…again and again.
An unexpected work trip popped up…
A planned conference in South Beach had to be attended…
But, enough was enough…I had to get myself back on track.
If not for the sake of my business reputation, then for the sake of my own health! I hated how flabby and soft I was feeling. I hated how badly I was spiraling into an abyss of self-loathing, overeating, and absolute confusion about food.
I’ve actually been feeling a lot of panic…because I still recall how awful this was for me back when I was struggling to keep my weight off post-diet. Every single week would begin with me having my meals all planned out, and end with me binging on pizza or spaghetti and feeling like I’d lost.
I didn’t want this to happen to me again…I was in the best shape of my life before my trip so how did I let things get so out of control so fast?
Well, it’s hormones.
And you can’t win against hormones with healthy eating, great planning and daily exercise. It just doesn’t work that way.
Too many of us will go a bit crazy over this idea that our weight should drop when we choose healthy foods, restrict the bad stuff and spend more time in the gym…but this isn’t the way to ditch the weight. Especially if you want to keep it off long-term.
My continued need for high-carb foods was telling me that my blood sugar had gotten really out of whack while on vacation. And, my constant worry and feelings of failure and confusion were only making my stress levels higher and higher.
Which is not a good combination if you want to ditch the fat!
It also means you need to do something about this…there is no easy button when it comes to fat loss. You do actually have to do some work to get your body back on track.
Right now, I’m following the first week of my 40 or Less Method, my 12-week hormonal fat loss system for women with stubborn fat who want a new way to ditching the muffin top without giving up all their favorite foods forever.
This week is meant to boost my nutritional levels (because, hey, travel and poor food choices will deplete some very important nutrients) as well as give my body a chance to balance blood sugar. As I see and feel the positive differences in how my pants fit, my stress levels go down too! (Oh, and I am totally eating to support my stress hormones, in case you were wondering.)
It’s hard to bounce back from a derailment. The longer you’ve been derailed, the harder it will be. However, the key to actually bouncing back successfully is to eat for hormonal balance. And know that you need to commit to doing the work.
Are you ready to commit?