Hi, sweeties!! Are you enjoying the last days of summer? I hope so. I’ve been having a great time! I spent last week with some friends in the Outer Banks, and it was so nice to be near the water. Most days were quite lazy and, well, beachtastic. We had a bit of excitement one day when the outside of my friend’s football exploded while hanging out on a beach towel. A quick thinking friend hurled it into the dunes just in case the inner part decided to blow up next. It did, but much later. It was, sadly, nothing more than a little poof of air. I might have been hoping for something more dramatic. 🙂 My friend was viewing the pregnant looking football with suspicion:
Aside from exploding footballs, it was a laid back sort of week, and I had a great time! We did get a burst of ambition one day, and that resulted in a trip over to Ocracoke Island for lunch at Howard’s Pub. I was too busy eating my Carolina Classic Burger, a very tasty chili cheeseburger, to snap any photos. 🙂 I’d definitely love to visit Ocracoke again sometime and to stay a bit longer than an afternoon.
On our last day we visited the Hatteras lighthouse, which was right up the road from our beach rental. I was completely lazy with regard to working out on my vacation, but I’m certain I burned a few calories climbing to the top of this baby:
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the U.S., and, after making the climb, I believe it! I remember reading about this lighthouse before I even considered moving to the East coast. Due to an eroding shoreline, the lighthouse was moved during the summer of 1999. Here’s a link with more information if you are curious about how they made the move. According to the information on that site, the lighthouse traveled 2,900 feet between June 17, 1999 and July 9, 1999. I’m so amazed that they were able to move it so far by inching it along at a nice slow pace. I would say that the lighthouse is a pretty good role model for patience and perseverance!
I am trying to take a cue from the lighthouse with my eating these days. You might recall that I’ve been trying to work on my intuitive eating skills as a way to lessen my stress and obsessive tendencies when it comes to how I manage my diet. I was doing pretty well with it until my vacation. I returned home with super snug pants and a few new lessons in my pocket.
The biggest lesson I learned is that it is definitely harder to focus on eating only when hungry while eating socially for an entire week. As a single person, I tend to set my own schedule. This experience gave me new respect for people who have to take into account the schedules of kids and significant others on a daily basis. I definitely didn’t listen to my hunger signals, and I think that fact, plus my lack of exercise, explains the snug britches.
On the positive side, I also learned that it is much easier not to “go crazy” when you aren’t suffering from feelings of deprivation. I had been practicing IE for about a month before I left for my vacation, and, during that time, I had enjoyed some foods that had previously been forbidden. While I certainly ate some vacation type things that I don’t usually eat, likely when I wasn’t hungry, (resulting in the super snug pants), it wasn’t the all out binge fest that I’ve had on other vacations in recent years. I didn’t have that feeling that I was free for a week so I should eat everything I could during my window of opportunity. That was a relief. I didn’t eat to the point that I felt sick, and I didn’t spend all day looking for the next tasty snack. I enjoyed being by the water and hanging out with my friends, and I loved not feeling stress or guilt about my food choices.
Speaking of food choices, I have to tell you about a place I visited on my drive home. One of my beach companions is from the Fredericksburg, VA area, and she tipped me off to the awesome frozen custard at Carl’s. I was ready for a little break when I got close to Fredericksburg, so I decided to make a quick detour and get a cone of frozen tastiness:
Holy moses. She was absolutely right!! This was SO GOOD! I’m so glad she gave me the tip. I’m going to have a hard time driving past Fredericksburg on my next trip south. Carl’s is quite an institution, and I really love the retro look of the place. I wish I’d taken more photos, but my treat was going to melt. I had to eat it ASAP!
If you find yourself driving down I-95 from DC, I’d recommend a visit to Carl’s. It was definitely the highlight of my trip home! The other exciting part was watching my odometer roll over…
My little ’96 Camry just keeps chugging along, although there seems to be a need for more and more repairs lately. Oh well. I still love my little Camry. In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to say “congrats, Camry, on your new milestone.” 🙂
Now, I’m back in my normal groove, and I think I’m enjoying a period of greater balance with eating. A break was really the thing I needed to gain some better perspective. I’ve decided to focus on the IE principle of hearing my hunger/fullness signals for now, but to count calories again for a bit too. I realize that this is still partaking in the diet mentality, which IE literature encourages me to reject completely, but I think that this is what will make me feel the most comfortable right now. I’m trying to avoid counting too obsessively, and I’m keeping a more informal tally. So far, I feel good about it, and it seems to be giving me more comfort than stress. I’m sure I will keep you posted.
Speaking of posting, I’m hoping to get back into the practice of doing more of that too. I know it will be easier as the days get shorter, the temperatures drop, and I go into winter hibernation mode. I’m sure to be in the kitchen more too, since it is usually the warmest place to be. 🙂
I just looked at the clock, and I need to run. Another thing that seems to be a priority lately is watching the show, Mad Men. The time has come. Here’s wishing you a great week and a very happy Labor Day! Ciao for now, sweeties. 🙂