Next week, I'm going to be in Missouri working at a leadership camp for college students, and I couldn't be more excited.
I was a counselor at the camp last May as well, just 5 weeks after my surgery. (See food logs and commentary here.) I thought I was totally on top of things. I brought every morsel of food that I planned to eat that week with me - but, turns out I didn't have any place to refrigerate it. I didn't want to draw attention to myself, I guess, so I didn't ask any of the staff for help with that. So, I kept the food (mostly vegetarian meat substitutes) in my sweltering room and hoped for the best. Of course, it spoiled a little over halfway through the week (Genius!) Thank God I was on regular foods and could make do with the cafeteria.
I feel so much more relaxed headed into this year's camp, for a few reasons.
(1) I'm not bringing anything that needs refrigeration. I may buy some things like yogurt and Babybel cheese once I get there, and I have some shelf-stable almond milk that I'll keep in the staff lounge's fridge, but I'm primarily bringing protein powders, RTDs, jerky, and nuts. The RTDs will go in my checked baggage, but I'll have plenty of powdered protein and snacks in my carry-on.
(2) I'm planning to eat in the cafeteria with everyone else. I've gotten to a point now where I can navigate all kinds of restaurants. Buffets and cafeterias are particularly WLS-friendly, I think, because you can just get a bunch of tiny bits of things and eat them, and there are usually at least a few good protein options. I know there will be a salad bar for every meal. I know there will be an omelet station in the morning. I'm going to eat a couple chunks of fruit every night during "snack" (but, unlike one night last year, I'm not going to eat pizza toppings.)
In other words, despite my oft-reported struggles with compulsive eating, food doesn't scare me anymore. Yes, there will be temptation, but I can do hard things.
(3) Everyone's going to know I had surgery, or at least that I'm eating differently. I've lost nearly 100 pounds since they saw me last; I was in the low 270s or high 260s in late May 2009. It feels easier to eat small portions in front of them after having some success.
I'll still be logging my food and exercise daily. I purchased a travel exercise mat for self-guided yoga and Pilates DVDs, and I'm also bringing some of my Leslie Sansone DVDs. There's a track there too, so I'll probably do some walking. It's going to be great!