After coming back from vacation (and no Bikram classes for4 1/2 days) my body had to go through a slight readjustment as I came back into my yoga and food bubble. The first thing I had to readjust to was how I physically felt.  Having eaten out a lot, and eaten more highly processed food than normal, I came home to find I had gained 4 1/2 pounds in 4 1/2 days. I knew I felt bloated but geesh!

I was confused by this weight gain because I didn’t pig out while I was gone. Yes, I did eat a bit more than usual for me. Had I gained one or two pounds I would have thought nothing of it. But nearly 5? That’s insane!

I went right back into my diet prior to going on vacation(vegetarian and only minimally processed foods if they are processed at all). If I ate something processed, I knew what all the ingredients were, and all the ingredients were fine to injest. In two days I had lost all the weight. This suggests to me that I didn’t really gain weight in the true sense. If so, it should have taken longer for me to drop it. Who knows what caused the gain. The interesting point is that I gained that weight eating a pretty normal American diet, and it dropped immediately when I stopped.

It wasn’t hard to go back to eating the way I had during the challenge. My body was mad at me for not eating that way while in West Virginia. We’re getting along much better now. 🙂

The second place I had to reset was with class. My first class back after tha challenge was a Friday afternoon. I had all day to hydrate and eat properly, and I sailed through that class. It was amazing and felt great. It was Saturday that was hell. On Saturday and Sunday I struggled with hydration and getting through class. I was back to feeling dizzy and seeing black spots. It totally sucked. It was really hard to keep up with my hydration in West Virginia. Sure it’s easy to stay hydrated while I’m hiking, but it’s less easy when I’m rafting. What am I going to do? Yell, “Wait! I need to drink more water before this next rapid. Hold the raft!” Not going to work.

By Monday I was back to normal in terms of hydration. Class was back to it’s usual rhythm.

What I learned from all this is that I am not interested in eating whatever when I travel. The consequences are not pretty, and my body does not like it. I will be traveling again Thursday-Sunday. Then I am home for a few days and then gone again for four more days. I am not interested in playing this game for the rest of July. This next time out I will be better prepared to stay the course with my diet and hydration. It sounds boring (I swear it’s not!), and even if it was boring the benefits to how I feel are too great to do something else.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Penelope
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 12:32:15

    Oh, I TOTALLY get this. I am pretty sure that most prepackaged/restaurant food is loaded with salt and MSG. My husband and I pretty much never go out to eat because (a) we both spend the entire next day totally bloated from the salt (so the 4.5 pound “gain” is not that surprising), and (b) the food we make at home just tastes better! It doesn’t sound boring at all. Now that I am eating mostly vegetarian, I find that most of what I eat is much yummier, more flavourful, and more interesting than what I ate in the days when I had chicken/steak fajitas constantly!

    Have you seen this website yet?

    I make lots of food from her recipes and it has all been amazing. The bean recipes are really a highlight. (I’m not vegan and will never be, but these vegan recipes are sooooo good!)


  2. Penelope
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 20:05:14

    I wrote up a comment earlier and it got eaten. Let’s see if this works better.

    I know exactly what you mean about eating out — we rarely do anymore because of all the salt and MSG that is added (and I think it is worse with vegetarian meals at non-veg restaurants, because they assume that the food has no flavour and therefore must be way overseasoned). I always end up super bloated after eating at a restaurant. (Thank heavens for subway or there would be zero decent options on the road.) The 4.5 pound gain was all water I am sure!

    And your food-style doesn’t sound boring at all. My vegetarian meals are soooo much better than most of the meaty meals I used to eat. You get to really use your imagination! By the way if you haven’t seen it check out Oh She Glows:

    The recipes are vegan (I’m not that hardcore) but everything I have made from that site is incredible! Her bean-based recipes are especially good.


  3. leighahall
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 11:21:51

    Penelope, I think I found your eaten comment. I hate it when that happens! Thanks for the link. I will give it a look. I just tried some vegan cheese spread for the first time this week. It’s made locally. At first it was weird, but now I am hooked on it. I ran out, and the only time to get it is at the farmer’s market on Saturday. I am bummed. Glad to know you’ve had similar experiences. It’s not fun being bloated, but it’s good to hear that it’s not all in my head!


  4. Brian
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 08:55:46

    Leighahall, as someone who worked in restaurants as a chef for many years (and who now regularly practices Bikram), I can verify unequivocally that restaurants use loads of salt in their cooking and that’s why you were feeling bloated and overweight. When something was prepared that seemed to be missing something, the other cooks and I joked about adding the “secret” ingredient: a nice healthy pour of sea salt! It’s the ingredient that makes restaurant food seem to taste better than what many make at home (of course this depends on how good a home cook one is!)


  5. leighahall
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 14:57:50

    Thanks for your comment Brian. That’s amazing about how much salt gets used in restaurants. I’m not surprised. Since we’ve started to cook more at home (and I would say our cooking has significantly improved) I think most restuarants are average at best.


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