A Journey to Remember

Sorry to sound like a whiner, but I am so exhausted and ridiculously jet-lagged.

I need to go to bed stat, but wanted to share a few trip highlights relevant to my blog’s messaging.

You can check out my photo albums on Facebook here and here.

*Also here!* New album with hubby’s pics!

(Please let me know if you can’t view these albums — Facebook says I should be able to share them!) The pictures tell the stories best, and there’s a little commentary, too 😉

Here’s my round-up of food, drink and exercise related to my trip.

I am really proud of how I handled the food situation over there. I had absolutely no control over how things were cooked or even what we were eating (my brother did most of the ordering since he speaks Korean and knew more or less my comfort level re: spiciness).

I ate small portions of everything … and a looooot of broth-based soups with mandu (pork/cabbage dumplings) since it was one of the few non-spicy dishes. I didn’t mind though; it was delicious and I’d order it at a Korean restaurant if ever I went to one here in the U.S.

I did pass on the eel at the farmer’s market Saturday (everyone said it was good and tasted like white fish, but after watching the lady decapitate the eels for our lunch, I just honestly couldn’t stomach it …) … but ate many other things I hadn’t had before.

For example, I tried new foods including: dried seaweed and seaweed soup, mandu, cuttle-fish, fried donut things, pig spine soup, kimchi, Korean noodles, fish cake, rice balls stuffed with tuna, Asian pear (I think I’ve had that before but it tasted so much better IN Asia ;)) plus we shared lots of bakery breads (my husband and I both love bread and it’s just not a staple of the Korean diet so we got a little bit each day) …

I wouldn’t say I loved the food on the whole — I much prefer Mediterranean cuisine above anything else –but I absolutely loved the experience, the art, of eating over there.

The way we ate was a real treat … on the floor, often sharing communal dishes, cooking our own BBQ and fondue-style meat-veggie-and-broth dishes.

It was unique and fun and while I was happy to have a turkey Subway sub on the drive home from O’Hare yesterday, I left Korea feeling proud of how non-disordered and, well, normal my eating was. I’d give myself a B for sure!

Sure, I didn’t eat big portions of meat and didn’t experiment too much with spice levels … and I did enjoy quite a few FiberOne bars when everyone else was enjoying street food, but still, I tried nearly everything and tried to be open-minded as I could be (save for the eel)!

At cafes, I drank low-fat and full-fat milk (was not about to turn down morning lattes due to the milk type used — plus, portions were small — read as “normal.”) Also drank a good amount of soju, a rice liquor that was just delicious when mixed with (regular) lemon-lime soda called “cider” … happy just thinking about it!

I did find Coke Zero and Coke Light (which I love, love love drinking abroad — it tastes so different than Diet Coke we have here in the States) in a few places, but stuck to water a good chunk of the time.  I still have an obsession with Diet Coke, but I found that I can live without it … I just choose not to.

I’m proud to say I didn’t take out my sneakers once … there was no way we’d go running unless it was in a park there …. but every day (except for travel days) we walked a ton. All over the place. And it felt good. In fact, since I was sick the three days leading up to our trip, tonight was the first workout I’d done in nearly two weeks and I felt stronger than ever … probably from having given my body an actual REST!

I over-ate according to Weight Watchers but that is to be expected on vacation. (Actually, I did fine until Thursday – then things kind of went downhill, especially since Seoul had such good food!). I enjoyed everything in moderation and tried to be open-minded as much as possible.

I am sure I gained weight — that often happens with travel, and within a week it’s gone. The thing is, looking at my photos I see just how chunky I’ve gotten … and finally, I feel ready and willing now to tackle my weight.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’m carrying around extra pounds that I simply don’t need. With spring in the air, I feel motivated to calm down a bit and see what happens.

I enjoyed myself to the fullest, deprived myself of nothing and was aware the whole time. But I’ve been “over-spending” and it shows. I looked at my food journals and see all the extras and I know what I need to do. Instead of being overwhelmed, though, I feel calm.

Maybe it had to do with being in another place where life is just so different. Calmer. Whatever it is, I’ll take it!


24 thoughts on “A Journey to Remember

  1. what a great and successful trip! im so glad this was good for you lissa. and its so cool to see you recognizing the ebb and flow of life/food/weight/exercise…that’s LIFE! it doesnt have to be a constant battle! sometimes we let go, sometimes we own up, but we move positively through it all. 🙂

  2. Welcome back, what a trip!! It’s funny: I looked at your pics and thought, “I think this is the best she’s looked since i’ve known her!” I know I’m a broken record, but I think you look prettiest like this, not when you were at your thinnest. But what matters is that YOU like you, so I get it. And you are doing great!

  3. I think it sounds like you enjoyed a very successful and wonderful vacation! I think “exotic” foods are some of the hardest to be comfortable with, but I think it’s great you were able to try some new things! We must remind ourselves that on such rare vacations such as the one you took, it is okay and downright necessary to enjoy them to the fullest!

  4. Wow! Sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime type of trip AND a trip that really got you to be YOU and not a restricted, stressed out you but a happy, balanced YOU instead. How very cool! I can’t wait to look at the pics!

  5. Wow, what an amazing trip! Everything looks so beautiful, and I’m glad you were able to try new things without feeling restricted. You look gorgeous in the pictures, too – glowing. 🙂

    In the long vacations I’ve taken, I’ve definitely enjoyed myself more on the trips when I wasn’t restricting/over-exercising. I just let myself be and take in the new scenery. I’m so glad you were able to do the same! Glad to have you back safely!

  6. welcome back!
    wow, sounds like such a great trip all around. you were totally out of your comfort zone food-wise and it’s so impressive that you tried all those dishes and just ate them like a “normal” person would. you are inspiring!

  7. Welcome back! So glad to hear you had such a good time! When we went to Japan, I had many of the same food experiences you did…and walked a lot! Travel is always a very good way for me to check in with myself and see how I’m doing. I always do better than I thought I would. I’m going to check out your pictures now!

  8. I’m so glad you had a good time! Just a question–is it the disordered eating part of you that doesn’t want those 15 pounds around? Or is it a true, healthy perspective, in which your body would be healthier without those 15 pounds? Might be good to check in about which part of you is active right now 🙂

    1. Honestly, it’s not the disordered voice speaking. Yes, I feel like I look chunky and feel uncomfortable in my own skin — but this isn’t about vanity. Those 15 lbs are not healthy for me, and we want to try for a baby later this year, so I’d like to lose those pounds now if at all possible so I’m at my healthiest when we try to conceive. But it is good to keep in check why I want to lose weight and right now, it’s to be healthier.

  9. Yasmin you inspired my post yesterday when you told me about Mt. Fuji. It reminded me of the mountain-climbing experience I’d had that changed my life–and it had absolutely nothing to do with my weight. Take tons of pics and share them, my friend!! 🙂

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