A SAD experiment in the Happiest Place on Earth

Cad and I riding on the last car of Big Thunder Mountain for the 6th time.

Cad and I riding on the last car of Big Thunder Mountain for the 6th time.

This whole journey into weight loss started on February 25th of last year. It all started with my wife discovering a lump in her abdomen that was causing pain. The doctors did a CT scan but they couldn’t get good resolution on it and ordered her to lose 40lbs so they could see it better. Disheartened by this and left feeling hopeless, I told her that if she could lose 40lbs we would go to Disney World. She documents this story in more detail on her blog. Suffice to say she lost weight, I lost weight. I held my end of the bargain and we scheduled our trip to Disney World… along with the Disney Dining Plan. I think at first we reasoned that we’ll stay paleo.

The trip was interesting. We woke up early, surprised our son with the trip and learned that even sheer unbridled excitement is tough to roll at 3am. We packed up the car and headed for the airport. About 5 minutes from the airport my wife asked where a particular piece of luggage was. Another problem with the 3am wake up is that sometimes you forget the hardcase tiger Trunki with all your kids toys in it because it was on top of an armoire. So you do what anyone with just about an hour to go before your flight departs, you head back to go get it. We got the luggage and hightailed it back to the airport with 30 minutes to spare. We get to the counter and are told that my wife’s name is going to be a problem. My wife’s legal name is Elizabeth but we all call her Erin. Unknown to me, her LICENSE actually says E Erin on it, not Elizabeth. Her ticket is for Elizabeth. These things do not match… a call must be made to change the name on the ticket. These are things that don’t get done quickly when your plane is ready to board in 20 minutes. 15 minutes later, we have our new boarding passes and have to go through security. Luckily, we bought the EvenMore passes from JetBlue which gets us through a priority security line… but of course the TSA wants to scan one of my bags like 9 times. 1 minute to go and we’re DASHING for our gate which is, of course, at the COMPLETE END OF THE FUCKING TERMINAL. Luckily, someone saw my wife and kid struggling and called ahead to the gate. I was already AT the gate because I’m going to fucking Florida, slowpokes… We get on the plane as the gate closes. It was close. Now I have to poop. I’ve had to poop for about an hour now. The fasten seatbelt sign is on but we’re not moving… for a while. Eventually my wife (who also has to go to the bathroom) asks the attendant if we can use the bathroom. We are allowed to. Much pooping was had. We finally get going after de-icing and whatnot and are on our way to SUNNY FLORIDA. Which is great because it sucks in Boston right now as it starts to snow.

The entire cast of Honey Boo Boo are behind in in this photo. No joke.

The entire cast of Honey Boo Boo are behind in in this photo. No joke.

So we arrive in our destination and head off to our resort to check-in. Part of our agreement was a stay at the Wilderness Lodge, which is my recommendation if you’re willing to blow a ton of money on your hotel room. I don’t know if it was the hectic dash to the plane or some kind of mental celebration of weight loss but straight out of the door we go off-plan. I don’t remember exactly what item it was, but my wife and I both sorta looked at each other and gave a simultaneous ‘fuck it’. This was the start of our Standard American Diet (SAD) diet in Disney. We head off to EPCOT where we have reservations at the Biergarten. Beer is drank, pretzels are eaten, other things that aren’t paleo are ingested. Then we start to remember what being fat FEELS like. Bloat, gas, general gnarliness. You’d think we learn from that experience but we don’t. Some of the highlights of our off-plan week involve fries, white potatoes, SANDWICHES, ice cream, etc. We eventually slow our roll after a particularly nasty (delicious) meal at the 50s Prime Time Cafe. We’re enjoying the food we’re eating and we’re complaining about the way we’re feeling but it does help us reestablish this as a ‘one time thing’ that we don’t want to experience when we get home. We had a real fancy meal at Artist Point which is located at our hotel. It’s a steakhouse and we order up some grand things. One item I had on my plate was a glazed donut injected with sweet potato. It was also served with veg and a giant steak… so that was paleo.

Now despite eating all that nonsense at meals, we actually DID stick to our plan in regards to snacking. My wife packed some delicious paleo snacks that we all ate. We also brought a Brita pitcher and a 3L Platypus Hoser water tank so we could hydrate (water in Florida tastes awful to us… like sulfur) and a backpack for me to lug around. And despite eating poorly, we had a WONDERFUL time. Heck, we had a wonderful time eating poorly, to be honest. I’m sory, but some of that god awful food is fucking delicious. I’m glad I don’t eat it anymore but, fuck… sometimes that shit is good. I had a Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake at one point… and I must mention the sweet potato filled donut again.

My son (who is 3) had a great time. We went on any ride that he was tall enough for (42 inches). He rode EVERYTHING… twice. Three times in some instances. Then came the Blizzard. Appropriately designated “Nemo” by the Weather Channel (named storms that aren’t Hurricanes are not a National Weather Service thing, people. It’s a way for TWC to market the storm as THEIR product and draw attention to themselves.) it was due to hit on Friday night. The night we were supposed to fly home. Our flight was canceled and moved to Saturday. I booked another night and we stayed a full day in the park on Friday. Unfortunately Nemo was going to hang around. Our Saturday flight was canceled and we hurried to find lodging for another night at a cheaper hotel on property while we waited to hear our new flight time. That time: Tuesday. Our vacation had been extended by a solid 4 days. Thank god for travel insurance (if they pay…). I went to the front desk and found that we could get 2 more days in the park for the entire family for only $60. Our Disney Dining Plan was out so we’d have to pay for our food. Luckily our insurance SHOULD cover those costs as I kept a pocket full of receipts. We ate a bit nicer, but not on-plan specifically. We dreaded the weigh-in when we got back.

Even in our much smaller form, fitting all 3 of us in the Astro Orbiters is simply a spinning family torture device.

Even in our much smaller form, fitting all 3 of us in the Astro Orbiters is simply a spinning family torture device.

Eventually we returned home and weighed in. I can’t speak for my wife but I left weighing 220lbs. I returned weighing 228lbs. 10 days, 8lbs. You’d think the sheer amount of walking would flush out even bad food choices but NO. Your diet is key to your weight. I probably walked 10 miles a day and still got 8lbs on me. It took me 3 days to lose it by going back on-plan. That was 228lbs on Tuesday night to 220lbs on Friday morning… that same Friday morning in which I passed out and smashed my face. I’m wondering if my change in diet from good to bad and RIGHT back to good had something to do with my blood sugar fluctuation. It’s a possibility.

Disney World is off the table for a few years. We agreed (I think) that we’d wait until my kid is the height to go on EVERYTHING and that all the new rides are in AND been tested for a year. Will we get the Disney Dining Plan? Possibly. I think we could challenge the DDP and do it paleo. I get the DDPs for free when I go because I go when it’s dead. So it’s no money out of my pocket and significant savings when eating. We could have done it paleo. Maybe not all the desserts and stuff but most of it. Also, we can learn to say no to dessert. It was a wonderful time and we learned that we’d prefer to keep eating the way we’re eating and not go back to a SAD diet… ever.

Today’s Weigh In – 219lbs

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One thought on “A SAD experiment in the Happiest Place on Earth

  1. […] weight, we would go to Disney World. We went, and we tried to stay paleo… for a few hours. Eventually we gave in and went full fat-American-Tourist mode to see what would happen to us. Luckily, we only packed on about 8 or 9 lbs in our extended stay (thanks to the Blizzard at home). […]

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