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The land of bread, pasta and wine

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

When you're faced with 100 pounds or more to lose, it's easy to get overwhelmed with how to get there. It's hard to imagine losing that much weight. What I've learned through this journey is that you can't be focused on the final result, you have to focus on each day. You have to focus on making the next best decision and you can't let the idea of perfectionism get in the way of your goal. The journey won't be perfect but if you keep showing up for yourself even after you slip, then you have not failed.

So when I started Noom last July, my big goal was always in the back of my mind, but I focused on small incremental goals. My first goal — to lose 20 pounds before leaving for Italy in September.

All I could think about was another uncomfortable 8-hour flight in a tight plane seat with a seatbelt that barely fit anymore — that's what I remembered from the 2017 trip. My ankles stayed swollen the entire time because of the plane ride, walking 10 miles a day and not drinking enough water. Oh, and my feet hurt most of the time because I wasn't used to walking that much and didn't have the proper shoes. I was determined to have an easier trip that I would enjoy.

I just did want Noom told me to do (even though I wasn't perfect and continued to drink) but the weight started to come off. I started eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. I started moving more whether it was walking, practicing yoga or a dance workout video on YouTube. I started Noom July 17 and by the time we left on Sept. 11, I had met my 20-pound goal! Actually, I was down 22 pounds.

We had a much better experience and fell in love with Italy all over again. I wore more comfortable shoes and was in better shape to do all the walking and stairs the trip to Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Pisa and Venice required. I made sure to drink plenty of water and laid off the alcohol until the evenings. I savored each day, even when we had challenges navigating ancient cities with Amy in a wheelchair.

The improvements were mostly physical but I was also feeling better mentally. I started listening to Brene Brown's book "Braving the Wilderness" on the plane and while laying in bed at night trying to get to sleep. And then I couldn't stop consuming everything she's written.

I also found some quiet time in the morning to meditate. Even now when I need to go to a peaceful place in my mind to gather myself, I think about sitting on the edge of a mountain in Tuscany overlooking an olive orchard. The fresh air, the silence, the smells from the nearby resort kitchen and the sun coming over the hills.

And if you're wondering how I survived Italy and the temptations of pasta, bread, cheese and wine — I tried it all — but I also ate salads, drank tons of water and walked 10 miles a day so it evened out! With another adventure behind me, I came home ready to embark on my next goal. My next adventure would be my little sister's wedding in late October.

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