Ramadan and International Travel
November 28, 2017
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This was written last month and is just being published now, so please excuse the delay! The picture on the left was taken by our office manager the day before my procedure and the one on the right was taken about a month ago in the same outfit.

The last month has been really busy with the end of Ramadan and a trip to Spain, I've survived both and even managed to make a little progress.

The difficult thing about Ramadan is that feeling that you "deserve" something fatty or calorie laden after a long day of fasting.  You can easily consume 1500 to 2000 calories in one sitting without thinking about it.  I tried to finish out the month by being mindful although I wasn't always successful.  What made it easier was the relatively short amount of time available for eating (from about 8:40 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.) and by the end of the month exhaustion sets in and all you can manage is some water in the morning and maybe a protein shake or a boiled egg. I found that particularly with the balloon, that was plenty of food to get me through the day.  By the time I got to the end of the day water was all I wanted and after a quick dinner I felt great and ready to do it again the next day.  The result was about 5 lbs of weight loss that I quickly regained once Ramadan ended.  As you can imagine I was REALLY nervous about traveling and gaining more weight out of my comfort zone.

Prior to embarking on our trip to Spain we checked in with our ORBERA representative who gave us the numbers of physician's trained in ORBERA in each of the cities we were visiting.  Although my experience has been really good and I travel with my doctor, I wanted to have a backup plan in case of emergency.  My biggest concerns were not being hydrated enough and not getting enough exercise.  I will say that this was a very active trip and we walked as much as possible.  Several members of our group (including Dr. Din) ran with the bulls in Pamplona and we were moving non stop.  Also, luckily for me I didn't love the food.  The downside of this is that I ended up consuming more carbs than I probably should have but I also ordered vegetables a lot and substituted fruit for meat in my breakfast.  The drinking was tougher because quite frankly I didn't want to use public restrooms.  I compensated by drinking most of my fluids at night once I was back in my hotel room or at lunches where I knew the bathrooms were clean.  At the risk of sharing too much information it is the most regular I have ever been while traveling!  

I did feel really bloated towards the end of the trip and was dreading stepping on the scale when I got home.  After a good night's sleep in my own bed, lots of water, and a shower I weighed myself the day after we returned.  The travel bloat had gone down and I lost the weight I regained after Ramadan and am now about 30 lbs lighter than my starting point.  I have between 12-15 lbs left to lose and am really going to try and reach that goal before my balloon removal scheduled for the last week of September.  

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