Yesterday I wrote And Then, The Unthinkable Happened, the second article in a three part series about my friend Betty’s lifelong struggle with weight loss. I left you with where Betty is today… in a very good place.



Betty and I talked about what else she wants you to know about her story and she said that she looks at her process and road to a healthier life like the legs of a stool. In therapy they were told how their bypass surgery was just one leg of that stool, but for the stool to stand, it had to have three other legs:

  1. Healthy eating
  2. Regular exercise
  3. An understanding of the emotional side of why they were eating

As you can see from her story, she has mastered all three of those additional legs. We all stumble here and there, but that’s life. What makes Betty’s story a success is that when she stumbles, she picks herself up, brushes herself off, and focuses back on her end game – a healthy Betty.

My idea to write Betty’s story started when she told me that she is going out of town in a few weeks to visit her family. She expressed that her concerns about her trip involved her strategy to maintain her exercise routine and manage her vegan diet while around her, “shall we say,” less than health conscious family. We batted around a few ideas, and I quickly realized that she already had a plan in place and just needed to talk about it. I told her that I would love to write about her struggles, and if she made some notes, I would include them in an upcoming blog post. When Betty brought her notes in, I thought it would make more sense if you knew Betty’s full story which you can read by clicking on these two links: The Many Years of Yo-Yo Dieting and And Then, The Unthinkable Happened.

Here’s “Betty’s Vacation Survival Plan” (with a few minor changes)…

Next Wednesday I will be taking a trip to visit my family for my aunt’s 90th birthday. I will be staying with my aunt for the four-day visit, so that I will be able to cook and not have to eat out. On Saturday, we will be meeting at a local restaurant to celebrate her birthday with the rest of the family. Unfortunately, the restaurant is an all-you-can-eat buffet. Below is my plan to stay on my healthy program during this stressful time.

  1. I will stop by the restaurant on Wednesday, the day of my arrival and see if there is anything that I can eat and still stay on my healthy plan.
  2. I will take vegetables and fruits that I know my aunt will not have in her house. I will remind my aunt that these are leftovers I had at home and that they would have gone bad before I got back. This way I will not offend her by making her feel she doesn’t know how to feed me.
  3. I also plan on taking a lot of extras, such as my own seasonings, Quinoa, pine nuts, chia seeds, walnuts and cranberries.
  4. Since my aunt doesn’t get up until 8 AM, I will rise and go for a four-mile walk each morning before she gets up.
  5. I will keep a journal during my visit, and take some motivational self-help books to read while there.
  6. I plan on keeping in touch with Debbie and another very good friend each evening (to keep myself honest).
  7. My biggest challenge will be keeping my mouth shut, and not being baited into a verbal fencing match about my style of eating versus their style of eating.

When all is said and done, I think I will do just fine. The whole trip is about celebrating my aunt’s entry into her next decade, not about food.

Betty sums her story up by saying, “I realize that a lot of the people who will be reading this will not need bypass surgery to get to a healthy life, but they may know someone who is thinking about bypass or has had it, and isn’t doing so well.” She wants her story to show the good side of bypass surgery and how for her, it was exactly the jump start she needed to start a lifetime of healthy living.


  • Questions:
  • If you would like to ask Betty questions, she will be watching for your comments and will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
  • How do you keep a healthy lifestyle when traveling?
  • What are your tricks for eating healthy at an all-you-can-eat buffet?