Kristen did such a great job in her first week of portion awareness, I'm not even sure where to start. I think what's most exciting to me is the number of challenges that our newly-engaged road warrior is facing; the number of times she feels like she can't be in control of what she's eating and how she's turning that around. 

Here are Kristen's challenges, solved:

After-work Bonding Over Drinks: Oooh this is one of those places where road warriors get tripped up easily. Sure, you want to bond with your coworkers when you're traveling, and what better way than happy hour (on the company credit card)? The first time her team insisted on this kind of bonding, she went, and opted for chicken skewers and portabella mushrooms. The second time, she told the team she was going to skip it and head out for sushi. And you know what? They all went with her.

The Corporate Vending Machine of Hell: Who stocks the corporate vending machine with sodas, chips and cookies? It seems nice, but it isn't! Instead of falling prey to mid-afternoon hunger cured with some salty, sugary, fatty and ultimately unsatisfying treat, Kristen brought her own. She called the hotel where she was staying, asked for a mini fridge, and shopped in a local Target's grocery area as soon as she landed. She packed herself big bags of her favorite veggies and didn't heed the siren call of that vending machine.

Steakhouse Dinner?: This is not for the weak of will. Kristen took herself to Ruths' Chris (just thinking about this makes my mouth water). Instead of grabbing a rich steak, she opted for the happy hour special, and ordered Seared Ahi Tuna, and Tenderloin Skewers on a Bed of Mixed Greens. For $12 ($6 ea.) she satisfied her surf-and-turf craving with very reasonable portions.

The 'Eat-Anything-He-Wants' Fiance: We love our men, but a skinny hubby really puts love to the test. But Scott, Kristen's incredibly supportive fiance, did a little kitchen reorg before she returned home this week: he put all of his favorite junk foods in a cabinet that she can't see. Therefore, she's not going to "stumble upon" his junk food and be tempted any more; she'll need to really seek it out.

The 'Have-A-Cookie' Colleague: Ugh. Do you have one of these? Kristen does. The 'I-have-a-present-for-you' colleague, and that present is always caloric. Yes, the colleague knows that Kristen is trying to watch it, but a big (and I mean big) cookie is nobody's friend. So what did Kristen do? She said no thank you and took out a picture of her wedding dress. Nothing motivates like that photo.

Chinese Food At Home: When Kristen returns home from her travels every week, they go out for Chinese. Now Kristen isn't ready to face the portion challenges at a Chinese restaurant, so instead, Scott cooked Chinese at home. He made vegetables and coated chicken breasts with bottled teriyaki sauce. Their Chinese craving was tamed.

And the result? Kristen has lost 5 pounds and her engagement ring is fitting on her middle finger. Her shorts are looser, and she's working out 4 to 5 times per week. She's seeing the results of portion awarenesss: both in quality and quantity.

This week, she's experimenting with vegetables that she hasn't tried before. She plans to make:

- Butternut Squash Soup
- Brussels Sprouts
- Crunchy Green Beans
- Healthy Stuffing Recipe

Sounds like someone is getting ready for a delicious Thanksgiving, doesn't it?

Thank you for your motivating comments last week. Please keep them coming!