*I’ve lost eight pounds since the start of the New Year. I did it just be reducing my caloric intake. In part I quit eating so much so late at night and then going to sleep before my food had a chance to, uh, digest.

I’m a disciplined person who works out five days a week, which more than I can say for most people I know. So when it came to improving my eating habits I was willing to make the necessary changes.

The first few weeks of my reduced caloric regimen went as planned. I had my protein bars, protein drinks and lots of fruit for in between meals. I even had a backup bag of almonds because I read they provided good cholesterol and helped with digestion.

With most diets you have to stick close to home to make sure you have access to the special food some diet plans require. But I had planned a quick business trip out of town and felt confident that I had enough portable food to sustain me until my return.

What I didn’t plan on was getting trapped in North Carolina by a snow storm that shut down air traffic from Boston to Birmingham.

When I flew into Raleigh, North Carolina on that Thursday, I had every intention of flying out the following Saturday. But Friday night one of the worst snow storms to hit that state moved in. And by the time I was headed to the airport at 6am Saturday morning the snow was so thick that snow plows had trouble maneuvering through it.

Having lived in the Washington, D.C. metro area for more than fourteen years I’m not new to snow storms. But this was big deal. Still we made our way to the airport – slowly but surely – with childlike faith in hopes that I would fly away and leave all that snow behind.

When I got out of the car at the airport three TSA agents looked at me with faces full of questions. And when I walked into the airport it was eerily quiet. The only people I saw were two customer service agents who yelled for me to stop my ride before it was too late. It was then they told me the airline had shut down its operation and there would be no flights out that day.

“What do you mean ‘no flights out today?’ I’ve got places to go and people to see somewhere else,” I thought to myself. But it wasn’t happening that day.
Although another airline on the other side of the airport had one or two flights leaving the airport later that day, the price of a one-way ticket to New York (the destination of those flights) was out of my price range and out of my way. Besides, I didn’t know what the weather was like in New York. I had no intentions of flying from one blizzard to next. So I decided to stay put. When I resigned myself to the fact that I would be spending another night in North Carolina I got a hotel room nearby for a quick departure the next morning. News reports confirmed that most of the eastern seaboard was shut down due to the snow storm. But I didn’t feel any better about my predicament.

Because I had expected be back at home by now I had long ago run out of my protein bars, drinks, fruit and almonds. And my hunger pangs were getting the best of my will power. I did the only thing I could; I picked up the phone and called Domino’s Pizza.  Under the circumstances I made the best decision I could; I ordered one of their new chicken sandwiches instead of a pizza. Either way I couldn’t avoid bread consumption. An hour later my two Domino’s sandwiches arrived. I ordered two just in case the next day also didn’t go as planned. I wanted to be prepared. And it was a good thing.

I arrived at the airport – again – around 7am on Sunday morning ready to hop on the first thing flying out of there. I had to be in sunny Houston at 1pm that day, but it wasn’t to be. The first flight out of RDU airport wouldn’t leave until around 11am putting me in Houston around 3pm, two hours late.
It didn’t occur to me right away that the people I had planned to meet in Houston would excuse my lateness due to the weather. But I was able to reach them by telephone Sunday morning and I was pleased to know I wasn’t the only person who would be late to the meeting due to canceled flights. You know misery loves company.

Long story short, if it’s not too late for that, I arrived in Houston where I was to stay for three days. My planned trip home to replenish my stock of protein and fruit would have to wait. I didn’t have time to grocery shop in Houston, but I tried not to stray too far from healthy foods. By the time I got back home and to a scale I had gained a pound. Under the circumstances it could have been worse.

Since then I have stocked up on my protein and fruit and vowed to check the weather report before I do any more winter travel. But last week ten inches of snow fell in Dallas, Texas. It was the most snow in the history of north Texas, and it had me saying dejavu all over again.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metro area. Send questions, comments or requests for speaking engagements to Steffanie Rivers at [email protected]. And see the video version of her journal at youtube.com/steffanierivers.