For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been sticking to a more strict food plan from Sunday through Friday and then giving myself permission to have a special treat on Saturday. It’s been working for me. The weight loss isn’t in big chunks but it’s been steady. By the time of my knee replacement surgery in mid-March, I’m confident that I will have lost 20 pounds since I saw the doctor last December. I’d hoped to lose more but when all is said and done, I am grateful to have lost at all.
Tomorrow morning, I leave for a business trip and will be away from home for more than a week. (Tacking on a weekend of fun with friends.) Being away from home and living at a hotel means that I will not be able to prepare my meals the way that I’m used to, the way that’s been working for me. I’m a little apprehensive. Okay, I’m a lot apprehensive.
Traditionally, when I go to these things, I tend to carb overload because that’s what’s usually the most available food in the mornings with the bagel/pastry/fruit arrays that are normally provided as part of the meetings. It’s just so easy because those foods are just there! Even if the platters do include yogurt, it’s usually the low fat stuff that has more sugar and carbs.
I also get a little anxious because the meals are on the meeting’s time schedule, not on mine. That messes with my head. Then, on top of everything else, I tend to over-caffeinate too.
Add to all this is the fact that I will not have my rowing and Tai Chi classes for exercise, or my fitness DVDs.
In case it wasn’t obvious, I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing my past behavior at this meeting. I want to do things differently this time. I’m so afraid that I will eat inappropriately to my needs and goals and end up gaining back some of the weight that I’ve worked so hard to lose. So, analyzing the past means that I can strategize how to succeed this time out.
I’ve planned some things that will help. I’m taking a shaker cup and some individual protein powder packets so I can shake up a protein drink in the morning before I go downstairs to the meeting. The protein will definitely be a better choice for me than white flour products and sugar.
I’ve also packed some cheese wedges that don’t need to be refrigerated and some jerky sticks. Again – good protein choices that are easy and to take to the meeting with me and consume when I need to.
For the caffeine kick, I know perfectly well that I don’t need four cups of black tea. I do, however, need to keep up with my water intake. So, I will commit to no more than two cups of black tea in the morning and then make sure to sip, sip, sip my water throughout the day. Not hard to do when there will be pitchers and glasses on the tables.
For lunches and dinners, I am reinforcing a positive mindset that I can make healthy choices from whatever is on the menu. Protein and produce are the key things on which I want to focus. I’m sure I can find some at the other meals.
As far as exercise, the hotel has a fitness center. My boss is in training for a bridge run in April. In addition to going to rowing classes, she also runs a few times a week. Neither one of us wants to take a week off from our exercise routines, so we’re packing some workout clothes and planning to get up early enough to hit that fitness center at least a couple of times while we’re there.
So… I’ve pre-planned and packed what I could so that I’ll have food available. I’m working on my mindset. In the end, that’s really the key to whether I do great with my food plan this week or crash, burn and compulsively consume unnecessary, unwanted calories and carbs. I will do my best to be mindful and thoughtful whenever I am around food. Staying conscious and “in the moment” are vitally important.
Maybe instead of worrying that I’ll be “out of my routine”, I should just start cultivating the idea that I’ve developed a new routine for whenever I am out of town.