February is a killer month. I’m away three of the four weekends in this month, and I’m realizing just how hard it is to stick to my plan when I’m on the road. It’s becoming a lot easier to stay on track most of the time – I’ve gotten better at planning my grocery trips, meal planning and I are on good terms, and I’m not feeling as many cravings as I was back when this all began. But once I’m away from the convenience and comfort of my kitchen, things get …. tricky.
I’m in Hoboken Weds-Friday this week for work, then I’m heading to Brooklyn for a few nights with friends. I recognize that it’s going to be tough to stay totally on point, but I tried to plan ahead in a few key areas so that I don’t go totally off the rails.
FOOD. I looked like a crazy bag lady this morning on Acela. My suitcase was stuffed to the gills (work clothes, play clothes, gym clothes… I don’t travel light), I had my laptop bag, and the key addition: a new cooler tote. I spent some time yesterday prepping protein pancakes for every morning I’m away, and froze them overnight. I portioned out peanut butter to have with them, and I can get some scrambled egg whites at my office’s cafeteria to round out breakfast. I also portioned out green beans and sugar snap peas into 4oz baggies, so I would have something to munch on during the full-day meetings I’m attending this week. I brought a shaker bottle and protein powder (peanut butter marshmallow whey, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE?!), and I packed a salad and some grilled steak to eat on the train. Tonight I hit up the grocery store next to my hotel for a few more additions – nonfat yogurt, hard boiled eggs, organic roasted turkey breast – and a few emergency Quest bars. Basically? I’m doing everything I can to stay on track while I’m living out of a hotel this week.
WORKOUTS. I have been coming to Hoboken for meetings about once per quarter for three or four years now………. and until tonight I never stepped foot inside the hotel fitness center. I have worked out on these trips before – I took a Flywheel class taught by a friend on one visit, and when I still had Classpass, I tried a spin class at a studio about a mile from the hotel, but I never bothered checking out the hotel gym. As it turns out, THIS WAS DUMB. I stay at the Hoboken W whenever I’m in town, and it is a super nice hotel. I definitely should have expected an equally nice fitness center! Plenty of cardio options, a full set of dumbbells, a decent selection of weight machines, PLUS an area for yoga/foam rolling, AND a boxing set up (speed and heavy bag options). Throw in all the bonus bliss products in the locker rooms and the ridiculously flattering mirrors, and I was one happy chica… right up until I started the actual workouts. Leg day isn’t my friend at the moment (my knee is being bratty lately) but I powered through the workout plus some bonus cardio, and all in all felt great. After spending all morning on the Acela and all afternoon in meetings, it felt great to get my heart rate up and get my sweat on.
So I feel like I’ve set myself up pretty well for the time in Hoboken. Friday after work, I’m heading to Brooklyn to stay with friends, and that will be the bigger test. When I’m with my college friends, it’s real tempting to open a bottle of wine or to crack a few beers while we catch up. I’m going to try my hardest to stay on plan and on track, but I also know that I don’t get to see these friends nearly as often as I would like, so I’m not going to let my meal plan completely rule our time together. I do get a cheat meal this weekend, so I just need to use it strategically!
It’s a lot harder to keep my goals in sight when I’m outside of my comfort zone. It’s easier to feel balanced and on track when I’m at home and can plan my days out. I know that this isn’t forever. My trainer pointed out that I’m still a long way from my goals, and I can either keep working toward them and make some sacrifices, or I can give in to temptation while recognizing that it may end up pushing me back from my finish line. I know that as I progress, I’ll be able to make more exceptions, but right now, I need to stay focused on recovering some of the good work that I let slip away over the past year.
It’s a process and I’m feeling my way through it, one day at a time.