Sunday, May 9, 2010

Traveling Tart

So you probably noticed yesterday was NOT my weekly fitness blog... I had a guest author scheduled, and was out of town anyway—not able to really WRITE a fresh blog (the three while I was gone were written before I left). But I thought there was an advantage to waiting for today ANYWAY... as one of the most difficult things for me to do when I am trying to eat right and exercise regularly, is to throw travel into the mix.

It's funny, what I knew about Baltimore before coming here is what I saw on a former favorite TV show, Homicide, Life on the Streets, which, while FABULOUS viewing, is now exactly a tourism draw... But the downtown area really seemed pretty nice. The eating challenges however, were VERY real.

The challenge at this particular meeting, one I've gone to since 2006, is the EXHIBITION hall. Why is this so difficult? Because this meeting was the American Pain Society conference and the Pharmaceutical companies who set up booths in the hall put great effort into tempting everyone over to hear their schpeel. Now on the Schpeel business, all I have to say is 'I am a survey researcher and have nothing to do with treating anyone' and they can stop with their blah blah blah, because I don't recommend, prescribe or impact anyone's drug decisions, but it doesn't keep me from noticing the cookies, ice cream, chocolates, etc. that they so temptingly set out.

The catering tables are ALSO in there, and the snacks supplied range from not so bad (there was a FABULOUS yogurt bar with granola and dried fruit) to REALLY bad (the cookie and brownie tray). There was a buffet breakfast, that had pastries, sausage, bacon (all things I LOVE that don't fit this eating plan at all)... Evening snacks were better (for me)--as the cheeses were the high-end kind where I am happy with a couple squares, and the salty/crunchy snacks were mostly not the horrible kind (mixes that include prezels, nuts (fatty, yes, but the good fat, and ALSO not one I over indulge on).

Then, there are meals provided some of the time (again, by these deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies) and while they aren't HORRIBLE nutritionally, they are generally BIGGER than I normally eat for breakfast or lunch.

And finally, we are in Baltimore... I live in Michigan, surrounded by water, but I would NEVER eat seafood from the Great Lakes—they are polluted and the fish largely mercury-risks... My hubby doesn't like fish ANYWAY, so he doesn't cook it at home all that much... and my favorite food of all time is CRAB, which Maryland is famous for. I had crab EVERY day (twice on Thursday—once as a bisque at lunch, and then crab cake dinner)... I can't help it... it just had to be done.

Watching points was a CHALLENGE.

And it wasn't the ONLY challenge. There are also activities nearly all day for three days, so fitting in exercise means either giving up a session or sleep, and I like sleep.

And so How Did I Manage?


1)I did a power walk WEDNESDAY, knowing I would NOT be able to THURSDAY, and then stole some exercise FRIDAY to make up for knowing I'd have a shorter than normal session SATURDAY. It doesn't make up for not walking to work and back, but at least my two intense sessions were replaced.
2)I took extra care my mind was in the right place. This waned as I went, but Thursday and most of Friday was adequate.
3)I approached this as 'risk minimization' instead of 'be perfect'. I stayed largely AWAY from the pharm booths, and tried to make good CHOICES the other times snacks were offered.
4)I ALLOWED myself though, to have the seadfood I love, the wine offered (I drink wine on the weekends at home anyway)--dessert at the lunches. I think that mentality actually KEPT me from diving in too deeply on bad stuff (if I feel deprived, I am a big giant baby about it, and can go overboard, really easily)

I will have to let you know how the weigh-in goes—won't be until tomorrow morning that I am near a scale first thing, but I think I haven't done MUCH damage—it certainly could have been a lot worse.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

These sound like smart strategies for keeping ourselves in check. I like the idea of allowing ourselves to really enjoy the things we moderation!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I agree with Elizabeth. I think that's how most diets fail. Women go overboard, not allowing themselves simple little pleasures. We really just need to eat healthily. If we want something sweet - have it - just don't have ten of them! Good on you for keeping your head in the right place. That's fantastic. :)

Slushpile Slut said...

Good for you Hart! That pastry table looks tempting! I think I would've used up my weekly points in one sitting! Hope you enjoyed your trip and that the weigh in goes well!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now I'm hungry.

Erica75 said...

So THAT'S what the drug companies do with all their money! At teacher conventions, there's generally just a bowl of Hershey kisses! So, do the cholesterol and heart disease drug companies serve the fattiest food?? Congrats on the willpower and exercise routine.
Erica Olson

jenny milchman said...

all i have to say is YUM. you are tough as nails.

miss you, hart!

Watery Tart said...

Thanks all! Today was MUCh harder, as I intended to be home by noon but had a 6 hour delay... can anyone say AIRPORT BAR? I feel entitled when they can't get me home for so long!

Last night I splurged, but not horribly... today was BAD. Back to it tomorrow, though!

Erica--*snort* Yeah... the drug companies have deeper pockets than anything related to education--this convention is all pain drugs, so, while most people with chronic pain end up with weight issues (because of difficulty being active)--there is deniability there...

Bridget Margaret said...

Hey, Tami!

Allowing yourself the things you love is definitely not a bad thing, in moderation. I've been trying to eat less junk over here, but I find that if I totally cut myself off from sweets for a few days, I end up compensating by eating an entire jar of Speculoos spread (Have you ever had it? Think peanut butter flavored like giner snaps) in a matter of three days. No good.

(PS I see on FB you got stranded in an airport yesterday - bummer! Does it help to know it was snowing in Central New York?)

Watery Tart said...

Ha! That DOES help! Nothing like a little Diaspora to make me feel better! Speculoos sounds like HEAVEN! Man, good thing I haven't seen it in a store here!