“Did you fall off the wagon? Why haven’t you posted an update?!” No, I didn’t fall off the wagon, although I was worried I might while I was traveling (hence no post).
The official title is Morning Show Boot Camp but really it’s radio deejay school. Personalities from across the country get together every year to network and share ideas. This year the conference was held in Chicago which meant I’d be spending time flying and in a hotel. How the heck was I supposed to stick to my healthy lifestyle with so many things out of whack?!
I’m barely staying on track at home. One small thing and I’m scared I’ll fall off the wagon I’ve worked so hard to get on. How was I going to travel and still stay disciplined? I surprised myself.
First things first. I prepared as much as I could. I packed snacks in my carry-on bag that included protein bars, turkey jerky, and mini bags of almonds & cashews. Normally I’m frazzled before I get to the airport (mainly because I wait until the absolute last minute to pack) so I didn’t eat a decent breakfast. It would have been easy for me to drive thru and pick up a sausage biscuit but I’ve been fast food sober for almost five months now. Instead, I stopped by Starbucks inside the airport and bought Greek yogurt with granola, berries and an iced green tea with no syrup. I was caffeinated and content. Was I stuffed? No. But I knew I’d be able to hold myself over for a few hours.
During the nearly four hour flight, I munched on the snacks I brought and tracked it all on the My Fitness Pal app. The free app does all the work for me when it comes to counting calories. It’s synced to my FitBit, which tracks how many steps I take daily, and my trainer is able to log in to see if I’ve been staying on track.
Once I landed in Chicago my first priority was to get lunch. By this point I was feeling hungry and I knew my body needed actual food. By the grace of God, a place called “The Protein Bar” was located on the main floor of the hotel I was staying at. Not only did this restaurant list all of the calories on the menu, it also showed how much protein and how many carbs were in each dish. As a rule of thumb I always try to eat more protein than carbs in one sitting. Knowing I was under calories and without any idea when I’d eat dinner, I opted for a higher calorie option. However, that doesn’t mean I overdid it.
It would have been easy for me to stuff my face with a 600 calorie wrap because I was craving carbs! Instead, I chose a 300 calorie bowl of chicken chili and added healthy fats with a small scoop of Greek yogurt. I also drank a whey protein shake with almond milk (more healthy fats) that tasted more like dessert than anything! Now I’ll admit I had too much sodium but it was more important for me to get the protein and calories in than to skip a meal and gorge later.
The hardest part was cocktail hour. Ugh. There were tables filled with my favorite things EVER! Onion rings, french fries, and sliders. I longingly looked at the greasy goodness as it shined under the heat lamps. Maybe I’ll have just one. A taste. It wouldn’t kill me, right? Wrong. I know these are my downfalls. I know if I justified just a bite that I’d justify a plate then seconds. I’ve worked way too hard to fail now. I remembered what my trainer, Karen, said before I left. “Months of hard work can be undone in just two days.”
Throughout my trip I managed to maintain my calories and made wise choices. Choices that I didn’t regret. Choices that I was proud of. Was I going to be 100% on point? No. But considering the circumstances, I was OK with 90%.
While eating was my biggest concern, I also had to find time in a jam packed schedule to sweat. We were given a 90-minute lunch break. Before I would have scarfed down some food and napped. Now working out was a priority. I knew the hotel had a gym but wasn’t sure what kind of equipment was in there. I found a lot of machines that I had no idea how to use. I also found a treadmill and a bench. Now those I knew how to use! I did some hill intervals on the treadmill as well as step ups on the bench. As I walked out of the gym already sweaty, I noticed a small room that was filled with weights! I love weights! I had gotten the cardio, which I hate, out of the way, and was actually excited to pump some iron. Who woulda thunk?!
As I dripped in sweat, proud of the healthy choices I was making, I walked to the elevator. When the doors opened, I saw two men who were also there for radio deejay school. The old me would have slithered into a corner acting like I was too preoccupied with my iPod to talk to them. Something came over me though. I took the ear buds out of my ears, smiled, and extended my hand to introduce myself. Who was I?! I believe what came over me is something called confidence!
I returned home from the conference with more pride than I can describe. I was convinced I would have failed miserably. I’ve never been more happy to prove myself wrong. Not only did I succeed but I knocked it out of the park! I’m doing this! 100%. No questions asked. I. Am. Doing. This!!!