Maintaining a Healthy Balance While Traveling
Three weeks of traveling for work, limited time and resources to work out at a gym, while still enjoying the sites and food. Read how the trip went on the west coast and whether or not I gained any weight by the time I got home… results are actually shocking!
Getting into a routine with exercise and healthy eating can be troublesome. But once you begin it’s a matter of weeks until it becomes effortless. However, what happens when its time to travel, go on vacation or an unexpected event arises? These “bumps” in the road can change up your eating patterns and your daily workout schedule.
How did work, fitness, and eating out go during my three weeks of traveling with YouAte?
I’m 23 years old and a health conscious (more or less, until it comes to my sweet tooth) workout everyday kind of person. In general, I love eating (why can’t eating 24/7 be a thing??) and working out! I counted calories back in the beginning of college, but thankfully I’m past that phase in my life, and now I eat smart. However, I have always been a person to weigh myself every morning for as long as I can remember (I’m still working on changing this but this is something that helps me plan how I eat, and being aware of my body).
So, as you can imagine getting me out of my eating, workout and scale environment was difficult in the beginning (especially during my college years). I was constantly stressed about how much weight I would gain after even a weekend of not being near a scale, or a gym (yes, it used to be bad). I tried monitoring what I ate but there was just so much I could remember.
Sometimes, you end up loosing interest in the place you’re in because your mind is caught up on what the scale is going to say when you get home. As hard as it may be, you have to realize the world is not going to end if you don’t get yourself to the gym or indulge in a treat while you are away from your comfort zone.
The YouAte Road Trip
3 weeks, 5 cities, hours of conversations, many miles walked, and even more meals consumed.
My boss and I set out on a west coast trip to meet with users, investors, and to talk at meetups and conventions. Needless to say we met many people and our days were constantly filled. We took advantage of the sites, shopping and the food. Unfortunately some days we just did not have the energy to workout but when there were a few hours of free-time we scouted out a gym or went for a long walk to compensate the “gymless” day. Read how I stayed mindful throughout the trip in regards to working out and eating!
The first stop was San Francisco, CA. This is one part of California that I have actually never been before. I was excited to get out of the tundra-like weather in CT and finally see some sunshine!
During this stop, we took advantage of the hotel gym, explored the downtown area and attended our first meetup at Foodbytes that afternoon. The San Francisco food scene was nothing out of the ordinary. I stuck with food that I knew and packed snacks in my purse. Sometimes meetups can run way over the scheduled ending time, but when you’re deep in a conversation, time does not matter. The value of the conversations outweigh whatever time of day it is.
Three days in, no scale, limited gym time, but plenty of walking and site seeing in addition to conversations and meetings that we took advantage of in San Francisco.
Next stop, Vegas. This was a little detour for me while my boss went to another state. I visited my moms friend who lives about 20 minutes from the Strip. However, since I’ve been to Vegas numerous times, this was a trip where the hotels and casinos were not the focal point. Rather the focus was on hikes through the canyons and parks Nevada has to offer.
The weekend in Vegas was filled with active rest, sunshine and continuous networking. The food scene remained similar, but I took advantage of the kitchen at our friends’ house.
Eating out definitely makes you appreciate home cooked meals! Yes it can be fun eating out and trying something new, but the simplicity of scrambled eggs with tomatoes and cucumbers on the side can actually be hard to come about when you are on the move from city to city.
At the end of five days, still no scale, a little less eating out and many miles later through the canyons, it was time for the next city.
City number three, Portland. Although the rain welcomed us and we were farther from a gym than we imagined, we made use of what we had. I did pushups and sit-ups in the mornings at the airbnb, and we walked several miles throughout the day. However, the miles walked meant stopping at all the must- “eat” places that Portland had to offer.
Unreal food scene.
Food trucks, restaurants, bakeries, ice cream places, donut shops, you name it you could find it in a minimal walking distance. Let’s not forget about the tacos and margaritas either. Needless to say I enjoyed the food scene in Portland a little too much since it was my first time being there.
Portland sounds like excessive eating but there’s a way to do it smart. We were in Portland for a week so I had the chance to spread out the must- “eat” places (aka don’t eat everything at once or you WILL be sick).
Another tip, eat small amounts at each of the places! I’m usually one to get about 3–4 scoops of ice cream (go big, or go home — normally), but because I knew this was just one of the many stops for eating that day, I opted for a kids size, split in half with two flavors (who am I?!). I don’t think I have ever in my life asked for a kids size, but after leaving Salt&Straw, a 5 minute walk later there was a cupcake bakery! Of course I went in and had a mini cupcake (as opposed to a full size one).
If I were to stick to my normal routine of 3–4 scoops of ice cream followed by a normal size cupcake, I’m sure I would of been full and would have felt guilty. But because I knew I was being mindful, and journaling what I was eating with the YouAte app, I was conscious of when and what I was eating as opposed to relying on the scale to tell me how much extra or less I had ate the day before.
An additional trick I stuck to was trying to balance out my day of eating. Whenever we went to a restaurant, I always picked a salad or an appetizer as my meal because I knew I would not be too stuffed, but just the right amount full so that I could try and a new foodie place Portland had to offer.
Thirteen days in, less working out than planned, more restaurants and food trucks I’ve ever been to in a short period of time, and still no scale to measure how I’ve been eating. My reference is through the pictures on my YouAte timeline that I occasionally scrolled through to see what exactly I ate a day or two ago.
*Of course clothing can be a good measure based on fit, but my go-to attire is t-shirt dresses OR leggings with loose tops. It makes it difficult to tell when you don’t wear anything with buttons or zippers.
If this was the old me traveling for so long without a gym or a scale, I would be freaking out with a stress level of 100, but why put yourself through that? By being able to track my food intake with simple pictures, I’m already one step further of making a mindful decision of how much I am eating even when I’m traveling with a limited amount of resources that I am used to on a day to day basis.
San Diego / Los Angeles
Back to a state with sunshine and warmth! San Diego and Los Angeles were both cities in which I could get back to “normal” eating in the sense that the only thing I needed to have was In-N-Out.
We were able to visit a couple of gyms and get back into a routine of lifting weights again. Needless to say it was refreshing!
Surprisingly the weights I was lifting at the end of the trip were only about 5 pounds less than what I normally lift when I am back home in my routine. This allowed me to measure how much strength I still maintained while I was away from the gym!
As it was time to head back to the east coast, I’m not going to lie I started thinking about what the scale would read when I would get home…
I left for the trip weighing 136 pounds, I came home weighing 135.5!
You can imagine I was shocked! I tried eating mindfully throughout the trip, drinking plenty of water, and taking advantage of the new experiences. Mindful eating helped me tremendously, especially since I am prone to gaining weight very easily. Journaling is one way to keep consistency in your day when you are away from your norm. The following Monday I was back in the gym and sprung right back into things easily!
All in all, don’t be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone, there are tools built to help you, so take advantage and use them! For me, it was the YouAte food journaling app!