Overcoming Travel Challenges
One of the biggest challenges I know I’m going to face on my fitness journey with VIDA is traveling. I spend a lot time on the road for my job with the National Wildlife Federation, commuting to New York and Los Angeles and wherever else for my TV and public appearances.
This week I’m down in Atlanta for a speaking engagement. It’s the first business trip I’ve gone on since starting this challenge with VIDA, and I wanted to get it right.
The first hurdle with traveling is food. Grabbing meals in airports and train stations and eating out in general makes it really challenging to eat healthy food, and especially to eat healthy portions. So I was sure to pack a bunch of good snacks for the plane and my hotel to avoid the temptation of chips or candy.
In addition to working out with personal trainer Susie Powell, I’m also availing myself of the nutrition services of Addie Claire Merletti, one of VIDA’s Registered Dietitians. Addie made some great recommendations for snacks that have the right balance of nutrients for me. My favorite store-bought snacks she’s recommended are Rx Bars and Epic Bars. Both are made of high quality, real food ingredients, are delicious, and are super portable and easy to throw into my travel bag and have on hand when get peckish.
Beyond snacks, the other food-related challenge is eating in restaurants. My plan is three part:
- Choose a restaurant I know will have some healthy options.
- Order those healthy options (not the greasy cheeseburger, cheese-laden nachos or fried donuts).
- Ask for a half-portion, or only eat half and take the rest to go. Most restaurants serve massive portions so having the will power to stop before overeating is key.
Plus, Addie gave me full permission to be “that guy” who asks for custom substitutions. As long as you ask nicely, explain you’re really focusing on fitness, don’t ask for anything too crazy and are thankful, most restaurants will accommodate. For me it’s usually subbing out heavy carb or fat-laden side dishes for vegetables or avoiding or asking to minimal amounts of sauces.
The second hurdle is working out. Finding the time to work out when I’m home in DC is a challenge, and when I’m on the road working it’s even worse. But I have to accept that just because I’m traveling doesn’t mean I get a day off.
There are no VIDA locations here in Atlanta, and my hotel doesn’t have a gym. But I was able to get a free guest pass for a local YMCA to get my workouts in. Susie texts me each workout we do after ever session, and so I’ve build up quite a variety of workouts that are at my fingertips no matter where I’m working out. She’s also always available when I call or text with a question about a particular exercise. And since I’m using MYZONE, she can see my every move and will know if I skip a workout. Accountability is a good thing!