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Old 12-11-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
mandalinn82
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Woodland, CA
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I do a considerable amount of work travel, and my biggest hurdles are the same as yours...motivation to get to the gym while traveling, and handling the eating while traveling on business (I often have meetings where lunch is provided, too, which complicates things...). I also have a lot of experience with 60-70 hour weeks (but I wish I had the 20-30 hour ones to counterbalance...lowest I get is around 50). So hopefully some of this helps with your specific situation.

1. Go to the gym before work when you know you'll be busy or when you're traveling. You probably know ahead of time most times whether you're going to have one of those easy 20-30 hour weeks or one of the 50-70 hour weeks. On the crazy weeks, make sure that your exercise is done before you even start your work day. It's even more important when you travel...I know when I finish a day of meetings and get back to my hotel, I usually have more work to do, and I'm exhausted. Sure, it won't be easy to drag yourself out of bed at 5 to exercise before your big day. But in my experience, it's even harder to drag yourself to the gym after a 14 hour day when you've been away from your family, you're starving, and you just want to get home/back to your room and relax.

So look at the day/week ahead, determine when you're likely to be getting home late (I do this based on deadlines and meetings...if I have something due or a meeting to prep or process, I know it's going to be busy, and I exercise first). And if you plan to work out during the day, and you use a calendaring system at your job that shows your availability, block it out so no one schedules over it. And don't feel bad about it, either...that 1 hour in the gym, for me, increases my productivity more than enough to make up for it.

2. Keep emergency food on you at all times. Especially when you travel. I buy high-protein oatmeal...you can prep that in a hotel room with nothing more than hot water from the coffee pot. Protein bars are great when you're in a meeting and they bring in the cookie tray when your energy crashes at 3pm. And if you'll be staying where you are for more than a day or so, do yourself a favor and find a local grocery store when you get there. Get some fruit that keeps well, like oranges. If you have a fridge in the room, and your meetings don't include over-dinner discussions, you can buy enough at the grocery store to get yourself a perfectly on plan meal (and, at least at my company, grocery receipts are also expensable for meals). The emergency food is also important when an anticipated 8 hour day turns into a 14 hour day.

3. If you do go out to eat in a restaurant, double the veggies, nix the starch, and try to keep your meat portions moderate. Since you'll be working on portion control at home, you should have a fair idea of what constitutes of serving of steak...and it doesn't touch both sides of the plate! And if you're really going to be out a lot, you're going to have to get a bit more comfortable with special requests (though that can be awkward in a business setting, particularly for men...I'm guessing that you could probably order two veggies without someone batting an eyelash, but ordering your steak "dry" is another story). Ordering a very lean meal gives you some wiggle room for the invariable restaurant add-ons (oiling/buttering the steaks, the veggies, everything really, not to mention the bread baskets)...if you order a steak, your calorie budget is going to have less room for extras than if you order a nice piece of grilled fish, you know?
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