Everyone I know here in the city has been bouncing in and out of town, looking for any excuse to get out of this summer humidity that can be so miserable in NYC. Boyfriend has long been talking my ear off about the beautiful Minnesota summers (where he's from) and last week I finally took my first real trip out to the Midwest for one of his friend's wedding.
Right now, I've been in full-fledge training mode for my Strong First (SFG) kettlebell certification coming up at the end of July, so I definitely had to figure out how to maintain my gym time and food choices throughout lots of travel and family/social gatherings.
This is something we all can struggle with-- it's easy to fail to plan properly or fall off the wagon, but even worse, go in with impossibly strict expectations and beat yourself up like crazy if something doesn't go according to plan.
I'll talk about that in a bit, but first- some quick Minnesota highlights!
Minnesota is the "land of 10,000 lakes," aptly written on the state license plates, truly lived up to its name. I love escaping the city and getting some time in places that offer a little more nature, and I'm a total sucker for scenic landscapes, so I luckily got treated to a lot of those views.
(photos: top left- Lake Johanna, top right- Lake Calhoun, bottom left- Lake Calhoun, bottom right- Lake Minnetonka from Wayzata)
Before heading out to Minnesota, I knew that I personally needed to go to a gym to access kettlebells to use, because I am on a specific training regimen right now. Typically when on the road, I do hotel room workouts or go running, to minimize the hassle, but this is a special case with my certification coming up. I called a couple of fitness facilities, and luckily enough, I was able to find two places that would allow me a day pass and supportive old Boyfriend drove me around to them. This is a good option to try, or if you belong to a big chain gym that has locations in multiple cities, that's convenient too. Doesn't hurt to ask!
I'm a big believer that if you make an appointment with yourself and set aside a specific time to get your fitness on while traveling, you'll have the best chance at success. Make do with whatever equipment or lack thereof, and do what you can. Something is always better than nothing. Not everything will go according to plan, especially when you have other obligations, but you work with the situation to the best of your ability.
Now for food on travel:
I have had a slew of battles with my autoimmune issues and with my thyroid that forced me to cut out all gluten, legumes, dairy, coffee, and processed foods for a long time. Slowly, I've been able to re-introduce certain things back into my diet in controlled amounts, using the purest forms possible like organic grass-fed dairy or the occasional coffee. On the other hand, I have the capability of overly-obsessing about controlling my intake or fearing foods with my history of disordered eating.
My intention for this trip was to be mindful. Not perfect, but mindful. I knew that setting an expectation of eating 100% according to plan would not be realistic for me, with the amount of social gatherings and no time to prepare any meals at home.
Golden goal (not rule!) for food on travel:
Prioritize protein/veggies/fruits, Avoid processed foods as much as possible, and HYDRATE!
I had coffee with a splash of whole milk that probably was not organic or grass-fed. I had eggs in the morning, probably not cage-free or organic. I had non gluten-free certified oatmeal. I had a bit of white wine at the wedding and a glass of champagne for the toast. I also ate as much protein as possible, got my colorful veggies in and fruits, and watched my quantity because that's in line with my current training goal.
And I'm alive!
This kind of talk is something that I've seen so many people, particularly females, go through with themselves. The struggle to make the right choices when everyone else is indulging, then beating themselves up about it. Or completely falling off the wagon, rationalizing it, then later feeling the guilt.
I want to remind you guys that it's okay to not be perfect. Berating oneself about it simply reinforces that cyclical behavior and continues that negative pattern. Set realistic expectations, set yourself up for the best success possible given the circumstances, do your best, and move on.
What type of healthy lifestyle things do you struggle with when you travel? What have you found success with?
Lastly, I leave you with airplane skyline photos, because, pretty: