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55-year-old James Horejs, of Mentor, is a contestant in The News-Herald's Lighten Up in 2013.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Healthy Travel Plans Made

Saturday was my monthly meeting at the Lake County General Health District.  My body fat percentage stayed about the same, most likely because I hydrate poorly, especially in the mornings.  Cori did remind me that my BMI has lowered since the start of the contest.  I am now "overweight", not "obese".

Put that way, I feel like the results of my IQ test are in.  Great news: my IQ rose from "imbecile" (IQ from 25-50) to "moron" (IQ of 51 to 70).  Wow!  I'm getting lean.  Who says I'm overweight?

Anyway, after my health assessment, I began to plan for two business trips scheduled over the next few weeks.

Now, this lifestyle change thingy gets put to a REAL test.

First, the diet.  It will be almost a full week of meals away from home each trip, but I have this part figured out:

BREAKFAST:  Although most hotels offer a free continental breakfast, the food choices are not the best.  Even the selection of cereal is unhealthy  - sugary and everything but whole grain.  Compared to what I normally eat now, forget it.  I will pack a small box or baggie of my own cereal and use the hotel's skim milk.  Hopefully, the TSA hates Total and leaves my luggage alone.

LUNCH:  I have already scouted out locations of nearby Subways.  All my lunches will be eaten there.  My "go to" favorite is the "Veggie Delite" - 460 calories and low sodium for a foot-long sub on wheat bread with all the veggies, no cheese, and vinegar as the only condiment.  And a bottle of water.

DINNER:  It should not be too difficult to find restaurants that have a salad with either grilled chicken or salmon.  Dressing on the side, of course.  I know there is a Cabanas in Chardon, but is there one in Wyoming?  Or Virginia?

SNACKS:  There will be frequent breaks to call my office and check emails, so these times will be my scheduled snack times.  I will take some fruit from the hotel breakfast buffet - banana for the morning and apple for the afternoon.  I will also pack some bags of trail mix and nuts to eat during the day.  Grocery stores are a good option for fruit and yogurt.  Hopefully, my hotel room will have a fridge.  And no bedbugs.

Second part of the equation is the exercise.  I really did my due diligence here:

NO LONG DAYS:  My trips will not involve long days.  Even on travel days, I made arrangements to arrive early enough to get in a good work-out.  I also depart early enough to make time for a workout at home.  Traveling during the business day, not at night, will help me avoid the temptation to have an adult beverage or two.  Or three.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AT WORK:  My main task for this trip involves surveying a power plant to evaluate the installation of equipment my company builds.  This means lots of walking, both ground level and up-and-down stairs.  There may be some climbing up steel ladders and I may need to climb to the top of 60 foot-high storage silos.  (NOTE TO SELF:  Pack extra bananas)

NO TEMPTATIONS:  When it comes to my job, I travel alone and spend all of my free time alone.  There is no temptation or pressure to go to a place that I myself do not choose.  I do not have morning meetings (with doughnuts) or dinner meetings (with heavy meals, desserts and boring speakers).  My sympathy goes out to the other contestants who travel and need to resist these temptations.  And listen to boring speakers.

PLACES TO WORK OUT:  I learned a lesson from my recent trips to Columbus - don't trust hotel fitness centers to be "gyms".  The hotel had a fitness center, but the equipment operated poorly, if at all.  This was particularly true of my trusty little friend, the treadmill.  The hotel had two - one had an "OUT OF ORDER" sign and the other one had a belt that slipped badly.  Even after my complaints the first time, the next visit a month later saw no improvement with the operation of either treadmill.  To prevent this from happening again, I found a hotel that has a fitness center AND is partnered with a nearby health club.  Surely the health club will have decent equipment and the cost is only 6 bucks a day, should I need to use it.  In the recent past, I would have happily spent that money on a pitcher of beer.  Or two.


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