Travel Failure and Lessons Learned…

So, after my particularly relevant post about eating normally while eating out frequently, I promptly went out and ate without thought to my body or health for the remainder of the trip.  Lots of it was stress eating; we definitely pushed ourselves very far out of our comfort zone with this trip.  Here’s what I took away from the experience:

  1. Always be mindful of your “trigger foods.”  I have two that are particularly nasty:  french fries and Chinese food.  We almost never go to Chinese buffets, because I know that I lack the control to stay away from the sweet and sour chicken or the dumplings (or veggie tempura if it’s a Japanese buffet) or fried rice.  When we get Chinese food (and we do regularly), I always get a healthy choice and immediately put half of it away to have the next day for lunch.  Built in portion control.  I also hardly ever eat french fries.  If I eat them once, I’ll go through an uncontrollable phase where they’re all I want.  I don’t mind oven-baking them (because I don’t believe that potatoes are evil), but actual “fries” are out.  Unfortunately, I had fries (once, which turned into three or four times), and we hit a Chinese buffet.  All in six days.  The takeaway?  Know your limits!  No one knows them better than you do, anyway, and it’s no one’s responsibility but your own to be mindful of what you can and can’t control.
  2. Pay attention to your fitness level in light of your destination.  We went to Portland, OR, and didn’t rent a car.  So we had to ride the bus, train, and walk.  Everywhere.  Tons of walking.  Up steps, up hills, and even four blocks in the dark in a scary part of town when the bus driver let us off at the wrong stop!  Not only is it walking, but it’s walking while carrying things, like luggage.  Forty pounds of luggage.  In the dark.  In a scary part of town.  This is something that I really should have been working up to…I may have been more prepared and less red-faced and out of breath.  Being tired and feeling fat because you’re tired puts a huge damper on a vacation.

Our next trip is going to be much more relaxing in that it’s not a “constantly on-the-go” kind of trip, but it’s going to involve a lot more hiking.  It’ll be in about a month.  The time to start improving personal fitness is now.

What about you?  Have you ever had a particularly noteworthy food or fitness issue arise during a vacation?  How did you handle it?