Weight Loss Diaries: Battling Bad Eating Habits While On the Road

Weight-loss blogger Frankie Martinez Blanco learns to avoid the temptation of fast-food while traveling for work.

Can weight-loss blogger Frankie Martinez Blanco find healthy options while on the road in Minneapolis? Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Dougtone.

Last week I talked about how much I was now enjoying running outside in DC, thanks to my new modern workout clothes. Well, that may hold true here in DC, but it sure didn’t in Minneapolis, where I spent last week on a work trip. Nothing—and I mean, nothing—could have convinced me to go out running in minus-4-degree—and minus-16-wind-chill—weather.

Luckily, my hotel had a pretty decent gym. Unluckily, I was on a work trip, which meant I barely had a moment to myself, let alone time for regular meals and workouts. Landing in Minneapolis, I knew this break from my DC routine was going to be the biggest challenge to overcome this week.

Frankie’s Weight Tracker:

Starting: 168 pounds

Current: 159.2 pounds

Goal: 155 to 158 pounds

Last time I corrected my diet slip-ups (beers and brunch) by adding extra workouts to my routine. But this time around I had the opposite scenario. I didn’t drink a single beer or go on a brunch streak, but I only got a chance to work out three times during the week. I compensated for the lack of exercise by eating less and relying more on the Special K protein bars I’ve been eating in-between meals. But protein bars can only go so far.

The big challenge came on Thursday when I was driving from event site to event site doing walk-throughs in preparation for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Friday events in Minneapolis. I only had 30 minutes between walk-throughs, and fast food restaurants were the only options I could see while driving to the next site. For a second, I thought I could maybe buy a salad at McDonald’s, but that just felt like asking Donald Trump for hair advice.

See Also:

Meet Our 2012 Weight-Loss Bloggers

Learning to Live in Moderation

Adjusting to Winter Workouts in DC

The goal of this blog was to change my old habits—and making quick stops at fast food restaurants while on the road was on top of that list. I figured my best option for a healthy lunch in a city I didn’t know was the Whole Foods salad bar, so I decided to power through my hunger during my meeting until I was able to eat lunch at 4 PM. During the walk-through I asked around for healthy dinner options in town and got a great suggestion: Good Earth Naturally Restaurant. It was a perfect dinner spot, and I gladly ate a very tasty almond tuna salad sandwich with cholesterol-free mayonnaise on homemade multigrain.

This week was all about exercising self-control due to my food slip-ups last week. It was even more important this week because of the lack of a routine due to my work trip. But as UVA professor Timothy Wilson states, behavior changes often precede changes in attitude and feelings. I realized that my eating decisions on the road were easier to make than before because I had already created a healthy routine in DC. And even though I didn’t work out as much as I would have liked, my bigger battle has always been against my bad eating habits—and this week, I won.

Thursday: 35 minutes on the treadmill and 35 minutes of weight training
Friday: No workout
Saturday: 5 hours snowboarding
Sunday: No workout
Monday: No workout
Tuesday: 5-mile run and 20 minutes of core exercises

Track Frankie’s weight loss journey every Thursday during the month of January. Follow him on Twitter at @djlawphin.