On the Road

By Shani Petroff

I spent the last week on the road. My book, Airport, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over, came out, and I got to travel to a few states to talk about it! I turned the trip into a mini-vacation, and my boyfriend and I drove from New York to Pennsylvania to Virginia to Maryland (and back) combining work with travel adventures.

I had a great time. I met amazing authors, booksellers, and readers—and got to visit bookstores (my favorite type of store) and explore new cities. However, throughout it all there were a lot of food temptations. Breakfast buffets, junk food at rest stops, treats at events, cute ice cream shops, and restaurants galore. I didn’t want to deprive myself—it was my vacation—but I also wanted a healthy and successful week. It took some self-control and planning.

Beware the all-you-can-eat meals. Just because the hotel had an all-you-can-eat buffet, didn’t mean it had to be taken literally. Eating just to eat won’t help me develop healthy habits. So, instead of loading my plate with everything I saw, I paced myself and thought about what I was choosing. When I’m hungry, and the first thing I see is pastries, I want to grab them. I didn’t. Instead, I moved to the eggs and fruit. I filled my plate, got some water and had my meal. I told myself if afterward I was still hungry or still really wanted a pastry, I could have it. Only, once I had something in my stomach, that need for the breakfast dessert was gone. If I’m going to have a pastry, I want a really good one. The ones the hotel looked okay, but not something I wanted to use up SmartPoints® values on! The day was just getting started, and I knew there’d be other things I’d want a lot more. Choosing the eggs and fruit also helped me save my SmartPoints Budget for later (although I did count a few SmartPoints values since I didn’t see how the eggs were prepared, and I had to assume they were made with butter or something similar).

Get moving. The book events didn’t help me get many steps in, but almost all the other activities did! I did so much walking. I went to the wetlands and walked around for miles. I went to historic sites and toured the area. Even the rain didn’t keep me from moving. I just pulled out an umbrella and checked out each site. Even when I decided on an indoor activity (one of the nights was very rainy and a movie seemed like a good choice), I walked there. Two of the days on the trip, I logged more than six miles. However, I did remind myself that even though I was getting in a lot of exercise and that would allow me to eat extra food, it didn’t give me unlimited SmartPoints values.

Healthy snacks. I had bought a cookie platter for one of the events, but the store preferred nothing messy –and the cookies were super crumbly, so I didn’t put them out. That meant I had a tray of cookies for myself. When I got hungry, it was so tempting to take one, two, 20. I did have a few over the trip (I tracked them), but I didn’t go overboard. Instead, I also made sure to have healthy snacks with me, too. That breakfast buffet had bananas and yogurt. I took one of each with me—and I actually ate them. After the wetlands, I was feeling good about all the fresh air and exercise I had just gotten. The next stop was lunch, but I was hungry. I wanted a snack. I didn’t want to waste my Smart Points values on a cookie (not with lunch right around the corner). So I had the banana! It tied me over, and I got to use my SmartPoints Budget where I wanted to!

You can’t have what’s not there. I had to “trick” myself on occasion. Sometimes, I see something, and I want it (even if I don’t really want it). This happened with cake pops. One of the authors brought some to the events. I thought it was a great touch (they matched our books), and I was glad she did it. Only, I’d see them, and think I wanted to eat some too. I told myself to wait to the end, that it wasn’t time to snack. I was busy talking to people, signing books, etc. I kept telling myself that, and before I knew it, the table was cleared and the cake pops were gone! It kept me from overindulging in something I didn’t want to overindulge on. (I did have one cake pop the last day—and again, it was something I tracked.)

Enjoy the food. I had some really nice meals. For some I chose the salad topped with fish. For others, I had the nachos or the fries or the fancy drink. And I enjoyed them. They were my SmartPoints values to use—and I did. It wasn’t a perfect eating week, I did go a little over (even with the added exercise), but I tracked, and overall I think I made some really good decisions and had a successful trip. I still have work to do, I’m still learning, but I’m getting there. And thanks to this trip, I’m better prepared for the challenges of the next one!

What are your trip tips? You can find me on Connect @shani!

Read more Shani Weighs In