What Does It Cost?

By Kara Richardson Whitely, author of Gorge and the upcoming memoir Weight of Being

When I arrived in the room, I set my suitcase down and immediately noticed that that minibar and snack selections were all laid out for me on the counter.  Normally the sweet snacks are tucked in a fridge or to the side, but in this hotel, they were right out in the open.


These were foods that I wouldn’t normally eat these days but in the past would help myself to. I had to pass by them each time I went to the bathroom or left the room. Ugh.

And I was going to be locked in this room for four days — well, aside from a few speaking events.

I had to use this hotel stay after a crazy month at home to finish my Weight of Being manuscript edits. It had been insane back home because I didn’t have regular childcare, I was about to embark on a home renovation project, my son was sick twice, and my mother was in a car crash. I felt like I was treading water instead of doing the deep writing and thinking needed to complete a manuscript.

And now, I had to do so with open access to a snack stand in my room.

One of the things I’ve learned over my years of building a healthier relationship with food is that being stressed and alone can make it difficult for me to make good choices.

Having a bounty of goodies in my room was not something I wanted or needed.

happy trails - snacks
I made a deal with myself: If it was too tempting, I would ask the hotel staff to remove the selections. In the meantime, I needed to remind myself the cost of each item. I mean seriously, it was $2.50 for a candy bar and they went up from there.

I planned my fitness outings as carrots to get out of the room. The list included walks around the beautiful downtown near the lake, a session in the fitness center, and a little hike at Snoqualmie Falls with a stop at the Double R diner featured in Twin Peaks for a “damn fine cup of coffee.”  

I had planned out my meals at nice restaurants and room service for the one night I really wanted to hunker down. But this minibar wasn’t part of the plan. I stopped to get the snacks I wanted: I took the free Washington Apples in the lobby.

Each time I came into my room, I refilled my cup with fruit-infused water, to make sure I stayed hydrated and feeling good.

I decided on another treat. I would buy a bath bomb to congratulate myself on reaching the halfway point of my project (and bring a few home to continue that good feeling).

Follow Kara on Connect @gorgegirl15

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