I have a REALLY FUN job right now, I’m a performer in the musical; NUNSET BOULEVARD, with Cindy Williams who stars as Reverend Mother (she is a HOOT!) and I play the part of Sister Amnesia (so FUN!). We are touring our show all around the country! Picture below of our sweet ride :)
We travel every day (in our rock start type bus!) from city to city, do a show each night, stay at a hotel, then load up and do it again the next day.
It is a great experience! The fun is ONLY counterbalanced for me by the challenge of staying healthy and not gaining weight while we travel. Not too surprising that this is my main concern :) I think we all have to be careful, tours and road trips are notorious for promoting WEIGHT GAIN due to sitting long periods of time throughout the day and having access to snacks and drinks at EVERY venue, cast celebrations ~
~ and bus stop (ever hear that saying? “Don’t fuel your body at the same place you fuel your vehicle!”Ha!). Each theater puts out a spread of snacks and sodas, which is super nice, but we gotta budget our intake!
So how am I keeping it together (so far!)? Observe! Daily doings:
WAKE UP & DRINK the COFFEE!
Usually there is free coffee in the lobbies of all of these hotels, and I take full advantage :)
DO SOME KIND OF WORKOUT EVERYDAY!
- If the neighborhood looks nice around the hotel I will pick a direction and jog 15-20 mins one way, and then come back. If the weather is bad and they don’t have a gym I might
- climb their stairwell for 20 minutes or more (up then down, interval training!). If they have a gym (and the equipment works) I might
- use the treadmill or elliptical machine. Otherwise I have a list of several
- workouts that I can do in my room that require very little space but gets my heart pumping and the sweat rolling and provide some strength work using just my own body weight, my current to favorites are (click for links): Jenn Fit / Jcore
I’ve been using these two workouts a lot, but, there are SO many more out and about on the web (YouTube/Hulu) and in magazines to choose from! My favorite workouts these days are full body circuit type routines. Strength and Cardio rolled into one workout, lovely!
At least every other day I do some
- core work including the one hundreds, bicycles and the russian twist. When I am done my workout I do a short series of stretches.
I try to do SOMEthing EVERY day. Its the best habit I have ever taken on! For all that I talk about it, it only takes up to an hour out of every morning. And if I do extra, it is usually a nice walk in the evening. Exercise, wether tough or a stroll through the neighborhood, is the best mood booster I know of!
Breakfast on the road usually consists of fruit and some sort of trail mix/nuts for me (super portable and no refrigeration required!). All the hotels seem to have the same free breakfasts available. Remember that FREE things are not always the best choice and FREE food isn’t ‘FREE’ in the big picture. Cereals – cold and hot, Toasts, Pastries, Eggs, Pancakes or Waffles, Juices and Coffee. There are some fine choices in there, just not what I want as they are foods mostly based on flour products. So when we are by a grocery store I stock up on fruit and nuts/trail mix to have for breakfast.
I understand the advice to eat breakfast FIRST thing everyday (to get metabolism going) but I also like the advice to eat ONLY when you are hungry. These are two different things. At home the first thing I do upon waking is have some coffee, and I bet THAT gets the metabolism going too! I am NOT hungry first thing in the morning and like doing my exercise on an empty stomach (except for the coffee). After my workouts and shower, I eat breakfast. By that time It’s a few hours after waking and I’ve had a few cups of coffee and a bunch of water AND I feel hungry! It works for me :) Experiment to find what’s best for you!
Next? PACK UP and GET ON THE BUS!
The type of job I am on is called a one-nighter-tour. We usually travel all day on the bus to our next destination with a scheduled lunch break (1 hour). We try to take this break in a heavy shopping area so we have choices for lunch and/or, an area to walk around to stretch out. I personally don’t want to get off the bus and go sit down somewhere (we have been sitting enough!), so I try to plan to walk the area for most of the hour, THEN go get something to eat and take it on the bus. Sometimes the healthiest thing to do is grab a salad or fresh produce at the grocery store. Eating out at a restaurant is fine when I strategize for calories and look for the healthiest stuff available, I just have to be very careful not to eat TOO much because this is our everyday routine, not just a treat!
One day I had a CHIPOTLE salad bowl with guacamole and corn salsa and beans (minus the meat and cheese = strategy) Deelish!
Another day I bought one of those tubs of Organic Salad mix and a packet of tuna and made a fresh salad on the bus topped with Newman’s Own Dressing, so healthy! Along with some baby carrots and some Mary’s Gone Crackers for ‘crunch’ :)
Dinner is often something to grab-n-go between arriving at the hotel and getting ready to go to the theater. If there are no restaurants or stores around, it can be quite a scramble: delivery? Since we have a fridge and microwave on the bus, it’s always a good idea to keep a few frozen entrees on board for times like this. My favs lately have been the Kashi Go Lean dinner items. Take out is an option but again the need to strategize is key. Look up nutritional info on line to help make decisions.
Last night my guy wanted pizza and I wanted not to blow my food budget. So, I looked it up. I could have ONE piece of Pepperoni Pizza for aprox 300 calories or heat up a frozen Kashi Go Lean Entree for 300 calories. I KNEW it would be hard to stop at one piece of pizza and I’d feel better with the Kashi meal so thats what I went with. It was great!
Apples, Baby Carrots, Hummus, Trail Mix, Sugar Snap Peas, Bananas, Cut fruit-and if in a bind at a hotel my best choices for vending machine food (in my opinion) are popcorn (without the TBHQ!) and nuts.
I admit the first week on this tour was rough just getting used to our new routines and what to expect. My first week I ate a little too much of everything! Many of us on the bus have started using the free app LOSEIT (my new best friend!
I have been using Body Media Arm Band and Website for years and I love it, but for something NEW I switched to the Free App LOSEIT or website LOSEIT.com). The first week my INTAKE of food was all in the RED and this last week I have my checks and balances back down to acceptable levels :) LOSEIT.com is a place where you can make weight goals and keep track of your food intake and exercise expenditure. It is a GREAT tool! AND it’s FREE!! It contains many many restaurants and food products and their calorie/nutrition information (with the app you can scan a bar code and it automatically downloads the info FOR you! ).
At HOME I like to have shakes in the morning and salads for lunch but out here on the road it isn’t always possible. I COULD still have these things but to streamline expenses and what we carry back and forth into the hotel room I find it better to make adjustments. We have to travel along certain routes and we have to try and make all 10 people on the bus happy. So sometimes it becomes about making the best choices you can, even if they are not your exact ideals. I went with my coworkers to Applebee’s the other night and you might be surprised to learn if you look up their entree salads on the app, not ONE of them is in the 550 and under calories category. In fact SOME of them are closer to 1000 calories! Phew! Thats a lot! So I stuck to the Weight Watchers choices and 550 and under menu.
There are SOME good choices available everywhere, It is a matter of staying conscious of our goals, and to keep making the effort!