I feel like traveling, whether it is purely for fun, for work, or for a bit of both, can test us in many ways. In terms of health and fitness, I think it challenges our discipline. The tendency is to indulge a little and eat things you don't normally eat and not exercise in the way you normally exercise (or not exercise at all). For the past year I've definitely tried to be more conscious of my habits. I'm glad to say I don't feel the need to indulge the way I used to, but that is not to say I don't indulge at all. I do, but it's not in the way or extent that I used to before.
I also try to set myself guidelines for what I eat. I haven't done too well on this trip. It's the cheese that's got me. I don't want the cheese, but it seems to be in everything. It has been tough. I'm trying instead to focus on portion sizes so when the order of enchiladas comes and there are 4 on the plate, I only eat half. It's the best I can do.
On the exercise front it has also been tough. I didn't pack my gym clothes for the trip because I knew I'd be busy with the conference and there isn't a gym at the hotel. The one thing that has helped me out to some extent is that it is HILLY here. Not rolling hills -- steep hills!! It's not a lot of exercise, but I know that walking up and down hills and stairs has helped me get in a bit of activity. If I see the same weight as when I left Kuwait, I'll be happy. I know I haven't been gone long, but factors such as travel, jet lag, and general stress as well as all the other changes do have an impact. We'll see.
Something else that I've been thinking about is my general weight loss goals and reminding myself of why they're important to me. It is so easy to get frustrated because it is a long, difficult process ... and results take a long time to show. Still, there are so many factors that remind me of how badly I want to lose weight. Of course I am very eager to live a healthy lifestyle but looking good and feeling good about my body image are very important too!
As a teacher who has to stand in front of a group of students and command respect, get people to listen to you - and learn - display confidence, etc. on a daily basis, you need to be confident in yourself. It's definitely not easy to do that when you don't feel confident in yourself. Some days I just push through, other days I feel ok, and on the worst days I absolutely dread it and feel uncomfortable. I'm glad those days rarely occur, but it is something that I fear. I have the same kind of apprehension when I give presentations at conferences. Actually it's even more intimidating because you're standing in front of experts in your field and you have to show that you belong. You have to be ready to answer questions about your research. It's tough to do when you're feeling self-conscious.
It's these feelings that I hold on to in order to remind myself of why I'm doing this. I love teaching and presenting (despite the nerves). I owe it to myself to be the best possible version of me when I'm up there in front of an audience. The last thing I want to feel up on that stage is self-doubt. I want to know that I did everything possible up to that point in time to deserve to feel confident. It's not easy, but I keep trying. It's always important to keep trying.