I’ve talked about my job loosely because some things should be kept separate, but what I do share is 1. I’m a fundraiser for a school 2. I love the field I’m in 3. I travel for work 4. I usually pack pancakes with me when I travel over night 5. I research the hell out of where I’m going to be so I can prepare accordingly.
Over the past few months I’ve transitioned into a role that will require more travel, which I’m excited about – it’s one reason I really love this job, and has a little more structure. I will still have the opportunity to travel nationally, but I will now have a focus on the eastern part of New England: central and eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine. That being said, it’s only fair that in the first week of prep, my work travel starts up again for the new fiscal year (we run July 1 to June 30). Today and tomorrow I have two visits over lunch with alumni. I’ve done posts about how I travel and how I estimate macros when eating out – they can be found here and here, but being in prep is different than just traveling and wanting to make healthier or good decisions – I joke and say it’s not real life because the eating style, workouts and body aren’t ideal for all year.
Like I’ve mentioned in my other posts, after I have determined where I’m going for lunch or dinner, or even coffee; I scan the menu. This helps me 1. Not be surprised by what is served, but 2. I can call ahead and ask questions. I do this outside of prep as well because given too many options I will sit there questioning myself for at least 10 minutes. This saves everyone around me a headache. The biggest difference between competition prep and real life is I build the rest of the day around this meal. In real life I build my day normally, but try to be mindful of the meal choices I’m going to make at whatever meal I will be eating out. A few weeks ago JP and I went to Via, an Italian restaurant by us and I knew I wanted pasta so I ate more protein throughout the day with carbs here and there, but had pushed my carbs into the evening. For today’s visit, I had picked two options and built my day around them with some wiggle room if the item was different than I had imagine.
I picked chicken hibachi over sushi 1. I already had salmon today and 2. I knew I could keep the carbohydrates lower with this option. The chicken appeared to be about 6 ounces – when you cook chicken as much as me, you get pretty good at eye-balling what’s on your plate. I also had about a cup of mixed veggies and ate roughly 1/4 cup of the white rice on my plate. Using some food items that I believe to be close enough I estimated the macros to be 4.8F/19.5C/39.8P. Since I ate a few bites of the salad, the chicken had a tiny bit of sauce on it and used some of the yum yum sauce provided I added an adjustment of an additional 15g of carbohydrates and 3g of fat to my tracking in My Fitness Pal.
When I meal plan on Saturdays and Sundays for the upcoming week, not only do I write down what I intend on eating on a note pad, but I plug it into My Fitness Pal. Since lunch was higher in protein than anticipated, I lowered my chicken portion for dinner from 5 ounces to 4 ounces, this way I can hit my protein goal, but not go over by much. Today I’m over protein by 2 grams. Outside of prep, going over or under by a few grams isn’t a big deal – that’s life. Shit happens, eat the cupcake and be happy. In prep, it’s slightly different, adjusting dinner is necessary so that I can come as close to my nutritional goals as possible because even a slight gram can through off progress. But hey, this is the first week.
I still have a job to do and that means that nine times out of 10 I’m going to be put into a situation like this where I have to guess. I make the best decision possible and adjust for later. This also means that during prep I’m limiting how much I eat out in my personal time. I’m going to enjoy when I do eat out for work while still seeking to hit my nutritional goals.I also will have events that I will need to attend where food will be served in pass hor d’oeuvres style. For occasions like this, I typically will eat a mini meal of protein and a veggie before and have a protein shake or bar in the car for after. Most of the events I attend do have veggies platters so I will put a few of the volume veggies on a plate. As far as empty carbohydrates found in drinks – I will opt for a diet soda with lime. It appears fancy without being fancy. I am still keeping alcohol in my diet while I’m on prep, but I want to be strategic about it – like if JP and I want to split a beer with dinner that’s completely fine, but I don’t want to fill on empty carbohydrates where I will find myself hungry later.
Oh the challenges of being a real person and becoming stage lean. Cheers to the first week, we’ve got 11.5 more!