Does a cookie at the airport while on business count?

by Health, Travel

How many times have you said,

“I'm on vacation. I'm going to eat what I want.”
“I've had a rough day. I'll eat what I want.”
“I've been really good all week. I'll eat what I want.”
“My business is paying for this. I'll eat what I want.”
Really, never?

You're lying.
We've all done it. I've done it.
I used to do it all the time when I would have a long training day or workout because I had burned a lot of calories.

I did it when I first started traveling for business and felt like I didn't want my per diem to go to waste. Heck, I even did it at Qdoba in August because they offered me something for free (and then I kicked myself the rest of the lunch for getting sucked in).

I am not against treating myself nor do I have the perfect diet 100% of the time. To me, the perfect diet doesn't exist because it's always evolving. Depending on my lifestyle, health issues, latest research and so on….what is great for me this year may be different next year. However, some people will give themselves waaaaayyyyy too much leeway by telling themselves the things above. At some point, they may even be telling themselves that every day.

When you are looking at a giant, pancake-sized cookie after you've had a long workout, do you think that cookie knows or cares that you sweated for an hour?
 
No. It will still metabolize the same. The Cookie Fairy will not say “Hey good job Marcey! You deserve for NONE of these calories to affect your recovery, stimulate an insulin response or make you crave more later. You rock, Girlfriend!”
 
When you are on your third glass of wine at your company dinner do you think that wine knows that this is a special occasion (which you have a few times a week because you are always traveling)?
No. It will still metabolize the same. The Wine Fairy will not say “Hey AJ, you deserve for NONE of these calories to be metabolized into sugar, affect your sleep and make you wake up dehydrated with a headache. High Fives!”


Yes. I believe in moderation.
But how many people abuse the concept of moderation?
If I snorted cocaine, would it be okay as long as it was in moderation?
If I drove 70mph down the winding, hilly road by my house, but only did it 1-2 times per week, would it be okay since I'm not doing it every time?
Your body doesn't know you are on vacation. It doesn't know or care that you have a $75 per diem. It doesn't even know that it's Halloween! (Yes, for real, it doesn't recognize Halloween)

Marcey eating burger
If you want to have something, have it. I had this beignet on my first trip to New Orleans. Was it delicious? Abso-freakin-lutely. Did I make sure I ate very healthy the rest of the day? Yeppers. Did I pretend that it wasn't going to affect me? Nope. I was honest with myself.

Tricking yourself into thinking that the effects will somehow bypass whatever the effects are in a normal situation (which is almost every situation to your body, who doesn't have the capacity to rationalize) is not going to help you.

Get real with yo' self.

What's the biggest falsehood you tell yourself to rationalize what you eat? Are you brave enough to put it out there to the world? C'mon, I just posted a photo of me big-mouthing a beignet! 
Know someone who has rationalization-disease? Share this post!

The fairy cookie photo was from the Bubble and Sweet blog – check out her book Sweets on a Stick!

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Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects