Those of you who checked in on the blog last week know that I was at a crzay-busy meeting without a computer on which to blog. Last week’s meeting was inspiring, fun, and challenging all at the same time. Although I was technically in Dallas for four days, we only left the hotel once in that stretch, because there was so much material cover in the short time we were there. That, and sales people know how to have a good time, so every night there was a social activity (read: cocktails), to attend.
Being at a four-day work meeting is taxing on anyone. You’re away from home, your schedule from at least 8am to 7pm is dictated to you, and you’re stuck in a hotel with hotel food and hotel coffee, which isn’t always up to par (unless your company meets only at the Four Seasons, in which case you’re doing something way too high-powered to be on a blog right now…get back to work!) The days are long, the nights are full of mandatory fun, and by the time you head to the airport on the last day, you’re just ready for a good night’s sleep in your own bed and a meal that wasn’t cooked to serve 1,000. It’s enought to wear anybody out.
Then there’s us folks with diabetes. On top of everything else, we’re trying to control this unpredicatable disease with about 10 times the variables we normally have. You might get in a workout at the hotel gym, but not your usual intensity. Carb counting a hotel buffet? Yeah right. And am I the only one who seems to get low right when the VP gets on stage to give his big company update? Work meetings, conferences, and anything of the sort are a monkey wrench all their own. It’s enough to show up to a 8am lecture when that means you got up at 4am “your” time, let alone monitoring your basal rates to see how they’re taking the time change.
Work meetings stress me out because I feel like I can’t control the day’s events. I sometimes don’t know if I’ll have time to squeeze in a workout, or where we’re headed for dinner. But this meeting, I went in with one very easy idea to follow. I didn’t promise myself I would work out three times over the meeting, or miss out on any social gatherings to be in bed by 11. I just decided that I would eat as low carb as possible with the options available to me.
It seems simple and obvious, and for many of us, this is how we eat all the time. The difference is that I was in a place where sugary desserts, break-time cookies, and carb-laden cocktails would be offered up at every juncture. I’m not one to follow hardcore rules when it comes to this disease, but setting one simple guideline for myself helped me feel more relaxed about the whole trip. Yes, every morning I ate a combination of scrambled whole eggs and scrambled egg whites with sausage links on the side that prompted more than a few raised eyebrows, but I had decent BGs the whole meeting despite very little exercise, even less sleep, and a whole lot of learning to do.
I’m not saying that everyone should adopt this idea when they travel, but I was surprised by how allowing myself to say “I’m just going to do this one thing” helped me chill out about everything else. And, it actually did help me control my numbers much better than previous meetings. There was a salad-type item available at almost every meal, and finding the low carb-option even became kind of fun as the days went on. I invented new dishes out of buffet items (turns out you can put cheese and salsa on everything!), and just did my best to ignore the dessert trays at the end of the line.
With diabetes, the variables are endless. We like to try and “control the controllables” with this disease, but specific situations call for more flexibility. Although solid, tangible goals have their purpose, sometimes following a guideline or theme can be equally as helpful and a whole lot less stressful. And sometimes, you can pile eggs on top of other eggs and call it breakfast.