In most of my consulting work where I’ve had to travel, the typical schedule is that you’re on site Monday through Thursday. Although we work from home (or in our local office) on Fridays, the fact that we actually get to go home and sleep in our own beds is always cause of celebration, so people will sometimes refer to Thursday as “consulting Friday”. My preferred Thursday catchphrase, though, is “TGI Flyday!”
It’s been both a year since I’ve been traveling regularly for work, and also a year since I’ve been working with this particular client… and I have to say, this week has been pretty great! I am so excited about the project that I’m working on, which is basically a dream project for me because of the content and the fantastic people I am working with (both on the client side and also at my firm).
Meanwhile, while I love and miss Colorado and am really struggling a lot with how little I’ll get to be home going forward… Dallas is probably the location I most want to be if I have to travel. (Second only to New York.) I like the layout of the city, and after working there for 3.5 years, I already have quite a few favorite restaurants and favorite gyms. Plus, I have a bunch of friends there that I can’t wait to see!
Dallas is definitely my home-away-from-home, and I felt that strongly this week – like when the lounge attendant at my hotel not only remembered me from the times I’d stayed there before, but knew exactly how long it had been since my last stay (one year), gave me a huge hug to welcome me back, and asked about my mom (he met her twice when she came to visit). Or when I would walk through the halls at my client, and all week long had people doing double takes and remarking, “oh my gosh, you’re back?!” Yup, I’m back for a while – and super excited about it!
This week, one of the biggest goals I set for myself was setting some good habits that will serve as building blocks for a successful project. Ericka wrote a great post on Imposter Syndrome today, and I have to admit that I sometimes suffer from that. Specifically, I sometimes feel like once someone loses confidence in me, it’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy where I start to spiral downward (or maybe it’s that they are then hyper-alert to every single mistake). So, I really wanted to make sure that I got off on the right foot with my clients by doing great work to set the stage for more great work to come 🙂
Meanwhile, outside of work, I wanted to establish healthy habits in an effort to stave off “The Consulting 15” that we all seem to put on when we’re on the road every week. It’s definitely not going to be easy – when I first heard about the possibility of coming back to Dallas, I have to admit that some of my thoughts were around the Sushi Zushi strawberry roll and the Sissy’s fried chicken and the Smoke coffee barbecue brisket and all kinds of other not-so-healthy foods that were my favorites when I was in Dallas before. (Yup, I think I can see where my extra travel weight came from.) In the past, I’ve tried to exercise a ton to make up for the food and drink indulgences on the road, but a great phrase that I heard recently and am going to try to live by is, “you can’t outrun your mouth.”
But the whole “you can’t outrun your mouth” philosophy has kind of changed how I’m approaching trying to be healthy while on the road. So, while I’m proud of myself for working out every single morning before work this week, I’m more proud of the fact that I succeeded at setting some healthy eating habits. For example, on Monday night, I went for dinner to Malai Kitchen, a restaurant where I used to eat all the time. As usual, I got the tuna summer rolls plus a light red curry with scallops. That’s a combo I’ve gotten many times in the past, and usually it left me wishing I had gotten more food – in fact, I frequently ordered extra veggies on the side so that it would be a bigger meal. This time, while the portion size hadn’t changed, I found my meal perfectly satisfying – and left feeling hara hachi bu instead of stuffed.
Hara hachi bu was basically my food theme of the week, and how I felt after every meal. Plus: no snacking, no desserts, and just one glass of wine over the course of the week. And as for that strawberry sushi roll that I missed so much and was dying to have? Well, I went to Sushi Zushi and got a healthy teppanyaki entree, then split the strawberry roll with Blake as an appetizer – so I still got to enjoy half of it. Perfect!
As with work, getting things started on the right, healthy foot is (I hope) going to keep me sticking with those good habits and build upon them when I’m there in future weeks. I am really pumped about my first week in Dallas, and hoping that it has set the stage for a lot more weeks that are just as productive and healthy.