So this is general but also specific question about being a fitness or health oriented person who has to network and socialize in a community of generally unhealthy people. I'm looking for advice.
I work in a very small field within sports medicine (Athletic Therapist/trainer in Ice Hockey). The hours are long, lots of travel, the food is generally not the healthiest, and everyone prioritizes things other than their own health. This has happened to me but I'm really working hard at the moment to undue these effects (currently in the middle of the Velocity Diet). I was 350lbs in my early 20s and over time worked down to 200lbs, but since graduation and working in this field I've been getting unhealthy and have gained weight.
So, there is a large conference in June for the people who work in my specific field and at the top of the field who hire people like me hopefully The NHL head guys). As someone who started their career around 10 years after my contemporaries I have work very hard to excel and learn, having done very well to get where I am at 3 years out of school. Much of the advancement in my industry is via networking and a sort of old boys network. It is very often who you know and how liked you are not always skill or ability. This event would be a great place to create contacts that might hire me to move up in the future (rather than just hoping my boss can get me a better job in time if one comes up). So, having said that, the conference in is Texas (I love BBQ and Mexican Food) and will have a huge amount of drinking involved (don't do much anymore).
So how do I meet and impress people if I'm the wet blanket who is skipping out on the eating experience and not having a drink with the guys?