T Nation

Networking in an Unhealthy Profession


#1

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?


#2

First, one weekend of eating and drinking isn’t going to kill you.

That being said, there’s myriad ways to get around stuffing your face or pounding drinks. Eat brisket rather than BBQ, order club soda with a lime rather than vodka tonics, order steak fajitas and eat the meat and veggies without tortillas, drink Amstel Lights…

If people are getting fucked up, no one’s counting how many drinks you’re having but you.

Edit: Don’t be that guy. No one wants to be lectured about healthy food and drink choices when they’re spending one weekend a year at a conference connecting with old acquaintances.


#3

This might sound harsh, but you need to stop making excuses for yourself.

It sounds like you have the knowledge on “how to”, but wish not to use this knowledge for yourself.
Living a “healthy lifestyle” is a habit. Sounds like you have developed some pretty bad habits.

In regards to eating out when on work conferences etc, you just need to do the best that you can do. That means things like not piling on the sauce, eating more lean meats, eating less fries, have 1-2 beers but there is no reason why you need to have 10.

I might be wrong, but I would think that people in your expertise of work would be more impressed with someone who looks like they are in decent shape and have confidence in themselves, opposed to the person who is overweight and likes to drink gallons of beer.

Uncle Bird.

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#4

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
Eat brisket rather than BBQ… [/quote]

??? Does not compute???


#5

maybe just enjoy the weekend of excess, do as much networking as you can and then get back on the wagon afterwards? It’s only one weekend…


#6

You could just be honest and say you are watching your weight due to health concerns. A beer is like 140 calories, figure a regular burger cooked with 85% lean beef is probably 600 kcals. So you could have 3 burgers and 3 beers and still be around 2500kcal.


#7

[quote]doogie wrote:

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
Eat brisket rather than BBQ… [/quote]

??? Does not compute???

[/quote]

Dr. Pangloss is not a Texan.

He is perhaps unaware that he essentially said, “eat beef rather than red meat”.


#8

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]doogie wrote:

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
Eat brisket rather than BBQ… [/quote]

??? Does not compute???

[/quote]

Dr. Pangloss is not a Texan.

He is perhaps unaware that he essentially said, “eat beef rather than red meat”.[/quote]

lol, that’s a very good point.

Up here, BBQ refers to the syrupy tomato-based sauce that gets slathered on everything. My point was “eat meat sans sauce” but I suppose something was lost in the translation.


#9

Most good careers are stressful and require long hours, so if you want to be successful and still look good naked, then you just have to set your priorities and work hard at them.

As for the conference - a week of gluttony won’t turn you into a fat slob. a week of building relationships may create career opportunities. People like fun people. People hire people they like. So have fun. You’ll enjoy it if you let yourself.


#10

[quote]broyourmybro wrote:
Most good careers are stressful and require long hours, so if you want to be successful and still look good naked, then you just have to set your priorities and work hard at them.

As for the conference - a week of gluttony won’t turn you into a fat slob. a week of building relationships may create career opportunities. People like fun people. People hire people they like. So have fun. You’ll enjoy it if you let yourself.[/quote]

This, priorities. Career for this weekend beats nutrition. Same if insert desired act®e®ss/super model et asked you if you wanted to go out for the night; would you say “nah, I’m dieting”; like f@ck!


#11

Make the event a planned refeed, carb up, cheat meal, or whatever you want to label it.

Do not show up starving, you are more likely to eat the crap that will harm your progress. Have something prior like a protein shake or a snack to keep your cravings to a minimum.

When you have your meal, have your protein first (order any sauce on the side so you can control how much of it you want). Have your veggies next, by this time you should start to feel full. You are less likely to stuff yourself with mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, etc.

Don’t make it a big deal, most people could care less what you’re eating so long as they can stuff their fat faces.