Living Healthy in a 24/7 Trade

15+ years in the electrical trade, has played quite a toll on my body. 70 pounds of weight, has been added over those years. Weight gain is a problem that many people face. I can break it down, from personal experience, the reason for weight gain in the electrical testing field.

Over the past 10 years, I have spent many hours on the road traveling to, and from job sites. Whether it was a scheduled job during your typical 40 hour week or an emergency job at any time between scheduled jobs, I had to travel the roads surrounding the Washington DC area.

Anyone who lives around here knows how bad the traffic is. The typical amount of travel for people commuting into Washington DC can be anywhere from 45 minutes, to an hour. Many places have a thing called “rush hour”. Not us! We have something called a “rush day”. It doesn’t matter what time of day, you will hit traffic. Sometimes it can be minor, other times it can be major.

I can work an 8 hour day, and automatically assume 2.5 – 3 hrs of my day will be traveling. 10.5 – 11 hrs of my day are accounted for. I would pack a typical lunch. Maybe a sandwich, add some type of junk food, maybe crackers or chips, and soda. Nutritionally horrible!

You finish up your day and are driving home. Your cell phone rings and find out you have to head to an emergency. Somebody, somewhere, lost power and need it back on. You get sent the address and find out you have to head out to Virginia, maybe 35 miles from where you were working.

You would expect this trip to take 40-45 minutes. At 2:30PM on a Monday, in the Washington DC area, this trip could take up to an hour and thirty minutes. So now you are trying to decide if you need to pick up some food on the way. Many emergency calls we get, something blows up, or requires extensive labor to repair.

Are you going to do this on an empty stomach? Probably not! So we’ll just stop at a McDonalds or Wendys, or some other fast food joint, because we need a drive thru. You pick up whatever greasy mess you can find and shove it down your throat. By the way, you got the “large”.

You get power restored, and make it home, possibly around 10PM or even later. But you still have your 40 hour job to be at in the morning, 6AM sharp!

You go through your nightly routine of showering and getting things ready for the next day, pack a lunch, set up coffee, etc. Your lunches become even worse than the day before. You just throw quick items in your lunch. Two twinkies, a PB&J Sandwich, fruit snacks, soda, chips, etc.

You wake up 10 years later wondering “how did I gain all of this weight?!” This is the same scenario that I personally went through.

Rewind to July 2018. I decided at this point, that January 2019, I would start a diet. For 6 months, I mentally prepared myself to go on a diet. January 2019 came and I started my diet.

July 2019 – I am down 57 pounds.

I had to teach myself how to eat healthy. I am constantly tested. I have to occasionally travel for work. When you travel, you eat out every single meal. I thought that if I can go away for a week, and not gain a single pound when I return, that would be a huge accomplishment.

Well that’s what I did! I could do the same on vacation. I could eat some things that I typically wouldn’t eat while being on a diet, but still come home and maybe only gain a pound. But all of this came with learning how to eat.

The bottom line is that if you are struggling with weight, you just need to learn how to eat again. Eating healthy has become very easy after 6 months of making better choices. I can find a healthy meal anywhere, including fast food locations.

You don’t even have to exercise to lose weight. Start making healthy choices. Willpower will prevail. I am not a weight loss expert. I don’t claim to be. But this trade has made me unhealthy and lazy. And all it takes is willpower to change.

Good luck!

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