Interview: Frequent Traveler Who Lost 60 Pounds While Traveling
LeanTraveler.com interviewed Lisa Niver Ranja about her traveling experiences and how she stays lean while on-the-go.
What is your name and occupation?
Lisa Niver Rajna, Science Teacher and World Traveler
How often do you travel and how long have you been a frequent traveler?
These days I travel during all school breaks (2 weeks in December, 2 weeks in April, 6 weeks in the summer, and some long weekends such as Thanksgiving and Memorial Day). I have been a teacher for 13 years but in between I traveled 100 percent for Princess Cruises working onboard as a youth counselor and an Assistant Cruise Director. I worked on cruise ships for seven years so I have been a frequent traveler almost since leaving college, in other words my entire working life.
Staying lean while traveling can be a challenge. What are your top challenges to maintaining your weight while traveling?
The top challenges to maintaining my weight are the hot bread at restaurants, which servers bring to the table at my hungriest moment. If an item is not in my house I can avoid it, but when I am ravenous and waiting, that breadbasket feels like I’m being tempted by the devil. Another challenge is the dessert tray; once I see it, I do want to eat it. Again if it is not on my radar, I don’t feel deprived but having to say no to chocolate is a challenge.
What are your top three tips for staying lean while traveling?
My top three tips for staying lean while traveling are:
(1) Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Take a snack or have a piece of fruit in the afternoon so you can say “NO!” to the breadbasket.
(2) Walk everywhere you can. I personally lost weight while traveling in Asia for a year because we walked all the time.
(3) Portion control: if you are traveling with someone, share a entrée since portion size in the USA has gone haywire and restaurants serve enormous quantities of food.
How do you ensure you fit in exercise when traveling?
To maintain my weight loss (I lost 60 pounds during our trip to Asia), I walk 2.2 miles each way to work. While I am traveling my day revolves around healthy activities like hiking, walking or something else involving exercise. On a recent trip to Bahia de Kino, Mexico, our big outings involved hiking, and then kayaking around Alcatraz Island.
How do your healthy travel habits differ from when you are at home?
At home, my exercise and eating are routine parts of my day. I bring lunch from home and I know what I will eat. While traveling, I choose to include healthy living in my day. I choose to walk, eat healthy and be outside. It is easy to pick unhealthy foods and give in to temptation while away but I know I will enjoy my time more if I take care of myself inside and out!
Anything else you would like to add?
I have loved traveling since I went on a high school teen tour, and now I am fortunate to travel with my husband. George has been a huge part of my weight loss success. With his help, I stay on track as a LEAN traveler! We are currently putting the final touches on our travel memoir, He Said She Said, which describes in detail my experience of losing 60 lbs. while on an extended trip overseas. The book will have lots of tips for prudent, diet-conscious travelers. http://www.wesaidgotravel.com/