Set work, and similarly festival work, is really not ideal for staying healthy. It is an intense schedule, with very little time to eat healthy meals, looooots of tempting convenient food, little to no time to workout, and the opportunity to drink almost every night. With this in mind, I made a commitment to REALLY try to stay healthy this year at the Toronto International Film Festival. Here are my strategies:
Drinking water in general is a great idea, but in order to stay healthy during a festival where you may need to yell to a theatre of 400 people to move to the centre, or repeat the same thing 30 times to a line of 500 people, water is a must. Again, I was in a theatre that has 200+ types of pop, choose water and you won’t be tempted by these more sugary drinks. Plus, a trip to the water fountain is a great way to clear your head after any bizarre encounter with publicists.
Pack healthy snacks/meals:
I’m working in the back hallway of a giant venue with a possible 15-minute break to stuff my face with food. I will eat whatever is on hand, and if I don’t pack snacks then it’s a dinner of cheese pizza and popcorn for two weeks straight. Chopping up some celery or making a sandwich before my shift takes maybe 5 minutes and will save me a whole lot of calories.
Take the stairs:
oh yeah, that’s a good idea, take the stairs instead of the escalator – it’s an easy little active addition to your day. NO. It is a colossal endeavor. It is like climbing a mountain each and every time I want to get into the building. These are the stairs at my venue:
Needless to say, my calves are Olympic-ready.
Get a health ally:
it’s really easy to submerge yourself into the festival, going out drinking every night, binging on popcorn, and sitting like a lump in dark theatres whenever you’re not working instead of getting outside. This year, one of my work friends from the festival also wanted to have a healthier festival than last year so we are keeping each other on track – much easier than going it alone when surrounded by temptation.
Split the “bad” snacks:
this goes hand in hand with having a fitness friend. Accept that you are in a building pumped full of popcorn smell, and that even if you don’t necessarily like popcorn, you will want to eat it – damn those theatres are sneaky smart. Indulge in moderation, taking a handful of popcorn instead of a bag, and your craving will be quenched without an overflow of calories.
Bring your gym bag with you:
You do not want to have lugged your gym bag from home, and up that flight of stairs for nothing. Considering that there was a Goodlife gym directly beside my theatre, I really had no excuses.
Bonus fit tips:
- Strength training by wrestling crazed James Franco fans who “just want to smell him” away from your theatre.
- Being too busy to even think about eating.
- Taking the complimentary B12 shots offered to employees (they know what’s up when it comes to the immune system)
- Thumb workout from using the clicker-counter
- Running up the IMAX stairs when a speaker gets blown