Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Please Remain in Your Seat with Your Belt Fastened

I am at the airport waiting to board a plane for New York. On that way through the terminals and gates I thought about how a big airport is set up very much like a cruise ship and the Las Vegas strip. Everywhere you look there are bars, expensive shops and food, food, food. Why is that?

Flying often brings up feelings. For some people is is excitement; for others it is anxiety. Some people are heading home to people they love and cities they enjoy and others are dragging themselves to a place and people they would rather avoid. No matter what direction you fly, airports are full of people experiencing strong feelings and emotions. For many people strong emotions trigger impractical or unhealthy coping mechanisms. Enter the liquor manufacturers, the food purveyors and the merchants of leathers, perfume, jewelry and electronic gadgets. Some people drink (at 7:30AM the bars at this airport are open and doing business). Some people spend money on things they suddenly HAVE to have. And then there are those of us to turn to food. 

There are many snack food locations at this airport - all set up to entice the nervous or tired traveler. There are candy bars, protein bars, caffeine bars and some coffee bars and row upon row of carbonated beverages. There is every combination of sweet-salty-creamy-savory-crunchy snacks you could seek. To be fair, there are also a selection of fresh fruits, salads and bottled waters, for which I am grateful when it is lunch time and my flight gets delayed. 

I brought my breakfast with me to the airport and will eat it on the plane. I will get a free bottled water on the plane, too, so I had no reason to peruse the food venues this morning. I am glad I have a plan for my trip. I am also grateful to be more aware of the atmosphere around me so I can understand what is going on when I suddenly find myself staring at foods or objects I would otherwise not glance at twice. Knowing the mechanics of how my addiction can be mentally titillated by the combination of time and location is helping me to plan for my flight home. Normally I get at decent lunch at JFK airport but in doing so I have to fight the desires that crop up for all the other, less desirable food options available to me. Now that I understand that the merchants are doing their best to capitalize on my feelings I will do my best to do the same. I will bring my lunch with me to the airport and avoid their exciting food court entirely. I will have a healthy meal and not struggle with the  temptation to buy the Fat Witch brownies, cheese fries, candy bars and cosmopolitans at the bar. 

Time to board my flight - keeping the pounds off the ground and into the skies. How do you cope with travel and feelings? Do you have a successful plan you want to share?


1 comment:

Vickie said...

I pack food too. I pack food I plan to eat myself. I pack food for the whole family (usually travel together) for an emergency. So even if we have planned to eat out, I pack so that if the right place is closed or we are delayed, we have a fall back plan.

very good post.

and you are right, just like the marketing people in non-food/processed food companies - they are 100% geared to trick us, capitalize on our emotions, take advantage in any way they can.