In which I make a hotel chambermaid happy. No, not that way, you perv.

I do very well eating healthy when I’m home, but I’m horrible when I travel. I binge-eat junk food and candy. It’s the combination of stress, sleep deprivation, and solitude. I routinely gain about 1.25 pounds per day of travel. That’s just ridiculous.

I’m trying to do better. One thing I know works well at home is to limit my choices and keep temptation out of the house. We keep the house stocked with healthy food, and I keep my favorite candies and junk food out of the house.

Similarly: I can keep the candy and junk food out of my hotel room. I can’t do anything about all the delicious candy and ice cream in the lobby of a hotel, but at least I have to put on pants to get it.

Just now I checked into a hotel room for a conference, and got a knock on the door two minutes later. A bellman handed me a gift basket. I think it was from the PR team to attending journalists — I’d caught hints of something like that happening.

I saw a big box of malted milk balls on top of the basket, along with other chocolate candies. Chocolate is my favorite.

“No thank you,” I said reflexively, handing it back as if he’d handed me a basket of snakes.

The bellman looked puzzled. “Are you sure?” he said.

“Yes, I’m sure. Candy. Makes me fat.”

“OK,” he said, puzzled, and I thanked him and shut the door behind him.

A minute later I opened it again. “Changed my mind,” I said.

I brought the basket into my room and went through it. Plucked out a first aid kit, facial tissues, Tums, a tube of ChapStick (I had “buy ChapStick” on my to-do list — so that’s done now), a box of water (yes, a box of water) and a small bag of trail mix.

I took the rest of the basket outside the hotel room. A chambermaid was about to go into the room across the hall to clean.

“Want some candy?” I said, extending the box.

“Really?” she said.

“Really,” I said, and handed her the box. “Thank you!” she said, and I shut the door and was on my way.

This is no guarantee I’ll eat healthy this trip. I still have to face the temptations of the lobby, as well as all the conference food and restaurants. But at least I don’t have all that candy in my hotel room now.

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