It’s Not a Diet; It’s a Lifestyle.

Don’t expect approval. Shit, if you’re going to change your body, you better learn to dig deep down inside and find the shovel with the longest handle to dig all of the strength and courage that you have. And believe me. We all are capable.

Winter is long gone, and Summer is here.

Still. I don’t pay attention to “seasons”.

I’m either training to build muscle, lose fat, or manipulating my way to build muscle while minimizing fat gains, and the list goes on…Anyway, the point is that it can leave you feeling pretty isolated from the rest of the world. It’s no doubt one of the hardest transitions to make. At first, some people will either distance themselves from you or gravitate towards you;  it’s a toss up; heads or tails. There will be times where you may find that you are excusing yourself from, say, a party to, “use the bathroom”. Translation: you’re about to shove food into your mouth nearby, out of sight, just so you can get in Meal whatever number you’re on as fast as you can.

If you don’t excuse yourself, prepare yourself for questions, silent judgments, potential concerns that are expressed about your health, or maybe even an awkward moment or two when other people think that you are judging them on their eating habits. Trust me, I’m not. I just want to eat my food in my little Tupperware container please.

 So yea, I’ve been there. Some people ask a question about what you’re eating and why, then move on. Then there are others will ask many more questions, and end up with a look of confusion; like they don’t know what to make of it. Eh. I don’t care now,  I used to feel awkward. I mean, it’s not a secret, I’m not doing anything wrong, and I’m definitely not starving myself. At first, I used to obsess over it, I would get anxiety from it, I mean, I had to eat!!! 2 hours would go by, and I’d watch the clock, 3 hours, I had to eat! 4 hours…OMG I didn’t care what I was doing; who I was with, I HAD TO EAT!!

Now, I can’t say that I don’t obsess over it, but I can also say that I don’t obsess over it. I guess because I’ve made it who I am….

 Until today…

 Plain and simple, the people who know me; are accustomed to me and my endless Tupperware containers filled with food, and know that they can expect that I can take  them out at any given moment. When it’s time to eat, I’m gonna eat.  I have muscle to grow, fat to burn. Plain. And. Simple. It’s a lot of work, time and effort. I love it, and as I mentioned, it’s become my life; who I am.

However, enter new challenge: Introduced to new people, and it still doesn’t get any easier to explain how I eat…or why.  Plus, today would be the second time I was caught “off guard”.  That rarely ever happened. I usually have something to eat in my car, purse, somewhere. But not last week. Or today.

 Last week was the first time I was “unprepared”, “caught off guard”.  My son was asked to go over to his friend’s house, and while hey asked if I wanted them to pick him up, I figured since I was just doing laundry that I could just as easily bring him over to their house and drop him off. Yes. Drop him off.  I didn’t pack any food because I figured, “I was just going to run out and come right back” (It’s important to note that I ate over 2 hours ago at that point.), so I really didn’t see the point in bringing anything to eat. I ran out of protein bars, didn’t have anything cooked or ready to go at that moment, but like I said, I didn’t think any of that was necessary.

 And then I went to drop him off…

 Like any good host, they asked me to come in. Ummm…A few minutes turned into a couple hours. Admittedly, I started to think about  how I was “missing a meal” and in my mind, flashes of my muscles crying out, “Feed us! Feed us!” kept playing over and over.

 Like, seriously.  

 I did enjoy myself, however. It felt good meeting and talking to new people; people who seemed pretty upbeat and positive; were super nice and easy to talk to. But still. I couldn’t stop thinking about eating.  

 Now fast forward to today….

 My son’s friend came over with his dad to swim. I met them down at the pool (I live in an apartment complex). Again, I just ate, so I thought, “how long could I be down at the pool for ?” Well, soon 3 hours came and went like nothing. Time was flying right by, and we just sat there talking about anything ranging from politics to what our kid’s eating habits were.  And suddenly, that got me to think about food. My food.

 Side note: When you start a fitness journey, it’s very likely that you will start to refer to your meals as, “my food” or “Meal #”; you no longer think of it in terms of yummy, delicious, tasty, “food” but in terms of, “what will this do for my body”.  You also begin to pair foods that you never would have thought to pair together before.  Like. Ever. You begin to have a love affair with nut butters. That’s just the beginning…but that’s for another time.

 Back to the pool situation. So, there I was, wondering if it would be rude to excuse myself so that I could run up to my apartment to grab “my food”. Yea. Why didn’t I bring it with me? I know. After 3 years, you’d think I had this all figured out by now.

And look, I know that my muscles aren’t really going to eat themselves, I’m not going to “gain fat” if I don’t cram something into my mouth at exactly 3 hours from the last time I ate. But know this, if you’re training for something specific, it’s crucial to space your meals out. Why? Without getting too deep into it, the simplest reason is that it’s a lot easier to eat a large amount of calories in several meals over the course of a day rather than to cram large amounts of food to meet my caloric needs in 2 or 3 meals.

 Now that you have figured out that I am neurotic and suffer a love affair with “my food” and building muscle, and all things revolving around body transformation, don’t judge me. I have a fricken goal people.  And that’s to be in the best damn shape of my life. When I’m old, I envision myself with semi-saggy skin, yet glowing, taking selfies of myself in the mirror of my super ripped abs.Okay, so I do really just want to stay healthy, shape my body into nothing but lean, pure, muscle. It’s my daily challenge. To myself.

Meanwhile…back to the pool….what did I do? Well…my sister, who lives in the same apartment complex, came down to sit with her kids, and she played host for 10 minutes while I excused myself to go eat. And the best part of the day? When the boys wanted to continue hanging out, we moved the conversation down to their house, and I found out that my son’s, friend’s, mother and I have a lot in common. There, on the table, she had made her own, “dip” using nonfat greek yogurt with something else (that unfortunately I cannot remember), for the carrots and celery sticks that had put out as part of their dinner.  Plus,  I also found out that she suffers from a lot of the allergies that I do and makes her own natural laundry soap, shampoo and conditioner! Her husband (aka, referred to, by me earlier as my son’s dad) even offered me nonfat greek yogurt with raspberries! Oh the things that make me happy!

 Also, we might even meet them up for camping next weekend. How exciting!

 I am so glad that I did take the time to get to know them better. It’s good to invite positive people in your life. Duh. 

Remember, when you make the decision to transform your body, it’ll be difficult at first, and will affect you not just mentally, physically, emotionally; but also socially. It’s important to have a strong support system in place, and if you don’t remain strong; you’re worth it. If you stick with it, you’ll eventually meet new people, appreciate new experiences, and really discover how strong you are. As my mother always says to me, “Megan, it’ll all work out.”

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