What do you think happens now that you decided to embark on this new lifestyle? I think you know which one. The one in which your diet contains more “real” food. The one in which you are taking in enough protein and veggies. The one that you actually eat and not starve yourself. Yes! The one in which you are actually seeing results..THAT one!
Well, what happens is.. life. Yep. There is a reason why we have fast food. There is a reason why we have convenient stores. And there is even a reason why we eat products that can sit on the shelf for a decade. But now, you must rebel against the norm! It is time to break away from the crowd! But it can be a bit embarrassing, can’t it? It does bring some unwanted attention, doesn’t it? I know..
It started out slowly for me.
I bought a cooler so I could keep food in my car. If I went to the mall, I would pack my cooler for the day. When I got hungry I would go to my car and “sneak eat” my own food instead of Lo Mein from the food court.
I took my meals to work everyday and soon was taking my food into meetings.
Now I boldly take my food with me wherever I go. Yes, where-ever I go. I have explained to security at concerts. The TSA has checked my bag many of times to find protein powder, pre-workout supplement, peanut butter, rice cakes, and protein bars.
Yes, I am the one who whips out my bag of boiled eggs on the airplane.
If you ride with me, you may find a fork in the cup holder while sitting on some protein powder that’s gone astray. Oops.
I might accidentally pull out a spoon from my purse while digging for change at the store.
As a matter of fact, yes, I have sat in my car in front of the gym and peeled eggs using a water bottle to rinse them.
Although rare, I am not alone in this. My friends??
Well, they may be the ones that stunk up the office heating up brussel sprouts.. for BREAKFAST!
They could be the ones that smelled up every room in the office (and I mean every room) from a diet excessive in asparagus.
You know that person at the Italian restaurant who brought in a protein shake? I may know him.
Were you concerned when you saw someone eating chicken and spinach out of a ziplock bag driving down the road? Don’t be. I know her too. She’s ok.. she’s just sticking to her eating plan.
So YES! When we have the goal and are determined to stay on track with our eating, it definitely takes standing out in a crowd. Embrace this as an opportunity to be a trail blazer! Someone once told me that you never know who you might be inspiring. This is demonstrated perfectly in the story I received from a fellow fit-astic trailblazer, Antionette Kerr.
Over the years, I have gained a reputation around town as being a “picky eater.” My work as a non-profit director requires a lot of meal-time meetings and in any given week my calendar is filled with 5-10 work-related breakfasts, lunches and/or dinners. When you live in the sticky sweet “BBQ Capital of the World” (that’s right we have more restaurants per capita than any other location), it’s hard to explain why you don’t eat the GDP.
Around the Office:
My staff knows this all too well. Our agency fridge is stocked with healthy alternatives. My coworkers snicker every time out-of-town guests come to our agency and request to have lunch at a BBQ restaurant. A few times I went along and ordered a “salad,” but quite honestly, I don’t consider watery iceberg lettuce and two cherry tomatoes a salad. My salads need to have more pizazz.
Events were also a dilemma. People expressed concern when they wouldn’t see me noshing. The truth is that I consider myself to be a “foodie” and I really enjoy fresh and healthy meals so I would graciously decline the heaping helpings of mashed potatoes, rolls, chicken pie served up with sugary seasoned canned green beans. Inevitably, this led to a myriad of questions and strange looks about my “diet.” I was apologetic when someone asked “Why aren’t you going to have anything?” One day I told the server, “No, thanks, I am so full,” but my stomach defied my words and started growling!
After a few attempts to get my weekly civic group to consider adding some healthy alternatives to our buffet, I gave up on expecting others to change our menu. I spent years of sitting in my car eating ahead of meetings and events. As people walked by as I shoveled in a helping of grilled chicken and cauliflower rice, I realized that I was being silly. I worked hard to prepare good food and decided to stop apologizing. It was clear as I looked around the room and listened to people complaining about weight issues, heart issues or energy issues that they might benefit from seeing some of my yummy creations. So I choose to come out of the closet with my fitness and lifestyle goals.
It was awkward the first time I brought my own lunch into a weekly meeting. I loaded up a fresh slice of salmon baked on a cedar plank and garnished with rosemary and lemon. It was accompanied by lemon-grilled asparagus and my 3-olive tapenade with fresh tomato. When I felt like people were staring at my lunch baggie, I ignored them and sat down, pulled out my container and started eating. I was slightly nervous and afraid to look up. I was waiting for someone to ask “Why?”
Finally, the guy (who happens to frequent the same gym) sitting nearby leaned over and said, “That smells good. What is it?” I breathed a sigh of relief and we struck up a conversation about healthy eating. He agreed and now has his assistant call ahead. Since, he has started texting some of the members about the menu before the meeting. Several other members bring their own lunches. So maybe the menu will change, maybe not. I went from being known as a “picky eater” to a trendsetter. Either way it feels good to be #fitandfabulous