I have been working on my health and fitness since April of 2013. I started getting really serious in the fall of ’13, and have been continuing to push myself in new ways. In January of 2014, I started seeing a nutritionist once a month because I felt like I was missing that piece of the puzzle. I wasn’t eating horribly, but I felt like I wasn’t fully educated or aware of what I should and shouldn’t be putting into my body and why. So I began working on cleaning up my diet. We talked about my goals, how to properly balance my macros, the amount of calories I should be consuming due to my workouts, what kinds of foods I should eat and why, and how to balance my lifestyle.
In April of 2014 I decided that I wanted to give myself a major challenge. I decided that for the entire month, I would eat 100% clean. What this meant was that I would not eat out, instead I would prepare all of my food. I would not eat any processed items, desserts/baked goods or chocolate, consume only good carbs (veggies, fruit, whole grains, potatoes, etc.) and not indulge in any alcohol. My nutritionist encouraged me to try this challenge that I proposed, and so I did!
The first 2 weeks were a breeze. It was easy to say no to things, easy to stick with my water and clean meals. When the 3rd week hit, I started craving dark chocolate. I can’t remember how many times at work I would tell my coworkers how I just wanted chocolate. By the time the 4th week came around, I really wanted pizza or a burger.
I wasn’t perfect. I did give in a few times, but when I look at the grand scheme of things, I did REALLY well. I enjoyed challenging myself and seeing what I could do. I also really enjoyed seeing the changes my body made! :) I am now working on finding the balance in my life. My nutritionist told me that at minimum to eat clean 50% of the time, but that she recommends it be more like 75%. She also told me that the balance is different for everyone. I am more of the 90-95% of the time, but that’s just how I like it.
I thoroughly enjoy pushing myself in my health and fitness, and stepping up to the challenges each time. Sure it can be daunting at times, but I look at how far I have come, and how my lifestyle has completely changed and I get inspired. I have never been so proud of myself! And I am doing this for me, because I want to, and because I enjoy it.
Now, one challenge I faced during the month of eating 100% clean, was eating clean during social situations. I didn’t lack self-control (occasionally I find myself without it!), but what I found most challenging was figuring out how to politely say no without causing a lot of questions or judgment. There are people in my life who are very aware of my health and fitness goals to their full extent, but it’s not necessarily something I had been broadcasting to the world. But I found it difficult to say no to alcohol, or desserts when people are just trying to be friendly, be in community and share. When I would say, “no, I’m good,” or, “no thanks, I’ve got my water,” people would keep insisting on sharing. My fear was that I would come across as prude, or snobby, when all I was doing was sticking to my goals. But how do you explain that without going into everything…..
That has been my challenge! Social situations.
As I have continued, I still find it challenging in those social situations, but it has gotten easier. I went with my husband on a day trip a while ago, and I knew that I had to prep my food beforehand or else I would find myself hungry, my blood sugar dropping, getting grumpy and ultimately eating things I would regret. So I took about 20 minutes to prep a day’s worth of food before we left. I was able to keep my blood sugar stable, fill my nutritional needs and keep myself happy and healthy. Now, those that I was with understood why I brought my own food, and didn’t think anything of it. But it’s not always that way.
I wish I had an answer, a way to do these things without going into everything, or blaming it on my nutritionist, (she tells me to blame it on her!) But I don’t. I am taking it a day at a time, one situation at a time, and finding the balance. Since this has been my lifestyle for over a year now, people aren’t entirely surprised anymore. I have found that those who are in my life on a regular basis are pretty un-phased by it now, but the new people in my life are the ones I have to explain things to.
How do you go about living a healthy and clean lifestyle when you are in social situations, or with new people who may judge you based on what you don’t consume? Do you go through your whole spiel each time or cut it short?