T Nation

Do You Hide It?

Im writing this post to ask how people deal with the ‘alternative’ lifestyle that they lead with their diet/training regimens.

Like many people here, my physical health and fitness play a big part in my life.

People at work are always curious.

People notice the frequent consumption of fruits/vegetables and pre-cooked meats, carefully brought to work in little containers.

The notice the obvious ‘fitness’ that we possess.

They notice that during our browsing time we might be looking at sites like T-Nation.

Perhaps we even talk about it with people too. I was just curious how some people deal with it. Are you evangelists, do you quietly achieve for yourselves, and avoid any conversations that pop up about fad diets and somebody’s latest exercise kick? Do you try to achieve a happy medium, and only discuss things with people you think are worthy of discussing it with, and avoid conversations with the more toxic types?

How do we deal with being different?

I honestly try to avoid discussion of it. I have learned that people actually despise anyone who can make progress where they can’t seem to. I hate comments about the protein shakes or what I am eating. This seems to be a big deal to several people here.

I often eat in my office now because of it. I can’t hide it because no one who actually has some size on them can hide that they lift weights. I expect comments when I go out, but at work, it is just annoying.

I work in academia at a large University where all sorts of physical and behavioural eccentricities are the norm. If I set my hair on fire and went screaming down the corridor naked, someone would claim proof of spontaneous human combustion, publish a paper in Nature, and be on the fast track to tenure. So my impeccable dietary habits and impressive physique go largely unnoticed.

i’m by no means huge, but i’m working on it. the collection of tupperware containers i bring to work everyday always seem to spark conversation. most just don’t understand the concept of metabolism and hell, calories in general, so i abstain from delving into the world of training and nutrition, otherwise, i end up frustrated. i’ve learned to just smile and nod my head.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I honestly try to avoid discussion of it. I have learned that people actually despise anyone who can make progress where they can’t seem to. I hate comments about the protein shakes or what I am eating. This seems to be a big deal to several people here.

I often eat in my office now because of it. I can’t hide it because no one who actually has some size on them can hide that they lift weights. I expect comments when I go out, but at work, it is just annoying.[/quote]

I agree. At work, I have pretty much isolated myself to the break room at odd times to consume my meals. I avoid it. I am also suspicious about providing any advice to people about what I do.

I’ve found that in the office most people don’t value fitness. They value beer, a soft couch and the remote to a 50 inch plasma TV hanging on the wall. For that reason, when at work I keep quiet unless I’m asked about training and even then I keep it to a minimum ( I don’t think I know enough yet to start giving advice). On the other hand most of the people in my personal life are in great shape and that tends to be the topic of many of our discussions. I guess it all just depends on your surroundings

$.02

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I honestly try to avoid discussion of it…[/quote]

I agree with Prof X. I try not to discuss it because they won’t understand and the certainly won’t listen and learn. I’m around only a few who do. The others seem to think its some sort of cultlike activity.

It can be hard to resist the urge to smack the next person that asks about my shakes or snacks. Especially if they make some sort of comment and then turn around and suck down a giant bag of buttered popcorn and 87 diet cokes each day.

I agree that I hate it when people make comments about when my next protein shake will be since they are mocking me. But I just laugh on the inside and think about how they could never do what we do as I just smile back to them.

I never bring up my routine and try to curtail any discussion of it unless they are someone who is sincerely interested. I take pride in my lifting lifestyle and although I don’t bring it up on purpose, I still will eat during class and suck up all the crap that goes along with it.

I won’t let people’s stares prevent me from me and my food. Not to mention some people admire our discipline so thats always a bonus.

Everyone asks: why would you want to gain weight. Annoying.

Damn fad diets and people telling me how to eat pisses me off.

I find, although the majority of the time i eat the ‘right things’ and people know it… sometimes I am human and will eat what the rest of them eat (also because i think a bit of junk is actually good for you like many here will agree). This also sparks comments… I just get angry sometimes and want to lash out.

It has taken me about 8 months in my current job for some of the closest workmates the actually start truly respecting what I do.

I was recently asked by a workmate to write an exercise/diet program for him as well as impart general knowledge onto him. I am concerned tho at this point he isnt just going to go and start reading T-Nation and other stuff a lot. I was going to write a program (with customisations for our shift work), in the hope it will get him started and then he can truly start reading and thinking more for himself in this area. I am no expert by any means, but i feel i am perhaps better equipped than some other options he might fall towards instead.

I’m momentarily in the comfortable position living that close to work that I can avoid the constant discussion over my eating habits over lunch. I just eat lunch at home. I eat/drink shakes or other meals quietly in my office. I hate having to argue about my ‘strange’ habits.
People close to me know what I eat and why I eat like that but most of them comment negatively any given day… i just confront them with their unehealthy habits that annoy ne and avoid further artguments.

There’s nothing like having like-minded people around you that you share goals with . Luckily my girl is one of the few people of that kind I know.

I keep it to myself, although much fun is made at lunch because I always eat chili :slight_smile: People probably know I workout, not because I’m big, but because I’m less small than they are.

At my current job I don’t use shakes, but I did drink them in grad school, and everyone in my department knew about my “habits” and love of iron. They were all friends and, while not partaking of my interest, did understand (sort of) why I did what I did.

I think age plays a role here. My grad school friends were in their early 20s; I could see how things would be different if your crowd is in their late 30s or 40s.

[quote]perseng wrote:
I was recently asked by a workmate to write an exercise/diet program for him as well as impart general knowledge onto him. I am concerned tho at this point he isnt just going to go and start reading T-Nation and other stuff a lot. I was going to write a program (with customisations for our shift work), in the hope it will get him started and then he can truly start reading and thinking more for himself in this area. I am no expert by any means, but i feel i am perhaps better equipped than some other options he might fall towards instead.[/quote]

I’ve tried this before, and it has been a waste of time 100%. They’ll quit within a month. Nowadays, when somebody asks me for a workout plan or diet, I them to go to a gym 3x a week and just dick around or do the circuit. This gets them used to the routine. Also, I tell them to write their diet down, and maybe give them one or two simple rules, like drink a gallon of water per day. I get them to do this for a month before coming back to me (which they never do). Gauging their level of dedication in this manner will save you a lot of time and effort.

I honestly don’t say anything because it seems that people who don’t live our lifestyle have a problem with the way we treat our bodies. I try to help people before with them trying to lose weight and then I catch them eating a whole box of doughnuts looking for an excuse to not sticking to their diet.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I hate comments about the protein shakes or what I am eating.[/quote]Me too. I still go for meals with everyone else but eventually, after a long time being asked every day what I was eating & why & how it looked gross etc. etc. I just told everyone in plain simple language that I didn’t want to talk about my food anymore & that it annoyed me.
Now they don’t do it anymore, or if they do I remind them that I don’t like them commenting on my food. I tell the same thing to new people at work who don’t know better. If someone is genuinely interested, from the point of view of improving their own nutrition, then it’s different & I’ll happily talk about it & direct them to sites where they can learn more.

It’s sad that people find it so wierd that someone eats vegetables.

when ever people ask me what i do or what i take, i tell them that i have this small vile of clear liquid that i inject five times daily while i sit on my couch and eat potato chips

I keep it to myself… No one here lifts except me it seems.

Yo Momma had a great one with setting herself on fire while naked and thus gaining tenure.

I work in an office primarily with women, so non-standard food habits are the norm here. From what I?ve been able to observe, here?s a sampler of the current diets.

Two women seem to be on the ?starve yourself until 3pm then eat as many donuts as possible? diet. One is on the ?no fruits or veggies, protein and a few beers each afternoon? diet. Two are on the ?I?ll have some if you have some? enabler diet. One is one the ?graze at the candy dish all day? diet. The good side is that no one will touch my tuna, chicken breast or veggies in the company fridge since those items aren?t ?good for you.? Shakes I just have at my desk and no one even notices.

As far as workouts, the business dress code here does actually hide quite a bit so size and shape isn?t as obvious. Everyone knows I work out and at least one lady has been trying to recruit me to go to her personal trainer. Yeah, like I really want to go to a guy whose business card shows him standing on a swiss ball, doing a lateral raise with 3-pound medicine balls and no discernable muscle tone. Thanks, but I seem to be doing ok on my own.

Every now and then someone will make a comment (read bitch endlessly) that the fat?s not coming off and want to know what they?re doing wrong. I?ve learned to keep my trap shut since suggesting they put the junk food down, actually break a sweat and lift weights has been met with ? shall we say ? hostility.

[quote]Alex630 wrote:
perseng wrote:
I was recently asked by a workmate to write an exercise/diet program for him as well as impart general knowledge onto him. I am concerned tho at this point he isnt just going to go and start reading T-Nation and other stuff a lot. I was going to write a program (with customisations for our shift work), in the hope it will get him started and then he can truly start reading and thinking more for himself in this area. I am no expert by any means, but i feel i am perhaps better equipped than some other options he might fall towards instead.

I’ve tried this before, and it has been a waste of time 100%. They’ll quit within a month. Nowadays, when somebody asks me for a workout plan or diet, I them to go to a gym 3x a week and just dick around or do the circuit. This gets them used to the routine. Also, I tell them to write their diet down, and maybe give them one or two simple rules, like drink a gallon of water per day. I get them to do this for a month before coming back to me (which they never do). Gauging their level of dedication in this manner will save you a lot of time and effort.
[/quote]

I’ve tried that before as well, only to have the guy tell me that “T-Nation is too technical…”

Nowadays I do what Alex does. Tell them to mess with some weights, look for their own program, log their food intake and leave it at that. I do that for everyone except my brother, but fuck it, he’s my brother for pete’s sake.

I had a student a couple months ago who was also training to be on the Navy Boxing team. He was in really good shape, had a small pharmacy and piles of tupperware on his desk, and was teased by the rest of the students to the point where I’d see him sneaking around to warm up his food or make a shake. One day during a lab exam where students were being timed 5 minutes a station before moving on, he threw his hand in the air.

I walked over and said “what’s up?”

He said, “Mr. TGIF I need to leave the lab for a minute”

I said “Is it an emergency? You really can’t, you’re going to mess up the rotation, you should have went to the bathroom beforehand…”

He said “I don’t have to go to the bathroom, it’s 10:00 and I have to eat.”

Knowing the battle he was having as it was, I let him go do his thing and catch up when he got back. I caught a little shit from my supervisor for letting him go, but I covered for him.

I keep it to myself… No one here lifts except me it seems.

Yo Momma had a great one with setting herself on fire while naked and thus gaining tenure.