MUCH to my entertainment, my newest “fitness freak” friend Susannah, (although she worked out and ate fairly healthy before), has begun to “enjoy” the fruits of her hard work & even healthier eating (ie. more muscles, leaner, toned physique, strange looks, comments from everyone, weird stares….you get the picture :). Just five minutes ago I was laughing out loud as I looked at a text I received with a picture of Susannah, beaming like the sun was in her eyes, holding a plastic baggie filled with something green and possibly some type of cooked meat…. Not two minutes earlier, according to her (dramatized I’m SURE), her family had stopped at Burger King, gotten a burger, and waved it under her nose. Two nights prior, the same family member had offered her multiple bowls of ice cream ALL night. I could feel the distraught tone in her text as she was frantically trying to resist the temptation (I of course, was laughing hysterically ) As much as she likes or dislikes all these added benefits to becoming fitter, it is one hundred times more entertaining for me, listening to her perspective as she goes through it all. Being a fitness competitor, and an extreme athlete since I was five years old, I have grown used to the stares, comments, and stories that go along with all the “weird” stuff I do for my sport, whether it for basketball, a triathlon, or bodybuilding. My parents gave up on me long ago as they watched me eat cans of tuna and protein shakes while my brothers were eating Spaghettios and M&M’s for lunch.
One of my favorite “weird food” experiences was when I first started competing. I was clueless as to how everything was “supposed” to be done so I sort of just winged half of it and hoped to God I wasn’t screwing anything up. I had to travel on an airplane while dieting and training for my first show, so I was instructed (with very little detail) on how to cook and pack my food. A few days before the trip, I cooked, weighed, and baggied up all the required meals for the trip (now, I am horrible at math, so figuring out 7 different meals for 2.5 days took me a good day and half). Once all the food was baggied up, I put it in the freezer because according to my coach, if you packed the food frozen, by the time you reached your destination it would be thawed but still cold…..”easy”, I thought.
So, with everything ready to go, I headed to the airport. Getting through security was interesting. Heightened, Post 9-11 travel standards, they made my bag of food go back through the conveyor belt (clearly frozen fish and asparagus are the main ingredients of bombs these days….IF you are MacGyver.) After spending 20 minutes begging the security officer to please let me keep all my food, my lunchbox of frozen treats was returned to me. Getting to my gate, I realized that it was time to eat again based on my “eat every 3 hour” schedule. One problem…..I failed to remember to “unfreeze” the meals I would need for the trip……not at all discouraged, I instantly had a genius idea (when you are carb depleted, every idea is genius :). I trotted up to Starbucks, asked for 2 glasses, one with super hot water in it. With my giant cup of hot water and extra cup, I sat down at my gate next to a crowd of people (who found my little experiment very interesting), and pulled out my bag of fish and green stuff, dunked it in the water, and sat there for five minutes with an idiotic grin on my face, so proud of my idea that I could barely contain my excitement to enjoy my half-frozen meal at 10:00 am. As I pulled out my dripping baggie from the now ice-cold water, I noticed the bag had not been sealed all the way. “Oh crap”, I thought, as I held the baggie up in front of my face, staring at the still half-frozen tilapia patty and stalks of withered asparagus floating in water….(Now….I know what you are thinking……..”just toss it and go get something to eat”….no way….not when I have a goal). I took my plastic fork (ok, the TSA let me through security with a FORK and they tried to take my fish????? Come ON!!!)…..and started shoveling it in without chewing. Let me be real honest with you….I can’t say I’ve ever eaten anything nastier than half-frozen fish with that gel that forms from cooking it then refreezing it, ALONG with withered, soggy asparagus from a bag at 10:00 in the morning….I almost puked in my mouth. But I was so proud of myself for doing it, that I was grinning from ear to ear as I was eating.
At this point, the small crowd of airline passengers surrounding me, had turned into a larger group of spectators. I looked up from my fish mess and saw 20 or so sets of eyes staring directly at me. Even the young businessmen who were reading the Wall Street Journal while sending emails on their blackberries, and creating flow charts on their laptops had all stopped to watch this poor girl eating from a bag. I now was a bit embarrassed….I jumped up, went to the bathroom to wash off whatever remnants of fish, I’m sure I got on my pants, and came back to board the plane.
My pre-board gate experience was only trumped by my “mealtime” ON the plane….I sat next to a very large woman who whipped out a King-sized snickers!! Even being under my 3 hour time limit, (and a bit depleted, so most likely very irritable), I remember thinking, “Augh! I’ll teach HER!” I pulled out my now thawed, slightly warm bag of fish and greens, leaned over closer to her, opened it up and started SLOWLY eating it, so as to let the aroma waft over her snickers bar! Hahahaha! I win again 🙂 Or so I thought…..more stares from nearby passengers, much like the ones a person gets if their kid is screaming hysterically…..
The only lesson I can see in all this food drama, is, no matter where you are, you CAN stay on your diet with the right determination (and maybe a little spiteful attitude, hehe 🙂
Picture from text:)
Susannah @ Jags Football Game