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View Full Version : Possibly a problem I have...Social Life + Dieting



beachmuscles
02-14-2010, 08:10 PM
Hey guys,

Just to give you a background of what's going on. I'd appreciate if you read this whole long post, because it took me some courage to put this out there, first time I'm really talking about it .

I began working out when I was 15 in high school, and it have been ever since. Right now I'm 24 years old. When I first starting working out I was maybe 170lbs, and just kept going up from there. I would just eat as much as possible and eat whatever I wanted. It was a never clean diet, but I just kept progressing all the way until when I graduated at 17. All through college I kept a good diet, and started to get real lean. Then sorta started over and gained weight and cut, and probably did it a couple times over the years. I moved out of my house about a year ago, and fell off the wagon for the first time EVER. Pretty much just ate whatever, and didn't follow any schedule. Usually unhealthy 3 meals or so. I got pretty chunky and bloated. Did it for a few months, until I said WTF! and got back on track. Now I'm cutting for the past 5 months, and probably in the best shape I've been in years.

As of right now my diet is perfect, I count/weigh everything and pretty much do the same thing each week. Friday nights I usually have a cheat meal and go out drinking with my friends. Then it's back to my diet.

Heres the thing...Which sounds weird...Everytime I meet a chick that actually wants to date me/hang out alot, I start to get real annoyed/anxious that I'm totally dicking myself over. Obviously I want a girl friend, and to get laid....but I always feel like it's just going to ruin my progress. They always want to hang out, eat out, grab a drink, and I always feel like I'm missing meals, over my calories/under my calories, just messing up everything. I almost feel like I push away girls because they are a distraction to my goals, of getting insanely shredded.

BUT THEN LAST NIGHT...I thought to myself...WTF am I doing with my life? My whole life revolves around the gym, and getting lean/stay lean. Why am I even doing this? I workout/eat/count calories like I'm preparing for a show all year round, but in reality I'm just a college graduate looking for a job.

How can I live a normal life? Go out whenever, eat whatever/whenever, drink whenever? AND STAY in the same shape?

cphafner
02-14-2010, 08:12 PM
Unless you are trying to be a pro bodybuilder relax! Trust me I know where you are coming from. I get into the same funks. I treat dates, nights out, happy hour etc as as my cheat meals. I stick with it 95% of the time.

beachmuscles
02-14-2010, 08:17 PM
That's the weird thing. In my head I treat it like I am, and everytime I cheat I almost feel like I'm just hurting my success. I dont even have any passion to be one, but I almost feel like I'm known to be jacked, so I have to maintain it, but I also want to maintain it. I love being different, and having a better body then like 95% of people I see.

Well thats the thing how many cheats are ok? I would normally do 1 cheat a week, but then I feel if I'm dating someone there is more like 3-4 cheats a week...is it possible to cheat on a good diet 3-4x a week, and still make progress / stay lean? By cheat I mean 1-3 alcholic drinks and/or any restaurant meal.

It's always been hard for me to balance things, but I feel like I say "NO" too often. I was pretty popular in college so I met a lot of good friends. I'm constantly getting people asking me "Do you want to get lunch?", "Lets get a drink", "Wanna grab a bite for dinner?", and I constantly say an excuse, or say I can't, etc. But sometimes I wonder if I'm missing out on LIFE. I mean I just want to know if there is a way to cheat say 3-4x a week, and still progress/stay lean.

cphafner
02-14-2010, 08:22 PM
There are plenty of sensible options for dinner. You should be able to find something at a restaurant the comes close to your macro needs. You need to find balance.

james_w8lifter
02-14-2010, 09:18 PM
There are plenty of sensible options for dinner. You should be able to find something at a restaurant the comes close to your macro needs. You need to find balance.

I agree, unless your getting invited to McDonalds every time there are plenty of sensible choices that will fit into whatever your diet entails. If you don't feel like drinking, don't do it. Just hang out with whoever but pass up the drinking. If your friends/girl gives you hell about it, then you need to find new folks to hang with.

beachmuscles
02-14-2010, 09:31 PM
Nah, usually invited to nice spots...Never fast food actually, unless its 5am then taco hell :)

Allen Cress
02-14-2010, 10:42 PM
I see this time and time again with many new clients I get. You have to find a blance in life. Yes its important to be healthy and workout, but its also healthy to be social and enjoy life because you only have one. You don't have to fall off the wagon by any means as stated above you can eat out healthy and its your choice to do so if thats what you want, but it doesn't hurt to indulge every once in a while either.

You seem to have an obssesive personality and when it comes to cosemtics thats very common. You have to realize that even though you may be known for having a good body that shouldn't define who you are by any means. Even with my clients who compete I coach them on how to just enjoy training and to live a healthy lifestyle and not think because you may have missed one meal or one workout session all of a sudden you have destroyed your physique. Don't let that type of mentality run your life because I have seenm it ruin many in my 16 years in this industry.

Workout, eat healthy balanced meals 90% of the time, and live your life and enjoy it!!

beachmuscles
02-14-2010, 10:52 PM
Acress, thanks for the great reply. I'm sticking to this site for now on, I use to post here, and haven't recently...BB.com is such a joke compared to this site. Such higher quality people/posts/information on here.

I think the problem is...I have adapted my life for the lifestyle, instead of adapting the lifestyle into my life. Pretty much letting the lifestyle take over, instead of taking it over and making it what I want.

Here's the thing...How important is meal timing? Because I can 100% hit my calories/protein/whatever a day, but when I'm out having fun one of the main things I realize is time between meals. Might have a solid dinner at 8pm and not eat again til 2-3am...that's something that always bothered me, because you get so obsessed with the 3 HOUR WINDOW that you think of everything as a time block.

Also...the amount of meals, does it really matter? I'm stuck with all the old bodybuilding notions, and if i don't do it, I feel like I'm slacking. Like if I ate 4 meals tomorrow, instead of 6, would it really matter?

Whats a good protein bar? I'd like to start eating these when I'm out and hanging, and how do you guys feel about RTD drinks? VPX, Muscle Milk, Lean Body, etc.

Last but not least, I'm going to start cheating Friday, Saturday, and SUNDAY. Just to see if it even matters. I'm going to start just enjoying life, and keeping the best body I can while I do it.

BTW...Your 100% right on the obsessive attitude...I'm obsessed with working for my business I started, got obsessed with playing blackjack, obsessed with getting haircuts, obsessed with taking care of my car...I guess I get obsessed very easily, and I have an "addictive" personality...

Side note...90% of the time you said to eat healthy...So if I avg 5 meals a day...35 a week...I can technically cheat 3-4 times a week, just like I said...Interesting...Would it be better to just combine the cheats? Like go out one day for lunch/dinner and another day for lunch/dinner, instead of random cheats all over? LOL now I'm obsessing about how I cheat...

SirPhil
02-15-2010, 01:52 PM
You do not have to make too many modifications to what you're currently doing. You can still hangout and be social while eating healthy. It's up to you to choose the healthy meals while you are eating out, they are always readily available on the menu. I wouldn't recommend going all out and having 3 cheat meals per week, but if that's what you want, you would have to find a balance elsewhere (ie. up the intensity of your workouts/do extra cardio to compensate). Limit to 1-2max cheats/week. My advice to you would be to bring other healthier foods along on those nights out...such as a protein shake/bar...or a trailmix/fruits...just to compensate for your "cheats".

Good luck!

Bosch232
02-15-2010, 05:14 PM
OK, I've been thinking about your comments, and I've been debating about how to say this. So understand that my comments are sincere, and come from experience. Here goes:

You seem to be focused WAY too much on yourself. Now bear with me, don't get defensive just yet. Hear me out.

Let's say you're out with a girlfriend. What are you thinking about? Are you thinking about your diet? Sleep you're missing? Alchohol you're consuming? Next meal? How good you may or may not look in your shirt? What your date is thinking about you? Whether you're going to score? And so on. Based upon the comments you've posted, I'll bet these are common things. Where is your focus with all of these statements? It's on you. Your needs. Your wants. Not someone else's. And that telegraphs through in subtle, nonverbal ways.

That's an extremely common thing, especially when you're single. But I'm going to tell you something, that all needs to change if you're going to have any kind of successful relationship. And you may be angry when you read it. That's OK. All I am is a guy on an internet thread. My challenge to you is to not immediately dismiss it just yet. Take it and turn it over in your head for a while.

I'm 41 and, while I may not be the oldest person here, I do speak from experience with what you're talking about.
So there you go. Mad yet? Perhaps. Again, that's OK. Just think about it. And if I'm off base, then good. I hope I am.

Allen Cress
02-15-2010, 06:55 PM
Here's the thing...How important is meal timing? Because I can 100% hit my calories/protein/whatever a day, but when I'm out having fun one of the main things I realize is time between meals. Might have a solid dinner at 8pm and not eat again til 2-3am...that's something that always bothered me, because you get so obsessed with the 3 HOUR WINDOW that you think of everything as a time block.

Also...the amount of meals, does it really matter? I'm stuck with all the old bodybuilding notions, and if i don't do it, I feel like I'm slacking. Like if I ate 4 meals tomorrow, instead of 6, would it really matter?

Whats a good protein bar? I'd like to start eating these when I'm out and hanging, and how do you guys feel about RTD drinks? VPX, Muscle Milk, Lean Body, etc.

Last but not least, I'm going to start cheating Friday, Saturday, and SUNDAY. Just to see if it even matters. I'm going to start just enjoying life, and keeping the best body I can while I do it.

BTW...Your 100% right on the obsessive attitude...I'm obsessed with working for my business I started, got obsessed with playing blackjack, obsessed with getting haircuts, obsessed with taking care of my car...I guess I get obsessed very easily, and I have an "addictive" personality...

Side note...90% of the time you said to eat healthy...So if I avg 5 meals a day...35 a week...I can technically cheat 3-4 times a week, just like I said...Interesting...Would it be better to just combine the cheats? Like go out one day for lunch/dinner and another day for lunch/dinner, instead of random cheats all over? LOL now I'm obsessing about how I cheat...

You are obsessing again. This is something that takes time to change and just realizing you are this way is the first step.

To answer your questions: There is no 3 hour window of oppurtunity, just like the overplayed 1 hour post-workout window. Now having said that eating every 3-4 hours is important to maintain a steady insulin level but if you ocassionally have 4 meals instead of 6 it won't make a difference, if you did that every day that would be different.

I would not recommend cheating 3 days in a row like that as over time you would accumulate more fat than you would probably want but again if that makes you happy go for it. If you did eat perfect 90% of the time having 3 cheat meals a week is fine depending on your metabolism. But again don't obsess.

What you should do is eat your healthy meals and not think about cheating but if you go on a date and decide to eat something bad thats fine. Don't think of food in an emotional aspect. If you eat it enjoy it and move on.

Off Road
02-15-2010, 07:26 PM
Work out to enjoy your life more...don't make working out your entire life. That just makes you BORING.

chevelle2291
02-15-2010, 07:55 PM
I get where you're coming from.

I'm in college right now and being a part of a fraternity along with having a girlfriend can definitely affect one's dieting habits. The easiest thing to do is try and eat as healthy as possible when you're out (it's not really that hard, no matter where you are) and limit drinking as much as you can. I find that if I have a couple cups of coffee and/or sugar-free energy drinks before I go out I have no problem having a good time (Stimulants!). Just try to stay on track as much as you can. I think the most important thing is that you DO go out on dates, hang out with your friends at a bar, and attend parties. I used to have the same mentality as you do (did?) in high school and I realized in college that I was missing out on a TON of fun the whole time! I think if a lot of us are honest with ourselves, a portion of the reason why we all exercise is to attract women. I know that it's a portion of why I work out (although that portion gets smaller and smaller the longer I train).

Just keep the drinking to a minimum (if at all), always get the lowest calorie option for dessert, and carry a drink around with you at a party so it looks like you're drinking even if you really aren't. The latter is a lot easier than explaining to everyone why you aren't drinking.

Good luck!

Daniel Roberts
02-16-2010, 11:37 AM
You've got some great advice from the other guys, I also understand your predicament, 10yrs ago, I wouldn't leave the house if I hadn't eaten my complement of meals for the day, or if I my training session hadn't gone that well, and so on. Read this article, re-iterating Acress's assertions about nutrient timing, you're wasting precious nervous energy worrying about this stuff -

http://www.wannabebig.com/diet-and-nutrition/nutrient-timing-when-science-and-marketing-collide/

Holto
02-17-2010, 02:45 PM
Meal timing is not very important at all. Worry about the totals. Same thing with # of meals.

IMO, there is no good protein bar unless you made it. It's very easy to make them.

Three cheat days is a lot. I'd mark those days as, 'as life comes'. If you wake up with the lady and she want's pancakes, make some pancakes. If not, make what you usually make.

Joe Black
02-18-2010, 01:48 AM
Some awesome advice from Mr Cress! Read it, take it in and read it again!

I literally spent 10 years getting very little progress. I'd go from a week or so of 100% consistency, to several weeks of 20%, then a lay off.. Then, that repeated about 50 time over 10 years!

You have to find the right balance and ENJOY life. If you are more relaxed and enjoy life, you'll find your sessions and results will feel better purely because of less worry and fret.

Also, there is very little difference between 90% and 100% but a very big difference between 70% and 90%. And the bit between 90% and 100% is what limits your life the most.

Let me give you an example.

I am cutting at the moment and am reaching the point where to push further into cutting weight I really need to focus on my consistency. I am counting calories every day and nailing about 4-5 hurs worth of cardio a week. Yes, it's tough but with enough preperation it's just about the right balance. However Valentines day came up last weekend and I had a choice. I could either keep going and count calories that day and pick something medicore to do with the girlfriend or seeing as my girlfriend is very tolerant of my gym and diet habits ;) I decided to take the day off. We visited a nice little town, ate some lunch, walked the dog and then ate out again in the evening. I could have been careful with what I ordred but for one day I forgot about it totally and just relaxed with the girl. I still lost 2lb that week because Monday - Sat was so spot on from a training and diet perspective. Ok, I could have lost maybe 3-4 without that day, but I am happy with 2lbs or even a tread water week to keep that balance in my life.

Same goes for last night. My Mum came round for dinner and I allowed myself a red wine and didn't fuss about about a small amount of carbs in the meal I shouldn;t really have had... Because I don;t see her much and I wanted to relax and enjoy the time not worrying about every calorie in that meal. I still kept things fairly clean and I'll put in another 30 mins of cardio today to make up for it ;)

It;s all about juggling that balance and keeping the bigger picture in mind.