Tonight I had to go to the grocery store. I was out of protein and that is just completely unacceptable with the amount of working out that is happening on the Jim Stoppani New Year’s Challenge.

After work, I headed to the butcher to grab my usual, 2.5 pounds of chicken breast, 2.5 pounds of beef and 4 bratwursts (I like brats with mustard for breakfast, I’m weird I know). As the butcher is pulling the meat and weighing it for me, he is drumming up a conversation asking me what I’m making, if I have a lot of company, etc. I just kind of laugh and say that it’s nothing special just for meals and the mother fucker keeps asking me questions. For some reason, I’m super embarrassed to say that it’s all for me. All of this meat will be consumed by me in a span of five days. Cue any one of Chris Farley’s SNL skits. Fat Guy in a Little Coat or Lay Off Me I’m Starving…

Finally, I can’t dodge the bullet anymore. I have to tell the butcher I’m eating all of this meat. I’m looking at the ground, grabbing my side, and in a quiet voice with a slightly sarcastic tone I let out, “I eat about 1 pound of meat a day. It’s all for meeee.” I think I stretched out the word me so I wouldn’t have to endure the comments back about one person eating all that meat or something along those lines. But none of it came. Want to know what he said?

“Oh yea? I’m eating about four pounds, and am trying to consume 10,000 calories.”

Yup. That was it. The fact that I was eating a pound of meat a day didn’t repulse him, it actually interested him because he was eating a shit ton of protein too. The conversation lead to me learning about him being an amateur boxer and a little about his training. It was a great conversation about nutrition and weight all while he was gathering my chicken and beef.

Because of the bullying I’ve endured my whole life, my general expectation is that people are staring, gossiping, and judging. But tonight was a gentle reminder that might not always be the case. You could possibly have a great conversation with someone that is just interested in what you’re doing. You’ve gotta take a chance and have conversations, if they end up being what you typically expect, cut the conversation off. If it ends up being a pleasant conversation, your day just got a bit better.