Have you ever stood in room full of people and felt like you were suddenly in the spotlight? It happens to me quite often. Yet, I’ve learned over the years, it’s OK being the odd man out.
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Being The Odd Man Can Creep Up On You
When I was in my twenties, and even into my thirties, I thought I was pretty much invincible. Don’t we all though?
I mean, I had been pretty healthy my whole life up to then. No broken bones, no allergies, just all around a pretty normal person. I could eat just about anything I wanted and didn’t think twice about it.
Yet, as I approached my forties, I noticed things started to change. Weight wasn’t as easy to shake off, my moods were changing, and most of all… I was starting to have some health issues.
All of this seemed to happen over night… OK.. maybe not overnight, but it did seem to happen pretty fast.
I was of course, at first, in denial. I didn’t want to believe what my older friends had been telling me for a few years now. They had been trying to nicely warn me that when I turned 40, things just may start to change. And they were right. They did.
To Make A Long Story Short
I could go on and on about the issues that I had trying to diagnose what was going on with me, but thankfully, after finding a doctor who actually listened to what was going on, I was able to figure out that what was going on with my body was food related.
Learning that I was now lactose intolerant and had sensitivities to gluten was a bit of a surprise to me.
My family and I ate a pretty healthy diet to begin with, yet there were now going to have to be even more adjustments made.
Little did I know though, with these adjustments would come not only a whole new lifestyle for us, but also a whole new feeling of being the odd man out a lot of the time.
Being The Odd Man Out Takes Some Explaining
Once I knew what was causing most of my health issues, I went full out on changing my diet. I didn’t just want to ‘medicate‘ so to speak, even though that was an option, I wanted to make a change. It was in that change that I knew I was going to find relief, not just a band-aid for my symptoms.
This change was also where this whole ‘being the odd man out’ in a room full of people started to play out. It wasn’t something I was ready for either. I had never really thought of how people would react or the opinions they would have. Having to explain myself or the way I was eating were conversations I had never really had with people.. until now.
Standing at a buffet at a Christmas party with a plate of nothing but vegetables, or kindly saying ‘no thank you’ when someone offers you a piece of regular pizza were now, for some reason, spotlight type moments in my life.
What do I mean when I say ‘Spotlight Moments’? Well, it’s those moments in your life where you suddenly feel like someone has shined a spotlight on you and the rest of the room goes dark. Then somewhere from the now darkened room you here questions like…
“Why don’t you eat cheese?”, “Wait, you don’t eat meat?”, “Why don’t you just take lactaid?”,
“Are you vegan now?”, “Is everything OK?”… and so on.
It’s in these moments that I have had to learn that to take a deep breath and remember.. it’s OK being the odd man out.
At first I would become defensive. I would think to myself that this is none of their concern. This is my health and my choices.
I didn’t really like these ‘spotlight moments’, but now I’m OK with them.
Being The Odd Man Out Is An Opportunity
Not being able to eat certain things can be frustrating at times, yet this whole experience has changed my life. It was the catapult into a whole new passion in my life. Having dietary restrictions caused me to read things, watch things, and explore new things that I would have never done otherwise.
If it wasn’t for my previous health issues I would have never become a Certified Health Coach or started this blog. In almost perfect timing (God’s timing), a new path was laid out for me as my role of being a home-school mom was ending.
So now when I’m in those ‘spotlight’ type moments and people are asking me a lot of questions, I embrace it.
Sharing with others my passion for healthy living, my love for all things vegetables, and all the fun it has been for me learning how to cook and eat differently is now something I love to do. It has opened so many doors to wonderful conversations and has even blessed me with some new friendships.
Being the odd man out when it comes to healthy living is now something I look forward to. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it keeps me on my toes.
How About You?
Do ever feel like your the Odd Man Out when it comes to how you deal with your health? Leave me a comment and let me know, I’d love to hear from you.