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The Freak in the Room

DAY TWENTY-FOUR (Four Weeks to Augusta 70.3)

To some degree, this is usually me.  The Freak in the Room.

Whether it’s Party Girl Meredith (“Oh em gee. Did she really drink seven martinis? And she is still standing?”) [….You betcha I am. In fact, I’m dancing!]

….or whether it’s the new and improved Party Pooper Meredith (“She’s on her seventh soda water. I remember when she used to be fun.”)

…I’m always the freak in the room. How does this happen? I have a couple of theories.

1) It’s Not You, It’s Me

Whether I’m drinking the men under the table, or whether I am being the lame-o who is not eating or drinking anything… I’m still the crazy one. Because if I drink and eat in Party Girl form, then I am the super crazy one. If I don’t drink anything and talk about waking up for my 5 mile run, then I am the super crazy one.

Basically, I can’t win.  Still the freak.

2) I’m Actually in a Cult

One of the athletes I coach sent me this classic video. Always a good laugh.

“Ironman is not a cult!”

Yeah, we can pretend that triathlon “makes sense” – but it doesn’t. So I decided to stop trying to act like it does.

I went to a Braves game for a super fun client event last night. And I was a Whole30/Eight to Great ninja. [a/k/a … freak]

I ate a salad in the car on the way to the game.


Behold the car salad.

I ordered seven soda waters.

I ate a burger patty wrapped in lettuce.

And I had a great time.


My pal, Mountain Goat, has been a freak for a long time. I distinctly remember when we were both lawyers at the same firm —she pulled out a bag of carrots at a cocktail party. And poured Vitamin C into her soda water at another event. She always left early and didn’t care.

That Goat, she’s a freak.  And I finally get it!

3) It’s my Astrological Sign’s Fault

Last night at the game, a co-worker asked me, “What’s your sign?”

I said, “Scorpio” and he screamed, “I KNEW IT! You are just like my wife.  She’s a one-track focus mind. She’s all in or all out.”

I thought, that’s so me.  If I am going to drink, then dammit, I am going to be the best drinker EVER! If I am doing triathlon, then I am going to focus on that.  Doesn’t matter what the focus is…. it’s just a one-track mind.

An obsessive, addictive personality focusing on the wrong things.

The difficult thing for me is balance. I can’t balance. I just pile.


This way of eating has made me focus on the things I need to obsess about:  my health.

It’s only one life.

4) I’m Just Gonna Fly my Freak Flag

Last night’s events made me realize many things.  That I can still have fun without the “party” and that I can wake up after sleeping just a few hours, and feel okay because I didn’t add the added stress of booze and sugar devil food.

Why this was a revelation, I’m not sure.

And the funniest thing to me… is that I was still the same loud-mouthed, sassy goofball with or without the liquid courage last night. I don’t need it to get through situations. I don’t need to snack nervously. I don’t need any of it.

There is power in being in control of myself.

And even after going to bed way after midnight, I woke up early and completed my run.


No balking, either.


I never acknowledged before… the power of being free to be me. The freedom to really control my nutrition.

I didn’t believe that me ….that I …was (good enough? smart enough? doggonit people don’t like me?) enough to stand alone in social situations. To end my hard day at life and work without the fabulous sound of a beer being opened, or a basket of chips and salsa in front of me. To not “self-medicate” my troubles away. To just relax and be me…

I think why Whole30 resounds with me is that it’s not restrictive. What? YES IT IS, you scream.  Well, yes and no.  The clear rules makes it manageable. The wide variety of food makes it enjoyable, especially now that I am over the sugar crashes and my tastebuds have changed.  It’s got just enough flexibility to make it work  (wrap a burger patty in lettuce; tear apart a chicken sandwich; salads…. you can find the stuff anywhere, really).

I am on Day Twenty-Four of Whole30 & Eight to Great.  I am going to continue for another 4 weeks right up until Augusta 70.3.


Because I feel great. And when I don’t feel great, staying out of the pantry forces me to address what’s going on with myself internally.

I feel sane. As sane as a freak can be.

And I feel sweaty, oh so sweaty… and it’s all good.


I realize that I haven’t made a log of my meals since Monday. But I do know that I have eaten perfectly.

Lots of eggs. Mahi Mahi salad. Salmon salads. Chicken sausage. Kale. Zoodles.

I’ve been presented with awkward lunch situations where I was forced to order oddly:  please don’t put anything on my salmon. No cheese. No oil.  But it worked. I did it.

Today, I was presented with Panera Bread catered lunch for my choice. I piled on a salad and tore apart two sandwiches for the turkey and tomato – impromptu turkey salad. No dressing because I know it was soybean oil.  It was dry, but it worked. [I did not look at the cookies.]

For me, it’s all about going into the situation with a smart mentality:  “I am not going to eat badly. I am not going to drink anything other than unsweetened tea and soda water.”

Making the right choice ahead of time keeps me, and my Scorpio self, on track. You already told yourself no… so follow the rules, there freakhead.


  • Julie

    August 29, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    I needed this one today… I completely fell off the wagon (evil croissant and sugary coffee drink). I know feel like crying for no reason and dislike my kids even more than usual (kidding. sort of.). Anyway, I love this post and I’m printing it to read on days like this. Thanks awesome lady!

  • Suzanne

    August 29, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    As someone who chose to stop drinking alcohol nearly 10 years ago and who has (due to gallbladder being removed at 26) always taken sandwiches apart, I hope you come to the realization soon that you are not a freak. It’s not freakish to not drink alcohol. Really. It’s not freakish to eat what makes you feel good. Really.

    Sometimes we do need to label ourselves to give ourselves confidence, but, really, you are not a freak.

  • Christine

    August 29, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Call me freaky! I’ve never been a drinker, I just don’t like the taste. In fact the only thing I like to drink is water. Try that on for size in social situations and see what looks you’ll get.

    I’m not on the Whole30 diet, but for the last year I have changed the way I eat (even more so the last few months) and I feel great! Who knew that eating right would make such a difference?

  • Nancy M

    August 31, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Great post {{both the words and video 😉 }}
    Perhaps someday I will come to the realizations you’ve had here…
    Have a great long weekend!

  • Andrea

    August 31, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I was just thinking about this very same thing, lately. As a daycare lady and a SAHM of 4, I don’t have a lot of people in my circle of influence that follow the Triathlon lifestyle. I’m always the one at the church pot-luck that doesn’t have a heaping pile of grease and sugar – and folks feel like they constantly have to tell me their excuses as to why they haven’t been working out lately. I train at odd hours of the day to accommodate our family schedule – so I train alone. It’s a little lonely, but I know it’s the right choice. Grateful that my hubby is a triathlete as well! Hang in there, Freaky. <3

  • Mary

    August 31, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I looked into Whole 30 last winter and started but I had such a hard time without any grains. Seeing your results gives me the incentive to give it another try and really make a serious effort to maintain for the 30 days. Keep up the great work and best of luck in Augusta!!!


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