Monday, July 19, 2010

Zoo Animals

This weekend, I was again reminded that my chosen lifestyle is so very different than most other people's lifestyles.

I went with Jerry to his first commercial shoot (yes, he's now officially an "actor"!) on Saturday. The whole thing was incredibly exciting to me, as it was the first time I've been on an actual set. Pretty sure I was sporting the whole wide-eyed, in-awe look the entire time (except for when I fell asleep sometime late afternoon - hey, it got kinda boring, and I was tired). The commercial spot called for four bodybuilder-type guys, and it turned out that all guys who were cast were actual competitors. And not only competitors, but three of the four (including Jerry) were National-level competitors! One guy is 7 weeks out from the North Americans.

Apparently, most of the crew had never seen real, live bodybuilders in person before, because when the guys walked on set, there were a lot of comments and double-takes. I heard everything from "Oh myyyy ...." to "Do you guys eat, like, all day?" and "Wonder how much time they spend in the gym?" Since I apparently don't look like I work out *hanging head in shame*, these comments were made right in front of me.

At first, the comments caught me off-guard. To me, these guys looked normal. Like guys I see at shows all the time, nothing out of the ordinary. But to most people, the guys were a novelty, something they don't see every day, if ever. I compare the comments to things people might say while visiting a zoo. I want to point out that the comments were mean-spirited; they were said in response to something novel or new to people.

Bodybuilder or zoo animal?

"Oh my! Those guys are big!"

"Look what they're eating!"

"Bet they can pick up a car with one hand!"

The production crew ordered special lunches for the guys - chicken and a salad. It was really thoughtful ... however, the chicken was glazed in some sort of BBQ sauce. The special lunch earned more than a few glances and even more comments. People were very interested in what they were eating and why they were eating different food ("What's wrong with lentils? They're healthy!"). The crew also bought "energy bars" for the guys. The bars turned out to be Zone and Clif bars ... which taste really good, but they're loaded with sugar. Little details like that are something I don't even think about anymore; I just know which things to avoid and why. But to the general public, if a bar says "energy" or "protein" on it, they figure it's perfect for a bodybuilder. Go marketing campaigns!

Not-so-nutritious Clif Bar

Ever-so-tasty-yet-full-of-sugar Zone bars

Later in the afternoon (after my nap), the ice cream truck stopped by, and production actually stopped for 15 minutes while everyone flocked to the truck. Sure, ice cream on a hot, summer day sounds fabulous! But it's loaded with sugar and dairy, which causes bloating and water retention. People noticed the guys weren't eating the ice cream, but were instead munching on almonds.

"I suppose you guys don't eat this stuff, huh?" was followed by a guilty smile. It's interesting to note how people start to judge themselves and find themselves coming up short when faced with people who actually follow strict diets.

Saturday was an experience in several different ways. I watched my first commercial shoot, and was strongly reminded of the fact that we live a different lifestyle than most people. What we consider Normal is by no means Mainstream Normal. And I'm ok with that.


  1. Congrats to Jerry on his photo shoot...and applauding you both for the lifestyle you lead.

  2. I agree. I get judged by friends a lot because I won't eat unhealthy with them. I have a friend who came to visit last weekend and actually got mad at me for not wanting something "fattening" for dinner. Why? I told her to eat whatever she wanted, I was fine eating what I eat. Misery loves company I guess. It frustrated me but I was not going to give in and ruin the hard work I put in at the gym. She also at one point called me a "skinny bitch." In a funny way, but seriously? Because I workout and take care of myself? Give me a break.
    It's funny to see how people react in those situations. They should have asked what they eat and provided them with those types of food. Oh well. good experience for everyone huh? =)