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‘Be That Guy’: Why Asking Questions About Food is a Great Thing

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One of the phrases that was coined during the very first Whole Life Challenge was “Be That Guy.” Being That Guy entails being the pest at the restaurant or the market or the party who is asking questions about how food is made.

What’s in the marinade? What’s in the salad dressing? How is that prepared? Are you sure there’s no sugar in that? May I see a list of ingredients? Maybe you are “That Guy” when you tell a waiter to hold everything until a meal’s compliant.

Being That Guy, at first, feels embarrassing, but for the WLC it’s a necessity when eating food that isn’t prepared by you. The more you ask, the more you realize you want to ask. Being That Guy is about taking control of what you eat and not blinding turning an eye to how things are prepared. Beyond being compliant and beyond this challenge, we want to know what’s in our food. Being That Guy is an eye-opener — and often disappointingly so. You might discover how much contains soy oil or how much sugar is added to everything even when it seems absolutely unnecessary.

During the first WLC, Andy asked his favorite rotisserie chicken place what was in their spice mix. The employees seemed unsure when he asked if there was sugar in the mix. “No, I don’t think so,” they said, which prompted Andy to call the corporate office. He was being the ultimate That Guy! The corporate office told him that there was indeed sugar in the mix, but only less than 1%. “It’s so little,” they said, “it’s considered sugar free.” Andy asked, frustrated, “Then why not just make it without sugar??”

You won’t always hear what you want to hear while being That Guy, but the awareness is important. Knowing is always better than pretending that most food is clean and 100% in the best interest of your health. Be That Guy and take control of what goes in your mouth.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.