Do you struggle to say no to unnecessary cheat meals or feel guilty if you have to "diet" at a birthday party, dinner party, or some other special event?

Matt Porter talks about why you should have a strong mindset when special events come up and the importance of sticking to your diet.

You guys, let's talk about the mindset going into a contest prep. The mindset going into a contest prep diet is a very tough journey for a lot of people. Some people have certain mindsets where they can just turn a switch on and it's a done deal. There's no question in their mind to stray from the diet. There's no question to ask for substitutions. There's people with a certain mindset that are actually really over the top, which I've respect completely, but they're almost too stringent. If I'm coaching someone and they're too afraid to even ask if they could add extra salt to something or chew gum, that's an awesome mindset, but that's rare. Most people have a mental weakness to where it's hard for them to bypass certain things, whether they have their own birthday or some type of family gathering or someone baked them something special that they never have or just whatever silly thing that might come up during a contest prep diet.

I see a lot of people wanting to navigate around that and try to find some type of excuse or justification to partake in that. Whether it's, "Well, let's add more cardio for that day," or, "let's eat zero carbs prior to that so I can partake in that. So I can feel somewhat social or what have you." I just know whenever I started my first show, the switch was on and I didn't know any better. I didn't know anything. It was my first show and I was a teenager. But I mean, I was starving, I overdieted, I overdid things. But I never for one minute thought about cheating. I never for one minute thought about, justifying having a piece of cake for my birthday or my grandma's birthday or whatever might've happened during that whole prep.

So guys, you really need to, if you're going to invest in doing a bodybuilding competition, it's like this stuff isn't cheap. Obviously, you can body build on a budget to a certain extent, get your chicken breast at Walmart and look for the Wednesday specials of $1.99 chicken and whatnot. No matter what though, even that it's going to be expensive for us of groceries, the supplementation, the entrance fees, the MPC cards, all that stuff. So why even have a mindset to where you're going to be complaining or you're going to want to partake in things that could detract you from your end goal, which is to win the show. You really just need to embrace the moment and instead of, if you're one of those people that dread it and "Aw, man, I can't wait until it's over. Can't wait to eat this food and I'm going to stock up on a bunch of junk food," a month or six weeks before because you're at the grocery store vicariously watching other people's shopping carts and you're buying a bunch of and you have a cupboard full of junk that's going to kill your rebound.

That's the wrong mindset. If anything, I tell people, "Listen, you need to first of all, embrace the journey and literally just let go day by day and actually love it." You're getting into a type of condition that 99.9% of all humans walking the earth do not get into. I mean, you're looking exceptional. So you need to go day by day and literally enjoy the journey. Enjoy doing this because heaven forbid something happens, you injure yourself or you have some internal health ramification or something comes up to where you'll never be able to do this again. Knock on wood, I'm just saying that as an example to really enjoy the moment because life happens. So instead of complaining, you need to be like, "Man, this is great." If you're at a family function, people are giving you shit far as, "Oh, well why can't you enjoy yourself and have food or whatever?" Have a smile on your face. Don't show that you're tired and dragging ass. Just be like, "You know what? I'm fine. I have a goal to conquer. There's always food there waiting for me after I'm done."

And then, have a diet soda and water and enjoy company. So there's certain ways you can kind of step back, rationally think about what you're actually doing and why you're doing it and also enjoy it. Because if you're the type that's always bitching, complaining and telling people, "Oh, I'm on low carbs. It's my low carb day." Or, "I'm so tired I can't function at work." It's like you don't want to be the person that complains so everyone's just like, "Why is this guy even doing this or this girl even doing this if all they do is their miserable, like why?" There's no money involved. Even top pros, unless you're the top 1% that wins the Olympian and Arnold, stuff like that. Even then, why would you do that if you're nonstop complaining, it doesn't make any sense.

So you need to approach things with the right mindset. So as far as being liberal and lenient with the diet. Even back whenever I did my first show and I was probably got to a point where I was ahead of schedule, I still wouldn't even want to cheat if I was told to. I didn't really have anyone guiding me. I had one guy that I kind of went to and checked into just to kind of see if I was on the right path for my first show. But even if he said have something like a free meal, I don't know if my mindset could have done that back because I was just so determined to do everything perfect.

It's hard for me to relate to people that are always finding ways to justify manipulating the diet or what have you. So guys, remember it's not cheap. You're doing it because you should love it. And I guarantee if you get through it and you actually win and you did everything strictly and perfectly without deviating and stuff and you have no regrets to where you say, "Well, if I didn't have grandma's apple pie and binged the rest of the day because it was a special occasion, maybe I would've placed first." If you actually follow through with everything perfectly and don't binge eat and you get first place. You probably be hooked. That's how most people are. And some people get hooked even if they get last place, just because they loved the entire process being strict.

So anyway, keep that mindset positive. Know what you're getting into. Know the money that's involved and don't let the whole world know that it's negative and you're miserable. Flip the script and love it. Love the way you look. Don't even cover up. People like, "I cover up." Why cover up? Like I said, you don't know how long or how many times you ever going to look like this again in your life. Show off your 6% body fat and what you look like. Have fun with it.