Have you ever wondered how student body builders live while you are out on the lash?
No, I am not hench or butch.
For a week I decided to live like a bodybuilder while still attempting to live what resembles a life.
This meant preparing and eating six meals a day, drinking a vast amount of protein shakes, no alcohol, fizzy drinks, or juice, and eating over 40 eggs in a week.
And 6:45am alarms everyday.
Looking back I think there are cheaper ways to commit to a diet like this. I stuck to it and brought all fresh ingredients, which in total (including protein per scoop) set me back a heavy £40.
Prep Day: Sunday
Having to part with so much money at once was somewhat distressing. It was probably the healthiest shop Lidl in Lenton had ever seen from a student.
Trying to negotiate every single measurement was a struggle and an annoyance in itself.
When I was measuring out half an ounce of pecan nuts I knew I was in deep.
Prepping took approximately two hours which felt like an eternity. Trying to organize and time everything at once was stressful and beyond confusing. I felt organized as hell, but extremely exhausted and I had not even started the eating part.
Setting six alarms that night felt like a military operation, but did make me feel like I was planning my Mondays a lot better than usual.
Day One: Monday
6:50am is pretty dire. It’s still dark outside and it was like I was back at school again.
Then to face the egg situation was another issue, as I found out I cannot cook a hard-boiled egg if my degree depended on it. So I resorted to scrambled instead.
I felt productive but suffering two energy crashes the first day was a pain when I wanted to get work done, and then having my prep meal leak into my favourite H&M bag was not a highlight in my university career.
It still smells like Ocean’s carpet.
Day Two: Tuesday
If not being able to drink was difficult enough, having to turn down free food from some very generous friends who invited me round for pre drinks was a low moment.
It is an unwritten rule that no student should say no to free food.
Nights out didn’t last as long as usual. Being the only sober one made me crash hard at 1:30am and remembering I had to get up at 7am again made staying out longer not as appealing as before.
The task ahead started to become a bit daunting. Tuesdays are shit anyway.
Day Three: Wednesday
The gym was empty at 8am when I went so no one was around to see my morning face. Probably the best thing to happen so far that week.
I am starting to see how isolating it can be when you’re a bodybuilder because you can only prep so much. Today I had to stay indoors the entire day so I didn’t miss the time slot for meals which was a little boring and quite lonely.
Day Four: Thursday
The worst day yet. My mood swings were ridiculous and my energy levels were at a constant low so my concentration levels were really affected.
I had to take two tactical naps throughout the day which for a third year should be avoided at all costs.
Due to high protein consumption I decided to stay indoors to prevent gassing anyone that came into contact with me.
Meal four was a can of tuna with balsamic vinegar and a grapefruit. But lets just say it didn’t stay down for very long – not even an hour.
And then it was leg day.
Day Five: Friday
I was surprised I’d got this far.
The heavens listened and I was allowed half a bottle of chocolate milk.
My meals today were all already prepped ready to go which meant I was allowed to step onto campus for more than 3 hours.
It’s got to be the first time I’ve been excited for Hallward.
Day Six: Saturday
I was getting used to saying no to just about everything – but realised that my housemates and other friends are very generous and giving.
But every meal was a step closer to a cheat meal.
I lasted 40 minutes at a house party that night but energy levels were non-existent. and turning up with a bottle of sugar free fizzy water meant that I was not going to be making friends easily that night.
Day 7: Sunday
I decided to take a body fat/weighing measurement before and after the week.
Of course results do not happen overnight, and although my energy levels were dismal and my social life changed dramatically, it was refreshing not having to fork out money for food on campus.
Possibly the best part was that my stomach was the flattest it has ever felt.
Long term, I think the results could be impressive if taken up for longer than a week, but I’m still undecided whether it is for me.
Massive respect to any student (or anyone in fact) who commits all year round to ‘bodybuilding’ diets like the one I tried.
It is a lifestyle. It is not easy, simple or cheap and takes a level of dedication I would kill for before deadline submission day.