So, I’m now 10 days away from my first bodybuilding comp. I’m tired. I’ve been training hard for a long time, and dieting for quite a while. I’m not sleeping well due to nerves and general insomniac tendencies. And I’ve still got a business to run, so there’s all that to stay on top of (and do a good job of!) too. These past few weeks, my diet has got even stricter, and I’m cutting carbs. Ever had “low-carb brain”? If you have, you’ll know how I’m feeling. If you haven’t, get a load of this true story from yesterday:
Scene: the local Co-op.
I am picking up a few bits because we’ve got this voucher for £16 and, even if you spend just 1p of it, you get the rest back in cash. I haven’t spent the full £16, and I know this.
The woman on the till puts my stuff through and I bag it up. “That will be £12.40,” she says. I root through my bag for my wallet, pushing the £16 voucher aside. “I’m so sorry!” I blurt, “I left my wallet at home, it’s only a 10 minute walk, I’ll be back.”
I walk home – having walked to the Co-op already – pick up my wallet, and walk back to the shop again, where I… pay using the voucher which I was well-aware I had all along. WTF?
Oh well, call the walking extra cardio.
Do you have a bodybuilder in your life?
Tread a little carefully if they’re going through the latter stages of contest prep. Low carbs, lack of sleep, fatigue, soreness and nerves are not a great combination. Please accept my apologies on behalf of us all.
Here’s a handy, print-out-and-keep list of “things not to say to a bodybuilder in the last couple of weeks of contest prep”. I shan’t say which are from experience and which are from my imagination…
1) “You look thin!” (Why you shouldn’t say this: we don’t want to look thin. A better choice of word would be “lean” or, if you want to go all-out “ripped”.)
2) “Why are you doing this to yourself?” (Why you shouldn’t say this: because… just because. It sounds disapproving. We don’t see it as doing anything negative to ourselves. Even the idea of “doing” something “to” ourselves insinuates damage, punishment, enduring something bad. If we saw it that way, we probably wouldn’t be doing it. We are, after all, in possession of common sense.)
3) “You’re a bodybuilder? OMG, I won’t get on the wrong side of you,then!” (Why you shouldn’t say this: because it’s dumb and offensive. We’re strong, not aggressive. And, quite frankly, we probably wouldn’t have enough energy to punch/slap/whatever you think we’ll do to you anyway. Since when does bodybuilding mean fighting?)
4) “Oh yummy my pizza is here” (Why you shouldn’t say this: because I love pizza and I’d like to eat one. You could however follow this with “It’s a super supreme with extra cheese, stuffed crust and salami.” That would be fine.)
5) “You don’t look like a bodybuilder!” (Why you shouldn’t say this: because I do, actually. You just have a misconception of what bodybuilders look like. And I’m wearing neither my gym kit nor my bikini, so how do you expect to tell anyway?)
6) “I ate that chopped up, portioned out chicken from those tupperwares in the fridge.” (Why you shouldn’t say this: we have meticulously cooked and portioned-up that chicken to make meal planning easier over the next couple of days, particularly if we have to travel or spend a lot of time out of the house. There is no need for you to eat it. You could have eaten whatever you wanted.)
7) “Please do this very complicated mental arithmetic right now.” (Why you shouldn’t say this: just…no. There are no words to convey how exhausting this even sounds.)
8 ) “What is that you’re eating?” (Why you shouldn’t say this: because it’s annoying. It’s chicken/tuna/an egg white omelette/raw veg – OK? I know you probably only mean it out of genuine curiosity but this is the only food we get to eat (til next time) and we just want to eat it in peace. You may not mean to criticise it, but some people do, and we just can’t be doing with explaining why we’re eating this. Sorry.)
9) “…can I have a bit?” (Why you shouldn’t say this: whilst it would show that you’re not repulsed by our choice of food, which is nice, this is still not a great idea. Why? See above – this is the only food we get for this meal, we’ve probably thought about it for ages, and we’ve certainly prepared and portioned it out carefully. You can not have any of it. Don’t you know what that would do to our macros? )
Please know that (most of) this is completely tongue-in-cheek and (most of) these are from my imagination. I don’t want anyone thinking my husband thoughtlessly eats my meals, or my friends annoy me by asking what I’m eating in disapproving tones. There… that helps you work out which ones people have actually said to me over the past few weeks…
What annoying things have people said to you whilst you’re preparing for a sporting event? How did you react? Can you believe that I walked 3×10 minutes to the Co-op only to use a voucher I had on me the whole time?
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.