My best friend is getting married!
Contest prep: meal planning, low carb, strict diet, no alcohol.
Hen do: (bachelorette- hi, American readers!) treats, indulgences, cakes, celebrations and plenty to drink.
So how on earth did I go to my best friend’s hen do last weekend (which was an all-day, all-night, stay-overnight affair) and
a) stay 100% compliant to my bodybuilding contest prep plan
b) not impact on anyone else’s celebrations
c) have a great time myself?
I shall tell you. And then I shall pat myself on the back because quite frankly I am immensely proud of myself for achieving “a” and very pleased I managed to do “b” and “c” as well!
I knew that, with 20 days to go til my first physique comp, I couldn’t afford to eat outside of my plan. Sorry if that sounds terribly dreary. But it’s a fact. And I am fun, I promise! I was dancing with the rest of them and stayed up til 3:30am.
Anyway, so I looked ahead at the weekend and what we were doing (as bridesmaid, I’d helped plan the whole do, so knew exactly what we were up to). I then planned my meals.
Just like when I went to that conference a few weeks ago, I spent an hour or so the evening before the hen do preparing food. Nothing fancy, just oat/whey pancakes for two mornings’ breakfasts, lots of portable veg and some cooked chicken. And I made one of my super-easy big egg bakes (bit like a massive omelette or crustless quiche) and cut it into portions. I then selected a handbag partly by style (it was a vintage-themed hen do) and partly by capacity 😉
I rang the restaurant beforehand to explain my needs (such as they are – it really isn’t very difficult to eat out contest-prep style). I told all the other hens, if they asked. And, of course, I cleared it all with my best friend the bride-to-be. There’s really no reason that someone not drinking alcohol and not eating cupcakes should be a problem, but I talked it all through with her anyway, just to check that it wouldn’t have any sort of negative impact on her special day.
Clear it with the bride-to-be first
Number one rule! My best friend is wonderful (obviously, she wouldn’t be my best friend if she wasn’t) and I knew she wouldn’t see it as a problem. I’m not sure what I would have done if she’d suddenly gone all Bridezilla on my ass, insisting “you simply must drinks shots and eat cupcakes or the entire day will be ruined!” But she didn’t.
Offer to help
As one of the bridesmaids, I was part of the hen-do organising party. So I offered to do all the food-related bits. I knew I was going to be the one who would need to make and request modifications, so I offered to be the one in charge of contacting the restaurant and ordering/booking/prepping the day time food. That way, I didn’t have to bother anyone else with my requests – just straight from me to the restaurant.
Adopt a “don’t give a damn” attitude
I honestly don’t see why a no-fuss, polite and unbeat attitude to eating and drinking differently to others should have any impact – let alone a negative one – on anybody’s else’s enjoyment. So I said please, and thank you, and explained myself when asked. Aside from that I adopted a “don’t give a damn” approach. I was totally fine with eating my way and not drinking booze. So was my friend. And that’s all that matters!
I like that I look drunk in this picture – probably drunker than the ladies who were drunk!
I’d like to say thank you to my fellow hens, bridesmaids and of course to my wonderful friend Wendy for understanding, being interested and not giving me a hard time. I really do appreciate it. See you all at the wedding – when I will be toasting the bride and groom with real, actual booze, and I will be eating all the yummy things they’ve chosen for us! 🙂
Have you been on a stag, hen, bachelor, bachelorette party whilst eating to a specific diet and/or not drinking? How did that go?
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.