My best friend’s hen do: contest-prep style

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.

Sounds like a match made in hell, right? Wrong.

Pouring booze for other people was the closest I got to it all day!

And posing with a Love Heart sweetie was the nearest I got to any sugar.

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?

My best friend’s hen do: contest-prep style is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

16 Responses to My best friend’s hen do: contest-prep style

  1. Juliet says:

    WOW. It’s funny how similar our prep stories are. I’m a bridesmaid in my best friends upcoming wedding as well. Fortunately all of the celebrating is after my prep is over… BUT I totally get it. Honestly? I’m SUPER proud of you for staying 100% compliant. It always amazes me how far some competitors are willing to go to justify cheating before a show. The food and celebrating will still be there after – and plenty of it!

    You’ll have a blastyblast at the wedding. PS. you look absolutely beautiful in those pictures!


    • thefitwriter says:

      I typed a reply and the internet ate it >:-(

      Thank you. I am proud of myself too and I think it’s important to give ourselves a pat on the back, because – whilst we might think this is just what we do, it really is hard. So – we rock! 😉

      I could have had a little something of this or that but quite honestly I did not want to. Really. I guess am just SO focused right now that it felt like it wasn’t an option, it wasn’t on my radar. Like if I was vegetarian and it was a bacon and sausage party, you know? Having said that, I’m glad that I’m not so focused that I can’t go out and celebrate and have fun with friends. There has to be a balance. I just wanted to show that it is totally possible 🙂

      Can’t wait for the wedding! 😀 😀 😀


  2. Wendy says:

    A note from the Bride-to-Be: Nic, I love you and so this was never going to be a problem. I always wish I could support you in a tangible ways so I was very happy to be supportive in this way. My only concern was ever going to be that it wasn’t grim for you being around suger-scoffing, drunken Hens! You were the life and soul of the party and no one noticed what you were/weren’t drinking!

    What I think you didn’t realise was how you and your competition POSITIVELY impacted on everyone else. I had told everyone beforehand what you were training for, so I think everyone knew not to try to force you to drink black sambuca shots (grim BTW) but more than that everyone was really curious. How often does one get to meet a real-life female bodybuilder? And a bloody glam one at that! I know you were open and gracious to everyone’s questions and I also know you could have earned good money if you’d charged by the hour for nutritional advice! You helped my ladies think about their diets and health and your advice to my sister has meant she’s lost tummy-weight, which means she’s happier in her Bridesmaids dress. I mean, how wonderful is that??

    How many other B2B’s will have memories of laughing until crying at their best mate doing back-lateral-posey things in a vintage swimming costume on the stairs of a house in Gypsy Hill? Remember me screeching,’do the slicer thingies’ which totally confused you until I said ‘your favourite muscle’ and again I’ve totally forgotten what that muscle is called (though I now know where it is).

    I hope I say this often but just for the blog record – I am IMMENSELY proud of you. I am in awe of your focus, your determination and your discipline. I am sometimes shamed by my lack of all that but mostly I am deeply inspired by you. You totally and uttlerly ROCK darling and I had the BEST, happiest Hen Do that anyone has ever had.

    Jai Ho Nicolina!!! xxxx


    • thefitwriter says:

      Oh! Now I am crying actual tears! :’-)

      Thank you. And JAI HO indeed!

      No I hadn’t really thought about any positive impact but of course E told me about how my emailed suggestions have helped her lose a little weight and I am so pleased for her 🙂

      And yes I’m glad there are no pics of me doing a rear lat-spread wearing a vintage swimming costume ha ha!

      PS The muscle is serratus! 😉
      PPS Love you too xxx


      • Wendy says:

        Hahaha, revenge is sweet after 16 Happy Tear Blubs on my Hen do.

        Serratus! God, I KNEW that. Serrated edge – that’s how I try to remember it (and fail mostly).

        Ahhh, but there ARE photos of you in a vintage bather. Oh yes, I have some!!! Shall we see if your readers would like to see you looking Vintage Body Builder Fabulous?!?!

        Kidding – I have them but was going to send them to you privately xx


      • thefitwriter says:

        Noooo they must never see light of day, promise! I have equally if not worse ones of ‘that night’ at Uni so… play nicely! 😉


  3. Pinky says:

    You look fabulous in the pics Nic. xx


  4. Aww I read Wendy’s reply and I am so smiley and happy for you — and your wonderful friend 🙂

    I have never really contest prepped (altho I did Max’s prep diet with him once. For the whole 24 weeks — less the water restriction, that was not going to happen) BUT as an ovo-pescetarian I can RELATE to this big time!! I normally just tell people I don’t eat meat and animal products except fish and eggs before I come over and bring my own dish if it’s that type of thing, but really it drives me nuts to be asked over and over, “Just ONEbite?? It’s so divine!”

    I don’t doubt my host’s cooking skills & taste is nothing to do with it — it drives me nuts to have to say “no” a bobillion times and look like “That Girl.” Blegh.


  5. Erika says:

    i really LOVED reading this! and i think it’s totally awesome and admirable how open you were to everyone and with calling the restaraunts, taking things into your own hands, etc seemed to be very graceful about the whole thing whereas i’m sure most ladies would panic! so much props to you.
    i don’t drink, at all. so i’m always at parties having people trying to shove drinks down my throat..which gets very annoying but i deal with it!


  6. Kat Millar says:

    You’re a star Nic! You’ll never regret this xo


  7. Errrrmmmm I hate to tell you this, but did you ever think you might qualify for one or two British finals? You look good enough to that’s for sure. If you do, won’t you carry on dieting and do them? 😉


    • thefitwriter says:

      I didn’t, but my coach did 😉 Yes we have spoken about the possibility and obviously I know the dates. My friend’s wedding is in July. We’ll cross the finals-bridge if and when I come to it but either way I will be celebrating at my best friend’s wedding!


  8. […] to read more posts from the depths of bodybuilding prep? A round-up of some from last year: My best-friend’s hen do whilst prepping… 28 days out from first comp Last minute thoughts, stats, and that handy packing list for female […]


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