Bodybuilders need a small army of genuine good friends, particularly during prep. At any given moment, we can be sensitive, hyper-critical, euphoric, snappy, self-obsessed or prone to tearful outbursts (… no, I refuse to believe that’s just me!)
Really good friends are hard to define and hard to come by. So, today’s shout-out goes to my friend Zoe. Always a quietly reliable force in the background, she shows her support in unusual but very appreciated ways.
For instance, on Tuesday she popped in on her way home from work with not one but two gifts. These two offerings are a beautiful illustration of how to tread the fine line – of hunger and humour, self-control and over-indulgence – which shape our lives in the final few weeks of contest prep.
Huge, delicious cucumbers from Zoe’s garden (she’s so green-fingered: I’m currently growing green chilis, peppers and tomatoes supplied by Zoe, and that Stevia plant she gave me is still growing!) As I said to her when she brought these round, she couldn’t have chosen a better gift, really. I was feeling very hungry on Tuesday but – with three weeks til my next comp – now is not the time to give in to an attack of the nibbles. Chomp on homegrown cucumbers? Perfect.
Zoe works at the head office of a well-known brand of confectionary. There are often great deals to be had in the staff shop, but I’m not allowed on site (it’s not that I have previous convictions pertaining to chocolate bars, not do I pose a particular security threat to boiled sweets – it’s just the rules). So, from time to time, Zoe will email me to say “we have boxes of microwave rice on offer!” or “there’s tons of seasonal chocolate being practically given away!” I’m still making my way through all that Uncle Ben’s rice she got me.
Here we have a load of Malt Easter bunnies, which cost me pennies, and which will be taken to the NPA Finals and shared out amongst my fellow competitors. For now? They’re under lock and key in the garden shed. Zoe can vouch for that – I showed her all the things I’ve chosen to lock away in there for these final few weeks of the diet. (See: you thought I was iron-willed? Not so much. I find dieting as hard as anyone!)
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.