I used to believe that I had to eat every 2-2.5 hours to get big, and to avoid throwing away all my hard work at the gym. That meant that if I had to eat 6-8 meals a day, I would prepare them in advance and eat them on time, regardless of what I was doing. If for some reason I was forced to miss a meal, I would get irritable, anxious, and even depressed that I was losing out on gains.
I clearly remember a trip to the casino where I packed two blender shakes in my bag, in case one shake was not enough, or if I took more time than I expected to get home and was stuck on a bus with nothing to eat. That should’ve been a relaxed time with my friends, something to enjoy, but instead it made me unhappy: bodybuilding was my only goal in life, and anything else was a distraction, a waste of time that I could be using to get bigger. I wouldn’t drink alcohol at all, even for special occasions or on a date, because I was afraid it would destroy my testosterone levels, wreck protein synthesis, and pillage my lean tissue. I certainly didn’t miss out on that extra protein synthesis, but I did manage to sabotage relationships that I had to work hard to repair.
But then I realised that I was making sacrifices that I didn’t need to make. It is possible to enjoy your life and pursue physique or strength goals, you do not have to become a hermit or a monk.
Fit training into your life, not the other way round. Only make sacrifices if there is a clear, rational, reason for them. Ask yourself these questions:
- What are your goals?
- Why are they your goals?
- Do you have to be completely strict? If not, how relaxed can you afford to be and still achieve your goals?