Monday, December 10, 2007

The "All Natural" Bodybuilding Supplement Of Choice Recommended By Retired Nurses The Whole World Over

This entry will be familiar to those of you who carried over from my other (now defunct) blog, Stay Home Daddy-O. But since I'm already talking about matters of the physique, and since 'tis the season, here, once again, is the Eggnog Story.

In the Christmas of 1983 I was an earnest 18-year-old Bible College student who weighed 145 pounds, dripping wet. I considered myself scrawny, so I bought a bodybuilding magazine from the corner store, clipped out the exercise regimen and worked out every morning in the basement weight room next to the laundry facilities. The workout was ostensibly the one that the current IFBB champ followed to get his title. The weights I was using were from various mismatched sets and didn't add up to more than 150 lbs, but even so I wondered if my daily 1-hour-plus workouts weren't an invitation to injury. Worse than that, after two months of arduous labor I had yet to gain a single ounce.

The magazine was a Weider publication, stocked with glossy ads for their latest line of bodybuilding supplements. So far as this scrawny kid on the beach was concerned, the ads were convincing enough, but the magazine went on to publish several lengthy “studies” that articulated precisely how these over-the-counter supplements worked to inflate the muscles of every “hard gainer.” A local health food store stocked the line, and I was tempted to dish out the money and give it a try. I mentioned this to the school's Phys Ed teacher. He looked at the literature and shook his head. “I'm not sure about this,” he said. “I'd say talk to the nurse in residence first. If she approves, then go ahead.”

The nurse in rez was a retired missionary who was still Registered. I told her of my ambitions, and she was polite enough not to snicker. “It looks like this stuff probably won't hurt you,” she said, “but I'm guessing it's pricey and of dubious benefit.”

I slumped. “So what do I do?”

“You're worried about protein, right? Well, it's eggnog season — lots of protein there. Get some eggnog and drink a glass before you go to bed.”

I got my coat, ran to the corner store and bought my first liter of eggnog. Delicious stuff! Like a milkshake, only better. And it said, right there on the label (just after "cream"): “Contains whole eggs and egg yolks.” Protein galore! I drank the whole container that very night.

Over the next three weeks I repeated this stunt — not quite on a nightly basis, but pretty close. And wouldn't you know it: I put on fifteen pounds! Unfortunately, although I was happy with what I saw on the scale, I was not so thrilled with what I saw in the mirror. Near as I could tell, none of the weight was going to my arms and shoulders. No, the pants never lie: the eggnog was going straight to my ass.

The happy conclusion to this story is that, miracle of miracles, I still like the stuff. I love eggnog — spiked or virgin, it doesn't really matter. In fact, most Christmas evenings I prefer the latter. It brings back the memories. Brings back the weight, too, of course — but that's what the season is for.


Anonymous said...

Bodybuilding magazines were full of ads for dubious supplements in 1983. Twenty-four years later, and nothing has changed :)

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

DarkoV said...

I am shamefully proud to say that once Nov. 15th rolls around (as so shall I shortly), I begin The Egg Nog Tastings, wherein visitations to the various local grocery store, quickie marts, and Target stores results in a procurement of this year's varieties of Egg Nog.
I talk not of the various insundry flavors that have darkened our doorway, like cinnamon, pumpkin, or, ughhh, hazlenut. No, just E-G-G N-O-G, please.
A quart size. PInts are for amateurs and those who whine "Eooghgh?!?!"
Yes, a quart every other day (enough time to give the heart a break), spiked or unspiked, is the proper lubrication one needs to get through these abysmally long holidays.
Cheers, WP, a tankard of Nog in your general direction.

N.B.: I've tried making some from scratch, using legitimate recipes, and they all tasted sort of phlegmy, source of many "Eoougghs" from the Nogging crowd.

Whisky Prajer said...

Peter - I remember when creatine first came on the scene (10 years ago?). For a stretch it looked like the research was actually bearing out some of the claims. Then came reports of all the other benefits, including "You'll get over your colds faster." So much for that.

DV - Yes! A man after my own heart, on all counts. I've never been terribly fond of the homemade stuff either, for the very reason you site. I lift my glass back to you, sir.

DarkoV said...

Here's a pic you may want to use as a blog banner until the holidays have passed.

National Egg Nog Council, indeed.

Whisky Prajer said...

Where do I sign up?

Cowtown Pattie said...

When kiddily, I used to think those ads on the back of comic books that showed shiny oiled men with muscles like anacondas scary and nasty.

Which brings me to my pronouncement - eggnog IS nasty.

Give me a nice slug of either Kahlua or Baileys Irish cream (or better yet - both!) in a nice whisky sour glass half full of heavy cream. Sprinkle the top with a little nutmeg and serve with a nice background cd of Frank Sinatra Christmas songs.

Now that musical/libations concoction makes it officially Christmas...

Whisky Prajer said...

Charles Atlas and Jack LaLanne and their disciples were suspect to me, too, when I was a child. But a really weird thing happened a few years later in the 80s: Sylvester Stallone stopped drinking eggs and started taking steroids, and Arnold Schwarzenegger became an action hero. These were guys who now looked like frogs turned inside-out. And that was cool! (go figure)

Hm. It's still a little early for the drink, but I might just cue up the music .... Thanks, CP!