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.