Nutrition is possibly the most important factor when it comes to bodybuilding success. Knowing this, you must give up many of your little vices in order to succeed. Sweets. Fast food. Junk. A bodybuilder must never miss a meal, which can be a problem as eating every two hours interferes with the pleasures of everyday life. At work, one must endure the confused glares of co-workers whose only real meal is a burger at the bar after five.
An Animal has to learn how to live with choking down cans of tuna, one after another and drinking protein shakes every single day. He has to chase down an Animal Pak every morning along with his other supplements. An Animal getting ready for competition has to take it up to whole other level of insanity, giving up any semblance of a cheat meal and eating a strict diet calculated down to the last calorie. Eating right is sacrifice. Not to mention the dent it puts in your bank account.
Pound after pound of chicken and steak. Cans of tuna. Oatmeal, rice and potatoes. Milk and eggs. Fresh fruits and veggies. All of this food. All of these supplements. Every fucking week, day in and day out. Not to mention a gym membership (if you haven't already worked an angle to get a free one, like working a shift at your gym or being a personal trainer). Everything adds up and quick. Being a serious bodybuilder means you're either rich or your poor. In either case, it's gonna cost you big time.
If you haven't already noticed, your favorite trendy designer doesn't make clothes to fit anyone more than 200 pounds with 20" guns. It will take a lot of effort to find a shirt that your girl would dig in XXXL. Need a suit? Shit, you're screwed. They don't make suits with a coat in the 50s and pants in the 30s. You'll need to get any sportcoat that you buy completely overhauled at the tailor, which will tack on another $50 at least.
You don't have to get that tent you call a coat tailored, but you'll run the risk of looking like Spongebob Squarepants on juice if you don't. Buy a belt cuz you'll have to cinch the shit out of any pair of jeans that you buy. In order to find a pair that fit over your quads the waist is gonna have to be several inches too big. Every time I see my ma she says, "You better make a lot of money, cuz if you get any bigger you'll have to get your clothes specially made." Shit.
If you train 2 hours per day, five days per week, that is 520 hours of your free time every year that is spent at the gym instead of with your family or significant other. Tack on another hour preparing your food each day, and endless hours reading, talking, thinking and generally obsessing about your goals, and you can see how living the bodybuilding lifestyle can put a strain on your relationships.
Over your hulking dead body would you ever give up your quest, so find a girl who understands and supports your pursuit and who better yet goes to the gym herself, cuz, if you don't, you'll sacrifice even more of your time fighting, arguing and yanking your yard. Over time, the fake friends and fair weather women will fall to the wayside. Who's left you can go to war with. They've got your back. Hang onto these folks tight.
Both physically and mentally, bodybuilding will take a toll on you. As rewarding an endeavor as the sport is, it can no doubt beat the shit out of you at the same time. From a mental health standpoint, bodybuilding forever alters your self image. You'll never be truly satisfied with your physique or strength and you'll never really be big enough. Imagine a 270-pound freak saying, "I feel small today." Don't laugh. It's happening somewhere as you read this article so you'd better get used to it. Physically, aching joints, pulled muscles, strained tendons and ligaments, delayed onset soreness and a laundry list of other nagging injuries are all part of a normal day to you.
Bodybuilding is a never-ending challenge. It is an incredibly demanding pursuit whose most triumphant victories are internal. It occupies your thoughts and empties your pockets. It scars you, it frustrates you and it feasts on your failure. It calls you out and it beats your ass. You give of yourself and then you give some more. You sacrifice so much without rest. Is it, in the end, really worth it? Motherfuckin' right it is.