Keeping Your Muscle Mass On a Trip: Playing The Protein Hunger Games Ain’t Easy

| by Truth Seeker |

Holidays are overrated.


First, you need a holiday to recover from the holiday.

Second, a week is just not enough. Before you know it, you come back, restart the machine and spin the wheel for the rest of year.

The holiday drama reminds me of the widely spread idea that your prom night is supposed to be extraordinary and unforgettable. Students plan what they are going to wear for months and dream of those few hours with hearts full of hope.

Then, it happens. As expected, it’s not as expected. Long planned vacations are often no different.

One of the most disturbing things about trips is that they take you out of your comfort zone. Many CrossFit bitches and fitness phonies love this term because it’s found in popular quotes written on motivational photos right next to the butts of female fitness models with tranny voices.

One could only wonder why “motivated” people post motivational quotes all day long. How can you call yourself “motivated” when you need motivational quotes spinning in your head constantly? I think that the activity itself should be your real motivation.

It’s true that to achieve progress, you have to do something you’ve never done before. Building strength would be a good example. Sooner or later, you will have to add more weight to acquire more strength. When it comes to trips, however, we are talking about a different kind of “out of your comfort zone” existence.

If someone steals your clothes, and you have to walk naked, you will be out of your comfort zone, but are you really progressing? Is this an exciting experience making you feel like an improved version of yourself? One could argue that there are some benefits to learning how to hold your own in public when you don’t have clothes on, but I don’t feel like trying. Thank you for asking, though.

Traveling provides plenty of uncomfortable situations. When it comes to bodybuilding, the lack of foods rich in protein is a common problem. I have played the protein hunger games many times since the very beginning of my lifting journey. It isn’t easy.

I’ve traveled abroad on two occasions. The first trip was more interesting, but at the time, I was not into lifting and will save the story for another day. The second time, I had already developed a protein OCD.

“No protein, no muscle.” was a phrase often making me lose sleep.

The excursion was going to be 5 days long, and since the food in Paris was expensive for me, I had to prepare my own anti-catabolic provisions. I needed long lasting nutrition which does not require cooking, contains a lot of protein and can be stored anywhere. Thus, I bought five packs of peanuts and some other type of nuts. It’s safe to say that a “nut trip” was coming.

The problems began on the plane.

This was my second flight, but the first one had been many years ago, and I had already forgotten a couple of crucial things.

First, stewardesses could be really hot in movies, but those in mine never were. Second, the food they give you on the plane is not bodybuilding approved by any means. This may be different if you are flying first class, but something tells me I will never know.

A hostess took the metal cart full of snacks and started pushing it like it was a prowler.

I wouldn’t say that she was unattractive, but she was definitely a washed up prom queen. Her breasts resembled beaten training mitts, but the biggest problem was her fake smile. I don’t expect anything else from people who work this job, though. I can feel their pain. Various morons are constantly complaining about stupid stuff and are way too lazy to read the rules.

The fact that the porn industry created the stewardess fetish does not help much either. Knowing that 8 out 10 people look at you and think about porn probably doesn’t make you very happy after a while. Even that fake smile was a lot, to be honest.

After the fat pig in front of me took two cakes and a double Pepsi to maintain his swine status, it was my turn to order. I grabbed a sandwich and a small orange juice.

Why? Protein and Vitamin C.

The sandwich felt like a brick and contained very little protein, but that’s what you get for ordering a sandwich when everybody else takes the cakes.

Why? Because they run out of cakes faster and have to replace them. Thus, the cakes stay fresh while the sandwiches mummify.

On the other row right next to me was sitting a snob with long hair. He looked at me as if I were an alien coming from another planet. He classified me as a rather poor motherfucker. I think the main reason for that was my phone – an old Siemens with an orange screen. The thing was built like a concrete block and had a really nice game that I used to play a lot. The game was simple – you are a little boy pushing boxes around to get out of a labyrinth.

The words of my mother turned out to be true. She once told me that people judge you based on your phone, and one day, I will have to upgrade. It was true. This long haired bozo with stinking metal clothes was looking at me constantly while playing Starcraft BroodWar on his stupid laptop. I am pretty sure he sucked at it. How do you play this game with a laptop pad anyway?

From time to time the guy was glancing at me while I was owning that “push the box” game on my Siemens. He was giving me the “I am so sorry that your daddy didn’t buy you a bike when you were little.” look.

I was answering him with another look saying “Yes, my daddy didn’t buy me a bike when I was little. My grandfather did. So, fuck you!”

The first thing that hit me was the long walking that I had to endure on this trip. It fried me mentally very quickly. Every extra step was making me catabolic, and my mind couldn’t handle it.

What is a museum or the Eiffel Tower to me when I am catabolic? Seriously, what? Nothing.

After the first day, I had pain down my shins, and my Achilles tendons were not behaving properly either. My body was falling apart and so was my mind. “This is NOT how you build muscle!” was a phrase constantly repeating itself in my head.

I decided to use some of my provisions and did a peanut overload. I am not allergic to peanuts, but I consumed so much of them that it almost didn’t matter. My internal system felt like a traffic jam on top of a traffic jam. The food was really dry, but at least it contained a decent amount of protein – 20 grams per 100 grams doesn’t sound bad at all.

The next two days were similar, but the 4th one was not as smooth. My stomach started to revolt against the peanut monopoly. I get it now. Cheap salty peanuts could be hell on your system.

I had to change something. I had to make a sacrifice and went out to buy some protein from dead animals. I didn’t know where to go exactly. I just started walking down the street, hoping to see a supermarket nearby.

Many places were selling bread, but I needed protein. Carbs are for peasants.

Eventually, I saw something that looked like a store to me. I approached it cautiously and entered. The place was actually a hotel. At the reception, there was a woman pretty enough to be on the cover of any magazine. I asked her where I can find a supermarket to purchase more stomach friendly food.

“Hello, is there a supermarket around here,” I said using my broken French.

“What, sir?”

“Supermarket. Food. Manger…”

“Ah, yes. There is one just around the corner.”

The whole time I was thinking how fine she was, but I knew that we could never be together. We just didn’t match.

I got out and started looking for that illusory supermarket. I felt dumb. I’d gotten out of a hotel and went to another one just to ask where I can find a food store.

The sun was going down. The anabolic window was closing.

I finally found a supermarket and started looking for protein. After a careful research, I located chicken fillet that appeared outstanding. The minute I saw it I experienced a placebo effect. The equilibrium of my mind was once again restored to optimal levels.

I took five packages and some fruit with it too. Then, I went to the checkpoint, placed my protein magic on the rolling table and handed a banknote of 50 euros to the cashier.

“You have anything smaller than that,” asked the cashier.

She was an old woman and seemed really tired of people in general. I could feel her pain, but I had to say no because I really didn’t. People from the side thought I was balling with my ghetto accent and cash.

I didn’t have time to lose. Taking the prey back to the hotel was not an option. I sat on the street, took out my key chain and tore the package like a female lion cuts the leg of a zebra. I was really starving for amino acids. My muscles needed them to recover from the long walking.

People passing by were staring at me as I were an animal that had recently escaped from the circus. I understand why, but I wasn’t exactly an animal – just a delusional natural lifter looking for a way to improve his nitrogen balance and prevent further muscle damage.

While I was sitting on the street, playing the protein hunger games, two questions arose in my head.

1.How are modern bodybuilders providing their bodies with a sufficient amount of protein when traveling?

2.How do they get their steroid shots when traveling abroad?

The answer to the first question is obvious – most professional bodybuilders have enough money not to worry about buying food abroad, and if everything fails, they can always go to the local McDonald’s to supply their bodies with the needed calories and protein. Sure, it’s genetically modified junk food, but it’s still better than no food, right?

It’s not like bodybuilders are strangers to junk food either. The truth is that most modern bodybuilders are committing more nutritional sins than the permabulkers. The drugs make it easier to get away with it.

What intrigues me more is the answer to the second question. As long as you are not doing bodybuilding seminars in the desert, you are going to access some form of protein, but what about steroids?

We all know that the pros are pinning their glutes multiple times a day. How can you do that when you are constantly traveling? At the time, my only logical conclusion was that bodybuilders and their gurus have some sick international connections.

Anyway, my protein hunger game ended with a win thanks to the chicken fillet. I went back to the hotel and prepared a couple of sandwiches. I was planning to eat one every few hours during my final day in Paris. I was no longer going to be unprepared. No way!

“Dedication has to become my first, middle and last name,” I said to myself before going to bed.

“Oh, brother! Don’t say,” replied an unknown force from above. Sadly, I didn’t speak the language.

Today, I am grateful that I can understand a few words here and there.

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  1. Sushant Gore

    I appreciated this article. I’ll keep it mind when I visit Paris later this year.

    Thank you

  2. Matt

    Nice read! This brought me back on my Protein OCD moments. I can thank my Wife for helping me deal with Protein OCD on trips. It was not easy at first, but trips have become more enjoyable with less the pressure to eat optimal food at regular intervals.

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