Why am I a vegetarian? How did I discover a carnivorous diet was not for me? The hard way, baby....
The story starts in 2006, when I embarked on a mission. My mission? To create the Ultimate Male Body (UMB).
I've been in decent shape ever since my pre-teens at boarding school. This owes to a sadistic dorm prefect, known as “The Man”.
During our dormitory inspections each morning, The Man made it his business to find socks out of place, drawers peeping open and pillows at jaunty angles. Any such violation meant five pay-back push-ups. We did at least twenty every morning before breakfast - rumps straining to our prefect's rhythmic command as vapid sausage fat mingled with the mist and seeped over the horizon.
To this day, it would feel wrong for me to have breakfast without first dropping down and hitting some pay-back push-ups. That old boarding school ritual is part of my life now. By contrast, punishment buggery is just a bitter-sweet memory.
Fast forward to my early twenties:
Still in good, athletic shape. Periodically I target what Chairman Mao might call 'A Great Leap Forward'. For me, this meant concerted effort to achieve step-change in my physique. Weights increase, crunches slow and star jumps reach new heights of camp abandon. Pathetic, but that's how it was.
Looking back, Great Leaps Forward in my physique always followed Great Knocks Back in my love life. If a girl dumped me, I wouldn't hang around to be handed a box of Kleenex. Before she could even murmur something about staying friends, I would be upstairs in my room - Eye Of The Tiger blaring, dumb-bells pumping like glo-sticks at a rave.
Because when you're dumped, you feel inadequate. So what to do? You can't make yourself a different person. No-one in their right mind should attempt plastic surgery. And it's my sad duty to report that penis enhancements simply don't work. That leaves one route to being a better human being:
Increased muscular mass and definition.
2006: a Saharan dry patch in the love life of Cereal Killah.
Great Leap Forward follows Great Leap Forward with inexorable, marsupial rhythm. Soon I was in the shape of my life. Work-out endorphins became an addiction. But weights were only half the story. My unsustainable physique owed much to an unsustainable diet. We're talking meat... and lots of it. The UMB diet is simple: if it isn't protein, it isn't any good.
Though I stuck to higher welfare meat, my diet was an outrage to sustainability: chicken breasts at lunch... steak for supper... meat.... meat.... meat.... every day... for a year...
... until that night.
The great hero of Greek mythology was killed through his heel. This dupe of the Atkins diet was to be smighted in his toe. Following a razor clam and chorizo blow-out, I woke at 4am in agony. My big toe felt as though some rogue acupuncturist had stuffed it with needles as I slept. I couldn't walk on it for a week.
Too much meat.