‘It was hell’: My week living like Beyonce
Sometimes, I have really good ideas.
"I'm going to stop drinking tequila!" is one of my all-time bests.
"I'll go to Europe!" is up there.
"I'll live like Beyonce for a week!" sits approximately 10,782 places down the ladder.
In fact, choosing to live like the world's biggest pop star is probably the worst idea I've ever had, followed closely by "I'm going to drunk text my ex" and "I'll skip sunscreen for the first 24 years of my existence".
The diet and exercise plan Beyonce calls on in preparation for big events like Coachella is about as pleasant as touching your seatbelt buckle in the middle of the Australian summer.
Here's the gist: breakfast is egg whites, lunch is slices of turkey with capers, dinner is fish and wasabi. The only permissible snacks are cucumbers and the odd frozen yoghurt. Oh, and then you exercise for two hours a day. FUN.
In summation, it was hell. A balsamic-vinegar-drenched hell.
Let's relive it, shall we?
Despite being weighed down by a heavy cold/flu/phlegm scenario (and it being day one of my period), I'm excited to give this a shot.
I begin the day by scrambling the whites of three (THREE!) eggs and douse them in seasoning to bring some remnant of taste. The result is so light and unsatisfying it feels like I've just eaten salty air.
That said, the rest of Beyonce's lifestyle seems pretty fine. Lunch is a bit of a killjoy but at least it tastes like actual food.
I do her go-to fave - interval running - for 45 minutes, followed by a 45-minute Bey-inspired bum and legs workout and 30 minutes of upper body strength.
I finish the day with pan-fried barramundi, which technically should be yellowtail sashimi, but sue me if I don't spend $55 per kilo on stupid rich people fish.
I feel fine. Not amazing, but fine.
I'm already concerned about how much I'll be spending on eggs this week. I get that this is Beyonce's breakfast of choice, but look, a gal's gotta eat. Three egg whites are just totally inadequate, so I've upped my quantity to five.
I'm still hopelessly unsatisfied, so spend the entire day munching on balsamic vinegar soaked cucumber and carrot until my mouth actually hurts.
I'm only about 40 hours in and I feel broken. Because Beyonce loves Soul Cycle (code for 'an exorbitantly expensive LA-version-of-your-run-of-the-mill-spin-class') I hop on the exercise bike for 60 minutes that night and follow up with some ab work.
I fall into bed feeling beyond exhausted.
I don't think I can adequately describe how grumpy I am. I wake up in a pure, white-hot rage.
My head is thumping. My stomach is ravenous. My boyfriend is frightened.
The thought of eating MORE WHITE FOOD fills me with dread, but I do it anyway. I do all of the things, actually - the egg whites, the turkey slices with capers, the fish, the cucumber, the two hours of gruelling exercise - and I despise every little bit.
This doesn't just feel strict, it feels depressing. My body is craving sugar and carbohydrates, so I down a tub of low-fat, plain frozen yoghurt. It is also white. I resist the urge to scream.
At one point I'm so annoyed I actually cry. I don't know whether to blame it on the period, blame it on Beyonce, or blame it on a society that tells women they have to deprive themselves.
Then I have an existential crisis so I cry some more. I don't care if she's Beyonce, this is absolutely not worth the $52.60 I have already spent on colourless foods this week.
I decide that if I am going to make it out of this with my mental health intact, a few tweaks are called for:
The egg whites will be substituted for just eggs. With yolk. Because yolk is fun and should never be banned unless a meringue is involved. I'm sure Beyonce would agree.
Capers go in the bin because what the hell are capers anyway? Exactly. Nobody knows. Dinner will be served with a salad of my choice. Including avocado if I'm feeling wild.
With those changes in place, I feel considerably better.
The two hours of exercise is bloody hard to squeeze in around work, so I do one workout in the morning, coupled with a one-hour walk in the late afternoon.
I still feel rather unhappy with Beyonce, but not an I'm-going-to-become-an-Instagram-troll level of unhappy like yesterday, which we can all agree is a win.
Sweet Blue Ivy, this day feels like Christmas. I award myself two slices of toast with breakfast and, despite feeling like my denim shorts are baggier than usual around my waist, cannot wait to return to non-white foods.
Because yeah, whatever, having a flat stomach is great.
But not being at risk of punching a wall at any given moment? Sorry, Bey, but I'll take that and a bit of tummy flab any day.