Temporary Insanity

Junaid at his competition, with four layers of spray tan and all / Junaid and his Coach in his normal state performing at LDA Ball

When asked why he did it he told us: ‘I was fat and ugly’. These were his words, not mine. I’m pretty sure his mom would strongly disagree.

The fact is that my dance partner and friend Junaid decided to go for a Body Building contest… with all that comes with the package.

It is like when you look a pair of jeans with diamond buttons. It is so unachievable you simply don’t consider it seriously. When people like me, reasonably fit, with a few love handles, my honest share of cellulites and a normal body see a body builder we think “oh cool” and move the conversation to the next topic.

We see what is there but we have no idea of the lunacy behind.

I’m talking here about the competitions with no drugs. Just powders. At least that was what I saw my partner eating in all rehearsals: some powder with water, broccoli and chicken. The kind of actions they take are totally insane, If you want to know details and timetables or the processes get a trainer, here I’m just going to highlight a few of the crazy stuff I witnessed and that he told me about.

Most of it, he told a bunch of friends and me around a table, eating cake, after the competition.

First, I think the whole process takes around 7 months.

That means seven months of very hard work and some kind of crazy diet.

At the beginning there was weight to gain so every time I looked at him, he was eating. We didn’t see each other frequently, only at rehearsals, but even then, if we had 5 min of break, he had to get one of his powdery shakes, eat something from a container before and after the rehearsal.

He had to train everyday, Train is lifting heavy weights for more than an hour if I’m not mistaken. It got worse as the time went by.

Near the competition he was training twice a day on weekends. Hours and hours mornings and nights. Why? I have no idea!

After he gained weight and muscles for a few months, he then had to loose weight again. It was time to start a new diet. No sugar, and no oil at all, no fruits, what I would certainly classify as “no life”.

Our rehearsals suffered a bit, he was all the time hungry and tired. But I had to excuse him, if I was doing what he was I would have either died or killed someone by then.

I imagine a dialogue:

‘Who did she kill?’

‘Some guy on the street’


‘For a bar of chocolate.’


‘The guy refused to give her the chocolate and was doomed!’

And if I was doing what they called dead‐lifting 190kg, I would certainly have had the power to kill someone for the chocolate!

At a certain part of the journey, they give up eating any sodium. It means salt. For a Brazilian like me that would be it. After months of training that would have made me give up for sure. If not that, it would be the water business.

There is a phase they have to drink 10 litters of water per day. Junaid told me that one of his friends was found by his girlfriend sleeping seated at the toilet so he wouldn’t have to wake every twenty minutes bursting to go.

‘How did you deal with the cravings?’ I asked my dance partner.

‘I made a list. An enormous list! Every time I had a craving I put it down on the list to eat after the competition. I got a few things crossed from the list today: cake, cheese, more cake, chocolate, more cake, cheese, ham and of course, more cake.’ He told me the at the brunch we organised for him after the competition.

One of his fellows competitors said the only thing he never craves is ice cream, because he was a recurrent body builder and after one of the competitions he devoured a bucket of four litters of ice cream and could never see the stuff again.

To do something this extreme you have to really embrace it. I’m not very good of hiding what I think so during the talk I ended up confessing that I think that underwear they use are simply atrocious.

He said he knew and since he was embracing the thing he ended up buying 3! The 3 colours they had and spent the next half hour showing us his pictures of him with the blue, the red and the black. He also had to tell us which one he was on the pictures.

You see, they go through four layers of spray tan plus something that is called slap tan and spray on cooking oil. This means you cannot recognise anyone unless you are a dentist and recognise the teeth. They are all so coloured they are completely different from their regular state. 

He told me also that during the spray tan, being his first time, he used the thong back to front or something like that. The girl at the tanning saloon found it very funny. I didn’t get the picture and certainly didn’t ask for more details! 

‘What is this slap tan?’ I asked, curious with the strange name.
‘That is how I call it. It is something that only is absorbed by the skin if it is applied with slaps. That means my friend had a hell of a time slapping me with no retribution from my part.’


From all this, my loony dance partner said he believes he can do anything he wants, anything at all. I bet he can. If all this is not a case of temporary insanity, I don’t know what it is!

Junaid in his normal state performing at LDA Ball

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