In three days, my month of fries and burgers will be over. How better to celebrate my culinary freedom than by eating more burgers?
Remember the McDonald’s Build a Burger website I was dissing for its plagiarism and failure to load? Well it’s working now, and it’s pretty nifty.
Don’t get too excited – the bespoke burgers you can create are unlikely to be available in a McDonald’s near you anytime soon. That’s OK though: we’re not interested in building burgers we can’t eat in a fast food chain we don’t particularly care for. Your culinary creations are going to be submitted for two reasons:
1. To see which risque burger names you can get past the McDonald’s word filter
2. So that I can recreate your delicious/hideous suggestions at home next week and blog the results
Oh, and you can join me if you like. Either IRL, by meeting up for a burger-making sesh, or in spirit, by sending in pics of the monstrosities you’ve conjured using the McDonald’s burger builder.
The builder limits you to a fixed number of fillings and ingredients, but because we’ll be making these badboys at home, go wild: throw in anything you like. Email your masterpieces to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a direct link or screenshot via FB, Twitter or Snapchat (whisperednothin).
My maiden effort was a tasty little number containing goat’s cheese (goatse cheese?), cheese & bacon sauce, pineapple and nachos:
At least it was supposed to be called that, but shortly afterwards an email arrived from McDonald’s:
Patrick, meanwhile, “made an abortion called “The Flesh of Christ” by Christ Almighty”. It too was rejected.
God damn, what’s a man gotta do to get his burger accepted round here?
My McWorkout Diary
Monday 19th May (Day 22)
I’m awake at 5:30 and by 6 my penultimate weight and body fat readings are in the bag. Breakfast is ordered in installments: Sausage & Egg McMuffin and coffee at 6:30 followed by another coffee at half seven and then a Sausage & Egg Snack Wrap at 8:45.
The wrap is unremarkable, but warrants a mention because it signifies completion of the breakfast menu. Achievement “Fat Bastard” unlocked.
Next week, when all this is over, I can return to eating my usual fare: poached eggs on toast. Or I could just walk across the car park and order a Sausage & Egg McMuffin using the last of my Spree vouchers.
At the start of this challenge, I didn’t particularly like McDonald’s breakfasts. Now they’re my favourite meal of the day. This has less to do with the food however and more to do with the absence of screaming kids and land whales. Until 11am, McD’s is a pretty chilled kinda place. Even when it starts to get rowdy, I just turn up my tunes and drown out the cacophony.
Unruly kids? ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Slobbering heifers? ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Despite eagerly anticipating Sunday night, when my last dubious burger will be consumed, a thought persists: what if a month of McDonald’s has given me Stockholm Syndrome? What if I am unwilling or unable to cook for myself after having my meals handed to me on a brown plastic tray for 28 days? You hear about prisoners becoming institutionalised, incapable of caring for themselves once returned to the real world.
Th-that couldn’t happen to me….could it?
It’s not just my gainz that have been fuelled by McDonald’s this month: in return for my meagre writer’s income, McDonald’s have given me everything:
Food, light, heat, wifi and office space. The only activities I haven’t attempted are sleeping and fapping – but there’s still time. If I’m to get a lifetime ban from McDonald’s, it makes sense to do so on the final day of The McWorkout.
12:00: I’m determined not to take cheat meals this week, though I won’t turn down the occasional cheat snack – provided it’s not too healthy. The best thing about being a dad is getting to finish your kids’ food. I scoff the remains of E’s boiled egg and soldiers and then, with hunger still lurking, eat some chocolate to sustain me till I’m within wifi range of McDonald’s again.
6pm: My legs are aching and yet I’m miles from the nearest gym. Why so sore? That’ll be K’s fault – K and her two friends. The girls want to be pulled up the hill and around the block on their rollerblades with me running while they hitch a ride. Any normal dad would say no, but I’m not normal and I’m not very good at saying no, which is why I do as I’m told, three times in succession.
The feat sounds easy – the girls are on wheels after all – but it feels like I’m dragging a tractor tyre. This is a good thing, even if my calves aren’t thanking me at the time. The neighbours watch with amusement as our procession shoots by.
“Why are you doing that?” asks a three-year-old.
“I’ve been asking myself the same question.”
When the need for speed skating has been sated, we head to the park where I switch between working out, pushing the girls on rides and sometimes doing both at once. Press-ups, triceps dips and pull-ups are all performed, while the swing is pushed vigorously from every angle to work lats, abs and shoulders.
As I exercise, I ponder the concept of a playground fitness app. Developing one could be the best idea ever or it could be the worst. Plus points: all the equipment you need is there and you can get fit while playing with your kids. Minus points: for men without kids, lurking in playgrounds tends to be frowned upon.
7pm: I order a Blueberry Muffin and Grilled Chicken Salad.
7:05pm: I open the box and discover that I’ve been given a Crispy Chicken Salad. It contains an additional 200 calories – including 17g carbs and 17g fat – that I didn’t want.
11:00pm: Following a post-workout Snack Wrap, I cross the car park and collapse onto the bed. Today has been longer than a long weekend in the cells. Did you know, incidentally, that if you’re detained at Bucksburn police station, the highlight of your stay might be a meal from McDonald’s? That or a chipper. Either way, it’s a sight better than the usual fare served to those in the cells which, I am reliably informed, is infinitely worse than prison food.
11:15: I listen to Mastodon while skinning up on a copy of Men’s Health. Then I lapse into a coma, too tired to even fap.
Monday 19th May
Total spent: £13.82
Total calories consumed: 3,080 (inc. 300 ‘other’)
Total calories burned: 370
Tuesday 20th May (Day 23)
13:20: Lunch today is a Filet-O-Fish meal with a free Smarties McFlurry. Thank you Spree vouchers. Just one more sweet treat to go and I’ll have completed the dessert menu, whereupon my latest achievement will be unlocked: Diabeetus.
4:30: Stressed workers are squabbling, tubby kids are fighting, cooking alarms beeping, customers grumbling and fatties fattening. There’s been some good times, McDonald’s, but I’ll be glad to see the back of you.
I exchange texts with my mate ahead of our Wednesday burger date. In keeping with the rules of The McWorkout, she’s the one who broached the topic. I’m not supposed to be inducing anyone to eat McDonald’s this month – they have to whisper those sinful words.
7:30pm: After much typing, proofing and re-proofing, the article I’ve been writing about Captain Toms is finally finished. I’m pretty happy with it. In the last two days, I’ve spent 16 hours working on articles for Ed Uncovered. Zero of those hours have been paid. No wonder I can scarcely afford to eat McDonald’s.
Goals for next month: eat cleaner, train harder, do the work I’m actually paid to do. (And keep blogging of course, for the love of it man.)
10:00pm: I’m listening to an early mix of the new Bang Dirty album. Its nine finished tracks (with one still to come) run through the full gamut of feels. Better than the first one? Judge for yourself when the preview drops in next week’s McWorkout finale.
1:00am: I’m shattered and I haven’t even managed a scrap of exercise today. So much for pushing myself hard in the final week. I smoke my last joint, leave my mate’s and cautiously drive home, the low fog matching my mood.
Back at the flat, I eat a handful of pumpkin seeds which have sat unopened since The McWorkout started. They don’t deliver that familiar fast food kick, but taste pretty good nonetheless. I’m going to enjoy my impending month of healthy eating.
1:30am: I haven’t made the gym today or done any of the work I was supposed to. All I’ve done is write one solid article for my site and smoke a bunch of joints. I’m a lazy sack of shit and I must try harder.
Oh well, at least there’s a McDonald’s breakfast to look forward to in seven hours.
2am: When you’ve still got enough willpower to fap, you know you’ve not pushed yourself hard enough. That excess energy should have been expended in the gym, not my sock. Still, it was pretty awesome.
Tuesday 20th May
Total spent: £12.25
Total calories consumed: 2,594 (inc 100 ‘other’)
Total calories burned: 0
Wednesday 21st May (Day 24)
8:30: The dark lines below my eyes mirror my state of mind – I’m shattered. When did I last have a lie-in?
My insides have earned a reprieve from fried food – for a few hours at least. Breakfast is a reasonably healthy bagel with Philly followed by McDonald’s apple and cherry porridge. I slip my headphones on and listen to the Rock Show while I compose an article entitled Natural Wonders That Were Made by Man.
By 1:30 my work is done, but if I hit the gym before K finishes school I’ll be cutting it fine. It seems as good a time as any to step outside and try to best my 10k.
1km into the run and I’m gasping for breath.
4km in and I’m tripping over tree roots as I take an unfamiliar route along the river.
5km in and my black t-shirt is covered in snot and spit. (I did try to project it further but, y’know, coagulation and shit.)
7km in and a fly lands in my eye. Not one of those tiny muthafuckas either, but a proper meaty bitch. I don’t have time to stop and fish it out – excuse me, I’m trying to beat my 10k here – so I wince and carry that fucker for 3k while it floats about in my retina.
“Congratulations, you have reached your target goal of 10 kilometres” says the female voice and I collapse in a heap by the roadside.
I have never felt more exhausted – not during The McWorkout, not at any time in my life. I glance at the screen. 41:37. Yasss. The pain was worth it.
16:00: After picking up K and her schoolmate, we head to McDonald’s for ice cream. They opt for Crunchie McFlurries, while I order a cone with a flake to complete the dessert menu. No more sugary carbs between now and taps aff time, thank god. I’ve enjoyed the sweet treats, but save for the occasional sunny day ice cream, I don’t think I’ll be touching them again.
18:00: “I’m gonna put my glasses on so I can look at the freaks,” says Bex. We’re queued in McDonald’s Union Street, the worst McDonald’s in Aberdeen (and possibly the world), a hotbed for mutants and ham planets.
Bex kindly buys dinner – including my salad for later – and then we sit in the graveyard while corpulent seagulls harangue us. This week’s Great Tastes of America burger is the New York Classic. It tastes a bit like Burger King and is better than previous Americlap offerings, which admittedly isn’t saying much.
I found a horrific website this week called Burger Lad which includes serious reviews of the Great Tastes of America, because to the working man this is clearly some gourmet shit. Everything about the website, from the logo to the superfluous ® symbol, lest anyone steal Burger Lad’s desirable moniker, repulses me. Have a look if you must, but try not to rage hard.
The best thing I can say about the New York Classic is that its consumption signals my completion of the entire menu. In the past month, I’ve sampled every single item of food served by McDonald’s UK. I haven’t bothered with all the drinks, but everything else has gone down the hatch and somehow stayed down. Achievement “Survive The McWorkout” almost complete!
I’ve spent the vast majority of this month dining alone. Now, all of a sudden, I’m inundated with offers. Most of the 100+ McDonald’s meals I’ve eaten have been demolished mechanically – food for energy’s sake rather than for the pleasure of eating. Good company will make the last days of the Third Reich more bearable.
6:30pm: “You can have a beer if you like – there’s a 5am in the fridge,” says my mate.
I want to but I can’t do it – not now, so close to the end.
I don’t leave empty-handed though: Bex gives me a spare Graze box and some other healthy victuals to get me back on my feet when The McWorkout is over.
10pm: I hate PureGym Aberdeen. It doesn’t matter what time I go – morning; afternoon; teatime; late night – the weights room’s always crammed with bros. I haven’t been near the Smith machine in weeks, while even finding a bench is an achievement. I get more done in two days in Edinburgh than I do in a week in Aberdeen.
Aside from two Insanity sessions with my mate and about 100 metres when Alex kept pace with me along the beach, I’ve worked out alone all month. For the most part this hasn’t bothered me, but there are some sessions (chest; shoulders) when it would have been useful to have a partner. It’s bad enough having McD’s putting a dent in my gains; the absence of a spotter only compounds the problem. Oh well, whatever the verdict when next week’s pics are published, I’ve given it my best shot.
I drive home while eating my cold Grilled Chicken & Bacon Salad. It’s pretty good.
Back at the flat, I open a text from my mate, who’s just returned from holiday and has some snaps to show The McWorkout Guy.
I’m tempted. I’m really tempted, but somehow I resist, even though I know there’s a chilled one waiting for me in the fridge.
“I turned down a 5am Saint earlier,” I explain. “Drinking a Budweiser now would be like spurning an 8/10 in the club and then going with some two-bit whore you met walking home.”
There’ll be plenty of time for beer next week. I’m thinking Friday 30th May. Which of my Aberdeen mates is game for some action?
Two BrewDogs and I’ll be prostrate in the corner, mumbling incoherently about “losing muh gainz”.
I can’t wait.
Wednesday 21st May
Total spent: £8.23
Total calories consumed: 2,469 (inc 200 ‘other’)
Total calories burned: 1,114
On Monday we’ll have:
Final weight and body stats
Final McWorkout Diary
Your Build a Burger suggestions
The Last Supper
The First Breakfast
25 days done. 3 to go!
Missed any previous episodes of The McWorkout? Catch up here.
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