A restaurant worker in the United States is due to complete a viral challenge which saw him eat only a plain rotisserie chicken every day for 40 days.
Alexander Tominsky, 31, a waiter at steakhouse Barclay Prime in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said he took on the food challenge on September 28 because “it seemed like the right thing to do”.
His posts documenting his meals, in which he can be seen looking increasingly less than impressed with his plates of plain chicken, have garnered thousands of likes and shares on Twitter, with some people offering words of encouragement and others begging for the challenge to continue.
Mr Tominsky hopes to use his new-found fame to collect donations for people that cannot afford chicken for themselves.
To make his challenge, which finishes on November 6, even more difficult, Mr Tominsky ate the entire chicken in one sitting, without any condiments or sides and picked the “plainest” roast chickens possible.
“I mean, nothing’s a challenge without a little bit of pain and without a little bit of pain, it’s hard to understand what it feels like to feel good”, he told the PA news agency.
He said the challenge had been “pretty easy” when he began, but “now, it’s really taken a toll on my body”.
“I have had so much sodium and have felt really dizzy at times and my stomach is just bloated”, he added.
“But over the last two days, I went to the pier where I plan to eat my last chicken in front of hopefully thousands of people and I feel pretty good – almost like I have an adrenaline rush.”
Mr Tominsky’s avid online followers have been encouraged to visit the pier at noon in Philadelphia (5pm GMT) to see him devour his final bird.
Despite consuming the same plain food for more than month, Mr Tominsky said he did have a favourite bird, which came from a small market called Rittenhouse near his workplace.
“While the chicken is barely seasoned, I’ve come to prefer this and it has become my go-to”, he said.
“And the great thing is when I go in there, they give me the thumbs up – they seem really excited, happy and welcoming.”
He also said he was glad to see a positive response on social media as he aimed to unite people through a common meal around the world.
“I knew that this was going to be very powerful, I knew it was something very special,” Mr Tominsky added.
“And it is uniting all people, no matter what background they come from, their political point of view, race, sexual orientation – it’s just a great thing.”
However, Mr Tominsky predicts it will be some time before he can face eating chicken again.
“Everything about it just disgusts me now – like the sound of pulling it apart, the smell of it, the taste of it, it’s just an overwhelming sensation at this point”, he said.