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Thomas's 28 day fitness challenge extravaganza.


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I began my 28 day challenge today.

Current waist measured at belly button: 41'

That number will be reduced by at least 3 by the end of the month.

To achieve this goal I shall:

Give up alcohol. Granted, this was part of my whole Lent thing anyway (I'm not catholic anymore, but Lent is a great time to change personal habits without people asking too many questions) Considering my normally considerable beer intake, this is going to reduce my calorie intake by about 2400 a week. I will give myself room to cheat on St. Patrick's day, and will allow myself 2 drinks when I take my best friend out for drinks for her birthday.

Give up soda. I don't know what my average soda intake is, but between this and the beer, I'd say I've got the 3500 a week to lose one pound down pretty well.

No smoking. This is actually pretty minor for me, as I only smoke about one night a week, purely socially, but it seems silly to go on a self improvement kick and not eliminate one of the most dangerous activities I indulge in.

I will consider the food I eat, and consume less crap. This means cooking at home more often.

I will eat breakfast every day. I will not delude myself into thinking 32 ounces of coffee counts as breakfast.

I've started doing the bodyweight fitness routine found in the Newbie's guide to fitness. I'm currently doing 2 sets of 20 (minus the pullups, because I have no bar), with only 2 sets of 10 pushups. I will do this Monday/Wednesday/Friday

I will do at least 15 minutes of cardio on Tuesday or Thursday, working my way up to interval training.

I'll get off my butt and at least take a walk or something on the weekends.

I will not be a sanctimonious prick when I start feeling healthier than my friends.

I will not shave during the challenge. My scruff will be the cocoon from which I will emerge a sexy, fit butterfly. But, you know, a manly butterfly. The kind of butterfly that might just kick your ass if you look at its girlfriend wrong.

I present the only shirtless photo of myself I've ever posted on the internet. It's a fitness site, y'all can deal with it.


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So a summation of my goals:

Physical results: Lose 3 inches from my belly. Gain an irresistible aura of sexiness and confidence.

Long term habits: Exercise every day. Breakfast every day. Reduced junk food intake, including alcohol.

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Yesterday's food intake:

Breakfast: One egg, scrambled. One banana, raw. One small glass of orange juice. 32 oz. of coffee (16 regular, 16 decaf) Around 7:30 in the morning, although the coffee lasted till about 11.

Lunch with a co-worker at Chris's Pizza: Vegetarian Spaghetti including olives (green and black), tomatoes, green peppers, feta cheese, mozzarella, and olive oil. One small piece of garlic bread. about 2/2.5 glasses of water. About 12:30-1:30

After work snack: 1 small bowl of beef stew, homemade (includes lean ground beef, potatoes, corn, peas, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, cilantro, red wine, cumin, ginger, salt, pepper), one large glass of orange juice. 5:00

Dinner at Taco Man for Trivia: Chicken Fajitas, 3-4 glasses of water. (Free from last weeks winnings!)

Drinks with friends at the Brickstore Pub: 1 cup of coffee.

Day's total exercise: 4 minute cardio warm-up. Bodyweight exercises: 2 sets of 20 lunges, 2 sets of 10 pushups (I can usually do more, but I think I pulled my right arm funny playing Frisbee on Sunday), 2 sets of 20 lunges. Total time, about 15 minutes. I was sore afterwards. Baby steps.

Total victories yesterday:

1. Ate out twice but still managed to keep it as healthy as possible

2. Exercised despite really not wanting to.

3. Went to 2 bars with great beer selections and did not drink.

Missteps yesterday:

1. Went to bed too late.

2. Didn't exercise as much as was planned due to fatigue and soreness

Victories outnumber missteps! WIN!


Goateed hipster sees my self improvement and glares with smug disdain. Screw you goateed hipster!

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So let's post-game yesterday, shall we?


Breakfast: 32 oz of coffee, one small glass orange juice, one scrambled egg, and a banana.

Lunch: Chicken Caesar salad. (I had to eat at the cafe downstairs, because the weather was too nasty to justify driving home for lunch. So romaine lettuce, some Caesar dressing, shaved parmesan cheese, and a chicken breast. No croutons. I understand that probably makes it healthier, but who makes a Caesar salad with no croutons?) 2 glasses of water.

Afternoon snack @ 3:00 red apple. Glass of water.

Afternoon snack at 5:00 Crown of broccoli, with homemade hummus (chickpeas, olive oil, fresh basil, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice)

Dinner: Homemade chicken burrito (chicken breast, frozen pepper and onion blend from Kroger, can of black beans, sautéed in a little olive oil. Add salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro, cayenne pepper, garlic powder. Served on some sort of organic tortilla I picked up at the farmer's market.) One glass of milk.

Exercise: 15-17 minutes of cardio (Jogging. Around my living room, because it was wet out. And I'm just not up to exercising in public yet.) Was tired afterward, but not defeated. Calling that a win.

Victories yesterday:

Cooked my own meal of a healthy variety.

Resisted strong temptation for both seconds on dinner and a coke afterward.


Didn't actually accomplish much after work besides jogging and eating well. There's not much point in being healthy if you only focus on being healthy. Well maintained tool must be used.

Victories 2, missteps 1. Victory!!

Additional goals for today: Write at least one minute, 30 seconds of material. Health is wasted on the procrastinator.

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So yesterday...

Breakfast: Scrambled egg, banana, orange juice, 2 16 oz cups of coffee (half regular, half decaf)

Lunch: Chicken Burrito (chicken breast, frozen pepper and onion blend from Kroger, can of black beans, sautéed in a little olive oil. Add salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro, cayenne pepper, garlic powder. Served on some sort of organic tortilla I picked up at the farmer's market.)

After Work Snack: Small bowl of homemade beef stew (includes lean ground beef, potatoes, corn, peas, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, cilantro, red wine, cumin, ginger, salt, pepper)

Dinner: I got stir crazy around 7:30, and really, really wanted to get a beer. No one could make it out to join me for dinner, so I ended up at Landmark Diner, trying to write. I was pretty good though. I had: 1 greek salad, charbroiled swordfish, one baked potato (salt, pepper and tobasco sauce only. Ignored the giant tub of sour cream they served with it. Seriously, the sour cream portion was larger than the veggie portion) Steamed veggies (mainly cauliflower, which I hate, but I ate it anyway), and 3 cups of coffee.

Probably drank about 6 glasses of water all day.

Exercise: 4 minute cardio warm up. Went for circuit bodyweight training. 20 squats, 12 pushups (2 more than monday), 20 lunges, 30 second plank first circuit. 12 squats, 12 pushups, 12 lunges, something less than 30 second plank the second curcuit. Not the best, but it's a step.

I also went to Target and bought a scale.

My weight this morning was: 176

I'm going to give it a couple more days to get an average, then add a weight loss goal to my 28 day challenge.

Intangibles: Did I mention I would have stabbed your mother for a beer and a cigarette last night? I avoided both. And didn't stab anyone.

Victories: Got more protien yesterday than normal.

Did more pushups than last workout.

Didn't drink alcohol despite really, really wanting some.


Had to reduce reps on second curcuit do to muscle fatigue.

Didn't get as much writing done as I had hoped. I couple of ideas to expound on later, but nothing concrete. This is an issue I may address elsewhere.

Calling yesterday a win, but just barely. Not easy.

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I just walked by cheesecake in the breakroom and did not have a piece. Cheesecake, people! No one said I'd have to pass up free cheesecake. *grumble*

Good job on resisting temptation!

You have a lot of goals, good luck on achieving them.

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Yesterday was hit and miss.

Breakfast: Scrambled Egg, banana, OJ, coffee.

Lunch: Went out for Ethiopian with a coworker. The Injera was a little carb heavy, and I can't actually find any nutritional information for Tibbs. But it was tasty and spicy and I had 2 glasses of water with it, so I'm not too worried.

Afternoon at work. Didn't eat the cheesecake. Win.

Afternoon snack at home: Grilled zucchini and asparagus, dipped in a soy sauce/rice vinegar mixture.

Buddy of mine had tickets to the Thrashers game last night, so dinner was a cup of coffee and a hot dog. Hot dog was bad idea, but Phillips Arena food options are pretty limited. On the plus side, Thrashers 6, Islanders 3. Haven't seen New Yorkers fail like that since the Giuliani campaign.

Workout was just 15 minutes of cardio. Had more planned, but ended up with a time crunch if I was going to make the game. but at work, instead of using the cart to haul around the boxes of files I needed to move, I carried them all individually. That's moving 5 50 pound boxes approximately 40 yards each. That's gotta count for something.


Avoided the cheesecake.

Worked out despite time crunch

Went to a hockey game and didn't have beer.


Hot dog.

Didn't work out as much as I had planned.

Calling it a win.

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Inspiring? Kick ass. I figured it qualified as rambling. Thank you.

So... First Friday of the challenge.

I have Fridays off, so I had a little more time to cook.

Breakfast: Omlette with 2 eggs, zucchini, peppers and onions, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup olive oil, red pepper flakes, dried cilantro, colby cheese. 3 cups of coffee with fat free milk.

Lunch: Leftover Chicken Burrito (chicken breast, frozen pepper and onion blend from Kroger, can of black beans, sautéed in a little olive oil. Add salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro, cayenne pepper, garlic powder.) Didn't bother with the tortilla.

Afternoon snack: Broccoli with homemade hummus (chickpeas, olive oil, fresh basil, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice)

Dinner: Ok, here I kinda screwed up. At Smith's Olde Bar with my friends. Had a jerk chicken wrap, which isn't so bad, but had a big side of tater tots too. But screw it, they were delicious. I also had about 5 cups of coffee.

On a side not, it's interesting watching the dynamic when you're the one consuming stimulants and your friends are consuming depressants. They get chilled, and I'm sitting there feeling "Let's do something, let's go bowling. Or jogging! Or we could invent BOWLJOGGING!"

We ended up doing karaoke at Midtown Tavern (Ugly Kid Joe's "Everything about you", and Violent Femmes' "Kiss off", because I was in an angry 90's mood. And hype man duties on Tupac's "California Love") where I had some water. And one drag from a friend's cigarette. But just one drag, I swear.

Exercise: I had intended to wander down to the park and do some pull-ups, since I have no bar at home, and I'm curious as to if I can still do any. However, I had lots of errands to run yesterday (quivering with rage at the tag office = 15 calories burned), so I didn't get to Piedmont park until about 3:30. However, I had forgotten that what was an old, broken playground is now a fully refurbished functioning playground. And functioning playgrounds, on a Friday afternoon, tend to have functioning children. It seemed tacky to kick the kids off the swings to do pull-ups. So I walked the circuit of the park, which I guess is about a mile of so. At home, right as I was about to do my workout, a friend invited me to Sweetwater Brewery. In a moment of responsibility, I actually went ahead and worked out.

5 minutes jogging warm-up. 2 sets of 20 squats, 2 sets of 15 pushups (3 more than Wednesday!), 2 sets of 20 lunges.

Victories Yesterday:

Got in a workout despite temptation not to.

And a nice walk.

No alcohol despite going to Sweetwater BREWERY, Smith's Olde BAR, and Midtown TAVERN. On a side note, I sure go to a lot of alcohol focused locations. Perhaps that's how


Tater tots.

Didn't get as much sleep as I should have last night.

Definitely a win, considering all the temptation I resisted.

On a side note, while making breakfast this morning, "Buried life" was on and their goal was pretty much the same as mine (theirs was to tell a joke on late night TV, mine is to perform Stand-up on national television). Inspiring on some levels, terrifying on others, considering they had a full complement of MTV producers, and still ended up on a Spanish language late night show. But my material is much better than theirs, so no worries.

Side self promotion: Atlanta Nerdfitters can see me at the Laughing Skull Lounge this Wednesday at 8:00. 10 dollar cover, 2 item minimum.

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Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with zucchini, broccoli, and colby cheese. 3 cups of coffee.

Lunch: Ate a banana on my way to the park. Figured I'd grab something else on the way. Didn't

Dinner: Spinach salad with grilled chicken at the Highlander. Healthy overall, but did have lots of bacon, and some dressing that I'm pretty sure was just bacon fat with a bit of mustard. Delicious.

Friend's Birthday party: 2 red bulls, 2 cokes. 3 cigarettes. Stared a British woman down and told her I wasn't having a shot on her birthday. Few men have such willpower.

Late night snack: McChicken Sandwich (I don't know what they do to it, but I'd leave my mayonnaise out under a heat-lamp for an hour if it made it taste like McDonald's)

Exercise: About 3 hours of throwing Frisbee in the park. That's an arm workout when it goes well, cardio when your friends can't throw anywhere near you.

Carried 110 pound drunk woman 20 yards from car to her home.


Lots of fresh air and exercise

didn't drink at a birthday party with well stocked bar.


Evening full of sugar based calories.


Yesterday was a tie. I really didn't take in enough healthy food during the day, but considering that my normal day would have involved a lot more crap food and alcohol I'll call it a step forward. It's a Saturday.

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Sunday morning, coming down.

Woke up 10:30 or so, much later than planned, but was out late night before.


Had some friends that wanted to grab brunch @ American Roadhouse, so that consisted of a couple cups of coffee, homefries, bacon, scramble with peppers, onion, spinach and tomato.

Went to the Farmers' Market for this week's veggies, ran by Whole Foods for frozen fruit (the only thing that I can find cheaper at whole foods), and grabbed some sort of Arden's Garden Protein smoothie while there. I'm assuming it was good for me.

Dinner was at Manuel's Tavern. A gyro with a side of black beans and rice. And about a pot of coffee.

Workout: Got in about an hour of Frisbee. And about 20 minutes of freeform crowd management, which is what I get for going to the Farmers' Market on a Sunday

Sunday was a wash. No real improvement, but minimal damage. Today we get serious again.

:x This is my serious face.

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Slept badly. Was just about asleep at 11 when my sister called and we ended up talking for 2 hours. Tossed and turned until I woke up for work at 6:30. Was exhausted all day.


Breakfast: Banana, glass of orange juice, 16 oz coffee.

Lunch: Boston Market with coworker: Green beans, creamed spinach, side caesar salad (turns out that dressing is horrible for you. Seriously, that was most of my fat for the day. Should have just gotten the meatloaf.)

Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, raw broccoli, sauerkraut (I don't know why I get random Sauerkraut cravings, but I do. I'm proud of myself for not putting it on a hot dog.)

Exercise: When I got home, I just wanted a nap. I didn't exercise as much as I would have liked, but I'm glad I got in any at all.

5 minute cardio warm up

2 sets of 20 squats

2 sets of 15 pushups

2 sets of 20 lunges

I wasn't sweating at the end, and should have done more, but I was just dead tired.

Was completely unproductive the rest of the evening, just watched TV.


Not a bad food day.

Worked out despite temptation not to.


No personal projects forwarded.

Calling it a win.

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Alright, let's see what happened March 9th.


Breakfast: Scrambled Egg, Banana, orange juice and coffee

Lunch: Kroger 3 minute microwave pizza (not the best thing for me, but the turkey sandwich I had planned was a washout because my turkey smelled funny. And when I'm home on my lunch break I don't have much time to improvise.)

Afternoon snack/dinner: Snacked on some Spicy Curry Beef Stew recepie I found on Dailyburn throughout the evening. Not bad, but not much of a standout either. Taste wise, I mean. Health wise it's high in protien and not full of horrible stuff. A couple glasses of Orange juice and a glass of milk.

Exercise: 20 minutes of jogging.

Non-fitness: Went out and bought some stuff for smoothies, just for some variety, and to get a little more protien in my diet. Started on a silly little art project that's been burning a hole in my head.

Victories: All things considered, ate pretty well.

Got in a full 20 minutes jogging, which was my goal for this week. (25 minutes tomorrow, then intervals next week)

Got some creative work done as opposed to doing nothing all night.

Missteps: The pizza was a bad idea.

Didn't get any comedy writing done. I'm finding that it's tough without alcohol.

It's a win.

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Smoothie for breakfast: Frozen strawberries, mixed berries, banana, orange juice, one scoop protien powder. 24 oz coffee.

Lunch: Had errands to run, so had to eat out. Roly poly tuscan turkey wrap. Glass of water. Not a bad choice.

Afternoon snack. Ladlefull of that beef stew from yesterday. Glass of milk (the stew is kinda spicy)

Dinner: Grilled chicken breast and grilled asparagus (Damn you Steve for making me crave asparagus. Now my pee smells funny.)

Late night: Had a show at Laughing Skull. 2 Jack and cokes. One before my set to calm myself (I get bad stage fright) and one afterwards in celebration. Blue Cheeseburger, medium, side caesar salad afterwards with friends.

Exercise: Because I had a show that night and didn't want to wear myself out I ended up doing more of a symbolic workout than anything. About 5 minutes of cardio, then 3 sets of 10 squats, and 2 sets of 10 pushups.

Non-fitness related: Absolutely killed last night. Great energy, great audience, totally in the moment. It was my first ever comedy competition, and I got passed onto the semifinals April 14. So hell yeah.


Wins: Comedy Festival!

Got enough protien for the first time since starting the challenge.

Missteps: Ate WAY too many calories

Drank alcohol (I'm not beating myself up too bad for this, as it was business related, but still)

Not enough exercise

Not a great day in the world of fitness, but a great day in the realm of acheiving personal goals, so we'll call it a tie and move on.

Also: Laughing skull lounge, April 14th, semifinals http://www.vortexcomedy.com : Be there, or have a perfectly rational excuse. Or just don't feel like it. See if I care.

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Breakfast: Same shake as yesterday. Frozen strawberries, mixed berries, banana, orange juice, one scoop protein powder. 24 oz coffee.

Lunch: Vermicelli with Kroger pasta sauce.

Afternoon snack: More of that stew I've been eating on all week. Almost done with it. Kinda sick of it.

Dinner: Mexican at some place outside the perimeter. I think in Tucker. Met up with some old internet friends. Carne Asada enchilada and a cup of coffee. a few tortillia chips and salsa, but not many.

Exercise: 20 minutes jogging.

Wins: Not bad food intake overall.

Missteps: Didn't jog as long as I wanted. Time constraints.

Not a bad day overall. nothing amazing, nothing horrible. I'll take it.

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Alright, 2 days worth:

Friday: Smoothie for breakfast, 3 cups of coffee.

Lunch: Grilled whiting fillet, can of green beans

Afternoon snack: carrots in homemade hummus

Dinner: Mezcalitos with the mob. Steak and chicken tacos.

Exercise: Did ok.

5 minute jogging warmup

3 sets of 15 squats

3 sets of 15 pushups

3 sets of 20 lunges

Friday: Solid overall


Breakfast: Smoothie, coffee

Lunch: Grilled zucchini and chicken breast

Dinner: Mellow Mushroom Spinach salad, chicken breast.

Late night snack: 1/2 maddio's individual veggie pizza, on whole wheat crust:


10 minutes jogging, one game of kickball

overall, ok.

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Yesterday was a rest day. Food intake was good though.

I was about to write a little schpiel about how frustrated I was getting. My god do I miss beer. I'm annoyed my workouts aren't as intense as I'd like because I just get exhausted. I've only lost 3 pounds in the past 2 weeks and it's a hell of a lifestyle change for me.

But I just measured my belly and no matter how I measure it, I can't get it to measure over 40 inches. Check out the progress pictures.

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So hell yeah, let's keep going.

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Breakfast was 2 scrambled eggs and 2 cups of coffee.

Around noon, after my workout I had a glass of milk with half a scoop of protein powder.

lunch happened while I was out running errands. French onion soup and salad bar at Jason's Deli.

Dinner was a chicken breast, some carrots and hummus.

After dinner I had a set at the open mike at the Star Bar. I had intended to only have one drink. However, I bombed. Badly. Like worst set of my life badly. So I ended up having 3 jack and cokes and one cigarette because my god did I suck.

Workout: 4 minutes jogging warm-up

3 sets of 20 squats

3 sets of 10 pushups

3 sets of 20 lunges

Victories: Ate well, if not quite enough.

Good workout.


3 alcoholic beverages and one cigarette.

Really bad set.

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Alright bitches!

I'm motivated today, so I'm calling everybody bitches. Except my coworkers. I need my job. Let's breakdown yesterday:

Breakfast: Is the time change screwing anyone else up? Between that and a late night I was dead yesterday morning, so I just had a banana for breakfast. I didn't have it in me to make a smoothie or some eggs. Also had lots of coffee.

Lunch: Ran home and made vermicelli with kroger pasta sauce. Glass of water.

Afternoon Snack: Beef Stew. Not the stuff I was sick of last week, my own version: 2 lbs stew meat, 2 onions, diced, 2 potatoes, diced, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 cup celery, 2 cups baby carrots, sage, rosemary, oregano, salt, pepper, 1 container beef stock, 1 glass red wine (because if I'm not drinking it I gotta use it for something.) Glass of orange juice (not in the stew itself. I'm back to listing what I ate now.)

Dinner: Same stew as above, cup of hot orange spice tea.

Exercise: 20 minutes jogging. Despite really not wanting too.

Victories: Not bad on food, exercise despite lack of motivation

Missteps: need a better breakfast.

Today I will improve myself. I will improve myself T-Rex Style

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Look out. Handsome and pantsless, coming your way. Happy St. Patrick's day.

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Yesterday was St. Patrick's day. I was bad.

Breakfast: Smoothie and coffee.

Lunch: Macaroni and cheese, green beans, fried okra, piece of cornbread, unsweet tea.

Afternoon snack: Beef Stew

Dinner, 2 chicken tacos, one steak taco, chips and queso, 3 margarita.

After Dinner: 2 Guinness's, 2 cigarettes

Exercise: 5 minute cardio

Bodyweight circuit: 20 squats, 10 pushups, 20 lunges

2nd circuit: 14 squats, 10 pushups, 14 lunges.

Victories: ... um... worked out?

drank less than I normally wood on a celebration day?


Way over calorie intake.

Victories: ... um... worked out?

drank less than I normally wood on a celebration day?


Way over calorie intake.

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Yesterday was not the best.

Breakfast: Smoothie and coffee

Lunch: Spicy Basil Beef, side salad, spring roll at Mint 2

Dinner: Chick Fil-a grilled chicken sandwich, side salad.

Went to the Thrashers game and had a hot dog. (Thrashers 6, Ottowa Senators 3. You could tell they were senators because they couldn't pass anything)

Didn't get any exercise because I pretty much went straight from work to meet my friends for the game.

Ah well, I'll make up for it saturday.

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This weekend was a wash. I ate pretty well, but the only real exercise I got was from kickball on saturday (6-3 victory in extra innings!)

I've got a friend in town so probably won't get to work out today. Tomorrow I'm gonna get more focused again. just too much going on right now.

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