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Did some back lever training and weighted pullups on tuesday morning, then rings in the evening. Right side soreness turned into full on strain/pull/ouchie. Got a massage yesterday, and the masseuse said it was an 'out rib' and I should hit up the chiro, so I managed to do so immediately after, and they said probable intercostal strain. So im basically taking it easy for the foreseeable future. Got my suit tailored up for the wedding and my haircut, so im at least handsome as heck. 

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Piriformis and rib still aching, but getting there. Today was the first day I felt up to some strength work, so I've spent my breaks at work doing crow stands, pullups, pushups, a bit of bridges...feeling ok! The next week will let me further heal up and I look forward to getting back to barbells. Excited to kick off this whole marriage thing and head off to MAUI on tuesday!

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The wedding was perfection. Woke up at usual 4 o clock this morning and we hit the gym together. Spending the day cleaning and packing, and tomorrow its off to MAUI. Heres to chillaxin!

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Maui was incredible, sights were seen and stuff was did. Managed to maintain a bodyweight routine, and even lost a pound. Think Im ready for time away from strenuous nutrition tracking. And some time away from here. Be well everyone!

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And then life went on. After returning from Maui, I started running again. A routine of walking and running intervals did wonders on my previously stressed IT band, and the summer of 2017: I trained for and ran a marathon!  I dun ran it all by my lonesome. Woke up at 4:00 am, and 5 hours later, rolled to a stop to the amazing sight of my wife, holding a homemade shirt celebrating the occasion.

 

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This time I managed not to destroy my leg, and despite some post run pain, I was back to light running, and then started some stronglifts. Squatting deadlifting and benching, ho! 6 weeks of gains, and I turned my squat 1 rep max into my 5 rep for 3 sets. It was intense! Unfortunately, I ignored the signs of a hamstring tweak, and the sumo deadlifting mixed with low bar squatting gave me a hamstring tendonopathy that was awful. Bending over was bad times. The rest of the winter turned into bench bro weeks: smolov jr 4-5 days a week of pressing. I mostly just got sore wrists and hands. I ate alot. I tried to do some bodybuilding style workouts. Eventually, my legs got too fat for my own good, and I tried something new: keto!

 

During the end of 2017, I finally bit the bullet and shopped around for a doctor: I got consultations for skin removal sugery! I started a gofundme, got a tiny bit of assistance from family and friends, and managed to lump together the rest out of my savings. I settled on a super awesome doc in seattle and got a surgery date set for february 2018. I would be getting a tummy tuck! I started eating a ketogenic diet in preparation for my recovery, I would require at least 6 weeks off of 'heavy lifting'. The new diet made me slower, but I managed to continue lifting and pushing myself for about 1.5 months before the surgery. I played around with some fasting. The first week of 2018,. I water fasted for 3 days. It was amazing, and I learned so much. I even PR'd on overhead pressing on day 2, which was....something. As the surgery date rolled ever closer, I sold my car and prepared for the future.

 

Finally, on february 1st, I rolled into surgery. Before I went into the sweet goodnight, they asked if I was an athlete. "Your heart rate is 40!" And then I was out. It was nearly an all-day affair, but there were no complications, and I was in back home in bed by nighttime, eating soup and protein powder. The ensuing weekend was agony, going from my bed to the door via a walker, from bed to the outdoors with a cane by day 2, and grocery shopping with a cane by day 3. My wife was a goddamn hero for taking care of me, I became great friends with the bed, living with lots of blankets and pillows. For the first time in a very very long time, I was on my own to eat. I ate a lot of food. Lots of pork rinds, nut butters, chicken soup. Collagen supplements, fish oil, much broth. As soon as I could, I began talking long walks, strolling about with my cane. It seems like a lifetime ago, but it was a quick recovery.

 

I learned alot about my life. Selling my car combined with losing my bodily autonomy put me in a deep deep depression. At this point, my job had become work from home, and I would go days with my wife being the only person I might see during the course of a day. I had no close friends, and nobody to check on me.I hit a low point, and knew I had to do something when suicide entered the brain. I found the dark place, and realized that aint normal! I finally sought therapy, for food, fitness, and friend issues. It was scary.

 

 

Therapy happened, and no, I didn't quite break down into tears on my first day, despite expectations. Through a combination of actually being able to talk to someone, and pushing myself to go out and do things, life began to change. I slowly put myself into new situations, faced down a lot of social anxiety, and untangled my life from the co dependecy with my wife. Highlights include stand up paddle boarding, going on hikes, and even clubbing (never again). I dropped into a dance cardio class. I saw movies. I found the mankind project, shared my feelings with strangers, and signed up for what amounts to an emotional tough mudder weekend that im off to in a few weeks. As my body healed, I began doing the 'elements' program by gold medal bodies. I crawled around every morning. I meditated. At some point, I did a cartwheel, and within a week, I had signed up for a parkour class.

 

Parkour was amazing. It provided a real outlet for my fitness and a use for the strength I had been building. I was hooked, and my wife surprised me with a pass to a nearby parkour gym! During the summer, I intuitively ate, rediscovered carbs, and learned to fuel myself for activity and honor my body's cues. I also began running again, and arbitrarily decided to train for a 29km birthday run in august. While I have not parkoured since august, I aim to go back again soon. I do not wish to lose the jumping and cardiovascular gains I have learned to cherish.

 

Fast forward to now. I completed my birthday run, ended up running 20 miles down the olympic peninsula, eating blackberries and apples as I went. It was a bittersweet day, my birthday coinciding with the memorial for my wife's father, whose passing came suddenly and really hit us hard. Once again, I had slowly built up fatigue in my legs, and my hamstring on the left side was showing signs that I had experience previously on the right last winter before it got really bad. I took things over to a new PT, and have been rehabbing for about 4 weeks now, with alot of banded glute work and taking a break from barbell leg work. I'm getting better, slowly. After I quit running I messaged an 'instagram celebrity' to make me a powerlifting routine, focusing on deadlifting. It was a huge blow to have to take a break from doing them, but he was a good sport and says he'll help coach me when my legs are back up to snuff. So once again I find myself trying to gain muscle. 5 weeks into a bulk, benching, curling, and lat raising up a storm. Trying to keep things balanced, doing rings and bodyweight work when I can to keep myself honest. I track food, and it makes me miserable. I had intuitively ate through most of the summer, and my weight was stable, amazingly. Gaining weight makes me so anxious, but I know this is more or less a necessary part of the process if I truly want to put on some muscle size. 

 

I struggle with with wanting to be good at everything. I want to be buff, but I want to be strong. I want to be lean, I want to jump over and climb things. I want to be a gymnast, but I just want to deadlift. I'm trying not to spin my wheels. Fitness still rules my life, but I'm writing this surrounded by people, at a coffee shop. I have a 3d printed figure that I designed from scratch for a DND game, and I am slowly painting it. I've got a habitica tab open to tick off when I practice handstands and take my fish oil and take 10 minute walks. I am in flow, and I am getting things done. There are good days and bad days, but I have really come to see life as the continuous process that it is.

 

I don't know how often I will update this, but it feels good to jot down my life updates, even if nobody will stop by to read them. I am human, and I am loved, and it feels good to share.

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Todays's Events 9/24/2018
I have some down time watching random television off my harddrive on the couch with my wife. Lets post the workout I just did!

Warmup
all sorts of rotator cuffs band things

barbell scapula retractions

20 pushups

 

Close Grip Benchpress 
120x9

115x10

105x10

105x10

105x10

 

first set was too heavy, took off 5 pounds and last rep was still super slow. Found a good balance. Quick 1 minute rests. Its a hypertrophy focused week!

At this point, the upstairs with all the dumbells and the cable machine was occupied, so I moved onto a superset of:

 

10 dips, 10 facepulls, x10

 

100 dips and facepulls. Guh. Last two sets were 15. Upstairs is available now. Moved on to lots of supersetting.

 

wide grip pulldown 80x15  x5

DB Bench 50x10 x3

 

DB Incline bench 30x20 x3

DB Row with fat grips 60x10, 60x7, took off the fat group and got 20 reps

 

Fat Grip EZ bar curl +30 on bar x15, x16, x17, x18, x20

Delt Raises, 7.5lb db, 15x5

 

Cable Abs: 90lb x10, 90lb x10->80x10->65x10->45x10 (dropsets)

 

Got nice and sweaty. Went home, dinner plans were quickly abandoned, and I had a tasty salmon filet on top of a sesame sriracha nourish bowl. Today was a good food day, and I ate intuitively, but tried logging a food log via google docs. Tallied everything up while dinner cooked, and added in some sugar free jello pudding with halo top as a little treat to end the day. Did a few hours of work while watching cowboy bebop, brooklyn 99, childrens hospital, and finally...mxc. Found a flea on my shoulder, which jumped away after I squished it between my fingers. We have a cat now, and the flea collar is making them migrate. Euugh.

 

 

 

 

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colors_final2.jpg

 

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Model came out pretty decently. Took a few attempts to not end up full of holes, and I broke off the bowstring while cutting supports, but I figure I can just put some floss on there or something. Had a fun day of painting him!

 

Week was pretty solid. Tried a new approach of eating intuitively, and just logging into a spreadsheet, then adding everything up near dinner to see what else I need to eat. I always gotta eat more to reach bulking goals. Its working. As for workouts:

 

TuesdayI did some barbell hip thrusts, followed by sets of 10 sumo deadlifts and front squats on the belt squat machine. Got the heart rate moving and the legs sore. Ordered some captains of crush grippers. Im gonna grip so good! 

 

Wednesday

After a morning of working, I headed home and warmed myself with coffee and gymnastic rings. Worked on front lever holds, and 'baby muscle ups' with foot assistance. I got kicked out of the coffee shop in the morning for taking up a table with my model and not buying anything. That made me sad, and I explained that being a remote worker this was one of my only places to be around people, but they didn't really care. They are a business after all. I slinked out, hopefully I'll return, introduce myself, and buy something in the future. Rest of the day was fine. Got an email from the mankind project about the upcoming 'warrior weekend.' In an anxiety-inducing fashion, they just gave a giant list of all the men in the geographic area going with contact info and said 'make carpools men.' And you know what? I texted a stranger and did just that. Later I went down to seattle and watched an awesome show at the paramount theater with a bunch of nerds, even saw someone I hadn't seen since high school.

 

Thursday

Did some sets of 10 on overhead press, last reps got grindy and my back got a little sore, but it was ok by the end. Did a bunch of arm assistance work for the gains, and then ate a wonderful mash of sweet potato and russet potato with cottage cheese and fage yogurt. Been loving making mashed potatoes via the instant pot. Filled me up for hours, which was good because I had like 7 things on my calendar. Had a vascular surgeon check out my vericose veins, got some neat socks to wear for a few months until an eventual procedure. After PT worked on my legs, I went to see the original 1986 transformers movie, playing at the local AMC. It was pretty terrible, and headed out after about an hour. I had my fill, and honestly was a bit tired at this point since I hadn't eaten in 7 hours. Headed home and put in a few hours of work before bed, and treated myself to some amazon-delivered coco wheats.

 

Friday

You know that little voice that says you should eat donuts? I let him do his thing this morning, and in the spirit of treating myself, I got a maple bar and a glazed donut on the way to the gym before sunrise. I used the energy to fuel an almost 2 hour session that started with 10 sets of 10 high bar squats, moved to single leg leg press, into curls, trap bar farmers carries (with fat grips), and finally handstand training. My legs were quaking mightily after getting the leg press, and going downstairs was dangerous. Good to use them! Hopefully as things heal up I can get back to regular squatting, heavy deadlifting, and get into a ridiculous 5/3/1 program this winter like I WANTED to do last year before my hamstring ruined it. Checked in with the dentist after getting tongue tie removal surgery last friday, got to chill for 25 mintues before he finally showed up, poked my tongue a bit, then said come back in 2 weeks. Guess it went ok.

 

Currently writing this summary, and listening to old music off the harddrive, feeling nostalgic. Looking forward to some solid food tonight, planning for barbecue. Hopefully my legs don't fall off this weekend! Might try for a hike, something light to get that active recovery, and looking forward to trying an attempt at the 'vertical diet' next week. Stay tuned!

 

 

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Todays's Events 10/12018
Its the first of the month! I woke up early, did my GMB elements focusing on the bear, then took my wife to the bus stop. I figured I'd try the vertical diet this week, so I put a cup of rice into the instant pot to eat during the day. Had a half cup of it with some cranberry juice and a half tablespoon of salt as preworkout.

 

The workout
 I dont feel like fetching my journal, but suffice to say todays workout went well. It was the same thing as last monday, close grip bench press, only this time I did 7 sets instead of 5, AND supersetting them with lat pulldowns. Even warmed up with handstand work! I listened to a podcast during my workout, cause it was almost 2 hours long. Did a bunch of heavy ab work, curls, and lat raises, ending with 100 dips and facepulls. Ab work was a little too heavy and made my back sore (cable crunch.) but damn if it isn't making that 4 pack pop. I feel like the salt really gave me a lot of energy.

 

The day was nothing exciting. I worked at my computer, going out every hour for 10 minutes in the rain, checking on the status of our trash compactor, which sprung a hydraulic leak last week. Packed for my trip this weekend, and marveled at how eating rice and beef just makes me more hungry. Day was generally pretty good until 4, when I learned that the compactor was fixed! I put on my trash man uniform and hopped in the golf kart to try and take care of some of the full trash dumpsters before I had to go pick up my wife. Did I mention I got a part time job as a trash man around my apartment complex? Anyway, theres hydraulic fluid all around the compactor (Which is on a hill by the way) and its pouring rain. The dumpsters are FULL and my boots have NO TRACTION. I struggle strain and slip trying to push them up the hill, and manage to get 1 onto the compactor arms, but the second one nearly kills me. My back aches and my hamstrings are still aching from fridays 10x10 squats. Fortunately the maintenance guy was literally walking by, and together we managed to slide it up onto the machine. He left, I got the call from my wife for a pickup, and after bringing her home I tried in vain to do another dumpster. It was hopeless, and there was some scary moments where it started to roll downhill and I couldn't push back.

 

Stressed me out real good, so I stowed the kart to try again when its not raining. Now I'm just putting in some work hours at my desk while I wait for my wife to come back from the gym. Overall 7/10 day think im good on white rice for a while.

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3 minutes ago, Elastigirl said:

What is a vertical diet?

https://www.tigerfitness.com/blogs/diet-weight-loss/vertical-diet-stan-efferding

 

Some big strong mans pitch of a performance diet for athletes. It basically focuses on macronutrients, and the 'vertical' aspect is something about eating more calories for more performance? Its basically a bodybuilder diet with some science behind it. Alot of red meat and rice.

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6 minutes ago, tcw295 said:

https://www.tigerfitness.com/blogs/diet-weight-loss/vertical-diet-stan-efferding

 

Some big strong mans pitch of a performance diet for athletes. It basically focuses on macronutrients, and the 'vertical' aspect is something about eating more calories for more performance? Its basically a bodybuilder diet with some science behind it. Alot of red meat and rice.

I love steak. I think I'd like that diet for about a week, and then I would be tired of it. 

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Last week was fun. I kept up the rice, beef, and salmon. Dropped the caffeine and had sodium, cranberry juice, and oranges instead. Energy was very high. By the end of the week, I had some weird headaches though. Too much salt intake at one time? Went from putting 1/2 teaspoons into my water down to 1/4 teaspoons. Anyway. Not grabbing my workout journal, but I essentially took the previous weeks workouts, and added more sets. Capped it off with a heavyish squat workout and a 20 rep squat set(not so bad this time, only 115 pounds) on friday. 

 

Finished up a few chores, got my compression socks on, and settled into a strangers car for a 4 hour drive down to washougal washington. I had my warrior weekend!

 

I laughed, I cried, I danced, I cried some more. I probably shed more tears in 2 1/2 days than in the past 10 months. It was a journey I will never forget. They broke us down, took away our comforts, and built us up again. The 33 men who arrived as strangers left as brothers. I'm still coming back to the real world this week. I used PTO to avoid work, and I'm trying to be kind to myself. I had some pancakes, I had some pie, heck I didn't go to the gym today, and I still ate oatmeal for breakfast (In a bath, with candles and everything). I'm still feeling really vulnerable after this weekend, but its a good time to chillax a little and practice that intuitive self care.

 

Also, I got a DEXA scan yesterday, which showed that even though my weight has gone up about 3-4 pounds over the past 6 weeks, apparently I lost....fat and muscle? I'm still wrapping my head around it, but if the machine is to be believed, I could definitely attribute this to...working out every day, hitting biceps and shoulders....always. I need to change how I train if I actually am going to put on some muscle.  

So its been a roller coaster. I'm going to do something that scares me tonight, then do some other novel things later in the week. Catch ya'll later!

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How time flies! 

That weekend changed me. And that thing that scared me? Square dancing. I do that at least once a week now. Turns out old folks love me!

My emotional growth has curved up EXPONENTIALLY since that weekend. I've slowly dipped my toes into leadership, facilitation, and I'm even starting my own mens circle this sunday.

Fitness-wise, I ate a ton. I 'built the monolith' and didnt follow the diet. I got a little bit stronger, and gained about 15 pounds. Got into unhappy body image territory chasing muscle growth that others earn in years in a matter of 6 weeks. 

I rehabbed tendonothy of my right hamstring, only to have my left develop it. I've got a good thing going now and things are slowly getting better, despite pain. I'm going to deadlift 405 this year.

2.5 weeks ago I started a ketogenic diet, and for the past 3 days I've gone full carnivore. I have to say, I feel INCREDIBLE. Taking in a ton of information and research and very excited about this lifestyle change. This morning I swallowed raw liver like a multivitamin then did handstands. I hit the gym twice yesterday and I'm losing more than a pound a week.

Its been a year since I got a tummy tuck and this body is incredible. I am so very grateful for what it can do. There is personal training certification in my future. Sharing is good for me.

Stay fit, friends.

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13 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Welcome back! Sounds like you've learned a lot about what works (and doesn't) on your journey

Thanks! Awareness and mindfulness have been up for me. 2019 is all about flow and intuition. These past few weeks I've finally been going to therapy with purpose, not just a show up and recount the week. Got a flowchart and goals and stuff! 

This next month my website will go live and I can finally share a blog that I've maintained since 2014, secretly documenting my weight loss journey and transformation into fitness dude. Excited to bring it out of the shadows!


Meanwhile, this morning I woke up at 3:45 and couldnt get back to sleep. Also, I was having food lust. So I got up, meditated and journaled, then cooked a pound of ground lamb in a tablespoon of butter, then biked to the gym. Did deadlifts 305x5 supersetted with paused overhead press 95x5 for four sets. Feeling decent, but sore from swimming and handstands yesterday. Hopefully this lack of sleep doesn't bowl me over today. Just finished off another half pound of beef while writing this because I am super cold. Suns out today though!

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10 minutes ago, tcw295 said:

Thanks! Awareness and mindfulness have been up for me. 2019 is all about flow and intuition. These past few weeks I've finally been going to therapy with purpose, not just a show up and recount the week. Got a flowchart and goals and stuff! 

This next month my website will go live and I can finally share a blog that I've maintained since 2014, secretly documenting my weight loss journey and transformation into fitness dude. Excited to bring it out of the shadows!


Meanwhile, this morning I woke up at 3:45 and couldnt get back to sleep. Also, I was having food lust. So I got up, meditated and journaled, then cooked a pound of ground lamb in a tablespoon of butter, then biked to the gym. Did deadlifts 305x5 supersetted with paused overhead press 95x5 for four sets. Feeling decent, but sore from swimming and handstands yesterday. Hopefully this lack of sleep doesn't bowl me over today. Just finished off another half pound of beef while writing this because I am super cold. Suns out today though!

You know people in the Midwest are going to mock us if we say it's 32 degrees and we're cold, right?:friendly_wink::smile-new:

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3 minutes ago, Elastigirl said:

You know people in the Midwest are going to mock us if we say it's 32 degrees and we're cold, right?:friendly_wink::smile-new:

Well its a good thing I don't compare myself to people who don't live here!

I'm still working on my hungry gauge, but one of my signs of hunger is feeling very very cold. After that pound of lamb, I biked in the 30ish morning and I was NOT cold. Standing at my computer desk after my workout...cold and goosebumps.....fooood.

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Hello from the Seattle Snowpocalypse!

Current sitting in the living rooms of some friends we're staying with. Theres a good 6+ inches of snow buildup outside and mario party on the TV. 

Past week has been uncomfortable. Had some ground beef last friday and got a nice gift of nausea, chills, gurgling gut....temperature was 104 by the end of the night. Intestinal virus, ho! Spent the weekend mostly on bedrest, but managed to pull myself together to run my first open mens circle on sunday, and my wife afterwards said it was the healthiest I had looked all weekend. Despite the snow, I still had men show up and it was a wonderful experience.

Meanwhile the week has gone on and the snow has piled up, I have been recovering slowly, gaining enough strength to actually do meaningful exercise by thursday. Did a 40 minute interview with the owner of my gym, it was an amazing conversation. Fever has gone by then, and friday morning I managed a few barbell squats before getting a haircut and hiding from the snow across towns with friends who don't live on a hill. Interesting staying with vegans as a carnivore. Woke up early this morning....a gym across the street left a rowing machine outside that I spotted on my pre-dinner walk. So I hit it up for a pre-dawn 5k. Pace wavered but felt really good. Owner showed up at 7, very confused, but glad to see me using it. Took a video, and we parted with smiles.

Going to take a train to the airport tonight to avoid driving tomorrow, so adventures await. If we pull this off, I shall soon be in Oahu! 

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No fair leaving  for Hawaii! For my workout todayI shoveled snow. I think we got about 5".  Glad you are over the food poisoning, that sounds miserable

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