Journal Entry 342 – Protein and Chinups

Four day work week last week. I must admit the extra day off was nice. Sarah and I went to trivia night at Don’t Look Back on Thursday night with some good friends and got second place! On Friday night we went to California Pizza Kitchen because my friend’s sister was bartending. That was the first time I had ever been there. No clue as to why haha. It has been around this area for a long time, but I never went for some reason. The pizza was good and we got the BBQ Chicken Pizza with a cauliflower crust. 8 out of 10. I will admit that it was much more expensive than I thought it was going to be. Tonight, Sarah has some friends in from out of town so we will be going out again. Expensive weekend haha.

In the gym, I have been doing a ton of bodyweight moves. I decided to do at least 3 sets of chinups every single day for the foreseeable future. I actually love bodyweight moves when at the gym, because it has gotten so packed recently, I can go upstairs away from it all and get a pretty intense workout by doing bodyweight moves to failure. I was doing Push/Pull, but due to the traffic at the gym, it becomes nearly impossible to stick to my routine as all the equipment is taken. My gym also jams equipment way too close too each other and you feel like people are standing on top of each other. I hate that feeling. I like to workout alone and have some room. Chinups have been working great though and my back and abs have been very sore. At the moment, it is the only “back/bicep” movement I have been doing. For push moves, I rotate between pushups, dips and bench press. No direct abs, no isolation moves. Just chinups and compound push movements with about 90% bodyweight moves.

For diet, I have been jacking protein through the roof recently. My goal is to eat very high protein meals, with low carbs and fat. I eat like this for every meal until we go out somewhere or I just want a big meal and then I’ll eat whatever. Mainly just very high protein and carbs and fats vary on the day. On average, I want to keep fat around 50 grams, Carbs 50-200grams (usually only 200 grams on the weekend and closer to 50g during the week) and protein over 200grams. I have been drinking a decent amount of alcohol recently, which do not fall into these categories. 😉

My main foods recently have been dark roast coffee, egg whites, protein powder (Elite XT currently), Costco mixed berries, Quest Bars, Tyson Blackened Chicken Strips (Costco – Really good), lean ground meat, steak, green vegetables, Our Little Rebellion BBQ Chips. The rest of my food is usually eaten out.

Journal Entry 341 – Game of Thrones

Another week in the books. Sarah and I went to Cooper’s Hawk on Friday for date night followed by Mezeh for dinner. Yesterday, I played tennis for the first time this year against one of my good friends. We both entered a tennis tournament at work, so trying to get some practice in. Tonight we are having people over for a Game of Thrones watching party. Final season and the first episode in what feels like a very long time. I expect good things though.

Workouts were great last week. I decided on switching to a Push / Pull routine. This was mainly to break monotony, but also to introduce some novelty back into my workouts. I have a very simple routine each workout and I can actually knock them out pretty quick.

Diet has been consistently low carb. I have been increasing my intake of whole eggs recently and I honestly feel like it is making a difference in the gym. I usually have 2-3 before I go to the gym and did this consistently on every workout day. My goal is to continue eating 3 a day and maybe bump that up provided my strength continues to rise. I have also been increasing dietary fat in my diet as well as sodium. This has greatly helped my workouts. My weight is currently at a solid 180lbs and slowly decreasing.

The new trailer for Star Wars Rise of Skywalker has been released. Not going to lie, it looks pretty damn good. I really hope they give the Skywalker Saga a proper sendoff my incorporating all of the movies together.

 

Journal Entry 340 – Taxes

Unfortunately, I missed my weekly post last week due to filing taxes. I try not to get out of the habit of blogging at least once a week, because I feel like this creates inconsistency. If you skip one week, next thing you know you are skipping several weeks. Taxes this year has been interesting and not fun. I switched my filing method to Married Filing Jointly and Sarah has some investments that can honestly be described as an out of state headache to file. We actually owe money to the state, which is the first time that has happened to me. I can usually knock out taxes in 30 minutes when it was just me, but not this time. Almost done with it currently and we should still net a nice federal return, but the state return is a payment. Just what I wanted to do, pay more taxes!

Anyway, not much I can do about it. Last weekend we had a nice dinner with Sarah’s Grandpa who was in town. He went to the Duke game the next day and unfortunately, they lost. Duke losing also ruined my bracket. However, Duke has gotten pretty lucky the two games prior to the one they lost, so I honestly think it was just a matter of time.

At the time of writing this, I can honestly say I’m not feeling too good. Came home yesterday with pretty low energy levels and have been sneezing a ton. The weather here is not very good either which doesn’t help.

My workouts still need some tweaking. As for diet, I still aim for 10X bodyweight during the week in calories and maintenance calories (13X Bodyweight) Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This puts me roughly at 2000 calories a day each week, which is about right for what I do. I do drink most weekends, so I also factor that into my calories for the day.

Journal Entry 339 – Low Key

Another week in the books. This week started off as crazy busy and then gradually slowed down each day. I think March Madness may have had something to do with slowing down traffic towards the end of the week. My brother really wanted me to make a Bracket, so I spent about 3 minutes making picks on my phone before the deadline. So far I’m in 8th place out of 14 and have already lost my fair share of games. As long as Duke wins, I have a chance though. I’m not a big basketball guy, to be honest, so losing means nothing to me.

My sports hierarchy NFL > College Football > Tennis > Everything Else. This does not mean that I don’t care about other sports at all, it’s just that I barely follow other sports. I have had the urge to get into Professional Soccer recently, but have not made the leap yet.

Been a good weekend so far though. Really nice weather and Saturday was a nice chill day. Friday we did a date night to Coopers Hawk and then went Burger Bach for dinner.

Recently my diet has been borderline Keto for the most part with dramatically reduced fiber. The low fiber has really helped with my digestion. Basically been eating high fat and high protein foods with very low fiber and my stomach has felt like it has already shrunk an inch. Plan on keeping this approach up. My carb totals have been under 100 grams almost every single day with most days under 60 grams. Weight is down to around 180lbs from 186lbs earlier this week as I was kind of bloated at the beginning. Been making an extra effort to add more fat to my diet though and not just jacking protein through the roof.

The only problem is my strength is down a bit. I still benched heavy 3 times last week and my totals are going down. I really need to cut down the heavy days to twice a week max. I also need to bump up sodium with my carbs as low as they are. My hunger has been pretty low for the most part. It really is amazing to me how if I eat a high carb meal, even when high in protein my hunger can skyrocket and I stay hungry for the rest of the day. As long as I keep carbs very low in my diet, this feeling does not occur.

 

Journal Entry 338 – Giants

Another week in the books. It was an interesting one at my company for sure. Mostly positive, but could see some changes for sure. Sarah’s parents were in town this weekend and we knocked out some much-needed yard work. This was the first week all year our yard was not covered in mud and it wasn’t freezing outside. We cleaned up all the gumballs, leaves, buried sticks, logs, and trimmed the bushes. Then we bagged it all up and took it to the dump. Lot of work, but it looks a lot better. That yard is an ongoing project though. We still need to put dirt or sand in certain places of the yard as it constantly pools with water with even the smallest amount of rain. We also went out to Red Salt Chophouse and Sushi and Grapevine for dinner this weekend. Both were great as usual.

As for working out this week, I was not feeling three heavy bench days. I think two is the magic number because one is definitely not enough. I think two heavy days on Monday and Thursday and two light days on Tuesday and Friday is where it’s at. Wednesday is a rest day. The light days would just be pushups, chinups, light abs and stretching. I may even start running on the weekends, at least one day, now that the weather is nice again.

The Giants have been making some moves recently. I’m actually loving it. Dave Gettleman, the Giants GM is getting a lot of hate for his recent moves, but I think these are mainly coming from morons on social media platforms (likely millennials) who really have no clue what they are talking about and think a team is a good as its skill players. As you can tell didn’t work out great for us last year. Odell Beckham was traded to the Browns for a first round pick, a third round pick and a veteran Safety. Beautiful trade. Beckham was a double-edged sword. I like the guy, but on one hand, he was an explosive talent and on the other, a huge drama filled distraction that was either injured or crying. He may act like he was unselfish, but when you go on ESPN and cry that you’re not getting the ball enough and that your QB is the reason your team is losing, you just lost all respect. I think Gettleman felt the same way. Eli Manning made Beckham. End of story. If it wasn’t for Eli, Beckham would not be half the receiver he is viewed as today. Eli did that repeatedly over this career with different receivers including Plaxico Burress, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, David Tyree, and Steve Smith. You know what happened to these receivers after they left the Giants? Their careers basically ended.

I’ve been watching this game a long time and I respect the hell out of what Gettleman is doing and I love that he has the courage to do it. The team needed to be gutted and that is exactly what he did to it. ESPECIALLY THAT HORRIBLE DEFENSE AND OLINE. But he also correctly realized that Eli was not the one to blame for all of the Giants woes that the hate-filled media would like you to believe. Besides the dead cap space, I think we are on the right track. I’m actually really looking forward to the draft and the upcoming season. As long as we don’t get Haskins. For the love of God not Haskins. Recent reports say we are not actively investing time into Haskins and this is music to my ears. Again, this man does not impress me at all. He’s out of shape, slower than Eli Manning by a decent amount, inconsistent (watch some combine footage. Highlights don’t tell the whole story), coming from Ohio State (historically bad QBs in NFL), played ONE YEAR in college and benefited from the offensive spread system he was in. I do not seem him transitioning well to a pro-style offense, which is exactly what the Giants run. Don’t get me wrong I love the spread style offense. If I was the coach I would have at least a 75% pass to 25% run ratio. But that is not how things work on the Giants. Avoid this guy. Daniel Jones and likely Rosen would be a much better fit.

Journal Entry 337 – YouTube Rabbit Holes

Last week was far better than the previous week in terms of my energy levels. This week also seemed to fly by, which is a nice positive. Unfortunately, this weekend has also flown by as well and we lose an hour this morning to daylight savings time. Oh well; not much we can do about it. Sarah and I rented Creed II on Friday night. Highly recommended. I love the old Rocky movies and these are great additions to it. The storyline really flows nicely from the old movies to these.

Last night, Sarah and I threw a party for my friend Cameron’s 28th birthday. We invited some good friends over for some drinks and Kickback Jacks. According to my friend Cameron, the Chicken Philly is the best thing on the menu. I would probably agree with that. The chicken fingers and wings are close behind though.

Recently, I have found myself going down “YouTube Rabbit Holes.” YouTube has a built-in algorithm that recommends videos based on the one you are currently watching. It also has a “Recommended Videos” that will update every single time you watch a different topic of interest. Recently, I have found myself very interested in Simulation Theory videos. I blame Joe Rogan for this one. I will frequently look up various topics that Joe and his guest talk about during the show. This includes Politics, Current Events, Astronomy, Physics, DMT and so on. It’s a great way to learn for sure, but this Simulation Theory is kind of frightening. Mainly because it literally can’t be disproven and some of the arguments behind it make a lot of sense. However, a lot of theories can make sense, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

I like to keep an open mind with things such as this as well as important topics like consciousness, religion, and spirituality. I label myself as an Agnostic Christian. Religion has always been of interest to me and I really do think that there is a benevolent Supreme Being or at least something far greater than ourselves. I also believe in the spirit and life after death. As big as the universe is, there almost has to be something more than this. The main problem I have with religion though is that it pits people against one another based on a belief that may or not be true. There are good-hearted people that practice every religion and when you really look at other religions, the message is largely the same. This is why I like to keep an open mind. Even though people believe in certain things, no one really knows for sure.

As you can tell from the above, you know what I have been doing in my free time haha. As for lifting this week, I went back to a 3-day split. I like having a couple days off without feeling like I need to run to the gym. I usually run to Kroger and get a pack of deli meat for lunch and then listen to a podcast and chill for an hour instead of lifting. The rest days actually make me look forward to working out the next day though. I still do 100 pushups throughout the day on rest days though. Diet has continued to be low in carbs and high in protein.

Journal Entry 335 – Zelda

Zelda

After a week of what felt like non-stop game playing, I finally beat Zelda. Zelda is one of the biggest games I have ever played. The world is massive and the story is open-ended and completed at your own pace. You can literally ignore the main story and just do whatever you want and you still wouldn’t be bored. There was a lot I loved about this game and some things that drove me insane. Overall it was one of the best games I have ever played.

The Good: 

  • I really liked the fighting style with defense, melee and bow attacks all very useful in different fights.
  • The weapons and armor were great. Especially the Master Sword and Hyrule Shield.
  • The world was great and may have been too big.
  • The small attention to detail was definitely on a different level than any other game I have played. When it was raining, you would slip trying to climb, currents in water when swimming, fire getting extinguished in the rain, cooking meals.
  • Collecting items and exploration.

The Bad:

  • Weapons breaking. Dear god, this was annoying. You got some really powerful weapons in that game and most of the time when at of your way to do so and then it would shatter after using on a few enemies.
  • Shrines. These were like puzzles throughout the game and they got old fast. I loved the exploration of this game, but these became a chore and it was the only way to level up.
  • Navigating the four Guardians. The same reason above.
  • No post-game play. 😦 After spending that much time playing, it would have been awesome to see what the world would have looked like after everything had been destroyed.

The Average:

  • The Plot. I really liked the idea behind the plot, but it was a little lacking. It’s like the idea was great, but there wasn’t enough substance behind it.
  • The final boss was not the hardest fight in the game. There was a boss named Thunderblight Ganon that was twice as hard. That guy was a nightmare haha.

I feel like I’m leaving things out here, but as a whole, I may have gotten mildly obsessed with this game haha. Overall I would say 9 out of 10. Remove the shrines, remove the weapons breaking constantly and change the leveling system and I would have rated this 15 out of 10.

Sarah is getting into Zelda now, so that should be fun. Next up we have to unlock characters in SuperSmash.

Diet and Workout

This week I have been going borderline Keto. Carbs have been really low. Been eating steak and greens almost every night. I do tend to feel best when my carbs are lower than 100 grams.

Workouts have been good.  I’ve been doing lat pulldowns instead of chinups after bench press recently. Not sure why, but lat pulldowns are becoming one of my favorite moves. The recovery day was also nice. No heavy moves just isolation moves for bloodflow.