diet

Journal Entry 312 – On The Move

Missed my weekly post last week due to moving out all weekend. Unfortunately, I will be moving out all next weekend and then I will be moving into my house the weekend after that!

I will say I have really enjoyed going through all my stuff and getting rid of things that I no longer need. We have taken loads of items to either Good Will or the dump. This makes packing a lot easier and reduces a ton of clutter in your house. It is kind of amazing how much crap you can accumulate over time without even realizing it. Commercialism at its finest! I have reduced my closet down to everything I will actually wear. We plan to do the same thing with food we have. We are trying not to eat out so that we can literally eat everything out of the freezer. This way we don’t have to transfer anything.

For training this week, I did a 5 day Push/ Pull / Legs workout. I have increased my bench press up 5 reps from last week and my lunges up to 45lbs in each hand. My chinups have still been no bueno. I feel very heavy every time I do them. Only one day of cardio, which I did yesterday.

Diet has been more or less the same as recent weeks. Had a couple of higher carb meals than normal at dinner, but I’ve had a weird urge to do Keto recently. I found a really good recipe out though. It tastes like cake and has pretty low calories:

  • Microwave Cake
    • 1 whole egg (70 calories)
    • 1/3 scoop of protein powder (30-50 calories)
    • 1 stevia
    • Mix up and heat for 30 seconds
    • Total 100-120 calories

You can literally customize this in endless ways, but this is the base. It has a really good “cakey” texture to it and it is extremely easy to make.

Tried a new protein bar called MRE bar by Redcon. 5 out of 10. It has a really good package and looks really dense and chewy, but it tasted dry as hell. The ingredients were on point though. Every time I try a new bar, I almost always regret it. I just need to stick to Quest Bars. Quest Bars are unbelievably good and other bars just can’t hold a candle to them.

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Journal Entry 311 – Putting In Work

Training:

Had a really good week in the gym. I did a 5 day Push/Pull/Legs/Push/Pull workout setup with cardio on the weekend. Hit my heavy bench press and heavy rows early in the week and finished the week with higher volume and lighter moves. Not sure why, but I was really feeling EZ bar skullcrushers and curls. I got a tremendous pump towards the end of my workout from those.

Overall my strength is still slowly increasing. At this point, I really just want to be consistent with my workouts. It feels like the more I go to the gym the stronger I get, especially with back.

I also did some cardio twice this week of around 30-40 minutes.

Diet:

I have been going pretty low carb recently with good results. My weight was at 185.6lbs at a high early this week (not sure how as this is high for me) and is now around 182.2lbs. I have noticed though that I do look leaner at a heavier weight, which is always a good sign in terms of body composition.

My diet is pretty simple during the week. I have two protein shakes during the day with one being mid-morning and the other in the afternoon when I get back from the gym. I also have some Our Little Rebellion Protein Chips almost every day. This gives me a ton of protein and not a ton of calories. At night I then usually eat a pretty large meal, which is usually low carb, but not always. I then finish the night with another protein shake with berries in it. I really enjoy that protein shake. It tastes better than ice cream to me.

So the above has very consistent elements, but dinner also allows me a lot of flexibility. I can pretty much eat whatever I’m feeling at dinner. It’s almost always a healthy meal, but not always. Eating like this I don’t really feel the need for cheat days, because I can eat whatever I want every day at dinner. I’m pretty busy during the day at work, so I really don’t like messing with meal prep anymore. I enjoy undereating during the day so I can eat a big dinner when I can sit down to enjoy it.

This may seem like common sense, but the more I workout the better I look. Even when I eat healthy and don’t workout I don’t look nearly as good as I do when I do some sort of exercise every day. To me it’s pretty noticeable. It also benefits my mental health and allows me to eat more food as well.

Life:

I had a company function at place called the Circuit Bar in Richmond, Virginia. Very fun place and it had tons of old games and a ton of craft beer that was self-serve. I got the high score in Skee-ball with 320. Also, played some Tekken 3 and Madden. Sarah and I then went out to a place called Dont Look Back after with some friends and played some pool. I was out from 4-12 PM yesterday and worked from 9-2 PM. Busy day, but fun. Only thing that sucks is I really only have one day off of free time to relax.

I watched the NBA finals this year, which is something I almost never do. Not a huge basketball fan anymore, since Kobe Bryant retired. He was always my favorite player. That being said Lebron James is a beast. He carried a very mediocre team to the Finals. I almost felt bad for him.  His team was so bad, he almost had no chance of winning against Golden State. Also, not a big Golden State fan. Draymond Greene is probably the most annoying player I have ever seen and his talent is way smaller than his ego. He is just along for the ride, while Steph Curry and Kevin Durant carry the team. Klay Thompson is also one of the most consistent shooters I have ever seen. I think he gets overshadowed by Curry and Durant and probably by Greene, but only because Greene is an obnoxious loudmouth. Not surprised by the outcome of the NBA Finals, but the Playoffs were enjoyable to watch.

Journal Entry 310 – Grinding

Another week in the books. Last week flew by and I continue to still be very busy at work, which makes the days pass very quickly. Sarah and I have also been very busy with the mortgage/house process.

The early part of the week I hit my 3 workouts fullbody style as outlined in last weeks posts. Not going to lie, was not feeling it. My workouts have been pretty weak recently. My bench press is at best stagnant, but I almost feel like I’m getting weaker and I think benching heavyish 3 times a week is not good for the long-term health of my shoulder. I think I’m going to try a¬† 4 day Push / Pull workout. My pull workouts will be light to moderate with no heavy weights. This will give my front deltoids an extra day of rest.

I have also done cardio twice this weekend and it felt very good! I haven’t done much cardio in recent weeks, but I want to add it back in. I may wake up early on Wednesday or go after work, so that I can have 3 days of cardio and 4 days of lifting.

My diet has been pretty low carb during the week. I plan to increase my carbs, especially at night. I think this will help with my workouts. I also plan to lower my fat and increase calories overall.

I tried a new protein called Syntha 6 – Birthday Cake Remix. I had very high hopes after I tried and returned Designer Grassfed Whey Vanilla Cookies and Cream. The later tasted like dirty chalk. 2 out of 10. ūüė¶ Syntha 6 was much better, but not great. I would go 7 out of 10. Compared to the other one though it tasted heaven sent. I would still say Elite XT is still probably my favorite even though I haven’t bought it in awhile.

Had a good weekend though. My brother was in town for a friends wedding and then Sarah and I went to a wine festival yesterday, which is one of my favorite things to do.

Journal Entry 309 – Returns For Time Invested

I’m still trying to find a workout that provides the best returns for the time invested. I really don’t like going to the gym and feel like I’m wasting my time with ineffective exercises that are barely doing anything in terms of body composition and time spent doing them. Gone are the days when I enjoy spending hours in the gym. My day no longer revolves around my workout, so I really want to create a workout that hits everything I want to be hit and then I want to move on with my day. I literally want to get in and get out. I love the benefits working out provides and I fully plan on working out for the rest of my life, but these benefits can be achieved in about 30 minutes a day.

The best feeling for me in the gym is getting stronger. It’s instant feedback that you are doing something right. I designed a routine and schedule that I think will carry me into greatness at this point in my life.

MC’s Minimalist Routine:

  • Incline DB Bench Press 4 sets of 6-12 reps
  • Chinups 4 sets of AMAP with bodyweight
  • Dips 3 sets of AMAP with bodyweight
  • Isolation of choice 3 sets of 8-15 reps
    • Optional depending on time

This workout will be done Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. It gives me a solid 48 hours between workouts and then I hit it again. I will sub in barbell bench press once a week, but no more due to shoulder issues. My main goal is to get stronger and do more reps on all of these exercises. Don’t let this workout fool you though, it’s not easy. It’s simple on paper, but not easy. This workout can be completed in under 40 minutes, which makes it perfect for me. It also hits every muscle in the upper body. I will also do cardio a few times per week, mainly on the weekends. When Sarah and I move into our house, we are going to buy a treadmill. Once we do this I will likely run every day that I don’t lift.

I’m still playing around with diet, but it is high protein as always. I still backload most of my calories to dinner as well.

Sarah and I have also recently had an offer accepted on a house! We have both the inspection tomorrow and meet with the mortgage office to sign the loan. I have heard signing a loan is a miserable process, unfortunately, but we have to do it at some point.

 

Journal Entry 308 – Back To Reality

First week back after the Wedding / Honeymoon. Took me a few days to shake the rust off, but I’m almost back to normal. My body still feels a little bit achy¬†for some reason though. My joints still have some pain and my energy¬†levels are a little low. I have some pain in my back as well near my right shoulder blade. Not sure what it is, but it does feel like it is slowly getting better.

My workouts have been very weak. I did a 4 day Push / Pull this week and my strength and endurance were definitely¬†down. I did cardio yesterday which felt pretty good, but lifting has been a chore this week. My carbs have been pretty low recently and I’ve been eating a ton of protein, but it seems to be negatively impacting my lifts. I plan on adding some carbs and probably eating a larger dinner each night to see if this helps my lifts. I want to get my bench press back to 225lbs.

I had some Pizza Hut on Friday night, because I felt like I needed it. ūüėČ Sarah and I had a busy day yesterday as well. We went house hunting, went bowling with my team at work and then went to Downtown Richmond to get dinner with some of Sarah’s friends.

I had been slacking on working out for the week leading up the Wedding / Honeymoon. I’m not sure if I got “out of shape” in that small of a period of time, but it sure feels like it. Hoping to shake this feeling soon.

Journal Entry 307 – Wedding and Honeymoon!

A lot has happened¬†in the last two weeks. I married the love of my life on May 5th, 2018! The weekend of the wedding was hands down the best time of my entire life. All of our friends and family were there and I couldn’t have asked for a better time. Laura Mincher, Sarah’s mom, was nice enough to organize the whole thing, which I know required a lot of work.

The Rehearsal Dinner was great and we had some awesome food and great speeches. My pumpkin chocolate chip Groom’s cake¬†seemed to be a crowd favorite as well. It had VT (Virginia Tech) on it with a Spider (Richmond Spiders) in the corner of it for Sarah. After the dinner, all of the wedding party when out for more drinks in downtown Greensboro. We ended up drinking a lot (mainly craft beer. Just like Richmond, Greensboro seems to be big on this.) and I didn’t go to bed til around 4:30am.

On the day of the wedding, we woke up the around 9am and all my Groomsmen went to Kickback Jacks around 1130am for some food and drinks. The wedding was at 6pm and everything went smoothly. After we took loads of pictures, then everyone headed to the Reception. The Reception was amazing. We didn’t eat much food at all besides appetizers, but the club packed us some food for after the wedding. We did drink plenty though and it seemed like everyone that came had a really good time. After a lot of dancing and socializing, Sarah and I left for Charlotte, North Carolina. I ate way more than she did of the food because she wasn’t hungry, but that food tasted amazing. The sushi was especially good. Neither of us really had a piece of cake though. We had that initial bite when first cutting the cake, but that was about it. I believe some was saved for us though so we can eat it at some point!

The Honeymoon was also a great time. We left our hotel in Charlotte, NC around 730am and booked an early flight to St. Lucia. It took about 4 and half hours to get there. We then went through customs and had an hour bus ride to the resort.¬†St. Lucia is a third world country for sure. I didn’t really think about this til we landed in the airport and went through Customs. As we drove through the island, I was a little worried we made a huge mistake going there. However, once we hit the Sandals resort, it was amazing. We arrived around 4-5PM on Sunday. The views of this island are really great. One of my favorite parts about the trip. Our balcony also had an amazing view. The food was also really good and there was a lot of it everywhere. I didn’t drink nearly as much as I thought I was going to. We had more drinks when we first got there and less towards the end of the trip. We also took a boat tour of the island, which was pretty fun. I will say most of the local citizens and/or Sandal’s employees of this country were extremely nice. I don’t know if they were told to be this way, but it was noticeable.

There were some negatives about the trip, unfortunately. I actually think I picked up the flu about halfway through it. We went on that boat tour and as soon as we got back, I felt horrible. I had chills, super weak joints, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, etc. It took me about 2 days to bounce back. The weak¬†joints worried me. I felt like an old man and super lazy and that’s the complete opposite of how I normally feel. Another negative was that Sandal’s is an all-inclusive resort, but there are constantly people there trying to sell you something and they are relentless. It really started to annoy me. I mean when you are on your Honeymoon, you shouldn’t have to deal with that kind of crap being thrown in your face. I almost felt like I had to avoid certain areas of the resort just so I didn’t have to talk to these people. It basically just felt like a cash grab, even though we already dished out a handsome sum of money to be there. There was one other big negative and that was the number of insects. When you were eating outside there were a lot of flies around the tables. There was also a lot of insects on the balcony off our hotel. I feel like pest control could have been a lot better. The final complaint I had was going through Customs in the St. Lucian airport. Yikes.

I would rate our Honeymoon 8 out of 10. I had a really good time overall, expect for the negatives I listed above. I did really look forward to coming back to the US at the end of our time there. It’s nice being able to get your own food and drinks, use unlimited WiFi and just be comfortable knowing that you are living in the best country in the world. One other thing I forgot to mention, the local diet soda their tastes horrible. Very flat. I had two Diet Mountain Dews when I got back and words can’t describe how good it tasted.

After all this, Sarah and I are starting the house hunting process. We didn’t get back til 2am on Sunday morning, so we took Monday off to knock out a lot of stuff we need to get done.

I also plan to get my workouts rolling again and start putting on some muscle, I feel like I lost some size recently and this needs to get fixed! I plan on doing Chest/Tris and Back/Bis days twice a week with a Shoulder/Traps day in the middle. I’m also going to up the calories and protein. More on this next post!

One final thing I wanted to bring up. Being married to Sarah feels no different than before, which is a good thing to me. The biggest thing I have to get used to is her name changing to Mrs. Cocchiola and calling her my wife and not fiance!

Journal Entry 305 – New Schedule is Coming

Today is the last week of my old schedule. I luckily get Saturday off, so it will be a 3 day week. I’m moving to an 8-5 schedule Monday through Friday. It will be a big change for me as I haven’t been on that schedule for awhile. This also means some change in terms of diet and workout, which I haven’t really figured out yet. I probably won’t figure it out until I actually start and see what I like best. I thought about going to the gym early and knocking it out, but I would likely have to get up before 6AM, which I’m not really sure I want to do. I will most likely just go to the gym on my lunch break around 1-2PM. I may adjust my routine so that I’m benching twice a week and continue with my pushups / chinups¬†and stretching routine. Still hitting 200 pushups / 50 chins and stretching daily.

Not sure what I plan to do for the diet. Based on my schedule, an Intermittent Fasting setup would work really well with my hours. Eat minimal during the day when busy and feast at night. This would also be far easier from a planning and financial standpoint. What I may do is make a protein shake in the morning to drink around mid-morning, then eat a bag of Enlightened Beans or Jerky at work. This provides around 600 calories total during the day, which allows a very large meal every night, while keeping calories in check. This would allow me a couple drinks at night, a very big high protein meal and some protein pudding for dessert.

I got to a new low of 179.4lbs this week. I had a big eating day from Saturday night and all day Sunday and got up to 184lbs. I was down to 182lbs this morning. I expect to go below 179lbs by the end of this week.¬† For whatever reason, I almost felt hungover after my cheat day even though I didn’t drink. Not a good feeling. It’s probably because I went from pretty low carbs to very high carbs in a day and then back to very low carbs. That’s a pretty large swing that I’m not really used to. Calories were over 3000 for the day. I may try splitting my cheat day up into a big meal on both Saturday and Sunday night versus the whole day. I have a feeling I would not only enjoy this more, but feel much better than slamming calories all day long.