Journal Entry 333 – Sickness / Kingdom Hearts 3 / Diet and Workout Update

I missed my post last week due to being sick all week with a cold/sinus infection. I’m actually still dealing with a few symptoms from it to be honest, especially in the morning and when I lay down at night. I took off Friday last week and took it easy for the whole weekend. Luckily, Kingdom Hearts 3 has finally come out so I had something to do.

Kingdom Hearts 3 has been in development of the last 10 years. The original game came out when I was like 13. I have played both Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 and I enjoyed this game. Several features of the game are tailored towards a younger generation for sure, but I would say over half of the people that played the first two games are my age or older. KH3 is heavily skewed towards Disney and way less towards Final Fantasy. The mix of the two is what drew my interest in the first place. That was a huge negative of this game in my opinion. They had 9-10 worlds focusing on a different Disney movie, but couldn’t allocate at least one to Final Fantasy? This game is made by Square Enix not Disney. Square Enix (used to be Square Soft) is the creator of Final Fantasy, so it had every right to jam as much Final Fantasy as humanly possible into this game. Other than that I found it to be an enjoyable game. The graphics were great, you got your money’s worth in terms of content, good characters and most of the game was fun. I would probably rate it 8 out of 10. I will admit, I definitely got absorbed into this game. This does not happen to me often anymore. Also, not to spoil anything but there definitely seems like another one coming out in the future. Hopefully not 10 years from now.

My workout schedule has been very simplistic as of late, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying it. Here it is below:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
    • Bench Press (Pyramid)
      • Warmup – 135lbs (10 reps)
      • Top set 240lbs 4-6 reps
      • 2nd Work Set 225lbs 6-10 reps
      • 3rd Work Set 185lbs for 10-15 reps
      • Burnout Set 135lbs for AMAP (usually get between 20-30 reps)
    • Chinups
      • 4 sets of AMAP with bodyweight
    • Stretching
  • Tuesday and Thursday
    • Rest Day
      • Optional Incline Walk
      • Optional Pushups
      • Stretching
  • Saturday and Sunday
    • 150 Pushups
    • 50 Chinups
    • Stretching

Nothing groundbreaking here. My bench continues to rise. I have noticed if I overdo the pushups during the week, my shoulders can hurt on bench press the next day. I usually just take a rest day completely off from the gym on Tuesday and Thursday. Typically, I’ll run errands that I don’t want to do on the weekend or I’ll go get a light lunch. Also, I usually only do that bodyweight workout one of those weekend days. Not both.

Calories fall around 1700-2000 calories during the weekdays with most of those being eaten at night. Then on the weekends, I’m around the 2000-2500 calorie range. I still keep track, but I really don’t care where they fall. I seem to be in a good place with an intuitive style approach right now. My vice is alcohol on the weekends that can get high pretty quickly. :0 Protein is where it needs to be, fat is moderate and carbs are the same. So balanced!

During the week my diet layout looks like this most of the time:

  • Head to Work
  • Coffee – 50 cals
  • Protein Pudding – 150 cals
  • Enlightened Beans – 450 cals
  • Home from Work
  • Vegetables with Ranch or Hummus / Chips and Salsa – 200-300 cals
  • Dinner – Varies – 5-800 cals
  • Protein Pudding with berries- 200 cals
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Journal Entry 332 – Glass

For the second week in a row, I have seen a movie in theaters. Before last week, I have seen maybe one movie in the past 2 years. Now I have seen two back to back! I used to go all the time, but that was a long time ago. This week Sarah and I met up with a couple of friends to see Glass.  Glass is a sequel to both Unbreakable and Split. We watched Split earlier this week and it was great. Psychological thriller type of movie. I had no clue that Unbreakable and Split were linked until the end of the movie. To make a long story short, the movie is about undiscovered superheroes/villains that have certain features that make them superhuman. Glass (Samuel L Jackson) is a mastermind, Dunn (Bruce Willis) is incredibly strong and perceptive and Kevin (James McCavoy) has multiple personalities, including “The Beast” which is essentially a very powerful man/animal hybrid. They all have a huge weakness though, which are brittle bones for Glass, water for Dunn and compassion for Kevin. The movie is about an organization that puts these characters in a psych ward and tries to convince them they are insane and have no special powers. The movie has several twists, but I enjoyed it. There were parts I didn’t like, but overall it was great. It has a very realistic take on how superhumans would look in real life. Just like everyone else, but boosted somehow. It’s not a movie with a superhero in spandex fighting a bunch of aliens. This realistic take is one of my favorite things about this movie/series.

Sarah and I had some friends over last night to drink. We busted out some Mulled Wine, which is heavily spiced wine that you are supposed to serve warm. It tasted great. I had it cold and it may have been better than warm.

My workouts were good last week. I’m going to stick with the 3 days a week setup. I notice everytime I back off and just take a rest day, I feel really good the next day in the gym. This would support the idea of really only lifting every other day. I feel like my strength may take off with this approach. I switched to a pyramid scheme with my bench and added a set with 185lbs. I repped that 15 times on Friday after two heavy sets of 235lbs and 225lbs. It felt super light. I’m thinking about benching 3 times a week. I already bench twice, but may take out the Incline Press day and see what happens. I’m also adding in some fluff work at the end of each lifting day for whatever move I want. Usually, it is something for arms like curls, skull crushers or dips.

Also, we tried Qdoba for the first time in a long time this week. Dear god was it nasty. 1 out of 10. Half the ingredients felt uncooked and extremely dry. There was no flavor, except for maybe the chicken. After that horrible experience, not going there again. I’m sorry Chipotle. You are still my favorite!

Journal Entry 331 – Long Weekend / Dragonball Super / NFL

Had the first nice long weekend after a very busy work week. To say I was stressed would be an understatement. Anyway, the weekend proved to be very good so far and I got a lot of things done.

Sarah and I had a date night on Friday night. Started at Cooper’s Hawk and then went to Plaza Azteca for dinner. Both were great. Straight up feasted at Plaza. Food was so good it was hard not too. We got back that night and stayed up for another hour and then went to bed. I fall asleep almost immediately but woke up at 2 AM drenched in sweat and couldn’t go back to sleep. I was up for another 3 hours and then went downstairs to watch TV and luckily fell asleep for about 3 hours. I was worried that the lack of sleep would tank my energy levels on Saturday, but I was fine for the most part.

Saturday I went and saw Dragonball Super Broly with a few good friends. It was awesome! The animation was really good and it was actually a good movie. Dragonball movies tend to be pretty bad overall in terms of plot. Not this one. I would say 8.5 out of 10. Probably the first movie I have seen in over a year.

I, unfortunately, watched the NFL Playoffs last night and was really confused about the lack of eyesight and intelligence by the NFL referees. There was a penalty in the Saints vs Rams game that was so obvious, a blind man could have seen it and yet no flag was thrown. There were three separate offenses on that play. Pass Interference, head to head contact and hitting a defenseless receiver. NONE OF THEM WERE CALLED. You look at these plays and really start to wonder if these games are rigged. I mean the whole season should be branded as lost in my opinion with the amount of god awful officiating. They need to clean house, bring in new refs and teach them how the rules work from start to finish. Really annoying. The Chiefs vs Patriots officiating wasn’t as bad, but there were a few calls where you really scratched your head. I know the rules well since I have been watching football every week for the last 15 years. I then see how these refs reverse calls on challenges that clearly don’t have 100% evidence to overturn the call on the field and they do it regardless. I could sit here and rant all day and just thinking about it pisses me off haha. Change needs to come. Enough said. Oh yeah, and did I mention I hate the Patriots with every facet of my being. Another year of watching this godforsaken team in the Superbowl. Let’s go Rams!

Rant is over. 😉 Training was no bueno this week. Due to the stress at work, I went into my workouts and in a pretty low mood and just was not feeling it. I plan on this week being better. This weekend I have started doing 50 chinups, 100 situps and 100 pushups a day in addition to stretching. I plan on keeping this going for the next week.

Journal Entry 325 – Thanksgiving 2018

Had a nice 4 day weekend for Thanksgiving this year. I took some extra PTO on Wednesday and Saturday (4 and 5 hours respectively) because my brother Justin flew into Richmond with his wife Rebecca and my little niece Abby. We don’t get to see them often, so it’s always fun when they come to visit. We did a lot of eating this weekend and looking forward to getting back to my normal diet. I did a pretty good job of not overdoing it too much and ended up making 3 recipes that were lower calorie but tasted really good. Went with a greenbean casserole, brussel sprouts and pumpkin crisp (Splenda). I also had some Turkey but tried to focus on the volume from these foods without getting into the higher calorie foods. Not going to lie though, I’m not a big Thanksgiving food person. I mean the foods are okay, but not my favorites. If I’m going to spend that many calories on eating something, it is not going to be on those foods. I did drink a decent amount, since my brother was there, so that also increased the calorie load quite a bit.

I have browsed some Black Friday deals and ended up getting some new sweatpants for the gym. As a minimalist, I look at some of the things being sold on Amazon and laugh. It really is amazing how much crap is out there, yet people keep buying it. There is one thing I really want to find though and that is a pair of wireless headphones. I listen to headphones every day and really just want a pair that will last all day without having to be charged and also a pair I can adjust the setting right from my ear. I will keep you posted on these.

Hokies somehow pulled it out of their a$$ on Friday against UVA. I thought we were going to lose for sure. The playcalling was HORRIBLE down the stretch. It’s like our coach wanted us to lose by being ultra conservative against a much better offensive team. We got lucky by stripping the fumble in overtime. That is the only reason we won, but I will take it!

Giants play against the Eagles today, which is a borderline playoff game for the rest of their season. If we can win today, I think we will carry this momentum for the rest of the season and somehow sneak into the playoffs by winning the division and overcoming our disastrous start. Our division is garbage and an 8-8 or 9-7 record could easily win it.

The only training I did this weekend was pushups, squats and stretching. I plan on getting back on low carbs the rest of the week and try to push past my plateau on bench.

PS – Costco Steak Jerky is by far one of the best deals on Jerky you are going to find. It is a 12oz bag of $9.99 or if you are lucky enough $6.99 on sale. It has very high protein and low sugar compared to most Jerky’s. I stocked up yesterday. Costco was also empty after the Holiday. Best time to go.

Journal Entry 323 – Finance

The end of the year is approaching very quickly. I can’t believe the Holidays are almost here. Very busy year overall and I have spent more money this year than any year to date. A first house will do that to you. That being said my Net Worth is still looking pretty good. Similar to writing this blog, working out and eating well, personal finance is a huge topic of interest for me. My interest in personal finance is what led me to my current job, to begin with. My current job has taught me a tremendous amount about the financial industry. I’m not an expert compared to some people but consider myself strongly inside of intermediate territory. I could compile all you would need to know into finance in a few simple tips:

  • Get out and stay out of debt. 
    • This one is probably the most important. If you understand this, then you likely have your ducks in a row. Don’t get behind on credit card payments, don’t buy a car you can’t afford and have $3-400 a month payments with interest or any other instrument of debt. Many places offer financing on just about any expensive item and you want to be wary of this. Financing implies you will be paying interest and this means more money you have to pay then the initial cost of the item. BEWARE.
    • A mortgage is somewhat of an exception because paying off a house is unrealistic for most people.
    • I have talked to some very smart people and some of them still haven’t grasped this concept, which is shocking to me. Do you really need a $40000 SUV with huge tires when all you do with it is commute to work or the store? – Probably not.
  • Invest in a 401(k) ESPECIALLY if you have company match (free money)
    • Be a loyal employee. It costs a lot of money to hire people and the longer you work somewhere, show up and do a great job, the more the company likes and invests in you.
  • Invest in a Taxable Account
    • Taxable accounts are the new savings accounts in my opinion. You can withdraw the cost basis (the money you put in the account – after-tax) tax-free and the money will grow far more (investment earnings) than it would sitting in a checking/savings account.
  • Keep 3-6 months of savings in your checking and savings and move the rest to a taxable account or other savings account
    • The value of your money in checking and savings accounts actually loses money each year due to inflation. Keep an amount that feels comfortable to you here, but save the rest.
  • Beware Lifestyle Inflation
    • This is a tough one, because it kind of happens automatically. Lifestyle inflation is basically earning more and spending more to match it. For example, say I got a $25000 annual raise. Most people would go “Hell Yeah” and spend it all by getting a bigger house and a nicer car even though they were fine with what they had before. Some of this is just the way society is set up as it is highly materialistic. Smart people take this money, pay off debt, invest it (which essentially means you will earn more money down the road) and live the same way they were living before. Quality of life is the same before the raise, but their wealth would increase tremendously.
    • Image result for fight club you are not the thing you own
  • Get rid of things you no longer use.
    • This is actually a very underrated tip for saving money. I shudder at the thought of hoarding. I’m possibly the only person in my family that is a minimalist or non-materialist. When your house becomes piled up so high with crap, you don’t even realize what you have any more. We don’t live in a third world country, therefore, we do not need to collect goods as if our life depended on it. Clean out your house and really go through everything you have to see if you truly need that item. Odds are if you don’t use it every day and haven’t seen it in years then you don’t need it. This doesn’t apply to pictures or family heirlooms, but mainly to excessive clothing that you don’t wear or any material goods, decorations that you would be better served getting rid of.
  • Buy Quality over Quantity
    • This may sound like I’m recommending never to buy anything. This is not so. I mainly recommend getting all of your debt paid off and your savings in place (investments or savings should be automatic. There should never be an excuse not save each month. Set up savings like you would an automatic bill payment). When you do buy something, make sure it is a quality item. This is something you would use daily or use for a long time before replacing, but it is also something you can afford. Never use financing to pay for a small item. Obviously, I don’t recommend buying too much quantity of anything, unless you actually need the volume of what you are buying. Buy nice things within your means, not a lot of things.
  • Appreciate Money
    • At an early age, I learned to appreciate food. As a fat child, I learned that it was through food that I was grossly overweight for my age and height. From that day forward, I manipulated food to achieve my desired effect. Which for me was to be slim. I have gone through one hell of a learning curve with food and can honestly tell you that when I eat something I appreciate what it is doing for me. I look at cheat meals as something I have earned and the rest of the time I choose foods that I know are benefiting me. (Protein, healthier fats, low sugar, green vegetables etc..) I only learned to appreciate food after it became scarce, however. The same is true of money for most people. Most kids or people even have no concept of what it means to appreciate money. Personal finance is not even a required class in school. (frightening thought) So when most kids graduate college in mountains of debt, then get a job that can barely pay the bills, money then becomes scarce. THEN they appreciate money. Unfortunately, it takes going through this for most people to “wake up” and truly appreciate it what money is and how to manage it.
    • Other people that don’t follow the rules above are in the same boat. They could make plenty of money and still be broke because they are truly idiotic with their spending habits.
    • You also have people on the other side of the coin that are so rich, money is no longer appreciated. It just becomes what Leonardo Di Caprio coins “Fun Coupons) in Wolf of Wall Street. Something to waste on material goods. This mindset can lead you to ruin down the road if you are not careful.

This actually ended up being a lot longer than I thought haha. I may add this under a new article. Ideas just kept hitting me as I was writing.

My strength is stuck in a plateau. Going to bump up the protein and calories by 2-300 to see if this helps. Other than that been keeping it pretty low carb still and my weight is hovering around the 178lb mark.

Sarah and I went to DC last week, which is why I didn’t post. We met up with my brother and his wife, as it was my sister-in-law Rebecca’s birthday, Sarah’s birthday and little Abby’s birthday on Halloween. She was much bigger than the last time I saw her! It was a fun time though. Sarah and I went to a few museums and then ate out at some local restaurants. On Sunday, we drove back and chilled most of the day and then went to Red Salt Chophouse and Sushi with Sarah’s parents for her Birthday dinner. The Sushi was great. I got Batman roll and Black Russian roll, mainly because I like the names.

 

Journal Entry 321 – Final Fantasy XV

For the first time in awhile, I started playing a Final Fantasy game. The last one I can honestly say I enjoyed was Final Fantasy X, which came out 17 years ago. Since then when I have played Final Fantasy it was a remastered version of an old game. I’m currently playing Final Fantasy XV for the PS4 and it has been good so far. The graphics are incredible, the fighting is fun, but can be confusing and the storyline is average so far. I like the characters, but they are far from my favorite. So far I would say 7 out of 10. I haven’t finished the game yet, so the rating may change, but this is an early impression.

Hokies had a big game last night and played great in the first half. Went into self-destruct mode in the second half. Sometimes it is hard to watch. The Giants have a big game against Carolina today. We are 1-3 so far this season, but a great way to think about it is we still have 75% of the season left. Plenty of time to turn things around and start scoring some points and winning games. After 15 years of being a Giants fan, I still delude myself into high hopes no matter how bad my team is. 😉

Nothing exciting to report in the gym. My strength is about the same. I did feel very weak earlier in the week, but got stronger towards the end. Diet is still low carb of around 100g a day and I have not cheated at all this weekend. Had a decent amount of wine last night, but technically that is low carb. 😉 Weight has been going down over recent weeks and seems to have settled around 177.5lbs. I did reach a new low of 174.4 lbs last week, but it was due to major dehydration and not an accurate representation of weight.

Next week is one of my friend/co-workers weddings. I can honestly say weddings are one of my favorite things to go to. Everyone is in a great mood and it is always an incredibly fun time.

 

Journal Entry 320 – Bachelor Party

Another quick update this week. I ended up buying the Playstation 4 last weekend. It was $300 for the system and the games are all dirt cheap at this point, so you can pick up a lot of great games for cheap. Came out to $350 for the system with two games and tax. Not bad for a system that I will likely have for the next 5-7 years. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a fun game in terms of the arcade mode. I have not really played much besides that. Kylo Ren is hands down the best character when playing as the Dark Side. Luke is the best Lights Side user in my opinion. The rest of the characters are average. This includes Darth Vader who is unfortunately pretty slow.

My bench press is still 225lbs for reps of 8, 5, 5. Nothing new here, unfortunately. Everything else is still plateaued as well. I may change up what I’m doing, so it is less heavy strength work and more bodyweight days. Just feels like a good change at the moment, although I will still continue to bench press. I also want to add in daily stretching to my routine, which has felt absolutely incredible to do recently.

Diet has been pretty low carb during the week and high carb this weekend. My best friend Cameron and I had a bachelor party to go to on Friday and we feasted on Kickback Jacks right before (I got Chicken Philly with fries). The party was fun and a much more laid back Bachelor Party then I have ever been to, but due to the lack of sleep and fun we had, I pretty much made all of Saturday a recovery day. It was a beautiful day too, so it sucked not to have the energy to do anything.  I also woke up at a very low weight of 174.4lbs this morning. My lowest in recent memory has been around 178.5 lbs. I’m not sure if it was the lack of sleep, fluid loss or what, but I was very surprised when I saw the number.

Fortunately, today is looking good outside and I have a nice 4 day work week and 3 day week coming up, which I’m really looking forward to.