Monthly Archives: May 2013

Big Man on a Flight

Chris and I spent yesterday traveling to Indiana.  Chris is doing very well with the traveling-induced schedule disturbances.  Honestly, aside from sneaking away occasionally to do some macro calculations and eating large amounts of protein bars instead of meals of food, Chris has been an admirably inconspicuous bodybuilder and a delightfully cheery traveler.

An example of his inconspicuousness and good cheer:

Yesterday, on our flight out of Oklahoma City, when Chris asked the flight attendant for coffee with Splenda, she brought him coffee with sugar that she had already mixed in.  

Flight Attendant:  “We were out of Splenda so I just mixed in some sugar.  That ok?”  

Chris (in my mind what I thought he’d say, or that he was at least thinking, when I heard her say this):  “Yarrrrg!! I AM A DIETING BODYBUILDER!! I HAVE MACROS TO MEET!!  HOW COULD IT POSSIBLY BE OK THAT YOU SUBSTITUTED SUGAR FOR A NON-CALORIC SWEETENER??!!  For real?!  AHHHHHH!!!”

Chris (what he really said):  “Ok. Thanks.”

He then looked sadly at the now obviously undrinkable cup of coffee and dumped the full cup, with care and not vengeance, in her collector bag when she came back.  Calm, cool, and collected.  (Luckily, Chris did not remain coffee-less for long as we were flying from Oklahoma City to Indianapolis by way of Denver, of course, and, on our next flight, the flight attendant brought correctly sweetened coffee).

coffee on plane

Hooray!  Correctly Sweetened Coffee!

As long as we’re on the topic of our flights, I must mention that, while I love Chris and want to be near him while traveling, sitting next to him on an airplane is a pain in the butt for the two reasons pictured below:

shoulder on plane

The large bodybuilder shoulder that protrudes onto my seat

knee on plane

The large bodybuilder knee that rests in my space

I know he’s not big for malicious reasons but I still find myself sitting on the plane resenting that he can’t retract those large body parts into a turtle-like shell or something.  I do like sitting next to his large forearms.  When I’m scared, having a large forearm to grab onto is the best.  The flight to Denver was horrifically bumpy and I grabbed that forearm with all my might.

chris and almonds

This is a picture I took a few days ago of Chris counting out exactly 24 almonds to eat as a snack. It also shows the massiveness of the massive forearms.

For the next few days, travel-induced schedule disturbances will surely continue, but hopefully Chris will remain a cheery traveler and I will have more enjoyable experiences with my wonderfully extra large, massively forearmed, traveling companion.


Our Saturday

This morning, before I ate breakfast, Chris asked me to take “progress pics” of him flexing in his boxers.  I said, “No, I need to eat breakfast.”  Then, I ate breakfast.

Following breakfast, I took 4 photographs of him as he flexed in 4 different positions.  He takes these pictures to track his progress.  The photos are below:

Week 1 - May 25

Week 1 – May 25

Week 1 - May 25

Week 1 – May 25

Week 1 - May 25

Week 1 – May 25

Week 1 - May 25

Week 1 – May 25

He weights 213 right now.  This is down 7 pounds from last Sunday morning.  (Don’t worry; he’s not planning on losing 7 pounds per week; it’s just the first week and more week loss the first week sometimes happens).

Now, a business note:  I am working on setting up a photo gallery page where all his progress photos from each week will be displayed.  You can access it now, but his head is cut off in the thumbnails and you have to click on each picture to see the full image.  I am tired of troubleshooting and trying different wordpress plugins for today though so that’s what it’s going to look like until I get re-motivated to mess with things again.  (Anyone know what plugin I need to install?  This is a site).

But back to the fun stuff.  What you see in those pictures are the “quarter turns” in “relaxed positions” which are things bodybuilders are asked to do when they compete.  “Relaxed,” as best I can interpret it, in the bodybuilding posing world, means “not relaxed at all but not in a specific flexing position.”  (Specific flexing positions are like an isometric dance move.  Some examples of specific flexing positions are “front double biceps” in which the bodybuilder faces you and flexes both of his biceps and “rear lat spread” in which the bodybuilder shows his back and makes his upper back flare out so it looks like he has wings).  The quarter turns are turns of 90 degrees that are performed so the judges can see all sides of the bodybuilder.

Later today, we went shopping for dress shirts for Chris.

Chris trying on a shirt

Fits perfectly!


Looking good!


Yep, just how it’s supposed to fit.

As not a single XL shirt in the store could handle his shoulders, we gave up and went home.

Tomorrow, we’re going to Indiana for some professional conferences so right now Chris is packing.  I packed my black Samsonite suitcase.  Chris is bringing what we refer to lovingly as “Green Monster.”

Green Monster

Green Monster

At least Green Monster makes baggage claim easy.  No checking the name tag on this guy!

As a traveling bodybuilder in contest prep mode, Chris has become rather high maintenance and has a lot to bring so he’s actually bringing both Green Monster and Standard Black Bag (seen below).  Among other things, he’s packed his food scale, his body weight scale, workout and food plan, and a few protein bars.

protein bars in a bag

A few protein bars.

This should be fun.




Rotten Apples and The First High-Carb Day

Two points of interest to discuss today:

1) Why Chris eats rotten apples

2) The glorious first “high-carb” day

So, rotten apples.  Chris told me last night that he’s realized he needs to really carefully check his apples for firmness before he eats them.  He said that recently, he’s bitten into a few apples only to discover that they are grainy and have large dark spots inside them.  When non-bodybuilders, such as myself, discover that an apple we have bitten into is rotten, we generally stop eating and discard the apple, as this is an ingrained human reaction to rotten food.  Chris, however, fights this standard human survival function for the sake of daily-macro-counting peace.  Once he has bitten into the apple and discovered that it is mildly rotten, he then grits his teeth and finishes eating the rotten apple.  Why continue to eat it?

I will explain his “logic”. The apple’s place in his macros (grams of fat, carbohydrate, and protein) for the day has already been determined.  The apple could have been replaced prior to consumption but now that an unknown quantity has been consumed and an unknown quantity of rot remains, how will he know, at the end of the day, if he hit his numbers for the day?  The only other option he has besides finishing the rotten apple (and honestly I’m a bit surprised he doesn’t do this) is to simply weigh the apple prior to consumption on the basis that it could be rotten, weigh the apple after partial consumption should it prove to be rotten, subtract these two values to determine the quantity eaten, and then multiply the percentage of apple eaten by the total macro values of the apple as shown in the equation below:

[((Whole Apple – Uneaten Apple Part)) / Whole Apple](Macronutrient Values for Apple) = Quantity of Macronutrient Consumed

He would then need to simply compare these values to the value of macros he had desired to get from the apple and then search for a substitute food.  Who doesn’t love multi-parenthesied equations mid-apple eating?!

The difficulty lies in finding the substitute food I believe.  As he has a pretty good idea of what he’ll consume each week and has grocery shopped accordingly, finding an appropriate substitute food could be difficult.  His only option may be eating my food and that’s a dangerous option.

And that’s why my fiance eats rotten apples.

Should he commit to this apple?  Or will it be a meal of rot?

Should he commit to this apple? Or will it be a meal of rot?

Now we’ll discuss the second point of interest.  Today was Chris’s first “high-carb” day (ha, I just accidentally typed “high-crab” day which would be awesome if that’s what it really was.  “Yep, gotta go to the seashore; today’s my high-crab day.” But I digress).  High-carb days are the days Chris gets to eat more carbohydrates than usual.  During previous diets, these days have been cause for great joy and celebration.  I know today was a high-carb day because last night Chris excitedly asked me if I knew what tomorrow was.  I guessed the negative one year anniversary of our wedding (we’re getting married on May 24th, 2014) and he told me, “oh yeah, that too, but what else?”  And eventually he told me it was going to be a high-carb day because I’m not good at guessing things.

What is significant about today’s high-carb day is that last night’s conversation was the only indication I’ve had all day that today was high-carb day.  Usually, during previous diets, there was a lot of talk about the additional carbs being added to meals during high-carb day; these are exciting days!  But today, nothing.  I think the diet must be new enough and the memory of delicious meals of the past fresh enough that he’s not obsessing over high-carb day.  I’ll give him about two more months until they become exciting.  Stay tuned for posts on how future high-carb days go.  (And if any high-crab days get in there, I’ll let you know that too).

Maybe in a few month, once his carbs get low enough, he’ll stop being able to eat apples and eliminate that problem;  Or, more likely, he’ll be so hungry that he’ll enjoy rot;  I can just see it: “Lindy, come try these great brown apples!  You won’t believe the texture!”

Yep, we’ve got some fun to look forward to.

This is the pre-diet Wing Stop feast of last Saturday and the reason why high-carb day might not be super exciting yet.   (It'd be fun to lie and write that Chris ate all of this, but, actually, there were 4 of us).

This is the pre-diet Wing Stop feast of last Saturday and the reason why high-carb day might not be super exciting yet. (It’d be fun to lie and write that Chris ate all of this, but there were 4 of us).

Chris’s Fans

Men really like Chris.  He bought chicken breasts today at the ice cream / grocery store on our way home from work and a guy in line behind him said something like, “Wow, I should start eating those chicken breasts so I can look like you!  Yeah, those chicken breasts must work.”  What are you supposed to say to that?

Braum's chicken breasts

Yes, these chicken breasts alone stimulate Chris’s muscle growth.

I would write this off as an isolated incident if it was an isolated incident.  But at the gym, guys frequently introduce themselves to him too.  A typical gym encounter is as follows:

Random young man at gym:  “Wow! Your muscles look good!  I noticed you’re squatting and dead-lifting.  I do exclusively calf raises and biceps curls myself.  What supplement do I take to get bigger?”

Chris:  “Maybe focus on training more parts of your body first.”

Random young man at gym:  “Yeah, I tried that once.  It was hard.  So, branch chain aminos every 6 minutes followed by twice a day beta-alanine boluses?  Think that’ll do it?”

And so on.

The strangest time Chris’s muscles were commented on publicly was at Walmart.  Chris was carrying two gallons of milk back to our shopping cart and as he walked from the refrigerator to our cart, an older gentleman said, “Wow!  Bet you need to drink all that milk to grow those great biceps!”  This wasn’t that strange a thing to say except that it was accompanied by a grab and light massage of Chris’s left biceps.  How are you supposed to react to something like that?

The muscle and there maker

The muscles and their maker (well, according to the biceps-grabbing older gentleman at Walmart)

It’s weird.  The whole thing is weird.  Is this a normal thing to comment on a stranger’s muscularity and to make inferences that the product he is currently purchasing has caused said muscularity?  Does this happen to all bodybuilders?  Why do people seem to think this is normal social behavior??  What would happen if I went up to a random woman in Walmart and commented on her purchases, “yeah, so, those apples you’re buying, they made your knees protrude like that?” Yep, it’s weird.

Today’s Lunch Process

Today I took some pictures while Chris made his standard lunch.

Ingredients for a scrumptious mid-day meal

Ingredients for a scrumptious mid-day meal

On our office shelf (yes, Chris and I share an office) there is Equal, double chocolate whey, oatmeal, and peanut butter.  (Note the two oatmeal cylinders.  I believe this is to prevent the catastrophe of last Friday when we ran out of oatmeal from re-occurring.  And yes, last Friday was before contest prep even began.  A lack of oatmeal, however, is, of course, always highly upsetting).

You’ll also notice the food scale in front of the food-stuffs.  I gave Chris this scale for Christmas last year.  Finding the perfect food scale among the plethora of options out there was hard work.  This scale was selected for a) it’s units of measure 2) it’s portability 3) it’s ability to be zeroed 4) it’s detachable display option should a bowl hang over the display and obscure it and 5)  it’s ability to go into the negatives (as in, to register a weight of -50 grams) which is something I never considered could be desirable until my aforementioned friend Jeremy told me that the best way to measure something like peanut butter is to put the jar on the scale, zero the scale, and then remove the desired amount of peanut butter; this is much easier than trying to take the peanut butter out of the jar and put it goopily on the scale itself or on a plate or something.  Cool huh?

The scale I chose was acceptable to Chris and he now brings it back and forth every day from work to home and home to work.  He transports it in its original packing material (see below).  I won’t write anything more right now about the original packing material issue other than to say that he has an arguably pathological obsession with saving original boxes of everything.  (There may be a future literary exploration (read: impassioned rant) on that topic.

The scale in its carrying case

The scale in its carrying case

So back to today’s lunch.  On the counter in the office, the oatmeal was first carefully measured, water was added, and then the oatmeal was microwaved.  Next, whey, Equal, and peanut butter were added.

Chef Moritmoto has nothing on this guy

Chef Morimoto has nothing on this guy

Finally, the mixture was stirred vigorously and the masterpiece had been created!

Wow!  Serve me up a bowl of that!

Wow! Serve me up a bowl of that!

It was then time for the master chef to dine elegantly on his creation.

Elegant dining

Elegant dining.  I like that he didn’t even take his hand off the mouse when he knew I was going to take the picture.  Perhaps having your lunch preparation photographed while you are dieting is irksome and by the time you’re ready to eat you’re just done with dealing with the photographer (in spite of her stunning beauty and intelligence)?  No way.

Before I leave you for today, I must correct a grievous mistake I made in yesterday’s post.  Chris informed me, after reading my post, that he is not switching his squatting routine from 5 x 5 to 5 x 10 but rather from 5 x 5 to 10 x 5.  I deeply apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused and I will strive for the highest level of accuracy in all future blog posts.



The Post-Workout Announcement

Chris just got back from the gym.  It’s always a flurry of activity when he gets home.  Benefiting the accruing of his constantly accruing and degrading fiance-points, he always says “Hi Lindy!” with enthusiasm as soon as he steps in the door.  He then sets his keys, wallet, and gym bag down while he takes off his shoes and, frequently, excitedly announces a brilliant new plan that came to him during the just-completed workout!  This brilliant plan usually sounds something like the following:

“So, I’ve decided I’m going to start dead-lifting 450 for sets of 5 instead of 400 for sets of 3 with alternate days of 500 for sets of 100 and headstands for sets of 10.  I think that will fix my lateral conjervature of the cervicalular fibula.”

Let’s dissect this statement sentence by sentence to understand what the excited bodybuilder could be saying.

Sentence 1:  “So, I’ve decided I’m going to start dead-lifting 450 for sets of 5 instead of 400 for sets of 3 with alternate days of 500 for sets of 100 and headstands for sets of 10.”

Sentence 1 Translated:  Previously Chris was dead-lifting weights that are much heavier than what I can lift.  Now, he is changing his workout.  With this new plan, he will dead-lift weights that are much heavier than I can lift.

Sentence 2 Translated:  “I think that will fix my lateral conjervature of the cervicalular fibula.”  

Sentence 2 Translated:  Chris has forgotten that he has a list of around 500 possible methods, accumulated one at a time after workouts in joyous moments of clarity like this one, of fixing his hip/back.  (You caught me; it is really his hip/back that bothers him occasionally and not the lateral conjervature of the cervicalular fibula as stated previously; that’s actually not really a body part).   It’s a constant battle around here to keep his hip/back in tip-top shape.

So today’s post-gym declaration was that it’s time to stop doing 5 x 5 squats and to start doing 5 x 10 squats.  To summarize the brilliant idea, 5 x 5 squats take too much time, take too much out of him, and he feels like they may aggravate the ole hip/back.  5 x 10 squats, conversely, will save the world.  So, that’s the big news everyone!  5 x 10 squats coming up.  No more of this 5 x 5 junk.  5 x 10 squats all the way!  If this fixes his conjervature, you’ll be the first to know.

Pictures of Chris squatting are below.

Chris records himself squatting to analyze his form.  He meticulously studies these videos post-workout looking for any offending hip/back action.  This picture and the two below it are still images from videos he took.  I mention this because when I take a picture of someone, I usually include their head...

Chris records himself squatting to analyze his form. He meticulously studies these videos post-workout looking for any offending hip/back action. This picture and the one below it are still images from videos he took. I mention this because when I take a picture of someone, I usually include the head…


Squatting to depth: what makes a man a man


Contest Prep Day 2: Ice Cream, Eggs, and Tornadoes

Chris and Jeremy at Braum's

Chris not eating ice cream at the ice cream store

To celebrate tornadoes missing Norman (where we live) last night, we went to Braum’s, the previously mentioned grocery / ice cream store where Chris had gone earlier in the day to pick up non-ice cream products.  As last night we went there to eat non-non-ice cream products (= ice cream), Chris just came to hang out.  I find it amazing that he is ok with watching other people eat ice cream.  He’s even smiling in the picture.

After ice cream, back at home, Chris pulled a few more things out of the refrigerator to read at his desk.  He told me that he’s getting back into cottage cheese.  He used to be really into cottage cheese.  Then he quit.  Now apparently he’s back.  Cottage cheese habits must be hard to break.

Chris at his desk reading cottage cheese labels

Reading the cottage cheese

Along with cottage cheese and the previously pictured fruits and meats, eggs will be a key staple of Chris’s diet.  You haven’t really seen eggs in a refrigerator until you’ve seen eggs in our refrigerator.  (You might even call it an egg-stravaganza…).


contents of our refrigerator

The contents of our refrigerator. It’s Egg-stordinary!

Yep, that’s nine 18-packs.

I saw this really neat photo series the other day showing people from around the world surrounded by all the food they eat in a week.  Imagine if I could get Chris to pose for a picture with his weekly food…flexing in his posing trunks surrounded by 162 eggs…  maybe in a future blog post…  and probably only if I don’t let him read this post and uncover my plan…

Ok so now I have to write about today’s tornado.  The first sirens went off while Chris and I were teaching a class together.  We had to stop class and move everyone into the building’s safe area. The next siren went off on our (very speedy) walk back from class.  Once I got to our lab, I ran to the basement and Chris ran to our upstairs office, right near the large fully glass door, to microwave his oatmeal.  (Full disclosure so Chris does not appear as stupid as I just made him sound:  the tornadoes were clearly not headed towards us by that point).  As I gathered with others in the basement to watch the news coverage of the tornadoes, we repeatedly texted Chris to get down there, and after 5-7 minutes, once the oatmeal was nicely cooked and the double chocolate whey was mixed in, he joined us in the basement.


Watching the news. Note Chris in back with tupperware of oatmeal.

Chris and Oatmeal up close

Chris and Oatmeal up close

The tornado ripped through Moore (just north of us) and there were rumblings that more bad weather was headed for us.  Thus, at my ardent urging, and (likely most influentially) due to the fact that the gym was probably closed as they were not answering their phones, Chris skipped his workout tonight.  To skip his workout on Day 2 of the diet was something that I thought would send him into chaotic-diet-panic mode but, admirably, and to my relief, he was cool and accepting.  He even said something like, “well, I guess I’ll just have to miss it.”  Not a hint of stress.  Wow.  After making it through today, maybe we will be able to weather the aforementioned storms of life ahead of us (yep, best play on words ever!)…

Calmly accepting the revision to the day's workout plan.

Calmly accepting the revision to the day’s workout plan.

I should just end this post now after that killer closing line there, but I can’t not post this next picture.  The weather last night and today was stressful and scary.  Below is how Chris and our good friend Jeremy (who was also pictured above with the non-non-ice cream product) unwound.

Chris, PhD, and Jeremy, PhDc, unwinding from a stressful day by sticking blades of grass into ant hills outside the lab

Chris, PhD, and Jeremy, PhDc, unwinding from a stressful day by sticking blades of grass into ant hills outside the lab

And that’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  I like comments if you want to leave one!