Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cinnamon and Coffee

I introduced Chris to cinnamon.  I thought he was strong. I thought he could handle it.  I didn’t know cinnamon would become a contest-prep obsession.

The gateway cinnamon was in oatmeal.  Years ago, I showed Chris how just a bit of cinnamon added to oatmeal and combined with Equal and blueberries is delicious.  Over the years, he started adding more and more cinnamon to his oatmeal; I neglected to notice this dangerous progression.  Around the start of this contest-prep, I showed Chris how I also put cinnamon and Equal in my Greek yogurt; Chris started doing the same…with large amounts of cinnamon.

We don’t buy the modest, cylindrical, cinnamon container; we buy the humongous, we-are-serious-about-our-cinnamon box.  Usually, Chris has back-up cinnamon in the cabinet too (for cinnamon emergencies I suppose).

Despite such cinnamon intensity, I thought Chris was handling his cinnamon OK until the other day when I walked into the kitchen, where Chris had made sweet potatoes, and saw this:


That is only cinnamon on those sweet potatoes.  That is a full half centimeter layer of cinnamon.  A half centimeter.  Tomorrow, I will take Chris to the cinnamonologist for treatment.

To be fair to cinnamon, it’s not his only spice obsession.  As he gets further and further into the diet, all spices are highly exciting.  He has these anonymous mixed spices that he enthusiastically dumps on everything (except, of course, for the foods he has already doused with cinnamon).  Usually, after spicing foods to the extreme, he then tells me how amazing the food is.  What I want to say, when he tells me how good his spiced broccoli in a bag is, is, “Yeah, but know what else is good? Chocolate ice cream,” but that would be mean so I nod politely and then go outside to cough the spice-dense air out of my spice-blackened lungs.

I sometimes contemplate putting drywall crumbles on his food, telling him it’s a new spice, and seeing if he tells me that it is delicious.  Because he would tell me that it is delicious.   Because he’s hungry a lot these days.  The other day I was eating what had aspired to be a taco salad but, due to my hunger-induced meal-prep corner cutting, was basically ground beef and lettuce, and Chris exclaimed, “Wow, that looks amazing!”  Ground beef and lettuce do not look amazing.

Along with excessive spicing, Chris is also very, very into coffee right now.  He recently decided that your standard-sized travel mugs just weren’t cutting it.  Thus, he purchased a mammoth, transportable, coffee container.  The thing is intimidating.  I imagine him entering a meeting at work, where people sit calmly around a table with traditional coffee cups, and Chris, smiling, plunks this monster down.  I then imagine Chris’s coffee monster eating the traditional coffee cups.


Hi-ho, hi-ho, off to work with my coffee pot!

Speaking of work, the semester has not started yet so Chris and I are not going into the office regularly, but, the other day, Chris went in for a few hours.  Below is what he brought to sustain himself:



Monster coffee carrier, little coffee cup, shaker bottle, yogurt mixed with cinnamon, apple, peanut butter, whey, scale, and index card listing what is to be eaten when and in what quantities

This day at the office, Chris’s scale gave him the “low battery” message and shut-off.  Luckily, he had already weighed what he needed to and catastophe was averted.  He bought batteries later that night and was about to put them in the scale when he realized that it was working again.  Wha?!  Eventually he realized, with his brilliance, that he had put the food scale on top of the frozen ice pack in the cooler.  And thus, we all learned that food scales cease to function when put on top of frozen ice packs in coolers.

And that’s the kind of fascinating stuff going on around here…

Please let me know if you need the number of a good cinnamonologist.

A Neat Little Graph Chris Made

The other day Chris sent me the following email:

Here is an updated screenshot of my spreadsheet.  New features include:

-Days out column (2nd column)

-Highlights along the first column denoting days I was not at home

Also attached is a screenshot of a neat little graph I made comparing my body weight last prep and this prep. Yes, I make graphs for fun.


Well, what are we waiting for?  Let’s check them out! sdsfsdfs Good, nice new highlights and “Days Out” column.  “Moving” and “Move into APT” have been added in the highlight column too.  We can see that “Move into APT” was counted as HITT.  I bet gym programmers will see this, be impressed by Chris’s success, and “Move into APT” will soon be the new Zumba.

Gym Goer #1:  “Yeah, gotta get to Move into APT class tonight; we’re carrying mattresses to the 4th floor this session.”

Gym Goer #2: “Oh, right, the 4th floor mattress carry, the 4FMC.  That’s tough but just wait until you get to the pivoting-couch-room-entry.  That’s how I grew these biceps.” sds And there is the “neat little graph!”  We can see a nice comparison of his body weight changes during his 2011 and 2013 (current) contest preps. The part I find most interesting in this “neat little graph” is the steadiness with which Chris lost weight during both preps.  During the 2011 prep, Chris’s schedule was very reliable, he trained in the same gym, he had access to his own kitchen, and, he was not traveling.  During this prep, he’s moved from Oklahoma to Massachusetts and spent time in various other places with an erratic schedule, no consistent kitchen, and training at a variety of gyms.  “How many other gyms?  How many other places?” -you ask.  Well, lucky for you, Chris sent me another email with these fascinating statistics!

Length of Prep:  146 days (21 weeks)

Time away from “home” (in quotes due to changing of “home” during prep which we will define as a place at which we paid rent):  53 of the 146 days (36.3%)

Number of different gyms trained in:  7

States visited during prep:  Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, New Hampshire, and New Jersey (upcoming)

OK so, all this traveling and time away from “home” is kind of a big deal.  Chris had to plan all his meals, find appropriate gyms, and organize his schedule to get the food and get to the gyms to make all this work.  (And he had to not drive me crazy, which, for the most part, he accomplished). And yet, we look at the graph made for fun, and see how his weight loss was steady, just like it was in 2011 when life was simpler.  You’re physiologically fascinating Chris!

I want to end with one more picture from our Cape Cod trip:  Chris thinks he’s good at putting sunscreen on his own back, but he’s not.

Mr. “No Lindy, I don’t need any help putting sunscreen on my back; I can do it all by myself.”

I’m bitter about his sunscreening abilities because he also sunscreened my back this day giving me a similar patchwork pattern of burn.

In conclusion, Chris:  good at spreadsheeting and steady weight loss; bad at sunscreening.

Cape Cod

Last week, Chris and I vacationed on Cape Cod.  We stayed at my grandpa’s house where there is food for eating.  Also, Cape Cod has grocery stores.  We DID NOT stay at a reclusive settlement in the woods where this is no civilization or access to nourishment.  I mention this because Chris packed the following:


Protein Bar Cooler (SEVEN boxes!)


Yogurt and Chicken Cooler (that is a full size cooler jammed with yogurt and chicken)

He also brought a large bag of almonds, an oatmeal cylinder, and peanut butter (not pictured).

After the week was over, Chris said to me, “Hm, I think I only ate Greek yogurt, almonds, chicken, oatmeal, peanut butter, and protein bars all week.”  Yes, hm Chris, wonder how that happened…  (In the interest of accurate reporting, I must write that he did eat broccoli one night but other than that it was a pure sextafood week).

Chris is about 8 weeks away from his competition.  He hasn’t had any more hypoglycemic episodes but he is definitely lacking energy.  On Cape Cod, I like to bike and swim and generally do active things outdoors.  As I like Chris and want to hang out with him, I encouraged (read: pressured) him to do these things with me.

One day we went for a bike ride.  Chris is making me mention that it was a twenty-one mile (emphasis from Chris) bike ride but it was a leisurely ride by some ponds and we took breaks; young children biking near us seemed to be handling the ride just fine.


Looking Good


Riding well…

When we got to a pond near the end of the ride where I was looking forward to swimming, Chris rolled up a towel and proceeded to sleep for 40 minutes.


And crashing.

Later in the week, he did “swim” with me in a pond by flopping around in a bright yellow inner tube.


Chris and large yellow inner tube

He was concerned that the cold water and physical exertion of swimming would exhaust him so he hung out in his tube.

One day we kayaked.  Chris looked awesome kayaking.  Which brought me to a key life question: Did his beauty in a kayak make all his yogurt and lethargy worth it?


Chris, professional kayaker

Along with the activities I made him do outdoors with me, Chris kept up his regular workout schedule and, while he was lacking in energy at times, he never opted out of activity participation and was actually generally very cheerful.  He did tell me though that he is looking forward to going back to Cape Cod when he is not preparing for a contest so he can join me in one of Cape Cod’s other great activities:  ice cream eating.


This is a man who did not eat ice cream on vacation…but who is looking forward to the next vacation when he can :)












When a Bodybuilder and his Fiance First Move to Massachusetts: A List of Key Events

So much to tell!  After we left the extended stay hotel last Tuesday, we were internet-less until yesterday so now that we’re internet-complete, I’ve gotta write some stuff.

A list best tells our tale.  A list of the most exciting / funniest / most interesting things that have happened to Chris and I (and that I can remember at the moment) since we’ve moved to MA. These are in no particular order (other than the order in which I thought of them tonight).

1)  Chris actually joined that gym.  Remember the picture of the dank basement with cracking concrete and bars lying around?  Yeah, he joined that.


THIS gym

He really likes it there.  It takes him seven minutes to walk up a very steep hill to get there.  He says he really enjoys walking to the gym and had not realized previously how frustrated he got with traffic on his way to and from the gym.  (Note:  Our previous gym, in Norman, Oklahoma was a four minute drive away…but traffic is traffic…?)  He also really likes that the owner is a natural bodybuilder just like him!  They bond.

For reasons I will not go into, I did not join this gym.  This is the first time in four years that Chris and I have worked out at separate gyms.  Who will criticize my squats?!

2) On Monday, Chris and I spent ninety minutes (not bad) at the MA registry of motor vehicles in order to pay $100 each (!) for driver’s licenses.  They gave us pieces of paper to serve as temporary licenses and promised to mail the real licenses in 5 days.  Today, when we went to open a credit union account, the man helping us looked at Chris’s temporary license and said, “Oh, is your name really ‘Christoper’?”  To which Chris said, “Uh, what?” and the man showed Chris his new driver’s license which, yes, does say “Christoper.”  No “h”.  “Chris-to-per.”

It gets better.

When Chris then called the RMV to tell them that his name was not really “Christoper,” the woman on the phone said with great surprise, “So, you’re trying to tell me that there are TWO “h’s” in there?!” and Chris said, “uh, yes,” and then the woman made him spell it.

Because no one else in this country is named Christopher.

Eventually, he did get his second “h” back. A new license should be arriving shortly.

I can’t be too hard on the RMV’s misspelling.  They only had his old driver’s license, his birth certificate, his social security card, and our lease to look at to get the correct spelling of his name…

Also, until he gets his correct ID, I will be calling him “Christoper” and I encourage all others to do the same.

3)  There is a moose crossing sign on the highway near where we live.  Moose!  And that’s all I need to say about that one.


Are moose crossing here frequently?! Could there be moose on the sidewalk outside my apartment waiting to charge?!

4)  The same highway also has two of the sign below:


Um…  so it’s basically saying, “Danger! Sunrise!”?

5)  After we opened a checking account at the local credit union, we were given credit union monogrammed ice scrapers. Ice scrapers!  Might as well give me polar bear defensive spray and crampons while you’re at it, credit union.  Speaking of, did you know that you are required to get a permit to carry a defensive spray (such as “pepper”) in MA?  Interesting factoid!

6)  Chris and I went to a Red Sox game.  It was really, really fun.  Yes, Chris ate Greek yogurt in the parking garage before the game.  Yes, you can see a picture of it.


One day all these pictures of Chris eating yogurt will be part of the famous “Lindy’s Yogurt Pictures” series, just wait.

He also brought many protein bars in his cargo shorts’ pockets into the game.

To summarize, Fenway Park has a gazillion vendors selling everything imaginable; Chris ate a pre-game barrel of yogurt and mid-game protein bars.

7)  We unloaded the U-Haul and moved into our apartment in 4.5 hours.  This was exhausting.  Chris’s pedometer that day read approximately 25,000 steps.  If 10,000 steps is roughly 5 miles, 25,000 steps is close to  half marathon distance.  And we were going upstairs.  And carrying things.  Heavy things.  So. Many. Heavy. Things.


The man knows how to SWEAT!

Personally, I consumed a tremendous quantity of food that day and woke up the next day weighing less than I had the day we moved.  This attests to the caloric expenditure we performed during the move.


This was part of the aforementioned “tremendous quantity of food.”  (I ordered a “small” and this was what they gave me.  New England is awesome!!)

Chris, sticking to his diet plan, did not consume a tremendous quantity of food that day.  He helped me a little with the massive ice cream (I’m normally a staunch opponent of ice cream sharing but this was an unexpectedly humongous ice cream so he was allowed to help) but he couldn’t eat too much obviously.

That night Chris had crazy adrenaline energy and kept unpacking and organizing like a mad man many hours after I had called it quits and lay in bed contentedly text messaging.  Chris eventually slept and was doing well until around 2 pm the next day.  That’s when we went to the library, and he crashed.

I’d never seen him crash like this before.  He came over to me while I was on the library computer (he’d been in a different area) and told me quietly that he was going to leave and go to Subway for food.  Subway was not in the food plan for the day.  Contest-Preparation Chris(toper) does not change his food plan mid-day.  Something was very wrong.  When I asked Chris, “Are you OK?” He said, “I don’t know. I’ve never felt like this before”.  I hurriedly signed off the computer and we left the library.

Luckily, our apartment is as close to the library as the Subway is so we were able to get home quickly and feed him.  Once he ate, he was fine.  For the rest of the day, he felt fine.  So fine in fact that, later in the day, he walked up the big hill to the gym, did a heavy squat workout, and felt great.

“Just a little hypoglycemia earlier I guess, haha, all better now, guess I maybe should have eaten a little more yesterday after moving, yep, guess maybe that half marathon I walked up stairs while carrying intensely heavy things like fully-packed dressers did take a bit out of me. Who would have thought?  Feel good now though!”  And that’s Chris for you.  He’s been fine ever since.

That’s it for the official key events of the last week or so that I remember right now.  More key events to come in future posts.  (Also, I’m going to have to write a whole post about that gym of Chris’s some day…)