Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sitting on a Summit

I got another “Chris-eating-yogurt-in-an-unexpected-place” picture today to add to the collection!

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Yogurt on a mountain top, ohhh yeah…

After going to another Johnny Appleseed festival -Johnny Appleseed festivals are our thing these days- where we saw a llama and were given free toothbrushes (by a human, not the llama), we sat on the summit of Mount Wachusett for 2 hours this afternoon.

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Chris and Llama

“How am I getting Chris to still hike when he is two weeks out from his show?!” you ask.

Um, well, we drove to the top of Mount Wachusett.

And then we sat there.

For two hours.

And we drank large sodas.

Diet large sodas.

But still large sodas.

And we were sitting in Midwestern-college-themed canvas chairs.

And Chris’s shirt said “Boomer Sooner.”

And then Chris busted out the vat of yogurt.

And well, yep, that was the afternoon.

This is Living.

This is Living.

When we entered the park, we had to roll down our car window to pay the $2 parking fee and the park ranger, clearly noticing our youth, capacity for physical exertion, and large sodas asked us, “Hiking or driving?” I muttered to the floor, “um, well…driving,” and he took my $2 and looked away in disgust.

I wanted to yell to him that, much like a newly pregnant woman suffering complications, Chris had a hidden disability; he is a dieting bodybuilder who is two weeks out and he doesn’t have any fat or any glycogen and it’s exciting that he’s even out of the house right now and I promise, really, we did hike this mountain before, and it was nice to hike, but, while we were hiking last time, we saw these other people who were driving and driving looked easy and hiking is hard and when people have no glycogen and no fat, well, that’s when you make the choice to drive up the mountain.  

Also, park ranger, we want to sit on the summit with our Midwestern-college-themed canvas chairs and large sodas and a vat of yogurt.  

But I did not tell the park ranger these things.  I just closed my window quickly and drove up the mountain in shame, watching the hikers sweat their way along the steep grade as I metabolized a single glucose molecule contracting my plantar flexors on the accelerator.  

(In full disclosure, I didn’t feel like hiking today either.  What with the llama and free toothbrush excitement, I was ready to just sit on a mountain summit too).  

On the way home from the mountain, we went through Dunkin’ Donuts drive through where Chris ordered me a “chocolate latte” (known to most people as a “mocha”) and got himself this bag of noncaloric Pumpkin flavored coffee that he has been talking about getting nearly every day since he saw an ad for it a week or so ago.  This coffee is EXCITING.

Speaking of exciting, Chris has started to fantasize about what he’s going to eat when non-dieting life resumes after the contest.  At one point, he told me he’s going to go to McDonald’s and eat a giant burger and fries.  I will bet money that this will never happen. He also told me about some food fantasy involving a six egg omelet.  And he talks about pizza a lot.  We have some gooood conversations these days…

Switching topics, Chris is sometimes spacey, but still cheery, and last weekend, at his friend’s wedding, he shocked us all with this extreme display of energy:

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Is that Chris?! (amazing photo courtesy of Chris’s friend, Drew)

Perhaps the pocket protein bars and wedding chicken, which he spent several minutes explaining how he needed cooked as boring as possible please, fueled him up for this.

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Protein bars: the new pocket handkerchief

Fourteen days.  We’re almost there.  

22 Days Out

On Wednesday, Chris was 24 days out from his show.  What’s the significance of 24 days out? Here’s the significance:

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See that in the bottom left corner?  It says “O.”  As in, “O days out.”  Chris sent me this screenshot and excitedly declared, “The end is in sight!”  Thank. Goodness.

I gave Chris a new scale for his birthday back in August.  It’s digital and reports weights to the nearest 0.2 lb.  Chris asked for this scale.  Chris said, yes, I can switch body weight scales mid contest prep.  I now see that he has been using it (see “new scale” column) but that he is still weighing himself regularly on his old scale (see “old scale” column).  He had told me previously that he would weigh himself a few times on each scale and calculate the difference as a correction factor to apply when recording his weights, but I guess incorrect-weight paranoia has too strong a hold on the man.  Would the compassionate action be for me to destroy the new scale so he can just go back to using the one scale that he is used to?  I now feel guilty that I gave him a present that encouraged the crazy…  Oops.

In other news, our air conditioning system was turned off on September 15th and cannot be turned on again until June 15th.  Did we not pay the bill?  Did we break the unit?  Noooo.  There is apparently a Massachusetts law requiring landlords to switch air conditioning systems off on September 15th.  A law.  I am not making this up.  Chris and I are very happy about this law.

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As Chris stood shirt-lessly by the open window last night trying to catch just a hint of cool air to cool the sweat dripping down his body-fat-depleted chest, we talked jubilantly about how happy we are about this law.  We thought we had everything covered when searching for MA apartments:  we asked about security deposits, crazy ovens in the center of kitchens that were also heaters, parking spaces.  We did not, however, think to ask if there was a state law that would require our air conditioning to be shut off on a predetermined, arbitrary date when it was still hot outside.  What else is going to happen?  Is there a state law that will require us to let in the shivering forest animals this winter?  Is there a state law that we can’t run our refrigerator from October to February?  Probably.  Guess I’ll start building the forest animal shelters in my bedroom…  How ironic that what I most feared here was cold, igloos, and polar bears and now we sit here, mid-September, sweltering.

To end, Chris and I have worked a bit recently on our wedding planning.  We took potential “save the date” pictures when we were on Cape Cod back in August.  Here are two pictures that did not make the cut:

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Just like in “Titanic”

lindy and chris outtakes (1 of 5)

I thought we’d agreed to smile.  Maybe Chris is smiling?  We may need to work on the meaning of “smiling” before we take wedding pictures…

22 days until October 12th!

 

 

 

Massachusetts

So far, Chris and I really like Massachusetts.  The trees are starting to change colors, the weather is beautiful, our jobs are great, and there are a plethora of hiking options where I can make Chris deplete his last remaining glycogen stores.  We haven’t totally gotten used to the light-turns-green-you-immediately-make-a-left-turn-in-front-of-me thing, but we will adapt; perhaps one day, we will even make left turns in front of on-coming traffic ourselves.

Aside from the drivers, how do we really know we are in MA?

1)  I drank this at my desk at work the other day.

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Not only is it Dunkin’ Donuts, it’s official New England Patriots Dunkin’ Donuts.  If I’m drinking this, losing the “r’s” from my speech can’t be too far behind…

2)  This was on our apartment wall the other day.

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It’s called a “House Centipede,” it’s 3 inches long with thin speedy legs, and it makes me shudder.  It was too big to squish with a tissue so it lives here now, hidden in the floors or something.  Supposedly they are harmless and actually eat spiders and other bugs, but it’s much too large and frenetic for my liking.  (Wikipedia tells me these are not unique to Massachusetts but, since I had never seen one in my life before moving here, to me they are Massachusetts House Centipedes).

3)  At the professional conference we attended in Maine on Friday, not only did the organizers use the word “wicked” in the conference title, but they also replaced the “i” in “wicked” with a happy lobster.

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“I’s” were never (to my knowledge) replaced by happy lobsters in Oklahoma.  In my mid-western developed mind, “wicked” still translates as “evil.” Thus, we appear to have attended the “Evil Sports Medicine Symposium.”  Yarg! Exercise or the happy lobster will get you! And so on.

In this picture Chris was actually chewing food so that’s partly why he looks so weird but also, he’s realllllllly lean.  How lean?” you ask.

Lean enough that last night, the striated glutes arrived.

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When evaluating Chris as a person who I am attracted to, I prefer him a bit more human-looking, but, as a bodybuilder, he looks awesome right now.  His butt has never been this striated.  This is gooooood stuff.  27 days now until these glutes go on stage.  According to our Dunkin’-Donuts-caffeinated Massachusetts House Centipede these glutes are “wicked awesome”…

October 12th is 35 Days Away

Chris brought 10 bananas home the other day.  He had decided to experiment with bananas as a carb source.  Within 3 days, the 7 remaining bananas were mushy and speckled and had attracted small black flying bugs.  Chris, thankfully, did not eat these bananas.  This impressed me as these bananas already held designated places in the week’s diet plan. Chris concluded, from this experience, that bananas are much too fickle to include in a scheduled diet plan; diet plans require sturdy, reliable food; with a banana, you never know when one might rot away.  Thus, no more bananas will be bought.  And that was the deal with the bananas.

In other news, we’ve started practicing Chris’s posing several times a week.  Chris puts on his posing trunks, stands in front of the TV in the living room, and, from the couch, I call out poses to him such as “rear lat spread!” and “side chest!” and “crab most muscular!”  We do this for 10 minutes.  I am supposed to make sure he holds each pose for at least 30 seconds. He sweats and his muscles quiver while he holds the poses and, as someone who loves him, I feel like a jerk sitting there, staring at him as he quivers, and waiting 30 seconds before calling the next pose, but, that is what he asked me to do.  Following the practice, we analyze what muscles were flexed enough and what muscles could have been flexed more.  It’s a magical relationship time.  October 12th (the date of the show) can’t come soon enough.

And with that being said, I’m sick of bodybuilding.  I’m sick of every activity requiring food planning; I’m sick of analyzing the shrinking fat on his butt; and mostly I’m sick of Chris being “out-of-it” because he needs food.  As I was feeling sick of bodybuilding the other day, Chris said to me, unprompted, “You know what?  I’m sick of bodybuilding.”  I think it’s just that time in the contest prep.  Did I mention that October 12th can’t come soon enough?

As Chris is aware that his mental and physical capacities are dwindling, he intentionally makes it a priority to still do my Lindy things with me.  It would be much easier for him to stay home near his food scale and the refrigerator and count down the hours until it’s time to eat next.  Some bodybuilders do this.  Having no social life and no outside interests and ideally, no job, would be the simplest way to diet.  Chris makes deliberate efforts not to do this.  He tells me constantly that he still wants to enjoy life and go places with me.  Thus, although I’m sick of bodybuilding right now, I do appreciate that he is doing the best he can while pursuing a goal that is important to him.  Soooo how many days until October 12th did you say?

On the note of doing my Lindy things with me, today Chris and I hiked Mt. Wachusett.  It was a beautiful day and we hiked for about 2 hours.  Although Chris had lifted right before we went, he did fine.  He even helped hold up this boulder that someone had misplaced:

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This was the “balance rock” trail.  Ha!

And the view from the summit was much nicer than the fog we saw from last weekend’s Mt. Monadnock summit.

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When we were done hiking, Chris shocked me by spontaneously suggesting we go to a Johnny Appleseed festival at a near-by town.  Was he hypoglycemic and muttering babble?  No!  He really did want to attend the Johnny Appleseed festival!  (I should point out that, when we moved to MA, we unknowingly moved to the heart of “Johnny Appleseed Country.”  Johnny Appleseed is big here.  We already have plans next weekend to attend the local Johnny Appleseed festival and there are more Johnny Appleseed related events throughout fall. Red apple pictures are on street signs.  Unfortunately, I once watched a Michael Pollan PBS special that told me Johnny Appleseed’s apples were only popular because people liked to make hard cider out of them…so all I can think of at these quaint local festivals is how we are really celebrating drunken pioneers.  Take your children!)

In the Apple General Store at the Johnny Appleseed festival, Chris shocked me for the second time today by eating a free sample.  Was he losing his marbles?  Free-samples were not on the diet plan for today!

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Chris and the free samples (on trays on the table)

Chris told me that hiking for 2 hours allowed him to eat the free sample of a carrot stick and apple-themed dressing.  Of course I agree with this logic for a normal human, but I was surprised Chris applied normal-human logic to his bodybuilder-human eating.

So Chris still makes it into the “very good fiance” category for now.  He’ll maintain this position by continuing to hike and attend Johnny Appleseed festivals with me.  He could lose this position by implementing extended analysis sessions of his butt fat and/or bringing back the bug-ridden bananas.  Also, October 12 is only 35 days away.  Not that anyone is counting…

From Hypoglycemia to Posing Trunks

Topics to be covered in today’s post:  

1)  Chris’s hypoglycemia, self-diagnosis, and how he fixed it

2)  Where Chris thought it was a good idea to do hill sprints

3)  How the bodybuilder dealt with climbing a mountain

4)  How Chris looks now

Topic 1

I wrote before about Chris’s occasional hypoglycemia during contest prep.  Recently, Chris switched from afternoon to morning workouts.  This switch made the hypoglycemic episodes more frequent.

Last week, Chris was in Florida again when the most intense of these hypoglycemic episodes yet occurred.

I need to pause here to mention why Chris has spent so much time over the last few months at his parents’ in Florida:  his dad underwent open-heart surgery back in June and is still hospitalized as he recovers.  Chris, naturally, has wanted to spend time with his dad and mom during this process.

So one day last week, Chris went to the Florida gym early in the morning, trying to get in a heavy leg workout before driving to the hospital to see his dad.  He ate a high carbohydrate meal 2 hours before lifting and he was mentally pumped up about leg day.  After just a few squat warm-ups, Chris got so shaky and cold-sweaty that he was afraid he’d pass out.  He bought a Gatorade for $2 from the front desk at the gym to raise his blood sugar and then felt fine and completed the workout.

When he got home, he analyzed what was happening:  it appeared that the hypoglycemia only occurred in the morning when a high carbohydrate meal was eaten ~2 hours before lifting.

Based on these conditions, in an email, he explained to me his self-diagnosis:

I think I have a medical condition called “postprandially reactive hypoglycemia” which probably described what I am experiencing. I founds a few pubmed articles on it but can’t get the full texts. This link has the best description and probably describes the situation closest to what I am going through:

http://www.em-consulte.com/article/79899

It is caused by very high insulin sensitivity in very lean people!

So Chris, who is a “very lean people”  is too insulin sensitive; this basically means his body overreacts when he secretes insulin (in response to carbohydrate ingestion primarily) and causes his body to lower his blood sugar too much.

The good news is, since he has identified the factors causing his hypoglycemic episodes, he has solved the problem.  He is still working out in the morning -it just fits his current schedule better- but he has changed the carbohydrate component of his pre-workout meal from a cup of oatmeal (~60 grams of starch) to an apple (~25 grams of fructose).  This change seems to have fixed things.

I do not like Chris having hypoglycemic episodes but I am very glad that he’s not an idiot and would consume an unplanned Gatorade at the gym rather than pass-out.  Honestly, I’m not sure all bodybuilders would make the same decision.  It’s good to know that my bodybuilder is a smart one.

Topic 2

The gym Chris worked out at in Florida wasn’t open on Sundays so Chris had to do cardio outside.  Someone at the gym recommended he run on the shoulder of the road over a bridge.  Logically, this is what he did.

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It is a big shoulder, at least

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And it had a good view

Anything to get in the scheduled workout.

Topic 3

Speaking of scheduled workouts, yesterday, miraculously, Chris did something “off-schedule.”  We climbed Mt. Monadnock.  What with the hypoglycemia and Chris’s extreme leanness and mild fatigue recently, I was nervous about his hiking it, and asked him several times if I should bring candy bars to force feed him should his blood glucose fall.  He assured me that he’d be fine and I did feel better when I saw that he was bringing 6 protein bars and an apple and also not eating a high carbohydrate breakfast.  He was fine on the hike and we made it to the top of Mt. Monadnock just in time to see this majestic view:

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On the summit of Mt. Monadnock

What a view!  It was kind of neat to be surrounded by fog.  We do plan to go back there, however, when we are not surrounded by fog.

Prior to the hike, Chris had told me he was going to do his scheduled “cardio,” which to him means high-intensity intervals only, after the hike.  I thought about explaining that 5 hours of slippery mountain hiking is also called “cardio” but eh, he’s got his scheduled ways.  I was relieved (and rather astounded) that, after the hike, he said he felt like he’d had a good enough workout and was not going to do the scheduled “cardio”.  He felt guilty about this decision, but, his pedometer said we had gone 17,000 steps, he’d fallen flat on his butt twice on the slippery rocks, and somehow, that seemed like enough for his body for one day.  I believe his exact decision making process went something like, “Well, I’d be fine doing extra high-intensity intervals today, but I just think I might be too sore then to do well during the rest of the week’s workouts.”  Ya think?!

Topic 4

Chris is lean enough now that he felt comfortable putting on his teeny-tiny posing trunks for his Saturday flexing pictures.  He told me these were his practice trunks.  I said, “Why do you have practice trunks?”  He muttered things I didn’t understand about needing two pairs of identical posing trunks.  I think the “show” trunks have tanner on them still from the last show and that’s why he has two pairs? Not sure.  Also, why do those little things get to be called “trunks”?  They are clearly much too small for the “trunk” designation.  Well, anyway, here’s how the man and his trunks are looking:

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Chris pointed out to me that his nipples no longer look asymmetrical! Hooray!

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This is called the “front abdominal” pose.

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We like his back, but are still waiting for those glutes to fully come in.  Oh the waiting!  When will they come in?!  Gluuutes!

Only six more weeks until COMPETITION DAY.