Monthly Archives: October 2013

Show-Day Saturday Recap: Installment One

Alright, so here’s what happened yesterday.

At 3 am Saturday morning, Chris awoke and microwaved several sweet potatoes.  He then returned to bed until 5 am when him and Jeremy exuberantly woke up and made loud noises, thus stimulating my grudging emergence from peaceful slumber.

We had a brief panic around 6:45 am when we couldn’t find the competitor-identifying number buttons (like running race bib numbers) to pin on his man-bikini but, after dumping out all our bags several times, we found them.  We stopped briefly at Dunkin’ Donuts and made it to the venue, Cape Cod Community College, by 7:30 am, just in the nick of time to sit there and wait for an hour.

The show staff weren’t even done covering the floor with protective paper at the time we showed up.

Covering the floor (of the area where the bodybuilders got ready) with protective paper

Covering the floor (of the area where the bodybuilders got ready) with protective paper

Why do they have to cover the floor with protective paper?

Because of this:


That shiny brown paint is called “Dream Tan.”  As far as I know, it is made specifically for people in bodybuilding-type competitions.  No normal person-around-town would wear this.


It’s incredibly messy and hard to get off.  The bodybuilders wear it so all those worked-hard-for bodily features will not get washed out by the bright lights of the stage; the tanner is similar in function to the exaggerated stage make-up worn by actors under bright lights.

Applying the tanner and eating foods to make himself appear “full” but not “bloated” were the two main activities to do at the venue before Chris went onstage.  The show officially started at 9 am, but, based on the number of other classes before him (women’s bikini, women’s figure, women’s bodybuilding, and men’s lightweight bodybuilding), we guessed that he would go on stage around 10 am.  This is a tricky part of a bodybuilding show; it is hard to know exactly what time to prepare for going on stage because there is no way to know exactly how long the judges will spend looking at the competitors in other classes.

We chose to apply the tanner starting around 8:30 am which was a good decision as it then took us 30 minutes to fully cover his body with it and it is supposed to be on an hour before stage time.  Applying tanner is like applying very thick, messy lotion-paint (as can be seen in the pictures above).  Once the tanner is on, Chris can’t sit down and has to be careful about what his body touches because he becomes a giant stain-creating monster. You haven’t kissed a man until you’ve kissed a man covered in clothing-staining paint, I say.


Ahhh, the romance of trying very hard to not get close to each other while kissing

So after tanner-time, Chris ate peanut butter and jelly on rice cakes frequently to ensure his muscles looked “full”:



Unfortunately, rice cakes are crumbly and the tanner never fully dries so he ended up with some very fine rice cake crumbles sticking to his chest.  We thought about trying to get them off, but the tanner was finally looking smooth so we didn’t mess with things.  Below is the picture I posted yesterday of Chris’s pecs:


Look carefully and you can see little white rice cake crumbles stuck to them.  Awesome.

Chris then ate some of that jumbo pack of Reese’s I had been coveting, pumped up briefly (push-ups, body-weight squats, etc.) and was ready for stage.  At 10 am exactly, Chris’s class, men’s heavy-weight bodybuilding, was called to the stage.  (This was a very, very well-run show.  We were really impressed with the organization.)

Ready for some stage-Chris?!  Here he is!

Hands-over head abdominals

Hands-over head abdominals (He is in the middle.)

Front "relaxed"

Front “relaxed” (He is next to blue posing trunks man).

Front lat-spread (He's the shiny one).

Front lat-spread (He’s the shiny one).

Front double-biceps (Again, the shiny one)

Front double-biceps (Again, the shiny one in black trunks)

Back double biceps (shiny)

Back double biceps (shiny one)

Hitting a "preferred pose"

Hitting a “preferred pose” (He’s not hitting anything yet here I don’t think but you can see the size of all the giants in his class in this picture).

Chris was on stage for this part, called the “pre-judging” for about 20 minutes.  He told me later that my cruel game during posing practice with him, of seeing how long he would hold a pose that I called out, actually paid off and he felt totally energized on stage flexing for the judges.  I’m a good posing practice pose-call-outer.  Yep.

I loved watching Chris on stage.  He smiled a lot, hit his poses well, and really looked like he was enjoying himself.  I felt vomit-nervous before he went on stage, but once he was out there, it was fun.  Everyone in his class looked amazing.  (He is a “pro” which means that Chris and everyone he competes against has won an amateur show at some point.  Thus, they are all experienced and tough to beat.)

And now, in the interest of not writing a 500 page post, that’s about where I’m going to end today, with what would be a cliff-hanger had I not already posted yesterday about how Chris placed.  I will continue the story of “Saturday Show Day” in a post tomorrow.

I did say “about” where I will end because I absolutely must mention something that happened today.  As we returned to my grandpa’s house this morning (where we stayed all weekend) after going for breakfast, I went to pick up the newspaper in his yard. With excitement, I noticed the cover of The Cape Cod Times was about the bodybuilding show AND THEN, I may have screamed, as I noticed Chris was in the front page photo!

That's him, shiny as usual, on the far right in the background.

That’s him, characteristically shiny, on the far right in the background.

He’s not the featured competitor and the photo isn’t exactly focused on him but hey, front page of the paper, above the article about the Red Sox playoff game?!  Wow.  As if it wasn’t a good enough weekend already, that made our weekend.

(Yes, we then ran out to a gas station and bought five copies of the paper and when the gas station man asked, “Why are you buying five copies of the paper?” Chris told him it was because he, Chris, was in the cover photo!  And as, by this morning, Chris was no longer shiny, and is actually rather pale, and clearly Caucasian, we’re guessing the gas station man assumed Chris was crazy and is laughing heartily, right this moment, with his gas station friends about the crazy non-shiny pale man who thought he was in this cover photo of today’s newspaper.)

Show Day!

Here’s the deal.  There’s a ton to write about from today.  But we’re still in Cape Cod having fun and I don’t want to take too much time out to write.  So, for now, I will just give the highlights from today.  Do not fear; a full-coverage post is coming soon :)

Highlight #1)  Chris’s pecs looked like this:


Highlight #2)  Chris’s backside looked like this:


That’s Chris on the left.

Highlight #3)  Chris came in 6th in his class which means he qualifies to compete at the IFPA Pro World Championships (also known as “The Yorton”)!  This is really, really exciting. Chris hoped he would qualify but we had no idea if he would or not.  The Yorton is in two weeks and it’s in MA so Chris will be competing there.  Yes, Chris did still eat the planned hot wings today but yes, this now means two more weeks of contest prep.

And that’s all for now.  More details to come.

Friday of Peak Week (Part II)

Alright, so Chris has taken his polygraph (to verify that he is “drug-free”) at the local Holiday Inn and he has received his giant bag of t-shirts and stuff from the show promoters.


We’ve been to the boardwalk by the beach.


We checked out the venue.


And we went to another beach.


Also, we watched Jeremy eat things.


Dunkin’ Donuts


And a milkshake.

It’s been a good day.  Chris is calm and focused.  Well, right now I think he might be asleep in the chair across from me, but, overall, he’s been focused.

We’re all ready for tomorrow.

Friday of Peak Week

This arm is ready for tomorrow’s show.


I’ve been looking at this freaky vascularity for weeks now.  It’s fun to see that Jeremy’s reaction to it is the same as mine:  “Are you kidding that your body looks like that?!”

Everything is ready.


The Reese’s are bagged up.  Chris has towels and his loofah for removing tanner post-show. Jeremy finished the entire pumpkin pie.  Cape Cod HERE WE COME!

Thursday of Peak Week

Our friend Jeremy is here!!!  The show is SO close now.

During Chris’s previous shows, Jeremy wore a bathrobe.  The bathrobe is supposed to be wizard-cape like to represent Chris, “The Wizard of Fahs.”  At Chris’s first show ever, we wrote “The Wizard of Fahs” on the bathrobe after hastily buying it at a local Walmart.  Chris has saved this bathrobe.  It moved with us from Illinois to Oklahoma to Massachusetts. In anticipation of Jeremy’s arrival today, Chris laid out the bathrobe, ready for a good wearing on Saturday.  (Jeremy probably really hates the bathrobe by now but now feels pressure to always wear it; note there is old tanner on the bottom of the robe from a previous show. Ew.)


Chris also bought Jeremy a pumpkin pie.


So that’s a thing I guess; come visit for a bodybuilding show, get a pumpkin pie.

Tomorrow we leave for Cape Cod around noon.  It is time!

Wednesday of Peak Week

Today Chris weighs 191.6 lbs.  When we started this contest prepping journey ~6 months ago, he weighed 218 lbs.  Bet you wish you could see that graphically don’t you?  Chris has got you covered:

Bodyweight graph 3 days out


His last show was in 2011.  Thus, we have a red line showing us his body weight during the 2011 prep and a blue line showing us his body weight during the current prep.

Interesting to note that in 2013, this prep, he started at a lower weight and has now reached a lower weight. We can both tell he’s leaner than he’s ever been right now.  We also both agree that this prep has affected him more (physically, emotionally, mentally) than any other prep. It’s hard to say whether this being his hardest prep is due to his extreme leanness or to unrelated life stresses such as moving across the country and starting a new job. Fortunately, he still feels well enough to make graphs and send them to me.  Along with the body weigh graphs, some nice graphs of his step counts were emailed to me this morning.  (If he is ever too fatigued to make graphs and send them to me, then I will worry about him).

Daily Step Count Graph

Chris’s Daily Step Count Graph


Chris’s Weekly Step Count Graph

Chris’s Monthly Step Count Graph

I believe the major peaks we see in the step counts are due to a conference we attended back in May, our move in August, and the walking required by his new job in September.  Also, I must point out the obvious, that, to have a daily step count graph from the last six months means that Chris wore his pedometer every single day for the last six months.  I wonder if it smells.

So how is Chris doing on Wednesday of Peak Week?  About 20 minutes ago, we had the following conversation:

Me (noticing dark circles around Chris’s gaunt eye sockets):  You look exhausted.

Chris (looking off into nothingness):  I am exhausted.  (beat)  But overall I feel really good! Hey, can you take pictures of me in my posing trunks?

And that’s that.

Tomorrow our friend Jeremy from Oklahoma is coming to visit (and we are SO excited about seeing him!!), Friday we leave for Cape Cod, and Saturday is the show.  Here we go.


Tuesday of Peak Week

I was emailed my Chris-made itinerary for the weekend today.  “Can’t enjoy a weekend without an itinerary,” I always say.

I actually do like itineraries.  This one includes exact times for traveling, putting tanner on Chris, and meals.  As it’s important to time his eating and tanner-ing (we basically paint his entire body shiny-brown), and the day of the show Chris will have a lot to think about, I’m glad that he planned things out now so I know what’s up when.  We have a specific time to get to Cape Cod on Friday, a specific time on Saturday morning to go to Dunkin’ Donuts (yes, seriously, this is part of his planned pre-contest food), and a specific time to get to the bodybuilding show.  That’s right:  we’ll see the show of BB(-ers) on CC after we go to DD.  (Then Chris will Eat Excessively of Fried Food, Going “Gobble,” with Humongous Handfuls, and yes, I’m incredible).

I just went in the cabinet to check the status of that giant bag of Reese’s that Chris bought on Sunday morning.  None have been eaten yet.



But they have been put in this plastic bag.  (That is them in the bright orange poking out of the bag).  I’m not sure if the bag is to keep all “day of show food” together or if it is intended to keep anyone else who lives in the apartment who might maybe want to eat his Reese’s away from them.  He’ll probably tell me it’s to keep the food together but then why did he put the bag on the very top shelf where I cannot reach…

While in the cabinet looking for Reese’s, I also noticed that we now have 6 cylinders of oatmeal.


Good to have one for both Chris and me and each of our four children.

We don’t have four children.

Or any children.

I have no idea why we have 6 cylinders of oatmeal.  Maybe he is eating a cylinder a day until the show?  Gross.

And that’s about it for Tuesday-before-the-show updates.

(And no, I didn’t actually eat any of his Reese’s.  You think I’m crazy?  You do not take food from contest-prepping bodybuilders.)