Wednesday of Peak Weak for Show #2

Chris just returned from the grocery store and excitedly displayed for me all the foods he bought for next week when competing will be over (for a few years at least), and he can stop spreadsheeting everything he consumes.  The exciting diet-breaking foods he bought were the following:  pistachios, cheese, and a different brand of peanut butter.  Wow.  Don’t go too crazy there buddy.

To accompany these crazy foods, Chris also bought many of the exact same things he has been eating during the diet but, after the diet, he will get to eat them in larger quantities. Gosh, I just don’t know if I can marry a man this CRAZY. 

As a man delighting in preparation, Chris has again pre-selected the wing place where we will go to after the show on Saturday and, of course, he knows exactly what he will eat there (25 hot wings).

In other news, last weekend, we went to Chicago for my friend’s wedding.  There was serious talk of photographing Chris in his posing trunks in front of The Bean, but, much to my dismay, at the last minute Chris decided it was too cold out.  This would have been an awesome blog post if I had a picture of Chris in his posing trunks in front of The Bean (probably with large numbers of people gawking in the background).  Alas.

In Chicago, on Saturday, we made Chris walk around the city for hours in the morning, watch us go out to lunch, and then stay up well past his 9-10 pm eastern timezone bedtime. Saturday was Chris’s planned lowest food intake day of the week so this was tough for him. He was quite the trooper though and powered through although he does look like he might eat someone in this picture taken at the wedding:


“Soooo hungry!!!” – Chris

We got back to Massachusetts mid-day on Sunday which meant Chris had just enough time for some high-intensity intervals.  As his gym was closed, this meant running hills.  As I love running and love Chris running, whenever Chris runs hills, I feel obligated to run with him.

Chris told me we were going to run “the hill by our apartment,” and, as there are many hills by our apartment, I assumed we were going to run up the closest hill to our apartment which is very steep.  Chris, however, meant that we were going to run up the absolute steepest hill you have ever seen ever, that is also sort of near our apartment.  This is the kind of hill where it looks like cars will topple over backwards when driving up it.

Pictures don’t do it justice, but we took some anyway:


There’s Chris!  (taken from the top of the hill)

And that's me!

And there’s me! (taken from the top of the hill again)

Note the distant background in the picture; that is the bottom of the hill.

What? Pictures aren’t enough?  You want to see video footage of Chris running up the hill? Well, lucky day for you, I have video footage of Chris running up the hill!  I think the video does a better job of showing the hill’s grade.

I have no idea what those weird noises in the video are.  My breathing maybe?  That at the end there was, “You can stop recording,” as in, “Lindy, I will throw-up on you right now if you do not stop recording this instant.”  He never did vomit.  (Neither did I).  We call that a successful hill workout.

Three days until show number 2!

Sugar-Free Syrup and the Columbus Day Flood

On Sunday morning, after the show, Chris had another “exciting” meal.


I was pleasantly surprised that, even though he qualified for the Yorton which was two weeks from this show (one week and a day from today), he still decided to eat two “fun” meals (chicken wings on Saturday and breakfast out on Sunday).  Chris still qualifies as a crazy diet-robot in my book though as, for this second “fun” meal, he still asked for sugar-free syrup and would not eat his potatoes.  Why even eat pancakes if you’ve going to sugar-free syrup them?  Gross. Things like this are why I scoff when he tells me excitedly that he’s going to order a giant McDonald’s combo meal when he’s done dieting.  Maybe he will order one but then he won’t eat the fries, will throw the bun away, and replace the ketchup with broccoli florets (or something similarly distorting of the generally implied meaning of “going to eat a McDonald’s large combo meal”).  Anyway… by Sunday afternoon, Chris was back in the contest prep diet swing and, in the American Airlines departure drop-off lane at Logan airport, after we said good-bye to Jeremy, Chris assembled and consumed his yogurt concoction.


Yep, giant cinnamon container had come on the trip with us too.

On Monday morning, still running on the adrenaline of qualifying for the Yorton show, Chris woke up early, grocery shopped, artistically organized his food, and sent me pictures.


We’ve got apples,


and lots of broccoli and beef bags and some almonds,


more giant cinnamons and Equal,


some eggs (those are my baby cheeses and jellos),


and many egg whites and a few large yogurt tubs arranged with almost creepy artistry.  That centerpiece egg white container contrasting with the curvyness of the yogurts?  That took thought.

So Monday was going well; Chris was relaxed and surfing the high of having qualified for the Yorton until all of a sudden, around 1 pm, the fire alarm in our apartment building blared.

I’ll pause here to mention why Chris and I were at home at 1 pm on a Monday: in Massachusetts, we get ALL holidays off work.  I have never in my life gotten Columbus Day off.  This is exciting.  I feel sorry for people who move from Massachusetts to the mid-west and realize with dismay that “Patriots Day” is not something the rest of the country actually observes.

So this Monday was Columbus Day and we were home “observing” it and I’d made some awesome jokes about how we should celebrate by dressing up as the Santa-Maria and the Pinta and walk along water-ways and discover things and I then learned the hard way that you should never make boat and water-way related jokes because then your fire alarm will go off and the sprinkler system in the hallway will be activated and not shut off for almost 25 minutes (!!!) causing the hallway to be several inches deep in water and some of this water will get in your apartment and you will know logically that you are not in a boat in the mid-Atlantic in the poor passengers’ quarters where the mean ship-worker has locked you below deck but, really, you saw Titanic A LOT in high school because you had a thing for Leonardo DiCaprio back then and it’s really hard to get the image of the water rising and rising and you drowning in your apartment out of your head.


Trying, in vain, to stop the rising waters from the hall sprinker

(I should mention, for those of you concerned, that there wasn’t any fire; a mover had hit the hall sprinkler with a couch.)

Once the sprinkler stopped down-pouring (it was definitely NOT “sprinkling”), the electricity went out.

All calmness left Chris.  It was almost time for him to eat.  And he needed a microwave.  And we no longer had electricity.  And, as the hallway looked like a disaster zone, it looked like electricity could be off for a while.  (In Titanic, if I remember correctly, once the electricity went off, the ship sank pretty quickly.  Would our apartment sink, forcing us to utter corny yet compelling love lines to each other while clinging to a one-person sized board?)

I believe Chris estimated at this point, in a panic, that, based on the circumstances, the electricity would probably be off for the next 5 days.  I told him this was unlikely, but understood that he was hungry and illogical and very worried about future food.  I had to go into work for a bit anyway (as professors even when we are “off work” we are of course not really “off work”) so Chris went in with me and microwaved.  When we got home, two hours later, there were six men in our apartment ripping up our soaked carpet, but, joy of joys, the electricity was back on.


This was the work order that maintenance filled out for our apartment that day.  It’s a bit hard to read but it says, “We came by for the following:” and the “other” box is checked and written in the blank is “flood.”  Nice.

That same day was also apparently the day that the city opens up all the fire hydrants causing water to gush all over the streets.  To prove I am not making this up, please see the following “Hydrant Flushing Notice.”  Water on the streets wasn’t a big deal but it caused our toilet water to turn brown and Chris swore our drinking water tasted contaminated.  Thus, on the day our apartment flooded, we went out and bought, what else, more water.  Water water everywhere…


That is a fully flushed toilet.  I was going to call maintenance about the toilet water color until the sprinkler thing happened and then, rusty brown toilet water just didn’t seem like a big deal anymore.

So life continues.  Chris is back on his diet plan, feeling good during his workouts but a bit hungry and tired during the day.  I can’t believe we’re about to get back into the “peak week” deal again.  Didn’t we just do this?


Yep, this happy man is ready to compete again.

Show-Day Saturday Recap: Installment Two

Yesterday’s cliffhanger post ended with Chris on stage at prejudging.  We will resume the story of “Saturday Show Day” there.

Following prejudging, Chris had about two hours to hang out in the getting-ready area until it was time for his posing routine.  While waiting, he ate more carbohydrate-rich food and tried to relax without actually sitting down (and thus messing up the tanner and staining things).

Finally, around 12:30 pm, Chris was called on stage.  As you watch this video, and judge Jeremy and I harshly, please keep in mind that, although I was holding the camera in my hand with the “record” light on, we were completely focused on watching Chris, and thus were not thinking one bit about our audio also being recorded.  If you are sensitive, you may want to watch the video on mute. Also, the announcer (not Chris) messed up my name. Here’s it is:

After all the competitors completed their routines, the judges announced the top five competitors.  The top five competitors would definitely go on to compete in two weeks at the natural bodybuilding championship show, the Yorton.  Now here’s the catch:  the judges had told the competitors prior to the Cape Cod show that one of the heavy-weight men had already qualified for the Yorton, and thus, if this man placed in the top 5 at the Cape Cod show, the 6th place contestant would also qualify for the Yorton.

When the judges announced the top 5 competitors, they did not announce if one of these 5 had already qualified and they did not announce who had come in 6th place.

When Jeremy and I reunited with Chris backstage, he was doing the “I’m disappointed but trying to not act disappointed because this was a good experience and now I can eat again and blah blah etc.” and we said he looked amazing on stage and I thought he should have been 5th (because I’m an entirely unbiased judge on where he should have placed) and as we were leaving, Chris said, “I’m going to just check with the judges about where I placed, just in case maybe I did qualify,” and Jeremy and I sat in the back of the auditorium with Chris’s stuff while Chris talked to the judges at their table in the front of the auditorium and Chris must have talked to about 4 judges and was up there for maybe 10 minutes while Jeremy and I stared at them all in angst trying to read the body language to see if the judges were telling Chris, “Nice job, but better luck next time buddy-pal” or if they were saying, “Way to go, Yorton Qualifier!” but we couldn’t figure out anything until this face skipped down the aisle towards us:


Yes, he really did skip.  There was a hop-step in there.  And he had reason to skip-hop-step, because, he had placed 6th, and a guy in the top 5 had already qualified, which meant that Chris also qualified for the Yorton.  That was some intense suspense.  Being with Jeremy, who is not known as the King of Calm, made it all the more crazy.  Seeing the excitement on Chris’s tanner smudged face was awesome.  Experiencing this joy with him was one of my favorite moments of the whole weekend.

And then we went out for wings.


Possible caption:  “The starving coal miner finishes off the bones of a mine squirrel”

And then we went back to my grandpa’s house so he could remove the tanner from his body.

What does a bodybuilder need to remove his tanner?  Why baby oil, a loofah, and towels of course!


Ready for removal!

How does a bodybuilder avoid messing up Lindy’s grandpa’s bathroom?  By showering in the outdoor shower, of course. (It was about 60 degrees out).


Shower time!

What should a bodybuilder do before getting in Lindy’s grandpa’s outdoor shower?  Why, flex in the backyard of course.


Is the next picture of Chris quite possibly my favorite picture of him ever?  Why yes, yes it is (of course)!


“I’m a bodybuilder, in a backyard, in front of this clothesline, and it’s 60 degrees out, and I don’t have any clothes on, and I look like I’m singing!”  -Chris

Once Chris thought the tanner was all off, it wasn’t really all off:


There’s a bit in the center and on the left side of his back.

We stood in the backyard and I rubbed off the rest of his back’s tanner with a towel, and we hoped the neighbors had stayed inside and away from all windows that day.

We ended that triumphant day with a relaxing bonfire on the beach.


And then we ate some of Chris’s Reese’s.  And we noticed, that Chris, in his candy-inexperience, had accidentally bought the “snack size” Reese’s when his pre-contest plan had called for standard sized Reese’s.  Oh Chris.  We’ll have to re-enroll you in candy school so you don’t make foolish mistakes like this one.



And that was show day.  There’s more to tell about the day after show day and what’s to come now with the renewed two weeks of contest prep, but I will save these for a later post.

I want to end with an amazing picture of Chris’s parents in Florida on show day:


Those are ultimate Chris Fahs fans!

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!