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Sunday, July 31, 2011

fashion intersects biomechanics

These are my running shoes:

No, they don't usually live on top of that bombe chest. I just thought you might like a different backdrop than the other two I photograph everything in front of. You know, for variety's sake. Anyway, they are Nike Free 2.0s. (I'm pretty sure. Something like that.) They are minimalist shoes.

And these are my weightlifting shoes:

They are Jambus, the style name/number of which I can't be arsed to look up. Sorry. Bad, lazy blogger. I did not originally buy these for the gym. I thought I could wear them to work. Alas, being even more minimalist, they have absolutely no support and walking in them isn't particularly comfortable. Plus, they make my feet look goofy. However, they are FLAT. They are squatting shoes.

This past Friday night, I trained with Liz. However, unlike my usual practice, I went home in-between work and the gym. It was a lovely evening and I said to myself, "Andrea, instead of going to the gym early and walking on the treadmill to warm up, why don't you, y'know, walk to the gym?" Brilliant thinking there. However, I did NOT want to wear my Jambus as, see above, not great for walking. So I wore my Nikes.

Liz took one look at me and said, "Those running shoes aren't good for squatting." I protested that they were flat. "Not flat enough."

I did my warmup set. "Did you feel your heels coming up?" Uh uh. "They did. Your heels never come up. It's the shoes."

And so I squatted in my socks, boys and girls. Liz said I could try a barefoot set and if it didn't feel right, I could put my Nikes back on and she'd put a couple plates under my heels. That sounded...I dunno...effete, or something. No. I squatted barefoot and I kept my heels down like a good girl. And the shoes came back off for sldls, too. Lesson learned. Of course, I later got a little gentle reminder for the future that I really shouldn't do rack pulls in my running shoes either. Sigh.

Today was rack pull day. I walked to the gym in flip flops, with my Jambus in my bag. (Why, yes, walking in my Reef flip flops *is* more comfortable than walking in those ugly shoes. I really cannot recommend them for anything other than moving weights. For that, they're stellar.)

What's with all the extra walking, Andrea? Well, kids, that's the other thing. It's very controversial, but I've heard here and there that doing more than the bare minimum of cardio whilst bulking helps with "partitioning"--i.e. that the extra calories are more likely to go to muscle-building solely and thus you'll have less fat gain along with the muscle gain. And I have become aware that there is some fat back over my hipbones that was not there two or three weeks ago. Not that some fat on the hips is amiss. I'd just like to stop it at "some" before shiz gets outta control.

Then there's this:

That's the dress I bought at the Tarzhay today without trying on. I would like to claim the reason it wouldn't zip all the way when I got it home is because of my awesome huge lats. (I dunno if you heard, but, uh, I did a chinup.) However, the more likely explanation is fat. If this keeps up, I may need to use my running shoes for actual running again. Gasp! Just when I was getting used to eating 2300 calories a day.


P.S. I swear, I am still working on books i hate, part 2. It'll be worth your wait. Maybe.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

there should have been video

I did a pull up. *A* pull up. Okay, technically, *a* chinup, which is easier. Plus, I needed a crate in order to reach the low pullup bar, proving once and for all my Y is discriminatory against short people. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, they do supply crates, I know.)

I continue to maintain I could have done more than one if I hadn't attempted my lil feat of strength at the end of my back workout when my pitiful little lat muscles were already spent. Excuses, excuses. But, seriously, since I have never in my entire life been able to do a chinup/pullup, and since on my first try I was able to crank one out with good form and no flailing around like the girl in my "fail" video, I felt ridiculously pleased with myself. It just seems like something that a fit person should be able to do, y'know?

To reward you for listening to my bragging about trivial matters, here's another song that makes me feel all badass when I'm lifting.

Do you know when you go on youtube, there are almost four decades of live performances of it to choose from? You get this one just 'cause Joe Perry is looking all kinds of Old Man Hot in it. You're welcome.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

festivus feats of strength

I wish I could do these:

Okay, actually I wish I could do these:

Or, possibly, these:

No, the park guy is definitely cooler. I would stop to watch. And possibly drool. I can't help it. I'm like that.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Though I would like to be able to do pull ups like an actually fit person, I am sadly stuck doing more like this:

I am afraid if I tried a real one at the gym, it would resemble this (complete with mocking Dominican boys, seriously. It's kismet I found this clip.):

Be that as it may, I may just attempt one today with Liz there for moral support. There will NOT be video.


Monday, July 25, 2011

books i hate, part I

The other night I finished the last unread book on my kindle. (Um, other than a travel guide to somewhere I may never go and a history of mental illness that, despite my interest in the subject matter and despite my having read one of the author's other books over and over about twenty times, is so dry and academic I just cannot read it however much I try.) This meant that, naturally, I had to go on amazon and buy myself a few new ones. I need both reading material and a choice of reading material, you know.

Let's talk about one of them, shall we? Those of you who are really sharp and quick on the uptake and who actually read blog titles have an inkling what kind of review is coming up, I bet. Here's the literary masterpiece in question:

But before I start excoriating this stupid book, lemme give you some background info. First, for those of you who don't know, I do some yoga. Not as much as I should, and I'm certainly not advanced, but I do it, I like it, I am in full support of it. Secondly, I am kind of an ersatz Buddhist. [Me to ex-boyfriend, about a sandwich shop in his neighborhood that had a Buddhist pun in its name: Are those guys actually Buddhist? Him: No, they're Buddhist like you are. They just think it's cool. The gentleman later claimed he never said that, but he did and it was quite alright. It was both hilarious and, y'know, TRUE.] I've read a bunch of Buddhist books and, on and off, I do the metta meditation, though, like the yoga, not as often as I should. Finally, I have been to massage school, which...Oh, hell, if you haven't been to massage school, it would probably take me five paragraphs to explain why that's relevant, so just trust. It is. My point being, I'm probably just the kind of person this book is aimed at. Amazon certainly thought so when they recommended it!

Well, then, Andrea, what is your problem with this book? Can you not just be a good little consumer and fit into the niche you are boxed into? Sigh. No, I cannot. I am always an effin' problem.

Here's the thing: a chatty sort of book based on the author's life experiences is much like a blog. In order to connect with it, you've got to like the authorial voice. I mean, anyone who's reading this (hello...hellllooooooo? anyone out there?) and who's visited this blog more than once can just be assumed to like a certain potty-mouthed, sarcastic world view, amirite? You might not agree with everything you read here and you might not like me enough to want to, say, invite me to dinner, but you are engaged enough by the authorial voice to keep reading. We are, (mythical) you and me, simpatico.

Well, me n' Ms Berger Gross, we are not simpatico. I found her, almost from the beginning insufferable. For someone who is claiming a certain level of spiritual enlightenment, she is remarkably lacking in self-awareness and stunningly blind to her own privilege. I almost felt like I was reading GOOP.

Okay, Ms Berger Gross is not quite as insufferable as Gwyneth, but she does say things like "Now, eating half a pineapple a day can get pricey. But it's worth it to me to feel energetic and ready to go every morning..." and gives us smoothie recipes in which the ingredients are, no lie, organic yogurt, organic strawberries, organic orange juice, and honey. I was reading that at the beach yesterday and felt compelled to yell to my friend, "What??!!?!!?? The honey doesn't have to be organic??!!???"

Perhaps the most galling (and totally un-health-related, so, yeah, off-topic!) part of the book to me is that Ms Berger Gross has disowned her parents, just because she felt her relationship with them is dysfunctional and she is still sulking over the wrongs they did her when she was six. Let me be clear, their crimes were not that of horrific abuse. Your parents rape you or sell you for drug money, etc, I certainly support your decision to leave home as soon as you are able and never look back. On the other hand, you let them put you through Vassar, including funding a trip to Nepal where your journey of enlightenment begins, first and then decide to completely cut them off in their elderly years and not allow them to meet their grandchild, simply because you think daddy has anger issues and mommy shouldn't have stayed with him, you are a selfish douchebag. And when you justify that with an interpretation of the yoga sutras that weasels about how forgiving people doesn't actually mean forgiving them, you are a double douchebag. When you don't eat meat because it's unkind, but you cannot be kind and forgiving to the old people who raised you and whom you admit did their best, you are a triple douchebag. I may be only an ersatz Buddhist, but I know the karma involved in that is not good.

But back to the health and fitness related nonsense! There's a lot of mumbo jumbo about clean eating, juice fasts, never eating to the point of actually being full, and my personal favorite, detox enemas. And splurging once in awhile on whole grain organic (no, really) pizza made with hormone-free cheese.

Dude. I would rather be 40 pounds overweight, thanks.

In summary, don't buy this book. Instead, look forward to the second part of our series wherein I count how many times the word "sexy" is used in the first chapter of a weightlifting book for women!


Monday, July 18, 2011

defying expectations

It's been a nearly lifelong "thing" with me, ever since I was a very quiet, shy, straight-A high school student who also had an older boyfriend and a plethora of ill-advised out-of-school adventures. I've always liked having facets to me that other people don't expect from the surface or if they only know me in one context. It amuses me greatly when someone is blown away to find I am not who or what they thought I was going to be. And so it is with weightlifting.

I would be lying if I didn't say that has been one of the motivating factor since I started my little muscle building project. The other day when I was going to do rack pulls for the first time without Liz, I came up into the weightroom to find three boys working out together. They were all over the place, including the only squat rack we have. When time had passed and they had left a loaded barbell in the rack but hadn't gone near it in fifteen or twenty minutes, I approached them and asked if they were all done in there. They looked at me in utter incomprehension. It was as if my words were recognizable, but the fact that this old lady was apparently wanting to use the squat rack just didn't compute. Finally it penetrated, and two of them started ranking on the other for leaving the barbell loaded. "You didn't put your weights away, Jesse. I swear, you're the messiest person in this gym." Then one of them asked if I needed help taking off the 45lb plates. Ahem. I can't say it didn't amuse me to smile and take the plate off myself.

Similarly, Friday night after I worked out with Liz, I went down into the locker room and for reasons that are totally unclear (except that I had sweated through my t shirt and felt gross), I changed back into my work clothes to go home. Liz came down to find me in front of the sink mirror, taking down my hair and putting on tinted lip balm, in a maxi skirt and a little cardigan. She kind of grinned at me and said, "And now no one would ever think you were just powerlifting." [Note: Liz is trying to convince me that since I'm doing 5x5's now, I am in fact doing a powerlifting routine. I think she is trying to bring me over to the Dark Side. Or something like that.] It cracked me up and it pleased me. Because, really? *Did* I look like what anyone would expect someone who was just squatting and deadlifting (a pitiful amount, but still) to look like? Probably not. Kill those stereotypes, yo.

This guy? Yeah.

But the sentiment remains the same. Just in a tinier, more likely to visit Sephora package.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

things my bodymedia fit tells me

It doesn't actually talk to me. It hasn't told me--yet--to off myself or any of my neighbors, nor has it informed me that Satan is living in my sock drawer or that Michele Bachmann is really an alien from the planet Xzchery. (Those of you who know my life know I shouldn't really be joking about this, but those of you who know my life also know I joke about everything. So, uh, chill.) But despite its lack of literal verbal communication, my bodymedia has been telling me a lot of things. Want to hear some of them? Too bad, you're going to anyway.

My bodymedia tells me that while I was lying on the table at my acupuncturist Marcy's the other day for over half an hour, being very still so as not to dislodge any acupuncture needles before my chi was properly adjusted, I was asleep. While I often nap a little at Marcy's, and while I may have been drifting in and out a bit this Wednesday, I was definitely not asleep for more than thirty minutes. Therefore I must conclude that while my bodymedia knows when I am lying down and it knows when I am being very still, it incorrectly conflates the combination of the two with slumber. Thus I cannot take its sleep total and sleep efficiency figures as anything than a rough estimate. That being said, it's instructive for me to realize that in the almost three weeks I've owned it, I have yet to have a single night in which I've gotten eight hours. Most nights I get six and change. I'd probably have bigger muscles if I were getting more rest. Yeah. I'm sure that's the problem.

My bodymedia does tell me that when I am actually sleeping, I burn more calories per minute than I do when I am awake and typing away at my computer, like now. Basically, when I'm on the internet, it thinks I'm dead. Okay, not really. Just comatose. I mean, .9 calories/minute? Seriously? When I can go good swatches of the night burning 1.2/min asleep? See, if I slept more, not only would I have bigger muscles, I'd probably have a six pack. Good thing I don't want a six pack and I like my bodyfat and, y'know, I'm BULKING, or I'd be taking a nap right now in work instead of writing this post.

The final weird sleep-related thing my bodymedia tells me is that I take steps during the night. I don't mean, steps to the bathroom and back, which does happen. I mean four random steps at 2am and another seven at 4. Things like that. The best I can figure out is that I occasionally wake up enough to sit up in bed, then throw myself back down, and the bodymedia registers my bounce as a step. Either that or I am getting out of bed and walking towards the closet in the middle of the night. Probably to check if Michele Bachmann is in my sock drawer or something.

The bodymedia also tells me that on squat day, like yesterday, which leaves me staggering out of the gym I am so spent, and so sore the day after (that'd be now) that just standing up out of my chair is an activity that takes forethought, I burn approximately the same number of calories I do sitting in my garden/on my patio pulling out weeds for an hour and a half, which takes very little physical effort at all. This is, on one hand, aggravating--all that pain should translate to hard numbers of the giant variety, as far as I'm concerned--but also enlightening. That's the hugest surprise for me, both from my own data and from what other people report: the amount of calories that are burned doing extremely non-taxing everyday activities, like walking around the mall and vacuuming the house and such. It seems to corroborate those alarmist recent reports in the news about how sitting on your butt all day at work is gonna kill ya, even if you exercise when you get home, as well as my own personal pet theory which I feel inclined to rant on at every given opportunity: the reason Americans are all fucking fat is because they're too damn lazy to walk the three blocks to the goddamn 7 Eleven. Obesity crisis, my ass.

Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Apparently, if my bodymedia is not lying to me (like it does with those sleep-steps) then sitting at a desk burns coma-level calories and working out like a bastard burns some calories, but walking around at a non-strenuous pace for an extended period of time, standing more than sitting, and doing relatively easy physical activity, also for fairly extended periods of time, burns a crapload of calories. And if those alarmist recent news reports aren't lying to me (wut?), then it's that walking/standing/easy activity that's really good for your health, because of, or in addition to, the calorie burn.

I've probably shortened my lifespan by 3.8 seconds just typing this all out. God. I hope you all appreciate my sacrifice. I also hope you were all standing up when you read it. Because I care about your health. And how your butt looks in jeans. Etc.

Because I care about your mental health as well and I feel sorry for that giant wall of text, let's end with video. Video that has nothing to do with anything other than for me to warn you that my bodymedia tells me you'd have to squat *a lot* to burn off that much tequila.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

expensive pee

I was buying a friend a birthday gift online from Anthropologie, and while I was on there, I bought myself some little orange ceramic bowls on sale. The package arrived the other day. I washed them off and went to put them away in the kitchen cabinet in which we keep our everyday dishes and glasses, only to find that there was no place for them. I complained of such to my son who happened to be right there. He told me there was a lot of crap on the top shelf that could go. I pulled a chair over and climbed up. (5'2, shut up.)

Behind some Ikea glasses and some bud vases that belonged to my mother and that I never use, there was a veritable supplement graveyard. "I guess this shit's all expired, huh?" Oh, yes. Most of it back in '06 and '07. Colon cleanse. Yours. CortiSlim. Mine. Vitamin C. Yours. "Who bought these carb blockers?"

"Must've been you, because I never bought anything for weight loss."

"Oh, yeah? I doubt that. This Hydroxycut's definitely yours. I would never have taken that."

It all went into the trash. But I'm sure you get the gist. The creatine is only the latest in a long line of supplements that I've bought because someone told me they'd be good for me and it seemed reasonable at the time. And my kid's obviously the same way. We have, in this family, what is known as expensive pee. Sigh.

Here's a few unexpired things I have hanging around, some of which I actually take once in a while.

Fresh out of cranberry capsules and chewable B12s, but they make an appearance on occasion too. Oh, and I didn't haul the jar of coconut oil out of the cabinet either. See, I have some I've never cooked with, but which I used to swish around in my mouth for 15 minutes a day for awhile last summer. Oil pulling. (Trust me. You don't wanna know.)

I'm not totally convinced that anything I've ever taken from the Vitamin Shoppe or or aisle 6 at the CVS has ever actually really done anything. (But, dudes, imagine how crappy and unhealthy I'd probably feel if I hadn't! Something like that. ) I remain, on day five, optimistic about the creatine. Just thinking it's going to make me able to lift heavier will probably make me able to lift heavier. Who cares if something works because it works or if it works because it's a placebo? Results! That's all that matters.

Speaking of which, I nailed the 105 lb seated calf raises yesterday after my previous humiliating fail with them. Though I keep telling Liz, I dunno why I keep pushing the weights on those. I'll be buying freaking wide calf boots next winter. I'll be banished to fat ladies' shoe stores and it will be all my own fault. Plus, the extended sizes probably cost more. That'll cut down on my disposable supplement income. God. I really should carefully re-think this.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

in which we praise sludge

I just had to do a sludge post after I proclaimed that it has changed my life. Plus, I took pictures of my breakfast this morning, and every time I find myself turning into one of those people I hate and doing things I swore I would never do, I have to publicly document it. It's, like, a rule.

So! For the uninitiated, sludge is a food item. Sludge is made by mixing protein powder with a variety of other substances to make a mixture that resembles, well, sludge. "It does exactly what it says on the tin!"*** As far as I can tell, the most common sludge-making ingredients are Greek yogurt and peanut butter. I would also include oatmeal, but I have it on semi-good authority that adding oatmeal turns it from sludge into proats. Eh. In my uneducated, female opinion, the line between proats and sludge is a very fine one, but whatever. In any case, sludge is a wonderful way to get in a crapload of protein and calories and also enables one to use up the ghetto-ass CVS brand whey that one bought in a fit of terrible judgment. Not that I would know anything about the latter. Really.

Without further ado, here's what I ate this morning:

I see you salivating. No, seriously, it was delicious--I can't help it if I'm no food stylist. God.

That's one container of 2% Fage yogurt, one tablespoon of Trader Joe's almond butter with flax, and one scoop vanilla whey protein, topped with a sliced up nectarine, which works out to 550 calories, 53.4g protein, 23.4g fat, and 32.3g carbs (6.3g fiber). The Greek yogurt and almond butter mixed together has a lovely, airy texture.

The other version of sludge that I've made so far consisted of one container of Fage, one tablespoon of Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, and one scoop vanilla whey, topped with a sliced banana. I'm sure I don't have to sell you on the peanut butter + chocolate + banana combo, do I?

And now, bonus dismembered body parts.

I took those today before I went to the gym but after I took my first dose of creatine. But before it had a chance to do anything, because, y'know, I'm sure it works almost instantly. Ahem. My muscles look very flat. Smaller. Like they disappeared during my week off from lifting. Also? I should have either moisturized my feet or cropped my heel out of that calf picture.

And then I took what I guess are my real starting point pictures.

All the flattering gym clothes were obviously in the wash.

Seriously, my good yoga capri pants were in the wash and I had to wear pants because I was doing rack pulls. Don't judge. Besides, the Bulgy Polish Catcher's Thighs and the babushka on my head go together. It's a theme. We all get in touch with our heritage in our own way.

Can you see my booty in that picture? It's probably best not.

So, let's just ignore that and end this post with a video. This is my favorite song to listen to while lifting of late. Plus, creatine is in the lyrics, so it's on topic. I SAID we were staying on topic in here.


***impress your blog hostess by identifying what that's a quote from

Saturday, July 9, 2011

eating a banana: the dieting mentality (+ bonus squat-a-rama)

Even when I was hardcore dieting last late spring and summer, I made the conscious decision to include treats into my eating on a regular basis. And by treats, I mean things that were not necessarily on my (low carb) plan, but which I felt were necessary to my mental well-being and my morale. Dark chocolate, seasonal fruit, and the one beer a week I would have on Wednesdays when I went out, savoring it in little tiny swallows so the one glass would last all evening. In addition, I would very occasionally have what might be termed, for lack of a better word, splurges. I would figure out what it was that I was really craving and really missing, plan when I was going to have it, then eat a small reasonable portion of it without feeling like I was cheating or being bad, and certainly without losing control.

After I reached and then exceeded my weight loss goal, I over time added more and more things back into my diet, some as treats, some as splurges, and some as just part of my regular food intake. But it occurred to me recently, in the midst of my struggling to bulk, that there were foods that I was still avoiding for no good reason other than my leftover dieting mentality. Take the humble banana. Nothing that I loved so much nor craved enough to justify to myself as a treat or splurge, but yet OMG! so high in calories! so full of sugar! If one is choosing fruit, it's A Bad Choice.

Except, no. If you aren't dieting, if you are in fact bulking, high in calories isn't a bug, it's a feature. Bananas are exactly the kind of thing you should be eating, especially if you're like me, and you don't have the hugest of all possible stomach capacities. So a couple weeks ago I started buying bananas again, and this week I actually ate two in one day. Just because, as a friend of mine likes to say, I can.

I had a wee little epiphany about this today. Trust me, my epiphanies are all minuscule, but I do get one once in a blue moon. Why am I still stuck in this dieting mentality even though I am fully committed now to growing muscle, which requires, y'know, eating? Well, kids, besides the fact that my culture endlessly bombards me (and you and everyone else) with the message that women are only always to be striving to be smaller and skinnier, there's the fact that every single weight loss plan and piece of weight loss advice in existence today preaches the same thing: it's not a diet, it's a Lifestyle Change. And you can't go back to How You Were Eating Before, or you'll wake up tomorrow and you'll be fat! The only way to not be fat is to deprive and restrict yourself forever. Obviously, I have internalized that. To the detriment of myself and, possibly, some farmers in the Honduras.

But, enough about that! Let's talk about what me n' Liz did at the gym last night. Not only did she critique my back squat (form's good, suckahs! going nice and low below parallel, back nice and straight) and teach me the rack pulls, we also did Bulgarian split squats

which made me wanna cry

and front squats, crossarmed, which is Liz's preference

I couldn't get the grip right like that, not stable enough. I could feel the bar roll. So I asked her to also teach me the other "regular" grip

That was easier and more comfortable for me, though Liz said I had the bar up too high and close to my neck. Dammit. Which once you start adding on real weight could, I suppose, kill you. Or something. Anyway, she said I should work on both and see which I prefer--they're both legitimate techniques. (Though if I don't do them her way, we can't be friends any more. Heh.)

Needless to say, though I'll say it anyway, with all the squat variations my legs were toast before I even left the Y. Good times!

And, finally, I tried hard this afternoon to take some starting-my-new-program "before" pictures, with me flexing, but I dunno. Me and the camera self-timer were not simpatico today and then my camera batteries were dying. I'ma try again later. But in the meanwhile, for those of you who are in solely for underwear pics--because everyone wants underwear pics of chicks pushing fifty, don't lie--here's the one semi-good picture I managed to take today, fake artsy cheesecake style. I hope the picture quality is indeed so horrible that you cannot see the enormous zit on my chin, which is a problem chicks pushing fifty should NOT have to deal with. (Perimenopause! It's like puberty! Only backwards!)

The bodymedia fit on my left arm makes it extra sexeh, doesn't it? Yeah, thought so.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

first post, new blog

Oh, the pressure, the pressure. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, you know. Didn't your mom tell you that? Actually, mine didn't either. She told me to always iron my clothes and that my future ex-husband was an idiot, and you see where that got me. Holds true nevertheless.

First order of business, though. How litigious *are* the Muscle Milk people? Are they like Disney? Am I gonna get a cease-and-desist for using their name in my blog title? Would it help if I say I LOVE their product? ("Banana Muscle Milk! Almost worth the four bucks it costs in the convenience store!" That should be their new slogan.) It would probably help more if I wasn't using their name in my blog title to make an off-color joke. C'est la vie.

So why the new blog, Andrea? Well, kids, I wanted to have a place where I could actually STAY ON TOPIC. Shocking, I know. But this here blog's gonna be focused solely on fitness, exercise, every new crazy eating scheme I come up with, and body image issues. It will also have pictures of me in my underwear. Subscribe now!

So why the new blog at this particular point in time, Andrea? Good question. I've been on this lil fitness journey for fourteen months now. Shall we recap? First I lost seventeen or eighteen pounds eating low carb (or keto, as the bodybuilding crowd calls it). Then I did c25k, just to prove to myself that I could run three miles without stopping. Then I took Liz's weight training class and found out I liked lifting. Oh, do I like lifting. Then I started eating more and MOAR and spent months putting on muscle and losing more fat and, incidentally, three more pounds (or recomping, as the bodybuilding crowd says). Then I started eating even MOAR in an attempt to build more muscle (or bulking as know what I'ma say here) and gained back three pounds. Now I'm at the next stage and ready to crank up the bulk into high gear.

I'm starting a new program.

I've got my Bodymedia Fit.

I've got my creatine.

And I've got my girl Liz gonna teach me how to do all kinds of interesting stuff like rack pulls, starting tomorrow.

I might start with a few less plates than that guy. Probably.

There will be some "starting" pictures some time this weekend. Please stay tuned and enjoy the ride!