That’s Disappointing…

Eating everything in sight is a hard habit to break; it has been taking a while to get back into a more disciplined eating style. I upped my protein to maintain the lean body mass I had gained. Still it resulted in a drastic drop in calories and I was ‘hangry’ without the extra 500-1000 extra calories. I searched for a plan to cut fat without sacrificing what I had, finding most from T-Nation’s Facebook feed; The Time-Restricted-Plus DietFat Loss & High-Protein Breakfast,  and How Many Carbs Do You Need. The next six weeks I am going to make sure my carbs do not exceed my weight (158lbs=158 grams), cut junk, eat breakfast, and intermittent fasting with protein pulses. Already started after reading the Time Restricted Plus article.

Performance wise, when I restarted Simple and Sinister it was at a higher level. I could do ten one-hand swings with the 53lb kettlebell after the double kettlebell work increased my grip strength. I do have to give credit to the new Rogue kettlebell’s finish as well. Before I had to switch hands after five reps halfway through the set, and with my get-ups I decided to just use the 44lb kettlebell instead of alternating with the 28. Within two weeks, I was able to incorporate the 53. Then I had a two-week break to move (trading lifting weights for lifting furniture) and started again. I will do S&S until I am 12 weeks from the June 1 competition.

The March 1 competition I have not even prepared for, specifically. The plan for the June 1 competition is to start a near daily ROP, an idea I got from a thread on the StrongFirst forum. I will have another assessment halfway through the program.

So where am I on body composition now? Worse than I thought actually.

Body Composition (inches)

Body Part                      Before                  After                   -/+

Neck                               14.5                14.5              0

Shoulders             44.8                  44.5                -0.3

Chest                      38.8                   37.5                      -1.3

Waist                             34.1                        34.0         -0.1

Biceps                    12.8              12.8                         0

Forearms                   11.1            11.2                                      +0.1

Thighs                         22.6                 22.8                          +0.2

Calves                          13.6                   13.8                          +.20

Weight                  164.2lbs          158.8         -5.4lbs

Body Fat %                18.3%                18.1%         -0.2%

Lean Body Mass    134.2lbs            130.1         -4.1lbs

I lost most of the gains and I can only blame my poor choice of diet. The Time-Restricted Plus plan is supposed to be sustainable so we’ll see.



Since the via negativa post we have knocked out one of the goals, we have moved into a house for a fresh start and a new chapter. Everything was approaching critical mass while I wondered how we would pull it off. A friend at work listened to me vent, think aloud at possible solutions, and when I stopped he said two words. “401k loan.”

A loan that size I definitely wanted to be sure we were operating in God’s will. I have been outside of it and it does not go well, especially when I compared it. So we tried fasting and prayer, from what I have heard they were the spiritual big guns, not really sensing a direction. We had doors closing behind us, so was this a leap of faith?

We jumped.

In the short term, we will have to tighten our belts a little. Using the via negativa principle I had to cut out what wasn’t helping the cause, sadly that included jeet kune do, going out money, among other things. We have lived on less, and there are people with a lot less so really I cannot complain.

With the loan secured, we got serious about finding a rent house. Casey hit Craigslist, I tackled Zillow and Trulia, reaching out to the contact people, investigating the levels of crime and if we can have all our pets. A few were under one real estate company so I suggested just stopping by the office to look at them all at once after Casey put her eye on one home.

Soon as we arrived, a young couple was putting a deposit on it. We picked a couple of others nearby to look at, a white one with a nice exterior and an okay interior along with a blue one with an okay exterior and a nice inside. She loved the blue one as soon as she walked in. Obviously I agreed because well…happy wife=happy life. In addition, it met all my criteria: low crime, affordable, fenced in backyard, and roomy.

A filled out application, payment and a set of keys later we have a home. After stepping in faith, it seemed like doors sprung open. I will caution you, circumstances’ lining up is not a direction but it can be a verification. My truck was broken; I was planning to rent one when a check surprised us in the mail. Between it and my performance bonus, my truck was good as fixed and it was done in time to move. We needed a refrigerator, and a small one costs close to $400, and a friend at church got in touch with his brother who worked estate sales. We got a used one that was much bigger for half that. My wife got a table cheaper than what was offered without haggling. We were approved for the home in less than five minutes, our previously non-existent credit now excellent. Plus we got to keep our pets.

It has been a busy couple of weeks and worth it. Just wanted to share.

Pressure’s Building…

Months back, the church brought a program in called GriefShare. I suggested my wife go; as for me, I was fine. It is not debilitating, I function well, and every three months the church sends me a book on grief. After six funerals I forgot which one started it, maybe Casey’s grandpa’s.

While I was reading it, I was thinking I might need to go to GriefShare when it returns. I still miss the baby we miscarried, remembering every moment of my godson’s passing, the two losses in our deaf church, my wife’s granddad, her friend, my grandma, and recently an old friend from high school. I do and I do not want to go. I t feels like I am admitting a weakness.

Except I am noticing it boil over at times. A friend lost another friend, asking rhetorically ‘what’s going on?’ Tersely, I replied, “Mortality is happening.” It was wrong, and a jerk thing to say. I apologized. At times, I get fatalistic enough I stop and shake my head. I recently went hunting with my dad and brothers for my dad’s birthday. One kept tripping and falling; I was just waiting for him to fall on something pointy. Then that escalated to me wondering if he would fall and accidentally shoot one of us. I occasionally wonder if I will make it home at the end of the day.

I am finding that despite being conditioned to have a ‘stiff, upper lip,’ it is still getting to me. I think that needs to change, maybe go talk and listen to others going in a similar direction. Maybe then, this preoccupation with death will go away.

Fieldstripping Life

One of the first articles I read in 2015 was on about a principle called via negativa. I read about the concept before in the book Antifragile. It is fieldstripping life by removing deadweight rather than a complete change in direction. Instead of using your willpower to create a good habit in place of a bad one, just drop the bad one. The article gave two tools to do this: make a list of what NOT to do to be a better person and to make a list of all you want to do in the next few years. Then you focus on the top five and drop the rest like the plague.

As much as I hate to admit it, I procrastinate when it comes to things that bore me like maintaining the house and cars. I also seem to have the ability to lecture with just a look, according to my wife. I know when I teach, I get lecture-y (is that a word?) and preachy, which is why I do not teach like that anymore. Lastly, to not be insensitive, at times the narcissism rises up and I think I am the only important one. That is the list of bad habits I am dropping.

Now to make the good even better, I listed my goals for the next few years, which was easy since I only had five. All things I am doing in one form or another now so really, so really, if nothing helps accomplish them then it will not be considered. The list:

  • To be a better follower of Jesus Christ
  • A home of our own
  • Supporting my wife’s dreams
  • Getting stronger and healthier
  • Making WJ profitable

Looking at the size and scope of this list, putting myself last, self-discipline, thousands of dollars, and time is a bit overwhelming. This verse came to mind, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) Every decision I make should do one of two things-benefit the kingdom and/or make sure I am representing Jesus. The latter should also take care of the former, I would think. Heh, rather reminds me of the old WWJD bracelets. At least I have a singular point to really focus on.

The Apologist’s Secret Weapon: How humility can become a bridge to the Gospel


Often I see back-and-forths on Facebook wishing I had a response. One of the reason’s I’m diving into apologetics more is because I have very smart friends who ask penetrating questions. One it challenges me to look deeper and I want to have a reasoned response. At the moment I am deep in study on being an investigator and able to present. This tells me it’s alright to not have an answer…yet.

Originally posted on RELATIONAL APOLOGETICS:


It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. —SAINT AUGUSTINE

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