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Timothy's Journal of Primal Peregrination

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  • #31
    I am jealous of you rich Primal folks I am but a lowly desktop support specialist, 1 yr out of university and that money needs to go towards a washer and dryer!

    I giggled at "feasting on your own lean tissue".
    Depression Lies


    • #32
      Glad you liked that, Nameless!

      For the record, I'm not rich, just old. But I sympathize with your plight. I remember my first year out of university, when I would stay up at night agonizing about how I could afford the VHS tape we rented for the weekend's entertainment. On special occasions, we would go to Jack in the Box and pay with pennies. We lived in a decrepit apartment building, hiding our prohibited cat like a feline Anne Frank, next door to a pair of schizophrenics who burned their unit to a crisp one day. (Thank goodness for the Soviet-style concrete retaining wall.) Things did get better as the years went by.

      So don't worry, it only gets better from where you are. But that's probably little comfort to you... I remember an old professor saying something similar to me back in those days, and thinking "easy for you to say, you rich bastard."
      Last edited by Timothy; 09-28-2011, 01:48 PM.


      • #33
        Originally posted by Timothy View Post
        I can't wait to present my sledgehammer workshop. Whether you're an expert, a beginner, or have no idea what I'm talking about, I guarantee you will love it. Register now, for heaven's sake! There are only 125 spots available at the conference and they are going to sell out faster than ever.
        w00t! Awesome! I didn't know you was going to present.

        I'd really love to go, but dang - California is a way to go from here, and with the airfare being what it is I really don't see it happen. *sigh*
        Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

        My journal

        I see grain people...

        Exist in shadow, drifting away.


        • #34
          Originally posted by Timothy View Post
          So don't worry, it only gets better from where you are. But that's probably little comfort to you... I remember an old professor saying something similar to me back in those days, and thinking "easy for you to say, you rich bastard."
          I'm sure it will, just tough right now with my money situation. It would be awesome if some of the talks could be recorded (not all of them, obviously, since that negates part of the purpose of paying...unless it became a DVD?)
          Depression Lies


          • #35
            @Sungrazer -- Having you there would increase the awesomeness exponentially! But I know how you feel. It would be hard for me to make it to Norway if PrimalCon were held there (which is a pretty cool idea, come to think of it). So I can only hope that in the next six months, sovereign debt defaults destroy the Euro, taking the oil market with it, bankrupting Russia and igniting revolutions in the Middle East and South America... because then you might be able to attend!

            @Namelesswonder -- I wonder if Mark would consider producing a DVD of instructional highlights from PrimalCon? Perhaps if enough people requested it...
            Last edited by Timothy; 09-29-2011, 09:46 AM.


            • #36
              WOD: 45 minute toddler odyssey. We like to count lawn sprinklers in front of houses, practice jumping on flagstones, and find Apple logos on the storefronts. We also like to test our knowledge of local businesses. "What restaurant is that?" "Indian!" "What store is that?" "Bed!" "What does the green sign mean?" "Cabagaah!" (He means "cannabis dispensary".)

              Today was pushing workout. Week 18 of Leangains. Today's inspiration comes from Martin Berkhan's instant classic blog post:

              Fuckarounditis | Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health

              And I realized on the second reading that despite my intensive study of Leangains, I had a touch of the itis myself, putting too many reps into my warmup sets. Why yes, I am metabolically depleted when I get to the top set! Why have I been doing that? I... don't... know! So I slashed my warmup reps by 50%, to a minimum of six. Any less than six and I feel like I don't get the fine-tuning of form and synaptic facilitation that I expect from a warmup. And how did that work out for me today?

              Pre-workout bodyweight: 170.0 (So close to the 16 handle! Once I get there, I don't want to see 17X again at least until my bench press top set gets there first)
              Bench press: 90x6, 105x6, 120x6, 165x4, 150x7, 150x6 (F7)
              Dips: 0x8, 70x6, 70x4, 45x9
              OH Press: 85x6, 85x5

              I dared to dream that I would break my bench press record today, but it was not to be. I fell one rep short of my PR, but I made up for it with a new PR for reps on the drop sets. I tore myself away from the bench press and my shattered dreams of progression.

              For dips, I usually start with 16 bodyweight reps as a warmup, which takes me pretty close to failure. But I imagined Berkhan reminding me that just because I can do 16 BW reps as a warm-up doesn't mean I should. (His actual language was a bit more colorful.) And what a difference it made! I utterly annihilated 70 pounds and finished with my best L-sit ever! That means progression to 75 next week. For some reason I like to do two top sets on dips (is that legit, or itis?) and the second set proved it was no fluke -- better than my first top set the week before. The drop set was like picking daisies. This is one lift I can really feel proud of. Thank you, Berkhan!

              After that, the OH press recovered from last week's pathetic performance to tie my PR, set the week before.

              And as I racked the weights, standing in just the right light in just the right flex, I counted six striations in my deltoids, and four in my pec. Happy day! You better believe I would have taken a picture, but my hands shake too much after lifting. Convenient, you might think. But I know what I saw!

              Today I left the weight room more confident than ever that I'm on the right track. 18 weeks in and two of my lifts (chins, dips) are already at the 2-year level. The others still need a lot of work, but it's just a matter of time.

              On the way to grab lunch, I found a twenty dollar bill in the street.

              My ancestors smiled upon me today.

              B: Fast
              L: Beef, mixed greens, lemon, white potatoes (soon to be replaced with white rice, because the restaurant puts too much damn butter in)
              D: Beef filet, beef bacon burgers, mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, strawberries/raspberries/blueberries in astonishing quantities

              Ah, beloved beef bacon burger, with the flavor of bacon and leanness of beef... is there anything you can't do?
              Last edited by Timothy; 09-30-2011, 09:47 AM.


              • #37
                Mild DOMS in the shoulder girdles today. No surprise after yesterday's breakout dip session.

                I went heavier than usual on the carbs yesterday, again inspired by Leangains. Berries just before bedtime were a delight and I think they helped me fall asleep faster than usual. Happily, my weight was just where I wanted it this morning: one pound heavier than the previous day.

                WOD: Morning sledgehammer recovery session for 25 minutes. I downshifted to a 10-pounder, which helped focus on traction over strength. I've got pretty much all the material I need for the first lesson of the intermediate shovelglove course and solid concepts for the following three. Now I just need to lean out a smidge more, cajole my wife into filming me, and find the time to put it all together...

                Lunchtime sunbathing at the park. The weather didn't cooperate much, but I did catch a few good rays.

                Pre-sunbathing bodyweight: 169.3 (sweet!)

                Today's inspiration comes courtesy of Taz, a primal sister who's gone cold-turkey on her sugar habit. Folks, that takes some serious moral fiber, and I'm not talking graham crackers. Perhaps you could drop her a word of encouragement?


                B: Fast
                L: Fast
                D: Pork tenderloin (1.33 glorious pounds), pork sausage (0.25 pounds), eggs (4 or so), spinach, broccoli, lemon, a few swigs of kefir

                It's taken some work to be able to chew that much protein and not fall back on the powder. Eating like a predator has been a skill to develop like any other. Now I just need to get some organ meats in there.
                Last edited by Timothy; 10-01-2011, 07:39 AM.


                • #38
                  Weekend wrap-up:

                  Toddler frenzy left me feeling very tired. Fortunately he conked out around noon. I took a quick roast in the sun and headed for the gym.

                  So much better to be back at my own familiar gym after the Bally's experience. I found my performance greatly enhanced by my freedom to make "loud or strange noises".

                  Squat: 110x6, 130x6, 155x6, 220x6, 200x8, 200x7, 200x7
                  Calf raises: 135x12, 185x12

                  Cutting my warmup reps to 6 has been a tremendous help. Never have I attempted 220 before, but I was surprised at how easily it came. The drop sets backed it up. I'm still a little sore writing this (Monday) but it's been pretty mild. Looks like I'll be going for 230 next time.

                  With the 220 squat, I've reached three goals:

                  1) EMI Level 1 completed for all lifts ("milestones that can be attained by an untrained, sedentary individual within their first 12 months of training");
                  2) Parity with Richard Nikoley on squats (at least, parity with the Nov 2010 incarnation -- he's probably progressed since then)
                  3) Capability to fireman-carry my fat former self out of a burning building. Now all I need is a time machine and a molotov cocktail.

                  For the assistance exercise, I decided to drop the incline press. It's too similar to the squat, too hard to keep a consistent ROM, and any lift where I'm sitting down just feels like fail. In its place, I added calf raises (again inspired by Berkhan's recent post). I had no idea where to begin with these, so as usual I lowballed them to feel out the proper form. 135 felt like nothing and 185 was trivial. So I guess I'll match my squat weight for my work sets next time and see how that feels. Constant barefooting has probably given me an edge on this one.

                  B: Fast
                  L: Beef, mixed greens, lemon, white potatoes (was going to switch to white rice, but the restaurant puts canola oil in, for Grok's sake! Guess I just have to deal with the butter until I can hire a personal chef)
                  D: Beef bacon burgers, sardines (drained), mixed greens, tomato, lemon


                  The toddler turns 2 in one week and he is starting to act like it. On the way to the early morning farmer's market run, he wiped out badly and skinned his knee. First time he's had an injury like that and man, was he ever freaked out. He did not like the bandage either. The wife and I put bandages on our own knees in solidarity but it was cold comfort to him. The rest of the day he was in a terrible mood and screamed at every little setback. Growing up isn't easy. This is surely but a taste of the adventures that await us for the next year. And we've got another one coming in January! Hahaha, madness!

                  I was utterly wiped out just holding the line on Sunday. When he finally went down for his nap, I barely made it to the bed before passing out.

                  B: Fast
                  L: Fast
                  D: Ground buffalo in tomato sauce, sausage, bacon, eggs, sardines (drained), mixed greens, tomato, one very fine strawberry


                  • #39
                    Monday, my day of rest. Or more accurately, my most restful day.

                    WOD: 45 minutes toddler odyssey in the morning. Would have been nice to go back to bed after that...

                    Normally I'd go for sunbathing today, but judging by my icicle fingers, overwhelming hunger, and difficulty completing sentences like Tommy Chong on a Sunday afternoon, my caloric deficit was a little too much. So I ate lunch and felt much better.

                    B: Fast
                    L: Beef, chicken, bacon, mixed greens, lemon
                    D: Beef bacon burgers, eggs, bacon, pork sausage, broccoli

                    Calorie count was getting up there but my appetite just kept on going. It took all my willpower to push back from the table and wrap up the extra bacon and sausage. But in the morning my appetite was dead as usual. Leptin works in mysterious ways.
                    Last edited by Timothy; 10-04-2011, 09:49 AM.


                    • #40
                      Glorious Tuesday, start of my workout week! I began the morning with the usual incantation:

                      Scale, scale, on the ground,
                      Who's the leanest one around?
                      "You are leanest, none are more.
                      "But you're still a frightful bore."

                      I know my scale lies -- about my body fat, not my personality. It keeps telling me I'm around 10% when I am nowhere near that; 14% is probably the floor. I would guess 15% if I had to bet money. About eighteen months ago, I was ten pounds lighter and a scan at the doctor's office pegged me at 18.7% even though I looked leaner than I do today. However, I was much scrawnier then.

                      So I made an appointment for next Thursday morning for a new body fat scan and a blood panel. I want to know the truth, however ugly it may be, and put a picture to it.

                      WOD: 50 minute toddler odyssey in the morning. How I love these. We have so much fun. It makes me rather sad to think that I won't always be able to carry him around like this... but hopefully we will still walk together. Maybe he could carry me for a change.

                      Pulling workout at lunch. Start of the 19th week of my Leangains-inspired program.

                      Today's inspiration comes courtesy of Chochobo. His story is similar to mine, except he started with about three times as much fat. The pictures will blow you away:


                      Chochobo's current pic reminds me of last year, when I bottomed out at 154 pounds and felt like the cat that ate the canary. I was skinny as a whip and loving it. But my dreams really came true over the next year and a half, as I put on a bit of muscle, then started Leangains and blew up like the Michelin Man. I fully expect we'll see something similar from Chochobo, except he'll probably do it in six months.

                      Pre-workout bodyweight: 170.3
                      Deadlift: 135x6, 160x6, 185x6, 270x2 (F3x2), 250x6 (F4)
                      Chins: 0x6, 20x5, 20x4, 0x8
                      Bench rows: 50x12, 50x12

                      After last week's humiliating deadlift failure, I had to take my medicine and knock 5 pounds off the weight. I adjusted my form to keep my cervical vertebrae in line with the rest of my spine, rather than gazing at a fixed spot on the wall, and jutted my hips back a bit more to recruit the glutes out of the hole instead of relying so much on my back. I hoped that with the reduction, improved form, and truncated warmup, I might do a little better today.

                      And I kinda did -- the first rep was 100% solid. The next one, about 90%. Then I failed three times. But the drop sets were totally solid, except for a screwed up #4. I felt a severe hormonal rush and berzerker rage come over me as the sets progressed, so I knew it was good stuff. I'm going to be stuck at this weight for a while, but at least I don't have to deload further to get the volume I need.

                      At this point, I just have to say that gyms that prohibit making "loud or strange noises" are full of it. There is simply no way you can get maximum effort on a top-set deadlift without making noise. The gym staff may as well inject you with the itis as a condition of membership. And normally I'm very tolerant of diverse approaches, whatever works for you etc., but I have to say that anybody who doesn't make noise on their top deadlift may as well grab a pair of leopard-print tights and a pink nalgene water bottle and head over to spinning class where they belong. Oh yeah, I totally went there.

                      For chins, I always used to take the bodyweight set to failure, but I kept Berkhan's advice in mind and cut it to six instead. And wow, what a difference! I had been marooned at 3x20 for months, and now I busted 5 for my top set. I decided to follow a similar pattern here as with the dips, doing two top sets, and then one drop set by 10%. All of it was good, good, good.

                      Then the bench rows. Once again I maxed out the sets. I need to progress on these, but with the dumbbells only going up to 50 in my gym, all I can think to do is bring some duct tape next time and fasten two 2.5 pound plates to either end.

                      At workout's end, I had ripped four and a half calluses off my hands, which is three and a half more than usual. Grip is progressing.

                      By Grok, it feels good to lift heavy. I am on top of the world right now.

                      B: Fast
                      L: Beef, mixed greens, white potatoes, lemon, broccoli
                      D: Beef liver, asparagus, strawberries dipped in cinnamon
                      Last edited by Timothy; 10-05-2011, 09:30 AM.


                      • #41
                        Last night was a big primal step for me: I ate beef liver for the very first time. I have to say that it was utterly repulsive and I love it.

                        Repulsive, because it tastes like clay mixed with raccoon urine. And this was a fine grass- and vegetable-fed liver; I can only imagine the CAFO variety. What I want to know is, since liver is so nutritious, why does it taste so vile? Shouldn't it taste more palatable even than bacon? Sardines are candy by comparison. Nonetheless, I dutifully ate a full pound of it. Fortunately, it dissolves quickly so doesn't require much chewing. And it made strawberries for dessert taste like merciful heaven.

                        But I love it, because it was very satiating indeed, and this morning I had lost three whole pounds from my previous morning's weight. Maybe that's just a coincidence, but I also felt bursting with energy, and right now I feel, well, just strangely comfortable. Perhaps that's the work of the megadose of B vitamins. In any case, I'm going to have to learn to like liver once a week. And if I can do that, then I can learn to like anything...

                        WOD: Cold rain this morning, first of the season. Dressed the toddler in his unbearably cute rain outfit with galoshes, and we went outside to stomp in puddles for almost an hour. I was wearing only my swim trunks. When we finally came back in and I took my usual cold shower, the water actually felt warm.

                        At lunch time, it was still raining. I had my fill of cold weather in the morning, so I went to the gym, walked on the treadmill, and did some lazy stretches.

                        Pre-treadmill bodyweight: 168.3

                        That's a tie for my lowest weight of the year! Last time was also on the day after deadlifts following a heavy carb load. Very counterintuitive. When I first went Primal and VLC, my body couldn't hold on to any dietary fat. Now it stores dietary fat just fine without insulin, but can't seem to make fat out of carbs. Weird, but I'm not complaining.

                        B: Fast
                        L: Fast
                        D: Sardines, beef bacon burgers, eggs, bacon, sausage, asparagus, broccoli, kefir, raw milk
                        Last edited by Timothy; 10-06-2011, 09:39 AM.


                        • #42
                          You're an inspiration!

                          In regards to liver, enjoy a primal chili recipe Offally Fantastic: Paleo Liver Chili | Wildness and Wonder

                          You'll never know there was liver in it!
                          Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

                          My journal

                          I see grain people...

                          Exist in shadow, drifting away.


                          • #43
                            Thanks very much, Sungrazer, for the compliment and the link! Glad I could reciprocate some of the inspiration you've given me over the past year and a half.

                            My usual method of cooking any kind of beef is just to put it on a pyrex tray in the oven at 280 degrees F. But my wife is an accomplished chili maker, so maybe I could talk her into making this with me. Judging from her reaction to the liver last night, it may be an uphill climb...


                            • #44
                              Having dropped significant weight this week, I went ad libitum on the food last night. My appetite was perversely assisted by my mother-in-law, who explained to me that meat has been shown to be poisonous as I shoveled several animal-equivalents into my maw.

                              1 tin of sardines
                              1 pound of beef bacon burgers
                              11 eggs
                              1/4 pound sausage
                              2 strips bacon
                              1 quart kefir
                              2 broccoli crowns
                              1 asparagus bundle
                              1 glass of raw milk (my toddler insisted that I drink from his glass; how could I refuse)

                              Weight this morning was +0.2 pounds from the previous morning. Where does it all go?

                              However, I just didn't have the fiery energy this morning that I did yesterday. If it had been raining, I would not have been tempted to run around in my skivvies for an hour like yesterday. Need more liver!

                              WOD: I slept in a bit. 10 minute morning sledgehammer.

                              Pushing workout at lunch.

                              Today's inspiration comes from the overture to Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner. I like most of his stuff, but the overtures are divine. Tannhäuser fills me with a sense of awe before the universe. Lohengrin breaks my heart and gives me chills every time. Der Fliegende Holländer makes me want to get drunk and pick a fight. The other Romantic-era composers have nothing on Wagner, with the possible exceptions of Hector Berlioz and one-hit-wonder Engelbert Humperdinck.

                              Pre-workout bodyweight: 168.5
                              Bench press: 80x5, 100x5, 115x5, 165x3 (F4), 150x7, 150x6, 150x6
                              Dip: 0x6, 75x4, 75x4, 50x8
                              OH Press: 85x9, 85x5 (F6)

                              I'm enjoying the truncated warmups so much that I cut the reps from 6 to 5. I warm up with an in-place jog anyway, so the light lifts are just to fine-tune my form and wake up my CNS.

                              Bench press was terribly disappointing today. I widened my grip to hit my pecs a little bit more, and I don't know if I can blame that for falling to three reps from four (and dropping the bar on my chest going for four right in front of a female coworker -- ugh), but it's tempting. My triceps for some reason are proportionally much stronger than my pecs. All I can think to do is to add a third drop set, and to grease the groove with pushups in the other half of the week.

                              I've been stuck at 165 for months now on the bench even as my other lifts progress. If anybody has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

                              As for dips, I progressed to 75 as planned today. It took some creativity but I managed to strap two 35-pound plates to my butt with a 5-pound plate hanging around my neck like some tacky medallion. (Actually, it did look somewhat badass. But unfortunately the female coworker had finished her treadmill workout by then and I was all alone.) Four reps was clearly the limit on these; second top set couldn't have been closer to failure. The last rep of the drop set was equally a grinder.

                              Often I pump myself up by swearing in German, but today I just wasn't feeling cussed enough. Instead I found myself uttering a sigh of relief after the dips: Vorfahren sei dank das ist vorbei.

                              But then Tannhäuser came on, and by timing the start of my set accordingly, I found myself breaking my OH Press PR by a full three reps! By the second set the magic was gone and I was truly exhausted.

                              So even though my energy ebbed today, I pulled off some great achievements, notwithstanding the awful bench press. And now I actually feel quite good... even incandescent.

                              Time to go eat a cow.

                              B: Fast
                              L: Beef, mixed greens, white potatoes, lemon
                              D: Beef fillet, onions, asparagus, zucchini, portobello mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, eggplant, green beans, strawberries, apple slices, banana, grapes, nearly half a bottle of cinnamon
                              Last edited by Timothy; 10-07-2011, 10:13 AM.


                              • #45
                                MiL came over again last night and cooked some amazing vegetables using nothing but water. I wish I had those skills. I don't hold the veganism against her at all. With the exception of meat our dietary philosophies are nearly identical.

                                If only my own blood relatives would get off the SAD. But they are so addicted they choose to have elective surgery and endless prescriptions rather than eat real food. I nearly followed the same path myself. Thank goodness for Mark and this web site.

                                I hit the fruit pretty hard last night since I seem to be a bottomless pit for glycogen lately. From a hedonic perspective, I know of no tastier dessert than fruit dipped in cinnamon. I still have cinnamon under my fingernails. Of both hands.

                                WOD: 50 minute toddler odyssey. I could do that all day! Perhaps I need a new career as a manny. 5 minutes of sledgehammer traction.

                                Sunbathing at lunch. I am grateful for any day in October with weather this clement.

                                About 10 minutes in, laying on my back, I heard a strange rustle over my shoulder. I turned my head to see a squirrel barreling right towards me! She fearlessly pranced up to my outstretched hand and sniffed it. "Hi, squirrel!!" Then she scuttled down to my foot and sniffed my toe. Then she bounded away across the lawn.

                                No squirrel has ever done that before! Usually they stare at me with accusing eyes and hide behind trees. I must be emitting really positive vibes today.

                                Pre-sunbathing bodyweight: 168.8

                                One hour of martial arts practice before dinner. I have a test in one month and a daunting amount of material to master.

                                B: Fast
                                L: Fast
                                D: Flank steak, pork apple sausage, eggs, mixed greens
                                Last edited by Timothy; 10-08-2011, 07:20 AM.