Butter and Eggs, Please!

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Sunday means keto brunch noms! We had some simple fried eggs, cooked in butter, with a side of peppered spinach. Delish! What did you all have for brunch today?

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A Quick Fall Stroll

 

We got some outdoor exercise today. S went for a jog and I had a crispy walk. Fall colors, bursted bright all around us, while subtle darkness swam above. It was a reminder to appreciate the beauty in the light and the shadows.

Lost Then Found

At my crossroads I was able to find a glimpse of hope. A shining lit path that called me forward into the unknown. The majority of my confidence was tucked away, safely in my back pocket, as I greeted uncertainty at the start of my freshly selected pathway. All things professional were out of my hands when I returned to the eye of the storm that was my current position in corporate hell. No matter what I did or how well I performed, I’d still have to deal with a hurricane of a supervisor before any progress was made. I’d resolved to keep doing my best and simply exist in my role; not making any waves unless I absolutely felt I needed to abandon my silent protest.

Patience rewarded me with news that the hurricane was leaving. I didn’t believe it to be true until I saw his two weeks notice email to the entire team in my email inbox. Sweet Jimi Hendrix. Was this really happening? I’m an extremely impatient person, so I was both shocked and happy I was able to survive this dark period. It was only less than a year ago that I sat in an office and was told I wasn’t selected for the role because he – the hurricane – was already in the department. I’d witness over the next nine or so months that they saw the error of their ways when it came to that decision. This moment was mine. And if it wasn’t mine for any reason? Then there’d be no reason for me to stay.

 
My reign as supervisor is only a couple weeks young, and things are better than ever. It’s amazing what a little personnel change and restoration of positive energy can accomplish. I remember standing at the center of my crossroads and reaching into my back pocket. The little bit of patience and confidence I had stored away was now in the palm of my hand. North, South, East, and West. It was a compass. The needle was spun feverishly as I awaited its decision. The only directions I recognized at the time were fear, frustration, uncertainty, and exhaustion. It wasn’t until I dropped the compass – expelling any acceptance of giving up from my inner most thoughts – that I noticed the well lit path in front of me. I’m ever thankful for the storm that was this past year in corporate life. I was tested, stretched thin, and reminded of the fight that rests inside of me. I’m moving onward, upward, and damn it feels good.

Fat Fast Journal – Day 1

After a not so ketogenic weekend, I’ve decided to kickoff my week with a fat fast. A fat fast is a good way to jumpstart weight loss and cleanse the keto body after a few carb-loaded indulgences. So what does a fat fast consist of?

1. Keeping your daily caloric intake at a maximum of 1000

2. Making sure 90% of those calories are from healthy fats (moderate protein, little to no carbs)

3. Minimal exercise

Fasting is not for everyone, and this needs to be understood. I only do this fast because I CAN eat, and I feel completely reset after a few short days on the schedule. I break my calories down into 200 calorie servings. This makes it easy to keep track and adjust my plan of attack. Only 1000 calories sound scary, right? Well it’s quite easy when 90% of your calories are coming from healthy fats. A few things I snack on during this fast are macadamia nuts, bacon, coconut oil, and other organic meat snacks. I’m dairy-free, so I’ve taken cream cheese off my list of fat fast snacks.

I made a conscious decision to not workout this morning. I don’t fast regularly, so I like to play it safe and not over exert myself with my normal morning stronglift routine. The current time is 1:47PM EST. All I’ve had to eat was a serving of macadamia nuts, a couple cups of black coffee, about 50 ounces of water, and an organic beef stick from the local market. I’m feeling alright so far. I kind of have a headache, but I’m not feeling hungry. As far as the internal “you’ve got to eat something” alarms go, I’m feeling okay! This comes from using fat as a fuel source. When you’re full of healthy fat, those EAT NOW sensors are far from active.

I want you all to keep in mind that I’ve had practice with the fat fast. I mentioned above that I only do this fast because I can eat. I highly recommend starting small with any kind of fast, and incorporating it into your regular nutrition and fitness routines. I’ll probably do yoga later, only because I know what my body can handle. When I’m fat fasting, I don’t like to put my body in a position that will yield to failure. I avoid this by not working out as heavy as I would during a normal day of eating keto and NOT counting calories. Everyone’s body is different, and everyone should listen to the signals their body sends. Be smart! Be healthy! I’ll be in touch with more fat fast entries to let you know how the rest of the week is going.

Bourbon On The Rocks, Please.

Hangovers are real, ladies and gentlemen, and I hadn’t experienced one in quite some time.  For the past two weeks, S and I have been drinking once a week – picking Saturday as the day to consume our favorite poisons in a socially moderate manner. Not drinking during the week is something we are already familiar with, but with this past summer came plenty of opportunity for us to slip up occasionally, and throw ourselves back into a drinking-freely-post-work-or-whenever spiral.  It’s the start of week three, and I just had some random thoughts about how I’ve been feeling over these past couple weeks; particularly about how I’ve been feeling my last couple Sundays.

I love a good drink – beer, bourbon on the rocks, or vodka waters are preferred – and have recognized that part of my weight loss and fitness plateaus are due to overconsumption of my desired elixirs.  Let me tell you. The past couple Sundays have been rough. I used to brag that I never got hangovers – what a tool-ish and bro-like thing to do, first of all – and that’s only because my tolerance for alcohol was really high. Much like a muscle, a high tolerance to alcohol is something that was exercised, and made to be strong with each drink consumed. There have been a number of instances where I simply stop drinking, because I become aware that I’ve consumed a good number of drinks – empty calories – and had no locale markers on my inebriation radar.

My drinking total for the past two Saturdays consisted of a few (low carb) mixed drinks, a LOT of red wine, and bourbon or two. Given my past ability to drink haphazardly with major admittance into Hangoverland, I did not think my body would be rocked as hard as it was come either Sunday.  The first Sunday of our new drinking rule was mostly okay. I felt very lethargic and just sat around for the greater part of the day; not doing anything productive besides tending to the puppy. The second Sunday was game over for my mind and body. I had a headache that felt like an ongoing earthquake, my body ached all over, and I found it extremely hard to focus. “Really?! (Enter a paralyzed eye-roll here)” I thought, but what should I have expected? My body had clearly gone through some form of detoxification during the week, and by not being careful – on my one day of alcoholic freedom – I was punished and reminded to think before I acted.

Now, with all that being said, I will continue to have drinks with friends on Saturdays. The past couple of weeks have taught me to be weary of even just the few drinks I may consume, and to respect the possibility of feeling like a true pile of bear shit if I cross the line. I feel completely recharged having not drank during the week. My mind is clear, and my workouts are focused and productive. In the two weeks since we’ve been following our new drinking rule, I’ve lost about eight pounds, and S has lost a good amount of weight as well. Our workouts are not crazy intense. I lift weights twice a week for about thirty minutes, and do about twenty to thirty minutes of mild-to-medium yoga a few times a week. I’ll be posting my body stat updates during this journey with the FATboys category of Gays in the Life. My weight, BMI, and body fat percentage will be shared. This will only happen once a month, however, because I get scale crazy, and don’t wish to psych myself out. You can’t go solely off your weight when you lift weights, lol.

Be healthy,

Y E A R O N E .

It’s been one year since I posted Sparks on Gays in the Life – my first post for the blog. Where did the time go?! I’m so happy with the progress I’ve made, amazed at the unexpected lessons I’ve learned through each post, and stunned that people actually still read this little project of mine.

So much has happened in the past year, and it’s been a welcomed creative challenge to keep the ideas fresh and flowing. I appreciate all of you so much, and thank you for your time and attention. Your presence as an audience keeps me motivated, and the result has been the production of forty-seven posts on Gays in the Life to date; there are fifty-two weeks in a year. I hope all of my readers have been able to apply every message that’s been downloaded into each entry, grown with me (and S), and have learned a little more about our everyday lives as a pair of husbands.

Some highlights within the past year include: Reaching a number of communities with GITL, learning more about myself and my husband (through planning each entry), hitting almost two-hundred views in one day, collaborating with fellow bloggers, our first marriage anniversary, NATIONAL MARRIAGE EQUALITY, substantial growth professionally, getting our puppy, and yes… FINALLY starting my book.

Most of me still wonders how I actually managed keep up with the blog, a fairly busy life, and a number of hopeful side projects I have stored in my head; why can’t I just pick one thing and stick with it? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every brainstorming session, editing hour, and growing the project with each week. I wholeheartedly believe that none of this would be possible without any of you. If you’ve read one, or all, of my post(s)… thank you. If you’ve shared any entry with a friend or your followers… thank you.  And if you’re currently reading this jumbled mess of thanks… THANK you.

Love,

J.

September Conversations Interlude

Hello, September. Yes, yes, it’s been a while. How are you? I’m fine. I’m so excited to see you again because your arrival means the approach of our hibernation period, and my fall fashions. Girl, please, you know I love my scarves, and I STILL need some fall/winter boots to slay the game this season. The summer was great, but so busy! What is it about summer? Every weekend is filled before spring even has her bags packed, and we swore we wouldn’t let that happen this summer. It’s so nice seeing everyone when the weather is at its sun-shiny-balmy-best, but it’s also nice to have some us time in between.  I don’t think we’re going to be total bears – camping out in our den –  but with the new puppy, mixed with the gradually growing snowball that was our weekend social life this summer?.. We’re so looking forward to being off the grid for a couple weekends. Seems like every weekend we were driving somewhere or doing something. You’re right. We don’t have to commit to everything right away. Mmmhmm, I do love my couch, and people come to us plenty.  I’m sure we’ll be ready to make plans and go see some people after a small break, but I’ll be sure not to fill every day of the fall/winter calendar. Well, I’ll let you go! Thanks for the tips, and don’t drink too many pumpkin spice lattes. Oh, and turn down the heat, would you? Well, call Mother Nature and tell her she can cool it on down here in Indiana. Talk to you later…

Sister and a Puppy

Hello! Yes, yes, I’m still here, and I apologize. I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, and that’s not anyone’s fault but my own.  The past few weeks have been filled with fun and excitement, with a touch of busy at the top of my schedule’s cake.  My sister came into town from Alaska – yes, my family is still up there in the way north – and we brought our puppy, Reynold, home! I’ve gotten a few emails, text messages, and comments wondering what the hell I’ve been up to, and where the next post for Gays in the Life was, so here goes; the update you all deserve.

Where do I begin? I’m so happy I was able to take a full week off of work to spend with my sister. The last time I saw her, and the rest of my immediate family, was last summer when S and I visited Alaska.  Tickets to, and from, Alaska are ridiculous – you might as well go to Europe or Australia with some of these prices nowadays – so I was extra pumped to have her come down to Indy for a couple weeks. The first day of her visit (a Thursday), we all just hung out around the condo, and S ended up taking the following day off. V had one single request as we passed through Bloomington, on the way down to the in-law’s and to get Reynold, and that was to stop for lunch at Mother Bear’s. Mother Bear’s one of the most tasty pizza establishments I’ve ever experienced and my Alaskan family agrees; always requesting a stop there whenever they’re in the state of Indiana. A few of my favorite people were able to meet us for that lunch, and it was a great way to break up the two-and-a-half-hour drive down to southern Indiana.

sisandpup

I remember the first time I visited S and his parents, and feeling like it was a completely different world. Sitting on the edge of a field of horses and a lake, is a charming home, complete with a huge garage, and barn for newborn horses. Indiana is flat, but pretty in its own way. The air is still, calm, and you can almost hear the bugs that are hovering nearby; until a local tears by violently down the country road on a 4-wheeler. The way I describe Anchorage, Alaska is if you squished Indianapolis together, surround the city with mountains and ocean, and you’ve got our hometown. V had seen pictures of the farm, S’s parents, the horses, and all the land, but seeing her experience everything I had, almost four years ago, was so exciting and enjoyable for me.  The parents are always so nice and would do anything for any of their kids; myself included.  V would be the first family member of mine that they’d met, because as mentioned above, plane tickets are out of control. The day was hot, clear, and gorgeous for V’s arrival to the farm. I love calling their home the farm because it’s completely different from how we grew up in Alaska as city kids.  We all had a great time together; checking out the local sites, food, and meeting some country friends.

Reynold joined the three of us on our trip back to Indianapolis at the end of the weekend. The little dude slept the whole drive back; which was awesome because we didn’t have to stop a number of times for new-puppy-potty-breaks. He’s been such an easy puppy thus far, and has made all my research and worrying seem all-for-nothing in a great way.  I could only take a week off of work, but luckily my sister was still in town for that extra week, and she continued the potty-training and getting him used to his new home. Currently, he’s about ten and a half weeks old, he’s learned how to sit and lay down on command, and we’re working on “stay.” He’s got the whole potty thing down at this point, we just have to keep an eye on him, and he’s pretty silent at night in his crate. I’m also so proud to say that there have not been any accidents while he’s in the crate, and he’s getting good at learning that the night is for sleeping, and I only have to take him out a couple times a night. Eventually we want him to sleep with us, but he WILL be crate trained before that happens. I can already tell I will be the parent that will be the enforcer (of rules) and punisher, but I’ll probably also be the one that spoils him the most.

reynold

Well that’s the update guys! From this moment forward, I will be back to my weekly postings, and plan on adding a new page to Gays in the Life! More details on that later, though. Until then, follow us on Twitter at @gaysinthelife, and follow Reynold – yes the dog has an instagram so I can freely flood feeds with puppy pics and vids – at @reynold_the_1st. Lastly, I’d like to shoutout a blogging buddy of mine for having me as a guest blogger on his page A Guy Without Boxers. Roger asked me to write a little about manscaping, and I was more than happy to share! Thank you for having me Roger!

Until next beaus and betties,

The Key

Communication is the key to life. Communication is the key to love. Communication is the key to us… Will you communicate with me? – TLC & Dallas Austin. “Communicate-Interlude.” Fanmail 1999.

Communication will make or break any relationship. What do people fear when they’re finally in their own relationships, or marriage? One thing I knew I would have to respect – maybe “fear” is the wrong word – within my relationship was the communication aspect.  This stems mostly from growing up in a two parent home, up to the age of sixteen, just to watch it all fall apart because my parents did not communicate properly within their situation. Do I think my parents would have stayed together if they did communicate effectively? No, probably not, but I think they would have gotten to a better place as peers – raising their three children together – faster than they did in real time.

Communication can be simple if both parties are willing to participate, listen, and learn. I remember a time during my husband and I’s first months of dating. I was usually the one to initiate communication – whether that be text or call – and after some time, I decided to give him the chance to reach out first. Well two days went by before I heard anything, and I was absolutely pissed.  I ended up calling him and making sure he knew how I felt. At the time we were living an hour apart, and during those couple of days of no contact, I didn’t feel wanted anymore; this worried me, but I had to test him.  From that point on, if there were ever any issues, I made sure to communicate them to S, and encouraged him to do the same with me.

You never stop learning when you’re sharing a life with someone. Flash forward to yesterday – married and three years into our relationship – when I was expecting my husband home at a certain time. I decided to call after the minutes on the clock totaled to an hour past his estimated time of arrival. Now, I was not mad at him, but I was worried. I don’t make excuses for anyone, and he is no exception. Any form of message informing me that he would be running late would have kept my spousal jitters at bay. There is no perfect way to communicate. The act itself can be as easy, or as hard, as you make it. The important thing is that you try. I’m a firm believer in communication, and as long as it’s present… you can’t lose.

CHI to IND Interlude

Brutally crisp air smacks me in the face as I get out of the car at Union Station in downtown Chicago. The weekend was fast and filled to the brim with family, fun, and sadly, a funeral for my great grandmother. My mom had flown in from Alaska – my home state – and to be quite honest with you, I probably would not have made the three hour bus ride up to Chicago from Indianapolis if she had not been there.  I always miss my Alaska family terribly. I’m never home sick, but I have days where I miss the hell out of my brother, sister, mom, and even my stubborn ass father from time to time. As I hug mom and my favorite aunt goodbye in front of the quiet bus station, I feel a mix of emotions. I’m sad because I’m not sure when I will see the both of them again. I’m happy that I had the chance, and time, to get to see my Chicago relatives; beyond elated to be there with them during this tough time. I smile as I reflect on the amazing time I had with family I’d just met, and those of whom I hadn’t seen for at least ten years. Watching my Alaska family drive down the hollow Chicago street, I finish my emotional equation and become warm with the thought of returning to my husband. When I’m down – and feeling like some sad, soulful Adele song – he’s usually the burst of light I need on my dark, rainy days. He’s the answer to most of my emo-life equations, and I needed hug; anything to prolong the feeling of my mom and aunt’s arms around me before today was gone. Pocketing my glasses, I replace them with my prescription Ray Ban shades… a single tear making contact with the inside of the dark lens just as my bus to Indianapolis arrived.