Gays in the Life turned three years old yesterday. Can you believe that? I was listening to one of my favorite podcast this week when I found myself triggered. You see, the conversation centered around how perfectionism could be the cause of procrastination or the reason some people never go after their goals. Needless to say, The Friend Zone podcast struck a chord and it got me thinking about what growing the Gays in the Life platform has taught me. I suffered some major writer’s block this summer and wasn’t as productive as I would have liked to be. Large part of that was due to me being unable to get out of my head. Here are a few items that have contributed to both the darkest and lightest lessons over the past few years (and especially the past few months):
Productivity. When I started Gays in the Life I had more time and endless energy to put into ideas and content. Fast forward through a couple promotions, a busier work life, and time juggling personal projects and you’ll notice all that energy and time has gone out the window.
Today I’m slowly getting back into my groove and making time to fidget with the blog every couple days. If writer’s block is getting the best of me, I’m maintaining tasks for my side hustles or tweaking ideas to improve the GITL platform. The secret for me has been to remember the fun. Once the fun is gone, I’ll truly be doomed and none of you will see another blog post.
Next is my relationship; my marriage. Three years of diving into my marriage through the blogging medium most definitely shed some light on strengths and weaknesses – things we need to work on and things we can celebrate. Gays in the Life has become an ever-changing blueprint for our relationship.
Going through old posts, we recognize opportunities to learn and grow beyond the lessons we’ve already shared on the site. We jump at any chance to improve below average scenarios and capitalize on shared victories. My heart dances because S and I have been able to share our experiences and paint a realistic view of what it takes to survive the early years of marriage.
Balance has been trying and tricky the last few years. I touched on it lightly at the top of the post when I mentioned having a busier work life and juggling personal projects. Navigating my perceived lack of availability was exhausting and began to eat at my creative process. My life was evolving in other areas and keeping it all together and on track was a challenge.
Instead of getting caught up in the sludge of life I do my best to keep to the schedule and goals I set, and don’t beat myself up about missing any desired deadlines. Another helpful trick to keep your cool when you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, is to reflect on the things you did accomplish that day. A quick reminder that you aren’t completely worthless never hurt anyone – and remember, you have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce.
With all that being said, I’m happy and appreciative for how Gays in the Life continues to morph. From the early stages of focusing on content only and maintaining the basics of the site, to present day where I’m digging more into GITL social media analytics and elevated site design… I’m challenged, inspired, and feel the next phase of evolution on the horizon.
We’ve got some fun things coming your way on GaysintheLife.com and it only works with your support. So thank you all for hanging in there with us.
Hello! And Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a progress report, so here goes:
Data collection #3, November 18, 2015:
Weight – 232.4
Body fat – 27.1%
BMI – 31.4
Data Collection #4, January 16, 2016:
Weight – 231.3
Body fat – 25.2%
BMI – 31.3
The holiday season was trying, per usual, and I did put on some weight. Last week I was back up to 237 lbs, but was able to get back down in just one week. I’ve been doing strong lifts in the gym, and made it a point to make sure I was really digging deep this past week. Adding 2.5 lbs to 5 lbs on each of my sets (each week) has kept me challenged, and really showcased the fact that heavy lifting, and a good amount of healthy fat consumption, can make all the difference during a carb detox/recovery. My weight was up and down since my last progress report, and it’s all due to those couple of carb moments, and slacking off on my intermittent fasting schedule. We’re back on it, though! Get ready for some results 😉
Overall progress since data collection #1:
down 14.2 lbs
down 5.3% body fat
You’ll notice I didn’t post an October progress report. I’ve hit a little stall on the fitness front, and this is completely normal. For the past year my body has been adjusting – going from strictly cardio workouts, to regular strength training with light cardio in the form of the occasional elliptical session and yoga – and has finally hit a point of pause. I always view a fitness stall (or plateau) as an alert to kick things up a notch, or to pay closer attention to what’s going in my body. The weeks that followed the first progress report on FATboys, my weight stayed the same, went up, a little down, and back up again. I’ve been challenging myself in the gym, and making more of an effort to really focus my yoga sessions.
I decided last week that I would wait until November to produce the next progress report, and that I would cut dairy from my diet. When it comes to dairy and myself, I’d say we have a pretty good relationship, but did notice times of bloating. I’m not lactose intolerant, and something was definitely off when it came to my body and how I felt. Jamie Caporosso was a guest on The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore, and went on about how he wasn’t sure what it was about dairy, but after cutting it from his diet, he saw more results and felt completely refreshed. Maybe my body is reacting negatively to dairy? For the next handful of weeks, I will be cutting dairy, and hopefully the next progress report will not come in stall form.
“Dieting can suck, but that’s up to you.” This is the mentality S and I adopted when we began our low-carb journey almost two years ago. We had both played the yo-yoing-weight-fluctuating game over the years, and we decided that counting calories was not enough. Working out was part of our regular routine, so what was the deal? A diet that shocked our system was our sole goal to battle the repetitious plateaus that would taunt us from the scale’s view. Plateaus happen, but something wasn’t quite clicking with the workout and eating schedule we were keeping. What about the factors beyond calories and exercise? What about the food and how it affects our bodies in the long run? My husband, S, mentioned the success he had doing the Atkins diet some years back, and that is how the low-carb curiosity was sparked.
“No bread? No beer?” Sandwiches are still my favorite food – I can turn anything into a sandwich, and didn’t mind doing so in the past – and beer is currently the only thing I miss if I have any cravings. The first year was up and down, but we saw a great deal of success; only keeping our carbohydrate consumption around twenty grams a day. The hardest part of any diet, or lifestyle change, is controlling your cravings and staying mentally persistent with your intended goal always on the mind. When we started our journey, the only goal we had was to lose weight and look good. After year one and deciding that we wanted to continue on a low-carb diet, we got more into the health aspects and benefits of the lifestyle. We still stay around twenty grams of carbohydrates a day, but we’re also focusing on the consumption of good, fatty foods.
Eating like our ancestors, the cavemen – with heavy emphasis on low carbohydrates and good high fats – has changed the way we function and the way our health is maintained. The adjustment from a low-fat/high carbohydrate diet was not an easy one, but focusing on the specifics of our diet – we’ll get into the details of low carbohydrates and high fat on a separate post – and eating REAL, non-processed foods, has us feeling great, and learning more and more about human health in the process. We’re not so strict that we don’t enjoy a good cheat meal every once in a while, and encourage a good burger and beer here and there. You can’t forget to live. Discipline is the key to any diet, but you have to have fun with what you’re doing. We don’t ever feel like we’re on a diet. Do you?