Vacay Decay

The first day back after a long week (and a day) off are so terribly slow and painful. On the struggle bus is but an understatement, let me tell you, because homeboy was dying at his desk on Tuesday of last week. Christmas fell on a Sunday, so around this time last year, I planned to have the week of Christmas 2016 to myself. I wasn’t worried about the time being gone because I’m generally smart with my time off at work and S always has extra time to spare.

The holidays are always a great time – largely in part to the amount of Crown Royal we consume. “Ho Ho Ho!” scream our livers. S’s dad definitely makes sure the bar is properly stocked when we’re down home. We’re never hurting in the wine and spirits department. The thing we were most looking forward to  was chilling at home with each other; to completely decompress.

We did a whole lot of nothing and it was absolutely fabulous. S played a lifetime’s worth of video games while I just zenned out with a plethora of self care treatments. Another huge plus of our time off was familiarizing ourselves with our new home deep fryer. We can’t say enough good things about how the fryer has stepped up our kitchen game.

2017 brings in the new grind. I’ve been drifting away from new year resolutions because there’s always so much I want to accomplish. S and I both vowed a couple years ago that working on our health, fitness, and overall well-being would always be a big focus. Your health shouldn’t have to be a resolution – I get it, I do –  but instead, a commitment that is lasting and honest.

I foresee pretty big changes on the job front for me this year. My freelance public relations projects are picking back up and I’ve been working on ideas to pitch for writing opportunities. S is doing really well at his job and can now breathe with his Master of Accounting degree being complete. There are still some late nights, but Reynold and I don’t mind too much. We understand.  

Eat Slay Love. We survived an extremely (and unpredictably) busy 2016 and we’re both entering 2017 a little sluggish; if we’re being truthful. Never fear, though! I think this is just part of being an adult. We enjoyed the hell out of our time off and time with each other, so sure, we’re wishing we could go back to that week (lol). So with that being said…

Goodnight. And don’t let the trap queens bite,

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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.

Progress Report 2

The stall is broken! After sticking to the same workout routine for a smidgen over a year, my body needed a reset of sorts. Here’s the update:

Data collection #2, September 26, 2015:

Weight – 237.9

Body fat – 27.5%

BMI – 32.3

Data collection #3, November 18, 2015:

Weight – 232.4

Body fat – 27.1%

BMI – 31.4

What did I do differently? I started focusing more on lifting heavier weights, and cut out dairy. I’m about 97% dairy-free, and I say this because, if I want dairy… I’m gonna eat, or drink, it. I do miss my heavy cream and cinnamon coffee, but not having it isn’t a huge downer because I prefer my coffee strong, and black… (enter joke and laughter here).

Take us going to the Mexican restaurant for dinner a couple weeks ago for example. The salad I ordered did not list cheese as a topping. Adding extra guac and removing the sour cream, I was a little peeved when the salad arrived and there was cheese! Some sprinkled cheese on top of my salad isn’t the end of the world, so I went on and inhaled the dish anyway. I’m a regular “remove the cheese, please!” person now.

I’ve switched up my weightlifting routine by doing strong lifts. Three times a week, for thirty minutes or more, I do 5×5 – five sets of five reps – weightlifting workouts. I squat, bench press, barbell row, and deadlift as much weight as I can in a safe manner. I hit the gym alone, so I don’t want to push it so far that I need a spotter. Every week I add five pounds to the previous week’s weight. I’ve been doing yoga more frequently as well. I went to my first hot yoga class over the weekend. Not only did I survive and hit all the poses, I had a BLAST. I won’t get too much into that, though, because I’m going to write a separate post on that experience.

Thanks for checking in! And I’ll talk to you all soon 🙂

FATboys: A Mostly Ketogenic Health and Fitness Journey

Welcome to Gays in the Life’s health and fitness page! Join my husband and I on our journey to optimal health as we follow a low-carb, ketogenic diet! The point of this page is not to push our way of living and eating onto our readers, but to inspire, share, celebrate the health hurdles we clear as a couple. We’re so thrilled that so many have taken interest in Gays in the Life, and only wish to give you another view into an aspect of our life we haven’t really talked openly about on the blog.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment sections of a post, and try to have an open mind. All posts will be completely based on our experience, research, and results; physical and medical. We’ve been following a low-carb diet for almost two years now, and have seen great results in our health and overall daily performance. Again, we do not wish to convert anyone, but if you find something we write about interesting, by all means research it and learn more. Curiosity and learning more is exactly how we became low-carbers, and made this lifestyle change. Welcome to FATboys! And thank you for reading.

REYNOLD

For two years now, S and I have known that we would name our puppy Reynold. We were expecting to breed S’s family dog, Petey, last summer, but his female counterpart never came into heat; biology can be so raunchy sounding when it wants. On June 1st, 2015, Petey and Lily’s puppies were born: image1

The goal in breeding Petey and Lily (the pup’s mother) was to get more black and tan Rat Terriers, as you don’t see very many with that color combo. A dog’s first litter tends to be small, so I guessed there would be four puppies total, and S guessed six. S was the winner because five males, and one female were born. So far the wait has been worth it, and we could not have got any luckier with the results. In the litter, there’s one all black female, a black and white male, and the rest are black and tan; exactly what we wanted, AND we get options! Lily is mostly black with some tan and white coloring, but Petey’s look is what we and S’s parent’s were hoping for:

Petey Robinson

I mentioned adopting a puppy this summer if Lily didn’t come into heat, so these puppies are right on  time! I’ve been having puppy fever for a couple years now, so waiting a few more weeks to pick our puppy – we get first pick as a stud fee – and spend some time with him is the hardest thing right now; not to mention every weekend until the weekend we meet him is booked, so there’s no chance of sneaking down early. I can’t wait to meet our first fur child. I’m excited for this new adventure, and I think it’s pretty cool that our first puppy is a direct descendant of S’s family dog. I hate that “rat” is in the name of our dog’s breed, but they really are sweet, clever, cute little things. I consider dogs to be close to the same level as children. If i’m caring for another life, it won’t be a half-assed job, and Reynold will probably be spoiled beyond belief… because of me, BUT he will be trained and have manners (lol); he’s even going to be on a grain-free diet like his daddies. It’ll be fun to see how S and I parent together, but mostly it should be a great time. We’re both really excited about welcoming him into our home, early August, and we cannot wait to share more pictures and entries about our adventures with Sir Reynold in the future.

The Last Slice

“NO! You have to save that piece to eat on your first anniversary!” M’s voice filled our kitchen with both protest and excitement. The gluten-free, red-velvet, cream-cheese-frosted cake she had made for our wedding day was beyond delicious, and I wanted nothing more than to take another bite out of the lonely slice of its remains. This Saturday is my husband and I’s first marriage anniversary, and that last piece of delicious memorabilia – that’s been hiding under alcohol and frozen meat – has survived the year and would meet its end come May 16th.  I wasn’t familiar with the cake tradition at all until M shared it with us that day in our kitchen, and the pending arrival of our first anniversary has me wondering if holding on to that one, last piece of cake means something. Out of sight out of mind is the notion that comes to mind almost immediately. “The first year of marriage is the hardest” is what every tells you when you tie the knot, and much like our frozen slice of wedding cake, married life blinked right by us in a time-warped state of reality. Has it really already been a year? I guess this slice of cake will be even better than tasting it for the first time, because it’s serving as some kind of reward for getting through our first year as husbands. Our relationship has always been smooth sailing; crossing choppy waters here and there, but never truly rocking the boat. As I think about eating this cake, exactly a year from when I tried to finish it off, a dormant excitement is awakened. I haven’t taken the time at all to note, or keep track of anything we’ve done during our first year of marriage! We did move from our one-bedroom apartment to a lofted condo, AND we are expecting our first fur child – a rat terrier puppy we plan to name Reynold, and who’s a direct descendant of S’s family dog. This first year of marriage has been out of sight and out of mind. It was a good year, and eating this cake will give us a great excuse to reflect and really honor our first year of marriage. I want to thank M for sharing this tradition with the both us, because come this Saturday finishing the cake we started a year ago will mean so much to both my husband, and myself.

Tick. Tock. I Love You.

Three years ago, this evening, our relationship presented itself as something new.  It was New Years Eve in my cozy, cheer-filled apartment. I had one of my best friends in town – visiting from Los Angeles – amazing roommates, a great chunk of friends I had made working at the Goodwill Store, and him. I was so happy S had come down from Indy to celebrate the holiday with us. At the time, we’d only officially been boyfriends for a little over two months, and were an hour apart during the work week.  About thirty minutes or so before midnight, we found ourselves alone in my bedroom. “…I’m scared” I express as I look past him nervously and prop myself up on my elbow.  Lying next to me, he puts one hand behind his head, and the other around my arm.  “Why?”  He looks worried as he presents the single-worded question.  I shift. “I think I love you.” The second it took him to respond felt like agonizingly long minutes passing on a clock. “I love you too” he grins looking directly into my eyes.

When is the right time to say “I love you” to a person of interest? Our exchange that night was not planned, and I honestly had not thought about the subject at all.  We were still a very new couple, but there was something in the air that evening that made me want to share my feelings with him.  Society programs young adults in so many ways when it comes to saying “I love you.” We absorb the lessons we learn – or think we’re learning – from relationships we’ve witnessed in the past, and think we have to apply them to our own relationships.  Whether it’s too soon or long overdue to share those guarded words are up to the individual that possess the feelings.  When I think back on that night, I recognize that the timing was right.  Our relationship didn’t feel like work – I say that a lot, but it’s true – I was always excited to see him, always wondering how his day went, counting down the days until we were together again… the love was building before I even thought about saying it.

Blue balls and the Brain

Sexual appetites are something that need to be fed in order to keep a relationship flowing.  People can get along fine within a relationship without sex, but for how long? Being realistic, what is a long-term relationship without regular sex? Some argue that sex is not the most important factor when it comes to making a long-term relationship last, and others say the opposite and argue that it is the most important factor.  When it came to my relationship – before I had any relationship, really – I knew that sex would be big factor.  Being a big astrology and zodiac enthusiast, I fully embrace my Scorpio identity, and carry a great amount of sexual energy; Scorpios are said to be the most sexually dominant of the astrological circle. When S and I were living apart from one another, I could confidently expect to get some action at least once a week; during weekend visits. Now that we lived together, I wondered how often sex would come.

Most guys – even us gays – welcome the idea of being drowned by sex once living with a partner commences.  Dan Savage’s “Savage Lovecast” is a weekly sex and relationship podcast S and I both listen to regularly.  Savage’s sharp, honest, and enduringly blunt tone has a way of getting one’s mind to open up regarding everything sex; not to mention all the stories and experiences shared by listeners, both gay and straight, of the show. We took our relationship one day at a time. There were never any specific talks regarding how much sex either one of us expected, so I would do my best to close the deal any time I was in the mood; and I was in the mood pretty often.  Much to my dismay, I found that I would have more adjusting to do when it came to our shared life.

Adjusting sexually to one another isn’t a bad thing. Internalizing any rejection during dry spells, I would feel pretty down – even paranoid or worried – when more than a couple weeks would pass without any intimate, nighttime action.  I’d become accustomed to sex at least once a week, so anything less than that forced feelings of insecurity and visions of red flags on the horizon. What I came to learn was that my sex drive was way higher than his.  Being the paranoid individual that I am, I would ask questions: “is it me? What’s wrong? Did you get off today?” I wasn’t looking for signs of cheating, but I was looking for a way to make him want sex as much as I did.

I found the answer wasn’t to make him want sex more, but to adapt and have fun whenever play-time did come around.  Sexually I am satisfied. My feelings of insecurity were completely natural, because sadly, we humans pay attention to the negative more than the positive of a situation.  When it comes to us, the good continues to outweigh the bad. There are weeks where I am more than happy in the sex department, and plenty of times where I am caught off guard – in the best and most appetizing ways – by him.  Sexually starved is definitely something we are not, and having lived together for going on a year and a half now, we are more than pleased with each other in every aspect of the subject.  Patience is an ongoing lesson, but one thing I will continue to harass him about? Is a lap dance. If I can get a lap dance out of S, I would probably pass out from shock and/or excitement (lol).

Real Compared to What

There were no storybook-happy-endings looping in my head when it came to S and I living together. What I enjoy most about our relationship is that it doesn’t feel like work, we blend, and above anything else we respect each other. All of this sounds pretty great when reading it aloud, but the reality of the situation is that not every day is smooth sailing. There are days that feel like our relationship is work, and depending on the situation, our problem-solving skills have to come into play.  In the past my role as the token gay friend plagued me with the curse of knowing all details of my friend’s relationship ups, downs, and all the drama that nested between their frequent battles.  Looking back on my time as a couple’s counselor – providing advice while having not been in a relationship of my own – the hours spent on phones or over coffee, listening to bitching and moaning, really turned out to be a gift. All the advice I provided to my coupled friends in the past, was now mine to apply to my own relationship.

Much like the beginning of a new relationship, the honeymooner phase returns when you move in with one another.  Our honeymoon phase didn’t last very long, mostly because there was a natural feeling about being with each other; that or we are a couple of boring queens compared to the shenanigans of our friend’s relationships.  If there are fights we manage to just talk through the problem, and learn from what happened. S doesn’t like to talk about problems all the time, but I don’t let the subject die until it’s completely solved; this may seem annoying for S, but I don’t do well with negative energy.  Beyond the fights, there are other things like learning his pet-peeves – I’m saving that topic for a future post – and various other things that probably drive me crazy, as I’m sure there are things I do that drive him up the wall.  So far it has been smooth sailing, and I’m happy that I have been fortunate enough to not run into any situation that required the application of any advice I once shared with flustered friends. We have our days where we both feel like wrapping hands around each other’s throat, but without that flicker of irritated emotion… every once in a while… I would be more worried; because at least we know we care…

Move-in Day

The day had finally come for our time in different zip codes to end.  We talked about moving in together about a year and a half into our relationship, but we’d already renewed our respective leases.  The remainder of our sentence – separated by that hour stretch of interstate – was less than a year, but progressed slowly all the same.  Our relationship was pretty easy-going, so when we were together on weekends, our roommates and the antics of their relationships were the main focus.  His roommates did nothing but suffocate any available space on the couches, argue, and add to the stench of the cat-littered apartment, while two, of my three, roommates lived out a screwy relationship that’s usually only seen on seasons of MTV’s The Real World.

Excitement, wonder, and fear were the three feelings that resonated most with me during our move-in day.  I was excited to escape life with roommates, and to begin a new chapter with S. I wondered where we would be in a year or two, and how we would be getting along. I feared thoughts of unknown hurdles we would have to clear; not wanting to lose him – lose us – for any reason.  I guess that’s normal though… the fear. There are so many young couples these days that commence living together at the very start of their relationships; this hasn’t worked for anyone I know.  Moving in together is not marriage by any means, but it’s an act I respected.

Each trip between the moving truck and S’s apartment was filled with adrenaline and anticipation.  I’d left my Bloomington address a week prior to start a job I’d accepted up in Indianapolis, and was looking forward to escaping the stink of cat and the unorganized mess that were his roommates.  We managed to get everything loaded on the truck in a timely manner, unloaded at our new apartments, and ended the day with pizza and beer.  Full from the conclusion of our day, we were finally home.  There would be no more hour drives, weekend visits, or roommate drama.  We were officially beginning a new, grown up, phase of our relationship and the skies were clear. As I look around our new apartment, those feelings of excitement, wonder, and fear lingered.  I was thankful, though; thankful for our new couches, thankful for all our belongings being under the same roof, thankful for the bottles of champagne, and above all… thankful for him.