fastingI have been pleased with the gains I have made over the course of the last 16 months as it relates to my health. After learning plant-based nutrition I have made many positive steps in a new lifestyle, one that I have embraced but tried not to push on others. No one wants to feel pressured when faced with change. I accepted the guidelines and made a conscious decision to improve my life, as relying on the medical establishment and Big Pharma was not how I wanted to live the rest of my days.

The addition of exercise has been awesome! There is really no other word to describe how I feel after I finish running or rack my weights for the final time. While my body is usually tired that is a clarity followed by what can only be identified as a jolt of energy, read to tackle what obstacle comes my way.

I subscribe to a few different web site including Dr. McDougall, Vegan Body Building and Stronglifts Inner Circle. Since changing my diet Dr. Mc Dougall’s discussion boards allowed me to gain quite a bit of insight into a plant-based lifestyle, along with gaining a further understand of nutrition thanks in part of Jeff Novick. Vegan Body Building is the newest discussion board I have joined after being frustrated with responses from the Stronglifts discussion board. In defense of the Stronglifts, all the users I have communicated with have been respective of my point of view, as it’s the minority when it comes to how to eat when lifting weights. Many support a Paleo type of diet, favoring meat and fat over carbohydrates. The common ground of both of these diets are the whole foods and vegetables.

I have learned quite a bit, not only about lifting weights, but about nutrition. One of the more interesting topics I have started reading about IF of intermittent fasting. “Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting (usually meaning consumption of water and sometimes low-calorie drinks such as black coffee) and non-fasting” (source). Many Stronglifts users talk about IF and Leangains as ways to introduce fasting to the weight lifting regime in order to burn fat and build muscle.

I have been reading fasting information from Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat from his website, but haven’t bought the ebook…yet. I continue to read comments and topics about IF and if it’s something that I could benefit from. It was actually information from Lani Muelrath who wrote a few topics on fasting after 4 months of “mini fasts” (her report).

I started looking into IF after being a bit frustrated with the returns I am see as it relates to lifting weight. I figured after 6 months I would have some bigger gains and better results, based on a the photographic record I am keeping. That does not mean I am unhappy with what I have achieved. I guess I expected more but regardless of what decision I come to I will continue to lift weights and run for my health. Diet is the easy part, as I am already at my desired weight.

Goals for attempting intermittent fasting? Decrease my body fat, something that has been occurring regularly while following Stronglifts. Continue to lift heavy weights in order to gain strength. Have increased energy on days I fast. Avoid overeating, while enjoying food more.

Repair Disarray

So the fun with Waypoint and the contractor who signed to take on the drywall repairs has been just as bad as the leak we suffered with for nearly 2 months now. I was about 24 hours away from calling an attorney because of the lack of communication from Waypoint over when our property would be repaired. It was bad enough they waited as long as they did to get two bids for the re-pipe before contracting Roto Rooter to accomplish the repairs. It took another 4 days in order to get two more bids to repair all the drywall that had to be cut away in order to run new copper pipes between the first and second floors.

Everything looked to be on track during my days off. Waypoint had chosen a contractor who said they would start on Wednesday. There had been talk of Monday, but there were further issues and any hope of having the repair done before the weekend was gone. The contractor arrived on Tuesday morning looked over the repairs that needed to be accomplished and spoke with the maintenance supervisor from Waypoint that they would be in contact.

I received a call later that day from Waypoint and the contractor and they had agreed on a price and would start at 8:30 on Wednesday. About 9 AM the contractor showed up, walked the house again and determined supplies they would require. He then told me, “okay we will go buy the supplies and be back on Thursday morning to start.” Huh? Thursday morning? So much for anything being accomplished during my days off. Now my wife was livid and we were back on the phone with Waypoint.

My wife had some plans Thursday morning and as the contractors arrival time came and went, she quickly took to the phone and laid into Waypoint, who they had to find out why the contractor had not started. It seems it came down to manpower and the ability to get anyone to the house to repair the drywall. They did make Waypoint a guarantee it would be done by Monday. So their 5 day window suddenly shortened to a 3 day window. I will tell you right now, they won’t make Monday.

Friday comes and the contractor is there bright and early, but the individual at the door isn’t the one who is going to be doing he work. He just made an appearance and was waiting for the workers (notice plural) to arrive. One worker showed up. This guy worked close to 8 hours on Friday, which should have been plenty of time to cut patches for the drywall, put them in place, tape and possibly get a coat of mud on. This guy didn’t even finish getting all the holes patched in the house, leaving the bathroom and kitchen incomplete. He didn’t even start in the garage.

To make matters worse, looking at the patches that were cut and placed makes me wish I would have done the work. The patches are very rough. Now, I know thanks to my limited home remodel experience you have quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to working with mud, so the patches don’t have to be perfect. His patches weren’t and I even think some will need to come down. The bigger problem, half of the patches of drywall are backwards. Instead of the smooth whitish-grey side facing out, this guy put the brown cardboard side out. Why? He had no answer, then again I don’t think his English skills were too strong. Guess we know where the contractor got his day laborer from, in front of a big box store.

The worker then has the balls to ask, “can I work over the weekend??” Woah! Since you didn’t hanging the drywall correct I am a bit hesitant to see how else you go about fucking these repairs up. Waypoint was in contact with the contractor, named Joe yesterday and left a scathing message (sort of like my emails and phone calls that went unanswered to Waypoint). My wife already told them they could not work before 1PM today. No idea as of yet what the outcome will be, but I can’t see the contractor being done with the drywall, mud, texture and painting by Monday.

More failure on the part of Waypoint? Another black eye in my opinion it sure is. It’s nice they took 10 days worth of rent off our May payment, but I fear that might not be enough as we are still without a downstairs bathroom, a kitchen and living room that covered with plastic (thanks to me) in order to keep down the dust. It’s a virtual disaster area right now. I think Waypoint needs to go a few more steps in making things right.

More Water Leaks

leakyfaucet“Dad, it’s bad karma.” My son might be onto something, as that was his response when we were talking about the second water leak we have experienced under the slab inside of 2 months in the rental property we occupy through Waypoint Homes (whom I will NEVER use again and suggest you don’t either). The first leak appeared in February and I hesitated to write about it, unlike our leak at our old house in Oakley. This second leak is a spawn of the first and quite likely at the area that was repair, or just down from where the original leak was.

The first leak appeared in March, my wife (and I) had noticed the downstairs bathroom, just off the laundry room growing increasing warm. Initially both of us failed to notice the floor was continually warm. It wasn’t until I stepped in a pool of water and noticed wet carpet when I awoke at 1am in the morning to go to work. It then took Waypoint Homes 5 days to get a plumber to the scene. I called the 800 number as soon as I noticed the leak (Saturday), but it was Wednesday before the leak was repaired. No hot water for 5 days and no compensation, no hotel room, no apology from Waypoint Homes. In fact we never spoke had a call from our property manager.

I sent a certified letter to Waypoint Homes (that went unanswered) citing Civil Code 1941.1(a)(3)

A water supply approved under applicable law that is under the control of the tenant, capable of producing hot and cold running water, or a system that is under the control of the landlord, that produces hot and cold running water, furnished to appropriate
fixtures, and connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law.

If hot or cold water isn’t possible, then the Civil Code 1941.1 says”a dwelling shall be deemed untenantable.” I have made mention of this numerous times, not only in emails, but voicemails that have gone unanswered. My wife and I are beginning to think they are not taking our situation serious. I have made calls and emails to our property manager and none of them have been answered. Legal action might be the only course of action if something is not done.

Thankfully the plumber said we should have running water by today. I emphasis the word, “should”. Who knows what will happen today, as my wife continues to sit at home, unshowered with only 2 flushes of the toilets today. I have composed a scathing email to Waypoint Homes, not that it will actually resolve anything. This situation is becoming just as bad was dealing with “that woman”, Venus Jackson-Kennedy at Bank of America. The art of customer service is dead and these two companies are good examples.

Potato Hack – Day 20

Weight: 179.7

Exercise: It was late, but I was able to get a 90 minute work out in performing squats, bench press and rows.

Breakfast: Bowl of shredded wheat with almond milk.

AM Snack: Bowl of Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli.


PM Snack: Baked tortilla chips with cheese sauce #2 and a Kind Bar.

Dinner:  Three broiled corn tortillas topped with cheese sauce #2 and salsa roja and a small mixed green salad with cabbage, carrots and almonds topped with Chef AJ’s Husband’s Favorite No-oil Dressing and Sriracha Hot Sauce.

Synopsis: There was definitely better ways to finish my 20 day potato hack, today was not a very good day. It started off as it had done the 19 prior days with a bowl of cereal, but I followed it up when I was at work with some muesli after realizing I had forgot my baked potatoes at home. The only option I was left with would have been to buy some white rice in Chinatown, downtown Oakland. I decided not to partake in the rice and wait it out until I got off work. I wasn’t overly hungry since I had eaten cereal and muesli.

My son and I had a 430 PM baseball game, which left me no time to lift weights and even less time to get something to eat. By 300 PM I was hungry and when I got home I realized my wife had eaten the 3 small baked potatoes for lunch. I had a handful of baked corn tortilla chips dipped in cheese sauce #2 followed by a Kind Bar, before we packed up our equipment and headed out the door. While at the game, I had the desire to chew sunflower seeds again through the entire game.

By the time we got home it was after 700 PM. I made dinner for my son and then went to the garage to get my work out in. I didn’t want to skip a day, as I did with running last week and figured I could finish before 900 PM. The work out went well, as I revisited a few weights I had done last time on the all three exercises. I was successful last time, but didn’t feel comfortable with the weights, so I did them again. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

It wasn’t until I was done that I was past hungry and the cupboard was nearly bare. Many different foods available, but not much that I could eat. I opted to broil a few corn tortillas with cheese sauce #2 and salsa on top and when I finished I threw together a small salad. As I said, not the best day to end my 20 days on.

Are You Mudder Enough?

toughmudderAbout this time last year I was looking for a challenge. A co-worker turned me on to the Tough Mudder series (Up For A Challenge?). I had yet to have an MRI done, which confirmed a torn meniscus in my left knee that would require surgery. I made the decision, as it was in my best interest to skip the event, so I didn’t make it to the 2012 event in Lake Tahoe. So 2013 will be my first Tough Mudder event. Hopefully not my last.

Fast forward nearly a year later. I am in better health, based on my blood work, have lost 44 pounds, been lifting weights (real, iron weights) since October and am currently in my 2nd week of training for a half-marathon in August. The challenge was presented to me again this year, by the same co-worker to participate in the July Tough Mudder in Lake Tahoe. After discussing the event with my wife, she agreed to let me participate.

I am now committed, as I paid my $120 entrance fee and received my confirmation via email. As it stands now there are 15 confirmed team members who are participating. I still plan on training as hard as I can up to the event, which takes place July 13. I might have to ramp up the high intensity interval training (HIIT), based on what I was reading on the TM website and their Tough Mudder Boot Camp. Still I continue make good progress lifting weights and running. I do know one thing regardless of how well I train, I am sure I will hurt for a few days after the event.

More news on this as we get closer to the July 13 start. I am looking very forward to participating in this.