Okay, maybe life hasn't "crapped" on me.  I have a lot to be thankful for and I did about all I could to get this prep done but it just wasn't going to be.  Pulling the plug is not easy but after reflection for the last week, it was definitely the right thing to do.

I didn't notice it at the time but where the prep started off easy, it ended up being only another added stress - a big one - while dealing with a lot of other stress that dumped on us over the course of about 5 weeks.  After pulling out, I found my stress levels dropped considerably.

I was quite anxious going into the gym on Monday as I didn't really know what to expect and wondered if I maybe should still have stayed out of the gym another week to rest and recover.  However, I did feel pretty good and figured I would just see how I felt and if there was any indication that I wasn't ready, I was going home.

That session was one of the best I have had in a long time.  While off and resting, I admit that I ate whatever I wanted and there was no semblance of any kind of diet.  I also admit that even as long as I have training and competed, if I am not training, I am not eating on my diet.  I found that Starbucks, Panera Bread cookies and Ben and Jerry's is quite anabolic.  I ate enough of all of them for a week to know.

Oddly enough, my condition remained really good.  I didn't blow up, I didn't hold hardly any water and I am quite pleased with the way I look this week.  One of the reasons I really didn't want to take another week off if I didn't have to was I knew that another week would likely completely blow my condition.  After working so hard for this prep and getting so close, at the very least I wanted to still be in really good condition for the summer because maintaining this condition is incredibly easy for me.  Getting there is the hard part. 

I also cut all cardio.  Why?  Basically because I fucking hate it.  I did double cardio for weeks and months and I know I don't need it to maintain this condition so I cut it all out as of this week.  I also cut my training back to only 4 days with a rest day on Wednesdays and the weekends.  The weekends are for family, riding motorcycles, baseball games and swinger parties.  Ok, maybe not swinger parties but you get what I'm saying.

Strength is through the roof and not just for me but for Mrs. Skip.  She dumbbell pressed 50s this week for 2 sets of 10-12 and did overhead dumbbell extensions for triceps with 60 pounds for 2 sets.  She didn't have as many Panera cookies as I did last week but she did have some beers so apparently, beer needs to be added to the list of anabolic options, as well.

Still doing a double chest/back workout like I did while prepping but just added the extra day off in the middle of the week.

My Skiploading will change, as well.  I will likely be loading from Saturday night through Sunday with Saturday night being higher fat but low carb (steak or maybe smoked brisket, ribs, etc..) and then carbs on Sundays.  I maintain quite well with this approach and it gives me freedom on the weekends.  I will also enjoy just eating and enjoying food vs. having to really force the food like I have to when dieting.

I want to once again state how flattering all of the support has been through what has been a pretty rough 5 or 6 weeks.  Mrs. Skip's mom is doing well and recovering so that is great.  I think I am 100% or damn close and looking forward to seeing my Dad as he is coming out here in the next couple of weeks.  Looking forward to enjoying the summer, the annual bike trip late July where we will do roughly 2000 miles up and around Yosemite and of course the Denver Burger Battle.  We also have our holiday vacation cruise over Thanksgiving and Mrs. Skip is going with me to NYC for a long weekend for a client's show in October and we are staying in Times Square.

I am disappointed about the prep but it isn't the end of the world.  I likely will prep for another show early in 2018.