Broke into the 190s this week.
On the one hand, I'm getting leaner and tighter and happy with my progression.  On the other hand, I'm under 200 pounds.  Not sure if I am excited or disappointed. 

Of course, weight doesn't mean much on stage but let's be real here: I competed for years barely able to make the cut off for the lightheavies and now I am not going to be very close to that.  Obviously, I knew that going in because I TRT for 5 years along with chronic back injuries not only didn't allow me to grow but I actually lost some muscle.  A small part of me was holding out hope that gassing for this prep would bring a lot of that back, but it didn't bring anywhere near as much as I would have liked.  Though I am not surprised, I admit to being a little disappointed.  I mean, I go back to taking calculated risks only to wonder if the payoff is really going to be worth it.  I'm thinking not.

That being said, I am enjoying the process and under the circumstances I am happy with how I look.  I still have a lot of work to do but the double training sessions has sped up the progress quite a bit.  As much as I thought I would hate the double sessions, I am enjoying them.  I thrive on structure, though, and there is plenty of it right now.

I did have an odd situation last night where I had some pain while swallowing a bite of my meal.  For some time I have had to make sure to chew my food very well or it will sometimes get stuck in my throat right before entering the stomach.  This has happened for years and I just force myself to chew my food very well and it isn't usually an issue.  When it is, however, by the time I notice that the food is stuck, I have eaten more food and it is starting to back up in my throat.  It almost becomes compacted and then won't move into my stomach until I force myself to cough up most of the food that is stuck and then finally the last bit of food that is stuck will move into my stomach and I can finish the meal.  I have noticed this happens more when I sit while eating so I tend to stand and almost liquify my food.  It doesn't usually happen with carbs or fat but with protein - especially dry protein like chicken breast or cod or any other protein source that isn't very moist.

Last night I was got a little bit of chicken stuck and if it is just a small amount and I notice it quickly before food starts to back up, I will just drink more water and force it down.  Sometimes it gets uncomfortable but it will usually go down.  This time it didn't and I took another drink and when the food moved into my stomach, it flat out hurt.  It almost felt as if something ripped and as I finished the meal I was careful to liquify my food but I could tell my stomach was irritated.  It was irritated when I trained, as well, even when drinking just plain water but it seemed to be getting better.  I came home from the gym, had my protein drink and peanut butter and went to bed.

Today about halfway through the day I noticed I had black stools.  For those who don't know that means that I had blood in my upper GI - obviously my stomach - and was passing it.  Black stool is concerning but it can also just be from an ulcer or something relatively innocuous, as well.

I did a little google research and came across some situations that it could be but of all the symptoms that were listed, the only one I had was black stools.  I wasn't lightheaded, nauseous, vomiting, didn't have stomach pain (though I did the night before, I did not have it at all today whether eating or not), etc..  Obviously, I am monitoring my situation because if the stools continue I will need to go to the Doctor.  I am hoping that it was just some blood from that particular situation and that it just had to pass and then there won't be an issue.  If I had other symptoms I would already be at the Doctor by now.  If I was having any issues with losing a lot of blood I would imagine I would have noticed something amiss while training legs today and there were no issues.  Still, I am monitoring my situation.

Aside from this issue, the only other thing going on is aches and pains.  I have achy wrists, achy hips from cardio, achy knees, etc..  Basically, prep stuff that we all deal with deep into prep mode.

The only change that I have made to my diet in the last week is I am adding in 3 meals of 50g of carbs from sweet potatoes on my rest day tomorrow so that I can get a few carbs to get through the 2nd training rotation and still have my workouts be productive.  Not sure how much 150g of carbs will help but it will be better than 0g of carbs like I have been doing for quite some time, now.

I am headed to the gym right now for the last session of my 1st rotation and then taking tomorrow as a scheduled rest day and will get my carbs in me.  I am looking forward to seeing what, if any, impact those carbs have on my training over the following 3 days before I load again.

Hope you all have a great weekend!