It has now been one week and two days since returning from Michigan and getting back on track.  Big improvements and happy with the improvements but I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about the time.  I am still pushing with the plan of both shows but I am having reservations about doing the first show in only just over 2 weeks given my condition and just feeling that not only might I not be where I want to be but more importantly is if I do the early show, it could take away from the second.  If I forego the first and just stay focused on the second, I feel pretty confident I can still pull this off.  

I am putting my thoughts down now because it's my coach log, but otherwise, I am purposely working to not overthink this and just get the work done one day at a time.  One of the nice things about the fact that I have done this for years is I change very quickly - good or bad.  I can go from great to shit quickly, but shit to great equally as quick so I am staying with the fact that if this last week is any indication of what I have done in 8 days, I should be fine.

I am getting a lot of support and feedback and as much as I very much appreciate statements like, "You will be inside out and you will kill this", understand that I am not just saying I am not sure I can pull it off because I am being humble, but more because as long as I have competed I rarely have the doubts of whether I can pull it off or not.  I am not a doubter in that regard because I have done this for so long and know what I am capable of accomplishing.  Yes, I was in shape early, but the reality is that I lost almost the entire month of May if you consider both the health issues around the fat burner and the stress and issues coming off of the family trip to Michigan.  I can honestly say that I was tighter before but, again, still making up ground.  So, when I say that I am struggling with the time left that I have for these shows, this is me being realistic and seeing the situation for what it is.

I have purposely avoided the scale and I am going strictly by my condition at this point.  Obviously, nothing else really matters and I am concerned that stepping on the scale would only add another mental obstacle of which I am attempting to limit at this point to stay clearly focused.

Something that has stood out in the last week is I am holding a lot of water as the day progresses from the yohimbine, but upon waking my condition is day and night different than the night before.  This puts my brain at ease a little bit as I know I am holding some water, but this allows me to know that my accurate measure of my condition is upon waking, only.

The new rotation has been a nice refresher for my brain.  It makes the weekends no different than the weekdays and while I am now not Skiploading (I will but haven't yet) until I absolutely need it, this has helped to not have my brain thinking, "It's Sunday, you should be knee-deep in pancakes".

The cardio schedule has been altered just a little bit in that I am not doing any cardio on leg days and double cardio all other days and has been working out quite well.  It's funny how you end up not hating cardio as much when you know you need it and every minute of cardio counts.  Earlier in the prep when I was ahead of schedule, I hated the cardio and knew that if I were to skip a session it wouldn't much matter.  Not so now.  I pound every minute of the cardio.

Oddly enough, I am stronger this last week.  I can't really explain it and the only other thing to note of significance is I am distended quite a bit even though I am getting leaner.  It's like my guts are swollen or something and I can't put my finger on why.  My meals aren't big, for sure, and I am not Skiploading so there is no good reason to be so distended.  I am watching it closely though I think it is getting slightly better with each passing day.

I am roughly 4.5 weeks out now and that is a lot of time and not a lot of time depending on how you look at it.  Because I change quickly it is a good amount of time in that I know I can get a lot done in that time and make huge improvements, but it is NOT a lot of time knowing that I have no time to lose - none.

It is a blessing that Mrs. Skip's Mom is doing so much better.  At least as it stands right now she is heading in the right direction and improving daily so that is a huge relief knowing that we likely won't need to make another trip back if she continues to improve.  The question is how much the stress has taken a toll on everything (and I am sure it has), but ... there are tons of questions and I prefer to not break it down too much and just get the work done without overthinking it.  That alone is a stress, in itself, but I am working hard to manage that stress and just stay focused.

I have no plans to Skipload until at least mid to end of next week.  I am currently having 2 clean carb meals of oatmeal and bananas every 4th day on leg day and this seems to be enough to off set me being flat and keeping the metabolism rolling.  Obviously, it isn't fueling the metabolism like a typical Skipload would, but I am also not ridiculously depleted, either, at this point.  

Huge thank you to everyone who has hit me with messages, emails, texts, etc., about my Mother-in-Law and in support of my prep.  It is very much appreciated.  At the same time, I am being realistic with my assessment and understand that as a prep guy who has been doing this for a very long time, I have an obligation to show up in excellent condition no matter what obstacles I have dealt with.  If I was just a guy doing a show for the fun of it and no one knew who I was, there would be little stress or concern.  However, I understand clearly that there are a lot of eyes on me and expectations are high based on my condition early in prep.

I have my head down and I am trudging forward.  One ... step ... at ... a time.