It has only been 3 weeks that I have been back in the gym and things are going quite well.  I am filling out and getting a lot of my strength back while slowly leaning down at the same time.   I feel pretty good about my progress throughout the week and especially as it gets later in the week.  Then, I have one moderate Skipload meal and I feel like a heifer again.  The distention is there to remind me that I have a ways to go before I am "back" in full swing.  

I am taking the Skiploads very easy and not pushing a lot of food, at all.  The problem is simply that I am not lean enough so my distention in my midsection becomes much better as the week progresses and then gets bad even when I eat smaller meals for my Skipload.

I have run into a couple minor issues early:

First, my right wrist is really sore and is not holding up well when doing dumbbell or barbell flat presses.  In fact, it gets so irritated that I have decided to wrap my wrists instead of trying to deal with it or work through it.  The best way to explain it is that it isn't muscular but more of an inflammation "inside" of my wrist.  When I wrap my wrists, absolutely zero pain or discomfort.  Without wrapping my wrists, I cannot even dumbbell press 80-pound dumbbells without feeling like my wrist is going to give out and the dumbbell will hit me in the pec.  Obviously, this is a huge concern because though my strength is coming back pretty quickly, it still isn't 100% so it is going to continue to go up rapidly and the wrist is going to be an obstacle if I cannot get this fixed, asap.

The other issue is my adductors are sore as HELL.  So sore, in fact, that I thought at one point this last weekend that they were on the verge of cramping, but they were just really sore and tight.  I have not been doing any adduction or abduction work since being back in the gym these last 3 weeks.  I cannot put my finger on anything I have done that would be causing the soreness and to be clear, it is 100% even from the left adductor to the right.  One is no more sore than the other.  I have not done any type of quad or ham exercise that might even remotely be contributing to it.   I cannot figure this out but I have to train legs twice this week and they were so sore today after the weekend that I took a day of rest today instead of trying to train legs.  They seemed to get even tighter after the Skipload.  Also, it should be noted that Mrs Skip and I did ride about 600 miles this weekend on the motorcycles.  If you don't ride or you don't ride the style of bike I ride, this won't make any sense to you.  I ride a bobber so the angle of pull is backward or away from the handlebars.  For this reason, the faster I go the more I have to hang onto the bike with my legs - hence the adductors get worked harder than riding a regular motorcycle.  HOWEVER, and this is a big however, though my adductors were more sore than usual after riding for two days, they were only slightly more sore than they have been the last 3 weeks WITHOUT riding.  Basically, the motorcycle riding isn't the issue as much as the riding exacerbates the soreness slightly.  The issue is related to something else that I have yet to put my finger on.

One more thing about the tight adductors:  I stretch before every workout and the second stretch of my routine is for hamstrings.  When I place my leg at roughly waist level to stretch my hamstring, I don't even feel my hamstring stretching for the first few stretches, all I feel is the tight adductor until it loosens up and then I can feel the hamstring stretching.  

I have taken ibuprofen and this helps a little bit but nothing major.  I don't feel like I have a weakness or the adductor muscles are weak.  The best I can come up with is that they are somehow being worked harder than normal during quad exercises like hacks, leg presses or smith squats.  Nothing seems out of the ordinary in that my lower back feels great, my knees and hips feel great and everything seems to be tracking perfectly.  I would have no good reason to be "adducting" my hips or pulling my knees inward but this might be happening during quad exercises and I just do not notice it.

I have one more week until I take the first set of updated pics at 4 weeks to contrast against the starting pics.  I know I am quite a bit leaner and definitely fuller.  I am getting so full right now that even when I just bend my arm on a non-training day, I feel like I have a pump in my arms.

So far, I have not had any negative signs that the Skipload isn't providing enough food or calories.  Workouts are great from the beginning of the week until the end and there is no difference in pumps, energy or strength.  My weight has stayed within only a few pounds of my starting weight, going from 222 to 225.  From a body fat standpoint, I think I am only about 10 pounds from being at a body fat level that I feel I want to hold for most of the year while I try to grow as much as I can.  I am pretty confident that I can maintain this condition without any cardio, as well.

One thing I am contemplating doing is when I get to the beginning of the year and I am at the body fat level that I want to maintain, I may start using DEXA scans to accurately monitor body fat and LBM in increments of roughly 2 months during 2019.  I am checking into availability right now in the Fort Lauderdale area.  I feel that with me now living in the city, it would be much easier and more practical to use something like DEXA to help monitor progress.  Doing this during the last 10 years was just too much of a commitment that I didn't want to deal with, due to living so far from the city.

I feel that I am not only on track to be in the condition that I want to be in by the end of December but a bit ahead.  I had no idea that my strength would want to return this quickly - to the point of really having to be careful not to mess something up.  I am holding back just a bit for this reason.  There is no rush and this is a long race so I am forcing myself to keep it in perspective.  Bottom line is that I have zero complaints at this stage and I am enjoying the workouts and the process, again.  It feels good to be back.