You’re ALWAYS “Rebuilding Rome”

Hey friends! It’s been a minute. My last update on “Rebuilding Rome” was after my “Week 8 Progress Report” in late February and then I kind of went M.I.A. on everyone. Sorry about that; life got in the way. However, I’ve kept working on myself and this post will kind of update you on all of my progress and will tie a bow on any loose ends.

So, my last update was on February 26, 2018. And now, it’s August 2, 2018. It’s been just over five months. A lot has changed. So, basically, I stopped updating the blog because in February I figured out I needed another surgery for a hernia I had developed and I was kind of disappointed. Another speed bump. Though I was only really out of commission for a week, it still discouraged me. But, really…taking time away from this blog was probably a good decision for a little bit.

I made a lot of positive changes in my life since February. I got really motivated to make changes in my career and I started reaching out to connections I had and not all of them were positive. One gentleman even told me that I was “largely unfocused” and that I had wasted 15 minutes of his life. I decided after that call to talk with a career advisor and tell him what I wanted to accomplish and I was having trouble figuring out the “how.” How do I get there? Luckily, I have taken four different career-personality tests including the MBTI and the Strong Interest Inventory. Basically, I can’t be behind the desk. I thrive in team environments and I want work in an upbeat environment and helping people. Working with a team to reach a common goal…that’s my jam. As I’ve mentioned previously, I was a huge high school athlete and so I really think coaching could be in my future. So, I reached out to my brother’s high school football coach and now I’m going to coach JV Football this upcoming fall at his high school. Additionally, I’ve shadowed a personal trainer and I plan on shadowing a general manager of a fitness center and an athletic director of a high school. Frankly, I think it would be awesome to work in an athletic department either in a high school or a college and coach 1-2 sports. Helping mold young men through sports just feels like it could be that perfect fit and I could really gain that value and meaning I’ve been searching for.

Physically, I feel pretty great. I’m eating intuitively now and not experiencing major cravings for sweets like I was in January through March. I’ve also been having amazing workouts and it is showing IN THE MIRROR. I went on a college visit trip with my brother and father in early April. During that time, I started to really accept who I am as a person. I remember coming home and I looked myself in the mirror both physically and mentally and I said, “This is who you are. And, I’m okay with that.” It took a long time for that self-acceptance. I had just always been focused on not being good enough or always improving, but I was finally at peace with myself both mentally and physically. The only physical flaw that still needs to be dealt with is my nagging and chronic neck pain that I am still working on getting a solution to. So, eventually I’ll update you all on that.

The "After"
Happy and healthy

But, it’s funny how things all come together when you are finally content and proud and comfortable with yourself. When you’re self-accepting and sure of yourself, it seems other people start to take notice…and want to be a part of it. My personal life has seen an uptick as I have met some pretty amazing people and I’m doing more of what I enjoy doing. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all of this has happened when I was doing things that I enjoy doing and at a time where I was very accepting of myself. I think the saying; “your vibe attracts your tribe” is very accurate.

Obviously, since February, other things have changed. I’ve got a new look, I’m buying a new car, I’ve started to read books for pleasure and to further better myself, and I’ll be taking the GRE soon. Everything is positive and I have “Rebuilding Rome” to thank for kick-starting me in the right direction.

However, things aren’t perfect. I’m pretty frustrated that there is still no diagnosis for my neck injury. I still enjoy my job, but I do really desire to have a greater sense of purpose within my community. And, though I am happy where I am at in my personal life, I do need to do a better job with honestly communicating my feelings and what I want. The message here is that nothing is ever perfect. In a way, you are always “Rebuilding Rome” and once you hit whatever goal you set, it doesn’t mean to stop. Set new goals. Don’t get complacent. We will never run out of problems. Rather, new (and often less awful) problems will arise that we need to solve. I’ll be stopping by on here occasionally to update on both fitness thoughts and some inspiring mental health thoughts…as well as some of my own happenings. I eventually want this blog to evolve into something a bit more vulnerable and personal because that’s really what I want to get into in my future career and that’s when I feel like I tell the stories that people love and relate to most (see, “Finding Your Motivation.”) Anyway, that’s all for now. Keep on rebuilding. ‘Till next time…

Homemade Snacks for those Late-Night Cravings

pbj_time

Late-night cravings. I think maybe every person has them. Here’s a nice science-ey reason for why that may be. Even before reading that article, I would always say, “Man, I either want a steak at night or a giant peanut butter cup before going to sleep.” I used to think I had some unexplained sodium deficiency in college, as my roommates can attest, I used to drink hot sauce at night because of it’s high sodium content (not one of my finer moments.) Anyway, I decided to go ahead and make a homemade casein protein bar that tastes like a peanut butter cup and a homemade casein protein smoothie that tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Mouth watering yet? Yeah, I thought so.

Your first question may be, “Cal, why do these snacks have casein protein in them…and what exactly is casein protein, and um, how do you pronounce that?” All legitimate questions. First thing’s first: casein protein is a slow-digesting, time-releasing protein commonly found in milk…which is why it is the ideal protein to consume before going to bed. It’s going to feed your muscles for hours, the hours you spend sleeping. There are many benefits to taking casein protein, for more information about casein protein, check out this article. And, in case you do want to know how to pronounce “casein” it is pronounced, “kay-seen.” Cool, glad we’ve got that covered.

If you must snack late at night, these might be some good options for you. I looked up several recipes for the protein peanut butter bars and I loosely based my recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie‘s “Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars” recipe and baking instructions, though I made slight changes that I’ll go over in this post.

I’ve found that since trying to introduce new eating habits into my life, the biggest cravings I’ve developed are sweet ones and they tend to constantly be peanut butter cravings as well. Both of these snacks taste amazing and are better for you and cheaper than store bought options. Pictured below are the ingredients for both the protein bars and the protein shake.

protein_bar_ingredientsprotein_shake_nutrition_facts

protein_shake_ingredientsprotein_bar_nutrition_facts

Huge shoutout to verywellfit.com that allows you to add your products and has a database of foods that can count your macronutrients for you. I’ve mentioned before that I am not a math wiz and I don’t really have patience for it. The database isn’t perfect, but it allows you to get the macronutrients pretty close. It requires you to play around with the website a little bit to see what works. Anyway, you can see that the protein bars have the much lower caloric intake with just over 14 grams of protein. For reference, the healthiest store-bought protein bars have about 200 calories and 20 or 21 grams of protein. The protein bars are going to appear underdone when taken out of the oven. Put them in the fridge overnight to give them a chance to harden. The protein shake is going to be thick and it’s a 16 ounce serving, so it’s more of a small meal replacement. If you decide to have both, it comes out to 626 calories, so that is a legitimate meal…but it’s not the worst thing to have considering the intentional nutrition that goes into consuming these delicious desserts.

If you’re interested in the specific products I use, just comment or shoot me an email at romerebuilding@gmail.com. I will say I use PB2 from Bell Plantation and I have the original, chocolate, and strawberry versions of PB2. To get the best deals on all your protein, PB2, and supplement needs, check out luckyvitamin.com. They’re awesome and always have huge discounts. That’s where I get at least half of all of my supplements.

I hope you all have a pleasant evening, as I am appropriately finishing this post at 11:04 PM. Just in time for me to go into my freezer and finish that PB&J smoothie I made earlier this evening. Be sure to check-in Monday for the Week 7 Progress Report!