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A little bit of shop work happened last night — mostly making modifications to my armour. The newly-assembled “lightweight” kit got tested out at Pikeman’s Pleasure on the weekend and by and large I’m very happy with it, but there were a few things that needed adjusting: specifically, my leg armour.

My cuisses (thigh armour) are suspended from my belt via a strap and buckle arrangement. The new kidney belt hangs lower than the simple belt I used to use, which means the short straps which attach the harness buckles to the cuisses are too long, which causes the poleyns (articulated knee armour) to hang too low and interfere with movement, and they press down on the greaves (shin armour) in such a way the the greaves dig into the tops of my feet with sufficient weight to become highly uncomfortable after a couple of hours. So I had to dramatically shorten that one strap on each leg — they’re essentially just fasteners at this point, holding the buckle onto the highest point of the cuisse. I also added new holes to the other straps which fasten the cuisses and articulated poleyns down to my leg: they aren’t tightening enough anymore. (I wish I could say that’s because I’ve lost weight, but it’s far more likely that the straps have stretched a bit in the year I’ve been using them.)

I also fixed the mitten gauntlets I’ve been using (they’re not really mine, they’re an extended loan from Master D): I’d replaced the leather thong which runs across the upper palm of the glove because the old ones had pretty much rotted through, but foolishly forgot that new thongs (wait for it) stretch, and by the end of the fighting day my gauntlets were no longer sitting right, which is a very dangerous situation: I need those fingers, unbroken and firmly attached. It was the work of about half an hour to rivet a half-inch wide strap into the same space on both gauntlets, and it feels a lot more secure.

Still, I’m liking the new lighter kit, especially the new gambeson The Fiancée™ has made for me: It’s actually nice enough that if I want to I can simply remove my breastplate, gorget and vambraces and wander around an an event in style (and a reasonable degree of comfort) without getting fully un-armoured.

100% pure sex appeal
The kit this weekend, minus helm and gauntlets.

I attribute my sudden burst of enthusiasm for armouring to the increase of energy I’ve been feeling since the diet really kicked in. As of last week I’m off the super-stringent requirements and onto the “maintenance” phase — basically I’m eating an very high ratio of protein to carbs in smaller portions five times a day and trying to keep from getting into bad habits. It’s not as easy as it sounds to do that — there’s carbs and sugar in everything in this country, sometimes ridiculous amounts.

And don’t even get me started on serving sizes.

Case in point: we had a business meeting yesterday and The Boss™ is very fond of lunch meetings, so he paid for a round of sandwiches from Subway. I got a chicken pizziola melt on flatbread, so as to reduce the carbs. Turns out that “reduced carbs” is a radically different thing from “no carbs” and their tomato sauce is the next best thing to icing sugar. Bloating occurred and the sugar crash parked me right back in the middle of Craving Central Station around dinnertime.

I’m chalking it up to experience and I won’t be ordering anything with tomato sauce for a while, but it was a bit annoying to say the least: my body is apparently adjusting to its new food regimen; I just wish it would send more timely messages to my brain.

Making sure I eat breakfast is still a bit of a hassle (although unsweetened coffee is rapidly becoming my new favourite thing) as is keeping to the whole “eating five times a day” routine. I’ve actually had to set a series of alarms on my iPhone to make sure my food intake is happening as planned and on schedule. It just makes me feel a bit silly to need that sort of reminder… writes the thirty-four year old man whose phone just reminded him to eat the PB&J wrap he brought to work as his morning snack today.