122 Rules by Deek Rhew

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Year of Love, Laughter, Victory, and Adventure!

It's hard to believe that another year has gone by, but last November I blinked and here we are almost at the end of 2018. And what an incredible year it has been! Full of love, laughter, victory, and adventure.

This past year has been a rollercoaster ride that has taken us across the country, led us to new friends, experienced new adventures, and saw victories to long, hard-fought wars. Amongst all the turmoil, my partnership, love, and friendship with my beautiful bride, Erin Rhew, has been the foundation of my world.

Side by side, we battle.
Side by side, we adventure.
Side by side, we are happy. 

So, I thought for this special occasion, I thought I give you a glimpse into our life this past year!

Best friends

Hitting the trails together!

Holiday festival!

Book tours

Lord have mercy, what a lucky man!

Wonder if we can get one of these in real?

Who doesn't want a little putt-putt on the moon?

We come in peace!

Sometimes ya gotta adult.

Sasquatch has lost his head!

At our favorite Chinese restaurant in my home town!

There HAVE to be aliens around here somewhere!

Oh, Dutch Brothers, how we love thee!

Getting a little hug on in front of the founding fathers.

Stick 'em up!

Turns out, Virginia is indeed for lovers.

Looking dapper in an R2D2 jacket.

What the heck is that?

Love on the beach
Ringing in the new year!

Getting a little neck smooch and some giggles from my gal.

I think we both pull off the bearded look quite nicely

Date night! It almost always includes a trip to our favorite coffee place (besides Dutch Brothers I mean).

Winter time smooch!

Laughing...always! :-)

I'm incredibly blessed to have such an amazing partner. Erin is the mortar that holds the foundation of my world together. When there are problems or a battle needs to be fought, I take her hand and we face it together.

When the sky is clear and the water smooth, I take her hand and we adventure together. Storm or calm, we are building memories and sharing experiences. We've been married four wonderful years now and everything that came before seems distant and hazy.

In a way it feels like we barely found each other,
but it also feels like we've been together for decades.

I wish every one of you to find your Erin. To find your happiness.

Deek and Erin Rhew

To my Erin, I love you with all my heart. Thank you for saying "yes" and for all our wonderful times together. I'm thrilled to get to spend my life with you.

To all my friends out there, laugh a lot, love a lot, and adventure on!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Amazing World of Keto

Let me begin by saying that I fell off the wagon. Yep. There was a time, not that long ago, that I lifted weights five times a week, did cardio in the mornings three times a week, and rode my bike on the weekends. I even ate almost 4,000 calories a day (Yes, 4,000!), yet I had no problems with my weight. My clothes fit, and I almost never got winded.

But shortly after Erin and I got married, I fell off the fitness wagon.

Deek Falls off the Wagon

It didn't happen all at once. One day, a pair of pants felt snug. Pretty soon they were uncomfortable, and then they were banished to the back of the closet. On to the next size up. Lather, rinse, repeat. While I didn't pack on hundreds of pounds, I put on a lot more than I was comfortable with.

Over the years, Erin and I have tried a lot of different diet plans--most of them centering around Paleo--with varying degrees of success. A few months ago, Erin suggested we try Keto.

To get up to speed on what Keto is, check out this article on HealthLine.com.

I'll admit I was skeptical at first. The idea of eating MORE fat to LOSE fat made logical sense, but emotionally, I had trouble breaking through all the junk I'd been taught about nutrition. But Erin started it, and after a couple of months, I couldn't argue with the results she was getting.

FYI: Everything we learned in the 80s and 90s about nutrition is wrong.

So for the last 149 days, I've been hitting Keto hard and could not be happier with the results. I am back in the gym, lifting three days a week, and Erin and I walk--a lot--on the weekend, and even sometimes during the week.

Back in the gym!

So far, I've lost 22 pounds and dropped my body fat percentage to 19.8%. More importantly, I fit into ALL my clothes, even the "I'm too fat to ever wear these again" clothes that got put into the closet. Even more importantly: I feel a ton better. In a few months, I'll be going into the doctor to get my blood panel done to check my cholesterol levels and all that, but from what I've read, those should be down too.

The Rhew's Diet Plan

The plan we follow is simple:

  * I lift weights 3 times a week, and Erin runs and does various forms of cardio.
  * We walk a lot on the weekends.
  * We track what we eat and ensure our macros are right.

I cannot emphasize this last bullet point enough. To be successful, I have to track everything I eat. Fortunately, that's easy. There's an app for your phone called My Fitness Pal (I use the free version). Every day I enter my food as I go. As the day progresses, I flip over to this handy little Macros page to make sure I'm in the right percentages.

There are no substitutes for having the right diet. There are pills and drinks and powders that are supposed to "put you in ketosis," but as they say, there ain't nothing like the real thing, baby. I personally don't know of anyone that's been successful with these expensive gimmicks. Maybe there are people who've really succeeded, but of those I know who've tried it, the only thing that has gotten thinner is their wallet.


According to the Keto sites, the standard ketogenic diet consists of 75% of your calories coming from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs. Since I lift, I have a higher percentage of protein in my diet. So, I generally shoot for 60-65% fat, 30-35% protein, and 5% carbs.

Cheat Days!

To keep Erin's thyroid in check, we have one high carb (cheat meal) day a week. We follow our usual diet all day up until the late afternoon, then we walk to Starbucks--a 5 mile round trip--and treat ourselves to a higher carb coffee treat. Some of the drinks are over the moon with carbs, so we avoid those.

My skinny grande cafe mocha with whip has 26 carbs, but man after a week of no sweets, it tastes amazing. Erin seriously loves her Iced Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato with 36 carbs.

Deek and Erin Cheat Day Coffees!

After we walk back home, we go get a pizza. Talk about tasting amazing! #NomNomNom

Dining Out

We still dine out, but granted, our choices are more limited. Most restaurants should be renamed The Carb Cafe. Fries, potatoes, chips, soda, while all delicious, are really cheap and loaded with carbs. So we opt for steak and chicken fajitas (hold the chips, tortillas, and salsa) at our favorite Mexican place.

We've also discovered that we can frequent Wendy's. Two Jr. Bacon Cheese burgers, hold the sauces and bun for Erin, and a Triple Bacon, hold the sauces and bun, for me. No fries though. :-( Subway works too, just hold the bread and the sauces.

Almost everything at any restaurant, in every possible configuration you could image, is in My Fitness Pal. So again, highly recommend it!

The Results

While Erin has reached her goal weight, Mr. Keto Holdout (that would be me) is still a couple of months away from reaching his (that's what I get for not starting when my wife did). As I said before, I can finally fit into all my clothes and am beyond pleased to feel healthy again.

But the proof is in the pudding, or in our case, the before and after pics:

Before and After

Keto may not be for everyone, but it's completely changed my life. Even after I reach my goal weight, I'm going to keep on it. My body runs so much better than it did when I was on carbs. The mid-afternoon crash is gone, and my energy is way up.

I'm totally grateful that Erin found this plan, and I'm especially grateful that we get to do it together!

Until later, my friends. Adventure on!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Writerly World

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been MIA heads down working on a new book. Well, the world still keeps on turnin', churnin', and burnin'. So what else writerly has been going on?

In July Erin and I got to be guests at Raleigh Super Con! Woop! Slacker me didn't write a blog post about it. Fortunately Erin came to the rescue (cue superhero music) and wrote about it!

Erin is my very own Supergirl!

Here are a few moments from our adventures!
I'm no dummy. Sit next to the most beautiful
woman at the con and people will flock to you!

OMG! Lady Vader not be cuter!

LOL! Erin didn't see Thor but then this gent strolled by.

Iron Man rocks!

I loved getting to meet Captain Hobbes!

Aaaaahhh! Barf! One of my favs!

This three-foot Storm Trooper might stun
you with her adorableness!

Groot and Rocket! OMG! Such amazing costumes!

The cons are awesome because you get to meet a slew of great geeks, there's tons to see and do, but mostly what I like about them is that I get to do them with my best friend. She's the one that makes all things awesome!
Hangin' with ma best friend at the con!

Erin's New SciFi and Her Company
In our long-term plans we are to become professional vagabonds and hopefully be able to support ourselves with our writing. To that goal, Erin has started an editing business, Erin Rhew Editing and Design.
Erin Rhew Editing and Design
I'm working on sharpening my content editing skillz to be part of her company. For practice--and because I REALLY wanted to get to read her newest novel--I got to be the first to read and edit her new book!

At the beginning of November, Erin sent me her recently-completed rough draft of her new SciFi, code named Molly and Ryder.
Erin's new SciFi
Code named: Molly and Ryder

Friends, y'all are in for an awesome treat. Her story of what happens when social media takes over a nation, has a riveting storyline, great characters, and a page-turning pace. I'm unbelievably proud of my bride for her brilliance and creativity. I can't wait for her fans to get their hands on it!

My New SciFi
It wasn't planned that way, but both Erin and I have been working on SciFi's at the same time. My book, The Extractor, is about a virtual reality gaming company that murders people so they can steal their memories to enhance their video games. (Dang, still need to work on the elevator pitch).

After writing myself an editorial letter (read about it!) I finally finished the first round of self-edits and am getting ready to dive into the follow-up novel, The Injector. I have the first line written (I've texted it to myself after it came to me while I was trying to fall asleep) and a vague idea of where it starts and what happens. At the end of The Extractor, Lincoln Grey, our hero, is arrested for treason and a series of murders he did not commit. He's really hoping my pantser writing style will get him out of the fix he's in. :-)

These stories explore your right to privacy and not just in the traditional sense, but when you die do others have the right to download and relive your personal memories? Does those memories become part of your estate for your family to do with as they please? What about celebrities or presidents? Would you want to relive some of the key moments in the life of Winston Churchill or JFK?

While my books explore the fight for your rights to memory privacy and piracy, Erin's story is all about people willingly giving up their privacy for ratings. Would you give up your privacy to social media--making every moment of your life available for anyone to peruse--for fame and power? Needless to say, Erin and I have had a lot of discussions about these two differing potential futures.

Also, just for fun, I put in a couple of goose eggs for my bride to find. Let's see if she can do it!

Birth to be Rebirthed in Audio
Just connected with a narrator who will begin recording and audio version of Birth of an American Gigolo at the beginning of January 2018!

Birth of an American Gigolo Goes Audio!

Out of over 100 audition clips, I got the narrator I wanted the most and am completely stoked for you to get to experience Lindsey, Dios, Angel, and Stewart! Stay tuned. Birth will be reborn in the first bit of 2018!

Three years! Insanely lucky fella!
Erin and I have been been married three years now. We do everything together--even write!--and it's more incredible than I ever imagined. I can't even begin to tell you how happy this vibrant, smexy woman makes me. What's greater than celebrating our third wedding anniversary at a Tim and Faith concert? Getting to celebrate our third anniversary AGAIN in May! Yep, I'm no fool. Marry the girl twice!

Here's to three more years and three more and three more!

Until later, my friends, adventure on!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Rising from the Depths...For Now!

It's been a few months since my last blog post. Partially because Erin and I moved, partially because of life, but also because I've been head's down writing a new book. I got the rough of my new SciFi, The Extractor, done in May and hunkered down in the Bat Cave for editing.

But I'm rising up from the depths, to say howdy and fill you in on what's all been going on!

New Home!

Deek and Erin get a new home!

So what's been going on? Well, to start with, this last June Erin and I bought a house! My bride is better at multi-tasking than I am and wrote about our new digs. I love our house. It's a small townhome and, while not extravagant, it's simple like me, but cute and sweet like Erin. It's a good mix of the two of us. No yard to maintain, no outside work--painting, roof, etc--either, so nice and easy to keep up.

Erin did a heck of a great job decorating it--Heeeeellllooo, Craigslist!--and it looks amazing decked out for Christmas. :-)

At the beginning of July, we lost a wonderful man when Erin's PaPa passed away.

PaPa and his Babydoll!
He'd been a huge part of her life and one of the best storytellers ever. I'd am incredibly blessed to have gotten to know him over the last few years and get an inkling of what a special person he was. Erin, PaPa's Babydoll, wrote an touching tribute to him.

Since July, it has been a series of firsts without this wonderful man. PaPa's first birthday, first Thanksgiving, first Christmas. Erin's incredibly strong and is working through these firsts one at a time. I'm so very proud of her. She wrote about missing and loss at Thanksgiving.

I'm honored to get to stand beside her and hold her hand as she faces each day.

Across the Country
At the end of June my parents made the trek across the country for their first visit! Of course we had to show them the land and introduce them to some of the finer things in the South. We started with a trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway!
Charlotte Motor Speedway!

Outside the Speedway
We got to take a bus tour of the grounds. Charlotte Motor Speedway has been the filming location of a ton of movies, including one of my favs Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Erin and Deek get to tour the track where
Ricky Bobby drove!
The Speedway also offers bus tours, so we got to take my folks around the track and learn some of the history.
Busses from the annual school bus race!
Our little town has an adorable Fourth of July parade and gets all decked out to celebrate our nation's birthday.
Deek and his mom

Deek's Parents

Getting cozy with my love for a little fireworks action!
Since August is my mom's birthday, we took her to one of our favorite restaurants for some fajitas and a little birthday fun!
Getting some sombrero birthday love!
We are lucky that our parents get along so incredibly well. Check out this motley crew! They look like they could be up to all kindsa mischief!
Deek and Erin's Motley Crew
My bDay and Christmas!
I'm incredibly lucky to get to get to spend my days with my best friend. And this season Erin and I have been busy as monkeys at a banana factory! To kick things off, Erin surprised me with a day trip to the beach!

I am a TOTAL beach bum and fortunately for me, my bride is a total beach babe. Like sand and salt water we go perfect together.
Deek and Erin beachin' it in the
PNW and again in the South!

My beach babe and some java!

Time for some Christmas cheer!
Check out the smile on the Bearded Sleigh Master!
No judgement, having that beautiful woman on my lap
makes me smile too!

Checking out the lights in our neighborhood!

This woman is so much fun!

Getting on our dark side as we check out the latest Star Wars flick!
Insane light displays!

Spending the holiday with my love!

Simply breathtaking!

Erin always makes me smile!

I'm so beyond blessed to get to spend my days with this amazing woman. She makes my heart happy and has taught my soul to dance.
Merry Christmas to all and until next time, Rhew on!