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Who needs sleep, tell me what that's for?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I might have thought coming back from the Eastern Time Zone back into the Central would have made it easier for me to fall asleep at an acceptable time, but no dice. I got back to Madison at about 5 PM, after 7 hrs driving (including food break, gas break, etc) , and it's now 8 hours later, and I'm still wide awake. Something wrong with that, I think, I should have been wiped out, and passed out long before, but alas, I wasn't and I am not now, and I'm guessing I might be slightly less than effective in the early part of the work day tomorrow.

To be sure, this isn't a new problem, I have issues with turning off the ol' brain at a decent hour any given night. But one might think that 400 miles of driving, including traversing through Chicago and Milwaukee traffic (if only for the bit of extra concentration required by the greater amount of traffic in the cities) would serve to tire a body out?

Anyway, vacation's over and it's back to work. And, surprisingly, and gladdeningly (it's a word, I swear!), I haven't really gained much if any weight over this vacation period. Of course, there's New Year's and associated merriment yet to come, so I won't declare success, let alone victory, but it feels good to get back from the ten days back in Michigan without much more weight than I left Madison with.

If you notice hesitation in the language, it's because of conflicting signals given by my different scales. The analog and digital scales are showing me in the vicinity of where I left on 12/16, right around 195 lbs. But The Wii Fit insists I'm weighing in at 1.3 lbs greater than I did when I last used that, on 12/14. 1.3 lbs isn't a number I'm concerned about, but it's odd that that shows 198 when the other scales yield a 195. Not sure what to make of that. I've got a longer term weight goal plugged into that toy, of losing 18 pounds relative to where it thinks I now am, so its opinion will matter, eventually.

But for now, I'm glad for the stability over vacation. Maybe I should celebrate with some sleep, eh?

Oh, christmas yielded another fitness game for the wii, as my brother gave me the nfl training camp game. The initial phase of the MEDIUM level challenge was set for 24 minutes, I made it though about 6 before bailing. Looking at reviews only thereafter, I see people complaining about how difficult the EASY level is, so I think I might have jumped in a bit far. As if the burning quads and aching back hadn't already informed of the same. Guess I'm not ready for training camp quite yet...although I'll have to fire it up again tomorrow and see whether its possible to choose your own drill to try out, and use it as a game aside from the training aspect.

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YOITLE 12/27/2011 5:51AM

    Gladdeningly - what a fine word, may I keep it?

As a veteran of numerous cross-country road trips,I can relate to the wide-eyed phenomenon. Gentle stretching, yoga or some other noncardio physicial exercise can refocus your attention away from your eyes and onto the rest of the body and let it unwind, or so the theory says. Reading or watching TV or hopping on the computer just reinforces the eyeball mania.

Happy to hear that you survived the eating frenzies rather intact. As for scales, unless you are using an official weights and measures scale, they all have their own centers of gravity or so it seems. I go for general trends. I wouldn't be surprised if you had some fluid retention after driving so long. You might see that water weight drop quickly as you get back into your routine.

Let me know what Wii games you recommend. We have a secondhand Wii that I'm going to get eldest son to set up during winter vacation. We have extremely limited floor space, about the size of a coffin (no, I'm not kidding) with a ceiling fan just 6.5 feet above our heads, so we have to find Wii fitness games that can be done within those constraints. Any advice is welcome for nonrunning games. These old knees don't run, even in place.

Happy New Year!

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i blame all typos on the smartphone

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This is a first for me, creating a blog post on a phone. A bit surprised I haven't tried it in the two months I've had the phone. The novelty of it has somehow driven out the thoughts that led me to see if I could even do it. In part, though, they were triggered by the box of cheese its sitting next to me. You see, whenever I get stressed, I eat more stuff. Wish it were the opposite, where stress would make my appetite disappear, but no such luck. And, while the holidays are a time food family and all that, there is no guarantee that they are stress free. And so it is again, coming home being a stressful occasion, and thus a cause for stress eating.

I gave up within the first day of vacation, of any hope of maintaining weight. Just hope j don't give back most of the past three months' effort over these next ten days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIA091 12/22/2011 12:29AM

    I agree with everyone, and have something else to add:

Use (welll, you already are, :) ) sparkpeople to guide you away from yummy/ tooo bad foods!

This way, whenever the munchies strike, your spending your time away on an innocent blogger's web till the pain goes away.

Another hint is to just talk the time away- I find being busy on the phone doesn't include munching. ;)

Good luck! emoticon

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YOITLE 12/21/2011 8:36AM

    Any chance of mini escapes like walking around the block, so to speak, to relieve the stress of too much face time?? Offering to run to the store to get X, whether you go by car or on foot, could put you out of arm's length of food if you can not eat and drive. Hang in there.

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BLUE42DOWN 12/21/2011 4:21AM

    Instead of seeing this as a reason to give up, look on it as a chance to practice other stress-relieving behaviors (look some up in the numerous articles available). You'll be able to weed out the ones that don't work for you and find ones that do. What better chance than with pretty regular stressful situations to try that out?

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I read a book tonight!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not that that's particularly earthshaking...but it's something I haven't done in a long time, just settling down with a book, and reading for hours on end. In a way, I cheated, in that it's one of my favorite books, "Red Sky at Morning", by Paul Garrison, a fantastic thriller about the Chinese coming to visit New York City. But I own copies of a number of books that I'd consider in my top ten favorites, and I haven't grabbed any of those and just read and kept on reading for 6 hours like I did tonight, in a very very long time. Granted, a couple of those books, like, Forrest Gump (talking about the novel by Winston Groom, a different and just as compelling portrayal of the Gump character as Tom Hanks put on screen), or "Goodbye Mr. Chips" (I refuse to watch the musical they made out of this fantastic little book) wouldn't actually take 6 hours to read, but that's besides the point, isn't it? I actually sat down, eventually laying across my couch to get the best light, had Black Sabbath (the Dio albums) and a band called Seventh Wonder providing a faint soundtrack via Spotify, and just read.

In a way, it's sad how excited I am by that, as once upon a time I used to read a lot. There's a reason I had glasses by age 11, and it ain't TV. I kept up the habit through high school, and a bit of college, but then the internet was invented (well, not really, but I got to undergrad in 1993, just as the world wide web was starting to become generally accessible - sometimes I wonder about kids these days, connected essentially since birth to all the information - and disinformation - available out there, and wonder if they have it better or worse than when people my age were forced to -GASP!- go to the library for information. But I digress, and have abused dashes horribly while doing so) and I gradually fell off the reading wagon. Honestly, it was Harry Potter that got me back into going to the library, and I started reading things again about the turn of the century.

Can't say it's been a consistent ride, as I go through stretches where I'm not really actively reading a book (or an electronic facsimile thereof), and I really hate the way I don't have the patience for reading "good" literature, or a lot of non-fiction. But I suppose the fact that I'm reading at all, and getting pleasure out of it, is a good sign. I have too many friends, weighed down by work, or by family, who don't make time to peruse the printed word, not unless it's a scientific paper they're reading for lab, or a book they think might give them an edge at work.

So I take it for a bit of a triumph that I managed to read for 6 hours in a row tonight, never feeling like I was forcing myself to turn the page, wanting to get through to the eerily prescient ending.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOITLE 12/15/2011 4:19AM

    Man after my own heart. It's wonderful to get lost in a book.

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Too many thoughts

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

One thing I dislike about social media is the feeling that I can't just serially post the thinks that are rattling around my skull at any given time. As if each lucid piece of brilliance (hah!) must be given time to be fully appreciated by an audience that must surely be waiting with bated breath. (Like my rant about the phrase "bated breath", which is the correct idiom. I mean, think of the alternative, wrong phraseology, "baited breath". What, are you going around with worms in my mouth?)

Happily, that feeling doesn't exist about blog posts, where we are happily unloosed to prattle on at length about any topic we might like to discourse upon. Although, having a livejournal blog that is sadly ignored, I feel a bit guilty for posting these rambles here rather than there. But I do so for a reason, and that the gradual, eventual creep towards a topic that has to do with health and weight. Namely, my scale obsession.

And no, I'm not part fish, so take your mind out of the depths of a lake. Although, I must apologize if my comment about "baited" breath might have directed your thoughts that direction. Instead, I speak of a contraption that is surely the bane of many who might peruse these laments, that foul device that reports (and depending on how much loot you might have dropped on such an item, records) our unending battles with weight.

I've got two of the darn things myself, an analog critter that I've had for many years, and a more recent acquisition, a digital beast purchased for $12 at Bed, Bath and Beyond, the best use of their ubiquitous 20% off coupons I've ever pulled off. Floor model plus clearance, plus a battery, uh, liberated from an equivalent item on a shelf (hey, had to check to make sure the darn thing worked!). The analog is useful up to a point, but it's too easy to fool myself on it, too easy to lean one way or another to achieve a certain weight. The digital item is weird, in that it tells you your weight with a certitude. And then keeps sticking to a number even if you pick up a pound or two of stuff. It too can be fooled, a little, as it seems to have a tolerance of about 1.4 pounds built into it. You can take another shot, but be prepared to come in another pound and a half worse than the number you already didn't like.

To tell truth, the wii fit has a scale built into it, too, but that has already been used less than I anticipated using it (and believe me, I set a low bar for that toy, a bit disappointed in myself, frankly).

The real arbiter these days, is a monster I too seldom meet, the scale in the men's locker room at the gym I belong too, and go too far less than I should. That sucker has yet to admit I weigh less than 200 lbs, although I've probably handicapped my chances against that by wearing shoes and upwards of 2 pounds* of sweat when stepping onto that scale.

*highly approximate guess

Still and all, I have a new immediate goal, to make that gym scale admit I'm below the 200 lb threshold. I suppose I could cheat and make it so by taking off my shoes...but somehow, that's one item I want to have to admit the 200 barrier has been crushed, but allowing me that win when the rest of the world (or scales) is tiping somewhere closer to the 195 Mini-goal (which I achieved and had to resuscitate due to Thanksgiving).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOITLE 12/6/2011 8:36AM

    We are amused. Feel free to wander about in blog form anytime. Here in Japan, they have the slipper police to make sure you are wearing the correct footwear for the room you are presently occupying - more complicated than you might think. The gym has a regular scale and a body scanner. Both are shoes off. Should the unsuspecting (always a foreigner) step on the scale while shod, all the heads in the room perk up like prairie dogs on alert, and the offender gets showered with silent alarm. Never happens more than once per offender. The body scanner is sockless as well so that the readings can be taken. There's a little towel to wipe off the foot plate before and after, too. Don't know how well fungus amongus travels on towels and I guess I don't want to know.....
There is a difference between my home digital scale with bells and whistles and the gym scanner with the gym one being kinder. Still, I use them for determining general trends especially when I've been hitting the sodium a little too hard.
Scales are a tool, a mirror, a messenger. That's all.

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IOTRIUMPHE777 12/6/2011 2:20AM

    You should just step on the gym scale naked. Girls do that all the time at the gym where I had membership, and no one stared.

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DRUIDPRINCESS 12/6/2011 2:02AM

    Thank you for your entertaining and enlightening blog! I am of the firm belief that one day scales will be tired of being trodden on and rise up to take over the world (unless the ATMs have already done so!)

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    Thanks for sharing...

good luck with staying focused and reaching your goals. All the best Mark

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I been a bad bad boy

Friday, December 02, 2011

So Thanksgiving weekend, I forgot, deliberately, to pay attention to anything. Had fun, ate and drank a bunch, went to a Badger football game as if I were half my age...went into the student section, acting more like an undergrad than even when I WAS an undergrad trekking over to the Big House. Good times were had, there, and in Chicago, and at the Thanksgiving meal I went to. Gained about 4 pound from the fun, but was a bit loose in my diet this week, too, so I'm slowly starting back on the right path. All in all, I'm still 6 pounds lower than the peak, so that's a good thing, but it's also a harsh reminder of how freaking easily I gain weight, as opposed to the more or less one lb/week loss I'd been averaging over the past 2.5 months.

I'm glad of that, since looking ahead, I can see a few stressors upcoming, beyond just the fact of it being winter, and the associated holiday weight creepage.

I'm going to keep the original goal in place, even if I did reach it once already, just to give myself an 'easy' win to try and grab in the next three weeks, before I head home for a bit and get fattened up by my mother.

Ok, time to end the rambling and take another stab at sleep. The first try failed miserably, which is how I came to start scribbling at 2 am. See if I do any better this time. I managed ten hours of solid sleep last night, which might be the first time I did that in many months. But then I was still exhausted all day, regardless. Try and see if the more usual 5-6 hours makes for a more normal feeling day. Then again, I'm not entirely sure I'm not just getting a bit run down. Haven't got time for that crap, but that crap doesn't usually care for our convenience, does it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAMARIEZ1 12/2/2011 5:55AM

    turkey is good 4 us! pitch the carbs!!!!!

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PICKIE98 12/2/2011 5:41AM

    Yup, fattening the turkey for dinner is not the only stuffing we get over the holidays. Christmas is not any better, BUT you are already loaded for bear with your past experience. I always brought apple cider and/or fresh fruit plate to a party so I could nosh on one and NOT drink fattening things or munch on cheeses and dips. Water is my friend too. You had fun, knew what you were doing going into it, but you aso have a game plan.(No pun intended).

Pick up the torch, run away from the kitchen and spark off the ounces!!!

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YOITLE 12/2/2011 4:17AM

    Chronic lack of sleep is one of my obstacles, too. I gotta get up to make breakfast for the troops before they head out to school and work. That time period also includes making two and a half lunches, getting the Japanese bath ready and being the human alarm clock for various recalcitrant members on different days. I'm usually bushed by 9 a.m. and ready for a morning nap. A lot of the SP articles point to that lack of sleep as a probable contributing factor to my weight gain over the last few years, Hmmm....... gonna have to cut down on the computer time in the evenings maybe? Uh-oh, don't like the sound of that. Gonna have to figure this one out. Perhaps experiment a bit. Whachya think? Do do think lack of sleep is playing havoc with your metabolism?

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