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Healthy Travels

Thursday, June 26, 2008

While packing food for our 12+ hour trip my wife and I came across some leftover steamed cauliflower and brocolli...I had just finished the last of my plain yogurt...couldn't see wasting it so I popped the cold leftovers into the quart container and snacked on them along the way.

I couldn't help but chuckle at myself thinking...I really don't LIKE cold leftover steamed brocolli and cauliflower, but here I am chonking away...the perfect example of the new "food as fuel" mentalilty I've adopted since joining SP. Like the saying goes: eating to LIVE, not the other way around!

It took about 12 1/2 hours to arrive here @ Grand Rapids, MI and I had the restless jitters when I arrived, despite power walking on rest stops. So I found out the hotel had a deal with a nearby fitness center a few miles away. Does it make sense to DRIVE someplace to use a treadmill? Nah!

So I took a leisurely walk to the fitness center, hopped on the treadmill for 40 minutes...making sure not to push myself, set the speed down to 3.6 instead of my usual 4.2 and my heart rate stayed around a low-key 105.

Walked back through all the empty mall-parking lots, etc...what a tremendous amount of concrete all around here...lol!

Super kick off to my travels...heading back to the fitness center again this morning.

Hope everyone is healthy and well and having fun!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORGIEMOO 6/27/2008 11:24PM

  Ugh cold broccoli, I'm not sure I will ever get that advanced in my eating habits. More power to you! I can only eat it when it is still pretty hot, which is a good thing because it forces me to eat it first.

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ANDALEX 6/26/2008 8:41PM

    you know, i always feel better when i manage to squeeze a workout in during travel. especially on days that i fly or drive long distances, i find that if i can fit in a workout somewhere i don't get nearly as much travel fatigue. of course, it doesn't always work out in the scheduling department, but i try :)

i got the chance to run the length of central park and back when i was in new york this past weekend. the run sucked, but i felt so much better after it was over!

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SUNNIEDAES 6/26/2008 12:04PM

    Hi Don,

I certainly admire your commitment. I think it's impressive that after 12 hrs. of driving you still felt like working out. And I love the noshing on cold, steamed broccoli and cauliflower. lol

My daughter and I are planning a trip into the States in about a week and a half...for a week long expedition...and I've been thinking about how to stay on track while we are gone. Thanks for the blog on how it can be done.

Have a great time on your trip.

Blessings, Bonnie

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    Wow is right, very good for you! emoticon

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    WOW - talk about dedication! Next time I go on a trip I'm going to remind myself to look over this blog entry, so I can tell myself with regards to working out, it can be done! You set a great example. Have fun on your trip! (And I hope you're feeling well, too!)

(EDIT: How weird - I accidentally hit Spell Check and of all words it brought up - "blog." Lol.)

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Standing Firm!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm about to embark on a several day vacation involving 12 hours or so car travel each way! So I'm already getting nervous about keeping up a routine...especially as I've already allowed my recent medical hurdle take the wind out of my workout sail! (see my last blog for more info)

So strength-building has been determined to be off-limits and cardio has to be way scaled back. Sat./Sun. I did NOT get on the treadmill, however, I DID get out and work via mowing lawn, trimming hedges, pruning back trees, hauling the stuff away, etc. So even tho I did SOMETHING, I found myself too quickly settling into a "no-treadmill" routine...wrapping myself up in guilty feelings for not having used it, justifying myself...going back and forth.

Today I just got ON the darn thing! :-) Cut my speed a tad (from 4.2 down to 3.6 mph) but kept the same incline and put in 40 mins. Tomorrow I'm going to do the same thing.

Then? We depart early Weds. a.m. and will be returning either Sun/Mon 6/29-6/30. We are foregoing our laptop (withdrawal time...ugh! lol) so that we have a smidgen more packing space as my son will be returning home for a few months. (Give it away, I keep telling him...PLEASE! :-) )

So...I'm going to be running on lower energy, but with expectations that I'm going to STILL workout in a scaled back way.

My drill sergeant comes out when I find myself slouching on workouts...I scare myself by saying things like:

--- next thing you know you're going to see that scale going in the wrong direction and before you know it

--- your CLOTHES won't FIT again!

--- You'll be SQUEEZING back into restaurant booths

--- and theater seats

--- Your cheeks will start filling out and looking chubby again

--- Your fingers will begin to take on that sausage-like quality

--- You'll be sleeping all the time because you'll have no energy

--- Folks will be kind enough not to say anything, but there will be that *LOOK* that says EVERYTHING!

I can go on and on but usually before long, I'm back on the treadmill listening to my upbeat music, feeling like my old (NEW!) self again.

Along with myself, it seems many of my favorite Sparkies have for one reason or another been struggling to keep the momentum going toward ever improving health and wellness. Remember during the tough times how valuable it is to take a STAND on the GIBRALTAR of our HEALTH and WELLNESS!

It is the BEST anchor I know when the maelstrom of life begins swirling about us!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDALEX 6/26/2008 2:38AM

    have fun on your vacation! i'm sorry to hear about the mono....it certainly explains feeling under the weather for so long, though! i hope you're feeling better and back to your normal self soon.

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    Thanks for your continued motivation and assistance, even when your not at 100% yourself!

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HEALTHYGAL01 6/23/2008 10:31AM

    Sounds like the best motivator is a good memory! Thank you for reminding me of that. I do hope your energy returns rapidly.

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Applying The Brakes A Tad...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm going through a minor nuisance lately in that I've been diagnosed with MONO of all things! At the ripe age of 51, no less! The bloodwork I completed for my doc last week initially came back perfectly normal, everything within normal limits. However the test for mono takes a little longer and the results didn't come in until late yesterday.

While it is frustrating and disappointing news, at least it explains my recent trough and flagging of energy! My treadmill routine just hasn't picked me up at ALL over the past few weeks! I've had to really work at it, just maintaining the same pace and time that I have had in the past and even cutting back on my weekend times.

Another down side: this means I'll have to give up most strength training for the next several weeks as mono enlarges the liver and spleen and I have to avoid placing any undue stress on them or risk blowing out my spleen. I'm thinking, however that perhaps there are some strength-training exercises with dumb bells, resistance bands or exercises which wouldn't place a strain on the abs...? But you know, I can't think of any right off...open to suggestions if anyone has them!

Not a pleasant thought...!

Frustrating but manageable...it will pass, and then back to having more energy to move forward! I certainly don't plan to give up my treadmill routine, as difficult as it has been for me, I couldn't live with myself if I didn't at LEAST do that!

Another thought I had: considering I'm working 60+ hours a week and doing all that I do around the house...it's really been amazing that mono hasn't clipped my wings more than it has! I chalk this up to the benefits of being in such good shape from having lost weight and worked out as well as I have over the past year and a half!

I know this means I'll have to get more sleep than usual...which will be the biggest challenge of all! Especially as we will be setting sail for a 12+ hour road trip to Grand Rapids next week for my son's residency completion ceremony!

I'll be hanging in there...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAINOF4 6/22/2008 7:30PM

    AMEN - Be sure to talk to your doctor about what would be appropriate. I imagine that light resistance bands are going to be OK with your doc.

Yep -an injury to your spleen could be fatal. Please take good care of yourself - I'd be lost without you around emoticon

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ZELLAZM 6/21/2008 2:14PM

    The other posters have already said it, but let me encourage you too, to check with your doctor about how appropriate your training program is right now. Listen to your body's signals and TAKE CARE! Wishing you a good recovery - keep us posted! Blessings today, Michelle

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    ughh, that is horrible, but you have a great attitude, I will be thinking about you, you have been such a great inspiration to me and my journey, I want to be the same for you! Hang in there, get your sleep.

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    Ugh! So sorry this is happening to you! I was diagnosed with mono at 30 and it took so much out of me. Do try to get as much rest as possible as hard as it may be!

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HEALTHYGAL01 6/19/2008 8:19AM

    That really is a tough development. I had mono twice as a kid and it was horribly draining then when I had a young body and no responsibility. Check with your Dr on the strength training. You want to be safe since sorry would be just too devastating. At least you know why you haven't had energy.

If you let your body recover now with rest then you will be stronger later and the recovery can be faster. Can you cut some calories while you are less active? Can your wife do the driving while you sleep?

Life does seem to happen at us at times when we don't expect it. Since this is a lifestyle not a diet we can take lifes' swerves while staying on recovery road. (I have strong perfectionistic tendencies so I constantly have to remind myself of that). Your body is strong now and should be able to get back into peak shape once you've knocked down the virus.
Congratulations to your son!

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AMAYARAIN 6/18/2008 4:00PM

    Hi! I saw this and had to comment. You may want to check with your doc again, because it's not using ab muscles that puts the stress on the spleen, it's the byproducts your body creates as a result of effort, essentially. Some people get horribly enlarged spleens by doing nothing more than walking around a bit, cooking dinner and doing the dishes. Mono is horrible, and if you push it, it can linger for month, and make it more likely to return as chronic fatigue in later years. My cousin - 17, excellent health, athletic, etc. was told to do very little more than be in bed for three weeks. She was allowed to start a walking regime at about a month, and then gradually she regained strength and stamina... but it took nearly 3 months from diagnosis. I'd *definitely* cut back the length and intensity of your cardio/walking... any pushing of yourself is just asking for lingering issues!

Congrats on your son's residency completion... have him fuss at you! Great practice!

(I'm so totally selfish... I've enjoyed watching your progress, and would hate for you to lose momentum now!!)

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Troughing Out...?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hopefully I'm back on the upswing...I've been guarding my sleep jealously! Still not packing in a whopping amount of sleep, but a steady 8 hours / night and I think it's making a difference.

This morning Santana's "Oye Co Voma" got me back into the groove a bit, could feel a smidgen of my old self kicking in.

Backed on my strength-training...still DID it, but only 2 sets of reps instead of 3.

Still doing my daily 'mill work...holding @ 4.2 mph for 35-40 mins. Holding off on the jogging...or, rather I just don't have it IN me to jog @ 5 mph yet...!

One of my clients has been up for "walk 'n talk" sessions over the past few days, which has been helpful having another 30-40 mins. of walking each day.

All in all, I think I've passed my nadir...onward and DOWNWARD!

Despite all my sweating it out with the new incline, my plateau continues this week as well, but I've just started a change that I think will help me start dropping again.

And it's NOT counting calories or MEASURING my portions! Not YET, at least...I realize I may have to do this at some point, but I think I've come up with a solution that my forestall those strategies yet a bit longer...lol, I just BALK so over doing those kind of things!

New Strategy: My old habits have been to always keep a jar of unsalted peanuts and raw sunflower seeds handy in the car to snack on. It's been my breakfast and after work snack. But I think if I look at my car the same way as I look at my house and remove this tempting snack (healthy as it may be, calories are calories!) in the car I'm hoping I will begin to see a difference on the scale.

We'll see!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PARAMEDIC8 6/8/2008 9:34PM


Hey there! Thanks so much for the positive things you said on my most recent Blog. You are such an inspiration and a total Motivator. Without you and other Sparklers challenging me I would not have done as well as I have. I am inspired by the challenges, comments and helpful advise you and others give. Thank you so much. I hope you have as much faith in yourself as others have in you.

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TRAINOF4 6/6/2008 3:02PM

    Hey there you, Oye Coma Va is on my Ipod - I use it as part of my warm-up - well, when I do my "normal" routine. I'm glad you're getting back into the swing of things - I was worried emoticon

Speaking of driving home snacks ... my mom eats a banana or apple on her way home so she's not ravenous at dinner. Pre-op I cooked dinner so she could eat & get her paperwork done without worrying about meals. Just remember - open your window before you toss the peel or core! She forgets w/some regularity & what a mess!!! emoticon

Still trying to figure out how to get the songs I like on my Ipod to send to you ... Duh...

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ADNICUL44 6/4/2008 3:55PM

    The lyrics of the song really hit home. I don't go out much because I'm afraid of getting my feeling hurt. I seem to be so sensitive to little things, because of my weight. I'm hoping some of these things will change if I keep on losing weight.

Thank you for you blog emoticonLucinda

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PAMIJANE 6/4/2008 12:46PM

    You are doing great! It will be a very long time before I can even think about jogging at all LOL. Santana is one of my most favorite bands and Carlos really revs me up with his fantastic guitar art. Way to go Don! You are an inspiration.

Hugs, Pami xoxo

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ANDALEX 6/4/2008 12:38PM

    santana's always great for inspiring forward motion. such great rhythm! sounds like you've got some good changes in the works. keep up the great work!

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    i think that it is always great when we are able to look our lives and find new positive ways to make changes.

awesome tune to get the groove on with! =)

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Wipe Out!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Well, I've got my new treadmill (Sole F63, half-price at Dick's Sporting Goods!). It's all assembled, up and running without a problem...must be time to celebrate and do the happy-happy, right?

So why have I been plagued by lethargy and apathy these days? Still getting on the 'mill everyday, but it has been a real challenge. I feel so WEAK when grabbing the dumb bells these days and I HAVE blown off my strength-building over the past few days, which bugs me to no end! Last Thursday I went to bed at 7 pm and slept right through to the next morning! But I didn't really feel re-charged as I hoped I would. I haven't put in a night of sleep like that in DECADES!

I found out that the supposed 5% incline which I thought I had been using over the past couple years has in reality only been about 3%...and now that I AM using 5% I find it so GRUELING! My new treadmill gives a digital readout of my workout summary and that's how I found out that when one sets the incline for "5" on the treadmill, it doesn't mean that you are using a 5% incline...go FIGURE! How counter-intuitive is THAT?!?! So by trial and error I found out that incline setting of "8" results in a 5% incline reading on my workout summary. So I've been using the "8" setting...KILLING ME, but haven't backed off from it yet...hoping my body will acclimate soon enough...! Sweating like CRAZY these days during my 'millwork! Still listening to my mp3 player and while the tunes help, they haven't gotten me pumped and revved as they have in the past.

Some old friends had wanted to get together later this week and I haven't yet gotten back to them about where, when, how...I feel too EXHAUSTED! I will call and see what I can set up...as I know I don't get out often enough with folks.

Been trying to get to sleep a little earlier...10-10:30...but am stirring awake in bed already by 5-5:30...force myself to sleep till 6-6:15...it's so darned LIGHT out at 5!

I have a routine check up with my doc on Fri., so will run this by him, probably get bloodwork done, see if there are any answers there...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANTWHABAP 6/4/2008 1:05AM

    Don't allow yourself to get too frustrated. I have learned some times I over train and will exhaust your body and mind. If you feel weaker doing what you once felt stronger at, that may be a sign of over training. I agree on some time off and then get back to it. May be not quit altogether if you are afraid it will be too hard to pick back up, but just back off and do some light walking and gardening outside, or whatever you enjoy.

Stay strong and good luck with your check up.

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DARKDEETS 6/3/2008 10:12PM

    Hang in there. Sometime we just have to keep putting on foot ahead of the other and things straighten out.

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TASHA8183 6/3/2008 2:17PM

    just keep working at it! maybe you need to change your intake a bit? not sure...but I know you got this far, so I have no doubt you can come up on top from this little slump =)

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ANDALEX 6/3/2008 1:52PM

    is it possible that you've been overtraining? maybe you were already at the limit of your energy when you bumped up the incline. what if you took two or three days off and then eased yourself back in? anyway, let us know how things are going!

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~LESLIE~ 6/3/2008 11:44AM

    Hang in there Don. Maybe when you go to your Dr.'s he'll tell you your iron is low. That happened to me a few years ago. I was working 2 jobs and the doc was surprised I could make it to even 1. He said I was like an 8 cylinder car but only running on 3. Lets hope it's something simple and you'll be back to par soon. You're doing well and I'd hate to see your pace slow down now.

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    don, don't get discouraged. it appears that you aren't backing off as a means of being more determined and stubborn for yourself since you're disappointed in finding out that what you thought you were doing wasn't what you were doing. [did that make since]---you didn't get to this point over night, so give yourself a break. why not cut the difference for a week and help your body get used to the difference ----maybe make that 5% a goal. it may even help motivate you a bit?

are you doing anything such as listening to music or watching a show/movie while on the treadmill? just trying to come up with some ideas to help make it less gruelling on you.

i've been sweating like crazy every time i get on the treadmill lately, too. --i don't shower at the gym, because i still have a walk home. but lately, i sure haven't wanted anyone to stand next to me LOL.

good luck at your check up and keep us posted. --don, you have been doing fantastic, so don't kid yourself into thinking that you haven't been.


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