Thursday, March 10, 2011
Hello again Spark friends!
As my Vegas adventure winds down, I realize I need to be continually vigilant....there are still abundant pitfalls all around.
Last night, the wife of one of the guys that works for me out here made us dinner. It was delicious, we all heaped abundant praises upon her. Once again, I had no idea how to log it (like I was going to ask her how much oil she used or what cut of beef she bought). I kept my portions small, knowing that they'd push seconds. Worst case on my logging was it came out to 700 calories.
Got another good workout in today (day 9 of 11 straight cardio days!) and went in to work. Today I have to do a quick body clock change to get back on a day schedule tomorrow, so it'll be a short sleep session tonight.
But it's all good, I left earlier than usual, got a couple of snacks at Whole Foods Market (see blog from 7 March), then went over to the Forum Shops at Caesar's to see if I could get my hands on an iPad 2.
Silly me....I thought they might have one or two around the Apple Store to tease the hell out of us mortals in need of more tech. But no, nothing shall be shown until 11 March 2011....way to go Steve Jobs. All they had was videos of it playing on every iPhone, Macbook, and iPod in the store and each of the "Genius's" hocking the iPad 1's newly discounted price tag (100 bucks off....so is the new iPad worth an extra $100? Well maybe if they let me play with it first....!)
Then I realized what a fool I had been. 3 hours after dinner, slightly dehydrated (even though I drank 4x 1-liter bottles of water today), I start noticing the restaurants....and the bakeries.....and the candy stores.....and I couldn't remember which way the exit was! I felt like I was in some demented 60s horror movie trying to escape the madman at the carnival...everywhere I looked, more food and fewer exits.
I gazed too long at the Godiva chocolatier and went inside. It was the chocolate covered strawberries that got to me (Captain Queeg: "Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them."......The Caine Mutiny). I went in and looked around; they had strawberries on sticks, covered in dark or white chocolate, strawberries sliced & drizzled in cocoa, strawberries the size of tomatoes drenched in a shiny coat of dark, dark chocolate.....I told myself, "hey, it's 90% fruit right? why is that a problem?"
Then I saw they were charging $9 for one of those tomato-sized strawberries and sobered up. Christ sake, I was going to eat a few 100 calories and be taken to the cleaners for a chunk of fruit?!? Hell no, not even if Lady Godiva came in serving them naked from her horse (well, yeah that would have been worth nine bucks).
So on my way out, the nice little girl behind the counter said, "thanks for stopping by" and hands me a gold-wrapped little chunk of chocolate-covered caramel. Just what I needed, a quick little 70-80 calorie jolt of sweetness. And as soon as it dissolved in my mouth, my eyes focused and I saw the nice red sign that said EXIT and calmly found the way back to my car.
So another day of healthy living, but eternal vigilance is the price we must pay for it!
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Greetings Spark friends!
Just a quick note and a recap of my Vegas nocturne. Life goes well....lot's of work, weird hours....go to bed at 3:00 AM, get up around 10:00 AM, workout, eat, work, work, work, snack, sleep, repeat.
Honest calorie counting is my mantra, not a food that passes these lips shall go unlogged, even a handful of grapes at the snack bar. Cardio every day (8 days running...errr, biking that is), pushups & situps every other day (they are getting old though, doesn't hold a candle to my passion for cardio)
I hit the Spark boards when I can, but not as much as I would like....seeing how my pals are doing keeps me on track....a quick blog every now and then reminds of what and why I am making some great changes in thought and lifestyle...and tracking food & exercise helps emphasize that it's about healthy living and not just losing weight!
Monday, March 07, 2011
Well I did something I said I wasn't going to do in Vegas....
Ha! You thought I gorged myself at the Circus Circus buffet or some other madness, didn't you. No, I just looked at the pile of gym clothes in the closet and realized no amount of wishful revenge on hapless TSA lackeys was worth another week of me and the maids putting up with a high school locker room in Mr. Marriot's resort.
So after my AM cycling, I looked up a drop-off wash, dry, & fold place, scooted over at noon, and on the way there, I saw a branch of one of my favorite Las Vegas Mediterranean restaurants; Paymon's Mediterranean Café and Hookah Lounge!
So what better way to kill 2 hours than to have some great food (Hookah Lounge closed till 5:00, but I stopped smoking a while ago). I ordered up a yogurt & cucumber dip, mixed with crushed walnuts & mint, and some pita bread. For an entrée, got a mixed kabob plate with a nicely seasoned rice pilaf. Absolutely delicious, not greasy at all, just a light film of dark green from the extra virgin olive oil was all I saw on the plate.
Picked up laundry, came back to hotel, and tried to log lunch. Well that wasn't happening. Hell, how many ounces of lamb was that? How many Tblspns of olive oil did they use? Was that a cup or 2 of rice pilaf? What was in the kibbe? So I worse cased the whole thing and it came out to about 1200 calories.
Putzed around for a while, then said hell, I might as well hit the bike again, so I did another 40 minutes in the gym, washed up and staked out dinner.
Well just down the street from Paymon's was a Whole Foods Market!
So I decided to graze upon only those things that looked really good and that consisted mostly of veggies. I ordered up 1/4 lb of roasted vegetables (squashes, carrots, and other unknown roots), 1/4 lb of roasted bok choy (not bad at all!), then went over to the salad bar, got the smallest bin they had and tossed in a tong-full of sliced & seasoned cabbage, some endames mixed with scallions, and a spoonful each of 3 different colored quinoa just for the hell of it. Finish off with a 1/2 pint of chicken & rice soup and Voila, I had a meal (OK, I guess technically you could call this a buffet, but remember, I paid by the lb)
It was great, tons of nicely spiced veggies, the roasted ones had just a hint of olive oil, and the quinoa tasted kind of nutty.
So again, I come back to Spark Nutrition and all bets are off. Could there have been 2 Tbspns of olive oil in the whole thing? How much did that quinoa weigh? Is their chicken & rice soup the same # of calories as Campbells?
In the end I didn't really care, I winged the numbers worst case and it came to around 700, making it around a 1900 calorie day, but it could be +/- 300 on either side of that for all I know. It just goes back to my idea that all these numbers are approximations anyway.
It all tasted great, was very much within my daily limits, and 2 nice cardio workouts have balanced it all out.
Goodnight friends......tomorrow will be day 7 of a 10 (maybe 11) day cardio streak!
Saturday, March 05, 2011
What a great day! Had all the makings of being a pain in the ass, but I was not about to be deterred. I knew from the start that I could have gotten bogged down with work this afternoon, but I just decided early on that I would power through it no matter how long it took, still getting in a workout, eating right, and relaxing some, even if it meant another long day.
So I rolled my cloudy head out of bed, suited up and hit the hotel gym for a good session on the bike. 10 minutes into it, I was cruising along and all of a sudden, no matter what happened with the rest of the day, I was OK, because being right here on this bike was right and true. Another half hour and the world was a much better place.
Fast forward through the rest of the day (work, reports, plans, yadda-yadda-yadda), a quick cruise through the REI store on my way back to the hotel (a guy actually gave me a lesson on how to adjust and use my cane then tried to sell me an Alpine walking stick with a spring loaded suspension on the tip. Thanks buddy, but another 4 weeks and I'm ditching this thing once the doc clears me), Once back at Mr. Marriot's palatial hotel, I suddenly realized, I could take a nap! I was out like a light for 2 hours. The world could have rotated off its axis and I wouldn't have noticed.
Once I got up I realized, "Hey, I can get me in another workout!" So I did a quick re-mix of the playlist, got on the gym clothes (I might actually have to do laundry this trip....Nahhhh, let the TSA guys grope into my sweaty gym back...take that you gloved perverts), and staked my claim to Spin Cycle #3.
That's when the good ideas started coming!
What I loved about running long distance was the clarity of ideas, the ability to work through problems that occurred during my runs ("feed mayo to tuna fish, THEN put them in the can"). No problem was as bad after a run as before it. My guys would hate it when I cam back from a lunch time jog; I'd be full of new ways to solve world hunger and get them to stepping....I loved it!
And today I felt right back in that groove. I used to like doing "body checks" as I fatigued (are my shoulders relaxed, breathe deep, abs tight), these would help me focus and feel refreshed. It's similar on the bike, with a few changes, and it really helps the workout become a mentally focusing event, targeting specific muscles, strengthening the core, being able to take up the pace without straining for breath....just great I tell you.
So walking back through the hotel I was tall and proud. SWMBO says everyone should go through life with their own personal soundtrack playing in their ears (I love her), so I strolled through the corridors and casino on my way back, playing "Battle Without Honor Or Humanity" (look up the Kill Bill soundtrack). I had my cane in rhythm, chest out, shoulders back, ready to club any baby seal that gave me a sideways look. And as I took a quick glance at the corridor full of mirrors, I was pretty impressed with the flat belly dude that stared back (I didn't club him, but I was ready). I haven't weighed myself in a couple of weeks, and will have to wait till I get back home next Saturday, but for today, the clothes are loose, the belly is flattening, and I'm digging life!
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Well it's the end (sort of) of my first week in Vegas....still have a lot of work to do this weekend and through next week, but I'll ease up some Saturday, just 6-8 hours worth of work to wrap-up, then Sunday is up for grabs. Next week gets kicked in to high gear and I'll be on some wacky schedule that even I don't know about yet.
The good news; this has been a very healthy trip! Cardio every day so far (4 in a row), interspersed with pushup/situp routines, some mild weightlifting (the hotel gym is more cardio oriented), and the eating, well let me tell you, I have been 200-300 under my max daily calories every day! And that's me using worst case measurements (no food scale) and rounding up whenever I'm in doubt. And that's with tons of water, 3-4 liters a day (it is pretty dry here, that + cardio = dehydration).
Plan is to maybe even do a double cardio this weekend (AM and PM), then pick a nice place to eat on Sunday (no buffets....it's the law!), so I'm thinking good food, not a lot of food, but something to satisfy the palette, not to satisfy the temporary desire for buttery, cheesy, gooey, heaped-on-your plate mess that makes you regret ever having gone out to eat.
So, it's lights out time...4 straight days of cardio....Saturday will be 5!
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