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DONE!!! 11 day cardio streak and bye bye Las Vegas!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


So my adventure in the Entertainment Capital of the World is winding down. I powered through a long, long Thursday, quick turned for another long Friday, and called it a wrap around 4:00 PM this afternoon. Huzzah!

My first thought when I got back to the hotel crash until 5:00 AM, get up, pack, get in the rental car (no curb too high, no gas too cheap), and hustle on over to the airport for an 8:30 AM flight back to Florida. But the beauty of adult life is the ability not to act on our first thoughts and impulses. SWMBO always tells me, "You've got no power over the first thought that pops into your head, but you do have control over the second" What a dear!

Yeah I said to myself, "Just sleep a few hours, get up, hit the gym, get some dinner, then pack" and all sorts of variations that started with, "Just sleep a few hours...." But I knew that was a slippery slope....we humans have brains for a reason, we have memory that allows us to remember and learn from past experience.....and sometimes we actually DO learn from past experience, but most of the time not....seriously, if we all learned from past experience would we really ALL BE HERE ON SPARKPEOPLE!!!! I know my track record is spotty.....

Anyway, I knew if I conked out I'd be down for the count, so I hydrated on a liter bottle of Evian (thanks Mr. Marriot), changed for the last time this trip into my stinky gym gear and hit the spin bike. 45 minutes is all my bum hip could take, but that was just fine with me...I was revved up and ready to finish up this crazy 11 day cardio streak I somehow managed to think was a good idea 11 days ago.

It's been good, I was on a real high for the first week, but 3-4 days ago, I started questioning my sanity. But I'm a stubborn SOB and a man of my word and really didn't want to tell myself "Oh, you really could have done this if you wanted to numbskull, why did you quit?" It was pretty much how I got myself to do my first marathon. At some point thinking about it and planning it never got me any closer to doing it. Only when I declared publicly to family, friends and workpeople that "Yes, I will do this!" did I start to get serious, plunk down $100 buck in registration fees, and marked the date on the calendar.....there was no backing down after that.

So, I hope to get back on to a normal life schedule in the next few days and will be a bit more diligent in blogging (logging has been fine, blogging not so much), hitting the boards, and catching up with friends on their newly designed Spring Sparkpages!

Good night from Glitter Gulch y'all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 3/13/2011 8:57AM

    I am amazed that you made all 11 days -- not because I ever doubted that you had the will or the heart to do it -- but because of your crazy work schedule -- night day night night day night. From that point alone it really is an awesome thing tht you've accomplished!! WTG!! And remind me to kick you in the butt for it later! Now what excuses do I have for not working out! I can't say work kept me from it b/c while I may work long hours they are the same hours every day! So thank you SO much for stripping away the last of my excuses! Remind me to return the favor some time!


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STARL_73 3/12/2011 3:01PM

    I'm about to finish up a 7 day cardiothon. It wasn't easy, but pushing through taught me something about myself. This blog hit on some of that.. it's so easy to put perfectly valid items you have to do before working out - especially when you don't really feel like it. But you know what - it's not the end of the world if you do put the workout first.

I also liked the saying at top about first/second thoughts. It's a good point!

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    Nice job on keeping yourself committed while you were out there! Hope you get some rest now that it's over! emoticon emoticon

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BRADOS 3/12/2011 10:27AM

    way to stay with the exercise regimen during your stay in the Crazy City, I am always happy to go there, have a great time, and then happy when its time to go - havea safe trip back and congrats on your discipline there - I could only hope that my next visit there I will be as resolute.
emoticon emoticon

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Dinner with friends, the iPad 2, and Lady Godiva!

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 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!

Cheers all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETMOJOBACK 3/10/2011 11:15PM

    Sorry about the duplicate post. I kept getting an error message to remove the profanity?????????

Comment edited on: 3/10/2011 11:16:35 PM

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GETMOJOBACK 3/10/2011 11:13PM

    What an adventure! Awesome job sticking to your guns! Chocolate covered strawberries.... not sure I would have done as good at resisting as you did. $9 I'm in Vegas! OK, this is the kind of thinking that got me on SP in the first place. So once again, thank you for setting such a great example for me! WhooHoo! Great job!

As far as the ipad, in my neck of the woods I shock the sales help when they try to sell me all the fancy stuff and I tell them the only thing I want in a phone is a strong antenna in the phone so in addition to a booster antenna I can get a good signal to actually have enough bars to receive a phone call.

Thanks for the inspiration!

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ELISA322 3/10/2011 11:08PM

    LOL I love the way you write. Very funny stuff. I busted out laughing when I read that part about you asking the woman who cooked for you how much oil she used... lol.

I've had no interest in the iPad, but I am interested in rooting the B&N Nook and turning it into an awesome Android tablet (shhhhh don't tell anyone...)

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BRADOS 3/10/2011 8:07AM

    Way to stay strong - I have found that a little of a great product like Godiva chocolate or Sees candy really quenches my thirst for sweets...and yes, I would pay $9 to have a naked Godiva serve me :)

Way to stay so vigilant - count me as one of your fans

I do enjoy Vegas though - so much to see while walking for miles!

emoticon emoticon

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TEXAS_GRL 3/10/2011 6:36AM

    $9 for chocolate, you sure their wasn't a naked lady on a horse serving it in the back? LOL

Way to go on the workout streak! You are on the downhill side now! Good luck on turning that body clock around.

Oh btw had a great laugh at your comment on my feed. Yes, today back to the gym, C25K, Rowing and Leg bet they will be saying my name! LOL

Comment edited on: 3/10/2011 6:38:22 AM

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SAFARIBABE 3/10/2011 5:38AM

    ROFLMAO!!!! WTG on your continued streak! I am completely leaving the naked Lady and the horse alone! You can thnk me later. LOL Yup no 2's until the 11th. And then they won't go on sale until 5PM in NYC. That means LONG lines outside the Apple store here in NYC all day. At least they are predicting good weather for it. I was in Vegas when the iPhone 4 came out and passing by that same store in Ceasar's. The line was out the door. Good luck with your time shift today.

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Vegas Redux

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!

Cheers all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETMOJOBACK 3/9/2011 11:15PM

    AWESOME blog GETSTRONGRRR. I am struggling myself. Life has been jammed the last few days and I have felt like I was letting my spark friends down.

You inspire me when I read your blogs. You are dealing with so many factors and yet you keep rockin'! Anything is possible isn't it?

Keep up the good work, it's so inspiring.

My favorite part of your blog tonight is "and tracking food & exercise helps emphasize that it's about healthy living and not just losing weight!"

That hit home with me. I need to be sure I focus on healthy living even if it takes me a little longer to loose the weight.

Good night......


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SAFARIBABE 3/8/2011 10:16PM

    WOW! With that crazy schedule I'm surprised you find any time to check in on SP. I know it's been a rough week+ for you but hang in there. Only a few more days til you're home and life returns for 10 mins before you're off to the next grand adventure! LOL I SO know what you mean about the pushups. Off to do mine in a few mins, and the squats AND the video. HAve a good....Night? Day? Don't work too hard!

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TEXAS_GRL 3/8/2011 7:37PM

    Holy Smokes Batman those are some weird hours. Sounds like my b/f's normal schedule. emoticon

I am so impressed with how well you have done in Vegas. It is inspiring. You are the man!

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No idea how to log today's food.....but I don't care either!

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDYGREG 3/12/2011 4:11AM

    Glad you found Paymon's. IT IS a GREAT restuarant!
Las Vegas DOES have some healthy choices for food. Tucked away and hidden all over the city.

Glad you had a great time in my fair city, and got in some great exercise, and had fantastic weather!

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HEALTHIERKEN 3/8/2011 12:33PM

    I truly appreciate the way you write about your away-from-home food forays : ) Keep those cards and letters coming : ) : ) : )

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TEXAS_GRL 3/7/2011 6:53AM

    Ok enough already, your making me want to go to Vegas! The Mediterrain cafe looks good, will definitely have to put in my 2 do list for my next Vegas trip.

I am sure the maids at the Marriot will be rejoicing when they clean the room. No more stinky locker room smell. And as Safari says you have a whole week to get those clothes stinky for the TSA.

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SAFARIBABE 3/7/2011 5:49AM

    Sounds like you're managing to have some fun in Vegas and not just working all the time! Don't sweat the laundry (LOL), you still have a week to get it stinky for the TSA! Make sure to carry on your bag and maybe leave a bottle of watter in there 'accidently' so they have to search the bag. Mwahahaha!

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Big Ideas during Cardio

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETMOJOBACK 3/7/2011 12:24AM

    Right on! You are rockin'! Working out, eating right and relaxing! You are right, you are digging life!

Rock on!
emoticon emoticon

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ELISA322 3/6/2011 7:20AM

    LMAO about the TSA guys and ready to club anyone that looks at you sideways. Too funny!!

Think you're going to pretty pleased at your next weigh in.

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SAFARIBABE 3/6/2011 6:23AM

    Holy Tuna, Batman! What a day you had yesterday. Are all you ideas the tumafish one? WTG on the two biking sessions! Isn't it a great feeling to see the changes in yourself? I find it catches me up at the oddest times.

You're doing an emoticon job! You're going to be shopping for a new name in no time!!

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SHELLY81682 3/5/2011 10:34PM

    Congrats on working out! It's great that you are still getting workouts in while you aren't at home. Shelly

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