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Scoff at Your Excuses!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"I've never regretted working out, but I almost always regret not working out"

That used to be my mantra during marathon training. It got me out the door in the cold, in the rain, when it was windy, when it was hot, in the morning, at night and anytime I didn't feel like running.

I've resurrected it lately as I get on a solid plan of consistent weight training and cardio and have used it on some SP friends' blog posting as well. And today I used it on myself when I was perilously close to canceling my workout.

Oh, I'm so busy, Oh I've got to make these calls, I've got to get these reports out the door, I have to plan for next week, I'm so behind on e-mail....Whaaa, Whaaa, Whaa.

The choice was all mine....should I go or should I stay now? Get sucked into the vortex, make all sorts of seemingly valid excuses as to why all this other STUFF was important, or acknowledge that exercise was just as, or more, important than these other obligations. So, in deference to my future self, I decided that later tonight I did not want to regret having missed another scheduled workout (I have to hard schedule these things, it helps me stick to it) like I did yesterday.

I was not happy with self last night....I bagged out of a cardio session that I probably could have completed and still done everything else that piled up. But I re-prioritized my workout to the bottom of the list, then canceled it and the snarling hounds of regret dogged me all night.

I've been thinking about redesigning my Spark Homepage (I like the overall scheme, just a few tweaks) and read over what I wrote I wrote in my profile when I set it up back in January:

"Overall, make fitness and healthy living as important as anything else I do at work, at home, anywhere, anytime"

It was a good message from my past warning me to scoff at all these lame-ass excuses and to put exercise and nutrition at the top of my to-do list every day. Today it worked.

Thanks Spark Friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AHEALTHIERME44 3/24/2011 9:14PM

    Thank you for your advice in my blog yesterday. Love this blog of fitting with what I've been coping with today. Couldn't get my butt out of bed this am before work and couldn't after work. Reading your blog is inspirational and so true! Love the mantra at the top..that's how I usually get myself to get my workout clothes on and moving.
Thanks for sharing and take care of you :)

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FANGFACEKITTY 3/24/2011 10:24AM

    I have to beat my excuses into submission with a large stick. It's only been since 1/1/11 for me so I'm not yet convinced this is a lifestyle change. It's scary how easy it can be to slip back into old patterns. Kudos to you for recognizing this trap & taking action to prevent it. Scoff away!

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SAFARIBABE 3/24/2011 6:02AM

    emoticon I need to take a lesson from you because I did let work and other things get between me and my exercise yesterday. You're right...I have to make this as much a priority as anything else in my life. And being busy at work is NO excuse for slacking. I think I need to find a way to get in the exercise before I hit my desk. Which means getting my butt in gear earlier! Thankns for the reality check!!

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REBECCATKD 3/23/2011 11:17PM

    Scoff away! Your future self is cheering you on --as are we!

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JONESINATOR 3/23/2011 9:59PM

    Awesome! Today I woke up and my forearms felt kinda sore and I thought "you shouldn't do weight lifting today Jones." After a bagel and some OJ, I decided "eff it, today's a planned ST day so get out the door and do it!"

I feel way better with a workout than without, and that's just as true today as tomorrow.

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TIFFGETSFIT 3/23/2011 9:35PM

    emoticon Tell those fat causing excuses to BITE IT!!!!!!!!! Way to go! Now get some rest and tonight feel proud of yourself for talking yourself into what was best for you!

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Some Non-Weight Definitions of Success

Monday, March 21, 2011

So I see some progress in attitude, in physique, and in temperament that were not there 2 short months and 9 lbs ago.

1) EATING OUT ANXIETY - still a danger zone for me, I have way too many occasions where I need to eat out, but I'm better able to plan for and around them. I've got a formal dinner to go to again this Thursday. When I joined in January, these were major sources of stress and high anxiety, high calorie days. Now I can plan not just that day, but my week around it.

2) PANTS & BELTS - Overall a nice loose fit of the jeans, even straight out of the wash....belts are in a notch or 2 depending on the belt. I feel "baggier" in clothes

3) MIRRORS - I like what I see (always have, but now it's even better ;>) Some better muscle definition, belly flattening, focusing on posture.

4) SUSTAINABILITY - I feel like my routine is sustainable for the long-term, both in diet and in exercise....I'm not living deprived or wearing myself out. This may be the most important thing for me.

5) HAVING FUN DOING IT - Yeah, I thought this Spark People thing was pretty hokie in the beginning and still don't go around advertising my membership to friends or colleagues, but I'll admit it's a pretty fun place to hang out in

So driving in to work this morning, I asked myself, "Self, if you could start wearing size 34 jeans, had a nice flat belly, could walk by a mirror without a shirt and say 'Oh yeah!', how important would that scale reading be to you?"

I don't really know. Pounds are kind of like money in the bank. It's nice to have a number that makes you feel good, but do I really need to keep tabs on the amount all the time? Sometimes, but maybe not all the time...So I'm not sure if I'd care too much what the scale said if my body shape-shifted into something leaner and stronger. I'm getting in a pretty decent balance of strength training, cardio, and proper nutrition, so the lbs are re-distributing as fat gives way to muscle.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm pressing for sub-180 by June at about .5 lbs/week on my current routine...I will not be deterred! I've learned and accepted that patience and not instant gratification is the right way for me on this. But I'm also expanding my definition of success on a few different fronts too.

And as always, thanks for making this a fun place to hang out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEEBREW 3/23/2011 8:01PM

    You're just awesome. I love your attitude and how tough you are. You are truly inspiring!

Renee :)

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JUNEBUG1944 3/23/2011 12:35PM

    Glad you like hanging out with us...we like you, too! You've got it all together and know what needs to be done. Better yet, you are doing it with a great attitude and knowledge. You've changed your lifestyle and that's what this journey is all about!

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REBECCATKD 3/22/2011 2:52PM

    Great reflection -- we should all take stock of our successes. Once you start listing, it's amazing to see how much change has really occurred.

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TIFFGETSFIT 3/22/2011 10:09AM

    That is awesome!!!!!!!!!!! My husband has said the same thing. He is thrilled when he gets to move that belt up a notch!

Congrats on all the physical & mental changes you have made in such a short time!
emoticon emoticon

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TEXAS_GRL 3/22/2011 7:58AM

    Love this post because it reminds me to Non-Weight Success. I think I will have to go and make a list!

Sustainability is an important component of this program. I never got that in the past especially when it came to eating.

Keep going strong!

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SAFARIBABE 3/22/2011 6:26AM

    I have every confidence that you will have no problem with sustainability! If you can work out on the raod, in the gym, in the living room, with the houseboat people, then you will definitely keep this up no matter what! All your NSV's are even more powerful than some number on a scale!

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JONESINATOR 3/22/2011 12:07AM

    Awesome post! I think the sustainability and anxiety parts are the best thing you've got going for you, since the rest of it (I think) just kind of follows from that.

I also don't really advertise my SparkPeople thing to it. I'm going to blog about that actually sometime, about why some people share and others don't. Keep up the hard work!

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BRADOS 3/21/2011 11:44PM

    Great post, another reminder for me that its the non-pound signals of success that usually mean alot more - especially for self-esteem and confidence. I envy your ability to travel as much as you do and stay so committed - I know I don't have that level of resolve yet - but its a goal of mine

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Wii Wii Wii all the way home!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Well this has been a fun family weekend!

On St Patty's Day we got #2 son a full up Wii set, to include extra controllers, Wii Fit Balance Board, Wii Resort, Wii Sports package, and, for a little extra fun, Chicken Riot ("Must kill all chickens trying to take over the farm!")

They are very cool!

He's pretty much an X-Box champ and loves to destroy anything that mutates or has tentacles and advanced laser weaponry. This Wii setup is a little more....conventional.

Well SWMBO is a raving bowling's her favorite pastime, she belongs to a league and all that....and of course she now loves the Wii bowling....and so does #2 son. We've had a lot of fun with that just these past 2 days. And while those 2 were out on errands earlier, I got around to setting up and calibrating the Balance Board and checking out some of the the Wii Fit routines I've heard about from some fellow Sparkers.

They are very cool!

It starts you off in it's annoyingly cute Elven voice telling you to step on the board, weighs you, gonculates your BMI, then has you shift your weight from left to right for a balance test, and spits you out an "assessment" of your "Wii age". Mine got nailed right at 51 ("A Perfect Score!"), but I suppose the idea is to be physically better than your chronologic age.

So while I haven't given it a cardio test drive yet, I'm thinking we may be on to something here. #2 son and I had a sword fighting match then played ping pong for a bit, and we worked up to a "warm glow".....I'm anxious to see what the Wii Fit thing really has under the hood with some of its workout routines.

So is this the future for my cardio workouts? I think not, I've still got a stationary bike routine to hammer out today, love strength training with free weights, and fully intend to get the Road Bike outdoors for some long hauls as soon as the Doc clears me to ride again. But this has the makings of some extra cardio for the family that we might have otherwise wasted spending time watching TV or other inactive activities.

And most importantly, this really helps to justify that 55" Flat Screen for the living room I've been hinting at for so long....MWAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! MWAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! MWAAHAHAHAHA!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 3/20/2011 10:02PM

    Oh yeah, you need a big screen, absolutely...tell swmbo, I'm sorry, SWMBO, that her bowling score will really improve with that big screen. My great nephews have all those "toys" and we have a riot when we all's even fun to just be in the audience!

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ELISA322 3/20/2011 8:42PM

    The Wii fit is fun but I haven't played in awhile. We also bought ourselves the Kinect and played that for awhile, that's also a lot of fun too!

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HARRIETTBIRD 3/20/2011 6:35PM

    Wii Fit has some fun games. I also have Wii Active which for me gives me a better workout.My kids have said they want Xbox Knect. I guess that's really good for a workout too.

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HEALTHIERKEN 3/20/2011 3:16PM

    OK you experts, does Wii have an exercise for folks with compromised backs? Always looking for ways my wife can get exercise without worsening her lower spine deterioration.

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CAROLJEAN64 3/20/2011 2:27PM

    I have been using Wii Fit for fun for a couple of years. We got one for our grandson to keep him active and playing games that weren't so's worked.

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SAFARIBABE 3/20/2011 2:25PM

    ROFLMAO!!! Boys and their toys! I had a feeling when you described #2 son's b-day gift it would end up being a gift for dad as well!! LOL Good Luck getting the 55" past SWMBO! Not sure she'd be keen on turning her living room into a gym. LOL Hope you're enjoying the first day of Spring! Have a good one my friend!

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FANGFACEKITTY 3/20/2011 2:21PM

    I really like the sword fighting too, but my kids won't play with me anymore. I wouldn't make the Wii my main source of exercise but it's fun to sneak in some time here & there. Glad you enjoyed it (and can now justify the big screen!)

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Mr. Reluctance sneaks back in.....

Friday, March 18, 2011

I've got to tell you, I'm glad it's Friday!

I don't often feel that way....I'm professional enough to be past TGIF living, but today, I've been looking forward to the weekend.

And it's not because I have any big plans. A few Honey-Do's around the house, a cardio session, some reading to catch up on, yadda-yadda-yadda.

Mostly I think that my body is wanting a pause. Two and a half months into Spark living, I've had many successes and been on Cloud 9, changing patterns, diet, activity levels, dropping weight, re-adjusting belt notches, feeling baggy in my clothes, etc.

And now, my body, mind, & spirit are realizing, "Hey, this might not be temporary, he's still pushing, what's up with that?" I'm still determined and motivated, but there's definitely a little voice that has started to weasel its way in to the conversation, like an annoying puppy trying to hump your leg that you have to keep pushing away.

Of course I could just be a little tired tonight, which I am (nice weight session tonight on the back & shoulders), but I've also learned to be vigilant to these signs....remember, they're sneaky, they use salami tactics to slice away at your determination, to get you to give up a day or 2 here and there, add an extra spoonful every now and then, sneak a treat or two every so often "because you really have been working hard lately". That's led to many a downfall for me in the past where I regained weight and lost fitness fast.

And I've read about it on a good many other blogs too, and so I'm not sure if it's the crowd of us that joined 2-3 months ago that are heaving a collective sigh, or if I'm just noticing it more....but there's something in the air, and so I'm wary.....Mr. Reluctance snuck up on me out of the blue a few weeks ago and surprised the hell out of me with temptations of laziness and plump living. It surprised me by how natural it seemed to backslide to old habits....what a bastard he is!

So I don't see any real difficulties ahead, just a little tingling of the spidey sense that alerts me to signs that my old habits are not really that old and I may never be rid of them....which makes it even more important for me to check in regularly on this SparkPeople site, log those calories, chalk up those cardio points, blog some of this crap out, and make sure to remind all of you that if you see me backtracking, shout it out clearly so that I can hear you above the yelps of that puppy who is humping my leg!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 3/20/2011 9:58PM

    Sometimes, you may need a break for a day or two...just make sure it's only a day or two! Don't get burned out, because that can happen in a blink of an eye! You've been diligent and are doing great. You won't go back to the old you, because the new you has taken over! You're doing great...just keep doing it!

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TEXAS_GRL 3/19/2011 3:09PM

    Awesome post and something I needed to read today! I have been chocking up my bit of apathy up to winter blues, weird things coming up but you bring up a valid point. Is it our bodies rebelling against the new plan????? That our minds/bodies are taking notice that we haven't given up like we have in the past? That despite obstacles we are still going to the gym, eating right? So our bodies/minds are voicing their protests even stronger? Something to think about. :)

I do agree we have to be vigilant against mr reluctance creeping in!

I agree with Safari though -- you have been really pushing the last few weeks.

And definitely find that puppy a new home! emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 3/19/2011 12:40AM

    That stinkin' Relutance guy has hit me too this week. I'm just 2 days from finishing Block 2 of P90X but do you think I've been able to get into the exercise room and actually do them? nooooo! And do you think I was good about resisting restaurant meals and sugar-and-fat rich snacks on the trip to 'town' today? nooooo!
But, hey! we're gonna get over this hump (both kinds ; )
I'm counting on that dieters' standby: surprise-the-metabolism-with-a-trea
changing-it-forever-day : )

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BRADOS 3/19/2011 12:13AM

    yea - definitely some winter-hangover malaise in the air but I gotta tell you - reading some of the more encouraging blogs lately sure gets me back on track ALOT faster than I was capable of in the past. And some wariness is good _ I like that you and I are abit suspicious of recent successes and periods of slowing down - I prefer to think of it as experience - and this time I feel much better armed for the fight. Have a good weekend GETSTRONGRRR - these are some good habits we are building a foundation on.
emoticon emoticon

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STARL_73 3/18/2011 11:17PM

    Know what you mean. I'm still questioning not working out yesterday.. but I did do something today. I took one day of cardio off, still ate pretty good and next day, back to normal (omg, eating right and working out is "normal").
Course, maybe it's boredom.. doing the same workout over and over? Try something different? I *love* the days I get to do intervals. Sure, I'm still on the elliptical - but it's intervals! It's a chance to push myself. Or, today - walked the dog outside. Chance to work a slightly different set of muscles. Sure, harder to get my heartrate up - but it's still cardio!
So, keep logging into SP. Maybe read positive blogs. Secrets of Success. You never know what will inspire (Safari's last blog has inspired me to clean the kitchen *sigh*.. all that talk of energy).
Have a good weekend, GetStrongrrr. I'll be watching you :-P

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RAGAMUFFINKEL 3/18/2011 10:36PM

    I feel your pain and that sneak attack. Fortunately I am committed to logging everything I eat even though it is not always the best choices for me.
Keep on keeping on and don't let the salami attack!!!

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TIFFGETSFIT 3/18/2011 10:28PM

    BAHAHAHAHA! This is too funny! Yes, I do agree that those old patterns can creep up and get in your head like a little ninja and before you even know it, you are right back into the same old thinking patterns and actions that got you plump in the first place.

I have had a really weird day too and I am totally looking forward to a weekend to relax b/c I have been really pushing myself! But I am like you in that I am very very very self aware and I KNOW when those things are creeping on me. Like you, I have to get it all out of my head and into a blog. It's like shaking the etch-a-sketch - lol! Gotta shake those feelings out and move on!

And now go throw that dog outside. That's nasty! HAHA!

Comment edited on: 3/18/2011 10:28:39 PM

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SAFARIBABE 3/18/2011 10:05PM

    Ok...first off toss that puppy the pillow it's telling you to lay your head on and tell it to hump that instead!

You have been pushing yourself hard the last sevearl weeks with Vegas and your crazy work hours, 11 straight days of biking, the constant vigilence on the eating. It's not easy! BUT you are a strong and determined oke and I have NO doubt whatsoever that you will find that puppy a nice new home far away from you!

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Cardio Workaholic

Thursday, March 17, 2011

So today's cardio session was interesting......

I usually insist on unplugging from work while working worst I'll have the Blackberry handy in case I get an emergency phone call.

Well today got busier than usual, and my best laid plan for a lunchtime workout got superseded by the crisis of the moment. That plus I had to get home early for #2 son's birthday (he's our St Paddy Day's surprise) started getting me peeved around 4:30, when I finally said, "knock it off" kicked everyone out of the front office for the day and hightailed it over to the gym for a 30 minute spin session before going home for a 6:00 dinner and B-day cake. You see I HAD TO WORK OUT TODAY....WE WERE HAVING CAKE AND ICE CREAM (Haagen Dazs Dark Chocolate)

Well I just got suited up, sized up the bike, and plugged in my headset, when the Blackberry starts flashing it's annoying light; "You have mail!"

So I read it.....and got pissed off....and replied.....then they replied back with another dumb answer....and I got pissed off.....repeat this 3 or 4 times.

10 minutes later I got on the bike and started my warmup routine....heart rate cruising up through 120, almost at 130......and the red light flashed again...see previous paragraph....

Well I continued biking, kept pace as well as I could with my usual tunes, but it wasn't my most vigorous routine. Usually I'm up about 110 RPM around 23-24 MPH, gusting up to 27-28 MPH during some especially hi-tempo tunes, heart rate settling in around 145-150, peaking to 165-170 during same tunes.

Today was mild in comparison. Pedal, up the cadence, see flashing light, read e-mail, slow down, type & send e-mail, pedal, blah-blah-blah.

In the end it was a workout. I felt better having gone than if I hadn't and I'd have just been more pissed communicating with these people if I had not worked out, so it was probably better for them and for me.

Lesson learned: Be unreachable for those few precious moments of ME TIME to exercise!

Spark on friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 3/18/2011 10:00PM

    First off...dump the Crackberry...the iPhone doesn't flash at me. Next...set it to pull rather than to push the emails. That way you choose when you pick them up!

Come on've conquered a bum conquered kicked butt in telling me you can't conquer a little metal fruit??

WTG on getting in that ride tho! I'm going to try the bike tomorrow. Walked almost 6 miles today including round trip to work and home! Tomorrow's another day and if I saw your posts right, you are planning some serious R&R! And well deserved it is!

PS Hope you saved me some ice cream!

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TEXAS_GRL 3/18/2011 7:02AM

    Nooooooooo not the flashing red light. HMMM mine is flashing right now. :) Glad to see despite the crazy day, you got your cardio on. It wasn't what you would normally do, but most people would of blown it that is a an accomplishment in itself. Important lesson to have learned ~ Your time to exercise is for you, not to share with the company.

Keep on bikin.... emoticon

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ELISA322 3/18/2011 4:57AM

    LOL at Crackberry. Don't you love that blinking red light? Good job for still getting a workout in, you still burned off some Haagen Daaz (love that stuff).

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GETMOJOBACK 3/18/2011 12:53AM

    Good lesson learned! We all need the ME TIME to exercise!

It is hard to avoid getting worked up when "they" do things that have you saying to yourself, "what were they thinking, oh yes, they weren't thinking at all!" So yes, it is best to get that power workout in after you are done conversing. My treadmill really gets cranked up when that happens!

Great job getting some workout in even if it wasn't the one you had planned!

Comment edited on: 3/18/2011 12:54:30 AM

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JONESINATOR 3/17/2011 10:48PM


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KARIRDH3 3/17/2011 10:42PM

    Yes. It is SO important to set time aside for YOU. YOU DESERVE THAT. emoticon

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