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Poking my eyes out has never been so fun!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Well here's a Non-Scale Victory for you; SWMBO and I went furniture shopping today, a historically poke-my-eyes-out adventure…..and it was fun!

I've mentioned our (her) "House 2.0" upgrade plan before....2 months ago we successfully hunted down a nice dining room table. Well I thought that was the end of it, but what the hell was I doing thinking.

So we made plans to drive to Pensacola today and hit a few odd duck antique stores, then a weirdo design place where they empty your wallet by "customizing" all the various items that I learned about today; sofa skirts, T-cushions, pleated sock arms, and somebody please hand me a pair of knitting needles I can jam into my eye sockets!

She normally takes care of the aesthetics, while my primary concern in a couch is comfort....hence our historic difficulty shopping....that plus her 5'4" frame usually leaves her legs dangling like Lilly Tomlin in a rocker on couches that appeal to me.

Well "design guy" at this place was actually pretty good....he must have smelled a sale coming because I was ready to plunk down hard cash today so that we wouldn't have to repeat this nightmare again next weekend.

So after an hour we finally decided on a couch and then phase 2 began....pick out the fabric...and cushion types...and the braiding on the pillows....and hand me the needles please! I looked at the wall-full of fabrics to my right, said "No way, sweetie, all yours!", hobbled over to a comfortable looking wide-chaise and watched her and design guy chuck fabric after fabric all over the place.

And I saw that she was really having such a great time!

Well my Grinch heart melted at her delight and I realized how comfortable this monstrosity of a chair I was on felt and decided, "what the hell"

So once she and design guy had matched all the appropriate primary colors, balancing hues and harmonizing schemes and remember my needles please!, I called her over to this comfortable monster I was on, snuggled her up, asked if she could see the two of us lounging around on this thing in front of our big windowed wall and she nodded an excited yes. So I said, "OK, let's get this too!"

She was shocked! So was I! It was totally impulsive, but exactly the right thing to do on an issue that has resulted in more friction between us than anything since our older boy brought his girlfriend over for a weekend stay (that was a doozy!)

But I figured this one out! You see, I could care less if the couch was blue with hints of ocean grey or striped like a tiger in heat, as long as it was comfortable....she was more concerned with the style and drew immense joy in customizing it and planning how it would “all look.”

So she had at it again with design guy, this time matching 3 kinds of fabric for the couch and all its pillows, and I decided, "OK, I'm all in on this" then did what I do best....taking charge and motivating people to do their best.

I told design guy "Be Bold!", told my wife, "Make sure this thing makes a statement!" When design guy brought some lame beige fabrics, I looked at him over my glasses and said "Really?!? That's bold to you? How about this, or this, or this" and started throwing fabric samples all over the couch like Gatsby emptying his dresser full of shirts. He let out a squeal, fanned himself, and pranced back to the samples. When SWMBO brought a paisley looking thing with hints of Persian design in it, I asked “Is that really dynamic enough to match what you did with the couch? Will this go with the buffet and the hutch? No, then get back to that fabric wall!"

They had a blast! They thought I cared about the colors! No, I couldn't care less! I just enjoyed that they were really thinking about it and working so hard! Come on design guy, you went to school for something right? Or were you self-taught watching Trading Spaces as a kid! Prove to me this will work! Explain how this matches with that, why is this a good for it!

And they did and they were so happy with their effort! SWMBO hugged design guy, he brought the manager lady over and they all crowed & crooned over how great it "went together."

So that’s just me, that’s what I have fun doing, and if I can use that to make furniture shopping more enjoyable, well OK. I’ll probably have a financial hangover when I look at our accounts this month, but at least the worst is over….I hope.

Then again, there’s that hanging chad over a TV replacement out there as well……hmmmmm what would look good on the living room wall….hmmmmm......

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEXAS_GRL 3/30/2011 7:52AM

    Glad I didn't need knitting needles to read this post!

Let's just say I had a blast reading it!

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SUGARPUNK52 3/27/2011 11:38PM

  At least you were able to make the best of it.Thanks for the smiles!

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JUNEBUG1944 3/27/2011 11:26PM

    Hilarious...wanna come shopping with me?

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REBECCATKD 3/27/2011 11:00PM

    So-o-o funny! I can picture the entire scene! (And I loved the Gatsby reference!) emoticon

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GWCANNON 3/27/2011 6:43PM


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BOBF15 3/27/2011 4:08PM

    emoticon emoticon Dude, you can flat out write. This was an awesome blog.

Do you work for a paper, keep this stuff coming and I am going to have to get out my old bike and do another paper route. emoticon

Keep this stuff coming... it is in you. Or do we have to wait another 20 years for another couch purchase. emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 3/27/2011 4:02PM

    I'm with you on the knitting needles thing, and add to the general disinterest the fact that I'm colour blind. Imagine what kinds of reactions *my* suggestions bring on!!!!!!! : )

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BRADOS 3/27/2011 12:19PM

    Making fun out of non-fun situations - oh, yeah, we would get along great! Nice post GETSRONGRRR!

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TIFFGETSFIT 3/27/2011 9:09AM

    Funniest. Blog. EVER. This should be reprinted in a Better Homes & Garden magazine. LMAO!

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SAFARIBABE 3/27/2011 8:25AM

    ROFLMAO! Uhhhh that's what they call "troublemaking" where I come from! LOL At least you were able to get some jollies out of the ordeal rather than your eyeballs capping the knitting needles. LOL Well you did save yourself from the "Oh Honey, the chairs don't match the new sofa" sigh of exasperation. You really have to work on that new tv thing. Probably won't get a really good opening til the new sofa shows up in 6-10 weeks. Then you can snuggle up on the love seat with the missus, put your arm around her shoulder and gaze wistfully up at the wall and sigh "Wounldn't it be nice to curl up here at xmas and watch the yule log on a 55" plasma? It would be just like we're at a ski lodge." LOL

Have a great (and, hopefully, shopping-free) Sunday!

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A Good Personal Trainer

Friday, March 25, 2011

Well today my flesh was weak, but willpower and a good trainer got me through a workout that, on my own, would have been much shorter.

As if to make up for yesterday, today was very hectic at work....a pretty accurate prediction of the next 4 weeks of my life.

So once again, I was tempted to can today's workout, but once again, said hell no (One of the cool by-products of regular blogging is that I can't really give in too easily to impulses that only days before I loudly declared victory on in a post). But once I got to the gym, my energy level took a nose-dive (and I had eaten well all day).

Months ago, after surgery, I hired a trainer for a number of reasons...mostly to make sure I didn't do something stupid lifting weights while on crutches. But I have also been pleasantly surprised by how much of an extra push I get to do things I would not normally do on my own.

I was very impressed on how we adjusted on the fly.....took off some weights and increased the repetitions for smaller muscle groups, focused on alternate angles to relieve tired muscles. And of course the, "Come on, you've got this in you, push a little more" was annoying but effective.

So hiring a trainer was a prudent move while I limped around on crutches, but I'm thinking I might stick with this even after I ditch the cane in a couple of weeks.....damn, does that mean this replaces the kayak as a reward for reaching goal weight?!?!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEXAS_GRL 3/30/2011 7:46AM

    I agree with Safaribabe -- you deserve both! All this talk of personal trainers makes me want one. Maybe as a reward to myself I will look into it. :)

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AHEALTHIERME44 3/26/2011 8:49PM

    Keep the trainer!! I have been going every Wednesday morning for a year no matter how I'm feeling and never regret it. Totally agree with the push they give you beyond what you would normally do. I am getting stronger every week according to my progress reports..even if my weight has still been on a roller coaster ride. It has kept me from completely losing it!
You are worth it!

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SUZWARNR 3/26/2011 5:33AM

    I love my trainer and can't imagine ever getting rid of her. She pushes me, inspires and motivates me to do my best. I say keep yours after you get rid of your cane. I'm sure you won't regret it.

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STARL_73 3/25/2011 11:35PM

    i really miss working with a trainer. she would push me beyond what I *thought* I could do - and I'd do it. I learned to listen to her and at least try.

As a bday gift to myself, I play on setting up a month's training with her. A bit of a drive, so twice a week. I'm really looking forward to it.

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BRADOS 3/25/2011 11:13PM

    way to hang in there GETSTRONGRRR - you are a warrior.

And you are right - blogging makes it alot harder to cave in and quit - doesn't it? - kind of cool how that works.

emoticon emoticon

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SAFARIBABE 3/25/2011 11:03PM

    Nope not at all! Who says you can't have your trainer and paddle too? Maybe you get the trainer once a week (don't know about you but for some reason Tuesday is the day I battle most with) and paddle around on weekends. Or some combination that makes good fiscal sense -- that's the accountant in me coming out!

PS this note was typed from my new lappy. Will blog all about it tomorrow!

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Hitting on all 8 Cylinders!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Well today went really, really well! Today was the day to clean up some life clutter (work & home). Some things I planned for, others just came down like manna from heaven!

The first thing I did was to tell my front office staff no interruptions all day. I just gave them a few names of folks that I'd take calls from but no drive-bye walk-ins, no, "by the way boss...." I closed my office door and hunkered down focused on tasks that needed my full concentration and that I've kept letting drag.

Then out of the blue, some great news that I had been waiting on for a few months finally materialized today (one of the calls I said I would take) and all of a sudden, all was right and true in the world! Cleaned out the last of my workload, left the office, picked up SWMBO, and we went to finally register our cars in Florida (Yeah, we've been driving with out of date registration since the end of the gator police!)

Came home, did 30 minutes of some ferocious cardio on the spin bike, showered, changed into the tux (which continues to feel looser and looser!), and went out to a formal dinner event with not a hint of anxiety about eating out! And the food was awesome! A surf & turf of shish kebob & gulf shrimp, with a couple of baby potatoes....dial up the Sparkpeople app in the iPhone, and presto, I'm sitting at 1200 calories after dinner. "Dessert? Yes, I'll have that slice of carrot cake please!" Take me to 1700 calories for the day and see if that hurts me!

So, just one of those days when everything is hitting on 8 cylinders....I've learned to enjoy them and to not expect every day to be like that.

Next week, it's back and forth on the road throughout April....DC Sunday, back to Vegas the week after, Kansas City, then somewhere in Nebraska at the end of the month.

Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRADOS 3/25/2011 9:09PM

    That is one hell of a truly are George Clooney in "Up in the Air" :) Congrats on your great day.

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    It's so nice to have a great day like that! Great job on the calories eating out, too! Hope you have an awesome weekend!

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SAFARIBABE 3/25/2011 6:26AM

    WOW!! Sounds like you had a great day!! I'm so envious of you being able to shut out the world at work. I wish I could, but part of my job is being available for consults. ((sigh)) Maybe today the pygmies will leave me alone.

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FANGFACEKITTY 3/25/2011 6:25AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TIFFGETSFIT 3/25/2011 12:14AM

    Sounds like a fantastic day! Way to close that office door and plug through the work that was piling up. It is amazing how all that crap drags you down....... and sometimes you don't even realize it until you get that desk cleared off!!

I have learned to not expect those days every day as well , but man oh man, when they happen, I truly appreciate them!!!

Have a great weekend!

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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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