Friday, April 01, 2011
So today was great...actually an ideal day.
I clambered out of bed at the hotel, put on a nice pair of baggy sweats and took the elevator down to the lobby for breakfast. I thought about getting a bowl full of cantaloupe and some yogurt, then laughed at myself and grabbed 3 chocolate glazed doughnuts and wolfed them down while the short order cook made me a ham & cheese omelet. Just what I needed to make it through a day full of traveling!
As I waited for my plane at Reagan (delayed once again), I saw that I still had a $10 food voucher from last night. So I went over to Starbucks, ordered up a Grande Americano and noticed that the fruit cup was more expensive than the cheese danish and the toffee bar combined.
Well I know a bargain when I see one so the big decision I had to make was whether to eat the toffee bar first or AFTER the danish. I'll let you imagine what I chose ;>)
Luckily, I got the 1st class upgrade, so lunch was on the Delta house. I watched the idiots around me order the salad, so I knew the lasagna would be specially prepared for me.....hell I might even get seconds! It was alright, a little salty, so I grabbed a couple of extra Twix bars when they passed the tray around to cover the taste.
Atlanta was pretty busy, but the line at the Paschal's Southern Cuisine was short and I had a hankering for ribs. But I only got a half rack (I was pretty full after the flight, but this was some mean BBQ!) and decided to be good and skipped the potato salad and baked beans....just had the coleslaw (veggies) and corn bread (veggie AND carb!)....I think I probably saved 100 calories choosing wisely and having a diet coke instead of regular. I'll use those savings to have something special after dinner tonight.....
I swung by the office for a few hours and good thing to because my secretary had brought in some Cadbury caramel filled eggs.....man is Easter that close! They were great.....between the 2 of us we cracked every one of those bad boys with our muscular teeth! It was a little too much chocolate though, so I swung by the snack bar for some potato chips to get something salty back on my taste buds. Mmmmm
I had a weight lifting session scheduled today, but I felt I deserved a break so I cancelled and called SWMBO up and asked her if she wanted to go out to dinner. She had baked some tilapia and stir fried some veggies, but I told her to save it for later or stuff it in the trash, we should do something special like Mexican or try out that new Chinese Buffet that opened up (Big Chow) down the road. (I didn't feel like Italian after those two servings of airline lasagna anyway).
Well the buffet was fantastic! You really do get your money's worth at these places, but you have to plan it out right. Like don't fill up on the green beans or soup on your first plate or you may not get around to sampling everything they lay out like the sweet and sour pork or extra crispy chicken wings. And don't waste time on the peel & eat shrimp, you can get those anywhere. I recommend the crab in cheese sauce or some salmon rangoons (the good thing is these probably have like 10 less calories than egg rolls.....I just wish I could stop after eating only 4....sigh)
Afterwards, since it was so nice out, we walked over to the Marble Slab Creamery and had a family ice cream night. I really like how they work the ice cream so hard on that cold slab, and they take the time to make REAL WAFFLE CONES, not the fake plasticy kind you get at Baskin Robbins. And the scoops they give you are twice as big as anywhere else. Talk about getting your money's worth! I admit, I cheated and had them sprinkle on some Jimmies, but it was a special night out for all of us and again I deserved something special, it had been a busy week right?
As I sit and finish up this blog, I had a real hankering for some Peanut Butter. What a great food idea! But, I'm only using a teaspoon this time, not a tablespoon as usual. I think that actually helps me lose weight because I use more energy with that arm.....in reality, I'm expending 3 times more calories to get the same amount of peanut butter....I read that somewhere.
Then Holy Christ I woke up and found myself drenched in a cold sweat still back in the hotel, no sweatpants in sight.....The ghost of April Fools past must have visited me up in DC!
Today, I chose the opposite of everything I wrote about here.....but the choices, the desires, the temptations, and worst of all, the excuses and rationales are always there.
Spark on friends!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Well once again Delta is eating into my time....delays for who knows what reason this time (the doggie ate my flight plan) leaves me looking for electric outlets, wi-fi connections, and planning a graceful degradation of battery life....Oh yeah and having to rely on airline terminal food for what was going to be an easy day of low-end calorie range dining
So that's why I have taken time these past few years building up my travel gear to make these oh-so happy moments bearable.
First off, I have a confirmed "no checked bag" policy (except when SWMBO and I travel together....that's when she checks the steamer trunk and sky-caps make all sorts of money). So my first love is the Tom Bihn Aeronaut:
Mine is grey....what a bag! Yeah it has no wheels, but you can stuff it chock full of stuff (2700 in3) and then stuff it into the overhead of the smallest CRJ700.....no more having to tag bags at the gate!
Pair this up with the miraculously "shock absorbing" Absolute Shoulder Strap, and voila, life on the road is real good:
For the truly adventurous, ditch the 1 quart Ziploc bags, and go for the permanently stylish 3D Clear Organizer Cube and stare down the TSA agent if they give you a hard time:
"But, what about when you want something from your bag?" you may ask. "Do you have to get up and reach through all your stuff?" Not if you're sporting the Scottevest Travel Vest!:
I can hear you now, "he must be kidding, that's serious dork-style stuff, that crap never delivers"
Au contraire mon frere, let me tell you that Mr Scotte delivers! I've got Kindle & iPhone, Blackberry, Bose noise cancelling headphones, Mp3 player, glasses, a magazine, chewing gum, and more. It feels incredibly comfortable......and SWMBO says she finds me quite fetching wearing it around the house!
So now you ask, "what the hell does this have to do with SparkPeople? Doesn't he know that there are many other websites devoted to this topic?"
Yeah I do. But here's the deal. I've found blogging cathartic. It get's crap out of my brain and into the real world, and the topics happen to be whatever is hot on my brain about healthy living.
Today it's travel and spending 45-60 minutes finding pictures and cramming out thoughts and ideas has successfully kept me from going over to the Dunkin Donuts at the end of terminal B for a nice warm chocolate doughnut fresh out of the oven, or yielding to the sickly sweet smell of Auntie Annie's pretzel nightmare. It's made me grateful that I have a vest with a dedicated pocket holding a box of chewing gum and a group of virtual friends that I know will understand that temptations are everywhere, and resisting even one is declaration of victory.
Thanks Spark friends!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
OK America, do we really have to be so obsessed with food that we need to be constantly bombarded with images of it every waking moment?!? Are there people playing Jedi Mind Tricks on us at every turn, trying to hide the healthy droid snacks we are looking for, cause all I have seen these past 3 days in DC is fat, fattier, and fattest!
So I'm in day 3 of this 4 day conference and, God love 'em, the guys that put it on have done great. It's easily accessible, stuff is on time, pay your "landing fee" and coffee, breakfast, snacks, lunch, all is taken care of. But I can't take a bathroom break without smelling something sweet and buttery, or seeing someone heft a puffy, crumbly pastry on to a plate, or dither and blather about whether to choose the brownie or the blondie (so they take one of each!), then I get back to the hotel and somebody's hosting a sizzling taco social in the lobby.....and I'm half-crazed trying to eat right, trying to talk myself into a workout saying "Oh great and powerful Oz, pay no attention to that snack behind the curtain!"
So why does this matter! Well it's just another indication that making these healthy lifestyle changes is a daily choice, sometimes a daily battle. Just because it may have been easy for a day or week or two is no guarantee of smooth sailing forever. Last week I was feeling right in the middle of the Sparkpeople Groove; today I feel like I've been smacking the sharks attacking my lifeboat in the middle of a typhoon!
The good news is, I can play the Jedi Mind Tricks on myself too. Somehow, knowing that I'd have to log the 400 calorie blondie and write about it in the evening made it just easy enough to reach for a bowl to ladle in some cantelope....knowing I'd have to 'fess up to Safaribabe if I blew off a workout and opted for the tacos gave me just enough energy to walk past the fiesta and up to the gym.
And of course, someone slipped an Italian Pizza and sub delivery service menu under my room door! See, it's everywhere!
So I used it later as a mat for my sweaty gym shirt!
Spark on friends!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Man 'o man it's hard to get used to freezing weather after you've been living life in the 70s for a few weeks!
I got into DC late Sunday (thanks again for the delays Delta), but at least the tower at Reagan had multiple pots of coffee going keeping the controllers awake.
Monday started off well. Breakfast at the hotel....go right by the waffles & eggs, grab a bowl of oatmeal, spoon in some raisins and add cinnamon, Voila! Then off to my conference here to watch everyone grazing on doughnuts and bagels and candies and...Arrrggghhhh! But that's the sea change in my mentality today. In the past, scarf up a bagel, lather it with cream cheese, bring a doughnut with me back to the meeting, Oh yeah!
This time I loaded a plastic bowl with cantelopes, berries, and pineapple...hell of a lot easier on my conscience and these days, just as satisfying.
During the more boring presentations (there were quite a few), I scanned my colleagues, some that I've known for years, and noticed how many of them seemed a bit....large...soft around the face & middle....frequently coming back to the conference room with handfuls of candy.....Arrrrgggghhhh! Decided I wanted to belong to the side of the room that was leaner, a little more taught around the face and chest, so that helped me resist the worst of the fat-bombs the staff kept leaving around the joint.
Well my brother lives in DC, so I had made plans to see him for dinner. The conference wrap-up went long, so I had just enough time to get back to the hotel, change, download a DC Metro app, and get over to his place.
Love my little brother! He just bought a brand new townhouse right downtown and is enjoying life. He's got 2 great little girls (at 49 he has a 4 yr old and a 1 yr old.....what the hell was he thinking!) And he's also a confirmed carnivore.
He made this this 8 lb beef tenderloin that was to die for! Cooking large roasts is his passion and I love him for it. This one was encrusted in salt, seasoned just right with herbs, and a beautiful rosy pink throughout. Yum!
So needless to say I had more than a few slices. but the sides were simple (love his wife too, she made plain white rice and some sauteed vegetables to ward off an angioplasty). Then of course my niece wanted me to sit with her after dinner and have ice cream at their dinky little "tea table". Oh all right!
So thankfully I had done well at the conference, but, planning for worst case, I was about 400 calories over for the day. Not too bad, it just means I'll need to add in some extra cardio this week.
And I will work out Tuesday!
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 choice.....work 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......
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