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Stand Tall! Sit Tall!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

So I'm a people watcher.

Now I don't leer, and I don't stare, but I spend just enough time at airports that when I get bored and pull my head out of the iPhone & Crackberry, I like to watch the hustle & bustle.

So of late, I've taken to noticing how people carry themselves. It's purely selfish you understand.

As I've slimmed down about 10 lbs and gained some muscle & girth where it should be, I've paid more attention to my posture and bearing. Hence I find it interesting to watch how much variety there is in how people stand, walk, sit, etc.

Today I noticed a slim man in his 40s who stood very straight, but also looked very relaxed. I could tell that he focused his movements and posture through his core. No belly pushing out, no sway back, no shoulders slumped forward, just a balanced stance and gait as he moved. He just looked like he had his center of gravity just right and held his core firm as he moved.

"That's how I want to be," I told myself. So I took to noticing how many other people stood or moved like that.

Not many. Lot's of people slouched over, shoulders turned forward or hunched up. Almost everyone sat with a big old curve in their back. Many folks had their heads and neck thrust forward (unlike cool 40s guy who had it balanced right over the plane of his shoulders).

So I forced myself to sit up straight, engage the core, tighten the butt, get my lower back off the back of the chair, and it felt pretty good! But it took constant attention. Every 2-3 minutes I noticed how I got back into my slouch. As I walked, I made a point of standing straight, firming up the core (front and back), pulling my shoulders back and down. Again, it felt good, but again, after a few moments of wandering thought, back I would go. Tried it again driving home....felt good, but when the next song came on the radio, I had gone back to my slouch.

I'm going to spend some more effort on this one....I think it could be a high payoff item in a healthy lifestyle....more to follow.

Good to be back home....goodnight Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 4/8/2011 8:59PM

    You will look so HOT if you stand tall! LOL! When I learned to type, we had to sit straight and our backs could not touch the back of the chair. I did that for many years but find myself slouching now...I'll have to straighten up and fly right! See, when I people watch it's to find the stupid-dressed ones, not the ones who look good...guess I'd better mend my ways...

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NEEBREW 4/8/2011 7:51AM

    I noticed a coworker of mine sitting at her computer yesterday, back perfectly straight. I only noticed because it is very abnormal to witness someone with really good posture. I admit, it is very difficult for me to sit with my back straight but today I'm going to make an extreme effort to monitor myself just in case I'm the object of someone's people watching!

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SAFARIBABE 4/8/2011 5:56AM

    Welcome Home!! Loved the blog, tho I do miss your mis-adventures with TSA agents named Bubba feeling you up. LOL Seriously tho, when I was a kid I had a naturally (read that as grandmother forced me) ram rod straight posture. But years of sitting slumped over laptops and teenage years where you want to appear cool and not like you had a rod rammed up your...back... have led to more curvature and less straightness. This is something that I've also been thinking of for a bit and trying (off and on) to improve. Thanks for the reminder!!

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LOVE_LIANE 4/7/2011 11:06PM

    It's so interesting how losing weight and gaining muscle affects posture - I've been a lot more conscientious about mine lately, as well. It IS hard, but so, so much better for us.

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BRADOS 4/7/2011 10:52PM

    neat observation - and always good to be home - have a great weekend

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JONESINATOR 4/7/2011 10:52PM

    It's a great pay off. I've gotta be honest, as my back as strengthened significantly and I've lost weight in the lower back, my posture is 100% different. I've noticed that old chairs in classrooms have that classic lumbar spinal curve built INTO the chair. Now, most chairs are straight backed, and when I sit down a lot, I find my upper back against the backing and my lower back unsupported! Talk about painful after a while!

If you get your back into super powerful strength and have the core going, you're going to walk with perfect shoulder and spinal placement. Also, not lying, but more than just people watchers notice - everyone notices!

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KENNY83 4/7/2011 10:38PM

    Interesting observation. The way people walk could be a manifestation of their confidence. Maybe if you walk with a good posture it'll give you the placebo effect of instilling confidence in yourself...just a thought. Thanks for the insight. emoticon

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Dining Out...Without The Angst!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Well tonight we go out for dinner with my staff here in Vegas. The guys picked some BBQ joint for the event. And I'm totally OK with it.

What a change in just a few months! In January/February going out to eat was a significant emotional event. I was racked with worries about overeating, busting through my limits and all sorts of existential angst.

Today, it's just another meal. Something I need to be wary of and plan for, but I'm better because I have the tools and the confidence to plan effectively. This morning I cranked out a 45 minute workout at 5:00 AM (pacific time, my body is still on central time), scarfed up a pear for breakfast, a few mini-sandwiches at our working lunch, and just had a banana before heading out so I don't arrive too hungry at the restaurant. That leaves me sitting at about 800 calories leaving me about another 800 to play with at the restaurant (of course I could blow that whole stack with one careless side dish and a few rolls, so I'm not totally out of danger).

But I'm not worried, mostly because I feel less compulsion to order up a full rack of ribs (as I have done often in the past). Nor do I feel like I'd be "cheated out of the experience" if I didn't have huge sides and dessert. Today, I'm content getting something that tastes good, that doesn't have to be totally filling.

So while I don't guarantee that I'll never again express doubt or concern to my Spark friends about dining mis-adventures, tonight I owe you my thanks for past support, making this evening's dining a little less stressful.

Thanks Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRADOS 4/6/2011 12:01AM

    love hearing about your temptations, your resolve, and your battles on the road

Enjoy tonight - have fun and as always - thanks for sharing your journey - your work is so much more interesting than mine I suspect :)

emoticon emoticon

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BOBF15 4/5/2011 11:04PM

    I still wrestle with this notion my mother told me about. There are two kinds of people in the world those who live to eat and those who eat to live.

I have always been in the first category, and I suspect most people are there. Ahhhh, the mystique of epicurianism. emoticon

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SAFARIBABE 4/5/2011 10:35PM

    Awesome!! Amazing what a difference a few weeks can make eh? Do NOT know how you workout that early in the morning! UGh I'm up then but NOT functional. LOL So did my Ribs detour have any influence on your dinner choice? Gotta go do some ST & stretching before bed. More later!!

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RIKKI572 4/5/2011 9:16PM

    Wow, you have a great attitude!! Hope you have a wonderful dinner.

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Decisions, Decisions, it's ALWAYS About Decisions

Monday, April 04, 2011

Decisions, decisions, it's ALWAYS about decisions.

Do I get up early and workout out, or do I wait till later in the day? If I workout early, it's done, I'm just not as motivated first thing. If I wait till later, there's always risk that I may not get to to it.

Do I eat what tastes good now and cut down later, or do I eat sensible now and leave room for a treat at night? If I splurge early, there's always the risk that I may also overdo it at night.

Decisions, decisions, it's ALWAYS about decisions.

So this morning I rolled over wide-awake at 4:00 AM (Pacific Time) and didn't have my first meeting till 8:00 AM. I putzed around, got caught up on Sparkpeople, then called my traveling chum and said, "Let's go, gym opens at 6:00, we're working out"

I installed him on the elliptical, then made my way over to the spin bike and programmed in a 45 minute ride. Ahhhhh, heaven! He jumped off at 30 minutes, then I caught up with him in the free weight room for a couple of quick back exercises.

As we drove to the rooms, I noticed he was still wheezing from the workout! "I think it's the altitude," he wheezed. "Las Vegas is only 2000' above sea level," I reminded him. "Maybe it's the desert air," he opined. "Maybe, you haven't been working out lately" I surmized.

So how do decisions play into this? Well I decided that after working out, I needed to hydrate....with water. He hydrated with Diet Coke. "How's that working out for you," I asked. "It's good, I was thirsty and needed the caffeine," he grinned. "Ever think about replenishing the sweat you jettisoned on the elliptical," I queried. "Oh, this has no sugar, it's mostly water, AND has caffeine." He grinned and winked at me.

Now Safaribabe would say "Why don't you just clobber him with a copy of The Spark?!?" Not there yet.

At lunch, we hit a local diner place. I looked at the menu in dismay, then settled on a Turkey Wrap and water (worst case 400 calories), he gets a cheeseburger, fries, and coke. "Man that was a good workout this morning, I'm starving!" he exclaimed. "Yeah it was, but I'm trying to keep myself from starving, so figured I'd eat this wrap now, then get a quick snack later before dinner so I'm not starving tonight."

He gave me the RCA dog look.

Later in the day, I went down to the office snack bar, combed over the wrappers of everything they had, and decided on a 150 calorie fruit & nut bar of something to tide me over till dinner. Gave a quick check on the Sparkpeople app, and I was sitting at 700 calories by about 5:00 PM. He grabbed a snickers bar and we chomped in unison. That's when I decided to broach the subject.

"I'm down to 187 lbs," I told him. "That's great, I'm back up to 197," he said. I finally divulged, "You know with me, it's all about the food. I can workout all day, but if I eat like a madman, I just keep gaining weight. My goal is to stay between 1600-1900 calories a day. It's tough, but I log it all into my iPhone and track it throughout the day" (OK, so for guys, that's about as close to a confession as you're going to get Tori!)

He pondered, cogitated, the gears were clicking up and down the mental transmission chain. "Yeah, it's just so tough on the road. It's the only time I get to eat what I want."

And there you have it! Decisions, decisions, it's ALWAYS about decisions. What is it you really want? He's a great buddy, I've known him for 22 years....he's just not there yet. For him the food is a treat, it's a higher priority than the weight; the weight is a desire, not a priority.

For me, the weight (actually having a healthy body and lifestyle) is the priority....eating nice food is a desire. Working out is a priority.....getting sucked in to my work and blowing off a workout is a desire (not really, but work can easily be my excuse for not working out.)

Decisions, decisions, it's ALWAYS about decisions.

So did any of this have an effect on my pal? Well we stopped to pick up some food to bring back to the rooms tonight (didn't feel like going out to dine). He was all set to get some fried fish or fowl platter to sate his desire.....then he saw me go off to grab a sandwich from the nearby Starbucks. He saw me perusing the wrapper (510 calories turkey/pesto panini), and asked if they were any good. "It's probably 1/3 the calories of whatever you were getting there, just as filling, you can watch the gal behind the counter make one fresh for you, and if you're still hungry later, we can always grab some fruit."

He grinned and grabbed a Panini off the rack.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 4/5/2011 8:04PM

    You're so's all about decisions. I never thought about priority vs. desire...that's a great way to put it...Thanks! Good job getting your buddy to think a little, you may convert him yet! Way to go!

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TEXAS_GRL 4/5/2011 7:27AM

    Decisions, Decisions are a big part of the journey. Funny prior to spark, I didn't really think in that manner. My decisions were more about should I have 2nds. Now I constantly thinking this or that, now or later, run or bike, treat or no treat. My brain hurts! emoticon

I love how you brooched the subject with your buddy. I am sure your good example will plant the seeds.

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ASALYERS86 4/4/2011 11:28PM

    I find myself often plagued by decisions too. Its difficult, even if I set my mind to an early morning workout, to actually stick with it. I do manage to squeak one in later most days but it would be so much better to get it out of the way. I always feel so much more energized!

Good on you for giving your friend some positive insight! It may not be a priority for him yet, but when he gets there, at least he'll have someone to help him along.

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BRADOS 4/4/2011 11:27PM

    nice job being the evangelist.....reminds me of the St Francis quote "Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary"


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JONESINATOR 4/4/2011 10:12PM

    Woohoo! That's spreading the Spark in a good, non-confrontational way. I find it so hard to do without preaching or turning into a bragadocio, so thanks for this blog because now I know a good way to broach a subject!

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STARL_73 4/4/2011 9:45PM

    So that's how guys do it! Make it about yourself. Which may explain some comments J has been making. I haven't pushed him at all. I've just been sharing my issues, what i've learned, how great I feel (showing him *lol*).. and I can sort of see him balancing there. Part of him wants to take the plunge, habits and doubts probably prevent him. Course, he's said the same things before.. but I'm wondering if me as an example may influence him? What's the male pov on this? I do all the cookings, so I can influence that (as long as he doesn't grab a snickers at work...). I know he used to love jogging.. but between work and the work around the place, I know he always thinks he doesn't have time. And my suggesting he walk with me won't work - tried it before. Course, i am planning on breaking the bikes out.. he won't let me do that alone, i'm guessing. But seriously - guy minds are so.. illogical... how can i get him to start leaning more towards working out again?

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SAFARIBABE 4/4/2011 9:25PM

    emoticon Even if he backslides later, at least he's seen a glimmer of the light! Thanks to you!! That's an awesome achievement! Especially with Ooey-Gooey guy. Soooooo Did he like the panini???? You left half the story out! LOL Wouldn't it be great if he gave up his cheesy, fried ways and converted to whole grains and fruit? Now don't be too hard on him about the Diet Coke. I still have a pretty serious DC addiction, though I do drink 2-3 liters of water a day and ALWAYS after a workout. So I can't be too hard on him for that. You did awesome spreading the Spark today. And NO it does not deserve a cheeseburger as a reward!!

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Back in Vegas!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Well friends I'm back in Vegas this week, only staying though Thursday though. Goal is to workout every day this trip.....maybe not quite as fierce as my 11 day cardio streak last time in Lost Wages, but just as motivated.

I'm back traveling with my fast food loving travel partner. Luckily we both left home having eaten lunch, so all we did was pull in for a quick bite when we landed (him - burger & fries, me - salad & vinaigrette....graciously declined his offer to share the fries). This will be an interesting time balancing his quest for more, more, more with my newly found Spartan dining preferences.

My body clock is whipped, so I plan to hit the sack early and will likely get up early (Pacific Time) to hit the gym for some early AM spinning before the day's festivities begin.

Cheers all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 4/4/2011 6:08AM

    I keep telling you....when he starts tempting you with the ooey-gooey...smack him with a copy of the Spark! LOL won't even need've come so far since that first trip and you did awesome then! Who knows...maybe yo can even tempt HIM to get to the gym! Stranger things have happened!

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JUNEBUG1944 4/4/2011 2:23AM

    Such self control! You are amazing! Enjoy your trip a something bad...remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! LOL!

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BRADOS 4/3/2011 11:52PM

    stay strong.

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April Nightmare

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 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 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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDYGREG 4/7/2011 2:27PM

    Even if you tried, no one could eat all that stuff in ONE DAY! Even in a week it would be hard!

I was feeling a bit ill, after the first few items.

Happy April Fool's day!

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ELISA322 4/2/2011 11:29PM

    LOL too funny, especially about the peanut butter. I used to love those Cadbury eggs as a kid, now I find them way too rich!!

Sadly I couldn't be as creative yesterday on April Fools Day.

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BOBF15 4/2/2011 9:12PM

    Yep, haven't known you all that long... but after a few paragraphs, I looked back at the day.

OK, so, then the horror movie, turned into a comedy.

Scary Movie 5 emoticon

emoticon Roll, 'em, Pierre.

Action! emoticon

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TEXAS_GRL 4/2/2011 8:51PM

    LMAO - ok so I am beginning to read this going what is wrong with him! Then when I got to the Starbucks paragraph I was like...hmm someone is having a good laugh. :) Love it! emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/2/2011 5:39PM

    As always, one of the best bloggers on here. You had me going for a paragraph or so, but then I thought, "Naw he wouldn't crash like that, he just wouldn't. He's always had it all together on the previous trips. He's spoofin', he just *has* to be spoofin'" Thank you for spoofin' not crashing! Great April Fool, my friend : )

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    ROFLMAO! emoticon
Great April Fool's blog! And the best part is, after 3 months of eating right, the food descriptions didn't even make me "hungry", just "hmmm, not very appetizing". Keep up the good work & keep the blogs coming!

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SAFARIBABE 4/2/2011 6:27AM

    ROFLMAO!!! Seriously, I'm with Brad on this one...NO WAY you would have run amok like that! I mean you're the oke who blgged about avoiding all those brownies at the conference and your ooey gooey cheese loving friend and ignoring his temptations (how is he anyway, staying out of cardiac ICU I hope!) Yeah NO WAY you'd have cracked like that! But it was a great blog!

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BRADOS 4/1/2011 11:00PM

    I knew it as well - no chance the Road Warrior would fail so badly (but yet so eloquently) - nice April Fools GETSTRONGRRR


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JUNEBUG1944 4/1/2011 10:30PM

    I knew it! As my mouth was watering, I just knew that no way in hell would you be eating all that crap! Thanks for the laugh!

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