Sunday, April 10, 2011
Ahhhh relaxing weekends....NOT!
The rest of April and a good chunk of May are gearing up to be frenetically busy. Like many of you, I've got a lot going on at work, and on top of that I've got a bunch of family about to descend on us (Mom, our son and girlfriend, my brother and maybe his wife & kids, and a nephew) the first week of May, with my mom staying for about 3 weeks. Then, SWMBO and I are fixing to get ready (sadly this Boston Boy has picked up phrases like "fixing to get ready" after living in the south for a few years) to move into some new digs sometime at the end of May, so while we're organizing and cleaning for the visits, we're looking at everything with a critical eye and sending tons of stuff to Goodwill and the local shelters (why is it mostly my stuff that gets chucked?)
And she reminded me yesterday that next weekend we're hosting a big hoopla we had made plans for many moons ago...an outdoor dinner event for about 14 people. And oh yeah, we had to go shopping for it today (she'll finish the rest of it at the end of the week, but we had to go get some of the staples today....ahhh shopping). AND she gave me the hairy eyeball about getting some new shirts, so we spent some time combing over a few websites and settled on a handful of twills and bengal stripes....hmmmmm, should I start ordering the slim fits now....?
But here was the cool part of the day.....I forgot to bring my cane shopping! I thought it was great....SWMBO and #2 son, not so much. Now I've been sneaking around the house without it on short jaunts, but this was my first outdoor adventure without it. Besides, this Wednesday is my last checkup with the doc where he's supposed to clear me for a life of bipedalism after the visit. I suspect it'll be another 6-10 months before I can even consider running, but my goal is to get him to clear me to ride the bike (the road bike that is) and to start back on some weight bearing leg exercises (lunges, squats, etc.)
Anyway, today felt great and gave me a taste of something good to look forward to the rest of this week.....even with the looming visits and lifestyle changes.
Bring on the change! Good night Spark friends!
Friday, April 08, 2011
So today I went to the High School Prom....as a parent chaperone of course!
#2 son attends a special needs High School and these guys did some amazing stuff! SWMBO always tells me when we go to these things, "half the time you just want to cheer out loud, the other half your heart just wants to burst into tears."
So my morning started off going to "Dude's Day" where a few dads (very few unfortunately) came in to help the teens learn how to tie ties, talked to them about not overdoing the cologne, emphasized table manners, etc. But the most amazing thing was that a local High School has a Leadership Program that helps our school put on this event. About 15 teen guys (the girls had their own separate program teaching them how to get all dolled up), came in and talked to their special needs peers about how to ask a girl to dance, how to behave when you're dancing etc. I was floored! I have never seen such a mature bunch of teens.
Then tonight, the same group of guys & gals came in dressed up in 50s clothes and each picked a partner to escort throughout the night. They danced together, they ate, they laughed, they helped them fix up their clothes, escorted them to the bathrooms, helped them work through their disabilities to have an incredibly great time....certainly a better time than I had at my prom back in 19......but I digress.
I couldn't believe it! A ROTC detachment drew swords in an entry arch for the kids where their escorts accompanied them down a lighted red carpet. Each of these teens I went over to and thanked told me that the pleasure was theirs, that they loved what they did to help out the school. WOW! I was awestruck by their sense of community and service.
SWMBO and I hung out and walked around....helped some of the kids that were having the most trouble and when we looked over at our guy, he had his little Jennifer Grey look-a-like escort (Think "Baby" Houseman not Dancing with the Stars) on the dance floor raving to Y-M-C-A!
Earlier today I had rushed home in a frenzy to get changed up for this thing....my entire day was a turbulent mess of putting out varied fires. I blew off lunch, had a few cans of emergency tuna I keep in the office, blew off the gym when crisis 99 emerged, then hightailed it back home to change and get #2 son's tie tied right. 45 minutes later, my days' troubles vanished into a puff of insignificance when I saw kids overcoming physical and mental afflictions having the time of their lives because a few dozen of their peers thought it the right thing to do devoting their teenage Friday night to helping another school put on Prom Night!
Wow! All of a sudden, any angst I felt about work, about weight loss, about not working out enough, about eating too much whatever was really put into perspective....I'm pretty darn healthy and have too much to be grateful for. A great lesson in humility.
Good night Spark friends!
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!
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!
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.
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