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Hard-Scheduling the Workouts

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Got in a workout today even though the scheduling gods conspired against me.

I packed a gym bag before leaving the house anticipating a quick duck out to the gym to ride the bike sometime in the day. Driving in to work I checked my calendar on the Crackberry and saw almost zero white space! Argghh.

Staff meeting, budget meeting, IT meeting, security meeting......Arrgghhhh. I looked at my secretary first thing in the morning asking her, "why do you hate me so? Have I done something to offend you?"

"No you asked to see all these people last week."

"Arrgggghhh! OK, here's the deal, we're whizzing through the staff meeting, budgeting gets an hour. I only want the lead IT guy, not the gang of forty, and he gets 30 minutes just on our tech re-fresh plan. Push the rest of these guys till after 2:00" With the usual questions and breaks, that locked me in solid from 7:30 till 12:30.

Yay, a 90 minute block where I could duck out to the gym, get a quick 30 minutes on the bike and some situps at the end, shower, and back flushed and refreshed for the security meeting!

I hard-schedule my weight lifting sessions with trainer guy on M-W-F when I'm in town. I decided yesterday that I have to hard-schedule cardio in as well....I'm too haphazard about it. I'm taking my road bike to the shop this weekend for a tune up and will start riding again once it's back. Until then, I want to get in at least 3 cardio sessions a matter how busy I get.

Whew, nothing like a public declaration to get me committed!

Game on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 4/27/2011 5:38PM

    Good for you! Schedule yourself in and do it, babe! I have an exercise buddy who schedules her appointments during OUR excercise times...I always tell my docs, dentists, etc, when I am available. My exercise times are written in stone and usually non-negotiable!

Comment edited on: 4/27/2011 5:39:33 PM

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LJCANNON 4/27/2011 11:06AM

    emoticonAwesome Dedication!!

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BOBF15 4/27/2011 10:54AM


Want something done, ask some one who is busy.

emoticon This is a no excuse zone!


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STARL_73 4/27/2011 8:05AM

    you have a secretary?

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TEXAS_GRL 4/27/2011 7:41AM

    I always love to reat your posts. When I get a little down on myself- I read how you make it all work and remind myself I can do this!

Keep on, keeping on....

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SAFARIBABE 4/27/2011 6:00AM

    You're awesome! I wish my assistant could schedule me as well. I also wish she could keep people out of my office. I blew it yesterday and let the massess get between me and my biking day. But today at 10am I will be at the gym before the gods can conspire against me!! Stick to your plan and keep the hoards at bay!

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BRADOS 4/27/2011 12:01AM

    you are a machine - love your dedication and your resolve to list your resolutions here - nice job


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REBECCATKD 4/26/2011 10:18PM

Your commitment is commendable. Well done!

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Late Night Snacking

Monday, April 25, 2011

You know, after this whirlwind weekend, it almost felt good to go back to work.....almost.

I actually like my structured eating regimen during the week. SWMBO makes me sandwiches to take in that I eat throughout the day, half a sandwich every 3 hrs or so and some fruit. That keeps me at a pretty predictable 900 calories till dinner, where I add about 500-700 more. The key for me is to limit calories between dinner and bedtime, or worse, getting up in the middle of the night and popping a snack (a few spoonfuls of PB usually). These can up the calorie load by 300-400 easy.

I really like the progress I've made these past 4 months, the physical change is there, the scale readings are coming down, people are pointing out the weight loss, I feel lighter & tighter and much more in control of food portions and cravings.

But my late night snacking is starting to bug me. It's not necessarily sabotaging my nutrition careful planning throughout the day (I log everything almost as soon as I eat it), I know when I'm getting to the Red Line limits. It's more the idea of eating so late that gets me.

I used to be worse when I was traveling, eating with abandon at restaurants, and loading up on snacks in the hotel room. That has stopped. I'm at the point where I snack much less on the road than at home.

So my dilemma is tapering down this last (well almost last) food vice. Tapering down is the key. My initial thoughts are to substitute fruit for PB, or to have some cottage cheese late at night to avoid the even later snacking.

We'll's a work in progress.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 4/27/2011 5:41PM

    Save yourself some calories for a night time snack then you won't wake up starving in the middle of the night.

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/26/2011 2:09AM

    I'm with STARL_73. If it's not putting you over your calorie limit, and it's not upsetting your fat/protein/carb ratio, what's the issue? Peanut butter is healthy enough, a couple tbsps are not overdoing it, your body processes it the same as it would do if you'd eaten it during the day . . . no downsides, really.

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STARL_73 4/25/2011 10:49PM

    Have you asked yourself why you feel so bad about late night snacking? They've come out with new research that says it's not as bad as originally thought. If you have acid reflux it's bad; if you weren't calculating it in to your calories, it could be a problem. But if you're hungry at night - then have a bite. Would you starve yourself during the day??
But if you're snacking because your bored - that's different.

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BOBF15 4/25/2011 10:37PM


This is a very common demon I am finding out. Structure during the day... and the "choices" thing at night... unsupervised time.

One thing that has helped me is having an accountability partner. I have to report daily on whether I had a snack after 9 PM or not. This has really helped keep me honest. Not perfect, but I am so much better than ever before.


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SAFARIBABE 4/25/2011 10:28PM

    Popcorn! When I want a snack after dinner...airpopped lightly salted organic popcorn does the trick for me. You, Brad and I all bonded early on over our love of PB. Don't get me wrong NOTHING beats that creamy goodness on a spoon. But popcorn gives you the illusion of eating volume without loading on the calories. 1 oz fills a 4 cup container and comes in at only 130 cals! Where's the downside??

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Lose Weight Now! Ditch the Baggage!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Well as nice as it was to wake up and watch the Sunday news shows in 50" HD, I had to get off the dime and tackle the final preparations for a truckload of friend and family we have coming in next week. This is the weekend I've been dreading.

My first order of business though was to get SWMBO some new tires for her little Mazda Tribute. She picked Easter Sunday to get a flat after church, and after looking at how worn her tires had become (she hardly puts any miles on the thing. It's a 2003 model with barely 65K on it) the only guys that could fix it today were Wal-Mart. So I filled the tire with a can of "fix-a-flat" and drove over to Wally World and hung out at their McDonald's drinking coffee for an hour. Luckily the greasy smell of those artery-hardening fries didn't appeal to me and I surfed on Amazon to see if I needed any more gadgets for the new plasma (did I mention that I love my new HDTV?)

Back home, made a quick lunch of some chicken breasts, sauteed with fresh spinach, endames, cilantro and lemongrass....just enough calories (500) to tackle the afternoon's mission; thin down the library.

I love to read. I'm also a book hoarder; I buy them, but hardly ever get rid of them. My contribution to the household are tons of bookshelves brimming with reading material. I've got classics from high school (Hemingway, Salinger) now yellow and flaky on acidic paper, textbooks and hardcovers from college (Riverside Shakespeare, Feynman Lectures) lugged all over the planet since 1981, mystery series collected and read once, histories of ancient Greece & Rome, maps of the Civil War, monographs, Nabokov, Mailer, Orwell, Vidal.....and now I have a Kindle.

I haven't read a hardcover or paperback book since December, but I've devoured e-books on this little baby by the ton and love it. So this decision point has been building....inexorably, relentlessly, impatiently the idea has been nagging away at my brain is time.

Aside from the upcoming visits (my mom, our older son, my nephew, & a family friend), we're getting ready to downsize and move into a smaller house in June. There really can't be any clearer sign to shed the baggage other than an archangel blowing a trumpet to the tune of "Burning Down the House"

I was merciless. If I hadn't read it in 5 years, it was going. If I planned to read it again, I'd buy a Kindle version. I asked myself if I honestly thought I was going to get around to reading the Tale of Genji, then put it in the box. Yeah, the Great Crash of 1929 could be compelling reading, but I’m over that phase now, in the box you go. Penguin classics, waddle on over to that box. Forget the old saying, "always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it", my Kindle powers down after 10 minutes.

By 4:00 PM I had filled up 16 standard moving boxes (1.5 ft3) with every imaginable size & topic….and still had plenty left on the shelves. SWMBO’s task this week is to get the Goodwill folks or Salvation Army to swing by for a pickup…and while they’re at it, they can haul off our old TV cabinet as well. While I was at it, I looked at all of those jewel box CDs I hardly listen to anymore. Three years ago, I went on a tear digitizing everything….have hardly played them since. They’ll have to go sometime soon, but you know, it was only 4 years ago that I gave up the ghost and got rid of that box of LPs I’d been lugging around for decades.

Losing weight is a whole person concept….I’ve got just as much clutter adding baggage to my life as the love handles around my waist. Clothes in the closet I haven’t worn in years (I might get into those 32 pants again, but that doesn’t mean I’ll like the style), running shoes that have some weird superstitious value (the pair I did my first marathon in) but I know they’re good for nothing but yardwork, file folders filled with crap that I couldn’t find if I had to (yeah, where is the warranty on our 10 year old dryer?)

In the end it felt good to de-clutter, not the emotionally traumatic event I had made it out to be. If I spent more than 5 seconds deciding to keep or chuck, I kept it. I paid #2 son $10 for helping me sort and haul, then we jumped into the pool to wash away the sweat and tears.

Now if I could just get SWMBO to do something with all those shoes…..

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEXAS_GRL 4/25/2011 6:42AM

    Shoes? You would be smart just to leave that one alone.
Funny about the books, both John and I love to read and have a house full of books, which funny since getitng our e-readers seem to be just taking up space. Haven't quite got to the point of ditching them -- but I see on the horizon!

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SAFARIBABE 4/25/2011 6:32AM

    You won the plasma battle. But if you dare to go after the shoes you might find her chasing you around the house on your bipedal legs throwing them at you! Watch out for the stilettos!

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FANGFACEKITTY 4/24/2011 9:37PM

    Pick your battles wisely my might lose to the shoes LOL!

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Yul Brynner Doesn’t Stand a Chance!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Some days the stars really do align and things just click....although you still have to do a lot of leg work (SWMBO tells me to let God steer the bike while I pedal!)

So for some time I've been working on how to work a big screen TV into our living room. Not a lot of traction on the home front, but I am nothing if not persistent. Some would say stubborn, but I say persistent.

Apparently it was yet another example of SWMBO and I defining our interests clearly. It wasn't so much that she opposed the idea of the TV as the fact that our old console would not fit it and she didn't want to wall mount the TV. Evidently, my flippant comment a few months ago that we could just stack all the A/V components in a bookshelf next to the TV offended her sense of feng shui which led her to just say no to happy TV-land. I barely remember the comment. And I'm pretty sure I didn't say bookshelf.

Well I continued detouring her to the large screen TVs at the mall, showed her the magnificent clarity of 1080p, wooed her with the delights of watching her favorite shows unencumbered with glasses to help her bridge the distance. Slowly, surely, relentlessly, she saw the blu-ray of light.

"OK, we should get a new TV, but not with that old cabinet! And we're not stacking the DVR on a bookshelf in the middle of the living room!" she exclaimed.

"Yeah, sure, I know that" I mumbled trying to hide my delight, quickly trying to figure out what the hell this was all about. "So you want to......?" I had nothing.

"We need to get a nice stand to put it on, one that will hide all that electronic stuff and that has enough room for the lamps and......" I stopped listening and realized what the rub had been. She was OK with the TV, the sticking point all this time had been the stand….I had missed that fine nuance.

"OK, great, pick out something that we can prop the TV on and we'll get it" I said.

Did I mention that this whole conversation was taking place at Best Buy?

So, here we are in Electric Ladyland, TVs for me, and TV stands for SWMBO! Can it get any better than this!?!?

While I was never a straight A student, I was one of those guys that had always doggedly done his homework and so weeks ago I had narrowed down my search to a few models all stored in my Evernote app or scanned into RedLaser. Most were plasmas and one was an LCD. All were 55 inches.

"Too gaudy" she exclaimed. "Don't you mean too Godly" I countered smugly. "No, those are too big, remember, we're moving into a smaller place" she parried. "Yeah, but let's think long term, we could be in a much bigger place 5 years from now" I slashed about. "Too big" she struck at my heart.

Arrgggh! I whipped out the iPhone and surfed like mad for the same model-brands in a SLIGHTLY smaller size (50 inches, no less!). I led her by a 50 inch TV and said that anything smaller than that and we might as well buy TV wristwatches because it would defeat the purpose of the whole ensemble (I really said ensemble). "OK," she relented, "but don't go crazy....and don't get a TV I have to wear glasses to use!" She cocked her head in the direction of a sunglass sporting couple test-driving a 3D TV in the next aisle, then marched over to the Thomasville store next door to check out the TV stands.

I had anchored her at 50 inches, not too bad! I could brag about this Monday morning, still look my male friends in the eye, and invite them over without having to look at my shoes when I showed them the TV. This was good.

Truth is, I wasn't interested in the 3D thing either, and, figuring she was about to add another $500-$600 to the tab, was just as happy finding a bargain on last year's model. Which is exactly what I did with a very sheik 50” Panasonic Viera plasma that was hanging on the wall with a nice red sticker indicating a recent markdown….somebody just pinch me!

Of course SWMBO picked out a stand that cost almost as much as the TV (“It’ll go nicely with the hutch and our new dining room table”….somebody just shoot me!) The only good news was that I didn’t have to put the damn thing together, it was a real piece of furniture.

So as I sit and write this blog, I’m propped up in my easy chair (abs tight!), thumping away at the keyboard, watching Charlton Heston part the Red Sea with his arms spanning across all 50 inches of plasma in magnificent Widescreen Technicolor. Yul Brynner doesn’t stand a chance!

He should have done his homework!

Good night Spark friend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEXAS_GRL 4/25/2011 6:49AM

    Congrats on the new TV....had to laugh about the issue was the stand. Sounds like some conversations between me and the b/f over the same issues. :) Enjoy the new TV.

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BOBF15 4/24/2011 9:23AM


Are you two, an Ozzie and Harriet re-run? Well, this definitely is not Father Knows Best...

I enjoyed reading this adventure, yes, adventure, to some this is a shopping trip, but thankfully it is a romantic comedy, and not a murder mystery.

The critics speak! emoticon emoticon

Now... go easy on the buttered popcorn you two.


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FANGFACEKITTY 4/24/2011 9:03AM

    Congrats on your victory! Although I agree with SAFARIBABE that this was SWMBO's way of getting new furniture. I too made my pilgimige to the Holy Land of Best Buy last night; my Holy Grail was my new tablet and laptops for the kids so I can reclaim the desktop I have never been able to use :-)

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SAFARIBABE 4/24/2011 6:58AM

    ROFLMAO!!! First off congrats on the plasma! I really never thought you'd sway SWMBO. On the other hand...I hope you realize this was all a ploy for her to get new furniture! LOL So now you have the perfect equipment to do all that Wii fit stuff on. WTG!

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Solid Muscle

Friday, April 22, 2011

Did I mention before that I'm a people watcher? Not in any creepy way, but I pay attention to how people hold themselves, how they walk, stand, sit....basic body language. At work it helps me understand what people are like, what their confidence levels are, etc. As I've become fitter since joining Sparkpeople, I've taken to noticing folks in many more "public" situations (like the airport).

Well today one of my guys came in and said, "hey boss, there's not a lot going on later this afternoon, it would be a nice gesture if you cut people loose a little early for Good Friday and Easter weekend." Hmmmm.

Now I'm not a Christian, but everyone has been pushing it up pretty hard lately, and my front office staff had kept the afternoon pretty light, so around 3:00 PM I started walking around, wishing people a Happy Easter and told them that if they were pretty well caught up on stuff to beat it.

Then I called my trainer and asked if he could meet for an earlier workout!

He said he could, but would I mind if we did his workout together?

Sure, whatever, why not.

So the gym was pretty empty at 5:00 PM and we concentrated on arms & shoulders, doing different combinations of exercises at different angles than I have been used to, but it felt great and wore me out.

My whole point here though is I took time during our workout to closely watch his form, posture, breathing, joint angles, etc. then started noticing how others in the gym did their exercises. In the past, I focused on guys doing stuff "wrong" (for example, wild jerky movements that avoided working the targeted muscles, heaving maneuvers that placed joints at risk, etc., etc., etc.)

Today I saw a master at work! He's in his early 40s and has been lifting weights since his teens and is very lean and solid. I hired him with explicit instructions that I wanted to lift weight with textbook form. His job was to develop me a full body plan and to make sure I did them right (and slow), with full range of motion, with no injuries or undue strain to joints. I told him I was less concerned with the amount that I lifted than in gaining overall body strength and symmetry. He's done great meeting those objectives.

What I noticed watching him today was how engaged his whole body was in doing even simple bicep curls. His core was engaged, his body did not sway at all, his feet were planted solidly on the ground, his breathing was well-timed to the movement. I did the same as we swapped out and noticed how much more "solid" my body felt. As we debriefed in between sets, he said, "yeah, all these exercises should make your core burn, don't wait to do abs"

It always come back to that core doesn't it. A few weeks ago (after my last blog entry on people watching
) I started making determined efforts to stand, sit, and walk "taller", focusing on core, back, & butt during the day, pushing the upper body up through the waist. Same idea, now applying it to exercising. It gives a very good sense of being "solid", of feeling strong, of being in control, of being centered.

And of course, being slimmer!

So yet another lesson in lifelong habits that need attention and changing. It's not going to happen overnight, but nothing good ever does....this is all a process to tie together, nutrition, exercise, body confidence.

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 4/27/2011 5:35PM

    Glad you were able to watch him "close up and personal!" I've done the same thing and learned a lot.

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BRADOS 4/22/2011 10:45PM

    sounds like a great trainer

have a great weekend


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SAFARIBABE 4/22/2011 10:32PM

    Gee I wish my boss had given me half a day off! Oh right...she couldn't she took the whole day off and not for Good Friday! LOL

One more week and I can start hitting the weights in earnest. I will definitely be taking your obserations with me!!

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JONESINATOR 4/22/2011 10:23PM

    An exercise without a braced core is a wasted exercise! I get my core working in every movement I perform, even pull ups make my core hurt. This trainer sounds excellent, and your observations keen. Keep up the awesome work!

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