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Let the Family Games Begin!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

OK, my busy time is now in acceleration mode!

Today my mom flies in. Before that, SWMBO is putting the final touches on her room (flowers, soaps, lotions, notions, etc). I need to get a haircut then get my bike over to the shop for a tune-up before I pick her up (next week, I ride!). I think dinner plans call for grilled salmon on the barbie tonight.

So my mom is a dear old lady (82), sweet as honey, nosy as only a mother can be, and gauges her success as a mother by how much she can get her family to eat at meals! This is going to be a fun 3 weeks, can't you tell?

Tomorrow, our older boy (23) gets in. Sounds like he broke up with his girlfriend (again) so he's coming in solo, avoiding the boyfriend/girlfriend bunking situation that has led to family drama in the past (I told him last month that with grandma in the house, he and GF would be Holiday Inning for their stay).

He's the body building, lean mean machine, that now, since he's always loved to give advice to dad (but never really liked taking it), tells me exactly what I need to be doing in my own weight lifting regimen. I counter with giving him loving advice back on life, love, career, history and a 1000 other subjects until he can't stand it and ceases telling me how to run my life

Nephew gets in Monday (my sister's kid, 35), as does a family friend of SWMBO. Monday night SWMBO and I have a farewell dinner party for some friends, Tuesday a family hoopla with the gang, Friday an early Mother's Day dinner (since older son departs on Saturday), a Mother's Day buffet brunch next Sunday, then I fly to San Antonio next Monday for a week. I'll need it to detox from this week's festivities.

Mom is in town through the 18th, then SWMBO and I are getting ready to pack up the house and move to our new place a few miles down the road around 23 May.

During all this I've got to keep working out (either that or I kill everyone around me, so that choice is clear), and I absolutely have to stay within calorie limits. The challenge here of course is.....Mom.

Like I said, she's a dear, but she is all about the food. She'll just walk into the living room at all times of the day handing out Scooby snacks, passes the serving plates for seconds at dinner like it was crack cocaine, bakes pastries and tarts, brings in chocolates and nuts after dinner....she's a maniac.

Luckily, she's flying from Boston down here to sunny Florida, so SWMBO has a plan to get her outdoors and walking around in the already warm and muggy panhandle (every year, since 1965, mom's ALWAYS complained about Boston's winters). Our hope is to keep her active and eating healthy....let's see how that works out.

Yeah, that's where I get it from....old school parents for whom eating was a social activity, where good food with friends and family was the highlight of the day, where weekend dinners lasted 2-3 hours around the table, where food preparation was an all day event, where butters and oil, fatty cuts of meat, chicken with skin intact, grilled to a crispy perfection was the epitome of a family good time.

That's how my brain is wired and that's how my comfort zone is associated with good (maybe just plentiful) food.

But Man is a learning creature, it's what separates us from the Apes, and we're all re-learning how to eat right. That means to not gorge till we're ready to explode, not graze all day so that we never, ever experience the slightest pang of hunger (note to self, must blog about hunger sometime), that good food can also be healthy, and that in this 21st century, we have such an abundance of food all around us, that we can view food as fuel, and don't have to store it up for the upcoming famine.

Let the family games begin!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 4/30/2011 9:27PM

    Not for nothing...if I had to spend three weeks with my mother who is also a dear, I'm not so sure I wouldn't opt for the 2nd option! LOL That said...don't make enough for seconds and don't keep extra food around the house. She can't pass scooby snacks if there are no snacks to pass. The only extra food in the fridge should be carrot and celery sticks. And don't let her near the kitchen! I'd be safe that way, my mother is such a bad cook I had to learn how to do it to avoid starving to death. LOL I can imagine now how big the sigh of relief will be when you get on that flight in a week. Wonder if I'll be able to hear it up here!

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BOBF15 4/30/2011 7:41PM


Dig in man! I mean dig a trench, draw a line. This is war, LOL.

Now, only one thing may trump, Ma, and that is a Dr.

I bet you did not know this, but I am a self proclaimed Dr. I have a degree, you know the old joke about a PhD, (Piled Higher and Deeper) Sir, I am eminently qualified in that discipline. emoticon

So we are all set, when Mom says... " Mangia" you can now counter with but my Dr. says, "I can't eat_____"

I doubt Mom will ever check on my credentials... j/ k.

Have fun with this. emoticon emoticon Aaaarggghhh, Matey, ye can navigate these treacherous waters.

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New Shirts--YES! New Pants---Not Ready Yet

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Well it felt very nice to have a "normal" food day today...yesterday's burger blowout still makes my brain reel. But I stuck to my well-spaced meals throughout the day and had a nice dinner that kept me well within my calorie range for the day. Plus, I made a point of ducking out to the gym at lunchtime and had a good 40 minute cardio session mid-day.

As if to reward disciplined living, I got a nice package in the mail today; some shirts I had ordered a while back...they are very cool!

Now for the record, I really hate shopping for clothes....hence the mail order. SWMBO provided some much needed advice, counsel, guidance....critique ("no purples, no pinks!"), and took the proper measurements to make sure I didn't talk myself into a 14" collar.

Well they look great and I feel great in them! And what do they make me want to do next? Buy some new pants of course!

But I don't quite think I'm there yet. Yeah, I've lost weight, yeah, I'm slimming down, yeah, I'm adding muscle....but whereas shirts look better, pants are a different story. The ones I have definitely feel looser, but I'm not ready to take it down a size there yet....I'll just be back in the "these feel too tight" category....not a happy place.

The time is coming, I can tell, I'm about 7 lbs away from goal weight, but I'm thinking of shaking things up a little and actually shooting for a goal waist measurement instead. Not sure Sparkguy has configured the site that way, but I haven't dug into it yet either.

In any case, another nice NSV today with the shirts.

On a whole other front, this is going to be a wild & whacky weekend. SWMBO and I put the finishing touches on our guest house.....the family hordes descend on us this weekend!

More to follow....

Good night Spark friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEXAS_GRL 5/2/2011 9:59PM

    Nice shirts! I have the opposite problem, smaller pants but not dropping sizes upstairs. LOL!

Keep up the great work!

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STARL_73 4/30/2011 9:54AM

    Any chance pants may have shrunk?
My pants hadn't felt any looser, but I decided to try on some pairs I hadn't touched in a long time because they were too tight. And they fit.
I'm guessing the usual ones shrunk. Course, if you're talking dress pants, they're probably taken to the cleaners???
Like you said - look at your measurements. Those won't shrink in the wash!

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SAFARIBABE 4/30/2011 5:21AM

    WOOHOO!!!! The shirts look great! As for the apnts...I've always found the pants being tight to be a HUGE motivating factor. I mean seriously, what got me sparking again was when my zipper groaned every time I sat down. And as for falling off the wagon...I crashed & burned last night. Cheesburger for lunch followed by chinese food for dinner. Yeah it was ugly. Will see what the scale has to say tomorrow! Have a great weekend wth the invading hoardes!

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/30/2011 2:44AM

    Lets hear it for smaller shirts, and lets *really* hear it for Family Hordes!!!!!!

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Cheeseburgers---Harbingers of Doom!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cheeseburgers are just plain evil...I think some sect in Ouagadougou view them as harbingers of doom that will precede the end of the human race.

Of course I had one today for lunch.

One Thousand Sixty calories! That's right 1060 calories of beef, cheese, and bun.

Oh it was good! And I knew what I was doing the minute I walked in the restaurant. I tried to look away on the menu, pretending to eye the salads on the right, but my hands kept turning the menu over to gawk at the burgers. Meanwhile, the penguins in my head kept squawking , "Go big or go home!"

So apparently today was "Administrative Professional's Day"....I didn't get the memo. The young guy in our front office asked what I had planned for our secretary today.


"Don't F#*@ with me today kid, what are you talking about?"

"It's Administrative Professional's Day....didn't you get some flowers or something?"

"Sheisse! Why the hell didn't you tell me about this yesterday God damn it! OK, find a place we can all go out to for lunch, I'm buying"

So he picks Ruby Tuesday, home of The Triple Prime Beef Cheddar Cheese Burger! I'm usually pretty good about this kind of thing, months of discipline on the road, with wise travel and restaurant choices. Maybe it was the sudden change to my routine (SWMBO had packed me a lunch, didn't plan on going out to eat mid-day), maybe it was the festive atmosphere ("Boss is buying lunch!"), or maybe it was just a craving for finely char-broiled meat with a tangy cheddar after-taste. Maybe it just doesn't matter.

Needless to say, it chowdered up my whole nutrition plan for the day. Even with a mini-dinner of only 350 calories, I'm 500 over for the day. (Luckily I barely ate any fries with the burger. Fries....yet another incarnation of evil!)

No need for alarm though. I worked out harder at the gym, and added in some extra cardio to make up for the 1060 calories of USDA Prime. It was good, I don't have to eat like that every day (been there already....that road takes you to sweatpantville), tomorrow I pick right back up with my regular routine.

But who the hell invented Administrative Professional's Day anyway?

Good night Spark Friends

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 4/28/2011 7:26PM

    I think it used to be Secretaries' Day. But now since they are called Admin Assistants, they changed it.

You know, you could have substituted the broccoli for the fries...
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PUGRAD1995 4/28/2011 4:49PM

    I guess your Ruby Tuesday's didn't have a turkey burger? They actually aren't bad-but not the same as a real burger.

And I'm thinking it was Hallmark that invented the day! emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 4/28/2011 9:54AM

    Oh the burgers are calling my not what I need right now...must resist....But it sounds like it was worth every calorie and you'll have it burned off in no time.

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STARL_73 4/28/2011 9:44AM

    That is a big burger, wow. But it was one. The rest of the time, you're healthier. So, sit and enjoy, savoring every bite.
hmm.. I thinkI want a cheeseburger.

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SAFARIBABE 4/28/2011 5:46AM

    ROFLMAO!!! Ahhhhh the cheeseburger...the American classic of artery clogging goodness! Eh! It happens. I've beeen trying to figure out what to eat for dinner (hopefully at home) Friday night when my months of work hell come to an end. The only thing that keeps scooting around my poor fatigued brain is.....CHINESE FOOD!So I totally understand where you're coming from!

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TIFFGETSFIT 4/27/2011 11:38PM

    To only be 500 over with a monster burger like that, is pretty impressive, my spark friend. In all honesty, for a LOT of people, that burger would've cleared the path for a DQ blizzard.....and then chips.....and then oreos....then pizza. One massive burger and right back to the plan. Sounds like a non scale victory to me :)

P.S. "sweatpantville"- freakin' hilarious

Comment edited on: 4/27/2011 11:38:53 PM

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LHACKING13 4/27/2011 11:17PM

    Hamburgers are amazing if the right things are added to them.... but who ever invented Administrative Professional's Day also invented Boss' Day, Pie Day, and everyother day for all the little things. It's not like we have to celebrate a different thing every day, why not just be happy we're all alive?

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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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