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Stretch it out

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

OK, so I get these crazy ideas when I workout hard. And I worked out pretty hard today. The ideas aren't always bad. But I do obsess about them....and then go to great lengths to make them happen,

After dropping my mother off at the airport this morning I found I had some free time built into my schedule before my 1130 meetings. So I did a quick blackberry check....then went to the gym...a gym near the airport that I had not been to before

I rode the bike pretty hard for 30 minutes, then went into their "stretching" room to do my pushup/situp/squats routine.

And then I saw it!

Like a cat, I wandered around the outside, poked my head in the cage, stepped inside and read instructions for the "True Stretch". My arms grabbed a bar, I twisted like the picture....and next thing you know old Jed's a millionaire!

WOW, it was awesome! Luckily, each set of my various workout routines had a built in 2 minute break, so I'd reset the iPhone stopwatch and go into the cage. The magical cage. It was like I stepped into a sci-fi movie. I felt like I should be wearing a helmet mounted laser and a flamethrower while I stretched.

After my 3rd session I was already picturing how this would look in our living room. OK, maybe the garage. More likely, SWMBO will have me carve out some space in the backyard near the trash cans....obviously this is not the time for me to bring up toy acquisitions.

But it's way cool. And I've got to tell you, you're friendly author has seriously neglected stretching as part of this health routine. 2 years ago, SWMBO and I took some yoga classes together. I sucked. It was downright painful. But this stretching cage was just right....I could have spent the whole day in it. Just grab the bars and hold the pose.

It's also upwards of $2000! What the hell?!? It's just a bunch of metal tubing....there's nothing mechanical in it. So today, I file it away with the Hobie Cat Kayak, and other dreams of things I'd like to have.....but will have to exercise patience before committing.

Can I log aerobic points for exercising patience?

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEEBREW 5/21/2011 9:52AM

    Yikes... I would be afraid someone would have to cut me out of that thing!

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/20/2011 1:09AM

    Can you build one???????

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SAFARIBABE 5/19/2011 10:44PM

    ROFLMAO!! NO patience is not aerobic. If it were I'd already be a size 2! At the first photo I thought it was some sort of medieval torture device. Thanks for showing it in still looks like a torture device, just less medieval. I could use one of those tonight. I seem to have knotted up one hamstring and it's been bugging the heck out of me all day long! Did you pack all the tempting foods back into Mom's bags before you sent her back? That way she won't have to go to the market when she lands. LOL Good Luck with the move? How many trunks did SWMBO end up with for the week's temporary lodgings?

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REBECCATKD 5/19/2011 10:41PM

    What a strange-looking machine...I'll have to do some web research and see for myself how it works.

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Waiting for Quentin Tarantino's call

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Who says empty nesting is bad?!?

We've had a house full of people for almost 3 weeks. Tomorrow, we return to normal....whatever that might be. You see Thursday, we've got the packers coming to box up our stuff so we can move into our new place. So normal is always a relative term.

But until Quentin Tarantino makes me an offer on the movie rights to my blogs, I'll keep plodding along.

So tomorrow, I take the last house guest (my mother) to the airport. Then meetings all day, pick up the keys to our new house in the afternoon, then hit the gym for a well deserved workout before heading home to pack.

Thursday night we move into a hotel while house #1 gets packed up, son #2 gets out of school the same day and the 3 of us + 1 cat live out of suitcases for a week. No problem for me, I can live out of a shoulder pack for a month. SWMBO, however, is up to 3 steamer cases for our projected stay...and she hasn't even packed up her hair care menagerie. I'm not saying a word though....she's bearing the brunt of the move while I sit in meetings all day Thursday & Friday. She can bring an RV for all I care and I'll nary say a disparaging word.

But I will feel much better not being at the mercy of others' eating desires. I've found that's a trigger for me. These past 4 months I've become very confident that on my own (or within my nuclear family + cat) I can meet my daily/weekly goals. Other people though....sheesh! Family! God love 'em, but food fills a void that nobody knows is there. Sugary, salty, food, infused with oils, butter, and fats. I stare longingly at my cudgel...and exercise infinite patience, telling myself that soon, soon all this food will be will these loving guests who know no better.

So I've got plans....always have plans....lots of plans. I start hitting the road pretty heavy in June once we get settled in the new casa, but I've got a good workout routine, good discipline on the food, and a newly tuned-up road bike calling me to take it out for ride!

Here I come!

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRADOS 5/18/2011 12:12AM

    good luck with the move....and nice job on the continued strentgh in avoiding the pitfalls of family comfort food


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JONESINATOR 5/17/2011 11:00PM

    Good luck with the move! I can live out of a single duffel bag for 4 weeks, and my mom needs a suitcase larger than that for 1 week... yeah men rock. Glad to hear the fatty, oily foods will be banished very soon!

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SAFARIBABE 5/17/2011 10:00PM

    Ahhhh Family! You can pick your friends, and your dinner companions and your workout buddies...but family....we're all blessed with at birth for better or worse! LOL The best part of guests is that they do go home. In the ante-bellum era...when guests came a pineapple would be placed in the room to welcome the guest. If it was felt the guest had over stayed their welcome another pineapple was placed in their room as a hint. Just a bit of useless trivia for ya!

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Spicy Flavor in a Tube!

Monday, May 16, 2011

So these days I'm finding it's easier to maintain my daily calorie count by limiting starches.

It's been a long time coming (really just in the 4 months I've been tracking food on the tracker....and BTW, I'm really digging the changes these guys made to it!). I've always loved rices (brown rice in particular), pastas, pizzas, breads, you name it. One of my hobbies is to make boys and I used to start out on a Friday night, proofing the yeast, making a sponge with the flour, letting it rise slowly overnight, kneading it the next day, letting it rise a few times, then baking it in time for dinner Saturday night....some weekends bread is all we would have for dinner!

But the price in calories is so huge!

So what I've started doing is to really toss in the vegetables....which I also love. Leeks and cabbages, brussel sprouts, sauteed spinach, broccoli, or zucchinis...yum, yum, double + yum.

Tonight we had some leftover meat. I weighed out my 6 oz portion (350 calories) and looked around the kitchen. Some rice in the fridge, a baguettes on the counter...100s of calories just waiting to be eaten.

Or I could toss in tons of veggies into the mix....which is what I did. Endames, spinach, some napa cabbage, and a little bit of broccoli. One of our new favorite ingredients are these tubes of herbs and spices from an outfit called Gourmet Garden.

They're awesome! Fresh basil, ginger, cilantro, parsley you name it, all in a tube where you can squeeze out a little dab of pure flavor.

So instead of the starch, I filled up a bowl with mostly veggies and 6 oz of meat and enjoyed the hell out of it.

Now the challenge is to find a suitable substitute for sweets!

Good night Spark friends

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 5/17/2011 10:08PM

    A little sweets is not a bad thing! If it weren't for my 1 fun size peppermint patty each day, my firm would be much smaller by now!

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BOBF15 5/17/2011 4:35PM

    I use stevia to sweeten my cold drinks, it is a natural sweetener from the stevia plant, it also lowers BP, win, win, don't know if it will help the sweet tooth.

You can also use it in baking, but I think it works best in cold drinks. Check it out.


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HEALTHIERKEN 5/17/2011 11:08AM

    I've often looked at those tubes of spices and wondered if they'd be a good substitute for the dried. We always keep a little jar of minced garlic and one of minced ginger in the fridge. The tubes look as if they're the same idea but maybe more conveniently dispensible. Thanks for the heads-up :)

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BRADOS 5/16/2011 10:21PM

    your tube of spices sounds great - I'll look for that

thanks and have a great week GETSTRONGRRR

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The Day I've Been Waiting For!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Well today is the day I've been waiting for for 5 months!

I rode my bike. For an hour. It felt great!

I picked it up from its tune-up at the bike shop yesterday on my way home from work (of course I was subject to a late night rainstorm on the way back, drenching it's freshly oiled chain and soaking my new lizard-skin handle bar tape! (not real lizard-skin for any reptile sympathizers out there, btw))

For those of you who don't know my story....hmmm, how far back to go? I'll take it back 9 months, that'll still leave some mystery and excitement anticipating future blog posts about my past.

I started riding bikes in September '10 after my supposed running injuries were diagnosed as bone on bone contact between my left femur and hip joint. I loved running. I came to it late in life, but really got into it. Marathon running into it. But that left hip and femur kept telling me to stop already. So I bought a bike and changed tribes. (this biker tribe wears much stranger clothing than the runner tribe, btw)

And then I began to love biking. I felt like a kid relishing his freedom, zooming down hills at 30 MPH, whizzing around corners, leaning heavily to the side scraping my foot on the road for stability, and standing up on the pedals pumping for all I was worth going up hills and bridges.

Then I had the surgery.

You see I had to have the surgery. There was no other way. My femur and hip had to have a buffer, they just weren't going to get better on their own. So in December, just before Christmas (I actually spent Christmas in the hospital...Feliz Navidad!) I had a hip "resurfacing" done and it was a miracle. I woke up in post-op and for the first time in almost 2 years I was pain-free. Of course I was also on morphine, but even so, I knew the pain was gone.

That's also when I joined Spark people. Recovery was supposed to take about 4 months. Four months of no running, biking, or any other aerobic activity that I had become accustomed to, so I had to do something or I was going to pork up fast. And Sparkpeople has been great...I've dropped lbs and inches while feeling great and meeting friends like all of you.

And now I can ride again! And it feels great!

I made a point of making this a joy ride. No heart rate monitor, no GPS, no worries about cadence, speed or distance. I was out there to move and enjoy the day. And I did. For a whole glorious hour!

So today I feel totally back to normal. All these weeks of spinning on stationary cycles have been great. But today I felt free, the wind rushing past my ears, taking corners at high speed, and the knowing I had the ability to go anywhere I wanted based on nothing more than leg power. I let out lots of victory cries, scaring the neighborhood dogs, but I could tell what they really wanted was to run alongside me. Maybe next time muttley.

It was a welcome break from this morning's travails as we start sorting our stuff getting ready for the movers this Thursday. But there's nothing like a good workout to make life's challenges easier to bear.

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 5/16/2011 8:29PM

    That is wonderful! I'm glad you're back on the bike (that's how I felt when I went back to Zumba the first time after my knee replacement) It is such a glorious feeling to know that you can do it and with no pain! Way to go!

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/15/2011 10:12AM

    So--even deadmen can fly!!!!! Great blog

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BOBF15 5/15/2011 10:06AM


Remember the Steppenwolf song I sent you...

This chokes me up, I so know this freedom, and for now, this may be a bit down the road.

John Masefield wrote "Sea Fever" and embodies this same spirit. You are free my friend.

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.


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REBECCATKD 5/14/2011 9:31PM

    Excellent news!

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FANGFACEKITTY 5/14/2011 9:18PM

    emoticon emoticon
Most excellent, it has got to be a great feeling. Ride like the wind!

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SAFARIBABE 5/14/2011 7:56PM

    WOOHOO!!!!! Sounds like you had a great ride!! Can't believe the move is already here! Where does the time go?? Keep on riding!! Now that you're mobile again (2-wheeler mbile that is) you should join that challenge I mentioned to you ages ago.

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Waiting, waiting, waiting....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ahhh travel.....people coming, people going, people talking loud on cell phones as they plant there butts right next to you at the gate.

So starts my blog for tonight. It's a rarity for me to whip out the laptop at the airport, but hey I'm delayed once again....go figure. I think the pilot must have seen a storm cloud on the weather forecast and decided to delay takeoff....or maybe a maintainer left his wrench on the engine intake....or maybe the flight attendants were late to the gate.....or maybe I'm just becoming a smart-ass cynic, but I keep staring out the window and there's no plane at the gate where a plane should be, how can I not be cynical?

But I'm glad this trip is over....they got their money's worth out of me this time. Smartest thing I did was to get up early and workout in the morning, because no way in hell did I have time during the day or night. Food intake was deliciously low these past few days, making up for the life of plenty last week.

So I'm on a pseudo-redeye (I get in around 1:00 AM), hightail it home, creep into bed without waking up SWMBO (it never works), then a full day tomorrow....and a full weekend it turns out.

You see we're moving this month. For numerous reasons beyond my control, we had to move our move dates up by 10 days. So now we have to start packing up the house next Thursday....or rather SWMBO is going to have to take that one on, because I'm tapped out at work.

Needless to say, I'm a deadman

I got us some nice hotel rooms while the packers box everything up, but I'm still a deadman for skipping out on this and am looking for all sorts of ideas on how to make it up to her (my snide remark that "Hey all that furniture you bought is getting delivered next week too" did not go over well)

But it'll all work out in the end....we've survived many worse things and we have plenty more to do before next Thursday anyway.

Of course my closer immediate goal is to see an MD-80 pull up to gate B6 here in San Antonio. Maybe if I give up my choice seat here by the gate and get a cup of coffee, they'll surprise me and pull up with a plane.

Ta-ta for now Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 5/14/2011 9:00PM

    ROFLMAO! Hmmm how to make it up to SWMBO....that's a tough one. I suppose your head on a plate is a little further than you're willing to go? Just a guess. Hmmmm.....Weekly flowers for a month or so. AH! I know....if she packs it all...YOU unpack it all. Then she can sit on the new couch directing you where to put things -- 2 or 300 times before she's finally satified with each items new place in life!! That last one will seriously get you out of the dog house for like....years!

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/14/2011 12:17PM

    I always enjoy your blog, GETSTRONGRRR : ) Best wishes on surviving your deadman status!

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NEEBREW 5/12/2011 10:21PM

    Yikes... your life makes me tired just reading about it! How much of your life do you spend sitting in an airport? I'm so inspired by your dedication to keep working out and eating well under the hardest of circumstances. Good luck on your move!

Renee :)

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