Monday, June 13, 2011
So this weekend, I developed a real hankering (yet another indication I've been living in the South for a long time....Boston boy works the word "hankering" into casual conversation) for a nice, cold, crunchy, flavor-filled salad.
It started out innocently enough. Saturday morning, I'm putzing around the new living room (note use of word "putzing" reflecting New York heritage), getting caught up with SWMBO on the new house adventures and she mentions that #2 son's report card came in and he got all A's. That usually means his choice of restaurant for a going out meal and, of course, he picks the "Panda House Chinese Buffet and Mongolian BBQ" joint. This after I had done so well on the road last week.
I graze the veggie section loading up on stir-fried bok choy, sauteed cabbages, heap on some clear noodles and add a little pepper chicken and some thai satay for flavor thinking I can come out of this OK.
Then I went for seconds...albeit on a smaller plate, because after all it was very tasty stuff.
But, then I had some coconut macaroons.....I love coconut macaroons.
I add it all up at home and sure as hell it's a whopping 1400 calorie lunch....but who knows if I got the portions right. The real deal is that this alerted me to the fact that I had very little calorie room to maneuver for the rest of the day.
I told SWMBO that I was going to load up on salad for dinner, so she was nice enough to go grab a few different bunches of various crunchy, leafy delights I could mix and match. We have had a long love affair with a brand of ginger dressing called Makoto that we have only found in a few grocery stores, mostly in the south (y'all), usually in the fresh vegetable section. SWMBO and I have devoured gallons over the years.
I chucked tons of crunchy leaves and roots into a big bread bowl, dabbed out a little Makoto, spooned in a few dollops of non-fat yogurt, mixed it all up into colorful swirl of summer colors and attacked it with one of our new stainless steel 18/10 forks.
I loved it! Nothing like a cold crunch to a meal on a hot humid day. I enjoyed every bite of my 200 calorie dinner.
So much so that I repeated the ritual Sunday night….and Monday night!
I’ve felt full and satiated every night….no feeling deprived, no thinking, “Oh this sucks, all I can do is to have a salad for dinner.” Au contraire, each night has been very tasty as I add different combinations of leaves, chucking in a little fresh basil one night, parsley on another, some oregano tonight (not so good) making it an adventure instead of a drab lo-cal meal.
Can I live like this my whole life….likely not. But I’m thinking every few days, I can do this and be OK with it.
And looking at the scale this morning to a nicely low 186.2 didn’t hurt my feelings one bit!
Good night Spark friends!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Ahhhh, it's nice to be back home!
So I got busier than I expected this trip and it was all I could do to log nutrition and aerobic points these past few days. The good news is I got in a workout every day, ate pretty well (except for one night in Albuquerque at a Mexican restaurant with my team that works out there....sheesh!) Most of the time I did very well on my own, avoiding going out for large dinners, settling for gym time and low-cal microwave meals & veggies in the hotel room at night....some of them not bad at all.
Other than Mexican my only other "big meal" was a great bowl of Pho, smack in the middle of Albuquerque, NM. Actually it was very tasty. I love good soups & stews and I've gotten to like well prepared Pho in my travels.
For those of you that know not of Pho, Wikipedia states that Pho is, "a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef (phở bò) or chicken (phở gà). The soup includes noodles made from rice and is often served with Vietnamese basil, lime, bean sprouts that are added to the soup by the diner."
It's a big bowl of clear broth and with the right mixture of basil, lime and (especially in NM) some very spicy peppers, packs a melt your teeth wallop to die for! So, yes, you must enjoy the burn. The good part is that there is a lot of broth, a lot of liquid to fill up on with a few token pieces of protein (chicken, beef, or shrimp). The majority of the calories are in the rice noodles.
Which leads to the difficulty in gauging the calories. These days I'm calibrated well enough to pretty accurately gauge calories, so I wag it at about 400-500 calories depending on whether I eat all the noodles or not. Not too bad for a very filling meal, especially if it's for dinner.
Anyway, like I said earlier, it's nice to be back home. The fruits of Spartan living this last week is a nice 1 lb drop in weight. I'm going to do some re-adjusting of calories, & exercises this weekend to get on an achievable glide-path down to 180 lbs in the next 2 months....I'm a little tired of this plateau thing. I know, I know, I've been preaching body composition for a while, so why the sudden interest in dropping pounds; because I'm vain that's why!
I do continue to notice that my pants are increasingly looser, most recently yesterday when I got groped by TSA on my way back and had to hold them up as I got blue-gloved. It's a nice feeling....guess I just want the scale to show some interest as well
Fairly stable living for the next 2 weeks, looks like the next trip is up to Seattle at the end of the month. Till then, my challenge will be to maintain at home!
See 'ya Spark friends!
Monday, June 06, 2011
So I'm a little competitive. Most times it's good, sometimes it can be a liability, although I don't do as many of the stupid things today as in years past.
Today, I was an animal.
After a full day of meetings, my brain refused to accept any more information and my voice was giving out after talking all afternoon, so by 5:30 I was very relieved to find my day over and skedaddled up to the gym.
I found a nice Lifecycle bike, plugged in this week's playlist, and revved up to 100 RPM. Life was good, heart rate monitor showed I was in the zone, and I cruised happily for about 30 minutes.
As I walked back to the locker room, I passed a big glass enclosed room and saw them setting up for step aerobics.
Step aerobics......hmmmmm, I haven't done that since 1990-something. Should I take a chance on this newly installed bionic hip of mine? What if I trip, or jam it, or do the funky chicken and wind up all over the floor? Probably better to not risk it....but let me see how long the class lasts for.
So I asked a 40-something skinny guy near the door about the class. "Oh, this is the Monday ADVANCED class. It lasts an hour, because, it's an ADVANCED class," he said giving me a condescending stare over his fake-Armani glasses.
I showed infinite restraint, checking my desire to move 2 feet closer to his nose and saying, "Bring it, Dieter", I just smiled and said, "Well then I guess I better just take a spot in the front row!"
Sometimes my brain just over-rides everything else and says, "we're all in"
So, not to brag Spark friends, but I can handle the simple 4 & 8 count step moves, grapevines, lunges, & cross-overs pretty damn well....even while reminding myself to not go crazy and do the funky chicken on the floor. And one thing I have is endurance.....a real stubborn endurance.
But ADVANCED class?!? Please. This 51-year-old dude, recently recovered from hip surgery, taught those people the meaning of the word RESPECT by the end of the class. One thing I do when I workout hard is to give out a victory cry when in the moment. At the end of the class, we started doing 8-count lunges off the end of the step....10 sets of 8 lunges.....I know, because I yelled out each one.
Meanwhile Dieter was a sweaty, uncoordinated mass of arm & legs, who had to strategically stop to "tie his shoe" after the 8th set.
Did I mention this was the ADVANCED class?
So I felt good on sorts of levels afterwards. The nice instructor lady came by to tell me thanks for helping motivate the crowd with my counting at the end and would I be coming to her next ADVANCED class. I got a few backslaps from some of the younger dudes in the class, one even asked if I was, like, an instructor or something. "No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night"....he thought I was joking.
Dinner was a simple microwaved 300 calories of chicken and whatever.....I'm enjoying a definite Spartan existence on the road after weeks of plenty at home. I've been pretty steady +/- 2 lbs of 188 lbs lately....it's time to re-adjust the calories and aerobics points to knock off a few more pounds.
Maybe I need to stick my nose in the aerobics rooms back in Florida and be told I shouldn't do something!
Good night Spark friends!
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Well having a Saturday at home, with some relative freedom, felt pretty good. Started the day off slow, putzing around, getting caught up on e-mail, doing a little reading, etc. When SWMBO went out to get her mani-pedi, I went outside to put together the "cozy conversation" (actually called "cozy chat" according to the box) patio furniture that came in while I was out of town. One massive box containing parts for 4 rocker chairs and a low table & umbrella stand. Apparently making it "cozy" is not at all a cozy chore.
For whatever reason, it had metric-sized screws and bolts, sizes I of course did not have in my new Makita 18v drill box. So after 45 frustrating minutes putting one chair together with the included (and properly sized) Allen wrench and an ultra-cheapo aluminum wrench, I made a dash to Lowes and came back with a 30 piece driver set that will now let me unleash my fury on any and all sized screws, bolts, and nuts.
An hour after that I had 3 chairs, the table, and umbrella stand all put together and sat down for a nice cozy rock as just as SWMBO made it back in time for us to chat on our new outdoor living ensemble. I was hot & dehydrated, so I showered up and we went out to a nearby crab shack and had some....wait for it....crab cakes for lunch...quite nice and I think about 400 calories total.
We are now about 10 days settled into the this new place and the one thing we have not been able to find anywhere is our silverware. We have half expected it to show up in the next box we open up, but during our cozy chat on the patio, we decided to cut bait (I am getting pretty darn tired of eating with plastic forks and knives....it was bad enough eating with my hands like a beast in a hotel last week!), and buy some new silverware as part of our House 2.0 upgrade.
Apparently, there is a whole industry out there producing silverware with large sections of department and specialty stores dedicating wallspace to the stuff. I think I actually gasped out loud at Williams Sonoma when, what I assumed was not a bad price for a 12-person setting, turned out to be the price for a 1-person setting. I reminded SWMBO that I have a tendency to scar up the silverware by dropping pieces into active garbage disposals and so maybe we should buy something a little more utilitarian for everyday use....something that doesn't cost as much as our new 50" plasma TV, please!
So we went to Dillards and walked out a couple of hundred bucks poorer with a set she likes and some everyday stuff that I can grind away to my hearts content in the disposal.
During our outing, #2 son kept hinting that the new X-men movie just came out, and since I'll be gone again all next week, wouldn't it be great if we could have a guy’s night out with pizza and a movie....sheesh, even at 17 he has a way about him that can make me feel as guilty as if I had shot Bambi's mother. But I still have to pack for my trip tomorrow….oh alright.
So we went. And it wasn't a bad movie at all. We got back a few minutes ago and I threw a couple of things (starting with gym clothes) into my packing sacks. I'll finish the rest of it in the morning. It's off to Virginia Beach tomorrow through Wednesday, then Albuquerque, NM Thursday & Friday, back home late Friday night.
Next blog will be from the road.....good night Spark friends.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Well predictably, today's meetings held all the eye-poking excitement of a turtle race. Lots of slides, but as usual, most of the work gets done in the sidebars during the breaks.
Snacks and food were pretty skimpy and none overly healthy, mostly pretzels, dried out mini-bagels, and what looked like trays of cookies from Sam's Club. Lunch was sandwiches & salad, not too bad; it was the mid-morning and mid-afternoon grazing that was tough.
Actually, what was tough was the icebreaker afterwards....I didn't read the agenda close enough, so right as I thought we were done for the day (and me free to bolt over to the gym) they announce that the icebreaker would start at 5:30 and they'd have buses taking us there in 10 minutes.....damn the luck!
I was torn. The icebreaker was an opportunity to do some serious networking and schmoozing with some folks that have the ability to greatly simplify my life or to make it a living hell in the coming months. But an icebreaker also meant fatty fried foods, lots of drinking, and me likely to be too tired or too full to work out later.
What to do?
So I did a little risk/reward calculation in my head. Risk of going to ice-breaker.....miss my workout. Risk of not going.....life is hell next few months. Reward of going to ice-breaker....life is simplified next few months. Reward of not going to ice-breaker.....I log 45 aerobic minutes later in the day.
But wait....are these my only choices.....am I just a dumb ape, or can I use these frontal lobes to solve higher order problems?
What if I go for the daily double?!? What if I get in, corner the folks I need to see, grab a table where we can seriously pow-wow, scarf up a few scooby snacks, eat, but don't fill up, knock it off before 7:00, come back to room, change, and hit gym before 8:00 PM?
Crazy, sure it was crazy, but maybe it was just crazy enough to work!
And it did! Turns out to have been a great move actually, because these 2 dudes were about to cause me some serious ass-pain, and after hearing each other out over some chicken wings and beer (they had the beer, I stayed sober...but did have about 6-7 wings), we're closer on a way ahead than any of us thought beforehand.
Fast forward in time, and by 7:45 I was up to 110 RPM on the Lifecycle! Since it was late, I opted for a little higher intensity and cut the time down to 30 minutes. Thankfully I was smart enough to choose a bike in front of one big-ass fan (use those frontal lobes), but even so I was soaking in sweat after 10 minutes.
Besides, I'm in a hotel room for the night and really have nothing better to do. SWMBO called and told me that the furniture we (she) bought back in March ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4120710 ) just got delivered to the new house....as did the "cozy conversation" patio chair set she bought the other day (is there really a category of furniture called "Cozy Conversation"?? Really, this is a category?)
Another day of meetings tomorrow, then an 8:00 PM flight back home, getting in around midnight...maybe I can squeeze in a workout before hitting the airport!
Good night Spark friends!
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