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Blogging during a healthy lunch-time break...what a concept!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

So it has come to this....I scamper off during my one-hour lunch break to wolf down a healthy lunch salad (details below....I know you can't wait) and to blog about the experience on Sparkpeople.

Truly, I am a sick man!

As usual, a fairly busy schedule while I'm on the road. Days start around 7:00 AM getting ready for meetings, a full schedule all day and we get over around 6:00 PM. Today I hightail it to the airport when we're done so I can catch a 7:30 flight back home.

I'll admit I haven't worked out this trip. Last night, after getting changed back at the hotel and checking in with SWMBO, I said screw it and went to go see Super 8 in IMAX (very nice flick btw).

But I have eaten well. Stocked up on a few things for the room fridge so I could eat healthy at night (bags o' salad, Makoto ginger dressing, fruit, microwave veggies, yogurt.) This morning I noticed I still had 2 bags o' salad, some dressing, and fruit. Should I throw it all away (I had to check out of the hotel in the AM)? Well, I am philosophically opposed to waste (normally a good thing, but this also causes me to clean off full plates of food, and, in the past, eat leftover food from the kids' plates....but no more!), so I chucked it all in the hotel's plastic laundry bag, stuck it in a fridge by the conference room I'm in all day, and voila, instant lunch during my break while everyone else goes out for pizza.

So the sick part is that I can think of no better way to spend my lunchbreak than digging into this salad, logging my nutrition points, and blogging about the experience, while simultaneously being extra careful to not spill dressing on this public computer's keyboard. Very odd really, I couldn't explain this to any of the people I'm here with.

But that's OK, 'cause while they're all coming back 800-1000 calories heavier, I, even with a generous 4 tablespoons of Makoto, will come back refreshed and recharged with less than 200 calories of leafy greens and ginger dressing.

That's worth blogging about!

Talk to you tomorrow Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBECCATKD 6/22/2011 10:56PM

You're right; non-Sparkers just don't understand our need to get moving, eat healthy, and connect with other Sparkers. It's a shame, really. They're missing out on so much.

Time to recruit!

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BRADOS 6/22/2011 1:47PM

    sounds like a great lunch - for me, add a Kindle and a nice place outside to read and it would be perfect

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FANGFACEKITTY 6/22/2011 1:30PM

    There really is no better way to spend lunch! So if you are sick, a lot of us are right there with you.

I just finished trying wilted greens with tomato & mushrooms with mustard greens and various herbs fresh picked from the garden. Added some onions and my habanero salsa, a little cumin & lemon pepper...and I have a new favorite side dish.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 6/22/2011 12:41PM

    Wow! Great job! And just think, they'll be sleepy later and you'll be good to go. I recommend you have the nappers do some exercises to wake up! LOL


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Cruising to Alaska!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Well this was a very nice Father's Day. At times relaxing, at times busy, good family time (even though I had to spend an hour on the phone for work), then a nice dinner on the patio, and the inklings of an idea that got my creative planning juices going which could make this one hell of a nice summer.

That's right, I'm talking about a cruise....a cruise to Alaska! But first, a recap of the weekend.

After 20-something guy showed me a pretty neat 12-mile bike loop on Friday, I decided to try it out on my own Saturday. However, just as I pedaled out the driveway yesterday AM, my new neighbor across the street (40-something guy) was out there in his neon-yellow cycling gear about to brave it alone. So we circled each other cautiously on our carbon-framed cycling machines, exchanged pleasantries while sizing up each others' gear and regalia, then simultaneously said, "let's do it!"

It was actually a very nice ride. He took me on a route near our neighborhood where the sheriff had planted some mobile radar trailers. So, like kids, we'd speed up to see how fast we could get it to flash (23 MPH was the record on a straightaway). It was a pretty decent ride, enough to have me drinking water like crazy the rest of the day.

Last night, another of the neighbors had a deck party (this is turning into a very social neighborhood), where we ate pretty light (SWMBO had made a big vat of tabbouleh, laced with parsley, garlic, and lemon....we left half of it home for today). Ate light that is until the cute, chubby hostess brought out her home-made peanut butter ice cream, laced with hunks of dark chocolate! Good thing we did speed work on the bikes!

But that was yesterday. This morning I got out for a nice leisurely ride alone. I enjoy the solitude of riding, so this was good. I like company, that feeds my competitive side and contributes to a good hard workout. For Father's Day though, it was just me, so I rode slower and went a little longer.

Came home, showered up & shaved, had a nice big bowl of leftover tabbouleh and finished hanging some of the larger pictures in the living and dining rooms. As SWMBO and I went over calendars for this week (I'm on the road back to Norfolk, VA tomorrow) I told her that the earliest I could take any vacation this summer was the first week of Aug. She said, "well hell, we live right on the beach with white sands and emerald green water, what should we do?" Of course, #2 son chimed in and said, "Why don't we go back to Hawaii?" (we spent Christmas of 2009 on Oahu)

"No, we should see some more of this great land," I said in my best Atticus Finch voice gazing down upon him.

SWMBO and #2 son got worried looks on their faces and clamored in unison, "Like where?"

"Well scouts, I'm thinking somewhere cool & dry. Montana perhaps, Yellowstone park, or maybe Nova Scotia....wait a minute.....what about....Alaska!"


They looked at each other, then at their shoes. #2 son asked, "what's wrong with Hawaii? It's pretty cool there."

You see, Spark friends, your friendly blogger has wanted to go on a cruise for years. We came real close in 2005. I finally talked the family into it (#1 son was still at home then. You wouldn't believe how they resisted me on this...that's for another blog though.) We planned it, researched the ships, sat down with a travel agent, and in Aug 2005, booked 2 very nice side-by-side rooms for a XMAS cruise down to South America.

2 weeks later, the travel agent called me and said, "Sir, all ocean going vessels have been commandeered by Military Sealift Command to aid in the Katrina relief efforts. Your ship is one of them, so we'll have to refund your tickets" Arrggghhh! (even 6 years later, I feel Katrina's pain)

So today, Father's Day, was the perfect opening to resurrect this long forgotten dream. What, they're going to tell me "No" on Father's Day? I think not!

So I had a blast this afternoon, looking up ships, reading reviews, planning the dates (it could be tight with my work schedule). I sent out a few e-mails to some recommended travel agents (of course they're all closed on Sunday). I think I'm going to need the help. I don't have the time to plan this in detail and if we get a dud cruise ship or cruise line, I'm a dead man with the family, so it HAS TO BE GOOD!

More to follow...this is going to be a fast moving train.

Good night Spark friends....and Happy Father's Day to all Dads out there!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 6/25/2011 6:13PM

    Can I come? My sister went on an Alaskan cruise a few years ago and loved it. I've been on many cruises (but not to Alaska) and loved every one of them. Ate too much, didn't exercise enough, but I loved much to do, so much to see! Keep us posted on your plans!

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MOM23JS 6/20/2011 12:54AM

    Boy am I jealous!! If you want to adopt me I am willing :)

Have a wonderful time and as always I enjoy reading your blog!

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KATYBUG48 6/19/2011 10:18PM

  I just got back from an Alaxka Cruise myself. Awesome time

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BRADOS 6/19/2011 10:16PM

    Happy Fathers Day to you

An Alaska Cruise sounds awesome - of course, I crave fresh salmon

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"Wind Always Blows in Your Face"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quite the busy day today. Tons of meetings in the AM, a lunchtime bike ride, more meetings in the afternoon, post-work gym time for ST, then a dinner down the street for some friends moving away.

I did it all, minus the gym time. My 90 minute afternoon meeting went for almost 3 hours, so I had to cancel trainer guy at the last minute....we had too many important decisions to follow up on to stop at 90 minutes.

Which is why I was glad I got the bike ride in early. It was hot, wicked Florida hot and muggy. And windy. Legend has it that Juan Ponce de Leon, in his quest for the Fountain of Youth, discovered and named this area "Florida" for all its native flowers. I think that's bull! After today, I'm pretty sure that Florida is some native Seminole term for "wind always blows in your face"

Whether I was going east or west, uphill or down, I had the wind blowing right smack at me. So moving from Destin to Ft. Walton Beach, barely 15 miles, has made a huge difference. When I rode my back there, I went down tree-lined streets, the Spanish Moss dangling lazily in the humid air blocking any sea breeze.

This close to the water though and we are chock full of winds and eddies, swirls and gusts, each one making me wish I could taper down into an aerodynamically low-drag machine.

But people in hell want ice water, so I had to make due. 20-something office guy had a nice 12-mile loop planned. My goal was to do it in 40 minutes, and it took 45.just goes to show you that those Lifecycles in the gym can replicate real life only so far.not much wind resistance indoors.

It was a pretty decent ride, but at high noon, it was 98 degrees, and 90+ humidity. I was one dehydrated dude the rest of the day. I could not drink enough water all afternoon.

Luckily I kept drinking water at the going away party. 4 huge vats of quite nicely cooked Manicotti along with some home-made Focaccia was served up on the patio. SWMBO and I shared a plate, and steered clear of the desert piles (brownies, blondies, and other deadly sins)

So Im pretty beat, but glad the day went so well

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRADOS 6/19/2011 5:36PM

    Oh man, your area of the country sounds beautiful and while I always thought I wanted to stay in the Midwest forever, I don't doubt that another year of reading your blogs is going to make me change my mind - have a great week GETSTRONGRRR

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LOSER05 6/19/2011 9:17AM


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JODIE_A 6/18/2011 7:43AM

    ha! "wind always blows in your face" could be a metaphore for life in general I think :o)) good blog!

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Mysterious weightloss

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So I'm not sure what'a going on here. I haven't been doing things THAT differently lately (other than having salad for dinner 3 days in a row over the weekend). Somehow, I am losing weight. And it's not just the scale. Today I had someone at work state outright, "hey you're losing some weight!"

Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful thing. But the left side of my brain (that's the analytic one, right?) is trying to find a reason for it. Yeah, it's hot & muggy....but hell it's Florida, it's been hot & muggy for months.

I'm working out, but not much more than the past few months. I'm over the hump of family visitors that caused massive food turmoil & disruption throughout May. I'm still easting in the 1800-2000 calorie/day range. There haven't been any UFO sightings here lately, but I do see some odd lights flashing out over the water at night. Then there's that boat parked by our back yard....

So maybe I've finally got my body past some weird set point and it now realizes that resistance is futile. Maybe I need to eat more salads on weekends. Maybe I just need to stop analyzing it and throw a party!

So tomorrow I've got a busy day, and to top it off, a 20-something guy in my front office threw down a biking challenge, so I'm taking my bike in to work for a lunchtime ride. Then I have an early gym time (around 4:30 PM) so that SWMBO and I can make a going away dinner for some friends down the street.

I might have to ride to the store to buy a new belt!

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERFIT011 6/17/2011 3:30PM

    WooHoo! Very happy for you that the weight is coming off. Also encouraged as I have been stalled for quite some time. I have kept going but it can get discouraging. But your blog gives me hope that eventually the hard work and good decisions will reap the reward. Hope you give that poor 20 yr. old a little break; their egos are such fragile things! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEXAS_GRL 6/17/2011 2:06PM

    Reading this gives me hope -- right now my body is putting up a major fight. I keep going up and down 6 ounces. I am happy I am not gaining but can be a bit frustrating. :) So I am guessing eventually my inner Borg will show up and finally the body will realize resistance is futile!
So party on!! emoticon

Keep on ~ keeping on!

emoticon emoticon

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TEXAS_GRL 6/17/2011 2:05PM

    Reading this gives me hope -- right now my body is putting up a major fight. I keep going up and down 6 ounces. I am happy I am not gaining but can be a bit frustrating. :) So I am guessing eventually my inner Borg will show up and finally the body will realize resistance is futile!
So party on!! emoticon

Keep on ~ keeping on!

emoticon emoticon

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MPENNE 6/17/2011 11:09AM

    emoticon Enjoy your success.

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LJCANNON 6/17/2011 11:07AM

    emoticonKick the Scale to the Curb, and have a Party. Your dedication, consistency and hard work is paying off!! Enjoy your Party!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOBF15 6/17/2011 10:49AM

    I am a "Flat Earther" As a duly paid up subscriber to the Flat Earth Society, I have to throw my lot in with it is all about plateuas, bro.

Just enjoy, cuz, Karma dictates some poor Sparker some where in Sparkville is being eatnen alive at the moment because they had Special K for breakfast, granola bars for lunch all week, and came home to have arugula and leeks for supper with a wine vinagrette, did massive amounts of working out... and get this, gained 2 lbs. Go figure. emoticon

So don't gloat, that day is coming to you too. emoticon

It's all in the "Whhhhheeel of Spark" No, no, no... it has not a thing to do with consistency, or hard work, or even dedication, it is that stupid little spark wheel. Here we think we are on some great diet and exercise site and what we do makes a difference, but it is THAT WHEEL that controls our destiny.


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SAFARIBABE 6/16/2011 10:24PM

    Stop analyzing and throw the party! That's my vote anyway!! Oh yeah and don't forget to invite your awesome pal from NYC who by tomorrow should nolonger be a puddle of sweat. LOL Good luck with the 20-something! Show him that experience beats age ANY day of the week but especially on Fridays!

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FANGFACEKITTY 6/16/2011 9:23PM

    However it's happening, enjoy the results. You deserve it after all your hard work so it's not too surprising. Here's to 20 something guy eating your bike dust tomorrow!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 6/16/2011 9:11PM

    Crazy scale, it never makes sense. Glad it's being nice to you. Keep making the healthy choices!

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BERRY4 6/16/2011 8:30PM

    Here's my 2 cents: all the good & healthy choices DO make a difference! (...but in their own way in their own time!)

In my experience, I can go along for 2-3 months with not a lot of change/variation on the scale, but I still keep exercising and working on healthy food choices. (In other words, stay with it!) And then suddenly the scale will drop 10 lbs in 6 weeks. Go figure!

You are right to celebrate when the scale "listens" to all your hard work and efforts. Keep on keepin' on in the healthy LIFESTYLE!

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SPOOKYTHECAT 6/16/2011 8:23PM

    Hooray! I think that there is something to the 'follow the path, follow the rules & eventually you will reach your destination' ... even if it doesn't show up on the scale for awhile, it Will.

Congrats!! & keep going!!!

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Nothing Good Comes Easy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm glad I have a trainer. There are days like today where, if I didn't have a standing commitment to be at the gym, I'd shirk it off. Even if I had made it there, I'd have done a less vigorous workout.

But I made it to the gym at my allotted time and walked out an hour & a half later glad that I went, tired, but satisfied that I worked out hard.

I'm a pretty disciplined person, and so every now and then I have to get over the, "I should be able to do this on my own" syndrome. It's just a fact that what works for me is a commitment to get out there and meet someone. It works better on a professional basis; I'm much more likely to call a buddy and cancel. And I really like having someone that knows what they're doing to push me to do things them slow, emphasize correct form, and push me past what i think I can do.

So I made it to the gym today. As I walked up the stairs to the weight room, I had all sorts of thoughts like, "hmmm, I feel like taking it easy today. Maybe I can skip the pull ups. I'm running late, maybe we can do 2 sets instead of 3 on each exercise." I'm real good at coming up with excuses and alternate plans.

But we stuck to the plan trainer guy had written down weeks ago. He's also good at coming up with alternate plans. If I can't get at least 6 reps in on an exercise on the 2d or 3d set, there's no skating home scot free. Oh no, he lowers the weight 20-30 lbs and says, "OK, just do as many as you can until you burn the muscle out"

"Really!?!? Really?!? This is what I pay you for?!? Have you no mercy, no human compassion....have you no soul man!?!"

"Yeah, Yeah, let's go, rep it out, we've still got to do______(fill in the favorite torture device here)

Sometimes it's even simpler than that. A sly comment like, "Hey, have you noticed that old lady there doing the bench press. She's been hitting all the machines since 3:00" is all it takes to keep me from kvetching and get back on track.

What I've come to realize with weight lifting is that it never gets easier. Oh I have good days and bad days. But what I have learned with trainer guy is that the weight itself is not nearly as important as tiring the muscle out. What that translates to is that the goal is to get really, really tired by the end of the workout. It always feels good afterwards....but some days, during that hour and a half, I'm really glad to not have to do it alone.

Then again, walking by the mirror and seeing the shadow cast by a large vein on my arm, or lines of definition on my neck and shoulders as I swing the bottle up for a drink remind me that nothing good comes easily and makes me glad that I've been doing this so regularly these past few years....even on days when I don't feel like doing it.

Remember, there are only 2 times you have to work out; when you want to and when you don't want to!

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 6/16/2011 10:27AM

    Heyyy...gooood for that when you want to and when you DON'T want to...I'm in the second category WAYYYY too much. Maybe I need a trainer too? Guess I'm not that dedicated to exercise yet...I do great on my eating...but the treadmill and some weight training to a couple of Sparkpeople tapes is all I can muster right now.

I'll be checking in on you for motivation...that's for sure! Keep on keepin' on! emoticon

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