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 I’m pretty beat, but glad the day went so well
Good night Spark friends!
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!
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 right....do 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!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Every now and then I have to navigate a tricky eating regimen at work. Most days are great. SWMBO makes me 2 sandwiches to take in and I eat 1/2 a sandwich every 3 hours or so. This and a piece of fruit get me to dinner time where i can eat another 500 calories or so and, with room for another snack, keeps me at about 1800-2000 calories a day.
So about every 2 to 3 months, we do a pot luck with my office staff. I've been pretty good about grazing lightly at these events. I did pretty good today taking very small portions of only the few things I really wanted (one of which was a small square of blondie on the dessert table) and spent most of my time chatting up the pepes.
It wasn't too bad, just not as precisely measured as the calories from my 2 sandwiches (820 cals total if you believe all the nutrition data on the labels). I think I came in around 900 calories at the potluck, but that's all I had till dinner, which was some nicely sauteed napa cabbage, leeks & garlic, topped with a few ounces of pork tenderloin, rounding out the day at about 1500 calories.
Planning ahead helped; I knew about the lunchtime potluck and so ditched the sandwiches. What I didn't like was the long wait till lunchtime, the big lunch, then another 6 hours till dinner. I've grown accustomed to a more even keeled approach.
Anyway, feeling pretty good about staying within limits again. Late afternoon madness making phone calls and e-mails kept me in the office too long to hit the gym after work.....so I am toying with....dare I say it.....working out in the mornings before work.....hmmmmmm....more to follow!
Good night Spark friends
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!
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