Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Jif....creamy, sweet, savory, peanut buttery Jif.
It's my downfall
I don't know who decided it would be a good idea to crush peanuts and blend them up into a creamy concoction you pump into a jar, but it was sheer genius I tell you. They should also be locked up for crimes against humanity.
I love peanut butter with honey, I love it on toast, I love it with bananas, and I love it with that deadliest of inventions, marshmallow fluff (better known as a fluffernutter for anyone from Boston)
But this can't go on. I witnessed myself going back to that jar of Jif numerous times these past 3 weeks, and whereas before I was always careful to measure out and stay within a 2-4 tblspn range, in my 3 week sleep-walking mode (where I didn't log what I ate) it was so very easy to sit there with a jar and scoop and scoop and scoop...then wash it down with a glass of cold milk
What made me crash through my daily calorie limit today was a "small snack" I allowed myself after work....a banana with a few tablespoons of PB....a 315 calorie bill for the day.
But that's where logging keeps me honest. Without facing those numbers, I could just as easily go grab the jar again after dinner and kid myself into thinking that the calories are negligible.
Every calorie counts...and they all add up....I am recommitted to staying within my range every day!
Bring it Jif!
Good night Spark friends.
Monday, August 22, 2011
So here's my danger zone; it's not that I can get too busy for Spark People....oh no....I enter the danger zone when I have too much free time and give myself permission to take it easy.
Here's the story of how I, by taking a week's vacation, and giving myself permission to "not log food this trip" spiraled into 3 weeks of "I'll get back to logging calories tomorrow"
Yeah, so we went to Santa Fe the beginning of Aug and had a great time on vacation. New Mexican cuisine was excellent, and so I said, "Hmm, a little too hard to track the red & green chile sauces and the recipes for these enchiladas are too inexact, so I'll ease up this week and end a 202 DAY FOOD LOGGING STREAK!
7 days on va-ca turned into 3 weeks of, "oh well, no biggie, I'll start up again tomorrow."
Then, the inevitable happened....the scale, quite on it's own you understand, started to creep up, one insidious pound at a time.
But you see, it wasn't a constant, linear upwards movement....oh no! It went up a lb or 2, then back down a pound. It stayed steady a couple of days, then bumped up 2 lbs after a Chinese buffet.
And explain it all away I did. "Oh it's the sodium....must have drank a lot of water. I didn't workout yesterday, or it would have been lower. What's wrong with this damn scale, I might need a new one"
Never underestimate the power of the human brain to think up all sorts of wrong answers to the simplest of evidence....I stopped paying attention and underestimated how much I was eating.
So once Mr Scale flashed 193 back at me today, I broke through the walls of denial and said, "Basta! This path leads to sweatpants and belts that dig into my waistband!"
I guess I have a shark's soul....as long as I'm moving, things are good....but slow down or stop and....WHAM! Death spiral down to the murky depths of Davy Jones' locker!
Because it was only a short mental jump from not logging calories to not updating workouts, to not updating my status, hell to not logging in at all....and all the while the fat cells in my body are giving each other high-5s and singing sweet siren's songs telling me it's alright, I can get back on track tomorrow.
Well, it's not alright, and tomorrow never comes....the only easy day was yesterday!
So I'm back with a vengeance my Spark friends....wide awake and ready to do today what cannot be put off till tomorrow!
It's good to be home!
Monday, August 08, 2011
Ahh routines....home, work, gym....life is good!
We had an awesome family vacation....memories that we'll be talking about for years. But we're all glad to be back home too.
We found just the right balance between rest, adventure, tourism, and culture....but we're glad to be be back home! (didn't I just say that?)
I took an extra day off from work today to take care of stuff around the house, run some errands, and to hit the gym to lift some weights after doing nothing but cardio (albeit, 7 straight days of cardio at 7,000 ft above sea level) recently.
And I started tracking food again....how easy it is too slip out of these good habits!
It's all about the routine
For 7 straight days, we were unplugged from our home-style habits. I made a conscious decision to not track food. We played, we walked, we hiked, we swam, we ate, I biked, and we all took naps whenever we felt like it. We broke our routines. We VACATIONED!
Now we're back home. My brain is re-engaging all those things I have done so well since joining Sparkpeople...and it still feels good. It's 9:00 PM and I'm at 1600 calories for the day. I hit the gym with trainer guy and worked my chest & shoulders for a good 2 hours (I actually felt super-human in the gym today....after struggling up those Santa Fe hills at 7,000 ft, I think I produced an abundance of red blood cells. I pumped that iron like there was no tomorrow...I'll pay for it dearly tomorrow, but today, it feels good)
So tomorrow back to work, back to that routine. Thursday I fly to Las Vegas for a few days....back to that routine too.
But I sincerely believe I can only have done so well on vacation, at work, and on the road through the good habits and routines I've developed through my friends at Sparkpeople.
Good night Spark friends!
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Well our Santa Fe adventure continues to be a blast (I leaned over to SWMBO during one of our walks and asked if she might consider moving here when/if I ever retire....quizzical, non-committal look and a grunt)
We're digging the cool, dry mornings (60s, barely a drop of humidity) and have spent them walking around the Central Plaza, up to the artist retreat on Canyon Rd (some pretty amazing stuff along a mile long stretch of adobe houses), and continuing to enjoy our New Mexican Food adventures. We drove about 5 miles out of town to a little joint called Bobcat Bite ( bobcatbite.com/ ), a dinky little dive that is apparently world renowned for some amazing burgers...and the world is right! I had this amazing green chile cheeseburger to die for.
Of course that meant an extra 30 minutes biking around on Red Olmo
So far it's been a blast taking this red steel speed machine around town! The roads here are very well marked...specific and very large bike lanes....but they are in a terrible state of repair. I got a flat on today's ride, changed out the tube and rode over to the place I rented it from and got a new tube and CO2 cartridge....there is an advantage to renting....if I had been any closer, I'd have walked it there and had them change it.
But renting Olmo was a pretty smart vacation decision. SWMBO gets tuckered out around 2:00 and likes to rest up for evening activities, so having the bike around gets me outdoors. I can already tell that if I had not dished out some hard coin on renting the bike, I could have just as easily said, "screw it. I'll just hang out"
But our routine has worked out just fine. We pack our touristy things into the AM (tomorrow we go for an early AM desert tour in some Land Rovers), get a nice lunch, back to the hotel around 2:00, siesta time (it has been surprisingly easy for me to take naps...we're at 7,000 ft and I can tell I get winded a little easier), get up, take Olmo for a long, easy ride (with some serious speed action down these long hills!), change into swimsuit & splash around the pool with #2 son, then out for dinner or evening activity.
Tonight we go see the Juan Siddi Flamenco Co. ( juansiddiflamenco.com/ )
SWMBO and I have been looking forward to this for a while...we've heard great things about the show....and yes, there is the very real possibility that we two may soon sign up for some ballroom dancing lessons....more to follow on that (she's got a birthday coming up this month, and I'm stumped for gifts....couples dance lessons ladies? good idea?)
Well that's all the news that's fit to print. Keep eating well and working out Spark friends!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Well Spark friends, our first full day in Santa Fe was a blast!
We're a little tired, but we're making an early night of it so we can do some no-kidding sight-seeing tomorrow.
We started off by getting up at 4:00 AM so we could do our early morning hot-air balloon ride. It was a first class blast!
Johnny the balloon guy picked us up at at our hotel at 5:15. He was a character!
We drove about 45 minutes outside of Santa Fe, past the Indian lands to a big open stretch of federal land chock full of cliffs, arroyos etc. We watched the crew assemble the balloon and the rigging, inflate the fabric with fans, then turn on the flame throwers to get it lifted up.
I thought we were going to just cruise up to 1000 ft and float. No way! Johnny was an excellent pilot....7000 hrs of balloon time. We rose and fell into the canyons, swept treetop level over the mesas, floated down to chase a coyote....wow!
Of course I couldn't resist, so I asked him to give me some quick lessons, then took control of the burners and glided our gondola over the ravines for about 15 minutes.....I felt like Red Buttons from "5 Weeks in a Balloon"
(BTW, I photoshopped me and SWMBO into the far left)
We got back to the hotel around 10:00, and by then the family was cackling for breakfast, so I took them to the Southside Plaza Cafe, one of the recommended spots for a good breakfast....and it was. I've never had huevos rancheros like that before!
We got back to the hotel around 1130 and then I had a tough choice to make. SWMBO and I had massage appointments at 2:00PM. I was pretty tired, and eating lots of salsa makes me want to take a siesta. But man if I slept now, I knew I wouldn't work out after the spa. So I donned riding gear and took Red Olmo out for a 45 min spin.
That was the right thing to do, because 10 minutes into it, I perked right back up. Came back, showered, shaved, grabbed SWMBO and drove out to the Encantado resort ( www.encantadoresort.com/spa/ ). That was just what the doctor ordered! I got the deep tissue sports massage which was perfect. I pretty much smelled like a eucalyptus tree sprouting cypress leaves by the time I was done, but my neck, shoulders, and back felt like I had just reset a breaker in my spine. SWMBO was just as happy, her eyes sparkled with relaxation and relief after our traveling adventures.
We came back to the hotel, picked up number 2 son and went over to Whole Foods to pick up some cooked veggies and salsa free food for dinner back at the room. We all agreed that we're in danger of overdosing on chiles, so we have to balance it out.
Now I have a confession to make Spark friends; it is too damn hard for me to track food on this trip.
When I travel on my own, I can make due pretty well. But just these last 2 days with family in tow and odd little spots & snacks has made my brain hurt. So I'm taking a va-ca from logging this week.
That was a tough decision. I have a 202 day streak going....haven't missed logging anything I've eaten since I joined Sparkpeople on 9 Jan this year.
But I'm here to have fun, and while it's not impossible to do, I feel a little more relaxed not worrying about it. I'm using my good eating skills to eat well and not overeat. I'm still torn that I might be using food as a reward (I did grab a key lime bar from Whole Foods to help wash down the broccoli, red pepper, and roasted garlic medley and Orzo with arugula & plum tomatoes), but I'm also resolved to live with whatever Mr Scale has to say when we get back home and live with my decision.
Anyway, that's all for now....goodnight Spark friends!
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