Saturday, September 03, 2011
So who knew that there was a large enough of a Greek Orthodox population here in the Ft Walton Beach area to hold an annual Greek Festival!
Now I'm not Greek, but I certainly enjoy a well-baked phyllo dough stuffed with spinach and feta cheese (spanokopita);
nicely layered moussaka;
baklava, appropriately crisped;
and my all time favorite, the "bird's nest" kadaif;
You see, Labor Day weekend is our anniversary weekend, so this was as much a date for SWMBO and I as it was a culinary adventure. After hanging out on the back deck all morning watching the whitecaps generated by Tropical Storm Lee, we decided to hell with it, we're going out!
It was a pretty decent time, and we also got some shopping done (SWMBO had a long list of items from Bed, Bath, & Beyond, as well as me making good on the promise I made to buy her some new running shoes....cha-ching!)
So Spark friends, what else could I possibly do this afternoon except to get my a$$ over to the gym to burn off the generous helpings of olive oil and feta I consumed today!
I hit the stationary bike, got warmed up, then went into the Tabata intervals I've been talking about these past few days. I am most definitely digging them! Those short bursts of very hi-intensity, going all out, are tough as hell, but they get my heart rate way up there, I get a great sweat going, and I find that my mind is totally focused on exercise and absolutely nothing else....no work, no home, no "I should take care of...." thoughts, just right here in the moment.
These are very short bursts over a period of just 4-5 minutes with recovery time built in. What I have found is that I can do these 5 minute Tabatas on different equipment. I started off on the stationary bike, then did some on the elliptical, then picked up a pair of dumbbells and did shoulders. So at the end of a 60 minute cardio session, I had worked out a great variety of body parts, some of them very intensely and 2 hours later, I still feel a very invigorating "burn".
That's good because my Big Fat Greek Lunch cost me 1000 calories, so burn, baby, burn!
Good night Spark friends!
Friday, September 02, 2011
Well I took today off to make it a 4-day weekend....then I also decided that I'd take Tues-Fri off next week as well, so I'm about to enter 10 straight days off from work.....unheard of I tell you. It's OK though, I rarely get the full time off and will likely go in a few hours a few times next week.
But I digress....Today, I was a workout animal! And the plan is to continue that trend through next week.
First off I helped SWMBO with some household chores this AM....mostly being her pack mule to move boxes and "craft containers" from her studio room to our garage storage shed. I don't have the heart to claim it as cardio, and any ST benefits I got from it were from exercising patience as I arranged, then re-arranged the "craft containers" in the storage shed by season. Oh yeah, each 25 gallon tub is marked "Fall decorations", "Christmas ornaments", "Easter", "4th of July".....I could open a Micheal's franchise in our backyard. Apparently the goal is (for me) to rotate the most recent required containers to the front each season....I'm very happy to be so needed
But I finally broke free and made it to the gym. I actually went a little early to warm-up before lifting and decided to try the Tabata Intervals I blogged about a few days ago ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4453107 ). WOW!!! I had downloaded a playlist that times various intervals and used the beginner set of 10 seconds all out/20 seconds rest (actual goal is 20 second full out/10 seconds rest)
Well I got to admit, they were pretty amazing! I tried them a few times on the stationary bike, then on the elliptical, then again on the bike (trainer guy was late). I feel pretty motivated to start doing them as part of my regular cardio workout. I was warmed up and sweating in no time. Overall, it felt great to change up the pace frequently; it helped to stay focused in a way that just droning on and on for 30-40 minutes doesn't do. Here's a link to an article that gives a pretty good explanation of them:
Lifting went great too...like everything else, consistency is the key for me. I've been able to get in 3 good sessions a week these past 3 weeks and have felt massive improvements. I'll keep it going next week, then see what I can do on the road through the rest of September.
That's all for tonight Spark friends, have a good night!
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Well I'm kind of glad this week is winding down. Lots to do, lots of demands on my time....and September is going to be a roller coaster. I'm flying to Virginia on Sept 11 (should be a hoot!), and then I'm on the road the rest of the month and into October; Salt Lake City, Orlando, Las Vegas, Charlottesville, parts unknown.
So I've got another week to get my act together and man up for a month of eating well on the road and working out, else I'll lose any gains I've recently made. I've been really consistent about working out lately, even if I've missed a day or 2, so I'm loathe to slack off there.
I'm going to take a few days off from work next week to finish up some stuff around the house, so that'll be a good chance to work out regularly and get in decent shape before hitting the road. I usually do pretty good getting cardio in while traveling...ST is a little tougher, so I might pick back up with the 100 pushup/200 situp program.
Good news; when I'm on the road, peanut butter stays at home!
Good night Spark friends!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Deter me once, shame on you (work)....Deter me twice, shame on me (I will not be deterred)
So, today had all the potential makings of another 14 hour day at the office. I got in around 6:00 AM to get ready for tons of meetings, employee feedback sessions, yadda-yadda-yadda. It was pretty non-stop from early AM till late afternoon...same as yesterday. But yesterday, I stuck around till 8:00 PM, blew off the gym, and regretted it all night
Today I came real close to blowing off the gym again
It was 5:30, I was already late for my session with trainer guy, and I was this close to calling him up and cancelling.
Instead I called him up and said, "I'm delayed, I'll be there by 6:00 PM"
Wahoo! Probably the best decision I made all day!
We worked out back and legs pretty hard for an hour. It was just what I needed, because it has been a frustrating 2 days.
Here's the beauty of it: Trainer guy looks at me when I walk in and says, "You don't look happy"
"That's probably because I'm not. Let's go Monkey Boy"
That was probably the dumbest thing I said all day.
Here's some free advice to everyone....don't get surly with your personal trainer, they'll just make your life so painful, that any other frustrations or pains you have will quickly become inconsequential.
He opens up his notebook, erases a few things, scribbles down some new things, and next thing I know, he's telling me I need to "rep out" each set.
If your not fluent in gym-speak, "repping out" means that I basically keep doing whatever exercise he has me on (did I mention we did back and legs today) and keep doing them to muscle exhaustion. No counting to 8 or 10 and we're done. Oh no, just the constant "let's go go 3 more, 2 more, 1 more, 1 more, keep going, 1 more, come on you got 1 more in you"
"How many freaking 'one mores' can you keep adding you sadistic bastard? Are you enjoying this" (I just thought it, I didn't have the energy to speak)
Next thing you know, Old Jed's a millionaire.....I can't even remember what I was frustrated about at work.....I just channeled all that hate into trainer guy, who I'm cursing for every dime I'm paying to help get me in shape. Pretty much a Charlton Heston moment ("Hate keeps a man alive"--Ben Hur)
But by the end, I felt better. Trainer guy kept my motivation up, pushed me past what I felt I could do on my own (Hey, I'm here to tell the story), and, after I fired him twice, we scheduled our next session for Friday afternoon
So, life is good, working out helps relieve even the most frustrating of days, and the difference in my thinking today is that I WILL go to great lengths to workout and I WILL NOT be deterred!
Good night Spark friends
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Well I'd rather be lucky than good.
My damn good luck made me SWMBO's hero tonight....you see it's her birthday. Yeah, yeah #2 son and I took her out Saturday for an early birthday celebration, but today's her actual birthday and it just worked out that I had a major local function to attend in town tonight, some wacky 5-course dinner with fish, fowl, and Gulf seafood on the menu, and I got to take her along all dressed and foo-fooed up.....and it was FREE!
Beats the hell out of the vacuum cleaner I was thinking of buying her.
After a fairly hectic day at work, I told my front office guys that I had to be walking out the door at 4:00....at 4:15 I made it to the gym and did my fastest ever chest & shoulder routine (it's a lot more tiring when you cut the chit-chat and break times out). Came home, showered up and jumped into the monkey suit while she dolled up her hair, then I scarfed down a banana to squelch the hunger pangs before arriving.
Lots of mingling and a glass of ginger ale for me and SWMBO, then the dinner chimes sounded. Luckily, I scoped out what was on the menu ahead of time, so even though I was somewhat hungry, I didn't overdo it on any of the danger items (oysters rockefeller and the crab & lobster bisque)....SWMBO, bless her heart, can take a nibble or 2 of an appetizer or a sip or 3 of soup, then she's done...not a second thought....I tried to take my lead from her.
So it was very nice event, good company, and it turns out we had a lot in common with the folks at our table. She was happy, everyone squeezed her and gave her birthday hugs, and I got credit for a birthday night out.
Lucky over good any day!
Tomorrow....I experiment with.....Tabata Intervals!
Good night Spark friends!
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