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Fall 5% Challenge....must I really talk about me....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

So I joined the Spark Fall 5% Challenge. Have I mentioned before that I'm a little competitive? Sometimes the best way to get me to do something is to tell me I can't.

In the lead up to the 24 Sept kickoff of the challenge, there are a number of pre-challenge challenges, such as posting on my Spark page exactly how I am planning to achieve a 5% weight drop and updating my Spark page with more personal information about myself.

Hmmm, I'm pretty happy with my Spark page as is......but OK, I'll change it, anything to gain an edge in the competition. More personal information about myself.....well there was that time in South America.....

Do I really have to talk about me?

But wait, there's more! Today's assignment is to;

"List all the reasons you want to lose weight. What do you want to change? How do you want to look? How do you want to feel? What things will you be able to do in the future with a slimmer healthier body? And list all the OTHER things that you want to change"

Now I'm not much of a True Confessions kind of a guy. Sure I blog a lot about what's going on with me, my trials & tribulations eating on the road, getting groped by TSA agents at airports, trying to exercise regularly, all the while trying to lead a purposeful life.

But how do I want to feel? What do I want to change? All the OTHER things I want to change? Put it down in writing and post it on the World Wide Web?

I'd rather eat glass! (I hear it's pretty low-cal)

Now I pride myself on being a team player....I love a challenge and I can easily lead, or follow when needed, I can motivate people, I can pull my weight on a team.

But why do I need to talk about me? In public?

Oh alright, in the spirit of the challenge and in the interests of brevity, here we go.

What do you want to change?
Mostly eating habits. I want to stay within daily calorie limits....and most importantly limit late-night snacking

How do you want to look?
Michelangelo's David would be nice, but I'll settle for a 10 lb slimmer me with a little less bulge in the muffin top.

How do you want to feel?
Like Michelangelo's David with a slight muffin top. Feel, feel, how do I want to feel? I want to feel less compelled to snack, especially late at night. I guess that translates into feeling more in control of cravings.
(Ladies, don't ask us guys to put down our doesn't come naturally)

What things will you be able to do in the future with a slimmer healthier body?
I'll be pretty happy comfortably fitting into a size 34 jean. Dropping 10 lbs would greatly help achieve one of my ST goals which is to do 10 picture perfect pullups. It would also really help in being able to ride longer & faster on the bike.

And list all the OTHER things that you want to change
It's a long list....I'll save room for it in another blog!

OK, don't get me wrong, I can be glib about a lot of things, but getting healthy, getting down to fighting weight, making progress and not slipping back into bad habits....I am dead serious about that stuff.

So Team-mates in the Fall 5% Challenge....I AM ALL IN! I will do whatever is necessary in the spirit of the challenge (even if it's corny stuff like writing down how I feel) and help my mates on the team achieve their goals too. I will work my ass off and help anybody else on the team that needs and extra push to meet the challenge as well.

That's the real me!

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 9/20/2011 2:54AM

    OMG, I'm so excited to have you on our team! You are hilarious!

I especially loved this one: "anything to gain an edge in the competition." For changing your SparkPage. LOL! (and I'm still a member of the stodgy old guard that only writes "LOL" if I literally laugh out loud).

I like changing my SparkPage for the challenges. My first challenge, it was the first time I'd changed my page in three years, so it needed to be done.

So looking forward to getting to know you during the challenge!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/19/2011 10:16PM

    LOL - you are hilarious & awesome. Glad to have you with us, emoticon.
The challenge assignments are definitely tough. Very introspective stuff. I've never done all of them, and this is my 5th or 6th challenge. And I'm a co-leader. Shh, don't tell.

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PROT358 9/19/2011 9:36PM

    Like ripping off a bandaid? There, at least you said it. Thank you for sharing! Maybe this whole self-reflection thing will get easier with time ;)

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JUNEBUG1944 9/18/2011 10:52PM

    Thanks for baring your we know way more about you than you know about us! emoticon

Good luck to you...

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ZEESPARROW 9/18/2011 8:57PM

    Dang, I haven't read the latest assignment yet and now I don't want to. Well, technically I still haven't, so that means I don't have to post this stuff right?? Haha. I shall give it a go in the spirit of being a team player.

Let's Do This! emoticon

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MOBYCARP 9/18/2011 8:27PM

    LOL. You make me glad I didn't sign up for a 5% challenge. Having to to answer questions like that isn't high on my priority list. I could see myself writing stuff like, "This question does not make any sense to me," quite often.

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Back home....and prepping for the Fall 5% Challenge

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ah, home sweet home....

Well the planes ran on time today and we made it back home. SWMBO and #2 son were pooped, but they had a taste of what life is like on the road for me.

We landed around 2:30, got to the house about 3:00, did some unpacking, then I hightailed my butt over to the gym for some ST.

There is no justice in this world! I miss 2 days of ST (Mon & Wed) and today I felt like I've never lifted a weight in my life. Joint are crackling (even trainer guy said, "Man it's like snap, crackle, pop in there"), muscles are sore, pain tolerance is low....but growing old is not for sissies!

It'll be nice to rest tomorrow. I've got a couple of hours worth of work to do in the office....the downside of being gone a week, and I'd like to fit in a bike ride too, then detox from eating out all last week.

So I joined this Fall 5% Challenge, the goal of which is to lose 5% of your body weight (about 9 lbs for me) in about 8 weeks. It kicks off with a weigh in on 24 Sept.

I'll likely be talking quite a bit about this in the coming weeks, which is good, because I really would like to get down to 180 lbs. I'm on the road a lot again through 8 Oct, so this will be interesting (one of them is for a week at the Darden School of Business, which all of my peers tell me is awesome because the chef there is amazing....just what I need!)

I keep saying that weight loss is 75% food and 25% exercise, so I need to keep that in mind these coming weeks....I love a challenge and I really hate losing, so I'll need to shut my mouth and avoid being this guy:

It'll take the discipline of this guy:

and the determination of this guy:

Have a good night Spark Friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LORENVER 9/18/2011 7:11AM

    Isn't it amazing just how fast our bodies lose conditioning! The good news is, they can regain it. Good luck on the 5% challenge, maybe I'll see you there!


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BILL60 9/17/2011 4:50PM

    Good luck on the Challenge.

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BEATLETOT 9/17/2011 4:02PM

    Hooray 5% Challenge!!! I hope to see you around the board...I think you may have signed up Starfish? Maaaaaybe??? =)

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    Great pics! I was a road warrior for 7 years it's how I gained my extra 65 lbs of baggage on my skeleton. Looks like you are doing a much better job of taking care of yourself than I did.

Good luck on the 5% challenge, I'm going to check it out.

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HAKAPES 9/17/2011 5:39AM

    I have the same with swimming, I can't squeeze in swimming every day - opening hours, seasonal close, pro-reservations. Running, I can do all time, but swimming is limited. And then when I cannot swim for a couple of days, it takes effort to get back on track.

I also joined the 5% challenge for this fall. I still want to loose a couple of lbs from my abs, and all this organized motivation and teamspirit helps a tremendous way.

Great-funny pictures!

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JULIAMOONCHILD 9/16/2011 10:54PM

    Hey, is that Fall 5% challenge here at SP?

Anyway, if ya want to see something that might really motivate you to REALLY do your very best with any challenge you decide to take on, I HIGHLY recommend that you go to HEY_STEVE spark page(if he is not a buddy, just click on him on my spark page buddy list) and then on his spark page click on his blog titled, "My favorite motivational movie clip"

That clip is not very long. Just turn up the volume and become inspired and highly motivated. Well, at least I was. Not sure about some bread dipping guy like you ...
Still, I guess it's worth a try. emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/16/2011 10:07PM

    Welcome to the 5% challenge! What team dd you sign up for? I requested Cats (what else given my SP name).

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MEME102 9/16/2011 9:48PM

    Gnite!!! I'm joining the 5% challenge too - what team did you sign up for??

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Day #4 on the road....winning the calorie wars

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Well we finally finished up the last of our sessions here and are heading back home tomorrow ("Fixin' to get ready" as SWMBO would put it....she's southern gal married to a Boston yankee)

It's been a pretty decent, if incredibly busy trip, chock full of overeating opportunities. But your trusted Sparkfriend author navigated the minefields pretty decently.....although Saturday's weigh in on the scales of justice will yield the ultimate truth.

Last night we had the last of our big hoopla dinners out....some upscale Italian joint with a menu full of cheesy pastas and stuffed meats. Luckily I didn't panic; l had scoped out the menu on the restaurant's website and had already settled on broiled scallops & veggies. That left plenty of room to enjoy their exquisitely baked bread, dipped into a nicely herb-infused virgin olive oil. The only deal with yesterday was that we were on the go from 7:30 till 5:30 with meetings, then had 45 minutes to go back to the rooms, do a quick change and get on the bus to the restaurant....ergo no workout.

But I made up for it today. We finished up mid-afternoon, took the obligatory group photos, said our good-byes, and I was able to get in a good Hi intensity session on the bike and elliptical.

I have found that I really like changing up the cardio in the gym....and not just for Hi-intensity work. I get sore (and bored) on any of the cardio machines after about 30 minutes. These days, I'll do 15-20 minutes on one machine, then go to another pretty quickly, then another, trying to get a total time of 45-60 minutes.

The changing motion actual feels pretty good, giving a nice overall workout. With my heart rate monitor, I can vary the exertion levels to keep it pretty constant. So more to follow on this....anything to keep workouts interesting, fun, not boring, and definitely not painful.....otherwise, I'll stop doing it

Anyways, we get back home Friday mid-afternoon.....if Delta gets us home on time. I've got an ST session planned for 5:30 PM, rest & recover over the weekend, then off to Salt Lake City on Monday.

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 9/16/2011 10:46AM

    As always, you're an inspiration and an example to emulate : )

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BILL60 9/16/2011 7:04AM

    Well done. I particularly like what you called the scales (scales of justice). You should be proud of yourself for doing so well under trying circumstances. However, I do agree with JULIAMOONCHILD regarding the bread being "dipped into a nicely herb-infused virgin oil". You definitely owe some "20" well done push-ups for your cruelty.

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JULIAMOONCHILD 9/15/2011 10:44PM

    Wow, that is one mighty tight schedule. It made me tired just thinking about it. emoticon

Anyway, cool move on your part, looking at the menu online ahead of time. Those broiled scallops & veggies sound really, REALLY wonderful to me right now. I just had 2 hard boiled eggs smashed up with a tbsp of kraft miracle whip and then served on 2 pieces of styrofoam. I mean, rice-cakes.

Now, I don't mean to criticize, but a truly good and 'trusted' spark buddy would never mention "exquisitely baked bread, dipped into a nicely herb-infused virgin olive oil" to comrades struggling daily to stay the course. It is sinful and cruel. I don't care if you worked your arse off the next day, you should at least gain an ounce or two for being so very thoughtless!

The nerve!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Eating On the Road Wars - Day Deux

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Whew, day #2 on the long road war done.....and under the calorie small feat with the hoopla we had going on today.

SWMBO and I were tied up all morning, most of the afternoon, and an evening event where food (and good food too!) was in abundance.

All told, 4 different catered events, lots of mingling and schmoozing (it's a reality of my life, but I get a lot of work done at these shindigs), with tons of temptations at every table.

In the AM there were quiches and tarts, fruits and muffins, egss & breakfast meats (I just had coffee), lunchtime there were gooey, cheesy crab & artichoke dips, chicken cordon bleu nuggets (interesting, so I had to try 2), a Chinese appetizer station (OK I had a crab rangoon), some weird looking Mexican concoctions (it was like a world tour of fattening finger food), so I finally grabbed a few Chicken Satay sticks and a roast beef mini-sandwich and called it quits. Even so, I logged it at about 700 calories just to be safe.

We had a 3 hour break before dinner, so while SWMBO took a recovery power nap, I hit the gym for 45 minutes between the bike and elliptical (no HIIT today.....I learned my lesson the hard way of doing it 2 days in a row)

By dinner I had burned off a couple of 100 calories, because I knew that the evening menu would test my will.

Oh yeah, I'm talking about some exquisitely cooked, wafer-thin, salt-encrusted beef tenderloin, big fat shrimps decorating a few perfectly poached salmons, trays of steamed mussels & clams, platters of good old Maryland Crab Cakes, and then some catering genius had to mess it all up with a German Station of Bratwursts in saurkraut, a cheesy, potato filled tray of artery-clogging madness, and a big fat pie of baked brie with slices of baguette all around it. Desserts by the yard adorned a whole wall....I just looked away and kept drinking coffee.

I decided to go full protein on this one and so I just partook of the seafood and beef (Actually I hovered with an almost canine sense of protection over the beef tenderloin....I felt like growling whenever someone came by and asked for some...."Go eat the brie" I willed them)

Thus I avoided all the baked, fried, doughy and cheesy things (as well as the bratwurst), and it turned out that I ate quite well, left very satisfied (including a lead on hiring a very capable fellow next year) for about a 600 calorie bill, which kept me well within range for today.

SWMBO had a beer or 2 (I don't drink.....thank God, I don't think I could face logging those calories) and so she had a hoot of a time, and. except for all the standing, she's enjoying the trip too.....although tomorrow is her really big day....she's got a full 8 hours of meetings on her own

That's all for now....good night Spark friends!

Wish me strength for tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 9/15/2011 12:57PM

    emoticon for the road calorie wars!

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PROT358 9/15/2011 12:01AM

    Mmmm, you made me hungry. I think you displayed great self-control and moderation. Keep it going!

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BILL60 9/14/2011 8:18AM

    You're doing fabulous!! Hang in there.

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HAKAPES 9/14/2011 4:45AM

I see this dedication for healthy eating is strong as a rock!
Way to go for day three!

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Day 1 of the Long On the Road War - Eating Out

Monday, September 12, 2011

Well day one of my September whirlwind is over....not too bad

SWMBO, #2 son, and I arrived here in Norfolk, VA with no problems....Sept 11 and all the planes flew on time (I got the first class upgrade and gave it to her, which put her in a good mood right from the start).

We got here, checked in to our little 2 bedroom efficiency (I made arrangements so that our son would have a little kitchenette to use while SWMBO and I are at our meetings), went shopping for staples, then I hit the gym for a quick 45 minutes on the bike, showered up, then she and I had to go to the first of our 3 formal events this week; a Texas BBQ style going away party.

Now nothing good happens with me at buffets, but this one turned out not so bad. I loaded up half my plate with a zucchini/asparagus stir-fry medley, grabbed just 2 strips of brisket, a chicken breast, and my favorite....jalapeno cornbread! Skipped the dessert, and so worst case I chowed down 750 calories at dinner.

Today I had a luncheon to go to which was mercifully skimpy on the food; a Maryland Crab Cake (I scraped off the Hollandaise Sauce), a couple of red potatoes, and some veggies....there was a chocolate cake...and yes, I did eat half....then we stared each other down as the other half tempted me to stick it with my fork (cake lost the stare down), so the toll for lunch was a bearable 550 calories.

I got done with the last of my meetings at 4:00, so I hit the gym for 45 minutes of Hi-intensity work on the bike and elliptical before coming back to pick up SWMBO & son for dinner (no planned events tonight).

Well 'lo and behold but that little vixen had gone shopping and picked up some chicken breasts, salad fixins and some big Idaho potatoes for baking! All told, we ate here in the room and I figured worst case 600 calories.

So day 1 of the road war went well....but the calorie enemies are still lurking out there in the dark...30 more days to go.

Time to shine a Spark-light on those lurkers!

Good night Spark friends

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRON_RESOLVE 9/13/2011 4:15PM

    Sounds like you did very well!

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BILL60 9/13/2011 7:39AM

    Sounds like you're holding on to your self-discipline. Well done.

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HAKAPES 9/13/2011 1:15AM

    Good work on healthy choices and portions!
I see there is some little temptation, but you do it easily - looks like a habit!
Keep it up - I do the same when traveling.

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JUNEBUG1944 9/12/2011 10:29PM

    I hate traveling because of all the food temptations...and I am sooooo weak! You do so great on the road...your willpower is amazing! You rock! emoticon

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AMEDEAU 9/12/2011 7:24PM

    Excellent post... made even better by the fact that you were able to stay focused. Keep up the good work! emoticon

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