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34 inch Jeans....and Day 1 of the Fall 5% Challenge!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Well talk about a non-scale victory!

My weight has stayed pretty steady for a few months, fluctuating between 188-192 (depending, of course, on how much I eat).

But I have been pretty consistent in my workouts, making sure to get in 3 ST sessions a week and 2-3 cardio session as well.

Well one of the things I really hate to do is shop for a matter of fact, I'd prefer jabbing sewing needles into my eyeballs if given the choice.

So I depend on my dear SWMBO to help me out with this difficult lifestyle challenge....and she does pretty darn good with it most of the time....except for when she does great!

I flew back home yesterday, landed about 5:00 and had a charity-auction dinner to attend at 7:00. Dress was "Plantation Casual"

Now I'm a Yankee from Boston who has, for the last few years, lived in various Southern States, and has no idea what "Plantation Casual" is....Rhett Butler going to the Piggly-Wiggly maybe?

Luckily SWMBO picked out one of my light colored jackets, told me to wear something "light and blue" for a shirt.....and then she showed me the new jeans she bought me

"Your other jeans have been looking pretty baggy lately, so I bought you some new ones. See what these 34" Levis feel like"

I hesitated....I stalled....I paced around the room wondering, "OMG, this could be bad....the last time I tried this (10 years ago) I was inches shy of fastening the buttons"

Slowly, I pulled them on.....and snap! Those bad boys felt like they were custom made for me! I strutted around the bedroom cockier than Rhett could ever have dreamed of being!

"Take a good look my dear. It's an historic moment you can tell your grandchildren about - how you watched the 34 jeans slip back on hubby one night.....and don't start flirting with me. I'm not one of your plantation beauxs. I want more than flirting from you!"

Needless to say I was in a good mood last night.....which is a dicey thing to be when going to a charity-auction. This one was for the local Fisher House (a great cause in case you've never heard of them - ). So I made a bid in the Silent Auction on a 5-course dinner for 6, cooked in your home by a local chef, and won it for $400! I figured I owed SWMBO that much, so now if we have a holiday party at the house, she won't have to do a thing and we'd have spent that much on it anyway. Teach that little vixen to flatter me with snug-fitting clothes!

The moral of the story is that, once again, I have learned that the scale is only one measure of success. Eating right and exercising will make changes in our bodies, of which weight is only one measure. I can tell that I've lost fat, lost some inches, and probably added some muscle, and so this 51-year old body is shape-shifting in a way that is not reflected by the scales.

Anyway, all that being said, today's the start of my Fall 5% Challenge.....I weighed in at 189.2 today. I'd still like to shed about 9.5 lbs and get below 180 for the first time in decades....why, because I'm vain that's why!

Wish me luck Spark friends....Go STARFISHES!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROT358 9/29/2011 11:30PM

    Laughed out loud about the part of Rhett Butler going to the Piggly-Wiggly! I'm from the midwest and I would have no idea what that means either. But huge congrats on the 34s! You ride that high as long as you can. And I am glad you found a way to thank that special lady!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/26/2011 12:55PM

    That's awesome!! congrats!

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HAKAPES 9/26/2011 9:28AM

    I have the same conclusion - I weigh everything on my kitchen scale, and I weigh myself on my Omron body fat% scale every morning, and record both the weight and body fat %.

Great start for the Fall challenge! I am happy you are on! :-)

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BEATLETOT 9/26/2011 8:38AM

    Whoo! Go Starfishes!!!

Enjoy your purchase! =)

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REBECCATKD 9/25/2011 5:18PM

    Congrats on the jeans!!! (But I am most distracted by my envy for your 5-course dinner...mmmm....)

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/24/2011 5:24PM

    emoticon Gotta love those non-scale victories, when they sneak up and fit on you like that!

Go Starfish! Come in 2nd place! Cats rule!

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    Loved your story and your enthusiasm. Hope you had a great time at the charity dinner and I bet you looked dashing.
Thanks for your encouragement. We, Starfish members, should really stick together and encourage each other all we can, so we can climb the ladder of success and have a better finish.
Hold on to SWMBO. She seems to know you well and has noticed the 34" waist before you did. Good luck with the Fall Challenge.

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AMYLONGHORN 9/24/2011 10:08AM

    LUCK from your Starfish friends!! What a GREAT non-scale victory! Bet you looked VERY dashing at the charity auction last night and that you fit in *perfectly* with the "plantation casual" dress code!! What a great prize you nabbed at the silent auction...that will definitely come in handy!

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Improvise, Adapt, Overcome....Feel the Burn!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Maybe it was the time of day.....maybe it was the happiness I felt finishing my meetings early.....maybe it was my favorite 80s playlist (start off with Billy Idol - White Wedding, end with Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus....and some New Order in between), but today, I rocked this dinky little hotel gym!

Now Mr. Marriot's boys didn't really splurge on their a matter of fact it looks like they bought most of it from a garage sale in North Korea....a couple of late 70s model stationary bikes (I needed platform shoes to get in the pedals), an elliptical that was more oblong, and a decrepit set of Powerblock weights that took more energy to put together than a Jenga puzzle

But I was determined not to be thwarted, especially since I wanted to up my cardio routine today and to get in some ST

I increased the sets on my Hi-Intensity workout, working up a great sweat, which was supposed to lead to some good ST work with those Powerblocks I had seen walking in.

I should have looked closer.

It took me about 10 minutes to put the scattered remains of the Powerblocks together into a useable form. Once finished, I saw that they were missing some crucial weight plates and so they ended up being much lighter than I wanted.

But I was not to be deterred!

One of the more important (and painful) lessons I have picked up from trainer guy is that there is no relief. No sooner do I get good at a weight or can do a certain number of reps, than we add more weight or add more reps. This is the goodness that accompanies weight training (he tells me)

So I have learned over time that the weight or the number of reps isn't nearly as important as the "burn" associated with the workout. "Feel the burn" the bastard trainer keeps telling me. "Oh yeah, that's where you're getting the most gain, right now when you're working your muscle to exhaustion, keep pushing"

And I'm paying for this advice!

But over time, I have calibrated my sense of that burn to know when I am getting in a good workout.

So today, even with some much lighter weights, I could adapt what I did to benefit from it. I did each repetition very slowly, almost a 4 count down and a 4 count up, I squeezed for a 2 second count at the maximum extension (or contraction), so that by the time I was done with 10 reps, I had some pretty decently torched muscles.

Which in the end, gave me much happiness

Dinner was a nicely done Pho at a nearby Vietnamese joint. Some of my long-time Spark friends know of my fascination with this dish of clear broth filled with tender rice noodles, veggies, fresh basil, jalapeno peppers, and most any other thing you want to throw in there:

I've found it to be a great post workout meal. At only 400-500 calories tops, it's chock full of liquid, some protein (your choice; chicken, beef, shrimp) and mighty tasty, especially with a little dab of melt-your-teeth Thai red pepper chili sauce.....yum!

Anyway, that's all for tonight. I fly back home tomorrow. SWMBO and I have a dinner to go to Friday goal is to NOT get there famished after eating airport/airline food all day. Then we're hosting a luncheon for about 30 people at our place on Saturday....she's been prepping for this all week....I'm hoping to pick at the lowest calorie items on her menu.

Have a great night Spark friends

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 9/23/2011 8:40PM

    Burn baby, burn!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/23/2011 4:38PM

    thanks for the recipe - sounds delish!

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BEATLETOT 9/23/2011 9:47AM

    The line about a garage sale in North Korea cracked me up! Hilarious!

I don't really eat pho, but maybe I should start. The way you describe it, it sounds irresistible.

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BILL60 9/23/2011 7:25AM

    Well said and well done!! Hang tough.

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Thank God for short, High-Intensity Workouts!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wow what a day!

It started at 7:30, meeting my team that's operates out of Salt Lake City....and we just finished up at 8:30 tonight!

I've got a great bunch of folks here and it's been a while since I paid a site visit, so they crammed a whole day full of meetings to get me up to speed (bless their black hearts!). Then I had to conduct a couple of last minute VTCs with my guys back in Florida, so the first thing that came off today's agenda was lunch!

Fast forward 6 hours, it's 5:00 and all I've eaten all day is an apple in the AM and an apple-cinnamon nutri-grain bar at 1:00....not good!

The guys had planned a team dinner at the Ruby River Steakhouse ( ) and all I could think of by that time was to be grateful that everything on the menu had parents! I told them I'd meet them there at 7:00. I wanted to get a quick workout in, so I high-tailed it back to the room, did a quick change, and drove over to the gym for today's scheduled High Intensity Interval session....and thank God I did.

I normally try to do 2 sets of 15-20 minute sessions. I warmup for 5-10 minutes, then do 30 sec bursts, followed by a 60 second recovery for 6 sets on the bike, then jump off and do the same on the elliptical (lather, rinse, repeat).

I had just finished my 6th set on the bike and my phone starts blinking.

It's my boss calling from Las Vegas!

Damn! I can't not answer, so here I am crunched for time, sucking in air, sweating like a madman, waiting for my heart rate to go down and forcing my voice to sound totally relaxed.


The call lasted 15 minutes. By that time I had totally cooled down (one of the great benefits I'm noticing with the Hi-Intensity work is that my HR recovers much faster.....I get back to my resting HR in about 10-12 minutes). I was pressed for time to shower up and make dinner.

Luckily I got one good interval session in....these really are pretty cool workouts and I feel good from them for hours afterwards.

Needless to say, between hunger, thirst, exercise, and a non-stop day, and even though I ordered steamed veggies instead of a starch, I busted my daily calorie limit by about 100 (it was the damn shelled peanuts they had at the table before we ordered!)

All good though, tomorrow's another day....I'm off to Melbourne, FL in the AM, blog to follow manana

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 9/21/2011 12:06PM

    You are doing soooo amazing! I'm so impressed!!! =)

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BILL60 9/21/2011 7:55AM

    I'm totally impressed with your self-discipline. Hang in there cause you're a champ in my book.

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On the road...Salt Lake City!

Monday, September 19, 2011

OK, a little break from the Fall 5% Challenge....I can only bare my soul so much in public.

Back on the road again. I arrived in Salt Lake City around 3:00. I ate pretty decent on the road (sandwich from Au Bon Pain for lunch, frozen veggies & some shrimps nuked in the microwave in my room for dinner)

This trip should be easier than last week up in Virginia....with the family in tow I had to make allowances for eating out. On my own, I can lighten it up (although I do have a dinner planned for tomorrow night with my team that resides out here.....we'll see how that turns out)

Anyway, once I checked in to my room, I did a quick change into gym gear and hit the gym for an hour of various cardio (bikes, ellipticals, stair-steppers). I really like changing it up from machine to machine; I feel like I get a better overall body workout, no soreness (or boredom) from doing the same moves over and over, and I can keep my HR up very decently throughout.

I've got a busy week. I fly from here to Melbourne, FL on Wednesday, then back home Friday night. SWMBO and I have a charity auction to go to Friday night, then we're having a luncheon at the house for about 30 people....we're keeping the menu light, but still....there be dragons!

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

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 9/21/2011 3:54AM

    I think it's awesome that you are able to work fitness into your can be hard to do and takes so much discipline! Good for you!

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BRADOS 9/20/2011 8:07PM

    nice of the first jobs I ever applied for out of college was a position in Salt Lake - still wonder how much would have dbeen different had I chosen to work there

way to keep going with the great habits

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BILL60 9/20/2011 7:31AM

    Looks like you're fitting the fitness into your busy schedule. WAY TO GO!!

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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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