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Danger, Danger Will Robinson.....Food Network Central ahead!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

So I'm about to embark on an 8-day incredibly good deal adventure....but there's some danger involved ....real danger

Food danger!

I'm talking about some incredibly good food, prepared by some very well-schooled iron chefs...and there's lots of it....all day long!

I'm off to the Darden School of Business in Virginia for an 8-day Executive Education course (i.e. boondoggle), which is supposed to be very cool....and everyone I have ever known that has gone to it has raved about the's the first thing they tell me about, even before they get around to talking about the program itself!

So here I am, doing real, real good on this 5% Challenge thing, I've dropped some weight, I've got a good routine at home and on the road, and I'm about to be thrown into Food Network central.

What to do?!?!

Here's an interesting aside. Last October, before I joined Sparkpeople, I did something similar up in North Carolina, an outfit called Center for Creative Leadership (see my blog:
) that had a similar all-day eat-fest program. There was a guy there from California who never came to the group lunches & dinners. I asked him what the deal was and he said, "I don't want to get fat"

I thought he was a madman....."Really dude, this is some good chow!"

Back then I was 20 lbs heavier than today and on an upward trend

Fast forward to this October....I don't know if I can be THAT GUY. I can control myself, but I can't say no to the iron chef yet this is going to be an interesting week. They claim to give us homework, but my motto has always been "It's only a lot of reading if you do it". The other upside is that they're supposed to have a fantastic gym, so unless they fatten us up so badly that I can't waddle down the stairs, I plan on working out like a madman.

That's all for tonight Spark friends.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 10/4/2011 2:19AM

    That's a great start first of all, to be aware what is ahead, and what we want to achieve. I noticed that if I make the decisions before these food-fiesta-weeks, when I'm there, it works much better.

Now, I tend to contact the hotel (or restaurant) beforehand, and ask for small portions and low cal fruits beforehand, and ask for fruits and raw vegetables for the coffee-break. Sometimes they provide, sometimes not. But if I don't ask, why would they bother, so now I ask every time.


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BEATLETOT 10/3/2011 2:33AM

    You're going to do great! I know it! And I wouldn't say no to the food, either...and that really gourmet stuff is always better on tiny plates, right? That's what they always do on Top Chef, serve teeny-tiny portions that look beautiful. Hopefully, the portion control will save you!

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BILL60 10/2/2011 8:48AM

    It's going to be tough, but you can overcome it. Hang very tough!!

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AMYLONGHORN 10/1/2011 9:11PM

    Sounds like you have a GREAT plan for your trip! Congrats on your success so far...I know you will stick to your plan and do well this week! I used to live in is beautiful this time of year! Enjoy your trip, even if it is for work!!

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    One Day At A Time, Will Robinson!

Just do the best you can!

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LULUTU 10/1/2011 8:28PM

    You're too funny! Enjoy the program -- and the food in moderation!

Go Starfish!

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If it doesn't taste good.....Don't eat it!!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

So has anybody here ever tasted something that they didn't really like.....but ate it anyway?

Ever been served or offered food and thought, "Man I'd never pay for this stuff", then gone ahead and cleaned your plate?

Ever been in a situation where you wouldn't buy something, say a candy bar, or potato chips, or doughnuts, but when they're offered to you free of charge you say, "Oh sure!"

What is this insanity?!?!?

Well today I made it stop!

I got up at 4:00 AM to make an early flight out of Las Vegas and everything is hitting on 8 cylinders; alarm goes off, shower, shave, pack, and on the road all within a smooth 30 minutes.

Pull up boarding pass on iPhone, breeze through TSA (I love the millimeter-wave scanners!), grab a grande coffee at Starbucks, and "bling-bling", iPhone goes off....I got the 1st class upgrade!

Settle in to seat, sip coffee, slap on headphones, break out Kindle, all is good....then flight attendant asks, "What would you like for breakfast, the Sunrise omelet or a box of Cheerios?"

Hell I'm in 1st class, who the hell wants Cheerios (the bulimic blonde next to me of course!), bring me the omelet!

So 20 minutes after take-off, I get this over-salted, processed egg goop, oozing with food stamp quality cheese, stuffed with a few token green peppers & black beans, some mystery meat that's been steamed into submission, and what appear to be potatoes that have had the life hashed out of them.

So of course I proceed to eat it.

A few bites into it, I'm thinking, "What the hell am I doing? I'd never go out to eat this crap, certainly never pay for it.....I'm not enjoying this nasty, salty, gooey mess, what am I doing?!?"

So I stopped!

Ate the fruit in a bowl (surprisingly fresh and crunchy!), ate the croissant with a little strawberry jelly, and finished drinking my Starbucks.

I felt just as full as if I had eaten the whole thing and didn't have to live with the regret of eating a few hundred totally worthless calories. I (we) work way too hard to waste effort eating stuff that doesn't taste good....and then I have to log it?!? It counts against everything else I could eat today?!? I could have had ice cream for the same number of calories?!?

Later on, they proffered the basket full of goodies; Twix, Reese's Peanut Butter cups, peanuts, pretzels, chips, cookies, & fruit.

Guys in the seats in front of me are snagging up the Twix bars and I'm getting caught up in the frenzy thinking, "They better not run out by the time she gets to me!"

Then I calmed down and thought about it, "Hey knucklehead, you go by every swinging news stand through every terminal known to man and you don't buy these things because they're no good for you....why are you about to grab one now? Because it's free?!? If you really want one, shell out 50 cents!"

So I declined and grabbed a banana (OK, I did grab some Sun Chips....aren't they "all natural"? They have the word "Sun"and "Harvest Cheddar" in them, doesn't that mean they're good for you?)

All in all, I survived cross-country travel at a relatively inexpensive 600 calories.

I landed at 6:00 PM and swung by the office to cheer on some guys I have working pretty late tonight. Normally I bring them in some scooby snacks to while away the long night, but I decided to be smart about it this time.

While everyone else brought in wings and meat & cheese plates, I bought them some fresh cut fruit, almonds & nuts, big bottles of water, and some whole grain pretzels.

Came home and SWMBO had cooked up some chicken on the grill, sauteed up some Brussel sprouts, and I'm sitting comfortably below my calorie limit for the day.....ready for tomorrow's 5% Challenge weigh in!

Good night Spark friends!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 11/23/2011 12:30AM

    Super well done! I've already reduced from drinkink soda and cola light on the airplane to drinking "two glasses of water, please". Last time I skipped the nuts-onionrings-biscuits round. Next will be the meal with some home prepared stuff!

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JUNEBUG1944 10/3/2011 11:14AM

    Good for's the free stuff that gets know all the samples at Sam's Club or WalMart. I keep telling myself, "JUST SAY NO!" I'm getting better at it. How great bringing healthy snacks to the office.

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LIFEBECKONS 10/1/2011 9:10PM


Good for you!!! And here I was pleased with myself for not eating the edge of my pie crusts. Thanks for broadening my perspective on this idea.

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BEATLETOT 10/1/2011 3:32PM

    I consider this, too, but I still think it's great that you managed on a cross-country flight! I'd have a terrible time with that! Great blog post!

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REIKI_RAE 10/1/2011 1:38PM

    LOL! LOVE IT! Work it out girl! :-)

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NATURALROCKS 10/1/2011 1:32PM

    What a great story! You should se be proud of yourself. I have not mastered the lure of airport travel yet but I will remember this the next time I am there.

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MMRB7111 10/1/2011 11:17AM

    Great job. The last thing we should be doing is wasting any of our calories on food we don't like and/or food which is not good for us, even if it is free. Looking at your picture, that was alot of food for breakfast. Good for you for making healthy choice on your flight.

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BILL60 10/1/2011 7:57AM

    Well done!! Not many would have chosen your path.

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DARKTHOR 10/1/2011 2:07AM

    Free is so hard for me to turn down. I really commend you on a job well done. You're so right, if you wouldn't buy it, why eat it if it's free? Way to go!

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NELLOMOM 9/30/2011 9:45PM

    Very well said! I have often thought about that myself. I should think about what I this REALLY worth it? If so, plan, watch the portion size, and then ENJOY! But why waste it on junk that has no nutritional or emotional value? Why wolf down a big, cheap chocolate bunny instead of relishing a square of really high quality fancy chocolate? Great post!

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Death by PowerPoint

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Well I'm in Las Vegas....and it was a long day!

Got in yesterday and it was a mad-cap travel experience

Got up at 5:00 AM to get in the office by 6:00 so I could get a bunch of paperwork done before catching my 10:30 flight.....and things just snowballed from there.

The TSA line was way backed up; some knucklehead tried to bring a jar of who knows what through the machine, which delayed everyone. While I was getting my usual groping by the TSA perverts, I heard the last call for my flight....YIKES!

I ran the 100 yard dash down the terminal and made it just in time.....but here's the cool part.

There was another guy, about my age, maybe younger, also doing the turkey trot to the plane. We get to the gate agent, show our boarding passes, and he is heaving out of breath, sweat beads on his brow.....he is winded.

Me, I'm feeling OK....I stride to the jetway like nothing's different. I think all the regular cardio is showing its practical benefits in being able to do fairly functional things without feeling oxygen deprived.

Landed in Vegas around 3:30, got the rental car, drove to my hotel.....and realized I had forgotten a shirt.....and I needed a haircut....and I had a dinner to get to at 6:00 at my bosses house.....and, oh yeah, I wanted to get in a work out.

Well I just went into Terminator mode....blocked out all other thoughts, erased all doubts, and went into single-minded action mode....."Are you Sarah Connor?"

Got the shirt, trimmed the hair, hit the gym (30 min of Hi-Intensity Intervals....I love those guys), showered, changed, drove to boss' house....and arrived fashionably, exactly on-time!

He and his wife had a pretty decent spread laid out in the back yard.....Texas BBQ complete with fried pickles and other weird things. I grabbed a plateful of shrimp, a strip or 2 of brisket, and a little cole slaw.....not too bad. SWMBO had made me some sandwiches for the flight, so all in all I stayed under calorie limits for the day.

Today was death by Powerpoint! We went non-stop from 7:00 till 7:00. By the time I got back to the room, I was beat and hungry. Smartest thing I did on my way back was to stop off at the grocery store and pick up a few Lean Cuisine Market Creations meals to nuke for far I am under my min calorie limit for the day and ready for bed in a few minutes.

That's all for tonight Spark friends.....see you tomorrow!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROT358 9/29/2011 11:27PM

    Wow, I love that story about the sprint to your flight! Sounds like something out of a movie. And it must have felt so rewarding to know that a guy about your size, in other words a guy who could have been you - granted a version of you who is probably less fit, found an activity taxing that you managed comfortably. I know we shouldn't necessarily feel success as compared to others, but it means that you are making improvement and you are at least functionally (and reasonably) fit. *applause*

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/29/2011 1:28PM

    emoticon You are the ultimate Road Warrior!

Death by Power Point is excruciating...multiply that times 100 when 90% of the presentations are done by those for whom English is a second language, with varying degrees of skill (although to be fair my French is rudimentary so they did better than I would have if I were in their shoes), in 90+ degree weather with no air conditioning, differing approaches to personal hygeine standards and dozens of small children running about screaming at the pool outside the doors. That, my friend, is Hell.

Comment edited on: 9/29/2011 1:31:51 PM

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/29/2011 1:05PM

    mmm fried pickles! love those. death by powerpoint.... sounds like a slow and painful death!

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BEATLETOT 9/29/2011 8:40AM

    I would have had a terrible time saying no to fried pickles. Actually, that would never happen. Good for you!

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BILL60 9/29/2011 7:56AM

    Man, you're just doing SUPER! Keep on hanging tough!!

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BRADOS 9/28/2011 11:15PM

    way to stay strong!

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MOMFAN 9/28/2011 11:11PM

    emoticonon squeezing in the workout and choosing right food.

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Busy day....but made the time to workout!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Today was a roller coaster.....that's what I get for being out of the office for almost 2 weeks straight.

Say what you will about e-mail, telephones, blackberries, the end, there's nothing like face-to-face contact.....and I had plenty of it today....all day....7:00 to 5:30 with nary a break.

The only reason I got out by 5:30 (and I seriously considered blowing it off) was because I had hard scheduled a session with trainer guy.....otherwise I'd still be in the office.

As it is, I've got to hit the sack early....I need to go in wicked early to finish up a few things, then catch a flight to Las Vegas at 9:30 tomorrow morning....I'll be out of the office again all this week, back home Saturday, then depart Sunday for another week away.

Which in the end is not that big a deal, except I have to make sure to keep eating right and finding opportunities to work backsliding!

Well I'm off to tomorrow from Vegas....Pacific time zone

Good night Spark friends

Spark on STARFISHES!!! We're going to win by losing the most!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILL60 9/27/2011 7:56AM

    Hang in there!!

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HAKAPES 9/27/2011 2:45AM

    Hope your exercise gear is in your bag!
Sounds like soon your "default mode" will the be the on the road, and the "exceptional" is when in the office! :-)
Great way to set the meeting with the trainer guy!

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BEATLETOT 9/27/2011 1:57AM

    I really think it's cool how much you travel. I wish my job allowed for more business travel. Keep up the good work!

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 9/26/2011 11:34PM

    Safe travels. You will end up in my state, at least where I live now, just at the North end of it while you will be in the South, and the weather is gorgeous at the moment. If you are staying at a hotel, you should have the opportunity to work out. We are counting on it!!!

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JULIAMOONCHILD 9/26/2011 10:34PM

    Wishing you a safe trip. I know you will stay on top of your program - You're a born WINNER! emoticon

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Nice, Long, Slow Ride....and enjoying the nice things

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Now I know why people move to's not for the's for the nine months between September and May, when it cools down, the humidity drops, and everything still smells like suntan lotion!

Unfortunately, I had to spend about 5 hours in the office today getting caught up on reports, e-mails I had saved "for action later", and to look at a slate of resumes for guys to hire next year. Luckily, I went in early while SWMBO and #2 son went to church, so I got done around 2:00.

And lo and behold, it was just a swimmingly beautiful outside!

So I drove back home, geared up, and went out for a ride....a nice, long, slow ride.

Lately, I have been so driven to work out hard that I'd forgotten the enjoyment of just taking the bike out and cruising around, without regard for speed or distance, not worrying about clocking a high cadence, or of keeping my heart rate from dipping below the aerobic, today was just for fun, to enjoy the cool smell of the ocean breeze on my face, cruising around corners at a nice angle of attack, and for enjoying the feeling of being able to go anywhere I wanted under nothing more than my own pedal power.

Coming back home to the smell of SWMBO grilling up some chicken on the barbie, made me think that whatever kvetching my brain was doing this morning about the "unfairness" of me having to go into work on Sunday (it really isn't unfair, I love what I do!), that even if life isn't fair, it's still good. Working a little extra hard on a Sunday sometimes pays off by being able to really appreciate some of the very nicest things in life.

Good night Spark friends....

Go STARFISHES Fall 5% Challengers...the other teams are fishfood!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 9/26/2011 9:30AM

    I love those fun bicycle rides, too! Enjoy Florida! That's the only place I have been in the US, but it was in July, super hot, super rainy. :-) With showers in my neck when biking.

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BEATLETOT 9/26/2011 8:55AM

    I love your team spirit! You make me want to work even harder to kick some other team tail!

What a gorgeous picture! And a lovely Sunday!

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BILL60 9/26/2011 7:06AM

    Great day..Nice ride, nice food, accomplishment at work. It could get better, but not by much.

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/25/2011 9:00PM

    Cats eat starfish for breakfast! Go Cats! RAWR!

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MKPRINCESS007 9/25/2011 8:18PM

    Awesome! I am so glad you got to go out and enjoy the beautiful air and scenery and make the most of your Sunday! Sounds like it was a pretty good day after all!

Enjoy your week,

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