Tuesday, October 04, 2011
So just a quick update.....I've actually got homework to do, so my fun meter is definitely not pegged tonight! (good news is when I called home and talked to #2 son, who complained about his homework, I was able to express my disdain for his plight with authority)
Overall a very good eating day, certainly under my limits for the day. I've been using the "plate design" concept as I look for food (all of it looking and smelling great) during lunch & dinner. Basically, I try to load up the right half of my plate with veggies (this awesome zucchini, artichoke, plum tomato, & onion stir fired in olive oil & garlic), 1/4 with a protein (a 4 oz piece of Jamaican chicken breast), and 1/4 with a starch (couscous). Dinner was a mozzarella & tomato salad, followed by a 3 oz piece of salmon, a 3 oz piece of filet mignon, and some green beans.
I decided to tone down the primal diet thing a little....I really was starting to feel like a caveman (I think I noticed some hairs growing on the back of my knuckles), and I really do love bread and rice too much.....I'll just tone down these portions to something under a cup.....the calories do add up.
The evil school marm here gave us a work assignment after class that left us with only 90 minutes till dinner, so I fit in a quick session of HIIT on the bike & elliptical....I really do like the flexibility I have with these exercises....very intense, but I feel great for hours afterwards.
Anyway, things are going well here.....while still tempted to snack on crap, I've been able to resist very successfully. The Fall 5% Challenge has got me revved up to do well, so the cost of eating junk has gone way up for me.
Hey maybe I can sound like a genius in class tomorrow if I can relate eating crappy food as a causal factor leading to an unacceptable future-value proposition with downstream consequences affecting not just my supply chain dynamics but all of my stakeholder relationships as well!
That has GOT to be it for tonight! Good night Spark friends!
Monday, October 03, 2011
So it was a first class whirlwind today....but I Spark on, with 2, yes 2, awesome cardio sessions, and a victory cry for resisting all the bad temptations on display today!
It was a full schedule today, as will be the rest of the week. Classes start at 7:30 AM, we go till 4:30 PM, then get a break till 6:30 when they serve dinner. It's kind of like the dining hall at Hogwarts. Dinner goes till about 8:00 PM, then the pub opens for "senior mentor" time.....i.e. drinking till midnight
Add to that the requirements to stay in touch back at the office, 30-50 pages of reading prep for the next day, and all of a sudden, there aren't enough hours in the day.
So I got up at 5:00 AM to get in my gym time. It's a pretty decent gym (especially at 5:30 AM). It was funny, the first thing I saw when I got on the rowing machine this morning was a quote on the wall from Thomas Jefferson (did I mention I was in Virginia);
"Give about two hours every day to exercise; for health must not be sacrificed to learning. A strong body makes the mind strong"
Where the hell am I supposed to find 2 hours in a day Thom?!?!
Anyway, I got in 10 minutes of cardio then lifted for about 45 minutes, came back to room, showered, shaved, and hit the breakfast line 15 minutes before class to scarf down some scrambled eggs and small bowl of fruit.
During the morning sessions they laid out all sorts of dough-laden munchies, but I opted for a small plate full of strawberries and cantaloupes (sans Listeria I hope). Lunch was a huge buffet, but I filled plate with some Mahi Mahi, some cold cuts, and a generous helping of steamed veggies. Avoided the brownies and cake dessert table and grabbed some more fruit.
The afternoon sessions were rough. First of all, financial analysis should not be taught after lunch. Second of all, don't bring the leftover brownies from lunch out for us to snack on! I powered though on coffee and a plate full of melons.
Class ended at 4:30. I came back to room, made some phone calls, got caught up on office e-mails, then decided to hit the gym for a PM session. I did 3x 15 minute sessions on the bike, the elliptcal, and the rowing machine. I like these quick back-to-back cardio sessions. They hit all body parts and keep it interesting.
Dinner was tough. I must have gotten hungry with the second gym session. The iron chef made an incredible baked halibut to die for. Low-cal, I know, but I had about 6-7 ounces. Also grabbed a generous helping of peas & carrots (freshly cooked, not from a can), and I couldn't resist the gnocchi with olives, cheese, & other nice seasonings (I went from paleo to Mediterranean real fast). Then, while everyone else was stuffing their pie-holes with some freshly made German Chocolate Cake, I asked for some more fruit.
So overall it went very well, although I think I OD'ed on fruit today....but the choice was fruit or an assortment of bagels, danishes, brownies, cookies, & cake. God, just think of what I would have had to log tonight if I had one serving of that stuff at every meal and snack!!!!
Anyway, I'm committed to a good routine over here....it'll be a little like Groundhog Day. I plan on working out every day, and will see if I can get in 2 every now and then. Calories must stay down!
Good night Spark friends!
Sunday, October 02, 2011
So I arrived here in Charlottsville....and Virginia is beautiful this time of year....I love fall weather. I think I'll miss the fall leaves by a couple of weeks.
Airline travel was surprisingly uneventful. I packed a sandwich and ate healthy during the day. Arrived here at the Darden School, checked in, got settled in the room, then hit the gym right next door to the Business School for an hour and a half of awesome cardio and some light weights.
We had a reception/dinner to attend tonight and all the rumors are true....the food is fantastic! And not too plentiful. Apparently dinners are plated affairs, while breakfast & lunch are buffets.
I've been communicating with a few Spark friends about eating a "Paleo" diet. Basically no processed foods, breads, or grains. You eat mostly meats, veggies, and fruits, kind of like a caveman lifestyle without the hunting.....or the caves
Today they served up some crab chunks on a bed of salad greens (apparently the chef here is way into local produce, so much of the veggies & meats are grown & raised within 50 miles of here), beef short ribs, some shrimp (not from here), and asparagus.
As they served dessert (cheesecake) I was getting a little tense. Luckily I was sitting next to one of the faculty guys who eats here regularly and he asked for some fresh fruit in lieu of the cake.
SCORE! "Bring 2 please," I told Armando, the busboy
So I might actually be able to pull this off. Here's what I've committed to:
1 - Exercise Streak - I plan on working out every day this trip....day #1 is done....I'm looking for 8 straight workout days
2 - Eat within limit - I will stay under calorie limits, each day, for the week
3 - Eat only good food - and it's corollary "Eat only tasty food" No crap, no saucy, cheesy things, just pick and choose what is best of the plethora of choices
4 - Don't eat till I'm stuffed - today I was the last one done at a table of eight....eat slow, stop when feeling about 80% full
5 - No mindless snacking - My big downfall at these events is to grab snacks during the breaks....they usually lay out nuts & candies, cookies, bagels, all sorts of crap and I walk by and fill up a cup or a plate. NOT THIS TIME! I will concentrate on fruits, some nuts, and water (or coffee)
OK Spark friends, wish me luck.....apparently I really do have to read some case studies for our homework tonight...but hey how cool is this, one of them is titled "Cognitive Fitness" from the Harvard Business Review and whole bunch of smaller articles on diet & exercise from the "Nutrition Action Newsletter"....right up our alley!
Good night Spark friends!!
Saturday, October 01, 2011
So I'm about to embark on an 8-day adventure....an incredibly good deal adventure....but there's some danger involved ....real 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 food....it'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: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4026687 ) 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 either....so 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.
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!
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