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Darden day 5....Gym streak day 5!!!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Another Darden Groundhog Day it was...with just one teenie-weenie exception....but first the recap.

Just like yesterday, got up, got ready for class, had some oatmeal & fruit before we debriefed last night's negotiation session. Lunch was a vegetable extravaganza for me. Iron chef had sauteed up a bunch of succulent zucchinis, asparagus, shallots, & native tomatoes, whipped up some nicely spiced lentils, then created a very tasty/tangy couscous....with big fat couscouses (is couscous plural? Is just one grain a cous?)

Back to class where it was all I could do to keep drinking coffee as Professor Quaalude droned on and on about present/future value calculations! I felt like an undergrad and just kept asking myself, "How the hell did this class sneak into our curriculum"? My critique was ruthless.

Finished up at 4:30 and mercifully, there is no homework for tomorrow. So I came back to the room and got ready for the gym. That's when my teenie-weenie Ground Hog Day exception occurred.

All of a sudden I felt beat. I could tell I was in a slightly foul mood all day (even before Professor Quaalude's class). So all of a sudden, I felt like taking a nap. What to do?!? There's always the danger of falling fast asleep and blowing off the workout....the old reluctance sneaks in with all sorts of rational reasons not to work out...but I was tired.

So rewind memory to day #1 of this Darden School Boondoggle and a nutritionist/health professional gal gave us 90 minutes of good advice on taking care of ourselves while we're on the road and working 14-16 hour days. In the back of my memory I heard her voice, "Yes, sometimes a 15-20 minute nap in the middle of the day is exactly what your body needs to rejuvenate"

Could I do it? Could I rest for 15-20 minutes and not succumb to full blown REM sleep that would take me into the darkest of night? Would I just get crankier if I worked out? Could I face myself in the mirror if I blew my exercise streak on this trip?

Cautiously, I set the timer on my watch for 20 minutes and placed it on the nightstand, right next to my ear. Then I laid down on the big soft duvet, closed my eyes, and just relaxed.

In no time at all the 20 minute timer went off and I felt refreshed and recharged. Without thinking twice, I donned gym regalia and bolted out the door. Warmed up on the elliptical and burned up my chest & shoulders in the weight room for an hour!

Dinner was OK, a weirdly broiled halibut in some curry concoction, pork loin with some mustardy sauce, steamed (and very crunchy) veggies, but quite possibly the best tabbouleh I have ever had. We all fought over it and demanded the staff bring out another bowl! The rest of the crowd had some blueberry pie while yours truly asked for and received a wonderfully sweet plate full of crunchy, seasonal watermelon.

One more full day of classes tomorrow. Saturday we have 4 hours in the morning and they cut us loose around noon so we can catch planes back home....the exercise streak will continue every day till departure!

That's all for tonight Spark friends!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 10/7/2011 1:07PM

    Naps are awesome, repeat as necessary.

RAWR! Go Cats Go! Cats eat (star)fish!

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BEATLETOT 10/7/2011 8:34AM

    I can so totally relate to the concern about the nap. My friends get a kick out of the fact that I can take an 8-hour nap, wake up for an hour, then go to bed for the night. My naps are epic.

As I was reading your dilemma, I was thinking, "NO! Don't do it! Don't succomb! It's a trick! It's a trick!!!" When you lied down, I got nervous...but you did it! How nice is that!

Congratulations! Enjoy your final days of college! =)

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BILL60 10/7/2011 8:03AM

    Keep it going cause you're on a roll.

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GOODGETNBETR 10/7/2011 1:25AM

    emoticon on listening to your body and still making it happen.

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ERIKO1908 10/6/2011 11:18PM

    impressed by your on-the-road streak!! way to keep it alive!!

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JONESINATOR 10/6/2011 11:05PM

    Hope you're able to enjoy some of the beautiful grounds! I'd recommend places to eat, but, well my expanded waistline during college would attest that those suggestions would be of the detrimental variety to continued fat loss :P

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Darden day 4....Gym streak day 4!!!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

OK, just another quick blog to keep on my streak.

Pretty much Groundhog Day....up early to finish the readings I didn't get to last night, light breakfast of oatmeal & fruit, classes all morning, lunch of mostly sauteed green beans and some pork with Polenta. Turns out I bumped into a kid that worked for me back in 2006 that is now up here at UVA, so I invited him to lunch with honor of his presence, I had a blondie for dessert (yes, some days it's just that easy to cave)

The snack bastards laid out some artichoke dip and pita crisps during our breaks this afternoon....the stuff is like kryptonite to me! So I made up a small plate to help me make it through the afternoon case studies.

Hit the gym for my 3x cardio session (20 minutes on bike, 20 minutes on rowing machine, 20 minutes on elliptical....highly recommended routine for anyone who gets bored at the gym). Showered & changed for dinner....tonight iron chef outdid himself....thin slices of perfectly cooked Morrocan lamb, grilled Marlin (never had that before....yum!), big hunks of sauteed broccoli, and some cannellini bean salad (big yuck).

Then they brought out huge, fat slices of banana cream cake, but your humble author was able to stay the course and requested a fruit plate (my plump negotiating partner looked at me like I was a leper and cooed at me in her little southern drawl, "Honey, aren't you goin' ta haave any of this here delicious pie?!? Bless your heart" (It took a long time for this Boston born youth to realize that "Bless your heart" roughly translates to "You stupid loser")

Afterwards we had to break off into our groups and do our "multi-party, multi-issue" negotiating exercise. This took way too long and now I've still got 50 pages to read....this is getting a little old...if I wanted to to work this hard, I'd have stayed at the office.

Anyway, that's all for tonight Spark friends!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUGRAD1995 10/6/2011 8:11PM

    Sounds like you are doing well in spite of the temptations. Keep on plugging at it!

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PROT358 10/6/2011 4:40PM

    I work with some Southern ladies. I'm born and raised from the midwest myself, so there is a distinct difference in dialect. They always use "learn" as a verb when they mean "teach." (Ex: he learned me how to read). And they always say to me, "Why bless your heart," as though cooing over me. I've gradually come to the same conclusion! By the way all your descriptions of food make me very hungry. I want my own iron chef. And that bean salad sound very tasty ;) Congrats on staying the course!

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BEATLETOT 10/6/2011 8:58AM

    I love the Southern lady! And your translation!

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JECKIE 10/6/2011 8:24AM

    *laughs* I can relate to this post so well!

I love that phrase "bless your heart". It can mean so many things, none of them terribly nice! I don't think I've ever heard someone in Boston use that phrase, either. After all, it doesn't go with "wicked" very well. ;)

I do the same thing on non-run days with the cardio. My knee can't handle more than a half hour on the bike, so I start with that, then on to the elliptical and finally to walking inclines (we don't have a row machine. I wish we did.)

And your dinner sounds FABULOUS. Lamb is one of my all time favorite foods.

Keep up the great work!

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AMYLONGHORN 10/6/2011 7:59AM

    You're still on a roll this week! Man, posting about all the food makes me hungry! It all sounds so yummy, but overall you have done an awesome job making smart decisions! WTG on getting to the gym everyday. Are you almost finished with this trip yet or what?! LOL! :)

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ERIKO1908 10/5/2011 9:50PM

    I can so hear the southern lady!! Thanks for the translation of "Bless your heart" - I myself didn't know that... ;) way to keep your streak alive!!

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Darden day 3.....gym streak day 3!!

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!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/5/2011 1:35PM

    lol you were morphing to a caveman! I could NOT do the primal thing, but I know others who love it. Not for me! I think watching your portions will help and you'll still be able to enjoy rice and bread - my faves!

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HAKAPES 10/5/2011 9:11AM

    And you tell me workout animal, when you are a gymaddict. ;-)

Good strategy with the plate, I copy that from now on!

Comment edited on: 10/5/2011 9:11:17 AM

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JECKIE 10/5/2011 8:24AM


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BEATLETOT 10/5/2011 3:36AM

    Oh, man, your blog is making me hungry! Always a pleasure to read, too!

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ERIKO1908 10/4/2011 11:43PM

    way to stay on track!! well on your way to achieving your current goal!! keep going strong!!

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    Love that you're keeping with your goals and ditching the junk! I felt more motivated by 5% challenges, too. A body can stick to something for eight weeks, surely! Seems like it's working well for ya. Keep on keepin' on!

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Darden day 2.....Gym streak day 2!

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'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!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROT358 10/5/2011 12:00AM

    That is a grueling schedule. Props for waking up early for a workout. I'm pretty sure I'd choose sleep. I can force myself to stay up later to exercise, but never to get up earlier. And I'm so impressed you got in two in one day, and a busy day at that! And all this talk of halibut to die for and fresh fruit is making me very hungry ;)

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AMYLONGHORN 10/4/2011 10:56AM

    Good luck today! You are totally on a roll with your routine this week...WTG avoiding the sugary sweets and opting for fruit...even if you overdid it a bit, at least you overdid it on FRUIT and not desserts! Hope you have a great day today!!

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BILL60 10/4/2011 7:27AM

    You're hanging tough and looking good. Ought to be in Hollywood. Way to go!!

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BEATLETOT 10/4/2011 3:38AM

    I love the way you write! And you're doing an absolutely marvelous job with staying on track! I'm glad you splurged a little with the gnocchi. You gotta have treats sometimes!

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HAKAPES 10/4/2011 2:14AM

    That is what I call consistency, man!
Super-well-done, both on nutrition and exercise side!
Keep it on.

I can't get why these catering staff want us to eat 5-6000 kcal per day. And why they recycle leftover bakery and sweets until it gets dry by the end of the week. They do the same at this end of the World, too.

Financials after lunch... haha, that's what I call teaching-efficiency! :-)

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ERIKO1908 10/4/2011 1:07AM

    great choices!! wtg on the workouts!!

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COLLINSCJ2009 10/4/2011 12:14AM

    I am exhausted just reading about your day.

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    Wonderful day! You're not gonna like me when I tell you going primal/paleo means LESS intense cardio. lol

Here's to your fuity day!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Day 1 at Darden....and a committment for a fitness streak!!!

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 #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 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!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 10/4/2011 2:26AM

    Great goals for the week! And so good you write them down!
I'm waiting for your evaluation then at the end of the 8 days, on how you did!

As for myself, I noticed it's easier for me to convert my "don't" goals into "do" goals.
So instead of "don't eat until I'm stuffed", I put "eat until 80% fullness".
Or "No unhealthy snacking" is converted to "Fruits and vegetables for snacking, and one calorie rich dessert per day".

It's quite inspiring what you're doing, I enjoy your blogs a lot!

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PROT358 10/3/2011 4:42PM

    Love your goals at the end. We all should be doing that! And congrats on swapping fresh fruit for cheesecake. I'm a big sucker for desserts so I might have had a weaker moment, so I'm proud of you!

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HEALTHIERKEN 10/3/2011 3:22PM

    Wishing you luck! But you're 'way beyond luck, GETSTRONGRRR, you're FOCUSED, you're ON IT, man!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/3/2011 2:38PM

    Great job with setting those goals - you can do it!!

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FANGFACEKITTY 10/3/2011 1:30PM


For both the awesome food and the homework.

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    What's this? They didn't serve bread or rice with those first plates? Or did you not mention them 'cause you skipped them? :) Sounded perfectly paleo to me (including the locally grown part). Sounds like you've got this down, and you won't be goin' hungry. Enjoy! Waiting to hear how the rest of the week goes.

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AMYLONGHORN 10/3/2011 9:02AM

    Love your commitments! Good luck sticking to it...keep us posted on how the week goes!!

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BILL60 10/3/2011 7:02AM

    You're on your way to success. Hang tough!!

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BEATLETOT 10/3/2011 3:11AM

    This executive education sounds really amazing! And you seem to be right on track with your goals while you're there. =)

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JONESINATOR 10/2/2011 11:24PM

    You're down at UVa! Wahoowa that's my alma mater! If you get a chance, check out the AFC - it's down the road a ways from North Grounds (where you went) but it is WAY better and way newer. I absolutely lived in the AFC my third and fourth year. Hope the Dardenites treat you well, they can be a bit high-minded with their fancy marble floors ;)

Comment edited on: 10/2/2011 11:24:29 PM

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ERIKO1908 10/2/2011 10:54PM

    Perfectly workable & achievable goals!! You got this!!

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