Wednesday, October 12, 2011
One day of slacking off is all I can handle.
I had been on the road most all of September. Being away from the office that long meant that yesterday my dance card was filled up with meetings from 7:30 till past 6:00 at night, Then another hour or 2 to get some e-mails & phone calls out and next thing you know, gym time is off the table.
But no mas today!
I kicked everyone out of the office at 5:30 today and drove over to the gym to get in some pretty decisive cardio, which was just what I needed.
Especially since I had a brownie today!
I've been soooo good avoiding unnecessary calorie lately, but today I gave in. Here's what happened:
A group of my folks were having a bake sale fundraiser in the office today. SWMBO came by to help out with this charitable event. Her and a bunch of the other wives had baked & donated cupcakes, baklavas, brownies, blondies, pralines, and any other type of sugary madness you can imagine. I chucked $20 into the donation pile and started walking away when one of them said, "Oh thanks so much, but you've got to take something with you!"
Maybe I didn't have enough coffee, maybe it was the earnestness in her voice, maybe it was the lustful glance I cast at the table full of baked goodness, but in a moment of weakness I reached over and poked at a chocolate-chip studded blondie bar, felt my finger sink into its gooey richness.....and took it back to the office.
I stared at it for an hour or 2, then peeled open its Saran wrap cover and took a bite. I almost fainted! I wrapped it back up and decided to savor that bite and make it last.
Which was the coolest part of the whole thing! Every few hours, I'd unwrap it & take a bite. I wanted to make sure I enjoyed every one of the likely 400 calories this was going to cost me today and I sure as hell wasn't going to finish it off in a 60 second chewing frenzy!
Luckily SWMBO had made some grilled chicken and sauteed cabbages & leeks for dinner, so even with my treat, I'm still a few 100 calories under max today....that plus a very intensive Hi-Intensity Interval session today worked out nicely. And besides, the guilt from eating that thing was just what I needed to make sure I got to the gym after work....no excuses!
That's all Spark friends....have a great night!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Well it's nice to be back on the home front....it was a whirlwind September....I've had only 7 days at home since Labor Day.
All in all though, they were quite successful, professionally and personally. Last week especially could have been disastrous....tons of great food, great desserts, and lots of it...all day long. But chock it up to mind over matter, triumph of the will, good Spark friends (oh yeah!), or an innate stubbornness and determination to keep losing weight as part of this Fall 5% Challenge (have I mentioned that I'm a little competitive), but when I weighed myself this morning I saw the number 184.8, a number not associated with my weight since the mid-80s!
Today was a recovery day at home. Thanks to the buffoonery of US Airways, I had to spend an extra night in Charlotte, NC after their maintainers failed to fix a broken jet. I got home mid-afternoon Sunday and relaxed with the family (watched "Chased by Dinosaurs" with #2 son). I took today off from work and SWMBO and I went out to lunch (I had 2 fish tacos and a bowl of French Onion Soup). Then we went shopping and she came up with the great idea of roasting up some fall veggies.
We picked up a couple of acorn squash, some big red onions, and a few giant carrots. We spent some prep time cutting, slicing, peeling, and dicing, then she drizzled them with olive oil, cracked some black pepper and sea salt over them and slid 'em in the oven. A little while later we had some quite savory little veggies to eat with our pork tenderloin.
Before dinner I hit the gym and got in about 70 minutes of cardio. I had a great 8-day cardio streak this past week. That plus smart eating definitely helped get my weight down to 185. Now the challenge is to keep it there and drive it down some more.
The other thing that helped was that I did little to no late night snacking. That has potential to mess me up at home.
I mentioned in one of last week's blogs that one of the nice things the Darden School did was to give us a 2-hour block on fitting fitness & nutrition into busy life-styles. One of the things they mentioned was that instead of trying so hard to change your behavior, work on changing your environment. Yes, throwing out those fattening snacks & cookies does make a difference. Having healthy choices around vice fat-pills works. Hmmmm, do I really have to get rid of those jars of peanut butter at home.....?
Food for thought!
Good night Spark friends!
Friday, October 07, 2011
Ahhh, soon Groundhog Day will come to an end.....tomorrow I will demonstrate that I am worthy of ending these endlessly recurring days by having fought off my demons, by experiencing a rebirth and an ability to manifest deep compassion; that I am in this world but not of it, suffering with a special knowledge that I can use to save those around me through this week's wonderful program of education and reflection.
Blah-blah-blah! On to the good stuff!
Groundhog Day breakfast included oatmeal with a spoonful of raisins & brown sugar, tons of coffee to get through AM classes, then a working lunch that served up wafer-thin slices of flank steak and some Jamaican jerked chicken, and iron chef outdid himself with the most awesome home made potato chips! I could have eaten nothing but these thinly sliced, perfectly crisped, lightly-salted wonders of nature!
We had to waddle through a "company restructuring" computer simulation all afternoon which mercifully ended by 4:00 PM. That left 3 hours to kill till dinner, so I got caught up with e-mail back at the office, then hit the gym for day #6 of the exercise streak....Hi Intensity Intervals!
10 minutes of steady warmup, then 9 intervals of 30 second bursts with a 60 second break on the stationary bike. 3 minute cool down and water break, then on to the rowing machine for 6 intervals of 30 seconds with a 90 second break. These were quite a bit tougher; the rowing machine is a full body workout.
Came back, showered, changed, then off to our last formal dinner; surf & turf! 3 oz of New york Strip steak, 3 oz of broiled halibut, small scoop of mashed potatoes and sauteed asparagus. Then I got week in the knees....Iron Chef brought out Chocolate Devil's Food cake!
I know it must be time for me to go home....my willpower has steadily diminished with the constant bombardment of good food every single friggin' day, all friggin' day long. So I dove into the devil cake and sipped my coffee while we extolled on how the company restructuring sim was rigged
But overall it's been a great week with good lessons and good company and a hell of a professional staff that has definitely given me tons of tools to use back at the office.
4 more hours of class tomorrow, with my flight departing at 5:30PM. I requested a late check-out, so when class is done, I'll get one more workout in before heading home.
I've got to do a Fall 5% challenge weigh in tomorrow, so I might have to wait till I get back home to do it
That's all for tonight Spark friends!
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!
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 me.....in 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!
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