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Weekly recap

Friday, November 04, 2011

Well it's been a busy week. Flew to Seattle Monday, got up early Tuesday (the 2 hours time difference helped) and worked out, met all day with my team there, got in a 2nd workout before dinner with some friends of 25 years who also happened to be in Seattle Tuesday.

Concluded my meetings there late Wednesday morning & flew to Vegas that afternoon. Got in around 7:00 PM, checked in to the hotel, and went out to get some dinner at a nice little Vietnamese joint. Pho is one of my favorite on the road meals. 300-400 calories tops, it's a nice clear broth filled with rice noodles, basil, bean sprouts, and your choice of protein (I like it with shrimp).

Thursday was non-stop action. I had to get up early to make some phone calls back to the east coast (3 hours time difference), then my first meeting started at 7:00 AM and went till 6:00 PM. There was a heavy hors d'oeuvre reception in the evening, filled with the usual fare of cold cut sandwiches, chicken wings, jalapeno poppers, etc. (I had eaten light during the day and focused mostly on the sandwiches, but even so, 3 jalapeno poppers seemed to hop right on to my plate.)

Got back to the hotel around 9:00 PM and went to bed shortly after in order to get up at 4:00 AM to catch my 6:30 flight.

Standard travel day today, with a minor delay in Houston that could have messed up my workout plans. Luckily it lasted only 45 minutes. Landed back here in Florida, hit the car wash to get a week's worth of grime off the car and made it to the gym with 20 minutes to spare!

Got in a great ST session that still has my muscles singing 3 hours later!

Overall it was a good week of eating right, even if I only got in only 3 workouts. I'll make up for it this weekend, hopefully while keeping the food in check. Only 2 danger zones coming up.

SWMBO and I volunteered to serve as wait staff at a pancake breakfast charity event tomorrow morning. I'm a sucker for good pancakes, so I might cave.

Second is that #2 son got his report card in this week. He got all A's. His customary reward for this is to pick a place for a family dinner. 9 times out of 10 it's either a Japanese Hibachi place or a local Chinese Buffet. Neither of these are conducive to good eating.

So we'll see how the weekend goes. I've been slacking off on the blogs, so I'll give the play-by-play and stay more regular.

Have a great night Spark friends!

Go STARFISHES....weigh in tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 11/7/2011 1:57AM

    You're doing so awesome!!! Keep it up!

Go Starfish!!!

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HAKAPES 11/6/2011 6:26PM

    You could write "Weight loss on the move" book! ;-)

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PROT358 11/5/2011 11:04PM

    Wow, what a busy week! And I'm gathering your weeks are usually busy and out-of-town. I couldn't keep this pace very long!

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ERIKO1908 11/5/2011 12:50PM

    sounds like a great busy week. i like how healthy choices are always in the back of your mind. this is where we need to keep it at all times. we might not be perfect, but we are doing it!! keep it up!!

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BILL60 11/5/2011 10:02AM

    Way to stay on course. Congrats!!

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AMEDEAU 11/5/2011 5:31AM

    You say you have been slacking on blogs, but I only wish I could keep up with your pace. I have been neglecting my own blog as well as others. I couldn't sleep tonight, so I'm playing catch-up.

That's great that you #2 son did so well in school. My daughter has been having troubles, but she has admitted that she just doesn't want to work any harder. She said it's not fun. I have tried to incentivize her, but she just doesn't care. On the upside, her mother (my ex) are working together on helping her see the light.

I had no idea that you were in Seattle on Monday. That's where I was, just for the day, I flew back to California that night. You sure seem to travel a lot, but it doesn't seem to phase your goals. Keep up the great work!

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JUNEBUG1944 11/4/2011 10:47PM

    You are a good man, Charlie Brown! Such willpower...send some over here! Hurry! Glad you're home!

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2BMOREFIT 11/4/2011 10:24PM


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Evicting Mr. Jif

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hello Spark friends! This has been a pretty busy week so I haven't had a good chance to blog it out. But TGIF, so let me get caught up.

I was at a local conference for part of the week, I hosted my boss's boss for an afternoon, went to a Fish Fry in the backwoods with a bunch of the local community, and all the while trying to do the J-O-B, eat right, and work out.

I think I did alright....however, tomorrow's weigh in will reveal the truth.

I was most worried about the Fish Fry with a bunch of good 'ole boys in the back woods of the Florida panhandle. Turned out not so bad. Even with big vats of frying catfish and mullet, I was able to keep my portions small and declined the offerings of Hush Puppies and Key Lime Pie.

The 3-day conference went pretty well. It was only on the last day during the wrap-up as everyone was leaving, I got to chatting with some folks right next to the snack table. While we talked and made plans, we kept filling our Dixie cups with trail mix, so that added 300-400 calories to my daily accounting.

But I got in a bunch of workouts, to include 3 days of ST (see Monday's blog) and some cardio. My only downfall has been the dreaded Peanut Butter at home.

Pure and simple, I think we need to evict Mr Jif. This will be tough, and it has to be a family decision, so I'm bracing for it.

I'm on the road all next week to Seattle and Las Vegas. I'll use the time to ponder the full implications of telling the family that there may no longer be a place in our home for any type of pureed nuts....they're just too tempting when they sing to me at night, beckoning me to come hither, twist open the red top and scoop out a spoonful of golden joy.....

More to follow Spark friends, have a great night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 11/3/2011 4:54PM

    I never knew peanut butter before. In Hungary, people just don't eat that. Someone recommended it to me here on SP, to have it as a fat source instead of spooning in olive oil. I had to hunt for in the local giant supermarket. There was only one single variety! My girlfriend was so suspicious about it. But then, decided to get a jar just for herself. Is this kind of a drug? People get addicted? ;-)

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 11/2/2011 10:22PM

    I love to hear that the peanut butter doesn't only sing to me (and my dad, he hears the singing, too) at night. I no longer keep peanut butter in the house, but occasionally, I will have peanuts in their shells in the house. It's more work to get the peanuts out, and that tends to make me eat fewer of them! Glad to hear you got good ST into your routine AND avoided the key lime pie! whoo, that's hard to do!

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BEATLETOT 10/31/2011 8:38AM

    Maybe you can try making your own peanut butter. I know that homemade stuff stays in my house longer, because there's a certain reverence for it. And I believe peanut butter is really easy.

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PROT358 10/30/2011 10:41PM

    I can give up PB without looking back, but I have such a weakness for a good key lime pie. Mmmmm. How is it your blogs always make me hungry? ;) Good on you for exercising self-control and moderation!

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ERIKO1908 10/29/2011 9:24PM

    LOL...I had to laugh today when I was reading my Cooking Light magazine...somebody asked if they need to cut out peanuts from their diet if they are trying to lose weight...the answer from the dietitian was...Nope...since they are technically legumes they have more folate than tree nuts. They suggest "Pick peanuts or (peanut) butter with less sodium and snack away, sensibly." - Ummmm...Isn't that EXACTLY what I said earlier?!?!?! :) Funny stuff when you read it on the same day...

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LBRUCKS 10/29/2011 5:59PM

    Mr. J gets a bad rap. I recently did try Soy butter though and it is not bad at all so that might be an alternativel. Congrats on the fish fry -I think that would have been a problem for me - I do love fish. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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ERIKO1908 10/29/2011 1:49PM

    Ummm...I do NOT suggest banning Mr. Jiff from your house. It will just make your need for it stronger...NOT GOOD!! PB moderation is is good for you!! Have you tried Simply Jiff?? White label? Calories are the same, but sodium is lower (very important to me...almost more than calories!!) I eat a serving of PB practically every day...but only a serving. I think if I didn't have it daily I would probably consume a full jar anytime I did manage to get my hands on it!!! NOT GOOD!! Good luck with your decision!!

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ELISA322 10/29/2011 12:12PM

    Oh Fish Fry... it would have been over for me. LOL

Nuts and PB have been a bad thing for me too. Funny as I was thinking about banning almonds from my house. I have been snacking on them waaaaay too much, and don't even get me started on PB... sigh, so good.

Have a safe trip!

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REBECCATKD 10/29/2011 10:03AM

    Not the PB again! If your family can't give it up, at least have them hide it. My DH used to put the Chips Ahoy cookies in the cabinet above the refrigerator. If I found myself moving a chair to get to them, I had enough time to make a correction. (How mortifying to be caught on a chair reaching for cookies!)

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FANGFACEKITTY 10/29/2011 9:29AM

    It's always sad when a relationship ends. Poor Mr. Jif probably doesn't even suspect the end is near. But he's a good guy, he won't stay single for long once you give him the boot. He'll hook up with someone else.

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W5VEOTX 10/29/2011 7:53AM

    Congrats on your handling of the weeks events. Now for Mr Jiff - that's a tough one. I get withdrawal symptoms if I don't have at least some each day. It is especially hard to keep from snacking.

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DANCINGRITA2 10/28/2011 9:44PM

    My plan and focus has been on the SparkPeople "Diabetes Nutrition Plan" for the last 2 months. I have continued water aerobics 3 - 5 times a week as usual. The inches and pounds are coming off easier than with any other plan I have tried. (I've tried them all) I feel so much better in my own skin. Excess carbs probably will cause more weight gain than your nightly trip to visit Mr Jif. lol You might want to give it a try, check it out. emoticon Rita

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Change....the painful way to improve our fitness

Monday, October 24, 2011

So evil sadistic bastard trainer guy changed everything up on me today.

I hate him.

I freely admit I am a creature of habit. I enjoy my known routines and I like to see improvement as I exercise. Weights go up, reps go up, times go down, etc. I am a geek of infinite proportions counting, measuring, slicing and dicing heart rates, times, weights, numbers, numbers, numbers.

While I freely welcome change in the world at large and adapt very well to change in my personal and professional life, I find it infinitely frustrating to change my routine in the weight room.

Which is why I hope there is a special place reserved in hell for my trainer.

I walked in today in a fairly good mood. He smiled and said, "Welcome back road warrior! We're going to change it all up for a while. Lighter weights (For a fleeting instant, I felt a spark of happiness), higher reps, and we're cutting our recovery time between sets down to 30-45 seconds. You ready?"

I smiled back and said, "Sure, let's go!" letting my eyes communicate the true depths of my displeasure.

We started off with the bench press. He knocked the weight down by almost 20%. As I started lifting 20% less weight than last time I thought, "Hey this isn't so bad. Stupid trainer guy, I'll show him!"

I pumped out 15 reps, felt nicely flushed after the first set, got up, shook out my arms, sipped some water....then he said, "Let's go, 2nd set!"

Hmmm, that was quick, but OK.

Mid-way through, I started to feel a slow, steady burn throughout my chest & shoulders. Reps 12-15 were quite noticeable. But I finished them all, got up, shook it out, sipped some water, then...."Let's go dude, 3rd set"

Yowza! The burn had barely subsided and here we go with the dreaded THIRD SET!

This was going to be a tough night. We pretty much went through every chest, shoulder, and arm muscle I had with the same speed and intensity. It was a very different kind of workout. Fast obviously, but a different kind of pain than normal. This was all about endurance & stamina, with a lot more mental energy required.

Lifting heavier weights, it's pretty easy to say "Game over, my muscles are out of Schlitz" and stop. For this lower weight, higher rep stuff, it's a slow, steady build up of intensity. No one movement tells you it's over. Just a constant burn that never stops, but keeps increasing as the lactic acid continues to build up with hardly any time between sets to flush it out. But you can keep going if you focus....and are very stubborn.

Did I mention that I loved it?!?

I didn't let trainer guy know though. Mid-way through, I told him I'd turn him in for selling crack to minors in the kiddie play area if he didn't ease up. When he laughed at that I told him "Seriously dude, one phone call and you're muzzled and on a boat to work the salt mines in Yemen"

We finished up and set our next session for 5:30 this Wednesday. As we left I told him, "Thanks, let's do the same thing for legs next time"

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROT358 10/30/2011 10:43PM

    I often find low weights/high reps harder than heavier weights/moderate reps. You're a warrior!

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JUNEBUG1944 10/27/2011 10:05AM

    Great! Shaking things up always helps! Enjoy! (Hope you can walk out to the car after the leg workout! emoticon)

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BEATLETOT 10/25/2011 9:47AM

    Aww, sounds like you had a blast! =) I'm glad your trainer is keeping it interesting for you and your muscles!

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BILL60 10/25/2011 6:57AM

    Tough workout out of the comfort zone. Way to go!!

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HAKAPES 10/25/2011 2:12AM

    I smiled all trough it! What a great workout!

I'm also thinking to head to the local gym from time to time or continue my fight with the cold outside. It's only Oct, so I fight some more.

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TYME2BME 10/24/2011 10:54PM

    emoticon That is emoticon

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WOW, I gained 2 lbs in 5 minutes!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

So I tried a little experiment after my Saturday morning weigh in today. I weigh myself 1st thing in the mornings. And every morning, even before my first mug of roasted Java, I drink up a big 16 oz glass of water. Before working out, I usually drink up 2 big glasses.

Today, out of curiosity, I weighed the water before drinking it; 1 lb, 2 oz! Yes, 18 oz of weight in 16 oz of volume. Drink 2 big glasses, 1 quart of water, and the scales instantly go up 2.25 lbs, just like they did today before I headed off to the gym.

I guess this obsession with measurement is what happens after nearly 9 months of logging so much food, weighing every little thing on my ultra-accurate kitchen scale before putting it on the plate, trying to stay within the goalposts for each days' calories.

2.25 lbs! It still blows me away, although it does go a long to help me visualize "water weight loss". Yes, I understand it theoretically, that any quick weight loss is most likely just water. But now my mind's eye can see that if I come home 1 lb lighter from the gym, that's a whole big 16 oz glass of water that has vaporized through my pores.

OK, so this might seem underwhelming to some, after all, how does one capture the feeling of a monumental A-Ha! moment in words. All I can tell you is that it goes a long way to help me picture the impact of water, coffee, and all the days' beverages on my plans.

Well enough of all THAT....let me get caught up after almost a week of no blogging.

I was uber-busy last week. I hosted a conference at work for about 30 folks from around the planet, with evening events that kept me out till around 10:00 PM. Wednesday I flew up to Virginia for a day of meetings on Thursday, then made it back home (miraculously, the planes ran on time!) around midnight. Friday was a chance to get caught back up at the office.

Luckily I got in a few good workouts, including 2 days of ST, and some Hi Intensity Intervals on Thursday and today. And I did pretty good on the food front. I indulged on Monday at the reception I held for the conference. Folks I hadn't seen in a while came in for it, so we sat around eating chicken wings getting caught up (I had eaten light during the day in preparation and got in an hour of ST before meeting them)

Tuesday night we went out to a great restaurant. While everyone else had big old steaks or saucy Alfredo dishes, I opted for some nicely broiled scallops. Wednesday night in Virginia, I met a few folks at an Outback Steakhouse. Tempted as I was by the steaks, I ordered up some broiled salmon and it tasted great (I was the only guy amongst the 6 of us not chomping down on some dead cow).

All of this has added up to a nice 1 lb weight loss for the week for me and my STARFISH buddies!

Of course I don't know why I should be so happy.....after all, that's only 1 glass of water!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 10/24/2011 10:18AM

    So happy for you! Congratulations!

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REBECCATKD 10/23/2011 10:39PM

    Nothing beats scallops! Especially nothing covered in cream sauce.

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JUNEBUG1944 10/23/2011 2:46PM

    Now that I know where the extra weight comes from, I guess I won't be drinking any more water... emoticon

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ARCHIMEDESII 10/23/2011 1:30PM

    Not get TMI, but here's another experiment for you just to see how your weight really can fluctuate from day to day. Weigh yourself BEFORE you go to the bathroom and then weigh yourself right after a poop. You'll find that not only does water have weight, but your waste products too.

That's why I tell folks not to get freaked out if the scale goes dramatically up overnight. they shouldn't be too overjoyed if it takes a dramatic turn down too. These types of variations in water weight from day to day are perfectly normal. The problem is that too many women tie their emotions to the scale i.e. one pound up, bad day or one pound down, good day.

There really is more to good health than a number that stares at us from between our toes in the morning.


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PROT358 10/23/2011 1:25PM

    Wow, that's an interesting experiment. We don't have a food scale at home, so I found this rather eye-opening. Also goes to show you should weigh-in first thing post-bathroom in the morning to get the lowest number. Congrats on the one pound loss!

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HAKAPES 10/23/2011 10:39AM

    Great experiences! I have a similar experience with water. Once I did some crazy thing, and went to run in the morning without drinking before. I forgot it. I lost another kg (2lbs) of water, on top of what I loose during the night.

I also noticed that if I weigh myself after 6h of sleep every day, and then I sleep 8h one night, I will be less. Then I figured out, the 2h of sleeping also evaporates water and I make an extra toilet round. So, I need to sleep the same to be consistent on weigh in.

Otherwise, I also weigh in every morning second thing (after bathroom), and measure on the kitchen scale.

Next time, if'll be surrounded with steak guys, and I'm tempted, I'll remember you make the same choice, so I will go for the seafood, too!

Thanks for sharing all this, man!

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HEALTHIERKEN 10/23/2011 1:35AM

    Another great blog! Congrats on the loss of another glass of water! It's good to remember, though, that *this* glass of water is gone forever--it isn't one of the ones that will come back as you start the day's normal intake. It's a glass that is now dry forevermore : )

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LBRUCKS 10/22/2011 10:47PM

    Good job on the restraining and eating healthy. emoticonon the loss. You got my attention with your title.

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GOODGETNBETR 10/22/2011 10:04PM

    emoticon on the weight loss. Have a great weekend.

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Take the long view....slow changes add up

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Well it's been a surprisingly good week. Busy, but good.

It's been nice to be home for a few days straight. All I have coming up is a quick overnight trip to Virginia Beach Wed/Thursday. I've also got an evening reception to attend Monday night and a dinner on Tuesday, so I'll have to watch it.

The nice part is that I have a much better developed sense of what I can only call proportion. It used to vex me to no end that I would attend large functions, sit down dinners, catered events, all day long scooby snack fests at conferences, etc. and I would invariably just give in and eat it all.

These days I feel much more in control, much better able to choose wisely. I can take the long view and realize that I have a stake in eating better and not gaining weight. While my peers are ordering big, fat cheesy plates of Chicken Parmigiana, creamy, sauce laden dishes of pasta, or deep fried & battered meats, I feel totally cool (and NOT deprived) ordering a salad with shrimp, or a nicely broiled fish with grilled veggies. And I don't feel like I'm losing out, which I think is the biggest change.

It used to bother me terribly to go out and not get a big huge steak (sometimes this is still a problem) or to order the tastiest butter & cheese infused dish. After all, I was going out, I should get something special. If I was at a conference and they laid out trays of decadent cakes, piles of nuts, & chocolates, I'd never even think about loading up from the fruit tray! What the hell for!?!?

Well all that ever did was to get me 20-30 lbs more body weight and ever tightening pants.

Today I ran some errands and so I dressed up in my gym gear because I was determined to the gym afterwards. In the past, I'd have cruised on over to IHOP or Cracker Barrel and fortified myself with pancakes & eggs, bacon and coffee. Today, I stopped in at Starbucks, got the coffee and ordered up their oatmeal cup. After getting the shopping done, I cruised in to Whole Foods and picked up an 8-pack of sushi and called it lunch (I also gave in and bought a half-gallon of freshly squeezed "Blood Orange" juice on a whim...Halloween is, of course, just around the corner)

Got in a great cardio session at the gym (bike, rowing machine, elliptical, abs & roman chair), then came home to shower up and had a light snack of skinless chicken breasts, spinach & salad greens, light dressing and yogurt. And it all tasted great, the tastiest part being the lack of a guilty aftertaste.

So here I am at 5:00 on a Sunday afternoon, sitting at 900 calories, got in 70 minutes of cardio, and I'm not anxious about the fact that I might blow it this week when I have to eat out 4 days out of 5 (of course things can always go south on me, but what's important is that I'm not worried today!)

So Spark friends, every change we make is a victory, every day we stay within calorie limits, every time we say no to the fatty snacks, every time we make time to exercise, they all add up. Any one day where we don't measure up is not nearly as important as the many days when we do. Yeah the changes are gradual and frustratingly slow, but they do add up to visible and mental differences, so keep at it!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 10/17/2011 10:44PM

    Sounds like a great day! emoticon

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 10/17/2011 5:51PM

    Great blog! I remember the days you describe: going out to eat and thinking "wow, time to drink from the endless wine glass and order the richest looking thing on the menu! PARTY!" And now I can't remember the last time that happened ;) Cheers to attitude changes emoticon

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BEATLETOT 10/17/2011 4:46PM

    This is another great blog post...and another one that makes me wish we could make members' blogs favorites. =) I'm so proud of you and proud to know you!

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HAKAPES 10/17/2011 12:05PM

    This was really inspiring. I had the same challenges with all these conference, business trips and receptions.
Now, I don't give a damn, I just go for the healthy food, low portion.
Although, now, because of the lots of exercise, I could eat fatty big portions of meat with French Fries. However, somehow I am changed. And I feel I missed a great opportunity of eathing something good for me.
I started to feel the difference between fruit and fruit. I like high quality fruit now. I buy premium salads. I buy new sauces for the salads. I bought flax oil because of Omega-3. I buy expensive cherry tomatoes. I buy dark chocolate, and I go for the expensive ones, because I bacame a dark chocolate lover.
Let's rock!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/17/2011 1:48AM

    Great blog -- you are so right!

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LULUTU 10/16/2011 9:47PM

    As always, I enjoyed your post enormously. Thanks -- and go Starfish!

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PROT358 10/16/2011 8:22PM

    I have a weakness for making good choices when I eat out, especially when everyone else is making less nutritious choices. I do best when I'm at home, eating home-cooked food, and staying in my rhythm. Special functions, vacations, restaurants, etc - they always get me off track. I applaud you for staying so on-track with so many opportunities to slip up!

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ENNAID2 10/16/2011 6:40PM

  I agree with you.

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