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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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