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The Smoothie King!

Monday, November 07, 2011

So I'm digging the smoothie thing for breakfast! Maybe it's the novelty of my new "Smoothie Express", maybe it's the fact that I went through the rest of the day less hungry, or maybe it's the nice fact that I'm sitting here at 8:00 PM (Standard Daylight Time, btw) at 1400 total calories for the day, feeling quite nutritionally satisfied. I AM THE SMOOTHIE KING!

Add to that the fact that this morning I put on a pair of dress slacks I haven't worn in about 3 weeks and they're feeling wicked baggy! What the hell, all of a sudden I'm feeling like a circus clown in clothes I've been struggling to fit in to for the last 5 years!

It was quite cool to throw in a bunch of leftover cut fruit (pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon), a banana, some grapes, a dollop of yogurt, and some frozen strawberries & blueberries, and watch the Big Red Smoothie Express churn it all up into a portable breakfast.

I think the 5% Challenge thing has gotten me nicely motivated, forcing me to make some hard choices in the interest of team goals and shared interests. I've had to think real hard, staring with a longing gaze at that jar of Jif late at night, saying "Sorry Mr. Peanut, not tonight" and telling my staff at work that we have a strict "No Halloween Candy Shall be Brought into the Office" policy!

The other cool thing I found out about (right when I thought I knew it all.....a precocious trait I've kept since early childhood), is to set and track personal streaks on the "Other Goals" tab of Spark people. So I wrote one down and called it, "Do not eat anything after 9:00 PM : 4x / week". I'm going to see how this goes for a while, then increase the frequency slowly up to 6-7 days/week.

That's all for tonight Spark friends, have a great night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:43PM

    Baggy pants! OK, now I'm really getting interested in this smoothie machine stuff.

BTW, I am going through your blogs in reverse order. emoticon

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SPOOKYTHECAT 11/8/2011 10:55PM

    Smoothie Express! I am jealous~ I've been using our cuisanart, but it is really not so great for it.
Leaves big frozen berry chunks.

& emoticon about the pants! Way to go!!

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AKCHELLE 11/8/2011 8:27PM

    Very cool!

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BRADOS 11/8/2011 12:57PM

    Smoothie Express? - I am intrigued - I love gadgets

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JECKIE 11/8/2011 9:37AM

I had a smoothie for dinner last night. 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 2 tbsp. PB2 and 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder. DELISH! Completely filling and I got in the dreaded banana (I hate bananas).

Next up is a pumpkin smoothie. Perhaps tomorrow...

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BEATLETOT 11/8/2011 8:49AM

    You are doing such an awesome job and are such an inspiration to all of us Starfish! The Other Goals tab has been my friend for a couple weeks now. I have some old goals on there from 2007 that are no longer relevant, but I like to keep them on there for...nostalgia, I guess. Anyway, I digress, I'm glad you're enjoying your smoothie maker! It makes a healthy breakfast so easier!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 11/8/2011 8:34AM

    Lots of great smoothie recipes on SPARK and in the SPARK Cookbook. Enjoy. emoticon

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BILL60 11/8/2011 8:02AM

    Sounds like you're on a roll. Keep it up.

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HAKAPES 11/8/2011 4:36AM

    Hey man, that's awesome!

I love smoothies, too! Altough, I was hesitating to drink too much, as I was still feeling hungry, due to the lack of chewing.

I love your no HW candy in the office policy. Here we had a huge Tiramisu in the fridge, and most of my colleagues like to bake cakes. Of course, even with moderation, yesterday, I was over my calorie budget, especially that I only did a mdoerate 30 min bike ride.

I track on the other goals sleeping, 8h, and going to bed in time.

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JUNEBUG1944 11/7/2011 10:26PM

    Good for you! I love smoothies for lunch. It's amazing all the fruit you can put in and the tastes you can come up with. I've even thrown peanut butter in for protein. Enjoy!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/7/2011 9:41PM

    You are doing really awesome at your 5% and you're a great addition to the Starfish team. I looked up that smoothie maker on Amazon and was pleasantly surprised to see it is quite affordable and had a lot of good reviews - not to mention now I know that you like it so much. Good luck "streaking!"

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25 hours in a day!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Man 'o man do I love Standard Daylight Time. And of course, its corollary in the spring, I hate Daylight Savings Time. But Sparkpeople is not the place for political discourse.

I totally forgot about it last night. Luckily the DVR gets a time signal direct from the cable company....hence my confusion when the clock read 5:30 AM and it was a bright, sunshiny day outside. Cha-ching!

Anyway, it turned into a luxuriously lazy Sunday. I lounged around drinking coffee, caught caught up on some reading, cooked up a kickass lunch with stir-fried spinach, some chicken breast, a little brown rice and assorted spices, SWMBO and I took a nap in the afternoon, and yet I was still able to get in a great workout at the gym all before 5:00 PM. There really should be 25 hours in a day!

On the healthy news front, I invested in a new health toy this week, tried it out yesterday and I'm getting ready to put it to good use this week.

It's called the Smoothie Express:

It's a Gucci little machine that blends up 26 oz of fruit in it's own little to-go glass.

I love smoothies, but have a tendency to make a mess in the kitchen once the big blender gets going. This bad boy promises to keep everything in a self-contained unit that I can just grab and go in the morning. You see I'm pretty much a coffee drinker for most of the AM, although since embarking on this healthy lifestyle adventure, I've made a point of eating a little something, like half my lunch sandwich, around 9:00 AM in the office. I've found this helps regulate my hunger better throughout the day.

So I'm thinking I can have myself a nice morning smoothie on the drive in to work, chugging down a few healthy servings of fruit by the time I pull up at Starbucks for my morning Americano. I'll figure out the mechanics of keeping this thing in the car all day and cleaning it out at night....nothing gets me off track these plans more than high maintenance requirements of my toys.

Since the Fall 5% Challenge community's goal for the week is to maximize "Freggie" intake, I'm hoping that this little mug 'o fruit will help us crush the competition! And with 25 hours in a day, who doesn't have time to work out!

That's all for tonight....have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:47PM

    Hey, it really looks like it would be easy to use, and, very important to me, easy to clean up.
I am going to google it now and see who carries it.

Thanks for bringing us a visual, too, of this wonderful little machine. I think it would LOOK great on my kitchen counter. emoticon

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HAKAPES 11/8/2011 4:55AM

    I love these kind of gadgets for healthy life, too. Just makes it even more fun!

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PUGRAD1995 11/7/2011 8:12PM

    Yep, I like the 25 hour day too. Too bad it doesn't happen all the time! emoticon

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PROT358 11/7/2011 7:23PM

    Well if you move to where I grew up in northern Indiana, you have no time zone changes ... so no spring forward and time shift confusion! And no horror stories of setting the clocks an hour the wrong way. But yes, grateful for the extra hour. (And I read somewhere that humans are designed for optimal performance with a 25-hour day. Makes perfect sense to me!)

As a fellow smoothie-lover, I would love that blender. I would probably go a bit smoothie overboard, but what a way to do it. Yum!!

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HEALTHIERKEN 11/7/2011 5:48PM

    *really* like the 25-hour-day take on "fall back"!!!!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/7/2011 12:38PM

    Wow - great way to get in those freggies - that thing looks cool... not sure I need another kitchen gadget, but, oh... maybe just one more?

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/7/2011 12:10PM

    Sounds like a plan. Do they offer additional cups so you have extras to rotate? I have something similar, it came with 4 of the cups so while one is being washed I have aanother to use .

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BEATLETOT 11/7/2011 11:22AM

    You cracked me up with the last line! I got a nice workout in yesterday, too. And I get Eid Al-Adha off, so I have today and tomorrow off, too. 24 hours in a day is okay if you don't have to work!

Enjoy your new toy!

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ERIKO1908 11/7/2011 12:24AM

    I thought maybe you found the elusive 25th hour that was going to be present daily for you from here on out. I was going to offer to buy it from you for $100 (I'm a pretty big spender...LOL!!!)

Enjoy the smoothie maker!! My favorite morning smoothie is a Chocolate Banana Shake. 1 Banana, ice, 1 cup milk, 1 tblsp cocoa, honey (to taste), and I throw in a shake or two of cinnamon since it is said to help stabalize blood sugar...YUM, YUM, YUM!! So that is what I love...let me know if you come up with anything scrumptious & good luck getting it in from the car every day!! I use the Magic Bullet mini blender...4+ cups...don't have to do the dishes eveeryday...only clean the blade part of it...more my style.

Awesome having a relaxing day AND making it to the gym before 5...I did get the promised cardio in...YAY ME!!! Figured putting it out there raised my accountability...and it worked!!! Love it when it works!!

Have a great week!! Make it count!! Happy Sparking!!

Comment edited on: 11/7/2011 12:25:13 AM

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LVBIKER 11/6/2011 10:13PM

  Good luck with the "Smoothies"

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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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