Thursday, November 24, 2011
I don't know about you (or y'all as my Florida panhandle friends say), but when I workout in the zone, I tend to let my brain go into freewheeling mode. I find this very therapeutic and it also gives me a nice, imaginative mental workout as much as a physical one.
When I get in the zone, working out sufficiently hard that my HR is up with a good sweat going, but at what feels like a sustainable pace, I don't so much let my mind wander as I let it roam free. I do everything from visualizing tracking and hunting wooly mammoths to being chased by hungry wolves to finding the answer to the ultimate meaning of life, the universe, and everything (not 42).
Today I came up with "How to thwart my mother from cooking up a big dinner after we have already eaten a huge Thanksgiving lunch"
But first the day's update:
Thanksgiving lunch turned out to be totally survivable!
Putzed around most of the morning, made smoothies for mom and me to start out the day, especially since I had made reservations for our Thanksgiving buffet at a local country club at noon.
They had a very nice spread and I executed my strategy just about right. Started off at the raw veggie bar, loaded up with some zucchini and celery sticks. Saw a very nice looking bowl of Caesar salad....and diluted it down with some regular salad greens to avoid excess dressing. Then moved on towards.....the buffet line!
I passed by the rice & stuffing, heaped up half the plate with the sauteed veggies, got a serving spoon full of mashed potatoes and augmented it with some pureed squash (I love squashes!), then moved on to the meat line....turkey, ham, fish oh my!
Of course I had some bird. I asked carving guy to slice me two thin slices of breast meat, and to chuck in an equally thin slice of roast pork as well. And Voila, I had an artfully crafted plate adhering to the 1/2 veggies, 1/4 starch, & 1/4 meat rule!
Yeah so I had a slice of cheesecake and a brownie afterwards, but I think I walked out of there for under 1000 calories total.
We got back home around 2:30, where I promptly crashed, taking a 2 hour power nap, then got up and hit the gym for an 80 minute bout of cardio where I also resurrected my 100 pushup, 200 squat, 200 situps app on the iPhone, picking up almost where I left off a month or 2 ago (more like 2).
That's where the genius thing happened!
My dilemma is that no matter how stuffed we were at lunch, it made no difference in dear mother's plan to cook up a big dinner.
But my muses sang to me during the workout, revealing to me in three-part harmony the answers I was looking for.....I just had to interpret their riddle
"What is it your mother hates in equal measure to that which she loves"
Christ sake, how the hell should I know!?!? What are you talking about muse-bitches?!?
Obviously, that thought got me out of the zone, so back to focusing on the workout, the sweat, the breathing, the rhythm of the elliptical.....what, what indeed does she hate in equal measure to that which she loves? The answer was there, I just had to stop wasting effort and let it flow to the top of my consciousness.....wasting effort......wasting effort.....WASTE......that's it!
My mom hates to waste anything!
Luckily I walked into the house just as she got started cooking and I said, "let's re-think what we're doing for dinner tonight"
I went through her vegetable crisper and said, "Hey look, you've got all this fresh spinach, all sorts of bell peppers, tomatoes, leeks, and other goodies that are about to go bad. Forget about cooking up those steaks. And no reason to cook up a big pot of rice and forget about making chowder, let's saute up these veggies before they go bad. Hmmm, does this yogurt smell bad to you? Maybe you can make up a nice tzaziki sauce we can pour over the veggies, that way you won't have to THROW ALL THIS STUFF OUT"
Sheer genius I tell you!
She got to washing leaves and cutting up garlics. We prepped, we sliced, she got out the tub of yogurt and went to town on the tzaziki sauce.....and for dinner we had a very nice ratatouille-like concoction at a fraction of the calories of her normally planned meal. Cha-Ching!
So overall we had very nice day, I think I stayed within limits, but there's no way to know exactly.....and I re-affirmed another very good reason to workout.... when done correctly, the mind gets as good a workout as the body!
Good night Spark friends, hope you all had a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Well I survived another day of home cooked temptations here in New England.
I've got mom trained now to realize that me having a smoothie for breakfast is all I need and that eggs & toast & cheeses & meats are not the best way for me to start my day. As a matter of fact, up until dinner, we do pretty well. Dinner is her favorite meal where she goes crazy with the cooking.
But I got in a good 80 minute workout in her quite nicely furnished apt complex gym. They have a cardio room with decent Lifecycle equipment (4 treadmills, 2 ellipticals and 3 bikes), a nicely furnished weight room with a couple of racks, some decent benches and a full up dumbbell collection, as well as a whole wall full of older Nautilus pulley systems. So I got the heart rate up, sweated a decent amount, and exerted enough muscles to bring me to peace with my surroundings.
Tomorrow I take her out to a Thanksgiving buffet at a local club with a reputation for a fine traditional Thanksgiving meal. We'll eat at noon....my intent is to make it back here and get in another good workout before dark. And hopefully dinner for us will be a few slices of fruit and some veggies.
Have a great Thanksgiving Day Spark friends....let's all meet up here and compare notes tomorrow night!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
So today's food war went well....not so much a battle of attrition as a series of minor skirmishes.
I got up pretty early so I could drive cross-town to my meetings. I had hoped to sneak out of the house quietly by 7:00 AM, but my mom was up and about by 6:00 herself. Luckily I stopped her from making breakfast and got by with a few token pieces of fruit before heading out the door.
Back to back meetings all day (that's what I came here for anyway) with a few quick pieces of sushi for lunch. I hit the gym before driving back home for 45 minutes of hi-intensity cardio, then plunged into what I really hate about Boston.....rush hour traffic.
For those familiar with the area, I got caught up in the classic 128 to 93 crossover. It took me 90 minutes to travel 25 miles. The good news is that Boston radio stations are probably the best in the country and so I pretty much blew out the speakers in my Chrysler 300 rental.
Came home to a house filled with the aroma of a day spent cooking! Spices and oils, charred meats and sweets, where does she find the energy!
I figured out a way to fake her out though.
I first started out with a big glass of water. I then made a big show of putting some small portion of everything on my plate, with a big portion of salad greens heaped on to make it look even bigger. We ate, we talked, and I made a big show of taking seconds. Of course her basic comment to me was, "Well since you worked out today, you should eat some more"
Where does this come from?!?!?!?!
Anyway it's all good. We sat around watching the Big Bang Theory marathon and I avoided her pushing a bowl of Rocher chocolates my way and opted for a fistful of almonds.
More to follow tomorrow Spark friends.
Day 1 of the war complete.....cardio, blogging, and calories firmly within limits!
Monday, November 21, 2011
So I made it to Boston tonight....balmy, blustery, wintery, Boston...I love it!
This is home, this is where I grew up, and there's nothing like the cool, dry, wintery New England night air. Makes me yearn for a bowl of hot clam chowdah and a roast beef sub toasted in the pizza oven!
But enough of food fantasies....this is war! I'm on a business trip, but staying at my mom's for Thanksgiving. And my mom means food....lots of food.....all-the-time.....around-the-clock food. 83 years old and still, her greatest joy in life is cooking for and feeding her kids.
I'm in big trouble here people!
Tonight was OK. She baked some salmon fillets in the oven, made some asparagus, but also whipped up a batch of her famous rice pilaf.....cooked with sticks of butter at a time. I resisted as best I could, but I've had a childhood fondness for her pilaf, and so........
It's post-dinner that things get rough. Out comes the chocolates, the nuts, the cookies, and every other thing she equates with good mothering and good smothering. I stood my ground till about 9:00 PM, then conceded defeat with a few handfuls of almonds.....so far, so good.
But she's spent the last 2 weeks planning her menus and most of them include lots of butter, olive oil, sweet, syrupy desserts, all cooked in sufficient quantity to feed a starving army of marauding cossacks.
So I fall back upon my only defenses in this battle of 2 powerful wills; blogging and exercise.
As always in these tough times, Sparkepeople offers me an outlet where I can carve my daily travails into the fabric of cyberspace, acknowledging my weaknesses, heralding my victories, and facing the hard truth of each day's caloric totals. And even though you can't work off a bad diet, I've found it very therapeutic to commit to a daily cardio routine on these oh-so-public pages.
So hear me loud and clear Spark friends.....I COMMIT TO DAILY BLOGGING AND DAILY CARDIO TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY!!!
This Thanksgiving season will see your humble author working off all the madness his ever-loving mother throws his way! Yes, there'll be set backs, but for every sugar pill mom throws my way, there'll be an extra 20 minutes on the bike, or another 5 reps with the dumbells, or whatever it takes to keep those demons at bay. And you, my trusted Spark friends, will be able to read all about it....all the news that's fit to print!
A blogging and cardio streak....all this week!
Pahk the cah at Hahvahd Yahd.....hell no, no driving for me, I'll run all over Harvard Square if I have to!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Gosh this has been a busy week! So far I've just been able to make my regularly scheduled gym times Mon & Wed night. Got too busy Tuesday, I'm hoping to do better and make it there Thursday, but La-De-Da.
Somehow I went non-stop from about 11:30 till 5:00 today with nary a break to fill up a cup of coffee or grab a bottle of water. Back-to-back meetings kept me on the go. But I finished up and was shutting down the computer when I looked over at my lunch bag and said, "Holy moly, I didn't eat any lunch!"
So here I am 30 minutes before lifting weights and on the horns of a dilemma; go to the gym hungry and weak, possibly jeopardizing effective training, or eat and go in well nourished, ready to lift?
Of course I ate my sandwich.....I chose poorly.
Aside from going zoom-zoom-zoom all day and jumping right into a physically and mentally demanding workout (see 24 Oct blog about evil, sadistic bastard trainer guy... www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4551599 ) I ended up lugging around an extra pound or 2 that should have stayed in the office.
Which leads me to say out loud a thought I've had running around my head lately.....being hungry is not really a bad thing.
As I look inward during those ever brief introspective moments and ask myself, "what's really going on here with this food & weight thing" I realize that I spend a lot of effort avoiding hunger, even the slightest pang of hunger. I'm not sure why. I've never lived through a famine, I grew up with most all of my basic survival needs met, and I've never been stranded in the wilderness having to hunt lizards and bugs to stay alive.
So why the fear, why the worry, why the extraordinary concern with NOT GETTING HUNGRY?
Hell if I know!?!?
But I think at some level I need to get comfortable with being hungry. I need to avoid wanting to always be full. We do fairly well and lack for nothing. We've got way more food in our house than we need, and I'm fairly confident that I can make due even if an asteroid hits the planet.
I need to dig into this some more, but that's why I like blogging, it helps me clarify the thoughts that have been floating in my brain, typing them out into some semblance of coherence.
Stop avoiding hunger......there I said it!
Have a great night Spark friends!
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