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Day 1 of the war.....cardio, blogging, and in calorie limits!

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIKO1908 11/26/2011 2:57PM

    i love how you fooled her with the composition of your plate...but she is probably a smart cookie & saw it all & knew...and just let you think you were fooling her...that is what moms do... :)

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/23/2011 8:18PM

    Score one for a healthy lifestyle. As I sit here watching an advertisement for IHOP's new seasonal pancakes of doom on a TV I cannot turn the channel on I am inspired by your success to NOT go home and recreate the eggnog pancake and thereby stay within my limit for the day (by a single calorie but under is under!).

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BELSNICKEL 11/23/2011 11:17AM

    we do have the most beloved pushers. emoticon

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AMEDEAU 11/23/2011 4:06AM

    I agree with Beatletot... you are doing a great job. When I'm in a situation surrounded by food, I often give in. Keep up the great work! emoticon

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BEATLETOT 11/23/2011 3:25AM

    Great job! I'm always so impressed with your ability to stay within your calorie limits, no matter how tempting!

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Blogging from my mom's house.....let the food wars begin!

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 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.


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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIKO1908 11/26/2011 2:38PM

    oh for the love of mothers... :) gotta love them!!

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/22/2011 7:23PM

    Stay strong & good luck!

Fortunately for me my mother is not a great cook so I'm generally pretty safe when I visit my parents.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/22/2011 2:20PM

    Woohoo! Great commitment! And good luck avoiding all those goodies! You can do it!

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BILL60 11/22/2011 10:01AM

    Hang in there and enjoy it. Your Mom will love you all the more for it.

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JECKIE 11/22/2011 9:35AM

    My mom is the same way. :) "Oh, I know you're watching what you eat, so just have a few cookies!!!" *sigh*

I must say, though, I wouldn't be able to resist hunting down some chowdah. With the butter floating on top of the cream... yum.

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COLLINSCJ2012 11/22/2011 2:40AM

    I watching a comedian talk about food issues and he would throw bites of food into a napking on his lap when people weren't looking. Just a thought.

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HEALTHIERKEN 11/22/2011 1:23AM

    Two thoughts: drink water and lots of it! and be thankful you still have a mother--many of us do not and would gladly trade a few days of prepared-with-love, bad-for-us food to have her back. (he says with a gentle smile)

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ADVENTURESEEKER 11/22/2011 12:52AM

    Good luck! Hold it together, stay strong! emoticon

Oh, and enjoy the family time emoticon

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JUDYAMK 11/22/2011 12:26AM

    My Mom is the same way about feeding us,no matter how many times I tell no sweet stuff, she comes off with something. I know she means well & she is 81, goes to all the work of making something & I say no I feel bad & take it anyway. I feel I will not have Mom forever so I know when that time comes I will be wishing I had my Mom back for just one more meal.What I do is eat half & take the rest home for the next day. I will have Thanksgiving dinner at my home.Mom cooks everyday & everyday she wants you to have something I visit her all the time.Even if it is after Dinner she will have something wrapped up for me. That's our Mom.'s Have a Blessed day with your Mom
Judy emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/22/2011 12:27:29 AM

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MARYHENNIG 11/21/2011 11:24PM

  Drink lots of water!!!!! Your blog is way too funny. I feel for you. Hang in there and good luck. emoticon

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Getting comfortable with hunger

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...
) 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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYHENNIG 11/21/2011 11:30PM

  I was told once that when you are hungry is when your body is feeding off the fat. This is probably totally untrue, but that's my story, and I am still going to stick to it...because I can tolerate hungry if I am dropping pounds (millipounds!!!).

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REBECCATKD 11/20/2011 9:37PM

    "Stay hungry...Stay foolish." -Steve Jobs

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JUDYGREG 11/17/2011 1:05PM

    I think eating BEFORE the workout was a good idea.

You do need some fuel to burn when you are having a serious workout. Better than thinking about the food you should have eaten.

Not eating all day is not supposed to be good for you. But it happens when we are distracted.

Not thinking about food and not being hungry is a good thing, but once you remember, the urge to eat can become overpowering, and if there is no healthy choice nearby, watch out! I know this happens all the time to me when hubby reminds me to eat. If I am not in a good spot, I choose unhealthy food, rather than the planned meal I might have had if I had thought about eating before I got very hungry.

There is nothing wrong with eating when you are hungry, or not eating when you are not hungry, but try to hold off the really bad munchies, when you do get really hungry.

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JULIAMOONCHILD 11/17/2011 12:49PM

    Whoa! I think we are siamese twins!

I actually FELT hunger, yesterday, too. I mean, REAL PHYSICAL hunger! Maybe for the first time ever in my (wanting for nothing) life!

Not busy on a job (a real job) like you, but, nonetheless, sitting here on my kister for nearly the entire day, yesterday, blogging my arse off for all of my well deserving fans emoticon until I realized that I HAD TO leave my comfy chair and head for the gym (had to rack up more points, ya know). And, like you, I had to ask myself the same question - to eat before I go - or not to eat.

I ate.

Now, unlike you, had I not eaten I would have died. (sad face).

Yes, I am telling you that my hunger was so great, without food coming before the gym, my hub would be cashing in on my life insurance right now.

However, like you, (my twin), that feeling of real HUNGER was actually quite nice, and even though I gave in to the screaming demands of my hungry body, the food, so quickly consumed, seemed for the very first time ever like real fuel. And that was a dang-good feeling!

Wow, I sure hope that I can get hungry again some day ... emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/17/2011 12:50:00 PM

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BILL60 11/17/2011 8:48AM

    Well said.

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BRADOS 11/17/2011 8:15AM

    there is something to that.....or at least, something on the other side of that equation that I always dislike, never seems like I am running at peak efficiency wherever a "full" feeling is in me - I notice that when I am really watching my calorie intake, I seem to be firing an all cylinders when engaged at work, where a full feeling from lunch is much more lethargic....

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SMILDE 11/17/2011 7:55AM

    I've actually learned to like the feeling of being slightly hungry. Not hungry like "I skipped a meal" or feeling hunger pains, but just a little hungry. I find if gives me more energy and makes me feel lighter, and not like I'm being weighed down (the way I feel when I've eaten a bit too much). I say embrace the hunger feelings!!

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ERIKO1908 11/17/2011 12:11AM

    very insightful blog...made me wonder on the hunger vs. low blood sugar feeling...quite often the line is not that wide for me, especially when I'm doing a task that takes brain power. I find it amazing how quickly my blood sugar will go low when all I've got going on is the stress of actually thinking about something or through something...being hungry only puts me at a point where I feel more susceptable to this...I think that is why I snack through the day...mostly healthy I will add...but snacking I said...insightful blog...I will think more on it...

Have a great night!!

Happy Sparking!!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 11/16/2011 10:00PM

    Exactly, right?? I can so relate to this blog. I've never actually died of hunger, a hunger pang or two won't kill me. lol Be one with the fuzzy hunger feeling. Ommmm...


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BEATLETOT 11/16/2011 10:00PM

    Very interesting way to look at things...and very valid. Definitely food for thought.

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Singing the White Cliffs of Dover

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Well we had a very interesting Saturday.

It started off nice, slow, & relaxing, watching the news, drinking coffee, getting caught up on Sparkpeople. Then we went out for lunch. I've written before how our boy, when he gets good grades, which he did, decides on our restaurant adventure.

Today he picked Fuji, a combination Chinese buffet, with hibachi grill and sushi buffet in Destin, about 15 miles down the Florida coast. Arrrrggghhhhh!

It wasn't so bad, just overly salty, but still about 500 more calories then I wanted to have by lunchtime.

SWMBO and I then had to put our heads together to plan the coming weeks through the holidays. We've got a bunch of events to go to, dinners to host, guests to invite and take care of. I've got a couple of big kahunas visiting in December, and oh by the way, I made plans Friday to go to Virginia and Boston the week of Thanksgiving on business, where I'll spend an extra few days to visit my my mom in Massachusetts. This of course leaves even less time to plan all of our December events, leaving a big chunk of it to SWMBO. Pray for me.

After all that, I made it to the gym around 3:30 where I got in a good solid hour of hi-tempo cardio on the bike, elliptical, and rowing machine. Came home, showered, shaved and got ready for our date night....the old folks home up the road. Let me explain.

Yesterday we went over to this assisted living facility where they have a lot of widows of veterans ranging from 50 to 95 years old. It was a nice little community service thing we like to do every Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Well while we were there they kept telling us about the Variety Show they were putting on Saturday night and wouldn't it be great of we could come.

It was like a bunch of puppies at the pound staring up at you, guilting you into taking them home. Finally, after the third human wave attack, SWMBO and I looked at eachother and said "Yes, of course, we'd love to come!"

So I wolfed down a smoothie (after the Chinese lunch buffet I had no room left for any more food) and we drove back over.

It wasn't so bad....they sang, they danced, recited poetry, played ukeleles and banjos, then corralled everyone into singing Chattanooga Choo-Choo, The White Cliffs of Dover, and God Bless America.

In the end, we had a good time. We laughed in the car on the way back joking that we might need to make reservations now to get on the waiting list for when we'll need to move in there!

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

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:31PM

    You and your lovely wife are one truly amazing couple! I love what you did for those precious 'puppies' - That you could carry the laughter home with you afterwards, rather than sulk on your drive home about time being wasted, would be admirable for any couple, but for someone who has a schedule like yours, well my feelings go beyond admiration for your deed. In fact, I salute both of you and hold you now in the highest regard of anyone I've met here at SP! (not that my regard matters all that much) emoticon

Wow, and even though you are actually abandoning your wife during Thanksgiving and leaving her with much of the December Holiday planning to take care of on her own (although I seriously doubt that you will do this), and that you are a 'MAN' who is actually aware of his inconsiderate and beyond thoughtless behavior, leaves me to believe that there really are miracles still occurring in this world today. How did she ever train you in such a short amount of time? I mean, you're not even 75 years-old, yet you act like someone who has been under the influence of a woman's guiding hand for a whole lot longer. Most men never reach your level of thoughtfulness awareness, and even the ones who do, reach it at a much later stage in life.

I think your wife should be writing some Spark Blogs of her own - We could all make use of her 'man' training techniques, I'm sure. emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/14/2011 12:49PM

    I need to make a plan of action too - the holidays are rough! good job at the buffet and not going totally crazy! The variety show sounds so cute - I love old people!

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 11/13/2011 4:42PM


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LULUTU 11/13/2011 10:29AM

    What a great post. Your Veteran's Day service (and beyond!) sounds wonderful. For Chattanooga Choo-Choo and God Bless America I would have been fine, but I would have been stumped on The White Cliffs of Dover after a few lines....

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BEATLETOT 11/13/2011 10:16AM

    Jeepers! How often does your son get graded? It seems like he gets to choose restaurants twice a week! =)

Glad you had fun and made GREAT CHOICES at a BUFFET! You are my HERO!!!

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HAKAPES 11/13/2011 1:20AM

    These buffets always need more vigilance! But if we look on the other hand, I am sure, before, you would have eaten 2000 kcal over without an issue. Now, only 500 kcal. And well done for the smoothie afterwards.
I find it great reward to be able to pick the restaurant with good greats! Must be a good motivation for him. ;-)

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JUNEBUG1944 11/12/2011 11:41PM

    Yeah, good idea to plan ahead...

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ERIKO1908 11/12/2011 11:27PM

    that sounds like a beautiful date night!!

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The Shadow

Friday, November 11, 2011

So I'm at the gym today, working on chest & shoulders, and as I'm doing some presses I look down and see a black mark on my forearms. Note to self, wipe off that scuff mark with a towel when I'm done.

I finish, put down the weight, grab towel, get ready to wipe....but the scuff mark is gone. Weird.

I start the second set, and there's the scuff mark again. A three inch long dark streak along my forearm. What the hell!?! OK, make a mental note and focus on the exercise.

Finish, grab scuff mark. Make a fist, rotate arm.....there it is!!

It's the shadow of some recently uncovered muscle groups, released from their epidural concealment, proudly projecting themselves out into the world and obscuring the rays of light along their path!

Well, well, well so all this hard work is paying off.....visually and mentally. More incentive to not miss workouts

All this was a nice top off to an already nice Veteran's Day. SWMBO and I took some time off to go to a memorial service at a local cemetery. There were about 20 people there, including a whole row of WWII vets and and even larger number of Korean & Vietnam vets. #2 son was off from school so we took him along, then went over to an assisted living facility in town that houses a number of veteran's widows and spent some time there chatting them up, drinking coffee, with me turning down multiple offers of freshly baked sweets & cakes.

All in all a very nice day.....have a great night Spark friends


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:36PM

    I am keeping a close look out for some of my own scuff marks to appear. I know they're coming ... I can almsot feel them coming to the surface. Seriously. I think. emoticon

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NEEBREW 11/12/2011 11:19AM

    That's so FABULOUS! I wonder if I'll ever see the day that my hidden abs come out? I'll be looking carefully at every little shadow....

That was a great thing you did for the veterans. It is an unimaginable risk and sacrifice they make for us :)

I hope you have a great weekend!!!


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BILL60 11/12/2011 9:16AM

    Girl?? I think that you're a guy, right. Anyway, congratulations on the great results from your hard work. Well deserved.

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ERIKO1908 11/12/2011 1:16AM

    sounds like a great day!! I was thinking about you and if you made it to the gym today...I like the answer that I know now!! :) Have a great weekend!!

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BEATLETOT 11/11/2011 9:22PM

    DAY-yum! Awesome! And good for you spending so much time with veterans and their loved ones today. Good luck with the weigh-in tomorrow! Go Starfishes!!!

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/11/2011 8:18PM

    YOU GO GIRL YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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