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On Challenges and Winter Vegetables

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Ahhh, I am so very happy for the weekend....I'm so very happy to start the Winter 5% Challenge....and I'm so very happy to have some Sparkpeople structure to the holiday season!

First of all this past week was ridiculously busy, hence not a single blog from yours truly. Even though I was home all week, I was out and about from dawn till dark. I had a bunch of high roller visitors coming by, hosted a 3-day conference, had 3 dinners out, and oh yeah, tried to maintain some semblance of a family life in between.

I got in 2 workouts during all the busy-ness, ate moderately well, and geared up as best I could for the Winter Challenge. So today I weighed in at 186, still a nice low for me, but about 2lbs heavier than my lowest during the Fall 5% Challenge.

And it's my birthday weekend! And I'm determined to LOSE weight this holiday season!

SWMBO has done some very nice things (some wonderfully colorful fall/winter vegetables roasted in olive oil with salt & pepper to taste and a few sprigs of thyme along with a rustic, little vegetable galette....some of my all time favorites.....when I'm not eating a steak! Good, hardy peasant food)

So today we had a nice family outing, lunch at our favorite little bistro (A la Carte if you're near the Ft Walton Beach area ( )), did some shopping (she had to get new Christmas plates!), picked up the night's veggies for roasting, then came home where I proceed to take a superb 2 hour power nap! (Do the "it's my birthday" dance)

The danger zone then emerged as I woke up...."Ahhh, I don't feel like working out" Luckily it clouded my mind for only a moment....that plus SWMBO reminded me that I had to go get the barbeque's propane tank replaced caused me to suit up and get out the door, whereupon I got in my first work out for December.

So I'm at 186 lbs today....the goal is to get to 176 by 28 Jan 12, dropping weight through tons more travel, dinner's out, holiday festivities, etc.

Game on....bring it!!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHALLENGER15 12/4/2011 8:39PM

    That looks so very tasty!

Great goal by the way!

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REBECCATKD 12/4/2011 5:37PM

    1. Bring it, indeed!
2. Happy birthday to you! emoticon
3. Thanks for the roasted veggie tip! I have carrots, parsnips, and potatoes in the house right now for roasting and will get on both that AND the treadmill in a while. emoticon emoticon

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BILL60 12/4/2011 10:48AM

    Good luck on your January goal.

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    That food looks tasty!!

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Day #5 Cardio streak....thanks for the motivation Spark friends!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

This'll be a quick one Spark friends....I need to get up in about 5 hours to catch an early morning flight back down to Florida

I came to Boston on business last Monday and took advantage of the trip to spend Thanksgiving with my mom who loves to cook and snack.

Knowing these were troubled waters, I committed to daily workouts and daily's how I've done since Tuesday

Total Cardio = 360 minutes
pushups = 226
squats = 215
situps = 300

It'll be interesting to check the scales when I weigh in back home, but here's the real deal; last year this time, I would have been content eating like crazy and being lazy about working out on a trip back home. Knowing I was in a danger zone, I publicly committed to a 5 day cardio workout streak along with daily blogs about how I was doing....and stuck to it, even when I didn't feel like it.

I suspect (I know) I ate more here than I wanted to, but having an outlet, a public (semi-private) outlet to be accountable to (all of you in cyber-Spark country) kept me on track and (semi)responsible about good eating.

So regardless of the weigh-in results on Monday, I'm going home with a good sense of accomplishment and 360 more fitness minutes under my belt than I would have had without Sparkpeople motivation.

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 11/27/2011 7:04PM

    Wow, that's upgrade on your life!

I am happy you shared all the adventures this week - and by sharing, you also motivated me, gave thoughts, and so.

I didn't manage yet on trips to loose weight, the best result so far was weight maintenance, both in Morocco and Mexico. But I guess, that's already success.

Awesome week, SparkMan!

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ERIKO1908 11/27/2011 12:21PM

    what a difference a year makes!! WTG on the positive changes...and remaining human!! :)

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TIMOTHYNOHE 11/26/2011 10:52PM

    Be careful with your cardio. I can get to be too much. As you get used to it, alternate your cardio with strength training.

Good going on your commitment to get started.

Don't forget rest days!

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BEATLETOT 11/26/2011 10:17PM

    You rock so hard! Great job!

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Day #4 cardio streak

Friday, November 25, 2011

Today was fairly full of activities. Instead of Black Friday shopping, I basically spent the day taking care of mom's large list of must do fixes; change oil in car and get it ready for New England winter, go to Home Depot and get items to fix apartment (repair a couch, seal up some windows, etc), help her with some banking issues, go to DMV and register tags, etc, etc, etc.

But it turned into a beautifully crisp sunny day, soaring up to the mid-60s with a nice cool dry breeze that reminded me how much I love winter....especially when I need only visit it and not live in it

I finished my "chores" around 4:00 then hit the gym for about an hour and a half (I am so far behind this month it's crazy.....I'm hoping to get in 1000 minutes before the end of Nov, even if just barely)

For dinner she was planning to go nuts on me, insisting on buying some lobsters even though we had plenty of left-overs in the fridge. Lo and behold, she returned from the store empty-handed....they were all sold out. So we finished off yesterday's spinach ratatouille concoction, then she really surprised me.....a surprise birthday party....for me.

Nothing like a mom to remember her 50 year old kid's birthday (I was born in December) and to go out and buy chocolate brownies and ice cream (apparently, when thwarted with the lack of lobsters, she decided to go binge shopping) and serve it up after dinner. Kitchy, but sweet.

Anyway, it's been a nice visit. I fly home first thing Sunday morning. Hoping to get in my 5th workout on this streak tomorrow, making up for these various caloric upticks during my "Thanksgiving at Home" holiday.

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROT358 11/26/2011 4:32PM

    Happy early birthday!! Well I would say I'll bring the cake, but I think I'll bring the confetti-stuffed pinata instead!

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ERIKO1908 11/26/2011 3:18PM

    happy early birthday!!!

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BILL60 11/26/2011 8:41AM

    Happy B'day, old man!! Hang tough!!!!!!

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GOODGETNBETR 11/26/2011 1:38AM

    Happy Pre Birthday! emoticon
Enjoy the rest of your visit and safe travels. emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 11/26/2011 12:27AM

    awwwwww! Thanks, Mom : )
And Happy Birthday!

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Day #3 Thanksgiving buffet, cardio.....and a bout of sheer genius I tell you!

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/28/2011 1:48PM

    Wow!! Awesome strategy with your mom. My mom hates waste too, I will have to try to figure out a way to make this work for me in the future!

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ERIKO1908 11/26/2011 3:14PM

    thinking on your feet & drawing your mom in...LOVE IT!!! :)

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HEALTHIERKEN 11/26/2011 12:31AM

    I'm in awe of your dedication to proper nutrition no matter what your circumstance!

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BEATLETOT 11/25/2011 11:08PM

    I love this! That is so smart! I need to do this with myself and my husband!!!

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JSPEED4 11/25/2011 10:18AM


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BELSNICKEL 11/25/2011 8:24AM

    Great story. Do you talk really fast. Your words seemed to jump off the page. emoticon

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MOBYCARP 11/25/2011 5:44AM

You found an effective, politically feasible, and actually kind solution to the food riddle of the day!

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GOODGETNBETR 11/25/2011 4:41AM

emoticon blog and sounds like a great day. emoticon

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/25/2011 12:08AM


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PRAIRIECROCUS 11/25/2011 12:01AM

    I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving !

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Day #2 of a cardio streak and Thanksgiving vacation

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 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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIKO1908 11/26/2011 3:07PM

    sounds like you and your mom are having a wonderful time!! :)

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PROT358 11/24/2011 8:02PM

    Wow, look at that self-control. I'm proud of you! Yes, we'll compare notes. Here's where I stand so far:

last Friday: 152.0
two Thanksgivings on Saturday and Sunday
Sunday: 150.0
Wednesday: 149.2
Thursday: 148.6

I have been burning an average of 1000 calories a day since last Friday to compensate for the extra food, and it looks like I'm coming out ahead! Knowing how determined you are I think you'll come out ahead too. I couldn't be more proud!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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BILL60 11/24/2011 8:18AM

    And a Happy Turkey day to you too.

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HAKAPES 11/24/2011 1:24AM

    Wow, in such a home gym I would go crazy excercizing. I am just hezitating to save up for a treadmill OR a turbo trainer OR a gym pass. Is she active on those equipement?

I like how you get through these troubled home bays of the calorie ocean!

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