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....my mom who loves to cook and snack.
Knowing these were troubled waters, I committed to daily workouts and daily blogs....here'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!
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!
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!
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