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GETSTRONGRRR's Recent Blog Entries

On being a mature gym rat

Monday, January 31, 2011

One of the great things about working out hard in your 50s is that you're over so many trivial things that seemed important in your 20s...they fade away into the noise and chatter

A late bloomer to distance running & bicycling and an even later adult onset weight lifter, I've grown to really enjoy slow, steady progress getting healthier and pushing hard, within limits and with an eye toward a longer objective

Today I can tell the difference between good pain and bad pain. I can push muscles to exertion, but not to the point that I hate every moment of a workout. I can stop even though I haven't completed everything on my list because I know that the gym will be there again tomorrow and I can pick it up next time. I can bike hard, then slow it down, and pick up the pace later when I'm up for it. I can keep pace with the toughest in a spin class, but enjoy even more cheering on a newbie on the bike next door to just pedal at whatever pace they can.

During my marathon training I had 4 goals:

- Enjoy the run
- Finish the race
- Don't be last
- Cheer everyone you pass

As long as I kept goal #1 at the top and enjoyed the exertion, I always ended a workout feeling great, and looked forward to the next one. It's working great so far and keep me coming back.

Now if I just didn't enjoy the post workout food so much too........but that's another blog entry

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 2/2/2011 11:49PM

    I'm with you on all your 'pluses' of being mature, GETSSTRONGERRR. I don't think I could bear to be pre-middle aged again for anything . . . . : )

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JUNEBUG1944 2/1/2011 9:41PM

    It's not so bad being mature...I don't have to wear the most fashionable workout clothes because I'm OLD! emoticon

I can sing with my MP3 player while I exercise because I'm OLD!

I can leave a class I don't like because I'm OLD! emoticon

Yup, there are definitely upsides to being "mature!" We don't need to go into the downsides, do we? emoticon

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    Speaking as one of those newbies on the bike next door just struggling to go at their own turtle pace...THANK YOU!!! :)

I'm not actually in a class, but I feel embarrassed just getting on the bike in the first place. People like you make it so much easier to just do what I can and not worry what super human efforts the person next to me is achieving! :)

Thank you for being YOU! :)

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4EVERFIT011 2/1/2011 7:31AM

    Great post! Not caring as much about what others think is one of the benefits of being "mature". I also like pushing my body and surprising myself at what it can do. I go to the Y near my home for most of my workouts and there are quite a few members who are even older than I am. It is exciting to see how active you can be as you age, if you just move and keep moving.

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SAFARIBABE 2/1/2011 5:21AM

    LOL! Good post and well said. What I've found about the gym is that I just really don't care what anyone thinks anymore. I go do my thing, enjoy it, and all those 20 somethings flexing and preening in the mirrors just give me a chuckle.

As for that post workout food....I go a couple hours before a meal. First because I know I'm starving after and 2nd because the exercise kicks up your metabolism for about 1-2 hours after the workout.

Happy February!

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Dining out without pigging out

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I have always loved going out to eat.

From growing up with a traveling Dad, who took us to roadside Howard Johnson's (are there any left?), to college days in New York with a million restaurants to choose from on any given day, to courting my wife with whom I've enjoyed dining all over the world, I love a good restaurant.

As with many of life's pleasures, however, I tend to over-indulge. And I'm not willing to say no to dining out.

What I am willing to do is to temper my ravenous appetite to eat all of that greasy, cheesy, sauce-laden, salty, deep fried, crunchy, buttery (with a hint of lemon and garlic) platters that come overflowing at most every restaurant imaginable today.

In addition to going out with the family, I end up eating out a lot for my job as well. I've got 2 functions to go to this week, a reception next Sunday (yes, Superbowl Sunday, but it's not a Superbowl party), and 2 more dinner the week after.

So far, it's been good living the Spark way. I've avoided messing up at Pot Lucks and some dinners out. It's just going to take vigilance.

Tonight, SWMBO and I went to a nice mom & pop Greek place. I started off finishing off a glass of water before the Hummus & Tzaziki with Pita Bread appetizer came out. I went a little heavy on this, but (thanks to the Sparkpeople iPhone app), found that this was about 450 calories.

Soooo.....once the main course came out (Chicken Souvlaki, with sautéed green beans and some rice) I knew enough (and also realized that, "You know, I'm feeling a little full), to eat a few pieces of chicken AND SET MY PLATE ASIDE TO TAKE HOME IN A BOX!

That's a habit I have never practiced before; it felt strangely right....Stop eating when you feel slightly full, don't clean off your plate (OK I polished off the Tzaziki, but iPhone said only 90 calories there), think early in the meal what part of it you want to take home.

Still many dining hurdles to face in the coming weeks (months, years), but today I did it right and enjoyed a nice meal that I can use for lunch tomorrow

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 2/1/2011 9:43PM

    Woohoo! You are doing great, my friend! Self control is the, what was the question?

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REBECCATKD 1/31/2011 2:34PM

    Ah, the power of control! I'm right there with you, tempted to indulge in all sorts of sinful delights (most of mine are covered in dark chocolate.) Having a SP app at your side when contemplating menu or portion options is invaluable. One thing I've learned is that sometimes it's okay to go ahead and splurge; just make sure all the numbers add up at the end of the day. It's certainly made desserts -- and Tzaziki! -- taste so much better!

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ELISA322 1/31/2011 6:09AM

    WTG! That is also a challenge for me when dining out since I'm a member of the clean plate club.

Enjoy your lunch today!

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HEALTHIERKEN 1/31/2011 1:25AM


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CELTICMOTOCAT 1/30/2011 8:46PM

    Great job! I've experienced eating out this weekend with success as well.
Ruby Tuesday now has Fit and Trim on their menu with the calories listed.....
Keep up the great steps toward the you want to be...

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SAFARIBABE 1/30/2011 8:43PM

    WTG! I also battle with eating out. I try to look up the menu online before I go so I can plan what I'm going to eat. Keep up the great work!!

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PVILLAGO 1/30/2011 8:36PM

  I sort of attack my plates in the same way when we go out to eat. I drink water or tea first. Then try and avoid any chips or sauces. I then eat vegetables first and then the meat.
I too put my fork down when I start feeling full.

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KOFFEENUT 1/30/2011 8:35PM

    Good for you! This is my personal challenge, also - I travel a fair amount for work, so meals on the road are pretty typical. Sometimes it's hard when the food is already on the table, staring up at you. Way to go on being proactive and making good decisions today!

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1800 calories a day ain't so bad

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Man o' man was I worried when I first started Spark living!

When I entered my height & weight, age, gender, and goals into the tracker, the elves behind the screen of the nutrition page calculated that I would need to keep my daily calories between 1600-1900.

What to do? During my first few days of tracking and logging every bite, I slammed into the 1500 calorie wall by lunch.

But that's why God gave us brains and civilization gave us supermarkets where nutrition labels are written on foods so we can read before we buy. It's not like we have to hunt down a woolly mammoth and figure out how many calories are in the slab we have roasting over the campfire.

Throughout the day, I log what I eat (once again civilization gave us the iPhone 4 and the Sparkpeople app....what a great time to be alive....the Romans never had it so good!) and my goal is to not go hungry. I eat just enough at each sitting to make it to the next meal, which is usually only 2-3 hours away. I can make mid-day adjustments to stay on track or even add a treat (a teaspoon of peanut butter in the late much better to savor it 1 teaspoon at a time than to gorge it by the ladlefull)

And all of a sudden 1800 calories is not so bad. Consistency is the key (I wrote about this a few weeks ago...need to remember to read my own stuff periodically)

I've had a few setbacks, but none of them devastating. As a matter of fact I'm convinced that there won't be any big blow up that will set me back. With me it's the insidiously slow backslide. It's the idea that, "I can get by without logging my food today" or "I'll get to writing a blog entry this weekend" (which happened this week). It's the slow realization of the toad that the water has been warming up gradually and all of a sudden it's boiling me up for dinner and I can't get out of the pot because I weigh 210 lbs!

With that in mind, sub-2000 calorie days aren't so bad at all

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISA322 1/30/2011 10:12AM

    I have the SP app on my Android phone and while I wish it had a bit more features, it is a pretty handy tool. Calorie counting has definitely become easier today than when I started 10 years ago.

And that's so true about the insidious backsliding. I know when I take a break from SP I always end up gaining weight because there's no accountability.

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SAFARIBABE 1/29/2011 9:16PM

    Ach! Unless I'm putting the peanut butter on my morning whole wheat waffle, I almost never get to lick it off the spoon anymore. emoticon What did we ever do before apps?? Have a great night!

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Feels nice to have clothes feel loose

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Still in the single digit weight loss category (down 4 lbs in 2 weeks, which is about the pace I expected), but getting dressed for work today, I felt a certain bagginess in my clothes that made me stop and go, "Huh!"

Nothing noticeable in the mirror, just felt a little more room in the waist, a little less squeeze in the hips, and the realization that the scales not the only measure of progress.

As a matter of fact, if given the choice between what the scale says and how I feel in the clothes, I'd ditch the numbers and go for loose fitting jeans anyday.

Spark away!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

B-LYNN1ST 1/29/2011 8:23PM

    You are so right. The scale is not the king or Queen of measurements..... Our success and the way we feel is.

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HEALTHIERKEN 1/27/2011 2:57PM

    oh, yeah! Looser clothes are a 'way more gratifying success indicator than the scales!!!!!! You go, Friend!

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  Yeah!!! Doesn't it feel wonderful when your clothes feel a bit looser than they did! What a wonderful measurement. You must be toning up. The scales are not the only measure of success!

Keep up the great job!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Pizzas, iPhones, a King's Speech, and the end of a 12 day streak

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Well there goes my 12 day streak of blogging every day. What did I lose on Saturday and what did I gain? Hmmmm....

SWMBO and I decided to make a day of it Saturday. One of my Spark goals is to spend some better time with my family....I'm on the road a lot and even when I'm in town, work days go long. Sooooo.....


Date day actually. We have an awesome little mom and pop Italian place right down the road (La Famiglia if you're near Destin). They make pizza with a crust and taste to die for. So of course I got one for our lunch and while it was baking in the wood oven, we soaked our bread in olive oil, garlic, and herbs, smiling and holding hands. Did I know it was wrong? Ehhh....I knew going in what I was doing and was totally cool with it...guilt had no place at our table! We each ate half our pizzas and took the rest home in a box.

Soon after, she had to nap for our movie night out, so I skedaddled over to the AT&T store to upgrade my antiquated dumb phone. I knew what I was getting in to there too....pretend like I wanted the $50 droid while eyeing that coy little iPhone 4 in the corner. We both knew we'd wind up with each other sooner or later, so I stopped wasting time and made my move....iPhone came home soon after.

Fast forward home, wake up SWMBO, we warm up our pizzas, tell the 16 year old to be good, set him up with dinner, and we make our way over to The King's Speech....did I mention we ordered popcorn and soda (diet)?

We laughed & giggled the whole time...she later admitting to a few tears at certain key scenes (no spoilers).

We drove home holding hands across the console....calories be damned!

Before bed, I logged into SparkPeople, entered my meals for the day....almost 3000 calories, very few of them healthy ones. Another 12 day streak (sub-2000 calories/day) shot in the face. Did I care? For about 12 seconds....Did I regret a single one.....Hell no!

That was Saturday.....This Sunday AM, started out with 5oz of 2% cottage cheese and salsa, some chicken soup at lunch, and a plan for low cal dinner tonight.....just like I've done happily these past 12 days.

Spark on people! What ever happened yesterday matters not one bit....How are you doing today?!!?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KYRRIA 1/23/2011 10:06PM

    Thanks for the blog comment, and careful with that pretty little iphone of yours! those toilets..they'll getcha. That sounds like a wonderfully perfect day; i want to have one like that soon! its been wayyyyyy too long. this blog just made me feel happy :)

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JUNEBUG1944 1/23/2011 6:57PM

    You are absolutely right! Life is about living and having a good time when we can. You've been doing great and deserved a wonderful day! So, today starts a new streak!

Mmmmmm, favorite!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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