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
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
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 afternoon....so 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
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.
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?!!?
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