Thursday, February 03, 2011
I've had a hectic week, going out to eat a bunch of different times & places. Overall it went very well thanks to the Sparkie Community and an app that lets me real-time track what I ate throughout the day.
Late last night as I updated the numbers and my blog, it occurred to me that all the numbers in the tracker are approximations....I'll never totally nail the calories that my body actually takes in....they are averages. I can look up what 5 oz of London Broil is (280 calories), but it could be 50 more or less depending on the specifics of the cow that came to market. I can weigh out proteins, starches, and fruit, but in the end, only my body knows how many calories I ate.
Same with the workouts.....the cardio machines, the heart rate monitors, the websites that translate exertion into calories only give an average.
So what does it mean....is this in any way constructive?
Well it helped me realize to not look so hard at the numbers so that if I'm a 100 calories near or over my limit, well maybe maybe not. Nor is a reading of 500 calories burnt working out necessarily true.
The goal is to get things going in the right direction....calories in should overall be less than calories burnt, say over the course of a week. Any given day is not nearly as important as any given week or a month. The longer the time horizon we work towards, the easier it is to make and stick to a solid plan and to actually get there
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Groundhog Day right? So tonight I had another evening out, an awards banquet, tuxedos, formal gowns, speeches, lots of food, desserts, mingling, munching, etc.
Yesterday I made a pretty decent night of it, planned ahead, worked out, and hit my upper calorie limit at the end of the day.
Today was going to be a little tougher. Busy all day with a high roller visitor, breakfast snacks in the AM, working lunch, finish up at 4:00, rush home, change, pick up SWMBO, drive back to cocktail hour, and let the games begin.
I thought I'd be screwed.
But lo and behold, with my new found Spark tracker in mind, I opt for fresh cut fruit instead of the bagels at the breakfast, salad with broiled chicken and light italian dressing at lunch, a half sandwich midday to not arrive at the banquet famished.
Diet cokes & water at the cocktail mingling, salad with 1 Tbsp of ranch, 5 oz of London Broil, some roasted potatoes and grilled veggies on the dinner plate....next thing you know old Jed's a millionaire!
I'm logging it all in during breaks into the Sparkpeople app and I'm sitting at 1250 calories for the day at the end of the meal! So then there's a small wedge of peanut butter & chocolate mousse pie served with the coffee and still an hour more of speakers and presentations to go.
Well I could claim a steely discipline that looked the other way, and besides, could I really be sure that all these calories in the tracker were true.....they really are only approximations.....who knows what really goes into these things.
What the hell, I figured dessert was about 300 calories, keeping me 250 under my daily max of 1800.
I've been thinking about how accurate all these calorie measurements are lately.....but it's late, I'm off to bed....will have to ponder & blog that thought out later.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
I love going out to eat and have written a couple of blogs about it already. I also HAVE to go out to eat a few times a month, some of them formal, some of them semi-formal, most all of them involving lots of good food as part of the gig.
In the past it was too easy to jump into it with no forethought, chow down on appetizers, opt for beef & starch instead of fish & veggies, then comb the dessert selections for the chocolate-filled deathtraps.
Tonight was a dress casual dinner with a few of our top leaders at a local Italian joint. Knowing this ahead of time, I mapped out a breakfast, lunch, & snack plan that was low cal, and timed to make sure I didn't arrive at the restaurant starving, yet left me enough calories to not go psycho ordering nothing but celery stalks off the menu. I also started off the 100 pushups program this AM (thank you iPhone apps!) and ducked out for a quick 45 minute workout/physical therapy session early in the day.
It all worked out pretty darned nicely....the thought of having to come back home and log my calories in the privacy of my Spark World helped keep me honest & humble for dinner choices. I hit the high end of today's calorie goal, but that's OK......4-5 weeks earlier I'd have doubled that calories intake on any given day.
Tomorrow is a busy work day with a more formal dinner at night that has a set menu, so I need to go through the same drill again. Consistency, impulse control, and knowing that at the end of every day, I need to log in and fess up what I ate helps making the right choices a lot easier.
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
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