Wednesday, January 04, 2012
So my Stasi trained trainer changed things up again on me....welcome 2012!
We've been pushing it up with lighter weights at higher reps, which has felt remarkably good, and kept me injury free these past 4 months. But "it's time to shake it up again" he said with that supercilious grin of his that make me want to pick up a cudgel and.....
So we've changed the whole routine around and are now using heavier weights and doing less repetitions.
It felt surprisingly good....and went a lot faster. We had been doing 3 sets of 15 and now we do 3 sets of 5, with heavier weights of course. Then he told me the good news.
"Of course now you're going to have to up your cardio. You won't be as exhausted with this workout, but it will make you stronger. If you want to maintain or lose weight, you need more cardio"
"Great, so how do I find yet another 5-6 hours in a week Jedi Master?!?"
He gave me the "I can't answer that for you" shrug and grin then went back to examining his Stasi files
So it's all good....change is good I keep telling myself. As I close in on my 1 year spark mark, I've developed some basic "truths" about healthy living.....change is good is becoming one of my mantras, especially when I want to remain set in my ways
Have a great night Spark friends!
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
So today was the day I've been dreading for the last 4 weeks....they day everyone is back from their holiday break, full of remorse and regret, resolutions piled high....and packing into the gym, filling up the parking lot and taking all my favorite machines.
Then I thought, "I'm an ass!"
Who the hell am I to judge....am I so far removed from my days starting out that I am now a Gym Snob?
Have I turned into an Alpha-male SOB who has forgotten his roots?
Could I have become "Broseph", THAT GUY, the annoying, elitist jerk at the gym?
I think not Spark friends, it was a momentary weakness of attitude, perhaps brought on from an over-eagerness to get in a good workout.
Because here's the deal....the only reason I have made any progress over this past year is to realize that I can succeed best by being part of a larger community, encouraging others while pursuing my own disciplined way forward. Slow, steady, exercise and a mindful diet has been the key to my success and a determination to live healthy is what works. So when I see others giving it the college try, it's up to me to be encouraging and not so single-minded in my pursuit that I unwittingly turn someone away who may have mustered up incredible courage just to show up at the gym.
Besides, when I start getting frisky, I can always just go bug the regulars who make asses out of themselves....they're such easy targets!
So here's to beginner's and everyone showing up into packed gyms this January! WELCOME!
Sunday, January 01, 2012
Hello Spark friends new and old....a Happy 2012 to you all!!
Well this has been a wild holiday season. Wild to the extent that even though I worked out like a madman, I'm up about 4 lbs from my low weight in 2011. Of course the good news is that I did have a low weight in 2011 and it was reached only 5-6 weeks ago, so all my dealings with those tons of cakes, cookies, brownies, and other sugary delights that fell into the gravitaional well of our home this year ended up having an effect (which just reinforces my belief that you can't work off a bad diet)
But I had a great 2011 and am looking forward to an even better 2012. Because even with the last minute weight gain, I can look in the mirror today (or pictures taken during this holiday season) and be pretty darned happy with what I see back. Sure there's more to do, but compared to where I was this time last year, IT'S ALL GOOD!!!
So what did we do this New Year's? We went to bed at 10:00PM that's what we did! But it helped me scratch off yet another item on the bucket list.....a Polar Bear dive into the ocean on New Year's Day!
Here's the story....
Our new neighbors are a very social bunch, more sociable than we have had in a long time. They're great....they just eat....a lot....and drink....a lot.
In my last blog (10 day ago, oh my!) I detailed the ridiculous number of sweets that got delivered house-to-house (SWMBO and I delivered ours on 23 Dec). Well right after Christmas, they started planning the New Year's Eve party....a traveling house-to-house event filled with food (of course) where you go to one neighbors for an appetizer, another for salad, another for an entree, another for another entree, 2 more for desserts, and end up at a final one for games and drinking by the chiminea on the deck until midnight.
Well SWMBO and I were not up to it, so I planned a quick weekend getaway to Pensacola Beach, about an hour down the road from our house.
It was well worth it! SWMBO, #2 son, and I have had a great relaxing weekend...even with our New Year's Day ocean swim.
Don't ask me why, it's just one of those things I've wanted to do for a long time. Now it's not as gutsy as doing it up in Maine, but it was great jumping into the water with #2 son early in the morning....we had a blast. I even laid out on the sand for a little while and enjoyed the feeble January sun on my face with the smell of the ocean wafting all around us
We spent the rest of the morning relaxing, reading our kindles on the balcony...and then had lunch
We found a cool little Tiki bar of a place and had some very nice seafood, then the waiter kept telling us how famous their Key Lime Pie was, how it was the "Official State Pie" (do all states have an official pie?), that theirs was the best in the state, and that one slice would be just right for the three of us.
My God he was right on all three counts!
Maybe not an auspicous way to start the New Year, but I'm not a believer in omens....besides, we all decided that our best option for dinner after all this madness was to go buy a box of Raisin Bran and to have cereal for dinner!
That's all for now Spark friends, have a great night....let's have an even better 2012, and here's to there being less (lbs) of us all in 2012!!!
Oh yeah, what's on your bucket list?!?
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
My God it's been over 10 days since my last blog! Forgive me Sparkers, for I have sinned!!!
Well I was very busy last week; my boss was in town for 5 days. Great guy, but much like relatives visiting during the holidays, shorter is always better.
It went very well; he was happy, I was happy, he got a great deep-dive into our operations here, which was the real reason I had asked him to spend that much time out here.
Friday, I drove to Tallahassee for my one year post-op checkup of my re-surfaced hip joint. Ortho doc said it has healed marvelously well, and to keep doing whatever I've been doing, but to plan on not running anymore to be safe. I had already geared up for this all last year, and have now made the switch from the tribe of runners to the tribe of cyclists....minus all the multi-neon colored clothing.....I'll take my Spandex plain & earth toned, thank-you very much.
Then this week-end, SWMBO and I were introduced to a weird, yet somehow refreshing, tradition of this new neighborhood we moved into in May; every night since Friday, another neighbor has come by and "gifts" us a tray of sweets!! We've got pralines, banana cake, fudge, red velvet brownies, pecan squares, you name it. What kind of a fat-filled hell on Earth did we move in to!?!?
I know they're all trying to be nice and full of southern hospitality and charm, but my God, there's about 3,000 extra calories of sweets dropped off on our doorstep every night!! And this is the real home-made, Paula Dean deal, not discounted Wal-Mart reject sweets. I guess if it gets to be our turn to deliver some goodies, I'll hand out copies of The Spark to all the neighbors!
So I'm still geared up (against this new, sweet-toothed, southern-charm enemy) to drop some weight this holiday season. I'm planning to go hard on the cardio and weight-lifting these next 2 weeks. SWMBO and I decided to make a seafood extravaganza (salmon, shrimp, mussels, etc.) for Christmas instead of turkey or ham. As for the nightly sweets train, well, we'll cope and hope the insanity stops soon.
That's all for now Spark friends, have a great night!!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Well this Sunday has all the makings of a regular workday...but first, the news!
I've been hooked on smoothies for a while now. Usually I hoover up whatever stray fruit is in the fridge; pears, oranges, apples, bananas lying on the counter, and frozen combinations of strawberries, blueberries, etc.
In my zeal, I surfed on Amazon for some new ideas on this front, and came across a well reviewed book called "Green Smoothie Revolution"
It looked kind of gross. My first concoction was an equally gross tasting, fibery mess. Back to the drawing board.
After some refinement, I realized that the "more is better rule" was once again proven false. I eased up on big fat leaves of kale, arugula, etc. and balanced it with other ingredients.
The key for me was fresh mint and parsley! What a great balance they brought. I still added a few big hunks of leaf, but with the mint and parsley, plus a mango, an orange, and some pineapple, I felt like I should be sipping this thing on a white, sandy beach listening to the waves crash on the shore as I applied sunscreen to SWMBO's bare shoulders!
Anyway, this should hold me for a few hours. Here's today's plan.
I need to go into the office to finish up some reports and write some welcome notes for a few high-roller visitors I have coming into town this week. Then I hit the gym, come back and clean up for a Christmas Open House at one of our neighbors tonight. In between, SWMBO says "we are decorating the tree today, no excuses!" so that's pretty clear for my mid-afternoon activities.
Then my boss flies into town tonight at 10:30. so I'll be at the airport to get him and drop him off at his room. We start off tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM. He and a few others are in town through Thursday, and I have a dinner out with them all planned for Tuesday night. So the challenge, as usual, will be to eat well, workout, get the day's business done, and oh yeah, fit in some family time and XMAS shopping (hurray for Amazon!) before it gets too late (compounding XMAS for our family every year are the birthdays....4 total between 1 and 22 Dec....sheesh!)
Anyway, that's all for now Spark friends....have a great Sunday!
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