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A fitness lesson learned

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Well I'm a little beat today. Between cardio and ST, I've worked out six days straight. Add to that almost 3 straight weeks of working 10-12 hour days plus 4-6 on the weekends and I can tell my patience/tolerance is shrinking.

It's all good. I know when my mind plays Jedi mind tricks on itself and can recognize the signs, although today I displayed a serious lack of good least that's what I found out later.

I got to the gym as usual and hit the elliptical to warm up before ST. Trainer guy said he had to make a few calls, so after about 15 minutes on the machine I thought, "Hey why not do some abs BEFORE lifting"

Nothing too wacky, just some basic crunches and some oblique twists.

The gym was pretty packed, so instead of starting off with squats, we did back first, then started on legs.

Well on my third set of squats, I got this wickedly sharp pain just right of center in my lower back, so I stopped.

"What the hell," said trainer guy

"Sharp pain....not the good kind.....lower back," I grimaced

"Hmm, your form looked real good, anything else going on?"

"No, just the usual warm-up and I added some abs before we started"

"Not good brother! Always do abs after your workout. All they'll do is increase your chance of straining something"

"No scheisse Sherlock! I didn't get the memo! Next time, make sure I'm on the distro list for these updates!"

So you can see my tolerance was low.....

Anyway, the good news is, unlike in my 20s, I can tell the difference between good pain and bad pain, so at the first (well OK, it was more like the second.....OK, OK, the third!) sign of pain I stopped. I think that helped keep it from aggravating much and right now, it's actually not bad at all.

All that leads me to conclude that tomorrow will be a fitness day off. Damn if Sparkguy and his Point-taunting cronies don't make me shoot for yet more and more fitness points every month!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 2/17/2012 9:57AM

    Sounds like you're really putting the SPARK to it!

Hopefully that strain passed uneventfully...!


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CHEEKY1000 2/16/2012 9:21PM

    I learned something new! I did not know that about doing abs last. Good to know. I usually do them last anyhow, but when I'm feeling crazy and carefree, I consider rebelling and doing them out of order. I don't, but now I know it must have been my subconscious saying: "that way lies doom." Or pain.

Way to be smart and stop at the...3rd sign of pain. :o)

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SHERYL_B 2/16/2012 7:48PM

    Good job listening to your body so that you didn't make it worse!

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KAYZAKCX 2/16/2012 10:38AM

    Rest days do wonders for the body. I find that it's not uncommon to feel stronger after a rest day. Something about giving the body time to repair itself.

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BEATLETOT 2/16/2012 8:42AM

    Hah, so THAT's why they do that!!! Who'd've thunk! Thanks for letting us know!

Point-taunting cronies?! I love that! =)

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SAFARIBABE 2/16/2012 7:09AM

    You know I empathize with the back pain!! IT's important to remember to take a rest day. You're a Fitness Warrior....but even Fitness Warriors need to rest the muscles from time to time. Why don't you take SWMBo for a nice walk around the neighborhood after dinner. Nothing record breaking, just a little stroll. On top of the flowers earlier in the week she'll think you're a Romance Guru too!! AND you can still score some cardio points!!

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ORGANIC811LFRV 2/16/2012 6:17AM

    Wow! So glad you know how to take care of yourself in this case.

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HEALTHIERKEN 2/16/2012 1:35AM

    Backs like to trick us, that's for sure!
Sounds like a day off heavy-duty fitness will be good for you anyway.
ps, from your reply to my blog "Dr. Butterfinger"!!!! that's a new one for me. Got a kick out of it : ) Thanks for the chuckle!

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ILIKETOZUMBA 2/15/2012 10:53PM

    Wow, I had no idea you're supposed to save abs for the end of a workout. Guess I've been doing that wrong for a while. :) Thanks for the info!

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V-Day recap

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Well first of all, Happy Valentine's Day Spark friends!

I was a hometown hero this weekend....I ordered up flowers and had them delivered to SWMBO on Saturday, beating the rush, getting some good flowers (I learned a long time ago that they send out the dreg leftovers on the 14th), and reaping the benefits of having flowers on display in the house when her gal pals come visit and she can say, "look at these beautiful roses!" attention gentlemen, it works wonders!

The work day went surprisingly smooth. I have my big staff meetings on Tuesdays, did a big contract review late morning, then spent the afternoon doing feedbacks to a bunch of my senior guys. It's always a good news/bad news thing. I try to be objective, honest, and realistic, telling them what I see that's good, what needs work, and what their potential looks like from my perch. Some folks have promising futures, some have peaked, and some are lucky to be where they are. What always surprises me is when I have to tell someone that they're not doing so hot (something all their peers & supervisors seem to already know), that they always tell me, "well no, I've always thought I was doing one ever told me otherwise"

I guess that's why 90% of the people think they're in the top 10% of good drivers!

So it felt good after 5 straight hours of straight talk to get my butt over to the gym. I was kind of pressed for time (I couldn't come home late on V-Day!), so I got about 30 minutes in on the bike (yeah, I texted my status update while riding!), then did the Nike Training Club Abs Burner for another 15 minutes....still haven't crushed this little routine yet, but it's a damn good app!

It's been a hectic 2 weeks, so I'm looking forward to the weekend. SWMBO and I did a quick calendar check and she reminded me that she has a speaking engagement at a conference this weekend, so #2 son and I are on our own starting Friday night, which worked out pretty nicely because a friend of mine invited us over for a Wild Game dinner at his place on Saturday night!

Will have to do some more cardio this week to gear up for a carnivorous weekend!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 2/15/2012 6:30AM

    Love wild game!! There's a place in Brooklyn that features wild game for a month. Hmmmm that's coming up actually....hmmmm.... I loathe doing performance evals. Have a folder full of ones I need to do this weekend. Blech! I really have to look up this Nike thing. Have a great Post-VD!

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BEATLETOT 2/15/2012 3:04AM

    The wild game night sounds delightful! Have fun!!!! =)

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GOODGETNBETR 2/14/2012 11:08PM

    Thanks for the flower advice. Keep up the great workouts and enjoy the wild game.

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FANGFACEKITTY 2/14/2012 10:51PM

    I don't know about the rest of the majority but I'm pretty sure I'm the only decent driver in MI.

Of course, my definition of decent driver is "I am always correct in whatever I do and if you do not stay out of my way you are wrong". Now to educate the rest of the motorists on this absolute truth.

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Is this what Einstein felt like?

Monday, February 13, 2012

So I've been thinking.....

Why, or how, is it that I keep getting all these indicators that I'm losing weight (loose fitting clothes, people saying, "Hey you're losing weight", etc), yet the scales aren't moving at all.

Yeah, yeah. I get the whole "Losing fat, adding muscle" thing, it's one of my "truths" (See my Spark page intro), but there's a part of my monkey brain that keeps saying, "Yeah, sure, OK.... but really....what's up with the scale?"

I've been pretty good about staying within calorie ranges and all that....but here's a secret....I really like to night. It's one of my favorite splurges.

So I save up a few 100 calories in the evenings so that I can have a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter and a shot of milk at night time.

Well early last week, we ran out of peanut butter and I didn't tell SWMBO that the cupboard was low. So no PB for almost a shot of milk....just maybe a handful of pistachios and almonds to chomp on in the evening. And I'm in the same calorie range as always....just swapped carbs & dairy for whatever raw almonds and pistachios are made of.

And the scales.....well they have been steadily going down....almost 3 lbs since Thursday! What the hell is up with that?!?!

I haven't adjusted the weight ticker yet or anything, just because I'm somewhat skeptical right now (monkey brain senses danger, disbelief). I mean, calories are calories right? Right?!?


Hell I don't know...maybe there is higher math involved.....maybe there is something to the type of calories being important.

Gosh, do I really have to start looking at pie charts of nutrients, ratios of fats, carbs, and protein and do a balancing act getting them all to take their proper place on the tracker page? Some days it's all I can do to get the data in there and adjust the calories to fit between the goal posts of min & max.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not's just the cognitive dissonance in my brain trying to adjust to a whole new way of having to look at the world.

Is this what Einstein felt like? I've always felt we have so much in common.....

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERYL_B 2/14/2012 2:46PM


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HEALTHIERKEN 2/14/2012 10:58AM

    3 lbs down means 3 lbs down! Revel in it : )

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BEATLETOT 2/14/2012 8:40AM

    You are so awesome, and you're doing what works for YOU. I admire you so much, because YOU ARE DOING IT!!!

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BILL60 2/14/2012 7:58AM

    Whatever it is, you're doing it. Hang tough!!

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ORGANIC811LFRV 2/14/2012 5:46AM

    You cannot solve your problems with the same mind that created them. Albert Eisnstein

As long as you think that dairy and high fat nuts and counting calories will help you lose weight you are going to have struggles.

The beauty of eating raw and plant based is the tossing out of the counting calories. Calorie counting is for those shifting to a "healthier" version of the same old eating pattern. Dairy is not healthy. Dairy robs the body of calcium from your bones in order to nutrilize the acid it causes in the stomach. Dairy contains caseine a known carcinogen.

Change to a meatless/diaryless plant based diet and throw out the old thinking. You will be amazed at what happens.

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SAFARIBABE 2/13/2012 11:55PM

    You're missing the calculus! It's a simple differential equation.... really. Sheesh man!! Back to the drawing board for you! And btw...I hear Old Al was quite the ladies' man!!

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REBECCATKD 2/13/2012 10:48PM

    Thanks for sharing! I always love a profound post.

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The gym....a cure for the common cold!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Well the best part of my Sunday took place at the gym....actually the best part of my Sunday was just getting to the gym.

We had a cold front blow through the panhandle last actually got below 30, which, being from Boston is not that big a deal, but let's face it, I'm now acclimatized to the South. So we turned on the heater and got the house all toasty before bedtime.

But man, we all woke up with our sinuses dried up and congested to all get out! I spent my morning sneezing and sniffling, going through what felt like half a box of tissues. My meetings at work were starting at 1:00 PM, so I had to get better, but by 10:00 AM it wasn't looking good and my motivation was waning. Add to that the sunburn lotion I smeared all over my head this morning and I was just a mess.

I suited up and went anyway. It felt like it was all I could do to balance my head on my neck and to not cause a river full of boogers every time I looked up or down.

But after a few minutes on the bike, my heart rate went up, my breathing increased, and next thing you know old Jed's a millionaire and everything magically cleared up!

Came home, showered, changed and went in to the office to see how my teams had recovered from the disastrous way they handled a big project I gave them a few weeks ago. It started well until.... of the guys walked in 10 minutes late!

Now I am a very tolerant and forgiving soul, striving to ever bring humanity and understanding to the work place, even as I try to improve the professional capabilities of my business and people.

But I absolutely hate it....with a passion....when people....are my meetings....especially....when they work for me.

When I get pissed, I start talking real, real slow, measuring every word, every inflection of my voice, very deliberately making sure I make eye contact with everybody around me so there's no doubt they all hear and absolutely understand the message.

I almost stopped the meeting right then and there, but got control of my emotions and kept pressing through their revised presentation. It was better than Friday's, but still needed some more detailed planning if we want to make it work, so I closed it up with a request for more thought and details put into some areas.

Then I called Mr "10 minutes late" and his boss, and his boss's boss, over to my office and went off on them like Mussolini on the balcony. Basic message was that unless they all wanted their next big business decision to be "Would you like to super-size those fries sir?" then they better get their professional act together and not be so lackadaisical when everyone else is working incredibly hard to get things done right and on time.

Unfortunately I was still pissed by the time I got home and had to decompress. SWMBO picked up on it and talked me down pretty well. Normally I'm very good about leaving work behind, but as I look back at my blogs and schedule this past week, plus the sunburn and head congestion, I can see that the lines between work, home, and play are getting a little blurred.

So all the more reason to hit the gym regularly this week!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 2/12/2012 9:24PM

    You're doing great! WE all lose it with the staff from time to time. I'm going to do it tomorrow at 6PM. There may be body parts flying so be sure to keep your head down about then! Would hate anything to hit you in your sunburned head. LOL As you plan out the coming week see if you can't arrange a night or two to chill with the family and the Kindle.'s important to get some down time just for YOU!

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SHERYL_B 2/12/2012 9:07PM

    I had that same meeting Thursday! I had been working with this person for a while, using different strategies - When you.... it makes me frustrated because.... What can we do to improve, etc etc etc.

After waiting 10 minutes after the meeting was supposed to start, I called them. When they came they said they didn't know about the meeting (even though I had sent both an email and a meeting invite).

At that point, I gave up on all the strategies I had been patiently trying to use. I kept my cool (in that I didn't yell), discussed the important things that couldn't wait, and ended the meeting. If they didn't hear it in my voice and my facial and body language from that conversation, I will have given up hope. I was MAD and they needed to know it!!!!!!

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Mardi Gras parade....and its aftermath!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ahh what a day!

Started off with a nice green smoothie in the AM (banana, orange, mint, parsley, coconut water, an apple, and some kale), then got butt and #2 son in gear to the Mardi Gras parade line up where my buddy runs a float for the Tourist Development Council.

It was cold (relatively) for Florida...50s and windy, but it was a pretty good turnout. Mostly snowbirds here for the winter months, but a good smattering of kids. For some logistical reason they started almost an hour and a half late, but once underway we had a hootie-good time.

I tend to get very exuberant at these thing. I have a knack for revving up crowds, demanding they scream and yell for their beads and trinkets. We even had bags of Moon-Pies to throw to those who cheered loudest. It was a family affair, so no wild displays of body parts were called for (just as well too, the majority of the crowd receives Medicare....I'd have to wash my eyes afterwards)

I logged 60 minutes of cardio for the whole damn thing even though we were outside for almost 3 hours and starving by the time it was finally over (but I didn't eat a single Moon-Pie!)

Took #2 son to lunch, then went in to work to do a morale check on the knuckle-heads I have working this weekend who messed up a big project Friday afternoon. They were humble and diligently setting things right. Some of them looked at me kind of funny though, then averted their eyes when I made eye-contact, turning away with the slightest grin. What the hell was that all about?

Well when I came back home SWMBO took one look at me and burst out laughing. The top of my head and face were as red as a lobster from having been out in the sun all day! It was sunny, but so damn cool and windy that I didn't even notice. Just what I need, a sunburn in February!

Anyway, we just came back from a little local variety show. We had a nice little night out as these folks performed "Rhythm Nation", tons of tributes to tunes from the 40s all the way to Beyonce.

Luckily it was dark and nobody could see my head!

Sheesh....have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 2/14/2012 10:48PM

    Great, now with the visuals flashing before my eyes I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight.

That, plus contemplating if Moon Pies are really edible and qualify as food products. I'm thinking they are in the same category as hot dogs where the answer to both questions is a resounding "NO".

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JUNEBUG1944 2/12/2012 9:31PM

    You could wear a hat...sounds like a fun day (except for the part where you had to check in with the knuckleheads...I hate when that happens!

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SHERYL_B 2/12/2012 7:36PM

    I agree - where are the pics!

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BEATLETOT 2/12/2012 11:25AM

    I lived in New Orleans for a little while, and oh, how I miss Mardi Gras parades! Only went to Bourbon Street once for it, and that was enough of THAT, but the parades on St. Chuck's were so beautiful! Glad you had fun!

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SAFARIBABE 2/12/2012 6:43AM

    Glad you cleared up the boobage thing! Here I was worried all those grannies were flashing the Florida coast just to get beads! It was a VERY scary image!! Always, always, always wear screen when you're going to be out of doors more than 10 mins!!! Then you'll never have a red head again....well....unless you decide to dye your hair. LOL Have a great Sunday. Don't flog the minions too hard! They may get to liking it!!

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KAYZAKCX 2/12/2012 12:33AM

    You just had to put the image of 80 year olds acting like college students to get beads in my head, didn't you? emoticon Sounds like a great day.

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VALERIEMAHA 2/11/2012 11:17PM

    Sheesh...I see "Mardi Gras Parade"...and what's the first thing that comes to mind???
PHOTOS! (That's the best Emoticon I could come up with.)
Where are they, dude???


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