Friday, February 24, 2012
Greetings from Oklahoma City.. ..y'all!!
It's a pretty quick trip for me....just a few hours worth of meetings this afternoon, which worked out quite well. I did a little prep in my hotel room this morning, then hit the gym for an hour before the meetings started. We finished up about 3:00, so I decided, "why the hell not" and went back to the gym for another 45 minutes before dinner.
DINNER!!! Oklahoma City.....cowboys, stockyards, and steaks!!
Now truth in advertising....I lived here many years ago....SWMBO is from OKC and her mom still lives here, so I took mom-in-law to.....Catttlemen's Steakhouse! ( cattlemensrestaurant.com/ )
Now let me tell you, these guys know steaks! There's a cut called the Blue Ribbon Ribeye, 14 oz of aged beef that's so tender you don't even need a knife to cut it, served by blue and pink haired waitresses that call you sweetie-pie and honey-bun. I had been saving up all day for this, hence the 2 workouts (breakfast was a sesame bagel, lunch a cup of Starbucks oatmeal)
Anyway, we had a nice little time out and now I've got money in the bank for the next time SWMBO says I'm insensitive...."Oh yeah, ask your Mom how nice I was to her at Cattlemens!"
Of course 14 oz of tenderly-aged beef for dinner is not the right start for Phase 3 of my life make-over.
Oh, did I not mention before that I have decided to create a Phase 3 plan?
Yes, Phase 3 Spark friends!!! Phase 1 was the old, pre-Spark me, plodding along, exercising on and off, not watching what I ate.....a 200 lb fun guy
Phase 2, was post-Spark (Jan 2011) me....a health conscious, athletically-minded, food-tracking, slimmed down to 185 lb fun guy.
But that's not enough.....must move on to Phase III.....get rid of more body fat!! I had a fairly accurate body-fat measurement done this past week ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4750201 ) and decided that, even though I've made some great progress this past year (down to wearing size 34 jeans!), that I can do better....science demands it!!
What use are Heart Rate Monitors, GPS Trackers, Air Displacement Plethysmography (Bod Pod), fitness trackers, nutrition trackers, and all these other gadgets if I don't have a plan to use all that data towards a meaningful goal?!?! Yeah, weight is sort of important, clothes fitting good are pretty important....but I think I need to use all this info at my disposal to shoot for an even leaner me.
So more to follow on this front....I'm going to try to make it fun and challenging, otherwise I'll end up hating the journey.....but that's been the great thing about Sparkpeople....it's been fun so far every step of the way....it's good to have the happy meter go up while the scales go down.
Here's a good Non-Scale Victory on that point for you. I got in to OKC late last night (Delta delays once again....go figure). I go to the Avis counter to pick up my ride, and the 20-something gal asks me for my license and credit card....then starts asking me to tell her all the info on the cards;
"Ft Walton Beach, FL"
"Expiration date of your credit card?"
"Date of Birth?"
"Yeah, Dec 1959"
"So, you're like 50?"
"More like 52"
"Wow, you look like you're about 35!"
"......Why you sweet little thing....are you working for tips here at Avis?"
Have a great night Spark friends!!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Well your trusted, number-crunching, geek author finally got his Bod-Pod measurements done today. Interesting little contraption....and no there isn't any alien technology involved, nor does it transmogrify you into a pod-being.....here's a link to the company's website:
All in all, it was sort of what I expected, here's the story. First of all, it appears this service is offered as a part of our company's "health plan"...I had no idea of this until my secretary mentioned that she was having this Bod-pod thing done last month ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Overall it went pretty quick. Preparation included no eating, drinking, or exercise for 2 hours prior, and coming in with a food log of everything you've eaten for the 3 days prior. The nutritionist/dietician checks you in, weighs you, asks a few basic questions, then you strip down to some compression shorts (think under-armour), put on a skull cap they give you, and into the pod you go. Like a hydro-tank, they measure the displaced pressure of the air on your body to get a read of your "volume", then spit back a sheet full of numbers....the only ones I really cared about was % fat and fat mass....really have no use for "thoracic gas volume".
Once complete, they sit all of you down (there were 3 of us in this group; me, a chunky 30-something guy, and a chunky 60-something matron) and the nutritionist goes over the meaning of the numbers, then discusses goals and strategies for weight loss. I expected them to take all sorts of other measurements like hips, arms, thighs, etc. but that was a no-go....more to follow on that.
Well thanks to Sparkpeople, I was like a an idiot-savant in the group session! I had my print out of the nutrition tracker going back a week and started making a plug for Sparkpeople to the whole collective. Now I have a naturally competitive nature and tend to dominate meetings when I'm in a room (actually I think political scientists would characterize me as a "Benevolent Hegemon"), so next thing you know, she's asking me to tell these other two about strategies for including more fruit in your diet (smoothies), how to eat vegetables without butters and cheeses (lemon, cracked pepper, garlic), and how to incorporate good exercise habits (gain Sparkpoints for every minute in the gym!)
OK OK, but what about MY NEEDS!!! I didn't come in here to be the poster boy dammit...but apparently a year of Spark living has given me the equivalent of a Harvard MBA in nutrition and exercise! (30-something guy thought a good strategy would be to switch from eating Oreos to Fig Newtons)
So my percent body fat came out to 27%...for whatever reason, I was looking for a number closer to 20%. To get there apparently I need to lose about 18-20 lbs of fat, keeping the muscle in tact.
I took SWMBO out to lunch and went over the above with her too, trying to figure out what changes I need to make to get there (the nutritionist basically gave me the "keep doing what you're doing" answer.....FAIL! I wanted something more concrete than that....good thing she doesn't work for me!)
The good thing about SWMBO is that she knows how to talk me down off the ledge. She reminded me of dinner last week with a couple we hadn't seen in about a year. The first thing each of them said was, "Wow, you look great! Looks like you've really been working out!". Then she reminded me that last year this time that number was likely in the mid to high 30-percentile. Then she asked if I had asked the nutritionist for an age-adjusted body-fat to determine what was "normal" for a 52-year old...."CURSES, no I didn't, I was too busy gloating in my hegemony, telling everyone else how to improve their lives!!"
So I'm going to plug these numbers in to the "weigh in and measurement" tracker, then SWMBO said she's going to get smart on how to take tape measures and I'm going to start tracking hip-to-waist, thighs, upper arms, neck, etc.
And to do so, here's the new toy I ordered on Amazon!
Apparently, you can do the Bod-Pod thing every 3-4 months, so you're trusty Spark geek will put this in his ever-growing repertoire of statistics to follow....one of my favorite sayings to my guys at work is "That which is measured, improves" they hate it, but I love it....and now it's time to use it on myself!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Monday, February 20, 2012
So days off are kind of relative affairs for me. After my standard putzing around this AM (coffee, news, smoothie), I started looking for things to do around the house.
Cleaned out the gutters that had gotten leaves & sticks piled in around the downspouts, finally organized the storage shed where SWMBO had stored all her various tubs full of XMAS decorations and the like, then took my car to an electronics shop to see if they could "unstuck" the GPS DVD stuck in the player--no luck--so I spent 2 hours cruising around e-bay and various auto parts websites trying to find a new GPS player--not much luck there either.
Played HALO with my son when he came back from school (one bennie of having time off), then hit the gym for cardio and ST....still have to modify the leg routine to keep from aggravating my back, so instead of doing squats, I did leg presses on the sled...not too bad. I want to get back to squats soon, but not at the expense of a messed up back.
Came back home and SWMBO had somehow caught the microwave on fire cooking baked potatoes...don't ask me how, she is special that way (her other nickname is Grace...she's kind of clumsy). So I did a quick Amazon search and ordered up a new one that will hopefully get here before I go to OKC on Thursday.
Tomorrow I do the Bod Pod thing at 9:00 AM (See my blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4692067 ). It better be quick, 'cause SMWBO and I have a lunch date at 11:00....have got to keep her out of the kitchen!!
Hopefully, that will be a more relaxing day off!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Well what epitomizes a a guys' weekend more than feasting on freshly killed meat!
SWMBO was out of town this weekend, so #2 son and I had the run of the house. A friend of mine had "Wild Game" night over at his place Saturday night. It was a father/son kind of a get-together, so the timing was perfect.
NOTE: If you're a vegan, please stop here and proceed to the next blog.
It was pretty darn cool! Now I'm not a hunter....the last thing I need is another hobby, but we had a good old time. There was hair growing on the walls from all the testosterone in the room.
My friend had some local "Game Chef" come over and prepare about 5 different kinds of meat that they had gathered up here or had flown in from around the country over the last few weeks. On the menu was;
- Pulled Feral Boar
- Elk Stroganoff
- Venison Stew
- Alligator Gumbo
The cool part was he was actually doing it as part of a fundraiser on "Game Management" and so he had some of the local Park Rangers come and talk about local game in the area (we have everything from gators, to black bears, to bobcats/panthers, and tons of deer in the woods around here). Some of the kids were pretty amazed.
It all tasted pretty good (except for the gator....they put way too much okra into the gumbo, so I had to pass....tried to pull out a couple of chunks, but decided it wasn't worth the hassle). #2 son and I had a good time. For whatever reason, he found fascinating the fact that the biggest threat to the deer population in the US are coyotes; apparently they go on a spree in the spring going after young doe fawns and this has had a huge impact on the population. He kept repeating this all weekend, so I better make sure he doesn't think this means coyotes are going to go after his new girlfriend.
Then I started doing some real weird stuff!
Aside from getting some admin chores done around the house while SWMBO was away (oil change for the cars, swap out filters in the HVAC, etc.) I found my whole routine thrown into a quandary while she was out of town. You see, I'm usually the one on the road and she usually does a whole bunch of stuff that I now had to figure out; make coffee in the morning (where the hell are those filters), feed the cat (the damn thing pounced on me at 5:30 AM...SWMBO gets up at 4:30 every day and feeds the cat first thing), etc.
So I read here on Sparkpeople the other day about how some members soaked dry nuts in water to have some of the salt and resins leach out and I decided to give it a try. We had a large tin of pistachio/almond/cashew mix, so I emptied them into a big basin and filled it with water.
Within 5 minutes, the water was brackish/brown! So I emptied it out, put in some new water and over the next hour, did it twice again, then let it soak overnight.
In the morning, there was a thin film of oil on the top! Cool! So emptied it out and tried some of the nuts....pretty tasty, a little mushy, but they still had a good crunch to them. So then I figured I should toast them!
I cranked up the stove to about 400, got out a sheet pan and lined it with foil and spread these bad boys all over. Within 20 minutes the house smelled like a Christmas feast! I tried a handful more....crunchier and now a wonderful toasted texture....double yum!! I left them in there for another 10 minutes then let them cool and put them back into the tin for future snacking.
So I might be on to a new snack routine here people...more to follow. I'll probably have to do some better selection, instead of relying on Mr Planters, though.....this was a lot of effort for "pre-salted" nuts.
All in all a nice relaxing weekend. I'm off work for a few days this week, but plan on hitting the gym religiously!
Have a great night Spark friends!
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