Saturday, March 03, 2012
Sometimes weekends are busier than the work week....this was such a weekend
SWMBO had a bunch of things on her list that I had been putting off for a while; ceiling hooks for plants, cleaning off the BBQ, moving furniture around for our new "look" (I was comfortable with the old "look", but what the hell do I know). Then we had to go to the post office to get our passports renewed. Our younger boy had his passport issued while he was a minor, so this requires a whole different bureaucratic hurdle....an in person renewal. So while we were at it, SWMBO and I had ours done too.
Hit the gym and knocked out an all around cardio session; bike, rowing machine, situps, pushups, then came home and started up my packing for tomorrow's trip. Being gone for 3 weeks, I'm going to take a few extras, like my blender and my perfect push-ups
All this in the middle of a constant downpour! It's been one of those wet, wet weekends that gives Florida that special look, tons of lightening and thunder, big, fat rolling clouds coming in over the water, and wildlife that really comes alive with the wind and the rain....gotta love it!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Friday, March 02, 2012
Sometime I Thank God it's Friday, but today I wished I had about another 12 hours in my day!
I'm about to head out on the road Sunday for almost 5 weeks of cross country business trips and, as much as I planned to get everything laid out in advance this week, the ankle-biters came around like army ants this afternoon with all sorts of last minute business that un-hinged my well planned time management efforts.
But we all plodded through it and I still made it to the gym before dark (although the tornado sirens did go off as these wicked storms passed through town)
Trainer guy designed a good heavy set workout that still have the synapses and muscle fibers in my legs and back twitching and firing away. I know already it's going to suck when I get back....I'll still do ST on the road, but I know that on my own, I'm unlikely to do the strenuous workouts we go through. All the more reason for tons of cardio these next 3-4 weeks!
Yes Spark friends, TONS OF CARDIO!!!! I don't mean a few pounds of cardio, I mean a ton, 2,000 lbs of cardio.....well OK, 2,000 minutes!!!
"Is he mad," I hear you thinking. "Why would anyone do that to themselves"
Because I can.....and because I have a few spark buddies who know that there is one thing that really, really gets under my skin.....a challenge!!!
Yes I mean you BILL60.....ditch those high-fructose corn syrup lattes and start revving up your bike miles....I'm getting down to 176 lbs before you!!
I mean you SAFARIBABE.....start doing those girlie push-ups now, cuz you and I have some scores to settle with a push-up challenge these next few weeks.
I mean you Spring 5% challenge community.....whatever team you're on, you better hope it's mine....cause whatever team I'm on is going to crush the competition!!
I have this weakness.....I love to compete....maybe not a weakness so much as a sickness....I couch a lot of things in terms of winning and losing.....it seems to work for me.
But here's the beauty of it all....I am going to be on the road for almost 5 weeks straight. I will have no life. Nothing but work and working out....no home life, no chores on the weekends, no social responsibilities....I'll be like Clubber Lang working out in a ratty gym waiting for soft Rocky's to find the "Eye of the Tiger"!
Yeah, it's a lot of big talk, but you know what.....GO BIG OR GO HOME!!!
Anybody else want a piece of this?!?!?
Boy I feel so much better now!!! It really is a good Friday!!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Well now who would I be if I didn't write a blog on Leap Day!!
I had a pretty non-stop day with nary a break (kind of glad Feb 29th only comes once every four years!), but even so, it went pretty well and I ducked out just in time to get in a good workout before coming home.
The only danger zone I got into was a luncheon I attended and the fixings were none too good; fried chicken, rice pilaf, beef stew, grilled corn, rolls and dessert.
But here's progress for you; last year I'd have grabbed a big fat fried chicken breast (or 2), loaded up with rice, drenched my salad with ranch, loaded up my rolls with butter and wondered if I'd be too conspicuous grabbing two desserts.
Sheesh, what a way to live!
Today, the thought of eating a big fat fried chicken breast occupied one nanosecond in my brain, then I quickly moved away. I put a serving spoon of stew over a serving spoon of rice, grabbed 2 cobs of corn, and passed on salad and dessert.....I was full and I was happy and my lunchtime nutrition tracker was none the worse!
My afternoon went pretty well. I conducted a few interviews for a summer hire I need. I never would have thought that my biggest leadership challenge would be to find good talent! I had about 30 resumes to look at, culled them down to about 8 or 9 that had the right skills I was looking for. Did some checks with their past & present bosses and reduced that down to 6 to do telephone and in person interviews.
I knocked out 3 today. One I really liked, and I'd be confident to hire him today, but I want to explore all my options with the other 3 as well.
A little life advice for anyone out there looking for a job.....confidence, poise, humility, clear, steady, human eye contact matters a lot in an interview....at least it does to me.
Most people that make the cut have good paper, good resumes, references. etc. In the end, I do a lot of my senior leadership hiring based on how well I think the person will work in our environment, as part of a team, how decisive I think they will be under pressure, how they exude how they will help the organization grow and do better.
Bottom line, lots of intangibles...of the folks I interviewed, one was hesitant, somewhat indecisive, answered my scenario specific questions ("How have you handled.....") with lots of answers on how things should be, not on what he actually did, and the other talked a lot about himself, so much so that I wondered if there had been any other people in any of his previous jobs.
The one I feel pretty solid about was confident but humble, talked about what he had done, but also gave credit to the many folks that he had around him that also helped him succeed. He also asked the right questions about where I wanted to take our business, had done his research on what we do and wanted to make sure he understood what I'd have him doing, then after I told him, he commented on how he had accomplished similar actions in previous jobs. That showed me he knew how to listen.
Looking forward to doing the rest of them, but I felt a pretty decent sense of relief that I've got at least one good prospect in the bag already!
So my advice to any job seekers out there is to realize that whenever you interview, the challenge for employers is to how to find good talent....there aren't enough good ones out there....make yourself one!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Monday, February 27, 2012
So I'm in a better mood today than yesterday....my fury at the airlines has dissipated some and I got so wrapped up in my Monday schedule that I didn't even have time to think whiny thoughts about the airline industry.
I also started making some of the changes I blogged about yesterday to kick start some more fat loss.
I made a fruit smoothie last night and that satisfied any craving I may have had for peanut butter or nuts or anything else, so I'll keep that in my cross check routine.
Oh but get this....I've been really digging the Green Smoothie thing lately, mixing in all sorts of goodies like spinach, parsley. mint, & kale with bananas, oranges, apples, ginger and you name it....they really are great tasting and they're mine, all mine.....no sharing...right?
SWMBO looks at my magnificent pitcher full of green goodness last night and says, "oooohhh, that looks real pretty!"
"Yeah, pretty," I say smacking my lips as I pour it into a tall, frosty glass
I turn towards her, sporting a green mustache, "Uhhh, did you want to try some?"
"Yes dummy, pour me a glass!"
"Uhhh.....OK.....you just want to try a sip of mine? You may not like a whole glass"
"Here," she said sliding me a 16 oz tumbler.
She took one sip and I knew right away that my monopoly had been busted up and I could no longer enjoy the sheer power of a vertically integrated business.....is this what Rockefeller felt like when they split up Standard Oil?
So the good news is we now have something we can share and enjoy.....I'm the house Smoothie King, I have sole ownership and creativity rights to the ingredients and final say so in all recipes. Of course this means I now have one more thing to do in the mornings before heading out the door, but hey it's a living!
ST went real well today....got there early enough to do a good cardio warm up, which always helps. I'm going to work hard to find some time for extra cardio this week, but my schedule is a bit of a mess. Have a semi-formal dinner event tomorrow night, so I'll have to find some time earlier in the day to get it in.
Bottom Line, I'm easing in pretty smoothly to my new plan here, so I'm looking forward to some changes in the next few weeks.
Now AMC is having a 40th anniversary Godfather showing tonight. Luca Brasi just went to sleep with the fishes.....and it just gets better from there!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Well I've got to admit Spark friends, I'm feeling frustrated today....not for anything about weight or health or anything else other than trying to put the finishing touches on our summer vacation plans.
Last week I booked our Alaska cruise. It leaves out of Seattle on 22 Jul and returns 29 July. I saw the airfares the travel agent offered and figured I could do much better on my own booking through Delta and using my Skymiles. So last weekend I took a cursory glance at the website and indeed, I could get all 3 of us to Seattle and back for about 95K miles.
Of course I got distracted and didn't book them, and so today as I sat down with my morning coffee, I decided to put the finishing touches on our trip.
The same trip would now cost me 150K miles.....that's about $1000 if it were real money!
Now I know that all these rewards miles for airlines, hotels, and credit cards are kind of like monopoly money, but it really pisses me off when my sense of balance is kicked around like that. I try to figure out the cash value of these things to get the best use of them and hate feeling like I'm getting ripped off.
But enough of my venting. You know, If I didn't have last week's figures anchoring my brain, I probably wouldn't have thought twice about it (I think it's called "anchoring" in negotiation theory if I remember my business classes from way back when).
So of course I didn't get them yet....I'll climb down off the ledge soon and book them later this week....unless they decide to raise prices again, upon which the whole damn family and I will drive cross-country before I feed those ravenous, money-grubbing basterds any of my hard-earned miles!!!
Anyway, today I spent my cardio time stretching instead of sweating, which was a very smart move because I felt 3 inches taller and much less stressed out about the Delta debacle above (grrrrr!!). Then #2 son really, really wanted to see Ghost Rider 2, so off we went for a matinee showing....so-so overall.
The rest of the day I spent in some contemplative thought developing a strategy to survive almost 7 weeks on the road starting next weekend. It's going to be a wild March and April. I'll be in San Antonio from 4 - 23 March, come back home for a day, then Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, & St Louis in a 6-day whirlwind. Back for another day, then to.....I forget, but that takes me into April already.
I'm pretty serious about getting the bodyfat percentage down in the next 6 months, so I'm going to focus on doing a lot more cardio these next few months. I'll keep doing ST, but mostly body weight stuff like pushups & squats....I'm going to lay a tentative mark to put in 2000 minutes a month and see how that pans out.
I'm also going to start substituting fruit, maybe in the form of smoothies which I'm really getting into, for snacks like peanut butter and nuts. I'm planning to take a travel blender with me on the road and stock up the hotel fridge with tons of fruits & veggies to kick start the whole process. Here's my beautiful little machine!
One of the things I haven't done as well is to focus on breakfast. I have a snack before 9:00 AM, usually half a sandwich to keep from getting hungry. On weekends, I have a smoothie and find it much more satisfying, so I'll try to get this into my weekly routine as well.
I think the 3rd part is to get back into the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), I did real good with these in the fall, then tapered off for no good reason, so 2 or 3 of those cardio sessions will be HIIT as well.
Well those are the large muscle movements of a plan....as always, my first measure of success is going to be my ability to make these changes in a sustainable way and not in a 2-3 month gut it out free-for-all.
That's all for now Spark friends, have a great night!
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