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!
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!!
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