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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

So If I had to pin down the biggest change in my thinking since joining Sparkpeople, I'd have to say that today, I look for opportunities to workout. Before, working out was something I "had to do". Now it's something I look for openings where I "get to work out"

It's subtle, but that little mental shift has made a huge's how.

Sunday I got stuck at the airport waiting for my flight from Ft Walton Beach, through Atlanta, to Salt Lake City. Around 11:00 AM, my Kayak Trip Alerts starts pinging the phone, "Flight XXXX is delayed 10 minutes.....20 minutes.....1 hour"

I'm hanging out in the lounge, haven't gone through TSA yet, watching as I miss my first connection. I get the Delta Skymiles guy on the phone. "Hey dude, can you get me to Salt Lake tonight or not?"

"Well, let's see, I can get you to Atlanta at 3:00, and your flight to Salt Lake City departs at 9:30 PM, or I can get you to Atlanta at 7:00 and you can make the same flight out"

Hmmmm......what to do? Hang out at the airport here or in Atlanta-Hartsfield, home of the 1000 calorie fast food jungle? Hang out here, or......hang out here, go to the gym, catch the later flight, get in to Salt Lake at midnight!

Go the gym!!!

Printed out my boarding pass, did the mental math on no later than departure from the gym to get back, park, go through TSA, etc....I had 90 good minutes to work out, shower, & get back in the car.

Oh yeah, I GOT HIS!!!

So that all worked out good.....I wasn't about to let friggin' Delta screw up my healthy living plans!

But then, of course, Mother Nature tried to......

I get in to SLC after midnight and it was after 1:00 AM (Mt Time!) by the time I got to bed, and I have to get up at 6:00 to make my first meeting by 7:30.....all good....

.....till I walk out the door!

It's snowing, there's a winter weather advisory, and I woke up thinking I look pretty spiffy in my long sleeve shirt & tie!!!

OK, OK, I can handle this. Do the "purposeful walk" to my running, I don't need to do a front aerial layout on my ass on the ice.

Anyway, I make my meetings, check the timing on my flight out, and, as planned, I've got a good 2 hours to get in a workout before having to check in. Change in to shorts & workout shirt, brave the cold and hit the gym, do my ST, abs, and pushups for the day....and I've got time to spare before the flight.

Got in to Albuquerque last night, got caught up on e-mail from work and hit the sack.

Today was a dry run of some presentations we're giving tomorrow for a high roller coming to visit my division out here in Albuquerque. Things went pretty good, but went long, we finished up at 5:30. I've still got to duck out and meet the high roller at the airport at 9:00 PM.

What to do? Go to the room & rest, grab a sit down dinner and go to the airport.....or can I fit in a workout, shower, change, and grab a bowl of Pho to go on my way to the airport?

You guessed it!!! I had the was something I "get to do", not something I "had to do"

It makes a big my brain anyway.

So I plugged in some 90s Goth Rock and got in some's visualization:

I am Maximus....Commander of the Armies of the North...General of the Felix Legion

I am....


Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 3/29/2012 2:06AM

    Gladiator, you ROCK!!! Way to go! You definitely have the right attitude. And when we exercise so often, it is fun!

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ROAD2RIPPED 3/29/2012 12:16AM

    Great blog, (front aerial layout on my ass on the ice) that's funny stuff. I admire your dedication.

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LOTUSLIFE 3/29/2012 12:10AM

  This is AWESOME!! I am not quite there but I am getting there about exercise.

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SAFARIBABE 3/28/2012 9:45PM

    Yeah..... I don't picture you as Goth Guy either! Perhaps it's because I can't see you in a gladiator skirt banging around to Goth music! I'm pretty visual but that one's excaping me!! LOL But hey...whatever works for you!! What I DO know is that I want to be just like you when I grow up!! That is seriously impressive!!!

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VTORIA3 3/28/2012 6:08AM

    You show by example that attitude IS everything! You are an authentic 'can do" kinda guy. Good for you!

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HEALTHIERKEN 3/28/2012 12:06AM

    You're one intense guy! Remind me never to get in your way : )

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    Very Gladiatorish. emoticon THAT'S dedication. emoticon

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MUNKYBUG 3/27/2012 11:06PM

    Yay you! WTG!! That mental shift is so important. Also - that part about the "front aerial layout" made me totally LOL. Cracks me up when gravity wins another round. ;) Keep up the good work!

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SHERYL_B 3/27/2012 10:48PM

    I think this is the first time you've disappointed me - goth???

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FANGFACEKITTY 3/27/2012 10:04PM

    90s Goth Rock? I'm just not seeing Gadget Gladiator Guy as Goth Rock. But why not, if I can listen to everything from the Abba to White Zombie I suppose you can do Goth.

Way to go on keeping up with me on the push-ups!

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CHEEKY1000 3/27/2012 10:01PM

    Don't let this go to your head...but you are my hero. Seriously, that's an awesome paradigm shift. You ROCK!

Keep the inspiration coming. Truly, you just made me *choose* to try a P90X strength training DVD tonight (a friend loaned me her DVD's).

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Change up the Saturday plan...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Well we had to re-evaluate our plans today. We were going to go for a day outing, grab some lunch at the beach, and hang out by the water, but dearest SWMBO got a flare up of shingles that have laid her up.

So #2 son and I went out, did a little shopping, picked up sandwiches for lunch and brought them home so we could eat them out on the deck. It was a beautiful day, almost hot, so we enjoyed the good weather and the sun on our faces.

I finished up my second non-fiction book this month, and loaded up the kindle with some fiction to read today and on my travels next week.

Hit the gym, feeling surprisingly sore from yesterday's ST session....go figure! But I did a warm up and got in 2 sessions of HIIT, did my back extensions, abs, & push-ups on the stability ball....these really are pretty cool....I never imagined push-ups requiring so much concentration and control but that's what these take or you go careening off the ball into a floppy mess!

That completes my 6 days of push-ups this week.....glad to have found a new way to keep them interesting....and these hit a whole new set of muscles in chest & shoulders.

I cooked up some salmon on the grill tonight, while SWMBO sauteed some veggies. Laundry's getting done and I'm getting ready to pack up for another 6 days on the road this week.

Oh, and btw, I decided I can't take the blender with me this time. On a six day trip, I don't check bags. SWMBO pointed out that TSA would likely confiscate a blender with sharp blades in a carry-on!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 3/25/2012 6:18PM

    Sounds like a grand Saturday! You really pack a lot of activities into your waking hours : )
Have a good week on the road.

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KAYZAKCX 3/25/2012 1:25PM

    It's a shame about no blender. Are you going to have green smoothie withdrawls? You are raising my interest in push ups. I've gotten pretty used to sucking at pull ups. I may have to add push ups to my daily demonstration of my legendary lack of upper body strength.

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FANGFACEKITTY 3/25/2012 9:03AM

    You do now that there is no prohibition on checking bags just because it is a 6 day trip, right? So check your bag & take the blender. You are correct about TSA, they would probably arrest you for a "violation" of that severity. They confiscated my teeny tiny nail clippers once because of the 1 inch flimsy nail was a "weapon". Blender blades would give them a heart attack.

I start my own road warrior season tomorrow with a week in Houston, home for one day and then off to France for another week; then get to stay home for 2 weeks before heading to Mexico for 1.

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JOYLINNKNITS 3/24/2012 11:59PM

    Oh that Salmon on the grill sounds fabulous! DH and I are in the process of saving for a new grill (Old one is really in need of an innards transplant!) Wil have to cook some salmon on the new grill right away! Thanks for sharing

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SHERYL_B 3/24/2012 10:13PM

    I can do those push ups!

I forgot to tell you yesterday's blog inspired me to start doing pull ups. I always felt weak that I can't do them, but your comment about your goal inspired me to try again. I need to work on them so I can tackle the monkey bars at Tough Mudder in September!

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SAFARIBABE 3/24/2012 9:50PM

    OK First..I have to many times did you end up a floppy mess on the floor??? As for the DO know there's a really easy solution to this dilemma...check the bag! Pushups really didn't work for me this week. I'm going to have to try those swiss ball ones! I think you can also do them with your legs on the ball. Gotta check that out! Have a safe trip. Hope SWMBO is feeling better soon!!

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Setting records....good ones!

Friday, March 23, 2012

I've got to admit, I was a little leery about working out today.

Being on the road these past 3 weeks, I haven't had a session with trainer guy since 2 March. While I've been working out on my own, both cardio and ST, I haven't been doing the full gamut of heavy set lifting we usually do. Add to that the fact that prior to my travels, we had made some adjustments due to a pulled muscle I had, made me wonder how much I had atrophied.

Well today I blasted through all of my previous records! We kept adding weight to squats, deadlifts, seated rows, pullups, pullovers....I've got to admit, I was impressed and so was he....which is pretty amazing considering he's basically a cold-hearted, Stasi trained sociopath.

I spent a lot of time these past 3 weeks strengthening my back by doing hyperextensions on the Roman Chair:

These worked wonders! They strengthened my back enough to continue doing squats. Today we picked right back up on the highest weight we had ever put on there....then added another 10 lbs!

I also used a nifty little app called "StrongLifts 5x5". This has you do 5 sets of 5 reps at a comfortable weight for basic lifts like squats, presses, rows, etc. If you can do 5x5, it has you add 5 lbs next time....if you can't, you keep the weight the same.

It's a nice progressive way to get in some basic ST and to strengthen most of your bigger muscle groups in your legs, chest, shoulders & back....nothing crazy, nothing funky, just steady progress.

I think it really helped me and I enjoyed them.....and it obviously paid off.

The other part that helped was some weight loss. I dropped about 6 lbs these past 3 weeks, but even that little amount helped with the pull-ups....a personal goal of mine is to get to doing 10 unassisted....not there yet, but getting closer.

Last, I've got to attribute some of this success to some tweaks in the diet. I've eliminated a bunch of processed foods these past few weeks, concentrating on fresh veggies & fruits, clean protein (chicken, fish), and staying away (as much as I can) from breads and starches....I've got to do some more digging into this one to see 1) if that is the real difference, and 2) If I can sustain this in the long haul.

Anyway, tomorrow we have a nice family outing day planned (in addition to a re-arranging of the kitchen.....see yesterday's blog). Next week it's back on the road; Salt Lake City Sunday, Monday night to Albuquerque, from there to St Louis Thursday afternoon, and back home Friday night.

Maybe I'll take my blender

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYZAKCX 3/24/2012 9:19PM

    Nice on the records and workouts. Why do I think the blender is already packed?

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SHERYL_B 3/24/2012 4:03PM

    Congrats on the personal bests!

I have a (fake) magic bullet and it is SO much better than a blender!

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SNUZSUZ 3/24/2012 10:23AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TAHOEKARIN 3/24/2012 9:33AM


I will have to look for the Stacker, that looks like a fun way to track workouts!

I use a the Magic Bullet when I travel. It's smaller than a blender. I still think the blender does a little bit better job but you can drink out of the bullet cups (well I guess you could drink out of the blender jug too lol)

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SAFARIBABE 3/23/2012 11:15PM

    Now why is it when I travel I worry if I've packed all the right coverters and power plugs for all my gizmos....YOU worry if you packed the blender! LOL Great work on the ST!! Enjoy your day off!!

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    Take your blender if it works for you!

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LUXITTA 3/23/2012 8:59PM

    Take your blender if its not too much of a pain! Way to go with the loss and surpassing your previous records. You're obviously doing something right and heading in the right direction. I envy your motivation and strength to keep going especially with that kind of job. emoticon over and over again and you will be set!


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Keeping the momentum going!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Well it's official....I'm below 180 lbs....for the first time in I don't know how many years!!

I got back home yesterday....had a nice reunion with the family...nothing too drastic occurred while I was away....although SWMBO wants to re-do the Feng Shui in the kitchen...apparently the negative Qi emanating from the microwave's position is having a negative effect on the toaster oven's to achieve harmony (and perfectly toasted bread), we're going to do some re-arranging this weekend.

But I digress....

So my home scale agreed with my on the road scale which is super! To keep the momentum going, I stayed true to my plan today. Made a green smoothie for breakfast and took half of it with me to work. SWMBO had grilled some marinated chicken breasts last night and I took a couple of them for lunch in lieu of a sandwich. My calories by dinner time hovered around 700.

My schedule was wonderfully clear today, so I checked the gym schedule and found they had a spin class at I walked out of the office door at 11:00! It was a great class!

Then I added about 10 minutes of abs and did my push-ups. I varied the push-ups today.....did them on a stability ball. Let me tell you, you haven't lived push-ups till you do them this way! I did 5 sets of 5 and was exhausted!

Finished up a bunch of reports at work, mentored a couple of 30-somethings, came back home, and am drafting a plan to keep the new plan alive!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 3/24/2012 7:47PM

    emoticon job on the weight loss. You've got to keep the appliances happy, otherwise they will retaliate with burnt toast and unevenly heated chicken breasts. But making a plan to make a plan? I thought I had control issues but I believe you win that one.

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COCOA-JUMBO 3/23/2012 3:46PM

    Great job! Push ups on the stability ball are TOUGH!! Good for you!

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SHERYL_B 3/23/2012 8:21AM

    Congratulations on the 180 mark!

Awesome that you were able to leave at 11. I expect after being away for a couple of weeks it was hard to leave, but good for you for putting your health in front of your work!

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MYTURN11 3/23/2012 7:49AM

    emoticonCongrats on reaching 180 ~ truly a milestone emoticon

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SAFARIBABE 3/23/2012 6:41AM

    emoticon Congrats on the scale victory!! I don't know how you keep up with everything, I feel like I'm battling and losing the battle daily! You are too awesome Gadget Guru! Have a great Friday!

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VTORIA3 3/23/2012 5:28AM

    emoticon on achieving 180#! Well done.

Enjoy your day.

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BIRDLSLAURIE 3/22/2012 8:26PM

    Congratulations! emoticon

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Keeping up with good habits....and some Spark questions

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So we finally finished up our 3-week project in 2 weeks & 2 days! I called my office up and had them book me a flight out of here tomorrow, which beats the hell out of departing Saturday.

Still managed to get in 2 workouts today (to include push-ups). I've got a late morning flight out, so I may try to fit in a morning workout, but I've been asked to give a lift to a few other guys that have earlier flights than me, so I may need to leave earlier than planned....more to follow.

In the meantime, I'm eating down my supply of fruits, veggies, and chicken breasts that I had stocked up on over the weekend thinking I'd be here the whole week. I'll give the housekeeping staff anything good that's left.

Overall it's been a great 2.5 weeks.....the true test on my weight loss will be Thursday AM when I can weigh in at home. To keep the momentum going, I told SWMBO to stock up on veggies & fruits for some more smoothies during the week (at least enough to get through Sunday when I hit the road again). And I told my front office staff to NOT load me up with meetings Thursday & Friday so I can get caught back up and get in some good cardio time.

So this is going to be my challenge; how to translate these newly formed "on the road" habits to "back at home" habits? I've got some ideas on how to eat better, less processed foods. I knocked around a few ideas with SWMBO tonight, and we have the inklings of a plan that can lock in a few key things on the food front. I'll likely not be able to keep up the twice daily workouts when I get back to the office, but I am going to shoot for locking in some cardio days when I'm not doing ST.

So far I’ve got 1600 fitness minutes, so with some good planning, I should make my goal of 2,000 minutes this month. (

But here’s a weird one for you… the hell does Spark really track fitness minutes? I’ve got 1,600 minutes on SparkAmerica, but only 1,530 on my fitness tracker! There’s some lame disclaimer about capping daily points for the “Leader Board tracking” (which I really don’t give a rat’s ass about), I just want a simple, single place to know how all those various minutes I’ve been sweating out add up! Any pointers appreciated.

While I’m here griping, here’s another one that blew my mind these past few weeks. I go shopping for some healthy snacks and think to myself, “Hey, popcorn’s a good idea. You can nuke up a bag of light, un-buttery popcorn and that can tide you over nicely”

So I go looking at Orville Redenbacher, Newman’s Own, Pop Secret, etc., basically combing the nutrition labels on the entire gamut of “Light” and “Fat-free” popcorn bags.

Almost every one has 100 calories per serving…..and 3 servings per bag!

You’ve got to be bagging me! I’m going to work my ass off for 30-45 minutes just so I can have one freaking bag of popcorn! If I’m going to hell, it better be for a mortal sin and not a venial one!

That’s about it….if that’s the worst thing I can gripe about, life is pretty damn good.

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERYL_B 3/22/2012 8:00PM

    I had the popcorn experience a few months ago. Even air popped popcorn adds ups the calories really fast. I was so happy when I thought I could pop a big bowl of air popped popcorn and be able to munch all night while watching tv. However when I put it in the nutrition tracker it was a lot more than I thought. Granted I had a lot, but I thought it was pretty harmless and I was wrong.

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SNUZSUZ 3/22/2012 11:43AM

    No help here but a 100 calorie snack doesn't sound too bad??

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/20/2012 11:56PM

    Popcorn Indiana has some good, already popped options, too. To me, a small bag of popcorn (the 100 cal packs are good) is a worthy snack because I know it has fiber and fills my salt cravings without opening a bag of Lays.

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    There are also 100 cal packs of popcorn? I have a box of them. I hope it doesn't expire by the time I get around too eating them. I don't eat popcorn often. Maybe that's an idea if you want a grab and go snack? Otherwise I ditto the air-popped idea.

The fitness tracker? pfft, no idea. I just plug my info into the fitness tracker and really, my body knows what I did and how hard I pushed myself so it gets the benefit of it all anyways.

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SAFARIBABE 3/20/2012 10:48PM

    OK popcorn I can help with! Don't go for the nuked stuff! There's a really good bagged popcorn...air popped 130 cals per oz....and just close up the bag and it stays fresh! The other option is to make up your own large air popped pop corn put it in an air tight containr and it'll keep a couple days.

For the fitness mins....I keep a separate Excel sheet of all the stuff I'm up to. My running, my biking (levels, times, HR, mode, etc), cardio mins, miles moved, etc etc...

Hope this helps! Safe trip tomorrow!! If anyone can keep up their new found habits it's Goo Guy!!!

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