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Bodpod, a she-guru, and heresy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

So as many of my long-term spark buds know, I am a geek when it comes to data collecting and number crunching. If it were up to me, I would goob out with constant monitoring and uploading of all sorts of things; blood pressure, heart rate, lipids, VO2 max, glucose, insulin levels......all the news that's fit to print and track in the cloud.

Since the nanobot industry hasn't kept pace with my expectations, I have to make due with less frequent measurements and cruder tools.

Enter the Bodpod!

(for the mechanics of it, see my last Bodpod blog at

Today I ducked out at lunchtime and got another reading.

23% bodyfat, down from 27% in Feb....on top of that, I weigh 180 lbs today and was 186 then.

Once you crunch all the numbers it turns out I've lost about 10 lbs of fat, while adding about 4 lbs of muscle.....not bad for a guy with a day job

Still slower than I would like, but steady, relentless progress (I am truly without relent!)

I sat down with the nutritionist for a few minutes afterwards.....luckily this wasn't the same one I had to do a group session with last time.

I told her about my recent detour on to the low carb highway. Surprisingly, she was fairly knowledgeable and asked me a few pointed questions;

"Are you doing Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, or something else?"

"None of the above, I'm just keeping my carbs below 50 gms"

"Have you taken any blood glucose measurements?"


"Well you may want to see how your glucose and ketone levels are doing. How about blood lipids?

"No, but I'm scheduling my annual physical for Oct or Nov"

"OK, are you taking any multi-vitamins?"

"Yes!" I beamed

"How much calcium is in it?"

"I have no idea," I said looking down at my shoes

"Well you may want to supplement it, unless you're eating a lot of cheese. So where do you want to get to body fat and weight-wise?"

I felt like I had finally found my guru of the mountain, one who knew exactly the right questions to ask to spark my inner enlightenment, steering me on to the path of a lean-living Nirvana.

"I don't know," I confessed. "For a long time, I thought that getting below 180 would be nice. I'm pretty happy where I'm at. Sure I'd like to drive the bodyfat below 20%, maybe get the weight down to 175 or 170, but I could just as easily be pretty happy right where I'm at. I workout 4-6 days a week and feel like I finally have my eating under control"

I felt like the weight of the world had just been lifted off my shoulders. Here I was confessing to a total stranger that yes, I could indeed be happy right where I'm at today

"Well," she said, "You know these are just numbers, right?"

"Just numbers?" I thought....was this she-guru in fact just a demon-spawn trickster, lulling me into a mind-numbing comfort, before sending me into the torture-pit?

"The numbers are guidelines," she continued. "You're 52 and while you're making great progress and heading in the right direction, your progress is going to be slower than a 20-something. There is no final goal to shoot for. Look at this chart"

She shoved a poster in front of me that had pictures of all sorts of dudes (there was an equivalent one for women) of varying bodyfat percentages & weights. It was pretty cool.

"Bodyfat is just a measure, but there are many more factors at play. This guy at 22% bodyfat looks better than this guy at 15% doesn't he?"

I would have preferred staring at the chart with the women on it, but sure as hell, I had to admit that the scrawny, 15% bodyfat ectomorph with no chest and thin arms looked worse than the dude that was bigger & more buff....with 7% more bodyfat.

"Well OK, that's good info," I said. "I'm not sure I'm ready to stop pushing. I like working out and I want to see where this low carb road takes me"

"Sure, no problem. The numbers are good indicators, and in the end, you want the trend line to be steadily downward like it has been for you. Why don't you come back in December and we'll see where you're at for a tune-up?"

My God, such people really exist! I forgave her heretical defamation against the data Gods....she must pray at another temple, and took her up on the offer. Came back to the office and told my secretary to lock me in for another Bodpod session just before Christmas!

That's all for tonight Spark friends....have a great night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 8/26/2012 6:27AM

    Woohoo! I am so glad you found a nutritionnist who can challenge you and give you more useful advice and information. That's great!

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SALONKITTY 8/25/2012 5:19AM

    Great read! I think it's great that you wound up getting a nutritionist who was relatively OK about low carb eating. If only SP had a low carb nutritionist....sigh.

So great that you were able to shed fat and add muscle at the same time! That is REALLY difficult to do, you know?

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CHEEKY1000 8/24/2012 11:47PM

    Ironically...I hate numbers. My brain shuts down when confronted with them--normally. The exception is all the data I can gather on this journey. Seems much more concrete than "my jeans are loose." (maybe they stretched out or something....) Ah well.

Glad you found another empathetic pea for your pod! (Sheesh, I do love my awful puns.) LOL

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ALLYTHEATHLETE 8/24/2012 11:04PM

    I'm all about numbers, too! I realized about 6 months ago that I was getting too muscular to go by BMI anymore, so I'm relying on other health metrics. I'd like to get my waist below 30" and my waist to hip ratio below 0.80 (and some POPPING quads would be nice). I figure whatever my weight is at that point will be maintenance. BMI be damned!

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FANGFACEKITTY 8/24/2012 5:18PM

    You know, at the end of the day, she's right and numbers are just numbers, right?
You can slice them & dice them to make them say anything you want.

In a previously life I probably would have been burned at the stake for heresy.

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STARL_73 8/22/2012 5:24PM

    Great blog! I'd really like to see that chart (women's version). It really does bear thinking.

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BEATLETOT 8/22/2012 10:17AM

    Great job, man! I'm glad your nutritionist wasn't a one-trick pony! Looking forward to seeing your December results!

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GREENGENES 8/21/2012 11:54PM

    Keep crunching those numbers!

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SAFARIBABE 8/21/2012 10:19PM

    Congrats on the results but seriously big brother...I think you missed your calling in life! Given your "obsession" with numbers you should have been an accountant. All numbers all the time! LOL So, you've found your bod-pod godess....does SWMBO know??? LOL Keep doing what you're doing. You'll know when you've hit the right place. I don't see you getting to the scrawny guy body. At the end of the day, you prefer your ribs on a plate not protruding from your chest!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/21/2012 1:17PM

    Whatever you're doing - you are working it right!! Maybe whenever you retire you can become a fitness consultant for older (not old!) people trying to change their bodies! I say "when you retire" since I know you're already insanely busy!

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BILL60 8/21/2012 7:47AM

    Keep the spirit up and the fat down.

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BBECKER1955 8/21/2012 6:59AM

    I got it! She prays at the Temple of Incremental Change ;-) Be careful, she might be a disciple of Deming! emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 8/20/2012 10:57PM

    "I felt like the weight of the world had just been lifted off my shoulders. Here I was confessing to a total stranger that yes, I could indeed be happy right where I'm at today "

What a desirable place to be! You *can* do more, but you don't *have* to do more. Your new nutritionist sounds like a true professional.

Great blog, great situation to be in!

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WOUBBIE 8/20/2012 10:46PM

    "she must pray at another temple" LOL!

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LISAINMS 8/20/2012 10:07PM

    I like her perspective! So many of those nutritionists are non-gurus that have charts and graphs that they want to apply to each person. You are doing great... keep going!

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BERGBA7 8/20/2012 9:29PM

    23% body fat! Great Job...
emoticon emoticon
Keep pushing if you feel like it. I agree with the lady that health and well being is probably more important than some absolute number - sometimes we need to push slightly too far, though, to know what is the actual midway to get back too...

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What if we didn't store food as fat?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

So how would our lives change if our bodies didn't store fat?

I'm going to pull the thread on that one in just a little bit, but it begs the question, "how and why do our bodies store fat?"

Well I'm certainly not a biologist, a nutritionist, a biochemist, or anything else that requires knowledge of organic chemistry (although I was an astronomer in a previous life), but I'm a good enough of a problem solver to know how to ask the right questions, frame the problem, gather the facts and make a fairly well informed decision.

For years (decades actually) my weltanschauung was much like everyone elses; fat loss & gain were reducible to a simple math problem; calories in must be less than calories out in order to lose weight.

Pretty freaking simple right? Burn more calories than you eat and the weight should just melt off. Keep accurate count of your caloric intake, burn more than you take in, watch the scale slide inexorably downward.

Then WTF is going on with my weight & body composition not responding to this simple math problem? Why have I run thousands of miles and stayed at about the same weight (truth be told, I did add muscle and lose fat), why do (did) I have the same love handles that should have melted away after my third marathon? Inquiring minds want to know.

So for the last 3 months I have read as much as I can about nutrition, carbs, fats, proteins, biochemical pathways, yadda-yadda-yadda. I dove in pretty deep into how & why our bodies store fat.

I'm not sure it's a simple math problem....I think there's chemistry involved, and that takes it beyond high school math and into college labwork. I'm not going into the whole mechanism here, but suffice to say, that it's not so much that our bodies measure the calories in against the calories burnt, storing the difference as fat or reaching into our fat stores to burn it's a little more complicated and involves a whole slew of chemical processes that call upon hormones (insulin, glucagon, etc.) and adaptations of our bodies to what we burn for fuel (glucose, ketones). Bottom line, the best books I've seen about the subject are;

"Why We Get Fat" - Gary Taubes
"The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" - Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek
"The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" - Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek
"Wheat Belly" - William Davis
"Fathead: The Movie" - Tom Naughton

There are more, but these are my favorites so far.

So what if the issue isn't, "Why is it so hard to lose weight", but "How do I get my body to stop storing fat".....well that takes you down a whole different least it has for me, and so I've embarked on my own little experiment to see how my body responds to a low carbohydrate lifestyle, one that really reduces my body's propensity to store fat.

And my body has responded very well!

So let's say I eat the right balance of foods that stalls the mechanism where my body has to store food as fat, what happens (or more accurately, what has happened to me).

Well, if I don't store food as fat, then the food I eat goes in to making more muscle & bone.....and my body flushes out the excess nutrients

If I don't store food as fat, then, when I burn off some fat due to doesn't go back and replace what I just burnt off.....and I get a little less "jiggly" over time.

If I don't store food as fat, I can eat more than I think I can in the calories in/calories out model.....and not go around hungry all the time with cravings for food that I feel deprived of, because I'm eating plenty.

If I don't store food as fat, my weight just doesn't seem to increase.....even when I eat way more than I have in the last 2 years.

So is this a clinical trial with all sorts of variables held in check with accurate measurements of everything going on with me.....of course not. I'm barely 3 months in to a lifestyle change that may take a year or more to get me where I want to be (and I'm still not exactly sure where that should be, but that's another blog), but here's what I can safely say has been the pay off so far;

- I feel like I have conquered food cravings.....I eat as much of the things I like as I want (just no carbs) and I do not feel hunger anxieties much at all. This is probably the most incredible part of it, I don't feel compelled to eat a dozen cookies at a pop, or spoonfuls of peanut butter, plates and plates of spaghetti, breads, potatoes, you name it. Yet I just came back from a 7-day cruise where I ate like Fred Flintstone all day, every day.....and I dropped 1.5 lbs!

- I don't "see" it myself, but everyone around me is telling me I look leaner and that I look great....friends, families, co-workers, even strangers in stores or at the gym.

- I do "feel" leaner.....belly bulge & love handles appear to be shrinking, muscles are popping out around shoulders, legs, & arms.

- My weight is very comfortably going down, albeit at a slow rate, but I'm OK with that. I'm working out a lot, lifting weights & doing cardio....I'm at 179 lbs, and truth be told, I'm not sure where I want to level out at.....175, 170, I don't really know. I feel pretty darn good and like what I see in the mirror.

- My BP has gone down to textbook normal numbers.....a very interesting side-effect, especially since I have a family history of high BP, diabetes, heart disease and all sorts of other metabolic syndromes.

So this is where my current research has taken me, all I can do is to to vouch for what I see working so far, but I'm very pleasantly surprised.....still a long way to go, but asking and answering questions like these have definitely made a difference where previous paradigms had stalled me out.

Have a great day Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOB240 8/19/2012 12:57PM

    My experience on a low carb approach has always been positive. I might note that given exactly the same diet over seven months and an increasing exercise regime my best numbers indicated that
1] When I was 10 ponds over normal BMI the calorie in = calorie out thing seemed to work
2] As soon as I reached ten pounds outside normal bmi - something happened. Weight loss rate was much less. It still went but despite exercising more etc something had happened to my body.
I also seemed to get a spurt in strength as judged by lifts BUT I was not eating more.


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BERGBA7 8/19/2012 11:37AM

    Thanks for sharing. I am reading New Atkins for a New You that you recommended and it is very interesting. I don't know whether I might become an adapt of low carb or not, but I am definitely experimenting with my own food consumption.
Good luck on your journey and I am looking forward to those blood tets coming up in a bit!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/19/2012 11:37:44 AM

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PROT358 8/19/2012 12:08AM

    Fascinating blog, and a great question to consider. I've always thought it's more complex than calories in, calories out. And your experience with low carbs also suggest that our bodies don't process all calories equally. (Jillian Michaels agrees and explores this and other aspects of our biochemistry in "Master Your Metabolism," which was a very informative read). Thanks for leaving the book names because I was just about to ask. Looks like my reading list just got a little longer!

And I got so excited about the rest of the blog I almost forgot ... congratulations on the losing weight and changing your body composition! You're doing great!

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SHERYL_B 8/18/2012 9:21PM

    I'm glad this is working for you, but this blog hurt my head! I don't want to think that much about balance. I have enough trouble focusing on a single goal each moth - this month it is protein, next month will be fiber. emoticon

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NWFL59 8/18/2012 8:40PM

    Glad you found something that works for you and are able to continue to succeed in the pursuit of your long term goals. emoticon

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REBECCATKD 8/18/2012 7:08PM

    I'd say the low-carb idea is worth looking into, especially if you're stalled/plateaued.

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MOBYCARP 8/18/2012 5:25PM

    It's complicated, for sure. You're not the first person I've seen who has found low carb does the trick for them; but I haven't needed low carb for myself. I think there's something missing from the research: Why do some methods work well for some people, while other methods work well for other people?

One size does not fit all, and it's hard to tell which size fits me without trying it on.

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BILL60 8/18/2012 3:30PM

    Great blog. Would love to hear of the results at 6/9/12 months.

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HAKAPES 8/18/2012 2:43PM

    Great blog, and very interesting!
And what is the solution for you, how do you divert your metabolism to store food as fat?
And how did you conquer cravings?

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GREENGENES 8/18/2012 2:27PM

    Nice job. Isn't human physiology fascinating?

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PEPPYPATTI 8/18/2012 1:27PM

    I have been reading up on the Carbs thing too. It really makes a difference & you end up eating more & healthier.
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SALONKITTY 8/18/2012 12:48PM

    Great! It sounds like your experiment is going very well, indeed. Have you seen Dr. Peter Attia's site?

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WOUBBIE 8/18/2012 12:22PM

    "- My BP has gone down to textbook normal numbers.....a very interesting side-effect"

I still find it rather mind-boggling that when you Google "What causes high blood pressure" the answer essentially comes back as "We don't know", yet virtually anyone who substantially lowers their sugar and starch intake will see the numbers drop. Hmmmmm. Think there's a connection there?

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Well I spent most of yesterday planning September.....then spent today relaxing and reading.

September is looking to be pretty busy....from the looks of it, after Labor Day, I'll only be home on the weekends till the end of the month. I've got 2 separate week long conferences to go to with my boss, then my nephew is getting married....overseas! He's my sister's oldest kid and lives in Istanbul, Turkey.

SWMBO and I talked....she's going to one of the conferences with me. Between all day meetings and nightly social functions, these usually keep her busy day and night. She's not up for back to back trips so she opted out of the Istanbul trip. But she also says I'd be a deadman if I don't go to my my nephews' wedding (my mom and sister have already started dropping guilt-bombs). So I spent most of yesterday looking at and booking flights & hotel. Luckily I have enough miles to pay for both.

And where does my mind go? "Damn, another whole month on the road, just when you were really getting back up to speed on the to find a hotel with a good gym!" So I found a Marriott Renaissance with what looks like a pretty decent compliment of cardio and weights.

To celebrate, last night I took #2 son to see the Dark Knight movie (not too bad....a little long at 2h 45m, but a very interesting take on Catwoman). Then today I spent the whole day reading. On last week's trip to Vegas, I decided to try the first book in George Martin's Game of Thrones series....I pretty much got hooked, so today I devoured almost the rest of it, but I may have to wait till next weekend to finish it.....and then there are at least 3 more books in the series....plenty of reading for a month on the road!

The more I read, the more familiar the story line seemed, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Then in a blinding glimpse of the obvious it hit me....this is the War of the Roses! It's one of my favorite periods of English history, not to mention one of my favorite characters, Richard III.

So for a few weeks I'll have to put all my other reading aside, which will include a few tomes of low carb books I've culled off of Amazon....research will have to give way to practice!

More to follow.....have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MPLANE37 8/19/2012 9:19PM

    Istanbul is a beautiful city. Enjoy yourself.

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BOB240 8/19/2012 12:59PM

    my dad went to school withe the guy in the last photo!

NOT Richard III !

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SALONKITTY 8/18/2012 12:52PM

    Istanbul! How fantastic! I have a friend living there, and he absolutely loves it. He does a ton of walking all over the place every day, as well. It certainly tops my list of places I've got to visit sometime soon. Very beautiful and interesting.

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REBECCATKD 8/16/2012 8:55PM

    I never put that connection with the War of the Roses together with Game of Thrones. Hmm.... I need to brush up on my history!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 8/16/2012 7:28PM

    What a wonderful trip you have coming up!

Have you read _The Daughter of Time_ by Josephine Tey? It's about dear Richard. I love the Ian McKellan WWII "Richard III" too.

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 8/14/2012 9:59PM

    What a great trip and congrats to your nephew! It's one of my lifelong dreams to take a trip to Istanbul, so I'm looking forward to seeing pictures from your journey! It's also great that you found a hotel that will keep you on target with your fitness goals. Excellent work!

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VALERIEMAHA 8/13/2012 8:43PM

The city has SO many wonders..I would not miss Hagia Sophia (1:01 on video).

ying for free fare AND accommodations really drives home how much you ARE in the air!!!

Comment edited on: 8/13/2012 8:58:22 PM

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/13/2012 7:00PM

    Well Istanbul looks awesome! BUT i can't believe guilt bombs are being dropped with a destination wedding like that... especially considering how much you already travel! wow! Busy month for you!

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LISAINMS 8/13/2012 1:22PM

    Ohhh Turkey... what a great trip!

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BERGBA7 8/13/2012 11:16AM

    Oh... Istanbul... you will enjoy it, I am sure. Go and see the city - this will count as a cardio session ;-)
Have a good week

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NWFL59 8/13/2012 9:18AM

    Sounds like interesting times ahead for your frought with challenges a plenty. Hope Istanbul proves delightful and the family 'guilt trips' resolved to everyone's satisfaction. emoticon

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SHERYL_B 8/13/2012 8:06AM

    How could not even think about not going to a wedding in Istanbul ! What an awesome opportunity. And not a work trip! Take advantage and enjoy.

I agree with woubbie, if I were your wife I'd skip the work trip and hit Istanbul!

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SAFARIBABE 8/13/2012 6:58AM

    I agree with the others. SWMBO shou;d ditch the conference for Istanbul...the city that sits both in Europe and Asia....who could pass that up?? I'll go with you!! LOL As for working out with all the travel coming ARE the Road Warrior!! You WILL get it all sorted, even if it means doing hurdles over small children at the airport! emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 8/13/2012 6:45AM

    You are the ultimate Road Warrior! Although if I were SWMBO I'd have chosen the Istanbul trip over a conference...unless there is something super special about this conference you're not sharing with us lol.

I haven't started Game of Thrones, although it is on my list. I still have about a dozen books in the TBR pile I need to (try to) get through before the move so I don't have to take them with me. Plus I'm something like 47th in the Hold queu at the library for Book 1 and suspect I'll have to give up my place.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 8/13/2012 6:02AM

    Looking for new books for my trip. Will download the first one and give it a go. I know my DH is hooked on the TV show, but my sister complains that show does not follow the book.

Some recent reads I can recommend:

Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Women of the Cousins' War by Philipa Gregory

Safe travels....

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PIGLETSMALL 8/13/2012 2:58AM

    How exciting to visit Istanbul! You are going to have an amazing time.

As for the Games of Thornes series, I have never heard of them. What are they about?

WOW! Congratulations on your weight loss. That is amazing.

I've lost count of the times I lost the same 10 lbs. But something about this time is different. It doesn't feel so hard and it feels like the right time. I can't wait to see the inches drop and scales go lower. It's suddenly exciting and not a chore.

Thank you for posting on my blog. It's lovely to meet you x

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WOUBBIE 8/12/2012 9:30PM

    Wow. If I were SWMBO I'd ditch your conference in a second and fly to Istanbul!

I've been resisting reading Game of Thrones. I actually bought the audio book and listened to the first few chapters, but decided it was too grim for my current state of mind. :) Every so often I toy with the idea of picking it up again, and then turn back to some lighter fare.

Maybe someday....

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PROT358 8/12/2012 9:28PM

    You're going to Istanbul?! That's seriously the number one foreign place I want to visit. If you have the time to post them, I'd love to see pictures! The Game of Thrones series is on my must-read list too. I haven't started reading them yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll devour them the same way I love the show. Enjoy the books and your time abroad!

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Why I hate shopping!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

I know, once again, why it is that I hate shopping, and why I am so very thankful to live in the internet age where I can just go to Amazon or some other website and get just about anything I need in the world delivered to my door step.

So my boss and I gave our presentations today and they were spectacular! Everything went great, we answered every and all questions and were extremely happy with how it went.

We finished around noon. I checked to see if I could get a flight back to FL in the dice, so I hit the gym for an early afternoon spin class (instructor was a freaking maniac....he kept doing hill climbs, one after a friggin' other)

Then I found myself with a whole afternoon free in Las Vegas, NV....hmmmm what to do?!?!

I was going to go hit the tables, but I remembered that I was in sore need of a new sportcoat or 2, so I decided to hit a few of the various shops in town to see what I could find.

I started off at Nordstrom and found a few that looked and felt OK, mostly silk/wool blends. Then off to Saks, then Nieman Marcus, then over to Caesar's to a few of the specialty shops.

Now I freely admit, I'm a pain in the ass when it comes to finding something that I like. I critique the color, the drape, the tightness in the shoulders, because I know that if I end up not liking it, it'll just stay in my closet and not get worn (I have way too many like that), so I've learned to not buy anything I don't really, really like.

So I'm in Nieman-Marcus and I spy this very cool dark copper colored sport-coat, with black herringbone pattern. "This I can wear!" I tell myself.

It fits like a glove (as a matter of fact, most everything fit great....even the "sport cut" lines.....I'm digging my V-shape), it hangs just right, looks great up close and far away....and the cashmere feels like something SWMBO would just love to cozy up to.

And it's $5,000!!

God freaking dammit! Did virgin Mongolian maidens hand-pick every fiber off their herd of goats to make this jacket! It better damn well come with a free weekend stay at the Bellagio!

I refuse to take it off though.....I'm walking around the store getting the clerk to show me what else they've got, some matching pants and shirts.....and a few other jackets because I know I'm not getting this one. Man it felt good.

And that's the way the rest of my night went. I hit the Zegna store in Caesar's forums and found a real nice travel jacket in mostly wool, with just a hint of stretchy material in there that felt great when I moved my arms. The clerk starts selling it to me with ,"yes sir, you can fly all night long and this jacket will drape like it was new!" $2995!

I find a nice light navy thing at Saks with a few lines of deep royal Blue in there....fits like a glove....$3495!

What the hell! I gave up and went in to the Apple store and almost talked myself into buying a Macbook Air.....fully loaded it would have only cost me $1300!

Needless to say, I came back to my hotel empty handed....I hate being rushed and any jacket I bought would have needed alterations (oh they were all happy to measure me up right there and ship the jacket when it was done!)

I'll stay on the lookout....I've got a few more trips out here and other parts of the country, so I'll either tone down my tastes.....or check to see what Amazon has in their men's dept! I really have to go through this again! ARRGGHHHHHH!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVESLIFE48 8/13/2012 9:04AM

    That's just freakin crazy!! That much for clothes!! And now a days they are not made to last like years ago. Good luck finding what you need/want!!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 8/13/2012 6:11AM

    I agree with FFK - hit the tables and win your coat! I recommend Craps.

Has the best odds and if you start with a large enough bank roll, you can play more aggressively. My DH started with a $2000 bank roll and won $3000 in about 3 hours after teaching himself how to play on an iPhone app!

He only played that one time for real, so can't tell you if it was fluke or not...but he has "won" over $100,000 on his iPhone app over the course of the last six months :)

Good luck!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 8/10/2012 6:10PM

    Great blog! I, too, dislike shopping. I don't want temptation in my face and I really don't need anything new. I don't want to see, feel, or smell fine fabrics. Ebay is still my go-to place if I need something new. And even there one must be careful.

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SHERYL_B 8/8/2012 9:55PM

    I remember shopping I. Vegas with my sisters. We knew we couldn't afford most things, so we just had fu trying things on. It's not so much fn when you are actually looking for something though.

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GREENGENES 8/8/2012 8:58PM

    Thank goodness I don't have to wear a suit very often. A few years ago I was in Kansas City with a group and one of the group members was so excited because some major men's wear company was having a huge sale and he bought a couple of suits that were "only" a couple thousand dollars.

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GRACEOMALLEY 8/8/2012 1:07PM

    Try the second hand and consignment shops in Vegas. You can often find some interesting stuff amongst the "stuff."

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    Ah yes, the 'expensive tastes' syndrome....I do believe I have that as well. LOL

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WOUBBIE 8/8/2012 9:12AM

    What, you don't think these are reasonable prices? Why I'll bet you $10,000. that they're worth every penny! I'll front the money from my speaker's fees, though that's not very much.....


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    A department head at a company I once worked for dropped "hints" to her staff for what she felt would be a suitable (extremely expensive) Christmas gift from the staff to how well does your staff like you?

On second thought, it didn't work out very well for her so maybe it's best not to find out if you're well loved lol.

Hit the tables and win the $$ for your sport coat and then explain the extravagance as an a $5k coat and you will never need to buy another one. Think of all the money you'll save!

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VHALKYRIE 8/8/2012 8:31AM

    Go visit Seoul, Korea! I bought the most awesome leather jacket in Seoul. Fits like a glove, and very soft, high quality leather. It cost me about $300USD. In fact, I'm wearing it my sparkpage profile pic! The same jacket would have cost at least double in a overpriced leather goods chain store in the US. Tailoring is super cheap, and most places can turnaround in same day (yay competition!). But I guess you'd make up the price in the plane flight over there...well, if you ever do happen to make a business trip that way!

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SAFARIBABE 8/8/2012 7:12AM

    ROFLMAO!!!! When will you learn just not to shop??? You always come out more aggravated than you go in. Here's what I don't understand....if you're used to buying off the internet, where you can't try things on....why so picky when you can? BTW...did you EVER get new pants? OR are you still using belts, garters and string to keep the old ones up?? LOL emoticon

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SALONKITTY 8/8/2012 3:45AM

    You could have a rather lovely bespoke suit made for those prices! I'm the same way, though. Just naturally drawn to what usually ends up being the most expensive version of whatever. Very frustrating! Bob's suggestion of winning and spending those returns on a luxurious jacket sounds pretty great to me! That's just the sort of thing I'd want to spend gambling wins on. Or maybe go back to Nordstroms and try again. emoticon

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BUBBLEJ1 8/8/2012 2:59AM

    Keep it in mind for when you win lotto?

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BOB240 8/8/2012 2:05AM

    I know the problem.

I go into a store... find a suit I like and telepathically I know the price tag is at the high end.

My theory is all cloths cost the same. Then someone comes along and picks the nice ones and prices accordingly.

Stll - make it up on the poker tables at the Ballagio. Find a $10/$20 table play tight, get position on a donkey for the blinds. Get he monre back in a few hours ;)

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DRAGONCHILDE 8/8/2012 2:00AM

    It's Neiman Marcus. Whaddya expect? ;)

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CHICCHANTAL 8/8/2012 1:42AM

    There's a chain store in the UK called Primark . . .

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CHIBIKARATE 8/8/2012 1:39AM

    I agree I feel you emoticon emoticon

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Low Carb in Las Vegas!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Well it's pretty darn hot in Vegas! Go's August, it's the desert, and a few miles from all those dancing fountains in front of the's dry & dusty!

Which is why I stay indoors a lot when I visit.

So my boss had a meeting I needed to be here for, and today we went over a bunch of details for a big presentation we're giving tomorrow. In the afternoon, I visited my guys that work out here to see how they're doing and to make the rounds. I like the new guy I hired to run this division.....way better than the last guy I had to fire back in April.

Got all that done with plenty of daylight left to go hit the gym (it doesn't get dark here till after 8:00PM), where I got in a great upper body routine in a magnificent gym, followed with 4x two-minute plank intervals (hold the plank for 2 minutes....take a 1 minute break). Some people call planks boring.....I don't know how the hell anything can be boring when your entire core is screaming for relief!

Then I went and had me some Memphis BBQ baby back bun, no biscuit, no fries, no cole slaw, even picked the croutons out of the salad (I did order 2 side salads!)

It might get redundant hearing me say it so much, but I continue to be amazed at the differences I'm seeing by ditching the carbs. Yeah, my weight is decreasing slowly (that's the one thing that pisses me off about the low carb mafia.....there's a lot of hype about how fast you can lose weight), but I am doing enough ST to see and know that I'm adding lean muscle and losing body fat, so that does make a difference. But I almost have to puff out my belly to see a bulge these days!

Which is really amazing considering I feel like the protagonist in a Robert Ludlum or Dan Brown novel who has unearthed a worldwide underground conspiracy that is too wild to be true, something that if exposed would alter the course of history, something for which you'd be hunted down and shot if you go public. Yet the facts are undeniable; cutting down carbs has given me results that thousands of miles of running, thousands of miles of biking, thousands of lbs of weights lifted, and meticulous logging of thousands of calories hasn't....a slim me!

I've got a theory brewing on how this all least from my personal experiment of N=1, so more to follow....till then....

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 8/13/2012 12:03PM

    Wonderful results! Low-carb can be such a potent way to go for many of us!


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SALONKITTY 8/8/2012 3:54AM

    It does feel like being part of some conspiracy! I've also felt like I was cheating at something because it's been so straightforward and the weight does actually come off, which wasn't my experience before, at all.

I totally agree about the planks. They're not boring at all! They're torturous! You're in pretty great shape to be able to do multiple 2-min planks, wow! I wanna do that someday, too.

All great stuf here in your blog post! emoticon

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SHERYL_B 8/7/2012 11:31PM

    I miss Vegas!

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FANGFACEKITTY 8/7/2012 10:37PM

    I am almost persuaded to give low carb a go and see how it works for me...just as soon as I can figure out how to do so in the land of bread and pastry while eating out at every. single. meal until I can move into the new house.

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BERGBA7 8/7/2012 5:18PM

    Hm... I am a vegetarian and am wondering if I could get to that type of diet myself without eating meat... I think I am going to inform myself and see what I could do to be a vegetarian-low-carb-eater
Great job and a real inspiration.

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PLMITCH 8/7/2012 3:36PM

    The bottom line: This works for you! And I'll have to try planking one of these days!


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MYLADY4 8/7/2012 12:02PM

    Hmmm, going to Vegas the end of September and plan on doing low carb there too (plus with wheat allergy, kinda have too). Looking forward to it.

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VHALKYRIE 8/7/2012 11:02AM

    I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't in the works for the next thriller best seller! But how do you work car chases and helicopters into a conspiracy about making people fat?

Like, Woubbie, I'm not sure where the idea for rapid weight loss came from. Weight comes off fast for those who are very overweight. You and I both started our low-carb journey while fit and already lost most of our body weight. My weight loss is slow and steady, but losing .5lbs per week is still pretty darn rapid compared to losing .5lbs in 3 months!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 8/7/2012 10:38AM

    "low carb mafia"

Too funny. Yeah, I experience the same gnashing of teeth when I low carb it. It is not as quick as they say, at least not at this point in my journey.

Stay strongerrrrrr....

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KANOE10 8/7/2012 9:52AM

    Great job of staying low carb in Vegas. I have found that the small amount of sauce does not hurt you with the ribs.


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WOUBBIE 8/7/2012 9:48AM

    "something for which you'd hunted down and shot if you go public"

Reminds me of poor Dr. Atkins, being called to testify at congressional hearings about "Obesity and Fad Diets". Pah.

I'm not really sure where the misperception about quick weight loss comes from. None of the actual plans tout it per se, other than to point out that you'll lose weight faster than on a low calorie diet. Yet, just like the distorted view that low carb = high protein, it continues to be passed around like an urban legend...

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BILL60 8/7/2012 8:21AM

    Just super!! Hang tough.

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SAFARIBABE 8/7/2012 6:55AM

    I thought you were having a meeting in the gym! What happened to that? LOL So does this low-carb regime mean that the green smoothie guy is....(sniff, sniff) gone????? BTW I had a purple one for dinner last night! emoticon

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LIVELAUFLUV 8/7/2012 5:27AM

    Great to hear the low carb routine is working for you! Enjoy Vegas!

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GLC2009 8/7/2012 12:28AM

    vegas is a great place for the low carb carnivore...all those $10 prime rib dinners, cheap ham and egg brekkies. on and on.
we love vegas. and it's sooooooooooooooo cheap from where we live!!!!! emoticon

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