Friday, September 21, 2012
Well I admit, I have neglected my blogging of late. September has been an unusually busy month. I've been on the road from Las Vegas to Norfolk to New Mexico these past few weeks, all the while still trying to do my day job in Florida. Luckily I've got a brand new VP that is real good about keeping up with the workload while I'm on the road.
But now I have to take some real time off and get my ass over to Istanbul for a wedding this week, so I am likely to be even more off the net next week
All is not lost though. I cashed in some hotel points and am basically staying for free at a Marriot right near the Bosporus that promises wi-fi, a pretty decent gym, and even a modernized Turkish steam bath on the premises!
It's been a mad cap ride these last few weeks though. I finally got back in to the office this past week (I sent my VP on the road to take on some of these meetings instead of me), and got caught up on everything from our budget, to making decisions on some senior manager hirings that absolutely had to get done before I depart. I finally made it home around 9:00 PM last night, but I think I can rest easy this next week that things will run well while I'm away (I always tell my guys, "No one is irreplaceable"......I guess that applies to me as well!)
That basically meant that I had to greatly curtail my gym time this past week. I hit the weight room pretty hard Mon & Wed, but that was about it. However, if I must say so myself, I was fairly magnificent setting some personal bests on squats (225 lbs), deadlifts (240 lbs), overhead presses (110 lbs), and bench presses (210 lbs). Pullups continue to be the bane of my existence. I am stuck at 3 and mildly frustrated that I can't heft these 180 lbs of me over the bar more than that....oh well, just another mark to set on that wall!
I plan on doing a whole bunch of walking around Istanbul though. My biggest challenge might be sticking to low carbs for the next week. All of my classic weaknesses will be on display there.
Fresh baked bread
So I'll focus on those things non-carb like,
And lots and lots of salads
Have a great day Spark friends.....next blog comes from the Bosporus!
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
So I think I'm neglecting one of the tried and true methods of staying very healthy, slim, and fit.....walking.....lots of walking.
I actually love to walk, and in the past have racked up considerable miles walking all across this planet. When I lived in Manhattan, I used to walk from Greenwich Village...
...to my apartment on the Upper West Side a couple of days a week.
When I lived in Frankfurt, GE, instead of driving or taking the train, I'd take hour long walks through forested trails out where I lived by the airport to downtown to go hang out.
When I went to school in Boston, I'd walk 9-10 miles down the Minuteman Bikeway, a Rails-to-Trails project, taking me by Redcoat re-enactors on Lexington Green....
...to wierdos at the Alewife subway station at the end of the trail
There's something about city-life that makes it real conducive to walking. I certainly enjoy it and remember that it has always done me good.
These days, however, my workouts are shorter albeit more intense....I feel cheated if I don't get my heart rate up over 85-90% of max. (my max is 186.....I have found out through exhaustingly hard runs)
But this weekend, I tried a little experiment....I walked to the gym, worked out, and walked back! I did this twice....and my heart rate was a comfortable 110-120....smack in the 60-65% range
I did a leisurely 2 mile walk in about 30 minutes (I did sweat like a dog....it is still very hot & muggy here in the Florida panhandle), then hit the elliptical for 20 minutes of some fairly high HIIT, did me plank intervals....then walked the leisurely 2 miles back home.
It was a blast!
I've also seen (through all the data that my nifty Bodymedia Fit Core Armband tells me), that at work I sit around.....way to much. Yeah, I go in and out of my office, down the halls to the finance guys or my technical guys, but those distances aren't measured in miles.
So I'm going to see what I can do to up these numbers and add just a little more walking around to my daily life....you know, the "other" kind of exercise.....the kind that doesn't strain, the kind that keeps us active, and the kind that has a cumulative effect by just keeping us moving.
Have a great night Spark friends!
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Well one of the great things about living on the beach is.....living on the beach!
SWMBO, #2 son, and I get to see some pretty amazing things every day right in our own back yard. Someday's it's a great sunset;
Someday's it's a barge loaded up on it's way west;
Someday's it's Fred the heron who likes hanging out between us and the neighbors;
Most days SWMBO and I think pelicans are the coolest things that fly;
But there's a dark side to paradise.....the dreaded Hurricane!
Now we have lived in many parts of this great planet. I've experienced 8.0 earthquakes (Chile), an F5 tornado (Oklahoma City), multiple blizzards ('78 and the '93 Storm of the Century), and even came too damn close to being fried in the middle of winter in a storm called "Thundersnow"
Through it all, we try to enjoy ourselves. SWMBO and I enjoy going out in the middle of a storm and yelling at the top of our lungs (no one can hear us above the roar of the wind and the waves....we call it our "wilding time"), or we drive a few miles away from the tornado and watch the funnel cloud swoop and sweep. One time we rented a cabin out on Cape Cod when a Nor'easter was coming, just so we could watch the storm blow in over the water.
But there's nothing like having your own house so close to the danger zone to make you rethink the whole damn thing!
Our current house (I am told) is built to withstand a Cat 2 hurricane. But along with that great view comes the downside....we're only good for about 11 feet of storm surge.....after that, start putting your furniture on cinder blocks!
Isaac was predicted to deliver 9 feet....a little too close for my comfort.
Luckily, the whole community rallied. I had a meeting with all the folks in our company and we released everyone home Tues & Wed to prep their houses & families for Isaac's promise to deliver 10-12 inches of rain and 6 to 9 feet of surge.
SWMBO is our family emergency manager. She always has us stocked up on batteries, flashlights, water, propane tanks.....even bicycle helmets for us to wear in case the roof caves in.....God love her! We packed up all her plants and yard furniture, placed some sandbags along the doors and garage, and boarded the windows.
Then we waited it out. I telecommuted both days and kept a wary eye on the rising tide
In the end, we had wind gusts up to 50 kts, lots of whitecaps, some rain, and very little surge. #2 son got 2 days off of school, SWMBO & I got in our wilding time, and the cat stayed hidden under the bed the entire time.
The worse part about the whole storm.....the damn gym closed down for both days in a row!
Have a great night Spark friends!
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 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
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!
Get An Email Alert Each Time GETSTRONGRRR Posts