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Man was I hungry today!

Monday, April 01, 2013

So today was great...actually an ideal day.

I clambered out of bed, showered up and made some breakfast. I thought about having a bowl full of cantaloupe and some yogurt, then laughed at myself and grabbed 3 chocolate bunny rabbits leftover from Easter and wolfed them down with can of Pepsi. Just what I needed to make it through a day full of meetings!

As I waited in line at Starbucks for my Grande Americano, I noticed that the fruit cup was more expensive than the cheese danish and the toffee bar combined. Well I know a bargain when I see one so the big decision I had to make was whether to eat the toffee bar first or AFTER the danish. I'll let you imagine what I chose ;>)

I forgot to bring my lunch from home, so I went out to eat with some of the folks in my front office. I watched the idiots around me order the salad, but I knew the lasagna was especially well-prepared here.....hell I might even get seconds on the garlic bread! It was alright, the lasagna was a little salty, so I grabbed a couple of Twix bars on my drive back to work to balance out my palate.

I got pretty busy in the afternoon, but had a hankering for ribs around 3:00, so I asked my front office assistant to run out and buy me a pick-me-up rib basket. But I only got a half rack (I was pretty full after lunch, but this was some mean BBQ!) and I decided to be good and skipped the potato salad and baked beans....just had the coleslaw (veggies) and corn bread (veggie AND low carb!)....I think I probably saved 100 calories choosing wisely and having a diet coke instead of regular. I'll use those savings to have something special after dinner tonight.....

I finished my last meeting and lo and behold my secretary had brought in some Cadbury caramel filled Easter never ends! They were great.....between the 2 of us we cracked every one of those bad boys with our muscular teeth! It was a little too much chocolate though, so I swung by the snack bar for some potato chips to get something salty back on my taste buds. Mmmmm.

I had a weight lifting session scheduled today, but I felt I deserved a break so I cancelled and called SWMBO up and asked her if she wanted to go out to dinner. She had baked some tilapia and stir fried some veggies, but I told her to save it for later or stuff it in the trash, we should do something special like Mexican or try out that new Chinese Buffet that opened up (Big Chow) down the road. (I didn't feel like Italian after those two servings of lasagna at lunch anyway).

Well the buffet was fantastic! You really do get your money's worth at these places, but you have to plan it out right. Like don't fill up on the green beans or soup on your first plate or you may not get around to sampling everything they lay out like the sweet and sour pork or extra crispy chicken wings. And don't waste time on the peel & eat shrimp, you can get those anywhere. I recommend the crab in cheese sauce or some salmon rangoons (the good thing is these probably have like 10 less calories than egg rolls.....I just wish I could stop after eating only 4....sigh)

Afterwards, since it was so nice out, we walked over to the Marble Slab Creamery and had a family ice cream night. I really like how they work the ice cream so hard on that cold slab, and they take the time to make REAL WAFFLE CONES, not the fake plasticy kind you get at Baskin Robbins. And the scoops they give you are twice as big as anywhere else. Talk about getting your money's worth! I admit, I cheated and had them sprinkle on some Jimmies, but it was a special night out for all of us and again I deserved something special, it had been a busy week right?

As I sit and finish up this blog, I had a real hankering for some Peanut Butter. What a great food idea! But, I'm only using a teaspoon this time, not a tablespoon as usual. I think that actually helps me lose weight because I use more energy with that reality, I'm expending 3 times more calories to get the same amount of peanut butter....I read that somewhere.

Then Holy Christ I woke up and found myself drenched in a cold sweat still back in my bed this morning, no sweatpants in sight.....The ghost of April Fools past must have visited me late into the night!

Today, I chose the opposite of everything I wrote about here.....I ate well, I lifted weights, and I thought about where I wanted to be tomorrow and a year from now. But the choices, the desires, the temptations, and worst of all, the excuses and rationales are always there.

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JCWATL 4/6/2013 4:29PM

    I totally bought that. That sounds like what happens to me when I get off track first thing in the morning...I get WAY off track! emoticon

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WHOVIANGIRL23 4/5/2013 10:40AM

    Haha, this was an awesome blog.

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    The trickery! :)

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 4/4/2013 9:40PM

    HAHA! A great blog and belated April food-I mean, April Fools--joke. You got me.

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ADZY86 4/4/2013 7:04AM

    Ha best blog I've read in a LONG while. You had me right until the I sat here open-mouthed wondering how you managed to get all that food into you!

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HAKAPES 4/3/2013 4:13PM

    You often write about peanut butter. What is so good about it? I never heard about it before SP, I tried, it's nice, but for example now, we don't have any at home. I enjoyed your blog!

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MZLADY77 4/3/2013 12:04PM

    Too funny! You got me! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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RACEWELLWON 4/3/2013 11:21AM

    Sounds to me like you great day ! -

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FLDEEZ 4/2/2013 9:35PM

    Too funny! I had to read out loud to my husband! Just realized you're a guy - and I just gave you flowers as a sparkgoodie - oops.

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HANSBRINK 4/2/2013 12:32PM

  You exercised great moderation during the day! Congratulations.

My favorite commentary about moderation.

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ATTACKFATCAT 4/2/2013 12:07PM

    I think you got me better than any other April Fool's joke I saw yesterday. I didn't get suspicious until the garlic bread.

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BERGBA7 4/2/2013 10:05AM

    What a fun idea! GREAT BLOG!!!
You made me smile with your Easter bunnies in the morning... you made me think with the cheese danish and toffee bar... I was really wondering what was going on at lunchtime! After that I finally got the prank!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/2/2013 10:06:13 AM

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BILL60 4/2/2013 9:13AM

    Personally, I was loving it. The thought of seeing a 3lb increase made me happy. Too bad!! BTW, I'm at 178.

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    I knew it the moment you chucked aside the healthy breakfast for the 3 bunnies! haha

But you had me drooling along with your story. emoticon emoticon

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KA_JUN 4/1/2013 11:40PM

    Dude, nice blog! The sad thing is, there was once upon a time that I would've done that...been a long journey.

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WOUBBIE 4/1/2013 11:02PM

    The giveaway was that you weren't describing how you were doubled over with stomach cramps by noon and asleep at your desk at 3, lol!

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BEECHNUT13 4/1/2013 8:55PM

    I had a pretty good day as well, except some Easter candy for dessert tonight. You did have me going with the chocolate bunnies for a minute.

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VHALKYRIE 4/1/2013 8:46PM

    I thought the choco bunnies were plausible, but I became suspicious by the garlic bread, and I had your number by the corn bread!

BTW, my husband proposed to me 3 years ago yesterday, and today is our 3 year anniversary where I thank him for not proposing to me on April Fool's Day in Death Valley.


Comment edited on: 4/1/2013 8:49:14 PM

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REJOHNSON3 4/1/2013 8:41PM

    Wow, you had me going at first. How do you do it? And then you continue to read to the end. Congratulations to you for all of your efforts. Keep up the good work.

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LJOYCE55 4/1/2013 8:39PM

  I was wondering how you were still awake to write the blog after all that food.

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The Triad - Cardio, Strength....and Flexibility!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

So I freely admit, I enjoy working out. It wasn't always so, but it is today. I enjoy both cardio and strength training. I like pushing my limits on both, whether it means getting my heart rate up doing interval training for cardio, or adding more weight on the bar for squats, deadlifts, presses etc.....I even (though not as enthusiastically) like combining the two, lifting mid-level weights for lots of reps in a short amount of time.

But there is a part of my fitness life where I have to admit to being a total slacker.

Yes, I'm not afraid to admit that I's the truth and there's no use hiding it....I'm a slacker.

I don't like stretching.

Actually, I kind of do like stretching....more like I enjoy the feeling after stretching.

You see, while working out, I enjoy the exertion, whether it's breathing hard as I peak during interval training, or pushing with all my might against the force of gravity with a heavy weight on my back....I'm OK with that.

But sitting on the floor, reaching for my ankles, trying to pull my back & hamstrings into extension is....not fun.

Maybe it's just that beginner's mentality thing....everything is hard when first starting out. And I've gone through bouts where I stretch regularly for a few days....then slack right back off.

I've even got all sorts of gadgets to make it easier and more fun. I do admit to liking this nifty little roller from Trigger Point;

It's an evil little device (as are most foam rollers) but I have to admit, when I'm done rolling it over my back, hams, quads, you name it, I feel like I've had a high end sports massage.

I also like it's evil side-kick, the Trigger Point Massage Ball. This little thing beats the pants off of tennis balls for finding those little spots in between the muscles; it forces them to separate and release. He hurts like a 'mo, but I can't deny his effectiveness.

I've found these little bad boys to be quite less painful, but they took a lot of getting used to....mainly because they weren't so painful (Why do I always go back to thinking that stretching has to be painful?)

They're kind of cool (SWMBO likes them too)...they just don't work fast. You basically relax into them as you place one or both on your lower back and gently press and relax into it. As you do so, you're supposed to breathe into it and let your lower back stretch, while keeping your abs somewhat tight. Not bad....I just have to get my Type A personality to accept them.

The last tool I have is a Stretch-Out Strap;

It looks dangerous, but it actually works pretty well for a not-so-loose guy like me, allowing me to hook hands & feet at various tension levels and just relax into them.

A few years ago, SWMBO and I went to a couples yoga class....while it was a pretty good date night event, it was an unmitigated disaster for was worse than being the kid who couldn't climb the rope.....I was the kid that couldn't hold the downward facing dog pose

Needless to say, what started this blog entry today was coming back home from an hour of cardio and 30 minutes of farmer's carries (see my blog
) and noticing I felt a little tight.

So after feasting on our Easter Ham (I make one hell of a good ham!), I got out a few of these torture devices and proceeded to stop, drop, and roll many of the various kinks out.

And, of course, I liked it....when I was done.

I make no promises....but maybe....just maybe....I'll find a way to work in this third leg of the fitness triad; cardio, strength,.....and flexibility!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 5/1/2013 10:55AM

    emoticon It took the Trainer at my Gym 2 YEARS to talk me into Stretching! I can be a Slow Learner, LOL! But when I finally really did it and did it correctly, I fell in love with it!
emoticon I wouldn't dream of leaving the Gym without Stretching now.

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KA_JUN 4/1/2013 11:37PM

    I'm the same way. Have a love/hate relationship with my roller. That thing hurts if you're doing it right, but worth it in the end. While you're doing it, though. emoticon

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ATTACKFATCAT 4/1/2013 2:50PM

    I think a lot of people overlook flexibility, but I think it can make a huge difference in loosening tight muscles and even help improve hip flexibility for squats and other ST exercises. I try to make sure I do a long stretch after an intense cardio or intense cardio/ST combo and I've seen a lot of improvement over the past 3 months. My foam roller, aka "Jillian" is also a lot less painful that it was for the first session.

Hopefully you can make it a regular part of your workout routine. It does get easier over time, just like cardio and ST. That strap contraption looks a little scary though. It almost looks like one of those things those people hang from during Cirque du Soleil!

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BERGBA7 4/1/2013 11:43AM

    I introduced some of the yoga exercises to my routine since January and I feel that they do me lots of good. Flexibility is important - especially to stay fit in older age, what I want to achieve with my program. My downward facing dog is not very pretty though....but it is getting better.
I will call Amazon and see if they will replace the DVDs. Never did that, so it is going to be a challenge in itself

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PMRUNNER 4/1/2013 4:47AM

    Thanks for sharing! Stretching is too often an afterthought, if I have time, if I remember it, if it is convenient. A good reminder that it is an integral part of the whole fitness picture.

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BOB240 4/1/2013 4:32AM

    We're both too old not to do it. I force ten minutes stretching at the end of every routine. I hate it but it must be done.

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    I *love* working out as well. I don't do enough stretching, either. I need to get back into it! And do more yoga, which helps the flexibility as well.
I bought a foam roller the other week. I've used it once. I was so sore before, and it was so painful I was tearing up during (IT bands from running and lower body workout) but then after- it was a miracle!

Keep up the stretching!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMREITE 4/1/2013 12:55AM

    i like exercising but i do get sick of doing some of the same things over and over. i do get bored with jumping jacks and lots of pushups. but i try intervals, different dance classes, yoga, strength training and HIIT.

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    Great job on the stretching but it's really much better to stretch RIGHT AFTER working out! Then you don't get as much pain and it helps your muscles not tighten up as much in the first place. It doesn't have to hurt and it really gets better the more you do it. And that's my soapbox. So there. :)

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HAWAIIANMAMMA 3/31/2013 9:52PM

    What a great blog! I also tend to think that stretching needs to be painful, but I'm kind of masochistic and I enjoy that pain while I'm stretching. Lol I came in from my run about an hour ago and started stretching and for about the tenth time in the last week I thought to myself, "I need to buy a foam roller". Those things are amazing! I might check out that torture ball you posted also. Sounds like it'll do wonders on my back!

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    Dear GettingStrongerr,

I guess as a person who's had quite a few injuries, I've become adept at stretching AND I know that without it, I might not walk the next day (no lie). But I can see that it takes some patience and practice to get into stretch. I think it's become so ingrained, that I just DO IT, didn't say I had to "like it". I hope this third leg of working out becomes more routine for you and therefore easier to get into.

I do wish you all the best of success in your weight management journey!
All the best!

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VHALKYRIE 3/31/2013 9:30PM

    Flexibility is something that I've lost! I hope it's one of those things that you can get back with practice.

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Leaving it all at the gym -- Farmer's Carries and Bowling

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Well today SWMBO and I threw #2 son's birthday party. We invited about 20 of his good pals to a bowling alley where we rented a couple of lanes and fed them pizza, cake, and soda for 3 am I glad that's over!

Last week was #2 son's actual birthday, but he had a Special Olympics event to go to so we held the party today. He's a special needs boy and we had a good mix of boys and girls from the specials class from both school and church in attendance. They all had a blast! SWMBO and I know pretty well how to deal with most of the kids that have more serious handicaps and/or emotional needs and we helped them along as best we could, making sure they partook and felt included. They're a great bunch of kids that do some pretty incredible things, struggling but never giving up. SWMBO is fond of saying that watching them makes you want to both sing with joy and cry in sorrow.

Hell I felt so motivated I even had pizza and soda with them!

But to gear up for this event, I needed to get to the gym early and knock out some serious cardio intervals....and to try out a new exercise that has intrigued me for a few weeks now....Farmer's Carries!

I hit the bike hard for about 45 minutes, doing some pretty hardcore intervals that got me up to 90-95% of my max heart rate a few times, bringing it down to a more sustainable 70-80% in between. I had a chance to try out a new playlist and that really helped, especially with the peaks.

Then I grabbed a pair of 50 lb dumbbells.....and walked.....and walked.....and walked.

I gotta tell you, it was pretty energizing! It's quite a different thing to just hold on tight to some mildly heavy weights and walk. I felt it right where I wanted to....right in my forearms....pretty much everything below the elbow....I felt like Popeye after a can of spinach

And that is exactly why I wanted to do them. I think it's a very functional exercise, learning to walk and maneuver while carrying some heavy weights (I did a circular loop in and out of the weight room down the connecting hallway). By the third set, my forearms were radiating fire, so I re-racked the weights and went to my car.

Then #1 son called. He's our 25 year old who lives in North Carolina.....and a true gym rat. I gave him the blow-by-blow of my workout and then he asked, "Sounds good dad....did you leave it all at the gym?"

"Yeah, I had a good workout, I feel pretty good"

"I know dad.....but did you leave it all in the gym or did you have any left in you?"

I'm thinking, "who the hell raised this little son-of-a-bitch" but I knew the answer so I just answered, "I might have another rep or 2 in me, so what?"

"If you're still in the gym, you should leave it all there"

At this point, I've already walked out the door, my car is 20 yards in front of me....but the front door is 5 yards behind me.

"Seriously, you're challenging me? You're playing the guilt card on me? This from the kid who routinely complained about being too tired to take out the trash or empty the dishwasher?"

"You're call dad, I know I left it all at the gym today"

"OK, you're on! Don't forget to call your brother at the party today or I'll take these Popeye forearms of mine and crush you like an empty soda can"

"That's cute dad, considering I did my warm-ups today with your max effort!"

Children truly are a blessing!

So I went back. This time I picked up a pair of 55 lb dumbbells, cranked up the volume on my new favorite motivational song (Nickelback - "If Today Was Your Last Day")....and walked until I had absolutely nothing left and the weights were slipping through my jelly-like fingers.

Needless to say, I truly sucked at bowling....even the kiddie weight balls were tough on my grip. But my horrendous bowling brought squeals of delight to all the kids, so I didn't really care!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 5/1/2013 10:47AM

    emoticon I have been Looking at Kettle Bells for awhile now. I think this might be a really good reason to Stop Looking and Pick a Couple of them Up, LOL!!
emoticon Son #1 sounds like a Fun Guy to have around!!

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KA_JUN 4/1/2013 11:36PM

    I love farmers walk! Sounds like your family can really throw it around, I like what your son said, I'll keep that in the back of my mind the next time I lift, for sure!

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HAKAPES 3/29/2013 3:27PM

    Thanks for sharing this!
For now about two years, I decided to make all my shopping with a backpack, and handbags, and carry it home. It's another easy way to cram in some exercise minutes, and I'm also more conscious about what I shop ... I have to carry it to home. Now I'll have the proper name for it, Farmer's Carries! :-)

Thanks for sharing! I enjoy your blogs all the time, you write in a lively way that cheers me up.

And also thanks for the comments!

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    Love this! I only hope to one day have my children challenge me and keep me on my toes.


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LEANJEAN6 3/27/2013 8:10AM

    Great--motivating----Lynda emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 3/25/2013 9:51PM

    What a motivational blog! I know I have been going to the gym and definitely not "leaving it all there" In fact, I've been "phoning it in" the last few days. Tell your son "thank you" for me. Will leave it all there tomorrow!

Ha! I've been doing those Farmer's Carries for a while now! Called them 'Suitcase Carries" but I only use one 20-35 lb kettle bell and switch from hand to hand as I walk around the track.

I also do "waiter carries". And then there is one in between, shoulder level, but can't remember the name of that one.

Check out:

Take care and keep spreading the Spark!

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ATTACKFATCAT 3/25/2013 2:35PM

    What great motivations from your son and way to take him up on that challenge! I saw the farmer carries during an episode of Extreme Makeover: WLE and it looks like a great exercise that will help you build muscle for everyday life. I am constantly carrying in heavy grocery bags and 42lb containers of cat litter, so I'm sure exercises like this would help because I know I'm straining my back when I'm doing bueno!

When I was student teaching I had a student with Down Syndrome in my class. It was an elective class and I had never known anyone with DS before. But he was one amazing kid. He was always saying hello and would always give his all on any assignment I gave him. He gave way more effort than any other student in my class and he always had a great attitude. He was in the paper a few weeks ago for a special program they are doing at the school and I'm proud of all he has accomplished. He was definitely a joy to be around and inspirational as well!

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DOUGDC 3/25/2013 1:24PM

    Delightful story. Thanks for sharing!

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VHALKYRIE 3/25/2013 1:09PM

    Never heard of farmer carries before!

Your son seems to have inherited your gift of persuasion! ;)

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HANSBRINK 3/25/2013 11:44AM

  I do paddling. During competition the coach reminds us to leave it all on the water. Thanks for your blog. Its another idea on how to train to do just that.

And I admire you for you work with the special needs kids.

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HANSBRINK 3/25/2013 11:44AM

  I do paddling. During competition the coach reminds us to leave it all on the water. Thanks for your blog. Its another idea on how to train to do just that.

And I admire you for you work with the special needs kids.

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BERGBA7 3/25/2013 3:41AM

    Framer's carries... never heard of that before. I guess, I do this exercise every week when I walk with my heavy bags grocery shopping for 1 mile. I sometimes reach home and my hands and arms are falling off.
Your son might be stronger than you but surely not wiser. You've got the brains more developed than him!
Great bowling event and good for you for making their day! I am sure they will be talking about it for weeks.

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BEATLETOT 3/25/2013 3:41AM

    Wow, these sound like a fun idea, though maybe not the best idea before a bowling birthday party! =) Maybe someday for me....

The birthday party sounds so lovely, and your description of it made me want to go bowling! emoticon

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    LOL! Good for him! I've never thought of trying farmer's carries or even heard of them. Now I'm intrigued! :)

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    LOVE THIS! And I love farmer's carries. Trainer #9 used to make me do them on "light days" (yeah RIGHT! His idea of a light day would make some shudder lol). He had me walk the track outside - pair of 35# dumbells for one lap, pair of 50# 2nd lap, pair of 45# 3rd lap, and then pair of 40# for the last - some light day indeed! I felt like I'd run a marathon instead of walking a mile lol.

Keep up the farmer's carries. They improve your posture and your core, as well as all of the other benefits...

Glad the birthday party went so well!


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GIANTMICROBE 3/24/2013 7:40PM

    Hahahaha that's so awesome :) I do walking lunges with weights but never just a farmer carry. Will have to try it out!!!

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ALIWVU121 3/24/2013 7:39PM

    Great blog! You and your son made me laugh. Awesome that you went back in though! And that's really great that you had everyone come out for your son's bday party!! Have a great week!

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Strength Training, Cardio....and Twinkies!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

So I'm very pleased to report that rest days have their payoff (see my last blog

I felt totally refreshed and raring to go for a heavy legs ST session last night. I freely admit, these are tough days where I push my max loads for squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, etc. doing anywhere from 5-10 reps depending on the specific exercise. Luckily I only do these heavy days about every 2 weeks to build in enough time to recover.

Well yesterday I rocked the house! I felt nice and rested with 2 days totally off from working out over the weekend. I set PRs on squats (4 sets of 6 with 240 lbs) and deadlifts (3 sets of 5 with 305 lbs) my absolute favorite lifts.

But man was I sore today! I slept like a rock for almost 9 straight hours and must confess, I was a little slow this morning (I run our staff meetings on Tuesday mornings.....I was uncharacteristically quiet!)

By lunchtime, I knew I needed to do something, so I ducked out for a Spin Class, quite possibly my smartest call of the day. Curvalicious instructor gal worked us hard!

When I got back to the office I was in noticeably better spirits and not nearly as stiff.

This week I'm going to focus pretty closely on diet. I've been stuck in the low 180s for a while. I have no idea what my goal weight should be, but something tells me I'm within 10 lbs of it.....I'd like to stay between 170-175. So I'm going to pay a little closer attention to calories. Since going low carb, I've not worried much about total calories, just trying to keep carbs below 50 gms/day. It's worked great, but I think I'm up for a change.

So I'm going to track and maintain within my ranges for a while and see what happens.

On a totally unrelated note, someone at work mentioned (with quite disturbing glee) their utter joy at the following news release;

"Twinkies are Back!"

So the North Koreans are bonkers with nukes, Syria is imploding, our federal budget is on par with Cyprus, yet the resurrection of Twinkies as a food source is grabbing the headlines.

Must be the same folks that came up with the 90-day "Think About It" exercise weight loss challenge

Try to have a good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARRENLYNN 3/24/2013 4:59PM

    Way to keep taking care of yourself! I don't know why but I was surprised by the amount of attention that the disappearance of twinkies receiced!! emoticon


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STRONG_SARAH 3/24/2013 2:47PM

    Ha ha ha ......great blog. I live in Italy and don't miss Twinkies AT ALL! I wish they would go out of business actually.

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LOOLLY2 3/22/2013 7:31AM

    Ur blog is genius especially the "think about it"

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    You're a MACHINE!!!
In fact, I wish you were my gym trainer. No wait, you would surely KILL me.

Anyway, I love reading your blogs - No matter what the topic, your humor always leaves me laughing out loud and your illustrations are PERFECTLY Hilarious!


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FANGFACEKITTY 3/21/2013 2:50PM

    Really? Twinkles are back? And that makes the headlines? I never understood the attraction for them, never liked them at all. Certainly never shed a tear when the were gone and shook my head in disbelief at the people lined up at the outlets to stockpile Twinkies before they were all one. And now they are back, just what the people need.

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 3/20/2013 10:17PM

    Haha, love the think about it campaign pic; glad you aren't just thinking about it--you are DOING it. Great work, hope you are doing well with nutrition this week.

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BOB240 3/20/2013 2:45PM

    twinkies are the unsung hero of those wanting to lose weight. Try the twinkie diet:

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/20/2013 11:45AM

    LOL I love the "Think About It" before and After

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ATTACKFATCAT 3/20/2013 11:26AM

    I'm glad you managed to take the rest weekend and that it really paid off for you! I've found I wind up doing my best PRs on the bike after a lighter weekend of exercise, so I really believe in rest/recovery time.

I don't get the Twinkie obsession either. I mean, I do like them personally and will eat them on a rare occasion, but it wasn't one of those things I was shedding a tear over or anything if they were gone forever. It is a little disturbing that people get more riled up over a food that brings back memories for them (but that I'll bet they rarely eat these days) than they do over things that are a little more concerning to them right this minute. But unfortunately we have a society that would riot in the streets if junk food was banned, but could care less if we have a government that can't seem to reach a consensus on anything.

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BEATLETOT 3/20/2013 10:17AM

    Yay! I always enjoy reading your blogs!

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BILL60 3/20/2013 9:15AM

    Way to go!!

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GIANTMICROBE 3/20/2013 8:21AM

    Hahaha, I love all your illustrations.

I don't get why Twinkies are so popular. There's no chocolate in there, so who cares?! :)

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BBECKER1955 3/20/2013 6:59AM

    Those are some PR's!

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BERGBA7 3/20/2013 3:37AM

Great job knowing what you can and need to get where you want! The pic about the gym and the kitchen is perfectly right... and the zombie pic... just too funny!
Have a great day and thanks for the idea of the loop running during long days!
emoticon emoticon

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KA_JUN 3/19/2013 11:28PM

    Dude, you're a monster! Hardcore, for sure. Not going to lie, I laughed at the Full Metal Jacket spinning pic. Great job! Twinkies on the, breaking news on Ho-Hos.

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    Great job on the ST and very good call to do spin class to get all that lactic acid out of the legs. Rock on!

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    Woot woot! on the heavy legs day!

Haha on the twinkies bit. Isn't it sad what captures some people's attention?

Keep on pushin'!

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Rest....gotta do it!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

So I like to work out. Since 2007, when I stopped smoking and decided to get up off the couch, I have found immense pleasure in moving, running, cycling, lifting, pushing, pulling....almost everything except jumping.

Being a bit of a data hound, I measure everything; max heart rate, resting heart rate, BMI, bodyfat percentages, hip/waist ratios, one rep max deadlifts, squats, etc, and even some old-fashioned measures of success, like can I fit in to those old pair of 33 inch jeans (YES I CAN!)

I've been very happy to find that on almost all of my ST measures for various types of lifts, I am firmly in the INTERMEDIATE range for my age and weight (here's a link to some pretty cool charts)

I try to lift 3x/week, alternating between heavy and medium weight days, working out everything from legs, to back, to chest, to shoulders. I also try to get in 3 days of cardio, anything from biking, to spinning, to ellipticals, and rowing machines. Overall about 5-6 days a week.

One of the oddest mental shifts I've made is that in the past I would look for reasons NOT to I look for reasons TO workout....motivational posters like these now make perfect sense to me;

Having said all that, one of the great (and hard won) lessons I have learned is the need for proper rest. This is a tough concept to get right.

Used wisely, rest allows your body to heal up and build strength & muscle through a program of periodization, the idea that you cycle through periods of putting stress on the body to progressively improve, while building in time for rest and recovery before putting it under more and increased stress.

Used un-wisely, rest can lead to inaction and longer and longer times between workouts, until, one day, you realize it's been months since you've hit the gym and you need to start breaking out the sweatpants because nothing else fits!

Like I said, I've been averaging 5-6 workouts a week for the last 2-3 months. This week, even though I did very good in the ST and cardio department, I noticed I was mentally dragging quite a bit. Nothing specific, just a slight sense of fatigue. 2 weeks ago I pulled a hamstring. Thursday, my calf tightened up on me during a spin class.

So I decided to listen to the signs, heed the voice of trainers and authors who emphasize rest and recovery as part of a total program of health & wellness.

This weekend, I shall do nothing!

Well, not exactly....just no working out. Today we've got family pictures planned, so I actually have to bathe and shave. Tonight, I'm escorting #2 son and his date to go see "Oz, the Great and Powerful" and we're going to take them to Golden Corral for dinner before the movie (teens can eat like crazy and not gain a pound!)

Tomorrow is #2 son's birthday (Yes, he's a St Patty's Day baby!) A friend of ours is a restaurant owner in town and is throwing a corned beef and cabbage charity event for lunch, so we're going there at noon. Then, for his birthday, #2 son wants to have what we call "breakfast dinner" in our scrambles up eggs, fries some bacon, browns up some potatoes, and even makes pancakes for dinner.

So yeah, the do nothing weekend coincides with a high potential for high eats as well. This might just be a weekend to write off on all SP measures of success.....but I'm surprisingly OK with that. One of the great benefits of finding discipline about food and exercise through SP is that these INFREQUENT detours are OK. This'll be a lazy, eat without remorse weekend....then right back into it on Monday. As another kitschy motivational poster says;

Have a great weekend Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 3/18/2013 10:31PM

    PS. OMG! "I beat anorexia" t-shirt will have me laughing in my sleep tonight! Priceless!

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JULIAMOONCHILD 3/18/2013 10:28PM

    Your weekend sounded just lovely and, perhaps, much needed for that 'recovery' period to happen. Hope you're feeling rested and much improved for having taken that bit of time off.

Now, the birthday breakfast/dinner idea of number two son was sooooooo up my alley of what would totally rock for any celebration on my calendar! Breakfast foods for dinner - that's REAL LIVIN', in my book! LOL, I even asked my number 1 neice to do breakfast foods at her wedding, if she ever gets married, that is. emoticon emoticon

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ATTACKFATCAT 3/18/2013 3:24PM

    Hope you had a great "no workout" weekend! I think we get so engrossed in our routines that we freak out over the least bit of variation. Like if we get sick or injured or some other major break in our weekly routines. I think two of the things we need to include in our "mental" workout routine is listening to our bodies and flexibility in our schedules.

There is a huge difference in not wanting to workout because of the "I don't wannas" and genuinely being worn out mentally and physically. And not being able to make that distinction is what winds up causing most of us to burn out with exercise or wind up really getting injured. Or we panic if we have to miss one workout for some reason (flat tire, illness, etc.). It's like we think all our hard work is going to be undone with that one missed workout or that we might as well quit if our schedule isn't perfect.

I can say those things because I've experience those exact same slipups. I've burnt myself out and I've just given up because I had to skip a few workouts due to injuries (from overdoing it and not taking proper rest). That is my real challenge this time around. Going home instead of the Y when I am just exhausted, but getting back to working out the next morning or evening. If I have to skip a workout due to something like a doctor's appointment, I find another day or time to make it up if I can, but if not, I don't sweat it.

Like everything else in my life lately...I can control what happens, but I can control how I react to it. And if I react to bumps in the road by just giving up entirely, then that's when I undo all my previous hard work. Not when I have to skip that one workout.

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FANGFACEKITTY 3/18/2013 10:27AM

    I'm sure you enjiyed your restful weekend just make sure your rest day doesn't turn into 2...or 3...or more days or weeks!

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GOODGETNBETR 3/17/2013 4:15PM

    Sounds like an awesome weekend. As long as the wagon isn't too far off the ground the fall shouldn't do too much damage. Enjoy.

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LEANJEAN6 3/17/2013 9:01AM

    Enjoyed yer blog so much------sounds like you are successfully Sparking-Lynda

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DDOORN 3/16/2013 11:18PM

    Hope you're enjoying your restful weekend! It can be such a tricky thing...I always cite Newton's Laws of Physics: An Object at Rest...yadda yadda, but also and Object in Motion...? Which is why stopping for me is sometimes risky. AND tough to get 'er MOVIN' again!


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BEATLETOT 3/16/2013 8:32PM

    I LOVE that last picture!!! Enjoy your rest week!

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ADEWYN 3/16/2013 7:45PM

    Huugs... completely made sense... good for you to realize you need the rest.. and as far as the eating.. track anyways and no worries... I am 5-6 day at te gym person too until i moved to t and i have only made it 4 days a week but i am still getting 8 classes in .. in those 4 days.. hang in there .. hgs and love.. enjoy the weekend!

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DOUGDC 3/16/2013 4:10PM

    Great reading, and Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and to son #2 (and the rest of the family -- don't want to leave anyone out). It's great that you share your understanding of how exercise and strength training work for the rest of us who are a bit more puzzled. Thanks!

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HEALTHIERKEN 3/16/2013 2:31PM

    "So I like to work out. " I almost laughed out loud when I read that monumental understatement!

But you've hit every nail on the head at least since I've been reading your blogs here on SP, and this is another one full of wisdom and common sense. Yes, work hard; yes, eat carefully; yes keep the temptations in check. Most of the time. Yes, take the occasional return to hedonism in stride; and yes, definitely, definitely yes, incorporate strategic rest periods into the fitness/wellness regimen.


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BERGBA7 3/16/2013 1:04PM

    Enjoy your weekend and food without remorse! I know you will be hitting the gym on Monday and pushing it to the max as usual! It is very wise to listen to your body's sings of fatigue.
emoticon emoticon
Maybe you can train you vocal folds under the shower as kind of alternative to hitting the gym on rest days.

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IRISHBEANERGAL 3/16/2013 11:54AM

    Well thought out! And I love the last *motivational* poster - made me laugh out loud. How many times have I thought that (and thankfully, most times turned myself around before doing it). Now I will have the image of me stomping on my phone firmly in place -- quite the visual motivator for sure!

Enjoy your weekend - you've EARNED it!


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    Love this! Enjoy your rest day. I also find them important in feeling better and recovery!

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    Great decision! I decided that today is a rest day for me, too. I've worked out hard three days in a row and my entire body is sore so I take that as a signal to rest. Have a great weekend!

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REBECCATKD 3/16/2013 10:55AM

    Thanks for all the motivational posters -- I especially like the one about dedication vs obsession. Enjoy the birthday tomorrow!

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ALIWVU121 3/16/2013 10:54AM

    I've got to say your plans sound like fun! (Maybe minus the awkward feel of being the chaperone on a date, lol) Have a great weekend and remember this nice little rest will make working out on Monday feel that much better!

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YMWONG22 3/16/2013 10:42AM

  Rest is important in weight loss. I need to work on getting adequate sleep.
Happy birthday to your #2 son and have a great weekend ahead.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VHALKYRIE 3/16/2013 10:33AM

    All makes sense to me!


You're doing the right thing. I find that mental fatigue is a warning bell that my activity has exceeded my body's rate of repair.

Your 'rest' days sound exhausting, though! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/16/2013 10:37:24 AM

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ALL-IS-AMAZING 3/16/2013 10:29AM

    Enjoy your weekend emoticon

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