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Bacon Chocolate Stout Cheesecake!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

So here's something I would never, ever have thought I'd hear myself say....last night I had me a big old slice of chocolate, bacon, and stout cheesecake.

Actually 2 slices...2 big slices!

Let me start from the beginning.

For the last 3-4 months, SWMBO has been co-chair for this big hoopla charity auction. We like to volunteer for a number of local charities and this is one that she runs with. It's a great and fun event, but it also drives me batty. For the 3-4 months leading up to this thing, I get to hear about all the drama, all the details, all the near catastrophic events that are about to derail the whole effort.

I, of course, being a "let's get 'er done" kind of guy, jump in and say stupid things like, "Why don't you just do (fill in the blank)" or "Just tell Susie to (fill in the blank)"

These are not nearly as helpful as I think they are. They lead to me to getting that tight-lipped, squinty-eyed look of exasperation which I have learned means, "just shut-up and listen would you!"

Anyway, last night this thing kicked off. We had a couple of tables with friends, we mingled, bid on some of the silent auction items, and scoped out stuff for the live auction.

By tradition, they auction off some badass looking cakes & desserts first thing. You bring these to your table and feast upon them as the auctioneer cajoles you into a bidding war for that one-of-a-kind signed football or a 4-day getaway hotel & spa package.

Luckily, I was able to duck out of work early so I could go lift before changing up for this in 90 minutes of pretty decent work on chest & shoulders. I thought I was being real good when I won a plate full of chocolate-covered strawberries for our table. Well I thought I was being good...until the madness began!

"Up next, is this decadent looking, Chocolate, BACON, and stout cheesecake! Yes folks, there's one pound of BACON in this chocolate I hear $40?"

My hand shot up!

Bacon, chocolate, stout, cheese, and cake.....are you freaking kidding me!?!?! This is man-heaven....the only thing missing is a grilled steak and Sofia Vergara slicing it up at your table

Slowly, inexorably, Mr Chocolate Bacon & Stout Cheesecake got bid up to $ was between me another guy 4 or 5 tables down....Newman!

Well next thing you know, all our pals at our table keep egging me on, "Hey, I'm in for $20, keep raising him!'

Mr Chocolate Bacon & Stout Cheesecake is now worth $150!

Meanwhile the auctioneer is loving's a classic bidding war and he's knows he's got us hooked.

SWMBO, while happy to have the auction coffers get filled to the brim, is giving me the "Really?!?!?" look

I stood up and bellowed loudly "One hundred and sixty dollars!"

Auctions are kind of like going to Vegas....once you resolve you're going to dump a wad of cash there, you focus on enjoying the atmosphere and don't worry about the fact that you're dumping quarters into a machine....or paying $160 for a cake!

I scoped out Newman at the other end of the room, feverishly conferring with his friends, the sweat building up on his brow. I eye-balled everyone at our table, making sure nobody was about to break. "We're all in right? That cake is coming here. Anybody disagree with that?" They all nodded and threw a couple more twenties my way.

That's all Newman needed to see....he waved off!

You know what victory tastes like?

It tastes like BACON! And CHOCOLATE, and STOUT, and CHEESE, and CAKE!

Was it good?

Well it was different. It was definitely different. We savored every spoonful, as the various flavors played off each other with every bite; the sweetness of the chocolate, the bitterness of the stout, and the smoky, savory crunch of bacon to finish it off.

Yeah, it was worth it! I even invited Newman over to our table to give him a slice.

It's been about 4 months since I've had any kind of massive sugary cake overload....and today I know the reason why

This morning SWMBO and I looked at each other wondering what the hell happened. We both had a sugar coma hangover (the part I didn't mention is that she spent $90 on an Italian Cream Cheesecake!)

And so 3 hours after waking up I'm just now starting to feel normal again, drinking a lot of coffee, a lot of water.....and really looking forward to hitting the gym to burn off the remnants of last night's sugar overload....I know now why it's been so good to cut sugar out of my daily life. For the rest of this weekend, it's salads, chicken, fish, and veggies!

But I can't promise I'll go to my grave without someday having me another slice of bacon chocolate stout cheesecake!

Have a great day Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NINJA_SMOO 4/25/2013 3:05PM

  Ooooh, I can just imagine! My favourite brew-pub has a maple bacon cheesecake that they make. It's off-menu, but they always have one around if you know to ask. Sooooo gooooooood.

Those auctions are dangerous things!

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DOUGDC 4/25/2013 10:56AM

    The recipe exists -- and it's on my list of things to do...


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PMRUNNER 4/25/2013 8:13AM

    Love it!

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FANGFACEKITTY 4/25/2013 2:03AM

    emoticon A picture is worth 1000 words...would that the calories at least matched!

Bacon? cheesecake?...Some baker somewhere needs serious professional help.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 4/23/2013 11:55AM

    Sounds wonderful! Actually, both cakes do.

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DOUGDC 4/20/2013 10:01AM

    "My hand shot up." With that sentence you brought me to your table!

We need the recipe!

Great story. Thanks for sharing. And...

We need the recipe!


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LISAINMS 4/16/2013 12:59PM

    Now that's a night worth a sugar coma! What fun and for a good cause.

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ARCHIMEDESII 4/14/2013 1:57PM

    How could I resist reading a blog with the title bacon chocolate stout cheesecake.

What a country !!

That is a serious looking cheesecake. It has insane pastry chef written all over it. Thank you for your awesome description of the event. Great story.


Comment edited on: 4/14/2013 1:58:24 PM

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VHALKYRIE 4/14/2013 1:48PM

    I sampled cakes at a local grocery and I felt a sugar rush just from a couple of bites! I was reminded of why I don't like it anymore.

Thanks for the description so now I don't have to try this at home!

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FLDEEZ 4/14/2013 10:00AM

    I can't begin to imagine... but that was a great read!

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BEATLETOT 4/13/2013 5:41PM

    Oh, sounds like you guys had fun!!! and that cake sounds AMAZING...though definitely a "sometimes (almost never) food"! =)

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STRONG_SARAH 4/13/2013 3:18PM

    Wow that sounds fantastic! Good for you. I mean, I'm sorry about your sugar hangover, but it sounds worth it!

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BERGBA7 4/13/2013 2:46PM

    well... I would probably not have bit on any of your cakes... emoticon ... but... was there a peanut butter silk cake? This would have been my fall down!
Hope you enjoyed hitting the gym tonight.

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JLEMUS1 4/13/2013 1:30PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEECHNUT13 4/13/2013 1:09PM

    Yea, I feel you, man. You can tell you've turned the corner of healthy living when eating a bunch of sugar makes you feel like you're recovering from a night of heavy binge drinking.

One of my favorite recipes is my friend's chocolate stout brownies... I really think stout should be a food group. Lucky for me, I have 3 Bell's Porter and a New Holland Poet Oatmeal Stout sitting in my fridge for when I'm feeling frisky. ;)

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    It would *definitely* be worth trying! Glad you had a good time.

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WOUBBIE 4/13/2013 12:00PM

    LOL! For a minute I thought it was April 1 again! Good memories - fierce competition, fun, and carb hangover.... XD

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ANASARI 4/13/2013 11:56AM

    haha That was fun and I really enjoyed reading about your adventures in food! Thank you for sharing such a great post!

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STRIVERONE 4/13/2013 10:51AM

    You should grab all your blog entries and publish them as a collection of humorous essays. I don't know which cause me more damage. I've still got sore sides from the farmer carries and now the ache is compounded from splitting my ribs laughing at today's story.

Comment edited on: 4/13/2013 11:15:42 AM

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4EVERNESS 4/13/2013 10:28AM

    A once in a lifetime gotta wasn't about the food... :) But savor the Italian Cream Cheesecake for me!

Maybe next time it'll be a horseradish ginger jalapeno black forest torte.... LOL

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NCSUE0514 4/13/2013 10:05AM

    Glad you liked it, but it doesn't sound in the least bit tempting to me... for which I most gratefully thank God!

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KESTRYLL 4/13/2013 9:47AM

    Sounds wonderful, thanks for sharing!

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Fear not and embrace the suck!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Many of my SP buds know that I like to workout and I especially like ST.

I vary it up, alternating ST between "Heavy Days" and "Medium Days". On heavy days, I go for 5 reps of very heavy weights for everything; squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses etc. On medium days, I do about 70-80% of my heavy day lift, but instead of 5 reps, I do 15

So to correct my starting sentence, I especially like "Heavy" ST days. Medium days at hi reps suck! (I've blogged about this before -

I have not really been able to embrace this suck because it sucks so bad. I feel the suck coming on right as I walk into the locker room where I truly face the enormity of the suck that is about to happen.....I know I am going to be in pain for 15 reps of suck. Fifteen reps can probably be done in less than 2 minutes. But on hi rep suck days, there is actually an infinite amount of time between rep #1 and rep #15....there is a relativistic effect to the suck that Einstein wrote about but never published

Needless to say, this disturbance, this fear, has weighed on my mind....I don't like to have a bad attitude about working out....I don't like "not liking" my workouts. In my marathon running days, I had 4 objectives for every training run and every race;

- Enjoy the run
- Finish the race
- Don't be last
- Cheer everyone you pass

This worked for got me past the tough spots. If I felt the run starting to suck, I would do something to change it, slow down, vary the route, add some variety, do something, anything to keep the suck at bay, otherwise, I would not commit to the long training requirements.

So it occurred to me earlier this week that I had to do something about my attitude to the hi-rep suck....I couldn't keep going to the gym on hi rep days dreading the suck.

Today, as I changed clothes, I resolved to focus my brain on little chunks....I decided I would mentally do 3 sets of 5 reps in every set. I stopped counting 11, 12, 13 and just focused on 3 sets of 5. I decided to focus on what was getting tired...was it my legs, was it my back, was I just out of breath, where was the pain....and I did a little mental relaxation of that body part for a brief millisecond....then did another rep. When counting to 5 became tough, I just did one more, then one more, then another.

Well lo and behold, for squats I did 3 sets of 15 reps at 180 lbs! Even the Stasi trainer said, "Very goot, your form was eggsellent!" After a quick break, I knocked out 3 sets of 15 deadlifts at 245 lbs.

Now I freely admit, I cannot say in any way that this was "enjoyable"....but it sucked much less. Yeah, they were tough, I kept wishing they were over...but I didn't let that keep me from finding a way through the suck. The payoff, the "enjoyment" was afterwards....knowing I finished them off did not suck....even my ex-Communist trainer gave a grudging acknowledgement of progress ("Thanks comrade, you commie bastard!")

Well yet another reminder that most gym challenges are mental, not physical and sometimes we just need to mentally slap ourselves into finding a way through

And something that I use to motivate myself through many of these challenges is to remind myself how so many others would love to have the opportunity to train like this....and still do so facing much tougher hurdles than me!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIWVU121 4/15/2013 1:57AM

    Love your picture choices in this one (especially the cartoon, ha!). Glad your workout was more enjoyable!

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MSKRIS7 4/12/2013 7:54AM


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BERGBA7 4/11/2013 12:21PM

    I might steel your objectives for the long runs when things get tough. The Turkey vulture did not eat me and the Blue Moon appeared yesterday night on my kitchen table ;-)! Happy you are improving your mental strength with every workout!
emoticon emoticon

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HANSBRINK 4/11/2013 11:34AM

  Embrace the suck!

Like Lisainms, I try to break down my sets into sets of 10. Works well enough that I can usually add another set of 10. (Leave it all at the gym.)

Like you say, its a psychological trick. And it works.

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LISAINMS 4/11/2013 9:50AM

    Embracing the suck is something I have become very familiar with -it's a prerequisite for long course triathlon training. I don't count swim lengths by total. I count in sets of 10 because it is more palatable than grinding out 80 laps. Some days I love to swim. Those days with long sets -that's the suck. But it has to be done if I want to get to where I need to be. I also employ race objectives. Seriously helps my attitude and level of enjoyment beyond mile 10 when I thank every volunteer, encourage others along the way, smile and wave. Embrace the suck and enjoy the experience!

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GIANTMICROBE 4/11/2013 8:03AM

    I love this blog. My CrossFit says "CrossFit: Where the fun sucks and the suck is fun!"

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BEECHNUT13 4/11/2013 7:50AM

    YEAH! :-D

Question - does your low back feel achy-sore the day after you deadlift? I had low back problems, and so now I'm sort of hypersensitive to it. I mean, it's not spasming, but it feels like it wants to get stretched out or something, and it hurts a little. It does not hurt me WHILE I deadlift though, whereas when my back does get a little peeved (like if I arch too much doing a lat pull-down) I get a twinge in my low back to remind me to tighten up my abs. My PT said my form was good, but I didn't have a bar - I was showing him the movement without the weight. And when you deadlift, where do you get tired?

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BBECKER1955 4/11/2013 6:58AM

    I knew I should have paid more attention in physics class!

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STRONG_SARAH 4/11/2013 3:01AM

    I've got 'The Suck' today. I was considering skipping it, but after reading this, I will not. Begrudgingly I go. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/11/2013 12:47AM

    Thanks for this blog, GETSTRONGRRR! Now I know the sense of dread that comes over me on certain exercise days has a name--The Suck. Now that I can call it something, I can face it down, maybe, just maybe, like you suggest, embrace it. Thanks again. I really needed something like this right now. The Suck has been getting the better of me too often these days. NO MORE! I'll embrace The Suck and drain it of its power over me : )

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4EVERNESS 4/10/2013 11:44PM

    Wow, with the masochism you're into, it would seem you enjoy your suck days most.

So, cool, Einstein not needing steroids as he understood the physics of the thing....

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    Love the suck it up slap picture! haha

I was running short of time yesterday in the gym, so I upped my weight and went for failure, twice. Worked well. I dunno if I saved time but my muscles sure felt it!

I may try that method to my higher-rep madness at least once a week.

And I agree to those race objectives, especially the 'don't be last' one. I employed it for my half marathon last summer. It worked!

Have a great day.

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Muscles, Fat, Strength, Endurance, Good Looks....What are your Goals?

Saturday, April 06, 2013

So yesterday was leg day, my heavy ST day for legs and back. I was pretty freaking amazed to be able to squat 4 sets of 5 reps with 250 lbs on my back....straight up and down with no wobble. Deadlifts, while also heavy (3 sets of 5 at 315 lbs) were less graceful. Yeah I pulled the bar off the floor, but trainer-guy and I both agreed I looked like a drunk monkey flailing in quicksand....not smooth, not graceful....we'll stay at that weight for next time.

This AM, I'm sore, sore, sore doing the Zombie Walk as I putz around with my morning coffee (I'm keeping an eye out for Daryl Dixon in case I get a crossbow arrow in the forehead)

In between sets, trainer guy and I chatted up a couple of the 20-something gym rats. The preponderance of their statements were, "I'm eating 4 to 5,000 calories a day and I can't gain any weight"

I'm rocking on my heels listening to these monkeys, wondering how the hell I can eat 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day and not drop a pound. I felt like pulling a 3 stooges move on all of them

"WTF are you talking about? I've been working my ass off for months and can't get below 180 lbs, eating 2,000 cals/day"

I get the contemplative look that only 20-somethings can give to grown adults as they exercise great patience, attempting to pass on their deep knowledge and profound understanding to an out of touch generation who is unable to google the latest research.

"Yeah, well you really need to eat more if you want to put on muscle mass. I'm trying to bulk up"

I gave him my contemplative look that only 50-somethings can give to post-pubescent gym rats, as I exercise great patience, attempting to hold his attention on a topic other than himself for more than a minute. I decided to use my ninja conversational skills to re-direct his infatuation with self to solving my problem.

"OK, let's say you bulk up, and you then want to drop the fat to get cut. How do you do it?" (Always learn to speak the language of the natives, whether you're traveling in a foreign country or hanging out with meatheads)

"Oh, I start doing a lot more cardio and drop out all the carbs"

Now I think we're getting somewhere, but then trainer guy gives a nod over to the curl bar indicating we've talked enough, back to work.

"What the hell am I missing here? How can those morons have such a tough time gaining weight eating like rabid dogs, and I can't drop a pound eating like a normal person"

Trainer guy gives me that look he must have used in the Stasi interrogation rooms a million times as he elicited confessions from the innocent. In his thick German accent he just said, "He is 20. You are 50"

"Thanks Captain Obvious, so what the f#&@ does that mean?"

"What are your goals?"

See what I mean, just when I think I'm getting somewhere, the freaking Stasi interrogator switches it up. He might as well have asked me where the rebel bases are located.

"I'd like to be lean and strong" There, that ought to show him.

"Do you want to lift the heavy weights like we have been doing? If you get lean, you will not just lose fat, you will lose muscle too, it is inevitable (it sounded more like enough-a-double). Your lifting will suffer. What are your goals?"

He was like Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man with that same line, "What are your goals? Is it safe"

"Well, I like lifting heavy weights. I like being strong, I like my progress. But I wouldn't mind being 10 lbs lighter....10 lbs of fat that is, I don't want my lifting to suffer"

"You can't have both (it sounded like "U kent hev boat"). It is a myth that these kids think they can lose weight and keep their strength. When they drop weight, they look leaner, but their strength suffers. Then they eat more to get strong, and the leanness disappears. How iz your cardio?"

"I get in about an hour a day, 3 times a week, then you and I lift 3 other days"

"You need to do more. If you want to lose fat, you must do more cardio"

"You're F*@%# bagging me right! You're telling me I need to work out more?!?!?!" I felt like showing him my SP fitness tracker, but it would have been lost on him

"If you want to lose fat, you must do more cardio. Do you want to look strong or be strong? What are your goals?" He just stared me down like Arnold in Terminator.

"So what the hell am I supposed to do, cardio before we lift? Doesn't all this lifting count as cardio? I'm sweating like a racehorse in here"

"Strength Training is not cardio. Better to do cardio after you lift. Finish your last set"

So here I am, 53-years old, 184 lbs, rock-solid muscles in my back, chest, shoulders and legs like I have never had before, a 33 inch waist, pretty damn good endurance for high intensity cardio....and I'm kind of complaining on the margins about my last 10 lbs or trying to drop below 20%'s a good problem to have.

I just need to figure out what my goals are!

Have a great day Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 4/9/2013 8:48AM

    Great blog. Made me giggle as usual.

"cutting phase" is not possible to maintain long term from what I've seen on other blogs and pages. Check out NANCYANNE55 page.

I think you are letting the scale dictate your goals.

Ditch it. The extra cortisol you are generating from your love/hate relationship is probably enough in your dotage to keep you in the same place.

JMHO emoticon

p.s. You know I'm kidding about the dotage, right?

( `♥ ) ♥'
.`.. ♥ Spread the SPARK!!! *`*..♥
..) .*).*. ♥. ♥
(. (. . ♥.`.♥..`. ♥

Comment edited on: 4/9/2013 8:54:54 AM

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 4/8/2013 8:52PM

    This blog just made my day--Additionally, I'm not sure how you are making it on 2k a day when you are working out like you do; I would be eating my own hand! I eat 1500 on lifting days, and I'm 5"4; 118 lbs (and I'm hungry!).

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BEECHNUT13 4/6/2013 9:47PM

    Not to sound like the meatheads, but...

You're only eating 2000 calories per day!? How are you even alive??? Maybe you need to eat more! I eat 1800-2000 calories per day, and I'm 31 and I've had a kid. Oh, and female. And I'm not lifting like you lift, and I'm not doing a bunch of cardio. And I weigh a bit less, too.

If what you're doing isn't working - stop doing it! If you gain a little fat, then just go back to what you were doing before and it will come back off... But I think you are slowing down your metabolism and that's why you're not losing more body fat. It takes A LOT of energy to fuel all that muscle you're talking about, PLUS you do all that cardio, plus you're trying to build MORE muscle... I think your body is hanging on to that last bit of fat for dear life. And if you do more cardio, you may as well be eating less. One way or another, your body isn't getting enough food.

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BERGBA7 4/6/2013 8:37PM

    Great Blog! Sorry you can not eat anymore like the 20 something guys at the gym. If it is of any consolation I am mid 30s and can not loose weight with 2000 calories either.
So stasi trainer wants to know: "Was ist dein Ziel?" Good thing to think of in general - looks, strength, endurance, health? What's the main goal?

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WOUBBIE 4/6/2013 2:38PM

    Gunther is wise, no? Harsh, but wise.

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STRONG_SARAH 4/6/2013 1:08PM

    Great blog! I can hear the whole conversation through your voices! My goals are to be healthy and look ok in a bathing suit, but I hadn't given it more thought than that. After reading this I will.

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REBECCATKD 4/6/2013 12:52PM

    Oh, I love the voices in your blog! You (and Daryl) just made my day.

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VHALKYRIE 4/6/2013 12:13PM

    I lurk on bodybuilder forums trying to figure out how they can freaking change their body to all different shapes and sizes. What I've read is that they eat insane amount of food (particularly protein) when they build muscle. During the 'cutting' phase, they drop carbs to almost zero (veggies and limited fruit only - sounds familiar, eh?). They continue to lift, but at a maintenance phase intended to keep the strength they have - use it or lose it. Then they add a small amount of cardio - HIIT is an all around favorite - short bursts and sprinting. But cardio is catabolic, so endurance cardio is avoided.

But yeah, what I've read is that it's not really possible to bulk up and trim down at the same time. You can when starting out, but we all run into the metabolic adaption where our bodies will change our BMR to match our intake and expenditure. That's why I am currently cycling between active-less active, higher carb-low carb, etc.

Comment edited on: 4/6/2013 12:18:15 PM

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BOB240 4/6/2013 11:51AM

    Part of the problem is that once you get to our "shape" then targets stop being visible. At 20% body fat and 190 you look the same at 15% body fat at 190 - as long as it's a good suit..

It does seem to be all about numbers.. we aint going to make the Olympics (except maybe in archery) all we can hope for is to marginally reverse the effects of aging through a knowledge of our own physical prowes and thereby improve quality of life..

But by god it's hard.. If I did nothing for six months aside from eat OK I'm not sure I'd look much different - and that is the biggest threat to long term "maintenance" - it's so easy to slip

And what reallt stinks is what you experince about food..... at our age we just can't's not fair. I eat one lousy doughnut I put on ten pounds...doughnuts don't even weigh ten pounds!!

I think we need a Zombie apocalyse - I'm about ready for one..

Comment edited on: 4/6/2013 11:53:18 AM

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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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