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My new favorite night time snack!

Friday, May 31, 2013

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my proposed solution to a nagging problem I have had for years....late night snacking.

I tend to get up at night and snack on my arch-nemesis.....Peanut Butter.

Even though I've evolved from Jif & Peter Pan to Smucker's all-natural, even going so far as to substitute Almond Butter, it still bugs me to log in an extra 300-400 calories every day due to 3-4 spoonfuls of nut butter washed down with a nice cold glass of milk.

So around the beginning of May, I concocted a whey protein shake mixed up with water and a spoonful of Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder.

I shake it all up in my trusty blender bottle....

....and stick it in the fridge after dinner. A few hours later, it is an ice cold, chocolaty milk-shake tasting treat that has about 130 calories, 25 gms of protein, 6 gms of carbs, and no fat!

So far it has been working like a champ! It tastes pretty darn good, I feel nicely full, and I get some high quality, valuable protein.

On top of that, my weight has been a rock steady 182 lbs for about 3 months now, but I've leaned up some this last month, and I think it's due to this dietary change. Since I lift a lot, I haven't noticed much weight change, but I've been losing inches & gaining muscle in areas I like

Wednesday night I went to a dinner event on the other side of town. Dress was Florida casual/Hawaiian shirts. I broke out a shirt and some khakis I hadn't worn in a while. I comfortably cinched my belt in an extra notch, and SWMBO noted how much more vascular my arms had gotten.

I'll take a Non-Scale Victory any day!

Wednesday was also a heavy leg day in the gym....just the kind of thing I needed before going out for dinner. On the menu at the gym were heavy squats & heavy deadlifts....

....and on the menu at dinner was the most excellent BBQ beef brisket I have had in a long time!

So I like this new found late-night snack substitute. I use what's called Cassein Whey Protein which is slower absorbing. This helps at night time since it's a long term source of protein instead of regular whey protein which your body either uses or flushes right out.

In other news, our lives are about to get real busy. This is likely the last calm weekend we have until the end of July. We're getting ready to pack up our house and move to Virginia. I have movers scheduled to pack us up on the 27th of June. Before that, we're going to "thin out" all our belongings.....getting rid of clothes we haven't worn in years, books I read long ago and don't intend to read again, dishes we never use, etc. It should be cathartic, but it could also be traumatic for SWMBO and #2 son!

On top of that, the next 3 weekends are full of inviting various friends over for good-bye dinners....and oh by the way, I'll be working my ass off till the day we actually drive north.

In the meantime, I fully intend to keep working out with my Stasi trainer and get into some awesome shape before he and I have our last session around the 4th of July!

Have a great night spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HANSBRINK 6/4/2013 12:04PM

  Bet you'll miss The Stasi Trainer!

I've got to learn to be like HAKAPES, keep 1-2 things out of a 100. A tough decision for me about the 98 things to let go.

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HAKAPES 6/4/2013 2:46AM

    I love the term "thin out"! :-) I moved 13 times in the past ten years, and I notice that my "stuff" gets more and more lean and used. I still have too much books that I haven't touched for long, but I can't let go, but lots of other things got really out. Old clothes, gadgets, lots of paper got scanned, etc. Of course, there were some stuff that over time I regretted to let go of, but it's only 1-2 thing out of a 100, and I enjoy much more the free place of the 98 stuff that left my space, vs. the discomfort of the 2 missing.

Good for the night time snack!

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DDOORN 6/2/2013 12:33PM

    Oh man, I just GOTTA leave the peanut butter of my trigger foods I just keep far, far!


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    AWESOME!!!!! Keep the streak going!!!

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WOUBBIE 6/1/2013 11:29AM

    Good luck with your moving plans! FlyLady would approve. She always suggests that you never move anything that you don't Need or Love.

Pictures soon? Preferably of you after one of your leg sessions, standing next to your Stasi trainer.


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BILL60 6/1/2013 9:02AM

    Don't envy the move. In 27 years, I moved 22 times. Also, don't envy the move to Virginia. The quality of life is just not very good. Nonetheless, I wish you the best.

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GIANTMICROBE 6/1/2013 8:04AM

    The Star Trek picture made me LOL. I might have to save that :)

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BERGBA7 6/1/2013 2:48AM

    Wohoo!! Congrats on establishing a new habit! You will need it once it gets really stressful. I do not like to move and get really emotional throwing out old stuff.... I guess, I am in your lady's corner... ugh. But it is good to let go of old things and start new once... it also helps in loosing weight! Make good plans for the busy times (as you told me) and your good habits will take you through the stressful time.
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    Yes- there is no excuse to let your workouts slide at this point in time- lots of time to go until the move! What a great plan for your evening snacking- and it's great because it works for you!

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PLMITCH 5/31/2013 10:51PM


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GRANDMABABA 5/31/2013 10:24PM

    Have a great move. While killing myself getting our house ready to sell the great by-product was increased strength and endurance. Best wishes for great success.

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 5/31/2013 10:00PM

    Well that is just a BRILLIANT solution to a frustrating problem! Just brilliant.. and still satisfying!

Okay.. so I'm figuring SWMBO is your wife.. but what does it stand for??

I bet Stasi is gonna miss you.. and I sure don't envy you EXCEPT I do love to clean out everything... I don't know why I wait until I move.. but I do..


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GYPSYROVER 5/31/2013 10:00PM

    emoticon Appreciate the tips! emoticon

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REBECCATKD 5/31/2013 9:59PM

    I might have to try your protein shake/dessert. Sounds like a decadent way to end an evening.

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DOUGDC 5/31/2013 9:54PM

    Sounds like a plan. I hope you enjoy Northern Virginia.

Maybe submit the protein shake as a Spark Recipe?

You're doing great. A lot on your plate and realistic plans.

Take care.

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JO88BAKO 5/31/2013 9:54PM

    That sounds really good and a great idea! Do you mix it with milk? Is the whey powder from a health food store? I've gotten some at Walmart before. Thanks for the info. I would like to try it.

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REALRADIANT1 5/31/2013 9:52PM

    Great blog. Love all the photos!

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RENATA144 5/31/2013 9:52PM

  Your nutrition plan looks like fun ! You have made healthy choices. emoticon emoticon

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Hmmm....I just might like Kettlebells....Crossfit too? Who knows!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

So I don't consider myself a gym snob at contraire, I have the greatest respect for people of all abilities in the gym. Anyone that's out there working out hard is a winner in my book.

Let's just say I'm somewhat conservative in my views on what is appropriate in the gym. If I ever give a sideways glance, it's to the posturing he-man who does bicep curls in the squat rack, or to the gaggle of high school kids who talk and text while occupying the bench press....and for the longest time, those legions of Crossfitters who do weird things like medicine ball throws and kettlebell swings in the weight room.

But for some inexplicable reason, when my 20-something front office assistant asked me if I'd like to try a Crossfit workout with him last Thursday (he's been bugging me about this for months), I blurted out a quick "Sure!"

Don't ask me why I said yes; I still don't know. I told him that I'd hang with any exercise they threw my way except for plyometrics....I don't jump.

So bright and early Thursday AM we go into this ratty old warehouse they call "The Box" and I'm the oldest dude there by about 25 years....all good, I just looked around and sized everybody up ready to kick some a$$!

The Workout of the Day (The "WOD") was Tabatas.....hi-intensity drills of 20 sec all out effort, followed by 10 sec rest....repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes, then on to the next exercise.

The exercises were;

- Kettlebell Swings - choose your own weight
- Russian Twists with a medicine ball
- Push-ups, except you release your hands at the bottom (weirdos!)
- Platform Jump-ups (I did step-ups....I'm pretty strict on doing only low impact stuff)

We were to do 4 minute Tabata's on each of these, then end with a Plank Challenge....we all gather around in a circle and hold a plank until there's just one person left holding it!

So as luck would have it, I started out with the Kettlebell swings. I have never done Kettlebell swings. I have always thought those who do Kettlebell swings were a bunch of fad-following fitness weirdos. I grabbed a 35 lb Kettlebell ("Ooohh, you grabbed a Pood for your first Kettlebell swing! Good luck!" exclaimed the chippy little 19-year old college girl to my right.....I just smiled and nodded like I knew what she was talking about)

I've done Tabata intervals before on a number of exercises....spin bike, rowing machines, overhead presses. Done right, you're supposed to go all out (a 9 to 10 on your Rate of Perceived Exertion - RPE). I went hard, but since this was my first time doing it, I focused on form, but wasn't quite sure what good form looked like. I noticed some folks hefting the kettlebell over their heads, some only chest high, some were squatting down way low, others were just bending at the waist thrusting the kettlebell far behind them, so I just did my own thing working up a good sweat.

And man did I work up a good sweat! This was hard work....I liked it!

Round and round we went, hitting each of the stations. Like any group event, once I'm in it, I'm all in. I cheer folks on, I get loud, I let out Victory yells when the strain kicks in.....I'm a motivator at heart!

Then we formed up in a circle for the plank challenge. I heard a couple of groans all around me. That's when I knew I had them....planks are my secret weapon.....I get in to my Ninja Zone and I can go on forever.

20-something instructor gal yells out "You should be able to hold this for a minute, if you can do 1 minute 15, then you're in good shape!" More groans.

Give me a freaking break! I'll go 2 minutes before I even start wondering about the time!

So there's 12 of us in the circle....I hear yelps of pain on either side of me....a few grunts then bodies crashing hard on the floor.

"90 seconds, how are we doing?" I hear from instructor gal. I look up....there's 4 of us left!

I smile and go back into Ninja mode. At 2 minutes I hear a loud "AARRRRGGHH" in front of me....3 of us left. Then, not 5 seconds later, I hear a "WHUMP" and another falls to the ground. Only two of us left now

At 2 minutes 10 sec, it's just me and 20-something instructor gal. My front office assistant looks over at me sheepishly, "Jeez boss you think you can hold out with your bum leg?"

"F* you dude, I've got paper clips and rubber bands holding this old body of mine together, but I'm thinking I've got 3 minutes in about you instructor girl, can you make it to 3?"

She's sweating big time, but gives me a nod

"OK, then let's go, hold on!" I let out a victory cry, "let's hold on for 3...somebody give us a countdown every 5 seconds!"

I let out my Braveheart yell and tell her to do the same.....she does and we alternate Belly Yells every few seconds till we get the 3 minute call.....then we both collapse to the ground.

Not too bad.....but I still think they're a bunch of weirdos....nonetheless, I felt good and I'm intrigued

Friday night I start researching Kettlebell figures they were invented in Soviet Russia.....I wonder if my Stasi trainer guy has a few stuffed in the back of his closet, along with a hammer and a sickle!

Done right, they appear to be pretty darn good ways to develop power through the hips & glutes, and can be a pretty effective aerobic workout. I looked up a couple of respectable videos on Youtube to get the form right and learned that the purpose is to drive with your hips, not to lift with arms & shoulders....interesting.

So I worked them in to my routine today. I did some intervals on the bike to get warmed up, then grabbed a 35 lb "Pood", set the timer on my workout app and did 10 sets of 30 second intervals. (Of course, I did these in the Aerobic Room and not in the Weight Room like those people who annoy me so much do!)

WOW! 3 hours later, I am still feeling it! I think these have some promise! It's a whole different kind of workout, using weights for speed and power, plus I felt an incredible stretch in my hamstrings the more I did....and I definitely need more stretching.

Here's a link to how it's supposed to be done:

I finished up with 6 rounds of Farmer's Carries using 55 lb dumbells! These are also one of my favorites. In the last 2 months of doing these, I can tell my grip and forearm strength has improved dramatically!

So the moral is, regardless of how weird you might think someone or something is in the workout world, it's always worth it to try something might just find something you actually enjoy!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVELEMON1 5/30/2013 1:12PM

    Thanks for posting on my blog. Thought I'd post back. Enjoyed the tale about your workout. I have my own version of kettle bells... It's called "doing laundry in the basement"! :) The real kettlebells are fun for a change though. Been trying to get DH to try it.

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BEECHNUT13 5/30/2013 6:24AM

    That's a fantastic story. Seriously, you should write a column for fitness magazines. You have the best workout stories.

Oh yea! Wow... a THREE minute plank. That's impressive! I think NROL goes up to a 2 minute plank. If I can do 3 minutes, I had best be rewarded with a whittled middle. ;)

As for guys doing curls in the squat rack - WTF is that!? Or when they do shoulder shrugs. We only have ONE squat rack, and then a Smith machine (nooooooo!!!).

Yesterday I tried - for the first time - single-leg Romanian deadlifts. All the deadlifting progress I made before, and TODAY I am feeling it in my hamstrings. Running gave me an unfair hamstring advantage, even though I hadn't done it in like, months and months. Tomorrow I do regular Romanian deadlifts, with the barbell. I'll be interested to see how it goes.

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RACEWELLWON 5/28/2013 11:51AM

    Great Blog !! I have never tried the Kettle Balls - I have thought about , now that I see this blog I will try - For the older I get it seems harder to work the upper extremities and core- But must be done . So like yourself why am I afraid to try something new ?? Love you description of the circle - Rock on - Brave Heart !! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I have two kettlebell workout DVD's and it's a GREAT workout! Not sure about Crossfit, though. Good for you for trying something new. :)

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HAKAPES 5/27/2013 3:00PM

    I see these kettle bells as so popular in the States. I've never seen them in Europe until recently. I like your experimenting-try-something-new attitude!

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BERGBA7 5/27/2013 1:11PM

    Great you tried something new! I like the idea of your trainer hiding kettle bells secretly in his closet... It is a weapon to stop burglars too (lol)
Enjoy the new toy and keep pushing!
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HANSBRINK 5/27/2013 11:38AM

  Read this last night. This morning when I did my workout I thought I'd like to see how long I could hold my plank. When I start something challenging I gear up mentally by repeating your "Leave it all in the gym" mantra. I lasted for about 2:15 minutes. A guess as I was counting. My "one mississippi, two mississippi" might have gotten to be like Tina Turner when she sings the last part of Proud Mary. Next time I'll be closer to the clock.

Thanks for the post.

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 5/27/2013 7:25AM

When's your next class??

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PMRUNNER 5/27/2013 5:34AM

    Sounds fun!

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    I tried kettlebells twice, and I'm totally game to try em again- just have to fit them into my schedule! I pick form over quantity any day (says the chick who's hurt her back once too often). I would, however, love to try a crossfit class one day :)

Plyometrics are great! Good cardio there, for sure. Not for those with weak knees or ankles, for sure.

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HAWAIIANMAMMA 5/27/2013 1:20AM

    Oh this is totally my preferred training program! Glad you had some fun!

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    I am *SO* excited that you worked out with the weirdos!!! I love reading your blogs and laughed out loud several times during this one.. cuz, as you know, I'm a CrossFitter.. but I've never done CrossFit in a regular gym. I think you would TOTALLY fit in a "box".. cuz you've got that competitive thing going AND the cheerleader thing.. a great combination.. I find my box to be the kindest people.. don't get me wrong, they kick my po-po and there is NO slacking.. but they are also so encouraging to a beginner like me.. and I admit.. I "drank the coolaid". I just finished reading a very interesting book about CrossFit called "Inside the Box: How CrossFit Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym and Rebuilt my Body" by TJ Murphy. It's a quick enjoyable read.

And guess what?

Kettlebells are my favorite! I usually swing a pood.. but have been building up to a pood and a half (about 53lbs) cuz that's RX for females and it's the ONE thing I feel strong at.. I love the snap of the hips and the feeling of power! Plus it makes my heart rate skyrocket.. well, skyrocket for me.. As for box jumps, I do step ups (one rupture achilles in my lifetime is enough thanks.).. and the pushups I do from my knees WITH the hand release.. LOL.. weirdos.. you so kill me..

As for your yelling.. would you mind filming or recording that?/ cuz I NEEEEED to hear it!

Congrats on showing them how planks are really done! SWEET... if I am EVER in your neck of the woods, I am soooooo meeting you at the local box because I have got to see you in action.. good thing laughing is a great ab workout!

Oh! And this weekend at my box we're doing a "hero" workout called Murph.. Hero WODs are named after servicemen or first responders (firemen/policemen) who died in the line of duty.. they're notriously HARD.. and every year on Memorial Day we do Murph.

Murph was a Navy Seal who died in Afghanistan who did a particular workout before missions... it's a 1 mile run, 300 squats, 200 pushups, 100 pullups and another 1 mile run.. uhhhh with a weight vest on.. yeah.. I'm doing a scaled version called "sMurphette" which is basically 1/4 of the workout.. but it will still be hard for me.

I hope you go back to CrossFit... I honestly think you'd really like it..


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DOUGDC 5/26/2013 7:53PM

    Man, you could almost encourage me to get into that kind of exercise. Was just reading about Tabata and am looking for a way to insert some of that into my other routines. Great that you were both the newbie and a leader, and for holding up the "50+ Male" reputation!



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WOUBBIE 5/26/2013 7:10PM

    LOL! Good to hear that you enjoyed it. I hear it's not for everyone.

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FLDEEZ 5/26/2013 6:05PM

    I don't even DREAM of doing CrossFit, but I know people who do ;) Thanks for a great and fun write-up on something I find so intimidating!

P.S. Great job!

Comment edited on: 5/26/2013 6:06:06 PM

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All Glory is Fleeting

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Well my whirl wind house-hunting trip to Virginia is over. I think I covered over 1000 miles in 4 days criss-crossing the area looking for something decent. I found us a real nice house in a great neighborhood....and with enough spare room in the basement where I just might be able to build me a home'll depend on a bunch of different factors when we get there....good gyms in the community, near work, etc. For now, it's still a possibility!

We really like that part of the country (Northern VA, near DC). My brother lives up there and so it'll be nice to be near him for a while. He just turned 50 and he's got 2 girls ages 7 and his life is all about Disney princess movies, iCarly, and Scooby Doo!

I also had a chance to see some other friends that worked there....and that's what bummed me out.

I planned a dinner with a a good colleague of mine, a guy I've worked with on and off in different parts of our business these past 25 years. We started out together and our career paths have intersected many times. He was in DC on business, so we made arrangements to meet and grab some chow. I had already been driving like crazy, so I told him I'd pick him up at his hotel. He said great, I'll be waiting for you out front.

I braved the late afternoon DC traffic and pulled up by his hotel right at 6:00 o'clock on the dot, looked around, but couldn't spot him. Then I hear someone call my name, turn around...and there's a fat old guy walking towards me.

What the hell! He was always a thin, 32 inch waist kind of guy. Now he had a jiggly paunch protruding out over his belt and waddled as he walked! We gave eachother a quick man hug and he looks over, smiling, "Dude, look at you! You're all fit and trim! Look at me, I got fat!"

"Yeah, what the hell!??! What, are you doing the beer and potatoes diet or something?"

"Mostly beer," he says, smiling. "How'd you lose your gut?"

"I stopped eating sh*t and started working out!"

"Yeah, I can tell....I haven't gone running in over a year" (He used to rack up 20-30 miles a week)

"How's that been working out for you?"

Well we're good enough friends that we can give each other a hard time and move on.....but I gotta tell you, I'm still in shock. It's nice to have someone you know well tell you that you're looking fit and trim (we haven't seen each other in about 3 years, back when I was somewhat "paunchy" myself), but I didn't expect there to be a total role reversal here.

Another reminder that we can take nothing for granted....that it's all too easy, especially as we get older, to fall in to bad habits that can quickly take their toll on us....much quicker than the time it takes to recover, drop the weight and effects of poor nutrition and exercise.

I've always liked the story of how Roman Generals were reminded of the impermanence of success.

"For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. But a slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: All glory is fleeting."

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Have a great day Spark friends - take nothing for granted!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOUGDC 5/21/2013 10:33PM

    Yea -- I've read the story about the slave before. Seems appropriate.

Glad the househunting has gone well. Welcome to Northern Virginia. And, yes, there's lots to do here.

I'm sorry, too, that your friend is going to seed. Good news is, there's always another spring, at least until the last winter. And we never know when that will be. So maybe, after you move, you and your friend will see enough of each other for him to think about healthy habits.

Meanwhile, don't get crushed under some weight rack!

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DDOORN 5/21/2013 8:26AM

    Tough seeing buddies and loved ones going downhill. Understandable though...we are all swimming against some powerful tides out there when it comes to poor food choices. Those advertising dollars aren't pumped into our media to lose money for the corporations!

Keep up the super vigilance it takes to live a life filled with SPARK! :-)


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LISAINMS 5/20/2013 4:02PM

    Sad isn't it? It seems that everyone I have run into lately (that I haven't seen in a few years) is fat and old. I was really fat. Now I'm not. And I at least don't look old!

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AUNTWILLIE 5/20/2013 2:34PM

    I wonder how he is thinking about your reunion... and the changes in each of you.

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HANSBRINK 5/20/2013 11:36AM

  My guess is that your lifestyle (eating right and exercising consistently) is seen as extreme to your friend. Getting back into shape is viewed by him as something too tough to accomplish.

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BERGBA7 5/20/2013 8:34AM

    Good thing your friend does not live in Belgium if he has a thing for beer - or he would be 200 pounds in a jiffy.
Yep - let's be vigilant and stay on track on that muddy and slippery road to health and fitness.
Every day counts.
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PMRUNNER 5/20/2013 7:53AM

    Maybe your friend needs the Spark?

Good luck on your negotiating and buying your new house, moving and getting settled!

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FANGFACEKITTY 5/20/2013 7:13AM

    It's hard to balance at the top of the hill without tipping too far the wrong way and starting the downward slide. Let's hope meeting up with you prompts him to get serious again about his own fitness and health....I'm assuming that any friend of yours is also über-competitive and so he'll be determined to take you down a notch or two.

Good deal on getting a house that fast and hoping you find a good gym with one of Stasi Guy's compatriots.

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JENNJO322 5/20/2013 7:10AM

  Great blog, I have to say I am a bit envious of your move. :-) VA sounds beautiful. I live in central FL formerly from LI and I miss the North for the beauty of nature. Goood luck with everything. Great post, and it rings true. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    Good insight.

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WOUBBIE 5/19/2013 9:39PM

    Here's hoping he takes inspiration from you!

Fac fortia et patere: Do brave deeds and endure!

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BEECHNUT13 5/19/2013 8:36PM

    Beer and potatoes - is he Irish? How about bread and red wine - I'm Italian. ;)

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BEATLETOT 5/19/2013 5:33PM

    Where did you wind up, if you don't mind my asking. I miss, miss, miss Northern VA.

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    Niceeeeee... I do believe this is the first blog I've read on Sparkpeople that used latin.. and quite effectively! Glad you found your house in the perfect place with your potential dream gym... uhmmm sorry you found your friend in no so good of shape.. I'm sure your friendly ribbing has him contemplating going to the gym today (or maybe not) but I'm sure he's thinking about it.. I'm curious though.. is he happy? Is his life turning out like he thought or even better than he thought?..

You gave me "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi "
for which I reply
"Semper vigilantissimi"

Good day!

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House hunting....and gym hunting

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Man what a day! I drove about 200 miles all over northern Virginia looking at all sorts of houses. It really is amazing to see the differences between what people advertise and what their homes really look like...even when they post pictures!

But I've got a couple of good prospects and a bunch more to see Thursday & Friday, so I'm pretty sure I'll have a lease signed before flying back home on Saturday.

It really is a nice part of the country though! There's tons of civilization! The Florida Emerald Coast is beautiful, with white, sugary sand and emerald green water....but beyond that, it's a little sleepy.

Three blocks from my hotel is a Wegman's makes Whole Foods look like K-Mart!

I went there for lunch AND dinner in between house hunting. It was amazing! First of all it was great to have a whole bunch of nice fresh salad fixins, to include roasted broccoli (it was seriously amazing!), a nice pico de gallo to put on the salad with some olive oil (who needs dressing!), and a hot bar with some choice selections of tandoori chicken, masala tilapia (say that 3 times fast!), and assorted other ethnic cuisines....double yum!

So I was glad I could at least eat right on the road.

The hotel I'm staying at has the standard cruddy fitness center with a squeaky elliptical and a geriatric stair-climber. Luckily they also have an arrangement with a gym half a mile down the road for free visits, so I went there early in the morning for some cardio, then went back around 8:00 PM to lift.

It was packed both times! I am used to my gym thinning out around 6:00 PM, hence my surprise (remember what I said about it being sleepy hollow in Florida though). Apparently, with civilization comes over-population as well.

I figured since we're moving, I might as well see how I can lift heavy on my own without Stasi the trainer guy. It actually went pretty well. Once I got to the heavy sets, I knew enough to eye-ball the few who knew what they were doing and asked them to spot me so I wouldn't crush myself doing bench's always awkward to be the new guy at the gym who has the bar fall on him during his first visit!

It all went well. I didn't set any records, but I basically repeated my last few heavy workouts within a rep or 2 each set. But man it seemed like there were people stacked left and right waiting for squat racks & benches.

Which makes me wonder if I just need to find a house with a large basement or a large open area so I can finally build my own home gym.....hmmmm, this could be a good move after all!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACCEPTHECHLNGE 5/19/2013 10:17PM

    I was introduced to Wegman's in January when visiting my son in MD. Awesome store! It's my son's 'candy store'. He is an amazing cook. I am back visiting, but we did not have the time to return to Wegman's this time around.
Good luck with your house hunting. Does the wife get to help choose?

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/19/2013 9:39AM

    Food looks amazing and VA was seriously packed with people when we lived near DC 15 years ago...can't imagine how crowded things are now!

Good luck with the move and for being such a great example of "no excuses"

Have a great day and keep ...

´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.•´ .•´¨¨))
((¸¸.•´ ..•´ Spreading the Spark!-:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.•´*

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BERGBA7 5/17/2013 3:03PM

    Yep - to get your own gym would be awsome! On the other had... you would need to find a Stasi-trainer that comes to your home gym!
I hope you find a great place to live!
emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/17/2013 12:05PM

    wow! Excitement. You've probably found the dream home with gym and pool by now . emoticon

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    Sounds like a productive trip! You should ask your current trainer for a recommendation in the area you move too - who knows, he may have a Russian cousin LOL!

yeah, the gym gets crowded early - you may have to search. But nice gym work on the road!


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    Yeah, but who would spot you in your basement gym?? mmmmm?? I love that area of the country.. good folk and beautiful countryside.. that grocery store looks ah-may-zing! And good on you for getting your sweat on while on the road (which is easier said than done)... nice job!

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BBECKER1955 5/16/2013 6:42AM

    Love Wegman's! When I was still on the road, I use to stop there instead of a restaurant for dinner. Good luck with the house hunting.

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PRAIRIECROCUS 5/15/2013 11:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Strength Training for Democracy!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Well once again, today was a high rep leg day....this is where I squat about 70% of my max weight for 15 reps, then deadlift about 80% of my max weight for 15 reps. These are the days that try men's souls. The summer gym rat and the sunshine lifter will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their bodies; but they that stand by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

The only reason I so poorly paraphrase Thomas Paine is that today, I worked out with my trainer. Yes, those of you who follow my travails with this East German Stasi agent, should know that today he decided to work in with me. That in and of itself deserves a re-reading of our Revolutionary War documents!

Note, he didn't ask if he could work in with me....he declared, in the way that only a Communist peasant can declare to a landowner that the family farm now belongs to the state.

"Today, I vill verk in vit you" (Today, I will work in with you)

"What is this the gym equivalent of a Proletariat Revolution? This is America you Commie bastard. I'm paying YOU to train ME!"

"I vill also do legs today" (I will also do legs today)....he gave me that stubborn Eastern European look (he could be Russian, Ukrainian, or any number of ethnic blends) that signified he'd just wait me out till I came around to doing it his way.

"OK, you're on dude....3 sets of 15 reps, mano-a-mano. And don't start talking any Bolshevik in between sets!"

So off we went. I slapped 185 lbs on the bar for squats and counted, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.....then repeated. The only way I get through these is to just think of doing 3 sets of 5. By the time I was done, my heart rate was up to 90% of max.

I won't even say what Stasi-boy put on the bar, but it was impressive. As were his squats....deep, knees BELOW parallel, slow and controlled. I hate him.

Then I went again. Second set tougher than the first, but 15 solid squats later, I was done.

Stasi boy got under the bar....and eked his out as well....but I detected a slight vibrato in his voice at the end of the set....he was feeling the pain.

YES, finally, a chink in the armor. Screw you and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat....I'm squatting for Democracy, Truth, Justice, and the American Way!

I slapped that bar on my back and squatted for all we hold dear people! Quotes by Thomas Paine floated in my head, "....the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value!"

Fifteen long squats later, I got out from under the bar, looked into his Slavic eyes and thought, "“I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” but just smiled and said, "All yours, Comrade!"

He worked his Teutonic butt off for that last didn't come easy....even he was heaving by the end of it. Did I feel sympathy, did I feel any remorse, regret, compassion?

Not even a flicker!

"Let's go Tovarich, deadlifts next!"

I pulled 255 lbs, 15 times for those 3 sets. My heart rate was up, my breathing was up, I was sweating like a race horse....but for me, this was the final showdown, this was Rocky 4 all over again, no way in hell was I going to not get that bar up every time! In your face Mother Russia!

Have I mentioned, I'm a little competitive?

So it was quite possibly the best hi-rep day I have had in a very, very long time. Not only did I knock out major PRs on squats and deadlifts, but I actually felt nice and strong doing them. There might be hell to pay tomorrow on my legs as I sit in a plane for hours on end, but that's the price we pay for supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BERGBA7 5/15/2013 3:50PM

    emoticon This trainer guy new what he was doing by triggering your competitiveness and making you work harder simply by joining you! Well done RUSSIA!

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FANGFACEKITTY 5/15/2013 3:19PM

    emoticon emoticon way to take a stand for the American way! I still think Stasi guy knows a thing or 2 about reverse psychology. Whatever are you going to do when you move to VA? It's too much to expect one of his brethren to be a sleeper agent in your new town.

Comment edited on: 5/15/2013 3:19:44 PM

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BARCONIUS 5/15/2013 8:28AM

    That...was just awesome.

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BBECKER1955 5/15/2013 6:36AM

    Thank you for your "All American" effort!

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DDOORN 5/14/2013 11:14AM

    Whew! Those reps and weights have ME!


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MADLYINLOVE 5/14/2013 11:02AM

    Mano-a-mano! emoticon Congrats on the PRs! Might I suggest a 10 min Epsom salt soak for those muscles -- might need it after this!

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HANSBRINK 5/14/2013 10:59AM

  Duke (to Rocky): You're gonna have to go through hell, worse than any nightmare you've ever dreamed. But when it's over, I know you'll be the one standing. You know what you have to do. Do it.

Or, as you like to say, leave it all in the gym. And it sounds like you did.

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BILL60 5/14/2013 8:36AM

    Well done!!

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GIANTMICROBE 5/14/2013 7:50AM

    I love this blog so much I want to marry it.

I was totally picturing Drago the whole time. Imagine my delight when I scrolled down far enough to see the picture!!!!!!!!!!

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    Way to go! Competition pushes a person, for sure.

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IRISHBEANERGAL 5/13/2013 11:53PM

    LOVE IT... well done... and WELL DONE!

Your blogs are always entertaining... oh and by the way, Trainer 10C is not the secret brother of your trainer...but I bet they trained in the same torture camp, ha!


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REBECCATKD 5/13/2013 10:47PM

    Damn! Anyone get this battle on film?

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HAWAIIANMAMMA 5/13/2013 10:15PM

    AWESOME blog! I know exactly what you mean! Hilarious!

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 5/13/2013 10:06PM

    Good on you! and God Bless America! HA

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