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Cardio, Strength Training, and a $2,000 Lunch!

Monday, February 21, 2011

So today was meant to be enjoyed, especially since it's my last day of peace before I begin a series of whirlwind cross-country trips over the next 2 months. Tomorrow night to Panama City, Wed-Fri Los Angeles, then 10 days in Las Vegas till 10 March. I forget what's on the plate after that.

I woke up nicely refreshed and had planned a 9:30 session at the gym before taking SWMBO out for lunch (yes, even though I eat out on the road a lot, lunch out with SWMBO has its own special place). After yesterday's energizing ride on the spinning cycle, I decided to get in 30 minutes of fast & furious cardio before driving over to the gym....WOO-HOO, I taught that 30-pound flywheel the meaning of the word respect!

I think the cardio session helped quite a bit. Today was back, shoulders, and biceps, and I was adding plates and increasing reps like there was no tomorrow, which could be true, because I find it very difficult to get in strength training on the road. Back home for a quick shower & change of clothes and off we went to her favorite little Greek place in Ft Walton Beach.

Luckily, I had had a light breakfast, but when all the numbers got crunched (rounding up when I wasn't sure of weight or content) lunch came out to 800 calories (grilled chicken, no skin, hummus, tzaziki, pita bread, and some rice), so I'll just need to cool it for dinner.

That's when things started getting expensive.

SWMBO and I have been talking about a "House 2.0" upgrade for a while. We're very likely to move in the next 3-5 months, but she has wanted to upgrade some furniture for a while....couches, dining table, love seats, coffee table, etc. All I wanted when this first came up was a 55 in flat screen, but somehow that got translated to a full scale makeover and a massive replacement of perfectly good furniture.....

Well I'd have been a fool to say no to her suggestion that, "hey since you're off for the rest of the day and are going to be gone so much, why don't we go visit some furniture stores" idea. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE JUST LUNCH! But momma didn't raise no fool, so off we went.

And you know what, even in a furniture store, you can't avoid getting fat! The sales vultures line up at the doorway all smiles and understanding ("Thanks, we're just looking"), and they have the junior sales stuckee walking around with a TRAY FULL OF FRESHLY BAKED COOKIES! What kind of sick SOB thought up that marketing trick?!? Here I am on a post-lunch "shopping date", thinking "hey at least this isn't like the Michaels debacle" where candies and sweets assaulted you at the checkout counter, and these bastards are making you feel right at home, snuggled up in a soft, cushiony couch, just like you're watching TV on a cold, windy night, while junior sticks a tray full of warm, moist, chocolaty, peanut buttery, and oatmeally deathtraps under your nose. Is this what we have become America? Is this what happened to George & Martha when they furnished Mt Vernon? Did Abe & Mary Todd have to eat before they moved into the White House? It's President's Day, let's be slim and trim like Abe!
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I kept saying no to the madness and we decided to focus on the dining room tables and moved away from the couches of temptation. That's where SWMBO let out a screech.
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Now I've told her for years, please let me do the buying, just tell me what you want. She did the same thing when we bought our first house, let out a big, "I LOVE IT!" in front of the realtor. That one probably cost me $10,000. I looked over at the sales vulture today and the bastard was already pouncing on her, telling her what a wonderful table this was, solid wood, a very hot moving item, not many left in the warehouse, yadda-yadda-yadda, lies-lies-lies. It took me another hour to get them to make a realistic offer and zero out the delivery price.

So I go into this evening with 30 minutes of cardio, 60 minutes of strength training, 800 calories of lunch, and $2,000 of dining room table that brought a squeal of delight to my sweetie.....can't wait till we find the right couch!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 2/22/2011 12:10PM

    What about the flat screen TV? Ah, emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon, my favorite...

Hey if SWMBO is happy, everyone is happy, right?

Have a good trip, watch the food traps, and don't lose all your money in Las Vegas...remember what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas... emoticon

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NEWMOMOVER40 2/22/2011 5:13AM

    LOL. I have my "squeal of delight" moments too, but for good or ill, we confine our furniture shopping to Craigslist. The squeals of delight are just as genuine, the difference being that we can not only enjoy delightful (if sometimes slightly dinged) furniture, but also save for what we really want to do, which is travel more. Although it sounds like you've got the travel thing all worked out as well. So I say, if two grand for a dining table is no big deal for you, squeal away!

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SAFARIBABE 2/21/2011 9:33PM

    ROFLMAO!!!! That was one expensive lunch!!! But hey! At least you'll have a new table to eat the quiche recipe I sent you on!! LOL Have a safe trip tomorrow! Be good and resist temptations!! You can do it.

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AGENTNER 2/21/2011 6:02PM

    you are so entertaining!!!! I know exactly what you are talking about with the squeal of delight! I can't help it! I do it too!!!! Way to amp up the workout! Good luck with your travels! i always wanted to travel for my job, but in reality I think i just want to travel for leisure, not for work!!! GOOD LUCK on the road, and finding a couch!

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A Happy Blog

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's been a wonderful day! Nice low cal living at home (toast & cottage cheese at breakfast, a stir fry of chicken breast, endame, & spinach spiced with cilantro, lemongrass, & ginger at lunch, and now a banana, orange, & apple smoothie....really beats the hell out of pizzas, steaks, and airline food).

But truly the highlight of the day was me taking to the bike.....the stationary bike that is. Specifically, SWMBO's spinning cycle:



Now I pretty much enjoy my cardio outdoors. Even in the heart of winter, when we lived in Boston, I'd go running outside, with single digit temperatures and below. At most, I'd do a 10 minute warm up on an elliptical or bike at the gym before working out.

Alas, I have been banished from hardcore outdoor workouts for a little while longer....and so I've been eyeing SWMBO's cycle. Now we share everything we have, but as a gentleman, I know it is only polite to ask, because we vary greatly in size and so I'd have to tinker with seat height, handlebars, etc. I grabbed a spare heart rate monitor from my gym bag and got to spinning.

That's when I noticed the clinking sound. It quickly drove me mad, even with Sisters of Mercy (Dominion Mother Russia) jamming at max volume through the earphones. So I had to take it apart.

Of course, there was a stripped screw that not even my mighty Makita 18V electric drill could handle, so off to Lowes to spend $20 on the "Pro Grabit Broken Bolt and Damaged Screw Extractor". Voila! It felt like I had invented fire! Out it came, the offending piece of metal that was rubbing against the chain got hammered away, and then pure silence as I jumped back on and biked the sun room in pure bliss.

So I'm still under restriction on the resistance, but no matter. To get my heart rate up past 140, I just increased the pace to a furious 110 cadence. I was in heaven! The biking sensation, my favorite music, and the heart rate settling in at a comfortable aerobic range, evoked all sorts of memories of cruising around the island here all during the fall. I cruised on for 30 happy minutes till I got a little sore in the seat.....all those months getting my butt used to cycling and away it went

Haven't felt this good in months though! The bikes at the gym are still a little too hard to get settled into comfortably. Luckily, I had bought SWMBO the "Cloud 9" seat when we got this thing a while ago...who knew it would come in so handy now.



Well from there, I knocked out the pushups & situps for today's routine. I had attacked the new pullup bar in our clothes closet as my latest hobby....goal is 20 pullups by the end of August....6 months to get there. Just came back from getting a haircut, settled in with the smoothie, and wanted to knock out a happy blog.

Cheers all.....spark on!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBECCATKD 2/20/2011 10:23PM

    Thanks for sharing a moment of calm and happiness -- what a great read to start my week. emoticon

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ELISA322 2/20/2011 9:53PM

    Ha I have one of those "cloud 9" seats too for my bike! One of the best purchases we made.

I would love to get a stationary bike. And I know what you mean about food, I'd much rather eat at home than out, although I do enjoy the occasional cheeseburger and pizza I have to admit!

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BRADOS 2/20/2011 9:22PM

    Cool......sounds like a great day

Way to go. emoticon emoticon

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JONESINATOR 2/20/2011 6:30PM

    Happy blogs are the best blogs! Spinning cycles are fun stuff - why the restriction on resistance? Are you injured?

Fixing things always makes me feel like I just discovered the cure to cancer, must be a guy thing. And I think you'll get those 20 pull ups - once you can do five, it feels so much easier after that.

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AGENTNER 2/20/2011 6:25PM

    I just did my first cycling class at the gym this week, and boy oh boy do I wish we had those cloud 9 seats! it was an hour class and by the end I swear by bottom was bruised!!! Way to go with the healthy eating, and the exercise, not to mention the Mr. Fix-it attitude! I LOVE IT! KEEP IT UP!

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SAFARIBABE 2/20/2011 6:21PM

    AWESOME!!! You'll be chasing my miles in NO time!! 20 miles today. And for the record, I knew as soon as I met you that you were a little nuts...RUNNING IN NEGATIVE TEMPS??????????? Now you've confirmed it ... in writing!! Glad to have you back in Cardio Land!!

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JUNEBUG1944 2/20/2011 6:18PM

    Well, unfortunately, I'd still like the pizza and steaks, better... emoticon emoticon

Mr. Fixit, eh? My DH fixes things...after he breaks them. I finally (after a year) let him use my "new" vacumn after my knee replacement and he was so proud when he fixed the thing the cord wraps around after he broke it. I wasn't so proud!
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Anyway, congrats for getting on that bike and riding away...that's great! It's tough when you can't get in your cardio, isn't it?
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DIANE2110 2/20/2011 5:18PM

    Right on! What a great day you had. And that menu of yours sounds so... haute cuisine!

Take care,
Diane : ) ** Make it Happen in 2011 **

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How weird boat guy inspired me to lose even more weight!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

So after a whirlwind week, I finally got to have a solitary Saturday afternoon. SWMBO had to go to the Convention Planning meeting she's involved with, #2 son (16-year old) more interested in X-Box & GF (not in that order), so I decided to get out me old cane and go for a walk along the water.

It's a beautiful day down here, almost hot at a sunny 73. As I got to the end of the street I often whipped around at 31.7 MPH on my bike (it's true, I recorded it on the Garmin), I remembered something......



I remembered weird boat guy.......and there he was....



Starting last fall he and weird boat gal had parked that thing in the shallows and have lived out of it all winter, wading over to shore to buy groceries, or maybe in their own weird way, believed that they were in international waters and had to maintain citizenship by coming back to the mainland every 24 hours.

As I walked past them on to the fishing pier, I contemplated their lifestyle and all the other countless people in the neighborhood who enjoy life on the water around here. And I thought.....and I thought....and it occurred to me, that maybe.....just maybe....

Maybe I was just an aquatic sea creature, temporarily occupying the body of a noble, land-based biped!



All this time, I have run, I have biked, I have flown, but I have not yet conquered the sea!

Maybe what I really, really need is a Hobie Cat!



Maybe everything I have done in my life up until now has prepared me for this, every decision I have made has led me to this crossroad, all my running, all my weight loss, all my upper body work has prepared me to pick up the oars, and like Charlton Heston, row away my hate and fat



There are rewards and then there are REWARDS......but this one will really take some serious thinking and serious planning

I came back home, walked over to our boat dock and said, “Yes, I can do this! Hobie has a home right here”



It's going to take some time, it's going to take some planning, it's going to take some serious money, and that just means it will come only after some serious weight loss....this ain't no 5 lbs lost reward, we're talking some heavy duty double digit deflation!

So spark friends, what's a sweet, sweet, kayak worth in terms of total poundage?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBECCATKD 2/20/2011 10:20PM

    I believe you've just found your new challenge.

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BRADOS 2/19/2011 9:50PM

    Great pics GETSTRONGRRR - thanks for sharing those

And I would say that another 11 pounds to get to your goal would makea perfect excuse to get your kayak

Hope to see pictures of your new kayak before summer starts
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JUNEBUG1944 2/19/2011 9:27PM

    Oh, I think you'll deserve one when you get to your goal weight. That's a great reward! What does SWMBO think? So, even when it was in the 20's, the boat guy and gal waded thru that water? Brrrrrrrr! By the by, I don't think you're the guy on the dolphin...I just can't picture it...LOL!

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SAFARIBABE 2/19/2011 5:12PM

    AWESOME!!! WOW from weird boat people to a new hobby. Isn't life strange and mysterious?!?! So, in oder to further that upper body strength of yours, how were you planning to deal with this pushup challenge? eh? "Next week" is rapidly approaching!! Looks like you had a lovely walk! Thanks for the snaps. Ahhhh all that sun! I hope you remembered your friends who are in back into winter.

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More adventures ahead!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ahhh, it feels so good to get back on my normal schedule.....although normal has a very fluid definition in my life.

Good news is I got a great workout in this afternoon (chest, shoulders, triceps), I've got 3-days to detox from my travels, a pullup bar calling my name this weekend, and a beautiful weather prediction for the next 5 days (60s every day...this really is why people move to Florida).

The bad news is, we had a scheduling meeting today and I am on the road 3-4 days every week between now and mid-April! I can handle getting groped by TSA lackies, I can handle 15 hour days with long meetings and boring reports, I can even handle a red-eye flight or 2 or 3, but now the prospect of dining out on a regular basis has fast lost its attraction....Thanks Chris the Spark guy (BTW, he still hasn't friended me back!) and all your Sparkpeople ideas! Communists!

So for all my pals who lived with me through these past 10 days, thanks for your patient advice & understanding.....but put on your seatbelts, the next adventures begin Tuesday and will slow down only long enough to take a weekend breather every once in a while....and some will blow straight through the weekend!

The choices will be simple, eat like this:



or this:



Because I want to be able to do this:



but not like this:

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMOMOVER40 2/22/2011 5:17AM

    My philosophy: go ahead and have some pizza. One slice, two if you must. Stop there. Log it on your SP Nutrition page. Balance it out with good, clean, healthy foods the rest of the day/week, if you can. If you can't, workout harder. Life is good and food is meant to be enjoyed. (Yes, even sweet treats, in moderation.) I am not the skinniest thing on the block, but I did steadily lose weight following this plan and managed to drop almost 50 pounds (before gaining back because I stopped tracking as I stopped working out due to injury .... very bad combo, that). Anyway, just $.02 of unsolicited advice from a new spark friend. Hope it helps!

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JUNEBUG1944 2/19/2011 9:23PM

    I don't know...pizza is my favorite food...LOL! Just keep making those wise choices and you'll do fine! Picture your slim, trim self pedaling your ass all over town and you'll choose the right stuff! LOL!

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SAFARIBABE 2/19/2011 4:28AM

    That guy on Man v. Food is going to keel over from solidified arteries before he hits 50! So the food choices are a no brainer! And look how awesome you did this last time. Here you were in San Antonio, home of the SEVEN pound burrito and other equall offensive foods, and you came out unscathed!! (I saw the burrito on some show last night as I was fliiping channels and immediately thought of you!) And as for the pat-downs....Just close your eyes and think of England! Hehehehe!

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HEALTHIERKEN 2/19/2011 12:04AM

    I have to say the last two dinners look far more appetizing to me than do the first two! Good luck sticking with the good stuff : )

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BRADOS 2/18/2011 11:19PM

    I love fish, so your food pictures were a no-brainer for me.

Thanks for sharing your journeys GETSTRONGRRR - for those of us locked in the frozen tundra, it certainly adds some flavor to each day hearing of your trips, the food temptations and your "intimate pat-downs" with the TSA - (that Saturday Night Live skit this year about the TSA was so funny - look for it on YouTube)

Keep up your good work and your fierce spirit
Brad
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Comment edited on: 2/18/2011 11:20:33 PM

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A cosmic plan for success

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Well I have to admit, I just don't have another food-o-log in me to write about tonight....another night of eating out with some out of town guests and I'm ready to eat nothing but apples and cottage cheese for the next few days while I detox.

That being said, these last few days went surprisingly well. I weighed in at 190.2 this AM, so the downward trend continues at a rate I am very happy with.....about .5 lbs/week. Now for the cosmic part.......

Last October I went for a week to this place called "The Center for Creative Leadership" in Greensboro, NC. It was a good deal I wasn't about to pass up, especially since my boss said, "Yeah, this is a good deal, you shouldn't pass it up".

So here we are, about 40 of us, in the foothills of the Piedmont, beautiful fall foliage all around on this campus talking about leading large organizations, coaching young talent, taking quiz after quiz about our "leadership personality" (We all ranged from Attila the Hun to Captain of the Love Boat) and eating like CRAZY.....these people fed you ALL DAY LONG with their in-house chefs, all day snack fests, then held a banquet at the end. Needless to say, I was feeling very fat that trip.

So the interesting part came at the end. They wanted you to write a memo implementing the skills we talked about that stated where you wanted to be 90 days from then. I'm thinking it's another one of their little "leadership surveys" they were going to use to deposit in their evil data bank to use for future blackmailing...I said yesterday I was pretty competitive....also a bit of a pessimist.

Well yesterday, when I got back home, I found the memo in the mail.....they saved it and mailed it to each of us. Mine said:

- You should have had your surgery by now and on the road to recovery (I hadn't even scheduled my surgery back then)

- You should be walking and maybe even riding your bike (OK, my SPINNING Bike; I should have specified road bike!)

- Hopefully you'll be down to 190 lbs by February (I was over 200 then.....today I weighed in at 190.2 (see above))

- "Health, fitness, and well-being are important" ---and they are!

- Couple of predictions in there about a promotion at work and some other things that have also panned out successfully.

So it was pretty cool to see something in my own handwriting coming in from the past.....the coolest of which was the weight got nailed within .2 lbs (I knew I shouldn't have had that spoonful of peanut butter last night!)

But for a while it was pretty dicey....even though I was riding my bike hard and lifting weights at the gym, I wasn't dropping any weight around the holidays.....most all of my progress has occurred since January as the nutrition trackers stares back at me from the laptop with all my glorious calories consumed for the day on full display saying "here's reality dude, wonder why you're not losing any weight"

Anyway, I've been thinking about rewards lately...many of you have these listed.....think I'll ponder it this weekend.....I have some ideas......

Cheers all

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 10/4/2011 2:21AM

    Looks like those goals that you had put into handwriting, you realized them! WOW! Congrats!

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ELISA322 2/18/2011 9:57PM

    That is so awesome about your memo and how all of your goals came into fruition! Awesome job and keep up the good work.

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SAFARIBABE 2/18/2011 5:48AM

    Wow! You're the Floridian Kreskin! Can you also predict that I'll kick your butt at these pushups? Hehehehe! Seriously thouogh, Nice job getting it all done! And NO you should not have had that spoonful of peanut butter! emoticon

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BRADOS 2/17/2011 11:40PM

    nice progress, way to avoid all of those landmies while traveling - don't know how you do it emoticon

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JONESINATOR 2/17/2011 11:29PM

    Hey awesome job on actually making that weight goal! Those are always so nice to finally hit, and now without all that salty road food I have a feeling you'll be a bit less than you weighed in at. Keep it up!

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