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Jazz at Montmartre

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Thank you a lot for the encouragements!

So, here I am in Paris. I love here, so free, no boundaries, everybody equal. There is a past behind everyone, a future ahead for everyone, but what counts is just the here and now, tonight, here, in this moment.

We went to a Taize meeting, and was invited to join for a little lunch-cafe afterwards, and had a nice chat with some "Parisien"s. So sympatchic people. In the evening, we passed by a super-tiny local at Montmartre, and there was a jazz concert starting in 10 minutes, so we came later, and had a wonderful time. We were only around 10, but the music was really top.

I regret now I didn't organize to bring my running shoes. The weather is spring like, very nice, I could had a nice run. For that, I would had brought a bigger cumbersome luggage, so has the downside, too.

We walked a lot today, I logged in 180 min walk for today.

Food wise today was mixed. I was offered chips, bakery, pancakes, peanuts, granola bars, and all sorts of junk food I normally don't eat, and as I was hungry, sleepy and tired, I always ate a little. And by the end of the day, it added up to 4000 kcal.
When I had a choice for myself, for breakfast and lunch, I ate healthy food, with salad, though, and I skipped the breakfast offered on the flight.

Tomorrow, we'll start with a tour in a supermarket to get some fresh fruits.

And I know when I'm sleepy, usually the nutrition slips away, so hopefully tomorrow I will be well slept and a back on track.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KMICHA 12/4/2011 7:34AM

    Sounds like you are enjoying your trip. Enjoy it for all of us who would like a little taste of Paris!! I enjoy your blogs of your travels. A little rest for you and you'll be back on track with food today. You have awesome disciple when it comes to nutrition! Have a lovely day! emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 12/4/2011 3:26AM

    I came across your blog and smiled... I was in Montmartre yesterday and blogged about it! Fun coincidence! It sounds like you are having a great time in Paris, that's good, enjoy!

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SHOOPETTE 12/4/2011 2:10AM

    jealous... I love jazz and little get aways in Paris!

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 12/4/2011 12:57AM

    Thanks for sharing! I envy you & all your travels, so much diversity. But are you ever home? LOL

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SASSYDREAMER 12/3/2011 11:52PM

    I love love love love love Monmartre. In case you didn't get that the first time, LOVE IT. Ok, moving on. You have a fantastic attitude in being aware of your own habits and are going to take measures to fix the bad ones as you go. At the end of the day, that's what counts.

If I end up moving to Europe in the next year or so, definitely going back to Monmartre. I have no wish to live in Paris or even anywhere near it, but a visit to Monmartre is necessary.

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KIMBERTA99 12/3/2011 9:44PM

    Wow..I love hearing about your travel adventures and you always do well when you do travel with eating well and exercise!! Have fun!!

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/3/2011 9:08PM

    Sounds great....enjoy, keep walking, eat right when you can, and have a great time!

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Weekend in Paris ahead

Friday, December 02, 2011

So, this weekend I will be in Paris.

I love France and Paris, and I always find so many good healthy food in France, I really look forward to it.

I decided to skim down my exercise gear for travelling, and I'll bring my swimming stuff only, and leave the running shoes at home. We looked up some nice swimming pools in Paris.

This week I had a great run all the last 4 days. It's cold outside, 0-2 C (32-35F), and I still miss proper clothes for this temperature. I ordered a Nike pants online labelled "Thermal", but they are still cold. I think they are for Fall-Spring conditions, not winter. I think I need to get some Odlo nordic skiing gear for these cold runs, as runner friend from Vienna suggested.

Tomorrow, the winter 5% challenge starts. I hope I can keep up. It is really good for me, it keeps me on the healthy track. It's a lot of screen time, but in the end, it's good investment.

Two week ago I ran on the Pacific beach in Mexico. It was only 10am, but the sun was so strong already, I had to walk the last part.
This week, I had the same with the cold.
It looks so unrealistic. From extreme to the other extreme.

Anyone knows, which swimming pool is the "best" or the biggest in Paris?
I was looking for a 50m pool, but didn't find one.

Donc, a tout a l'heure, mes amis!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STRIVER57 12/4/2011 4:06AM

    les halles has a 50 m pool, but it's probably too late. the nicest pool, though, is the one that was in the movie bleu (of the rouge, blanc, bleu trilogy), on rue pontoise in the 5th.

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CLAIREINPARIS 12/4/2011 3:32AM

    It is probably too late, but just in case... One of the very few 50 m swimming pools in Paris is the Piscine Keller. It was recently renovated and I heard it is good. Here is the address:
14, rue de l’ingénieur Keller
75015 Paris
Métro: Javel OR Charles Michels

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LAURIE9404 12/3/2011 7:22PM

    Paris is beautiful! Hopefully I'll get to go travel there again someday. But at least I made it once in my life. It's funny that I can't really picture you being anywhere without your running sneakers. I will definitely need to know how this goes for you. That will be a challenge itself. Good luck finding that pool you're looking for.

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ZELLAZM 12/3/2011 3:51PM

    Enjoy your trip - as usual, you've got a good strategy in place and now it's time to "work the plan.! Wishing you a great %5 challenge - even if we are on different teams!

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AKATUJE 12/3/2011 4:43AM

    bon voyage et bon weekend!!! Have fun!!!

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SHOOPETTE 12/3/2011 1:55AM

    ask striver57 and minium in our Francophile SP team, they live in Paris and will be able to let you know which one is the best.
Have fun!

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/2/2011 8:00PM

    C'est si bon!


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KMICHA 12/2/2011 5:44PM

    Have a great time in Paris!!! I am ready for the challenge as well! It is a lot of time . . . but then I consider all that our leaders put into making it happen and I am so grateful for them!!! Go Daisies!!!

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Cold fat dissolver attacks

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I slept 10h yesterday night. It was long due, coming back from the jetlag, and somehow this week I could only sleep 5-6h every day. I booked the time for sleeping, but I woke up always earlier.

I decided to give an uplift for my kitchen, and if got rid of the fat on my body, let's get rid of it in the kitchen, too. So, I armed my "cold fat dissolver" flash, and attacked all appliances. Apparently, new layers of metal appeared on the electric stove, as most of the thing was there from the previous renter. The usual disadvantage when I rent the apartment. However, now it's all new and shiny. I also brightened up my sink into new life, it's just a pleasure to wash dishes now in this eye-frightening brilliance.

I also made a list during the cleaning of the things that are missing, and I always want to buy sometime. One was a new sharp knife to chop vegetables. In the afternoon, I bought one, Zyliss, self sharpening. Wow, it was just a pleasure to chop the veggies for dinner. I can't wait my next salad meal, just to have an alibi chop.

In the evening, I went to swim, 40 min slow 1K backstroke, more focusing on the movement, then on the distance.
Then 27:30 min 1K breaststroke. I'm getting faster. Looks like all this tutorial watching of Ed Moses helps.


I noticed that when I go fast, and pack +100% into a day than usual, a few things "get lost along the way". There is some loss (-10%) of the increased pace of the process. I think this is OK, because on the other side, the added outcome worth it (+100%), and the balance is still +90%.

Things that got lost today:
1. I bought a Torx size 4 screwdriver along with the knife to be able to open my Nokia N8 phone. Which I forgot at the cashier. I went back to Liebmarkt 2000, but the shop was already closed, and all I got some angry "not looking at me" from the staff. I try to get it back on Monday. Little money, but still. I think the reason I left it there that it was small, and my items were too close to the next customer's things.

2. I forgot to take my swimsuit with me, discovered when I was about to take it on in the swimming pool. I was thinking about to go home or buy a new one. I decided this is a weak excuse, I rather buy a cheap swimsuit. So did I, and had the swim in.

3. Back from swim, I bought some more veggies and fruits, and a new vanilla yogurt. I forgot to pack it in, but then somehow I grabbed it. The issue was the same, it was put together with the next customer's stuff.

Learning: I have to pay attention to pack all my stuff when they put my stuff with other's. Maybe I'll count when packing out from my shopping cart, and count again when packing into my bag.

On the positive side, to turn the loss into gain:
I learned the word screwdriver in German (der Schraubenzieher),
finally i have the second swimsuit, and know there is backup of gears at the pool, and
will have more control next time when paying.


This is some potato like root, cooked, with salt-lime-chili (as all things ;-) ), at Chapala lake in Mexico last weekend.
It was very tasty, I really liked it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DORIS32 12/1/2011 9:09PM

    hi! I've been out of the loop for a while, but getting back on track finally. It's great to see that you are still being as fit and organized as ever!

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NOILEDNWAD 11/28/2011 8:57AM

    Forgetfulness is my middle name! Seems like I'm always cleaning the kitchen. I sure wish it would stay clean by itself ;) By the way, I love the pictures of your travels. If I can't go anyplace myself right now, at least I can live vicariously through others!

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 11/28/2011 1:36AM

    WTG on doing your kitchen makeover! I forget things sometimes also... the other week I thought for sure I bought some cottage cheese. But couldn't find it in the frig...
A few days later I found it under the seat of my van --- rolled out of the bag...yikes - didn't even try opening that thing!

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LISAINMS 11/27/2011 10:36AM

    That "potato like root" is Jicama. I like it raw, cut like french fries and sprinkled with salt/pepper/lime juice. Good job on continuing with your swim. Start working on your freestyle stroke. That's what you need for triathlon.

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LAURIE9404 11/27/2011 10:17AM

    Good thing you are looking at the positive side of these lost things. It's always better to have a 2nd swimsuit anyways. Great job on the swimming. And I just cleaned my kitchen as well. I had dishes piled miles high from the few things I did for the holidays. You're doing so amazing!

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SHOOPETTE 11/27/2011 2:32AM

    poor oliver, I think it's the name, my brother Olivier also often forgets items along the way, but good job on the kitchen makeover!

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/26/2011 7:01PM

    Good job,,,,especially giving your kitchen a makeover....I agree, sharp knives are ESSENTIAL to a good kitchen!

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ASHL_84 11/26/2011 6:39PM

    A bright and shiny kitchen AND a new knife sounds like a great day to me!

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REDROSEMARIE 11/26/2011 6:27PM

    Sounds like a busy day! emoticon

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A quick Fall 5% challenge lookback

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This was my third 5% challenge.
I started in Spring 2011, then Summer 2011, and now Fall 2011.

Goal weight: 77.0 kg
5% goal: -2kg (4.4 lbs) My goal was 2.5% only, as I was closer to my ideal body weight then 5%.

My weight history:
09/24: 78.9 (173.6 lbs) Fat 13.6%, Muscle 41.9%. START
10/01: 78.8 (173.4 lbs)
10/08: 78.4 (172.5 lbs)
10/15: 78.3 (172.2 lbs)
10/22: 77.6 (170.7 lbs) Fat 11.1%, Muscle 43.3%
10/29: 77.3 (170.0 lbs) Fat 10.3%, Muscle 43.7%
11/05: 76.5 (168.3 lbs) Fat 10.4% Muscle 43.6%
11/12: 77.1 (169.6 lbs) Fat 10.7% Muscle 43.5%
11/19: 76.4 (168.1 lbs) END

I mostly made small adjustments to my current practice.
I finally finished the motivation part of the Stage 3 of the diet program - somehow it is so complicated, with all those subpages and submenus. I still have to finish stage 3 of the program.

I reached my 5% challenge goal, which was my overall goal target weight, which is 77kg. To have perfect abs, I need to loose about another 1.5 kg of fat, either as weight or fat %.

I figured out to combine my swim-bike-run habit into a triathlon. I bought a couple of books and magazines on triatholon, and also separately on running and biking. I got some tutorial videos on swimming and running, as I need to upgrade my technique for both.
In swimming, it is needed for speed and efficiency, in running, for speed and to be gentle with my knees.

My daily preferred exercise went up from 1h to 1.5-2h - so about an hour from one type of cardio, and something else on top.

I see tracking food is still key. When I track food properly, I fit in my calorie budget, and good in weight. When I don't track, or only track in paper without counting the calories, weight goes up. Simple.

I discovered long ago that blogging helps a lot, and not really for feedback, but to summarize my progress for myself.

I'm also happy to be on the same team now. We get to know each other, and can give and receive and support on a long term, which I really like.
So, thank you team, and thank all you others who gave feedback and support for during these 8 weeks.

I see this 5% challenge really important to stay on the healthy way. I still need the support of the team members for tips and motivation, and the ongoing accountability also helps a lot.

What is left unfinished in the challenge, is "man energy" and my own age group, not just in the 5% challenge, but on SP in general.

My next steps are:
1. Have a little off between fall and winter 5% challenge.
2. Finish the outstanding steps of the Stage 3 of the SP diet program, and move into Stage 4.
3. In parallel, planning of the new chapter of my life, maintaing this healthy lifestyle. I don't talk about weight on purpose, because it really has small importance now. (First, it has no real meaning without Fat% and Muscle%, second, it is rather a side bonus of my healthy lifestyle, then the main purpose. Third, I notice my weight fluctuates up to 2.5kg (5.5 lbs) up and down due to water, and my weight change is within this interval.)
4. Do something for this winter temperature. Either buy clothes for running, or get a pass for a gym, or get a turbo trainer (bicycle)/treadmill for home.

The main purpose of my healthy lifestyle is eating healthy, and doing exercise, both in a way that I enjoy.

This is where we had once lunner in Mexico a late afternoon, just before sunset .
(If breakfast+lunch = brunch, then lunch+dinner=lunner.)

Any feedback on the 5% challenge is welcome!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMBERTA99 11/25/2011 12:35AM

    Oliver you have come along way since the first challenge....running small distances and look at you now...you have an amazing handle on exercise and food..this is why you have been so successful. You should write a book about your journey:) My favorite part of your journey is when you told us about taking your scale with you to measure out your food....I thought "what dedication he has" and it made me chuckle the same. You embraced this new lifestyle like no one I have ever seen before. You truly are an inspiration to us all. I love reading your blogs ..they make me want to exercise and the added bonus to your blogs are the awesome photos you share. I am very happy to see you contunue as a Daisy for the winter challenge!! emoticon emoticon

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    Great blog!

For the next challenge, I should write my percentage of fat besides my weight. My feeling is that mine will be very different than yours; I feel that it must be around 31-33%.

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LASARRE 11/23/2011 6:59PM

    Fantastic job! WTG! emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/23/2011 4:30PM

    Great job Oliver. I enjoyed the 5% challenge too and have joined the Winter challenge.

I agree with you about blogging. I enjoy it, it helps me clarify my thoughts, and it keeps me honest making me accountable to my friends on how I am doing, good, bad, and indifferent.

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ARGYLE-RUNNER 11/23/2011 4:27PM

    you are doing great!

it is interesting to see how one's goals shift once the goal weight is met - I love reading your blogs about your fitness goals/achievements and what you are eating - the fitness in particular is very inspiring

so glad to be a Daisy with you emoticon emoticon

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JEN-TASTIC1 11/23/2011 3:49PM

  That's awesome! Way to go! :)

I'm working on a 5% challenge too and I am halfway there.

Keep up the great work!

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Mom loves me = FOOD

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I was reading GETSTRONGERR's blog, about how much food is on offer, when he is visiting home.

It looks like mothers all over the World prefer to speak about love trough cooking.

I wish they had alternative ways to express there love.

My mother is the same. She wants to tell me how much she loves me, and how she happy is to see me = FOOD.
And the more the love, the bigger the quantity.

Basically, any friend I know, when we visited their parents, we received heaps of food.

Last week, I've been to Mexico, to a conference. To feel the welcome of the host, we had been invited to restaurant for all occasions. The food was excellent, I really liked it. But somehow, just I notice that to express their hospitality, the language was to offer high quantity of food.

I had the chance also to visit a friends family in Mexico, and I noticed that the mom also was offering lot of food to show love.

I'm going to visit my mother in December, too. When she was last time staying at me, she got interested in weight loss, and healthy life, she also lost a couple of pounds since then.

I think, I will let her know in advance, that I'm happy that she cooks for me. But as I am on a healthy lifestyle now, there are foods that I eat with more pleasure, and to let her know what type of food is my preference. And within those limits, she can cook as much as she wants.
And I will eat it, with a good mind.

Papaya was available in large quantities in Mexico.
This from a 24h open supermarket.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 12/3/2011 3:49PM

    That papaya looks luscious. One of my favorite mini-meals when living in California was a half a papaya with a big scoop of yoghurt. MMMM!

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    Hi! Hi! My mother is like that too.

And when my son visited me the last time, ... I gained 3 pounds! Usually, I eat heathy meals in small quantity, but when I have visit, that is another story.

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ARGYLE-RUNNER 11/23/2011 4:34PM

    I see myself as even guilty of doing this - especially if we have company - I always want to make sure there is enough - and that everyone is satisfied - I think mothers who have not seen their children in awhile take this to the next degree - though I don't mind at all if there are leftovers (and lots) because then I can feed them again and again :)

the hardest part is when the quantity doesn't join with healthy food choices

I was planning my meals for tomorrow, and even with making healthy choices and portion control, it was a bit of a tight fit to stay in range - it is made more difficult when guests request certain dishes - like that killer pecan pie (over 400 calories for 1/8th of the pie, and that is without the crust!)

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FVHORVATH 11/23/2011 12:55PM

    Mom's like ot have someone to cook for and therefore when they are around the kids they are happy to be able to cook for them. But you are right that Food = Love to Mom's. We do try and control it but sometimes it is hard.

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CANDOK1260 11/23/2011 3:19AM

    yep food equal love know the equation well and don;t want to hurt family but you know the way you explain it might work lets us know in Dec. have a great day

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SHOOPETTE 11/23/2011 2:15AM

    I am actually guilty of the same thing, I cook a lot for those I love

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KIMBERTA99 11/22/2011 9:20PM

    I love seeing your photos!! That looks a shelf from Soriana's..hahahahaha! Actually they had papaya on sale today at Walmart!! I will think of you every time I see a papaya.....unfortunatly I don't like the taste!! That is great that you can talk to your mom and let her know that she can feed you but with healthier foods! My mom is the same..when we go back for a visit she prepares all the foods that I love that we cannot get here!! And way too many sweets!!

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/22/2011 7:37PM

    I'm glad to hear it's a universal problem!

I get back from my meetings today and my mother has dinner already. Luckily I hit the gym today.

So what does she say? "Well since you went to the gym today, you can have another plate"

What is this insanity!?!?!

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CAPTHAMMER 11/22/2011 6:26PM

    Certain foods you "eat with more pleasure". What a great way to express that. Let your mom know ahead of time you love her cooking almost as much as you love her but there are some things you would appreciate more than others. As KMICHA says she'll likely cook like crazy for you either way so you may as well request the healthier choices.

Mmmm-mmmm, papaya. Aren't they great?

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TYKXBOY 11/22/2011 3:43PM

    Food = Love is definitely universal. My mother-in-law does the same for her daughters and for me. She would make huge breakfasts with eggs and biscuits & gravy and hash browns and sausage and pancakes. Any of those by themselves would be a filling breakfast, but she was serving them all at the same time. And she would never even eat breakfast with us. She would just make a banquet fit for 6-8 people just for the 3 of us. And then there would always be heaps of food leftover when we were done - about which she would loudly complain about. Then she would complain about them getting too skinny (they were size 16).

For the thousands of years that human's have been on this Earth, food has been scarce. Everyone had just enough to eat to survive. When crops were scarce, people starved. So, having gobs of food and being overweight (or at least plump) was a sign of health and wealth - and that's why providing food is a symbol of great hospitality. It's only been in the last 50 years that food has been so ubiquitously available (at least in "developed" countries) in such quantities and choices that it's availability has become an afterthought. However, the culture of food = wealth = love has not changed.

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KMICHA 11/22/2011 3:39PM

    Good question! Why do mothers (and wives) show their love with food? Have we been taught that nothing says I love you like fixing your favorite dish? The saying goes, a way to a man's heart is through his stomach. (don't know where the quote actually originated) I am guilty of that very thing.

It would be good to gently approach your Mother before your visit and let her know your food desires . . . I'm betting she'll still cook up a storm, but only the healthy stuff!!!

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