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PLANKWALKER's Recent Blog Entries

A Stretchy Home Stretch

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hi SP gang! Hope you're well and moving and warm! Cold enough for ya?

Since I last checked in, rest assured that my silence in these parts didn't mean I wasn't active and keeping at it. In fact, I'm pleased to report that even accounting for the poundage gained from the holidays and from being sick with flu - I've lost over 40 pounds total since last February!

It's a great feeling, and although this progress (and efforts) happened over fits and starts during the past year, the feeling of accomplishment is settling in. It didn't dawn on me until I was fitting into old dress shirts and pants long relegated to the back of my closet, that I've been meeting my goals - as intentionally vague as I've kept them.

You see, although this might sound strange and counter-intuitive, the past year I've been exercising with no specific number goal in mind, or plan in hand. I figured that the less I actively try to stick to a plan (or "the less I think about it"), the less I'd set myself up for failure and disappointment. During the week, I pretty much would just tell myself, "Just work out, just do it, just work out ... " - to the point where 4 to 5 times a week, I've been able to schedule at least a run and a stretch during the day.

Anyway, between fitting into my more form-fitting clothes, having more energy, and feeling less winded doing routine activities, I feel like I'm reaching the top of the mountain. And although this home stretch toward the top is feeling particularly long and stretched out, I feel like I'm finally enjoying the fruits of my labors. I don't quite know what will happen when I get to 150, but since I'm already starting to entertain the question of maintenance, I think mentally I'm also getting to where I want to be.

Side note: I took an aerobics workout class offered at my work last evening, for the very first time. Having never taken such a high-intensity class before, I was walloped! My co-worker buddy (another first-timer) and I were dreading the class beforehand, we felt pushed toward (and past) our limit during the class, and then afterwards high-fived each other and wished each other well with the expected soreness (which has arrived right on cue). I will probably do this again. :-)

Phil G.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENNISJIM 1/27/2013 9:48AM

    Way to go Phil. Awesome.

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Rollin', rollin' ...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Long time, no blog! Don't worry; no news is good news. (This time, anyway.)

Summer came and went, and I gotta say it was pretty swell! In June, I went to London for the first time, for a week - and had a blast. Walked a lot (seriously a lot!), ate well, and saw some great theatre (as it's spelled there). I also made it to Northern California, where I grew up, to visit family and there, too, I walked and did some bike-riding around downtown and along the American River Bike Trail which I discovered for myself only years after moving away. Better late than never!

And throughout the summer, bike riding around Brooklyn, and swimming at the beach or a pool were real joys that were very new to me - especially the feeling of enjoyment and seeking these out. I've been exercising fairly regularly this summer, and I've now lost almost 30 pounds. I want to remember how good it feels not to get winded so easily, how less self-conscious I felt when swimming this summer, how to relish the feeling of better-fitting clothes, and how empowering it is to feel a little bit of balance when eating: that is, wanting to eat healthy so as to feel better, and not gross afterwards.

Now that work is starting to ramp up again, though, I also hope that I keep these good feelings - and determination - going. Exercising with some degree of regularity has been more of a stress relief than eating poorly had been, and I want to remember that when things get overwhelming. I want these good habits to last.

With fingers crossed,
Phil G.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENNISJIM 9/22/2012 7:49AM

    You can do it. You will do it.

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Down to the Roots

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I had a massive toothache on Monday, then it subsided yesterday, and I went to the dentist this morning. The worst kind of surprise awaited me: a root canal!

Several hundred dollars later, with a numb face and sad spirit (I do have to return to have the endodontist finish the procedure), I was walking a few blocks up to work, taking some comfort in that it's a particularly beautiful spring-like day in NYC.

Also, another silver lining for this morning was that, before the dentist, I was still able to squeeze in a run after being out of commission the past couple o' days.

I guess dental care easily falls into the category of "Really Good Reason to Take Care of Myself." I just wish this reminder wasn't so expensive, and wasn't such a drag!

With a case of the blah's,
Phil G.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOURBONIAN 3/20/2012 1:34AM

    I hope this week is a better one for ya!

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Alive and Kickin'

Monday, March 12, 2012

Well hello there! Just a quick note to say that I'm still around - albeit infrequently - and well, I let myself go (and let myself down) a bit in my absence. As work and life got busier and more stressful at times, my resolve to "stick with it" and to keep moving and eating healthy, fell by the wayside.

As a result, the feeling of, "Oh hey, this [INSERT ARTICLE OF CLOTHING HERE] more snug than usual" gradually progressed to "Wow, this [NOW MUCH SMALLER ARTICLE OF CLOTHING] doesn't fit me at all!"

It's also dawning on me that with diabetes and high blood pressure running strong on both sides of my family, I have to keep an eye on myself. Plus, my older siblings seemed to have "acquired" their large sizes when they were around my age, so this sort of suggests that my genes require some real, sustained work (exercise, food choices) to keep myself healthy.

So I'm back to the gym routine, doing cardio and stretches about 4x/week and I'm really feeling out of shape and out of practice. But, about 2 weeks into the routine, I'm already feeling some rewards: some dress shirts no longer feel like sausage casing (!); some weight has come off of my face and upper body; and running across a street or walking up a long flight of stairs aren't leaving me (as) winded. It's the little things that I hope will add up to something grand.

In the same way I'm getting back into the swing of running/moving, I'll be easing back into visiting these great SP pages - like yours - and the resources that I found so helpful in the past. See you around, and soon!

-- Phil G.

Workout song of the moment: "Step by Step" (Whitney Houston). I'm partial to the Annie Lennox original, but this version (A) got way more famous, and (B) is better-suited to getting me moving!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAVIDPRESCOTT 3/13/2012 4:06PM

    Life can distract us so easily. Nothing is more important than your health and when you're fighting fit the work stresses will seem MUCH more manageable.

Welcome back.

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BOURBONIAN 3/12/2012 11:30PM

    Welcome back & Congrats on your progress so far!

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Not Even a Peep

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hey gang - long time, no post, I know! I've been doing OK, though consistency re: exercise has not been great. That said, I'm happy to say that I've been making good food choices when they've come up, so I think the small steps have prevented a huge slide.

The surefire reminders of snug clothes and getting winded on routine tasks are back in my life, so back to the grind I go. Also, I've been consistently logging on to SP (though lurking!), so know that your presence on the site and positive attitude have kept healthy choices pretty close at hand.

I'm just now getting over a real doozy of a cold/flu which knocked me out of commission all last weekend. I feel lame showing up to work with the remnants of it (cough and hoarse voice), but I'm productive and it's nice to jump back into things, as I rarely get sick like that. Isn't it just astonishing to see how ample sleep, lots of water/fluids, steam/humidifier, and care for oneself can let the immune system just do its thing?

Backing up a little bit, I had a great birthday a couple weeks back, though the days surrounding the birthday itself (March 30) were actually pretty stressful at work. Nevertheless, my bf and his parents (who came down from CT) took me out to a lovely birthday dinner, and we went to the Met Opera which is always a real treat. I appreciated being able to 'geek out' at the technical wizardry (and of course vocal artistry) before me.

After my project/production at work was finished later in the week, I had a really small birthday get-together with some of my best friends at a wine bar around the corner from our apartment. I wasn't in the mood for a big, social get-together at a pub, so this small, focused affair was just what I wanted to celebrate and remind myself of the blessings of love, friendship, life, and health. How lucky we are; how lucky I am.

On a way less serious note, one thing I look forward to this time of year, is the Washington Post "Peeps Show" diorama contest. I don't actually care much for these marshmallow treats, but these dioramas are creative, meticulous, and pretty hilarious. Enjoy!

Later peeps!
Phil G.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THEBILLY 9/15/2011 9:16AM

    Lucky man, indeed. We all are.
I'm glad you had a great birthday, it sounds like it was just right!
love the dioramas!

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MRBRINERBSU 4/14/2011 9:36AM

    Ooooo what did you see at the Met? I will be there next week for Die Walkure. 24 hrs in Manhattan all for 5.5 hrs of opera CRAZY!!!

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TENNISJIM 4/14/2011 8:35AM

    Happy belated birthday. Welcome back and hope you stick around.

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TONYVOYAGER 4/14/2011 2:23AM

    Good to hear from you again - and happy birthday for next year. I'm also hacking and wheezing after been laid low by the flu so I can relate.

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HOLOGRAM82 4/13/2011 8:21PM

    Happy Belated Birthday! I don't think I wrote it on the actual day. I'm glad to see you're getting back into the swing of things after being sick, glad you're starting to feel better. Don't push yourself too hard until you're 100 %. The spark will wait for you to heal.

PS. Dinner and the opera sounds divine! emoticon

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RAVENSTORM27 4/13/2011 2:57PM

    Ah, the MET productions are always lavish and worth seeing. Glad that you had some celebratory goodness for your birthday and that you are jumping back into SP. I think that developing exercise as a habit is one of the most challenging things to do, so you are certainly not alone there.

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-AD-ASTRA- 4/13/2011 1:41PM

    "I wasn't in the mood for a big, social get-together at a pub, so this small, focused affair was just what I wanted to celebrate and remind myself of the blessings of love, friendship, life, and health. How lucky we are; how lucky I am."

Beautifully written.

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