SLARTYB's SparkPeople Blog SLARTYB's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Oman & Dubai Spent the last 2 weeks in Oman & Dubai. We lived in Oman from 1999 to 2005 so it was good to revisit after 8 years & see the old places again. Some new building but nothing compared to the scale of Dubai. We took our old Muscat Road Runners vests with us & went for a run with the old club which is still going strong & even recognised a few faces. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Despite a few runs along the Muscat coast & one great ... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 07:38:40 EST In Geneva Just a quick 2 day trip to Geneva - have not even brought my gym kit but trying to be good on the food front! Hotel has a nice panoramic view of the alps from the breakfast room. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 23 Jan 2013 02:58:54 EST Day trip to London Despite the travel warnings due to snow I managed to get to London & back from Holland in a day yesterday. Despite getting stranded at Leiden by the lack of a train & having to take a taxi, my flight was only delayed by 30 mins. On the way back my flight was cancelled but I managed to get the last flight out of London which was half empty. Today I am off to Geneva for 2 nights but looks like flight is on time.... <BR> <BR> After 2 weeks of counting every calorie yesterday was a bit of a b... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 04:20:38 EST Another excellent week Now down below 77 kg! This has been partly helped by a mild brush with something like the Noro virus this week - although I was not sick I did not feel hungry for a few days so calorie intake was way down. It was either the virus or the oysters on Saturday night! Sat, 19 Jan 2013 02:17:00 EST An Excellent Week After the binging of Christmas and New Year I finally had 5 days to myself (wife back in UK for the week) and really concentrated on fitness and reducing my calorie intake. Result, 77.2 kg, the first time below 78 since 2011 by the looks of things! It has not been too difficult keeping daily intake below 1800 and running off ca 700 each day. I have not felt too hungry and even been finishing off the Christmas chocolates - I am sure one choc of 80 cals after lunch& dinner is a good way to c... Fri, 11 Jan 2013 04:07:39 EST Food for thought... So globally, obesity is now a bigger killer than malnutrition.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s/9742960/Obesity-killing-three-times-<BR>as-many-as-malnutrition.html </link> <BR> <BR> Which makes our efforts to keep the weight off more important than ever. Anyone trivializing this aim is underestimating the impact. What's encouraging is that I now see the macho guys of even 10 years ago who would ignore this stuff now becoming concerned..... Wed, 19 Dec 2012 02:40:12 EST In Houston My second time in Houston in less than a month. Its a very boring 10.5 h flight over & was interrupted by some shmuck trying to take a ciggy break in the toilets. That's such a no-no these days that I am surprised they didn't divert the place & chuck him out. Of course the smoke alarm went off & you could smell it in the whole cabin once they opened the door. <BR> <BR> I am still on European, or maybe even Middle Eastern time given that I was in Dubai all last week. I made it through to ... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 06:36:36 EST Stuck in Dubai! The weather in Holland has conspired to keep us here another day & night. Bad snow in Holland today means that we have re-booked to fly back Saturday morning. Hopefully I can make it home before I have to leave again for Houston on Sunday! Thu, 6 Dec 2012 23:09:55 EST In Dubai Just here for a short week. The first snows of winter hit just as we got to Amsterdam airport so we were delayed 2 hours on the runway while we queued to be de-iced. Got in late & went straight to work the next day. I did not even bother bringing my gym kit as I knew it would not get the time. I have only one day free in Dubai but think I will take it easy & try & get some sunshine before returning the grey skies & snows of Holland.... <BR> <BR> Did my first race of the running season ... Wed, 5 Dec 2012 06:20:26 EST In Houston I am just here for 4 days to give a class so it's quite challenging with lots of 'up' time and my throat is usually suffering by the end of the day. I have been 'good' so far & stayed off the booze & run both nights I have been here so far, jet-lagged as I am, and making reasonable choices from the all-you-can eat buffet breakfasts, lunches & dinners..... <BR> <BR> I always find it amazing that I can drag myself on to the treadmill feeling like death warmed up but actually GAIN energy as I ... Tue, 13 Nov 2012 16:34:34 EST I paid for that trip.... I was only home 3 days in the whole of October and weighed myself this morning to assess the damage - just shy of 80 kg which means I have put on 4 lbs in a month. Despite getting back to some serious running in Poland for a few days I let the exercises slip and have been indulging in food & booze. I wish I could dedicated November to taking off the weight again but I have trips planned to the UK next week & Houston the week after.... Fri, 2 Nov 2012 07:14:53 EST In Warsaw From the warmth of Lisbon to the cold of Warsaw. My first time in this city & apparently it's unseasonably cold - even for Poland. It had been snowing the day before so everywhere is covered in white - even the flowers! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I feel very heavy from last week - I did NO running at all & was eating large breakfasts/lunches/dinners & plenty of booze. I did do a lot of walking (up & down!) around Lisbon but I ... Mon, 29 Oct 2012 04:02:59 EST In Lisbon I am in Lisbon for the week attending a conference here but with some spare days to sight see. Travelling with the missus has been tough on my diet & health as I am not getting all the 'down time' I am used to when travelling alone which is usually spent in the hotel gym rather than seeing the sights! I am also dining out more than I usually do - sometimes I even skip meals if I can - but it's difficult to eat a small amount when you dine out. Ultimately of course it's better for the marri... Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:05:12 EST In Portugal Spending a week in the Algarve at a Forum at a very nice hotel next to a golf course - unfortunately I don't play golf - but they do have a very nice gym facility so I hope to use that as often as I can. What's different about this business trip is that my wife is with me which makes the whole thing feel more like a vacation (which it certainly is for her!) <BR> <BR> As usual trying to dodge the delights or the buffet breakfast/lunch & dinners..... Mon, 15 Oct 2012 08:20:36 EST In KL 3 Odd week - failed to exercise last 2 days (& prob this one too) - been having large breakfast & lunch then beers but no dinner!!!!! <BR> <BR> View from the pool.... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 11 Oct 2012 02:52:44 EST In KL 2 Had a very relaxing day yesterday - the hotel here has a fabulous gym - maybe it was a case of fresh legs but I ran an easy 45 mins on the treadmill. Great views from the gym windows! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 8 Oct 2012 05:05:08 EST In Kuala Lumpur Woohoo! A day off in KL! Of course that means a day catching up on all the email I missed travelling during the last week & getting ready for this week, but still - feels like a luxury & I will start with an extended gym & pool session.... After my healthy breakfast of course: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 6 Oct 2012 22:55:44 EST In Ho Chi Minh City Just here for 2 days - not enough time to adapt to time zone so the usual problems of disrupted sleep & odd eating patterns. I probably did well on calories yesterday as I just didn't get hungry - sailed through lunch without noticing I had missed a meal - why can't every day be like that! Now on my way to Kuala Lumpur for the week... <BR> <BR> Good choices from the breakfast buffet! Now taking pix on my new iphone 5! <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 5 Oct 2012 23:15:31 EST Off back to UK for weekend My eldest son finished college in July and of course, couldn't find a job, so at the last minute has managed to get onto a Masters course in the UK, starting next week. After settling the youngest in to his first college last weekend I am heading back to settle in the eldest (again). <BR> <BR> Being on my own this week (wife stayed in UK) I have had a low calorie week - all below the 2,000 cals/day with not too much effort but its been pretty boring & antisocial! Now that I am heading back... Fri, 28 Sep 2012 02:58:54 EST Fasting Failure Following this interesting BBC documentary on fasting: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I decided to take the plunge yesterday & limit myself to just 600 cals in one day. I didn't start with any great motivation or intentions - just to 'see what it was like'. I was doing reasonably well - 2 x 180 cal meals at breakfast & lunch but after a further 180 cal dinner at 6 pm I was still starving & decided that I did NOT want to do this twice a week for t... Wed, 26 Sep 2012 11:17:58 EST In London Popped over to London on business for a couple of days. Just missed the final Olympics parade through the streets. Went out to Chiswick - my old stomping ground from 25 years ago & hardly recognised a thing! <BR> <BR> I met up with an old school friend on Monday night for a boozy evening which inspired my colleague to meet up with his old school friends on Tuesday night which inspired another boozy evening - no exercise & full english breakfasts combined with boozy evenings means that this... Wed, 12 Sep 2012 06:20:01 EST In Damman, Saudi Arabia My first visit to Saudi & its been pretty dull so far. I am giving a course this week & staying at the same hotel, so other than a night drive from the airport have not seen much. There seem to be no views from the hotel which might as well be in the middle of an industrial estate. <BR> <BR> Due to the no alcohol laws I am drying out from my boozy weekend in Dublin so maybe its a good thing. I have been running in the gym here but its poorly maintained - as hot as a sauna with no water ... Mon, 3 Sep 2012 00:57:55 EST Dublin Had a few days in Dublin mixing business with pleasure & was lucky enough to get a few sunny days too! This was my first trip to Ireland or Dublin; it's taken me 50 years to get around to visit our UK neighbour! We really loved the place - a short drive down the East Coast in the sunshine & a few trips around the city - including tours of Jamiesons & Guiness! Not good for calorie intake but did lots of walking to compensate.... <BR> <BR> Practicing my Guiness pouring technique.... <BR> <... Fri, 31 Aug 2012 03:03:43 EST 50 Today! Another milestone birthday & not a day to be weighing myself! Unfortunately I am tipping back towards 80 kg again so I am hoping that some intermittent fasting in October may help redress the balance. <BR> <BR> To celebrate we are heading off to Dublin this evening for a few days of business & pleasure (Guiness & Jamesons!). My wife has stopped working & both kids have now 'left home' (although one stubbornly seems to be back!) so she can come with me on more of my business trips. <BR> <B... Sat, 25 Aug 2012 06:52:06 EST Eat, Fast & Live Longer? Saw another great BBC Horizon documentary last night: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> This one was about the benefits of calorie restriction and fasting. The presenter (who first got me into calorie counting with a similar documentary 3 years ago) looked into the benefits of fasting on your metabolism & it’s clear that its beneficial in reducing blood glucose & insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) which reduces (dramatically!) your chance of gett... Tue, 21 Aug 2012 02:48:56 EST Turkey Just back from a very relaxing week in near Marmaris in Turkey. Booked at the last minute and not really sure where we were going we ended up at a tucked away vacation resort, 30 km away from any town along winding roads. As there was not much to do this kind of forced the relaxation on us. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Buffet breakfasts & dinners were hard to resist but managed to swim & run most days so pleased to find that I hav... Thu, 16 Aug 2012 03:09:50 EST In Istanbul On vacation - exploring the city at a leisurely pace! Sat, 4 Aug 2012 18:12:34 EST In Cornwall I am in Cornwall for 2 weeks staying at a family beach Chalet overlooking St.Ives. This Chalet has been in my wife's family for years - going back to the Grandparents in the 30s! Luckily it has been expanded & rennovated so most of the comforts of home & even wifi this year so I can semi-work/semi-play down here. The bad weather has cleared up & now it's gloriously sunny - just in time for the Olympics! <BR> <BR> I have run twice but I my knees are used to the comfort and springiness of t... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 09:34:05 EST The Men Who Made Us Fat There was an interesting BBC documentary series on recently. Last night I sat down to watch Episode 1: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> The main argument was that the production of corn syrup - high in fructose in the 70s - which was a cheap replacement for sugar - gave a real boost to the obesity epidemic. It seems there was a big debate between industry & academics on which was worse for you - fat or sugar. The sugar lobby won and fat was branded ... Thu, 12 Jul 2012 02:57:46 EST In Bandung 2 The week is almost over & its been a tough slog. I have been teaching all day and exhausted by the end. I managed to get to the gym just twice before i felt almost too tired to move. I have not been sleeping well either; jet-lag, screaming cats & a nearby mosque going off at 4.30 am have combined to deprive me of sleep! The upside is that its meant that I have not felt particularly hungry and have not eaten excessively despite buffet breakfasts & lunches & restaurant dinners involving ala... Thu, 5 Jul 2012 04:29:21 EST In Bandung I am in Bandung, Indonesia for the week. It was about a 2 hour car journey from Jakarta but then another hour to get across town due to hopeless traffic. <BR> <BR> I don't have much much of an impression of the place yet - hopefully I will get out for dinner a few times this week to see the place. <BR> <BR> Last week I popped over to the UK to see my son's graduation from Cambridge. They did the whole ceremony, with degrees being awarded in Latin. You couldn't get more like Hogwarts! <BR... Sun, 1 Jul 2012 07:19:46 EST In Houston I am here all week & staying at a hotel with a good (& importantly - icy AC) gym. Despite jet-lag I have managed to run twice this week. Last week at home I felt some of my running strength returning & have been doing some 'power' runs on the treadmill. Avoiding food here is difficult & I have felt sugar cravings at odd times of the day - I am sure I am overloading on calories but very difficult to stop when they're needed! <BR> <BR> Last week I was in Aberdeen just for the day & it was a... Wed, 20 Jun 2012 08:01:54 EST In Paris Just in Paris for 2 days & one night. I had to leave the house early (4.30 am) and forgot my passport (d'oh!) - unforgivable error for a road warrior! I only realised as I was getting to the airport and as I leave everything really fine these days managed to blag my way onto the plane with an out-of-date Dutch Residence permit (no longer required for an EU citizen). As France & Holland are Schengen agreement countries you don't technically need a passport but you must have LEGITIMATE ID ... Fri, 8 Jun 2012 07:46:35 EST What happened? So I get back from 2 weeks on the road, trying to be a road warrior, jet-lagged & tired and immediately lose all motivation to track food or exercise. Amazingly I seem to have lost about a pound over the whole trip. Sometimes I just can't fathom what's going on with my body! <BR> <BR> So, I am off again for the next 2 days, but just to Paris so will not bother packing my trainers for such a short hop. Today I WILL get on the treadmill and track my food, although feels a bit like blowing i... Wed, 6 Jun 2012 04:48:26 EST On Sakhalin So, last stop of tour, less than 24 hours in Yuzhno on Sakhalin Island. I felt very welcome & even met up with some old friends including an ex-neighbor of ours, so we had lots to catch up on. <BR> <BR> There's not much to say about Yuzhno as I haven't seen that much of it, but it was a surprisingly warm day, especially as they had had the last flurry of snow just the week before! <BR> <BR> I am now heading back to Holland via Moscow and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed after 2 ... Fri, 1 Jun 2012 08:12:04 EST Leaving Seoul I was only in Seoul for a brief 2 nights & a day but got a good impression of the city and its people. I even managed to get a workout in the gym after recovering from all the heavy drinking in China! The country looks beautiful judging from the showy photos at the airport so I guess I will have to come back someday and find out. Koreans all look very healthy - there was an interesting newspaper article saying that Koreans have the lowest obesity rate of the developed nations - i.e., 3% wh... Wed, 30 May 2012 19:51:36 EST Leaving YangZhou Wow. A place I've never heard of and yet so beautiful that Chinese tourists flock here! Yesterday I got a tour of the city, including the beautiful gardens of the ' Slender West Lake' area and the old city. I did not see another single Westerner the whole time so I felt like I was discovering a magical hidden city! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The downside is that my enthusiastic hosts are very keen to fill me with food and the d... Mon, 28 May 2012 00:38:24 EST In YangZhou Well, that was a surprise. I thought I would be staying in Nanjing and that YangZhou was a suburb but it seems to be about an hour & a half drive away! Note to self: must check map! <BR> <BR> I had an overnight flight from Chennai, consisting of a hop to Singapore then Nanjing which meant, again, very little sleep. My host took me for breakfast about 9 am and all I wanted to do was sleep after that but he was already keenly asking me at what time I wanted to have lunch, 12? I managed to ... Sat, 26 May 2012 03:34:46 EST In Chennai I have only just arrived having had a hectic schedule which took me from Islamabad to Delhi via Dubai. As the flight was at 3 am I did not get much in the way of sleep, and had to hit the ground running. So I did not get to see much of Delhi as I was in bed by 9 pm to get up at 4 am to catch the flight here! Needless to say there was no time for exercise! <BR> <BR> Despite such an extended day for some reason I only managed two meals - a coffee & roll in Dubai then a curry in Delhi. I am... Thu, 24 May 2012 04:10:02 EST In Islamabad This is my second day here and I am more or less a prisoner here in a 5 star hotel with 3 security gates and a police road block to get in and out! There are even snipers on the roof (although they seem to spend more time checking out the bikini babes by the pool than looking for potential terrorists!) <BR> <BR> I suppose the best aspect of this is that I can work on the tan after a miserably cold European Spring and getting quality time in the well-stocked and virtually empty gym! <BR> <B... Tue, 22 May 2012 06:04:55 EST Here we go again.... Tomorrow I am off on a grueling, non-stop 2 week lecture tour of Asia, stopping in Pakistan, India, China, Korea & Russia, travelling via Turkey, Dubai & Singapore! It will be almost impossible to control my diet, get enough sleep and exercise so I will just have to go into road warrior mode & do my best.... <BR> <BR> Only just about recovering from my nasty flu of last week - can still feel it on my chest and sinuses. My jaw is also still not right & need to get that tooth removed sometim... Sat, 19 May 2012 06:23:34 EST Royal Ten I ran the Royal 10k race in The Hague yesterday. It was cool & the sun was shining but I was still suffering the aftermath of my recent flu & despite a strong start really felt the energy draining away after 5k. It picked up again at 7k but it's still hard to give it your all when you still feel ill! <BR> <BR> Needless to say I did a terrible time but was happy to be running again..... Mon, 14 May 2012 11:03:22 EST Starting to feel better Had a terrible 4 full days of flu - was left with absolutely no energy to do anything. It was so bad I forgot what it was like to feel fit enough to do anything! I am still suffering from the aftermath but at least managed to walk on the treadmill for 50 mins yesterday. I also started monitoring my calories again. I thought I'd done really well - about 1800 & not feeling hungry but then when I remembered all the bits and pieces realised it was more like 2100! Still good though! Thu, 10 May 2012 04:42:40 EST Best laid plans..... I thought I could use this 2 weeks at home to really control my diet & get a run in every day. Last night I started coming down with something on my chest & a tickle in my throat and although I am no worse this morning I really don't feel like clambering on a treadmill! <BR> <BR> I looked back at my race times yesterday and saw a I did a lot of PBs when I first got down to 75 kg around early 2010. That's giving me another incentive to get the pounds off (again!) Fri, 4 May 2012 02:04:30 EST Back in Holland I was spared by the weather gods - whatever snow storm there was did not hit Pittsburgh so got back safely. Yesterday I slept most of the day to get back on this time zone. Today I weighed myself.... Damage was bad - 80 kg. That's more or less a month of unfit living..... <BR> <BR> So, now I have 2 weeks before I am due to go on a long trip again - although I already seem to be pulled to go places I don't want to go before then. I am determined to count calories and try & run every day.... Thu, 26 Apr 2012 07:52:47 EST In Pittsburgh I am beginning to feel more like a true road warrior again today. I have managed to get to the gym everyday & managing to take more control of my food. It is so much easier to exercise at 1,200 feet than 5,200 feet! I could barely get my heart rate below 155 in Casper where as here I struggle to get it above 150! My jaw is a lot less swollen now & I am taking less nurofen too - maybe a couple a day now which helps make me feel fitter. <BR> <BR> I walked around downtown yesterday - being ... Mon, 23 Apr 2012 10:13:28 EST In Casper, Wyoming My talk went well yesterday - despite the swollen jaw - I managed to speak OK for an hour without any discomfort. It was still hurting today though and I am not sure all this up & down in airplanes helps.... <BR> <BR> I got to windy Casper this afternoon and the first thing a lady on the bus told me was that Wyoming is beautiful but Casper is an armpit! I have not had much chance to look around but it didn't look that great coming from the airport to the hotel! <BR> <BR> Tried to sleep th... Wed, 18 Apr 2012 20:57:02 EST In Grand Junction, Colorado I got in late last night after 3 flights from Amsterdam, taking in the cities of Minnesota & Salt Lake City along the way. Both looked nice from what little I saw from airplane or airport windows. Especially Salt Lake at sunset: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The flights were all on time which was a blessing and fortunately i did not have much pain from t... Tue, 17 Apr 2012 07:49:58 EST Rotterdam Marathon So I at least attempted to run this thing. I had not run a single step in 5 weeks after a knee injury from a previous half-marathon so was overweight & out-of-shape. On top of that I had oral surgery on Friday afternoon and was attempting this on the Sunday morning. Dosed up on Paracetemol & Codeine for my swollen mouth (I looked like a lop-sided Marlon Brando in the Godfather) I thought that at least the pain of running would distract from the pain in my mouth! <BR> <BR> Well, first 10 k... Mon, 16 Apr 2012 17:49:21 EST In Cornwall Taking a well-deserved week break in Cornwall with family. Weather has turned cold but still sunny. Now have wifi in the beach chalet I am staying in which is both a blessing and a curse. Not sure whether to test my knee by running or not. I am so out of shape right now & supposed to be running the Rotterdam marathon in less than 2 weeks.....! Tue, 3 Apr 2012 13:00:20 EST