Monday, December 29, 2008

Some Upper Body Work

Both my racquetball partners are out this week so it's a good time to maintain the jump start on my workout regimen. My legs were sore from the workouts I did Friday and Saturday, plus the ride in this morning, so I decided to work my notoriously week upper body. It's been a long time since I've done any lifting so I had to guess where to start. The ideas was to do hierarchical sets so I had to feel my way to get started. So here's goes:

Seated Dumbbell Press
15 x 15lbs
8 x 20lbs
4 x 25lbs

Dumbbell Bench Press

15 x 20lbs
8 x 25lbs
2 x 30lbs

Dumbbell Curls
RH 15 x 20lbs
2 x 25lbs
LH 15 x 25lbs

Notes: Did OK on the presses although I couldn't quite finish off the bench press. The curls were a disaster...bit off WAY more than I could chew on those.

I had a bit of a tailwind on the ride home. I tried to take it easy on my legs but can't help myself sometimes--gotta hammer with the tailwind!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

C2 Tabata, Thrusters, Decline Press

I had to "work" today (basically a paid 'net surfing session)but I got off early and decided to hit the gym.

Tabata Intervals on the Concept2 Rower
10 minute warm up
8x20sec w/10 sec recovery

Thrusters
3 sets with 45lb barbell
Reps: 18, 15, 12

Decline Press Hierarchical Set
70lbs X 15
120lbs X 8
140 X 4

Notes:

The C2 is a killer for doing intervals! This was the first time I had done any Tabata in some time. My results per interval in meters covered were 93, 94, 95, 80, 87, 83, 89, 87. I started strong but faded fast! I'm going to do this one once a week and see if I can't improve on those numbers.

The thrusters are limited by my upper body strength. My legs could handle more.

The presses were done on a Hammer Smith machine where each arm moves independently. The weight represents the plates added but doesn't account for the empty weight of the machine.

So a pretty good start, plus I got a jump on the New Year's resolution crowd that will back the gym next January!

Back In The Saddle Again!

Well, there has been a little change in attitude since my last post. That was the one where I sounded like I was going to basically give up trying to document my efforts to "get fit" because I had fallen into a routine that was rather redundant...and boring to write about. But I've taken stock of the damage done in this period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I've decided I need to get back to the more rounded program of exercise rather than depending on just my twice a week racquetball and my bicycle commuting. So hopefully this is going to start looking like it did when I first started when I was doing a variety of workouts. And it starts today!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Still Alive!!

In my very first post, I stated that I might do this a few days and then quit. I'm actually kind of surprised at the number of posts I managed to put up. But I've reached a point where I'm boring myself with thing. I've been doing the same things over and over and consequently, I haven't had anything to write about that I cared to spend some time on. I need some inspiration!

I've had a bit of a lapse since Thanksgiving and I'm no longer under 200 pounds. But I'm not going to worry about it until I get past Christmas and then I'll join the masses starting of with New Year's resolutions. We'll see...

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After

Well, I made no real attempt to have a "Primal Thanksgiving." I ate lots of stuff that Grok wouldn't recognize. But I started the day at 199 so hopefully any damage done will be temporary. I'm just going to avoid the scale for awhile--no need to subject myself to the shock!! :-)

I had a couple of great racquetball matches this week. Tuesday was great only in that I got in a good workout. Ron whupped up on me like an unwanted step-child; however, we got in a total of four games and it was some great work. Wednesday I repeated the same sequence that I did the last time I played Neal. I lost the first game but came back and won the last two. I'm pretty damn proud of myself for taking that last game. The second game was tough and I was sucking some serious wind at the end. I started the third thinking I really didn't care about the income. But then the competitor in my took over and I played hard. Great workout!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Sportsmanship and Good Eats

If you watched any sports news this past week, you probably saw the story of the golfer who reported a mistake he made (using an unapproved golf ball) which caused him to be disqualified from a tournament after it was over. Doing so cost him any chance of getting his full status on the PGA Tour next year. I was part of an incident this weekend that while not having the same financial implications, still was pretty impressive. I was the referee for a swimming meet on Friday, and I disqualified a swimmer for taking off early in a relay race. Later during the day, the team's coach approached me and said that he checked the results that were posted, and that the DQ wasn't noted. He went on to say that although some people associated with his team didn't want him to say anything, he didn't want a deserving team to miss the finals because of a clerical error. I checked with the scoring table and sure enough--the operator had failed to record the DQ. We corrected the error and the deserving team DID make the finals. I'd like to think that any coach would have done the same thing in that situation, but I know that some wouldn't. This coach showed some real integrity and I hope it rubs off on his swimmers.

Now more to topic. As you know if you've been following along, swim meets tend to put me in a situation where I am faced with great temptation to veer from my chosen path to eat healthy. This two-day meet was no exception. But I'm happy to say I did very well. I passed on all the pastries and other goodies. Friday I had three barbecue sandwiches but I scraped off the meat and tossed the buns. I followed that up with an apple and a banana. This morning I had two bacon and egg breakfast tacos without eating the tortilla. The rest of the day I snacked on fruit from a bit fruit salad. So I "done good." Now it's on to Thanksgiving!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Orange You Glad To See Me?



This is what I found waiting on the kitchen table when I got home from my bicycle commute. We're talking some VERY FRESH oranges with absolutely no pesticides involved in their production. I know that to be true because this is where they came from:

When we moved into this house over eight years ago, there was a little stub growing out of the ground. As it got bigger, I kept campaigning to cut it out because it was going to end up fighting for space with the mesquite tree. Well, my wife won that battle and I'm glad. These are great tasting oranges and the price is definitely right!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Staying The Course

Not much new to report other than I'm doing a good job of sticking to my nutritional plan, and things are looking good on the old scale. I've been consistently under 200 pounds every time I step on it--even after having a fairly large lunch yesterday at our company Thanksgiving gathering. I'd sure like to get a larger cushion going into Thanksgiving!

Things are not going quite as well with my exercise program. I am consistently riding my bike to work, and getting in my racquetball matches; however, I haven't been doing the pushups or doing any weight lifting. I'd like to make a declaration of renewed commitment like I did a couple weeks ago about my diet, but I'm not ready to go there. I'm thinking of breaking out my kettlebell workbook to do that program at home in the evening. Of course, "thinking about it" won't produce much in the way of results! :-)

I do have a couple other posts semi-drafted in my head but they require some visuals to go with them. The camera battery is charging!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Take No Prisoners!!

Just a quick post.

I played racquetball with Ron today and for whatever reason, he decided to inflict a beat down after I scored 11 in the first game. I scored a total of three points in the next two games. Ouch!

I took my wife to lunch at a great Japanese seafood buffet on Veteran's Day. I ate lots of healthy and delicious food, and ended it with a sliver of cheesecake. Yummy!

A Look at the Past for a Glimpse of the Future




I was looking through some old files on my computer yesterday while considering putting up a Veteran's Day related post when I ran across this photo. This was taken in '86 or '87 while I was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base. I was at the peak of my running phase--this would have been taken close to the time I had completed the Las Vegas marathon, and while I was running 40-50 miles a week. My weight then floated in a window between 182 and 187. If I was gearing up for fast 10K, then I would make an effort to get to the lower end of that range. This was a good news/bad news situation. The good news was that I felt like I was in great shape, and despite being a slow runner (my fastest mile was 5:55 on a slight downhill with a tailwind), I could still run a pretty decent 10K (40:18 PR). The bad news was that I was often fighting injuries like a bad case of trochanteric bursitis and a chronic case of plantar faciitis. As a matter of fact, it was the PF that finally caused me to abandon running and take up cycling.

This is what I want my "after" photo to look like except with a little more upper body development. Fifteen pounds to go!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The "Surge" is Working

Back on October 27th, I lamented about how I was straying from the path and starting to put on some weight. I had managed to escape the 201-205 window I had been operating in and had hit 211. On that day I posted the following:

IT STOPS TODAY



Well I have done very well since and when I climbed on the scale this morning, it read 200.0

I haven't touched as much as a single Hershey's Kiss since that day despite being surrounded by constant temptation. The push is on - 185 pounds is the target!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween - An Epilog

Just a quick note on last night. I had a great time with the trick-or-treaters, especially the many little ones that showed up at the door. But the best thing is that, unlike last year, I didn't eat a single piece of candy! I think that bodes well for my effort to make a big push. The weight IS going to come off!

Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Been A Good Week But A Challenge Awaits!

I've done a good job all week of avoiding the dietary pitfalls that have plaqued me often over the last few weeks. I've stuck to the plan and passed on the the goodies available at the office. On Thursday we had our annual Halloween breakfast, which included biscuits and gravy, tamales, totillas, and tons of pastries. But they also had several different egg dishes and some great tasting sausage. I may have not had nearly the calorie deficit that I had Monday through Wednesday, but I didn't give in to the sweet tooth monster either. My granddaughter did her normal Thursday night cookie bake but I passed. The big test, however, comes tonight. I am the one who gets the task of handing out candy to the neighborhood kiddies. This is kind of like an alcholic getting a job as a bartender. I don't know how I'm gonna do it but I'm sure gonna try.

It was a pretty good week activity wise as well. I played racquetball with Neal Monday and in a tough match, I lost my consecutive win streak. Neal was playing well and I made too many unforced errors. But we played again Wednesday and I've started what will hopefully be another winning streak. Early in the second game, I broke a couple strings on my racquet. I had to go to the office and check out one of their cheap ones. But in a gesture of great sportsmanship, Neal put away his good racquet and played with the el cheapo instead. Pretty cool!
The weather has been great for riding--a little nippy in the morning but real nice coming home. I drove in yesterday after forgetting to put my work clothes in the wife's car (she works at the gym where I go to change and shower before heading to my office a couple blocks away). My legs were also a little tired from riding hard in addition to playing two tough racquetball matches. I tell myself that I'm going to pedal easy sometimes so my legs can recover, but I always seem to put the hammer down once I get going. Once a racer.......

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cuting the Yo-Yo String

I don't know the exact numbers but I would guess that since my 21st birthday I have lost over 250 pounds. During that same timeframe, however, I have gained something like 215 pounds! In 1975 I arrived in Thailand weighing around 230 pounds. Five months later I was down to 170. In 1983 I stepped off the plane in Korea at 227. By the time I came home on leave midway through my one-year tour, I was down to 180. About five years ago I started "doing Atkins" at around 240 and managed to get down to 210. But I again found myself over 240 last July when I embarked on my present lifestyle change. So my history shows that I can figure out ways to get the weight off; however, keeping it off is a different story.

For the last few months, I've pretty much stayed between 200 and 205 pounds. I haven't been as strict about the diet as I was when I was losing the weight consistently. I've allowed my meat portions to gain in size. I eat a lot of almonds and macadamia nuts as snacks. Those are both healthy things to eat, but they are also calorie dense and it's hard to lose weight if I don't control portions. But my real problem has been that I've allowed myself to eat more and more things that I had completely shunned for a year. Example: my 17 year old granddaughter lives with me and every week she bakes cookies for her boyfriend. Well, grandpa has volunteered to try a couple to make sure they taste good. Sometimes I'm still not sure after two so I eat a couple more! :-) AS I TYPE THIS, an email notice just popped up announcing that there is lemon coffee cake available in the conference room! This goes on at work all the time and I've been great at avoiding it--until recently. I've had a few "what the hell" moments. I don't think that indulging in these type of snacks on occasion is that bad, but I've been doing it far too often.

IT STOPS TODAY!

I stepped on the scale this morning and I'm back up to 211. I refuse to allow myself to slip back into old habits. So I'm jumping back on the wagon with both feet today. No more cookies, no cake at the office, NO HALOWEEN CANDY (that's gonna be hard since I'm the one in charge of providing a sugar rush to the neighborhood kids Friday night). I'll have my daily apple but skip the mango, eat smaller portions of meat, and snack on a few baby carrots instead of macadamia nuts. It's time to make a big push and get below the Mendoza line once and for all!!! KILL THE YO-YO!!

A side commuting note: I woke up this morning to the sound of a howling wind out of the north due to a passing front. It took me 40 minutes to ride into work against the wind that included 25mph gusts. The ride home should be fun!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Change in Modus Operandi

I've been playing some pretty good racquetball lately. After a long stretch of only winning one out of three games against Neal, I've been winning two out of three almost every time out. That normally comes in the form of winning the first two games, followed by a loss. I think the during that third game I suffer from a little lack of motivation knowing that I've got the two games in the bank, plus I'm usually pretty damn tired at that point. Neal is younger and quicker around the court, which means I really have to hustle to get some points. But it didn't go that way today. After winning the first game, I dropped the second one 15-13 in a really hard fought game. So for THIS third game I was tired, but I wasn't lacking in motivation. It took some real effort but I won the third game. I was exhausted--but it doesn't feel that bad when you put up a "W"!!

It's been a good start to the week. Three days of commuting on the bike, and back-to-back racquetball matches. I think I'll ride easy tomorrow and go sit in the massage chair at the base hospital during lunch!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cruising with Nicky

Sunday I had the option of staying home and watching the Cowboys play the Rams, or going on a bicycle ride with my grandson Dominic (aka Nicky). As the picture shows, I made the right choice!! We rode around 15 miles altogether including heading out to the pier on the naval air station. We rode at a fairly liesurely pace because I wasn't sure how he would handle the distance; however, he did great! He said he'll be ready to go again next Sunday.

I had a swim meet to officiate Saturday which led to some carb binging. I'm not in self-bashing mode for indulging once in a while. I eat very healthy foods the vast majority of the time so I figure a couple pieces of upside down cake ain't gonna kill me! :-) At some point I hope to make a push and drop another 10 pounds or so, but I'm content with the holding pattern for now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blood Pressure and Racquetball

As I've posted before, I've been working with my doctor trying to get my blood pressure medication right. I had some problems with dizziness while lifting weights and after playing racquetball in the past. My assumption was that my weight loss and diet improvements were resulting in less need for the drugs. We tried switching to some different medications but they weren't keeping my numbers down well enough. But I think we finally figured it out. The problem was that I also take medication for urinary problems do to an enlarged prostate. But that same drug can also be prescribed for lowering blood pressure. I was taking both of them in the morning so when I was working out at lunch, I was getting the double whammy effect. The solution turned out to be quite simple. I take the prostate medication at night instead of the morning. That seems to have done the trick. I sure wish I could dump these drugs like I did the Zocor, but I guess it's just a condition that in my case can't be solved with exercise and diet. Bummer!

I played back to back racquetball matches Tuesday and today. Ron kicked my butt Tuesday but I took two out of three from Neal today. That's the third time in a row that I've won the first two games before losing the third. I think that's a function of a bit of a mental let down after knowing I've got the two wins under my belt, AND I'm a bit tired at that point. But like Meatloaf sings--two out of three ain't bad!

It's been a few days since I've done my pushups--I'll make a point of doing a few sets tomorrow. The bike has stayed in the garage this week due to the threat of rain. I'm a fair weather commuter for now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dr. Eades On My Lab Results

This is a follow up on my lab result post. The day after I got the results, Dr. Eades had a post on his blog concerning an otherwise healthy 49 year old who was put on statins after getting a total cholesterol reading over 200. It went into the problems he had with the side effects of taking the drug. The point of his post was that "preventative care" is not all it's stacked up to be in some cases. I posted a comment describing my recent experience. This was Dr. Eades reply to my comment:

Problem is, what if you had done all this and your cholesterol had stayed at 230 or gone even higher, a situation I’ve seen many times? Would you have panicked and gone back on the statin, which I can guarantee is what your physician would have recommended, or would you continue to avoid statins? You would still be healthy even with a cholesterol of 250, but you wouldn’t think so because you would be focusing on a fairly meaningless lab result rather than all the other signs of health.

My first reaction upon reading that was that he was saying "so what?--it's meaningless." I was a little shocked at first. But after thinking about it, I see his point. If you're a skeptic about the relationship between cholesterol levels and heart disease (and ultimately--mortality), then it shouldn't make a difference. HOWEVER, I seem to remember a point made in Gary Taubes's Good Calories, Bad Calories, that a rise in cholesterol could indicate that the body is raising it's defenses against inflammation caused by the constant carb intake and subsequent insulin release. I don't have a copy of the book (I read a library copy) so I can't go back to research exactly what was written. But if I AM recalling this correctly, then this was not a "meaningless lab result" at all. It's still a sign I'm doing something correctly.

By the way, I replied to Dr. Eades and stated that I still wouldn't have gone back on the statin. I quit taking it in the first place when I knew my numbers were up--nothing has changed my mind since then.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Considering Cordain

I recently checked out two books from the local library that I have been wanting to read for some time. One is Protien Power by Michael and Mary Dan Eades (both MDs), and The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain (PhD). I found both to be interesting reads and full of good information. One of main reasons I wanted to read Cordain's book was that I wanted to get his take on eating dairy products. (DISCLAIMER: I didn't read The Paleo Diet cover-to-cover this weekend so I may have missed something. I'm going to re-read it before it goes back to the library).

It seems rather obvious that Grok didn't chase down wild animals on the savannah and then take out his milking stool. But I love cheese and Greek-style yogurt, so I was looking for more information in order to make an informed decision. When I read the section on dairy in The Paleo Diet, what I gathered was that Cordain's main objection to eating dairy is based on it's saturated fat content. This is one area where Cordain differs from many others who espouse a "paleo" diet. My readings have led me to believe that our fear of saturated fat is not based on good science. I do make an effort to balance Omega-3s and Omega-6s, but have no problem with enjoying fatier cuts of meat, or my container of full-fat Greek Gods yogurt. Cordain also recommends no restrictions on eating fruit, but it seems unlikely to me that there would have been a lot of the fruit available that matches the sugar content of the stuff we can buy today. I can devour mangoes in mass quantities--but they are potent little sugar bombs.

So who's right? That's a question that all of us have to ask concerning a lot of subjects when we are trying to take control of our own health and well being. I'm sure there are millions of people in the U.S. who would benefit immensely if they followed the advice of either the Eades or Cordain to the letter. All we can do is make informed choices on the information available.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Lab Results Are In!!

I haven't felt the motivation to post lately. I'm doing the S.O.S on a recurring basis--racquetball, pushups, & cycling. My weight has stayed in the 200-205 range for months now. I want to shed some more fat but I'm content with the way things are for now. HOWEVER, I do have some fairly interesting news to share.

Sometime in late 2006, while still a raging carboholic, a doctor prescribed a daily dose of Zocor because of my elevated total cholesterol (230mg/dL). Then about 14 months ago, I started reading Mark's blog and several other sources that convinced me that I wanted to dump the statins. So I just quit taking the damn things. And I also made some serious dietary changes including a daily fat intake normally above 50% of my calories. So when my doctor suggested a lipid panel, I was really curious to see how it was going to turn out. So here are some of the numbers I got today:

Total Cholesterol 158mg/dL
LDL Cholesterol 100.2
HDL Cholesterol 50.00
Triglyceride 39.0

I'm pretty damn pleased with those numbers. Even if I do count myself among the skeptics who question the relationship between cholesterol and heart/vascular disease, it sure is satisfying to see these numbers knowing how much fat I consume.

I think I'll grill me a ribeye tomorrow!!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Great Thursday, Good Friday (at first), Lousy Weekend

Very good day on Thursday. The racquetball courts opened up earlier than expected and I took three games from Neal. My serve was a big factor but I also scored some crucial points from plain old hustle. There will normally be several points in a match that require some serious sprinting back and forth to keep the ball in play. That's why I consider racquetball my "interval workout" to go with the steady pace work of cycling and walking. They make a great combination.

Before I hit the courts on Thursday, I headed between the library stacks for my second attempt at the 20-15-15-12 pushup set. To my surprise, I completed it--all with good form. I did, however, take some fairly long breaks between the attempts so I'm going to repeat this one for awhile and reduce the recovery times before moving on.

I had a good ride into work on Friday, and went to eat lunch with my grandson like I do every Friday. But towards the end of the workday, I was feeling a little light-headed. I immediately chalked it up to my ongoing effort to get my blood pressure medication right; however, a couple hours after getting home, it was apparent that something else was going on. I soon found myself battling chills, muscle ache, and a low grade fever. This carried on throughout the weekend along with a pretty bad case of diarrhea. I still honored my commitment to officiate two swim meets this weekend, but I performed functions that allowed me to sit down most of the time.
Standing for long periods was not an option.

So now instead of using my last eight hours of vacation I have left to go play some golf, I'm using them to sit home and recover (no sick leave in my government contract). I could have gone in today but I'd like to give my intestines a chance to calm down before putting a day in at the office. I also need to do some hydrating today because I know I haven't been drinking enough to counteract the effects of the diarrhea. I've already cancelled racquetball for tomorrow and I'll probably drive to work rather than take the bike. Hopefully I be back to full speed by the end of the week.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Long Walk, Pushups, & Cycling in the Rain

I was planning on golfing Saturday but I took the sleep-in instead. The weather has remained relatively cool so I was still able to go for a two-hour walk without burning up. I was listening to some good tunes, and maintaining a fairly quick pace for the first 1.5 hours.

Monday I attempted my next level on the 100 Pushups program. I was supposed to do 20, 15, 15, and 12. I knocked out the first 20 which is a milestone in itself. I got to 15 for the second set but it was a struggle. After waiting three to four minutes, I decided to call it a day. My shoulders were aching and I didn't want to push it and risk a strain. I'll probably wait a couple of days before trying again.

When I left the house this morning, I was surprised to see the streets were wet. The forecast was for a sunny day. I guess that's why our local weatherman is known as "Dead Wrong Dale." :-) But to be honest, this is a tough location to forecast the weather. But it wasn't raining when I pulled out so I pressed on. Sure enough it started raining shortly after the halfway point. Fortunately it never became a downpour. Still, if I'm going to keep commuting by bike, I need to invest in some fenders!

I made it to the gym today for some Tabata on the rower, and a couple sets of thrusters with a 60lb barbell. I miss racquetball--sure hope the contractors finish the floors on time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

100 Pushups

Today I was determined to get through my sets of 16, 14, 14, and 12 reps. I was in great shape after the first three when the phone rang. That phone conversation led to another, which in turn took me right up to a meeting I had to attend. I didn't dawn on me until I was walking out the office that I hadn't done the last set. So I'm gonna give myself a mulligan of sorts and declare myself ready to move on. The next level is 20, 15, 15, & 12. That's going to be very challenging but I think I'll be able to handle the opening 20. If you would have asked me a few weeks ago to "drop and give me 20," I would have laughed! I considered doing 10 an achievement!

I haven't done anything else since Tuesday other than the bike commute. But I'll have five days and another 70 miles in the bank after the ride home today. Obviously this isn't going to get me in Crossfit/Gym Jones kind of shape, but it is definitely contributing to my stated goal--getting fit!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

100 Pushups, Racquetball, and Cool Weather Riding

Tuesday morning at work, I headed between the library stacks to resume my pushup program. I wasn't sure what was going to happen after having such a lousy day the last time I did them over a week ago. The goal was still to do sets of 16, 14, 14, and 12. I did the first three as RXd but after squeezing out 11 reps on the final set, I just couldn't to that last one. I was pleased with the result. I may never get to a point where I can knock out 100 pushups, but I'm definitely making progress.

I played three games with Ron Tuesday, and I felt much better than I did after playing on Monday. I halved the dose of my blood pressure medication. The numbers still look good and I didn't have any dizziness. Of course, I shouldn't be prescribing my own medication so I'm anxious to get back in the the doctor's office, which will happen when he comes back from vacation. :-(

The temperature was in the upper 60s when I left the house this morning. I was a little chilly for the first few minutes until I warmed up. We'll be back in the 90s next week--I'm enjoying this while I can.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Storm of Shakespearean Proportions for Corpus

That is to say that locally, Ike turned out to be "Much Ado About Nothing." But although we didn't even get any wind or rain out of it, it was a fairly disruptive force in my life. Early in the week, almost all of the computer models showed Corpus Christi taking a direct hit. I have two sons and four grandchildren living in town so I was worrying over making evacuation plans. Trying to figure out where to go, and how I was going to pay for it, was pretty damn stressful. I spent most of my time at work surfing weather sites so my production was practically nil. One of my normal reactions to stress it to EAT so my adherence to the Primal Blueprint was trashed. I probably ate a gallon of ice cream in a week--not to mention a few bowls of Lucky Charms. The only good thing is that I did ride the bike to work three days, and got in two tough racquetball matches. I've completely blown off my pushup routine. But now that things have settled down and are back to normal, I've made a good start towards getting it all back in gear.

I had an unusual commute to work today. Normally the prevailing winds here are from the south, so I usually have a tailwind on the way to work, and a head wind coming home. But the main reason that we were spared the wrath of Ike was the approach of our first cold front of the season--some five to six weeks earlier than normal. So I had to gear down and fight a 20mph headwind to get to work this morning, and then had a really easy ride home.

I really needed an easy ride home today and to explain why requires diving into another subject. I documented earlier on the blog how I had problems with dizziness, which I attributed to some blood pressure medication. I've changed medication, and then changed the dosage but the BP has still been higher than my doctor wants to see. I had an appointment to see him Thursday but it was cancelled because of Ike. It also happens that I ran out of my medication on the same day, so I went back to my original prescription. Things went ok until I played racquetball today. I won the first two games but early in the third game, I started feeling really tired. After the game, I started feeling dizzy and didn't start feeling better until just before it was time to leave. So I'm glad I had that tail wind going home--I don't know how I would have handled fighting a big headwind. I have to call for a new appointment tomorrow; meanwhile, I plan on getting out the pill splitter and halving the dose. The racquetball courts are closing after tomorrow for nine days while the floors get resurfaced so I won't get to test it that way. But I also experienced that dizziness doing squats, and that's one of the things I'll be doing while not hitting the little blue ball.

So now I'm caught up. Gonna do the pushups tomorrow, and NO MORE ICE CREAM!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fretting Over Ike

I need to update my blog but right now I'm scrambling trying to come up with a place to go to get away from what is looking like an increasingly nasty looking hurricane. I might update this in a few days from a hotel room!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

100 Degrees, 100 Pushups, and Tabata

As I said in my last post, we were expecting a hot day on Tuesday and we got it. The afternoon high was 100 degrees just as the weatherman predicted. I did get lucky, however, as one lone cloud blocked the sun for at least part of my ride home. I played racquetball with Ron at lunch and played pretty well despite losing all three games. I've been noticing lately that I not wasted after three pretty hard games like I used to be. The limiting factor is time rather than endurance. Perhaps the title of my blog is coming true! :-)

Wednesday was a down day of sorts. I did the bike commute but I had to work through my lunch break. This morning I did my pushup routine attempting the same workout as Monday. Progress!! I was able to do the first three levels as RXd (16, 14, 14) but only managed 10 out of 12 for the last set. I think I'm going to stick with the one-on/two-off pattern. Most of what I've been reading lately says that a couple of hard session a week for a particular muscle group is the way to go. So I'm going to stay with this and see how I progress.

Since I have no racquetball partners the rest of the week, I headed to the gym today and hopped on the C2 rower for a little tabata. They have brand new rowers with the PM-4 computers that let me program the eight intervals of 20 seconds work with 10 seconds rest. I haven't done any of that in quite a while since I use racquetball as my high-intensity workout. Good workout!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Watching Gustav and 100 Pushups

Labor Day! The holiday perfect for getting in 18 holes on the golf course, or grilling up some ribeyes in the back yard. But I did neither. Instead I had CNN and The Weather Channel in split screen on the 56" JVC, and WDSU and WWL (New Orleans locals)streaming on the laptop. I was born and raised in New Orleans and I've always had a fascination with hurricanes after experiencing Betsy in '65. Of course I was glued to the set during Katrina. For two years our family lived in a duplex on Bellaire Dr. Check that out in Google Earth and you'll see that the 17th Street Canal was my backyard! It was only an earthen levee when we lived there. The breech was about five blocks from where we lived. Most of my years were spent in a house a half block off Canal St on the cemetery end (S. St. Patrick St.) That house didn't get totaled like the Bellaire Drive house, but it still sat in 5-6 feet of water. Sooooo, I was glad to see that New Awlins came through this one in pretty decent shape.

I did take time out form the Gustav watch to do my pushups. I decided to move up to the next day on the schedule that calls for doing levles of 16, 14, 14, and 12. I did the 16 with good form but I could only manage 13, 13, and 8 after that. Looks like I'll be on this one for awhile.

The bike ride home tomorrow should be fun. The forecast high for tomorrow is 100F!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Boogie Golf - Fuhgeddaboudit!

I headed out Saturday morning with the intention of playing 18 holes, but it didn't work out that way. I lost two balls on the first hole. The grass was high and wet--and that was on the fairway! I lost two more balls over the next three holes, and also battled hordes of mosquitoes trying to enter my ears, nose, and eyes. I decided that enough was enough and I headed to the clubhouse.

Since my real reason for playing these days is to get the exercise, I decided to just go for a walk around the base. I ended up out by the sea wall along the bay, and trekked out to the end of the long fishing pier. I stopped at the end for awhile and just enjoyed the view, including a formation of five pelicans flying by. Much more enjoyable that trying to whack a golf ball out of deep, wet grass and swatting mosquitoes.

Here's some pics I took with the camera phone:


Thursday, August 28, 2008

In Praise Of Bicycle Commuting

Well the school year has started and I've managed to keep the bicycle commute going. In the past, I've always brought my granddaughter to school; however, this year she doesn't start until 8:25 and I wanted to keep riding. She now gets a ride with her dad, and I stay on two wheels!

Yesterday I had to work through my lunch break so no time at the gym. But the great thing about the bicycle commute is that I know that at the very least I will get 50-55 minutes of exercise. It's also great that I'm saving gas money and wear and tear on the car, as well as riding right past the traffic that backs up at the gate of the Navy base in the mornings. I do miss the comfort of my recumbent bike that was stolen from my garage, but the fat-tired beater bike is suited well for the urban commute. I have to stay on sidewalks and cross some grass surfaces on the way home, and the upright bike is better suited for that then the recumbent.

Whooops! It's time for me to change clothes and hop on my machine! It's quittin time! :-)

100 Pushups

My pushups went pretty well yesterday. I did the four levels as prescribed (15, 12, 12, 10) and this time I took about two minutes between each. My form stayed good except the plank bent a little on the last couple reps of the last set. All-in-all, I'm happy at the progress. I didn't do anything else other than the bike commute (which I will comment on in a different entry).

I'm supposed to do them tomorrow but I'm going to play that by ear. I played racquetball today and about midway through the second game my right shoulder started hurting. I probably should have quit after that game but I went on to play a third (lost 'em all to Ron). I iced it when I got back to the office and downed a big-ass Motrin--not feeling any pain at the moment. So I'll attempt the pushups tomorrow but I won't hesitate to shut it down if need be. I don't want to have a nagging muscle strain to deal with that will keep me off the racquetball court for an extended time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lazy Weekend, 100 Pushups, Winning Racquetball

I spent most of the weekend vegged out in front of the tube watching the Olympics. I was planning on playing some golf Saturday morning but decided to take the sleep-in after staying up late. It felt funny coming home yesterday and not tuning in the "Tiki and Jenna" show on MSNBC. There were some pretty amazing performances, especially Phelps in the pool and Bolt on the track.

Monday morning I did my push-up routine--still following the Week 2, Day 1 prescription. I was able to do the first four levels as prescribed (15, 12,12, 10) although there were some extended breaks between some of them. My phone rang right as I completed the first one so it was probably five minutes before I did the second set. But that's o.k.--it's still progress. I did a fifth set and make it to six. I'll finish out the week doing the same level, and then jump to the next (where it will be 20,15,15,13). Slowly but surely!!

Ron was back so I was able to get in some racquetball at lunch. Something rather incredible happened. Normally I measure the elapsed time between wins against Ron in either months or weeks. Yesterday it was around two minutes. We played three and I won the last two. The normal disclaimers about playing Ron apply, but it was fun nonetheless!!

I got back on the bike yesterday after a week layoff because of the weather. It was a really pleasant ride in--nice and cool. But the head wind was tough on the way home. I just kept it in a small gear and spun my way to the house. I'd sure like to get some tri-bars installed on this thing. Maybe next month.

Nothing today except for the bike commute.

Friday, August 22, 2008

100 Pushups and Abandonment

A little progress today on the pushups:








Level RXd 8-20 8-22
1 15 15 15
2 12 9 12
3 12 11 9
4 10 5 6
5 14 0 0


The limiting factor seems to be my triceps. They just reach a point where they say no more. But I'm happy as long as I'm making some progress. I guess I should be trying the fifth set--I may add it next week.

I've been abandoned by my racquetball partners!! Both of them are out of town for a week so no court time for me. Perhaps it's a good thing--I can get a little more weight work in or maybe a good interval session on the rower. We'll see. Wednesday evening I walked for an hour while listenng to a little Stephen Stills. The skies were overcast and the mosquitos have disappeared, which made for a pleasant walk. No bike riding this week--I plan on getting back on it next week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Press 'n Squat (while on a fast)

I headed to the weight room for the first time in ages. I took it pretty easy:

Press
15 @ 55lbs
6 @ 65lbs
3 @ 65lbs

Squat
15 @ 135lbs
8 @ 175

Notes: It has been several weeks since I did any weight lifting. The last two time I had attempted it, I suffered from dizziness after doing one set of squats. I believe the problem at that time was that my blood pressure medication was working TOO well, and that my BP was very low. I've since changed medication so I was curious to see if it would make a difference today. But I also didn't want to hurt myself after such a long layoff, so I took it easy.

Press: That first set did a good job of getting my muscles fatigued...it was pretty tough after that. It didn't help that I had done those pushups this morning as well.

Squat: I felt pretty good and did all of these with decent form. I was going to add another 20lbs and do four more reps, but I could already feel the effort in my legs--the hamstrings in particular. I decided to pass on the last set.

Warm-up: We have two brand new Concept2 Model E rowing machins with the PM-4 computer. Pretty slick. I did a 15 minutes warm up on one. One of these would make a fine addition to a home gym.

One more note: I did this 14 hours into an intermittant fast (IF) that won't end until I get home today around 3:30. I hadn't done one in awhile, which really stretches the term "intermittant." Scott Kustes of Modern Forager fame has been writing a series of posts on the benefits of IF, and it's something I was doing at least once a week. I got to make it part of my program once again.

Life is a big "to do" list and sometimes I just forget the check marks!

100 Pushups

I wrote earlier that it might take me a couple weeks to get through Week 3 of the program. I may have to adjust that. This was a big leap from Week 2 and I didn't get close to doing the Day 1 program. Here's what I did compared to what was prescribed:








Level RXd Actual
1 15 15
2 12 9
3 12 11
4 10d 5
5 >14 0


The prescription also call for 60 second rest between levels or "longer if required." I took at least two minutes between each one. Wow! The more I gaze at these tables, the more unrealistic it looks. The progression is way too fast--at least for a 56 year old with no upper body strength to start with. But I have improved. I think I would have had a hard time doing 15 pushups on day one, but those first 15 went well this morning. So I'll stay it, and keep progressing at my own pace. I may be on "Week 3" for a few weeks; however, as long as I'm sticking to it and making progress, I'll be a happy camper.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Racquetball Yes - Cycling No

I've had two good days of racquetball this week--some really good work. I didn't, however, get any cycling in. We have had two days of heavy rain showers so I passed on the bike in favor of the VW. It brakes better in wet weather! :-) The forecast is for more of the same tomorrow.

No racquetball tomorrow. I'll do my push up program in the morning, and perhaps to do some lifting at lunch.

The Wall



I spent a total of six years of my life in Berlin. For four of those years, the Wall was an impenetrable barrier but in 1989 I was able to ride my bicycle through a gap in the Wall. It was an unbelievable experience.

Now I'm facing another wall. I've shed a great deal of body fat, but it seems every time I get close to getting under 200 pounds, I end up moving back up the scale. It's an ice cream binge here, a little lasagna there--just enough to thwart my progress, and get me out of fat-burning mode. But I'll just keep positive, keep working, and try not to give into the carb urges. So just like I rode my Peugeot through the Berlin Wall, I will eventually bust this 200lb barrier....and then 190!

Monday, August 18, 2008

100 Pushups

I woke up Saturday morning and realized I had failed to do my pushups on Friday. No big deal--I figured I just do them Saturday. I woke up Sunday morning and realized that I failed to do the make up on Saturday! So...a new plan. I'm going to do those suckers on government time! I work in a library so a few minutes spent in the stacks knocking out some pushups will work out quite nicely. This morning I did the Week 2 Day 3 set and it went well. The reps were 10, 10, 8, 8 , 10(10). Good form all the way through except for the very last one. So my routine at work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will be to fire up the computer, do my pushups, and then have my last cup of coffee (I usually have a cup or two before leaving the house). This should ensure no more missed workouts.

The pushup program now calls for doing another test before picking the correct column to use for workout targets. I can just eyeball the chart and figure out where I belong next. The first column is for being able to do I set of 15-20. I might make it to 15 but there's no way I'd surpass 20. So Wednesday I'll do W3D1. It looks pretty challenging--I suspect it will take my a couple of weeks to work up to finishing the Week 3 workout.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Too Much Racquetball (or Not Enough Food)

When I started playing again after straining a hip flexor, I started slow. I played once or twice a week, and always had at least one day off between matches--preferably two. Slowly but surely, I've been playing more--sometimes as much as four days a week but usually with a break in the middle. Well today I played my third match in as many days, and they were all hard fought games. I felt very tired in the last game today, and felt light-headed while I was in the locker room. The feeling continued when I got back to the office. I ended up calling my wife and asking her to pick me up because I really didn't feel like riding the bike home. I think the reason I felt bad can be traced to the fact that I recently cut back on my carb intake trying to jump start my fat burning. But I'm guessing that three days of back-to-back intense workouts on the court are just too much while eating so few carbs. I'm going to bump the carbs a little but I also need to back off a little on the racquetball. My whole program of nutrition and exercise is based on Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint which calls for some short interval sessions, some weight lifting, and lots of low-level activity. Well, my racquetball matches are on a continuum that runs from "intervals" to "extended high-level cardio." Three days in a row is just too much. Ideally I'd like to play three days, preferably with a day off between each match.

I think I'll go for a walk at lunch time tomorrow.

100 Pushups

I'm back on track with the pushup program. I started with Week 2 and did both days (on Monday and Wedesday) as prescribed.

Monday set: 9, 8, 6, 4, (7) 7
Wednesday set: 11, 9, 7, 7, (10)10

Notes: The number in parens is the minimum amount of the last round. The program also calls for a 60 second rest between rounds on Day 1 and 90 seconds on Day 2; however, it also says "longer if required." I took longer--especially for the last round. Friday calls for 10, 10, 8, 8, (10).

Monday, August 11, 2008

Catching Up - Pushups, Stretching, Golf, Racquetball

Time, once again, for another catch-up post.

Thursday - This was a recovery day to make sure I got over the back problems I was experiencing. I went to the gym at lunch and did nothing but stretch and do the McKenzie back exercises. I felt much better and had no more episodes of the spasms.

Friday - I got back on schedule (sort of) for the 100 Pushups program. I repeated the W1D2 workout but I was able to do 10 for the final set. I'm going to go ahead and start on the Week 2 schedule Monday.

Saturday - Boogie Golf!! I got out early hoping to beat the heat but no such luck. Real summer has finally arrived here. The recent rains bumped up the humidity AND the mosquito population. I played some pretty decent golf in spots including several pars, but I also lost three balls mainly because I lost sight of them when I hit the shot. We had some low, white clouds that made it difficult to see; however, those same clouds at least blocked some of the direct sunlight. I was soaking wet after walking four holes anyway.

Sunday - Sat on my butt and watched the olympics all day. That men's 4x100 freestyle swimming relay was one of the most exciting sporting events I have ever watched. I was out of my chair screaming at Lezak just as much as Phelps was. What a race!!!

Today - I played racquetball with Neal today and repeated what I did the last time. I won the first and last game and he took the second. We had some really good rallies--good work. I'm really glad that I have a good serve as a weapon because without it, I'd be in trouble. Neal covers the court very well, which contributes to the quality of the workout I get when we play.

I stayed up late watching the tube last night so I drove into work this morning so no cycle miles for day one. This evening I'll do my pushup workout (and probably mow the lawn). :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Return Of An Old Nemesis

Earlier today I was thinking about making an entry tonight with the title of "100 Pushups, Racquetball, and Swimming." But I've decided against the pushups because I'm in some pain at the moment.

Yesterday I played racquetball with Ron and got wiped out. Today, however, I played Neal and won the final game after splitting the first two. I walked off the court feeling tired but fine.

Earlier this evening, my granddaughter asked me to drive her to the base swimming pool. I decided to put on my suit and grab my goggles. I'm a pretty lousy swimmer so I did my laps "across" the pool (about 10 - 12 meters). I didn't do much--around 10 lengths--but it was better than nothing. I climbed out of the pool feeling tired but fine.

As I sat by the side of the pool, I felt some discomfort in my lower back over the right hip. I figured I probably irritated things by kicking in the water, which is something I hadn't done in awhile. After coming home, I walked back outside to go get something out of the car when it hit me--an "oh shit", stop you dead in your tracks back spasm. It passed in a couple seconds but there was some residual pain. It happened again an hour later. I went through something like this five years ago and it took some physical therapy to get over it. I'm going to try to handle this on my own for now. I've already dropped some horse-pill size Motrin and a couple of muscle relaxers, and I'm going to do some of the exercises I learned the last time I went through this. Meanwhile I don't feel much like doing the pushups, or riding the biked to work tomorrow. I'm going to rest up and hope this passes quickly.

Monday, August 4, 2008

One Hundred Pushups

Since I didn't successfully complete Week 1 Day 3 (W1D3) of the program, I decided to start this week with W1D2. The sets prescribed are 9, 8, 6, 5, Max (min 7). I did the first four as RXd, and then did 8 for the final set. My form broke down a bit towards the end of the session, but not terribly. I plan on doing the same routine on Wednesday but with at least on more rep on the final set.

No other exercise today other than the cycle commute to work. I will probably play racquetball tomorrow and Wednesday.

Win-Win Thursday, Pushups, & Eating Poolside

When your humble blogger last left you, I was scrambling out of the office to avoid a food orgy about to take place on the premises. I headed over the racquetball courts to submit to my standard beat-down from Ron--a much better health option than foraging from the desert table at the food orgy. I was rewarded by scoring 15 points in the third game! Now that's my way of saying I won a game without actually saying it. As I've posted before, Ron plays at a reduced level when we are on the court--much like one golfer giving another one strokes for a match. But it is still an achievement because he doesn't give up those last points willingly. When I have won in the past, it usually took a few side-outs during the last two to three points to get to 15; however, Thursday I served out from 12 to end the game. Yee-hah!! When I got back to the office, I checked out the conference room and found that there was some food I could eat. There was a tray full of finger sandwiches so I took out the contents of several of them, and then wrapped them in some cheese slices. I combined that with a salad, and avoided the desert table. So this was my "win-win" Thursday!

Friday I played a racquetball math with Neal. We split the first two games but nothing was going right for me in the third game and I found myself down 14-1. But I made a charge from there and got it to 14-10 before finally losing. I chalk that one up as a moral victory! I also attempted Day 3 of the 100 Pushup program. I made it through the first four sets but I struggled to finish. There was no way I could do the fifth set which was to do a max number but at least ten. So I'm going to repeat Week 1 again and try to increase the 5th set numbers along the way.

I spent the bulk of the weekend officiating a swim meet at the Corpus Christi Natatorium. I had mixed results staying on my eating plan. Saturday I did just fine. I ate the contents of a couple bacon and egg tacos (without the tortilla) for breakfast. For lunch the main entree was lasagna but they also had a real nice salad with mixed greens, tomatos, olives, and onion. I took a big bowl of the salad, and added some broccoli and carrots from a salad tray. I did have four one-inch squares of my favorite cream cheese and sugar concoction called Chess Cake, but that's a big improvement from past meets where I've had more like 18 pieces! Sunday I didn't do as well because they had lasagna again without the salad. They did have some sandwiches but they didn't have much meat in them. I ended up eating a couple sandwiches to include the bread. It was a long day on deck and I was hungry!! I also managed to keep my Chess Cake consumption down to four pieces again. I thought I was only going to eat two pieces because they ran out. But while I was standing on deck during the meet, the woman who bakes the cake came up to me with a napkin covered plate. She had found two more pieces that had been set aside and she wanted me to have them! Now I don't have to worry about eating those until the end of October when that club sponsors another meet.

It was a good week all-in-all. Four days of racquetball and five days of commuting to work on the bike. I also did my push-up workout for three days. This week I hope to get in some kettlebell work in addition to the pushups.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

One Year of Getting Fit

Yesterday was the anniversary of my first kettlebell workout, and my quest to lose weight and get fit. I had planned on putting up a special page on my website to include some pictures but I just haven't had time. I'm still going to do it as soon as I can get some pictures taken. But in the meantime, I'll say that at this point I'm very happy with the progress I've made; however, at the same time I wish I had done better! If someone had approached me a year ago and told me that in one year I would weigh close to 40 pounds less, and that I'd go from 44 waist size to comfortably fitting in 38s (I can close 36s but they're a little snug), I surely would have said "sign me up." Well that's what I've done and I get comments all the time on how slim I look. But the first 30 pounds came off in three months and since then it's been a series of gains and losses that have left me short of my goal of at least reaching a weight below 190. So I'm going to keep it up and look forward to the day when I can post a picture of fit-looking, 187 pound, 57 year old!

100 Pushups

There was a link this past weekend on Mark's Daily Apple to a site that caught my interest. The site is www.hudredpushups.com. It contains a program that is designed to get one to a point where it is possible to do 100 pushups in a row. As I have documented many times in my blog, my upper body development is way behind my lower body. I started making some progress earlier when I was doing some resistance work with regularity. However, due to some problems I was having with dizziness, and my increasing desire to play racquetball, I haven't done much lately. So this looks like a good way to get some upper body work in, especially since I can do it at home with no equipment. I once read an article, or a post somewhere, where the author chided people for doing weight lifting when they couldn't do simple body weight exercises. So I'm going to concentrate on doing pushups for awhile.

The program on the website looks a little shaky. They want you to start by seeing how many pushups you can do in one shot, and based on that, you follow a table with the progression outlined. The starting test has categories of 0-5 pushups, 6-10, and more than 10. This is where a bit of a problem exists. Let's say you can do six good pushups. Then the very first workout has you do two sets of 7, then three more sets of lesser amounts. Obviously a person in that position is dead in the water from the start. It just happens that I can do 10 so I'm at the high end of the scale. I still see where I may have to modify or repeat weeks to keep going, but the bottom line is that I should benefit greatly from trying the program consistently. So here's what I've done up to this point:

Monday: 7, 7, 5, 4, 5
Wednesday: 9, 8, 6, 5, 7

The fifth set is "max" but with a minimum. In each case I hit the minimum with some form break.
Friday I'm supposed to do 10, 8, 8, 5, >9...we'll see.

Otherwise...I played racquetball Tuesday with Ron. Lost four but I scored 7, 8, 11, and 6 points.
I've also kept up with my bicycle work commute all this week. That's 28 miles as of this morning.

There's a major pig-out at the office today--pot luck for a retiring employee. I plan on dropping in, saying hi, and then getting the hell out of there! I'm heading to the gym!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Racquetball

I got back on the court today after a layoff of several days. Neal took the first game 15-10. It was a strange feeling game in that I didn't feel particularly motivated. Normally I'm very competitive and I start getting a bit upset if I fall behind in a game. But I had an "oh well" attitude about that first game. But after losing the first one, my competitive juices started flowing and I won the second two games. I belive the second game was 15-10 or 15-9. I was behind in the match game 11-5 at one point and 13-8 at another. I made a strong comeback and won that game 15-13. I didn't work very hard in the first game but I got in some great work the rest of the way. I get to play Ron tomorrow for my weekly beat down! :-)

The temperatures this July have been some of the mildest since I moved to Corpus Christi some 15 years ago. But my bicycle ride home today will be in some damn hot and humid conditions. I really enjoy the morinig rides in but getting home won't be a lot of fun. But with the gas savings it's like I'm being paid to work out. I'll earn it today! I plan on doing some push ups at home this evening and maybe some plank exercises.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Boogie Golf - A Birdie Bomb

I finally made it back on the course this morning after missing some weekends due to travel and swim meets. My ball striking was lousy at the start but it improved as I played. By the time I made it to the back nine, I was striking the ball pretty well. I took awhile to figure out what I was doing wrong but it boiled down to three things. First of all, I was pulling off the ball early and looking up before contact. I got into the mode because I teed off at first light and I was trying to follow the ball flight in tough lighting conditions. That early look-up may work ok for Annika (and Duval in his prime), but I find I do much better if I try to see the club head strike the ball. It's an important part of hand-eye coordination for me. The second thing was stopping my tendency to put a death grip on the club. When my grip gets too tight, I don't release the club and the ball starts flying to the right. Finally, I started swinging as if I had a glove tucked in my left arm pit. Maintaining that "connection" AND keeping my arms passive are also crucial. When I finally put all three of those together, I was hitting little draws off the tee and from the fairway. I had to start aiming right at set up to stay out of trouble.

The highlight of the day came on the par 3 13th. I hit my tee shot to the very back of the green which has a lot of slope from back to front. I was about 65 feet from the cup and about three feet higher in elevation. I was just hoping for a two-putt when I started the ball about five feet to the right of the hole, but it started turning as it rolled down the hill and ended up dead-center for a long birdie. I've come to enjoy playing solo golf but it's at moments like these that I wish I had a playing partner to share my excitement with!

Another big swim meet next weekend so it may be a couple weeks before I get back out again. I may, however, see if I can't get out for some twilight golf this week.

I Hitched Up The New Wagon--It's On A Roll!

After my week of eating everything in site, I'm back on track and doing quite well. I've definitely cut back on the carbs and the calories. I passed a big test last night when I went to a party at my son's house. There were mass quantities of food and drink available but I limited myself to a plate of salad (an excellent mix of fennel, spinach, onion, and avocado), and small piece of grilled top sirloin. I chased it with a few ounces of a Napa Valley Zinfandel. I was pretty proud of myself!

One thing that is helping is that I have reintroduced something into my diet that has been missing for awhile. A few months ago I decided to stop eating sugar free popsicles in the belief that I had a better chance of taming my "sweet tooth" if I just eliminated as many sweet tasting things as possible. It didn't work. My sweet tooth is just something I have to live with, and these popsicles make it a lot easier to satisfy the cravings without doing a lot of damage. Also, the fact that there's a "crunch" when I bite into them seems to help "fool" the old body into thinking it has actually eaten something. So I'll continue to have a couple every evening on weekdays, and four or five on weekends. They definitely aren't primal, and old Grok wouldn't know what they hell they are, but I think they will help me achieve my goals.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Didn't "Fall Off TheWagon"

No siree!! I pulled that wagon to the side of the road, soaked it in gasoline, and burnt that sucker to a crisp! For the last five days I have been on carb binge that far surpasses anything I've done over the last year. I think I just reached a frustration level from my lack of progress lately and I snapped. I happened to be working a three-day swim meet this past weekend so when faced with temptation, I gave in. Then I left Monday morning for a trip to San Antonio and I just kept going. I'll return home tomorrow (assuming Dolly doesn't blow me off the road), and I guess I could step on the scale and demonstrate how bad things can get in a short period of time, but I don't know how well I would handle that. So I'm just going to get back on the wagon (after I buy a new one), practice a little intermittent fasting, and get some daily exercise. I don't have any choice. I am not going back to Fat-Dave. Ain't gonna happen.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another Fitday Day

With all the buzz about the study showing some good benefits from a low carb diet, I thought I'd put up my Fitday entry for today. Of course, I did NOT follow the study's directive to get my fat from fish and vegetables. I did get a big chunk from some olives, but there's some dead cow and pig in there as well!


Kettlebell Clean and Press Ladders

I wasn't able to get to the gym at lunch time today, so when I got home I broke out the old kettlebell for workout

C&P Ladders
3 x 4 Rungs with 35lb

Notes: For the uninitiated, a ladder consist of doing one rep, break, two reps, break, three reps, etc. Each one of those is a rung. I did these alternating arms so I ended up doing a total of 30 lifts with each. When I was doing these regularly, I had worked up to four ladders of five rungs. I decided to start a little lower since I haven't done these in a while. My warm up for this work was riding home for seven miles against a pretty stiff wind. I've really been neglecting resistance work in favor of playing racquetball lately. Doing more work like this is probably my best bet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Food, Golf, Exercise, Rest

The title kind of sums up the last four days:

Saturday: Spent the bulk of the day at the pool officiating a swim meet. This one was put on by the city which in the past has meant some rather poor selection when it came time to eat. But they put on a good spread this time and it left me with some good choices. The breakfast tacos were huge so I was able to toss the tortilla and put the rest on a plate with a little salsa. For lunch they had some large deli-style sandwiches. Again, I was able to eat some roast beef and cheese, and munch from a veggie tray. I passed on the cookies and other baked items. Good day!!

Sunday: Finally got in a round of Boogie Golf. There was enough of a breeze and cloud cover to make it a very comfortable morning of golf--not something that is guaranteed in south Texas in July. I started out pushing everything to the right, but I finally got it going and played fairly well from tee to green. My putting, however, left a lot to be desired. I had a couple three-putt bogeys, which really sucks after hitting a green in regulation. But what the hell--the short game, including putting, requires practice (at least for me) and it's not something I do.

Monday: I did the round trip to work on the bike, and played a racquetball match with Neal. My consecutive game streak ended when I lost the first game 15-13, but I won the last two games 8 & 9.

Tuesday: I declared today a rest day. I drove to work, and spent my lunch hour surfing the net. I was ready for a break. But I'll be back on the bike tomorrow, and plan on doing a little lifting at the gym.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Fat Lady Was About To Take The Stage

But I sent her back to the wings. I was down 14-5 in my first racquetball game today, but I managed to pull out the game 15-14. I had some mini-streaks in there but I had to fight off four or five game points in the process. I also came back from down early to win the second game. No time for a third today.

Looking back, this was a pretty good week. I rode 56 miles on the bike commuting to work, got in a couple of good workouts in the gym, played nine games of racquetball, and managed to stick to my eating plan. The only thing I would like a mulligan on is my fruit consumption. I think I need to cut back a little to get my total carb intake down. We have a mango tree in our yard that is producing and they are delicious. But those little suckers are one of nature's sugar bombs. They are great but not when you're trying to lose weight.

One consequence of all the work this week is that my legs are a bit sore. I'm not going to do anything strenuous tomorrow although I'll be on my feet quite a bit officiating a swim meet. I also plan on walking 18 holes of golf Sunday. That may end up being therapeutic. We'll see!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Two Course Meal


My wife cooked a couple things this evening that made it on my plate. One was a stir fry consisting of ground chicken, garlic, and broccoli. The other was an omlette made with mushrooms, and red onions. Very tasty!!

Regularly Learn and Play New Sports

The phrase serving as the title of this post is taken from the Crossfit website--specifically from a piece entitled "world-class fitness in 100 words." I mention it because today I was planning on heading to the gym and doing some leg work. But after having a conversation with Ron on a work related matter, he asked if I was up for racquetball today. I have settled into a routine as of late where I try to play twice a week with a couple days rest between matches. Since I'm already scheduled to play Neal tomorrow, I hesitated before I finally said yes. The bottom line is that I prefer "play" to "work out." Make no mistake--playing racquetball at the level I do IS a good workout. But it's FUN as well and that is a great combination!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I lost four games including a 15-1 shellacking in the fourth and final game. But I had my good moments and managed a few side-outs while Ron was using his A-game serve. I'm already preparing tonight for tomorrow's match with Neal. The preparation comes in the form of an 800mg Motrin! :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bustin Dem Shoulders

I made it to the gym today and my shoulders seem to have taken the brunt of the punishment:

Thrusters

3 sets with a 40lb barbell
20, 20, 15

Renegade Rows

3 sets with 15lb dumbbells
Alternating Arms
20, 20, 10

Bench Press

15 x 70lbs
6 x 90lbs
4 x 100lbs

Notes:

Thrusters - Not much work for my legs but my arms/shoulders were burning on the second and third sets.

Renegade Rows - This is the first time I've tried these. I started with a low weight because I didn't know what to expect. What I found out was that the difficulty of this exercise lies in the tension required to maintain the plank position while doing the rows. I'll definitely use more weight next time. This was made easier because all of our dumbbells have the hexagonal shape which makes for a stable platform for the anchor arm while rowing with the other. I imagine this would be harder with round plates, and even harder with kettlebells.

Bench Press - I'm not a bench press guy and haven't done any in a real long time. The last time I remember doing any was in the 80s and I strained a muscle in the process which took me off the racquetball court for a couple weeks. At any rate, I did this on a plate-load machine, and I'm not sure what the load is without plates. I guessed 20 per arm in my figures. I obviously was cautious with the weight.

Prior to today, we had eight straight days with some rain so my bicycle has stayed in the garage. But the sun was shining today so I rode to work and back. I really do enjoy the ride although I wish I still had a recumbent bicycle to do it on. But my beater bike gets me there and I'm not to worried about anyone wanting to steal it!

Yesterday I played racquetball with Ron. Lost all three but played pretty well in spurts. I'm scheduled to play Neal on Friday.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kiana

In what seems like ages ago, I devised a couple of circuit routines similar to those found on the Crossfit site with girls names. It had been awhile since I tried one so yesterday I decided to do the one named after my granddaughter Kiana. It consist of three rounds of a 500m row for time, followed by push ups, pull ups, and dips for time. The pull ups and dips are on a Gravitron machine. So...yesterday's workout:

Kiana

Row 1:53, 1:57, 1:56
Pushups 10, 10, 6
Pull Ups 8, 5, 5
Dips 8, 6, 6

Notes: Pretty good effort on the rowing--I felt smoked after the last two. The pull ups and dips were done with 80lbs on the Gravitron. I was surprised that I did so poorly because I had worked down to a much lower assist weight on those over time; however, I really haven't been doing ANY of those for awhile so I guess I lost any gains I had made. I need to get back to regular work on that machine. As a matter of fact, I need to get going on my strength training in general. Between the time spent playing racquetball, and the aborted workouts because of dizziness, I really haven't got much strength training in lately. But I think my visit to the doctor last week will take care of the dizziness (reduced blood pressure medication), so I can go back to some hard workouts on days when I'm not playing racquetball.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Boogie Golf - Rained Out



I tried to celebrate the 4th by getting in a round of Boogie Golf this morning. Things looked ok when I teed of on the first hole but that was because I wasn't looking behind me. When I got to the second tee, I knew things were shaky. I shot the camera photo above after hitting my tee shot in the right rough. I knew the odds were pretty good that I need to be heading toward the clubhouse if I didn't want to get soaked. I finished #2 and then teed off on #9 as the rain started to fall. I quickly decided to abandon that ball and started walking briskly to the clubhouse. That quickly turned to a jog as it started to pour and there was a flash of lightning. So much for that idea! Too bad - I was dressed for the occasion.


I bought this shirt several years ago when I really needed an extra large. There's lots of unneeded material in that shirt now!

I totally blew my primal diet today after being invited to a neighbor's cookout. I'm not even going to bother trying to figure out everything to enter into Fitday. I'll just stay off the scale for a few days and get back in the flow!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Surprise Racquetball

I got an unexpected invite from Neal to play racquetball today. He had another partner lined up but he had to cancel. I was glad to play because I had skipped the bike ride due to the threatening weather, and I wasn't really looking forward to working out. That's the great thing about racquetball--it's a great workout and it's fun. It's especially fun when you win. :-)

More on Fitday

After a shaky attempted start awhile back, I'm now doing a good job of keeping track of my eating using Fitday. I think it's really going to help me achieve my fat loss goals. When you are eating increased fat, it's real easy to go overboard on the calories without realizing it. There have been a couple of interesting blog posts on the pitfalls of ignoring calories when trying to drop pounds. I didn't realize how many calories I was adding to my salad by just opening up the bottle of dressing and letting it pour. The stuff I use has 150 calories for two tablespoons so I have to be a little more cautious about the amount. Once I achieve my goals, I think it will be easy judge what to eat without having to worry about counting calories, but in the meantime, I'll continue to use this tool to ensure I stay on track.

One of the other intersting things about Fitday is that it can give you reports on the percentage of the RDA of vitamins and minerals in your diet. I still have a relatively small amount of data to draw from, but I just ran a weekly report and I'm doing well with some exceptions. I'm doing great with the water soluble vitamins (C, Thiaman, Riboflavin, B-6, B-12, Niacin) with the exception of Folate (52.85%). Fat soluble is a different story. I'm showing a deficiency in D, E, and K. I'm a little suspicious that Fitday is shorting me on the K since I eat a lot of spinach and other leafy greens which are good sources of K. I'm also ok on trace minerals (iron, zinc, selenium) but I'm short on calcium and magnesium. I do take a multivitamin and my fish oil supplement contains E as well, so all-in-all, it looks like I'm doing well. I'll probably do better when I increase my overall calorie count.


My weekly macronutrient totals for the week are 51% fat, 23% protein, and 21% carbs. The numbers are skewed because on Saturday I had a big bowl of ice cream during my granddaughter's birthday party. Typically fat and protien are a little higher.


Another Fish Story

I've always liked the taste of sardines but in the past I've always eaten them on a cracker--either a saltine or Triscuit. But I don't eat the crackers anymore, so as a consequence I haven't been eating sardines either. But I've discovered that I really like them in a salad. Yestereday I had one consisting of spinich, red leaf lettuce, onion, plum tomatos, olive oil and vinegar dressing, and a 3.5 ounce can of sardines. Delicious and nutritious!! I did, however, eat it outside rather than at my desk. My office mate aren't fond of the smell of the sardines. No need to rock the boat--plus I enjoyed being out in the fresh air!!

Weather Wimp

Despite a forecast of possible rain, I pulled out from my driveway today on my trusty two-wheeler. Weather here is very unpredictable so I figured the chances of making it to and from work high and dry were pretty good. But about two blocks into the ride, I started seeing lightning flashes in the distance. I'm not afraid of getting wet while riding a bicycle; however, I'm not to fond of the idea of being electrocuted. I had a bad experience as a youth with lightning that has left me very cautious. The funny thing is that we have been in a drought for awhile with no measureable percipitation at our house for several weeks. So in this case I'll claim that "discretion is the better part of valor" and ride another day!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Upper Body Day

I made it to the gym at lunch and decided to pass on my press and squat routine after the bouts with dizziness the last two times. I feel like I probably would have been ok since I dumped on of my medications, but I'm going to wait until after I see the doctor Thursday. So today I concentrated on the upper body work using the hierarchical set method.

(all weights per arm)

DB Overhead Press

15 x 20lbs
8 x 25lbs
6 x 30lbs

DB Bench Press
15 x 30lbs
8 x 35lbs
4 x 40lbs

Overhead Press (Barbell)
5 x 65lbs

Decline Press (Hammer Strength Machine)

15 x 45lbs
6 x 70lbs
3 x 80lbs

Incline Press (Hammer Strength Machine)
3 x 45 then abort!

Notes: This was a lot of work after having not done much lately--probably over did it a bit. Trying to do the barbell press after doing the two dumbbell sets wasn't a great idea. I started with 75lbs but I immediately dropped 10 pounds after one attempt. By the time I got to the incline press, I was toast.

I did the bicycle commute today as well--I'm enjoying this!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Winning Racquetball and Turning the Cranks!

I FINALLY won a racquetball match today. I fell behind 0-7 in the first game but then I went on an 11 point run and ended up winning 15-13. I lost the second game but came back strong in the third (I think it was 15-8). I really had my serve working today, and for the most part, I played smart. Playing winning racquetball is similar to practicing good course management in golf. You have to know when to "go for it" and when to just keep things going. I was definitely tired after playing but not anything like last Friday. Dumping that one medication seems to have made the difference.

I made the round trip to work on the bike again. I bought a cheap light at the supermarket so I could take off a little earlier. I just like having that when I come to an intersection--it increases the chances of being seen. I felt pretty wasted after the ride home today since it came three hours after an intense racquetball match so I didn't do a kettlebell workout as I had planned. I will hit the gym for some weight work tomorrow.

Good day of eating. I put everything in Fitday and came in just under 1500 calories. I tried using the broiler in the new range for the first time, and seriously overcooked some steaks. Luckily they were some inexpensive sirloins. I'm going to have to work with this some more, plus I'm shopping for a gas grill.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A quick catch-up post.

I played a rare Friday racquetball match with Neal. I won the first game going away (15-4) but lost the next two in close scores. I felt really tired in the last game and I took a little extra time between points trying to recover. After getting back to the office and sitting for awhile, I stood up and felt very dizzy. I had my blood pressure monitor with me so I took a reading - 95/54! I took it again a few minutes later to make sure it wasn't a fluke reading--it wasn't. So I decided to quit taking the evening pill and just take the morning BP med. I've been taking my BP over the weekend and I would guess my average is around 115/65. I haven't felt any dizziness, but then I haven't done much exertion either.

My weekend was dominated by my granddaughter's 13th birthday. I'll skip the details but it was stressful and I didn't get a whole lot of sleep Saturday night. I finally got some good sleep in but it came at the expense of getting up in time to play golf. So no Boogie Golf this weekend. I was really looking forward to playing Sunday. I did, however, stay on track with my eating except for a little ice cream at my granddaughter's party. Otherwise, my meals were good!

I'm heading to work on the bicycle tomorrow, and I'm scheduled to play Neal again. I also plan on doing some kettlebell work when I get home.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kettlebell and Pedal Power

My first day of cycle commuting went well today. The ride in was comfortable without much traffic to deal with. The ride home was a different story. It was 89 degrees, 88% humidity, and with a 15 mph headwind gusting to 25. I rode a good bit of it on the sidewalk to avoid the auto traffic (made easier with fat tires). The total distance for the round trip is around 13 miles--not a lot of distance but it's still good exercise. When I got home, I did some kettlebell clean and press ladders. I did two ladders of five rungs. I was going to do a third but my wife threw a "honey do" at me that I couldn't put off. I may doing more home exercise and less in the gym. I don't think I need to be doing a lot of heavy weight to meet my needs. I may get another (heavier) kettlebell eventually, and perhaps a bar with a small weight set. We only eat in our dining room twice a year--time to shove the table over and make more room for working out!

My Fit Day Day

I've been playing around with Fitday.com ever since Mark Sisson told me about the site a while back. Today I made the effort to put everything I ate or drank into the program. Here's the results:

Calories Eaten Today

grams cals %total
Total: 1464
Fat: 87 780 54%
Sat: 20 179 12%
Poly: 10 93 6%
Mono: 23 204 14%
Carbs: 70 245 17%
Fiber: 9 0 0%
Protein: 79 317 22%
Alcohol: 14 97 7%


Today was a good representative day of what I eat on a day-to-day basis when I don't fall off the wagon. There have been a number of blog posts lately that point out the importance of making sure the calories aren't too high if you are trying to lose weight. One thing that I did not eat today was a handful (or more) of nuts. I know that has been once source of calories that has been slowing down my fat loss. They will definitely be part of my diet once I get to my target wait, but I'm going to go without for now. I did, however, have one tablespoon of sunflower seed butter with my Fuji today. I measured it, put it on the plate, and put the jar in the frig. I had been eating the stuff by the spoonful!

I'm going to keep posting my eating in Fitday so I can correlate my calorie intake with my fat loss, and see how my macronutrient composition goes. It's a good way to be honest about what I'm eating.

Now I have to decide if 1464 kcal is good for the day, or can I have one more glass of wine! :-)

Back On Two Wheels

During the school year, I need a car. I eat lunch with my grandkids two days out of the week, and pick them up after school. But towards the end of May, with gas prices climbing, I started thinking about cycling to work. I have an extensive background in cycling including racing road and mountain bikes, and serving for two years as the president of the San Angelo Bicycling Association. I cycled a lot when I first moved to Corpus Christi including a 22 mile one-way work commute. But unlike San Angelo, where I always felt comfortable on the road, I always felt like I was living dangerously riding in Corpus. After picking myself up after being forced into a roadside ditch for the second time, I gave up my work commute, and pretty much gave up cycling altogether shortly thereafter.

One problem I was facing with returning to two-wheeled commuting was that my good bike had been stolen, and all I had left was an old Schwinn city-bike that was missing a rear brake and had a broken rear shifter. This is the bike I described in my earlier post on doing cycle sprints around my house. So towards the end of May I ordered a $1.99 friction thumb shifter and a rear brake set from Bike Nashbar. But that stuff sat on the bench for a few weeks because I didn't feel motivated to start the commute. Riding into work is fine but the return trip was not something I looked forward to. That's because at this time of year, the ride home is hot, humid, and normally into a 15mph (or greater) headwind. Plus the roadway is very busy and not very bike friendly. So I just wasn't motivated enough to get started. That all changed yesterday when I got close to the gate of the Naval Air Station and found traffic backed up to the highway. Normally there are three lanes of traffic coming in that narrows to two after getting past the guards. Well for the next month it's going to be two lanes narrowing to one! That's all the incentive I needed. I went home last night and installed the shifter and the rear brake, and this morning I rode to work. The gym is only a couple blocks from my office so I stashed my clothes and work-out gear in my wife's car (she comes in a 3 a.m. to work out and opens the gym at 5), so it really works out well. I got in early enough to get in a quick workout (pull ups and push ups) before showering and heading to the office. It's a great way to start the day!! I'm not particularly looking forward to the ride home, but I don't mind when I consider all the benefits that come with riding

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Racquetball

It's been eight days since I last played racquetball but you wouldn't have known it by the way I played today. I looked more like someone who hadn't played in eight years. Time and time again, I would get set ups and then skip the ball into the front wall. Very annoying. I think I scored something like 6-7 points over three games. But we played one more game and I finally started making some shots. I had leads of 13-10 and 14-12 before Ron decided enough was enough and finished off the game with three straight aces. But at least I got some satisfaction from some good play in the last game. If I had to quit after the first three games, I would have walked off feeling pretty lousy.
I like to take a couple days off between matches but due to taking Monday off, it looks like that won't happen this week. Neal wants to play Thursday so I'll have to go on one days rest. Should be interesting!!

Stress Test (good) and Squats (bad)

Monday morning I went to the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi clinic for an exercise stress test. The physician I saw in the ER a couple months ago suggested that I have one, and my primary care physician agreed. After losing a little chest hair to a razor and getting wired up, I hopped on a treadmill and started walking. The grade and speed inclined every three minutes until I was running to keep up. I beleive I almost went 12 minutes. I could have gone a little longer but the doctor was already praising my performance up to that point so I called "uncle." They had set up my target heart rate at 165bpm and told me they wanted me to get to 90% of that. I was up to 169bpm when I quit. They then had me sit down while my heart rate recovered. They seemed pretty impressed how quickly my heart rate dropped back below 100bmp. The doctor said everything looked great and that I out-performed a lot of younger, active-duty sailors that they had tested.

I know there are cases of people who have done great on a stress test only to drop dead a couple weeks later, but I feel pretty good about this.

HOWEVER...

Yesteday I attempted to do one of my press & squat workouts, and once again I felt dizzy after doing one set of squats. This time I can't blame it on taking two kinds of blood pressure medication because I have only taken one kind for several days. I've checked my blood pressure and it's been pretty low--several readings around 100/60. I'm not a doctor and I don't even play one on television, but I suspect I'm over-medicated for blood pressure. I may still need some--just not as high a dose as I'm taking now. This will be one topic of discussion with my doctor on July 3rd.

My absence from the blogosphere was due to a trip I made to my dad's last place of residence before his recent death. We went to visit his wife and to pick up some personal items, or as I later described them, a lifetime of memories spread out on my dining room table. There was a huge gap between the loss of my parents. My mother died when I was only 19 years old, and my father when I was 56. The content of the two boxes I brought back home with me included things like both of my parents' high school diplomas, my dad's elementary school report cards and his college yearbooks, and tons of family pictures. It was a very emotional experience going through all of it. I'm hanging on to a few things of my dad's: his college ring from Tulane University, a Tulane cap, a hole-in-one certificate, and a few pictures. I'm sending the rest to my sister and brothers to divide up as they see fit. I'm going to retire and live out my life in Thailand--it doesn't make much sense to bring a lot of memorabilia with me. I'll scan a lot of the pictures and keep it that way.

As far as my fitness quest goes, the trip was NOT a good thing. It started out fine. Instead of the usual munchies that I would take in the car like Triscuits, or gummy bears and the like, I kept a bowl of baby carrots handy. I also ate pretty good meals while there but I also ate some deserts that definitely not on the plan. I did get in a couple of walks including one that was on rolling terrain around a beautiful lake in northwest Arkansas. I would have loved to have had a mountain bike to do loops on that road. But the bottom line is that I'm too afraid to step on the scale right now. Maybe next week after eating right and getting in some workouts.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Peview Of Coming Attractions

I've got some catching up to do since returning from my trip. So my next entry will be a trip report and then I'll follow that up with a report on my exercise stress test, and subsequent attempt to squat that once again ended up in a dizzy spell. But I'll wait until tomorrow so I can do it on government time, and avoid all that typing on this laptop keyboard! :-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Heading In The Wrong Direction

I meant to write up my racquetball match last evening but I wasn't able to get a round tuit. I thought about it again when I woke up this morning but those thoughts quickly dissapaited after I made an unplanned trip to the bathroom scale. I figured it would be up after a weekend of no exercise, and a fair amount of eating. But I wasn't prepared for the number that appeared on the lcd screen. I let out an audible "omigod!" It amazes me how quickly I can put it back on. The phrase "hard gainer" refers to someone who has difficulty putting on muscle. Well when it comes to the packing of FAT, I'm an "easy gainer." The main-meal type food I ate over the weekend was fine as far as the macro-nutrient make up goes. But I absolutely ate too much. And I broke down several times when walking by the sugar table. So I find myself, once again, climbing back on the wagon. I am happy with what I have achieved overall the last 10 months, but I'm "treading water" at best here lately. And it won't get any easier this week as I'll be on the road starting tomorrow.