Wednesday, September 30

Perfect living healthy day!

I thought my face looked thinner yesterday, and Christine said the same thing last night.

1. Exceptionally good news: down to 201 today, my new low (for this effort). Woo hoo!

2. Welcome, dear Autumn! I love you so much!

3. Seriously impressed with myself:

Christine and the twins were gone for the day. Didn't really want to eat supper here at home. But also didn't want to blow out that 201. Want to keep rolling.

Finally decided to make the most of this Autumn day and bike the mile to Wendy's, get a Chicken Caesar salad, and bike back home.

How about those choices for living healthy?!


The salad was just ok. And the bike ride wasn't that enjoyable because I was by traffic the whole time and it was hard to really relax.

However, good effort. Way to go, me. And I got some fresh air, right?

4. Rewarded myself with a glass of red wine when I got home (only 100 calories).

5. Went out for my walk/jog, middle of week 5 of Couch to Five K. Ran into a guy jogging, too, a little slower than me, and we jogged together. I was only 'supposed' to jog 16 minutes tonight (and walk 15), but ended up jogging 26 minutes at better than 12 minute mile pace! Yep, upon further review, figure I ended up jogging about 2.5 miles. Pretty awesome, aye?!

Furthermore, this gentleman and I made friends and I told him about SparkPeople. And we're planning on jogging together again.

6. Then did 10 inverse pullups to hit my upper body another time after yesterday (since I wasn't sore today).

7. Then did 25 minutes of yoga.

Who am I and what have I done with Sean? ;-)

Finished out September strong. Time to evaluate, type up a new October contract, maybe make a few measurements to chart progress, maybe test a few things...

Sure, I wish the weight loss were going faster (like Aaron and Chris :-), but I'm pretty happy with the package right now.

Sunday, September 27

9/28 Football thoughts

+ Happy the Vikes won, but not real impressed. Took a 50 yard pass with 2 seconds left against the Niners (who are not world-beaters, though improved) without Frank Gore at our place.

Take away one 35-yard run from scrimmage and AP didn't do much.

Here's something good: Favre's first interception was tipped up by the Vikes. He didn't just throw it to the other team.

Percy Harvin is really fast.

I'd be afraid to have the Vikes play anyone in Peter King's Fine Fifteen right now. He's got the Vikes at 3, which I find impossible to believe will be borne out by their future play, but I guess we can hope...

+ Didn't watch the game. What in the heck happened to my boy, Drew Brees?

Upon further review, looks like their running game was working pretty well.

Great fake field goal by the Bills.

+ Wow, the Raiders are really bad, aren't they?

Fumbling the ball and not being in range to try to get it back must be a really sickening feeling.

+ Yes, McGahee was a good pickup for my fantasy team.

The Browns are pretty bad, too.

+ The Patriots - Falcons game sure was ugly.

I think Randy Moss' injury is holding him up. He's not even trying for balls he would normally win.

+ I used to hate Cris Collingsworth, but I don't mind him anymore. He seems much humbler than, say five years ago, when he seemed like kind of a punk.

Clark for the end-around. Love it!

I still like Kurt Warner and wish him well.

+ King has Baltimore as the best team in football. The scoreboard sure looks that way, but I haven't seen them play yet...

Saturday, September 26

Live Healthy: Feeling blah

Have you noticed I haven't written in a few days? I've been feeling pretty blah in general, including specifically about my healthy living and weight loss. Not least of all, I haven't lost any weight since Saturday; totally stuck at 203.

Complaint: Why is my weight loss so slow? When I try to cut more calories, I feel like my body just goes into starvation mode and I stop losing weight. Why can Chris and Aaron lose so much faster than me? It seems unfair (wah! ;-)

Confession: I haven't been doing my motivation work, which it says in my contract is the most important part. Sometimes it seems boring before starting it, but it's not bad once I get started (usually).

This is no criticism of my wonderful friends, but I think I'm feeling a little less motivated from the comparative lack of interaction I'm getting on these posts. The first month was great, but we all seem to be getting weary of this means of interacting, at least, if not trying to lose weight in general.

You know, not surprisingly, even just writing this stuff out helps me feel better. I am living healthy now. The weight really will come off eventually. I am feeling fit on the inside, including my muscles. The outside just needs to catch up :-)

Thursday, September 24

Drinking Just as Good as Yoga

Totally ripping this off from Now That's Nifty: Drinking Just as Good as Yoga (via Barbells and Bacon).

I find it especially funny since I do a fair bit of yoga :-)


I don't drink ma' self, but maybe I should start. These guys look fit!

Position of total relaxation.

Position that brings the sensation of peace and calm.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
This position calms the brain and heals tired legs.

Position stimulates the midirift area and the spinal column.

Excelent for back pain and imsomnia.

Excelent for the shoulder area, thorax, legs, and arms.

Great excersice to stimulate the lumbar area, legs, and arms.

This position, for ankles and back muscles.

Tones the body, and builds flexibility and helps get rid of 'stress'.

(From an e-mail)

Tuesday, September 22

Live Healthy: It's looking like a beautiful day and more on Weigh Down

It sprinkled a little this morning while I was riding my bike. And then I saw a full rainbow, so that was pretty cool :-)

Sort of goes with this new song I'm enjoying: One Day Like This. I'm a sucker for strings, high hat and vocal harmonies :-)

A few of the lyrics: 'It's looking like a beautiful day ... Throw those curtains wide / one day like this a year'd see me right (for life).'

Ok, today wasn't quite that good, but it was a nice start :-)

Doing very well with Weigh Down right now. The principal results has been almost completely eliminating snacks and only eating at mealtimes. So I'd guess I'm cutting out about 400 calories a day right there.

I'm also experimenting with not having a glass of wine every day. That's 100+ calories per weekday (I'm still 'indulging' on the weekend).

Down to 203 for two days, back up to 204 for two days. Some of this is just normal bodily variation. As I keep doing the right thing, I expect to drop another pound sometime soon and hope to reach 200 (or 199!) by October.

'Hunger' is such a subjective feeling, and so much of it is psychological. In the loosest sense of the word, all 'dieting', all sub-basal-metabolic-rate eating, is 'starving' ourselves. In those broadest senses, I'm 'hungry' all the time and I am 'starving' myself by eating fewer calories than my body burns in a day.

I have identified about three levels of hunger:

1. the initial stages: stomach feels empty, but there is no slackening of function. Anyone who wants to lose weight by conventional means is going to spend a fair amount of time in this zone. Can you take it? Can I?

2. hypoglycemia: I start to notice lower tolerance for aggravation. I'm easily annoyed. May be a little more irritable.

3. stomach starts to rumble. This is the eating threshold in Weigh Down, though not necessarily immediate eating (approximate range is within an hour, depending on what you're doing and how you're feeling).

(Not sure yet how close 2 and 3 are. I've been doing ok. Maybe I'll try to pay a little better attention...)

Strict Weigh Down would probably mean not eating at regular mealtimes if you're not at that third level. But I'm not doing that. I eat my normal breakfast, wait on lunch as late as 12:30 or so (I used to eat promptly at 11:30) and then eat dinner with my family, able to wait until 6:30 or 7 (I used to almost demand to eat promptly at 5:30). So far, it's working well for me.

The trick, of course, is can you get through the progression from stage 1 to stage 3? Sometimes it feels like I hardly stay out of stage 1, that I'm in it most of the time. In fact, I walked/jogged last night in stage 1 hunger and, let me tell you, that's a new behavior for me.

Maybe the biggest focus of Weigh Down is spiritual and I'm doing pretty well with it. I'd say it's helping me cope with the desire for food, especially between hunger stages 1 and 3.

A big thanks to Tia for recommending Weigh Down. I'm getting a ton out of it. It's gone from being a possible supplement to my weight loss approach to being the primary avenue, and a gateway to even a little expansion of spiritual perspective as well.

Monday, September 21

9/21 NFL thoughts

+ Last year's breakout rookie QB/coach tandems (Ryan/Smith and Flacco/Harbaugh) looking awesome as sophomores. Serious franchise trend up. And you could almost count Mike Singletary, Frank Gore (who's the QB in SF (I know, Hill ;-)).

+ AP is almost perfect. Now I need him to work on ball security. Didn't Tiki Barber concentrate on that and really turn it around? And he and Brett need to work on the handoff exchange more after yesterday's little mishap.

+ Something you might not hear much about: Chad Greenway's (Iowa grad) monster day: 2 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery.

+ When AP and Marion Barber run the way they do, what will their longevity be like?

+ Also little know: Favre had a career high completion percentage yesterday. That's exactly what we're looking for. Now we need to play a decent team to know if we're any good. We haven't shown real brilliance yet...

+ Things aren't looking too different yet in Chief land. I think they'll turn it around, but sooner is better than later.

+ Man, the Patriots didn't look very good and the Jets sure did. And I'm having trouble forgiving Moss for that route he broke off and then didn't even fight for the ball. Could have made the difference right there...

+ Broncos are looking pretty good (albeit against two bad teams). Browns just keep looking bad.

+ It shouldn't be surprising, but I saw quite a number of amazing arm-strength throws yesterday: half-cocked, back foot. Some strong guys out there...

Saturday, September 19

Live Healthy: That bike ride was not fun!

This day began with really good scale-news: 203 pounds, my lowest weight of this effort! That's 2.5 pounds lighter than yesterday, and it's not like I starved myself. Probably a little anomalous, but the latest low point and I'll take it! :-)

I thought it was a pretty innocuous plan: ride the Peak to Pomaria leg of the Palmetto Trail, 6.5 miles one way, then back. Left around 7 this morning, found it with the directions, no sweat.

First problem: The entire non-trestle length of the trail was laid with coarse gravel. I don't know the grades of gravel, but I'd call this more like 'stone' or 'rock'. Two inch wide stones were not uncommon. This led to 6.5 miles of almost unrelieved vibration. It was that kind of vibration that makes my muscles itch. Do you ever get that? I used to get it sometimes when I jogged. I've never known what to call it besides an 'intramuscular' itch. I expect to be sore tomorrow from the constant pounding and the 'holding onto the bike for dear life'.

Second problem: I was the first person on the trail this morning and it was spanned by many, many spider webs. Now, I am not an arachnophobe at all, but I don't like driving through spider webs and I don't really like having spiders on me. I'm guessing I drove through between 10 and 15 spider webs that resulted in one spider crawling on me while I drove and two hanging from my arms(as three separate times). (That is, that I saw. There could certainly have been more.) I took to scanning myself like Thomas Covenant after riding through each web.

(Thomas Covenant is in a series of book by Steven R. Donaldson. Covenant is a leper and has to constantly scan himself for injuries, since he can't feel them.)

I started thinking of myself as the arachnicide (horrible Latin). Then, for some insane reason, I applied some of Tolkien's Elvish: Ungolcrist, the Spider Cleaver. Or, better (since I don't know the word for web), Ungoldring, the Spider Hammer ( I think that's a bad mix of Quenya and Sindarin).

I kept wanting to turn back, but then kept thinking, 'Ok, one more song' (listening to my exercise playlist, which certainly got me through, if nothing else by helping take my mind off the ride).

(If you want, you can see some non-exciting pix I took on the trail over on Facebook.)

Came out at Hope Station Road, just past halfway and was seriously thinking about turning back. But then I looked at the map and realized I could finish the trail and then ride back on the roads. I could do that. I could do another three miles of the trail, but couldn't face more than nine (finish and back).

Shortly after that, it started to sprinkle. I hadn't looked at the forecast at all. I thought, 'Man, this is going to suck. It's going to rain.' But then I thought, 'Maybe not. Maybe it'll just sprinkle.' And that's what it did. A little sprinkle is nice. It was a good moment.

Something I did enjoy: there wasn't another single soul on the trail in the time I was on it.

In retrospect, why was I expecting a smoother, easier trail? I don't have a good reason. But I sure was surprised at the roughness.

By the end of the ride, I was covered in spider webs. Particularly, I had lots of spider webs stuck in the hair on my arms.

Here's the SMap page for the trail ride.

Another of my mistakes (definitely a theme of this post): I thought 'I'll get to the end of the trail and I can have a snack to fortify myself'. Except I forgot my wallet :-(

Good: traffic on the road on the way back to the Peak trailhead was light.

Here's the SMap page for the ride back from Pomaria to Peak on REAL ROADS! ;-)

I am a little worried about my bike: I just got it tuned up and then vibrated the heck out of it for 6.5 miles over an hour. But, hopefully it'll be ok.

Not fun. But, I made it. I didn't give up, so it was not a 'failure'.

(Methodological note: I recorded a lot of the thoughts for this post on my Blackberry with the Voice Notes on the drive home. I love my Blackberry! It's got everything! :-)

Friday, September 18

Live Healthy: Bad days

I felt like I had a bad day yesterday. Nothing majorly bad, just enough things to keep it constantly at the 'not having fun' level.

One of my relatively new strategies for dealing with bad days is to end them as soon as possible. Get the stuff done I have to get done and go to bed (if it's not too early). Write that sucker off and get a good start on the next one.

This counteracts what my unconscious strategy has often been throughout the years: lengthening the day, staying up later and later, trying to change my mood with something I enjoy, often including too much ice cream ;-)

If everything goes right, I get up at 6, do a little work, exercise and the day's off to a great start. Rebooted.

Now, that did not exactly happen today because it was still raining when I woke up, so I wasn't able to go ride my bike like I wanted to. But it's been a better day, overall.

Here's something I recently did to improve my chances of mindful eating. I realized I was quickly devouring my Skinny Cow sandwiches because they're a little messy and I wanted to finish up and get my hands clean to get on with the next activity (likely back to my laptop).

Solution: put the Skinny Cow in a bowl and eat it with a spoon. Problem solved. Sometimes little problems are easily hacked.


After all my bike drama, I took my bike in for a tuneup Wednesday and got it back yesterday. Looking forward to trying it soon. Maybe this evening...

Have you noticed I haven't written about my weight in a while? Still fighting to get back to 204.5 after 'letting my hair down' over College Football Start / Our Anniversary / Labor Day weekend. Remind me not to do that again, ok?

I'm currently at 205.5, but have been doing well with my eating the past couple days, so expect it to drop back down another pound any time now.

Thursday, September 17

Live Healthy: Spiritual blockage

I think I've been fighting some strange spiritual blockage in my work at living healthy. And it centers around 'Weigh Down'.

For some reason, I've had this block about finishing the book. It's sitting there beside my chair. I like it. I keep intending to finish it. But I keep not finishing it; never picking it up. Weird.

Second, I agree with the method. I've written more than once in these posts about how I intend to use it as my primary approach. And I totally have not done it.

This is a problem with me in my whole life. I live in my head so much that once I agree with a concept I often lose interest in it. Many, many times I don't go on to actually doing it. It was 'real' in my head. The impetus to act diminishes. I think this dynamic has contributed to the many times I've stopped trying to lose weight before. The psychological pressure diminishes and I just don't stay interested and motivated.

In some ways, it's almost like I didn't 'get it' with 'Weigh Down' until today (maybe). Don't eat until you are hungry (with hungry defined as your stomach actually physically growling).

(Excursus: Many of you will disagree with this definition of hunger, nutrition, what the body needs, etc. I'm not really interested in debating that now, ok?)

I have been defining hunger more as an empty feeling in the stomach or even mildly low blood sugar. And, based on that definition, at least in my experience, I am basically hungry all the time.

I have been eating at all of my regular, traditional times, plus some: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, supper, dessert, (usually) evening snack. It's possible to do that and still stay at 1500 net calories for the day, but there's very little margin for error.

So, here's to actually trying to hold off eating longer and maybe dropping some of those snacks.

But for now, I have to go. My stomach just went off, one hour and twenty minutes after what would usually have been my last meal time. Time to eat a little something ;-)

Tuesday, September 15

Live Healthy: GPS tracking

Ohmigosh. I am totally in love with GPS tracking for outside workouts. Here's how it came into my life:

The Palm Treo that I had for work finally died. It seemed like it had died once before, but came back to life. I had to get a PDA and I chose the Blackberry Bold.

Not to go all mushy on you, but I really like it so far. Some things I don't like as well as Treos when they had the Palm OS, but there was very little I liked about the Treo once it had gone to Windows Mobile. I do kind of miss having a touch screen for those times when it's most convenient, but I'm adapting ;-)

As you may remember from a past post, I was very interested in Nike+ and the way you can get data from your runs when paired with an iPod. Also very interested in iPhone GPS fitness tracker apps, but no iPhone in my future.

I didn't figure there were free GPS tracker apps for the Blackberry (because there were so many prominent premium ones), but I thought I should check and see.

I found SMap and it had a few good ratings, so I downloaded it to try.

Man, do I love this app.

First used it on Sunday without a hitch. Scott graciously joined me to bike the Three River Greenway. Here's the page, including map and elevation chart that SMap created for me.
Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:14:09 AM
01 hr, 23 mins, 12 secs

12.4 mi
Rating: Easy
Viewed: 435 times
by seanmeade

Average speed:8.9 mph
Max speed: 17.9 mph
Pace: 6:42 min/mi
Altitude gain: 233.0 m
Altitude loss: 241.0 m
Altitude change: -8.0 m
Wow, it's been viewed 435 times. That's a lot. I guess mostly from posting it to Facebook.

And here's my walk/jog from last night.
28 mins, 19 secs

2.7 mi
Rating: Easy
Viewed: 7 times
by seanmeade

Average speed:5.7 mph
Max speed: 11.4 mph
Pace: 10:29 min/mi
Altitude gain: 92.0 m
Altitude loss: 99.0 m
Altitude change: -7.0 m
What makes this so fun? I'm not completely sure. I really love seeing the numbers and the way they reinforce my workout. Not only were these good workouts in themselves, but looking at the hard data encouraged me, too.

Now, I'm sure no one is going to run out and get a Blackberry Bold to run this app. That would be silly. However, if you can run it, you should really look into it. They have versions that run on the Nokia S60, Windows Mobile, iPhone and Garmin. If you don't already have any of those platforms, but if you're interested in this kind of capability, Garmin is probably the cheapest way to get in.

I was considering getting an iPod touch as my major reward for losing weight. And one of my main interests was pairing it with Nike+. But already having this capability really takes the wind out of those sails.

The company's name is Sanoodi and they describe themselves this way: 'Sanoodi's vision is to build the world's leading geo-social platform for publishing and sharing content on the web and whilst on the move.'

At this point, I can't recommend Sanoodi and Smap highly enough.

So, what do you think? Did I pique your interest at all?

Saturday, September 12

Live Healthy: Pushup Conundrum

I am tired of doing pushups.

I've been doing 200 a week for a long time. Maybe a year. (Or at least trying to do 200 a week...)

Here's what I'm thinking about right now:

1. I could go back to the old method where I keep the rest down to less than 5 minutes. These seem better for building muscle. But, you know what? As much as I like the results, I don't really want to do 100 pushups in less than 25 minutes twice a week.

2. Or, I could go for the more spread out method, doing some pushups all the time, say sets of 20 throughout the day, every day. I'm more of a spread-stuff-out kind of guy. Here's a post about this approach to pushups called grease the groove. Since I work from home, this kind of approach would be no problem for me and would probably be good to get me up out of my chair once an hour. It would also help keep me warm this winter, right?

Do I sound desperate? ;-)

I like the sound of this plan but maybe wouldn't when it comes to doing 300 or so pushups a day. Hmm...

3. Or there are about a million other variations, but those are the two I'm weighing ;-)

Something good I did last night: got the intervals back down to 5 minutes between sets (sets include situps and squats).

I'd don't know, obviously. Something I'm kicking around, though.

Okay, I wrote all of that last night. Did 10 negative pullups today. Like Kathy's trainer says, if the muscles you worked aren't sore the next day, hit 'em again. I did my yoga today, too. Arms are feeling a little tired, so that's good. Might do one more set of pushups before I shower, just to makes sure I got the job done ;-)

Friday, September 11

Live Healthy: Two steps forward, one step back

Didn't get an entry written yesterday, in part, because I spent two hours taking Wil to fencing and bringing him home. But something good is that, while he was there, I got my walk/jog in. Then came home and did my yoga.

Well, the bad news is the scale's back up to 206. It's been bad since I 'let my hair down' last weekend. Two times in the last two months I have taken a break from my diet, jumped back up on the scale, and regretted it. Hmm. If I were smart, what would I do going forward? ;-)

Other than those things, I'm probably taking this whole 'live healthy' emphasis a little too casually. Or, I'm not emphasizing it enough. It's weird: at the start of the day, I take it for granted that I'll be able to eat right and then I just have to get my exercise in. But, as you know, I've been doing really well with my exercise. And most days I do fine with my eating ... until supper time or after. I must not be hitting that 500 calorie a day deficit consistently enough to get the pound a week I'd like to (not to mention the accelerated weight loss that Aaron and Chris have seen!).

Of course, I'm also not tracking my caloric intake closely enough to know where I'm really at. Nor am I applying the 'Weigh Down' approach that is a little freer.

On the other hand, I want to live healthy and not obsess about the three digit number.

In a way, it feels like it's a hard balance to strike, but surely it's not a really small range. I guess, in terms of metrics, it's if you're at least maintaining and not gaining weight. Then, obviously, you want to lose weight sometimes. But it took a while to put on right? Otherwise, maybe it's just a matter of how patient you're willing to be in your weight loss.

I'm sort of thinking out loud here. What do you think?

Of course, I've you've been reading these posts you know that I'm quasi-bi-polar about it: I want to de-emphasize the weight loss, but get discouraged when it doesn't happen.

I really need to go back to my motivation step (in my contract).

Here's something pretty good: I've been fairly active on SparkPeople. That helps with motivation and keeping going some.

Also, I bought a watch for timing walks/jogs and biking. I had a cheap watch, but it was pretty well defunct, including a dead battery and one broken hole for the band clip.

Also, I decided not to jump into the Couch-to-5k program this week. I'm going to take one more week to ease into it. Next week I'll do 2 minutes walking, 3 minutes jogging intervals before going to the only 90 seconds of walking. I think that'll be better. I'm not in any hurry on this thing and increasing my jogging is not a part of my goals right now. In some ways, it's just to add a little interest.

Gotta get back to it: pushups, situps and squats tonight but, more importantly, revisiting my motivation.

Wednesday, September 9

Live Healthy: Rock out!

What are your favorite workout songs?

Coach Nicole had another post over at SparkPeople about workout music: Play Your Power Song to Go the Extra Mile.

I got caught up in it and typed up my favorites from my workout playlist.

(Something interesting I discovered while I was working on this: I had a lot of duplicates. I thought I has over 900 songs on that playlist, but it turns out to be 760 ;-)

My Happy Ending - Avril Lavigne
Roam - The B-52s
Good - Better than Ezra
Magic - The Cars
Blow 'em Away - David Wilcox
The Waffle House - David Wilcox
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
Float On - Modest Mouse
Sabotage - Beastie Boys
Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles
Rock the Casbah - The Clash
Murder of One - Counting Crows
One for the Mockingbird - Cutting Crew
Vindicated - Dashboard Confessional
Come on Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
Getting Away with It - Electronic
Unbelievable - EMF
Bring Me to Life - Evanescence
Just Let Go - Fischerspooner
Stacy's Mom - Fountains of Wayne
Traffic and Weather - Fountains of Wayne
Santa Monica - Everclear
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - The Flaming Lips
Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage
Hallelujah Chorus - Handel
Keep Your Hands to Yourself - Georgia Satellites
Feel Good, Inc - Gorillaz
We Got the Beat - The Go-Gos
Sweet Child of Mine - Guns N' Roses
Welcome to the Jungle - Guns N' Roses
Kiss on My List - Hall and Oates
Save Ginny Weasley - Harry and the Potters
Everlasting Love - Howard Jones
Don't You Want Me Baby - Human League
Somebody's Baby - Jackson Browne
I Got You - James Brown
Been Caught Stealin - Jane's Addiction
Raider's March - John Williams
Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
Jesus Walks - Kanye West
Hot N Cold - Katy Perry
Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
You Just Keep Me Hangin' On - Kim Wilde
You Really Got Me - The Kinks
What Do Pretty Girls Do? Kirsty MacColl
The Robots - Kraftwerk
Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz
Can't Help Falling in Love - Lick the Tins
Somewhere I Belong - Linkin Park
Extraordinary - Liz Phair
Cherish - Madonna
Sick of Myself - Matthew Sweet
Enter Sandman - Metallica
Time to Pretend - MGMT
The Impression that I Get - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
We Are All Made of Stars - Moby
I'll Melt With You - Modern English
Interesting Drug - Morrissey
Torn - Natalie Imbruglia
Wonder - Natalie Merchant
Forever in Blue Jeans - Neil Diamond
My Friends Over You - New Found Glory
Regret - New Order
Shellshock - New Order
Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
Mr. Disco - New Order
Krafty - New Order
Man of Constant Sorrow - O, Brother, Where Art Thou?
Come Out and Play - The Offspring
Hit Me with Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
Even Flow - Pearl Jam
West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys
Wave of Mutilation - The Pixies
Can't Stand Losing You - The Police
Gardening at Night - REM
1,000,000 - REM
Finest Worksong - REM
Welcome to the Occupation - REM
Exhuming McCarthy - REM
Disturbance at the Heron House - REM
Strange - REM
Disturbance at the Heron House - REM
Oddfellows Local 151 - REM
Driver 8 - REM
Can't Get There from Here - REM
Get Up - REM
Stand - REM
Begin the Begin - REM
These Days - REM
I Believe - REM
Superman - REM
Radio Free Europe - REM
Pilgrimage - REM
Sitting Still - REM
Shaking Through - REM
Leave - REM
Near Wild Heaven - REM
Texarkana - REM
Harborcoat - REM
So. Central Rain - REM
(Don't Go Back to) Rockville - REM
Imitation of Life - REM
Airbag - Radiohead
Sleep Now in the Fire- Rage Against the Machine
Umbrella - Rihanna and The Klaxons
Tamacun - Rodrigo y Gabriela
Be My Baby - The Ronettes
Tom Sawyer - Rush
Limelight - Rush
Distant Early Warning - Rush
Send Me on My Way - Rusted Root
Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla - Schoolhouse Rock!
Rock You Like a Hurricane - The Scorpions
Dies Irae - Mozart
Perfect - Smashing Pumpkins
1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
Today - Smashing Pumpkins
Disarm - Smashing Pumpkins
The Queen is Dead - The Smiths
Vicar in a Tutu - The Smiths
Stop Me If You Think that You've Heard this One Before - The Smiths
There Is a Light that Never Goes Out - The Smiths
Frankly Mr. Shankly - The Smiths
Cemetry Gates - The Smiths
Bigmouth Strikes Again - The Smiths
Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
Here's Where the Story Ends - The Sundays
Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants
Never Let You Go - Third Eye Blind
Voices Carry - 'til Tuesday
All I Want - Toad the Wet Sprocket
Refugee - Tom Petty
Ordinary - Train
Slacks - Trip Shakespeare
Toolmaster of Brainerd - Trip Shakespeare
Beautiful Day - U2
Elevation - U2
Vertigo - U2
Born Slippy - Underworld
You Really Got Me - Van Halen
Panama - Van Halen
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
Gloria - Van Morrison
Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve
She Walks on Roses - Vigilantes of Love
Goes Without Sayin - Vigilantes of Love
Could Be a Lot Worse - Vigilantes of Love
Blister Soul - Vigilantes of Love
5 Miles Outside Monroe - Vigilantes of Love
Baalam's Ass - Vigilantes of Love
Bethlehem Steel - Vigilantes of Love
Real Down Town - Vigilantes of Love
Earth Has No Sorrow - Vigilantes of Love
Port of Entry - Vigilantes of Love
Locust Years - Vigilantes of Love
Tokyo Rose - Vigilantes of Love
Black Crow - Vigilantes of Love
Taking on Water - Vigilantes of Love
All the Mercy We Have Found - Vigilantes of Love
Version of the Truth - Vigilantes of Love
Willingly - Vigilantes of Love
Glory and the Dream - Vigilantes of Love
YMCA - Village People
Macho Man - Village People
Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
Lawyers, Guns and Money - Warren Zevon
Pater Noster - Wartburg Choir
Pinball Wizard - The Who
On the Road Again - Willie Nelson
Pancho and Lefty - Willie Nelson
Old Dan Tucker - Bruce Springsteen
John Henry - Bruce Springsteen
Layla - Derek and the Dominos
The Final Countdown - Europe
She's so High - Tal Bachman
and lots of mashups!

Still here? ;-) How about you? Care to share any of your favorite workout songs?

Tuesday, September 8

What I've been reading about health care

+ How American Health Care Killed My Father

This one is my favorite so far (sensational title notwithstanding). It's also the longest by far. But I really like the analysis here of the way our system produces bad outcomes. Killer piece:
Anyone with whom I discuss this [HSA] approach has the same question: How am I supposed to be able to afford health care in this system? Well, what if I gave you $1.77 million? Recall, that’s how much an insured 22-year-old at my company could expect to pay—and to have paid on his and his family’s behalf—over his lifetime, assuming health-care costs are tamed. Sure, most of that money doesn’t pass through your hands now. It’s hidden in company payments for premiums, or in Medicare taxes and premiums. But think about it: If you had access to those funds over your lifetime, wouldn’t you be able to afford your own care? And wouldn’t you consume health care differently if you and your family didn’t have to spend that money only on care?
+ Obama’s in the ER but he’ll get his reforms

+ My Take On The Healthcare Debate

+ 8 Questions About Health-Care Reform

+ The Massachusetts Model

+ The Myth of Prevention

+ Until Medical Bills Do Us Part

Live Healthy: When healthy becomes a headache

I jogged too hard this morning.

I walked for three minutes, then jogged for three minutes. And since I was feeling ok and was headed into a big downhill, I decided to jog another three minutes instead of doing a walking interval. Then I started to think maybe I could get down to 2 12-minute miles, so I kept after it.

I think I was close on the mileage (I lost precise track). But I've had a headache all day that I can't shake. 3 doses of pain-reliever, lying down and resting, 2 separate doses of caffeine, 2 showers and even yoga for core relaxation! Blast! I hate headaches. If I wake up with this headache tomorrow, I'm going to be especially annoyed.

Speaking of caffeine, I'm going to wean myself off of caffeine again and go back to decaf. The major benefit this gives is being able to drink coffee throughout the day. When you're on a limited calorie diet, it's nice to have something to drink that has a little taste (you know, besides water). In the winter, it will be especially nice to have something warm. And I'm just not that crazy about tea.

One of the things holding me up from going back to decaf was the times I want the caffeine to help treat headaches. But I've been trying Folgers singles this week and I think they'll work fine for those occasions. And we'll keep real coffee around for when our parents come and think they need it ;-)

The last time I went off of decaf was for my really ill-considered liquid diet. Since then, it's kind of crept back in. It's not a big deal. I can quit anytime ;-)

Like last time, I'll probably go to halfcaf for a week, then maybe quarter and then be back to decaf.

Made the appointment today to get my mountain bike tuned up. I'll take it in a week from tomorrow. Looking forward to it working a little better and enjoying time outside this autumn.

Monday, September 7

Live Healthy: Random thoughts

Just a few disparate ideas I've been wanting to write about:

1. I don't think I ever mentioned, especially during my September reevaluation, how important the support of my friends was to me. I was worried when I came up with the August contract that I wouldn't have enough support. I didn't have that 'Weight Watchers meeting' kind of component.

But, surprisingly, Facebook, especially, became a really good means of support. People who I never would have guessed would be interested have been some of my biggest supporters. We've really found some common ground I didn't know we had, and it is fantastic!

(Now, I realize something I have going for me that not many people have is >600 friends on Facebook, so I had a larger sample to hit the percentages. Your mileage may vary, but I sure am glad for mine! :-)

Something I did mention before is the importance of helping others for their sake and for yours (the 12th step in 12 step programs). Supporting and encouraging my friends has been very motivating for me!

2. Do you ever have to trick yourself into doing what's best for you? It seems dumb that we would have to do this, but I sure do.

I had a day recently when I had to trick myself into getting things done a couple times. I did NOT want to bike. But I took it one step at a time. First, get your biking clothes on. Then, gather up your stuff. Get the bike out. Helmet on, etc. Eventually I got out the door and biked and got back and I was glad I did it. Usually by the time I'm on the bike and into the street in front of my house I can face it. I don't feel so lethargic and resistant anymore.

On that same day, I did NOT want to work on a web project that I've been putting off. But I thought, 'I can open the editor and at least I'll have it open'. Then I was ready to open the file, even if it meant just leaving it open for awhile. But, you guessed it: I was ready to start editing and I got two projects done that I've been putting off and it felt great!

How about you: do you have to trick yourself into doing things that are good for you? How do you do it?

We have taken the home schooling plunge

We had considered home schooling for a long time but just didn't feel up to it. Then Christine found K12's South Carolina Virtual Charter School. It's public school. They pick the curriculum to match up with SC standards and send everything to you. Since they're getting the SC tax money for our kids, there's no cost to us that wouldn't be a normal school expense.

The clincher for us was when I said 'Well, if you want to try it, what do we have to lose? It's not forever, and if it doesn't work out, they can go back to their regular school.' So we're trying it.

How's it gone? Well, frankly, we've been surprised at home hard it has been and how much work. Elizabeth and Wil are both really smart, always at the top of their class, in the Academically Gifted Program at Leaphart and above 95th percentile on standardized tests. We frankly thought it would be a breeze.

Probably the biggest adjustment is just to a different way of learning. We are hopeful that all of us will get better at this. Wil, especially, has had trouble with simply reading and following directions, so that is a growing edge for him.

Elizabeth was dubious about the change at first, but we think she's leaning toward sticking with it. Though Wil has some hard days, he keeps saying he likes it better than regular school. And we're confident that both of them are getting a better education, with much more individual attention, than they were getting before.

What did I leave out? What questions do you have?

Sunday, September 6

Live Healthy: more biking drama!

I made another decision about biking. Sheesh. How many has that been? :-)

I was actually thinking about how to enjoy this Autumn as much as possible, especially getting outside more. I'm so glad for the break in the heat and it's my favorite season.

And it occurred to me, I could still ride my mountain bike in the three nearby neighborhoods without getting into a lot of traffic. I might have to slow down a little, but that's ok.

So, that's the new biking plan. Take the mountain bike (not the road bike) in for a tuneup and continue enjoying it this fall. Jeez, that took a long time to figure out!

I even got my bike rack back (had loaned it to my father-in-law) so I can carry my bike around easier if I want to drive someplace to bike on a Saturday or Sunday.

We'll see how long the plan survives engagement with real life ;-)

In other exercise news, I timed my mixed walk/jog tonight: 2 miles in 24:30 and I made the first mile in 12 minutes. (Remember, I'm walking three minutes, then jogging three minutes.) Not too shabby.

And I looked up the famous The Couch-to-5K Running Plan. Happily enough, since I've already been off the couch for awhile, I can start in week 4. If I stay on that plan (no promises!), I'll have 6 total weeks of training until I get back to running three miles at a time. I think I'll stick with my current pace this week, then start week 4 next week.

Unfortunately, haven't noticed any 5ks around here i really want to run. Or it would be fun to do one with someone. I'll keep my eyes open, but it's not a major deal.

Saturday, September 5

Live healthy: living healthy and letting your hair down

What is the balance between living healthy and letting your hair down?

I've been letting my hair down a lot for past couple days.

My three brothers and I and some of their families got together Thursday night for the opening of the college football season. Not only was the food great, there was a lot of it that is virtually irresistible to me. There was a buffalo chicken dip that was amazing. Then we had bratwurst boiled in beer and grilled (I did succeed in having only one of those) with a side of tortilla chips and Rotelle. The drinks were Woodchuck green apple hard cider and Marietta Old Vines Red. Later in the night, we had brownie sundaes.

Needless to say, I enjoyed all of these foods quite a bit!

Then, yesterday was our anniversary. We had shakes yesterday and we're going out to eat tonight. I've eaten pretty moderately today, even passing up a drink at Starbucks this morning.

So, where does all this celebrating fit into healthy living?

One observation: the virtually irresistible sides the other evening were also virtually inexhaustible. It would have taken a ton of willpower to stop eating them. It wasn't like going out to eat where there is usually a limited quantity of food and I can pull the 'save half for later' trick.

But what I really want to say in this post is I think there is a place for letting your hair down and celebrating. In fact, if you're taking the new common model of 'how do thin people eat', they indulge sometimes.

Now, it will certainly slow down my weight loss, and I may certainly lament my celebrations later. The number on the scale this morning was not a good one. But it will start coming back down again soon, and a little bit faster at first, since I've been at 204.5 recently.

Over time, I'd like to get better at curtailing my celebrations a little bit, not overdoing it. I probably need to go into them with more of a plan. With the buffalo chicken dip and the the Rotelle, I really should have served myself some on a plate, enjoyed it and stopped when I was done instead of eating out of the bowl (obviously!).

And there is certainly a balance to be struck with not letting the emphasis on living healthy, including some celebrations and the de-emphasis on weight loss, become a rationalization. But I think this balance can be achieved and should be aimed for.

You can make a pretty good argument that such balance contributes positively to the maintenance of living healthy, that it helps make it more sustainable.

So, what do you think? Am I just kidding myself here? How do you living healthy with celebrations that include food?

Wednesday, September 2

Live Healthy: Nike+? iPod touch?

Coach Nicole had a post about the Nike+ SportsBand over on DailySpark.

I've been interested in Nike+ ever since I read the Wired article on it.

Here's what I commented:
that article also includes a more precise description of how the device works: 'The shoe sensor's accelerometer measures the amount of time a runner's foot is on the ground, which is inversely proportional to speed.'

i'm seriously thinking of trying this as i plan on moving from walking to jogging. i don't need major accuracy.

another possibility for cheapskates like me who won't pay for the iPhone and it's expensive plan: i'm 95% sure you can use an iPod touch instead. it's not a phone and doesn't have 3G data, but it does have WiFi and can use iPhone apps. touch starts at $229 but requires no ongoing plan.

so, let's see: SportsBand or save that money for the iPod touch, which is 75% more? decisions, decisions ;-)

Tuesday, September 1

My September Live Healthy contract

starting weight: 206.5
ultimate goal: 180
goal for this month: 200

I owe myself some kind of healthy reward for doing so well with exercise in August and doing ok with my other goals. but what do i want?

  1. mindset, motivation and method
    1. I am living healthy now!
    2. more visualization
      1. project w/C
    3. post to weblog and Facebook
    4. sign a contract with my family
    5. invest time, including reading and note-taking
      1. how do other people do it? what helps them succeed?
      2. read over Evernotes
      3. read in SP
    6. record the psychology of failure. what makes me want to quit?
    7. slow down. taste your food!
    8. never eat to 'full', only to 'not hungry'
    9. don't be afraid of hunger. a little hunger in the right context is the feeling that accompanies weight loss.
    10. when i fall off the wagon, don't wallow. get right back on!
      1. i used to wait until the next monday to 'start fresh'. maybe...
      2. analyze: why did i fall off? beat it next time!
    11. satisfy cravings, but with one serving, not half a carton
    12. especially savor treats!
    13. 'strictness makes thing easier.' you don't have to decide.
    14. systemic moderation
    15. what are the healthy habits i am cultivating?
    16. 'We are rich in proportion to the number of things we can afford to leave alone.' - (approximately) Thoreau. this includes food!
    17. goal is to make lifestyle changes. when i get to 170, i can add some calories back in, but otherwise, everything should stay the same, right?!
    18. why do i overeat?
      1. when hurt, depressed, sad, bored or angry
        1. what will i do instead?
    19. picture this!
      1. eventual goal: 180 pounds (then re-evaluate)
        1. (top of BMI ideal weight range for 5'11")
      2. nice and fit (with all that exercise)
      3. feeling better about myself
      4. not being ashamed of being overweight
      5. fitting into my clothes better
      6. getting new clothes, or getting out old ones i no longer fit into, including jeans
      7. doing my push ups and pull ups easier
      8. improvement re: snoring, sweating and psoriasis
  2. lose at least 1 pound per week
    1. target 1400-1500 calories/day, recorded on SparkPeople
    2. weigh myself daily 1st thing and chart at The Physics Diet
    3. NO secret eating (eg ice cream from the carton, shakes when out by myself)
      1. repeat 27x :-)
  3. exercise 12 times per week (including mowing)
    1. cardio in the mornings before work
      1. alternate walk/jog, 30 minutes 3x
      2. bike (road or stationary), 30 min.s, 3x
    2. 100 push ups, sit ups and air squats 2x (Tu pm, sat am)
    3. yoga 3x (MWF nights)
    4. mow for an hour 1x ;-)
    5. start working on 10 pull up goal
      1. negative and supine pullups

I will stick to this plan for my good and the good of my family. When I depart from this plan, I will admit it and get back on plan.

'you’ll actually burn more fat if you use any extra time you have to increase your lower intensity activity as much as possible with things like moderate walking, taking the steps when you can, and generally moving around as much as possible. The more time you spend sitting still, the more you turn off your fat burning enzymes and make fat loss harder than it needs to be.'