Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Some interesting thoughts on weight loss

Those of you who have been reading my blog know that John Robison has motivated me to put fingers to keyboard. Heck, if he can write a book...anyone can! Just kidding John. ;-)

Well one theme that we try to get across to patients and clients alike when it comes to weight loss is how the brain is involved. There are a myriad number of hormones involved in your brain for appetite control and emotional states. What we see though is that when it comes to behavior, these hormones are a factor, but not the end all be all to what the outcome is in our relationship with food.

One of the Dr's and my central themes is the acronym H.A.L.T. What this stands for is Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These are the primary emotional states for why people eat. Let's break them down.

Hungry is the only reason you should eat. I recognize that people may have mechanisms that do not enable to tell if they are hungry. Or, worse yet, they are hungry all the time. In the clinical environment we discuss with the patient what is actually going on in their life and in the 'moment' to discern if they really are 'hungry all the time'. Invariably, they are not. It just seems to be this way because they never tied the behavior/action of eating to the overall emotional state or the momentary stresses in their life. Hunger is one of the most governable issues with food. Simply put...Plan for success NOT for failure, yet this is exactly the opposite of what most people in our society do when it comes to food. Picture this:

1)Get up late for work.

2)Race out the door and maybe get a coffee sipped down and a Bagel? Donut? Nothing?

3)No Snack

4)Lunch time, since you were late you didn't BRING anything so now you are at the mercy of your stomach and where the other co-workers may order out from. You eat too much.

5)No after lunch mid-afternoon snack. If you ate light at lunch you are already hungry. If you ate heavy you get sleepy and fatigued from too many calories and poor food choices and won't eat until later in the evening.

6) Dinner at 6-7 PM or 8-9 PM. Very hungry because lunch was at Noon. Eat a standard 'too big' dinner. Sleep horribly due to food sitting in gut. Despite what the literature says, the majority of calories, many of them coming from refined carbohydrates are stored for future use since there is no stimulus to utilize them in the evening. Wake up unrested and somewhat late.

7) Repeat cycle!

THIS is a plan for failure.

Anger represents a group of emotions. Frustration, Irritability, Fear and Anger can all be grouped together. In response to emotions that usually well-up from perceived situations of helplessness it is common as humans that we look to things that help us 'feel' better. Food can stimulate hormones that do, in the short term, make us feel better. Anyone that has been incredibly stressed out and then had a nice rich sampling of chocolate truffles or Lindt chocolate understands what I'm talking about.

Lonely is another term that does not just represent the physical proximity of someone. I explain it to patients and clients that "Lonely" can also be rephrased as disconnected, bored, or under-stimulated. To most it would not be hard to understand that the our relationships can add a significant amount of value to our lives. From them we can feel connected to something bigger then just ourselves. For whatever number of reasons I have seen in both my clients and patients a large number of people that are very dissatisfied with their primary relationships, if they even have one. I am tickling a Pandora's box here as I have also come to the conclusion that the most significant relationship that these people have trouble with is the one with themselves. We don't have enough to go into this particular aspect, for sure. Suffice to say without being good with yourself any other relationship is a distraction from that fact. Those that eat from 'loneliness' often have issues with being alone, and finding things to engage in that bring their mind to a place where food is not central. Even work functions as a distractor or connection point that can alter a persons desire to eat. I do not want everyone to be a workaholic to not eat, but the facts still remain that many can make it through most of their day not fixated on food. The people that I have worked with that eat from 'loneliness' as a general trend do not become involved in extra-curricular activities, watch a lot of television, read a little if at all, and have no social group to belong to. Any of the above would, at the least, distract from he 'food/ soothe' mechanism and at best potentially 'solve' the concept of loneliness for them.

Tired as an eating stimulus is understandable. If you are very tired it IS a fact that we, as adults, do not sleep while we are chewing. Even babies and small children actually stop chewing mid bite when they fall truly asleep. We have all seen the baby in our family fall asleep during dinner in the high chair. Guarantee that when their head is down they are not still chewing. So it is with adults, except we actually allow food in our mouth and the action of chewing to keep our minds somewhat alert. Clients and patients with sleep apnea use this 'skill' to cope with their problematic issues keeping their eyes open. Couple this with a lowered waking metabolism from the sleep apnea itself and you have a recipe that aids in weight gain.

So what should we do?

The bullet answers. You may not like them, but I will use another quote we use in the Dr's office all the time. "Continuing to do what you do everyday and expecting something different to occur is a form of insanity." Basically, open up to just the ideas that I will give and think of how your life could be different and enhanced by changing. We can all come up with reasons why we CAN NOT change because of our circumstances but often this doesn't help us get to our goals.

Hunger: Plan in advance and don your bullet proof vest. Instead of jetting out the door without food and starting the cycle all over again. Change it!

The night before pack in a cooler your great lunch and a few snacks. Now you are not at the mercy of co-workers and raging hunger while at work. Get up a few minutes earlier and make a healthy satisfying breakfast that will hold you over. Many are not hungry in the morning but on review we find it is because of the big dinner still digesting from the night before. Eating a good breakfast is the first step in changing the cycle.

Eat a dinner that is on par with what you plan to do for the rest of the night. If you are going to watch TV and chill then eat lite. I often recommend no or very low carbs in the evening for patients that cannot get out and do something. Ideally we would do the Buddhist skill of 'walking a thousand steps before we retire.' Remember though, the lighter you get the less time it will remain in your belly and satisfy you. Shut the tv off earlier and get to bed!

Angry is an emotion not a REAL reason to eat. Connecting your emotional state to why you eat is key. If you are going to eat think for 5 minutes about WHY. Sometimes you may eat that something anyway but others you may just 'let it go' and find something else to get you through. Having good food available like we mentioned above helps greatly in the process.

Lonely is not something we can usually fix immediately but it helps to practice skills that eventually may help to get you less 'lonely'. Get involved with people and groups. Sports groups or recreations that involve your body and other people are great for distractions AND get you out there. TV has been studied to make kids forage for food. Why would we think we, as adults, would be different? Books on the other hand make our brains work differently and even though we are on the coach or in bed we are not eating. Sounds like a better distraction to me. If our relationships that we do have are not fulfilling then that brings up other issues. Many people get involved with the wrong people for the wrong reasons. This would be defined as a decision with life altering potential. Never easy but often necessary for any type of true future happiness. In the meantime, recognize how this relationship is making you sabotage your physical health and adopt a new 'skill' to avoid the soothing mechanism you have learned and used up until now.

Tired is the easiest fix. Simply, get a good amount and quality of rest/sleep. Sleep needs to be done to get all the hormones and metabolic benefits. We repair and clear our minds when we sleep. Get your sleep! As we get older our bodies sleep hormones start to decline. It is a fallacy that we 'need' less sleep as we get older. We only have less hormonal stimulation that allows us to get it. Sometimes poor sleep is self imposed. many people want more and more 'things.' That's fine, but if it is making you work 2 jobs and only get 3-4 hours of sleep a night, YOU, your decisions and wants are causing your own pain and weight gain. At the very least, contributing to it. Re-evaluate and get your rest. In the end you maybe happier about it. Target goal. 7-9 hours nightly. If you were able to get the occasional nap in on the weekends your body would only thank you.

In the end, HALT no more and you will have worked around many of the weight issues surrounding the modern age. Remember, it is relatively easy to change the human is very difficult to change the human mind. These ideas may offend or seem impossible to implement because of your life but doing what you are doing now will only get more of the same. Change something.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I'm going to heaven...

What a weekend. Thank goodness I needed a break from hard training. Did a very small ride with ANdrea at the crack of dawn on Saturday and ran on Sunday. Nope, no 100 mile ride reports this weekend.

After the run I did some e-mails for work and then put together my mother 'n laws trike. Yes, that's a three wheeled bike. She just had a total knee replacement and a regular bike is not for her right now. Wow, I started at 1 pm and just finished somewhere around 8:50 PM. They do not make those things easy to put together!!!

My son, Alexander helped. (?) Has anyone every had help from a 10 year old. They get so distracted so quickly that I'm talking to him and then I swear I see the smoke from him jetting out of the building!! ;-)

Everyone told me to come in and finish tomorrow... but it was a matter of pride. I couldn't have John Robison rib me on Wednesday that I was a mechanical failure for not putting a stupid bike together. I can hear it now. John: "Yeah, I put one of those things together for someone, it took me about 30 minutes." Yeah, whatever! ;-)

Wife says I'm going to heaven for getting it done and out of her shop. I have no idea, but I do know I'm going to bed!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

New Idea

AS many of you who know who read my blog I am friends with John Robison , Famous locally for great cars and car work but soon to be famous world wide by his debut book Look Me In The Eye.

Well as his is his nature and ability John has set my life down a new direction. His visionary ability and way of breaking things down concisely always amazes me. In our 1 hour appointment the other day he basically told me to write a book about fitness. I have always thought of writing a book but have never been really gravitated to the fitness model even though it is what I know and do. Heck, with all the fitness trash books coming out every month and year I figure why wade into that?

As I said John refocused my mind rather quickly;

1) Every year new books on fitness HAVE to come out to be the latest and greatest why can't yours be the one?

2) I know everything that these other 'trainers' and celebrity trainers know, and maybe even more, but the difference is that they wrote something and got it noticed by a publisher.

3) With a quality product John would have no issue giving it an introduction to a publisher that may have interest in the topic.

4) 20+ years of training experience, have owned a large fitness center, been Mr America and Mr Universe, transformed into a triathlete physique (well, sort of), and now working in a clinical environment with pre and post operative barriatric surgery patients as well as medically managed weight loss patients....I think I have some insights on why people are overweight, and how to fix the issue.

5) Once a book is published and marketed well the next is relatively easy to get out there. He mentioned a trainer that wrote the '12 minute workout' having made millions and other books from him getting published quickly even by other publishers.

OK John, it makes sense. I will begin an outline today about my thoughts on fitness and compartmentalizing it into bite sized pieces that everyone could handle.

So how are these for titles? Feel free to drop one in if you have an idea.

The New You Lifestyle Plan: Simple changes and programs that can bring your health and fitness to a whole new level

The Fitness Lifestyle Made Easy: How to get amazing new body with simple life changes.

These are only ideas I just came up with while writing this. Don't over think them. I'm just looking at what sells and what people seem to gravitate to.

The other he had was for me to begin using this blog not only as a way of voicing crazy ideas and cycling posts but to develop a base for this book. In that respect, will offer to answer questions anyone has about fitness and their personal fitness regimen through the blog. You can ask with your name or anonymously. I will still get an answer back.

So now the blog is not only a crazy posting repository for my cycling adventures and triathlon races but a place to get your answers right from Matty on fitness, health, overcoming illness....all that stuff. So fire those questions away!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday Night A ride - Let the good times roll

For a few years, when I finally made the A ride ability level, I always posted to the other club members a soliloquy about what it means to me to be an A rider, and the mental games I played with myself. Every year, as the rides began, I would wonder if 'this year, I had what it took', 'Did I do the work necessary in the off season to not make a fool of myself on opening day', 'Was last year a fluke and I'm really NOT an A rider'. All these things, and more, would go through my head just before the season started. I would work myself into panic until the rubber started to roll.

I try to give readers some feel for what riders and racers are going through as they train. The posts are long because each part of a ride has it's own flavor, set of tactics, and different circumstances that may arise. Which riders show up, weather, your personal status - including mental, nutritional, and recovery, and lastly, the terrain to be covered in the ride. Some riders are good at everything, Some are great at a certain discipline like hills or time -trialing. Others are just trying to hold on and not get 'dropped' or LFD. (Left for Dead) These are terms that basically mean becoming separated from the group by a large enough margin that the group as a collective can no longer wait for you. Like Spock said in some Star Trek movie, "The good of the many outweighs the good of the few or the one."

This particular Tuesday the weather was mild, the group was small, and my legs were tired. I had done the horrible rain ride Saturday (See post "Is that All You Got!") and followed it up for a leg buster on Sunday with a few Tri guys. Ended that I beat them up for 78 miles. Kind of felt bad. (Not really) All that fun had left my legs looking for some time off. Yeah, So I'm at the Tuesday Night A ride for what purpose!? This is the antithesis of some time off. On this ride you either "Fly or Die" as my buddy Jim says. Well the group was small so instead of 15 guys that can/will try to crush you there really was only 4 hard core A riders, 2 A- rider and a B rider. Phil was the sole B rider. He has been attempting to jump up a level and try the A rides. Today I knew we would stay more steady and the group was small so I goaded him into to trying the A ride one more time. Can you see where this is leading? I'll shorten this story about Phil first so we can move on to the blow by blow aspects of the Ride itself.

Phil is a tall guy with a good bike and can ride 3 times per week for several hours. All of this should make it painfully hard but doable for Phil to hang on the A ride if he plays his cards right. This Tuesday was probably not the one I should have goaded him on. We were going to do hills AND long mileage...but at a steadier pace. Phil kept falling off the back on each hill. This is actually VERY normal for a new person trying out the A ride. You may not know the route, you certainly do not know when the other riders normally start pressing their efforts and it would be only normal to be somewhat 'off the back'. Let's just say I spent oh, about 3-4 years there. Since I goaded Phil I was more or less responsible to make sure he knew the turns and had a bit of either help or motivation to keep it going. He was pretty blown after the first series of climbs and we were within 10 miles of the start. Uh Oh, We got 40-50 mile to go like this. He fell back more and more and on a final circle up where the riders wait for the last I asked him some questions about his training. Seems he rode hard Sunday for 6000 feet of climbing. Slow or fast THAT will have an effect on a rider of a lower ability and volume of training. I also found out he trained relatively hard every day. Another red flag. Phil let me off the hook and told me not to worry if he came off again and to go. I counselled him to take a 'spin' day as to recover some ability back. He was definitely not riding as well as he usually did and I think he was over trained. When athletes always go hard without recovery bouts and enough rest the max ability keep coming down. So even thought that athlete is going as hard as they can their top end and power level is getting lower. A good recovery week and conditioning and Phill should be back to full power. We started our ride in earnest now as we would no longer wait for Phil at the tops of the climbs. Hanging back with Phil had made me miss climbing Echo Hill with the other A riders so I was a bit bummed. This is one of MY hills. I've made peace with it and it has understanding with me. It lets me climb it in the big ring when most riders do not. I, in turn, enjoy the pain it brings and respect its leg wrenching ability. From the top of my favorite missed climb we were really ready to ride.

We swooped down into the center of Monson at a a quality 35+ from the descent off Echo Hill. From here we went up 32 toward Wales Rd. This is a great climb and the start/finish of the Monson Rd Race. It's steep but not real steep. Of course THAT would have been easy. Instead we took the left hand fork off of Wales Rd to Munn Rd. When looking up from Wales you are already on a steep pitch. Seeing Munn Rd all you see is pavement going vertical. Ouch. The good news is it comes at you in sections that you just have to gut over. Each section is bad but you are just feeling it when you reach the top of each steep. The problem is that when you climb with the group you need to ride at the best climbers ability. I am NOT the best climber by any means. Instead I just suffer and breath like a diesel locomotive and hope for it to be over as soon as possible. Sometimes I feel great and can out last climbing faster then I normally do and others times I just 'blow up.' Chris Adeletti paced us up and he has a very efficient and smooth pedalling cadence. He rides his easiest gear but spins fast enough to stay in front. I have been practicing but Chris A can be too fast for me some times. I was breathing hard but finally we hit the plateau that signalled circle up. We were at a turn and we needed to get our last 2 riders up with us. Chris Shickler is a new member but an avid biker. He pushed the pace on the first climb. I wanted to go with him but I had to stay with Phil then. He had less starch in his legs for this climb. It isn't as long but it is steeper. George Fetcko is the other A- rider. He is making big leaps and bounds with his riding. Just having joined the club last year and STARTED with the A riders....that's saying something. Wow! We found him doing a weekly ride to Boston AND BACK (?) on one of the weekend days. Like, All in one day! He was wearing baggy shorts and his phone on his belt. Well he doesn't wear those clothes and he certainly rides like he means it. Big progression in this last year. He was bringing up the rear on the climbs.

After collecting Chris S and George we headed up a stair step climb that is about 4-5 miles long. I call it Partridge Hollow Rd. It brings you back up to Rt 19 in Wales. Chris A pushed the pace most of the climb and Jim was right on my wheel. Royce was fourth wheel as he was feeling less then perfect. Royce is very strong and is a winning the mountain bike series so far this year. Everyone has an off day. Royce was with me when I exploded on the hills of the Berkshires. Thankfully he got me back home that day. Eventually Jim and I took over from Chris and we brought the group into the circle up area. A small wait later and Chris S and George pulled in breathing hard. I asked Chris A if he was working hard on those two climbs. He assured me he was if not at, close to red lined. Thank God! I was at the max too but Chris looked like it was a walk in the park for him. You know the rule. It works in interviews as well as bike riding. "Never let'em see you sweat." Well, I was sweating AND breathing like a locomotive. No guess work there. I would have to trust Chris that he wasn't setting me up for later. Now if it was Mike Norton...I wouldn't believe a word. '"I'm tired" means he is going to spank you later and "I feel great!" means 'I'm bluffing and want you to take it easy so I can recover from the weekends races.'

The next series of hills were not too hard and could be classifies as roller. But at 30 miles and legs tiring they get to you. We made a quick right on to Rt 19 and then a quick left by the lake. This road would take us out to 190 by Ashford Ct. Our pulls were getting longer and the effect of rolling terrain on the miles was stacking up. I was trying to warn Chris S what was coming. I yelled to him what was ahead and how the road ended. It ended in a nice steep chop that could almost be classified a climb. When you come around a corner and over a small knoll you are faced with one wicked site for a climb. I had just came off the front a few riders ago so I was more or less tail gunning. I watched as Chris S almost sat up. I have to admit it is a daunting site but knowing whats coming helps. This psuedo climb has two levels. The first is a steep chop for about 300 or so meters. Long enough to make you work. If you know the hill you have information that the grade softens considerably before it goes up again and to the right. Collectively it is a hard hill but segmented it is doable. I began pulling out from the pace line in the back as the first hill started. I moved up a rider or two and watched as all the riders clicked down into their small front rings. NOW! was the time to hit it through this first chop. Fly or Die baby.

I rode the first hill in my big ring (55) and 21 gear in back which opened up a good gap on the rest. When I finally got to the false flat I dropped down into my small ring and just buried myself to make the next hill. Sit, stand, sit stand and keep on pedalling at red line max. Finally the hill top was there and I was able to drop into the big ring again and motor. Now my worry is that Jim, the Giant Slayer would track down Quadzilla (My new nick name I guess from another member of the club). If Jim hooks up with Chris they could catch me. 2 strong beats 1 strong most times. Thankfully I held them off but I noticed that Jim WAS the next rider into the circle up area. I yelled over to him and Chris A to not call me a 'fat boy' anymore. We all cracked up. I got some KOM mojo deposited into my account. (King Of the Mountain is prestigious but it all has do do with so many variables it only lasts until the next ride, sometimes only the next hill)

We ambled up 190 toward Stafford Springs and home. This is a rolling section of easy hills and fast downhills. Royce went in front for miles at 30+ MPH with help from the terrain. Eventually we headed in from the backside of Greystone Mtn. Nice rolling uphill again. Joy. We averaged about 21-23 MPH through the rollers but eventually we came to one of the two final choppers before the descent. Chris A put in a nice hard press on the run up to the chopper. Instead of 6 we were now 4. I came around on the actual chopper in my big ring and went for the top. Chris A had had enough of the 'fat boy' getting KOM's and motored by me again. He crested a few feet in front. Even if it was an inch he got the KOM. Jim was next just behind or with me and Royce soon after.

Down hill all the way to the next chopper. At least you can somewhat recover. Jim did a lions pull to the base of the chopper and I stayed in the Big Ring again and just stood to the top. This is NOT a tough hill but it always seems at the end of the Tuesday A ride it feels like Everest! We all circled up and waited for George and Chris who were actually only 2 circles behind.

Down the Greystone brakes of course. We had a near miss with mother nature in the form of a well fed Whitetail Doe. She was just about to cross the road right in front of me when she turned, thank God again, back the way she came. At 40 MPH it would have killed her, seriously banged me up and totally trashed my bike not to mention leave me stranded 10 miles from my car.

I grabbed the town line at the base of the descent. Royce was going for it..or at least lining up, but I was behind both him and Jim who was leading it out. Having a 55X12 has it's advantages. Not often is it going to get beat by a 53X12. I saw Royce line up and before he could engage to sprint I was by him and over the line. Norton rides a 55X11...he does the same thing to me.

We motored up Allen St for home and started a nice pace line that almost got run over by a car. (Nightly occurrence) Chris A did a monster pull to get us back up to the riders in front. From there, George and Royce did some nice 30 MPH pulls. We stayed together until someone hit a piece of metal that sounded ominously like a tire going flat. Jim, Royce and I brought it home with me going by Royce for an uncontested sprint. It never counts when its uncontested so we shifted down and had congratulations for a good ride all around. I have met a lot of riders and other clubs over the years but there is something about these people in
the cyclonauts that is great. They will kick your butt when you need it but they are all generally the nicest people around. Yeah, we are odd in our own way. (See above essay containing words of pain and suffering being enjoyable) Other then getting my wife's ability up to A ride status and having HER on the ride, I can think of no other people I would rather ride with and spend a Tuesday evening suffering. 'Cuz when it's all said and done, we all understand what HAS been done that night and are off to our caves for a good nights rest.

It was tough and my 3rd hard ride in a row but very satisfying. NOW I can go and noodle on Thursday and feel good about a light spin. It's always a good time when the rubber is rolling well.

My Garmin GPS is still under repair so no chart today. Maybe next week it will be back.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

"Is that all you got!"

So Andrea went out for a great ride this morning with a few friends. Nice weather, nice ride, great time. She rode into the driveway just as my cohorts began to arrive. We had a 54 mile ride planned in the rolling hills of Northern Ct.

Off we went at a good pace that would supply fitness work but not wreck our muscles. (I am planning on cashing n the old Father's Day chip and going for another ride in the early am) It was all going great and fun was being had by all. 'All' consisting of George Fetcko, Joe Rodrigues and myself. Joe and I had planned on reversing last Thursday's ride to see how a certain road ridden in the 'down' fashion would ride in the 'up' direction.

I figure we were coming up on just before half way when we got to this particular road and stretch of climbing. The clouds were black. I mean B.L.A.C.K. Yes, we knew there was a 30-40% chance of thundershowers later in the day, but it was only noonish. I hardly call that 'later in the day'. Well it started to spit some rain. The it started to rain. Then it started to pour. Then is became a deluge of biblical proportions. I remind you that this road rides in an upwardly direction for almost 8 miles. When this deluge begins we have a large part of 8 miles of road water racing down at us. No visibility, the rain just hurts, we are soaked and the temp drops from mid eighties to mid fifties in minutes. Yeah, loads of fun. :-(

On a particularly steep section I get fed up with the incredible amount of rain and thunder above us. I begin to climb standing on the pedals. (it helps sometimes on steep sections) I turn my helmeted head toward the heavens and shout out. "Is that all you got!? Come on! We can take it! That all!? You got nothing!?" Joe, being raised roman catholic and Portuguese, immediately backed off from me on his bike. I think he figured if God was going to strike me he didn't need to be right next to me when it happened. No sooner did I sit back down and get back to the work of getting up the damn river of a hill when a bright flash lights up the forest, milliseconds later an earsplitting crack shatters the air around us. Hmmm, that was timed rather well. I think I'll shut up now. I look over my shoulder to see my fellow riders still up and pedaling. Would have really put a crimp in the ride had one of them been struck. Right? I don't know what WAS hit but it was right on top of us. OK God, you made your point.

Finally, when we reach the sky. Yeah, it's always like that. We start the last part of the ride with me day reaming about the shouts to the heavens and the lightening flash. Out of the blue my mind grabs onto something else...Damn! Here I am yelling at God and he's been pissing into the wide open sunroof of my car! I turn my eyes to the sky and shake my head but keep quiet. This ride is just not any fun anymore. How many time can the darn window buttons and seats get wet before I have to bring the car to John Robison for overhaul. Ugh, That'll cost a lot.

Finally, on the last hill...downhill, to my house I take the front. More to not have to get spray back from the riders wheels in front of me then to do work. It' s fast and fun despite the wet roads. We came down Granville Gorge Rt 57 at 37+ MPH and not really even trying for 5 miles. 'A beautiful thing' as George says. It lightens my mood and I even begin making little deals and homage prayers to God if he has kindly spared my car from the rain. Crazier things have happened. I've seen it pour on the other side of my street and our driveway stay drive. With these thunderstorms you never know where the line will be. I had hope at least. As I got closer the wet road was not drying up. It was becoming apparent that our area, and house, more then likely had been poured on. I was ready to face the music and begin drying out my car and hoping for the best.

We pulled into the driveway and I rode up next to my car. I let out a 'whooppeee!' as I noticed the sunroof was closed. Divine providence HAD stepped in and had my wife close my roof. A great ending to a wild and wet ride. Who says miracles still don't happen. It's all in how you look at it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Drama Mama list and other ramblings

Uggh! Drama Mama List! What the heck is this? I remember reading John Robison's blog and seeing these weird revelations about himself and wondering where they came from. Actually, more importantly, Why?

Then, out of the blue I get 'tagged' to reveal 10 obscure things you would never want to know about me. This, I thought, was going to be easy. Then I thought, and thought, and thought, finding myself having an amazingly hard time figuring this out.

Then I got to worrying that I'm just a pretty boring and one dimensional person. This brought on a panic attack about how insignificant I am in the universe and meaningless my life is and...

Nah, that's all just crap.

1) I hate to exercise alone, but will do it so the next time I exercise WITH someone I, A: won't suffer to bad and B: won't make a fool of myself in said exercise.

2) Near The Top of My List Pet Peeve: Authors who write great books....and then take WAAAAAAYYYYYY to long writing the next one. This is especially irksome from series writers. Look, Great writers write great stories that people really enjoy. Great Readers, like myself, read tomb-like books in days, if not hours. Waiting 2 long years for the hard cover and soft cover sales cycles is just intolerable!!!!!!!! Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series is going on it's 12th tomb BUT THAT WAS 3 years ago, if not more!!! Yikes! Note to all author's who write series material. Have the next book IN THE HOPPER when the first book publishes....your fan base will love you. David here this?

3) I, like John Robison, can be a prodigious eater. For 5'7" and 178 lbs I can really pack it in. Since doing triathlons and cycling I have cut way back as to off load weight so I can ride better. A typical breakfast 'back in the day' would be: 3 eggs over medium, 2 slices wheat bread, double order of hash browns (but only if they are real potatoes, those fake ones will kill you! ;-) ) Double order of bacon, crispy, regular order of pancakes or french toast AND the meat that came with it. (remember, regular order...they always come with a meat. So that's 3 bacon orders) Orange juice and coffee. Back in high school ,when the guys and I would be out late, this would be a very normal late day meal at say 1 AM. Since I NEVER worried about cholesterol or real health I would sometimes hit IHOP (the place that delivered this meal) twice in one day. Same order! My brother can verify this as he See's me eat at camp. I'm the garbage scow when his youngest son isn't around. When he is I feel bad as the elder uncle taking food from his nephew. ;-)

4) I like to cook and really want to learn how to do it better. Compared to my sister in law. I will be always the failure. (not because she thinks so but because she is so damn good. I think she thinks in tastes, colors and foods.) But it's fun to think of getting better. I'm addicted to the show Top Chefs. (is that two things?)

5) I never thought my job would take me from t-shirts and athletic shorts to cuff links and dress slacks but here we are.

6) Bodybuilders body build because they are insecure. I was no exception. Bodybuilders can evolve to be less insecure. What you need is a really great 'stressor' in your life to make you forget about what you were insecure for. Of these I've had a few.

7) Once, while a student in Mrs. Mahaney's 3rd grade class, Green Meadows Elementary school, I sat in front of the class and answered any question thrown at me about solar system info. I answered them all. Ok, so it wasn't that hard, they were only in third grade for pete's sake.

8) In kindergarten I rhymed a word with 'bucket' in a shout-out...except I actually said a phrase....whups! I guess the kindergarten teacher and assistant had all they could do to keep straight faces and keep on going. (The teacher assumed we would call it a 'pail', oh well)

9) Someday I want to write a book about all the many variations of why people become obese and how to get control of your health life again. (any authors want to help me out? I also have an amazing Dr. who will also attach his name.) This would delve into the psychological and spiritual as well as physical.

10) Last but not least. The experiment I would love to do, but would REALLY never REALLY want to do: Go back to my old life as a bodybuilder, taking as many drugs as humanly possible, and see how long it would take to get back into Mr.Universe shape......and back again to 178 lbs of triathlete. With optimum drugs and life I think I could get back to a large percentage of this shape in 5 months and it would take nearly a year to get back to my now shape. Trust me, this is actually NOT a fantasy just conjecture. I would NEVER want to do this. I now know drugs are bad and I would HATE to not be fast. Ughh, I shiver in horror at the thought.

10 things you didn't want or need to know about me.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Start of a busy summer! Catching Up #2

Wow It feels like I haven't posted in weeks but it's only been 11 days!! (That was kind of a joke) Lots has happened since Memorial day. Kids are finishing school. Many rides and runs. A race that Andrea and I participated in. Planning summer events for kids and printing the money to pay for them all..... What's not to love!

Andrea and I have come to the conclusion that idle kids make for stressed out parents and kids that are bored and constantly acting out to get attention. With that mind set we are "shipping them off to camp'! OK, well not really shipping them off....that costs too much. (Kidding again!! I couldn't live without my kids around..'course ask me in 2-4 years again if I feel this way! For now, I love hanging with these two) Instead we are doing reasonable camps that are day long and involve their interests. Alex really wants to get more involved in competitive swimming. Yeah! His Mom and grandfather are now discussing Suffield Academy so the more he gets involved with the better. With his flipper feet I can imagine him kicking my ass in a swim VERY shortly. He also wants to do two Lego camps at Westfield Stat College. This kid is the Lego king and buys, with his own hard earned money, all the big Lego kits. These camps teach engineering and design using legos. Now if we can only 'touch' the right person to get him into to the closed out classes we will be all set. In the true ideal of 'it's who you know, not what you know' we have an angle we are trying to exploit.

Audrey wants to do some YMCA day camps and get back to horse riding. She loves animals and is always involved. Andrea thinks that being a vet is in her future. Always fun to see if our bets come out.

Andrea and I are exercising nd staying in shape but racing is hard to get in. Ashland Olympic Tri is this weekend and we are skipping. It's just too much money and more importantly, Time, to devote to a thing for us. We WILL exercise and ride long or swim, but when you add in being gone at 5 AM, babysitting, and driving back it ends up being the day is shot and it costs way more then just 'race fees'. add into that that we want to hang with our kids too it just makes it hard. Soon they won't be this age and we will miss it. We don't need to spend all of our weekends racing and having babysitters raise our kids. So not this weekend. There will be other races and we are both pretty pumped up to do FIRM Man in September so we will keep our eyes focused on that prize. THAT is a great weeknd at the beach for the kids as Mom and Dad suffer on the course.

In other news my friend John Robison is quickly breaking the light speed barrier to becoming a certifiable famous person. He is blowing off workouts and eating cake whenever he gets an offer to read an excerpt from his book. Sorry John, but the buck stops HERE and NOW. You will show up for a Wednesday and Thursdays workout. distracting him with cake unless I get some too. Interestingly enough my own family has been reading John's, Kim's and my blog and been thinking that potentially a child of theirs has/had signs of Autism/Aspbergers. I hope that some time they chime in on these blogs and share their experiences. The advice they got way back then (early to mid '80's) was interesting but all we had to go on it seems. This person now is a has n noticeable distinction of autism or Aspbergers now so I am wondering if some traits can be transient and not stick based on severity. I surely do not know the answers but am interested to here others ideas. Could autism be somewhat transient. Aspbergers be so mild that at a very young age you are diagnosable as Aspbergers but not as an adult?

I love my time in the Dr's office helping the obese or overweight population learn the fundamentals of change. It's all in the head. Bottom line. I know this sounds simple but it is the MOST true thing I could say. When the brain leads in a way that is focused and determined the result is a forgone conclusion. So it is with large amounts of weight loss. I often say to Andrea that if I had MY consciousness transferred into another body I could create amazing change in days. Why, simply from utilizing what I know and actually DOING every thing that will move the body in the correct direction. Everything counts. Everything. If I was bed ridden from being too overweight I would begin exercise with arm movements and a prudent caloric intake ('conducting' is what it's called) until I lost enough to get up. From there it would be full steam ahead. Constantly I here all the reasons why these people 'can't' get it done. Invariably it is a list of excuses, denial, irresponsibility..... When they do 'get it' it is amazing what happens. My job is to honor their present state of mind but not too much, and let them know in a kind way that "if it is to be it is up to me".....(meaning 'them') It's all decisions,behaviors, habits and choices that create the end result. My job is to give them some technical advice as well as hold them accountable to a level of commitment just above where they are at now. It's a blast! When even 1 person moves the right way it makes up for the ones that don't and keeps the hope running eternal that all can get it. (and we know that all of them can...if they want ;-) )