Fitfy: 49.8

It’s time for a dry week.

A)  I don’t think I have had one this quarter/year, or at any rate, actually completed one in quite some time.

B)  Fitfy, I realized this morning as I was taking my weekly recycling progress pic to monitor my alcohol consumption, that this blog could also be called “What I’m Drinking” since it seems to be composed of equal parts sweat and booze.

Obviously, sweat and booze would be diametric opposites as far as how they contribute to the physical goal of this blog theme, and I have had a week where I pretty much skipped the gym…so this only seems fair.  Also, beneficial.

That said, here’s the recycling pic from week 49.7.

Not pictured: a growler of beer.  No, wait..two.  But they were shared.  Although, I admit to being the better lubricated of my growler companion (The Silver Fox) and I.

Now, witness the results from this past week – excluding the Monday Night Supper Club wine from last night, since my week seems to be running Sat-Fri.  I know!  It used to be a Friday-Thursday thing.  I’m a procrastinator.  Now, look…I’m publishing Sunday.  Where will it all end?  Also, yes…I know that last night was Saturday, not Monday, but Monday Night Supper Club has moved and I don’t have a set acronym-slash-name for the new night.  Diezel and I are working on it.  

I’ll take two bottles of wine and not quite a six pack as a week over week improvement.  Also, I was too busy/tired to excel at drinking last week.

Ok, enough of the negative – see also:  therapeutic – from last week.  Let’s get on to the exercise portion of this accountability blog.

My work-week was chaotic, to be sure.  But, in all that work mayhem, I still managed to clock 32.7 miles of schlep-walking while at the airport.  I call it schlep-walking since I’m generally pushing a cart or rack of something as I make my frenzied way around PDX between my five locations there.

BTW, for all of you curious about my sleep walking, I can report no further incidents.  But four nights in a row was plenty for this bout.  My sleep walking PR, as best I can attest.

Anyway, schlep-walking gets me a pretty good sweat and heart rate, especially since PDX has got to be the best heated airport ever.  But it’s nothing compared to what I accomplished at the gym this week with my cardio.  I made friends again with my favorite machine, I’ve been steering clear of it while my knee healed – and I’m still a little wary, but I just couldn’t resist.  It’s as close to the ballistic feeling I got from my running workouts, and I need that.  Not just physically, but mentally, too.  That pounding rhythm I experience in running just clears my mind.  Mental shit just bounces off of me when I run, and well, this machine closely emulates that same effect.

There’s barely any time to ogle cute guys working out near me when I use this machine, it focuses me on the goals so much more than the other cardio machines.

But don’t take my word for it.img_1887

800 calories in just under an hour?  Yes, please.  That knocks a bottle-plus out of my recycling bin!

Don’t judge that 2-setting.  I prefer the longer stride – obviously, with these ostrich legs I’ve been given – to the stair stepping motion of the higher 5-setting, but I do mix it up during my workout.  I was so motivated and proud of that 800 calorie burn that I went back the next day for an “or die trying” repeat.

Took a few seconds longer to accomplish, but I pulled it off.  I admit, I was a little distracted by a guy on to my right in the row ahead of me.  But it wasn’t just that he was a HGN (Hot Gay Nerd) but his workout was a bit odd and I was trying to figure out his rhythm.

Outside of those two Festivus-unworthy visits, my week at the gym was pretty lackluster.  I told ya, I was busy at work!  Sheesh.  Let it go.

I did feel the physical and mental changes missing the gym created in me over the course of the week.  To keep them slightly at bay, I did a couple of dumbbell mini workouts at home, just for the little endorphin push.  They even included some ab work, which I desperately need.  I’ve been avoiding my abs as my back pain hasn’t completely subsided and I know I cheat with my back when my abs fatigue.

But, I think my back pain has crossed a line.  Now, instead of my back pain being exacerbated by the cheating I do when working out, I think the pain is equally – if not wholly – due to the overall weakness of my core.  It’s a phys ed catch-22.  My Needle Man has been encouraging strengthening my core, so this week I caved.

Back still hurts.

The last accountability factor from last week is food.  It’s so good!  Why, why must it be so good?  While being busy and drinking less might make one suspect that I ate more emotionally, I have to say…that wasn’t the case.  Sure, I failed to take lunch to work with me last week, but what I ate was slightly better than basic burgers and ‘za.  There’s that, I suppose.  But also, I just ate…less.  Eating more is essentially where that emotional eating takes place.  It’s never more salad.  Maybe salad dressing shots, but not more veggies.  It’s always – and I hate using emotionally charged words like that – but it is always chips and popcorn and crap like that.  Last week, on my one emotional eating evening, I managed to pair my wine with hummus and carrots instead of chips.




Less booze, better exercise, less and better food.  I’ll call 49.8 a win.  Now, it’s time to lather, rinse and repeat that bitch.

Off to the gym before dinner at #DanweiCanting with the parentals.

Fitfy: 49.8

The Grimm Reality

I assure you, my days of secretly hoping to be discovered and become famous are well behind me.  Courtesy of the Narcissistic Death that comes with persistent survival – oops, aging.  That said, even knowing that phenomenon, I must admit that I’m not exactly aging with any substantial degree of grace.  Or dignity.

That journey from young buck in his prime to my present day is fairly wide when measured in years, unless you are a planet and I was recently beginning to feel a bit like Pluto in all its mass and rejection.  I promise, there is a draft diving deeper into my aging disgracefully forthcoming, but for this morning I just want to focus on something that happened over the last weekend.

I had committed to myself to do a bit of a cleanse to shock my metabolism over the weekend.  My Dunlap was unacceptably over-inflated.  OK, fine…the plan was for the weekend before last, but that somehow derailed fairly early on and I had scrubbed that mission by 10:00 Friday morning.  I am fairly permissive with myself…when the Fox challenges me that I’m too hard on people, my stock reply is that “People aren’t hard enough on themselves”.  Well, for the sake of argument, let’s consider me one of the “people” in that scenario and I have the body to prove that I am not nearly hard enough on myself.

By a wide margin.

Also, by clothes that breathe a sigh of relief when I take them off.

Cider Con was also last week, so I had hoped to get a jump on the calories I would be recreationally adding to my diet over the course of the week, thanks to a tempting event line up the guys at Cider Bite had created.  That being said, I knew that I wouldn’t be starting my cleanse until Saturday morning of this past weekend because Friday was going to be a bit of a blowout between the final event of Cider Con and dinner with my Junior High friend, Ms Vermont.

As expected, I overindulged on a level that would make Henry VIII’s gut clench.  Three pints at Cider Bite followed by a margarita – of course, with salt! – and an mole enchilada dinner at Verde Cocina that was so big I could scarcely finish it.  I thought it would become literally to die for as I grew concerned that my gut could possibly bust.  Dodging that bullet, somehow, by 10:00 pm I was still completely stuffed!  I think part of my overindulgence wasn’t just the good company of Ms Vermont, but also a little self soothing I was doing after having to turn down a potential two-week casting as a Stand In on Grimm the day before.  I was unavailable for the call times due to interviews for jobs I doubt I will get anyway.  Case in point, I was due to drive to Seattle today for a hopefully final interview for a position up there.  I’m 90 minutes into my drive and the EVP calls and cancels because his subordinate that I was due to meet with is sick.

Yay, getting up at 5:00 am for no reason.

Oh, who am I kidding…my bladder would have had me up.

So, I come to Saturday morning and begin my Frankenstein-ed diet.  I call it Frankenstein because it’s a blend of two mentalities:

The first is a complicated alleged “Star Secret” diet and involves two days of water and specific vegetables.  Those I can remember from the list are:  broccoli, carrots, celery (all of which I like) and onions (which I appreciate in a nice mirepoix but certainly not as a stand-alone food).  You can eat as many of these veggies as you want, but I have learned from experience that sometimes, just sometimes…it’s better to feel hungry than bound up inside.

Also, black coffee.  As much as you want.  I – of course – consider that a dare, as should any self-respecting Portlander.

This particular program is designed to run for seven days, and on day three you start adding in proteins again with two eggs at breakfast and I forget what else after that.  I have done this step before, but not this time around.  I just wanted a bit of a shake up to get my body burning the soft stuff around my middle more than the tasty lean stuff it had developed an appetite for over recent years.

I miss the days of having arms almost as big around as my neck.

The second bit of advice I used to cobble together my plan was from the owner of X-Gym in Seattle, who had twice over a five-year period gotten me into the best shape of my life at ages 40 and 45.  The results as I celebrated my 45th turn around the sun being even better than those we accomplished for my 40th.  His advice was “Don’t eat anything after 6:00 pm” which earned him a nice side eye from me as I asked if he understood the schedule of someone in retail management.  Once he understood that I simply was generally not home until after 6:00, he regrouped with the suggestion that I stick to chicken and green beans or broccoli if I had to eat later than 6:00.

That I could do.

So my weekend was basically looking like black coffee, carrots, broccoli and celery in abundance with a dinner each night of chicken and…more broccoli.

And the gym.

No booze.

No Monster Energy Drink.

No bagels.

No Diet Coke.

No popcorn…

Apparently, no razor blades or pills around to just end it quickly, either.

But I was recommitted, and kind of in a big way.

My motivation?

I had gotten a second casting opportunity from Grimm – two in one week is kind of a big deal – and this one points back to that whole I’ve no desire to be famous opener up top.  It was for the Wednesday following my weekend of under-indulgence.  The call came in the form of an email looking for someone to play a character named Black Claw as an Extra.  The hook, if you will allow the pun, was that the same character comes back to shoot again next month in a featured role, although I’m sure it’s still non-speaking since they were putting this out to non-union peeps like me.

That would have been fun, something more than just standing around in a crowd, pretending I knew what I was doing.

The catch?

They were looking to cast off file photos only and were looking for someone who was “tough and in good shape”.  Well, I don’t exactly think I have ever been one to be able to pull off “tough”, no matter how hard on people The Fox claims I am.  And “good shape”…well, the person who I had been seeing in the mirror for the last month was becoming less and less of any shape other than round.

Ethically, I had to pass.  Even at the scoffs of my mother when I shared that with her – she has my last appearance on the show saved onto her DVR.  She thinks.  Could be some other Extra with a build like an olive stabbed through with toothpicks.

So, having to say no to that part – where potentially my name would flash by at the end of the show – was tough.  Not that I was a shoo-in to get it, but just that I couldn’t even put myself up for the satisfaction of the rejection.

The results?

Yes, I did go to the gym both days and lifted some moderate weight before submitting to cardio.

I ate three pounds worth of carrots and two pounds of broccoli, as well as two severely hefty chicken breasts.  I think I had a protein shake after the gym Saturday, too.  Otherwise, I stuck to the liquid allotments for my plan and consumed two-and-a-half gallons of water and 60 ounces of Cold Brew, from beans The Silver Fox brought me back from Cuba…so there was that indulgence!

And some jitters, to be sure…

At the end of the weekend, I was waking up feeling more svelte – a common trick of the body in the morning as you are both laying down and dehydrated, which will both skew the reality.  Visibly, once I was up and around, I noticed that I was thinner through the middle, from below my chest to my slightly-less-overinflated Dunlap, by about an inch.  While I may not have lost a figurative ton of weight, I know that I lost a good deal of fluff.

For which my pants thanked me.

Motivated, I adhered to the regimen through dinner on Monday – when I met my parents and we went to Merriweather’s for some small plates.

And a couple glasses of red, red wine.

Walking away from that meal, I decided to reinvest and see what I could do to maintain that diet for the remainder of the week.  I’d effectively given myself a cheat day at Merriweather’s so I should mentally be able to remain disciplined for the next four days.  Maybe with a small slip here or there for a drink with The Fox.  I am stocked up with veggies and chicken thanks to a Costco run he made, so being flexible for a drink here or there with him seems like a reasonable trade.


The Grimm Reality