Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weighing a Decision

A couple of weeks ago, my membership to Anytime Fitness expired. I hate to mention that I didn't exactly wear out my membership card by using it, but I have goals of getting more into a gym than I have of late. Yet, this was a good time to think about whether I wanted to re-up at Anytime Fitness or try someplace else. I briefly considered some other gym memberships in town but, I've been burned before with gyms that suddenly go out of business leaving you hanging with already paid dues, so I wanted one that I was sure would be around for a good long time. That left me with two...Anytime Fitness and the YMCA.

Both are pretty solid. So I did what I always tell my clients to do when they want to make a choice between two seemingly equal options...I made a pro and con list.

Close to home, less than five minute drive
Good equipment
Open 24/7
People are serious about fitness
No rug rats running around without parents
Cheapest membership in town
A bit small, doesn't take much to make it crowded
A lot of self-appointed trainers
Weight machines and treadmills...that's all
It seems most people can't exercise without talking on their cell phone

YMCA pro:
Three gyms in my town
Good equipment...gobs of it
More people my age
Swimming pool, racket ball court, sauna, shower, locker room etc., etc.
Other people leave you alone and don't try to train you
YMCA con:
A bit of a drive, about 15 minutes without traffic or snow
Membership cost is double of Anytime Fitness.
Sometimes crowded and cannot get on the equipment you want
Lots of people seem to just lounge on the equipment and socialize
Kids playing on the cardio equipment as if they are playground monkey bars
Closes in the evening during the week, shortened hours on Sunday, closed on holidays.

After making the list, I wasn't much closer to deciding. I finally had to go with something that really can't be quantified....I feel comfortable working out at the YMCA. Don't get me wrong; Anytime Fitness is a great place, it's just that I've never felt at ease going there. I can't really explain it other than to say that I don't feel the need to "dress up" to go work out when I've gone to the YMCA.

So, I'm back at the Y.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Too Thick

All right, I guess it is possible to make a shake too thick. I'm fiddling around with these, trying to find just the right flavor and consistency for my morning shake..smoothie...whatever you call them. This morning I tried the usual vanilla Myoplex mix with a cup of blueberries, a cup of fat-free milk, and a container of vanilla fat-free yogurt that I had earlier frozen. The result was a super duper thick shake with the added bonus of small chunk of yogurt that my blender couldn't quite handle. It's still pretty tasty but a bit hard to drink so I'm eating it with a spoon like ice cream. Next time I'll try chopping up the frozen yogurt first, maybe use less blueberries, and add a bit more milk.
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sticking To It

And still sticking them on...nicotine patches, that is. Lots of people tell me that the first few days are the hardest but that's never been my problem. For me, the first few days are the easiest. My sinuses clear up, my cough goes away, I no longer feel like I have a perpetual cold. I feel great. I love it. This is why I don't want to smoke anymore...so I can feel that way all the time.

Then I start to forget how bad it felt while smoking. I still have all the triggers in my life that urged me to light up forty or so times a day. The stress is still there. The hunger for bad food. The boredom. The plain old habit of puffing on a cigarette in conjunction with most of the things I do.

And I start telling myself....."you can smoke a little, you have it under control, you have a free day with dieting surely it's okay to have a free day with smoking". Crazy stuff....stuff that makes sense to the part of my brain that really misses the cigarettes. I woke up at 2am this morning and went to the kitchen for a glass of water. While sitting at the table I glanced at the patch on my arm. Having the patch helps in a lot of ways and one is that, while I am wearing one, I can't smoke or it makes me very sick. Yet, while looking at my arm early this morning, I had the thought "if I take it off now, it will be out of my system by the time I wake up, I can smoke for a couple of hours before putting another back on".

As I said...crazy.

That's addiction for you.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Purple Food

Blueberry shake for breakfast this morning. Made with water rather than milk this time. Not thick like I like it...but still good and I can chug it down a lot faster.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

It's just amazing how much better everything tastes when served in my favorite glass. In this case; a Myoplex shake with strawberry, mango, and pineapple tossed in.
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Ides of March

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It just feels like a most auspicious time to pull everything together and strive toward that ever elusive goal that is the title of this blog. It's March 15th...the Ides...the Idus Martias...an old Roman holiday which was filled with fun and feast for all, except Julius Caesar I suppose. It also provided a great throwaway line in one of William Shakespeare's plays.

It's so close to spring you can smell it. No more snow (maybe) and the temps are mostly well above freezing. Daylight savings time is in place to kind of jump start the season; granting an extra hour of daytime in the evening while everybody is inside watching TV.

And, of course, Sean is all hot to start a challenge and I'm thinking that it might be good to start one with him. I can't think of anybody more enthused about doing things than Sean. If ever a guy can be called "bubbly" it would be Sean.

One problem though....I have no gym at the moment. My membership expired at my last one and I'm considering going back to a membership at the YMCA. Trouble is, since it's a corporate rate membership, I have to wait until all the red tape clears up between the Y and human resources where I work. Until then, I've dragged out my dumbbells. It's not very convenient and I'm pretty limited on what I can do with them...but I got an upper body workout done for today. This is the year I move beyond trying to reach the goal of being fit past fifty and achieve it.

What say'st thou to me now? I'm a dreamer?


Monday Cat Blogging

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I Miss the Ocean

It's a fact that Kansas is about as far from an ocean that you can get and still be in the U.S. Therefore, if you love seafood and live here, you're just S.O.L. Oh...there are places you can go to eat something that may have been dragged out of an ocean at one time or another in the past few years; but nothing approaching what would be considered good eating.

Take Red Lobster for instance. Saying that Red Lobster serves seafood is akin to claiming that Taco Bell is a Mexican restaurant. The names for the food is all there. There is a decor trying to get you to believe you're getting the real thing. The commercials and the menus are packed with visual clues to make you think you're at the place to get what you crave.


I received a $10 off coupon from my credit card for Red Lobster the other day. I've usually been sorely disappointed with the place but...hey....ten bucks would just about pay for one meal....may as well load up the wife and head on over for a lunch. The fish and chips were always barely acceptable, so I figured I could have that rather than just making a baloney sandwich at home.

Red Lobster no longer sells the fish and chips. Instead they have shrimp and chips. So I shrug and get that instead. The shrimp (all five of them) was greasy and tasteless. The chips were not fries but potato chips, which were actually the best part of the meal. The soda was flat and, for nearly three bucks, it would have been nice to have at least one refill. My wife had some shrimp meal that was likewise gross. We ended up fighting over my chips and leaving the restaurant hungry.

I wish I had the baloney.