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"267 Bottles of Beer on the Wall..."

Saturday, September 01, 2012

“267 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, 267 bottles of beer. If one of those bottles just happens to fall…”

So I've lost 60 pounds here on Spark since the day after Christmas. The first 30 occurred over 5 months, based on super-zealous nutrition tracking (read: PORTION CONTROL!). The second 30 occurred over three months, courtesy of our local swimming pool and the lap lanes there.

Pool season is ending and nine months of metaphorical darkness are about to descend on thine Sparky self. With the remnants of Hurricane Isaac seeming to be arriving as I type this (on batteries, to protect from surges) and sticking around for days, apparently, my 88 laps today may have been the swan song for the outdoor swimming pool season. This summer I’ve logged just shy of 5,000 laps, or just shy of 75 miles in the pool.

Here are the things that get me out of the pool:

1. Being out of time;

2. Traffic in the pool (too many other lappers swimming at different speeds);

3. The call of nature; or

4. Thunder and Lightning (I’ll swim in plain old rain)

It’s simply never that I’m cold, tired, or have had enough. With a water bottle on the ledge, I can stave off the otherwise-inevitable dehydration cramps. I know dehydration in a pool sounds oxymoronic, but it’s the real deal as many fellow lappers know.

So what now, other than to cry the blues over summer gone? (Cue up Sinatra’s “Summer Wind”).

Trust me, I’m no fun to be around come most Septembers. The only thing different this year is our high-flying baseball team (The Hunt for Orange October continues). But Sparky optimism requires a constructive plan to replace my swimming exercise. I know you’re thinking “gym.”

So being unable to pony up the number of dead Presidents it takes for a gym membership (Thing One and Thing Two suck down all available cash and much that is not available at all – translation: debt), I need to be more creative. So here, for now, is the plan:

1. Walking. On go the noise-cancelling headphones and outside I go. Typically about 2.2 miles a day, sometimes on weekends when I should have more time, I have a more hilly 3.4 mile loop available too. Even when time is constrained I squeeze in a mile usually.

2. Early mornings require reflective clothing, now that the sun gets up uncooperatively late.

3. Treadmill parked in front of the ancient, big-screen TV for cold or rainy days. SportsCenter or perhaps the national news in the morning. Hannah Storm on Sunday mornings and Ravens games on Sunday afternoons (once baseball season ends for my Orioles); I’ll stay up there on the treadmill for about a quarter or so. We bought the TV it the DAY before HDTV came out – no wonder it was a bargain. Who knew?

4. The Wii-Fit. Time to revisit the moribund Wii Fit group that I ostensibly lead. Hmmm…

5. Hand weights and such for strength training, as well as the strength and yoga routines on the Wii Fit.

6. Get back to rigorous calorie tracking (I have gotten a little sloppy with too much approximation and eyeballing.

7. Throttle back on Spark-team leadership activities. Been there and done that, and way too much of a time suck to give the members the attention they deserve and that effective leadership requires.

The key to the foregoing (Nos. 1-4 anyway) is to work hard enough to break a sweat, I find. I continue to firmly believe that weight is lost through liquid elimination, and I need to sweat to lose. So my Autumn exercise needs to be sufficiently long and vigorous to make me perspire. TMI? Maybe. But I need to try in order to continue on my glide-path to weigh zero by Thanksgiving 2013.

Meanwhile,and as you well know, the countdown to Memorial Day weekend 2013 is underway. One chorus all together now: “266 bottles of beer on the wall…”

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, we'll be missing you in November 2013. Maybe you could just take a space flight for that one day to achieve weightlessness.
    2962 days ago
    You can do it! Harness your ample creativity to the task of breaking sweats no matter where you are! You've had such an impressive and fantastic year, you want to keep on going.
    2973 days ago
    I agree with Gem, above -- move to sunny CA and hang out with us!
    2975 days ago
  • MACMOM57
    You are doing super. 60 pound I know your proud. Great plan. No indoor pools near you? I would love to take an aerobic class. Going to the game tonight are you?
    2976 days ago
  • NEWMOM20121
    Love the blog and your plan until Memorial Day 2013.
    2978 days ago
    I agree with the person that mentioned exercise DVD's. Leslie Sansone walking at home videos are good and REALLY get me sweating. I thought they would be goofy but I was very wrong. It's a great, sweaty, low impact exercise. Rent one from the library to see if you like them then you can make the purchase.

    Great work on the weight loss!!

    2978 days ago
    LOL... Great Blog, I loved it (as usual)
    How about trying exercise DVDs?
    Don't knock it till you've tried it.

    2978 days ago
    2979 days ago
    We're almost there!!! Give it a couple weeks, and the summer ads, bikinis, and flip flops will be back again. Right after Christmas.
    2979 days ago
    emoticon Thanks for sharing!
    2979 days ago
    Good stuff! I'm a fan of the treadmill (or dreadmill as someone calls it) in front of the ancient TV during football and basketball season. I'm a jinx so I don't watch my teams live. I'll record the games and spend the rest of the day avoiding the news until I have time to watch the tape while I'm on the treadmill.
    2980 days ago
    Your blogs are very amusing Mark. I enjoy reading them. You and the family can always move to CA where you can swim just about year round, or FL I am counting the days to Christmas never mind Memorial Day.
    2980 days ago
    You are doing so great and your blog is such a fun read....Keep up the great work!
    2980 days ago
    I take it that indoor swimming just doesn't cut it, huh? My youngest loves to swim and I'm considering getting him a pass from one of the local hotels to use their pool. Depends on how he does in his first nine weeks. :)
    2980 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11475265
    Your blogs are highly entertaining. I suggest you start penning a book during your 'free time' haha :) Have an awesome Sunday my friend!
    2980 days ago
    2980 days ago
  • POPSY190
    emoticon Your plan is half the battle done.
    2980 days ago
    Great plan in place you can do it look how far you have come we need to heat again you are shopping in the ceder closet !!!! Do you have a indoor poor like at the Y or are you just and out side swimmer ??? thanks for another great blog and hope Issac behaves it self by the time arrives your way. enjoy the rest of your week end and just thing thing 1 and 2 will soon be off to School Thank you for all your hard work this summer and see you did such a good job the tram want to go on unlike summer camp looks like it will continue on into the Fall . I know you put a lot of time into the team this summer thank you and yes i took ten points off my total
    2980 days ago
    I think #6 is doable no matter what, and probably good for another 30 pounds off by Christmas. Don't give back any of what you have worked so hard to achieve.

    2980 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/1/2012 11:53:54 PM
    i'm a firm believer in the power of adding up the miles - and like you, worried about the changes september will bring (not to mention ...shudder... winter and multiple feet of snow when you are not a skier). good plan for fall! emoticon
    2980 days ago
    Great plan and look forward to hearing how it goes for you. emoticon
    2980 days ago
  • MARYANN2323
    Sounds like you have a plan. And it looks to be a good one. Just be sure to crank up the elevation on that treadmill. (Think conquering Kilimanjaro.)
    2980 days ago
    Good luck on your plans. The Y really is not that expensive. A family membership is less than $80 a month.
    2980 days ago
    Your blog entries crack me up. Great job on the weight loss and getting back on track. emoticon
    2980 days ago
    Couldn't hurt to check if you have a YMCA as they are pretty good about adjusting fees to a downward slope when a family has little Money-Pits who also need to get some exercise? Did you buy a brand new VCR the day before DVD's came out? (I also have a new ancient NTSC tv that was pawned off onto us by an older couple whose son snagged a HDTV on sale Bkack Friday two seasons ago.) We could send you some of our dvd or VCR exercise tapes, if there is any interest?

    Sounds like you have a plan. Now I need to get my plan together.

    Lettuce know. I'm about to head off for a walk.

    Oh and don't discount walking or running in cold weather. The cold doesn't necessarily make you sweat, or it's kinda like swimming where you don't notice it so much, but it does rev up the "brown fat" and burns more calories. True. I read it somewhere in SparkPeople!

    emoticon emoticon
    2980 days ago
  • PURPLE180
    emoticon ! Much like you I make the best of the resources (FREE) that I have and it is working out great for me. emoticon
    2980 days ago
    Pass the beer!
    2980 days ago
    I'm so glad you have a neighborhood pool to use. Happy tracking!
    2980 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2980 days ago
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