Day 364: Bicycle t-shirts, iPhone decal and other cool stuff

2 01 2011

Some of the cool bike swag Carrick got me for Christmas this year!

T-shirts. (The green one is from Carrick's parents)

L-R: Spinervals Lean & Mean DVD; Backroad Bicycling in Kentucky's Bluegrass; bumper sticker; Bicycle pasta (tiny litte noodles shaped like bikes!)

Decal for my iPhone.

And some of the money I received for Christmas from my parents is going towards buying the ContourHD helmet cam, which I plan to order this week. Stay tuned for a review!

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.

Advertisements




Day 361: My New Year’s Resolutions

30 12 2010

I can’t believe another year has already come and gone. And again, it’s that time of year to make New Year’s Resolutions. Normally, I make a resolution (or several), stick to it for a few weeks, then not really make much effort after that. But this year I owe it to myself to change those bad habits. I don’t really have much right to bitch about things if I’m not willing to put forth the effort to change. One of my favorite sayings is, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” I’m ready to make the change.

This is my plan:

  • Recommit to Weight Watchers – I had hoped to be much closer to my goal weight by now since joining WW a few months ago. Really, it’s no one’s fault but mine that I’m not closer to my goal. The past several weeks I lost my focus and quit tracking my food. As of today’s weigh-in though, I’ve lost 11 pounds total. Not as much as I wanted by now, but at least it’s something. I’ve still got another 15 or so I’d like to lose.
  • Stop dining out – Eating dinner out every night is getting old. And expensive. Neither one of us particularly enjoys cooking, so we prefer to just stop at one of the local restaurants on our way home from work instead. We avoid fast food chains, but we’re still eating larger-than-normal portions and not knowing the calorie and fat content of foods makes it difficult to stick to a diet (such as Weight Watchers). Starting Jan. 1 we cook dinner at home and eat out for special occasions.
  • Cycle more – I need to set a weekly mileage goal and stick to it. Otherwise, I let other daily tasks take priority and before I realize it, another day has passed and I’ve not developed a regular exercise routine. My plan is to schedule time in my day to work out in the mornings before I go to work. Or ride my bike to work which would be much more fun than dealing with rush hour traffic on the interstate.
  • Reduce use of car for short errands – I need to use my bike for short errands around town (particularly those that are close to home). I need the exercise and saving on gas money certainly can’t hurt either. 

I’m ready for a new year and new habits. It’s time for me to stop making excuses and start making changes.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 358: New Year’s Resolutions and the 50 fattiest foods in the States

27 12 2010

As many Americans (including me) prepare to start their New Year’s Resolutions of dieting, losing weight and getting in better shape, I thought I’d share a link to Health.com’s “50 Fattiest Foods in the States.” From Alabama’s bacon-wrapped meatloaf, Indiana’s fried-brain sandwich (ugh!), to lamb from Wyoming, it never ceases to amaze me what people will come up with next.

I can guarantee you I won’t eat any of the crap on this list. I am however, struggling with breaking my addiction to sugar and junk food. And doing a better job of tracking my Weight Watcher’s points. I’m ready for the New Year and new habits to begin!

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 357: Man eats entire artichoke, then sues restaurant

26 12 2010

Wow, there are some dumb people out there. And when those dumb people file dumb lawsuits, it’s a bit aggravating. Miami doctor Arturo Carvajal is suing a Houston’s Restaurant because they didn’t “teach” him the proper way to eat an artichoke. It seems that if you order something from the menu and don’t know how to eat it, then ask the waiter. Instead, Carvajal consumed the entire artichoke, leaves and all, which caused severe stomach pain and resulted in an exploratory surgery which revealed artichoke leaves lodged in his bowel. Now he’s suing the restaurant for “disability, disfigurement, mental anguish,” and “loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life”.

Whatever. When are people going to start taking responsibility for their own actions (no matter how stupid) instead of always trying to blame others?

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 351: Don’t drink the water

20 12 2010

I know this isn’t cycling related, but an article I read today on CNN was disturbing. According to a report released by the Environmental Working Group, a dangerous carcinogen called hexavalent chromium (or chromium-6) has been found in the drinking water of at least 31 U.S. cities. Normally, I’m not surprised when I hear about various hazardous substances showing up in our food or water. Disturbed, but not surprised. I think the U.S. government could do a lot more to regulate the safety of our food supply, but that’s a post for another time. I’m sure there are other substances more toxic than chromium-6. In fact, I had no idea what chromium-6 is, but this helped explain it:

“After chromium-6 was discovered in the water supply of Hinkley, California, [Erin] Brockovich helped bring about a lawsuit that ultimately ended in 1996 with the utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric, paying more than $330 million in damages.”

Apparently, exposure to chromium-6 results in an increased risk of stomach cancer and switching to bottled water isn’t the magic fix, since there’s no guarantee that chromium-6 isn’t in that water also. The article suggested buying an effective water filter. We always use one of the Brita filters, but who knows whether or not that gets rid of the substance.

Even more disturbing: Louisville ranked at #22 on the list of 35 cities studied in the report. Is your city on the list? Find out here. And if you want to watch an excellent documentary on how a small handful of major corporations are involved in the control of our nation’s food industry, be sure to watch Food, Inc.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 349: Before-breakfast workout may help weight-loss

18 12 2010

There seems to be much debate on whether exercising before a meal or after a meal is better for you. According to a New York Times article, a study published by The Journal of Physiology found that working out before breakfast has the most significant impact on weight loss. Three different groups were studied for the experiment: 28 healthy, active men were recruited and given a diet of 50 percent more fat and calories than their usual diet. Each group consumed equal amounts of food. One group did not exercise at all, while the other two groups exercised heavily. Their exercise routines were identical. The only difference: one group worked out before breakfast while the other group exercised after breakfast.

At the end of the six-week study, the non-exercise group gained an average of six pounds and developed insulin resistance. The men who ate breakfast before exercising also gained weight, but only about three pounds. They also had developed some level of insulin-resistance. Only the group who exercised before breakfast gained almost no weight at all and developed no indication of insulin-resistance.

The study reported that, “Exercising in a fasted state (usually possible only before breakfast) coaxes the body to burn a greater percentage of fat for fuel during vigorous exercise, instead of relying primarily on carbohydrates. When you burn fat, you obviously don’t store it in your muscles.”

I have to admit that I’m not exercising as much or as regularly as I was a few years ago when I was at my thinnest weight since college. At that time, I was doing an hour of exercise six days a week in the mornings before work. I usually ate a banana or a protein bar before my workout. Otherwise, I ate breakfast after my workout. I’m not sure why I have such a hard time getting up early enough in the mornings to workout. I’m not a morning person, but once I’m out of bed it doesn’t take me long to wake up and get moving. It’s just the getting up out of a cozy, warm bed that’s the hard part. But hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock for 45 minutes every morning isn’t particularly a restful sleep. In the 45 minutes I’m lying in bed being lazy, I could be finished with a decent workout.

Do you workout in the mornings? If so, is it routine to eat breakfast before or after your exercise?

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 340: Weight Watchers’ PointsPlus system

9 12 2010

I have no more diet excuses. Today’s Weight Watchers meeting explained the new PointsPlus system — the first change in the points system in the past 13 years. As I understand it, points are calculated based on a food’s fat, fiber, carbs and protein content. (The previous system used calories, fat and fiber to calculate the points.) Now with the new plan, all fruits and most veggies are zero points. Foods with high starch content (for example, a potato) will have points even though it’s a vegetable. And “free” veggies include those that are steamed or raw, but a plate of collard greens cooked in fat would obviously not be zero points.

I’m still learning the details and I figure it might take me some time to get used to the changes, but overall I’m excited about the new program. And I’m happy to say that after three weeks of not weighing in and not tracking my foods, I ended up losing a pound. I’ve still got a long way to go and I’ve still got a lot of changes I need to make in my eating habits, but I think I’ve finally reached the point where I’m looking at this as a lifestyle change rather than constantly feeling like I’m on a “diet.”

Now if I can just lose another 7 pounds by Dec. 23, maybe I’ll end up winning some cool bike swag from Fat Cyclist.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.