Archive | April 2013

NJ Transit joins the digital age …

Passengers who use the Pascack Valley Line can now use their phones to purchase and display train tickets.

NJ Transit started a mobile ticketing pilot program Thursday on the Pascack Valley Line, it announced in a news release.

Passengers can download the MyTix app for free on web-enabled iOS or Android phones. They can use the app to buy one-way tickets and monthly passes for the Pascack Valley Line and between New York Penn Station and the Meadowlands Rail Station for events.

via NJ Transit program lets Pascack Valley Line passengers buy tickets with phones | NJ.com#incart_river.

The Art of Fielding … a novel …

ImageOverall I enjoyed this book … although it is interesting that the main character was probably the one that you didn’t go to know that well. Schwartzy and Pella and even her father the president of the college I felt I knew more about and cared more about …

definitely worth the read … i was leary at first as i’m not a huge baseball fan, but the truth is that didn’t matter. there’s more to this book than meets the eye …

… and now on to Walden … ugh.

… and 1 to go …

so i’ve been feeling over the past 3 week period since my last weigh-in with Bessie that I haven’t been doing that great … i mean i was doing ok but as mentioned in one or two of my previous posts … i had a few days where i was virtually unhinged with respect to eating …

i kept up with the gym though, although i noticed when looking at my exercise log that i’ve been slacking on the lifting (only once each of the last two weeks) …. that’s balanced out by the fact that i’ve replaced the lifting by doing 40 or 45 minutes of cardio vs my usual 30 … i need to rectify that going forward as apparently cardio only burns fat as long as your working out, while strength training increases your metabolism for a few hours after you are finished ….

but i’m delaying the news … like i said i didn’t think i was doing that great .. maybe dropped 3 or 4 pounds in the last three weeks … but i couldn’t have been more wrong – i actually dropped 6 pounds! this puts me in at 251 this week, for a total loss of 24 pounds in the 13 weeks i’ve been working at this!!!!!! and to think that just a few weeks ago i was looking at that 260 mark on the scale as a major barrier … now all i need to do is lose 2 more pounds and i’m below 250 for the first time that I can remember in a long time.

i’m pretty satisfied about that and can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring me …

ps. going on a cruise on may 30th for 10 days … wonder how much i’ll gain back while i’m out to sea!

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Imagei don’t usually read these kinds of books (though i will listen to them on audio in the car during the commute to work). i have to say that while it wasn’t great, it was pretty fitting for where i am in my life right now … i saw many parallels between what i was reading and what Bessie is trying to teach in her program … the food and exercise logs for example, which is clearly an attempt to get us to learn new habits …

i don’t think i’d go out of my way to recommend this book but if someone expressed interest in reading it, i might back it up … there’s been at least 5 or 6 times over the course of the 4 or 5 days it took me to read it that i actually thought about the books teachings and how they could benefit me in my real life … all in all an easy read, fairly informative, and has some bits that may be worthy of reflection at a later date.

Full Disclosure

i feel i’m being dishonest if i don’t mention the reason i feel i’m struggling this week despite mostly eating well and keeping up with the workouts … last weekend i went a bit off the rails … friday night around midnight i finally succumbed to a craving i’d had for a few hours and finished off a bag of chips that we opened up when my parents were here earlier in the day for lunch … i finished about half the bag … you’d think that was enough but no it wasn’t … i then ate the rest (about a pint) of mint chocolate chip ice cream … didn’t really feel too guilty about it either. next morning i hit the gym to try and work it off …. 

then on saturday i took the kids (julie was at a class so i had them alone) to wendy’s … i was just totally jonesing for it … and put down a 1/4 pounder with cheese AND a double stack (for the unitiated, that’s two smaller burgers on a bun) … and fries and diet coke … 

got home, put the kids to bed, and banged out not one but two hershey bars (not even dark chocolate) … didn’t feel bad about the wendy’s actually – i really wanted it … but the chocolate i knew was really pushing to the limit … 

anyway … i guess i kinda went a little crazy … and it’s disgusting … but normally i’m doing pretty well and there’s a part of me that feels like every once in awhile you got to give in just so you can recommit …. which is why i went to the gym three days in a row and have been on track ever since … i just hope that the work i’m doing to make up is reflected on the scale next week …. 

how to eat chocolate every night and still lose weight …

so i’m still plugging along with the program and i have to say the best part about Bessie’s plan is that I’m allowed to eat a square (ok sometimes two) of dark chocolate every night … its amazing how that one little square of chocolate (it has to be above 75% cocoa or above .. i do the 85% Lindt) can satisfy all my snack cravings …

i’m not really sure how i’m doing during this period … i’m in week 10 now and on the scale, i’m not sure i’m seeing more than a 1 or 2 lb difference … but there are little things that are making think i might be doing pretty good … all my size 44 pants are now falling off me …. even my size 42 jeans that i couldn’t fit into not too long ago started falling down … also, i’ve been starting to get comments (encouraging ones) from people who noticed the loss … and also, at the gym yesterday i was able to actually wrap the towel around my waist without it falling off … yeah that’s embarrasing but if your gonna be overweight and write about it .. you got to own up right?

i’ve been consistently hitting the gym .. .went on saturday, sunday, monday, and today (wednesday) … today was a particulary good workout … per the calorie counter on the bike I usually use … i burned 488 calories this morning … that’s a record for me even put up against my pre-torn-ligament days on the treadmill or elliptical …

so i have exactly one week from tomorrow before my next weigh-in (i weighed in at 257 last time so i won’t dare to dream i’ll reach my new goal of 250 just yet) … alot of work (and just a bit of chocolate pretty much ever night) is still ahead … but i hope i lose at least another 5 lbs …

where to start …

feeling a little frustrated tonight … a little down … there’s a big re-org happening at work (maybe next week – noone knows) and also the seemingly 150th round of layoffs coming soon … don’t think i’m in the mix with the layoffs but you never know … on the re-org front, the rumor-mill is saying that my boss may lose his whole team (i feel a little happier already) and his boss may also be moving to a new role (also good) … but our teams’ been shuffled around so much i know by now that it can always get worse … but can it … really?

lately it’s been like being on a ship that’s going down fast and even though you thought all the rats already jumped, your amazed that there are still some left … it’s just a fight every single day just making it to 5pm …

if i could find something else, i would … but the problem is i’m not sure what exactly i want to do next … continue in the project management world at another big finance company? move over to some small solar panel installation company? should i consult until i find something that feels like “me” … i’ve found myself staring at the search field in monster.com, etc watching the cursor blink blink blink and i’m at a loss to even know what to put in there – “Cool Mid-Management Job at cutting edge non-financial institution” or maybe just “Not UBS” … or “Group of Guys who are fun and want to get rich and need someone else to round out our merry band” …

i know i just got to keep looking, but the thought that even if i got called tomorrow and started interviewing, it could be 2 months more working at this hellhole before i had an offer …. well that’s just too depressing …

Spring Cleaning should count as Exercise!

Spent a good portion of my day today cleaning out the garage … i filled up my jetta wagons’ trunk with 3 full loads of old furniture and other junk and brought it to the town dump in the process … and still have about half left to do tomorrow … after dinner i had to go pick up a new mattress for my mother-in-law and then bring her old one to the same dump (trip 4) … by the time I was done my muscles felt more exhausted than after a good workout at the gym … does that count as exercise??? nah, didn’t think so …

the most rewarding part of the day though (aside from having my sunroof open!) was throwing up some sausages on the grill, opening a bottle of wine, and eating dinner outside (bye winter!!) with my family … i had moved the firepit out of the garage earlier, where it had been stored for winter, and after we finished eating we threw on some wood and the kids cooked marshmellows …

all in all a day where i worked hard but also had lots of fun at home  … and you can’t ask for much more than that.

Just Finished this book …

I just finished a great book that I recommend to everyone … I wasn’t sure at the beginning if it was a chick book or not, but i got hooked pretty quick … anyone who enjoyed “Into the Wild” will like this as well … it’s called “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”, written by Cheryl Strayed ….

Check it out !!

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Small goals are good

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately on the health front. I started going back to the gym sometime in January and in February, after alot of very annoying (but now much appreciated) pressure from Julie i began seeing a nutritionist … Bessie from Carve Your Body here in Emerson … to call her a nutritionist isn’t really doing it justice though … she’s really more of a health coach … and the pounds have been coming off pretty quick now …. 

it’s pretty embarrassing, but in January when I went for my physical I weighed 288 lbs. Yeah, that fat … which is why i finally made a commitment to get back to the gym … and that was going pretty good because as of my first appointment with Bessie I weighed in at 275. 

Now to give it a bit of perspective, 288 is out of the norm even for me … i probably usually weigh in the 260 – 270 range … so i was basically the heaviest i’d ever been in my life. i’d been in and out of the gym, tried walking in the mornings, tried to eat better, but nothing really worked and for as far back as i can remember I couldn’t get below 262 lbs …. so i kind of had a small goal in my head of breaking that 260 barrier … 

… and on Easter Sunday (note: this house celebrates Greek Easter which this year is on Cinco de Mayo), i weighed myself and i was 259 lbs … i finally did it .. and i was totally psyched …. 

but that was on my scale … i see Bessie about every 3 weeks for a weigh-in, to check my food and exercise logs, and generally talk about eating and not eating …. and there’s always alot of trepidation about going in there and getting weighed (and calipered too) and getting that official number … and this week was no different. the past time I went i had dropped an additional 4.5 pounds (disappointing) weighing in at 263 lbs and 259 on my scale would only mean another 4, less than 2 lbs per week … but much to my amazement, I actually lost 6 more pounds this week and came in at 257!!! wow … i’m still stunned by that today … that means i’ve lost 18 lbs in the 9 weeks i’ve been going to her … and overall since january i’m down 31!!! 

so basically, my jeans are literally falling off of me, i’ve already had to make new belt holes, and my previously-getting-snug XXL shirts are starting to look like sails on me … 

so anyway, my point is i had a small goal to break that 260 lb mark and with work and self control i managed to sail right past it … my new goal is to get down to less than 250 …. that should take another 4 or 5 weeks but i can’t even imagine what i’ll look like by then … 

If anyone is interested, Bessie’s website is http://www.carveyourbody.com/ … and i have to say she’s known mostly for her Zumba classes … so many people we know go there to work out (and quite a few for Bessie’s health advice) that I just had to plug it …. 

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