Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday August 1st, 2010 - Hiking my butt off... literally!

The past week has been wonderful for health, diet, and general wellbeing. As previously posted, on Tuesday the 27th I successfully completed my "Tuesday" circuit training. On Wednesday, I worked at the museum and completed most of my chores including grocery shopping with 30 minutes of shooting hoops in the sun. The vast majority of my purchased protein was seafood; shrimp, Prawns, Yellow Fin Tuna steaks, and crab cakes. I did buy some organic beef and free range chicken to grill for the family. I complemented my protein with a wide array of vegetables; primarily the grill capable. I like to put some olive oil and seasoning salt on a variety of squashes, carrots, potatoes, and corn on the cob in a foil pouch and put it on the upper burner of the grill. They steam well and come out flavorful and a little "al dente."

I am so satisfied with vegetarianism with seafood. A little cheese goes a long way towards curing cravings. Plus, I can have the main course once in a while and that was missed. This beats vegan hands down. Sorry my vegan comrades. I got soft.

On Thursday, I opted out of the gym in favor of a long hike in Roxborough State Park, Colorado. The trail my son and I choose was supposed to be 5 miles, but we diverted to another trail extending the hike to almost seven miles. I'm not sure exactly how long it took, but I would guess about 2.5 hours. I stop a lot to take photos. The trail is called "South Bowl" because it ascends up the small canyon to the crest and then follows it around a huge, wait for it, ... bowl and then you descend back to a beautiful meadow, but that is where we continued up another short incline and took the long way around to the car. At the beginning of our hike the weather was about 97 degrees Fahrenheit and bright. About half way through the clouds had mercy on us and we continued with the threat of rain, but the reality of some pretty good Colorado humidity which is nothing compared to the south or anywhere near sea level. Our altitude at the car was about 6,200 feet, but the crest was marked with a sign indicating 6,800 feet so it was a fairly steep climb but it was all in switchbacks at the beginning of the hike. Most of the hike was fairly tame, but long. Still, very good preparation for Yellowstone. One more note about Thursday: We went to the Mercury Cafe for a late night concert from my cousin's husband's band. They were fantastic and we closed the bar. I milked a couple of beers, but no hard liquor empty calories. Not that beer is health food. I don't think they had wine.

On Friday, I did a quick circuit working only my arms. My legs were still tired from Roxborough. As customary, I took my mom to the gym and she did great as usual. She has really gone through an unbelievable transformation. I haven't seen her this mobile for many years and she's so happy with her progress. The results of our hard work have far exceeded my expatiations.

On Saturday, my wife, my 19 year old son, and I went to Mount Falcon park for a hike. We picked a 3.5 mile loop called the Parmalie Trail and I thought I was in for easy street. Wrong! The descent on this trail was steep and it continued far longer than I had anticipated. We must have descended well over 1,000 feet. What goes down must come back up. Steep climb. It felt like a million stairs. The dry hot air practically evaporates sweat as fast as you can produce it, but I was a sweaty mess anyway. There was no even ground on this hike. Steep, hot, and fairly brutal. I pushed liquids as usual, but did get a surprise mild sunburn. I thought I had been outside enough not to burn, but the high altitude sun is very strong. Needless to say the views were awesome. I love living in the Colorado Rockies. I thanked God when we made it back to the car.

I was sure I was going to be massively sore, but this morning I felt pretty good so I hit the circuit training hard and upped my leg press to 430 pounds. I added weight at pretty much every station. Afterwards I aggressively shot hoops for about 45 minutes in the indoor gym. Not as hot and didn't hurt my sunburn. On Monday I hope to shoot some hoops outside, but not for long and I may bail out and go to the inside gym if my sunburn hurts.

So, exercise has been a hit and I'm feeling great again. As long as I keep this up there will be no trail to intimate me at Yellowstone. While my exercise has surely consumed many calories, it has the residual effect of helping control my eating. This week I lost almost 10 pounds without really thinking about it. A few more pounds and I'll be back down to 320 and then soon down to 313 which is my low for the past... 10 years? I plan on continuing my progress and eating healthy and staying strong. I feel pretty damn good today.

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