As it happens, I don’t use an alarm clock.  I have nothing against alarm clocks or the alarm industry, but I find they don’t work for me; they don’t let me sleep.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.

“But Dave… alarm clocks are supposed to prevent you from sleeping.”

This is true.  However, they are supposed to let you sleep through the night relaxed and assured that you’ll be up in time the next morning ready for that big meeting, that early flight or that walk.

Alarm clocks have a different effect with me.  They make me tense and assure that I will not, at any point, enter into deep REM sleep.  In fact, you can be pretty sure what will actually happen is that I will jolt awake every twenty to thirty minutes to check the clock and see how much longer I have until the alarm goes off… because I wouldn’t want to miss the alarm or have the alarm wake the rest of my family.

So… alarm equals no sleep.  No sleep equals grumpy Dave.  Grumpy Dave equals bad day at work as I’m supposed to be the one motivating people.

Since I don’t like alarm clocks, I’ve switched to a mental alarm.  When it’s time for bed, I simply look at the clock, tell myself what time I want to wake up and how long I’ll be sleeping (“It’s 11;15.  I want to be up at 5 am, so I need to wake up in 5 hours and 45 minutes).  I then go blissfully to sleep and, except for that 3am trip to the bathroom (I believe I covered the issues regarding proper hydration yesterday), I sleep through and pop my eyes open at 5am (+/- 5 minutes)… everytime.

It’s not just a matter of developing regular sleeping habits as I will wake at widely different times on any given day.  The key is to just go through the exercise of looking at the clock and telling myself when to wake up.  If I do that, I will.  It’s a nice trick that I picked up years ago in the pages of 73 magazine.

So it’s a mental exercise.  However, it’s also vulnerable to mental trickery.  To whit, I woke up at about 3:30 for the above-mentioned hydration issue, and it was storming out.  Really storming out.  Rapid fire thunder and lightning.  Rain pouring so hard that I couldn’t see the car in the parking lot.  A fairly certain feeling that the basement was flooding (it didn’t) but that I was too tired to go check it out.  Storming.   I took stock and told myself that I would check the weather at 5am, and if it was still raining out, I would go ahead and sleep in until 7am and drive in…

…and it was at that exact moment that my alarm switched from 5am to 7am.  The minute I gave myself a reason not to walk in, my subconscious kicked in and said “7:00 it is!!”

So… no exercise for me today.  I said I wouldn’t lie when I screwed up, so there’s your first admission.  We’ll call it an unplanned day of rest.  Go figure… it’s a process.

Let’s run the numbers:

Food Intake:

  • Breakfast – Steak Egg and Cheese Muffin with peppers and onions – 200 calories
  • Bumble Bee Canned Crab and Avocado on Whole Wheat Bagel – 470 calories
  • StonyField Farms Chocolate Underground Yogurt – 180 calories
  • 14 Blue Diamond Habanero BBQ  Almonds – 85 calories
  • Pan-Seared, Sesame Seed-crusted Tuna and Lettuce/Tomato/Onion Salad – 500 calories
  • Sweet Moment Bite-size Brownie – 60 calories
  • Honeycrisp Apple and Garlic Pita Chips – 360calories

1855 calories total.

It was an interesting food day.  As I was not walking, I showered and by-passed my usual breakfast smoothie.  Normally in this case, I would drive through Burger King and get a Sausage Biscuit combo with a small Coke and a Cheesy Bacon Wrapper. (I really like the Cheesy Bacon Wrapper because that cheese sauce they use is GREAT.  It’s like a sour cheddar… yum.), or thru McDs for a Bacon Egg and Cheese combo (with a medium Coke) and a sausage burrito.  Heck sometimes, I’d skip the breakfast concept and drive straight White Castle and order the #1 combo: Four sliders (no pickles), onion chips and a coke(!!!).  Bad habits all.

So I went to Subway instead.  I decided to try their breakfast fare instead.  I opted for the Steak, Egg and Cheese Muffin melt.  Going for the flat bread option would have doubled the calories and the foot long sandwiches… triple, I believe.  Since you can add any sandwich toppings you like, I opted for banana peppers and onions.  I passed the Coke and stuck with water.  So a much more sensible breakfast… and you know what?  It was good.  Now, the muffin itself was a bit… meh.  Whole grain, low fat bread products are like that.   The texture is just wrong.  Rather than becoming creamy as you chew it up, it just sort of… shreds.  But not bad…  had they toasted it a bit more, it would have been upgraded from meh to tasty.

Lunch was a bit of an experiment.  I say the Bumble Bee crab with the tuna in the store, and for only 80 calories for the entire can, I had to try it.  When I cracked open the can, the first thing I noticed was that their was a paper liner in the can… sort of loosely wrapped around the crab.  It wasn’t completely or tightly wrapped, so I’m not sure what purpose it served, so I just tossed it out and drained the water.  When I dumped the crab into my bowl, I noticed that the pasteurization process changes the texture of the crab.  Instead of consisting of typical long “fibers”, it appeared compact and balled up.  I gave it a quick taste and… crab.  Very mild crab which tasted like it had been soaking in water for a long, long time (which it had), but not unreasonable.  I didn’t want to mix it with mayonnaise because… fat and calories… so I instead grabbed an avocado (those small haas ones that you buy four to a bag) and mushed it up with the crab.  Not a huge avocado fan, but it worked.  I then toasted up the Thomas’ whole wheat bagel and smeared the mix on and… yummy!

The Tuna was excellent!!!! I had planned on grilling steaks, but Laurie wasn’t going to be home, so Brit and I ran to Kroger on the way home to find something to make for dinner.  We settled on a couple of Tuna steaks and salad.  (I also made here potato wedges, but passed on them for myself).  When we got home, I started heating a cast iron pan while I washed and lightly crusted the steaks with sesame seeds.  Well… I say crusted… that just means sprinkle and press.  When the pan was nice and hot, I added a tiny bit of olive oil… maybe a teaspoon… just enough to wet the pan.  I then added about a third of a teaspoon of sesame oil… just enough to scent the olive oil and dropped in the Tuna to sear on all sides and pull.  Since I wasn’t having the potato wedges, I just dropped the tuna steak on my salad and covered it with a bit of soy (which was sufficient to act as salad dressing).  Holy Christ was it good!  There’s a few ounces leftover which will definitely be in my lunch tomorrow.

When I tallied my calories for the day, I noticed that I was very low (1400 some as opposed to the 2000 target), so I opted for an evening snack to bring the count up a bit.

Tomorrow, though, rain or no rain, I’m walking…

…and yes… I have been hit by lightning.