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  1. Mac

    Mac's Slow Learnin'

    Late, late, always late! But, I started my new challenge thread, finally. Mebbe I see you over there? And I will get caught up on folks' new challenges over the weekend!​
  2. Mac

    Keeping on Mac-ing on

    I am starting late, but not as late as it seems: I was on vacay at the start of this challenge, but I've been "on it" since Tuesday, so I only missed Monday, really. However, by missing the opening of the challenge, I didn't get my starting weights and measures in, and I'm sure I sacrificed some early momentum. Time to make up for lost time!! Goal 1 (or are they supposed to be quests now? I can't keep up): Keep on keeping on So, this is sort of the theme of this challenge for me: keep doing what's working. For me, that is limited grains and very limited sugar, a little bit of dairy, a little bit of red wine but no other booze, and everything else primal. My short five day vacation from this eating last week has definitely kicked my butt in terms of getting back on this program! And, very important point: no work snacking of any kind unless I pack it myself or it's a very unique occasion. That falls under my 90% good/10 % as good as possible rule. Bonus goal for this challenge: cook at least once a week! Goal 2: Play it again, Mac I'm liking the workout pace I set in the last challenge--5 times a week if possible, definitely no less than 4. Two strength training sessions, and two runs, plus whatever else I like. My running pace has gotten a bit better over the past challenge--my last two 5k-ish runs were under 37:30! woot!--so I'm also trying to work on pace by working in hills, the little hills in my neighborhood anyway. I'm shopping for a cheap fitness band to help me do a better job tracking distance, so I can vary my route without worrying about how many miles I'm getting in. Bonus goal: 5k in 33 minutes by the end of the challenge. Goal 3: Finish what you started During last challenge I only got about 75% of the way through my goal of putting my financial house in order so that I can start working on buying a house for real, so I need to finish that up. The remaining steps are: annual credit check; rolling over old 403b to new 403b and seeing what I can do about my old pension, if anything; opening account with my credit union and getting pre-approval letter for mortgage; filing medical reimbursements; invoicing for current freelance editing gig; find realtor. Bonus goal (cause it's fun!): set budget for end-of-year charitable giving. Goal 4: Honor your commitments This is the only new part of this challenge, but it ties in with all the others. Lately, I've found myself way too ready to bail out on things/events/people that I've committed to. I know that it's a symptom of feeling stretched a little too thin this time of year, but it's also not how I want to be. (Today I read on some blog about "the LA yes," by which folks in Los Angeles say yes they'll be there when they really will not. I so do not want to be that person.) So, I am going to a) not overcommit, but also show up when I say I will or when I know that I should, even when I don't much feel like it. Hibernation, like Twitter, is on hold until the holidays. Bonus goal: make sure to call my mom at least every other day. Super important around the never-ending holiday season that is upon us, and I've been falling down on this front lately. I'm going to start on goal 4 by getting ready to head to a dinner party with colleagues whom I don't know very well that I don't much want to go to, though this will probably not help me much on goal 1, since I will have no control over the food. But, I can be good the rest of the weekend, so it's all gonna work out.
  3. Mac

    Keeping on Mac-ing on

    OMG, I thought that my place holder thread had failed to post, and then I was so vexed and crazy busy that I didn't have the wherewithall all week to come back and start over. Silly Mac! Okay, now, I'm going to write my challenge post for reals!
  4. Placeholder post! I'm on vacation through the end of the day, but I'm noodling on my challenge goals. Have a good start everyone!
  5. Hey, how was the sugar challenge at your visit to your girlfriend's parents? Did you break your streak (for a good cause)?
  6. Here's to finishing strong! Good work keeping the workout momentum going during the conference!
  7. Mac

    Mac's Slow Learnin'

    Yay, end of challenge wrap-up post! Week 6 has not been so good for posting updates, but it was otherwise pretty good. With a couple of unplanned work events in the evening, I missed out on one of my five weekly workouts, but I managed four. Okay, here's the round-up: 1. 90% FTW...and track it!​ Hmm, well, I did okay with the tracking for the first 3-4 weeks, and then I just lost steam. But, I think I was pretty good at sticking to a 90% grain and sugar free ​anyway, so I don't think tracking is useful for me. This is definitely a way of eating that's good for me, so I'll stick with it. I do have a friend visiting for a long weekend, though, so I will take advantage of being on a break week to indulge in some good meals! I'm going to stay on my stricter eating through Thursday, though, so it will only be a brief window of indulgence before the next challenge. ​ ​2. Lift x 2, walk x 2, something else x 1​ I think this went really well. I started off this challenge totally resistant to running, which I used to like, and for whatever reason I just started liked running again, even though some miserably hot and weirdly humid weeks here in Los Angeles. So, I've been running very, very happily this challenge, and over this past weekend I started clocking some faster times than I had in a while. The time on my regular neighborhood route has gone down from like 40:30 to 38:15 in the last week or so. I have decided that I'm going to get myself a Fitbit or the like to free myself up to try new routes. The lifting has also been going good (when I haven't been pulled away by running), and I just hit triple digits on my squat on Friday--yay! I've returned to the New Rules of Lifting for Women as my go-to program, and I think it's definitely time to reduce my sets from 15 (the entry point) to 12 so that I can start upping the weight. My friends who's visiting this coming weekend has been my yoga guru for years, so I'm going to have her go with me to check out a yoga studio in my neighborhood that sounds good--something else x 1! ​3. Be Healthy... I managed to complete all my initial goals, but due to paperwork kerfuffles in my PCP's office, I didn't get my referrals to specialists in time to book appointments with them this week, which was part of my extra goals. But, I'm definitely parked on the downhill slope for getting this done, so I'm not worried about losing momentum. Oh, and I got my bloodwork back from my checkup, and it looks like I'm all kinds of healthy. AND, I've been religiously flossing since my dentist appointment! ​4. ....and Wealthy and Wise​ This one was a little bit too ambitious, I think, given my extreme resistance and cluelessness to dealing with finances. I got through the first four tasks, but didn't finish the last two. These will definitely carry over to the next challenge. Bonus Goal: No Twitter for 6 Weeks​ Like I said at the outset, I made this one easy on myself by changing my password and cutting off my access. I definitely had some painful moments of feeling weirdly cutoff from breaking news and the like, and I miss the sense of connectedness to interesting conversations happening about issues that I care about. So, I think that in the end I will need to figure out a way to get back to using Twitter without letting it become a voracious time suck. In some ways, I feel like I just replaced that form of procrastination with others...though there is really no digital distraction as bottomless as Twitter. Anyhow, I'm re-upping on this one for the next challenge.​ Oh, and final measurements (with initial stats in parentheses): Weight: 159.0 (164.0)-- yay! 5 lbs was like my unspoken goal for this challenge. Next challenge goal will be 155. Chest: 33 1/8 (32 5/8)--uh, okay. Who knows? Waist: 29 3/4 (31 1/2)--yay! Bellybutton: 33 3/8 ( 34 1/8)--not much, but I'll take it! Hips: 38 1/8 (38.0)--honestly, I think I suck at taking measurements Thigh: 24 3/8 (24 1/2)--meh Arm: 11 1/2 (12 1/8)--okay, fine Alright, looking forward to a relaxed and yet disciplined break week, and to the next challenge to take me through the holidays!
  8. Yayyyyy!!!!! Congratulations to you both, and I hope that you have so much fun planning your wedding. Since you're already married in your minds and hearts, you can focus on having a hell of a great party. Also, the emotional if not physical reunion with your rugby-playing self sounds like fun. (that sport is too dangerous to play for real--much better to provide moral support and expertise to the team, and let them go out and get busted up!)
  9. This is a badass weekly report. That is all.
  10. Sometimes the forums posting is the commitment too far, but it sounds like you're staying focused! Good work!
  11. This is an epic workout repot! Super strong week 5!! This is some epic cross training you had going on this past week! Good luck with the hotel workouts, fellow conference-goer! Embrace the change of scenery.
  12. Mac

    Mac's Slow Learnin'

    Thanks!! I'm gonna try! Maybe that's true with the tracking. And, I have NOT tracked today, but I'll do so before I go to sleep, I promise! I was good all day except that my "one bite" of the dessert at the luncheon turned into like 5 or 6 bites, while we were sitting there listening to the plenary speaker. Lesson learned for tomorrow: do not take the first bite! I did manage refuse much chocolate being offered in the various conference sessions, though. My meetings today ended a little earlier than I expected, so I hopped straight on the freeway and drove back to the gym at work to lift some weights. I think I'll really feel it in my upper body tomorrow, but my squat is back up to 85# at 15 reps, woohoo! I think next week I'll step down the reps to 12 and up the weight. I want to see those triple digits!
  13. Mac

    Mac's Slow Learnin'

    I am really trying to keep the momentum going for this last week of the challenge, but I must admit it's flagging. But, I shall rally! A brief summary: Measurements: Weight: 158.2 (159.8)--I think this is a little artificially low, though. I must have been dehydrated. Chest: 33 1/8 (33 5/8) Waist: 29 7/8 (29 7/8) Bellybutton: 33 1/4 (34 1/8) Hips: 38 1/4 (38 3/8) Thigh: 24 3/8 (24 3/8) Arm: 11 5/8 (11 3/4) So, little miniscule changes. I'm not really sure why I bother except that the accountability of posting seems like a good thing. Goals: 1. 90% FTW...and track it! Okay, I didn't track my food at all this past week. I feel like I ate okay for the most part, but I didn't track a damn thing. A sign that tracking isn't necessary anymore? Anyway, I'll try to finish it up this week with tracking. 2. Lift x 2, walk x 2, something else x 2 As I posted above, I had no patience for lifting weights this week, particularly once the weather cooled off. It's such a surprise to me how my love of running has come back during this challenge, even during the super hot and humid weather last week. Anyway, I sort of made the decision that I would just run this week, and as long as I got 5 runs in, it would count as a success for the week. Totally enjoyable, and I even got the last couple runs in under 40 minutes for my 5kish distance. Still so, so, so slow, but inching forward bit by bit. 3. Be Healthy... Finally made it to my check-up which was disappointingly minimal, but at least I got a prescription for my recent migraines out of it. She referred me to the wrong specialist by accident, though, so I'll have more phone calls to make next week. I might not get all these appointments booked before the end of the challenge! 4. ...and Wealthy and Wise Okay, I got nothing whatsoever done on this this week. I have no excuses to make. Total fail. Tomorrow morning I have to get up at the crack of dawn to drive to a conference in downtown LA that I'll be at the next couple of days, totally messing up my workout schedule for the first part of the week. But, I'm not gonna let it ruin my week 6!!
  14. Mac

    Mac's Slow Learnin'

    Yes, I'm trying to learn to be an adult when it comes to money. I'm very good at saving money (it must be all the Scottish blood), but I suck at planning, analyzing my options, optimizing investments or basically anything that involves having to actually think about the future. If it were up to me, I'd just keep my money in the mattress. This weekend is much cooler here, so I may really try to take on a steep hike and actually make it to the top this time. I will check out the blog you recommend to keep me motivated to finish up my self-audit this challenge! Week 5 is good so far except that I have been exclusively running instead of doing any lifting. This doesn't fit my goals per se, but it's actually been a long time since I enjoyed running so much, so I'm just going to go with it this week. Now that it's finally cooler and nice outside, I just can't force myself to drive over to the subterranean gym when I can step outside my door and go for a really pretty run in my neighborhood. As long as I get my 5 workouts in, I'm going to call it a win, even if it's all running.
  15. Too many happy emojis should never been outlawed! Or, maybe that's just the best kind of outlaw to be.
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