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Everything posted by Nianne

  1. Three weeks in: I'm starting to develop a workable routine for my new schedule, which is awesome. I'm walking to work every day and getting plenty of nutrition. In terms of the weight loss goal I've pretty much just maintained what I accomplished before I got the new job. The old job was a lot more physical, so it seems that my attempts to eat a bit less have simply allowed me to find my new equilibrium point. Which is good information, but I'll have to take it down another notch in order to keep making progress to support my knee. The exercise goal has been going along great. I'm enjoying my morning workouts. The sleep goal I haven't been as serious about, so I'm going to work on being more serious about that for the rest of this challenge and see what it does for me.
  2. I did a great job over the weekend, and learned a thing or two in the process. On Friday night I went home knowing my fiancé was making pizza and margaritas, and that I only had room for one drink and a couple slices before I’d be at the top end of my daily calorie range. We had a guest over, which is unusual for us and I wasn’t sure how that would complicate the mix. However, I managed to cultivate a sense of being politely curious about the food, rather than really hungry, and I had just a nibble at a time, waiting patiently so that I’d have room in case more surprises came forth as the night progressed. It felt very… cosmopolitan. I did a great job of resisting some of the tasty options I was presented with, and I counted it a very encouraging success. The next day we went on a road trip up the Columbia River Gorge to see some of the sights, which is one of the great reasons for having friends visiting, that it gets you out to see your local attractions, and along the way I stopped inside a gift shop and picked up a pretty ring which I christened my “you can do it,” ring in honor of the previous evening’s success. I decided that it would remind me that I really could resist over-eating and still have a great time. I wound up being really glad I had it that very evening, too. The desserts in the fridge almost got to me. I’d been resisting for about two hours by that point and I knew that if I had any more to eat that day I’d lose the perfect score I’ve been maintaining for this challenge. I was literally in the kitchen at about 12:30 am with a jar of Nutella in my hand when I looked down at my new souvenir ring and thought to myself, “I don’t have to eat this.” Then I put everything back and returned to my seat on the couch empty handed, and stayed that way for the rest of the night. So, yeah. I stayed within bounds every day for the whole visit, and won myself a pretty talisman as well!
  3. Nianne has accepted the Level 3 quest: Protect the Calorie Well! The Calorie Well is under siege by tequila gnomes and hobgoblins of deliciousness. They want to rip the well apart stone by stone and return the field to it's naturally lush and drowsy state. Bolster the well with fortifications of delicious fiber, build a hangover scarecrow to frighten away all but the most determined gnomes, and defeat the hobgoblins by dazzling them with distracting games, shooting them with arrows of "eating that is someone else's job," stabbing them with daggers of, "I've had plenty today, thank you." If the Calorie Well survives until the timer runs out, you will receive: +2 Willpower +3 Self-efficacy 1 Pretty Object to place on your desk at work!
  4. The fire alarms haven't gone off all week, which is amazing. As a result, I've stuck to the plan and gotten in a morning workout every day this week. Twice I had big long workouts including strength training, and the other three times it was more of a 20-minute morning warm-up which is enough to get my day started out on the right foot. Food has been right on track all week so far as well, but we've got an out-of-state guest for the weekend, so we'll see how that goes....
  5. I want to say, "Have you tried forefoot running?" But I'm sure that would be mildly lame because I'm sure that's come up in your research already. I hope you find a way to get that "flow" state back, whether it's through finding a way to jog without pain, or perhaps taking up a similar activity that gives you the same feelings. I'm glad to hear that the "back pain yoga" worked good. That's always a real accomplishment, when you can make yourself really feel better by doing something good for yourself.
  6. Thanks. More likely I'll have a couple of short shifts during the week, although they're not afraid to let you go over 40 in the week.
  7. Tuesday morning I had a much later start time for work, so I got a good long workout in while I cooked my favorite medley of hot vegetables: Saute up an onion, some garlic, and a bell pepper if you have one Throw in a couple cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies Season with garlic salt and chicken bullion, and cook until the tomatoes' flavor blends in with the rest Add a can of whole-kernel corn and a drained can of beans Turn off the heat and stir in a bunch of chopped green onions or chopped fresh spinach and stir in to wilt. This works great in or with scrambled eggs, with quinoa or rice cooked into it, or all on its own! It's tasty, filling, and a good landing pad for refrigerator odds and ends. Can also be seasoned with mexican spices and chili, or with italian spices and a little juice from your jar of peperoncinis. (If your refrigerator doesn't have a jar of peperoncinis, it needs one.) Officially called the "pot of hot stuff."
  8. (Monday Start) Day One Report Monday I worked an 11-hour shift, which actually makes things a lot easier. I had a quick workout in the morning and then some oatmeal, and I walked to work (about a mile each way). Lunch was Thai fried rice, and for snacks I had a carrot, an apple, and a banana spread across the day, and then at 10:30 I came home for a quick bite of curried potatoes and peas with yogurt sauce and a glass of wine, and then to bed. The next few days should be more interesting.
  9. I just read something very interesting. In the book Super Better, the author writes that research has shown that cravings, including food cravings, have a very strong visual component, and if you're experiencing a craving you can interrupt this process and decrease your cravings by as much as 25% by playing a game which has a strong visual pattern-matching component, such as tetris, bejeweled, or candy crush saga for as little as 3 minutes. Wow. Time to put some games on my phone.
  10. What does the Oracle of Doom say about this list of goals? The first goal is clearly the hardest one. What are the inflection points that I’m likely to face here? 1) Cue: Arrive home and find a luscious dinner ready to serve. Calzones, heavy pasta dishes, one-pot suppers brimming with sausage…. Routine: Say, “I’m definitely going to have some of that, but I’m going to start with some veggies first.” Grab frozen peas or broccoli out of the fridge and heat them up real quick with just a dab of butter, enough in quantity that I can feel full and satisfied with just a small, modest portion of the delicious dinner he’s so proud of. Reward: Enjoy complimenting the meal without saying or thinking, “I just wish I hadn’t eaten so much of it….” 2) Cue: Arrive home and find a luscious dessert ready to serve after dinner, such as a pan of bread pudding that probably has 10-20 reasonable portions bound to last only two to three nights for the pair of us. Routine: Before the first portion is cut, offer to neatly remove half of it to either freeze for later or share with a friend. Reward: Pat yourself on the back. That’s managing your resources like a pro! Now, enjoy responsibly. 3) Cue: He reveals, with great fanfare for my delight and astonishment, a box of store-bought cookies. Routine: Politely refuse. I’ve got way more delicious food than that available which I’m already not eating. Reward: Look forward to having something much more worth eating later on or tomorrow.
  11. The theme for my challenges this year is based on something I read in Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit." He found people who succeeded at recovering from hip replacement surgery by using a specific strategy: identifying critical moments which he called inflection points, circumstances where they were likely to face a significant moment of weakness such as the first painful moment of getting up off the couch, and crafting small habits using the cue-routine-reward formula to get themselves through those circumstances. I found some ways in which this was really helpful to the application of nerdy goals. * Quest: Take care of my arthritic knee. To that end: lose 30 lbs between May 28th and December 23rd, 2017, five pounds per challenge. My first challenge (Chapter One) went really really well. It seemed almost too easy. Which of course, heralds the arrival of a monkey wrench in the works. I didn’t just get one monkey wrench, though. I got an army of flying monkey wrenches, all of them cackling madly at my vain attempts to stay on target. I got a wholly unfamiliar (yet not unappealing) new work schedule, my fiancé went off his diet without warning and starting turning out home-cooked dinners at 2k calories a plate, and the fire alarms started going off in the middle of the night and evacuating the whole building, on the order of five or six times a week! But, nerds don’t quit, so it’s time to get things under control. I didn’t make any progress toward my goal in Chapter Two, but I feel I have adequately reconnoitered the problem, so it’s time to make some headway. Goal One: Quit overeating in the evenings. I’ve been eating really clean during the day and it’s been going great, but then I eat way too much after work, partially out of a sense of social obligation, but more due to simple weakness in the face of opportunity. In order to make this happen, I may have to take a more active hand in the cooking than I have been. Goal 2: Exercise (physical therapy and more) before breakfast. Getting a workout in at the start of my day is one of my favorite treats. I start off with some tai chi and then some kung fu stretches, and then I do some aerobics or dancing, and then some strength training, and finally my physical therapy for my knee (primarily balance related exercises). The rule here is going to be: if the fire alarms didn’t go off last night, or the night before, then this morning I exercise. I have no idea how often this will lead to, but we’ll see! Goal 3: Sleep. I think this is going to be the keystone habit of this challenge. I’m going to start trying to gradually go to bed a little earlier. This will give me a small buffer against interrupted sleep, and I’m hoping it may give me a graceful excuse to cut the feasting off early, at least for myself.
  12. Let me belatedly say congratulations on getting married! Looks like a good challenge.
  13. Sounds similar to my previous challenge of starting a new job with a much different schedule. Good luck! I'll be following along.
  14. Been doing a bit better. Going to run this challenge right up until the nextone starts. Still trying to work out my new system.
  15. The fire alarms have gone off three more times since my last post, but none of them have been in the middle of the night, so that's a plus. I've got some plans for what I'm going to try next in terms of working myself back into a state of restfulness, but I haven't had the chance to try them out yet. Meanwhile, all the sleep disruptions have completely obliterated my 90-minute pre-breakfast workouts. I love having time for those, but now I often spend that time in a stupor. I figure I'll give myself until the end of this challenge to figure out how to get exercise back into my game despite the disruptions, and if I can't find a gentle method, then my next challenge may be some kind of battle themed exercise-waits-not-for-rest challenge.
  16. I live in a large downtown apartment building and there's some kind of problem going on with people lighting fires in the hallway. We've been evacuated in the middle of the night four times in the last five nights. Every time it happens, I'm up for the rest of the night due to the blaring alarms and the adrenaline rush of it all. So I'm up after just a few hours in bed, and there's nothing I can do to get back to sleep. I've tried every kind of visualization and relaxation technique I can think of, but I just can't get back to sleep and I can't survive on 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night. Anyone know how to shed a fight or flight response when I'm awake enough to swim across the Columbia River in the dark with a child on my shoulders?
  17. I'm pretty much taking this week as a new "Week One" for the challenge. I feel like I've got some practice at how to deal with the new schedule, and I really want to see my week turn out the way I'd like it to. And to add another twist to my pickle, the fire alarms have been evacuating my building in the middle of the night on a regular basis. Like, four times in the last five days. Some kind of neighborhood dispute that's devolved into setting trash fires in the hallway, as far as I can tell. Totally destroying my sleep schedule. Anyone know how to get back to sleep after a major adrenaline surge? In fact, I may post that question as a new forum topic, just to get as many responses as possible.
  18. The one truly great thing about working a static swing shift is that I've got plenty of time in the morning to get up, exercise, cook a great breakfast, and walk to work without stress.
  19. I got a lot of exercise in my first week, and I've been walking to work and back every day, which is awesome. The change in schedule has made a crazy mess of my eating habits. I haven't been where I want to be with that, but I'm pretty sure at least being mindful of my goals has led to less deviation than I would have had otherwise. Like seriously, I could be eating *all the food* pretty much every day right now if I wasn't paying attention to what was going on. Even though I knew the change in routine was coming and tried to get a head start on it, it's still a bit of a behavioral vortex. Having my fiancé on mission has been hit and miss. He tries to be supportive, but he also offers me a lot more food than I need when I come home in what seems like the middle of the night. He's trying to take care of me and make me feel rested and relaxed and comforted when I settle in after work, but I haven't figured out how to make it through a 9+ hour shift and still have enough of the day's calorie allowance left for all the great things he wants to see me enjoy. I feel like the second week is going better than the first so far, so I may be getting the hang of it a little.
  20. The great news is I got my fiance on board with eating healthier with me. The less great news is my new, very different work schedule is confounding my regular eating schedule more than I predicted. I had a great first day at work today after a full pre-breakfast morning workout. The next couple weeks may continue to be a work in progress, but I know it'll all get ironed out.
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