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  1. To update, we're 2 weeks in now, and having pretty good results so far. Repeating meals actually makes things easier sometimes -- and will definitely make life easy during the school year (wife and I are both teachers). We've never eaten beans very much, but they do seem to do the trick for making us feel full. The hard part -- not now, but when school starts back in -- is gonna be breakfast. Omelets have been our go-to, but ain't nobody got time for that during the work week. Cheat day is our saving grace, haha -- but cheats or not, both of us are down about five pounds already, and surprised at the ease and simplicity of the diet. We're not even bothering with the supplements at this point and having solid results. Time will tell if we can stick with it long term, but initial findings look really promising.
  2. So I've just read Tim Ferriss's The Four Hour Body (well, skimmed it really -- that thing is a brick) and I am really intrigued. I am just wondering if any of the lovely NF members here have any experience with it, or any pointers for anybody thinking of trying the diet out. What's easy about it? What's hard about it? Is it easy to stick to or does the novelty burn off too quick? If you have tried it, I'd love to hear more.
  3. It's surprisingly effective, and super easy to make. Highly recommended.
  4. Upon further review, this month is not the month for me to be taking on a challenge. I'm stuffing this one into the trunk for next month. Substitute challenge: Don't be a total sloth during my vacation.
  5. The sprout insisted upon it, lol.
  6. Sooooo about a year ago -- almost exactly! -- my wife and I were getting ready to move house. We packed our entire home into boxes, got ready to sign the papers, and ... delay. A few weeks passed ... more delays. As frustration and stress built up, I started missing strength workouts, and, well ... Two months later we finally moved, and the summer was gone, along with my entire will to live, let alone to work out. And somehow, falling off the wagon (or the horse, or whatever, choose your metaphor) stuck and I didn't get any consistency with my workouts for the ensuing year. But, we're in the new house now. And the new house has this big, gorgeous backyard. And I've been dreaming of turning it into a playground as much for me as for the kids. So when Old Man Winter finally relinquished his clutches, I started building, and I ended up with the beginnings of what I'm calling my anti-gym. Why an anti-gym? Because I hate the gym. I've tried them several times in my life, but they make me miserable. Say nothing of the time it takes to get back and forth driving there; just the whole mentality of a gym makes me squirrelly. Which means that the idea of a garage gym isn't going to help me out either -- which is why I think when I fell off the horse last summer, I stayed off. But I'm getting back on the horse, now, because I built some equipment that is designed to make working out fun again. Let's meet the contestants! (With some help from my little ninja-in-training, who loves my new "toys" almost as much as me.) Precision / Balance Trainers! These were my first project, and as you can see, they're pretty simple; just 2x4s slapped together with screws. All the balance training of a proper 4" balance beam with none of the terror of falling four feet to the ground or racking yourself. These can be lined up simple balance beam style, staggered side-to-side for agility drills, or laid out in parallel for precision jumps. My kid loves these, but it was starting to rain when I took this picture, so he was busy taking shelter. Pull-up / Swing / Ring support bar! Okay, so this is my only piece of actual workout gear, but you can't get better functional strength than the pull-up. Another pretty easy install. Just a four-foot section of black pipe (spray painted, to calm down that dust) with a couple of flanges screwed into my deck posts. I had one of those door-frame hangers, but this is way sturdier and lets me relax into a full dead-hang. It's also hella fun to practice laches off of it, and I imagine one of these days, if I get bored with that, I can hang my rings off it as well. Slosh Pipe of Pain! Do you know what a slosh pipe is? I didn't, until I started poking around on Eo3fitness's DIY pages. The slosh pipe (of pain!) is just a PVC tube capped at both ends and filled about 2/3 with water. Which makes it impossible to balance. You can't lift it off the ground the way you want to, because the top gets feather-light while the bottom seems to meld with the earth. Once you do get it aloft, it swerves on you and the feathery side rockets toward the ground. What do you do with a slosh pipe? Well, whatever, really. Put it on your shoulders and squat it. Tuck it to your chest and lurch around your yard like you started your July 4th cookout at eleven AM and now it's noon and you've got no brews left. Make a remedial obstacle course (for instance, with those precision trainers up there) and weave through it. Core, legs, balance, even a little bit of grip. This thing has it all. Knife-Throwing Target! Less workout tool and more straight-up fun, the knife target was a fun little project for a couple hours on a weekend. Basically, it's a bunch of 2x4s sawed off and stuck grain-side out into a frame and propped up on a hastily-assembled tripod that wobbles like a newborn goat. The first time I sunk a knife into this thing, I was hooked, but the misses are almost fun -- the clangs drew the neighbors out with that what-the-hell-is-that-guy-up-to-NOW look. Which, you know, fuel for the fire. Vault Box! By far my biggest build so far (and likely my last one for a while -- the wife is starting to get suspicious of all the time I've been spending in the workshop), the vault box is this quasi-pyramid thing. Low enough that this almost-40-year-old can get over it with some degree of awkwardity. High enough that it may never not challenge me to get over it. Incidentally, I spray-painted "get over it" on the top, and it's pretty satisfying telling the sprout, when he gets wound up, to go outside and "get over it" a few times. Metaphors, amirite? (The reverse side has some handholds tacked in for the kids. They're fine.) Anyway, we're a UGA family, so I had to represent, even if my spray paint game isn't all that. Sounds weird, maybe looks weird, and I damn sure look weird hopping over it, but ten quick passes over the box is enough to get anybody breathing hard. Janky Old Tire! And, oh yeah, can't forget about the tire I rigged up some time ago. A 99c eyebolt in the sidewall plus a tie-down strap makes a heavy sled for dragging or chucking around the yard. Giving the sprout a ride in it is fun for him and extra resistance for me. And just check out his form. It's like he learned from somebody who knew what he was doing! The Anti-Gym! All in all, six stations, most of which have multiple functions, right there in the backyard -- where the kids love to play to begin with. Upon further review, this month is not the month to be undertaking a challenge, as I'm gonna be out of town way too much to make proper use of the anti-gym. I'll still be using it, of course. But we'll do the challenge next month when I'm not in other countries for half of the active time. So... I'll be back.
  7. Benefits of running on a treadmill: crazy consistent pace crazy accurate distance monitoring probably air-conditioned (particularly relevant given the season Drawbacks of running on a treadmill: may make you want to commit suicide guaranteed to make you a little crazy gets you used to the idea of air conditioning on your runs FWIW, there's no automatic cutoff -- "below x pace is walking, above y pace is running." Running starts when you can no longer keep up by walking, whatever pace that happens to be. That being said, a 3-4 mph walk and calling 4.5 mph and up a jog feels pretty right. The most common failure point for anybody starting out is trying to run FAST before they've even adjusted to running PERIOD. The pace you should be running at most of the time is a pace at which you can carry on a conversation. I wouldn't worry about "being seen" around your neighborhood "before you get better." In the first place, the average person is only likely to think "oh hey a jogger" if they think anything at all (they won't). In fact, you're a lot more likely to inspire somebody else to get off their donk and get moving. Everybody has to start somewhere. (When you do take it outside, though, be a conscientious runner and don't be darting out into traffic or doing anything that would give some jerko a chance to run you off the road. 'Cuz they will. Watch your ass.) But that's just my exceptionally biased take. Runners don't call treadmills "dreadmills" for nothing.
  8. If your playlist doesn't feature Will Smith's "Boom Shake The Room", you are doing it wrong.
  9. Right on! Advice I read is to start with something like 10% of your body weight (which is all I used for this challenge) and work up from there as your body adjusts. Chucking water bottles in the bag was a pretty easy way to increase the load, and yeah, if you're walking with others, it becomes plausible and useful, too. Go get it! It's simple to do, and it feels great!
  11. I'm back in something like a groove this week. Maybe more a ditch. Or a divot. Novel edits are progressing, but it's *sloooooow*. Way too many of my daily fucks are being used up on work stuff and my brain is shot. BUT I'M DOING IT DAMMIT. Will ruck tomorrow. (Repeat after me, self, YOU WILL RUCK TOMORROW, I don't care how cold it is.) MovNat -- well, damn. It may just be some bear crawls and stretches in between all the other stuff I have going on, because there was no escaping my bed yesterday morning. The word of the week is SALVAGE.
  12. Brothers. Sisters. How we haven't managed 300 minutes of cleaning amongst our ranks is ... well, it's a little bit appalling. Clean your rooms!
  13. Cleaning?? Saturday is my cleaning day anyway! BRO DO YOU EVEN SWIFFER
  14. Step 1: Buy ninja knives on Amazon for mad cheap Step 2: Build target and paint smiley face on it cuz why can't ninjas be happy Step 3: Giggle inwardly like a maniac as neighbors literally come rushing out of their houses to see what all the clanging is about Step 4: ???? Step 5: Become ninja Seriously. If you're looking for something a little different, this investment cost me about 20 bucks ($8 for the knives, $12 for some 2x4's and screws). The knives make a shockingly loud TANG when you miss, but the THOK when they stick is satisfying on some deep, caveman level. These are the knives, and here is a lovely guide to the target. I got maybe 1 out of my first 9 throws to stick. Then got 2 out of my second 9. At this rate, I will be a ninja by lunchtime.
  15. Very much appreciating the motivation to bust out my rings and do some push-ups on those. (They hurt so good.)
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