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Everything posted by james452

  1. She seems to be handling it better than I thought. I set up the enclosure for her (picture below), and she was sad for a while, but she had a really long sleep in it so I think she's feeling better now. As you can see she has plenty of room to fit her bed, kitty litter, and food, and it's big enough for us to sit in it so she'll be alright
  2. Expect the unexpected Yesterday, my 9 year old cat injured her leg outside. Got x-rays done and turns out she tore her cruciate ligament. Poor thing will be confined to cage rest for 8 weeks. She just got home from a long day at the vet and she's been following me everywhere around the house (the opposite of cage rest). Just ordered a pet enclosure for her (big enough for me to sit up in it) so hopefully that won't make her too angry. This also brings in unexpected expenses. Thankfully I track my money through YNAB and I have pet insurance (get 80% of the costs back). Though I have to be out of pocket until they reimburse me. However the cost doesn't mean much to me as long as the cat gets better
  3. One week down, the rest of my life to go That title summarizes my new philosophy in life. If I get stuck down in thinking in only 4 week challenges, then it makes me think that I'm only going about a new quest for 4 weeks, but a lot of my habits I'm trying to develop for years. What I do like about 4 week challenges, is it's a good amount of time to get feedback on what you're doing and if I need to make any changes to my diet and/or fitness and other habits. Writing Habit This one I am most proud of so it is first. My goal is to start a high quality blog, so rather than write really short incomplete blog posts, I am aiming to write long, quality posts that act as complete pieces. The current post I'm writing about is "Finding the time to read". Instead of just listing 10 different ways you can read, I'm explaining them and providing advice. Currently I have written for 5/8 days for 5 minutes at a time and that adds up to 1,000 words which I'm surprised by, but happy it's like that. I still have more to add. The reason I missed a few days is I didn't go to work those days. Currently the habit is associated with being in my office, so my goal this week is to create that habit at home. Just need to sit down for 5 minutes and write. Keto lifestyle It appears I've tracked my food for 10 days straight, that's good Have I seen progress on the scale? Nope, which I find interesting because you usually see a big change in the first week. Tracking hasn't been perfect, but I still feel like I've been in a deficit. But again, one week can be too short to see changes so I'll wait until the end of this 4 week challenge to see how it goes. Stalled weight loss My diet has seemed pretty good but I've had virtually no change in my weight, hence I'm thinking it's more of a lifestyle factor than what I'm eating. My job involves sitting at my desk for hours on end, hence why I've started a walking habit because when I walk, I feel my legs activating and my muscles wake up. My goal is to ramp up the walking to give my metabolism a bit of a boost whilst still doing Stronglifts 3 times a week. Soon I'm going to look into adding Couch to 5k back into my schedule so I get some extra activity in on my non-lifting days. However that's a future thought, right now the focus is walking.
  4. It's in Applied Mathematics, specifically looking at creating new mathematical and computational models of biological processes. Essentially lots of maths, physics, and programming. I've past the halfway point of my PhD which pretty much means the amount of work I get done will accelerate.
  5. All the progress and little of the work! I've always subscribed to the 80/20 principle, 80% of the results come from 20% of the work. I did this even before knowing about it, especially when it came to school/university. I would get my assignments done quickly, because I would focus on just that rather than distracting myself. I would get really good marks on tests/exams not just because I was good at taking tests/exams, but because I was smart about what I studied (as opposed to friends who spent 5 times the amount of hours studying and receiving lower results). Now I actively try to implement this 80/20 rule into my PhD and my life outside of work. For my PhD, I'm expected to complete regular work hours, so 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Yet I frequently leave before 3pm, not because I got here early, but because I got my work done earlier and quicker. I've changed my schedule where I'll work on PhD stuff for the first 3-4 hours of my day, then after lunch, I get those other non-thesis related tasks done, such as marking, prepping for teaching, learning new skills and so forth. In the last 2 days, I got 8 hours of PhD work done, but that's equivalent to about 30 hours worth of results, so I feel I've made considerable progress in my current project. Why did I talk about my PhD even though it's not a quest? That's because it's secretly a quest, but I was limited to what I could put down. Plus this feels effortless to me right now, all I'm doing is structuring my work day differently, then giving complete focus to each of my tasks to get my work done early so I can leave almost straight after lunch. In fact, with that free time, I'll need to start focusing on a new habit. I'm thinking of using it for an easy run and/or to focus on reading (my reading habit is already well established so that will be easy). Although Super Mario Odyssey comes out on Friday so I'll most likely spend my afternoons playing that game. MyFitnessPal Yesterday, I forgot to put my meals in right before eating my food, all 3 times. However the app reminded me each time to enter my meals, so I successfully logged everything Meal Timing Experiment Currently I eat 3 meals a day, breakfast around 8am, lunch at 1pm, dinner around 6pm. Since starting keto, I find I have little appetite/hunger in the morning, so for the first time in my life, I actually struggle to eat my 6 eggs for breakfast (I love eggs and could eat them ALL the time). Tomorrow I'll experiment by cooking my breakfast, then taking it into work, and wait until I get hungry. Once I'm hungry, I'll eat it and pay attention to the time. If I consistently find that I'm not hungry until 12pm, then I will properly utilise intermittent fasting. For now, I'm just waiting until I'm hungry to eat my breakfast. Writing Habit I was super excited to get into work and write for 5 minutes. This time I didn't want to stop, and went on for about 10 minutes. I was effectively in the flow and wanted to continue this. After 10 minutes, the flow ended and I hit a mental roadblock, so I thought that was a great time to stop. This writing habit is going to transition well when I write my next paper/thesis chapter. Knee pains and squatting Last week I changed from high bar to low bar back squat, because I was getting lots of knee pain. Last time I did this, knee pain went away completely. That's not the case this time, mostly because I think it's in more pain than last time. I think this knee problem is then affecting my foot mechanics, because I then get plenty of pain in my ankle, which seems to go away when massaging through my shins (which I'm good at doing now). However it still comes back, so I might look for a quality physio that treats problems by looking at the body as a whole system rather than just treating the one area (effectively someone who thinks like Kelly Starrett).
  6. Quick Update Stronglifts is only Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, so no workout until tonight which I'm excited for. Yesterday we went for a slightly longer walk. I like this idea of building up slowly. Meal Tracking My girlfriend is in the mindset to track every single little thing. For me, as this is a habit I've struggled with, I track most things. Breakfast, lunch, dinner are tracked. However things that are tricky to track I don't include, but I am aware that I ate it. For example, yesterday before dinner, I had 2 small pieces of my homemade banana bread and a piece of feta. I wasn't sure how much was in this so I didn't track it, but I decreased my carb intake for dinner because i knew that would have had some carbs in it. In the future I might go towards tracking every single thing (like I do with my money), but for now, just the big things. Writing Habit I've changed this from "Build a 5 minute-a-day writing habit after making my morning coffee." to "Write for 5 minutes once I sit down in my office." When I woke up this morning, my brain was too dead to think about writing, so I decided to stick to drinking my coffee and reading a book (today I read 3 comics of "Captain America: Sam Wilson". Instead, I got to work, bought a free coffee (thank you loyalty cards), then once I was in my office, I put on some study music, opened my blog, and wrote for exactly 5 minutes (I set my timer for it). I managed to write 244 words, and create an outline for that blog. Even if I did nothing else today, I consider today to be a huge success. It's 244 words more than I wrote in the last 3 weeks
  7. It is pretty good. I started the program last year after quitting Crossfit (spent 3 years on it) and I just wanted to increase my strength. I found it to be pretty good. What forced me out of it was being sick and losing muscle mass which resulted in feeling demotivated. That plus I've moved around to a few different programs. I'm back to it because right now I want a simple program that progresses slowly so I minimise any injuries. That seems like a recipe that my girlfriend has made a few times. It's pretty delicious. We haven't had it in a while so I'll put it on our "To Cook" list.
  8. I am loving this topic, especially all the gym equipment you've built yourself; it looks quite impressive. If you read about keto almost anywhere on the web, they'll say that's normal and you should just power through it. I completely disagree with it. No energy and headaches probably means two things, you aren't drinking enough water, and aren't having enough salt/electrolytes. Have you been adding lots of salt to meals? On keto, your kidneys send out a tonne of salt and water everyday so some places (such as art and science of low carbohydrate living) suggest having up to 5g of salt per day (mixture of sodium, potassium, magnesium). Drinking water and salt is usually enough to kill the headache. The next thing would be to make sure you eat enough food (another common thing people forget when changing diets). One note for Mrs. Blocky: My girlfriend finds that if she doesn't supplement with enough potassium and magnesium, then it screws with her period. If Mrs. Blocky gets something like that happening, then that is probably why.
  9. Sounds awesome. Waking up earlier has gotten harder for me because it's now daylight savings time and we recently got blackout curtains (which are great to block out the light and heat but harder to wake up naturally to sunlight). As for watching TV, my partner and I now sit on the floor instead of the couch, and sometimes do mobility work whilst watching something (usually sci-fi). It's a useful little trick. I found that I struggled sitting on the floor without being in some sort of pain which led me to do some mobility to loosen up my body and now sitting on the floor is easier (it's most surprising because I could do this all the time as a kid yet I struggle as an adult hence why I've been working on this new habit).
  10. Right now I've been focusing on a strength program (Stronglifts) with long walks on my off days, hence I am a Warrior this month. I usually consider myself a ranger, but I found my strength and muscle seemed to degrade, hence the focus on rebuilding muscle strength slowly to decrease the injuries I was getting from doing running with a strength and conditioning program. My aim is to eventually return to that program, but for now, I'm rebuilding my strength. Mindset (not a quest) Never miss two in a row Get Strong Complete a Stronglifts workout 3 times a week. (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday) Walk 5 minutes a day after dinner Lose Fat Eat keto for a month Track my meals in MyFitnessPal before eating each meal or when receiving an app reminder Blog Write for 5 minutes a day after I get to my office and before I drink my coffee Never miss two in a row The most important thing this month is to live the "Never miss two in a row" philosophy. I learned this years back in Nerd Fitness, and recently ran into it again in one of the Zen Habits book. It reminded me in the past that I would aim for perfection (workout 6 times a week), and if I didn't do it perfectly, then it felt like failure and I would give up. Hence now instead of thinking in terms of "weeks and months", it's "days and years" (thanks Steve), in which I missed one day, I just focus on getting the next day right. If I can predict a day that I won't complete my quests, then I aim to get it right the day before and day after. My partner also likes this. She recently had a meditation habit that she did everyday for 3 months in a row. She broke the chain on my birthday (i.e. she was very busy and preoccupied that day), and because she broke the chain, she was demotivated to continue it. Now that she's thinking in terms of never missing two in a row, it's easier for her to maintain it. Habits I recently read a book by Zen Habits, and I now truly understand how to hack my habits. I now like to think of a habit like this, Select a habit (e.g. walking) Make it small (e.g. 5 minutes per day) Associate it with a trigger (e.g. walk right after dinner) Have a reward (e.g. watch a TV show) A walking habit is what I've been working on the last 2 weeks and by following those 4 steps, it's been really easy to add into my day. My goal is to build two main habits this month, tracking meals in MyFitnessPal, and creating a writing habit. Diet As for the diet, my partner wanted to get back into full keto, and to support her, I said I'll do it too so it's easier for her (and at the same time I secretly wanted to do it as well). She suggested tracking our meals to ensure we get enough protein and limit our carbs properly (rather than trying to eyeball it). I tried tracking my meals in the past, but I found that the MyFitnessPal app was annoying to use. Now it seems they've made it better (by allowing you to create meals and just select that). In order to make this habit easier, my trigger will be that I finished cooking my meal, the routine is putting it into MyFitnessPal, the reward is I get to eat my food. A simple hack that I think will let me be successful. Blog I have been attempting to create a blog that I hope to eventually turn into a profitable business. So far, I have written one post, over the course of a month. What is stopping me is that I'm not consistent with writing so I thought that I would use the Zen Habits techniques to turn this into a habit. Hence the habit is to write for 5 minutes a day. Small enough that I can achieve it. The trigger is after I make my morning coffee. The reward is I get to drink my coffee and then read a book/comic. This is effectively adding 1 thing to my morning routine so it feels achievable. Once I build that habit, I'll extend it to 10 minutes and eventually 30-60 minutes per day. This habit will also tie in nicely to my PhD when I need to write papers and thesis chapters. Summary To me, it feels like I've properly broken my quests up into manageable habits that are small enough that I can build/continue them. I didn't talk about my workout quest, and that's because it's already established. Just writing it out makes me understand what my fitness focus is.
  11. Firstly, great work on reducing the amount of soda you drink (it's a very trick habit to work on). You say missed a day which turned into a missed week and so on. One mindset that helps me is "Never miss two in a row". You see it all over this site and other habit type blogs. Basically, if you miss one day (which happens ALL the time), put extra effort and focus to make sure you do it the next day. For example, I've started a small walking habit, where I go for a 5 minute walk after dinner. I knew this week that I'd have two dinner functions on, so I wasn't going to be able to walk after dinner on those two days. However, I made sure to go for my walk the day before and day after. I'm not sure if this applies, but some people follow the "Never break the chain" rule, where you aim to keep a daily streak of the habit you do. One thing I don't like about it, is if after 20 days, you miss 1 day, you're unlikely to continue with the habit. However, if you think in the "Never miss two in a row" way, if you missed one day, that's fine, you do it the next day. You won't be making perfect progress (which to be honest, is insanely difficult to do), but you will be making progress, and that progress is better than nothing.
  12. Awesome. Let me know how the recipe goes. The two most important things is don't use too much water, and use a good tasting stock. Vegeta stock is what is available here in Australia, not sure if you can get it overseas.
  13. Awesome, I'll be sure to check that book out. I agree with the statement that it is easier to build fat than it is to build muscle. It makes sense to only bulk and try to put on muscle when your body fat is low because you then have a bigger buffer for the amount of fat you can put on during a bulk before reaching unhealthy levels.
  14. Perhaps. I had to look up the definition of saute. You don't want to brown the onion and leek. You would "fry" them for about 60 seconds. Basically until they look soft and slightly clear. However feel free to experiment with it. I'd be interested to see how browning the onions would alter the soup
  15. Do that. It may feel expensive, but it's the price you're paying so you don't end up in the ER again. One reason why you'll want your own nutritionist/dietician is to help keep you on track, and more importantly, make sure you are eating enough food. I see it too often that when people change up their diets, they eat too little food, end up always hungry, and go back to their regular habits.
  16. Sounds great, I'd be interested to follow your development of it
  17. Humans are omnivores so we are designed to eat all sorts of things. Currently, because doing this whole fitness thing means I make protein the base of my meal, then add veggies/carbs and fat for flavour/energy. Hence my meals now compared to 5 years ago contain a lot more meat than before (gone are the days of having past in tomato sauce as a full meal). That being said, I feel like if I eat too much red meat, then I don't feel so great, so I try to eat more poultry and plenty of eggs (but do enjoy the delicious beef burger or steak every now and then). I have considered what it would be like to transition to vegetarian/veganism. Becoming a vegetarian would be easy for me, I'd just up my egg intake and add beans into my diet (and probably supplement with protein shakes). Going further to a vegan, would be much harder. I would have to completely change my diet, (out goes butter, milk, eggs, 3 of my staples).
  18. Have you tried planning out what your meals are? I don't track calories. Instead I create meals that end up between 600-800 calories, stick the recipes up on my kitchen wall, that way whenever I make something, I just refer to that knowing that I'm getting the required amount of nutrition in,
  19. Breakfast, always eggs. Usually a veggie omelette with butter. Sometimes I'll have bacon. Sometimes sweet potato. As for the weirdest stuff I've put in a smoothie, boiled sweet potato and raw eggs. It's actually pretty delicious.
  20. Where abouts does this 10-15 rule come from? If you have a good article/book on it, then I'd gladly read it to find out more.
  21. I wish I had my own home gym. The price isn't the issue, it's that my girlfriend and I currently rent and there isn't anywhere we can safely set it up (unless we want huge holes in the floor or for our equipment to rust outside in the rain). Awesome to see you got the power rack. Have you purchased anything else for your home gym? The way I see it, the two most important things to buy that are high quality are the squat rack (which will stop you from dying), and a barbell. Save money for those, spend less on the other things (unless you plan on dropping your weights, then get bumper plates)
  22. My girlfriend falls in love with me every time I make this, plus I use this whenever I have guests over. It's basically my signature dish so I'll happily share it with everyone. Ingredients: 1 large cauliflower (green parts/stem removed) 1 large leek 1 can (240mL) of coconut cream (get 100% coconut if you can) 1 large onion 2 tbsp of stock (chicken or veggie stock works good, can be liquid or powder) Method Dice up the onion and leek. Roughly chop the cauliflower or rip it into individual pieces. In a large pot, "fry" up the onion and leek in an oil of your choice. Stir the onion and leek until it's translucent (looks kind of clear). Add in cauliflower and mix it in with the other ingredients. Add in stock (I use Vegeta branded stock which is really delicious) Pour in enough water until the ingredients are 80% covered (too much water makes it too thin/watery) Bring to boil, and simmer for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is soft. Take off heat. Blend ingredients using a hand blender (or a blender if you'd like) After blending, mix in the coconut cream. There are two ways you can mess this up, not using enough stock, or by adding too much water. Ideally the soup should feel thick and creamy. If you get this, then you have the best soup ever made. Optional: Mix some sweet potato in if you wanted to bump up the calories for this. My girlfriend adds butter into her soup to bump up the fat.
  23. Awesome epic quest. I'll be subscribing to this forum so I can get updates on how these quests go. One quest that stuck out to me, "Build business website by November 1st 2017". What type of business are you planning on setting up?
  24. How lucky for you that I do a PhD in Maths, and I teach Maths to uni students (so I basically had to reply to your thread). Best way to learn maths is by doing. This means solving lots of problems so you can figure out what parts you don't understand, and also get quicker at solving problems. A good resource for that is Wolfram Alpha Problem Generator Another great resource for notes and worked examples is Paul's Online Notes. Think of that site as the text version of Khan Academy. Important: One thing I see that my students do wrong, is that they spend too much of their time watching lectures and copying down worked examples. To get good at maths, you need to use trial and error. When you get a problem, try to solve it using any method. If it doesn't work, try another method. And so on. This is why I like the Problem Generator from Wolfram Alpha. You do one problem, if you get it wrong, learn what you did wrong, then do another problem. The method I see my students use is, look at the problem, stare at it for 20 minutes, look at the solutions, write the answer out (by pretending you didn't look at the solutions), then move on to another problem having learnt nothing. Hopefully that made sense to you and please keep me posted on how your maths is going.
  25. I've done 2 runs on it so it's good Went for a 16km hike near the bay the other day. Proper trail + hills + echidnas and a not friendly tiger snake (we had to make a big detour because of it). I've been off work the last week. I've been spending time at the beach with friends. I've also spent a lot of time planning my 2017 goals in detail by following the free worksheets from Live your Legend. I'll be working on building one habit a month that will help me reach each of my goals for the year. My biggest goal is to get my weight below 90kgs and keep it there. I definitely have enough fat to lose to get to that weight. Realistically I could possibly get to the 80-85kg range, but I won't know until I get below 90kgs. At that point, I'll get a body fat scan done, plus I'll look at where my running is to determine how much lower I should go. I decided to put a big financial risk on reaching the above goal. Putting money on the line seems to help people achieve their goals so I'll be doing it as well. I have 23 weeks to lose the 10kgs necessary, so nice and slow weight loss. It's about 0.5kg a week. Every week I don't reach that goal, I have to give away $100 to charity. I'm using StickK for it. If anyone wants to be my referee for it (you just make sure I send you a picture of my current weight to make sure that I don't lie), then let me know.
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