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Everything posted by brianhicks

  1. Platzhalter: yes, absolutely! Update time! Food: Doing just OK on this. I had a stressful day and ended up eating a pint of ice cream. Not ideal. Because I've been good on the weekends and was counting them as extra credit I still have ~100% on this goal. Yoga: Fallen off the bandwagon considerably, it's been about a week since I did my last session. Meditation: Same as yoga, except it's been two weeks. All that's a little disheartening, I'm looking forward to the next challenge to shake things up a little. These goals are not really working out well for me. :\
  2. Welp, it's been a bit. And a forum refresh too, how fancy! Food: Doing great! I went on this month's business trip and aside from having a few beers there was nothing out of the ordinary! Yoga: Less great on this one. I've kind of skimped but got enough in to count most days, but I haven't done a "full" session for about a week. Could be better, could be worse. Meditation: This one has been weird. On my trip, I meditated every day. Airplanes turn out to be a nice environment for that sort of thing. But once I'm back home, the progress evaporates. A mystery!
  3. Quite right! I've done that before, and it doesn't help at all! I did forget to mention that I can also walk, so I've been doing a lot of that too, and tracking my mileage against the Hobbit's walk to Mordor... I've just gotten past the ringwraiths on weathertop Yesterday's report! Food: 3 for 3 on No S. My wife and I made some breakfast burritos and froze them on Sunday, and that really helps with snack cravings. Yoga: Did it! Having a set time each day really helps. Meditation: Still struggling here. I've downloaded an app to bug me to do it, which will probably help. I just need the prompt, I think.
  4. Really inflexible knees, specifically. Swelling, etc. I'm working with my physician to build flexibility and then strength, in that order. I do have some very light leg-press type exercises I've been prescribed to do, but specifically not squats until I'm cleared for it. Bums me out a lot too, I used to love doing weighted squats and now I can't even do bodyweight. Technically what's wrong is that the muscles in the back of my knees are so tight that they're pushing the kneecaps out, which means they slide around sideways at inappropriate times and are creating bone spurs, lots of pain, etc. Every time it happens I get closer to needing surgery, and every surgery is closer to a total knee replacement. So, you could say I'm motivated to work on this. Now onto update #2. I said I'd post an update every day and I won't offer much excuse: it's been crazy but I could have made time to do it. Foods: the No S diet is consistently surprising me by revealing how much I actually eat. The "no snacks" part is kind of hard but doable. But "no sweets" is killing me because it's girl scout cookie season! I ate a few this weekend on my scheduled cheat days, but nowhere near as many as I usually do since I was still in the "no snacks" mindset. Net win. Yoga: We had an important client in town last week which really threw off my schedule. However, I did makeup days and so I'm only down by one day total. Every time I do yoga I can feel myself getting a little more flexible, and I'm already starting to be able to pick things up off the floor without having to think about it nearly as much. This progress excites me! I've also found a great time to do it: right after I get out of the shower my muscles are warm and it's very easy to stretch deeply. Meditation: I haven't yet found a place to put this in a daily habit. Because of that, it hasn't been as effective as I think it could be. I don't want to do it too close to either waking or sleeping, but in the middle of the day I tend to be running a million miles a minute. I just need to figure out a cue (right after lunch or something) to sit down and breathe for a bit. Spreadsheet is also updated if you want a blow-by-blow.
  5. Day one update: found a new cave for the bats, drawing up plans. Foods: 3 for 3 on no S! I didn't realize how much food I wanted until I got it all on a plate at once. I guess that's part of the point. Yoga: off day Meditation: went and sat in a chair for 10 minutes and followed my breath. Not a huge change so far.
  6. Hah! Thanks! I may have to buy that book too, shovelglove is intriguing too, but probably after I can do it without joints popping every which way. As in previous challenges, I'm keeping my challenge progress in a spreadsheet. Here's this month's: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dnlIhIAPUGWFvlo8f9yJX1l3Fu9Quoi6aD1XJSyIJ5c/edit?usp=sharing(Brian Hicks: putting the Nerd in Nerd Fitness since 2015 )
  7. Following! Sorry to hear about your job loss, that sucks.
  8. Following! On the cleaning front, have you read Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? She recommends that same strategy of doing one deep clean and then keeping things tidy by keeping them in their places. It's a really interesting read; if nothing else it shows a lot about Japanese cultural norms as opposed to us messy westerners.
  9. Greetings, fellow Assassins! After a rough previous challenge period, I'm going to do a rebuilding challenge - not really respawning, but rebuilding my body so that I can be better prepared and more anti-fragile. Flexibility, both physical and mental, are going to be important for the rest of the year (lovely wife and I are adopting). Food: I'm going to try the No S diet. In a nutshell: no sweets, seconds, or snacks except (sometimes) on days that start with S. It's a simple rule system by the same person that invented shovelglove. My scoring is going to look like those 3 points every day, and bonus points if I manage to do the same on weekends. The grading from last challenge worked, so I'm going to steal it: 85% towards score goals: A and 25xp75% towards score goals: B and 20xp65% towards score goals: C and 15xp55% towards score goals: D and 10xpBelow 55%: Failure and 0xpExercise: I really need to focus on flexibility so that I can get back to doing weighted exercise (even bodyweight is doing bad things to me right now.) Therefore, YOGA TIME! I'm going to do this every day that I don't go into work, so that's 19 sessions. 16 of 18 workouts: A and 25xp14 of 18: B and 20xp12 of 18: C and 15xp10 of 18: D and 10xpLess than 10: Failure and 0xpLife: Meditation. I love it and hate it at the same time. It really helps, but only if I do it consistently. So, my goal for this time is to meditate at least 10 minutes a day. Here comes consistency, I hope. 25 days: A and 25xp22 days: B and 20xp19 days: C and 15xp16 days: D and 10xpLess than 16: Failure and 0xpIn addition, I'm going to try and post here every day. Knowing that people are reading what I'm writing is a wonderful motivator, and it keeps me accountable to myself even if nobody else reads. 👠The boss battle for this challenge is going to be a trip to Chicago to give two technical usergroup talks in two days. I've never been to Chicago, so I'm looking forward to it. But travel has historically been trouble for my fitness and health goals. I learned from the conference last challenge period, and I'll do better this time! LET'S GO CHALLENGE #3!
  10. Thanks! I'm definitely going to take a mat next time… although the rest of my conference travel for the year so far is in the U.S. where we have reasonably tractiony carpets in hotel rooms. The knee medicine is just an anti-inflamatory. right. It's now time for the CHALLENGE #2 WRAP-UP. Food: I limped across the finish line today by eating a giant apple fritter. Moment of weakness! But overall, I finished with 75.37% of possible points, barely getting a B and 20XP. Exercise: Because of the German boss fight going badly, 12 workouts of 18 completed. But that does mean that I get a C and 15XP. Life Goal: Why are these so much easier than the food and exercise goals for me? I may be thinking too small. Regardless, this one's an A. I actually have got a lot more done in this challenge period than previous because I knew what I should be working on each day. This is a habit I hope to continue. I've got some interesting ideas for next time, but they don't necessarily fall under what it seems like are normal assassin quests. They involve focusing on flexibility and mental soundness via yoga and meditation, respectively. That sounds like druid stuff, but I think I'll stick around here since I fully intend to get back to bodyweight workout quests in future challenges.
  11. Right! Thanks for the reminder. I was going to post more here, but honestly it was exhausting. Food-wise, I did pretty well. I ate more or less the same as in the states, but with a bit more beer. Exercise I totally bombed on. The floor was hard, cold, and very slippery in my hotel room, and most mornings I had to get going immediately (jet lag was not helping!) In future conferences this year, I think I'm going to move my exercise to when I get back to the hotel in the evenings, if possible. I'm taking as a consolation prize that I walked much more than normal; in the week I was there I walked 36.41 miles, about 3 times my normal distance. OmniFocus goal I aced, but it was honestly mostly because I didn't have any work scheduled there, it was all on the conference schedule. I did use it to remember to take my knee pills, which I did with astonishing regularity (missed maybe 2.) That habit is really building up, which makes me quite happy. Overall, I'm going to have to give myself a 50% or so for this boss… it kicked my butt, especially with the jet lag and travel stress. BUT next time will be better. Time to pick myself back up and get on the BWW horse for tomorrow's scheduled workout.
  12. Allllright, time to face the music. I totally wimped out on my workout yesterday. I was cold and just didn't wanna do it. I paid for it, though, in that my back and knees were sore all day because I wasn't moving around. Did my yoga today though. Yog'd it up! But enough of that, time for THE FINAL COUNTDOWN to my 2nd challenge boss: GERMANY. GERMANY appears in the distance. A hulking mass of temptations to bad habits. What do you do? Brian goes to bed early! +1 buff against jet lag! You pack your bags two days early to not be stressed for the flight, and start going to bed an hour earlier each day to prepare for the boss' most potent attack, jet lag. It recoils in terror at your preparedness! Brian uses "pack early", an airport-level charm. The creature will now put up less of a fight!
  13. Cold weather notwithstanding, I'm curious how you've made a habit out of running? Are there a set of things to do to prepare? What are the triggers you use? Edit: also A/V tech FTW! I do lights.
  14. Hmm, I'll give that a try, thanks. Seems like something I could do when waking up instead of sitting on the couch to check my email.
  15. Quick update: I managed to touch my toes without bending my knees for the first time ever today. Briefly, and I rally had to try, but I did it! Yay!
  16. Update The First: Freggies 'n carbs 'n sugars: yas. Started off fairly badly (because I forgot the challenge started on 2/1) but now I'm up to 71.57% of possible points.Exercise: done 100% so far of 1 scheduled yoga session. Tomorrow is the first bodyweight workout.OF: 50% of possible points, because 2/1 and 2/2 were no-gos. Every day since has been good. It's been helpful to look at it the evening before, as well, then spot-checking in the morning. Choosing a bunch of little tasks and a big task for the day has yielded good results so far.So: kind of boring! But I'm going to count that as a win, biding my time before the boss fight next week.
  17. It's real weird weather here (Missouri) too. Way to get out and make the most of it!
  18. Getting started is the hardest part of that. What helps you?
  19. Yeah! Challenge time again! Your life goal is ambitious, how are you on the Greek?
  20. Hi all! This is going to be my first challenge as an Assassin. I just finished my initiation as a Rebel last challenge, so it's time to specialize! By way of introduction, I work as a computer programmer in St. Louis, MO. I love doing freerunning/urbex type activities and biking, but some knee injuries and a general lack of flexibility mean that I'm cooped up and not doing much of that anymore. Well, time to get back on that horse bike and ride! There's going to be a boss fight in this challenge period: I'm traveling to Berlin for a week to attend a conference. I'm going to have less control of my diet (the organizers of this conference series provide food but so far they've all been very carby) and less opportunity to exercise, not to mention the 7 hour timezone shift. Gonna have to go into Batman mode for that one! Goals Here's a public spreadsheet that I'll be using to keep track of goals: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jlc0P5UpiN-Zn2auuVJFviLsLmSs9KrTLOi3K0lkQP0/edit?usp=sharing I'll be posting about updates here, so that's just to keep track of the mechanics. Exercise I'm going to be doing the Recruit workout from the NF academy until it stops being super hard (right now I can barely get through two of the three sets.) Afterwards, I will start the bodyweight brigade workouts. That's Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I'd rather do MWF but I drive ~1 hour into the office on Mondays and Fridays, so that's going to be really difficult. I'm going to start this on Friday (weird week, I'm going in on Thursday instead of Friday.) On off days, I want to do yoga. I really need to improve my flexibility, since that will help my knees a lot. Last challenge, I tried tried to do yoga as a separate challenge goal, but I'm combining them this time for ease of grading. Grading: 16 of 18 workouts: A and 25xp14 of 18: B and 20xp12 of 18: C and 15xp10 of 18: D and 10xpLess than 10: Failure and 0xpDiet (Freggies and Carbs and Sugars oh my!) Last challenge I tried to change my eating habits by swapping out carbs for freggies. I started under the false impression that all carbs are bad. Well, that's not far from the truth, but my wife had a come-to-Jesus talk with me about what exactly I was doing because of my goal: instead of eating not-so-bad carbs like rice, I was eating no carbs at all most meals, but when I did eat them it was really bad. French fries, Red Lobster biscuits in excess, and the like. So this time instead of grading on a all-or-nothing scale I'm going to be giving myself a score between 0 and 1 for every meal for each of freggies, carbs, and added sugar. (If that's confusing, I've got a spreadsheet that clarifies a little.) Then I'll be grading on percentage. I've got to give myself a little grace here, but I think I can do much better than last time. Grading: 85% towards score goals: A and 25xp75% towards score goals: B and 20xp65% towards score goals: C and 15xp55% towards score goals: D and 10xpBelow 55%: Failure and 0xpLife I've never been great at prioritizing what I need to do in life, and things tend to fall through the cracks. Well, that really can't happen anymore. My wife and I are pursuing an adoption, and after bumbling my way through all the paperwork for the state-certified nice people bit I realized I'm sick of being unorganized. I've used OmniFocus lightly in the past, so I got the upgrade licenses to the most recent version and I'm going to be using that. I really like it so far because of a dedicated review mode - when I'm feeling stressed out about things, I can go look at the projects that need review and make some decisions. That tends to calm me down, oddly. Anyway, I'm not going to get far on this if I don't make a habit of using it every day, so my goal is to look at OF first thing in the morning and try to figure out what my day is going to look like. If things fall apart after that I can't be blamed, but I'm done using the excuse of "things might fall apart" as an excuse not to plan. Grading: 25 of 28 days: A and 25xp21 of 28 days: B and 20xpLess than 21 days: failure and nothing. No C and below on this, because once I drop below about 75% I'm basically not going to be planning at all.
  21. Right! Time for a summary and then to go make my goals for the next challenge period. Freggies and Carbs: 72.31% AKA a C. Not bad, not great either. I'm going to have to figure out some ways to get this better for next time, as previously discussed. Here's how I ended up with meals: SUM of Freggies SUM of CarbsBreakfast 22 16Lunch 18 6Dinner 20 -4Grand Total 60 18So... dinners were hard! That's probably what sunk me on the scoring. Exercise: 7 workouts out of 8 completed. B. No Yoga sessions whatsoever. F, no points for house Hicks. And finally, the challenge I thought would be hardest turned out to be a simple matter of habit every day, and I ended up with 22 phone-light nights. B. Total experience: 20 for exercise, 0 for yoga, 15 for diet, and 20 for life. 55 points! That gives me a new high score to beat next period. (my updated character: https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/1095)
  22. Wow, time flies. Week 3 went pretty well, I thought I had posted but I guess not I've been doing the recruit workout and it's going well, but I feel like it's not often enough to become a habit. Next challenge period I'm going to add a third workout per week, probably on Saturday morning (TTS works better for my work schedule than MWF since I need to be out of the house by 7 on MF). I've had trouble breaking through to the third set, it's really kicking me around. Diet is going decently well, but next time I'm going to be a little more comprehensive how I manage my food - there's not enough resolution on the system I invented to measure how well I'm actually eating. Life goals: hooray! The phone challenge has been quite a success. I'm not looking at my little rectangle as much and I feel like it's really helped, even just in 30 days. It's at the point now where my wife expects me to be present, rather than in Twitterland, and we apologize to each other when either one of us spends too much screen time. However, we've replaced individual alone time with defaulting to watching YouTube in the evenings. We probably should do some thinking about how both of us want to spend our time. More spreadsheets incoming, probably. Beyond those things, I'm starting to think about my goals for next time. And I'm looking forward to joining the assassins for the next challenge period. I used to love gymnastics so much, and parkour looks like a boatload of fun. One day left though, wow... I'll post a wrap up to this thread on Saturday or early next week. Thanks, everyone, for your encouragement.
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