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Everything posted by brianhicks

  1. Aww, that pup is adorable! Go dog lifter puppy! My wife actually took me to school about the healthy/unhealthy carbs thing. I wasn't making a distinction, and she said "Brian, you're not eating any carbs but when you do you're eating super bad ones." For me, that means french fries and buttery rolls (my greatest weakness: Red Lobster's biscuits. You can get an otherwise super healthy meal there and totally fail because the biscuits are just. so. good.) I'm going to have to reevaluate what I'm doing for next time. The scoring system stays for now, but I've relaxed it a little bit. For example, I didn't give myself a -1 yesterday for having veggies and chicken over rice, which I previously would have done. It does open up some more possibilities. I finally completed three circuits of my bodyweight exercise program! I had to modify the squats to get there, but my posterior chain is still getting the exercise and my knees aren't complaining nearly as much after. The modification: bar height chair tilting forward and back. Basically a leg press at the gym, but with less than my body weight because of the chair. I hope that's clear enough... I'll post pictures later if it's not. EDIT: forgot to add, my physician recommended I do the chair thing for my knees, but it didn't click for me until now what he actually meant.
  2. I would say that's an very relevant challenge update, actually! Well done!
  3. Ok! Update time. Food: I've tracked 31 meals using this system now. There's a pivot table on the second page of that spreadsheet, here's what it currently looks like: SUM of Freggies SUM of Carbs Breakfast 7 5 Dinner 6 -4 Lunch 8 0Grand Total 21 1So… as I said, it's a lot easier for me to add freggies than it is to subtract carbs. Particularly at dinner. Wowza! I thought breakfast would be the hardest meal to cut carbs (especially because of the US penchant for sweet pastries and donuts and such), and it's actually been the easiest. That said, it's also helped a lot that I've been eating yogurt instead. Probably not the best from the sugar perspective, but that's not what I'm measuring this challenge so I'm going to give myself a mini-pass and consider measuring that as well next challenge. It's not tracked, but I've also got into the habit of eating cherry tomatoes instead of sugary snacks during the day when I'm hungry. They're just so satisfying to chow down on! Side note: I mis-figured how the scoring on my food works. Giving myself a -1 or 1 only means that my total score can be -2, 0, or 2, which means that my score is between -168 and 168 instead of 0 and 168. I'm going to stick with the scoring system for the rest of this challenge, but with one difference to adjust for my calculation error: I'm going to give myself 168 points and score out of 336 instead of 168. That means that I still need to really push myself in order to get full points, but it's no longer impossible to even get a D. Exercise: did my third bodyweight workout today. I've really got to focus on my form to avoid re-injuring my knees. If I do squats at all wrong I get a terrible popping and they swell like crazy after. Fortunately, this is a known issue that I've talked about with my physician and I have glorious anti-swelling meds to take every day. Of course, my long-term goals include being off those completely by strengthening and flexifying my knees, but for now they're a useful tool. As far as yoga goes? Well, I haven't yog'd at all, except as a cool-down after the workouts. I'm thinking I eventually need to do it every day I'm not doing a "real" workout, my goal for next week is to introduce it on Wednesday morning (I work in the office Monday and Friday, roughly an hour commute so I have to get up quite early and haven't figured out how to fit a workout in there yet.) Life: I've managed to put my phone away every single night but one. That was when I was just playing a game while we were watching TV, but since the goal is to be present when my wife and I are spending our downtime together I'm going to be strict and count it as not stowed that night.
  4. Avocados are awesome. I've heard them described as "nature's mayonnaise"—you can put avocados pretty much anywhere you'd put a spread and it makes things awesome. Only problem is they're expensive and you can't really grow your own (avocado trees take like 5 years to mature to the point where they can bear edible fruit.) I've found eating a breakfast that's high in protein helps with cravings throughout the day. That's why I eat peanut butter, and eggs when I can make a big batch of breakfast burritos to freeze. Tastes a lot better than cereal grains, too. The recipe is in the Better Homes and Gardens standard cookbook (the "big red" one that everyone seems to have/get as a wedding present.) The gist of the recipe: make whatever omelette recipe you like, but like 4 times as much. Then wrap it up in some light burrito shells and foil and freeze. Lastly, someone recommended The Power of Habit, which is a pretty light read with weighty ideas on how to change your habits. That might be good if you're looking to create a better morning routine. TL;DR: there's this habit loop thing: cue, routine, then reward. Your brain basically turns off during the routine. So if you make an effort to identify the cue and reward, you can swap out the routine to your liking and then your brain almost automatically does that routine as soon as your basal ganglia identifies the cue.
  5. Haha! Meatspace as opposed to virtual space. And I'm down, especially in the winter we can huddle together and get more awesome. [emoji13]
  6. Hi all! I'm in St. Charles. Anyone still doing meatspace meetups?
  7. One debt down is great progress! Isn't it wonderful to have victories like that? How's the rest of everything going?
  8. Yay for progress! Yay for veggies! They're the best. Financial stress is really hard to go through. You can do it though! Short recommendation/plug: When my wife and I were ~20k under on my student loans with little money coming in, we tried YNAB. It didn't make the situation any better objectively, but it made it much easier to deal with because we now sit down every month and figure out our budget, which gives us a leg up on communication and a plan. I obviously don't know your situation, but maybe give it a try… if you don't want to buy the software, their philosophy is published free (http://www.youneedabudget.com/learn).
  9. Go crash! Way to make plans and not be afraid to adjust mid-course. Roll with them punches! Apples and peanut butter is a great snack. Have you tried it with bananas? I've been finding that to be a super breakfast. Of course, breakfast burritos are pretty much the best as well.
  10. And as a second update (sorry for the double post) I've filled out my new shiny character page: https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/1095/ The slogan there is from Invictus by William Ernest Henley, a poem that makes me sit up and take notice (and also feel like I can eat the world.) Reproduced here because it's awesome: Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. For the record, I do love me some inspirational poetry. My second favorite is the "man in the arena" bit from Teddy Roosevelt's "Citizenship in a Republic" speech: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
  11. Thanks Bast! I'm doing the NF yoga. They've made it pretty easy to adapt for a non-stretchy person like myself. Thanks for the links! I've posted on the initiates page. See you in February! Koaladle: thanks for the encouragement, as always! And as a general update: I did another workout today, and it still kicked my butt but I'm kicking back. Got two circuits done instead of just one. Going to do Tuesday and Thursday for the remainder of the challenge period, plus one Saturday to make up for missing the whole first week. On the diet front, I'm finding it a lot easier to add veggies than subtract carbs. The second page of the spreadsheet I posted is a pivot chart with the scores summed up. Right now I'm at a score of 17 for freggies and -3 for carbs. I kind of wonder if I'm not being too strict with this, but now that I'm trying to be more aware of it I'm realizing that carbs are in everything. I realized I'm going to have a boss fight on my hands in the middle of the next challenge. I'm going to Germany for work (which I am really excited for), but I don't know how that's going to affect my health goals. I'm asking here to ask: anyone here from Germany? How's the food there? I feel like it'll be generally healthier than that in the states, but who knows!?
  12. I'm just gonna declare now, I'm going to go assassin after the next challenge. To be honest it's mostly because I love doing bodyweight workouts (but I'm so out of shape that I'm terrible at them.) Inspiration: the clerics from Equilibrium (badass, think on their feet, gun-ninja-moves), but more Batman. Why Batman? self-motivated, acrobatics, situational awareness, and the best gifs.
  13. Update! I did my first bodyweight workout over the weekend. It was… painful. I didn't realize how out of shape I was. Food-wise, I've been doing pretty well. I had a major neutral and negative streak going on but I snapped it over the weekend. Packed a healthy lunch today too, so we're good there.
  14. Right, guess I could have been more specific. What line of work? Tech? Installation? Government?
  15. Just curious and I may have missed it, but what are you doing up there anyhow?
  16. I actually received the Power of Habit as a Christmas gift (it's on optional reading list for a business class I'm taking.) Haven't started yet, I've got some travel next month that I was going to take it on the plane for. Glad to hear another recommendation for that. Yesterday: aces! I managed to eat zero carby food items for all my meals! That's a full 6 points for yesterday, and after Monday's complete wash, I'm happy with that progress. I'm still getting a lot of carb cravings though. Last night, for instance, I really wanted some toast with Nutella on. My wife, who's also cutting back on carbs, advised me to brush my teeth to get rid of the craving. Sounds like good advice, but I didn't end up trying it. I will next time.
  17. Rock on! Travel is always hard to do, and you're doing it right out of the gate. Sounds like you're making the best of the situation.
  18. Yesterday was a wash on the meal front. Technical usergroup had pizza and no non-carb option, but I did get the pizza with veggies. I also put my phone away as soon as I got home, so that was a win! I'm going to have to look up the bodyweight workouts today so I can do them tomorrow morning.
  19. And as for tracking, I'll be doing things in this spreadsheet as well as posting here, at least once a week.
  20. I love this. Very well said! I'm respawning too, gonna follow along with you. You can do it!
  21. Hey all! My last challenge ended poorly, I got thoroughly beaten by the boss known as "Thanksgiving". Spent some time with the family, which unfortunately left me feeling bad about myself and unmotivated. But you know what? I'm respawning! A bit about me: I stand 6'2.5" and weigh 180lbs or so. I'm "skinny fat"… you can't see that I'm out of shape because of how I dress, but I lose my breath doing ridiculously simple things. I'm un-fit, at the moment. Doesn't help that I have bad knees. I work as a computer programmer whatsit-thingy at a startup in St. Louis. I love doing the whole standing desk thing, it really helps with posture and I move around more when I stand. As part of the job I travel to conferences a lot (about once a month in 2015), so I think those are going to be my major roadblocks to fitness this year too. I'll probably end up being in the Assassin's guild (bodyweight workouts are cheap and easy to do at home or on the road and parkour is just cool) but I'm sticking with the Rebel forum until I get through my first challenge period successfully. So, my goals: Fitness: I'm enrolled in the Nerd Fitness Academy, but I haven't done any of the fitness quests (shame, shame.) I'm going to start small here with the bodyweight workouts and say that I'm going to do them twice per week. That's 8 total, minimum. - A (8): 25xp - B (7): 20xp - C (6): 15xp - D (5): 10xp - F (4-): 0xp I also love doing yoga. It makes my knees feel great. I want to do yoga at least once per week during the challenge period. The scoring on this one is lower because it's more of a "bonus quest"... also four sessions is hard to give more XP to than this! - A (4): 10xp - B (3): 5xp - F (2-): 0xp Diet: I love me some carbs, but I realize that they're not that great for me. I'm going to keep track of meals where I eat any carbs, along with meals where I eat fruits and veggies. Point system: +1 for freggies, +1 for no carbs, and -1 for the opposites. During the challenge period, there are 84 meals, so that's 168 potential points. I'll grade myself on percentage: - A (90%+): 25xp - B (80%): 20xp - C (70%): 15xp - D (60%): 10xp - F (60%-): 0xp To sum up in a sentence: I will replace carbs with freggies during the challenge period. Levelling up: I want two things right now: for my mind to calm down so I can get stuff done, and for my wife to feel like I listen to and appreciate her. You know what doesn't help me do those? My phone! When I get home in the evenings I want to put down the phone where I can get it if someone calls me, but where I can't pick it up just to check Tweetbook. - A (24+ nights): 25xp - B (22 nights): 20xp - C (20 nights): 15xp - D (15 nights): 10xp - F (14- nights): 0xp This one is going to be hard for me, I can tell right now. But an improved state of mental health and a better marital relationship is worth the effort.
  22. Nice goals! I'm looking forward to seeing you rock it! (followed)
  23. Placeholder for encouragement! [emoji119]
  24. brianhicks

    Juice Bar

    I'd like to know too... Is the format going to be wildly different under the new system, or basically the same? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  25. really badly, actually. I'm gonna have to do a major reboot for the next challenge session. My life seems a little out-of-control right now (just work, but still.) I'm actually going to consider that I failed this challenge period, and get back on the horse the next period. See y'all then.
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