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  1. So, um, how's everyone doing with their reading?
  2. Welp. Still ongoing nerve issues, thank you vehicular collision. Fortunately most of my mobility is back to where it was (pretty shitty to begin with). Working out when I feel good, and resting when I don't. Have not decluttered much, and have not been otherwise productive much. Lots of reading, and online content consumption. Work is starting to pick back up, which is good, but I am once again confronted with the face that I don't necessarily always like my job (which, granted, is pretty normal I think). The world is also kind of crazy right now. Interesting times....
  3. You just take a break when you need it? Or go slower? Find a pace that you're comfortable with (ie. no nausea), and then time how long it takes to do the stairs. Each time you go you could try to shave off a few seconds off that time, while not pushing yourself too hard. Alternatively, you could use a heartrate tracker and see if that helps you with some meaningful data.
  4. Sounds like a plan! Just don't forget to taper down your total caffeine intake to reduce the chance of withdrawal headaches.
  5. You could take 2-5g before/during any meal or wokout, but you probably don't actually NEED them at all. Actually, I'd recommend against using any supplement (other than caffeine and creatine) until you have your diet really dialed in, as well as a regular workout routine that includes programmed progressive overload. They are not dangerous, and yes they can potentially speed up muscle gain and/or help in muscle sparing in a caloric deficit. The straight-up BCAAs are bitter though, so you probably don't want to just take them on their own - mix them into juice or something if you'd like to try. BCAAs are, as Harriet mentioned, just amino acids - they are some of the building blocks of protein. These three particular building blocks are especially useful to stimulate protein synthesis, and in reducing protein breakdown; but you still need the other kinds as well! Some proteins, like whey for example, are already naturally rich in BCAAs, which is partly why some proteins are favoured over others when trying to gain muscle.
  6. 100% I agree with Elastigirl that one of the first things I'd take a look at would be diet; specifically carbs vs fats vs fasting before bed. You may need to experiment a bit with it. Could also try to eat a slower digesting protein (casein is a common recommendation) prior to sleep. And AFAIK melatonin is typically most useful to 'reset' sleeping schedules, rather than encourage sleep quality long-term. How close to bedtime are you working out? Does the sleep interruption occur if/when you change the time you do the activity? Personally I can't work out within about 5hrs of bedtime if I want to get anything resembling quality sleep. You could also try just going to bed earlier, which may disrupt the pattern enough to switch things up. How are your overall stress levels? Gratitude journaling, meditation, yoga, and walking outside for a bit every day can help w/ elevated cortisol. If you wanted to explore supplement options, rhodiola and l-theanine are typically relatively safe to experiment with. L-glutamine is another one, but it depends on the person where it may either improve sleep or keep you up. Have you had your thyroid levels tested? There are all sorts of connections between thyroid & adrenal glands/hormonal interactions. Also just blood tests in general, to rule out any nutritional deficiencies. If it's really specific to lifting weights though, I'd experiment with staying hydrated and eating a larger protein meal asap after the workout. It may also be that your body temperature is higher on days that you lift, so you need lighter blankets on those nights and/or deliberately cool down your body prior to sleep. Bodies are weird and wonderful things - and unfortunately complex when it comes to troubleshooting. 'Hope some of these suggestions may help!
  7. No rules, no restrictions, everyone welcome! Post your annual reading goals here, and report back in with progress updates and/or reading recommendations. Oh, I lied, there are a few rules: Any reading is good reading: It doesn't have to be books; graphic novels, long-form internet content, periodicals, etc. are all totally legitimate reading materials. Read what you like! **Audiobooks count!** Read at your own level: You may NOT compare your own goals to someone else's - it's all about what works for YOU, and there is no goal too low or lofty to be included. Set goals that will help, not hinder. Read for your own reasons: It could be for the discussion of the topics, for time to yourself, to entertain, to escape, or even just to learn something new - there are no wrong answers. Tag your fellow NF-reading-keen buddies, and away we go! Click here to check out any recommendations submitted by members; you can either post your own recommendations in the thread and tag Defining to have it added it to the list, or just DM if you'd prefer. Please tell us: Title, Genre, Length, Format, a brief Summary, Why you like it, and a link if you can. If you'd like to track your goal, feel free to add a sheet for yourself here by duplicating the sample sheet & renaming it for yourself! Defining will add your 'total progress' to the master list (if you want! let me know if you don't, that's A-OK!). NOTE: I'm positive there's a better way to do this, but I have zero experience with shared tracking sheets, so suggestions are welcome! You can change the annual goal to reflect number of books, days completed, total minutes spent, word count, whatever works best for YOU!
  8. I'm a great planner - I'm excellent at collecting tools, strategies, schedules, systems....but the implementing? Not so much. And frankly, I have no excuses. (I mean, no, I have lots of excuses, BOOKS of excuses, but none that actually carry water) In general, I'm pretty good about eating well, moving regularly, getting good sleep, etc. Technically I'm checking all the boxes (most of the time), but not as well as I know I can. So, some accountability. I need to do something EVERY DAY for which I can celebrate: a bit more organisation and discipline in my life. That could be getting in enough protein, meditating, cleaning a room or a decluttering a piece of storage furniture. It could be increasing my lifts or going for an extra walk outside with the dogs. I'm not going to commit to any one thing, or a set level of goals - that way, I have zero excuses not to get SOMETHING accomplished every day. (because honestly, I'm really good at excuses, or even not bothering to give excuses to myself because I already know I won't believe it) Putting off doing things that are good for me isn't a healthy choice, and I can do better. Some accountability here, which I know I need, since I've even put off writing THIS post for a few days as I avoid the idea of committing to improving myself once again. Here we go.