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Everything posted by Defining

  1. Not sure where you got the impression that all 'super bio products' are always safe or healthy, to be perfectly honest - anything that says 'super' is typically just marketing wonk, rather than a guarantee of quality. Prop 65 warnings can be a little alarmist, they require warnings at much lower concentrations than many other standards. That being said, I am always dubious of the quality control around 'medicinal mushroom' products which don't have full transparency of where they source their materials (call me paranoid). I also think that some of the benefits which are touted by mushroom products are not always backed by quality reputable research; YMMV, but I'd take it all with a grain of salt. You could try chocolate malt (roasted barley) as another potential coffee alternative, or even explore herbal tea options instead. 'Mushroom coffee' is typically just normal coffee mixed with the mushroom stuff in order to cut the caffeine content, so you could also experiment with just normal decaf instead (bonus: much cheaper).
  2. Thank you for checking in! I have clearly already fallen down on checking in weekly. 😄 Um, good intentions are great, but without action are useless? I spent some time last week trying to see if visiting with a therapist might be beneficial, but after several hours of reading bios of professionals in town (or with online availability) I just can't seem to find a fit which gives me confidence that it'd be a good use of anyone's time. I feel like I need help to get my ass in gear, and I don't know where to ask for that help. I am so fatigued by setting the same goals, starting with different strategies and then just falling on my face. So, TL;DR - thank you Jan 2023, for the quick reminder that setting goals means diddly squat if I don't get get things done every day. Same old, same old.
  3. First week or so of 2023: ..... let's just say that I'm kind of jealous at how far this little girl got! 'cause it's a damn sight further than I've managed
  4. So, uh. Is anyone else feeling tempted to use 'caffeinate' for their 2023 word?
  5. I'm not going to set up a challenge, because it would feel like wasted space. I aim to check in at least once a week in this thread for 2023. My strategy this year is 'face what you fail'. The premise is that rather than working towards goals (which clearly hasn't worked for me), I'm going to work AWAY from the stuff that I don't want. To that end, I have taped up three photos in my room: a photo of myself without clothes, a photo of my living space in its current state, and a photo of my bank statements. These are my daily reminders of what I haven't done - and what the consequences of my inaction are. The crux my of challenges come down to not being happy with: - my body (I want to improve my strength, endurance, pain levels, flexibility, nutrition, sleep quality, BF%) - my housing situation (I want to live in an organised/uncluttered space, and to have my own functional independent space) - my professional choices (I want to feel financially self sufficient, and it'd be nice to be excited about my work) I know that all the 'happiness' metrics & research suggest that the PEOPLE you spend time with are hugely important to your wellbeing and satisfaction with life. At the moment though I cannot imagine a lifestyle which requires more people, so I'm going to put that on the backburner for now because otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd just self-sabotage any goals in that area. Strategy #1 - Accountability: BUJO every morning, remind myself what a lack of execution leaves me with Strategy #2 - Reward: Roll a die for anything accomplished in a week; every time I roll a 5, I can add $5 to a slush fund to buy a new DVD series or something else fun Strategy #3 - Discipline: I am not allowed to watch ANY movies/TV shows unless I'm on a treadmill/bike/rower/elliptical or tidying; if I do, I forfeit all earned rolls for the day Strategy #4 - Follow Bad with Good: Any time I open any social media or want to watch a YT video, I need to do 20 of a bodyweight exercise first (and/or for every 10min spent). I may also revisit my 'on the hour every hour' physical activity goals at some point. Actionable habits: I will be trying Habitica to track habits & 'to do' stuff. We'll see how it all goes!
  6. As always, thank you for starting the thread! I have no idea what to do with a reading goal this year. I find myself going through binge sessions and then returning to 'old familiar' materials to refresh, and then feeling frustrated at not finding new stuff to read that I can really get IN to. Will have to put some thought into it...
  7. As per usual, I fell on my face. But when it worked, I was more active throughout the day! 😅
  8. I don't really have any updates to offer. This week I need to sit down and physically write out everything I've tried in the last 5yrs, in my attempts to kick my own ass into gear. I don't know what to do anymore, so I may as well take stock; maybe I'll luck out and see a really obvious gap.
  9. Defining

    Carb cycling?

    Carb cycling is often used more for fine-tuning energy for different types of workouts. For fat loss, the more relevant metric to look at is total caloric intake. If you keep your intake the same and just cycle your carbs, it will not typically result in fat loss. You can create a caloric deficit by taking in fewer calories, or burning more calories. Those are the only options. Some other things that are beneficial to take a look at for fat loss include: - getting enough quality sleep (7+hrs /night) - increasing your non-exercise activity (eg. get up every hour to move, go for a walk outside, etc.) - ensuring you're consuming enough protein to favour fat loss instead of muscle loss (1.2-1.8g/kg/day is a good starting point; the higher the better) - resistance training will also help to push your body towards fat loss rather than muscle loss - stress management; journaling, meditation, colouring books, walking outside, yoga, visiting with friends, etc. - eating at or below your TDEE; this could involve prioritising more nutritious that have less caloric density (eg. increase vegetable/fruit intake, whole grains instead of refined, etc.) Remember that successful changes long-term for body composition require you to make lifestyle changes, not just 'going on a diet'. Start as you mean to go on: with habits that improve your health and wellbeing, rather than thinking of your choices as 'restriction or bust'.
  10. I think I may have mentioned this idea before, but I figured I'd offer it up in case anyone else wants to join me in it. I want to do 20 reps (or 30sec) of a bodyweight exercise on the hour for every waking hour (more or less). So: set an egg timer as a reminder, and keep track with a basic BUJO or something. 15 sets/day - this is easy enough to do in a public bathroom, on the way to your car, getting up from a desk, etc. Encourages regular movement, marks the passage of time, adds 60min(ish) of NEAT/week, improves daytime alertness, might help with ROM and strength stuff, and I'm sure some other fun benefits. I'm aiming for 2500 total sets before reassessing, which takes us to the beginning of Dec, give or take. Some ideas for bodyweight (or light banded) movements could include, but are not limited to: Bear Crawl, Liard Walk, other crawls, Turkish Get Up, Supermans, Mountain Climbers, Donkey Kick, Clam, Knee Circles, Push Ups, Band Pull-Aparts, No-Moneys, Reverse Plank, Glute Bridges, Reverse Lunge, Ass to Grass BW Squats, Lateral Lunge, Skater Hops, Dead Bugs, Bird Dogs, High Knees, Jump Squats, Skater Hops, Froggers, Burpees, Jumping Jacks So, uh.... any takers?
  11. There are lots of ways to program progressive overload! Weight (or leverage, as is typically used for calisthenics) is only one of them. Other ways you can make exercises more difficult: do more reps, do reps slower, try to increase ROM, take a pause at the beginning/end of each rep, shorter rests, doing the exercises more often, etc. Depending on your long-term goals it may be worth having a chat with trainer or physio though, to ensure that you're doing everything safely in a way that will benefit your health.
  12. Delicious fat ruins my tummy, unfortunately. And no, no direct causes that I'm aware of, probably just shitty sleep quality recently or something. 👋
  13. I WISH! Unfortunately I'm just enough of a jerkface that I don't typically find it very motivating to have a buddy keep me on track - I don't really 'care' what they say/think/do. I wish it weren't true, but that type of external accountability just doesn't do anything useful for me, or at least it hasn't in the past. I didn't really keep up with tracking here on the forums for the last challenge, but I'm mostly ok with that. I like the 'roll the dice for a reward' approach, but I utterly failed on the 'no junk movies/tv' part of it, so I didn't exactly accrue a ton of points this time around. I think I'm going to skip the challenge this time 'round, but will probably check in on this thread once in a while instead.
  14. My personal bias says that a bro split is a very bad choice for a beginner/intermediate lifter who isn't using steroids. Full body work increases the frequency with which you can exercise each muscle group, which tends to have the largest effect on strength and hypertrophy. Switching to a full body, or least an upper/lower split, might be a good option. Maybe something like phraks greyskull lp? You could alternate lifting days with some interval or cardio work, so you're not doing heavy resistance work every day (recovery is important!). If you're wanting to bump up your calories but are concerned about gaining fat, the 'easy' answer is to only increase your protein intake. Your body has to work VERY hard to convert protein to body fat, so it's the least likely to result in anything other than lean body mass increases. I understand when you say 150g/day is a lot to manage, but if you can manage an extra protein shake or something, that might be a good option. Further to the idea of 'more muscle, less fat', take a look at your sleep quality/quantity (makes a HUGE difference for overall health and progress in the gym), and stress management. You can also try going for a walk every day, as a low-impact way to burn a few extra kcal without messing with your hormones/nervous system.
  15. Cardio can affect strength workouts in a negative way, but as long as you're not doing them back to back the strength workouts will only HELP the cardio, not hinder. My personal bias would be to do full body workouts only - splits don't make sense if you're only doing resistance training twice a week. Something like this might be a good starting place: https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/beginner-body-weight-workout-burn-fat-build-muscle/
  16. Just something to keep in mind: soreness has no correlation to protein synthesis (muscle building) or muscle activation. You don't have to be sore to get a good workout in, and it's not a BETTER workout if it makes you sore. DOMS is most common after novel movements or eccentric loading. The micro-tears/damage that correlates to DOMS CAN be one contributing factor for hypertrophy, but it's certainly not the only one.
  17. Money is not a motivator for me - my life would be much easier if it were. I'm glad you've found something that helps to push yourself forward. The 'savings' thing is just me wanting to be lazy about budgeting: to own stuff outright instead of needing to calculate operating expenses/payments against accrued interest. Hence it being a good rational goal, but not at all emotionally compelling. I wish I had something useful/thoughtful/interesting to report for my challenge/goals/progress... but I'm just tired. _____________ May 25 - Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. - Harriet Beecher Stowe
  18. You'll lose belly fat through diet. Don't eat over your TDEE, get at least 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight, and take it easy with any alcoholic (or sugary) treats. Sleep and recovery are also hugely important, as is stress management. The routine itself looks perfectly fine, don't forget to warm up. With the history of a hernia though, you really should chat with a physiotherapist to ensure that the movements you've selected will be safe for you at this stage of your recovery.
  19. So a few days of experimentation tells me that I can hit 200g of protein pretty easily and still keep more or less within my maintenance kcal intake. But the extra bump up past there is a lot more difficult to stomach. How on earth do people bulk properly?! So much food. Unfortunately, I'm still tired. If anything, I feel tired all the time now, instead of just an afternoon slump. But I'll slog on for another week or so, see how things go. Work is busy and stressful right now, and I'm simultaneously fatigued by the whole thing and once again surprised at how well it COULD work if I had a system and just focused on 'earn X amount of savings' if I could just stop feeling emotionally invested in how things go. _____________ May 21 - Nothing is worth more than this day . - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe _____________ May 22 - You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through. - Rosalynn Carter _____________ May 23 - Don't go through life; grow through life. - Eric Butterworth _____________ May 24 - One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested. - E.M. Forster
  20. I don't really have anything to add; sounds like it's been a pretty tumultuous few weeks!
  21. If you're renting, contact your landlord to deal with this asap! If you're the owner, same rules apply. Mold causes a TON of health issues long-term, it's no bueno.
  22. MY STUPID $#%&ING SHOULDER. I thought things were getting better, but my fingers went numb yesterday. That hasn't happened since the initial collision which was more than two years ago. FFS. But I have a couple prescriptions for nerve stuff to see if something like that might help. Better late than never? I'm currently up to 18 rolls for 'rewards'. I had planned to roll on a daily basis, to cement the 'random reward' thing, but I keep forgetting. I don't want to tally up for the end of the challenge either. But also: that number, out of all of habits from 10+ days of tracking, does not make me happy. Might need to try for a little push of 'bonus habits' to boost things up a bit. And then from there will try to remember to tally every couple of days. _____________ May 19 - Among the many values in life, I appreciate freedom the most. - Haruki Murakami _____________ May 20 - Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result. - Oscar Wilde
  23. Even if you need to prioritise work right now (which sucks, but I hope is a short term thing), don't forget to set an alarm to get up every hour and move around a bit!
  24. Is this a hypothetical, or what you're actually lifting? If the latter, you can just keep trying to increase reps with the new weight until you hit 10.
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