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Rostov

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  1. Thanks for posting that - an interesting listen. In some ways it was hard for me to relate to, because no amount of weight loss will make me attractive, and those guys sounded like bodybuilders, which I'm not and will never be. A thin ugly duckling is better than a fat ugly duckling, but still isn't a swan. But it was useful to think in terms of preparing for and thinking about the consequences of success, and about what comes next, and about how good is good enough.
  2. It's certainly a thought. At the moment I am able to jog on the spot on a mini-trampoline/rebounder thing in my front room. For some reason the injury isn't aggrevated by that, probably because it's a soft surface and there's no forward momentum. I think I'm probably not far off being able to run again, but I want to take it very carefully. I don't have a bike but I've been thinking aobut getting one for a while - it's spring soon, so perhaps something to think about. There is a swimming pool fairly close by (though a bit of a pain to get to), but its opening hours aren't ideal, and when I went previously they seemed to have more people wanting to swim lengths than there was space for - just two or three lanes, and the rest of the pool hired out for classes or competitive swimming or something like that.
  3. Great goals - nice and simple, measurable, and targeted. Best of luck with the new challenge!
  4. I'd say learning to ride a bike counts as life goal... takes guts to want to learn as an adult..... I'm toying with the idea of going back to cycling.... though it's been about 20 years since I rode a bike.
  5. Making your own work food makes sense from a financial point of view, and possibly from a calorie point of view too. As regards weight loss, have you tried calorie counting using my fitness pal or similar? I don't think calorie counting is for everyone, but it's worked really well for me.... even if just as an educational/audit tool it's perhaps worth a look if you've not already tried it....
  6. All the best with the challenge, and with what will probably be a testing six weeks.... Must be difficult getting a sense of weight loss when you're putting on the muscle... are you feeling the difference in terms of clothes being looser etc?
  7. I really like your third goal. It's specific and measurable but gives you a reasonable amount of flexibility to find your way as you go. Best of luck with this challenge!
  8. Thanks all. I should probably elaborate a bit on the soda thing. I've got two litre bottles at home, and something I've learnt is that things like plate size etc influence portion control, so when I've got a big bottle what's actually quite a lot feels like less. When I'm at work or out and about, it'll be 330ml cans or 500ml bottles, which are easier to keep track of in terms of consumption. I'm not after giving up completely, but drinking it less often will be cheaper, probably better for me, and I'll likely enjoy it more too. On introversion, I think a key insight for me was that extoverts find company energising, introverts find it tiring. So when I'm in company I've got an energy bar that slowly depletes - if I'm with people I know and like, it depletes much more slowly than if I'm with people I know less well. I've now got a much better sense for when the bar is nearly empty, at which point it's usually time for me to say my goodbyes and go home. I've joined a new social club recently when means a fair few trips out for dinner/drinks/other kinds of activities. I've been really enjoying these so far, but better self-awareness means that I can leave while it's still fun and before my energy depletes.
  9. This is my fifth challenge, and my second as a scout. My first, second, and third challenges were under the adventurer banner, and the fourth as a scout. Though that felt a little fraudulent, as it turned out that injury prevented me from doing very much running. My original goal was weight loss and fitness gain. I've lost 58lbs since I started counting properly back in May last year, of which over half has been since the start of my first challenge. I've probably got perhaps another half a stone to a stone to lose - I'm not entirely sure, but I'll know it when I get there or thereabouts. I've done this through calorie counting via my fitness pal, jogging on a rebounder indoors, bodweight workouts (first Steve's beginner workout, then my own modified version), and - in my second challenge - running outdoors. Frustratingly, in my second challenge I was one run away from completing couch to 5k when I got injured. One run. I've got flat feet and started getting foot pains on the top of my left foot. Long story short I rested it, it went away, I tried exercising again, it came back. I got some hugely expensive custom orthotics and waited for the pains to go away. They did, I carefully started running again, got up to two miles, overdid it, and injured myself again - similar, but related injury. This time I'm doing nothing until it feels 100%, and then working up slowly. Maybe. just maybe, I'll make my timed 5k by the end of this challenge. So, here are my goals. Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 5lbs (average of just under 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. This has been a constant goal for each challenge, but as I've less to lose (and it's harder to do) I've made it 5lbs rather than 6lbs this time. +0.5 con and +0.5 dex are available per 1lb of weight loss, for a total of +2.5 for each. My starting weight is 85.5kg, 188.5lbs, 13 stone 6.5lbs A sub-goal of this is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is to work out on at least 11 days of 14. This has been a regular goal that I've almost always succeeded at in full, so perhaps it's not a challenge any more. However, I'd like to track it here to make sure. Goal 2: Drink water like water, and soda like soda One of the big changes I made when I first started out with weight loss was cutting out full calorie cokes/sodas. It wasn't easy, but I succeeded and now rarely have any liquid calories. However, I don't think I drank any less soda overall, but just shifted to Diet Coke and Pepsi Max. While I don't want to throw words around like "addicted", I drink more than is good for me and do get a form of "withdrawal" if I don't have any. This is not good. I understand there's some research that would indicate that diet sodas are nearly as bad as full calories and that artificial sweeteners are not good for the body. I'm unconvinced, and I think my experience has been that the kick of something sweet and caffinated helps satisfy cravings for high calorie food. But perhaps that's doing something bad to my metabolism, I don't know. What I do know is that it's not a cheap habit, and that if I let myself I'll drink it like it's water. For this goal, I'm going to have a 1 litre bottle of cold water in the fridge at home which I'm going to drink and finish each day before I have any soda at home. I'm going to succeed at this at least 5 days out of 7 each week. I'm allowing myself a bit of wiggle room because this will be difficult on days when I'm not in much. +0.5 wisdom for each week of success = +3 available overall. Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner These were the targets that I missed in my last challenge and the one before that. Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b ) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. As well as the injury, I also need to make up lost time/training/running. Hopefully I've not regressed too much, but I don't expect to be able to run 5k immediately - got to build back up. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. Last time I decided to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Actually my charisma score isn't bad, especially diplomacy, but I tend not to take risks and introversion is my default setting. So in this challenge I'm going to put myself out there and be more open and more talkative and more sociable. I did pretty well at this last time, and I'd like to continue it this time. Last time I think I levelled up at this, so I'm going to be a bit tougher on the grading this time round. +0.5 points per week where I can say that I've managed to do this. Total +3 available, which I'll split evenly between wisdom and charisma.
  10. Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 6lbs (average 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. My starting weight is 88.7kg, 196lbs, 14st 0lbs. +0.5 con and +0.5 dex are available per 1lb of weight loss after the first, for a total of +2.5 for each Finishing weight: 87kg, 192 lbs, 13st 10 lbs. 4lbs lost in six weeks, so 3 x 0.5 con and dex, for a total of +1.5 con and +1.5 dex. And slightly frustratingly for challenge purposes (but awesomelly for others), today's weigh in has me 3lb lighter than that! B- Goal 2: Citius, Altius, Fortius I will work out on at least 11 days out of 14. +0.5 Strength and +0.5 Stamina per successful 14 days, total of +1.5 str and +1.5 sta available. (+3 overall) Managed my first pull-up, and I can now do 2. For some reason, I can now pull higher than before, but can't do more yet. Something to build on. Achieved in all three fortnights. Total +1.5str and +1.5 stam A Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a.) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b.) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. F - Failed completley due to injury. I managed to get up to 2 miles before injuring myself again. I'll probably roll this one forwards. Again. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. This time I'm going to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. +0.5 points per week where I can say that I've managed to do this. Total +3 available, which I'll split evenly between wisdom and charisma. Did well here - and succeeded in 5 weeks out of 6. So, +2.5 total, +1.25 wisdom and +1.25 charisma A- In summary.... a massively eventful six weeks involving a major life change, and not one for the better. But I've managed to - if not put it behind me - at least plot a path towards moving on.
  11. Good stuff, congratulations on completion! And be gentle with yourself during these stressful times, you hear me?
  12. Congratulations on completion, and as Doug said, on the self-knowledge. Proper experience points = proper old school levelling up. Something I'd recommend for exercise with a hectic schedule is a mini-trampoline/rebounder for home use. Put on the TV, turn up the volume, bounce or jog for half an hour or so. I've found it works really well while watching sport on the TV. My current habit is watching soccer games and jogging throughout the game - two halves of 45 minutes - and resting for the half time break. No commuting, no going out in the rain, multitask-tastic, and its a trampoline and therefore awesome.
  13. What everyone else said Injuries are very tough to deal with and get over, and sometimes they can be the cue for everything to start unravelling and to slip back into old habits. But you didn't, and that's outstanding.
  14. Congratulations, Chanda - that's an excellent set of results. Special congratulations on the weight loss - that's outstanding. I don't think you need to feel bad about the Accountibilibuddies group. I don't think that it neccesarily means posting a lot. I find it difficult to post generic "well done you!" comments unless I think someone's being hard on themselves, but I'm better when I have something to say, or add, or suggest, or something like that. I think also it's about knowing that there are people reading along, even if they're not always posting regularly. I think as an idea it works really well for Adventurers because individuals can get lost in such a large guild and having a small team of people to focus on really helps. I'd imagine in smaller guilds like the Druids and Scouts that's less of an issue. But speaking personally I'd be very glad to be in any group with you in it for future challenges
  15. I agree with Jonsey - you're being pretty hard on yourself here. If you've been sick with the fever and have exams coming up then things are tough, and sometimes something has to give. You have finite energy, especially when sick, and frankly I'd be amazed if the best use of your limited energy reserves was posting here. It's funny, really, but grading achievement is all very well, but it's not the same as proper old school experience points which were really what was needed to level up. Sure, you didn't ace your fitness goals, but you made some good progress and gained some vital knowledge/experience - about muscle imbalances, about the gym, about hiking options that you didn't know about before, and you've got a stretching habit. And if it turns out that calorie counting is for you (and it's certainly worked for me), then that's a tremendous lesson to learn about what works best for you. It'll be a shame not to see you for the next challenge, but exams have to take priority, and there's more to fitness than challenges. But hopefully I'll catch up with you again for the next one, if not before....
  16. And a belated final summary.... Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 6lbs (average 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. My starting weight is 88.7kg, 196lbs, 14st 0lbs. +0.5 con and +0.5 dex are available per 1lb of weight loss after the first, for a total of +2.5 for each Finishing weight: 87kg, 192 lbs, 13st 10 lbs. 4lbs lost in six weeks, so 3 x 0.5 con and dex, for a total of +1.5 con and +1.5 dex Goal 2: Citius, Altius, Fortius I will work out on at least 11 days out of 14. +0.5 Strength and +0.5 Stamina per successful 14 days, total of +1.5 str and +1.5 sta available. (+3 overall) Managed my first pull-up, and I can now do 2. For some reason, I can now pull higher than before, but can't do more yet. Something to build on. Achieved in all three fortnights. Total +1.5str and +1.5 stam Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a.) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b.) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. Failed completley due to injury. I managed to get up to 2 miles before injuring myself again. I'll probably roll this one forwards. Again. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. This time I'm going to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. +0.5 points per week where I can say that I've managed to do this. Total +3 available, which I'll split evenly between wisdom and charisma. Did well here - and succeeded in 5 weeks out of 6. So, +2.5 total, +1.25 wisdom and +1.25 charisma In summary.... a massively eventful six weeks involving a major life change, and not one for the better. But I've managed to - if not put it behind me - at least plot a path towards moving on. Thanks to everyone who's read and commented, and apologies if I've not always been able to return the favour as often as I should have done.
  17. Thanks for the pull-up tips and the .gif - that's pretty much what I was worried about, but add in a falling ceiling and some plaster for extra comedy value... My final week report.... end of challenge summary to come later.... Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 6lbs (average 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. My starting weight is 88.7kg, 196lbs, 14st 0lbs. This week: 87kg, 192 lbs, 13st 10 lbs Slightly disappointing end, as the scale is showing over a 1lb heavier than last week. That's a bit surprising because I've been off work this last week and spent a lot of time walking. Having said that, I've probably been eating less well without a structure in place. However, that's still 4lbs down over the 6 weeks of the challenge, and while that's less good than previous challenges, it's still progress and the less I have to lose, the harder it is/longer it takes to lose what remains. Goal 2: Citius, Altius, Fortius I will work out on at least 11 days out of 14. 6 out of 7 this week which takes me 11 of 14. Lucky to manage that it some ways, because I forgot I missed two days last week. I can now do two pull ups and make a little progress towards going back up for a third. The improvement is pretty much entirely due to improvements in technique/confidence rather than strength. I can only manage one rep with two, but I can do a second rep immediately with one. At the moment I've dropped the bodyweight workout entirely and I'm now doing 20 decline pushups (need to change this up soon) most mornings and nights, 12 calf raises, and pull-ups when I pass the bar - probably five or six attempts per day at least. I need to fit squats back in there somewhere too, but I haven't decided whether to continue with grail squats or to work on form and flexibility and try to get lower. Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a.) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b.) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. My foot is feeling better, but I still get the occasional twinge. This time I'm doing no proper running until I manage to go for several days with no symptoms or twinges whatsoever. I've just pushed it from my mind entirely for now. Maybe next week if things continue to improve. Maybe. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. This time I'm going to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Another good week - went out for a meal with some people I hardly knew.
  18. I'm still scared of the pull-up bar. I'm worried that I'll pull the doorway down on top of me, or it'll come loose and I'll land badly. I'm afraid that I'll wrench my arm out of its socket. I still find myself looking up at it and thinking, "naah - not going to happen". Having said that, I find myself having a play with it several times a day, though without warming up or stretching or anything. At first the biggest problem was my hands hurting and not being able to stop myself from swinging wildly. My hands still hurt (even through gloves), but I don't swing so much now. My current personal best is to lift myself up (perhaps with a tiny jump, I'm not sure) quite high, lower myself down, and then pull myself up about half to two-thirds as far, before lowering myself down in a controlled way. Whether that qualifies as a full pull-up I'm not sure - probably it's the second pull that needs to be all the way up. I can also do something similar with the reverse grip (palms towards me). I can sometimes do a second and occasionally third rep, but with a much reduced second pull. At that point my hands are usually hurting, so I stop. I've read good things about using tennis grip tape on pullup bars, so I might try that next. I've put the bar over the least used doorway in the house, which is the one to the spare bedroom. That's got a built in-wardrobe with a full length mirror, so I can check my form/gauge how high up I'm getting. It's not bad for vanity purposes either.
  19. Well, here's what's worked for me. I'm increasingly of the opinion that while the fundamentals are the same for everyone, each individual needs to find the path that best suits their temprement and preferences and lifestyle. 1. Completley forget the word "diet". If you want to lose weight and keep it off, I'd strongly suggest forgetting about notions of being "on a diet". Instead, what you're doing is making permanent changes to your eating habits. A diet is a sustained attempt to use willpower alone to eat less over a short period of time. Changing habits is permanent. If you can change your habits and default settings, you're much less reliant on willpower. 2. As notanartmajor mentioned, counting calories using "myfitnesspal" or something similar is well worth doing. I don't think it suits everyone, but it's suited me and is the single biggest reason why I'm now over 50lbs lighter than when I started using it. 3. I used MFP to do a food audit - to find out what the calorie content was of what I usually ate, including the snacks I was prone to forget about after the last mouthful was gone. This information was invaluable, because it allowed me to look at how much "value for calories" I was getting in terms of deliciousness and fillingess. You'll probably find that some foods that you eat are very poor value (garlic bread is my standard example here) and some are excellent value (most soups). You'll probably also find that there are significant calorie differences between varients of the same food. I found that the sandwiches in the shop where I get much lunch varied from about 200 calories to about 600. The 200 calorie sandwiches were pretty dull, but there were plenty around the 400 mark that were just as/nearly as appealing as the 500-600 sandwiches. Make that one small change, and that's already 500-1000 calories less over a five day working week. Eating pleasure cost to me? Virtually none. Find and exploit all of these quick wins. For most people there's pain free gains to be made. Grab 'em. Find and implement every last one of these and see where that leaves you before thinking about making more radical willpower-taxing changes. I found that grabbing the quick wins made a noticable difference, and having made those changes, gradually other changes that didn't seem like quick wins at the time now started to feel like they might be. 4. You can set up MFP to give you a daily target of calories to aim at that will result in losing 1lb a week or so. You can use it for pre-planning your food, and for measuring your progress. Try to hit the target each day (or hit the target on average, over the week), or come in just under it. Some people here have cut out certain foods entirely. I haven't, but instead I budget for them. I can have my takeaway pizza if I like, but if that puts me over the limit that day, I'll need to be under in the days before or after.
  20. Obvious I know, but I think it's important that you're gentle with yourself. The university course-career transitiion is very, very tough and incredibly stressful. There's not many times in life when it feels like so much is hanging in the balance, the stakes so high. I think the reality is that it just determines your starting position on the grid for your career proper, but clearly there are big advanages in finding yourself starting near the front of the grid rather than at the back. While this needn't be an excuse to slack off, comfort eat, whatever, I do think it's worth cutting yourself a bit of slack in the knowledge that you're probably not likely to be under quite so much stress and playing with such high stakes very often in later life.
  21. Time for another update... end of week 5.... Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 6lbs (average 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. My starting weight is 88.7kg, 196lbs, 14st 0lbs. This week: 86.4kg. 190.5lbs, 13st 8lbs. Nicely on track for 6lb weight loss by the end of the challenge, though I had friends over this weekend and that plus Easter means that I've probably got a bit of work to do over the next week to redress the calorie balance and make the last extra half pound. Goal 2: Citius, Altius, Fortius I will work out on at least 11 days out of 14. Only 5 of 7 this week because of visitors, but I've got some good walking in (as always). 7 out of 7 in this coming week should be do-able. I now have a pull-up bar, and I was pleasantly surprised at what I could do. Not a full pull up, of course, but I've played around with negatives and pulling myself someway off the ground. I can lower myself and raise myself a little. Thing is, my back hurts when I try it now, and I'm not entirely sure whether it's just DOMS or whether I've done a bit too much. It's not a problem the rest of the time. I also need some gloves or some tape or padding to put around the bar - I have delicate office worker hands. Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a.) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b.) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. I've pushed running out of my mind completely. My foot is recovering again, and fairly quickly, but there's no point even thinking about it until everything is at least 95%. Maybe I just try resting it longer this time. On the plus side, I can go for long walks without problems. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. This time I'm going to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Done well again this week - struck up a conversation with some strangers at a sporting event.
  22. Thanks! I realised the other day that it's a slightly different foot injury this time, and not the same as the previous one. Last time the most painful position was standing up, foot flat on the floor, knee pushed forward. That still hurts, but this time it's foot off the floor, foot pointing forward and stretched in line with the leg. There's definitely a ballet term for that movement, but I don't know what it is. It's all linked, but whether this is better or worse I don't know. My instinct is that this more acute and hopefully therefore less chronic, and should hopefully go away quicker, though it's a bit more limiting now that I have it. There's unseasonal snow on the ground, freezing temperatures and apparently more to come, so at least I'm not missing out on spring running.... I've ordered a pull-up bar, so I'll soon find out how close (or not) I am. Bonus points if I can do it without hurting myself.
  23. Welcome back, and really pleased to see that you've had a great trip. And even more pleased to see that you're not beating yourself up about having a holiday and letting normal routines slide a bit. The key is getting back to the good habits upon return, and doing some things to try to minimise the damage while you're out of your normal environment. Which you're doing/done, which is excellent. Bonus points for the N7 top. I've got an N7 t-shirt which I'm very fond of, particularly because it's subtle nerdery - those who know will understand, those who don't won't even realise that there's something they've missed....
  24. I tried stopping everything that hurt or which caused discomfort, which excluded circuit training, proper running, sports, and any exercises involving impact, but left in walking and rebounder jogging. I left it pretty much alone, then returned to circuit training and the next day was back to square one. Since I've had the orthotics I've tried doing very little for a few weeks, and then gradually introducing a bit more proper jogging/running. I managed about 10 minutes running indoors in a sports hall with few problems, left it for a bit, and then tried one mile, then two, and on the second two miler made things worse. I think the next step might be to go back to doing nothing except walking and rebounder jogging and then not returning to anything until perhaps a week or so after the last twinge, and then try to build things up again. Madly frustrating.
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