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  1. RisenPhoenix Blah Blah Blahs Last few challenge have being dealing with my weight issues, as well as my food-thought issues. Plus, trying to wrap my head around wanting to get stronger and build muscle, even though it’s practically dead-set opposed to my weight loss goals at this point. Last challenge I got comfortable with eating without calorie counting (though I apparently gained weight, which in the best case scenario is just a pound of muscle), but mostly was an injured, snowed-in sod. Anyway, this challenge is a bit of a crap shoot, meant mostly to gather data and blah blah blah my way through a few issues, while keeping me accountable for the run-of-the-mill stuff. Plus, I’m hoping the blah blah blahing will help reduce the oddly high amount of stress I’ve been feeling lately for no seemingly good reason. Blah Blah Food Blah Blah ~Count Calories ~Graph the Data ~Progress Pics So food is my biggest issue I have. It’s been made a larger issue in that I’ve gained back almost half the weight I lost when I first joined NF. Now, some of that is recomp. I have no illusions about that. But ultimately, I want to be a hell of a lot leaner than I am currently. I don’t want a six pack. I just want to not be able to grab a huge handful of fat along my stomach. Vain? Fuck yes. But it’s a goal. (Interestingly enough, when I started losing weight I didn’t actually care about the aesthetics of my body. I was just curious about if I could lose weight. Vanity was never a factor, because I could never imagine myself looking like anything but a 250+ pound blob. Now not only do I think it’s possible, I am SO CLOSE. So it’s been an interesting mental change over the past two years. Right, I did mention this was going to be a lot of blahblahblahing, right?) Anyway. Goal for the next 6 weeks is collect a lot of data. I used MFP to lose my weight in the first place, so I’m pretty damn comfortable with using it. I figure I’m going to log my food for the first 3-4 weeks and track my weight and measurements (neck, chest, gut, any others you guys suggest) and see if I can’t observe any trends. I do pretty well on Primal eating, but I am going to try and limit some things. I’m going to switch back to almond milk for shakes and oatmeal. I’m going to limit my fruit to 3-4 pieces, with most of the fruit being berries (instead of higher calorie things like pears, apples, and oranges). I’m also going to try and limit my cottage cheese/dairy intake to 2 helpings a day (helping, rather than serving, because I eat 2 servings of cottage cheese in a sitting – less and I don’t feel full). Also might re-institute my cheat jar, but since I only had $34 in all of the last challenge, I don’t think that’s as big of an issue for me as I initially expected (buying some new workout clothes with the newish funds, by the way). Anyway, a quick calculator suggested my BMR is around 2,000 calories, with a TDEE of ~2400 assuming I do not a whole lot (like my sole rest day). I figure days where I am doing one activity (lifting only, aikido only, shoveling all the damned snow) I probably have something closer to 2700, and on days where I double up it’s probably closer to 3300-3400. Weekly, that means I should eat ~22,100 calories. So for a pound of weight loss, ~17,500 calories per week should do the trick. Whether or not the data confirms this is another story – but then again, that’s the whole reason for this challenge. Blah Blah Zen Blah Blah ~10 minutes of mediation per day ~15 minutes per day of no electronics ~Finish personal review form ~Update resume and look I’ve been oddly stressed as of late. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m miserable at my job. I’m most more on edge than I’ve ever been (which is saying something because while I was burnt out and miserable in grad school, this is an entirely different feeling), and actively want the week to end about 5 minutes before I walk through the door on Monday morning. I really think that is starting to get to me. So I want to try and get some mediation/quiet breathing practice in to see if that can calm me down. On top of that, I’ve been really way too connected to my phone/internet/computer/video games. Normally I’ve done full disconnects and feel fantastic, but current circumstances make that a bit harder (why hello there, long distance relationships). So maybe instead of trying to do a full day/weekend disconnect, a 15 minute “no electronics” rule will help? Just a good time to give it a shot. As for the last two points… Our annual reviews are coming up at work. As a positive for where I work, my director said I should say I’ve been working with the company for a year – even though I was a contractor last March and not technically working for them. So hopefully that means even if I’m miserable I’ll be up for some compensation increase – because that’s all that’s really keeping me in this job these days. So, while maybe a hope and a chance can get me to stay at work (where I’m mentally bored and unchallenged), I’m going to update my resume and try to see if anything else pops up in the world for me. Unfortunately, the microbiology field in Boston right now sucks – the current research ‘fad’ is cancer, which I am not a particular fan of working on. Infectious disease? Yes, please. I will work till the end of time, because it’s interesting to me. It’s a puzzle I like. Cancer, not so much. Anyway, no numbers associated with the job hunt, as I learned that it causes undue stress. But I will say I’m looking forward to looking for a job while currently employed, unlike the last two times I’ve been searching. Blah Blah Lift Blah Blah ~Look into 5/3/1 for Squats and OHP ~Find a way to tackle Strength Training Anatomy ~Look into a Trainer for help Dem lifts. At the moment, I’ve been limping-ish along on the program of Starting Strength, but the problem is I never quite made it into the more intermediate training. I can’t really do the power cleans that SS says you should eventually alternate with deadlifts. They are just a great deal more technical than the other lifts I’ve been working on without having a 1 on 1 coaching session. I also don’t really know my lifts beyond that, so I want to tackle things a bit more in depth. And add in the fact that I really want to learn my anatomy (for lifting as well as aikido), trying to read Strength Training Anatomy seems like a wise life choice (though how I can tackle it and have it make sense is an issue I need to answer). Anyway, I’ll probably post my thoughts in ramble form here, but keep the numbers of things over in my Daily Battle Log. This place will get long winded enough without dry numbers showing up, too. I’ll do my best to keep you all somewhat entertained. That about covers it. I expect lots of rambles, hopefully a few mental breakthroughs, and maybe a few PRs along the way. Here’s to hoping my blah blah blahs entertain. (Yup. Catspaw still does these better.)
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