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  1. Cuz that's what you do when you're cooped up in a cage with some scientific gadgets, you develop plots to take over the world -- Brain. Of course, there's always that other part of you that worries that just wants to run on the hamster wheel, goof around, and blow off steam -- Pinky. More context -- the world is in a vulnerable state due to the current Pandemic which provides an ideal opportunity to advance my plans for world dominiation... I am taking courses on Coursera toward a Master's in Electical Engineering from UC-Boulder. So that means I'll be doing a lot of studying and working on projects at home while I'm cooped up. I'm focusing on embedded systems (computers that run machines with little, if any, human interaction) so I get to play with circuits and microcontrollers --inventor/mad scientist shit -- which is gonna be fun. Despite stay-at-home orders, I'm essential so I still work, which makes staying on top of coursework hard. I've also got to clean up my apartment and organize some workspace -- the lab. And I'm overhauling my nutrition and exercise. I'm going to re-try the Eat Right for Your Type diet... granted the motivation for the diet is based on blood type which is not supported by any published science, but it's the one that made me go from 330 to 280 during the summer following my senior year of high school. It might work again. I also looked at the food groups/portions and calculated some macros and calories based on them... the nutrition is balanced and the macros and calories are reasonable, and sticking within the plan I should lose weight. For exercise I have a hamster wheel stationary bike. I will just be putting in my time and trying to burn as many calories as possible. The upside is I can do this in front of a TV which lets me get the workout in while watching Netflix or playing video games and such. Goal 1: Finish my first EE course on time. I finished my first week. There are four more to go for the first class. I should be wrapping it up in week three. Then I'll have to decide if/when/how on the next one. I'm only taking them through coursera right now which means I'll get one of their certificates, but I don't get academic credit from UC-Boulder until I pay their tuition and take their final exams. I'm enrolled in a four course (3 credit hour) specialization. I'm planning on finishing them on coursera, before I decide to enroll and pay up. But I need a 3.0 or better average across the whole specialization to be admitted to the program. So... keep up and get an A. That is all. Goal 2: Track and follow the Eat Right for Your Type diet I've worked out the plan and will be tracking my nutrition by servings and portions according to the plan. I made a spreadsheet for tracking. That makes it easy. I worked out the portion sizes so they are easy to count by eye. 4 oz of chicken breast or fish is about the size of the palm of my hand. Fruits, nuts, veggies all a small handful etc. Just eat the food and check a box, and try to stay within the ranges given each week. Goal 3: Hamster Wheel Get on the exercise bike. I'm tracking the calories burned and the time I spend on it. Ideally, I'd like to burn a pound of fat a week... 3500 calories, but that would require 6-7 hours per week. It's possible, but managing 4 hours is hard enough. I'll try and track though and see what I can do. Goal 4:Track measurments for good feedback. Weigh in daily. Calculate 7-day rolling average. Diameters of body parts weekly. I'll use these to adjust my nutrition or exercise to get into that 1-2 lbs./week weight loss I keep aiming for. Goal 5: Build my lab I need a generally clean, generally organized workspace to study and build electronic shit. So I'm going to work on cleaning up my junk filled office and set up a work table. I've got 4 book shelves to hold (hopefully all) my books. I also ordered a white board and a cart with some drawers and little organizer bins for holding tiny little electronics components. We're doing this.
  2. Hola! Former Lurker, now official noobie rebel here! It's been pretty interesting and exciting to read up on the challenges and the fitness tips here that I finally decided to take the plunge and come out of the shadows! I'm Puerto Rican, but raised a military brat, so I can't say I was raised on the island. I'm used to moving around a bit during my childhood, teenagehood,, and beginning of adulthood, before settling down in beautiful, high altitude, low oxygen, Colorado. I'm pretty short with a quick temper (prone to rages at things I read on tumblr), and while I never been heavy, I'm definitely not thin either, so I (and my husband...and my friends...and ALL my family members) consider me a dwarf. I'm a geek by interests and a geek by profession (programming FTW). I love anime, cinema (especially the superhero genre or animated films), and while I'm not a hardcore gamer, I love RPGs (Dragon Age, MMORPGs like SWTOR), action adventure games (Diablo franchise) and playing god (Sims). I'm also very curious and I like to learn about...random topics; if I hear a term or concept that is interesting, I end up reading as much as I can about it on the net (Like Warhammer 40k. No idea what it was until the hubs mentioned it, spent hours reading about). So that's all cool and all, but I haven't gotten into why I am here. I'm here cause while I've never been large, just average, I never been really fit, or seem strong. I weigh more than I am comfortable, I carry more fat than I'd like, and if I don't watch my diet, I can end up diabetic (though my nuclear family is fit, the older generation are not and it's in the genes). Sure it's not a big deal, I guess, but I want to feel strong physically and mentally. I want to feel like I can protect myself and the people I care about, and I don't really feel like that (Jesus I sound like a shounen protagonist). Towards the end of the summer I decided to work out regularly, doing a variety of HIIT, bodyweight strength training, some yoga for flexibility and to help with back pain (being a programmer does that to ya...), and finding kickboxing workouts to de-stress. Most of these work outs I do at home and have progressed from doing 30 minutes to 45 - 55 minute work outs 5 to 6 days a week. Since I get sluggish after work, I've taken to waking up early on weekdays to make time for my workouts. I've always been drawn to kickboxing and martial arts because of the stress/rage relief it provides, and from watching boxing growing up. I like punching, kicking, etc, and what I would like to do, hopefully this coming year, is find a gym to train (my face is too pretty for sparring , but I love the moves and the increase in coordination). Working out has been easy for me to pick up (it's always easy for me to go back to working out, even though I'm a code monkey), but the biggest change I'm doing, the hardest change, is my diet. I thought I could just eat less, but still what I'm used to eating (chocolate, sugar, processed bread, lattes, cocktails, fried things, the usual). However, that didn't help me LOOK fitter. I thought I could out-fight or out-HIIT the food I ate. Nope. When Nerdfitness finally spelled out what I've been so desperate to ignore, that you CAN'T out-run your food, it sunk in. Not only that, but the kind of calories I put in really did matter. So...*deep breath* I'm cleaning out my diet, cutting the carbs (especially processed ones), no more diet ginger-ale, and the hardest one, my weakness...cutting out as much sweets can I can. Ain't gonna lie, it's tough but has to be done. My goal is to, like I said, feel strong, and eating those kinds of food won't give me power or make me fit. I added a progress bar, aiming less for the numbers on the scale, and more for how much muscle I have over my body fat. I'm pretty damn late for the challenge, but I have plans for the next one coming up and I will be ready. Due to the kind of training that helps me relax the most and is the most fun, I consider myself a monk, though I wouldn't mind getting in some muscle building either . If I be more like Chun Li, or Lucia Rijker: I'll be pretty darn happy. I mean I have the hair at least. Oof that was long. Excited to be here and to work with yas. Peace!
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