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  1. Just like the title says, I have no idea what I'm doing. Usually I have a whole bunch of challenge ideas but I've been procrastinating and drawing a blank. Well not really procrastinating, I just have no idea what I want to accomplish this year fitness wise. This challenge I'm going to try to hit some basic goals and figure out what I want out of this year. Challenge Goals 1. Save Money - Save $85 2. No fast food - Avoid Fast Food - Will allow 5 slip ups. I'm not a saint! 3. Donate Plasma - Donate at least 4x this month. I was sick last month and missed half of it 4. Get my ass to the gym - I was doing so well, then I got sick 5. Do my monthly focus - This month I want to focus on doing either 5 mins of yoga before bed or when I wake up 6. Read - I have 4 books I need to read this month. Side Jobs, Cold Days, Burn for me and Passion Unbound 7. Bullet Journal - Work on it!
  2. I'm looking to be as strictly Paleo as I possible and maximize my diet related fitness gains in every way. I'm a very "all or nothing" kind of person. I know myself, and if I have one Oreo, bagel, or Dorito, it will become the whole bag/box/shelf. I am currently eating 99.5% Paleo. Examples include, but are not limited to: 1. Absolutely no soda, ever. 2. No store bought juices. 3. Straight black coffee only. 4. Tea with nothing added, no sugar, no honey, nothing. 5. Absolutely no grains or wheats, including no rice, white or brown. 6. No regular brown potatoes at all, sweet potatoes a few times a week at most. 7. No cereals. 8. Not eating until noon, even on weekends. Generally a 12-8 eating window a.k.a. Intermittent Fasting, though at times I will occasionally have a pear after 9 pm on a weeknight, and usually eat again late at night on weekends because I stay up later. 9. No dairy. This means no cheese, no animal milk. 10. Working out in a "fasted state." This means lifting in the morning before work at roughly 7:00 a.m. when my last meal was around 8 or 8:30 p.m. the previous night, and doing my PLP Challenge workout in the evening after work before dinner, when my last meal was at about 12:00 p.m., with the occasional snack of almonds or fruit in the afternoon. 11. Warm Water. This is a more recent addition. I did some research into the drinking of warm water as opposed to cold, and apparently there are many health benefits. I now drink almost exclusively hot water, or at the very least not chilled or iced water. I am looking for any and all diet related suggestions and advice that can help take me to the next level.
  3. Here's where I start. I'm 43, and weigh 210 lbs. I'm 4'11". Time to begin. Here's what I ate today. Not bad, but not great. Breakfast - Sausage Egg McMuffin, no cheese. I put peanut butter and jam on the english muffins and eat the sausage and egg separately. 1 med coke zero. Yes, I'm a coke zero junkie. Lunch - Turkey chinese salad. veggies with dip. 1 small bag of butter chicken lays chips. wanted to see how they tasted, not bad. 1 bottle coke zero. Again, it's an addiction. Dinner - Bowl of french onion soup from Panera Bread and baguette. Didn't drink anything. I need to drink more water. Gonna work on that. Was a little stressed, but didn't emotionally eat. For excercise did Day 1 of the 90 Day PUMP program. Felt good to be lifting weights again, even if it was just the weight bar. Also rode the elliptical for 5 min. I have a feeling that once I get used to it again, I should be able to watch a whole episode of Friends on Netflix while I do it. Can't wait. Here are my beginning pictures. I'll be doing this every 2 months. I don't really want a target weight, just want to see a difference each time I do post pics. see you tomorrow. Mera
  4. Hello and welcome! I've come to the realization that oftentimes, it isn't WHAT we eat, but HOW we eat that is the biggest problem when it comes to food. Mindless eating happens for many reasons; boredom, social interaction, emotions, etc. For myself, I've noticed two very prominent patterns for my mindless eating: 1 - Depriving myself of the foods I love most like bread and sugar. I tend to label certain foods as "banned" and then try to come up with "healthier" alternatives. When it comes down to it, my brain (and stomach) wants what it wants, and eventually I feel the need to binge on the foods I've banned. It's VERY difficult for me to eliminate any food for more than a couple weeks without going crazy. 2 - Allowing myself to become too hungry. Life happens. Sometimes it gets so busy or hectic that I forget to eat whether it is a meal or snack, and then suddenly I'm famished! I feel the need to fill the hunger void quickly. I could mostly describe it by this scene from "Finding Nemo", especially from about the 1:10 mark on… That being said; my wish is to create a safe place for us to share our victories as well as struggles (no matter how big or small) when it comes to eating. Other things to think about: - What are your triggers that make meal or snack time become mindless? - How can you change your environment to make eating an occasion rather than just eating on the run? - What are some other activities you could do to keep from emotional or boredom eating? - Have you mastered the art of mindful eating? If so, what are some suggestions for those of us who may be feeling lost? Ready? Set? Go!
  5. Here I am, after a week off - and, unfortunately, also an off week. I fell off the wagon and had a major relapse into stress / emotional eating, and I need to get a grip on that. I had been doing much better at the beginning of this year, but now that the stress level is rising, those pesky Sugar Monsters are showing their ugly mugs again. My Main Quest is still basically the same - improve my overall health and get fitter and stronger in the process. Goal 1: Keep fighting to get rid of the Sugar Monster. Again. +2 CON +2 WIS I need to dust off those sugar-monster-slaying swords Kiwi gave me for my first challenge - they worked like a charm! Since they worked so well the first time around, I'll repeat the program from my first challenge: start with one sugar free day* per week, add one day each week and hopefully end up with six sugar free days in the last week of this challenge. *) "sugar free" == no added sugar, no sweets, candies, cookies, cake, sweetened desserts... Fruit and honey will be allowed in reasonable quantities (note to self: eating a whole jar of honey as a snack is NOT a reasonable quantity). I'll award myself a point for every sugar free day of this challenge, with a theoretical max (ha!) of 42 points. If I stick to the plan, I should end up with 21 points, which equals an average of 3 - 4 sugar free days every week. Grades: 21 points or more => A18 - 20 points => B15 - 17 points => C12 - 14 points => Danything less => FGoal 2: Keep moving +2 STR +2 STA For the past couple of weeks I have had a rather erratic workout schedule. Instead of working out first time in the morning I opted for sleeping a bit longer and did the workout in the evening. Which meant I was often already tired even before doing any exercising. I'd like to switch at least the BW stuff back to mornings. Since the KB workshop today was tons of fun (and will be tons of pain tomorrow and the days after that), I'll aim for 2x BW + 2x KB practice per week. Plus the usual yoga class once a week and whatever kneehab the Drill Master has in store for me. Each workout earns me a point, including yoga. (Not the sessions with the Drill Master or my kneehab homework, though.) I'll aim for 5 points per week, or 30 points total. Grades: 30 points or more => A27 - 29 points => B24 - 26 points => C21 - 23 points => Danything less => FGoal 3: Keep trucking tracking (+2 WIS) while hitting my target kcal range (+2 CON) Keep tracking my food intake with myfitnesspal every day. Each day of complete tracking earns me a point, max 42 points. Keep the weekly average at 1600 kcal or below. Each week hitting my average kcal-target earns me a point, max 6 points Grades for tracking 42 => A38 - 41 => B34 - 37 => C30 - 33 => Danything less: FGrades for hitting kcal target 6 weeks => A5 weeks => B4 weeks => C3 weeks => Danything less: FSide goal: Food! +1 WIS +1 CON +1 CHA I'm still working on expanding my leet cooking skillz *cough*, so I'll keep that goal from my last challenge. Try at least 3 new (healthy!) recipes during this challenge. (No, brownies and cookies still don't count!) Grades: 3 or more new recipes => A2 new recipes => B1 new recipes => C0 new recipe => F So here's to kicking some serious ass (mostly probably mine - that KB workshop was killer!) in the next six weeks! :triumphant: :triumphant: 'cause... beware of the usual battle cry... WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM??????!!! Goal 1: xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx 26/21 Goal 2: xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx 30/30 Goal 3a: xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx | xxxxxxx 42/42 Goal 3b: xxxxxx 6/6 Side goal: xxx 3/3 Prequel Mini: Check Goals. Check! +1 WIS Mini Quest 1: Find Accountabilibuddies. Check! +1 CHA
  6. My main quest - getting healthy and strong - has not changed, but since I have found a basic workout routine that works for me, and my eating habits have improved a lot during those last couple of weeks, I will have a different focus this time. Since this challenge will end one week before my 20th high school reunion, this is the perfect time to look back at where I was 20 years ago, in terms of health and fitness. Would I like to be there again? Yes and no, actually... Which brings me to the goals for this challenge: 1. Flexibility - 20 years ago, I was better "flexible like a mutant" material than I am now. I would like to get at least some of that back, so after this challenge I want to be able to do a front split "at will" again. I managed once (right front split) by accident during my last challenge, but that was just one side and after 30 mins of prep work. I plan on using this program, and see if it works for me. 2. Strength - I would love to be able to do a correct pullup at some point in the future, but... My arms are not my strongest parts. At the end of high school, I had struggled for three years with chronic tendonitis in both wrists and elbows, I had no strength left in my hands (dropped stuff all the time, couldn't hold a pen anymore - try to do your exams when you're not able to write...). So, I'm going to get my hands, arms and upper body used to the idea of doing things with a pullup bar. I know I will definitely not be able to do a pullup after these 6 weeks. I will have to take it extremely slow, because I don't want to make my wrists and elbows unhappy. Been there, done that, can definitely do without that crap... (And I will continue doing my usual bodyweight routine 3x / week which has pulling exercises as well, so...) Weeks 1 - 6: "Hangin' in there": Improve my "hanging" time from (very uncomfortable) 20 seconds to comfortable 25 seconds. That doesn't sound like a lot, but this is not only about quantity, but quality. Also, I will not be able to work on that more than 3x / week, so that's what it's going to be. Current idea (might have to be updated, depending on state of wrists + elbows): Wk 1: 13 - 11 - 12 Wk 2: 15 - 12 - 14 Wk 3: 17 - 14 - 16 Wk 4: 19 - 16 - 18 Wk 5: 21 - 18 - 20 Wk 6: 23 - 20 - 22 Final test: planging* hanging "comfortably" for 25 seconds, not feeling like my hands are going to die after second 2... Weeks 3 - 6: "Shrug it off": From hanging, pull my shoulders down to the correct position and hold. Since I have no idea how my arms are going to handle weeks 1 + 2, I'll have to wait with the actual program for that until the end of week 2. If my arms think that hanging is all they are able to do, then I will just leave it at that and recheck after week 3. Or 4. Or 5. 3. More Strength - On the "off" days I'll work on the RKC plank 3x / week. Should also work nicely towards overall strength, so that chin ups (and at some point pull ups) will be easier (read: feasible at all). I'll start with 3 x 10 seconds (if possible ) and would like to end up with 3 x 20 after the challenge. 4. Then there's that life goal: I used to write fun stuff together with my sister. I haven't done any of that for some years now. So I will write for at least five minutes every day. Doesn't have to be much, but at least one sentence per day. Doesn't have to be a consecutive paragraph when I'm finished, either, the important part is to make time for writing consistently, and to make it a habit again. It sure as hell won't be pretty, but it doesn't have to be. Grading system: 1. Flexibility (+3 DEX, +1 STR): A: front splits right and left, "at will" B: front split right, "at will", left after some prep work C: front split right, "almost" front split left, both after considerable prep work D: "almost" splits right + left, after considerable prep work F: no improvement at all 2. Building strength for my first pullup in the far future (+3 STR, +1 STA) A: hanging comfortably for 25 seconds or more, hanging with "tucked in" shoulders for at least 5 seconds B: hanging comfortably for 20 seconds, no tucked in shoulders C: hanging comfortably for 15 seconds, no tucked in shoulders D: hanging comfortably for 10 seconds, no tucked in shoulders F: anything less 3: RKC plank (+2 STR, +2 STA) A: holding correct plank for 3 x 20 seconds or longer B: holding correct plank for 3 x 17 seconds C: holding correct plank for 3 x 14 seconds D: holding correct plank for 3 x 12 seconds F: anything less 4: Writing (+2 WIS, +1 CHA) A: writing every day for at least 5 minutes, having at least 42 sentences to show for it. B: writing at least 35 days C: writing at least 28 days D: writing at least 21 days F: anything less EDIT: added stat points to goals EDIT (9/22/2013): Since I already started "planging"* during week 1, I'll just keep that up and extend planging time over the six weeks. Goal is still 25 secs. *Planging: For my purposes, a "plang" will be a "hanging plank", meaning: I hang from the pull up bar and contract all the muscles I can muster. Meaning the shoulders must be pulled down, arms strong, hands crushing the bar, abs, back, glutes, legs tight, kneecaps pulled up, flexed feet, toes pointing up.
  7. Okay, I have some explaining to do about the title. For me, the biggest issue with being healthy comes from my eating habits. Whether I need to eat or not, there's this hunger in me. Now, I'm channeling the hunger into something positive and establishing the right habits so I can transform. Goal 1: Cut down on the dough, sweets and needlessly processed foods one step at a time. Right now, introduce an entirely healthy meal for breakfast, reduce bread intake to one meal per day, eat more vegetables at lunch and conquer between-meal snacking. - Monday has been good on this, because I have really eaten natural food. Huzzah! Today has been less of a success, because I was invited to a crepes party and Nutella has flowed freely. Talk about high calorie intake. Moderation in eating at social events has been my biggest challenge. Nevertheless, I had no breakfast today (woke up closer to noon) & my dinner consists of tomatoes with feta cheese (my favorite summer combo). Goal 2: Walk every single day. Right now I'm doing 60 minutes of walking to and fro work, so that's an hour five days per week. I look forward to introducing this over the weekends as well. I need walking to relieve my stress. - I think I held the 60 minute on Monday (errands I had to do with the bus, but there was walking), but today I was off work, so definitely a lot less walking (perhaps 40, after the birthday ended). Goal 3: Master the basic workout as soon as possible, preferably within a month. - I have done my first circuit today (only 1 circuit) and it is as bad as I have imagined. My muscles, the poor dears, have forgotten why they exist in the first place. Also, I will probably have to research how to do some of the exercises, because I think I'm failing to do the squats as they are meant to be done and the walking lunges results in really bruised knees (creaky knees). MOAR research. Goal 4: Write every day. - As a writer I need to write every day to improve, which is something I have been neglecting... Life is tough, but you gotta prioritize. I have yet to get to this one. My brain feels completely fizzled out. Nevertheless, I have started a project called The Hunger Diaries, where I put my pain about eating and the toxicity of my relationship with food as short stories and vignettes. I will place a few snippets of my work here as well. Once I get to new material, I post from it. Now, I will post my from my first short story in the project: "The Pain Eater". "There was once a boy who ate pain. He ate all kinds of pain. He ate the pain of losing a limb. He ate the pain of burying a sin. He ate the unrequited love of a broken heart and the agony over a piece of art. For desert he preferred remorse and regret, though would never say no to morsels of guilt."
  8. Okay, here we go. My second challenge. ... Feels good to be under the pressure of a challenge again, it gives me motivation because I know this is my own self-imposed pressure. No culture demands, family assumptions, or perfection seeking going on here! ... I'm searching for self-congratulations and personal responsibility. I feel like I'm at a tipping point in my life. I have gained amazing goals in my mental health and my contentment gauge is usually steady. It's refreshing and makes the challenges enjoyable. I feel like I'm doing an experiment instead of a chore. I want to work hard. Now, I'm trying things to see if they work. It's awesome to be so active in my life. I hope to keep this battle log going especially around my food goal. Food is the last bastion of pain in my life. I have gone to it so often for comfort and escape that my brain knows little else about calming itself down without it. This will be a time of important conversations with my mind and my memories. The young ones in me are angry, scared, and still living in the pain of the past. I need to reach them, protect and reassure them, bring them to the present with me so they know I'm taking care of things now. That way they can relax and have fun as they were meant to. I got their backs now! With my recent experiences, my friends, and my fellow Rebels, I can do this!
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