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  1. Back in my soul guild, the Druids, for my 11th challenge. This time of year is so energising, yet I am free of most obligations (family holidays, regular holidays, productive study, choir practice) - there's nothing much to do except go to work, enjoy the long days, and love life! My overall quest is still to improve my health and body composition. At my recent annual diabetic check-up I was told that, based on my HbA1C, blood lipids and blood pressure values, I could be taken off the diabetic register. I opted to stay on, so I would continue with the annual visits, not only because of my genes (my mum and grandma had it, and so does my older sister), but also because I still have T2D; I'm just controlling it with the strongest medicine, food. I also discovered that I was at the exact same weight as a year ago, 90 kg, putting me at 29 BMI, meaning that I spent the whole year yo-yoing 5 kilos. On the positive side, a recent DEXA scan showed that I have built a lot of muscle mass too, and that my bones are stronger than average (so I really am big-boned, LOL!) For this challenge, then, I am going to FLOW: Fit and Strong Weights in the gym 3 x week (one session allowed to swap for a kettlebell workout at home) Walk to Mordor, a.k.a. work - I'm under 600 km, which means I should hit Mount Doom before Xmas! Loving Nourishment Eat a fully ketogenic diet, meaning no carbs whatsoever except lots of green leafy and summer watery veg (or small amounts of other, non-carby veg); moderate protein and high fat, all from real food (no powders/gels/liquids or sweeteners); keep recording everything on Fitday No snacks between/after meals (this is difficult!) Intermittent Fasting 3 x week - this goes well with keto, and I have already made a great start last challenge; hoping to push on until the second half of August, when we go away for 2 weeks and the schedule will have to change. Weigh myself the day before travelling. Open Study Go through the dozen or so books that I have amassed to read during the break between my 2 years of MA in Classical Studies; hopefully identify a few topics of strong interest with a view of developing one of them for my dissertation in a year's time Complete the free FutureLearn course on the Health and Wellbeing in the Ancient World that ties in with my MA Weekly Dates Lurve - prioritising some quality time with Mr V. Money - set a regular hour to look at boring admin things such as moving/consolidating accounts, checking the small print, reading a finance book, etc. Thanks for reading, and let's go do it!
  2. On my last challenge, I learned just how dependent I am upon keeping my carbs low and fat high. So, with that in mind: Physical Challenges: Stick with a high fat, low carb diet. Low carb is defined as under 80 grams of carbs a day. I can lose weight keeping it under 100, but I feel better if it is under 80, since I am not a competition athlete. Control my sweet tooth. I have a tendency to dive face first into the M&Ms when I get home from work. I will use techniques from The Power of Habits to help me understand and eliminate this habit. Doing this will be essential to getting item 1. Get back on a regular weight workout schedule. My weight lifting has been sporadic lately. I have managed to get barely enough in, but I really need to get back to a schedule. The plan is: Body weight workout on Monday (pushups, pullups, planks, squats) Gym weight workout on Thursday (all major muscle groups to exhaustion - using Slow Burn method) Rotator cuff exercises on Tuesday and Friday Mental Challenge: I just read Matthew Kelly's book Off Balance, which delineates a specific method for attaining higher personal satisfaction. I will give it a try. By the end of the six weeks, I should have both an assessment of my current situation, and a plan to make it better, including a increase in my personal planning to include the important things. I get bogged down with "urgent" things too often. I need to prioritize them correctly so I can get things done which need to get done in a more efficient manner.
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