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  1. Life has been quite a mess the past few months. Its time to clean shit up! Here's a quick recap: Earlier this year I started having problems with depression which derailed my entire life from home to work to the gym. I got some good help (therapy and meds), and now I'm getting back on track. I was able to complete the last challenge and get back into several of my old habits. I've also started on the 20 lbs. PvP weight loss challenge. Main Goal: Maintain and refine the habits gained from the last challenge and lose body fat. This challenge I'll be focussed on cutting and fat loss, maintaining strength, and fixing areas of life that are broken to add more support to my efforts. Yesterday, I read three articles on Lyle MacDonald's blog (one, two, and three) that I found very helpful, and that are guiding my efforts this challenge. These are guiding all three of my goals in one way or another. Grading: Rather than counting points and doing letter grades, I'm going to go Pass/Fail with a penalty system. If I screw up, I do "X" additional minutes of HIIT to compensate. If I have any penalties remaining at the end from a goal, I fail that goal. Also, I'll be gone at a conference for a week, June 19-26. Plans will be modified appropriately. Goal 1: Clean Eating To lose weight without losing too much muscle and strength, I need to follow a good clean, ketogenic diet. I started eating keto last challenge. The only difference is now I'll be tracking, and to keep calories lower for cutting, I'll be removing the skin from several of my chicken quarters. Daily ketogenic macro goals: eat at least 165g PRO, but no more than 50g in a single meal eat less than 58g CHO stay under 2500 cals daily eat around 161g Fat No alcoholic beverages -- also helps goal 3 I will: Eat for hunger only. Eat one piece of meat at each meal. Eat a moderate to small amount of fat with each meal If feelin' hangry... snack on lean meat/protein Eat a serving or two of non-starchy veggies (broccoli, leafy greens, and the like) at each meal Avoid Fruit, Grains, legumes, and starchy veggies (potatoes, other tubers, etc.) And of course avoid sugars, and alcohol. I will write down what I eat. I will record when I notice the signs of being in ketosis. I will weigh myself once a week. I will adjust intakes (more v. less) based on progress. Penalty: For each day I exceed 2500 cal or 58g CHO per day, or 50g protein/meal, or for each alcoholic beverage consumed, Note: If I'm short on protein, I have to make it up, which may cause me to exceed calories for the day so the penalty applies indirectly. Anytime I break one of these rules I owe the Universe 3 additional minutes of HIIT added to my workouts. Goal 2: Clean and Press I'm going to change up my workout routine based on the weightlifting for fat loss articles linked to above. Also, I want to learn the clean and press, and in the future incorporate more Oly lifts in my workouts from time to time. I've been doing a hybrid of Stronglifts 3x5 and IceCream 5x5. Now I'll be alternating heavy days (SL)IceCream 3x5, with lighter weight days of Clean and Press training, plus lightweight accessory lifts and HIIT to burn more calories. For accessory training, I'm shooting for the 8-12 rep range and I'll be supersetting and circuiting to reduce rest times. I'm going to alternate between upper body and lower accessory work. Also, my heavy workouts will replace front squats with low bar back squats and increase the number of deadlifts I do. I increase my lifts when I get 3 full sets of 5, and in every workout, I try 5 sets to get this before giving up. Deadlifts will advance for 1x5, and I will do 3 sets of 5 or less. I will be working out 4 times a week as such: Monday: Tuesday: Wednesday: Thursday: Friday: 3x5: Clean and Press HIIT 3x5: Clean and Press Low Bar Back Squat Upper Accessory Lifts Stretching Front Squat Lower Accessory Lifts Bench Press Press Pendlay Row Deadlift I want to reforge the habit of going to the gym every morning M-F. Wednesday will just be a kind of, show up, do some stuff and leave. I'll do a dedicated session of HIIT then. I'll only do HIIT on other workout days if I need to make up for penalties. Penalty: If I miss a workout I owe the Universe 10 minutes of HIIT. Goal 3: Clean Mind I want to incorporate some things to help deal with my anxiety/depression, maintain better focus and remove stress. Get up early - no snooze Meditate daily 1 Lakeside morning commutes/walks per week If I get up early I can easily get the first three. Penalty: 1 min. of HIIT for each missed clean mind goal, or 1 yoga class removes all penalty points. Life Goal: Clean Priorities Sub-Goal 1: Make a to-do list. -- I need to manage my time better both in work and life, stop procrastinating, and just get things done. So I'm making a to do list. I'll just add things to it as I go, and cross them off as I finish them. I'm gonna aim to get three things off the list per day. Here's the to-do list if you want to check my progress. Reward: Every time I cross something off, I get some internetz time. I can read one article/page, or spend 10 min. on NF, FB, etc. If I cross off five things, or reach the end of my list, I can take all the time I want. I'm not doing a penalty here just because there may be some things that wind up on the list that may take more time than anticipated. I just wanted to make some effort to spend less work and home time screwing around on the internet. Sub-Goal 2: Clean Apartment While depressed this winter, I didn't clean anything. And still I come home to a mess and haven't yet found the motivation to tackle the accumulated clutter and mess. Don't get me wrong, I've kept things (mostly) sanitary, but everything is cluttered and disorganized and messy. So I want to really get things cleaned up and start making a habit of keeping up with cleaning. Spend 10 min a day tidying up -- penalty = 1 min HIIT Clean the kitchen or bathroom each weekend -- penalty = 5 min HIIT Motivation: My motivation is all about getting back in control of my life. Between grad school and depression, I've felt like I've let my own priorities get set by other people or past events or even a warped view of what is and what should be important to me. I want to have a better work/life balance, to be healthy, strong, and have a functioning brain.
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