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  1. Back again, trying for some consistency. 2021 is/was meant to be the year of health for me (where I sort out everything I keep putting off and start my 30s in peak condition- one year, git gud). The big three: sleep, eat, exercise, continue to be things I struggle with and it’s already May. Technically the 1 year till I’m 30 started on the 3rd, so let’s start kicking some health goals. I have been putting time and energy into getting all the tests I’d been putting off (eyes tested and glasses ordered, ears tested and fine, gyno done and awaiting results, dentist done and need to do another X-ray and go back, in regular therapy, been seeing the physio weekly for my jacked shoulder, waiting on a halter ecg so we can find out if the heart palpitations are anxiety or something that needs more tests, have a rough timeline to transition off these anxiety meds and to something a bit less brutal). I am consistently grateful that healthcare is so subsidised in this country, my therapy/physio are under $100/visit, the eyes ears and gyno tests all free (have to pay for the actual glasses but that seems fair), the dentist was really the only ouchie one and that is nothing compared to some of the gofundme pages I have seen to support healthcare elsewhere. I’ve been making some progress with Zombies Run couch to 5k and have been enjoying the story and the increase in fitness. I bought myself some shoes as a reward- actual ‘go to a shop and get fitted’ ones- which is new for me. I have my eye on a fitness watch as my final loot partially for the heart rate monitoring (anyone have one they love that seems super accurate for heart rate tracking?) Ive been going to the gym once per week (banned from boxing by the physio as that’s what did my shoulder... which is actually my bicep that runs through the shoulder apparently:o ), have got cleared to go back up to twice per week with the personal trainer. Shoulder was bad, now I’m almost better- but I have daily exercises I need to do to stretch it out and strengthen my back muscles to take more of the load. Mr broke his elbow. So he is off work for likely 6weeks. Minimum 2 (been 1 so far) before he can even think about going in for light duties (painting or holding stuff with his good hand) By our powers combined we have a functioning left and right arm 😂 I am unhappy with my weight. I have gained 20kg/44lb in 4 years and I would like to shed at least that much, possibly 30kg (depending on muscle/body comp). I think that is too much to lose in one year without drastic measures but 12kg (1/month or 2/month on : 0/month off) seems reasonable and attainable. My medication is known for making it easy to put on weight and tough to lose it, but that is no excuse to eat way too much and then cry about not being able to button my jeans. ok, think that basically sums up everything, so challenge goals: - Do your checklist - Do the physio exercises - Cardio - MyFitnessPal the food (did today as a baseline and hit over 2200 without feeling like I was particularly pigging out... so a fair amount of room for improvement), no goal number aimed for at this stage, I need to do some maths first.
  2. a lot of hard work on my part T_T I tried to go all gung-ho on my last challenge to only sizzle out right away and have to keep changing my goals lol So clearly it is time to get the basics down again. What I did do well in my last challenge is start to get my sleeping habits back on track. I will continue working on these. Ultimate goal.... lose 85lbs This challenge goal.... lose 2lbs lose 5lbs SubQuest 1: Track my food stuffs on MFP (@Plaidponcho) - 3 days / week [1 point] - 5 days / week [2 point] - 7 days / week [3 point] SubQuest 2: Drink more water per day - 1 liter [1 point] - 1.5 litres [2 point] - 2 litres [3 point] SubQuest 3: Do my physio exercises every day at least once a day. - once a day [1 point] - twice a day [2 point] - thrice a day [3 point] 1. Shoulder stretch total of 1 min (on hold) 2. Neck stretch total of 1 min 3. Bicep curl while laying on my back and arm hanging down. max 5lb weight. 3 sets of 10 reps 4. Stomach lay robot thing.... (on stomach, arm bent at 90 degree angle, rotate down, then back up slowly) 3 sets of 10 reps 5. Sitting straight arm non-curl? Arms start in curl position, instead of bending like a curl, bring arms up straight up to shoulder level.. then back down. 3 sets of 10 reps Life Quest: Make progress on my paintings at least twice a week. And since I don't believe in forcing art... if I don't feel like painting I can read one of my horse books about rider exercises/stretches or riding activities to improve my flat work with Daisy. Week 0 Points SQ1 (food): 3/3 SQ2 (water): 2.6/3 SQ3 (physio): 1.5/3 Life Quest: success Overall goal: -2lbs Week 1 Points SQ1 (food): 3/3 SQ2 (water): 2.1/3 SQ3 (physio): 1.4/3 Life Quest: fail Overall goal: +/- 0lbs Week 2 Points SQ1 (food): 3/3 SQ2 (water): 1.7/3 SQ3 (physio): 1.5/3 Life Quest: success Overall goal: no progress.. maybe gained Week 3 Points SQ1 (food): 1/3 SQ2 (water): 0.4/3 SQ3 (physio): 2.5/3 Life Quest: Reno took over Overall goal: no progress.. maintained 2lbs lost.
  3. My last challenge fizzled out pretty quickly due to some Life Stuff, and as such, I don't feel like I did the badass title any justice (and I was really feeling good about it at the start...) So I'm reusing my title, but since I'm really changing things around in terms of my workouts, I've added the subtitle. I'm starting this challenge on Monday, because I'm a rebel and I do what I want. Also, it works better for me. My weeks will run Monday to Sunday, because I like having Saturday and Sunday together at the end of the week to catch up if necessary. Goal 1 ~ Crossfit So I signed up for Crossfit a little while ago, and have paid for 7 months plus the beginner course (thank you, tax return!) My stoopid work schedule meant that I couldn't start the beginner class until Monday, which ended up coinciding nicely with the start of my challenge. So, I will do crossfit 3x/week. The first two weeks of the challenge will be the beginner classes, which are scheduled and good to go, but which I understand are not super strenuous. After that I will attend a class 3x/week for the last two weeks. I have a feeling one may need to be an early morning class, so that's going to be a struggle, but I gotta do it. 0/12 Goal 2 ~ Running I need to be able to run 10k in ~60min if I want to work for the OPP, which I do. I really, really, really don't want to run for 10 kilometres all at once, but I gotta do it, so I will. There's a trail just out of town that has convenient kilometre markers and happens to be pretty much exactly 5k from the road where it starts to that other road it crosses (the whole trail is something like 45k). So I'll run out to that road, maybe or maybe not puke a bit, then run back, then maybe or maybe not puke a bit more. I know I can run 5k without stopping (though, realistically, after so long of not a heck of a lot, it may take a couple runs to get back to that point), so I'll run all the way out there, and after that I don't mind if I have to stop to walk now and then on the way back, with a goal to reduce the number of times I need to do this as I go. I will do this once per week, probably on a day off work. I will also do intervals, because I like them. I've been doing fast 200m/slow 200m (basically run at 80%-90% effort, then walk back) on my street and am up to 6 repeats (I think?) before my form starts to break down (and this is when I stop because broken form leads to injuries, and I'm tired of learning new physio exercises). Once I can get to 10x with good form, I'll move up to ~300m. I will do this once per week, whatever day I can. 0/4, 0/4 Goal 3 ~ Preparing for Police I'm nowhere near ready to apply to the OPP, but there are things I can do now that will help make me a more competitive candidate when the time comes. The first is to fill out their required fitness log. To do this I need to print out sheets, and start filling them in. I'll need to get a thing to keep them in too. The second thing I can do is start doing courses from the Canadian Police Knowledge Network. I haven't explored it much yet, but my understanding is there are free courses I can take online, and they're not super time-consuming. For now the goal is to do one course throughout the challenge, but that will require some exploration of their website first, and some figuring out of how it all works. Depending on the amount of time a course take, and how easy it is to figure it out, I may add more to this goal. 0/1 Goal 4 ~ Eat to Perform One thing I did ok with through at least some of the challenge was ETP. They tell me how much to eat, and I fill in the blanks with food. The key to being successful with this is meal planning, so on weekends I need to prepare at least 4 days of meals (I'd normally do a week, but I was finding that I got really sick of whatever I made by the end of the week, and also some stuff got mushy and less pleasant to eat). This means 8 meals at least, with the rest being filled in with cereal, milk, yoghurt and protein powder if needed. It will also require some recipe searching, because as much as I love chicken and broccoli, there comes a point where I want something different. 0/4 Goal 5 ~ Nighttime, DAYTIME! This one comes with a video, because I can. Still struggling with this one (for example, I'm sitting here at 1:30am making a challenge thread), so here it is again. In bed and tv off by 11pm on work nights, 12am on non-work nights (emergency call-outs notwithstanding), and up within 5 minutes of my alarm in the morning. 0/21, 0/21 To Do List Print fitness log sheets Get a binder Research some mental health related learning opportunities There were others but they left my brain...
  4. Woo, new challenge. Last challenge I needed something to focus on to keep myself from falling into a slump while waiting for my non-weight-bearing period for my broken ankle to end. It did, and I am now cleared to weight bear as tolerated. I am not yet cleared to drive so I'm still house bound, but I have a physio appointment this Thursday so depending on what they say I may alter my goals slightly. My long-term goals currently stand like this; Walk without moon boot, crutches or limp. Be cleared to drive again. Be cleared to skate again. Re-Pass my Minimum Skills Test. Play a whole derby bout. My quests for this challenge focus mostly on the first three goals - being able to walk, and then drive my car and eventually skate again all rely on me strengthening and stretching my weakened right ankle. Passing my MST and playing derby will come in a few months when I can skate again without fear of re-injuring myself. QUEST 1 - CLEARED FOR SKATING Part 1 - CARDIO. 3x a week; Planned for M/W/F I need to keep this up because otherwise I will die when I get back on skates. I will be using the stationary exercise bike I own and doing intervals on that as it is currently the only form of cardio I can do that is low-impact and also good for my ankle. I have started with 30 seconds on and 10 seconds off and I will increase the intervals weekly. I want to work up to cycling for 2 minutes with a 30 second break because that is the longest one derby jam can go for. If my breathing can keep up that long I can survive most derby stuff. Week 1: 45/15, Week 2: 60/20, Week 3: 75/30, Week 4: 90/30 Part 2 - REHAB. Daily. Once my physio tells me what to do I will be doing that. I also have some derby ankle strengthening exercises I can do as well if I feel like it. If I have to take a rest day and just stretch and ice my ankle, then that will count. Rest is rehab too. Physio has prescribed theraband exercises (working on all the different ranges of motion my foot struggles with) and one-leg balancing. I need to do it at least once a day, but three times is optimal. Part 3 - WALK IT OFF. Daily. For this quest I am just wearing my pedometer everywhere and logging the steps. I will aim to increase my steps weekly by a small amount. Being able to walk again is crucial to my returning to work and me feeling like an able bodied human again. QUEST 2 - MIND YOUR HEAD Part 1 - MEDITATE. Daily. I find myself often trying to burn up any free time I have with being on social media, especially before bed in the evenings and before getting up in the morning. I plan to stop that and focus on nothing but my breathing either in the morning or the evening. Just for a minute or two. In the morning I can set positive intentions for the day and in the evening I can look back over anything I was grateful for and things I did well. QUEST 3 - TALK ABOUT IT Part 1 - WRITE. Daily. I have a sci-fi story that I am working on that I'd love to get more of done, and I can also journal about my day or something I need to vent about if I don't feel like writing sci fi. I aim to do this directly after meditating in the morning or just before bed in the evening. I will log the word count and try and increase it weekly.
  5. I tried to prioritize ukulele practice last challenge, but it just didn't happen. I'm not ready, and I've got too much else on my plate. I still want to learn, and my younger kid wants to learn, too, but I don't have the spoons. So I want to focus on how to replenish my spoons in a sustainable way. Partly inspired by this blog post, which says: "The painful self-care I am doing now is coming to terms with the fact that I have built my life around performing only the best parts of myself for other people, or performing for myself to project an image of who I would like to be." This one's also great: "Every parent I know will jump through hoops of fire to ensure their kids get enough sleep, but it stops there. For themselves, they view sleep as an indulgence. They brag about how little they get. “I was up till midnight working.” “I got up at 5:30 a.m. to make muffins for the bake sale.” “I never get more than 5 or 6 hours of sleep. I have too much to do.”" A friend said to me on Facebook today that self care is like parenting yourself. I want to feel good more often than not; I'm tired all the time. I never feel like I have enough time to do anything. I'm not burnt out like I was in the spring, but things could still be better. So this challenge is to REALLY ACTUALLY DO SELF CARE, AND DO IT RIGHT. This challenge I will: Get at least seven hours of sleep five nights per week (which went decently last challenge!) Stretch, foam roll, and do physio on my knee on alternate days (really necessary) Keep my nails painted nicely and my hair colour vibrant (because having nice nails that aren't bitten and amazing hair helps me feel better) Clean or organize something around the house every weekday BONUS: Sledgehammering, meditation, or hula hooping gets me a gif party extravaganza. Here's my kanban board in the kitchen, which lists all of the cleaning/organising things to do around the house. Sorry it's sideways! Daily tracking will be in my battle log. Standard warning: I'm queer, genderqueer (they/them), poly, and kinky. I keep this pretty SFW, and anything otherwise will be tagged as such and put under a cut. The photos I share here will be safe, but if you follow any links to my Instagram page, some are a little less so! Enjoy!
  6. I'm baaaaaaaaack. A lot of this is going to go along with my battle log that I created off-challenge, which I will leave on pause while I do this challenge instead. What's happened since my last challenge (or really all in the past couple weeks): Applied to Grad schoolMade a huge mess of an "internship" (really a repeat of my last wildlife internship) - Long story short, felt I was being used and quit, somehow still manipulated into volunteering 2x/week for February, which will be a pain the ass. Expect some rants through this challenge. Got hired by my gym!Accepted to join a research expedition in Honduras this summer studying bats!Got an interview for a third part-time job, also working with animals. So... GOALS THAT I GOT: NO BURNING OUT If you know me at all, you know I am a ball of stress. Most important goal is to stay level-headed and find ways to destress at least once per day (videogame, draw, read, Netflix, listen to music, etc). STICK TO WORKOUT PLAN [clicky] For now, Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for dumb internship. That's 10-12 hours walking on my feet so they're hardly rest days. PT PT AND MORE PT Physio routine as posted on my battle log. Daily. Treating tendinitis and also strengthening muscles to prevent future problems. FOAM (ROCK AND) ROLL Important stuff. All leg muscles/some tendons, even the arches of my feet, minimum once a day.
  7. Last challenge I really looked at where I was, where I wanted to be, and what I needed to do to get there. I was the heaviest I've ever been, and not for the good reasons. With the help of a whole30 I managed to drop back down to a more "acceptable" (to me) weight. I had a week of holidays right at the end of the challenge that sabotaged my progress, and I've had considerable life changes that have been pretty stressful. My ultimate goal is to lose weight. I would like to get back down to ~150lbs or less. Lets talk about those other challenges sprinkled in called life. Firstly, injury. It may as well be a 4-letter word! My right shoulder hurts when doing a lateral lift, but not really when my arm is close to my body. This is the first time in my life (and I've always been active-dance, cheerleading, group fitness) that I have an injury that is persistent and requires expert attention. It's killing me. I was hoping that it would get better but it hasn't. So I now have a physio appointment for Tuesday. This is my first time going to physio, but I know this guy is really good, at the same time, it's a major joint that's very complex, so while I"m hopeful he can help, I'm trying not to set my expectations too high because I know it will take time. The other big life thing that I alluded to at the end of last challenge is some big shake ups at work. I work for an electrical service company that deals primarily with big mining corporations. Right now in that sector things are tight and it trickles down to contractors like us. A few months back we laid off our marketing director. About 3 weeks ago a more senior engineer in my department was offered a new position elsewhere. Yesterday I found out that our procurement manager was laid off as well. But the biggest hit to me personally was when I found out my boss was leaving. His girlfriend who is a close friend of mine transferred within her company to Kelwona BC (beautiful place, but far from Saskatoon!) Three and a half years ago when I started at this company, the department was pretty much just me and my boss. He's like the big brother I never had. It came as a pretty big shock that they're moving, and everything's happening pretty quick. The bad news for me is that because there will be no senior engineers (things are tight and it doesn't make sense to replace anyone), the engineering department will go back to being a support group for the other departments as opposed to taking on our own projects. It blows and is a career step backwards for me. HOWEVER I'm choosing to look at this as an opportunity. It has been my plan to quit being an engineer and move to the Vancouver area to own a fitness studio for quite some time. Because I just bought a house last year, I was planning on doing it when my mortgage needs to be re-negotiated (2018). This change at work however is pushing me to look at this more seriously and taking steps to achieve this. One of those things is to become a certified personal trainer. The certification I want is likely going to require me to go back to school. SO I intend to use my bargaining power at work (I'm basically the only engineering resource we have left) to negotiate a remote work agreement to facilitate getting my certification. And then I want to spend less and less time in the office so that I can train people on the side. My goal is to work out most of my business and career changes before moving, largely because I'm doing all this on my single income (which I realize is currently more than what some duel income families take in, but when I'm not working as an engineer, things will be much less certain!) GOALS 1) Whole30 - I did a whole30 for the first time last challenge and it was great. Because my eating isn't terrible to begin with, I didn't have a lot of the side effects that other people have described. This time I'll be doing a whole 42, but plan to allow for a few slips here and there. (I know that whole30 is about being committed for the whole time, but this time around I feel like I know what my problem areas are, and if I say I'm eating "paleo" I let myself cheat too much - so this is me, finding something between whole30 and paleo that works for me) Last time I used a calendar as a hardhat challenge which worked really well for me because it's very visual, and I'll be going with this again. 2) Move more - I've read enough articles lately about the dangers of sedentary life, even if you work out and go to the gym, that now I"m going to do something about it. I intend to break up my stints of sitting by setting a timer while I'm at work to remind me to get up every 30 minutes. I'll be trying to implement this on weekends too, but it's tougher when you're not in one place. So my ranking is just for monday-friday. A - 30 days B - 25 days C - 20 days D - 15 days F - <15 days 3) Exercise - I really wanted to put handstands in this challenge, but with my shoulder that's looking like a poor idea. So this spot is going to be open for now, but likely will end up being "do your prescribed physio exercises" Life side quest Do 3 fitness business-related tasks per week and journal about them. These tasks include: Finish reading 4-hour workweekget concrete information about CPTstart making business planbudget for better money tracking/savingwrite more on my fitness blogfinish dad's estate paperwork (and get $$)Tracking: 1) Whole42 - 5.5/7 3.5/7 0/7 0/7 0/7 0/7 = 9/42 2) Move more - 5/5 4/4 0/5 0/5 0/5 0/5 = 9/19 3) Exercise - 4/5 3.5/7 0/7 4) Handstands - X X 0/7 0/7 0/7 0/7 = 0/28 Life challenge 3 Business-related tasks - 3/3 3/3 0/3 0/3 0/3 0/3 = 6/18 Expense tracking - 1/1 1/1 0/1 0/1 0/1 0/1 = 2/6 Starting weight: 157.5 lbs
  8. I already do ALOT but it's time to do MOAR! But sometimes less is more.....so I'm going to do more of less things. Main Quest: Attain 12% BF at least once. Challenge 7 goals: Goal 1 - Physio recovery exercises - 6 days a week, no excuses. (DEX 5) I injured my shoulder last challenge, it's not 100% but it's much better. The physio has identified the cause as postural so I need to strengthen some muscles with exercises and adjust my posture, particularly my shoulder blades. The exercises take me about 15 - 20 mins a day and I didn't do them last week hardly at all. There are no excuses, if I don't do them it's because I'm being lazy. Feel free to call me out on this. I will not get better if I don't do them. Goal 2 - Do a thing twice a week (WIS 1, CON 2) Do something extra twice a week, this could be swimming, squash, badminton, surfing, scuba, an extra walk, whatever I feel like but I have to do something extra at least twice a week. Goal 3 - 50% Paleo (CHA 3) I want to lose some body fat before I go on holiday to Hawaii in December. History shows the best way to do this is to integrate some Paleo meals. I'm going to shoot for 50% this time, that's 10 main meals a week. Side Quest: Relax and be Positive. (WIS 2) I visited an old friend for the weekend during one of the between challenge rest weeks, while I was there I realized I am overloading myself with worry and stress. This is partly due to going the whole year without a holiday and partly just because I tend to push myself by being concerned about things. This challenge I'd like to try to relax more and not sweat the small stuff so much. I can do this by being more organised, re-making my time management plan and 'working the plan'. Life is good, time to relax into it and enjoy. Here we go for the final push of 2013, 4 weeks to Hawaii
  9. Went to the physio* because I was bored of the Auld Knee limiting my activity: I don't want to be the guy who used to do stuff. Turns out it's not really the knee at all - the pain is in-and-down of the knee where hamstrings and one thigh muscle attach, which has vanilla tendon overuse. We're confirming that with lots of ice over a week. Why are those muscles overused? It's not the Squat Of Death -- it's just lazy, lazy, forever-lazy weak glutes, particularly on that side. I anticipate a lot of glute bridges in my future and doubtless everything that Brett Contreras has ever written. -- and the sad glute diagnosis fits too well with everything, from my little flat arse (no oly-lifter bubble booty) to my pedalling style (mash! smash! quad-dominant) and how antiinflammatories make all the world's woes better. Watch me run, it looks like a wardrobe on legs. I'm very happy that it's not the knee - like Baz Luhrmann says, you'll miss them when they're gone. I'm happy it's not just my silly sit-on-folded leg office habit, or just weight-related. Most importantly, this can be trained up. I can glute bridge my way to sky-humping a Volkswagen, it's just muscles. And wow, that should make my Squat of Death enter a whole new circle of Hell. * UK Explainer: NHS physiotherapists are free but their focus is on health, rather than performance, and there's a long wait. It's traditional for sports problems to go to private clinics, where the cost is about £40 a session.
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