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  1. When I hear CLEANSE, my immediate thoughts go to: Miserable and back to your old habits (and size) once you stop drinking carrot juice and start eating real food again. So when one of my best friends asked if I wanted to do a cleanse with her I was not interested at all until she sent me the info. This isn't a cleanse, it's a supplement enhanced jumpstart to a lifestyle change! And isn't that what I'm here for? I'm going to spare you the details (which sounds like a sales pitch) and I am in no way affiliated with the company. But I did a bunch of research about the supplements & vitamins, the ingredients, took it to a friend who's 100% organic and he even gave me the green light, blah blah blah... Basically, I'm going to take the magic mushroom and use it to defeat Bowser. This leads me to this month's challenge: Follow my Challenge Meal Plan. I generally followed the guidelines for the "24 Day Challenge" including the recommended times for the supplements and generally followed paleo throughout. I tried to plan varied meals and am going to cook for leftovers because the amount of cooking that I'll be doing is crazy and the amount of food consumed total will be much more than I'm used to (in frequency, not in portions). Water will be my friend. I'm going to be drinking over a gallon a day so I've started preparing for that early. I scheduled my meals and snacks around my work hours and my classes, that will be starting, so I will be setting myself up for success. Workout 5 days a week. Workout Spreadsheet Walk for 30 minutes twice a week. Bodyweight circuits three times a week with mixed cardio. Read 30+ minutes a day Textbooks (since I'm starting school again) Fun books (currently the Atlantis Plague, next Dresden Files book 4) Any of the other books I have lying around
  2. Welcome, welcome. Mind the third rail there, it's hot. I hear a lot of talk about going OFF the grid. Well, the contrarian in me says it's to to go ON the grid. Nope, not that grid. That kind of grid. Specifically, this one (actual link to be added tonight) What's the deal with this grid business? I'm glad you asked imaginary person with whom I'm pretending to have a conversation. I've kind of taken the last six months or so off. I've worked out and stuff, heck I even taught some other people to work out, but I haven't been serious about any of it, it's just be some down time. However, it's gone on too long. It's time to do some work. To do that, I need a plan. As I execute that plan I need to document my efforts and my outcomes. Hence, the spreadsheet. I'm deliberately going to keep things super simple. Everyday I work out, is good although you'll see me record them using a color code which I'll explain later. Everyday I don't eating sweets and consuming alcohol is marked as good but I get a buffer in there of a few per week Everyday I record what I eat is good Doing foam rolling or similar is good Meditating is good Working on a dexterity project is good Working on my reading project is good I'll get into the nuts and bolts more in my next post What's all this for? Oh, it's you again, imaginary person, let em tell you. My time off has left me overweight to the point that my clothes aren't fitting well. I'd like to shed those pounds. I also just need to get back in shape to hit the weights next year. Since this is tune up time I'm less worried about getting my lifting exactly right and planning to focus on the scale. I'll shed the weight, set the rhythms back in motion and get ready to light it up next year
  3. Intro: At the end of January 2015, I weighed 255 lbs, hated myself, and constantly felt sick and tired. I started watching what I was eating, and then at the end of February took the plunge and joined a gym. I came across NF a week before the April 2015 6WC started. There are links to my introduction/origin story and my first eight challenges in my sig below. Feel free to go rummage around in there. I’ve made steady progress through the challenges over the last 12 months, with just the occasional setback. In October, I was invited (and thrilled) to become an Ambassador for the Adventurers guild. Over my first four challenges, I set a specific goal of getting properly fitted for a good quality, tailored, three-piece suit, and get a good photograph taken wearing it, because I was sick of being disgusted when I looked in the mirror or saw a photo of myself. Having achieved that goal, the focus is now on getting to a target weight of 180 and staying there. And now, the misadventures of a man experiencing a mid-life crisis and attempting to convince himself that he still has The Stuff… No, Def, it’s not me. This time. Introducing Larry; Larry Laffer. Back when I was still an immature, sniggering buffoon, I found smutty humour hilarious. Shocking, I know. Thankfully, I’ve outgrown such juvenilia. Let’s just imagine for a moment that I haven’t, though. This challenge is homage to my all-time favourite computer game character, Larry Laffer. In the late 80s and early 90s, Al Lowe’s Leisure Suit Larry series kept me glued to my Commodore Amiga for countless hours, giggling at innuendo-laden situations and innocently longing for pixelated nudity as Leisure Suit Larry went Looking for Love in Several Wrong PlacesTM. Disclaimer: There were a couple of terrible console arcade-style revivals in the early 2000s, but they were the equivalent of the American Pie movies which didn’t feature Jim, Finch and the real Stiffler, and should be avoided at all costs. I’ve plateau’d bigtime over the past couple of challenges, partially my own fault. While I’ve generally stayed within my calorie limits, and kept up the exercise schedule, there’s been a bit of general fitness/life malaise, and a constant battle to eat properly, rather than meeting my targets with bad calories. With that in mind, I’m going to change things up a little this time. I’m going to go a little lighter on the cross trainer, and get back to NF basics and lift more weights. I’m also trying something different with how I track certain things. Rather than daily totals, I’m trying out weekly pass/fails to determine my grades. Quest 1: “Buff Sheds Sweat in Search of Sexier Stuff” 5,000 calories burned on the cross trainer at my gym. Achievable Points on offer: +3 STA A – 5000+ (Points x 1) B – 4500-5000 (Points x 0.75) C – 4000-4500 (Points x 0.5) D – 3500-4000 (Points x 0.25) F – < 3500 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 2: “Buff Burpees to Boost his Bodaciously Bangin’ Bod” 500 burpees by the end of the challenge. Achievable Points on offer: +3 DEX A – 500+ (Points x 1) B – 450-500 (Points x 0.75) C – 400-450 (Points x 0.5) D – 350-400 (Points x 0.25) F – < 350 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 3: “Buff Pushes Pounds in Pursuit of Pulsating Pectorals” Scoring slightly differently this time around. A minimum of three weight training sessions each week. Each week with three sessions is a pass. Achievable Points on offer: +5 STR A – 5 Weeks (Points x 1) B – 4 Weeks (Points x 0.75) C – 3 Weeks (Points x 0.5) D – 2 Week (Points x 0.25) F – 0-1 Weeks (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 4: “Buff Feasts Faithfully upon the Finest Foods” Log food, and stay within my calorie target. Rather than scoring it daily, it’s a weekly target of 11200 (8000 for short week 5). Each week under target is a pass. Achievable Points on offer: +2 WIS, +1 CHA A – 5 Weeks (Points x 1) B – 4 Weeks (Points x 0.75) C – 3 Weeks (Points x 0.5) D – 2 Week (Points x 0.25) F – 0-1 Weeks (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 5: “Buff Hydrates His Hotness with H2OHMYGODINEEDTOPEEEEE” Hydrate like Bobby Boucher. Again, I’m scoring it weekly. Drink 21 litres of water per week (15 on week 5). Each week over target is a piss pass. Achievable Points on Offer: +1 CON A – 5 Weeks (Points x 1) B – 4 Weeks (Points x 0.75) C – 3 Weeks (Points x 0.5) D – 2 Week (Points x 0.25) F – 0-1 Weeks (Fail. 0 Points.)
  4. So, who is SomeGuyFromScotland?: I joined NF a week before the April 6WC started. At that point, I was five weeks into a new workout routine, and nine weeks into attempting to eat better. There are links to my introduction/origin story and my first four challenges in my sig below. Feel free to go rummage around in there. I’ve gone from 255lbs at the end of January, to 232 at the start of my first 6WC, 223 at the start of my second, 211 by the third, 203 by the fourth, and 196 as of right now. It’s a work in progress. There's no specific weight number in mind (yet - this might change as the challenges go on), but I suspect it might be somewhere around the 175-180 range. And what does he want?: There is an ongoing life goal to dress like a proper grown-up adult man, in clothes which actually look good on me, and make my wife proud to be seen with me when I take her out. The general aim is to continue to overhaul my entire wardrobe, getting rid of anything which falls into one of the following categories: baggy, sagging or ragged. Over my first four challenges, I set a specific goal of getting properly fitted for a good quality, tailored, three-piece suit, and get a good photograph taken wearing it, because I was sick of being disgusted when I looked in the mirror or saw a photo of myself. This goal having now been achieved, I’m starting to think about the next level. There are two things I would quite like to do in 2016. One of them is write a novel and self-publish it on Amazon. I’ll probably hold off on starting that until the first challenge of next year, and make it an ongoing item in the 2016 challenges. The other, I’m going to start working towards in this challenge. So, without further ado, I bring you: Issue #5: SomeGuyFromScotland vs. The Cartel of Carnage Every good superhero comic needs one or more bad guys. Arch enemies, Supervillains, or just plain old Asshats. Spidey had his Sinister Six. Dredd had the Dark Judges. Every Avenger has his Dark Avenger, and SomeGuyFromScotland (with occasional comic relief from his exotic dancing alter ego Buff McSavoury and comedy sidekick Tartan Temptress) has… Mephistopheles – The self-styled Father of Lies, and the evil mastermind behind CoC. His true power lies not in his wisdom, but in convincing you that yours is false. Stronghold – The Cartel’s enforcer, he is brutality incarnate, a wrecking ball of strength, power and rage. Alluria – She is a succubus, the addiction who calls you like a siren. She looks good, but she is poison. Succumb to her, and your strength and willpower will be gone. Heisenburp – A former high school gym teacher who was driven to insanity by, oddly enough, the Insanity workout. Following his escape from the asylum, he was recruited by the Cartel to eliminate threats by forcing them to perform burpees until death from exhaustion. The Five Thousand – The terrifying result of genetic experimentation, The Five Thousand is a constantly regenerating being with a myriad of heads and arms. Chop one off, and more appear. The Five Thousand cannot be truly defeated, simply survived. Note: Targets adjusted on 30/11 to compensate for a complete bust of a phlegmy, sweaty, viral sick week. Quest 1: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (The Five Thousand) “Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light†The last chapter ended with the line “And when the hand touched my shoulder again, I somehow found the strength to run.†Now begins the next stage in my journey. I have always hated running. It’s time to get over that. I’ve identified a six week beginner’s 5k training plan and this is the first step towards my next small life goal, to compete in and complete an actual 5k. Beyond that? Who knows. Maybe I’ll tackle a 10k. Maybe I’ll never run again. This training plan calls for 18 sessions, three per week. I’ll record my time taken to complete 5k on each run, and hopefully the walk : run ratio will change significantly over the 6 weeks. Achievable Points: +4 STA A: 15 sessions (Points x 1) - Current Progress B: 13 (Points x 0.75) C: 11 (Points x 0.5) D: 9 (Points x 0.25) F: < 9 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 2: Iron Sharpens Iron (Stronghold) “Never easy, never clean, to be a beast among human sheep.†This is a fight to the death. As iron sharpens iron, so I must get stronger by battling the epitome of strength. The focus of the last couple of challenges has been primarily weight loss and fat burning, so cardio has taken priority. Now that I’m getting more comfortable, it’s time to re-establish a good lifting regimen. Two workouts a week with a focus on weights. Workout plans will be detailed below, but it’s based loosely on Stronglifts 5x5. I have no idea what my baseline will be, but the targets will self-adjust as I progress. Achievable Points: +4 STR A: 10 sessions (Points x 1) - Current Progress B: 8 (Points x 0.75) C: 7 (Points x 0.5) D: 6 (Points x 0.25) F: < 6 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 3: He is the Danger (Heisenburp) “You all know exactly who I am. Say my name.†Trapped in the lunatic Heisenburp’s underground lair, the only way to escape is burpees. He may be the Danger… but I am the One who Rocks. Achievable Points: +1 STR, +3 DEX A - 830+ (Points x 1) - Current Progress B - 750-830 (Points x 0.75) C - 670-750 (Points x 0.5) D - 590-670 (Points x 0.25) F - < 590 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 4: Lead Me Not (Alluria) “We gain the strength of the temptation we resist†The power of the succubus is temptation. Alluria is beautiful and almost impossible to resist, but she is poison. Do not succumb to her. Eat mindfully and continue the good habit of maintaining a daily deficit. Tracking purely on food logged against a daily fixed calorie target this time, instead of including exercise calories. Achievable Points: +1 CON, +1 CHA A – 40+ Days on Target (Points x 1) - Current Progress B - 39 Days (Points x 0.75) C - 38 Days (Points x 0.5) D - 37 Days (Points x 0.25) F - <37 Days (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 5: The Wisdom of Solomon (Mephistopheles) “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.†There is only one way to defeat the Father of Lies: with Truth. Slightly different reading challenge this time, with apologies to Doc Feelgood for completely ripping this idea off from his recent challenges. I’ll use my YouVersion bible app, choose some reading plans and begin each morning with 15 minutes to read and absorb that day’s word and get myself right for the day ahead. Ideally, it’ll be six 7-day plans, but we’ll see where it leads. Achievable Points: +1 WIS A - 42 Days (Points x 1) - Current Progress B - 40 Days (Points x 0.75) C - 38 Days (Points x 0.5) D - 36 Days (Points x 0.25) F - <36 Days (Fail. 0 Points.) Minis: #1: Hoth Battle - Done! +1 STA #2: Yoga with Yoda - Done! +1 WIS #3: Combined Force #4: Recipe Book #5: Helping the Pilots #6: Blaze of Glory IRL Things: Following my triumphant performances as "Doo-Wop Backing Vocalist #4", Queen tribute Granny Tranny, Scar's Hyena Sidekick, and Augustus Gloop, I can now officially announce I will be making a return to the stage on the 7th and 8th November playing a WW2 soldier in our church's annual fundraising show, which this year is a seriously emotional musical named Hope & Glory. Thankfully, no speaking part this time. Just as a bit of background, every single penny raised at the shows, either from ticket sales, or the associated auction and raffle afterwards, goes to our Christmas giveaway where we give toys and food parcels to struggling families in our local community. At last count, the total given away over the last six or seven years is somewhere around £90,000. The Wolverine and I will be making a road trip to (not so) sunny Bradford, Yorkshire from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd November for our annual church conference, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse to go off the rails, even though we will most likely be faceholing the world’s best curry at Akbar’s on the Saturday night, and if previous years are any indication, an outstanding fish and chips at Murgatroyds on the Friday. I do have two days’ wiggle room on the calorie challenge, but I’d rather not use both in the same weekend. I’ll be logging food as normal for those days, and attempting to make good decisions. In terms of workouts, I’ll just need to make sure I either have my schedule nailed, or get a slight cushion built up just in case. Oh, and this challenge ends right before my birthday. Pleasing.
  5. I've seen a lot of nerds on here talk about charts and tracking their weight loss and workout progress. Well, here you are! An effective little chart where you can fill in your daily workouts (Sunday-Friday) and fill in your weekly weight loss and measurement progress. I've also included average mile time for the week and distance ran. Hope you enjoy it! It's even in Hulk colors. Huzzah! NF Measurement Tracker - Sheet1 (1).pdf
  6. I created a spreadsheet to track 6 week challenges. The spreadsheet has two trackers: One is detailed (tracker 1) and the second is very basic and does not allow detailed tracking (tracker 2). The two spreadsheets are not tied to each other so you can use one and delete the other. I just created it and have not used it yet, but will be using it for the next challenge so I am sure I will make improvements as I use it. If you have any suggestions or issues let me know. I shared it on google docs and the link is below. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-U-711PQQGYRGZSUUM1S3E0UW8/edit?usp=sharing
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