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  1. We're winning! The battle to defeat the return of the dreaded Dad Bod has been waged on rocky ground for quite a while, but I'm finally finding my footing and marshaling my forces in the most economical way to make sustainable progress. In the last challenge we simplified the attack and adopted a few new weapons into the arsenal--intermittent fasting and yoga joined the team. IF was extremely beneficial, and I'm going to continue to use it in the exact same way. Yoga was tougher to implement because I haven't yet found the most effective method of deployment, but I've got an idea about how to use it better in this challenge to further my life quest of reaching a lean and strong body. I'm going to rock with the same four goals, slightly modified: 1. Sleep. In bed on work nights by 10:30 pm with lights out and ready for proper sleep. The two-episode limit I imposed on my TV viewing was very effective. This time of year brings new challenges with football and hockey games that sometimes run late, but I'm just going to exercise my good judgment and impose the discipline of prioritizing my sleep to turn off the TV and go to bed as planned. 2. Wake. Good days also start on time, so I'm going to continue to push myself to get up at the appropriate hour. Instead of trying for a morning yoga session (which failed spectacularly last time) I'm going to attempt a new morning routine of rolling out of bed, doing a few minutes of warm-up stretching, reading a quick Bible passage, and getting ready for work. 3. Eat. The return to calorie counting has paid off bigly--it's always been the best way for me to manage my intake. Since I lost a decent bit of weight last time around I've been able to recalculate my targets and adjust them downward slightly. Six days a week I'm aiming for 1860 kcal, then Sundays will be a relatively free day. Macros aren't important, but food quality is. I'm aiming for 80% Paleo/Primal on program days. Free days need to be mindful without being restrictive. I'm also going to impose another no-ice-cream challenge. 4. Move. In the last challenge I changed how I was lifting to focus on cutting weight, and it worked very well. I'm calling my new gym regimen Power Cardio since it's just semi-heavy powerlifts at higher-than-usual volume with shorter rest periods to keep my heart rate up. Each power lift also has a complementary accessory exercise. My body seems to appreciate how this program is working, so I'm going to run it exactly the way I ended last challenge with just a few small increases to certain exercises. Tues and Thursday are my gym days, but new to this challenge is that I'm going to add Yoga to M-W-F afternoons when I get home from work. At first it will just be simple beginner yoga videos on Youtube, but if it works well and sticks for the whole challenge then I'll look at moving up to something more deliberate like NF Yoga or Flexible Steel. The usual spreadsheets are fabricated and ready to go for tracking my progress. I'm hoping to hit 220 lbs. in this challenge, and at that point I'll start taking monthly body composition measurements again to aid in some finer tuning of my nutrition needs as I get closer to my goals. I'm also invoking the oh-so-scientific method of counting belt notches as I slim down, and as of this morning I'm starting on Notch 6 7 of the skinny-DFG belt. Each notch represents an inch of circumference, and I'd be thrilled to reduce by two or three over the rest of this year. Standard weekly check-ins will consist of metrics and photos, but I won't be entertaining specific photographic requests in this challenge. Still a couple of solid months before the holidays start to get in the way of things, so as I'm fond of saying, "Make hay while the sun is shining." The time is ripe for awesomeness!
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