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  1. Strength and Stamina These are the the simple goals that I have for 2018. I have a few others but these are my two big physical goals. And the path to eternal glory is paved with habits. So creating the habits that lead me to increased strength and stamina are key to my success. But first, who am I??? I am strong. I have stamina to do all that I want. I hike and ruck. I know French. I have a clean and de-cluttered house. I am proactive. I eat paleo. I learn (re-learn) new things. I am grateful. I love life. I will not rely on the scale for anything more that a single data point. As an engineer (who should have had a stastitics minor or two) I know that there is not enough information in a single data point to make any conclusions. So I will use other forms of measurement to assess my progress. I will take the dreaded photos and take measurements too. I may not share them at this time but it will be my starting point! I will be focused on habit building for a core set of activities that just need to be part of me. I exercise regularly! BJJ --> 3-4 days a week Simple and Sinister KB workouts -->twice a week Hike and Ruck with the dogs on the weekend I will eat paleo most of the time. - I'm going to do a quasi whole 30 in January. There are a few sources of sugar that I don't worry about that just don't fit into the whole 30 rules. So I am going to do it my way. Year long goals for 2018 include: Re-learn French with my kids Declutter our messy home Procrastinate less Be grateful Re-learn to shoot a bow I'm not going to focus on the 2018 goals in January too much. I want to focus on the food and exercise habits first. Anything more than that is a bonus! I have a workout schedule in my planner for the month already. And once I get home I will create a meal plan and pick out some new recipes to try this month. This month is about habit building, cooking new yummy foods and taking care of me and mine!
  2. LadyShello Starts 2018 By The Numbers

    The first challenge of the year is so arbitrary but feels so momentous. I have a brand new plan for 2018 (psst, you can see it here) and I am determined to make this year successful. And that's what it will take, Determination. I know my motivation will wane, life will get in the way, and times will get tough. I will still be here, fighting. Historically, I do better with longer challenges and since this year starts off with a longer than the new norm I don't plan on wasting it. I've been here long enough that I have a decent foundation to work with but it could use a little work to support all the wins 2018 has in store for me. I've spent the time to work on these basic habits; it's time to put them all together. The first challenge of 2018 is all about fixing up the foundation and taking some big steps on my Roadmap. There may also be a touch of RangerBrain but I regard that as a positive thing. It usually correlates to a positive attitude. In order to accomplish so much, I've got to do this by the numbers. 2018 By The Numbers 1 - Heart Rate Zone test. Perform one Heart Rate zone test to determine HR thresholds. I am not looking at getting too sciency here. This is an area I don't yet know a whole lot about but I'm learning as I go. Plus I want to be able to use the equipment available to me, which is minimal so the less tech I need, the better. I'll use the test from this site, which is basically using a talk test and perceived exertion scales. But with this information I can program my new Fitbit with my own approximate numbers and try to train smart. 2 - Litres of water daily I've gotten a little loosey-goosey with this habit recently. 3 - Daily Bujo Tasks I know this system works well for me to stay productive but I've gotten out of the habit again. As a matter of fact, I realized a few weeks ago I didn't even know where my bujo was. I've since found it. 4 - YNAB Check ins I need to check in with my YNAB budget 4 times during the challenge. That is approximately every weekend. This makes it easier to stay on top of things financially so I know what I have to spend to stay within my budget. 5 - Variances 1 variance allowed per week so that's 5 total for the challenge. 1600 - calories I don't really mind logging calories. I tend to eat the same thing for most of the week so it's easy. I don't have to log though as long as I keep my meals compliant - which is mostly Paleo plus moderate amounts of dairy and limited whole grains. 7 - Hours of sleep I'd prefer a bit more than this. 8 feels about right and if I could stick with that I can just about manage to get up for work without an alarm. But that's a lofty goal and I'm focusing on my foundation habits. Consistently getting 7 hours of sleep keeps me healthy. 8 - Lift Days My schedule includes 2 lift days per week. The extended challenge has room for more but my focus is more on getting lean with cardio. 8 lift days will complete an entire 5/3/1 cycle and that's good enough for me. 10,000 - steps I got a Fitbit for Christmas and I am loving it. I had a tracker a few years ago but it kept falling off and I ended up losing it. Having the Fitbit has given me something concrete to aim for. 15 - cardio workouts My workout schedule includes 3 cardio days a week. With the extended challenge I have room for 14. 15 sounds better and since this is my primary focus for 2018 I need to squeeze in an extra cardio session somewhere. I'm not getting too technical here either, although it will help to have some HR zones to work with. I've been reading a lot about LSD (long, slow distance) vs intervals and HIIT. They all have advantages and frankly, at my level, any consistent cardio work will lead to improvement. So why not all of it? I have in mind including 1 long steady cardio workout, 1 interval, and then 1 higher intensity HIIT but anything will count. The X Factor There are a few other habits I'd like to work on but I don't have specific goals in mind. I need to keep them a priority so I'll report on them even though there is no specific quantity that is passing. X New compliant meals In order for my current food plan to work, I need more complaint recipes in my rotation. I have been falling back to my usual but that requires exceptions and then logging food. I'd like to get away from that. I tend to only cook 1 big batch dinner a week so that limits the opportunities to try new meals. X Pomodoros I have really been struggling to stay productive at work. I am lucky in that I am awesome and I can get a lot done at once so I can keep up, but at the same time it's a bad habit and I could be doing more things if I spent my time better. I've added the pomodoro timer to my Google Chrome and started using that to stay focused. I don't have a specific number of tomatoes per day since every day is different with various meetings. I work a 8ish hour day so the closer the tomotoes + meetings is to 8, the better. The rest of time I am getting some work done, but I'm also on NF, or something in between. Tracking: Week 2 1.9/2 litres of water OOOOOOO 8/7 hours sleep OOOOOOO 2265/10,000 steps OOOOOOO 1274/1600 calories OOOOVVO -/3 daily tasks OOOOO - - Week 3 2/2 litres of water OOOOOOO 7/7 hours sleep OOOOOOO 10,114/10,000 steps OOOOOOO 1456/1600 calories OOOOOVO 3/3 daily tasks OOOOOOO
  3. I have to start this thread by saying (and hoping I don't jinx it!) WE FOUND A HOUSE!! We have a contract, and a closing date (January 18th) we will have to see if third time is a charm...we also have pre-approval and closing costs but I digress, we had those with the last one but hurricanes happen... A lot of the below portion was typed out over several hours into an open post...if it doesn't all make sense I apologize in advance... I will be fine tuning and refining this before next week...but as I stated at the closing of my last challenge In my head I keep saying I need to ignore the scale and such and just do what I enjoy and makes me feel good...but that's difficult when I want to break down and cry every time I look in the mirror...I can't stand to look at pictures of me from 6 years ago, or heck, even 3 years ago...wouldn't exactly say I was healthy then but I think a combination of what I did then and what I do now...I know whatever I'm doing now isn't working so I need to rethink it...On January 2nd I'll be here 4 years...always thought I'd be closer to my goals by now, not further away. I used to be the person that went out and had fun, I need to do this again. The job that I had (restaurant management) left little time for eating (mostly done on my feet) and a lot of walking/moving, I need to do this again I used to be the person who didn't worry about what they ate, not saying that was the best thing for me to do because a lot of it was junk, but maybe I don't need to obsess as much as I do now... I used to only eat once or twice a day, when I was hungry....and stop when I was full...I need to do this again I used to be the person who worked a 12 hour shift, got her homework done, and still made time to do the things she really wanted to as long as her schedule allowed...if it didn't then I didn't feel bad about using the time to catch up on sleep...maybe I need to do this again as well... 1. Move every day. Back then they didn't have fitness trackers, but I was on my feet 10-12 hours a day so I know I got a workout in. I have a desk job now but I have a lot of leeway, during season this will be easier but during the off season it's too easy to sit at my desk and not do much. I want to start getting at least 10,000 steps a day, and one day of kickboxing a week. The first two weeks I will start with 6,000 steps (5k distance) and increase from there. 2. Eat when hungry, stop when full. Counting calories and carbs is not working for me. I need to stop obsessing over having breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I'll eat when I get hungry, if that means I don't eat breakfast then so be it. If lunch isn't until 2pm that's fine. The only thing is it has to be real food, not fast food, not junk. Mostly veggies and some protein. 3. Beyond checking in here (which I still intend to stick with 3x a week) I need to stop making plans and canceling them for whatever it my wife is working late, I talk myself out of it, obligations notwithstanding...or if sleep really is an issue (which should not be the case before season). I am also going to be taking that long-awaited (by my boss) vacation to set up my house after we close things should be a lot easier after this gets done...can't wait till I can open a door and let the dogs out into the yard!
  4. I hope everyone had an awesome holiday. This was a tough one for me personally because it was our first without Papaw. But it ended up being drama-free, and I was surprised to find myself less concerned about gifts and money and instead enjoying time with family and friends. My challenge set-up this time may be edited later as ideas/problems/concerns arise. I plan to continue certain daily habits, such as early rising, prayer, getting outside/earthing/stretching in the morning, Bible study, etc. but they probably won't be mentioned in the challenge goals below. As promised, this challenge will be LOTR themed, focusing mostly on the book series (but with plenty of gifs, pics, vids, memes, etc. from all sources). Each goal is named after a poem/song from the Lord of the Rings book series. Quest 1: The Road Goes Ever On (Walking/Hiking) walk at least 10,000 steps per day at least one 30 minute mindful/adventure walk per day at least one 30 minute hike per week Quest 2: The Riddle of Strider (Strength/Fitness/Nutrition) at least 3 bodyweight/Spartan/HIIT style strength workouts per week at least 1 day per week of 4 all-out 80+ yard sprints (with 10 second rests between each) at least 2 5ks per week (aim for every Saturday and Wednesday) eat whole food/Paleo as often as possible (aim for 2/3 meals per day) intermittent fasting at least 5 days per week (not eating before 11:00am) drink at least 64oz of water per day every day Quest 3: I Sit Beside the Fire and Think (Meditation/Mindfulness/Study) meditate at least 20 minutes every day read at least 20 minutes every day (Bible and LOTR, of course) at least 1 outdoor ("beside the fire") meditation per week (Fri, Sat, or Sun?) at least one language session/lesson using Duolingo Quest 4: Song of Beren and Luthien (Love/Affection) at least 30 minutes uninterrupted time per day with my queen at least 1 "date night" per week with my queen (don't be picky about this; the key is to spend time alone together) speak the top love languages of my queen (acts of service, quality time, and words of affirmation) to bed with my queen every night, even if this means moving princess Arabella to another bed (see past challenges)