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Nianne takes things in hand (Oracle of Doom Chapter 3)


Nianne

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The theme for my challenges this year is based on something I read in Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit." He found people who succeeded at recovering from hip replacement surgery by using a specific strategy: identifying critical moments which he called inflection points, circumstances where they were likely to face a significant moment of weakness such as the first painful moment of getting up off the couch, and crafting small habits using the cue-routine-reward formula to get themselves through those circumstances. I found some ways in which this was really helpful to the application of nerdy goals.

 

 

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Quest: Take care of my arthritic knee. To that end: lose 30 lbs between May 28th and December 23rd, 2017, five pounds per challenge.

 

My first challenge (Chapter One) went really really well. It seemed almost too easy. Which of course, heralds the arrival of a monkey wrench in the works. I didn’t just get one monkey wrench, though. I got an army of flying monkey wrenches, all of them cackling madly at my vain attempts to stay on target. I got a wholly unfamiliar (yet not unappealing) new work schedule, my fiancé went off his diet without warning and starting turning out home-cooked dinners at 2k calories a plate, and the fire alarms started going off in the middle of the night and evacuating the whole building, on the order of five or six times a week!

 

But, nerds don’t quit, so it’s time to get things under control. I didn’t make any progress toward my goal in Chapter Two, but I feel I have adequately reconnoitered the problem, so it’s time to make some headway.

 

Goal One: Quit overeating in the evenings.

 

I’ve been eating really clean during the day and it’s been going great, but then I eat way too much after work, partially out of a sense of social obligation, but more due to simple weakness in the face of opportunity.

 

In order to make this happen, I may have to take a more active hand in the cooking than I have been.

 

Goal 2: Exercise (physical therapy and more) before breakfast.

 

Getting a workout in at the start of my day is one of my favorite treats. I start off with some tai chi and then some kung fu stretches, and then I do some aerobics or dancing, and then some strength training, and finally my physical therapy for my knee (primarily balance related exercises). The rule here is going to be: if the fire alarms didn’t go off last night, or the night before, then this morning I exercise. I have no idea how often this will lead to, but we’ll see!

 

Goal 3: Sleep.

 

I think this is going to be the keystone habit of this challenge. I’m going to start trying to gradually go to bed a little earlier. This will give me a small buffer against interrupted sleep, and I’m hoping it may give me a graceful excuse to cut the feasting off early, at least for myself.

 

 

Level Three Oracle of Doom.

 

Level Eight Dragon Tamer, Warrior Dash participant. Trail runner.   Respawned.

 

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What does the Oracle of Doom say about this list of goals?

 

The first goal is clearly the hardest one.

 

 

What are the inflection points that I’m likely to face here?

 

1) Cue: Arrive home and find a luscious dinner ready to serve. Calzones, heavy pasta dishes, one-pot suppers brimming with sausage….

 

Routine: Say, “I’m definitely going to have some of that, but I’m going to start with some veggies first.” Grab frozen peas or broccoli out of the fridge and heat them up real quick with just a dab of butter, enough in quantity that I can feel full and satisfied with just a small, modest portion of the delicious dinner he’s so proud of.

 

Reward: Enjoy complimenting the meal without saying or thinking, “I just wish I hadn’t eaten so much of it….”

 

 

2) Cue: Arrive home and find a luscious dessert ready to serve after dinner, such as a pan of bread pudding that probably has 10-20 reasonable portions bound to last only two to three nights for the pair of us.

 

Routine: Before the first portion is cut, offer to neatly remove half of it to either freeze for later or share with a friend.

 

Reward: Pat yourself on the back. That’s managing your resources like a pro! Now, enjoy responsibly.

 

 

3) Cue: He reveals, with great fanfare for my delight and astonishment, a box of store-bought cookies.  

 

Routine: Politely refuse. I’ve got way more delicious food than that available which I’m already not eating.

 

Reward: Look forward to having something much more worth eating later on or tomorrow.

Level Three Oracle of Doom.

 

Level Eight Dragon Tamer, Warrior Dash participant. Trail runner.   Respawned.

 

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Great cues for success. I love the filling up with veggies idea!

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Wisdom 21   Dexterity 11   Charisma 14   Strength 18  Constitution-12

Elastigirl Endeavors, Experiments, , and Explains - Current Challenge: May 9 to June 12 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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I love that you've got specific tactics planned for specific situations. Excellent work!

 

giphy.gif

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  Level 45 Quasi-Human Ranger     

"Forget failure.  Forget mistakes.  Forget everything except what you're going to do NOW, and DO IT." - Lou Ferrigno

"Foxes Never Quit!"  -  Leicester City FC

KBO. - Churchill

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I just read something very interesting.

 

In the book Super Better, the author writes that research has shown that cravings, including food cravings, have a very strong visual component, and if you're experiencing a craving you can interrupt this process and decrease your cravings by as much as 25% by playing a game which has a strong visual pattern-matching component, such as tetris, bejeweled, or candy crush saga for as little as 3 minutes.

 

Wow. Time to put some games on my phone.

Level Three Oracle of Doom.

 

Level Eight Dragon Tamer, Warrior Dash participant. Trail runner.   Respawned.

 

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1 hour ago, Nianne said:

I just read something very interesting.

 

In the book Super Better, the author writes that research has shown that cravings, including food cravings, have a very strong visual component, and if you're experiencing a craving you can interrupt this process and decrease your cravings by as much as 25% by playing a game which has a strong visual pattern-matching component, such as tetris, bejeweled, or candy crush saga for as little as 3 minutes.

 

Wow. Time to put some games on my phone.

 

Huh.  That's very interesting.  You'll have to let us know if it works!

  Level 45 Quasi-Human Ranger     

"Forget failure.  Forget mistakes.  Forget everything except what you're going to do NOW, and DO IT." - Lou Ferrigno

"Foxes Never Quit!"  -  Leicester City FC

KBO. - Churchill

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On ‎8‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 1:35 PM, Nianne said:

I just read something very interesting.

 

In the book Super Better, the author writes that research has shown that cravings, including food cravings, have a very strong visual component, and if you're experiencing a craving you can interrupt this process and decrease your cravings by as much as 25% by playing a game which has a strong visual pattern-matching component, such as tetris, bejeweled, or candy crush saga for as little as 3 minutes.

 

Wow. Time to put some games on my phone.

Interesting. Let us know how it works.

Wisdom 21   Dexterity 11   Charisma 14   Strength 18  Constitution-12

Elastigirl Endeavors, Experiments, , and Explains - Current Challenge: May 9 to June 12 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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(Monday Start) Day One Report

 

Monday I worked an 11-hour shift, which actually makes things a lot easier. I had a quick workout in the morning and then some oatmeal, and I walked to work (about a mile each way). Lunch was Thai fried rice, and for snacks I had a carrot, an apple, and a banana spread across the day, and then at 10:30 I came home for a quick bite of curried potatoes and peas with yogurt sauce and a glass of wine, and then to bed.

 

The next few days should be more interesting.  ;)

Level Three Oracle of Doom.

 

Level Eight Dragon Tamer, Warrior Dash participant. Trail runner.   Respawned.

 

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If you work an 11 hour shift does that mean you  get some extra days off?

Great start to the challenge.

Wisdom 21   Dexterity 11   Charisma 14   Strength 18  Constitution-12

Elastigirl Endeavors, Experiments, , and Explains - Current Challenge: May 9 to June 12 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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Tuesday morning I had a much later start time for work, so I got a good long workout in while I cooked my favorite medley of hot vegetables:

 

Saute up an onion, some garlic, and a bell pepper if you have one

Throw in a couple cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies

Season with garlic salt and chicken bullion, and cook until the tomatoes' flavor blends in with the rest

Add a can of whole-kernel corn and a drained can of beans

Turn off the heat and stir in a bunch of chopped green onions or chopped fresh spinach and stir in to wilt.

 

This works great in or with scrambled eggs, with quinoa or rice cooked into it, or all on its own! It's tasty, filling, and a good landing pad for refrigerator odds and ends. Can also be seasoned with mexican spices and chili, or with italian spices and a little juice from your jar of peperoncinis.  (If your refrigerator doesn't have a jar of peperoncinis, it needs one.)

 

Officially called the "pot of hot stuff."

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Level Three Oracle of Doom.

 

Level Eight Dragon Tamer, Warrior Dash participant. Trail runner.   Respawned.

 

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Thanks.

 

More likely I'll have a couple of short shifts during the week, although they're not afraid to let you go over 40 in the week.

Level Three Oracle of Doom.

 

Level Eight Dragon Tamer, Warrior Dash participant. Trail runner.   Respawned.

 

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The fire alarms haven't gone off all week, which is amazing.

 

As a result, I've stuck to the plan and gotten in a morning workout every day this week. Twice I had big long workouts including strength training, and the other three times it was more of a 20-minute morning warm-up which is enough to get my day started out on the right foot.

 

Food has been right on track all week so far as well, but we've got an out-of-state guest for the weekend, so we'll see how that goes....

Level Three Oracle of Doom.

 

Level Eight Dragon Tamer, Warrior Dash participant. Trail runner.   Respawned.

 

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1 hour ago, Nianne said:

The fire alarms haven't gone off all week, which is amazing.

 

As a result, I've stuck to the plan and gotten in a morning workout every day this week. Twice I had big long workouts including strength training, and the other three times it was more of a 20-minute morning warm-up which is enough to get my day started out on the right foot.

 

Food has been right on track all week so far as well, but we've got an out-of-state guest for the weekend, so we'll see how that goes....

 

Good job!  Sounds like you're doing great work, keep it up!

Do you have any plans in place for fooding with your guest?

  Level 45 Quasi-Human Ranger     

"Forget failure.  Forget mistakes.  Forget everything except what you're going to do NOW, and DO IT." - Lou Ferrigno

"Foxes Never Quit!"  -  Leicester City FC

KBO. - Churchill

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Nianne has accepted the Level 3 quest: Protect the Calorie Well!

 

The Calorie Well is under siege by tequila gnomes and hobgoblins of deliciousness. They want to rip the well apart stone by stone and return the field to it's naturally lush and drowsy state. Bolster the well with fortifications of delicious fiber, build a hangover scarecrow to frighten away all but the most determined gnomes, and defeat the hobgoblins by dazzling them with distracting games, shooting them with arrows of "eating that is someone else's job," stabbing them with daggers of, "I've had plenty today, thank you."

 

If the Calorie Well survives until the timer runs out, you will receive:

 

+2 Willpower

+3 Self-efficacy

1 Pretty Object to place on your desk at work!

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Level Three Oracle of Doom.

 

Level Eight Dragon Tamer, Warrior Dash participant. Trail runner.   Respawned.

 

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12 hours ago, Nianne said:

tequila gnomes

 

I'm picturing garden gnomes in sombreros.  

 

031_QM16034-3.jpg?1497438633

 

Like that.

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  Level 45 Quasi-Human Ranger     

"Forget failure.  Forget mistakes.  Forget everything except what you're going to do NOW, and DO IT." - Lou Ferrigno

"Foxes Never Quit!"  -  Leicester City FC

KBO. - Churchill

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I did a great job over the weekend, and learned a thing or two in the process.

On Friday night I went home knowing my fiancé was making pizza and margaritas, and that I only had room for one drink and a couple slices before I’d be at the top end of my daily calorie range. We had a guest over, which is unusual for us and I wasn’t sure how that would complicate the mix. However, I managed to cultivate a sense of being politely curious about the food, rather than really hungry, and I had just a nibble at a time, waiting patiently so that I’d have room in case more surprises came forth as the night progressed. It felt very… cosmopolitan. I did a great job of resisting some of the tasty options I was presented with, and I counted it a very encouraging success.

The next day we went on a road trip up the Columbia River Gorge to see some of the sights, which is one of the great reasons for having friends visiting, that it gets you out to see your local attractions, and along the way I stopped inside a gift shop and picked up a pretty ring which I christened my “you can do it,” ring in honor of the previous evening’s success. I decided that it would remind me that I really could resist over-eating and still have a great time.

I wound up being really glad I had it that very evening, too. The desserts in the fridge almost got to me.  I’d been resisting for about two hours by that point and I knew that if I had any more to eat that day I’d lose the perfect score I’ve been maintaining for this challenge. I was literally in the kitchen at about 12:30 am with a jar of Nutella in my hand when I looked down at my new souvenir ring and thought to myself, “I don’t have to eat this.” Then I put everything back and returned to my seat on the couch empty handed, and stayed that way for the rest of the night.

So, yeah. I stayed within bounds every day for the whole visit, and won myself a pretty talisman as well!

 

 

ring.jpg

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Level Three Oracle of Doom.

 

Level Eight Dragon Tamer, Warrior Dash participant. Trail runner.   Respawned.

 

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I love the Columbia Gorge. My nephew got married there last summer,so pretty.

 

You are doing amazing. Way to go on the pizza. That is a great idea to have a physical reminder like a ring, I've never thought of it before, but that is a brilliant idea.

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Wisdom 21   Dexterity 11   Charisma 14   Strength 18  Constitution-12

Elastigirl Endeavors, Experiments, , and Explains - Current Challenge: May 9 to June 12 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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Three weeks in:

 

I'm starting to develop a workable routine for my new schedule, which is awesome. I'm walking to work every day and getting plenty of nutrition.

 

In terms of the weight loss goal I've pretty much just maintained what I accomplished before I got the new job. The old job was a lot more physical, so it seems that my attempts to eat a bit less have simply allowed me to find my new equilibrium point. Which is good information, but I'll have to take it down another notch in order to keep making progress to support my knee.

 

The exercise goal has been going along great. I'm enjoying my morning workouts. The sleep goal I haven't been as serious about, so I'm going to work on being more serious about that for the rest of this challenge and see what it does for me.

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Level Three Oracle of Doom.

 

Level Eight Dragon Tamer, Warrior Dash participant. Trail runner.   Respawned.

 

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Sounds like things are going well.  Keep up the good work!

 

  Level 45 Quasi-Human Ranger     

"Forget failure.  Forget mistakes.  Forget everything except what you're going to do NOW, and DO IT." - Lou Ferrigno

"Foxes Never Quit!"  -  Leicester City FC

KBO. - Churchill

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