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DiegoVulpes

DiegoVulpes is learning to look after himself

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Hi everyone! My name is Todd, I'm 27, and I'm based in Hamilton, New Zealand. I've been loitering around Nerd Fitness articles for about a year, always thinking "Yeah, I should totally do that." But I didn't get around to it until today. I'm looking for a fresh start in the new year, and this is where it begins! I've been of slim build for the large majority of my life (between 75 and 80kg for almost all of my 20s), but due to poor exercise and health decisions in the past year, I've gained an unwanted jiggle in my belly, arms, and legs. 

In the past, I've dabbled in ballet, ballroom, and Irish dancing. I've played bits of hockey, tennis, soccer/football, badminton, and cricket. I've started (and subsequently given up on) learning to play piano, guitar, harmonica, and violin. I've tried learning Spanish, Japanese, German, Russian, and French. I've enjoyed training in tae kwon do, taijutsu, and parkour. I'd love to go back to indoor rock climbing and/or archery, but am financially unable to. I play boardgames like lords of waterdeep, eminent domain, and betrayal at house on the hill. I play D&D, and am also writing and running a 5e campaign of my own. A lot of my time is used playing video games, my usual addiction being Smite, but recently I've been on a Skyrim binge. I also like creating things, and have tried my hand at making butted maille, hand-sewing clothes, and woodworking, to name a few.
All that to say; I've tried many things, and failed to stick to them. But now I'm tired of wasting my days away in front of a computer screen (he says as he is typing this after 1 in the morning) and I'm taking steps to leveling up my life. I just need some guidance and assistance, particularly with regards to accountability.

I'm starting a course of study in mid February that will teach me a trade, which will lead to actually earning my income rather than surviving on handouts from the government, something that is super important to me (and my pride).  With this upcoming course in mind, I need to turn my current daily routine on its head, which leads me nicely into my:

Level up your life goal: Trying to get to sleep earlier - During the first week of the challenge, I will be in bed by 12am. During the second week, I will be in bed by 11:30pm. Third week, 11pm. Fourth week, 10:30pm. "In bed" here means in bed with no electronics and actively trying to sleep. I am allowed to miss one day per week. In the morning, I must be awake and out of bed before 8am.

 

Getting up earlier in the morning will give me more daylight hours in my day with which to do various things, both productive and not. A lot of these things will be targeted in future challenges, but for now I'm borrowing from the level 1s' quest suggestions to boost my fitness and diet. About 95% of the liquid I drink is tap water, so I don't need to worry about cutting out sodas, coffees, or alcohol. 

Fitness goal: Decide on a bodyweight workout plan. Complete it twice a week for each week of the challenge. Go for a walk of at least 5 minutes 3x a week. - With regards to the decision, I'm unsure whether to go with the NF beginners BW workout, the 20 minute hotel workout, or the workout listed on the beginners' guide to parkour article. Advice would be welcomed in this decision. I have stepped up the frequency and variety of the exercise activities from my original post because karinajean raised a good point: I'm doing this to build habits, routines. One exercise session a week, while a start, won't give me the momentum I need to really start leveling up my life.

Diet goal 1: Research local vegetable options and eat at least one serving of vegetables per day - I know about carrots, onions, and potatoes, but I would like to research what makes a vegetable a vegetable, and where I can obtain new options locally.
Diet goal 2: Reduce fast food consumption by 50% - While I rarely eat traditional take-aways (McDonalds, Chinese, Pizza, etc) the bakery around the corner is a big money-sink for me. Buying from it once a week AT MOST should help to curb that.

 

I am not skilled in social interactions, even through a computer screen. I am often struck by apathy with regards to other people, making it difficult to care about others and their problems. This, in turn, makes it a struggle for me to genuinely support other people. I hope that over the course of this and future challenges, I can grow as a person and learn to genuinely be there to support others in their times of need. 

 

I will aim to make a progress report here daily, and any tips or guidance would be very welcomed.

For anyone who's curious: The name Diego Vulpes comes from a character named Shazorro that I made up for a story about a decade ago. Shazorro is who I dream of being: Agile, athletic, clever, and socially comfortable in most settings. Diego is the younger, inexperienced version of Shazorro, and I hope that by taking on this name/becoming Diego, he and I can grow up into being Shazorro together.

Edited by DiegoVulpes
I updated my fitness goal to be more frequent and varied, and added a paragraph after my goals that talks about support.
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hey, and welcome! it looks like you've tried and enjoyed a million different things - so this is definately the right place for you, a lot of us are WELL KNOWN for trying out new and fun things every challenge. 

 

you said you're concerned that the BW workout won't be enough to see a physical difference if you do it 1x a week but I agree, it's good to start small and get in the routine of doing something. That said, will doing something physical 1x a week be enough to build the habit? have you considered doing something else that is maybe less dedicated (like a walk, etc.) for several other days in the week?

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8 hours ago, karinajean said:

you said you're concerned that the BW workout won't be enough to see a physical difference if you do it 1x a week but I agree, it's good to start small and get in the routine of doing something. That said, will doing something physical 1x a week be enough to build the habit? have you considered doing something else that is maybe less dedicated (like a walk, etc.) for several other days in the week?

 

You have a good point. I do want to get to interval training later on, but as a starting point getting out of the house for the express purpose of walking is good. Currently, I only ever walk when I have to go somewhere (which is maybe once or twice a week), and my mindset is very much "I'm commuting, not walking". Unfortunately, this means I get little to no pleasure from walking anywhere. 

Jeez, I complain a lot. Another thing to work on. Anyway, I will commit to a BW workout 2x a week, and going for a walk for walking's sake 3x a week. It looks like a big commitment written down, but it's only 20 minutes out of my day. It's achievable.  

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11 hours ago, DiegoVulpes said:

I get little to no pleasure from walking anywhere. 

 

I'm with you! Exercising for exercise's sake is sooo boring. Ever play Pokemon Go?? You find yourself walking all over without even noticing. :) It is pretty fun! And you even learn about random, hidden parts of your neighborhood. There are monuments around my home that I never knew existed before the game. If you don't like that, there are other fun apps that can make walking more pleasurable. Maybe other people on here know of some?

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Podcasts can be a great way of getting yourself walking.  Find something you are interested in and listen as you walk.  It really makes the time go quickly, and you don;t realise that you are walking once you get into something.

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Hey Diego, really good to read your intro, you sound like you have a curious mind with everything you've tried! What's the course you're going to start? Good luck with it, and with your challenge!!

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6 hours ago, The Real Syl Mil said:

 

Ever play Pokemon Go??  If you don't like that, there are other fun apps that can make walking more pleasurable. 

Great suggestion, thanks :) I have played Pokemon Go in the past, but (excuses incoming) I don't have enough storage on my phone for that and other healthy apps, and I rarely have enough credit on my phone to pay for the amount of data I chew through playing Go. That being said, there are other options. I've intermittently played a decent chunk of season one Zombies Run main game, walking for the most part, and picking up the pace to a fairly fast run when the zombie alert beeps at me. I'm planning to go back to that, but I think I might do the Zombies Run equivalent of the couch to 5k challenge.

 

5 hours ago, Japster said:

Podcasts can be a great way of getting yourself walking.  Find something you are interested in and listen as you walk.  It really makes the time go quickly, and you don;t realise that you are walking once you get into something.

I've heard the term podcasts before, but I know very little about what they are. Where do you find them, and what sort of options are there?

 

3 hours ago, Mab said:

What's the course you're going to start?

It's a six month course called "My Career Pathway" at my local polytechnic. Along with general trade skills like using and maintaining tools and learning how to work with different materials, it also gives me a taste of automotive engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. Once that course is completed successfully, I can then go into a 12 month course that specialises in one of those trades, and after that I feel I will be able to comfortably enter the workforce again. I've been unemployed for five years now, after being diagnosed with mild depression in December 2012.

 

Thank you everyone for your advice and support <3 I look forward to going on this journey with you all!

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20 hours ago, DiegoVulpes said:

but it's only 20 minutes out of my day. It's achievable.

Exactly! I would have to agree with the point that it's best to start and get into a routine, trying to do too much at the beginning can lead to injury or burnout and end with you doing nothing...I can relate to wanting to do "all the things" at once though!

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On 12/29/2017 at 5:08 AM, DiegoVulpes said:

But now I'm tired of wasting my days away in front of a computer screen (he says as he is typing this after 1 in the morning) and I'm taking steps to leveling up my life.

 

oh man, just @ me next time. this is so relatable!! I try to fight this with computer time + working out simultaneously. I don't know if you're big into movies/TV, but there are workouts designed for popular shows. Think along the lines of whenever x does y, do 20 crunches or whatever. :)

 

7 hours ago, DiegoVulpes said:

I have played Pokemon Go in the past, but (excuses incoming) I don't have enough storage on my phone for that and other healthy apps, and I rarely have enough credit on my phone to pay for the amount of data I chew through playing Go

I get this - plus Go, in my experience, is especially draining in terms of data and battery! If it's up your alley, I'd suggest you look into geocaching. While it's helpful to have the app, you can also look caches up online beforehand on the website and just take note of the location. It's very fun and a good workout where you don't really realize you're working out!

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2 hours ago, genken33 said:

there are workouts designed for popular shows. Think along the lines of whenever x does y, do 20 crunches or whatever. :)

 

If it's up your alley, I'd suggest you look into geocaching. 


I love these ideas! I binge watch (is it still binging if it's an everyday occurrence?) Youtube a lot, so perhaps I could come up with a "every time a new video loads, do this" or "for as long as there is an ad on screen, do this (no skipping ads)" type of thing. Though I wonder if that would be too much too soon.

I had a brief nosey at what geocaching is all about, and I like the adventurous side of it, just exploring and finding something that passers-by wouldn't typically notice. Exciting! I looked into a variation of it called letterboxing, which seems to be very much the same thing, except you use a notebook and stamp like a visa instead of finding and replacing items in the boxes. Not sure why, but that appeals to me slightly more :D 

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Day 0 progress report

Over these next few weeks, I'm sure you will all get to know me. One of the things you will learn is that I get impatient fairly quickly. Every minute of every day has to be occupied with something, every movement has to have a purpose. I hate waiting around for plans to come into play. So... I didn't want to wait any longer to start. No time like the present, right? 

I know I have a problem with portion control when it comes to eating, both at mealtimes and snacking, so I'm giving the intermittent fasting thing a go. I can eat as much as I like between the hours of 10am and 6pm, but outside those hours I can only have water. As far as what I ate today, in total I had 2 bowls of muesli with milk, most of a loaf of wholegrain bread with coleslaw to make some sandwiches, and some amount of water :D Forgot to track that. The coleslaw had green cabbage and carrot in it, so I think that counts as a serving of vegetables? Haven't done the research yet. Hmm. Suddenly feeling the urge to eat, but it's not because I'm hungry.

It is currently 10:30ish pm here, so my bedtime goal is still on target for today. I think I will play video games for an hour, then I'll be "in bed" around 11:30.

I haven't yet decided on which bodyweight routine I'm going to go with, I would love advice from someone more experienced about that. However, I did get the Zombies Run 5K app, and I went on my first 'run' with it this evening. I ran/walked around my local rugby fields, I didn't want to look silly putting on random bursts of speed running along the footpath (sidewalk :P). According to the app, I covered 4.77 km in 43 minutes 33 seconds, a little over 9 minutes per kilometer. I think I know what my goal pace is for the end of the month: sub 9 min/km ^^

Oh, and my other goal, the no bakery/takeout food? I succeeded at that today :)

I hope y'all's first days go as well as mine has, and long may the success continue ^^

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3 hours ago, DiegoVulpes said:

so I think that counts as a serving of vegetables?

Depending on how much you had, a serving is generally about 1/2 cup of coleslaw.

Great job on zero day! And good job on recognizing that you were wanting to eat but weren't really hungry! 

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9 hours ago, DiegoVulpes said:

Day 0 progress report
 So... I didn't want to wait any longer to start. No time like the present, right? 

 

Lol. I do the same thing. I start early because I don't like people telling me what to do! Start on YOUR schedule?! No, thank you! I'll start last week!

Good job with your goals! Especially the bakery one! Solidarity there, as I try to avoid coffee shops. I succeeded at my goal there for last week and transferred $5 to my savings yesterday to mark the week. Now for the next week of struggle... Here here!

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9 hours ago, DiegoVulpes said:

However, I did get the Zombies Run 5K app, and I went on my first 'run' with it this evening. I ran/walked around my local rugby fields, I didn't want to look silly putting on random bursts of speed running along the footpath (sidewalk :P). According to the app, I covered 4.77 km in 43 minutes 33 seconds, a little over 9 minutes per kilometer. I think I know what my goal pace is for the end of the month: sub 9 min/km ^^

Yay, another Runner Five! Hope you enjoy it :) I totally get feeling silly; just wait til week 2, when they start making you do heel lifts! But for real, if there are other people out and about they're more focused on their own stuff than on what you're doing. And that's an awesome goal to have; I might just have to think of something similar for myself!

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11 hours ago, DiegoVulpes said:



I haven't yet decided on which bodyweight routine I'm going to go with, I would love advice from someone more experienced about that. However, I did get the Zombies Run 5K app, and I went on my first 'run' with it this evening. I ran/walked around my local rugby fields, I didn't want to look silly putting on random bursts of speed running along the footpath (sidewalk :P). According to the app, I covered 4.77 km in 43 minutes 33 seconds, a little over 9 minutes per kilometer. I think I know what my goal pace is for the end of the month: sub 9 min/km ^^
 

 

so, for bodyweight stuff, there's a lot of beginner resources here: https://www.nerdfitness.com/bodyweight-training-resources/

(note that the warm-up there is a pretty serious workout on its own, and Steve indicates that it's for people who are in serious training mode. so don't let that overwhelm you!)

 

I'm not sure what your fitness level is, but these generally all have modifications that you can do if you aren't able to do the exercise in good form. Personally I like the progressions here: 

http://www.startbodyweight.com/p/exercise-progressions_12.html

IN FACT, this could also be its own workout!

 

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Day 1 progress report :)

 

I was in bed at midnight last night, and was up and out of bed at about 8:05 this morning, the earliest I've been up in months. It's a great start ^^ Gotta get up earlier still, cos my course starts at 8 :o And I've got travel time to think about too. But hey, progress already!

I did a little bit of research into vegetables, and found that there are various definitions of 'vegetable' depending on whether you're talking in terms of botanics or culinary, or even legally. There's the 'famous' legal case of taxing tomato. The court ruled that it was correctly identified as, and therefore taxed as, a vegetable. However, the court did acknowledge that, botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit. At least, that's what wikipedia has to say on the matter. 

 

As far as tracking what I've been eating, I had 2 bowls of muesli with milk and one bowl of 'stir fry' that I cooked up (more on that in a second). Still on the IF train, only ate between the hours of 10am and 6pm. I had a bunch of vegetables and some mince (ground beef) that I threw in a wok and batch cooked. Cooking doesn't really excite me, it's a means to an end. But at least I no longer have to worry about cooking anything for the next day or two. All in all, the batch contained (approximately) half a cabbage, two bell peppers/capsicum, eight carrots, four sticks of celery, 400 grams of mince, and a 560 gram jar of honey soy simmer sauce for flavour. The bowl I ate was about a quarter of the batch. So at least one serving of vegetables? I think that's a check ^^

I looked into the links that Karina posted, and I decided to cobble together the various progressions of the startbodyweight exercises into a workout using the easiest progression for each to find which level I was at. Started out with a good warm up, 5 minutes of jogging around my single bedroom apartment :D Assuming I was doing all the movements correctly (which I think I was) I was able to complete 8x3 of the lowest level progression of all with varying amounts of effort. Except the pull ups, which I could only do 5x3. (Is that the right way to notate that? 3 sets of 5 reps each?) I used the NF beginner cool down to stretch out and wind down. Finished with my first shower in... a week? I don't remember the last time I had one, which means it's been too long. Just another thing to add to the list of things to work on. Anyway, bodyweight workout decided on? Check. Started? Check.

 

I forgot to mention that yesterday I spent more money than I should have on new underwear and shoes to be able to 'comfortably' go for jogs and other exercise based stuff. While that sucks, and means that I'll have to scrimp and save a little to pay my bills for the month, it has the upside that I have no spare money to buy food from the bakery or other unhealthy options. No bakery food today? Check.

 

I've added a picture of what I cooked up, in case anyone is interested. 

I look forward to reading how everyone else has gone with their challenges :)

20180101_171512.jpg

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96d1cd7a69b4b18e3c22652e980fcc12.jpg

 

Taxing vegetables? I'm not familiar with this practice...are fruits not taxed?

Your talk of batch cooking made me think of @Teros and the way he approached it. 

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Day 2 report.

 

Can't really call it a progress report today, I spent the whole day playing video games. Heck, I'm not even writing this report on day 2. 

 

However, positive focus. I stuck to the IF, eating one bowl of rolled oats with milk at 10:30am, then one bowl of 'stir fry put in sandwiches using about half a loaf of wholegrain bread finishing at a little after 6pm. Diet quest progress.

No money means no bakery food, so another successful day there.

I was in bed going to sleep by 12:30am last night, that's going the wrong way. Time to reign it back. But I was up at 8am, which is a good start.

My calves are definitely feeling DOMS at the moment, and I missed my day 2 workout. I'll take yesterday as my 'rest day' then continue today as if nothing changed :D Day two of week one of Zombies Run 5k this evening.

 

In regards to taxation of vegetables, wikipedia has this to say on the matter: 

In United States tax law, also known as the Mongrel Tariff Act, reduced high tariff rates only marginally, and left in place fairly strong protectionist barriers. The law exempts fruits but not vegetables, which caused tomato importers to sue, claiming that tomatoes are fruit. The unanimous U.S supreme court decision in Nix vs Hedden ruled that, for the purposes of this tariff, tomatoes are a vegetable.

It doesn't affect me here in NZ, but I've heard the story about the topic before.

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Well, it was still my day 2, since I started on the 1st...so it was day 2 somewhere :) 

 

I never knew that about the tax law...interesting!

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Day 3 progress report (on day 4's morning -_- )

 

Technically still completed the IF, just the time shifted on it. I didn't eat breakfast until about 2-3pm (one bowl of rolled oats with milk), then had a bowl of stir fry about 6:30.  Still, had a serving of vegetables, so check. 

 

Was in bed trying to sleep at midnight, but only got up at about 9am this morning. Kind of check?

Still no bakery food, still a check. Today is payday, so I'll have to be a bit more disciplined than I have been in the previous days.

I didn't do any exercise yesterday, another whole day of sitting in front of my computer. That fails the "never 2 in a row" rule. No check for this one today. 

Overall, day 3 was a success, with 3/4 goals checked off. Yet I still feel like a failure, my motivation is waning, and I haven't been going for long enough to develop discipline with these things.

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Motivation is always difficult. Once things get to be a habit it gets easier.

Just remember why you started. And think of the time and cash you will waste if you give in.

This is why I go to the gym rather than train at home or outside. I have to get my monies worth if I pay monthly.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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3 hours ago, Japster said:

This is why I go to the gym rather than train at home or outside. I have to get my monies worth if I pay monthly.

Money can be a powerful motivator for some...

 

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4 hours ago, Japster said:

Just remember why you started. And think of the time and cash you will waste if you give in.
This is why I go to the gym rather than train at home or outside. I have to get my monies worth if I pay monthly.

I can appreciate that. I just don't have the spare money to invest in a gym membership or other similar training aids. As for why I started? It's a disgust with myself for being larger than I was. In day to day life, I constantly fight myself about it, weighing up the effort vs the reward. With weight loss and fitness in particular, the seemingly massive, extended effort required for a positive change far outweighs the perceived benefit of "I can look at myself in the mirror with pride" and "I can jog everywhere". I'm just complaining :D I know that I keep coming back to this same goal over and over again, so it must mean something to me. I just need to fully commit. It doesn't help that the past three days have been strong winds and rain here. Far from ideal running conditions, but I suppose I'll just have to suck it up and go for it anyway.

Progress report for day 4

 

Seems that I'm writing these on the morning after now, so I'll roll with it. Yesterday was a bit of a slip from my goals.

Fitness goal: Surprise surprise, I didn't do a bodyweight workout or go for a walk (for the sake of walking). Doesn't mean I didn't get some form of exercise. I walked about 2.1 km to the fruit and vege store and back, with the trip back carrying what felt to be about 10kg, farmers walk style.

 

Diet goals: I only had one meal yesterday, consisting of 2 eggs, bacon, toast, a sausage, some chips (fries), a meat pie, and a custard slice. So no vegetables, and that was a trip to the bakery. I'm not entirely sure what else to research regarding vegetables. I don't think there's anything else I need to know, other than recipes, perhaps?

Sleep goal: Suffered from an "I've just got to finish this" series of events last night, leading me to only get to bed at 2am. On the plus side, I was still awake and out of bed just after 8am.

As I said, I slipped up a bit yesterday. I'm very appreciative of the wisdom of this community, because I can still achieve at least 85% on all my goals. With the sleep goals, I allowed myself one day a week grace (I've taken two this week). My fitness goals are similar. I said walk 3x a week and bodyweight 2 a week. If, starting today, I do zombies, startbodyweight, zombies over the next couple of days, I can still achieve that goal for the week. Diet-wise, yesterday was my "once per week at most" at the bakery. I don't count fries as a vegetable though, so that was one day of that goal missed.

Ahh well. I'm gonna keep going. "It is acceptable to fail, as long as you don't give up."

 

Below is my haul from the vege shop, and is all my food for the week. Recipe suggestions would be grand <3

20180104_154653.jpg

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