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[Darth Yoga] The Weasel does 3x3


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Last challenge was a great success. Status report:

  • I am 95% rehabilitated from my tweaked back. Only occasional pain when moving quickly into the edges of my range of motion. It needs a little warmup. I can put my hands on the floor! I can get my pants on without flailing! I can do yoga sun salutes without holding on to the door frame! It is very exciting.
  • My car is still in the shop. :( You know the saying, "You can have it fast, cheap, or good - pick two." Well, I picked cheap and good. He's an old man, and he takes his time. This means getting to the gym is unlikely to happen for a while. I will have to work out at home. That is fine - it just means lighter weights & higher reps, because without a rack at home, I can only squat what I can clean.
  • My calorie restriction experiment went well. I am happy with where I am at now. I'm still tracking and eating more protein & veggies, but basically eating when hungry.

 

For this challenge, I wound up with three goals, that each have three parts, and just a lot of threes in general, so I ran with it.

 

WEEKLY ROUTINE: (Goal 30pt/week. For each activity, 4x=15pt, 3x/wk = 10pt, 2x/wk=5pt, 1x/wk=2pt)

  • Barbell workout (at home or at gym) 3x/week.
    • SQUAT 3x5
    • OVERHEAD PRESS 3x5
    • CHINUP 5x3 (or just 15 total)
  • Hike (1-2hrs) 3x/week
  • Violin practice (at least 1/2 hour) 3x/week

 

DAILY ROUTINE (Goal 30pts/week, 10pt each)

  • Morning Routine ( every day = 10pt, 6x/wk=8pt, else 1pt each
    • FIRST THINGS: Before leaving my room, turning on computer, checking phone, etc:
      • Look at my list for today
      • Take all meds/inhaler/etc
      • Do 10-15m of yoga, including 5x sun salutes.
    • BREAKFAST: oatmeal, fruit, and finish my 1st liter of water.
    • GO OUTSIDE: generally walk in the woods with the dog. (At least 15m, but can be one of my 1-2hr hikes)
  • Lunch - whenever we are both home at noon, make eggs & greens to eat with Raven.  ( 10pt/wk if done on every available day. miss 1 = 5pt, miss 2 = 2pt, miss 3=1pt)
  • Evening Routine - ABBREVIATED (every day = 10pt, 6x/wk=8pt, else 1pt each)
    • CHECK IN: Look at calendar, talk to Raven, make tomorrow's list.
    • Take pills/etc
    • Prayers

    
FOOD (Goal 40pt/week, out of a possible 49pts)

  • WATER:  (1pt/day) 2 quarts plain water or "weasel-ade" (homemade unsweetened electrolyte drink)
  • THREE "PN-STYLE" SMALL MEALS: (1pt each, max 3pt/day) Roughly follow Precision Nutrition guidelines ~1/2c each meat, starch, two veg. Mostly whole foods, healthy fats.
  • TRACK: on myfitnesspal, OR in notebook (using same ballpark method as last challenge).  (1pt/day each, if within 10% of target)
    • Calories: ~2000kcals, plus whatever MFP calculates for exercise OR: 8x vaguely 250kcal portions, plus one for each 1/2hr vigorous activity or 1hr moderate activity
    • Protein: ~120g, OR: at least 3 good sized servings of meat/eggs.
    • Fiber: ~40g, OR: total of 2c fruit, 3c veg, 1c legumes, 1c oatmeal.

18 PREVIOUS CHALLENGES:

Spoiler

1. Weasel Gets Things Done Nov-Dec 2015 - Eat more protein, veggies, and whole grains (B+). Sleep Routine (A). "Primal Fitness Blueprint" (A++). Laundry! (A++). Order of the Stick (Success!)
2. Return of the Weasel : Consistency! Jan 2016 - Handstands (A), Kettlebells - Pavel's "Simple & Sinister" (A-), Daily Routine (A), Ukulele! (C ) Assassins Mini - Portal Experiments
3. Weasel Takes this Show on the Road! Feb 2016 - Continue S&S kettlebells. (D. Injury.) Track sleep schedule (A). Make a diet plan (A). Write on blog. (F) Assassins Mini - Jedi v Sith part 1

4. Sith-Weasel's Road Trip Continues Mach 2016 - Daily fitness activity (D) Responsible Adult Meals (A++), Hydration (C ), Tasks & Check-in (D). (Travel!) Assassins Mini - Jedi v Sith part 2

5. Weasel Keeps it Simple & Something April 2015 - Kettlebelling (F) Healthy Meals (B-) Help partner (C) Task List (B-) Assassins Mini - Final Fantasy

6. Eat When Hungry, etc. May 2016 - Eat when hungry. (A) Sleep when tired. (C-) Move every morning. (C) Work when Work needs Doing. (A+) Assassins Mini - Heros & Villans (C+)

7. Back on the Road June 2016 - FOOD: 2 meat+veg meals (B+) EXERCISE: 10m daily activity (C) HEALTH: 10m other stuff (B) LIFE: Work BEFORE internet (B) Assassins: Firefly (B)

8. Weasel Levels Up July/Aug 2016 - FOOD: Watch the carbs (B+) FITNESS: daily workout (MovNat) (B) HEALTH: go to sleep (A) LIFE: weekly review (B) Assassins: Kingdom Hearts #1 (B)

9. Weasel Recalibrates Falls Off The Face of the EarthAug/Sept 2016 EAT: Eat veggies (D) SLEEP: Go to bed! (D) MOVE: Two activities (B) DO: Task list (C+) Assassins: (F)

10. Weasel Stays on Track. Sept/Oct 2016 EAT: veggies (B) SLEEP: bedtime (C) MOVE: Two activities (B) DO: Track & done by 8p (C) Assassins: Sonic (C)

11. Weasel does 2000 Things! Oct/Nov 2016 EAT: veggies (A) SLEEP: before dawn (A) MOVE: Pushups + etc (A) DO: Violin, Meditation, Woods (A) Assassins: Sonic (D)
12. Another 2000 Things! Dec 2016. EAT: Veggies (A) SLEEP: before 6am (F) MOVE: Pullups, Pushups, etc. (B) DO: Violin, Meditation (B) Assassins: Epic Showdown (B)
13. Darth Yoga does some yoga for a change  Jan 2017 EAT: veggies (A) SLEEP: at night (D) MOVE: 100 pullups (A) DO: Violin (D) YOGA: 1000 things (A).
14: Push, Pull, Stretch, Breathe Feb 2017. PUSH: Sun Salutes PULL: 100 pullups STRETCH: 10m/day BREATHE: pranayama DROPPED OUT.
< The Lost Challenge. March/Apr 2017. depression, poor life choices, work at tax office.>

15. Back in the Game May 2017. MOVE: Sun Salutes (B+) S&S Kettlebells (B-) EAT: protein (A) veg (B) DO: nightly check-in (B-) task list (B-) SPIRIT: walk in woods (B) prayer beads (D) Help partner get fit: nope.

16. Keep on Keepin' on. June 2017. MOVE: Sun Salutes: C. Kettlebells: D. EAT: Meat & veg: B. WORK: Daily check-in C. Weekly review. F. SPIRIT: Woods, A. Prayer beads, B.

17. Back on Track(ing) July 2017. abandoned

<NF HIATUS>

> STARTING STRENGTH: Sept, Oct, Nov 2017. Not on NF, but 3x/week barbell workouts. A! Completed 21/24.

</NF HIATUS>

18. The Weasel Returns! Feb 2018. EAT: ~1500 calories: A+. MOVE: Barbell, Chinups, Hiking: B (injury). DO: Violin, Medication, Yoga: A+.

19. The Weasel does 3x3. March 2018. EAT: Water, PN Meals, Watch macros: __ WEEKLY: Barbell ___ Hike ___  Violin ___ Daily: Morning Routine ___ Lunch ___ Evening Routine ___

 

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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This week I am just playing around with diet and routine, looking for where I get sidetracked, what obstacles I can re-route around.

 

OBSTACLE: It is back to being winter, so I was often procrastinating going out with the dog, or just letting her pee in the driveway while I huddle in the doorway in my bathrobe. 

SOLUTION: Get dressed to go outdoors immediately after I do yoga. If come down to eat breakfast in boots and an insulated hoodie, then (1) it is really easy to just get some gloves/etc and walk out the door, and (2) the dog prances around like "YAY! WE ARE GOING OUT!!!! OMG! YAY!!!" the whole time I am eating so I'd feel terribly guilty not going out for at least a little while.

 

OBSTACLE: Breakfast opens up SO MANY possible distractions and delays. I'm not even going to list them all. It is like the kids book, "If you Give a Moose a Muffin". This is partly procrastination, when the weather is yucky, but partly just logistics. 

SOLUTION: (1) Do yoga & take pills FIRST. If I ate decently the day before, I should not wake up starving, and regardless I will not die from waiting 15 minutes to eat. (2) Just microwave some instant oatmeal, and get out the door. Nothing elaborate. Make the big pile of eggs and greens for lunch instead. I can even pre-chop apples to go in the oatmeal, so I cannot be sidetracked when there is no clean cutting board and stuff all over the one tiny work-surface in our kitchen. If I am doing a longer hike and I seriously need more food than that, add some granola or butter, or make a pb sandwich, or throw a bag of dried fruit/nuts in my bag. But don't screw around - just get out the door.

 

OBSTACLE: I default to eating cereal or pb sandwiches, not meals with plenty protein & veggies.

SOLUTION:  (1) Keep a few premade "food pods" in the fridge: 2c containers with equal parts meat, beans, greens, and some other veg. (2) Have the ingredients to make more. Always always always have in the pantry canned beans, canned veggies, and canned tuna or chicken. Try to also have fresh or frozen spinach, fresh cooked meat, green apples, salad greens, and homemade mustard salad dressing. Fresh cooked or raw veggies and other raw fruit are nice to have, but not as vital. Raw meat should be cooked as soon as practical.

 

OBSTACLE: In an effort to hydrate, I carry around a "pet water bottle" all day, without actually drinking much from it. And I don't track it.

SOLUTION: Just chug a liter of water in the morning and in the evening. I've currently got an empty sports-drink bottle of some kind, with horizontal ridges, so I've got an elastic that I put on the bottom ridge when I first fill it and then move up each time I refill it. I fill it in the evening, before bed, so it'll be there and full in the morning.

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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On 3/15/2018 at 12:38 PM, Darth Yoga said:

(2) the dog prances around like "YAY! WE ARE GOING OUT!!!! OMG! YAY!!!" the whole time I am eating so I'd feel terribly guilty not going out for at least a little while.

 

Smart. You wouldn't want to disappoint the dog, would you? :) I also procrastinate on drinking, despite having a water bottle within 2' at all times. How's the chug theory going? 

Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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14 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Smart. You wouldn't want to disappoint the dog, would you? :) I also procrastinate on drinking, despite having a water bottle within 2' at all times. How's the chug theory going? 

 

Dog plan backfired terribly yesterday - I was all dressed for a long hike, microwaving my oatmeal, and realized it was actually Friday, and I had to leave for work in 15 minutes. So I had to apologize to the dog and madly throw on some work-appropriate clothes.

 

Chug theory is working well! Having the elastic I can move to count the bottle is perfect. No "tracking" during the day, just move the elastic when I refill it.

 

The wisdom of the "don't think about it, just have oatmeal and then immediately walk the dog" breakfast plan is best demonstrated by me skipping it this morning. I can't be trusted to make decisions until I've been awake an hour or so. "I'll just go downstairs to pee, before doing some yoga" turned into "Man, we have so many leftovers in the fridge!" which turned into a breakfast of a plate of nachos, a huge bowl of shredded wheat, and corn bread.  Then I waddle back upstairs, thinking, "Oh, yeah, yoga BEFORE breakfast. Um... Why was I downstairs?"

 

Also - beta testing this week demonstrates the AM/PM routines are overly ambitious, so I will scale them back. Target difficulty level is "Well, OF COURSE I can do that"

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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5 hours ago, Darth Yoga said:

Dog plan backfired terribly yesterday - I was all dressed for a long hike, microwaving my oatmeal, and realized it was actually Friday, and I had to leave for work in 15 minutes. So I had to apologize to the dog and madly throw on some work-appropriate clothes.

 

Chug theory is working well! Having the elastic I can move to count the bottle is perfect. No "tracking" during the day, just move the elastic when I refill it.

 

The wisdom of the "don't think about it, just have oatmeal and then immediately walk the dog" breakfast plan is best demonstrated by me skipping it this morning. I can't be trusted to make decisions until I've been awake an hour or so. "I'll just go downstairs to pee, before doing some yoga" turned into "Man, we have so many leftovers in the fridge!" which turned into a breakfast of a plate of nachos, a huge bowl of shredded wheat, and corn bread.  Then I waddle back upstairs, thinking, "Oh, yeah, yoga BEFORE breakfast. Um... Why was I downstairs?"

 

:D Well, that's why there's zero week, to test and fine-tune. I might have to steal the water idea. 

Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Whoa, okay. Trying to do the barbell workout at home is going to be a crash course in the power-clean and the push-press. Okay, "crash" is a poor choice of words. Crashing is exactly what I am trying to avoid.


I brought home two 10kg plates from my random trash-picked weights pile, and today's I was experimenting to see how much I can comfortably get up onto my shoulders, without a rack. So, some variant of a clean, and at least enough of a push-press to get the bar over my head. In my bedroom. In very tight quarters. Currently, after about 80lb, I just can't trust myself to catch the bar. I fear the bar will go flying wildly and break things. 

 

I'm going to have to practice it at the workout space, and get more confident with catching the bar. Really, I should rig up SOME kind of rack, but I have so little space, and I had been avoiding learning the clean, so this provides some motivation.

 

Not having my car is super frustrating.

 

Doing a workout that requires equipment is super frustrating.

 

Plus, I'm currently really nervous about reinjuring myself. Once the car is fixed, I'm planning to scrape up $100 for a one-month membership at the Worcester Kettlebell Club. They do small-group coaching, and do basic barbell lifts as well as kettlebells. I really, really want to be confident that I am doing these things reasonably correctly and safely. I've twice tweaked my back with the kettlebells, and tweaked my wrist with the barbell workout. I'm not interested in repeating that. It is extremely discouraging.

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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Ugh. My back is hurting again.... WTF... Last night was a super easy workout, done when my back was feeling 95% better, more than five weeks after what seemed like a trivial muscle strain. 

 

giphy.gif

 

It isn't brutally painful, but it is seriously concerning to have sharp stabbing pain anytime I bend at the waist. Like is this a permanent thing?

 

Gentle movement does help. So basically I have to do some warm up before strenuous activities like getting out of bed or putting pants on. 

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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On 3/18/2018 at 1:45 PM, Darth Yoga said:

Ugh. My back is hurting again.... WTF... Last night was a super easy workout, done when my back was feeling 95% better, more than five weeks after what seemed like a trivial muscle strain. 

 

giphy.gif

 

It isn't brutally painful, but it is seriously concerning to have sharp stabbing pain anytime I bend at the waist. Like is this a permanent thing?

 

Gentle movement does help. So basically I have to do some warm up before strenuous activities like getting out of bed or putting pants on. 

 

Sounds like a muscle strain, unless your feeling it in the bone. Just make sure you're warming up and don't strain yourself. Drink lots of water and get a good amount of sleep. An Epsom salt bath will really help to!

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6 hours ago, Ba'sini'on said:

Sounds like a muscle strain, unless your feeling it in the bone. Just make sure you're warming up and don't strain yourself. Drink lots of water and get a good amount of sleep. An Epsom salt bath will really help to!

 

Ooh, I should try epsom salt bath... It definitely feels like a muscle strain. It isn't along the spine. It is about two inches out to the side, right on the top edge of the pelvis. A hot pad helps dramatically.

 

The thing that really seems to irritate it is prolonged sitting. I've got my temp job at the tax office now, which is 6 hours on my butt. Blessedly, only once a week right now, so I'll just set a timer to remind me to take a stroll to the back room and stretch it every so often.

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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GAWD! This is why the oatmeal plan!! I got up earlier than intended, thought I'd have a "little snack" and head back to bed for a few hours. 500 calories later, I go back upstairs, still hungry, because it was all little snacky shit.

 

*sigh* First thing I eat - oatmeal. I cannot be trusted to make food selections until I have been awake for an hour or two.

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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Barbell workout is super frustrating. I'm still not feeling great about my form for squats, and having to clean and press the weight up onto my back is just not working. I've seen people use milk crates for a squat rack, and with some scrap wood secured to the tops, that should work. Ugh. I am so sick of half-assing this stuff, but my other option is just to give up on the barbell workouts entirely until I get my car back. Who knows when that will be.

 

HOWEVER - I've been having some really great hikes in the woods with the dog, even with all the snow. Yay for snowshoes! Again, I am kind of not thrilled about needing any kind of gear, but the snow is deep enough to make walking extremely difficult, so okay, snowshoes. And a pole, because getting back up after falling in deep fluffy snow is ridiculous. First time out, I fell in some snow deeper than my arms, and had to just squirm around in the snow until I dug myself a little hole where I could get my feet back under me. But I don't really like carrying a pole.

 

Eventually, I'd like to buy a light pair of small-ish snowshoes that I can put simple loop bindings on (so I can kick them off if I fall down) and/or a collapsible pole that I can stow while on easy terrain. I could make the snowshoes with a free afternoon and suitable rope. But there is a hard moratorium on buying pretty much anything besides groceries and gasoline right now. 

 

The snowshoeing is definitely more physically demanding than hiking. Especially on deep powder, damn, that is exhausting. I have no idea how accurate the calorie burn estimates are on MyFitnessPal, but they give me a huge pile of exercise calories for an hour of snowshoeing. I'm a little ambivalent about setting up a pattern of being active just as an excuse to eat more, but last challenge, I definitely noticed near the end that I was reluctant to go on long hikes because I wasn't eating any extra and I knew I'd be super hungry. And I'm not going to be tracking calories forever. This is just calibration.

 

My morning routine is going pretty well. I'm giving myself full credit for the morning and evening routines if they get done at all, even if there are significant delays and diversions. Next challenge I'll tighten them up. Start small.

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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Temporary squat rack = SUCCESS!

 

0322181738.jpg

 

I've only got 125lb of weight here, so this should be fine for now.

 

If I keep working out at home, I'd like to pick up a cheap pair of squat stands. I saw them $60 on Amazon. But I'm not buying anything right now.

 

However, I should be able to work my way back up to 125lb by the end of the month, and I will have run out of room on the bar at that point, so I'll need a few larger plates.

Current plan is to pick up a few bags of concrete and make a few 40lb plates. Concrete is $5 for an 80lb bag. So that is no big deal. I might even spend $10 and get a bag of the reinforcing fibers. (That is a 1lb bag, which is enough to reinforce... almost 4000lb of concrete. Wow. I can't find it in a smaller bag though.)

 

I made some plates before, but just eyeballed the radius, and they wound up being much thicker than I anticipated. I've calculated it out this time and a 7" radius should give me ~3" thick disk. But basically I plan to do it the same way: Make a cardboard form, lined with heavy plastic trashbag. Tape a short piece of PVC in the center. Mix up half the concrete in a 5gal bucket & carefully pour it in. Then when it is set, peel off the plastic & cut the pvc flush on the top.

 

I'll post pictures of the process when I make them.

 

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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WEEK 1 REVIEW

 

WEEKLY ROUTINE: GOOD! B. 25/30pt

  • Barbell workout : DONE! Tues, Thurs, Saturday. All at home. (Car is still in the shop.)
  • Hike DONE! I had to squeeze one in Sunday afternoon, so not great, but still good. I am really enjoying it, and my dog of course, loves it. I'll be thrilled when the snow is finally melted.
  • Violin practice: 2/3. I'm having a little trouble fitting this in. I missed two of my three scheduled practice sessions because of poor time management. Procrastination, then realizing it is far too late at night to be playing violin. But I am going to keep at it. 

DAILY ROUTINE : PERFECT! A+, 30pts.

  • Morning Routine : EVERY DAY! Yay! This is going well. I'll get a little sidetracked, but I am doing the things.
  • Lunch - PERFECT! 4 out of 4 days. I really like this. My partner and I often don't get as much time together as we'd like, so this is something I want to stick with long term.
  • Evening Routine : EVERY DAY! This is a very very simplified version of my ideal evening routine, but it is a start.    

FOOD : GREAT! A++ 44pt out of a possible 49pts (goal was 40pt)

  • WATER:  7/7pt. PERFECT! This is a fairly easy habit. I fill one quart before going to bed, drink some when I first wake up, and finish it with breakfast. Second quart I drink from during the day, and generally finish before 10pm.
  • THREE "PN-STYLE" SMALL MEALS: GREAT! 19pt/ possible 21, goal 18. One is the lunch with Raven, and the other two are generally pre-packed meals made earlier in the week. I had one crazy holiday cheat day where I just ate whatever. A lot of pie and scalloped potatoes... But consistent aside from that, and I'm not aiming for 100%. It is't hard, but it is definitely something I need to intentionally set a goal for, or I won't do it.
  • TRACK: GOOD! Tracking every day on MFP. Meeting the fiber target is trivial. Protein I sometimes have to make an effort to hit, but hit it consistently. Calories, well.... Calories are tricky. With an added allowance for higher levels of activity, I've stayed in the ballpark of the calorie goals 5 out of 7 days. I put the hikes and stuff into MFP, but I'm mostly just using a ballpark figure of 250kcals for an hour of moderate activity (like easy hiking) and 500kcals for an hour of vigorous activity or strength training. The strength training probably burns half that much, but I'd like to gain some muscle. I'll keep an eye on my waistline, and see how it goes.

So, I have finished my caloric restriction experiment, and decided that no way am I doing that again in WINTER. A week on a more generous diet, and my internal furnace is back up to its normal ridiculous level, and I'm stripping to a t-shirt while other people are huddled in in sweaters and hats. 

 

I am not being strict about calories. I am eating when hungry. The calorie tracking is more of a mindfulness thing, something that gets me to stop and ask "For real are you actually hungry?" and reminds me to be moderate with the super calorically dense stuff. It is super easy for me to say, "Oh, I'm not very hungry. I don't want a meal. I'll just have a little snack." and then eat 500+kcals of nuts and dried fruit. So instead I'll have a piece of raw fruit, and if I want more, eat a meal.

 

image.png.0431fe2e396ceedfb3b43beb914fe297.png

 

Thursday was 2hrs of snow shoveling and THEN a workout. Stuffing food in my face all day.

Saturday I made good food choices, but I was just super hungry. I had a 4am emergency peanut butter sandwich, and still woke up so hungry that I ate a second bowl of oatmeal and it barely made a dent in the hunger so an hour later I ate my lunch too. But then Sunday afternoon was the ridiculous holiday meal, sooo much delicious food. Mostly good healthy stuff, but also pie. I guessed somewhere in the ballpark of 2500kcals, but no regrets about that. :) Holiday potlucks are always "EAT ALL THE THINGS" days for me.

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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RESULTS OF NUTRITIONIST VISIT

 

Last month, my doctor noticed my cholesterol was a little high, so she made me an appointment with the medical nutritionist at the local hospital. In the weeks between that and my appointment, I looked up some info on dietary changes to improve cholesterol, and read over the handouts she gave me. I immediately implemented the "more fiber" recommendation, and rather than switching to low-fat dairy I've just been eating less dairy. Hence the oatmeal for breakfast (made with water, and some added fiber supplement). And making my eggs with a little olive oil instead of a big cube of butter. Also using beans for the default starch in my "food pods". All fairly easy things.

 

So I saw the nutritionist yesterday!

 

She went through a "what do you eat on a typical day" questionnaire, and a "how often do you eat the following types of food" questionnaire.

 

She verified that I have a decent grasp of portion size. She had a little example plate of fake food that was exactly what I put in my food pods - 1/2c starch, 1/2c green veggie, 1/2c other veggie, 3-4oz (1/2c) meat. So, yes, that is what I eat. Good. She also said my weight was perfect.

 

She went over my bloodwork.

  • LDL 151 - Not good. Should be under 100. I don't eat a lot of typical junk food, but I do eat a lot of animal fat. Butter, fatty meats, more butter, whole milk, cheese, more butter. 
  • HDL 56 - very good! should be over 40. So I don't need to worry about eating more "healthy fats" - I am eating plenty of that.
  • Triglycerides - 46. Super good. should be under 150. She said she assumed I was obviously on some cholesterol-lowering medication to have triglycerides so low

The takeaway message is that she wants me to eat less than 13g saturated fat per day. I didn't realize how low that was until I looked at it in MFP. That is just 2-3 official serving-size servings of fatty meat or full fat dairy. Plus other "good fat" foods like nuts also have a certain amount of saturated fat. MFP sets the target as 10% total fat, so currently 28g, and I don't even stay under that consistently.

 

She also said ideal no trans fats, but definitely no more than four official-serving-size servings of foods with non-trivial amounts of hydrogenated oil/etc. Well, that is no problem. I think I generally stay under 4 servings a week of that sort of thing. 

 

So no surprises, really. I don't know how much I am actually going to cut back on the animal fats. I'm happy eating more fiber, for sure I can do that! Skim milk.... eh.... No. But I have been choosing leaner cuts of meat more frequently, and dairy less.  I don't know. I'm considering it.

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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Fats is one of those goals that I always aim for... and always miss. Not just meats, but seeds, nuts, anything protein-y that's not meat-based.... I don't think i have ever not gone over fat goals. It's frustrating, for sure. Grats on having good HDL and triglycerides though. That's nothing to sneeze at. 

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Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Fat is delicious.

 

I was just mentioning to my housemate that I don't think I put WAY more butter on stuff than normal, until I go to a diner with those tiny little plastic butter packets, and one packet seems woefully inadequate for even the tiniest roll. And of course, my partner is on that keto diet, so I've got to eat his share of the bread, right? Which means I'll easily use 8-10 little butter packets before my meal even arrives.

 

I got into the habit of MORE BUTTER ON EVERYTHING during my many years of low appetite and fast metabolism, struggling to keep weight on. 

 

Still staring at that "<13g saturated fat per day" guideline, like, "really???" I mean, my newly revised "second breakfast" of 3 eggs with greens, cooked in a little olive oil, is still 6g. Which means basically one other item per day with a non-trivial amount of saturated fat. Like one slice of cheese. :( *sigh*

 

So like I said, I will keep an eye that number, and experiment with dropping things that I am not super fond of anyway, but routinely hitting that goal while ALSO hitting any kind of reasonable protein goal seems so ridiculously unreasonable right now. Besides, I'm not 100% sold on the benefit of severely restricting animal fats.

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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QUICK PROGRESS REPORT: 

 

Barbell workouts are going good! I need to get those concrete plates made very soon, preferably this weekend. I'm due to run out of weight at home on Wednesday. Squat is back up to 130lb. Yay! My low back is still tight, but otherwise feeling good. OH Press is up to 75lb, which is more than my previous PR. Chinups are getting better. I've gone from 5 sets of 3 to mostly sets of 4. (If I am fresh, I can do a set of 5.)

 

Yoga has been going great! I've been more serious about my practice. More Ashtanga, less screwing around. My current plan is to gradually increase my morning practice to at least a "half primary" which is close to an hour long, on at least 4 days a week. (Other days, just a short practice, 15m or so.) I'll probably just add one pose per week, longer on the harder poses. It is a fairly demanding practice - both in strength and flexibility - but it is a practice that I am strongly called to. 

 

Violin practice is also good. I've been doing super boring drills, which I am actually not finding painful. I've gotten to a point where I realy want to clean up my playing, so the drills are rewarding in that way. Intonation is improving. Bowing is improving but still not consistent. My pinkies are marginally less spastic. :)

 

Hiking has been good - snow is starting to melt off. No snowshoes required this week, just boots. Large patches of trail are actually dirt/mud now! I am very much looking forward to sneakers.

 

I have been eating LOTS of food. Good food. Yay! According to the hospital scale, I've gained five pounds (up to 160lb) and my waist is down to 30" which is ideal for me. 

 

Upon reflection and discussion, I am going to cautiously disregard the "<13g saturated fat" guideline. I'll keep an eye on MFP's target of <10% of total fat (28g), and be a little more moderate in my butter consumption. Mostly, I'm just eating lots of fiber. Yay, oatmeal & beans & veggies & fruits! In 6 months, if my LDL is still bad, I'll reconsider.

 

I'm a little nervous that this'll all fall apart once my schedule gets busier. I'm in a lull right now with life responsibilities, which is really great, and gives me time to do stuff for me, but at some point I am going to have to look at stuff and make some hard decisions about time and priorities. But for right now, I've got time, so I will enjoy it.

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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Might want to look into the psychology of reducing fat, too. I've seem many articles/ testimonies of how hard it is when you're staring at a hard limit, but if you find another way to approach it, you hit (reasonable) goals with much less difficulty. I've been trying to get my protein up for years, just seemed impossible until I looked at cutting down a bit on carbs. Suddenly, protein is up without thinking about it, because I'm looking at alternatives to what I am eating, rather than straight adding things in an unbalancing everything else. Just a thought. I agree that 13g seems... excessive. 

Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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WEEK 2 REVIEW

 

WEEKLY ROUTINE: GREAT! A+. 30/30pt

  • Barbell workout : PERFECT! Mon, Weds, Friday, as planned. Car is STILL in the shop, but Monday and Friday I managed to get to the gym anyway. Good progress.
  • Hike GOOD! I overslept Saturday, and missed my change to hike then, but went Sunday afternoon. THE SNOW IS MOSTLY MELTED!
  • Violin practice: GOOD! I skipped one of my scheduled practices, but made it up the next day. I wish I had clearer benchmarks for progress on this. I think I am improving, but it is so hard to quantify.

DAILY ROUTINE : NOT CONSISTENT! C, 30pts.

  • Morning Routine
    • First Things: 6/7. Mostly good! I somehow spaced taking my pills one morning, but was consistent with morning yoga and checking my schedule.
    • Eat Breakfast. 4/7. Meh. The last three days I did not stick to The Routine, with the predictable results, including cold pizza for breakfast.
    • Go outside: 5/7. Good, considering circumstances. Two days I had to get out the door especially early, and while I theoretically got up early enough, I didn't account for moving much more slowly while still half-asleep.
  • Lunch - Not good. 2 out of 4 days. Saturday and Sunday I slept past noon, which is not great on a number of levels. 
  • Evening Routine : 6/7 days. GOOD! One evening I checked my calendar but didn't actually make a list, but aside from that, all good.    

FOOD : GOOD! A. 40pt out of a possible 49pts (goal is 40pt)

  • WATER:  6/7pt. Good! This is a fairly easy habit. I forgot on one day, and one day I finished closer to bedtime than I would prefer, but still okay.
  • THREE BALANCED MEALS: Okay! 17pt/ possible 21, goal 18. Most days I only had two balanced meals, with met and veg. A lot of not-great choices this week, and a lot of "Eh, I'm not really hungry", leading to recreational snacking instead of meals. And people keep bringing home pizza. :( 
  • TRACK: Eh.... Hitting the protein and fiber goals is not a problem. The fiber goal is trivial, and if I got the three balanced meals in, I wouldn't even have to think about protein either. But calories, well, I'm sort of an "all or nothing" person. I have a hard time with moderation. I've been eating some real crap the past few days, and not because I am hungry. Also, with the snow mostly gone, the exhausting calorie-destroying snowshoeing has turned into more casual hikes. Well, I'll keep an eye on it.

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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17 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Might want to look into the psychology of reducing fat, too. I've seem many articles/ testimonies of how hard it is when you're staring at a hard limit, but if you find another way to approach it, you hit (reasonable) goals with much less difficulty. I've been trying to get my protein up for years, just seemed impossible until I looked at cutting down a bit on carbs. Suddenly, protein is up without thinking about it, because I'm looking at alternatives to what I am eating, rather than straight adding things in an unbalancing everything else. Just a thought. I agree that 13g seems... excessive. 

 

Yeah, the protein goal was definitely harder for me when it was out of context, just "add more protein to your existing diet". But if meals are based around meat & veg, rather than starch and fat, then it is pretty easy.

 

For saturated fat, the interventions I can definitely do is:

  • Don't go crazy with the butter. Eating freely, I'd estimate I eat half a pound of butter a week. That is a lot of butter.
  • Don't just habitually put the maximum feasible amount of cheese on everything that could possibly have cheese put on it. 
  • Don't go crazy with the junk food. A few servings a week, as part of a social activity, is fine. Pizza for breakfast is not fine. Buying junky snacks is not fine. Fast food drive through because I forgot to eat breakfast is not fine.
  • Stick with oatmeal instead of cold breakfast cereal in whole milk as my default carby snack. It is way cheaper anyhow.

 

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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I cast the new concrete plates, but they've come out pretty badly. I apparently fail to appreciate how cold it is in my house. So the concrete was curing really slowly, giving the duct-taped forms two days to get nudged around (they are in the hallway) and become partially un-duct-taped, letting the sides of the plates slump and crumble. Oh well, they'll be adequate for my purposes.

 

Upside-down picture of plates in progress:

 

0404181545.jpg

 

They are dry, but still soft and crumbly. They need time to cure. I've unwrapped them, and set them in the heated sewing room for a few days. So we'll see, but if they turn out really bad, I think I'll look in the barn and see if I can find a rubber feed bucket of approximately 15" diameter.

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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WEEK 3 REVIEW

 

WEEKLY ROUTINE: Eh... C. 20/30pt

  • Barbell workout : PERFECT! Mon, Weds, Friday, as planned. Car is STILL in the shop. My new pair of concrete weights are not cured, so I am stuck at 133.8lb for my squat. (60kg. Damn metric weights.)
  • Hike Eh... I overslept on a few of my planned hiking days, so only went out twice. The snow is still "almost melted" - we had more snow this week.
  • Violin practice: Eh... Also only twice this week. My schedule has been weird, with a lot of late nights, and I had difficulty finding time for it. There were a couple days where I'd planned to practice "as soon as I got home" but then didn't get home until 10pm.

DAILY ROUTINE : NOT CONSISTENT! C, 23/30pts. (Actually didn't do terribly, but the scoring is really strict for this one.) 

  • Morning Routine
    • First Things: 5.5/7. Mostly good. Again, I somehow spaced taking my pills one morning, and one morning checked my calendar but not my list. However, I remain 100%  consistent with morning yoga.
    • Eat Breakfast. 6/7. Mostly good. Circumstances keep interfering with this, but only in minor ways. So two half-credit days, and a few "well, close enough" days.
    • Go outside: 4.5/7. Eh. Two days I slept late and didn't have time. Another day I slept late and went out right after lunch.
  • Lunch - Good. 3 out of 3 days. This one is a really great habit. My partner works late and gets up around noon, so he loves having hot breakfast just appear in the morning. And without it, even though we both mostly work from home, we often don't see much of each other during the day.
  • Evening Routine : 6/7 days. GOOD! One evening I checked my calendar but didn't actually make a list, but aside from that, all good.    

FOOD : GOOD! A+. 45pt out of a possible 49pts (goal is 40pt)

  • WATER:  7/7pt. Good! This is still a fairly easy one.
  • THREE BALANCED MEALS: GOOD! 20pt/ possible 21, goal 18. I'm a little ambivalent about this score, because a few of these were "eh, close enough" meals (like a balanced meal, plus big pile of penne alfredo) and many of them were, "Well, crap, what can I eat?" scrounging around the kitchen rather than planned pre-made meals, which I know from experience isn't sustainable. Not having pre-made meals in the fridge quickly leads to PB sandwich and cereal. This is really a core habit for me. Next time I'll probably set a goal specifically for doing premade meals... Because if they are there, I will eat them.
  • TRACK: Well.... Still eating in the ballpark of 3000 calories... I've put on a few pounds, but not all of it fat. Pants are still fitting okay, so I am not too worried about it. Some of it has been poor food choices, but I've just been really hungry.

 

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #21 Baby Steps

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