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Short Time Listener, First time Challenger


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Hey Everyone,

 

I’m a husband, a father of 2 and a half kids (my wife is pregnant at the moment), and a life-long nerd. Most guys I know group up watching Football or Baseball regularly because of their Dads. In my house, we watched Star Trek every week and watched Star Wars on repeat. I fell in love with King Arthur and He-Man, as a kid, which developed my love for fantasy until I found Dungeons and Dragons, where my love exploded. Christopher Reeves is my Superman and I still love the 90 X-Men cartoon. Recently I have fallen in love with audio drama podcasts and various other Indie Nerd projects. One of my long-term quests is to find a way to help grow the indie nerd community.

 

I’m excited about my first Nerd Fitness Challenge. I picked up Steve’s Level Up Your Life book recently and I’m over halfway done. I figured this would be a good first start to this process. There is so much I would like to do and I tend to get overwhelmed by the list of things I want to do/learn. I like the idea of completing mini quests especially when they help me on the path towards my Epic quests. I find it’s easy to feel like I’m just spinning my wheels when I try to do everything at once, but this way I can try experimenting with different quests.

 

I know, as a first timer challenger, it is suggested I only pursue 3-4 mini-quests for this challenge but I’ve decided to come into this with 5 this time. To be fair, this had to be whittled down from about 2 to 3 dozen so I call this a win.

 

  1. Create a Healthy Weekly Meal Plan: There are plenty of meal plans out there which can be catered to healthy eating of various sorts but I don’t tend to be super adventurous with what I eat (maybe I’ll save this for a later challenge). I want to come up with about a dozen different healthy meals I think the family will eat and which I can rotate week by week.

  2. Drink Less Soda: I already drink about ¾ to a full gallon of water every day but I still add a 16/20 oz Red Bull or 2-3 cans of soda every day to the mix. The quest is to quit drinking energy drinks altogether and reduce my sodas to no more than 3x a week.

  3. Continue Lifting 4x per week: I know several people in the challenge are using a variety of weightlifting programs and my poison happens to be Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1. I blew through his programming book and finished my first 4-week cycle on Saturday. The goal here is to keep the dedication alive and continue through another lifting cycle.

  4. Do 30 mins of yoga once a week: I figured out recently I need to stretch more and work on my mobility. I figure this would be a fun way, once a week, to get my mobility in to ensure I don’t hurt myself while I continue lifting.

  5. Life Goal – Finishing Taxes: My wife has a photography business which she loves doing, but it is part-time. Between taking the pictures, the editing, and watching the kiddos when they aren’t at school she has a pretty full plate. I volunteered to help her out and haven’t made any progress yet. I want to ensure all of her information is ready to send to the accountant.

 

I have easily picked several more, but I figured this would be a good start. Again, I can’t wait to start this challenge and being a force for good with everyone here.

 

Good Luck Everyone,

 

Joe “the Ditz” Ditzel

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When I first thought about joining this challenge, I was ignorantly optimistic. I figured I would start simple with something I was planning on doing anyway and I could cake walk through my first challenge. This was not to skate on through until the end but give myself some small wins to up the ante next time. While I'm still on track and have worked on most of my quests so far, its been significantly more difficult than I thought it would be right off the bat. I could feel myself being pulled to the dark side. This morning alone I almost didn't wake up to workout and almost drove to the store to get an Energy Drink. Thankfully, I did workout this morning and got my caffeine by drinking tea instead.

 

It has made me thankful I am hear doing this challenge as part of a group. It's helped keep me honest. One thing I've learned about myself, throughout the years, is I work better in a team because the team helps keep me accountable. I hate the idea of being the weak link, which forces me to get off my ass to do my part of the good of the team. I may be the Murdock of the group but he still had his role to play. Since I know I will have to report back to the group, it forces me to wake up at 5:15 in the morning to workout, even if I don't want to, or grab the tax info to enter it in while I'm watching TV instead of messing with my phone. Without this challenge, and this group, I'm sure I would have given up by now and for this, I'm truly grateful.

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1 hour ago, TheDitz said:

 This morning alone I almost didn't wake up to workout and almost drove to the store to get an Energy Drink. Thankfully, I did workout this morning and got my caffeine by drinking tea instead.

 

 

Right on! I only have one little one, but sometimes the energy I use from looking after him, working full time and studying part time really makes me just want to not train and fill up on junk. I have only just joined, and it seems like a really good group here.

 

Jim wendler 5/3/1 is fantastic. I personally prefer Johnny Pains Greyskull (Although much of a muchness really, consistency > programming at this stageif you are running a good program). I have recently switches to a modified version of Brian Alsruhes routine.

 

What I found helped with cutting out soda, I purchased a half gallon water jug. I fill it up when I get to work, finish it before lunch, and fill it up again after lunch and finish it before I leave. Along with a couple of glasses of water in the morning/evening I drink around 1.5-2 gallons of liquid including tea/coffee and don't feel like the crap drinks so much. Although Redbull/Monster/Rockstar are my vice :/

 

Good luck with your goals. Would be great to talk chat sometime

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51 minutes ago, Chaosbane said:

What I found helped with cutting out soda, I purchased a half gallon water jug. I fill it up when I get to work, finish it before lunch, and fill it up again after lunch and finish it before I leave. Along with a couple of glasses of water in the morning/evening I drink around 1.5-2 gallons of liquid including tea/coffee and don't feel like the crap drinks so much. Although Redbull/Monster/Rockstar are my vice :/

Damn, man... You must be floating throughout the day... hahaha. I completely understand the Red Bull/Monster/etc. I started drinking Red Bull in 2005 and have tried giving it up since then without any luck. It's not even about the "energy boost" because that doesn't effect me much. I just prefer the taste. Even when I try to cut back by using soda, I end up running back to the Red Bull. Between the sugar and the cost they are killing me. I'm hoping to make it stick this time.

 

I've heard about a few different lifting routines through this group including Greyskull and Stronglift. The part I find interesting is they seem to be different variations of the same thing and I agree it is all about consistency at this point. Even a mediocre program you do everyday is better than the perfect program you do randomly.

 

I appreciate the invitation to chat. I'd like that. I don't know what the best way to do that is but feel free to hit me up sometime.

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Another successful day in the books. I had a plan for dinner, I didn't drink any soda, and I got up this morning to work out even though I had ZERO desire to do anything but sleep. I haven't done any yoga yet this week but I have found some routines on YouTube to use this week.

 

It was a little easier to walk out the door without a soda this morning which felt great. I also looked at the change on my dresser, which I would normally have picked up to buy an energy drink, and left it there. I feel like I'm slowly making progress in this realm which it huge for me. I know I gave myself a 3 soda limit per week, to give myself some leeway in case I broke down, but I'm trying to avoid soda all together for the month. I honestly didn't think I would make it this many days without a soda so I'm already calling this a win.

 

Lastly, I weighed myself this morning and I am down to 236.5 putting me down almost 7 lbs since I started trying to lose weight at the end of April. That's a little over a lbs a week which I'm more than ok with. The goal was to be 215 by August, to be ready for the beach, which I don't think I'm going to hit but I think I'll come pretty close. They way I'm going I'll be excited to be in the 220s again. Small victories compound to larger successes.

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Week 1 Complete/Starting Week 2

 

Challenge wise this was a very good weekend. I ensured I didn't drink more than the two sodas I allotted for myself, I did the yoga session while my youngest "cheered" me on, and I have our meals planned out for the week. Even though I had 2 sodas this weekend, I've found my desire for them has decreased significantly. Could I still blow through a case of soda today? Probably, but its pull on me has gone down. My mini goal this week is to not have a soda until the weekend.

 

Thanks to my dog needed to go outside this morning, I was able to get up at 5 to workout which is how I'm trying to start out my week. All in all not a bad end to week 1 and start of week 2.

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With the first week in the books, I thought starting this second week would be much easier. The first week is the hard part, right? Apparently, many of the changes I'm looking to make will be more difficult than I thought. The last few mornings, I have had an overwhelming desire to get to the store to pick up a Red Bull/Monster to infuse my bloodstream with the sugar I use to give it regularly. Thankfully, I had a glass of milk and some tea and I haven't had a craving for the rest of the day. It's good to know mornings are my trigger hahaha.

 

I realized something else fairly interesting today. I figured out why I'm here and why I need to participate in as many challenges as I can. I started watching the movie Wanted, with Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman, this morning. If you haven't seen it before, there is a Fraternity of Assassins who are being hunted by one of their own. James McAvoy's father, in the movie, was recently murdered, and McAvoy (Wesley) is brought into the Fraternity to be trained.

 

The part I found most interesting is Wesley's life before the Fraternity brought him in the group. IT SUCKED! He was miserable and hated even waking up in the morning. If it wasn't for Angelina Jolie's character (Fox), he probably would have continued through his miserable life, hating every minute of it, and unwilling to do anything about it. It hit me as I was watching this that this was what I've always been expecting. I've been waiting for someone or something to come into my life and whisk me away on some crazy adventure. While I don't think my life is as bad as Wesley's, I've been coasting through life.

 

While this thought has given me a ton of stress in the last several hours, it has been extremely liberating as well. It reassures me, I'm in the right place. It is a thought I'm going to hold onto when things start to get tough. "Go ahead and quit, but no one is going to give you the life you want but you!" I also have to remember to take my time and work on one major task at a time. I wake up in the morning and my mind is going a mile a minute. There are some many things I want to do, which I think would be cool, and I start following them down the rabbit hole. This puts others things I was interested in on hold preventing me from making any progress. It's ok to think about those topics and have those ideas. If I want to pursue them one day, I can, but it can't be today. Not now. Not when I have other things I need to accomplish. Slow and steady... Slow and Steady.

 

Today, more than ever, I'm glad I joined the rebellion!

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Week 2 Down, Week Three Begins.

 

This was an interesting weekend for me. On the one hand, I was able to finish crushing my goals for this challenge putting another week in the books for me. I did all of my workouts by Friday, I did my weekly yoga session on Sunday, I did more work on my wife's taxes getting me at least halfway finished, my meals were all figured out, and I stuck to my 3 sodas per week, though I wasn't sure I would make it. I tested out doing Intermittent Fasting on Saturday, which was rough at first but once I was able to eat something I felt better. (I made myself a massive, health-ish taco salad). Sunday, probably in response to the IF, I went overboard by overeating. Despite this, I'm planning on doing IF during the rest of the week, starting today.

 

The problem came from finding out my car is FUBAR and we need to buy another one. Then my wife called to let me know the motor on one of the windows has gone out and the window was stuck in the downward position. This means we now need to get this fixed as well. We were also looking to upgrade the car we have now to get ready for the new baby. Now we have to do a bunch of scrambling in the near future, and I'm not sure we have the budget to make this work. This lead to my almost 7-month pregnant wife having an anxiety attack and me coming home from work early to help her out. All in all, it has been a stressful 24 hrs. 

 

Like many of the stories in books like the 4 Hour Work Week, the $100 Startup, and Level Up Your Life I'm hoping to help my wife sort of transition from part-time photographer to photographer/coach. She has been a successful birth photographer for the last 7 years and I know this is a growing niche. Helping coach/mentor other birth photographers would allow her to focus on the birth photography itself instead of taking every photo session which comes her way. I know she would do an amazing job once she starts. I am filled with both anxiety and excitement for the future. 

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Week 3 Down, Week 4 Begins

 

Today is a good day for me. I woke up, worked out, and found out I'm the lowest weight I've been in over 2 years (231.9 lbs). This was a big deal for me and I'm still so pumped about it. Though I don't think I'll meet my, outside the challenge, weight goal of 215 lbs by the time I head to the beach I'm still very excited about my progress. I'm actually pretty surprised especially after this weekend and living it up because it was Father's Day.

 

While I'm still staying strong with most of my goals, I'm not sure I'm going to complete my wife's taxes by the end of the challenge though I still plan to have them done by the end of the month. Yoga still scares me, which I still don't understand why but I think it means I need to have more yoga in my life. I also received a copy of Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett which I'm excited to jump into when I have a moment. After pulling a back muscle I've become extremely aware of my lack of mobility and I'm excited to see what he has to say. Lastly, I need to get better about sitting down with my wife to plan out our dinners for the week. I always have a few on reserve but it would be better to have a solid plan.

 

I'm still working out 4 times a week and keeping my soda intake down. It is getting to the point where they are starting to taste too sweet but I don't think I'm ready to give them up yet. I think I'll be able to give them up in another challenge or two. La Croix has actually become a nice substitute for soda and, since I've decreased the amount of sugar I ingest daily, it tastes much better. Either way, I'm excited to finish up this challenge strong!

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13 minutes ago, TheDitz said:

Yoga still scares me, which I still don't understand why but I think it means I need to have more yoga in my life. I also received a copy of Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett which I'm excited to jump into when I have a moment. After pulling a back muscle I've become extremely aware of my lack of mobility and I'm excited to see what he has to say.

 

I'm right there with ya.  Yoga is intimidating for those of us with limited mobility, but you're right, that means we need it even more.  Especially those of us that have suffered back damage know what it's like to be leery of any odd movements.  Still, you're cognizant of it, and you're taking steps, so that's a win to me.

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1 hour ago, ilsudur said:

 

I'm right there with ya.  Yoga is intimidating for those of us with limited mobility, but you're right, that means we need it even more.  Especially those of us that have suffered back damage know what it's like to be leery of any odd movements.  Still, you're cognizant of it, and you're taking steps, so that's a win to me.

 

I'm also pretty sure it comes from a place of feeling dumb because I'm not a master yogi. I know how dumb this sounds but I'm sure you know it's easier to know something than it is to do something about it. I appreciate the support, @ilsudur

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