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Harriet's Year of Energy: Act I


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6 hours ago, Harriet said:

What's the sleep cycle alarm? And the daylight clock? I have heard of apps that wake you when you're at a light stage of sleep to help avoid grogginess. Is that it? Is it any good?

Yes, that's exactly what it does. It tracks how you sleep and wakes you at a random time within a half-hour window. It wakes you softly and tries to aim for the lightest part of your sleep cycle. Check out www.sleepcycle.com. I read about it in Steve Kamb's blog.

Additionally, there are apps that filter out the blue tones on your computer screen or smartphone screen after sundown. Apparently that also helps in falling asleep faster (or at least getting to the good part of your sleep faster). Apps like f.lux or Twilight. I've started using those too this week.

 

Still too early to say if they're any good. Most of the Sleep Cycle alarm effects have been voided by the missus who poked me in the ribs to urge me to turn off my alarm. :P

I believe it helps, though.

 

6 hours ago, Harriet said:

OMG Timovie, I hope the waking at random times doesn't last forever. Parents still get to sleep eventually, right? At some stage? 

Well, I figure they're no longer going to be crawling in bed with Mommy and Daddy when puberty hits, so it'll end eventually. :D

It's been going on for a few months now. My daughter did the same when she was 3, so I reckon it's a phase the kids just go through. My son's phase is lasting a lot longer than my daughter's, though. But like I said, it'll end eventually.

 

Also, there are nights when he crawls between us and doesn't claim half the bed, so sometimes we don't notice until we wake up in the morning. Those nights are as good as the ones where he stays in his own bed.

Besides, if they're not disturbing your sleep too much by doing it, it's actually quite nice to have them that close at night. Snuggling up together can be nice.

 

Don't let the prospect of a few sleepless nights keep you from having kids in the future. ;)

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Well done with week 1, you did awesome!

Fresh figs are just heavenly, it's great you can find some easily :D

I really hope that this challenge can help you get a little less tired. It's probably good that you reduced your posture exercises, your body may need to take things extra slow and gentle.

Do you do guided meditations or do you meditate silently?

 

Take care and let's have a great week 2!

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Dancing Sylph - Level 9 Monk/Druid

Former Captain of the Nerdians of the Fitalaxy

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13 hours ago, TimovieMan said:

Don't let the prospect of a few sleepless nights keep you from having kids in the future. ;)

 

Ha, I'm glad it's not forever. Children do sound daunting, it's nice to hear about the good bits, too. I found a thing on my phone that makes it warm toned at night! And I'll check out the alarm app, thanks for the tip.

 

45 minutes ago, Nol said:

 

Do you do guided meditations or do you meditate silently?

 

tenor.gif?itemid=7660908

 

Awwwww, Owl and Kitten with foldy ears!!! So cute! I want them! 


I have done guided meditations in the past, so I picked up some techniques and cues - body scan, focusing on the breath. I just do it by myself now, to help quiet my mind and fall asleep. I'd like to add proper meditation into my days, maybe for the next challenge. What kind do you do?

Also, I know this isn't relevant, but just look at the puglets!!!!

 

giphy.gif

 

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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4 hours ago, Exylem said:

It seems you are doing great!

 

About being tired, have you talked to a doctor about it? It may be the need for exercises (or the need of getting used to them) and better food, thus this challenge will be a nice experiment :) But it is also worth checking, if you haven't and are able to.

 

Thanks! Yeah, I've asked. They just sort of shrugged and said some people have less energy than others. Also, the onset of my depression coincided with the onset of my exhaustion (18 years ago) and doctors seem to think it a sufficient explanation, even though the depression has improved significantly. I may go get my iron and B12 tested as I was deficient several years ago. But I'm pretty sure my thyroid is normal. I also had mononucleosis at some point, which apparently causes lasting tiredness in some people. Shrug. There are so many inadequate explanations to choose from, but I am certain that 16 years of being extremely sedentary, having appalling sleep hygiene, and living off refined carbs has made it a lot worse.

 

The good news: Since moving here and beginning walking and cycling everywhere, plus doing my posture exercises, I'm already starting to feel less exhausted when we go out! Wheeeee! If I carry on like this, in approximately 8.5 years, I will have all the energy!!!!!

 

giphy.gif

 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Walked 30 min to uni, 30 min back, and went on a longish walk with husband to check out a park in our new area. There was a hill. There were stairs – so many stairs. BUT, I prevailed, and was significantly less tired than I would have been before. The posture exercises are helping so much, and for so little time and effort. 


I ate lots of protein, have been sleeping & keeping caffeine to 2/day, no wine. Wins. All the wins. However, my neighbours are throwing an oktoberfest party next weekend, and it would simply be churlish not to partake of the beer. The Bretzel do not offer a pleasure-to-carb ratio high enough for me to be tempted. But I have been asked to provide something Germanish. I have made Pfeffernusse before, and they are exquisite, though they are quite a lot of trouble to make, and expensive since I would have to buy all the spices (7 or 8 types, from memory) from scratch and the crazy spices cost $6 here, so.... Maybe a salad? Or vanilla kipferl? That would be a nice compromise. But it's not Christmas. But we're not real Germans, so maybe it doesn't matter. Anyway, I should stop wittering on about biscuits. 

 

giphy.gif

 

 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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On 9/24/2018 at 11:26 AM, Harriet said:

 

I've been keeping up with my posture exercises every day, but lowered the volume a bit so it doesn't drive me crazy. I've been designing meals to get at least 100g protein per day, sometimes more like 120-140. I've been meditating to help me fall asleep, and have been getting a lot more sleep as a result. Alas, I still feel tired. Oh well, nothing for it but to keep trying. Didn't work? More of the same! 

 

 

Great job doing so many healthy things! Keep up improving sleep habits--there are so many possible culprits for fatigue, if you keep investigating, you'll find your thing. And you will be glad you persevered on the quest!

 

 

sleeping-zzzz-neko-anime-characters-40089134-500-250.gif

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"Believe that a further shore is reachable from here." --Seamus Heaney

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8 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Thanks! Yeah, I've asked. They just sort of shrugged and said some people have less energy than others. Also, the onset of my depression coincided with the onset of my exhaustion (18 years ago) and doctors seem to think it a sufficient explanation, even though the depression has improved significantly. I may go get my iron and B12 tested as I was deficient several years ago. But I'm pretty sure my thyroid is normal. I also had mononucleosis at some point, which apparently causes lasting tiredness in some people. Shrug. There are so many inadequate explanations to choose from, but I am certain that 16 years of being extremely sedentary, having appalling sleep hygiene, and living off refined carbs has made it a lot worse.

 

The good news: Since moving here and beginning walking and cycling everywhere, plus doing my posture exercises, I'm already starting to feel less exhausted when we go out! Wheeeee! If I carry on like this, in approximately 8.5 years, I will have all the energy!!!!!

 

giphy.gif

 

Oh, in this case, it is likely the lack of exercises, then. That's good, because you are attacking the problem and doing great on this! Keep it up.

 

And keep posting gifs like this. Loved that bird. :3

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16 hours ago, Harriet said:

Walked 30 min to uni, 30 min back, and went on a longish walk with husband to check out a park in our new area. There was a hill. There were stairs – so many stairs. BUT, I prevailed, and was significantly less tired than I would have been before. The posture exercises are helping so much, and for so little time and effort. 


I ate lots of protein, have been sleeping & keeping caffeine to 2/day, no wine. Wins. All the wins. However, my neighbours are throwing an oktoberfest party next weekend, and it would simply be churlish not to partake of the beer. The Bretzel do not offer a pleasure-to-carb ratio high enough for me to be tempted. But I have been asked to provide something Germanish. I have made Pfeffernusse before, and they are exquisite, though they are quite a lot of trouble to make, and expensive since I would have to buy all the spices (7 or 8 types, from memory) from scratch and the crazy spices cost $6 here, so.... Maybe a salad? Or vanilla kipferl? That would be a nice compromise. But it's not Christmas. But we're not real Germans, so maybe it doesn't matter. Anyway, I should stop wittering on about biscuits. 

 

giphy.gif

 

 

 

Oh man, what a challenge. For Oktoberfest you could make Kartoffelsalat? German style, without mayonnaise? I guess that's sorta healthy-er.. :D Or Gurkensalat?  I've not made Pfeffernüsse before, but yah all the spices will be pricey. 

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17 hours ago, Lady Amezan said:

 

Great job doing so many healthy things! Keep up improving sleep habits--there are so many possible culprits for fatigue, if you keep investigating, you'll find your thing. And you will be glad you persevered on the quest!


Thanks! Yes, I'm thinking for the next challenge I'll tackle some exercise aimed specifically at endurance. It's the think I hate and fear, but it will be good for me. And my new base of strength and posture should make it less loathsome. I may also think about taking vitamin D and omega 3. Oh, and additional daily meditation will surely help. 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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10 hours ago, Exylem said:

Oh, in this case, it is likely the lack of exercises, then. That's good, because you are attacking the problem and doing great on this! Keep it up.

 

And keep posting gifs like this. Loved that bird. :3

 

Here's a red panda being pecked by a crow. I don't know if it wants the panda's soft, soft fur for its nest, or if it's just being a jerk. Either way, red pandas are the cutest. 

 

giphy.gif

 

  • Like 1

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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1 hour ago, Mera said:

 

Oh man, what a challenge. For Oktoberfest you could make Kartoffelsalat? German style, without mayonnaise? I guess that's sorta healthy-er.. :D Or Gurkensalat?  I've not made Pfeffernüsse before, but yah all the spices will be pricey. 

 

Hmmm, now I think on it, I don't even really want to waste my treat meal on beer and sausage. I think it would be best to eat our own dinner, then pop over just to be polite and say hello to the neighbours. But yeah, a salad could be fine.

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Ugh, just for a change, yesterday sucked. So I agreed to go to a concert on Tuesday night (why? I hate concerts. I hate the noise, the lights, and the crowds, and have had panic attacks in the past) and ended up drinking wine to tranquillise my concert anxiety. I don't know if it was because I didn't eat dinner, or because I haven't had any alcohol for a couple of weeks, but the wine affected me a lot more than usual. I was sick as a dog yesterday. I ate about half a pizza and little else because nausea. I didn't sleep much last night (too much sleeping during the day?) and have a headache. I'm debating whether to drag myself to the gym but last week's deadlifts were so friggin hard (like, feeling I might snap sort of hard) I'm not sure I can face the next set in my current state. Ugh, Timovieman, I know I totally wrote that a bad workout is better than none. But I don't want weightlifting to feel like a punishment. It's already psychologically and emotionally challenging at times, especially the deadlifts.

Anyway, I'm now motivated to be much more careful about consuming alcohol as the weeks of abstinence seem to have tripled its potency.

giphy.gif

 

I think it should be reserved for fine restaurants/special occasions – and taken in modest quantities. I need to rely on meditation and prayer to the spirits of the earth for comfort in anxiety provoking situations, not alcohol. And I have a renewed appreciation for adequate sleep and abundant, healthy, good food. But also, I realise that pizza needs to be in my life occasionally.

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bad0f886459534249

 

I've got some chicken breast with sweet potato and sugar snap peas lined up for tonight, and I'm going to make the awesome peanut sauce again. Looking forward to eating all the things today.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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On 9/28/2018 at 2:13 AM, Harriet said:

Ugh, just for a change, yesterday sucked. So I agreed to go to a concert on Tuesday night (why? I hate concerts. I hate the noise, the lights, and the crowds, and have had panic attacks in the past) and ended up drinking wine to tranquillise my concert anxiety. I don't know if it was because I didn't eat dinner, or because I haven't had any alcohol for a couple of weeks, but the wine affected me a lot more than usual. I was sick as a dog yesterday. I ate about half a pizza and little else because nausea. I didn't sleep much last night (too much sleeping during the day?) and have a headache. I'm debating whether to drag myself to the gym but last week's deadlifts were so friggin hard (like, feeling I might snap sort of hard) I'm not sure I can face the next set in my current state. Ugh, Timovieman, I know I totally wrote that a bad workout is better than none. But I don't want weightlifting to feel like a punishment. It's already psychologically and emotionally challenging at times, especially the deadlifts.

Anyway, I'm now motivated to be much more careful about consuming alcohol as the weeks of abstinence seem to have tripled its potency.

 

I think it should be reserved for fine restaurants/special occasions – and taken in modest quantities. I need to rely on meditation and prayer to the spirits of the earth for comfort in anxiety provoking situations, not alcohol. And I have a renewed appreciation for adequate sleep and abundant, healthy, good food. But also, I realise that pizza needs to be in my life occasionally.

 

 

 

Oh man, that sucks. Alcohol messes up my sleep a lot, I wonder if that's what kept you awake? I hope you can use your workout time to do exercises that don't make you feel lousy. You're right, working out shouldn't feel like a punishment. 

 

When I drink too much, unfortunately all I can do is treat it like a case of the flu: treat my body kindly until I recover. And try to forgive myself. 

 

It sounds like you're figuring out the lessons that will help you next time this happens! I agree, pizza needs to be a part of any life lived well. If I had to give up pizza to be healthy, I would just have to embrace an early death. 

 

pizza.gif.356b9446750a1cd862eb559871fecfcf.gif

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"Believe that a further shore is reachable from here." --Seamus Heaney

My character sheet

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10 hours ago, Lady Amezan said:

 

Oh man, that sucks. Alcohol messes up my sleep a lot, I wonder if that's what kept you awake? I hope you can use your workout time to do exercises that don't make you feel lousy. You're right, working out shouldn't feel like a punishment. 

 

Thanks :) I slept well again last night. I think I need at least a little exercise each day to sleep well in the evenings. Today I'm ready to finally take on the deadlifts that have been waiting for me. Oooh, look at that friendly old lady offering me pizza. She must be a pizza paladin who helps others in need :D

 

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Don't worry too much about what happened - at least you evaluated the situation and it seems your mind is in the right place :)

 

IMO, if you are considering going to a place where you need to be drunk to enjoy what is going on, it is also worth considering if that's a place you want to go to. I absolutely hate parties (not family/friends in a party at someone's house, i mean these huge parties where you need to pay to enter, and there are lots of random people smelling alcohol and talking shit). I tried to force myself to go to some of them, and i used alcohol to "enjoy it" (my ex's idea - i'm glad i ended up breaking up with him), but, in the end, it isn't the place i enjoy, and alcohol won't change that - it only makes things worse. Don't let people pressure yourself to go somewhere you don't want to go.

 

But don't see this as a lecture - on the contrary, like i said, it seems your mind is in the right place, i'm just confirming what you said :)

 

Your diet seems to be going well! Keep it up! And let's all agree to keep the friendship with the pizza-paladin-lady, but she isn't someone we need to hang out everyday (but i like her, so ya, it's hard xD)

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42 minutes ago, Exylem said:

IMO, if you are considering going to a place where you need to be drunk to enjoy what is going on, it is also worth considering if that's a place you want to go to. 

 

So true. Usually I strenuously resist all my husband's entreaties to accompany him to concerts. I don't know why I said yes this time, but I regretted it. Still, I DO want to be able to learn to manage my anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed by too much outside stimulus – giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bafee944c6a4e4c49 – as this would enable me to do more things voluntarily, and also to cope better when situations are outside my control. I've found if I avoid all uncomfortable things, I become more anxious. If I push firmly but gently on the boundaries of what I'm comfortable with, I get stronger. If I go completely outside my comfort zone, I flip out. So, it's steady state cardio rather than crossfit for the mental endurance. 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Today I finally got back to the gym and managed the deadlifts I'd been scared of. I was still scared, but it wasn't a grind like I'd feared. It was hard but okay. I also have some ideas about how to improve my programming so I can get stronger faster. I think I need more hypertrophy work, even though my ultimate goal is strength. There's not much point gaining maximal strength in a tiny amount of muscle. This is borne out by the fact that my squats improved fast with higher reps, while my hardest, heaviest lifts have been stalling.

 

Okay, so here's my challenge for tonight, the Oktoberfest party my neighbours are having. The challenge is:

1. Use meditation & prayer to spirits of earth for calmness in the face of noise and kerfuffle.

 giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095baff34e6174717463

2. Drink ONE BEER to obtain party vibes without using it as a crutch.

3. Come home when I'm sick of it, with no guilt.

 

The good news is, I live right next door so I can walk home any time in about 30 seconds. The bad news is, I live right next door so I can't escape the loud music and probably won't sleep until they're finished partying. Well you know what? I'm going to have my own party staying up late playing dragon age origins! 

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095baff3065531716c4d

 

I rediscovered the game on my involuntary day off, and decided I need to play it again as a warrior. 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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28 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 

So true. Usually I strenuously resist all my husband's entreaties to accompany him to concerts. I don't know why I said yes this time, but I regretted it. Still, I DO want to be able to learn to manage my anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed by too much outside stimulus – giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bafee944c6a4e4c49 – as this would enable me to do more things voluntarily, and also to cope better when situations are outside my control. I've found if I avoid all uncomfortable things, I become more anxious. If I push firmly but gently on the boundaries of what I'm comfortable with, I get stronger. If I go completely outside my comfort zone, I flip out. So, it's steady state cardio rather than crossfit for the mental endurance. 

Dat gif, hahaha

 

Oh yeah, if the problem is that you are outside of your comfort zone, then, by all means, it sounds like a good idea to slowly work on this. What i meant is, if you are someone like me who just doesn't like parties, then it isn't worth it. But if it is something you want to go, but feel overwhelmed, then yes, trying to manage your anxiety (slowly) is a good idea. :)

 

Btw, your plan about the party you mentioned in your last post is AMAZING! Do exactly that: Enjoy it and, when you are bored, you can always go home since it is reeeeeeally close. :) And Dragon Age is amazing too!

 

Sounds like you are about to have a great night!

 

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So last week there were a few departures from the plan. However, I stuck to my Oktoberfest plan to have one beer onlygiphy.gif,

and I was very moderate in sampling the dessert I made (it helped that everyone else ate most of it). We went into the city last night, and I had lasagne for dinner. Going to restaurants occasionally with my partner is part of the plan, though, so it's not the lasagne's fault if last week was less glorious than intended.

Anyway, this week is a new week, and I'm planning to keep non-goal meals to two occasions, and will only have wine on one day if we go to a restaurant. Unfortunately, I'm really, really tired after our long outing to the city. I don't know if I thought 2 weeks of sleep and posture exercises would cure me, but I was disappointed when my feet started hurting and I got tired after a few hours out and about. Sigh. I'm not about to hike any mountains yet. 

Meanwhile, It's not part of the challenge but I have tweaked my lifting programme so it includes some back-off sets at higher reps, because I've come to the conclusion that I don't have enough muscle mass to focus on pure strength yet, and I need to do some hypertrophy work. I also discovered some rings I can do inverted rows on, and found that they work really well - I can actually feel my back working, whereas with dumbbell rows, barbell rows, and assisted rows, it feels like my arms are doing the work. I'm hoping these things will help me make some progress. 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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It seems you are doing great! I think it is expected that we won't feel huuuuge changes in our body just in one of these challenges (or on half-challenge, where we are at right now), so don't feel disappointed. :)

 

Your diet is going great. I believe moderation is the key, so, as you have been moderate while eating some not-so-healthy meals, i think you can count is as a success. \o

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Awesome job on the Oktoberfest plan! Drinking only one beer... AT AN OKTOBERFEST EVENT... that's only for the toughest of the tough. What dessert did you make in the end?

 

I'm all for the occasional lasagne or pizza. I don't think you can go 100% super healthy all the time for any extended period without going nuts :D I made myself a veggie lasagne the other week which automatically meant it wasn't a cheat meal anymore ;)

 

I think tweaking your program as you go along is a good thing. Listening to your body, not overdoing it, etc. 

 

tenor.gif

 

BTW that drunk cat gif made me feel hungover just by looking at it. Urgh. :D 

 

 

 

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Forever Respawning Rebel

CURRENT CHALLENGE

Previous challenges: 01, 02

"Just sitting here on the corner of awesome and bombdiggity..." - unknown

 

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32 minutes ago, Mera said:

Awesome job on the Oktoberfest plan! Drinking only one beer... AT AN OKTOBERFEST EVENT... that's only for the toughest of the tough. What dessert did you make in the end?

 

Actually it wasn't toooo hard as I don't love beer. I love red wine, sigh. I made what I would call a "clafoutis" if it had cherries, but which I am forced to call pudding as I made one with plums and strawberries, and one with blue- and blackberries. It's easier to make than cake, and has a slightly custardy taste and texture. I use vanilla essence instead of rum or almond. It's the bomb, provided you get delicious fruit. Here's the recipe in case you need it. Obviously, it's full of sugar and flour so I save it for when friends come over. Best served fresh & warm.

 

https://smittenkitchen.com/2007/07/cherry-clafoutis/

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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So, the last couple of days have been back on track re: diet & everything. Yesterday I walked up the hill near my house - a hard 20 minute slog that had my heart racing.

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bb3f46c5138366773

 

I'm hoping to work up to doing this three times a week by the start of the next challenge. Today I included some higher rep "back-off" sets to all my lifts. It felt hard but productive. I also realised that I have very tight calves, and this could be a cause of foot pain. So I added two calf stretches to my posture routine, but took out the glute bridges because I think my glutes are strong enough – after a couple of months of barbell glute bridges and another month fixing my squat form I now feel them working hard in the squat and deadlift. The weak point preventing good posture seems to be my lower abs. I researched moves for lower ab strength and found some promising ones. I'm lining everything up for continued progress. I feel hopeful. 

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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