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Backstory 

 

In 2017, I graduated my PhD, moved back to my home country after 12 years of the Western world. I got a job everyone looked up to, rented a spacious apartment. Worked hard and had some small successes and kept the relationship with my long distance girlfriend.

 

Mid 2018, I considered killing myself.

 

The job was very hard, which left me little time to socialize. I had to relearn all the food and reorganize the kitchen. I experienced a HUGE culture shock as well as organization pressure to perform well.

 

This let me spiral in to eating like hell and sleeping like shit. I felt something in me broken. And it showed. My work became terrible. I snapped at coworkers. I became fatter and older and sadder in a year.

 

But I held on. I healed a little at a time. Now I am starting to rebuild my life from the ground up.

 

That was not very bardic, but hey, I'm just Level 1.

 

=====

 

Hey folks, my name is Tom. I'm a bardic garlic, and that's also my username. My cultural cuisine has a knack of putting garlic in most things.

I'm 30. Working at a government organization in South East Asia. The race is East Asian with a small mix of Mystery, but I am built like a dwarf (5'4"-175 lb / 163 cm-78 kg- Approx 22% fat) and have a face of a 15 year old. So... life is complicated.

 

I want to imagine that I am sent to this tropical country as a preventative measure against evil spirits which lurk in the mind of people. Their souls can get corrupt and turn into monsters anytime. Gotta be ready to silently take care of them before anybody notices!

 

I am apart of the agency that does this across the world. My agency (basically my research lab) has stations across US and Asia.

 

My goals in life include:

1. Achieve work-life balance

2. Feel at home in this new city. 

3. Has a healthy waistline- enough to charm my ways out of things sometimes. 

4. Complete a short novel (I'm a bard after all)

5. Become more flexible, fast, and agile. 

 

My S.M.A.R.T goals

1. Work-Life Balance

- Practice gratuity 3-5 times a week

- Stop any work-related activities before 8 PM

- Track my sleep

- Do "some fun thing" once a week. 

 

2. Healthy waistline

- No drink with calorie (social drinking allowed once a month)

- Eat at least 10 meals this month that's home cooked (Feel at home, also checked!)

- Track my food and exercises

 

3. Complete a short novel

- 30 minute of writing a day at least 3 days a week.

 

My job requires me to be busy and my schedule is unpredictable, so any advice on this is great. Thank you and nice to meet you. 

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Welcome to the rebellion!

 

1 hour ago, BardicGarlic said:

My job requires me to be busy and my schedule is unpredictable, so any advice on this is great. Thank you and nice to meet you. 

I have some experience with this. I'm an accountant for a minor league baseball team, during season I'm at work from 8:30 am till midnight on game days. I've found the best way to handle it is be realistic on what is going on for the next 24 hours, or week if that is possible. Write it down, look at what you need to accomplish, and find the path of least resistance. I get groceries delivered and meal prep on off days in order to find more time for myself and so I don't have to deal with one more thing in the moment. If necessary pay a little more for the convenience of it, the payoff is worth it!

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Hiya, welcome to the rebellion!  Nice to have another rebel out here in Asia, we have too few of us here :) 

 

I have been living in China for the last 15 years but originally from the US, so I feel you on the culture shock

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Hi, White Ghost!

 

I was born in this country, but Shanghai'd away to the US when I was 17 (confusion intended). I had lived in the US for my entire adulthood until 2017. So I feel like a young Midwestern millennial at heart. But, yes, I imagine you experiencing some of the same things I have. Haha.

 

Thanks for the welcome.   

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So, I came in late, I believe I should backtrack a bit. In retrospective, it's horrible diet, but hey, it can only get better from now.

 

Week 1, Wednesday: 

 

Sleep

8:30 PM-5:30 AM | 9 hours 

(I just got back from a US trip, so a little jetlagged)

 

Food

6:30: 2 Oat cookies, black coffee

8:00: 2 BBQ pork buns

12:00: Pork noodles with dumpling and bok choys; steamed sweet potatoes with coconut milk

14:00: [Meeting Break!] Orange juice (No, Bard! No!) choux cream, a slice of coconut pie

17:00: Japanese curry rice with pork cutlet.... Then the owner decided to be nice and served me a scoop of ice-cream.

So... yeah, not a great day diet wise. 

 

Work out

21:00

- Sumo Dead life, 5x3 at 70 kg (can't do a normal one, cuz my back can't bend at all)

- Pull up, 5x3

- Chin up, 5x3

- Overhead press, 8x3 at 40 kg

- Bench press, 8x3 at 70 kg

- Squat, 8x3 at 80 kg.

The dude besides me was squatting 245 kg. Like what the hell dude? Are you even human at this point?

 

Gratitude

- Work was light yesterday. 

- I was demoted in a project. It was a relief because I didn't want to do any more work. Haha.

- Just got back from vacation and greeted everyone a happy new year. It was a nice feeling. 

 

Plan for the next day:

Try to keep in mind that you are telling THE INTERNET what you are eating. 

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3 minutes ago, BardicGarlic said:

Japanese curry rice with pork cutlet.

This is one of my all-time favorite foods, but it has all.the.calories.

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1 minute ago, WhiteGhost said:

This is one of my all-time favorite foods, but it has all.the.calories.

 

Hey, it has carrots in it. Counts as vegetables. Like, maybe. 

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I love the way you put your story across and it's good to hear things are turning round for you.

Your goals sound great and all the best settling in to your new home.

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12 hours ago, Craftyviking said:

Those look like some very good goals. I like them!

 

 

Thanks. It's my first challenge, so I'd like to keep it simple. 

 

11 hours ago, Ellestar said:

I love the way you put your story across and it's good to hear things are turning round for you.

Your goals sound great and all the best settling in to your new home.

 

Thank you! I will try my best.

 

Tracking

 

Sleep

1AM- 7 AM (Didn't I tell you I was jetlagged?)

 

Food

8:30 black coffee, Chinese stewed egg and pork, pumpkin stirfry, rice

12:00 Pickled cabbage soup, fried small fish, water chestnut stirfry with chicken, rice

15:30 440 grams of fuyu

18:00 Rice noodles, beef stew, and pork cracklings

 

FoodDay1.thumb.JPG.5eae300a33ad4e876edd9a6e328cb33e.JPG

 

Exercise:

2000 Jump ropes

 

Gratitude:

1. New class today

2. I got time to clean my apartment a bit after a long travel and it feels great.

 

Writing 

Wrote for 30 minutes today!

 

I feel like I'm not working enough. But I guess I'll have to feel that way forever at this point. 

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3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Lots of very familiar foods there :)   Not sure what fuyu is though 

Nice! Fuyu's Japanese persimmon. Sweet fall-season fruit. 

 

Tracking

Aye-aye-aye, this is going to be embarrassing. 

 

Sleep 
10:30 PM - 4:30 AM. (Go away, Jetlag!!)

 

Food
5:00 Vermicelli and tofu, black coffee
8:30 Rice, fermented sausage and eggs, sour cabbage soup, bitter green omelette with salsa, water

10:00 Diet coke (no calories, just putting it out there)

12:00 Pork stew with rice noodles and some veggies

15:00 A kilo of jujube fruit
18:30 Chili burger and fries

(I had an appointment at 5 today, and by the end of it, I was so very hungry...  I will make sure I make better judgement next meals)

 

FoodDay2.thumb.JPG.d2a859571bfeba65d70f29e59ffe29b5.JPG

Exercise

- 30 minutes walk from the restaurant to my apartment. 

 

Something Fun

- I watched Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. And I feel the movie spoke to me a little bit. Yes, I know movies like this are supposed to send a message to the mass, but here is how I relate. (Spoiler, of course)

 

Spoiler

I am working now with the responsibility more than I can handle. Because of my unique situation, it has to be me to do this job. I don't know how I do it well, and I am in constant fear of letting everybody down. It's eating at my core. 


The movie told me three things: There are people in the world  that are going through the same thing that I am. That sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. And that no matter how many times you fall down, you just have to get back up. 

 

I was so lucky the theater was kind of empty and I was sitting alone. 

 

This is in no way and excuse for those burger and fries, like, I don't know. Aren't potatoes vegetables?

 

Anyway, I should go on. Improve my impulses a tad more and continue tracking. Thanks folks!

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19 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Those are way bigger than the jujubes we get here :o 

 

Welcome to the tropics!

 

Tracking

 

Sleep: 10:30 PM - 6:30 PM

 

I went to the market at dawn today, it was fun!

Market.JPG

 

Food:

7:30 300 g of strawberries

8:30 [Homemade] Steamed chicken (250 g), broccoli, and potatoes

12:00 Panang curry with beef, rice

12:30 mung bean dumpling with coconut milk

16:30 [Homemade] Chicken cream stew with broccoli and potatoes

18:00 300 g of mangoes

 

FoodDay3.JPG

 

Exercise:

Farmer's walk, 40 kg ea , 40m x 3

Shoulder press, 30 kg ea. 8x3

Rear deltoid fly, 30 kg ea 5x3

Dumbbell fly, 30 kg ea 8x3

Bench press, 70 kg, 8x3

Chin up, 6x3

Sumo dead lift, 80 kg, 5x3

Shoulder press, 50 kg, 5x3

Squat, 80 kg, 8x3

Pull up, 5x3

 

Gratitude:

1. The dumpling was a guilty pleasure.

2. Pumped at the work out session.

3. It was Saturday... That alone is worth celebration.

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Great day!  I love looking at the pictures of your food.  I live in The state of Iowa, where it just dumped 3 plus inches of snow on us last night, and I am so jealous of the Market you went to.  All the wonderful fresh produce.  We only get a farmers market in June, July August and Sept.  

 

Keep up the good work tracking your goals daily.  It really does help to list them.  Sometimes you learn just as much from not making your goals everyday.  

 

Following along for the food pics and I may be asking for recipes in the near future.

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20 hours ago, T2sarahconnor said:

Great day!  I love looking at the pictures of your food.  I live in The state of Iowa, where it just dumped 3 plus inches of snow on us last night, and I am so jealous of the Market you went to.  All the wonderful fresh produce.  We only get a farmers market in June, July August and Sept.  

 

Keep up the good work tracking your goals daily.  It really does help to list them.  Sometimes you learn just as much from not making your goals everyday.  

 

Following along for the food pics and I may be asking for recipes in the near future.

 

Thank you! I used to live in Illinois and surprisingly I miss the changes in all the seasons, but having available vegetables all year round is great. 

 

13 hours ago, The budgie smuggler said:

Hi tom sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to your challenge. I am sure that you will find the strength you need to succeed. By the looks of it you are doing brilliantly already keep up the good work.

 

No problem. Thank you for the support!

 

8 hours ago, NicTheRugger said:

Keep up the good work! Solid start to the challenge =)

 

Thanks. I hope I can keep up. 

 

7 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Following for the food porn, and from curiosity about your lifting goals.

 

Not sure about the food porn. I'm pretty bad at photography, haha. 

 

My lifting goal is to be over all stronger. I do have a challenge from my gym to do an overhead press at 75% of my weight, a squat/dead lift at 200% of my weight, and farmer's walk 200% of my weight for 40 m. If I can, the next annual membership will cost 50% less. 

 

But it's not of achievable goal at the moment (as you can see from my current lifting stat), so I just aim on improving for this challenge. 

 

Tracking

 

Sleep 

21:30-3:30/ 4:00-7:00. I simply forced myself back to sleep successfully. Yay. 

 

Food

7:30 Chicken, potatoes, and broccoli (chicken is under the broccoli)

10:30 I tried Indian goose berries. After two bites. It was terrible. Sour and bitter... I could not finish it... Well, the entire thing was 30 US cents anyway.

11:00 Ham+cheese sandwich and salad

11:30 Raisin scone

14:00 Fried dumplings on the stick (protein!)

17:30 Chicken cream stew with pork crackling (for texture).

FoodDay4.JPG.6fbab07ae68f6fa363490d79563714a0.JPG

 

Exercise

1.5 hours of MMA. Man, it was tough and I am not flexible enough to do any of the moves.

 

Creativity 

I did an hour of creative writing today! It was not toward my big story, but it was a great exercise. 

 

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Loving the food porn myself. And yay to dumplings. Plus, wow at the weights you lift... and the chin ups and the pull-ups and the MMA. Good luck with your gym challenge! I'm rooting for you. I'm sure as long as you keep at it, you would be able to achieve it. Keep your eyes on the price... that 50% discount on the annual membership. :P

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8 hours ago, RES said:

I have to agree, this food looks amazing...and that market!

 

Thanks, RES! The market is certainly fun to explore. 

 

6 hours ago, Whimsy said:

Loving the food porn myself. And yay to dumplings. Plus, wow at the weights you lift... and the chin ups and the pull-ups and the MMA. Good luck with your gym challenge! I'm rooting for you. I'm sure as long as you keep at it, you would be able to achieve it. Keep your eyes on the price... that 50% discount on the annual membership. :P

 

Haha, yes. My country has all kind of dumplings! 

 

Yes. The cost reduction would be very helpful. Thank you for the good luck wish; I'll take anything at this point.

 

Tracking 

 

Sleep

22:30 - 6:00 Nice, uninterrupted sleep. Dreamed about cockroaches the size of dinner plates for some reasons. I hope that's not a premonition to anything.

 

Food

7:00 Grilled, fermented pork sausage. 

8:30 Grilled pork over rice with spicy Thai barbecue sauce, cucumber, black coffee

12:00 Green noodles with crispy pork and duck, some bokchoy was buried underneath there somewhere

13:00 400 g of ripe papaya!

16:00 Pork macaroni (need to get to the airport, so I have to eat early)

17:30 A bag of nuts so I don't get too hungry...

... Well, tomorrow I'm having an all-you-can-eat breakfast.

 

image.png

 

Exercise

I had to sneak in an early morning exercise because of my travel scheduled for tonight, so I didn't get as much done before work starts.

- Chin up, 5x3

- Squat, 80 kg, 8x3

- Sumo Dead Lift, 80 kg, 8x3

- Overhead Press, 50 kg, 8x3

- Running around at work like a chicken with the head cut off... hm... immeasurable?

 

Gratitude

- I'm going to Taipei tonight, then tomorrow to Matsu island. I'm very excited!

- I'm grateful for my coworker who handles everything with me traveling away so much. - I'm glad to have the support from you, the Nerd Fitness Folks, for my first week!

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5 hours ago, BardicGarlic said:

Dreamed about cockroaches the size of dinner plates for some reasons. I hope that's not a premonition to anything.

 

 

That is not a dream I would like to have!

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16 hours ago, BardicGarlic said:

22:30 - 6:00 Nice, uninterrupted sleep. Dreamed about cockroaches the size of dinner plates for some reasons. I hope that's not a premonition to anything.

 

Where they fried cockroaches? That would be a less ominous premonition.

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