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CombustibleLemon

CombustibleLemon builds healthy habits

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Hello everyone!

 

With all that holiday-family-stuff around I almost forgot to open up my challenge thread, so here we go...

 

I'm a 24 year old female trying to get back to my healthier self after about a year of slacking off. I've already had a few attempts on trying to get in shape that didn't work out well since most of the time I didn't celebrate the smaller victories and tried to do too many things at once. When I finally changed that it worked out great for a long time and I was really happy with my habits, my attitude, my life and myself in general. Due to let's say difficult circumstances I got derailed during this last year and want to get back on track now. The good thing about this is: I know what works for me and I therefore I'll start small again by building healthy habits from scratch.

 

This first challenge is mainly about getting used to take care of myself and build a daily routine once again. My side quests will therefore be:

 

- Drink at least 1.5 L of water a day

I'll track this using the 1.5 L flask I own - I'll just fill it up in the morning and by the end of the day it has to be empty.

 

- walk at least 8000 steps a day

Tracking: smartwatch

 

- follow the intermittent fasting 16/8 protocol

Tracking: print-out of an excel sheet that I'll fill out every day

 

Neither of these goals are that hard to achieve for me - during the last 1 or 2 weeks I already started implementing them in my daily life and so far it worked really well. The only things that need a bit of adjustment are the 8000 steps and fasting on weekends. During the week both of them shouldn't be a problem since I run around at work all the time and forget about breakfast during that time anyway. But a fairly easy challenge was part of the idea to get myself started. :)

 

I guess I won't have the time to update in here every single day, but I'll definitely try!

 

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Welcome to the rebellion!

 

On 4/22/2019 at 6:04 AM, CombustibleLemon said:

his first challenge is mainly about getting used to take care of myself and build a daily routine once again

Yes!

It's so much better to start simple, rebuild small things instead of trying to fix all the things we've been ignoring or unable to fix in the past. I look forward to seeing how this goes.

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10 hours ago, Grumble said:

It's so much better to start simple, rebuild small things instead of trying to fix all the things we've been ignoring or unable to fix in the past. I look forward to seeing how this goes.

Was going to say something similar...so will just quote :)

Welcome to the rebellion

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On 4/22/2019 at 6:04 AM, CombustibleLemon said:

Drink at least 1.5 L of water a day

I'll track this using the 1.5 L flask I own - I'll just fill it up in the morning and by the end of the day it has to be empty.

 

- walk at least 8000 steps a day

Tracking: smartwatch

Samesies! Water was part of my challenge last time and 8000 steps is part of this time 

 

Welcome and good luck! 

 

 

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Thanks for all the nice replies :D

 

44 minutes ago, Doe said:

Samesies! Water was part of my challenge last time and 8000 steps is part of this time 

Hehe, I'll be sure to check out your challenge as well! :)

 

The drinking has been a piece of cake these last few days. Summer's been starting to take control over the weather around here, it's been so warm I didn't even have to remind myself to drink - thirst did its part. And my daily movement quest is going really great aswell (11 day streak on completing 8000 steps a day, wohoo!). The only minor setback was a dinner with friends yesterday that I almost forgot about. They booked a table for 8 pm and we stayed waaaaay too long, so my fasting period ended a bit too early after about 14 hours today. But hey - 14 is almost 16! And during the 5 days beforehand I fasted for at least 16 hours each day. The beginning was a bit tough because I always sat at the table with a black coffee at hand while everybody else was eating, but seeing that I still was strong-minded enough to ignore the food was kind of a confidence boost. :)

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Did a few yoga exercises before going to bed yesterday and noticed how incredibly unflexible I am. One of my next goals will definitely be to implement a few flexibility exercises in my daily routine.

Also I did my first 5 minute meditation in ages today after a pretty stressful evening. Now I remember why I used to enjoy it so much, it really helped calm my nerves.

 

Water, steps and fasting completed for today.

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17 hours ago, CombustibleLemon said:

Did a few yoga exercises before going to bed yesterday and noticed how incredibly unflexible I am. One of my next goals will definitely be to implement a few flexibility exercises in my daily routine.

Flexibility is also on my list of things to achieve - seems to go hand in hand with strength... If you come across any good yoga tips for beginners could you ping them in my direction? I used to enjoy a very (very) basic seasonal flow yoga class, but I can't remember any of the sequences. A morning salutation is one of the first things I've identified on my quest. 

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If you come across any good yoga tips for beginners could you ping them in my direction?


Well... I googled hip opening exercises because I have flexibility issues in that area and found a webpage that gave precise instructions on what to pay attention to and what to avoid. I talked to a physiotherapist a while ago who recommended similar exercises, so I thought it might be a good starting point. If you want to, I can give you the link, it's completely in German though...
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20 hours ago, CombustibleLemon said:


 

 


Well... I googled hip opening exercises because I have flexibility issues in that area and found a webpage that gave precise instructions on what to pay attention to and what to avoid. I talked to a physiotherapist a while ago who recommended similar exercises, so I thought it might be a good starting point. If you want to, I can give you the link, it's completely in German though...

 

Link would be ace, thank you. I'm half-German, so no language barrier :)

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Glad to see your challenge is going well, it's always best to start with manageable goals. If you struggle getting your step quota on the weekends may I suggest giving yourself a weekly rather than daily quota? If you're killing it during the week anyway then allow those rest days on the weekend, you'll still be doing the same amount of steps (56,000 per week instead of 8000 per day).

 

Yoga is my favourite stretching method, it uses strength and active flexibility. I've also recently been introduced to something called 'nerve glides' which are simple movements designed to stretch nerves that may be damaged. The pain felt from stretching can often be mistaken for inflexibility so they're worth a try, just Google.

 

Good luck!

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19 hours ago, StillStar said:

Link would be ace, thank you. I'm half-German, so no language barrier :)

Here you go

 

18 hours ago, JessRed said:

If you struggle getting your step quota on the weekends may I suggest giving yourself a weekly rather than daily quota?

Thanks for the good idea, but "being forced" to move around on weekends was actually part of the habit I want to build. I want to get used to doing at least a little bit of movement every day (only a few exceptions when needed). Back when I was working out a lot I used to feel a need for walking (or rather: going outside) on rest days and I want to get back to that level.

 

18 hours ago, JessRed said:

I've also recently been introduced to something called 'nerve glides' which are simple movements designed to stretch nerves that may be damaged. The pain felt from stretching can often be mistaken for inflexibility so they're worth a try, just Google.

Interesting, for me stretching was always about muscles and tendons, I didn't know you could stretch your nerves as well. :D I'll definitely look into that. Got any tips or good webpages to share?

 

 

And now for the challenge stuff:

I spent the weekend at my parents' house since it was my mom's birthday on Saturday. So after work on Friday I drove there, not remembering the fact that a few other family members would stay there the entire weekend as well. You can imagine how much quiet I was able to get there. The good thing was though that my family likes to take walks every now and then as well, so my step goals were no problem. Fasting was a bit trickier because I had to explain everybody at the table why I wouldn't eat breakfast for another two hours while everybody else was eating. (Well, the actual tricky part was to resist the temptation of a set table) Luckily they are not the kind of people who rant about your diet choices, they just ask a lot of questions. Many questions...

 

One thing that annoys me a bit is that I wanted to use the weekend to prepare a presentation I'll have to do on Tuesday and I didn't do anything so far. I guess I could have taken the time and get away from my family for a few hours to work on it, but I just didn't have the motivation to do so. Even now I'm avoiding work by writing more and more in here... ^^ Maybe for my next challenge I'll take something along the lines of no more "I'll do it tomorrow"'s.

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Summary of the last few days: I'm exhausted. Not physically, but mentally. I feel like I really need some alone time, maybe I'll throw in a short meditation later.

 

Other than that the challenge is looking good. Only one day where I didn't reach 8000 steps, but stopped at about 7800 at the end of the day because I got lost on the internet for hours. Water intake and fasting are good except that I feel like excluding myself a bit from social gatherings by only drinking water after 8 pm.

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On 5/3/2019 at 7:33 PM, Guzzi said:

Following 

Hey there :D

 

 

Okay, I guess a little challenge summary is due.

 

Intermittent Fasting

Days with at least 16 hours of fasting: 11

Days with 12 to 16 hours of fasting: 3

Days with less than 12 hours of fasting: 1

 

I'm actually a bit surprised by how well this is going, given the fact that I'm one of these people who are basically capable of 2 emotions: happy and hungry. But that actually changed a lot. I feel like I don't get those incredible mood swings any more when I'm hungry. Maybe my body isn't panicking about it as much anymore.

Skipping breakfast hasn't been that difficult as long as I'm at work or not sitting in front of a set table. What's bothering me way more is to stop eating at 8 pm. Before I started with this I never really realised how often I eat later than that (not only cravings, but also because workouts during the week usually start at 8 pm and I can't eat right before). Also going out with friends became a bit weird with me being the only person not to eat or drink (other than water). That one day where I completely failed fasting (less than 12 hours) was when I met with friends at a bar (*cough* alcohol) and was overwhelmed by hunger the next day.

 

 

8000 steps a day

Days completed: 14

Days failed: 1

 

Going for a walk on weekends has been quite relaxing. I still have to convince myself a bit to go outside, but once I'm dressed and out of the house I usually stay outside for about an hour without really thinking about it. Also this has been a lot easier since I have been with my family the last two weekends. As I already said they usually are motivated to go outside for a bit as well, so that really helped (and also the constant sunshine). Today was different though. Not the best weather and noone to motivate me to go outside. What eventually made me go was the fact that I needed some groceries for dinner, so instead of driving I took a walk to the supermarket. At least that's what I intended to do... There's fields nearby so I planned to make a little detour to have some green around, but the road was closed at some point so I had to walk right back where I came from. My "short" shopping trip ended up to be a 1.5 hour walk where I covered about 6 km.

 

 

1.5 L water per day

Days completed: 15

Days failed: 0

 

Not much of a challenge when I get thirsty all the time... Also I think that the fasting contributes to this a lot, most of these 1.5 L are gone before my first meal of the day.

 

 

A few bonus points: Every now and then I threw in stretching or meditation and yesterday a did a bodyweight workout circuit with some friends. :)

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Everything's still fine, I just had a little issue with my fasting yesterday. The last 2 days I came home from work very late so by the time I arrived it was already past 8. I still hadn't eaten since lunch so my last meal was a bit late. Brought me to the conclusion that I should probably take some time in the morning to prepare something that I can eat on my way home. Before I started fasting I used to have many small meals throughout the day rather than fewer big ones, I noticed this "big lunch at 12 and nothing else until you're home" feels a bit weird for me. (One more reason to have a snack at hand.)

 

And now for something else: I went to swim training on monday. And it was SO frustrating. Seeing everybody else swim so fast I felt like a snail in a race with rabbits. Especially when we should only use our legs to get from one end of the pool to the other and you give all you got but still creeping forward only one millimeter at a time. But you know what? Somehow it's the "good kind" of frustration - the one that makes you eager to get better. Let's just hope I do get better so that won't change. ^^

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21 hours ago, CombustibleLemon said:

And now for something else: I went to swim training on monday. And it was SO frustrating. 

I go swimming once a week and I have noticed that I feel like I'm getting faster since I've been doing the BW workout regularly. I don't know if I actually am, or if it just feels that way, but it is possible, since I might actually be getting stronger. I never thought about the effect strength training would have on my cardio, but duh :)  might be worth popping that on the list for the next challenge? oh and I recognise the competitive streak, I'm counting on that to keep me motivated, too!

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Oh wow I just realised I didn't write any updates for over a week. Well, stress has been kicking in - hard. I have to hand in my thesis in a month and my brain finally decided to flip the panic switch. The fact that my cognitive abilities have dropped to zombie level lately hasn't really been helping in this matter. I've had quite a few days during the last week where I didn't reach my step goal - hell, I didn't even leave the house. Fasting has also been a bit of a struggle, but still better than the walking. BUT! I managed to go to swim training again on monday (and it was awesome :D) and did bodyweight exercises on tuesday. Also, as soon as I'm finished writing here I'll make my way to the gym for another training session. I feel like my brain accepts ANY kind of distraction right now - even sports.

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On 5/10/2019 at 7:26 PM, StillStar said:

I never thought about the effect strength training would have on my cardio, but duh :)  might be worth popping that on the list for the next challenge?

Sounds reasonable, more strength = more distance with a single stroke, why not? :D The only problem I currently have with strength training is that I don't have a gym buddy. That's why these bodyweight training sessions work for me - plenty of friends around who do the same and even a flatmate who has no problem making me feel guilty when I don't come along.

 

 

Now for the final scores *drumrolls*

 

Intermittent Fasting

Days with at least 16 hours of fasting: 23 (79 %)

Days with 12 to 16 hours of fasting: 5

Days with less than 12 hours of fasting: 1

 

I definitely won't become someone who can stick with 16/8 the rest of their lives, at least not for each day. But I'm kind of happy I tried it for 4 weeks straight because (as I noticed before) my mood seems a lot less controlled by hunger lately. Also I find it way easier now to stop eating mid-meal and reconsider if I'm really still hungry, or just overeat at that point. Maybe for the next challenge I'll keep it up, but with a few off-days in between.

 

8000 steps a day

Days completed: 22 (76 %)

Days failed: 7

 

One thing that happened was that after I started to actually set a movement goal for the day, I got my "hunger" for activity back. Even though I didn't reach the step goal that often during the last week of the challenge, I regularly went to training sessions instead. 3 times last week, twice the one before and today I went swimming again (I'm really growing to love that one :D). This need for movement was the actual goal behind getting my butt up every day, so I guess I can call that a win. :D I think for the next challenge I'll try to exercise at least once or twice a week and tune down the walk frequency to only 5 days or a week goal as JessRed already suggested.

 

1.5 L water per day

Days completed: 28 (97 %)

Days failed: 1

 

Not much to say here, I guess I'm good at drinking (ambiguity intended :D). The main thing was to keep track of it. I caught myself a few times during the challenge when I was just refilling the flask without really paying attention on how much it actually was. It didn't really matter though because I drank A LOT more than those 1.5 L. Still, having an estimate of how much water I actually drank (not just "yup, more than 1.5") would've been quite nice.

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I thought a bit about the next challenge, yes. Initially I wanted to skip it because I felt it would be too much stress to try and stick to a challenge with my thesis ahead, but why not make that my challenge? Fixed wake up time to get me started, to do lists every day to get stuff done and meditation or exercise when my brain needs a break.

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On 5/22/2019 at 12:28 PM, CombustibleLemon said:

I thought a bit about the next challenge, yes. Initially I wanted to skip it because I felt it would be too much stress to try and stick to a challenge with my thesis ahead, but why not make that my challenge? Fixed wake up time to get me started, to do lists every day to get stuff done and meditation or exercise when my brain needs a break.

When I was in school several challenges were based around getting schoolwork done :) 

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