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jstanlick searches for balance


jstanlick

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I haven't done a challenge in a few months because of...well, issues. Many of them self induced, but issues nonetheless. I spent most of the holidays coming to the realization that I'm going through life with such a hyper focus that I have blinders on to everything else going on. And when what I'm focused on isn't giving me the results I'm after, focusing harder makes things worse. From an attitude level, a stress level, and ultimately a health level.

 

So, tomorrow is January 4th. That makes 2 years since the doctor's appointment that turned my life upside down. That was when my doctor told me I was diabetic and my A1c was 11.8 (for those of you unaware of the numbers 5.6 or lower is considered the normal range and over 6 is diabetic.) and I was likely to need medication the rest of my life to control it. I didn't want to control it, I wanted to defeat it. I set about learning everything I could and reading trials and studies and abstracts that had anything to do with diabetes. I would venture to guess I read more studies on nutrition, supplements, training, environment and stress relief in relation to diabetes than most nutritionists, dietitians and my doctor. In 4 months time I had my A1c down to 6 and four months later 5.8. It has started sliding back upward and I started doubling down on things and trying other things based on some correlation or meta study/trial performed on mice that showed a hint of promise. The end result was that things still slid higher. My stress levels went up, injuries started happening which led to more frustration, and I found myself in not a great place mentally, physically and emotionally. 

 

So, upon review of 2019 and 2018 I asked myself again, "What's your why?" Why are you trying so hard to defeat a disease that mainstream medical care seeks to "manage" or "control"? My why was that I didn't want to end up with Alzheimer's like my grandmother (who was diabetic). I didn't want kidney dialysis, retinopathy or amputations as I got older. But, the reasons I didn't want those things were so I could spend as much quality time with my family as possible for as long as possible. Over two years though, it became an obsession to beat the disease for the sake of beating the disease. My focus was on the wrong goal. So, for 2020, the goal is to keep my eyes on the real prize and strive for some balance in all things. This challenge will kick things off.

 

Goal #1: Physical balance

This one I feel like I've figured out what works for me pretty well when I'm injury free -- which I almost am now.

  • At least 1 HIIT session/week
  • At least 2 strength sessions/week
  • As much walking as possible and a few runs thrown in here and there as the weather allows (I hate running on ice)

 

Goal #2: Mental balance

It's an election year. Can't let myself get caught up in the madness. I need to keep the time sucks on the social media to a minimum. I need to stop collecting information and actually put it into practice and I need to get back to continuous learning in my profession.

  • Off the devices by 9:30 PM every night - the only loop hole here is if I'm on call and need to be on them.
  • 4 hours/wk combined of
    • researching new developments in data science and how I can apply them to my profession
    • exploring possible new career paths in nutrition/exercise science
  • at least once per week per son, playing chess with my boys (my daughter doesn't like chess, but they're both on the chess team at school)

 

Goal #3: Emotional balance

I really need to be more aware of my feelings of frustration and anger before they take me down a dark path. Usually, when this begins to happen, I become more cynical, sarcastic and downright negative. So, I've tried these two things in the past and failed, but we're going to try it again as I see great value in both. This time I'm not going to make some grand proclamation of time spent on each by the end of the challenge. I'm just going to commit to something...anything.

  • Keep a daily gratitude journal - could just be a couple of words or many paragraphs, or even a drawing, but something daily
  • Meditation - daily - Could be just 1 minute in the classroom of silence, could be some time spent in prayer, could be that deep breath when someone cuts me off on the freeway rather than honking the horn, flipping them off and cursing their existence.

 

 

 

  • Like 6

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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Glad you are back! I'm very impressed with how you have handled your health journey. I  like how you came back and focused on finding the why as a way to find the right balance

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Wisdom 18   Dexterity 11   Charisma 12   Strength 16  Constitution-12

Elastigirl Endeavors, Experiments, , and Explains - Current Challenge: May 9 to June 12 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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4 hours ago, jstanlick said:

So, upon review of 2019 and 2018 I asked myself again, "What's your why?" Why are you trying so hard to defeat a disease that mainstream medical care seeks to "manage" or "control"? My why was that I didn't want to end up with Alzheimer's like my grandmother (who was diabetic). I didn't want kidney dialysis, retinopathy or amputations as I got older. But, the reasons I didn't want those things were so I could spend as much quality time with my family as possible for as long as possible. Over two years though, it became an obsession to beat the disease for the sake of beating the disease. My focus was on the wrong goal. So, for 2020, the goal is to keep my eyes on the real prize and strive for some balance in all things. This challenge will kick things off.

 

Excellent introspection and re-prioritization.  Nice work!

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Train so your heroes become your peers.

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5 hours ago, Salinger said:

HEY!!!!!!! So good to see you back. Following along, offering support and cheering you on ❤️ x

Its always good to be back and I'll accept any and all support I can get :D 

 

4 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Glad you are back! I'm very impressed with how you have handled your health journey. I  like how you came back and focused on finding the why as a way to find the right balance

It's funny, my youngest is at a stage where he just keeps asking why to whatever you say just to be a smart ass. But, there were multiple levels of why before I got to the root of it. Or, at least what I think is the root of my frustrations and the train coming off the track a bit.

 

4 hours ago, Sylvaa said:

Welcome back! I feel you on getting caught up in little things and forgetting about the bigger things. 

Yeah, that whole not seeing the forest for the trees thing. I'm really good at focusing intently on something or nothing at all. Its that in between part that I need a little work on :P

 

1 hour ago, Kat on the Run said:

 

Excellent introspection and re-prioritization.  Nice work!

Thanks! Hopefully the execution of this challenge will bring me more insight for future challenges.

  • Like 2

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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7 hours ago, Salinger said:

Hows your weeeknd going?xx

At this moment in time I’m not sure it could be better. Everyone in my house is asleep. I just finished trying to meditate and center myself. I’m sitting on the couch and the dog is in my lap (Well, her head is anyway, the rest of her doesn’t fit in my lap much these days) while I drink my coffee. So peaceful. 
 

I wouldn’t be moving too fast today anyway. Yesterday was squats and deadlifts day and my lower body is a little tight this morning. Also, went for a walk and took the family to see The Last Skywalker. Theaters are a lot less crowded when a movie has been out 3 weeks and you go in the afternoon 😁

 

We started putting away some of the Christmas decorations and today the tree and the outside lights will likely get packed up until next year. I always get a little bummed when it’s time to put stuff away. People always seem happier when all the lights are out. Plus, it means we’re now all just bundled in our houses until it warms up. But the days are slowly getting longer and that’s a really good thing. 

  • Like 4

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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it's good to have you back! excellent challenge goals, and I feel you on the election craziness.

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5 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

It’s nice to see you again brother.

Always good to be seen. Although I’m not sure I’ll join your speedo challenge. Wait, come to think of it the only thing made by Speedo that own is a pair of board shorts and swimming goggles. Maybe I will join the challenge! 
 

1 hour ago, DJtrippyT said:

it's good to have you back! excellent challenge goals, and I feel you on the election craziness.

I pretty much gave up on Facebook in 2016 and just hung out on Instagram with people sharing vacation photos, cute puppies and other normal craziness. I learned you can’t talk people out of crazy once they’ve set their mind to it. Also, having crazy shouted at me when I’m really looking for mindlessness was an even bigger waste of time. 2020 ought to be a grand ol’ time. 
 

But it’s good to be back. I feel like I have a good plan for 2020 and this challenge is the first step. 

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"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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Wow, amazing work chasing that diabetes into remission! I love your plans for the challenge this time around. Good luck trying to achieve political zen on Facebook. We had an election last year and despite my efforts, it didn't work out for me but good luck to you! 

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I'm more than adequate. Leave Kanye out of this. 

Profile picture credit : NF's resident super artist - NinjaKitten

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On 1/5/2020 at 9:16 PM, Salinger said:

HEY! Sounds like you had a lovely peaceful day, when you wrote :) can i see a photo of your dog?! What kind are they?

 

Hope the aches have gone :) xx

It was good day. My dog is a French Brittany. Until we got her I thought it was just Brittany. But, come to find out, the UKC recognizes the Brittany (AKA American Brittany) and the French Brittany. She's smaller (she's currently 38 lbs) than my other Brittany's have been (they were closer to 50). She listens better though but still has that same mischievous Brittany spirit when she feels like being a brat -- which is to say when she feels like she's not getting enough attention. Here's a few pics from her birthday when she got some people food.

 

 

On 1/6/2020 at 2:33 AM, deftona said:

Wow, amazing work chasing that diabetes into remission! I love your plans for the challenge this time around. Good luck trying to achieve political zen on Facebook. We had an election last year and despite my efforts, it didn't work out for me but good luck to you! 

I think to achieve zen on Facebook, I'll probably have to leave it. As far as the diabetes goes, I thought I had it for a bit last year, but it doesn't want to give it up. So, I need to work it from a different angle I think.

  • Like 4

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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Quick update of the challenge...

 

Goal #1

So far 1 strength session, 1 HIIT session yesterday and 1 walk. Plan tonight is another strength session and hopefully another walk with the dog. This goal is going fine, but training goals always seem to be the easiest for me to hit.

 

Goal #2

I made it off of devices Sunday night, but not so much last night. Some errant patch code caused servers in our production environment to patch early to start rebooting around 8:30 pm. They weren't supposed to start until midnight. As it turns out, time zones are a thing and someone (fortunately, not me) forgot that we are UTC -6:00. I know I put a loophole in my goals, but I wasn't on call and could have left it well enough alone. But, since I'm also the Team Lead, production servers rebooting and failing over when they aren't supposed to causes people to ask questions and I wanted to have some answers before the finger pointing started.

 

4 hours of research/ week? Well, I signed up for a webinar next week, so there was like...3 or 4 minutes...no, more like 2 tops since Google filled in all of the fields on the form for me. I just had to add to my calendar. I did decide to return a recruiter's call for the first time in a long time. I don't dislike my job, but they intrigued me with their 80% of the time remote 20% in the office job description. Unfortunately, none of that is in the health realm. Although, they are a company that builds health and life insurance quoting software. Not really nutrition or exercise science though. No chess has been played to date. We built a puzzle, but no chess.

 

Goal #3

Gratitude journal...heh-heh...shit. Completely undone.

Meditation is a 2 for 2 though. YEAH! Ha ha. Take that emotional balance goal! Hmmm, maybe I'm missing the point :P 

  • Like 3

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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On 1/7/2020 at 3:14 PM, jstanlick said:

So far 1 strength session, 1 HIIT session yesterday and 1 walk. Plan tonight is another strength session and hopefully another walk with the dog. This goal is going fine, but training goals always seem to be the easiest for me to hit.

 

Don't downplay your awesomeness 🙂

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Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

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On 1/7/2020 at 11:41 PM, Salinger said:

woooooo killing it here!!!!!! awesome job J!!!! xx

Well, thank you!

 

22 hours ago, Xena said:

 

Don't downplay your awesomeness 🙂

Sometimes its hard to fight your upbringing. No boasting or bragging and a constant focus on what needs improvement and not "wasting" time to celebrate your successes. So, once you figure something out, you don't talk about it. You figured it out, good for you, move on. Or maybe it's just being in the Midwest where we don't say what we mean.

 

But, you're right. While training is something that I usual can get in, if I don't, nothing else will happen. I will obsess over why I can't seem to get one thing physical done and therefore nothing else can be done in the meantime. So, I will try not to minimize successes in the future.

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"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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Probably time for an update. Let's see what we've had happy so far this week...

 

Goal #1

2 walks, 3 HIIT sessions and 3 strength sessions. My body is a little tired. Thursday was my only off day this week so far. While I felt a little bit like thumping my chest for getting all that done, I can't help but wonder if that might be too much for a body and it might need more downtime. On the hand, my knee was finally normal this week despite all that for the first time since Halloween and it felt really good to push myself again.

 

Goal #2

This one has not been going so well. Only 50% of the time have I managed to put down the devices and stay off of them after 9:30. I have done no research into life changes and education and have not played any chess with the boys. I did have a phone call with the recruiter for the remote work job. It was an interesting call and sounds like a decent company. Something in the back of my head tells me to pass on it though. I'm not sure what or why. But, something about it does not seem like the right fit.

 

My youngest didn't want to play chess today, he wanted to make all the rough cuts to his Pinewood Derby car instead. When I talked him out of trying to cut out a McLaren F1, he decided he wanted a convertible. SMH. So, we have a roughly cut block of wood that kind of resembles a Corvette Stingray with it's T-Tops removed. Oddly, we didn't do a lot of cutting. After I reminded him how to use a coping saw and the miter saw (the old fashioned hand powered kind), he made those cuts. I made a couple more with the power miter saw. Then he shaped it using a sanding disk that I replaced a grinding wheel with. It was kind of an experiment as I was worried we'd split the pine block to easily with a hammer and chisel. I was surprised how well it went and it was something he was able to do...which is kind of the point. So, no chess, but time well spent with him and we had to engage our brains quite a bit while we kind of made it up as we went along.

 

Goal #3

Gratitude Journal is still a no show. It keeps slipping my mind. One the side of the goal, I have managed some form of meditation/prayer every day thus far. It sure makes the math easy...so far 50% for this goal :P 

 

So, not a perfect week, but some good stuff there. I do find myself enjoying weightlifting. I always do when I get back into it, but always seem to fall away from it for some reason. But, I've managed about 6 weeks now of 2-3 lifting sessions and am starting to look forward to the next session as soon as I finish one. I guess that's a good sign, right? Especially on days like today when the dog and I are walking in the wind, snow and ice. Being inside lifting weights seems much more appealing.

  • Like 5

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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7 hours ago, Salinger said:

Hey JS, great week in my opinion :D

 

what do you do for your HIIT sessions?xx

I really enjoy the HIIT sessions I have. I belong to a gym here (US Midwest franchise) called Shred415. The premise is a 1 hour workout split into 4, 15 minute sections. The sections alternate between the treadmill and dumbbell and body weight exercises. You get to choose the starting speed of the treadmill and how heavy the weights are. The treadmill sections are split into multiple short runs (or walks if that’s where you’re at on your fitness journey). Most of those are between 1-3 minutes. I think the longest one I’ve done was 5 minutes. They usually have a 1 minute recovery period between the runs. The longer they are usually you’re moving at a slower pace. The shorter ones tend to have no incline and you’re trying to sprint. Usually there’s some incline built into it. The highest incline I remember was 8% but that was only once. 6% is a usual high number once or twice for the whole class while 4% tends to be the sweet spot that we hit most often. But the instructor leads you through when increase/decrease speed and or incline. They build throughout the class so that by the end of the class you are doing a 1 minute run on a flat road. The first 30 seconds you match the fastest pace you’ve hit so far today, and the last 30 seconds you beat that pace. The amount of the speed increases is always up to you. Their typical suggestion upon each time they tell you to speed up is between .1 and .5 MPH. So, there is a constant speed and incline variation to build you up to your fastest speed of the day. 
 

The floor work is usually an exercise for 30 - 60 seconds and then switching to another exercise. It’s mostly as many reps as you can do in that time. If you’re struggling with form, you grab a lighter weight or modify the exercise. Let’s say it’s pushups. They’ll always tell you to drop to your knees if it’s too hard or to put your hands on the bench, or to do both. I like it because it is instructor led so I don’t have to think or do programming, but it’s also at your pace rather than everyone trying to do the same pace. Most people seem to start on the treadmills and then switch to the floor but I don’t know how they can slow their breathing enough to lift weights over their head for the last session. I always start with the weights instead so when I hit that final sprint I know don’t need to leave anything in the tank. Plus, some of the instructors do a bunch of core and balance work with the weights. Balance work is one thing I know I would not program for myself if I was doing it because my balance sucks and I would just avoid it rather than working on it. And I clearly need to work on it.

 

That may be more than you wanted to know, but that’s what they look like. 

  • Like 5

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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Keep up the good work!  I hope you're having a great week!

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  Level 45 Quasi-Human Ranger     

"Forget failure.  Forget mistakes.  Forget everything except what you're going to do NOW, and DO IT." - Lou Ferrigno

"Foxes Never Quit!"  -  Leicester City FC

KBO. - Churchill

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Oh never mind I found it :)  Hey along for the ride. How is the blog going? If you don't mind me asking. It's been a while and I am entirely out of the loop. 

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