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[Slightly dramatized version of my year so far.]

 

I'll just completely skip my short break and start with last year. For all the negative 2020 brought, in regard to my diet and exercise routine it was an amazing year for me. I lost 50 lbs (after gaining weight before though, so there's that). I'm probably fitter than I ever have been in my adult life (mostly thanks to very long walks to get out of the damn house)... BUT. I never quite reached my goals. Towards the end of the year I took a break and maintained since. I still think I needed it, I was feeling a bit burned out from all the diet stuff, but it's been a really long break now. Like REALLY long. And I'm kind of over it. Still I'm having the hardest time to just get started again.

 

Goal #1 Kibble

 

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When I decided to take a break from  dieting, it was never meant to be this long. (That's how it always goes, isn't it.) For better or worse, one of my first goals has always been to get into the healthy BMI range for my height. And that I've been stuck at a BMI of 25.4 for months now sometimes feels like a cruel joke. It is less than 4 lbs. How can I not just do it? So my plan for the challenge: I will track my food. I will stick to my weekly calorie range. And just so I don't give up on day two when I inevitably cheat, I'll apply the 80/20 "rule" and give myself a tiny bit of leeway to get back into it.

 

Goal #2 Slowest Cat on the Block

 

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Running. With my most recent back injury a lot of the other fitness goals I set for this year are a bit out of reach right now (in the literal sense, there is no reaching for anything currently). But I did want to restart running this year anyway, so here we are. I am on week 3 of a plan and it's going decently well. I often go running on a track so it feels a bit like cheating, but anything to make the start easier I suppose. And I want keeping this up to be part of the challenge. Maybe it'll help on those rainy, disgusting days when I really don't want to go outside...

 

Goal #3 Cat Yoga (without any actual yoga, sorry)

 

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Thanks to my "superior posture"™ and amazing stretching routine... I seem to be slightly prone to injuries. It hasn't been really bad yet, but when you're just starting out something new and suddenly have to take a 2-3 month break,it is a bit of a hindrance. Not gonna lie. So I looked up a short stretching routine for after my runs and a longer full body version for my days off. I think I'll aim for 80% or more again. Right now I'm closer to zero, so anything will be a big improvement really.

 

It's not necessarily huge changes, so I hope I'll finally stick to it and make some progress again.

 

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1 hour ago, ninjakitten said:

I lost 50 lbs (after gaining weight before though, so there's that). I'm probably fitter than I ever have been in my adult life (mostly thanks to very long walks to get out of the damn house)... BUT. I never quite reached my goals.

Question is: do you have to? Or are you quite happy just maintaining?

 

Also, don't focus too much on BMI.

This guy would have been classified as "obese" with his 31.1 BMI:

060-Arnold-Schwarzenegger-Bodybuilder-Mr

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Hi!!!  It’s so nice to see you around!  I’m definitely following. 

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4 hours ago, TimovieMan said:

Question is: do you have to? Or are you quite happy just maintaining?

 

Also, don't focus too much on BMI.

This guy would have been classified as "obese" with his 31.1 BMI:

 

 

That isn't a bad question. I think part of the reason why it's harder to get back into it is because I'm not feeling quite so awful anymore. BUT I absolutely have to reach my goals, YES! (Don't give me any more excuses please. I'm so good with coming up with them on my own. The brownies were going stale, so I HAD TO eat three of them today for example. Today doesn't count right? It's week 0 anyway.)

 

I'm also not sure how to say it without sounding a bit down on myself, but it might still take an additional 2-3 challenges till I'm quite on Arnie's level...

 

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1 hour ago, Shello said:

Hi!!!  It’s so nice to see you around!  I’m definitely following. 

 

I'm honestly really excited about giving it another try after all this time. Just need to keep posting for once. But seeing so many people who are still around after all this time is a real inspiration.

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1 hour ago, ninjakitten said:

 

That isn't a bad question. I think part of the reason why it's harder to get back into it is because I'm not feeling quite so awful anymore. BUT I absolutely have to reach my goals, YES! (Don't give me any more excuses please. I'm so good with coming up with them on my own. The brownies were going stale, so I HAD TO eat three of them today for example. Today doesn't count right? It's week 0 anyway.)

Just asking because after my previous passage here, I had set my goal weight at 78 kg, but I thought I looked great at 88 kg and considered that "good enough" to maintain. Since you're at your fittest now and are maintaining, I mainly wanted to ask if you were happy at this point or if the goal would still be a massive improvement...

 

1 hour ago, ninjakitten said:

I'm also not sure how to say it without sounding a bit down on myself, but it might still take an additional 2-3 challenges till I'm quite on Arnie's level...

I was just pointing out that BMI isn't a very trustworthy number, especially if you have some muscle mass.

And don't worry, it takes a metric f@%#ton of determination and tenacity for years to reach Arnie's level... 😱

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21 hours ago, Grizzy said:

Oh my gosh, I relate to this too much.

 

I do feel bad for a lot of the businesses around, there's so many empty stores now etc. (It's a lot slower with vaccinations here than other places, too.) But I can't deny that cooking a lot more made a real difference. I've also basically not been drinking any alcohol. And the few times I did order... I'm not sure if it's the extra time the food is sitting around, or maybe the restaurants having to save a bit because they're going through a rough patch, or maybe just that it lacks the whole atmosphere of going out to eat/for drinks... it just wasn't all that great. So that helped, too.

 

14 hours ago, TimovieMan said:

Just asking because after my previous passage here, I had set my goal weight at 78 kg, but I thought I looked great at 88 kg and considered that "good enough" to maintain. Since you're at your fittest now and are maintaining, I mainly wanted to ask if you were happy at this point or if the goal would still be a massive improvement...

 

I was just pointing out that BMI isn't a very trustworthy number, especially if you have some muscle mass.

And don't worry, it takes a metric f@%#ton of determination and tenacity for years to reach Arnie's level... 😱

 

I know what you mean, it isn't a bad point at all.  Along the way I did change a lot of my goals to more fitness related ones, if nothing else, it is a bit more fun than just going by the scale/measurements/whatever. (Fitness goals that I mostly cannot work towards now, because of my back. 😅 The joys of being older and slowly falling apart.) Anyway, I was mostly joking in my last reply. Although... all I thought I really need to reach Arnie's level are two cats to lift and a couple of weeks. I'm a bit sad you crushed my dreams with just that one sentence.

 

13 hours ago, deftona said:

I'm very excited to see you back and of course I'll be following! 

 

I'm so glad there's still so many people around. 💚

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Sunday May 2nd

 

#1 – Like earlier mentioned, I started week 0 by overeating on brownies. I'll just pretend that was all part of the plan to go about 100 cals over my goal on day 1. It's not too bad, really. But on day ONE? Not even a day?

 

#2 – There wasn't a run scheduled for Sunday. So no news. I'm still about the speed of a two-legged limping cat. I start to regret how I scheduled the runs though. Are there other people meticulously planning their exercise routine around the weather forecast to avoid any and all rain and then getting incredibly upset when someone dares to change the forecast? I do take those changes quite personally.

 

#3 – I did stretch as planned. It was so boring and reminded me why I usually don't do it. Maybe I need an audio book or something that I'll only listen to while stretching. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret setting it as a goal at all. I think it's important. It's just so...

 

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In only sort of related news:

 

Now that I've been properly tracking my food again for a moment, I finally want to use my love for spreadsheets for good and try out one of the adaptive TDEE spreadsheets. You'd think after maintaining for a couple of months I'd have a decent idea of where my TDEE is, but how much I eat varies wildly from day to day and I haven't been tracking well enough to have any valuable data from that time. All that said, it apparently it takes 2-3 months to get any useful insights. So I won't really be able to do anything with that for a while. Maybe I can pretend it's my new hobby. Just in case I ever get to see people again and hobbies come up as a topic of small talk.

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Here to support a fellow cat 😁

 

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I'm also impressed by how much you accomplished over the past year! Periods of maintenance can be helpful for learning a new set-point and regaining motivation, and it sounds like the break has been effective for you in those ways.

 

13 minutes ago, ninjakitten said:

Now that I've been properly tracking my food again for a moment, I finally want to use my love for spreadsheets for good and try out one of the adaptive TDEE spreadsheets. You'd think after maintaining for a couple of months I'd have a decent idea of where my TDEE is, but how much I eat varies wildly from day to day and I haven't been tracking well enough to have any valuable data from that time. All that said, it apparently it takes 2-3 months to get any useful insights. So I won't really be able to do anything with that for a while. Maybe I can pretend it's my new hobby. Just in case I ever get to see people again and hobbies come up as a topic of small talk.

 

Ooooh what's this adaptive TDEE thing? I like data! 

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6 minutes ago, Alanna said:

I'm also impressed by how much you accomplished over the past year! Periods of maintenance can be helpful for learning a new set-point and regaining motivation, and it sounds like the break has been effective for you in those ways.

 

 

Ooooh what's this adaptive TDEE thing? I like data! 

 

Oh, cat's sticking together. I appreciate it. 💚

 

So just as a disclaimer, I don't think those sheets are necessarily right for everyone (you have to weigh yourself every day) and I don't know how useful it will be. I'm just trying it out. I like to treat my weight loss as a big experiment with myself as the guinea pig. Guinea cat?!

 

I think I first saw it on the fitness subreddit ages ago, but didn't want to try it back then, because I didn't want to weigh myself every day. Basically, it calculates your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) based on how much you eat and how it impacts your weight. Which is also the reason why you need a lot of data to get anything useful out of it, it cannot really take into account all the other reasons why your weight might fluctuate. I read for example that people left out the first week or two of their weight loss because the additional water weight they lost during that time skewed the results for a long time. I think it would be really useful to have a better idea of what my TDEE is than the average calculator can give you. But I'll see how it goes. At the moment (3 weeks in) the numbers are still pretty ridiculous.

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Monday May 3rd

 

#1 – I stuck to my calories. I'm surprised as well. Not sure if I have mentioned it here before, but I tend to snack in order to procrastinate. Which is quite stupid, I'll admit it, but on the other hand... if you never stop snacking you never have to do the task. It's not like there's no thought at all behind it. Anyway, I replaced most of my snacks with black coffee yesterday. Which I love, but it left me a bit jittery, so I might have to find something else.

 

#2 – No running. That's actually planned for today. (I'm trying really hard right now to ignore all the clouds outside that make it look a bit like it might rain later.)

 

#3 – During Phys. Ed. classes I used to be the kid that pretended to do the stretches at the end. Instead of just using that time to actual stretch and not just waste it. And I start to remember why. 

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I hate stretching too.  Is there something else you can do that might hold your interest more?  Yoga poses or something?

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Level: 19 Ranger | STR 36 | DEX 29 | STA  35 | CON  43 | WIS 35 | CHA 23|

 

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Epic Quest Avatar Lifting profile | D&D Character Sheet

Accountibillibuddies: Doodlies setting the world alight

Roadmaps: 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021

 

I am not saying I am Wonder Woman. I am just saying no one has ever seen me and Wonder Woman together in the same room.

 

Current Challenge: Shello Finally Fitnesses (sort of) and does some other things

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 789, 10, 11, 12 , 131415, 1617181920, 21, 2223242526272829303132, 33, 3435, 36??

Starting weight = 290.4; Current weight = 269; Total pounds lost: 21.4

 

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2 hours ago, Shello said:

I hate stretching too.  Is there something else you can do that might hold your interest more?  Yoga poses or something?

 

That is a good point. Honestly I didn't expect to dislike it to this degree. The reason I originally decided for stretching rather than something else, is that I have some specific areas causing me trouble and it just seemed the most straightforward way to address them. But I probably should look into some alternatives. Otherwise it will be a very long challenge.

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8 hours ago, ninjakitten said:

 

That is a good point. Honestly I didn't expect to dislike it to this degree. The reason I originally decided for stretching rather than something else, is that I have some specific areas causing me trouble and it just seemed the most straightforward way to address them. But I probably should look into some alternatives. Otherwise it will be a very long challenge.

Sometimes exercises for stability/strength and soft tissue work are important for injury prevention/rehab, too. For example, in the past I had to do a lot of glute strengthening/glute activation exercises. If you let us know what is bothering you/what you need to work on, we may be able to offer some suggestions! Also, are you just doing static stretching or more dynamic movements, too? 

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13 hours ago, Alanna said:

Sometimes exercises for stability/strength and soft tissue work are important for injury prevention/rehab, too. For example, in the past I had to do a lot of glute strengthening/glute activation exercises. If you let us know what is bothering you/what you need to work on, we may be able to offer some suggestions! Also, are you just doing static stretching or more dynamic movements, too? 

 

That is true... so a short of my ailments? What I'm working on... both?

 

- I have (a mild case) of scoliosis and sometimes back pain that comes with it. Some stretching/yoga/whatever it is I'm doing at the time usually helps BUT currently not doing anything specific for it because of the next point.

- I tend to say I currently have back problems but what I actually have is shoulder impingement. It's not the worst, starting to get better. For that I'm just doing what the physio told me.

- Patellar maltracking. It's gotten a lot better. I did strengthening exercises, have braces etc. But I should keep stretching my hamstrings, quadriceps and IT band specifically. (The most helpful for my knee by far has been losing weight though.)

- My hip flexor is quite tight. Not sitting at my laptop 24/7 would probably help. But... is it an option... not really.

- My ankles. I just want to squat a bit better. I did a bit of research and think a big part might just be my calves.

 

Apart from the things I do for my shoulder: The stretching I do after runs is usually static. The days off I tend to do more dynamic movements. Sometimes I use a foam roller (which I probably enjoy the most but also notice the least; that also reminds me I wanted to get some lacrosse balls).

 

Anyway, right now I'm not sure about alternatives and just hope I'll magically fall in love with stretching. 😂

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13 minutes ago, ninjakitten said:

 

That is true... so a short of my ailments? What I'm working on... both?

 

- I have (a mild case) of scoliosis and sometimes back pain that comes with it. Some stretching/yoga/whatever it is I'm doing at the time usually helps BUT currently not doing anything specific for it because of the next point.

- I tend to say I currently have back problems but what I actually have is shoulder impingement. It's not the worst, starting to get better. For that I'm just doing what the physio told me.

- Patellar maltracking. It's gotten a lot better. I did strengthening exercises, have braces etc. But I should keep stretching my hamstrings, quadriceps and IT band specifically. (The most helpful for my knee by far has been losing weight though.)

- My hip flexor is quite tight. Not sitting at my laptop 24/7 would probably help. But... is it an option... not really.

- My ankles. I just want to squat a bit better. I did a bit of research and think a big part might just be my calves.

 

Apart from the things I do for my shoulder: The stretching I do after runs is usually static. The days off I tend to do more dynamic movements. Sometimes I use a foam roller (which I probably enjoy the most but also notice the least; that also reminds me I wanted to get some lacrosse balls).

 

Anyway, right now I'm not sure about alternatives and just hope I'll magically fall in love with stretching. 😂

 

I didn't realise you're working with/have worked with a physio - that's great! I'm sure they'll have better advice for your situation than me. It's great that you are already using a combination of techniques, too. I also prefer static stretches after I'm warmed up and dynamic movements on rest days or before exercising. 

 

I've also had knee pain due to IT band issues - in my case, it was my tight glutes pulling on my IT band which then pulled on my knee. In case it helps, I've heard that stretching (and foam rolling) the IT band itself isn't really effective since it is not a muscle, and working on the area around it tends to be more effective. Your mileage may vary!

 

I have some lacrosse ball myofascial release technique videos pinned in my signature (the Supple Lioness pinterest boards) if you need some ideas for those :). You could also look into seeing a massage therapist or someone who does active release technique in order to outsource some of your PT/mobility work 😂.

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Tuesday May 4th

 

#1 – I stuck to my calories again. Honestly makes me a bit hopeful for this attempt to restart my diet. Once I'm about two weeks in it usually gets easier. Especially snacking less. Normally a shocking amount of my daily calories goes to things that do not qualify as a meal.

 

#2 – The first run I get to record here and the worst one in quite a while. I ended up cutting it short because of cramps in my calves. There's always next time I guess.

 

#3 – I did stretch and I won't whine about it. Even though I really want to.

 

Unrelated to this challenge: I saw @Rookie do a 20 minute art challenge and I really wanted to give it a go. I haven't drawn/painted in forever, so I kind of cheated and already planned just to do an ink sketch. Even before the long break it would have probably taken me more than 20 minutes just to get my art supplies art, let alone paint anything. I don't know how anyone does it. And that's exactly what my sketch ended up looking like, I just ran out of time. Even with a simple ink sketch. As recommended by Rookie I'll just claim it's abstract art and meant to be like this.

 

Spoiler

image01.jpeg.7725ce1dade87a22b9fb8e7c8e986ab2.jpeg

 

(Based on a photo I recently took at a wildlife park. The first time I ever saw a black bear blep in person. Also in real life the bear didn't look like he fell of a tree and on his face. He was healthy I swear, it's just some... 'artistic license'...)

 

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7 minutes ago, Alanna said:

 

I didn't realise you're working with/have worked with a physio - that's great! I'm sure they'll have better advice for your situation than me. It's great that you are already using a combination of techniques, too. I also prefer static stretches after I'm warmed up and dynamic movements on rest days or before exercising. 

 

I've also had knee pain due to IT band issues - in my case, it was my tight glutes pulling on my IT band which then pulled on my knee. In case it helps, I've heard that stretching (and foam rolling) the IT band itself isn't really effective since it is not a muscle, and working on the area around it tends to be more effective. Your mileage may vary!

 

I have some lacrosse ball myofascial release technique videos pinned in my signature (the Supple Lioness pinterest boards) if you need some ideas for those :). You could also look into seeing a massage therapist or someone who does active release technique in order to outsource some of your PT/mobility work 😂.

 

It's not like a go all that often, but every now and then. Without it most of the time I wouldn't even know what the problem is. What you say about the IT band would make sense though. I do have a couple of exercises in one of the routines I got a while ago and just throw them in every now and then. I'm not sure if they do anything, but I bet they won't hurt.

 

Also I am very interested in those lacrosse ball myofascial release technique videos... Guess I know what I'll do for the rest of the day. 😄 Usually I am all for outsourcing, but we're not quite there yet with the vaccines and all that in this part of the world.

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2 hours ago, ninjakitten said:

Once I'm about two weeks in it usually gets easier. 

This is what I'm hoping for but I usually notice the opposite effect in me lol. My food rules are now laxed this time though so easy enough to do.

 

Quote

Unrelated to this challenge: I saw @Rookie do a 20 minute art challenge and I really wanted to give it a go. I haven't drawn/painted in forever, so I kind of cheated and already planned just to do an ink sketch. Even before the long break it would have probably taken me more than 20 minutes just to get my art supplies art, let alone paint anything. I don't know how anyone does it. And that's exactly what my sketch ended up looking like, I just ran out of time. Even with a simple ink sketch. As recommended by Rookie I'll just claim it's abstract art and meant to be like this.

 

  Hide contents

image01.jpeg.7725ce1dade87a22b9fb8e7c8e986ab2.jpeg

 

(Based on a photo I recently took at a wildlife park. The first time I ever saw a black bear blep in person. Also in real life the bear didn't look like he fell of a tree and on his face. He was healthy I swear, it's just some... 'artistic license'...)

 

Oh my gosh!!!!! I love it! You did such a good job. I want to know how it would of turned out of you had a reference and more than 20 minutes. Dannnng. You well need to keep doing art and sharing it. 

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{Chase the wind and touch the sky; I will fly}

 

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10 hours ago, ninjakitten said:

 

It's not like a go all that often, but every now and then. Without it most of the time I wouldn't even know what the problem is. What you say about the IT band would make sense though. I do have a couple of exercises in one of the routines I got a while ago and just throw them in every now and then. I'm not sure if they do anything, but I bet they won't hurt.

 

Also I am very interested in those lacrosse ball myofascial release technique videos... Guess I know what I'll do for the rest of the day. 😄 Usually I am all for outsourcing, but we're not quite there yet with the vaccines and all that in this part of the world.

 

Oh right, COVID 😅. I'm in the same boat here right now. I did find a good ART practitioner when I was powerlifting, though, and it helped a lot - it's like myofascial release (at least to my inexpert eyes), but you move the muscle under pressure, too.

 

Tennis balls work too for starting out if you have them - they are a little gentler, too! As a disclaimer, KStar (who did a lot of the videos I've pinned) has a few weird ideas about form (e.g., I wouldn't take squat form advice from him), but I've found the mobility work helpful in the past.

 

10 hours ago, ninjakitten said:

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

image01.jpeg.7725ce1dade87a22b9fb8e7c8e986ab2.jpeg

 

(Based on a photo I recently took at a wildlife park. The first time I ever saw a black bear blep in person. Also in real life the bear didn't look like he fell of a tree and on his face. He was healthy I swear, it's just some... 'artistic license'...)

 

 

I agree, this is fantastic! I love the texture you've achieved with your ink strokes - fur can be really tricky to portray. And any proportion issues (which will be more apparent to you since you know the inspiration) are resolvable with some more time and an immediate reference.

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I love your art piece.  The eyes are beautiful.  

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Race: Amazonian Ogre Princess | Class: Ranger | Profession: SuperHero

Level: 19 Ranger | STR 36 | DEX 29 | STA  35 | CON  43 | WIS 35 | CHA 23|

 

Spoiler

 

Epic Quest Avatar Lifting profile | D&D Character Sheet

Accountibillibuddies: Doodlies setting the world alight

Roadmaps: 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021

 

I am not saying I am Wonder Woman. I am just saying no one has ever seen me and Wonder Woman together in the same room.

 

Current Challenge: Shello Finally Fitnesses (sort of) and does some other things

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 789, 10, 11, 12 , 131415, 1617181920, 21, 2223242526272829303132, 33, 3435, 36??

Starting weight = 290.4; Current weight = 269; Total pounds lost: 21.4

 

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Cat Read GIF

Alright, I just did a brief overview to play catch up, so I may have missed some of your answers. 

 

First off, I like your challenge, it's nice and simple.  I prefer the straightforward approach to most goals, although I tend to have to go around the world to realize that. 

 

What is it that you don't like about stretching? Is it the boredom, or just the time sink?  Something I started incorporating into my daily routine back in January was to do more small sessions throughout the day.  Whenever I go to the bathroom at work (which is a lot wit the gallon jug of water hanging around) I try to go through a small routine before I sit back down.  Arms to the sky, touch your toes, some deep lunges, those sort of things.  Multiple small sessions can have more impact that one big session sometimes. 

 

I also tend to enjoy dynamic movements a lot more than static stretching.  This video has a lot of good ideas in it, and I use everything from the "bend and reach" section in my own warmups.   

 

 

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"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can."  Sydney Smith 

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