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Balsquith

Balsquith's second challenge!

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On the sleep issue, some things that worked for me:

* Don't eat within a couple of hours of bedtime.

* Work out 2 or 3 hours before bed, but not within an hour.

* Go to bed at the same time each night.

* No TV or reading in bed.

* Get out of bed at the same time each morning, no matter what your schedule is for the day.

I had insomnia for over 20 years, almost every night. The last year or so, I can count the episodes of insomnia on one hand.

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On the sleep issue, some things that worked for me:

* Don't eat within a couple of hours of bedtime.

* Work out 2 or 3 hours before bed, but not within an hour.

* Go to bed at the same time each night.

* No TV or reading in bed.

* Get out of bed at the same time each morning, no matter what your schedule is for the day.

I had insomnia for over 20 years, almost every night. The last year or so, I can count the episodes of insomnia on one hand.

Cheers Jimmie,

This is all very good advice, thanks. I think this current challenge has led me into a few of the things that you mention. Now that I am trying to eat in a certain way I can't take the easy option eating. This has meant that when I am not organised with bringing food with me I have ended up eating quite late quite a few times recently. I need to get myself more organised so that this doesn't happen.

I think the morning routine should eventually help with this, but at the moment it seems to be interrupting things.

I often read before bed but only briefly as usually I can't keep my eyes open and fall asleep pretty quickly (this has also suffered to some degree recently), but the major problem I have at the moment seems to be staying asleep.

Good to hear that you solved your sleeping problems, over 20 years of insomnia sounds horrendous.

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Week 3 summary:

Morning routine: 14/21 (9/21 walk + meditation bonus)

Evening routine: 20/21

Exercise: 1.5/3 (6.5/9 total) (pressup max = 16)

Paleo: 61.3%

Morning routine: I am dropping about 2 days per week. Suffice to say these are commonly known as the weekend. Not sure what to do here. This weekend I went on a couple of days away with my girlfriend and as usual this meant that I didn't get up when my alarm went off as she is never very happy when she finds that I am gone. Not sure what to do here. I guess for the sake of my challenge I am just going to have to explain it to her better as the process of trying to form this habit starts again every Monday with decreasing motivation and that is going to stop it altogether if I am not careful.

Evening routine: This has been a success story. I have a set of standard stretches which I do every night (or at least I do most of every night), I want to start throwing in some additional stretches or yoga poses, but I don't want to get in the way of how well this is going, so these will be bonuses if they happen.

Exercise: Hmm, what went wrong! A long weekend certainly got in the way and getting a blister on my hand was a bit of a nuisance, but I should have got in at least 1 more workout (even if just a press-up workout), all in all a disappointment and something which I am going to have to plan better to rectify.

Paleo: Suffered this week from a weekend away where I ended up eating some not ideal (but probably in the grand scheme of things not terrible) things because they were interesting and I had never had the opportunity to eat them before. However I have no excuses for only managing to get up to 100% on 1 day this week. This week I need to be better organised with bringing in the right food, then a weekend like this would only be a wobble as opposed to a trend.

Overall: Having recognised my wobble from week 2 I am pretty disappointed all-round that week 3 continued the trend and was maybe actually a bit worse.

If I extrapolate these numbers from the half way point then I would be getting the following grades:

Morning routine - D (just)

Evening routine - A

Exercise - D

Paleo - Fail

Which I think seems pretty fair. Basically I need to up my game and pull these challenges around!

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Day 23 Update:

Morning routine: 15/23 (9/23 walk + meditation bonus)

Evening routine: 22/23

Exercise: 0.5/3 (7/12 total)

Paleo: 66.00%

The long weekend seems to have broken anything I had in terms of a routine for getting up and consequently I slipped up again yesterday morning. I am struggling to make this a habit given it gets consistently messed up at the weekend and this means that every week is like starting again, which is pretty exhausting.

My gym session got cancelled again which frustrated me a great deal as there was no reason that I could see for it. It turns out both I and my girlfriend were having bad days and whereas that was making me look forward to going to the gym and actually getting something productive done, it had the opposite effect on her and led to her cancelling it. I tried to not take my frustration out on her and we had a nice home-cooked meal instead.

Paleo is being hit by the fact that I have not been making my own meals to bring in this week. Time is getting in the way, which it shouldn't be. I will turn this around for the last couple of days this week.

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Day 25 Update:

Morning routine: 17/25 (9/25 walk + meditation bonus)

Evening routine: 24/25

Exercise: 2/3 (8.5/12 total)

Paleo: 66.00%

I managed to eat all paleo for a change today so hopefully I can keep that going.

Edited by Balsquith

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Week 4 summary:

Morning routine: 18/28 (9/28 walk + meditation bonus)

Evening routine: 27/28

Exercise: 3/3 (9.5/12 total) (pressup max = 19)

Paleo: 63.65%

Morning routine: Usual pattern emerged again, good during the week, terrible at the weekend

Evening routine: Perfect

Exercise: 3 out of 3 for the week, it was good!

Paleo: My worst week yet! The weekend was a total failure. I ate all sorts of bad things and drank too much. I do like advent markets a bit too much I think :) I will be stricter this week hopefully.

Overall: Another weekend, another fail!! This weekend was probably my worse on yet as regards my challenges, not getting up to my alarm, not doing any exercise and eating very badly, lots of bready, sugary foods. Needless to stay I felt completely exhausted both days and feel like I have the beginnings of a cold now. I need to start taking care of my body a bit more. My excuse is that I like Advent markets, Glühwein, Lebkuchen and anything interesting sounding which I haven't tried before. In my mind this is a good excuse, but I shouldn't let it take over my whole weekend. Back to being sensible this week.

Edited by Balsquith

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Day 29 Update:

Morning routine: 18/29 (9/29 walk + meditation bonus)

Evening routine: 28/29

Exercise: 0.5/3 (10/15 total)

Paleo: 63.7%

Monday morning wasn't good for my morning routine and my paleo took another minor hit. On the plus side I got a press-up workout in and completed my stretching routine for the day. I also spent the evening cooking so I should be able to knock out at least 2 100% paleo days!

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A festive mini-challenge has now appeared and it looks like fun. Given that my own challenges are not going very well I want to use this mini-challenge to get me motivated to meet my own goals.

Managing:

Planning: I have a big change about to occur in my life, my current contract is about to come to an end, I have a new position lined up thankfully, but it is in a different country, therefore I have a lot of planning to do in order to get all the loose ends in my current position tied up and to get visas and flights sorted out for my move. The sooner I get doing this the better.

Cook 5 healthy meals: I need to get my paleo challenge sorted out and that means I need to get serious about cooking healthy meals.

7 Hours of sleep: I think I am pretty good with this already, sometimes it doesn't happen, but it is very rare that I don't at least give myself the chance of at least 7 hours sleep (usually 8 hours).

Moving & Loading:

Speed work: This has been on my list of things to start to do for quite some time. I don't think 3 times a week would realistically fit into my challenge setup, but I will include at least 1 session a week.

Farmers Walk: I don't think this fits into the workouts I am trying to do at the moment, so I won't be attempting this.

Overhead lifts: I am not very confident with the technique of these exercises, so I shall use this mini-challenge as an incentive to give some of these movements a go. I shall aim to do these once a week.

Delivery:

Pulling the sleigh (running): Running has dropped out of my training of late, as it is dark and cold. I shall use this mini-challenge to bring it back. I want to run a least once a week (approx 5km).

Pull-ups and climbing: My upper body is very weak and I should be doing more pull-ups and chin-ups to change this. I therefore want to do these exercises twice a week.

Isometric holds: I am going to be going skiing in January and I wanted to build up some leg and knee strength and I hear that wall sits are excellent for this so I shall be incorporating them. I am not sure what other isometric holds fit well into my plans. I could do a hold at the bottom of my press-ups, but I am not sure how to incorporate this into my routine (i.e. how many, how long).

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Thanks for the suggestion Jimmie. How long should you stay in an iso hold? I realise that that may bit like asking how long is a piece of string, but I don't really have much idea about them, and whether they are useful or not.

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Thanks for the suggestion Jimmie. How long should you stay in an iso hold? I realise that that may bit like asking how long is a piece of string, but I don't really have much idea about them, and whether they are useful or not.

I think it all depends. For l-sits and power hangs, I do it to failure. Tomorrow, I'd already planned on iso bodyweight work and will be stretching out pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and sit-ups to about 10 seconds per rep. And one-armed hangs I'll be happy to hit 5 seconds.

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Day 30 Update:

Morning routine: 19/30 (9/29 walk + meditation bonus)

Evening routine: 29/30

Exercise: 1.5/3 (11/15 total)

Paleo: 64.9%

My first 100% paleo day for a while yesterday and it felt good. I wanted to record the boost this made to my overall % score, but obviously we are so far into the challenge now that this resulted in only a tiny increase. Still all increases are good. Today should also be a 100% day, hopefully I can keep this going.

A reasonable workout last night and a few points towards the mini-challenge logged. Annoying my shoulder started to hurt quite badly. I woke up in the middle of the night to find that that arm was completely dead from lying on it (I guess as a consequence of the shoulder not working) and I had a few painful minutes of the blood prickling its way back into it. It feels a lot better this morning, although still with a bit of a dull ache. Hopefully nothing major done to it!

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Day 31 Update:

Morning routine: 20/31 (9/31 walk + meditation bonus)

Evening routine: 30/31

Exercise: 1.5/3 (11/15 total)

Paleo: 66.0%

My second 100% paleo day in a row, it was tasty. Unfortunately I didn't have chance to cook any more meals last night so today is looking a little bit dangerous. I have brought some meat and salad into work, so hopefully I can find the frying pan in the kitchen and keep this going.

My shoulder didn't seem to be hurting all that much yesterday, but unfortunately it is hurting like it is injured today, I don't know why this is, maybe I somehow managed to strain it a little bit more yesterday or while I slept. I hope that this doesn't stop me doing the workouts I wanted to do. Maybe a sign to go for that run or do some sprints instead.

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Day 32 Update:

Morning routine: 21/32 (9/31 walk + meditation bonus)

Evening routine: 31/32

Exercise: 1.5/3 (11/15 total)

Paleo: 67.06%

Three 100% paleo days in a row, quite chuffed with myself. We'll have to see what I can do today.

I did a couple of press-ups last night and my shoulder hurt and was a bit sore afterwards. Maybe I should give it some time to heal properly.

Edited by Balsquith

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Week 4 summary:

Morning routine: 23/35 (9/35 walk + meditation bonus)

Evening routine: 34/35

Exercise: 1.5/3 (11/15 total) (pressup max = 19)

Paleo: 66.97%

Morning routine: 2 days failed out of 7 again :( Plus 2 days where I achieved my goal but upset my girlfriend by telling her that I have to leap out of bed as soon as the alarm goes!

Evening routine: Perfect. My hamstrings are noticeably my flexible than previously, I can now raise my right leg up to a 90° angle from a lying position, and my left leg is not far behind.

Exercise: 1.5 out of 3 for the week. This was due to injuring my shoulder and resting it. This interrupted my normal stand-by workout of press-ups but really I should have used this opportunity to do some running as I talked about. Never got programmed in though.

Paleo: My best week yet! 3 days in a row of 100% paleo. Overall my average for the week was just over 80% and most of the bad things were seasonal alcohol consumption. I'm pretty pleased, this is how my weeks should normally be. It does take a bit more organisation though.

Overall: Overall not the great week I had been looking for. My morning routine is definitely not a routine yet and I allowed an injury to completely upset my weeks exercise plans. On the plus side, my evening routine is going very well and I am seeing benefits, and my eating this week was mostly great. I need to be a bit more consistent, the challenge areas are jumping from good to bad and visa-versa everyweek.

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Day 36 Update:

Morning routine: 24/36 (9/36 walk + meditation bonus)

Evening routine: 35/36

Exercise: 0/3 (11/18 total)

Paleo: 67.98%

Yesterday was a good day for my morning routine, paleo eating and my evening routine. I am not sure what to do with my shoulder, it doesn't really hurt, but sometimes feels a bit strange. I just have that fear of subjecting it to exercise again. I will try some press-ups later.

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2nd challenge round-up

 

Morning routine: 28/42 (9/42 walk + meditation bonus)  - D (Wis +0.5, Con +0.25, Cha +0.25)


Evening routine: 41/42 - A (Dex +2)


Exercise: 12/18  (pressup max = 19) - D (Str +0.5, Sta +0.25)


Paleo: 70% - F (No increase)

 

 

Updated Attributes: STR 3.25/DEX 5/STA 3.5/CON 4.5/WIS 5/CHA 2.25
 

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