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My nitty gritty 6 week challenge


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hey!

ok, so. seriously, good luck with the pullup. my pullup bar wont fit on any of the doors in my new apartment, and im pretty upset about it. though, i have a backyard now, so im planning on rigging something up there :)

for foods! going paleo/primal = i suggest you cut things out slowly and not go all at once. at least, thats what i did, and while it took longer, ive now been paleo for over a year now without many issues at all (except for the tragic stress candy battle of march/april 2011).

but also, my only thing with your numbers = please make sure you're eating enough! i know the goal is weight loss, but 1345 calories is NOT a lot if you're doing any sort of exercise. 1000 = definitely not enough :)

Please keep in touch:
“There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
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Ha! Yeah I was afraid that I'd run into doorway issues when I purchased mine but thankfully it fit *phew* ...I'd imagine doing pullups feels much more awesome in the great outdoors so maybe it's a blessing in disguise? Other than the $$ aspect anyways ;)

I know my numbers feel small. I felt that way too and maybe they are but I'm going to finish one more week with these to see how I continue doing with them. I had 2 extended weekends in a row where I ate much more awful (although I seemed to maintain my weight) and so I've only been sticking to them truly for about a week... which isn't enough to see whether they're working right. If after another 1-2 weeks I'm not seeing good results I may try recalculating. I did my best to find legit scientific ways to calculate my needs and this is what I found... although if I continue upping my levels of activity I'll need to recalc anyways.

Thanks for your feedback! It means a lot!

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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Okay! Weekend over, back to tracking. Last week in general was a little over my desired grains intake (bad Anne! bad!) ...and while I'm not planning to fail this week, I -am- already planning my first grain intake for the week. I didn't have time to pack lunch today and since I can fit Subway's Turkey Bacon Avocado sandwich into my macros today, and I've been craving it, that's what I'm planning for lunch.

On the upside, I didn't have time to pack for lunch today because I did stretching instead, just like I wanted to! Minus much of a warmup, and no practicing headstands today. Too much to throw in all at once.

Also, I was going through some of the 4 Hour Body again this weekend and decided to experiment with cold showers to amp up fat burnage. Brrrrrrrr!! So I'll be doing at least one in the morning before breakfast, and if I get used to that I'll do one before bed as well. I did one this morning and WOW. Tim wasn't kidding when he said "Expect this to wake you up like a foghorn"...

My planned macros for today are all on target:

1294 calories

59g fat

126g protein

66g carbs

For exercise today I'll be doing 80yard sprints x 6, and see what I can do as far as adding some bear crawls. Knowing me I'll probably hang around on my pullup bar for a few minutes as well... and I literally mean that. Just hanging around. My gripper muscles need to get developed.

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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As of today I am OFFICIALLY out of all credit card debt! I was able to make my last payment today!!! Being out of $10k cc debt is an amazing feeling.

WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!

...almost enough to make me want to go eat some of the chocolate cake sitting in the break room... resisting... temptation...

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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that's beyond amazing. something i'm working towards now but not as close as i'd like!

any tips for those of us who still have a sizable amount to pay off? :)

Please keep in touch:
“There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
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@spezzy It's a lot of the same factors that go into fitness. Approaching it for the long haul instead of treating it like a sprint. Setting up habits that snowball over time.

It took me a bit over 2 years (I'd have to go back and track when exactly I started... somewhere between 2-3) and I've tried a lot of techniques.

One of the first tricks I tried which worked well to get me on the roll was to pay a friend to be my "accountant". I paid her $100/mo but having to run all my purchases through her and having her keep my budget with me allowed me to save over a thousand dollars every month so it was well worth the cost. She also helped me set up my plans and budgets to make sure I was putting as much as I could toward the debt. I called her my accountant in the truest sense because she was there to keep me accountable.

Once I got laid off the first time I couldn't afford to keep that up and so I started having to do it myself. I got a job pretty quick so I didn't relapse too bad out of the habit.

Getting laid off a second time later in the same year is where I mostly fell off the bandwagon. I was freelancing and then working part time and the inconsistent checks were hard for me mentally to budget the way I should have.

I got back on the bandwagon when I got rehired again at a full time job (having consistent salary is much easier for me to wrap my brain around). This time what I've done to keep myself in check is created a second set of free checking/savings account (I love USAA) and use it to give myself weekly "paychecks" that I'm allowed to spend on gas and anything else I want. Everything else stays in my regular checking account for regular bills, etc and I don't carry around the debit card for that one.

Automate everything you can! It's a huge way to make sure you're using your money where you're supposed to.

I can post more later but I need to get going to work now :)

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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Here's some of the resources I used for ideas, inspiration and motivation:

  • Dave Ramsey's free podcast (found in iTunes) - this got me started
  • Budgets Are Sexy - my personal favorite of all, kind of a friendly finance blog
  • Get Rich Slowly - good for hard info... more technically geared

My favorite tools:

  • USAA Bank - you don't have to be military to get regular banking accounts. I LOVE MY BANK.
  • Mint - I've grown to use this less and less (USAA has some really good baked in tracking for your accounts. Seriously. Did I say I love my bank already? I LOVE my bank.) but it's especially useful when you're first trying to get a grip on your expenses.

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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As of today I am OFFICIALLY out of all credit card debt! I was able to make my last payment today!!! Being out of $10k cc debt is an amazing feeling.

That is awesome. Congratulations! I'm sort of a personal finance fanatic, so reading this makes me very, very happy for you. EDIT: saw you had updated while I was posting. You have USAA! Awesome. I still do most of my main banking with BoA (I know, I know), but largely because I'm somehow in the 2% of the population that they haven't royally screwed. I'm sure I will get my comeuppance eventually. USAA is supposed to be awesome--great tools, customer service, interest rates, etc.

Great work so far this challenge, though I would echo what spezzy said and say do be careful about making sure you're getting enough calories. You seem to be doing well in terms of protein though, so that helps.

Lastly, cold showers? Eesh. You are a far better person than I. :)

 

"Did you go to the gym when you were alive?"
"I died in 1938. For exercise, we drank sloe gin and smoked Lucky Strikes."
- Dead Like Me

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@prefect

Over the last couple of years I've also become a personal finance fanatic, lol. Although mostly about the debt thing. My next goal is paying off my car loan. Then my dad. THEN I can start focusing on the whole building wealth bit :)

Thanks for the encouragement. :) I'm definitely keeping an eye on how I feel about my calories, like I said earlier I'll be re-evaluating in a couple of weeks. And like you said, hitting good protein levels definitely helps!

Ha! Cold showers will be interesting. I did one last night about an hour before bed, slept like a rock. Not sure if its related. I did one this morning and didn't last long in the cold... I stuck it out longer than I thought I could though. In my defense I was also in a hurry!

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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Yesterday went as planned for hitting macros and exercise. I even did some uphill bear crawling! Exhausting! Also took another cold shower before bed, and it seemed to actually help me sleep.

I haven't ironed out my meal plans for today, so I don't have a prediction on macros yet.

THIS MORNING HAS BEEN EPIC.

I got an unused, brand new 110lb barbell/dumbbell set ($190 value) for $40 off Craigslist. WIN. (Now: to learn to use it...)

Then I got on Facebook and found out I won a contest with mophie and will be getting a free battery juice pack for my iPhone. DOUBLE WIN.

I was going to stretch again this morning but I found out I'd be able to pick up the barbell set this morning but didn't learn that till I woke up... which cut out time to stretch. I did get in a quick cold shower.

I feel really good today. Maybe it has to do with a huge weight being off my shoulders.

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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I got in my stretching yesterday after I got some friends to join me in my workout.

I mostly hit my macros, except then at the end of the day I downed a glass of homemade lemonade leftover from the weekend. I expect this put me over on carbs and calories.

I decided to try my new barbell set with some power cleans & presses, and I must say I'm much weaker than I realized. :( ...well also that and I didn't check how much the barbell itself weighs, so I'm not sure what I was actually at. Based on some quick Googling I think it's about 22lbs. That's what I'm using for the following [measly] weights.

My workout looked sort of like this (quick Tabata-like intervals):

Power clean & press @ 72lbs x 4 intervals

Power clean @ 72lbs x 4 intervals

-1-2m break-

Body weight hang x 4 intervals

Assisted pullups (used chair) x 4 intervals

-1-2m break-

Squats @ 32lbs x 4 intervals

Squats @ BW x 4 intervals

- STRETCHES -

*hides in shame* bah I feel so weak. Also I think I need to work on my squat form because I had to stop using the barbell as it was hurting my back.

As I get used to the different exercises that I want to focus on I expect my workouts to start looking a little more normal. This was just me picking stuff last second out of excitement for my new equipment.

I went bowling last night and noticed that if I focused I could actually control the ball a bit, which I attribute to having better stabilizing muscles and stronger arms. :D Usually it don't matter how hard I focus ;) haha

This morning I put out about 7 half pushups (can't do whole ones), 7 full knee pushups and then did a set of 12 shoulder presses @ 10lbs (dumbbells) followed by a set of 6 @ 15lbs (dumbbells)... then followed the assassin stretching routine.

Quick cold shower last night, quick cold shower this morning. I'm not so concerned with staying in long enough for benefits right now as I am with mentally overcoming taking a cold shower.

Too much going on today. Failed at keeping a good schedule yesterday after work. While my excuse is that my friend kept me waiting and messed me up, I COULD have made better use of my time and now I have leftover things that were supposed to be done yesterday and my day today is already over-scheduled. *sigh*

Macros will probably fail today as I am going to a networking event where having a cocktail (or 3) is essentially mandatory. Until the event I'll be doing what I can to ensure I'm at least meeting protein goals!

/ramble

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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Re-evaluating nutrients based on concerns voiced, I found out that if I put myself on the high end of "lightly active" (since I have an 8hr/day desk job I find it hard to classify myself as moderately active) I realized that I could probably use an extra 400 calories per day. I was going to wait for 3 weeks but since I've been slowly gaining lbs this week (and maintaining inches since beginning of challenge, not losing) I decided to see what was up sooner than later.

According to math and not following a low-carb diet I'd be trying to hit 250g carbs per day but thinking about that hurts a little bit. However sticking more to paleo and upping my protein (I could probably go up to 140-150g/day) would be really difficult, especially in the realm of money.

Some new calculations, and I'm not sure what to do about them:

Moderate Activity Calories: 1,920

Light Activity Calories: 1,790

Optional macro changes would be to up either my carbs or protein, or both a bit. Fat could probably stay in the same range of 50-60g.

Protein could be anywhere from 125-160g

Carbs could go anywhere from 60g-250g

...it all depends on what kind of diet I think I can sustain.

Not sure what to do *sigh

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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Just remember, alcohol usually = carbs. Take that into account with the rest of your day, and it doesn't hurt quite so much.

Good job with the workout! No hiding in shame, you! You are stronger today than you were yesterday. This is all that matters.

For pushups, by "half pushup" you mean go down halfway, then then back up? I suggest that that's not ideal - it teaches bad habits, and doesn't strengthen your muscles where you need it most (bottom position). Aim for 1 full pushup if at all possible (give a primal yell if you have to to straighten those arms) and wether you do it or fail (and trying your damndest and failing is the GOOD kind of fail. Highfive either way), then do the rest on your knees.

If you're feeling particularily badass, lay down, then push up into bottom pushup position (chin just brushing the floor), and hoooooooooold, as long as you can, keeping your spine straight. It's a great way to train for full pushups. Feel that burn!

I seriously salute the cold showers thing. Your discipline astounds my soft self.

"Let another say. 'Perhaps the worst will not happen.' You yourself must say. 'Well, what if it does happen? Let us see who wins!' ".

- Seneca, 63 AD

"There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength." - Henry Rollins

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Wow thanks for the tips!! That is really useful to know for working towards full on pushups. I shall quit half pushups and begin practicing badassery. It really is the lower part that I can't do, so it makes sense I should focus on building that up. Doi.

The cold showers are seriously just a mental thing. I'm still working on it! I figure if I at least make myself do more than I'm comfortable with every day eventually my comfort zone will expand... thanks for the salute though, makes me feel good :)

Now to figure out what to do about all my macros, and how to handle them for today!

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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Okay, so yesterday's macros got all out of whack due to my schedule being all out of whack and not having time to eat appropriately.

Calories 1,219 (too low)

Protein 72g (waaaay too low)

Fat 86g

Carbs 45.6g

I got in a pretty challenging hour workout with my trainer yesterday as well which included interval jogging, lots of stairs work, weighted work like squats and step-ups, in addition to other things that I can't recall in enough detail to share.

I did manage to make myself a big salad before heading out of work, probably with more cheese than is Paleo friendly but hey, I was trying to up my protein a bit :P If you follow that link you can get details on what it consists of. I'll be having it again for lunch today!

This morning I woke up with a nasty, nasty sudden cramp in my calf. I decided that meant I should take it easy this morning. I still got in my assassin stretch routine and had my almond protein shake, and I had to take my gf to work so I didn't have time to run through the shower. I will be getting one in tonight!!

In light of my uncertain macros I haven't figured out how to re-adjust my eating habits to start reflecting changes. I've been having a hard enough time as is meeting my protein goals and upping that will prove to be difficult. I'll have to share later how it turns out.

Today is an off day for me for exercising!

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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Thanks! It's nice to hear someone else validating what I'm doing.

I haven't had any issues with cheese, I just know it's less than optimal on a truly paleo diet. However, since it doesn't seem to negatively effect me and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it... I keep eating it. I try to keep the portions low but it's still there. :)

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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I define paleo + dairy as primal. There's a few more differences, but that's the big one.

"Let another say. 'Perhaps the worst will not happen.' You yourself must say. 'Well, what if it does happen? Let us see who wins!' ".

- Seneca, 63 AD

"There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength." - Henry Rollins

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Yeah, if you have no problems digesting dairy, I think it is fine to have some occasionally. Since a lot of people cannot digest dairy properly (pretty much anyone who is not of northern European descent), it is usually frowned upon by the hardcore paleos. I do like to have cheese and full fat Greek yogurt (which is hard to find, as everyone seems to be afraid of saturated fat for some reason).

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So, last night I ended up making some poor decisions as far as health and diet goes, however I had an amazing time and got to know one of my coworkers a lot better and meet some of her friends who turned out to be pretty radical (in a good way).

Before work was out she invited me to go over to the beer tasting for the Green Flash brewery that just opened across the street from our office, and I've never been to one of those before and thought it would be fun to actually hang out outside of a work setting. Good friends are hard to find and she seems to have a lot of potential to be one!

I ended up having 5-6 tasters plus a 13oz beer plus part of some Indian chicken curry meal. Once we left (3-4 hours later) we ended up at Subway and I downed an entire foot long. I made it "better" by getting double meat (to try and up my protein since I knew everything else was crap) and didn't finish the ends of the bread.

I know for a fact I hit at least 1890 calories, 145g carbs, 100g fat, and around 120g protein... and that doesn't include the beer or the Indian meal.

This morning the scale says there were no changes in weight (I always weigh mornings, after going to the restroom to be consistent as possible) so I'm hoping that my body just took it as a "reload" on carbs since I'm usually in a pretty low range. I'm sure all the micronutrients from my salad for lunch helped.

Today is a nasty weather morning (for San Diego anyways) so my trainer and I rescheduled for an extra session next week and I'm going to run through my own training at home before I go to work.

My plan this morning: Cold shower, protein shake, workout, eat breakfast (I'm thinking seasoned fried tuna + eggs). If I move quick I could maybe even get to work early! Woot!

Workout For Today

Warm up: Dynamic stretching, 60s jump rope

Shoulder presses @10lbs x 13

Shoulder presses @15lbs x 7

Body weight squats till failure

Weighted squats (will determine weight then) x 6

Intervals:

Body weight hangs @30s x 4

Assisted pullups @20s x 4

Down-position pushup holds @30s x 4

Knee pushups @20s x 4

Body weight squats till failure

Static stretching

Anxious, but ambitious! Current challenge: Undermining the Conspiracy

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