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When I read books, or watch movies and television episodes, I often find myself wondering how I would handle the life-threatening situations that the characters find themselves in. If I were Simba in the Lion King, would I be able to pull myself back up onto the edge of the cliff before Scar threw me to my death? If I were Sam Gamgee in the Return of the King, would I be able to take those last few exhausting steps up to the Crack of Doom in Mordor with Frodo's weight across my shoulders? If I were Rose Tyler, would I be able to outrun the Monster-of-the-week and make it back to the TARDIS safely?

 

I have actually spent an embarrassing amount of time considering whether or not I would make a good Companion for the Doctor! Do I have the strength, stamina and determination to handle the crazy adventures we would inevitably get ourselves into? In my current state of fitness, if I am honest with myself, I don't think I really do. But I'm keen to change that. And I have a plan to help me do so! 

 

My Main Quest: To be Companion-ready! (Read: fitter, faster and stronger)

 

My three fitness-related sub-missions:

 

1. To do one pull-up 

2. To do 100 consecutive squats

3. To run 5k in less than 30 minutes

 

My one side-quest:

 

4. To keep my home and life clutter-free (If I have to leave in a hurry, I wouldn't want to leave everything in a state of disorder!) Specifically, I want to achieve 5 out of 6 stars on my weekly FlyLady routines.

 

My motivation: To know with confidence that my physical, mental and spiritual health is the best it can be. At the end of my life, I want to be able to say with Paul in 2 TImothy 4 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 

 

I will grade myself as follows:

 

Pull-ups:

 

A = at least 1 good-form pull-up completed

B = > 5 negative pull-ups

C = 3 - 5 negative pull-ups

Fail = < 3 negative pull ups

 

Squats:

 

A = 100 good form squats completed

B = 75 - 100 squats

C = 50 - 75 squats

Fail = < 50 squats

 

5k:

 

A = Run 5k in under 30 minutes

B = 5k in 30-35 minutes

C = 5k in 35-40 minutes

Fail = > 40 minutes

 

FlyLady:

 

A = 5 out of 6 stars

B = 4 out of 6 stars

C = 3 out of 6 stars

Fail = less than 3 stars

 

Overall grade:

 

A = 1

B = 2

C = 3

F = 4

Add my grades together, take the mean and round up or down. 

Example:

Two As, a B and a C would be 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 7

7 divided by 4 = 1.75

Rounding up that makes 2

So I would get an overall grade of B for the challenge 

Note: I will only give myself an A overall if I get A in all four challenges. If I get three As and one B I will still score myself B. 

 

Hopefully by the end of these six weeks, if the TARDIS pops up on my doorstep and the Doctor tells me to "Run!" I won't hesitate to jump at the chance. I won't be fazed by the prospect of "An awful lot of running", and I'll be perfectly capable of defending myself physically, even if it's with a broom (Rory is my hero!) 

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I want the focus of this challenge to be primarily on function father than appearance, but I am somewhat curious to see if my body composition changes much over the six weeks, so I will post my starting measurements here. All measurements were taken first thing in the morning for consistency. 

 

Height: 165 cm

Mass: 52 kg 

Waist: 68 cm

Hip 93 cm

Body Fat percentage (US Navy formula): 23.3%

BMI: 19.1

BMR: 1357.2 (Which means my daily minimum caloric intake is 2104) 

 

I used this site to do the calculations: http://www.skinbodyfitness.com/bmr_bmi_bfp.htm

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I have actually spent an embarrassing amount of time considering whether or not I would make a good Companion for the Doctor!

 

Heh, you're not the only one that's done that...

 

Your goals sound solid, definitely a good set of targets for a potential companion to reach!

 

Best of luck with it all :)

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Weekly exercise routine:

 

 

Mon: Ceroc dance class (Before you laugh, it's 3.5 hours of dancing so this is actually quite a decent cardio workout) 

Tues: Modified beginner Bodyweight workout 

Wed: Run 5k

Thurs: Modified beginner Bodyweight workout

Fri: REST

Sat: Run 5k

Sun: Modified beginner Bodyweight workout

 

As the weeks progress, my beginner bodyweight workouts will change. I will increase the number of squats I do in a "set" and I will gradually progress from bent-over dumbbell rows to bodyweight rows to negative pull-ups. Each Sunday I will attempt a pull-up and will do an "exhaustion test" to see how many squats I can do. 

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Heh, you're not the only one that's done that...

 

Your goals sound solid, definitely a good set of targets for a potential companion to reach!

 

Best of luck with it all :)

 

 Thank you! Good to know I'm not the only obsessive Whovian here! 

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Hey, great goals! Nice to see another meddie trying to push herself to be physically healthy. We really should, shouldn't we? Just a note about your calculated stats at the beginning... I just put mine in and it says I'm overweight by 10 pounds, and at 30.2% body fat. Looking at the Nerd Fitness Body Fat %age article there's no WAY I'm 30%BF... so just a note that it might be a grain of salt sorta thang :) 

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Hey, great goals! Nice to see another meddie trying to push herself to be physically healthy. We really should, shouldn't we? Just a note about your calculated stats at the beginning... I just put mine in and it says I'm overweight by 10 pounds, and at 30.2% body fat. Looking at the Nerd Fitness Body Fat %age article there's no WAY I'm 30%BF... so just a note that it might be a grain of salt sorta thang :)

 

Thanks! You're right - if we're going to spend the rest of our lives telling others to quit smoking, eat healthy food, exercise more and all the rest, we really ought to practice what we preach! Good point about the Body Fat percentage thing - I had another read of the Nerd Fitness article and I absolutely agree that you are not 30%! Not even close! Given the formula only takes five bits of data or whatever it is, it's hardly surprising that the result is way off the mark. Better to go with the "take a look" method.

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Now that week one of the challenge is complete, it's time for a check-in!

 

Overall I think the week went very well. I stuck to my exercise routine and didn't miss a single day (although I swapped my rest day from Friday to Thursday as it better suited my other commitments). I feel great - I have more energy during the day and I sleep really well at night! One thing I wasn't expecting was how ravenously hungry I would be when exercising six times per week (rather than once or twice). I'm eating so much! I've started having to take two sandwiches to the hospital for lunch instead of one. There was even a day when I went to the cafeteria at 4 pm to buy myself an "afternoon snack" of some sort and ended up getting a burger because I was honestly hungry enough for a full meal! (I still ate my dinner later that evening, mind you!) I weigh exactly the same as I did a week ago, so I'm not worried. I guess I'm just adjusting to my new energy requirements. 

 

Now for my goals:

 

Pull-up? Still no. I can get nearly half-way up, though, so I have improved a little.

Squats? 65! I think I may have set the bar too low at 100 squats! 

5k time? 33 minutes and 26 seconds. I was pretty knackered! 

Flylady? Not so great. :( Only 53 percent of the items on my weekly routine list got ticked so I don't get a star for this week. I have allowed myself to get an A with one failed week, so if I pick up my game from here on I can still potentially get an A overall. 

 

This coming week I am planning to start doing inverted rows instead of barbell rows in my modified Beginner Body weight workouts. The plan is to work through the exercises Steve suggests for building up to a pull-up. And then hopefully by the end of the six weeks I will be doing actual pull-ups. Like a boss. 

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Hey Suguru, thats great progress in week 1! Ive found too that as Ive taken up jogging more, Im eating everything in the house. Our grocery bills are climbing over here, haha. Hey just curious, what's Flylady?

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Thanks! Haha Flylady is hard to explain! It's a sort of self-help program aimed mainly at helping women who are chronically disorganised keep their houses/lives somewhat organised. The basic philosophy is all about taking baby steps - not making too many changes at once and not being a perfectionist because then you crash and burn. I got my mother into it a while ago and she kept forwarding some of the emails on to me. I started to realise that a lot of FlyLady's tips could be applied to study and other aspect of life, not just housekeeping and ended up using her suggestions to gradually create a weekly routine for myself. I fell of the bandwagon a while back and was hoping that this challenge could be a way of getting back into it. Unfortunately I think I have done exactly what FlyLady says NOT to do in trying to change too much all at once. I would have done better to pick just one habit to focus on, like you have with making the bed (as an aside, that is one of the things that FlyLady says "Make your bed as soon as you get out of it"). If you want to have a look, you can check out the website. Here's the page with the "Beginner BabySteps" that you're supposed to start with, adding one more each day: http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/31-beginner-babysteps/

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Week 2 Update:

 

Pull-up? Still no, but I was SO close, I just couldn't seem to pull myself up that last 90 degrees!

Squats? 80. Going strong, I should hit 100 well before the end of the challenge unless I stall like I did the last time I tried to increase the number of consecutive squats I could do.

5k time? 31 minutes and 40 seconds. So close! 

Flylady? Only 60% ticked. I think this is one challenge that is not going to happen. I should have picked one or two good habits I want to work on and stuck to that rather than trying to change too much all at once. Oh well, I learned my lesson for next time and will make sure my goals are more realistic in the future. 

 

I did miss one workout this week - my Saturday run. I still improved my 5k time from last week though so I'm not too worried. Also, my weight is stable at 52 kg so I seem to have got my diet about right for maintenance. 

 

Overall a good week despite some slip ups, and I am encouraged by the fact that I have not lost motivation yet, at least! 

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Skimming through the topic titles, I saw your reference to companions, and thought.... Doctor Who? To be companion-ready is fantastic motivation. Could any of us have Rory's dedication, though?

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Week 3 Check-in!

 

Pull up? Nope. However, I did manage three sets of five negative pull-ups on Friday (with great difficulty, and I'm still aching from it!)

Squats? 87. I seem to have plateaued somewhat, but I'll keep pushing myself in the three weeks to come and hopefully I will make it to 100.

5k time? 30 minutes and 50 seconds! I reckon I can do it in under 30 next week. 

Flylady? Let's just say I failed again this week. I don't want to calculate my exact percentage, it would be too depressing! 

 

I completed all six of my workouts again this week, although I went pretty easy on myself today with the upper body exercises (push-ups and inverted rows) because I am still so sore from the inverted rows on Friday. It seems to be working well to have Thursday as my rest day. My weight is still basically the same, which is impressive given the monstrous amount of food I have been eating. My hobbit-ish self loves the fact that exercising daily means I get to eat all of the things!

 

I think this coming week I will have to skip one workout because I'm planning to donate blood on Tuesday and I want to allow my body time to replenish my red cells before I start pushing myself too hard. 

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Suguru, you are doing an outstanding job so far on your first challenge!! 

 

I think your goals looked great in the beginning of your challenge, as I have read your updates it appears as though you are having issues with one in particular:

 

Flylady? Only 60% ticked. I think this is one challenge that is not going to happen. I should have picked one or two good habits I want to work on and stuck to that rather than trying to change too much all at once. Oh well, I learned my lesson for next time and will make sure my goals are more realistic in the future. 

 

I just wanted to step in and say, that if you have noticed in any challenge that any goal is becoming difficult to complete and in turn hurting your motivation, that it might be time to re-evaluate that goal.  It is perfectly acceptable to modify/change any goal at any point during the challenge, a matter of fact you will find that many of us have had do adapt more than once.  Adaptation is the key to success, I am not encouraging weak goals or throwing in the towel at the first complication, but to adapt in order to be successful and not lose motivation over all in yourself.  Again this is just a suggestion from one person, but I use to bite off more than I could chew and due to that have given in on 2 previous challenges because the hit I took to my motivation for not succeeding in one area, I failed in all others.  You so far seem to be doing great on the others but I don't want anything to throw you off the great pace you have set so far this challenge.

 

Again, keep up the great work and I will be keeping an eye on you!

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Suguru, you are doing an outstanding job so far on your first challenge!! 

 

I think your goals looked great in the beginning of your challenge, as I have read your updates it appears as though you are having issues with one in particular. I just wanted to step in and say, that if you have noticed in any challenge that any goal is becoming difficult to complete and in turn hurting your motivation, that it might be time to re-evaluate that goal.  It is perfectly acceptable to modify/change any goal at any point during the challenge, a matter of fact you will find that many of us have had do adapt more than once.  Adaptation is the key to success, I am not encouraging weak goals or throwing in the towel at the first complication, but to adapt in order to be successful and not lose motivation over all in yourself.  Again this is just a suggestion from one person, but I use to bite off more than I could chew and due to that have given in on 2 previous challenges because the hit I took to my motivation for not succeeding in one area, I failed in all others.  You so far seem to be doing great on the others but I don't want anything to throw you off the great pace you have set so far this challenge.

 

Again, keep up the great work and I will be keeping an eye on you!

 

Thank you Mitch for your encouraging words. I actually did consider modifying my non-fitness "side-quest" to something more achievable but I felt that that would be "cheating" so I decided not to. I appreciate your clarifying that this is actually not against the rules. In light of this new discovery I am going to modify my Flylady goal. For the final three weeks of this challenge, instead of having to tick off 70% of the items on my big long "weekly routine" lists, I will instead make it my goal to do the following three simple things EACH day: 

 

1. Make my bed as soon as I get out of it in the morning

2. Prepare my "Launch pad" for the next day (clothes, handbag, car keys etc) before I go to bed

3. Spend 2 minutes de-cluttering a "Hot spot" (somewhere where clutter tends to pile up, like my desk or my dressing table) each night before bed 

 

If I do these three things 15 or more days out of the total 21 then I will give myself an A. 13-14 days is a B. 11-12 days is a C. 10 days or less means I Fail. 

 

Mitch/any others, does that seem fair to you? 

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Week 4 Check-in:

 

Exciting news everybody! I achieved two of my fitness goals this week! Yesterday I ran 5k in 28 minutes and 34 seconds and just today I did 100 consecutive squats! 

 

The pull-up is still not happening, which in some ways is a good thing. If I achieved all three of my fitness goals in the fourth week of the challenge, what would I have to work towards for the last two weeks? I did three sets of 6 negative pull-ups today so I know my arms and back are getting stronger. I will just have to persist with the negatives and inverted rows and hope for a breakthrough. 

 

FlyLady-wise, I am very glad that I modified that goal. I was very consistent with my three daily habits this week - only missing one 2-min de-clutter last night because I got home tired after a party. So 6/7 days this week! 

 

Only two weeks to go! 

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Thanks! You're right - if we're going to spend the rest of our lives telling others to quit smoking, eat healthy food, exercise more and all the rest, we really ought to practice what we preach!

This was part of my motivation, too. My pet peeve at work is obesity and smoking among doctors and nurses and PAs.

Well, and working with insurance companies. :)

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This was part of my motivation, too. My pet peeve at work is obesity and smoking among doctors and nurses and PAs.

Well, and working with insurance companies. :)

My dad was an ear, nose and throat doctor who smoked. But in his day a lot of MDs smoked. To his credit, he did stop smoking on his own terms in his mid-70s. Thankfully, I probably have smoked a total one pack during my entire life and can't remember when I last had a one.

 

Good luck to all who are trying to quit!

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My dad was an ear, nose and throat doctor who smoked. But in his day a lot of MDs smoked. To his credit, he did stop smoking on his own terms in his mid-70s. Thankfully, I probably have smoked a total one pack during my entire life and can't remember when I last had a one.

 

Good luck to all who are trying to quit!

 

In old medical textbooks, holding a cigarette under a patients nose while their eyes were closed was a recommended way to test the olfactory nerve. Obviously, the assumption was that everyone smoked. Or big tobacco was funding the publisher...

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Week 5 Check-in!

 

Since I achieved two of my goals last week I have been focusing on my remaining goal of one pull-up this week. I haven't been pushing myself much with my squats and I haven't been for a run at all this week (although I may go later this evening), but I have been very persistent with my back exercises. I've been mixing it up - mostly negative pull-ups but also some inverted rows and dumbbell rows. I know I am getting stronger (I can do seven negative pull-ups in a row) which is why it is frustrating me that every time I attempt a pull up I just can't seem to quite get my chin over the bar. I'm beginning to wonder if it's at least partly psychological - I don't have faith in myself that I can do it and so when I try, I can't. In any case, there's one week left, so this will be the decider between me getting a B or and A for my pull-up goal! I still reckon I can do it. But I guess we'll see...

 

As far as my Flylady habits go, I've been making my bed every morning and laying out my clothes every night, but I did miss a day of de-cluttering a hot spot again (this time because I was up late writing an essay that I left to the last minute!). So 6/7 again. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself! 

 

In summary, this is where I'm sitting, one week out from the end of the challenge:

 

Pull-up? B achieved (still hoping, perhaps foolishly, for an A)

Squats? A achieved.

5k time? A achieved

Flylady? On my way to an A based on my new criteria if I keep it up! (Probably an F by my original criteria!) 

 

Oh and another discovery I made this morning - although my weight is still stable at 52 kg, my waist is now only 65.5 cm! Methinks I am losing fat and gaining muscle! 

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