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kwesadilo

Kwesadilo's second challenge

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This is my second challenge, my first one having been mostly successful. I'm a little thrown by the new goal format, so hopefully I'm doing this right. I was more able to think of life goals this time than fitness/health goals, but I'll try to get with the program. However, my goals will be somewhat repetitive due to the necessary more direct focus on physical fitness.

I weigh 161 lbs and have 17% body fat according to my calipers. This is almost certainly wrong. Visually, I would estimate my body to by closer to 25% fat. I want to post pictures, but I live my myself and don't have a full-length mirror, and I can't find any Android camera timer apps that take good pictures. I'm pretty disappointed by the selection. Anyway, take my word for it that I'm about 25% body fat and pretty skinny.

Edit: If you care about my other stats, they may be found on my MyFitnessPal page linked below.

Speaking of disappointment, the lack of formatting controls in this topic creation form is noted with displeasure. I apologize for the poor formatting below.

Main quest: Be and look physically capable of feats unachievable by your average Joe.

Goals:

* Strength train three times a week, following the Rebel Fitness Guide dumbbell exercise program. 5 STR

* Reduce intake of grains and processed food, getting closer to a Paleo + dairy diet. Start making one meal a week conform and increase by one meal each week. Right now, almost everything I eat for dinner is processed, frozen food, and I eat a ton of processed grains. Consequently, although I think I built some muscle during the last challenge, I also got a little fatter. I'd like to bulk up without getting fat. 5 STA

* Sleep (or at least be in bed) at least 8 hours each night. Get to bed by 11:00 pm on work nights. I started off strong on this during the last challenge but fell off as I tried to do more stuff in the evenings (case in point right now). When I was getting plenty of sleep, it really helped me feel better during the day, and I think it will help me build muscle as well. 3 STA

Life side quest:

* Stop browsing Reddit. I waste so much time doing this, and I don't even consider myself a redditor. There's good stuff on there for sure, but the problem is there's an infinite amount of everything, so it's really hard to walk away from. For the purposes of this goal, I'm still allowed to look at something if somebody wants to show me, but I can't just go to the site to see what's there, as I have been wont to do for some time. 2 WIS

Motivation: The more physically capable I am, the more confident I will feel and the better I will look. These effects will make it easier to socialize with people.

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Hello! Good luck with all your goals, what feats are you hoping to achieve? 

TBD. It would be nice just to stop being the person who doesn't do anything physically challenging. My motivation for a while was to be better prepared to survive in a post-apocalyptic scenario. I still think that's a valid goal, but I'd like to see some of the benefits of my activities this side of the end of the world.

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There's other ways to measure BF% Some go low, some go high, you can try the Navy calculation (which generally runs high from what I understand). I'm doing some pretty similar goals to you, but starting from a much higher place. If you say that you're thin that I doubt that you're actually around 25%, though I'll admit I could be wrong. Good luck this challenge!

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If you say that you're thin that I doubt that you're actually around 25%, though I'll admit I could be wrong.

I'm basing that off of the pictures and descriptions in this article. Although I mostly look like the 20% guy, my belly does protrude a little bit. I'm guessing I'm between 20% and 25%,

 

I would add some grades too - that way you can scale it and it's not all pass/fail. Other than that, good goals, good challenge overall, I think you'll do well with this.

I was just going to to with the basic percentage completion system discussed in the attribute point article.

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Status update:

 

Lifted three times this week. Today, I switched from my previous routine that typically had 5 sets per exercise with two minutes of rest in between to a continuous circuit routine. It went pretty well, although I was definitely thirstier. I think I spent less time in the gym overall even though I lifted more, so that's good.

 

Just cooked the steak stir fry recipe from here, and I am eating it right now. It's pretty good, and I think for my first time cooking something other than bacon or eggs in at least a year, it worked out quite well.

 

My bed time has been hit or miss. I missed it by about half an hour three nights last week and made it the other times. Shopping and cooking for this meal took longer than anticipated, so I didn't make it tonight either. Hopefully, this week will be better. I need to start things earlier in the day.

 

No Reddit so far. I've actually found myself running out of stuff to do at my computer, which has helped a little bit as far as getting to sleep and doing chores. I'll have to get another book or something to occupy my time.

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Belated second status update:

 

Lifted three times last week. I'm starting to get used to the circuit routine. I am noticing that my wrists and fingers are getting fatigued before the muscles I'm actually trying to exercise. I noticed this before with lunges, but was more significant today. I'll have to look into exercises that strengthen my grip.

 

Made sausage-stuffed, bacon-wrapped jalapeños on Saturday and ate them for two dinners. They were quite good, although cutting up all the peppers took a while and burned my hands. I didn't know that could happen, but apparently handling the pepper cores for long enough can irritate your skin. It wasn't that bad, but it was a little weird for about a day. I also ate the second serving of the stir fry last Monday, so I guess that means I ate three home-cooked meals last week. I was tempted to save the second helping of peppers for today so I would only have to cook one thing this week, but I figured that was kind of cheating.

 

I missed my bedtime on Sunday and Monday night but made it the rest of the time.

 

I got bored and looked at Reddit for about half an hour on Saturday. On the one hand, half an hour in two weeks isn't that bad. On the other hand, this should be the easiest of my goals by far, requiring no work or time commitment whatsoever, so that's pretty stupid. :neglected:  As I could have predicted to myself, my life was not improved in any way during that period of time.

 

Yesterday, I bought a bunch of furniture. Although that wasn't part of the challenge, it has been the biggest item on my to do list for months, so I'm glad it's finally out of the way.

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Status update:

 

Lifted three times last week. I'm still getting stronger pretty consistently.

 

I made chicken vegetable stir fry and baked yams. That was pretty easy, although I signficantly overestimated the size of my only frying pan. I ate it for dinner on Wednesday and for lunch and dinner on Sunday.

 

I made my bedtime every day but Sunday. On Sunday, I started building my new bed at about 7:30 pm, having already disassembled my old one. I didn't finish the new one until 12:30 am, so going to sleep wasn't an option until then.

 

No Reddit last week.

 

This week so far: Doing well with bedtime and Reddit. Haven't cooked anything yet, but I did buy ingredients that should make four meals (I think). Forgot my gym bag two days in row, so I guess I'll be missing a workout this week.

 

An update on body fat percentage measurement: I started measuring myself using the Jackson/Pollock (not Jackson Pollock) three-site method. I would have liked to use even more measurement sites, but the four-site and seven-site methods use places I can't do on myself. The three-site method measured 18.1% two weekends ago and 19.62% last weekend according to this website. I am somewhat disturbed by the difference in the number of significant digits between runs of the software with inputs of the same number of significant digits. I guess I could do the calculation myself, but I haven't bothered yet. I am more concerned by my difficulty in taking the thigh measurement. I don't have a skinfold on my thigh like those shown in the example videos, and those people appear to be a little bit leaner than I am overall. I guess I just don't store much fat on that part of my body. The best that I can do at that location, with considerable discomfort, would be best described as a short lump that doesn't feel fatty at all. The only measurement I can take of the lump, since it doesn't have steep sides, is quite wide, and I suspect that it might be throwing off the calculation. I may try to find somebody who doesn't mind seeing me in my underwear to help me take the other measurements, or I may just stick with this. My main problem with the suprailiac fold calculation is that it doesn't change even when I look fatter, so we'll see if this proves to be more sensitive.

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This will be brief since I'm already past my bedtime.

 

I only lifted twice last week due to forgetting my gym bag too many times.

 

I made my bedtime all but one night.

 

I made two Paleo breakfasts (bacon and eggs), and I had chicken and asparagus one night and steak, summer squash, and garden salad another night. That was week 4, right? Otherwise I'm off on my number of meals.

 

I did not browse Reddit.

 

I'm missing my bedtime tonight because I made some pretty awesome Thai beef. Hopefully I will eventually get to where I can predict how long things will take to cook and not start them too late.

 

I'm noticing that it's pretty hard to eat my normal amount of calories on the days that I cook something paleo.

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Hard as in lower cals or hard as in higher cals than your normal amount?

When I eat frozen food for dinner, I tend to eat around 3200 calories a day. When I cook Paleo food, it tends to be more like 2500.

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Sorry for the long delay. You would think that I of all people would be good at dedicating time to an Internet forum.

 

Status update for the last two weeks:

 

I only lifted twice the week of the 26th. I knew I was going out of town on Saturday, but I didn't account for that by starting my workouts earlier in the week. Maybe I should switch to an exercise program that doesn't require me to have a rest day between every two workout days. I lifted three times the week of the 1st.

 

I hustled and crammed in 5 Paleo meals in the week of the 26th before I went out of town for Labor Day, and I cooked 6 meals this week.

 

My bedtime deteriorated last week and totally failed this week. I made my bedtime two work nights last week and no work nights this week, mainly due to staying up cooking. If I want to eat home-cooked food regularly and also sleep enough, I need to figure out how to cook more efficiently. Ideally, I would cook all my meals for the whole week in one shot. Right now, that's impossible, because my only cooking vessel is a frying pan that can accommodate about one meal's worth of food. I plan to get some larger cookware soon.

 

I browsed Reddit for a little bit yesterday but otherwise did not partake in the last two weeks.

 

It's after midnight, and I'm tired, so I'll leave post-mortem analysis for tomorrow.

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By which I meant the day after tomorrow.... I had to stay really late at work last night.

 

Like my last challenge, I did pretty OK at everything but sleep. I'm hoping that the secret is to become more efficent and not just do less stuff during the day, because I don't feel like I do that many things now.

 

Sleep: Made my bed time about half of the time. I typically only missed it by half an hour or so, but I didn't substantially improve my sleep habits from before. 50% = C => 1.5 STA

Strength training: Kept up and improved upon previously developed habitual exercise. Missed two workouts out of 18 due to forgetfulness. That doesn't really seem like a significant problem. 89% ~= A => 5 STR

Cooking: Cooked all of the meals that I intended to. Probably my most significant achievement, since I hadn't cooked anything besides eggs from scratch in a long time. It's slowly becoming more natural, although it's still a big time drain. I definitely plan to work on that for my next challenge. 100% = A => 5 STA

Reddit abstinence: Spent approximately one hour on Reddit over 6 weeks, which is a reduction from my previous normal by a factor of 63 (by a quick mental estimate). That seems pretty good, but on the other hand not browsing Reddit at all should have been really, really easy. I still sometimes feel like doing it even though I know there are other things that I can do that are still vegetating that are more edifying. 98.4% ?= B => 1.5 WIS

 

As a side note, I meant to do some mini challenges this time around, but I never remembered to log in mid-week and check what they were. I'm going to try to do some next challenge.

 

Overall, I think this went tolerably and involved significant habit adjustment, especially where cooking and Reddit are concerned. I haven't gotten the hang of going to bed on time yet, but hopefully next time.

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Oh yeah, here are some before and after photos for this challenge. Obviously, photography is not my forte. I'm not under any illusions that I've made the photos completely anonymous, but hopefully this won't bite me in the ass too quickly. I've never put pictures of myself in my underwear on the Internet before.

Challenge 2 beginning - front

Challenge 2 beginning - side

Challenge 2 end - front

Challenge 2 end - side

 

I'm not sure whether I look any different than when I started. Sometimes, it seems like it in the mirror, but I can't really see a difference in the photos other than the unfortunate difference in lighting.

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You've done well and there are some definite differences in your pics!  You're abdominal area especially.  Can you not see it hangs a little less :)  Also you're more confident - less slouchy!  I'd say that's the first thing i noticed :)

 

Congrats!

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You've done well and there are some definite differences in your pics!  You're abdominal area especially.  Can you not see it hangs a little less :)  Also you're more confident - less slouchy!  I'd say that's the first thing i noticed :)

 

Congrats!

I guess it looks that way, but my pants fit worse than they did. :(

 

Clerical update: This is going to sound shady, but I just realized that general health improvements are supposed to contribute to the CON attribute, not STA. The 6.5 STA that I gained this level should have been CON originally. I will make the appropriate changes to my totals.

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