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Good question. :)  Those are great things to discover about yourself!

 

I have learned that I feel much better when I eat more veggies.  I already knew that telling myself I could not have a particular food was counterproductive.  If I can't have chocolate I don't want to be part of your revolution.  I found that I crave carbs much less and can easily pass up junk food when I am eating lots of veggies.  I am also eating a fair bit of fruit.  I'm eating less overall.  Not on purpose, that is just how things have worked out.  In order to make my goal of 2 cups or more of veggies a day that does not leave a lot of room for other stuff.  I'm not going to weigh myself again until the end of the challenge.  I'm curious to see how everything works out.

 

I also found I really like the "just add one more rep" approach to making progress.  It gives me motivation to see how far I can get each time.  Dividing my routine into legs, core and upper body is also helping.  I am much more willing to do a 20-30 minute workout every day than a 45-minute one a few times a week.  Apparently the line between "not very much time" and "takes too long" is at 30 minutes for me.

 

Applying the game model really works for me, but that is probably true of everyone here.  I've been doing Spanish lessons on CD during my commute.  I realized earlier this week that I am treating it as a game.  The objective is to give the response with the same words as the native speaker.  I want to see if I can apply the make-it-a-game approach to other things.

Cheers on the chocolate. It is far too good to give up.

Using the game approach is great. Why not if makes learning/whatever more fun?

Behave yourself, badly if necessary.
 

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Judo - Shodan

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I'm so glad you posted this!  I have been trying and failing a lot recently to try and eat fewer calories.  I just seem to be incapable of it!  But I'm not giving up or anything.  I just need to figure out what works for me.  And eating more vegetables would be a great start.  So I'm going to see if I can eat 2 cups of vegetables before I eat anything else, every time!  That wil definitely make me think twice about snacking, and if I do decide to snack, the veggies will probably fill me up too much to have anything else.  lol  So thanks for mentioning your vegetable-eating.  It may just really work for me.  :)

Can I suggest sugar snap peas? They are tasty tasty munching.

Behave yourself, badly if necessary.
 

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Judo - Shodan

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Happy week 4 everyone! Glad to see most everyone still here :-)

Found this on another forum and it looks good. It is, admittedly, rather more starchy than vegetable-y but I'll post it anyway. http://www.mypaleolife.com/paleo-diet/paleo-sweet-potato-gnocchi

That looks like an ENORMOUS recipe! - but I approve of the no-fuss method for forming the gnocchi. *thumbs-up*

I get by with a little help from my friends. ~ John Lennon / Paul McCartney

 

Fall down seven times, get up eight. ~ Japanese proverb

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So, yesterday I did my leg day (horrible form, I was tired and it showed), then some cardio and my lower back was aching. I decided to do some mild, slow stretching to finish up and I started out with this ( http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/690 ). I actually found that link somewhere in these forums on someone's page, and do you think I can remember whose??

Anyway. Some breathing exercises and working into the pose with a spacer under my lower back, and I felt 100% better! So for those of you who are working on yoga, there's another website / reference and that one pose removed a whole lot of pain for me.

I get by with a little help from my friends. ~ John Lennon / Paul McCartney

 

Fall down seven times, get up eight. ~ Japanese proverb

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Some breathing exercises and working into the pose with a spacer under my lower back, and I felt 100% better! So for those of you who are working on yoga, there's another website / reference and that one pose removed a whole lot of pain for me.

 

Thanks for the link.  I'm glad the stretching made such a difference for you.  All these small tweaks that everyone contributes really help.

 

I did something different yesterday that worked for me.  I am going to try it again and see if this is a strategy or just a fluke.  This relates to both my sleep and eating goals in a round-a-bout way.

 

One of my ongoing complaints is that I have too much to do.  I don't feel like I can get on top of the to-do list and take time to relax, then I feel stressed and eat badly.  In my saner moments I know that all the pressure is coming from me.  No one is getting on my case to get the laundry done or cook more food.  My housemates are not going to say anything about the bathroom needing cleaning until weeks after I've been grossed out about it.  They can't tell flowers from weeds in the garden unless the flowers are blooming.  Really, my problem is being overly optimistic about how much I can accomplish in an evening or weekend.  This is not a new problem, I'm sure my mom would agree.

 

So Tuesday afternoon I made a list of things I wanted to do after work.  I made sure to include doing at least one fun thing.  I made two stops on my way home, at the vet to pick up kitty meds and at the library to pick up a book, and got home at 6:00.  I realized that this gives me three hours to do stuff plus half an hour to eat dinner.  In my new scheme this breaks down neatly into thirds.  One hour  for regular chores that have to be done all the time (cooking and cleaning), one hour for work that lasts medium-long term (unpacking, putting in garden beds, etc.) and one hour for my own projects.  Hopefully this means that I will have something to show for my time.  Cooking is essential but the evidence disappears quickly.  Cleaning removes evidence as it goes.  Not much to point to for either one.

 

I kept an eye on the clock and set limits for myself to work on things.  I tend to get carried away and want to keep going or expand projects.  "Oh, this other thing needs to be fixed, let me just do that".  Sometimes that is a good thing to do, but often not.  I started with the outside tasks because it is getting dark early and one was actually critical.  I transplanted a bunch of perennials a few weeks ago.  It hasn't rained for a week and they will die if I don't water them.  So my first task was watering.  I put "buy another hose" on the list for next weekend.  I checked when I was done and had 10 minutes left.  I took the clippers to beat back the bushes that are overgrowing the back gate (again!).  I did 20 minutes of pruning and felt good about it.  That gave me from 6:45-7:15 for supper.  No cooking time was involved because of all the work I did Sunday :).

 

I used part of my supper half hour to put away clean dishes and tidy up the kitchen.  This included taking out the compost and washing the compost bin.  That task wasn't on my list but really needed doing.  I decided to take the next hour to do fun stuff.  Too often I leave the fun for last then stay up too late because the other things took longer than I expected.  I read the first chapter of my new library book and considered which of my many projects to work on.  I decided to finish prepping a fleece for washing.  I did most of it last week and hoped to get it done last weekend.  I could have started spinning the part that I washed (that was what I had written down).  In thinking about it I felt like the most satisfying thing would be to finish a task rather than to start a new one.  That was the right choice even though it took a bit more time than I had given it.  Somewhere in there I also hung two paintings for my thing-that-stays-done task.

 

Now it was 9:00 so I had 30 minutes to work on something.  I had turned on my computer earlier so that I could work on balancing my checkbook.  I have learned that doing computer tasks late in the evening is a Bad Idea.  Too many distractions on the computer to tempt me to stay up late.  Instead I folded laundry.  The repetitive task worked well for calming down my brain.  By the time I was halfway done I was thinking "I'm tired, I'll just move these piles and go to bed".  Which I did.

 

I felt really good about how made the decisions and how I dealt with things not being perfect.  I was able to deal with 10 minutes here or 15 minutes there and revise my plans to fit.  I felt bad for a few minutes at supper when I looked at my list and could only check off two things.  Then I added all the extra things I had done and felt much better.  I'm going to try it again tonight.  I'll see if I can do an hour of cooking and leave it at that.  Tomorrow is CSA veggie day so I need to make some room in the fridge.  We call this "dealing with veggies of conscience".

Level 54  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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Thanks for the link.  I'm glad the stretching made such a difference for you.  All these small tweaks that everyone contributes really help.

 

I did something different yesterday that worked for me.  I am going to try it again and see if this is a strategy or just a fluke.  This relates to both my sleep and eating goals in a round-a-bout way.

 

One of my ongoing complaints is that I have too much to do.  I don't feel like I can get on top of the to-do list and take time to relax, then I feel stressed and eat badly.  In my saner moments I know that all the pressure is coming from me.  No one is getting on my case to get the laundry done or cook more food.  My housemates are not going to say anything about the bathroom needing cleaning until weeks after I've been grossed out about it.  They can't tell flowers from weeds in the garden unless the flowers are blooming.  Really, my problem is being overly optimistic about how much I can accomplish in an evening or weekend.  This is not a new problem, I'm sure my mom would agree.

I can definitely identify! I've (mostly) learned to relax; there will always be more laundry, weeds will grow, but accomplishing those little things stll gets you a gold star. It's a work in progress, all right...

Here's to reasonable expectations and a sense of accomplishment!

I get by with a little help from my friends. ~ John Lennon / Paul McCartney

 

Fall down seven times, get up eight. ~ Japanese proverb

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Sunday:  Took advantage of the relatively nice weather in the morning to mow the side yard.  I noticed the path to the backyard was getting overrun with lambsquarters, so I beat it back.  The previous owners put down landscaping fabric and wood chips around all the bushes.  After a few years the wood chips break down into a nice layer of mulch that supports weed growth really well.  The weeds are easy to pull because the roots get stopped by the landscape fabric.  This was the last big section that was in bad shape.  I did the front for half an hour on Saturday and that is in "good enough to show my mom" shape.  This is several steps up from "good enough for guests" condition.  The back garden is an ongoing project, but I spent a couple hours last week and beat back the 3 foot tall weeds by the bushes.  I also spent some time cutting back the bushes so they don't make mowing difficult.  I am feeling very pleased by the state of this project. :peaceful:

 

The afternoon I mostly spent getting ready to teach dancing.  One of the dancers requested a dance I'd never done.  A more senior teacher tried to teach it last week, but the dancer was still confused.  If you are really curious, here is a link to a video http://www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com/video/john-of-bon-accord.html. I'm the demo team coach for our group and we have a performace coming up in a few weeks.  I got to class an hour early for demo practice.  One of my demo team was absent, so I danced her part.  It's a lot harder to dance with good form than it is to tell the dancers where the points are to concentrate :playful: . I did about 1.5 hours of dancing in 3 hours of rehearsal and class.  The really good thing is that my knees didn't hurt all night!  I think doing leg PT on Saturday morning really paid off.  Of course, the Aleve helped too.  It wasn't just drugs though because usually the Aleve is not enough to let me sleep.

 

How is everyone doing at the start of week 5?

Level 54  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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The garden sounds nice!  I have a very small container garden this year it's been lots of fun.  That much yard sounds like a lot of work.

 

It was a good day.  Things went suspiciously well at work.  I never trust my equipment when it's that well behaved.  The adult workout park has opened and we checked it out today.  I'm really pleased with it though am disappointed to find out that real chin-ups are not going as well as I'd thought.  I don't have a bar to work with at home, just grips over my door.  I knew that was making it easier but it was more of a prop than I'd thought.  Am now enjoying peppermint tea and about to settle in to read before bed.

Behave yourself, badly if necessary.
 

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Judo - Shodan

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Most of my goals are on track, though I really need to do some more work to get the game idea in shape. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do 5 chin-ups in one go by the end of this, but I should be close, I think. The rest should be right on target. 

 

Keep working everyone, we can do this! :)

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Hello All, just wanted to post an update for Techmom and I.  She's visiting our area but has less internet access than at home.  She hasn't abandonned us!  I'm putting in some extra time at work and am generally very tired right now.  I missed my mid-week workout but will be making up for it over the long weekend.

 

All is well :-)  How is everyone else?

Behave yourself, badly if necessary.
 

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Judo - Shodan

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My motivation and willpower have waned greatly.  I don't like finishing things...I want new goals...

 

Hang in there!  You can do it!

 

Would it help if you though of it as getting good at things rather than finishing them?  After all, you are not going to give up biking or meditating after the challenge.  You had a good reason to start the challenge.  Unless something has really changed in the last five weeks, that is still a good reason to finish it.  I think it is a very good sign that you are figuring out what works for you and are planning for the next challenge.  How can you implement what you've learned so far to rock the last week?

Level 54  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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Hang in there!  You can do it!

 

Would it help if you though of it as getting good at things rather than finishing them?  After all, you are not going to give up biking or meditating after the challenge.  You had a good reason to start the challenge.  Unless something has really changed in the last five weeks, that is still a good reason to finish it.  I think it is a very good sign that you are figuring out what works for you and are planning for the next challenge.  How can you implement what you've learned so far to rock the last week?

Those are all very good points and ideas.  Thanks!  Hmm.  On the last question...I'm not sure.  I think it's something I still need to learn, about determination and willpower.  :)

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Hang in there!  You can do it!

 

Would it help if you though of it as getting good at things rather than finishing them?  After all, you are not going to give up biking or meditating after the challenge.  You had a good reason to start the challenge.  Unless something has really changed in the last five weeks, that is still a good reason to finish it.  I think it is a very good sign that you are figuring out what works for you and are planning for the next challenge.  How can you implement what you've learned so far to rock the last week?

 

Those are all very good points and ideas.  Thanks!  Hmm.  On the last question...I'm not sure.  I think it's something I still need to learn, about determination and willpower.  :)

Remember, the challenges are for fun, a bit of extra motivation. The overall goal is a lifestyle change, a healthier lifestyle overall. So that may mean plugging away at things and improving incrementally.

I struggled at judo for over a year as a green belt; I felt like the techniques weren't coming to me, I was frustrated. I was working hard, but I just wasn't understanding some of the nuances. Once I finally crested that obstacle though, I felt better than ever and things really started coming together for me.

Just keep swimming, as the cartoon fishy says. ;)

I get by with a little help from my friends. ~ John Lennon / Paul McCartney

 

Fall down seven times, get up eight. ~ Japanese proverb

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Alright, Challenge ends today!  How did everyone do?  Are you coming back for the next one?  Have any notions for goals?

 

My final summary:

 

Well, I'm ending the challenge on a lousy note.  My stomach is rather upset and between it and 20+ extra hours at work this week, I am not getting my last work out of the challenge.

 

End of challenge summary:

1.  3 workouts  per week:  B I missed three and substituted one.  Not too bad. 

2.  5 Full pullup/chinups: D I am pretty close but not yet doing one from a full hang.  I knew this was a hard goal and I didn't end up with access to a real bar (instead of my grips) until later.  So I'm fine with this.

3.  5 deep pushups with decent form:  A I am quite happy with my pushups now.  Admittedly, I do wide ones so military press style might be a goal for the next challenge.

4.  Read 3 books (2 fic and 1 non-fic): C+ I read the two fic and started a third but the non-fic just didn't happen.

 

Overall, I'm calling the challenge a pass.  I am progressing in my primary quest of getting stronger.  I am starting to get visible bicep muscles!

Behave yourself, badly if necessary.
 

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Judo - Shodan

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As for me:

 

"Main Goal: 

Reduce my weight. I've been dropping 1-1.5 lbs a week so far, but I know if I increase the exercise that'll increase my muscle mass, so I'm not sure how much of a reduction to go for. Maybe 5 pounds? 10?"

 

Right now, I've lost 8.2 pounds. Definitely in the range I was aiming for, so I'm gonna call that an A. 

"Sub-goals:
- I can't do real chin-ups currently, so that would be one thing I want to aim for."

 

I can do one or two, maybe, but that's it. Definitely progress (I couldn't do any at the start) but not what I was aiming for. I'm gonna call that a B. 

 

"- Eat out less. Fast food has been creeping back into my diet, and I need it to stop. I'm aiming for eating out only once or twice during the six week period. Each time after the second will drop my grade a level."

 

This one worked out well. I ate out twice. I desperately want a slice of pepperoni pizza now, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow. A it is. 

 

"- Work out twice a week. I do some very minor exercising at work (4 times a week), so I'm figuring on real exercising on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Work exercise I would cut back to twice a week, which might be equal to a third day of exercise if added together."

 

I dropped the working out at work, and managed 3 work outs every week except for the first two weeks. The first week I didn't do any, though, and the second I only did 2, so I'll call that a B. 

"Life Goal: 
I'm an amateur tabletop game designer, but I rarely finish anything. I aim to finish one of them before the six weeks is up, at least enough to playtest it."

 

Currently it's sitting at 11,000 words. There is some rewriting I want to do before play-testing. I got lazy about it this last week. I'm gonna call it a B, though it will be workable in a week or so. 

 

All in all things went pretty well. I guess the next one starts in two weeks, so I'll have to think up new goals for that one. One goal is definitely going to involve pushing further on the chin-ups, though. School's starting, so maybe the life one will be keeping up on my schoolwork. Between work, school, and working out, that may not be all that easy. 

 

I hope everyone made out quite well on theirs. 

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On eating... breakfast is still a challenge. You'd think a GOOD habit would be easier to stick to. However, remembering to eat breakfast 90% of the time is still LOTS better than none of the time, so I'll call that an A. Eating a piece of fruit early and then more breakfast later has worked very well for me.

My week home really screwed up my regular strength workouts; also, it turned out that while I was beating myself up mentally for not being able to improve on the weights I was lifting, my trainer was increasing the weights WITHOUT TELLING ME (believing instead that I might have a mental block about it). My biceps/triceps, shoulders (and, my husband tells me, my back) have all gotten more defined and the weights have gone up, so even if I can't Hulk-out just yet I *did* increase my strength. Soon, deadlifts! SOON. Plus I was still working on form, and the better that gets the more weight I can push later. A.

The extra/aerobic workouts fell right apart when I went home to NB; I walked the kilometre to my parents' house several times but my parents dislike that for some reason (and I am not fond of it in the evenings myself; they live in the deep woods and there are bears. Yup, wild black bears including a momma who I'd REALLLY rather not meet!). It was easier to just let them give me a ride home. B overall, because other than that I was on the rowing machine even when my ankle was giving me grief.

Finally, I want to get back into judo so I'm emailing the sensei of a local dojo later today (I'm a little nervous so I keep editing the email!) to introduce myself and ask about the judo schedule. If the fees include the jiu-jitsu classes then maybe I'll learn some of that as well.

Kudos to all the Knights for sticking with it!

I get by with a little help from my friends. ~ John Lennon / Paul McCartney

 

Fall down seven times, get up eight. ~ Japanese proverb

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Overall I feel much more energetic and cheerful.  Clearly my goals hit on some of the key areas where I needed to focus.

 

Sleep: final grade B.  I was much better about getting to bed on time for the last six weeks, but not perfect.  I can tell I'm doing better on sleep because I was waking up before my alarm fairly often in the last couple weeks.  I still have dark circles under my eyes so I'm not done with this one yet.  I have not had any coffee and only a few cups of green tea over the six weeks.  I'm on the the right track for this goal.

 

Eat veggies: final grade A-.  There was only one day when I failed and only a few days when I ate less than 2 cups of veggies.  I learned a lot about my eating habits.  Also that it is really hard to find anything fast that has veggies other than salad.  I am spoiled by having fresh organic veggies in the summer.  I cooked a lot and still could not keep up with the abundance of produce.  I am going to keep doing this but it no longer needs to be its own goal.

 

Exercise: final grade A.  I missed two days in six weeks.  I learned a lot - this will be its own post.

 

Life goal: B-.  I have gotten better on playing jigs and reels but not ready for prime time.  I can play at tempo or avoid mistakes but not both.  More practice time would have made a difference.

 

While it was not one of my goals, I was hoping that eating healthier and getting more sleep and exercise would have a side effect of losing weight.  Nope.  I've lost half a pound in six weeks.  That is within the error range for my scale.  On the other hand, I can see a difference when I look in the mirror.  My pants fit better and my waist measurement has gone down 1.5 inches.  I am thinking about having "no sweets at work" as one of my goals for next time.  I hardly ever snack at home.  I am not emotionally ready to try full Paleo.  I do want to try cutting out dairy for short stretches to see if it makes a difference in how I feel.

 

I am really happy with my exercise progress.  Doing core and upper body workouts makes my exercise shorter and more interesting.  I can also see really obvious progress.  One of the benefits of starting from nothing. :smile-new: .  I am going to put in one rest day a week next time.  I want to include interval training to work on increasing my aerobic capacity.  Also more flexibility work.

 

I just signed up for a six week continuing extension course in piano.  That should jump-start my life goal.

 

Can the Knights continue as a team for the next challenge?

 

Level 54  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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