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Continuing my focus on calorie intake and exercise through the end of the year (and beyond).

 

Over the summer, I spent a challenge refocusing on better eating, and on August 20th, I began counting calories again.  Since then, I've lost 23.5lbs, and my goal is to lose another 20lbs by the end of the January.  Exercise is a full-on habit, so I don't really need any specific goals about completing it.

 

Basically, I'm strength training 2-3x a week, and doing cardio the other days.  My daughter was doing swimming lessons in September and October twice a week, and I would spend that time on the elliptical.  We took November off from the swim lessons, but I've been taking her to the pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays to swim for an hour+ while I get cardio in.  The plan is to restart the swim lessons in December.

 

I also have my own elliptical at home - I'll catch up on TV shows or watch football while on it.  Lastly, I try to get in at least one walk at work.

 

My strength training program is a mix of dumb bells and cable work.  This is for two reasons: 1)Stronglifts on a calorie deficit gets to be boring after several months 2)there is a hardcore group of young guys at the gym who are always squatting, dead lifting, cleaning, etc and the squat rack can have a huge line (assuming any bars are even available).  As a family, we go to the gym during the hours of the daycare there, so there's only a few hours to work with and these guys are there at least 5 days a week (I walk past the weights on the way to the pool on the off days and they are there).

 

A previous goal was reduced spending, so I budgeted Christmas gift money and actually got it all finished the first week of November.  To be honest, we have some gifts for the kids to get, but  we always intentionally leave that to the end - the difference this year is that I've spread the purchases out going back to August, so our credit card bill for January won't be larger.  I will continue to keep extraneous purchases down, with a plan to pick up a few video games during the Steam Holiday sale.

 

So while I'll post updates on my diet, exercise, and spending habits (not goals) this challenge, my primary focus these 6 weeks will be life goals.

 

My son just had a sleepover, and in the days leading up to it we got the house really clean.  I also continued to eliminate clutter and things we no longer need by donating and tossing them.  

 

Goal 1) Keep the house clean, with a particular focus on the kitchen. This habit will take some doing as it will involve no longer waiting until the weekend to deal with the little things that pile up when you have 3 kids (including one who is 9-months old).  Sweeping, cleaning off the stove, keeping the counters clear, etc.

Goal 2)Wrap Christmas gifts to save on shipping.  My in-laws are coming to visit right before Thanksgiving and they will be going on to visit another daughter ( my wife's twin), so that means I can save on shipping all of their gifts by sending them with them.  My brother and his wife and coming for Thanksgiving, so I also want to have theirs wrapped and ready to go.
Goal 3)Work through my reading list.  I have hardly been doing any reading at all recently except for when we've gone on overnight/weekend trips.  I've had so much going on that when bedtime rolls around I play a few games of solitaire on my phone and then turn the light out.  I still have a large stack from last Christmas, so I want to work through those.  I'll post up my list later.

Goal 4)Lose 10lbs. See above.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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I got one walk in at work today.  Tomorrow is forecast to be bitterly cold, so I might not be able to get a walk in if it's as windy as they say it will be.  After work, I went to Sam's for some fajita beef and chicken breasts, as well as a bag of apples.  Next I went to another grocery store for ground turkey (99% lean), some assorted spices, brisket, and a 5lb bag of potatoes.  For dinner/leftovers, I made 1.5lbs of chicken taco meat, and I'll make beef stir fry and more turkey taco meat this week.  I wiped down the stove and counters, swept under the kitchen table, and started the dishwasher.

 

At the gym, I did my workout which consists of:

Squats 5x5

Incline DB Bench 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12

Cable Crossovers 3xF

Lat Pulldown 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12

DB Rows 3xF

Upright Rows 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12

Lateral Raise 3xF

Rope Pushdown 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12

DB/BB Curls 3xF

 

After getting back from the gym, I did 15 minutes on the elliptical while I finished watching the latest episode of Haven.

 

My reading stack:

xge5.jpg

 

I'm about halfway through Turn of the Cards, and I've already read the three books that come after that one and before the other two Wild Card books.  The rest are all books I got last Christmas but haven't gotten around to reading.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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some really good books in that stack. 

Half Faerie (Sidhe) Scout | Black Belt Kitchen Ninja
"A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort" - Herm Albright
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My challenge

 

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I am beat.  Got two walks in at work, but I had to bundle up like an eskimo.  I did the first one in the late morning when it was 30 degrees and windy, but at least the sun was out.  Heavy coat zipped to my nose, heavy gloves, hat, and hood.  Mid-afternoon, it got all the way to 35, so I left the hat and just used the hood.

Tonight it is going to get down to the teens, but oddly enough the highs tomorrow will be in the mid-40s.

 

After work, I had the kids since my wife was attending a SQL users meeting with an ulterior motive of hiring someone.  I took the baby and our daughter to the gym, dropping him off at daycare while my daughter went swimming.  I did 65 minutes on the elliptical.  

 

My oldest son, was already in trouble for goofing off on the internet when he was supposed to be doing his homework, so in theory he was home alone working on that.  I checked his browsing history and saw he wasn't, so I decided to block all of his favorite time-wasting sites (Fear the tech-savvy dad).  

 

After getting back from the gym, I cooked up the 2lbs of ground turkey as taco meat, and then baked the 5lbs of potatoes.   Once again, I wiped down the stove and counters and loaded the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

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Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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Yesterday I was also able to get in two walks.  After getting home, I cooked up 2lbs of tilapia filets and made some cheddar broccoli pasta for the wife and kids.  My wife decided she wanted to take a night off from the gym since she didn't get much sleep the night before, so after making sure my son's homework was done, I went solo.  I wasn't particularly up for lifting either, and since I got such late start, I wasn't going to have time to finish before the gym closed at 1pm.  So I did intervals of forward/backward on the elliptical for 50 minutes and got out just as they were closing up.

 

After I got home, I loaded and started the dishwasher, wiped down the table and counters, cooked my breakfast for the next day, and prepped my lunch as well.  I played a little bit of Max Payne 3 multiplayer and then grabbed a shower and went to bed 

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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one walk at work today - had to get my oil changed, so I didn't have time to get a walk in the afternoon.  After work, I picked up the kids and got them fed, and then I had some brisket and a potato.  

 

After dinner, I took my daughter to the pool and while she played and swam, I did 65 minutes on the elliptical.  After we got home and the kids went to bed, I cooked up some beef and mushroom stir fry and some brown rice to have over the next few days.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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Very busy weekend, and it started with being totally wiped out on Friday.

 

I had no energy - I did get a walk in at work, but that was it.  At home after work, I got a leg cramp in my thigh, and that was the final straw - I had to take a night off from the gym.  I took it easy, and kept the kitchen clean and went to bed after the kids' lights were out.

 

Saturday I had a pretty light day- 30 minutes of elliptical while Alabama was playing.  I also fasted, as I felt like I had eaten pretty poorly the last few days.  I drank plenty of water and felt like I got back on an even keel.  Otherwise, I spent time running errands and doing more organization in the house.  I washed the sheets and made up the guest room in preparation for the in-laws coming on Wednesday.  I organized the Christmas gifts so I'll be ready to wrap them tonight/tomorrow.  I went to the grocery store and made quesadillas for lunch.

 

Sunday was also busy - more cleaning and organizing, as well as another trip to the store for milk, etc.  I did 50 minutes of elliptical during the Chargers' football game.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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Rough start to the week.  Very busy, and I'm dealing with some lingering shoulder and elbow stiffness that has kept me out of the weight room.   I'm getting my time in on the elliptical for Monday and Tuesday, but tonight may be the first night I'm up for the weights again.

 

House is still clean, and I'm getting better at setting time to read - i was able to read 4/7 days last week,.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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It was rainy and miserable for the first half of the day yesterday, but I was finally able to get a walk in during the afternoon.  I ended up not going to the gym - first of all, the in-laws came in a day early, however that wouldn't have truly stopped me except that while grocery shopping after work I tweaked my knee.  Someone was walking behind me like a ninja, as I didn't even notice them until I was stepping back onto their foot.  I caught myself and the act of twisting and lifting to stop from crushing their foot sent twinges all over my knee and left it sore.

 

I was able to do 44 minutes on the elliptical while watching an episode of Haven about 4 hours later.  So far today, my knee feels a bit better - it was raining again all morning, and it finally stopped raining enough for a quick walk.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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It was rainy and miserable for the first half of the day yesterday, but I was finally able to get a walk in during the afternoon.  I ended up not going to the gym - first of all, the in-laws came in a day early, however that wouldn't have truly stopped me except that while grocery shopping after work I tweaked my knee.  Someone was walking behind me like a ninja, as I didn't even notice them until I was stepping back onto their foot.  I caught myself and the act of twisting and lifting to stop from crushing their foot sent twinges all over my knee and left it sore.

 

I was able to do 44 minutes on the elliptical while watching an episode of Haven about 4 hours later.  So far today, my knee feels a bit better - it was raining again all morning, and it finally stopped raining enough for a quick walk.

It seems like I can zap my knee doing the silliest things; good to know I'm in such good company.  I'm impressed with your nightly kitchen cleanup - something for me to shoot for next challenge.  I'm jealous that you've got family coming for Thanksgiving - hope you have a great holiday.

The hardest part of the workout is lacing up your shoes'"


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Packed weekend with the in-laws staying with us.  I did get a walk in on Friday, but that appears to be it.  Looking back, I can't for the life of me think of what we did, but whatever it was it took up the evening.

 

Saturday we had a late afternoon Jeep club cruise and dinner.  It was bitterly cold, and my exercise that day consisted of a 30-minute walk in single-digit wind chills.  I decided to make ribs on Sunday and have my mom over for dinner with the in-laws, so I took my daughter to the stores to get everything.  

Sunday I had several errands to run - I got the ribs started at 10:00 am, wiped down all of the counters and stove, swept the kitchen floor, and did the dishes.  I took my son out to find some pants for his band concert on Monday night.  We had to go to two stores since the first one didn't have his size except in the Husky variant.  He tried them on and they were very baggy (he's 11, 5'4" and a half, so finding long-enough pants that aren't huge in the waist is tough).  We went to another store and found exactly 1 pair that wasn't husky, but even then we had to settle on the 14/16 size.  It's long enough, but still loose in the waist.  I got back and watched the San Diego Chargers and did the elliptical for the first half (75 minutes).  At 3pm, I started slicing potatoes and ended up doing the whole 5lb bag (they're pan roasted in layers).  After that, I paused the game and took a shower.

 

Dinner was fantastic - the rib meat was falling off the bones, and in addition to the potatoes, we had broccoli, mushroom rice, and corn muffins.  Afterwards, I had a slice of a peach pie that my wife made.  It was quite a chore to juggle the stove/oven all day.  The ribs cooked for 7 hours, and after they were done the corn muffins immediately went in.  Once they were in, I started the rice and then cooked the broccoli.  As everything was cooling off, my wife started the pie which was done shortly after we had all finished dinner.

 

So far today, I did get a walk in (29 degrees and windy), and tonight my son's band concert will prevent me from going to the gym.  Depending on when we get back and when the in-laws plan to go to bed, I'm going to get at least 30 minutes on the elliptical.  They're hitting the road tomorrow, so we'll be back to a somewhat normal schedule.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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Way to try and keep on track while your schedule is interrupted! 

 

It's fantastic that you can work out while your daughter has swimming lessons! My sister is a dance teacher and I'm a fitness instructor and we have a dream of creating a studio where adult fitness classes are run concurrently with kids' dance classes.  When we were growing up and dancing, our parents would literally just sit around the studio waiting for us to finish.  Why not get a work out in at the same time??  Not to mention you kind of make use of 2 different groups that could attract more people to your business.  I really want to make this a reality!

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You're thread is a very interesting read! :) Can't wait to read more!

Scout - Level 15 Half-Elf Ranger

STR15 | DEX5.5 | STA17 | CON39.5 | WIS18 | CHA10.5 

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Lose 84 lbs (From 219 to 135): Current weight = 202.9

 

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Walk to Mordor (Hobbiton to Mount Doom - 1779 miles) [so far: 1515.60 miles  - logged to 06/13/16

[progress=purple]85[/progress]


 

 
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So this is what NF looks like.  Been a week since I've been online.  Last week was a blur with the in-laws, my wife's birthday, and then family (from my side) converging for Thanksgiving at my mom's house.  Stayed active (elliptical, etc) and kept food in check (2,107 on Thanksgiving, for example).

 

Knee was feeling off most of the time - going up and down the stairs for example (usually it's just going down the stairs when I would feel it).  last night, I felt like it was back to normal.  I did a walk in a work this morning and I felt good.

 

Finished November down another 5.5lbs.

 

My fridge nearly got empty as we finished off leftovers.  I made 2lbs of beef/chicken taco meat last night, but I'm out of potatoes and everything else.  I'm planning to make chili this week, and I'll need to pick up some fresh tomatoes for that.

 

On Saturday, I gave my brother and his wife their presents to take back home with them, plus I had sent my in-laws on their way with theirs, my wife's oldest sister's, and my wife's twin sister's family since that was their next destination.

 

Right now, it looks like I'm only going to have one small package to mail, plus an over-sized envelope.

 

Spent yesterday gearing up for Christmas - I had my daughter paint and decorate a couple of photo frames for my mom and my wife's mom.  We got the tree and decorations down from the attic (my wife remarked that the box felt lighter this time, to which I commented that that is why I'd been having her lift weights since March).  We set the tree up downstairs so we can keep the toddler away from it, and then I hung the Christmas lights outside.  While watching the Chargers football game, I did the Christmas cards.  They are signed and sealed - I just need to print the address labels and I had to buy a new package of labels first.

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Well, month is half over.  What a crazy last 2 weeks when I haven't even thought to update this thread.  A few days after my last update, we got hit by the huge winter storm that walloped most of the US.  We got around 10" of snow over the 5th-8th.  The days following we had an average temperature of around 20 degrees, so none of the snow melted.  My work was closed on the 6th, and the schools were closed on the 6th, 9th, and 10th.  For an encore, I even managed to slip on the ice on the 11th when I went to pick my son up from his after school party.  Caught myself, but I still smacked my right knee pretty good.  Still a little tender.

 

I shoveled our driveway multiple times, plus went over to my mom's to shovel hers and her sidewalk and porch. Wednesday, I was back in at work and the kids went back to school.   Temps dropped again and we got another round of freezing rain in the overnight of Thursday into Friday, causing school to be closed yet again on Friday.  More snow began falling Friday night into Saturday morning, and just after midnight we lost power for about 10 minutes.  While walking through the basement, I checked on the entry way to our walkout basement and saw the standing water.  There's a drain under the steps that had gotten clogged.  There was about 2" of water (leaving about another inch to the bottom of the door), so I spent about 45 minutes out there as wet and heavy snow fell on me using a small rake and my bare hands to clear away the area around the drain.  I got a little bit to drain, but ultimately had to give up until I could get a shop vac in the morning.  My hands were freezing from digging around in the nearly frozen water, but I rigged a temporary cover using a rain barrel's screen and some rocks.

 

By the time I got up about 7 hours later, another 3" of snow had fallen. And for the first time since the snow had fallen 11 days ago, a plow actually came down our street.  I shoveled the driveway and dugout the end where the plow had pushed snow and ice across the entrance.  I went out and got a shop vac from Harbor Freight and got all of the water out, and then I redid the drain trap.  It turns out that when we had our stairs replaced over the summer, the guy who was doing it shoved it down in the drain so he wouldn't kick it (I imagine), which had allowed leaves and debris to cover it.  The way it is now, it sticks up about 3", assuring that it would take a ton of crap to stop it up.

 

I spent the rest of the morning trying to warm up.

 

Over these last two weeks, I've done a great job of keeping the kitchen clean - wiping down counters, doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, and keeping the stove top clean.  

 

Sunday was my birthday, but it wasn't much different than most other days.  I did a few loads of laundry, loaded/unloaded/loaded the dishwasher, made salsa, and then went over to my mom's to take out her trash and scoop the kitty litter.  My wife made dinner - basically turkey and chicken schnitzel (flatted turkey and chicken breasts cooked in a pan), as well as maple-bacon cupcakes and some chocolate-covered bacon.

 

I had plenty of each, so I brought the remaining to work to share with my co-workers...aka getting it out of the house.  As I had planned back in November, I'm starting Insanity today.  The temperature is decent today as we're expected to see all of this snow melt by the end of the week.  High today will be around 50, and this will continue through Thursday at which point we may be getting more precipitation that will either be rain or snow depending on how quickly the next cold front gets here.  I went for my first walk in forever - still lots of ice and snow out there.

 

Christmas cards are mailed.  I have the only package I need to mail ready to go - the post office next door has had people in line all morning so if there's ever a break I'll step over to mail it.  The Christmas tree is up and decorated.  The scale hasn't moved in two weeks - a combination of two things - not counting calories and not being able to have a regular exercise time. That's not to say I didn't burn a ton of calories shoveling snow, and I did do a few elliptical sessions and circuits of push ups, squats, reverse crunches, and such.  My schedule was so all over the place I wasn't able to keep track of the calories, though I ate serving sizes as if I was.  When I stepped on the scale this morning, I fully expected to be up 3-5lbs.  The fact that it hadn't moved was pretty awesome.

 

Insanity fit test tonight, and I'm interested to see how they compare to my previous sessions' tests.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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Got a 2nd walk in at work yesterday afternoon.  After I got dinner for the kids, I did the Insanity fit test. My results were almost dead-on on to the 2nd Fit Test from my first session in the first part of the year.  

 

A little muscle soreness today, but nothing crazy since I had been doing some body weight stuff the last couple of weeks.  My right knee is sore, though, and as I was doing all of the tests I was focused on keeping my knee in line through each motion.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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Yesterday was pretty busy, so no walks as I had to run some errands instead.  After work, I made dinner for the kids, and then cooked up a new batch of chili.  After that was done, my wife and I made cookies to take to work.  After the first cookie was done (~10 dozen orange snaps), I went to do Insanity while my wife started the next one (mincemeat).  

 

It was Plyometric Cardio Circuit - lots, and lots of jumping.  I put on my knee straps before I started and again focused on keeping my knees stable.  No issues last night, though the 42 minutes was predictably hellish.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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One walk yesterday.  I crashed when I got home, dozing on the couch until my wife got home with the baby.  I intentionally stayed on the couch rather than move to the bedroom so I'd wake up when she got home and wouldn't sleep 2-3 hours.  In all, I got about a 30-minute nap.

 

After preparing dinner for the kids, I went downstairs and did the next Insanity workout - Cardio Power and Resistance.  39 minutes of fun.  Right knee is sore today from all of the jumping, twisting, etc.  Nothing major, and I'm anticipating it working itself out.

 

Tonight, we're driving down to Branson to go to Silver Dollar City for dinner and to walk around and see the Christmas lights.  My plan now is to get the Insanity done before we leave.  It's Cardio Recovery tonight, which is ~33 minutes, so it should be doable after I get home and before we need to leave.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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First week of insanity down.  The plyometric cardio workout bothers my knees, so I substituted the Pure Cardio workout - it's ~40 minutes of hell, including ~15 minutes without a break.  Lots of side to side movements, plus burpees, pushups, and more.  Less twisting and jumping than the Plyo-cardio, though.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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I feel like a quitter, but I have to stop this round of Insanity.  My right knee is just not up for it.  It's been sore the last couple of days and doesn't seem to be getting better.

 

I've decided to try out T25 starting next week as it is supposed have less jumping, as well as defined modifications if you're having joint issues.

Repairing a lifetime of bad habits...

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