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Balsquith's 8th Challenge - Putting it all back together.


Balsquith

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Challenge Number 8

 

My last challenge was meant to be intentionally easy in order to allow me to succeed and get straight A's. However, things did not really go as planned and I ended up just scraping by, which was a bit disappointing. This time around I plan on reassembling my life again and giving myself a couple of tougher targets to reach along the way.

 

Diet: I had a bit of a blow recently when I got a blood test back and found that my cholesterol was 261mg/dl! I know from my reading that the total number is not necessarily any indicator of potential problems, however my LDL was also very high and my HDL, whilst in the good range, wasn't exceptionally high. All of this together concerns me. I am not entirely sure what to do with my diet though. Clearly something needs to be done though. I plan on doing this progressively over the course of the 6 weeks. When I have acheived the objective for at least 5 days out of 7 then I shall add the next level. The progression is as follows:

 

1. Intermittent fasting (no breakfasts)

2. Cut out sugar

3. Bring in a vegetable heavy meal to work.

4. Cut out grains

 

Whatever, level I get to at the end will determine my grading. I am not sure how helpful any of these will be towards improving my blood work, but making a start towards trying to eat more healthily seems to be a good idea.

 

 

Exercise: I am reasonably consistent with how often I have been exercising, however, I often worry that I am standing still as opposed to really pushing myself and achieving new highs. In order to address this I have set myself a few achievable targets to shoot for.

 

1. 3x weight training per week, 1x sprint session

2. 9 Pullups (currently 7)

3. 25 pressups (current max=20)

4. <7:40 2k rowing (current = 7:46)

 

All these are achievable goals over 6 weeks albeit tough.

 

 

Reclaim Morning: I had my morning routine all worked out, and then somewhere along the line I lost it. I plan to progressively get it back. In the same way as with the diet goal, I will add in a new level everytime I complete at least 5 out of 7 days in a week. When I don't complete this then I don't progress.

 

1. Get up with the alarm

2. 8 hours sleep

3. yoga

4. Meditation

 

 

Prepare for B2 German exam: To be honest I haven't quite worked out how I am going to do this one. Coming soon

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 1 Summary

 

Diet: 4 out of 7 days intermittent fasting - Just missed out, I need to repeat this level

Exercise: I failed to go to the gym the required number of times and didn't test myself on any of my targets. I injured my wrist and this has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works as I am largely co0nfined to lower body weights and sprints. Hopefully it will get better soon.

Morning: 6 out of 7 days gtting up to my alarm. I passed the week and move up to the next level, which is getting 8 hours sleep a night.

German: Not making a plan is planning to fail, and that is what I did this week. I still did a few things, but nothing focused. I need to make a plan.

 

Overall: A typically slow start. I need to make plans to work around my wrist injury and importantly make a plan for my German study.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 2 - Thursday report

 

Diet: 3 out of 4 days intermittent fasting

Exercise: 2 gym sessions. 1 lower body weights and 1 sprint session on the rowing machine. 1 yoga session

Morning: 4 of 4 alarm, 2 of 3 for the 8-hour sleep.

German: Still no plan!

 

This weekend I am going for a 2 day mountain walk, so I am not going to the any more lower body workouts for the week. My wrist is still injured so I am not really sure what upper body work I can do. Therefore I will just have some more rest days. I think that the weekend will also kill off my chances of succeeding for the week with intermittent fasting and probably also the 8-hour sleep part, we shall see.

 

Still disappointingly no plan for the German, although I have been working on it.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 2 Summary

 

Diet: 4 out of 7 days intermittent fasting - Just missed out, as expected due to going on a weekend long hike. I need to repeat this level. Overall I am happy to be getting close to my target and hope that this next week I can make it onto the next level.

Exercise: 2 gym sessions. 1 lower body weights and 1 sprint session on the rowing machine. 1 yoga session. Plus a weekend long hike. This doesn't quite fit my criteria for exercise. I also didn't test any of my goals this week. My wrist is unfortunately still hurting (at a low level) so I am going to continue to try to go easy on it and not continue to tweak it stupidly as I have been doing of late. This week I plan to test my pullups and my 2k rowing.

Morning: 7 out of 7 days gtting up to my alarm. 4 of 7 nights I achieved 8-hours sleep. I succeeded in continuing to get up with my alarm; but due to the strange sleep schedule at the weekend my 8-hour target was more than blown out of the water, leaving me feeling somewhat wornout.

German: I still haven't made a plan here.

 

Overall: A bit of a mixed week and one that didn't really push me forward. The weekend was great and if I had been consistent during the week it would not have affected me acheiving all of my targets. As it turned out though, I didn't achieve any of my level-ups this week.

 

I am annoyed with myself that I haven't made a plan yet for my German, this has always been the reason why I haven't moved on as quickly with as I could have done. I tend to just to bits and bobs, this inconsistent unfocused approach gets me somewhere, but probably at a much slower pace than if I did in fact have a plan and something to work towards. First thing next week my goal will be to decide on a plan of action here.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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German goal

 

There are so many things that I want to be doing with my German, so I am going to make it similar to the other parts of the challenge and keep adding new things when I pass a week.

 

1. Writing - Write 2 entries (about a paragraph) for correction.

2. Speaking - 2x conversation with German native speaker (over skype)

3. Reading - Read 1 extended article and make flashcards for new vocabulary.

4. Grammar - 3x Exercises in grammar practice book (20 minutes)

 

Each week that I achieve the goal for 5 days out of 7, I can move up to the next level and add the next challenge. I can of course do the other parts right from the start if I want, but on the goal of the level I am on counts.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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If I extrapolate backwards in time with my new German goal I find that in the first week I met the target and moved up to the next level, but sadly in the second week I completed the speaking part but failed to do any writing. Therefore I would be back at the first level anyway. This highlights my normal bitty approach. Given I would like to be more consistent on a weekly basis I think my new plan will fit that  well.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 3 - Wednesday report

 

Diet: 2 out of 3 days intermittent fasting

Exercise: 1x leg session with rowing sprints at the end.

Morning: 2 of 3 alarm, 2 of 2 for the 8-hour sleep. I definitely needed the sleep after the weekend. 9-10 hours both nights.

German: No entries written as yet

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 3 - Thursday report

 

Diet: 3 out of 4 days intermittent fasting

Exercise: 1x leg session with rowing sprints at the end. Yoga class.

Morning: 3 of 4 alarm, 3 of 3 for the 8-hour sleep.

German: No entries written as yet. I have been doing other things, but this is demonstrating my lack of focus on the areas I need to work on. I need to write a paragraph tomorrow.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 3 - Friday report

 

Diet: 4 out of 5 days intermittent fasting

Exercise: 1x leg session with rowing sprints at the end. Yoga class.

Morning: 3 of 5 alarm, 4 of 4 for the 8-hour sleep.

German: 1 entry written and corrections received.

 

Everything is moving along. This is fine, but I'm really not rising to the challenge here. I'm also in danger of slipping back down to level 1 as I have had a couple of days already where I have just not been able to get up. With 4 days of 8-hour sleep this should no longer be a problem.

 

I tend to very non-interactive with the rest of the people on the forums here, but I do read a few of the challenges. I was particularly inspired by Knightwatch's current challenge and really need to think about how I can start to lead a life which I can be proud of, rather than wallow in mediocrity (which is how I am feeling at the moment). It is very much time to raise my game. Translating that from words to actions always seems to be moy problem though.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 3 Summary

 

Diet: 5 out of 7 days intermittent fasting - Just got it! So now I can move up to the next level and cut out the sugary stuff in my diet. I have been doing pretty well at this, so this should be doable. I have to keep the intermittent fasting going strong too though.

Exercise: 2 gym sessions. Including 1 sprint session on the rowing machine and 1 HIIT workout. 1 yoga session. Then frisbee on the weekend. I tested my pullups and only got to 6 (I probably could have forced 7, but I was losing my grip on the bar). They were all pretty good ones though. 9 Looks a long way off. Lots of sprinting this week, which was fun. I didn't quite reach any of my targets this week either. It is looking a little bit like I have set myself up for failure in this goal. At least I can fail happily on this one.

Morning: 5 out of 7 days getting up to my alarm. 6 of 7 nights I achieved 8-hours sleep. I just managed to hold it together this week with the getting up to my alarm. Looking forward to moving onto the next level and adding some yoga in.

German: 2 Journal entries down. Levelling up to speaking more German this week.

 

Overall: A pretty good week overall. I managed to keep everything together (just) and move up a level in every one of my goals. My exercise goal is looking like it is going to be tough to get off the mark though.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 4 - Tuesday report

 

Diet: 1 out of 2 days intermittent fasting, 0 out of 1 days sugar free.

Exercise: None

Morning: 1 of 2 alarm, 2 of 2 for the 8-hour sleep, 1 of 2 yoga

German: 0 of 2 writing, 1 (10 minutes) of 2 speaking.

 

Hoping to get the first gym session in tonight, although my body is still pretty sore from all the frisbee at the weekend. A slow start to the week but nothing disasterous yet.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 4 - Wednesday report

 

Diet: 2 out of 3 days intermittent fasting, 0 out of 2 days sugar free.

Exercise: Back and Abs workout.

Morning: 2 of 3 alarm, 3 of 3 for the 8-hour sleep, 1 of 3 yoga

German: 0 of 2 writing, 1 (10 minutes) of 2 speaking.

 

Went to the gym with my friend for the first time, it was quite an experience. I wanted to do squats, and having finally persuaded him, we found out that squats are only allowed when there are 3 people in the group, which I guess is why no one was using the olympic bar and the squat stand! I ended up letting him lead the way and it was interesting to see how different a program he used. We were always using 16 reps for some reason and lots of sets of similar exercises. It was tough work, and we were in the gym for hours. I think I much prefer my 'in the gym for as short a time as possible' approach.

 

Things at work, and life in general, are getting a bit hectic and stressful at the moment, so I am hoping that that won't derail me from these goals.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 4 - Thursday report

 

Diet: 3 out of 4 days intermittent fasting, 0 out of 4 days sugar free.

Exercise: 1x Back and Abs workout, 1x legs workout, 1x yoga

Morning: 3 of 4 alarm, 4 of 4 for the 8-hour sleep, 2 of 4 yoga

German: 1 of 2 writing, 2 (55 minutes) of 2 speaking.

 

This week hasn't been highly motivated so far, and I am trying to dig myself a little bit out of a trough. I have somewhat lost my workout schedule, which is still inpart due to my wrist injury persisting. Across the board though I am hanging in there. Not having any sugar proved a surprisingly difficult challenge, particularly given I didn't realise that I ate so much. I decided to include all sweet snacks in this category and it seems that I tend to have something of this nature everyday. Definitely something to be aware of and adjust. Yoga in the morning has also not really happened, I need to adjust my morning routine to accomodate it, and get a plan routine worked out. My German is also moving along steadily and I have almost passed the week on this already.

 

My main problem at the moment is that, despite moving forward with my targets, I am somewhat stuck in a rut at the moment and everything feels a bit like I am treading water. I really need to bite the bullet and not allow myself to just get by at the mediocre level.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 4 - Friday report

 

Diet: 3 out of 5 days intermittent fasting, 0 out of 5 days sugar free.

Exercise: 1x Back and Abs workout, 1x legs workout, 1x yoga

Morning: 4 of 5 alarm, 4 of 5 for the 8-hour sleep, 2 of 5 yoga

German: 2 of 2 writing, 2 (55 minutes) of 2 speaking.

 

I'm slipping badly at the moment for whatever reason (stress at work is almost certainly the main one). This isn't really an excuse though, as with a bit better organisation and motivation at work, I would have sufficient time to easily acheive all the goals that I have laid down. Time to salvage this weeks goals and look forward to a more positive week after.

 

A big positive with this week is having cracked the German goal already. Next week I will add in my reading goal.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 4 Summary

 

Diet: 5 out of 7 days intermittent fasting - Just got it! 1 out of 7 days sugar free. I thought that cutting out sugar would be quite easy, but when I actually looked at what I eat, it turned out that once a day (it is pretty low levels) I do eat something sweet. The advent calender doesn't help ;) I am pretty much on one small sugary thing a day, but I want to make this less of a regular thing. Another week to get on top of this.

Exercise: 2 gym sessions and 1 extended yoga session. This week was a bit stressful at work and I let this get in the way of my workouts. I also didn't really do any additional sport, so a very light week all around. I need to start some testing at my goals.

Morning: 6 out of 7 days getting up to my alarm. 6 of 7 nights I achieved 8-hours sleep. 2 of 7 yoga.  I managed to hold the sleep pattern together somewhat but really didn't get the yoga going. The fact that somethings irritate my wrist lessens my enthusiasm.

German: 2 of 2 writing, 2 (55 minutes) of 2 speaking. Just passed the level. This week I will add in a reading goal.

 

Overall: An up and down week. My German is the big positive here in that I achieved (albeit the bare minimum) of what I needed to achieve. This is the only goal that I am levelling up, the others were not far away from total blowouts. My wrist injury is bringing everything down (or at least giving me an excuse to not achieve my goals), so I should really get along to a Dr and see if there is anything more serious going on there.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 5 - Tuesday report

 

Diet: 1 out of 2 days intermittent fasting, 0 out of 2 days sugar free.

Exercise: None

Morning: 2 of 2 alarm, 1 of 1 for the 8-hour sleep, 0 of 2 yoga

German: 0 of 2 writing, 0 of 2 speaking.

 

Life is getting to me at the moment, I am finding that it is tough to get moving in the morning and I don't have much motivation for work or life in general. It is a bit tough to pull myself out of this trough I find myself in. I'm probably also coming down with a cold which doesn't help matters.

 

I'm not sure how to pull myself out of this slump. I guess I need to go back to basics and start focusing on keeping myself healthy and preserve my routines.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 5 - Wednesday report

 

Diet: 1 out of 3 days intermittent fasting, 0 out of 3 days sugar free.

Exercise: None

Morning: 2 of 3 alarm, 2 of 2 for the 8-hour sleep, 0 of 3 yoga

German: 0 of 2 writing, 1 of 2 speaking (45 minutes).

 

I am ill. This is definitely not what I need to get me out of my slump. Oh well, I just need to keep looking after myself and give myself the best chance of recovery.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 5 - Thursday report

 

Diet: 2 out of 4 days intermittent fasting, 0 out of 4 days sugar free.

Exercise: None

Morning: 2 of 4 alarm, 3 of 3 for the 8-hour sleep, 0 of 4 yoga

German: 1 of 2 writing, 1 of 2 speaking (45 minutes). 0 of 1 reading.

 

I am very much teetering on the brink this week. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent being ill, and this really knocked out my motivation and meant that I relaxed the fasting and found it hard to get out out bed. I also fell back on some festive comfort eating to cheer myself up. Today I am feeling a bit better so I will try and get the eating back under control. I will probably wait until the weekend until I get any exercise in though as I want to give my body a bit of a chance to recover.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 5 - Saturday report

 

Diet: 3 out of 6 days intermittent fasting, 0 out of 6 days sugar free.

Exercise: None

Morning: 4 of 6 alarm, 5 of 6 for the 8-hour sleep, 0 of 6 yoga

German: 1 of 2 writing, 2 of 2 speaking (90 minutes). 0 of 1 reading.

 

Hmm, this week has seen me lose control of what I was aiming for in terms of routines and consistency.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 5 Summary

 

Diet: 3 out of 7 days intermittent fasting.  0 out of 7 days sugar free. Oh dear, oh dear. Failed on both levels. Lots of comfort eating happened this week. My grading system, doesn't really take into account if I have a complete blowout one week. 

Exercise: None! This is the first week in a while where I have literally done nothing exercise related. Definitely not how I was looking for this challenge to go.

Morning: 5 out of 7 days getting up to my alarm. 5 of 7 nights I achieved 8-hours sleep. 0 of 7 yoga.  I managed to just stop the rot in this area, although I think I may have been a little bit kind to myself with the grading and effectively let myself off for the days I was ill.

German: 2 of 2 writing, 2 (90 minutes) of 2 speaking. 0 of 1 reading. Held my level again, but didn't add or really make any roads towards adding the next level.

 

Overall: This week was basically a huge blowout. Getting ill, getting stressed out, not making time for my priorities. All of these things compounded to mean that I really didn't get all that much towards my challenege goals or my life goals in general. I could definitely have managed the week a whole lot better.

 

Whilst not doing much at the gym for the couple of days around being ill was probably not a bad idea, I could certainly have substituted in some less intense things. Being ill and then choosing to eat badly is also a rather counterproductive thing.

 

With one week to go I am not sure where this challenge is really going. I haven't really had my head in the game for much of this challenge and I have been moving backwards somewhat. There is always time for a turn around though and I am hopeful that I can use this last week to good effect and actually succeed at completing my goals.

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Week 6 - Tuesday report

 

Diet: 1 out of 2 days intermittent fasting

Exercise: 30 minutes leg workout and pullups.

Morning: 2 of 2 alarm, 1 of 1 for the 8-hour sleep, 0 of 6 yoga

German: 0 of 2 writing, 1 of 2 speaking (45 minutes). 0 of 1 reading.

 

A slow start to the week, but Tuesday is going much better. I now need to get back into doing some routine exercise and see the doctor for my wrist!

Wood Elf Ranger - Level 10

 

STR 11.75|DEX 11.5|STA 9.25|CON 11|WIS 11.25|CHA 8.5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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