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Mistr gets serious about killing rats


Mistr

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Challenge #5

 

I have made improvements in my life since I started doing challenges last summer.

  • Not drinking caffeine
  • getting more sleep
  • gradually getting stronger
  • eating healthier food
  • making better choices on how I spend my time -> less stress

However, my weight has not dropped at all.  If anything I am up a couple pounds.  My ideal weight from when I was in good shape in my 20s and 30s is 152-157 pounds.  This morning it was 168.  The groundwork is set.  Now it is time for me to get serious about losing weight. I have to kill some bad habits to level up. 

 

My goal is to lose 12 pounds total, four pounds per challenge for this challenge and the next two.

 

+ 4 CHA  (1 point/pound lost)

 

To make this happen I will eat less and sleep more.

 

Food:

I’ve gotten good at cooking veggies and protein for meals.  My carb intake is much lower than it used to be.  I’m eating three meals a day.  My breakfast includes protein and veggies.  I understand the principle of running a calorie deficit to lose weight.  However, counting calories is not realistic with the way I’m eating.  How many calories in a serving of shepherd’s pie made with cabbage, carrots, bacon, pork stock with rutabaga mashed potatos on top?  I would have to weigh everything as I prepared it and weigh my food when I served it, then calculate calories.  Not going to happen.  Instead, I will cut out eating because of stress or social pressure and eat smaller portions.

 

Rules: Planned desserts are allowed - one reasonable serving after a meal.  Fruit or veggies are allowed as a snack in the afternoon.  Almonds are allowed as a snack after work if I expect a long delay before dinner.  No snacks in the morning.  No commercially prepared treats from my coworkers.  Homemade treats are allowed, but must be saved until after a real meal.  Once I am done with a meal I stop eating.  No sitting around in the kitchen eating to avoid chores.  Do something fun instead of eating sweets.

 

Accountability: +2 CON, +1 WIS

 

100% stuck to plan

 

-5% for each thing off plan

 

+5% for resisting temptation

 

Sleep:

I learned in my last challenge that 8 hours sleep is MUCH better than 7½ hours.  Being short on sleep contributes to stress and bad decision making, which is how I got to where I am now.  I want to be happy and productive consistently.

 

Goals: In bed between 9:30 and 10:00pm on work nights.  I would like to shift my schedule earlier so that I can work out in the mornings.  Getting up earlier gets easy for me as the sun rises earlier.  Getting to bed earlier is the hard part.  Do not start anything after 9:00pm.  Finish up what I’m doing and get ready for bed.  If I still have time at 9:15pm, I can get clothes and food ready for the next day.  Weekends get to bed by 11:00pm unless there is a special event. 

 

Naps are allowed and encouraged (on weekends). I have dance class on Sunday evenings.  On nights that I teach I am there until 9:30pm.  Even at my most efficient I can’t make it home and in bed by 10:00pm. (I tested this last night ;)).  I need to make up that sleep earlier in the weekend.

 

Accountability:  +1 STA, +1 CON, +1 WIS

 

Mon-Thurs   8 hours per night      Fri-Sun 24 hours total

 

-5% for every 15 minutes short on weeknights

 

-10% for staying up past 11 on Friday or Saturday

 

Exercise:

I have all the pieces of a good exercise plan.  I just need to fit them together better.  I learned in my last challenge that I need to do knee exercises more often.  Every other day is ideal.  Less than that and my knees hurt.  I want to keep making progress in strength training and improve my endurance.  One rest day a week seems to be a good thing.  More than that will interfere with my other goals.  I am still doing about two aikido classes per week, but that does not count as a goal.  That is normal life.  I want to investigate more interesting options for cardio/HIIT/endurance training.

 

  +1 STR, +1 DEX

 

A =  all 15 leg/core exercises + 1 upper body + 1 cardio session per week.

 

B = missed one of above or 2 rest days

 

C = missed two of above or (missed one + 2 rest days)

 

D = really bad week

 

Life goal:

Get my taxes done early for a change.  Getting them done early by an accountant is okay if I determine that they are still too complicated to do myself.

 

Tasks for each week:    +3 WIS

 

  1. Make folder and list of documents needed.  Check off documents collected.
  2. Print out tax forms/instructions.  Add to list of documents if necessary.
  3. Finish collecting documents.  First pass of filling out forms.
  4. Reality check – if numbers look too scary, take folder and forms to an accountant.
  5. Finish filing forms.

Last challenge I improved my balance of activities in my life.  I want to continue that in this challenge.  Keep up the good habits and make serious progress.

  • Like 1

Level 58  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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DAT FOOD GOAL. For serious. The only reason I can count and measure my food is because I do lots of ground meat and generally know what's going in to the food I prepare. If I was actually cooking recipes and such, I wouldn't even know where to start.

 

Also, you and me are in the same boat with doing exercises for our joints. We don't wanna do 'em, but they gotta be done. But at least you figured out the minimum effective dose to get the results you wanted; that's good. Now you just gotta do it. What kind of stuff are you wanting to explore for Cardio?

 

Good luck with taxes!

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Oooo, knee exercises.  Did you write about them in detail last challenge and I just completely forgot?  My knee has been acting up lately, so I'm thinking it might be wise to add some knee-things to my squats to help a bit.

 

And taxes.  I should do that.  And I should get an accountant since I have so many freaking odds and ends to deal with after being laid off this year.  Thanks for the reminder.

 

Good luck this challenge - you'll be seeing me around for sure!

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Oooo, knee exercises.  Did you write about them in detail last challenge and I just completely forgot?  My knee has been acting up lately, so I'm thinking it might be wise to add some knee-things to my squats to help a bit.

 

I probably wrote in detail about them in the November-December challenge.  That was when I was seeing the physical therapist once a week.  The general idea is to strength and stretch different muscles in the legs and strength the core.  She was very firm on core strength being essential for healthy knees.  The challenge with legs is that there are a bunch of muscles that work together.  If one is weak the others will compensate, but will cause problems up and down the chain from the feet to the back.  It is hard to strengthen the small muscles during compound exercises - the big ones are too eager to carry the load.

 

Here is my list:

  1. Heel raise. 2 x fatigue.  Stand on the edge of a stair with the toe on the step and the heel in midair on one foot.  Sink down so the foot is flexed, then push up onto the ball of the foot. Hold 2 seconds at the top. Repeat until fatigued.  Touching the railing for balance is fine.
  2. Front leg raise. Lie on your back with one knee bent and core tight.  Lift the other leg to knee height of bent leg.  Make small, slow circles with the toe, moving the leg as a unit from the hip.  Circle 45-60 seconds to the right, then 45-60 seconds to the left (no break).  Repeat with other leg.  Two reps per leg.
  3. Side leg raise.  Lie on your side with the lower leg bent.  Lift the upper leg.   Make small, slow circles with the toe, moving the leg as a unit from the hip.  Circle 45-60 seconds to the right, then 45-60 seconds to the left (no break).  Repeat with other leg.  Two reps per leg.
  4. Inside leg raise.  Lie on your side with your upper leg bent and the foot in front of your knee (more or less).  Lift the lower leg slowly, hold 2 seconds, lower over 5 seconds.  Do with ankle weights.  2 x 20 reps each side.
  5. Hamstring curls on stability ball.  Lie on back, feet on stability ball.  Lift hips into bridge position (Straight from feet to shoulders).  Bring feet in to butt and out slowly, keeping back straight.  2 x 20 reps.
  6. Ball squats on wall.  Stability ball against wall behind your back, small kid's ball squeezed between knees.  Tighten core and roll down the wall into squat position.  Raise up onto toes.  Move up and down slowly until fatigued - small pulses up and down from the hips, staying in lower squat position.  3 sets.
  7. Rear bent leg raise.  On hands and knees on floor or hands on support in incline position.  Exercise band around legs just above knees.  Squeeze glutes and keep back flat and level.  Raise one heel towards ceiling and pulse up slowly to fatigue.  2 sets each side.
  8. Side leg raise.  Like #7 but lifting one knee to the side (dog raises).  2 x to fatigue each side.
  9. Floating lunge.  Stand close to a solid support at about chest level with hands holding support.  Lift one knee, then smoothly move foot down and back as far as you can reach, bending supporting knee. Keep hips squarely forward. The floating leg might skim the floor but does not take any weight.  Move smoothly back up into knee raised position.  Repeat to fatigue, 3 sets each side. 
  10. Side step and extension.  Exercise band just above knees, lower into half-squat position with core engaged.  Side step 10-12 times.  Stand up at end with knees slightly bent and extend outside leg diagonally back 10x.  2 sets each direction.
  11. Ankle circles.  Stand on one leg with eyes closed.  Do ankle circles with raised foot, 30x each direction.  Repeat on other leg (do not open eyes).  Extra points for not using arms for balance.
  12. Pilates 5x5 series: Lie on side with knees bent and exercise band around legs just above knees. Keep upper hip rolled slightly foward to get the side of the glutes with these.
    1. Lift upper leg 5x. 
    2. Keep feet together and lift upper knee 5x (clams)
    3. Holding both feet off the floor, lift upper leg 5x
    4. Holding both feet off the floor, keep feet together and lift upper knee 5x (clams).
    5. Holding both feet off the floor, keep feet together and lift upper knee, extend upper foot straight, and back to clam position before relaxing.   (note that feet have not touched the floor since the end of part 2)
  13. Sahrmann abs progression.  The goal with these is to keep the lower abs tight and pelvis tucked while lifting and moving the legs.  3 x 10
  14. Front plank - currently doing variations, 90 seconds each
    1. Hold one leg in the air for 45 seconds, then the other leg.
    2. Move slowly forwards and back from the toes.
    3. Alternate touching knees to the mat - just touch, no weight.
  15. Side plank with extension.  Side plank position with upper arm reaching straight up.  Reach down and under side along the mat, then back up again (twisting slightly in plank position).  2 x 60 seconds each side.

Finish with foam rolling the quads, IT band (outside of thigh) and hamstrings.  Also do calf stretch after the heel raise. Regular quad and hamstring stretches are fine, but don't get as deep as the foam roller.

 

These have made a real difference for me.  Some are not beginning exercises.  I started with other exercises first, then moved up to these.  My quads, hamstrings, and IT bands are tight.  The hamstrings and flexors/extensors were weak as well. 

  • Like 1

Level 58  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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Day two of the challenge and I'm doing well with the eating part.  Not much serious temptation at work yet.  I went to my local spinning group last night and did not eat any of the treats. :)  I had a good time and did not leave until 9:30pm.  That meant I did not make my sleep goal of getting to bed on time.  I am happy to take the hit in points for getting to do this social activity.  My friend who took me last time was not able to go.  I get bonus social points for attending an event where I barely knew anyone. :D

 

Exercise is going okay.  My right knee is still calling me bad names.  I got in 20 minutes at lunch today in spite of things being busy at work.  Hopefully it will start to pay off soon.  I can barely bend the knee enough to put on my socks.  Sitting cross-legged is difficult.  Seiza is impossible, but that was already true because of my left knee. :P  It may take several weeks to get back to something like normal.

Level 58  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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I love the title of your challenge and the goals look solid.

 

I'm glad someone asked about your knee exercises...as you say this a much more holistic core and lower body program. Seems well worth putting in the time.

 

Man oh man. No wonder you worry so much about the knees. :( I hope they get to feeling better soon.

 

Also, yeah, you deserve credit for going to a social event where you barely knew anyone. Totally. As an introvert, that would be crazy hard for me to do, so, nicely done.

 

and yes ^^^^ that.

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

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Thank you all for the good wishes.  I sooo enjoyed moving without any pain over the winter holidays.  I'm still limping when I get up but it is gradually getting better.  Lots of motivation for me to work out.

 

Observations on my experiment with not snacking

I confirmed that I think about eating when I want to avoid something tedious at work.  I am eating plenty for breakfast.  That feeling I get around 10 is not hunger.  The feeling I get about 11:30 probably is hunger.  I'm not actually starving.  I was able to work out before eating lunch without getting spacey from low blood sugar.

 

I stayed awake better in the afternoon on Tuesday.  Monday I was sleepy right after lunch.  The only carbs were a half sweet potato and some brocolli.  I can't see that being a little short on sleep would have a focused affect from 1:30-2:30pm.  Hmmmm.  Need more data points on this.  My suspicion is that I am getting more energy for work because my body is not having to spend it on digesting food.

 

I easily resisted nut mix with butterscotch chips on Monday and commercial rice crispy bars yesterday.  I also avoided most of the sugary pastries at the work breakfast function.  Even so, it was a high carb meal.  My standards have changed.  Good thing too.  I am relying on being picky to resist a lot of the temptations that come my way.

 

Any good ideas for main dishes with meat and veggies?  With all the cooking I've done recently I have exhausted my limited list of things to cook.

Level 58  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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My go-to dish is thai curry (in general coconut mix, curry paste, meat, vegetables). I think I could eat is every day.

My back-up go-to dish would be chicken fajitas (chicken, onion, peppers, cumin and whatever other spices you want... could add tomato, avocado)...leave out the tortilla if you don't want the carb or make it a lettuce wrap.

 

Very simple but some of my favorites.

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

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Thank you for the suggestions.  I have a can of coconut milk I need to use up this weekend.  Curry is a great idea.  I have everything for chicken fajitas. I'll have to try that. 

 

I've been buying a lot of chicken and pork because they are cheap.  Yesterday I got a family pack of chicken thighs for $0.99/pound (5.3 lbs of chicken).  I took the skin off and baked those with a olive oil and herb rub.  Yum.  Taking the skin off takes some time, but it is worth it for the price.  I'm open minded as to veggies.  I try to keep celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms, peppers and sweet potatos in the house all the time.  Usually also potatos.  I pick up other things as they go on sale or look good in the store.

 

Last night's dinner was baked chicken thighs, roast potatos and onions, and roast asparagus. It fed three people with lots of leftovers for lunches.  Total cost ~$10.

10 chicken thighs  $5.25

1.75 lbs potatos  $1.50  (4 small red potatos & 3 small yellow potatos)

1 lb onion  $1.00   (it was a large onion)

1 bunch asparagus (~1 lb) $1.50

olive oil, white wine vinegar and dried herbs  ~$0.25

 

I thought my food goal would be the hardest, but it has gone well so far.  I have been tempted but had no trouble resisting.  It remains to be seen if I'm actually eating enough less to lose weight.

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Level 58  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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So I know you said calorie counting isn't realistic about how you eat, but I thought I'd throw this out there.

 

I use My Fitness Pal.  Since I like to cook, most of my recipes are actually made by me in MFP.  I know how much a cooked meal will make/last, so I can estimate a number of servings fairly accurately, and I like having the recipes stored away.  I know you cook a lot, so maybe it wouldn't work as well for you.  But as a bachelor I find it's useful.

 

Also, speaking of veggies - I'm super stoked because New Job has an epic food stand/store down the street from it.  With lots of cheap, amazingly fresh veggies.  I will then steal all the recipes you post.  Because that's how I roll.

 

:)

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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We have a lot of similarities. For my first Ranger challenge (second NF challenge) I am focusing on getting 7 hours of sleep each night. I find it interesting that you realized 8 hours of sleep is better than 7.5 hours. I have done well this week getting the 7 hours, I'll have to work on getting 7.5 next week and 8 the following week and see if I notice a difference. It is really tough to get the 7 hours, I have to be in bed by 9:30 because most of the time I'm up exercising at 4:30am. Going to bed that early makes for a really short evening, but another goal is to leave work by 4:00 every day and that helps quite a bit.

 

I also don't like to have to count calories, it becomes a pain when making recipes. I do a lot of stir frys. I just use whatever veggies I feel like (carrots, onions, peppers, squash, broccoli) and either steak, pork or chicken. Then I splash it with a little coco-aminos for some extra flavor.

 

I am also working on spending my time more wisely, keeping up with things in the house so I'm not overwhelmed on the weekend. This isn't one of my challenge goals but just something I try to do now. It is so nice when I'm doing well, because the house is always picked up, laundry all caught up and kitchen is always clean because I spend about 30 minutes per day (total) getting all that done. If it is clean when you start out it doesn't take more than 30 minutes to clean up what little mess you made that day. Let those little messes pile up until the weekend and BAM, your weekend sucks!

 

Good luck with your challenge.

Class/Profession: Hobbit/Ranger - Level 4

Current Attributes: STR: 2, DEX: 3.5, STA: 8.5, CON: 8.5, WIS: 11.5, CHA: 4

Habits I'm Working On: #1, #2

Previous Challenges: #1, #2, #3.1(fail), #3.2

Quote: "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." Thomas A. Edison

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Have you considered stationary bike for knee rehab? If you have one available, that is.  I did that after my ACL reconstruction surgery and it helped tremendously with re-strengthening all the muscles surrounding my knee (and therefore tighten the tendons) that had loosened or atrophied a little post injury.

 

....It would also add to your 'one cardio session per week goal'. Just sayin... :)

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So I know you said calorie counting isn't realistic about how you eat, but I thought I'd throw this out there.

 

I use My Fitness Pal.  Since I like to cook, most of my recipes are actually made by me in MFP.  I know how much a cooked meal will make/last, so I can estimate a number of servings fairly accurately, and I like having the recipes stored away.  I know you cook a lot, so maybe it wouldn't work as well for you.  But as a bachelor I find it's useful.

 

Cheers to that, though I use cronometer instead and it's great with recipes. Roomies would probably mess with that?

 

You put way more prep into food than I do so any remaining suggestions I have are probably useless.  This might help?  http://www.reddit.com/r/fitmeals/

Behave yourself, badly if necessary.
 

Current Challenge

Judo - Shodan

My Character

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Hi Teri, nice to meet you!

 

 

Have you considered stationary bike for knee rehab? If you have one available, that is.  I did that after my ACL reconstruction surgery and it helped tremendously with re-strengthening all the muscles surrounding my knee (and therefore tighten the tendons) that had loosened or atrophied a little post injury.

 

....It would also add to your 'one cardio session per week goal'. Just sayin... :)

 

Funny you should say that.  I like using the stationary bike when my knees are acting up.  It feels safer to me than the elliptical machine.  I tried the cycling class at work last month.  That is more like real biking.  I enjoyed it, but I think I'll give my knee another week of recovery before I try it again.  I'd like to get in shape for biking to work.  It is 9.5 miles if I start from home.  There is a park near the halfway point where I can start early in the season.  Hopefully in another month the snow will be gone and it will be warm enough to bike.

Level 58  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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Yeesh, another busy week at work.  I had a presentation on my research on Tuesday.  I spent Friday, Sunday afternoon, and all day Monday into the evening preparing for it.  I was happy with it at the end.  It turns out I had a lot more data than I thought.  I was going through my experimental design and thought "did I drop the section on incubation time?".  No, there was the data file, sitting untouched.  Many graphs latter, I had a report with some interesting results.

 

Week 1 report

 

Sleep: -20% for being short three nights.  The weekend was great for getting caught up on sleep.  Apparently I needed it.

 

Exercise: A   I did a lot of PT and felt much better.  Not as much aikido as usual to give my knee a rest.

 

Food: +20% for resisting treats at work, -10% for indulging in cookies and desserts on the weekend.

 

Surprisingly, staying on my eating plan at work has gone well.  I am tempted a lot but have been able to ignore it.  Possibly because I have been eating substantial breakfasts and am not actually hungry.  It highlights just how much of my eating at work is motivated by emotional causes instead of hunger.  That work stress carried over to home this weekend.  I'm sure some of my cookie binging was because I was dreading working on my report.

 

I have to think I have some psychic scarring from grad school.  I enjoyed working on the data analysis once I got into it.  Most of my data was good with just a couple outliers.  My experimental design was good - meaning that I set up the experiment in a way that answered the questions.  Some of the results don't show much change, but that is good when testing the stability of a sample over time. ;)  I have to wonder why I dreaded this and put it off so long.  I felt a tremendous sense of relief to get it off my to-do list.

Level 58  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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I have to think I have some psychic scarring from grad school.  I enjoyed working on the data analysis once I got into it.  Most of my data was good with just a couple outliers.  My experimental design was good - meaning that I set up the experiment in a way that answered the questions.  Some of the results don't show much change, but that is good when testing the stability of a sample over time. ;)  I have to wonder why I dreaded this and put it off so long.  I felt a tremendous sense of relief to get it off my to-do list.

 

Pretty sure if you don't have psychic scarring from grad school you were doing something wrong.  At least that's my opinion on things.

  • Like 1

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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My office is celebrating Pi day today.  I am giving myself extra bonus points for resisting eating pie until after I work out at lunch.  One of my coworkers was not able to find pie at the store and brought in coffee cake.

 

I am doing better than I expected on resisting snacking.  Not that my eating has been perfect.  An important part of my strategy is that I can eat whatever I want at meals.  I know that feeling deprived leads to problems for me.  For the most part I have been eating moderate portions at meals.

 

One interesting observation - my digestion is much happier.  I am eating pretty much the same food.  Maybe less carbs, since snacks tend to be carbs or chocolate.  I am still getting some gas, but less than before.  I'm starting to suspect that has a stress component.  Otherwise the probable culprit is brocolli.  I will see what happens today.  Lunch looks like it will be completely lacking in green vegetables.

Level 58  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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