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obax

obax on the chain gang

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Alright, so. The last challenge was a total bust. I had a few legitimate excuses, but mostly it was me letting life get the better of me. So this time 'round, I'm doing a lot of the same things that I usually do, but with a slight change of focus.

 

Goal #1 - Growing Chains

 

I have discovered this habit-forming thing called 'Don't Break the Chain' and it sounded like it could work for me. The basic idea is, you get a calendar that has the whole year on one page (in my case, I found one on the internet and printed it out), and then you have a thing you want to do every day, and every day you do it, you X off the day on the calendar. After a few days, you've got a chain of Xs going on, and not breaking the chain is motivation to keep going.

 

This appeals to the same part of my brain that's compelled to, for example, collect all the feathers in Assassin's Creed once I happen upon the first one, or to collect all the unique items in Skyrim, and the like. I've been using this method for a couple of weeks now to get me stretching every day, and it's working so far (I've found the key is to focus not on 'stretching daily', which I hate, but rather on 'collecting all the Xs', which I like). I will admit that some days the stretching is more or less thorough than other days, but I've done it every day. I also adapted it somewhat with a multicoloured chain on a second calendar to help motivate me to get back to running and be more dedicated about climbing or strength stuff, and it seems to be working for that too.

 

So, basically the goal is to keep going with this. Ideally, I'll have a blue X on every day of the stretching calendar, and an even number of green (climbing/strength) and red (running/hockey) Xs on the other calendar (with a blue X for the rest day, so the chain stays complete). Though I'm ok if there are 2 blue Xs on the other calendar, but more than that and I can't really call it a multicoloured chain...

 

Maybe I'll post a picture of my calendars each week to show my progress. There's not really a way to count this one on here, I either grow my chains or I break them...

 

Goal #2 - The Confounding Case of the Incurable Munchies

 

This one is simple. One day a week (usually Wednesday, this week it's Friday), I work a stupid long shift at work (12pm-9pm). I get my lunch break at 3, which means I go from 4-9 without any other break, and my job is such that I can't really leave my station to take even a pretend break. My usual dinner time on every other day of the week is between 7 and 8 pm, and inevitably I get ravenously hungry around that time. It's also not usually very busy during that time, so I have a lot of time to stand around thinking about how hungry I am, and to stare and the large displays of chips and ice cream. I'm allowed to have food in the back room, so finding a chance to eat is not the problem. The problem is that I have yet to remember to pack a healthy snack, and often indulge in unhealthy snacks sold by the store in which I work to stave off the hangries.

 

So, this goal is to take a healthy snack with me to work, and to eat it when I get hungry. It'll require a bit of planning ahead, since I'm barely more coherent than a month-old zombie in a heat wave in the morning. If I have to think about making a snack at that time, it won't happen, so I'll have to organize my snack the night before or figure out something prepackaged that's healthy and portable.

 

Progress: 0/6

 

That is all:

 

That's really it. Nice and simple this time 'round. Goal #1 involves most of the things I need/want to do as far as exercise goes. It might get tweaked a bit as I go, I've only just started the multicoloured chain so I may need to make some changes if I'm not satisfied, but for now, that's all I got.

 

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The chain idea is great!  I hope it ends up working out much better for you than the more rigid goals you've had in previous challenges.   At the risk of sounding all spreadsheetian, there is something really satisfying about checking things off of a calendar or spreadsheet.  :)

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Yeah, I know what you mean about the spreadsheet thing. Fortunately, I'm using the big Crayola markers to mark my calendars, so it doesn't feel very formal the way an actual spreadsheet does. I feel like my Chaossin soul can handle a few Xs lined up in neat little rows, just so long as I don't write too much other stuff down....

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Love it! And yes, please do share some pictures of your chains :)

Such a good idea to keep it simple. But I do vote you take something from home for your snacks. It's just once a week! You could even make something two days in advance. Just don't be like my bf and then forget it at home, haha.

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The trouble I have with snacks is that I'm not really a snacker. My body likes to eat 3 reasonably big meals in a day, and nothing in between. So when I get hungry at work, I'm hungry for a full meal, and a handful of almonds, for example, is just going to make me hungrier. I'm thinking the key might be to have lots of veggies with a bit of fruit and a bit of protein to fill up my stomach while not consuming a tonne of calories. The other thing is that it has to be stuff that can be not refrigerated for a few hours and still taste good, and finger food is best, since I can eat a bit, then go help a customer, then eat a bit more, etc.

 

Tonight is my first stoopid long shift of the challenge, I'm going with a couple of BabyBel cheeses, a small mango, and some raw sweet peppers if I can find them in the fridge/have time to go get one from the store.

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I hope your shift will go well tonight! Mango sounds delicious! Oh and I like your idea with the chain, I'm sure it can be very useful! I like that sort of thing too yay I have a whiteboard where I have all the days of the week and I rate my food with ++ to -- and I try to collect as many + as I can each week! 

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Most things will actually survive being non-refrigerated! You've got 6 weeks to find what works for you, I'm sure you'll figure it out :)

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A report on my snacking adventures: I had everything ready to go. I put it in the fridge, it was 2 compact containers that I could easily carry and put in the back room. I knew I'd be coming home for lunch, and planned to take them back with me then. And then the dog distracted me with his sad eyes and I left the snack at home......

 

On the plus side, my lunch was apparently a good one (3 scrambled eggs with kale on a slice of rye bread and 2 slices of tomato on top) and kept me going until almost 8. This meant I only had to resist the allure of chips for an hour, and I can do that. I'm calling this a success since I thought about the snack the night before and put it together with plenty of time to spare in the morning, and it would've been perfectly satisfying if I'd remembered to bring it with me.

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Yesterday: Collected a green X. I did the following: incline pushups (5, 4, 2), band-assisted pullups (5, 5, 5), blugarian split sqats (10, 10, 10), hollow body holds (didn't time it, but myabe 3x 15-20 sec).

 

Notes: the last set of pushups was only 2 because my form was terrible on the second set so I focused on better form in the last set. The first set had pretty good form, I don't know why I couldn't hold it in the other sets.

 

Other than that, I went to a rugby game with my sister (Canada vs. Scotland, Canada lost by 2 points, which is the closest I've ever seen them come to a win. Canada got more tries, but Scotland won on penalty kicks). Also walked the dog a couple of times. I ate terribly, stadium food followed by the dribs and drabs of what's in the house, but oh well. At least my breakfast was healthy...

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For the record, here are my X collections. The one in all blue is the Semper Gumby calendar, the one with multicoloured Xs is the Do More Things! calendar.

 

Edit: Ack! I forgot to resize them, sorry they're so giant!

 

calendar2_zps871c57f6.jpg

 

calendar1_zpsc471eaf9.jpg

Edited by obax

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What are you doing your incline push-ups on?

it's great to see your calendars!

 

Incline pushups are on my paralettes. They're maybe 12 inches high? Maybe not quite? I've never measured... I may never graduate to doing proper ones on the floor, my wrists won't let me even try but with my paralettes I'm pretty well pain-free. Maybe one day I'll be able to do them on my fists on the floor.

 

 

 

Today: Red X collected. I played hockey. It was a good game, we only had 2 subs so I got lots of ice time. I scored the first goal, and had an assist, though I'm not sure if it got recorded. My goal would've been a highlight reel goal, but not because it was awesome, but because it was kinda fluky. The puck was ahead of me and the goalie was going for it but I managed to poke it past her to behind the net. I fired it out to the front of the net semi-blindly, hoping to get it to someone in front, but the goalie was sprawled to try to stop my pass and it banked off her chest and into the net. I was like *shrug* 'Alright...' In the end we won, 3-2 I think. Woo!

 

Blue X will be collected as soon as I eat something. The show on Animal Planet about bear attacks should be the perfect distraction from what I'm actually doing...

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Nice chains!  This approach really seems to be working well for you!

 

I'm not sure that the parallette push-ups truly count as incline ones.  Or, at least, it depends on your body depth.  When I do parallette ones, my chest ends up slightly below the level of the parallettes and my hands, which makes the push-up have a deeper ROM than a normal floor one.  The parallette push-ups are actually harder for me than floor ones.  So it's possible that you're closer to floor push-ups than you think.  Have you tried holding any yoga push-ups?  That might be another way to build some strength.

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I don't think my chest goes below the level of my hands, but I definitely get right down there. I periodically try pushups on the floor, on my fists, and have absolutely no luck, though I haven't done that in a while.

 

That yoga pushup actually looks like something I might like to try, though I'd have to do that on the parlettes too due to my wrist issues. I think I've tried something like that before, when I was experimenting with doing yoga regularly, and I'd get to a certain point and sort of just collapse, but I was doing it on my fists on the floor and not really familiar with the movement, so maybe doing on the paralettes would make a difference.

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Week 1 Update (Abridged):

 

Abridged because I didn't get here until late...

 

Went well. Overall I feel like I slacked a bit this week (for example, my multicoloured chain has 3 blue Xs, when it should have a maximum of 2), but I claim extenuating circumstances after doing a 5k mud run and playing hockey all in one day, and then, for some reason, felt the need for an extra rest day at the beginning of the week (all before I posted my challenge, so it didn't get reported on...)

 

Goal #1 - Growing Chains - A

 

This chain thing seems to be working well for me, and I've been sustaining it longer than I have any other strategy lately. The level of my effort varies from day to day, but I'm still doing what I should be (more or less) when I should be (more or less), so that's a success.

 

Goal #2 - Curing the Munchies - A

 

Even though I didn't actually get to consume my snack during my week 1 stupid long shift, I did create it and think about it ahead of time, which is usually the hardest part for me. And, after eating it when I got home from work, I confirmed that it would've been appropriate to stave off the hangries long enough for me to avoid chips, but not so filling that I'd ruin dinner when I got home. This week I'll work on remembering to take it with me...

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Yesterday:

 

Green and blue Xs collected. I climbed. It was a short session, I was really tired and felt a weird twinge in my back/hip (can't quite tell which) and decided not to push it too far. There are a couple of green routes and a yellow on a sort or overhang that I can almost but not quite get that are irritating me, because from the ground the last move doesn't look very far to reach/hard to do, but when I'm actually up on the wall, the hold looks like it's a mile away and/or requires some technique to reach that has yet to be invented. *shrug* Just gotta keep trying, I guess, and maybe try again when I'm not so sleepy.

 

Stretching was mid-level in its thoroughness. Made sure to do my hips well, due to the aforementioned twinge. The twinge still exists but is significantly less twingy, so I guess cutting climbing short and stretching well was the right choice.

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Today: Red X, blue X. Ran 2k in 10:28, and it only felt sort of terrible! Stretched semi-thoroughly.

 

Past 2 days: Only blue Xs. But they're there! Which means no more blue Xs on the multicoloured chain for the rest of the week (ie. get my ass in gear).

 

Snack report: Wednesday was my long shift. I made my snack, 2 Babybel cheeses, an apple, a small sweet pepper. It barely dented my hunger. I did resist the chips, but I think that was more to do with willpower and less to do with snack in my belly. I'm not sure the snack is entirely at fault, I feel like what I eat for lunch plays a role too. The first day when I wasn't hungry until almost the end of my shift, I had 3 eggs with cheese, kale and tomato on one large piece of multigrain bread, and that kept me full for a long time. Wednesday I had a small pita from Pita Pit and a Coke, which lasted me about 3 hours. It's also probably psychological a bit too, the first day I didn't realize I left my snack at home until pretty late in my shift. Wednesday, I was aware of it being in the back room the whole time and spent way more time than I should have thinking about my hunger level and if it was high enough to dive into the snack, and if I should eat it all at once or nibble, etc., etc.

 

Anyway, I'm not sure what the solution is other than experimenting with what/how much I eat for lunch and keeping the snack the same. Or making it a meal-sized amount of food and not eating dinner when I get home. *shrug* The latter is probably easier for me to do, in terms of food gathering, but harder for me to eat between customers. Enh. Maybe I just have to resign myself to the fact that no exercise will be done on Wednesdays due to the need to find dinner immediately after work, and that I'll just have to willpower my way past the chips no matter what I do.

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Yesterday: One red X, one blue X. Ran 2k in 10:28. It felt way slower than that, so I was pleased with my time. I left stretching 'til late to it was somewhat less thorough than it could have been, but I made sure to do a pretty good job on my hips/legs, they were all very tight after my run.

 

Today: One red X, one blue X (or there will be shortly). Played hockey. We lost, 1-0, we only had 2 on the bench, so we were all very tired, and none of our most skilled players were there....

 

Also went on a big geocaching hike with both dogs and my sister. It took about 2 hours to get from one end to the other, and only about 45 minutes to get back, which shows you how much time the looking takes... One cache was right in the middle of a giant patch of stinging nettle, which I can usually readily identify, but the mosquitoes were so distracting I didn't realize until my skin started to burn... It still kinda burs a bit, I've heard stories of it lasting for a few days... The things I do for a smiley.... It was a beautiful day though, so I'm glad I was able to get out in it and do some fun things.

 

Unrelated, I think I'm going to apply to a couple new police forces within the next couple of days. I'm not looking forward to the stress of the interview process, but I'm getting impatient with the force I've already applied to, and I gotta do for me. I'm going to apply to my home town's city force, and maybe one in a neighbouring region that covers an entire county rather than just one city, so there's plenty of opportunity and places I could end up. Neither force has quite the same opportunities that the first one I applied to, by virtue of the fact that they're both quite a bit smaller, but both will be good. I'm also considering a bigger city about 1 hour away too, I've been told it's a good force but a really tough city. I want to talk to a neighbour of mine a bit more about it, he was a cop in my home town for a long time, and has a lot of inside info and experience with some of the neighbouring forces.

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Week 2 Update:

 

Not bad at all. I feel like I could be putting forth a bit of a better effort, but it's still much better than the last couple of challenges have been.

 

Goal #1: Chains A couple days I left stretching 'til late, but I still managed to do a semi-thorough job on at least my legs, which are the part of me that needs stretching most (in reality, all of me needs stretching the most, but my legs feel tired/sore the most). I got a good mix of red and green Xs and only had 2 blues on my mutilcoloured chain. And the blue chain remains unbroken. This method seems to be working well for me, at least in the area of getting me up and going.

 

Goal #2: Snack A success of sorts. I did what I was supposed to for the goal, but I was still really hungry during the end of the shift. I really don't like thinking so much about food and eating, generally it's not something I think too much about and that more or less works for me. Enh. I'll keep experimenting and see how it goes.

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Not bad at all indeed!
 

I guess it's good you are considering to apply at other forces, and to talk to this guy :). I really admire how far you have come with this thing over the past year(s?), I seriously hope you'll get a job at one of these places soon!

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