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Suzy Q Takes Control


suzyQlou

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Hi, I'm Sue, and I'm looking forward to my first challenge.  My primary goal is weight loss, but what I really crave is the energy and spunkiness I felt back when I was fit.  Motherhood has slapped me hard.  While it's been a joy at times, and I would never un-do my kids, I have spent most of the past 10 years feeling defeated and tired.  Some people can gracefully parent and look after themselves at the same time.  That has never been the case for me.  My choices have been out of balance for a long time, and now I'm taking control of my own life again.

 

My profile pic is for my own motivation.  It is me before kids.  While I know that I will never be 25 years old again, I'd love to be 50 pounds lighter by the time I hit 45.

 

Main Quest:
I want to get down to a healthy weight.  I figure I may as well use BMI as a measure, so for me a healthy weight is 154; overweight is 185; and I started on 3/18 at the lovely obese weight of 211.  My first target is to break down under 200.  Then I'll strive to be overweight (he, he I love the irony of this being a goal).  Finally, I'll work towards healthy weight (YEAH, mission accomplished!)
 
Goals:
I have a checklist of daily goals that I think of as my real goals.  I award myself a point for every day I do everything on the checklist.  I am hoping to turn these items into good habits, and checking them off each day is a way of keeping myself accountable.  The main goals right now are exercise, portion control, and healthy snacking.  Once I conquer these, I will re-evaluate and see if I can add more challenging daily habits.
 
 Exercise – cardio MWF, strength TTh, free pass SS
 Only fruits/veggies while making lunches
 Breakfast – include fruits or veggies
 No kid breakfast leftovers
 10:00 snack – Fruits or veggies
 Lunch – decide ahead on one serving
 Lunch – include fruits or veggies
 After work snack – fruits or veggies
 School bus snack – fruits or veggies
 Dinner prep – no excessive “tastingâ€
 Dinner – one serving (except veggies/salad)
 Dinner – include salad/veggies
 After dinner gum
 Bedtime snack – fruits or veggies
 
I joined the rebellion this week when I had reached 10 points.  I have a list of additional prizes that cost anywhere from 5 to 15 points each.  Unfortunately, my daily goals don't really translate well into SMART goals.  Therefore, I'm adding these:
 
1.  Cardio:  I will increase my running speed so that I can run through the local gardens in 20 minutes.  My run around the neighborhood is now clocked by MapMyRun at a 13+ minute mile.  I will reduce by 10 seconds each Monday.
 
2.  Strength:  My long term goal is to do a pull-up.  I am doing dumbell rows now.  My goal is to increase the weight on the dumbell every Tuesday.
 
3.  Weight:  I will lose a pound a week during this challenge as measured on Monday morning weigh-ins.  I will lose this weight by sticking to my healthy habit checklist.
 
Life Quest:
I typed out a long description here, but it seemed really lame.  To sum it up, I'm going to get my family organized enough to get to soccer practice on time, and I'm going to inspire my children to help with outdoor projects this year.
 
I'm looking forward to having some company on this journey.  Happy challenges to all!
  • Like 2

suzyQlou * Ranger    

Old Challenges: #1(2015) * #2 * #3(push ups) * #4 * #5(food) * #6 * #7(2016)* #8(nerdiversary) * #9 * 10(animal) * Battle Log * 11(2017) * 12(garden) * 13 * 14(biking) * 15 * 16  * 17  * 18 * 19(2018) * 20(2019) * 21

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Welcome, Sue!

But perhaps you should set priorities. How about marking three of your goals bold and colored and focus on them. If there are days, where you didn't do everything, you can still try to fullfill these three goals and can turn the day around again. This way you won't get overhelmed by too many new habits. People aren't good in changing and it's easier, when you take smaller steps.

 

Good luck and best wishes for your challenge.

level 12 Hobbit Monk (respawned September 2016)
STR 4 | DEX 15 | CON 16 | STA 15 | WIS 33 | CHA 24 | Halfling | Newbie | Fencer and Bookworm

Introduction | Character | Daily Battle Log | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8 | | 10 | 11 | 12# | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | #### | 17 | Current Challenge

Spoiler

 I'm exercising, because I want to get my stamina and strength. I enjoy medieevil swordmanship,  Tai Chi, yoga, aikido and fire spinning. I'm also a roleplaying nerd and a book worm. Let's fight the procrastination dragon!

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Wow, I'm blown away by the quick welcome.  Thanks, guys, for making me feel at home.

 

Luciana, I like your idea of starting small.  I may not have been totally honest in my first post.  Even though I say I haven't had any control of my life before, that's a bit of an exaggeration.  I've been running (or eliptical-ing on cold days) regularly for over a year.  I've kept my fruit bowl front and center for snacking for a long time.  I'm not really changing too much by following this checklist.  I would say the portion sizes are biggest for me.  I used to finish my kids' dinners even when I wasn't really hungry.  And I eat leftovers for lunch, so if there were lots of leftovers in the fridge, I would have too big of a lunch.  So, really those are the two new eating habits I need to work on.  The strength training is new, too.  I've always done "a little" of that, but not 20 minutes of sweaty strength training.  I might be a little obsessed with crossing things off a list :)

 

And Crawdad, thanks for the input, too.  It's nice to see more newbies over here.  Glad I'm not alone!  I don't really see protein as a big obstacle for me since I eat it with my meals.  Less carbs will be more of a challenge for me down the road.  In a way it's nice to be on the heavy side of things.  Pounds drop off with just a few changes.  I may have to focus more on the protein later in my journey.  One step at a time!

suzyQlou * Ranger    

Old Challenges: #1(2015) * #2 * #3(push ups) * #4 * #5(food) * #6 * #7(2016)* #8(nerdiversary) * #9 * 10(animal) * Battle Log * 11(2017) * 12(garden) * 13 * 14(biking) * 15 * 16  * 17  * 18 * 19(2018) * 20(2019) * 21

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Sue,

 

You said increase the weight on Tuesdays for your dumbell rows.  What weight are you lifting for that exercise now? 

One of my (very) long term goals is pull-ups, too.  I think women who can pull up their own body weight are pretty bad-*ss.

 

I am with you on the list-checking.  It can be SUPER satisfying to check things off.  :-)

 

~Emerald_Dragonfly

~Emerald_Dragonfly

Level 13 Warrior

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One step at a time is a great idea.  Maybe go through your list and pick 1 goal that you will always stick to, so that on the days that you're not feeling all that great or up to it, where your motivation is flagging you can at least just do that 1 goal. 

 

You might notice that someone has added a tag to your post.  This is not to box you into a corner but rather because your goals or lifestyle have links to the guild you've been tagged and we'd like to bring you to the attention of one of their guild ambassadors. These ambassadors will be able to offer you advice, encouragement and support on your goals.  You don't even have to wait around for them to come introduce themselves to you, you are more than welcome to pop into the Adventurers' board and introduce yourself to the guildies there. I am also around to answer any questions that you might have so do not hesitate to PM me.

 

Good Luck with your challenge

AB xx

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
You're welcome to skype me (audriwolf) too but let me know who you are

My challenge

 

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You said increase the weight on Tuesdays for your dumbell rows.  What weight are you lifting for that exercise now? 

One of my (very) long term goals is pull-ups, too.  I think women who can pull up their own body weight are pretty bad-*ss.

 

Emerald_Dragonfly, You know, that's a good question.  I haven't really found a good weight for these, and am starting to worry that these seem easy.  If they're easy, I wonder if my form is right.  Last week I was using 16 pounds, but I needed to do 15 reps instead of 10 to feel it.  This week, I an planning to try 20 pounds.  It's a little tricky because I'm borrowing weights from my husband's collection, and trying not to mess up his system.  I never thought I'd be able to lift 20 pounds right off the bat.

 

Do you have any suggestions?  One of my goals is to add "more" weight each week, but that's not very measurable because I don't say how much.

suzyQlou * Ranger    

Old Challenges: #1(2015) * #2 * #3(push ups) * #4 * #5(food) * #6 * #7(2016)* #8(nerdiversary) * #9 * 10(animal) * Battle Log * 11(2017) * 12(garden) * 13 * 14(biking) * 15 * 16  * 17  * 18 * 19(2018) * 20(2019) * 21

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Bad form does not really make it easier on your rows unless you are just throwing them up which I always thought felt wrong anyway. One thing to consider is that your back is a very large muscle (even on the ladies) and it is surprisingly strong but dont worry about it being to lite. Pick a rep range and a weight you are comfortable with and do your sets. While the weight is lite pay VERY close attention to your form. If you have a mirror use that also go online and look at videos and compare it to what you are doing. Good form will keep you from hurting yourself when things get heavy. Then every workout make sure you progress either by increasing the weight or adding another set or by increasing the reps. Though I would advise not going beyond 20 in my very uniformed "bro science" opinion that leads you more into endurance training instead of strength training. As long as you are progressing and your form stays spot on you are fine. You will get stronger and burn that fat. 

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Bad form does not really make it easier on your rows unless you are just throwing them up which I always thought felt wrong anyway. One thing to consider is that your back is a very large muscle (even on the ladies) and it is surprisingly strong but dont worry about it being to lite. Pick a rep range and a weight you are comfortable with and do your sets. While the weight is lite pay VERY close attention to your form. If you have a mirror use that also go online and look at videos and compare it to what you are doing. Good form will keep you from hurting yourself when things get heavy. Then every workout make sure you progress either by increasing the weight or adding another set or by increasing the reps. Though I would advise not going beyond 20 in my very uniformed "bro science" opinion that leads you more into endurance training instead of strength training. As long as you are progressing and your form stays spot on you are fine. You will get stronger and burn that fat. 

 

Thanks for the feedback, Crawdadr!  I like your idea of using a mirror.  I may try recording on the iPad to get a good view of what I look like.  I don't feel like I'm just "throwing them up" so I might not be too far off after all.  It's nice to know that adding reps or sets "counts" too.  That way I don't have to always focus on just adding more weight.  I'm toying with the idea of trying some inverted body weight rows, too.  That may help me get closer to a pull-up.

suzyQlou * Ranger    

Old Challenges: #1(2015) * #2 * #3(push ups) * #4 * #5(food) * #6 * #7(2016)* #8(nerdiversary) * #9 * 10(animal) * Battle Log * 11(2017) * 12(garden) * 13 * 14(biking) * 15 * 16  * 17  * 18 * 19(2018) * 20(2019) * 21

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Since the challenge officially starts today, here are my starting points:

 

Cardio:  Goal is to reduce my 13+ minute mile by 10 seconds each Monday.  Today:  12:44

Strength:  Goal is to progress every week towards pull-up.  This week:  20 pound dumbbell rows

Weight:  Goal is to lose a pound a week.  Today:  208.5 pounds

 

Life Quest 1:  Get to soccer practice on time.  Today:  Dinner is planned and prepped for tonight, so we're looking good.  Kids are taking standardized tests this week in school, so homework will be light, too.

Life Quest 2:  Outdoor projects with kids.  I'm feeling good about this one.  Each boy completed a project on Saturday, so the right mindset is in place for the coming week.

 

Mini-quest:  SMART goals?  I think my goals are ok.  The healthy habits checklist might be a little over the top, but I think it will get me to my goal of losing a pound a week.  I'm down 1.5 pounds from last week, and earned six points in my little system.  The strength goal will be hardest to measure because I don't have much experience with strength training.  It's nice to be getting some feedback here about how to move along with the dumbbells.

 

  • Like 1

suzyQlou * Ranger    

Old Challenges: #1(2015) * #2 * #3(push ups) * #4 * #5(food) * #6 * #7(2016)* #8(nerdiversary) * #9 * 10(animal) * Battle Log * 11(2017) * 12(garden) * 13 * 14(biking) * 15 * 16  * 17  * 18 * 19(2018) * 20(2019) * 21

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What type of outdoor projects are you working on with the kids?

 

Oh, I love outdoor projects!  My neighborhood is a cross between rural and suburban space.  I grow food and flowers, and take care of a tiny flock of backyard chickens.  My boys, however, are a little addicted to Minecraft and screens in general.  So, when I say "outdoor projects", they tend to run away screaming.  This year, I've made a lovely "Team Sunshine" poster.  The boys are savvy enough to recognize it as a chore chart, and they generally mock it.  The plus side, though, is that I'm paying for outdoor chores this year.  My seven year old planted grass for me in an area the chickens had torn up over the winter.  My ten year old is a bit evasive.  He was supposed to paint the garden gate, but instead negotiated for a clean-up of the kid swing set area.  Other projects include transplanting strawberries, mulching, and setting up water features.  There's always something to do outside, and I intend to share the joy this year :)

  • Like 1

suzyQlou * Ranger    

Old Challenges: #1(2015) * #2 * #3(push ups) * #4 * #5(food) * #6 * #7(2016)* #8(nerdiversary) * #9 * 10(animal) * Battle Log * 11(2017) * 12(garden) * 13 * 14(biking) * 15 * 16  * 17  * 18 * 19(2018) * 20(2019) * 21

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That's a nice way to motivate them to go outside. I hope it works;)

  • Like 1

level 12 Hobbit Monk (respawned September 2016)
STR 4 | DEX 15 | CON 16 | STA 15 | WIS 33 | CHA 24 | Halfling | Newbie | Fencer and Bookworm

Introduction | Character | Daily Battle Log | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8 | | 10 | 11 | 12# | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | #### | 17 | Current Challenge

Spoiler

 I'm exercising, because I want to get my stamina and strength. I enjoy medieevil swordmanship,  Tai Chi, yoga, aikido and fire spinning. I'm also a roleplaying nerd and a book worm. Let's fight the procrastination dragon!

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I'm happy to have earned five points in my quest to conquer my healthy habits checklist.  I am rewarding myself with new volleyball kneepads.  I've worn the same ugly white bubble kneepads since college.  It is definitely time to try a pair of flat black ones!

  • Like 1

suzyQlou * Ranger    

Old Challenges: #1(2015) * #2 * #3(push ups) * #4 * #5(food) * #6 * #7(2016)* #8(nerdiversary) * #9 * 10(animal) * Battle Log * 11(2017) * 12(garden) * 13 * 14(biking) * 15 * 16  * 17  * 18 * 19(2018) * 20(2019) * 21

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I love that you have a points system for motivation. I'm going to need something like that outside of NF to start working on some of my work and home goals. Any advice for setting one up? It seems kinda daunting. 

Current Challenge

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I love that you have a points system for motivation. I'm going to need something like that outside of NF to start working on some of my work and home goals. Any advice for setting one up? It seems kinda daunting. 

 

Well, I kinda feel like I am retro-fitting my own system back into NF sometimes.  If I had started with this challenge, I would probably reward myself for the measurable stuff that's in the SMART goals instead of the checklist I have.  The kicker for me is that my own system is "doing what I've always done" and that obviously hasn't worked.  So that's kind of why I'm here.  Every Spring, I do this.  I set goals, and lose weight.  I know I can do it, so I'm a little over-confident at this point.  The tricky part for me is going to be the next ten pounds after this challenge, and keeping the lifestyle changes.

 

Even so, I would definitely pick out some prizes if I were you.  Find a way to reward yourself for doing good.  You could easily use the point system you are tracking in your thread to "buy" a prize.  It's nice and measurable, and I like how you are keeping it up to date with color-coding.  Very visual.

suzyQlou * Ranger    

Old Challenges: #1(2015) * #2 * #3(push ups) * #4 * #5(food) * #6 * #7(2016)* #8(nerdiversary) * #9 * 10(animal) * Battle Log * 11(2017) * 12(garden) * 13 * 14(biking) * 15 * 16  * 17  * 18 * 19(2018) * 20(2019) * 21

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Nonfood rewards make my belly cry   :hopelessness:

 

Ha!  You have me laughing at the screen.  My belly is crying lunchtime, and is agreeing with you right now!

suzyQlou * Ranger    

Old Challenges: #1(2015) * #2 * #3(push ups) * #4 * #5(food) * #6 * #7(2016)* #8(nerdiversary) * #9 * 10(animal) * Battle Log * 11(2017) * 12(garden) * 13 * 14(biking) * 15 * 16  * 17  * 18 * 19(2018) * 20(2019) * 21

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Week 2 Progress:

 

Cardio:  Goal is to reduce my 13+ minute mile by 10 seconds each Monday.  Last week:  12:44  Today:  12:16 Pass

Strength:  Goal is to progress every week towards pull-up.  Last week:  20 pound dumbbell rows This week:  25 pound dumbbell rows Pass

Weight:  Goal is to lose a pound a week.  Last week:  208.5 pounds Today:  207.5 pounds Pass

 

Life Quest 1:  Get to soccer practice on time.  This week:  We made it!  Although I'll have to remember not to be too early for my older son.  He gets nervous and starts negative self-talk when he has too much time to think before a game.  Pass

Life Quest 2:  Outdoor projects with kids.  This week:  Great.  My older son finally DID paint the garden gates.  We had a mix-up this week with my younger son.  He thought he was going to transplant strawberries, but I had already done that.  So he watered them instead.  Pass

 

Concerns:

Cardio:  It was raining today, so I worked out on the elliptical and recorded Friday's time.  I am happy that my run time is improving, but I am concerned it's going too quickly.  My personal best is only 12:04.  While I want to do better than that, I don't think I can keep losing 20-30 seconds a week.  Even 10 seconds a week might not be sustainable once I am running faster.

 

Weight:  I stream-lined my checklist.  It's been fairly easy to stick with (at least during the week) so I think I've made some good habits in the past month.  Now I'll just check off the major goals of exercise, reasonable portion sizes, and including fruits/veggies with snacks/meals.  I'm also going to journal my foods this week because of the the NF Academy goal.

suzyQlou * Ranger    

Old Challenges: #1(2015) * #2 * #3(push ups) * #4 * #5(food) * #6 * #7(2016)* #8(nerdiversary) * #9 * 10(animal) * Battle Log * 11(2017) * 12(garden) * 13 * 14(biking) * 15 * 16  * 17  * 18 * 19(2018) * 20(2019) * 21

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Wow, your week went really well. Congraz. ;)

  • Like 1

level 12 Hobbit Monk (respawned September 2016)
STR 4 | DEX 15 | CON 16 | STA 15 | WIS 33 | CHA 24 | Halfling | Newbie | Fencer and Bookworm

Introduction | Character | Daily Battle Log | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8 | | 10 | 11 | 12# | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | #### | 17 | Current Challenge

Spoiler

 I'm exercising, because I want to get my stamina and strength. I enjoy medieevil swordmanship,  Tai Chi, yoga, aikido and fire spinning. I'm also a roleplaying nerd and a book worm. Let's fight the procrastination dragon!

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Nice!!!

 

As for your running concerns - one idea is to think of it as 10 seconds per week on average, and a total of 60 seconds for the whole challenge...in other words, you've already earned yourself a "pass" for the next three weeks (give or take a couple seconds), and you just have more time to make it to your goal, which is a whole 20 seconds faster than your current best time! I agree that you can't expect to lose that much time every week.

 

Another option is to see how many weeks you can keep losing time and once you get to a point where you can't cut off any more, change your goal and start adding distance instead.

 

These are just a couple ideas (and I hope they made sense), but the point is that your goals should be flexible and change according to your reality (especially when your reality is that you're doing better than you expected - don't punish yourself for that!).

 

(Also, out of curiosity, are you doing speedwork or just relying on determination to get faster?)

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