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"Theophilus, it's the food, stupid"


theophilus

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Since last summer, I've been able to get into a much better exercise routine than I've had since... well... ever. Still, I've not seen quite the gains I'd hoped. I'm a bit faster, yes, but runs still feel like a struggle. I guess I just don't "feel" fitter than I was when I started. It occurs to me that I've done next to nothing to improve the way I eat. If anything, I've used exercise as an excuse to eat poorly. This challenge is mainly about food. I want to maintain status quo with exercise and pour my energy into eating better. The true test will come during the last week of the challenge, when I'll be traveling for work. Stress, missing my wife and kids, lack of accountability, eating out, having unhealthy options at the ready--this is the perfect storm for going off the grid. I need to build habits before I get there.

 

Quest 1

Run 4x per week 3-4 miles each time. I have a 10k in March, so I may try to get in some longer distance runs toward the end of the challenge. But coming off a half marathon, I'm not too worried about the mileage, just want to stay fresh.

 

Quest 2

Eat food. Not to much. Mostly plants. I'm shamelessly coopting Michael Pollen's simple food advice for my challenge. Here's how it'll look for me:

  • Eat Food - I will make my own food at home whenever I possibly can. (We're doing a pretty strict budget right now, so there's not much room for eating out anyhow. I want to batch prep 1 thing each week, either for breakfast or lunch to make it that much easier. If for some reason I must eat out, it's going to be real food: salads, a good sandwich. None of this fast food processed crap. Same goes for snacks.
  • Not too much - Cut down on snacking. I mindlessly snack a lot at work, and then it's usually one long snack sesh' from when I get home until dinner time. I'm going to plan healthy snacks and eat a designated number of them.
  • Mostly Plants - More veggies, less meat. I'm going to shoot for 10 servings of veggies/fruit per day (using 1/2 c. = 1 serving, except for leafy greens, 1 c. = 1 serving). As for less meat, at least one vegetarian dinner and two vegetarian lunches per week.

 

Quest 3

No Booze, redux. I tried this last time, and while I didn't fail miserably, I didn't exactly excel either. I want to be 100% booze-free for the next four weeks. I did it during a Whole 30 a couple years back, and I know I can do it again. The last week will be the hardest for this one, as drinking is kinda built into the culture of business trips. I'm hoping to lay a solid foundation the first three weeks so I won't want to screw it up on the final week.

 

Life Quest

LSAT gets rolling. My second Epic Quest as a NF-er, isn't fitness related but is a life quest. I really want to get into a top 3 law school (Harvard, Yale, Stanford) next application cycle. This would affirm a lot of what I've been thinking carrer- and life-wise over the past few years, really ever since I've been out of undergrad. To do that, I need to crush the LSAT. I did a decent job setting myself up to start studying last challenge, and I'm going fully after it this challenge. My goal these next four weeks: 1 timed practice test per week w/ "blind review." (For the uninitated, it's a way of taking the test and reviewing your answers to identify the areas you need to work on.) Long-term goal on this one is getting a 175+ on the June 2016 test.

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Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

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Great goals - especially that last one - serious stuff!

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Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

Challenges: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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Day Zero

 

I went on a five mile run yesterday, kept it just below 50 minutes. Methinks a goal of under an hour for the March 10k is in order.

 

We made a grip of veggie chili last night in the crock pot, which should effectively provide lunches through at least Tuesday or Wednesday. There, I've got "eat food" and "mostly plants" tee'd up for week one.

 

I enjoyed a nice IPA for a good mid-afternoon-tax-finishing treat before I go booze-free this challenge.

 

Sitting down now to plan out the week study-wise.

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

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Congrats on the taxes, and I'm jealous of the veggie chili – it's one of my favorites.

And you can totally do a 10k under an hour!

Thanks! Here's the recipe for the chili I made this time. Definitely going to incorporate it into the regular rotation. Super good and super easy.

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

Thanks! Here's the recipe for the chili I made this time. Definitely going to incorporate it into the regular rotation. Super good and super easy.

 

Oooh, sweet potatoes! I'm saving that one, all right! :-d

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

| Current Challenge: |

| Nov '16 | Sept/Oct '16 | Aug/Sep '16 | July/Aug '16 | June/July '16 | May '16 |

| Apr '16 | Mar '16 | Feb '16 | Jan '16 | Nov/Dec '15 |

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The thing about alcohol is that it brings down inhibitions.  Like, I want to inhibit myself from eating whatevertheheck is in front of me, especially the sweet stuff, especially when maybe I am feeling a little stressed or  bored or just crabby.  So saying "no" to drinking anything for a quest is awesome, and good luck!

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Scout, Level 2



[sTR: 0 | DEX: 0 | STA: 0 | CON: 0 | WIS: 0 | CHA: 0 ]


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1-Feb-16

1. No running today. Gear set out for an early run tomorrow.

2. Good on this one. I ate my batch-prep chili for lunch (1/2 veg lunches for the week), kept snacking in check, and got 8/10 servings of fruits/veggies.

3. Success

L. Took my prep test book apart at the binding today to make copies for review tomorrow. Had a good chat with the Mrs. last night about setting aside time during the week for studying.

If I get some time at work tomorrow, I'm going to devise a points system to grade myself more precisely this challenge.

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

2-Feb-16

1. Success. Ran three this morning.

2. Mixed. Got my 10 fruits/veg, great snacks, got the second veg lunch in for the week. Then I went off the rails after work and swung through a drive thru for some fast food.

3. Success

L. Compiled some study guides from various websites and fora. Getting more and more amped up to do this thing.

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

We can be good tomorrow.

Yes, yes we can.

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

3-Feb-16

1. No run this morning. I did, however, set up and obstacle course for my kids in the backyard and goofed around with them for a solid hour this afternoon. That's the best kind of exercise.

2. Still on a roll here. No eating out at work. Got 7 servings of fruits/veggies today. Made some delicious homemade turkey sausage with dinner tonight. All around good stuff.

3. Success, still booze free.

L. No update here.

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

3-Feb-16

1. No run this morning. I did, however, set up and obstacle course for my kids in the backyard and goofed around with them for a solid hour this afternoon. That's the best kind of exercise.

 

Backyard obstacle courses are the awesomest!

Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

| Current Challenge: |

| Nov '16 | Sept/Oct '16 | Aug/Sep '16 | July/Aug '16 | June/July '16 | May '16 |

| Apr '16 | Mar '16 | Feb '16 | Jan '16 | Nov/Dec '15 |

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Gosh, this one has slipped away from me. It's not that I've been tanking it, but I've been really bad about tracking my progress and keeping my thread updated. So, for lack of a better alternative, here's the crash course for the last 9 days.

1. Ok, this one I have been tanking. I have a whopping two runs so far, for a grand total of six miles. I have just had the hardest time waking up in the morning. Fortunately, it's starting to get lighter earlier. I'm going to get out tomorrow and then make a schedule. I find I do better if I have something tactile I can do to track my progress.

2. Mixed bag. Last week I didn't eat out once at work. That felt awesome. Most days I got close to 10 servings of fruits/veggies. This week has not been nearly as stellar, thanks to poor planning and general laziness. Bought lunch three times. Probably got 5ish servings of fruits and veggies on averaged.

3. Now we're getting to the successes. I almost cracked on this one on Sunday. It was the Super Bowl. I was grilling. It just didn't feel right without beer in hand. But I made my wife promise she would give me grief if I started drinking, so despite taking a couple sips, my guilt and shame drove me to dump the rest. That felt good.

L. More success here. I took a full practice test on Sunday. Scored 167; 170 after blind review. I've been practicing different sections of the test throughout the week and feel like I'm making progress. I'll do another full test this Sunday.

As an aside, I was super close to throwing in the towel this week. A whole week has gone by, and I really hadn't been paying attention to my goals. But then I thought, "So, because you did a crappy job this week, you've fated yourself to a crappy month. Theophilus, that's insane." So, I'm back at it, dedicated as I was on day one.

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

Awesome! Definitely glad you didn't quit. That's what's so great about this place – you can have your slip-ups, bad weeks, self doubt, whatever (ugh, see my last challenge...), but then you can come back anytime, pick it right back up and keep going. And anyway, except for the running, which you pretty much planned to go easy on from the start, you're still doing well. Keep it up, try to improve where you want to, and keep posting!

Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

| Current Challenge: |

| Nov '16 | Sept/Oct '16 | Aug/Sep '16 | July/Aug '16 | June/July '16 | May '16 |

| Apr '16 | Mar '16 | Feb '16 | Jan '16 | Nov/Dec '15 |

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Definitely better to rebound then let the challenge go, because if you're anything like me that leads down a dark road and you look up 6 months later and go, oh wait, wasn't I supposed to be posting on NF?

 

Congrats on chucking the beer, I wasn't so strong this Super Bowl. (especially because my team won :D )

 

 

Level 11 - World's Smallest Norn

 

 

Challenges: | Current |11 |10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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