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Hello All. New here, first challenge. I'm posting this a bit late, but I actually got these started at the beginning of the week, and am on track with everything so far.

Main Goal: Get my weight down to 185 lbs (or more accurately, back down to)

I've had success in past going low carb paleo when trying to lose weight. On the other hand, I've really enjoyed the rice, potatoes and sweet potatoes when i've been on the perfect health diet (http://perfecthealthdiet.com). So I've decided to try to have the best of both worlds, the weight loss of a low carb approach while still getting to enjoy some carbs, by carb cycling. Basically I'm allowed rice, potatoes and sweet potatoes every other day. Its worked very well so far.

Diet Goal: Follow my Carb Cycling for the next four weeks, with less than 40 g of carbs on the low days, and at least 70 g on the high days.

My wife and I are running the Copper River Bridge Run, a 10k, in Charleston SC in the beginning of April, so I need to buckle down in my training for that. The plan I'm using to train for it calls for three runs a week of about an hour each, broken up into periods of walking and jogging. As the race gets closer, the jogging gets longer and the walking gets shorter until it disappears completely right before the race.

Fitness Goal 1: Run 3 times a week.

Strength wise right now I'm following a workout of kettlebell swings and get ups. With the race less than a month away, I only do this on my non-run days.

Fitness Goal 2: At least 300 Kettlebell swings a week.

Life Goal: Read my One Year Study Bible every day.

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Progress so far:

 

Diet Goal: Follow my Carb Cycling for the next four weeks, with less than 40 g of carbs on the low days, and at least 70 g on the high days.

 

So far so good, low days were low, high days were high, and the weight has been coming off steadily. I was down to 198.9 this morning, the first time I've been below 200 in months

 

 

 

 

Fitness Goal 1: Run 3 times a week.

 

Made all three runs this week. I kept trying to run in the mornings, but kept hitting snooze too many times to make that possible. Monday I ran after work; Wednesday I actually ran at work during my lunch-break and on Friday i finally forced myself out of bed with enough time to run in the morning. It felt good, but I was also left feeling a bit drained all day at work. I'm going to give the morning run thing a try again next week, and if it leaves me feeling drained again, I'll have to switch to lunch time or afterwork runs.

 

Fitness Goal 2: At least 300 Kettlebell swings a week.

 

I've been doing Pavel Tsatsouline's Simple & Sinister Kettlebell program, but had to cut it down from everyday to just three days a week. I got a little crazy early on, tried to add in some other weightlifting workouts, and was leaving myself too sore to do my runs. I got 300 swings in this week. Now that I've had time for my body to get used to working out again and I've learned not to try adding any extra exercises, I think I'm go back to trying to do the workout everyday, maybe taking Sunday off. Which means I should be getting 600-700 swings a week for the rest of the challenge.

 

Life Goal: Read my One Year Study Bible every day.

 

So far everyday, in the morning, right after my coffee. Connecting the reading to me need for coffee has made this one pretty simple to follow through on.

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Welcome to the Rebellion, and way to go on your goals! 

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Level 69 Battle Kitten

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C'est dit, c'est ainsi

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So far everyday, in the morning, right after my coffee. Connecting the reading to me need for coffee has made this one pretty simple to follow through on.

 

That is a really quite clever habit building technique!  I'm quite impressed and I kind of wish I drank coffee to use this trick.

 

Your 10km is pretty close now, where are you at with your training?   Is this your first one?

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Level 11 Morgana Scout

STR 14|DEX 11|STA 31|CON 11|WIS 23|CHA 19

Current challenge:  Talvi makes tactical decisions | Epic quests: 2015, 2016 | Running instalog: new_tracks_to_follow | Previous challenges: -2 -1 etc...

 

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Your 10km is pretty close now, where are you at with your training?   Is this your first one?

 

 

This will be my first 10k. I've run a couple of 5k in the past, and wow, 9 years ago, I ran a marathon. But before I started training for this 10k, I hadn't done ANY running since September.

 

I'm following the 10k training plan in an app called "Running for Weight Loss." I'm two sessions behind right now, but I've already figured out which two sessions to skip and move on to the next run for, so I'll be all caught up by race day. Considering I got a late start and had to jump past the first 4 weeks of the program (its a 10 week plan), I'm pretty happy with my progress. My last run was:

 

Warm Up: Walk 4 min

Jog 15 min

Walk 2 min

Jog 15 min

Walk 2 min

Jog 15 min

Cool Down: Walk 5 min

 

I hit 5 miles right at the end of that, so my speed's a bit on the slow slide, at least for me. I plan on staying with my wife for the 10k, and I think that puts me right at her speed, so I'm not concerned with speeding up.

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Amazingly, my goals are still on track so far for this challenge. Probably because I'm using them as a form of productive procrastination instead of doing things that I really need to be doing. But I DON"T CARE I'm MAKING PROGRESS ON MY GOALs and I'm going to focus on that for the moment.
 
Follow Carb Cycling Plan:
 
This Mash Up diet that I just made up is actually working, so that nice. Surprisingly, I'm really not having any trouble with it either. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, for a bad day to come along that makes me switch to the Homer Simpson diet, but so far so good.

 

COZk7m43C4sQo.gif

3 Runs a Week: 

 

I was excited for my first run of the week, as I had just found my heart rate monitor and was looking forward to being able to keep my heart rate in the aerobic, fat burning zone (180-age). Then I woke up this morning. It was cold. It was wet, with that wishy washy drizzle that just flirts with the idea of being rain but refuses to commit. I went out and ran anyway. And thats when I discovered that my aerobic pace, the one that keeps my heart rate 146 or below, is just above a power walk. It was right at that point where a walk becomes a jog. I tried to do my whole run at that pace, but it was incredibly frustrating. It was impossible to maintain the pace, I kept seesawing back and forth between to high and too low.

 

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But I did my run for the day. Thats what i'm going to focus on. I'm going to give the whole aerobic heart rate pace thing another try on Wednesday, and if it is just as frustrating as today, i'll be leaving my heart rate monitor at home after that.

300 600 Kettlebell Swings a Week:

 

Did my 10 sets of 10 swings in the backyard, got through it faster than last week, so that was good.
 
Read the Bible Every Day:

 

Still going strong on this one, haven't missed a day yet. 

 

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Well done on your first week and even running in the rain.   I still have problems with running in bad weather....

 

I never used a heart monitor myself, but from what I've read on the forums they can be a bit finicky.   Maybe you could do a short run and test out a few different paces to establish your new baselines now that you have started running again.   I think on Tinkerer's thread he aims to run at paces that are a certain percentage of his maximum HR.

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Level 11 Morgana Scout

STR 14|DEX 11|STA 31|CON 11|WIS 23|CHA 19

Current challenge:  Talvi makes tactical decisions | Epic quests: 2015, 2016 | Running instalog: new_tracks_to_follow | Previous challenges: -2 -1 etc...

 

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Well done on your first week and even running in the rain.   I still have problems with running in bad weather....

 

I never used a heart monitor myself, but from what I've read on the forums they can be a bit finicky.   Maybe you could do a short run and test out a few different paces to establish your new baselines now that you have started running again.   I think on Tinkerer's thread he aims to run at paces that are a certain percentage of his maximum HR.

 

I've used a number of different HR monitors (usually Polar or Garmin), and they definitely glitch at times.  One day, running by a big estate, mine went NUTS - over 220 bpm.  So stopped and walked, taking my pulse manually to find out that it was in the right range.  Turns out, the security system interfered with the connection between the band and the watch.  BUT generally, I do like them as a check for myself on how hard I am working when I'm running.  

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Level 63 Human ... Oath of Ancients Paladin

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

STR: 14 | DEX: 14| CON: 17 | INT: 17 | WIS: 17 | CHA: 14

 

 

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Well done on your first week and even running in the rain.   I still have problems with running in bad weather....

 

I never used a heart monitor myself, but from what I've read on the forums they can be a bit finicky.   Maybe you could do a short run and test out a few different paces to establish your new baselines now that you have started running again.   I think on Tinkerer's thread he aims to run at paces that are a certain percentage of his maximum HR.

 

Thanks, though its funny you should congratulate me on running in the rain at the start of the week, 'cause the rest of this week, I haven't had the motivation. That and its been pouring here.

 

I've used a number of different HR monitors (usually Polar or Garmin), and they definitely glitch at times.  One day, running by a big estate, mine went NUTS - over 220 bpm.  So stopped and walked, taking my pulse manually to find out that it was in the right range.  Turns out, the security system interfered with the connection between the band and the watch.  BUT generally, I do like them as a check for myself on how hard I am working when I'm running.  

 

 

Yeah, I've seen glitches here and there too, but overall I'm happy having the monitor, just to give me a sense of how hard I'm working. I think I was being a little to strict with myself in trying to maintain a constant heart rate. With slight changes in pace and terrain, I think I was being a little unrealistic in trying to stay right on my target heart rate. 

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Between weather and work it's been a crazy week, but I managed to stick with my goals. Which means I think I've made some progress in entrenching these behaviors as habits.

 

Follow Carb Cycling Plan:

46%
46%

 

About mid-week things went absolutely crazy at work. I spent the afternoon of Wednesday and the morning of Thursday as stressed as I have even been. Then everything suddenly went back to normal. In the past I would have pigged out on junk food to cope with the stress on Wednesday, and then pigged out on fancier food on Thursday to celebrate. Neither happened though. I fact, I didn't even really consider it.

 

I did consider getting well and thoroughly drunk on both nights, but didn't because being stressed AND hungover on Thursday did not sound very appealing, and because by Thursday night, I wanted sleep more.

 

So I made it through the week with my diet plan intact.

 

3 Runs a Week:

50%
50%

 

It has been pouring here pretty much nonstop since Monday afternoon. So my regular plan of running outside in the mornings was a bust. I ended up having to use the treadmill in the gym at work during my lunch-break for my other two runs this week. I usually hate the treadmill, but this turned out not to be so bad. At least I was able to maintain my target heart rate a lot better on the treadmill. Still, I'm looking forward to better weather next week so I can run outside again.

 

300 Kettlebell Swings a Week:

50%
50%

 

I've done 100 swings every day so far this week.

 

Read the Bible Every Day:

46%
46%

 

Still on track.

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Congrats on handling the work issues without resorting to food or alcohol!!!!  It's so ingrained in my family that we eat when we're low and we eat to celebrate.  Did you do anything to celebrate the return to normalcy??

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Level 63 Human ... Oath of Ancients Paladin

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

STR: 14 | DEX: 14| CON: 17 | INT: 17 | WIS: 17 | CHA: 14

 

 

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We do the same thing in my family, eating when things are rough, and to celebrate. I'm working on changing the pattern but it's not easy.

The only thing I did to celebrate the return to normalcy was to pick up a couple of old computer games. But I ended up barely playing them, I went indoor rock climbing on Saturday and Sunday I just had a movie marathon, my hands were too sore from rock climbing to play video games.

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7 hours ago, Talvi said:

Well done!  You are sailing through this, only one more week to go!   Do you think you'll do another challenge?  And if so, will you have similar goals again?

 

Thanks. I'm definitely going to do another challenge. I'm not sure what I'm going to do for goals. These have been kind of easy, but honestly there was no way to predict that going in. I alway find changing habits is easy, until it suddenly isn't. And I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew with these kinds of things, so I am going to be giving a lot of thought to the goals I pick for next time. 

 

7 hours ago, Talvi said:

Argh - can't seen to post anything with double posts since the website changed. Sorry!

 

No problem. I barely had a chance to get used to how the site worked before. Now I'm all messed up. 

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18 hours ago, Drachenjager said:

 

Thanks. I'm definitely going to do another challenge. I'm not sure what I'm going to do for goals. These have been kind of easy, but honestly there was no way to predict that going in. I alway find changing habits is easy, until it suddenly isn't. And I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew with these kinds of things, so I am going to be giving a lot of thought to the goals I pick for next time. 

 

 

No problem. I barely had a chance to get used to how the site worked before. Now I'm all messed up. 

 

Gradual changes are best.  Try increasing the difficulty on the same goals for the next challenge, if you don't think of something new.  Like strength training, you'll hit a point where it suddenly is a challenge!!

Level 63 Human ... Oath of Ancients Paladin

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

STR: 14 | DEX: 14| CON: 17 | INT: 17 | WIS: 17 | CHA: 14

 

 

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Okay, time for a post Challenge After Action Report. 

 

Main Goal: Get my weight down to 185 lb. (or more accurately, back down to)

I started this challenge at 208. As of this morning I weigh 192.5. So I've lost 15.5 pounds in 4 weeks, with only 7.5 pounds to go to hit my target weight. I'm pretty happy with that. 

 

Diet Goal: Follow my Carb Cycling for the next four weeks.

I followed my made up Carb Cycling Paleo diet for the last four weeks, and it worked even better than I could have hoped. 

 

Fitness Goal 1: Run 3 times a week.

Got all my runs in, even managed to get a forth run in this week, which will probably be my new pattern. In the second week I got my heart rate monitor working and started monitoring my heart rate, trying to keep it in the proper zone for aerobic conditioning. This slowed my runs down a bit for a week or two, but the pace has come back up while still letting me stay at the right heart rate this last week.

 

Fitness Goal 2: At least 300 Kettlebell swings a week.

I had overdone things with my running and strength training goals, and thought I was only going to be able to do my 100 swings a day on my non run days. But after a week of that, I was feeling good and was able to do my swings even on run days. So after the first week I got in 600 swings a week. I had to lower the weight a couple of times when I wasn't 100%, but I always got my swings in.

 

Life Goal: Read my One Year Study Bible every day. I got my reading in, every morning. Didn't miss one.

 

Overall this challenge went incredibly smoothly. A lot easier than other habit changes/ fitness restarts I've done in the past. Going in I didn't feel like I was picking overly easy goals. Achievable goals, yes, but not easy. But they kinda turned out to be easy, and I'm really still not sure why. I think part of it may have be the more public nature of posting the goals, and updates, on the internet. But I'm still not sure exactly what made this go so smoothly, so I'm going to brainstorm on that a bit before picking my goals for the next challenge. 

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Congrats!!!!!  I do think that the public accountability .... and the structure that goes along with it ...... helps tremendously.  

Level 63 Human ... Oath of Ancients Paladin

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

STR: 14 | DEX: 14| CON: 17 | INT: 17 | WIS: 17 | CHA: 14

 

 

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