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Bookish Badger keeps digging....


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Ah, a shiny new challenge thread! And I'm not three weeks late this time. Here goes:

 

1. Each weekend, plan & shop for the week's meals.

 

Making an effort to do this last challenge showed me just how valuable this habit will be. There's less stress when I get home from work, since I not only know what to cook for dinner, I know I actually have the needed ingredients on hand. The time invested on the weekend more than pays for itself by not having to stop at the store on the way home every evening, and probably saves some money, too.

    

2. Each weekend, prep & pack up lunches for the week. 

 

I'm sold on this one, but as this habit follows the shopping habit (can't pack lunches if I haven't bought the goodies) I'll keep it going for another challenge.

 

I added two lists to my Paperless app, "Meals" and "Meal Prep," to make the above habits a little easier to manage.

 

3. Record all foods eaten, and once a week look up macros for all foods eaten that week.

 

I did less than wonderfully on this challenge last time. I started strong enough but ran out of steam later. First I would record everything as soon as I ate it. Then it was at the end of the day. Then I noticed a couple of days had gone by and couldn't quite remember what I had for dinner on Tuesday... Grrr! I am self disappoint.

 

But this is a new challenge and as Yoda, or maybe Mr. Miyagi once said, "failing isn't failure, only not learning from failing is failure" (and if they didn't say that, they should have). So what have I learned?

1. I can't let myself get lax because "I'll do it later" guarantees that I won't.

2. Don't delete anything from my Paperless meals list until I have absolutely recorded everything! That way I'll have a backup, just in case.

 

I've added on to the challenge by looking up macros for the foods. I'll get a spreadsheet going so that I'll have my own personal little database of the foods I typically eat. 

 

4. By July 7, hold a 60-second plank.

 

My core strength is sad. I can get into a good plank position, but I'm so weak that I can barely breathe while holding myself up. My arms and shoulders start shaking and I get scared that I'll fall on my face. (Granted, I don't have far to fall and I'm pretty well-padded, but still...) As if core strength weren't already critical for simple mobility, my squat and deadlift weights are creeping out of the basement and soon will be at levels where I can really mess up my back if I can't properly support myself. My mom has had a bad back as long as I can remember and that is one example I don't want to follow.

 

I can hold a plank for maybe 10 seconds right now. So if I can add just two seconds each day, by the end of the challenge I'll have a 60-second plank with a few seconds to spare. I figure I'll do 3 planks for the allotted time until I can hold them for 20 seconds each, then drop to 2 until I get to 45 seconds, then one longer one as I close in on my goal. 

 

That was a long preliminary post and if you're still reading, thank you for your patience and support!

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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Nice challenge. The meal planning is such a good idea. Fiancee and I have created a meal plan for June and we've already saved time and money and are eating much healthier and eating really yummy stuff.

I like that there's a definite aim for your challenge and it's nice and structured.

You got this Badger!

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Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.

                                                                                                                       -Miyamoto Musashi

Current Challenge: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/83906-kvedulfs-second-challenge-first-steps-on-a-new-way/

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Following! I need to steal your goals lol

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Woohoo!!! Badger is back, and she has got this month in the bag!!!

 

Will be following keenly!!! I feel you on the planks, have taken mine from 15-30sec on knees to 45sec on toes over the last month. :) You can totally do it. :) 

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giphy.gif

 

I FOUND YOU!

 

Following along on this challenge, naturally. 

 

My thoughts in no particular order:

  • Meal planning (and batch cooking) are fantastic ways to make eating healthy just as easy as eating poorly. I am a huge fan of relying on systems and processes (which I can successfully design) rather than monk-like iron will (which I do not possess) to eat healthily and meet other goals.
  • Core strength is my biggest weakness in climbing, I think. I think in my day-to-day life I use other muscles to compensate for my weak core, which means it never improves and probably messes up some ergonomics. Working on it is definitely on my to-do list. I might have to steal your plank challenge in future.
  • Whoever said that about failure was totally right. 
  • Curious question: where does your food tracking end up? I use an online tracker which has both a web interface and a smartphone app, so I can enter things directly into my tracker rather than needing a middle step. I'm assuming you decided to do it your way for a particular reason, so I'm not trying to meddle, but just wondering if (in line with my affection for system design mentioned above) there was some way you could make it easier on yourself
  • Macros are so hard to optimize   :(
  • I humbly suggest that your body may not build core strength on the schedule you have set, and you should consider it a victory if you ATTEMPT the planks every day as intended, no matter what your final plankability is at the end of the challenge. I hope you hit your 60-second goal, but if your muscles need more time, don't consider it a failure! Behaviour-based goals, in my mind, are always better than results-based goals for arenas in which we don't have full control over the outcome

 

 

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 5:51 AM, Severine said:

giphy.gif

 

I FOUND YOU!

 

That is one of the most adorable gifs I've seen in a while! :)

Thanks for the support everyone! I really appreciate it!

 

Severine, I'm tracking manually because I really haven't liked any of the apps that I've tried so far. To me, the hassle of dealing with setting one up and wrangling with it to accept my calorie/macro count (for example, MyFitnessPal thinks I should eat 1200 calories a day, despite the fact that I work out 5+ days a week and every BMR calculator I've tried has my TDEE at around 2000Kc ) isn't worth it. Then when it comes time to enter foods, I have to scroll through pages of brand names/restaurant items/fast food junk just to find the FOOD, e.g. "NY Steak, broiled." All while jabbing at a tiny smartphone "keyboard." I can google the content of foods faster than I can browse through those lists.

 

I figure if the built-in food databases are 90% useless for me since I don't eat much in the way of convenience foods, (and when I do the info I need is right on the label), I'll save myself the trauma and just use paper & a spreadsheet. 

 

I do welcome any tracker app recommendations; I don't object to the idea, it's just that the ones I've tried so far angry up my blood when I try to use them and I get frustrated & quit.

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Bookish Badger said:

 

That is one of the most adorable gifs I've seen in a while! :)

Thanks for the support everyone! I really appreciate it!

 

Severine, I'm tracking manually because I really haven't liked any of the apps that I've tried so far. To me, the hassle of dealing with setting one up and wrangling with it to accept my calorie/macro count (for example, MyFitnessPal thinks I should eat 1200 calories a day, despite the fact that I work out 5+ days a week and every BMR calculator I've tried has my TDEE at around 2000Kc ) isn't worth it. Then when it comes time to enter foods, I have to scroll through pages of brand names/restaurant items/fast food junk just to find the FOOD, e.g. "NY Steak, broiled." All while jabbing at a tiny smartphone "keyboard." I can google the content of foods faster than I can browse through those lists.

 

I figure if the built-in food databases are 90% useless for me since I don't eat much in the way of convenience foods, (and when I do the info I need is right on the label), I'll save myself the trauma and just use paper & a spreadsheet. 

 

I do welcome any tracker app recommendations; I don't object to the idea, it's just that the ones I've tried so far angry up my blood when I try to use them and I get frustrated & quit.

 

Ah, this must be why I can never get on with tracking apps! I spend most of my time entering new meals...

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There's definitely no perfect tracking app/website. I've used several (MyFitness Pal included) and yeah, the databases are all full of bad data. I don't like MFP for various other reasons, too - including their bullshit calorie recommendations. I really like the tracker I use now, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to other people necessarily (it costs money, for one thing) because it's so dependent on people's preferences.

 

I'm in the same boat as you in that 90% of the time I am looking for basic food items, and while it can be frustrating to have to sift through other stuff to find it, some things do help:

(1) all of those basic entries for the real food items come from one database put together by a government entity and as such they have a consistent format - once you get used to the way they label things, it becomes much easier to (a) recognize the ones you're seeking and (b) word your search in such a way that they're the first result

(2) the good trackers remember the foods you use most often, and prioritize them in search results. I only have to type a few letters to bring up foods I eat all the time: apples, oatmeal, chicken breast, etc.

 

Teaching the tracker what you eat, and entering in your common recipes, definitely takes a couple of weeks at least. But at least for me it was worth it - now that I have things set up, tracking my food takes almost no time, and I appreciate not having to do manual data entry. 

 

That being said, if paper and spreadsheets are working for you, don't fix what's not broken!! In some ways it's the thinking about food choices that tracking forces us to do, rather than the actual tracking, that matters.

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I think I need to start tracking my intakes as well and I think I'll be doing things your way Badger. Tracking sounds like a horrible pain in the arse either way but I can relate to it making more sense on paper.

How's the food prep going? And the planks?

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Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.

                                                                                                                       -Miyamoto Musashi

Current Challenge: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/83906-kvedulfs-second-challenge-first-steps-on-a-new-way/

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On ‎6‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 0:24 PM, lulawoo said:

Ah, this must be why I can never get on with tracking apps! I spend most of my time entering new meals...

 

On ‎6‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 6:59 PM, Severine said:

if paper and spreadsheets are working for you, don't fix what's not broken!!

 

On ‎6‎/‎14‎/‎2016 at 3:24 AM, Kvedulf said:

and I think I'll be doing things your way Badger.

 

First off, sorry for the delay. I posted an update yesterday evening but now there's no sign of it. Probably closed my browser without saving, but I'm going to blame it on the weasels. They're everywhere!

 

Well, after my anti-tracking-app rant (sorry about that, never post when grumpy!), I came across another one on Monday. So far it seems fairly easy to set up and use, and I can put in "weird" macro limits (like the Keto diet of 5% carbs, 25% protein, and 70% fat) without it having the virtual vapors. I've even been able to navigate the food database with a minimum of cursing.

 

WEEK 1 UPDATE:

 

1. Plan & shop for the week's meals: DONE

 

2. Prep & pack the week's lunches: DONE

I was over-ambitious with the meals I planned & ended up doing more food prep that I really had time for on Sunday. But I did it, dang it. I'll be more realistic next weekend.

 

3. Record all foods eaten: DOING IT.

I'm still using my notebook during the day, so I don't have to fiddle with the tracker app while I'm at work. But since I generally eat the same thing for breakfast & lunch M-F, and am planning dinners for the week, I'll be able to load most of my foods on Sundays. Then I'll just need to enter weekend meals, and adjust quantities and last minute additions/changes. Woo! Tracking without tracking!

 

4. Improve plank time: DOING IT.

I decided to work on my planks after I get home from work, instead of during my morning workout. My cat is certain this is a strange unfathomable human game but is happy to play anyway. :) I'm up to 14 seconds at a go and will attempt 3 x 16 seconds tonight (I use a stopwatch app to make sure I don't cheat by countingreallyfast.) The DOMS are waiting to pounce, I can feel it!

 

@Severine is right, I probably won't accomplish my ultimate goal of a 60-second plank by the end of the challenge, and I'm good with that. Whatever time I end up with will be an improvement over where I am now.

 

Once again, thanks for the support everyone!

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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You're crushing this challenge! Thanks to hard work and good organization, from what I can see.

 

And I feel bad - I didn't mean to say that you definitely wouldn't get to 60 seconds! I just wanted you to remember that if you work steadily on plank progression, that's a victory in itself, no matter what number you end up at.

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10 hours ago, lulawoo said:

Which tracking app did you find?

 

7 hours ago, Kiki Dee said:

Seconded!

 

It's FatSecret.  I can't guarantee that I won't delete it in a huff within another week or two, but for now we're getting along fine.

 

@Severine, please don't feel bad! I know you were being supportive and wanting to keep me focused on the process & not the numbers. I appreciate it!

 

And going for a 60-second plank given my current fitness is possibly delusional. (Yay for stretch goals!) :) The real target is improvement; the number just gives me a bullseye.

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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Weekly Update:

 

1. Meal planning & shopping: DONE

2. Lunch prep & packing: (almost) DONE. Final packing steps are waiting for a baking sheet of asparagus & zucchini to cool as I type this.

3. Record foods eaten: DOING IT. And I still like the tracking app. :)

4. Planks: 70% Doing it. Something angered a couple of muscles in my back, no idea what (I think its the rhomboids, right between my lower shoulder blades and spine) so I took a couple days off just in case the planks were aggravating it. When I did them (carefully) yesterday, they seemed not to affect my back so I'm back to doing them. Today I go for 20 seconds at a shot!

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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Awesome job Badger! Don't worry too much about the planks if you're back's hurting. Don't aggravate it any more.

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Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.

                                                                                                                       -Miyamoto Musashi

Current Challenge: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/83906-kvedulfs-second-challenge-first-steps-on-a-new-way/

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Midweek update:

I continue to struggle with food logging; I'll forget and then end up logging a day or two at once. Not the worst thing ever, but I'd like to get to the point where it's automatic.

 

16 hours ago, Severine said:

Is your back feeling better? Hope everything is going well!

 

Thanks for asking! My back is still bugging me for some unknown reason, but it seems to be slowly improving and isn't interfering with my movements, so I've mostly been leaving it alone except for a little extra stretching and a dose or two of advil during the day. It seems to really like lying down so at least it isn't keeping me awake at night. :) 

 

Yesterday, I did two 24-second planks! Shooting for 26 seconds tonight.

 

Silly Badger moment: Yesterday it was only after I'd gotten to work (after my hour-long commute, trip to gym, & shower) that I realized I had grabbed my lunch tote but not put anything in it. *le sigh* So I told myself it was an experiment in involuntary intermittent fasting. (Yeah, I could have gone out to get something to eat but there aren't many very good choices nearby so I decided to just skip the bother.)

 

Thanks for the support, everyone!

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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Hey! I suffer from terrible core strength right now and I got a bit of advice from a professional about how to go about strengthening up my core.

 

Surprisingly, she told me NOT to do planks. Not because they're not good, because they are, but because when your core is very weak you can't perform a plank correctly leading to you using the wrong muscles and learning bad habits. 

 

I can't think of the excercises that she wanted me to do instead, other than modified planks (from your knees), as I'm not allowed to do them at all now, but I can probably look them out if you're interested? They're all very Pilates based, I remember that much. 

 

Anyway, good luck with the rest of the challenge! :)

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Make Life Rue The Day                             Turning back the clock                                                Recipe book  14

 

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