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[Darth Yoga] Weasel Levels up


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I like the pattern of having one goal each for FOOD, EXERCISE, HEALTH, and LIFE, so I'm going to stick with that. 
Scoring is the same as before. Each day is scored as full or half credit. Some goals are scored differently than last time, but B is still a passing score. Epic Quest points are 20 each for at least a B average in a category, 10 for a C, 5 for a D. 

 

 

FOOD: Watch the carbs
 
I've been trying out different ways to level up my diet, and mostly I've been more mindful this past week of all my free-range carb grazing. So I've been trying to stick to the Precision Nutrition carb portion size (~1c at a large meal) and stay away from carby snacks, and that has been going well. I had been trying to eat more "clean" but... I don't think I'm going to go there right now. Portion control is fairly easy for me, emotionally. Declaring some foods as "bad" foods is an emotional minefield for me. But I can easily acknowledge that really carb-dense stuff is super easy to over-eat, and needs stricter moderation, without forbidding them entirely. Details are in the following post.
 
EXPECTATIONS: Confident. I've been testing this out over the past week, and I am pretty darn sure I can stick with it MOST of the time. It remains to be seen what "most" turns out to mean in actual numbers.
 
SCORING: Full credit for no more than two extra "handful"-sized carb servings (1/4c, 20-30g) EACH DAY. Half credit for up two extra carb servings PER MEAL, or all good choices except one carb-tastic "treat". Standard weekly scoring: A=6/7, B=5/7, C=4/7, D=3/7.
 

 

EXERCISE: Daily workout

 
Last month, I kept things open ended for my exercise plan, and just dithered around. This month, I've got a much more concrete plan. In addition to Pavel's Simple & Sinister kettlebell workout, I've laid out four different workouts - one I can do in my room, one I can do in the woods, one I can do in our back field, and one I can do pretty much anywhere. Because I like structure, all four follow the same pattern of three rounds of three mobility drills then a circuit of four other exercises. To keep this activities focused on my goals, the four exercises are always one to improve my agility, one to improve my climbing, one to improve overall strength, and one to improve overall endurance. Many of these are MovNat drills, but I have also included kettlebell drills, yoga, and general fitness activities. Details are in a later post. 
 
EXPECTATIONS: I'm nervous about this one. I enjoy the workouts, but I've been really floppy lately. "Daily" sets the bar kind of high, but if it isn't daily (or near daily) it is hard for me to establish a habit. So I scaled it so I can get a passing score with consistent half-credit days and occasional full-credit days. I contemplated setting the bar even lower, but last challenge, I learned that getting a B for really lackluster performance isn't especially satisfying. 
 
SCORING: Full credit for doing a full set of mobility drills and at least three rounds of a circuit. Half credit for at least doing a full set of mobility drills and TRYING each of the exercises in a circuit. Half credit for 15 minutes of some kind of strenuous voluntary fitness activity. MODIFIED weekly scoring: A=5/7, B=4/7, C=3/7, D=2/7.
 
 
HEALTH: Sleep

What do I need most to level up my health? A good night's sleep, consistently. My sleep schedule is erratic, and I am continually fatigued during the day. I've tried all manner of things, but for this challenge it'll be really basic - don't stay up past midnight without a REALLY good reason, and be in bed 100% focused on falling asleep within half an hour of going to bed by 2am. (Not ruminating over plans, doing stuff on my phone, or whatever.)

 

EXPECTATIONS: This is the type of goal is is super easy for me to blow off, in part because getting 8 solid hours of sleep is no guarantee I won't still be exhausted the next day. But it is the thing I think will make the biggest difference to my overall health, so I'm giving it a try.
 

SCORING: Full credit for both of these things, half credit for one. Revised sleep goal:

FULL CREDIT: By MIDNIGHT, be steadily moving towards the bed. After midnight, no egregious dicking around, no starting inessential task, no recreational computer time. Finish up what needs to be done and get to bed as soon as practical. Feel free to: review plans for tomorrow, take a shower, get a snack, put away dishes, efficiently do NECESSARY tasks. If I really want to, I can cumulatively spend half an hour doing any "wind down" activities: tidying the room, doing yoga, reading, games on phone, socializing, walking the dog, etc. 

 

HALF CREDIT: By 2AM, be in bed, lights out, phone off, and legitimately trying to fall asleep. Not laying in bed ruminating over the day, or planning projects, or whatever. Not prepping for bed, taking a shower or getting a drink or whatever. Actually sleeping or trying to sleep.

 

I've been tracking my sleep time fairly consistently for more than a year now, so NO CREDIT for days I don't track. Today's sleep score is based on this evening, not last night.  MODIFIED weekly scoring: A=5/7, B=4/7, C=3/7, D=2/7.

 

 

LIFE: Weekly Task Review

My partner and I both run small businesses, plus a variety of other projects, so we've got a lot to keep track of. We've been solid on doing daily check in where we review the tasks for the day, so to LEVEL UP, the next step is having a weekly check-in where we take a look at our list of longer-term projects and decide what is next. A while back we started making longer-term project lists (on trello.com) but mostly we just dump tasks there. We almost never look at it during the daily checkins. Part of what makes the daily checkins work is that they are quick - like two minutes, maybe five. We don't want to turn each one into a long unhappy discussion about what projects are falling behind. But we do occasionally need to look at the bigger picture. So we're going to try sitting down for maybe twenty minutes on Wednesday evenings to go over the big lists. 
 
EXPECTATIONS: I'm pretty optimistic about this. At the very least it'll be pretty clear by the end of the month whether we need to take an entirely different approach. I'm confident that within a few months we'll be able to work out some kind of system that works for us.
 
SCORING: Since this is weekly, full credit for the week is one thorough weekly review some time between Saturday and Wednesday. Half credit for a less thorough review. Scoring for the month is: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1.
 
Assassin's Mini: ???
Details to be determined once we know what it is.
 
EXPECTATIONS: ??? 
 
SCORING: Weekly scoring is flexible, based on the nature of the challenge, but track participation daily. Full credit for enthusiastic participation. Half credit for adequate participation.
 
 
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES:
1. Weasel Gets Things Done Nov-Dec 2015
Eat more protein, veggies, and whole grains (B+). Sleep Routine (A). "Primal Fitness Blueprint" (A++). Laundry! (A++). Order of the Stick (Success!)
2. Return of the Weasel : Consistency! Jan 2016
Handstands (A), Kettlebells - Pavel's "Simple & Sinister" (A-), Daily Routine (A), Ukulele! (C ) Assassins Mini - Portal Experiments
3. Weasel Takes this Show on the Road! Feb 2016
Continue Simple & Sinister kettlebell routine. (D. Injury.) Track sleep schedule (A). Make a diet plan (A). Write on spirituality blog. (F) Assassins Mini - Jedi v Sith part 1

4. Sith-Weasel's Road Trip Continues Mach 2016

Daily fitness activity (D) Responsible Adult Meals (A++), Hydration (C ), Tasks & Check-in (D). (Travel is hard on routines!) Assassins Mini - Jedi v Sith part 2

5. Weasel Keeps it Simple & Something April 2015

Kettlebelling (F) Healthy Meals (B-) Help partner (C) Task List (B-) Assassins Mini - Final Fantasy

6. Eat When Hungry, etc. May 2016

Eat when hungry. (A) Sleep when tired. (C-) Move every morning. (C) Work when Work needs Doing. (A+) Assassins Mini - Heros & Villans (C+)

7. Back on the Road June 2016

FOOD: 2 meat+veg meals (B+) EXERCISE: 10m daily activity (C) HEALTH: 10m other stuff (B) LIFE: Work BEFORE internet (B) Assassins Firefly (B)
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FOOD: Watch the carbs
  • Maintain current habit: Precision Nutrition guidelines for men of two "palm sized portions" of meat and two "fist sized portions" of vegetables per meal.
  • LEVEL UP: Restrict carbs to PN standard guideline for men - two "cupped handful" of carb-dense food per meal. (Don't count moderately carby veggies like carrots, beets, green peas, or squash, but potatoes and sweet corn count as carbs not veggies.) Carby proteins (milk & beans) count towards carb servings as well as protein.
  • Servings of fatty foods aren't currently restricted, but for reference, the PN guideline is two "thumb sized portions" of fat-dense foods (like oil, nuts or cheese) with each meal.
  • All meals should fit these guidelines. 2-3 two-portion meals each day, or AT LEAST 3 one-portion meals.
  • FULL CREDIT: All meals have sufficient meat & veg, and no more than TWO extra "cupped handful" portions of carbs each day, at meals or as snacks.
  • HALF CREDIT: One meal doesn't meet guidelines, but otherwise all good choices that day. OR up to TWO extra "cupped handful" portions of carbs PER FULL MEAL that day. (They don't have to be eaten with the meal.)
 
TRACKING: I'm separately tracking the number of meat-and-veg meals, and the number of carb portions. If I am not especially hungry at a meal, I'll eat just one or two portions each of meat and veg, then maybe have a carby snack later. 
 

Portion Size Equivalencies:

These are entirely my own. Precision Nutrition standard diet guidelines are for people who do not want to read labels or remember equivalencies, so for instance they treat beans and meat as interchangeable protein sources, and don't ask you to count the fat in meats or the carbs in dairy, etc. That bothered me, so I like to be more specific.

 

VEGGIES: a "fist sized portion" is about 1 cup of veggies, or about 1/4lb raw. Cooked greens are around half that, raw greens twice that. 

PROTEIN: a "palm-sized portions" is roughly 1/4lb cooked boneless meat, one chicken thigh, half a large chicken breast, 2-3 eggs, a large sausage, 1/2 can tuna, 1/2c ground/chopped meat. 1c milk or yogurt or beans can count as 1 portion of protein and 1 portion of carbs. 

CARBS: a "cupped handful" is about 1/2 cup of cooked grains, pasta, cut potatoes or fruit. That is roughly equivalent to 1/2c juice, 1/4c or 2oz of dried fruit, a slice of bread or small roll (imagine how big if crushed), 1-2Tb of concentrated sweeteners like honey or jam. 
FATS: a "thumb sized" portion of butter or oil is about 1 tablespoon. That is roughly equivalent to 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1/4c or 1oz of nuts or cheese.
 
Their standard guideline is 3-4 meals per day, men having two portions each of veggies, protein, carbs, and fat, and women having one portion each, which they say is around 2,300-3000kcals for men, and 1200-1500kcals for women. But they make it clear that you should adjust up or down depending on your appetite, training, goals, etc. and recommend more fat less carbs for cutting weight and more carbs less fat for gaining mass or endurance athletes. 
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EXERCISE: Daily Workouts
 
These are intended to be a decent challenge, but not so strenuous that it impairs my physical performance afterwards. The structure is loosely based on the MovNat daily workouts, which have on average 3 rounds of 3 mobility drills, then a few rounds of focused work on one specific skill, then 3-5 rounds of a circuit of 3-5 moderately challenging drills done briskly without breaks. (They really emphasize high quality of movement, so it isn't balls-to-the-wall full exertion.) For now I'm leaving off the focused skill bit, and just getting the hang of doing circuits of some relatively easy movement drills.
 
Last month has been so full of dithering and excuses related to not having space or equipment, I wanted to lay out some very specific, straightforward workouts, one or two each for the various places I tend to work out. I also wanted to keep a good balance of activities, so in each group of four conditioning exercises, I have one focused on climbing skills (pulling strength, shoulder stability, core stability), one focused on agility (balance, jumping, groundwork, mobility), one focused on strength (lifting, pushing), and one focused on endurance (running, crawling, carrying, high-rep lifts, cardio).
 
Pavel's Simple & Sinister workout
Can be done in my room, with the floor cleared, and my kettlebells. (Or anywhere I have kettlebells and enough floor space for a get-up)
Mobility: 3 rounds
  • Kettlebell Halos (20lb) x5
  • Glute bridge x5
  • Prying Squat x5
 
KB Swings - 5 sets of 10. 35lb. All two-handed. rest 1-2 minutes. 
KB getups - First 20lbs with each side, then 35lbs, then 20lb again.
 
If I decide I "can't do swings" - substitute sprint drills. (I hate those.) Five 30sec sprints with 1-2 minutes walking between.
 
Woods Workout
I have a long bar and a vaulting obstacle lashed up in the woods, near a natural balance beam and two suitable logs for lifting and carrying
Mobility: 3 rounds of
  • beam sit to stand (use pole for balance is needed) x2 sitting across and x2 straddling
  • beam walk & pivot turn x2 (from center to each end and back to center)
  • dead hang on high bar - 10sec, scap pulls x5
 
Combo: 3 rounds of
  • side swing on bar x4 (tap or traverse when ready) {climb}
  • tripod vault x4 each side {agility}
  • deadlift & push press - heavy log x4 {strength}
  • shoulder carry - medium weight log 20ft reverse, and back {endurance} 
 
Field Workout
Back field near picnic table and suitable tree for vertical traverse and moderately heavy thing to waist carry. Possibly something I could do elsewhere.
Mobility: 3 rounds
  • high step up lunge (picnic table) x8 (=x4 each)
  • hand/knee crawl 8 steps, hand/foot crawl back
  • deep knee bend to shallow depth jump (off bench) x4
 
Combo: 3 rounds of
  • vertical pole climb - hold 5 sec, both sides. {climbing}
  • depth jump (picnic table) x4 {agility}
  • jog (across field and back) {endurance}
  • lap and waist carry a moderately heavy chunk of wood, 40ft {strength}
 
MoveNat in my Room 
In room, with long bar and clear floor, all three kbs & beam
Mobility: 3 rounds
  • KB Halos x5 each
  • ido deep squat, twist & reach x8 alt
  • split hang 5 sec each side (tuck knees)
 
Combo: 3 rounds of
  • transverse hang (both sides, shins over bar, jump if needed) {climb}
  • Figure-4 getup (lazy pistol - half bent sit to split stand) x4 alt {endurance}
  • walking split squat on beam x4 and pivot in split squat, repeat. {agility}
  • deadlift 35lb & 50lb kbs together, x4 alternate sides {strength}
 
Hotel Bodyweight Workout
Just need some space on the ground, no equipment
Mobility: 3 rounds
  • Sun Salute Slow (w/ lunge) both sides
  • glute bridge x4, hold 3s
  • ido deep squat press x8 alternating
 
Combo: 3 rounds of
  • pushups x4 {strength}
  • mt climbers 20 total {endurance}
  • hollow body hold max time x4 (alt with arch ups for same time) {climbing}
  • bent sit flip over to hand-foot crawl x8 alt {agility}
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LIFE: Weekly Review

The daily checkins are working great. So helpful. I could be more productive in actually getting things done on the list, but at least I'm not entirely forgetting those tasks even exist. However, we keep a master list of longer-term tasks and projects on Trello.com and those get ignored indefinitely. This has got to stop. If something is genuinely time sensitive, I set myself an email reminder. I'll probably keep doing this, but I want to be able to put things on the master task list and feel confident I am not going to ignore them.

 

Checkins are by default on Wednesday because our "workweek" is typically Thursday to Monday. We prep for a weekend event, do the event, and then recover from the event. So if we aren't doing an event one weekend, I suppose we might do a weekly check-in that Sunday or Monday to get a head start on the next weekend, but certainly by Wednesday we've got to be solid about what we are doing the coming weekend. So we'll reserve time on Wednesdays, and if we do it a little early, fine.

 

A full weekly review involves:
 

  •  prior to weekly checkin, review the daily task lists for the previous week and any email reminders, and flag unfinished (and still relevant) tasks for review
  • go over anything important/urgent that happened (or didn't happen) today, as a partial daily review. 
  • look all appointments for the coming week, and note any relevant tasks on this week's list
  • check for any big events for the coming month, and note any relevant tasks.on this week's list or set an email reminder for them
  • Make a decision on EACH item on the current projects list - either put it on this week's list, set a reminder for it, decide what needs to happen before we act on it, postpone till next week, or dump it back to the master list
  • Review the tasks assigned for the week - make notes as needed on priorities, best days to do them, errands to group, etc.
  • If the week is not already full, look at the master task list and pick one or more projects to bump to the current list and/or add it to this week's list.
  • Then finish the normal daily review, making a plan and a list for tomorrow.
  
Since this is weekly, full credit for the week is one thorough weekly review (using this checklist) some time between Saturday and Wednesday. Half credit for a less thorough review. Scoring: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1.
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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Testing the workouts!

 

Modification #1 - Who am I kidding with "3-5 rounds"? I'm never going to look at "3-5 rounds" and say, "Oh sure, let's do five." Lets be straight and just say three.

 

Pavel's Simple & Sinister - Did this last night. I'm pretty familiar with it, but I was reminded why I need to scale up slowly on the swings - the traction is hard on my wrists. The full workout has 10 sets of ten one handed swings, and my wrists were not thrilled with 5 sets two handed. I'll see how they do moving forward, but I'm not switching to one handed any time soon. The getups are awkward upstairs due to low and mostly slanty ceilings, but I just need to start in exactly the right position. I've switched it to 6 getups total, because I'm really shaky on 35lb.

 

Field Workout - My cardio conditioning is just crap. I scaled back the "mobility drill" portion to keep it focused on practicing good form and full range of motion, instead of focused on gasping and wheezing. The main circuit still involved a fair bit of gasping and wheezing, but it was doable. I found an appropriate tree to practice the vertical climb. I'm a little nervous that the old picnic table won't withstand too much climbing and jumping, but we'll see. (I'd rather it break from me jumping off it than from some 300lb camper sitting down on it.) I found a heavy chunk of log to waist-carry, which is awkward but after already discarding three other potential items I wanted to just get on with it. (Too heavy, too awkward, FULL OF ANTS, etc. :P )  I'd wanted to practice the gable grip the showed in the MovNat video for the waist carry, but the log was pretty big around and the bottom edge gave a much more secure grip. I'll take a quick look for something else next time I do this workout, but the log will do.

 

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Wow, I have been so exhausted the past two days. We've had a houseguest staying in my room, so I've been trying out various alternative places to sleep. Between that and the heat and asthma, I've been getting really crappy sleep.

 

I did not do any kind of workout yesterday. Okay, that isn't true. For the Assassin mini, I did a set of one arm pushups against my car while waiting for it to be towed. (I knew it was about to die, but I figured it'd make it down to the lake so we could go swimming. Nope.) But I was dragging just trying to make it up a flight of stairs. The sort of day where I kneel down to get something off the floor, and just slump down, like, "Hey, how about a nap right here on this super comfy patchy of dirty hardwood floor?"

 

Today I got better sleep, but still feeling really floppy. I've also been carb binging. *sigh* The funny thing is that my diet has changed so much that my "bad" choices are still pretty good. For lunch I blended up some frozen banana with some frozen ginger beer I'd been saving for that purpose. I ate a cup or two of it, and put three cups back in the freezer for later. Breakfast was quinoa and fresh peas covered in cheese, with a little bit of smoked rabbit. (One of the rabbits from our farm.)

 

Eating loads of veggies is definitely habit. I really like veggies, and we've got lots of wonderful fresh veg right now. Eating loads of protein, eh... I mean I do enjoy meat, but I wouldn't miss it 80% of the time. My "on plan" meals are four parts veg, two parts meat, one to two parts grains. My "comfort food" meals are four parts grain, one to two parts veg, and one part (or less) meat. But I've put on a fair bit of muscle on the higher protein diet, just engaging in my normal activities, so I'll stick with it for now. Especially since it does seem like the carb-heavy diet is self-reinforcing. I'm not on board with the "grains are bad" thing, but it does seem like a few heavily carb-based meals in a row (no matter what kind) and I really want more carbs.

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Okay, Week 1 officially started, with a healthy breakfast of eggs from our chickens and greens from our garden. Two pieces of toast, so this counts as a meal plus a snack. That is the good news.

 

I've got a little dilemma with the exercise plan though. I don't know that vigorous circuit training is good for me. Twice now when I've tried circuit training - the sort of thing where you are at a moderate (and occasionally high) level of intensity for 30-45 minutes, I've been so miserably trashed for the next two days. Not sore, but debilitatingly fatigued, not refreshed by ample sleep, and unable to focus. So I'm not jumping to any conclusions yet - more research is in order - but I'm curious about what is going on there. It definitely doesn't happen with normal strength training (8-12 rep sets with rests in between) or when doing a series of 30-second sprint-type bursts of exertion or when doing long periods of lower intensity activity. It doesn't happen with manual labor type stuff where there is prolonged moderate activity but I can take frequent short rests and occasional longer ones. (Like haul a heavy thing up three flights of stairs, have a drink of water, then walk down the stairs and repeat all damn afternoon.) And I've not noticed it after vigorous yoga classes, but I don't do anything too vigorous. They are generally a minute or so of moderate intensity interspersed with lower intensity stuff, and all done with an emphasis on slow, calm breathing.

 

I was looking at some stuff on the biochemistry of various physical and emotional states, and I'm wondering if it is a cortisol thing. I clipped the articles with my phone, but they didn't actually save, but there was a thing about cortisol and overtraining and low calorie diets. Now I would not say I am "overtraining" by any stretch, and I am not on an especially low calorie diet, but this most recent time it was a fairly long vigorous workout, in a fasted state, having slept very poorly, and not in a great place emotionally. It also involved a few activities that were a little scary for me. All of those are going to raise cortisol. I don't recall what exactly was going on with all those factors on the previous occasion, but I'm pretty sure I was not eating enough and I doubt I would have picked a deliberately loathsome workout if I was feeling good about myself. 

 

It is tricky because "extreme fatigue for no apparent reason" is a pretty classic depression symptom, and that comes and goes seemingly at random anyway, but it definitely sticks in my mind that the only two times I've done serious circuit training, they were both followed by two days of crushing depression. 

 

I'll definitely give it a few more tries, FOR SCIENCE, but I might switch the workouts to a more conventional set+rest formula, or lighten them up A LOT.

Ideal experiment is when I am well-slept, not having a massive allergic reaction to anything, and generally feeling pretty good , try the same workout and a lighter workout, both in a fasted state in the morning (with a good breakfast immediately following) and also later an hour or so after a meal (with a good snack following). All on different days, obviously. But right now (three days later) I still feel kind of crappy. I'll definitely do at least a light workout today though.

 

The workout didn't actually feel all that intense, but it was super long (for me) - about half an hour of continuous movement. I'm not 100% sold on the idea of working out in a fasted state, but man it is so convenient. I can sustain focus to do ONE THING in the morning. If that one thing is a workout, I'm super hungry afterwards and I will definitely make breakfast ASAP. The reverse is not true. When I've tried making a good breakfast first thing, I have tended to eat something heavy then want to wait a bit before working out, and by then I get involved in the tasks of the day and the workout gets postposed to the evening or never. I've tried having a quick, light, pre-workout snack - generally fruit and nuts - but it seems like a little snack (generally fruit and nuts) just primes the pump and then I am super hungry through the workout. But I'm sure I can find some appropriate balance there. Maybe a whey protein shake or something.

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Okay, so here is modified plan which reduces reps and makes the mobility drills much more of a direct warm-up for the circuit. Can't try it today, because there are classes going on in the field, and I can't do the bar workout in my room because people are staying there for another day. I want to try going out into the woods to see how tough that workout is, but if the bugs are super fierce, I'll come back and do the hotel workout. (I could do the kettlebells, but that one has already been thoroughly tested.)
 
Original Field Workout
Back field near picnic table and suitable tree for vertical traverse and moderately heavy thing to waist carry. Possibly something I could do elsewhere.
Mobility: 3 rounds
  • high lunge (picnic table) x8 (=x4 each)
  • hand/knee crawl 8 steps, hand/foot crawl back
  • deep knee bend to shallow depth jump (off bench) x4
Combo: 3 rounds of
  • vertical pole climb - hold 5 sec, both sides. {climbing}
  • depth jump (picnic table) x4 {agility}
  • jog (across field and back) {endurance}
  • lap and waist carry a moderately heavy chunk of wood, 40ft {strength}

 

Revised Field Workout
Back field near picnic table and suitable tree for vertical traverse and moderately heavy thing to waist carry. Possibly something I could do elsewhere.
Mobility: 3 rounds
  • high lunge (picnic table) x2 each side
  • hand/knee crawl 4 steps, hand/foot crawl 4 steps
  • deep knee bend to shallow depth jump (off a bench) x1
Combo: 3 rounds of
  • high step-up (picnic table) x2 each side {strength}
  • vertical pole climb - hold 5 sec, both sides. {climbing}
  • deep knee bend to depth jump (picnic table) x1 {agility}
  • hand-foot crawl, quick (8 steps and return) {endurance}
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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Okay, spend the day trying to install one of those stair lift chairs so various family members can more easily get to the second floor. It isn't the sort of thing we'd be able to afford - new it cost more than any car I've owned - but it was donated to a hospice program where I volunteer, and no-one there needed it, so they gave it to me.
 
My buddy have been really eager to install this thing, and as of this week, the new stairwell was finally ready! Yay! We had no idea how to do this, but we're both pretty handy and "How hard can it be?!" is our motto. We even tried to find an installation manual online, but apparently these are TOP SECRET, because they should only ever be installed by their own "highly trained technicians". Screw that. With some difficulty, we managed to mount the rail and get the chair on it, but it looks like the batteries are dead. We'll sort it out tomorrow, and maybe order new ones.
 
Installing the chair being pretty exhausting - those chairs weigh a ton and the rails aren't light either - BUT I still did a workout this evening. At about ten I had a light dinner, and realized I hadn't eaten since breakfast, but I wasn't hungry for a full meal. I was going to just call it a night, but my phone was trapped in a room where people were having a class so I couldn't go to bed until I'd retrieved it. So instead of just hanging around, I thought I'd do that "hotel workout" I still haven't tested. Because starting the challenge with a skipped workout is just a bad idea, right?
 
AND MY CLEVER PLAN WORKED!! I'd set up multiple different workouts so if I was thinking "Oh, I can't do X, because Y" there would always be at least ONE workout I could do. I'd figured this "hotel workout" as the fallback, but the paper with it written out was trapped in the same room as my phone. And I was seriously thinking, "Oh well, fuck it. I guess I can't work out." and then I remembered MY PLAN. And I thought, "I have my kettlebells. I know the kettlebell routine by heart. I'LL DO KETTLEBELLS!" So I did. And after that I was hungry enough to eat the remainder of my dinner and get full credit for my food choices today.
 
So I am feeling pretty awesome.
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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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I can't imagine installing the chair lift myself. That is a pretty fantastic feat! 

 

Way to work through your first workout hurdle. :) 

Fitocracy  GoodReads  MyFitnessPal

Spoiler

Previous Challenges: 2020: 1.20  - 2019: 1.19 l 2.19

2018: 1.18 l  2.18 l 3.18 l 4.18 l 5.18 l 6.18 l 7.18

2017: 1.17 I 2.17 I 3.17 I 4.17 I 5.17 l 6.17 l 7.17 l 8.17 I 9.17 l 10.17  

2016: 1.16 l 2.16 l DA v.1 l DA v.2 I DA v.2 Reloaded I DA v.3 I DA v.4 I 8.16 I 9.16 I DA v.5 I 11.16 

2012: 1 2013: 2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l 6 l 7 l 8 2014: 9 l 10 l Not Done Yet l Time to Conquer l  Conquering 

HFC for Life!

 

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9 hours ago, Cataleya said:

I also use StayFocusd! I love it, though since I study social media (sort of), it can be frustrating to tell the difference between looking for research ideas and procrastinating. :)

 

I have that trouble with Amazon & ebay. I can't just block them, because I need to do shopping and price comparisons for work. But then I start looking at other things. Currently I've got facebook/etc blocked entirely using the "Block Site" chrome app, and a cumulative 60 minute limit on various sites using StayFocusd. For now Amazon & ebay are staying on the 60-minute list, because I'm inclined to dally about price comparisons whether it is work or recreation. I've got it set so it is fairly easy to turn off, but I've been pretty good about not turning it off when I really shouldn't.

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Okay, I've got to rethink these sleep goals. It just isn't happening. Today I was copying my sleep logs from my phone to the spreadsheet I've been tracking sleep on for over two years, and I looked to see how often in the past month have I gone to bed before midnight? ONCE. And only five days where I went to bed before 1. Looking over the older logs, there is generally a week out of each month where I'm getting to bed at 11 or 12, and almost always because I've got appointments in the morning. So lets be a little more realistic here.

 

Revised sleep goal:

FULL CREDIT: By MIDNIGHT, be steadily moving towards the bed. After midnight, no egregious dicking around, no starting inessential task, no recreational computer time. Finish up what needs to be done and get to bed as soon as practical. Feel free to: review plans for tomorrow, take a shower, get a snack, put away dishes, efficiently do NECESSARY tasks. If I really want to, I can cumulatively spend half an hour doing any "wind down" activities: tidying the room, doing yoga, reading, games on phone, socializing, walking the dog, etc. 

 

HALF CREDIT: By 2AM, be in bed, lights out, phone off, and legitimately trying to fall asleep. Not laying in bed ruminating over the day, or planning projects, or whatever. Not prepping for bed, taking a shower or getting a drink or whatever. Actually trying to sleep.

 

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Food update: Three days of low carb diet and I can't poop. :( But it has been lower carb than intended. I think my initial assessment that I'd been "mostly" sticking with this for a week was way off, because this feels SUPER restrictive. And as usual with a restrictive diet, my appetite is gone. I'm pushing myself to eat four small meals a day, and often skipping the carbs entirely just in order to get the meat and veg in. Thus, no pooping. Bah. I'm going to have some toast and some of the cooked apples leftover from this weekend's potluck. And get ready for bed, because it is midnight.

 

Okay, if I am going to ration carbs, I need to start with a larger ration, because this is going to the bad place. I'll update the challenge post tomorrow.

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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I went to revise my food challenge goals to two servings of carbs per meal, and realized that was what I'd wrote in my original plan for this month. Well, okay then. I don't know why I'd made it more restrictive. So I'm going with the PN guideline of 2 portions each of veggies, meat, and carbs, but not specifically restricting fat at this time. (Fat is generally no fun without carbs anyway, and I'm not generally inclined to binge on cheese and nuts. A serving or two and I'm done.) PN guideline is 3-4 two-serving meals for men, but I'm eating one-serving meals when I am not especially hungry. (I'm not a big guy.) I've given myself wiggle room of two extra "handful sized" carb portions a day for full credit. This is pretty reasonable.

 

It is really common in my household for a "meal" to be just a chunk of meat, so I've been diligent about always adding veggies to that. I'll occasionally have a snack of milk/yogurt or a hardboiled egg, but I've been really consistent that meat automatically gets eaten with twice as much veggies as meat. I'm good with that.

 

Skipping carbs at meals and having them as snacks is almost certain to mean more bread, crackers, and breakfast cereal, less cooked whole grains and legumes. But I've decided to go with more of a "if it fits your macros" model, instead of a "clean eating" model. I'm really fond of fresh fruit though, so I'll be eating a fair amount of that. Worst case scenario - the refined grains aren't as filling, so I'll be inclined to eat more. That is fine for the moment, because I'm eating too little. I'm also trying to always include some fat or protein with my carbs, to make the small servings more filling. So dried fruit with nuts, crackers with cheese, bread with peanut butter, fruit with whole-milk yogurt. When my appetite picks up, I'll try to focus on eating more at meals, making it consistently two-portion meals, and eating my carbs as barley, quinoa, beans, etc. at the meals, instead of as crackers and toast between meals. I think that is a reasonable plan.

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Okay, actually had a good workout this morning. Yay! MovNat climbing and balancing.

 

I spent some time looking at the Darebee website. I really want to like it, but the workouts... eh... I don't know. Likely it is just because I am cranky, and pretty much everything seems boring, annoying, and generally no fun. 

 

I've really been struggling with motivation. Not just day-to-day, but big picture motivation, like "Why the hell bother to do anything?" The depression had been really well under control for a few years, but lately I'm just in and out if the Black Pit. It has been seriously debilitating the past few days. (Yes, I have people to talk to. Yes, I am getting help.)

 

So my goals today are:

- eat three healthy meals

- do four hours of work on electric, trim, and painting on the house.

- do an hour of prep out in the woods for the campout we are hosting this weekend

- move my stuff back into my room, from where I dumped it while I was sleeping in the hallway for a week.

- (I already did a workout.)

- do the weekly review I couldn't do last night because Raven wasn't available.

 

I think I can handle this.

 

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Sounds like you have a productive day planned out! 

 

Motivation is such a pain in the butt sometimes and since I don't know much about depression, I'm not sure how these suggestions would work for you. One thing that occasionally helps me is to have a "Crap my motivation ran away" plan to help remind myself why I'm doing this. It can be anything that makes YOU feel motivated. Maybe a box of items that inspire you or make you feel nostalgic of a time when you were active and motivation was high, or it could be a pinterest board or collection of photos of exercise moves you can't do right now but wanted to work up to that you forgot about, or rethink your WHY and see if your whys have changed, or have a youtube playlist you created of inspiring videos. 

  • Like 1

Fitocracy  GoodReads  MyFitnessPal

Spoiler

Previous Challenges: 2020: 1.20  - 2019: 1.19 l 2.19

2018: 1.18 l  2.18 l 3.18 l 4.18 l 5.18 l 6.18 l 7.18

2017: 1.17 I 2.17 I 3.17 I 4.17 I 5.17 l 6.17 l 7.17 l 8.17 I 9.17 l 10.17  

2016: 1.16 l 2.16 l DA v.1 l DA v.2 I DA v.2 Reloaded I DA v.3 I DA v.4 I 8.16 I 9.16 I DA v.5 I 11.16 

2012: 1 2013: 2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l 6 l 7 l 8 2014: 9 l 10 l Not Done Yet l Time to Conquer l  Conquering 

HFC for Life!

 

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So far, so good. I did four hours of work so far, plus cooked 20 servings of chicken so I won't have to do as much cooking. Boneless breasts and thighs, chopped up and baked half with tomato sauce and half with a pre-made lemon-garlic sauce that was abandoned in the pantry. For veggies we've got a ton of greens - not salad, but chard, cabbage, etc. - some beets, a pile of cucumbers, and some sad carrots. Plus I've got some more summer squash that I cooked yesterday. 

 

Breakfast was not good - a few handfuls of almonds and two pieces of sugar free pumpkin pie I found in the back of the freezer when I cleaned it yesterday. But I ate a good lunch and I'll eat a good dinner.

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Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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So I discovered the real reason you installed that chair lift. :) 

 

119d81fd7f53e57491b26833ed566df0.jpg

  • Like 1

Fitocracy  GoodReads  MyFitnessPal

Spoiler

Previous Challenges: 2020: 1.20  - 2019: 1.19 l 2.19

2018: 1.18 l  2.18 l 3.18 l 4.18 l 5.18 l 6.18 l 7.18

2017: 1.17 I 2.17 I 3.17 I 4.17 I 5.17 l 6.17 l 7.17 l 8.17 I 9.17 l 10.17  

2016: 1.16 l 2.16 l DA v.1 l DA v.2 I DA v.2 Reloaded I DA v.3 I DA v.4 I 8.16 I 9.16 I DA v.5 I 11.16 

2012: 1 2013: 2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l 6 l 7 l 8 2014: 9 l 10 l Not Done Yet l Time to Conquer l  Conquering 

HFC for Life!

 

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