• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Alanna

Alanna's Dog Days of Summer Challenge

Recommended Posts

My first-proper-challenge-in-a-while, settling-in-back-home, fairly-flexible-goals challenge went pretty well. I also identified a few things I need to work on, which will be the focus of this next challenge:
 
GOAL 1: Putting the final food pieces together
 
husky.jpg 
 

a) Track every day using MFP. Right now I'm too sensitive to calorie/macro levels (and too bad at staying close enough to my target without logging) to not track. The goal is to run a slight deficit, but I'm not setting any explicit limits now because I'm not sure what the sweet spot is -- however, I do have one macros goal...

 
dc2a4ca00e5348801e4d29856a2748f02c4e3d1f 
 
b ) Get 130+ grams of protein each day. 140-160 grams is better.
 
c) Properly start the reintroduction phase of the AIP diet. Use a food journal to keep track of any reactions.
 
d) Eat at least 1/2 pound of liver/week.
 
e) Take ALL the supplements. I'm pretty good about this, but there are 2-3 doses that I tend to miss.
 
GOAL 2: Mobility
 
giphy.gif 
 
a) Mobility WOD style mobility work at least 4x/week. Because yoga isn't enough for me these days.
 
b ) At least 3 15+ minute yoga sessions/week (outside of my warm-up and cool-down for lifting sessions). Because yoga is really helpful even if it's not enough!
 
 
GOAL 3: Screen curfew
 
5ea9956cae68939b44397dd3199ad54c.jpg 
 
No phone or computer screen time after 8 pm, with the exception of "I'm alive" type texts and meditation apps. Carrying this over from the previous challenge because I know I won't keep it up unless it's an explicit goal. Bonus points for putting away the phone/computer before the cut-off.
 
LUYL GOAL: Meditation
 
12zy4d.jpg 
 
Meditate at least 6x/week before 5 pm. I've had good meditation streaks before, but have had trouble making it a consistent habit, possibly in part because I usually meditate before going to bed. While that's great for unwinding, trying to work my weak meditation muscle when I'm really tired isn't setting me up for success -- hence the time component to this goal. Bonus points for also meditating before bed and for reading Full Catastrophe Living.
 
Other miscellaneous notes:
 
Lifting program is still a version of 5/3/1... just deloaded so I'm not expecting to hit PRs this challenge (besides high bar squat PRs since it's the first time I've focused on them in a while).
 
I'm travelling the first week of August and will probably not lift that week, but I do plan to keep up with my goals.
 
The dog theme is because 1) cutting sucks and dogs make everything better, and 2) I have an orientation on July 26th so I can start volunteering at a local dog rescue! Please spam my thread with many many more dog photos.
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 1:53 PM, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

1%2B%2815%29.gif

 

Teamwork!

teamwork_o_815635.gif

 

On ‎7‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 2:33 PM, JustCallMeAmber said:

New-Meme-I-present-to-you-Diabolical-Dog

Oh, are we doing dog memes? I'm in! ;)

 

:D. I should have used this as a challenge theme ages ago! Is the dog in your profile picture yours?

 

12 hours ago, wildross said:

following for fluffy dogs...

 

One fluffy dog, as requested:

ai8aa0w.gif

 

22 hours ago, Taddea Zhaan said:

Checking in, how is it going so far this week? 

 

Thanks for checking in :). I'll be around more once my computer comes back from being repaired!

 

I usually use the inter-challenge week to start working on my goals without worrying about nailing all of them. Progress so far:

 

On the food front:

  • I've been tracking on MFP every day for 2 weeks now
  • Protein goal is being reached
  • I'm in the process of seeing if I can permanently reintroduce sweet peas
  • I made chicken liver pate, which will take care of my liver requirement for the next couple of weeks
  • All the supplements have been taken

Mobility-wise, I've been trying to figure out why my lower back is sooooo tight (like, I'm probably going to skip deadlifts this week because I can't get in a good position tight :( ). My guess is that surrounding tight muscles (esp. glutes and the rest of the posterior chain) are actually the culprit, so I've been working on mobilizing those:

Despite doing these stretches for three days, my massage therapist still seemed appalled by how tight my glutes were yesterday XD. Overall, though, things are feeling better.

 

Screen curfew: abided by 2/3 past nights.

 

Meditation: Finally started meditating again (3/3 before 5 pm). I'm using the Stop, Breathe, Meditate app for the guided meditations/meditation timer and to help me track.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Alanna said:

 

:D. I should have used this as a challenge theme ages ago! Is the dog in your profile picture yours?

 

Actually we have a dachshund. Not sure how to post a pic of him, so I'll leave this instead as it's a good likeness :)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course just after I posted this challenge I stopped sleeping well again (--> struggles), so I may need to play a few of the food goals by ear throughout the challenge based on how I feel:

  • I've been eating ~maintenance the past few days since cutting tends to exacerbate the sleep issues... but thanks to the tracking I now know that the sleep issues persist even when I am eating all the food.
  • Sleep issues --> not feeling great --> my signal-to-noise ratio for detecting if a food bothers me is horrible, so food reintroductions will have to wait until things are more stable again.
  • Last challenge I thought I'd figured out that these sleep issues were triggered by a couple specific supplements... but it doesn't look like it's quite that simple. I suspect that some supplement or combination of supplements is still at play (esp. since I ditched all of them yesterday and finally slept through the night), but perhaps in some convoluted fashion (e.g., only after a certain period of taking it). So, instead of taking ALL of the supplements, I'll be taking ALL of a subset of the supplements and, in place of a food/reaction journal, keeping a sleep/supplement journal.

Otherwise the challenge has started well and I'm staying on top of my goals. The mobility work has been easy to add back since I can do most of it while watching Netflix, working on my Coursera course, or otherwise using my computer (like now). I added a yoga component to the mobility goal, too, to encourage me to continue that practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update on the lifting side: Since recovery has been poor the past couple of months (and the lack of sleep didn't help), I've re-arranged my 4-day split into three full-body workouts so I have more rest days per week. Of course, that could backfire since I'm now working the same muscles more often XD.

 

After taking the first two challenge days off because no sleep == sooooo stiff, I started the heavy singles week of my program:

 

Lifting Tuesday, 7/19/16: squats and dynamic effort bench (all weights in lbs)

  • squat (HB): 45x5, 95x5, 135x5, 155x5, 175x3, 195x5 (+ belt) (AMRAP), 215x1 (joker), 225x1 (joker), 155x5
  • bench (DE): 90x3x10 EMOM
  • + accessories: hip thrusts and inverted rows (superset), decline plank, and I finally did a forearm stand for the first time in almost a year (15 sec against a wall)

This was my first time going >205 lbs for high bar (HB) squats, so I was happy to get to the double big plates :D.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

Holy High Squat, Batman!  Well done!

 

Good luck with the supplement manipulation. 

Silly bodies reacting sillily to life is silly. 

 

 

Thank you! Not gonna lie, I wanted those big plates :D.

 

16c490d80703839e620754d64d3c5208.jpg

 

Tell me about it :P. And all of the supplements are needed or (at least chosen to be) helpful, so I need to figure this out! New hobby: googling "[supplement] side effects insomnia" to see if anyone else has a silly body...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/16/2016 at 7:04 AM, Alanna said:

 

Despite doing these stretches for three days, my massage therapist still seemed appalled by how tight my glutes were yesterday XD. Overall, though, things are feeling better.

 

This is always interesting. In some ways I'm weirdly proud to be 'special' but it isn't for a good reason!

I hope the stretches and massages help soon.

 

NICE High Bar Squat Big Plates! Sweet!

 

working+out+with+my+dog.gif

ALL THE SQUATS!

 

And I know this one gets used too much, but I love it

evbwRsb.gif

Silly human

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/20/2016 at 9:09 AM, Taddea Zhaan said:

BIG PLATES!!!! :D 

:D

Everyone likes big plates, no?

B_ycgHPUgAE7jog.jpg

 

On 7/21/2016 at 11:13 PM, elvenengineer said:

This is always interesting. In some ways I'm weirdly proud to be 'special' but it isn't for a good reason!

I hope the stretches and massages help soon.

 

NICE High Bar Squat Big Plates! Sweet!

 

working+out+with+my+dog.gif

ALL THE SQUATS!

 

And I know this one gets used too much, but I love it

evbwRsb.gif

Silly human

 

Excellent gif choices :)

 

Haha, I know what you mean: "Yay, I'm the stiffest and sorest! Oh wait, maybe that's not a good thing..." I wasn't as sore this last time, so hopefully all the mobility is helping!

 

-----------

 

WEEK 1 RECAP

 

Food goals

  • Track everyday on MFP: 7/7 days
  • 130+ g protein/day: 7/7 days, and only one day was sub-150 g
  • Reintroduce foods: on hold while I reintroduce supplements; check for starting a sleep + supplement journal
  • 1/2 lb liver/week: check
  • Take the supplements: took all the ones I need to while reintroducing

Mobility goals

  • mWOD style mobility sessions: 6/4 days
  • yoga sessions: 4/3 days

Screen curfew: 7/7 days

 

Meditation before 5 pm: 7/6 days, and also two nights when I meditated a second time in the evening

 

4.-Sunglasses-Dog.gif

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/24/2016 at 3:41 PM, elvenengineer said:

Very nicely done so far :)

tumblr_njz4e4t0961qb6v6ro1_500.gif

 

On 7/25/2016 at 10:19 AM, Taddea Zhaan said:

Great job on week 1, you overachiever!

 

142.gif

 

Thanks :)

 

Smile-they-said-if-you-smile-theyll-buy-

 

I don't have any excuse not to nail my goals this challenge!

 

----------------------------

 

Belated recap of the end of last cycle:

 

Friday, 7/22/16: bench + dynamic effort OHP (all weights in lbs)

  • bench: 45x5, 65x5, 85x5, 100x5, 110x3, 125x3 (AMRAP), 135x1 (joker), 100x5
  • OHP (DE): 65x3x6 + 55x3x4 EMOM
  • front squat: 95x5x3, with a 10 sec. hold at the end of each set
  • + band-assisted pull-ups and back extensions

I'm missing 15 lbs from my bench max... if anyone sees it can you send it my way, please?

 

Sunday, 7/24/16: deadlift and OHP

  • deadlift (conventional): 135x5 And I was too stiff for this, sooo....
  • deadlift (sumo): 185x5, 225x5, 250x3 (+ belt), 280x2 (+ belt) (AMRAP) (I'd forgotten how hard sumo deadlifts are to get off the ground XD)
  • OHP: 45x5, 55x5, 65x5, 75x3, 80x5 (AMRAP), 90x1 (joker), 95x1 (joker), 65x7
  • + band-assisted pull-ups, incline push-ups, inverted rows, and lying leg raises

I'm not hitting the numbers I want to/think I should be able to, buuuuut that's sadly not the main goal right now so I'm dealing. The main thing that's bothering me is that the lower back and glute stiffness (and sometimes pain) is making some things feel horrible -- especially deadlifts. However, I got an idea of why I've been struggling mobility-wise when I went to bed on Saturday super limber from a bunch of yoga, only to wake up barely able to bend over... pretty sure my mattress is the culprit. Luckily my mom has been wanting to swap mattresses, so as of last night I said good-bye to my old one. I have plenty of time to devote to all the mobility this week since I'm taking a complete, no-lifting deload -- hopefully by the next time I'm scheduled to deadlift I'll feel closer to my old self.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Found your challenge!

 

All those puppy gifs...

 

I hope you'll feel better with the different mattress. When I bought a new one it changed my quality of sleep dramatically.

A suitable mattress makes such a difference! I am already feeling soooo much better - hopefully I can get my deadlift moving again soon! Unfortunately the sleep trouble predates this mattress so it won't solve that problem, but it is easier to go back to sleep when my back isn't sore.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Four rest days in a row counts as a deload "week," right? Anyway, I'm feeling much better and missed lifting, so I started week 1 of my next lifting cycle today:

 

Friday, 7/29/16: squat and dynamic effort bench (all weights in lbs)

  • squat (high bar): 45x5, 95x5, 135x5, 150x3, 170x3, 190x6 (AMRAP), 210x3 (+ belt) (joker), 225x3 (+ belt) (joker), 155x8
  • bench (DE): 90x3x10 EMOM
  • good mornings: 95x10x3
  • hip thrusts: 155x10x5, superset with DB rows: 40x10x5
  • forearm stand, against the wall: 30 sec.
  • plank (decline, feet on a bench): bw x 1:15 min.

I CAN MOVE AGAIN! Everything feels so much better now that my back has recovered from that gorram mattress. Now that my back isn't sore anymore, I'm slowly re-introducing some of my accessories (e.g., good mornings) that I've been skipping to give my back a break. And 225x3 was the somewhat arbitrary point I wanted to get my high bar squat up to before switching back to low bar squats, so next cycle (in ~3 weeks) will be back to low bar.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People ask me why I don't buy a new bed (I have a full which my feet hang off the bottom purchased as such because it fit between the door and the wall in my last apartment).  The reason is because I get up in the morning and my back does not hurt.  Guest rooms, hotels (some very nice hotels), anywhere else my back hurts more the longer I'm there.  I don't want to shell out money for an extra firm tempurpedic king size bed at the moment.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/29/2016 at 10:08 PM, Grymm said:

People ask me why I don't buy a new bed (I have a full which my feet hang off the bottom purchased as such because it fit between the door and the wall in my last apartment).  The reason is because I get up in the morning and my back does not hurt.  Guest rooms, hotels (some very nice hotels), anywhere else my back hurts more the longer I'm there.  I don't want to shell out money for an extra firm tempurpedic king size bed at the moment.  

 

I'll hold on to that mattress too in the same situation!

 

It looks like my mom and I will be getting a new mattress though (for her), since despite her initial desire to switch them, my old mattress also hurts her back and hips. She's going to be traveling in August, though, and in the meantime can at least get a break from the mattress-from-hell by staying at her boyfriend's, so she's kindly letting me use the good mattress until the new purchase. Otherwise, I'd sleep on the floor or couch to avoid that thing.

 

-----------------------

 

WEEK 2 RECAP

 

Food goals

  • Track everyday on MFP: 7/7 days
  • 130+ g protein/day: 7/7 days, and the lowest amount was 145 g
  • Reintroduce foods: I snuck in an attempted egg yolk reintroduction during a stable point in my sleep/supplement experiments. It was easy to tell if they were going to work or not since they made me nauseous almost immediately, just as they did when I tried to add them back in November :(. Eggs, I miss you. I checked the company's website to see what the hens eat and there is a chance I'm actually reacting to the soy they eat (the soy proteins can be passed to the eggs).
  • 1/2 lb liver/week: eaten
  • Take the supplements: taking the ones I intend to for the supplement reintroduction process, and tracking everything in the sleep + supplement journal

Mobility goals

  • mWOD style mobility sessions: 6/4 days
  • yoga sessions: 5/3 days... more rest days during my deload = more yoga

Screen curfew: 7/7 days

 

Meditation before 5 pm: 6/6 days, plus 3 extra after 5 pm meditations (including on the day I didn't meditate before 5 pm, so I haven't broken my streak)

trampoline_dog.gif

 

Also attended the orientation for the dog rescue last week -- just need to pick up my name tag and I can start walking dogs!

 

And, based on several weeks of tracking, it looks like I'm managing to surf the (for me) fine line between Actually Cutting at a Decent Rate and Exacerbating the Health Issues with Too Steep a Deficit. It looks like averaging ~2350-2500 cal/day, depending on how heavy I'm lifting that week, is the sweet spot for now -- a few hundred calories more than I would have guessed a few weeks ago.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.