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Bookish Badger

Bookish Badger Learns to Love the Grind

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I'm trying a battle log rather than a challenge this time around. I lost my momentum big time in the last challenge, which you can read about here, if you're so inclined. 

http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/89377-bookish-badger-nightblade-level-1/

 

This is a respawn (taking my character back to level 0). While I enjoyed the challenges, and had some success until recently, I think a longer-term project might be what I need right now. Where I focus on doing what I know I need to do. Every. Single. Day. Regardless of whether it is Week 0 or Week 4 or Halloween or the sun exploded again. Or whatever.

 

Thus, instead of looking to "level up" every 5 weeks to coincide with the challenges, I'm going to assign points to core behaviors that I need to build. One point for every time I successfully complete a task. I'll level up every 100 points. Since the point value is low I'll need a lot of repetition to get to the next level. In other words, I'm going to have to grind day in and day out to level up! (Much like making a few hundred worthless steel knives to level up my Smithing to make that full set of Daedra armor & weapons, but I digress...) On to the battle plan:

 

Health

Eat paleo-ish LCHF by focusing on unprocessed meats, non-starchy veggies, healthy fats. Avoid all refined starches, sweets, and over processed junk. One point per day that I stick to the plan. 

 

Stamina

Exercise. It can be weightlifting, walking on the treadmill, raking leaves, whatever. One point per hour of exercise.

 

Magicka

1. Develop arcane concentration and focus by reading (my very best favorite thing to do, ever, which I don't make enough time for). One point per hour of non-work-related reading.

2. Protect willpower and charisma by avoiding intoxicating potions. One point per day that I abstain from alcohol and skooma. 

 

There you have it. Nothing flashy or complicated, just those things I know I should be doing and manage not to do far too often. I expect to update this log every few days, 2-3 times a week, with updated point counts. 

 

Thanks for reading!

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Sounds simple! Great job!!!

 

seriously, lately I've really tried to pare it down. Yes, I want to do more than two things, but they can't all be my focus, so I'll let those things happen if they do or don't.

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Ok, update for the past 3 days:

 

Health: 0 points. As I did no meal plan or prep before deciding to take a deep breath and jump back into the pool, my choices have been sub-optimal. Not horrible, but not good enough to warrant points. And since my husband got home early last night, he cooked dinner, which included pasta. The man had dinner waiting for me while he's wearing a back brace; you better believe I ate the carbs with nary a comment.

 

Stamina: 4 points. I've been to the gym every day so far this week. I've got some DOMS creeping up after 6 weeks or so out of the gym, but in a good way. And I just got done raking leaves until it was too dark to see. (Didn't make a dent in the total leaf population - the front yard has a mature red maple that is stunning but holy heck that's a lot of leaves.)

 

Speaking of the gym, I've decided to change up my schedule. I've been going before work and had stuck to it more than any other workout schedule ever...until now. The female owner (the gym is owned by a married couple) wants the women's (small) locker room to look like a lounge in a high-end spa. So it's pretty but really doesn't function well. More than 3 people at a time & we're tripping over each other, and lately a lot more people have been coming in early.

 

Also, a recent remodel led to replacing the light fixtures....and wow I didn't think it was possible to have worse lighting than compact fluorescent bulbs. I was wrong. I think they are some kind of new high-efficiency bulb - they are shaped like incandescents, but the light they give off is literally gray. I know, #pickypickypicky #stupidpetpeeves, but I literally do not want to go back in that room again! It's nauseating. Never reacted to any kind of lighting like that - usually don't even notice it as long as there's enough to keep me from bumping into things. Actually started thinking of changing gyms until I calmed down and decided to go after work - which is about 2:45pm if I work the early shift. Good news - the gym appears to be virtually deserted at that time. The squat rack will be mine! All mine!

 

Magicka: 3 points. I've not done much reading in the past few days, but at least I've abstained from inebriating potions.

 

Total: 7 points.

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First the bad news: my back is hurting again. I lifted weights on Tuesday morning for the first time in weeks & within 2 hours the pain was back. Grrr. I didn't even do that many squats, because i found that new high blood pressure meds + squats = orthostatic hypotension = Death-Defying Head Rush. "Wheee!" *crash* (no, I didn't actually fall over, but my second set was more exciting than it should have been.) It's another reason why I'm experimenting with a later workout time.

 

Now the good news: I think I found out what is really causing the pain. I did a little google-fu with search terms like "low back squats and upper back pain" and found that it's a pretty common thing. I'd never heard of it, which proves that stuff I don't know would fill an internet. My current theory is that 1. I'm trying to position the bar a bit too low and 2. my grip is too narrow, and I don't have the mobility to pull that off. Plus, I realized that I flare my elbows up behind me instead of keeping them down. I  thought I was supposed to do that to "lock in" the bar and stabilize it but source after respected source labeled that a no-no. With this new information, I can see how i was probably inflicting all sorts of postural weirdness on my shoulder-back connections, until my poor muscles decided that They. Have. Had. Enough.

 

Anyway, I'll test that tomorrow when I lift again. I plan on using something like an 8-pound calisthenics bar so I can practice form without any real weight, and see what happens. Wish me luck! 

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I thought I'd share a recipe I tried this weekend. It is for curry roasted cauliflower, and you can find the original here: http://www.purewow.com/entry_detail/recipe/8821/Forget-florets--roast-the-whole-damn-cauliflower.htm

 

Here is what I did:

1-2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets (I have a veggie-averse spouse who wants all veggies well done, and cooking it whole left crunchy parts)

1 & 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1 lime, juiced

2 Tablespoons chili powder (I used a combo of "regular" and chipotle chili powder because it was what I had on hand)

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cayenne (or you can add approximately 1 Tablespoon of curry powder; I was specifically going for spices that reduce blood sugar)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

 

Heat oven to 400F.

Line baking sheet with foil or parchment.

Mix yogurt, lime juice, and spices thoroughly.  Toss cauliflower with yogurt mixture to coat and spread in even layer over baking sheet. 

Bake 1 hour, stirring and turning at the half-hour mark.

 

I used 2 heads of cauliflower because I was doing lunch meal prep. If you want this for dinner, use one head of cauliflower and use the extra marinade to season your protein source or more vegetables. Don't just dump a lot of extra sauce on the baking sheet or it will burn. I can confirm that it is delicious on chicken and imagine that it will be excellent on pork or beef too. It might overpower shrimp or fish, though.

 

This is a great recipe for people who don't like cauliflower because they can't get past the smell when it cooks. All you will smell is all of those lovely spices toasting away as the cauliflower gets nice and tender. My husband said it was by far the best cauliflower he'd ever tasted.

 

Enjoy!

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26 minutes ago, Bookish Badger said:

This is a great recipe for people who don't like cauliflower

Haha, excellent! I like it raw but not so much cooked, maybe this is the answer...

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Progress Report:

Health: 0 points

Stressing about my eating when National Gluttony Day (i.e. Thanksgiving) is looming and my parents are coming in for the 4-day weekend is an exercise in futility. I'll get back on track starting Sunday after they leave.

Stamina: 7 points

I'm lacking big time in this arena as well. Again, back on track as soon as the house is vacated on Sunday (though I fully intend to count frantic housecleaning efforts).

Magicka: 18 points

Some alcohol snuck in this weekend, but I finally made some time for reading this past weekend! And I've started a new Magicka practice: daily practical affirmations. It is a practice recommended by Scott Adams of Dilbert fame among other things. I've developed four affirmations that support my most important current goals, and I'll write each of them 15 times per day. 1 point per day that I do this.

New total: 25 points

 

Random thought: My route home goes under a pedestrian overpass that has the sides and top enclosed in cyclone fencing. As I drove home on Friday, I saw a person in a hoodie and backpack making his/her way across the overpass by "walking" horizontally across the inside of the enclosure using the fencing for hand- and toe-holds.

 

My first thought was - "Kid pretending he/she is Spiderman? Or NF Assassin playing 'the floor is made of lava'? Both?" :) 

 

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Also because I can't stop tinkering with my formula, I've decided that going forward I will deduct one point when I indulge in alcohol. After all, intoxicating potions usually come with at least a few damage points to Intelligence or Willpower. 

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As today is Thanksgiving in the U.S.A., I'd like to take a moment to list a few of the things I'm grateful for this year.

 

1. I'm grateful that my husband is alive and well.

2. I'm grateful that I have a good job in a good company, working with great people.

3. I'm grateful that I am healthy and have the means to fix the things that need fixing (fitness level, weight, etc.)

 

And last but not least....

 

4. I'm grateful for the community that I've found here at Nerd Fitness! Thank you all.

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34 minutes ago, Bookish Badger said:

As today is Thanksgiving in the U.S.A., I'd like to take a moment to list a few of the things I'm grateful for this year.

 

1. I'm grateful that my husband is alive and well.

2. I'm grateful that I have a good job in a good company, working with great people.

3. I'm grateful that I am healthy and have the means to fix the things that need fixing (fitness level, weight, etc.)

 

And last but not least....

 

4. I'm grateful for the community that I've found here at Nerd Fitness! Thank you all.

<3

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