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FatboySuave

EternalJourno is becoming a Beast

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Introduction: I leveled up in a big way my last challenge and proved to myself that I'm a Beast by completing my first Tough Mudder Half. I'm planning to do a Full Mudder in October. My weight keeps fluctuating around the 206-212 range, but I'm learning to not put so much focus on the number. These quests have worked for me so far, but I'm still working on turning them into long-term habits. There's a 5K color run coming up that I want to run, so I need to work on my cardio stamina, which is hard because I've been having foot pain lately (plantar fasciitis). There's also a series of free 5Ks this summer and I'd like to run as many of those as possible. I'm still trying to find my overall purpose and direction — the though of which derails me sometimes. But progress is being made and I'm determined to keep it up. For a full introduction, check out my battle log.
 

Main Quest: My target weight is 180 pounds. I'm aiming for July 4, my seventh year anniversary at my current location/job. But I recognize that my weight is just a number and that it's not absolutely critical for me to hit it by that deadline. The important thing is that I feel good and comfortable and confident, and every quest is designed to get me there.
 
Quest 1: Complete my assigned Bodyweight exercises three times a week and complete a cool down afterward. I will update these daily on my battle lof you want to see details and follow along.


A = Complete workout/cool down 3 times a week.
B = Complete workout/cool down 2 times a week.
C = Complete workout/cool down 1 time a week.
D = Complete 0 workouts/cool downs in a week.
F = No physical activity.

 

Quest 2: Walk and/or jog every day with my dog Booklet and complete a cool down afterward. I usually track these with the RunKeeper app on my battle log as well. I'm also tracking my miles on my Walk to Mordor. 

 

A = Walk/cool down 6-7 days a week

B = Walk/cool down 4-5 days a week.

C = Walk/cool down 2-3 day a week.

D = Walk/cool down 1 day a week.

F = No walking/cool downs.

Quest 3: Drink less alcohol.

A = Have no more than 3 drinks per week.
B = Have no more than 5 drinks per week. 
C = Have no more than 7 drinks per week.
D = Have no more than 9 drinks per week.
F = Anything more than that. 

Quest 4: Cook paleo meals more often, eat out less. If I do eat out, I will find healthy/paleo-ish options.

A = Eat out no more than 2 times a week. 
B = Eat out no more than 4 times a week.
C = Eat out no more than 6 times a week.
D = Eat out no more than 8 times a week.
F = Eat out more than 8 times a week. 


Life Quests: Sleep better. Read more books and power down for bed every night. Less screen time.

Motivation: I feel like my lack of self confidence is a big obstacle that gets in the way of enjoying life and taking chances. I'd like to look good, so I can feel good and live life to the fullest.

 

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To carryover from my last challenge, I've been thinking a lot about my work situation at the newspaper. I talked to my editor this week. I told him I'm getting burned out and that if there's an opportunity to write (particularly covering the cops/courts beat) I'd like to explore it. He encouraged me to stick with editing. He believes the publisher is set to retire in a year or so. When that happens, my editor plans to retire too. That means I could be in a good position to become the managing editor (aka the boss) at the age of 31 or 32. He wants me to get there and do the job for at least a year or two for the experience before moving on elsewhere. It's an exciting thought to have that kind of position for as relatively young as I am, but the work itself is not exciting to me. The thought of continuing to edit bums me out. But one of my main problems (feeling like I lack control over the quality/culture of the paper) might be relieved if the publisher retires. So there's potential that I could have a legit impact on the future of the paper. But if he indeed sells it, there's no telling who will take over or what direction they'd want to go in.

 

However, I can't stop thinking about writing, particularly going my own way on the side. I've been talking to some friends to try to gain some perspective, but I still feel like I'm in limbo. Talking to my boss and expressing my thoughts to my friends has pulled me out of my funk a bit. I'm going to stay focused on my job for now and think of ways that I can do it more effectively. Mainly I want to work with our new editors/reporters to help them improve their work. If I can't be a leader now, how am I going to lead as a managing editor? My friend keeps suggesting I write on the side. And it would be hard, primarily pushing myself and being disciplined about it. But I think I gotta explore that route and see what I can make of it. And if anything I need to learn how to drive myself more with my work — especially if I ever want to start my own website or whatever.

Week Zero is not going great so far. My snack cravings have been high and I've been drinking alcohol and staying up late and not walking. But I don't like to dwell on the negative, so I'm going to move on and figure out how to salvage the week. I probably won't grade myself though. I've been eating a lot more veggies at work, but I don't particularly like it. It's just not as appetizing. I think having sweet potatoes on my plate helped curb the cravings a bit. So I think I'm going to reintroduce them next week. We'll see.

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Following!

 

And since you plan on reading more books anyway, may I recommend Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, who run the Design Program at Stanford.

 

I started reading it because it was recommended as a good non-designer's introduction to design thinking, but I plan on following the advice in the book. Lots of good stuff there!

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Great challenge goals, although I'm not sure about the title ;)  - have you seen your Mudder pics? You already are a Beast!  :D 

 

14 hours ago, EternalJourno said:

My friend keeps suggesting I write on the side. And it would be hard, primarily pushing myself and being disciplined about it.

This is what I would suggest, too.  My worry, however, would be the time, or lack thereof - and if it would affect your healthier lifestyle (sleep!).

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18 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

I started reading it because it was recommended as a good non-designer's introduction to design thinking, but I plan on following the advice in the book. Lots of good stuff there!

 

I will definitely check out the book. Thanks for the recommendation!

 

5 hours ago, Vibrantella said:

Great challenge goals, although I'm not sure about the title ;)  - have you seen your Mudder pics? You already are a Beast!  :D 

 

I mean it's obvious I have the muscles and brains already :P I just need to advance my mutation so I can grow fur everywhere and turn blue and hang off of things with my feet lol

 

Time is a concern. For me, it's a matter of making time. I KNOW I have the time in my days/weeks for other things, but I tend to spend too much of it zoning out on social media and YouTube and Netflix. I have to rewire my brain and be more disciplined so I can be more productive in my "free" time.

I have a writing idea for the newspaper already. It's something easy and fluffy though. Last night I went to a jazz show, the Peter and Will Anderson Trio, and it was incredible. I talked to the guys afterward and they were really nice. I'm in the process of arranging an interview with them. Really I want to do more of a conversation about the show, about their work and about jazz in general. I've been thinking a lot about jazz lately (especially after just watching La La Land). I want to focus on the claim that jazz is dead/dying. People probably aren't interested in reading about jazz (people don't even really listen to it anymore), but it'll be fun to write about something I'm passionate about. Maybe that'll reignite the writing candle inside me.

Anyway, here's a cool feature about them:
 

 

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Great set of goals, well rounded.  Many moons ago, I was a copy-editor for a publishing company.  I know it's not exactly what you do, but I understand that it can be unexciting. I think you can do some writing on the side to strengthen your writing muscles and keep things interesting.

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Last week was not great, but not gonna dwell on it. I had a weird and interesting weekend. I hung out with friends Friday night and we ended up staying up way late for some reason. We were up til 5 in the morning talking about religion and junk. I was so tired that I pretty much slept all day Saturday. It was a much needed recharge though. Sunday I did my meal prep and I'm reintroducing sweet potatoes into my lunch. The veggie overload was too much last week. I went out to eat for breakfast at my favorite place and for some reason got an energy drink afterward. I've been craving them recently, which is not good. Need to stay away. I had a good streak going. Then I had friend over for board games, so that was fun. Did a lot of drinking though. So Sunday was not the greatest start to this challenge, but there is some good news. I beat Tyranusaurus Flex and advanced to Level 5 in the Academy. I finally got my plyo box and I put it together Sunday. I tested it out and attempted my first box jumps. I knew I could do them, but it was still scary as hell just going for it. But the 16-inch side seemed too easy, so I tried the 20 and then the 24 and I could potentially do the 24s, but I should probably start slow. I also attempted my first wall walk. It was much more difficult than I expected, but I'm looking forward to trying them out more and eventually mastering them. I was just messing around though. My first official Level 5 workout will be Tuesday. I'm thinking of doing zumba tonight. I feel like I was too lazy last week. Time to go beast mode.

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On 4/21/2017 at 0:18 PM, EternalJourno said:

Time is a concern. For me, it's a matter of making time. I KNOW I have the time in my days/weeks for other things, but I tend to spend too much of it zoning out on social media and YouTube and Netflix. I have to rewire my brain and be more disciplined so I can be more productive in my "free" time.

 

This is exactly my problem. I'm starting to discover, for myself at least, that the availability of all these distractions is enough to curtail the time I have available for working towards actual goals. I've recently began taking steps to mitigate the issue, starting by doing a digital audit of all the social media/online accounts I have and deleting the ones I don't use while at the same time uninstalling all unnecessary apps from my phone. This has definitely cleared up some mental bandwidth and I would recommend this to you or anyone as a start.

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On ‎4‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 9:18 AM, EternalJourno said:

I have to rewire my brain and be more disciplined so I can be more productive in my "free" time.

 

My apologies if I've already recommended Deep Work by Cal Newport to you; I know I've talked about it in a few threads. There was one part where he mentioned being as deliberate with our "free" time as we are with our work/study time.

 

I think the idea got one or two sentences, not even a full paragraph - but a huge lightbulb went off for me. Because there are all sorts of things I want to do, but most nights I get into the "cook dinner/eat while watching tv/clean up dinner/more tv until time to go to bed" cycle. And that doesn't leave much time for the more-fun stuff.

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I saw "beast" and thought Spartan. Close enough. 

 

I have zero advice to offer on the time management front, but I'm going to lurk and steal the ideas people throw your way. :)

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I'm not feeling too Beastly this week, but it's OK. This week is a little crazy. I wish I could have adapted better, but I admit the stress has gotten to me. My diet has been off and I've missed two workouts. I did squeeze in one session of zumba yesterday though. But Tuesday was crazy because I had to organize and host a trivia fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters. We raised $320! So that was a Beastly moment. And it was a lot of fun. A buddy and I used to host trivia every week and do everything ourselves, but we had to stop because of schedule conflicts. We still try to do it once a year to raise money for BBBS. Then our news clerk took the day off because her kid is sick, so I had to step up and type up obits and do her duties. It looks like she's going to be gone tomorrow and plus my boss is taking the day off. So we're gonna be super shorthanded and we have two new people who are still learning things, so it's hard to put extra responsibilities on them, which means I'm going to be pushing myself a lot. But I need to learn to trust them, so I'm going to give them as many opportunities as possible to prove themselves. But I was in the office today for like 11 hours and tomorrow's probably gonna be a similar, if not worse, stretch. So I missed my workout today and I'm resorting to stress eating. 

In other news, my boss has been talking to an organization that focuses on "solutions journalism." They're working with other papers around the state to put together some in-depth packages that look at ways communities around the country have solved problems and how those solutions can be implemented in your own community. My boss had me in mind immediately and it's exactly the kind of work I want to be doing. We talked about it today and it sounds really exciting. The way I understand it so far, I would have four stories to write by October, and they'd each focus on a particular theme. The four themes are resilience, tolerance, financial equality and environment. And apparently they pay your travel to visit these other communities to learn how they addressed their issues. So it'd be an incredible opportunity to travel for free and do work that I'm passionate about and really push and challenge myself. It's really exciting. I just have to survive this awful, awful week lol. 

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On 4/28/2017 at 5:56 AM, Bookish Badger said:

All appendages crossed for you.

 

That sounds awkward and uncomfortable, lol.

Friday was a day, but I survived. News clerk was gone again, so I had to wear three hats (as the sports editor put it), typing up obituaries, typing up calendar briefs, designing pages left and right, being extra careful with editing, writing headlines, the works. I had a large energy drink and some pizza and chocolate to help cope with the stress, lol. I need to stop doing this. But after all was said and done, the sports editor said I did a good job, so that was cool.

 

Saturday was a bustling day. I did zumba in the morning, went out for breakfast and then bought a cowboy hat for the BBBS fundraising bowling party (the theme was Western hoedown). Then I bowled my worst game ever, lol, but I still felt good because I was able to use a smaller ball that my fingers actually fit in! I used to need the big heavy ones because my fingers were too fat, lol. Afterward I helped judge a teen film festival for the library. Then I had friends over for board games. We played Ticket to Ride and it was everyone else's first time, so I straight up conquered lol. But I drank quite a bit and a stayed up late.

 

Sunday I slept a lot and was too burned out to workout or do my meal prep. So I'm off to not a great start this week, but I will get things on track today. And I think I'll do zumba tonight.

 

I've missed a week of workouts, so I need to get back into it starting tomorrow. But I tried out some chin ups yesterday and I was able to do 2 1/2 pretty decently, so that was cool. I'll be attempting my first full Level 5 Bodyweight workout Tuesday. I'm really looking forward to it. I also need to walk Booklet. It's been too long since we've gone out. I've been slacking quite a bit lately.


This weekend will be interesting because my buddy is having a party for his birthday. I usually have a Cinco de Mayo party, so we're combining efforts. So lots of drinking will happen. Which means I'm going to be hungover Sunday, which is the day of the 5K Color Run, so running will be out of the question, lol. I mean, I COULD make better decisions and go easy Saturday night, but I want to let loose. So we'll see what happens. There will be more 5Ks in the future this summer, so it's not a big deal if I miss this one.

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Brain weasels struck Monday night. I went to zumba, but it was not the instructor I like, so it was kind of low-impact and boring, which put me in a worse mood for some reason lol. I did my meal prep though. But when I woke up Tuesday, I was just feeling terrible mentally, so I took a sick day. I slept in, which was nice, and then got a lot of house and yard work done. I also did my first 5A workout, which was tough but fun. Wall walks are really hard, but I feel really good doing them. Box jumps are fun too. So overall the day was a much-needed recharge. I'm feeling a lot better today.

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Way to beat back the brain weasels!

 

I get why you felt worse Monday night - you were looking forward to a high-energy workout to burn off the bad mood and didn't get it. I'm not familiar with Zumba; is it possible to hang out in the back and do higher impact moves or improvise steps in that situation?

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20 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

I get why you felt worse Monday night - you were looking forward to a high-energy workout to burn off the bad mood and didn't get it. I'm not familiar with Zumba; is it possible to hang out in the back and do higher impact moves or improvise steps in that situation?

 

Not really. The instructor is at the front leading everyone in front of a big mirror, so you kind of just follow along with whatever she does. So it'd definitely be weird and awkward (and maybe even a little rude) to improvise and do other stuff. It'd be like going to class and reading your own book while your teacher lectures (maybe?) lol.

 

But I got my high-intensity zumba in last night! Actually it's a mixture of zumba and MixxedFit, which is more hip hop/dubstep-ish with a lot more jumping and higher intensity. So that was good.

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On 5/4/2017 at 4:04 PM, fleaball said:

I am forever in awe of your doing Zumba so often. Just watching videos of it on YouTube exhausts me. 

 

I think I'm addicted. It's a lot of fun and I really enjoy it, so some days I CRAVE it lol. But I think I need to take a break because my foot has still be giving me issues.

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I feel like this challenge hasn't been going so well. I'm getting off track quite a bit. Part of me wants to throw it out the window, but instead I'll see what I can salvage during these last two weeks. I haven't been keeping track of anything, but I'll start tracking and grading myself this week.

 

 

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Things are feeling a bit better this week, but definitely not perfect. I missed a workout Sunday, but I made it up yesterday. It was my first time doing 5C with a few new moves: lateral lunges and negative chin ups. I can feel the result of the lunges in my hamstrings and butt today, lol, but that's good. I haven't felt this sore in a while, so I know that I'm leveling up. For dinner I made some lettuce tacos with ground turkey, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and jalapeños, and they turned out really good, and I have plenty for leftovers. I think I'm getting them down. But I went with the leafy lettuce and it was a bit too leafy at the end to hold the ingredients, so I'm still experimenting and learning.

I'm having friends over for board games tonight. I have leftover margaritas from Saturday (we had a big birthday bash for a buddy slash Cinco de Mayo celebration). Everyone called them Death Juice because I may have mixed them a tiny bit too strong, lol. So I'm gonna see if I can make my friends drink it to get rid of it, lol. And I'm going to try my darndest to not drink. But we'll see.

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I feel like I'm caught in an infinite loop. I do decently for a few days and shed a few pounds, but then I have a few bad days and gain it back. I've been stuck in the 206-212 region all year, it seems. I know I'm getting stronger though, so I shouldn't beat myself up about the weight. I know it's just a number. Still, I feel like I haven't been able to find the X factor to help me be more disciplined about what I eat. And I'm just finding it hard these days to stay motivated and focused. I'm just a little frustrated overall. Gotta stick with it though and figure out how to level up.

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Breaking News: My boss just told me that our crime reporter is planning to retire at the end of the summer. He knows I've been wanting to go back to reporting, so he said he could move me back. He actually wants to move me back to the city beat, which I wouldn't mind, but I told him I'd rather cover crime. He called me insane, lol. He said the constant coverage of bleak news can drive you crazy. But joke's on him. My life is already so bleak that I'm already crazy. Ha! :P

Anyway, that means change could be coming in a few months, the thought of which is scary. For one, it may mean I'd have to take a pay cut, which I'm not sure I want to do. The scarier part though is that my schedule would drastically change. The kickstart to my fitness journey was largely possible because of my current schedule. I have a set schedule that allows me to plan for meal prep and workouts. The stability has been nice. But hopefully I've learned enough tricks and skills to adapt my healthy habits to a different lifestyle.

I think I need a change though. While the stability has been nice, it's been so boring. I haven't been challenging myself. I think covering crime will be much more interesting and will reignite my passion for writing and reporting. There are so many things I want to do with that beat.

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