Friday, 31 July 2015

Going to be a Lonely August

Wolfie just moved out east, Bard has gone out west for a month to attend some weddings, and Hugslut is leaving in a week to drive out to BC, hang out there for a bit, and drive back.

I'm going to miss them all and although I get Hugslut and Bard back in September, August is going to have a big hole in it.

I plan to keep busy by rearanging Hugslut's appartment so I can finish bringing my stuff over and making it our appartment. We've already discussed what's going where, and I can do almost everything solo. Kettle said I could borrow her boyfriend to help me carry the dresser and bed across the street and everything else is light enough for me to carry by myself. I do plan to keep up with my challenge while they're gone and as long as I'm not going psycho with the house stuff I should be fine for the workouts.

I've been succeeding with the No-S with one modification. I decided that if I was having a drink(since I don't usually do straight shots) the cola wouldn't count as a "sweet". I am going to go lower carb all August by cutting out the cola completely and making sure I get in lots of veggies(spinach, broccoli, brussle sprouts, etc), with a good amount of fats(olive oil, avocado, whole fat dairy) and protiens(chicken, eggs, fish, tofu). I want to have progress to show Hugslut when she gets back.

To-Do List For This Upcoming Week
 - Monday is weigh-in/measure day (Aug.3, next is Sept.7)
 - Keep up with challenge
 - Spend quality time with Hugslut
 - Help Hugslut prepare for trip

To-Do List For The Rest Of August
 - Keep up with challenge
 - On weekends prep work lunches & dinners, do laundry, and rearrange appartment
 - Go to bed at 9 and get up at 5:30 for BBWW(M&F) or Walk & Meditate
 - Rearange appartment after work most nights
 - Create basic food & workout plan for Hugslut to look over when she returns

I'm feeling kinda brain dead today. Kinda detached and distractable... while at the same time feeling like my train of thought is chugging through wheel-high tar. Hope your day is going better.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Goal: Ninja

I want to be the kind of fit I don't have to think about. The kind that makes everything fun.

I'm not interested in spending more than a minute at a time running, 
but I love walking/hiking for hours.

I'm not interested in pounding out sets on machines for an hour every day, 
but I'd love to just pop into handstand push ups when I'm bored.

I need to be able in the next 3 years to get fit enough for the homestead, 
but I'd love to exceed that to Ninja Warrior level bodyweight fitness.

I can see myself learning deadlift and weighted squats as an add on to my regular training, but I'd mostly like to be able to fly around a jungle gym / forest / urban environment looking like a special effects team has me on a harness.

If I can fly around having fun and looking kickass I don't care if I'm 225lbs. 
(gymnastics at that weight would require more strength though)


Monday, 27 July 2015

Challenge Time

I've started my very first 6-week challenge over on the NerdFitness forums.

Figured I'd start very simply:

  • Do my bodyweight training Mondays and Fridays (doing the thing is enough. no need to add yet)
  • Take a lunch to work 4/5 workdays so I'm not eating fries or such for lunch every day
  • Stick with the No-S Diet (no snacks, no sweets, no seconds, except sometimes on days starting with S)
  • Walk at least 30 minutes daily 

  • Doing pretty well so far. Did my bodyweight training, today's not a work day, haven't snacked, already got 20/30 min down so a nice stroll with Bard later will top that up.

    Been keeping track of my habits with HabitBull. It's a great little app and completely free if you only want to track 5 or fewer habits.

    Saturday, 25 July 2015

    Adjusting my Sails

    So... I have a confession to make. I did not do my bodyweight exercises Friday after work.
    I had thought that my main struggle would be the habit building, the inertia of couch-potato-dom, the "but it'll hurt" or "it takes forever" whining. I was wrong. I had successfully picked out times that I would have no excuse to avoid exercising and had not yet settled into browsing position. I picked a routine that was short (less than 30 min) and, with proper stretching, not at all painful even the next day. Turns out that although I'm not hurting... I am exhausted.

    Part of addressing that will be eating healthier, another part will be scaling back on the frequency of my workouts. I had thought Mon, Wed, & Fri made sense with rest days between them and all weekend off... but that's the problem with logic, it has no place without data. I have now done science too it and found out that I am not fit enough to do bodyweight training 3 days a week, especially not if I'm walking an extra 2-3km on the "rest" days.

    I don't see this as a failure, I just hadn't got a weather forecast before leaving port and the headwinds are stronger than anticipated. I'll adjust my sails to keep the ship from tearing apart and still make (slower) progress. Anything is better than nothing so scaling back to Monday and Friday for now will be good for me.

    Friday, 24 July 2015

    So Very Tired and Needing to Change My Food.

    I have been getting the normal amount of sleep(about 7 1/2 hours). It maybe all the walking I've been doing by taking the long way home on Tuesday and Thursday(it may be the flat shoes I've been doing the walking in), but my legs are heavy and I feel exhausted. There are iron deficiency issues in my family so maybe now I'm working past my limit. I'll do my bodyweight routine tonight as planned and take iron with dinner to see if I feel better in the morning.

    Sunday is the pride parade but otherwise I'm not exercising this weekend. This week was a lot harder than I expected considering how easy Monday seemed.

    I'm looking at food more. I know I eat a bunch of junk and it's costing me a bunch of money. I had set the idea of taking lunch to work every day but wound up not doing that because it took so much time everyday.

    Once(just once) we made a whole week of breakfasts(refrigerator oatmeal) and lunches(salad in a jar) and it took up all Sunday and the whole fridge. I think I can do better.

    Breakfast - Hardboiled egg, cheese, fruits (protien heavy keeps me from being hungry before lunch)
    Lunch - make a big pan or two of stir-fry or frittata and portion into ziplocks, tupperware, or jars, bring fruit or veg with it(the salad in a jar was awkward to eat)
    Dinner - protien(meat, tofu, eggs, beans, nuts) + a ton of veg (salad/stir-fry/fritata/classic protein & sides)

    Looks simple enough and I can cook well enough to not be bored. I'm also considering implementing the No-S approach to moderation. It's simple enough to be explained in one sentence: "No snacks, no sweets, no seconds, except sometimes on S-days." For details check out the Everyday Systems site.

    I am interested in what you might have to say about any of my posts so please feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comments section below the post.

    - - - - -
    P.S. Reading this I can see I'm tired because of all the brackets.

    Thursday, 23 July 2015

    Healthy(er) Eating

    Last night Hugslut and I were talking about healthy eating patterns and I expressed my frustration with the fact that although I want to eat healthy, I really enjoy being able to have soda/pop with alcohol at parties, as well as the occasional sweet treat like jello, icecream, or gluten free cookies. I know that processed sugars are one of the main issues, and I certainly don't want to just replace them with artificial sweeteners because they have their own issues.

    At that point Hugslut gave me some really good advice. She pointed out that eating healthy most of the week and having a sweet or soda/pop one day is a hell of a lot healthier than eating junk every day.

    I had been considering the baby steps of slowly eliminating sugars... but I hadn't considered that I don't need to completely eliminate them to be healthier. Focusing on moderation may just be my key to actually living a healthier life for the rest of my life. I can continue to level up as I go and if I decide my Level 50 self has home made gluten free apple pie with Sunday dinner, well who's to tell me otherwise.

    It's hard to describe the relief this has provided me. Logically I already know these things... but sometimes it takes someone I trust saying it for it to really sink in.
    I don't have to be perfect to be better than yesterday.

    Wednesday, 22 July 2015

    Sticking To It

    Warm-up walk home from work(about 30 min)
    ((Did not do stairs since still achey))
    10 body weight squats *
    5 incline/chair push ups * (last one sucked)
    10 walking lunges +
    10 dumbbell rows (using 2/3 gallon milk) *
    20 second plank *
    20 Jumping Jacks *
    Cool down stretch (stretched much better this time. Hopefully got everything this time.)

    Everything was harder this time. Maybe I'll just stay here and work on form.

    Started a journal to keep track of this stuff. I'll still update you, probably once a month on weigh in day (first monday of the month).

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015

    Took the Long Way Home

    Figured I'd walk along the river instead of straight home today. It does make the walk about 1.5x longer, 10x prettier, and adds some difficulty with hills... but I think I need to switch from large purse to small backpack.

    I need to clean out my purse for sure... but the basic single strap puts all the weight to one side. Also, even cleaned out it's not big enough to carry a lunch to work like I plan to.

    Looks like this won't be the way I walk home in the winter. I guess I'll have to enjoy London's trails while I can.

    Monday, 20 July 2015

    I Did The Thing!

    Actually did my first real workout at home. Here's what I did:

    Warm-up fast-walk (2km)
    Climb 6 floors of stairs +
    10 body weight squats *
    5 incline/chair push ups *
    10 walking lunges +
    10 dumbbell rows (using a full ketchup bottle because I didn't plan ahead)+
    20 second plank *
    20 jumping jacks +
    Cool down stretch

    + means I could have done more easily so make it harder next time

    * means the last one or two were really hard so stay there

    - means I couldnt finish, ease up a bit next time. There were none of these because I purposefully tried to make it easy so I wouldn't chicken out.

    Happy dance!.... Actually... I'm gonna take a shower. I'm super sweaty. Ick.

    Friday, 17 July 2015

    No Slouch

    I'm starting to realize that my recent attempts to avoid back pain by avoiding slouching at work are misguided at best. For the past few days, when I've noticed myself in the curled up and leaning forward posture that rounds my shoulders and sticks out my belly putting undue pressure on my lower spine, I've done my best to straighten my spine, pull my shoulders back, and tighten my core. This results in "sitting up straight" for a few minutes till my attention drifts and an hour later I find myself slouching with a sore back again.

    I fear I may be attempting to correct the symptoms instead of the cause. My knee has healed from the tumble two weeks ago so I will start my new bodyweight exercise routine this upcoming week. If I want to care for my skeletal system and joints, I need to strengthen the muscles that keep them in the right places.

    I'm going to base my workout on the nerdfitness beginer's bodyweight workout and do it 3 times a week. The first week will look like this:
    • Warm-up fast-walk (at least 15 min)
    • 10 body weight squats
    • 5 incline/chair push ups
    • 10 walking lunges
    • 10 dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug or similar)
    • 20 second plank
    • 20 Jumping Jacks
    • Cool down stretch

    After noting how easy/hard each activity is, I'll adjust the reps accordingly but I want to make this achievable and currently the only thing I'm worried about is actually getting 5 pushups, even on an incline.

    I have figured out where in my schedule I'm tucking these workouts. I work Tues-Sat so Monday morning after I've sent Hugslut off to work with a warm breakfast, I'll start my day with a walk around the block and then right into the exercises before I have a chance to think of what else I'm going to go that day.  Wednesday and Friday I'll just launch right into it as soon as I've walked home from work.

    I'm pondering some interval training on Tuesdays and Wednesdays but that comes later. 
    One step at a time.

    Monday, 13 July 2015

    How To Climb A Hill

    This comic came to me at the most opportune time. My next door neighbours got evicted from our apartment building and we found out soon after that we also needed to prep our apartment for the exterminator to come in.  They gave us a list of the prep-work and it seemed a monumental task. You never realize how much clothing you have til you need to wash it all, and we had no clue how much stuff was tucked away everywhere.

    I wanted to sit and pout and complain that it wasn't my fault so I shouldn't have to do it.

    I wanted to quit my job and just power through with no sleep or food because there was no way we could do ALL that and have time for anything else.

    I wanted to just torch the place and say "Fuckit I'll buy new everything".

    I wanted make a time machine and go back to before there was a problem and hermetically seal our home.

    We did it though. Bit by bit we did all the things. We just picked away at it in manageable chunks for a couple days until 9:30pm, twelve short hours before he was scheduled to arrive, we looked around and saw that we were actually done. A change of clothes and a shower later Mom and I stayed over with Hugslut while Riza slept over with her girlfriend.

    I can't wait for things to go back to normal but at least our home no longer has insect squatters. **shudders**

    Saturday, 11 July 2015

    The Difference Between a Map and a Compass

    I'm a planner, and as such I find it really uncomfortable to do things without a map. If I'm going somewhere physical it's a literal map, if I'm saving for a purchase the map is a bit more figurative(ba-dum-tish) but I've done day-by-day cash flow assessments before so it's still detailed.

    This goal focused but baby-step action thing is kinda uncomfortable for me... but I guess you can't grow if you stay in your comfort zone right? I have goals to aim for, I'll be taking a close look at the first few steps in front of me, but how A gets to B is a mystery. There may be back tracking, or mountains to climb, or chasms to walk around, or all three for all I know. It's very unnerving.

    I've set the compass, so now it's just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and doing it again and again till I'm there.

    Wish me luck?

    Thursday, 9 July 2015

    Goal Posts

    I wrote a new page titled "The Me I Aim to Be". It's not the step by step breakdown yet, these are just the main targets and how I'll know when I've reached them. According to many, many articles about goal setting the idea is to be S.M.A.R.T.

            • Specific
            • Measurable
            • Achievable
            • Relevant
            • Timely

    Being the end goals I'm not really setting time constraints on these except that I'd like to hit all these within three years. The breakdowns of the little steps will have dates attached, for now these are the over arching goals:

    • Physically fit enough to run the future homestead
    • Eating healthy 
    • Financially responsible 
    • Socialy/mentaly healthy
    One day I'll be doing handstands on the beach like the lady in the picture. Bit by bit... I'll get there.

    Tuesday, 7 July 2015

    I Was Adding So Much Stress

    Starting Saturday, the only rule I had put on myself was "Start getting ready for bed at 10 and be trying to sleep by 11 every night." Now I still had to go to work, I had a D&D session to participate in, and I had laundry to do Monday, but in the realm of rules/habits that was the only thing. I did manage to stick to it these past 3 nights and this morning was my first day at work since.

    Usually I'd get up with my alarm, feed the cats, crawl back into bed for a half hour and then hurry to dress and get to the bus that would get me to work exactly on time.

    Because I'd been getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep instead of 5 or 6, I mananaged to get out of bed when my alarm went off. I got up, fed the cats and cleaned their litter(don't usualy bother to check the box in the morning), got dressed, had half a second of "I don't have to leave yet? huh, I'm kinda bored." before brushing my teeth, putting up my hair, and then poking around on my phone for 20 min.

    Imagine that, bored on a workday morning. Thinking back I can recognise the stress under the haze of exhaustion. I'm glad I'm starting to be nicer to myself. I deserve the same level of care and compassion I give my loved ones.

    I'm going to be working on figuring out my goals and breaking it all down in to baby steps. If there's anything I've learned by injuring my knee is that it'll take 'forever' to do it the safe and healthy way... but if I go slowly, I'll get where I want to be instead of making things worse.

    Sunday, 5 July 2015

    Baby Steps Again

    I've read many articles touting the benefits of baby-steps, slow is fast, build on small successes, etc. Now, I logically know all this to be true and helpful, unfortunately every time I've tried to implement the technique I'd get impatient for the finish-line and shoot myself in the foot by doing too much at once.

    Already I'm itching to make getting up early, exercising before work, always taking the stairs, writing articles on every Sunday morning, and doing laundry every Monday morning a commitment. But that's the thing, they are not a commitment. Thinking like that is what got me right back where I am time and again.

    What I have done is commit to going to bed on time (start getting ready for bed at 10 & in bed to sleep before 11). Once I've done that for a whole week I'll consider the next step which is probably getting things ready before bed. There's so many steps between where I am and who I want to be... but if I jump in again I'm liable to fall again so fuck that, I'm doing it right this time.

    The big things to remember for me is willpower, and the force of habit. We all only have so much willpower and if I use mine all up by tackling to many things at once I'll just fall back into the well worn ruts of habit. If instead I use a small rechargeable amount of willpower to make a new habit and then tackle another tiny habit, over the course of time I will cover all the things I'd like to address without collapsing under the weight.

    I've already adjusted my social media notifications so that I'm not a slave to das blinkenlights. I'll be going through my email tomorrow to reduce that stressor by sorting and unsubscribing as required... and I have to be really really careful because I really want to make grand statements of all the many things I'm going to start doing right now! and we've already covered why that's not helpful.

    I'll write a battle plan later. For now it's simple, address my mess of an inbox tomorrow and go to bed on time every night. That's it. Nothing else. ... Well nothing else except convincing myself that's enough and I am doing the right thing by going so slow it's painful.