Kickstart

SlothEnergy

Active member
Posts: 36
It has always been a struggle for me to exercise regularly. For a long time, I tried to just scold myself into finding the willpower to do it. Only after I finally admitted that my willpower was too weak, I managed to find helpful strategies and to actually achieve something :ss:.

I’ve found ways to keep exercising daily, but even after a year long habit, things happened and I got back to the chair and the couch again…
For some time now, I’ve been trying to get my habit back, but without the success that I would like. However, now I’m determined :LOL:. I'm going to approach the whole thing more strategically, like I used to in the past.

Darebee has helped me before and I’m enlisting it’s help once more :).

For the first 2-3 months my goal will be just to build the habit. In order to do that I need a program with some special qualities:
  1. Goes easy on me and doesn’t test my willpower too much. Like I said, I’m weak :).
  2. Has short workouts that fit into my morning routine. Someday, I want to wake up earlier in order to exercise, but I have to take small steps towards that too.
So I started with Foundation Light, with the option to add workouts from other light programs, but only if I really feel like it. I’m already on day 14, but I have started to feel like slacking again…

That’s why I decided to start this log. Hopefully, I will keep myself going. I think I’ll just keep it weekly for now. Here is the first two-week summary:

- 14 days of Foundation Light
- in some of the days, I added Arms of Steel chair edition, 5 workouts in total, but I have some shoulder pain so I had to stop
- and in some other days I added Square One, 3 of the workouts.

And I've managed to gradually wake up a bit earlier than before. By about 10 minutes :LOL:
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Guardian from Vancouver, BC
Posts: 164
"No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Socrates"

SlothEnergy

Active member
Posts: 36
Hi, Bees!
Thank you for the welcome :heart: everyone!

I managed my third week of every day workout.
  • 7 days from the Foundation Light program
  • and 4 days from Square 1
The beginner programs are really nice for where I am with fitness right now, in terms of consistency as well as strength, endurance etc. At level 3, I feel I’ve worked out, get good energy, and without being sore the next day. They are also short, especially since I am able take shorter rest between sets. Therefore, I can squeeze at least one in the morning and my motivation stays at a good level. When I have more time and feel like it, it’s easy to add two together, but I’m happy even with just Foundation Light. Great job, Darebee :heart:!

For me, the best time to work out is in the morning. If I miss the morning, the likelihood of skipping that day increases dramatically.

That’s why getting up early is important. Unfortunately, I still struggle with it. I manage a 6:50 on the days when I go to work, but 6:30 would be better. As for work-from-home or weekend days , I just can’t convince myself to get out of bed early, especially with these dark and cold mornings. Theory says that we should be consistent no matter the day. Also, practice says that if I stay in bed too long, I get too hungry. After I eat, I can’t immediately work out. And then, the day happens…

So I fear I might fall off the wagon if I don’t solve this waking up issue.

Actually, I know that waking up early starts the night before, when I decide at what hour to go to bed. And I see my weak spot here: I waste a bit too much time (on my phone :blink:) and go to sleep later than I should. So it’s the bed time, not the wake up time, where I should focus first.

Therefore, I’m taking a pledge here, in front of all the Bees, that I will go to bed no later than 23:00. :yaz:
 
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SlothEnergy

Active member
Posts: 36
Hello, Bees! The defense of our hive seems to be going well, so I can take some time for a log entry :pumpkin:.

I’m happy to say that I managed to keep exercising daily:
  • Foundation Light – 8 days and I’m on day 29 now
  • 6 days of Square 1
  • plus some punches and kicks to fight the Halloween monsters
I’ve also managed to get up slightly earlier in the morning. Part of this is due to going to bed early enough. I have an 8 days streak in this challenge, though yesterday I almost missed it.
I recall reading a book, The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal (I should say, Professor McGonigal :D, as she was a lecturer at Stanford). In one chapter, she writes how an entire chain of decisions, even tens of them, lead to one moment in which we practice a bad habit or skip something that we wanted to do. If I think about it, I can trace my wake-up time pretty far back into the previous day. For example, I used to come home from work, eat and then start various evening activities, and only when it was time for bed I would start to shower, remove my makeup, brush my teeth. And maybe put away some things that I had thrown on the bed and forgot about :LOL:. This is partly to blame for my failures to catch all the needed ZZZs. The key to an 8-day streak in the challenge is that I started preparing for sleep much earlier. After dinner, I do about three quarters of the preparation and only leave a few minutes worth for right before bed. And that makes it (slightly) easier to get up in the morning.

By the way, I highly recommend that book and I’m going to browse through it again. Here is a link to see what it's about. It has a lot of useful information and alternative strategies for achieving better habits. I also discovered another one by the same author - The Joy of Movement: How exercise helps us find happiness, hope, connection, and courage. Seems like a good one right now :).
 

SlothEnergy

Active member
Posts: 36
Hey, Bees! I did buy the book I wrote about last week, The Joy of Movement. It says there comes a moment when intense exercising starts giving a feeling of being high, something like Ecstasy :happy:. And it gets people addicted. I can’t wait to be addicted :LOL:. It’s supposed to happen after approx 6 weeks of regular exercise. I’m on my fifth, so fingers crossed :LOL:. Although I'm not working out very intensely yet.

Here is what I did this week:
  • 1 day of Foundation Light and that’s one program done!
  • I started Baseline and did 5 days
  • plus 5 days of Square One
  • I’m on a 14-day streak with the Go to Bed on Time challenge and I managed to get up in the morning at a goodish hour every day
To spice it up, I’m thinking of gamifying my workouts a bit more. I liked the idea of an Avatar profile chart from the Avatar Upgrade program, so I made one for myself as best as I could. I’m not sure how to classify exercises into categories like speed or power or endurance, so I didn’t go there. I went for the three main categories in Foundation Light, plus stability, where I will enter abs and balance workouts, and mobility, for stretches and other mobility exercises.

So here we are:
Categories:
  • Strength/ Muscle endurance
  • Tendon strength
  • Cardio
  • Mobility
  • Stability
I guess I should give these categories some fancier, game-worthy names, but I didn't think of any yet.

Points:
  • For programs with difficulty level 1, I get 1 point for doing the workout at level I, 2 for level II, 3 for III
  • For difficulty 2 programs, I get 2 points for level I, 4 for II, 6 for III
  • For difficulty 3 programs – 3/ 6/ 9 points depending on level
  • For difficulty 4 programs – 4/8/12 points
  • and when I get to difficulty 5 (a girl can dream) – 5/10/15 points
These points will go into each category depending on the type of exercises. I will try to approximate and not overthink it.

Upgrading the Sloth:
  • For getting from Sloth Level 1 to Sloth Level 2, I need to earn 500 points
  • Then 1000 more to get to Sloth Level 3
  • Then 2000 for level 4 and it keeps doubling for each of the next levels.
Penalties:
I need a penalty system as well. I’ll take out 3 points X Sloth level for missing a day. There.
Current standing since starting the Darebee programs: 173 points :worried:
 
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SlothEnergy

Active member
Posts: 36
Another week with daily workouts!:dance:I also progressed a bit in terms of exercise volume. Every morning, I did workouts from two programs, back to back, and I started to add some light exercises in the evenings as well:
In my little game, I added 62 points to my avatar and I’m at 235 now.

So I have reasons to be happy with how I'm doing, but sometimes I feel that I’m too easy on myself with these super light programs even if I do them at level III. I feel that I’m not increasing the difficulty fast enough and I conclude that I’m not progressing.

So I have to keep telling myself that the point, for now, is to create a habit and that I have to be patient and progress slowly. Also, I will have to allow myself to regress from time to time, so as not to give up. I’ve been known to do this completely irrational thing: if I felt that workouts had become too difficult, I gave up instead of bringing it down a notch, because bringing it down felt like failure...

I also have to avoid being too attached to my streak. In the past, losing a long streak sort of lead to giving up because my mind was telling me that I had already failed so what was the point. I mean, what is in my head?! I read something in Atomic Habits: it’s okay to break the streak, just make it a rule to not do that twice in a row. So I’ll focus on that.
 

SlothEnergy

Active member
Posts: 36
Hey, Bees!
Just managed to finish my second program today. Square 1 is done :nod:.

This week:
  • 7 days of Baseline (13 to 19)
  • 6 days of Square 1 (26 to 30, but with 27 done twice by mistake)
  • 3 days of Arms of Steel chair edition (8 to 10)
  • 30 min. on the elliptical. I should do this more often than once a week
  • 26 smaller workouts that I usually cluster in the evenings: Balance, and several from the Mobility collection. Very nice for doing while watching a movie or talking on the phone
All these added 60 points to my Sloth avatar, so I have 295. If I keep it up, I’ll reach level 2 by the end of the year. :bigsmile:

Unfortunately, I broke my streak once with the Go to Bed on Time challenge. I just left a hole in it and continued, and I’m going to restart it after the 30 days are up.

I realized that adding points to my Sloth avatar makes it easier for me to see where I have holes in my training. And I can see that I need to work more on the cardio and the stability parts (and I include core workouts here). So here is the plan until the end of the month:
Have a great weekend!
 

SlothEnergy

Active member
Posts: 36
Hello, Bees! :worried:
This week I managed to stay with the plan and work out every day.
Next week I’ll start fizio and kinetotherapy for a bit of an injury. The sessions will be early in the morning, which will disrupt my exercise routine :worry:. If I don’t work out in the morning, it’s difficult to get myself to do it later, especially when I work from the office. Usually, I get back home pretty hungry, so I’m sure I won’t work out before dinner, and I’m too full to do it after. All I can do is something easy, like Balance or some easy mobility, and that's not enough for me to count towards my streak.

Kinetotherapy is still exercise, so that will count, but I need a plan for the fizio days if I want to keep my streak. So the plan is this: I’ll get more food for lunch and keep some to eat again at about 17:00. This way, when I get home I’ll be ready for a nice Baseline workout.
 
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