2000 AD Online Forum

General Chat => Off Topic => : sheridan 01 April, 2021, 01:24:25 PM

: challenge yourself!
: sheridan 01 April, 2021, 01:24:25 PM
As Buttonman's thread (https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=46150.0) will go on haitus until munros open and their other goals get more attainable, I thought I'd start a more general thread for the rest of us to challenge yourself (as everybody knows, if challenges and resolutions are made public then you're more likely to attain them - wether through guilt, shame or support from the people they're been shared with).


I'm mostly copying and pasting what I put in that thread...

Lose Weight / Get Exercise: I think a good proportion of the readers of 2000AD nowadays have that challenge - the demographics mainly being people in middle age or fast approaching. The NHS tells me this (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator/):
Healthy weight range for your height: 10st 4lb - 13st 13lb
Your health would really benefit from gradually losing just 5% of your current weight. The best way to lose weight is through a combination of diet and exercise.  Aim to lose 11lbsRecommended daily calorie intake: 2051 - 2637 kcal. 
To lose 1-2lbs a week stick to the lower end of the range.
First challenge I have for this is that neither of the electronic scales in the house currently work, so I'll focus on getting some sort of exercise every day.


Update Blogs regularly : as luck would have it I also have a blog that I need to keep updating regularly.prog slog hack (https://sheridanwilde.wordpress.com/) and prog slog hack forum thread (https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=42158). 
I've had runs where I managed to update pretty every day, for almost six months but this can get challenging at times, either through not having time to write or from encountering publications which take longer to read then the average weekly prog.


Get a Letter Printed: I've not had anything published yet (I think I've sent in a total of about 10 letters and/or emails over the past 35 years) so if I send a letter a week perhaps the constant drip, drip, drip will force Tharg to print one just to shut me up?
This was somewhat harmed by lockdowns and not being able to get the weekly prog in the same week that they come out (I support my friendly local comic shop, so have been having them delivered once a few months worth of progs and megs stack up).

Draw or write something at least once a week: doing a blog commenting on other people's creativity makes me want to spend some time creating things of my own.  Especially when I see the clumsy world-building and art from some early appearances - they might be world-class creators now, but they leant by doing - and in the case of some people all the learning was on public display (I won't mention names, other than what I've already done in my blog).
Not been doing too well at this, but as April is Camp NaNoWriMo month I hope that acts as a kick-start.


Read all the unread comics and graphic novels I've got lying around:  Getting my excuses in early, I've moved house a few times in the last couple of decades and so some issues have got misplaced with all the moves.  I'd hate to read the next issue without having read the preceding one.  It's only this year two years ago that I've managed to get all my reading material in one place and been able to start organising it.  Along with runs which are partially read I have three boxes of comics to read through...  I've made a start with Sandman: Overture (https://amzn.to/33idUCs), which had had a few issues in one place, one somewhere else and the rest in a third place since it was completed... er... four years ago!
As I mentioned over on the other thread, I managed to read Overture (I even partially compiled a playlist of what the artist said they were listening to while drawing it - available on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5US10A1blr1LdCKVPGaJG9).
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Jim_Campbell 01 April, 2021, 01:58:23 PM
Your health would really benefit from gradually losing just 5% of your current weight. The best way to lose weight is through a combination of diet and exercise.  Aim to lose 11lbsRecommended daily calorie intake: 2051 - 2637 kcal.

This is an admirable goal (I've been on weight loss and fitness kick since last May, mainly as way of trying to salvage something positive from this fucking disaster of a year) but I'd honestly treat the NHS advice on weight loss with some suspicion. Their reliance on BMI is baffling — it's a statistical model that's so vague it ends up being usefully applicable to no one.

The only time I've ever been within the NHS's 'healthy' BMI range was almost thirty years ago when I had a bout of glandular fever and lost two stone in a fortnight*, and at that point I was so thin, I could count my ribs by touch, through a suit. I likewise checked the NHS site a few months back, and it advised me to lose weight (which I absolutely still need to) and suggested that at my age/weight/activity level, I should aim for 2300-2700cal per day to lose the necessary weight.

If I get anywhere near a 2000cal/day average (including booze), I put weight on. And that's working out seven days a week, burning ~1100cal/day in exercise alone.

There's a certain amount of trial and error in this (especially since a diet that makes you miserable is pointless, because you won't stick to it) but I'd go low for a week — as few calories as you can manage without making yourself ill, and see what the scales tell you. From there, you can calculate up to a more acceptable calorie range that will still deliver a weekly loss.

Obviously, I'm not a qualified dietician, so treat everything I say with a pinch of salt (or low-sodium alternative) but I've struggled with my weight my entire life, and since last May I've managed to shift 13.7kg… so I've done something that's working.

*My throat was so inflamed that I couldn't eat solids, not even thick/chunky soup.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Jim_Campbell 01 April, 2021, 02:02:56 PM
Draw or write something at least once a week:

On that note, might I direct your attention to the monthly sketch comp? This month's comp, Sidekicks, (https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=47451.0) will open for entries tomorrow!
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Barrington Boots 01 April, 2021, 03:15:01 PM
Sheridan, you can totally achieve the stuff on your list and it's all admirable stuff too.

What Jim says about BMI is true, it's useless. When I lost weight for my wedding (10 years ago mind) I found one of those calorie counting apps useful for simply telling me what the content was for the stuff I was eating, which meant I started making more informed choices and it worked wonders without needing to resort to a strict diet regime. When you know a Mars Bar is the equivalent to half your dinner, or that it'd take you 4 hours to work it off, then you feel less inclined to have one unless you really, really want it.

I'm in awful shape nowdays, perhaps I should challenge myself here too.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Jim_Campbell 01 April, 2021, 03:33:31 PM
I found one of those calorie counting apps useful for simply telling me what the content was for the stuff I was eating

Yeah. The thing is, 2000 calories is actually a lot of food if you only eat three meals a day. In fact, I think most people would struggle to eat the full 2000 if you, say, divided it up as 500 each for a proper breakfast and lunch, then 1000 for your evening meal. It's snacks, non-diet soft drinks, and booze that quickly fill up those 2000cal, but don't leave you feeling full.

Also: carbs. Not your friend. Try to get more calories from protein and fats, which your body is pretty good at burning, and fewer from carbs, which your body is less efficient at processing and just converts to body fat to store the calories.

The health industry's decades-long war on fat in our diet needs to stop — the real enemy is sugar and processed carbohydrates. We've been cutting fat in our diets for as long as many people have been alive, and we still have an obestity crisis, and Type 2 diabetes is rampant.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Trooper McFad 01 April, 2021, 05:51:33 PM
All the best on your endeavours Sheridan 👍🏻
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Woolly 01 April, 2021, 05:56:34 PM
'Draw or write something at least once a week'

I'm halfway through trying to complete 6 fanart requests today - it's going well so far, but I fear it's going to spill into tomorrow...

(https://i.imgur.com/tnLOtTm.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/upxk1mv.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/cy0nGOg.jpg)
: Re: challenge yourself!
: JayzusB.Christ 01 April, 2021, 05:59:35 PM
Aye, best of luck all. Me, I'm getting much more physical exercise in these days and meditating twice a day into the bargain.

Still having trouble processing the idea that fat has never been the cause of obesity. I mean I believe it, but I've been conditioned for decades to suppose otherwise. You'd think the clue was in the name.

And I see that Woolly has posted while I was writing this. Utterly amazing work. You just get better all the time.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Funt Solo 01 April, 2021, 06:35:02 PM
I need to get back into a stronger PT routine for my dodgy knee. I've managed to lose 10lb since July, in an effort to take some weight off the knee and get my blood pressure back into the normal zone. But, since I stopped regular PT classes, my knee regimen has gotten patchy as all get-out. It will regress if I just sit here typing all day...
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Buttonman 01 April, 2021, 07:02:57 PM
Good luck with your endeavours Sheridan - I found a thread or blog or any sort of record helped keep things on track. You can lie to yourself but it's tougher with an audience!
: Re: challenge yourself!
: The Enigmatic Dr X 01 April, 2021, 07:46:33 PM
On BMI, I vividly remember a critical article that started with a full page photo of Lennox Lewis (who was champ at the time).

The guy was ripped . All muscle. I mean, he was the epitome of physical perfection.

The caption was (paraphrasing) "This man is morbidly obese."
: Re: challenge yourself!
: paddykafka 01 April, 2021, 07:54:24 PM
Considering the advancing age demographic some of us Squaxx are in, I fear that all this "challenging yourself" stuff should come with a Health Warning.  :)

https://www.facebook.com/grumpyoldgits/photos/a.232717906790512/3970692862992979/

: Re: challenge yourself!
: dossa1uk 01 April, 2021, 08:54:56 PM
For what it's worth, both a thread, and a subject, to kick me out of the shadows and contribute. 

Good luck (and well done) to those trying to make a change with their fitness or their body shape or their health - I bounced around as overweight for years, despite being incredibly active, finding all kinds of excuses or reasons as to why I wasn't making any progress. 

Everyone is different, but what worked for me was being forensic with my calories, understanding the difference between carbs, protein and fats, and adding a significant amount of weight training to my exercise. 

I lost three stone, got down to a dangerously low weight (gaunt!), and was able to run for miles and miles and miles.  However, I went too far - since then, I've put another stone back on thanks to weight training, and have allowed myself to relax when I tick over my self-set calorie limit every now and again.  I'm now as healthy, and most importantly, as happy as I've ever been with my health. 

So, in short, watch out for carbs, especially sneaky ones like booze and biscuits, don't cheat yourself (if it's been a bad day, log it anyway), don't beat yourself up if you go off piste every now and again, and don't get down-hearted if your gains slow down after that initial improvement.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: sheridan 01 April, 2021, 11:47:25 PM
End of the first day and I managed to get a blog post (including an annual featuring a text story) out.

I'm not too fixated on weight (or BMI), that was just a starting point.  Not having working scales means weight isn't going to be an issue for a while :-)  Though all the local stables do have a weight limit and I think I'm just the wrong side of it - riding a horse this time next year, or even at the end of this year, would be a good goal.  For the time being getting regular exercise and not eating too much unhealthy food will be good enough.

Hoping that a four-day weekend will allow me to spread my time among some of my other goals too...
: Re: challenge yourself!
: sheridan 01 April, 2021, 11:48:21 PM
Oh, and I've had issues with my weight for most of my life, but up until the age of forty it was generally that I was under weight and couldn't put it on.  How things change...
: Re: challenge yourself!
: JayzusB.Christ 02 April, 2021, 12:38:58 AM
Oh, and I've had issues with my weight for most of my life, but up until the age of forty it was generally that I was under weight and couldn't put it on.  How things change...

I hear you... :(
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Jim_Campbell 02 April, 2021, 09:28:27 AM
Well…! Logged 81.6kg (12st 12lbs or 180lbs) at this morning's weigh-in.

That's 15.5kg off since I started this fitness/diet combo last May, and the first time almost thirty years I've been under 13st. Maybe another 3kg to lose.

We've been doing a keto (almost carb-free) diet since the 1st of March, and 5.3kg (12lbs) of that weight loss has come off in the last five weeks. I'd thoroughly recommend it.

You can even drink, as long as you're careful what booze you choose. 'Pure' spirits (vodka, whisky, gin) are OK, and still acceptable with a sugar-free mixer. Drinkwell (https://drinkwelluk.com) has some rather acceptable carb-free red and white wines, and even a drinkable low-carb IPA.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Dog Deever 02 April, 2021, 01:07:31 PM
Oh, and I've had issues with my weight for most of my life, but up until the age of forty it was generally that I was under weight and couldn't put it on.  How things change...

I hear you... :(

Me too- I just canna keep weight on at all- never have been able to, I weigh less than a stone more than when I was 17. It's a cold life in the winter being sleek.

I was getting pins and needles and loss of sensation in my drawing hand after about 20 minutes of drawing around last summer. After some thinking and poking around I decided to blame my rotator cuff and started to punish it hard in an effort to loosen it up and get my shoulder sitting in a position that would allow me to draw for more than 20 minutes at a time. It's been another rough patch with posture and neck/ back issues along the way and things were going well enough for a time but the endless COVID situation does make me lose focus for long periods (as I'm sure many people are experiencing). I should take inspiration from this thread and get back to working the kinks out of the joint.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Woolly 05 April, 2021, 01:49:06 PM
Got another quick character request done - a Sad Dalek, as requested by none other than Simon Fraser!

(https://i.imgur.com/mNanB6h.jpg)
: Re: challenge yourself!
: JayzusB.Christ 05 April, 2021, 02:18:39 PM
Got another quick character request done - a Sad Dalek, as requested by none other than Simon Fraser!

(https://i.imgur.com/mNanB6h.jpg)
Love it! Made me laugh out loud. Actually laugh out loud, I mean, not the Internet slang version!
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Woolly 05 April, 2021, 04:10:42 PM
Thanks me old :)

And these two makes six requests complete! Admittedly, each and every one of them is a rush job, but it's been fun!

Apart from the RoboCop one. I stopped that one because it was weirding me out a bit...

(https://i.imgur.com/j83M655.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/m2H65CA.jpg)
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Trooper McFad 05 April, 2021, 05:25:37 PM
They’re great Woolly - I especially like the idea of robo cop standing at an ice cream van asking for a 99 😂😂😂😂
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Jim_Campbell 07 May, 2021, 09:33:51 AM
The keto diet continues… that's 6.6kg (14.5lb) off since I started it on March 1st. Should be under 80kg (roughly 12.5st) in the next week or so, which has been a target weight that's eluded me by some margin on every other diet I've tried… and I've tried a few.

The diet's a bit of a faff, TBH. If my wife wasn't a) happy to do the diet as well, and b) working from home, making it practical to plan, prepare and cook three meals a day, then I don't think we could have managed it. But, clearly, it does work.

(Also, fortunately, I've never had a sweet tooth — we've never kept biscuits, chocolates or sweets in the house, nor sugary soft drinks. If you've got a more sugar-heavy diet, be aware that sugar withdrawal in the first week or so can be a complete sonofabitch.)
: Re: challenge yourself!
: von Boom 07 May, 2021, 01:13:57 PM
I've been struggling to lose 1 st. for ages. I had come within about 5 kg of my target weight before Christmas, but a lockdown Christmas ruined me and put me back up over the 1 st. mark.

Recently, I picked up my guitar again after a long break from it and low and behold I'm within 5kg of my target weight. I'm still very rusty but I think keeping my hands and mind occupied has kept me from making poor diet choices.

I would truly like to reach my goal of below 80kg (like Jim). I would like to get down to 75 kg, but I don't think that will ever happen again without either starving myself or exercising at dangerous levels.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Jim_Campbell 22 June, 2021, 08:26:11 AM
Well, after a three week 'plateau'* on the weight loss front, it's on the way down again — now at 78.6kg (~12st 5lbs in old money). 75kg would be nice, but if it settles anywhere between here and there, I can live with that. 75 would probably see off the last of this belly fat, so I'm still aiming for that.

Exercise proceding quite nicely, too.

(https://i.imgur.com/dceaTHO.png)

No idea if this is 'good' by any objective measure, but it felt like a lot. 🙂

(This doesn't include cardio, which I log in different apps for cross-trainer and treadmill. Avg total calorie burn per day last week: 1005.)

I will also say that the Fitbod app is excellent. Highly customisable, with both text and video instructions for pretty much every exercise and it recognises multiple names for many exercises.

You tell it what equipment you have access to (including a 'bodyweight only' option if you don't have any), specify the kind of workout (weight loss, toning, muscle building, etc) and preferred duration, and it will auto-generate workouts for you. You can change which muscle groups you want to target, and save (and subsequently edit) any workouts you like for re-use.

*Not unexpected. A couple of weekends in a row where it wasn't possible to maintain the keto diet 100%, but no significant gains, though.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: JayzusB.Christ 22 June, 2021, 09:46:47 PM
Fair play.  My junkie-thin youth has long gone and the kilos are catching up on me very quickly.  Your weight is less than mine now.  Time to get the finger out, I think.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Jim_Campbell 02 July, 2021, 11:11:40 AM
Marginal loss this week on today's weigh-in, but I was honestly expecting a gain after some pretty unhealthy food choices while I was travelling last weekend.

77.6kg (12st 3lbs in old money, or 171lbs for American readers). That brings up exactly 20% of my bodyweight shed since I started trying to get fit and lose weight at the end of May 2020.

That elusive 75kg is within sight, then I'll try to stabilise which, honestly, is likely to be the trickiest part. As I know from bitter experience, rebound is a fucker.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Sean SD 15 August, 2021, 11:07:32 AM
hey Jim this thread may just inspire me to get off my butt and get rid of some excess baggage.
Any tips from your journey appreciated!
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Jim_Campbell 15 August, 2021, 12:55:44 PM
hey Jim this thread may just inspire me to get off my butt and get rid of some excess baggage.
Any tips from your journey appreciated!

Down to 75.7kg last week, which is a whisker under 12st.

I'm not going to lie — a large part of this success is the product of a combination of privilege and good fortune. I have a completely flexible working day, which enables me to fit in a lot of exercise (2+ hours a day, most days), enough disposable income to buy a load of weights and fitness equipment, and the space to use it at home.

The keto diet has been a big part of this, but, again, there's a certain amount of good fortune, in as much as my wife's been working from home since March 2020 which makes it practical to plan and prepare/cook three meals a day. Sadly, as diets go, it's not cheap since you're eliminating the low-cost carbs (potato, pasta, rice) that pad out a meal, so there's that privilege again. :(

With those fairly hefty provisos, I will say that the keto diet has been a revelation — nothing else I've tried (and I've tried a few) has so consistently produced weight loss week on week, but also not made me miserable.

We just started with this diet book. (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08NDT5HXC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) We didn't follow it religiously — some meals we didn't like the sound of, or were too much faff (plus, I'm allergic to fish) so we'd swap days around… but after a couple of weeks you get the hang of how it works, and you get out of the habit of having a pile of carbs on your plate, and it becomes pretty easy to improvise.

Although all the diet books (well, all diet books, pretty much) tell you not to drink, you can (and I have). 'Pure' spirits like vodka, whisky and gin are all allowable (stuff like rhubarb gin, or fruit vodkas aren't because of the added sugar from the fruit) and still permissible with a sugar-free mixer. The Drinkwell (https://drinkwelluk.com) website has a range of very acceptable zero-carb wines, plus a surprisingly drinkable low-carb IPA.

I'd definitely say it's worth a go.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: paddykafka 15 August, 2021, 04:25:25 PM
hey Jim this thread may just inspire me to get off my butt and get rid of some excess baggage.
Any tips from your journey appreciated!

As someone who is on the opposite side of the weight spectrum, I would happily take yer excess baggage if there was a way to graft it onto my stick-thin bod. Instead, alas, I shall have to content myself by waiting, until something like Russel's Inflatable Muscles becomes available on the Medical Card, lol.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Krakajac 16 August, 2021, 06:34:45 AM
Having hit 50 this year, my body (which up to this point has been in good nick) is starting to 'grumble' with regard to my food choices/lack of exercise.

Won't take up too much time here, as everyone is different.  However, this might assist...

I've got my weight down from around 82kgs to 75kgs in the past two months - simply from cutting out refined sugars, refined carbs and animal fat.  That simple.  And making smart food choices.  Yoghurt laced with sugar?  Nope, now 100% greek yoghurt with a drizzling of real maple syrup (which in moderate amounts is healthy for you).  I don't touch anything that's 'white' either - no milk, no white bread, no white potatoes, no white rice.  Have replaced them with sweet potato and brown rice.  I don't have a yearning for milk or bread at all.  The exception is greek yoghurt, which is packed with good stuff.

Have also tried to incorporate a bit more fruit into my diet.

I'm a police officer - and yes the police diet (ala 'The Simpsons') is a real thing.  A combination of shift-work, sitting in vehicles or in front of a computer - and easy access to crap fast food.  It's worn me down in the past year or two.

In relation to exercise (very important once you hit the half century) - three exercises ONLY.  Pull-ups/Chin-ups, Squats and Push-ups.  That's it.  I follow an exercise bloke on YT who recommended these 3 exercises, with the motto, 'little and often'.  Essentially, I'll walk out to my carport and do 4 pull-ups, 20 squats and perhaps 6 push-ups - about four times a day.  Each work-out takes about 5 minutes.  So 20 minutes total a day.  Even made a custom pull-up bar out of galvanised pipe.

Oh, I forgot to mention - the above workout only has to be done every alternate day - which provides for a recovery day.  20 minutes workout every 48 hours isn't too bad!

I have a 22-month old toddler - and I have no time for visiting the gym or lengthy workouts.  I can pop outside, hang the laundry out - and get a quick 5 minute work-out under my belt.

Seeing some good results from following the above.  Good luck to all.
: Re: challenge yourself!
: Sean SD 16 August, 2021, 10:17:25 AM
hey Jim this thread may just inspire me to get off my butt and get rid of some excess baggage.
Any tips from your journey appreciated!

As someone who is on the opposite side of the weight spectrum, I would happily take yer excess baggage if there was a way to graft it onto my stick-thin bod. Instead, alas, I shall have to content myself by waiting, until something like Russel's Inflatable Muscles becomes available on the Medical Card, lol.

Lol Russel's Inflatable Muscles can't be too far away now


Goal number 1 - average 10000 steps per day, miss out a day gotta catch up before end of week, see how I go