Tag: LIIFT4

Libra New Moon Goals

So as we enter the second week of October, the moon is entering the Libra constellation and it’s latest new moon phase. Since this is the last quarter of the year, there are only three new moon phases and three full moon phases left in the year (it’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost over—where has the time gone?).

So what are some of the things that one can do during the time of the Libra new moon?

How well are you relating to others?

How are your partnerships/relationships (personal and/or professional) doing?

Is there anything you need to negotiate?

Are you feeling good about yourself?

Regain your identity if necessary.

So in addition to looking at various aspects of one’s relationships over the next two weeks, the new moon in Libra is also passing through my 12th house—or my secret zone. This is the time when one usually wants to retreat from the world for a bit—and truthfully it probably couldn’t have come at a better time with the way the world is going. This would also be beneficial as I’m still trying to narrow down the positions for my transition plan (and by narrow down, I’m talking about trying to figure out the biotech hub areas that I wouldn’t mind moving to and then seeing what companies are in those areas and starting to look into them more). This is the time to start trying to listen to your dreams, and getting in touch with your spiritual side.

So some of the things that you can do during this time include (according to “Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland):

Try some yoga and meditation.

Take a “time out” from social media.

Dictate your dreams in the morning (use your phone, or old fashion pen and paper).

Try to face one big fear.

Trust your intuition.

Write some poetry from the heart.

Share one of your secrets.

So what I’m going to try to focus on for the Libra new moon include:

Getting back into meditation (I’ve been trying to do it nightly, and some nights I just can’t get into the groove)—but I’m going to aim for doing at least five minutes of meditation each night.

Continue working on my transition plan, and also make it out to the GeneTown Connect networking event later this month.

Continue to work through the various e-courses that I’ve bought (again trying to remember to take notes so that I can also make a blog post out of what I took away from the course).

Start working on the science blog posts.

I will also continue with my hybrid workout calendar (LIIFT4 and probably InsanityMax30) and trying to keep my nutrition under control.

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LIIFT4 Update: End of Week 4

So today was leg day with LIIFT4 (since I missed doing it yesterday). But since it was week four–that means that it was all HIIT exercises. There were only four exercises, but three rounds of each with decreasing times, then a double burnout round, and then three rounds of ab work. We’ll see if I can get out of bed tomorrow or not.

Glance at the weights over the past four weeks

I’m really enjoying this program, and will probably do a second round (though not right away). I know that I’m getting stronger (I mean why else would I have gone ahead and ordered a set of twenty pound dumbbells?), though the scale isn’t changing dramatically. But in all honesty–I don’t want the scale to dramatically change as that means there is the good chance of me gaining the weight back (which I’ve done–and it’s not fun trying to convince your body to let the fat go the second time).

I’m going to start measuring my successes by other means–lifting heavier, actually being able to do some of the moves (I still can’t do a decent reverse lunge, and lets not even talk tricep pushups), and just feeling better about myself.

Four weeks to go with program, and then it will be on to doing a second (or maybe I should say a first full complete) round of Shift Shop–it’s only three weeks, and then possibly on to doing a round of Insanity Max30. I’ve realized with the past week–pushing play does help to get rid of the headache, and if I’m honest–I’m sure the next few months are going to be prime for me developing constant headaches.

But I have remembered how I enjoy to lift weights–so I will be cycling back to the programs that have the weights, and between them ones that have more cardio and resistant training (using body weight but no actual weights).

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Photography Challenge Day 7 (a few days late and a little short)

Well the winner for today’s photography challenge was the progress picture of the increase in weights for LIIFT4. Technically this should have been the end of week four, but I started week three over as I had a major migraine headache and other issues last week that had me putting the program on hold. I for one didn’t want to try to lift weights when I felt like my head was going to explode from the pain.

              Weight Tracker

I’m really liking this program–while the exercises are the same week to week (though the legs have HIIT every other week–not looking forward to next Friday night), the order is changed week to week. So I was able to increase my weights on most of the exercises–though I’m probably still going really light on the shoulders (but they are one of my weak points). I’ve also learned that when it comes to pushups–I can’t do a tricep pushup to save my life and I might just try to work on doing normal pushups during that part (instead of just staring at the computer screen).

Next week is the measurement weekend (it will be basically four weeks of doing the program) and we shall see if there are any changes. Currently all I’m going for is to actually complete a program, if I lose some inches and pounds that is a bonus. I’ve had so many set backs that now I’m just doing things a day at a time, while still trying to focus on the long term goal of getting into the best shape of my life. I’m thinking that after I finish with LIIFT4 I’m going to maybe make my own hybrid calendar of different workouts and just switch things up daily and see how that goes (mix in the cardio with the resistance training).

 

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52 week challenge update (based on the book: 52 small changes 1 year to happier, healthier you by Brett Blumenthal)

So the summer is starting to wind down (I mean July is over in a week), I’ve realized that in terms of doing the 52-week challenge, I’ve become rather static in trying to add in a new challenge every other week or when I feel like I can take on a new one. Since the start of the year I’ve been doing well with probably about five out of the first six challenges. I’m going to stick with these for probably another month or so before trying to add in any more (mainly because I’m still slightly struggling with one or two of them). So how have I been doing in terms of each challenge?

In terms of the sleep challenge—I do have a daily wake up time (though the weekend is about a half hour later than the weekday wake time), and I’m trying to go to bed more or less around 10 PM every night. This should equate to almost 8 hours of sleep Sun-Thurs and a little over 8 hours Fri & Sat nights. Though in truth, during the week it can range from barely 7 hours to almost 8 hours—it all depends on how much tossing & turning I do each night. Now I’m trying various things to help me sleep through the night—I have the room cool (sometimes it feels a little too cool), I use calming lotions, and I’m starting to meditate at night as well (to help quiet my thoughts). I know that stress can play havoc with one’s sleeping schedule (so I’m trying to adopt the mindset of a day at a time and that everything will work out in the end).

I am getting better at making sure that I’m getting enough water during the day. I guess that is one nice thing about the hot Oklahoma summers—they make you thirsty. I know that I usually fill my mug 3 times with water during the day—that is equal to drinking about 60oz of water. I put 8oz of water in my morning shake (along with 8oz of unsweetened almond milk). I then have 20oz of tea in the morning and then usually another 12oz of tea in the evening. Depending on my workout I usually have about 16oz of water during that. So I think currently I’m on track for making sure that I’m drinking about half my weight in liquids.

I’ve decided that weather permitting (not raining or snowing) I’m going to be taking morning walks on the weekend up at Boomer Lake and practicing my photography skills. I had bought a new camera back in May before heading to New Mexico on vacation (I wanted a nice one to take pictures at Carlsbad Caverns—though I’d used my cell phone for most of them). But with the new lens that I got recently, I can get some really nice pictures now of the area birds. Which has me thinking of numerous other posts that I can work on for the photography page of the website. I’m also doing a workout (LIIFT4), plus trying to make sure that I’m moving around a good amount of the time at work (trying to get at least 250 steps an hour).

The fourth challenge in the 52-week challenge is keeping a food journal. Now this is something that I’ve been doing on and off for quite a while (though at times it’s been digital where I’ve logged what I’ve eaten into a website for them to calculate my macros for me). The only thing that I don’t necessarily do all the time is put down how much of each food I’m eating and the calories from that (because that is hard to do when you’re eating out or ordering take out from a restaurant). The author also suggests that you rank you appetite before and after each meal (trying to stay between 1 and 4—never getting down to a 0 or up to a 5). Another suggestion is that you also make note of your physical and emotional state before, during, and after each meal as well to help determine the difference between when you’re really hungry and when you’re just emotionally eating. That’s something that I don’t do, usually because I’m making note of what I’ve eaten after the fact (with the exception usually of lunch time—and that’s when I journal for the first time during the day usually).

So I may make a little chart to keep track of my hunger (before and after meals), and my moods. That way I can jot down a color or a number and then later go and put them into the chart—and then I can reflect back on why I felt that way. I know in the mornings I’m usually tired and wanting to crawl back into bed, but I’m at the kitchen table drinking my morning shake. I could be starving by the time lunch comes around (it all depends on whether or not I was able to grab a morning snack or not).

So out the first six challenges, the one that I’m probably struggling with the most right now is the fifth one: seeing the glass as half full. This is the one of trying to keep an positive attitude. It isn’t like I’m a negative person or have an negative attitude all the time, but right now I’d say that is how I’m reacting to the world. I mean if you’ve looked at the current geopolitical landscape we could be a sneeze away from some big international crisis. That’s another reason why I’ve been slow in my job search, because I’m being pessimistic on whether or not the world is even going to be revolving next year. (So yeah–I need to work on this one).

I’m also getting pretty good at making sure that I take my multivitamin and other supplements (such as my allergy medication, additional calcium, an couple of omega-three-six-nines and then some cranberry supplements for the bladder). I’m keeping track by checking off each day, and then on the weekend filling the pill container back up for the week (easier than trying to remember which pills to take or carrying all those bottles around in the backpack).

So in summary—I’ve acknowledged that I’m struggling with trying to keep a more positive outlook on life. I also need to add in additional trackers with my bullet journal (hunger levels and moods), and just try to remember to drink at least two mugs of water during the day at work and then another two bottles of water once I get home (and during my workout) to ensure that I get my water in. I know that I need to try work on these six (some more than others) before going on to other challenges. Once I don’t stress over these challenges, then it will be on to the next block. One nice thing about these types of challenges—they’re at your pace, and you can go as slow as needed to make sure that they’re going to stick.

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Aquarius Full Moon Goals

Well we’re basically to the end of July (which means there are only five months left in the year). I really do wish that time would just slow down a little—I mean I could swear that yesterday was Memorial Day and a three-day weekend. Anyway the moon has spun through Capricorn, and Cancer constellations and will be entering into Aquarius. And with this transition, there is also going to be a solar eclipse (that I won’t be able to see since it won’t be visible from the US).

So to begin, I’m going to take a look at “Moonology: working the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, to see what questions one can be asking themselves during this Aquarius full moon:

Have I been pragmatic to the point of losing the romance of life?

Have I been living too much in my head and not enough in my heart?

Have I been trying to do things my way, just for the sake of it?

Have I been trying too hard to befriend people, and for the wrong reasons?

Have I allowed myself to move forward this month?

So with numbering the above questions 1-5, I think that my answers would be as following:

  • I’m not really sure how to answer this one. I’ve never been in a relationship—I was picked on through out public school, and then I was concentrating on classes and working throughout my undergrad and grad school times. When I moved to Boston for my first postdoc—I was focused on trying to find a balance between work and life (and never really did find it). After coming home, I’ve been focused on trying to determine what my career is going to be (probably to the determent of having a social life). Plus I figured that I’d only be back for a couple of years, and I don’t want to have to deal with the idea of a long distance relationship. So my answer would have to be maybe???
  • Yes, I probably have been living too much in my head and not enough in my heart. It’s just easier that way right now. I don’t have the energy to try to figure out what my next career path is going to be and try to balance that with a social life. I know that I probably should be a little more social (would probably help in dealing with social anxiety)—I just don’t have the energy right now to do it.
  • I think the answer to this question depends on the context of the question. What things are we referring to? At work there really is only one way of doing most things when it comes to setting up the reactions and getting the plate run on the machine. Cooking and cleaning?? Maybe I do things my way, but that’s just because that’s how I like to do things. So I think that this question can be misleading. I know that things change and there can be faster and quicker ways of doing things—the question one has to ask themselves is this: Is the new way more cost effective than the old (in terms of certain science practices), and what would happen if we ran out of money (is there someone that can do it the old way)?
  • I don’t think that I’ve been trying too hard to befriend people, and for the wrong reasons. I know that to get forward in industry, one has to network. The networking can take time depending on how many conversations you have between the two of you before you are able to send your request for an informational interview or a referral. I know that I’ve had people reach out to connect with me on Linkedin, and then almost right away ask for help in their job search. When this happens I politely say no that I don’t know of any openings and wait to see what their response is.
  • In terms of moving forward this month—I’m hoping to move forward in terms of my transition plan. While I think that my current job is secure until sometime next year, I do need to aim to be somewhere else by April of next year (this is currently 9 months off). I’m doing LIIFT4, so I’m also trying to move forward with my workout schedule and trying to get back into shape as well.

So this transition of the moon through Aquarius is also having it pass through my fourth house or home and family zone. This can be a time to where we can make changes to where we live, work on any issues we might have with family, and again try to find balance between one’s personal life and one’s career. For me this basically means still working on my transition plan to move into industry but at the same time trying to keep a balance to where I’m not spending all my time outside of work working on it (I can probably do some stuff during the day at work [like read coding books to figure out how to set up a webpage and things like that]).

So my goals for this full moon period include:

  • Continuing with LIIFT4 (currently I’d be ending week 2; so that by the time that we get to the next new moon—I should be through week 4).
  • Renew some professional memberships (and possibly see about joining one that is slightly outside my area of expertise so that I could possibly go to a “blue networking event”).
  • Continue working on my transition plan (there are some areas that I think I need to freshen up or redo; which is why this transition plan document is over forty pages).
  • Strive to find that balance between work/job searching/and trying to have a life (socializing, crafting, spending time with my animals).
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LIIFT4 Week 1 Completed

So yesterday marked the end of week 1 of LIIFT4, and I’m sore as hell. One of the reasons why I decided to give LIIFT4 a go is that it’s a four day a week program (two days on/one day off/two days on/two days off), so that you can almost make your own schedule—picking two days to start, taking the next day off, going two days, and then having a full two days off before starting the second week. So this isn’t the first weight training program I’ve done through Beachbody (I’ve done CharleanExtreme, Les Mills PUMP, 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, and T25—all of which are either majority resistance training or a mixture), and I’ll have to say that it’s nice to know that I haven’t totally loss my ability to lift semi-heavy.

Now I know that some people will say that lifting five to 8 pounds isn’t lifting heavy (or even semi-heavy), but when you haven’t been working out consistently for months—I think it’s pretty damn good that I can lift that amount for three rounds of 10. Though I did order a 10-pound dumbbell set (and it should be delivered before week 2 starts), and then I can use those for some of the exercises where the 8-pound did feel a little light. There were some exercises where I didn’t lift any weights (reverse lunges), mainly because those are my weak points. So I do have a goal that by the end of the program I can hopefully hold weight through at least two repetitions of the reverse lunge, and that I might be able to do three triceps pushups on the floor (and not elevated or standing).

 

I’m also going to try to do active recovery days (potentially trying to fit in either a cardio dance [country heat or CIZE], or something more pilates or yoga based)—that way once the next week starts I will be a little more loose and limber.

CIZE (c)beachbody.com
Country Heat (c)beachbody.com
PiYO (c)beachbody.com

 

If interested in anything Beachbody related—links are at the bottom of the page, or drop a comment and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

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Starting LIIFT4

LIIFT4 (c)Beachbody.com

So as many know I’ve been trying to figure to get back into a fitness and nutrition routine since the beginning of the year. I’d be going good for awhile and then slide backwards, and then crawl forwards, and slide backwards again.
I’m a firm believer in Beachbody workout programs—I’ve been a customer since I think 1999 (basically whenever Yoga Booty Ballet came out)—and yes, I’ve been struggling with my weight for basically 20 plus years. But that issue has been solely on my shoulders—I cave to mistakes way to easily, and then allow the problem to get even bigger before I try to take on a fitness routine again.
I’d made a good start several years ago when I started with T25 (it is a great workout program that is only 25 minutes a day for 5 days), then went on with a few other programs as well (CLX—Charlean Extreme, 21 day fix, 21 day fix extreme, Les Mill Pump), but at the same time slid backwards on my nutrition and allowed an injury that sidelined me for about two months to stretch into about three and half years. During those three and half years—I gained all the weight I lost and then some. While I didn’t (and don’t) really hate myself—I am disappointed in myself for allowing myself to slide so far back (basically I’m back at my grad school weight).
So I’ve decided that I’m going to start again, and this time in “community” setting. I’ve decided that I’m going to try LIIFT4, which is one of the two new programs that beachbody is going to be rolling out this fall. LIIFT4 is basically a program that combines resistance training (weights) with HIIT intervals; and it’s only 4 days a week.I enjoy doing weight training (Les Mill Pump is still one of my favorite workouts), and decided that maybe trying something new in terms of weight training is the way I need to go. So day one is done—my chest muscles and upper arm muscles aren’t really talking to me (I don’t know how well I’ll be able to move my arms tomorrow). So far the only exercise that I’m going to have to figure out modification/replacement for are doing the tricep pushups—I don’t have the upper arm strength, and I’m not sure my arms like going in that direction anyway. So stay tune, within the next two months I will hopefully be sharing at least one series of comparison photos (it may be just the before and after—not sure).

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