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Matt Offline
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Post: #101

30 Day Health and Fitness Challenge: Day 29

Not much to report today. I went bare foot running again. I heard someone in their care say, "That guy ain't got no shoes." :lol:

I noticed my calves and achilles tendons a have been aching most of the day. I did some stretching and that helped a little. Depending on how I feel tomorrow I might not exercise so that I have the strength for my big run on Friday. We will see.

Only 1 more day left!
03-29-2012 11:52 AM
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Apu Offline
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Post: #102

Congrats on making it this far! :clap:
03-29-2012 02:42 PM
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Matt Offline
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Post: #103

Thanks, Apu!

30 Day Health and Fitness Challenge: Day 30

I'm adding one extra day to my challenge just because i want to finish up this week of my jogging plans. Tomorrow I will be going jogging for 21 minutes straight without a walking break. I'm excited about it because I've worked hard to get back to this level of fitness.

Today my calves ached so I just went walking for 40 minutes. I will be posting my final weight and thoughts about the challenge tomorrow.
03-30-2012 09:59 AM
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Matt Offline
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Post: #104

30 Day Health and Fitness Challenge: Final Thoughts

Challenge completed!

I'm happy I did this. I worked really hard throughout this challenge and I think I made a lot of progress. I wouldn't say my health and diet is perfect now but I have made tremoundous improvements in my lifestyle.
  • I have lost 5 lbs and now weigh about 195.
  • Exercising everyday is simply a normal part of my life now. I enjoy exercising multiple times a day when I can.
  • Vastly increased my stamina as well as the distance and time I am able to jog without resting. Today I reached a big milestone: I was able to jog for 21 minutes straight without a break! I haven't done that in several months.
  • I have made big improvements to my diet like eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more water.
  • I have cut out alcohol from my life. I haven't drank in about 7 weeks. This is the longest I have gone without alcohol in maybe 5 years.

What still need to be improved?
  • I need a wider variety of healthy meals to make for myself. At the beginning of the challenge I cut out a lot of fast food but any benefit that had was offset by the fact that I ate bacon nearly everyday. After cutting out bacon I hated my diet and felt extremely bored and frustrated by it. For the most part I only have 4 or 5 meals that i can make for myself that I consider healthy.
  • I want to cut fast food out of my diet altogether. It's garbage but I still have cravings for it.
  • I want to cut soda out of my diet once and for all. I plan on doing that throughout April.
  • I want to continue doing resistance training and have more fun with it. Any enthusiasm that I had for it at the beginning of the challenge has disappeared and I now find it very boring.
  • Have at least one rest day a week where I do not exercise. My big 21 minute run was early this morning. I knew my legs were already sore before the run but now they are aching pretty badly. I must take at least one day off from exercise now. Maybe two.

Even though I am done with this challenge I do plan on continuing to improve my health and fitness. I will be beginning a new journal in another thread to track my progress. I will probably update it about once a week so I can review my progress.

Thank you to everyone who commented in this thread throughout the challenge. Thank you Scorpionsage, Fireflyz56, Ish, Elezhara, Jaleen, Squiggle, Celes, Stacey, Nimiprem, and Apu. Your encouragement and advice means a lot to me and I am glad we are all here for each other in the forums.

My next big challenge will be a 30 day drawing challenge for myself. I will be posting this in the habits forum. I am really excited about all the challenges I will be doing and all the empowering habits I will be building this year.
03-31-2012 09:25 AM
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Ish Offline
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Post: #105

Congratulations :dance: :dance: :dance:
You've achieved a lot in these 30days. It's an inspiration for me as I have some trouble being regular with my exercise :D
I found a site which could be interesting for you.
It's Matt Frazier's NoMeatAthlete. Even if you don't want to be veg, there are many resources on running and you'll get ideas on how to increase veggies in your meals from the recipe section.
Another interesting article
03-31-2012 02:00 PM
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Celes Offline
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Post: #106

Hey Matt, congratulations on completing the challenge! And congratulations on not going for alcohol for so long. That's actually a huge accomplishment. What do you think has been the most helpful in successfully cutting out alcohol?

"If you want to get something you have never gotten before, you have to do something you have never done before."
Personal Excellence - For people passionate about achieving excellence in life
04-01-2012 08:48 PM
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Kimberly Offline
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Post: #107

Congratulations Matt! I am really impressed with how much you have accomplished this month.

While I don't have expert advice on how to quit fast food and soda, last year my husband started to get really sick every time he had Pepsi/ Coke or fast food like McDonald's or Wendy's. We knew we were eating out too much and living off of junk food, so our solution was to quit together. It was tough at first but we focused on cooking new meals together and saving money by not eating out. Also, we found our biggest excuse to eat out was "there's nothing to cook" so we solved that by meal planning every week. Our "buddy system" worked, and I can honestly say that I do not crave this at all anymore. Is there anyone you know who would like to quit junk food as well? That way you can support each other and both benefit from it.

Good luck with April's challenge - I can't wait to see your drawings!!

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
04-01-2012 11:03 PM
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Matt Offline
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Post: #108

Hi, Ish. Thanks. I have thought a lot about eating much less meat. Right now I feel it's too big of change to completed phase it out. I will definitely check out the recipes section though because I do believe that you can be in fantastic shape on a vegetarian diet.

Scooby Werkstatt, the person I get most of my health advice from, is actually a vegetarian and he appears to be in peak physical condition.

Thanks, Celes. A few things happened that contributed to me not drinking anymore. Family members expressed concern about my drinking so I did receive some encouragement from people I speak to often. The gas station where I might normally buy beer moved a couple blocks further away so it was no longer as convenient to walk there to pick up a drink. The biggest thing though was that I just realized it wasn't making me happy. Drinking was a huge escapist behavior that I would run to whenever I felt sad, angry, or lonely. I realized it really wasn't helping me in the least and actually made all problems worse.

Thank you, Fireflyz. I'll keep the idea of the buddy system in mind. I know that the behavior of others can rub off on you in negative or positive ways. I just started a new journal in the health and fitness forum to track my progress from here. Hopefully others will start their own journal so we can encourage and motivate each other.
04-02-2012 05:10 AM
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jaleen3981 Offline
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Post: #109

Congratulations, Matt!! You have lost 5lbs in 30 days!! Wow, how I wish I can have that achievements!!
I'm unable to jog too much and I have knee problems. So I walk usually... When I have the time, I go for evening walk with my mom for at least one hour, and we chit chat while walking. Or else, I do aerobics at home, or some other exercises. Now, I have set up my mind that I exercise not only for keep fit, but the most important is keep myself healthy! So, I exercise at least 15 minutes everyday. :)

Also, I like the items in your "need to be improved" list. Those are my targets as well!! I hope that I can achieve it as many as I can. ^^

Thank you for motivating me through your action of posting up your update in this forum!! :D

PE thread: Journal of the Journey of Jaleen
You may visit to my Mandarin blog too. ^^
04-02-2012 12:55 PM
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Apu Offline
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Post: #110

Congrats, you completed the challenge!!!
Wonderful!!
(This post was last modified: 04-02-2012 05:46 PM by Apu.)
04-02-2012 05:45 PM
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elezhara Offline
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Post: #111

Congratulations Matt!! You´ve done such a great job!
How did the jogging plan work for you?? I ended up not following it at all and doing my own plan. Yesterday I was finally able to run 4km without stopping, so I was really happy.
I´m also working on cutting out fast food and soda from my diet. I´m trying many new recipies and I´m having a lot of fun cooking! I tried to find healthy recipies which looked like the fast food I like and that way I don´t miss it at all. I make my own healthy burgers and pizza at home and I also teached my parents! So much fun!!!!
Good luck for the future!
04-03-2012 02:54 AM
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Matt Offline
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Post: #112

Hi, Jaleen. Too bad about your knee problems. I think going for long walks or doing aerobics is just as good as jogging. Maybe even better since I have been reading a lot about how jogging can contribute to many joint and tendon problems.

Thanks, Apu!

Thank you Elezhara. I appreciate it. The jogging plan I followed was great. I would recommend it to everyone who has trouble jogging. Congrats on jogging 4 km. I'm not sure I have jogged that far yet without a break. I think I might be able to do it in the next couple weeks.

BTW if you find any especially good recipes please share them with me!

My sister recommended this chili recipe to me a few weeks ago and I love it.
04-03-2012 11:50 AM
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Bette Offline
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Post: #113

Hi Matt!

So glad I stopped by here and learned about how you are challenging yourself, and that you have been making vast improvements these last 30 days! Huuuuuge congrats to you, Matt! :dance: I am sooo happy for you! :D

Change sometimes comes about quickly, sometimes slowly, bu the important thing is, IT IS HAPPENING for you in your life! You know why, too, and what it takes for you to see those changes, and you have been committed and persistent and now you can continue to grow and build on all that!

About missing the fast food. Sounds like you are motivated to concentrate on eating fresh and healthy foods...and that you would very much like to avoid the entry of fast foods into your increasingly healthy body. What I discovered is that if there was a trigger food, or a food that I know is really not supportive of my best health, and I avoid that food, the craving or desire to eat that food lessens until it finally goes away! And it does go away. Once out of the system, the whole paradigm changes. :D
:heart:

How 'bout?:
"I am eating for my optimum health and fitness." :D
"I love to eat fresh, healthy foods." :D
"I love to create/make new recipes that are satisfying AND that make me feel great!":D
"I am successful at whatever I focus on thinking and doing!"

Anyway, speaking of food, my friend and I are going to friends for dinner, and we still have some preps to make for what we are taking with us (fresh cucumber soup cukes from the garden...delish!... and salad with romaine leaves, fresh tomatoes from our garden, shredded red cabbage, arugula (from the garden), feta, and a bit of olive oil....YUM!!!)

Just to check in, though, say how happy I am for you, and I'll be back!
Keep up the great work!:hug:
Best thoughts to you!
:hug:
08-06-2012 07:42 AM
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Matt Offline
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Post: #114

Hi, Bette. I have seen you around in the public challenges but haven't had much of a chance to chat with you. Thanks for your comment. This challenge was a few months ago and things are still going about the same. I think I am getting enough exercise but my diet is so so. I think things are improving though because I haven't been eating fast food nearly as much or drinking as much soda. I'm happy about that.

Although tonight for dinner I did have some pancakes with maple syrup so my diet can still be improved upon. I had some grapes with it so that makes it healthy right? RIGHT?

I have been meaning to get back into the habit of posting here regularly so thanks for your post. BTW where is your Best Life JOurnal? (And your avatar?) Feel free to post a journal whenever you get the chance. You have such great energy I'm sure everyone will be interested in seeing your growth.
08-06-2012 08:23 AM
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Matt Offline
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Post: #115

Like I said in the previous post I will be using this thread more often to just post my thoughts.

Today was a bummer. Some of you might remember me posting about my sister several months ago. After a long period of not speaking to each other we were able reconnect and had a stronger relationship than ever. In October she moved to another state to be with her boyfriend but we still kept in touch.

Over the past few months she has often expressed frustration with her boyfriend and his family who live with them. She has been thinking more and more about leaving and starting over on her own. Great. Except that she hasn't had a job in over ten years and has no money. The only plan she has thought about is simply leaving with what she has and staying at a homeless or women's shelter in hopes they can provide assistance for her.

I have told her this is a terrible decision. I have offered to let her stay at my home many times for as long as she wants without rent but she refuses. I have also many times suggested she get a job but she always has a million reasons why nobody would hire her so she refuses to every apply for one.

Today she sounded like she had really had it and wanted to leave her boyfriend as soon as possible. I sent her an email again offering her a place to stay. When I spoke to her she complained about everybody she lives with and said she feels like she is being bullied. I again insisted she get a job to earn money so she can survive on her own. She brought up reasons why she cannot do that. I dismissed her excuses and told her why I thought they can be easily overcome. She said she didn't call me to be put down. I never called her a name or accused her of anything. I asked her how I was putting her down and she hung up. She did not answer when I called back and did not respond to emails.

I think she probably is going to pack a bag and leave on her own without money or a plan. I am worried about she safety. I have told her it is not a good idea for an woman to be homeless. She has suffered from depression for many years and I am also concerned about the possibility she may hurt herself. I've been bummed out most of the day and it's frustrating because there doesn't seem like there is anything I can do.

I love my sister and I want the best for her. It's so frustrating to see loved ones making choices that are clearly not in their best interest.
08-06-2012 11:45 AM
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elezhara Offline
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Post: #116

Hey Matt! It´s good to hear from you. I´m sorry about what´s happening with your sister. I wish I had some really good advice to give you.
I´m struggling with a simmilar problem myself (with my brother) and I know how hard it can be to see a loved one do things like that. Just let your sister know that you will be there for her no matter what her decision is (even if you´re not happy with it), listen to what she has to say, tell her how much you love her. She´s probably so stressed out about the whole issue that when she hears someone talk about how "she should be doing things" she just shuts down, even if you are suggesting things with the best intentions.
I really hope things gets better, just hang in there, if she´s just half the strong person you are, she´ll be ok. :hug:
(This post was last modified: 08-06-2012 07:29 PM by elezhara.)
08-06-2012 07:29 PM
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Matt Offline
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Post: #117

Thanks Sara. Since she isn't open to speaking to me for now I think I will wait before I try to contact her again until she cools off. Maybe then she will be more open to the idea of getting a job or coming to live with me. I think you are right that she might just be shutting down when I make suggestions t her. Sorry to hear about your brother. It's frustrating when we have issues with people we have known our entire lives.
08-07-2012 04:33 AM
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Bette Offline
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Post: #118

Oh my...Matt, this is a toughie, big time...soo difficult to watch a loved one take a hard turn. Like Sara said, as long as she hears you/knows you are there for her unconditionally, that is all you can do. I know, it is difficult to feel/be powerless to DO something...but then again you ARE doing something when you send her your loving thoughts and energy, no matter what. :heart: Whether or not she consciously hears you, she IS getting your positive, loving vibe. :angel: Hopefully she will be receptive and open to what really is best for her. We all attract to us the experiences we need to learn/go to the next level....Life's a mystery revealed at some point!

Keep the faith, and know you have done all that you possibly could...you can only open the door...she is the one who decides which doors to enter....
:hug:
08-08-2012 10:11 AM
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Matt Offline
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Post: #119

(08-08-2012 10:11 AM)Bette Wrote:  Keep the faith, and know you have done all that you possibly could

Thanks for reminding me of that, Bette. I hadn't thought of it but that does make me feel better.

I do love her but I have to admit that lately when I think of her I feel just frustration and resentment rather than love. I'm not the first person to resent a close family member though. Hopefully no matter what decision she makes she will be safe.
08-08-2012 11:06 AM
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Angela Lam Offline
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Post: #120

Hey Matt your drawings are really lovely. Were they all original creations, wow! You must really continue to share your work. Way to go! =)
08-14-2012 10:41 AM
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