Final Stretch

I have 3.4% body fat to go before hitting my goal of 15%. I’ve already lost 5.5% or so. Given that it gets harder the lower I go, I suppose I’m about halfway there. I hit a four-week plateau at 18.9%, which totally obliterated my hope of reaching 15% by Daylight Savings Time, which is this weekend. I blame Soylent and too much exercise. Maybe when I reach my goal I will experiment with different DIY versions of Soylent, but for now I’m buying groceries (*sigh*).

I talked to my chiropractor (not all chiropractors are created equal, but Dr. B is amazing), and he helped me figure out a more moderate exercise routine. He emphasized that gains come from rest, not exercise itself. I’m not changing my weights workout, but I’m cutting way back on cardio: sprints only three times a week and elliptical only twice. Sprints will be five, 15-second sprints, with one-minute walks in between, possibly with some variation. Elliptical will be 15-20 minutes (down from 35) at 138-148 bpm (down from 145-155).

I haven’t been counting points for about two weeks, and the first thing I lost was my sleep schedule. Apparently, I really need a system to enforce my sleep schedule. What I didn’t lose was my dietary laws. Apparently, I am awesome at saying no to certain foods, even if I’m just cognitively motivated. My gym attendance suffered a little, but not badly. I still lost fat. I mostly became undisciplined with time and much less productive. In short, I think I have internalized my fat-loss goals but not my productivity goals. My new system will be skewed towards productivity.

As with my previous system, I will post my score, my letter grade, and my body fat to Facebook and on stickies each Monday, but this time the score is out of 100. I’ll be starting for real this Monday, and my new target date is Monday April 27th, which gives me seven weeks to make as much progress as I can. I think I’d at least like to see 16.5% by then, and 15% would be the most awesome thing. I’ll allow myself two corrections to this plan in that time.

Sleep (40/100)

  • Getting to bed means lights out, in bed, no need to get up or turn lights on (but meditation for 5-20 minutes is cool), followed by at least 3 hours of sleep, but probably more like 6 or 7. I earn 2 points every day (14 total) for getting to bed by midnight.
  • Getting up means out of bed, toothbrush in hand, and not getting back in bed for several hours. I earn 3 points every day (21 total) for getting up by 7:30a.
  • Getting a great sleep means going to bed early, getting more than 7 hours of sleep, and getting up by 7:15a. I earn 1 point for per day I do this, but I only count two per week (2 total).
  • Meditating well means at least 10 minutes of focused, positive thought that leaves me feeling content about the present and ambitious for the future. I earn 1 point per day I do this, but I only count three per week (3 total).

Exercise (40/100)

  • Doing weights means going to the gym and doing at least five different sets of a certain muscle group (chest/tri, shoulders/trap, back/bi, legs). I earn 3 points each day I do weights before dinner*, but I only count four per week, and only once per muscle group (12 total).
  • Doing planks means holding the plank position for at least a minute. I earn 1 point every day I do this twice, once before lunch* and once after dinner*, approximated on fasting days, and I earn 1 point per day, up to three days a week I do this a third time, between lunch* and dinner* (10 total).
  • Doing sprints means doing five, 15-second sprints (or something similar but harder) with about 1 minute of walking in between. I earn 3 points each day I do sprints before eating anything, up to three days (9 total).
  • Doing elliptical means a 2-minute warm-up, followed by at least 16 minutes averaging 143 bpm, with less than 1 minute spent outside the 138-148 bpm range. I allow myself one break in order to tend to tight muscles, but then it’s 20 minutes instead of 16. I earn 3 points each day I do elliptical before dinner*, up to two days (6 total).
  • Planning the gym week means doing weights for all four muscle groups and doing all sprints and elliptical exercises in a staggered order: S, E, S, E, S. I earn 3 points if I plan the gym week perfectly (3 total).

Fasting (10/100)

  • Fasting for the day means, for at least 24 hours after dinner* on a Friday or a Saturday, not eating or drinking anything with significant caloric value (black coffee is fine) and not doing weights or elliptical (planks and sprints are fine). I earn 9 points if I do this once a week (9 total).
  • Weighing in means using my bathroom scale to measure body fat. I earn 1 point if I weigh in within the last two hours of a day-fast (1 total).

Organization (10/100)

  • Getting out the door means being in my car, ready to go somewhere (typically work) to do something that takes at least an hour, and not going back in the house until I have done that thing. I earn 1 point each day I get out the door after before 9:00a, up to five days (5 total).
  • Finishing a card means completing a personal task that I had written in a card on Trello. I earn 1 point for each card I finish that legitimately takes at least 15 minutes, up to five (5 total).


  • I incur a late to bed penalty of 1 point per hour past midnight I have not gone to bed.
  • I incur a late to rise penalty of 1 point per half-hour past 7:30a I have not gotten up.
  • I incur a late to eat penalty of 1 point per hour past 9:00p I keep eating.
  • I incur a late to meet penalty of 4 points if I inconvenience anyone by showing up late to a meeting, appointment, or commitment.
  • I incur a forgotten pill penalty of 1 point every time I forget to take some predetermined supplement.
  • I incur a forgotten reminder penalty of 1 point every time I forget to check my reminders at some predetermined time of day.
  • I incur a steps penalty of 1 point every non-fasting day I don’t see at least 3 solid lights on my FitBit.
  • I incur a dirty room penalty of 2 points every day I go to bed with a pile of things out of their place in my room.
  • I incur a wasted day penalty of 5 points every time I spend more than 3 hours out of any 8 hours playing video games or watching TV, movies, videos, etc., except for a movie that is more than 3 hours long.
  • I incur an alcohol purchase penalty of 20 points if I buy alcohol for anyone to drink.
  • I incur an alcohol day penalty of 10 points if I drink on a day that violates the 2-2-2 rule**.
  • I incur an alcohol excess penalty of 10 points per drink beyond two in a day, as per the 2-2-2 rule**.

Extra Credit

  • I earn a progress bonus of 1 point per 0.1% body fat lost from last week (difference of weekly minima), up to 10 points.
  • I earn an education credit of 1 point for every day that I complete a half-hour language-learning module, as long as I also did so the previous day, up to 7 points.
  • I earn a steps credit of 1 point every day my FitBit goes off because I took over 9000 steps.
  • I earn a maintenance credit of 3 points for giving myself a haircut, doing a load of laundry, and watering the plants.
  • I earn a sales bonus of 6 points if I sell something I had bought over a week prior.

* Meals only count if they contain at least 20g of protein and have nearly perfect ingredients.
** The 2-2-2 rule is no more than two drinks a day, no more than two days in any seven, and on no two consecutive days, where a normal or small beer, a quarter of a normal bottle of wine, or a normal shot of liquor is one drink, and a large beer is two drinks.

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Posted in Personal Development

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