Health: Intermittent Fasting for 9 Weeks Challenge

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This post will be updated weekly through 9/6/2020.

If you know me or read my blog at all, you probably know that Jacky and I love food. Not just a little, but really loooove food, so dieting was really never going to happen for us. However, we both independently heard about intermittent fasting (IF) and the health benefits it supposedly provides whilst not restricting one’s diet in any way whatsoever.

It only required us to eat all our meals and snacks mindfully between certain hours of the day, which actually sounded doable for us. Our physician friends have confirmed that it’s perfectly healthy and normal to do, so Jacky and I decided that we would start it together after July 4th, so here we are!

We’ve been guilty of getting hungry late at night and snacking on baked goods or instant noodles or even having a full-blown meal just before bed. Often times, one of us will get peckish and start eating and then the other will follow, even if we’d resolved to not eat any more that day. We know that’s not good for us, so now that we’re both in this together hopefully we’ll be able to overcome these bad habits.

I know we’re taking on a lot of challenges at the moment (sleeping/waking early, exercising and now this), but we consider them less to be short-term challenges and more lifestyle changes that should provide long-term health benefits.

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Wellness: Wake Up Early For July Challenge

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This post will be updated daily through July 2020.

Hello hello!

We are now officially in the latter half of the year (what!) – happy July, everyone :) My Sleep By 11pm For June Challenge is now over and I’m taking my learnings from it to set myself a new challenge for July.

I didn’t manage to change my bedtime to 11pm in the end, but I did manage to sleep earlier and wake earlier than I had been doing at the start of the month and, importantly, I learned a lot from the struggles I experienced.

For July, the goal is to be able to wake up before 7:30am without the use of an alarm by the end of the month. I’m not a morning person, and I don’t have a need to be a mega-early riser (especially since my hubby is a night owl), so if I can wake up between 7 and 7:30am, I’ll be a very happy bunny.

This time I’ll be focusing less on the time I fall asleep and more on what time I wake up, because I don’t think it matters what time I fall asleep as long as I can hit my wake-target. If I’m hitting my wake-target, I reckon I’ll be so tired I’ll end up sleeping earlier anyway.

Challenge Details & Goals

Throughout July, I will be setting alarms to help myself wake up in the morning. With each passing week, I’ll be setting my alarm earlier by 30mins. The idea is to slowly re-wire my body’s sleep schedule for an overall healthier lifestyle moving forward.

The alarms I’ll be setting will be:

  • 7/2 – 7/8: 8:30am
  • 7/9 – 7/15: 8am
  • 7/16 – 7/22: 7:30am
  • 7/23 – 7/29: 7am
  • 7/30 – 7/31: No alarm

I will be tracking my sleep time (night before), my wake time (day of), hours slept and total restful sleep hrs using the same sleep tracker app as last time: SleepWatch. I will continue to note my exhaustion and headache levels to see how my sleep affects my body. I will not be tracking my weight for this challenge, but if I happen to weigh myself I’ll add it in a note somewhere.

Please check back in to see how I get on and keep me accountable. I’ll be updating this daily and will do my best.

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Fitness: Doing Chloe Ting’s 2020 Summer Shred Challenge

Image screenshot: Chloe Ting 2020 Summer Shred Challenge

This post will be updated daily until the challenge is complete.
Jump to starting numbers.
Jump to week one or end of week one update.
Jump to week two or end of week two update.
Jump to week three.

It’s that time again where Jacky and I take on another one of Chloe Ting’s workout challenges. Yes, last time I said that we would start the new workout on Wednesday and that did not happen. We were both very tired that week and then my period started and I ended up feeling way too tender.

I was still nursing a headache this morning but I finally decided enough was enough, I can’t keep excusing myself from exercise, and now I can finally fill in that ‘exercise’ column of my new bullet journal, lol.

I checked out a number of her programs and ultimately decided this one would work best. Jacky’s a trooper and is just happy to do any exercise with me so he let me choose. He’s the best <3

I’m glad this challenge has a lot more rest days. But of course, you can afford to take more rest days if it’s more of a long-haul program. I think after doing her 2 Week Shred Challenge I’m less intimidated by a slightly longer program, it’s only approx. 22-45min per day, and now that we have a bit more strength from completing the previous challenge I do feel it’s a lot more doable. Oh! And I actually like the music for this one haha, which I learned is more important to me than I thought it would be.

We had a noise complaint from our downstairs neighbour last time (with whom we’ve now made peace by the grace of God and some homemade banana bread hehe) so we’ve decided to replace her “Ep 1: 12min Full Body Workout” video with her “Ep 4: No Jumping HIIT” video. This should also be easier on our bodies while still giving us a great workout.

Unlike last time, I’m not going to post my weight, but I will still post my waist and hip measurements. This time, Jacky made sure to take photos of where on my body I measured my ‘before’ from so we can make sure the measurement results are accurate.

Last time I measured my hips at the smallest part, but this time I’ve taken the measurement from the largest part of my hips as you’re supposed to. In addition, I’ve made mini-videos of my progress pictures so we’ll be able to better perceive if there is a difference.

I took these photos just before we started exercising. I ate in the morning (albeit not a lot) and had an iced coffee in my system, but these are pretty close to what I’d look like in the morning anyway.

Without further ado…

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Wellness: Sleep By 11pm For June Challenge

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This post was updated daily and completed on 7/1/2020.
Jump to final thoughts & results.

Hello, now that I have your attention with the adorable kitten image, thanks for joining me on this challenge. Mwahahaha.

As you may be aware, the last challenge I gave myself was to cut out excess sugar from my diet. That one, I had no idea how long I’d track it for and also no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t even realise it was a challenge to myself until the last day. Needless to say, it was a spectacular fail!

This time though, I’m actually setting myself a challenge. Why? Because it’s hard. And I want to do it. And I want to be kept accountable.

I’ve been sleeping late recently and it’s just wrecking my health. I nursed the worst headache I’ve had for a while today after sleeping at 3am last night. I then took a 3hr nap in the afternoon and my head still hurts. It wasn’t even like I was doing anything important. I was just watching anime. Clearly I lack self-control and it’s a problem.

Challenge Details & Goals

Through 30th June, my challenge will be this:

> Turn off all electronics by 10:30pm to prepare for bed
> Be in bed by 11pm
> Wake up by 9am by the end of the first week, 8am by the end of the second week and 7am by the end of the final week.
> Note sleep time (night before) and wake time (day of) etc. using a sleep tracker app to track data. I am using SleepWatch.

I aim see how sleeping earlier affects my fatigue/lethargy, headaches and will also do a weigh-in every 7 days. Also, Jacky will eventually have to go back into the office for his job (maybe as early as next month?) so I want to be able to wake up early to make us breakfast and pack a lunchbox for him like this woman does for her husband — I’ve been inspired!

This means changing my wake up time from 10am to 7am in the next few weeks. I’ll be setting alarms to begin with, but ideally by the end of the 3 weeks I’ll be waking up naturally around 7ish. I need a good 8-9hrs sleep/night so that means going to sleep around 11pm. They say it takes 21 days to build up a new habit, and I have exactly 21 days of this challenge.

Please do check back in to see how I get on and keep me accountable. I’ll be updating this daily and will do my best.

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Health: Cutting Excess Sugar From My Diet

Image credit: Unsplash

Edit: This post was completed and last updated on 6/9/2020.
Jump to end results and final thoughts (spoiler alert: I failed).

Back when I was trying to lose weight for my wedding, I cut out sugar and exercised a lot more. I practically lost 2lbs in a week just from cutting out sugar alone. I felt healthy and strong.

Lately I’ve been having anxiety on/off for no good reason recently, as well as bizarre, anxiety-inducing vivid dreams. My husband said he heard me gritting my teeth while sleeping last night, and I’ve had a headache since going to Costco yesterday.

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