• 2017

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      January 2017 - Tanktimus the Encourager

      Tanktimus the Encourager Tank, deadlifting at Camp Nerd Fitness.   Huge congrats to Tanktimus the Encourager, our very first Rebel of the Month here on Nerd Fitness.   Tank has been a longstanding, very active member of our community since 2012, and I couldn't think of a better person to give the first ROTM to (and just to talk about the impact Tank has had on others - out of 200 answers to the recent survey I put out, over 50% of people mentioned Tank as someone that has made a positive impact on their journey - that's HUGE). As a part of this, I asked Tank to answer some questions about his journey and picked his brain about ways we can succeed as much as he has    Take it away, Tank!    Tell us a bit about yourself My real name is David Tankersley (which got shortened to Tank a lot, and then got lengthened back to Tanktimus). I'm 35, in San Antonio, and a Hospital Chaplain. Currently Engaged and super excited about it. I'm a proud member of House Tyrus and a very happy Ranger.   How long have you been a member of the rebellion? How did you find us? I joined August 13th, 2012. It's the same day I joined the forums. On a whim, I googled the phrase "nerd fitness" and Steve's blog popped up. That was back when it was just the blog and the forums. I set up an account as soon as I learned there were forums.   Tell me a bit about your daily routine It varies depending on the day of the week, I work Mornings Friday and Saturday and Evenings Sun-Tues. Wednesday I usually spend the Afternoons at a place where I'm a volunteer chaplain. One constant is breakfast, bacon, eggs and coffee when I get up every morning. I usually am up between 7:30, whether I'm going to work that day or not. I have found that incredibly helpful. I will usually cook for lunch or dinner, and make a big enough meal to split in half. If my Fiancee is coming over she gets the other half, if not I have the second half either for dinner that night or lunch the next day. My workouts are also on a weekly schedule. I lift twice a week, usually either Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday. The other days are either walking or Yoga. I shoot for five days a week working out.   What changes have you made to your batcave to help you succeed? The biggest changes are in the Kitchen. I eat paleo for all but 2 meals a week, so I simply don't buy stuff that isn't paleo. (A trick I learned from an old article Spezzy wrote on the blog). That way when I'm hungry I get something healthy.   Biggest success since you joined? It's hard to point to one specific event. One of the things I often tell people on the forums is "Success is the accumulation of the consequences of good choices over time." I think the biggest success is the progress I've made since coming back to the forums in the Spring of 2015 (I had dropped off the boards for about 2 years by that point). I'm stronger, more flexible, and way happier since I came back.   What are your tips for success? Remember we are on a journey. Success isn't a single accomplishment. Rather, it's a change in mindset, in lifestyle, in seeing ourselves differently than the we ever have before. Success isn't built on one good decision any more than it is derailed by a single bad decision. It's cumulative, so the more positive changes you make, the more successful you become. The only way to lose is to give up.   Biggest failure? How'd you bounce back? Like with success, there isn't a single incident. Several times in my adult life I've gotten my weight down close to where I wanted it, then quit focusing on being healthy and gained a bunch back. I bounced back by forgiving myself and starting to focus on being healthy again. Lately I decided I was no longer a fat person, and therefor I no longer do fat person things.    What's the biggest tip you could give to a new recruit to the NF Rebellion? In the words of Douglas Adams, "Don't Panic." There are many changes ahead of you on the road to being healthy, don't try to make them all at once. Start small and set yourself up for success. For sure head over to the forums at rebellion.nerdfitness.com It is the most postive, healthy place on the entire internet. And when you do start, no matter what happens, no matter how badly you think you've failed, DON'T. STOP. EVER.'   Any other parting words To anyone reading this, remember, you are awesome. When you begin to truly believe that, you will be unstoppable.
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      February 2017 - Miss Marissa

      Note from Spezzy: This month's Rebel of the month goes to @missmarissa, who happens to be one of our guild leaders in the Warrior Guild. Marissa has been a part of the rebellion for a few years now and it has been absolutely amazing to watch her progress not only strength wise, but seeing the mindset completely change, and come back from injury setbacks and completely rock it. Marissa is not only competing in powerlifting (finishing her last meet at 95.7/47.5/112.5) but also has decided to just do ALL THE THINGS (like, backflips!) that she loves and has shown that you can actually be a total badass in multiple areas of fitness   Anyway, I'll let Marissa take it from here       I'm Marissa! I currently live in the Madison, WI area and work as a Mechanical Engineer in the space industry. I'm a Warrior at heart, but I've been branching out a bit lately into assassin and ranger territory. I love powerlifting, but I've grown fond of gymnastics, kettlebells, yoga, and other bodyweight training recently (NF Rings and Handstands anyone?). I've also signed up for a GORUCK challenge in September with a handful of other nerds and the thought of running/rucking both terrifies me and excites me. My nerdy interests are primarily Harry Potter and the DC Universe; I'm a Harley Quinn fanatic. Drop me a line if you ever want to geek out about Space, powerlifting, feminism, all things Batman, or anything else at all really :)   How long have you been a member of the rebellion? How did you find us? I first discovered Nerd Fitness in Fall of 2013 when I googled "Paleo diet" and Steve's article was one of the first to pop up. I quickly devoured nearly all the content on the blog. I joined the forums in May 2014 and have been fairly active since January 2015. I also attended Camp Nerd Fitness for the first time in 2016 and looking forward to attending in the future.   Tell me a bit about your daily routine. Weekdays are pretty consistent. Wake up around 7, eat breakfast and get ready for the day (pack lunch, change, hair and makeup, pack gym bag). To work by 8:30 where, depending on the day I work until about 5:30 or 6. Every day at work is different and presents its own challenge. After work is different depending on the day. Mondays I head to gymnastics, other days straight to the gym for lifting (I aim for 3-4 days a week total) or sometimes I go home and do things around the apartment or run errands. Most nights I cook dinner around 8, and then shower and spend the rest of the night relaxing with my boyfriend or reading. Tuesday nights I have a weekly meeting with a few other nerds here in Madison, where we go over our goals from the past week and how we did and then set goals for the next week and put a plan in place to achieve them.   Weekends are a wild card. I usually like to relax around the apartment and read comics or watch movies. Sundays I try to make it to the gym, grocery shop and do some meal prep for the week.   What changes have you made to your batcave to help you succeed? This is actually something I've been working on A LOT recently (and struggling with!) I've been trying to improve my morning routine and finding different ways of what works for me and what doesn't. Most recently I've been shutting my cell phone off at bed time and not turning it on until I leave the apartment for the day. Things I've done before that have worked really well is always having healthy snacks on hand in a drawer at work (jerky, nuts, protein bars, herbal tea, rice cakes) so I can avoid using a vending machine or grabbing a donut. I've also tried to put a focus in my life on reading more, so I'm always carrying a book with me and have stacks of books and comics throughout my apartment so that I look to pick up a book before I turn on the TV or open up my laptop.   Biggest success since you joined? I don't know if I can point to one single success, but a handful of things that stick out in my mind: · The first time I successfully did a chin-up. I had been practicing banded pull-ups at home on my doorframe pullup bar. And one day I just walked by and decided to try without the band and managed it. I freaked out, I was so excited! · Leaving a fairly cushy job that I hated, in a city I didn't really enjoy all that much either and moving to Madison for a new job with lower pay. I ended up loving my job, the city, my new gym, and making so many friends here. · Starting gymnastics at 27 years old, after a 16-year hiatus. And progressing farther than 9-year-old Marissa ever did. I can do a BACK FLIP you guys. What are your tips for success? Find what works for you! Experiment! Before NF I had always thought that getting healthy meant running on a treadmill and eating salads. And that never worked for me. I found that I love lifting weights, but I also love doing handstands and flipping. I've tried counting calories, counting macros, paleo, cheat days, etc and none of those have really worked for me either. But I've found success with an intuitive eating / moderation approach. I don't ever feel deprived because if I'm craving something, I'll eat it, but I don't eat junk food just because it's there. It was something that CNF headmaster Maddie Berky preached about at camp: having compassion with yourself and your body based on your food choices, and making a conscious decision to eat something that might not be traditionally "healthy" and finding that balance with what is healthy. Using that to nourish my body and my mind.   Biggest failure? How'd you bounce back? In March of 2015 I had injured my hip and groin muscles. I couldn't do any physical activity for over a month because of the pain and had to rebuild back up from a bodyweight squat up to back squatting with heavy weight again. It was incredibly difficult for me emotionally knowing that I couldn't do something I love at all (lift weights) which caused me to have a bit of a depression and spiral into emotional eating. I didn't really have a great support system at my gym at that point and with my coaching. As soon as I realized this, I hired a new coach who is a better fit for me and have tried to focusing on forming friendships with my gym mates. It was hard for me to set my ego aside and start back from the beginning, but I'm so glad I did. Just finally 2 weeks ago did I reach a 210# squat, which is what I was squatting before I injured myself. And I'm proud to say that it was faster and with better form than before.   What's the biggest tip you could give to a new recruit to the NF Rebellion? If you set a goal and screw up or don't reach it, it's not the end of the world. You didn't fail, you just found something that didn't work for you. Dust yourself off and try again. One donut won't make you re-gain that lost weight, and one failed rep in the gym doesn't mean you're a failure as a person. You can't compare yourself to anyone else, or in some cases, even past you. As long as you're truly putting in the work to improve yourself and giving 100% effort you will succeed. (Also, giving 100% looks different from day to day. Sometimes 100% effort means crushing your workout and eating paleo all day. Other days it means just putting on pants and brushing your teeth. That's ok.) Any other parting words A quote I read on a Chipotle bag once that stuck with me (yea, a Chipotle bag… of all places.) "We will never have a perfect world, but it's not romantic or naïve to work toward a better one." I've applied that quote to self-improvement and it's really helped me embrace the journey. Which is what this is all about, the journey, not the finish line.
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