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  1. A little about me: What I've learned through 2016: I do not have a good support system. My family does not share my enthusiasm for working out, eating healthy, or being active. This makes it difficult for me when I am home. One of my major goals through 2017 is to find a way to balance this. I have trouble staying focused with a program. I want to be able to do all the things, however I am not good at continuing to commit to a solid schedule. One of my major goals through 2017 is to either complete a program or stick with an ongoing program for >30 days. I need to work on social mana. I have no local friends. Actually, I have very few friends anyway, and like zero that I can call up at a moment's notice to do anything. Not knocking internet friends, but sometimes, you just want to grab a cup of coffee with someone. Before the price went up, I bought the Nerd Fitness Academy, however I never really used it properly. So I've been going through the first set of e-mails you get when starting and trying to accomplish all the different missions (mostly mindset) that I hadn't done from the beginning. My current Epic Quest is to complete the Spartan Trifecta Weekend in WV, so you will see over the course of the next few months goals to get me in shape for that. Also, for Christmas, I got a Garmin Vivosmart HR+, so I'm starting to incorporate the data I get from that. January Challenge Goals: Sylvaa's doing Yoga: So Yoga with Adriene had a 31 day Revolution, which I signed up for (meaning I get daily e-mails). Actually, the Intention part of my challenge title was based upon an e-mail from this week. The point was, with yoga, instead of just doing the moves, make your body move with intention. I want to take this further and live my life with Intention. So far, I have completed every day (don't be too impressed yet - it's only Day 3 as I post this). My goal is to actually do this every day. This is a pretty big step, as I have not really ever gotten into yoga. But, the goal with this program isn't to do yoga (weird, huh?). Instead it is to work on becoming mindful and honor the task you have set in front of you. NFA: I paid for it, I should use it: There are two major components that I can really use to help myself; the nutrition component and the goal setting component. Throughout this challenge, I should be able to get through Level 3 of the NF diet. By the end of the challenge I will also have a road map to successfully completing the trifecta weekend. Make Running a Habit: @NeverThatBored and I are doing the Winter Spartan in March (March, right?!). And she runs more regularly than I do. I do not want to be the person holding us back. It's not that I mind running, it's that I need to do it to get better. So at least two days of running a week. I'd like to work towards running a full 5K by March. Regular recurring goals Drink at least 64 oz water daily Track food on MFP At least 3 work tasks daily (M - F) Daily Panda Planner write up (this is new! I got one for Christmas and am just starting to use it regularly). Also, I told everyone I had news for 2017. It's not officially been announced, but I'm announcing it: I got my promotion! I was supposed to wait until it was announced company-wide, however if anyone were to search me in our company directory, my new title comes up, so it's safe to share. I'm now technically a senior level analyst. Yay me! Finally: An icebreaker. What is your dream job?
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  2. Oh how I love zero week. ZERO WEEK!!!! ZERO WEEK!!!!! But also, I SUPER love New Years!!! It's weird because I love that it's a milestone that people use as a reset, but hate that this idea only hits some people once a year instead of every single day. So ZERO WEEK with new years??? That's a special combination. I'm going to do this past year some respect by saying I've done fairly well with it, despite the bumps and setbacks along the way. Peace be the journey, and I'll take the bad with the good and keep on moving on So this years New Years was dominated mostly by the ice looge for me... and thanks to the deliciousness that is fireball whiskey, I was out by 10:30, cuddled by some stranger lady apparently, and missed the fireworks, but that's cool. It was a weekend long party with my best friend and a whole mess of awesome folks, some old, some new. I suffered the next day, but sacrifices must be made to the party gods. And so begins a new challenge, but due to my competition schedule, nothing dramatic will be changing. I only have one thing I absolutely have to do for zero week, and I cannot put it off, I cannot lie with silence and pretend that the time has expired, in fact, it is so important... I'm already done! What a load off! I guess I can kick back and relax for the rest of the week? Nooooooo..... On to the challenge! I like the idea of simplicity for the start of the year. Something attainable and satisfying to give myself a solid win. It's not low hanging fruit, it's long term strategy 1. TRAIN TO COMPETE First powerlifting competition is in 3 weeks. Train as per Lou 3X per week. Stretching and mobility work on off days - 10-30 minutes DO NOT DO EXTRAS Life element: Trust the system. 2. CONSUMPTION First and hardest step, changing weight class, done. (I don't expect it to be a problem based on prior conversations, but if I can't change it, I will be forced to cut a little...) Assuming that's not the case... FUCK the scale. Eat and drink to maintenance. Track. When in doubt, take glamour shots or whatever to remember that I'm making progress in a positive way. Quell the stupid head voices. Life element: reach out when in need. Do not feel weak for needing help. Be honest and raw. Accept vulnerability as the face of strength. 3. STUDY 2 more months before my test voucher expires. Get the cert. Get a new job. BELIEVE IN MYSELF. 2 hours 4X per week. Life element: Confidence & kindness. Remember that everyone starts somewhere and I have more experience than I give myself credit for. Repay the debt, boost people up, and be a positive part of their lives. ALRIGHT ZERO WEEK! Let's do this. _______ Refined goals thanks to zero week insight!
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  3. As most of you know, I got engaged last month. The wedding will be late June or Early July. I’ve been getting stronger and more flexible for over a year and a half since I came back to the forums in May of 2015. I got faster for a while, but I realized I don’t like running, so I walk, but there isn’t a good adjective to describe such improvements (walkier just doesn’t sound right). What I ate was a part of my goals, but it was always vague, such as paleo 80% of the time. What I discovered was that even with paleo I can still overconsume, so last challenge I started tracking calories as well. The goal then was to track two days a week, and I have done way more than that. What I eat is the last part of the puzzle, while I am more fit, I am roughly the same size with a bigger waist than is healthy. I’m not going to over do it at first, the goal will be tracking three days a week. The bigger change is that last challenge I decided I am no longer a fat person, and therefore I no longer do fat person things. I am a healthy person, and therefore I do healthy person things. I want my waist to be healthy (and smaller) for the wedding. I know I’ll be stronger than than I am know, because, barring injury, I’m gonna keep lifting. I’m gonna keep up with Yoga and walking. It’s time to focus more willpower on healthy eating. Here are my goals for the challenge: Strength: 8 lift days. Pretty straightforward here. I will do Bench and Squat on Mondays or Tuesdaysand Deadlift and OverHead Press on Wednesdays or Thursdays. This worked really well last challenge so I’m going to leave this unchanged. Mobility: 6 NF Yoga workouts. I’ll do one session each of Water A and B, one sessions each of Fire A and B, and one Session of Star B and Yin. Last challenge I and the one before I did Star A for the first time, this time I want to try Star B. Walking: I have great places to walk, so it’s not hard to get out and do. There will be six walking days, a 2 mile, 4 3 mile walks, and a 4 mile walk are the goals. Domestic Rangering: Still the goal here to do laundry, clean bathroom and kitchen and mop and vacuum once per week. Eating: I will cook paleo and only allow myself two variances per week. This seems to be working, the trick is not to use a variance to go crazy. I’m going to track calories on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. The goal is to track, when tracking I find I naturally keep myself on target. Here’s what I’ll use in the signature instead of progress bars. Strength: 8 Lift Days _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Mobility: 8 Yoga Days Water A | Water B | Fire A | Fire B | Star B | Yin Walking: 4 Walk Days 2 Miles | 3 Miles | 3 Miles | 3 Miles | 3 miles | 4 Miles Domestic Rangering: Laundry, Mop, Vacuum, Bathroom, Kitchen 1x Week LMVBK | LMVBK | LMVBK | LMVBK Eating: Cook Paleo with only two variances per week _ _ _ _ _ _ _ | _ _ _ _ _ _ _ | _ _ _ _ _ _ _ | _ _ _ _ _ _ _ |
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  4. January challenge : Moana Finds Her Way A long time ago, demi-god Maui attempted to steal the stone heart of the goddess Te Fiti. Maui was attacked by another god, and lost the stone in the ocean, where it lay for a millennium. Moana, daughter of a chief, was chosen by the gods to return the heart stone to Te Fiti, and remove the curse that was put on her island when it was stolen. In ages past, Moana’s people were navigators, but now they are afraid to sail. In order to save her people and island, Moana, needs to learn to sail, find her way across the ocean, convince Maui to help her sail across the Pacific Ocean to find Te Fiti, battle the Lava demon, so that she can return Te Fiti’s heart and save her people. Goals: Sail across the Ocean:Drink 64 oz water (herbal or decaf tea count) 6 days a weke Learn to navigate: Morning Routine: Bible and prayer time, kitchen clean up, drink 12 oz water, start workout at 9:30. Bonus, if I do complete this task Monday –Thursday then on Friday I can start at 10:00; 5 days a week, can do make-up burpees 1 per every minute late Find Maui :Mobility work : foam rolling 10 minutes a day; 5 days a week Boss Battle: Fight the Lava Demon: Looking back at last year, I was super happy with my fitness and the goals I met there. The other goals on my epic quest were less satisfying. Some of them I may have met, but didn’t record. Others I simply forgot about. So I updated my Epic Quest, printed it out, and placed it in my bathroom. I've made a challenge journal, where I am put my Epic Quest and January's challenge. That way I can see them, and also have a fun record of my progress. I I can put my challenges there, which will make it easy to keep track of. My boss battle will have items from my Epic Quest, a few domestic rangeri things and an adventure list. To complete the boss battle I will need to fill in 30 squares. I can color in a square by working on an item from the Epic Quest or another item from my adventure list. The Domestic Ranger things I want to accomplish Hem drapes Shampoo couch Paint bathroom Get scrapbook ½ completed` Adventure List: Snow shoeing Work out outside Cold shower Organize bookshelf Journal Ruck Gold level daily dare Epic Quest List Hem drapes Get up as soon as I wake up before 7:30 9:15 or earlier start workout Anything creative Paint bathroom Scrapbook January gameboard I also game-ified my epic quest by assigning levels as I do things. 100-200 xp Learning the Ropes, 201- 399 points Fight off bad guys 400-499 points Rescue Mr Incredible 500- 699 Beat Omnidroid 700-780 xp Save the City 781+ Save the World. I put my Epic Quest in spoiler for space. I just noticed I forgot the travel xp, so I need to add that sometime soon.
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  5. Hello boys and girls! I’m happy to be back home with the Rangers and I’ve missed you all! My time with the Warriors was well spent and I made some awesome nerd friends while I was hanging out with them I didn’t get to bestow much of the warrior I wanted to be due to a nagging groin injury, but I did learn a lot, which in my book, is always a win. 2017 is upon us and there’s no better time to recharge the goals and recharge the motivation. This year, like the years before, I will better myself in some fashion. Whether that be physically, by achieving a PR or not having to worry about nagging injuries or mentally, where I pass a certification and move up in my career. 2017 host brand new challenges and obstacles to overcome and I’m ready for the battle ahead. For anyone who knows me, they know I love to cosplay. Halloween is one of my absolute favorite times of the year and I love to dress up and role play. I’ve been wanting to get a halloween costume that I would call a “career costume” for a long time now. Basically, taking the time, money and energy to fabricate and piece together a costume I could wear for the next 5-10 years. I’ve never found something I could commit too because of the detachment from the character and/or not having a good enough reason to cosplay this character for years to come. The Flash, Deadpool, Star-Lord, Gambit, Red Hood, Green Arrow and The Joker...there have been many choices and contemplations for “career” characters over the years but nothing stood out….until now. Enter sometime in 2018. A movie will come out called The Batman. It’s a solo Batman film and it’s directed by, written by and starred in by Ben Affleck, reprising his role as the Dark Knight. He’s also getting help from Geoff Johns to write the script/story. Geoff is a very famous writer for DC whose written works for Batman, The Flash and Green Lantern to name a few. But why is The Batman so significant? Well let me tell you. They are introducing to the silver screen for the first time, Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke aka The Terminator! HELL YEAH!! And, playing Deathstroke in the movie will be none other than Joe Manganiello. Woot Woot! Ok, so enough fanboying for now, but still, you ask. Why is Deathstroke so important right now? Well, my younger brother, Chase, has a “career costume”... And Batman needs and arch nemesis, yeah? Enter yours truly I’m going to build my own Deathstroke costume and slowly make it better over time. And the whole freakin point of all this is that my brother dresses as Batman and performs at these little kids birthday parties and stuff like that with his Batman costume. I’ve wanted to do something like that for years! And the idea is that my brother and I can choreograph a small fight scene to perform at these parties. He will “beat me up” in the end and take me away in handcuffs or something like that to get the kids cheering for Batman. Intricate right? I agree. It also sounds like a BLAST! I think this is going to be really cool because Chase and I will have established a swanky little gig a year or so before the movie even comes out and then when it does, we can smooth out our choreographed fights and make them better. I also got some cool Deathstroke gear for Christmas, like a zip-up hoodie, a lego figurine (who sits on my desk at work and points his gun at Green Arrow and Deadpool-pic coming for that), the original graphic novel, Assassins, along with Vol 1 of the New 52 take on Deathstroke with added mask. The mask isn't great quality but it would do in a pinch lol. Remind me to get a pic with that on. Ok, so now that introductions and cosplay plans for 2017 and beyond are out of the way, let’s move onto the first challenge of 2017! To make matters MOAR exciting, I will be teaming up with our very own, Mr. Willes! This will be a Co-Op/PvP challenge for the ages where he portrays the very sexy, very mouthy Deadpool VS my deadly, one-eyed assassin, Deathstroke. Together we will have goals we must meet as a “Squad of Death” and also as individual, badass, Mercenaries. There will be a slue of shit talking and crazy antics going on the next 4 weeks so I hope y’all be ready?! Each week will begin with a contract to assassinate some Squad Goals (team) as well as Merc Goals (individual) and it is up to Willes playing Wade Wilson and me playing Slade Wilson to figure things out. We’re both so happy to have everyone along for the ride and promise not to disappoint . “The Fourth Wall, Slade. It’s hard that not to understand, especially when drunk you as are…” Deathstroke's Challenge Goals Rehab/Prehab Work: Old Man Slade Work the junk in the trunk aka “Dat Ass” Left Shoulder, left groin and right wrist. Become anti-fragile. Strength Training/Gainz and Mobility: The Terminator 9-day Training week Focus on weak areas-core/abs and upper back on extra day Supple Leopard Sword Training/Combat: Stroke of Death Practice with off hand Shovelglove w/ 10# mace 5# Indian Clubs Conditioning/Training Mask: Super Soldier Sprints/Rucks KB’s/Metcons HIIT Wolf
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  6. They are good, but I don't roast them as often after finding them pre-shaved. You will begin to cook. It is unavoidable. It is your Dessssstinyyyyy. Today is a good day. Mi Novia had the day off for MLK day, so we had breakfast at my place and spent the morning together. She watched me do NF Yoga Water B (My workout for the day, had a slightly upset stomach so I elected not to lift today, pepto bismol fixed everything) and she liked the way Kate did the session. She may get NF Yoga some day, though it will probably be after the wedding before she does anything like that. I made lunch for us, which she had to take to go due to a dental appointment. I got to break in the spiralizer she got me for Christmas, so we made some zoodles. Having read others' thoughts on the matter here on the forums I knew enough to expect zucchini and not pasta, and I am very happy. The Spiralizer is super easy to use (Hint, Hint, Starpuck) and clean. On top of that (cooked with avocado oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper) I put a flank steak I cooked in a skillet and then sliced. Over all went a bruschetta inspired sauce. It was a pint of grape tomatoes, about 30 kalamata olives (pitted) a tablespoon of capers, an ounce of fresh basil, 2 tsp dried thyme and some garlic salt, all processed in my magic bullet. It's amazing. I'll post a final count on calories later, but it's looking to be in the good zone again.
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  7. Happy New Year, everybody! Congratulations to all those who survived 2016! This would also be a very good place for an introduction, just in case people are new checking in and they do not know me yet. Obviously my user name is Sam Ashen. If AD&D were real, my RL Class would be Sorcerer. I scribble arcane nonsense on scraps of paper, but do not study and maintain my own Spell Book. Otherwise I would be a Mage. On the NF Forums, I am obviously a Warrior, because that is the character class I most identify with and love to play on CRPG's and I also love to lift heavy and eat even heavier. Given that I lift, eat, sleep, and follow programs that are given to me, I generally just write up what is coming over the next six weeks and copy and adjust goals accordingly. So here is what the next six weeks look like: Week 0: January 2 to January 8 Week 1: January 9 to January 15 Week 2: January 16 to January 22 Week 3: January 23 to January 29 Week 4: January 30 to February 5 Week 0: February 6 to February 12 And guess what? February 5 is my second Nerdiversary! New Year's is behind us. So there is a lot of getting back to normal. Some goals for this year: Get as strong as possible while staying inside the 93 kg / 94 kg weight classes. In as much as I would love to get strong and fat, Miss Broki says NO. Getting a little more specific than that: My current weightlifting total is 184 kg, with a 78 kg Snatch and a 106 kg Clean and Jerk. I believe breaking 200 kg is attainable. So 86 kg Snatch + 114 kg Clean and Jerk will do it. At 184 kg, I can now start comparing my weightlifting total to my deadlift PR at certain points in time. 184 kg is pretty close to 405 pounds and that was the number I hit very shortly after joining NF. 200 kg is a little more than the 435 pound deadlift I pulled at CNF-2015. The wild dream would be catching up to my current 505 pound deadlift PR at CNF-2016. I am considering two or three meets this year. I would also like to do one powerlifting meet late in the year. At CNF-2016, I got a total of 1005 pounds with a 375 pound Squat, 225 pound Bench Press, and a 505 pound deadlift. The last time I checked, the state record for the 93 kg Old-Farts 1A deadlift is 580 pounds. A six-plate deadlift would do it! 585 pounds / 265 kg. Moving on to my goals recycled from the last Challenge, here they are: Quest 1 - My Second Nerdiversary - Reflect In quite a few long-running TV shows, there are episodes where the characters just go over their highlights from earlier episodes. This is much the same. It is pretty much a fun quest. If I can think of any takeaway from a Quest like this, it is: When dropping a 45-pound plate on a vertical stack: MAKE SURE ALL BODY PARTS ARE OUT OF THE WAY! Quest 2 - Follow the Program I just got my new program today! Once again, it is five days per week, all different. I have only begun to study it. It is a 12-week cycle, with two one-week breaks between 4-week cycle. The first week corresponds to Week 0 and the fourth week corresponds to Week 3. Week 4 in this Challenge Cycle will correspond to a Zero Week in the program. Show of hands: Who is confused? I might detail the programming a little bit later. And granted. Completing this quest is another given. The level of accountability in following this Quest is equivalent to getting homework done in a class where the Teacher is just terrifying. Quest 3 - Don't Die - Listen to my Body This is another simple one to follow. It is what it says: Don't die. However. Just like in any MMORPG, it is inevitable that you are going to die. A LOT. So how do I measure this? Simple. Track the number of deaths. This is pretty simple. When I say I died, then I died. Chalk up another one. Try to figure out what caused it and learn from it. Track the number of cycles. An average of one death per cycle is deemed acceptable. Quest 4 - Tracking This is almost a copy and paste of the previous cycle. Just adjusting a couple of things. Still working on IfItFitsYourMacros and being a little bit less extreme on IfItFitsYourMouth. We have approximately one year's worth of data showing a slow increase in weight at 3350 Calories per day. Setting my goals slightly lower and using slightly less than 0.9 g Protein / pound bodyweight and splitting the rest of the calories in a 3:1 ratio, I get something like: 3240 Calories 360 Carbs (270 to 450) 120 Fat (90 to 150) 180 Protein (160 minimum) So we are not shooting for any kind of precision here. Let's just see if we can hit the broad side of a barn. When we miss, then I can go looking for the culprit and evaluate from there if I should be making a different choice in the future. We will come up with a list of things we can get away with and things we cannot! Meal prep once per week. One outing per week, even if MB would have me become a hermit. One dessert between now and my Nerdiversary. Try to be original and post the picture! Track weekly weight over 2017. Track open, high, low, and close. The candlestick chart from last year was fun! Quest 5 - Life Hax - January Edition List things to do for January and cross them off. It's Tax Season and stuff to do at the beginning of the year. Retirement Account contributions. DONE! 1/4/17 Purchases. DONE! Bought positions in AAPL and VZ for approximately 56 gp. 1/5/17 Flex Account 2016 claims. Figure out Login. Chiropractor claims. Update Last Will and Testament. Fill in Questionnaire. Stuff. Tax document collection and organization. Be ready for Tax Season earlier this time. More stuff as I think of it. Quest 6 - Plan and Execute Zero Week in the Program The program consists of three four-week blocks and we have Zero-Weeks between each block. The NF Challenge Cycle and this Program are off by one week in alignment. So Zero Week in the Program corresponds to Week 4 of this Challenge Cycle. I have made it a Quest to come up with things to do over this Zero Week and this is what I the plan looks like so far: International Bench Bro Day Monday - Because Miss Broki hates Bench Press and forbids me from it. Taco Tuesday Widowmaker Wednesday Sneak in a WoD Date Thursday Friday - All you can eat pizza Saturday - Screw up a metabolic test and get it out of the way. #neveragain Sunday - Rest and get ready for Week 5! Quest 7 - Other Quests as they Appear And that's it. Pretty straight-forward. It is pretty much getting back into the routine. EDIT 1: Slightly tightened the Broad Side of the Barn. 1/2/17 EDIT 2: Added January-specific goals. 1/4/17 EDIT 3: Modified Quest 5 and called it Life Hax. 1/6/17
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  8. Ok, now that I've completed OPERATION STOBAL, I'm ready to start focusing on one main goal/habit per challenge. We have 10 challenges this year, so that's TEN awesome new habits I can build into my life. This month, I'm going to focus on walking 16 miles/week. I used to do that as a main challenge goal, and I eventually stopped tracking it once it became a habit. I still walk regularly, but over time my mileage has gone down. I think walking is a foundational habit that supports everything else, so I want to reestablish a good walking base. I'm debating whether I want to count running mileage towards the distance goal or not. Thoughts? I'll be travelling for a work conference on 1/9-1/13 (and probably networking into the evening ugh) so that week's overall mileage may be lower and that's ok. Other things for January: Continue Headspace meditation streak (2 months to go for that 365 day achievement!) Sign up for a weekly yoga class on Wednesday nights (this will free up some mental space so I don't have to worry about squeezing in yoga throughout the week and can do other mobility stuff on mornings/evenings) Continue 2 runs per week, building them up towards 5K each and getting used to running in the snow Continue 3 workouts/week Instead of my annual "frugal February" this year I think I'm going to do a 3 month shopping ban from Jan-March Shopping ban details: I'm currently still on Pacific Time so I'm going to be easing myself back onto Eastern Standard Time this week. Plus, I'm in my usual post-vacation funk where I feel really lonely with fewer friends around. So, I'll be a bit forgiving with myself about morning routines and workout intensity as I get back into the swing of things (but I will still work out). Let's do an icebreaker! Nobody I know in real life will admit to having a new years resolution, which is so boring! I'm not a big resolution person myself, but I always have some sort of goals going on, and I love to hear about what other people are working on. My 2017 resolution is to have a friggin' dining table before the end of the year. I live in a studio with no room for one currently, so that will either involve moving or a serious change of furnishing. What about you guys?
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  9. Happy New Year, Happy ZERO Week, Happy New Challenge! Right into things, then: 1. Use my fancy schmancy new spreadsheet to track ALL THE THINGS. Daily weight, daily calories. 2. Lift 3x per week, good ol' 5x5. Log here. 3. Find maintenance. I anticipate that will be 2380, but am still on the hunt. Once found, stay there through the end of this challenge. 4. LUYL: spread more positivity. This can be here, through positive posts to others, at work, to myself, or randomly at any other time. So...don't be Randal when he's like this:
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  10. I'm back, I'm recharged, and I'm hopefully ready to kick some ass this challenge! So I can avoid making some of the mistakes from the last 3-4 months, I'm keeping things very simple. Goal 1: The Daily grind I'm not quantifying how much, but I need to do pull ups, push ups, and arm balances every day. Some days, it might be a single pull up, some counter push ups, and 5 seconds in crow. It has been entirely too easy for me to either feel too burned out to try anything or to get wrapped up in other life stuff and fail to set aside the time. This forces me to at least do something every day. I'm also hoping to make some progress in the arm balancing transitions PVP thing (even though everyone else seems to have abandoned it). Goal 2: Cooking for picky little eaters I'm sick of cooking 3 different meals each night, so I'm refining my normal crock pot goal such that I have to find and try recipes that my kids might actually eat. Yeah, that means the recipes will be much more boring, but in the long run I hope I can get them eating healthier foods. The goal is to try one kid friendly crock pot meal each week. Goal 3: New yoga excitement I've had huge motivational problems with yoga over the last many months. I think at least part of this is that I'm fairly bored with my normal app and need to try some new videos and workouts. So, the goal is to hunt for cool looking yoga videos on youtube and try at least 8 of them by the end of the challenge. If any of you have any recommendations for favorite videos, I'm very open to suggestions. And....That's it! I'll still be doing my usual parkour, recording tons of piano stuff, doing a lot of coding, playing around with martial arts stuff, etc., but I'm not going to force any goals.
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  11. OH HAI Yuss, seems that once I find a good direction and everything slides into place it's quite solid. I usually use what I call resume blocks - individual experiences on one big doc that I can copy and paste as I need... and that's served me quite well over the years. This one's a touch different... but aaaaaalmost there!! _____ Meanwhile... I had to get 4" off cause 18 months of no trims. SO SHORT! I also got spa cookies And weird steampunk looking sunglasses Also space tacos exist. That is all.
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  12. C_Q's Plan for 2017 After a disastrous end to 2016, thanks to a rather horrible cold, I'm ready to do some ass kicking in 2017. My goal for the year - similar to last year - is to do as many OCR's as possible, the only difference this year is that I want to do well in races and not just be a "fun runner". I'm nowhere near "elite OCR" material, but that's no reason I shouldn't push myself and see what I'm truly capable of. The OCR group that I'm a member of (Mudstacle) has a league where points are awarded for taking part in certain races. My aim is to do as well as I can in the qualifying events and get some decent points on the league table. To do this, I'm going to really need to up my game. I need to become a better, faster runner and more efficient on obstacle completion. This isn't going to be easy, but if I really want this, I'm going to need to become disciplined, I'm going to need dedication. I'm going to need to be a mother fucking Jedi. Part One: I Am One With The Force My first two challenges of this year are inspired by Chirrut Îmwe's mantra in Rogue One. The guy might not be a Jedi, but he knows the power of the force and he has faith in it. I must have faith in myself that I can do the things I want if I just put the effort in and try my hardest. Plus, he's a total badass. Goal 1: Run Hopefully I won't come across AT-ACTs while I'm out for a run. Run at least 4 times a week I was going to go crazy and say I would run every day in January, but it's probably best to do something that I've got a better chance of sticking to! I'm going to aim to run as much as possible, even if it's just a 20 minute run around the block. But if I run at least 4 times in a week, that's a pass. Goal 2: Strength and Grip Strength Couldn't find a Rogue One Vader choke gif. Internet, you have failed me (for the last time). I planned on working on my grip strength last challenge but got sidetracked by illness. The goal will be to do my usual strength training 3 times a week and work on my grip at the same time. This can be any grip exercise like deadhangs, plate grips, climbing and pull ups (which both count as strength training too). I'll be testing how long I can deadhang for at the beginning of this challenge and then again at the end to see how much I've improved. Goal 3: Tracking Mine is built on a Bullet Journal....... I started a bullet journal over Christmas in a bid to get myself more organised. I've not really got the hang of using it correctly yet, but I've started a Monthly habits page where I can mark off tasks when I've done them; such as running and Domestic Rangering. This will help keep me accountable and give me a good idea of where I need to make improvements. This is what it looks like. It's very short at the moment, but I can add more tasks if I need to, but I'll probably keep it quite simple for this month. I'll try and post an updated picture of the habits list each week for extra accountability.
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  13. Mmm, I love the smell of a new year and new challenges. So shiny and full of promises... This year's resolution - stop bailing on challenges. I've let this first challenge be inspired by Finnish folklore as I'll be moving there in March! Disclaimer, I know nothing about Finnish folklore except what I just read on wikipedia. Dance like Näkki aka Do all the things! Dance to one song every day. Because I love it and this will become a habit. Do all the things! I've signed up for unlimited classes at my studio and I need to take at least 3 pole, hoop, contortion, acro or dance classes/week to make it worthwhile. Shouldn't be too hard as it's going to be so much fun! Classes don't start until the 16th though, so until then I'll have to do my own practices. Wake Antero Vipunen aka Learn all the things! Study Finnish daily for at least 5 accumulated hours/week. Practice programming and/or read relevant work for my new field for 5 hours/week. Don't let Ajatar find me aka Don't crash and burn Take self care seriously. I have a lot do and a lot to learn and a lot of training to look forward to, but January is not an easy month to do all the things in. Daily self care will be vital! Eat enough food! I'm going to get my butt kicked in class and I'll need all the energy I can get. To make things simple I'm just going to track whether I eat a proper dinner every day. So excited about this I'm going to start straight away. Wheeee!
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  14. Today is a good day. I felt loads better this morning than I did yesterday, and I got to process the work related portion of weirdness with my supervisor this morning. After work I cleaned my apartment, went for a roll call at the substation, lifted (Deadlift and OHP) and got to smoke my pipe with an officer while he smoked a cigar. Incidentally that same officer is one of my groomsmen. Calories for today: Totals 2,556 160 140 158 3,136 83 Your Daily Goal 2,604 326 87 131 2,300 98 Remaining 48 166 -53 -27 -836 15 Calories kcal Carbs g Fat g Protein g Sodium mg Sugar
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  15. I'm competing on the 28th. Which is end of week 3. Which would kind of fuck with any 4 week long lifting/workout style of goals. This challenge is going to be more Life Quests so I don't have to change gears mid challenge. And mornings is only one goal... but.... alliterations. 1) (Basically copy/paste from last challenge, taking a step further) Some of you may recall that in May/June I did a pretty serious cut and it was miserable and I hated every second of it. Since then I've been pretty much following the "see food" diet with no restrictions whatsoever just trying to get my mind right again. Instead of calling it cutting, bulking, or maintenance, I like to call it a "balance phase". I'm at the point where I'd like to try to start getting back into healthier habits, but also treating my body (and mind) with grace and compassion instead of guilt. I'd also like to not ever have to count another macro again in my life. The goal is to take note of every time I eat a sweet (I have a mad sweet tooth and I'm a sucker for baked goods). No calories or sugar written down. Just what I ate. If I'm feeling like it, what time it was and maybe how I was feeling. You may recall last challenge I tracked the number of sweets that I ate throughout the challenge. Turns out that the first 22 days of December I averaged over 2 sweets per day. I'm sure the overall average was higher, as my tracking the last week was not entirely accurate and likely higher than what I recall. This time I'm going to try to reduce it slightly, aiming for 10 or less sweets per week. Tracking is still the main goal, with a sliiiiiiight reduction. Caveat, competition day doesn't count because imma eat whatever the fuck I want. #NORAGRETS So, same as last challenge.... I'd like to ask that you all please try to reserve your judgement (positive or negative) for me on this goal (e.g "yay! Congrats on no sweets today!" or "Bummer about eating 4 donuts, I'm sure you will do better tomorrow"). I would please only like encouragement to share what I did eat here and no comment on the quality or quantity. Thanks in advance. 2) Need to start waking up earlier / getting a better morning routine. Currently struggling to get to work by 9 and haven't been walking. I'm also starting to have more 8:30/8:45 meetings so I'd like to make the end goal to be there by 8 so I can check email and make to-do list before meetings. This challenge will try to figure out a more efficient morning routine for me that includes breakfast, makeup and hair, other prep for the day (e.g. pack gym bag, lunch, etc) and reduces the amount of laying in bed checking instagram. Also, leaving enough time to walk to work if I need to (~20 minutes, 30 if there's lots of good pokemon on the way). Week 1: To work by 8:30 Week 2: To work by 8:20 Week 3: To work by 8:10 Week 4: To work by 8:00 <--- maintain this indefinitely is the goal. 3) I'm starting a Whole30 on February 6 with @Amdhiel Which is zero week of the next challenge, so I need to prep for it now. ☐Finish reading "It starts with food". ☐Poke around Whole 30 website ☐Start a list of recipes for meal planning. Include snacks/ potential cravings. ☐Rough draft meal plan for Week 1 4) #Lifeshit to be done by end of challenge ☐Clean upstairs bathroom☐Clean Cubicle☐Oil change in car☐Buy more colored pencils Stay tuned for other talk of powerlifting, gymnastics, space poop, DC, gratuitous profanity, and other shenanigans not directly challenge related.
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  16. Sylvaa's thread: the only place where we can have a polite debate over coffee vs tea using memes. This week is going well, although the treadmill has definitely taken a backseat. I am doing daily burpees (except Sundays), so I'm debating on whether or not that counts. It gets my heart rate up, but isn't as long as my treadmill time would be. I'm not totally concerned. Keeping my current pattern going is more important to me for this month anyway. I've currently got some chicken and veggies cooking on the stove (we are having chicken and dumplings for dinner) and the house already smells amazing. I'm also compiling a PowerPoint presentation to help the kids create their D&D characters for tomorrow. Things I am thankful for: Friday's in my jammies. I am so thankful that my job gives us a work from home day to de-stress and catch up on things that are hard to do over the course of the week. My daughter who drives me crazy, but it amazing. I'm very thankful that we can talk about things because I didn't have that with my mom while I was growing up. A supportive PM. We are having a call today because he is looking for my ideas related to a new project. MY IDEAS! Blankets and soup on cold rainy days. This needs no explanation. When it is only cold and rainy in the winter months. My husband has to commute about 30 minutes for work, so I am thankful it stays above freezing while he is out.
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  17. Not unheard of in Baptist churches... Central Market is high priced, I don't find it necessary but it lets the rich people think they are better than us I have, in moderating a buisiness meeting, got out from behind the podium, walked inbetween the first couple of rows in the aisle, and at the top of my lungs bellowed, "EVERYONE STOP AND LOOK AT ME," to end an argument before. Yesterday was eventually a good day. It was weird too. I got up early to go to a deal at mi prometida's church. They are having a 3 week focus on prayer, and M-F is a 6am prayer service. Thursdays are the only day it's practical for me to go. I never fully woke up, then came home and slept from 7:30 to 10:00. That threw off the rest of my day. I had intended to lift and do domestic rangering. This was complicated by a 2pm Staff meeting at work (I got paid for it). So I eventually did NF Yoga Water A, went to the meeting, and brought laundry to Mi prometida's house, so that much got done. Because my sleep was off my mood was down, not aided by the meeting, which was kinda heavy, or it least it seemed that way to me with my sleep-out-of-whack filters on. Mi Prometida helped me out, and I worked through some stuff, but it wasn't an easy day. Here were the numbers for yesterday: Totals 2,384 153 121 169 3,651 78 Your Daily Goal 2,423 303 81 122 2,300 91 Remaining 39 150 -40 -47 -1,351 13 Calories kcal Carbs g Fat g Protein g Sodium mg Sugar g
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  18. I've seen the beer yoga pvp thread. But I see those pictures and all I can think of is look at the baby @Rooks! This. This is so true. Today is my "Go Home Day", so I am super happy. Actually, I've noticed that so far this year, my attitude has improved. Which is kind of (probably) nausea inducing because I'm a pretty positive person to begin with. I am thankful for: A family with teenagers who actually enjoy doing things as a family. We are having snacks and D&D Saturday night. The ability to pay for my family's needs. I spent some time last night talking to a friend via Facebook who is having some struggles with this. I am very fortunate to be in the position I am in. A job I enjoy. I do complain because I don't always like travel or clients or people on my project, but I get to be challenged on a daily basis AND do something that I find fulfilling. Coffee. It helps me function.
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  19. Happy Monday! First things first: We went over some ... let's call them "housecleaning" items at home (i.e. my children are gross). And I started the conversation with all four of them with, "No one is in trouble, I don't care who did or did not do it, I just want to make sure all of you get the same message." Of COURSE, because my son is a 16 year old, he had to explain in great detail why it wasn't him, so I got to do the whole, overreacting because you aren't listening to me - jokingly! We also had a conversation over the weekend where my step-daughter told me that she didn't eat the last pack of swiss rolls, but she was the only one who ate them (she left the empty box in the cabinet) - I was able to confirm it was her because she was the only one who ate any (this was over the course of two weeks - my step-daughter did not eat a whole box in a day). Her "punishment" was to take the box out to recycling (which is the rule - you eat the last of something, you take care of the trash). So a little bit of progress. It's probably helped that the kids have been with us for almost a month, so there hasn't been any different rules or parenting styles. I had a great weekend. I did a ton of cleaning and finally got all the Christmas stuff actually into the basement (the week before, we put it in boxes), including a folding table that we were using for puzzles, cookie-making, food holding, and other assorted holiday uses. I hate cleaning, but there is something really nice about having a clean house. And (here's a shocker) if you keep up with it, it doesn't take as long! I've also kept up with yoga. Yesterday was a series of working up through crow progression. It is really cool how this is set up to find the place you are most comfortable in. If anyone is really curious, I did not try crow, but I also didn't fall forward as I went through the beginning progression. I'm not doing so well on getting out for an additional day of running / walking at this point. I was planning on Saturday, but the weather decided to shower my area with freezing rain. At this point, I don't care too much, because finishing the yoga is more important and I'm still doing the stupid burpee challenge. Why I decided a burpee challenge would be fun, I have ZERO idea. As part of my Panda Planner, I've been working on a daily affirmation and a monthly focus (which is positivity in January). This comes in handy as it is part of the Doodlie challenge of the week, so I'm going to spend my week actually posting them. Some I love - others are just weird to me - like the one today! I am like the fire that shines. I am like the water that flows. I am like the earth that gives support. I am like the air that cleans the environment. Edit: the challenge is affirmation or gratitude statement, so I need to go with gratitude as the Panda Planner is an offset of my challenge. Today, I am thankful for the holiday. While I am still working, the road were less busy and the airport was less crowded. I am thankful that other people had the day to spend relaxing.
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  20. Rangers, Week 1 lies weeping at our feet, and week 2 is coming for vengeance. Week 2 will lie out of both sides of its mouth, telling some of us, "week 1 went well, take it easy," or, "week 1 was a disaster, why bother with week 2?" It will also take one of week 1's favorite strategies and continue it, making some of us sick. Week 2 is not nice. Week 2 is insipid, insidious, and a big fat jerk. It will do everything it can to distract us, to sadden us, to lead us to give up. However, I say what's important about week 2 is not the results we get, but the effort we put in. We are in this journey for the long hall. @sharr this week posted a video about the importance of working out, not just in youth, but in perpetuity. You are not just working out to lose weight. You are not just working out to get strong. You are not just working out to get fast, or look better. You are working out so that when you are "old" you wont act "old." We have the power to be mobile and independent far longer than the rest of the population, especially if we continue to lay the foundation of good habits now in our youth. Part of the rebellion means rebelling against the notion that getting old means getting infirm. Antifragility gets more important every year of our lives. We can be that old person still rocking out our lifestyle at 75. We can be the awesome 85 year old still contributing to society. I see people in the hospital everyday who's lives are severely limited at far too early an age because of lack of mobility or lack of strength. Many of them could have avoided a lot of their problems if they made better food and activity choices. Of course, that's not true in every case, and some of us may get sick in ways that arent' our fault and affect our ability to move. But while we can't control that, we can control today. This week, make choices that are good not only for you today, but are good for you 20, 30 50 or 60 years down the road. That's the real evil of week 2, it distracts us from the ability to plan for the future, and tempts us to choose pleasure now at the cost of misery in the future. The good news is, we are the Rebellion. The good news is, We are RANGERS! We will not yield, we will choose the good, we will lift and bend and run and walk and row and NEVER NEVER QUIT!
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  21. Sorry for this temporary thread hijack Tank, but this feels like the perfect opportunity to share one of my proudest moments. (And it also acts as payback for how often I see delicious food on your thread.) Eating at Gretzky's and we get the 10 Layer Cake to split between friends. Starpuck + 4 big guys. We proceed to destroy that cake until there is one, lone, morsel left. Exhibit A The friend in Exhibit A and I look to piece, look to each other, look to piece, then dive into action. We both launch our folks at the tantalizingly delicious last piece of epic cake. And just like that, it happens. Like two bucks fighting for domination, our forks latch together and deny both of us access to that piece taunting us on the plate. See exhibit B. We couldn't have planned it if we tried! Exhibit B Not to be outdone, and with taste bud bliss waiting for me, my preternatural instincts kick in. As we both stare at our locked forks in absolute shock and amazement. My left hand swipes out like a great cat, snatching, bare-handed, the final piece of cake and quickly shoving it into my mouth. The four dudes looked on with absolute pride at my quick thinking solution to the dilemma. Starpuck .oO( "And THAT is how it's done boys.) Your day also sounds absolutely wonderful! Your sweetheart, your parents, delicious food and Rogue One? Perfection Tank. Perfection.
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  22. This is basically a continuation of the last challenge, because not much has changed. My main focus in life right now is finishing and defending my thesis in February. Since that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for anything else, I just want to make sure I don't backslide and lose the progress I made over the past years. So, here are my goals: Goals: Flexibility: Finish off 30 days to splits (link). I'm on Day 23, so this should be finished by the end of week 1 at the latest. No followup. Strength: Finish PT (rotator cuff tear), discuss what to keep, moving forward. Keep at it. Cardio: Currently can run 40% of a 2-mile workout on the treadmill. Keep at it. Parkour: Once a week; keep at it. Diet: Stay within macros and calories; keep at it. Languages: At least once a week per language; keep at it. Thesis: Don't screw this up. Attitude: Don't get wound up; keep at it. The only changes are in the fist two. The flexibility challenge was interesting, but I think it puts too much focus on the hamstrings. I will keep a few of the stretches but I was making measurable progress with my typical stretch routine, so once it's done, it's done. I'll be finishing up PT for the torn rotator cuff this month; since the tear is manageable, I won't be doing surgery, but that means I need a solid plan on how to keep the shoulder strengthened for the rest of my life. I will discuss this with the PT lady, and continue doing it at home. I had a revelation at parkour this past weekend: the weight and cardio I do at home really is aimed at doing well in parkour (and life in general, but parkour is more measurable). I've been pondering how to add core and lower body weight stuff into the upper-body PT routine, but I'm not sure that weight training is the right answer. I have no problems climbing up and down, balancing, or landing properly in parkour - where I need to improve is jumping power. The vaults I can do are ok, but too low to confidently move to the next ones. Rather than struggling with more weight stuff, then, I'm going to add jumps: for now, just precision jumps and calf raises. If this seems to be helping, I will add more next challenge. In the meantime, sorry for the lack of theme,but here's my life in a comic. Can't wait for the thesis to be done.
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  23. That would be easier than using a food processor to make cauli bits. Today is a good day. Got a 4 mile walk in both for my goals and the Range Mini, spent some time at the Substation, and I meet with the pastor of the church we want to use for the wedding with Mi Prometida. Lunch was more of the Jambalaya from yesterday, and we'll go to Subway for dinner for a variance (it's close to the church). We want to use this church due to how nice it is, and the fact that their gym can accommodate the reception. I'll include some shots of the church under the spoiler.
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  24. I just had a thought. And I am pleased with this thought. Naturally a bunch of my friends are going to the Women's March because it's right here and everyone's super liberal and blah blah. So it's all over my Facebook all the time. And I want to go. I believe in this shit, I'm so close I have no excuse, it would be cool in the future to be able to say "hell yeah, I was there." Mostly the thing I keep coming back to is "there's no reason NOT to go." (Aka I'm a terrible person if I don't go support these causes I believe in etc.) But I do have a reason: I will not be able to fucking handle it. I'm far too emotionally frayed right now and my anxiety level is higher than I remember it ever being. There will be a shit ton of people and it will be loud and it will likely be sensory overload. People will be talking about a lot of things that are freaking me out about this dystopian nightmare world we're approaching. And if I go it will takes me days, if not weeks to recover. So I'm not going. And I'm not going to feel bad about it. I can be sad about the missed opportunity to participate in something historic but not going doesn't mean I'm a bad feminist, or bad queer, or bad ally to whatever other cause. My priority is to take care of myself. And at the end of the day even if I went I'd be useless to any cause if it reduces me to a puddle of anxiety. So if I want to take part in anything like this going forward, I need to take care of myself now. And not shame myself for not doing a thing I'm not capable of doing. Yes. Good. Now if only I could stop coming up with these grand thoughts when it's well past my bedtime. If I sound preachy it's because I'm currently yelling this at myself in my head on repeat to make sure it sticks. None of this is a judgment on anyone else who is or isn't going for whatever reasons.
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  25. It was amazing. All the flavors came through on the brisket and also infused the cabbage and radishes. No complaints at all, everyone enjoyed the dinner. I am so very proud of you, that is an amazing story, and it was an awesome day. I buy them shredded, I don't even like having to cut them in half. Today and yesterday were good days. I didn't log the brisket and the more bread than I needed yesterday. Today was compliant, calories will be below. The movie was fun, and my parents had a blast. It wasn't quite as much for me the second time, but I still enjoyed it. Knowing what to look for, I really enjoyed the Vader in Mustafar scene even more, especially where he's in the bacta tank. I got a Bane vibe off of him, and that was the creepiest I have ever found Vader. Totals 2,302 130 133 146 2,502 68 Your Daily Goal 2,310 289 77 116 2,300 87 Remaining 8 159 -56 -30 -202 19 Calories kcal Carbs g Fat g Protein g Sodium mg Sugar g
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  26. Hey guys and gals! I wanted to post my video really quick. It's been a busy couple days so I'll get to all the replies later on. But, in honor of Week Ones contract.... enjoy https://vimeo.com/199497267 Wolf "Maximum Effort!"
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  27. Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate getting more food for thought in my decision making process. When I decided to go back for my MBA, I actually looked into going back for a teaching certificate, but waffled a lot and decided not to go that route. I'm fully torn between loving the idea of teaching and helping young minds grow (I don't care how cheesy that sounds!) and knowing that there will always be kids that are on the opposite side of the spectrum. I live in an area that, depending on how contracts are worded, I could adjunct at up to two community colleges, one private university, and two state universities all within about an hour drive of where I live (nothing like options, right?). I like the idea of college teaching over teaching younger children because you lose some of the pressure involved with helping people who don't want to succeed do so. My mother was a teacher until she retired and my MIL is a teacher, so I am totally aware of the perils associated with teaching at an elementary / secondary level (I say perils, but both love what they do, so it's more of spending your own time and money and that sort of thing). Plus, you are growing a human. Never underestimate the hard work your body is doing right now to take care of said human. It has been 0 days since the last lick to the mouth at the Sylvaa house. I got a big ole sloppy puppy kiss as I was at the beginning of yesterday's routine (it is Saturday morning here - I do my workout at night). So I am still at all routines done. Of note (and something to remember going forward): I have had more success because I started the routine at home. Now my family expects me to use the tv to do a routine every night. Also, sometimes I workout in my jammies. I took that excuse right out of the books.
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  28. Happy 2017, everyone! A new year is upon us and I have made a list of my 2017 goals, which you can find on my mostly dormant battle log. I've decided to call 2017 "The Year of Fitness" (yes, capitalization is needed!). That means that fitness will always be my first/main goal for each challenge. Also, a little about me: I found NF in April/May 2016 by reading Steve's book I've been doing challenges since June last year Last year I found a purpose for my life: becoming a nomad, aka go long term traveling. I am still setting this up. I have a house to sell, stuff to cull, things to do, and people to tell. This is generally my second focus/goal of each challenge I'm a writer (fiction) by profession and have two short stories coming out in anthologies in March and May (all the pubs for this year that I know about so far, hoping for more sales!) I'm Swedish, but speak English fluently if that wasn't evident Eeeeh... That is enough. You can find links to my original introduction post and other important forum threads in my signature. Onward to discussing goals and such for this challenge! ~*~*~*~*~*~ The priority shift this challenge is that Studying will take priority over Becoming Nomadic stuff. This is because I have such a mountain of study stuff. My main objective is to work on not getting overwhelmed with the study stuff I have to do. I've had similar work loads in the past and gotten completely burned out by it. I've worked on energy and emotion management since then though and hope I can stay emotionally stable and keep from getting exhausted. Basically I want to skip this stage (ignore the text): Fitness I'll have two goals here. For me, fitness is both movement and nutrition/eating/dieting (as in what I eat, not going on a diet). Main goal is to walk with a step goal each day. I did 4500 steps the last week of the previous challenge, and I will keep with that goal and maybe raise it to 5000 steps during the challenge depending on if I keep my current walking streak of 6 days in a row and hopefully counting. Second goal is to not buy any soda. During Christmas in Sweden, we have this awesome soda called julmust. And while I've mostly quit drinking soda, I've been drinking quite a bit of julmust and I've let myself drink more soda or soda-like (non-alcoholic cider) than I've meant to. But I set the goal as not buying, because I want to finish what I have at home over the next week or so. Basically, not buying means I will not buy any more soda either to take home or at restaurants and I've set a tentative "end" date of my birthday. Not saying I'll suddenly drink soda after that, but if the habit of not buying is established by then, I don't have to keep tracking it. I will have an exception to buying if I find a new interesting one to try. I like trying new things. You might also have noticed I said I won't buy, but nothing about drinking. Basically, I mean that if someone offers me soda and it would be too impolite to say no or just too much trouble to say no, it is alright to drink it. Plus I can finish what I have in my fridge without guilt. Another exception is if I can't get water, not sure this would be the case any time, but I thought I'd mention it. Sometimes I want flavor to what I drink, and in that case I will focus on adding lemon/lime juice to the water (or finishing off what I already have). Occasionally I'll get flavored fizzy water because I want the bubbles. I will also not buy/drink much cider (that is about the only alcohol I buy for myself and even that is rarely) because it is almost like soda. So much writing about the secondary goal, lol. But it needed more explaining. Studying Okay, so here is the list of workshops/courses I will be working on this challenge: Last four stories for upcoming Anthology in-person workshop (Feb/Mar). This means I write and submit one short story per week to a specific theme I learn on Mondays. (I can't talk about the themes or the stories because I don't know if anyone else who is going will read this, part of the rules for the workshop.) Last two weeks of Writing Mysteries online workshop. This means ca 7 videos (ca 5-7 mins) to watch and take notes to per week, plus one assignment. First five weeks of Character Development online workshop (then one last week after this challenge). This means ca 7 videos (ca 5-7 mins) to watch per week, plus one assignment per week. Nourish Yourself course with Kate Marolt (Camp NF headmaster and yoga teacher in NF Yoga). I don't know everything this course entails, so I'll just create objectives as I figure it out. (Btw, you'll notice Kate will pop up quite a bit in my challenges. She's become one of my mentors, teaching me about emotional stability and techniques to feel better. Also, I'm going to her Costa Rica retreat in May this year, because COSTA RICA and KATE and AMY CLOVER (Camp NF headmaster).) So four different workshops/courses I'm working on, all of them have weekly objectives of different kinds. Actually, I think Nourish Yourself will have daily objectives starting on January 8. Basically a lot of different stuff. And this doesn't count the one off stuff I have. I have one of those on Jan 14. Becoming Nomadic So this one is taking a backseat this challenge. Or is it? The last couple of challenges, I've been working more or less daily to advance towards the date when I'm free to go. I've been reading and researching, checking off some to dos and started the ball rolling in some areas. During this challenge I will however start tackling a very important beast. I will start to go through my possessions and choose: sell (if I get off my butt and do it), charity, trash or keep. I need to downsize as small as possible and then probably halve what I try to keep. Basically right now, I'm looking at storing a couple of boxes with my parents (if they agree) and some books (perhaps a box or two) with a friend (she's agreed because I've asked). I also get to keep anything I plan to carry around with me (duh). So I will start this. I expect it to be tough at times. So I've set the goal low. Each day, starting from Week 1, I will take one item and decide what to do with it. This means even if I've forgotten or avoided all day, I can do it right before I sleep. Zero Week will be different though. I have some leftover tasks I want to get done, and I have some prep tasks to tackle the culling/decluttering/clearing/whatever-the-f*ck-to-call-it (yes, I occasionally swear). The culling will be a tough task, at least with some items. ~*~*~*~*~*~ The next post will hold weekly reports. Basically putting my exact objectives for each week and being able to use them for reporting my progress. Also, this challenge will start already in Zero Week, because so much stuff. I will strive to update daily, because I follow through the best then. I'm also striving to add in more gifs and pictures (I like when others do it, so I guess I can too to entertain others). Another striving will be to not only read and like (to show I've read), but actually post more in other people's challenge; it isn't that I haven't been posting, but I want to do more of it.
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  29. Welp. I was going to wait until the 5th to post this because that's my 3-year Nerdiversary but patience has never been a thing for me. My life is sort of imploding right now, so simple goals are the way to go. Ideally these should all be done every day but like last challenge, I'm not setting a hard goal in terms of how often I have to meet them. I go all-or-nothing way too easily. So instead I've tightened it up and outlined when or how long to do these things because they're harder to put off. I'm still going to go the route of reminding myself that I'll feel better doing any or all of these things rather than yelling at myself that they have to get done. Meditate when I wake up every morning with the Stop, Breathe, and Think app. Repeat my damn mantra in the mirror five times every morning. Avoid dairy at all costs. Clean for 5 minutes every day. Journal for 5 minutes every night before bed. Tracker here because I like pretending I can use Excel. I want to Do All the Things but staying sane is kind of a bigger priority at the moment. There are a few smaller/easier to rebuild habits I'm trying to establish outside of the challenge but they're not worth adding here and cluttering things up or overwhelming myself. Idk if we've going to have a Guild Leader this time so if any newbies have questions, feel free to reach out here or PM me. Old-bies: let the cat gifs commence. Here, I'll go first:
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  30. Jon Firestar, Superhero Part 1: Secret Origins I’ve said previously that the uber state is to look and perform like a superhero. Well unless you happen to be born Superman the only way to reach that state is through hard work and discipline! Every superhero has a their secret origin story. The tale of how they became so awesome. This is the start of my own road to awesomeness Discipline I need to continue to lose weight, and change my body composition. I need to keep giving my body the things it needs during this time so that I can maintain the physical stresses I am asking myself to endure. Food Plan and log: Continue to use MFP to plan and log all food every day. Stick to my calorie and macro targets. Water: At least 2 liters of water per day Time to contemplate and relax 5 minutes of contemplation per day. Super Strength I am not Superman but I am strong and I can be much stronger! My current program has me hitting the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The days rotate through the four main lifts, Bench, Deadlift, Squat and OHP, so all four takes more than a single week. The challenge is to hit the gym at 6:30 am before work three days per week for the 5 weeks. Super Speed I am driven to run! I really want to do OCRs and one of the things these involve is a lot of running. For the first time in my life I’ve started to enjoy running. I want to pick up speed and I want to run further. My program has me running 3 days per week with an easy day on Tuesday, a tempo/speed run Thursday and a long run on Saturday. These need to be done at 6am before I leave for work. I can wait for daylight on Saturday . The program is built around slowly and steadily building my milage. I’ve signed up to a little 5k run at the end of February. Not a race, just a run I’m hoping to hit my sub 30 min 5k on that run although I’ll know closer to the time if I’m ready for that. It’ll be a bit of a practice for my first OCR a couple of weeks later Tech Genius Some hero's aren't born with power and must use technology to enhance their natural gifts! I work in IT as an infrastructure and network engineer, senior support dude, occasional devops and general point of call for confused support desk guys, oh and somehow, some when deputy manager (wtf). I’m very good at my job although I am a bit of a generalist (RangerBrain!). I could be better. I work in an industry with an infinite level of depth and I’ve managed to find a niche that I really enjoy and would like to focus on advancing my knowledge in that direction. I have my network exam coming up in February. The exam is not very high level and it’s not the course I want to do. I want to do the next one but I can only get the next cert if I have this one. I already know 90% of the stuff I’m studying and while I do think it's good to know the basics and to study and brush up on the basics it is a little boring. I need to buckle down some more and commit to 20 minutes of reading a day or one instructional video plus 30-60 minutes on the weekend to do some labs. On Saturday I can play video games only after study Sunday is my day off. Secret Lair Every superhero needs their secret lair. I call mine ‘my house’! Domestic rangering at it’s finest! One of my more nebulous goals for 2017 is to be more time efficient. This means keeping on top of the domestic rangering so that it doesn’t overwhelm. Therefore, the todo list makes a trumphant return! Fill Dishwasher, remember to hit play. You do need to empty it before filling, daily Make Bed, daily, change bedding on the weekend Clean Kitchen, 4x times per week after big cooking day. Mop Floors, 1x time per week. Clean Bathroom, 1x time per week Clean Living Room, 1x time per week Clean one other room, 2x times per week. Do Laundry: 3x times per week, wash fold put away. If it ain’t in the closet it doesn’t count. Prep Lunch: 1x time per week Prep Breakfast: 1x time per week Even Batman Needs Sleep Because it is still broken, I’m still working on my sleep goal. I want to work up to going to bed at 9pm but for now I’m going to settle with getting into bed before 10 for at least 7 hours sleep. Will be graded on in bed and lights out rather than quality of sleep because I suck at sleep.
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  31. Oooookay. So, remember me? Some of you might remember me. I joined NF in May, met some fantastic people on here, and made meaningful progress in getting my fitness and nutrition groove back. NF was a large part of how I managed to stay (somewhat) on track during a demanding summer, which included running my own business and working another job on the side for a total of 70+ hours of work a week, combined with fun complications like my partner having surgery, my insomnia getting worse, and the water line to my house getting ruptured during repairs to our retaining wall (which suddenly fell down, because haha, why not?!?). I survived the summer without imploding, but it left me with very little in the tank, and I had no resilience left for what came next. I'll put the details behind a spoiler for those who are curious, but I don't want it to take over this post, which is supposed to be about me getting myself back on track. My thread title isn't really true - I don't want to pretend all that stuff never happened. I do want to learn from it, though, and leave it behind me, and build better coping mechanisms and tackle the underlying problems that result in me turning to the same old habits whenever shit really hits the fan. One of the things I've heard from a lot of people recently (friends, family, my therapist) is that I have a tendency, in all different areas of my life, to take on a totally unmanageable level of work/obligations/goals and then push myself really hard to do everything with no regard for the cost to myself, or even the cost to my relationships. I've been hearing that for years. But therapy has forced me to confront the fact that, well...I'm dysfunctionally proud of it. Some of it is that I fool myself into thinking I will be able to do it all without ill consequences, and some of it is that I like the idea of being the sort of person willing to sacrifice to get shit done. But of course I know, rationally, that it's super harmful and I need to stop and make more realistic plans and goals. But...I'm sure a lot of people understand that it's a lot easier to see what our dysfunctional tendencies are than it is to change them. And obviously, I'm not actually Super Woman (sigh!) so when I try to do The Impossible List of Everything All At Once, it works for maybe a while but inevitably I get worn down or overloaded, or something bad happens that upends my proverbial apple cart and then all of a sudden it's back to this: With a touch of: So without further ado, I am making a challenge with actually attainable reasonable goals. Challenge of Embarrassingly Sensibly Modest Goals 1. I am going to track my god-damned food. I've done this in the past and it always helps me eat better and do less emotional eating. I'm not going to make any rules about what I want to be eating, or limit calories, or anything like that yet. Baby steps, right? And just the act of tracking always helps me improve (which, given what I'm doing now, shouldn't be hard) so that's good. Eating better will make me feel better and make everything else easier. 2. I am going to exercise every day for a minimum of 30 minutes (easy things like walks are fine). Considering I was recently working 10+ hour days in a physical job, this should be laughably easy, except that I'm dumb so I'm struggling with motivation lately. Exercise will help me manage stress and make everything else easier. 3. I am going to do my micro-journalling every day, go to therapy every week, post on the forums at least 3 times a week, and focus my social time on people who make me happy and don't stress me out. Pretty straightforward. Working on keeping my support network working, my self-care happening, and my stress under control. 4. Bonus: I am NOT going to sign up for any new obligations without (a) discussing it with my family and people whose opinions I trust (b) giving myself time to think about it (c) making a pro/con list and figuring out how to realistically fit it into my schedule. I'm in a transition period with my life, trying to figure out which direction to take my career (from various drastically different options) and that's when I'm always most tempted to jump into ambitious new giant things. Enthusiasm is great, but I need to be realistic.
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  32. The warriors have a certain reputation to maintain here at NF. Not just protein farts and a deadly fear of cardio, but we warriors are known for our focus on macronutrient composition and meal preparation. In this mini-challenge, we’ll be putting our spatula where our mouth is and starting 2017 with a focus on batch prepared meals. You can’t outrun your fork, but you can crush your foods, see them driven before you (into the oven), and even hear the lamentation of their women (the oven timer maybe??). Each week of the mini-challenge will have a separate batch cooking focus and, to participate, each kitchen warrior will prepare a dish big enough for more than two meals, log the recipe title in the spreadsheet (coming soon), and post the recipe with a picture of the finished product in this thread. Make sure to flag the recipes for any dietary protocols they follow (#paleo, #GF, #AlwaysHungry, #Vegan, ect). Participation in this mini-challenge grants +0.5 Con per week. For the truly dedicated, prepare the recipe as above, but also post the macronutrient breakdown in the spreadsheet. If your oven chicken paprikash over zucchini noodles is that amazing, show off the protein or fiber content of the dish so others can level up their kitchens. Participating in this extra step grants a bonus +1 Wis for the entire mini-challenge. Week 1: Breakfast – Attack the most important meal of the day with casseroles, frying pans or any other method that you prefer. To qualify, this dish must be consumed for breakfast. #notcomplicated Week 2: Crockpot – After the barbell, the crockpot is the Warrior’s best friend. To qualify, this dish must come out of a crockpot or pressure pot. If there's similar contraption out there that's not technically either of those two things, it's probably fine anyway, just let us know what you used. #exactingrules Substitution: if you don't have a crockpot, feel free to to make a simmering stovetop dish instead. Week 3: Stovetop – Woks and skillets, double boilers and simmering stews; this is your time to show off with metal and fire. To qualify this dish needs to be cooked on a stove or hotplate, but cook and bake options like Dutch ovens are fine too. #notthatkindofdutchoven Week 4: Oven – Peeta proved that there’s more to ovens than easy bake. To qualify, this dish needs to have a baking component. Searing meat on a stove top before baking, and any similar operations, is fine. #gottagitthatsear Substitution: if you don't have an oven, feel free to repeat one of the weeks above. Edit: Note from the mods (Marissa) We would like to give a huge shoutout and thank you to Laghail for being the creative genius behind this mini challenge! If you like how this challenge goes let us know! If it goes well, we are open to running other community sourced mini challenges in the future. Have an idea for a mini? Shoot one of us a PM and we'll let you know! Great job Laghail and thanks again!
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  33. Holla, 2017 2016 was a weird year. (in part because of the support I gained from all you lovely Rebels), I hit the eject button have had a complete life change in the last 365 days. in 2016 I Quit my comfortable but unfulfilling job in marketing/design/copywriting Took a 3-month immersive bootcamp to learn the skills necessary to transition into a career in web development Have since undergone the most grueling job hunt I have ever had - including the rough post-college hunt Have gone from on top of my macros game to completely letting that fall by the wayside due to school stress to having dug my way out of the hole I created Have monkeyed with said metrics to transition from paleo to keto (and am still playing around with them for optimization) Have gone from a 5x a week workout schedule to nothing at all during school and a whole host of body crapiness that ensued, to kiiiiinda digging my way back out of that hole Started (assistant) teaching front-end web development at my alma mater Have shattered my comfort zone through: leaving the house (I used to work from home and am a natural hermit), going to a school every damn day with humans in it, forcing myself to attend networking events upon networking events, forcing myself on job interview after job interview, and now putting myself out there as someone who knows enough of what they are doing to be able to teach other humans Have worked really damn hard on not being quite so hyper critical of myself and my abilities in an effort to stay sane during this job hunt Have worked really hard on reaching out to my Nerds for support when I've fallen down on that last one Went to CAAAAAMP and met some of my Internet Friends IRL - with Hugs! And got to tell the NF team in person just how damn much this community means to me - through that, I practiced a whoooooole lot of gratitude in a short amount of time And that's it? Up for 2017 Get a damn job that involves trading services for actual money Minimalize the shit out of my stuff in prep for a move in late February/early March Continue on with yoga - I've got 9 classes of hot yoga that need booking before the move! Aim to add deadlifts & rings into my schedule with the new gym (providing that *is* the new gym - it has barbells and a spot to hang rings) Explore the new neighborhood - wherever it is Work on slooooooowly re-incorporating rucking into my rotation (of course there will be videos) - slowly so I don't roach my shoulder yet again Continually work on my self-criticalness -- especially during the remaining (and hopefully waning) parts of this job hunt Find ways to actively work on cultivating and improving my IRL relationships (Internet ones, too, but that's much easier) Continue to build a presence in the NYC tech community Find more ways to mentor and/or teach since that is a great way to rip the last of my comfort zone out from under myself Travel asap Keep learning in some fashion Keep practicing This Challenge Cycle My goals will look familiar. I'm operating yet again under 'no damn free time in the evenings' protocols, so I'm rolling with the punches comfort v schedule-wise. Goal 1: Work Out Yoga classes 2x a week Something else 1x a week - this can be either a quick Darebee bodyweight workout in the kitchen while doing job stuff, a supplemental video yoga class, or - lord forbid - an HIIT video in the gym. Maybe throw in a ruck if it's not too freezing and my shoulder isn't cranky. Goal 2: Macros Track macros. Stick with keto. Play with fat ratios. All tracking will be done on my Spreadsheet of Keto Awesomeness and involves doughnut charts. Goal 3: Get A Job Continue to apply for 10 - 15 jobs a week Attend networking events as time allows Find and work on side projects - on the list: continuing a 30-day vanilla JavaScript course, picking up PHP, working on SVG animations, building some pure layout sites using various shiny new technologies (either ways of approaching responsiveness, load time or accessibility), working on some pure layout designs that have really tricky elements because they are beautiful, and working on some great full-workup UI sites for business just because. I will also look into picking up some sort of side hustle to generate some supplemental income. Goal 4: Other Life Shit Here is where I will work on all those other goals - starting with minimalism. Dog pics forthcoming.
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  34. This... is going to be my year. I just feel it. 2016 ended rough for me - no need to get into it But the good news is, I'm feeling great and really excited about everything that's coming up. For this first challenge of 2017, I will be focusing on two of my main quests - a powerlifting quest, and a mental health quest. Powerlifting, main quest: 1,000lb total in 2017. Stage One: Compete March 11th, finish with at least a 425 Wilks Score This means a 918+lb total in the 148.8lb weight class. For those of you who don't follow powerlifting, that "total" is a split between your best squat, bench press, and deadlift. Realistically, I think I'm definitely good for a 286 squat, 198 bench, and 440 deadlift, which would put me at 924lbs. Reaching, I'd like to hit a 303 squat, a 215 bench, and a 452 deadlift, which would put me at 970lbs. Really though, anywhere in there would be fine. March 11th is the ending date of the second challenge, so these two first goals will be goals lasting 2 challenges, plus the break between. 1) Track everything I eat, hit my macros, and everything must be paleo except rice and dairy. I'm hanging out at 157-160lbs now, and by March 5th I need to be at 153lbs, so I don't have to cut too much that last week. This should be easy if I just hit the correct macros each day. I'm doing higher fats on rest days, higher carbs on workout days. *Okay, so this goal actually has an underlying goal too, they just happen to fit perfectly together. I've been more lenient on my diet lately and my insomnia and acne/rashes has come back. So I'd like to do another elimination diet to see if it could be a diet thing causing it. ACTIONABLE ITEMS will fill in with macros at before start of challenge will include diet plan weekly 2) Trust the program. Write out my exact programming for the next ten weeks, and follow it, including off days / stretching time / cardio. If it says squat 200lbs, do not squat 225lbs. If it says deadlift 350, do not put 400 on the bar. FOLLOW THE PROGRAM. ACTIONABLE ITEMS: will finish out program today Mental Health Main Quest I don't have a name for this quest, but it includes putting a huge priority in mental health, and is my real challenge, as making the gym and nutrition a priority will easy for me. These challenges (unlike my powerlifting goal) last the four weeks of this challenge, and will be revisited at the end of this challenge. 1) WEAR YOUR STAINS ON THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR CLOTHES Okay, so I just wanted to use that because it's probably the only time I can actually use a You're The Worst quote for a challenge goal. But seriously: be more open about my struggles with EVERYONE in my life. This means don't hide in the closet because I'm depressed or anxious, it means admitting I'm having a problem and being honest about it. I can then hide in the dark, but I need to tell my loved ones it's happening instead of just shutting them out. This piece doesn't have an exact measurable item, which makes it a bad goal, technically, because I don't know i'm going to even have this come up. But if it does, I need to say something. Being honest about it is the first part of this for me, because hiding that I have anxiety issues and shutting people in my life out then makes me feel worse and it's a downward spiral. So I'll know when this happens if I've succeeded or not. It also means being more transparent about the mental aspects of my journey and fitness, which is something I've been actively working on already. (measurable goal for the second part: 1 post per week on mental health). 2) Miles with Madi This includes walking with Madi at least one mile each day, preferably in the morning, first thing, before work. This will also tie into a side quest of spending more time training Madi, but the bigger goal is to get me out in the sunshine first thing. *Exception allowed if it is raining hard all day and doesn't stop. 3) Work / Life Balance Three piece goal here - be at work by 9 (in my office, not on the couch), whenever possible leave my phone at home, and use the pomodoro timer while working. When I leave work for the night, leave it for the night. Don't check in constantly. 4) Counseling Continue counseling 3x per month, and make my homework with the counselor a priority. Don't skip any sessions, and be prepared for all of them. 5) 10 Minutes for Me Take 10 minutes out of each day, and focus on meditation for at least 5 minutes, and journaling for at least 5 minutes. Aaaaaaand that's it for now. Will add more gifs later. Maybe.
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  35. In retrospect I feel like shouldn't have liked this...?
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  36. I'm guessing Kg because they sent a conversion chart? So I figure it'll just do whatever is closest to everything... and make sure I have a handy conversion app on my phone like I do on my text top cause weights ^^^That works weird huh. Does that look weird? I'm weird So my projected is just a theoretical head game to give myself wiggle room after openers. Declared openers are: 175#Sq/105#B/215#DL The numbers following are the ranges I'm projecting for 2nd and 3rd attempts... tho now I don't care as much about having this head game in place... cause LOU! It was really mostly there to give my expectations a little leeway. PERFECT. That, yes obviously that. A dozen donuts when the place opens. BOOM. Aw thanks guys I have a hard time thinking of myself like that... I know it's relative but the numbers and it's weird and I'm n00b and I dunno. I'm just gonna go do what I can and think of all of you that got me there in the first place and I wouldn't be doing it otherwise and would totally be #blackband if I had one
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  37. That was the exact image I was going for. Whenever I'd make the joke someone would inevitably get defensive and promise me they specifically liked that carpet and everyone in the church wanted it. I believed them, it was a sweet church full of good people. I kept making the joke anyway It is very much a Texas thing, corporate HQ is in here in Downtown San Antonio. (The first store was in Kerrville, a little over an hour northwest of town). In fact, Whataburger (also based in San Antonio, originally founded in Corpus Christi) started selling sauces and their spicy ketchup in HEB. I felt very Texan the first time I saw that. Who's son was named Harold. I'm sure he never went by Harry. Sorry you're too far north to get an HEB, I've seen some in the Metroplex and there's one in Abilene. Ah yes, the music people who don't know when to quit. I would not have tolerated such a thing well myself. Where else is the youth group going to play basketball? Large enough churches in the U.S. often have gyms which function as a multi-purpose gathering place. The church I currently attend would be ok, but it's nowhere near as pretty as this one. I've been a member of several churches with gyms, they ususally double as fellowship halls so when kids aren't playing basketball they have tables and chairs set up. My guess is most people having weddings want something that looks fancier for their reception. We like the idea of people not having to drive between the ceremony and reception, plus it's way cheaper to use the gym if you are already using the sanctuary for the ceremony. Unless you sell awesome food I think you're ok. Smaller churches here without gyms often have basketball hoops outside for the kids. Yesterday ended well. We met with the pastor of said church and he's ok with us using the facility, we just need to talk to their wedding coordinator and put down a deposit to secure the date. Afterward we got some dessert (At HEB no less). It put me over on calories but it was a variance day anyway and I wanted something dessert-like. We got single serve chocolate cheese cakes from the bakery. I have no idea what calories were on it, I found something similar in MFP (which has a lot of info on HEB by the way), so numbers are a wild guess Totals 3,203 216 365 168 4,601 68 Your Daily Goal 2,883 361 96 145 2,300 108 Remaining -320 145 -269 -23 -2,301 40 Calories kcal Carbs g Fat g Protein g Sodium mg Sugar g
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  39. Today is a good day. I went to lift and did bench and squat, on both I lifted heavy and then matched my 1RM in preparation for testing next week. I also picked up my new glasses and instead of clips for shades got the kind that are like regular shades that go completely over your glasses. Lunch and dinner was jambalaya. I actually had enough to split into three meals. I had 1.38 lbs chicken thighs, a whole link of sausage, a pound of celery, a package of cauli-bits (cauliflower already prepped for cauli rice, the same magic as shaved brussels sprouts) half an onion, two cloves garlic, half a cup of chicken broth, a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, a bunch of creole seasoning and 3 tbsp avocado oil. I topped it with a green onion. Couldn't find a pic of the sausage on it's own, here's a link. As long as I don't eat anything else tonight, here's the calories for today: Totals 2,602 126 165 157 2,757 57 Your Daily Goal 2,634 330 88 132 2,300 99 Remaining 32 204 -77 -25 -457 42 Calories kcal Carbs g Fat g Protein g Sodium mg Sugar g
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  40. Tuesday Commeth! And ever closer to the comp. So Sunday probably should have probably been another spend-all-day-on-an-ice-pack day, but I went to get groceries and did a day of cooking instead while football hapenned and the Packers won. GOPACKGO! We had three day weekend, so Monday (yesterday) was chill also, finally took down the holiday decor and lights while finally starting Archer, went to get tacos, and then did a bit more batch cooking. TSA for mobility and activation stuff and Lou was super cool (LOU!) obviously, cause he's Lou (LOU!) and any concerns I had about being embarrassed etc from Saturday were gone. (And he put the new turf down! No more concrete floors But alas, some of the guys were doing floor walks on gliders... #betteryouthanme #rugburnisreal Also, my back seems fine, so dodged a bullet there! Nothing but taking it easy this week, mobility and flexibility, eating (trying) and lots of rest. The weirdness from last week is finally starting to fade, and I'm slowly edging back into more communication. Unplugging has done my head good, and I pulled out a coloring book last night too. Even I hated the particular book... (Mr Red's architecture one, I thought I would try again...) but happy about doing it. I think I could use a good turn with some mindless mandalas. Simple day today, home, checkboxes at the ready with some tasks... including sending out a resume that I've been nervous about. 20 Seconds!!! (Hey look @miss_marissa I made a thing! ) Week 2! Let's do it do it!
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  41. Day 2.1 We get to pick between MLK or President's Day off, so I usually go with President's Day as February is the worst month in the entire world and I need all the help I can get to get through it. Which means I was at work yesterday and then hit the gym after. I attempted a 170# 3-second paused front squat but I had misloaded the bar with 165# first and did THAT single before I tried 170#. I was cloooose but just tipped over a bit too far and couldn't recover. Next time! Also I didn't realize I accidentally bumped up weight 10# instead of 5# on the 3x3... 150# was TOUGH. I forgot to do my single leg work. Shoot. However! I did go off to the yoga room and hit this bad boy: My socks are dirty, my arms bend, one leg goes up before the other -- but HEY IT IS A PRESS!!! I need to clean up the skill a little before I put it on instagram (and not wear socks), but I am happy to share with you guys. <3 Next stop, stalder pressess?? (Hahahahahaha, yeah right, but maybe someday!) And dinner was mac & cheese from Kenji's new recipe (http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2017/01/3-ingredient-stovetop-mac-and-cheese-recipe.html) with leftover porchetta from Sunday. Omg so good. Splits: 3/6 Balance: 5/6 Single-leg work: 4/5 Dinner: 7/9 New recipes: 2/3 Responsibility: 3/10
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  42. Week 2 Day 2 Strength training done. Did squats at the same weight as last time and they felt so much easier this time around. Hormones are a bitch. Also completed W2 D1 of the push up challenge. The sets are at 4 and 6 reps which is still achievable at the moment. I'm really regretting challenging Hubs to a 'plank-off' after climbing on Sunday. Not just because he beat me (It's usually the one thing I can beat him at) but because my abs and obliques have been killing me ever since! Laughing or coughing is dangerous at the moment. At least I get a day off of push ups so they can recover. Maybe I'll save plank challenges for non climbing days in the future!
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  43. Week 1 Wrap-up Challenge goals are a little light this time around...and are about to be modified further, so here's week 1 in review: 1. Run 3x/week....yup, ran 5 times, total of 39.4 miles, and most importantly, finished the marathon...more on that later. 2. 20 days of pushups...only did 4. But I'm starting to feel some new twinges in my shoulder. This makes me nervous, so I'm scaling the goal. Skipped today. Tomorrow I'll try 10, and take the next day off to assess. If no pain I'll try 15 etc etc. Don't want to get hurt. I know wide pushups can make people vulnerable to shoulder injury, but this is new for me. 3. 8 days of strength training...only did 1. Partly because I was busy/traveling. I could have found time for an at-home workout, but there were lots of things I was avoiding so close to my race. I'll get in at least 2 days this week and will try for 3. Planning to go to the gym tomorrow...but my legs are still recovering and I want to go easy on my shoulder, so it will be a modified workout with lots of core exercises. 4. 20 days of tracking...5 days tracked and 2 days excused (pre-marathon and marathon days). Didn't really make a plan for whether the excused days should count toward the goal, so I'll split the difference and count it as 6 days. Made my average calorie goal for the week :-) Marathon Report So I finished a marathon in State #22! Houston Marathon this Sunday. Weather was a little warm (60's) and very humid with some rain. I wasn't hot but I was pretty uncomfortable most of the time. My honest best guess is that given my training, I could have run about 15 minutes faster under better conditions. But the weather is part of the race and everyone else was dealing with the same thing. A great thing is I'm not noticeably sore today. Post-race free massage probably helped with that. Had a great time traveling to the race and hanging out with a friend. We ate really well (ribs, mesquite-grilled redfish, burger) but missed a couple key things (brisket, whataburger) and clearly need to go back. I still can't believe we didn't make it to Whataburger after all that...but hours were limited and we were honestly too tired to leave the hotel after the marathon on Sunday. Wanted to see some live music too, but needed to sleep early on Saturday and nothing open on Sunday. Part of me really wants to find another marathon and chase a faster time, but I think the better thing for me right now is to do some local races. Depending on weather I'll do a 20 miler in February. In March I'll do a half marathon and the following week I'll try a 6-hour trail run. I'm going to focus on trying to do well in the half. It's a race I've run several times over the years (so I know what is a good performance for me) and I've always liked the half marathon distance.
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  44. Day 14 Write Up Another great day. I did the treble of Darebee workouts followed by the Daily Dare and now I am all caught up. It took me 90 minutes of solid working out but I made it through the wilderness, somehow I made it through. I did get furious 5 minutes into a 25 minute shadowboxing session. Just the same four punches over and over again for 25 minutes. So boring. Darebee workouts are never boring, I have no idea what they were thinking with this one but it was made a little better thanks to punching in time with @DarK_RaideR's Thug Life playlist. After I showered up I threw myself into a AC coma and it was glorious. I had so many calories left over and banked from my longer workout that we decided to drive to McDonald's. I made it all fit my plan and even had some calories left over for a snack of satsumas and cheese while we watched the final of the WWE UK Championship. I read this morning so that was done, I got all my freggies and water in and I just journalled. I did my training schedule for next week and it made sense to do the 7 workouts over 3 days so I have given myself two rest days next week. It's good because I have only had one so far this year and although I am fine now I think it's better to schedule in a longer break just in case.
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  45. This is weird, my other half and I were saying something similar to this on the car ride home from climbing today. I want to be like Shirley, 78 years old and deadlifts 225 pounds. We weren't just thinking about the future, but also how the people we are now is wildly different from how we were before. 10 years ago, my Sundays usually consisted of sitting in the pub all day drinking. Today, I went for a 4 mile run and then spent the afternoon climbing with my husband and I'll have 1 beer tonight after dinner. It might sound like me 10 years ago was having a better time but in reality I was miserable. My life now is giving me so much more joy than that sedentary life ever did.
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  46. Yeah, I would have quit the Whole 30 right then if I were you. You're obviously stronger than me. 1/14/17 Saturday It was a good day. I got some sleep. Mrs. Sloth made sure the house and dogs were quiet after I went to bed. Bumblebee, the foster dog, was spayed today. Running her back and forth and taking care of her took a good chunk of the day. She perked up really quickly when I went to get her at the vet's; it's funny how quickly dogs accept you as their human. I was gonna say don't these dogs have any loyalty to their former humans, but most of them spent their whole lives stuck in a cage and didn't really have their own human. I stopped in at the Lego robotics competition to cheer on my students. They were doing terribly, I believe they were in last place when I got there and one of them was being chastised by a judge for poor sportsmanship. It's been two weeks since I've had a sweet, a fried thing, or gluten (except the two beers last weekend). That and all the probiotics and fermented foods Seems to be helping, but not any more than just cutting out sweets and fried foods. I'll be glad when this month is out. Training: 37 minutes Yoga and 40 minutes biking on the trainer while watching Mad Max again. Eating: Still good. Although I just ate 3 apples and about a cup of peanut butter while slowly tapping this out. That much peanut butter can't be good for a person. Take away the tattoos and artfully disheveled hair and this is me now.
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  47. I've just completed my 2017 road map, and my main focus for this year fitness wise is going to be running some OCRs. This means I'm going to have to do a whole variety of training, but as the first one won't be until April that gives me this challenge to focus purely on strength. And as I'm focusing on strength I though what better place to be than over with the warriors for a challenge to see what I can learn from you lovely people. I've been working through Starting Strength since the beginning of November and I'm starting to struggle with some of the lifts, so this will also be an opportunity to find out if there any form issues that are holding me back, or whether it's going to be time to move on the an intermediate program. To goals! Eat - 15XP What? Eat the right things as much as possible, and limit the bad stuff Why? In order to lift strong I need to eat strong, and eat right. How? i. Pack breakfasts for work at least 4/5 days per week. ii. Pack lunches for work at least 4/5 days per week. iii. No buying nonsense at all this challenge. I have enough rubbish left over from Christmas in my house without buying anything on top of that. Nonsense is the food I know is just silly - chocolate, cake, crisps etc. Sleep - 10XP What? Set myself up to get a decent amount of sleep. Why? Because my body needs recovery time to get stronger, and because I aim to workout early in the morning before work, meaning I have to get up on time. How? i. In bed every day by 10:30pm, or within 45 minutes of getting home, whichever later. ii. No caffeine after 4pm on any day. Lift - 15XP What? Keep lifting! Why? Because that's the whole focus of the challenge! Also, it's fun! How? Lift 3x per week following Starting Strength, no exceptions! This should be at the expense of all other exercise - if I have to miss a workout it can be anything else but not this. Like It - 10XP What? Keep a positive attitude to lift by keeping track of the things you're thankful for. Why? Because I want to be a happy, positive person, and I hope this will keep me on track for that. How? Record one positive statement in my bullet journal every day, and share them on here unless they're really personal. So that's a wrap! Looking forward to kicking off on this tomorrow, and on looking through everyone else's threads!
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  48. As I stated in my Battle Log, there is nothing quite like a little time with the folks and a new year to put some gas on the fire of lifestyle change!!!! I will be adding more headspace type challenges later in the year to that end. I am processing so much right now I couldn't even put together my thoughts in time for the challenge. There is much I want to address in that arena. Exercise and diet first though... I've discovered in my time here that I cannot jump into things with the vigor I would like. I am more prone to injury and over-doing for whatever reason, perhaps the mystery of autoimmune disease, who knows, doesn't matter. Fall is usually my favorite season, but this year was rough. I felt weak and achy and just blech, sad, weepy, ugh. I'd spent months complaining and moaning and generally acting like a victim of my circumstances. I was no fun for anyone including myself. Around my birthday in November, I decided to get some more medical help. Things weren't right and I sort of knew it. Very long story made short, it seems likely that my thyroid stuff (I essentially have no thyroid due to radiation) has been poorly managed for years and years. I had all the symptoms and complications of being long-term overmedicated and likely teetering into some dangerous territory with heart and blood sugar issues not to mention further complicating all the hormone situation. I felt better within a week to two of the change. Finding a good, caring, listening endocrinologist is like finding a pot of gold. I am very blessed. I was also entirely fed up with my lack of doing anything physical other than walking for months and months on end. It was time for some real reflection about how exercise works and doesn't work for me. After thinking about my needs and goals, it was pretty clear that weight training was the absolute right answer for me. Unfortunately, the gyms around here are surprisingly either not equipped well for that or beyond my budget. I went to every gym in the city within reasonable distance. So much sadz. My husband had been trying to help and finally just decided we'd invest some time and money in a home gym in the basement. That man is gold, I tell ya. GOLD. So, a couple of weekends and... I started a pre-made program called Strong Curves in early December. So far, so good. I did have a jigsaw puzzle/snow shoveling injury ( @T2sarahconnor) and unplanned Florida getaway that set me back a week or so. The timing was actually pretty good since the vacation forced me to rest my back and I'm feeling ready to get at it. OK, enough with the update/novel... The Basement: I'm doing Strong Curves 3 days per week, M/W/F. The programming changes at week 5 and week 8. Since I went on rest mid week 4, I am doing the last workout for week 3 today and starting the challenge on Monday with Week 4. Programming will change a bit mid challenge. I am being quite cautious with increasing weights. I read a great article about exercise and autoimmune disease that makes me think slow and steady is probably the right way for me for long-term success. I am likely more prone to tendinous injury and strain. Success = 10 workouts before end of challenge. The Garden: Eat more veggies. Yeah, this is not so measurable, but my criteria for success here is to come up with a few new veggie based meals or sides to incorporate into our routine. We tend to eat a lot of the same meals over and over and not enough of them include veggies. Success = find and try 4 new recipes this challenge, particularly one that will work as a make-ahead lunch option for me. The Kitchen: Figure out a way to get more protein. This is such a struggle. I am tracking my food a bit this challenge. I don't need total compliance on this one, but I really need to find a way to sustainably get more protein in my diet. I tend to obsess when I track, so I'll be walking the line a bit with this one. However, I've found that when I tracked here and there, I am a bit underfed most of the time and usually abysmally low on protein. Make steps to rectify this. Success = getting close to 100g per day in a sustainable way by the end of challenge. The Living Room: Make a house a home. We've mass decluttered over the last 2 years and now it's time to home-it-up a bit. There is still some decluttering to happen. I imagine there always will be. The house needs a good thorough cleaning in week 1 and I'd like to make some effort in weeks 2, 3, and 4 to reestablish some aesthetic improvements. Replacing some worn cushions, adding some candles to burn, or things like that. New towels and pillows are also on the short list. Success = clean and at least 2 additions Along with all that, I have non-goal goals of using my bullet journal more and better, listening to more music at home, meditating a bit more often, and maybe some yoga when the mood strikes. I really want to build from a strong foundation this year and thats why I'm starting with the core of fitness and diet this challenge. I hope I can find some success in my challenges this year that was lacking last year and really build into more and more sustainable lifestyle changes and refine my headspace a bit too.
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  49. I am alive. I feel like I've been under a rock for a month. I barely know what day it is. I got all the bones of my classes and online pages completed yesterday but then had to rush to get the first week's material refitted and posted. I resorted to finishing some of it up today at my other job. I'm ready to go for class tonight but the countdown is already started until next week's classes. My goals suffered the last couple days but it's more like I was existing outside of time and space and my goals weren't a factor. It doesn't really bother me. I made plenty of good choices and I did what I felt like I needed to in order to get through it. It's good to be back into my routine and I don't expect to have any issues sticking to my goals. I'll have to make a plan to make sure I get all 4 workouts in the rest of this week and meet all my other goals in addition to putting the work into getting ahead of my class schedule. I can't be chasing my tail every week. I haven't been using my bujo as much as I should. It is the reason I was missing some affirmations last week. I need to step up my game if I am going to be able to stay on top of all this work without getting so stressed that I lose control of everything else. Last week's bujo I experimented by skipping the weekly pages and just doing a daily page. It made it too difficult to plan when each thing was going to get done. So it's back to the weekly spread but I haven't started this week's yet. Doodlie PVP Day 3 I am grateful for instructor companion sites I am grateful for the support of my family who almost left me alone while I worked the last couple of days. I am grateful for having the time to snuggle with my cat while I was working. I am Shello. I am a Doodlie and a ranger. I am strong, I am fierce, and I WILL be successful.
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  50. I lost 2# over the weekend. That's a first! Week Quest Mon Tues Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Actual Target Progress Food Track 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7 7 100% Zero Week Weight Track 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7 7 100% 1/3 - 1/8 Stronglifts 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 3 3 100% Mobility 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 5 6 83% No Sugar 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7 7 100% Food Track 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7 7 100% Week 1 Weight Track 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7 7 100% 1/9 - 1/15 Stronglifts 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 3 3 100% To-Do List 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 5 5 100% No Sugar 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 6 7 86%
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