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  1. Very overdue challenge wrap-up: Moderate success! I hit the veggie goal almost every single goal, often eating way more than 5 servings a day. (It helped that I didn't know what a serving was, so I really overestimated it.) Once my body readjusted, I started to slow down, but it was doing way better. Jobs: minimal success. Still struggling to overcome my fears of failure. It didn't help that I started catsitting a few weeks ago and became nearly cat-atonic with depression. (The house and family I helped out with have that effect on me.) I took steps against that by quitting FOR GOOD once they returned. After a day with the family and praying with my sister to get my life back in order, I felt much better and immediately got back on the ball. I also completed and sent in a paper for a national honors competition (whoo!). It's terrifying to send off all my work, but it was totally worth the postage fee to send it off and know that I finally applied to something. I'm currently working on an application for an international program and hoping it turns out--again, terrifying. Gotta conquer that. Fitness: minimal. Between my mother's frequent illness and my own depression, I found a million excuses to avoid it. Still, I had some really good days where I met with folks or went exploring for a few hours, and those days were good days. It's worth remembering the payoff instead of focusing on the energy cost of getting started. I also learned that friends and family are the catalyst for days like this. So, the verdict: I've learned about myself and how I work, took steps to improve my situation, and am all around feeling better (even if I didn't hit get all the stars I wanted). This challenge was the least stressful of all, despite the job hunting, so it was very nice. Hoorah! On to the next one. (Side note: my NF account wouldn't send me ANY of the updates from my friends like I requested, so I missed out on a lot of your successes. Sorry, folks! It's exciting to see how you all succeed. Go, nerds, go!)
  2. Full update later, but a brief one now: got sick last week and failed most of my goals, which is okay. Then, Mom got sick, so I spent some time taking care of her--and that included packing and moving her into a new office, so I got some deadlifts and squats in : ) I'm mostly back on my feet now, so I'm tackling job hunting again. Onwards and upwards!
  3. Timelord, that's surprisingly eloquent! Your mentor said in less than two sentences what took me a paragraph Keep at it!
  4. Perfect day yesterday! Finally applied to a job, looked for some other jobs, went for a 2.5 hour walk with a friend and her excitable dog, and then went to Zumba with my mom. I probably overdid it and didn't stretch enough, because I spent the morning limping after my dad while he shopped. Ah, well. I'll have to do some easy stretching to balance it out in the next few days--my left leg is so tense it hurts to raise it. Ow! Still, it was an exhilarating day, and I feel AWESOME. Gotta apply for more jobs now!
  5. Super late update: I am, indeed, alive! Exciting, isn't it? (For me, at least.) I've altered my job search goal to applying to only three jobs a week, provided I keep looking for work and working on cover letters every day (for which I still get one and two points respectively). Week 2 Update: Find jobs: 4/7 points Cover letters: 6/6 (whoo hoo!) Apply: 3/9. In all fairness, I couldn't get some things I needed to apply to the two jobs I wanted to send off last week, which caused the problems here. Still, I could have applied to other jobs, so no sympathy for me. Veggies: ALL OF THE POINTS! And lots of bonus points for bonus veggies! Exercise: 11/24. Just below half! Alas. Still, I got some garden work in on a few days and managed to rack up five points from biking and dancing last Tuesday. As my parents' Self-Appointed Part-Time Live-In Maid Service, I get quite some exercise, too. I'm tackling a Full-Throttle All-Inclusive Deep-Cleaning Quest this summer, and hauling around vacuums and scrubbing floors gives me some practice in squats and shoulder presses. Hooray! We'll call it progress. This week is shaping up a little better. Gotta keep working! So far: Find jobs: 1/2 Cover letters: 2/4 Apply: 0/3 (gotta get some new letters of rec for one because my usual reference is traveling for a month, and I have to finish a cover letter for another) Veggies: 9/9 (easy wins, honestly) Exercise: 3/9 Also, yesterday (Tuesday) was a PERFECT DAY! Off to run some errands now! Future challenge ideas, based on the work I'm doing this challenge: Garden Work (watering BEFORE the sun melts the plants into oblivion) Deep Cleaning (continued. It'll take a while--we're clean people, but dirt piles up despite our best efforts, and my parents are working overloads as usual) Searching for Jobs (continued) Research (for grad schools and for thesis topics)
  6. Small goals are awesome! Gaining weight was REALLY hard for me when I couldn't eat, and so tracking pounds ending up being really stressful. It was much easier to set goals that I could achieve, whether or not my body was responding the way I wanted to: eating x number of meals a day, going up the stairs so many times a day, going for walks after every meal. Those goals were much easier to celebrate and ended up helping me in my weight gain goals! I'd recommend setting goals for things like doing x number of Level A/B workouts a week, going for walks every day, and eating so many vegetables a day. Anyway, good luck! Ask us if you have any questions or want any advice (clearly, we have plenty). Again, we're celebrating you as you start your quest!
  7. That sounds awesome!! Jaelinn's excellent advice applies to incorporating new routines into your fitness. I got a little overenthusiastic with my first fitness attempts and couldn't climb the stairs to my fourth story apartment for three days--whew! I learned to start small. Still, if you want to try something new because you're passionate about it and love doing it, go for it! If it's sustainable, fun, and healthy, then enjoy it. Good luck!
  8. Kiah, welcome to NerdFitness, and congratulations on taking the first steps toward defeating Voldemort! NF regularly hosts 4 Week Challenges, where people can tackle four small, achievable, challenging goals to level up their lives. Within each, there is a section for AccountabiliBuddies, where you can team up with a group and cheer each other on! You can also start a Player vs Player, or PVP, quest, in which you challenge another player to a game or a goal for the 4 Week Challenge--just in case you think you can better yourself with a bit of friendly competition OR find yourself a "Nemesis!" *dramatic music* You might consider joining the next challenge and meeting up with a partner there, too! In the meantime, good luck finding a new partner and achieving your goals!
  9. Hello, and welcome! You've got a long journey ahead of you, but rest assured--lots of Nerds here have achieved similar goals or are working toward them! You can do this! Keeping track of food and movement is a really important step. What kinds of exercises are you doing? Congrats on getting started! Without the first step, the journey can't begin.
  10. Welcome, both of you! Geralt, I'm so sorry about the breakup. Wishing you all the best right now.
  11. Lucent, it might be helpful to give it to someone who you know will be harsh. I have a prof who always shrugs and says, "Yeah, that's fine," which isn't helpful at all. My parents, on the other hand, will rip my papers to shreds. It helps SO MUCH in knowing what to improve.
  12. Welcome, Sapling! Kickboxing sounds like a Monk guild activity, but it could probably also fit with the cardio-loving Scouts. Feel free to pop into the guilds and explore! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Good luck with your fitness goals--you can do it!
  13. Welcome, Kevin! Congratulations on the progress you've made and on two months of Paleo! That's fantastic. The best advice I've heard about exercising is to do what you love. If you don't like lifting weights, try CrossFit. If you hate running, try Zumba. The world is full of amazing ways to exercise. If you haven't found something you like, keep exploring. I've dabbled in yoga, Zumba, ballet, powerlifting, and calisthenics; each of those was fun and wonderful, but when my goals or circumstances changed, I found something else. Of course, this advice also applies to food. Why are you slipping from your Paleo diet? Are you bored with your routine? Try adding some new veggies or exploring new recipes. Are you craving foods that aren't Paleo? You might be suffering from nutritional deficiencies (or the human condition of wanting what you can't have). If so, try relaxing your diet to include some non-Paleo stuff on certain days. Alternatively, try gamifying your life. Make every workout a mini-quest with a Zelda theme! NerdFitness has lots of nerdy workouts for you to try, and they're so much fun when you play the appropriate soundtrack while working out. (Listen!) If you're just stuck in a rut and need an extra push, working some peppy music and nerdy indulgences into your workouts could make them infinitely more fun--it's worked for me! As for your job, I'd recommend setting a timer to go off every thirty minutes to an hour. Take a moment to stand, stretch, and walk around. It'll keep your back healthy, increase blood flow to your brain, and possibly prevent repetitive stress injuries. It's all around good for you to work a bit of movement in, too! You can also go for a short walk or run up some stairs every few hours. (It's better than coffee!) Hope some of this helps! If you have any questions on specific things, feel free to ask. Again, welcome to NerdFitness--may the Force be with you!
  14. Great advice! I haven't seen anything like that yet, but I'll definitely keep an eye out for it. Thanks, Badger!
  15. Lucent, can you give your thesis to someone else to look over? They might be able to give you recommendations on improving your argument, style, and grammar, which can give you a sense of what you need to focus on. My parents are always really helpful in this regard, especially since they are academics outside of my field. They're quick to point out sections that make no sense to them, which lets me know I need to explain my arguments better.
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