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About AnnaBJoyful

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  1. Major win today! I checked my % body fat, and I have officially crossed over from the "average" group on the % body fat chart into the "fitness" group! YAAAAAY!!!
  2. Hey Assassins! I've been on quite the NF hiatus, and during that time, I decided that I didn't feel like my current fitness journey fit the 6-week challenge format. However, I missed YOU, and I was dying to tell people about the cool progress I've made in figuring out my training regimen! So instead of posting in the challenge forums, I made a battle log, which is less of a battle log and more of a blog that I will update at my own pace, as interesting things happen. You can find that here, and read more about my journey the past several months. I'd love for you to join me on this journey! In the meantime, I'll be lurking around the challenge threads too. See you around! AnnaBJoyful
  3. Hey Nerd Fitness! It's been a while since we've hung out, and I've missed you! I haven't been around on the boards and challenges and such because I've been having an amazing time with life. Also, I've been evaluating a lot of my goals and habits, and I’ve discovered that 6-week challenges don’t really work for me. I was able to complete my first challenge very well, but my second and third attempts were bails. I felt obligated to report to my guild and update them with progress, and it was easy to lose focus of why I was doing the challenge. I wasn’t doing it because I signed up, I wasn’t doing it because if I stopped I would be letting my guild down, but that’s how it felt. I know the challenge threads are supposed to be super free-form, but if I didn’t report a day, I was guilt-stricken. So I shifted focus. Instead of worrying about my challenge progress, I just focused on me. What makes me want to keep going? How do I motivate myself and press on toward my goals without crashing or losing focus? It’s been quite a journey, and I’d like to share it with you. First off, I’m a 20-something with a desk job by day, and a swing dancer/instructor/competitor by night and weekend. Fitness has never been my thing. Dance, music, and board games, please! But I want to get fit, I want to be healthy, and I’d like to not die at the Cornucopia. At the beginning of 2015, I was a member of a cheap gym that was close to my office, but far from my home. I knew there was no way I was going to lug all the things I needed to get ready in the morning to the gym, so morning workouts were out. I tried to create a habit of going to the gym after work, but I had conflicts with commitments on most nights of the week, and if anything came up with friends, it was easy as pie to drop that workout and go do coffee/dinner/movie/etc.; on top of which, I travel almost every weekend for dance or to see family, and I was having an incredibly difficult time establishing routine. So basically it was a mess of inconvenient. Meanwhile, literally in my backyard (I can see it from my back porch) is the best gym in my city, with an awesome facility, classes at all hours of the day, knowledgeable staff, and all the good things. But I just saw the cost. Finally I admitted that my cheap route wasn’t working. I decided to try a month at “the fancy gym†that would allow me to be up in the morning, get ready at home, and then go about my day and life. It was amazing. I made a commitment that if I was in town and could go to work, I could get up a little earlier and go work out. The decision was made. I would lay out my workout clothes before I went to bed, and I knew every weekday morning, I would be at the gym at 5:30. I didn’t have to talk myself into working out every day. I didn’t have to convince myself that driving that extra 2 miles in hectic traffic after a long day of work was worth it, the decision was made. And because I didn’t have to make the decision, I went. It was working. After a couple of months in the new routine, I had been tracking my weight and keeping a pretty close eye on my caloric intake, but I saw very little change. In fact, I was gaining weight with very little change in my % body fat. So I decided to take advantage of some of the services at the fancy gym and signed up to do a resting metabolic assessment. I discovered that about 60% of my daily energy was coming from carbs, and only 40% of my energy was burned off fat. My trainer challenged me to try a diet where I ate 100 grams of protein every day, limiting myself to about 100 grams of carbs, and eating no breads, pastas, etc. Being a total carb-aholic, I was devastated. But if that’s what it was going to take, I said ok. That was about a month ago. I’d love to tell you that I’ve seen drastic changes (I did at first – dropped 5 lbs in 2 weeks!), but honestly, I have a long way to go toward figuring things out. But for now I’m super happy with the plan I have, which looks like this: Food: ~1400 calories per day (more on heavily active days) 72 fl oz of water every day Training regimen: Monday: Treadmill, 30 min, and stretching, usually dancing in the evenings Tuesday: Barbell strength training (group class) Wednesday: Treadmill, 30 min, and stretching Thursday: Barre (group class) Friday: Treadmill, 30 min, and stretching Saturday: Off, often dancing/hiking Sunday: Off My new routine has been great for my mind and spirit as well. I also made the decision that treadmill time is non-fiction time. Either my kindle will read to me as I jog, or I’ll load up a podcast on my phone. It’s a body and brain workout all at once! After I get home, I have time for coffee, reading my Bible, and praying before getting ready for work, which was something else I had really struggled with before. TL;DR So this was a super long post, but basically, I’ve made huge personal progress in my health and fitness life by simplifying, and in some ways eliminating, the decision to work out. I just do it. Same thing with breads – I just don’t eat them. So this thread is less of a battle log and more of blog of progress, that I will update on my own time, at my own pace. I might one day decide that a challenge is worth committing to, but for now, this is what works for me and is what I think I can stick to. If this inspires you, please comment! I’m totally up for talking fitness stuff!
  4. Great points Elastigirl - I exercise to improve my dancing, and also to manage my weight. I'd like to get stronger, so I've been thinking about other things I could be doing that aren't as time-intensive as you say. If I can convince myself to get up and do either my pilates video or 10 pushups, I think that would really help with my strength training goals. Weight is better managed by eating well anyway, but I would like to have an element of cardio/endurance training in my workouts. If I'm dancing 3 nights a week, I really shouldn't be too worried about this, but right now I feel like this is an area that needs improvement, and it's not something I have access to at my apartment. So one thought is to do workouts at my house and then maybe plan once a week for a more intensive workout class with an element of cardio to it, with dance to balance it all out.
  5. Thank for checking in guys - I'm gonna have to call this one a bust, but for some interesting and overall positive reasons. The same weekend this challenge got started, I met some other dancers in my new city, and in the past few weeks we've been setting ourselves up to start a new Lindy Hop scene. This has pushed me to some exciting and brave things I never ever dreamed of doing, but it also has brought one big truth to light: my life is not routine. I love the idea of routine, and I think it's healthy, but I also enjoy the freedom of spontaneity, and, let's face it, if I was planning to work out after work and a friend says, "hey let's get dinner and go check out a potential dance venue" I'm not going to go work out. Not to mention I LOVE weekend travel, and it's much harder to keep a five-days' routine. So basically I think I set up my challenge with theoretically great goals that were realistic for direction I thought I wanted my life to take, but recognized too late that this simply does not fit the reality of my life. Yes I want to work out 3+ times a week. Yes I want to drink more water (This is a lie. I really dislike drinking water, but I know I need to). Yes I want more regular sleep. Yes I want to spend time reading my bible and praying ever day (thankfully this has actually been fairly successful). But here are some things I've learned and will be using to make my next challenge (hopefully) successful: I like working out, and even enjoy it sometimes, but given the choice between working out and doing something with friends, I'm not going to choose working out. Potential solution: plan to work out when it won't conflict with social opportunities....before work? That's so early. Make gym time Introvert time by listening to audiobooks while working out? Sleep is great, but dancing is not conducive to a regular sleep schedule. Potential solution: practice good sleep hygiene, but don't try to force a regular 8 hours. This is not a realistic goal. This is an exciting time in my dance life. I'm achieving great things and pushing myself. This could be a great motivator. Potential solution: more dance-related fitness? Private lessons as a reward for achievements? Priorities are a daily struggle. Now that I'm not working around the clock and have time for a more social life, I need to find a way to balance my personal and interpersonal development with my general introversion and need for down time. Tall order. NF needs to be a priority. It just does. There are so many things I want for my life, and this is a great tool for achieving them. Tracking my goals was tough this time around, not because my tracking system was difficult, but because it just wasn't a priority in my mind.So these are things I've been up to and thinking over. Seriously, some days I feel like I want to achieve so many things, there just aren't enough hours in the day. So overall, learned a lot, but still slightly discouraged and a bit puzzled over how to proceed.
  6. Don't worry, I'm still going! Just haven't been finding the time to update. Updates soon, I promise! In the meantime, today I had a free BarreFusion class that rocked my world! So good!
  7. Haha! Great photo I'm amazed at how well things came together! It helps to have a profession that is in high demand, but even so, it was a shockingly fast transition.
  8. Tuesday, Sept 16th Fitness - break Diet - 1.5 bottles of water Sleep - in bed at 10:09 Devotion - None today Day 2 = much busier than expected, so not as much accomplished today Wednesday, Sept 17th Fitness - 45 min workout, cardio and arms Diet - 2 bottles of water Sleep - in bed at 10:19 Devotion - 20 minutes of Bible reading and prayer Day 3 = Overall pretty good! Sleep has been a challenge, because even though I'm going to bed at about the right time, I'm not falling asleep until later, but that's something that will come as my body gets used to the new schedule.
  9. Monday, Sept 15th Fitness - 45 min workout, cardio and core Diet - 2+ bottles of water Sleep - in bed at 10:10 Devotion - 20 minutes of Bible reading and prayer Day 1 = success!!
  10. Annabjoyful and the Return to Routine After successfully completing my first NF challenge earlier this spring, I entered a time of kind of crazy life stress. My job took a turn for the worst, and I made the decision to leave, find a new position, and subsequently relocate to be closer to family. I'm happy to report that I have a new job, am happily relocated, and it looks like there will be much less stress in my life and much more manageable work hours. YAY!!! Of course that means it's time to get back into a routine. During my hiatus I have been able to manage...mostly; I haven't gained weight (but I haven't lost any either), but I can tell that my stamina is not quite what it has been, and we're not even going to talk about sleep schedules. My fitness goals are the same: I want to build muscle, lose fat, gain agility, and increase flexibility to be a better, more versatile swing dancer. BUT. The most important thing here is that I need to ease back into things, so this is a challenge that I can complete relatively easily...the challenge will be consistency. If things go well the first few weeks I may add some other objectives for each goal, but for the most part I'm going to just keep it simple. Goal 1) Fitness - Work out 3+ times a week The challenge here is consistency. In the past I did home workouts, but now I'll be using a gym as my primary workout facility. My gym workouts will be a cardio warmup followed by free weights and resistance training to cover the whole body, focusing on certain muscle groups on certain days. My secondary workouts will be Pilates and light free weights at home. I'll be grading this goal weekly, as follows: A=4+ workouts, B=3 workouts, C=2 workouts, D=1 workout, F=0 workouts Goal 2) Diet - DRINK WATER ( 2 24oz bottles of water a day) Nothing fancy, not even going to set specific food or food tracking goal; I just need to drink more water. This is the bane of my existence, and I'm feeling it even more now that I have moved further south. I can't explain why, but drinking adequate amounts of water is so hard. Grading weekly on days when I have drunk two bottles of water: A=6-7 days, B=5 days, C=4 days, D=3 days, F= 2 days or less Goal 3) Sleep - Establish a regular sleep schedule New time zone, new work schedule, new sleep schedule. Goal here will be to be in bed by 10:00 and up by 6:00. I'll be doing the same thing that worked for me during my first challenge, which is no screens after 9:00, no caffeine after 2:00 pm, and one sleep time alarm to wake me up (no snoozing!). Allowances will be made for sleeping in a bit on the weekend and going to bed later on dance nights. Grading weekly based on days when I have met my bed time: A=6-7 days, B=5 days, C=4 days, D=3 days, F= 2 days or less Life Goal - 20 minutes of devotion time every day My life is nothing without my faith in God, and the most important part of my routine will be spending time in prayer and meditation. Grading weekly based on days when I have met my devotion goal: A=6-7 days, B=5 days, C=4 days, D=3 days, F= 2 days or less Thank you for joining me on this commitment - it's great to be back! Honestly, the goal here is to just finish, but hopefully the grading system will help me stay motivated. I'll be keeping a daily log and will keep you all updated with my dance life whenever I have new pics or videos
  11. Thanks for all of the feedback! Some great perspectives here. While considering my options, I visited Planet Fitness and a local Life Time Fitness facility. Which, for the record, is like test driving a 1964 VW beetle and a 2015 Ferrari 458. It was a really tough call because PF is $10-$20, close to work, and has most of what I'll need for a basic workout; LT is literally in my backyard (I can see it from by balcony), has everything I could ever want to do and lots of things I'm never ever going to use, and is $88 a month. Unfortunately, there aren't many in-between options that I know of yet. Since I'm mostly looking to build routine and do basic workouts at the moment, I decided to start at PF. If things go well with my new situation and I'm able to get really dedicated to regular workouts, I'm considering rewarding myself with an upgrade to LT. Thanks again for the great perspectives!
  12. After a workout hiatus due to changing jobs and relocating to a new city, I'm looking to jump back into a workout routine and was considering joining a gym. Ideally, I'd like to have a personal trainer, but that's just not realistic for my budget. I'm not really big on classes and prefer working out alone. Before the move I had a pretty good thing going at home with a few sets of lighter dumbbells and some pilates videos that are awesome, but with the move I lost my neighborhood that was perfect for jogging intervals. Now I live in an apartment complex on a busy road where I am not comfortable running (the apartment gym facilities are limited at best, but honestly just sad). It's really the need for endurance-building cardio that is making me look for a gym (some heavier free weights are a plus too). So, with a tight budget and no need for classes, it seems like Planet Fitness would be a pretty good fit for what I need. I'm planning to visit soon, but I was curious what experiences my fellow Rebels had, if any. Do you use PF? What do you think about it? What do you like and dislike? Any and all opinions are appreciated
  13. Alrighty guys, I know I've been MIA, but life is moving quickly and in all kinds of crazy ways! First off, I had to drop out of my challenge because of work and stress. Well it finally got to me. Between being far from family and having a job that is demading most of my nights and weekends, I've made the decision to move on. Just a week after putting my resume out, I got two phone interviews and am currently pursuing both of those leads. I AM SO RELIEVED. Really, I can't tell you how much of a release I felt when I finally took charge of my situation and told myself that I am not stuck in this job. Whew! The other thing is that I have now been on two rivers in my kayak! I spilled once on each river, got all kinds of bruises, and it was extremely challenging, but I have had my first river trips. Unfortunately I'm still too freaked out to roll, and I was a bit too stressed from work stuff to really enjoy it, but hey, it's a starting place. Here's a photo of me and bacon boat in some class II whitewater: And here is what my legs looked like after "swimming" in class II whitewater: Thanks all for checking in on me. I'm not sure when I'll be able to join another challenge, but once I get this work situation figured out, I'll be back!
  14. Hey guys, Thanks for checking in on me. Unfortunately I've been dealing with some really stressful work stuff and had to drop the challenge. I'm still going to have my first river trip next week, and I'll make sure to update you all on that, but I just haven't had the time or presence of mind to focus on my goals. It's a little discouraging, and I feel like I'm living one massive to-do list. Mark one thing off, move onto the next. Even when I plan fun things or down time, it's hard to not think about the looming to-dos that I haven't gotten to yet. I'm leaving on vacation on Friday, and I'm going to try to relax and spend some time getting things back in order. Thanks everyone for being supportive! I hope to be back for the next challenge.
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