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  1. That's a great idea! I've found that keeping a log on my thread here on NF keeps me motivated too - way to go getting a strong start!! That's a tough workout!
  2. I fell asleep before I could see you back in the corner of the Hall with your coffee mug, my friend ... thanks for not laughing at me passed out on the table! Barkeep found me and dragged me back up to the loft ... I think you're right about stress ... because my workload is so much lighter than it has been at other times in the past, I feel like I shouldn't be stressed; but developing my thesis is stressful, I'm starting to feel the time crunch to hurry up and get my project launched, my family is juggling a lot of changes right now, my sister is traveling, I'm trying to change my fitness approach after 18 months of doing the same thing, and I'm trying to work on two important research projects at the same time ... so yeah, I guess that's plenty to be stressed about. But at the same time, the thesis is just about taking the next step as it becomes clear to me, my family is fine and will get through all the changes and transitions fairly soon, my sister will be perfectly fine (she's not even flying this time), my food and training is just part of a journey (not something with a deadline or expiration date), and I'm not ultimately responsible for the two projects I'm working on. So it's just about getting through the next few steps and trusting that my advisor will make the next academic ones clear at the right time, and trusting that God will make the next personal and service ones clear in His time. So really, the answer is just to do what I can; and for the things I can't, I need to let them go and trust that they will be okay. And I also need to take care of myself, in the meantime - sleep, eat nourishing food, rest productively, and spend time thinking about and listening to Scripture, beautiful music, and positive messages (not negative news). Writing more Sky segments would probably be beneficial as well.
  3. I also know that I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform lately ... to get up earlier, work more hours on research, give the best presentation in class, dress nicer, read more, go to the gym more, eat better - a constant running list of things I haven't done and need to hurry up and do. That's hard to carry around, too. I need to remember that God works in my haven't-done-yets just as much as in my nailed-its... that sometimes, maybe what He wants me to accomplish is a conversation or some quiet thinking/praying time, instead of something else.
  4. There's a certain weird time around 2AM Eastern time when the forums are completely empty ... I am the only one online right now. It's ... creepy. It's like I'm sitting downstairs on the main floor of the Guildhall with no one else around me, not even Barkeep. I don't think I like it. Anyway, today was a good day. I stayed home in the morning to clean the apartment and go through some old clothes to throw away, then I worked a recruiting event with my advisor in the afternoon/evening. As we worked, I talked with her about some of my longer-term career goals, and she provided some positive feedback that was very encouraging. I chatted with some of the people at the event about my research, too, and one guy in particular was very interested - he runs a local museum, and he wants me to come to the museum to meet with him and talk about ways I might partner with him in the future. Food was not so good; we ate food at the event, and I had a healthy chicken kabob, but a huge creamhorn and sugary strawberry lemonade to go with it; then I came home and snacked on unhealthy things. I also did not make it to the gym, and did not follow through on my plan to lift weights at home. I'm frustrated with myself because I'm feeling very burned out and listless again. My days have been very quiet for the last couple of weeks, just steady work, so I'm not sure what's wrong. The only things I can think of are that my brother's dog wakes up very early in the morning (like 5AM) and barks to be let out, so I'm not getting uninterrupted sleep at the times I usually do; and of course the usual hormonal swings. I also get very nervous when my sister travels, because I illogically imagine all the horrible things that could happen to her while I'm not there. But whatever the reason, I felt very sad all morning, then happy when I went to see my editor and friends back at my old job (although I found myself anxiously replaying and overanalyzing my conversations afterward), then eager and driven while I was working with my professor, then once I got home I slipped back to terribly sad again. We happened to choose tonight to watch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, and that definitely did not help, either. I hope I feel better tomorrow. I may try to get to the gym tomorrow, although I also want to get home and help my sister pack for her trip ... last time I just did very hard rowing, and that wore me out, so I'm planning to do weights, stair climbing and hanging from things at my next session. Also sleep might help.
  5. That's really hard to do!! Good for you!
  6. Those are good goals! And very wise of you to know not to start too fast - I may or may not have had to find that out the hard way too. What were your first two workouts like? Like what did you do? I don't have the Academy, so I'm very curious!
  7. Greetings Fellow Small Mighty Warrior!! I am 5' 1/2" and also weigh 115 pounds currently, and as you say, while I still feel a little on the chunky side, I am comfortable enough for the first time in many years to go out of the house in shorts, tank tops, dresses, etc. It's a very good feeling and I know you'll get it back yourself!! We're all rooting for you and we're all in this together! I also agree with the other ladies who have posted here - walking does wonders. I hate running and am too busy to get to the gym more than a couple of hours a week, but I don't have a driver's license, so I walk a lot; and it always surprises me how good of a workout it can be. And YESSS for weightlifting - it burns calories and makes you ready to tackle things in daily life. You have excellent goals and a very strong start! I know you're going to be super successful!
  8. Way to go Firebrand! (I love your name!!) You rock! What are some of the goals you're working toward? How did your first workout go?
  9. Ooo, sleep as a goal - you are a friend!! I'm a graduate student and I keep very erratic sleep hours, so getting my sleep schedule under control is a perennial goal of mine! Welcome welcome to the Rebellion and congrats on some excellent goals - you're already taking great steps to achieve them, like packing your lunch and leaving your credit card at home. I know you're going to be very successful! (Also, shameless plug for my own corps, but if you enjoy crossfit, you might want to come check out the Rangers ... there are quite a few crossfitters there! )
  10. Welcome back, Carly!! You're just in time to jump back in and bring your Elven Badassery to the fight! So glad you're getting healthier!
  11. You sound like a Ranger to me! We also seek to be well-rounded, and various members of our corps do weightlifting and bodyweight work, running, yoga, crossfit, obstacle course racing, shooting sports, swimming, rings ... you name it, Rangers do it! You should come and check us out! But regarding you and your overall journey, welcome to the Rebellion - you sound like a perfect fit to join us! Many of us here are also working to overcome mental and emotional health challenges, so you will be in good and supportive company here as you continue to get healthy in that area of your life; many of us are college students and young professionals, so again, you'll have lots of friends also balancing academics with health and fitness; you already recognize that the food you fuel your body with is crucial to your overall health; you have goals you're working toward and ideas of how to achieve them - you are going to be a very successful Rebel and I'm so excited you're here. One of the first things I was taught when I joined almost a year ago was to take my Really Big Goals (i.e. "look good," "be active," "eat well," etc.) and break them down into smaller Big Goals (i.e. "lose 50 pounds," "start running and lifting," and "eat real food"), then break those down into smaller Manageable Goals (i.e. "use a calorie tracking software to lose 5 pounds each month for the next 10 months," "purchase a gym membership and sign up for a yoga class," and "read 3 books about paleo diet and see what changes I can incorporate into this month's diet"). These are just examples of my goals, and yours will look different; but often we approach our challenges with Really Big Goals that are great, but too big to achieve in a month or two. Figuring out the steps along the path to achieving those goals will set you up for consistent, measurable success and help you start planning small changes to incorporate into your daily habits. I wish you lots of success in your endeavors, and again, welcome to the Rebellion! I'm so excited to watch your progress!
  12. I didn't know exactly why, but I somehow expected the town we were headed for to be a sleepy hamlet, full of angry, older villagers who would shout propaganda as they ran out in their nightdresses to see what we were doing. I could not have been more wrong. Long before Solome, Eleanor and I had covered the scant three miles between the cliff and the town, I could smell the bitter smell of a thick smoke that rose from heaps of organic matter. And as I drew closer, the lights of large buildings and burning fires stretched high up into the cold purple sky, two and three and four stories in the air. This was a city, and it had been hit hard by a strike force much larger than I expected. We kept our hands on our weapons as we slowly left the cover of the forest and stepped onto the main road, passing small abandoned homes and storage buildings at first. But my stomach tightened and I began to tremble as more burning buildings came into view. The town was built on an uphill slope, like the capital on the mainland, and the businesses and office buildings grew larger and closer together and more grand, up to the massive governor's palace at the top of the hill - four stories high, its four corner pillars carved like gracefully sweeping stalks of wheat, its roof like richly draped velvet - and all of it consumed in an angry, slow-burning flame that lit a bright path down the main street. Nor were the townspeople a handful of confused, gentle farmers. Shouts and screams of hundreds of people bounced and echoed through the night. Down the road, two tall Blue troopers had a man's arms pinned behind his back as he screamed curses and insults and spat in their faces; and I saw two huge knives hanging from his belt and glistening in the light of the fires. I slowly drew off my Bow and juggled it lightly in my right hand as I leaned close to Eleanor. "This is not what I expected to find," I murmured. She shook her head in agreement. At Titus' suggestion, I had arranged for my battalion to meet me behind the stamp and tariff building - I soon saw why; the distinctive pyramid-shaped building was easy to spot. Two of my archers were already there waiting for me. As the others arrived one by one, each showed signs of heavier and heavier fighting. "I'm glad you suggested we travel guerilla-style," said young Katel Arseneau, her round brown face dripping and her eyes wide. "I ran into a whole bunch of those tall men you talked about. If there had been a lot of us, they would've spotted us easy. Since it was just me, I hid until they left." "I had the same thing happen to me," agreed slender Jia Jin, arriving quietly out of the shadows. "I am grateful for your experience, Leader Elvenword." I gulped and nodded. "I'm glad too." I was glad to have had experience with the Dark Elf? What was I saying! "Our journey from the city to the harbor will be much more challenging. The Enemy not only knows we're here and that we're using the forest as our cover, but he also knows that I'm with you, and he has a personal ... grudge, shall we say, against me and my family. So it will be even more important that we scatter widely on our way back." Solome glanced uneasily over her shoulder. She had also stood with her arrow nocked since we arrived. "Our job is to secure the school and the temple. We had better get going," she said, shifting her weight gently in the direction of the square temple building. "I thought it would be easy, but now I think I was wrong." So do I. I drew an arrow from my quiver and took a deep breath. "All right, ladies, this is our plan - two volunteers will scout the school, and two will scout the temple. You will be assessing the physical safety of each building, whether there is anyone inside on any level, and their position relative to the governor's palace - as you remember from our briefing, that is where the Enemy is holding twenty townspeople hostage. We don't know who in this town is friendly to us, and who is on the side of the Enemy, so watch yourselves carefully. And remember, you are not allowed to kill any civilians. Be prepared to put yourself in physical danger to protect their safety, whether they are friendly or not. You are only allowed to kill the Enemy's men, and that only in the gravest of circumstances." I looked at my group of ten archers, all women, all young and strong and eager. Would I lose one of them tonight? Would they lose me? "I volunteer to scout the school," said Solome gruffly. Eleanor nodded briefly. "I'll go with her," she added. I nodded. "All right. I will scout the temple. Who would like to go with me?" "I'll come!" Raicheal raised her hand and tried to jump forward, tripped a little on her longbow, and recovered, blue-green eyes sparkling. She was a little more jumpy than I was quite comfortable with, but I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and beckoned for her to come stand by me. "All right, ladies. The rest of you are free to move at will, in pairs. You may scout other buildings or assist our fellow battalions as seems appropriate, but be careful and be smart. I don't want to lose any of you before we even get started. Sound a whistle signal of two blasts if you get into trouble. We will meet again behind this building in one hour." My battalion nodded and scattered, and Raicheal looked up at me expectantly, her eyes still sparkling. "What do we do first, Sky? What should I do?" I fitted my slender white arrow into my bow and carefully leaned out from behind the building. The street was getting crowded and loud - several more Blue and Red battalions had arrived, and while I saw a few moving softly in the shadows like mine, many others had charged into the street and begun confronting people or brandishing their bows and swords. I bit my lip. Could we make progress with stealth if so many were trying to take their targets by force? Yet there was surely no other way - how could we regain the trust of the people if we stormed in with weapons and angry words? "What do we do, Sky?" Raicheal repeated, bouncing on her toes. "I'm getting a feeling about this. Something's going on in there and we need to hurry up." I looked up the hill at the temple, which was made with a simple angled roof and three pillars, like many other buildings in this culture, but it was set apart by the broken remains of a human statue standing in the front. There were lights inside the building, but I could not tell how many or whether they were simply fires. Raicheal had been training her intuition; I half-trusted it, but I felt no cold tingling in my arm to indicate that the Dark Elf's men were there. "Well," I said slowly, "I guess the first thing we have to do is just go see what's going on. Get your bow ready and follow me. Be ready for whatever we might find inside."
  13. Thank you, that actually does help. Were you treading water, or could you touch the bottom with your feet? Not that the latter would help me too much, because if I remember correctly, you're more than 6 feet tall ...
  14. I've definitely experienced this before, and suspect you might be right ... I was thinking as I rushed around this morning that I would solve a lot of issues by simply getting up earlier, so I can finish my work earlier in the day and get to the gym in the late afternoon, rather than in the evening when I'm starting to slow down toward relaxing at home. Then I would have dinner earlier, get my things packed for the following day while it was still light, start a movie before 11PM ... it would make everything easier. I'm just working against my own night-owl tendencies and the peer pressure of my night-owl siblings, to make that happen. Initially it might be tough because I'm tired and don't feel like making big changes, but if I can make that my new habit, as you said, it might make things a bit easier. ---- Today I discovered that there's one more component of my Warrior Dash training that I will need to address after all, and that's my fear of water ... I was talking today with one of my classmates who will also be running with me, and she said that 1) there is no way around the Alcatraz obstacle, and 2) the giant slide goes into water over your head too, and you need to swim to a rope ladder on the other end. So after I go to the gym this afternoon, I am going to Walmart to buy a cheap swimsuit, and I am going to my apartment complex's pool to practice dunking my head under water. I'm not super excited about it, but I'm determined. I am going to run this race.
  15. WEEK THREE WRAP-UP I realized with concern this evening that my sister will be leaving for a conference before too much longer, leaving me in charge of the cooking and cleaning for a week ... eep!! I'd better have some sort of a plan so the yuckies don't pile up without her watchful eye to keep things tidy, and also so I don't make my brother eat hummus and toast for a week (like I would do if left to my own devices). I got a couple of books of slow cooker recipes at the library this afternoon, so this might be a good week to drag the crockpot back out of its dusty summer abode ... This week I did not technically get to the gym twice, but I did lift weights at home, so I'm going to count that as a "yes". My money goal was confusing because I had to buy a bunch of medicines and soft foods for my brother, who caught strep, and he hasn't paid me back yet; and I also bought a bunch of gifts for my mom's birthday and Father's Day, so even though I didn't buy clothes or anything superfluous this week, it still has to be a "no". In my Bible reading, I finished 1 and 2 Corinthians, so that's great; and my sugar was a "hahahahahahahano". So the verdict is: Gym: Y Money: N Bible: 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Psalms Sugar: N I'm not super happy that I'm not meeting my goals the way I want to, but I don't have a clear answer as to why I'm not. The gym, I think, has been difficult to muster energy for after very busy days; money was kind of not my fault this week, but still disappointing; and I didn't make a clear plan on how I was going to cut back my sugar, so that was probably doomed to fail. Maybe I need to go back to more complicated goals next time? I'm just not sure. For Week 4, I'm going to prioritize getting to the gym twice and trying not to give into impulsive cravings, and then also try to get my money back to equilibrium. I'll also post about my meal planning progress and challenges.