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  1. Howdy from too far south :)

    Moms are awesome, they're our support, and our teachers. Moms also suck, because they can deflate us so damn quickly. I'm glad that you're doing this for YOU. Your mum'll figure it out eventually. On a side note, fasting doesn't always work out so well for women - if you find that you're not responding favourably to it, THAT'S OK! Welcome, see you 'round!
  2. Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, ready to rumble

    Love it! Pursuing movement and health for movement & health's sake. Awesome. RE: junk food - I find that it helps me to drink a glass of ice water every time I find myself absently reaching for junk food when I don't actually want it. More of a behaviour reminder/reset rather than for any kind of fat loss reasons; by the time I'm finished the water, I've remembered that I don't want the junk food. Another fun strategy is to drink a protein shake before every meal - not only does it help fill you up so you eat less, but it helps increase your protein intake to the point that it will help spare muscle during fat loss. It's also another good reminder before every meal about what kind of foods you want to put in your body. I prefer unsweetened/unflavoured whey or casein powders, and then just add 1/2c of berries (and some greens powder if I'm having a lazy day) to make it easy to drink down - artificial sweeteners make me gag, and they've unavoidable in flavoured powders. Looking forward to seeing you around the 'board!
  3. My Big Why

    Welcome! A few tips for posture: scapular wall slides, thoracic foam rolling, and banded face pulls should be your bread & butter - at least once a day each, if not more. Manual massage or using a tennis/lacrosse ball on your chest muscles and lats is also crucial (and painful, ohmyg-d painful - but necessary). I'd recommend working on breathing too (yes, I know how silly that sounds), specifically diaphragmatic breathing - this not only helps engage those muscles that you should be breathing with anyway, but it's really difficult to do when your shoulders are crunched in, so the breath itself will remind you to pull the scaps down and away from your ears (a good cue for posture is to 'tuck your shoulder blades in your back pocket', rather than pulling your shoulders back). A really nice stretch is the thoracic bridge, which hits all the good spots. I also like to do sun salutations when I wake up in the morning, as a reminder and warm up before I get going for the day. Don't neglect your hips; you'd be shocked at how much tight hip flexors/inactive glutes can make good posture harder. Many people have what's called 'anterior pelvic tilt' - think Donald Duck - which pulls your back out of alignment and often causes other muscles to tense up to compensate; the best suggestion I have to counter that is RKC planks. I'd recommend (also daily) any glute activation exercises you enjoy (firehydrant, bird dog, glute bridge, etc.) in addition to practicing a deep squat regularly (AKA 'third world' squat or 'Garland Pose/Malasana' in yoga) which is not a strength movement, but just a position that helps loosen things up. I also like goblet squats and zercher squats to help reinforce an upright torso posture. A few other ideas: Depending on how much you weigh, and how much free time you have, maybe 50lbs by 04/2019 would be a better goal than 80lbs? Totally up to you, but I'd love to see you set yourself up for success, and 1lb/week is a great rate of fat loss. One of the easiest/nobrainer ways to work on fat loss is to fill up with a fist size portion of protein and at least 2 fist sized veg servings at every meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and then no more than another fist of starch - if you're still hungry, you could follow up with a piece of fruit. And then snacks should be a card deck sized portion of protein and either a veg or fruit if you need more; you can always fill up with chilled green tea in between meals & snacks to stay hydrated/less hungry. But also feel free to ignore these suggestions, since this journey is about what works for YOU! 'Hope to see you 'round the boards!
  4. On a Quest to Stop Guild-Hopping

    Welcome! I can't speak too knowledgeably about the guilds, I don't do much with them. But I'd suggest to try not to worry too much about the 'perfect fit' and just do what works for you right now - for the guild (which you can always change), fitness goals, and nutrition choices. This is a great place to start, in terms of exercise: And for 'diet': You may enjoy exploring something like parkour and/or C25k, as well.
  5. Need some help figuring out how to start

    Well, you'd be less likely to injure yourself with the zumba, at any rate. Can you do bodyweight squats? That's a great place to start, even just sitting on a chair and getting up without your hands, if that's where you are. You can use a broom handle or something similar in front of you with both hands, if need be. Once that's easy, you can hold onto something heavy (book, milk jug filled with water, etc.) and keep sitting up/sitting down until you can do unassisted squats. You can use bands, wrapped around your back or a chair, to practice push & pull movements for your arms/shoulders/back (around the back of the chair when you're seated can approximate a push up, band pull aparts are great for activation and posture, and you can wrap it around a door handle or pole outside for rowing movements). If you get or have bands, other exercises like banded x walk or monster walk can help with lower body strength too. Also for legs, you can balance on one leg with the help of a back of a chair and do leg raises. If that's not comfortable, seated leg/knee raises instead. Exercises you can do on the floor (or a bed, if that's safer/easier) include dead bugs, glute bridges, planks (from the knees to start with), bird dogs, firehydrant, donkey kick, clamshells, etc. You could look at turkish get-ups, but I suspect they may be a little advanced still for right now. A hula hoop for core. Steps ups (you can do this anywhere there's a step in your house, or outside) are a great option, just start with a height that you can safely use. Lots of options, just a matter of trying stuff to figure out where your starting point is, and going from there! As for diet, if there's any way you can prioritise cheap protein (tinned tuna, whole chickens, eggs, cottage cheese, etc) and frozen veggies, that'll do you the most favours. Use legumes and grains for your starch (rice, lentils, whole oats, etc), or baked potatoes for the most cost effective healthy options. If it's possible (and I understand that it's not always an option) you can see if there's anywhere else in your budget that you can reallocate to food, even an extra $10/month could probably help a bit - also, explore local food aid options like stamps or food banks in your area. Side note: Every little bit helps. That means walking outside every day, eating less processed foods when you can, trying new exercises, and just generally trying new things that could help that don't cost money or put you in danger of injuring yourself. It is, as most successful fat loss 'graduates' can attest, a matter of small changes over time, and you've got to start somewhere. Give yourself permission to start with tiny changes with what you CAN do now. And then continue to make small changes as your abilities change (be it financial, physical, or otherwise). Welcome to the boards, go slow, be safe, have fun!
  6. What's everyone reading?

    Oooooh, ideas. I'm 63 books into my 100 book goal for 2018, and am really starting to run out of stuff I want to read. Currently flipping through 'Thinking Fast and Slow' again, finally started 'Brave New World' after it was recced to me LAST YEAR, will likely finish 'Foolproof, and Other Mathematical Meditations' this evening, and listening to 'The Great Gatsby' as an audiobook because I've tried to start it on five separate occasions and just can't seem to get into it when I'm reading. I love that there are nerds to talk about reading and health in the same space.
  7. Snack suggestions

    More like a proteiny starch option (per cup of beans, ~270kcal, 15g protein, 45g carb (13g of which is fiber), 4g fat) . Nice and filling, cheap n easy. If you boil them in vinegar for a bit, and then oven roast with some salt & touch of heat safe oil, it takes like salt & vinegar chips, but more virtuous.
  8. Veggie/vegan meals under USD $3... GO!

    Cook dried beans & lentils, add the sauce of your choice, with some rice/quinoa and frozen veggies. Other good staples include tinned & smoked fish, cottage cheese (or maybe quark in Rykjavik?), whole chickens, eggs, etc. My grocery bill for 2 adults averages out to something between 45-55USD/week, but SO much of how much you spend comes down to what's available in your area. My advice? Wait until you're there to figure out which staple ingredients are the most cost effective.
  9. Simple for some, not for me.

    If you need to sub out loads of stuff, than maybe that's not the right meal plan for you. Maybe check out some paleo options? Squash is a good substitute for sweet potatoes/zuchchini, and you can just use chicken instead of seafood, whey protein powder instead of yogurt, and nuts instead of avocado. I like beans, so not sure how to sub those out, but you could just increase the beef to compensate in chili.
  10. I think you're in good company when it comes to difficulty keeping yourself accountable to yourself. Most of us struggle with that, to some degree, at some point. Welcome to the 'boards!
  11. Rate/Help fix my routine?

    I think it kinda comes down to what you what to accomplish - is your current routine not getting you there? There are loads of brilliant weight lifting folks on here (I'm not one of them ), but directions are difficult to give if you don't know where you want to go!
  12. Meditarian food meal prep