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Ratynda

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About Ratynda

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    Newbie

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    warrior
  1. Hey all! It has been an eventful month for sure. Here at the end of the challenge, I have a mixed bag of successes, opportunities, and learning experiences. To start, I was not able to get my untried class set up in time. A combination of other priorities and the fact that my first choice, pole dancing, was exclusively limited to women in all the studios that I attempted, prevented my completion of that. My game time goal has had some hiccups as well, but it was a great opportunity for me to realize that the problem isn't necessarily the amount of days I spend playing games, but the types of games I play. When I spend all of my gameplay time playing either the same MMO I have played for two years or a turn-based game, I tend to glaze over and not actively engage with what is happening. With these types of games, I am not being challenged in mental capacity or critical thinking. Games that test these are the kinds that I should be branching out to in my play time, as well as games that can be played with friends. In terms of my food, after my initial hiccup, all of my meals have consistently been from home, with the allowed one per week. My Lifts, however, have gotten a huge boost. As I mentioned before, some of my goals were a bit unobtainable, or way too easy. With my bench press, I am now hitting just under the goal at 105 instead of 110, and my squats are just below that at 100 lbs. My deadlift is now significantly higher, at a whopping 110, and my overhead presses are right on par at 25 lbs. Regardless of the exact numbers I hit, I am noticing significant gains in each lift and physically in how I look. Now that my lifts are on a consistent schedule, I can focus down my caloric intake to put myself on the path to steadily gain weight. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me! Can't wait to start my next goal. Till then!
  2. Hey guys! It has been a tumultuous week to be sure. But first the positives! I am making great progress on my lifts, and though I have yet to reach my outlined goal weights in squats and bench presses, I have already met my deadlift and Overhead press goal weights so far! I'm super excited to have met those, and now I'm even more equipped to take on another set of goals with reasonable expectations. This week has been throwing a lot of mental, emotional, and physical challenges at me with self-doubt plaguing my thoughts as of late. I fell back on my goal with limiting games, but realized that instead of putting an arbitrary day limit on my game play, I instead need to be replacing that time with productive activities that make me forget that gameplay was even an option. It takes discipline to not play games, but it takes Initiative to start something better, and that's going to be the theme of my next challenge. I have run into some challenges with the pole dancing class, as the class that I was going to sign up for is unfortunately limited to only women, as are the others available in my city. It's going to take some quick, creative thinking to complete this goal. Food wise though, this week has been a lot better. I went the week without eating out once, and have been putting more thought weekly into my diet, soon to add a caloric goal every day. I can't thank y'all enough for the continued support and reminders. They are what keep me going at times. Until next week!
  3. Thanks for asking! And apologies for getting back so late. My first week went well! I met all of my goals and found out that some of the gauges I set for myself for my lifts were a little off, as I was able to meet my Overhead press goal on the first try! Just goes to show how much goes into pushing past what you think is your barrier. So far my video game challenge is paying tremendous dividends, but god if it doesn't feel like I'm having withdrawals. There are times that I crave a good Persona 5 session and I have to stop myself because I'm only halfway through the week. This week was a bit of a bump in the road in terms of my lunches since I ate out for lunch three times this week due to not having food cooked in advance, but I can at least say it was out of necessity and I spent the least amount I could on each lunch, so all is not lost! Every other goal is going perfect, and I have decided on pole dancing as my new class to try! Unorthodox, but it's something fun i've always wanted to try. I'll definitely be reporting how it goes!
  4. Thanks! For my afternoons that I decide to not spend gaming, I have several things I could be doing. Reading, researching jobs, looking up travel, generally I made a decision to replace that time with anything that's ultimately productive and pushes me forward.
  5. Hey guys, Better late than never I always say! While yesterday threw a slew of distractions at me I got a perfect window today to post my second challenge and my first one in the Rebel group. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Ratynda and where my last challenge focused on a broad group of topics meant to get me to broaden my thoughts towards new opportunities, this one will hold a lens to my progress in what I've established and measure out progress in a more tangible way. As I got to know myself better, I started to realize what motivates me and what drains me, and this month I'll be taking steps to enforce or eliminate those respectively. So without further ado.... - Complete three structured weightlifting workouts a week, based on push/pull split. - Increase to the weight specified for the following lifts by the end of the challenge. - Bench Press: 110 LBS - Squats: 105 LBS - Deadlift: 100 LBS - Overhead Press: 25 LBS - Limit eating out to one lunch per week, with the rest consisting of pre-made food. - Limit Video Game play to three days out of the week. - Attend one class for a new type of physical activity that I have never tried With my workouts, I am finally getting back into the swing of thrice weekly splits, and with that I came up with a new program to try, In which I focus on progressing on the four big lifts listed above every week for a foundation of strength, then stratifying my workouts to different muscles under the push/pull category. For example I might start with bench Presses and Overhead presses one day, then target back and biceps with some rows, Lat pulldowns, and Bicep curls. I want to steadily get a feel for how quickly I can progress in my big lifts, so I went with some targets that I thought would be reasonable to reach but still a good challenge, with no shame upon failure to reach them. Of course, these weights do not keep bars into account. The next two goals are targeted at reducing two of my vices, spending money and video games. While sometimes circumstances require buying food out, after spending sometimes a whole week only going out to eat, I can recognize how easily that drains my wallet, where I should be saving for travel. Games on the other hand are innocent enough and something that I love doing, but I recognize that when I spend days in a row playing them when I get home, I end up not accomplishing much, falling behind on my sleep, distracting myself during workouts, and just generally feeling mentally negative and unhealthy. This will allow me to enjoy the games in a healthy amount that doesn't require policing exact time. With the extra time I have, I will be stoking my fire for physical activity and finding new ways to exercise, leading to my last challenge. It can be any class or structured exercise, as long as I have not already tried it before. My gym has a myriad of group classes that should be perfect for this goal. And that concludes my goals for this month! Short, sweet, and to the point. If anyone has any tips, suggestions, or feedback for me along the way, please let me know. Until then, lets get this challenge started!
  6. Hey friendos! here at the end of my challenge, I am taking this Saturday to reflect on my challenge, learn from it, and plan for the future in light of how this one went. Considering this is my first structured attempt to make real SMART goals for myself, I would say it went pretty damn well! Goal one: Perform structured weightlifting workouts twice a week and one yoga session a week - Partial Success: I successfully performed two structured weightlifting workouts a week, and boy did it pay off. Until this month I never realized that my issues with working out stemmed from me only ever working out frequently enough to feel tired from it and not being consistent enough to draw energy from my workouts. Now that I have kept disciplined with my workouts, not only has my energy and overall quality of life improved, but I have a lot more discipline in other areas. Unfortunately, all the while my yoga suffered and I was only able to get two yoga workouts in during these four weeks. But all I can do is go forward and analyze my excuses and roadblocks! Goal two: Apply for two new jobs. - A rousing success: Not only did I complete this goal, I doubled it. I have applied for a total of four jobs in the past four weeks, finding different opportunities for a good variety of work. I plan on continuing this until I can find a place that I am satisfied with working at while I work on developing long-term goals. Goal three: Find time to stream a game online, with or without friends, twice. - Partial Success: I was able to organize one get together where we successfully streamed a game and had a great time doing it, but unfortunately I kept my goals so focused on other people that I was not able to complete it due to conflicting schedules. This taught me one major thing: Don't make goals that depend on other people's participation. This only sets myself up for failure when other people's goals or schedules do not line up with my own. Goal Four: Reach out to 3 new people that I wouldn't have before. - Succcess: Simply put, I did just that! I was able to create numerous new conversations and in some cases a completely new friendship that I never would have had otherwise! Intention and Initiative are the key to good, deep friendships I have discovered. It is not enough to have them in your contacts, but you must reach out regularly and make sure no communication is one-sided. In terms of my over-arching goal of finding my calling, I have felt closer than I am now. With some research and some advice from some great people on this site, I have been able to focus my thoughts and intentions for finding my skills and how I can apply them to something I could maintain as a career. Thank you all for supporting me on my first challenge. I can't wait to start my next one. See you in the rebel forums!
  7. Absolutely, and I'm learning to not shame myself for failures and instead take notes! Shame is not productive, learning is.
  8. Hey Friendos! This past week, my obstacles have been numerous, but my opportunities for growth have been even more so. I hit my first failure this week in terms of meeting my Yoga goal (Save your tomatoes) As my schedule started to clutter and plans got in the way, Yoga was the first thing to go, but not without ample room to compensate. Last Tuesday I spent the afternoon with a close friend of mine running one of the many long trails in my city and helping to motivate him through his first time ever intentionally running. It was a huge step for him and I couldn't be more proud. Yoga practice aside, every other goal has been a hit so far. I finished reading through Level Up Your Life and have been using the resources list as a personal shopping list for books and blogs to read, and am actively looking for more. Just this afternoon, I finished another audiobook that I had been listening to called You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, a perfect complement to Steve Kamb's book. I'm also proud to say that I've completed and can check off one of my goals for the challenge, that being two submitted job applications. With my application to the American Cancer Society, I hope to find a new place that I can actually enjoy working and carrying out tangible outreach. While I still worry about what I ultimately want to do, this could be a great opportunity to make a difference somehow. I am heading into this week with one workout already under my belt and a renewed energy, even in the moments when I don't feel so motivated. Until I pull through at the end of the month, I'll keep trucking!
  9. Hey guys and gals, Today marked my first workout for this busy, busy week. Not only will I be leaving Thursday for vacation (making a workout extra challenging!), but countless other duties are nipping at my heels saying "pay attention to us! Ignore your workouts!" Not today Satan! This afternoon I spent on a number of upper body exercises, since tomorrow I will be running with my friend for the first time on a beautiful river-front park path and I plan on making it a full leg day. Today's workout was as follows.... - Stretches and a warm-up of push ups, oblique crunches, and Lunges. - Bench Presses (70 lbs - 1 set of 10 reps, then 90 lbs - 2 sets of 10 reps, followed by drop sets cutting down by 15 lbs each time) - Super-set: Alternating Dumbbell Incline bench presses (35 lbs) with shoulder presses (20 lbs) for 3 sets of ten reps. - Pull ups (3 sets to failure, ~6 reps) - Cable curls (35 lbs, 3 sets of 10 reps) - Barbell Curls (60 lbs, 3 sets of 10 reps) Simple, but got me a good pump! And super proud of myself for finally getting back into the 45 plates on my bench presses. As for my other goals, I spent Saturday setting up a stream session with friends. We probably got a grand total of four people watching, and I have a long way to go in learning how to stream and get watchers, but it was fun nonetheless to put our Gameplay out there for the world to see. I already have another job application in my sights, so soon I will be able to cross off that goal completely from my list! Woo!
  10. It's funny, Yoga can be very relaxing, but I find a lot of times afterwards my anxiety can be through the roof! A lot of people say it's because a lot of the moves make you emotional, but for me doing weightlifting enough puts me in this zone where I'm not thinking about anything else and my mind can only focus on the work, which totally re-sets my mindset. And I totally get the fear of not doing it right! It's intimidating to try and sit still and feel like you're doing it wrong but meditation ultimately just comes down to relaxing and clearing your head, however difficult that ends up being.
  11. Great job! I'm looking forward to finally finishing the book myself, it's a surprisingly quick read. Stay on top of it!
  12. aaah, okay, I tend to do static stretching then. I'll have to look into some more dynamic stretches.
  13. I'm not privy to the difference of dynamic or static but what I usually do is do some stretches, warm up with some running for five to ten minutes. Abs are not something I typically focus on so I just added that in at the beginning for shiggles. Sometimes I'll do some crunches before I work out, but it's not usually heavy ab work. Didn't think about it that way! Grip is an issue, but I usually associate it with overall strength, so good looking out. And thanks! It was a pretty big thing for me to even just complete it.
  14. Hey guys and gals! Quick update for you. Today marks my first week of the challenge and second week overall that I have successfully hauled my ass to the gym for my two workouts and one yoga session. Today also was my first interview in a long time for a new job that some movers and shakers in my agency have been nudging me towards, so on top of the anxiety from being in it, I had a bit of an "Oh god, I don't want to do this job" moment afterwards that caused some of the same breathing issues I had dealt with before. But I persevered and ended up doing more with this workout than I had done in a while! For reference, today's workout consisted of... - Stretches (always, darling) - Hanging Leg Raises (3 sets of 15, 20, and 20 reps respectively) - Seated Cable Rows (100 lbs, 3 sets of 12 reps, two drop sets) - Dumbbell Rows (30 lbs - 1 set of 12 reps, 35 lbs - 2 sets of 10 reps) - Barbell Curls (60 lbs, 3 sets of 10 reps) - One-arm Cable Curls (20 lbs - 3 sets to failure) - Dumbbell Shrugs ( 50 lbs, 3 sets of 20 reps) Naturally, after I finished the workout, my breath had significantly settled, and anxiety lessened. Go figure! If anyone has any feedback or advice on the workout, please let me know. Until next week!
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