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About Riviera16

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  1. That's an interesting perspective on managing stress. At the moment my problem is pretty much the opposite of stress, but the ideas in the article about seeking novelty are something that has definitely helped me in the past, despite my issue coming from a different direction. I guess whether your brain is working too hard or not hard enough, finding those kinds of things can help you find a better "Goldilocks" zone in the middle. 🤔 Thanks! I've been working on some similar strategies. Fairly early on I changed my computer setup to reduce stress, especially on the wrists, as much as possible. Unfortunately at the time it didn't make a big difference. Gaining strength has been the only thing so far that clearly helped it get better, though it helped a lot more when I had a clear weakness problem. I've also been trying to focus on eccentric motion exercises since those strengthen the tendons more. I'm hopeful that in time as I continue to build strength it will continue to improve things, even if more slowly than before.
  2. Well, turns out the launch got cancelled due to the weather. Darn. It's rescheduled for Saturday so I'm crossing my fingers the second try will work out better. Today definitely turned into more of an emotional roller-coaster than I'd expected, but oh well. Still excited for next time!
  3. SpaceX & NASA are launching the crew Dragon capsule with two astronauts to the ISS today!!! OMG!!! This is awesome!!!! 🤩🚀🛰️✨🎉 I am soooo excited about the launch today! I've been following SpaceX's progress toward the possibility of sending actual people to the ISS for a while but I still can't believe this is actually happening! For those of you who haven't seen, the Dragon capsule and the new space suits look like something out of a sci-fi movie. The future has arrived. Who knows, after this maybe we'll be building fully-livable habitats/bases on the moon, or even Mars? Man, and I thought I wanted to go to space pretty badly when I was a kid! *Cue epic space-geeking out session* Definitely no serious risk of boredom today. 😉
  4. Wednesday May 27 So. Spacex & NASA are launching astronauts to the International Space Station today and I am geeking out to an extreme level not experienced since the first even image of a black hole was taken. I’m not even going to try tracking stuff today. This is an incredibly special occasion... Christmas may come but once a year, but this comes once in the entire history of Earth. If I can’t cut myself some slack on historic occasions like this, then when can I? I mean, regular missions to the ISS just weren't possible after the space shuttle was retired... until now, assuming today's mission is a success. I'm so excited! I can't wait to see how this goes and what's coming after it! *Cue epic space-geeking out session* 🤩
  5. Sunday May 24 Meals: Yeah, I pretty much just ate whatever I wanted today. Didn’t even bother keeping track. Let’s just say whatever goals I might’ve had weren’t met. *sigh* Monday May 25 Breakfast: Oatmeal with flax seeds, banana, granola, and a little yogurt mixed in, coffee, some bread/toast and jam, and some various snacks. Lunch: Mediterranean salad with homemade vinaigrette, some various snacks Dinner: Jambalaya, homemade nut bars, and some granola Tuesday May 26 Breakfast: Protein shake (25g protein), wrap sandwich with jam, almond butter, and banana (5g protein), more homemade nut bars (10g protein), and a cup of tea Lunch: Quesadilla & tortilla chips with salsa & sour cream (5g protein) and an open-face “sandwich” with turkey (10g protein) (+some various snacks morning-midday) Dinner: Cauliflower rice & beef stir-fry (20g protein), little bit of pasta with pesto sauce, last little bit of the homemade nut bars (5g protein) Total Protein: 80+grams (There was some protein in the snacks I had (including nuts) but since I didn’t track those closely I’m not sure exactly now much.) Workout: Warmup: Various lightweight movements/exercises Superset 1 (3x): Jumping jack squats 30x Push-up/side plank combo 10x Jackknife 10x Superset 2 (3x): “Box” jumps on the stairs 12x Bodyweight rows 12x Seated leg lifts/circles 5x per circle direction Superset 3 (3x): Freestanding pistol squats 8x per leg Single-arm rows 6x per arm Side-bend core exercise 10x per side (only did this twice, not three times) Cooldown: basic stretching routine Total time: ~50 mins
  6. Oh my gosh, I know exactly what you mean. Most of the people I talked to about my wrist issue (my parents especially) said things like, "Ok, well if you're unhappy and bored because of what you can't do because of your wrists, just find something to do without your wrists." It felt really invalidating; it seemed like they didn't understand what I was going through. Sure, there are some other things I enjoy that don't involve my wrists but they aren't close to the things I was missing and they could never replace them. As you said, it's not like interchangeable legos. And since in these conversations I was usually also wanting sympathy the "just find something else to do" responses felt particularly insensitive. Still, I suppose I should appreciate that they were trying to help even though I didn't find it very helpful.
  7. ~ Week 2 Summary ~ (And a long post on the history of why I hate tendinitis) So... the second week of my challenge didn't quite go as planned. I did my strength workouts and found a cool new exercise but didn't do anything on my off days. I wanted to go jogging but the weather didn't cooperate and I was pretty much completely unmotivated to do anything else. So, 2 out of 3 goals met. Could be better, could be worse. I had some ups and downs with snacking, but along the way I realized something important: boredom snacking is, well, just that. It's a response to my brain being understimulated, which for someone with ADD is a horrible feeling/situation to be in. And I am way, way, waaayyyy more understimulated than my brain wants to be right now and have been for the past, like, 3 years. A bit of background: ~3 years ago I started having problems with my wrists. It got to the point where anything from using my computer/phone to writing with a pencil made them hurt and the more I did the worse it got. We went to several doctors who at first said, "Ok, looks like tendinitis, do this for six weeks and it should get better." Long story short, I did whatever they said for six+ weeks and it didn't get better. We went so several wrist/hand specialists who told us more or less the same thing but after repeating the same pattern again they would basically shrug and say, "Ok, well, somethings clearly going on. Not entirely sure what." We got an MRI, we did blood tests for autoimmune/Lyme/etc. and got nothing. It was beyond frustrating; during all this time I couldn't play video games, text my friends, write or draw, or basically any of my other favorite activities that I use to express my creativity and feel like are a core part of myself. I was completely cut off from the world around me and nearly all the things I enjoyed. And no one could tell me how long until it would get better. They couldn't even tell me if it wasn't going to get better, which would've at least given me closure and removed the uncertainty. They just said it would get better, "eventually." That kind of waiting for an unknown long period of time is not easy. I finally found a physical therapist who identified part of the problem as muscle weakness from resting it for so long and I was able to gradually start building up strength again, which helped, but didn't solve it entirely. At that point the pain wasn't really the issue: if it meant getting to go back to doing the things I loved I'd put up with a lot. But I was worried about causing permanent damage to my wrists/tendons if I pushed through even a little bit of pain. So as time dragged on, I still wasn't seeing any change and was growing more and more depressed and despairing over how long it would take, if ever, for me to get back to normal. Several months ago I went back to a wrist specialist who said it was ok to push through the pain a little as long as it wasn't hurting too badly. That gave me a bit more freedom, but still only so much. Right now, I can type posts as long as I'm careful and I can do some basic stuff on my phone, some simple mouse movements, and a little bit of drawing without having problems but the kind of high intensity/speed/tension movements needed to effectively play most video games are still way out of bounds. Now, back to what this all has to do with snacking. Many people with ADD, including me, find feeling bored/understimulated extremely unpleasant, especially if for prolonged periods of time. I know from experience that I need a certain amount of high-dopamine, easy-reward type activities in my life to keep myself stimulated and fully functional. The past 3 years my wrists have been problematic I've had next to zero of any of those. My brain gradually fell further down into a stimulation-deprived slum of depression and hopelessness. Now that I can do a little more things have gotten a little better, but again, only by so much. And recently I realized the problem is a bit deeper than it appears on the surface. After having been deprived of the fun, stimulating activities I need in my daily life for so long, my brain is essentially treating anything that gives me any kind of instant-reward as though it might be the last one in existence and goes berserk trying to get as much of whatever it is as it can before it's too late. Obviously, "this is my only chance to do this for who knows how long" isn't really the case, but my brain is so starving for stimulating activities that as soon as it gets even a little taste of something it can't stop. This shows up in several ways, including when I sit down at the computer after lunch for maybe an hour of some simple, low intensity game and the next thing I know it's nearly 7pm and I still haven't had dinner, or, as you might've guessed, when I decide I want a little snack or a little taste of something and then I can't seem to stop myself even if I was already full when I started. It's not the food that's the problem- it's the fact that putting something tasty in my mouth counts as an instant-reward activity and my brain desperately needs those right now. I have reason to believe that if I can let my brain binge on some sort of stimulating activity enough times it will figure out I'm not stranded in chronic understimulation the way I was anymore and then everything will get easier. But in order to do that I need something that won't have negative consequences. Right now all the stimulating things that involve my wrists have to be kept in moderation so I don't lose what little progress I've made. So those are out. Eating too much is also hardly an ideal solution. I'm still trying to come up with possibilities to deal with this situation but haven't had much luck yet. Still, just being able to know and understand what's really going on makes it much easier to feel like there is a path forward even if I haven't found it yet. At least now I know where to look. Understanding the problem better also makes it much easier to be sympathetic and compassionate with myself when I do go off track. Chronic understimulation sucks. Having my brain not quite caught up to the fact that I'm actually partway out of it also sucks. But, with any luck, now that I know what to look for I'll be able to find something I can use to jump-start my brain and start feeling more like myself again. P.S. Right now I'm also considering other possible wrist-problem culprits besides tendons. I know I have noticeable hypermobility in my upper body so it may be a ligament issue at the core, even though it's generally the tendons that hurt. It's also possible it's something Lyme related even though the blood test said no current Lyme infection since I did have Lyme years ago when I was a kid. Or maybe it's some form of carpal tunnel? Who knows.
  8. Saturday, May 23 Meals: Breakfast: Yogurt (12g protein), a small apple, sandwich meat slices (10g protein), and some carrots & bell pepper slices with hummus Lunch: A wrap with turkey sandwich meat (12g protein), lettuce, & sour cream, grapes, and more carrots & hummus. XD After the workout I also had about ¾ of a protein shake (container ran out, 18g protein) and a small bowl of yogurt (12g protein) & some pepperoni Dinner: Cauliflower rice, beef & broccoli stir-fry (~35g protein), and some extra sandwich meat/pepperoni (5g protein) Total Protein: ~105g Workout: Warmup: Jog around the neighborhood Superset 1 (3x): Bodyweight rows 12x Elevated push-ups 10x Goblet squats 25lbs 14x Superset 2 (2x): Face pulls 10x Plank 50 sec Burpees 10x Superset 3 (3x): “Box jumps” on the stairs 10x Side-bend core exercise 10x per side Seated leg lifts/circles 5x per circle direction Cooldown: Basic stretching routine Total time: ~45 mins? Didn’t watch the clock closely. Notes: Finally got to add a parkour training specific exercise to my routine! Working toward those long-term goals! Also did a bit better with the snacking issue today; giving myself a high-five for that!
  9. Got another new exercise into my workout today! I've been wanting to add more things that could specifically help me improve the skills I need to get good at to do parkour. The only problem is we don't exactly have a lot of good equipment/places for practicing anything nearby. I've been wanting to learn some basic vaults but there's nothing to vault over in my area. 😢 But what I was able to do is do "box jumps" using the stairs. Right now I'm only jumping to the second stair and focusing on maintaining good form for jumping & landing but in time I hope to move up, literally. 😉
  10. Wednesday May 20 Breakfast: Oatmeal with granola mixed in and a scoop of yogurt on top and a cup of coffee Lunch: Veggie burger wrap with hummus, several handfuls of cashews, and apple slices with almond butter Dinner: Leftover turkey, baked zucchini, a few more cashews and a small bowl of granola. Thursday May 21 Meals: Breakfast: Protein shake (25g protein), half cup of coffee, about half an apple, and a handful of almonds and cashews Lunch: Leftover turkey (20g protein) with a little bit of zucchini and a wrap with a cut-up veggie burger patty, pepperoni, green onions, and hummus (15g protein) Dinner: Roast pork & veggies, leftover zucchini Workout: Warmup: Squat jumps, arm/leg extensions, side lunge/torso twist Circuit 3x: Elevated push-ups 16x Side lunges 10x per leg Deadbugs 10x per side Assisted pistol squats 8x per leg (went back to a bit of assist today since I was still sore and didn’t want to injure myself) Bodyweight rows 12x Jackknife 10x Cooldown: Extra long stretching routine (because sore/tight legs :P) Total time: ~50 mins Friday May 22 Breakfast: Oatmeal with granola mixed in and banana slices, yogurt with rice crispy cereal as a topping, half a cup of coffee ...and then way too many cashews. To be fair, they’re my favorite nut and its been ages since we’ve had them and we got a particularly good brand this time. Lunch: Cauliflower rice with leftover pork, zucchini, some broccoli stir-fry, and a few crackers with hummus. Dinner: Yogurt, small bowl of soup, a spring roll, and some roast beef & turkey sandwich meat
  11. I don't know about you, but for me being stuck in an apocalypse bunker without a gym kinda stinks. Without any clear connection to the rest of the world, there's not a lot of external accountability to keep me on track when my own motivation falters. And given the limited exercise options and resulting boredom of workouts in general, my motivation has faltered quite a bit. Needless to say, it's made keeping up with my fitness goals much harder and I know I need a bit more accountability if I'm going to stay on track. I'm about to start my first challenge and that seemed a fine time to start tracking what I'm doing more closely as well. The details of my challenge can be found here. I'm planning to track each workout in detail and keep a rough log of what I'm eating. I'll include what exercises I did, how many sets/reps at what weight (if I'm using weights), about how long it took, what my meals were/overall protein for the day, and if there was anything else happening that influenced things in one way or another. With any luck having a written record will make it easier to keep an eye on myself and make sure I'm working for what future-me wants, not only what present-me wants. Like being able to fight off those zombies, should they decide to show up. ⚔️💥 Daily Log Template: Workout: Warmup: Superset 1 (# times): Exercise 1 (weight/reps) Exercise 2 (weight/reps) Superset 2 (# times): Exercise 1 (weight/reps) Exercise 2 (weight/reps) ...etc Cooldown: Total Time: Notes: Meals: Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Total grams of protein: I'll try to post an update at least on my strength workout days, 3x per week. Ideally more, but we'll see how I go. I'll also post weekly updates on my challenge thread keeping track of the bigger picture. Meanwhile, I'll keep training to beat this apocalypse and be more prepared for the next one. The story's nowhere near finished yet, and I look forward to seeing where it leads!
  12. Greetings, fellow rebels! I'm Riviera16, writer, artist, ninja-in-training, and space/physics geek. I'm a huge fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, LOTR, GOT, and many others. Currently I'm in the process of watching Babylon 5. I love cosplay and wish I could wear my costumes all the time, wherever I want, whenever I want. I play D&D 3.5e and 5e and am currently in three campaigns and am working on running one. I first heard about NerdFitness from my dad and have been reading emails/articles for a while but only now am actually getting on the forum. This is my first challenge and I'm excited to see where I can go over these next few weeks. But first, a little bit about how I got here. The Backstory: I started following NerdFitness 2+ years ago. Back then I pretty much sat around the house 24/7 and barely did anything active (with the exception of some swimming in the warmer months). Weight hasn't been an issue for me, but muscle weakness certainly has. It had caused a number of injuries for me (an otherwise healthy older teen/young adult) and I was sick of it and decided it was high-time I do something about it. I'd known about NF for a little while at that point and had been reading the emails Steve sent out and the free workout/guide articles. They inspired me to start learning more about fitness and how to build strength. I started exercising at home, but wasn't really getting anywhere. Then my dad and I got together and joined a gym, and suddenly it was like a whole new world opened up for me. There were so many more things I could do there than at home. I did few months of personal training sessions to help myself get started, then moved on to working out on my own. Over the next year I watched as I gradually went from being barely able to do a bicep curl with a 1lb dumbell to doing 0.5 bodyweight assisted pullups. It felt great to be making progress, slowly but surely, and having new milestones to look forward to. The Latest Episode: ...Then the coronavirus hit. The gym closed and I was stuck at home. We have some basic workout equipment at home, a few dumbells and some resistance bands. It was enough for me to do a full workout, but with far more limited options than I was used to. In other words, it got boring fast. I'm the sort of person who craves newness and excitement and I can't stand excessive repetition and monotony. One of the things I like most about the gym was the wide variety of exercises you can do. Doing something different every time I worked out was part of what made it fun for me. Without that, workouts became a chore and it became harder and harder to actually get myself to do them. I've looked for new things to incorporate into my workouts and have had some luck, but only some. I'm still trying to find ways to make my workouts more interesting, but in the meantime I know if I want to stay on track I need something more than interest to get me through. Having come such a long way already I really don't want to lose momentum or set myself back. I know from experience that I need accountability in a situation like this or sooner or later I start slipping. So, I decided taking on a challenge like this would be a great way to stay on target! My Main Quest at this point is to keep building strength with the hopes of one day doing full bodyweight pullups, over 1x bodyweight barbell squats, and (more importantly) learning/doing parkour and/or martial arts (All while avoiding more injuries, because injuries suck.). Basically, I want to be a butt-kicking ninja action hero in real life. My specific goals for this challenge are: Do a strength workout 3x per week. Do a lighter workout at least 1x per week (yoga, jogging outside, late night dance party, etc.) Learn 1 new exercise every week and do it in a workout. I'll be focusing on achieving these goals over these next few weeks, but if I'm inspired I might try a little more. Who knows? I'll keep track of what I've done in follow-up posts and I look forward to seeing where these coming weeks take me.