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  1. Unfortunately without the help of Taye Diggs...then again, anything could happen in the next few weeks! Those of you who've been with me for a few challenges have seen me fizzle out a few times. Traveling, getting used to a new full-time job, and working on finishing my master's thesis got the better of me, unfortunately. Besides a trip I got back from yesterday (which is why I'm only now writing this), I don't have any travel planned during this challenge. I've gotten much more used to the new job and managing my time around it. This weekend will be my last big push to make those final little changes to my thesis, and then that'll be taken care of. That means that I really super duper don't have any excuses this time around. I'm focusing on goals that are somewhat basic - because that's what I need to get back to during this challenge to build up a foundation again - but that have the potential to motivate me to go beyond the basic. 1. 10,000 steps a day (on average) Working full time at home makes it easy to barely leave the house, much less get a good amount of exercise in. I need to get outside and move. I got a Misfit Shine (anyone else? I need friends!) and am keeping track of those steps - 10,000 is a somewhat arbitrary number, but it's good to have a goal. Really I'm shooting for 70,000 a week because I know that some days it'll rain or something else will come up - as long as I walk or run more on the other days of the week, I'll still be good. I said that these goals are basic but allow me to go beyond that, and this is a good example of that. 10,000 steps a day is a good basic level of movement, so that's the minimum I'm shooting for. But I can get way more than that in a day, or I can run a few times a week instead of walking to get those steps in... (I'd also like to join my boyfriend on more bike rides [once I get my bike fixed - booo, flat tire!]. If I go on a longer bike ride with him, that can certainly count as my 10,000 steps for the day, and I'll lower the weekly total goal accordingly.) 2. 30 days of yoga I stole this one from Briniel! She did 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene in the last challenge, and I thought it looked like a great series, so...now I'm doing it! Thanks, Briniel! Yoga's one of those things that I do off and on and always wish I did more of. I need more flexibility, more awareness of my body, more calm strength. The goal here is just to complete all 30 days before the end of the challenge, which gives me a few potential days off, but I'd love to not take too many of those days off so I can get them done even sooner and maybe restart the whole thing again (or move on to another series) before the challenge ends. I know some of them are shorter, so I might occasionally even do one in the morning and one in the evening. Who knows! 3. 3/6/10 3 vegetables per day: That's the minimum. More is good! 6 glasses of water per day: I've been really feeling the effects of not drinking enough water lately. Time to hydrate. No (computer/smartphone) screens after 10 p.m.: Sleep hygiene! This will also encourage me to use that time for productive things like reading, cleaning, playing with the cat so he's tired out and sleeps through the night... This is mostly about the computer - my boyfriend and I usually watch TV while we're eating dinner, and we often eat after 10 (I'm trying to change this, but it's often just how our schedules work out), but I feel like the computer is probably more harmful to sleep hygiene because I'm sitting so much closer to it. Am I just making that up? It's definitely more harmful to productivity! I don't usually spend too much time watching TV besides during dinner. (This particular one will kick in next week - this week I'm still catching up from the trip! And it's mostly just for weeknights, but bonus points for also doing it on weekend nights!) 4. Kitchen counter zero (life goal) This is like inbox zero, but for dishes. Each night before I go to bed, the kitchen counter has to be completely clear of dirty dishes - they're either washed or in the dishwasher. Sometimes I let dishes pile up, and they get more and more intimidating (even though I actually sort of like washing dishes), and then it's no fun to cook or bake because there's no room and no clean dishes, and whenever we want to work on cleaning the house, I always feel like I need to focus on the kitchen first and don't actually get to any other part of the house...augh! So keeping the kitchen counter clean at all times will give me some peace of mind and give me more time to actually clean other parts of the house when we get the cleaning bug. --- I've already written a lot, so I'll leave it at that for now! Guys, I'm excited!
  2. I think I think too much. Every challenge I try to come up with some new goal, something that pushes me in new ways, something that forces me to reach ever and ever higher. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Reaching higher is good. Reaching higher is how we grow. But if you're always reaching, it becomes hard to take stock of where you are. So this challenge is about stopping to smell the roses a bit. No over-the-top, world-breaking goals. No backbreaking, tooth-grinding workouts. Nothing I'm going to dread doing. Instead, a calming of the ship. An inspection on deck, as it were. #1: Steps. For a while there, my wife and I got pretty good about doing 10,000 steps a day. She's been fantastic about it; I haven't. It's easily within range, and on run days I handle it easily, but on non-run days I tend to make like Elsa and let this one go. So: 10,000 steps a day, five days a week. #2: Track. One of my overall goals around here (or so I say) is losing weight. Which is a goal I've sort of pretended hasn't existed since, oh, I dunno, March. I did well for a while, but then... well, let's not make excuses. I slacked. I'm getting back on the horse a little bit lately, but I haven't been regular about tracking my weight, which means I have no idea how I'm doing. Even just tracking my weight weekly means I'll be thinking more about my choices. Yeah, this goal falls into the "almost too easy" category, but that's kinda the point this challenge. So: One weigh-in weekly, recorded in my little black book and recorded here too, for good measure. #3: Invert. One of the most enjoyable things I've done throughout my challenges and my time at NF has been working on my handstand. I can hold a walk-up facing-the-wall handstand for thirty seconds now, and can kick up pretty easily, too. But I can use more practice. Part of what I like about the handstand is that, when I'm good at it, it'll be a thing I can Just Do Anywhere. So I'm going to practice by going inverted as often as I can every day, whether it's part of my regular routine or not. Of course I'll still be running, too, but I'm still nursing that PF injury, so I won't be setting any additional goals on that front; my primary concern is to keep those runs enjoyable. So, three easy goals this time around. I'll come back around later and set some point values on this stuff. But for now, this is enough to get started.
  3. If you pay any attention to my gif choices, you must have expected it. . . The Supernatural-themed challenge. I rewatch the episodes on Netflix all the time, and I always wonder how I would do as a hunter (in all probability, very poorly). But part of being a Rebel is learning to overcome fear and become antifragile, and there is nothing sturdier than the Winchesters. Of course, the best part of the show* is the music, so I chose four songs from the show (or tangentially mentioned - I guess Kripke couldn't get the rights to Led Zeppelin stuff) to represent my goals for this challenge. Ramble On – DEX 2, STA 3. One of dean’s favorite songs, and one of my goals. I love running, I love hiking and going for long walks. I just need to make sure these are a priority in my life. I’m not going to try for 10,0000 steps per day, but rather 50,000 per week. Running, walking, hiking, line dancing, whatever. Get moving. Ordinary biking will not count, but a dedicated bike trip that lasts long (say, at least an hour and a half?) will be included in “stepsâ€, converted with the LIVESTRONG method here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/187672-how-to-convert-exercise-bike-miles-to-steps/ . (This has been way too easy. So I am bumping the total up to 70,000/week, which is the recommended 10,000/day. I also need to run at least twice, because come on. Not sure about the numbers, but it will depend how far over my minimum I go, I guess.) Green Onions – CON 2. Moose gets big eating “shake it baby†salads and green smoothies! Loving my usual “eat greens every day†goal, but it’s too easy. So I will try to eat at least 3 servings of veggies per day, and track all foods using My Fitness Pal. Eye of the Tiger– STR 4. I would like to continue with both my BW practice and my dance practice, but scheduling time to do each 3+ times per week would leave me with no rest days. So this goal is an either/or instead of a both/and. I will “train†3 times per week – bodyweight and/or intense dancing. Intense dancing is defined as minimum 45 minutes, heart rate goes up, or difficult muscle work like floorwork, etc. Ideally, I want to do one pull up by the end of 2015, so bodyweight is going to help me with that a lot. (Edited end of week 2: to make sure I do more BW, I top out at 70% unless I do at least two BW.) (I swear this isn't the only reason I watch this show) Got My Wings – WIS 2, CHA 2. While the show itself is pretty agnostic in tone (which is quite a feat, considering the demons, angels, etc that people the whole thing), spiritual themes are central to the show, and none more so than redemption. If religious stuff bugs you, skip to the gif of Castiel speaking in iambic pentameter, just like an angel speaking English should. I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition. Mmmm, prosody. I am Jewish, and living in a place bereft of other Jews, except for my husband. As I live through my first ever Passover without a Jewish community, I realize how much I miss it. I can't make a Jewish community spring up in Shikoku, but I can reconnect to the observances of Judaism that I have let fall by the wayside due to absence. As i have made stretching and meditation into part of my bedtime ritual most nights, I find myself longing for more - more of the outside, physical observances that radiate inwards (lighting Shabbat candles, singing some of the evening service, covering my head when attending to my spiritual needs) and the inside, mental observances that radiate outwards, especially prayer and study. I am going to be realistic, which is a mitzvah in itself, since living life doesn't, and shouldn't. grind to a halt for the spiritual life (Judaism doesn't really have an ascetic tradition, we're more communal and in-the-world). I intend to continue my evening stretching and meditation, and add the Sh'ma and the V'ahavta, as well as keep up with the Parshah weekly – read section, read at least one commentary/midrash. (Also start the morning with the Modah Ani) Luckily, I already have my "Team Impala" playlist on my iPod! Challenges for this challenge: I have family visiting from the 24th to May 4th. However, this is my dad and his partner, so I will probably end up getting more exercise during their visit. We're planning on lots of walking, etc, plus a bike ride across the big bridge and maybe climbing the tallest mountain in Western Japan (if it is open for climbing). And i should try to remember Mothers' Day. And Coming off of Passover sometimes leads me to donut-and-pastry binge a bit, but I'm hopeful that having to track it in MFP will stay my hand at least part of the time. *Yes, even better than the very pretty (and only occasionally shirtless) men kicking demon ass.
  4. * * * I am withdrawing from this challenge. Things at work are getting really crazy and unpredictable, and it's taking away my ability to stick with all of my goals. I'll still be eating healthy but it won't necessarily be in a paleo way, and I'll be working out, but probably not as regularly as I'd like. I'll be back for the next one!! * * * Aaand…..I’m back from the Caribbean and ready to go!! My challenge will start tomorrow on August 6th and since I’ve been away, I’ll be continuing my challenge through to September 14th, for a 40-day challenge. For this challenge, I am combining my goal of going primal with my goal of becoming a yogini! I’ll have to stay really dedicated because the Fall semester is starting two weeks in to my challenge. I allowed school to dominate my challenge and life during the Summer semester, and let my eating and working out suffer, badly. I can’t let that happen again. I am going to be in school for many years to come and I can’t let my health and wellbeing fall to the wayside because of that. Fortunately, the Political Science class got me back on track in terms of developing regular study habits and I will be keeping that up. It’s going to be a difficult challenge, but that’s why they don’t call it “an easy.†I am really looking forward to how this challenge will turn out. Oh, and the boyfriend is starting to workout again and though he isn’t joining Nerd Fitness, he and I have side bet/competition going on for workout days. And he is totally down with trying out Paleo. I told him that I was going to try out Paleo for this challenge and wanted to only cook Paleo dinners, and he’s totally onboard! MAIN QUEST (BY JULY 5, 2015) Get down to 20% body fat CHALLENGE QUEST Reduce body fat by 1% (by September 5th, picture/measuring day) Do 20 full pushups without stopping Do sun salutations from memory CHALLENGE GOALS Paleo Kitchen: Follow Paleo guidelines for at least 80% of the challenge Get Moving: Get 10,000 steps a day Lift Stuff: Do three bodyweight and/or kettlebell workouts a week Dancing Yogini: Do three belly dancing and yoga workouts a week CHALLENGE GOAL DETAILS Paleo Kitchen Follow Paleo guidelines for at least 80% of the challenge I’m mixing guidelines/information from a few different paleo/primal sources. I’m not going super strict for this challenge, but this will be a big change regardless. I’ve created the No/Sometimes/Yes lists below based on the various books and websites I’ve been reading. I really like vengefulpear’s suggestion of using “tokens†for my non-paleo meals. Since I am planning to eat three meals a day, I will get four tokens a week. Meals containing foods from the “Sometimes List†will not count as a non-paleo meal as long as there are not the main item in the meal (Example: chicken thighs, green beans and sweet potatoes). No List Sometimes List Yes List Processed Foods Fruit Animal Protein Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners Nuts & Seeds Vegetables Grains & Legumes Starches Healthy Cooking Fats Processed Vegetable & Seed Oils Dairy Fermented Foods Alcohol Natural Sweeteners Herbs & Spices Get Moving Get 10,000 steps a day I need to stop living such a sedentary life. Aside from my workouts, I need to stay more active each day. I need to get a minimum of 10,000 steps a day (tracking with my Fitbit). Things I will be doing to try to reach my goal each day: - Ride bike to and from work - Take a walking break at work - Take regular stretch breaks at work - Get outside on the weekends Lift Stuff Do three bodyweight and/or kettlebell workouts a week I need to start regularly strength training again. A short improvised workout is every once in a while is not going to cut it this time! I’ll be doing bodyweight and/or kettlebell workouts on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I would eventually like to start doing Crossfit but I’m not quite ready for that yet. I’m planning on it for the next challenge. Dancing Yogini Do three belly dancing and yoga workouts a week Versus having rest days in between the strength training, I will be doing belly dancing drills and yoga workouts on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. I really miss belly dancing and yoga and am very much looking forward to getting back to it. I feel so much more in touch with my body when I’m doing yoga and dancing. MEASUREMENTS Taken on August 5th Weight: 183.3# Body Fat: 40.3% (using Fitbit Aria scale) Neck: 13†Biceps: 13.25†Forearms: 10.75†Wrists: 6.25†Bust: 38.25†Chest: 32.75†Waist: 31.75†Tummy: 39.75†Hips: 42†Bum: 46.75†Upper Thighs: 29†Above Knees: 17.75†Calves: 16†Ankles: 9â€
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