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  1. Disclaimer: I won't be doing a "traditional" challenge this go around. This challenge is more directed towards "Life Goals" rather than "Fitness Goals". Feel free to scroll on by if it's not your thing. I cried the first time I read the script. I knew that it was a play I HAD to be part of. I cried a bit the next day when I was telling my boyfriend about how beautiful it was (much to his confusion until he realized that the emotions were from sheer passion for the play). I went to auditions on Monday, Jan 29th and was asked by the director to come back Tuesday, Jan 30th for the second night of auditions. I waited for the cast list for what seemed like an eternity. It was Thursday afternoon (Feb 1st), just about 15 minutes before the end of my work day when I saw that the cast list had been posted on Facebook. My stomach dropped and I took a deep breath before clicking on the link. I near screamed when I saw my name! I landed the only female part in the show! I came running out of my office in absolute hysterical joy, and my boss asked me to sit down because she thought I was going to faint! I have not acted (or been involved in theatre in any way) for over 5 years, but I miss it every day. Acting is probably my number one passion in life, but these types of shows don't come along very often. Most audiences prefer musicals and comedies, but I prefer dramas....plays that challenge me...let me stretch my acting wings. I cannot wait for rehearsals to begin! This will be, by far, the biggest role I've ever had! I pray for health, energy, and pain management so that I can enjoy this experience to the fullest. That being said, I had an appointment with my Naturopath this morning and we're adjusting my thyroid meds again (dropping one prescription altogether and increasing the dose of the other one). In 8 weeks, if my TSH goes down and I'm still in this much pain, she wants to run a Rheumatoid Panel. **Fingers crossed that the pain goes away before that happens** My goals are going to be VERY lax this challenge. My Naturopath gave me a free pass for diet for now. She said with all the eliminations I've tried over the last couple years, she doubts I'm having any specific food triggers. She said that food triggers are not subtle and I should know for sure if something was triggering the pain at this point. Since I avoided potatoes so well in January and was still in pain most the month, she doubts potatoes are the source of my pain. So YAY POTATOES!!! Not that I'm going to binge on them or anything, but I'm just glad I don't have to feel guilty if I eat them for now. Obviously, my diet has room for improvement (because pizza and cheeseburgers happen!), but in general, I feel I eat fairly healthy. But I've been so hard on myself because the scale keeps slowly creeping up, but she told me that was probably thyroid related and not to worry about it for now. Exercise has to stay pretty mild in the meantime. If the pain starts to subside, I can adjust accordingly (with being extra careful not to overdo it on the good days). Mostly, my goals for next month are to continue my tracking spreadsheet with how I feel each day as far as fatigue and pain. I'll track my workouts, and keep that the same as far as only walking or doing some light yoga. My #1 goal is going to begin memorizing the daunting amount of lines I have for the play. GOALS 1 - Memorization! 30 minutes every single day of studying the script. I'd really like to be off book before the director's deadline. 2 - Tracking spreadsheet Track pain levels, fatigue, etc every day Track workouts (aim for 3 a week, with forgiveness for not working out on rehearsal nights or days when the pain gets the better of me) So that's it. I'm starting now.
  2. This morning I completed the big quest worksheet. It was useful to put my "big goals" down and really think about them. The thing is, I've already started on this quest, since it was new years weekend and all, and I had decided that I want to really punctuate the changes I need to make in my life by starting them on the new year. One of the biggest issues, that I often prefer to avoid thinking about, is that I've got chronic reflux disease (GERD). Most everything I eat gives me acid reflux. I was taking some very un-helpful medication for that condition for about 12 years, when a few studies came out linking that medication to a lot of really nasty complications. So, with a doctor's guidance, I quit using that medication and started managing the condition with diet. Interestingly, when I started eating paleo, I stopped having any issues with GERD. I mean, it literally became a non-issue. Except, unfortunately, I have a very hard time sticking to a strict paleo diet. A review of my previous challenges just shows me that diet is really the hardest thing for me to do. I honestly don't have a hard time exercising. But if I look at why I started exercising in the first place, it really had to do with me wanting to maintain a non-sustainable diet by exercising enough to keep eating the way I was eating. Flash forward to the present day. I know what I need to do to not give myself esophageal cancer (that's the end result of years of GERD), and I need to learn how to do it. So, I started back with the Paleo diet on 1/1/17. But I know that's not a long-term solution. I'm going to have to learn exactly what, and in what quantities, I can eat outside of that strict plan, without triggering my GERD. So, what, you might ask, does this have to do with the Holy Grail? Well, for me, the Holy Grail is a sustainable eating practice that works for me in my life. Paleo is a good place to start for me, because I know it's healthy for me, and will even help me drop a few pounds. I'm up to 174, which is a little high for me (I'm 5'10" and 45 years old, and I'm built like an aerial dancer, just with a little belly now...) and so I'd like that too. But here's the catch: Once I've got a good baseline of eating paleolithically, I'll need to start experimenting with adding new foods in. Not in a whole-hog kind of way, where I say, "OK, I'm going to eat corn now" and then pig out on corn chips and cornmeal mush and cornbread and tortillas and corn on the cob and popcorn and CARAMEL CORN and everything corn... but rather where I keep a handle on things as I add them very slowly, keeping my portions under control all the while. So, that's a long winded explanation of my current goals which are: 1. Seek the holy grail! The holy grail is a sustainable eating practice. This month, this means eating paleolithically. 6 days out of 7, I will stick to the paleo diet. On day 7 I will count calories instead, and write down anything I eat that triggers my GERD. 2. Ride the length and breadth of our land! While Arthur rode the length and breadth of the land in search of knights who would join his round table, I am working towards running a 10K again by springtime. Of course, if PT doesn't work out and I need to get surgery that might go on hold for a bit, but in the mean time, that's what I'm working towards. To this end I'll be continuing with my PT (6 out of 7 days) and putting in time either interval running (as directed by my PT) or on an elliptical trainer or stationary bike. 3 days per week. 3. Grip it by the husk! OK, I'm not a swallow, but I would like to keep getting stronger. This means at least two strength workouts per week. I would like to add meditation/yoga to the list but that's enough for now. Too many things to keep track of and I stop keeping track of anything. I'm already three days into eating paleo, and it's going alright. I haven't had any acid reflux, and I haven't had to take any Tums at all. I'm going to hide my scale though, since I tend to get a little obsessive about weight once I'm restricting my eating habits.
  3. I'm using this challenge to shape some new behaviors for the next four weeks. I've had a super successful summer as far as archery is concerned, which is great. Interestingly, I've got a 15K race on October 2nd, so that's going to affect the initial week of my challenge, since I'll be tapering. Lots of yoga and short, quick runs until right before the race, and then nothing for a day or two, and then the race. After the race is over, however, I want to get back into the gym and lift some. I've been spending a lot of time training for the race, so the majority of my workouts are either running or to recover from running. Not to mention I've been taking my son to school on the bike, which amounts to just over 10 miles of commuting by bike every day, half of which is towing him on his tag-along bike. Furthermore, I'm leaning towards getting my sports hernia operated on, so that might take me out for a few weeks, and I want to be as strong as possible before that happens with the idea that I'll be able to come back quicker if I'm stronger. In any case, details forthcoming. Right now I'm thinking it'll look something like: Bike commuting 3x/week (or more, weather dependent) Lifting 2x/week (or more) Yoga or Pilates 2x/week (or more) and.... Sign up for an acting class
  4. I fell in love with fencing. Obviously this calls for a Utena-themed challenge. So last challenge did not end so well for me. I was getting burned out on life and everything, and then tragedy hit and I just couldn't with anything anymore. After giving myself the past couple of weeks to regroup and recuperate, I have a clearer path going forward in all sorts of things, which makes my summer less panic-inducing (if you're just joining in, work is going to be crazy busy PLUS I'm going to be in rehearsals for Evita starting on May 22), and I know what I want to do with my fitness goals. Because I love fencing, my workouts will all now be tailored towards conditioning for the sport. But I'm also dealing with a back muscle injury of sorts, which is thankfully just a benign injury of the strain/spasm/knot variety, so I need to make sure I take care of that, too, while also making sure that it never happens again! I'm too young for back pain... So, without further ado! MAIN QUEST: Maintain my sanity as I rehabilitate my back, juggle work and rehearsal and life and fitness, and continuing to pursue my newfound love for fencing! QUEST ONE: ENDURANCE TRAINING [+2 STA] In fencing class, my strength is great, but cardio is kicking my butt in ways I did not expect. Seriously, when you’re a very fit person and you have to sit down because your cardio is sub-par, it is a super embarrassing thing. So, twice a week, I will dedicate my workouts to cardio training. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as my heart rate is pumping, I’m calling it good! A = 2x/week of cardio | C = 1x/week of cardio QUEST TWO: BACK CONDITIONING [+1 DEX, +1 CON] As mentioned, my back has been bothering me and it's been preventing me from doing a bunch of exercises like working through pull-up progressions, toes-to-bar progressions, and sometimes even bench presses and other variations of push exercises. Also, working on anything that deals with back flexibility has been a no-go. The doctor gave me a list of stretches I need to do every day, and other self-care tips, of which I intend to follow through on. So I'll do this quest in two parts: 5x/week I will do the flexibility exercises, and 5x/week I will give my back some heat therapy and/or some massage/foam rolling loving. A = 5x/week | B = 4x/week | C = 2-3x/week | D = 1x/week If my back is completely back to normal before the end of the challenge, part one will continue but part two will either be revised or given a pass for the remainder of the challenge. Here’s hoping that this is a bridge I WILL have to cross! QUEST THREE: SMART SNACKING [+2 CON] The winter months are over and I can no longer use my “I’m a mammal so I’m mammaling” excuse for eating like an asshole. Therefore, over the course of the challenge, I’m allowing myself 8 non-freggie, non-protein snacks. Basically: popcorn, chocolate, candy, ice cream, drinks that aren’t water or tea or my chai latte, Snapea Crisps (SOB THIS IS GOING TO BE THE HARDEST THING – and no, I’m not counting is as a freggie), etc are all restricted. Chocolate milk is okay ONLY IF I consume it within an hour of a workout. A = 8 or less snacks | B = 10 or less snacks | C = 12 or less snacks | F = did you even try to control yourself LIFE QUEST: SPRING CLEANING [+2 WIS] My summer is going to be super busy and there is going to be a lot of things in my life outside of work and rehearsal that will fall by the wayside. That will include keeping a clean home. So that my apartment doesn’t fall into complete chaos and disarray over the coming months, every week I will focus on each area of my house and give it a nice, good, and hard spring cleaning treatment. The four areas will be: bedroom and home office, bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room, and the living/dining room. A = 4 Areas Cleaned | B = 3 Areas Cleaned | C = 2 Areas Cleaned | D = 1 Area Cleaned SIDE QUEST: PIANO PRACTICE [+2 CHA] I’ve been itching to relearn the piano again for years now (I used to be so good, I don't understand why I quit, wtf 11-year-old me), so why not start now? At the very least, I want to master a song, and that song will be the theme song from Tonari no Totoro because as my family and friends will tell you, I am a Totoro fanatic. No joke, 50% of the things I own are Totoro-related. Over the course of the challenge, I will log at least 240 minutes towards practicing, which averages out to be about 1hr/week. This won’t get me from Zero to Hero over the course of the next four weeks, but it’s a start, at least! A = 240+ minutes | B = 180+ minutes | C = 120+ minutes | D = 60+ minutes Ready to do the thing! If you binge-watch the show, you seriously start to get super annoyed at how often they reuse this particular animation sequence...
  5. MAIN QUEST: Become a master of disguise. Or at least an actress who can dance like she’s in Buenos Aires and can perform feats of magnificent skill. … Like a ninja. Pascal, my Spirit Animal for this challenge When the question was posed in the Assassins’ Den last challenge about what kind of Fitness Superhero we aspire to be, I mentioned that I want to be a chameleon, where I can blend into whatever role I’m needed to be (or want to be) easily. It’s part of my whole thing of always striving to be a better actress, after all. And what better role model for an aspiring chameleon than a ninja? QUEST 1: NINJA TRAINING [+2 STR +1 DEX, +1 STA] A ninja is always training, always striving to better herself or himself, always getting stronger, etc. And so, I will endeavor to workout 5x/week. There are some extra requirements to this, however: I must lift at least 2x/week. I must work through pull-up progressions and toes-to-bar progressions at least 2x/week. I must work on flexibility for at least 10 minutes at least 5x/week. The other three workouts must be over a duration of at least 30 minutes/session. This can be cumulative throughout the day if necessary. The flexibility time can count as part of the 30 minutes (and yes, if I work on flexibility for 30 minutes, that alone will be enough to count), as can any work done towards the two quests below. A = Criteria 100% Met | B = 75% Met | C = 50% Met | D = 25% Met QUEST 2: GO NINJA GO NINJA GO [+2 DEX] You thought this was going to be a TMNT gif, didn’t you? There’s no dance party like a ninja dance party! Since I’m always working to improve my dancing, 2x/week, I will work on Latin-style dance basics in preparation for my summer in Evita. Videos: http://www.howcast.com/guides/905-how-to-do-the-argentine-tango/ http://www.howcast.com/guides/909-how-to-samba/ http://www.howcast.com/guides/660-how-to-dance-salsa/ A = 2x/week | C = 1x/week QUEST 3: NINJA BALANCE [+2 DEX] A ninja must have balance. With that in mind, I will work on hand and leg balances and inversions 3x/week for at least 10 minutes. Library of Poses: http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/types/arm-balances/ http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/types/balancing/ http://www.yogajournal.com/category/types/inversions/ A = 3x/week | B = 2x/week | C = 1x/week LIFE QUEST: NINJA BENTO [+1 CON] Going on a mission without a packed lunch is a terrible idea. While I’ve gotten better at bringing lunch to work, my lunches could stand to be healthier since lately they've just been frozen dinners, which are so gross I never even finish them, which is hampering my "get stronger" quest since I’m not eating enough, or I turn to the junk food around the office to get the calories my body is demanding. So, twice a week, I will pack a homemade lunch and bring it to work. A = 2x/week | C = 1x/week SIDE QUEST: NINJA MISSIONS [+1 WIS] What’s a ninja without missions to go on? Even if it is as simple as, "I need that hole punch." Having a to-do list really worked last time to help keep my life in order, and I want to keep that up especially since my life is going to start picking back up with crazy busy-ness. But based on lessons learned from last time, I’m going to make a couple of adjustments: one, that Saturday and Sunday will combine to make one to-do list for the entirety of the weekend; and two, that there is no minimum number of things I need to cross off, as long as I make an honest effort at doing as many things on the list as possible. A = 6x/week | B = 4-5x/week | C = 3x/week | D = 1-2x/week Let's Go Ninja!!!!!!!
  6. With the first challenge of 2015 solidly under my belt and my energies reignited, I am back with a new battle log for 2015! In 2014, I lost 15 pounds, ran a half marathon, performed in five shows, and was the healthiest I'd been in my 27 years on this planet thus far, until the last couple of weeks of the year hit and everything fell apart. I used the first challenge of 2015 to get back on my feet and to try out some of the goals I'd set for myself for the year and made tweaks accordingly. So, here is my 2015 fitness wishlist! Become a confident and competent jazz dancer.Measurement: By December 31, 2015, be able to take an intermediate/advanced adult jazz class and not feel eons behind the rest of the class.Be able to do a handstand consistently (90% success rate, pirouette bails mastered for the 10% failure rate) and for a respectable amount of time (at least 10 seconds)Be able to do ONE pull-up and/or ONE chin-upBe able to do forward splits. Side splits will also be worked but likely cannot be mastered until 2016.Figure out how to do cartwheels on both sides. Right now, from the right side is basically mastered. From the left is a MESS.Learn a couple of new physical tricks/skills otherwise that I can put on my acting resume.Running isn't on my list of fitness goals that I want to accomplish this year, but that's primarily because I have no real set goal in mind for 2015 when it comes to running. I haven't been lately, but I do want to get back into it; the problem is trying to fit it into my busy schedule. I will figure it out; in the meantime, I'm not going to get hung up on a running-specific goal for 2015... yet? If I were to theme 2015, it will be simply: GRACE and CHARISMA. Let's make me a more employable actress, shall we~? Also, take this for a personal victory: notice how nothing I said has anything to do with body image or weight or composition? I'm over it now. While I don't necessarily 100% love my body yet, I'm more focused on what it can do in my fitness goals and workout plans versus what it looks like anymore. And that is a wonderful, wonderful place to be.
  7. MAIN QUEST: Continue self-improvement, become a Triple Threat (act, sing, and dance awesomely), and don't burn out! Every third challenge, I burn out, and I spend the challenge after that licking my wounds and trying to get back on the horse. Not this time! I will continue the hard work I’ve put in instead of taking a step back, because Reborn would expect no less from one who is to become head of the Vongola Family, so why should I expect any less from myself? QUEST 1: EAT TO SURVIVE REBORN’S TRAINING [+3 CON] Reborn’s training is brutal, and it’s impossible to survive without the proper fuel. Not only do I need to make sure I’m eating enough protein, but I need to make sure I’m eating enough, period! I’m at the point now where I should be looking for my maintenance numbers since I’m basically right where I need to be in order to do so, so that’s going to be a primary focus of this quest on top of making sure I get the protein intake I need. (Taken from starsapart’s quest for maintenance a few challenges ago, modified for my needs.) Eat at least 75g of protein a minimum of 5 days/week. A = 5x/week | B = 4x/week | C = 3x/week | D = 1-2x/week | F = Nope Calculate average daily gross calories at the end of each week. If my measurements decreased, I will increase my minimum calories by at least 100 calories. If my measurements stayed the same, I must be eat within 50 calories on either end of that range. If my measurements increased, I will evaluate and adjust accordingly. A = Followed the criteria 100% | B = Short of the minimum by 25 | C = Short of the minimum by 50 | D = Short of the minimum by 75 | F = Did you even try?BONUS OPPORTUNITY: If I eat at least 95g of protein (my estimated lean mass being ~95lb), I earn $10 towards Japan spending money. QUEST 2: A WELL-ROUNDED MAFIA BOSS [+12 TBD] Reborn trains Tsuna with some of the oddest regimens that covers a wide range of skills – basically, in the KHR world, a "mafia" boss can’t be any less than the best in strength, dexterity, stamina, constitution, wisdom, and charisma. And so, taking a page out of stillskies’ book from last challenge, here is a grab bag of assorted things in order to improve all manners of necessary skills in my own life! Of course, I have a few rules in place to make sure that I stay consistent with the habits that I feel are still too raw to rely upon without a challenge to motivate me. The Rules: In order for the fitness points (STR, DEX, STA) to count in a week, I need to exercise 5x/week for at least 30 minutes. This does not need to be traditional workouts/exercises. In order for the non-fitness points to count (CON, WIS, CHA) in a week, I need to make sure that on Monday morning at the latest my budget is up-to-date. Ideally, I’ll have it up-to-date Sunday evening. Attribute points will be distributed at the end of the challenge based on total points accumulated in each category. Mini-challenge participation will grant me 5 points in the appropriate category each day I contribute (for example, if the challenge is to earn +1 STR, it will be 5 points in the strength category when I do it). If the mini is particularly involved, I can earn 10 points in the appropriate category; alternatively, if I’m one of the top five contributors if it’s a quantitative challenge (top three in a team if we do teams), I can earn 15 points (only once a week). Clarification: if I'm both top three in teams and top five overall, then it will be 30 points. In order to successfully complete the challenge, I need to accumulate a total of 2,500 points. Number subject to change based on my progress throughout the course of the challenge. For every increase I need to do, I will earn myself $50 towards my upcoming Japan vacation. BONUS CHALLENGES And here are some extra things I'd like to pay attention to and reward myself if possible that didn't make it into the grab bag itself. Twenty Pull-Ups Challenge: I’m participating in the PVP for the Twenty Pull-Ups Challenge, and damn it, I’d like to be able to do a pull-up before I turn 30 besides! That gives me 15 months to do a pull-up. So every time I do this, I will earn myself an extra +5 points towards strength, up to 3x/week for 15 bonus points. I will most likely spend the entirety of the 8 weeks in the -2/-1 Week but hey, it's the effort that counts! Pirouette Drills/Tap Basics: So I suck at pirouettes, and this is not okay. I may not be able to move up to the intermediate jazz classes for a while, but if anything is going to hold me back, it’ll be my pirouettes. So, every day that I work on the drills, I will earn myself +10 points towards dexterity. (Added on Day 02: Because I need some serious help with tap basics, if I work on it at home, I will earn +10 points towards dexterity. If I do both pirouette drills and tap basics, then yes, it'll be +20 dexterity points.) Conditioning: I want to spend quality time with my exercise band and the foam roller and work on my grip strength. Every day that I do conditioning exercises with the band, roll out my muscles, or dedicate some time specifically to grip strength, I will earn +5 points towards my stamina. Why stamina? Because this will keep me going stronger, longer! Clarification: +5 points each conditioning exercise. Meal-Planning: A lot of stress that comes from making sure I meet my macros comes from a lack of planning, and so I will plan out my breakfasts and lunches for the work week every Sunday to make sure that no matter what I eat for dinner, I know I’ll be making my minimum counts on protein. If I make a plan, I will earn +20 points towards constitution for the week. If I stick to it, I will earn an additional +30 points for the week. Adjustment: for every breakfast and lunch during the work week I eat according to play, I will earn +3 constitution points up to +30 points. Focus: I am… really bad at staying focused at work. The Adderall helps, but I have to pull my own weight in this regard, too. The goal here is to devote only the last 15 minutes of any given hour towards non-work distractions, and at the top of the hour, I’m back to doing something productive again. If I miss that :45 mark, I miss it and I can’t make it up. And if I really need a distraction, I take a brief walk to either get more tea, or a glass of water, or just walk around the building some. And if I have nothing to do? I FIND something to do that’s work-related, even if it’s just reading documents. I earn myself +15 points towards wisdom for every day that I manage to stick to these criteria. Hygiene Routine: I am AWFUL at taking care of myself before I go to bed. I usually just do one or two things (usually dental care) and then hit the sack. I need to be better about this. And so, every night I commit to a full hygiene routine, I will earn +10 points towards charisma. What is a full hygiene routine? Brush my teeth, floss, wash my face, moisturize. If I do a full facial, I get an additional +10 points. WEEKLY RECAPS Day Zero | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Challenge Complete! REWARDS (non-stacking) I'll be going to Japan at the end of December through mid-January, and Japan is expensive, so this is the money I'm going to allow myself to withdraw from personal savings. Non-stacking, because let's not go insane here! This is the money for food and shopping and sightseeing adventures. I'm already budgeting for travel and hotel costs. This will be on top of the money I allot myself via bonus money in the above quests. 100% of total points achieved = $500 towards Japan spending money 90% of total points achieved = $400 towards Japan spending money 80% of total points achieved = $300 towards Japan spending money Starting Measurements and Pictures Waist @ narrowest: 26.875" Waist @ navel: 30.625" Hips: 36.25" Thigh: 21.75" Calf: 14" Est bf%: 23.35% (as of 9/7/15) Weight: 124lb (as of 9/14/15)
  8. Actress by midnight, rocket scientist by daylight… wait. That’s not how that goes. MAIN QUEST: Establish healthy habits and make permanent changes. Because after a year on NF, I’m still relying on these challenges to stay on top of being healthy, and it’s time to really start solidifying these things as real and true habits once and for all. QUEST 1: DON’T EAT LIKE USAGI [+4 CON] For Usagi, every day is a cheat day. I, fortunately, have better self-control and only have cheat days once a week, but even once a week is too much. Getting rid of cheat days altogether isn’t a sustainable practice for me personally, but I also need to stop with once a week cheat days. So for this challenge, I will only allow myself one cheat day every two weeks. For my purposes, a cheat day is a day in which I throw caution to the wind, don’t track my calories, and eat all of the things. In order for something not to count as a cheat day, I need to log every single calorie consumed regardless of how many calories I actually ate. The eventual goal is to allow myself cheat days only once a month, or only on holidays, but baby steps! A = 0-3 cheat days | B = 4 cheat days | D = 5 cheat days | F = 6+ cheat days HOTARU BONUS! For every day that I eat at least 75g of protein, I will reward myself $5 for free-spending money in Cancun (if earned in Weeks 1-4) or Japan (if earned in Weeks 5-6). QUEST 2: THE BEAUTY AND GRACE OF REI [+2 DEX] I miss dance class terribly and I need to get back into it badly. Problem is, August is a weird time for many dance studios as they come out of summer schedules and into fall schedules, but that shouldn’t stop me, and it won’t! So, once a week, I will go to a jazz or tap class. EDIT: I will dance 60 min/week Ideally both, but it’s dependent on the schedules of the studios. The week I’m in Cancun is exempt. because I’m about 99.99% certain there won’t be dance studios available to me to complete this quest. If for any reason a jazz or tap class isn’t available, I will count any other dance class or 60 minutes worth of at-home practice. A = 60+ minutes | B = 45-59 minutes | C = 30-44 minutes | D = 15-29 minutes | F = 0-14 minutes MICHIRU BONUS! For every dedicated extra 15 minutes spent working on dance, I will earn myself $5 towards Cancun (Weeks 1-4) and Japan (Weeks 5-6). If I manage to make it to a jazz or tap class, that's an extra $10. QUEST 3: BE TOUGH LIKE MAKOTO [+3 STR, +2 DEX] I’ve always admired Mako-chan for her strength, and while I don’t necessarily need to be so strong as to be able to lift youma over my head (though that would be cool), strength is something I do want to continue to work on since it’ll help me in all aspects of my life. And so I will do strength training 3x/week. A necessary part of this regimen will be to cooldown with 10-15 minutes of dedicated flexibility because injuries suck, and I want to be able to do the splits because I am so close I can taste it. A strength training session will not count if I don’t finish with deep flexibility work. Strength: A = 3x/week | B = 2x/week | C = 1x/week | F = 0x/week HARUKA BONUS! Since I do plan to continue running races but don’t want to overwhelm myself with too many quests, I will earn myself $5 for every run I go on during the quest towards Cancun (Weeks 1-4) and Japan (Weeks 5-6). Races count. LIFE QUEST 1: RESPONSIBLE LIKE AMI [+2 WIS] I need to get better at adulting, especially in the realm of finances. The past few years, I’ve been coasting because I make really good money that I never had to actually worry about it, but between expensive vacations, moving, and getting closer to my 30s, it’s time to grow up a little bit. Therefore, I’m going to make and maintain a budget, making sure every Sunday that it is up to date with every last purchase and transaction I made during the past week. Pass = Budget up-to-date and accurate | Fail = Didn’t even touch it SETSUNA BONUS! Any surplus I have in my budget at the end of August will be put towards free-spending money in Japan. (And yes, I’m including all this bonus money business into my budget!) LIFE QUEST 2: BARRELING TOWARDS STARDOM WITH MINAKO [+2 CHA] With the closing of Cabaret during Week 2 of this challenge and with no new shows lined up (nor am I wanting to do anything until September anyway), August is promising to be a dead time in which post-show depression and the fears and anxieties of never being cast again will hover over me. Instead of moping, I want to be proactive and keep working towards improving my acting skills! That’s why 3x/week, I will do something productive towards my acting career. It can be reading a play, seeing a live play/musical, researching monologues, working on audition stuff, going to a workshop, whatever. Looking up and signing up for auditions will not count; attending auditions and callbacks will count. A = 3x/week | B = 2x/week | C = 1x/week | F = 0x/week SEIYA, TAIKI, AND YATEN BONUS! If I do something towards my acting career more than 3x/week, I will reward myself an additional $5 per extra day of work. SUMMARY Quest 1: No more than 3 cheat days over the course of 6 weeks Quest 2: Jazz/tap class 1x/week Quest 3: Strength training 3x/week Life Quest 1: Maintain a budget 1x/week Life Quest 2: Acting development 3x/week STAT POINT DISTRIBUTION: +3 STR | +4 DEX | 0 STA | +4 CON | +2 WIS | +2 CHA WEEKLY RECAPS Day Zero | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Challenge Complete! REWARDS! (non-stacking) I'll be going to Japan at the end of December through mid-January, and Japan is expensive, so this is the money I'm going to allow myself to withdraw from personal savings. Non-stacking, because let's not go insane here. ;;; This is the money for food and shopping. I'm already budgeting for travel and hotel costs. This will be on top of the money I allot myself via bonus money in the above quests. A-average = $500 spending money for Japan B-average = $400 spending money for Japan C-average = $300 spending money for Japan Starting Measurements and Pictures: Waist @ Narrowest: 26.75" Waist @ Navel: 30" Hips: 36.75" Thigh: 21.625" Calf: 14.25" Est. bf%: 22% (based on last year's data marks)
  9. (Big thanks to starsapart for the theme idea!) This challenge should be less chaotic than last, but let’s knock on wood to be certain of it! That said, I still have a lot going on between a vacation to New Mexico during Week Two and entering tech/Hell Week for The Mikado at the end of Week Six, but hey, I’ve had successful challenges in the past for a lot more going on, no reason this should be any different! And I have an end-goal in mind to keep me motivated: making sure I’m as proud of my body as I can be for Cabaret rehearsals and performances this summer, because rumor has it, I’m going to have to flaunt it. Time to spirit myself away from poor body image issues to confidence and love for my body! MAIN QUEST: Get into Cabaret-shape! Because while this isn’t a production where they require all the Kit Kat Girls to be skinny/fit because they want us all to be of different shapes and sizes, I want to be as comfortable and confident in myself as possible! QUEST #1: Don’t Eat Like No-Face! [+3 CON, +1 WIS] One of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to eating is eating sweets and snacks just for the hell of it. I don’t want to give up sweets and snacks altogether, but I do want to make sure that treats are for a good reason rather than just because. So 6x/week, if I ate anything in between meals, I’ll have to own up to you all on NF why I had it. Nothing is held against me if I had the treat for an acceptable reason; I get penalized if I eat outside my meals for an unacceptable reason. Ideally, I’ll do this every day, but I’m giving myself a freebie in case of Life. (Acceptable reasons: it was a special occasion (birthday, party, etc.), it was the end of the day and I had the calorie allotment for it or I planned for it, I was legitimately hungry (and I chose a healthy snack), it was immediately after a workout (and it was an appropriate post-workout choice), etc. Unacceptable reasons: I felt like it, it was there, emotional/hormonal turmoil, I didn’t want to be rude, etc.) A = 6x/week passed | B = 4-5x/week passed | C = 2-3x/week passed | D = 1x/week passed | F = never QUEST #2: Be Bendy Like Dragon-Form Haku! [+3 DEX, +1 CHA] While our version of Cabaret doesn't necessarily call for bendiness, I want to be as flexible as possible, which will help me in the long run for future castings and dance. I’ve been kind of haphazard on my flexibility routine lately, so it’s time to redirect focus to it. So, 4x/week, I will dedicate at least 15 minutes to good, long stretches. Yoga will also count for this, as well as stretching done in jazz/ballet classes. A = 4x/week | B = 3x/week | C = 2x/week | D = 1x/week | F = never QUEST #3: Never Stop Training! [sTR, DEX, STA] – exact stats TBD at the end of the challenge (5 pts) One of the fears I have about not dedicating any quests to my training plan is that I’ll let it slip, so this quest exists to make sure that I don’t. Every Sunday evening/Monday morning, I’ll present my workout plan for the week and stick with the plan the best that I can. Obviously, I won’t count anything against myself if I get sick or injured or if Life happens. What I will count against myself is poor planning and the “I didn’t feel like it/was too tired†excuse. No real ideal schedule, to be completely honest, especially since Week Two and possibly Week Six are going to be crazy enough! What I'll most likely fit in are dance classes, Stronglifts, bodyweight workouts, and running, and the flexibility exercises from Quest #2. Vague and optional plans are acceptable; sometimes, it'll just be better to give myself leeway, especially when I know I'll be presented with difficulties for xyz reasons. A = 7 days followed | B = 5-6 days followed | C = 3-4 days followed | D = 1-2 days followed | F = never Starting in Week 4, I will be changing this quest to a simple workout 5x/week with the intention of working out 6x/week, but giving myself an extra day of rest in case things get chaotic. This quest is actually a lot more bothersome than I thought it was going to be. The spirit of the quest will remain the same but with more freedom to change my mind on a day-to-day basis. I will still lay out my intended weekly schedule at the beginning of each week, but I will not be so strict in my adherence to it. A = 5x/week | B = 4x/week | C = 2-3x/week | D = 1x/week | F = 0x/week LIFE QUEST: Do Better Than a Ponytail! [+2 CHA] I need to stop relying so heavily on the hair and make-up artists when I perform, especially for two of my upcoming shows (The Mikado and Cabaret) where we have a huge cast of which I am not a principal but ensemble, and the principals will need to have the attention far more than ensemble members. So it’s time to learn how to do hair and make-up all on my own! It’s an essential skill for an actor, after all. I will spend at least 30 minutes a day 3x/week playing around with hair and make-up. Yes, I will provide pictures! And yes, expect ridiculousness since this is theatre training, not adulting training. A = 3x/week | B = 2x/week | C = 1x/week | F = 0x/week In Summary: 1. Mindful Snacking 6x/week (ideally 7x/week) 2. Flexibility Training 4x/week 3. Keep to the Plan 7x/week 4. Hair & Makeup Training 3x/week Attribute Point Distribution: ? STR | 3+ DEX | ? STA | 3 CON | 1 WIS | 3 CHA (5 points to be distributed to STR, DEX, and STA per completion of Quest 3 and what exercises I do over the course of the challenge. Tentatively +2 STR, +1 DEX, +2 STA) Weekly Recaps: Day Zero | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Challenge Complete! Mini-Challenges: +1 STA earned! +1 STR earned! +1 WIS earned! +1 CON earned! +1 CHA earned! Before Pictures: Measurements: Waist: 27" Waist @ Navel: 37" Hips: 37.25" Thigh: 21" Calf: 14.75" Bicep: 10.5" Wrist: 5.75" Neck: 12" (I will not weigh myself because I do not care about that, or I'm trying to force myself not to care about that.)
  10. Because not all Disney princesses are damsels in distress, and anyone who knows me can tell you that I am the exact opposite of a damsel in distress. Hi again! I’m blkhole24601, or Vicki if you want a real name to work with, a former Scout who is learning the graces of Assassinhood through dancing and maybe someday, gymnastics. My main motivation is because of my night job: I’m an actress in the Denver area and musical theatre is my first love, which is all well and good except I’m not exactly what you’d call graceful. Thus, my focus on dance! I’m also trying to pick up other physical skills (see: handstands, cartwheels, splits, etc.) that will make me more employable. Main Quest: Become a physically adept actress! Quest 1: Mulan - Let’s Get Down to Business [+2 STR +4 DEX +3 TBD] I know Mulan isn't technically a princess, but she's part of the official Disney Princess franchise so... This quest is honestly just a fancy way of saying, “I will exercise five times a week.†There is a regimen I want to incorporate into every workout that I do, and this is the easiest way to be sure that I not only find that routine but also continue to learn/perfect the skills I want to have under my belt by year’s end. So, said regimen: TMNT Mobility and Balance 5x/week [+2 DEX] Stronglifts 2x/week, free-for-all workout 3x/week [+2 STR, +3 TBD based on what I do] Jazz/ballet/tap classes don’t count. Not because I don’t think they’re a workout because I know they are, but because my focus is more on technique than a cardio session. Alternatively, other dance classes will count, and any at-home work on jazz/ballet/tap will also count. Tentative plan for the three other workouts will be yoga, running, and at-home dance work/U-Jam/Zumba, but again, NOT holding myself to this in case of Life. Splits/Flexibility Work 5x/week [+2 DEX] If a minimum of 30 minutes of yoga was completed as the main workout, it will also count towards this criterion. A = all 3 criteria met | B = 2 criteria met | C = 1 criteria met | D = for effort | F = zilch Quest 2: Ariel - Getting New Legs [+3 DEX] To continue my ultimate 2015 quest to quit moving like a graceless lummox at dance callbacks, I’m dedicating myself to 3x/week of dancing, with one of those days being at a jazz/ballet/tap class. Ideally I’d love for this to be twice a week but realistically schedules may not always work out that way. Zumba/U-Jam/anything that isn’t jazz or ballet or tap will not count towards having gone to class but will count towards the 3x/week. [3/6/2015 Adjustment: Weeks 5 and 6 will be excluded from the class requirement as long as I spend one dance session focused purely on technique.] A = 3x/week (A- =3x/week, no class) | B = 2x/week (B- = 2x/week, no class) | C = 1x/week, class | D = 1x/week, no class | F = zilch Quest 3: Tiana - Best Cook This Side of the Mississippi [+1 CON] Okay, so my meals will most definitely not hold a candle to Tiana’s, but I do miss cooking like something fierce. Therefore, I will cook once a week. I know it’s not a lot, but it’s all about starting small. I do hope that cooking more frequently than once a week will come naturally as I get into it more! A = 6 weeks complete| B = 5 weeks complete | C = 3-4 weeks complete | D = 1-2 meals cooked | F = never happened Life Quest: Giselle - Happy Working Song [+2 CHA] I don't care that she's not part of the official franchise, I love her and I love this movie. Part One: Sing 6x/week, just to solidify this as a habit. For a contingency should I not be able to sing for whatever reason (sick, voice needs a break, etc.), as long as I dedicate time towards studying musical theory, working on my audition pieces or The Mikado music (such as solfege work or plucking the notes out on my piano to get them in my head), or researching pieces for upcoming auditions, it will count. [+1 CHA] A = 6x/week | B = 5x/week | C = 3-4x/week | D = 1-2x/week | F = zilch Part Two: And now for a proper adulting requirement. I’m bad at keeping my apartment clean. I’m good at Netflix marathons. So, let’s combine the two! I will clean 5x/week for the length of an episode of whatever on Netflix. If I put in something that’s longer than 20-40 minutes, then I will only dedicate myself to cleaning for the first half hour or so. This should also, theoretically, help me declutter, too. [+1 CHA] [3/6/2015 Adjustment: 2 days a week starting in Week 3, as long as I do one chore in the house, it will count towards this quest. Chores mean putting away dishes, starting laundry, putting away laundry, taking out the trash, cleaning the litter box, etc.] A = 5x/week | B = 4x/week | C = 3x/week | D = 1-2x/week | F = zilch In Summary: 1. Workout 5x/week [+2 STR +4 DEX +3 TBD] 2. Dance 3x/week (Class 1x/week) [+3 DEX] 3. Cook 1x/week [+1 CON] 4. Sing 6x/week [+1 CHA] 5. Clean 5x/week [+1 CHA] (see why I basically HAD to go with a Disney princess theme???) Attribute Point Distribution: 2+ STR | 7+ DEX | - STA | 1 CON | 0 WIS | 2 CHA (3 points from Quest 1 to be distributed at the end of the challenge based upon what exercises I do. Tentatively +1 STA and +2 DEX) Weekly Recaps: Day 0 | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Challenge Complete! Mini-Challenges +1 STR earned +1 STA earned +1 CON earned +1 DEX earned +1 CHA earned +1 WIS earned
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