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  1. This epic quest is about defeating my internet addiction. I'll be adding a review of how I'm going every couple of weeks. Anyone can join if you like. I have read many good books on the topic and can suggest or summarise if you like. To join, I suggest the following steps. 1: Honestly assess how much I’m using the internet and how it’s harming me. Think about the life I want without internet. 2: Decide when and how much and what kinds of internet I want to use. 3: Implement blocks and bans to assist with the plan. 4: Schedule regular reviews & update blocks as necessary, noting possible danger points and adding accountability mechanisms. 1. Harm & Benefit It’s hard to tell how much my screen use is harming me because I have no control condition, no life without internet to compare. But I strongly suspect that it is: greatly exacerbating my mental fatigue creating a sense of mental burnout crowding out more valuable activities reducing my tolerance for activities requiring focus and effort sedating me so that I’m less motivated to improve my life creating a baseline feeling of dissatisfaction that encourages reward seeking interfering with sleep increasing my baseline anxiety, depression, and agitation making me spend more money as I discover things I “need” crowding out quiet time without input that is needed for reflection shortcircuiting the normal progression from boredome to motivation to activity making me more sedentary making me more boring making me more impatient stuffing my brain with low quality input, which ruins creativity unbalancing my input/output ratio, which leads to an imbalanced mind and life I am looking forward to a life without anxiety where I have the mental energy to do a normal amount of work for the day. I hope to be working very consistently on the art, reading, and housework, and to make a lot of progress and feel pride and satisfaction. I hope that my avoidant moods will reduce and I will be more willing to go out instead of staying home and missing out on things. I hope increased outings and reading will lead to better conversations with people and make me feel less boring as a person. I hope that tuning out and having periods without constant input will create great calm and nurture my curiosity and interest in activity. I hope that I will experience greater levels of contentment which will spill over into greater restraint around other addictive behaviours like caffeine, food and alcohol. 2. Legitimate Use I want to be able to use the internet for boring utilities like banking and ordering cat food without restriction. I want to limit scrolling for entertainment (which includes shopping, news, forums, over-researching topics of interest, and other), or anything that encourages overuse or pointless checking. I want to limit the total time I spend to, let’s say 2 hours maximum. This gives me time to use nerd fitness and do anything else I want. I may cut down on this amount later. I have found that a total time limit alone is no good, however, because I can use it in minute-long blocks to check for replies on social media. I could, for example, check nerdfitness 120 times like a total psychopath. So I also want to limit non-utility use to evenings only, after 5pm but before 9. That way I have internet-free time for work and daytime activities, and an internet-free wind down before bed. I’m okay with recieving texts, emails and calls since I mostly just communicate with my brother and Mr Harriet, and my inbox is very boring. 3. Concrete Plan I have implemented blocks on my laptop and desktop using cold turkey. There is a whitelist with utilities which I can use any time, but everything else is blocked outside the hours of 5-9pm, and total use is limited to 2 hours per day. I will leave the blocks unlocked for two weeks so I can make necessary adjustment to the whitelists (one cannot think of everything in advance). On my phone I have set a 10 minute time limit for the browsers Firefox and safari, in case I need to look up anything on the go. On the iPad I have blocked all apps except for reading and art. I have locked these with a randomly chosen pin that I have written down and put in a drawer. 4. Review & Accountability I have asked my brother and husband to set recurring monthly dates to review with me (at alternating dates, so I check in with someone every two weeks). I have also set up a recurring transfer to a savings account. If I break my blocks or otherwise violate the spirit of my bans and restrictions, I will transfer half the monthly savings to my brother or Mr Harriet. To avoid perverse incentives, Mr Harriet’s review will trigger a transfer to my brother if I fail, and if I fail my brother’s review the transfer will go to Mr Harriet. Certainly they will not form a dastardly alliance and fail all my reviews, lol. Danger points for this two week period are: It is possible to download browsers other than Firefox and safari on my phone It is possible to take the pin out of the drawer and turn off the restrictions on my phone and iPad. It is possible to turn off the blocks on my laptop and desktop, as they are not yet locked. It is possible to add entertainment websites to the whitelists on my computer blocks. It may be possible to access internet on the television. ... “When we are not doing well, most of life slips away from us; when we are inactive, much of it—but when we are inattentive, we miss it all. Can you show me even one person who sets a price on his time, who knows the worth of a day, who realises that every day is a day when he is dying? In fact, we are wrong to think that death lies ahead: much of it has passed us by already, for all our past life is in the grip of death.” Seneca--Letters on Ethics.
  2. For this challenge, I decided to return to a challenge I posted almost two year ago. Much has changed since then, but as to the purpose, I feel this would be an excellent way to work through getting rid of some bad habits and restore some habits that have been lost. As before, I will be using some inspiration and heart from some of Tolkien's heroes. As this challenge progresses, I will be channeling some of the traits of some of my favorites, specifically the race of Men because I find myself identifying most closely with Tolkien's human characters. Because some bad habits have returned (spawned mostly as a result of too much downtime and being in a strange place emotionally as a result of some career changes), it is once again fitting to work through a challenge that themes these temptations as the pull of The One Ring. And so it begins. Goal 1: Resist The One Ring "Not if I found it on the highway would I take it I said. Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I should take those words as a vow, and be held by them. ‘But I am not such a man. Or I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee." -- Faramir For this goal, I will be channeling Faramir, who is without a doubt my favorite of the characters who successfully resists The One Ring, even though he had reasons outside of the Dark Lord's power to take it from Frodo. I also identify with Faramir's struggles to make his father proud, to know that he isn't the favored son, and his choice to be peaceful and merciful by nature: “I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” Without getting into specifics, this goal focuses on recognizing when and why these temptations occur: what triggers them and what is the best way to resist them. Faramir's quote above also brings to mind scripture: "But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." -- 1 Timothy 6:11-12 learn about these temptations and what hidden damages lurk within them set boundaries and barricades against temptations; arm and fortify yourself against the "attacks of the enemy" be brave and stand strong when you can, but have an escape plan if you get lost, call out to your fellowship of brothers to help you find the way again fast and pray to build discipline celebrate victories and milestones, but remain resolute and do not lose your temperance Goal 2: Build Strength, Wisdom, Courage, and Heart to Become Who You Were Meant to Be "But I am the real Strider, fortunately. I am Aragorn son of Arathorn; and if by my life or death I can protect you, I will." -- Aragorn For this goal, I will be channeling Aragorn because of his strong heart, his wisdom, and his courage, which grows as he breaks free of the shame of his father and steps into his destined role as heir to the throne of Gondor. Aragorn is aware of his flaws and weaknesses as a man, but he strives to do good by serving others. He faces peril, inspires others into battle, and fights courageously for his fellowship. None of this would be possible if he had allowed himself to get weak or distracted or lose his self-control. He is also faithful to the cause of defeating evil and to the love of his life. He is watchful and alert, wise and intelligent, humble and modest by nature but also mighty and proud when necessary. Some aspects of this goal will look familiar if you have followed me for some time. awaken before dawn pray/meditate/study scripture & other books of wisdom fast daily (intermittently) eat whole foods (mostly plants) drink at least 64 ounces of water daily daily breathing exercises (I really need to get back to this; it clears my head and may help stave some of the temptation triggers) read at least 20 minutes every day spend at least 30 minutes outside every day strengthen the body (Darebee workouts, bodyweight, cinderblocks, log, sandbag, resistance bands, etc.) spend time with my queen; this includes going to bed with her and not staying up late Goal 3: Rebuild Your Heart and Your Kingdom "For he was a gentle heart and a great king and kept his oaths; and he rose out of the shadows to a last fair morning." -- Aragorn, speaking of King Theoden Theoden is a good example of someone who, as he grew older and more tired, allowed himself to become misled and lost sight of his true purpose as king. It corrupted him and led to the usurping of his kingdom by evil forces. Once he is set free of this spell, however, he steps into his role as king and, in spite of the bleak outlook, fights for his people and for the good of all Middle Earth. For this goal, I am both literally and figuratively referring to my "kingdom" (as in my home, my domain) meditate on/reclaim my purpose as husband and father (as "king") spend time with children; hug them, play with them, go on adventures with them keep my house in order: clean daily, keep the yard clean and mowed, make necessary repairs And that is it for now. If I think of some other goals, I will add them and try to think of characters that embody those goals, as well.
  3. I sat down today to brainstorm my next challenge and couldnt do it. I was unable to tell what my priorities are. I want to get into Cross Fit again, I want to write book #2 and I want to spend time with my dog in nature. I want to recover from back surgery, I want to get to 99,0kg, I want to prep keto meals, I want to stay away from addictive behavior, I want to be financially stable ( teach more).... I don't see how I can get all of those things done at once since I have mental health issues that make me feel overwhelmed easily, and I am unsure about priorities. So I will use this challenge to try out different versions of a regular week and hopefully at the end I will know what I want a regular week to look like. So this might happen ( or not ) being keto and reaching 99 kilos are non negotiable. I will reach this goal ( if I don't fuck up!!!! ) during this challenge after working on it since June. After that its maintenance for a while. The energy then can go towards other goals. dog walks are also non negotiable and I will do a short walk 5 times a week and a long one 2 times a week.. I have a garden for her to play and pee in, but still, this is the minimum to be a good dog mum! ( weekly steps will be counted towards Walk to Mordor ) If Cross Fit doesn't work out I will probably add to my walking goal and try more hiking with the pup. the bodyweight stuff was hard to do by myself and I suspect I need a group setting to kick ass. So Crossfit ( with scaled down movements!!!! ) it is. I texted my coach and asked him if I can go to class tomorrow and Friday early morning and to make up for it, clean the box for two hours on Wednesday morning. (He had the same deal with me when I first trained there years ago. Its because I cant afford the fee) He hasn't seen my text yet but I hope to be able to start tomorrow and experiment for a week or two or three 😉what a life with Cross Fit on top of all the other stuff would feel like. If I cant do it this week I will do it next week. Am scared shitless about this decision but cant wrap my mind around the question if I can manage this - unless I actually try it out. recovery is also not optional and I will have to develop a stretching routine and include some PT stuff. Maybe: Minimum 1/ week( plus after workouts) To be determined later. concerning smoking and drinking I will repeat my goals from last challenge and a) track my alcohol, b) have a goal to smoke not more than 24 cigarettes / day. I wasn't consistent enough to lower the number last challenge and will stick to 24 until I do it regularly. finances are looking better since I took on more students. Goal now: Be consistent. Also budget wisely and don't order crap! If Im overwhelmed Im allowed to scale down here though... mental health is most important. writing is probably optional although I really really really want to do it. Will try out some writing goal later this challenge. Maybe find some regular writing times??? I will adjust my goals every week and see how I feel experimenting with the different priorities. Maybe I even surprise myself and manage to do all at once in a reasonable sustainable way?? Its great to start from zero. Hopefully its gonna be as fun as I think it will be!
  4. Endor

    Fight in the shade

    Long Term Ranger...first time Monk. Long post but it's mostly for me so skip to the goals if you like I won't be offended I've been away from NF for a few months. I haven't told anyone IRL...and I haven't said it out loud...but privately I'm fighting through a sea of work stress and other issues and I've been dealing with it by internalizing and self sabotaging and I've been mostly aware of it the whole way. Ridiculous I know but also irresistible, a cycle I have seen over and over in my past, very damaging but hard to resist. I've been working 60 to 70hr weeks the last 4 months, something I could manage as a young man but these days at 42, I've reached the edge of my limits and teetered on the cliff. Compromised my health without a doubt and knowingly.However I've made some serious coin, and I mean serious coin but I signed up for 5 months of this and was done after 2. Now I have 6 weeks left, I don't need or want the money but I have to deliver and finish the project, I always follow through on my commitments. Integrity is above all else for me. The challenge is I need to look after myself at the same time as I push myself up to and sometimes beyond my limits. I'm in the worst physical shape in years as a result of this situation but it's my mental health that has really suffered. Strange I have never been in this position before...I'm "strong". Bringing years of work stress coping mechanisms to bear and finally finding strength to admit to work colleagues "I'm taking a weekend off and I'm not answering my phone, I'm not working". I slept for almost the whole weekend and needed more. I've put work first, neglected my wife, I've called my borderline OCD (it's really OCD but I don't want to admit that) into it's full power to devastate my mortgage, at the cost of my health and friendships. I haven't seen my friends for months. On Tuesday my sacrifices come to fruition, the mortgage on a dream house will finally be paid off at age 42 and I will begin to set myself up for the rest of my life. A 25 year goal achieved, but at what cost? We'll see. Well here I find myself, at the doors of the Monastery. I need help, I need to help myself. I'm not really sure yet what that means. As a Ranger and a Crossfitter I am multi-faceted and I can bring a lot of skills to bear but the time to meditate, stretch and be with myself is upon me. A strange feeling indeed after pushing so hard for so long, I'm still finding my way in this new head space but initial goals are: - 1 hour of yoga per week (complete beginner) or 1 hour of swimming or 1 hour of "mobility" (crossfit stretching) - 1 float tank this challenge (haven't done one for years but has been revitalizing in the past) - 4 days with no alcohol - 4 days with no sugar These are meager goals compared with previous achievements but they are real goals for now. I can't tell you right now the last day I had with no sugar or alcohol. Times are tough but we will fight in the shade. @zenLara @BarefootDawsy @DarK_RaideR I'm in a hole and I need accountability, if you can spare some time to check in on me occasionally I will be very grateful. Side note, this is what drew me to NF all those years ago and hence the reference here:
  5. I bombed most of the items last challenge, and I still think I could have done better on the one thing I passed. I sunk into a nasty sorrow during the challenge, and I still feel mostly just overwhelmed and unorganised. Like I can't pull anything together. I'm starting to see more brain fog, mental chatter, and depression - destroying these was one of my main goals so I know I'm not winning there. Science says this is probably from sugar consumption, and last challenge in spite of good meal choices I still ate a lot of sugar. I need to rely on everyone here to keep me accountable and Hymnusal can get help from her guild mates too! Hopefully I don't overwhelm everyone with food pictures this time around... Strength and Stretching with Fanzagale (my Monk toon) Return goal. Continue the BBWW 3 times a week, do one longer yoga session a week. - 75% in both categories needed for a Pass A rainbow of vegetation with Aquaineil (my Druid toon) Return goal. Follow the "Foodist Plate" suggestion with 1/2 of lunch and supper being vegetables 5 days a week. Photograph all food eaten and post on NF challenge thread. Obliterate Sugar with Zoeshen (my Demon Hunter toon) This one is going to hurt. One treat permitted a week. Otherwise: no sweetened chocolate, no cookies, no cake, no pie, no ice cream, etc. Use peppermint tea and ginger peach tea as blockers if it is just craving. Keep chewing gum on hand if it is for fidgeting. Use green tea and black teas for caffeine needs. Other suggestions of craving busters welcome! 75% streak needed to pass. Tidy spaces with Bellabarque (my Mage toon) I get overwhelmed by all of my stuff sometimes and it is worse when it is everywhere. I need to devote time at least once a week to cleaning up the spaces around me to help keep my head clear. 75% needed to pass. Bonus: Mind and Soul with Clawdiya (my Priest toon) Return goal. Meditation and Bible reading every day. No grading here, just keeping it on my hud. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I don't think I'll be waiting until the 9th to start. I guess I'll do a 5 week challenge instead starting on the 2nd.
  6. Like many, I laughed at the idea of being "addicted to food" for a long time. But the more I've considered it, the more I've realized: being addicted to certain combinations and kinds of processed foods is quite real. One need only review several Google searches on the topic, as well as statements from physicians and neuroscientists that various combinations of food spike dopamine and serotonin levels pretty high, which, just like cocaine or meth, can lead to tolerance and require more and more of the same to get the same "high". Anyway, I'm here to ask the question: how do you actually BEAT this addiction? I recently finished the book "Fat Chance" by Dr. Robert H. Lustig, MD. In addition to citing a lot of evidence and discussing quite a bit of science behind this newly-emerging (albeit slowly) notion of addiction to various combinations of food, he claims that the way to beat it is, basically, "eat right and exercise." Well, gee doc, that's a lot of help. While I loved the science in the book (and highly recommend it; you can even get it on Audible if that's your thing), I found the advice for recovery pointless. "Do the thing that you least want to do to make you want to do the thing you least want to do" is not advice: it's circular (anti) logic. Does anyone have any experience with actually recovering from this kind of addiction? I'm interested in actionable information, like techniques, personal experiences, things that helped (and that didn't), and most definitely any supplements or even prescription drugs (legally acquired only, please) that can help reduce one's cravings for high fat/salt/sugar food(s), making healthy food seem more palatable. Willpower alone doesn't beat addictions this strong, especially when some of us have had that crap shoved into our bellies since before we could walk (see "McDonald's" for example). There's got to be a neuropharmacological system of some kind that we can leverage to "invert" the reward system of the brain against junk food and toward healthy food. Finding some mechanism to do that is THE answer to fixing the obesity crisis. Thoughts, anyone?
  7. Hey there! I need your help with Media. I catch my self way too often checking apps I just looked at, downloading games to spend time, watching the suggested videos on youtube or just turning on the tv or even my xbox. While this behavior is not bad, on some days I do it too much instead of doing something productive, even productive activities that I do enjoy. So how do I attack this habit ? I thought about two ways. 1. Slow. Reduce the time spent on these devices more and more over the time until the point where I do it sometimes but not to kill time or procastinate but to have fun. 2. Fast: Delete said apps and games, unplug my tv and xbox, hide my controller and remote. Once I am confortable with eliminating everything, I can use them to have fun. Both have it's pro and cons, but I don't know which is the better way. No 1 is the "softer" way without so much "feelings of loss", but it it takes more time since I first have to track how long I use it, think about a good number to reduce it, track consistently etc. My thoughts will be often with the stuff + high risk of falling back because of the easy access. No 2 is the hard version, it will create a loss. But because of its "brutality" there is no more work than staying away. Low risk of falling back, reinstalling apps takes a lot of action and thougts. Is there a no3, an even better way? Thanks for reading through all this mess of my thougts, it would be awesome to hear your opinions. Are my thoughts about the ways wrong? If I find a way that works, I will add it in here ~Ikarus
  8. I got the 42 positive, honest self appraisals in Milythaels' HOoRAY, (as the moment, Bekah, the Druid ambassador, as the boss). And still counting! A part of what helped me succeed was that it was always in the back of my mind reminding about positive things, and all that "about surrounding yourself with positive people", yanno? So, I was very, very broken until the last week, somewhere inside me I still am, but I am doing a f*cking insane progress. I can't really believe how awesome this is! I am not sure, if this is borderline delusional, but what the hell! Given where I am coming, this is welcomed for a change. And where I am going, when the endorphins and dopamine ( = The moments/days when it could rains shit and you'd keep on smiling) levels drop, these things still stay, and are a golden line in the middle of day-to-day living that so often is disillusioned and hopeless. - Fending off for the moment the Demonemon (the negative voice we all have to some degree that tries to bring you down and keep you there) - A lot of brutal, honest, wickedly useful and fun (Yeah! I know!) self-appraisal, realisations, stomping on the lies we feed to ourselves, throwing out of the window several parts of the useless, bad habit-ridden crap we haul around daily, - I'm getting better at stomping down my ego, pride, stubbornness and fear of change - As there is said to be the delusion with young people that "life goes on forever, there's always a new tomorrow and I am immortal, I cannot die, ever", thinking about death daily has ground that illusion to the ground. The very, very little things good, that I mostly took granted, hit me sometimes speechless. - And I still like doing immature, unexpected, weird, useless things just for the fun of it, giving a mental middle-finger to the "Oh, what other people think about me"-thought -hell, let them look! Comparing to the shitstorm I have gone and going through, I have a lot less to fear. - Oh yeah, if this or my struggles helps someone, ever, let me know! It would make my day! I feel solemn at the face of this all, because these things usually take a lifetime to learn, and can't be really taught by anyone else, they have to be lived to be learned. And kept alive constantly after learned. And I am barely past 20 years! And how miraculously I happened to be given the hardships, that I have survived, to find out these things, and the knowledge and tools to learn all that I have learned and be here in the forums, with this swirling, wonderful atmosphere. It is not over, but going to the right direction!
  9. Hello Assassins! I'm Matthew, this will be my first challenge. I'm excited to join up with the Assassins guild for the first one. I want to feel stronger, look better, become more flexible, lose 25-30lbs, and I've chosen goals that I hope will help me get there. Main Quest I want to lose 30lbs(25 at a minimum) Back in high school(21 now) I was in peak physical shape. I had very low body fat percentage and was very athletic. The last two years or so I've really let myself go and became a hermit. I am at 205 with a 25-28% body fat now and I would like to be back down to 175-180 with a 12-15% body fat by the end of this challenge. Quest 1: GET OUTSIDE! All of my life I spent almost every minute outside adventuring/climbing/jumping through every obstacle I could find. I now live a completely sedentary lifestyle and think it would help to get outside again. Part A: Get outside at least once a day Part B: Climb a tree or explore through the wooded area on my property at least once a week Quest 2: Utilize my body weight! I want to develop my chest and triceps as best as I can from body weight. One thing I've never had (even when I was in good shape) was a well shaped chest. I would love to build it as much as I can over the next 6 weeks. Part A: 100 push-ups a night (varying types every night) Part B: Get to 20 pull-ups from the current 5 ( as soon as I can make/get my hands on a pull up bar!) Quest 3: Watch my Caloric Intake My current diet consists of non existence. I do not plan on changing the items I eat, just the amount I consume. (long term goal is to slowly change my diet, but for my first challenge I will just watch caloric intake.) I usually wake up and eat a very large breakfast, snack all day, then eat a very large dinner with little to no exercise between. Part A: Use Myfitnesspal to set a calorie intake goal to aid in my weight loss and follow it everyday except Sundays ( keeping one cheat day to not discourage me from the plan completely) Part B: Eat 3-5 solid meals a day instead of snacking from breakfast to dinner. Life Quest: Limit my time on World of Warcraft I've been playing WoW since 2004 and I am an addict. I spend every second of my free time playing now a days. I HAVE to cut back on the amount I play as it has crippled my social life and my physical appearance. Long term goal is to be able to play without neglecting everything else in my life. Part A: Only play after I've gotten at least one 30 minute workout done in the morning and one in the evening. Part B: Do not neglect my goals and personal progress for a game Grading: Lose 30lbs A - 30 lbsB - 25 lbsF < 25 lbs 100 push-ups a night M-F A - 5/5B - 4/5C - 3/5D - 2/5F- < 2/520 pull-ups A - 20/20B -17/20C - 13/20D - 10/20F - < 10/20World of Warcraft All or nothing Height & Weight(accompanied by unnecessarily big title) Starting Height: 6'1" Weight: 205lbs Thank you all and good luck on your endeavors as well!
  10. SO today i read a story on the big think website about food addiction. It basicly states that there is a possibility to get addicted to food. personally it was an article that really struck a chord. perhaps it will do the same with some of you guys. The Article
  11. Update: I loved the idea of making a spreadsheet to track goals: here's mine. Main Quest: Beat agoraphobia & depression. Q1: 20 good form push-ups. (+1 STR) I used to be able to do 46. Now I can barely do 1. Despite having been in the military, I was never an athlete or a tough chick, but repetition helped get me from the arm strength of a flea... I couldn't do a single push-up on my knees, to almost 50 real push-ups on a graded exercise test with a 2-minute time limit. Since my injury and my depression, and now that I'm doing a regular desk job where being in shape isn't a requirement, I haven't made an effort to work out in six months. I did my first push-up in months this morning. It was rough. My middle sagged, I almost couldn't get back to the start position. I don't have a gym membership or free weights, but I plan on practicing push-ups, arm circles and some planks -- anything plyometric basically. Maybe I'll even start getting back my four-pack of yore. Update: I think I psyched myself out during that first bad push-up yesterday. Maybe I just forgot what it feels like to use my muscles. Today (July 22, still 5 days before challenge start) I did a set of 5 not-terrible push-ups. I'm not going to update my goal to make it harder, because I don't want to discourage myself with unreasonable difficulty. However, I'm going to put a longer term counter in my signature to keep track of how close I am to getting back to 50 push-ups. A = > 20. (I was always told that As are not for meeting the expectation, they're for going beyond it!) B = 20 C = 13 Fail: anything less Q2: No alcohol (+1 CON) I'm prone to a lot of anxiety and depression and I've never had any luck with the many anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, anti-have-any-feelings drugs prescribed to me. Individual therapy, group therapy, hospitalization also did basically nothing for me. Now I'm living alone for the first time in my life, in a city where I don't know anyone. And I self-medicate. Out of all the modern miracles of pharmacology, alcohol works better than anything at making me feel less awful about life. With my severe agoraphobia, I don't even like leaving my apartment. Going to the store to buy alcohol actually provides one of the few motivating reasons I step out the front door. Unfortunately, alcohol also upsets my sleep cycle, makes time disappear unproductively, and robs me from actually working on meaningful goals. It has a ton of calories and is one of the factors that my weight crept from a pants size 6 to not-fitting-into-an-8. And more than that: it shouldn't be the only reason I can find to leave the house. A lot of my other nutritional goals hinge on this one. If I pour empty calories down my throat every evening, why bother eating healthy during the day? I use that to rationalize buying sweets, salt-filled freezer meals, and so forth at the grocery store. Sure, I'll also pick up carrots and fruit and salad greens... and then never eat them. I have a feeling that cutting out alcohol is the linchpin to the rest of my nutritional goals, and some other life goals. A = totally dry. B = slipped once or twice. C = slipped three or four times. Fail: anything more Q3: Banish videogames, movies and TV. (+1 WIS)You can argue that this isn't a nutrition or fitness goal, but I have to strongly disagree. Gaming and TV-watching eats up the time that I would otherwise use to be more mentally and physically active. It is an opiate to me. I also tend to eat unhealthy snacks while gaming more than any other time. I have difficulty taking breaks and will ignore the physical world as long as possible as long as I have a game to play. To begin, I cancelled my Netflix subscription. Now, it's not really enough for me to say, "Don't play games" as my goal. I also need to strongly dissuade myself from purchasing them to begin with, and uninstall the ones I have. It's harder to get back into a game if all my save files are deleted and the game isn't on my computer at all. I will uninstall the Origin and Steam platforms, and all games associated with them. I suspect this will have more tangible positive results during the 6-week challenge than if I just plugged in another numerical goal, like, "Oh, do 100 sit-ups" or something. Freeing up large blocks of time that I spend on gaming is objectively the best way to get myself re-involved in the real world. I will not be getting rid of audio books and educational podcasts. If I see a movie in theaters, I will make an exception to the "no movies." I'm just targeting the vast library of shows I have at my disposal with iTunes, Amazon, Netflix and Hulu. Out of all of my quests, this one will be the most difficult, and honestly I'm not quite sure what to expect as the result. Who am I without games and shows? What will I fill my time with? Will my depression worsen or will I become super-productive? A = absolutely no gaming, no movies, no TV. B = slipped once or twice. C = slipped three or four times. Fail: anything more Life (Side) Quest: Go outside every day. (+1 STA) If I'm ever going to be comfortable enough to drive again and minimize my anxiety at leaving home, the first step is just to get out my front door every day. Because I work from home, I can easily go for 2 - 3 day stretches where I don't leave the house. Eventually I'll have to take care of basic things... take out the trash, get the mail, go to the store, go to the laundry room. But the more I stay inside, the worse my agoraphobia gets. It doesn't even feel like a "fear," usually it just feels like... a sort of grey miasma that closes me into my little cell. I say there's nothing to do outside, nowhere to go, no one to meet. I pull down the blinds. I'm not very relaxed when I do go out, sometimes just walking down the street is stressful. Grocery shopping is stressful. In the past few weeks I have pushed myself to do things like take long walks, ride the bus, get a library card, explore a couple new restaurants, even go sailing. However, these events are isolated. The vast majority of the time, I'm locked in my apartment. This is punctuated with short spurts of excursion where I'll strategically take care of several errands at once so that I can go home again. It makes it SEEM like I'm very active when I say I found a great new taco place, scouted out a cool bookstore and a bead shop and walked around the park, went to the post office, etc. But chances are I did all those things back-to-back and won't leave home again for days. Of course it's not enough just to stand on my porch and turn around and go back in every day. That's not healthy progress. But if all I do is walk around the block or go sit in a cafe for a half hour with my laptop, that's a good start. I considered having a more detailed plan about Where To Go every day, but I would like to expand my ability to follow spontaneous decisions rather than fulfill a predetermined task list. The goal is to feel more relaxed, not more regimented. A = 100%, established new walking routines and reasons to get out. B = Got out 6 days a week. C = Got out 5 days a week. Fail: anything less. Motivation: I've never lived alone before, and I think subconsciously I knew I needed to be alone to bring out the worst parts of my agoraphobia and depression, to meet them head on and handle them myself, without depending on the people I love most as my crutches. A lot of days feel brutal and lonely. But I also can't help but feel this could be the best opportunity I've given myself: finding out who I am, really, at the bottom of everything. And who I am right now isn't pretty. It turns out I'm terrified, weak, unhealthy and sad. But there it is. I am finally seeing myself as I am. Edit: I took some "Before" pics although I feel shy about sharing them right now. None of my quests are specifically weight-related during this challenge, but I have a feeling that I will start losing a few pounds here and there with a different lifestyle. Right now I'm about 148 lbs., and my happy weight is in the 113 - 125 pounds range. Intended Starting Stats if all is going well at week 3: STR: 1 DEX: 1 STA: 1 CON: 2 WIS: 3 CHA: 2
  12. "Pick up the pieces and keep going, one painfully slow step at a time." -Hiraedd, The Conqueress (Bare bones, to be elaborated later. It's certainly quite blunt as it is now. But it's written, and I'll work from there.) 1) A task a day A distance net-course due 30th of June, and another 30th of July. Marketing law and Strategic marketing. Soft deadline aimed at 21st of each month to give some space to maneuver. 2) Honorable Order of Rebellious Appraising Yeomen and Gratitude statements Positive, honest self-appraisal. Once a day. --> HOoRAY Things outside yourself that I am grateful for. Three times a day. In the challenge thread and cross-posted there rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/26507-3-things/ 3) ZenHabits1000 cuts 1) The Zen Habits 1000 cuts Plainly from the previous challenge. 200 points, 3-4 things a day. Adding that 5 min of streching, or every 5000 steps over the daily 10k I usually get, are worth one point. 4) Something from Brene Browns work, a single step towards recognizing shame and the symptoms, but I dont know how. I will think this a bit more.
  13. O.K., here goes... Today I have become a person who no longer reads romance novels. That's it, in black and white for everyone to see. Please don't laugh... I suppose I should give some background info. There are a few different tangents that will help clarify where I'm coming from. First of all, I love reading, always have, always will. I started voraciously reading when I was about 10 years old. It started with classic young adult series: the Borrowers, the Black Stalion Series, all the Nancy Drews.... It morphed into sci-fi/fantasy in middle school. Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, Michael Moorcock.... I would stay up 'til 3 am reading, get up at 7 am, go to school.... 3 hours of hockey practice and then I'd get to read again. I always got my homework done, I carried my 3.9 GPA (damn you civics!) in college I picked classes that asked you to read.. History, English Lit, Philosophy.... Screech forward a decade... I'm out of school, dealing with kids and house cleaning. There was/has been very little "me time." I was going through the local public library... Every now and again I like to randomly select a book off of any shelf, and read whatever it is that I grab. One day it happened to be a romance novel. Now, snobby old me would publicly turn my nose up at the idea of a romance novel... Let's face it, it isn't Tolken. So I started reading them in secret.... I was too ashamed to admit that I liked them (They can get really hot!). Then I got an iPad, downloaded the kindle app...and all hell broke loose... Or rather all control was lost. I fell back into the habit of staying up all night to read...to the detriment of other aspects of my life, like taking care of my home and family. It hasn't affected work, but still. I'm at the point now where I have no idea what my children eat for dinner, and my house is embarrassingly dirty. tangent number 2: I strongly believe I have a genetic predisposition for addiction and depression. The depression is pretty obvious, I've managed it with some not so great habits: food, shopping, and yes, romance novels. I'm sure many people would suggest medication, even my husband has, but I'm scared of addiction issues and the side effects of antidepressants. My grandfather was an alcoholic. The reason I feel I have an addiction problem is because I make decisions based upon my desire for that pleasure, rather than doing what I need to to to function properly in my life. Shopping has been an issue (over-spending), i eat without stopping when Im depressed. There have been all sorts of habits that I recognize as giving me a high. I have known something was wrong with the romance novels since I realized I would rather read a romance novel than cook my kids dinner. And I'm ashamed to say, that is exactly what I have done. Seriously, how is o.k. to tell your 9-year old son that he'll have to pick dirty clothes out of the laundry basket because mommy was reading last night and didn't have time to do any laundry. God this is embarrassing! I've tried stopping, but I keep buying the God damn things! Whenever I get a little depressed or overwhelmed, it's just one click on my kindle, and my drug of choice is instantly delivered to my ipad, or phone, or computer. I can't stand that I don't have the control to follow my own advise of avoiding something that isn't good for me! I've tried just reading one chapter a day... I haven't been able to do it. I seriously think the only way I can beat this is to go cold turkey. I'm sure there is all sorts of stuff I'm leaving out, but I don't want to drag this out forever.... The point is, today is the day that I've finally said I've had enough. I'm not going to be that person anymore. I am now a person who doesn't read romance novels. This is going to hurt, and I'm sure many people would laugh, because I mean, really? Romance Novels? I didn't say this wasn't going to be embarrassing! I'm scared that I'll pick up some other bad habit to replace this one with. I'm scared that I'll never find something to make me feel good again. Will I be able to find something that makes me feel good but that doesn't "hurt" me or my family. So this is my respawn point. I'm going to be checking in as a method of holding myself accountable. I'll try not to bitch and moan too much, but rather I want to focus on positive thoughts and ideas for how I'm going to get through the withdrawl, how I'm going to develop new healthy coping skills... I'm desperately hoping that getting some physical exercise in my life is going to help! If anyone feels like checking in to give me a thumbs-up or other form of encouragement, I'd really appreciate it. This is incredibly embarrassing for me, but I'm doing it because if there's anyone else out there in a similar situation, I want them to know that they are not alone. I figure that if its some that has to be hidden... It can't be a good thing.... So, Time to walk through that door, close it behind me, and never look back!
  14. My main goal is to stay "sane" for the next two weeks between challenges. To acheive this goal, I'm going to: Take my medication daily. Not take on any extra projects. Feed my spirit daily. Attend my addiction recovery program on Thursdays. Attend church on Sundays. 15 minutes of grounding meditation every day.
  15. Hi! 0gravity here to start a battle log. This log will be filled with lots of bouldering and bodyweight training. It will also be filled with detailed food logs. Also with an account of poisons imbibed, as one of my main goals is to free myself of habitual substance use. So I'll start with yesterday because I haven't posted it here yet. Daily weigh in 195 lbs Starting measurements: height 74" neck 15.5" chest 42.5" waist 32.5" hips 38.5" thighs 22.25" calves 15.75" arms 15.5" forearms 13" body fat 12% according to US navy calculator Here is a before picture, taken with no flex or pump in not the most flattering light, will have to find a better spot for progress photos EXERCISE Ran two miles with the dogs Had a bodyweight workout - started with the lowest progressions from CC and Start Bodyweight, and a little from GMB handstand tutorial, for pushing and legs only. They were pretty easy so I went through the second level as well Wall pushups 5 sets x 8 reps Shoulderstand squat 5x8 Knnes bent low dips (on paralettes) 5x8 Kneeling plank 5x15s Kneeling side plank 5x15s each side Kneeling elbow plank 5x15s Kneeling elbow side plank 5x15s each Knees bent hollow hold 15s, 15s, 30s, 60s Short bridge 5x15s Standing calf raise 5x15 Standing reverse calf raise 5x15 Incline pushups 5x8 Jacknife squat 5x8 Straight leg low dips 5x8 Kneeling plank 5x30s Kneeling side plank 5x30s each Kneeling elbow plank 5x30s Kneeling elbow side plank 5x30s each Straight leg hollow hold 60s, 60s Straight bridge 5x15s Standing calf raise 5x15 Standing reverse calf raise 5x15 ~15 minutes of stretching including standing pike, sitting pike, active pike, standing straddle, sitting straddle, active straddle (hard), half straddle, forward lunge, forward split (working towards), wrist series, standing lat stretch Volume = high, intensity = low FOOD Breakfast 1030 (resting): Two slice bacon 3 eggs 200 g chicken 25 g cheese assorted vegetables P=92, F=38, C=low Dinner 1830 (PWO) 275g chicken 9 oz beans 5 tortillas vegetables a couple spoonfuls chocolate mousse P=111, C=108, F=16 POISON caffeine 960 mg (I'm serious) Nictoine 18 mg (again, I'm serious) Alcohol 0g Benadryl 50mg
  16. Hi. I'm 0gravity. I am learning to Fly. The Demon of Gravity follows me wherever I go. He casts spells to create Illusions to trick me, to get me to bend to his will. My quest is to learn to break free from this Demon and his Illusions, so that I can Fly. His illusions come in three flavors, which I have learned to recognize. The Illusion of Slothfulness Often this Illusion manifests as the feeling that I cannot possibly motivate to exercise, I am too tired. Usually this occurs when I arrive home at work, and I find myself lying on the couch staring at the ceiling when I had every intention of exercising. Granted, my work is stressful. I am an RN by trade, Emergency and Critical Care by specialty. My hours are long. I start work at 0300 and get off at 1530. Nonetheless, my exhaustion is an illusion. This has been my experience. If I can just motivate to get off of my ass and get started, usually I have a great workout. So this is my goal: Practice flight every day I know a lot of people will insist that rest days are desirable or necessary for progress, but for me I find that I feel the best when I exercise every day. I do not do the same thing every day, and I do not go to maximum intensity every day, but that is my goal, to perform some amount of some exercise every single day. The Illusion of Endless Hunger I like to eat all of the things. I admit it. My hunger is endless. If not for my work defeating the first of the three illusions, the second would have certainly made me morbidly obese and hopelessly captive to gravity by now. Nonetheless, I see that I only feed the demon by devouring cinnamon rolls, cookies, pies, cheesecakes, ice cream, and candy. I can easily pound 5,000 KCal of sugar in a day. My weight fluctuates wildly: When I clean up my diet I drop to 188 pounds in a matter of days, a few days of gorging later and I hit 200, and the cycle repeats. Some foods are fuel for flight, and some only increase the hold which gravity has over us. So comes my second goal Eat enough to fuel flight, and no more For me this is quantifiable. For much of my adult life I was ~185 pounds. In the last few years I have become stronger, but also heavier. Today I am 195. My goal specifically is to eat cutting macros to get back to 185 and then reassess. I am a strong proponent of the leangains system. When I have stuck to the plan, the results have been dramatic. I modify slightly as I don't train with weights and I like to train every day instead of three days per week. So for me it goes like this: Fast 16 hours, eat resting macros around 1100, train in the afternoon, and eat post-workout macros by 1900. Log everything here. For now resting macros are protein:100g fat:30g carbs<20g. PWO macros protein:100g, carbs:190g, fat<20g So really the goal has three parts -Eat only between 11am and 7 pm -Eat a meal ~1100 with ~100gP,~30gF, <20gC -Eat a meal ~1830 with ~100gP, ~190gC, <20gF The Illusion that Poison is the Cure This one is the kicker for me. For the last ten years, I have been a smoker. This is the worst but not the only vice which goes along with this illusion. When I am stressed, I reach for tobacco. The illusion is queer because I know that it isn't true and I fall for it anyway. The illusion is that the cigarette relieves stress, when I know the reality is that the need to feed the addiction is CAUSING the stress. The illusion is that life will not be as good without a cigarette, when I know that it will actually be BETTER once I don't need the cigarette to make it feel complete. Tobacco weakens my bones and muscles and saps my energy. I know that in order to fly, I must let it go. Alcohol is another vice of mine. Some nights I don't drink at all, some nights I have three or four without even realizing it. I know it is making me heavier. I know it is sapping my energy. I know I need to let it go. Caffeine is yet another vice. Waking up at 0230 is really hard. It is way too easy to pound energy drinks and coffee in order to make up for lost sleep. But then I find myself awake later on when I should be asleep, frustrated and agitated when I should be peacefully snoozing. I turn to OTC or prescription sleeping pills or alcohol or all three in order to counteract the effects of the caffeine. Then I am groggy and lethargic the next morning and reach for the coffee and energy drinks and the cycle repeats. So here is my goal Let go of All of the Poisons It is easliy quantifiable. Either I refrain from the poison, or I imbibe them. How to grade myself on this goal though I am not sure. This is a thought which is still in progress. That is enough for now. I do not suffer from the illusion that this will be easy.
  17. This turned out maybe too honest. A fair warning: I personally think you should read this as an adult, and then decide if it is okay for your kid to think of such. Concerns dark and sad emotions and suicidal feelings. -Thank you Lately, that mental bullsh*t started giving me trouble again. After one extremely bad "not-any-kind-of-beautiful-thoughts" day, I am seeing professional help. On a rational level I mostly know what is causing it (depression, addiction, loneliness, low self-esteem like glass and a general "why the **** bother?" with life), but it is a royal mess to start making life easier. Tried to tidy up the challenge to save people from the hurt. Well, seems with this kind of subject, I can't tidy it up enough. PM me, if you want a rougher account, I will gladly give it, but I am not comfortable with the idea of making it public. Main goal: Although I feel sometimes like suicide is a good option, I am afraid of death. I don't want to die. The small steps of beautiful things: Escapism is not a depression medicine 1) 2 hours of homework day, and no gaming/books before that. 2 hours is less than I'd need to solve the huge backlog accumulated, but as I currently do next to zero, that'd be a good step up. Love, human connection and beautiful things 2) I know I need close people, and just a normal conversation with someone makes me feel better, but I do not know how. I have spent so long alone, I find it hard to reach for people, especially strangers. Despite family and two good friends, (sometimes) I feel terribly lonely. 3) Look on the positive Due to depression and my self esteem feeling like glass, if something happens (I fail at something, break stuff, can't hit a deadline) I have a tendency for spiraling thoughts of negativity that go on and on, and I tend just listen to that little voice that tells me I am worthless (and worse...). On the worst times I really believe that lil' bastard. I am going to take active part in the Honorable Order of Rebellious Appraising Yeomen and Love Your Body and Food. To have a defence for the horrible days. 3) Finding thing that bring me joy Lately not even PC games or reading has brought me much joy, other things even less or not at all. I just do those to have something, to have bubble that shields from the boring real world. See #1 But then again, sometimes the little things, like walking in the sun, or drinking warm chocolate are fun. But I still can smile and laugh, and enjoy things. Finding more of those. Right now, I would rather feel pain than nothing at all, because of the chance of life. -Yours, Fearkiller
  18. So I, genuinely, have an addiction to chocolate. But, for the last two days (since starting Primal Blueprint/Paleo), I have turned down hot chocolate, sweets, and today I turned down a box of seriously awesome chocolate. I also have hot chocolate in the cupboard - but I'm not going to have it until the very end of the week (as a reward and "treat day" of sorts). I'm feeling tired, and I have a headache, which is linked in with this but also with hay fever. So not feeling great - but I am using today's success as a motivator. This is a life change, not a diet, afterall. *Giddy face*, I'm super chuffed with myself and had to tell you all. Bluehorn
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