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  1. I’m Ranger Hal. I hike, snowshoe, scramble, climb (in theory, although not recently), and do search and rescue. My current goal is to workout enough to be able to keep up with the other people who want to do those things. There have been a number of trips over the last few years where I have either been turned away because the leader didn’t think my conditioning level was where it needed to be or I decided not to even ask because I didn’t think I could keep up. My current theory is that daily (or almost daily) workouts are the way to go. Last challenge, I started the Darebee 90 Days of Action program. I'm going to continue that with a few modifications. I can replace the scheduled workout with a cardio workout the day before or the day after a big outdoors trip if the scheduled workout really works the muscles affected by the trip. I probably won't do a workout the day of a big trip and I may skip workouts the night before a trip. The sleep part of last challenge didn't work very well. I had issues going to bed by 11pm. This time, I'm just going to track the hours I sleep. Hopefully just having to write it down will help remind me that I should be getting more sleep. I'm also adding a time challenge to try to get to work a little earlier than I have been. I'm bumping my hydrate goal up to 1.75L per day. Challenge 1) Workout: every day using the 90 Days of Action program. 2) Sleep: track number of hours 3) Time: leave for work by 8:30 am 4) Hydrate: minimum of 1.75L of water per day.
  2. Darciana has a choice. Does she split her time between two guilds, Ranger and Adventurer? Does she choose to side predominantly with one and, if so, which one? Hopefully this challenge will help her decide what path is best. Mental Goal: Continue to journal/script daily. That's it. Just do the prompts in the journal. Workout Goal: Stick to my workout plan (within reason) of 4 days per week. Switch to the lower workout as necessary to avoid boredom and focus on different muscle groups. Advance to the next level up workout as necessary to continue improving. Workout SubGoals (not primary focus): Walk the pups, weather permitting, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday between work and dinner to get fresh air and a nice dose of nature. Also, appease the pups so they don't suffocate anyone in their sleep out of spite. Do yoga on Wednesdays as part of active rest and to satisfy the druid side. Nutrition Goal: Log food as needed to stay on track with portion sizes. Be mindful- check in with self to determine real hunger vs stress/boredom/routine hunger. Focus on eating, don't be distracted, so as to pay attention to body cues for fullness/satiety. EAT SLOWLY to assist with all of the aforementioned. Nutrition SubGoals (not main focus, but helpful): Avoid alcohol when stressed or when feeling I need a drink even when I don't particularly want it. Take my supplements! Especially the probiotic. EDIT TO ADD: I need to begin studying for my Professional Engineering Exam this year. So I'm adding in one more goal this challenge: Spend at least 1 hour a week doing the practice test, determining what topics need reteaching or review, and then setting up/starting a study plan.
  3. In the latter half of last year the Enting started school, business travel picked up (for both me and Mr), and just to top it off we all caught Covid over the Christmas holidays. During all this, I stopped losing weight and gained back some of that I'd been losing. (Thankfully, not all of it!) This year I'm keen to get my weight/BMI back down to the best of last year. But more than that, I want to be better at getting back on track when chaos ensues and I get derailed--because chaos happens, constantly. I already have good practices and habits. They work. I just need to remember to keep them going (or reimplement them) when things go wacky. The Challenge: These are my practices that I need to keep in place Use the daily planner/tracker - Daily to-dos, habit-tracking, etc. Create/use the weekly meal plan - If I get too hungry without a plan, I'll end up eating a fistful of crackers with nutella, which is delicious but not exactly healthy. 5 Miles a Day/Dog Training - Oh, did I forget to mention? We have a puppy now! Skye is a 4.5 month old golden retriever and she's my new walking companion. I love her! She came to us at 15 weeks and basically no training at all, so we've been working hard with her. Luckily, she's a swift and eager pupil and in the 3 weeks we've had her, she's already come very far! And she doesn't let me slack off my lunchtime walk (not to mention the shorter walks I've had to add in the morning and evening...). Good for her, good for me. Level Up: Spring is coming to Owlshire! I need to get started on the vegetable garden, and I want to get back into my crafts. I debated between a daily habit, or specifics, and I've decided to go for specifics: Finish the jumper I'm knitting Spin something on my wheel (or at least start it) Prepare our new garden terraces (after two disasterous winters of not being able to DIY them, we hired it out. And now we have terraces!) Get all February seeds in the propagator Get or start the March seeds Pass/Fail Parameters: This challenge is about getting back on track--and then doing it again, and again. So I need to check in each week, and if I've gone off course, I need to get back on it again. As long as I do that, it's a success.
  4. I’m Ranger Hal. I hike, snowshoe, scramble, climb (in theory, although not recently), and do search and rescue. My current issue is that I’m not working out enough recently to keep up with the other people who want to do those things. There have been a number of trips over the last few years where I have either been turned away because the leader didn’t think my conditioning level was where it needed to be or I decided not to even ask because I didn’t think I could keep up. They say that the best workout for hiking is hiking, but that doesn’t help when I’m tired after work and it’s dark before 5pm. Occasional weeknight hikes happened, but it wasn’t regular. So I need something for when I’m not motivated enough to drag myself to some trailhead in the dark and rain (which is most of the time). I think I was maybe focusing on some of the wrong things in my last few challenges because the last one sort of fizzled back in August. I still did some things between then and now, including getting out for a few night hikes, but towards November, the weather got yucky and things got busy with SAR trainings, Advent, holidays, etc., and I wasn’t exercising that much. Somehow, at the beginning of December, I stumbled onto a new Darebee program, Fit December, which had a workout for each day of the month. So I gave it a try, and I really like the way I can do it from the space next to my computer (where I spend most of my free evening time anyway) and that the workouts are daily so I don’t need to remember which days I'm supposed to workout. Coincidentally, the program ends the day before the new challenge starts, so I’ll need a new program. I have decided on the Darebee 90 Days of Action program. I’m a little worried that it won’t have enough cardio for the type of adventures I want to go on, but it does have some cardio workouts and something every day is better than nothing, so we’ll see how it goes. I probably need to do more hiking, particularly on the weekends if I don’t have some other adventure already scheduled (or unscheduled in the case of SAR). I’m not going to plan anything as part of this challenge, but I think I will focus on getting enough sleep during the week so I’m rested for weekend adventures. I’m also going to focus on hydrating. My lips have been pretty chapped the last few weeks which suggests I’m not getting enough water. Challenge 1) Workout: every day using the 90 Days of Action program. 2) Sleep: 8 hours per night, in bed by 11pm. 3) Hydrate: minimum of 1.5L of water per day.
  5. Darci here. Been around these parts since December 2021, though I really never kept up with much. I've been a part of Nerd Fitness Academy since August of 2017 and NF Prime since November 2021. And I've fallen of the wagon many times. I've been off the wagon far far far more often than I've been on it. So I decided wagons aren't my thing. Since I'm not on a wagon, I'm left with whatever is on hand. Which, honestly, is my own two feet. Fortunately my feet aren't located on my hands or I'd be in some real trouble here. I digress. Going on foot is slow, but it's movement and I've found slow is best. The reason I fell of the damn wagon is because it was simply going too fast. Why not slow it down a bit and get my bearings? Things I want to focus on in 2023: 1. Journaling I have 3 journals, each providing something different: A Mystic's Guide To 2023: This journal allows me to write one thing I'm grateful for, check in with my mood, check off (yes or no) on food, workout, sleep, water, and nutrition (food = calories, nutrition = was it healthy), a daily mantra, sleep journal, ritual/meditation time, scripting my day, 3-6-9 manifestation, and a check in for the day using "one thing did I do to move forward today" The Witches Planner 2023: A daily check in with a spot to write things out (I usually write down what's heavy on my mind to get it on paper and out of my head), notes, to-do, and something I'm happy about that day. It also has a spot to write out weekly goals, positive thoughts, notes, budget, and main focus of the week with a spot at the end of the week to reflect. This planner provides a spot to reflect on each of the seasonal "holidays" or sabbats (Imbolc/midwinter, Ostara/spring equinox, Beltane/May day, Litha/Summer Solstice, Lughnasadh/First harvest, Mabon/Autumn Equinox, Samhain/Halloween/New year, Yule/Winter Solstice). I like this to help me reconnect with the seasons The Sisters Enchanted Lunar Planner 2023: This is where I write my current mantra/lunar intention daily. It provides a spot for tarot/oracle pulls or just writing out lunar intentions and sun goals for each full and new moon. I've spent the money already. I need to get my money's worth by actually using these planners. I'm a little over one month in of using them and so it's time to put it out into the universe that I shall continue for the next 10+ months left of the year. 2. Nutrition I have MyFitnessPal and use it often. I need to keep checking in on calories to be sure I stay in deficit. I don't typically control my dinner options so I need to track those ASAP so I may adjust my lunches and occasional breakfasts accordingly. I also loved fasting. Having an intense (to me) workout before work in the morning but trying to fast until lunch, 4-5 hours later doesn't always work out. Again, dinner is not in my control and happens after I'm off work anyway. So the goal is to fast whenever possible and be kind to myself when I'm simply too hungry to keep fasting on. When I need to eat after a workout, I will focus on protein (my current go-to is hard boiled eggs) I also want to become re-aquainted with my body. Years of not listening to it has caused me to no longer understand what it is telling me. I need to learn my hunger cues vs cravings/boredom/emotions/stress. I need to eat slower so I can give my body a chance to tell me I'm satisfied, not full or overstuffed. I also need to be able to recognize that signal and not be confused or miss it entirely. 3. Workouts I need movement. I need to be consistent with getting my butt out of bed so I can get some type of workout in. Currently working on The FeelGood Plan by Dalton Wong & Kate Faithfull-Williams. I'm in the market for a kettlebell and have printed out the NF Kettlebell Workout. I have the NF Bodyweight Workout. I have a rowing machine and a stationary bike. I have 2 pups that love walks. I have a yoga mat and youtube at my disposal. I have more than enough resources to get in a decent workout one way or another. 3 days a week is my minimum goal though my current workout schedule from The FeelGood Plan has me doing 4 days a week of workouts with Saturday being a "fun activity". 4. PE Licensure I am due to take my PE Exam this year, pass it, and get licensed as a Professional Engineer. I cannot get promoted nor can I get a significant raise until I do so or I'll max out my current level's pay range. I also am not eligible for annual bonuses for the company until I get promoted at least 1 more level up so that's a pretty good motivator. In addition, my company is offering a nice little bonus for taking, passing, and getting licensed as a PE while employed with them. I'll take that! Many financial motivators. I have a copy of one of the practice tests. I have most of my college engineering books and notes to refer back to. I simply need to DO the thing. My goal is to spend about an hour each week studying. First, take the practice exam and grade myself. Then note down what concepts I need to re-learn and study. Then, create a study plan and actually follow it. Once I get to the study plan portion, I need to schedule the test (it is currently $375 to schedule so I don't want to set myself up for failure. Especially since I can only take it 4 times a year until I pass). One hour every week. That's it. Just do the thing. Take the thing. Pass the thing. License the self. 5. Finances I need to get my budget up to date and keep it up to date. I need to actually stick to my budget every month and not buy unnecessary items or think I have extra money to spend when that extra should be going towards a debt payment. I need to focus on paying off debt and maintain my debt payoff tracker to keep myself motivated on it. Simple as that. Budget. Don't spend what's not in budget (or update budget for unexpected, but necessary, expenses). Pay excess towards debt. To get started: 1. I've managed to journal for the month of January. One month down, 11 more to go. The habit has started, now I need to keep it. I also need to determine how I'm going to continue it when I'm traveling and don't want to pack 3 giant journals everywhere I go. I might just have to digitize them for those times. Look at that, already found a solution. 2. I've been fairly good about keeping to my one NF Prime "Resolution Rescue" resolution I made: check in with myself before eating to ensure I'm truly hungry and not just bored/stressed/emotional or it's a habit to eat at that time. I've also been mindful about what I'm eating for the most part. Moreso than normal and that's a small step, but a step in the right direction nonetheless. 3. I've only missed 1 workout prior to today due to just plain being a lazy bum. I've missed 2 overall, the second one being today (2/6/2023) as I did my scheduled workout Thursday and Friday followed by unscheduled "functional fitness" on Saturday and Sunday in the form of moving my friends from one house to another and all the heavy lifting that goes with moving. My schedule was to work out today and tomorrow but there's no way I could successfully do 5 days in a row at that intensity and not a) burn out and b) potentially injure myself. Tomorrow is cardio, which usually means the rower, and I'll likely knock that out before my scheduled rest day Wednesday. Overall, the longest I've been consistent with workouts. Ever. That's a win. 4. I bought the practice test and it's sitting on my work desk. I've made a step-by-step guide and set out a goal to do it. 5. I have a budget. I need to update it, but it's there. All my bills and debt are listed. Simply need to fill it in. Other random notes: I'm on a Lara Croft kick, as in I'm idolizing her and wanting to play Tomb Raider (though I don't have my PS4 hooked up and I need to be spending my time more wisely than becoming addicted to video games again). Yet, today I'm feeling a little less Adventurer/Lara and a little more Ranger. I bounce between them daily. Maybe I'm both? Maybe I'll finally discover which I lean more towards this year? For now, I claim both. I also have a bit of Druid in me. I'm slowly introducing homesteading into my life. I need to plan my garden and start getting things prepared for this year. I love the idea of learning Herbalism. Nature is my best therapy. Yoga is something I don't particularly like, but I always come back to like a calling. And I have done a tiny bit of Tai Chi in the past and loved it. Once my current 2023 goals become a lifestyle that takes absolutely no thought, I might re-introduce Tai Chi to my life. We shall see. Baby steps here. Yoga will suffice. I have a goal of 12 books in 12 months. I'm behind right now in February's reading but I plan to spend this evening catching up while the man watches his show. I'm trying to make reading a before bed routine. It, unfortunately, hasn't helped with my budget as I've been purchasing books to keep up this goal. It all started as a way to get back to reading when I wanted to read, but felt I didn't have time combined with the goal of getting off electronics before bed to help me sleep better. Win win, except for my wallet. I prefer tangible books to ebooks, but man, ebooks are GREAT for the wallet. I'm a stepmom to 3 kids. One lives with us permanently and he turns 18 in March, graduates (hopefully) in May then he's living with us while he works and saves up to move out on his own. The other two, who are younger, come during the summer. Memorial day weekend until the first weekend in August. Those are the tough months. I have 2 additional kids I want to get as much possible quality time with and we definitely travel or get out of the house every possible second we can. Doesn't bode well for many of my goals. So here's to that challenge. Hopefully between the month already completed and the next 4-ish months before they arrive I've made these goals more of a lifestyle thing and they come naturally and easily rather than the current to-do list that makes it challenging at times to complete. If you've read this far, congratulations. Your reward is to stop "listening" to be babble on endlessly. Sorry 'bout that. Let's hope this is finally the year I keep up with things. If not, it's the year I've managed to keep up with something, anything, for a month at least.
  6. I respawned with the new year, but I kept it to myself for a month to avoid overwhelming myself into failure. I feel like now I can really announce my official respawn (though I've been a part of the challenge for a couple weeks now). This year thus far: FeelGood Plan - I love that everything is broken into 15 minute chunks or 1% of the day. I'm focusing on doing those workouts as I simply got bored of the bodyweight plan from NF. I live out in the country, I have a rowing machine and a stationary bike. I try to walk the dogs 3-4 days a week (about 1 mile. Too cold now and soon too hot for them). Gym is not going to happen because I'm NEVER going to drive 45 minutes out of my way to work out. And I'm certainly not waking up at 4am to do that and get back before work. I've progressed to the second workout in the book just this week. I went from 3 days a week of 15 minute bodyweight (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and then 15-30 minutes minimum of a fun movement activity Saturday) to 4 days a week (plus that same Saturday movement). Not only is it 15 minute body weight workouts on Monday, Thursday, and Friday but I have cardio sprinters on Tuesday and Thursday. I'm a huuuuge fan of the rower so I did both my cardio sprints on the rower this week. I missed that thing. The book says to change it up so I might walk/power-walk (once the sunrise is early enough to get outside before 7am. Running causes too much pain due to old injuries so I typically avoid it) and use the stationary bike to switch things up. Nutrition - I'm just being mindful. I'm trying to get back to a fasting schedule that works. Given I work out early (finished by 7am when I hop on the computer for work) and my fasting window usually ends at about 11am most days it's a struggle. I've been eating 2 hard boiled eggs on days I can't manage until my eating window and that usually suffices. Protein shakes cause huuuuuuge cholesterol issues. I've tried 6 different types and all cause similar issues so can't do that. I'll figure it out one day. Also focusing on listening to my body cues. If I'm hungry, I check in: am I bored? Am I tired? Am I stressed TF out? When did I last eat/what did I eat and could I reasonably be truly hungry now? When I'm eating I'm focusing on slowing down significantly and trying to listen to my body telling me I'm satiated. Focusing on "hara hachi bu" Mindset: Daily journaling. I have 2 journals (both dated) that started on the 1st that I had bought in November, knowing the holiday season was going to need to be reversed! One has scripting, what I'm grateful for today, a mantra for the day, whether I met my sleep, workout, water, and food goals, mood, ritual/mindfulness time, 3-6-9 manifestation, and one thing I did to move forward. The other simply is to get my thoughts down at the end of the day and fill in/check off any to-dos that day.
  7. Life has been a lot. I realized a few months ago that, while I haven't felt miserable or unhappy, my current trajectory isn't great. I can feel my mental health slipping and some bad habits returning. However, two specific things have helped re-direct my mind towards my goals for this challenge. First, my daughter bought be a kettlebell for Christmas. It sort of started as a joke. She texted me and asked, "What do you want for Christmas?" I responded that I kind of wanted a kettlebell, not really being serious. Her reply: "I can do that. What weight?" So I asked for a 35lb/16 kg, what the Russians refer to as one "pood". My daughter ordered the kettlebell early, so for the past few weeks I have been training with it using a plan known as Simple and Sinister, designed by Pavel Tsatsouline, a man often credited for starting the kettlebell craze here in America. I'll explain S&S more in a later post. Second, I saw an ad online for the Discipline Equals Freedom Reset, hosted by Jocko Willink's leadership organization, Echelon Front, and Jocko Fuel. While I know Jocko and his military brand of motivation isn't for everyone, I admire the man and am often motivated by his message and his story. Short background: I was in Marine Corps JROTC in high school and would have enlisted if not for epilepsy. This may explain why I respond well to someone like Jocko. So, without further delay, below are my goals. They are modified to nearly mirror the goals of the DEF Reset Challenge: Objective: Develop and/or strengthen healthy habits within my life. Set achievable goals for each category. Use the DEF tracker to track daily/weekly progress and report here. This challenge is a 4 week challenge. In addition to daily challenges, there will be weekly challenges that will focus on two daily challenges per week to be posted on social media and to be entered into prize drawings. GOAL 1 — UP BEFORE THE ENEMY: 0415-0430 wakeup GOAL 2 — GET AFTER IT Morning run or walk (at least 2.7 miles) Kettlebell workout (Simple & Sinister) GOAL 3 — PRIORITIZE AND EXECUTE Identify the top three things to accomplish each day and then execute! GOAL 4 — HYDRATE OR DIE Drink at least 120 ounces of water per day GOAL 5 — FUEL Keep it simple: Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants; avoid boxed, processed foods (i.e. "fake" foods) GOAL 6 — SUGARCOATED LIES No blatant sugar (cookies, candy, cake, ice cream, sugary drinks, etc.) GOAL 7 — BACK TO THE BOOK Spend at least 20 minutes a day on personal development (reading, journaling, etc.) Meditate/pray at least 10 minutes a day Write at least one poem a day GOAL 8 — REMEMBER Write down at least 1 thing I am grateful for each day BONUS (as challenged by Jocko): 100 burpees in less than 10 minutes or 10 minutes of burpees WEEKLY CHALLENGES: WEEK 1 — UP BEFORE THE ENEMY/GET AFTER IT Post a photo/video of how you are getting up early and/or completing your daily physical activity, use #DEFReset, @echelonfront, and @jockofuel to enter to win WEEK 2 — PRIORITIZE AND EXECUTE/HYDRATE OR DIE Post a photo/video of how you are accomplishing tasks and/or hitting your hydration goals, use #DEFReset, @echelonfront and @jockofuel to enter to win WEEK 3 — FUEL/SUGARCOATED LIES Post a photo/video of how you are sticking to your diet and avoiding junk food, use #DEFReset, @echelonfront and @jockofuel to enter to win WEEK 4 — BACK TO THE BOOK/REMEMBER Post a photo/video of how you are spending time on personal development and honoring those who sacrificed for us, use #DEFReset, @echelonfront and @jockofuel to enter to win
  8. Hi. I'm Stronkey Kong. I'm 38. I'm fat and I don't want to be fat anymore. I lift. I have a vague idea for how I need to eat to keep this weight loss + get stronker thing going. I write... in fact, I'm doing a writing workshop during this challenge. Also, I have weirdly intense hobbies that I tend to jump between at random intervals. Okay. Goals. Goal 1: DO NOT EAT A PIZZA As I've mentioned in the holiday mini. My worst habit/downfall is I'll go grocery shopping on the weekend, pick up a Meat Lover's-esque pizza and a bottle of wine/six-pack/booze/etc. and undo a week's worth of good eating in one evening. This challenge, I am not going to do this.(every week) Further, I'm going to track how I'm not eating a pizza. For the duration of the challenge I am going to avoid eating any ingredients that belong in that meal: 1 large meaty pizza and a bottle of wine. Those ingredients are: 12 servings of junky meat: any meat that can be described as fatty, salty, processed, cured, etc. 12 servings of cheese. 12 servings of junky carbs: white breads, pastas, desserts, candy, etc. 5 servings of alcohol. These are all foods I need to work on my relationship with, which is why they will be limited so much. Tomato sauce is fine. I'm going to track this by drawing a picture of a pizza, and drawing on the crust, cheese, and toppings, next to a bottle of wine that I'll fill up with reddish-purple ink. This will hang on the fridge. It will be an ever present visual reminder in my kitchen. And when I make mistakes, drawing stuff on will force me to spend time pondering my mistake. If I make it through the five weeks without eating a whole pizza, I can reward myself with a small pizza and a couple glasses of wine or beer. Other than that, I'm emphasizing proteins, fruits, and veggies, minimizing condiments, and judiciously adding whole grains and legumes for protein/mineral/fiber support. Goal 2: GREYSKULL and CARDIO Lift weights following Greyskull 3 days per week. 2x30 min med. intensity cardio sessions 2 days per week: stat bike, ring fit, racquetball, or any reasonable substitute. This has been going well the last two weeks. I just gotta keep doing it. Then I'm gonna take my 24 lbs. kettle bell to work. I don't have time for long walks... or even a good place to walk... when I'm at work, so I can do a quick KB sesh after food breaks. Not sure what. I just want to get my HR up and burn a few extra calories. Goal 3: COMPLETE MY WRITING WORKSHOP Starting Jan 15, by every Sunday I have to write 2500 words, and read up to 9 other people's 2500 words and provide feedback. Between now and then, I need to write 2500 words on a handful of projects, and pick one for the workshop. Goal 4: PLAY CHESS I've been on a chess kick lately. I used to play casually in high school. And the occasional game here and there. And I've been playing online games, and they stress me out in a weirdly good way. I've always wanted to really learn it and get good at it. Daily: play a game or study a game. (watching a YouTube video doesn't count... unless I set up the board and play through and analyze something I guess). Also, this counts as research for a middle grade novel I might do for the workshop... a portal fantasy about a chess prodigy. Goal 5: LEARN (at least some) UKRAINIAN. I've tried learning Slovene in the past as some way to connect to my own heritage, but resources are limited. Another way in is to learn another Slavic language. Though Russian is an obvious leader in terms of resources, learning Ukrainian is kinda trendy for solidarity. I started doing the Ukrainian course on Duolingo, and it's been fun and interesting so far. But I realized this morning all the sentences I've learned rely on an implied but omitted 'is.' I know no verbs, and the inflections are coming. Also, Pimsleur, I found out, is giving their Ukrainian course for free through 12/31/23 if you sign up by 12/31/22.
  9. I have been waiting so very long for this. So for multiple challenges I've been 'meh' and half-assing it. I had the mentality that if I gave myself a small goal, that I could easily smash it and then build up some momentum. *pfft* So much for that shitty mindset. It may have worked a few times out of the 80+ challenges that I've done but it sure as hell wasn't doing me any favors as of late. The biggest thing of the past 4 months has been that I desperately need a better job - something that is in my field, that is counting towards my license/certification. And the other thing was better eating/gym stability. I was hoping 4 months ago that if I started looking *then* for a halfway decent job, I might get lucky and find what I wanted before the year was over. Well, it is time to breathe a sigh of relief because..... I got it. With literally 3 days left of the year, I got a sign-on bonus and *double* what I'm making now. I'll be working 3 jobs in about 2 weeks and that means I'll be making some pretty big changes. What things look like if I do nothing a month from now: Sunday - Full Shift (New Job) Monday - Part Shift + Gym (Old Job) Tuesday - Full Shift + Part Shift (New Job + New-ish Job) Wednesday - Part Shift + Gym (Old Job) Thursday - Full Shift (New Job) Friday - Part Shift + Gym (Old Job) Saturday - Off This isn't feasible for me at all and will not be good for my mental health. So as I start New Job, I'll be working less hours at the other ones. I may pull the trigger and quit one (or both) of them, but I want to be perfectly comfortable in the New Job before I tackle that. With this, the next couple months is going to be rough but I know I can put my nose to the grindstone. My final year of school was Full days and evening jobs at the same time (while dealing with my mom's death) and it burned me out so goddamn fast. I aim to not have that happen again. Goal #1 - Survive and thrive the new job. Yeah, it's not a 'S.m.a.r.t.' goal but honestly, doing everything ELSE on this list as a S.m.a.r.t. goal will bleed over into this one. ----- What else is happening this challenge? I said the other thing I wanted to get figured out 4 months ago was a workout schedule. I have that. My plan is to keep my current Monday/Wednesday/Friday with the personal trainer and have these 3 jobs sort of sandwiched around them (as seen by the weekly schedule above). I'm going to post all my workout stats on here and have a monthly snapshot to compare/contrast where I'm progressing and where I'm slacking. I can tell already that my biceps do NOT want to grow, while my core is getting blasted and slowly climbing up. Goal #2 - Maintain 3 Workouts per week. ----- You can't outrun your plate and I'm woefully aware of this. As such, I'm doing a more permanent whole30, and having a single serving of dairy (since whole30 doesn't allow dairy, it's important to note this). However, the dairy is all single serving; as in I have single cups of Greek yogurt or single slice of cheese on food. After the Thanksgiving health scare (my Dr. appt is next month so I'll be bringing this all up with him), I'm done catering to other people. I'm done with going 'whatever' and splurging and having that turn into a month-long binge. I'm fucking done with being "nice" and thereby self-sabotaging my food efforts to appease other people. At any point, if anyone challenges what I'm eating, I'm pulling my brand new card. The 'if I don't do this I'm going to fucking die of a heart attack at 40 so NO, I'm NOT having any *insert food* on *insert holiday so leave me alone and stop guilt-tripping me*'.....card. Goal #3 - Whole 30 (plus a yogurt) / 2,400 cals (Although maybe closer to 2,500 as I balance my macros). ----- Because of my depression and eating junk food, I lost any joy in army-building as a creative outlet. This is a fugging shame because I was super into it and I have tons and tons and TONS of plastic that is waiting to be assembled and crafted into a story and army. Because of this, I wrote out meticulously what I would need for an army and how many things needed to be made to achieve said army. Instead of ping-ponging all over the place with ideas, I have decided on one army: IRON WARRIORS. The plan is to stick to a crafting schedule (yes, sandwiched and planned out within those 3 jobs and my 3 workouts). The Iron Warriors are a legion of chaos that have enslaved chaos demons and made them their bitches by harnessing the demons into massive engines. Think of a hellscape blend of monster and machine, like the Forgefiend: Goal #4: Follow the Iron Warriors crafting schedule. ----- And last but not least is keeping myself accountable for the above 4 goals. Which is why I'm going to be posting on here every. single. day. Yes, this is day 1 of posting every day to keep myself on the straight and narrow while I juggle these 4 huge things. I will be shortly posting charts, graphs, and pictures. Nothing fancy to write about this: just that I've neglected the accountability inherently built into being on NF for far, far, FAR too long. Goal #5: Post every single day ----- Now trying to do all of these things is going to be extremely difficult but with the new job and having a little bit of a workout foundation under my belt, it's time to pull the trigger and get really fucking serious about being here again. And there's no other way to do that than to not only have this be a challenge where I'm giving 110% but also look at the title: it's not the *few weeks* of iron. It's the *year* of iron. I'm not writing this all out and going apeshit with the stats, figures, pictures, and constant posting just to throw it all away in a couple weeks and start from scratch again with new trendy new bullshit clever title: I'm making this challenge last an entire year. I do not finish this challenge until January 1st, 2024. Let's do this.
  10. Hello friends, old and new. Now that the forums have stopped being a buttface and seem to be letting me log in without resorting to incognito mode, as they have for around two years now, I thought I would try my luck again. This challenge is all about building my roots so I have a strong foundation for who I am/want to be. I've started using a new to me journal which is all about planting seeds (very small projects/steps) instead of planting trees (trying to start a huge project/task) from the beginning. My seeds this challenge will be more about deciding what I want. I am still assuredly an adventurer over all else (my one year projects include geocaching, hiking, trying new things) but I need to decide what that really looks like and set up a foundation that will support it. So, this challenge: 1. 1.8L/3 bottles of water/water with an electrolyte each day. I got hydration tested at work and was found 🌟 moderately dehydrated 🌟 and that is not a good look for a safety person. 😅 2. Move all my furniture to the new rooms and have everything set up with its own place. This might be me trying to plant a tree (a small tree!) but it's doable, there's a reason for it and I will break it down into smaller steps when it is not 4:30am in the morning. 3. Finish writing up my life planning, long term plans, and January project set up in my planner. And that's it! Small (mostly) seeds to help my garden grow. A talent I need to convert to offline gardening. Happy New Year peeps, and I'll be hanging out in your threads soon (again, when it's not 4:30am in the morning).
  11. Hey everyone, As I mentioned in the respawn post I was looking for some accountability/structure and decidedto come back to Nerd Fitness. During the lockdown I managed to drop about 15kg going 'mostly keto'. This is the term I use so I'm not too hung up on actually getting into ketosis. I did this with my son (adult who lives at home) and it was pretty successful. But of course durng 2021 I managed to put a fair chunck back on. What I have figured out is that I enjoy getting a 'little obsessed' with something, especially if it is a little nerdy/niche. During lockdown I started a D&D family discord/roll 20 and my son put me onto Critical Role - and I completely nerded out on it during lockdown and have completed all seasons. ATM I'm nerding out on the game One Hour One Life. So I've decided to focus this obsessiveness back on my health and fitness (and Nerd Fitness). I've also learnt from many, many unfinished challenges to not make the challenge too challenging! So: Food We are back on Keto (day 2!) My son makes me very accountable but I need to ensure that we have food available to cook (shopping) and we plan meals together. Also, we take a salad for lunch so once back at work, need to have lunches made for the week. Now, I don't plan to do this myself, my son will particpate, but I have to ensure that if he isn't motivated, that I am: Food Planning and shopping on weekend and make lunches for the week on Sunday Bonus: Food tracking - I'm pretty hap-hazard with tracking but it has worked for me in the past - so I plan to use a little of that obssessiveness to aim for consecutive day run. Fitness Cardio - hiking, cycling, running. I really just need to get back out there. I had a lot of elder care durng the end lf last year and I haven't 'got back into it'. What will I use to get the mojo - tracking of course. i did toss up with getting a new fitness tracker but I'm pretty tight with my money and haven't taken the plunge (my fitbit died about 12 months ago). I just need to pick a tracker - either Strava or Map My run and All Trails for hiking?? Strength - work gym - maybe a home workout. I don't really do well with home based workouts, but should be able to - so many other people seem to do well with it. I don't have a good indooor space, but do have plenty of outdoor space, and its summer here in Oz. I do have gym at work, which does mean coordinating with my other half as we car share. He is less committed, so I have to be the motivator. Need a gym plan - assuming I only have about 20 mins for each session Three gym sessions a week is the aim. Focus I've had to reboot my phone - it's not sending SMS (other than the new chat feature which is working for andriod phones). Anyway, doing so has uninstalled Facebook and Twitter, so I'm doing a digital detox. I'd like a new 'little obsession' so I'll keep my eyes open. I have often found good ideas from other Nerd Fitness forum members, so be prepared to have your ideas stolen. I hope that's 'enough but not too much'. See you around.
  12. Adventurer related discussions! *Note: You can participate in guild discussions regardless of your chosen guild. Adventurers are brave souls who fear nothing and are always curious about what's over the next hill or across the ocean. They are often found working diligently with their allies to help ensure that every adventure leads down the correct path, exploring and learning for the sake of others. * Fictional example: Indiana Jones, Lara Croft (Tomb Raider) * Real-world example: Les Stroud (Survivorman); Cheryl Strayed who hiked 1100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (Wild). * Example Activities: Hiking, Geo-caching, Travel, Exploration, Rock Climbing, Cave Diving, etc.
  13. I've been struggling for long than I care to even bring up. The holidays (from Halloween-New Years) are always difficult, made especially so with my sister still battling cancer and that being all the family I have (her doofus husband doesn't count). Well I was doing what I normally do every year: try to minimize the junk food eating and failing. Yes, eating 6 fun-size candies is not as bad as eating 20, but when it keeps happening, it still adds up. At some point, there has to be a breaking point for letting junk food slide. I've hit that breaking point. As titled for this thread, I had a health scare. For about 2.5 weeks, I was getting a weird stress in my chest. Tightness, and a fluttering feeling like something was wrong. It would come and go - maybe 5 minutes here or there - and then go away. Enough to make me nervous but not enough to make me say, 'I need to go to the hospital' or something. I told myself in early November that it's probably bad cholesterol creeping up on me. The junk food I'm eating adding up and adding up. And after the holidays, I'll go back to being strict (or at least trying and failing miserably for yet another year). That was my thought: at least until Thanksgiving. Around 3am, I woke up (as I seem to usually do) and there was more of that chest tightness. Only this time, the 5-ish minutes didn't have it go away. It turned into 20 minutes, to an hour, and *then* started to fade away. I sat there in the living room just playing Skyrim and trying to take deep breaths. Panicking won't make it *better* so just stay calm and wait it out for a few minutes. Like I said, I kept waiting, and waiting, until I realized how long it took for this feeling to go away. Then in the early hours (8am-ish?) I get in an argument with a lady-friend. The extremely uncomfortable tightness comes back again. It sticks around for another 30 minutes and then fades a bit. I spent the rest of the day with my sister and the chest pain kept coming and going. I started to lose track, and it felt like half of the entire day was spent trying to stay calm, rubbing my chest, and focusing on other things. Then it just stuck around. Not a 30-minute episode or an hour, but it was just my *default* feeling. I masked how scared I was around my sister. She's going through enough. But by the end of the day, when I was having trouble sleeping, I knew this was my breaking point. I don't want to die of a heart attack. For the past few days now, I've made a commitment to go to the gym every single day. Now 6 days in and the chest issues are going away more and more. Hour-long painful feelings a couple times a day to 30-minute painful feelings. To 10 minute bursts and now to a 1 or 2 minutes throughout the day (as of this writing, it's almost noon and I've felt it for a 30 seconds and then it went away). This challenge, I don't have a list of things to get done: I just want to not die. I'm staying consistent. I want to post on here as much as possible. I'm going to the gym as much as possible (personal trainer with weight lifting 3x a week and I hit the elliptical for 30 minutes the other 4 days). I'm eating whole30 as much as possible. And regarding the eating: I'm going back to trying to add more beans and less meat to my macros. If I can swap it to about half beans then I think I'll be in pretty good standing. I'm also posting this here so I don't forget: The only thing on the left-hand side that I'm eating currently is processed meats because I still have some deli meat but I'm planning on not getting anymore after the next food shopping. For instance, I have some deli ham but I'm going to cube it up and cook it in the crockpot with a ton of beans for a ham and bean soup. For the 2nd picture, I have the cardio 4x a week, #2 is the same as the above photo, I think I hate salmon so I'm just not going to do that one. I'm doing #4 and for #5, I have turmeric so maybe I'll throw that in the ham and bean soup. 6 psyllium husk? Uh, Idk, maybe I'll do that? I'll see how I'm doing. This week I made some ground turkey with a bag of spinach, container of mushrooms, tomato sauce, and a baked spaghetti squash and portioned all that out. I also cooked some pork with a half a head of cabbage, onions, and shredded carrots. I'll have some sweet potato with this meat-cabbage hash. Once there is room in the fridge, I'll attempt a ham and bean soup with the turmeric. Besides all this health stuff is: job searching. Christ, I NEED there to be something open that lets me do fee-for-service for a few hours. I'll take 5 clients a week if that's all anyone can offer. Just something to get out of my current situation.
  14. Yup. Just look at it. It's sticking out way too far. Even for an innie. It is winter and I am generally irritable and all this holiday food is everywhere. I just had my annual physical and talked with my doctor about weight loss, etc. I'm right where I was last year at least, so I haven't gained. But that cholesterol is still high, and we talked about medication and bariatric therapy (not surgery, just physician supervised weight loss). And in pondering all the options before me and looking more at my lifestyle, I'm realizing how far I've slid into general laziness and inconsistency farther than ever in my adult life. There is still so much more that I can be doing. 1) Fix my diet -- I have been running some numbers through some calculators. TDEE, body comp, macros... and oof. I'm not doing what I need to be doing for my metabolism and activity levels... both of which are low. I need to hammer out a feasible set of eating habits. 2) Create opportunities for Exercise/Activity -- work has me spending most of my 10 hours/day there sitting at a desk. While I've had nights where I get up and walk a couple laps, the occasional an sporadic. I need to create a daily routine for physical activity. I'm not in the situation where life is gonna just throw it to me. 3) Keep doing what I love to do, namely writing -- every minute scheduled toward word and exercise is one less that I have to write and finish these novels and stories. I need to create a robust, daily reading and writing routine. 4) Take better care of my shit -- the house and yard. The last year kinda got screwed up because I got sick in the spring, put off a lot of projects, then summer heat was relentless (or it was storming) and I got way behind on a lot of things. Again, I need to figure out a workable routine and stick to it. Notice the trend? Scheduling is needed. This helped a lot a couple of challenges ago. I need to get back to it. Some things I'm working on: 1) Eating plan: meals, timing, portion sizes, macros, etc. 2) Setting up a powerlifting routine: assessing training maxes, days/split, assistance lifts, etc. (Greyskull) 3) Coordinating 1 & 2 -- A mistake I often make is cutting too many calories while adding too much activity etc., and that creates burnout. 4) Plan and schedule meals and workouts. 5) Create intuitive and simple plans for execution. 6) Stick to my evening writing schedule. 7) Work in some additional reading and writing time... write/read during workout rest times. 8- Other? I bolded #5, because that's what needs emphasis here. This won't work unless I can accomplish that. Otherwise, I'm just building another elaborate plan that will fizzle three weeks or less into it. Anywho... Happy Ho Swolidays!
  15. It's gonna get busy in here. I don't even have time to come up with an original title. Hi. I'm Stronkey Kong. Been here doing this thing 9 years. I'm still fat but making the best of it I guess. How's that? WORDS: I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year. I need to hit 1667 words daily to hit 50k by the end of November. I'm going to track my daily and total word count for November. And (despite some lame planning and number crunching on my last challenge thread) I'm going to strive to hit that 1667 minimum every day. I also have two writing events to attend. The first is a NaNo write-in at the local writing center on 11/5. The second is a writing class, same place, on 11/15. Nano is win/lose, but I can grade myself on word counts and EC for events. In the end, I'm just trying to get myself on a working routine with writing. WEIGHTS: Still following Greyskull. I'm gonna go back to MWF, base program, but with both front and back squats and M and F. Deadlift day, W, also has barbell rows programmed in. WALKS: I want to walk with coffee and audiobooks on at least two of the days I don't lift. WINTERIZING: I have to get the house ready for winter. To-do list style: plastic on windows finish the bathtub painting so I can get it all indoors rake leaves -- if I time it right, all I need is 40 min of leaf raking for the whole season) get HVAC contractor to look at my furnace depending on their answer, raise hell with the gas company. Last challenge I was really all about scheduling and time management, and that helped, or at least I was able to figure out what will work best for this challenge. I work 10 hour shifts, M-R. On those days I will exercise in the morning, and write in the evening before bed. On F, I often go into work for OT. I will continue to do so except on 11/15 which is my writing class. These days I only work a partial, 7-8 hour shift so I can fit in extra weightlifting and writing on both ends so no big deal. On weekends I plan to do extra writing to get that word count up, like aim for 2000 words to get ahead of days where writing gets constipated. Winterizing will be a weekend thing mostly.
  16. I decided to make badges for this challenge- please feel free to use them! I'll keep making them as the challenge progresses as long as it's fun to do. So obviously, the first badge is for creating a challenge! I have some ideas for badges like having a perfect day, getting back up after failing, marking the weeks, etc. I am open to suggestions! I realized after I got a minion badge from fitbit that I REALLY like badges. So why not make my own? It's a good excuse to practice some of the drawing programs I have too. Last challenge, I wanted to lose weight to help lower my blood pressure, and I ended up unpacking some baggage instead. I feel like I'm in a good headspace and I'm ready to really do the work...Overall, I'd like to lose 60 pounds. That would put me closer to 185 pounds. I am aware that isn't going to happen in one challenge, but let's just see how much progress I can make this challenge! The Plan: 1. Chop up veggies for easy snacks 2 times a week. In Habitica, my habits are "Choose Freggies Instead" because I want to make a habit of grabbing carrots in stead of cookies. But I need to make carrots as easy to grab as a cookie which means chopping up veggies and having easy fruits on hand. CHOP CHOP FOR CHOMP CHOMP 2. Take a deep breath before eating. This is a habit I started last challenge, and it's an amazing tool against stress-eating. 3. Brush and Floss after dinner. This is a simple thing that makes a big difference in how I sleep, cutting calories, and having a healthy mouth. 4. Exercise 60 minutes, 5 days a week. I like exercise. I love how I feel. I'm making more time for it. YES. Bonus Achievements! 1. Earn a Kevin Badge on Fitbit for walking 22,222 steps 2. Earn a Bob Badge on Fitbit for walking 32100 steps 3. Try a Kettlebell workout! 4. Cook dinner 10 times! I'm going to track all this on Habitica with my other stuff. I'm also tracking my blood pressure daily and weighing in every Wednesday. (until the end of the challenge, I'll weigh in the last day.) This still feels like a flexible challenge which I love. I'm excited to make and share some badges. The fitbit challenges are a little MUCH but hear me out.... Thanksgiving is coming, and that means the visiting uncle will be here. I'm totally gonna get those Fitbit Minion badges
  17. A touch late due to being busy prepping the house for Halloween festivities (and, let's be honest, getting caught up on Great British Bake Off), but better late than never, right? This is going to be a light-ish challenge with the objective of making adjustments to my schedule so that I can better incorporate changes to my workload. The simple reality is that, in my new position, I will be expected to put in more hours. As I see it, I can either resist that, or embrace it. I choose to embrace it. That means making some adjustments to how I'm doing things. That's what this challenge is about. Adjustment 1: Move my wake-up time from 7:00 am to 6:00 am. Adjustment 2: Keep up the exercise via Greyskull LP, but shoot for a minimum of at least 2x per week. Adjustment 3: Get at least 2 hours of work done on the weekend to take the pressure off of my week. Adjustment 4: Research meal planning and then replace this goal with something specific and measurable Adjustment 5: Before this challenge is complete, upload one (just one!) video of my piano playing to NF. And that's it. I'll be doing more stuff throughout the challenge, but there's my focus.
  18. Hey all, I've been off the challenge boards for a while, and I'm weeks late to this one, and this isn't really going to be a proper challenge either because there's just too much going on. But I figured it wouldn't hurt to share some spreadsheets anyway, for my own accountability purposes. So, uh, have some spreadsheets Standard NF spreadsheet If this were a real challenge there would be some narrative explanation surrounding this spreadsheet, and maybe some Tolkien-themed window dressing if I were feeling motivated. But it isn't so there isn't. Feel free to enjoy whatever glimpse it gives you of my disordered brain School progress spreadsheet I started massage school last week. I feel like I've been hit by a truck (and the third class hasn't even started yet). The program is one thousand hours of instruction in total. I feel like I'll be counting every minute, so this spreadsheet is my attempt to give my (excruciatingly slow) progress some visible tangibility. It's not that I don't like the work -- I think I do, or at least I think I will once my body adapts to the new physical demands and develops the basic skills necessary to do this well. But the adjustment to vocational student life has been even harder than I expected (and I didn't expect it to be easy!). I am struggling mightily with the requirement to schedule my life like a real grownup person after so many unstructured years, and it doesn't help that the evening classes four days a week start before my dinnertime and extend past my bedtime. AND it's not going to get any better until after Christmas. Ugh. NaNo spreadsheet I've officially announced my fifteenth (!!) NaNoWriMo project over on the National Novel Writing Month website Honestly the whole reason I'm bothering to type out this thread instead of continuing to lurk here on the forums is to connect with other folks doing this crazy November thing. I've seen several threads mentioning NaNo -- if you're doing the thing, send me a buddy request! I'm thisamberlife over there. I would love to cheer on your progress and commiserate a bit. Most of my IRL friends think I'm a weird combination of crazy and stupid to spend so much energy on this every year. I mean, they're not wrong...but they're not helpful either... Anyway. That's me this time around. I kind of hope to get myself together enough to post a proper hobbity Yule challenge next time. We'll see how this one goes Good luck to all!
  19. So, last challenge basically fell apart. Before we dive into this one, a quick review. Things started off okay, but a surgical procedure that precluded heavy lifting followed by a bout of COVID (I still have an occasional cough) meant that lifting, and for that matter, exercise in general, ceased to be a thing for me. And then I got a promotion at work while also getting slammed with more work than there was time, so all other challenge-related items, including checking in over here periodically, went down the crapper. I went from spending my meager spare time in front of a computer game because it was all I could do to spending my meager spare time in front of a computer because it was all I wanted to do. If I'm being honest, playing my 800th restart of Transport Fever 2 was easier for me than taking 10 minutes to socialize with others, even with another human being (my wife) directly behind me in the same room. This ain't good because (1) I've got shit to do, and (2) I ain't getting any younger. I'm drawing closer to my 40th birthday (39 in a couple of months), so aging's been on my brain. I've still got plenty of time left (39 is still really young after all, and I'll brook no nonsense from anyone who says otherwise), but sometimes "plenty of time left" seems to get used as an excuse for "I can put off the things that I need to be doing to live a healthy, happy, fulfilled life. That's the kind of attitude that leads to me looking back in my 70's or 80's going "where did all that time I had get off to?" I also think part of my problem has been not adequately planning out these challenges. My last 3 or 4 have basically been "slap something together and off with you." So, first, some assessment of the road ahead... This challenge goes to mid-October. That takes me past period end of a couple of clients and well past issuance of my 6/30 period end reports, so work-wise, things should be a little calmer by the end. I expect weather outside to still be t-shirt and shorts weather by then, but cooling off a touch. Maybe put on a pair of long pants every now and then toward the end. I'll have gotten my pay bump from my promotion which means I can round out the rest of my kayak gear and, if I play my cards right, still squeeze out a day or two on the water (might even be easier to get to some places). There's a camping trip with some family friends later in September plus another right at the end of the challenge, so my retrospective will come either early or late depending on my mood at that time. I will have had 3 therapy appointments by the end of this challenge. Oh, and lest we forget, it's pumpkin beer season! Anywho, I'm not feeling like typing a bunch of stuff out, so here's rundown for this challenge. Yes. It's a lot. I can explain. 1. That first task is just as a reminder, so I don't even think it counts as a "task." It's more my way of regulating my game playing time. I can set the timer to whatever I want. I can even advance it forward if I want to play more. But the hope is that simply deploying a timer will keep me from flushing entire weekends down a video game hole. 2. Clean kitchen-I kinda sorta do this anyway. Pieces of it. I'm just making this official. 3. Brush / Floss-Need to keep up my dental health stride. 4. Wake up before 7 am. Seems to be doing me good so far. 5. French lessons-Not gonna break my streak. 6. Piano practice has been broken into 3 pieces which will make me more likely to do it. I want to be doing each of these things, anyway. But this gives me the option of breaking them up throughout the day which makes me more likely to actually do it. 7. Walk puppies. One of the hardest things for me to deal with is that while my wife and I are on our respective machines, our puppies are just sitting there gazing at us wondering when we're going to show them some attention. And they ain't getting any younger, either. So this is my way of treating them right. 8. Update NF and weekly planning. I need to get in the habit of planning better. 9. Outside clean-up: Something my wife has been asking of me. Even if it's only 5 minutes picking up sticks, do something out in the yard to make it nicer each weekend. 10. 1 hour of work stuff. Try to do at least an hour of work stuff on the weekend to ease the pressure on my weekdays. 11. And the last 3 are just reminders of stuff I need to do at this time anyway. So yes. A lot a lot a lot. But also not un-possible. Let the repairs...um...continue?
  20. Hi. I'm Stronkey Kong. I've been on NF for 9 years now. I am still fat big. I will probably always be big... but I think I can choose what kind of big I am. I tried a bit of running this summer... it didn't really work out. Walking was good, but I kept hurt my calf the more I tried to run. I'm just too heavy for my leg muscles at the moment. I need to get some daily cardio in though. I am actually 290 lbs. right now. I'd be freaking out a little bit, but I've been lifting weights and following Greyskull LP. I shot up about 5-10 lbs since I started that. I haven't really changed the way I've been eating, as far as I can tell, so I'm thinking it's because of 'da pump.' My muscles should be retaining more glycogen and water at they repair and grow. For a variety of reasons, I've been eating a mostly vegan or 'bad vegan' diet. That is, mostly plants and almost no meat or dairy, though, I let myself indulge in cravings a couple times a week, and don't nitpick minor animal based ingredients... hence 'bad vegan.' Most of the time it's because I didn't prep, and I went for convenient options. It's hard to go over on calories when I plan ahead and keep it healthy, but when I get lost in the mid-week chaos, and/or have available junk food, I can go off the rails and undo any calorie deficits fast. I've also been spending a lot of time thinking about the next move(s) in my career. I have a good, well paying job, and am staged to be out of (extraneous) debt within 3 years. Though I still need to work about 45 hours/week on average to meet those goals. And, when that 3 years is up, I want to be moving on to something new. Preferably something where I can be my own boss, and do something creative... don't we all... I've been thinking a lot about writing again, or failing that web development... but since I prefer writing and have three years to go, I might as well see if I can start getting words down and get a novel out. Goals: Daily Cardio -- walking, stationary bike, heavy bag, jogging (if/when that becomes possible) GreySkull LP -- stick to the program ( 'plug-ins' optional) Bad Vegan Meal Prep -- buy/prep meals for the work week and avoid snack/junk food Write a Novel -- Write daily I have everything I need in order to get these goals done. Including a power cage and workout buddy: I also live near a bike path for walking/biking/jogging. I have the stat. bike in the living room, and a heavy bag in the basement. Meal prep just takes some time on Sunday, and organized grocery shopping. All I need to write is a computer, a desk, and some time. That is a lot, though, and as I mentioned I work 45 hours a week -- Noon-10 pm (ish) M-R, Noon-(as late as 8pm) F How will I do it all? Get organized and follow through with my plans. Plans: Daily Cardio -- first thing in the morning (fasted even) (about 10 am) GreySkull LP -- Lift M, W, F, every evening when I get home from work. T,R are for stretching and ab work. Sunday is rest. Bad Vegan Meal Prep -- Get a hold of that vegan casserole recipe list and make one every Sunday. Make a grocery list every week and stick to it. Meal prep every Sunday. Write a Novel -- Write every evening from 1-2 am. Sit at the computer, open my novel, and type away. (not sure which novel yet 😕 ) Preliminary stuff: Yes, I saw the mini-challenge... I'll be doing the walking, but I saw some things posted about other stuff involving posting things somewhere, and was like meh, I'm not gonna bother. On Wed. Sept 13, I'm taking the day off of work to attend an online writing class with my local writing center (meet some local writers, connect, get advice). After that I will definitely be hacking away at writing and tracking word count. Until then I'll mostly be plotting, outlining, and sketching scenes. Reviewing old material. Etc. But I'm gonna put an hour or so into that every night until the class. The following weekend, Fri-Sun, I'm going up to Wisconsin to visit friends, eat cheese, and drink beer. So I'll miss those days on the schedule but whatever. It's fine. After that weekend, I will be back on the mostly straight and mostly narrow path of walking, lifting, eating plants, and writing.
  21. I'm going to keep this challenge simple and sweet, with one exception-- During this challenge I'm going to get to Mordor. I'm very close, and barring disaster (cue disaster) I should make it. Goals: The Red Book of Westmarch (Level Up): Keep using my One Notebook to Rule Them All to stay (mostly) organized. Keep on my of my Habit Tracker and morning journaling routine to the best of my ability. Reach Mordor: Finally finish my (tracked) journey to Mordor. I have 110 miles to go! I'm going to aim for 30 miles a week, but given that I've been barely clearing 20 miles a week for the few weeks I'll be okay with that, too. A Hobbit in Attitude, not in Width: Maintain or continue my quest to lose a few more lbs. Challenges and Other Miscellania: Enting starts primary school this week (Reception class, which is kind of like Kindergarten). After the first couple of weeks of chaos (which aren't full time) we're going to be learning a whole new routine. I have an Adventure at the end of this month. I think it'll be a good thing, but it will cause some faff. The usual routine-busting fun of the Enting and/or household catching at least one illness each challenge (apparently this is just a thing). Related: Starting this challenge with Enting down sick with an illness... (sigh). Admin note: I always start on Week 0, and I track from Monday-Sunday.
  22. Greetings, and welcome to all! (I made it, barely). I’m a married parent of 4 kids aged 1-9. We own a small business, are building a house, and otherwise are quite busy. I’m ultimately an adventurer at heart, though I train similar to a lot of Rangers (and I’m something of a Druid Paladin which is also something of an equivalent to a Ranger). I love hiking, exploring, traveling, and other fun things with the family. Since shortly before joining Nerdfitness, my physical training is typically built around injury rehabilitation (which happens a bit more often due to autoimmune arthritis) and training to be able to travel, explore, and play with my family. I have a pretty effective Disney World training system, and try to ensure that at any point I’m strong enough to carry my whole family somewhere. That has become more difficult as the years go on but I can still do it for the most part. I am also an enthusiastic suburban homesteader bent on establishing an orchard and vegetable garden, so things can get pretty out-doorsy depending on my goals. My needs mean I do a variety of types of training, and my earliest two physical training goals were “run fast” and “be able to competitively play any sport I come across.” I prefer to avoid gyms and do a lot of body weight training. When I do lift weights it is at the YMCA or, more commonly, takes the form of children, sandbags, or logs. The bakery kept running while we were gone but unfortunately the manager was less than scrupulous and left us in a pretty bad way, so we’re back to running it with part time help and straining hard to bounce back. It’s particularly important because we gotta build it big enough to fully support us full time and here we are having just celebrated a year in and we’re not in track. Fortunately, we have someone whose entire job is sales call legwork. Goals: 1. Sleep. As best as possible. This is critical to managing my emotions as well as general health and quality of life. 2. Race training? This includes calisthenics, the race plan training, and loaded carries. Jessie is still hurt and we’re also exhausted with the start of school. That said, I had a pretty cool and unexpected experience lately- my forearms have stretch marks and are almost an inch bigger than they were. 3. Take one concrete step forward per day- at least one tangible, visible thing to make life better. This ranges from things as small as “dig out the replacement toaster” to as big as “reorganize the playroom.” I don’t have to complete the bigger ones as long as I make progress. -> Especially important since we’re moving in a year. 4. Take one concrete step forward per day career-wise. I need my job but I’m not satisfied in it and otherwise need a change. I need to hone/adapt skills and look for other opportunities. -> This still involves dramatically expanding bakery sales, and potentially moving into another remote job. 5. Home and Garden. Home is better than it was in a lot of ways. The basement is still awful and there’s a ton of stuff to do. I haven’t been in the garden in a significant way for 2 months and that’s sad. 6. Therapy. I have a new(er) diagnoses and new(er) medication that have been, it feels, pretty life changing. I finished intensive therapy that was also insanely helpful prior to that and I am continuing with less frequent sessions. My goal is to better learn how to manage ADHD and how to be a more connected, present, and supportive husband and father. I think I have been progressing well. I feel healthy. I am excited about how this has gone. I am working in anger and in particular not reflecting emotions. Sleep helps. So does therapy. The last 3 bakery days have been great. We catered a lunch at the kids’ school and it was almost twice the demand expected, and since my last post we’ve added 4 more wholesale customers and roughly doubled daily retail. Gotta keep expanding at this rate or greater.
  23. Hey all! I have been having trouble with consistency and posting / checking in lately. But, no longer! Seriously, just going to keep my goals for this upcoming challenge really basic. Also after getting frustrated with my lack of motivation to remain consistent with workouts and stuff, I did end up signing up for NF Coaching. So most of my actual progress will be logged separately there. But I also want to stay engaged with this community too. So gonna try out the following: Goals: 1) Forum update at least 3x weekly 2) Hydrate (track water consumption daily) 3) Daily check-in with Coach Bonus: Say hi to friends (aka check in and support other threads) Hope you all are doing alright! Can't believe we're already in September. But I love autumn and am very much looking forward to it not being stupid hot outside so not going to complain too much.
  24. "In the Beginning" by David Whyte Sometimes simplicity rises like a blossom of fire from the white silk of your own skin. You were there in the beginning you heard the story, you heard the merciless and tender words telling you where you had to go. Exile is never easy and the journey itself leaves a bitter taste. But then, when you heard that voice, you had to go. You couldn't sit by the fire, you couldn't live so close to the live flame of that compassion you had to go out in the world and make it your own so you could come back with that flame in your voice, saying listen... this warmth, this unbearable light, this fearful love... It is all here, it is all here. For this challenge, I will be recovering, both from an impact injury to my back after running a 15 mile race and to my heart after some changes to the dynamic of our family (no, I'm not getting divorced). I decided to follow the advice I've been given several times when I have felt overwhelmed. Keep it simple... Simple Morning Routine: 0445 wakeup read (scripture, poetry, philosophy, etc.) meditate/pray get grounded (bare feet on the earth) Simple Workout: 20 minutes a day of any activity my body can handle without pain (yoga, walking, stretching, etc.) Simple Nutrition: eat real foods with simple ingredients drink simply: water, tea, coffee, juice (no energy drinks, sodas, store-bought protein drinks, etc.) And that's it. No pressure to "get it right," just the basics. I really need low-stress right now (or is low-impact a better word?). (edited to add the "drink simply" goal)
  25. For this challenge, I am going to focus on two things: hiking and languages. I think I'm going back to Germany next year, and I really loved learning German, so I'm going to dust off my learning tools and get back to it. I'm also going to keep studying Spanish with more intention because I really do believe that will be beneficial living in the US. Mom and I are going to Utah for a hiking trip in the fall, and we're not physically at the level we need to be for the trip. So we're going hiking a lot more! Western Pennsylvania offers a lot of great hiking opportunities from steep hills to giant rocks to climb over and cool looking streams, rivers, and waterfalls. We've already started today and I'm so tired, but I know the more we hike, the easier it will get. I'm going to stretch before and after hikes, and maybe do some supportive leg and balance exercises to protect my hips and knees. That's it! Thanks for being here!!
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