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  1. I sat out the last few challenges due to vacation/work travel/life. I've been on-again, off-again with working out and eating healthy (big surprise, I know). I was supposed to do a Spartan Sprint last weekend with coworkers but we ended up deferring due to collective injuries and conflicts (I am not injured but not prepared). I think we're going to be targeting a race in early November, which means I have 7 weeks to ACTUALLY TRAIN THIS TIME. As many races as I've done, every single I time I've undertrained...not just butterflies-at-the-starting-line-doubts, but clearly missed too many workouts to perform optimally. Long Term Goal: 25% body fat This Challenge Goal: Feel my Feels Reading one of the NF articles combined with some thoughts swirling around my crazy-brain made me realize...so many of my struggles are coming from a place of anxiety. My poor eating choices, and maybe even my various maladies (headaches and gut issues) which wear me out and drain my motivation to work out. Those moments in the store where I grab the bag of processed carbs, I'm feeling despair, hating myself for being weak, desperately wanting to feel better. I'm eating (and drinking) and watching TV, even reading, out of that desperation - needing that instant numbing and pick-me-up. I KNOW that I feel better when I work out (seriously don't know how people who don't feel the endorphin rush work out ever), but that place of feeling like I might cry or scream in groundless misery is not a place of energy. I'm simultaneously wound up and drained by anxiety. So this challenge...I'm going to try not to numb/drown the feelings. Getting back into the meditation habit and being more mindful of my choices is a start. I've been succumbing to the sucky feels - fighting back starts with understanding. As a reality check, work right now is not even particularly stressful - I'm just not handling it well. Goal #1: Move 5x/week For the endorphins. Any combination of yoga/running/walking/spartan workouts/spin/climbing. Running-crying counts too. Goal #2: Mindful shopping and eating I know how to cook reasonably balanced meals. I'm not aiming for perfect paleo, but roughly: Breakfast - protein, Lunch - protein + veg, Dinner - protein + veg + carb I'm still struggling to find a way to balanced eating, but I'm tired of that post-work feeling-like-I'm-going-to-meltdown induced stop at the grocery store for cheese or chips. I've even fallen back into my popcorn addiction (I know it can be a healthy snack, but not the way I make it, ha). The real goal is, every time I want to buy/eat something unhealthy, to: Write down what I want and what I'm feeling Take 3 deep breaths (or start a meditation through the Calm app) As needed/available, use a non-food mood booster If I still want it, have it Ideally I will only eat unhealthy things when I am in a mental space to fully enjoy them, rather than a space of please-anything-to-make-it-better. Goal #3: Wake early, Meditate daily Just do it. Bed at 9. Lights out by 10. Up at 5. THE PREPARATION I'm pre-paying for a year of Calm so I HAVE to use it to get my money's worth. I will buy the yoga pass with gift cards, and pre-book my classes for the whole challenge Stock the fridge with healthy easy staples: Steamfresh veggies, deli meat, eggs Make a list of mood-boosters that are not food/alcohol Make a list of healthy quick meals/snacks and post it in the kitchen Give fiance $50, and if I miss a workout it gets donated to Trump's 2020 campaign *shudder*. If I hit all my workouts I'll buy new running shoes. THE REASONS JULY 2018 WEDDING!!! I bought my dress and even though I love it, I don't love how my upper arms look right now. Gotta work on those guns. Christmas in Spain - For one this is with my skinny sisters and mom and I'm sick and tired of being the heavy one in the pictures. I want to be able to indulge (TAPAS AND WINE) without feeling like I'm being judged by my mom, looking at me and thinking "this is why you're overweight". I wore holes in my size 10 jeans, and instead of buying new ones I squeezed into my size 8's. Since gaining weight again (142-->152lb) they are tight. I'm not buying bigger jeans. Spartan Sprint in November? My coworker is trying to talk me into doing a Spartan Trifecta next year. But based on my Sprint training track record I'm not ready to commit. But #1 is wanting to feel better all the time. Psst this is my wedding dress: Obviously this is not me. But the flower pattern in the fabric shimmers. Also it's sooooo comfy.
  2. Hey all. My name is Joey. As you might be able to see, I technically created this account several months ago, but have not felt up to doing anything in that time, and so I haven't bothered posting anything. However, I know this is a bad start and I need to at least take this first step, and maybe that will help motivate me to go further. So, TL;DR, I have no idea what I'm doing and need a lot of help, both in learning how to get healthy and in getting motivated to do so. I struggle with life in general. I am 29 and have spent most of the last decade just trying to figure out how to live, with little success. I live with my parents (who are both on the decline in terms of physical health, and thus like having me around to help them with stuff around the house) and am not exaggerating when I say that all I have in my life are my video games, once-a-week animal adoption center volunteering, and every-other-week therapy. I struggle with depression and anxiety quite frequently (I've actually been in a depression period for a couple of weeks now, which is part of why I'm here, to try to do something about it). I also have ADHD, which I now take meds for which help a lot, but are a fairly recent development in my treatment/recovery process. I am extremely intelligent; and that is where my self-praise ends. Every other aspect of my life is pretty awful. Which largely nullifies any benefits my intelligence might otherwise bring. I'm not terribly overweight, however, having been hovering around 200 lbs. (now just over that, last time I checked) for as long as I can remember, even living a very sedentary life at my computer. I have had a somewhat vague, tentative goal of being 180 lbs. for some time now though, and at two previous points managed to start and maintain a simple and somewhat aimless exercise routine for several months. These exercise periods had my weight ranging in the low 190s, but ultimately didn't do much more than that. I don't know how much I should expect to weigh if I were "in shape". I haven't been motivated enough to really look into it or commit to doing it. Motivation has always been one of my biggest problems in life, and has kept me from doing much of anything, ever. For many years I have had a somewhat Nihilistic worldview, which isn't very good for getting motivated. I do have a bachelor's degree in Game Design from Full Sail University, which I got through their online degree program, but my motivation to do that was largely just feeling like I had to keep going and get a degree, and game design was what interested me most. After I graduated, I fell pretty hard on my face, and sank into further depression and anxiety. My struggles, as you may see, are primarily mental ones. I don't know if anyone here can relate or help me in any way, as such, but I figure at this point it couldn't hurt to just throw it all out there; and it wouldn't be very productive if I didn't, anyway. I need help, and these are the things I need help with. I have no one in my life that is able to help me, as far as I have experienced, so I turn to you, semi-random internet people. I desire change in my life, one of which is being healthier and stronger. Now, on that note, I'll talk a bit more about why I am here, specifically, and what I hope to achieve. I hold myself to pretty high standards (probably a contributing factor in my depression, as I often disappoint myself), and living a healthy and balanced life is one of my primary goals, which I have utterly failed at achieving thus far. I sit at my computer about 95% of the time, and while I don't snack a lot, I still don't eat terribly healthy either (though it isn't terribly unhealthy, mostly). I just don't usually feel like it's worth caring what I eat. I generally know what is unhealthy. For instance, when I sit and eat half a bag of Doritos (which is rare, mind you), I know I've done a bad thing, heh. So, I have no motivation, generally, to eat particularly healthy. While not terribly overweight, I am quite weak. Having very little exercise in my life leaves me pretty atrophied, I suppose, though I am able to perform some strenuous physical activities, like lifting moderately heavy objects. These activities are usually uncomfortable, however. Ultimately, I'd like to be strong enough to be of assistance in physically demanding situations without breaking myself. Not only that, but I find that my muscles are simply not accustomed to precision movements when under stress, causing me to shake quite a bit when trying to hold difficult positions. So, as a bit of a summary, here is a list (in no particular order) of physical activities in which I have interest, but have no idea how and/or no motivation/confidence to pursue: Martial Arts Hiking Free Running Rock Climbing Archery Playing Guitar (hand/forearm strength/endurance; this one I actually have done a little of, I have a guitar, but haven't touched it in a long time) There may be more I'm forgetting at the moment, but that's a good start if nothing else. These are things I've had interest in for a long time, but have never felt qualified or motivated enough to try. I am very much an introvert (somewhat less so in text-based online communication), so just the idea of reaching out to people to try to get into any of it is daunting, much like this post itself. Anyway, as I said, I need a lot of help and support. I don't know if I really expect to get it here. I feel like I'm asking a lot from total strangers who have no reason to care that much about my success. But if not, then I'm no worse off, I suppose. Except perhaps having yet another attempt at improving my life fail. But that's hardly something I could blame anyone else for. In closing, I suppose I'd just like to make a clear statement of why I'm here, without all the rambling I've done so far. So, what I need now is somewhere to start, some guidance on improving my health and finding motivation to commit to it. I fear I'll just disappoint myself and anyone who might try to help, but I've got to try something. I ask for patience and understanding. That would help a lot.
  3. I'm Severine and this is my first challenge with the rangers. I was in the rebel guild for a long time and finally decided it's time I branched out a little. One of the reasons I stayed so long with the rebels was my difficulty in choosing a guild. I like bodyweight training and rock climbing, I like walking and hiking and exploring, I like barbell-based strength training and aspire to do more of it, and one of my goals is to condition for running and do a 5K sometime soon. Oh and I am doing a lot of work on mindset stuff and just recently started meditating. Plus I just got sucked into OCR stuff by @Sylvaa and @NeverThatBored and @fleaball...so a little bit of almost everything. Eventually I decided that if my problem was my inability to choose between a million different things, there is a decent chance I belong with the rangers. It helped that @Tanktimus the Encourager sweeps periodically through the forums, proclaiming the supreme friendliness and general excellence of his home guild to anyone who will listen I'm in an interesting transition period of my life right now. This past winter, I shut down my small farm and since then I have been teaching ESL at a local community centre, trying to figure out what comes next for me. I was in farming for ~6 years and in law before that, but for various reasons neither of those professions feel like the right place for me right now. I do enjoy teaching ESL but am not completely sure if that's where I want to stay indefinitely. One thing I do know is that I really enjoyed running my own business, and am currently leaning toward starting starting my own little company, whether it be ESL tutoring or one of the other ideas I have. Transition times can be a great chance to establish new habits and re-evaluate priorities, so this is a great opportunity. However, times of unrest where I don't have a firm routine are also the times I am, historically, most likely to go off the rails and relapse into really unhealthy old patterns. So I want to be vigilant and make sure this is a time of progressive unrest rather than regressive. I struggle with anxiety, binge/disordered eating, and insomnia, and these are all things that are easier to manage if I have a solid foundation of healthy behaviour and self-care, so there's a lot of incentive. Food is my biggest health challenge, both recently and throughout my entire life since I was a preteen. Heh. It's funny: that sentence is a bizarrely sanitary way to represent decades of tears and self-loathing and denial and dysfunction and food-based self harm. I don't want to go into the whole story but I feel like I need to signal it's there, underneath everything. Anyway. This challenge I'm going to focus pretty heavily on food and try some brave/scary new things in that area, as well as work to solidify and improve exercise and mental health habits for a well-rounded approach. My hope is that this challenge will get me on an even keel and prepare me to start some more ambitious training for the October challenge, so that I'm less unready when the Spartan Sprint rolls around in November. THE GOALS! FOOD Bright line ban on foods that I have repeatedly shown I cannot handle in moderation: Chocolate, ice cream, fast food of any kind, soda of any kind including calorie-free Note, this is the scary/hard part. But I also have good reason to think it's the right approach - I did this once before just with chocolate and it was shocking to me how much easier it was to cut it out than to try to moderate it. I felt awesome. So going to bring it back and expand it to all my binge trigger foods. No caffeine after noon Food tracking every day Minimum three servings of freggies a day Calorie deficit when averaged over the week ACTIVITY Exercise for at least thirty minutes every day. Most days my basic exercise is a 30-minute walk in the morning. In addition, once per week find an interesting bit of nature to go walk around in for at least 45 minutes. This good for me both physically and mentally. The Japanese call it 'forest bathing'. Autumn is my favourite season so this is a delightful time to do this. Start the Elements training program from GMB and do a minimum of three sessions per week. MINDSET AND LIFE Meditate using the Headspace app every day (preferably earlier in the day but not required) Update my Hobonichi Do at least one thing from my giant to-do list every day Spend at least ten minutes a day on foreign language learning Go to bed by 11:30 Go to therapy every week So there we have it. These goals represent a good picture of what balance looks like for me and if I can get all of these habits as a default mode of living it will be a powerful platform from which to launch myself into a dazzling array of ambitious and exciting new projects and adventures.
  4. “Read to beam up,” the transporter engineer said. “Engage,” Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge ordered The transponter engaged and Command Kronos stood on the platform. His red Starfleet uniform was immaculate. Even the rank pips seemed polished. Kronos stepped off the platform and he greeted the Lieutenant. “I’m Lieutenant Commander LaForge, head of Engineeering on the Enterprise,” LaForge said and gestured to his right. “This is Lieutenant Commander Data, he’ll be giving you a tour of the ship, before taking you to the bridge.” “Thank you,” Kronos said, giving the man a nod. He turned towards the Android. “I’m looking forward to getting started.” The android looked at him. “Thank you Commander, if you would please follow me.” Kronos thanked LaForge and followed the android around the ship. For an android, Data was rather articulate. He seemed almost human. It was quite endearing. Kronos used the tour to try to get a rein in on his emotions. He was excited. Kronos had heard of the crew of the Enterprise, and he was honored to have been sent to the ship to learn from such a talented crew. “And this is Sick Bay,” Data stopped, allowing Commander Kronos to enter first. A few nurses attended to their duties. “This way, please, Commander.” The android gestured to a side office in which a woman sat. She stood as the two entered. “Dr. Crusher, this is Commander Kronos. He is hear to observe and learn. Commander - this is Dr. Crusher, the Enterprise’s Chief Medical Officer.” Kronos shook hands with the Doctor. “I’m looking forward to working with you Dr. Crusher,” Kronos said, pulling out a datatape. “My medical records are here. I figured I’d save you the trouble of procuring them yourself.” “Thank you,” she said. “I look forward to working with you as well.” The pair left and went finally to the lift. Data ordered the lift to take them to the bridge. Kronos could feel the anxiety building up as the doors opened. Several crew members worked at their stations. Two men and a woman sat in the center of the bridge. They stood and turned towards the lift as Data left and resumed his own work at his station. “Permission to come aboard the bridge, Captain,” Kronos said, his heart fluttering. “Permission granted,” came the reply from Captain. Kronos entered the bridge and the trio met him. A bald man, the Captain, greeted him. “I’m Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Welcome aboard the Enterprise Commander Kronos. We are very excited to be able to work with you.” “Thank you, Captain,” Kronos said, taking the man’s outstretched hand. “The pleasure is all mine.” Captain Picard gestured to the man at his right, who, like Kronos, wore read and had three rank pips on his collar. “This is my First Officer, Commander William Riker.” The two men greeted each other and the Captain gestured to the woman on his left. “And this is our Counselor, Deanna Troi.” The woman leaned in as Kronos shook her hand. “Relax,” she said, sensing his anxiety. “My security officer, Lieutenant Worf, and I believe you have already met Mr. Data.” the Captain finished introductions. “Please take a seat,” Commander Riker said, gesturing towards his own chair. “I couldn’t,” Kronos said. “I’m just here to observe and learn.” Commander Riker gave him an encouraging smile. “What better way to learn.” Kronos looked at the Captain who smiled and said, “Don’t make me order you to take your seat Commander.” “Aye, sir,” Kronos said taking the seat to the Captain’s right. “Alright Commander, let’s set our heading,” Captain Picard said. “Aye, sir. Mr. Data - set course bearing 151-mark-3 Warp factor three.” Kronos ordered. “Course laid in,” Data said, typing at his pad. “We are ready for warp sir.” Kronos took a deep breath. “Engage.” In this challenge, different members of the Enterprise crew will be giving Commander Kronos advice on how to become a better Starfleet officer. Each officer has also given the Commander a sub-quest and although it is not necessary, it will help the Commander achieve his goals Counselor Troi's Challenge As ship's counselor - Deanna Troi's responsibilities are to make sure the crew is emotionally stable to do their duties with the best judgment. As such, her challenge to Commander Kronos is to continue making progress on fighting depression and anxiety through religious study and prayer. He should also make sure to not isolate himself in an unhealthy way. Sub Quest: Start the day out with mindful meditation/prayer Dr. Crusher's Challenge As the ship's Chief Medical Officer, it is Dr. Crusher's responsibility to make sure the crew is physically fit to perform their duties. Her challenge to the Commander is eating based. She would urge the Commander to not skip meals and to eat more vegetables. He should be also active at least three times a week. Sub Quest: Try a new food once a week Commander Riker's Challenge Commander Riker's responsibilities are to assist the Captain, but the Commander also knows how to have a good time and is a good trombone player. His challenge to Command Kronos is to practice his banjo five days a week for a half an hour each time. Sub Quest: Listen to some new music or share music with others Captain Picard's Challenge The Captain is in charge of all day to day activities on the Enterprise. This requires a great deal of organization. This challenge will be difficult, but with some organization should be possible. Captain Picard's challenge is for Kronos to log his food, activity and practicing. Journaling would be great as well. Setting up a calendar would help a great deal for planning purposes. Sub Quest: Read Level Up Your Life
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