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  1. Welcome to my brand new, daily(ish) battle log! I’m your host, SkiBlue. I’m glad that you’re here; thank you for your support and interest in my quest to level up my life. This is where I’ll be sharing my progress on what I like to call my life improvements; things that I’d like to work toward, build habits around, and will level up my life. This won’t really be taking away from me participating in six week challenges; on the contrary, the challenges will allow me the chance to hone in on specific priorities and trouble areas, while this log will give me a central place to update my progress for accountability and pursue other things outside of the challenges. I’m greatly excited for this; I’ve always struggled with enjoying the process, and now that I do, that will be the focus of this log, since sharing it with the Rebellion in the first place allowed me to make that final leap. Here is the most recent, comprehensive list of life improvements that I’m either currently working toward or in the process of planning to: reach and maintain a healthy body composition improve my relationship with food develop a regular sleep routine to build a regular sleep cycle become more active; get stronger and more flexible improve posture and reverse sitting damage develop money management habits develop habitual home management (improve adulting skills) develop time management skills at work and home include more socialization and appreciation include more hobby-work and skill-building As I work down this list, I'll update the log with the specific steps I'll be taking to make these changes possible. I’m hoping that with the Rebellion’s help, I’ll make those habits transition from daily checks to ways of life. If you’re still curious, head over to my list of concrete goals for leveling up my life, the things that this log is working toward, slowly but surely.
  2. Get a helmet and strap yourself in. This will be a long and, hopefully, exciting journey, and I’m glad that you’re here along for the ride. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. Below is a living list of my goals in life; they are constantly adapting and evolving as I level up my life, complete these goals, discover more concrete steps for each, and find new goals to work toward. Fitness Goals reach 30% body fat live without added sugar do a full, dead-hang pull-up reverse my anterior pelvic tilt deadlift 250lb/bench press 200lb/row 150lb Hobby/Skill Goals re-learn and become fluent in Russian complete writing my (fictional) stories complete costumes (list in process) join the 501st Legion/Rebel Legion/Mandalorian Mercs re-learn and become proficient in Physics/concepts learn and become proficient in Electronics get involved in the local Makerspace learn to align and use my telescope Capoeira Goals attend first ten classes achieve first cord level Life Goals get married (currently engaged, need plan of action) live off last month’s income (budget goal) live without social media (except the Rebellion) minimalize clutter (physical and digital) host weekly/bi-weekly game nights with friends train the huskamute Travel Goals Camp Ranger Fitness 2017 take the husband to Otakon take the husband to GenCon Feel free to join me in my daily grind to reach these goals. However, you will know when significant progress has been made along these goals and when they have been completed.
  3. Actual video footage of the event from last year at my school. The guy wearing the bandana and doing flips is my instructor. >.< For this challenge, I’m going to shift focus temporarily from the standard and usual foundational quests to prioritizing my capoeira training. I’ve signed up for the Winter Games event; a three-day string of capoeira workshops and rodas, which also includes the batizado. In capoeira, the batizado is the initiation ceremony where a new student is tested on their basic knowledge (in the regional style). The prize is the first belt/cord ranking, which is solid green. Since I only started learning at the end of December, I’m going to need some supplemental training and practice to prepare for the belt test. This will be my focus, as I want to do my best. Changing things up, Ranger style! Main Quest: Do my best during the batizado test on February 20th and become proficient in the basic moves of capoeira. Goal One: Practice capoeira every day. Duh. I should be putting in practice time on non-class days (classes are on Monday and Wednesdays). Obviously, if you want to get better at something, then you should do more of it. Practice should consist of two of the three following parts: basic move practice, sequence practice, and movement drills. The sequences are going to be important; they are similar to katas in other martial arts and are what I will be tested on during the batizado. I’ll focus on the basic movements that are in those sequences (meia lua de frente, armada, queixada, martelo, bênção, aú, rolê, cocorinha, negativa, and rasteira) and practice some drills from class on my own. Goal Two: Do bodyweight training three times a week (specifically on non-class days). Capoeira is filled with bodyweight movements; the esquivas are akin to squats and lunges, there’s a lot of pushing yourself up off the floor (I foresee burpees in my future *groan*), and my back is always screaming after extended practice sessions during class. I’m going to be strengthening my weak points with this, combining capoeira movements with standard bodyweight exercises into a basic routine (following the NF exercise template). I believe this means that I'll be taking a break from my Olympic lifting, but once this test is over, I'll return to it and figure out a new training schedule. Capoeira-Inspired Bodyweight Routine: - 20x cocorinha - 10x push-ups - 20x esquiva de baixa (from ginga) - 10x inverted rows - 15sec. static cabeçada - 30 ginga Goal Three: Practice the songs and instruments at least once a week. This should be easy to achieve, but it’s necessary. I need to know one song and how to play one of the instruments at the batizado. I already know the basics of the pandeiro, atabaque, and agogô de castanha, I just need more practice. I have the opportunity to practice them after class and on open-gym Fridays. I will be taking them. Songs will be easy. We practice songs during the roda on class days, and I’ve got a collection of songs that we learned on Youtube; I need to make a CD so I can listen to them outside of class. That will definitely help me become more familiar with them. Goal Four: Eat Good Food. Ain’t givin’ up on this. I’m going to follow the W30 Good Food standards for the time being, so that I’m in peak condition for this training regimen. The only thing I plan to reintroduce during this time will be whey protein powder. I’ll gauge where my reaction is to it (positive or negative), and plan accordingly. This should also help keep my stress and Sugar Dragon in check, so I can focus on training. Even though the Winter Games/Batizado will take place during the third week of the challenge, I’ll keep this going for the full four weeks for simplicity and more practice. Can’t hurt, right? This challenge will start on Monday for me, the official start date, but it’ll roll in straight from the end of my Sugar Dragon quest, which I ain’t stoppin’ ‘til Sunday.
  4. For the first challenge of 2016, I’ve decided to tackle my biggest struggle head-on, improving my food habits and my relationship with food. This challenge will involve the first stage in the battle plan to tame my Sugar Dragon; another Whole30. Yep. You can’t call your challenge “taming a dragon†without everyone’s favorite cat-bat-dragon gifs. It seemed to fit, considering my struggles during the holidays, and admittedly, even before. I realize that I just recently completed a Whole30 in September. I struggled through it and did my best to do a slow roll reintroduction, then migrated over to tracking macros in order to find a way that I could live with moderation. I paid close attention to my thoughts and feelings during the holidays as my Sugar Dragon grew stronger. I reflected on my previous attempts to change my food habits and noticed that my Sugar Dragon’s behavior adapted to the situation. What I learned was what I suspected; while I completed the Whole30 as per the rules, I adapted the slow roll and macro tracking to fit my cravings that still whispered to me near the end of the Whole30. I will admit, I chickened out on making it longer to tame my Sugar Dragon. I wanted to dive right back into moderation so I could have the foods that I was missing. With macro tracking and the holidays looming, my Sugar Dragon kept getting fed, so I spiraled back into old eating habits. With these observations in the back of my head, I revisited the method and purpose behind the Whole30 when it was suggested by my husband that I should probably do another one. As a big girl, I must accept that I still do not have the control over my habits and cravings that I wish I had, that moderation cannot work for me unless I truly get over these habits and cravings. I understand that it’s a work in progress to make these habit changes solid, but I’ve found nothing else that works better for me in the long-run than Whole30’s black and white rules, while temporary. I cannot eat in moderation; not yet, anyway. This challenge will focus entirely on my Whole30. I’ve said good-bye to the foods that hurt me (though I imagine that I’ll still be going through some food grief), and I’m ready to accept that this Whole30 will probably go beyond January. That’s okay. I’m making it a point to focus on my habits pertaining food during this run, so a lot of the following strategy isn’t just about following the rules, but paying attention to my cravings and finding ways of forming new habits to replace the old. Main Quest: Tame the Sugar Dragon (make solid changes to my food habits/obtain food freedom) Goal One: Follow the Whole30 rules (CON +1.25, STR +0.5, STA +0.5) meat, veggies, fat, fruitno sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, artificial foodThis is a no-brainer. Focus on following the Whole30 rules to the letter, especially when dining out (which is where I usually get a little laid-back). Goal Two: Follow the Whole30 recommendations (CON +1.25, STR +0.5, STA +0.5) three meals a daymeat, veggies, fat at every mealpre & post workout snacksWhile not part of the rules, I believe that following the recommendations as though they were rules will definitely help keep me satiated and keep cravings in check. Goal Three: No separate desserts/snacks (including fruit) (CON +1.25, STR +0.5, STA +0.5, WIS +1.5) do not eat fruit or dried fruit snacks when craving sugar/stressed/super hungrywhen eating fruit/dried fruit, eat as part of meal, not on its own afterwardssnacks should be part mini-meal (include two of the three macros)This is something that needs focus. I tend to still reward myself for eating compliant food with fruit after I’m done eating the meal. This is obviously a reward habit that needs breaking. If I’m having fruit, it’ll be eaten WITH the meal or as a separate snack, and not when I’m craving sweets. Goal Four: Follow the battle plan (CON +1.25, STR +0.5, STA +0.5, WIS +1.5, CHA +2, DEX +1) Part of the Whole30 preparation strategy is to come up with battle plans so that you don’t need to dip into your willpower reservoir all the time. I’ve tried my best to come up with every incident that might come up this month, so I can make the conscious effort to change my food habits. I’ll probably come up with a few more here and there as the month goes on, and I’ll edit and update them accordingly. I’m not putting the rest of my habit foundation on hold. I’m keeping up with my strength training, stretching, and sleep cycle. And I’m even adding regular capoeira classes during the week (SO MUCH FUN). But I won't be counting it against me if I miss a few of those. It'll be hard to anyway; they're pretty habitual by now. Now that I’m done talking, it’s time to get started on my 2016 goals! Here are my mini-challenge feats. Yes, they are all inspired by my new found interest, capoeira. Strength Feat: AMRAP push-ups, assisted/negative pull-ups, & plank (with proper form). RANGERED Agility Feat: NF Yoga session on rest days. Stamina Feat: Practice basic capoeira moves for min. 30 minutes. RANGERED Ranger Class Feat: Practice Portuguese for 30 minutes.
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