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  1. Perfectly timed you say? Timed?!? Perhaps, because someone has defected to the rhythm section friends! I, along with some other wonderful nerds, decided to "#BackToMusic2022" and folks, I really have done a smashing job of this. I've been playing piano consistently for the whole year! About 6 weeks ago, I also picked up acoustic guitar and started slowing learning that. (It's wrecking my finger tips yo! LOL - And the D chord is impossible for me to play nicely even still.) And, so, what else does one do in that case but decide .oO( Clearly, I am not learning enough instruments, I should buy a bass! It will help my fingers get used to strings, but more gently!) So I bought a bass last week and it's now in my possession. As far as everything else goes... I have major regrets that one thing after another this year has become an excuse for why I am not on track to be slimmed down and back to strong and healthy for the summer. Part of that is, well, health. In January I started dealing with some weird, non-critical but annoying symptoms that lead to several trips to docs and diagnosed theories on what is to blame. About 2 weeks ago, the last of the weird little symptoms were gone and I was anxious for not only a return to feeling myself, but also a much anticipated vacation in early May. And then I got Covid. In fact, I still have 3 more days before I can leave the 10 day 'quarantine and/or mask up' schtick and return to normal routine. I had it mildly, but, as someone who has not even had so much as a two day sniffle in like 4 years, being sick is still being sick. I am not quite fully back on my feet yet, but I have high hopes that at the 2 week proper mark I should be pretty much okay. It did cause my sis and I to also have to cancel our trip. Soooo, yeah, long and short of it is that 2022 hasn't been the easiest year thus far. But, post recovery here, plus the turning of the seasons, plus a brand new bass in my possession are all great reasons to get back to the right tempo! I also am really inspired to clean up my eating habits again after this whole Dances with Germs thing. A well fueled, well nourished body just does things better, usually. I've also been watching more anime again lately, so my interest in getting my art going again is kind flooning. So we've got, piano, guitar, bass, art, strength training, cardio health routines, and my usual D&D nights and friends hang outs, lol. I know that tracking food works best for me to shed a few pounds, so I need to get into the mindset to do that. If I do more cooking with the boyfriend, (who also just had covid, but we didn't catch it from each other actually) that will help with tracking on the weekends, and reining in the spending that's gotten out of hand with me. Woops. So, some goals. Track Food Daily - if a meal out can't be actively tracked, then rely on sensible eating for that meal. Strength Train - 2x a week is my sweet spot. Cardio-Ish - 3x a week. Piano - 4x a week Bass - 4x a week /or 20 minutes daily (lets see how it goes) Guitar - 15m daily has been working, but with other instruments, I won't keep this as a MUST do daily. Art - 2-3x a week, let's see how it fits in Connect - Do that connect with people thing that I talked about last challenge. Follow on the forums, dangit, Starpuck, DO THIS!
  2. Overview of the Battle The objective: to gain the mountain and obtain the precious treasures of lifting, writing, painting, walking, cooking and spirit work The enemies: fatigue, emotional resistance, distraction addiction, hopelessness The weapons: axe of strength, sword of courage, staff of clarity, reflective shield Second Skirmish: Invading the Foothills of Figure Sketching The main new habit this challenge will be doing a little work on my art, whether it's sketching or watching lessons. As with the writing, I should start with small, low stakes practices to sidestep the emotional resistance. I want to focus on figures for several months. Reflective Shield Journalling and reflecting on what works -I need to recommit to daily morning journalling, since I have neglected it -I should set a calendar reminder to reflect on Sundays, since I neglected this, too -I should continue noting how I feel after lifting (fatigue, mental fatigue, joint pain) Sword of Courage Overcoming emotional blocks to the creative work I want to do -I am increasing the writing to 20 minutes -I will add 10-20 minutes of art after dinner Staff of Clarity Getting freedom from distraction addiction and negative emotions -I will continue meditating each morning, and may experiment with a short second session at night -I will renew the internet block but update it to support journalling in the mornings and Sunday -I will continue doing 20 minutes of cleaning per day. It's not exactly one of the mountain treasures but it is good to have, and a clean house promotes an uncluttered mood Axe of Strength Strength through food, iron, and rest -I just have to keep going with my high meat keto without getting sidetracked or shamed -I will continue pacing. It's really helping -I will continue lifting: I will design a deload & strength block
  3. So I came off the first challenge practically 100%-ing the darn thing and then... As if I'd been touched by a wraith, all the energy and life force in me just vanished. All that momentum gone. The boulder having pushed to the top of the hill, has rolled down and settled in the valley. I know I can't stay down there with old Bouldy. (That's Sisyphus' job.) So I have to keep trekking forward. I might have small boots, and the journey is long, but I have five weeks of budding habits that work and I know it. So this challenge is going to be more about pushing through the slump. No fancy tracker this time; but I have made one page to use for the whole 5 weeks. Filling in boxes in motivating for me, but I needed less weekly time devoted to the making of it. So Goals Then - Keep on keeping on. Track Food 7x/week - best guess for any 'treat meals'. Move 5-6x/week - 3 strengths works really well for me, a few beat sabers, and fill the rest. Make Stuff - This is art and piano and D&D prep. I really liked hitting the stride of 3-4x a week for music/art. I'd like to keep this going. Misc goal "Grow" - This is about growing emotionally and spiritually. My devotion habit is a habit. Cool. Keep that up. I want to challenge myself going forward. This challenge is going to consist of doing some out of the comfort zone projects. I feel like I might have a problem with envy and a side dish of slander - things I don't want in my card catalog in general. So to combat this, I am planning to "write a letter" to any friend I have ever spoke about, in any fashion, behind their back, and fill it with all the reasons I am grateful for who they are and what they've done for me through the years of friendship. Bonus points if I actually send it to them lol. Other things may come up too, but that's what I am starting with. That's all I got for now. I am hoping to make the rounds on your guys challenges soon here ...
  4. I set out on a new journey; a path that travels through many realms and one that will teach me many things. I often daydream about potential -and must admit that I struggle the most with my friends when I see them failing to push toward their own. Which leads me to the honest confession that I often fail to push the boundaries of my own potential. For me, it's never been lack of effort, or the unwillingness to try in the first place. For me, Fear has been my greatest foe and Perfectionism his best accomplice. The only way I am going to thrive- (because if the past two years has taught me anything, it's that the only thing that stops us from thriving, is ourselves) then I must learn that I can be stronger than my circumstances, and that my hope comes from beyond whatever earthly conditions surround me at any given time. Fear is an illness. If you leave it untreated, it can consume you. I'd like to find some balance in the coming challenges, while picking up a few new hobbies and dusting off some old ones. I'd also like to get back into a healthier lifestyle habit as the past several weeks really had me shut down to 0%. That's going to require facing the scale at least once. While I know it's going to be a number that displeases me, it got there based on my choices. I can't change the past. I can reshape the future. FOOD GOAL The best way to get my habits in line again will be tracking my calories. It usually doesn't anger me, and it helps me make better choices. I'm a big fan of 'more bang for your buck' and that works with food too. Track in MFP 7 Days/Week *Impossible to track treats may be skipped or 'best guessed' but must be limited to once a week. EXERCISE GOAL I feel best when I am keeping in shape. It really just makes every other part of my life better. With winter in full effect it's easier to strength train than cardio, so I will do what's easiest to schedule in. Strength 2-3x a week Fill in other days to reach 5x exercise per week. CREATIVITY GOAL I want to continue drawing and have taken steps (costly ones) to get my desk set up more conducive to that. Draw 2x/week. I'm part of the Bard2022 Gang here, and I have both a full size digital piano with weighted keys (mmm) and a brand new 17 key Kalimba. I was VERY active in music in highschool, but reading music is going to be like brushing up on a foreign language you haven't read in 20 years. Music 2x/week. ESTABLISH A DAILY ROUTINE FOR AM AND PM AM - Devotional / bible study + Positivity journaling. PM - Computer off 20 minutes before bed, Teeth routine + Face routine with good health creams. More to come ... including a 'to do list' to be done during the next 5 weeks.
  5. This is part three of a year that I am setting aside to try to heal from chronic exhaustion and demotivation. There are four aspects to lifestyle healing magic: food, stress, movement, and sleep. This module is for fine tuning the food aspect. Last challenge I started keto, and saw a massive reduction in anxiety, and some other mental benefits. This challenge I will experiment with different variations on the ketogenic diet to increase my knowledge about what works. I have some improved mental energy, and hope to spend it on writing and painting. But I won’t push it if I don’t feel like it. Motivation must come from an un-inflamed and adequately fuelled mind, not from desperate attempts to whip up willpower out of the watery gruel of fatigue. A loose sort of schedule does seem to be developing on its own, so I’m just going to let that continue. I haven’t really recovered my physical strength and energy since the last trip to Munich (now some weeks ago damnit) so exercise will be advised but optional. (We have proven to our satisfaction the inefficacy of forcing the lab mouse to run when exhausted). Lifestyle Healing Magic: Ketonics Module I Potions (food) Lesson One: Do Not Ingest Poison: no sugar, caffeine, or alcohol (Ke)Tonics general instructions: eat at or under 20g net carbohydrates per day. (Ke)tonics specific experiments: Zero week will be no chocolate and no live sauerkraut, to see if this helps with my current heartburn. I must also undergo the trial of the Silberhochzeit, in which I must endure some periods of foodlessness on the train, and evade all attempts to poison me with celebratory food. Weeks 1-5 I will adjust other parameters. Possible experiments could be increasing and decreasing the plant content of my diet, which will probably mean decreasing and increasing the dairy content, since those are my two sources of carbs, and they compete for space. I might also try cutting eggs and processed meats and really going all in on fresh meat, green things, and water. I might add fasting or save it for next challenge. Or maybe I will devise a diet inspired by Artio the bear goddess and eat salmon, berries, meat, and (*googles bears*) herbs, pine cones, hikers, and 20 000 calories worth of moths??? (*note to self: check carbs in moths*). Defence Against the Dark Arts (stress) Occlumency (meditation) is suspended so that its anxiety-lowering effects may be trialled separately from the ketonics. It shall be reintroduced next challenge. Enspiriting Runes: I shall aim to do a little art every other day. Sparking Sigils: I shall aim to write a little every other day. Transfiguration (movement) Hypertrophy Charm: any form of strength training, if energy allows. I seem to be losing weight from the keto, and I don’t really like what I see—my weightlifting over the last few years has added thickness to my legs, arms, and waist, but not to my chest, upper back, or glutes. I seem to be in a slightly longer term tired phase, so I will simply do some exercises for these areas whenever possible, until moderately tired, at home or at the gym. Recommendations for isolating the glutes without the hamstrings welcome. Current ideas include swings and single legged glute bridges. Recommendations for hitting the chest without the arms also welcome. So far, the barbell bench has added weight to my arms only. Spell of Ambulancy: at least one short walk daily. Charms (sleep) Somnolence Ritual: screens off at 9:30 Hmmm. This entry looks kind of dry without any gifs or pictures. Here, have an experimental scribble. And share gifs of mead, honey, and other beautiful liquids, please.
  6. Hello. I'm back. I am Stronkey Kong. I'm still trying to figure this out. Last challenge took an early nose-dive. I was training with weights, losing my enthusiasm for my nutrition plans. Then I started stockpiling Halloween candy... You know how that ends, and now I feel shitty and I'm back to where I started at the beginning of summer. So now it's time to reboot, and reset a balance, and work on some goals that are satisfying too. MEDITATE -- Once a Day, Every Day: I actually broke my streak. I had meditated every single day since March 21st. Then last weekend, as I was preparing to shift my wake sleep cycle to dayshift for a week of training, I missed a day, then another, and it's been almost a week now. Anywho, it's time to get back on it. MOVE -- Everyday, As often as possible: I am not touching a barbell until my weight is down. To many here, that sounds like blasphemy, but I've proven to myself time and time again that every time I get into a strength routine, and go for too much strength or intensity, I either give myself permission to overeat or burn myself out. Right now, and until I get my weight down to... idk... 225 lbs., I just need to keep moving, lightly even, and I need to avoid the couch potato days. So every day I need to do some kind of movement, or at least get something done. I'll just be asking myself "Did I move today?" -- that is anything beyond getting up, eating, going to work etc. Chores and projects would count, purposely going for walks, yoga or stat bike in front of theTV... it all counts. Pay back the Halloween candy calorie debt -- I still have over 28000 calories to burn. NOOM -- Daily Tracking. Weigh in and track the foods. All else is optional. ART-- I am making a big painting, and started prepping a huge canvas... (spoiler'd cuz huge) 75 x 60 in. I have an idea and sketches, I just need to do it. Not sure what the goal is here. First and foremost work on the painting. Second, finish the painting. I have a feeling I'm either going to finish it Alla prima this weekend or agonize about it all challenge. We'll see.
  7. Cracks and blemishes. Soil and rust. What had been her weapon, her force against the darkness, sat heavy in the barrens beyond. It must be reclaimed. Found, carried, reforged. It was hers to wield, and though it had long been from her hand, she knew she wanted it back. A deviation from the normal plan of attack here perhaps? Yes! Food, exercise, art, all these things are wonderful and important - but I believe I have a new #1 priority for myself right now. Something, that in turn, will likely help all the other stuff too! Today I feel like taking the first step on a new journey. But just like Mr Frodo accepting the quest to return the ring to the fires of the mountain, mine will be a hard journey fraught with enemies! It will take a Fellowship of helpers to keep me on this path (that's your cue) too! I am on a quest to return to the brighter, more out-going, more cheerful, more kind, more patient Starpuck that I used to be! I'm not sure how I got to this part of The Dismal Forest - maybe just life and circumstances, maybe being too long in a house with someone who is negative day in and day out, I'm not sure. And I am not blaming him, or anyone , for my arrival into this place. Ultimately, I decide who I am, and how I react to things. This isn't going to be just a light switch that gets turned on though. I'm going to forget, or fail, or feel too tired or too upset about this or that on occasion. But the more I work toward it, the more little wins I will get, and those wins will build up, and gain momentum, until eventually, the overall general outlook and being will start to change too. Like slowly sweeping up the dust and grit in a warehouse that hasn't been aired out in years. Little by little. I can clean it up and then it will be bright and ready to house all sorts of things and people again! The first things first, I need to stop venting / complaining about people and things. I think this is natural human nature. And indeed, it is important to air out feelings now and then instead of bottling things up and letting them fester into a poison. But I will limit this, and also work to communicate all the great things about people. Or see things from a different angle so as to not overly blame or come down on folks. I've gotten into a terrible habit of complaining almost daily about people I consider friends and whom I care about, and that's not good. This is all fine and good, but without track-able goals, how am I going to make sure I am putting one foot in front of another in the right direction?! And do I really want to give up on the other things I've been working on? No! Of course not! So let's get our boots on and grab our cloak and figure out how to complete this quest. Goal #1 - MAKE THE CHOICE Every journey begins with a decision. As my mindset is really, truly, the biggest rival I have on this, I am making this top priority. I will work on this by, daily, in the morning, use my bullet journal to set the tone for the day. I must write something positive to start my day. It can be something I am grateful for, a positive choice I plan on making, a comment about a friend or family member I am glad to have in my life. Anything that would be considered a bright, positive output. DAILY. 7x/week Goal #2 - PUT YOUR BOOTS ON After making the choice, the next step is to get your gear together and start moving. This goal will represent that I need to maintain healthy physical habits, because exercise helps keep my mood up, so I need to get my boots on and keep moving one step after the next. Any kind of movement counts toward this, but I would like to still aim for 2x strength a week. 5x/week Goal #3 - PACK YOUR RATIONS You can't survive a long journey without having rations with you in your bag of holding. This will be about eating good food, in healthy amounts, and that's that. I don't believe I will track calories while working so hard on the mental/emotional side of things. But without some kind of tracking, there's no way to be accountable to this. So, since I will be using my BuJo daily anyway, I will write down what I've eaten at least, daily. 7x/week Goal #4 - BRING YOUR PARCHMENT AND INK What, why? To document your journey of course! But in my case, it will be less about journaling my antics, and more about putting implement to canvas. Inktober got me back into art, as it always does, and I think it's essential for me to have a hobby that I don't feel 'super good' at, but continue doing anyway. As I've got a lot on my plate this challenge, I am keeping it toned down (hah pun) so it's not oppressive. 3x/week Now all that's left ... is to start the journey!
  8. This Cycle may or may not see me home the entire time - I may end up following DH on a trip; we may end up taking an actual vacation - who knows? We may just be here the whole time. If I need to adjust, adjustment protocols will be enacted. Nutrition I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s time to shift some weight. I don’t want to buy a second round of new clothes. Cook paleo-ish meals (fake meats, soy and the occasional garbanzo bean are ok) with an emphasis on protein Go back to tracking macros. My scale had itself an electrical aneurysm and started muttering to itself all on its lonesome (it was seriously sad - poor little guy kept trying to weigh air, coming up with wildly different answers, until his batteries died). As it stands, I’m estimating my TDEE at 1541 based on my current weight and activity levels. I’ll start with reporting and tracking via MFP with an eye on coming in under calories and will strive to make protein a priority. We’ll see what that gets me re: fitting into some of my clothes again by the end of challenge and refocus from there. Movement Keep up with my 4x a week yoga with walks to and fro - hopefully in less than 115F temps, “windchill” of 125, and over 70% humidity. Fall, as it were, is coming - the news and the Ministry promised. As my schedule stands, and I hope it continues, I’ve got: Monday morning: Slow Flow (a mostly gentle class) Tuesday evening: Functional Flow (hella hard rehab style movements) Wednesday morning: Detox (a hard class with lots of twists and fun movements) Friday morning: Slow Flow (ha! I guess it’s slow? It’s usually hard and full of novel movement - same teacher as Wednesday’s class) With an 18-minute walk to and from. I also want to add more HIIT or Barre videos at home, but wasn’t quite meshing with that this past challenge. We shall see here and I’ll do what I can. I need to get on my ass about it a bit, but finding the balance between that and the don’t wannas has proven difficult without an actual tangible goal in sight. Enrichment I’m still playing both Stardew Valley and Cozy Grove and will pick Animal Crossing back up if they ever release an update. I’m currently working on an 18thc. shift & chemise set. After I finish that, I want to dye the rest of my medium weight linen with avocado pits, and jump to a modernized walking skirt/vest/petticoat project. I also have some crochet supplies on order - I want to do something with my hands again while watching tv at night. Sashiko sounded great, but is a bit fiddly for my hands at the moment. Hand sewing has been great, but I want to give crochet another go. It seems to hurt my hands less than knitting. I also want to keep up with my digital art practice, and still feel like I should be doing something actually useful instead of just killing time. It’ll ostensibly be cooler soon, so the pups would appreciate more evening enrichment. Although it’s going to suck mightily, walk practice and desensitization with Odin should go back on the docket. And that’s it. Nothing earth shattering, but without something big looming (like a mud run or series of 5ks), self-starting is not my strong suit.
  9. This is part two of a year that I am setting aside to try to heal from chronic exhaustion and demotivation. There are four aspects to lifestyle healing magic: food, stress, movement, and sleep. I'm adding a little to the basics which I established last challenge, and testing a specific diet to see if it helps. Potions (food): Do Not Ingest Poison: no sugar, caffeine, alcohol, refined carbs, industrial seed oils (Ke)Tonics: eat a very low carb, very high fat diet. Leave out grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, low fat dairy, fruit, and honey. Focus on meat, fish, eggs, full fat dairy, above ground vegetables, and healthful fats. Defence Against the Dark Arts (stress) Occlumency: meditate 20 minutes daily, after first tea and before second tea Hydrotherapy: end all showers with cold water Defensive Gesture: book a massage and show up! Defensive Ward: schedule daily internet block from 8-10am Enspiriting Rune: one effortlessly bad and therapeutic scribble per day Transfiguration (movement) Barbellogy: continue with four lift split three days per week, if energy allows. Ambulancy: at least one short walk daily Charms (sleep) Somnolence ritual: screens off at 9:15, stretch, sleep at 9:45
  10. I started working on this concept a couple of years ago. Shelved it for a while. Brought it back as an RPG but there wasn't much interaction and I still wanted to tell this story so I shifted the medium. I originally had beats for challenges and stuff but I tend to hold onto massive ideas in my head and mull them over until it feels right. I follow the Bukowski idea of writing: I didn't want to be pretentious or have to write it and re-write it. I didn't want to have to proofread and show it to other people before I went back to the drawing board. I wanted to wait until the fire roared in me. I wanted to just write through passion and if I felt it: write. If I didn't: don't write. And currently, that is what's happening. What started as an interesting idea for a short campaign turned into research upon research and more and more ideas. I had to cull what I wanted to fit. Once I had a plot-line sort of figured out, I looked at how many words I was writing per plot-point and I realized that at this rate, I will have a full-scale book. Not a Game of Thrones or an IT sized tome, but something that qualifies as a regular book you'd buy these days. I've been writing a lot (for me at least) and I know a few beats that I want to have happen next and I know where I want the ending to go; but towards the end where I connect these things is a little fuzzy. Not really a writer's block, but more of a 'how do I make it fit and sound awesome?' With the rate I've been writing, I think I seriously may finish writing a whole damn book by the time Halloween comes around so that's my main goal this challenge. This challenge is the following: -Book -Diet: I've gotten into a groove with the 2400 cal set up that my dietician put me on. I have my checkup this Thursday. I'm going to ask about meeting more often to stay on track because I can use that as an excuse for more accountability. -Workouts: This is 3 parts. 1) Cardio at the gym 4-5x week. 2) Lifting weights at home 3-4x week. 3) Lordosis stretches and exercises 4-5x week. I would like to hit the high number of all of these but I consider it passing if I can consistently hit the low-end. I'll post my lordosis vid here to make it easy to find and also seeing as how this is NerdFITNESS, there might be someone who stops by this thread and realizes they also have lordosis since it's common if overweight: -Projects: Mold is growing downstairs really REALLY bad with all this heat and humidity. Even with running the dehumidifier, it's wall-to-wall spreading so washing every wall downstairs is a project. I have a bunch of plants that I've been gardening with this summer and I need to stay on top with picking and also setting up a compost bin, prepping soil for next year, drafting up some plans for what I want to do, etc. My next post is going to be what I have so far of my horror book, all edited into [spoiler] chapters so the post itself isn't stupidly long. I'm ahead by about 2 posts currently so I'll wait until the end of this week to put up new content on here and then I'll actually, like, socialize with people's threads. , Teros
  11. Assault on the Gloom Monster! - again I am quite literally, copying and pasting a challenge from October 2018, lol. Why? Autumn into winter is my most difficult time of year because the shortening days, the degrading weather and grey skies all weigh on me heavily. While I've never been clinically diagnosed with S.A.D. I would be surprised if they said I didn't suffer from it. Autumn and winter is brutal for me, yo. I cannot let the Gloom Monster derail me every year, so we are doubling the efforts to avoid the trap that will turn me into one of the Gloomfallen. RULE #1 - Consistency, not Perfection will damage the Gloom Monster! I've spent the last 4-6 weeks getting into a very good routine with strength workouts. I work out so that I am strong and physically fit enough to move through life in a way that allows me to enjoy a lot of things. I also know it is great for aiding the mood and guarding the emotions against attacks from the Gloom. Exercise at least 5x a week. Continue strength training 2-3x, fill in other days with any kind of non-laziness. Basically, anything 20m or more that has me up and about, can count for this. RULE #2 - To keep the soul healthy, the body must be nourished. I'm on a good streak with tracking my calories, and it is currently not causing me any rage, stress or tantrums. I have taken a couple months off of tracking. I've held the line with my weight during that time, but I would like to shrug off at least half of the pounds I put back on after hitting my all time low. I am going to start off this challenge with tracking again. Both because I think I need the refresher, and also because my sister will be tracking food again after meeting with a doctor about her weight gain. I'm hoping that I can help her by doing this along side her. If not, it's always a good re-focus for myself. Track Food in MFP 7x / week. Plan for 1 Fun meal / week. RULE #3 - A sharp mind keeps a sharp sword. So, this was mostly about art back in 2018. I've not done that hardly at all for the past year and it shows. As I had always wanted art to be a means of practicing "a thing I am not super good at, but will continue even thought it doesn't come fast or perfect" - I would like to get this going again. I almost always get re-inspired during Inktober. So I just need to make time for this. It will also include other creative outlets and anything that makes me put down the video games. Sketch a few times a week! 3x / week Reconfigure desk to set up an EASY tablet access point. D&D Prep 1x / week RULE #4 - Face fear, conquer lies. I don't even know how to quantify this, and that typically marks for a bad goal - but this is so dang important right now. Any ideas you all have on it, I am open eared. Some ideas floating to work on this are: Gratitude Note Daily Positive Body remark Daily Change 'doom' What If's to be a what if 'best case scenario'. Continue Devotions Find a small group / even if it's online to help me with faith side things. Side Goals for the journey: Really hone in on the budget app. Use it for every single thing purchased. Get outside, even when it gets cold and bleh. "Man's heart away from nature becomes hard." ~ Standing Bear (Read this at a N.P. once and loved it.) Recreate 1 movie inspired gif per week! See at least 4 houses to start getting ideas of what works and what doesn't taste wise.
  12. Last cycle was mostly eaten by long travel in the US + the recovery from that travel. On the trip, DH and I both came to the conclusion that we are tired of being fat, tired of feeling like poo, and are ready to go back to doing what needs to be done to return our bodies back to some semblance of the shape we like them to be in. Back to non-sexy basics it is, then. This cycle may or may not include more travel, and if that happens I’ll reframe as necessary. Nutrition My body seems to have been asking for less carbs for quite awhile, but my brain still has the ‘I’d be super happy to just eat rice & pasta with minimal toppings’ mindset, so I see at least a semi return to paleo in my future. This may take a Whole30 to kick brain back into what works for body, but I’ll start small while I work through some of the carbs in the pantry. General Guidelines: Up “safe” (non stabby) veggie content Continue on with my mixture of fake & real meats at home Don’t repurchase cooking oil; stick to my jars of fat + olive oil I can reliably find shiritaki & sometimes riced sweet potato for a substutity side Cut the extraneous breads at home Cut pasta at home unless it’s high fiber and/or protein Cut rice at home unless it’s fake Consider limiting white potatoes as well, in case my trigger switches back to that Keep chickpeas in my life in a limited capacity Keep soy products in my life - tofu and shiritaki are both fine Keep fake meats (at least the ones not including beans or legumes) in my life Chill with the peppers for a bit Keep my fake cheeses (at least the ones that don’t cause stabby stabby) Continue trying to reduce meal quantities if I need to Cut rice + extra helpings of naan with Indian nights No more appetizers with delivery Biryani limited to once every couple months - and only the best biryanis And I think that should do it. Not a terrible amount of restriction on top of the restrictions I already have in place to avoid GI issues - more of a reframing of my relationship to food back to when I chose foods because they were nutritious and delicious (also exciting) and not just empty quantity or a coating of a carb blanket in which to wrap myself. Potential difficulties will assuredly be had because I’m still in full pout mode about my brassicas. I miss my brassicas. Brassicas were the damn cornerstone of my diet when I ate paleo. All of them. With all meals. I’ll have to brainstorm non-brassica bulk veg for my bowl meal system since my loves are verboten unless I want stabby. We shall see what happens. Expect a lot of whining and rationalizing in future challenges. Physical Walking to and from yoga 4x a week + some time in the gym once a weekend while DH is home and can watch the pups + my usual Sunday mall walking. Not sure what I want to do in the gym, but an hour should do it. I’ll combo some deadlifts & lat pull downs (or the rowing machine) - maybe something else to hit biceps a bit - maybe some scorpions for lower back strength. Plus either the elliptical or treadmill inclines for a cardio hit. I’m thinking :30 weight cycles & :30 light cardio work. The Rest Dog enrichment is pretty strong with meals - I need to add some more training work in & break out that agility course again. I also want to go back to digital art creation - I’ve got a little pen pal, at least for the moment - so making physical art is also a good thing. Not sure what I want to do blog-wise, so I’m holding off on prescribing a goal here.
  13. It’s 74. 74 challenges. *insert Count* 74 Cycles of varying levels of having my shit together-ness. As it looks like I’m not quite finished languishing, I’ll be continuing on my slow roll toward better habits (yet again) and going the simple route. Goal The First Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition Keeping up with macro tracking has proven to be too much in the realm of effort for my brain again, so I’ll be edging toward that way again. Gotta hit those things side-on. Actual macros have not changed in ages, though off the top of my head I can’t remember what they are. Maybe I need to re-institute weekly weigh-ins for a little kick in the pants. We shall see. Aside from that, eat in a way that doesn’t kill my GI system, with a mind toward more veggies in my life, and not over eating. Or at least limiting the over eating, since I *still* can’t control myself around Indian. Goal The Second Movement in a way that feels good and does good. Zoom yoga 2 - 4 x a week as the schedule allows - as many classes as the schedule permits. The goal here is at least 1 functional-based class, 1 joy in movement class, and 1 handstand practice class. Keep the TRX straps up during the day - on yoga days do squat pull sets of 10 every time I pass the straps; on non-yoga days do at least 2 run-throughs of my full-body set per day + squat pull sets. Go for walks on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday in the sun; Sunday in a mall. Goal The Third Fulfillment. Do something to feed myself each day, be it something with digital art, graphic design, or one of my physical crafts. Something. Also: keep up with the social media stuff for DH’s Twitch thing & my blog. Also chucking redecorating and Spring cleaning the apartment in this slot. I’m tired of looking at our shit and tired of having the shit we have shoved in drawers that I literally never see. Since the move is off, I need to find a way to make this place annoy me less for the next 13 months. List Of Fulfillment Work with the dogs on some sort of training goal Digital art tutorial Digital art freestyle time while listening to a podcast Big projects on my Animal Crossing Island Creating images for WTFGaming Instagram & channel banners Taking pictures for Gastography Instagram Creating, writing, photographing & publishing recipes for Gastography Finding a way to include more food content on Gastography Instagram feed Creating & posting Pins for Gastography recipes Lucet cord making Tablet weaving Sashiko embroidery The quilt project I’m supposed to be doing but have put off because it’s a pain to find fabric Lace crocheting And that’s all I can think of for the moment; I’m sure there are more things. We also need to plan some sort of getaway - a staycation is fine; as long as it involves the dogs at the boarder + suitcases. When things open back up a bit here (i.e. we won’t have to stay in our room if we visit one of the resorts here that are still hella expensive even with zero amenities open), we shall make that happen. We’ve got at least a semi-portable setup for DH’s Twitch channel, so we can at least stream our Bad Game on a Saturday from the “road” if we don’t want to take a week off in this early stage with like 6 followers. We had intended on doing that for our anniversary in April, but (light) lockdown happened, amenities closed and some of the less bonkers places were reclassified again as COVID hotels. I mean ... we *could* have gone to the resort offering massive iftar catering all Ramadan for their private villa rental residents ... but we are not spending $1,000 a night for anything, let alone a villa in a resort with no amenities open. Hellz to the no. Even if we had the money. That’s ridiculous. Or, the brand new water park hotel - with the closed water park and nothing else open. That’s an option. Yeah. My ass is not getting into a pool in this weather, let alone going to a just-opened water park in the middle of a pandemic. That may or may not be dodgy. It’s a Hilton, but .... I don’t really trust it. We did hear something about more travel bubbles for vaccinated people flying Qatar Air opening up - Georgia is on the list, as are Turkey, the Maldives, and Greece. Out of those, Tbilisi Georgia is tops on our list for being affordable, pretty and having great food. Greece is definitely on the list as well, but they’ve got their own drama to deal with at the moment - I have no idea how they got on the travel bubble list, and from what I’ve been seeing (from @DarK_RaideR and others), I worry that that’s going to be a shitshow for them. Maybe Tbilisi is less of a mess? I don’t even know what we would want to do on vacation, at this point. Eat in a restaurant. Be in a Western city with modern Western morals (i.e beer, democracy(at least ish) & side boob). Drink a beer on a terrace. Look at some old shit; hike a bit ... Which, tbh, is what we generally do on vacation anyways. We’re not ones for doing crowded and popular things unless those things consist of walking around and not interacting with other people that aren’t chatty shopkeepers. Mostly just ruminating, there - it’ll be at the bare minimum a month before we can even contemplate leaving the country, and then it will be a 99% chance of DH flying out for work with a 15% chance of me being able to follow for Week 2 of his trip like we were doing. We will lightly contemplate, but actual firm planning is a recipe for those plans being immediately cancelled.
  14. Guys, last challenge was a wreck and I now officially give up on the lies ideas of "life balance" and "moderation" and "self control". I spent a week in a gaming haze so thick I forgot about basic human functioning. And the last two weeks I've been frying out my brain at work so thoroughly all I've had energy to do is watch movies and scroll on my phone... I don't understand why I keep doing this to myself, yet here we are. Again. I don't know how to solve the work problem, hopefully it will go away on its own as I get more minions involved. As for the other stuff, I'm going to completely outsource self control to technology and basically ban nearly all media, in the hope that boredom will take over and make me do stuff. Might sound a tad drastic, but clearly I refuse to do as I'm told, even if it's me doing the telling, and this is the simplest solution. That's the main challenge. I have a few other side quests, but if I end up taking a different direction that's totally cool too. Side quest #1 Tackle the list of Ick. The one that I've been procrastinating for anything from 1 month to 2 years. It includes calling the tax office. And shopping. Side quest #2 Get back my flexy Because I'm jealous of my past self's flexiness and my ego wants it back. Side quest #3 Art My aim is to at least DOUBLE the amount I drew last challenge. ... It was once. Yeah.
  15. Teros

    Teros 70

    I ended up watching Batman V Superman and Snyder's Justice League this weekend for a combined total of 7 HOURS of movie-time. Shit's exhausting. Anyways, figured I would make my challenge and do some cleaning up around here. Last challenge was ending on a low note: I have this feeling like the good vibes are hard to find/make around NF and I had this catch 22 that I was feeling: if I post about good things, I feel guilty because I know so many people are doing badly. If I post about bad things, I feel like I'm adding to the echo-chamber of depression that I'm actively trying to fight against. I was assured that I should post regardless and that it help so that's what I'm going to go. My challenge is the same this entire year: 1) Workouts - When covid was getting scary and gyms were closing down, I didn't use it as an excuse: I decided to look up some dumbbell workouts at home. I've gone from bodyweight or 7 pound dumbbells to using 30, 45, or 50 pound weights. And for Christmas, I got a 60 pound dumbbell. I work out 4 times a week so it's pretty obvious that I should get 1 Strength point per workout. 2) NF - With the changes on the forums and the fact that I've been dragging ass for a while, I think I need to bump up this as a priority. I've overhauled my schedule to include way more frequent posting/checking threads. I feel like typing up things is hand dexterity, so each time I'm on NF, I'm going to give myself 1 Dexterity point. Also something that I neglect terribly is any sort of stretching. I know I should do it. I know it's supposed to aid in building muscle and yadda yadda. And YES I have bad back pain daily but I never seem to work on it and I NEED to. Since that is body dexterity, that also will count towards a point so if I don't post on NF, I can substitute it with a stretching routine. 3) Whole30 - Eating this way always make me feel better and the thing is, the longer the streak I do; the better I feel. As soon as I fall off the bandwagon, I feel fucking AWFUL so what makes sense is to, you know, never have a break from eating this way. Every day I eat this way improves my overall health, so I think I should get 1 Vitality point per day. 4) Study/Arts - I already read the LCSW practice exam stuff but I don't want to get rusty if, somehow, magically, I'll be able to take it sooner than expected. Rather than be caught off guard, I want to get back into studying a little each day. I also have some artistic pursuits that I would like to do again and if they are viewable, I'll post pictures. I'm pretty sick of playing videogames and watching twitch/youtube. I want to create something. I feel like these are both wisdom-related so I think that every time I do either thing, I should get 1 Energy point. --- 1) Workouts I started ramping up a little more by adding some more cardio into the mix as last challenge kept going. 2) NF was posting less as the challenge continues because of the aforementioned issue. 3) Whole30 stayed about the same - with some slight fuck-ups but nothing seriously bad. A couple glasses of milk or some cheese in a meal was the worst I did; and I haven't had any candy/sugar/junk since Christmas and plan to keep it that way. 4) Study/Arts was increased by a LOT as I've been studying in blocks. I've been able to concentrate for 1-4 hours and read through the study book and I'm about halfway through it. I checked yesterday and there weren't any test dates up yet for me to choose from but I'll check again tomorrow. I don't want to say the specific date just in case it doesn't go well but I'm studying my fucking balls off. I'm trying every challenge to be a little more efficient so I'm hoping that by the end of this year-long challenge, I'll have these 4 goals mastered.
  16. Who is this chick? The Challenge! I know what works. I know what's struggling right now. I know consistency is the key. I am not sure what 'theme' I am feeling right now - though I do know I tend to be a little more motivated when I have a fun theme tacked into my challenge. But for the sake of getting SOMETHING up here today, let's list the basics. Food needs to tighten up again. The Autumnal Slide™ has occurred as per usual. Exercise needs to be more consistent. Specifically strength sessions, which were the first to get swept under the rug. I'd like gratitude (or devotionals) to be a daily habit. I'd like to put more time and energy into getting my art skills dusted off. Goals then... Move! 6x/week. 2 Strength Sessions a week; but don't have to be picky about what I do on them. *Less than 2 and I lose too much focus and it gets hard to maintain. 3 is okay, on occasion. 4 is right out. Fill the rest of the days with some heart pumping cardio for mood, lungs and veins! BUT! Leave 1 day to rest/chill/stretch. Eat Well Daily! 7x/week Food tracked via MFP or in BuJo journal. I'm not in a totally bad place with eating, and since exercise is oddly the struggle point, we're leaving this tracking loose. Heart & Soul Stuff! 7/3x/week Soul stuff- 7x *Let's really work on perspective, and focus this year. Devotions have been a really good way for me to start remembering promises and truths. As someone who struggles with doom-crafting and spiraling what-if scenarios for the stupidest things, this is very important to get to a better place with. Devotions or gratitude journals count toward this, and should be done daily. Heart stuff- 3x *Art! I think art is one of my heart's joys when I stop berating myself about being good or bad at it. Just need to learn to enjoy it for what it is. The skills will come in time (or they wont), but that shouldn't stop me from doing it. Art can be anything creative minded, but I should really prioritize time with the wacom tablet because I let those skills get mega rusty. Painting, and photography can also count. Okay. That's it. Maybe there will be a theme later, or maybe not. Next step is to fill out the BuJo.
  17. I'd been thinking about doing a challenge to help me in my (suspected) COVID recovery, but hadn't gotten very far on the specifics when I came on here two days ago to see when the next challenge was. Surprise! I went ahead and started a topic to anchor my commitment to doing this one. The last two years have been quite a series of adventures and lessons. And, I have several more big ones planned for the next couple years that I need to get ready for. Expect to see goals beyond simply recovering. I've got hikes and back country travel planned–and plenty of other adventures–as soon as I am able to do so again. Stories, photos, artwork will be sprinkled liberally throughout. This gal has been rediscovering her younger wild nature child self the last couple years! I have also discovered that I have an additional spirit animal as I immerse myself in my sixties. (Ha!) River Otters at Sequoia Park Zoo, Eureka, California. There will be more pictures of them... Stealthily shot out the door of my rental cottage on the shores of Cordova Bay, British Columbia, Canada, March, 2020 Juvenile Bald Eagle and ravens. So, goals. I got back on the soda and put on weight during the last two years. A sedentary lifestyle of sitting behind a computer for hours on end is not my friend and I've used sugar and caffeine to moderate my moods, energy, and attention span. My programming job is fast-paced and stressful, and there habits are not helping that either,. They are creating a long term form of health debt which, having just recently turned 62, is a really stupid thing to be doing. I want to live to be a healthy, happy, badass old lady, which means I need to reverse course on the stupid ass habits now, and build towards those big items in my bucket list. My health scare the last few months was a much needed wake up call. OBJECTIVES I resolve to use the next five weeks to: 1) Reduce my soda consumption 2) Increase my physical activity 3) Reduce my stress level 4) Create cool stuff GOALS Turning those into specific, measurable goals, each with an associated "WHY" for motivation: 1) Reduce my soda consumption to 25% (or less) of what I am currently drinking, with the end goal of being 100% soda free on or before November 1st, 2020. I'm not even sure how much I'm drinking, but it is a lot, so I need to track it throughout the challenge. Knowing how I am about tracking a bad habit, if I am diligent enough with it, I will eventually reach a tipping point where it's easier to just stop the habit than to keep tracking it. Shadowlion psychology... Make my environment conducive to quitting - have filtered water, ice, green tea, and yerba mate on hand and the ice tea made ahead of time to make substitutions easier. See if I can get D's buy in to purge the fizzy stuff from the house. Or to at least not drink it in front of me. This will help me lose weight and improve my overall health, leading to a faster recovery. I want to be able to hike harder trails sooner so that I can get those Arizona Trail section hikes in! (Hopefully some of the easier ones in Spring 2021.) Why? I want long term health and independence as I age, and to get those long section and thru hikes in before I get too old! 2) Increase my physical activity gradually, and as steadily as possible, given that I am still recovering from COVID-19 and am still quite de-conditioned from it. Increase my daily short walks and/or exercise biking beyond my current walking max of three circumambulations around the backyard or biking max of .5 miles in 30 minutes per day. Increase the variety of my free weight exercises as my costochondritis and joint pain heal. Increase weights, gradually and steadily, as I am able. My goal is to increase either intensity or duration by about 20% per week. Keep a log to help me gauge when I am ready to increase. In keeping with my otter photo above, make it FUN! Why? I want to regain my stamina and ability to do everyday things around the house, to be able to hold up my end of things. Longer term, I want to be able to haul my pack and photo equipment around easily for my hikes and other excursions, and to be able to move back up to the mountains and do my permaculture project, which will require my being in good condition to do physical labor at 7,000 feet elevation. 3) Reduce my stress through meditation and journaling. Keep my current meditation and journal writing, but extend the meditation from 2x a day for 5 minutes each to 2x a day for 10 minutes each. For journaling, keep my 15 minutes in the morning, but add on a 5 to 10 minute daily review and quick plan for the next day session in the evening. Why? The coronavirus (or its evil twin - my tests came back negative, though my symptoms indicated otherwise and my healthcare providers treated it as COVID-19) played havoc with my immune system and triggered off an old autoimmune problem that has been in remission for around 40 years. I am responding well to medication for it and have a good chance of it going back into remission. I do know from past experience that stress is a major factor for both length and duration of an episode, so keeping my stress levels as low as possible will increase the odds of achieving and maintaining remission. 4) Create cool stuff at least 5 times per week for a half an hour (or even more!). Do fun, creative stuff. Stay curious. Play! It doesn't have to be something to hang in a gallery. Sketch, take some photos, play around some digital art tutorials, whatever! If the joints are up to it, play a few minutes of music, too. Why? Life is too short to spend it all working and striving. Creating is good for the mind, the heart, the soul. And, otters - they are the epitome of curious and playful! Bucket List (Ongoing) Arizona Trail section hikes Thru hike the AZT Pacific Crest Trail section hikes Thru hike the PCT Relocate to the Flagstaff, Arizona area Design and build my permaculture paradise in the pines (including my art studio) Draw and paint wildlife and plants, landscapes Learn manual mode on my camera - ha! Take up the mantle of my uncle's woodcarving and art More "Creative Coding" - digital art, VR, games, data visualization Travel - National parks and monuments; wild places, the wilder the better Complete my Permaculture Design course and dual certificates Complete my Octalysis training (game making, gamification, and behavioral design)
  18. Yeah, I'm back again for another crack at this habit making thing. One thing that can be said of me is I at least don't give up for good... even if I'm terrible at follow through >_< But one day, this may stick, so I'm going to keep forging on. This challenge has a few incentives to stay on track though, so that will definitely help. I am currently in the thick of a 6 month diet bet, that I have already paid in full, so if I want to see my money back, I need to get my butt in gear! I also am signed up for 4 more 5k runs this year, one each month - August, September, October and November. Again, already paid for these, so if I want my money to not go to waste i need to train and actually see some progress. I liked the set up I had the last time I did one of these challenges, so I will be setting a spreadsheet with different goals and each time I complete one I get the assigned number of points for that item. My total of points at the end will determine my grade for the challenge and also my rewards. I'll be linking the spreadsheet eventually and at least weekly post my current point total and the highlights of the week, but in the meantime some of the goals that will be on the sheet will be: Complete c25k training 3xs a week Complete Beyond Flexibility mobility exercises 3xs a week (will likely be completed after or before run as my stretching. I am focusing on the "I just want to feel good" focus which is an upper, a lower, and a full body mobility exercise each week) Log all food eaten and drinks drank - this can be done on paper, in mfp, or just photo logged, this challenge I am only focusing on tracking what I eat and when, not so much the calories yet, because that gets overwhelming fast. Starting next week I will also be completing the Core Play exercises as well. I will also be working on 10 minutes of drawing practice daily. I'll also be practicing being patient with myself, so I will not beat myself up over not reaching 100% completion, it's not healthy. But as long as I do SOMETHING everyday, it will be building those habits and creating the me I want to be.
  19. ¸„.-•~¹°”ˆ˜¨ Health & Happiness Are Hard ¨˜ˆ”°¹~•-.„¸ Wherein the Cracked_Belle Un-Dies 𝔽𝕚𝕣𝕤𝕥 𝕒 𝕎𝕒𝕣𝕟𝕚𝕟𝕘, 𝕐'𝕒𝕝𝕝 I am diagnosed with a lot crap that makes life hard — manic depression, C-PTSD, OSFED (eating disorder), OCD, anxiety, some chronic pain, and other crap. these aspects of me and my life are going to come up in my journey to getting back on track with my health and happiness. I'll try to be sensitive to triggers, include warnings such as this where needed, and use spoilers when necessary. but this is my "cover my butt" warning. thanks in advance for you understand. life is difficult; but I find obtaining Health and Happiness is even harder. as aforementioned, I have some mental and physical ailments that complicate the normal struggles of life even further. recently, my depression and my eating disorder have been soul-consuming. it's time to end that. I used to be a rather active member of Nerd Fitness in its early days. the life happened and I left for a while. well, I'm back; and hopefully for even longer this time. I'd like to get my life and health in order, lol. as follows are my current Goals for this upcoming Challenge. I, of course, reserve the right to adjust them as time progresses and I see what's going to work for me and what isn't. Get Down to 125 Pounds (ideally by 08/24/2020) Do a Daily Workout weightlifting on MTWRFA everyday: warm-ups and cool-downs MR: upper body — push-up, bicep curl, bent-over row TF: lower body — squat, strait-leg deadlift, calf raise AW: mix/misc — mountain climber, tensor curl, flexor curl, donkey kick cycling everyday AMWR: ~5 mi (2 circuits) URF: ~2.5 mi (1 circuit) Adhere to Caloric Schedule [TW — Eating Disorders] TO BE UPDATED to a point wherein I'm not slowly starving myself gets tweaked and Friday before depending on plans for the week Goal Average Kcal/Day: <700 Sat: 1,200 Sun: 1,200 Mon: 0 Tue: 1,200 Wed: 0 Thu: 1,200 Fri: 0 Log Monthly Body Measurements take body measurements at start of every month Log Daily Metrics continue to complete the daily Metrics spreadsheet, filling it in as completely as possible Make Next Week's Food Plan every Friday, make the caloric and cooking food plan for the following week (as starts on then ext day of Sat) Manage My Mental Health Do Daily AM Prep complete morning preparations for the day, every day Do Daily PM Review complete evening review of the day, every day Complete Mood Form Daily complete the mood tracking form at least once every day Track Meds track all medications and (certain) supplements consumed every day Become a Professional Writer [to be tweaked soon] Find a Career Counselor/Coach solidify a working relationship with a career counselor/career Resume Being Creative Write for One Hour per Week work on any writing project for a total of at least one hour a week Be Artsy for One Hour per Week do any artistic work for a total of at least one hour each week
  20. My favorite class to play in D&D is a rogue. My favorite book series is about an assassin. My favorite tropes in anime / fantasy / etc, are the sneaky, do good from the shadows types. One of my favorite game series is Assassins Creed. Assassins are relied on to work alone, but they have a strong network of people supporting them with info, details, contacts and everything else. And my at work gym is off limits until we're allowed to break the "Firewall" between the warehouse and front office so... more bodyweight than not for the time being! We're going Rogue! Don't tell Tank I am here. [/looks around nervously ...] My goals will remain largely the same as last challenge. Honestly, despite the chaos, I did a ridiculously good job of still working out, eating healthy, counting calories and enduring. (Even dropped about 5lbs during the challenge.) The only bits that suffered last time around were art during the final week and the budget - which is all shades of different for the time being. And that's okay. {Headquarters of the 11th Hour; location undisclosed.} "You have been too long gone from our fold, Starpuck. Perhaps we should see if you are still worthy of being a part of this elite organization. You once held the title of the Unerring Bolt- that position has since been granted another. So here, take these blades. You will be required to prove proficient in dual wielding going forward. If you succeed in passing the Masters tests, you will become the Twin Blade." [GOAL ONE] Your Body is your Weapon - Make sure it is Honed I've been granted the following resources for my re-training: 50lb Dumbbell // 2 x 25lb Dumbbell // Pull up bar (door style, once it comes in and I get it set up) // 12lb and 15lb Kettlebell // Resistance Bands (Therapy Style) * Strength Train - 3X / Week * Move - 3X / Week Strength will be a lot of learning and advancing body weight options, and using the few weights I have to add some resistance to things. Move - let's be honest... I am pretty hooked on Beat Saber (dual wield connection see?) and I am burning plenty of calories with that game! Walks, maybe some Dance Central, and other options might come up, but the point is to just get the heart rate up and a sweat going. [GOAL TWO] Your Body is your Armor - Make sure it is Strengthened Food. Continue to track calories (as it has become an easy thing to do once more) and focus on putting nutritious things down the hatch. * Track Calories - 7X / Week * Matcha Daily - 7X / Week * Fruits & Veggies - Be Conscientious about focusing on these. [GOAL THREE] Work from the Shadows - But let the world see your good deeds. This will be about continuing to share videos, art, stay in contact, and possibly delve into Twitch Streaming. No particular weekly goals will be had here, just a list of things to work on and see what I can figure out. * Art Lessons 1X / Week * Art Practice 3X / Week * Continue to share Video Game videos. * Add more dialog to game play for content sake. (Hard with Beat Saber) * Get green screen sorted out and work on bettering light and recording options with that. * Get familiar with Roll20 * Do some live chat workouts with friends. * More to be added... Might be some project goals here once I get that sorted out. But let's not get crazy! Now then, time to find my old bunk room and make sure my hooded cloak is still in my chest...
  21. I am so completely unfocused, lazy, overwhelmed, and under-motivated. So I steal a fantastic quote from Critical Role Campaign 1. I can't think about this too hard, or else it will fail. I really should go through my life and either set better boundaries on my schedule, or, take this challenge and learn how to quit things. The worrisome part of that idea, is that there is 'quitting because it makes sense so I can focus on something else' and 'quitting because I've chickened out'. We only want the former. So. There is one rule to this December challenge. Every morning. Wake up. Write out the plan for the day in BuJo. [And any 'do this week' things too] And then do my best to stick to it. (Excepting reasonable flexibility and sense.) There are things I'd like to get back into better habit of, but if I say I must do them this many times, and I start to fall behind, I will be all the Moop. So we're just going to write them down as 'Think about these things' and if I also do them. Great! Parts of the Plan - Eat better. - Exercise consistently. (Stick to Strong Lifts, it'll work!) - Get back to art stuff. You like it! Keep at it, you will keep improving. - Make time for friends and family. - Invest in church stuff. That's it. Nice. Simple. Not overwhelming.
  22. "And so we have come full circle. The road journeys ever on, yet we note such anniversaries with thought and reflection. Perhaps it is time for our ranger to take bold new steps; to push further past her known boundaries and find new futures. For that, we must embrace the mindset and discipline of the monks, and the chosen tradition for Starpuck, will be the Way of the Empty Hand..." It was the September challenge of last year that I took on the goal of 100% or bust. I gave myself a heck of a reward as incentive (D&D terrain tiles) and I managed to pull it off. Not only that, the consistency proved the best part of that arrangement! Four weeks of effort set into motion what would become 4 months of forward progress. I lost 20 lbs and several inches. I gained strength. I felt great! I was tracking my food so consistently that I only just broke my MFP streak of 320 days. (There were a handful of only half tracked days in that span, to be fair and honest.) And the best part? I only ever gained about 3lbs back over the next 8 months. I have hovered between 140-143 at worst, ever since. I maintained! WIthout rage, or tantrum, or frustration, or guilt, or feeling deprived. It also gave my body a nice long time to get used to things at that point. And now? Now we step back in to a little bit more focused work. Way of the Empty Hand Monks of this tradition are masters of doing more with less. They focus their minds and determination on what can be obtained with both hands free, rather than with grasping onto the equipment and goods that other adventurers might rely on. They learn that the hand must remain open and empty, in order for it to grasp what challenges lie ahead. (So it's a play on Open Hand... which is a D&D tradition that exists.) Here's how it equates to my Ranger challenge: 1. Empty the Hand that holds the iron. - I already work out and that doesn't need much help in maintaining. Maybe being a bit more focused would help... but the actual doing is getting done. So, lets start working on some actual programs, that are pre-built, that I can follow and gain some guided strength and mobility. I also want to add either yoga (have the NF yoga, so that makes the most sense) or maybe some Tai Chi to build some slow down / balance / strength / mobility into my body. 2. Empty the Hand of mindless food indulgences! - Food wise, I do the right thing 85% of the time. It's not straining me at this level, but I also know where I can tighten that up. Game nights. Namely, I tend to have a snack always in hand during game nights so I need to learn how to 'empty the hand' during the 2-3 sessions per week I play in. I think I might even indulge in a little side game of getting some 'monk hand wraps'. Every snack I eat at game night wraps around a digit of mine. The goal being to not end up with the whole hand wrapped! *Ok, that might need some work, but I think I can do something with this. I also want to tighten up a bit on my choices of food. More lean protein, more veggies. I'm pretty good at this, but if I can get to a point where I crave grapes as a sweet snack, instead of cookies, all the better. (That might not happen, and that's okay. But I'd like to just continue to add more wholesome foods to my palate.) 3. Empty the Hand of whim buys and indulgent purchases. - Spending. My car is paid off and I want to focus on savings now. I have an app that is appropriately called 'Spending Tracker'. I have had mixed success with this one. I am great at tracking fuel, groceries for work and dinner costs. But once I forget a meal out, or a whim buy of a new notebook for D&D (this happens more than I want it to), I tend to stop tracking those things. And THOSE things are what most need tracking. This will help me tighten up my spending, AND accurately see how much I spend per month on necessities versus desires. And THAT helps me see the bigger picture on what housing costs I can afford. 4. Empty the Mind of thoughts of Perfection. - Art stuff. Sooo I guess a pencil in hand doesn't fit the empty hand analogy. But I can get deep here and say that it also implies a Monk of this tradition must empty their minds of preconceived expectations on themselves based off of others. IE - stop being so upset over how good or bad you are at something, and just focus on continuing to learn and progress. This will tie in to the monk discipline side of things. That's what I'll be working on this go around. I am going to focus things down a bit more precisely as the day goes on. I'll be using my pre-written BuJo to set this all up and keep track of what is getting down on what days too. The goal is 90% - because it's a 5 week challenge. And that's going to give me some wiggle room without it being rage-inducing. Which, it hasn't been in a long time, but I would rather set an attainable goal and surpass it, then set a really unfeasible one and then give up after having to wiggle early on it. Along the way, I hope to bring my monk along for the ride over on @Jarric 's adventure! Hopefully he needs a monk in his group. And oh! The bonus goal we're reaching for here ... see, yesterday I met a Jester at the Ren Faire. I called out to her and said, "Jester, do you have any donuts?" And she comes over, and says, (in perfect Jester voice) "Wellll actually I do!" and pulls out a prop donut. Then a prop lollipop! She was so spot on ya'all. My friend, who has Jester as his fave, missed her, but we found her again later. I apologized for bothering her again, but said that my friend would really love a picture with her. She obliged. And then said, "Do you know about the Traveler?" and I answered, "Of course! We're going to Traveler Con... the one that might be at the volcano!" And she just right back and forth with the banter. Then she pulls out a hand made, color printed pamphlet on The Traveler, and hands it to us. I was so inspired by this little gem of a cosplayer, that I think I've decided to cosplay as Beau for my next con. And that's a super bold move for me, but I want to try it. *nodnod* This challenge will help me get there.
  23. [Everything that happens in Dragon Age happens in Thedas, though there are some realms beyond it. It's basically like Middle-Earth in Lord of the Rings, or Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls. Fun fact: Thedas was originally shorthand for “The Dragon Age Setting,” and the nickname stuck.] And now you know where the name Thestas came from! "THE STArpuck Setting" see? (pronounced Thess-tiss) I'm super struggling to come up with a theme right now, though I feel pulled strongly to a D&D angle again. No doubt because this weeks art practice led to a sort of new subrace idea, which has me super juiced for all things creatively D&D-ish. I also am bored with my current 4 week/day/habit tracking method in my BuJo, so I think I might do a map tracker again. That was pretty fun. There are a few things I feel no longer need tracking, and that's hecka cool. There are also things that while I don't need to track, the visualization will keep me encouraged to keep at it. When it comes down to it, I just like coloring in little dots in my journal. This next bit of 4 weeks is going to be a challenge because, I am attempting to up my calories one more time (to true and proper maintenance) before I hop back onto the cut program starting in March. *GULP* I KNOW my weight might tick up a few pounds, but I should will NOT worry about that. So what am I doing here then? Exercise - 5x / week (No less than 2 lifting sessions per week.) Art - 5x / week (Going to try being less rigid on what TYPE of art happens, whether it be pencil sketching or tablet time... either counts.) Sleep Moar Better - 5x / week (Lights out, in bed, no screen on, by 11:20 on MTWFS - This allows me wiggle room on the two D&D nights per week that RUN until 11pm.) Self Care - 1x / week (Here's a new one! While I maintain myself fine, I don't ever get to pampering. This could be a night of fun sister mani/pedis, or a massage, or a bubble bath with candles and a book... something that focuses on luxury treatment for the Puck.) Selfie Sharing - 1x / week {An old one returned. In creative terms, I'm going to call this "Shattering the Mirror" because I see myself inaccurately right now. I've lost almost 20 pounds, I've trimmed and toned and strengthened, and I still see myself as really thick and fluffy in all my spots. I *feel* much better, but I can't break the visual hang ups. So I am going to force myself to look and see.) (Guys, what is the alt code for boxes, the ones below I stole from Rurik, and they make weird formatting!) Exercise ☐☐☐☐☐ Art ☐☐☐☐☐ Sleep ☐☐☐☐☐ Pamper ☐ Selfie☐ So, let's just get going then shall we? First thing we need is ... a character! Oh hello! What a cutie! Now... a name... (always harder) Sebastienne Delarieux (Tienne for short, Sebi to her closest friends.) And, finally ... an adventure... To the recipient of this note, whoever you may be, There is at your disposal, the opportunity to earn coin, prestige, even fame, should you oblige the offer herein provided. Take this signet ring to the city of Peramth, discreetly find entrance to the Gilded Cage, and present it to one Lady Nighthawk. She shall reimburse you kindly, and offer you your next task if you so desire. -V
  24. I just started throwing pebbles in the ocean of life to see how far the ripples reach. I have an idea of where I'd like to be, but don't really have a clue or care how I get there. I am a blank slate. Deconstructed and abstract. My stats: 5'2" Female Medium build 155lbs No major known detrimental health problems/limitations No prescriptions Time wasting at work. Summer is so quiet. Quite nice. Let's me think and focus on me. The days are as slow as molasses but I don't care. Let's me practice living in the present and be alone with my thoughts except for the occasional beggar. DAY ONE of logging my pebble ripple journey thing at least here. I've been doing lots of logging elsewhere, but this will be way more personal. Way more public. Way more uncomfortable. I have been calorie counting for a couple of months now. Only finding it is more difficult and way less healthy and less effective than the low carb way of eating I've experimented with. I am never satiated and always grumpy and obsessing over the scale. I found if I eat more than 900 calories, I gain weight. Definitely going back to low carb ---- meats and veggie---- this coming week. Oooh Assasin's Creed theme music is playing on my Pandora. Will I play the game tonight? Maybe, maybe not. I have too much to do to get sucked into 18th century France again forever eating away at my life and the summer's waning days. Sorry, squirrel moment. Today, I had a sausage biscuit with cheese at McDonald's. Damn little things are too addicting to be real. It may not be my last but will certainly be for the next month at least if not more unless by some magical pill the very thought of them makes me sick. I had half a serving of Noosa mango yogurt for lunch. Yumm Just finished half a serving of Atkins Dark Chocolate Royale Shake. I have not eaten enough today obviously, and yes I'm feeling the effects. Emotionally down and weak and mushy brain. It is my work out day. I'll eat a nice piece of chicken breast and drink some hot green jasmine tea after my workout. That will help. My workout will consist of the following: Chuck Norris' Total Gym Machine Thingy 3 sets 12 repetitions seated bicep curls seated chest presses Body and Free Weights 3 sets and 12 repetitions squats with two 25lb dumbbells good mornings with one 25lb weight Boxing 4 -45 second rounds punching the punching bag and walk/run on the treadmill to the highest intensity possible Outside Walk around the neighborhood with the dog (1/2 a mile maybe??? not sure, never measured). My fiancé and I do this together and alternate our sets in our little makeshift gym at home listening to the loudest angriest music to keep motivated and going strong throughout the entire workout. Definitely going to have to add a little something to the routine next week, as I am no longer sore after the workout. Still feels good though. I'll let my fiancé do the planning. He is the coach after all with the exercise science degree. I don't have a clue what to do next. Suggestions welcome! Well, that be all for now. I'll see to it that I track my day again tomorrow. A practice - in self-discipline.
  25. STARPUCK JOINS UA ACADEMY This anime is full of wisdom and motivation in all the right areas for me. It's also been a while since I plotted out a challenge where the goals are meshed into a theme, and I am feeling like this could give me an extra boost in getting back into the routine of it. A recurring theme for me (came up in the anime's I've watched, and now our church sermons too) is Endure. If I were to take a moment to be completely honest with myself -in an eye opening, epiphany kind of way- I've been kind of a quitter lately. And by lately, I mean the last couple years. So here are some quotes that I am going to be embracing, and building upon through this challenge. Midoriya once said, "I'll have to work harder than anyone else to make it. I'll never catch up otherwise!" He has to work harder to do things that come easy for other students. This hits so close to home for me because I have often said that I need to work so much harder to be fit/not overweight/healthy, etc than 'the normal person'. I watch my hockey teammates chug beers and Doritos after games and not gain a pound, whereas I can gain an inch from just smelling a pizza. It might in fact be harder for me. The options remain the same: do it anyway, or give up. Which leads to the next quote, by my all time favorite character. I want to become healthy, strong and fit. I want to do active things my whole life. I want to be a bad ass chick! Well then - I need to stand up and remember that, and push forward and never give up. This is a hard one to admit. I am the ultimate planner -/ dreamer -- but I fail at being a doer. My dreams end midway because I go through all the trouble of dreaming them up, but leave them on the shelf as 'dreams' rather than goals that I am working to. This is usually because I end up being too afraid to pursue stuff. Fear is a problem that needs facing and as All Might has said, "I smile to show the pressure of heroes and to trick the fear inside of me." So this first post I suppose is mostly just me sorting out my feelings on the challenge and what I need to tackle. Unfortunately, a lot of the things in THIS post aren't very quantifiable, so the next post is going be specifically about what I feel I need to do, to train myself, and to keep going without giving up, and yet still do this in a way that is sustainable for the long haul. (This one ties right in to the single most profound comment I heard in yesterday's sermon: God's best for us, comes through our times of moving through fear.)
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