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  1. After year of getting ready mentally, I'm finally able to lose the weight I need to lose to get healthy. Last challenge I finally got my BMI below 30. This is a great step towards being healthy. Food as always be a comfort to me, a way to relax. Now I see I don't need food to do this. Yes, sometimes I get thoughts like "I'm so stressed, I need to eat something to calm down" or "I worked so hard today, I deserve this food" or "I feel so bad, some food will make me feel better". But that's just wat they are: thoughts. I see now that I don't need to act on them. I am in charge, not the random thoughts that pop in my head. Enough talk, lets dive in Quest 1: Nutrition I will eat 1200 kcal combined with intermittent fasting (18/6'ish) for 5 days a week. And eat normally (aka around 2000 kcal a day, no fasting) for 2 days a week. This way I will prevent my body adapting to the lower kcal, so I will still be able to eat normally once I reached my goal weight. Besides that: it will prevent me from going crazy Usually the normal days will be on Wednesday and Sunday, but if I have a birthday to go to for example, I will switch it around. This plan should fit my life, not the other way around. Quest 2: Fitness Body weight training 3 times a week. I've been doing the sessions on fitbit coach. It tailors the workouts to your goals and capabilities. It never asks me to do a regular push up for example And off course zumba and dancehall classes! Like I am able to skip those There will be a showcase on July 1st, and I need to train for that. So I will attempt to go to all extra trainingsessions, and go the the regular ones (2 hours on Tuesday, 1 on Thursday and 1 on Friday). BUT, and this is important: if I feel my body needs to recharge I will skip a workout, or at least postpone it. I will not over-train my body, and I will rest when I need to rest. Quest 3: Keep sane To adhere to these goals I need to be mindful. I need to be aware of my thoughts and why I do what I do. To keep on track I will either watch 1 masterclass a week or read a blogpost on Life on Tellus, or I will read a chapter in "the little book of big change" or "mind over binge". And to provide extra motivation I'm participating in DietBets. And to make things even better. Here is a Spreadsheet for my accountability and your entertainment
  2. This is ME! (Actually, this is Rey Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion ㅋㅋㅋ) I am starting again, after a previous challenge which ended really well! For this challenge, I am focusing on AWARENESS, not perfection. (Thank you Mana for reminding me of this when I needed it!) I will likely make mistakes, get off the wagon, fall sometimes, and also DECIDE to do the wrong thing. This is all fine. All I want to focus on for this challenge is to learn to be AWARE of these things, and DECIDE to eat out if I want to, rather than eat because I am bored. Real goals (not SMART) - *In order of excitement* A- Successfully finish learning my choreographed song B- Start losing weight C- Get back to good habits Funnily enough Goal C will help with Goal B, which will help TREMENDOUSLY with Goal A. There is nothing more enraging than a tiny girl with no muscle doing the choreo better than me because I have to move all my body... NO MORE!! In my last challenge I was able to start establishing good habits again, so I want to continue on, but build on that goal and learn and be more aware! Challenge Goals (SMART): 1- Continue following the 3 basic rules (stop eating at 10pm, in bed by 11pm, exercise every day) 2- Note down everything I eat the week before the chalenge (that's now!), and then count calories (or WW points) by time the challenge starts (no restriction yet - just awareness!) 3- Substitute 2 cardio workouts for weightlifting workouts (with or without stretching as a warmup) 4- Start following more nutrition rules, aiming for 2 more per day 5- Add 1-2 dance practice workouts (~30min in the evenings) Example of additional nutrition rules: - No eating 1 hour before or after a meal (because it can wait or I'm not really hungry) - Pass on the caloric beverage post meal even if my colleagues all have cappuccino - Avoid snacks in the afternoon that are not fruits or protein bars - Avoid very unhealthy snacks such as bread and butter, substitute avocados or peanut butter or fruits - Avoid desserts - Try to go carbs-free for certain meals (e.g., on dance class days to jump higher!) And I finally found a nice body inspiration! As I am living in Korea, any girl higher than 100 pounds is considered fat (i don't want to think what they think of me *shudders*). But I managed to find a body inspiration. She's Korean American and she is a singer and dancer, but she has a body that illustrate her love for life an food! I will look up to her as my inspiration: Ailee is mostly muscle, and a little fat because she is human! But her endurance on stage is incredible... And with this, I successfully complete my previous challenge, and start this one with happiness and inspiration!
  3. This will be my second challenge with the druids. I feel good here, and I am sure this is the place to be for my quest to physical and mental health. I will turn 50 this year, and by the time I reach this magic date I want to have my life in order. In detail, this means to focus on physical health by doing yoga and pilates on a regular basis and by cleaning up my diet again. I've been slacking on my paleo, not liking the consequences. Mental health is something that for some reason I tend to neglect, and this needs to change. Usually, I sort of race through my work days, and if someone asks me what time it is, I answer something like "uhm, winter?" Not good. Also, I tend to sacrifice self care as something that is not as important as other things. Which is wrong. So a change of attitude is needed. Quest 1: return to my established paleo lifestyle to fuel my body properly, keeping below 40g carbs per day Quest 2: regain flexibility and core stability with yoga and pilates - twice per week should be doable Quest 3: have every day some time for self care, appreciating my body without judging it Quest 4: Whatever I do, I need to be fully into it. No matter whether work, sports, playing with kids, gardening … simply be more in the moment. To consciously live my day, I will write a journal, reflecting my day before I go to bed. From last challenge came a few things that I will keep continuing, since they have turned into good habits: drink enough water, take St. John's Wort, keep decluttering (very satisfying!), use the stairs at work instead of elevator, spend talking and/ or story telling time with my children. What I won't continue: step tracking and logging my water intake . Honestly, numbers don't satisfy me. Life is precious, I don't want to feel wasting it on the wrong things or - even worse - run through it without really feeling alive...
  4. Hello fellow Druids! This is my first challenge here, so let me know and please forgive me if I commit any faux pas. After I finished my first challenge I went to the Assassins, but given my current needs and the absolute explosion of failing of my last challenge, I need to reorient my goals: they now align harmoniously with the Druid Guild, so I hope I will learn a lot from everyone and find my place here. The short story is that I was being emotionally blackmailed by my boss everyday and did not react well to his behavior. I let my emotions take the best of me and he preyed on it, which led to me gaining weight, losing my temper, and in the end being so sick I couldn't leave my bed for three days. I feel better now that I've taken vacations and medications, but I still have to face him everyday, so I need to find a better way to cope. The ultimate goal of this challenge: Calm my emotions. I know I cannot control them, but I should learn not to let them control me either. This goal will be supported by four sub-goals: listen consciously, relax mindfully, restore fully and live for me. While I cannot make my main goal SMART, I can use exercises for each of the sub-goals: - Listen consciously: will be an exercise in meditation and in understanding my body and emotions better. Every day for 5 minutes, I need to listen to my emotions, let them run through me, without judging them, only recognizing them. this can also be achieved through meditation, if I am able to empty my mind and be at peace. - Relax mindfully: The second will be to stop the noise. I listen to a lot of music just to stop thinking, and I now need to learn to enjoy the silence. So I will cut the music everyday at 10pm at the latest and will do whatever I want - just no background noise. This will also be the occasion to read more, especially books about controlling my emotions. - Restore fully: This will be a double goal, centered around more sleep and better food control, so I never let my emotions make the best of me because I'm sleep-deprived or haven't eaten. I will go to bed every day before 11:15pm and will eat balanced meals. The food will be graded subjectively depending on the day, but the goal is 80% Paleo and 2 snacks max a day, with fruits and yogurt (no cereals), excluded. - Live for me: Will be a mantra-based goal. Because I often do things for others, I tend to forget about me. I need to remind myself when it is NOT time to work, when I need NOT to worry about something which is not my responsibility. I also need to express these boundaries better to people. For now, the goal is to remind myself, as often as needed "This is not your responsibility, so you should not engage your feelings". I will also focus on visualizing my bubble being separated from other people's. There are so many more things I want to do! I really want to try yoga and exercise everyday and stretch better and learn to do the splits. But for now, I'll subordinate my fitness goals to my mental ones - my body will feel better once my mind does too. I will continue exercising everyday (30-45 minutes in the morning), centered around more stretching and strength training, but no guilt if I cannot complete them. Goals is 4 times a week and dance class twice a week from next month on (since it's too late for this month). Grading: - Listen: A for 6 times or more per week, B for 5, C for 4 and failed if below. No comp. At stake is 4 CHA. - Relax: A for 5 times or more per week, B for 4, and failed if below, comp over the duration of the challenge. At stake is 4 WIS. - Restore: A for 5 times or more per week, B for 4, and failed if below, comp over the same week, in going earlier to bed (same amount of time); for the food 6/5/4 for A/B/C and comp through fasting. At stake is 5 CON, my weakest point. - Live: No grading yet as I don't know if his is right. I will see if it helps and how much. Also it should be done on an as-needed basis. Because I am so new to all this, I will need adjustment, so I will carefully keep on reading and may change these goals / grades accordingly. Deep breath and let's start out journey. I feel anxious to start, but excited to embark on the road to more serenity. Thank you.
  5. Dantilla kept her eyes low as the caretaker walked past, pretending to study the pattern on the mosaic table in front of her. Once he had passed, she resumed her actual task--sharpening a blade she had swiped from the kitchen. She frowned at her makeshift whetstone and at the inferior weapon. In her previous line of work, she had become accustomed to much better. But, what was an assassin without her blade? A voice from behind her startled her, and she hurried to hide her items, but knew it was too late. It never ceased to amaze her how silent her caretakers could be. "Oh Young One, do not think it is a secret that you long for your own land. We have no desire for our home to become a prison for you. If you were to feel trapped, you'd never come back!" The caretaker held out one of Dantilla's daggers, which she had not seen since before the...incident. Dantilla eagerly took the blade. “Come.†She led Dantilla out of the solarium, down the winding road through the orchard, to the lake at the edge of their dwelling. "This lake separates our dwelling from from the world you knew.†Dantilla could only barely see the land across the great expanse of water. “When you can cross it, you will be ready to leave." Dantilla looked longingly at the land beyond the lake. She knew this task would require strength, endurance, awareness of her limits, and a leap of faith. Challenge: Some progress in my recovery has been made, but I lost a lot of my previous fitness. I want it back. I have to be really diligent with my disciplines. I need to make my physical therapy things a real habit. All my PT stuff as one chunk—6 days a week CON Meditate 5 min Foam rolling—all of it Transverse abdominus exercises—regular, toe tapping, and butterfly Calf work—calf raises, balance and stretching Hip stretches Sight-singing practice—3 days a week WIS & CHA I must sight-sing SOMETHING. I have to keep this skill sharp, like my blade. Gratitude practice—6 days a week min WIS Everyday I write down 5 things for which I am grateful. A little something I learned from the Caretakers. Exercise—Swim 2x week minimum, 2x week black widow workout STR & STA I WILL CROSS THE LAKE
  6. Dear Druids, thank you for letting me play in your sandbox this round! Hello errbody! Welcome to the challenge in which Flea finally touches hers- er, gets in touch with herself. I don't pay enough attention to my body and what it's telling me, and I don't take enough time to focus on recharging and bettering myself. I have a tendency to just coast through the present while living mostly in the past or the future. Over the past 5 months I've started eating better and exercising more but not really paying attention to how I feel as a result. I didn't realize that running before work made my loathsome job more bearable or that I didn't feel so lethargic eating vegan for the last challenge. The longer I play around on NF the more I'm realizing my body is capable of some awesomeness but I'm definitely taking it for granted. On top of that, I'm headed to England for grad school in September. Grad school is stressful. Getting a visa and plane tickets and packing for a year is stressful. The prospect of making new friends when you're crazy shy and have a touch of social anxiety but you know you have to do it unless you want to spent a whole year alone in a dorm room the size of a closet? There's not even a word for how stressful that is. So this is me being proactive for once in my life and implementing ways to deal with stress & anxiety and be more aware of who I am, how I deal with things, etc. As usual I just wrote up an entire wall of text but still didn't manage to explain my goals very well. Cookies to everyone who's made it this far. Main Goal: Figure out who I am and what makes me tick. Goal 1: Daily yoga (+1 DEX, +2 CON) I took some free classes in college and loved the way it felt, physically and... idk? Internally? Mentally/spiritually? I did a 30-day challenge as part of a previous NF challenge, but didn't continue after. This time I want to lay the foundations for a lifelong practice. Proprioception. I love that word. I want to cultivate awareness of where I am, how I move, and really pay attention to posture/etc. I think I'll redo that 30-day challenge, then find other videos on YouTube. If anyone has suggestions of sites/videos/books, send them my way!Grading: 7x/wk = A; 6x/wk = B; 5x/wk = C; <5x/wk = come on Flea, you can do better than that! :\ Goal 2: Daily meditation after I wake up (+3 WIS, +2 CHA) Also something I've dabbled in but not really been consistent with. 5 minutes every day for week 1, increasing at least 1 minute each week after. Grading: same as yoga. Goal 3: Journal for 20 minutes before bed (+3 WIS) I've been journaling for almost 6 months but sometimes cop out with "Here's a summary of my day, I'm tired and it's bedtime now." I want to focus on other things like WHY I felt a certain way at work, or a random thought that occured to me, or why I felt anxious sending an email. Digging deeper into my feelings/thoughts/fears will help me understand, work around, and/or overcome obstacles in my life, find my motivation, and simply understand myself better. Grading: avg 18-20 minutes/day = A; avg 16-17 = B; 14-15 = C; <14 minutes/day = I'm not even trying. Bonus: every minute over 25 will count for half a minute, because if I'm on a roll I don't want to feel tempted to stop just because the timer's done. Life quest: Study ALL the languages! (+2 WIS, +2 CHA) I love love love languages. Figuring out grammar rules, learning new vocabulary, understanding bitchy YouTube comments... this is where I thrive.I was nearly fluent in French and at an intermediate level in Arabic but haven't used either in 4 years. (Fun fact: I have tattoos in both languages.) I've studied Spanish informally and could be so much better if I put regular effort into it. I want to learn a dozen other languages but won't get there if I don't start.Minimum 3 Duolingo lessons in Spanish or German, OR 1 chapter of Arabic or French.Grading: 7x/wk = A; 6x/wk = B; 5x/wk = C; <5x/wk = Look at your life, look at your choices...End goal: Self-awareness and world domination Thanks for sticking around! On y va!
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