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  1. So I've just started my second week at a new job as a machinist, and I love it. After spending years in grad school spinning my wheels thinking about really complex and intricate ideas nobody gives two shits about, let alone a salary, with nothing to show for it, and then two years in a low paying, low skilled, mind numbing ass grinding warehouse job, I finally found a good job that's balanced on mental and physical work, pays well, and very likely will open a good career path ahead. Plus, I landed a gig at a good company right out of school. I get to play with robots that help me make high precision parts for medical devices and airplanes and such. They have plenty of work, and because most of the people who work that have a good work ethic and like what they do, they have endless voluntary overtime, but never any mandatory overtime. Since the work is not hard labor, nor mind numbing, I can endure 10 hour shifts pretty easily. But since I'm on my feet all day, moving around and working with my hands, I think I might actually be burning some calories. On top of that I don't seem to get hungry, nor do I even think of food while I work. So... I'm getting paid to lose weight basically. Also, my goal for the next year is to save up enough to put a down payment on a house. So I'm pretty motivated to make and save that bacon! Goals: Still TBD. I'm using zero week to actually think through my goals rather than just plop down whatever four or five things come to mind. So I'm still thinking through some things that could help me lose weight while raking in dough. Edit: These are teh goalz: 1) Morning routine: Bombproof coffee, stretching/exercise, be at work before 6:45 am. 2) Intermittent fasting: Eatings happens betweens 12:00-8:00pms, excepts Bombsproofs coffees. 3) Stick to the FODMAP diet. 4) Guitar every the evening 5) Paint every weekend
  2. New Challenge! Or rather a series of challenges because I am trying to do multi-challenge character arc and it will span the course of 12 months. So, in case I have not mentioned it, tomorrow is my birthday! And also Thanksgiving if you're one of us Yanks. Which means I plan to get some extra stuffing and NOT feel bad about it. I turn 49 tomorrow, which is a weird combination of WHOOOT WHOOOT and holy fuck. I want to make my next few challenges all about getting out of my comfort zone, trying new things, and basically revving the engine so I come screeching up to the starting line of 50 with my tires smoking and my helmet on and some other racing cliche that I cannot in this moment think of. Half a century, baby! Bring me the bifocals and the comfortable shoes BECAUSE IT IS ON. I used my ongoing obsession with the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty as a framework. In the course of the movie, Walter takes on a whole series of challenges that lead him to the prize and leave him a different person. Or... does it? There's a scene in the movie where Walter, after all his adventures, is sitting in a coffee shop and trying to write his resume - because while he was out having his grand quest, the magazine he worked for folded and he lost his job. It's almost a throwaway scene, but it's always stuck with me, because I watch it and wonder what happened to him after the movie ended. Like, did he get another boring job, and Cheryl get another boring job, and they just went back to being little gray pieces of paper again? I hate that thought. I refuse to believe it. I think - I like to think - that having gotten a taste of life outside his comfort zone, Walter and Cheryl bought an RV, and traveled across country with her kid and her three-legged dog, rock climbing and surfing and selling cupcakes at music festivals, with Walter's mom baking clementine-infused weed brownies whenever they traveled somewhere with legal marijuana. I am 90% sure that Walter's mom makes kick-ass weed brownies. My last couple of years have taken me waaaaay outside my comfort zone, or what I thought was my comfort zone, and I want to build on that and really start to stretch. Think about this: - I started weight training with a 40-pound back squat and a zero-pound deadlift, because I didn't know what the fuck a deadlift was. I now squat 175 for reps (or did, and will again when my knee is back) and my 1RM deadlift is 225. I'm still considering getting that printed on t-shirt, by the way. - I went from 42% body fat to 31%, and I gained 18 pounds of lean mass. I'm heavier, but a smaller size, so I guess I got denser. I'm weirdly proud of this. - I started riding my bike with a 3-mile loop around my neighborhood that was almost enough to kill me. This February I attempted the 52-mile "Brushy Tunnel" ride for the first time (a rite of passage for local cyclists) and was shaking in my shoes because I was sure I couldn't do it. I've since done it 8 times. I've ridden 6 metric centuries (100 kilometers) in the past two years and I have Tyrannasaur quads like Usain Bolt. I never want to wear long pants again. - I planned and did my "Keys Loop" Adventure, I went diving in Hondouras and was not kidnapped by drug lords, and I toured California and spent a week in Yosemite and ate every taco in Los Angeles. I took a sailing class and got certified as a keelboat operator. I bought a decent car. It doesn't seem like much taken individually (just like my resume!) but as a whole it's actually a lot. Now it's time to look ahead and really start to stretch. I made a wish list of everything I wanted to do in the next year, and I'm going to attack a couple of items each month until I get them all. Some will span a few challenges and some will be one-and-done things, and a few can overlap which is good because I am all about efficiency. A few things are goals about accepting my own self, like stopping dying my hair and being embarrassed about my love of nature movies and how much I adore things that are fried. A few are athletic goals that I've been wanting to do but chickened out because I was afraid to fail at them. Some are professional to make my job and my life easier. And some are just things that would give me enjoyment, like starting an instagram for my obsession with street art. But they are all things that have unique meaning to me and will allow me to grow. I'll post a copy of the list on my challenge periodically and cross things off as I accomplish them. I'd put it in my signature but I can't figure out how to make a pretty multi-colored signature with editable items and different fonts like some people have, and godamnit if I can't have the My Little Pony version than I'll just make my own. Given, then, that the challenge starts right after my birthday (I will plug this shamelessly, I am a complete attention whore), here are my items for this month: - 250 pound 1RM deadlift: The Mantis is convinced I can do this, though I find it slightly terrifying. The one good thing about my knee being janked so I can't do squats is that I am really focused on my deadlift and I am frankly kicking some ass there. My most recent workouts were 165 pounds for 3 sets of four reps. - Find a uniform: Like Steve jobs and his turtleneck, or Diane Von Furstenburg with her wrap dresses. I want to have a go-to look that always looks decent so I can stop thinking about what I'm wearing. So far it looks like my winter look is a pencil skirt with knee boots and a long sleeved top, or jeans (actually jeggings; there is no getting my quadzilla thighs in jeans anymore) with the same boots and top. I also promised myself I'd buy a decent pair of winter boots this year; Atlanta is not that cold but it's constantly wet in the winter and I'm always miserable. I want something with traction because I have a phobia of falling. - Revise the side hustle: I had a little ebay business that I ran on the side of my regular job, but it takes a ton of time for some reason and even at it's peak it only made about a hundred bucks a month. I'd be better off finding a different side hustle or just putting in more hours at my regular job. So this month I am going to give myself permission not to think about it or try to work on it. Bonus: more time for gym! Enter a powerlifting meet: I won't actually accomplish this goal over this challenge, but I'm going to attend a powerlifting meet so I can get a feel for it on the 9th, unless I have to work. I want to see how they run and what the competition is like. My gym workouts will continue on the strength end of things because I've discovered that 80 miles a week on the bike and three to four crossfit-style workouts make me want to become one with the carpet. I'm going to be working on my pull-ups a lot because I can't enter the Crossfit Open unless I can do a pull-up (even in the Master's division, where I totally am) and getting back to squatting. I did a couple bodyweight squats at the gym Monday for the first time in 5 weeks and they worked pretty well, just stiff. I'm also going to give myself permission to drop out of the online video bike training program I was using because a) it was killing me and b ) I hate riding the trainer five days a week. I'm going to mix up the trainer and outside. okay this has totally gone on long enough, you're all very patient. Go eat turkey.
  3. Hey! So just looking to see if we have any Canadian Rebels from the good ol' AB? I'm up north in Grande Prairie (4.5 hours NW of Edmonton). I'm heading to the Color Me Rad Run in Edmonton this July, and wondering if anyone else will be going/wants to meet up?
  4. This is a recipe i posted last week on my challenge and i got a few requests to translate it. So i decided to post it here to share with you all!! Chicken in a Delicious Jacket Above: my first time making it with my Dutch cook book. (This amount of chicken is for 6 persons, but i was very hungry haha) - Ingredients - Preparation - Changes/Tips For 2 persons. Ingredients: A pinch of Sea Salt & Peper 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder 1/2 teaspoon Onion powder 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs A pinch of Chili powder 2 teaspoons Coconut Sugar 2 Chicken fillets, in roughly 6 thick slices 12 bacon strips Broccoli, in roses 1 teaspoon of Ghee Preparation: Mix salt, peper, paprika powder, onion powder, garlic powder & italian herbs in a bowl and sprinkle this over the chicken slices; Wrap every chicken slice with 2 bacon strips & possible fix in place with sticks if necessary; Mix coconut sugar with chili powder and roll the chicken/bacon package through it (press lightly so it sticks); Heat Ghee in a frying pan and cook the chicken until its crispy and cooked. In the meantime cook or steam some broccoli. This chicken is both cold and hot very tasty with the broccoli. Changes/Tips: I dont have measuring cups/spoons so i layed them all on my cutting bord and just sprinkled them all a little bit on both sides I couldnt get any Ghee (some sort of oil) so i used olive oil. Its best to keep the sticks through the bacon and chicken while cooking the chicken, which only takes a few minutes. If you cook the broccoli in boiling water its best to start boiling when you are preparing the chicken, saves a few minutes and you can serve it at exactly the same time. Hope you all enjoy it. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask them. If you tried them out please leave a "review" because i'm interested to know what you think of them.
  5. I don’t have a lot of plot exposition this time around, as I’m just mildly adjusting my last challenge, The Secret Life, which I feel really speaks to my overarching goals at the moment. I really want to travel more (by ‘more’ I think I mean ‘all the time’) and showcase my travel writing and photography more, so this challenge is designed for those things. Also, my December is going to be nuts so a simple challenge is best I also have a big trip coming in late spring that I’ll talk about more next challenge, but this challenge will begin to lay the groundwork. (And the financing.) To the Goals: PUT OUT THE MAGAZINE: I had a really hard time with this last time around; I’m not sure if it’s that I never seem to have a large block of time to get editing/writing done, or if I just have terminal ADD, but I only got it done once. So editing/writing is a big priority this time. Goal: “publish” something once a week, and post to my blog twice. Travel Journal: work on an ebook. I have like 3-ebooks half written (all about travel, go figure) so I need to work on those. Sell the Piano: Travel may be the only thing you buy that makes you richer, but it still costs money. I need to find ways to make extra cash to pay for it. I used to have a little ebay business where I sold second-hand clothes and old props and whatever, so I am going to start that again and funnel all the money into my travel fund. I’ll also be looking into other ways to generate income (sell my plasma? dog walking? ladies wrestling?) that also goes to the travel kitty. Get it? It's a travel kitty. Bake the Cake: Last challenge I attempted to eat a different foreign cuisine every week, which was frighteningly easy, because I love to eat out. However, I spend a fortune eating out in general, probably 6-7 times a week. So this challenge I am limiting meals out to two per week (meals that someone else pays for, like when I’m traveling for work, do not count against this), and making myself cook/eat at home. Still going to attempt to eat as much ethnic cuisine as possible. This will make it easier for me to control my intake, as restaurants (especially Tex-Mex, my favorite) tend to go overboard with the food, and work on my nutrition. Adventure Waits for no one: Again, aiming for one adventure a week. Can be a band, a hike, camping, kayaking, becoming a hermit in a mountain fastness, something. Ungoverned Afganistan: My domestic rangering is in severe disarray. One whole section of our house is basically unusable due to mess (I live in one of those sprawling split-ranch houses, it’s way to big and falling apart around us). I need to work on cleaning the patio, den, and my office daily and get it under control. Test the Body and Mind: Workouts. I’ll list these later so they don’t bore everyone, because they haven’t changed a ton. Just harder I’m also going to add one brain puzzle per day to my regimen, because lately I feel like I’m getting stupider. I think it’s just a combination of too much on my mind and a lot of distraction, but I gotta work on it. By the way, in case it seems weird that I have so much travel stuff on a site devoted to workout challenges, I have to say that my whole “get in shape” journey was started because I got so out of condition that traveling was becoming difficult. One of the reasons I finally snapped to and started getting stuff under control was watching my parents age badly and realizing that if I wanted to continue traveling as I got older, I needed to maintain the machine. So the two things go very much hand-in-hand in my book. So that’s it! Join me on my very Mitty challenge if you’d be so kind.
  6. This time around, like so many of my other challenges, I started out with one idea and it morphed into something totally other. I was planning to do a "Spartan Race" challenge because I'm attempting one in December (full disclosure: I'm probably going to die) and while I was looking for some good movie quotes I stumbled across "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" which I hadn't seen before, watched it, and I sort of latched on to it instead. It really seemed to speak to where I'm at right now. So instead of Gerard Butler's abs you get to look at Ben Stiller for a month. I am so sorry. On the bright side, there will be tacos. Anywaaaaay.... I did a lot of interesting stuff at the beginning of the year when I took a work break, to try to widen my horizons and sort of chase my dreams of traveling more and showcasing my travel photography and writing. I did a few things, but when I went back to work (sooner than planned, actually) those things kind of went on the back burner and I got sucked into day-to-day boringness again. Like Walter, I became a little gray piece of paper. (this is not technically accurate because I don't work in an office, but you get the idea.) So I want to revive some of those goals and start writing, adventuring, etc again. I really feel like I'm missing out on my last chance to be this person I want to be by getting bogged down in minutia. I'm getting really old - and I need to take the proverbial leap of faith. Fortunately I'm coming into a slower season for my job and I am going to work diligently at managing my time and not wasting hours futzing on the internets* obsessing over weird stuff, so I have more time for adventures. Also the weather is changing for the better finally (summer was like hell's vestibule this year) so I can re-incorporate some of the stuff I did for "Escape of the Zoo Human" like camping and suchlike without an oxygen tank and weapons-grade insect repellent. But enough plot exposition. To the GOALS! PUT OUT THE MAGAZINE: In the movie Walter works at LIFE magazine, just as it is supposedly shutting down. Ironically, the very "digital revolution" that wiped out the magazine enables goons like me to share their work online easily and reach an audience. So my goal is to work on my podcasts, photography, videos etc at least four days a week, and "publish" something once a week. TRAVEL JOURNAL: Walter has a travel journal in the film that serves as a talisman of his dreams. There's a great sequence where he looks at the journal and then the next time you see it he's writing in it in the Himalayas. It sort of symbolizes the moment Walter starts living his adventures for real, instead of just dreaming about them. I don't plan to go to Ungoverned Afganistan and the lower Himalayas**, but I my goal is to post to my travel blog 4 times a week. It can just be a "photo of the day" or something similar. SELL THE PIANO: Almost at the end of the film, Walter has to sell his mom's piano, which has been bogging everyone physically, emotionally, and financially down, all through the movie. It's a good symbol of letting go of "stuff". Goal: I want to streamline my possessions and get rid of 20% of my stuff. I plan to do this on a room-by-room basis, to make it more manageable. THE WORLD ON YOUR PLATE: There's a lot of food references in SLOWM, including a scene where Cheryl is bringing some sort of tasty noodle lunch back to the office, a bit where Walter almost chokes on some horrible dried-fish snack in a Greenland dive bar, and of course the recurring appearances of his mom's warlord-approved clementine cake. (bonus points for anyone who knows "Cake or Death") I am lucky that I live in a very "International" sort of city (albeit in the suburbs) and I have access to all kinds of ethnic restaurants, music, art etc. I used to have a "foreign food Friday" routine where I dragged one of my friends to a different foreign cuisine every week, to experiment. (I would pay for their meal in case it was disgusting). I want to re-instate that and also start going more musical, artsy things as well. This is especially good for me because the time is going to change soon and it will get dark at 6pm, at which point I will want to hibernate until spring, like a bear. I need serious motivation to get out of the house in winter. Goal: 2x a week. (Fortunately ethnic food is usually cheap) ADVENTURE WAITS FOR NO ONE: Goal: one small adventure a week - camping, kayaking, museum, rock climbing gym, attend a lecture, get waterboarded, something. Moment of serious: I had a lot of shocks in the last 12 months. I had a serious bike accident, I had a serious car accident, a giant tree fell almost on my house, my father died unexpectedly, I had two close friends lose best friends/spouses to illness... I don't know how many times the universe is going to warn me that life has a timer before I fucking get the message but it's the truth. I'm 48 years old, which means my life is more than half over by any rational statistical reckoning. Two-thirds, really. I NEED to have a midlife crisis. Because time runs out. Okay, enough serious. Look at this kitten until you feel better. TEST YOUR LIMITS: You thought I was going to get through this entire post without talking about Crossfit, didn't you? You did. hahahahaha, you sweet, foolish person. I will be preparing for my Spartan Race (December 4th! whooot!) so I will be training like a madwoman for that, and I'm toying with getting into adventure racing (where you run, kayak, parachute, whatever). There will be pullups, there will be ring work, there will be deadlifting and handstands, and I will babble about it constantly, because RANGERING, BITCHES. Ummmm okay I think that's it. I don't know how these things always get so long. I may have used up all my Walter Mitty pictures so it's back to cat gif's shortly, I'm afraid. Probably this is better for everyone. *not including NF, obviously. I mean, be reasonable. **never say never, though
  7. NEW CHALLLENGE! Oh My God So Excited ... This is just a placeholder, though. I'll be back later today. Just wanted to let you all know what you're in for.
  8. Time for the new challenge! Really, it’s ridiculous how excited I get about these things. I am going to start a 3-part challenge cycle, in part because I had such a good run with my “Predator” series at the beginning of the year, when I was prepping to go on my trip to the keys. It was a good mix of short- and long-term goals, and since I have three months to prep for my next big athletic event, it fits perfectly. The whole series will be organized around the concept of “taking control” of some of the areas of my life that just constantly go spinning off the rails. I need to get a firmer grip on some of the fundamentals; I sometimes agonize over stuff like should I be taking certain supplements, should I go gluten free, should I take up meditation, etc; I’m usually pondering these things while stuffing my face with nachos, so you can perhaps appreciate the irony. I need to go after the low-hanging fruit, before I stress about esoteric ingredients in my protein powder. Also I thought it would be fun to do a challenge that was filled with dominatrix memes. So for this first segment, I want to focus on my nutrition, which is the lowest-hanging fruit of all. l mean, I am terrible. I whipsaw between super-clean paleo eating and utter binge-o-rama, and it’s a testament to my love for my workout routine that I do not resemble the stay-puft marshmallow man. Which is not to say I’m not still 40 pounds overweight, but I live in a much healthier body than I did a couple of years ago. It deserves to be fed better, so I need to untangle my relationship with food. THE GUIDELINES: - Allow “natural” sweets back into my diet. This probably requires some explanation. I tend to cut ALL sweets - not just pastries and such but things like fruit and honey- out of my diet, and then I rebound by eating shit like frosting out of the can. Seriously. I wish I were making that up. So I am going to start eating more fruit, with my meals and as snacks, to see if it calms my sugar cravings down. - Unleash the carb hound. I already eat a ton of carbs, but in a very roller-coaster manner - almost no carbs some days, then way too much others. And not good ones. I’m about to start building my biking mileage up, and I need to feed the machine, so I’m setting my carb-o-meter at 200 grams a day - as in, I have to eat that much. It doesn’t all have to be from powerbars and croissants - wouldn’t that be great, though - but I have to hit that number. I may - I cannot believe I am saying this out loud - begin to eat noodles again, without guilt. I feel dirty just saying that. - No skipped meals or self-punishments with food I’ve played around with intermittent fasting, but it seems to make me more likely to binge-eat, and there’s a growing body of research that indicates women don’t respond to it as well as men, and that it can cause the body to hold on to fat, because it freaks out your hormones. I’m 47 years old and on the edge of menopause, so my hormones don’t need any help freaking out. No more skipped meals. Likewise, no sending myself to bed without dinner because I slipped up during the day. I’m not a child, refusing to eat their brussel sprouts. I’m a grown woman. Mistakes will be made. I will deal with it in an adult manner, and not cry and throw my toys. Meal Prep Standby of bodybuilders, overworked moms, and obsessive-compulsives everywhere. Just do it. THE PLAN: Set (repeated) Meals: I’m trying to eat smaller meals, more often, but the thing that always hangs me up with that is coming up with all these meals and counting the calories, macros, etc. I’m going to experiment with eating the same meal consistently for my first and second meal of the day, to see if taking the brain work out of it makes it easier. Especially for my first breakfast, I don’t care what I eat; I’m a fucking zombie in the morning and I spend the first hour stumbling around and bumping into walls, so it hardly matters what I stuff in my face as long as coffee is included. First meal: 8 AM Two hard boiled eggs, 1/4 sweet potato (roasted cubes; I do a big pan of these on Sunday). Coffee w cream. Calories: 306 (approx) Carbs: 15g Second Meal: 11 AM 3/4 cup chili (homemade; again, made on Sunday), plus fruit. Calories: about 400, depending on the fruit. Carbs: 25-ish, again depends on fruit Third Meal: 2 PM Light lunch. Chicken and vegetable combo of some sort - I cook a bunch of chicken breast or thighs for meal prep, so using that. Fruit. Calories: 400 Carbs: 25 OR A meal replacement of some sort (Kind bar, protein shake) I know that this sounds incredibly boring, and it likely will BE incredibly boring, but I’m hoping that by taking the “decision fatigue” out of the menu planning, I can be more consistently nutritious. Dinner can be free-form, as long as it’s not stuffed crust pizza or something. I’m very partial to yummy things made in the crockpot so I’ll use my culinary creativity points for that meal. Snack: 100 calories worth of protein/fat before bed. Probably a bit of ricotta cheese with fruit - I know that cottage cheese is the snack of bodybuilders everywhere, but it’s disgusting and I can’t make myself eat it. All my workouts will stay the same, except I'm starting to increase my bike mileage and I'm working up to 4 rounds of my circuit training (which I managed for the first time yesterday). Additional Challenge Thingy: I know everyone says you have to "win the morning" or "control your first 60 minutes" or whatever organizational shiz they want to phrase it as, and I just. Cannot. Do it. I am literally a mental defective until I have been awake for at least an hour. If I want to "hit the ground running" I have to get up at 4 am just to shake out the cobwebs. But it IS true that a more organized morning is better. So I am going to revive my "Evening Routine" concept that I used a few challenges back to make my morning less disastrous. All of these things need to be checked off the list before I call it a night. They don't all have to be DONE right before bed - I'm usually pretty wiped by the end of the day** - but just checked off gradually thru the afternoon. EVENING CHECKLIST: - prep coffee (I have an automatic coffeemaker that my be my most prized possesion. Getting up and the coffee is already made makes me feel like I have house elves.) - Feed birds (outdoor bird feeders) and fish (in tank) - 10-minute clean up, empty dishwasher, laundry away (I am the WORST at what a friend calls "leaving a trail"... discarded books, clothes, dishes everywhere) - put all electronics on to charge (I hate going to use my ipad and the battery's dead) - make next day's to-do list If I can do most of those things every night I can be productive much sooner the next day. (At least I think so...) GOALS: World domination. I mean, obviously. **possibly one of my future challenges should be finding out why I'm so tired all the time. Low iron? Thyroid? Rabies? Who knows. I'm kinda willing to bet it's just the 40lbs overweight thing, though.
  9. I spent several days last week minutely configuring my challenge for this go-round, and yesterday during my workout I completely scrapped the whole thing. It was all about intensity and improvement and other Very Important Things, and it was just so serious. I've been a little off-kilter since I came back from my trip (I think all the planning and prep left a psychological vacuum) and I decided I just wanted to have some fun this time around. Inspired by Sloth's Buck Rogers challenge (God, I loved that show when I was a kid) and my teenage obsession with 80's detective shows, I bring you the Man... the Myth... the Moustache... The Magnum, PI challenge! Magnum PI is not exactly classic nerd fodder, but it has everything a slightly OCD nerd with both wanderlust and minor issues with authority could ask for: Magnum drove a Ferrari, which was the closest thing to a spaceship in automobile form at that time. Magnum was a Navy Seal, and ran the Ironman Triathlon in one episode. Fitness, bitches! Magnum ran his own detective agency, was his own boss, and lived on his own terms. Magnum was exciting, always doing something new; flying in a helicopter, exploring Hawaii, being abducted and chloroformed, fighting off sharks with a taser, whatever. Magnum had that mustache. Best of all, Magnum had Higgins. Higgins was the ID to Magnum’s Ego, the voice of sanity when all else was madness. Higgins was structured, offering Magnum discipline when he needed it. Higgins was organization in the midst of chaos. I bet Higgins meal prepped. So! to turn this into a challenge, I just tweaked those items and applied them to my own saga: Magnum drives a Ferrari: I desperately need a new car. I currently drive a PT Cruiser with 184,000 miles on it, and it’s falling apart. The front end is all crumpled because the two front tires have come off in two separate incidents, crushing the bumpers (causing one of my friends to note, “You’re the only person I know who literally drove their car till the wheels fell off” and another to chime in “And then put them back on the fucking car!"). It looks so bad that when I go to see clients I have to park it a few blocks away for fear they’ll see it. I keep procrastinating about buying a new car because it seems like so much hassle, but the PT stranded me again last week and it’s got to go. I won’t be getting a Ferrari - I have my eye on a second-hand Kia Soul - but by the end of this challenge I will have upgraded my wheels. Magnum was a Navy Seal, and ran the Ironman Triathlon in one episode. I am going to upgrade my workouts to make them more challenging; I’m switching from all enduro mileage on my bike to 90% hill and interval training, and I’m upping my gym workout from 2 to 3 times a week. I also built a small agility course in my backyard with cones and 2x4’s and an old tire. The Navy Seals have a series of benchmarks for their training (tread water for two minutes, ruck x amount of miles, rip the leg off a bear and eat it) so I will set some benchmarks for improving my own fitness: Weights: back squat 135 lbs for 3 sets of 20, 30 sec rest Bike: 5 loops around Stone Mountain with no rests and without crying like a little child My Ironman equivalent will probably be this hilly metric in May. Or maybe I’ll go nuts and find a (short) triathlon to do. Magnum ran his own detective agency, was his own boss, and lived on his own terms. And he lived on a palatial estate! Really, for someone who’s as obsessed with lifestyle design as I am, Magnum is gold. He had that shit on lock. He perfected the art of living like a rich person without having to be one. Since I’m going back to work, I’m going to model my work style on our favorite investigator’s; focus on running my own business, developing my career in the direction I want, and keeping as many options open as possible. If I can find a palatial tropical estate to live on for free, I’ll let y’all know and we’ll have a party. Magnum was exciting: I am not exciting. I need to get out more, preferably without breaking the bank. My goal is to do two new things a week - hike a new trail, see a new movie, eat a new foreign cuisine, something. Magnum had that mustache. Sorry, no. But I assure you that if I forget to get them groomed I have those identical eyebrows. Best of all, Magnum had Higgins. I would kill to have my own Higgins - half Mr. Miyagi, half Obi-wan Kenobi, half Severus Snape. I realize that’s three halves. The next best thing is to become my own Higgins, and try to import some of that structure and discipline into my life. Higgins both meditates and contemplates bushido, the way of the warrior; he carries both his body and his mind with precision. I bet Higgins doesn’t do things like wear workout clothes all day and forget to cut his hair for a year. (true story: I have not had a haircut since last July. I just keep cutting my own bangs and ignoring the rest.) I could really use some of that formality in my existence. Higgins is also a master of objectivity, which I am terrible at - I take things way too personally - and he manages both the Robin’s Nest and Magnum with the same unruffled dignity. If I could integrate some Higgins into my wild child “fuck you, I want this doughnut” personality, my life would probably be easier. So that's it, welcome to the Magnum Challenge! Pina Coladas are on the table to your left and we're all going out in Hawaiian shirts later to a cheesy tiki bar.
  10. This is my second attempt at posting this new challenge today, as I stupidly put it in the wrong forum first. Goofball. Ack! New Challenge already! Okay, I'm in. But I'm doing this on my tablet so I have no pictures. I challenge all of you to supply me with appropriate gifs. My Challenge will be a weird one because for most of it I will be on my epic Journey to the Florida Keys, where I will kayak (with a group) 63 miles in 5 days from Marathon Key (mile 47 on the Overseas Highway) to Key West, mile marker 0 and the Southernmost point, hopefully not being eaten by a giant marine predator or frying to a crisp in the proccess. The morning after I finish the kayak portion, I will mount my aluminum steed and ride north for three days, covering 80 map miles and 107 physical miles to reach mile marker 80, and will have traversed virtually the entire Florida keys under human power. I bought a special shirt to wear at the victory. THEN, because I am actually, certifiably insane, I will drive home and exactly one week later will do a combination kayak/trail run adventure race in South Carolina on March 26th, which will close out my three-part "Predator Series" as well as my three month work sabbatical in a blaze of glory. And Sunburn. And possibly a pulled hamstring. So my goals on this challenge are: 1: Don't die. This will be graded on a pass/fail basis. 2: See goal one for not dying. 3: if you must die, die biting the throat. I do have some other goals: A: keep leveling up my career via my podcast and webseries and writing and etc B: Don't eat like an idiot C: transition back to work as smoothly as possible I will update these as I can, but the trip will be the main thing. Bear with me. I promise to go back to micromanaging my carb count as soon as it's over. BTW Flamethrowers have nothing to do with my challenge. I was just trying to keep things interesting. Speaking of updates, I just thought I would mention that I wore my jeans out to dinner last night. Imhaven't been able to wear my jeans (I only have the one pair for some reason) in TWO YEARS. Let alone wear them into an eating establishment AND not have to undo the button mid-meal (though I confess my crossfit warrior thighs gave them a moment's pause). My physique may be changing at a glacial pace, but it's getting somewheres.... Spoiler If anyone's remotely interested, when I could last wear those jeans, I weighed 175 lbs after several months of hardcore keto dieting. I now weigh 193, but I'm the same size despite being almost twenty pounds heavier. So that old saw about muscle being smaller amd denser than an equal poundage of bodyfat is apparently true. Or I've developed my own specific gravity in relation to Earth's, which would be interesting. Adventure race deets below if you're interested: Spoiler The adventure Race is a 6 mile kayak and 4 mile trail run in South Carolina the 26th. I fully expect to be the last person finished, and to walk/jog/walk the trail portion. I signed up for it because a friend was talking on facebook about it (his wife is entered) and I was like, "that sounds like so much fun! I wish I could do that." And I just couldn't stop thinking about it, and finally I just woke up in the night and decided there was no reason I *couldn't* do it, and signed up. I must be getting more confident, or at least more adventurous. Or just crazier
  11. Ack! New Challenge already! Okay, I'm in. But I'm doing this on my tablet so I have no pictures. I challenge all of you to supply me with appropriate gifs. My Challenge will be a weird one because for most of it I will be on my epic Journey to the Florida Keys, where I will kayak (with a group) 63 miles in 5 days from Marathon Key (mile 47 on the Overseas Highway) to Key West, mile marker 0 and the Southernmost point, hopefully not being eaten by a giant marine predator or frying to a crisp in the proccess. The morning after I finish the kayak portion, I will mount my aluminum steed and ride north for three days, covering 80 map miles and 107 physical miles to reach mile marker 80, and will have traversed virtually the entire Florida keys under human power. I bought a special shirt to wear at the victory. THEN, because I am actually, certifiably insane, I will drive home and exactly one week later will do a combination kayak/trail run adventure race in South Carolina on March 26th, which will close out my three-part "Predator Series" as well as my three month work sabbatical in a blaze of glory. And Sunburn. And possibly a pulled hamstring. So my goals on this challenge are: 1: Don't die. This will be graded on a pass/fail basis. 2: See goal one for not dying. 3: if you must die, die biting the throat. I do have some other goals: A: keep leveling up my career via my podcast and webseries and writing and etc B: Don't eat like an idiot C: transition back to work as smoothly as possible I will update these as I can, but the trip will be the main thing. Bear with me. I promise to go back to micromanaging my carb count as soon as it's over. BTW Flamethrowers have nothing to do with my challenge. I was just trying to keep things interesting. Speaking of updates, I just thought I would mention that I wore my jeans out to dinner last night. Imhaven't been able to wear my jeans (I only have the one pair for some reason) in TWO YEARS. Let alone wear them into an eating establishment AND not have to undo the button mid-meal (though I confess my crossfit warrior thighs gave them a moment's pause). My physique may be changing at a glacial pace, but it's getting somewheres.... Adventure race deets below if you're interested:
  12. ... so this last year didn't exactly end on a high note. Dammit, Thrillho, we talked about this... It wasn't all bad! I got to spend a lot of time with my kids, we got to go sledding quite often and we played a lot of board games, and we had a pretty awesome and quiet Christmas at home, without any ridiculous northern Canadian mid-winter travelling (except when we got snowed in at my sister's during a freak storm for two days... which was actually still kind of awesome.) That said, I was sick almost literally from the first day of vacation until... yesterday. I exercised almost less than zero times. I ate like someone was going to take it away from me (they might have! No point taking any chances, right?) I really enjoyed my whisky, and all of the cheese I was consuming helped to soak up any negative effects from the hangovers. So I'm basically starting 2016 about as fat as I've been since BEFORE 2015. Not an auspicious start. So listen up, fruit cup! I ain't saying this twice! I've got eleven weeks from today until the Tiger Balms. That's about, what, two and a half challenges under the new system? That sounds pretty good to me. I think this is going to be a bit of a 'warmup' challenge anyways, while I turn myself around and try to develop some new habits. Some of those habits have already started... I made hummus and guacamole today so I can actually have a snack that's kind of sort of healthy, and they're both great additions to my wraps. I've got a turkey vegetable crock pot thing going to keep me in meals all this week. Back at the gym tomorrow morning, and MMA tomorrow night. And perhaps most excitingly, my Creative Writing course at the university starts Wednesday evening. Creative Writing? You're paying someone to tell you why the curtains were blue? Shut up, Titus. All of those inspirational memes with bullshit platitudes posted over blurry landscape photography that tell you to follow your dreams now and that things will always be difficult? They're kinda right, in a way. So this is my way of actually lighting a fire underneath myself to try and follow my dreams This course is the Tiger Balms of my artistic creativity. Even if I crash and burn and fail (which I may very well do at the Tiger Balms), it will still be something that I chose to do, and that I attempted. If I didn't do something just because there was a chance I would fail, then I would never do anything. Correction: I would CONTINUE never doing anything. So we're turning that around in 2016. On with the challenges! Thrillho's Neverlution Challenge #1 - Working Out Alone I have a punching bag and stand in my basement. I have weights, I have kettlebells, I have pads and wraps and gloves and pretty much everything else any decently motivated individual needs to turn themselves into a beast. That said, I also have a couch with blankets and I have three televisions with functioning remote controls, so those weights and kettlebells and things hardly ever get used. I work out at MMA because I'm in a class full of people, I work out at the gym because I have to take my son for his physio, and I work out when my wife's friend comes over to work out because they need someone there to keep them on track. But I don't work out when I'm alone, even when I have free time and nothing to do. I find reasons and excuses and distractions, and while nearly all of them are things that I CAN do and some even NEED to be done, they don't need to be done RIGHT THAT SECOND. I can be honest enough with myself that there are enough slack minutes in my home life that I can work out. Quite a lot. And I need to start doing that. (I think my last challenge had this, and I failed miserably.) Work out at home 3x a week (morning or night, doesn't matter)Work out for at least 30 minutesWork up a decent sweat Seems pretty easy when you spell it out like that, huh? Dumbass. Thrillho's Neverlution Challenge #2 - Proper Diet And Supplements Eleven weeks isn't a lot of time, but I can do a lot. I lost 20 lbs in only six weeks for Ellismania, and that wasn't really REALLY trying too hard. Salad wraps and blue cheese and eggs and laying off the carbs, and switching to green and black teas... it's amazing what you can do. But I need more than just weight loss for this challenge (since the weight classes are very accomodating), I also need muscle building. Protein after workouts is important. Creatine for recovery is important. I splurged a little bit and got some of the Onnit supplements recommended by pretty much everyone I know, and I'll be test-driving those all through the month of January (T+ and Shroomtech). Not nearly as concerned about weight as I am concerned about proper fitness, energy levels and a well-functioning system of mighty organs. Take my T+ and Shroomtech before every workoutTake my protein and creatine after every workout, and protein after MMANo empty breakfast carbsNo more work lattes (tea with one sugar cube is acceptable)No more tasty, tasty dessertsSmall dinners Ask your doctor if Getoffyourassadone is right for you! Thrillho's Neverlution Challenge #3 - Stretching and Flexibility One thing I don't do nearly enough of is stretching. In December, while I was at MMA before my body and life went to hell, I would start every class with inverted wall splits, back arches and wall-assisted handstands. I noticed improvements almost immediately, especially regarding balance, footwork and hip flexibility. Naturally these all stopped when I was no longer attending classes, even though I have more than enough room in my basement to pull this off. Heck, I have a huge wall next to my bed. I could do all of these when I get up and when I go to sleep. And it's about time I started. Stretching in the mornings, especially before workout days. EVERY DAY.Stretching in the evenings, especially after MMA nights. EVERY DAY.Attempted wall-assist handstands every day. 10 times or 10 minutes. Are a man's hips supposed to do that, Thrillho? Thrillho's Neverlution Lifestyle Challenge - Writing Always the biggest one, and yet the smallest one. I have a desktop. I have a laptop. I have a tablet. I have a phone. And yet, most of the writing I do is in my little notebooks when I;m at gymnastics with the girls or when I'm waiting to pick my son up from HIS MMA classes. Because any time I settle down to do some writing, there's always more things that need to be done on my computer... like idlegames. And organizing my music. And posting on NF. Or heck, maybe just watching something dumb on YouTube. There's always something to distract me. Which is a cruel irony, since the only thing I want to do when I'm working, or driving, or cleaning, or otherwise occupied, is write! I have all these great ideas when I'm in bed or when I'm in the shower or when I'm shovelling the driveway (Canada, hello), but at best I jot down a few core concepts and then goof off. When I do write, it's never anything 'serious', for various definitions of that loaded word, but just something silly to amuse me. But I've got a writing course coming up, and I'm assuming I'm going to need to write something for it. I know how much I can write when I put my mind to it, so it's about time I fill up the remainder of my silly free minutes with words, words, words. Attend every writing class, even if you're really sleepy and can make it up with the online webinarWrite at least 500 words per day (1000 always seems daunting, while 500 always seems super easy... but 500 might get done)Try to read what OTHER people are writingDownload and listen to "The Next Chapter" podcasts, at least once per day (CBC, amazing show all about writing)The podcast one might seem strange, but it's super inspiring to actually hear other writers talk about their craft. I want to be like that. Stretching, supplements and words? Oh yeah. Your life is real hard, buddy. It might not be that hard, but that doesn't mean it's easy. The easy road is always the road of sitting and letting life pass you by. Maybe you move your lawn chair so an overpass shields you from the sun by the freeway of life, but that's just putting in the bare minimum of effort to make your laziness that much more bearable. I'm 35 and I'm pretty sick of saying that I'll have time when I'm older. When the bills are paid off. When the kids move out. When I get into shape. When I finally have free time. Because it's been thirteen years and I'm still saying it. Teenaged me would dickpunch current me without a second thought. And he'd be right. Viva la revolucion.
  13. Greetings fellow Warriors, allow me to join your mighty challenge: 1. Diet – working on my phase 2 weight loss goal to reach 210 pounds, want to loss fat and preserve muscle. For this challenge, I want to lose 5 pounds and reach 230, current weight is 235. I will do so by following the Primal diet with 1 reasonable and planned cheat meal a week along with my other 2 fitness portions. 2. Fitness – a big part of my weight loss/fitness journey has been walking (not very Warrior like, but gotta get from battle to battle somehow and not a high enough level yet to afford a War Horse). For this challenge and likely everyone going forward, 30 minute walk 6 days a week. Got a weighted vest for Christmas so that has added to my intensity. 3. Fitness – the other part of my weight loss/fitness journey has been getting back to the stack of iron. I have been lifting pretty consistently since my respawn in July and in that time also discovered the joys of deadlifting (got a trap bar and I am in love!). BUT there is a bit of a bump in this part of the journey so this challenge item will have an asterisk (*). I am recovering from right shoulder bursitis that may be something more serious (had an MRI on New Year’s Eve, yeah fully used out of pocket deductible!) and some lingering soreness turned into brutal pain since the MRI. I get my results on Friday and find out my journey, a gentle sensible return to iron or a different recovery/rehab path. Tried some light lifting range of motion stuff this AM but I listened to my body and not ego and ended up just stretching. 4. Fitness/Level up quest – Earn my Black Belt in WTF Taekwondo. I am a candidate for Black Belt testing in February and still likely a year from attaining my full 1st Dan. For this challenge I need to step up my training and preparation for the next test. I will train 1 hour a day 6 days a week. I attend class 3-4 times a week but need to study/practice a couple additional hours at home as well. Even if the shoulder is a real problem, I can continue to study various other aspects besides physical for the test. While some of my goals may not exactly line up with the Warrior Guild, I am a warrior at heart, mindset and future body recomposition. My fitness and health are a work in progress since my respawn in July, one of my big goals is to get big, powerful, and strong. I have a head start on big (6’3†with a large frame, 60 pounds of old bulk/fat are gone, looking to shred the last 20/25 and turn them into stacks of muscle). I spent my last 2 challenges with the adventurers (a great bunch of people I will always cherish) but with the guild focus adjustment and some soul searching I have come to the Warrior Guild as a humble squire hoping to find a new family in swole. I am a lover of all things meat including BACON and am up to 2 sleeveless shirts in my work out wardrobe but have not seen them in the rotation since its too cold right now. I will update my grading by end of day and I plan to update my challenge daily. Thanks for reading and accepting me into your mighty guild!
  14. Alright. I'm bowing out of the challenges for a bit. Well, at least for this one. I've got the World Championship Spartan Beast this coming Saturday. After that, I've got about a week of easy training. And, then I'll be ramping it up once again with a new training plan. But, I don't feel that the confines of the challenge make sense for what I am doing right now. So, screw it. Here's a battle log.
  15. I'm curious to know what everyone here thinks about the WHO releasing their report showing that red meat causes cancer. I know there has always been an underlying assumption about red meat and it's link to cancer, but this report indicates that the link is more definite than previously thought. What are your thoughts? Will you change your habits at all or do you remain firm on the principles of Paleo? Link to one of the news articles for anyone who is unfamiliar: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-34615621
  16. My main reason for joining NF is that I am in the process of relocating across country...in days...crap why I am here and not packing?!? But I know I'll need some fitness minded friends to help keep me focused, and entertained (where do you even find gifs?) as I move, continue to rebuild myself after a nasty little setback and construct the Fortress of Fitness aka the garage gym we call Sweaty Metal Barbell Club. So I'll be lurking around lifting threads, trying to get up the courage to talk to some Warriors, and probably get distracted by anything having to do with bacon... If there is anyone that might be like me: resetting their goals after injury, taking it one day at a time, and staying positive and not living in "old" PR land, or has been there and has some advice it is much appreciated! Or if you have an epic garage gym that you would like to brag about I totally geek out over that stuff!
  17. I found this recipe here and it looked absolutely amazing8 Thought I might share it with you, so it's in the oven now ^^ Ingredients 8 slice Nitrate Free, Uncured, cooked bacon1 small butternut squash2 cups spinach6 eggs1/2 cup canned whole fat coconut milk1/2 tsp. dried oregano1/2 tsp. sea salt (optional)1 tsp. pepper1 tsp. coconut oil, meltedInstructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a pie dish or tart pan by coating with melted coconut oil. Chop up half the cooked bacon and cut the other four strips in half. Peel and de-seed butternut squash then thinly slice into 1/4 inch disks. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk and seasonings. Line the bottom of the prepared dish with one layer of butternut squash. Sprinkle chopped bacon over the top. Layer the spinach over the butternut squash and bacon. Place another layer of butternut squash over the spinach followed by the remaining slices of bacon. Pour egg mixture over the top evenly. Bake for 35-40. Devour!!Serve with a salad or something. Quiche is usually really heavy and asks for something light on the side. I'll post a picture of the outcome, in about 30 minutes *excited*
  18. turbo

    Turbo Update

    Hello all! Hope your week is going well. Feeling pretty good lately. Just had my 9th Krav Maga class. It is definitely kicking my ass! But I feel stronger, have a little more endurance in me and have been making new friends in the class. Hope to test for level 1 by February 12th! As for food, not doing too bad. Breakfast the two snacks and dinner are going well, just have to watch lunch. I pack it a lot, but the team likes to go out to lunch often. I've been watching how much is on my plate. Hard to turn down a nice big cheese burger with bacon Overall, I'm working my way to the Paleo diet. No dairy, no breads, and less processed crap. -Jon
  19. Training to be a Kickass Shield Maiden Part 1 My goals are simple: Weight train 3 x a week at the very least Cardio 3x a week at the very least Keep eating keto and tracking my macros and cals Do something daily that makes me feel really good. Killing noobs in a computer game, going for a run, lifting heavy stuff, eating bacon, re-watching all of Vikings or talking to my awesome friends on here I just need to put one foot in front of the other and hope that I feel more motivated later. Motivation comes and goes, I just need to hang on through the hard times. This challenge ends days before my birthday, it would be a nice gift to myself to fit into some of my cuter clothes and maybe I will get my hair done up like Lagertha's.
  20. I missed this event last year, but it struck me that it would make for a great NF meet-up! I'm not great at organizing these things, but who's interested? Saturday, September 27, 2014 12-5 PM https://www.facebook.com/VABACONFEST
  21. It's time to Spartan The Fuck Up (STFU)! The last couple of months, I've kept up with my running. But, I should be doing more. I need to focus on getting faster, stronger, and mentally tougher. Over the course of this challenge, I have a Spartan Sprint on June 28th, and a 10 mile trail race on July 12th. I've got some serious work to do before them. Goal 1 - Speedwork At least two speed-centric workouts per week. Can be a track workout, hill sprints, tempo run, or fartlek's. That's right. Fartlek. Everyone loves to fartlek. Goal 2 - Buprees, Push Ups, and Pull-ups - oh my! I need to get some consistency back into some of these basic movements. Considered doing a PLP... but, I think for my needs right now I'm going to do it this way... Everyday - 30 Burpees and 30 Pushups in addition to whatever other work I am doing. 30 is light, right? Right. So we are starting with 30 this week, just to get back in the groove. Then, week 2 will be 40, week 3; 50, week 4; 60, week 5; 70, week 6; 80. Per day. Those sets can be broken up however I need to to get them done. But, they need to get done. Also, variations on the move will be happening to spice things up. Pull-ups - Back to the 20 Pull-up program. So, that's essentially pull-ups every other day... follow the program. Goal is to be at 20 strict pull-ups in a set by the Beast. Goal 3 - Go long. At least one long run per week. I have been running between 5 and 8 on the regular. Time to mix in some 10+ mile runs/week.
  22. OK, the marathon's over and now I am become Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds, so let's kick off this challenge with my four point plan for destroying the entire contents of the milky way. 1. Devour New York We evil destroyers of civilization always like to start by rampaging through a city with recognisable landmarks, demonstrating how man's puny technology is powerless before the primal power of an avenging monster. In other words, I am going to plan in 2 days of primal eating a week to get a sense of what it's like ahead of a potential w30 attempt (unless I regain my senses) in the following challenge. If I feel the need for some cake, I will eat a big apple. Ho ho, do you see what I did there? 2 days per week = CON 3, CHA 1 2. Outrun the Speed of Light By bending the laws of physics, I will cause time to run backwards, not just a few minutes like that hopeless amateur Superman, but all the way back to the 1980's, age of synth pop and Margaret Thatcher. If that doesn't strike fear into the hearts of puny mortals, I don't know what will. In other words, I will run far and fast. One long run per week in the half marathon range, and at least one short fast run, making sure to stretch thoroughly afterwards 1 and 1, every week for 6 weeks = STA 4 3. Get Off Uranus Swim through the galaxy, like Great A'tuin, but, you know... evil! Swimming, basically. Once per week, at least 1 swim per week = STR 2 4. Shoot Frickin' Laser beams out of my eyes Or failing that, just learn portuguese. Do the laser shooty thing = 1000000000 awesomeness points 1 Decent burst of Portuguese per day for 42 days = WIS 5 And while I'm doing that, play keepy-uppy with the exercise streak, doing one thing per day on days when I don't have a scheduled activity. Pushups, handstands, pilates, slackline... whatevs! I really hope this galaxy destroying thing works out for me. In fact,as I see it, there's only one thing that can stop me...
  23. I just made this! Yum time! I'm not a measurer of things when it comes to cooking unless it's absolutely needed. So, the above is bacon (5 or slices...it came out of the pack weird) with chopped up sun-dried tomatoes (4) thrown in for the last 2 or so minutes. Then I put it in a food processor until it came out bacon-bity. I'm going to serve it on a salad with blackened chicken and a dressing I make of guacamole, olive oil, and whatever general seasoning is in the cabinet. N' mushies and tomatoes! If I hadn't eaten all the eggs this morning, I would throw a boiled one in, too.
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