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  1. I have free time at work... so I'm using it write the new post. Work = Rec and Park Internship where I get to try out the "manager role/admin duties". I'm a Rec and Park undergrad finishing up my degree with this internship. Will be working until Fall, but getting my degree in August (yay!) Internship is going great, like seriously "perfect Internship I couldn't even dream of level". Especially during crazy pandemic still continuing. Downside, I'm no longer in a physical job. Upside I am taking advantage of a normal job routine, and live in a place where its quite a bit less stressful. So taking advantage of the situation as I'm getting this groggy after work, continuing weight loss... I just passed the 20 lb milestone, for 2021! This challenge is definitely going to be a grind on creating habits (may finally have to read the habits book...) Keeping at if even if my job blew out my brain a bit... Routines: This is a hate/love relationship right here... Morning and Bedtime routines. Hoping to find a good "routine" to check off of every morning and night. No screens after 8: Find I tend to go to bed faster or finish things up when I put the phone away at 8. YNAB: Doing something on the app once per a day gives me a point. A budgeting software I tried on and off for years. I was on the fence for this goal, but honestly this is a goal to get handled where I hope to master. I have some money habits I would like to get in check, especially as of the many unknowns after graduating this August. No Screens with meals: This was on top of my list from my Naturopath... I can do this, it is not as hard as it was 5 years ago (where my mind was my enemy). I just need a reward... Going to add eating and driving, since I realized eating a pack of nuts and lara bar before driving home might do me better than driving home. Bonus: Working out: I have Ring Fit, I have trails I need to walk on my own time... just making the time to do it will help. Meal Prep: I'm actually giving myself a point for every meal I prep in advance. Allowing myself frozen dinners, but getting this in would hit my goals better. Myfitnesspal: I don't hate it as much as I used to, find it less stressful then YNAB actually. Right now using it for "checking in" tool. ' Since I'm earning full time pay, my hope is to turn my goals into points... that I can cash out when I hit a goal. First goal: Oats Overnight... started eyeing them for breakfast or a bed time snack. Will see if I like them.... Also I actually need to watch this show.....
  2. I'm Stronkey Kong -- neutral good human/wizard adventurer/warrior hybrid. I made a list for Santa during the holiday challenge. That is now 'The Big List' that I'm trying to achieve goals on to improve life, health, and fitness. Right now the big things on my plate are strength training, getting outdoors and walking/hiking, cooking/eating healthier, painting/drawing, and buying a home (my Wizard's tower). I left off last challenge building a foundation of barbel training, batch cooking, and just put an offer on a house. Here's the big list: (spoilered cuz it's a big list) And here's what I'm focusing on for this challenge. Intuitive Eating: Keep batch cooking tasty, healthy meals Start food journaling, Bujo portions and notes on mood, energy, etc. Intuitive Exercising: Keep up the barbell program 2+ times /week Ruck (>= 1 mi) or walk (>= 2 mi) 1+ times/week Painting and drawing: Ahh.... just keep going. But especially with the ink drawings right now because that makes me focus... cuz you only get one chance with ink. Buying my Wizard's Tower: This one's an ongoing to-do list Satisfy requirements for loan Gather documents Do taxes Complete first-time homeowner class(es?) Realtor/Property Search Look at moar houses. Work and save Respond to shop manager about the lab position Tax returns: Set aside a portion for first-time homeowner classes Save the rest
  3. I am Chris Tarly (formerly Curl Brogo). I have been on the NF Forums for over six years now. My primary goal is and was to lose weight. And I've managed some progress in fits and starts and have been yo-yo-ing for all that time between 240 and 270. I have decided that to kick off the new year (2020) I'm starting over with a a hard reboot, and I'm joining the NF Academy. This challenge will focus on racking up XP points in with the NF Academy, then I have a few other goals that don't fall under that umbrella: writing, meditating, and homesteading. NF Academy: This is my big fitness goal. There's a lot going on here. I've got a lot of missions and quests and tasks dealing with mindset, nutrition, and workouts. I am going to focus on applying the "Never miss two in a row" rule to these three things. Mindset: Never skip morning stretching and Zazen (daily) two days in a row. AND Never miss eating a mindful breakfast (daily) in my mindful eating space. Nutrition: Never skip bringing a homemade lunch to work (M-F) two days in a row. Workouts: Never skip a weekday workout (M, W, F) two days in a row. I must keep this up until the end of this challenge. I will allow 3 strikes total. Missing doing a thing 2 times in a row is one strike. And you bet, not getting it the third time around is another strike. If I make it to the end of the challenge with < 3 strikes, I can open my treasure chest: That's $50. And I know those denomination actually look a little sketchy, like 2-3 drinks, $1 tips for the ladies, and a private dance... no. $20 is for two group boxing classes at this gym in town. The rest is for a trip to my new favorite Bar-cade, $20 will get me a couple drinks and the singles are for quarters so I can play the retro arcade games. Fitness Sidequests: For the weekends NF Yoga Saturday: Do a NF Yoga session on Saturdays Big Mind Sunday: Do a 45+ min Zazen session on Sunday Chinup play: Do 20 min of chinup/pullup assistance exercises Clean the Apartment: Todo list, to complete before the challenge is over Clean out wardrobe and give old clothes to goodwill Clean bedroom including under the bed Clean THE WHOLE bathroom Declutter (to GW) and clean the office Declutter (to GW) the office closet Declutter (to GW) the living room Declutter and clean the kitchen Clean the floors Writing: I'm still working on the novel I started for NaNoWriMo. Heh. I still haven't 'won' Nano. I really want to at least finish Part 1 of the novel which should be done around 50,000 words. Track word count. I wanted to do one hour a day, but I don't think that's doable with work and all the other goals happening. I'm still going to post about is so it stays on my mind. Starting word count: 42208 Homesteading: Right now I'm researching buying a fixer upper in the country where I can garden and have chickens. I'm looking at USDA guaranteed home loans, and am researching lenders. This will be an evolving To-do list. I'll aim to cross one thing off each week. Contact Lender A -- I tried a few weeks ago, then they recently tried back... I'll get in touch with them during week 1, then we'll see what's next regarding if I qualify vs. what I need to do to qualify Research realtors/companies TBD
  4. I've been challenging with the druids... ... focusing learning what's best for my mind and body I've learned a few things. 1) being mindful is central to my health and fitness journey 2) eating paleo calms my cravings and is delicious and makes me lose weight 3) I need to lift, stretch, and generally move more 4) I need more money to live like I wanna live 5) playing guitar fires me up and motivates me... hence heavy metal themed challenge This challenge is all about returning to the heavy metal shit, the barbells and the music, that drives me... but also bringing with me the senses of taking care of myself and managing stress etc, that I learned over in druid town. Goal 1: Manage Stress on the Road I said it in my last two challenges, mindfulness and my zazen practice will be at the center of all my challenges. I actually managed to sit in zazen (formal Zen mediation) for 44 days straight in the last couple months. But I've fallen off that wagon and need to get back on again. I'm also planning to go on a Zen meditation retreat sometime this year. Paired with zazen is a little yoga routine that I'm doing to improve my lotus position and posture that is really useful for keeping my legs and hips limber. I also cut out (nearly) all caffeine for 30 days straight last challenge. That has been massively helpful with my sleep patterns, stress levels, and mindfulness. Do zazen and stretching/yoga daily. Avoid caffeine. Goal 2: Don't Put the Cucumber in Your Pants. Eat It! I started eating paleo in the middle of last challenge after about of month of trying vegetarianism... paleo is better. The main problem with being vegetarian is there are too many carbs and I tend to binge on those. In just two weeks I've watched my carb cravings subside to nothing. I've lost 7-8 pounds and my stomach is less bloated. I poop twice a day with no effort. And I'm more satisfied with my meals. I even fasted yesterday without even blinking at it. Eat paleo. Goal 3: Looks are more important than sounds This is the big one. I need to get back into going to the gym regularly. My diet is shaping up, but I need to exercise. I get a lot of activity at work, but I want to work on shaping up and gaining strength and endurance. Go to the gym twice a week. LUYL1: Be My Own Manager. I've got 4 job applications for promotions at Amazon (where I currently work as a Tier I warehouse grunt). The highest one is a level 4 programmer job and I've got a phone interview on Friday. If I were to get it, it would be a huge influx of income, and I'd have to hit the books to catch up, and I'd have to manage the new money coming in. Pursue job opportunities, gain skills, manage income. LUYL2: Don't Miss Rehearsals I also started seriously playing my guitar last challenge. It used to be all I did in high school, at great expense to grades and social interactions... I got really good. But then during college I put a lot more energy into school, and in grad school I almost never played. I thought a lot of music that I used to know was lost to me. But since I started playing seriously again... well at one point it literally all came flooding back to me. Once I woke up all that dormant musical and muscle memory, I just started playing guitar solos I thought I'd forgotten, and could remember songs again. This really picked up my spirits and I've noticed far fewer of the negative thoughts that used to bother me and put my mood in the toilet. I just feel happier because I play the guitar again. But I need to maintain my skills, and improve my technique and expand my repertoire. Practice guitar drills daily. Learn a new song each week.
  5. Another challenge is here and once again I'm building it around my mindfulness practice. I decided that for 2017 I'm renewing my commitment to my practice of Soto Zen Buddhism, which has been on and off for about a decade now. The practice centers on daily zazen (sitting meditation) and mindfulness practice throughout the day. This practice has in recent months been helping me re-center and rebuild my life and has proven effective with controlling my mood and depression, hunger, and is currently helping me reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption. Plus it is really helping me better appreciate every moment and live more fully. I have two goals for the year related to this. The first is to explore the different Sanghas (buddhist communities/churches) in/near Indy. The second is to go to a seshin (meditation retreat) which is usually 3-5 days of just meditation, work, eating, and sleeping. So this challenge is about improving my zazen practice and endurance, and using mindfulness to improve my health, fitness, and life in general. Goal 1: Zazen Sit in "lotus" or seiza for meals at home. Spending more time in a criss legged sitting posture should help me increase my flexibility and endurance in zazen. I also need to: Maintain daily zazen practice (@least 10 min) Do stretches before zazen Do one long session (40+ min) once a week Side quests: Caffeine causes scatterbrainededness, and alcohol diminishes awareness. So... 1) No caffeine for 30 days 2) No alcohol for 30 days These will be ongoing, resetting after failure until I achieve all 30 days on both. Reward: I'll buy a French press for single servings of coffee afterward. Goal 2: Nutrition Here are some dietary observations I've accumulated. Meat: Makes emotions more intense, especially red meat. To little interferes with sleep. I need to experiment more with fish. Grains: wheat/gluten are fine, a are oats and rice. Barley and rye cause bloat/gas/discomfort. Dairy: Milk and lots of whey/milk protein causes gas/bloat/discomfort. Eating high quantities of dairy send to cause mild seeking and mucus formation in the throat and nasal passes and overall puffiness. Soy: Is fine with me. Legumes: canned and pressure cooked are fine, but otherwise cause gas/bloat/discomfort. Nuts/sees: limit to small handfuls. To much causes constipation and bloat. Peanuts are mildly irritating. Tubers: white potatoes cause more fullness but are mildly irritating. Sweet potatoes do not. Sugar: Every time i eat a sugary snack/soda/candy/dessert i feel fatter at the end of the day. Literally, my stomach seems fuller and more jiggly. In light odd these observations I'll focus on the challenges that are most difficult to surmount. Track meat consumption vs. sleep quality I'll just be jotting firm days i eat meat on my calendar and noting my sleep quality each morning. Limit dairy and sugar I'm going to make conscious decisions to not consume or substitute these in various recipes. Eat more root vegetables Eat a tuber everyday. Replace some carbs with more tuber veggies. Buy more fresh tubers at the store, and try new ones out ones I've not had in a while. Goal 3, Exercise: Break a Sweat 6 days per week. Barbell, treadmill, kettlebell, bodyweight... 30 min., 20 min., 5 min.? No matter. Just break a sweat. I also want to go to the actual gym at least once a week, i am paying for membership after all. LUYL_1: Manage finances Spend one hour a week with my mind on my money. Making spreadsheets, planning a budget, going through receipts, clip coupons, read about saving and paying off debt, retirement plans, investments. Whatever. One hour. I currently don't really think about money until there's a problem... and that's why I'm in debt and living paycheck to paycheck. Sidequest: have enough extra cash lying around at the end of cheyenne to buy a cable modem and wifi router. LUYL_2: Art Paint and complete at last one painting each week. Grading: Basically I've got my dry erase board calendar set up. Every time I do a thing for a goal, including side quests etc. I make a doodle or dot on the calendar. If the calendar is reasonably congested with squiggles and dots while i contemplate the progress I've made and the challenges i faced during the 1+4 weeks... Cool. If it's empty, not cool.
  6. Hey ya'll! First time on the challenges, long time lurker of these amazing forums. Just gotta say you all are super motivating and the way people encourage others to do cool stuff around here is really uplifting. Ok, enough of that, Its time for a challenge! In 4 weeks, I'd like to get some things DONE: I want to do 5 towel pullups. Done, and now I guess I can crush things with my super hands. I thought I was decent at pullups, but I like, can't hold onto a towel. I want to get strong and do that. I will fast til noon every weekday. When I eat, the real hunger starts, and the floodgates open. Lets keep busy and focus on food for later in the day, yeah? I want to run 5k. Not a 5k mind you. 5k distance. This is mostly contingent on my leg fully healing, as I'm still feeling the aftereffects of overuse from last fall. I want to run again. I will finish at least two books. Easy and done. Moved on to more. Fahrenheit 451 anyone? I've got a stack of books by my bed, and they need to be devoured. Between the bus and bedtime, I am going to crush this. I will talk to my boss about the future. Done, and now the future is less murky, yay! I have a contract job. That contract will end this year. I am scared of the future, and of talking to my boss. I have to get strong and talk about the future. I'm going to deadlift 315. Done, now to do it again with even better form. I've been chasing this for years, stymied by leg injuries and poor form. I'm going to get there in 4 weeks . I will finish my 3d environment. I fancy myself an artist, or at least, my art school degree tells me I am. I still do some 3d art on the side, and I've been noodling on an environment piece. I'm going to finish it in 4 weeks and its going to look awesome. I got a bullet journal and aim to plan out every week and be all productive and stuff. Its gonna be great. Heres to progress! Go forth and reap the gains.
  7. Hey there, nerds. How long has it been since I've been around these parts? <checks old challenge threads> Let's not talk about that. We'll just say it's been a while. And now it's time to respawn. Almost five months ago, my wife and I began separation procedures. My entire life was turned upside down. We sold our house. On September 8, I packed the last of my possessions into my car, and I drove into America. I would not return to Ontario again for two months. Over the course of those two months, I visited 25 of the continental United States, attended Camp Nerd Fitness 2016, gave out innumerable hugs, and found the most profound, difficult and heart-wrenching reason to be. Me. If you've visited my threads before, you'll know how difficult an admission that has been for me. If you're here from the Camp Facebook page, first off, welcome! Second, you know a little bit more about how I came to that revelation. If my forum friends will bear with me, I'll fill you in on the meaty, painful truths that led up to that. This is harder than I expected it to be. Here's a picture of a fox while I gather my courage. I'm a survivor of abuse. I was physically and emotionally abused as a child. I have lived with a total absence of self-worth and an inability to see value in myself outside of the approval of others. I am still a work in progress. I'm still not in the best head space. But I am acknowledging the darkest parts of me and working towards good mental health. And so, we begin our journey. The Lord of the Rings was the first true novel I ever read. I read it once every year from the time I was twelve years old until the Return of the King came out in 2003. Wow. Return of the King came out 13 years ago. It was my gateway to fantasy and eventually to the entire nerd spectrum. It holds a very dear place in my heart. The struggles of Frodo and the Nine Walkers have been a touchstone in my life. However, due to the peculiarities of my mental health, I have always been drawn to the villains. The Lord of the Rings has those a-plenty. And they shall be my foes. The One Ring In the Fellowship of the Ring, the primary antagonist is largely the Ring itself. It whispers its corrupting song to the weakest members of the Fellowship attempting to sway them to evil. By the end of the first film, Boromir succumbs and attempts to take the Ring from Frodo. This signals the breaking of the Fellowship and the divergence of the characters arcs that are developed throughout the remainder of the story. My brain itself is the corrupting influence of the Ring. Most people put the life goals at the end of their challenge. Well, mine is the elephant in the room that I have ignored for too long. My travels put this in the forefront of my mind a lot of the time. I drove 14,000 km alone in my car. That left me with a lot of time alone with my thoughts. Sometimes they were good, sometimes they were bad. But I was present and looked forward, rather than behind. I am not ignoring it this time around. I'm fighting it by being more present. I have done well when I have been active on my threads. So I am going to post something in my own thread every day. Even if it's simply to say "I'm alive and still going", I will do it. Saruman the White In the first half of the Two Towers, Saruman is the main antagonist. His corruption by Sauron drives him to poison the mind of the king of Rohan and breed his massive army of Uruk-Hai. And Christopher Lee was simply brilliant playing him. Two Towers might be my favourite of the films. The revelation that Gandalf has become the White and Merry and Pippin finding their voices to rouse the Ents were the events that broke Saruman's power in the end. In my long journey, I had to take a good long look in the mirror and acknowledge that I had been living under false assumptions. That I was, in fact, worthy of taking the title myself. A very good friend told me that I was his Earendil, a compliment which still floors me. What I need to do to really live that is find my voice. Hello, segue! I started taking voice acting lessons this month. This is a HUGE departure from my comfort zone in that I have only ever considered myself "okay for an amateur, at best." There have been enough cues, positive feedback, and suggestions from my instructors that I can make a legitimate living at this. Add to that the fact that I am just ecstatically happy being in the recording booth and making a script live. So I have a whole host of practice to get into. The biggest one is to build the habit of reading aloud every day. So every day, I am going to spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day reading whatever text I have aloud. The news, FB posts, the books I'm reading, all of this is fair game. Every word is a story. And I am training to be a storyteller. Let's tell some stories. Gollum Poor Smeagol. He is the most tragic character in the Lord of the Rings. In Gollum we see how far someone can fall. The influence of the Ring drove Gollum to theft, murder, and total isolation from all other living things. So lonely, precious. So very lonely. I always identified most strongly with Smeagol. The darkness does funny things to your head. You have no worth. You can't have worth. It's all a lie. And it's in your own head, so it's not even something other people can see and tell you is wrong. His story touched me very deeply and I always felt that the end of it was inevitable for me as well. Life is precious, friends. Community is the answer. I don't have enough nerds close to me. But I have something that's almost as good. I have my art. I have my hapkido club. I spent this weekend preparing one of my students for his black belt grading. It reminds me how rewarding I find it to teach and to build others up. Now that I'm back in Ontario, I can train regularly again. So let's get back to training. Twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays, for black belt training and kicking, respectively. Other classes are available and definitely welcome. But those are my absolutes. The Eye of Sauron The all-seeing Eye of Sauron hovers over the entirety of the Lord of the Rings as the vague yet menacing antagonist. Never physically present, in the books or the films, it still managed to be a frightening presence that unnerved and terrified the Fellowship and drove Sauron's lesser minions like the fiery whips of the Balrog. It was impossible to defeat Sauron through direct confrontation. That was the purpose of the Fellowship, after all, to destroy the source of his power. But it was possible to stand in reckless defiance, to raise one's head and declare that evil shall not be unopposed. This was central to the conflict in Return of the King where every member of the Fellowship, cast across Middle Earth, struggled and pushed to overcome the nightmarish hordes of Mordor. My nightmare horde is my body. I hate it. I hate the way I look. I hate the way I'm shaped. I have little in the way of good to say about it. And yet, I still have times when I feel good about what my body can do. I run aggressive classes in hapkido and I feel exhilarated. I get under a barbell and I feel like a monster. I set up my rings and I am overcome with joy. I am choosing to ignore the whispers of the Eye and stand up against it. I will exercise. I will do three workouts a week, alternating barbells and rings. My power rack is in a basement with 7 1/2' ceilings. I may really want to do OHP, but I need 11' to do so safely. Not practical and muscle ups are a long term goal of mine anyways. Win-win! And that's it. Time to get this thing called life under control.
  8. Hey there, guys. Remember that last challenge? I do. It was great. I didn't show up to put a proper end to it, but the gist is that I kept up my training, ate well, passed the test, kept the job, got to double digits on pull ups, fixed my knee, and botched my writing goal in the process. And, as if that wasn't enough fun, one morning, I woke up, got out of bed and got a real bad case of dizziness for my trouble, which didn't go away until I ate something. I think that's a sign that I've burned the candle down even farther than I thought, and that's not ideal. We got to fix that. No more about morning routines and esoterica. Back to basics - eating well, sleeping well. There'll be plenty of time to get a morning routine again when I get to an actual unit and start on a standard schedule. Up at 0600, work at 0900? Oh yeah. But 'til then... Anyway. We get to some of my favorite fictional badasses in this book. That's right. The Aiel. Fighting Irish meets Native Americans meets Zulus. These are hard, hard people, who will run 20 miles and fight a battle at the end of it, and they will make it look like dancing. You will not find fiercer friends or more implacable enemies. And frankly, I think they're cool enough that I can give the Big 3 a break. Sleep More I've been getting by on less and less sleep, and the authors who romanticize that crap clearly never did it for a living. Goal is 7-9 hours per night, and cutting back the morning routine when necessary to make this happen. Eat More (and better) I... cleaned out my junk food again. Except for the Arctic Zero and Halo Top ice creams, which it turns out are right in the freaking Kroger just around the corner, and not just in Whole Foods all the way away from me. Yes, even the Arctic Zeros are good, if you can find the ones that are 300 calories or so in the pint. Those actually have some flavor to them. I know, right. Anyway, I refigured my caloric intake so that I'm averaging 1800 or so, as opposed to the 1650 I was averaging before. Have I ever mentioned how happy a problem it is to learn that I'm going to have to eat more rice and fattier grass-fed meat? It's true. Train More This is going to be a trickier one to manage until the end of this month. I'm not really wanting to do much more at this point so much as I'm wanting to wave S&S up a bit. So, basically, keep every thing else up, and just go from 2 S&S sessions to 3 per week. My back's loving this load so far - that near-perpetual tightness has finally released, thanks to a fairly steady application of divebomber push ups (another experiment in anti-frailty that's been fun). I think I'm ready to take a step forward and plant myself again. Once the month is over and I'm reassigned to something with reasonable hours... I think I'm going to go back to judo officially. Sensei's been going back to the original dojo, and if I can swing the sleep, I think it'd be a good investment. The only trick to it is, if I keep up with IF, I'd have to manage another day of low food. And while I can make the math work, I just don't know what that's going to do to me. Write Reading and writing. I got a thing I'm working on. I finished Guards, Guards! before I started again (thanks, @sarakingdom!) and the story shows some evidence of influence already. A friend of mine's got me listening to China Mieville as well - he was dismayed when I mentioned I was going through the Wheel of Time and said I needed something good to balance it out. Bastard. But I like how it's shifting my tone, so I'll run with it. I'm going to try to creep my way back to being a part of things around here, now that the worst is behind. But sleep and challenge have to come first. But dammitall, I miss my Nerds. I wanna be back here too.
  9. The Dragon Reborn—the leader long prophesied who will save the world, but in the saving destroy it; the savior who will run mad and kill all those dearest to him—is on the run from his destiny. Two guesses as to whether he succeeds or not. I sorta dropped off the face of the earth last challenge. I didn't mean to, but... yeah. The job isn't really brutal, but the hours are, and I haven't been good about getting around to you all like I wish I had. Still, things are being adjusted. I unfortunately find myself in a place between talking about the challenge and doing the challenge; unfortunately, that only ends one way. And so much has happened, just in the past week! I managed to hit the Simple requirements - 100 one-arm kettlebell swings and 10 TGUs at 70 pounds in 15:10. I swung the 53-pounder 200 times without dropping it. And then today, I managed to do clapping pull ups for the first time! What a week it's been. Makes me suspicious - like sickness is hiding somewhere in the facade of my health. And yet, here I stand on the other side of these things. I do not feel weak at all. In fact, despite the lack of sleep, it all feels mental. Put me under the bar or in the ring and the body functions just fine. I suspect it's because I've been eating a lot better lately - more food and higher quality. Good stuff. It's bearing me up. And also the fact that I spend all day sitting as opposed to intermittently lifting things. "Do you have dreams when you sleep?" Rand is having a hard time having just signed up for the whole Doomed Savior of the World bit. It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it. But he decides he needs to test the prophecies concerning the Dragon Reborn in one last desperate try to not be the person the Creator has decreed he must be. Like Rand, I have tests that I must pass. Passing means I did better than an 80 on both of them. DDS's idea, not mine. But to hell with it - I'll take the pass. Rand's goal is about getting to work, doing the assignments and making sure that the grades are good enough every day. "A bloody hero. Thom, if I ever look like acting the hero again, you kick me." "And what would you have done differently?" "Just kick me!" So yeah, the picture from last challenge actually takes place in this book. I forgot. Oops. Still, he's all about hard living, and he's even more about that now that he's had that pesky ailment dealt with. And me, I'm learning how to get my back unwhack and it's changing measurements and playing merry havoc with the data like I knew it would. But the goal here is about staying the course - eating well and fasting and staying in control. I got this. Really. "What is your name? If I have to share this ship with you for days yet, I can't keep calling you girl." "I call myself Mandarb. I will teach you something, farmboy. In the Old Tongue, Mandarb means 'blade'. It is a name worthy of a Hunter of the Horn." "You see that black stallion? His name is Mandarb." Oh, Perrin. You have no idea how much trouble you're about to get in. But it's cool, man. You lift. Training goals are here for this challenge. Til shade is gone, til water is gone Into the shadow with teeth bared Screaming defiance with the last breath To spit in Sightblinder’s eye on the Last Day. Yesssssss. And now we get to meet some of the badasses. They're good characters, yes, but these were the badasses who inspired me in the first place. The Aiel. The Aiel have come out of their desert homeland in search of a story - of He Who Comes With The Dawn (go on and guess who that is. Certainly not the guy who everyone swears looks like an Aiel, that's for sure). And believe it or not, they represent the reading and writing goal this time around. I have a writing challenge up in August - 40K words. With the new job forcing me into a cram session every day, my work is cut out for me. But it's going to be great, I think. I got a lot of world building done and managed to gloss over the cracks in a lot of what I was doing. Now I just need to make some scenes and everything should be good. And that does it I think. I don't know how well I'll do getting around to people this time. But I promise I'll do my best. And now let us commence the next step of the journey.
  10. New challenge. New respawn! Recently I started watching Supergirl, and I loved how Wonder Woman was a badass in the Batman vs Superman movie. What do these women have in common? (Besides being superheroes.) They're strong as hell. My butt is also complaining about all the sitting around I've been doing while working on my novel, blogs, and freelance job search. You see I recently changed cities and am looking for new employment, so there's a lot of time spent on the computer. Traditionally I've been a ranger who enjoys both running and lifting, but given the heat this summer (and saving my pale skin the sun exposure) I'm swapping running for yoga. I want to use this 4-week challenge to test out how I feel when lifting without running. So here's my down-and-dirty challenge for the month. How To Be Supergirl Lift every other day Use the Academy Barbell Brigade Level 1 Workouts Record lifts in my Fit Happens journal Start every day with a 20 to 40 minute yoga session 6 days a week Use either NerdFitness Yoga or youtube videos from Yoga with Adriene Check a box in my Fit Happens journal Track my food intake using MyFitnessPal daily Check a box in my Fit Happens journal Life Quest: Send out my novel to beta readers by the end of the month. This means the novel has to actually be ready for beta readers! I'm not going to hold myself to anything like "write 2000 words every day" because I'm at the point where there's more going into the writing process than strict word counts. The quest will only be accomplished when I have the finished product. Well, mostly finished. It will still need editing, but it will be so much progress I'll need a week to celebrate. My reward for accomplishing my quest? I'll get myself a purse from Disneyland for my birthday! (I'm girly like that!) Wish me luck!
  11. Since my last challenge was a spectacular fail, I am doing a respawn. 1. Stop eating like a jerk. Eat like a human being. 2. Mobility. Post it here. Feel free to inquire - apparently I need babysitting with this. 3. Lift. (Starting stats, pounds: 160 squat, 100 OHP, 140 Bench, 230 DL, 60 DB row) LUYL: Pick a new program. Research at least two more. LUYL non-fitness adulting goal: For every day that I am off work and not otherwise occupied, I will do the following AND POST IT HERE: Take a walk clean one room in my house to include mopping & dusting NO INTERNET until at least one of those things has been accomplished. ****I am seeking someone willing to help me stay accountable to goal #1 (the no eating like a jerk) via PM. Putting it out there for the world didn't seem to work, perhaps it will work via PM? I am obviously willing to help with a similar or different goal. I'm thinking daily PMs. I'm kinda struggling with this goal. And by kinda I mean really a lot. ****
  12. So Hollywood has decided to make a blockbuster movie, a spinoff of Game of Thrones, called the Clash of Khal's. The story centers on Khal Drogo's rise to power and features many epic battles with rival Dothraki hordes. Jason Momoa told them to fuck off because they didn't offer him enough money, so now I'm playing the lead role. Of course, to play the lead in a blockbuster action movie, I have to get in shape to play the part. I'm gonna need to get ripped. I'm gonna need big showy muscles to look good on camera. I'm gonna need endurance to get through long days on set, and the coordination and agility to perform my own stunts and participate in fight scenes. Brogo goes to Khal-E-wood is going to be a series of challenges designed to get me in shape in much the same way that Hollywood actors use to train for their movie roles. I've been reading some of the articles about how these guys have been training to get in shape for their roles: How The Rock trained for Hecules, how skinny Jake Gylenhall trained for Southpaw, Hugh Jackman → Wolverine, and how Chris Pratt went from being Andy Dwyer to Peter Quill and Owen in Jurassic World. Most of these workout programs center on barbell training using strength and hypertrophy, and use additional circuits or complexes to increase weightloss and work muscle simultaneously. They may also incorporate fighting or martial arts work depending on the role. Basically, by supplementing my current strength routine I can make my workouts start approaching the rigor used by actors to prepare for action roles. So this series of challenges will take me around the guilds a bit. Where I'm at: My big 2016 goal is to bench press my bodyweight. I'm at 263 now, and plan to take a short break when I hit 250 to maintain weight and increase my bench and see if I can hit it. My best bench ever was 235, and I'm currently benching 180 for 3x3.I've spent the last two challenges nailing down my nutritional needs and figuring out how to manage steady weight loss. I've mostly been successful with losing a pound a week and keeping it up the last two months. More on this stuff later. I've also been reconditioning my big three barbell lifts. I have been successful with this as well, but progress has slowed since I'm getting closer to where I was before my 5 month lifting hiatus, and I'm cutting. Since I'm cutting, the big strength gains will have to wait a bit. But while I'm doing that, I can focus on some other conditioning work and bringing some of my current weaknesses up. Lately, of concern are my core strength and mobility. Plus I really want to get chins and pullups going and hopefully get more comfortable with jumping onto, up to, or over stuff. I'll be starting in the Assassins to try and condition myself to be more “Spry” by focusing on bodyweight exercises, core work, some agility, and mobility. Sounds Assassin-y enough to me. Here goes: Meta-Goal 1, Getting Spry: Goal 1, Stretch. Basically go through the stretching equivalents of squat, bench, and deadlift for stretching every day. Hip flexor stretch and/or couch stretch Thoracic extensions (palms up, arms back, head back) Forward bends If I just put a few minutes into each of these every day while I'm brewing coffee it'll pay off. And it should become routine, and I can start building on it by throwing some foam rolling and yoga poses in. Grading: 1 point for each day of the challenge. Goal 2, Core. I want a stronger and better coordinated core. I found this progression: http://jasonferruggia.com/gymnastic-secret-stronger-abs/ It looks like a decent place to start developing better coordination. These exercises will be my go-to's. And some of what this article says I think will help me with developing strength. http://www.elitefts.com/education/training/seven-rules-of-highly-effective-core-training/ And I really want to follow the hanging leg raise progression video at the end. Grading: 1 point for each core workout Goal 3, Jump. Box jumps, jump rope, distance jumping. Whatever gets the spring back in my step. 1 point for each jumping exercise. Goal 4, Pullups In my last workout, I was able to do 5 pullups with 40 lbs. of assistance. I'm going to keep shooting to decrease assistance until I can do an actual pullup. 1 point for each pullup workouts Bonus: +5 points if I complete one pullup from a dead hang by the end of the challenge. Bonus: +1 point if I do all 4 in one day. Meta-Grading 1: <25 F, 30 = C, 40=B 50=A Meta-Goal 2, Maintain. I still need to stay focussed on getting my bodyweight bench press. 2 strength workouts per week. (1 pt. Per workout) Keep average caloric intake at or below 3200 kcal/day. (1 pt per day <= 3200) Bonus: +10 points for a bodyweight bench press. Meta-Grading 2: Percentage of the <25 F, 30 C, 35 B, 40 A Meta-Goal 3: Circuits and Complexes I really like doing barbell complexes based around the Oly lifts which should help make me spry and encourage fat burn. Plus, when I do assistance work I usually organize it into supersets or circuits. But I want to do this more often and really up my game. Whenever I am working on the above and/or other assistance work, I'll perform them as a circuit or complex. It counts if there's no rest between exercises until the circuit is done and I've done it at least twice. Bonus: +1 if I do a circuit with all my spryness goals Meta-Grading 3: 1 pt for each circuit or complex. <4 F, 6 C 8 B, 10 A LUYL: Soto Zen style Zazen Meditation Enduring the lotus position with a straight back, a steady breath, and a still mind. Start with 5 min. per day. Add 5 min each week. tl;dr - I'm gonna jump, and do core, and hang from stuff, and work on being less of a slouch, while I'm cutting for the sake of a bodyweight bench press. Scoreboard: (as of ocho de Mayo) MG1: Stretch: 10 Core: 5 Jump: 1 Pullup: 2 MG2: Strength: 4 Nutrition: 0 MG3: Circuits: 2 LUYL: Zazen: 0
  13. NERDFRIENDS!!!! Welcome to APRIL! Welcome welcome again to yet another very FFXIV-themed challenge! Now with GIFS!!!!! MUAHAHAHA YES, gifs, all of these gifs are of my own character and my own content and YES. EXCELLENT. I'm having way too much fun making gifs. *thinks about gifs*.................. OH UH RIGHT, ahahaha, sorry. It's NEW CHALLENGE TIME!!! If you're new to this madness (or if you've had a memory lapse, it's ok, I won't hold it against you~) hi, I'm Shaarawy, and I've crafted a massive Final Fantasy job-style challenge with running goals that will be tackled over many months. Each of my challenges is also named and themed after the full moon of the corresponding month for ~*~extra flair~*~. This month's full moon is PINK MOON, which is on April 22nd!!! April: The Pink Moon Flowers begin to appear, including the widespread grass pink or wild ground phlox. Other variations indicate more signs of full spring, such as Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, and Fish Moon (common among coastal tribes). Mmmm fish moon. I am coastal. I also like eggs. But PINK MOON, come on, PINK, I mean, even my gnarly armored up Dragoon has a CHERRY BLOSSOM ATTACK. Because Japan, and Because Final Fantasy. Anyways. Guys, we made it through the winter even when it threatened to beat us down or freeze our bums and make us sad!!! Spring is coming (and is fully HERE in North Carolina) so we're going to jump all over those flowers and new grass and tree buds and SUNSHINE. YASSSSSSSSSS. Now the fun part: my challenge goals! I'm carrying over my uncompleted goals from my last challenge - I specifically crafted my challenge to span over many months and be more "ongoing" than just 4 weeks. I've basically pulled every base level job class from the game to craft my long-term quests. I don't need to complete them in any order, or at any given time - I have the ability to mix and match them as I please, and do as much or as little as I want during any given challenge time frame. Ah, goals on my terms, yes, excellent. Here's my progress and what I've got left to work on: DISCIPLE OF WAR + DISCIPLE OF MAGIC These are the basic DoW and DoM classes. As I complete them, certain pairs are combinable to unlock JOB classes! Example: [ARC] + [LNC] = [BRD]!!!! (Bard) So once I complete some compatible base class quests, they will unlock jobs, so I can quest further and continue to create evolving goals for myself! JOB COMBINATIONS I've also included some crafting and gathering classes from the game too, to deal more with exploration with visiting places, cooking, and creating!!!!! DISCIPLE OF THE HAND + DISCIPLE OF THE LAND PHEW! All that formatting. My eyes. Nnnngh. Anyways these are my constant overarching goals! I'll take zero week to recoup and decide exactly which of these I'm going to tackle - I have some ideas but I also need this week breather to not think about it much. XD XD GUYS IT IS SPRING THANK GOODNESS!!!!!!! Let's bust out of our eggshells and bloom like LOVELY FIT FLOWERS, hmm, that got kind of weird and bordered on Utena-esque there for a moment... who has PINK HAIR.... ahaha yes this is all meant to be. ~<3
  14. Hello rebels and WELCOME to the 3rd challenge of 2016! I am RIDONKULOUSLY excited for this one because I’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to start crafting a challenge setup that works for me on a larger scale and keeps me motivated. Before I get into the nitty gritty of this challenge (pull up a chair, because it’s a big’un), it’s CROW MOON MONTH!!!!! “The Native American full moon names for March are largely based on these being considered the last full moons of winter: the crow caws its farewell to the season and worms start to surface at this time, signaling the retreat of winter and the marching in of springtime.†Hell yes my friends. I’m ready to say FLIPPIN’ FAREWELL to this winter season, and move on to warmer and brighter times. I’m really happy crow falls on this challenge, it’s one of my favorite animals, and the symbolism really jives with what I’ve got going on - ready to try something new and change it up a bit. So the 4 weeks don’t really do it for me for multiple reasons, a big one being that they’re too short for me to really get thoughtful and creative with them. One of my favorite parts of a challenge, aside from meeting more goals and evolving my progress, was being able to sit down and really cobble out a theme that would bring me through from start to finish and keep things FUN. While this 4 week challenge format (and lack of zero week) will likely change in the future, I decided to take it upon myself to adapt to whatever’s coming and make a challenge setup that could work for me, anytime, no matter how many weeks long or rest weeks in between. Welcome to Eorzea, nerds. <3 I’ve pulled huge inspiration from the MMO that’s slowly invaded my spare time - Final Fantasy XIV. I’ve played a decent amount of MMO’s in my day and right now it’s barely behind World of Warcraft for my all time favorite, and may likely surpass it if the content continues to be amazing. The storyline is fantastic, the characters and NPC’s are written and voiced just awesome. The game quality is A++++ and it’s just a giant blast to play. My character is a BIG DRAGON MAN. Here are some sassy screenshots: One of the big pulls for FFXIV is their job class system. No need to create a different character every time you want to play a new class - just learn it from the trainer and level at your leisure. One character could get every single job class to 60 in this game! IT’S GREAT. Wanna be a tank? Healer? DPS? Does a party need a sick-ass BARD to play motivating tunes in the background while they kick some primal ass?! You got this - switch jobs instantly and JAM ON, FRIENDS. (Disclaimer: my main class is bard. I play some sick-ass songs.) Anyroad (see what I did there?), I’ve taken HUGE inspiration and pulled every base level job class from this game to craft my long-term quests. I don’t need to complete them in any order, or at any given time - I have the ability to mix and match them as I please, and do as much or as little as I want during any given challenge time frame. So without further adieu, Shaarawy’s Quest for Class Mastery! DISCIPLE OF WAR + DISCIPLE OF MAGIC These are the basic DoW and DoM classes. As I complete them, certain pairs are combinable to unlock JOB classes! Example: [ARC] + [LNC] = [bRD]!!!! (Bard) So once I complete some compatible base class quests, they will unlock jobs, so I can quest further and continue to create evolving goals for myself! JOB COMBINATIONS So as you can see there is LOADS of room for progress and unlocking new goals and challenges for me. ^_______^ Awwww yiss. WAIT. You thought I was done?!!? NARP. There’s more to FFXIV than just FIGHTING. I mean. Let’s move on to our crafting and gathering classes, AHA! These will be less fitness-related and more like side quests to keep me exploring and trying new things. (Note that I’m not including ALL crafting classes because it would probably make me go crazy~) DISCIPLE OF THE HAND + DISCIPLE OF THE LAND So yeah, lotsa stuff. I’m still narrowing down what I want to tackle first and will post my choices on my Day 1 update. Which will be in.... only a couple of days yeah?!?!!!? Gosh. At this point I’m just glad that I’m done writing/re-writing/re-tinkering with this giant thing and can get on with my leveling grind!! REBELS, let us join up for battle and sit in a party finder queue until it places us all TOGETHER in the awesome Raid encounter of NERD FITNESS GLORRRYYYY!! I hope your gear is up to par and your DPS meets the enrage timer check, because here - we - goooo~~~!!
  15. I'll be continuing on the path to a body weight bench press. Bench Goal 1: Be methodical Last challenge I switched up my program three times trying to manage recovery, and realized I was just biting more than I could chew and decided to back off and retrain my base. So... I'll be doing Starting Strength from the near beginning. For this goal I have to stick to the plan: (spoilered cuz long and complicated) A bit wordy because I need to lay down specifics for myself and things I can check off to make sure I've done all I can. tl;dr Stick to the program until you've gotten all you can get from it. 1) Don't take big unnecessary jumps on lifts 2) Try to maintain LP as long as possible by decreasing weight increases 3) Put recovery first 4) Don't jump into an intermediate program when I get bored. Sidequest: Buy or make fractional plates/weights. Grading: ... ? Just stick to the plan pass/fail. I doubt I'll encounter any big challenges this first month, so there are not really any excuses. Bench Goal 2: Be Consistent Maintain 2-3 weekly workouts. Track workouts using fitnotes. Sidequest: I've dusted off my battle log recently. I'll be posting all my workouts their. I want to get back to maintaining it so I have records not tied to challenge threads which are basically like toilet paper: use then flush. Grading: 12 workouts = A, 8 = D, <8 = F Goal 3, Track nutrition I need to get back to logging on MFP. Every day. Tracking macros. Grading: Percent of days tracked, usual scale. >90 A, <60 F Goal 4, Track weight and waistline first thing every morning. Measure each once a week. Grading: Same as nutrition. Sidequest: Identify the monthly trends Once I have all this data tracked I want to make sure I assess it and make sense of it at the end of the month in some kind of report. It would be good to observe when my weight spikes or decreases, and see if it's affecting my lifting. LUYL: Job Hunt: I need more money so I'm going to start looking around. So one application a week sounds good. I also want to explore within Amazon, where I currently work, for pathways into other departments/advancement. 5pts total. **************************************************** Weekly Measurements: Week Weight Waist Avg_Cals Avg_Pro Bench 0 273.6 39.5" -- -- 120 (5x5) 1 273.3 39.0" 2900 189 130 (5x5) 2 272.6 41.0" 3182 189 140 (5x5) 3 270.1 39.25" 3209 189 150 (5x5)
  16. NERDS!!!!!!!!!!! WELCOME! To another month of MOONS. My challenge theme for 2016 is a full moon series - each challenge will be named and themed for the full moon that falls within it, and I’ll draw from each one’s symbolism to craft my challenges! January’s challenge was wolf moon and it went pretty great!! I saw a lot of strength gains and flexibility improvement. For February though, the moon that falls here is commonly called Snow Moon. Sounds pretty but................ Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult. Little Famine moon and Full Bony moon are other traditional names for this particular full moon. WELL GEEZ OKAY, thanks a lot Debbie Downer. I mean BONY MOON, really, come on now, I know times be tough in February but all this is pretty....... depressing. (And it BETTER not snow here................) Truth be told, like January, this is a tough time of year. The almanac has it spot on - it’s bitter cold, difficult, and for a lot of cultures it was a time of just hanging on and surviving. So, I’m gonna do that by simplifying the junk out of this challenge. This month I have only one quest, and it’s for all of the points. QUEST: Stay on Target (+3STA, +3STR, +2CON, +2WIS) Midway through the last challenge I had a “WAUW my life is out of control†moment and started creating weekly charts with allotted time slots for all the shit I needed to get done. Getting this on paper was a BIG brain calmer and has helped me remember to make time for all the things I need to do, and not just spend my free hours playing FFXIV..... which I would TOTALLY do if I had less willpower. Or, TIME WASTING. I realized last month that I am my very own Time Bandit and if left to my own devices I would take my free time at work and donk around on the forums or Reddit indefinitely. I can certainly plan my time better if I am mindful of it!! Following my “to-do†chart made me happy, and helped me look forward to things daily, thereby warding off The Blahs. Neato! Each weekend I’ll post my chart for the upcoming week here, and do my best to stick to it. Simple as that. (Right?....) Weekly Grading A - Stuck to chart 100% B - Neglected 1-2 duties C - Neglected 3-4 duties F - Totally went off the rails and I now have a Level 60 of every class in FFXIV. (Oops.) I’ve already gone ahead and completed my chart for Week 1, and here it is! Aha, look at that, I tried to measure even columns for each day but of course numbersed wrong and Sunday’s a LITTLE BIGGER. Super. Also I needed to use WhiteOut as I wrote something on the wrong day. XD The only caveat I have with this is I reserve the right to toggle gym days as needed - M W F is my goal but if T Th F needs to happen due to other events that can work! However, 3 days a week MUST be done or else, penalty. In my free time at work I’ll make sure to get done the duties for that day FIRST before I consider wasting any time on other things. As long as I get all the written duties done F-Su I can fit in VIDEO GAMES in the empty spots. That’s it! Simple, right? Right. "What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?" -- John Steinbeck
  17. Aaahh everything is so brand new - new challenge format, new year, new themes... welcome to 2016, rebels!! I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT 2016! *^___^* With all of the glaring new-ness around here, first I want to take a step back first and lay out my main quests as a refresher. Primal mobility! This is my main overarching goal and something I’ve begun working on in the last quarter of 2015. I’ve been very diligent (and patient) with foot/ankle, shoulder, hand, and squat mobility drills and while it certainly takes time to undo years of things like poor posture and retraining your body, I can confidently say it works and I’m already THRILLED to be reaping the benefits. I have much more control of my body and how it moves, and how much it can do. I am virtually pain-free in certain areas/joints I thought would never feel better. AMAZING. Seriously. Heavy lifting. I love weightlifting. I love getting stronger and building muscle. I’ve only been lifting barbells for about 9 months - at this time last year I wasn’t even able to lift the bar, but just a week ago I managed a 1RM bodyweight squat. I’ve come a long way and have no plans to stop anytime soon!! My third quest is a new one for 2016, and it’s get back to ME. 2016 is setting itself up to be a heck of a challenge already for multiple reasons - selling our house and moving to MyStErY LoCaTiOn (no, really, we aren’t certain where we’re going yet!), working on having self-sustainable employment, and much MUCH more - so I’m really determined to stay mindful and exercise lots of replenishing activities and self-care. I’m a bit of a “hippie†- I love nature and the earth, I’m very attracted to things like energy work and alchemy and animals and the stars - and dabbling in these things has always brought me solace and confidence and rejuvenation. I need to make more time for my natural self and expand my energy to include it. This third quest is actually the spark for my year of themes - a full moon series. Each challenge will be themed after the full moon that falls within it, and I’ll draw from its symbolism to craft my challenges. Many cultures used lunar cycles to keep track of their seasons and the passing year, and each full moon was named symbolically so. You can totally read more about moons here (http://www.paganspath.com/magik/moonnames.htm) if you so desire. WTF SHAARAWY, MOONS, you are a total mega nerd. (Good thing I’m on NERD FITNESS RIGHT!?!?!?!!) First up is Wolf Moon! “Amid the freezing cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. It was also known as the Old Moon or the "Moon after Yule." In some tribes, this was the Full Snow Moon, however, most applied that name to the next moon.†You’re probably familiar with this wolf moon: Or maybe this one: (ALL OF MY 24 YEAR OLD FEELS~) Or maybe even this one: \m/ The wolf is a guardian symbol and shows loyalty, ferocity and spirit. Wolves are also very cunning and adaptable, probably why the first full moon of the year is named as such. January is dark and cold and as we plunge into the depths of winter, a lot of the natural world focuses on survival. Especially for us humans post-holidays, when the lights and decorations get put away and the excitement of the season disappears, we’re brought back to coping with everyday life during the harshest season. (Well, harshest in my book. I am so not a fan of winter~) Like the wolf, I plan to go into the new year with a bang, powerful and strong, but I also know I need to be cunning about it and take care of myself during a season that I know can affect my mental state in a negative manner. 1. I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I’ve been getting a little bored in the gym, kind of drifting around and doing lifts here and there with no real set program. Stronglifts was the perfect intro to barbells but I find myself wanting to expand myself and try something more. I’m going to try out a Push/Pull/Legs split that combines barbell work with accessory work - which I really love doing as well! I’m hoping the combination of the two, along with a new program overall, will kickstart MAH GAINZ and motivation! Getting to the gym regularly is a big boon for my positivity and overall mental health, so this quest neatly kills two birds with one stone. Schedule is as follows: push Squats OHP BP Skull Crushers -or- dips Lat Raise pull DL Seated cable row Face Pulls Chins Hammer Curl legs Squats RDL Hamstring Curls Walking Lunges Calf Raises I’d ideally like to do this M W F but in the instance I can only get to the gym two days a week (see next quest), the leg day circuit can be subbed out for the P90X legs and back disc at home. I’ll use it only as a backup if needed. I'll be tracking these workouts on Fitocracy (seriously why did it take me so long to sign up there) and hope to stick with some modicum of consistency. A - All 4 weeks logged. B - 3 weeks logged. C - <2 weeks logged. 2. The One You Feed Thanks to a delightful combination of holidays + me failing to track my macros for, oh, about 2 months, I’m again having trouble with feeding myself enough food and having sustained energy to lift 3 days a week. I’ve been finding that I feel like I’m often chasing an energy deficit during the week that’s preventing me from holding a consistent gym schedule. SIGH. Nutrition, why you so insane. Going back to basics here to make sure I track my macros every. Single. Day. I’ve also been working with some nutrition coaches and I’m also going to try out a bit of minor cycling vs. rest and off days to see how it affects me energy-wise. Starting numbers: Cal: 2,000 (-100 on rest days) Carbs: 225 (-40 on rest days, to start) Fat: 65 Protein: 125 Tweaking numbers as I go won’t affect my final score, and likely will happen Because Evolution. A - Track 7 days a week. B - Track 6 days a week. C - Track <5 days a week. 3. Lupine Continuing with my expanding repertoire of mobility drills!! Thus far I have tackled: feet, ankles, hands, and shoulders, and have made these drills into habits that I practice multiple times weekly to keep my unbreakable body progress inching forward. Some of these things take a LONG TIME to not only do properly, but make into habits. I could seriously regale you with success stories thanks to mobility drills but I won’t, because it’s time to add a new set of body parts into the mix! WRISTS + CALVES My wrists need all the halps. Not only do I work on a computer all day but I also love to sit on a computer in my spare time and play video games!!!!!!!!!! Things like pushups, and even hand positioning on a squat barbell for long periods of time, can start to hurt fast. After working hands/fingers wrists was the next logical step, and I’m excited for this! Calves will be my first foray into mobility for something that’s not joint-based. Cool!!!!!! While my calves don’t necessarily give me any problems (currently), sometimes leg day can brutalize my muscles and it’s a good start to keep them limber before working up the posterior chain. (Specifically hamstrings!!) Calves will be foot up wall, 5x a week, like so: And eccentric heel drops: (What a turrible image~) Wrists will be this (image won't let me link due to the type it is... sheesh... technology, right?!) A - 5 times weekly. B - 4 times weekly. C - <3 times weekly. 4. Burying Bones Y’all there be shit everywhere in this house. We are pretty minimal folks to start with, but we’re preparing to eventually downsize and...... man, we got some stuff. Lots which is frankly useless and needs to be cleansed. CLEANSED. Oddly enough this does loads for my mental clarity - living in a clutter-free house is such a calming feeling. <3 One chunk of time each week will be devoted to GETTING RID OF JUNK. A - I did this once a week. F - I failed and should just go live in a dumpster. I'm ready to go at this full force - failure is not an option. Let's bare our fangs and howl for victory, rebel friends!!!! “We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be –the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer – which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourself.†― Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf
  18. This is the year. Yup, this one. This is the year that I do ALL THE THINGS. I am going to do this to my fitness insecurities. My epic quest, then. SO....This time around. In January, I will be focusing on part 2 of my quest. STRENGTH! Continue StrongLifts 3x per week, but substitute DB rows for BB rows. Log every workout here. Put up one form check video in January on at least one lift. Track my food. GULP. This has been a complete failure for me over and over. This month, I am NOT setting actual goals for macros, nor am I allowing ANY unkind words to myself, either here or in my head. Tracking every thing that I eat is the only goal. The laser-like focus is to make it a habit and take away the judgy judginess that makes me judge myself judgily. Yes, I will focus on protein, but I don't think that I am to the point where I need to eat enormous loads of protein. I just need to track, so that I can get actual data instead of pretend data. I like batch cooking for time management, so will do that, but it isn't an actual goal this time, just T R A C K. I will update here whether I tracked or not. I am going for 100% compliance, here. Walk. This is another one that I have failed multiple times in the past. So, I am going to say 3x per week, just 5 min. That's it. Just 5 itty bitty minutes. I will update here each day that I walk. LUYL Goal: Like many of us, I am sometimes a little harsh with myself. I am taking inspiration from BlackTezca for this next goal, but adapting it a bit. For the duration of this challenge, I will write one thing here on my challenge log that is positive. It can be something positive about myself, something positive about my life, or something positive in my life for which I am thankful. That's it, Nerds.
  19. Introduction: I'm doing my second Ranger challenge after over two years in the Warriors. Last challenge, I was focussed on keeping together my diet and exercise after moving back home to Indiana to reboot life and get a fresh start. I managed to stay active and got back on the low carb and meaty glory of the ketogenic diet. Doing so I managed to lose about 5-10 pounds. I want to maintain this rate of weight loss. Right at the beginning of the challenge I start my new job. I'm working a temporary position at an Amazon warehouse. I'll be on my feet for 10 hour shifts, 40-50 hours a week... on the night shift. This is a big transition from my grad student desk and computer work and being home most of every day. So I've got to adapt to the new level of activity and being nocturnal. Further, I want to maintain my barbell training and use it to maintain strength and burn extra calories. This is going to put a lot of stress on my body so managing stress will also be key. Motivation: "There are only three types of motivation: money, fear, and hunger." -- Ron Swanson Goal 1: Ketogenic nutrition. First off, avoid those carbs. I might be tempted to indulge given the constant energy output, but I need to keep them gone. I need to pay attention to snacks, supplements, and water to make sure I stay well adapted. I'm staying round the clock on this one. 42 pts. total. Goal 2: Maintain a regular workout routine. I so, so, so want to pull a 4 plate deadlift, but... I'm cutting on the standard ketogenic diet and a lot of my energy (and pateience) is going to be used up at work so heavy work will be limited if even existent. I'll be mostly doing barbell complexes and circuits 30 min a piece at least 3x / week. Shoot for 4x, and hope for 5x. Partly to burn extra calories, So do at least 18 days to pass, up to 30 lifting days if I feel awesome. Partly to burn extra calories, but I just don't want to break the habit of lifting something regularly. Goal 3: Mobility "Doctor: Do you have any history of mental illness in your family? Ron Swanson: I had an Uncle who once did yoga." I neglect the shit out of mobility work. I'm going to use my work schedule to stay on top of this. Just before/after work and during breaks, do some stretching. I know I'll be dying to stretch out my calves when I'm on my feet all day. I'll aim for an average of 3 every work day to pass. Shoot for 4x, and again hope for 5x. I'll allow bonus points for before/after workouts. Life Goal 1: Makin' bacon. "Capitalism: God's way of determining who is smart, and who is poor." -- Swanson Pyramid of Greatness Basically, the more I work, the more money I get in the form of bonuses during this holiday period. No need to grade. The bonus is its own goal. But I'll keep track of how much I'm getting to stay encouraged. I don't like the idea of posting my own wages, so I'll track this in a fictitious currency, the #, as in # of bacon. I currently owe #1796. Potentially, I can earn #470 after I take out gas money, food money, and the regular bills. That's not as much as I hoped for (when is it ever) but that's quite a dent for 6 weeks. I'll grade this goal as a percentage of the #470 paid off. Sidequest 1: The Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. Mainly for shits and giggles... I wrote a short program that randomly selects the entries on the "Swanson pyramid of greatness." There are 45 entries. So if I start on Friday we can do all of them. I say we because I'm inviting you to do them all. I'll do my best to post them daily. Part of this is for accountability to get me to post daily. I think a big part of the last challenge's success was that I was on here (almost) every day posting. So I'll post a random selection from the pyramid and incorporate the "lesson" into my day somehow with the goal of inspiring and improving the efforts toward my goals. The entries are: This is just for fun and these are open to wild interpretations. No points awarded, but they should inspire "Greatness" which will incur improvements in my efforts. Sidequest 2: Draw the Nerds. "Creativity is for people who wear glasses and enjoy lying." -- Ron Swanson Last challenge I had some fun by drawing this owl portrait which also had Rurik in it: That was all part of renewing my interest in drawing and painting and pursuing art again. I thought it would be fun for this challenge to make more drawings inspired by the people of the rebellion. You people inspire me, so I thought I'd show you the fruits of that inspiration. A good artist is well practiced in human portraits/figure, landscape, and still-life. I don't have time or money to take classes or anything. So I'll be lurking on your threads and drawing from your Swolfies and PR pics, snapshots from your adventures, and your food porn. Don't worry. No progress photos will be drawn. They are for personal assessment and not artistic purposes. Unless you really want me to. Also, if you want to request such a photo of yours to be "arted", feel free to post it on my thread. I'll accept most of these challenges. I'll add a bonus point for each drawing I do to be distributed about my goals. Sidequest 3: Stress management/meditation I'm always making a goal of getting back into my meditation routine. Well, here I can earn bonus points. One for every 30 min of meditation. It may be that workouts will be missed, extra calories consumed, or stretching neglected because I'm too damn tired and stressed. Meditation can be used to make up for it. Every minute counts as long as I'm on the cushion, or some place purposeful, breathing with unattached thoughts. Are you ready?
  20. change everything you are & everything you were your number has been called /me pins *guest* badge to her shirt as she steps into the Assassin’s Den. YES! Welcome to the first challenge of my brand new themeset! (In a brand new guild, even?! WHOA NELLIE) Hi, I'm Shaarawy, a barbell loving uber-nerd journeying over from the Rangers because my goals have become much more... Assassin-ly. If you’ve followed any of my previous ventures you’ll notice I’m moving away from having a specific “thing†for each of my challenge themes - instead, each 6 weeks I’ll choose a song that’s not only near to my heart, but lyrically works for the spot I’m at in my fitness journey. I love music and weird random stuff, so this should be fun. (And I’ll have more freedom to not stick with super-specific gifs and imagery throughout 6 weeks... oh haayyylll yes.) (I promise there won’t be a ton of K-Pop.) (Heheheh....) This first song by Muse I’m using is pretty much hella perfect for me right now. It’s strong and empowering and all about change. Interesting yet positive change is happening everywhere in my life and I’m excited to start making some changes here by going back to the basics and focusing on my new loves of primal movement and mobility. I LOVE PRIMAL MOVEMENT. Like holy moly, I do! It’s about getting back to basics, being prepared for unpredictability, gaining bodily awareness, and utilizing your entire body to make yourself much more antifragile. I’m deeply interested in re-training my body how to move properly. Humans weren’t meant to sit for 8 hours a day or become “domesticated†with silly things like chairs, shoes, sidewalks. I want to break free of the things that are holding me back, and are weakening and working against my muscles. I want to become an undomesticated human - to be able to move freely and comfortably, to re-train my body how to sit and squat and stretch the *right* way, and start setting a great foundation for my other fitness endeavors. I don’t want to play by the rules where adults have to sit still all day (or for hours a day) and lose their playful nature - that’s not me. I want to roll in grass and scramble up rock faces and climb trees, not only that, but be comfortable doing it, AND INJURY FREE. Yass. Injuries SUUUCK. Jonathan Mead’s blog Uncaged Human [http://jonathanmead.com/blog] is a HUGE source of inspiration for me, and if you’ve been reading all of this with an eyebrow quirked (shaarawy you’re a weird bird, you might be thinking) take a look at his stuff for a little more clarity or just to further an interest. It’s all super practical and genuine. His classes at Camp NerdFitness really hit me like a brick to the face and made me go, YES, I WANT THIS! I’m also pairing this with a lot of Kate Galliett’s teachings - she is a mobility fitness coach that really opened my eyes to how HELLA IMMOBILE I am, and I’m so ready to utilize her strengthening drills to not only make me a more mobile person overall, but to re-teach my muscles how to perform and do away with all of the little niggling aches and pains in my body, WHILE continuing to work hard and lift weights. (And lift weights BETTER, because I’ll be optimizing my body and muscles for strength and efficiency!!!! I AM REALLY SILLY KINDS OF EXCITED ABOUT THIS. YES, NERDS.) So I’m starting small, with the basics. One small building block at a time as I continue my regular fitness regime outside of this challenge. (I lift 2-3 days weekly.) I’m working from the outside in, starting with the feet, hands, extremities, letting them become foundations to support all of my goals. “Big things come from small beginnings.†i. best, you’ve got to be the best (STA+3 DEX+1) The number one thing on my list is to work on my resting squat. (Alternatively called a “caveman squat†or “third world squatâ€.) It’s a natural human resting position but it’s something we just don’t do anymore now that we have things like... chairs, couches? (Aside, I LOVE my couch. Just sayin’.) The squat is a great mobility tool for SO many areas - feet, ankles, hips, balance, just to name a few. So, strengthening, mobility, and it’ll help my barbell squats? Yes, ok, excellent. I addended resting squats to one of my challenges a while ago, but I REALLY want to focus on it. I want to squat 30 minutes for 5 out of 7 days. Not 30 minutes at a time, I can break it up - 5 minutes in the morning while I’m waiting for my coffee, 10 minutes patting a cat (yay), etc. Add it up over the day. Right now I can hold the pose okay, with some struggle, so I really want to see what 6 weeks of persistence will do!!! A - Squat 30 minutes for 5 days. B - Squat 30 minutes for 4 days. C - Squat 30 minutes for <3 days. ii. you’ve got to change the world (STR+1 DEX+3) Ah, Ye Olde Extremities. I don’t think people think a lot about hand and foot strength much. I never really did. ESPECIALLY foot strength. Like, your feet are pretty important?? They only HOLD YOU UP and move you around, right? Why did you NEVER really think about foot strength and mobility before, Shaarawy?? I had a bit of a personal “a-ha†moment with this at Camp when I hiked to the waterfall alone one morning. I was gingerly navigating the stones in the pools, trying to get to a good location for photos, and was having a REALLY HARD TIME getting some stable footwork. So much of a hard time that I actually slipped and fell into the water up to my calf. Wow. I NEVER had trouble with this as a kid, navigating the forest and its intricacies. This was a big wake up call to me that I needed to work on my foot and ankle mobility. I’m pairing this one with grip strength Because Extremities, and as a lifter, I need to condition my hand muscles better so I’m not so weak with the grabbings. And, you know, holding things. (A big takeaway from one of Kate’s videos was that grip strength can affect everything all the way up to your shoulder mobility - WHOA - which you’ll see in juuuust a moment......) For foot exercises I will use the seven drills in the following video: http://fitforreallife.com/2015/09/how-to-take-care-of-foot-pain-and-improve-foot-function/ For grip exercises I’ll simply hang from my pull-up bar every time I walk under it. [insert starting time for how long i can hang here.] A - Hand and foot strengthening for 5 days. B - Hand and foot strengthening for 4 days. C - Hand and foot strengthening for <3 days. iii. and use this chance to be heard (DEX+3) Shoulder mobility. AUGH. My eyes really opened when I attended Kate’s shoulder mobility class at Camp and realized ... ... .......... WOW. Okay. I suck. I’m sorry, shoulders, I am a terrible human being who JUST DIDN’T KNOW ANY BETTER *sobs* I’m going to be utilizing the three mobility exercises from the following video: http://robbwolf.com/2015/10/12/three-solutions-to-aches-and-pains-that-you-might-not-have-tried-yet/ They are 1. the reverse shrug, 2. the row, and 3. shoulder rotation. I’ve got a pull up bar here at the house so NO EXCUSES THERE. Kate recommends 10 reps of each so my goal is to also do this 5 out of 7 days. A - Shoulder mobility drills for 5 days. B - Shoulder mobility drills for 4 days. C - Shoulder mobility drills for <3 days. iv. your time is now (WIS+2 CHA+2) Ooo, this is the big one. After a lot of soul-searching, I’ve decided to take the plunge into a career change that would give me remote flexibility. Sitting in an office all day is slowly killing me and I’m at the point where I’m ready to make a change for me, my future, and my happiness. Being able to work from anywhere would be the ultimate end-game for me, and allowing me flexibility with not only my location but my time? I need this, badly. I’m ready for more freedom and to break the chains of “9 to 5 lifeâ€. I want to do remote work as either a junior editor or a content creator. I love writing and I’ve contributed to multiple big sports blogs in the past with my content. People have told me multiple times they really like my work and that it’s unique and engaging, and that’s a big “!†for me right there. I have a great command of the English language. I have a 4 year Communications degree. I’m unique in that I can not only write, but I also own a DSLR and can photograph my own content. I have experience in digital design. Why am I not doing this?!... Oh, it’s scary. SIGH. Come on, kid. I’m in a lucky position right now in that I have a part-time job that seats me at a desk (and computer) 4 days out of the week. This is perfect for me because I can keep my current income while starting to build my self-portfolio on the side. There is legitimately ZERO RISK. None. Nada. Zilch. This quest is pass or fail ONLY - create a website that I can use as a portfolio of my writing skills for future employers, and post at least two articles to start. Photos optional but would be awesome depending on the content. I’m aiming to keep it “adventure travel†oriented - exploring local places and documenting my journeys. Let’s do this. A - Website created and designed, two articles posted. F - How badly do you want this?! Maaaaaan last challenge of this YEAR?!?!?!! HOLY CRAP. I AM READY, LET'S GOOOOO~!!!!! (also an accurate depiction of me in the paper plane flying competition at camp nerdfitness. <3)
  21. Five weeks, you say? FIVE WEEKS?! So since CAMP NERD FITNESS falls directly in the middle of this challenge, I am hereby dubbing this a five week challenge. Because my challenge for camp week is going to be JUST ENJOY CAMP! Period. I don’t want to have to think about goals or grading when I’m kayaking or on some ropes 60 feet above the ground or swordfighting someone or leaping through a waterfall. NOPE! Five weeks. Let’s do it. So I’m sitting here trying to come up with a theme that has to do with the number five. Hmm. Lots of thinking. What am I currently into nerd-wise that can work with the number five?............ Aaahahahaha yes YES EXCELLENT. STRONG WOMEN THAT DON’T TAKE NO SHIT. ALL RIGHTY THEN. Mad Max: Fury Road. If you haven’t seen it, it’s ok, we can still be friends. This movie has quickly rocketed into my top films of all time - brilliant characterization, a stunning musical score, impeccable and creative craftmanship, 99% CG-free crazy wild stunts with real humans and acrobats... and of course, blowing things up and a DESERT CAR CHASE YEEEAAAHH!!! These are the five Citadel Wives that the warlord Immortan Joe had taken and imprisoned for his own “personal use†(ugh) to breed him pure children (read: boys) to carry on his craycray warlord lineage and leadership. But when they break out on a risky road to freedom, they’re anything but delicate flowers. They fight and load weapons and work on the vehicles and lug heavy shit around and it’s JUST RAD. This challenge will be structured a little different than usual - mainly I’m breaking my quests up into a total of 5 instead of 4, and the point division will be a little different. But you’re not here to hear about the technicalities. You’re here for GLORY, SHINY AND CHROME. (hey there might be spoilers in this post if you haven’t seen the movie, so there’s that.) The Splendid Angharad (+3 STA) Splendid is the unofficial “leader†of the wives, she’s Joe’s favorite and throughout the movie always keeps a cool head, no matter what the situation. (Like, you know, if she’s about to have a baby in the underbelly of a truck that’s going 500mph and being pursued by Bad Dudes, or when she flings herself onto the outside of a war rig as a pregnant human shield to keep her friends from being shot, idk.) She’s graceful and grounded, and I want to take an opportunity to work on my mobility and flexiness with some yoga balance poses. Balance has always been a strong point of mine, and I think this will be a great opportunity to test myself, and expand my mental/physical “rootsâ€, if you will. I’ve chosen three balance poses to work on and will practice 3 times a week, and will also make it a final goal to hold each one at the end of the 6 weeks for as long as I can. Poses in no particular order are: Royal Dancer (otherwise known as Lord of the Dance), Crow, and Eagle. (I think I subconsciously listed them from most challenging -> least challenging, ha!) A - Practiced 3 times a week. B - Practiced 2 times a week. C - Practiced 1 time a week. Capable (+3 WIS) Capable is probably my second favorite of the wives. She’s gentle, kind, and compassionate. The way she treats Nux when she discovers him hiding on their rig - with compassion and not anger or disgust - and how she continues to support him steadfastly throughout the film speaks volumes to her character. Her words and actions are subtle yet full of a quiet inner strength. She’s just great, y’all. GREAT. (Her costume is also my favorite. That hair. Yass.) Anyways. I need to be a little more compassionate with myself and check in with myself a little better each week. Life’s about to get a little hectic - I’m going to Camp at the end of the month, then flying home for a long weekend in October, so that combined with my usual hijinks makes me err on the side of more self-care than usual. Plus, my favorite season is coming (autumn yo), and I want to be able to be present and mindful to enjoy as much of it as I can amidst the chaos. Like balancing, meditation is something I’ve been well versed in from an extremely young age, so I’ll try to describe my mindful experiences in detail here. A - Meditated once at the end of the week. F - MEDIOCRE. (Sorry, MM pun, this means I screwed up and didn’t do anything.) Cheedo the Fragile (+3 CON) Guys. I am literally Cheedo the Fragile. Seriously. This quest is probably going to be the most important one out of them all. Cheedo went from being timid and pretty darn naive (and actually wanting to go BACK to her terribad yet coddled lifestyle at one point, girl, you a strong wasteland woman that don’t need that junk) to using her 20 Seconds of Courage to trick Rictus into helping her onto his rig, thereby helping Furiosa on so she could kill Joe. Ballsy. While I won’t be spearheading any warlord assassinations, MY BACK IS FRAGILE, YO. Holy crapola. I need to get on this NOW and do it right, and stop saying, “Oh, I’m going to do this lala~†and just dooooo it. I don’t want to be someone that’s constantly sidelined by injury because I failed to take care of myself the right way. Consistent stretching and low back exercises has proved very helpful in the past, and I need to make it a priority. This will be a combination of targeted stretches along with strengthening core work. A - 5 days of low back stretching/strengthening. B - 4 days of low back stretching/strengthening. C - <3 days of low back stretching/strengthening. Toast the Knowing (+3 STR) How can you not like a chick named Toast. For reals, yo. Toast is a survivalist. She doesn’t beat around the bush, there’s no sugar coating here. When the other girls were flipping out over Angharad, Toast kept her cool and had her eyes on the prize, reminding them that they didn’t have any time to stop because they were going to the Green Place. She reloads guns and puts together weapons like a seasoned pro. She’s tactical and the first to suggest blocking the pass on the way back to the Citadel, to keep the War Boys from catching up to them. Toast just does what needs to be done. In the spirit of doing what needs to be done - I like gaming. A lot. We recently built some super fast mega charged pew-pew Shiny New PC’s for just such a thing, and as much as I love a nice long weekend gaming session......... I need to hold myself a little more accountable with my screen time. For each hour spent gaming on the weekend I owe myself 15 minutes of being up and mobile. Any type of exercise that suits my fancy - cardio, yoga, jump roping, practicing my barrel rolls (?), shadowboxing, vigorous spell-casting, whatever works. Turning into a Weekend Screen Warrior (literally) is a blast but if I spend too long on the computer I get fuzzy, lethargic, and spaced out. And that’s no way to survive. Speaking of survival, this quest is pass or fail ONLY. A - Every hour of gaming met with 15 minutes of exercise. F - You done screwed up. The Dag (+3 CHA) I love The Dag. I think she might be my favorite of the wives. She’s sassy and feisty and mouthy, and with all the bad juju she’s endured it hasn’t dulled her fire. She hisses at people and spits on them and doesn’t hesitate to let you know where you stand. Conversely she’s also very intuitive and creative, learning how to take care of the seeds from the Vuvalini, and always being keyed in to her environment and knowing when the enemy was approaching. For my Life Quest I want to spark my own creativity and use my fitness Instagram more!!! It’s something I’ve been slacking on and I really want to do more with it, but just haven’t had the drive to. Hey, it’s time! Follow me here for accountability and motivation, if you are so inclined. A - Instagram 3 times weekly. B - Instagram 2 times weekly. C - Instagram once weekly. Throughout all of this I plan to continue my lifting at least twice a week, but that's so ingrained now that I felt it silly to make it an actual challenge. Besides, variety, etc. Hop on my War Rig, rebels, and let's take this journey down the FURY ROAD TO VICTORY!!!! I LIFT! I REST! I LIFT AGAIN!!!!
  22. (Spoiler: I hate math!) Friends, Rebels, countrymen! WELCOME!! This is my seventh challenge here at Nerd Fitness! As usual, per a Shaarawy Style Challenge each one in 2015 is deliciously nerdily themed with something I love. Adventure Time is simultaneously the silliest/stupidest/weirdest/most AWESOME cartoon I have seen in a long time. Holy crap. It’s also a really smart show that’s a lot of fun and I’m unabashedly addicted to binging it on Netflix on weeknights. I think my recurring favorite character is Jake but I also like that weirdo Lemongrabs and Neptr (so underrated) and CAKE, we need more Fionna and Cake episodes plz~ Ok, sorry. Anyway. My last challenge was particularly taxing and grueling and hard on me, which is very ironic because I specifically made that challenge to be a little more chill than my usuals. Unfortunately my nutrition snuck up on me in a BIG way, and it wasn’t even part of my challenge, so it felt like I was doing two challenges at once and barely treading water. So for this 6 weeks I’m allowing myself to have a little fun (while still working hard!) as I step back, regroup, and do things The Right Way. Iiiit’s ADVENTURE TIME!!!! Quest 1 - FINN (STA+3 STR+2) Gonna destroy some lifting, destroy some PR’s, and NOT destroy myself because that’s not Finn-like, like, at all. Gotta be STRONG to be a good adventurer! (Aside: Know who else is strong? SUSAN STRONG!!!! When she’s not eating the Candy Kingdom. Ahem, anyway.) In my previous challenge I started doing SL5x5. It was pretty physically taxing on me, but I LOVE lifting with barbells. I also missed having a day to do non-barbell stuff - skullcrushers, lat pulldowns, hammer curls, w/e. Or even take a day off and try out a Zumba or kickboxing workout? Yeah!! Right now feel I need to progress a little slower while also keeping mindful of other important things (see next quest), so for this I’m committing to three lifting days - at least two SL sessions, with one session for auxiliaries/others. And if I feel like doing three SL sessions, rock on, but I want to give myself the option to mix it up a little bit this time. Also, this quest is gonna have a LITTLE BIT OF A BYE, (of course because why should anything be easy) because... at the end of Week 1 I’ll be getting a tattoo on my back that’ll limit my heavy lifting abilities for about ~2 weeks. I’m not allowed to work those muscles or sling a barbell over my back or get ridonkulously sweaty, because I’ll essentially have a very pretty open wound that’s healing, and I’m paying a lotta beans for this... so obvs, safety first! I’ll take things day by day as it gets to the end of the two weeks but for the first week I’ll be subbing in three leg/lower body workouts to keep myself going, and the second week will be more play by ear. WOO! Weekly Grading A - 2 days of SL, one day of either SL or aux workout. B - 2 days of SL, no days of aux workout. F - Dude what are you doing, get it together. Quest 2 - PRINCESS BUBBLEGUM (WIS+2 CON+2) Nutrition snuck up on me like a TRAIN in my last challenge. (I don’t know how a train sneaks up on anyone but let’s just go with it, shall we?) I hadn’t realized that lifting heavy = eating heavy (I mean, DUH?) and it really threw me for a loop. It almost felt like I was doing two challenges because it was so intensive, and I had a lot of fatigue days where I was just trying to figure out what was going on and make it through the day to collapse on the couch at home. So this time I’m going to really focus on what I feed myself and make it an ACTUAL QUEST so I get some kind of credit for all of this hard work. I need to be like Peebs and NOT fall asleep on a pizza slice (nomnom), but get this FOOD SCIENCE working so I can be at my best! And I mean, come on, who’s better at calculating numbers than PB?? Right now my macros are as follows: Calories 1900 Carbs 238 Fats 53 Protein 119 I’m reserving the right to tweak as I go along as I find what works best for me, but as I do I’ll update them and do my best to come within 100g of my calorie count, and 20g of other macros. Weekly Grading A - 7 days of macros hit. B - 6 days of macros hit. C - 5 days of macros hit. F - 4 or less days. Fooding FAIL. Quest 3 - JAKE (WIS+3) I love you Jake, I really do. I’m especially jealous of your BIG LIVEEERRR but I’m not a magic dog so I don’t have that kind of cool. Okay, I’m REALLY ready to hit this one hard. With no foreseeable holidays or drinkworthy events on the horizon for this challenge, I’m ready to experiment with drinking LOTS less than I’m used to and seeing what it does to my abdominal measurements and photos. SO READY. Due to the nature of this quest it is pass or fail weekly only. ONLY. Weekly Grading A - 1 alcoholic drink per week. F - More than 1 alcoholic drink per week. Lush. LQ - LUMPY SPACE PRINCESS (CHA+3) My LQ this time around is about literally remembering to have fun EVERY DAY, and that no matter what life throws at you or how crazy things get, there’s always something to CELEBRATE!! And, uhm, LSP is the gal that TOTALLY knows how to lumpin’ jam. (She's also FRESH TO DEATH. Yaaaaass.) Each week, with the help of the Weird Holiday database ( http://www.weirdholiday.com/ ) I’m going to pick a day and find something to celebrate. I’ll report back here with the day and event (i.e. July 15th is National Gummi Worms day, YEAH) and how I rocked it out, preferably with photos or artwork or something, pertaining to the event. ( edit - use this one for august, it's way better -- http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/AugustCalendar.html ) Stupidly enough I’m really looking forward to this. Weekly Grading A - Celebrated once per week. F - Did nothing, sheesh. Lame. Phew. All right Rebels, let's keep going strong through SUMMERTIME and have some BOMBASTIC FUN together!!!
  23. Big changes are coming. I'm moving from Madison, WI to Indianapolis in September. My challenge goal is to survive the transition and not lose track of my health goals while I go through it. Some dates to consider: Aug 7 -- big move day -- I take a uhaul with all my stuff to Indy during this weekend. Aug 14 -- lease ends -- couch surfing begins Aug 21 -- Friends are getting married -- drinking and cake happens Sept 1 -- I'm off the UW payroll and leaving town. Goal 1: Track diet on MFP. I don't care about macros, goals, or whatever really. I just want to get back in the habit of tracking so I can be aware of what I'm consuming and stop eating like a total asshole. Track Every day as close as possible. Goal 2: Make the most of remaining gym membership Membership ends in Sept. I only live in the apartment across the street till Aug 14. Gotta get those workouts in. So it will only be "easy" for the next three weeks. Then I'll have to start going out of my way. My goal is to get 20 workouts in before I leave. Goal 3: Meditate daily 10 min. breathing and non-thinking on the ol' zafu. Gotta let my mind release the stress. I'm starting today. That is all.
  24. So I have a pretty good thing going for four days of the week. If you read my battle log, link in the sig, you can see that I like barbells. Love them. Lift them. Mmmmmmmbarbells. But as I've modified my workouts, watched different lifters on the YouTubes, read more on here, I'm starting to realize something: I need an accessory day. I need a day for all those little targeted muscles that can only be worked out with targeted workouts. I'm getting stronger and stronger with the lifting, I just want to stabilize the musculature that I'm developing. Of course, there might already be a program like this in place and I missed it. So what I'm looking for is one workout that could be done in around an hour (excluding warm up and cool down which I can do before I get to the gym). I have full access to a gym and this would be done once a week. My program that I have right now (subject to change anytime) is alternating heavy and volume for all workouts, skwaaats everyday, DL, BP, OHP each two days a week. So... Go Go WEB!
  25. Introduction: Hello! I'm Lani (say "Lah-nee" or "Lonnie) and this is my first challenge. My hubby and I have been over our fitness journey for over a year. He's lost a 100 lbs, put on a ton of muscle, and is now a personal trainer. I've lost about 50 lbs and still have around 20-30 lbs to go (plus I'd like to put on some more muscle on my 6'1" frame). I've been loving some barbell workouts, kettle-bells, and my weekly yoga class. I'm still trying to tweak a sustainable way of eating for my lifestyle and am excited to continue to unleash my inner amazon. Main Quest: Lose my last 20 lbs of fat & continue to muscle up! I want to do a chin-up for the first time in my life! Quest 1: Train (barbells, kettle-bells, circuits, yoga, or walk) at least 5 times a week. Measurement: A = 35 workouts, B = 30-34 workouts, C = 25-30 workouts Reward: A = +3 STA, +3 STR, B = +2 STA, +2 STR, C = +1 STA, +1 STR Quest 2: No candy at work! I don't really like it, and I eat it mindlessly when I get stressed during the day. Measurement: A = 0 days with candy at work, B = 4 days of candy, C = 8 days of candy Reward: A = +3 CON, B = +2CON, C = +1 CON Quest 3: Meet my protein goal (160 grams) every day! Measurement: A = 40-42 days, B = 37-39 days, C = 34-36 days Reward: A = +3 WIS, +2 CON, B = +2WIS, +1 CON, C = +1WIS Life Quest: Stop biting my nails! I had stopped a year or so ago by going to weekly manicures but they're no longer in my budget. I having nails though and I swear they give me work-confidence-super-powers! So I'm going to take care of my nails at my house and stop biting. Measurement: A = 38+ days of no biting, B = 33-37 days, C = 28-32 days Reward: A = +2 CHA, B = +1CHA, C = +0.5 CHA Motivation: I'm so excited about all the progress I've made, and now I really want to see what I can do! I'm been kinda at a plateau the past several months and want a push towards a little less fat and a little more muscle!
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