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  1. Last challenge–while the Empress and I were strategizing our path to world domination over tea and crumpets– we decided that I needed to focus on some very specific things to be my truest self in 2019. Definition: (1) (adjective) ruthless in competition; ( 2) (adjective) violently agitated and turbulent; (3) (adjective) marked by extreme and violent energy; (4) (adjective) marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid; "FIERCE" is the acronym designed to support this quest, which I am intensely committed to achieving, in ruthless competition with myself, through the following means: FOCUS - Attend to one thing at a time, the most important thing. IMPACT - Choose the most important thing on the basis of its impact, and where its effects will accumulate and compound over time. ENERGY - Trust the Universe and my intuition. Follow the path of positive energy. Invite feedback. RESILIENCE - Proactively seek to become stronger and more resilient by regularly going outside my comfort zone. Balance stretching my limits with adequate rest, recovery and social support. CREATIVITY - Fuel the fire. Nurture my creative spirit. Make cool stuff that energizes me and helps others. EXECUTION - The time for planning and strategizing is done. Execute the plan! 12/31/2018 - My accountability partner and I are meeting later today, New Year's Eve, to wrap up our respective end of year retreats and have a focused work session on our plans for the coming year. I'll report back here with the results and my challenge goals, on New Year's day. The results of the New Year's Eve Accountability Buddy session: We didn't get as far on concrete goal setting as we had planned. We realized in our initial checkin that we were both still a bit scattered and conflicted on some of our goals. We shifted gears after discussing possible solutions, and ended up doing a "Draw Your Future" exercise. and worked with our respective Tarot cards for the day. Mine, of course, was the Empress. I used this particular version, chosen intuitively from a page image search results: Once we had more clarity on our "whys", we adjourned to do some individual work on goal setting and prioritizing during the week, with the agreement to have a followup accountability session next Saturday after our hike. We had planned a hike as part of our session, but it was cold (46 degrees Fahrenheit! ) and rainy yesterday in Phoenix and we were wimps. (Had not prepared adequately.) We made a pact that there would be no more bailing for weather in the future–beyond adapting time or location based on actual hazards like lightning or flash flooding–as we are going to be FIERCE in our training. To be continued. I am getting ready to go back to work tomorrow, so I'm interspersing writing this update with household chores.
  2. Shadowlion haS TEA and CruMpetS with the Empress Yes, it is another Shadowlion ACRONYM Challenge… Tarot challenge... and a Fire Fit challenge... with Truck Porn, Tai Chi, Tuxedo Cats, a little alliteration, and all lot of other stuff I threw into my tags As per usual, I am a little bit late getting my challenge together. It was a bit of a hectic zero week that included much craziness at work, stitches to my left index finger, and a cold. Typing is still a bit slow, so in lieu of a lot of words, so I will leave you with several pictures that I will weave together into a challenge over the next few days. https://www.wired.com/story/sanfrancisco-smaller-firetrucks/
  3. Bast Assassinates Holiday Horrors Well, it's that time of the year again...when we all go nuckin' futs trying to find, create and give the Holiday Spirit. But I can't help but be reminded of the filk "12 Pains of Christmas", especially after how the last few years have gone for us...all stress with no giving, just taking on the parts of others...it made us (me, especially) feel like everyone around us were taking advantage of our loving and generous natures. I would always end up over doing it...working too hard trying to make everything "perfect"...and end up not enjoying anything. But not this year! I plan to take the baby steps I need to so that I can have an enjoyable Holiday and destroy all the things that create havoc! Epic Quest: Stealing Christmas from Fibromyalgia This will be my first Holiday Season with the Rebellion. So I'm looking at what I can do to keep Fibro at bay instead of ruining what should be a happy and enjoyable time of year. Throughout this Quest (Main and Life) are little things that, if I do them, can help reduce my stress and allow me more time to enjoy the Season. I will continue to post in my updates a weekly Fibromyalgia inspiration, as well as when I feel I need a little extra motivation. I also hope that this helps others who also fight this (or similar) battles. I've contemplated adding scoring to this aspect of my progression, as it is present on each of my Quests for every 6WC...but I'm not sure how to score or award. So for now, beating Fibro is its own reward...it always is!! Main Quest: Baby, It's cold... Since I began with the Rebellion, I've worked on inch loss vs. weight loss. I do pretty well during each 6WC, loosing an average of about 7 inches, but severely falter during each break, regaining an average of 5 inches! And this round was no exception...I had gained back all but 1/2 a pound and 1 inch from my starting stats last 6WC!!! AAARRRGGGG!!!!! I need to work on breaking that cycle!! So this round, I'm going to focus on maintenance rather than loss, which if I'm successful, will come in quite handy during the Holiday Feasting! So I'm going to grant a point for maintaining my beginning inches, with only a +2" fluctuation from beginning stats. Bonus points will be awarded for any loss over 7" (since I tend to loose 7" per 6WC anyway). On an interesting side aspect of this, I'm going to try a little experiment...I read a blurb on Facebook a while back, about freezing fat cells and thinking it was a hoax, I did some research. I discovered that not only wasn't it a hoax (I found several scientific articles and research papers on the subject), there are also companies (mainly stateside) that do it as a non-surgical alternative to liposuction. It's called "cryolipolysis", and there were a couple of the medical reference articles that suggested that similar results could be accomplished by using ice packs a few times a week. So I'm going to try it. Keeping in mind, it's an experiment, so points are for conducting the experiment, not the results! However, ending the experiment before the end of the 6WC due to any ill effects will still result in a success. Grading: 1 point = applying ice packs to "pooch" for 1 hour <3x / week> 1 point = maintain inches with only +2" fluctuation from beginning stat <1x / week> 1 point = bonus for each inch lost above 7" 4+ points possible per week --> 24+ possible total Reward: +1WIS, +1 CHA Beginning Stats: Weight - 124.5 # Ribs - 30" Waist - 30" Belly - 34" Quest 1: Reindeer Games So a few changes this go around...I didn't include yoga last round, and it really showed! I've lost a lot of my flexibility just in that short amount of time! So I'm going to do the Do You Yoga's 30-day Yoga Challenge. If I do it 5 days a week (Monday through Friday), then I'll complete the entire thing by the end of this 6WC. When trying out Parkour Training last round, I discovered one of my issues was endurance...especially in the area of running...but since I'm waaay out of practice, I'm going to take the advice of a Ranger (who's post I read on another's thread) and try the C25K program (couch to 5k), which builds you up slowly, with workouts 3 times a week. My other major problem was that I can't take a hit like I used to, so I'm going to also work on body conditioning...other wise known as "impact training" or "armor building". I'm going to do this twice a week, between the c25k days. I know I'll probably be starting small, so it'll be a do or don't thing, rather than a how much or how long...I don't want to over do it and end up flaring! My hubby wants for us to run together, but he's been running regularly (as part of his PT), and we are at totally different speeds and stamina levels...that and he wanted to do it in the evenings, but that's a bad time for me...my energy is best early in the day, and by the time he get's home, I'm busy cooking dinner and I definitely don't want to run after dinner and before bed!! So we compromised on doing evening walks three times a week. We've tried to do this before, but always peetered out pretty quickly...I'm going to add it for now as a regular point, but may make it a bonus point later (if we only do it once a week or so...). I've also been asked by some potential students for me to teach Belly Dance again...so I'm going to check out the possibility for that. If I do it, it may replace the Hubby walks or just get added to the system. But that'll be a wait and see. Last round, I totally failed on adding a new activity each week...so this time, I'm going to add it as a bonus point. My other bonus point will be the usual weekly mileage. I'm sticking with the 20 miles for one point grading, but that 20 miles will have to be non-workout mileage...between the runs and the walks, that'll be a couple extra miles each week alone! I will be tracking my mileage for each workout...just to see how much (and how far) I'm going! Grading: 1 point = Do You Yoga 30-day Challenge <5x / week> 1 point = Couch to 5k <3x / week> 1 point = armor building impact training <2x / week> 1 point = Hubby walks <3x / week> 1 point = Bonus for new activity/class attended 1 point = bonus for 20 cumulative non-workout pedometer mileage for the week 13+ points possible per week --> 78+ possible total Reward: +2 DEX, +2 STA, +2 STR Quest 2: Seasons Eatings So this will be somewhat of a repeat from last round. We have waaay too much food in this house that needs to be eaten...there's a PCS tradition among Military Families, that when it's time for a family to PCS, all their food gets given to their friends who are staying (movers won't pack the food). This is why we have a deep freezer and a regular freezer full and a pantry that's overflowing...we had several friends PCS during this past year!! It'll be out turn to PCS in about a year or so, and I don't want to continue this particular tradition. I've tried to give away the food that was given to us, some stuff went to others that we knew, but for the most part, it all stayed with us, but it now has to go!! So the challenge will be to cook healthy meals using primarily the current inventory. Shopping will be limited to regular use items (milk, coffee, cat food, toilet paper, etc) and recipe fillers (like onions or seasonings, etc) so long as the bulk of the recipe utilizes current inventory. Once certain aspects of the inventory get used up (like protein or veggies), then they can be purchased and a new inventory list created and kept so that we know what we have and how much of it! I realize that Thanksgiving is smack in the middle of this 6WC and the Holiday Baking Season will wrap it up, but that's OK. By that point, there should be enough of a dent that I will actually have somewhere to put a turkey!! Grading will be for each meal in which inventory is utilized, with the goal of using as much as possible! Hubby was concerned about possible failure here, so currently, the goal is for 5 meals a week...but this may get adjusted if we go way over regularly. A bonus point will be awarded for each area that is able to be cleared, organized and inventoried. Grading: 1 point = each meal utilizing current inventory <5x / week> 1 point = bonus for each area cleared, organized and inventoried 5+ points possible per week --> 30+ possible total Reward: +1 CON, +1 WIS Quest 3: Batteries not included... As slight adjustment on an old classic...Over my past few challenges, I've been really good about getting plenty of rest and relaxation...which is crucial for someone with Fibro...but I've noticed that my before bed routine is a bit lacking. I have on my daily task list as my before bed routine to clean the kitchen (now, I just put away leftovers), put things on the launch pad (get things ready that I need to go out the door with the next morning), wash face, brush teeth and lay out clothes. All of which, doesn't normally take very long, but I just don't seem to get it done... I also find myself getting a bit burned out from doing my self-guided meditations. I figured this would be a great time to do the Do You Yoga's 30-day Meditation Challenge again. And of course, I need to go to bed 8 hours before I need to get up. All three of these I will do 5 times a week (Sunday through Thursday) to get a jump start on the work day the next morning! I'm also going to grant a bonus point for pampering. This will include things like doing a hair treatment, facial, mani/pedi or even soaking in a hot bath. It will not include anything that would be considered maintenance or "special" care due to injury or illness. Grading: 1 point = Before Bed Routine <5x / week> 1 point = Do You Yoga 30-day Meditation Challenge <5x / week> 1 point = go to bed 8 hours before alarm <5x / week> 1 point = bonus for pampering 15+ possible per week --> 90+ possible total Reward: +1 CON, +1 CHA Life Quest 1: Harnessing Holiday Havoc I still haven't gotten these habits down, so this will be an almost complete redux from last round...with one exception...I'm adding the Flylady's Holiday Cruising Missions. Granted, they've already started, and will technically end before this challenge, but there will be a few final missions that will go up until Christmas, plus clean-up missions after. One thing I'm going to work on here (and in cooperation with LQ2) is doing things more timely. It may seem like a lot, but before this duty station, I was able to get up at 0600, do all these things, work 2 part time jobs, fix dinner, and was able to relax a few hours between dinner and bed at 2200! Now I just need to figure out how I did that! I'll probably run a timer during the first week to see how long it takes me to do all my tasking (without getting sidetracked) so I can assess where I need to focus on improving. Grading: 1 point = Weekly Home Blessing (WHB) <1x / week> 1 point = Daily Cleaning Routines <5x / week> 1 point = Daily Zone Missions <5x / week> 1 point = Daily Zone Detail Cleaning <5x / week> 1 point = Holiday Cruising Missions <5x / week> 1 point = Area decluttered and organized <1x / week> 1 point = bonus per box cleared 1 point = bonus for 10 items sold 22+ points possible per week --> 132+ possible total Reward: +1 STA Life Quest 2: The Holiday Line Up... And here's another redux...I'm doing OK with the scheduling, and NF posts and updates, but the daily emails keep getting vastly overlooked. This round, I'm going to work harder on scheduling "a time for everything"...I seriously need to track my time and activities so that I know where my time is being spent and on what...since I'm not getting much accomplished that I would like, and my days aren't particularly any shorter than they were when I lived in Negishi and got all this stuff done and worked 2 part-time jobs!! Grading: 1 point = creating & maintaining schedule <5x / week> 1 point = daily emails <5x / week> 1 point = NF weekly update <1x / week> 1 point = NF minis, posts & ambassadoring <5x / week> 16+ possible per week --> 96+ possible total Reward: +1 WIS Life Quest 3: Deck the Halls with Holly or Money... In case you hadn't noticed, my Life Quests are all pretty much repeats from last round. It's not that I'm unimaginative...I mean, I kinda am (but that's not why), it's just that I still need to work on improving in these areas! For this one, I'm incorporating "practical applications" as bonuses for both Herbology and Finance. It hurt me when I was sick...I was using what I had already learned, but was too ill to actively study (spent an hour reading the same paragraph at one point). And I'll be assisting (possibly teaching or teaching the one who will be the instructor) with a class later this month on Holiday Budgeting, so there's a practical application in Finance. I still need a job, so the same bonuses for applications and interviews/follow-ups will apply. If I am able to procure a job, then this aspect of this quest will be completed and I'll adjust the figures accordingly. Grading: 1 point = Herbology unit completed with passed exam <1x / week> 1 point = Herbology homework / projects <1x / week> 1 point = Financial Continuing Education work <1x / week> 1 point = Financial study (read article, book, magazine, etc.) <1x / week> 1 point = research job opportunities <3x / week> 1 point = bonus for Herbology practical application 1 point = bonus for Finance practical application 1 point = bonus for each application submitted 1 point = bonus for each interview / follow-up 7+ possible per week --> 42+ possible total Reward: +1 WIS For the Guild: An Assassin for all Seasons... I don't think I'll have a choice in whether or not I participate in the minis again this round since it will be Hubby's first time as an Assassin, so this will be interesting. Since the minis always have us divided up, more or less at random, into team, we could be allies or competitors...but either way, we'll still have a lot of fun!! The theme this time is "Super Mario Assassin All-Stars", but only the sign up has been posted so far. Per usual, this will be a do or don't scenario. If I participate, I get a point and whatever the reward that gets allocated by the awesome Guild Leaders! I will be serving, once again, as an Assassin Ambassador, so I'll be doing my part, along with my fellow awesome Ambassadors, to help usher in the latest victims, er, I mean, Recruits! LOL! Grading: No grades, just a do or don't. Reward: TBD per mini Next Weeks Focus... Monday starts the Challenge, so I'll be working on posting my beginning stats and measuring a few things (like time for tasking and mileage staring stats for run, etc.) so I know where I started to accurately chart my progress. We've got a lot to do and only six weeks to do it, so let's get started! See ya'll in the Challenge!! Ready or not, here I come, Week 1...
  4. Hi, Tiny Oak aka Kristin here! I'm a college instructor living in southeast Iowa. As far as physical activity goes, I enjoying cycling, belly dance, yoga, meditation, bodyweight exercise, and weightlifting. I am slowly adjusting to my new life as a mom. Lil Acorn is currently 3 months old, and will not sleep on a non-human surface. I'll try to update more than last time, but it has to be during stolen moments while I'm away or she's asleep, or when there's someone else around to help me. I also have a furkid, a dachshund named Ajax. Other current interests include BEER (I missed sooo many releases over the last year of teetotaling!), Game Grumps, reading fantasy books, watching fantasy and scifi, crocheting, knitting, other crafts, gardening, outside chores. ~*~ This will be my second quest, and I hope to grow strong with all of you! This time, we're venturing through Middle Earth and appreciating the comforts of home like a Hobbit. (Yes, I may be a Wood Elf, but those Hobbits have the right idea.) I'm already rather Hobbity: Sit me down by a warm fire with a good book and a mug of beer and you'll find a happy Oak! I'm currently content about most of my diet and fitness goals, but other areas of life have been bothering me. Time to LEVEL UP! I'm going on an adventure! MAIN GOAL: Practice life balance. ~*~ QUEST GOAL 1: Dance and be merry! - Attend belly dance class once a week (except during Thanksgiving week) ~*~ QUEST GOAL 2: Write it down! - Write for at least 10 minutes, three or more days a week. (not counting Nerd Fitness) ~*~ QUEST GOAL 3: Hoard my riches! - No buying anything unnecessary without checking the budget first - Set aside money for a bike - Specifically, no buying new beer without checking my cellar and remembering that I'm using bike money to buy beer. ~*~ QUEST GOAL 4: Clean it up! - Put away 5 things and get rid of 5 things every weekday. -Take out the damn trash bag when it gets full, instead of putting it next to the trash can. Or delegate the task. -Bring dishes downstairs from nursery nightly. Subject to revision after I figure out this points thing. Or not. I like points, but the quest is bigger.
  5. Heya! Tiny Oak reporting from the suburban wilds of Iowa. No spiffy geeky theme here, maybe next time. Being a chronic Underpants Gnome means I'd spend the whole time building a theme rather than DOING something. My intro thread is here, if you're interested: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/71159-respawning-post-spawning/ Main Quest: Get stronger and rebuild my aerobic endurance, while proving to myself that becoming a parent and having "no time" and "no hands" does not mean the end of doing anything. i.e., Start taking care of myself again. When I take care of my body, my mind is healthy too. Goal 1: Perform Beginner Bodyweight Routine 2x week. Do not get distracted by other bodyweight routines. I can switch after 6 weeks. Goal 2: Attend belly dance class 1x week. (starting September 24) Goal 3: Eat. Better and more. Weeks 1-2: Eat lunch every day. Find recipes to make in advance. Weeks 3-4: Make advance lunch 1x week. Eat lunch every day. Weeks 5-6: Eat one leafy green every day. Make advance lunch 1x week. Eat lunch every day. I'll come back and edit this with levelling up info after I figure it out. Allons-y!
  6. So, here is my thread for work between challenges. I'll keep track of any exercises and other work I do between challenges, and ruminate on ideas for the next challenge. So far, I know I'm going to include financial health in the next challenge. Some of the things I'm already doing - limiting how often I buy coffee, taking breakfast bars with me when I'm on the run, etc. But the big thing I'm going to do is try to figure out which bills fall into which pay period, and figure out from there how much free money I have each pay period. And, to keep track of that, I'll use either play money or actual cash to track the free money - when it's out, I have no more. The end. Another thing I'm going to do is track my food every day, but give myself 6 passes. If I say I only need to track 4 days/week, I'll only do that, but I also don't want to set myself up to feel shitty if I go to a party or something. 6 passes is one pass per week, and I don't have to use them every week (because what if I have two parties in a week - I don't want to use them foolishly). The next thing I need to do is figure out why I'm not losing weight. I had even higher fitness goals this time and I didn't lose any weight. I maintained, but no weight-loss. I even focused more on eating healthier, which I neglected last challenge. I'm bummed and a little frustrated. But there has to be something I'm missing if I'm not losing weight and working so hard. A couple of things I'm thinking of - one is to cut down alcohol. I like having a glass or two a few nights a week, but those are empty calories. Another is to cut out snacking altogether, but that will be really tough. I get hungry between meals, and if I don't keep something around, I'm afraid I'll eat candy or end up bingeing. And lastly, I may use a calorie tracking app. I really, really don't want to do this. I have a very unhealthy emotional relationship with food, and calorie tracking brings up a whole lot of my hangups. So... I'm wavering on that. It might be the only realistic way to get a handle on what I need to do to see some progress. Finally, I'm toying of the idea with trying to use a theme for future challenges. I was thinking of using Tarot, and focusing on Pentacles/Coins for next challenge (perfect for finances and Earth, which is strength, stability, etc.). I thought of this once before, and then I had a nice title for next challenge that had nothing to do with Tarot, but I've forgotten it. So I'm back to Tarot. We'll see. (Yes, Chris, this is thanks to you.) Forgot to mention - did my 1 hour belly dance video today. The stuff that was super difficult last time was much easier this time. I'll get those moves down!
  7. If you pay any attention to my gif choices, you must have expected it. . . The Supernatural-themed challenge. I rewatch the episodes on Netflix all the time, and I always wonder how I would do as a hunter (in all probability, very poorly). But part of being a Rebel is learning to overcome fear and become antifragile, and there is nothing sturdier than the Winchesters. Of course, the best part of the show* is the music, so I chose four songs from the show (or tangentially mentioned - I guess Kripke couldn't get the rights to Led Zeppelin stuff) to represent my goals for this challenge. Ramble On – DEX 2, STA 3. One of dean’s favorite songs, and one of my goals. I love running, I love hiking and going for long walks. I just need to make sure these are a priority in my life. I’m not going to try for 10,0000 steps per day, but rather 50,000 per week. Running, walking, hiking, line dancing, whatever. Get moving. Ordinary biking will not count, but a dedicated bike trip that lasts long (say, at least an hour and a half?) will be included in “stepsâ€, converted with the LIVESTRONG method here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/187672-how-to-convert-exercise-bike-miles-to-steps/ . (This has been way too easy. So I am bumping the total up to 70,000/week, which is the recommended 10,000/day. I also need to run at least twice, because come on. Not sure about the numbers, but it will depend how far over my minimum I go, I guess.) Green Onions – CON 2. Moose gets big eating “shake it baby†salads and green smoothies! Loving my usual “eat greens every day†goal, but it’s too easy. So I will try to eat at least 3 servings of veggies per day, and track all foods using My Fitness Pal. Eye of the Tiger– STR 4. I would like to continue with both my BW practice and my dance practice, but scheduling time to do each 3+ times per week would leave me with no rest days. So this goal is an either/or instead of a both/and. I will “train†3 times per week – bodyweight and/or intense dancing. Intense dancing is defined as minimum 45 minutes, heart rate goes up, or difficult muscle work like floorwork, etc. Ideally, I want to do one pull up by the end of 2015, so bodyweight is going to help me with that a lot. (Edited end of week 2: to make sure I do more BW, I top out at 70% unless I do at least two BW.) (I swear this isn't the only reason I watch this show) Got My Wings – WIS 2, CHA 2. While the show itself is pretty agnostic in tone (which is quite a feat, considering the demons, angels, etc that people the whole thing), spiritual themes are central to the show, and none more so than redemption. If religious stuff bugs you, skip to the gif of Castiel speaking in iambic pentameter, just like an angel speaking English should. I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition. Mmmm, prosody. I am Jewish, and living in a place bereft of other Jews, except for my husband. As I live through my first ever Passover without a Jewish community, I realize how much I miss it. I can't make a Jewish community spring up in Shikoku, but I can reconnect to the observances of Judaism that I have let fall by the wayside due to absence. As i have made stretching and meditation into part of my bedtime ritual most nights, I find myself longing for more - more of the outside, physical observances that radiate inwards (lighting Shabbat candles, singing some of the evening service, covering my head when attending to my spiritual needs) and the inside, mental observances that radiate outwards, especially prayer and study. I am going to be realistic, which is a mitzvah in itself, since living life doesn't, and shouldn't. grind to a halt for the spiritual life (Judaism doesn't really have an ascetic tradition, we're more communal and in-the-world). I intend to continue my evening stretching and meditation, and add the Sh'ma and the V'ahavta, as well as keep up with the Parshah weekly – read section, read at least one commentary/midrash. (Also start the morning with the Modah Ani) Luckily, I already have my "Team Impala" playlist on my iPod! Challenges for this challenge: I have family visiting from the 24th to May 4th. However, this is my dad and his partner, so I will probably end up getting more exercise during their visit. We're planning on lots of walking, etc, plus a bike ride across the big bridge and maybe climbing the tallest mountain in Western Japan (if it is open for climbing). And i should try to remember Mothers' Day. And Coming off of Passover sometimes leads me to donut-and-pastry binge a bit, but I'm hopeful that having to track it in MFP will stay my hand at least part of the time. *Yes, even better than the very pretty (and only occasionally shirtless) men kicking demon ass.
  8. Belly Dance! All Guilds, All Styles and Experience Levels Let's shimmy, shake, and step up our fitness through this fun dance form! I don't have a particular format in mind, just want to find, support, and share with other nerds who are into the dance. Let's help each other learn and grow, and see how the group develops!
  9. Round 2: FIGHT! Second challenge starting today. Been really excited about getting into this again. While my first challenge went well, I didn't have much time to write about it, so I'm not going to pretend I'll be any better this time. I'd love to get into the role playing story aspect, but for now I need to just focus on my efforts. My ultimate goal is to make the A team for my Roller Derby. I'm a rookie at the moment, and I have almost a year (December 2015) to get ready for A team try outs. I think losing some weight will help me greatly, so that's my first focus. My first challenge my goal was to lose 10 pounds. I lost about 5. I know why, it's because the steps I chose to follow to accomplish this weren't challenging enough to get me there. I feel it was far more important to focus on habit building, even small, simple habits, than to worry about the goal. I was successful in keeping up with all my pledged habits for the entire challenge, and that's my basis for moving forward to my second one. Build the habits, the goal will come eventually. I'm obviously going to build upon my habits for this 6 weeks and step up my work, so hopefully I will reach my goal. If I don't make it all the way, but still keep up with my efforts for the 6 weeks, I'll move on to the next challenge and analyse why those steps didn't get me there and try to adjust accordingly. So let's get stuck in. Overall Goal: Roller Derby A Team Goal for this Challenge: Lose 10 lbs Steps for this goal: 1 - Belly Dance Fitness Routine, 40 minutes, 5 Days a week. I'm an experienced dancer, I have the skill to do this, I just need to create the habit. 2 - NEVER MISS A DERBY TRAINING. Tuesday and Friday nights. Barring illness (not just feeling blah, but actual illness) or an emergency. 3 - No fast food. Period. Last challenge my step was to have no food deliveries, because that is a downfall for me. But that didn't stop me from driving or walking somewhere to get it. This was a slight deterrent, since part of the allure of fast food is you can get it delivered to your door while wearing pajamas. My plan is to rely on frozen food for the nights when I've had a stressful day and am not up for cooking. Is it healthy? Not really. But it's healthier than what I was doing. And slow progression is key, I'm not a person that can survive cold turkey without easy comfort food. I've tried and failed. Hoping these small steps will result in a greater permanent change in my diet. And now for my current stats: Weight - 181.2 lbs Arms - 12.5 in Bust - 43.5 in Waist - 38 in Hips - 46 in Thighs - 26 in Life Goal: Reading. I have a bad habit of starting a book, getting halfway through, getting excited about another book and getting halfway through it, then a third and fourth book comes along .... and I've forgotten where I left off in book 1. So, complete 2 books. Fiction/Non-Fiction. Fiction - Gardens of the Moon, Stephen Erikson Non-Fiction - How to Be a Victorian, Ruth Goodall I'm off to get my first workout in. See you on the other side.
  10. At the end of my last challenge, I was in San Diego and being away threw me off track a bit. And then I got sick during the second week off. I've been trying to pick myself up since all that. That's why it's taken me so long to post a thread and to start following everyone. Let's do this! Main Quest To live in the here and now. To love myself for who I am and gain my confidence back. Getting healthy will be a bonus to being myself. Goal 1: The Golden Movements (+3 STR & +3 DEX) I'm copying this goal from my last challenge. Mainly to get the habit in place. 1) Twice a week, I will walk the dog with or without the husband. The weather has cooled off and it shouldn't rain at 4 o'clock like in the summer. Walking = minimum 2x/walk 2) I really enjoyed belly dancing so I'm going to stick with it. I also drove by a belly dancing studio this weekend soo...I may decide to take an actual class sometime. Belly Dancing = 1x/week 3) I'm hoping yoga works out as well as it did last time. It was fun. I think I should do it more then twice a week to help with sore muscles. For now though, yoga = 2x/week. Goal 2: The Real Stuff (+3 STR) I want to get back/start doing actual exercise. I want to be the best that I can be. However, I am holding myself back. I'm going to work on body weight exercises this time. Incline push ups, squats, lunges, and work towards some KB stuff once I get it in my head that I can do this. That I can ignore the thoughts in my head that other people will watch me. Still deciding on how often and what I'll do exactly. Probably will create either a SS or have a notebook to write in. Diet Quest: Food (+2 CON) To enjoy what I eat. Taking the easy way by ordering food does nothing for my health or my taste buds. I enjoy the meals I make so cooking my meals and eating less processed food will be the goal. To say no to the candy jar and sweets that I didn't make myself. If I happen to eat out, I will chose something that's not heavy and tastes good. Something that won't derail me. I need to focus! The holidays are coming.. Life Quest: To Continue the Journey to Betterment (+2 CHA) Continue my gratitude journal. To not take life too seriously. I'm also participating in a Ladies' Only book club hosted by the wife of one of my husband's friends. So we'll see how that goes. I need to read and get comfortable talking to women.. Do something everyday to make this journey flow as smoothly as possible.
  11. Last challenge I discovered my inner Amazon... This challenge, I go really wild! ShadowLion Wild. As in Wildland firefighting, getting out into wild places, And letting my inner wild woman out to play... Experimenting with new foods, Trying out some assassin guild type exercises, Playing around with gamifying my challenge and Various aspects of my daily life In order to break out of some ruts and Take my productivity to the next level. Fun. Play. Experimentation. 40 Weeks to Fire Fit continues, and that quest remains my prime focus. But this time, the standard firefighting fare will be supplemented with more fun, more chance, more variety. It's time to mix things up. I am past the halfway point, but still in the long middle of my 40 week quest. Fatigue was beginning to set in. I overextended last challenge, and while it was a success, it was also a tremendous struggle to keep on track. This challenge, I have a enlisted a personal trainer, I've stuck my neck out and gotten back in contact with my old department, and I've been letting friends and family know my plans. I'm all in and there is no going back. I will succeed or I will fail. Publicly, undeniably, and in the not too distant future. I have 18 weeks to my goal date, and another 6 weeks or so beyond which there will be no possibility of retesting for the season if I fail to hit my first target. I've been going through a process of questioning and weighing my abilities, strengths and weaknesses, potential, will, and motivation. Asking myself: Who are you when you face the fire? When the task wears on you and weighs you down? Can you hold both the sublime... And the ridiculous... The joyous and the tragic... in your heart at the same time? Do you know in your heart of hearts who you want to be? Your strengths and your weaknesses? Your one superpower? And where you stand in the line of history? Who went before you? (Women firefighters in a training exercise, Pearl Harbor, WWII) Who stands with you now? And who will come after? What I've learned has brought me back around to the same place I started, but with a different perspective. So, maybe it's really a spiral. I am certain that I am on my path, whatever the outcome. And the way I have been following that path has been reasonably effective. However, I now realize that I have been caught in number of paradoxes. I have been being very conventional and methodical, when my nature is intuitive. As an independent sort, I have been doing practically everything myself, even though the nature of what I want to do depends on teamwork and cooperation. And, I am very motivated by social good and interaction, even as I need quite a bit of quiet solitude to be happy. I've been trying to domesticate a Shadow Lion! It's high time to shake things up, get back to my roots, and be my quirky, nerdy, eccentric self! And while I may need to moderate my more absurd character traits and excesses somewhat to get along well in society, I've gone a little too far, gotten a bit too conventional. So, while the firefighting theme will continue throughout, and there are many ghosts of quests of challenges past that will visit here, this challenge is going to be quite a bit different from the ones that have gone before. Shadow Lions dwell in the world of the fantasy novel that I continue to write. And write. They are much like mountain lions or jaguars in that they are more solitary than African lions, and they are almost universally black or very dark brown. For good reason, as their favored prey animal dwells in and around caves. They are a sentient species, with a number of unusual abilities. To learn more, you'll have to read the book. Someday. So this ShadowLion's intentions for her challenge center on being a healthy animal--taking care of those simple, bare necessities like getting plenty of the right kinds of foods, being physically active, and providing for enough sleep. Those are the biological imperatives laid down by Mother Nature. Beyond that, every shadow lion must be true to her own nature. By turns curious, fierce, playful, and philosophical, a shadow lion seeks wild places. Solitude, scenery, and sunny spots in which to snooze are seriously significant. A shadow lion does best when she is coaxed, not forced, to be structured, when she has freedom to roam and play, and when she has options as opposed to an overwhelming number of choices. A shadow lion can be incredibly focused once her prey is selected, but her natural curiosity can lead to getting sidetracked. Many interesting and enjoyable sidetracks...butterfly...that rustle in the bushes...oh, and... Ahem. And, shadow lions have an abiding interest in protecting their homes from threats. (You knew I'd find some way to get back around to it...) This ShadowLion has a very particular interest... So yes, the 40 Weeks to Fire Fit Quest continues, but is themed a bit differently. It will be structured much more around the things that a ShadowLion needs to be a happy and healthy animal. It will emphasize fun and wildness and freedom and chance. ShadowLion Goes Wild FITNESS QUEST I have enlisted the help of a personal trainer. Currently, I am scheduled for 5 strength workouts and 5 cardio workouts per week. My cool downs will be 10 minutes of stretching/yoga, warmups will be 10+ minutes of tai chi/chi gong, belly dance moves, exercise biking, brisk walking, and/or jump roping. I have two rest days per week and they are to be "active" rest. I will base my numbers off these plans and adjust if needed, based on my trainer's instructions. I had intended to go for 5 mins daily handstand prep practice this challenge, but am thinking it would be best to wait on that for now. ShadowLion is Strong, Yet Supple __/40 (+4 DEX) Spinal columns that can twist and bend, limbs that can absorb the shock of pouncing upon an unsuspecting deer from an overhanging tree limb - shadow lions blend strength with suppleness, speed, and agility. (ShadowLion has assassin tendencies, despite being a ranger.) Belly dance, yoga, and various stretchy, bendy and assassiny exercises go here. The number accounts for four days early start on the challenge + 42 days - 6 for the Tai Chi sessions in the following sub-goal. Yoga, anyone? ShadowLion is Dangerous __/6 (+1 DEX) Sharp claws and pointy teeth give shadow lions plenty of weapons at their disposal. My weapon of choice this challenge will be my Tai Chi saber, or broadsword. Once per week as active rest. More for warmups or additional active rest = bonus. But, hey, where is the Fire Fit Strength and Endurance? I am considering those as primarily under my accountability to my trainer and therefore ungraded here. I will track these things on my spreadsheet and on my thread, however. I am trying to put my points on the things I would be most apt to skip or gloss over *cough* warmups *cough* and things that aren't specifically included in my trainer's plans for me. NUTRITION QUEST ShadowLion is Sleek 1 pt for each % body fat reduction, Goal=2-3% (+2 to 3 CON) Only caged shadow lions are fat. In their natural habitat, they are not only supple and dangerous, they are sleek and shiny. They eat what they need and only what they need. They eat a healthy, nutritious and natural diet. Yeah, I know. These aren't shadow lions, or even cats, but they sure are cute! IIFYM ShadowLion Needs Protein (Tracked, but Ungraded - Just an excuse to put in an otter GIF) Last challenge, I learned that I wasn't getting enough protein and my macros were less than optimum. I will be tracking this for my trainer's review and keeping these numbers in my spreadsheet. I am still not sure my actual goal grams. Will post that here when I know it. MOAR Protein! RECOVERY QUEST ShadowLion Needs Plenty of Restful Sleep __/42 (+2 to 3 CON, whatever left after points awarded for the "Sleek" goal) Sleep is critical with the training regimen I am on. I have improved over the last few challenges, but I still need to do more. I am upping my goal to 7+ hours sleep per night and I cannot compensate for more than 1 hour's deficiency on a following night. My method of averaging last challenge gave me too much wiggle room. I will count this goal from the official start of the challenge, as I am still doing some schedule adjustments and rearranging of my sleeping area to be ready for these changes. I am still thinking if I should add some sort of "quality" modifier, as well. MOAR sleep. ShadowLion Needs Wild Places and Solitude to Contemplate the Universe and Dream (Tracked, but Ungraded) This is a "get outside and get some sunshine" goal for mental health and for Vitamin D. As long as I follow my trainer's plans, I will get more than enough. And, as we are now into the nice part of the year where I live, I am taking time to sit out on the porch in the mornings and journal, plan, and contemplate the coming day. If tracking reveals an issue here, it will become a graded goal next challenge. This quest also relates to my old "Get out of Dodge" goal as updated in my "Grab Bag" goal to get out of town and enjoy wilder places than metro-Phoenix. I am also doing as much of my cardio outside as possible, and doing it in parks, nature areas, and urban trails. LIFE QUEST ShadowLion Loves to Play ShadowLion likes otters. They are excellent role models. ShadowLion Needs More Fun in Her Life; ShadowLion Needs to Remove the Obstacles to Having Fun __/25 (+5 CHA) In order to have more fun, ShadowLion must deal with her "toads" - those obstacles that must be removed, responsibilities that need to be addressed, projects that are procrastinated upon. These are those unpleasant, ugly, obnoxious things that drain energy and take up valuable mental and physical real estate. This is the next step forward in dealing with last challenge's "ShadowLion STEAMS GRAPES" goals of taking care of Systems, Time, Energy, Attention, Money, Space. This time the focus is on taking care of as many "dreaded tasks" as I can manage. By doing that, I will earn points to indulge in my "Grab Bag" goals. Those are all the things I would have thrown in this challenge as fun, exciting, "I want to do/try this." I can, if I earn the right and the time for them by dispatching an equal number of points in toads. The better I do with managing my time, the more toads I can take out and the more fun I can have as a result. My method of awarding points is detailed in the reserved posts below.
  12. Okay, sounds a bit crazy huh? Well, let me explain. I have a dear friend (swampling) and this is a little "joke" that has been a fun way of dealing with stress over the last challenge. It started with making a joke about burying things that bug us. She lives in Germany and happens to have access to the Black Forrest. I love unicorns. So, when something would bug me we would talk about packing up the unicorns and taking a trip to the woods to do a little digging. This is going to be a VERY busy time in my life and I have a feeling I will need to go visit the Black Forrest often. School is starting and I homeschool six kiddos from a high school senior to a preschooler. Between school and the day to day of life it can get so busy that it's easier to focus on the squeaky wheels and start the ....... "I just don't have time for......." This challenge will be to focus on keeping that from happening and moving in a positive and healthy direction. Also, I injured my knee a week ago.....promptly ignored it, and now I am paying for it. Day before yesterday I reached down and found a lump the size of a golf ball sticking out of my kneecap and within a few hours the skin all around that area started turning dark purple and red. Now, I can barely walk on it. Treatment seems to be to "stay off it as much as possible" , ice, and pain meds. That means that for the start of this challenge I will be looking to do something that keeps me active but puts little stress on that knee until it heals. I have no idea how long that will be, or quite what that will be yet. Goal 1: Stay active.....stretching, upper body work, rehab exercises, Belly Dancing lessons, ect. And, Because injuries tend to lead to being more sedentary and being sedentary to eating too much or to often....or not what is not the healthiest..... Goal 2: Food Tracking.....everything that goes in my mouth. I don't do MFP well, I tend to be a bit old school and find that having a physical journal works better for me. Though I may throw it into MFP as I feel inclined. But, everyday I have to list in my journal every bite I eat and approx. amounts. This will give me a basis to work from and hopefully deter me from eating anything I don't want to write down. Goal 3: Still working on this one....... And finally.............. A Life Goal..............French I have always wanted to read the Little Prince after having it highly recommended by a number of people. Last challenge my friend swampling mentioned that she wanted to read the Little Prince in French and asked me if I would like to join her. I was thrilled to do it. As I mentioned , I wanted to read it anyway and my oldest daughter had hinted that she wanted to learn a language and this would be an excellent way to brush up on the French I took in high school...... which I remember NONE of..... So, French....... Here We Come! Alrighty, here's to a new challenge, pretty unicorns and trips to the Black Forrest! Care to join me? Grades and any further details to come......
  13. Well, my last challenge, the theme of which was “Finish The Damn Challenge†failed pretty spectacularly. I finished half the challenge, basically -- which means I didn't finish the challenge. When the end of week 3 rolled around, it was like a switch flipped in my head and that was the end of that. So, what HAVE I done successfully? I continue to attend belly dance classes weekly. This group of ladies and our weekly class have become significant parts of my week now. I did finish reading “If You Had Controlling Parents†by Dan Neuharth. This book was really, really helpful.I flossed and rinsed a lot more often than usual; it hasn’t been daily, but it was daily for the first three weeks and then 2-3 times per week most of the rest of the weeks. That’s still a lot more flossing and rinsing than before the challenge. The past 8 weeks of my life have been the hardest I have ever encountered and have seen some major life changes. My family and I currently are not speaking, at my request; their behavior back in September was simply too hurtful and I could not go on pretending that nothing had happened, even though that seemed to be what they desperately wanted to do. Three days ago I mailed two handwritten cards: one to my parents, and one to one of my brothers. I toiled for many long hours, writing and rewriting drafts until all the vitriol was gone and all that was left was my sadness. I simply told them that I loved them, but that they had hurt me too much to go on without some sort of acknowledgement or amends, and that I would not be returning their repeated calls because the telephone is too vulnerable and unsafe. I invited them to open a new email exchange with me if they would like to try again from scratch. I sent the letters for me; the ring of my phone and the blinking voicemail light had become triggers, spiking my amygdala into fight-or-flight in seconds flat. I entered this situation with my family in September never wanting to hurt anybody; I tried my best to avoid hurting them but in the process I did not protect myself. Things have changed, and we can’t go back to the way it was. This is the new normal. I’m not harboring any rose-colored hopes that my letters somehow contain the magic words to make my family come around to seeing that I’m not an abominable snowman. The letter simply represents me walking away in order to protect myself. My body is wrecked. My sleep is nonexistant; at the time of this writing, I am going on three nights of horrendous sleep, with last night being the maraschino cherry on this sundae of suck: maybe 4 nonconsecutive hours of sleep. My eating is all over the place. Sometimes it’s emotional eating and sometimes it’s just exhaustion leading me to grab whatever’s handy. It's almost all bread, dairy, and sugar. SO many digestive issues. My physical activity, aside from belly dance and the occasional yoga session, has been nonexistant too. I feel very, very old. I actually thought I missed this challenge. I logged onto NF today to update my profile so that my NF friends would know that I am okay and just taking a break for a bit. But when I saw that the current challenge doesn’t start until tomorrow, I thought that maybe I will join in and try, try again. Oh, and I'm back with the Rangers; I started out a Ranger, and I think I will always be a Ranger at my core. Main Goal: Feel Better - Improve Sleep and Reduce Stomach Issues The theory behind the action steps: based on my daily patterns, sleep and stomach concerns will be best addressed by adding physical activity back into my day and by honing in on healthy meals while cutting back on the foods that I know I have a sensitivity to. By the end of the challenge, I would like to be off the sleeping pills and I would like to have no or infrequent stomach issues. Action Steps: 1. Complete an off-skate derby training (bodyweight) workout 3x per week 2. Eat one meal per day that is grain-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free. 3. Belly dance: class 1x per week, practice session 1x per week LQ - Play more games: I love games, specifically tabletop games. Gaming is consistently one of the most successful and longest-lasting mood boosters for me. Tabletop gaming provides social interaction, gets my brain going, and uses creativity. And it’s fun as heck. I want to play games on at least 2 nights a week. SQ - attend Get In Gear Night at Derby Lite on Nov 19 with my friend Stacey. This is an intro night to Derby Lite, which is a roller derby-based group and fitness class. It can be just a fitness class, or it can be used as a training tool for skaters who want to try out for Maine Roller Derby, depending on the interests/abilities of the skater. The next session Derby Lite classes start in January. My derby training action step above is hopefully going to be a good way to tap into the fun of derby training while prepping for the weekly classes in 2014. I find I do best when my workouts are training for something, and I have to confess finally that I simply do not like running enough to keep training for races. I'm putting simplified updates below in this initial post, to hopefully counteract the tendency to stop posting completely around week 4. If I post full updates and interact with others on my thread, awesomesauce; if not, at least I can put the basic goal updates here. Nov 11-17 Derby Training: 1/3 training sessions Meals: 5/7 days with 1 meal grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free (mostly breakfasts) Belly Dance: 1/1 class, 0/1 practice session. Gaming: I lost count; played MTG most days. I'm going to say 5/7 days. Nov 18-24 Derby Training: Meals: Belly Dance: Gaming: Get In Gear Night: ATTENDED and omg it was so awesome you guys. Nov 25-Dec1 Derby Training: Meals: Belly Dance: Gaming: Dec 2-8 [in Austin 4th-11th] Derby Training: Meals: Belly Dance: Gaming: Dec 9-15 [in Austin 4th-11th] Derby Training: Meals: Belly Dance: Gaming: Dec 16-22 Derby Training: Meals: Belly Dance: Gaming:
  14. A lot has changed…. I've been at NF for over a year now; I made huge progress last year but then went backwards late spring/early summer as I went through a tough spot with anxiety, depression, and some family issues. Last challenge was a wash in terms of the goals I started with, but I did a lot of other good work for myself both physically and mentally. Still, I wasn't happy with myself for giving up halfway through (heck, a week in) and totally dropping off the face of the NF-earth. For this challenge I'm narrowing the focus down to just finishing the challenge. FINISH. THE. CHALLENGE. C'mon, Sambie, you can do it... A key part of my challenge this time is yoga and belly dance, both of which are meditative, emotive, body-mindful activities in their own ways, so I am joining the Druids for this challenge. Hi! :::waves::: Things that are true for me: Sugar makes my stomach upset. Too much bread makes my stomach upset. Too much cheese makes my stomach upset. When my stomach is upset, I feel like blah. When I feel like blah, my day goes poorly and my stress level goes up. When I feel like blah, I don’t want to do anything active. So I eat more bread, cheese, and sugar. Which makes me feel stupid, bad, depressed, and anxious. Which makes me feel like blah. So I don’t work out, I don’t go outside, I don’t like myself. Whole foods make me feel good. The simpler the better. Not too much salt, and not too many spices; my stomach doesn’t like either of those in excess. Bread itself is ok, homemade and in very small amounts. Not the centerpiece of a meal. Cheese itself is ok, in very small amounts and on occasion. Not a main source of protein. Yogurt is ok, but not cups of it a day; my stomach will be angry. Sugar is a minefield; better to avoid it except for a very good reason. Better not to “splurge†on storebought sugary stuff; I will regret it later when my stomach is angry and it was not as good as something I could make. (Because I am an epic cook.) Wine is delicious and my belly does not hate it. Wine can be a treat. Belly dancing is fun. I’m taking a class. Yoga is fun and it makes me feel good. This is the because I said I would challenge. I recently found the BISIW website and the concept rang true for me. In the past two weeks, since finding that site, BISIW has helped me do things I've been wanting to do for ages, like start flossing daily and live by the rule of halves until I can get to the other side of my distorted relationship with food. The rule of halves is simple; as I seek to learn how much food my body actually wants to eat, I will take half of the amount I would normally eat, for trigger foods. So instead of making a whole grilled cheese, start with half. Instead of putting 4 pieces of pizza on my plate, start with two. Instead of doubling that mug cake, only make one. Yes I know I could just cut these out completely, I have done that in the past by exercising an enormous amount of willpower. But I didn't learn anything, I wasn't able to get at the root of my relationship with food, so nothing really changed. I want to learn WHY I want these foods, HOW MUCH my body truly wants to eat, and HOW they make me feel afterward. I have been doing this for a couple weeks now and it has made a huge difference in how I look at food. I've been able to actually feel my stomach and my digestion, and the various feelings of satiety, hunger, discomfort, bloatedness, etc. that come with eating certain types and amounts of foods. As an added bonus, without even planning to, my rule of halves has expanded to "take half and make the other half of your plate veggies." The rule of halves now also, without thinking about it, includes not grabbing things that make me feel yucky, like sugar or too much dairy. These "extras" came out of nowhere, but the fact that my brain started doing that all by itself tells me I'm headed in the right direction. Main Quest: Finish this challenge. Benchmark 1: I will attend belly dance class 1x/week. First class is Sept 23, and goes for 6 weeks. (For the first week of this challenge, I will do a belly dance video class online.) [+2 CHA, +1 CON] Why will I do this? Because I already paid my $65 for the class. Because I really want to meet some new people. Because I enjoy practicing belly dance. Because the teacher sounded really nice on Facebook. Benchmark 2: I will complete a yoga session 1x/wk. [+2 DEX] Why will I do this? Because I love yoga. Because my muscles feel good after I do yoga. Because yoga helps my posture and posture affects my mood. Because I can access great free yoga videos at doyogawithme.com. Benchmark 3: I will floss and rinse every night when I brush my teeth. [+3 CON] Why will I do this? Because it is simple. Because my dental health is important. Because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Life Quest: I will update my challenge thread once weekly, and post on at least one other Rebel’s thread once weekly. [+3 CHA] Why will I do this? Because relationships aren’t things that happen to you. Because I love being a part of NF. Because it is good for me to be helpful, as so many Rebels have helped me so much in the past. Side Quest: Mind Fitness [+3 WIS] I will re-read Augusten Burroughs’ “This Is How†and I will read Susan Forward’s “Toxic Parents.†Why will I do this? Because this is a key piece in what I have been dealing with for the past two months. Because I need the help. Summary of Benchmarks and Side Quests: 1 - Dance class 1x/wk (6 classes = A, 5 classes = B, 4 classes = C, 3 or fewer classes = F) 2 - Yoga 1x/wk (6 sessions = A, 5 sessions = B, 4 sessions = C, 3 or fewer sessions = F) 3 - Floss/rinse nightly (38-42 nights = A, 34-37 nights = B, 29-34 = C, 28 or fewer = F) LQ - Update thread 1x/wk, support a fellow Rebel 1x/wk (6 weeks = A, 5 weeks = B, 4 weeks = C, 3 or fewer weeks = F) SQ - 2 books: “This Is How†and “Toxic Parents (2 books = A, 1 book = B, 0 books = F) Main Quest Scoring: B or better on all benchmarks = successful completion. A on all benchmarks = something special, not sure yet. Weekly Updates Week 1 Week 2
  15. Tough, not hard. That's my motto for this challenge. OKAY!! Word play out of the way... I'm on a mission! Here are my objectives: 1) There's ALWAYS room for-- "NO" (or: Metal_Weaver vs. the Sugar Demon, round 2 - FIGHT!) Cut processed sugar-foods COMPLETELY out of my life. This includes cookies, cake, candy, chocolate, and any other "food" that is primarily sugar. Graded weekly. A = 6 or 7 days out of the week B = 4 or 5 days out of the week C = 2 or 3 days out of the week Changed March 11 (2013) -- Revised Goal 1) for the remaining 4 weeks of the Challenge: Eat strict Paleo from waking through 5:30pm and from 6:30pm till bedtime. Meat, veggies and fruit. I'm going to reserve nuts for a treat since I have a tendency to binge on those. The content of dinner will be mostly out of my control, but my goal between 5:30 and 6:30pm will be to be mindful and try to achieve as close to Paleo eating as possible. No bread, small portions of pasta & potatoes, etc. I'm aiming to not eat anything from 6:30 till bedtime, but if I DO eat, I want it to be Paleo. -- I've done the first portion of the day Paleo before, so I know I can do it again... the real challenge will be from 5:30 on. A = 6 or 7 days out of the week B = 4 or 5 days out of the week C = 2 or 3 days out of the week At Challenge recap, I'll be counting the total # of days spent sugar-food-free/Paleo.Epic Win = 42 days = A+ (+1 Sta, +2 Con, +1 Wis, +1 Cha) & a Trinket of Awesomesauce failed on the 2nd day 36-41 days = A (+1 Sta, +2 Con, +1 Wis)24-35 days = B (+1 Sta, +1 Con)12-23 days = C (+1 Wis)<12 = F2) The road goes ever on and on (Start the long journey to becoming an Assassin) I want the world to be my playground. I want to move freely about my surroundings without feeling awkward or limited. I want to traverse (almost) any obstacle this urban jungle-gym can throw at me. Watch as an assassin is born! Work out for at least 30 minutes using body-weight exercises 3 times per week. It's as simple as that. I will track the particular exercises I do (ex: planks, squats, push-ups, inv rows, etc) on a spreadsheet (yay Google docs!) for accountability. I'm going to allow myself some creative room. Our fearless leader has put LOTS of great body-weight circuits together to keep us from getting bored, so I plan on exploring those in this challenge. 18 body-weight workouts over the next 6 weeks will result in +2 Str, +2 Sta, +1 ChaLess than 18 will scale down accordingly.3) Bellydance, Zumba, DDR, Gangham Style... doesn't matter. Stop being shy about getting down with the groove and GET MOVING! 3.1) Watch, participate, and complete the Belly Dance how-to instructional/fitness DVD my sister got me. 3.2) Watch, participate, and complete at least the Basic Steps of the Zumba DVDs I have. 3.2.1) BONUS FOR ZUMBA: go to at least one class at K Sabrosa (local Zumba classes that are easily affordable) 3.3) Hook up the DDR pad and get my step on at least twice during the challenge. 3.4) Watch, participate, and attempt at least twice to dance Gangham Style. Just because it makes me giggle. 3.5) Watch & participate in at least two self-teaching YouTube vids on either hip-hop or tribal fusion bellydance moves to aid in the grooving to my fave dubstep songs. Completing all 5 objectives will result in +2 Dex, +1 Str, +1 ChaCompleting all 5 obj AND the Bonus will result in an additional +1 Wis (for learning how to do it right)Partial completions will be evaluated at Challenge Recap4) Do or do not. There is no try. Check at least 6 points worth of things off my to-do list. No stat attributes since the list varies in necessary skills. This is my "level-up my life" goal though. I NEED to achieve this goal (along with the other goals set out w/in this challenge) to successfully level up 2. --- Here's to a great challenge! --- ... Wait a second Joy... how does ANY of that have to do with being tough, not hard?! Oooh, so glad you asked! I often make things hard on myself by trying to restrict my crazy thought processes into a mold, pattern, or theme. Well, I decided that instead of making this challenge hard and restricting myself on what I wanted to prove myself capable of... I was going to allow the creativity to flow and prove just how tough I can be. To me, "hard" = unmoving, "tough" = untearing. There's a HUGE difference. Like the proverbial young sapling that bends in the gale versus the brick wall that falls and crumbles... I want to be flexible and tough enough to take what life gives me without breaking. And plus, my dad used to complimented my purple-dyed hair (in my teenage rebellion) with a "you look so tough!" Still makes me smile. Props: BlamedCat's Grumpy Cat post, , Yoda
  16. "Try again," urged the professor, "Just once more and then we'll finish for the day." Veritate had been invited to study privately with her mentor and they were wrapping up the final gestures of the spell. Private lessons were not the norm, but she had fallen behind earlier in the year. Her battle with the stone golem had set her back nearly three months. The winter moon had come into fullness before she could resume her studies. So here she was, catching up while her fellow students took a couple weeks off for winter festival. She took her place and prepared her mind for the rhythmic pounding of the drum. One. Two. Three. Four. Undulate. Circle, circle. The thing about enchanting magic is that it is about more than potions or illusions. It is about honing body, mind and soul to capture the subject's hearts. It is also about being sleek and graceful. No easy task for an Orc. The lesson ended and as she packed to leave, her instructor reminded her once again of the academy demonstration coming up. "Your new spell. I'll have to see it by end of First Month. I'm so excited to see what you have prepared!" Every spring, the Enchantress Academy had put on a demonstration for the village. Each time, she had learned the spells and been complemented on her execution. She had even written new spells and performed them with much acclaim, especially from the other Spellweavers in attendance. This would be her seventh spring performing in the demo. That evening, glowing with residual effects of her lessons, Veritate's heart glimmered with what could only be described as desire. It is one thing to successfully enchant the local Spellweavers. It is another thing to become renouned for your skill and invited to festivals in other villages by ordinary townspeople. This was her desire; to weave her magic and cast her spells among scores of onlookers, bringing light and joy across the land. But when it came to Orcish Enchantresses, there were doubts. To look at her, one wouldn't imagine her to be an Enchantress. Sight unseen, a festival organizer would be dismayed to find the Enchantress he'd hired was a hulking Orc, rather than a lithe Elven maiden. And that's when the burning coal within her heart ignited and she knew what she had to do. Firstly, she would pour all of her knowledge into this new spell. She would spend time every single day, weaving it through colour, light, music and movement, until it became a masterpiece of delight. And for the next six weeks, she would be disciplined in her sleep and diet, so as to bring out the best strains of magic within her, and she would take her daily tincture of health to ensure steady progress. "Today is the day," she said to herself as she climbed into bed, "Today I begin to lay the foundation for magic so powerful, they forget I'm an Orc." I promise to fill in the blanks below as far as measurement and initial pics this week. For now, I just wanted to get something posted as a declaration of my goals. Starting Stats LEVEL 1 ORC ADVENTURER/ENCHANTRESS Strength (STR): 2 Dexterity (DEX): 3 Stamina (STA): 2 Constitution (CON): 3 Wisdom (WIS): 3 Charisma (CHA): 2 Weight: 246 lbs (still down 9 lbs since my first challenge in Sept. 2012) Height: 5' 7" Neck: ____ Shoulder: ____ Chest: ____ Upper Arm: ____ Waist: ____ Hips: ____ Thigh: ____ Calf: ____ Clothing size: 2XL or 18/20 What brought me here I participated in the August/September challenge and got through three weeks, losing nine pounds. Midway through, I caught a bad cold. Spent a week just trying to breathe and sleep. Then caught a plane to New York for a week. I was active but not in a way that would bring me towards my strength and diet goals. Upon returning from NY, I developed a kidney stone. They performed an extraction and that would have been only a three-day setback but as part of my surgery, they inserted a kidney stent. "No running, dancing or bike riding until they remove it in four weeks," the nurse said casually. I was devastated. Couldn't perform with my belly dance troupe that weekend. Couldn't ride my bike to work. Couldn't do strength training. Watched my bus drive by several mornings each week, because I couldn't run to catch it. Watched the golden autumn turn into dreary winter. Missed four weeks of dance classes. Admittedly slumped into a funk. But now I have the "all clear" from my urologist and it's time to get back at it. My Goals Fitness - Learn a new spell (choreograph my new belly dance solo for my show in May) = +1 to STA, +1 to CHAR, +1 to DEX I need to premiere my new choreography for my instructor by the end of January. This is a rather intricate piece, including a new prop (veil poi). I will need to work every day on mastering this prop and choreographing my music. This will mean hours of rehearsal every week, strengtheing arms and drilling technique. Diet 2 = Take daily health potions (fish oil and multivitamin every day). +2 to CON Baby steps. Optimus Prime. Make it seem almost TOO easy. Diet 3 - Eat junk food no more than 12 times (i.e., twice a week). = +5 to CON My belly is made up of burgers, fries, Doritos and Pepsi slurpees. I have a serious (daily) junk food habit. If I were to say I was going cold turkey, I don't think I could be successful. So I'm going to set a realistic goal here and give myself a break. This was a big challenge for me last time but I saw decent results when I was working on it. I was able to keep it to 2 times each week, so let's aim for that again. Life - In bed by 11:30 on "school nights" = +2 CHA +2 CON +1 WIS Again, this was one I was doing last time and saw a lot of good results but I have gotten off the track so I'm back on it now. I will aim for earlier, but 11:30 is my absolute deadline.
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