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  1. Not very assassin-y but after the last two hectic weeks, I feel like Memphis tonight: MEMPHIS: "You'll have to forgive me. The music's gone clean out of me." MUMBLE: No, it hasn't. It's just like singing with your body. MUMBLE: It's just one big old foot after the other. That's it. MEMPHIS [singing]: You don't have to be beautiful... MAIN GOAL: Get that body composition in place - loose some weight! Loose 10kg by end of June 2015. I lost a couple of cm during the last/first challenge, and in this week that I took off, inbetween challenges, I lost just over 1kg! HOW: Q1 - Exercise 3x/week: (for 6 weeks: A -> 3STR + 2STA + 2DEX) one Butt Blast (legs and glutes),one AAA (Abs & Arms Annihilation),one Jump & Jive session (Dexterity and Energy) with the boys (afternoons)Q2 - Right of Weigh: (5-7 days per week for 6 weeks: A -> 2CON) Eat Paleo and drink 1.5Lt water (2x bottles) per day. Max. 2 small treats allowed per week.Q3 - Sleep: 6-7 hours every night. (5-7 days per week for 6 weeks: A -> 1CON) LIFE SUPPORT: LG1 - Bible study on God's promises. (Keep up to date for 6 weeks: A -> 2WIS) LG2 - Spend more personal time with my boys. (Keep up to date for 6 weeks: A -> 2CHA) LG3 - Finances and Studies (keep up to date). (Keep up to date for 6 weeks: A -> 1WIS) Starting off as a Level 2. Adjusted point-allocation to 15 at end of challenge.
  2. Alright, so the last challenge did not go according to plan. Or, more accurately, according to hope. I'm kinda, no, no kinda about it, I'm disappointed in my ability to get my strength training in. I feel like I have lost all my gains from the fall between an injury in December and my inability to properly schedule the time during the last challenge. So, what's a person to do? Try something different, or try the same thing as last time? I think I'm gonna follow Steve's advice and try something different this time. My goal's weren't New Year's Resolutions, but rather an attempt to pick up where I left off pre-injury. Here's the thing about that, a lot has changed since then: I get less sleep thanks to the 3 month old puppy now living in my house combined with the inability of any of the other 4 members of my family to get up and let her out in the middle of the night. The weather has gotten ridiculously cold for this time of year...and stayed there. We haven't had the oodles of snow to shovel (we're tracking to about average snowfall in these parts), but we're averaging 20-30 degrees colder than normal temps. It's frightened me inside most mornings. When the temps and windchill have frostbite setting in at the 15 minute mark, I tend not to go outside. Despite the cold, I'm getting the itch to run more. The time for dedicating serious amounts of time to weight training is slipping away. Lent is here. So? Well, I like to spend more time focusing on my spiritual health this time of year. Leaving less time for other things. My daughter's club volleyball, violin and forensics schedules and my son's basketball, cub scouts, chess club and violin schedules are in full gear. That means my nights (the part of the night where I'm awake, we've already established the puppy owns the part where I'm asleep) and weekends are no longer my own. Lastly, my mother's health as she continues to battle cancer is a roller coaster ride. She went from doing great, to a week in the hospital, back to great. It tends to throw wrenches into my planned schedule regularly.So, how to get around all this stuff and move forward when I don't know what's coming next to derail me? I'm going small. Small pieces of work in the margins of my day, hoping they add up to something tangible by Easter. How's this sound? Goal #1: 10 Each per Day. 10 pull-ups, 10 chin-ups, 10 push-ups, 10 BW squats, 10 burpees, 10 lunges. Any order, combination, etc. If the exercises are met during the day, they get rolled over into the next days goals. If this starts getting easy as I find more time in between stuff to get things done, I will increase the number of reps. But, honestly, I think this will take time to get used to fitting things in. Goal #2: Get more sleep. As I try to fit more things in my day, I either stay up later, get up earlier or both. Which is no good for my long term health. During the last challenge I managed to move from 5 1/2 hours of sleep a night to 6 2/3 hours of sleep. A marked improvement, but not enough. My goal is to get over the 7 hour mark on average. So, I need to be in bed by 10:30 PM each night. That's it. Simple goal. 10:30 = in bed. Goal #3: Avoid sugar. So, I did marginally okay avoiding sugar in my drinks last challenge and I made it a year long goal. So, I'm keeping it here, but adding to it each week. Each week I will add something new that I'm avoiding in my diet. I will post them here with weekly updates. First week, no sugar in the drinks. Goal #4: Be Accountable. I did a crappy job updating my thread last challenge. In the past, I've always had better success with more frequent updates. It's the peer pressure of coming here and telling people my failings that keeps me working at it. If I don't have to fess up to failures, it becomes easier and easier to just ignore them. But, I also know that stuff will get in the way from posting updates on some days. So, at least 5 updates a week. Side goal: If the weather warms up, I'm going to try to get more miles in. So far, I'm getting in about one 3-4 mile run/week when the winds are light. If it warms up enough, I'll try to fit in a few more.
  3. Challenge 12 TIME 2 HOP 2 I feel pretty good about my performance last challenge. I am lookin' to add bodyweight exercises, mostly on a form check/practice level. I will get back to the gym regularly and keep up my running. To keep this momentum going, I need to be more flexible with my schedule and ensure that I'm taken care of as much as the pets I care for in my business. I am also looking to find new foods (mostly veggies) to add to my dwindling list of foods I eat. Without the sugar junk food, milk, white bread, and greasy fast food, I need to find foods I like and will actually cook/prepare and eat. For those of you who have followed me through the high brush and rocky crags of my challenges, you know this is my sensitive spot. But it has to be attempted… calculated… and learned from. That's all there is to it! HA!! Goals 1. Eating:: I tracked food last challenge and will continue that route, I like seeing it. This challenge will be finding and trying new foods that are lower in Sat Fat and Sodium than my usual go-to foods. Plus, I will again track, but not grade, all my attempts at cooking and my experiments with recipes in order to create a healthier menu to choose from. Food porn promised. +3 STA and +1 CON 15 veggies or more = A 12-14 = B 9-11 = C 6-8 = D <6 = F 2. Gym time:: get to the gym regularly to do weight workouts and long and interval runs on the treadmill. I will have to play around with times which was part of the difficulty last time. +2 DEX and +2 STR 18 or more times = A 15-17 = B 12-14= C 9-11 = D < 9 = F 3. BW exercises: do bodyweight exercises. Track exercises -on this thread- and how they are coming along regarding form, number, and sets. Form check vids likely. +3 STR and +1 DEX 12 times or more = A 9-11 = B 6-8 = C 3-5 = D <3 = F 4. Keeping a home:: I need to take complete ownership of my 'no longer new' place. I still need to find a place for everything, a living room set up that's comfy and inviting, a cleaning routine that is adhered to, and decorations to make it feel like my home, not a hotel. I will make a schedule (paste it here when it's done) and tweak it by the end of week two, and then keep to it for the rest of the challenge. Maybe even post before and after pics. +2 CHR and +1 WIS 21 or more days = A 17-20 = B 14-17 = C 7-13 = D < 7 F Okay, that's me. Gonna step on the gas and steer myself to open pastures and high mountains, free and happy! Good Luck to All.
  4. A little late but here goes... So tomorrow marks my 1 year NF anniversary. And while I wish I could say my life has drasitically improved or changed since then, it hasn't. This doesn't have anything to do with NF, it has to do with me and how I've been approaching this journey... my brain has certainly changed dramatically in the way that I look at the world and what I do with and put in my body. But somehow everything I've been working on just hasn't stuck. I've had bouts of sucess and bouts of failure over the year, but nothing really consistent. Going over my past challenges (excluding my most recent) I notice a trend of doing really well in the beginning, and falling off towards the end. Or doing well all the way through only to lose a lot of my progress during the zero weeks. Essentially, habits have not been formed as I had hoped. Basically I've been having some trouble getting through the every day stuff. Even after my vacation I came back and instead of feeling refreshed and jumping back into things I have kind of just been sitting around for 2 weeks and doing not much at all. So now I am switching everything up. Instead of assigning myself specific tasks, I am going to just make sure I do a few things every single day. I have gotten into the habit of meeting my goals on a weekly basis instead of a daily one. I'll cram in 3 different work outs in one day (morning, afternoon, evening) or do extra sets to make up for a missed work out. But, shockingly, my body doesn't respond well to that and I'm really just playing mind games with myself pretending I'm doing what I've asked myself to do. I've also been struggling with how to eat healthily. Mostly because the restrictions I've put on myself (which really do make my tummy feel awesome) my boyfriend has a hard time enjoying. Even if I make something that I think is delicious, he still wants pizza or cheese fries or something of that nature. And it's hard to have to try to stick to my guns and eat what I made and try to convince him to eat it too nearly every day. So I end up giving in a lot and we eat something terrible. So I'm going to back off on some of the restrictions I've had in place and see how I feel and will possibly work them back in at a later date, this is in the interest of cooking healthy things that hopefully the boyfriend will want to eat, and that we can enjoy together. I'll be not considering gluten a failure anymore, as long as it is in whole grain form. I will also not be so picky about dairy, since I have learned I can't not eat pizza, I just need to think more when I eat things that are "bad". If I don't think of it as bad it will hopefully be easier for me to eat a normal human amount instead of like 20 slices. More on this down in my food mission. So. I will do small things. Or big things. Or medium things. My choice depending on how I'm feeling as long as I do something from each category every day. Every day I will focus on myself and improve myself a little bit. Even if I'm exhausted and it's something super tiny, it's still something better than yesterday. Every Day Missions 1) Move. This can be running, yoga, strength work out, swimming, or going for a walk. Or even hopping onto my mini stepper for a bit if I'm super busy. Even stretching and foam rolling counts here if it's a rest day or I'm super sore or sick. Just do something every day. Especially if it's capoeira. 2) Meditate. I started using Headspace before I went away and continued to use it on vacation but I kind of lost track of it since. It's small little meditation sessions that build up over time in length and intensity (ie - become less and less guided) and eventually begin to branch out into different aspects of life that I can focus on. I absolutely love it, so I'm going to make a commitment and really start doing this every day again. 3) Make Healthy Choices. Try to avoid gluten, but when neccessary make sure it is whole grain. Also portion control is key. Don't over eat. I know when I've screwed up, if it's one thing I've gained over the year it's knowledge of what's good and what's bad to put into my body. Actually following through with this hasn't been super sucessfull but I do know. So this is kind of subjective but that's also kind of the point. I want an overall feeling of making healthy choices and really thinking about what I put into my body every day. I'm not too worried about the nitty gritty. 4) Improve My Space. Clean something, or organize something, or make something look a little nicer in my space every day. Even if it's tiny, even if it's just scooping the cat litter. If I'm not home for a day, this can be as simple as organizing my purse, throwing receipts out of my wallet or cleaning my hair brush. Just something. 5) Sleep. Get at least 7.5+ hours a day. This can be supplamented with naps in extenuating circumstances. No excuses. 6) Be accountable. I have tapatalk, I have access to it everywhere. I can get on here every day even if I'm not at a computer. Even if all I say is something like "Today: 1235" beecause I everything on this list except for number 4 sort of thing. It's not that hard. I can do it. This doesn't count towards grading but I'd really like to keep on top of it. Bonus Activities These will make sense once I get to the grading portion. 1) Brain Train. I don't expect to do this every day, but I do want to do it a few times a week. I have a free Luminosity account and also a brain exercise thing on my DS. So either one will work. (MAX 5 POINTS/WEEK) 2) Snake Love. Not sure if I've mentioned this before here but I own 4 snakes. I completely love them but sometimes I don't play with them as much as I probably should/want to. So once a week or so I'll try to take them out and handle them. (MAX 1 POINT/WEEK) 3) Pamper. Take a bath. Give myself a face mask. Get a manicure or a pedicure (or do it myself). Do something nice just for me. (MAX 1 POINT/WEEK) 4) Boyfriend Time. Do something romantic with the boyfriend. We have been living together for 3 years now so the romance is starting to be more like let's lay on the couch all night in our PJs and order in as opposed to going out for a nice dinner or see a movie. I feel the opportunities to be healthy are much better in going-out situations too. Plus I enjoy dressing up and looking/feeling nice. (MAX 1 POINT/EVERY 2 WEEKS) 5) Volunteer. I've been volunteering on occasion with HRC, if the opportunity arises during this challenge I want to volunteer more! (MAX 2 POINTS/CHALLENGE) 6) Duolingo. This is basically a free version of Rosetta Stone. I've been on and off using it for Spanish for about a year now. Hopefully I can find the time to work on this a bit. (MAX 5 POINTS/WEEK) Grading I will start off with 175 points. If I miss an every day task, I lose one point. If I do a bonus activity, I gain one point. But I can't get more than the max points per week from the bonus activities listed under each bonus activity (so I can't just take 20 baths in one week and get 20 points haha) At the end of the challenge I will grade myself based on my end total points. 175 is 35 (days left in the challenge) times 5 (number of daily tasks). So I can't actually get below 0. 210+ points: A (15 stat points) 190-209: B (11 stat points) 175-189: C (8 stat points) 125-174: D (5 stat points) 100-124: F (1 stat point) 0-99: F- (0 stat points) I will award myself the above number of stat points. Since my end grade isn't broken up into how well I did in each category, I will decide at the end what kind of stat points I get depending on what I feel I improved upon the most during this challenge. And I'm off!
  5. In general I'm still working at a number of the same goals that I was in my first two challenges. The details are evolving, and some items have been discarded, but for the most part I'm not taking off in any radically new directions. 1. Body Weight Exercises: I slacked off in this area last challenge so I'm making it the center of this one. For the most part I can do this routine without error. The key here will be consistency. I started doing this a few years ago to train up for the APFT (Army Physical Readiness Test) and it worked really well. The BS Squats are new, and somewhere down the line, it could be another challenge, I'll get them to Shrimps and then Pistols. Maybe I'll do Waldos, but not this time. Run 3+ miles 50 Push Ups x 3 sets 50 Front Crunches x 3 sets 50 Right Crunches x 3 sets 50 Left Crunches x 3 sets 50 Four Count Flutter Kicks x 3 sets 10 Right Leg BS Squats x 3 sets 10 Right Leg BS Squats x 3 sets My intent is to add squats over time to bring them up to 3 sets of 50. I do one set of each and then hit another round. If I need recovery time I can throw in an extra mobility drill between sets or rounds. If I need to up the intensity I can add more rounds and/or switch to more difficult variants. I took a video of this routine last night and was pleased with my form. I tried to upload it but the file didn't take. I figure I will do this again near the end of the challenge for comparison. Do this routine M/W/F. 2. Run: For the most part the footing is reliable again (snow and ice are pretty much gone) so running is back in the program. I don't really like running but it's pretty central to fitness in general and short distances are easy enough. Like the Body Weight Exercises, consistency is what I'm looking for. I'm not really interested in pushing any time cuts except those that happen naturally along the way. Right now I'm right around 8.5 minute miles when I'm running 3.6 miles. I had been toying with the idea of running stupidly long distances, but I think I'll put that one on the shelf. I did a test run today and hit muscle failure at 20 miles. I was sort of ok with that because it was twice as long as I had ever run before, but I still had to walk 2 miles to get home. The sweat and the temperature (27 degrees F) added a whole new dimension to that experience. Even that was relatively ok, but the six flights of stairs to get up to my apartment showed me the error of my ways. From here on out I will think twice, and twice again, before I do anymore suicide runs:) 3. Mobility: Every day. 4. Hike: Last challenge I started road marching to train up for the Nijmegen March in July. I'm going to be continuing this but backing off on the frequency to make room for the runs. I will do about an hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I might add some longer ones on Saturdays. 5. Movement: This last week I tried some "dance" workouts with my Kinect. I discovered that I'm really clumsy. I figure I'll do at least an hour of this kind of stuff on Sundays. Timing and coordination aren't a central part of my goals right now, but I figure this kind of stuff will pay off over time in other areas. 6. Diet: Generally Paleo, but I'm thinking of trying to add back some grains on occasion now that I'll be doing more cardio. I've started a daily tracker just to see what's really going on. Wolverine's influence there:0 Also going to do a 7 day fast with Happienumber from 10-16 March for moral support and waist reduction. 7. Alcohol: Only on Fridays and Saturdays. Too many calories racing for my abs to drink daily. 8. German: I'll still be doing my daily lesson of German. I like to think of this as self inflicted torture:) Might not be doing it when the family is here because I'll be getting lots of real world practice. 9. Family: Regular calling, at least every weekend, but likely mid week too. Will have family here for a couple of weeks starting on the 18th, so I'm expecting to be reduced to the mobility and body weight exercises during most of that piece. Also the diet will probably be hit and miss as well. Knowing this in advance I'm not going to penalize myself for not running/hiking/dieting unless I completely descend into really evil food choices. I don't usually assign numbers in advance. Last time, at the end, I put a grade on each goal, figured my GPA, divided that into 15 and arrived at my total earned points. Then I assigned them based off of where they seemed to belong. The goals that are direct carry-overs from last time will receive the fewest points. Or not. Depends on what I end up struggling the most with this time around.
  6. Um... ok. First timer here... please be patient! I'm a pediatric nurse, and mommy to 4 kiddos (3 of my own and 1 foster daughter)... so my schedule's a major problem when it comes to finding time for ME. That being said, I realize that if I don't find some consistency and some follow-through, I'm going to go insane. I eat traditional, whole foods in a way that's similar to paleo (I eat following the GAPS diet) because of other health reasons... and have seen amazing health progress on dietary changes alone, but have hit a plateau that I think may have to do with my lack of consistent exercise. I have a fabulously supportive husband, which is beyond-helpful, and I just need to make fitness a priority. So, for the next 6 weeks, here are my plans.... Three diet fitness goals for the next 3 months: Run/jog/walk 2-mile circuit with the dog at least 18 times (average of 3 per week)... bring music and try to learn to love jogging, because I really want to... I hear that if you get past 6 weeks you stop feeling like you're going to die after half a mile... (+2 DEX, +2 STA)Get to the point towards the end of this challenge that I can run at least half of the circuit (one mile) without stopping to walk. (+3 STA)Do the beginning-level body-weight exercise workout posted here on Nerdfitness on non-jogging days at least 12 times in the 6-week period... even if I have to get the toddler to "play" along with me... (+3 STR, +1 CON)Level up my life goal: Use the budget I have created and record all inflow and outflow of cash monthly. We do so much better with our money when I actually TRACK it, instead of it just flowing out into the nothingness of space... (+3 WIS)And another extra goal: Learn how to navigate this site and use it to it's fullest potential to help me to stay motivated and on track while developing healthier fitness habits! (+1 WIS)
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