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  1. This is my third challenge since coming back. I started out being bed bound because of a slipped disc , had surgery and made my way to moving around pain free and with almost no more symptoms of my paralyzed leg and foot. Now I need to get serious about keeping up activity and diet. My two main goals are: 1. lose weight (to help my spine and make me able to move with ease) and get down to 99 kg. Pursuing this goal via keto diet. 2. do PT exercises and get to a point where I can switch to bodyweight training as a form of movement. Also do daily walks with the dog and increasing the distance as a preparation for hiking long distances with my puppy EDIT: just found the walking to Mordor app and my goal is to meet the elves at 65.98km during this challenge. YAY this will be fun! I have lined up a couple of fun side goals like the minimalist game, starting on the 1. In this game I declutter my home from stuff I don't need anymore. On day one its one thing , on day 2 two things and so on until the 31th, where I have to get rid of 31 items. Tell me if you'd like to play with me! Im embarrassed to say that I will also include daily showers as another side goal. Working from home has made me quite lazy. So this needs to change! morning meditation is something else I want to do consistently. I will ad secondary goals each week as I go along. Will use week zero to practice main goal nr. 2 and start with daily showers and morning meditations. Right now I have a friend visiting me and that's what I can do while she is here. She leaves on Saturday which is when I will get back to keto and add the minimalist game..... Ill take it from there. Ive gotten so used to hanging here with you that I missed you guys over the weekend.. Glad to be back!
  2. As I am working on this challenge my theme is starting to take on more form. With the whole Corona virus pandemic I think it is ideal to use this as a way to add flavour to my challenge. I am not exactly sure how the challenge will develop. After all the pandemic is going to be part of our lives for the next six months at least, so it's not like I can kill the plague-bearer daemon in one challenge. Maybe it will involve me hunting and tracking it down. Or just surviving the effects of a plague daemon on my world. H'mm I may even get back into some creative writing with this challenge. Let's see how I go. So my goals for this challenge: To Defeat the Daemon one must Study the Daemon Study with the uni going into shut down there will be no more on campus classes. I need to focus on maintaining my study habits and get my assignments in. I am studying two subjects and it is recommended to spend 10 - 15 hours per week on each subject. So that is my goal, ten hours per week per subject studying. To Defeat the Daemon one must hunt the Daemon Walking I love my walks they help clear my head, and help me feel good in the mornings. Ideally walking daily is best, however as long as I get a minimum of three times per week I will be okay with this. To Fight the Daemon one must be Stronger than the Daemon Bodyweight Workouts I have been a bit slack with my physio exercises for my knee. Which is not good. I need to get these going consistently. This goal is vital not only for strengthening my joints, but also with the lock down it may become the primary means of exercise. I also need to start doing some upper body and core strengthening exercises as well. This is a good time to bring back the NF BBWW routine. The goal will be three times per week.
  3. In my last challenges I used the masks from The Legend of Zelda -- Majora's Mask for the different quest. Now I want to keep this flexibility of the theme, but I want to use different items. Furthermore, I really, really want to gamify my fitness/life journey more. In particular, I want to add some sort of "points" (exp, stamina, strength, etc.) to my challenges I can achieve. But I have no idea how to balance them. So I decided to use something more discrete. Hence, I'll use collectibles from Breath of the Wild. It will be a mix of things I plan to do as the core of the challenge plus some more which are optional. Let's go! ------ The collectibles: Swift Carrot Go for a 30 minute walk. Hightail Lizard Go for a run. Hearty Radish Do back exercises for 15 minutes. Hearty Bass Do "proper" workout for 30 minutes. Mighty Bananas Track weight, macros and fructose intake. Cane Sugar Stay below 100g of carbs. Star Fragment Get something done for my PHD thesis. Silent Princess Meditate for 10 minutes. Ancient Gear Consume something bookish for 30 minutes. Fresh Milk Play video games for 30 minutes. Goat Butter Study/play Go for 30 minutes. Rock Salt Draw/write something for 15 minutes. Luminous Stone Posting my progress here in the forums. Fitness Quest: Go for a walk 5 times a week; do back exercises 3 times a week. Food Quest: Track calories every day of the week; stay "low-carb" 4 times per week. Life Quest: Do something for my thesis 5 times a week; meditate 5 times a week; "read" a "book" 5 times a week. Explanations and bonus stuff: Again, I want to focus on the fundamentals. As long as I struggle with them, there's no need to do something "fancy". Hence walking, tracking and working on my PHD. I know that walking is the single best exercise one can do, as long as it is done often enough, i.e. daily. My schedule is usually very unbalanced with somedays without any appointments and some days that are super full. So I aim for a minimum of five walking days.Furthermore, my back is feeling good right now, but I shouldn't take that for granted and do my exercises. Five minutes every day would be best -- many even shorter movement breaks throughout the day greasing-the-groove style would be better -- but three times a week seems like a good "maintenance level". If possible, I would like to do more. As just mentioned, my back is better. And my digestive problems seem to improve. Without these two motivation killers I hope to be able to be more active again. But that also depends on the temperatures outside. August in Munich can vary from heat waves to snow storms.... Structurally, a big, "proper" workout also counts for the Fitness Quest, as most of my back exercises are included in it. However, going for a run doesn't not count as a substitute for walking, since I want to build a walking habit no matter the circumstances. I struggle with tracking my macros, but it seems to help a lot with loosing weight. Just seeing what take in apparently triggers small changes. In the last six weeks I lost about 3 kg which is good enough. So there's no need for any bigger effort. Tracking fructose is new, though, as I'm most likely intolerant to fructose. I have yet to talk to my doctor (next Monday) and tomorrow is another examination checking for lactose intolerance. So there might be some adaptations for these quests the next days. And in order to make the weight loss a bit easier, to passively regulate my fructose intake and to reduce my gluten intake I also try to eat low-carb as often as possible. The single most important thing I have to do (apart from staying healthy) is finishing my PHD. It is a struggle, especially as I'm in a "creative phase" right now. A lot of research and trying things out and I don't have anything concrete I simply can get done. So, getting something concrete done, no matter how small, is my priority. And, apart from work, I need to reduce my stress level. I'm reading a lot about proper breathing at the moment, but the most "simple" (i.e. un-fancy, fundamental) thing I can do is meditating. Habit-wise I like to do it in the evening after my shower. But, even thought that cue is "strong", I often fail to actually do it. So I aim for five times a week. Edit: Adding another task to the life quest: Reading. At the moment I try to read How to be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci. Unfortunately I struggle a lot -- with this book in particular, but also generally with reading. Last year I read about 30 books and this year, so far, maybe... three? But yesterday I managed to read about 50 or 60 pages in How to be a Stoic and it was super fun. And considering the 45 minutes I sit in the underground on my way to work, there is little reason to read so little. The concrete task is verbalised a bit awkwardly as it includes audiobooks. Another stress relieve are, obviously, my hobbies. I focus too little on them, but no hobby is a priority at the moment. So they just make my good life (build through movement, diet, work) even better. Because of that they are represented by ingredients which "just" make meals better -- both in real life and in Breath of the Wild. By design, this challenge is part about achieving something, part about assessing what I (can) do. I will prioritise the Quests stated above.... And now that I've written all this, I'll probably add another collectible for writing here daily to boost acountability.... Done!
  4. Last we left Red, he was trying to help a frog turn back into a human with the reward of finding the lair of thieves... "NO! That's wrong! Ribbit! You're doing it wrong!" "Alright, alright! I got it! It's wrong! Shouting at me, isn't going to help either one of us!" Red plays out some more chords hoping to pinpoint the proper tune, "No, that isn't it either! Ribbit!" Both Red and the Frog pause, frustrated at the inability to find out the tune. "OK, let's forget it, for now, I've gotten the water required to help you return you to your previous self. How does that ritual go?" "You have?! That's incredible! OK, this is what we need to do, Ribbit!" "Alright, are you ready? Ribbit!" "Uhhh... I think so? What am I supposed to be doing exactly?" "It's simple, just stay right there! Ribbit! I might've forgotten that tune, but I haven't forgotten the magic Master used." The Frog starts chanting and Red feels uneasy as the circle of magic and the both of them began to glow. In a flash of blinding light Red no longer sees the Frog, but a bard in his place! "Hey! It worked! You're back to normal! Congrats!" The now-Bard checks himself making sure that he's returned to his original form. "Yes... I am back... to normal..." Red then reaches for the guitar. "Alright, now that that is out of the way, let's resume our--" *THUNK* "Heh, Fool. Now to tell the Master!" The Bard runs off, opening the doorway himself! * * * Red wakes up to find himself in a cell. "Ooohh.... my head... What happene... Where's my stuff?! Where am I?!" As Red looks around, and he hears a voice, "Master! You see? I brought him to you! Edobar is a good servant! You see, Master?" a shadowy figure approaches "My, my, right you are, Edobar. This one looks like a great candidate for my next experiment." "You spoony bard! You tricked me! When I get my hands on you, I'll--" "And feisty, I like that. Let's see if he can stay this way. Lose consciousness, wash away into the silent sea! Sleep!" Red immediately knocks out once again. Red wakes up once again, groggy and disoriented. "Ooohhh... I'm getting really... tired of... this?" Red looks around and finds himself in a world he's never seen before. "Whoa... Where am I?" Upon looking around, he sees Edobar and his Master, but they look different... "Master! This one is great! It's like he's gone!" "Not exactly gone, Edobar, but merely a shadow of what he once was! He'll have no chance to come back from this!" As the two walk away, Red quickly realizes that he's in some sort of astral state. "Ohh... boy... This is bad! What do I do?! Am I dead? They couldn't have killed me that easily, could they?" "Relax, you're not dead." A voice echoes behind him. "Who said that!?" Red said startled. "Focus. You don't have a lot of time. You need to catch your shadow before you become a permanent resident of this place." The Voice speaks, "He separated your shadow from you, thus turning you into stone, yet you're apparently still conscious. It appears that his spell isn't completely successful, if you can reunite with your shadow, then you can reverse the petrification and come back to the mortal realm." "OK! Find my shadow, return to the mortal realm, and teach Edobar and his Master a lesson they'll never forget!" "Good, now then, here's the trick, your Shadow doesn't actually want to be reunited with you." "Wait, what?! Why?" "Because, it's free in here, if it's reunited with you, then it's back to being bound to you, and of course it doesn't like that, so you'll have to beat it into submission. Good luck." Chase your Shadow - I need to fulfill my hours of shadowing an Orthotist, I've scraped my requirement of 60 hours, but I need to buckle down and get this done! I'm aiming for twice a week for 4 hours each before I go to work, usually during the week. This goal is going to span for the next couple of months, but for this challenge, I need to hit the shadowing twice a week. Beat it down - Basically keep up the Exercise routine. For three days out of the week, I'll be either completing my circuit, or running. On my days off is when things fall out of routine, that's one obstacle that I need to overcome, and Sundays is when I go to Mass (Church) so I won't be exercising then. Prepare the Vessel when you arrive! - So my brothers and I are planning a 5 Day Trip to Colorado (By driving from California) So I have to prepare my truck and myself for that journey, I need to get my truck tuned up, and order, organize, and reserve everything else I may need for the journey.
  5. So, I’ve been sort of overwhelmed. I can’t seem make myself stick to any of my goals except the ones that are super ingrained habits at this point. This is partially because I don’t wanna and partially because I am travelling several times a month and it’s preventing me from sticking to a normal routine like I have in the past. This challenge, I want to address those two issues. I’m going to address the “I don’t wanna” by actually setting a main goal for the rest of the year, which I haven’t really done in many challenges now. I’ll also address it with some of the things I’m doing this challenge. I’ll address the travel issues with a specific plan below. Main goal: I want to get back to my pre-Paris weight by mid-December when I go stay with my parents for the holidays. That’s only -5 lbs, so it should be very doable. I got stuck between two different challenge ideas for how to fix my problems, so decided I might as well do both of them. Part 1 – Catheters and Bedpans Part 2 – With Love Part 3 – The Goals Part 4 – Travel Protocols So that’s all the goal stuff! Now let’s do something fun - an icebreaker! I shared one of my favorite bloggers, and I’m curious about all of your favorites. Who is your favorite blogger, or if you don’t follow blogs, who is your favorite general internet person?
  6. Hi! I'm NTB and my special talents are oversharing, bop-it extreme, and getting headphones really tangled in a very short time. Let's do an icebreaker! What are your special talents? And also, will you remember that I asked this by the time you get to the bottom of this post? I was planning a slightly different challenge for this month, but after my post-vacation struggles with food last challenge, I haven’t been feeling as aggressive. So. I read an article a few years ago that mentioned a culture where people consider anything that is too perfect to be an insult to the gods, because only gods can be perfect. I thought that was neat, and the idea stuck with me even though I remember literally nothing else about what I read. I’m not a perfectionist like some people around here, but I do get frustrated easily when I start to backslide. My only benchmark is myself, but I have had some pretty awesome challenges in the past, so there’s still a lot to live up to. Last challenge I tried to be a king, and that failed miserably. So I guess this challenge my goal is still to do pretty much all the same stuff as usual, but also to remember that not every week will be my best week, and that’s the way it should be. Goal 1: Food Goal 2: Maintain Fitness Workout 3x/week (usually two at-home bodyweight workouts and 1 bootcamp class) Run 1x/week - After the Spartan is over, I’m going to resume experimenting with sprinting. I also get points for remembering to do ankle alphabets before and after each run. Walk. My walking is usually really strong, but that’s suffered lately too. So instead of walking 16 miles/week this challenge, my goal is just to walk deliberately every day, even if it’s just a loop around the block. Goal 3: Movement Focus I don’t actually have any formal goals this time. This is just kind of a mishmash of things I want to do and might potentially get around to: Leading up to the Spartan: prioritize frequent yoga, excessive walking, miscellaneous burpees, and trying to climb stuff September: I’ve been daydreaming about trying out a GMB program for months now, so I am thinking of trying either their elements or flexibility program. I have 0 plans for integrating this into my current exercise schedule and complete #doallthethings rangerbrain about it. I would still like to haul the bike out and get riding, even if it’s just in the parking lot next door. Goal 4: Life Goal - Swimming This should be the easiest life goal ever. I’ve been wanting to take swim lessons for ages since I never learned to tread water. I don’t even have to sign up for anything yet. I just have to contact at least once place and get moving on this goal already. Bonus Goals: I get a bonus point for each week I accomplish one of these goals, but I cannot complete these goals at the expense of others: Meditate daily Yoga 4x/week Clean the sink 4x/week Go to bed around 10pm on Sunday nights
  7. Or maybe a Spartan king? I figured I’d continue with the pattern of animated movies about felines. I’m going to be travelling to Paris during Week 1, from 7/16 – 7/24. So, I’m going to treat this week (Week 0) as my Week 1 and Week 1 as my Week 0. (A Cat in Paris also tempted me as a theme topic. And Aristocats is set in Paris too. There are so many animated Paris movies.) My goals are pretty much the same as they have been the past two challenges. Goal 1: Maintain Fitness 3 workouts/week (usually 1 bootcamp and 2 at home bodyweight workouts) Run 1x/week + ankle alphabets before and after. I’m working on 3.7 miles right now, and trying to get up as close to 5 miles as I can before the Spartan next month. Walk 16 miles/week (64 over course of challenge) Goal 2: Movement Focus (Spartan Prep) I’m done with sets of burpees. The moment I was able to achieve 30 in a row, I lost interest in doing these. So, I’m switching to a grease the groove approach. I’ll do the remaining 350 burpees I owe from the past two challenges over the course of this one. Climb stuff – I dropped this completely last challenge, but I should at least try to practice climbing stuff in preparation for my fear of heights. Mainly the jungle gym at the park. I’ve thought about trying bouldering at a rock gym, but that might be pushing it. That’s the sort of thing I’d love to try, but I’d rather have a friend along for. While I’m at the park, I might as well use the monkey bars. Goal 3: Food Part A: Maintain What Works (23 points/week) Don’t eat after 8pm (or within 3 hours of bedtime) (-1 point for failure). Exceptions on Thursdays where workouts and Aikido coincide. Don’t eat more than 1 bad food/meal in a day. Desserts are counted separately from meals in most cases. (-1 point for failure) Eat primalish most of the time (19 meals / week allows for 2 variance meals) (-1 point per failure, +1 point for extra primal meal) Aim for primal snacks on 4 days/week and then non-primal snacks ok 3 days per week (out of 4 points/week) Aim for at least 1 primal meal and 1 50% meal per day when travelling or hosting (-1 point per failure, +1 per success) Plan/prep meals over the weekend and prep/freeze meals for weeks when this doesn’t happen (+1 point when done successfully) Write down bad reactions to food choices in an ongoing spreadsheet to dissuade myself from making that choice a second time. Not connected to any points. Doing this is slowly starting to help me make better choices. Slowly. Part B: Conscious Eating Think about what I’m about to do before eating something. Ideally, pause and take a few deep breaths. If I eat something unhealthy, recognize and acknowledge that I’m about to sell out my future self. (4 points per day – 3 meals and snacks) Part C: Cholesterol Management SomethingSomething The nature of this goal will depend on what the doctor says about the bloodwork I’m getting done on the 13th. I probably won’t be able to hear the results from her until I’m back from Paris. So for Week 0 (my Week 1) I’ll just keep aiming for 25g of fiber per day. Then I’ll evaluate and decide on this goal after I get back and hear what the doctor says. Goal 4: Be a Mighty King (life goal sort of) This is where I try to stretch things to somehow fit my theme. Kings need to see things from a variety from perspectives, so I’m going to do the same. I want to spend 4 hours/week standing when I would not have otherwise and 2 hours/week sitting on the ground instead of on furniture. There's a communal standing desk at work, so I should be able to get the standing done easily during the 3 days I'm in the office if I do about 1.5 hours each day. 2 hours of sitting on the ground will probably happen at home while reading or watching TV. I'll probably break this down into 30 minutes 4 days a week. I chose this goal because I have a lot of posture issues and muscle imbalances related to sitting, but I never had the same issues when I used to always sit on the floor because on the floor you naturally fidget a lot more. It's more natural. And the standing has some obvious benefits as well. Bonus Goals: These earn me extra points, but they cannot take priority over my main goals. Meditate daily (7 per week) Yoga 4 times per week, of any length Clean the sink before bed 4 times per week NEW Sleepy Sundays – try to get things done (grocery shopping, workouts, etc.) before Sunday, so I can spend Sunday resting instead of running around stressed. Be in bed by 10pm so I start the week off with enough rest. I really liked sleepy Sundays last challenge, so I’d like to try to make it a habit. Travel Protocols: While I’m in Paris, I’ll be anxious enough already with worrying about not speaking the language and whether the French people all hate me. So there's no need to worry about trying to eat a certain way, or I’d go crazy. So, my goals are simple. I'm not scoring them since it's my Week 0, but I would like to at least maintain the workout/meditation streaks I have going currently. 3 workouts. They can be short, but do something even if it’s just a 15 minute BBWW in the hotel room Meditate daily (hopefully I can maintain my headspace streak while using the WiFi at the hotel) MAYBE 1 run if there’s a treadmill at the hotel and I feel comfortable enough to use it. Try to stretch every morning/evening or maybe squeeze in a yoga video once or twice. I always forget to stretch on trips and then turn into Frankenstein, and I would like to avoid that this time.
  8. Right now I have killed the first troll his mate has come to take revenge. The plan is simple: do stuff, meet my goals, kill the next troll. But what is the stuff I am going to do? Goal One: Highland Broadsword I want more consistency here, pure and simple, if I get 3 sessions per week I will be happy. Goal Two: Runic Meditation I was consistently meditating 5 times per week at the start of the year, back to that is the goal, minimum of three is acceptable Goal Three: Workouts I have three options for workouts: HIIT on the exercise bike, Kettlebell [Pavel's Simple and Sinister], Bodyweight workout [Darebee/Neila Rey Ithilien Ranger workout]. the aim is to fo one of each workout per week. Goal Four: Doing Stuff This continues the stuff that killed the troll last challenge, each week I need to do at least one of each of the areas on this list. House and garden maintenance/improvements Kids activities and appreciating them Bec time, doing stuff especially with her [dates are an automatic critical hit] My self-improvement other areas, markets, crafting stuff, reading, studies, stretching/yoga, job search. Scoring will be a bit different here, I actually need a scoring system so I can better track my consistency. However as I am fighting a troll I think my scoring needs to reflect this battle in some way, so I will adapt my previous scoring system to better reflect a fight with the troll. All the goals will be scored the same, The troll has 16 hit points, so I need to score four hits per week each week to kill the troll. The troll can wound me and I have 6 hit points, whilst I can not be 'killed' by the troll it can seriously wound me which would reflect my lack of progress in improving my health. If the troll survives this challenge it will regenerate half of the hit points that it has lost to show that it is injured going into the next challenge. I start the next challenge with 5 points if wounded by the troll, six if I am unscathed or kill the troll. 5+ sessions per week is a Critical Hit on the troll and is worth two points. 3-4 sessions per week is a Hit on the troll and is worth one point 2 sessions per week is a block/dodge or miss as the troll evades my attack and is worth no points 1 session per week is a block/dodge or miss as I evade the troll's attack and is worth no points 0 sessions per week is a hit by the troll on me and I lose one point. Let the battle commence.
  9. GOOD MORNING! As most of you know, the new Pokemon Go game has gotten many people out walking miles (or km) beyond what they had done before on a daily basis. That's great, but more can still be done. I have developed a PokeGo Workout you can do in your neighborhood that can and will push many to your limits. I have been in the US Army for 7 1/2 years and this was one of the hardest things I think I have ever done to myself. SO LET'S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS (Huns not included)!!!!! The goal - hatch an egg, any egg. Beginners might want to just pick a 2km egg, because this will suck. The rules - 1. Pick a route and jog/run it. No need to speed through it because, if you're fast, it'll think you're on a bike and won't count your steps. I went over a mile before I figured this out. (I have heard that they fixed this in the last update. Maybe my connection was bad) 2. If you encounter a Pokemon that can't fly (rats, bugs, dinosaur-rabbits, wtfe), catch it, then do 10 pushups. And you must do MUST do it even if it runs away and you can't get it. 3. If you encounter anything that flies or can fly, do 10 burpees. Right there on the spot, no saving up for later. DO IT. You think you hated zubats before? Guess again, buddy. 4. Anything that swims earns you 20 squats. Those of you who live by rivers or the beach are going to hate your life. 5. At the end of it all, do 2 pullups at your place for everything you caught during the exercise. 6. Make sure to stretch. It's important since you're GOING TO DO IT ALL AGAIN TOMORROW!!!!! 7. Add your own rules as you see fit, or that would make it more challenging for you and your goals. Add a backpack, loaded ruck, or a friggin kettlebell tied to your junk for all I care. You'll earn that steak and egg breakfast. If you want to focus on running distance, then pick that 10km egg and cut the reps for the exercises in half or tally everything you caught at the end. It'll hurt, but you'll be the best there ever was... You want to get fit AF playing PoGo? That's how you do it.
  10. Last challenge, my theme was “to be a cat, or to stop being a cat?” The answer was quite clearly to continue being a cat, so this seemed like a good follow-up theme. #scientificmethod Last challenge was not my best challenge. I continued my workout and meditation streaks, and learned some things, but my overall scores were kindasorta not very good. Near the end of my challenge, I found myself suddenly feeling very worn out and uneager to do anything. I suddenly felt like I was fighting with myself just to do basic things. But, y’know… I thought about cutting things out so I’d be less rangerbrainy about everything. But when I listed all of the things I’m working on, there was nothing I really felt like I could cut out. There was no one thing that was really causing me stress or exhaustion. I’m doing a bunch of different things, but I genuinely don’t think I’m doing TOO much when I put it all together. There are the 4 building blocks of physical health that I know work for me – walking, working out, yoga, and eating primalish. Those are my essentials. And then I’ve added some supplemental things more focused on mental wellbeing – meditation, dishes, and the like. None of those things are that strenuous. So, instead of trying to edit my goals, I’m going to try to edit the space around them. I’m going to start tinkering with how I spend my time when I’m not working on goal stuff, and see how that impacts my energy. I’m going to finish this fight. Goal 1: Maintain Fitness Workout 3x/week (usually 1 bootcamp class and 2 workouts on my own) 1 run per week – I’m working on increasing from 5K towards 5 miles. I also need to remember to do ankle alphabets before and after each run Walk 16 miles per week (64 over 4-week challenge) Goal 2: Spartan Prep Burpees I’m going to finish the burpee fight. Last challenge, my goal was to try to do 30 burpees in a row (with breaks as needed) every day. I only got about 12.5 days in. So, I want to get in 17.5 days over the course of this challenge to hit that nice symmetrical 30x30 number. That’s roughly every other day, so I can leave them out on days that are already packed with other physical activity. That might help them feel like less of a burden. Climbing I made great progress on the jungle gym at the park, but I did not actually conquer it. I’m going to keep working on this and try to conquer it this challenge. I won’t require a certain number of attempts. Either I make progress or I don’t, but I can do it at whatever pace that works. Goal 3: Food Food happens in 3 categories: things that work, conscious eating, and some sort of experiment or test I focus on for a month to try to learn more about my eating. Part 1: Maintain What Works (23 points / week) Don’t eat after 8pm (or within 3 hours of bedtime) (-1 point for failure). Exceptions on Thursdays where workouts and Aikido coincide. Don’t eat more than 1 bad food/meal in a day. Desserts are counted separately from meals in most cases. (-1 point for failure) Eat primalish most of the time (19 meals / week allows for 2 variance meals) (-1 point per failure, +1 point for extra primal meal) Aim for primal snacks on 4 days/week and then non-primal snacks ok 3 days per week (out of 4 points/week) Aim for at least 1 primal meal and 1 50% meal per day when travelling or hosting (-1 point per failure, +1 per success) Plan/prep meals over the weekend and prep/freeze meals for weeks when this doesn’t happen (+1 point when done successfully) Write down bad reactions to food choices in an ongoing spreadsheet to dissuade myself from making that choice a second time. Not connected to any points. Doing this is slowly starting to help me make better choices. Slowly. Part 2: Conscious Eating (28 points/week) Think about what I’m about to do before eating something. Ideally, pause and take a few deep breaths. If I eat something unhealthy, recognize and acknowledge that I’m about to sell out my future self. (4 points per day – 3 meals and snacks) Part 3: Experiment – Carbs (14 points/week) Fiber I decided to repeat the carb experiment this challenge, since I feel like there’s still more to learn from doing it. I don’t plan to count carbs permanently, but I want to continue to experiment with it for one more challenge. I hypothesize that I already instinctually know when I’m eating a good quantity of carbs – on the days that I ate well, my carbs were also good. But I want to confirm that through science. I’m aiming to stay under 100g/day. I won’t track during travel or hosting. 1 point for tracking and 1 point for hitting goal. ½ point if I don’t know the nutritional info for a thing, but I still write the thing down. In light of cholesterol issues, I'm changing this to fiber for the challenge. Aiming for 25g at least of fiber per day. Goal 4 (Life Goal): Sleep & Play Here’s where I try to manage my energy. I’ve known for a long time that I should work on my sleep habits, but I’ve also avoided doing so because the idea really intimidates me. I’ll try something small. Sleepy Sundays Get to bed at 10pm on Sundays so that I start the week off with enough sleep. This means I’ll have to wait to watch Game of Thrones until Mondays, since it airs at 9pm on Sundays. Try to clear Sundays so that I have a whole day where I can recuperate / prep meals. I should try to avoid letting workouts fall on Sundays. I should try to get groceries on Saturday so that I don’t have to worry about that on Sunday. I should try to get laundry done before Sunday. Play 1x per week physically – Roll around on the ground, try primal movements, dance, try cartwheels, splash in the pool. Whatever. Cat stuff. 1x per week mentally – doodle, color, whittle, solve a puzzle, etc. Bonus Goals These goals earn me bonus points that can balance out any other areas where I struggle, but these goals cannot happen at the expense of my main goals. Yoga 4x/week Meditate 7x/week Clean the sink before bed 4x/week
  11. Hi All! It's time for Round 3 of our PVP using the daily dares over at darebee. Every day, they post a bodyweight exercise challenge that usually only takes a couple of minutes to complete. This is an open PVP, so anyone can join at any time. It's a great way to try out a bunch of different bodyweight exercises! If you decide to join, declare what rank you're aiming for and sign up on this spreadsheet. Then, just keep track of how many dares you complete throughout the challenge. You'll get 1 point per dare and 1 point for each extra credit challenge. You must complete each dare on the day that it's posted for it to count - no going back to make it up if you forget! If you're not sure about what counts for the dare or extra credit, post here and we'll rule by what seems to make sense to the most of us. Because this is meant to be a challenge with a wide variety of exercises, we will not allow easier variations of the dares. Some days you might not be able to do an exercise, and that's ok! The person with the most points at the end of the challenge will be declared the Daredevil! Leaderboard Rocketbikeninja (67 points) - May 2016 Challenge is our current reigning Daredevil. Geek On Fire (53 points) - April 2016 Challenge Ranks Titanium: 60 points (30 days of dares + 30 days of extra credit) Gold: 45 points Silver: 30 points Bronze: 15 points Custom: A custom goal of your choice. Just make sure to state your specific target in the spreadsheet. We're starting the PVP in Week 0, but you should be able to achieve any of these ranks even if you don't join us until Week 1.
  12. Good day, everyone! I've been around the blog for a while now, and have done almost all my challenges with the monk. But for now, I have decided to do this (and the challenges to follow) with the scouts. I was quite reluctant to start a new challenge because I feel like I have neglected my previous challenges due to my very busy internship year, but now that it's over and with some encouragement from my fellow monks, I decided to do it. My challenge will be all about cycling. I have been cycling for about 7 years now. Mostly mountain biking during the first years, but became more obsessed with going distances, to climbs, and roads. However, because of college, I have lost time to ride frequently as well as my endurance. Now, I have acquired a road bike which motivated made me decide to go for one of my life goals: a century ride (100km). This will be the first of about 3 challenges. I aimed to do my century ride on August with my father, before Medical school starts. This gives me about 4 months to train. So I asked my father (he regularly does 100km rides, yes he is a badass) how to know if I am ready for the ride the following are his parameters: Climb a nearby hill (elev 230m, 10% gradient) 10 times without rest in between climbs. This hill was named Cardiac Hill by the local bikers for a reason. Ride the hilly 30km route, twice without rest. This route was called the Reverse Palace, because a Palace Park is on top of this climb, and I'm going it in the opposite d I know it may sound a bit harsh (or easy), but I am confident that my father knows his stuff and I do not want to slow him down once we're doing the 100km ride. So, these are my goals. However, I have decided to make the first 4 weeks all about regaining my lost cycling gainz and making me accustomed to riding again. The goals are: 1. At the end of 4 weeks, the cyclist must be able to ride at least 3 times a week, with 1 long ride (25km and above). This is part of me regaining my lost cycling gainz, making me accustomed to riding again, and creating a base cycling fitness again. 2. At the end of 4 weeks, the cyclist must be able to climb Cardiac Hill at least 4 times without rest. This one goes to my overall goal of riding it 10 times without resting. This sounds attainable since I can ride the hill about 6 to 8 times without rest before. GOAL ACHIEVED: MAY 15, 2016. Update: At the end of 2 weeks, the cyclist must be able to climb Cardiac Hill at least 5 times without rest. 3. At the end of 4 weeks, the cyclist must be able to finish Reverse Palace at least once. Again, this one goes to my overall goal. I also aim to record my finish time so I can monitor if I am going faster. GOAL ACHIEVED: MAY 22, 2016. Update: At the end of 2 weeks, the cyclist must be able to climb Reverse Palace at a faster pace. Time to beat: 1:42:16 4. Perform my bodyweight workout. Not really going on my long term goals, but I have to be consistent with my fitness goals LIFE GOALS: Wake up at 6am for a ride. Update this challenge at least 3 times a week. That's it! My life goals are more mental, especially the waking up part (I sleep like a rock). UPDATE (2/7/2016): I acquired The Cyclist's Training Bible, and is learning a lot. I have discovered that, despite my previous belief, I'm more of a climber, than a sprinter. It's a good book, and I'm learning a lot. I might update my goals, as I read along.
  13. Hi All! It's time for Round 2 of our PVP using the daily dares over at darebee. Every day, they post a bodyweight exercise challenge that usually only takes a couple of minutes to complete. This is an open PVP, so anyone can join. It's a great way to try out a bunch of different bodyweight exercises! If you decide to join, declare what rank you're aiming for and sign up on this spreadsheet. Then, just keep track of how many dares you complete throughout the challenge. You'll get 1 point per dare and 1 point for each extra credit challenge. You must complete each dare on the day that it's posted for it to count - no going back to make it up if you forget! Because this is meant to be a challenge with a wide variety of exercises, we will not allow easier variations of the dares. Some days you might not be able to do an exercise, and that's ok! The person with the most points at the end of the challenge will be declared the Daredevil! Geek On Fire is our current reigning Daredevil. Ranks Titanium: 60 points (30 days of dares + 30 days of extra credit) Gold: 45 points Silver: 30 points Bronze: 15 points YOLO: A custom goal of your choice. Just make sure to state your specific target in the spreadsheet. We're starting the PVP in Week 0, but you should be able to achieve any of these ranks even if you don't join us until Week 1.
  14. Red awoke, completely unaware of what happened. He quickly looked around and saw that he was no longer in the misty village, "Oook." He mutters to himself, "Now where am I?" He soon realized that was surrounded by tombstones and graves. "Oh, I get it, this is the part where I find my own name on one of these, right?" he nervously laughs out loud, so naturally, he looks around. "Here lies... Ragnar." Red reads on one tomb. " 'Here lies... Erdrick.' 'Here lies... Simon Belmont.' Huh, who were all these guys?" After a few minutes, he soon realizes that he cannot find his way out of the graveyard, each monument blocks his line of sight so he can't find his way out. "Uh oh! This isn't good. How do I--" His thoughts were interrupted by a booming voice! "What is your purpose here?" Red jumps, "Who the he-- I mean, Who are you? Where are you?" Looking around him, Red doesn't see anyone The voice booms again, "What is your purpose here?" Red boldly answers, "I will not answer someone who refuses to reveal himself." "Very well." The voice replies... And then... Nothing... 'Well that... worked?' Red thought to himself. But just before he could take another step, a Red Knight appeared before him, wielding a sword far too thin for a knight. "Whoa! Easy guy! Where did you come from? Look, I'm just trying to find my way out of here. Can you guide me?" "If you are neither dead nor dying, then you have no purpose here!" The Red Knight threatened. "Alright, look, I'm on my way to defeat the Fiend of the Earth, Lich! And I--" The Knight lowers his sword, "I... understand." Red looks puzzled, "Uhhh... You understand? Understand what exactly?" The Knight looks at Red, "Then I will show you." This challenge is a simple one: Maintain a workout, Drink lots of clean water, and practice an instrument Workout: I'm trying to come back to a BW workout routine and finish it off with three 1-minute rounds of Shadow Boxing. Right now the challenge is to actually workout, as my work schedule likes to change on me, so the difficulty here is to maintain consistency. Water: I'm notorious for not drinking water, so I'm going to bring a water bottle (72 oz water bottle) with me to work/everywhere, and make sure I finish it every day! Practice: I just recently bought myself a violin, and I don't want it to go to waste, nor my guitar, so I'm going to set aside 10 minutes of play time for one or the other, if I have time for both, then I will include both, but like working out, the challenge here is consistency. The Red Knight: I'm currently half way towards getting my phlebotomy license! I first need to save up enough money to pay for the rest of the course and then I'll begin my Clinical hours, where I'll be sticking people and drawing their blood... for non-vampiric reasons >.>
  15. Hi! I couldn't wait to post this. Despite thinking that I didn't like 3 continuous months of challenge, it turns out it actually really worked better than the old format to establish habits. I woke up this morning and wanted to carry on as usual. So, here I am. I hope Celebrate gets stuck in your head every time you visit my thread, since it is stuck in mine forever now. For those of you who don't know me, hello! I am NeverThatBored. My current goal is to lose the last 10-12 pounds I have left, though lately I've been more focused on fitness stuff than making progress on that goal. My biggest challenge struggle is food. Some of my favorite things are cats, training montages, and sitting outside next to running water. I am nerdiest about anime, fantasy novels, and rpg / indie games. Now I feel like that should be an icebreaker where everyone says their goals, struggles, favorite things, and favorite nerdy things. (I hate icebreakers in real life.) Goal 1: Maintain Fitness As usual, this goal involves maintaining my existing fitness routine (and continuing to progress during regular workouts, etc.) 3 workouts/week (usually 1 bootcamp class and 2 bodyweight workouts at home) 1 Pushup AMRAP/week to maintain pushup strength Walk 16 miles/week (64 total) Practice holding a deep squat daily (42 total) 1 run / week (either 5K, slower paced run with coworkers, or sprinting) Goal 2: Movement Focus – Long Walks During the past few challenges, I’ve been focusing my secondary fitness goal on specific movements (pushups, squats). This time around, I want to focus on walking longer distances with the goal of eventually working up to a 35 mile walk on the local bike path. I will mainly be able to do this on weekends, although theoretically I might be able to do it after work now that the light is nice. We’ll see. My goal is to do this once per week, going a bit further each time. I don’t think I’ll have time to do this on travel weekends, however. My recent max is 7 miles. I’d like to work up to at least 20 in preparation before attempting the full distance. Goal 3: Food I tried the minimalist approach last time and it was an epic failure, so this time I’m trying the maximalist approach. Part A: Maintain things that work Last challenge I stopped counting these things for a week, and immediately stopped doing them. So, even if I’m focusing on macros this challenge, I need to hold myself accountable for this stuff too. Don’t eat after 8pm (or within 3 hours of bedtime) (-1 point for failure) Don’t eat more than 1 bad food/meal in a day. Desserts are counted separately from meals in most cases. (-1 point for failure) Eat primalish most of the time (19 meals / week allows for 2 variance meals) (-1 point per failure, +1 point for extra primal meal) NEW Aim for primal snacks on 4 days/week and then non-primal snacks ok 3 days per week Aim for at least 1 primal meal and 1 50% meal per day when travelling or hosting (-1 point per failure, +1 per success) Plan/prep meals over the weekend and prep/freeze meals for weeks when this doesn’t happen (+3 points when done successfully) Write down bad reactions to food choices in an ongoing spreadsheet to dissuade myself from making that choice a second time. Out of 23 points per week Part B: Measure macros Week 1 – measure protein intake, but no need to try to hit a certain goal Week 2 – start aiming for 75-106g of protein per day (more is ok) and start measuring carbs without aiming for a certain goal Weeks 3 and 4 – start aiming for 75g or so of carbs / day (anywhere below 100g ok) and continue working on protein Part C: Continue to practice conscious eating Think about what I’m about to do before eating something. Ideally, pause and take a few deep breaths. At the least, recognize and acknowledge when I’m about to sell out my future self. (4 points per day – 3 meals and snacks) Goal 4: Life Goal – Deep Work I would like to spend 30 minutes / day (except travelling/hosting days) focused on work I care about. I’ve also been neglecting adulting lately, so there are two parts to this. Part 1: I have a list of about 14 things so far that I’ve been putting off or need to take care of. I’m going to work on one of these per day until they’re done. Part 2: Once my list is finished, I’ll spend 30 minutes per day on any activity of my choice (reading, writing, drawing, whittling, career stuff, etc.). Bonus Quests These are all things that are nice to have, but I do not get points for them if I do them at the expense of any of my main goals. Meditate daily (1 bonus point for every 7 days) Ankle alphabets daily (2 set minimum – 1 bonus point for every 7 days) Knees in pose / child’s pose / another internal hip rotation stretch daily (1 bonus point for every 7 days) NEW Clean kitchen sink before bed 4 days/week. I’ve heard good things about what this does for you mentally in the morning, so I’m interested in trying it.
  16. We had a plaque in my house growing up with the quote “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.†It kind of fits with the theme of this challenge. Essentially, I’m taking my ongoing goals and adding a thread of mindfulness throughout them to try to overcome some of my problem areas (cougheatingcough). Goal 1: Maintain Fitness Routine 3x/week workout - this is usually 1 hour-long bootcamp class and 2 bodyweight exercise workouts based on a mix of starting bodyweight and the bbww circuit. 1 run/week (goal is generally to increase from 2.6 miles to 5K, so I'm pretty close now!)1 pushup AMRAP/weekWalk 16 miles/week - 64 miles totalGoal 2: Movement Focus - Deep Squat Holds Squat daily, and try to squat whenever I think about it at random times throughout the day.Focus on learning better form and increasing mobility over holding for a specific length of timeGoal is eventually 5 minutes/dayThe purpose of this is to do it daily, so no making it up if I miss a dayGoal 3: Conscious Eating Essentially, I want to think of Future NTB when I make decisions about food. Right Now NTB wants to have a treat for one reason or another, but how will that affect future NTB? Maybe it will be a happy memory for her and won’t have many bad effects. But maybe it could make her cravings worse for the food again in the future. Or maybe it could upset her stomach. Or maybe it could set back her weight goals, or put unhealthy junk into her body that will make her feel bad or harm her overall health, or just make her feel guilty and frustrated. So. For every food I eat, I want to weigh that choice. I want to be nice to Future NTB and care about her wellbeing. I want to follow these general guidelines about eating, but I can go outside of that if it makes sense for a particular situation. And if I’m about to sell out my future self, I want to recognize and acknowledge it. Don’t eat after 8pm (or within 3 hours of bedtime)Avoid grains and refined sugarEat when hungry, and take some time to think about whether I’m actually hungry before eating (unless it’s obvious)Try to eat veggies with every mealTry to limit excessive dairy, but eat yogurt weekly for digestion (NEW) Try to take a few deep breaths each time I'm about to start a meal or snack. I'm hoping to establish this as a trigger for mindful eating to help the habit stick.Last challenge I had a 20 burpee penalty for breaking the rules. I might incorporate that into this challenge somehow still, but I'm not sure where it fits yet. Goal 3: Life goal - journaling I don’t write much these days and I’ve been thinking that I want to keep this skill sharp. So I plan to write every day of this challenge on 750words.com. If I succeed, and if I decide this is a worthwhile thing that I want to stick with, I can reward myself with the Day One journaling app.I think this will also be useful for my food goal – it might help with reflection and thinking about Future NTB.I am also starting a bullet journal this month, so that's semi-related.Bonus Quests: 4 yoga videos/classes OR 75 minutes/week = 1 point available per weekAnkle alphabets every day (aim for at least 2 sets) = 1 point available per weekMeditate 7x/week for any length of time = 1 bonus point available per weekHold legs-into-chest pose for several minutes per day = 1 point available per week (this is to support my squat goal)
  17. Hi All, I’m NeverThatBored, and I believe this is challenge 7 for me! I lost about 10-15 pounds during my first few challenges, and now I’m stalled with 10-15 more pounds to go, which is very annoying. During my last challenge, I learned a TON about what works and what doesn’t work for me, so this challenge I’m making small tweaks to everything so that I can do even better. Goal 1: Maintain & Tweak Fitness (Walking, Running, Bodyweight Exercises) I have a pretty good fitness routine going now, so I want to continue maintaining/progressing on the fitness goals that I’ve established: Run weekly, increasing distance 10% each time. Assuming I’m starting at 2 miles, that will be 2, then 2.2, then 2.4, then 2.6 in the final week of the challenge. If my shins (which I have a lot of issues with) start bothering me, I will revert by 10% immediately. My goal here is to get up to a 5K distance. Walk 64 miles (16 miles/week) over the course of the challenge. I decided to stop including rucking in my challenges for now, though I will still throw on some weight for some of my walks. Work out 3 times a week Usually this is 1 bootcamp class and 2 bodyweight sessions for week. 1 pushup AMRAP/week - last challenge I did 3/week, so now I want to see what happens when I do just 1/week. My max so far is 38 pushups. 1 bonus point for an extra 5 miles walked or 1 workout completed My current bodyweight exercise routine involves progressing to harder and harder forms of these basic exercises to build strength. Every time I can do 3 sets of 8, I move on to a harder version. Goal 2: Special Focus - Squat Holds I’ve learned that I have some mobility issues that are keeping me from being able to do deep ass-to-grass squats, and that annoys me, so I’m going to work on it. That’s pretty much the reason I’m running too, actually. Apparently I do a lot of things because it annoys me that I can’t! I will hold a squat position 5 days/week, starting at 1 minute each day and adding a minute per week for the 4 weeks of this challenge. This is supposed to be a daily thing, so I can’t just make up days that I miss by doing extra the next day. 1 bonus point if I do 7 days/week instead of 5 Goal 3: Figure out Food I’m slowly getting better on food, and paleoish works well for me in general, but I need to tweak a lot here to make it work better. I have a much lower tolerance for sweets and grains these days, which is AMAZING. But my weight is stuck, so I need to figure out where I’m still messing up. Instead of being restrictive and just eating as many primal meals as possible, I’m taking a different approach this challenge to see what happens. Maybe I should have called this challenge “NeverThatBored: Now With Punishments!†(After I wrote this, I changed the challenge name to match). So: Don’t eat after 8pm (or within 3 hours of bed). Don’t eat 2 non-primalish foods in a day. -1 point if I do either of these things, for each violation. Do 6 20 full burpees for every non-primalish meal/snack. No points penalty, unless it’s 2+ in a day. Drink water, walk around, and wait 20 minutes before snacking. Do 12 20 half burpees for every time I fail to do this. No points penalty. On days when I’m travelling or hosting someone, eat at least 1 primal meal, 1 50% meal, and 1 loose-but-healthy meal per day. -1 point for doing any worse than this. +1 point for turning any meal into a second primal meal. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t perfect. If you start beating yourself up, do 60 seconds of hollow body holds. AND to make it more fun, you guys get to help me choose the penalties. I'll take the most popular choices from the poll on this thread and use them where I've written ???. Edit: The votes are in, so the post has been updated. Goal 4/Life Goal: Frugal February Don’t spend money on eating out or general shopping (home goods, clothes, books/games, etc.). Exceptions: I can replace things that run out. I can buy presents for birthdays that happen this month. I can eat out if I’m travelling and it’s my main food option. I’ve decided that it’s also ok to buy dip bars (or a walker to use as dip bars) this month because progressing on my exercise goals is important to me. Bonus Quests I can’t get the points for these if I put off any of my other goals to achieve them. 3 yoga videos/week = 1 bonus point 5 days of ankle alphabets/week = 1 bonus point
  18. Welcome to my Challenge Log! 27th July - 6th September For those of you who don't read the intros (I'm sure there's a few). I'm a 32yo, Aussie mum of 3. I live in New South Wales in a small country town about an hour and a half west of Canberra. I'm a newbie gamer (playing LotRO - main is a lvl100 Runekeeper named Vilarya on Crickhollow server and I just bought Skyrim to try something I've never tried before and I love it, can't wait until VI comes out hopefully sooner rather than later!), I also bake, read sci-fi, fantasy and historical fiction and dress in vintage/vintage style (less now than ever because of my weight *sad face*). My Quest for these first 6 weeks is as follows.... Main Quest – Lose 5kg in 6 weeks SW: 111.4kg (as of 23/7) GW6wks: 108.9kg Goals Stick to a healthy eating plan (includes more vegetables and fruits, more protein and healthy fats and less refined carbs and gluten - trying to get my PCOS under control, 1900 calories a day) Aim to drink 2L + water every day and carry a water bottle with me everywhere NF Body Weight Circuit Mon/Wed/Fri Join the local Gym and start improving my lifting form Life Side Quest – Practice my archery and actually start hitting the target consistently (work on the basics/technique), before this year I never once picked up a bow and I want to be deadly accurate (working with recurve and longbows - no interest in compound bows). I plan to practice 30mins a day Tue/Thu/Sat. I'll get some walking in because right now the flights keep coming off arrows and I only have 5 that I can use right now. Motivation – Wanting to be able to fit in a vintage style tea dress I bought and have hardly worn The Dress Please feel free to pop in here and my Battle Log from time to time to see how I'm going. I do have before pictures I need to post, but I might save those until after the first challenge. It's just far too raw and confronting for me to post them right now.
  19. It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish. - LOTR Hi, I'm Mike, and I am finally adding some accountability to my life with this thread. I am a 26-year-old graduate student (nuclear astrophysics) with the desire to climb mountains, funded by my eventual employment within the private sector as a data scientist. I am a former varsity runner who has never had much upper body strength but just enough to get by. After telling myself that I was going to climb Mount Moran in Wyoming before I finished my PhD, I did almost nothing to move myself toward that goal; since I should be finishing my degree next year, it's now or never. Why Ranger? I think it fits best with what I want and where I want to be (long distance travel with large strength requirements thrown in), and I like the idea of building muscle without losing my running ability. Why not Assassin? I felt it didn't have the same requirements for strength that I wanted to build up to. MAIN QUEST Climb Mount Moran in summer 2016 This is the end-all-be-all of my fitness push. Though not historically my namesake, I've wanted to climb this mountain and be the first Moran in my family on top of Mount Moran ever since I found out that it existed on my first trip to Jackson, WY. There are a few problems to this, though: historically the easiest routes require ropes and protection, it is the hardest mountain in the Teton range to get to, and getting to Jackson (with gear) is expensive. Thankfully, I know two families with homes in the area, so lodging should be taken care of, and I love long-distance driving, so the trip would not be horrendous. Short term goals to accomplish over the next six weeks: Complete 3x3 bodyweight pull-upsExercise (even a little) around work and vacation (3x strength at least) Eat a healthy breakfast in the morning (3x week) ​...and this is how I'm starting down that path. Since I've taken about six months off from any sort of exercise and training, I'm starting with something that I've always had problems with: pull ups. I read through a few articles on progressions to get to a full pull up, which I think I can achieve in six weeks without too much stress. In addition, I'll be combining that specific work with the Beginner Bodyweight and Hotel workouts to help my transition back into the gym. I've already been doing the BB for the last week (with added weight on the squats), and moving to the Hotel one is a logical step up. Plus, I'll be exercising in a hotel! As of this coming Saturday (August 8), I will be married and we are leaving for our honeymoon the following Monday. Suitcases are packed and I should have enough things to pick up for the necessary weight. I've also copied down the workouts onto paper since I'm not taking my computer with me. As for breakfast, I am notorious for sleeping in and rushing over to the office for work, so I am going to make sure that I don't do that. Since I've never been a morning person, I'm keeping it simple, with three-out-of-five work days starting with a full breakfast a good launching point. ​SIDE QUEST Data Science Work through all of Data Science from Scratch and High Performance Python (less important). I'm about half-way through DSFS and have skimmed through sections of HPP, so now I'm going to finish them. My GitHub account is about all of the motivation I need, keeping that commit streak alive! I won't be working on this at all during my honeymoon, so if it comes down to the wire, DSFS takes precedence. Yoga? Sure, this could be grouped into the main quest, but this is kind of a cursory glance at what I could do. I have never been flexible, but I want to be. I have the Wii Fit plus balance board, so I'd like to try to use that to start learning yoga poses and practicing them. Or, at the very least, stretch out more and more fully. MOTIVATION I want to look better naked (or half naked), and the part of me lacking in that department right now is all above the waist. Plus, if I don't take small steps now, I could actually die if I tried to climb a mountain without adequate preparation (not that I would attempt the climb, but anyway...). So there it is. My mountain awaits...
  20. Hello! I'm a new Recruit. I'm interested in Ranger, Druid, and Scout professions, but since I can't decide I'm going to settle for Adventurer for now. :-) Specifically, my favorite fitness activities are: bodyweight strength training, yoga, running, hiking, bicycling, and brewing beer (shhh). I recently graduated from grad school, which took a toll on my health (mental, physical, spiritual), so now I'm on a quest to Level Up all those areas of my life I've been neglecting (for the sake of academic levelling up). I think I'm supposed to wait to post this until the next challenge begins, 5/24/15 (??), but I guess since I started two weeks ago, maybe it's okay if I post this now? Anyway my first posted challenge is: * Fitness: continue You Are Your Own Gym 10-week bodyweight strength-building program, 4x week. (I'm currently on week 2.) * Nutrition: eat healthier! be mindful of what I eat, focus on making good choices and small victories. I'm not setting specific food goals this round, except to not eat fast food 4x week. This should be an easy goal since I'm not on campus pounding out papers every day, and I have the time/inclination to cook. I've started tracking what I eat on MFP to help me pay closer attention (and because I love data tracking). * Life: apply for full-time jobs, and hopefully get one. (I'm currently working a part-time internship.)
  21. Hi all! I've been lurking on NF for a few months and learning a lot. I've never been very good at talking to people on forums, but I decided I'd give this a try. If all goes well here, I eventually hope to become a Monk. Background: I've been working at my first desk job out of college for about a year and a half now, and I'm AMAZED at how stiff and inflexible and weak and sleepy I've become because of it. So my ultimate goal is just to become strong and flexible and feel good in my body. I'm a list-maker who is constantly trying to develop new habits, get rid of old ones, and refine existing ones. I have a list of 100+ (very specific) behaviors that I want to eventually improve, but I've been taking Steve's advice and focusing on one habit at a time for a few weeks before adding a new one. I've been doing yoga for a while to try to increase my flexibility and get rid of stiffness. I was working towards a 5K too, but I think I might have a stress fracture (going in for an X-Ray soon), so I have to take it easy on the running for a while. I'm not very coordinated, so I don't love sports, but I love walking, bodyweight exercises, and strength training. And I love to cook! Main Quest: Lose 30 pounds and get back to the weight/fitness level where I felt best! Mini-quests for this challenge: Stop eating after 8pm (or 3 hours before bedtime) every day. I started doing this last week after I had to fast for the doctor and noticed how GOOD I felt the next morning. The difference in how I feel in the morning was noticeable right away. Walk at least 20 minutes a day. I think part of my struggle with running may be that I've been otherwise sedentary, so even though it didn't seem like much, running put a lot of stress on my underused legs. I'm trying to walk every day to help build up strength and stamina and keep myself moving forward. Bodyweight strength training 2-3 times a week. I was doing the beginner bodyweight workout for a few months and then I stopped doing it for a month or so, so I'd like to get back to doing that consistently and build strength.Life Quest: Read four books over the course of the challenge. I used to regularly read a book a week but lately I haven't had the energy. I'd like to get myself back in the habit! Motivation: You can live the life you want, but the rent is due every day. Right now I'm not living the life I want; I'm just tired all the time. So I have to start "paying rent" by getting myself healthy again. I look forward to completing this challenge together with everyone!
  22. Hi guys This challenge for me (my second, just moved up from recruit!) is about losing as much fat as it is possible to lose in a sustainable manner. I weigh 172lb, and according to my estimations, I should weigh no more than 156. I have made a huge impact in my fitness level by taking up jogging, but I'd like to start branching out, as well as generally doing more. I also have huge issues with coordination, posture, flexibility etc, and if these got improved along the way, it would be a great thing. Last challenge I aimed fairly low, as I wanted to really make sure I would stick with it. This challenge I'm aiming higher! Anyway, my challenges are as follows: Main Quest: To weigh no more than 156lb Quest 1: Food I want to follow my complicated food and drink plan, which consists of this: Monday and Tuesday: <1900 calories. No alcohol. Wed, Thurs, Sat, Sun: <1900 calories which may include up to two UK units of alcohol. Friday (date night): < 2400 calories which may include up to six units of alcohol. NB if I stick to diet and exercise plans and at week three have lost less than 3lb, I will drop to <1500 and <2000 respectively. Also, not doing paleo as am veggie. Measurement: A= ≥ Stick to this strictly throughout all 6 weeks, B= Up to 6 days where I didn't stick to this overall. C= Up to 12 days where I didn't stick to it overall. Reward: A = +2 CHA, +2 CON, +1 STA Quest 2: Exercise. Follow my complicated routine of: Every week 1x 1.5 mile run 1x 3 mile run 1x 5.6 mile run 1x 20 minutes boxing 1x Yoga 30 mins 1x core bag work out 1x sit ups and stretches (warm up, down, energising and posture stretches) 1x NFBWW 7 x toe touchers 7x (press ups to failure x3) Measurement: A= Do all of these things each week, B = Do at least seven of these things each week, C = do at least six of these things each week. Reward: A = +1 STR, +2 STA, +1 DEX, +1 CHA Quest 3: Balance Stand on one leg (my right) during the time it takes to boil the kettle EVERY TIME. Stand on one leg (my left) after flushing the toilet during the time it takes to stop Measurement: A = Perfect, B = Follow to at least week 4, C = Follow to at least week 3. Reward: A = +2 DEX Life Quest: Code for ten minutes at least five days a week and at least one hour on one day. Measurement: A = Perfect score, B = At least four days of ten minutes and at least 30 on one, C = at least three days at ten minutes and one at twenty. Reward: A = +3 WIS
  23. Greetings and salutations Assassins! I wasn't sure whether I was going to post a thread in this 6 Week Challenge as I've been (and am still feeling) preoccupied with "life stuff" but the idea of sneaking back into the Assassins playground seemed to call to me, so here I am. My intention over the next 6 weeks is to get back into the swing of things after a couple of months of relative inactivity. During this time, my weight has increased, my diet has gotten poor and my fitness has suffered. I've mostly kept up my Karate and HEMA training but have picked the Assassins guild over the Monks this time round as my main focus will be bodyweight training with the addition of some kettlebell exercises. So, without further ado, here is my main goal for this year: Do a pull up. That's it. Simple and straightforward. I managed to do the odd one here and there a couple of years ago but things went downhill a bit and never quite got back on track. Now I'm more overweight and unfit than I've been for a good while, I've just recovered from a broken hand and I really feel my diet quality and fitness have been dwindling unacceptably. I've GOT to turn this around. My specific goals for this 6 Week Challenge: Consistency Turning up is the key to getting things done. Stick to the plan! I'm making it flexible enough to fit around changing schedules and to require little or no equipment. It's flexible in what days I do stuff and what sets / reps I do to achieve targets. No excuses left not to do it! Bodyweight / KB training two days a week. Diet six days a week. As a reward, I get a treat day each week! Yay! Diet This is always where I fall down the most. It's the one that's most effected by my low, fixed income and my very bad ability with budgeting but I KNOW it is possible to eat fairly healthily on an extremely low income. My tendency is to eat crap foods rather than good foods simply because I can get enough calories to get through the day for relatively little money.... I know, I know. Bad. Very bad. I also tend to pig-out on whatever is around the house when I get in from my typical running about after everyone (I'm the only one in my main circle of friends who drives and is not physically disabled in some way so my time is often monopolised by driving and helping people with all sorts of tasks - good karma and grateful friends but can be very draining). FOOD DIARY: I have tried to keep a food diary before but I have failed. I will attempt to try again but this time, I'll keep it on my laptop and set myself some kind of automatic reminder each day to fill it in. Breakfast: Eggs are awesome! So are green smoothies! Porridge less so, but still acceptable. I'll almost always have access to one of these options before I have to go out and do stuff so I've no excuse not to eat (or drink) breakfast! More Vegetables - Less Carby crap: I can't do full paleo, as much as I'd like to. It's prohibitively expensive hereabouts (rural Ireland). But I can take a couple of small steps: Some colourful vegetables with most meals, sweet potatoes instead of normal spuds, minimise bread, pasta and similar bulk grains (I am allowed toast with my eggs for breakfast. I'm not a philistine!) Healthy Snacks: To be determined but I'll be looking mainly at paleo type options. Bodyweight Training (and kettlebells) At least two days a week - once on the weekends and once during the week. With an initial focus on muscular stamina, I'll be going for volume over intensity for now, using easier versions of exercises when necessary in order to achieve the target volume WITH GOOD FORM. That in mind, I'll have a target number of each exercise I will aim for during each training day, progressively increasing each week. This number can be achieved through any number of sets and any number of reps, as long as I hit the target for the day. Push Ups: I can do proper push ups... but am out of practice and probably can't do very many at the moment so I'll be going for incline push ups for now, especially as volume is my goal this next few weeks. Week 1: 60 Week 2: 70 Week 3: 80 Week 3: 90 Week 5: 100 Week 6: 120 Squats: I'm happy enough with proper squats but I reserve the right to do chair-squats if I feel I'm risking injury by overdoing it. Week 1: 60 Week 2: 70 Week 3: 80 Week 3: 90 Week 5: 100 Week 6: 120 Inverted Rows: Haven't done these for a while so my targets might change if I drastically overestimate or underestimate my capabilities Week 1: 15 Week 2: 20 Week 3: 25 Week 3: 30 Week 5: 35 Week 6: 40 Kettlebells: Clean & press and one hand KB swings (or exchanges). numbers will be for C&P then Swings (will be done with each arm). I'll stick to a relatively light weight for this challenge as I don't want to risk injuring my hand or overdoing it.Week 1: 20 & 20 Week 2: 25 & 30 Week 3: 30 & 40 Week 3: 35 & 50 Week 5: 40 & 60 Week 6: 45 & 70 Other: Moar walking! I have audiobooks and a nearby forest park. No excuses! Karate class each Wednesday. HEMA Class each Sunday and Thursday. Plan and execute something nice for valentines day. Usually we order in, have a few drinks and watch the star wars trilogy or something (yes, my wife is awesome) but I'd like to arrange something nice for her. Maybe go out for a nice meal or something...
  24. "There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us." -Walt Kelly I’ve conquered boredom eating. I’ve conquered loneliness eating. I’ve conquered entitlement eating. Deeper than all these things I found something else, something different altogether. Here is how we recently met: A maple bar. I took it, intending just to have a few bites. I ripped off a quarter of it and enjoyed that. It was good. Then I decided I was done, I didn’t want any more of it. My stomach, which has always been sensitive to sugar, also let me know that I should stop. That’s truly all I wanted. But there was some other voice inside my brain, a hot little salamander buried somewhere deep that said, “Mmm, get fat. Cozy, cozy. Good, good. Fat happy.†And I ate the whole bar. I haven’t lost a lot of weight this summer as I’ve been doing the challenges, but I’ve gotten a lot stronger without gaining weight, and I’ve got some noticeable muscle tone that wasn’t there before, so I know I’m making significant changes. And there’s some part of my brain that’s not happy about it. It’s not really part of my intentional mind, not something really conscious. Something subconscious that’s keeping track of its lovely collection of fat, its shiny dragon horde of extra – something that’s not happy with the way things are going. And it can be very persuasive. My goal for this challenge is to draw this dragon out into the open and identify my weapons against it. To this end I will: 1) Completely abstain from all junk food until the dragon shows its head. This may take a few days the first time, I’m not really sure – but I’m certain it’ll starve out well before the end of the challenge. The metric for this goal will be pass/fail for each campaign, each cycle I have time to go through during the six weeks. I can then assess a percentage of successful attempts to hold tight until the dragon appears. (Stats: 4 stamina for 100% success.) 2) Identify the dragon’s strategy. When the dragon appears, I will not ignore it or push it away from my thoughts. I will observe it carefully and attempt to document its weapons against me. I will hold out for a reasonable time, long enough to attempt some strategic (less unhealthy) pacification of the beast. This is, however, not a dragon-slaying expedition, but merely an investigative one. The metric for this goal will also be pass/fail, based on effort. (Stats: 1 stamina, 1 con, and 3 wisdom for 100% success.) 3) While I wait in my camp outside the dragon’s lair, I will continue to improve my strengths for future combat by maintaining the exercise plan I’ve built up over the last two challenges: I will go running at least 15 miles a week, and I will do my expanded bodyweight exercise routine at least three times a week. (Stats: 4 strength, 1 dexterity for 100% success.) I also have a life goal during this time. My spouse and I agreed that the time had come and I could buy myself a laptop if I wanted, even a pretty nice one. I’ve never had a laptop before, and have really no idea what I want or how to make a good purchase on something like this. So my life goal is to research and make this purchase. (Stats: 1 wisdom)
  25. Okay so my fourth challenge didn't go as planned. My life has become pretty messed up. I am slowly getting myself back under control. I have lost a lot of my condition over the past two months, hence the starting again. I plan to use the workouts from my last challenge as a basis for this challenge still. The scoring will have more to do with building [or more accurately re-building] consistency. I am a big fan of being consistent when it comes to lifestyle changes, Without being consistent the changes can not occur. So with a copy, paste and a bit of editing here is my latest challenge. Goal One: Couch to Five Kilometres [C25K] I still want to take up running. I still think that a C25K programme is a great way for me to start running regularly. So here I am. Scoring: 3 runs/week is a Critical Hit 2 runs/week is a Hit 1 run/week is a Block 0 runs/week is a miss 6+ runs for the challenge will earn me one point 9+ runs for the challenge will earn me two points 12+ runs for the challenge will earn me three points 15+runs for the challenge will earn me four points 18 runs for the challenge is a perfect score and will earn me five points This is about endurance and determination here. So that translates to stamina, and constitution. Sta +3 Con +2 Goal Two: Strength I like my strength programme that I have set up. It covers all the areas that I want to work on. However I will count one set of each exercise as acceptable for scoring, I need my consistency back. The Warm Up is as follows: Max second Plank 5 x Burpees 15 x Bodyweight Squats 5 x Push Ups 10 x Lunges 15 x One Arm Row 20 x Jumping Jacks As before the above workout will be my minimum needed to score a point. My full strength workout will be based on the Pre Armstrong programme with one kettlebell, one hammer exercise and burpees added to the mix. MONDAY Push Ups Grip Hangs Pyramid Negative Pull Ups Kettlebell Goblet Squats Wood Chops Burpees WEDNESDAY Push Ups Grip Hangs Negative Pull Ups Kettlebell Swings Hammer Kisses Burpees FRIDAY Push Ups Negative Pull Ups Grip Hangs Turkish Get Ups Barbarian Squats Burpees Scoring: 3 full workouts/week Critical Hit 2 full workouts/week Hit 1 full workout/week Block 3 Warm Ups/week [no workout] Dodge 0 Warm/workout per week Miss 6+ Warm Up Routines for the Challenge one point 12+ Warm Up Routines for the Challenge two points 18 Warm Up Routines for the Challenge three points 6+ Full Workouts for the Challenge four points 12+ Full Workouts for the Challenge five points 18 Full Workouts for the Challenge six points Strength and Constitution will be boosted here. Con+3, Str+3 Side Quest: Minis As before 3 points will be awarded randomly for completing the RPG Fanatics minis. The Ranger's Minis giving me the points as per usual. Random+3 I have one point left over from this layout which I will use for any improvement I have made over the entire challenge. This will be similar to the one point I gave myself to Wisdom last challenge.
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