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  1. Well, I have been hanging my metaphorical hat for the past few weeks in the Warriors 4-week Challenge area, but this seems a more logical place to maintain my long-term growth tracker. Hi, y'all! My secret identity presents as a perfectly ordinary middle-aged woman, educator, grandma, gardener, pillar of the local church, crocheter, and canner of homemade chicken broth. I'm polite, introverted, bookish, somewhat motherly to the young Marines I work with at the military leadership school, and generally appear harmless. But the *real* me is a Guardian, a powerful force of loosely controlled and readily accessible berserker rage, an impenetrable mass of strength and skill. I'm a hybrid Warrior/Monk, but I'm on indefinite hiatus from martial arts training due to living in a small town with a dearth of convenient Krav Maga instructors. For the present, I am focusing all of my time and energy on re-learning to pick up pieces of iron and set them back down again. I recently returned to myself after a long period of sedentary aimlessness, and found myself considerably weaker than I wish to be. So I found a Starting Strength coach and a black iron gym, and after about a month, this is where I am today: Squat: 45# 3x5 55# 1x4 65# 3x5 45# 1x6 (backoff set to practice form tweaks) Bench: 45# 2x5 65# 1x3 77.5# 3x5 (PR) Deadlift: 95# 1x4 115# 1x2 125# 1x1 135# 1x3, 1x2 (PR) The squat is the main motivator for hiring a coach. I'm super awkward under the bar, a little scared of it, and really struggled to get to depth when trying to do this on my own. Coach has me most of the way straightened out now, but she keeps pushing me to extra volume because I'm not consistent. She says I overthink it. What she actually says is "Quit ANALYZING and freakin' just SQUAT!" So, that's what I'm working with.
  2. Vetinari sighed, and put down his pen. "Drumknott," he called towards the outer chamber. The clerk entered noiselessly. "Yes, my lord?" he said. The Patrician waved at the papers on his desk. "Take these away. I'm..." He trailed off, and rubbed his goatee distractedly. Drumknott cleared his throat. "Bored, sir?" He gathered up the papers on the desk into a neat sheaf. "One does not get bored of ruling a city like Ankh-Morpork, Drumknott," said Vetinari in a tone that would, in other men, be described as slightly peevish. No one ever described the patrician of Ankh-Morpork as peevish. At least, not if they valued a scorpion-free existence on the outside of the dungeon walls. It was, however, the time of year when a certain... restlessness set in. It was the same every May. One would have to be fairly close to the Patrician to notice this shift in mood, and that was precisely where most people strove not to be. Drumknott noticed. "I have taken the liberty, my lord," said Drumknott. He placed a thin file folder in front of Vetinari, and carefully squared it up. "I thought one of these might amuse." Vetinari opened the folder. He flipped past the first sheet, plucked out the second sheet for further perusal, then the third, flipped past the fourth, and paused on the fifth. "Interesting," he said. "She has been away quite some time, has she not?" "Indeed, sir," said Drumknott. "I understand she will be reporting back to work soon. The Dark Clerks have cleared a desk for her. Do you wish to send down an assignment?" "Oh, I think we should have a very special assignment waiting for Sara Kingdom," said Vetinari. He smiled thinly. A Challynge yn Foure Partes Parte I: Clerking "As a wizard, I must tell you, Havelock, that words have power." "As a politician, I must tell you I already know." I'm reading two books that talk about writing as a mental transformation habit, which I was surprised to find, cuz I've been toying with the idea of "write it down or it didn't happen" as a core principle of thinking through plans and problems - basically, the idea that if you don't make it tangible, you're probably kidding yourself on how clearly and well you really thought it through - and writing as a way of finding out what you're not aware you think, the act of recording as a necessary part of the thinking process itself. The first is inspired by Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way", but brings in more research-based stuff, and the second is one of the researchy books it's based on. So I will be hauling out the notebooks and doing a lot of writing. There will be some basic journalling to clear my head and figure out what I'm interested in these days. There will be weekly (and possibly daily) planning and review writing on sets of questions and stuff, to make myself do the job clearly and fully, and bypass the lack of focus going on. There may even be an experiment with expressive writing as a way of processing and clearing the head of various bits of negative flotsam and jetsam it stalls out on, or has to keep handling. (Doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, but the science is good.) Basically, a lot of writing. A ton of writing. Parte II: Monking "Time has stopped for everyone but you," said Sweeper patiently. "Actually, that sentence is wrong in every particular, but it’s quite a useful lie." Lately, I've been managing to sleep purely by doing very deliberate physical and mental stillness meditations in bed. It's ridiculously hard. This is not normal for me, at least in recent years, so it's a big sign that my meditation habit needs to come back in a big way. If my brain is buzzing that hard when I'm trying to sleep, it's probably jangling that hard all the time, and that can't be helping anything. So I'm gonna learn how to stop time and get some stillness back with meditation. Parte III: Patrolling Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles. This part is simple. Walking. I will patrol my city. Parte IV: Assassining The Assassin moved quietly from roof to roof until he was well away from the excitement around the Watch House. His movements could be called catlike, except that he did not stop to spray urine up against things. Strength and mobility training, for scaling rooftops and things. The strength training will start with a continuation of the previous challenge's isometric stuff: horse stance (static squat), planks, ITWY exercises, and some bridge. When my schedule gets wrangled into shape, I will try to get some daily yoga before bed, but it's not gonna be a week 1 kinda goal. It was a Guild of Assassins, after all. Black was what you wore. The night was black and so were you. And black had such style, and an Assassin without style, everyone agreed, was just a highly paid arrogant thug. Pure bonus material, but I think some wearing of black and stylishness should get points. A lot of aikido teachers will tell you to focus on elegance, and putting the focus on the process rather than the goal tends to improve the efficacy. I've noticed this with writing, too; a focus on elegant handwriting tends to slow down and smooth the jangly bits in the brain and the content becomes better. Ye Planne The plan is not to jump into doing all of this at once, because I'm currently at very low capacity for getting things done and adding things to my list, but to step up how much I'm doing during the challenge. Some goals aren't even on my list for the initial week or two, and the rest, for the first couple of weeks, I'll be fine with hitting them half the days. Doing something half the days is better than zero of the days, and I'm going to need some time to try to find a good schedule time for them. Wrangling my schedule, especially when it comes to sleep, is turning out to be a big obstacle, so I'm starting by doing just what helps get that stabilized better. Template: Week 0 Day 1 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Meditation Journal Written Plans & Reviews Emotive Writing Exercise Walking Strength Yoga Assassin Style Bonus
  3. Hello all, and welcome to my little corner of chaos. As those of you who were following along last challenge know, I a new job, which I am starting tomorrow, and I have just recently returned to working out after a mild back injury (yay!). That being said, I am stripping my usual challenge wayyyyy back, because I am going to be BUSY. I have some busy weekends coming up, a lot of catching up to do with my new job (using a system I have not used before), and I have a personal training certification exam in mid-November. So, those will be where most of my focus goes. Someday I will learn not to overbook things so much, but this round is not that time The rest will be aimed at slowly working back into my fitness routine and trying to maintain the few threads of sanity I have left. Bladesinger - Martial Arts, Stamina, Bodyweight Training - (STR) Strength and Agility: Bodyweight workouts 2x/week with focus on joint stability and muscle endurance - (DEX) Balance and Coordination: Stretching 2x/week with focus on flexibility and range of motion - (CON) Stamina: 15min+ walks 3x/week with focus on improving cardiorespiratory endurance Bladesinger - Mental, Intellectual, and Career - (INT) Intelligence: study for Nov. Personal Training exam - through Nov 13 - (CHA) Charisma: TBD training for work
  4. It is finally spring again. The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, and nature is slowly coming back to life. There have already been multiple days where I could open up the windows around the apartment and turn off the heat. My last couple of challenges have been fairly strong, and my intent is to continue to build on that. I did struggle some with my INT goals last challenge, but a lot of that had to do with some time contraints that arose during the challenge. I made a valiant effort to catch them up before the end of the last challenge, but could not QUITE make it. That being said, I was able to do a lot of catching up, so I feel comfortable wrapping them into this challenge along with a new round of things to do. Challenge Goals: Body of a Agile Swordswoman - (STR) Strength and Agility: Bodyweight workouts 3x/week - (DEX) Balance and Coordination: Yoga and/or stretching 3x/week - (CON) Stamina: 20min+ walks 4x/week - (CON) Nutrition: Avoid processed sugar 6 days/week - (CON) Hydration: Drink 64 oz of water per day - (CON) Physique: Track macros daily Mind of a Scholar - (INT) Develop Breadth: Read 6.5 books (6 for present challenge + 0.5 from last challenge) - (INT/WIS) Develop Depth: Complete 7 modules of certification course (6 for current challenge +1 from last challenge) - (CHA) Career Knowledge: Complete Digital Marketing Course part 3 (15%) (roll over from last challenge) Weekend Warrior Side Quests - Spring Cleaning Edition - Inbox Zero - Declutter desk - Clean/clean out car - File Taxes
  5. Once, an elven lord, desperate for a child of his own, turned to drow worlock when all other magic failed to help his wife concieve. The powerful drow gave the elven man what he wanted...or so he thought. When the child, concieved out of dark magic, began to grow older, the elven couple noticed a strong power, a strange darkness to their child. When they took their young daughter to an old, scholarly wizard, his prognosis was dire: the girl was touched by the hand of Darkness itself, a force that would consume her before she reached adulthood. If she tried to contain it, it would poison her from the inside out and take her life. If she released it, it would spell destruction for everyone around her. The distraught couple searched high and low for a way to spare their child. No one was willing to make an attempt at breaking the spell; no one knew if such a thing even existed. As the elven girl approach adulthood, the elven parents had nearly lost all hope when they came across a Bladesinger master. He said he could not heal their child, but if they entrusted her into his tutelage, he might be able to spare her life while protecting her from others. So began the arduous training of the young elven lass. For years she has trained in the shadowy, quiet forest, honing her skills and her magic. Only with extreme discipline, careful precision, and the best of the arcane spells can the darkness be funneled and released in a safe and productive way through bladesong. Now, her years of an apprentice are drawing closer to an end. With continued training, she will soon be a master herself. But the training does not end there. The darkness is ever present, waiting for discipline and vigilence to desolve so that it can take hold and bring destruction. Bladesong is not her profession, it is her life-blood. Alright everyone, time to dive right into the next challenge. I don't really plan on taking a week zero, because I have lots of momentum going from the last challenge and want to continue with it. I may go a little more lax with nutrition goals during week zero, but only because my birthday is this week. BECAUSE it is my birthday, do not be surprised if things get a little contemplative/reflective around here. Challenge Goals: Body of a Agile Swordswoman - (STR) Strength and Agility: Bodyweight workouts 3x/week - (DEX) Balance and Coordination: Yoga and/or stretching 3x/week - (CON) Stamina: 20min+ walks 4x/week - (CON) Nutrition: Avoid processed sugar 6 days/week - (CON) Hydration: Drink 64 oz of water per day Mind of a Scholar - (INT) Intelligence: Read 6 books - (INT) Intelligence: Complete 5 modules of certification course - (CHA) Career Knowledge: Complete Digital Marketing Course part 3 - (INT/WIS/CON) Focus: Meditate 6 min per day, 5x per week Upping the difficulty a little bit from last challenge, but not much. Just want to make it slightly more challenging to keep it interesting, without making it overwhelming.
  6. I'm Back!!! Wow, has it really been a couple years since I've been here?!? So much oddness has gone on in the time since we all last were together. Ups, downs, lots of things going sideways but every so often you need to revisit things that have worked in the past. At least until I figure out exactly how everything is going to go with this, it's best to start with what I've got planned and what I want to do. Why didn't I just stay in the car?! Over the course of 2018 I had run my life with one New Year's Resolution: to be at least 12 lbs lighter than I was when I started the year. Jan 1 2018 I was 336.2... when I started this year I was at 322 even, a total loss of 14.2 lbs! That was exciting because I was able to keep up that goal for the entire year and keep it. My overall goal right now for 2019 is to do the same, be 12 pounds lighter at the end of the year to bring me to 310 while working on getting myself down to a more personally acceptable weight. With this respawn point I think it's time to actually start this year's weight loss with doing some actual work (somehow I lost the 14 pounds by shear luck/minor motivation/Pokemon Go/less snacking). Let's get down to some action! Goal 1: Caliber vs. Momentum Since I've just been lollygagging my way through 2018 I really didn't get to doing much activity-wise except for the few weeks both prior to and post moving back to my old stomping grounds in Metro Detroit. Minus the occasional walk at the local park with our dog (well, former dog ) I didn't really do all too much to work my body over the year. Time to change all that. Whether it be homebound or at the workout center in my complex (yeah, have one of those, NEVER used it) I need to get moving a minimum of twice a week. Yes, I could push myself to doing more but let's start simply and realistically. Goal 2: Caliber vs. the Kung Pao Chicken Food!! The great and glorious.... mixed blessing. We all need fuel to keep ourselves going but with the varieties that are out there it's sometimes (LOTS of times) difficult to keep myself on the straight and narrow. With a direct plan of finding, getting together and trying one new meal a week is a goal that will help me hone my cooking skills again (as long as I can stop burning Eggs in a Basket) Goal 3: Calibre vs. the Money Pit DEBT!!! Why does it always have to be debt?! Snakes, debt, same thing Dr. Jones! They are both mean, deadly and tend to bite you right on the backside when you're not looking. So, minor thing and this'll take more time that just one challenge but it'll be to do things that will help improve my credit score as well as reduce my overall debt. The start of this challenge will be great for this for several reasons that are occurring now. More on that later!
  7. 2019 was to be a year of crushing all the things. Unfortunately, I need to heal up my ribs before I can do more. So, this challenge is going to be about trying to keep exercising whilst not overdoing it so I can heal. Additionally, I will need to play closer attention to diet and stress relief as I won't have my usual crutch as it were of HIIT and running for a while. Bah! Tis no fun! So, here's the plan for the first challenge of 2019: Walk on a regular basis. Without the running and HIIT, I need some amount of exercise. The dog will be my friend with these. At least 5 walks per week. Determine what exercise I can do with this rib injury and do it. At least 3 times a week. Control the carbs. Not as much margin for error while everything heals. I really need to be strict about keeping my net carbs under 70g per day. Silent time. I did pretty good with this the last challenge. I need to keep it up. 10 minutes a day all to myself for prayer, reflection, meditation, etc. Secret goal. I'm going to work on a project I've been thinking of for a while. It's time to do it. I will hopefully have it ready for unveiling by the end of the challenge. There you have it. That's how I'm starting out 2019. Getting healthier and setting up for a winning year.
  8. Hey there, I finally made it back again (again) and aim to stick around for a bit longer again, squeeeee This will be a proper respawn as not only did I take a break on forums, my less to little training slimmed down to none, which still shocks me tremendously and my body lost any hard achieved slimness instead (which kind of makes sense) It got so bad, I finally did the thing and set foot into a fitness studio (gasp). Not that there is anything wrong with regular fitness studios, but they really aren't my thing at all, so this is my first time contract with a studio ever. In my defense it's a pretty cool fitness studio though. It's got all those different stations for circuit training, free weights, boxing bag to punch, sling trainer or whatever it's called for assisted pull ups or rows, ropes to swing, medicine balls, and the like. There's only two treadmills and two rowing machines for warm up, no other machines and the mood is very different to what I have glimpsed from in regular studios. So I decided to give it a go Main reason is that hubby goes there (or used to and is respawning with me now) and we can go together, yay. For starters the trainer took an hour to show me around and spot me on the currently set up circuit training, plus he weighed me with one of those fancy things, taking body fat percentage etc and ... well, it confirmed what I already knew: too much fat, not too much muscle and too little water to top it off, meh. My metabolic age would be 7 years older than I am In numbers: weight 70,5kg of which 24,7kg is fat (35%) and 43,5 kg is muscle the water percentage was at 46,4 % which is apparently way too little for women My BMI is at 25,6 All in all this doesn't seem so horrible, but being someone who used to be underweight while eating whatever I wanted for half my life, it feels horribly wrong. Time to get active again! I've done it before (am practically at the weight again I had when I started with pole training in 2013), so I can do it again. I can't afford pole classes right now and am frustrated how much I can't do anymore, so why not try a different tack. Action Plan for workouts is simply: - go to the fitness studio 2x / week and workout with the circuit training for at least 2 rounds (until I manage 3, then 3 rounds) This isn't very much, but I figured, if I keep it that simple, but really do it for the next 3 months, when it comes time to step on that fancy scale again, numbers should look different already. Best of all, I should feel different! If not in size, at least in stamina and strength again. Ideally, I will expand this to a third workout per week at home with the pole and see how I can get myself to have some fun there again. For now I'm glad if running up the stairs to catch the phone doesn't have me wheezing Now I know diet is the bigger part for the weight balance and to have a simple strategy there, I will PROCRASTINATE. Sneaky, right? Something I am good at anyway Seriously though, counting calories is simply not my thing, I don't keep up with it and I can't believe it as a necessity. Rather I will focus on what to eat and especially when to eat instead of counting how much. You can't call it intermittent fasting really, it's not as drastic as that, I'm rather easing into it somewhat. Action Plan for improving my food intake: - eat less often, meaning max 3 meals / day and having at least 12 hours no food intake over night, ideally more - eat more healthy fats and veggies, meaning feeling full with less carbs - drink at least 2 Liters of water / day I started doing this (not the water part, but the other two) for about 10 days now and went from an average of 73 kg down to 71 kg (the 70,5 at the fitness studio were a happy surprise low) with a few cm circumference less as well. Both came off within the first few days and have stagnated since. I want to see what happens over a longer time. The third ingredient for this challenge is upping my pride, joy and happiness. For some reason I keep slipping into phases of procrastination, distraction and waste time where I had originally planned some cool (or necessary) action. This is very unsatisfying long term. I feel guilty about it, frustrated with myself and in my bad mood look for more distractions to make myself feel better. Late at night I am full of good intentions and ambitious plans, once the kids are at school and I would have the time to get started, it all fades away into various modes of procrastination and hiding. It's become a habit and it's time to kick it! That's all there is to it. So the third part of my challenge will be counting battle points against the procrastination monster: - every time I am tempted to not do something (delay or skip or whatever) and do it anyway it's a point for me - every time I don't do something I know I would prefer having done, the procrastination monster wins a point First win: I finally set up a challenge again
  9. Yesterday I ran my second half marathon (YAY!). I enjoyed it and may a third some time, but it meant that I had to dedicate most of my summer to being a Scout. I like running, but I am not a Scout. I am most definitely a Ranger and having to stay focused on one discipline to that extent made me antsy. So for this challenge, I'm going to catch up again on some of my other preferred methods of exercise that have been getting neglected lately: Adventure If I were to leave the guild (which isn't going to happen) I would probably be an Adventurer. There is nothing I like as much as spending a few hours in the woods. I haven't been doing much of this lately, which has not escaped the notice of my four-footed trail buddy. We've been walking around the neighborhood, but for this challenge we're going to get back out in the wilderness. I want to get in 25 hiking miles this challenge, for 1 point per mile. for the purposes of this challenge, a hike must involve driving to a trailhead and following a marked trail. Assassin At some point I think I'd like to get a gym membership and try some weightlifting, but for now I'm enjoying the Academy bodyweight workouts, so I'm going to be an assassin for a little while longer and stick with my pullup bar and resistance bands. I took a break from the Academy for a while because I couldn't get past level 5, but I just figured out how to do wall walks without hurting my elbows, so I'm excited to get back to it. I don't want to overload myself so I'm going to shoot for 2 workouts a week, which works out to 3.125 points per workout. Druid I'm not great at meditation, and while I'll file that away in my Things to Work On Someday box, my inner druid will be working on yoga this challenge. I have a NF yoga account, so I'll use that for one yoga session a week. 6.25 points per session. Monk I don't really have any interest in sparring, but I do enjoy a good heavy bag workout. It's a ridiculous cardio workout and it's fun. I'm going to shoot for one of these a week as well so another 6.25 per workout. Loot It's hockey season again! 80 points nets me a ticket to watch the Penguins!
  10. Oh! My! God! I'm addicted to Stardew Valley on the Nintendo Switch. (And I binged too much on Friends...) And as I struggled a lot during the last challenge it seems reasonable to "escape my ordinary life" and respawn in... I'll throw around the buzzwords fundamentals, priorities and assessment. I need to simplify things a bit, but I also want to wokr on the things that are important. And I want to find out what I'm capable of without trying too hard. Hence, the goal is to simply track my behaviour in week 0 and then I try to do more in the subsequent challenge weeks. Everything's unhurried. I'll use the five skills from Stardew Valley for five different areas and I will keep track of particular task via various items. That means: Lots of pictures! Farming Farming is about "active meditation". I enjoy walking and running as exercise but their major benefit is psychological. And as I struggle to meditate "ordinarily" I will try to increase my "time spent moving my legs" trying to see it as more mental than physical training. For this skill I can collect Coffee Beans for walking at least 30 minutes without purpose. I.e. going to the grocery store doesn't count. And Hot Peppers when I go for a run. Mining Mining is about getting stuff done for work. I can collect a Diamond for every page I write for my thesis. And I get a Ruby when I successfully work on my handwriting recognition software. Foraging Foraging is about food. I will track my weigth and my calorie intake daily and I earn a Field Snack for every day I stay below 2500 kcal. Probably I'll reduce this number gradually... And I get a Fiddlehead Fern for every day I only drink 3 cups of coffee. Fishing Fishing means doing something relaxing an enjoyable which is still beneficial. So, this means here I tackle my biggest problem: my hobbies. I get a Squid when I draw something, a Stone Fish for studying/playing Go, a Rare Disc for working on my RPG, a Lost Book for reading or studying Polish and a Clam for practising/playing the guitar Combat Combat is about, well, fighting. Or rather being fit enough too fight. I earn a Rock Crab for every time I go bouldering. And I earn a Shadow Brute whenever I do my bodyweight training (as intense as my back allows). ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As always I try to post here daily in order to keep my scores accurate. Let's get this challenge started!!
  11. Hello all, I’d previously completed about one and a half Challenges here at the end of last year. Then my final semester at university and my health challenges got the better of me. I didn’t really backslide from anything that I had accomplished, and I successfully graduated in May, so I wouldn’t really say I’m respawning. I guess I was just falling through the world for a while. Anyway, I’m excited to be back and to pick up where I left off, but thought I would post in the Level 1 Challenge section while I get back into the flow of things (if that is all right). Me: I’m a 39 year old female with about 13 more pounds to lose to get to my goal weight (Epic Quest 1). I also really need to rebuild strength and flexibility lost due to serious problems I experienced over 2 years ago with Crohn’s Disease (Epic Quest 2). My 3rd Epic Quest is to successfully complete the CPA exams and become certified. 4 Week Challenge Goals: Diet Goal: Reduce trend weight by 2 pounds for the month (by logging all food in MFP and maintaining an 1800 calorie deficit each week). Fitness Goal: Complete 3 bodyweight strength sessions each week. I am using a program called Body By You by Mark Lauren. It is similar to his YAYOG program, but has more structure and smaller progressions. Life Goals: Start applying for the first section on the CPA exam with my state accountancy board. Try free trials for the 4 most interesting looking CPA review programs. Good luck to everyone on their challenges!
  12. OOC: For a quick and dirty introduction that's still in development: Lorcan Cuirc. I'm not new to Nerd Fitness, or even the Rebellion Forums to be accurate (though I haven't participated much in the last year). But, I am coming at this as if I am brand-spanking-new. Any helpful suggestions or advice would be much appreciated. I read the book in two days last summer and instantly LOVED the concept of gamifying my goals. I've been applying it inconsistently since. Now, after some life events I've decided to really look at myself, my life & goals, and rebuild. That's why I'm here and willing to really commit to this method and group. For Favourites: Hobbies: Reading and cooking, but working on starting a couple more. A potential hobby is woodworking (furniture). TV Shows: I really enjoyed Supernatural, Game of Thrones, and Parks & Rec. But I barely watch TV or movies at this time. Games: Skyrim and Fallout 4 were amazing. And I really liked Farcry Primal. Again, I barely play anything at this time. Main Quest: Begin to (re)discover and grow myself spiritually, mentally / emotionally, and physically. Quest 1: Start the NF Paleo diet at level 4. Quest 2: Continue with Couch to 5k from week 3 on alternate days from NFBW. Quest 3: Start NF Bodyweight program on alternate days from C25K. Quest 4: Continue daily reading and practicing Stoicism and other similar philosophical and spiritual programs. IC: Prologue: A Spark Catches the Spirit At the end of yet another long, exhausting workday, Lorcan tiredly sloshes through the mud as he makes his way through the streets and alleys towards home. Reaching a small shack made up of scrap aluminum, steel, and wood, he gratefully swings the splintering door open and steps inside out of the cool evening into a warm place in the world - HIS warm place. The small, leaky shack is on the marsh's edge in the dregs of town. The most dangerous, most unpredictable part of town - and part of people - is just steps away. But in here, he's relatively comfortable and safe, grinning sleepily at his floor mattress, the 'new' comfy pillows he traded 4 fish for laying on top of it, and the cookfire in front of him, he closes the door behind him enthusiastically and starts stoking to warm up some "mystery meat and I think they were vegetables" stew before turning in for the night to repeat it all again tomorrow. Plopping down on a rickety old chair as the cookfire flames flicker back to life, he begins to reassess things. With little to no sleep, the buzz of concerns, ideas, and to-do's mixed with personal affirmations to stay focused, stay in control of his emotions and perspectives, and put one foot in front of the other, are all but overwhelming. With a deep inhale through the nose and slow exhale through the mouth after a brief hold, as a now dead mentor had taught him to do two decades ago when stress starts to mount as it would when about to get into a physical confrontation, his mind calms, his body relaxes slightly, and he is refocused on the moment. He then systematically wonders how he ended up in this state of affairs: born to a middle-class family he was an athlete in his youth blessed with schooling where reading, writing, history, math, economics, and philosophy were made available to him; then a young but promising officer in the army; then a series of injuries; a series of failed relationships, the last one the closest to real love yet but he couldn't see it when it was there, when she was there; estranged from his dysfunctional family for so long he may as well be an orphan; the only close friend left that knows him in any depth lives far away - the rest were killed in action; and now a labourer in crop fields, rain, snow, or shine, so far north it's a wonder crops grow here at all, and so remote it's a wonder there are people here to buy them. He snaps out of reminiscing and can't help but laugh to himself about the futility of having regrets or trying to find blame instead of looking at now and how to grow and move forward. Then he realizes, and is grateful, his mind and feelings went that direction, and not towards self-pity and anger, or worse, fear. The stew bubbles thickly, reminding his stomach to complain and growl loudly, and he ladles himself a full bowl, devouring it almost as fast as it was poured. Dousing the cookfire back to small flickering whips of fire, he crawls into bed and lays on his back staring at the ceiling and into space. He whispers a quick prayer to the Goddess Morrigan thanking her for helping him endure, for testing him within his means and to continue to, for everything. And, finally, does a quick review of his new plan. With an optimistic smile, he falls asleep.
  13. Hello fellow nerds! After reading Nerd Fitness for a couple years now I have decided to join in on the fun! I just graduated from university this past spring, moved a few thousand kilometers away from home for a job, but now that I'm settled in I want to start making fitness more of a priority! I used to work out fairly consistently but (like so many others) have fallen off the wagon these past few months. But it's time for that to change. I'll outline my goals below and make a more detailed post later once I figure out the details! Main Quest: To stay consistent and live a healthy lifestyle (eating healthy/training regularly) Sub Quests: (1) Eat healthy with 1-2 cheat meals every week (lots of veggies, nuts/seeds, eggs, lean proteins, lots of water, etc.) (2) Train 3-4 times a week (circuit based workouts) (3) Listen to Level Up Your Life by Steve Kamb (Audiobook) I'll also track take pre- and post-challenge measurements to see my progress (being an engineer I like numbers!) Anyway that's it for now, feel free to post feedback, suggestions, etc.!
  14. So here we are again. I'm a bit late posting this challenge. I had two other challenge ideas to choose from for this round, and they were both great, but I haven't been feeling it enough to take the plunge. I took my longest break from working out in AGES over the past two weeks. I had a headache/spine pain issue for a week, during which I managed one sort of half workout before accepting that I couldn't handle working out in that state. Then by the time it faded I was on vacation without a plan because I hadn't known if I would recover enough to even be able to do ANYTHING so I wasn't prepared. I managed two runs during the two week period, and that's it. And the first week was 100% justified, but the second week was on me. And that's really sort of infuriating. I worked out 3x/week + runs EVERY WEEK for an entire year last year, even on vacation. and this year I just can't seem to get it together. Yeah, I have a wrist problem that's getting in the way, but that's not enough to account for all of the trouble I've been having. And when I don't work out, I start to feel terrible. I feel weak and my life feels out of control and my emotions feel out of control and every little thing feels like it can break me apart. I feel like I'm just going to keep slipping until I totally lose all of my progress completely. I start to feel like my whole life is coming apart. And I'm not ok with that. So today I did a bodyweight workout at home. And this song came on. And I pushed through. And it was a start. A lot of the problem is just mental. I'm frustrated with the things getting in the way of progress, so I avoid doing even the things I CAN do, and that makes my progress even worse. It's a vicious cycle. So this is going to be my challenge theme instead of the other stuff I was planning. My body keeps telling me no. I feel tired and bloated. My wrist hollers if I try to put weight on it. My shins rebel when I increase running mileage. I want to take about 200 naps per day and drown all of my problems in tv and sleeping. But screw that. I felt on top of the world when my workouts were going well, and I'm not going to let my body's creaking take that away from me. So this challenge is all about refusing to be defeated. If my last challenge was about channelling some inner peace, then this challenge is about channelling some SCREW THIS. The Year So Far For my challenges this year, I decided to focus on one single habit per challenge instead of doing the usual 3+ goals / challenge. There are 10 challenges in 2017 so I can potentially establish 10 new healthy habits over the course of the year. Challenge 1 - walking daily / aiming for 16 miles/week - is still going strong. I score usually in the 12-16 mile range per week and I walk most days, which is acceptable. Challenge 2 - morning routine - this took a while beyond the actual duration of the challenge, but I have a kickass morning routine now. I started doing it again as soon as I got home from vacation, which is the sign of a great routine. And I even did a modified version of it while I was ON VACATION, which is an even greater sign that it's the right thing for me. Challenge 3 - I had a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch every day to see if this would create a healthy basis for the rest of my eating. It unfortunately didn't stick because I started experimenting with skipping breakfast instead, which I prefer and have continued doing since I started. Challenge 4 - Guardian. I focused on being productive at work and approaching my mental wellbeing from the perspective of the guardian archetype. Getting work done = being a guardian for people. Being a guardian = personal fulfillment. It's been hit or miss, but it does help on the days that I do it. I do a little mantra on work mornings to help focus on being a guardian, and I think this one will get more effective as I continue to practice it. Today I went on a walk and stopped to pull some cardboard out of the street that was in the path of the cars. #guardianedit Challenge 5 - I was feeling frustrated and negative instead of celebrating my accomplishments, so I banned any updates that weren't basking. I could only talk about the things that I basked in and I couldn't talk about the things I was feeling down on myself about. This made a big impact on me and helped me reset my mindset. Now of course I feel frustrated by the vacation/sickness break and I'm sharing that as part of the explanation for this challenge, but I ALSO plan to continue basking as a habit going forward. Challenge 6...this challenge. See below. It feels silly to approach this challenge since I already had this habit down. And I still work out weekly, so it's not exactly...NOT a habit either. I feel sort of ashamed to be tackling this again. Or rather, I feel like I'm breaking the imaginary "rules" of my 10 new habits experiment. Which is silly. And, y'know, a master has failed more times than a beginner has even tried. So my goal is to work out 3x/week. Work out = bodyweight, HIIT, or other strength training. Yoga, running, etc. are all good but not workouts in this context. I want AT LEAST 2 of those workouts to be my standard bodyweight routine. The 3rd is usually bootcamp class, but since I haven't been going to that lately, I might sub in a basic BBWW for that 3rd.
  15. I suppose you could say I'm here as a mentor? (If that doesn't sound too pretentious or anything...) I've done a good number of challenges, not always successful, not always at my best, and rarely in one guild for too long. A bit of an introduction would probably be good... (It's spoilered because it's long and a bit of a brain dump, and some people already know a lot of it.) So I've narrowed it down to four goals to focus on this time around. I'm also grading this challenge, which I haven't done in awhile. Hydrate Drink at least two liters of fluid five times a week. Engage Post at least once on this thread and on someone else's thread five times a week. Hunt Work on job hunting stuff at least four times a week. Explore Go outside and explore at least once a week. Grading Each success will count as 1 point. So, if I 100% this, that makes 15 points a week, for a total of 60 points. Bonus points are also possible. Rewards are to be determined. I have to be creative since I can't really buy much. A+ = 65 or higher A = 60 - 64 B = 50 - 59 C = 40 - 49 D = 30 - 39 F = 29 or lower
  16. The Mystique of Terra I choose Mystique because I am needing some changes in my life and who better to be my spirit animal this challenge that the mutant who can become anyone she wants to be, yet just wants to be herself. Yes she can be nasty, but she can be caring too. I find Mystique to be a fascinating character so this should be fun, eh? Mutant powers! The Mutant power of Metamorphosis - I need to make some changes!. So I take this challenge to begin my metamorphosis into my amazing self! These will be simple goals, little things that need to become habits so I don’t have to think about them anymore. 1. Walk the stairs – I’m going to start parking in the parking garage (3rd floor) and my office in on the fourth floor. That equals 5 flights down and 5 flights up every weekday at a minimum with more flights likely. 2. Core and Conditioning class –This is a bodyweight and light dumbbells class that can be an tough yet awesome workout. I really need to get my schedule down so that I can get to this class. Its three days a week but Monday and Wednesday class is right after my BJJ class. This means that food planning and prep is necessary these nights so my family can eat or do final prep while I stay for this class. I’ll just take a two-hour lunch on Friday to get both the BJJ and C&C class done! 3. Walk, hike and run! - Walk and hike with the dogs. I really have no excuses now, the snow has melted away and the trails aren’t muddy anymore. I can walk out the back gate of my yard and drop down into the canyon that had dozens of different trails. As for the running I just need to get out once a week and try to move a little faster. I’m going to schedule myself a Sunday run-day starting out slow but trying to build up my speed and distance. April 9th will be the RunForHer 5k event and I will register (With my Titanium Mickey). Don’t care about my time but I want to do this as a starting point. In July we will be doing another 5k and I hope to see lots of improvement by then. Other more human skills that Mystique has: Master Combatant – As always this is my BJJ class! There are 6 days of classes every week. If I can make 3 or more I’m happy! Expert Marksman – To become an expert marksman it takes years of focus, time and energy. Shooting is a messy and expensive hobby. I learned how to shoot from my parents and grandfather, all of whom have won local, state and national championships. I don’t shoot much anymore. However, there are other things that are important in my life now and they need my focus, time and energy. So I will get those tasks in my sights, aim carefully and pull the trigger to get them done!!! 1. Do something with the yard – Our mutts are wreaking havoc in our yard. We have a large back yard and right now it looks a bit lie the surface of the moon with all the holes and lack of grass. We need to create a dog run for the mutts so that we can have a human useable backyard! We will also be looking for quotes to have the rest of the yard fixed so we can attempt to grow grass and do some landscaping. 2. Plant a garden – I love fresh grown veggies. I have a little garden space that wasn’t used at all last year. Not everything can be planted outdoors yet, but I need a garden plan in place. I will plant what can be planted. And If I choose to start plants from seed indoor I will do that too! (Kale can be planted outside now, tomatoes not till May 15-ish) 3. De-clutter something – In addition to a beautiful yard I would like beautiful indoor spaces too. I will clean and de-clutter some space in my house. 4. Paint – I went to a class to learn how to paint aspen trees a couple weeks ago and now I want to paint something for myself! (PS: not artistic here at all, I have to try really hard to make thing non-symmetrical! I have two ideas of what I want to paint. I want to paint aspen trees for my living room and then a tryptic of abstract Disney references for my dinning room!) BONUS -> Multilingual – I have started playing with Duolingo and will continue. My girls both want to learn French and I took some French way back when, so all of us will start leaning it now. Any suggestions of CD language programs that we can use in the car while we drive would be much appreciated! THANKS! I am skipping a food goal this challenge. I am working with my doctor and have a plan with her that is close to what I would normally eat but that is subject to changes.
  17. Hello! I am a French nerd, living in Belgium. I am not new here but I set my last challenge a while ago! Today, I weight 89 k (about 196 pounds) and I am already hitting the gym at least 3 times a week (thanks to a personal trainer). I said goodbye to 20 pounds in the past 4 months. I would like to keep up the good work, especially with my eating habits for which I definitely could use accountabilty. Why do I need help? I spend the last 3 weeks eating unhealthy food. I am not making a big deal of it because I understood why this happened. However, it's not a behaviour that will help achieve my goals. So I just want to go back to the healthy habits I developped in order to ultimately reach the goal of being light! I need accountability because I don't have real life friends who like working out, or who are paying attention to what they eat. I hope that I'll be able to find the support that I need here in the forums! My long-term goal I would like to wear a eur size 40 (I am at a size 44 now) and weight 79 kg (175) and sustain it. I want to be light in my head, in my body and in my heart. My challenge goal : I'd like to lose 4 kilos and most importantly, my challenge will be a success if I managed to eat paleo 80 % of the time ! (aka 2 non-paleo meals a week) Goal 1 : Journaling 4 days a week It's important for me to voice out whatever I feel and think for my mental sanity. I've been doing this for the past 15 days, everyday and I see how beneficial it has been for me. So I want to keep it this way. Since I tend to eat when things are not going the way I want, I choose to insert journaling as a fitness goals. Goal 2 : Follow my paleo eating plan and no snacking I created a plan with healthy snacks around 16 or 17 if I am hungry (mainly carrots and veggie dips). I am allowed to 2 exceptions a week if I want. Kryptonite : my thoughts and the lack of accountabilty. So I really need you guys! Goal 3 : Accomplish 2 BW training sessions and 2 cardio Actually, my secret goal is to move my body as much as I can. I bike to place, and I intend to find a dance/body expression class I could join because I feel that my body needs this. However, I chose to keep up the exercise session at the gym because they make me happy. Life Goal : Read the book Better Person - Gretchen rubin This book has very interesting insights on how we form habits and most importantly, how to sustain them! I think that it's a good read for this challenge I will update tomorrow with measures ! Looking forward to reading your challenges!
  18. "If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned, if you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you, even for an instant, then our hero will surely perish." Hello Assassins *bowing head*, I have been following you all and look forward to earning a place among your ranks. Recent, catalytic events have created an impetus for me to focus on my health, fitness, and mindfulness. And so, the journey has begun due to forces far beyond my control and I will rise up to meet them. Growing Stronger (fitness): I have a wonderful matrix I created to measure my str *pushes glasses up nose*, but I need to test myself to find out what my limits are. Week 1: AMRAP- push-up/sit-up/pull-ups; 300m sprint for speed Week 2: 2 mi speed trial Week 3: 5 mi speed trial Week 4: 500m swim for time *might drown* Bonus side quests: yoga 2x per week; bodyweight workout 2x per week; run 1x per week. Eat the Soup (diet): I need to get better at meal planning to avoid defaulting to unhealthy staple meals and eat more veggies. So the general weekly goal will be to add one planned day per week so that by the end of the challenge I am meal planning for four days per week. Defeat your Demon (boss #1): I have an addiction that has held me back for years. I'm throwing it on here for my own accountability but will spare the details unless someone is really curious and they can PM me. Regardless, if I fail in all other areas of the challenge but succeed here, it will be a success. Ain't nobody got time for that. Finish the Story: So...my catalytic event. My dad was just diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and I feel driven to capture his story before it fades into darkness. He is already mid-stage and there is no telling what that timeline will look like. The tragedy to me is that he has been a storyteller his whole life and my children may never hear about his experiences if they are not captured. The challenge will be to: Write or recount a story/memory from my Father's life every other day. Cheers. ~Six
  19. Last year, my bf and bought our first house and moved there. It was exhausting and very stressful, but in the end, we do live in a nice house now. We still have to do a lot, but at least there are no deadlines anymore :). Now that I have time to think about what I want again, I decided to respawn here for a new challenge. My bike-commute has almost doubled to 9.5km (~6 miles) each way, and the climbing gym is even farther away. Still, I want to keep up using my bike as main transport mode AND keep rock climbing twice a week. Moreover, I want to become stronger, more flexible and more relaxed. This is what I'm going to focus on this year. January goals: - hold a forward fold with hands flat on the ground - sit in a deep squat - do 10 consecutive push-ups with arms parallel to my body - follow along a "yoga for abs" youtube clip at the end of the month without pausing - find a place to train for pull-ups January missions: - Do 4 stretches of GMB's focused flexibility every day. In weeks 1 and 2, this will be the modified downward dog (mainly calves), kneeling lunge with foot elevated (quadriceps and hipflexors), seated forward fold (calves and hamstrings) and half pancake (latissimus dorsi and lower back). After 2 weeks, I'll choose new stretches. - Practice yoga at least 2 times per week. This can be anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes, any style, any time. - Do push-ups and core exercises at least 2 times per week. My back is already doing a lot of work when climbing, so I need to work the opposite side as well to prevent injuries. Currently, I can do 3x5 push-ups, and hold a 40s plank. For core work, I will mainly focus on abs and obliques. At some point in the future, I want to be able to hold an L-sit, which requires core strength and pushing strength.
  20. Hello all, I actually signed up a week ago and have started a personal challenge in the Rebel area, but figured I should introduce myself. Long story, I’m a 38 year old female and I’d been able to maintain a healthy weight of about 125 to 130 my entire adult life until about a year and a half ago. That’s when the intermittent abdominal pains I’d been having stopped being so . . . intermittent and I noticed I was losing my appetite. I made a doctor’s appointment but, of course, the soonest they had available was three weeks out. About a week later my clothes were so loose I could pull my (non-stretchy) pants off without undoing them first so I stepped on the scale and my weight was down to 116. That, combined with the fact I could no longer even look at food despite feeling hungry, led me to the emergency room. A CT scan showed massive amounts of abdominal inflammation. I was admitted to the surgery ward and put on fluids and multiple antibiotics. For the first three days they were fairly convinced I had a ruptured appendix, but it turns out it was Crohn’s Disease (two of my uncles have Crohn’s so I was familiar with it, I was really rooting for the ruptured appendix). Nine days later I was released, still on antibiotics with an additional 100mg of Prednisone per day and weighing 112 pounds. Being on a high dose of Prednisone for four months really did a number on me. That stuff is like kryptonite for humans. Anyway, the Prednisone combined with the very rapid weight loss I’d had, and the fact I was still very sick for quite a while after getting out of the hospital, really destroyed a lot of my muscle mass. Then there were the side effects of the biologics I’ve been put on for long term control and the rather counterintuitive diet changes I’ve had to make (veggies and fiber are bad now!). About 3 months ago I weighed in at 145, just into the “overweight” category on the BMI charts. I was still feeling pretty crappy in general but just couldn’t deal with being in such bad shape, so I started tracking on MFP and have managed to lose 9 pound in that time. Now I’m trying to introduce a bodyweight routine to maintain what little muscle I have left while I lose the last 11 pounds. I really like the challenge format of NF and think it will help me keep on track. Hopefully once I lose the weight, I can use NF to help me rebuild some of my lost muscle and get a little closer to my pre-Crohn’s self. Short story, I was a healthy weight until a year and a half ago when I got really really sick with Crohn’s Disease. I lost a bunch of weight, and then gained a bunch and got slightly fat. I’ve lost about 9 of 20 pounds in the last three months and am hoping to utilize NF to help me lose the rest and to maintain/rebuild my muscle mass. Anyway, I’m not normally so long winded but I figured I’d get that all out there just this once. Thanks everyone!
  21. Yep. Time management. The one and only goal for this challenge. And here's why: I suck at it. And my life is going to become a chaotic mess if I don't make it a priority. November has brought a lot of change into my life, and December will do the same. Early in November, I started new medication (wellbrutrin). And that was after finding out that I was misdiagnosed with ADHD. Midway through the month, I started seeing a therapist for CBT. And now here, at the end of it, I landed a new job. Yeah, something finally came out of all that work that started all the way back in the summer. But there is a twist. This new job doesn't pay as much as my current job. At least not yet. And my current job barely pays the bills. So now I will be working two jobs. Yay? And to top it all off, I struggle with depression and social anxiety. In short, I'm going to have a real tough time with the new job until I get used to the place/people. Plus, I tend to get grumpy this time of year. It just irritates me so much that practically everyone assumes that I celebrate Christmas. I don't. And it doesn't help that when I try explaining my reasons most people try to give me reasons why my reasons are silly (i.e. not valid). So, I have to balance two jobs, therapy, workouts, making the apartment not look like a wreck, leisure/fun time, creative pursuits, and quality time with my wife. All while keeping my sanity. I hope I didn't leave anything out, because that's already a lot. (EDIT: I forgot basic self-care maintenance stuff, like remembering to eat, and hygiene.) I can break the goal down into two parts: making a schedule, and following the schedule. I'm sure it can be broken into smaller steps, but I can't see it right now. *Deep breath*
  22. It's time for a new challenge! During the last challenge, I put up the Foxy Business, and the company's kicked off pretty nicely. I learned new things, and it's time to modify the business strategy! Where are we now? I've dealt with a bunch of emotional baggage, and I'm in a better place than two months ago. My stress levels have been very low for many weeks, and I'm noticing a huge change in my energy levels! I don't know how much I weigh, currently, but I'm taking a break from calorie counting and the scale during this challenge. Usually, when I hit 70 kg, my motivation drops - so, if I don't know the number on the scale, I'm only going to have to keep doing my best Where are we going? Towards stronger, healthier, happier me, and beautiful booties. I sometimes have a feeling that my life is pointless, but I now do my very best to see life as a wonderful possibility that's given to me, and I believe that being as healthy as I can will give me more possibilities to do what I want. That's where I'm going! Goal 1: Mental Training The biggest part of my weight loss journey. Every morning, I will dedicate at least 5 minutes to focus on the day ahead of me and visualize the way I want to act in certain situations (such as unexpected treats, not snacking). I'm just going to sit down, close my eyes, and go through a list of things I want to do. Some sort of purposeful meditation, if you will. Goal 2: Nutrition During the last challenge I realized that adding more protein in my diet keeps me filled longer and holds my energy levels high. During this challenge, I will focus on adding protein to my diet, and follow three simple guidelines: no snacking eat mindfully; focus on portion sizes one daily snack allowed, and one bigger treat every week That's it. No calorie-counting, just these three guidelines. ** As you can see, I have two main goals/business strategies in this challenge. In addition, I will do a kettlebell + bodyweight training WO twice a week (didn't make this a goal in case I get sick). DA WORKOUT PLAN (DISCLAIMER: I made up these workouts myself. I'm not a health or fitness professional, and if oyu want to try either of these workouts, you do it at your own risk. Thanks!) I'm gonna do two workouts every week: workout A and workout B. They are circuit workouts that combine kettlebells and strength training exercises. Each workout consists of three rounds. One round lasts 9 minutes: (2 min kettlebell + 1 min strength training) x 3 with 2 minutes of rest between rounds. This means that one workout takes me exactly 31 minutes, plus warm-up and cool-down. Each round has two exercises, A (2 min) and B (1 min). I do these two exercises three times without breaks, which means that one round lasts 9 minutes. WORKOUT A ROUND 1 A: 2 min kettlebell swings B: 10 push-ups AB x 3 ROUND 2 A: 2 min snatches B: 20 deadlifts AB x 3 ROUND 3 A: "stopped" figure-8 B: 20 mountain climbers AB x 3 WORKOUT B ROUND 1 A: 2 min kettlebell swing B: 15 squats AB x 3 ROUND 2 A: 2 min "stopped" figure-8 B: 16 single-leg deadlifts AB x 3 ROUND 3 A: 2 min kettlebell swing B: 30 second plank * AB x 3 *hold the last one as long as you can (DISCLAIMER: I made up these workouts myself. I'm not a health or fitness professional, and if oyu want to try either of these workouts, you do it at your own risk. Thanks!) Let's get this challenge going!
  23. It is time once again to regenerate. It's been a fun run in this body, but seriously it's time to go... but one can hope I'm going to end up with a much healthier model. Maybe ginger? This time around I'm going to try to keep it simple, we'll not be saving the world, just taking in the sights, getting acquainted with my companion(s) and see if we can survive. Step One: Nutrition After a regeneration it is important to get the right nutrition - I will be doing the elimination diet again this challenge. I was sooooo close last time I tried, almost made it to the end, and choked 2 days before the reintroduction phase and went wild on alcohol and sweet treats. This time in order to keep on track more, I will be posting my meals on youfood daily still, but also keeping a detailed journal about how I am feeling. I will also be making a reintroduction plan to make sure once I get to the end I know in what order I'm doing things. scoring for this: Each Meal posted on Youfood is worth 1 point with a maximum of 3 pts per day, with a half pt for snacks. bonus point at end of week for posting a meal plan on Friday. Step Two: Movement The doctor and his companions are always on the go, running... and running... and dancing... lots of dancing second goal this month is to move every day. on alternating days I'll go between bodyweight workouts designed to help get me ready for aerial silks when I can afford it, and dancing to kpop music. For bonus points I will post a Wednesday bridgeclub photo on Facebook, on Friday I will post a video of my kpop dancing progress. I think this challenge I will continue working on Dope by BTS as this one is seriously killing me. At least once a week I will have a rest day, which will consist of yoga/stretching for flexibility. Scoring: 3 pts for each completed workout (less awarded if not completed, but started), 2 pt for a bridge club photo, 2 points for Kpop Video. Step Three: Rest I just got news today that I will be starting a new job on Sunday night, and it's the first time I will be working 3rd shift. I need to establish a workable sleep schedule to be productive in everything else, so I will be making a goal to wear my cpap to bed every day, and will award myself points for how long I sleep, and bonus points for hacking my sleep. Scoring: 3 pts daily for sleeping 8 hours with CPAP, 2 pts for 6 hours with CPAP, 1pt if below 6 hours or without CPAP. bonus points for these hacks: .5 pt for each time an essential oil is used to aid sleep. 5 points for purchasing blackout curtains and clearing them with landlord. 5 points for purchasing mouth guard, 5 points for purchasing eye mask, .5 pt for using soothing music or white noise. BONUS LIFE GOAL: Cleaning House Each day I will be taking 20-60 minutes to deep clean one aspect of the apartment. We recently had a city inspection which did not go so well, so my landlord is breathing down our necks to get the place cleaned up. Each day I will pick a room or section of a room (such as a set of cabinets, or an oven or closet) to work for 20-60 minutes (depending on the size of the project) and really clean organize and consolidate. I'm tired of living in clutter. For accountability I will take Daily Before and After photos which will be posted once a week for tips, or if there's anything that looks like it may have been missed. This will be a passed goal if at the end of the challenge the apartment is inspection worthy, A/O passes a follow up inspection if we have one in this time.
  24. This battle log will not be daily. But I would like to leave something of my progress behind, just in case someone like me comes along and needs that extra push or second wind. Starsapart was that person for me, and I'd like to be there for someone else! First things first...or perhaps second things second, I am not at my goal. Not by a long shot. At this point in time, I am a novice, just beginning to count the fruits of her labor. I am into my second real 6 week challenge--not including my novice training. And I have told myself, I will give nerdfitness 7 challenges to astound me. But at this point in my journey, I feel like I can offer some words of encouragement to the me from four months ago and her compatriots. 1) Scales are the Devil's work. Abandon hope all yee who approach. The End of Overeating by Dr. David Kessler is worth it's weight in gold. It helped develop my distaste for junk food in a way that spoke to the intellectual in me. Not that I ate badly at all, mind you. Perhaps at my worst, as a child. But if I learned anything in college it was how to eat and eat well. Still, Dr. Kessler's work ended any lingering temptation fast food represented (now a freshly made burger and properly made chips? Nothing wrong with real food my dears). He also revealed to me my triggers. We all have them, even if we are not aware. Triggers that sabotage our efforts, induce us to eat or feel or stress. I had a few I could point out immediately, but the most important one is the scale. The scale was a trigger for me. Even when the number made me happy! I immediately switched to body measurements with a tape. 2) Captain Steve is right, cardio is pointless This isn't to disparage those who are dedicated to it. Cardio does have a time and place. But the benefit you get from cardio, can easily be matched and over come by an intense bodyweight workout with a cardio element. Now I'm not saying HIIT--that word scares me and might scare you--but I have had much more sustainable (not to mention quicker) results swinging a kettlebell or doing jump squats as part of my routine. For those of you in the middle of C25K or Zombies Run!, don't stop. That's building a habit of discipline in you. And showing you how to do something you thought impossible just a few weeks ago. Finish it out. 3) My Fitness Pal will save your life It took me a while to get over my hangups about measuring my food on myfitnesspal. But if I can attribute anything to my success, it is my adoption of this. Using my fitness pal has made the process of weight/inches loss a science, rather than magic. Science is predictable. You can anticipate it. I promise you: If you use this tool, this FREE tool and take up an exercise regimen, you will lose fat, weight, inches etc. Give it one 6 week challenge and if you haven't budged a pound or an inch/cm, you can come find me and punch me in the face. Secondly, buy a food scale--this will make tracking on myfitnesspal literally a child's errand. And finally, my fitness pal has a recipie import feature. If you have a smartphone and you are browsing a lovely website with lovely food, you can share that recipe to myfitnesspal and it will tell you how many calories per serving that lovely food has. If you switch through recipes that you have saved on myfitnesspal and keep under the calorie limit? Fat will flee. 4) Don't forget to stretch and walk I barely have time to stretch. In my first 6WC with the Assassins, I stretched maybe twice. But those two times, especially when I went out for a walk afterwards, I felt amazing. Now, in this challenge, I am working out everyday. I have EVEN LESS time and I am still stretching everyday (I'm working on the walking part). Give yourself 5 minutes. While watching TV. You can time yourself. And if you want to stop after 5, you can. If you don't--which is more likely--then you've just made time to stretch. See how that works? 5) "Don't hate your body. It's just trying to keep you alive" Maaya, or starsapart--a very wise woman--told me these words in my proverbial darkest before dawn moment. If you are healthy, and that is a relative term, if your body is not actively and seriously unwell. If like me, being overweight is the one thing it seems to be doing wrong, then don't hate you body. The difficulty your body is having shedding weight and inches comes from a survival instinct. It's not your body's fault. Your body isn't a malicious being trying to make your life a misery. So be kind to yourself. And then teach your body to thrive. So why Sabriel? Why the Abhorsen saga as the inspiration for my battle log? Well the newly leased warrior in me would say it is because I put the dead down. The dead being dead weight. That I have taken up the fishscale armour, silver key dusted halberd and bell bandolier of my office to hide the tears fat sheds as it wrung from my body (anyone see what I did there?). But in all honesty, and we can be honest here can we not my dears? In all honesty, this is not just a journey to put down fat. I'm putting to rest everything that ever went bump in the nights of my tearful youth, any silly insecurity I ever had, any belief that I can't. I may be the most ignorant Abhorsen in centuries (and pretty old to be starting at 25), but blood is blood and the Charter is the charter. And this Book of the Dead? I hope it will serve as a woot guide for the like minded. If I can do it, anyone can. And that's just me being honest. Does the walker chose the path or the path chose the walker?
  25. Was debating on visiting the rangers this round, but I think the Assassins still fit what my end goals here are, especially since I want to work more on the bodyweight training that I've been struggling to keep up (in large part due to stress) I ramped up most of last month for a Whole 30, which I started today, and so far it's off to a rocky start, as I completely forgot to make breakfast ahead of time last night so I wouldn't have to worry about it this morning (had to get up "early", by my night-shift habits, to help out with some gardening.) Thankfully my lovely friend/adoptive mother 2.0 made me some eggs to go with the fruit I'd shoved in my face running out the door. She just got done with a Whole 30 last month, so she totally gets it Other than that, made a venison stir-fry this afternoon with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and onion, which tastes like a shepherd's pie. Nom The other reason I named this challenge what I did is that my roommate (the one who was using her window as a door, and who hadn't been paying her rent the last several months, along with other tendencies that have been an absolute blast to live with) is getting evicted; I'm hoping she'll be out by the end of the week and I can actually go about getting things done with a lot less stress in my life; it'll be a very tight budget, especially while I'm waiting to find out if I get hired in at work (2 months later, still waiting on interview #2... *sigh*) but even so I'm honestly looking forward to having her out of the apartment, I'll definitely feel a lot safer. I'll hop on here later to put my challenge sections up, since break's over for now.
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