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  1. Introduction What's up nerds? I'm back! I injured my knee a few months ago and have been out of the gym for a while. While my eating habits didn't return to their former awfulness, I wasn't tracking what I ate and it was a party season for my wife and I. The cool thing is that I gained less than 5lbs. Now, I'm seeing a physical therapist for the knee and I'm cleared for all upper body work. Check out my signature for links to my back story and previous challenges. In summary, at my worst I was 250lbs and am currently about 220lbs. I was a devout disciple of StrongLifts 5x5 up until my injury and I follow a variation of the If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) philosophy of dieting. Let's get on with the challenge: Main Quest - Build a Better Body and Find a Better Job Prepare my body for a rigorous strength and size building routine once my knee is healed. I will cut more fat, complete PT, and have my muscles used to lifting again first. Find a new job and do the necessary prep work to land one that will have an excellent ratio of pain to compensation. It's time to move on from my current place. Goal 1 - Counting Calories and Protein Calorie Goal: 1750kcal Protein Goal: 180g I'll be eating in a steep deficit, while getting plenty of protein at approximately 0.81g-protein/lb-body weight. I will evaluate my success by means of two methods: total days logged/total days possible and the percentage of the 20lb weight loss goal that I achieve. Whatever score is higher will determine my grade. Total Possible Stat Gain: +2 CON, +2 CHA - For having a healthier, better looking body Goal 2 - Lifting 3x/week At the recommendation of Chairbrokey in my knee rehab thread, I will be utilizing a modified version of Layne Norton's PHAT Routine. I'll be skipping the leg days in favor of PT and rest. This puts me in the gym 3x/week, and at PT once. Success will be evaluated on workouts and PT completed/workouts and PT possible. Total Possible Stat Gain: +2 STR, +2 STA - This is more volume than I'm used to so STA growth is merited. Goal 3 - Sleep 8 hours/night This one is a simple rule, but a hard one to follow. I need to be in bed by 10:00PM with all electronics off. Mobile games at my bedside make this a challenge. I then need to fall asleep within the hour. I need to wake up at 7:00AM for work, so that will give me the hours I need. This will help me recover from my workouts, give me the energy I need for work, and combined with recently quitting marijuana cold turkey, give me an overall higher energy level. Total Possible Stat Gain: +2 CON - More sleep will lead to better health and energy Goal 4 - Job Search Week 1 - Tweak my Resume and apply to at least 3 jobs All Other Weeks - Apply to at least 3 jobs At 6 apps every two weeks, I'm doing twice what the unemployment office would have me do, but it may still not be enough to land the job I want, so I'll reevaluate mid challenge. This will be rated on completion, with a different stat gain, depending on whether I land a job or not: Total Possible Stat Gain - Job Acquired: +2 WIS, +2 CHA - All Points Gained if Job Acquired - I'll be wiser, but I'll also have new positive energy Total Possible Stat Gain - No Offer: +4 WIS - Score based on 3 job/week criteria - jobs applied to/total possible job applications - I'll definitely be wiser for the effort, even if I don't land the job
  2. Hello Druids. I have come to collect no bounties, but bounties of wisdom. Normally I train with my warrior brothers and sisters, but a knee injury has lead me to more tranquil waters. I injured the knee while locking out a push press. My knee made a loud pop. Unfortunately, it did not hurt that much at the time and I'm new to sports injuries, so I continued to perform heavy squats and deadlifts with it. Now I have an appointment next Tuesday with an orthopedist who specializes in injuries of the knee and spine. The short of the long of it is that I'm not to do any sort of lifting or cardio besides walking until I see the doctor. I have decided to do this challenge as a druid. It's time I performed some introspection and from there, gained wisdom. Main Quest: Develop/kick habits in order to bring my mind into a more healthy and peaceful place for sound decision making, planning, and harmony with others. Additionally, I will strive to come as close to my 199.0lb weight goal as possible. Goal 1. Tracking Calories and Protein for Fat Loss Based off an analysis of the last challenge's data, I will be using the following Calorie limit and protein goal: Calories - 1700kcal Protein - 150g I am 5'10 and 219.0lbs as of yesterday, Sunday, July 27. This puts me at 0.68g of protein/lb of body weight, which is perfectly acceptable. These values are moving targets and will be reevaluated weekly. Success here will be evaluated as a function of days tracked/total days in challenge or weight lost/20lbs, whichever is larger. Potential Stat Gain: +2 CON, +2 CHA Because I'm getting healthier and looking great. Goal 2. Walking OR Whatever Program (If Any) The Orthopedist Prescribes This could go either way. If he tells me that it will heal on its own, I will follow the walking plan. This will be updated to his plan should that become necessary. The elliptical trainer was starting to hurt my knee, but walking around my relatively flat neighborhood does not. Here is the plan I devised: Walking 3x/week Challenge Week 1-2: 30min/session Challenge Week 3-4: 45min/session Challenge Weeks 5-6: 60min/session I will use this as a time to calm my mind and enjoy the outdoors when I am alone and on the times my wife joins me, I will enjoy her company as well. Success here will be evaluated as a function of walks completed/total possible walks Potential Stat Gain: +3 STA My heart rate will definitely get up. Goal 3. Meditation I want to make time for meditation daily. I am excitable, easy to anger, stress prone, and welcome/sometimes seek out conflict. I want to change this because it is having a negative impact on how I feel, how I interact with my wife, how I interact with others in general, and my career. A part of this goal will be to discover effective methods for meditating. The first task will be to research basic meditative methods. Luckily, some NFers already pointed me in the direction of some books and apps. Starting out, I want to meditate for at least 5 minutes/day after work. I may throw in a morning session if I'm feeling adventurous later. It may take longer than this challenge to see big results (I don't know, I'm a newbie druid), but I plan to log the following: Progress made in handling my own emotions (fear, anxiety, anger, jealousy, greed, lust)Progress made in my interactions with my wife (cooperation, give and take, respect, trust)Progress made in my interactions with others (compassion, empathy, fairness, ethics)Progress made in how I view and handle career related tasks and incidents (laziness, problems with authority)Progress made in how I view and handle life chores and errands (laziness)For each day, I will be graded on whether or not I completed the meditation(s), and if I made notes on my reflections. Potential Stat Gain: +4 WIS For opening up and calming down my mind. Goal 3. Tapering off of Marijuana It's like my first challenge, but instead of soda, it's weed! I find that the leaf slows my mind and stifles my personality. It's great for relaxing and gaming, but not for my career, most social interactions, and productivity. Additionally, I had been hacking a lot between heavy lifting sets and this is the obvious culprit. Medical marijuana is legal in The State of California and I do have a recommendation from a doctor, but weed and I need to part ways for a while - a long while. I normally smoke from a bong once in the morning at about 7:30 AM, once immediately after I get home from work at 5:30 PM, and several bowls burn by between then and bedtime at around 10:30 PM. This is the planned taper. Each week's condition stacks with all previous. Week 1: Eliminate Morning Smoke - Except on Weekends Week 2: Can Only Smoke Three Times After Work - No Effect on Weekends Week 3: Can Only Smoke Twice After Work - No Effect on Weekends Week 4: Can Only Smoke Once After Work - No Effect on Weekends Week 5: No Smoking During the Work Week Week 6: No Smoking At All I've quit before to clear a pre-employment exam. I can do it again. Potential Stat Gain: +2 CON +2 WIS For cleaning out my lungs and my mind. That's it for now. This is prime for some revision between now and next Monday. Please, offer me some advice, particularly on meditation if you have some insights. I look forward to chatting with many of you. This seems like a really cool guild and I like the juxtaposition with the rowdy power seeking vibe of my home guild. I have a feeling that I will return as a much more well rounded warrior, and I'm excited as what fruit will bear in my real life. Cheers! Broba
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