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  1. Hi everyone! First time posting as a warrior (I think) and first time posting in a LONGGGG time! I took a break from making health and fitness a priority because I was focusing on school. Well good news, I graduate in 2 months!!! Also good news, I'm getting married next November! In light of my walk down the aisle I want to work on getting my physique back in order. I like lifting heavy and I am definitely interested in overall strength as well as physique. My training style is sort of all over the place right now. I like the concept of training the powerlifting lifts plus accessory work, but the reality is I have workout ADD and can't keep to a regimen. As its been awhile since I've focused on fitness I'm building in some leeway on my workouts. Diet wise, I prefer to keep to a paleo-ish lifestyle. I eat mostly clean with rice, white potatoes, oatmeal and sometimes butter added in without consequence. My pitfall is that I emotionally eat and I love sweets, so I struggle with snack foods like ice cream and candy. Also (as I am a student) caffeine is important to me when I study. I hate coffee and most tea makes my stomach upset. This means when I have to turn to caffeine it's in pop form. I've purchased caffeine pills as an alternative, but taking them is a struggle. I feel like a legit drug addict when I take them! Lastly, on the life front I want to focus on getting back to my social life post school. So my goal will include some extrovert time. Sorry I'm late to the party (I know it started yesterday). I just decided yesterday to get back on track and I was lucky that the challenge had just started. I will post my actual challenge tomorrow when I'm on a computer and not a phone!!
  2. Last challenge I took care of some habits that were starting to worry me, and I'll continue working on them, but I've broken them enough that I can start to focus on other things again. I want some energy – the kind I only really get when I'm active – since last challenge was so focused on mental health I let the exercise flap off out the window, and I'm feeling bloated and sluggish, like a... slug. So this challenge is all built round the things that I know make me feel more like a human being. I MISS COFFEE SO MUCH Goal 1: Cut out caffeine. Had last cup of tea on 11th July. No more at all till end of challenge, in order to sever my dependency on an absurd volume of energy drinks. I've found it's good for me to do a hard reset every few months, so here's to Hell Week. freggies freggies freggies freggies freggies Goal 2: The Usual 1600kcal/day, 5 freggies/day, 1.5l water/day. Goal 3: The Unusual Every weekend, I will do something active that I've not done in a while. Just for an afternoon. The lack of commitment feels much less stressful, and I can afford that because I have commitment in Goal 4. Week 1: Well, this'll be in the middle of Caffeine Crash Hell so let's start off with a gentle walk round the botanic gardens. Week 2: Swimming (Can be swapped with another week if the proverbial sharks descend. If the actual sharks descend, I will just regret not having my camera.) Would be good to swim in a loch or the sea, then I can get my snorkel out. It's my birthday that week, and since I managed to get a little time off work I'm going to North Berwick to do a shark eggcase search on the beach, so there's a good opportunity to splash about. Week 3: Scramble over the rocks on Cramond Island (Can switch with another week if tides are terrible) Week 4: Learn a new kind of dance! (See Gif. Or tango. Does tango have caffeine in it? I miss caffeine so much) (Note: I have resisted Pokemon Go so far. So far. I'm waiting until the initial rush calms down.) Goal 4: Lifting Three mornings a week – whether this takes the form of powerlifting has yet to be seen, but I will be picking up heavy things and putting them down again, because it makes me feel happy and gives me a much-needed sense of achievement. Comes with a protein shake at 200kcal or less that doesn't need to be counted in my daily calorie limit Oh hey, I searched for Idiot Jar and this gif came up from the last challenge I had with an idiot jar. Tracking: Here cometh the return of the Idiot Jar. Sticking £1 in the Idiot Jar at the end of each day for every goal I missed. Money goes to charity at the end of the challenge, preferably through buying something from a charity shop that'll help me with whatever I struggled with most. Alternatively, spend it on something hideous from a charity shop as a reminder that I am an idiot. In addition, this time, since I'm beginning to lose track of what marine animals I've already posted before, you'll get a new journal article abstract, interesting documentary clip, or vaguely reputable magazine article (Nat Geo, New Scientist, etc.) about the sea every time I update. I'm not planning to do accountability group things with the Doodlies this challenge (next time, though) but I am together enough to follow more than a couple of threads this time, so I'm off to try and sub everyone. OR APPARENTLY I'M GOING TO WATCH TRIBUTES TO THE COFFEE ON TWIN PEAKS ON YOUTUBE. My head My poor head
  3. This is my first 4 week Challenge and I'm excited to see how it goes. I have recently started referring to nearly everything I do in terms of Harry Potter. One because I'm listening to the books on my drive to work (1+ hour each way) and two I find that saying Scourgify! to clean the sink doesn't work, but it makes it more fun to get it empty and clean (I have no dishwasher)! That being said I have been tracking a lot of little tasks in my life that I would like to improve. I would like to focus on 4 for the purpose of this challenge. 1. Triwizard Training - running 10 miles a week. Any distance at one time counts toward weekly mileage. Running within another gym class that is not measured, unfortunately doesn't count! 4/4-4/10 -- 7 miles 4/11-4/17 -- 8 miles 4/18-4/24 -- 9 miles 4/25-5/1 -- 10 miles 2. Household Charms - perform the Scourgify charm at least five times a week, promote S.P.E.W. by doing a load of laundry six days a week and perform house hold charms list once a week. Goal: 12+ points a week. (extra points can only be earned if all 3 minimums are met) 3. Walk to Mordor - continue walking to Rivendell. Average 2.5 miles/day in April. 4/4-4/10 -- 2.4 miles, min. 5 days a week 4/11-4/17 -- 2.5 miles, min. 5 days a week 4/18-4/24 -- 2.6 miles, min. 5 days a week 4/25-5/1 -- 2.7 miles, min. 5 days a week 4. Caffeine Intake (Butter Beer) - reduce caffeine intake from ~558mg/day to ~511mg/day or less 4/4-4/10 -- 546mg or less average per day 4/11-4/17 -- 534mg or less average per day 4/18-4/24 -- 522mg or less average per day 4/25-5/1 -- 510mg or less average per day I have a LOOT reward system worked into the spreadsheet I track everything on, but I will earn the following loot related to these goals: - real running sunglasses once I increase to 10 miles a day - barefoot walking shoes that I can wear at work once I reach Rivendell (3/29 I'm at 83.2 miles) - ~300mg/day of caffeine I get more sustainable (read better for the world but way more expensive) coffee - I have no good reward yet for my Charms goals, I'm thinking cute kitchen gear, but my kitchen is tiny and I don't really need more stuff in there - ideas? Since this is my first challenge we will see how often I can give updates - goal: once a week minimum (hopefully more often!) Thanks for reading!!
  4. I've been struggling to be okay lately. I've been under a lot of stress and struggling with anxiety and depression, but I've been trying to learn about myself and what makes me happy and makes me feel worthwhile. I'm going to try and keep it simple, and remind myself that the goal isn't weight loss, it's just trying to feel okay. I want this challenge to be very, very easy to stick with, so all the active pieces combined are going to take 1 hour or less per day. Excluding sleeping, because that would be crazy. Main Quest: Reduce anxiety and depression. Learn what causes these. Acknowledge that some things in my life are stressful and that's okay. Goal 1: 30 minutes quality alone time daily. Should be something that I want to do that I really find satisfying, and is in no way social. So reading, meditating, painting, or playing guitar would count. Browsing the forums would not, and generally netflix/youtube/reddit/imgur would not; I already do 30 minutes per day of this and it doesn't make me any happier. Reason: I'm an introvert. I like doing things by myself and rarely make time to just be by myself, especially with a partner who likes to spend almost all their free time with me. I'm much happier when I make time for productive alone time. Goal 2: Any physical activity daily. I would like to keep working on my C25K training, but I'm not going to be hard on myself if it doesn't happen. I just need to do something, whether it's a brisk walk or a short dance session or a few minutes hula hooping. Reason: Exercise is a mood booster. And if I have exercised today, at least I have done something worthwhile. Goal 3: Take your darn vitamins. Have them every day with dinner. Keep a stash in your purse so you have them when you go out to eat. Set an alarm reminder in case you forget. Reason: Severe vitamin D deficiency. It can exacerbate depression and worsen my immune system. Goal 4: No alcohol, low caffeine. Tell your friends and family and partner you're abstaining for the month and ask them to help you stay on track. Reason: Alcohol exacerbates my depression. Caffeine exacerbates my anxiety. It was a huge eye-opener when I started tracking my mood and realized 75% of my panic attacks happened within 2 hours of heavy caffeine consumption. Goal 5: Sleep 8 hours a night. I should be in bed, lights out by 10 on weeknights. Since I'm often out late on Friday, I should avoid scheduling things for Saturday mornings. I need to try and force myself to go back to bed when I wake up after 6 hours on weekend days. Reason: I get sad when I get sleepy. I also find it difficult to accomplish the simplest things when I'm tired. Other stuff that I have no choice but to do: -Taxes (come on Grizzy, you can do it, you only have to bring two forms to an office and then just wait while a guy does some stuff on a computer...) -Moving (I'm buying a house. Assuming nothing goes wrong, which I always assume things WILL go wrong which causes me to be anxious, we're closing on the 15th and ending our lease on the 30th. So I have to do all the packing and activating utilities and fixing a bunch of stuff and aaaahhhahahahhhhh *cries*.) -Put in consistent effort at work (I got moved off of a project I disliked for under-performing. My boss made it seem like not a big deal, but I feel like my ass is on the line and I have to prove myself on my next project.) Here's to keeping my head above water this month! I would drink to that, but you know, goal 4...
  5. Main Quest: Complete the Coast to Coast Challenge! Goal #1: I am training for my first half marathon which will take place on September 6th at Disneyland. So I have decided to start running more frequently. STR +2, DEX +1 Mondays: 6:30AM for 4 Miles Tuesday: 5:30AM for 4 Miles Wednesday: 5:30AM for 4 Miles Thursday: 5:30AM for 4 Miles Friday: 5:30AM for 4 Miles Saturday: 5:30AM for 4 Miles A >32 B >29 C >25 D >22 F <16 Goal #2: Sunday is increasing my miles. I can run up to 6 miles but I have never pushed myself to go past that. So I must!!! STA +2, DEX +1 June 14 = 7 Miles June 21 = 7 Miles June 28 = 8 Miles July 5 = 8 Miles July 12 = 8 Miles July 19 = 9 Miles A >6 B >5 D >4 F <3 Goal #3: I've decided to stop drinking coffee and soda and begin drinking tea. Problem is that I really, really hate tea. But I figured I would give it a shot. This will have a cheat based system for this goal because I tend to fail when I don't have it. Now I don't have to drink tea if I don't want to. BUT if there is a day that I want a coffee or a soda I will be going for tea. CON +1 Grade Scale: Week 1: 3 cheats Week 2: 2 cheats Week 3: 2 cheats Week 4: 1 cheats Week 5: 1 cheats Week 6: 0 cheats A >33 B > 30 C > 27 D > 24 F <21 Life Goal: Since I will be running a lot I will need to care for my face and my feet. I don't want nasty feet or pimples. So for the next 42 days I will learn to care for my body. This means cleaning my face before bed, brushing my teeth, and putting crème and socks before bed. CON +2, CHA +2 A >38 B >34 C >30 D >26 F <25
  6. I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something. - Samwise Weight: 208.8, Sunday Morning Goal #1 Resist Getting on the Scale for 42 Days I suffer from depression and from instant gratification. I can run and lift weights for days but if I don't lose any weight, I start to give up hope that I will ever be less than 200 pounds. When I do lose weight, I feel happy and am high as a cloud. I let the stupid number of the scale dictate how I feel for the day. So for the next 42 days I will not be getting on the scale. This is hard and scary for me. I was thinking about it for an entire week. I was even crying thinking how hard this was going to be. I will not have a cheat based system for this goal. A >38 B >34 C >30 D >26 F <25 Goal #2 Resist Caffeine for 42 Days At the beginning of the year, I began drinking decaffeinate coffee (which I enjoy!!). But lately I have started drinking regular coffee and pounding down the cokes again so for the next 6 weeks. Caffeine will be leaving my system. This will have a cheat based system for this goal because I tend to fail when I don't have it. Grade Scale: Week 1: 3 cheats Week 2: 2 cheats Week 3: 2 cheats Week 4: 1 cheats Week 5: 1 cheats Week 6: 0 cheats A >33 B > 30 C > 27 D > 24 F <21 Goal #3: To not give into my brain that says… I'm too weak, too tired or that the weather isn't perfect for a workout. I am gearing up for my Coast to Coast challenge. I have never ran a half-marathon so I have to put in the time. But sometimes I don't even want to get out of bed. So this time I will be forcing myself out of bed to run. Of course I so go to the gym on Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays. On top of that I dance on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So my goal is to not miss a day for 42 days (Minus my rest day). I will not have a cheat based system for this goal. March 1 - 5 mile run March 8 - 6 mile run March 15 - 7 mile run March 22 - 7 mile run March 29 - 8 mile run April 5 - 8 mile run A >36 B >32 C >28 D >24 F <20 Goal #4: I am my worst enemy. I look down upon myself constantly that I am not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, educated enough, etc, etc. So for the next 42 days I will creating a wall of affirmations in my bedroom. This will be right above my bed. I will not have a cheat based system for this goal. A >38 B >34 C >30 D >26 F <25
  7. Starbucks lovers rejoice! I went in for a cup of joe yesterday & asked the barista if they had any non-dairy milks other than soy (too harsh on digestion & I'm lactose intolerant). I was shocked when she said they JUST started carrying coconut milk within the past couple of weeks!! It's not ideal, similar to SO Delicious refrigerated sweetened coconut milk (the barista let me see the carton & scan the ingredients). But overall, I recognized all the ingredients (shock & awe!) & there were only one or two preservatives. Again, not ideal as it still has sugar & a few preservatives but it's a start!
  8. (Same) Main Quest: Stop Making Myself Sick In particular, to improve my diet and fitness to the point where they aren't providing me with risk factors. Missions: 1. Walking: I've been maintaining an average of 7500 steps walked per day, as measured by a Fitbit Force, with a goal of increasing to 10,000 (a bit more each challenge). A week ago, the Fitbit Force went missing. I'm now using a Basis Band, which is known to record fewer steps for the same distance, due to intermittent episodes of recording nothing at all. I'd like to have a goal of averaging at least 8000 Fitbit Force steps per day, but that's impractical. So the official goal is an average of 7000 Basis Band steps, until I find or replace the missing Fitbit Force, (This is, by the way, ambitious, and subject to revision. I've had days where the Basis Band recorded 30% fewer steps than the Fitbit Force. The all time worst was the day my left arm was attached to a body that walked 6530 steps and my right arm was attached to one that walked 11328 steps! I *think* if I'm attentive I can reset the Basis Band when it stops noticing my activity, and only have a 1000 step deficit. But I'm not sure.) 4 STA 2. Exercise: Maintain strength exercises - 2 STR Maintain stretches 1 DEX Trainer sessions 1 CON 3. Food: Caffeine Control (count % of days with 2 or fewer cups of caffeinated tea) 1 WISChocolate Control (count % of days with 4 or fewer ghirardelli squares or equivalent) 1 CHAFruit and Vegetables (100% would be 5 servings of fruit/veg per day, averaged to make it achievable. 1 CON4. Sleep To bed by 12:30 AM every night before a work day (exemption (1) if I nap the day before; (2) bridge nights) 1 CON, 1 WIS [Edit going into week 5: In recognition of the realities of my new job, bedtime is 11 PM on week nights, 12:30 AM on other nights.] 8 hours sleep every night (including any naps during the following day), except bridge nights: 1 CON, 1 WIS That's 15 points. Since I can't award partial points, I'll do something reasonable if I find I've earned 0.4 DEX and 0.6 CHA or some such - e.g. convert that to 1 CHA, 0 DEX. [Edit - I see other people with decimal stats, so I guess I won't have to round down, and can give myself partial points after all.] I know there are 4 missions; if people insist, I'll call getting enough sleep a "life quest". I apologize for the boring and repetitive nature of this challenge. I'm jet lagged out of my gourd right now, and totally bereft of imagination, but wanting to get something up while I'm only 2 days late starting . ;-)
  9. Main Goal of the challenge: Lose 4 pounds. Hi my name is Angie and this is my first challenge of 2014. My year's main goal will be to focus on lose weight and making healthy choices in regards to my eating habits and exercise habits. I have been successful in other challenges in the past that focused on college applications and developing healthy habits such as sleeping more, drinking more water, less junk food, etc. But I never made weight loss a priority. This will be an adventure for me! I currently weigh 214 pounds. For this challenge I am hoping to lose four pounds or lose "some" inches, I am still figuring how to measure and have reasonable amount of inches to lose in a six week period. If anyone has suggestions please let me know! Here are my four goals to help me achieve the weight loss. Current stats: Age: 29 Weight: 214 Size: 18 #1) Eating Hobbit Sized Portions! I do have a active lifestyle but a not so active boyfriend. I tend to eat pretty healthy (lots of veggies, meat, and a small quantity of carbs when I am by myself). However, I don't make the best of choices when I am around other people. A lot of my weight gain has to do with my thoughts. I try to eat what other people eat in terms of quantity. So let's just face the facts. I'm a short, would be petite if it wasn't for the weight, kind of girl. So I have decided first to do portion control when I eat out and yes I do eat out. Currently, I make 2 of my meals and would like to eventually make my third at home but that hasn't happened yet so instead when I do eat out I will order off the children's menu, the smaller portion's menu, or the under 500 calories menu. Regular grade scale applies! No cheats! Stats: +1 Sta, +2 Wis #2) Defeat caffeine spiders. Previously my challenges were to defeat soda and then Starbucks coffee. I could do one but not the other. Now I want to defeat BOTH! Cheats: Week 1: 3 Week 2: 2 Week 3: 2 Week 4: 1 Week 5: 1 Week 6: 0 Grades: A = 33 Days B = 30 Days C = 27 Days D = 24 Days F = Below 21 Stats: +1 Sta, +2 Con #3) Prepping for the journey to the Lonely MountainI already dance twice a week (4 hours), lift one day a week (1 hour), and run one day a week (45 minutes). But I really want to do something everyday for a minimum of 30 minutes. Even if it's just walking or something. I will be doing this in the wee hours of the morning like 6AM. So let me accomplish them. Regular grade scale applies! No cheats! Stats: +2 STA +STR +1 DEX Life QuestI didn't get accepted into 3 of the schools that I applied to. I am still waiting on one. So what the hell am I going to do now?Develop Plan B - Plan FUpdate resumeFigure out savings plan https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9I8Dtbdhad4Z1RiT1U1djFkYkU/edit?usp=sharing <-- Where I keep track
  10. So I have officially consumed only water as a beverage for a complete month. I have tried the soda detox before and failed miserably. I wasn't addicted to soda but hated how I always got so many calories from them. My main problem was my chronic migraines. Drinking water while having a headache that is bad enough to make you physically sick is an amazing feat. I am beyond proud of myself. Plus, I was wondering how long it takes to kinda cleanse your system of the nasty carbonated jerks. Any ideas?
  11. With the changes happening, I cannot pinpoint what is my main quest. I have never been one to work on just one life goal. For example, I am currently working on two (FBI and PHD) and doing the preliminary research of a third (Teaching Aboard). So I foresee this challenge being a bit harder than others as I've enjoyed working on both and now three. However, because this is a fitness forum, I will stick to a fitness adventure quest for this challenge. Main Quest - By the end of the year I would like to be able to pass two out of the four FBI fitness requirements. Goal #1 – Strength Configuration Part 2 (45 Push Ups, Non-Stop)! How and Why: Continue with my pushups. In my last challenge I was able to finally do 60 push ups from the tabletop. In this challenge I will be going down a bit more. This time my pushups will be from a height that is around my mid-thigh. My grade will be based on how I do the Monday morning that I am supposed to report in: Week 1 – 1 min, 30 seconds rest for 3 reps Week 2 – 1 min, 20 seconds rest for 3 reps Week 3 – 1 min, 10 seconds rest for 3 reps Week 4 – 2 mins, 30 seconds rest for 3 reps Week 5 – 2 mins, 20 seconds rest for 3 reps Week 6 – 2 mins, 10 seconds rest for 3 reps Grade: A = 45 B = 40 C = 36 D = 31 F = 27 Stats: +1 Sta, +2 Str Goal #2 – Stamina Configuration Part 2 (45 Sit Ups, Non Stop!). How and Why: Again another FBI fitness test is based off of the sit-ups but in one minute (I need 57). In my last challenge I was able to finally do 31 sit ups. In this challenge I will be going faster and often. The only way to keep going is to do them as often as possible which is where I get in trouble. Week 1: 3 reps twice a week Week 2: 3 reps twice a week Week 3: 3 reps three a week Week 4: 3 reps three a week Week 5: 3 reps four a week Week 6: 3 reps four a week Grade: A = 45 B = 40 C = 36 D = 31 F = 27 Stats: +1 Str, +2 Sta Goal #3 - Defeat round two boss, Coke Cola! How and Why: So I was able to start drinking 6 cups of water BUT the caffeine still has a hold of me. In the last challenge I was able to remove myself off Starbucks. I went 31 days without Starbucks. I have the following cheats (as in going drinking coke): Cheats: Week 1: 3 Week 2: 2 Week 3: 2 Week 4: 1 Week 5: 1 Week 6: 0 Grades: A = 33 Days B = 30 Days C = 27 Days D = 24 Days F = Below 21 Stats: +1 Sta, +2 Con Life Quest: One Does Not Simply Step Into Their Doctorate Program Part 2 - Read a book every two weeks. (+.5 WIS for each book) <- 1. - Practice for the GRE Test every two weeks (+.5 WIS for each test) <-- 1st test completed on 8/11/2013, - Start Internship (+.33 CHA) <-- Completed on 8/27/2013 - Save $200 for transcripts (+1 CON), Update: $132.00 - Sign Up for Russian Language Classes (+.33 CHA) <-- Completed on 8/5/2013 - Visit Formal Professor (+.34 CHA) <-- Completed on 8/30 - Write Personal Statement (+.5 CON) - Write Statement of Purpose (+.5 CON) Stats: +2 Con, +1 Cha, +3 Wis
  12. Current Weight: 223 Goal Weight for 2013: 200 Goal #1 – Defeat level round one boss, Starbucks! Last Challenge: In my last challenge I bombed this section. I just started drinking coffee and coke like a mad woman. Its crack I tell you. It happens when I get nervous and anxious. So I was able to start drinking 6 cups of water BUT the caffeine still has a hold of me. But this time I am not going to straight into the high level boss caffeine, nope! I’m starting off at level one, Starbucks. How and Why: Continue drinking my water like I have been. I’m up to six cups of water. Who cares that I have the gold card? I spend roughly $1200 on coffee! Instead I will have two choices #1) make coffee at home as it’s cheaper or #2) don’t drink coffee and go for water instead. I have the following cheats (as in going to Starbucks): Cheats: Week 1: 3 Week 2: 2 Week 3: 2 Week 4: 1 Week 5: 1 Week 6: 0 Grades: A = 30 Days B = 27 Days C = 24 Days D = 21 Days F = Below 20 Stats: +1 Sta, +2 Con Goal #2 – Strength Configuration Part 1 (45 Push Ups, Non-Stop)! How and Why: I want to apply to the FBI academy but I’m afraid that I am too weak to get through the physical examination. I want to start working on being able to do push ups. I can’t do a single push up at the moment but I will be starting up high using a table before I get to the floor. So these pushups are off a table. My grade will be based on how I do the Monday morning that I am supposed to report in: Week 1 – 1 min, 30 seconds rest for 3 reps Week 2 – 1 min, 20 seconds rest for 3 reps Week 3 – 1 min, 10 seconds rest for 3 reps Week 4 – 2 mins, 30 seconds rest for 3 reps Week 5 – 2 mins, 20 seconds rest for 3 reps Week 6 – 2 mins, 10 seconds rest for 3 reps Grades: A = 42 B = 39 C = 36 D = 33 F = 30 Stats: +1 Sta, +2 Str Goal #3 – Stamina Configuration Part 1. How and Why: Again another FBI fitness test is based off of the sit-ups but in one minute (I need 57). Right now I can’t even do a sit up. It hurts way too much as my spine curls out not in. So right now the only thing I am focusing on is trying to get the motion down without hurting my back too much. My grade will be based on how I do the Monday morning that I am supposed to report in: Week 1: 10 seconds of sit-ups Week 2: 20 seconds of sit-ups Week 3: 30 seconds of sit-ups Week 4: 40 seconds of sit-ups Week 5: 50 seconds of sit-ups Week 6: 60 seconds of sit-ups Grade: A = 30 B = 27 C = 24 D = 21 F = 18 Stats: +1 Str, +2 Sta Goal #4 One Does Not Simply Step Into Their Doctorate Program Currently I am working towards submitting my PHD proposal. It may or may not happen this year. I am scared. So I am adding a bunch of things I need to do to get that moving along. Sign Up for the GRE (.5 Con) Finished! - My test will be November 1st! E-mail professor at Georgetown (.5 Cha) - Happened on June 25th and He wrote back! E-mail professor at Berkeley (.5 Cha) - Happened on June 26 E-mail professor at Oxford (.5 Cha) - Happened on June 26 E-mail professor at Brown (.5 Cha) Happened on June 26 Find Jeff (.5 Con) Finished! He will not respond but I did find him. So instead I will say find an internship. Update: I have sent my resume along with a cover letter Read a book a week. (.5 for each book) Update: I've read two books. Stats: +1 Con, +2 Cha, +3 Wis
  13. Found this article at random on ScienceDaily: Exercise and Caffeine Change Your DNA in the Same Way, Study Suggests Mar. 6, 2012 — You might think that the DNA you inherited is one thing that you absolutely can't do anything about, but in one sense you'd be wrong. Researchers reporting in the March issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, have found that when healthy but inactive men and women exercise for a matter of minutes, it produces a rather immediate change to their DNA. Perhaps even more tantalizing, the study suggests that the caffeine in your morning coffee might also influence muscle in essentially the same way. The underlying genetic code in human muscle isn't changed with exercise, but the DNA molecules within those muscles are chemically and structurally altered in very important ways. Those modifications to the DNA at precise locations appear to be early events in the genetic reprogramming of muscle for strength and, ultimately, in the structural and metabolic benefits of exercise."Our muscles are really plastic," says Juleen Zierath of Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. "We often say "You are what you eat." Well, muscle adapts to what you do. If you don't use it, you lose it, and this is one of the mechanisms that allows that to happen." The DNA changes in question are known as epigenetic modifications and involve the gain or loss of chemical marks on DNA over and above the familiar sequence of As, Gs, Ts, and Cs. The new study shows that the DNA within skeletal muscle taken from people after a burst of exercise bears fewer chemical marks (specifically methyl groups) than it did before exercise. Those changes take place in stretches of DNA that are involved in turning "on" genes important for muscles' adaptation to exercise. When the researchers made muscles contract in lab dishes, they saw a similar loss of DNA methyl groups. Exposure of isolated muscle to caffeine had the same effect. Zierath explained that caffeine does mimic the muscle contraction that comes with exercise in other ways, too. She doesn't necessarily recommend anyone drink a cup of joe in place of exercise. It's nevertheless tempting to think that athletes who enjoy a coffee with their workout might just be on to something. Broadly speaking, the findings offer more evidence that our genomes are much more dynamic than they are often given credit for. Epigenetic modifications that turn genes on and back off again can be incredibly flexible events. They allow the DNA in our cells to adjust as the environment shifts. "Exercise is medicine," Zierath says, and it seems the means to alter our genomes for better health may be only a jog away. And for those who can't exercise, the new findings might point the way to medicines (caffeinated ones, perhaps?) with similar benefits.
  14. I had oral surgery last Thursday and couldn't have anything hot/warm in my mouth for at least 2 days. After that I was sleeping so much from the pain relievers over the weekend that I continued to not drink any tea or yerba mate (I don't like coffee.) So when I went back to work on Tuesday and realized that I hadn't had any caffeine for 5 days I decided to see if I could manage to make it through the day without any. This worked amazingly well for Tuesday and Wednesday. Today, I am really struggling. I am exhausted and keep thinking that I should just go make some tea but I was so pleased to be off caffeine. I'm going to try to pull through the rest of the day but I won't get to go home until 9pm tonight and I've been up since 5:30am. I may have to break. So I am asking for people to help me decide what to do. What are the pros of caffeine (besides helping you stay awake?) What are the cons? Is it really unhealthy? I've searched all the forums for the answer and haven't really come up with one that is why I am asking this now. On a side note. When should I expect more energy from eating a completely primal diet? I keep hearing this will happen but it hasn't yet. If it is going to happen then I will try to wait-it-out with the caffeine. I'd rather get energy from eating well than caffeine.
  15. Hello! Artinum here, 34 year old mad genius writer and proofreader. I've been a half-elf for most of these challenges and I can't be bothered to change now, so let's stick with that. After a reasonably successful transition to the Scouts last challenge, I'm continuing my quest to get running a decent distance on a regular basis. Last time I intended to beat at least the first week of C25K, maybe the first two weeks - and I ended the challenge with my first attempt at week four. This is very good going. I intend to reward myself for this. Some aspects of that challenge did not go so well - my writing, for instance, progressed slowly and was not completed, and I'm planning to redouble my efforts here. My attempts at pull-ups were highly limited and unsuccessful, but I've decided not to pursue that one again just yet. Nothing has changed since my last challenge, so trying again so soon would be the classical definition of insanity - doing the same thing and expecting different results. Instead, I've remembered something that I thought about a few weeks back and thought "that would be good for the next challenge". I'm going to cut back on my caffeine at work by weaning myself off the coffee. 1. Running continued - carry on with C25K. (3 STA, 2 DEX) I'm on week 4 now; my aim is to reach week 8 by the end of the challenge! This is a bit heavier going than my last progress, which was astonishingly quick compared to my expectations. I need to push a bit more. 2. Get fitness routine back into order. (2 STA, 2 CON) Christmas and New Year have thrown me out of my routine, so I need to get back into it. I have a further complication in that I've come down with an irritating cough. Joy. Aim - get back to 3-circuit workouts at least twice a week by the end of the challenge. 3. Writing on interview course needs to be finished. (3 WIS) This was one of my previous goals, as I got stuck in a particularly difficult section. While I didn't finish, I did manage to complete that section and another two after that, which was a partial win for me. Now it's time to maintain my efforts and take it home. Aim - 250 words a day until this bloody course is written! 4. Give up coffee at work. (3 CON) I'm generally having two coffees a day at work on top of my tea at home. I plan on quitting the coffees. These instants aren't really all that good for me on any level! I'm planning to go down to one coffee a day until the current jar is empty, and switch to fruit teas for the second cup. Aim - to be completely coffee-free by the end of the challenge.
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