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  1. Hey Scouts! I took a long break with the Rangers while feeling very down and out about the job rut I was in. I have since acquired new employment, and will be moving this weekend. In the midst of all of the change, I am going to get back into my scouting roots. My scouting is a little different as a swimmer, but still aiming for distance while constantly adding improvement on speed Since this is about the 5th challenge of 2017, I think I might have a plan for success. By my count, there are 37 weeks left of 2017. By the end of the year my goals are: To be active for most of the day To kick my habit of buying and eating processed food To learn to relax and de-stress In order to get a little closer to those year goals, I am going to take a stab at the following for May: Swim 1 mile each day Aim for 30-minute mile by end of May Ditch my Starbucks Habit Stick with Homemade French Press and Home Cold Brew Practice Guitar daily Play Everything is Wonderful by Everclear to the end by the end of the month
  2. I want to extend on my previous challenge. I'm more or less satisfied with my workouts and my diet and I proceed there more or less without changes. But I want to put more focus on work, on my hobbies and the well-being of my mind and soul. So in order to do all that I assembled the Avenger the greatest assassins of history fiction to teach me! Special lessons by the best of the best will follow. Every master assassin will share his wisdom and knowledge to turn me into the perfect killer. Dexter Morgan: (i) Work an hour every day with full focus; and try to accomplish one "thing" every day. (ii) Drink no more than 2 cups of coffee a day. (iii) Shave head and trim beard once every week. (iv) Vaccume apartment every day. Dexter knows that the most important quality of an assassin is to blend in into the environment and to let no one notice that you're a killer. Therefore, his assignment is to focus on my facade. First, I'll have to focus on my work. I'll use the Freedom App on my MacBook to block evil websites. This allows me to work with distractions. But I will also do frequent breaks (about every 30 minutes) to walk a couple of minutes. Sitting all day will stiffen my body and I won't be able to assassinate anyone after work. I'll measure my progress by accomplishing "something". So I hope to be able to tell you every day, what I did at work. Second, I won't let my caffeine addiction take over. I'll tame this beast by limiting my consumption to two cups of coffee. I try to keep it persistently at one cup. But two are a comfortable upper limit. Third, in order to not stick out like a sore thumb I will pit more focus on my grooming. I like my beard and several women told me that it suits me. But I would like to re-build the habit of regular shaving. (And yes, I know, Dexter is never cleanly shaven...) I wrote "once every week", but it won't have necessarily to be "in" every week. It will probably be Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I will still wear silly T-shirts at work, though. So I won't look as neat as Dexter. But I'm working at a university. Wearing normal clothes would make me stand out more. And as an assassin I cannot have that. NEW: Being sick for a couple of days I watched my apartment getting dirtier by the hour. I convinced myself that it's okay, because I'm sick. But I really hate this attitude. Vaccuming my single room takes about 5 minutes. So I'll do every single day. (At least every day I'm actually at home.) Iroh, the Dragon of the West: (i) Go to the gym once a week. (ii) Do back training 5 times a week. (iii) Do the Football Watching Workout (when watching Football). Iroh knows the importance to be physically fit and to train under all curcumstances. His assignment is to workout diligently. First, I'll go to the gym once every week. When my physical therapy ends at the end of October, I'll increase this to twice a week. But for now, this is enough. Building the habit of going to the gym is the most important thing. I'll also fine-tune the weights next week and won't change them anymore during this challenge. Second, I proceed in doing my back training at home. The gym workout will also count as back training. But if I'm not able to go to the gym I have at least to do the home workout. As in the last challenge, the focus here will be to move my back to let it heal. Doing the mobilisation exercises and stretches will be good enough. Third, I'm eager to watch Football again each Sunday night. But I hate sitting on my ass for three hours. Someone in the NF Facebook group mentioned a workout where you do a certain exercise when some thing happens on the gridiron. So this is what I'll do: 1st down: 5 jumping squats Touchdown: 5 inverted rows Field goal: 5 kneeling push-ups Turnover: 20 second plank Personal foul: 15 jumping jacks These are all very easy. They shall just get my off the couch. Altair Ibn-La'Ahad: (i) Meditate 15 10 minutes every day. (ii) Track everything. In particular, take photos of food. (iii) Write here every day. Altair knows how imprtant it is to reflect on your actions. His assignement for me is to do exactly that. First, I will meditate for 15 10 minutes, preferably in the morning. In the zero week I will increase my time incrementally from 10 to 15 minutes. Also during the zero week I'll look into Headspace for guided meditations. Second, I will keep track of everything using a Google spreadsheet and my instagram profile. I will try to write everything relevant here in this thread, in particular copy/pasting the photos of my meals, but in these two resources I will thoroughly keep track. Third, I will use the challenge thread as a diary again and write little bit about my days. Koro-Sensei a.k.a. the God of Death: (i) Do cardio 3 times a week. (ii) Do something fun for 15 minutes every day. (iii) Study Go for 5 minutes every day. The greatest assassin of them all knows how important speed is during assassinations. As long as you're fast enough, you don't need to be excessively strong. As Koro-sensei is also the greatest teacher of them all, he knows how important your personal skills are. His assignment is to build my fundamentals. First, cardio three times a week. This will hopefully be alternating between swimming, running and (barefoot) walking. But it will depend on my mood and the weather. If push comes to shove, I'll step on the ellipitical at the gym after my workout. Second, I'll focus more on my hobbies. For 15 minutes every day I will sit down and do something I enjoy. This will most likely be: playing the guitar, drawing, studying/playing Go or playing video games. This will mean that even after a stressful day I won't hang in front of the telly watching nonsense. I will focus on something I like. If it doesn't cheer me up after 15 minutes, that's fine. Third, I will study Go a bit every day. The Munich Go Tournament is on the first weekend of November and I want to train. I will read some books and solve some problems. I can do this easily during my daily commute to work. And of course it stacks with part (ii): If I study for 15 minutes I fulfilled both subquests. Spike Spiegel: (i) Sleep eight hours a day on average. (ii) Eat less than 2200 kcal a day on average. (iii) Eat less than 100 g of carbs a day on average. Spike knows that your well-being depends mostly on sleep and food. His assignment is to take care of both. First, I will try to sleep a bit more. I think that 8.5 hours would be best. But I want to make sure that it's not less than 8 hours. And I try to nap every now and then. I only look at the average, because even when I plan to sleep long I might wake up earlier. Second, I still want to loose weight. In the last challenge I lost 4 kg in 4 weeks. That's great! And I'm really close to my goal of 85 kg. I should probably go for 80 kg or even less. But 85 kg was always the weight at which I planned to start serious strength training. With my back still making problems this is not a short-time goal. Anyway, 1kg per week is a bit too fast, at least for a longer time. so I'm increasing my calorie intake to 2200 kcal. I measure this only as an average, as on gym days I want to eat whatever I want. I don't know how my body will take the gym workouts. So I play it safe and eat a bit more on that days. Most often I will eat below 2200 kcal (or even 2000 kcal) every day... except the gym days. Third, I will continue my low-carb plan. I would like to eat less than 50 g of carbs every day. But as even the 100 g were hard during the last challenge, I will try to fortify this level. Again, measuring the average due to gym days.
  3. Intro: I had a productive first year in NF, and then the wheels came off. Amidst the perfect storm of mental and physical burnout, injuries and illness, family and work stresses, I went into a bit of a dark place. I went back to bad habits of eating like crap, making excuses not to exercise and isolating myself from everyone. It took longer than it should have for me to recognise and confront those issues, but I started to do that last challenge. This is somewhat of an extension of that as I continue to rehab my body, mind and spirit. QUEST 1: See a Grown Man Cry Try to re-establish some kind of fitness routine, whilst continuing to rehab my shoulder and neck. Make sure I do the daily stretches my doctor gave me. Try to get three light cardio sessions per week done at the gym. Walk more, regardless of the weather. It’s rain, not acid. I won’t die. Points available: +3 DEX, +1 STA QUEST 2: Black Coffee Blues Don’t Eat and Drink Like a DickheadTM. No more than one chocolate bar per week. No energy drinks. If you need caffeine, have some damn coffee. There’s a perfectly good coffee machine in the kitchen, you don’t need Rockstar. Drink water. It’s plentiful. Points available: +4 CON QUEST 3: Solipsist A healthy body must work in tandem with a healthy mind. Look after what’s upstairs, by any means necessary. Sleep, meditate, ASMR, sit under a tree, stroke a pet, cook, read a book, take a bath. I’ll try to finish Ken Costa’s “Know Your Why” during this challenge, but no pressure to do so. I’ll read if I feel like reading, but not going to force it. One “must do” task, is take a leaf out of Spooky’s book and list three things I’m grateful for on a daily basis. Points available: +4 WIS QUEST 4: Art to Choke Hearts Inspired in part by binge watching Bob Ross on Netflix, I decided to have a go at painting during the last challenge, and discovered that I really enjoy it. Keep at it, and share the results, good, bad or indifferent, on here. There’s also a tumblr here for the things I’ve done. Points available: +3 CHA
  4. After months of physical therapy due to my slipped disk my back feels much better. Therefore I want to try out some different sports focussing on whole body movement. So this will be my first "proper" Assassin Challenge. And what topic can be better for this than the new Legend of Zelda. Even though I'm thrilled for the game, I have to admit that I'm worrying Nintendo might not fulfil the expectations they created. Anyway, time for the challenge: The Legend of Akura: Breath of the Wild Roaming Hyrule: Go Swimming once every week. Go running once every week. Do my back training as often as possible. Try bouldering. Colleagues of mine go bouldering regularly and I like to accompany them in the near future. However, even though I know how to swim and to run, I am absolutely incompetent when it comes to climbing. So I will try it sometime in the next weeks. But at the moment I won't try to incorporate it in my weekly schedule. Additionally, I will try to go the gym once every week. But that has less priority than regular bodyweight exercises. So it is no part of the quest. Cooking: No sweets. Track calories and weight. Max. 2 cups of coffee per day. I am very satisfied with how and what I eat. But I would like to make some small adjustment. First, trying to avoid sweets completely. In the last weeks, many colleagues of mine brought cake to work, because of their birhdays. So I ate significantly more sweets than I wanted to. Second, even though I eat mostly healthy, Paleo-ish food, I want to find out how much I actually do eat. I know that it is more important what you eat than how much you eat. But at the moment my weight loss progress reached a plateau. So, I have to change something (or rather anything.) Third, I want to limit my coffeine consumption. I have no problem sleeping or anything else. But five cups of coffee are definitely not good. Find out, why I woke up: Meditate every day for 5 min. Do something satisfying every day. Write my progress down here on NF every day. Currently I am extremely motivated and full of energy. And I want to use this to, well, pursue happyness. So, doing something satisfying will mean to do anything that gives me a sense of achieving something. This might be just a workout session, meeting friends, drawing a picture. Let's see how that will turn out. And as I tend to let things slip very fast, I will write down what I did every day here in this thread. This will not be detailed or elaborated. Just one or two short sentences what happend.
  5. Sleep - Get To Bed As Early As 10:30 PM Gotta get that sleep. I'm still shooting for 10:30, but shooting for earlier seems to help occasionally. If I try to go to bed earlier, I procrastinate earlier. ^ This still remains true. Most nights, i'm going to bed at 10:50-11:20 PM, which gives me little more than (generally less than) 6 hours of sleep. I'd like to bump that up, and I know exactly how to do so. The key is getting myself to follow through. Food - Make and Eat Good Balanced Meals I'm in an interesting state of not knowing what the heck is going on. For a few weeks now i've not been eating a solid breakfast. That had been working for quite a while, but now i'm unsure. There are lots of things going on that could be causing me stomach trouble, a major one being stress. That makes narrowing down the problem really difficult. I'm going to make a best effort to fit a solid breakfast back into my late morning (9-ish) to see if that alleviates the problems. Workout - Practice Aam Ka Jutsu and Kettlebell My martial art is my priority and I want to spend more time training and practicing. The last few challenges, i've split my four workouts per week into two lift days and two training days. I want to try having one lift day (say Monday) and 3 training days (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). This is a trial run of sorts, for when i'll be back at school next challenge. Code - Work On Projects and Track Time I'm going to continue to work on my projects and log my time. –––––– Feel free to follow along and call me out if I need it. Keep being awesome. Hail Hydrate.
  6. 1. Sleep; Get in bed before 11 PM or as early as 10:30. Gotta get that sleep. I'm still shooting for 10:30, but shooting for earlier seems to help occasionally. If I try to go to bed earlier, I procrastinate earlier. 2. Food; Eat healthy stuff that makes you feel good; avoid junk food. I still feel that i've been doing well with this goal. However, I have been essentially skipping breakfast for the past few days. That's not good. I'm going to try to remedy that as best I can. 3. Workout; Practice Aam Ka Jutsu and work with the kettlebell. I still want to do kettlebell workouts and work toward justifying a heavier bell. I am also going to continue my martial arts training (my main focus). However, i'm going to switch my workout schedule around so that my lifts will be on Monday and Thursday, and my martial arts training will be on Tuesday and Friday. I don't know if that will stick, as I have yet to register for classes. I do know which classes I want, but I can't be certain that i'll get them. We'll see how that pans out. 4. Code; work on your projects at least once a week, hopefully more. I need to keep improving my skills, so i'm going to commit to doing as much work as I can when i'm not working on homework. Feel free to follow along and call me out if I need it. Keep being awesome. Hail Hydrate!
  7. 1. Get in bed before 11 PM or as early as 10:30. Sleep is still my biggest problem. I'm working on it. My spring break gave me some time to get away with sleeping in, which did help. However, i'm going for the long-term here, and that ain't good enough. If I can, I need to drop everything i'm doing between 10 and 10:30 PM. I've got a plethora of alarms to help with that. 2. Eat healthy stuff that makes you feel good; avoid junk food. I still feel that i've been doing well with this goal. However, I have been essentially skipping breakfast for the past few days. That's not good. I'm going to try to remedy that as best I can. 3. Practice Aam Ka Jutsu and work with the kettlebell. I still want to work on kettlebell exercises. My focus has kind of shifted more toward improving grip strength, and upper body strength. Right now, i'm working toward the point where I can get 35 lb kettlebell, as I think that alines with what i'm trying to accomplish. I can do heavier lifts and essentially hack doing two-handed farmer's walks (doing what i've been doing to achieve 35 lbs with a 25 lb bell). The weakest link is my arms and it really shows with the clean and press or any kind of overhead press. Now, in the past i've gotten really discouraged because of the lack of strength in this area. I'll figure out how to gauge that during the challenge. I've been doing martial arts on days that I have school (Wednesday and Friday) and kettlebell work on days that I do not have school (Tuesday and Thursday). This pattern has been working well so far, so i'll keep at it. 4. Code stuff; work on your projects at least once a week, hopefully more. I need to keep improving my skills, so i'm going to commit to doing as much work as I can when i'm not working on homework. School work right now is primarily busy work. The general ed. stuff is a PITA. I'm doing my best to get it all done, and trying really hard not to procrastinate by working on stuff that i'd much rather work on. Feel free to follow along and call me out if I need it. Keep being awesome.
  8. 1. Get in bed before 11 PM or as early as possible. Sleep is still my biggest problem. I'm working on it. My spring break gave me some time to get away with sleeping in, which did help. However, i'm going for the long-term here, and that ain't good enough. If I can, I need to drop everything i'm doing between 10 and 10:30 PM. I've got a plethora of alarms to help with that. 2. Eat healthy stuff that makes you feel good; avoid junk food. I feel that i've been doing fairly well on this. My body has been happy with what i've been eating over the last few months, which is an awesome feeling. 3. Practice Aam Ka Jutsu and work with the kettlebell. I finished my 20,000 side-kick challenge, so I set up a new goal at 40,000 side-kicks. I'm not working toward any crazy number after which i'll never throw a kick again. I find that having a small goal like that acts as a reminder for me to work on my kicks. I like doing the small number of kettlebell exercises that i've tried. I'd like to do more of them, and possibly get to the point where I can justify buying either another 25 lb bell or a heavier one. I haven't got a clue which I should or will go with. We shall see. I think i'll rotate between martial arts and kettlebell stuff each day. 4. Code stuff; work on your projects at least once a week, hopefully more. I need to keep improving my skills, so i'm going to commit to doing as much work as I can when i'm not working on homework. Feel free to follow along and call me out if I need it. Keep being awesome.
  9. No surprise here, I'm doing the same thing again. So interesting (sarcasm)! --- 1. Get in bed before 11 PM or as early as possible. Sleep is still my biggest problem. I'm working on it. 2. Eat healthy stuff that makes you feel good; avoid junk food. 3. Practice Aam Ka Jutsu 5 days a week; includes side-kicks. The kicks are coming along. I'm still working on some bad habits, but I feel that they are much more solid than they were at the start. Those things are balance and consistency. My balance has improved, but i'm not quite If needed, i'll substitute with BW or kettlebell stuff. 4. Code stuff; work on your projects at least once a week, hopefully more. That's it. Pretty much the same as the last two. Last challenge, I tried to keep up with too many threads. I felt kinda bad about not staying up to date with all of them, so i'm picking two. I'll do my best to stay up to date with those two. Feel free to follow along and call me out if I need it. Keep being awesome. --- Here's a musical treat for you. Something that I found by accident: https://soundcloud.com/builtbytitan/the-darkness-ft-srvcina?in=builtbytitan/sets/alpha-ep Here's something a little more relaxed. I've never actually played the Last of Us, but I like the music. https://soundcloud.com/addisonbarbee/the-choice-extended-the-last-of-us-ost
  10. Since the new challenge format is 4 weeks instead of 6 and I don't feel like my goals have changed, i'll be continuing from last challenge. The next personal project that i've started on is a theme for my portfolio site. I'm currently using an absolutely fantastic theme by Elegant Themes. While that's nice, it is not hardly as impressive as being able to show a potential employer/client a site that utilizes a custom theme that I designed and developed myself. I'm not going to get even remotely close to the breadth of features that my current theme offers. However, the cool features that I do add will cater more to the portfolio portion of my site. ------ From last challenge: Not necessarily in any order of importance: 1. Get in bed before 11 PM or as early as possible. I've been really bad about getting to bed the last few weeks, and my sleep last challenge didn't go as planned either. I'm not sure what to do, other than force myself to go to bed on time. Maybe I should tell myself to JUST DO IT! I got a handed-down Fitbit, so I can see what my sleep looks like. So far the average is ~7 hours a night, but i'd like to bump that up. 2. Eat healthy stuff that makes you feel good; avoid junk food. I have a food/sleep/exercise/whatever log that i've got nearly 345 entries in. I've reduced the amount of fiber that i've been eating, and I feel much better. That's been working for the past month, which is great. I believe that the sandwiches and english muffins combined with the veggies and fruits were a bit too much for my stomach to handle. 3. Practice Aam Ka Jutsu 5 days a week; includes side-kicks. The kicks are coming along. I'm still working on some bad habits, but I feel that they are much more solid than they were at the start. If needed, i'll substitute with BW or kettlebell stuff. 4. Code stuff; work on your projects at least once a week, hopefully more. I'm currently on winter break, so i'm going to have a lot of time for projects before school starts up again. Now is the time for me to go ham on the coding. On the job front, I guess my seasonal employment is over, but I haven't been told officially that i'm done. Regardless, I did apply for the part-time position (to stay on) and edited the cover letter a bit to reflect my new experiences. Hopefully, i'll get it. That's it. Pretty much the same as the last two. Last challenge, I tried to keep up with too many threads. I felt kinda bad about not staying up to date with all of them, so i'm picking two. I'll do my best to stay up to date with those two. Feel free to follow along and call me out if I need it. Keep being awesome.
  11. Hello lovely peoples! Welcome to the new year. <off-topic> I got a jacket for Christmas, and it fits me! I have a jacket that isn't incredibly baggy! Woot! I'm slowly acquiring clothes that actually fit me and aren't two or three sizes too big. Also, I got gloves, which were greatly needed for my eternally frozen hands. Unfortunately, I can't use them while coding, they are too thick for that. </off-topic> I'm going to be sticking with the same kind of goals this challenge. Keeping things stupidly simple seems to work for me. Not necessarily in any order of importance: 1. Get in bed before 11 PM or as early as possible. I've been really bad about getting to bed the last few weeks, and my sleep last challenge didn't go as planned either. I'm not sure what to do, other than force myself to go to bed on time. Maybe I should tell myself to JUST DO IT! I got a handed-down Fitbit, so I can see what my sleep looks like. So far the average is ~7 hours a night, but i'd like to bump that up. 2. Eat healthy stuff that makes you feel good; avoid junk food. I have a food/sleep/exercise/whatever log that i've got nearly 345 entries in. I've reduced the amount of fiber that i've been eating, and I feel much better. That's been working for the past month, which is great. I believe that the sandwiches and english muffins combined with the veggies and fruits were a bit too much for my stomach to handle. 3. Practice Aam Ka Jutsu 5 days a week; includes side-kicks. The kicks are coming along. I'm still working on some bad habits, but I feel that they are much more solid than they were at the start. If needed, i'll substitute with BW or kettlebell stuff. 4. Code stuff; work on your projects at least once a week, hopefully more. I'm currently on winter break, so i'm going to have a lot of time for projects before school starts up again. Now is the time for me to go ham on the coding. On the job front, I guess my seasonal employment is over, but I haven't been told officially that i'm done. Regardless, I did apply for the part-time position (to stay on) and edited the cover letter a bit to reflect my new experiences. Hopefully, i'll get it. That's it. Pretty much the same as the last two. Last challenge, I tried to keep up with too many threads. I felt kinda bad about not staying up to date with all of them, so i'm picking two. I'll do my best to stay up to date with those two. Feel free to follow along and call me out if I need it. Keep being awesome.
  12. *The Quest for the Uncreaking Body!* Part 17 -- Keep It Stupid Simple! *Goal 1 -- Save Money *Goal 2 -- Lose Mass / Gain Strength / Gain Endurance / Gain Flexibility -- i.e. MOVE! Zombies Live In Places Like This -- You must Avoid at All Costs! Starbucks The Coffee Loft Panera Obtain your daily brain boost from homemade iced coffee, utilize your espresso machine!, and take full advantage of being outside where it is gorgeous to take a walk or hang out with friends instead of going to the coffee shop where you easily drop $10 - $15 on food and gain about 2 lbs from the influx of sugar. Zombies Seem to Avoid the Pool -- Must be the Chlorine -- Go to the Pool!
  13. Continuing with the simplistic goals this challenge, i'll be focusing on sleep, exercise, and work. Sleep: Sleep is fairly self-explanatory. I want to get to bed before 11 PM. That's the latest I should be staying up. I'll do my best to avoid sticking myself in situations where I have to stay up past that. Life is ramping up--albeit slowly--and sleep is still something that I struggle with. This challenge, i'm aiming to be even more consistent with getting enough sleep. I even have a +/- habit on Habitica for getting to bed on time. Since i'm in a party now, it really motivates me not to be the one that damages everyone! Exercise/Food: Exercise wise, I am essentially just practicing Aam Ka Jutsu. Even with school work getting in some martial arts work every day has been working nicely. When i'm pressed for time, I can focus on one area for 10-15 minutes and be absolutely exhausted (the good kind of tired). Then, when I have more time, I can spend a good 30-45 minutes having an actual class. I thought of trying something a little crazy, but entirely doable for this challenge. I'm up for doing it, because it struck me as something that would be loads of fun. In my signature, I have this quote: "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." - Bruce Lee I figured, why not do 10,000 kicks (I mean side kicks)! I want to improve the speed of my kicks, my endurance, and my balance. So why not? As I was sharing this idea with family, it became clear to me that i'd essentially be cheating if I split the kicks between each leg. To remedy that, i'll set the goal to 20,000 kicks. 10,000 each leg! If I do the maths... (20,000 kicks) / [(6 weeks) * (3 challenges) * (5 days a week)] = ~111 kicks per leg each day. Granted that I can do 111 kicks per day, i'll have done 10,000 kicks each side 18 weeks from now. I haven't yet done that many kicks at once, I can do 120 total without too much trouble. However, that is perfectly fine. I'll work up to it. After class today, I did 60 side kicks each side, so that'll be my starting point. I'll add 10 to that tomorrow and work on up to 110-120. As a little discipline exercise, i've been ending my workouts by standing in ready stance and working on my breathing. I'm going to keep that up, I think. Okay so this challenge's goal with exercise is going to be doing some form of Aam Ka Jutsu 5 days a week. That will include doing a set of side kicks each day. Food wise, i'll just keep up what i've been doing. Now that i'm not lifting, i've reduced my servings slightly, and i'm not eating when i'm not hungry. I feel that my body's been responding fairly well to the changes. I've been noticeably better at having less-healthy meals intermittently while sticking with the healthier homemade foods. Work/Job Hunt: I'm finishing up at my local college and i'll be transferring in the fall of 2016, hopefully. The issue is going to be money. The solution is to get a job. So i'm making that part of my challenge. Every week i'm going to aim for apply to at least two places. It doesn't matter if its a retail job or a web development position. Part of getting a job where I want to, in the web development industry, is going to be showing that i'm actively improving my skills. Therefore, i'll also make a goal to work on a project, regardless of what it is for at least an hour a day. Not Being A Hermit: I'm not awesome at being social, but i'm going to try making a habit out of talking to at least one person a week. ------------------------ TL;DRbed before 11 PM, get up at 6 AM weekdaysget martial arts work in 5 days a week; work up to 220-240 kicks a day; practice resting in ready stancecontinue to eat healthy and drink enough waterfind at least two jobs a week and apply to them; work on projects to show that you know your shiztalk to other hoomans each week If you actually read all that...wow. I'm impressed. You might be shocked to learn that my walls of text have actually gotten shorter over the years. 0.o Regardless, you're awesomesauce. Grab yourself a refreshing bottle of water and get some sleep. Or if you're starting your day, the picture below is for you, have a fantastic day! To be continued...
  14. Momma Honeybadger (5 points) I want to be able to complete the entire mommy boot camp exercise list, so that requires GOING to my boot camp workouts twice a week. I also want to fit in some yoga, so it'd be nice if I can find time once a week to do a DVD while hubby takes on baby for me. Yoga is far less likely to happen, so the points weight falls more on boot camp. 1/12 Boot Camp Workouts (STR 3 points STA 1 point) 8.3%8.3% 0/6 Yoga Workouts (STA 1 points) 0%0% What the hell are Macros? (3 points) Read a book about weight training and macros and develop a plan. Taking recommendations! (WIS 3 Points) Go the Fuck to Sleep (4 points) Establish a steady bedtime routine with baby boy to encourage sleeping well for both of us. Better to do it now than to wait until I go back to work in August. #ThatTeacherLife (CHA 2 Points) Related, drink less coffee. That 28 oz of coffee is affecting the kid via the boob. I need to drink like 12-14 oz instead. (STA 2 points) Paleo Noms (3 Points) Not just cooking paleo, but getting some paleo canning/preserving underway while the produce is summer-fresh. (CON 3) This will be about finding recipes for fruit and veggie preserves without adding a load of sugar or other refined ingredients. 1/3 adventures in paleo canning undertaken (CON 3 Points) 33.3%33.3% Possible recipes to try: Blueberry Preserves Made Without Pectin or Sugar This may be my first experiment because Texas blueberries are amazing right now so it's a good time to do it. If a first batch works, then I will make go back and make enough to put away a few pints of it. Because omg, Texas blueberries right now! This recipe happens to have no pectin, which is a fiber taken from plants used to make jellies gel. Pectin seems to be considered ok on the Paleo diet, and I just want to note I chose this recipe for its ease not for the lack of pectin. If anything, the no-sugar is the big allure here. See the attempt here.
  15. You talk about redefining my identity. I want a guarantee that I can still be myself. This new Battle Log will have a daily post of the workouts I have done. It will also be a house for my journey of self-acceptance. My main goal is to change my body composition within the next 3-6 months by 5-10%. Looking to get into the 'fitness' range of bodyfat. Height: 5'3" Weight: 135lbs Stats: TBA Before Pictures: <INSERT PICTURES HERE>
  16. 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!
  17. Ahoy! me buckos! I be fresh off o' me latest adventure in t' lake o' level 1. Havin' surmounted me foes and succesfuly navigated t' a port it was time t' rest. With me crew and I well rested it be time t' set sail into t' sea o' Adventurers. Captain Coffee has taken t' life under t' black flag, as t' song says "it's a pirates life for me". With me sails unfurled, t' ocean before me, and me crew behind me nothin' will stop me from gettin' t' plunder I seek from t' world If you be brave enough t' join me under t' black flag, hop aboard and show me your pirate colors. Current Stats: Age: 23 Height: 6'2 Start Weight: 303 Total Lost: 4 Level: 2 STR 3.28 || DEX 1.64 || STA 2 || CON 3.32 || WIS 5.46 || CHA 2.64 Main Quest: The Baker's Dozen. (lose 13 lbs.) While I understand that weight isn't t' best metric t' measure success by, I feel like in me case it be warranted. I have quite an excess o' "booty" and t' goal be t' get t' a maintainable weight o' 200-215 lbs. This be best accomplished by breakin' it into small chunks. I be also lookin' for better fittin' clothes and more energy, but for now weight be t' best metric. Starting Weight: 303 lbs Goal Weight: 290 lbs Current Weight: 303 lbs Quest 1: Walk the Plank (walk 8500 steps a day) + Stamina Recently I hurt me aft (that means back for you landlubbers), and it's still healin', so takin' it easy and tryin' t' stay movin' A: 59,500 steps/week 100% B: 80% C: 60% D: 40% F: 20% (i think it will be easier to measure this by weekly avg.) Quest 2: Shiver me timbers! Let's get Limber: ( Yoga 5x a week) +2 Dexterity As I said, I hurt me aft, so I want t' stretch it out, and keep mildly active A: 5+ Days 100% B: 4 Days 80% C: 3 Days 60% D: 2 Days 40% F: 1 Days 20% INCOMPLETE: 0 Days 0% Quest 3: A pirate don't want none, unless you got rum, hun!: (Drink only water/tea/coffee) +3 Constitution Ol' Cap'n Coffee's been drinkin' way too many diet sodas, regular sodas, and sugary juices. Time t' cut aft.. Life Quest: Swab the Poop Deck (keep room, tidy and neat, before bed) +1 Stamina, Wisdom, Charisma I normally live in controlled chaos, but we're sellin' t' boathouse and movin'. We're goin' t' have strangers walkin' around t' house lookin' t' buy, and it needs t' be neat and tidy. This will include makin' me cot, and just general tidiness. Motivation: T' be t' most feared and respected pirate in all t' seas. T' get t' most plunder possible in t' short life assigned t' us. Thanks for readin' landlubbers, and if ye want t' be part o' t' most fierce and determined pirate crew around, stop by and say ahoy! Captain Coffee
  18. * coffee = I am a java programmer, reference to my life goal bender = this challenge will mostly be about flexibility Fit Intro: As a kid, I sucked at everything sport related and was known at my school for failing almost every time on P.E. The last couple of years I have discovered that I actually do love to push my body, but that I'm not a fan of team sports. I love dancing, yoga and strength training(free weights and body weight). My most recent victory was the 5k race that I ran in May and I hope to get a <30 min time on that soon. Nerd Life Intro: I recently graduated as a Java Developer, but still taking on extra courses like Android. Programming is computers + puzzles and therefor awesome. I love reading fantasy and scifi and playing RPG's like WoW and Divinity (it's Belgian!). Civ V is another favorite (and The Sims, but sssh). My gaming skills are not nearly what I want them to be but I enjoy myself. I also love drawing, painting (both mostly nudes) and spending way too much time on Tumblr. Main quest: I want to become the most flexible developer ever. Gymnasts are crazy impressive. Missions: Be able to perform the splits on both sides and really improve my wheel pose. Practice every day. Points of completion will be given based on improvement(I will take pictures every week) and if I have practiced enough count: 1 point for DEX for improvement of wheel pose, 1 for STA for training every day, same for splits (4 total) Be able to do a handstand Practice every other day. Right now I can hold a headstand without support for 10 seconds but no handstand, not even against a wall. I actually think this is more a mental problem than not having enough strength. count: 2 for STA, 1 for WIS Run 5k in under 30 minutes Run 3 times/week with Zombies, Run! app. Not flexibility related, but I really want this too. My current time is 35:27. count: 2 points for DEX based on improved speed, 2 points for STA based on consistent trainingImportant note for week 1: The first week of the challenge I will be on a trip in Berlin and the idea is to make it cardio week: swimming in the hotel pool every day, lots of walking and at night dancing. I will also spend some time in the sauna, to train myself if an assassin mission would ever take me to the desert Life quest: Get a job and move out First job, then move out, so this mostly means applying for a lot of jobs, creating stuff to add to my resume and improving my skills count: 3 for CHA, 2 for looking for jobs, 1 if I actually get one Side quest: (apparently split related) Go climbing or bouldering with my friend C. We have been talking about this for over a year, but he messed up his shoulder in February. Last week he said he would probably be ready for it this month, so here we go. count: 1 point for STA Motivation: I want to be amazed by what my body is capable of, what I am capable of. I want to proof that I am not lazy and that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. This will be a serious challenge of persistence but I like challenges! Why be less when you can be more?
  19. Hello! I'm finally trying to clean up my act and get back into healthy eating and fitness, after a several-month-long hiatus induced by major life changes and busy schedules. I shouldn't have let it happen, I know, but here I am again, back at step 1 with a poor diet and not working out at all. One baby step challenge I'm making for myself this month is finding some kind of alternative for my daily latte habit. Right now, I drink one large vanilla skim latte every morning. I drink it more for the taste and because I just like a warm cuppa than for the caffeine. I think a healthy change I could make is to switch from my ~240 calorie/day latte habit to tea. But I'm not a tea drinker, never been a tea drinker... So I know next to nothing about tea. Tea Drinkers -- do you have any recommendations for a "beginners tea" that's both healthy and tasty?
  20. Hey hey, just starting a post thread for my battle log. I'm currently on the starting strength program, using madcow programming. Current maxes Squat - 265 x 5 Bench - 195 x 5 Deadlift - 295 x 5 Press - 135 x 5 Monday 19th Workout Squat - 135 x 5, 165 x 5, 200 x 5, 230 x 5, 265 x 5 Bench - 100 x 5, 120 x 5, 145 x 5, 170 x 5, 195 x 5 Instead of just cleaning, I did some hang clean technique drills to work on my form a bit. I did a hang clean from mid thigh, just below the knee, then from the ground using 95lbs, 115lbs, and 135lbs for 2 sets each. I'm having a bit of trouble with my hip drive on the heaver weights, I can't seem to get the bar moving fast enough. It's possible that I was just starting to get tired since it was near the end of my workout though. I also did two sets of 1 arm rows using 40lbs, for 20 reps and 2 sets of 10 dips. I felt pretty good afterwards, getting the dips was tough for me, I could barely do 3 of them a couple months ago. Progress!
  21. Hey fellow rebels! Has anyone experienced any food or drink aversions post-workout? For example, before I started working out I drank at least a cup of coffee every morning, but now if I work out in the morning coffee is the last thing I want. It is super strange, particularly since I am a professed caffeine addict, but green tea is about all I can tolerate without feeling gross. On days I don't work out in the am I can drink it just fine. Mostly curious, as my wallet appreciates the lack of coffee shop stops! K
  22. 1. Get accepted into distance education certificate program in Project Management for September. This is going to consist of scouting out programs at different schools, assessing their content and method, sorting out the application process and completing that to a standard sufficient to be accepted. It's been a while since I've studied anything formally and that doesn't fit with my self image. Beyond that I've been dissatisfied with my current job on and off for a couple of years, and depending on company and industry dynamics it could be a precarious one. Doing some "homework", planning ahead and preparing for change seems like a good idea. At the very least I may stretch my brain in some new directions, apply myself beyond the bare minimums required to keep a job and have some peace of mind ... oh, that doesn't sound so "at least" after all. A bonus step on this one: Connect with the project management group in my company and let them know I'll be starting this program in September and would like to work with them - get guidance, use real company scenarios for case studies, etc.. I figure this will have two sets of benefits: provide better learning experience in the course work and re-introduce me to the company outside of the operations group. 2. Coffee, don't drink it. I really like coffee a lot. Such a treat. Funny though, it's something I sit down and drink in what could be lazy, leisurely moments and lately it makes me a jittery, anxious mess. Time to see what life is like without it. I've had this under way for a week now already and it actually feels better and easier to do than I'd expected. I think that it's definitely lowered my baseline stress. This week I had a variety of high stress work situations which I feel I handled with much more aplomb than I normally would have. Perhaps this is of sufficient value to trade in my morning ritual? I'll continue the experiment. 3. Daily rehab (mobility and strengthening) of the knees (and now elbow too) "Longitudinal tear of the meniscus and popliteal cyst of X, Y, Z dimension (I don't have the interpretation with me as I write this)", surgery not required and probably not beneficial - yet. That was late January. My lower body strength work has been flagging and I've been running less than I like to since then. With this my training has been eroding altogether - no curlbro here! If I can't be rough and rugged with the "leg" work it seems my motivation deteriorates. Lesson learned! I bought Mike Robertson's "Bulletproof Knees" in early April, read it and promptly ignored it. How much good is a book going to do when used that way? Hrrrrm. At the moment I can feel a bunch of imbalances and instabilities/tightnesses from the ankle to the hip expressing themselves in knee pain. Some of these are "cause" of the knee problem, others are "effect" but after a certain point they definitely feed back into each other. Daily work, 15 minutes or more of physio style exercises to improve stability in glutes and ankles, restore mobility throughout leg focusing on the knee. Goals: Improve ankle and glute health for better upstream and downstream stability and knee protection. Eliminate or diminish pain while running, bar squatting, pistoling. Additional work as required to mitigate growing "golfers elbow" developing on left side. Goal: Pain free upper body presses and pulls. 4. Achieve consecutive double unders ... how many? Double unders. I travel a lot and for a while I visited a lot of crossfit gyms. It was a really fun treat that turned a work trip into a little adventure with likeminded people. Showing up as the new guy who no one knew, for a long time it was easy to avoid learning how to do double unders ... a pretty standard appetizer to any WOD feast. I couldn't avoid knowing myself that I still, having been exposed to them about 4 years ago, have never strung together more than 4 consecutively and haven't even attempted one since last September. 10 minutes daily practice towards double unders. Ongoing study of youtube videos around this technique (not counted towards the 10 minutes) and seeking guidance from any coaches I encounter in this next 6 weeks. 5. Do GoRuck Class #659 proud. June 21st I'll be GoRucking overnight. I want to come through it with a smile, good stories and knowing I've done my classmates a solid any chance there was. While my overall PT has been less consistent and less intense than I like lately I'm not setting a training goal for this. I'll be on the road between now and then, and will be challenged sufficiently following through on the goals above. More details on S.M.A.R.T.ing these up to come.
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