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  1. INTRO 'Olo, you lot! Welcome to my quiet little corner. I am Haniya (pronounced Hun-nee-yah) a Nerdy, Sporty, DND[currently watching Critical Role]loving, Comic book enthusiast with a penchant for arts, Video games, Books, Disney movies, music and Mystery Murder shows [Stranger Things, Sherlock, Killing Eve, The Umbrella Academy and Elementary anyone?] also Neil Gaimann because good omens is a fantastic show and is worth fangirling about. Today I have entered as a ranger to challenge myself. Hopefully, my experiment will help me build my habits and my body. I feel like my true self best fits in this sneaky, lean, strong and dangerously cool class because strength and stamina are the two things that I ideally want and we all wish to master. Hence, here I am and here I go! BACK STORY TIME: WE all know how our health is the MOST important thing in the world--physical, emotional and mental as well--especially when you've been obese half your childhood. Its hard to get back on that health horse when like half of your house hold isnt primed for it at all. Regaining my good healthy self has been a massive struggle, no less a bumpy roller coaster ride of high and lows. Well, I've been at it for quite a while with the NERDS--actually listening and enjoying the company of the people--thus, naturally, I come running back to thine fine health, happiness institute of fittitude! [Gedit] Even though i hate typing, i do try to update as often as I can. Well, anyways! I live in Pakistan (south east asia) where carbohydrate is as important and as common as air and I am not joking! OUR DIET AND CUISINE IS JUST FULL OF IT AND EVEN IF YOU TRIED, YOU JUST CANT SHAKE IT OFF AND IGNORE IT! BUT. I. WANT. TO. CHANGE. MYSELF. I DON'T WANT TO BE ADDICTED ANYMORE AND THAT'S MY MAIN MISSION HERE! BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY! I will go slow this time and not overwhelm myself as much as I am prone to so I'll just go over the basics of my mission. Cus. I. Can. And. I. Love. To. Sound. Very. Official. OH, SHALL WE MOVE TOWARDS MY BASE OF OPERATIONS?! *drumroll* OP 1: Take control of the wheel, agent! As the new agent of SHIELD, it is your duty to physically take care of what you put in your body. Filling in the shoes of Natasha Romanoff is going to be a hard job, recruit, so I suggest you take those shoes seriously and work hard! *There we go, guys. Big shoes to fill* So, clean eating and portion control is the key. Refined sugar and fried stuff is your ENEMY. IT'S YOUR HYDRA! You must defeat the bad side! *telegram* Recruit! We are not that cruel, you know, so we are allowing you a two day cheat treat. Aren't we cool?! Of-course, we are, we are SHIELD! OP 2: Find the lost Tomb of Rorustan You want to be the next Lara Croft? You want to go on adventures and move mountains like her, yes? Change the course of time and history like her? Then, you got to train like her! Her strong and Charismatic body took years and years of hard work and perseverance! Can you keep up? *CanI?* Journey to the lost tombs, human and bring forth power! My objective is to run and do body weight exercises (darebee and skipping rope) 3-4 times in a week with two days rest period. Walk for 20-30 mins daily. CAN YOU HEAR THE SPIRITS TALKING? YES! I DO! I CAN HEAR LARA CROFT! MASTER, I CAN HEAR HER WHISPERS FROM THE INSIDE, SPEAKING OUT TO ME (awksslipawaytoyonder) OP 3: Bend it like Korra! Before she was the avatar, Korra knew nothing of her powers and how to control them but with the help of her teachers and peers, she blossomed into the strongest being we know today! Want to Bend it like Korra? *Heck Yeah* then you must dedicate some time to your education; to learn and grow like the avatar. Daily one or two videos that'll inspire you or give you knowledge about the world and beyond. Study spanish: Duolingo and Memrise streaks, audio lessons from Pimsleur and YouTube video lessons. Dont forget to make notes in your notebook. Meditate to calm your souls. A clear and tension free mind is a happy mind! TAI CHI PRACTICE! Watch David Dorian Ross videos and practice along. New videos everyday to build your 103 long form practice. OP 4: "Be as flexible as Kamala Khan" SUPERHERO BY DAY, REGULAR GAMER CHILD BY NIGHT! Balancing your hero and human life takes a lot of work but you have to do this in order for the world to make sense plus, fun time is fun time! So, here are my humanly duties towards a good future:- Journal writing: habit tracking, Spanish progress and recording my days key features as bullet points to make my life easy Updating nerd fitness with my journey in the form of ratings A-F [A being super awesome and F Epic Wamp] and supporting new people and their journies! *POWER RANGERS, METAMORPHOSIS! Oh, wrong fandom* Read more books by adhering to the 50 books a year challenge: Give 1-2 weeks maximum to my current read by reading everyday for 20-30 minutes Focus on your hydration: Minimum 6glasses to up to 8 glasses. More water! LASTLY NEVER GIVE UP! Speaking of giving up, we all need some kind of push on our behinds, right? That's why I have certain ideals. Certain role models that I look for inspiration and motivation when I am feeling particular down in the ditch. These forces of good are there when i need them the most, to guide me through my epic quest I call life. Someone who I want to be: Inspiration Dice I have so many role models that I look up to! People who have proved to be gigantic and so bad arse--who don't need to be reminded of their worth! People who are amazing enough to inspire and motivate us all to follow our dreams and challenge our limits. They teach us that being kind, resolute, strong and brave--in the face of danger--is the most noblest of things you can do. So, so talented, so powerful and so stupendous. I want to be them and I am honoured to call them my idols: Lara Croft, Black Widow, Korra, Ellie Goulding, Aveline De Grandpre, Aloy, Merida, Captain Marvel, Avatar Aang, Dr 13 and Yasmin Khan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Jim Kwik, Shuri, Okoye, Kamala Khan etc. I am not promising here but i will try to keep you guys up to date with my daily shenanigans and what-nots. Apart from that, I want to THANK you for YOUR precious time! And I might need you guys to help me with this challenge because my focus on them has been very rocky but I am ready to CHANGE MYSELF FOR THE BETTER! I SWEAR ON MY PRETTY LITTLE HANDS THAT I SHALL TRY MY HARDEST! *CUE RICK ROLL SONG* p.s: i love DND even though i am a complete beginner so talk to me about it or if you are looking dnd players then lets band together! I am all for an epic dnd session!
  2. Ensi signing up for another round with the Druids! It's my third challenge with the druids, and this class has been really good for my well-being. I'm working with lowering the high expectations I have towards myself, and getting strong and healthy after a straining, stressful winter. I'd say we're going pretty strong! During the past two years, I've lost 20 kg, and I'm still going for another 5 kg. This would land me in 65 kg, which is my ultimate weight goal. There's no deadline for this, though; I'm mostly after getting strong and feeling good, and managing my anxiety issues and, well, life During my last challenge, I started keeping a comic journal. This turned out to be a pretty nice way to report my progress, so I'm going to keep doing it. I do enjoy art and drawing, and this is a good way to get some comics done every day. My challenge will be different each week: I'm going to set a goal that I need to follow in order to get a reward. I've had a Hidden Item Hunt, in which one of you holds an item, and I can know what it is only if I manage to reach my weekly goal! I'm going to think about this setting for this week, which I'm actually taking off I'm gonna plan my studies and come up with a structure for the four weeks that this challenge is going to last. Is this challenge lacking goals? Absolutely. But hey, comics! Coming up!
  3. Kara gritted her teeth as she raised her shield up to ward off the blow of the sword arcing through the air. Metal met metal in a clang that resounded through the air and jarred all the way up through her arm and her body, shaking her with it's strength. A flurry of curse words flew past Kara's lips as she countered the attack, bringing her own hammer up and sending it crashing down on her enemy. He brought his shield up to deflect the blow then twisted in a maneuver she had not seen before that allowed him to block and attack almost simultaneously. The shield on her forearm was brought up to counter the swift attack and he simply shrugged the efforts off and continued to rain blow after blow at Kara. She struggled to protect and defend and find a way to attack herself, even as her strikes seemed to show little to no effect on her opponent. The young Valkyrie cursed and attempted to roll away from her opponent as he let loose a barrage of attacks swifter than she could anticipate or protect herself from. She let loose with a torrent of curse words as she put some space between the two of them and warily eyed the man moving after her. She had the strength of the Gods, she stood toe to toe with the denizens of the Nine Realms, and yet to him it was as if he was under assault from a fly. If not for the shield in hand there was no doubt that her body would be a mass of cuts and injuries. As it was head to toe throbbed, every slash and thrust deflected sending jarring pains and aches all over. The shield arm was suffering the brunt of it and Kara knew the next day her limb would be unusable and numb with bruising and pain. The rhythm of battle was interrupted by a sudden shift in tactics on the part of her enemy. A sword was brought up as if to attack and Kara moved to block it. Out of the corner of her eye she saw, too late, his shield coming up to be used in the attack as well, the dual attack shifting her focus to move away. But it was too late,. She had already moved her own block and shield and even as she turned to roll from both blows the shield caught her entire right side firmly across her breastplate. She flew back on to the ground and he followed her down. With one hand he slammed the shield down, pinning her weapon in place, his weight upon her shield and his sword brought to her neck. A sharp sudden motion and she felt the sting of the cut as the sword slid across her neck, leaving a shallow cut to mark his victory. “You lose Curly One†“I know. No need to state the obvious, you Old Goat!â€Expletives followed her comment and he managed to raise his brow even as he pulled back and stood up off of her. “I was not aware one could do that with a hammer, my face and a sheep. Perhaps you can demonstrate with your own at the next feast.†“Perhaps I can use my hammer on that tiny excuse for a manhood you claim instead?†“Such a violent young woman.†He reached down and grabber Kara's hand, yanking her to her feet with a smirk. “One would think you could channel that into fighting better yet I find you, once again, laying on your back before me.†She shot him a dirty look, practically snarling at him and his comment. “I fought fine you Goat! I would have had you in another few blows.†“Pah. You had nothing Valkyr. You're blows were like that of a gnat biting at a horse. You were exhausted swiftly, easily. You did not anticipate or react quick enough to my change in tactics, too stuck in the idea of hack and slash. No doubt you are still swimming in last nights mead. You are ill prepared for the battles ahead with the abysmal training you've received. How are you to survive battlefields the world over much less Ragnarok when you cannot even spar with me. You will take no souls for Asgard and Valhalla the way you are now!†“What shall I do then?†Her insults were gone, the bravado shattered with the truth. Her eyes shifted to her teacher seriously and he nodded with a smile. Finally she would take this seriously. “You will build up your strength. You will exercise your body. You will train in battle and defense. Stop filling your body with bread and booze. Being a cup bearer does not mean you have to drink enough to pass out every night, Curly. You will prepare. You will listen. You will rise as a Valkyrie, not a silly girl any longer.†Goal One: Strength "Come, Curly. Follow me and I will show you what you need to do with that hammer of yours and a few other items I have." Her teacher guided her through the practice yard and took her to piles of discarded leather from armor crafting cut offs. "Stand here. Hit the leather. Don't stop until I say." "You want me to hit....leather? Why?" He sighed and eyed Kara fiercely. "Do as I say Valkyr, or leave and let me find another student who can listen." Growling the Valkyrie lifted her hammer and began to slam it into the pile of leather over and over. Being born with the strength of the Gods is all well and good but when the Gods and other beings of the 9 realms are your enemy and are stronger than you that must change. You need to build that strength up to stand toe to toe with Giants. For this challenge I will do 3 strength exercises a week, a combo of Maces and Crossfit. Goal Two: Endurance "Keep running." "I haven't stopped, Goat!" "You're slowing down, Curly. Keep moving or they'll get you." "They haven't got me yet!" "Shutup and run or they'll bite you!" The gnashing of teeth as one of the hounds chasing Kara lunged at her calf reiterated the point and the Valkyrie turned to keep running, trying to ignore the pain in her side as the weight of her armor slowed her steps and burned in her lungs." Being strong and facing down Frost Giants or a handsy drunken Thor is only one aspect. Valkyries live on battlefields and collecting souls sometimes means taking part. Being strong doesn't help if battles are long and drawn out (or if you're running around tables to elude Thor until Sif can knock him cold and drag him off.) To be the best Valkyrie you need the endurance to withstand enemies in battle. I will do four endurance/cardio based workouts a week, any mix of Rucking or C25K sessions. Goal Three: Defense "Why don't I have my weapon?!" "Because I took it from you." "And?" He growled, turning to backhand her, the blow ringing through her face and ears, leaving her gaping at him. "Because if an enemy manages to take it from you it won't be a slap you'll be facing." Any further comment was cut off by a growl as Kara leaped through the air to land on him and begin pummeling him with her fists, making him laugh. "That's it, girl. Now you understand!" Knowing how to swing a hammer and block a shield is one step in being able to fight. Learning more than one way of fighting and moving is useful along with improving agility and flexibility. One can never say when they may be stripped of their weapons in battle. To this end I will do one Krav Maga session minimum a week. Preparing for battle of any kind is the task of a true Valkyr! Goal Four: Buck Furpees! He watched the young woman as she cleaned out not only her armor and weapons but even the sweat stained under tunic. He hovered, making sure every last drop of moisture was dried, that no rust would be forming on her gear. Then observed her sharpening her sword and checking over the mace for any weak points are cracks. "I would have thought hitting you with this would have made it crack, as hard headed as you are, Old Goat." "There you go, thinking again." She snarled but he merely chuckled, causing her to shake her head at him in disgust. She muttered obscenities under her breath but keep working on her gear and making sure it was ready for battle. Preparation is a key to battle. Going into a fight means taking care of yourself, your armor, your supplies. It means knowing what you may face and being ready for whatever is thrown at you. Being prepared for me means facing the dreaded Burpee head on. I will be doing the Spartan in June and Burpess will inevitably be a part of that. I must prepare, even as I curse them. Every week I will do Burpees before bed and when I wake up. Each additional week I will add on 5 Burpees until I can easily do those I need to in preparation to become a Spartan Valkyrie! I will start with 5 my first week. Goal Five: Nutrition Halfway through throwing back the cup of mead Kara found it wrenched from her hand and thrown to the floor. The young woman turned to face the einherjar she was sure it was and found her face to face with her teacher. The snarl that had been forming died on her lips and she stared at him pouting. "That was my mead." "What did I say." "To stop swimming in my food and gorging myself." "So..." She frowned and bit her lip but reached out and grabbed some meat and cheese and fruit to eat along with a tankard of cold, refreshing....water. Ugh. Swilling wine and mead and beer is all good for any Cup Bearing Valkyrie. But feasting and drinking until one is swimming in it is not. The body must be ready for battle along with the mind and reflexes. Stuffing my face is not part of that. The holidays are over. Time to Ranger Up! I will eat 2 primal meals a day every day of the week, allowing myself one day to eat Primal only once. The day is my choosing but it does not mean I will gorge. Only that I can relax and let myself embrace my inner Valkyrie with a little good food and good drink. Life Goal: Live Winning a battle is all well and good but one must learn life is not always about the next battle, the next fight. One must enjoy and live. Fear must not hold back your life. So every challenge I will pick one new thing to do, one thing I am uncertain of or afraid of. I will do it and will conquer it. I don't know what it will be each time. It may be something small and simple. It may be life changing. But it will be done and I will post in my wrap up what I did each challenge. Completing each challenge I will award myself a static set of stat points (subject to change with tomorrows release of more info) based on what my focus for each challenge was. At the end of everything if I have achieved all my goals I will reward myself with something from my list. My newest tattoo. Piercing. Massage. New athletic gear. Kara listened to all her mentor laid out for her and nodded with a sigh. She looked at the looming edifice that was Valhalla and watched those inside. The souls of countless warriors in battle taken before she had come along and there would be countless more she would add to the teeming mass. She could not approach this as casually as the others may. She was collecting souls for battle, for Ragnarok and she was determined they would not lose, no matter what the Norns and the prophecies claimed. Asgard would stand strong, she would serve the All Father. She would do what it took. “Let us train some more then, Old Goat.â€
  4. So, who is SomeGuyFromScotland?: I joined NF a week before the April 6WC started. At that point, I was five weeks into a new workout routine, and nine weeks into attempting to eat better. There are links to my introduction/origin story and my first four challenges in my sig below. Feel free to go rummage around in there. I’ve gone from 255lbs at the end of January, to 232 at the start of my first 6WC, 223 at the start of my second, 211 by the third, 203 by the fourth, and 196 as of right now. It’s a work in progress. There's no specific weight number in mind (yet - this might change as the challenges go on), but I suspect it might be somewhere around the 175-180 range. And what does he want?: There is an ongoing life goal to dress like a proper grown-up adult man, in clothes which actually look good on me, and make my wife proud to be seen with me when I take her out. The general aim is to continue to overhaul my entire wardrobe, getting rid of anything which falls into one of the following categories: baggy, sagging or ragged. Over my first four challenges, I set a specific goal of getting properly fitted for a good quality, tailored, three-piece suit, and get a good photograph taken wearing it, because I was sick of being disgusted when I looked in the mirror or saw a photo of myself. This goal having now been achieved, I’m starting to think about the next level. There are two things I would quite like to do in 2016. One of them is write a novel and self-publish it on Amazon. I’ll probably hold off on starting that until the first challenge of next year, and make it an ongoing item in the 2016 challenges. The other, I’m going to start working towards in this challenge. So, without further ado, I bring you: Issue #5: SomeGuyFromScotland vs. The Cartel of Carnage Every good superhero comic needs one or more bad guys. Arch enemies, Supervillains, or just plain old Asshats. Spidey had his Sinister Six. Dredd had the Dark Judges. Every Avenger has his Dark Avenger, and SomeGuyFromScotland (with occasional comic relief from his exotic dancing alter ego Buff McSavoury and comedy sidekick Tartan Temptress) has… Mephistopheles – The self-styled Father of Lies, and the evil mastermind behind CoC. His true power lies not in his wisdom, but in convincing you that yours is false. Stronghold – The Cartel’s enforcer, he is brutality incarnate, a wrecking ball of strength, power and rage. Alluria – She is a succubus, the addiction who calls you like a siren. She looks good, but she is poison. Succumb to her, and your strength and willpower will be gone. Heisenburp – A former high school gym teacher who was driven to insanity by, oddly enough, the Insanity workout. Following his escape from the asylum, he was recruited by the Cartel to eliminate threats by forcing them to perform burpees until death from exhaustion. The Five Thousand – The terrifying result of genetic experimentation, The Five Thousand is a constantly regenerating being with a myriad of heads and arms. Chop one off, and more appear. The Five Thousand cannot be truly defeated, simply survived. Note: Targets adjusted on 30/11 to compensate for a complete bust of a phlegmy, sweaty, viral sick week. Quest 1: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (The Five Thousand) “Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light†The last chapter ended with the line “And when the hand touched my shoulder again, I somehow found the strength to run.†Now begins the next stage in my journey. I have always hated running. It’s time to get over that. I’ve identified a six week beginner’s 5k training plan and this is the first step towards my next small life goal, to compete in and complete an actual 5k. Beyond that? Who knows. Maybe I’ll tackle a 10k. Maybe I’ll never run again. This training plan calls for 18 sessions, three per week. I’ll record my time taken to complete 5k on each run, and hopefully the walk : run ratio will change significantly over the 6 weeks. Achievable Points: +4 STA A: 15 sessions (Points x 1) - Current Progress B: 13 (Points x 0.75) C: 11 (Points x 0.5) D: 9 (Points x 0.25) F: < 9 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 2: Iron Sharpens Iron (Stronghold) “Never easy, never clean, to be a beast among human sheep.†This is a fight to the death. As iron sharpens iron, so I must get stronger by battling the epitome of strength. The focus of the last couple of challenges has been primarily weight loss and fat burning, so cardio has taken priority. Now that I’m getting more comfortable, it’s time to re-establish a good lifting regimen. Two workouts a week with a focus on weights. Workout plans will be detailed below, but it’s based loosely on Stronglifts 5x5. I have no idea what my baseline will be, but the targets will self-adjust as I progress. Achievable Points: +4 STR A: 10 sessions (Points x 1) - Current Progress B: 8 (Points x 0.75) C: 7 (Points x 0.5) D: 6 (Points x 0.25) F: < 6 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 3: He is the Danger (Heisenburp) “You all know exactly who I am. Say my name.†Trapped in the lunatic Heisenburp’s underground lair, the only way to escape is burpees. He may be the Danger… but I am the One who Rocks. Achievable Points: +1 STR, +3 DEX A - 830+ (Points x 1) - Current Progress B - 750-830 (Points x 0.75) C - 670-750 (Points x 0.5) D - 590-670 (Points x 0.25) F - < 590 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 4: Lead Me Not (Alluria) “We gain the strength of the temptation we resist†The power of the succubus is temptation. Alluria is beautiful and almost impossible to resist, but she is poison. Do not succumb to her. Eat mindfully and continue the good habit of maintaining a daily deficit. Tracking purely on food logged against a daily fixed calorie target this time, instead of including exercise calories. Achievable Points: +1 CON, +1 CHA A – 40+ Days on Target (Points x 1) - Current Progress B - 39 Days (Points x 0.75) C - 38 Days (Points x 0.5) D - 37 Days (Points x 0.25) F - <37 Days (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 5: The Wisdom of Solomon (Mephistopheles) “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.†There is only one way to defeat the Father of Lies: with Truth. Slightly different reading challenge this time, with apologies to Doc Feelgood for completely ripping this idea off from his recent challenges. I’ll use my YouVersion bible app, choose some reading plans and begin each morning with 15 minutes to read and absorb that day’s word and get myself right for the day ahead. Ideally, it’ll be six 7-day plans, but we’ll see where it leads. Achievable Points: +1 WIS A - 42 Days (Points x 1) - Current Progress B - 40 Days (Points x 0.75) C - 38 Days (Points x 0.5) D - 36 Days (Points x 0.25) F - <36 Days (Fail. 0 Points.) Minis: #1: Hoth Battle - Done! +1 STA #2: Yoga with Yoda - Done! +1 WIS #3: Combined Force #4: Recipe Book #5: Helping the Pilots #6: Blaze of Glory IRL Things: Following my triumphant performances as "Doo-Wop Backing Vocalist #4", Queen tribute Granny Tranny, Scar's Hyena Sidekick, and Augustus Gloop, I can now officially announce I will be making a return to the stage on the 7th and 8th November playing a WW2 soldier in our church's annual fundraising show, which this year is a seriously emotional musical named Hope & Glory. Thankfully, no speaking part this time. Just as a bit of background, every single penny raised at the shows, either from ticket sales, or the associated auction and raffle afterwards, goes to our Christmas giveaway where we give toys and food parcels to struggling families in our local community. At last count, the total given away over the last six or seven years is somewhere around £90,000. The Wolverine and I will be making a road trip to (not so) sunny Bradford, Yorkshire from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd November for our annual church conference, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse to go off the rails, even though we will most likely be faceholing the world’s best curry at Akbar’s on the Saturday night, and if previous years are any indication, an outstanding fish and chips at Murgatroyds on the Friday. I do have two days’ wiggle room on the calorie challenge, but I’d rather not use both in the same weekend. I’ll be logging food as normal for those days, and attempting to make good decisions. In terms of workouts, I’ll just need to make sure I either have my schedule nailed, or get a slight cushion built up just in case. Oh, and this challenge ends right before my birthday. Pleasing.
  5. Something I love about hero stories is that typically the main character gets knocked down (sometimes very hard), but they have the resilience and ability to get back up. I posted my story in the Respawn forum, but figured I would start a daily log here to track as I work on getting back up. Since I'm coming back between challenges, my goals here are a bit more long term than the focused 6 week challenge goals. Inspirations: Black Canary - Yeah she has sonic super powers, but she trained in classical boxing techniques, and was the hand-to-hand combat instructor in "Young Justice". She can go up against tough villains, and kicks serious butt.Xena - Need I say more? I grew up on those shows, and "warrior woman" is tots my jam.Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - Do yourself a favor, and check out his twitter or Instagram. He's always so positive about his workouts, and just exudes "can do" spirit.Nikkita - International spy/assassin trying to make past wrongs right, fighting the good fight, and protecting the people she cares about. Heck yeah!The Flash - Regardless of super speed, he's another all around positive dude, who takes care of his enemies with an inspiring level of compassion. Villains: Darth Desk Job - I sit. A lot. I'm an engineer and spend my 8-5 behind a computer.Sally Sweet-Tooth - DAMN YOU SALLY!Theodore Travel Bottom - I have to travel for work quite a bit in the summer, and am usually headed to areas with limited food options.The Stressinator - In addition to travel, my job can be hella stressful, and I'm shit about self care when work hits critical mass. Allies: Husband Man - Not every epic tale needs a love story, but mine has one. Husband Man has my back in any fight, and I have his.Perpetual Motion Puppy - Some side kicks fight crime, others chase squirrels.The Extraordinary League of Family Peeps - We team up from time to time to fight crime, bag summits, and see exotic locales. Goals: Food goals - I've been an ovo/lacto vegetarian for about a year. I'm sticking with that and would like to continue working on reducing the presence of animal products in my meals. I'm also working on eating more fresh prepared meals as opposed to pre-packaged or restaurant meals. Specifics: Reduce meals out to 2 or fewer per week.Only have dairy or eggs in one meal per day.Do weekly meal planning with Husband Man.Hit up the farmer's market at least every other week (when I'm in town) for a veggie I wouldn't normally buy at the super market.Stop visiting the snack drawer at work by planning breakfasts and lunches.Fitness goals - Kick it Canary style! There is a boxing gym near my work, that I'm going to check out.Start lifting at the rec center with Husband Man.Take Perpetual Motion Puppy for a walk before work every day. Bonus mode: get a hike in with her on weekends as the weather warms up.Take lunch walks during the day to get away from my computer (even for just 15-20 minutes).Adventure goals - More hiking, fun travel and playing outside. Non-negotiable quality of life vices: Scotch/whisky/bourbon - I have a couple of fingers of one of these less than once per week (every other week - monthly would probably be more accurate).Ice cream - One scoop or less per week (at least in the summer the ice cream parlor in our town is the best thing ever). Game plan is to earn it throughout the week via workouts and otherwise clean eating. Teaming up with Sally Sweet-Tooth from time to time keeps her in line overall.Video games - FFXIV is my jam, Husband Man and I play with friends near and far, and it's an important part of our social schedule. With the right attitude gaming doesn't have to be a destructive pursuit. I'm a little nervous posting all of this, but being accountable is important, and solidifying and tracking goals is the name of the game. Let's do this!
  6. Hi there, When I stumbled upon this site I thought I was dreaming. Nerdy goodness meshed with fitness, I signed up quicker than you can imagine. I have spent a long while being lazy and not getting myself in order, worrying about others first and putting myself last. This goes as far as family, friends and even acquaintances. I have had to learn a painful lesson in life that it is not anyway to live. So, it is time for me to take a stand and get back in gear for me, myself and I. A few things about me, I am a comic fan, gamer, love movies and sports too. I am happy I found this little place on the web. I am brand spankin new, so I have some more perusing to do on the site. I do welcome any suggestions and friends to join me. Chrissie
  7. "On that day, mankind received a grim reminder. We lived in fear of the titans, and were disgraced to live in these cages we called walls." When I was six years old, I wanted to grow up to be Spider-Man. At the very least, I was absolutely certain I would grow up to be world-famous. And yeah, that's the kind of boundless self-assurance that only a little kid can have, but still. It was just a hard fact as far as I was concerned: before I reached adulthood, everyone would know my name, and be blown away by my artistic talents and bottomless kind heart. To everyone, everywhere, I would be considered a Hero. It never occurred to me that I would have to work for it. And I never imagined that other forces would work to stop me. I just thought if I kept being myself, the rest would come with time. Then puberty happened. Seemingly overnight, my bodyweight jumped to borderline obesity. Classmates, teachers, even certain relatives began pointing out my flaws, digging their fingers into open wounds and prying them open for sport. At 12, I began having thoughts of suicide, ongoing depression looming over me so heavily, I was left emotionally crippled, unable to do anything besides go to school and lock myself in my room. "Clearly," I thought, "the world wants nothing to do with me. Why bother trying to become a hero? No one even wants you as a friend. Why bother trying when everyone wants to watch you fail? Don't embarrass yourself. You're a failure, you'll always be a failure, the best you can hope for is to be ignored." My feelings of social isolation and self-loathing grew even deeper when I hit High School and my sexuality made it's presence known. I had already felt like a freak before I realized I was the only lesbian I knew, but after? I was doomed. I didn't even bother trying to date- the depression kept me certain that I needed to be quarantined, like FatNerdyGayness was some sort of disease I could infect the other, cooler kids with. Not that I didn't have friends; I did, and we remain close to this day, but even now, I fight against this cold, angry voice gnawing at my brain stem: "They don't like you. They just pity you. No one loves you. They just tolerate you. How could anybody want you around? Have you looked in a mirror lately?" I graduated high school and moved on to College, and again, I didn't fit in, but at least by this point I had learned to dull the pain by burying myself in the stuff I loved: Comic Books, Cartoons and Punk Rock. I no longer had a knife to my wrist, but I had reverted to that old notion that the best I could hope for was to be ignored. I didn't care about classes, or dating, or even trying to make friends- all I wanted was to keep myself out of the dark place. I flunked out of school after 2 and a half years and moved back in with my mom. I was on the run from my depression, and it justified every move I made away from the life I actually wanted. "People who can't throw something important away can never hope to change anything." Thankfully, my mom directed me into psych counseling which began treating the illness, rather than simply trying to evade the symptoms. I started reclaiming my head again, instead of just living in fear of the nightmares it could produce. Now, make no mistake, depression is not a battle, it's a war: there's no "cure", I will always be fighting against it, and I will have good days and bad for the rest of my life. But there's a world of difference between treatment and nothing, and with the aid of therapy and medication, I got it together enough to move out on my own 5 years ago and maintain (mostly) steady employment since then. But freeing up space in my brain to think about something besides avoiding suicide has forced me to remember: this isn't the life I wanted when I was a kid. My life, as it stands right now, is "good enough". I'm overweight, but not obese. I live in a godawful hovel of an apartment, but it's in a city I like. I make enough money to support myself, but not really do anything else. I'm totally physically unfit, but nothing in my life requires me to be anything else. I move from day job to day job, getting nothing from my work but a paycheck. I don't have a girlfriend and my social circle is small, but I'm mature enough to prefer quality over quantity. It's all okay. Just okay. But at six years old, I didn't want to be an overweight counter-jockey with an "okay" life. I wanted to be a Hero. And 20 years later, I still do. The time has come for me to build a life of my own design, to go beyond the walls that I've built up around me, walls that never protected me anyway, and take on anything that would keep me from the world I want to live in. (Is the Attack On Titan metaphor getting old yet? Is anyone out there still awake? Alright, bear with me, home stretch...) "If you win, you live. If you lose, you die. If you don't fight, you can't win!" In terms of "race", I'm a textbook hobbit: 5 foot 3, 185 lbs, round face, big eyes, more inclined to books and pies then bench presses. But to hell with all of that, right? It's not who you are, it's what you will become. And I want to become the goddamn Batman. ...okay, but seriously. I want to get faster and more agile, and build up my upper body strength so I don't need a stepladder to climb a tree, so, in terms of Class, that puts me with the Assassins. On top of that, I've been studying Seido Karate on-and-off for nineteen years, and it's the only sport I've ever had any sort of skill with or enjoyed, so there's a touch of Monk in there too. So, Assassin plus Monk basically equals Batman, doesn't it? Or Spider-Man, to harken back to my six-year-old self. Or a Survey Corps member, just to wring the last few drops out of my metaphor. And what better end goal for a fitness regime inspired by comic book characters then to dress up like one in public? Last month, I went to the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo with some friends, and we were blown away by the skill and diversity of cosplaying attendees, so much so that discussion immediately turned to who everybody was gonna dress up as next year. Naturally, the short tubby girl with no visible muscles was discouraged, but then I realized, an entire year is more than enough time to get my ass (and arms and chest and abs and back) spandex-ready. Who am I going as? Not quite sure yet, but the goal is the same regardless: Drop 50 pounds in just under a year, and build my upper body enough to rock out 10 pull-ups by 9 months from now. C2E2 did a lot more for me as well: like a John Hughes movie where you realize the love of your life is the one who's been there the whole time, spending 3 straight friends surrounded by fans and professionals of the Funny-Book industry brought me to the epiphany that my lifelong love of comics is where I should set my sights as a career. I am going to become a professional comic book writer, and hopefully one day write for the "big two", Marvel and/or DC. But I'm not going to get there overnight, and the advice from the pros themselves was to simply start making my own comics now; having quality work already under your belt is, according to editors at Dark Horse and Marvel, the best way to get noticed and hired. SO! The Challenge! Goals and all that! The whole point of writing this little message-board novella, right? Here we go... Main Quest: To lose 50 pounds and level up my upper body by C2E2 2015. Challenge Goals: Quit Smoking and Stay Smoke-Free for Six WeeksDo a Basic Dumbbell Workout 3 mornings a week, Six Weeks in a rowRejoin the local Seido Dojo and attend two classes a week, Six weeks in a rowLife Quest: To start building a body of work for my pro-comic portfolio. Complete the script and layouts for the first issue of an ongoing comic seriesMeet with at least two artists to discuss collaborating on 5 to 8 page portfolio piecesSave $100 towards a new laptop (which will make writing and collaboration infinitely easier) I want a life I'm proud of, a life worth living for. And while I don't need washboard abs to forge that life for myself, I think looking like a hero can only help me feel like I really am one, like I've always wanted to be. I am done living a life I can coast through, a life where the best I can hope for is to not be eaten alive by the demons of my past. I will not become prey to my depression. I will hunt down the life I deserve. Or put another way... "Sie sind das Essen? Nein. Wir sind die Jäger."
  8. In Which Devyn Gets De-Zombified (now in Comic Sans!) Last time we left our heroic hero, she was heroically fighting a zombie, heroically... And she died. HOWEVER!!!!! Some of you may wonder why I suddenly stopped posting during the last challenge. Yes, it's because I died. It's hard to post things online when your carcass is rotting. Now, I always thought being a zombie would be lots of fun, but it's not. It's boring. Zombies are stupid and slow and smelly and I miss being a kender. For weeks, I stumbled around the countryside looking for a way to reverse my fate when I came upon a wizard. It so happened that this wizard was an expert in zombies. (OMG WHAT ARE THE CHANCES??) He taught me how to slow the decaying process on my body and he also told me of a magical artifact that would bring me back to life and to the kender I was before. AND SO, THE SPECS... Main Goal: To stop being a zombie. 1. Core Strength: 5 minute plank (STR +3) 2. Limb Strength (to keep them from falling off): A pull up! (STR+3) 3. Detox: Whole30 (CHA +4) 4. Brain Training: Keep up with my studies (WIS +5) Quest My journey to find the magical artifact that will turn me back into a kender will be a hard one. Each week, I must face a different task that will bring me closer to my goal. I will win this thing! I will not live as a really boring zombie for all eternity. I will be me again! TO BE CONTINUED...
  9. Hi, Brand new rebel here with my first post. My name is Joe and I am from the UK. My nerd credentials first: I love comics. Right that is out of the way. Phew. Now on to fitness credentials. I have been in and out of the fitness world my whole life. Played football (Soccer) a lot (and I mean a lot) up until I was about 20 then at university I found beer and laziness and one thing led to another and I am in the state of unfitness I am today. During that time there have been sojourns into running - a year or so of training for 5ks and a half marathon, got back in to football (soccer) for a couple of years and most recently about 18 months ago - I started on some strength training (Rippetoe's starting strengh to be precise (man I love brackets(parenthesis))). Right, I'm getting bored of my biography so I'll call it a day on that one, except to say I am currently the heaviest I have ever been (dead on 200lbs) and I estimate my body fat % to be a little over 25%. Which brings me on to the first part of my challenge. Main Quest For me this is a no-brainer to reduce my weight and body fat % (ultimately getting down to 10-15% bf% and whatever my healthy weight will be at that time. This will obviously take time but I hope by posting here I will have the staying power to eventually reach this goal. So that is my main overall goal, what will I do during this challenge to start on my way to achieving it I hear you cry. Well, actually I've already started. This week I have dived into a Primal/Paleo diet (full paleo straight off, hope I won't regret it) and have started following the crossfit endurance 6 week plan. http://crossfitverobeach.typepad.com/files/competitor_06_2011_cfe1.pdf So with a running start my 3 missions to start me on my way are: Mission 1 Eat at least 80 % Paleo for the next six weeks - I have gone straight in full (95%) Paleo but not sure I will sustain this rate but I am giving it a go. Mission 2 Continue to follow the crossfit endurance fitness plan and at the end (week 6 of challenge) join the local crossfit box - Will try not to miss a workout during these 6 weeks which will be a challenge as I am going on holiday in 2 weeks time, this will also make Paleo diet a challenge too. eek Mission 3 Get 8 hours of sleep each night - This one will also be tricky because not only do I have 2 young children who enjoy waking up very early but I also like to play online poker and find myself up way too late most of the time. So challenge is to get to bed at a sensible time so the lovely kids can wake me up at silly o'clock. I realise this post is getting quite long already, so I will now rush to my life goal. Life Quest Start writing my screenplay - for a long time I have had a desire to be a writer/filmmaker - this 6 weeks is the time to start. Anyway, there it is. My initial foray into a 6 week challenge. Have I bitten off more than I can chew. Who knows? I hope some of you will follow me along as I see what I can achieve over this 6 week period. Enough for now. Will pose more another time to give a bit more details about myself. Sorry for the length of this post but I didn't have the time to write a short one. Joe/Spidey1978
  10. Hi, Brand new rebel here with my first post. My name is Joe and I am from the UK. My nerd credentials first: I love comics. Right that is out of the way. Phew. Now on to fitness credentials. I have been in and out of the fitness world my whole life. Played football (Soccer) a lot (and I mean a lot) up until I was about 20 then at university I found beer and laziness and one thing led to another and I am in the state of unfitness I am today. During that time there have been sojourns into running - a year or so of training for 5ks and a half marathon, got back in to football (soccer) for a couple of years and most recently about 18 months ago - I started on some strength training (Rippetoe's starting strengh to be precise (man I love brackets(parenthesis))). Right, I'm getting bored of my biography so I'll call it a day on that one, except to say I am currently the heaviest I have ever been (dead on 200lbs) and I estimate my body fat % to be a little over 25%. Which brings me on to the first part of my challenge. Main Quest For me this is a no-brainer to reduce my weight and body fat % (ultimately getting down to 10-15% bf% and whatever my healthy weight will be at that time. This will obviously take time but I hope by posting here I will have the staying power to eventually reach this goal. So that is my main overall goal, what will I do during this challenge to start on my way to achieving it I hear you cry. Well, actually I've already started. This week I have dived into a Primal/Paleo diet (full paleo straight off, hope I won't regret it) and have started following the crossfit endurance 6 week plan. http://crossfitverobeach.typepad.com/files/competitor_06_2011_cfe1.pdf So with a running start my 3 missions to start me on my way are: Mission 1 Eat at least 80 % Paleo for the next six weeks - I have gone straight in full (95%) Paleo but not sure I will sustain this rate but I am giving it a go. Mission 2 Continue to follow the crossfit endurance fitness plan and at the end (week 6 of challenge) join the local crossfit box - Will try not to miss a workout during these 6 weeks which will be a challenge as I am going on holiday in 2 weeks time, this will also make Paleo diet a challenge too. eek Mission 3 Get 8 hours of sleep each night - This one will also be tricky because not only do I have 2 young children who enjoy waking up very early but I also like to play online poker and find myself up way too late most of the time. So challenge is to get to bed at a sensible time so the lovely kids can wake me up at silly o'clock. I realise this post is getting quite long already, so I will now rush to my life goal. Life Quest Start writing my screenplay - for a long time I have had a desire to be a writer/filmmaker - this 6 weeks is the time to start. Anyway, there it is. My initial foray into a 6 week challenge. Have I bitten off more than I can chew. Who knows? I hope some of you will follow me along as I see what I can achieve over this 6 week period. Enough for now. Will pose more another time to give a bit more details about myself. Sorry for the length of this post but I didn't have the time to write a short one. Joe/Spidey1978
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