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  1. 銀公雞的光輝長廊 (Beware of Chicken) 貪得無厭的班卓人無情的教導 (Banjo Practice) Work ligaments every day for at least 3 sessions - Working to get better in the "window", or holding frets 8 and 9 while switching among 10, 11, 12 on the banjo. Means my poor left pinky needs to learn new ROM's and lots of small physical therapy-style sessions every day are best. Reward - an Earl Skrugg's songbook!! Practice on fucking Thursdays and Saturdays - those days are the most often skipped. Reward - fancy new picks!! 沉睡惡魔的隱密法庭和他的許多仁慈 (Sleep Hygiene) 7 hours per day in a week Reward - Punjabi curry bowl on takeout Friday!! 支撐世界的烏龜必須自己更換無價的外殼 (Moving Prep) Empty both garage bays - before and after pics included. Reward - AYCE sushi!! Organize craft area - before and after pics included. Reward - $25 order credit on Pandahall!! Put away Christmas shit. Reward - $25 order credit on Pandahall!! 短暫的鑿子賦予了看不見的奇蹟以形式 (Sculpture Production) Print & paint Brigid v1.0 - pics before and after painting. Print & paint Persephone v.20 - pics before and after painting. Print & paint Oski-Otsi v2.0 - pics before and after painting. Print & paint Frō-Ingvi v2.0 - pics before and after painting. Print & paint Ylgr v2.0 - pics before and after painting. Print & paint Lucy-Asherah v1.0 - pics before and after painting. Reward - re-order lion's tail petals. 光榮但笨重的泰坦研究卑微但不知疲倦的螞蟻 (Barbell Volume) 3x8 sets at 65% 4x a week. Whining before and after is not mandatory but will be included. In copious amounts. Reward - replace the old crumbling gym bag!!
  2. So, it's been a rough few years & it's time to get back to Rangerly things. This will be ongoing: spreading over several challenges as I'm trying to ease back into a regular routine. Goals: Run a 5k, eat healthier & learn to crochet
  3. I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again: something has got to change. That’s up to no one but me. As 2021 draws to a close, I find my body in a state that my back is starting to act up again in a big way (which happens when I hit a certain body fat percentage), 80% of my closet doesn’t fit, and I feel suuuuuuper heavy and unresponsive in my yoga classes. This is no bueno. The good news is, I 100% know how to fix it. Like, that exactly - minus probably the pasta, in my case. Nutrition Thinking back to all the nutrition protocols over the years that have worked best for my body, paleo was the clear winner. I think what worked for me there was the protein consideration (making sure I at least hit that one metric before all else), the consistent working out (20-30 mins/ day 5-7x a week), the focus on getting enough greens, focus away from carbs, focus away from processed foods, and the lower amounts of alcohol (zero, actually). I haven’t had the desire to be but so strict with myself over the past couple years, so I’m going for a hybrid here. Protocol Guidelines 80g/day protein When in doubt, more veggies Bread only when it’s going to be actually worth it - not just because it’s in front of me (killer fresh naan? Yes. Crappy sandwich because I’m bored, no). Rice at a restaurant: after the main and a few sips of water. Alcohol limited to 2-3 drinks per weekend If all goes to plan, this should naturally put my calorie consumption back down to where my body seems to like it (around 1200 calories), and if I’m focusing on protein first, carbs and fat should sort themselves out. If not, we will reassess. I may reassess to add green smoothies back into my life if I can hit my protein goals otherwise, but will be starting out at least with 20g-ish breakfasts. I’ll look for a good protein powder, too, because I do miss my green veg hit in the mornings. I’ve also got a new toy - an air fryer - and will be experimenting with that. I’ll be taking y’all along for the ride with pics and menus. Movement I’m still loving my 4x a week yoga classes with walks to and from, and will continue on with that. I’ll also be adding in simple kettlebell workouts on Thursdays at first but a day or two aside from that as the weeks go on. Edited to add: My schedule just had a little shake-up, and it looks like I’ll be able to block in a first(?) second(?) kettlebell session on Tuesdays on weeks I don’t meet up with my girlfriend in person. Other Crochet projects Crafter Box project Closet clean-out Kitchen reorganization Protein _____ Breakfast Lunch Dinner - Movement Yoga Kettlebell - Other Crafting Organization Closet Clean
  4. Brains are interesting things, and the persistence of ones’ past experiences is super fascinating. Case in point: It’s February. I spent my early childhood in the Midwest USA, where we pretty much always had snow this time of year. I split my remaining childhood between the Midwest and Southeastern US, where it was always cold - but not usually cold enough to snow - and potentially rainy this time of year. I moved to the extreme Southeastern US, where winter meant the dry season and temps would dip down to jacket territory. I moved to the Northeast, where the biting wind and snow would occasionally cause the City to freeze, resembling a snow globe. I currently live in the Middle East, where it’s sunny every day with an average temp in the high 70s F. Winter here means the freedom to enjoy the outdoors and (usually) an increase in festivals and other cool things to do. What does my brain think about all this bouncing around? My brain takes the calendar month and the deep shade that is my balcony (my apartment doesn’t get direct sunlight at any time of the year) and translates that into: whelp, it must be cold. Probably with howling winds. Never mind that it’s 23C in the house; you want to hibernate with your gathered nuts. Cabbage & potatoes with kielbasa sounds great. I’m continually shocked that it’s warm outside. Shocked and disappointed that it’s too warm for a jacket (most days, and then the wind kicks up and I’m freezing to death). I’ve spoken about this disconnect to friends from other climates (mostly regarding holidays), and their feeling is the same: my Australian friends fare pretty well - and are more surprised when it’s 50C here in July - friends from snowy climes are confused in similar way to me. Friends that are less hiberatory (just go with it) see less of a disconnect because they deal more in actual reality - whereas I have theory and feeling to inform my brain. Super interesting stuff and has shitall to do with my goals this Cycle, but is a drop in the bucket to explain my seasonal need to pad my ass with fat (lol). More contextual stuff: There is also a rumor that we may imminently be going back into lockdown here. They’ve increased restrictions a bit again (with at least lip service being paid to mask enforcement), but cases are still rising (we are currently at 427 new daily cases). We are also in the midst of the FIFA World Cup 2020 (or something like that) tournament with a big tennis tournament later in the month set to start. And it’s winter - when things usually happen around here. Aaaaaand the blockade just lifted, and with it - a slight lift in travel restrictions (quarantine is still required and tourists aren’t allowed in - but citizens and residents can, at least at this moment, move with some amount of guarantee they can get back into the country if they leave. We’ve also got at least 1 travel bubble in place). So. That all is a conflicting pile of info and it’s unclear what that all will come to mean for day-to-day life. Whatever it is, I shall adjust accordingly. Updates coming if needed. Goal 1: Nutrition Staying the course on my more recent nutritional guidelines: Smaller portions, less meat, more veggies, nutrient dense food options, no GI issues. Drink enough water. Eat with an eye toward Base MFP goals for slow weight loss: 1,260 calories, 20% protein, 50% carbs, 30% fat but without judgement if I go over or under on calories. Basically, eat what I’m going to eat - but by the fact of tracking, that tends to be more reasonable. I’ll also be adding in some probiotics and digestive enzymes in an effort to help with gut issues. Goal 2: Fitness Staying my Druidy course of action (shocker) with 4-5 yoga classes per week - hoping to continue my M vinyasa /T functional/W detox/F handstands schedule, with a 20 minute walk to and from the studio. Goal 3: Fulfillment This goal encompasses a bunch of small things I have going on a daily basis already - with a couple tweaks. Some bloggy stuff, some creative stuff, some dog stuff. Checklisty Stuff Daily [ - ] Duolingo Arabic classes [ - ] Physical craft project (currently sashiko, lucet cord making & planning another quilt) [ - ] Digital art practice [ - ] Enrichment feeds for the pups [ - ] Training for the pups [ - ] Yoga class [ - ] Breakfast: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Lunch: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Dinner: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Snacks: [ - ] Picture of the Day + Daily meal collage Weekly/Challenge [ - ] Finish W30 recipes e-Book [ - ] Post W30 recipes e-Book for sale [ - ] Work on Paleo recipes e-Book [ - ] Post weekly recipe [ - ] Create February/March Pins [ - ] Schedule & post February/March Pins [ - ] Schedule February/March ‘Grams [ - ] Review Q1 financial shit in prep for taxes send off [ - ] Stay connected with the world outside my little bubble - be it through keeping a regularly scheduled chat up (my local bestie is moving to North America next week - so my now-usual Tuesday coffee morning will likely be spotty at best as our remaining coffee friend has a newborn and spotty attendance) or attempting to forge new connections. Or, if restrictions go the other way, who knows? We may just see a return to forced scheduled socialization
  5. It's been a minute, and the world has changed quite a bit in 2020. I'm here and I'm well. Numbtongue's Language Lessons I'm in an odd place with linguistics, between covid stealing some of my spoons and me being happy in an unprecedented way, language study fell in my priority list over the last 4 months. This challenge is part of finishing 2020 with a daily German news and duolingo habit. 2021 has me adding French again, and slowly working on my Icelandic vocab, but for now this challenge is about daily success with my old workhorse friend, Deutsch. Grimalkin's Cruel Tutelage This project is to set end of year targets for the big four lifts, and hit my mid quarter goals by end of challenge. Garden of Sanctuary This project is to track minutes per day spent in sitting practice. For this challenge, I'm only counting minutes spent in seated meditation or prostrate in seid-work; sleepily drifting while I'm in bed at night doesn't count, nor does sneakily counting yoga time. The larger goal is to grow my practice, but I'm not setting target metrics yet, just tracking. Octavia's Workbench I have a few backlogged orders for mediation beads and percussion instruments I'm behind on. This goal is to log what projects I have outstanding, get them all completed and mailed before holiday shipping craziness locks everything down. Olesm's Chess Journal I'm playing a few tabletops via video call during covid. A dear friend is running a small forgotten realms 5e heroic tier, and I'm running a Dresden RPG campaign set in milwaukee. Expect to hear nonsense about either campaigns in this section.
  6. First off: *g8ggle gif* Ahem. Now that we’ve got that out of the way .... It looks like #lockdownlightlife is not evaporating where I live any time soon. Things are mostly back to normal - with a few exceptions. Masks, temperature checks and green status health apps are required everywhere but running outdoors Restaurants are still limited to parties of 5; with varying capacity Gyms are strictly limited to something like 3m of space around each goer Entrance to the country - even for residents - is highly limited and is a dodgy proposition at best, with strict quarantine protocols upon re-entry for those lucky enough to gain permission to enter. It’s a far from guaranteed thing. I’m sure there are more things, but those are the ones that affect me directly I’m still fairing pretty well with things as they are. It looks like this challenge will encapsulate Thanksgiving - let’s see if I get to do my big to-do for that, or if I’m running packaged plates to friends individually. I’ve promised that hell or high water it’s happening this year. Goals - Of Consistency, no less Nutrition. Continue on the trajectory from last challenge by: Not eating like an asshole (meaning not eating things I know are going to cause me pain or too damn much or all junk in a day) Keeping a loose eye on my macros on a weekly level and seeing how closely they resemble My Fitness Pal’s gentle weight loss guidelines by tracking my food daily with an eye toward accuracy but not Nazi-ism Making sure to eat at least 2 servings of vegetables a day even if I don’t wanna Try to get enough water. What’s enough? An amount so I don’t wake up dehydrated feeling Movement. Continue on my 4 - 5x a week yoga schedule via Zoom or in-person if desirable/available; add in some sort of accessory work on Saturdays. Either a 5th yoga class or something in the gym in my building - even if that’s just treadmill & a podcast Social Habits. Continue on with my Zoom Tuesday Coffee with friends for as long as that lasts; continue supporting my Herd as daily as possible; continue trying to expand my social network through this new D&D group; try to interact with other humans in the world at least once a week Stoke That Creative Flame. Keep my running crafts going. Currently, I’m still into clothes sewing and embroidery. Keep that up. Maybe add other things in as they catch my fancy - but, and this is a biggie: use up the supplies I have on hand before delving into a new thing that requires a bunch of specialty tools. Yeah. I know. This is the bane of all handicrafts peoples. And I used to have bins and bins of supplies from all the different things I’ve done over the years - but I don’t have that here, and to re-build that level of stash is ridiculous. I also don’t have storage space for that shit. So: use what you’ve got and then move on Also tied to #4: Exercise Your Brain. I’ve got a year of Skillshare, and while that’s not learning on the level I feel comfortable with, bite sized info is fine. And it’s better than the plague of listicles that has taken the rest of the godsdamn Internet over. Pick a “class”, complete it, take with it what I can, move on. Not every instance of learning needs structure or metrics. Or papers. Certainly not dissertations. And I almost forgot: Get out of my comfort zone. We all know how much I love a photo challenge. I’ve been stagnant in my photography for months and months and wanted to grow my skills. I haaaaaaaate people in my pictures and my selfies are abominable. I’m also never satisfied with my face in them. Which seems like a psychological bear that needs poking. Hell, I bailed on my 365 days of yoga for Year 40 challenge - let’s fuck around with some insecurities. Shake some trees and see what falls. As such, work on improving my people photography game through selfies - and post the best one in a week. Phone or “real” camera, it doesn’t matter. Face in the shot or hidden - whatever. Just create something and get it somewhere decent. Doesn’t have to be magazine worthy. And that’s pretty much it, at least thus far. Not a deviation from previous Cycles, but more a continuation of that solid foundation I’ve built with a look toward at least gathering the supplies for a second level.
  7. This is a short cycle, but I’m determined to roll into this new year on track. At the start of this challenge, I’ll be on vacation celebrating my 40th(!!!) birthday with friends in a place I never imagined I’d actually get to visit. I plan to OD on junglescapes, Insta-worthy healthy food, yoga, boutique shopping and (hopefully) some culture. While I’m put, my goal is to maintain or increase my yoga schedule (a solid 2x a week - hoping for 3), and look into which other classes I might want to get into. Word around the campfire is that more friends are moving on, so I need to do what I can now to mitigate that shit. I will also continue to try and not eat like an asshole, aim to finish at least 1 more sewing project, will continue working on dog training, and hope to spend more time outside and off my couch. It is the “good” season, afterall. It would be a shame to miss it. Holiday 2019, let’s do this!
  8. Okay, a couple challenges ago I outlined what I'd like to get done this year. I've hidden the full blow-by-blow below because it's long and boring, but have at it if you like: I am in a good place to hit *most* of the remaining goals, especially with a little challenge love! Q1: Workout 2x per week + 2 extra workouts as able. Why? Achieves my yearly 120 workouts goals. I have a pretty rigid schedule as far as workouts go, so for my 2 extra workouts, a short 10-minute yoga or bodyweight session will count. Challenges: If I follow my regular schedule, I'll be two short at the end of the year. So, I not only have to stay focused on my standard workout, I also have to squeeze in two extras. Last year ended in a very similar way--down to the wire, lots of scheduling to make them all happen. But I know I can get this done. Q2: Bike 1x per week. Why? Achieves my goals of biking once a week, and helps me hit my yearly 120 workouts goals Challenges: I have not been good about getting out on my bike, and it's cold now. And dark. Q3: Daily progress on kickstarter rewards. Details: I have one cross-stitch to finish (already designed and started!), two poems to hand write and one last poem to write. Why? I SHALL BE FREEEEEE...to spend more time reducing the # of old projects in my life in 2019. Q4: Have a salad or otherwise sub in veggies 3x per week. Details: Salad is not always working for me, but I want to be sure there's an ample amount of veggies in my lunch. Why? Achieve the goal of having 10 nutrition-related quests in 2018! BONUS ACTIVITIES: Attend a writing group--I've got this scheduled, so all I gotta do at this point is show up. Find a mid-to-long term goal that motivates me. Current candidates: Pistol squat, full pushup, splits, backbend. I want to do some research into the goal and the progression that gets me there, and then pick it and set a date!
  9. Friends! As ever, I come to the rebellion to stay focused on my long-term goals and also to post lots of gifs. Last month was spotty. The month before that was...spotty. It's been spotty! Turns out it takes a while to rebuild your life when you change everything all at once. Almost all my quests are identical to last month's, and the month before that too...third verse, same as the first. Building my spotty pattern. Q1: Walk two times a week. On my last two challenges, this is the only one I didn't complete. The main struggle seems to be that I expect to be able to do this in the evenings but don't actually plan it. Q2: Eat a salad for lunch three days a week. I nailed this the first time, and the second time...not so much. We *still* don't have a working fridge, which makes salads a bit challenging. So, until the fridge arrives, I'll commit to eating a piece of fruit for a snack once a day. When the fridge arrives, SALAD CLUB BABY! Q3: Workout twice a week, bike once a week. I've been totally nailing this one. I am caught up on my workouts for the year and I've even been doing a short yoga session after each bodyweight workout for the past two-ish weeks. I don't want to stress myself out by making this harder in terms of quantity, so the official quest is the same. But I commit to upgrading one activity per workout to a harder version. So, if it's wall pushups, I go to knee pushups. Q4: Cross stitch (or work on a design) every day. I've been making serious progress on these over the last two challenges. I have one project being stitched and a second being designed--if I can get these done then I'm super super close to having the whole Kickstarter finished. (I am really hoping to get them finished before NaNo starts on November 1, but, you know, we'll see what happens.) Overall: I'm feeling a little discombobulated after a week of vacation, and I'm about to leave on Wednesday for a business trip (with two talks to deliver, yikes). The broken fridge is hard to deal with and we have a new long-term house guest so the dynamics at home are shifting. I'm trying super hard not to get depressed about the environment and our political situation more generally. I want to be writing more and completing more projects, which is bumping up against some very deeply buried fears about how maybe I suck as a writer and how maybe writing is a waste of time anyway. YOU KNOW. EASY STUFF. But I laugh at a challenge. Let's do this.
  10. The Prologue So, I had originally envisioned a LotR-themed challenge in which I engaged in beauty and running around the woods (or at least local parks) and singing to the trees. But it rang hollow, and I realised something important: I'm no elf princess. * I’ve also been pondering a Harry Potter-themed challenge, but nothing ever came together. Until it did. Forget beauty and serenity. WEIRD and WONDERFUL is who I am. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that. I need to re-embrace my inner Luna. Okay, Let's Back Up I'm Ann of Vries, aged 39; a storyteller, a diarist, a fiber artist, a gamer, a traveler, a hiker, and a new mother. I’m madly in love with my partner, Mr of Vries, and my 6 month old son, Rowan of Vries--usually known as the Enting. Warning: There will be baby pics on this thread. I’ve been in the Adventurers Guild for the last several challenges. I love the Adventurers, but recently the class hasn’t been quite fitting right… and it, oddly enough, took a recent adventure for me to figure out why. About two and half years ago, I emigrated to the UK from Seattle. I love it here, it sings to my bones. It speaks to my soul. This is the place I want to settle. But I’ve realised recently that while I intend to make my home here, I have been treating my stay like a long term tourist. It’s time to live here. To belong. To dig deep and grow some roots. I can't do that in the mindset of a visitor. The Challenge Note: This challenge is in conjunction with the 12 Week Year System. I'm still figuring out the details of this particular "year" so you may see some tweaks in my challenge as I sort that out. Get Weird and Wonderful: Engage in my creative projects: writing, knitting, other crafts (I was recently given some acrylic inks to use with my dip pen and have I even opened them? No!) . Do my hobbies at least 10 minutes per day, 5 days a week. Be my weird and wonderful self. I used to be this eccentric weird girl with an odd charm. These days I just feel awkward and unsettled. I suspect that culture change has something to do with this (Seattle is full of awkward charm; London is full of sophistication), but I don’t feel like myself anymore and I want to change that. I’d rather be myself and stick out than try to fit in and feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Internal journeys are hard to track with SMART goals. So I’ll start with the physical: I want to look like myself again. Unshockingly, I gained weight during pregnancy. Not a lot—I’m only carrying about 10lbs of it now. But it’s enough that my wardrobe no longer fits (or fits poorly when it does). I told myself I’d wait at least six months before I fussed about it. That time has come. Lose at least 2lbs during this challenge. I'm for gradual changes, and anyway it's hard to do a strict fitness routine with the Enting. Return to drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. I can't seem to stick to this one without tracking it, which annoys me, but it is what it is. Clean out my closet: pack away maternity/nursing clothing, sort for the season, figure out what is missing and make a plan to replace them. For example, I know that I’m short of autumn/winter footwear. They all wore out last year, but I didn’t want to try shoe shopping whilst pregnant. Study to Become a Wizard Naturalist: Get walking. Walk at least 10k steps, 5 day a week, as per my fitbit. Note that this will usually involve carrying my 20+lbs-and-growing baby for an extra workout. There is a known inaccuracy because it counts patting the Enting (while winding/burping him) as steps, but I'm opting to accept that for ease of tracking. Observe my surroundings: Note 3 interesting things I’ve encountered, at least 5 days a week in my journal. This is meant to get my out of my head and engaged in the world around me. Eat more healthy homecooked meals. I’m so bored of living on ready meals and prepared foods. Keep records. Create a layout to track these items in my shiny new Bullet Journal. I've been keeping daily to-do lists these last few mad months, but I think I'm now ready for more long term coherency instead of disconnected daily episodes. Let's see how this goes, shall we? AoV x
  11. Second verse, same as the first: 1. Go for a walk twice a week. 2. Salad lunch three times a week. 3. Finish one of my cross-stitch projects. 4. Work out twice a week; ride my bike once a week. For those of you who followed along last challenge, you may notice that *nothing changed at all*. After the trip (which was awesome!) I'm feeling a need to re-establish these patterns after a successful challenge last month. I have so many things I'd like to add (Writing! Decluttering! Going to a PT to see about my knee! Fitness classes!) but I've been down that path before...and down that path lies burned-out traaki. If this is going swimmingly, then maybe I'll add in another goal. But for now--this is it.
  12. So things have changed for me - and I have the opportunity to take some time to really figure my shit out right now, so I’m taking it. I’m considering this a Time of Adventure. I still want to focus on getting back in the habit of working out 3-5 days a week. It’s been really hard, but I know I can do it. Trying to be gentle with myself as I get back there, but the frustration has been real. This challenge is heavily reflective/me-centric with working out mixed in. My husband and I have chosen a trial separation, and so while I have this time on my own to figure my shit out, I don’t want to waste it. So there is def a theme here that is working out, but working on me, too. I’m including passive goals -- things I hope happen because I am actively working on the main goals. Should be a fun little progress check. So let’s go on an Adventure! Hard Work Sucks Running for Weight Loss 3x Per Week Use the Running for Weight Loss app 3x per week to get back into running and practice consistent intervals. 3 points per week, 15 points total Passive Goal: Lose 5 pounds during this challenge Show Off Your Muscles Two cross training workouts - anything that isn’t running. Could be a Darebee, could be yoga, could be a bike ride, could be kickboxing… just something to add work to other muscles to balance out run training. 2 points per week, 10 points total Passive Goal: Fit back into my size 8 jeans. Unacceptable This castle is in unacceptable condition. CLEAN IT. While the space is mine, I want to pick 1 project and a week to clean things up. Ideas are: deep-cleaning the bathrooms, reorganizing the bedroom, decluttering the craft room, cleaning the yard, deep-cleaning the living room, watching the window screens, vacuuming the everything, rearranging things, cleaning the basement workout room, etc. 1 point per week, 5 points total Passive Goal: Rearrange the living room to include a reading corner I Am… Complicated Spend time every day reflecting with meditation or journaling. While we are away from each other, I want to focus on really getting in check with me and where I am at. I’d like to do this through a combination of meditation and journaling. I want to check in with myself daily to make sure I’m using this time wisely. 7 points per week, 35 points total Passive Goal: Being able to sort out what I truly want from this time. Get A Life Get back to your hobbies. One of the things I have felt over the years is that I have given up my hobbies or set aside things I want to do because reasons. Stress, life, depression… so while I am on my own, I want to get back to some of these things to see if they are really hobbies I want to keep with me. I want to pick one thing a week to work on and see how I feel about it. Ideas include: getting my guitar restrung and practicing a few times a week, working in the uke a bit, trying more needlepoint or embroidery, hula-hooping, practicing my German with Duolingo 1 point per week, 5 points total Passive Goal: Figuring out which hobbies are still worth my time.
  13. Well, dear Ranger family, I’m back. Again. I’ve been off and on this challenge train for a few years now, and I think it’s finally time this stuck. I’m feeling good about it, I’m in a good place in my life, so why the hell not, right?! As this is a total respawn for me, I’m starting from the lowest rung on the ladder. Over the last 2ish weeks, I’ve been updating my Battle Log waiting for this challenge to start. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’ll summarize the last 6-7months since I've been here (in no particular order): -I left an unhealthy and, in hindsight, emotionally abusive relationship -Been doing a whole load of nothing health-wise -Lost a bunch of weight (~15-20lb) in a very short time due to stress/depression and not eating -Gained all the weight back, and more -Opened up to a new relationship -Adopted a baby Hedgehog, whom I’ve named Bean. He’s now 5 months old -Left my soul-sucking job for one that I actually enjoy going to and doing -Stopped going to therapy and am no longer and anti-anxiety medication (YAY!) -I'm in a much improved mental state -Moved into a new apartment this past weekend (6/24) -Added to my tattoo collection with two new arm pieces (part of a planned half-sleeve) and a calf piece Don’t worry, there will be plenty of pictures of the little Beansicle for everyone to see On to the challenge stuff…. I’m going to be focusing on a few general goals over the coming months/year: -Losing weight/dropping fat and gaining muscle -Cutting down on my spending -Learning a new skill -More me time/self care Lose the weight The new complex that I moved into has it’s own fitness center - and it’s in my building! That means I have literally no excuses not to work out. It is mostly limited to cardio machines, but I have a set of adjustable dumbbells and my own bodyweight to use towards strength training. Plus, I have a set of Monkii Bars 2 on order via Kickstarter (they’re like the TRX system). I’m not sure when those are coming in, but it should be soonish. The basic plan is to work out 3x/week, for no less than 40min. I plan to do 20-30 min of cardio, and however much time I need to complete the strength training. Cardio will be whatever I feel like doing that day - stepper, treadmill, bike, etc. I will likely be following along with Zombies!Run for the interval training. For strength, I will be following the NF Academy Bodyweight workouts, switching between A and B. Workout 3x/week, or a total of 12x during the challenge. One of the really bad habits I’ve picked up since the start of the year is drinking a lot of Red Bull. Typically, I have one in the morning to start my day during the workweek. On weekends, I don’t drink them as much, but if I’m out and about it’s highly likely that I will stop at a gas station or convenience store to pick up my dose of caffeine. This needs to stop. The plan it to cut down to 3 every week. It’s going to suck, and I’m going to hate it, but it has to be done. No more than 3 Red Bulls/week, for a total of 12. Cut down spending Another area in which i’ve been terrible is keeping to my budget. I do have a budget, I just have a way of not really following it, and then I end up screwing myself. So, here’s the deal: I get paid every other week, the next time being the 7th - right before the challenge. Every paycheck, I will allow myself to spend up to $40 out of budget. This is money that I need to have in cash - I cannot use my card because that’s how things get out of control. I can spend this money on: Red bull (for the previous goal), take out or dinners out with people, clothes, art supplies, video games or other gaming items, and pretty much anything else that either isn’t already budgeted for or is considered ‘unnecessary’. On Saturdays, I will also evaluate my spending for the previous week and see where else I can improve and take note of it. Spend no more than $40 every other week on non-necessity items, total of $80/challenge. Learn a skill: Digital Art For Christmas, my dad bought me this awesome drawing tablet. It has a full screen display and everything - it just plugs right into my computer and I’m off. As cool as it is, I’ve used it a total of 1 time As I’ve been itching to get back into drawing and sketching, I figured why not incorporate this awesome new tool! Digital art is something I’ve been interested in for years, well, actually it’s probably closer to a decade now that I think about it….man, I feel old haha. I’d like to spend 30-60 min, 3x/wk learning to use the tablet, and to complete one art piece by the end of the challenge. I’m not yet sure what that will be, but I’m brainstorming and going to look into tutorials. It’s so much different from classic drawing, that I’m sure it’s not going to be that great starting out - but that’s why I’m doing this in the first place, right? Spend 1.5-3hrs a week (split into 3 sessions) learning to use my tablet and creating a drawing. More ‘me time’ Yeah, yeah, heads out of the gutter please I’m talking about self care here, time spent focusing on myself and my mental health. As well as I’m doing now in comparison to where I was a year ago, I still struggle regularly with bouts of depression and anxiety. In order to increase the number of good days, I need to make time for me. This could be taking a nap, crafting, playing video games, taking a bath, walking, reading, whatever. Anything I need to lessen the stress and relax for a little bit. This doesn’t mean I can’t do those things outside of this time, this just happens to be scheduled. Schedule 1hr every week to do something just for me. That’s it. Let’s get this shindig started, shall we? Edit: This challenge isn't themed, I'm just all up in the hype for Destiny 2 haha
  14. Last challenge, I got ready to perform in Edinburgh's Samhuinn Fire Festival. It's currently... 7 and a bit days to go till the performance date, so this post is mostly me fantasising about having things to do that aren't costuming and rehearsing. More detail will follow when the challenge actually starts (which will be the 2nd of November for me). Goal 1: Lifting. The Edinburgh Nerd-Up in October was fantastic, and at the lifting session I hit a new deadlift best of 70kg. I've not touched a barbell since because I'm terrified of wrenching my back before the festival, but in November I'll be free as a bird to completely screw my spine over. Not that I plan to. But I'll be able to lift without fear. So, the usual: Lifting 3 x per week. Goal 2: Eat right - 1600kcal/day - 5 freggies - 2 litres water - Do food prep once a week Life Goal 1: Prep the Barr Cave Everything is chaos in my flat right now. I'm moving house next summer and it's time to gut the place. - Sell, donate or chuck everything I don't need or really want. (KonMari that mess.) - Get everyone who has stored their stuff at mine to take it back Life Goal 2: Set up two Etsy shops I have lots of items I've made or painted that I'd like to sell. I want one account to get rid of that stuff. Then, I want to start a small craft business. So, nice and restful, this challenge. Not daunting at all. No. Definitely not. I'm going to go back to costuming now. See you in November!
  15. Honestly, I'm not really sure about doing a challenge this time. The challenges just seems to have lost some of the spark it once had to me. Also just in general, motivation/moods/adulting has become pretty hard. Part of this challenge is just getting through it, some of it will be trying to find that spark again. Since I stopped doing mud runs, my motivation for working out has been lacking, and not sure where I want to go from here, but I need to find it. (although Pokemon Go has helped the last 2 days) Also a goal of posting on NF every day, either an update on mine, or a post on someone else's. Move every day: Can be getting 10k steps in, yoga, Kung Fu. Some sort of movement that is outside what I get in a normal day. (normal day with fitbit tends to be around 3-5k) Read every day: I really want to get back into reading more, and I have book club books I'm behind on. At least 10 mins a day. Need to finish Ready Player One, and Girl on the Train (Book club book) Nutrition: No buying anything that isn't Whole30 approved. Although we aren't truly doing the Whole30 until September, no reason to not start eating better again. MFP Tracking Optional. Goal of at least 64 oz of water/tea a day Adulting: Do one adulting thing a day. This can include but aren't limited to: Wash/dry/fold/put away laundry Empty/Reload dishes Swiffer floors in 1 room Vacuum 1 room Wipe down/clean bathroom Finish wedding thank you notes (to be done ASAP) End of month- Budget
  16. I might still be working on this a bit, but here is my new challenge! I tried to make all the quests support each other - running counts as outside time, outside time counts on my to do list, etc. Also, my to do list is flexible enough that I can adapt for anything that may come up - as long as I plan it the night before it counts. Quest 1: Get Moving! I will continue working towards a pull-up three days a week. And I will be adding in couch to 5k. Tentatively, I will be running on T, TH, Sa and doing bodyweight progressions on M, W, F, with an extra rest day on Sunday. Quest 2: Be Productive! I will create a daily to do list (trying out some apps along the way). I will earn 3 points for making the list and 5 points for using it as a schedule for the day. Each task I cross off my list earns me points - 1 point per 5 minutes spent on it. *80 points = 100% Quest 3: Get Outside! Everyday I will spend at least 2 hours outside. My focus during this outside time will be gardening, but running and other activities also count. To account for springtime weather, time over 2 hours on another day can help make up missed time on rainy or windy days. Only time missed due to weather (or unavoidable commitments) can be made up. Quest 4: Simplify! Decluttering, reorganizing, and generally heading towards simplicity and less stuff. Task points will be a flat amount, as opposed to time spent, since this will encourage speed rather than overthinking and dwelling. 5 points per task. *Daily goal is 5 points. Make-ups allowed by doing extra on other days. Quest 4: Craft! Do at least one task daily to prepare for upcoming craft fair. *pass/fail - progress made or not made To pass each quest I need at least 85% success. 1 day per week is a rest day and doesn’t count against my score - it doesn’t have to be the same day for all quests. Rewards: TBD
  17. Hi! I'm Ever, and I've been a Rebel for a little over one year. Being here has helped me accomplish a lot of things. I've been off soda for an entire year, thanks to a PvP. I'm not super competitive, but the encouragement of others was a big help in that regard. Several challenges have helped me lose and keep off 20 lbs. I discovered keto, and learned I'm too tall for aerial, but that walking is actually really nice, and lifting heavy stuff once in a while can be fun. For the last month, and the next two, there's been some divorce process that's taken up a lot of my emotional resources. It's probably the dumbest and most needlessly stressful thing I've done in quite some time. Beast has shown little interest in how this has been affecting me, arguing "You cast me in this role", so it's somehow now perfectly acceptable to act like a Disney villain to one's former partner. If I end up ranting about this, I'll use spoiler tags. Last year saw a lot of great things, too. March was getting my second tattoo. April was my first live show of Night Vale, and the first time I've traveled on my own since college. June, Ifrit got to see Titus for the first time, and I loved introducing him to the comedy of someone who really helped get me through some dark places. July was the trip to the Sand Dunes with Ifrit, someplace I'd been meaning to go for several years. I could go on, but it's easily one of the better years I've had in a while. Staying positive and keeping my health on track will help manage the stress, and ensure that I'm taking care of myself.
  18. Going to use this space to keep up with my goals during the winter break. Please follow along if you'd like or just drop in to say hello from time to time.
  19. I really do need to drop some body fat but calorie counting and eating in a deficit just isn't working for me on a whole right now. I think it's best kept to shorter periods such as one challenge instead of across multiple challenges. You know, for personal sanity sake. So this challenge I'm switching it up and I'm going to have FUN and participate in self care or "boosters". I'm going to lift weights, and eat to support it. And instead of trying to decrease consumption I'm going to focus on increasing activity. I'll reexamine my calorie deficit options in January. Goal one: Strength Strength train 3 times a week For now I'll stick with StrongLifts, but I might modify soon and change one of my days to a barbell complex or some form of strength training intervals. Goal two: increase steps Current week day average: 3,073 Current weekend average: 6,565 Goal week day average: 4,000 Goal weekend average: 8,000 My job is incredibly sedentary and I have a long car commute. Weekday increases are going to take some serious effort on my part. I'll need to do some trial and error to figure out what it takes to get my steps up to 4,000. Weekends I think should be easier. I really just need to stop being lazy, and add in a walk. Goal three: Physical Booster vitamins - take em track sleep - what is tracked is improved Life Quest: Emotional Booster Craft or work on a project weekly. Something fun and rewarding. Side quest Get bedroom under control/finish KonMari of the clothes
  20. Ahhh the good ol' Winter is Coming, Pre-holiday Challenge! No big surprises here, just the usual tweaking things around. Eat good food and sweat. That's where I'm at. Goal One: Workout +2STR +2END +1DEX Kettlebells 2x per week NF yoga 1x per week for: 3 pts per week A : 18pts+ B : 15pts+ C : 12pts+ D : 9pts+ F : <9pts Goal Two: Metrics +2CON +2CHA Calories: 1400 - 1800 per day Carbs: <100g per day Protein: >80g per day All of the above, 6/7 days per week. 1 pt per item per day. A : 105pts B : 95pts+ C : 85pts+ D :75pts+ F : <75pts Goal Three: Crafting! +1WIS +1CHA +1END Near the end of the last challenge, I started learning to make amigurumi, and that is what all the little ones will be getting for Christmas! I also have to finish crocheting a blanket that I started almost a year ago, which is also a present for a little one. If I'm excessively productive though, I'll make her a stuffy too, and save the blanket for her birthday. Complete one project per week: A : 6 B : 5 C : 4 D : 3 F : 2 or less Goal Four: +2WIS +1END Organize my freaking house. Choose your own adventure style: 1. Finish cleaning/organizing craft/cat room (it's ALMOST done, but has been sitting in its unfinished state for weeks now) (15pts) 2. Bedroom (Achieved this a few challenges ago, but it's majorly slipped) (20pts) 2. Purge the basement! Get rid of: - Extra couch (20pts) - Random collection of boxes (10pts) - Leftover sheets of drywall (10pts) 3. Clean and organize laundry room/food storage (20pts) 4. Change all the damn burnt out lightbulbs. (10pts) 5. Put up curtain to separate fridge/bathroom area in basement. (10pts) 6. Deal with all the crap piled in the "dining room" (20pts) 7. Tidy storage area. This got deepcleaned about a year ago, but it's gotten a little unorganized since (10pts) Aiming for about 20 pts per week. I may add to this list as we go. A : 120pts B : 100pts C : 80pts D : 60pts F :40pts or less
  21. This challenge I’m trying something a little different. In the past I’ve had a tough time sticking it out for all 6 weeks. I’m dividing this challenge into two 3-week challenges. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, so here I am, changing it up so that I can (sanely) expect different results!! In the 4-Hour Body Tim Ferriss writes something like “the good method you follow is better than the perfect method you quit.†This is why I’m trying to create a “good method I can follow.†I know that 6-weeks is supposed to be optimal for habit building, but I think I’ve already established why I need to shake it up! I’ve also added a bit of a reward system for this challenge. If I meet my goals, I get the reward. That simple. Goals: Week 1-3 (Feb 24-March 16) Paleo – Eat paleo 6/7 days a weekThis challenge I’m giving myself a bit of slack. I still really want to try to eat 100% paleo, but last challenge trying for 7/7 made me feel bad when I NOT ONCE made it for the week. I don’t want the weekends to be a free for all, so instead of 5/7 I’ve chosen 6/7 so that if I have a bad day I can still meet my goal for the week. I also intend to meal plan for the whole 3-weeks at once. I JUST ordered a veggie spiralizer yesterday and found a sweet site all full of spiralized recipes, so I’m pretty pumped about that! I’ll hopefully update with my meal plans soon! Reward: Redeem credit card points for $25 Target gift card Workouts – 1 Group Power track/day (6/7days)I think my problem with getting in workouts last challenge is that I get hung up on how long they should be and then I made excuses that I don’t have time. This challenge I’m going to shoot for 1 group power track a day, so really, that’s a 5-minute workout (not including a warm up/cool down) and only one major muscle group. It’s also going to be my goal to try to lift heavier for that one track. Reward: new sports bra Polish – Put more effort into doing my hair and getting dressed for work (5 days/week)I’ve gotten into the habit of getting lazy and just putting on some jeans and cute top and throwing my hair in a ponytail. I’m currently growing out my hair (again) and want to make more of an effort to do pretty things with it! Reward: Shopping trip, purchase 1 item for each week goal was met Extras: Craft – CrochetSpend 15 minutes crocheting/day (the nice thing about crochet is that you can just pick it up and do it for a little while! I’m trying to help my sister out who has an online store as well as doing craft sales and supplying to 2 retail stores. P.S for some awesome handmade goods, buy from her store here: http://www.storenvy.com/stores/204745-west-coast-leslie-designs Be a better fitness instructor – Plan head! I’m terrible for last minute lesson plans for the classes I teach, or even just last minute scrambling to learn stuff. I want to spend 3 days a week working on new material. Tracking: 1. 0/6 0/6 0/6 = 0/18 2. 0/6 0/6 0/6 = 0/18 3. 0/5 0/5 0/5 = 0/15 A. 0/7 0/7 0/7 = 0/21 B. 0/3 0/3 0/3 = 0/9 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Week 4-6 (March 17-April 6): Paleo – Eat paleo 6/7 days a weekThis I want to try to keep the same. I will create a new 3 week meal plan at this point. Reward: Redeem credit card points for $25 Target gift card (again) Workouts – Handstand practice (6/7days)I plan to replace my previous 5 minute workout with 5 minutes of handstand practice. This isn’t that big or scary a challenge for me, as I used to do handstands all the time, it’s just been a while. It’ll really be a matter of getting used to being upside down and wrist strength. Might throw that in here to as far as doing some wrist strengthening and stretching. Reward: new sports top Disconnect – spend time without electronics on (3 days/week)Like most of us I spend way too much time in front of a screen. I want to take 30 minutes 3x a week to disconnect. Ideally, weather permitting, this time will be spent going for a walk (ipod with music is allowed ). If it’s wet and gross out still, other acceptable options include journaling, crafting, reading, etc. Reward: ??? I really don’t know what would be a suitable reward for this… Extras: Craft – SewingSpend 30 minutes sewing 3x a week. I got a new sewing machine for Christmas and haven’t used it L Be a better fitness instructor – Review Group Step! Group Step is a training course I took a long time ago, and haven’t kept up with it, I’m going to try to re-learn at least one class worth of material and try to sub one class! Work on this 3x a week Tracking: 1. 0/6 0/6 0/6 = 0/18 2. 0/6 0/6 0/6 = 0/18 3. 0/3 0/3 0/3 = 0/9 A. 0/3 0/3 0/3 = 0/9 B. 0/3 0/3 0/3 = 0/9 Alrightly, I might change some of my second half goals as time goes on, but for now this is what I'm going with!
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