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  1. Here I am again. After a few very enlightening challenges I have the feeling I've come to a crawl. But that's better than a standstill, isn't it? For April, I'll return to the basics. Nothing fancy and not too much. Although my goals seem repetitive (and I have a nasty voice telling me "AGAIN? You are incompetent, you can't do anything, you're not making progress!", which is a little difficult to ignore), I'm still... well, crawling. Soon I'll be able to walk, I hope. Goals for April: Dairy free (with the exception of selfmade Ghee). That's not an easy one - I don't consume that much cheese or joghurt, but notable amounts of chocolate and other stuff where a little dairy is added. But it's only 30 days, so... I'll do my best. Walk at least 3 times a week. Not daily (more is better, of course, but then life happens...), to take the pressure out of it. Should be feasible, the days are getting longer again, yet I'm often tired when I come home from work, or the weather is bad, or... yeah. I have theater meetings every Monday and usually walk there, so that's one day of walking down. Should be able to fit in two more! Stick to my diet. I'm trying something new right now: every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'll be having only protein shakes (about 1000 kcal), the other days I can eat. This does not only help with weight loss (although that remains to be seen), it takes the "what do I eat, what do I eat?!!!"-thoughts away for three days per week, and I have to manage only two work days (and the weekend, which differs if I'm alone or with company). Because of Easter I have not done a full week of this, but at the moment it seems... almost like a relieve. Although shake days can be difficult ("I wanna eat now! You've been good the whole day, you can have a nice dinner now!") and eating days, too (usually I don't do breakfast, but after a shake day I wake up rather hungrily), at the moment this seems manageable and almost relaxing. Go to Tai Chi. Spear class is almost over and I missed only one day! Whooot! Next I will be learning the sabre (spear will be moved to another time slot I can't manage), which should look something like this. My teacher did a video of herself with the spear (sadly was uploaded only to Facebook but should be viewable by everyone) and plans to film the whole group of us. I'm not sure if I will participate, but if I do, I will show you how I do (I'm insecure about one tricky part, and if I start to think during the kata, then I mess up. Everyone else doesn't, so I'm more than a little self-conscious there because in that group I'm standing out in a bad way). I'm not sure if I'll include my stairs again. I probably should. I might add that later, though. And I still want to go swimming, too, but that's not part of my challenge right now. The kettlebell is wonderful... I'm not sure why I didn't use it more last time. I think because it's not so much a habit, yet. When I have visitors I "hide" the kettlebell and then forget to put it out into the living room again. Or I'm thinking about it right before bed and don't want to workout at that time. Will find a solution for that. Should I do my stairs, I can easily add a few swings afterwards. It's more that I have to remember to get up, at all... maybe set an alarm, or something... needs a little more thought. Edit: I just set an alarm in my mobile. Let's see if that helps, it's an experiment for now.
  2. The Introduction Hello, dearies! If you can't tell from the above gif, I have been watching a lot of Once Upon a Time lately. At first I thought of it as a guilty pleasure, but then I started to realize that this show is actually quite good. Modern takes on fairy tales, not only having kick-ass strong female characters but the entire cast essentially being strong female characters, having Disney characters being gay, amazingly creative costuming and makeup, and overall incredibly imaginative plots that totally switch everything up that you thought you knew about fairy tales is completely inspiring from all angles. I love how they address a lot of the issues with fairy tales and make fun of themselves too. (At one point, in reference to Beauty and the Beast someone says "not that I'm saying you should love someone who is keeping you prisoner, what kind of message would that send to girls everywhere?"). So refreshing. And don't even get me started on the villains. The characters and backstories they create are so imaginative I have a lot of respect for the writers who take something so old and used and turn it into something so fresh and exciting. Also, Snow White's character is SUCH A FRAKKIN RANGER IT'S RIDONKULOUS. So anyway, the more I thought about this the more I realized that in all honesty, fairy tales are quite nerdy. In fact, fairy tales were possibly one of the first things that were ever nerded out about. I started looking into the origins of modern fairy tales and discovered that the Brothers Grimm were some of the first fantasy nerds to really make a name for themselves. They didn’t *write* fairy tales. This would have made them authors, not necessarily nerds. But they were obsessed with the fantasy stories of German folklore, they not only wanted the story, but they became cultural explorers, researching at a collegic level the cultural affects and representations of folklore. They developed a methodology for collecting, recording, validating, and researching folklore. They not only were nerds, but they opened up a whole new area of study for others to nerd out about in the future. And at its core, they were fantasy stories! If that’s not nerdy, I don’t know what is. Also, for a lot of us fairy tales were the first kind of fantasy we were exposed to. Think back to the first time you heard a story that took you away to another place. When you were a tiny child, whether it be a movie, a radio broadcast, a TV show, a book. Chances are it was some sort of fairy tale (Disney-version or otherwise). As you grow up, you transition to stories that fit your likes, dislikes, and age. But at its core, fantasy and science fiction stories are really all their own kind of fairy tale. So here I present to you without further ado, a throwback from a way old school nerdom themed challenge with a modern twist – Once Upon A Time in Raxie’s Enchanted Forest.
  3. Happy New Year Nerds!!!! I am so excited about 2016. 2015 was an amazing year for me, I went to Camp Nerd Fitness and it really reshaped the way I view my life, my goals and fitness. I also was luckily enough to join an amazing team of Ranger Ambassador’s on the boards here and get more involved in NF which I am really enjoying. I finally started power lifting, something I’ve been working up to basically since I joined NF via body weights and dumbbells. Real world related, I went to Alaska and got a new cat. I got engaged. My fiancé and I got our own place when our roommates moved out. All in all, a great year. I am so ready for 2016 to be even more amazing! This year, I decided to set yearly goals, which I have never done before. I’ve admittedly been neglecting my epic quest, not because I haven’t been doing stuff on it (I have been ever so slowly crossing stuff off) but because I’m not sure how to use it. So I’m converting it into an overarching epic quest list AND using it to track my yearly goals as well! Then I can use those yearly goals to work out the details of my 4-week challenges. My epic quest/yearly goals link is in my signature but I’m also adding them here for reference: 2016 GOALS >>Read 30 books >>Squat my body weight >>Deadlift 200lb >>Apply to join Big Brother Big Sisters of America >>Climb Mt. Washington >>Climb Mt. Marcy >>Climb Mt. Katahdin >>Make Borderlands Cosplay >>Pay off Discover Card >>Create a will & a living will Now this may seem contradictory to everything I just wrote, but the majority of my specific missions this challenge are not going to be directly correlated with my 2016 goals. Winter break was tough for me, I had some personal headspace stuff to deal with in addition to redoing EVERYTHING in the apartment. This still isn’t quite done actually. So I am going to use January as a mental and physical cleanse month, so I can have a clean plate to start out on and really start building towards my goals in February. I need to clear my brain clutter as well as some physical clutter (which is directly contributing to my brain clutter) and I also need to detox my body of some of the holiday crap I just kept shoveling into my face (and I can only use “winter bulk†goals to excuse a very small portion of that). Seriously, this was me the last week of 2015: And I can feel my body being really sad about it. Time to get my energy back! I struggled with a while to decide on a theme for this challenge. I had about 5 different ones that I wrote up complex scoring systems for, utilizing variations on the boss system I did last challenge (which I LOVED), and one where it was really writing based since I had a ton of fun writing up my story last challenge as well, but decided that since my goal for this challenge is cleansing and simplicity… I am going to go with no theme. Just me, myself and my goals
  4. All right nerds, I need food ideas. I have a little one who is cute as can be...but boy does she have a sensitive tummy. To make a long story short; because I am nursing right now I can no longer eat the following. Dairy (substitute almond milk and earth balance cheese sub. Are too depressing) Peanut Wheat Beans Broccoli Cauliflower Cabbage Brussel sprouts Chickpeas Or anything really spicy. I am really struggling to find recipes that my whole family can eat while mixing it up. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  5. Hi! I'm Catherine (Cutebug) and this will be my first Challenge as a Ranger. I've been indecisive about my guild and staying as an Adventurer, but I think I have found my home. My Main Goal, as always, is to LOSE WEIGHT. Challenge #1 - Cut Out Dairy (cheese and milk) for 6 weeks. This morning, while walking to work drinking my tea, I felt the usual bit of "ickiness" from drinking milk. I don't *always* feel icky or bloated when I have dairy, in fact, it's mostly only if I have lots of cold milk, but it does occasionally happen. And I thought to myself, WHY am I making myself feel icky??? This may also result in me cutting out most, if not all, of my caffeine, as I can't drink tea without dairy milk, or else I get painful stomach feelings and slight nausea (before you go suggesting dairy alternatives, those don't work for my really strange random problem, unfortunately). I'll use coconut milk for any other "milk" requirements. Challenge #2 - Hike and/or Swim Weekly I recently fell off the hiking wagon. I'd like to pull myself back on. Also, I have challenged myself to swim across a lake at the end of summer, so I should probably do some swimming... Challenge #3 - Go to the Gym Twice Weekly I've been visiting the office gym once weekly for the past couple of months. It's been GREAT. I've finally started Deadlifts and Squats, which I couldn't do before due to lack of barbell. The gym also has a pull-up bar as part of the rack, so I'm training for that as well. I'd like to start going TWICE weekly instead of just once. This week will be my first 2x week. Personal Challenge: Make SeedBombs and Enact Guerilla Warefare on My Neighbourhood! I found this lovely sunflower flourishing in a vacant lot during a drought. The vacant lots around here are often littered with people's discarded appliances, furniture, and Tim Horton's garbage. I thought it was so amazing that this one flower randomly made its home in a place like that. So I am going to help nature reclaim the empty spaces and make the neighbourhood more beautiful. I'm also going to go forage for blackberries down the street because it seems like no one else is doing it. Mini Challenge: See that tractor tire in the first photo? I'm going to complete that movement I am starting in that photo. Right now I can only flip the tire from the inside. I'll keep trying and keep training in the gym until I can flip that sucker like they do in all the CrossFit videos and photos! Here's what I can do now
  6. Obligatory Pre-Challenge Brain-Stuffs: I've had a lot of success over my past few challenges, my last one was a bit of a let down because life threw stuff at me but I still managed to overall improve myself I think. However, while I've seen vast improvements with my health, strength and flexibility, I feel like I haven't been seeing much progress looks wise. And while most of my brain is like who cares you're stronger and awesomer, there's that part of me that is like... but summer is coming (here?) and I'd really like to rock out a bathing suit and not feel super self conscious. I know this is due to my eating. I know I can't outrun my plate. This has been the hugest struggle for me since I started my fitness journey, what I don't do well at more often than not during challenges, and what sets off a domino effect of not hitting my goals. One bad meal can easily turn into skipping a work out in my world, and as many awesome habits I've set through this challenge format eating well is just not one of them. I've tried counting calories, counting macros, counting nothing but eating things that are obviously healthy, I just haven't had the motivation. I think it's because in the past I focus on other habits at the same time. But now I've got my workout habits set basically in stone and I can nix all those other goals that I'll do anyway and this challenge I am going to be 100% focused on what I put into my body. And it's going to be boring. How boring you ask? Let's see. tldr: Raxie needs to eat moar better. Mission 1: Home Cooking I will prepare 6 dinners a week for myself. Only one night of ordering out allowed. Each of these dinners will be made of up of: -1 or more protein -1 or more whole grain or potato -1 or more green veggie side (avocado does not count here, but is a welcome addition to any meal) -NO DAIRY. Dairy makes the tummy have the owies. Grading: +4 CON max. % of weeks met awarded. Mission 2: Salad I will eat a salad every day. EVERY. FREAKIN'. DAY. This can be a side salad if neccessary. Grading: +4 CON max. % of weeks met awarded. Mission 3: Alcohol That's right, kids. Raxie is not going to drink alcohol AT ALL this entire challenge. I have a feeling this actually going to be way easier than putting limits on what I actually drink which has been super difficult for me in social situations in the past. This way I can just hang out with friends and tell them I'm not drinking straight up, instead of having a couple and then trying to convince myself to not or explain why I've switched to water "so early". As a note, this isn't meant to be me giving up alcohol forever, just kind of a detox to my system in this area. Grading: +4 WIS max. % of weeks met awarded. Diet Quest: Snacks So all my missions are diet related anyway, but here's another. Try a new snack each week that will help curb my cheese craving. I think this is a huge problem in my prior attempts, I just told myself I'd have to suck it up during my cravings. This time I will be prepared! Each week I will buy or create a snack that has cheese-like properties to help pre-emptively curb my cheese addiction. Will most likely be mostly nut-type-things. I will post here each week on how well the snack helped (or didn't) in curbing my cravings. If I find something I like I still want to try something new each week so I can have an arsenal of snacks that work by the end of this challenge. Grading: +2 WIS max. % of weeks met awarded. Life Side Quest: Water I've been slacking on the water intake since I rocked out a water challenge 2 challenges ago. Time to start tracking this again and get a handle on it once more. Goal: 100oz/day. Grading: +1 CON max. % of weeks met awarded. Mini Quests: Bye-Weeks Challenge: Quest One: I have been working on crow for the past challenge and a half and I got it at the end of the last one, and now I'm interested in headstands. I know I can do a tripod for a millisecond but I want to work on it some more! I've never really worked on it before though and it hasn't gone along with any of my goals, so I'm gonna try to see what I can do tripod-wise 2 or 3 times before the next challenge. Quest Two: I fell behind on my Zombies, Run! 5K training last challenge and I was hoping to be ~halfway through it by now. I'm going to start over with it, but instead of waiting for the beginning of the next challenge I am going to get week 1 out of the way and do 3 runs next week. Quest Three: Go see a movie! The boyfriend and I LOVE see movies in theatres and we only do it about twice a year, there are a few things playing right now I know we both want to see. So I should make this happen. Oh and also give myself a bath day with a face and hair mask. I try to do this every 4-6 weeks and it's been like 3 months. So two things for quest three. Because yay happies! Ranger Optional Mini Challenge Feats: Endurance Feat - Run/walk drills from Zombies, Run 5K training 2x/weekStrength Feat - OHP 1x50+ lb (right now I'm at 47.5lb) Speed Feat - Hold tripod stand for 10 seconds Combat Feat - Go on a *good* hike with some significant elevation gains. Healing Feat - Meditate 6x/week Rescue Zombie: And I'll also be following along with AlienJenn's Zombie mini challenge too, because why not? Alibi: The last week of this challenge I will be going on vacation with the bf to Alaska, so this challenge will only be 5 weeks long for me. I think I am actually going to start tomorrow (Tuesday) for this so I've still got 6 weeks to form a good habit of need eating like poop.
  7. So, after reading and trying to cook more Paleo-ish in the kitchen for the past couple of months, I have decided that I need a place to store all my newly experimented Paleo-friendly recipes somewhere on NF so that I can refer back easily and possible share them with fellow rebels who are looking for easy & tasty recipe ideas. The recipes here follow Paleo principles (i.e. no grains, legumes, processed sugar/food, starchy stuff, dairy, & alcohol). Also, because my own dietary constraints, I don't cook anything with beef, lamb, pork, bacon, or any other type of red meat. Eating and living the Paleo lifestyle can become expensive, but I have managed to find a few ways to help save money on food (so that I can go travel around the world and help kids!). I will share them here as well. I am not too sure how I will be organizing my recipes yet, but I will edit as I add more. I am still learning about how to take good food porn/pictures and what camera to use best. So, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Okay, enough of my rumbling! Here I go! Rawr! First up, ice cream! Who doesn't like ice cream?!
  8. So I have essentially breezed through my last two challenges. I don't know if I would say they were easy, but they were definitely doable and I knew I would probably come out with mostly A's on the other side when I was putting them together. I do, however, feel like I have made some serious progress. I'm on a 48 day yoga streak, am lifting a barbell pretty easily, and making better nutrition decisions overall. I am starting to see some real changes in my body. My habits are becoming much more habit like, as in I just do them as part of my routine, and much less like I have to constantly remind myself. Mentally, I think I am at my fitness baseline. Physically, maybe not so much... I am still struggling with doing more than one push up DEFINITELY can't do a pull up and haven't been seeing much progress in my core area. With all that in mind, I am going to make this challenge hard for me. Going into it, I know it's going to be rough. But it's all things I have been struggling with for a while and I need to just get it done. And now, riding on the momentum of my last few challenge's successes... I will do this thing. I'm setting things up pretty differently than regular challenges. I'm not really breaking things out by missions or nutrition or life, there's things I want to work on and I'm gong to try to work on them in measureable ways. I wouldn't really recommend this set up unless I hadn't done 11 challenges before this, I am looking to switch things up. But if this set up doesn't work for me I'll reserve the right to change things around as I go, because I don't want to waste 6 weeks on doing something that isn't working. But for now, here it is! My Adventure on the 7 C's! 1. Cardio Goal: Cardio 2x/week (+2 STA) I REALLY hate cardio, but I've noticed lately that I don't think my cardiovascular system is in as tip-top shape and it should be. I'll be hiking and my muscles are fine, but I find myself out of breath way more quickly than I should with my heart pumping out of my chest. I need to fix this. I'm hoping to get this in mostly as Zombies, Run. Because I want to do a 5k someday. 2. Core Goal: Core Work 3x/week (+2 STR) My arms and my legs have been losing inches like CRAZY since I started stronglifts. My arms are starting to actually look muscular too! I'm not seeing any progress in my core area though. I know all those compound lifts are supposed to be working my core as well, and I certainly feel it, but I am just not seeing results as quickly as the rest of my body and it's frustrating. So I am going to start adding in some core-specific moves to my work outs. That can be during yoga, or during Strong Lifts, or totally separately, just something. 3. Crow Goal: Crow practice 2x/week (+2 DEX) I fell in love with yoga last challenge and I plan on keeping up my streak. I want to be able to do crow so badly!! So I will incorporate crow practice as part of my yoga sessions each week. I already do yoga every day so this just means throwing in some crow play time at the end. 4. Cheese Goal: Cheese free 5 days/week (+2 CON) Ugh I've tried this one so many times before and had various levels of success. I seriously love cheese to the point that I feel like if I have a single piece I can't stop. It's awful. And what I know is that I function better when I don't have a bunch of dairy in my system. Even though I can't stand that I need to do this. It just needs to be taken away from me. So I'm going to try for this one again. 5. Cigarettes Goal: 0 cigarettes the entire challenge (+2 CON) I know, I know. You can't even believe this one is on here right?! I've never mentioned this on here before for two reasons. One, because frankly it's embarrassing. Here I am on a fitness forum professing to be having all these successes and I'm also smoking. TERRIBLE. The other reason is because honestly I don't really smoke except for literally once or twice a month when I'm drinking I'll bum a single cigarette off of a friend. I've never bought my own pack or anything like that. Because of that I haven't really seen it as a problem. However it also makes me think that there's literally no reason for me to be doing it. I'm not addicted, I don't crave them or even think about them unless someone offers me one whilst drinking and I'm like sureeeee. And I guess I do it as a social thing in that case? So... really I should just stop. Anyway, it might happen that this entire challenge I never even get offered one so it might be a free 2 points. But if I do get offered, I will say no. Simple as that. 6. Consistency Yoga: Complete the Do You Yoga 30 Day Challenge within this 6 week challenge (+1 WIS) Strong Lifts: 3x/week (+1 STR) Salads for Lunch: 3x/week (+1 CON) (idk the relevancy here I just adore this gif) This is stuff from previous challenges that I am pretty certain I'm still going to do them but I want to keep track of them on a much lighter scale anyway. I'm counting them for very little points, and are really just here to keep me honest about stuff. These will definitely go away as real tracked things next challenge. 7. Creatitivity Complete the 30 day creativity mediation pack in Headspace (+1 WIS) Journal 4x/week (+1 WIS) Pretty self explanatory methinks. Also Claudia Black. Aka Aeryn Sun. Also aka Vala Mal Doran. GAH. I love her. One of the most badass women in sci fi history (more so in Farscape than in SG1 but I digress) and my current inspiration <3 Bonus: her name starts with C.
  9. I am doing the exact same challenge as last time. ok, so maybe I don't want to be THIS big... but I DO want to be strong enough to do this easily. Short story: There is NOTHING like doing a few Kino MacGregor videos when you are 259lbs to make you realize just how weak and out of shape you are. (except I lost 10 lbs last challenge, so now it's 250...but still) Over the last 10 years, I have addressed and dealt with a lifetime of trauma and abuse, and changed dramatically, but also gained 100 lbs. The last 2 years have been about coming to grips with the fat me and loving myself despite what my body looks like...and just recently I turned a HUGE corner with that, and it's time to move on to the next phase of becoming who I want to be (and she isn't a princess...weird!) and that person is not 260 lbs and someone who plays video games all day long to cope with life. She is an active, fun, happy person who can do anything she wants with her body and loves her life. So it's time to get un-weak and un-out of shape and un-fat. So it's time to get strong, because getting strong will build muscle, increase my metabolism and help me lose fat and be able to do the things I want to do, but I am also going to be addressing cardio and flexibility, because you don't get to be a super yogi who can run whenever she wants, without doing those things. I am planning to keep the same 4 year-long goals I started last challenge, but the exercise portion will be a mix of yoga, cardio and strength and I am going to cold turkey sugar and dairy, seriously! I realized I am not capable of small steps with stuff like that and it happening, and it's not about my emotional health, so it's not going to screw up my head. I didn't quit drinking or smoking or drugs a little at a time, I said "no more" and walked away and never looked back. This has to be the same. TL;DR-- Goal Summary 1. Consistent Wake Up/Bedtime 2. Consistent Exercise Routine 3. Consistent Cooking Dinner 4. Read 2 Yoga Centric books this challenge 5. Cold Turkey Sugar & Dairy
  10. ok, so maybe I don't want to be THIS big... but I DO want to be strong enough to do this easily. Short story: There is NOTHING like doing a few Kino MacGregor videos when you are 259lbs to make you realize just how weak and out of shape you are. Over the last 10 years, I have addressed and dealt with a lifetime of trauma and abuse, and changed dramatically, but also gained 100 lbs. The last 2 years have been about coming to grips with the fat me and loving myself despite what my body looks like...and just recently I turned a HUGE corner with that, and it's time to move on to the next phase of becoming who I want to be (and she isn't a princess...weird!) and that person is not 260 lbs and someone who plays video games all day long to cope with life. She is an active, fun, happy person who can do anything she wants with her body and loves her life. So it's time to get un-weak and un-out of shape and un-fat. So it's time to get strong, because getting strong will build muscle, increase my metabolism and help me lose fat and be able to do the things I want to do, but I am also going to be addressing cardio and flexibility, because you don't get to be a super yogi who can run whenever she wants, without doing those things. I am planning to keep the same 4 year-long goals I started last challenge, but the exercise portion will be a mix of yoga, cardio and strength and I am going to cold turkey sugar and dairy, seriously! I realized I am not capable of small steps with stuff like that and it happening, and it's not about my emotional health, so it's not going to screw up my head. I didn't quit drinking or smoking or drugs a little at a time, I said "no more" and walked away and never looked back. This has to be the same. TL;DR-- Goal Summary 1. Consistent Wake Up/Bedtime 2. Consistent Exercise Routine 3. Consistent Cooking Dinner 4. Consistent Morning/Evening Routine 5. Cold Turkey Sugar & Dairy
  11. Hello sweeties! I am the Lady of Gallifrey and this is my first challenge. I have been living a pretty sedentary over the last few years, but I've started taking steps to change that. I'm hoping that the support of the rebellion will make the change a bit easier. I am really looking forward to seeing the changes that will come over the next six weeks!! Update (2/24/15): I've realized that I'm trying to do WAY too much for just starting out. I'm making some adjustments today, and may make a few more throughout the week. I'm looking at this week as a opportunity to refine my challenge goals into manageable and achievable goals. No point in setting myself up to fail! Update (2/27/15): I found a place to take pole classes!!!! So I'm switching from the aerial classes/goal to pole! I changed my gf/df goal to only be on weekdays. I also updated the grading system for each goal. Update (3/7/15): I went to the intro to pole class today and realized that trying to take a second pole class right after is not something I'm ready for right now. So, just one pole class per week for this challenge. Goals for 2015 Do a pull-up Hold a five minute plank Get 1,000 miles on my Fitbit Get down to 25% body fat (44% as of 1/1) Challenge Quest 1: BUTI Do three BUTI yoga workouts each week - Monday/Wednesday/Friday after work. A = 18-16 BUTI yoga workouts B = 15-14 BUTI yoga workouts C = 13-12 BUTI yoga workouts D = 11-10 BUTI yoga workouts F = 9 or fewer BUTI yoga workouts Stat points available: STR +2, CHA +2 (STR +1 for Level 2) Challenge Quest 2: Pole Attend intro to pole and pole fit classes on Saturdays (Starting 3/7) A = 5 pole classes B = 4 pole classes C = 3 pole classes D = 2 pole classes F = 1-0 pole classes Stat points available: STA +2, DEX +1 (DEX +1 for Level 2) Challenge Quest 3: Nutrition No eating grain or dairy before dinner on weekdays A = 0-5 indulgences B = 6-7 indulgences C = 8-9 indulgences D = 10-11 indulgences F = 12 or more indulgences Stat points available: CON +2 (CON +1 for Level 2) Life Quest: Clutter Get rid of one big bag/box of clutter each week A = 6 boxes of clutter B = 5 boxes of clutter C = 4 boxes or clutter D = 3 boxes of clutter F = 2 or fewer boxes of clutter Stat points available: WIS +1 (WIS +1 for Level 2) Motivation I want to start living a healthier life. I want to be a strong, healthy and sexy woman. I want to be comfortable in my own skin.
  12. UPDATED: MONDAY, JANUARY 12TH So.....2014 didn't end as well as I had hoped. I'm up 4.5# and 1.5% body fat since Thanksgiving. I wasn't really doing much to lose weight over the holidays, but I'd hoped not to gain either...c'est la vie.. But I'm ready to get things going again for 2015! It's going to be a really great year...I can feel it!! FITNESS GOALS FOR 2015Get down to 25% body fatDo one pull-upStart taking aerial classesGreatly improve on five yoga poses GOALS FOR THIS CHALLENGEComplete the challengeReduce body fat by 2%Make noticeable improvement on yoga poses CHALLENGE ACTIONSStrength training 3x a weekDancing Cardio 3x a weekFollow Bulletproof diet guidelines Grain and dairy freePractice yoga poses on week night ACTION DETAILS Strength training 3x a week 20-30 minute strength training sessionsBody weight, yoga, kettlebellMondays, Wednesdays, FridaysGrading Scale: A = 3 sessions per week // C = 2 sessions per week // F = 1-0 sessions per weekSTR +4Dancing Cardio 3x a week 15-30 minute dancing cardio sessionsHooping, belly dancing Couch-to-5K programTuesdays, Thursdays, SaturdaysGrading Scale: A = 3 sessions per week // C = 2 sessions per week // F = 1-0 sessions per weekSTA +4Follow Bulletproof diet guidelines Grain and dairy free Keep food choices in the green and yellow levels on the Bulletproof Diet RoadmapStay grain and dairy free (white rice and grass-fed butter/ghee allowed)Grading Scale: A = 0-1 indulgences per week // B = 2-3 indulgences per week // C = 4-5 indulgences per week // D = 6-7 indulgences per week // F = 8 or more indulgences per weekCON +2, CHA +2Practice yoga poses on week nights Practice one pose each evening for a minimum of five minutesMonday: Crow Pose (Bakasana)Tuesday: Tree Pose (Vrksasana)Wednesday: Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana)Thursday: Upward Bow Pose (Urdhvadhanu)Friday: Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)Grading Scale: A = 5 practices per week // B = 4 practices per week // C = 3 practices per week // D = 2 practices per week // F = 1-0 practices per weekDEX +3
  13. Im facing the facts here: I hate the gym, I hate walking in to the gym and doing a bunch of the same exercises with my one gym buddy or going by self and awkwardly looking around thinking ok so what am I doing, when really all I want to do is Burpees and lunges and pull ups (which I know sounds a lot like crossfit but have you seen how much that shit cost) SO for the next 6 weeks My goals are simple 1. follow the 6 week work out plan that I have already pre made STR: 3 DEX: 3 STA: 3 2. Continue to eat well, Minimum sugar, no gluten or dairy and make sure to eat protein (im bad about eating protein), drink plenty of water and take vitamins COM:3 3. find time each week (preferably everyday) to detox all the stress that is accumulating in my body from opening a business, meditate, write, just relax WIS: 2 CHA:1 1. Every other day I will be doing a simple body weight based work out that I can do in my home that will take 30 - 45 minutes and is designed to work out my whole body but not leave me unable to walk the next day, Run every other day interval style to increase stamina. By the end of the 6 weeks my reps and mileage increase Every day I work out I get 8 points 2. Continue with no gluent and dairy and minimum sugar Drink kombucha a few times a week because it makes my belly happy and keep making tasty infused water because its super tasty and refershing and apparently it helps your body flush the fat you are burning in your work out, I dont know how much of that i believe but its fucking tasty http://skinnyms.com/fat-flushing-recipes-flush-fat-with-these-5-delicious-drinks/ Each day I do these things I get 8 points Every day I cook dinner at home I get an extra point My grading system is the simple 100 points at the end of the week means an A and 50 points means an F and you can fill in the middle I have a lot going on with work and the business so this challenge will be a challenge but because i took the time to map out what i need to do each day and I don't have to go anywhere to do it and I wont be running my body down with crazy amounts of squats or lifts I should have no excuse but to rock out at this! SO yay ALL THE YAY
  14. Prologue Alright, so although the last challenge [link] didn’t go well, I’ve decided that I am ready to move up to level 2 and the “real worldâ€. My dream is to be a monk or druid, but right now I’m on the adventurer course. I think considering my current fitness level and need to build solid habits, this is the place for me to start. Here we go! Starting Stats Weight: Neck: Bust: Chest: Bicep: Forearm: Waist: Hips: Thigh: Calf: Goal 1: Go Dairy-Free This is a goal for my last challenge that I failed miserably on. I hope by giving myself more leeway and being at home I can complete it successfully. This will be judged on a weekly score. It’s a meal-based tally so everything that has dairy counts against the weekly total. My main flaw last challenge was that I never looked for dairy before I ate, and then I would check and see. Now that I have more experience, I know I need to be sure I’m clear of it. A – no dairy or dairy based meals B – 1-3 dairy meals C – 4-6 dairy meals D – 7-9 dairy meals F – >10 dairy meals +3 STA Goal 2: Meditate Daily In my yoga class last semester, I found a lot of peace in our daily meditation. I want to continue this in my life and foster a mindfulness of the world around me. For this challenge, I’m starting week 1 with 4 minutes and then adding a minute every week. A – 7 days of practice at the weekly minutes (4 + week #) B – 5-6 days of practice at the weekly minutes C – 3-4 days of practice at the weekly minutes D – 1-2 days of practice at the weekly minutes F – 0 days of practice at the weekly minutes +2 WIS +2 STA Goal 3: Practice Yoga Daily As part of my future druidic nature, I want to be in touch with my body, my breathing, and my mind. Yoga was probably one of my favorite parts of my freshman year and I’m upset with myself that I haven’t continued it outside of class. I’m correcting this mistake now. I’m going to attempt to do 10 minutes per day, preferably in the same chunk. A – 7 days a week B – 5-6 days a week C – 3-4 days a week D – 1-2 days a week F – no yoga days +2 DEX +2 STR +1 CHA Life Goal: Journal Daily Much like meditation, I have found that journaling helps bring me to peace with my thoughts. I’ve been wanting to develop this habit for a while now, and since I’ll be visiting my family and wandering around one of the coolest cities in the world, I figure this is a great time to start. I’m not going to give myself an amount of time I have to do this. I want it to be a flow of thoughts and ideas, so any journaling, even for a few minutes, is better than none. A – Journal daily B – 5-6 days a week C – 3-4 days a week D – 1-2 days a week F – 0 days a week +2 WIS +1 STA Mini Goal: Begin the 52-Week Challenge [link] This is a very simple, pass-fail goal. While I can’t start paying off my student loans until I get a job, I can at least start on a fund for paying for field school or supplementing future study abroad endeavors. If you want the short version and don’t want to read the link, I’ll basically save $27 by the end of the challenge since I'm starting this week. No big deal, but it’s a start. I can’t wait to see where this takes me. Summary So there it is! My second challenge. Hopefully I don’t fail as badly as the first.
  15. Why yes, yes they are. That being said, what the hell am I doing? Relaxation and Recovery are NOT my strong points, so it could be argued that I never stop "doing something", and that may be true, but why do I never "feel" like I do anything??? Perhaps because I don't "do" what is important to me. Why not? you ask. That IS the question. I have said before and I will say it again, I feel like my life is nothing but a series of chaotic events that I just manage, rather than actually living and enjoying my life...and I am starting to REALLY hate that. So, the ever present question in my head is "What do I enjoy?" and I have a few answers, and some of the realizations I have come to, aren't very pleasant, because well, I am not really a princess as much as i want to be...so I have to live in a world not structured for be to be a princess...and that is not how I like it! So...what do I enjoy: 1. Yoga (but I have realized that in order to "do" yoga, I need the perfect surrounding space...which makes me not "do" it.) 2. Reading 3. Cleaning and organizing and decorating my house (but I can't get the process started on my own...stupid Executive Functioning!!! grrrr! so I never actually do it either) 4. Climbing, jumping, running, generally acting like a child outdoors (I don't ever do this either, because I'm afraid of hurting myself mostly, and trying to get someone to do it with me is like pulling teeth around here and I don't like going alone, so I dont do this either) 5. the beach 6. Quiet (which is more of a need than a want, but I have teenagers, so you can imagine how much I get of it) 7. Cold weather (and I live in Florida...grrrrr) 8. Not having to worry about money (hahahahahahaha like this EVER happens ) 9. Helping people 10. Games (video, computer, board games etc.) 11. Making things colorful (decorating them, coloring them, crafts...whatever, I love looking around me and seeing lots of color) 12. Learning new things (which I am not sure why I shy away from this so much...fear of failure is the only thing I can guess, because I really love learning in general) So, my challenge goals are going to be to actually DO some things I enjoy, and not make excuses. The last time I did anything fun outdoors was when I was doing challenges for BL 1.0, and that seems like a lifetime ago, and i can't really do much physically at the moment anyway bc of my recent surgery...so those will have to wait. I am going to participate in BL 3.0 but it's not going to be part of my challenge this time. Probably next time for sure since it usually goes for more than one challenge round. Challenge Goal #1: Cleaning, Organizing and Decorating: Make a PvS (or PvP if anyone is interested) for doing Flylady daily routines, missions and zone work. and settle definitively on what I want as far as decor changes (I need new curtains and bedroom stuff mainly). I get a rainbow sticker for doing this everyday before 9pm. Challenge Goal #2: Quiet Time: Do the Mediations from the Mat and finish up the WoT series and use my earplugs in the house ALL the time if I need to. Spend 10 minutes after my breathing doing the Meditations, and just read before bed like I have been doing. I get a star sticker for the doing the meditations. Challenge Goal #3: Helping People: I have really been slacking on my Ambassador duties around here, granted I had a good reason, but it doesn't make me feel good to have committed to doing something and then not done it. I have done the same thing with my son's Scout troop and both make me feel terrible about myself. So I am going to go to his Scout meetings every week during this challenge and take on the training coordinator role that I have been assigned, and I am going to spend no less than 30 minutes, 3 days per week here helping out new and potential Druids. Challenge Goal #4: Learn something new: I need to learn how to do the various yoga breathing techniques correctly...and I really have put it off, because I don't ever feel like I'm "doing it right" and so I just quit...but I can't practice any asana right now, but I can damn sure sit on my mat and breathe...so I am going to spend 10 minutes a day just learning to breathe. I get a big smiley sticker for doing my breathing.
  16. A little background before we begin: between my sophomore year of high school and my senior year, I lost 40 pounds. In the first four months of college, I gained back THIRTY. In the last four months, I've lost fifteen. Most of that is thanks to diet and the yoga class I've been taking at my college. Since the semester's about over, I figure I'll need to keep on track by myself. Main Goal: lose that darned freshman weight and be 180 again! This challenge is all about shedding that last fifteen pounds so I can start my fitness journey back over again, instead of qwoping backwards past the starting line. In order to accomplish this, I have created three goals! Goal 1: lose twelve pounds Well, that's short and sweet. I'll be weighing myself every Sunday (updating this thread for the first one), and measuring my body to track progress. At my current weight, two pounds a week is an easy task. Heck, when I started in January I lost my first eight pounds in a week. I'm a fat gal and it just slips off. I only say twelve pounds because two a week is healthy, however I know my body and believe that losing seventeen pounds in this period of time is not impossible. I've done it before with exercise and healthful eating. Grading: A - lose twelve pounds B - lose eight pounds C - lose four pounds D - lose no pounds F - gain pounds Goal 2: do body weight strength exercises Based off this. I've been doing it on and off, and now it's finally time to commit. It breaks down like this: Monday & Sunday - squats, wall sits, side leg raises, and calf raises Tuesday & Thursday - leg raises, planks, side planks, and v-ups Wednesday & Friday - push ups, tricep dips, tricep extensions, and dumbbell curls Grading: (a subscore will be given once weekly) A - complete full workout B - one workout of each type (a leg day, arm day, and core day) C - one workout of two types D - one workout of one type F - no workout at all Goal 3: cut out dairy Mainly a moral-based decision, I follow the paleo diet when I'm not breaking down to temptation, and dairy is one of the things I think is unnatural. The process it takes to get milk along with the fact that I am not a baby cow determines me to cut this out of my life, at least for a six week trial period. It also helps that dairy is in all sorts of sweets and bad foods (mac and cheese, anyone?) so that'll help clean up my diet, too. It's a win-win as far as I'm concerned. Grading: (a subscore will be given once weekly) A - no dairy or dairy based products B - 1 dairy based product C - 2-4 dairy based products D - 5-6 dairy based products F - 7 or more dairy based products Life Goal: write a 7,000 word short story x3 I'm trying to self-publish, and one of the best ways to do that is to offer sample writing for free. So my goal is to write 500 words a day so that every two weeks I have a new short story that can be published. Along with this, I'm going to research a writing community to post them on. I figure, get people to like what I write, and maybe they'll buy a novella from me for a couple bucks. Any money is more than what I have. Grading: A - three short stories written, all posted B - three short stories written, none posted C - two short stories written D - one short story written F - less than one short story written The Starting Statistics Weight: 196.4 Neck: 15 Bust: 42 Chest: 39 Bicep: 12 Forearm: 10.5 Waist: 38.5 Hips: 47 Thigh: 27 Calf: 16 The Summary I'll be posting at least once a week, and hopefully more, to track my progress. On Sunday I'll post my weight at starting stats, and I'll also get started on my body weight workout. Cheers, and let this be the challenge I need.
  17. Who knew Princesses weren't born with immunity to all harmful illness or disease? I certainly didn't. So enters the emergency surgery for an obstructed bowel that decided to come around on my break between challenges. Although, to be fair, my several weeks of discomfort in the last challenge's end were clearly indicative had I done something about them sooner. So here I am post surgery and another challenge has begun, clearly there will be no fitness goals to speak of, other than increase activity gradually as tolerated. But the diet...ohhhh the diet! After no food for 9 days, it seems logical to only reintroduce things I am trying to eat, rather than things I will have to cut out later. My body makes life easy for me like that! So we have diet goals, rest goals, continue the reading goal. All starting once I get home from the hospital. Challenge Goal Recap: 1. No gluten, dairy, sugar, allergens or artificial ingredients in my diet...and KEEP IT THAT WAY! 2. Menu planning and cooking for said diet to cement changes for harder times. 3. Firm Bedtime of 10pm 4. Read Book 8 "The Path of Daggers" and continue "Meditations from The Mat"
  18. Hey everyone, This is my fourth challenge. My bigger goal is body recomposition -- burning fat and adding muscle. I'm an overweight noob so at least I get linear gains still. In the past I've done the usual, workout 3x a week, eat these macronutrient ratios, fix form, blah, blah, blah. These are ongoing battles that I feel require more experimentation, and I'm learning a lot of complicated stuff trying to figure out the best plan for me. If you're curious about that struggle or my latest crazy experiment, go here. In the meantime, for the challenge I will be focusing on some other small habits to help with the recomp journey and improve my exercise and overall health. Goal 1: Cutting down on gluten and dairy Much to own chagrin, my diet is getting more paleo-esque. But, I will remind everyone here that the reasoning behind it is a gimmick based on a very shallow and narrow interpretation of evolutionary biology, genetics, and anthropology -- and yes, Darwins_Demon is getting his PhD in evolutionary genetics so he knows what he's talking about. That said, such diets do benefit some people, I'm always up for an experiment, and based on personal I experience I will benefit from cutting some dairy and gluten from my diet. I'm not giving up gluten wholesale, but just a few of the main sources of it in my diet -- wheat and barley. For me this means giving up bread, pasta, cereal (grape nuts usually), and beer for the most part. I already get at least half of my carbs from rice, potatoes, and fruit. Oats will still be allowed -- they contain gluten but not much, and even most people with coeliac disease can handle them. Rye? I don't eat it much, but I don't know how it compares. I had spelt once or twice, but that was an anomally -- what else? No dairy... except whey protein... my issue if any is with the lactose, not the protein. But I'm cutting the cheese, yogurt, and butter... these I'm usually fine with, but they add a lot of unnecessary fat to my diet, and they are kind of expensive. Edit: I've decided that avoiding wheat and barley is enough for one challenge. Maybe I'll take on dairy at a later time. Grading: 1 point for each day without consuming wheat or barley in some form, 1 point for each day without dairy (except whey). Goal 2: Stretching and Mobility I am going to spend 20 mins on rest days dedicated to stretching and mobility work, and 10 mins at the end of each workout. Mobility will target my hip flexors, ankles, and shoulders especially. Edit: I'm going to increase my workout frequency to 5 days a week. Each of those five days will include 10 mins. of mobility and recovery work. I can supplement on my two off days as I see fit. I've got my foam roller already. And a tiger tail is coming in the mail soon. Grading: 1 point for each session of stretching and mobility work. Goal 3: Daily exercise breaks at work Exercise 5 days a week. I work at a computer at least 8 hours a day. I'm in the last year or so of my PhD so I'll be putting even more, 10+, hours a day to finish. While I usually have a 20-25 min walk to and from work, that's not enough and I need to break the stagnant nature of my body and elevate my heart rate during the day. Thus, I will take at least 3 exercise breaks per day. Edit: I will exercise 5 days a week. Sun, Tues, and Thurs. will be for strength training. Mon. and Wed. will be for circuit/cardio training. I prefer weight circuits, but I can take it easy with some light jogging, walking, or cycling if I'm too sore from strength days. Each break will be 2 min dedicated to exercise. On rest days I can opt for mobility or a stretch of some kind. E.g. pushups for 2 min, 2 min of tabata KB Swings, 2 min plank etc. I'll also get a bonus point for finding new random opportunities to add exercise to my routine, like finding a new hill to walk over, or a stairwell, or some other obstacle. Maybe I'll eventually get a bit more assassin-like and do some half-assed parkour on my way to work. Also, I have bought a 25 lbs. kettlebell that I plan to carry around in my backpack. Then I also have something to do KB swings and rows with during my exercise breaks at work. Grading: 1 point for each workout. exercise break, up to three per day. Edit: Mini Goal: Knowledge is POISON! I need to stop reading all different things about diet and exercise right now. It makes me want to keep changing things up. I need to find what works and stick to it. No new additions to my routine. No switches in diet from here on. No more books, websites. Just ignore everything and stay on track. Life Goal: Get my dissertation outlined, and papers too As mentioned above, I am trying to finish a PhD this year. I need to have a detailed outline for my dissertation chapters, and three publishable papers by the end of this challenge. I was supposed to do this during last semester and put it off till now. Three chapters, plus three papers equals six. I'll shoot for one a week... but I will ultimately get one point for each relatively well-thought-out, detailed outline I have by the end of the challenge. I might do partials. Grading: A = 6, B = 5, C = 4, D = 3, F = 2 or less pts. MUSCLE OF THE DAY! For rewarding those who follow and our mutual entertainment and education... Each day, M-F, I'll post information on a muscle found on the human body. This will include, if possible: common name, anatomical name, exercises that work it, fun facts...
  19. Cindy-Loo


    Hey all! My fiance and I are trying to get away from dairy products, and we are totally addicted to whey protein powder. At least two shakes a day each. So I'm wondering if any of you have tried any non-dairy protein products and what your experience is with it? Thanks!
  20. So I love a lot of things about this woman's food blog and cook books. If you don't want to follow the recipes exactly, her flavor combinations are great inspiration for other things! Here's a recipe I really like, pretty much copy/pasted. I tend to cut way down on the oil, and I use ground cumin (which I still toast very lightly in a skillet). Dressing: 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 10 ounces carrots, shredded on a box grater or sliced whisper thin on a mandolin 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15- ounce can, drained and rinsed) 2/3 cup / 100 g dried pluots, plums, or dates cut into chickpea-sized pieces 1/3 cup / 30 g fresh mint, torn For serving: lots of toasted almond slices, dried or fresh rose petals - all optional (but great additions!) To make the dressing, first toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant and lightly browned, a minute or two. Let cool, and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle. In a bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, ground cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, chickpeas, dried pluots, mint, and almonds, and rose petals (if you're including those as well.) Gently toss until everything is evenly coated. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (You can toss this salad, minus the almonds, hours in advance. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.) Serves 6.
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