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  1. This challenge, I am ready to push out of my comfort zone and have a little fun. I've been struggling with depression and while I know I have good reasons to be sad, I don't want to be defeated by it. For this challenge, I chose quests to get myself back into healthy habits that I can maintain when the challenge is over. Also, healthy habits are awesome for combatting depression! Quest 1: walk 75 miles. This is the perfect time to incorporate a walking challenge. The weather is going to be pretty cool and dry here. 75 miles is about 2.6 miles a day which is a great place to start for me. Getting out and walking in the sunshine (or partly cloudy days) is like taking a Prozac! Unless it's stormy, I'll be walking outside. On days where the weather is just too bad, I can substitute 50 minutes on the exercise bike. The goal is for walking. Exercise bike challenges can be saved for worse-weather months got my walking outfit ready!! Quest 2: 100 servings of freggies. This averages out to about 3.5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Since I'm eating that much each week right now, this will be the most challenging part, but also incredibly rewarding. A lot of my sadness is food-related. I think improving my eating habits will improve my mood. The only reason not to do this challenge is if I get the stomach flu, which Is highly unlikely, so no excuses I deserve my freggies!! Quest 3: Spend 30 minutes a day doing a pleasurable activity that isn't numbing Or avoiding. Sewing projects, practicing instruments, dancing, reading, journaling, hiking... you get the idea. I often fall out of this habit first when I am feeling bad or going through a rough time, and the days feel Like something to endure instead of enjoy. Okay let's DO THIS Rewards: 1st prize: Should I get a perfect challenge, I will reward myself with this Awesome crewel Christmas stocking kit. 2nd prize: 80% or better, I will reward myself with this Lego Robin Keychain. (This means I need at least 22 successful days ) Booby Prize: Less than 80% means I'll have earned some minty dental floss!! Whooooooo!!!!
  2. A Little History, Baby. (taken from my Respawn thread) A select few of you may remember me. I came, I did some challenges, I dropped some weight, and then life started life-ing me and I disappeared. In early 2015, I weighed 255 lbs. I joined a gym, started eating better, found NF, and in around 18 months, I'd just about scraped under 200 lbs, got myself a nice suit, and life was going... better. But interest started to flag, and a combination of work-related stress, family dramas, injuries, illness and dark depression took hold, and I went under the ice for a while. It started with some niggling aches and pains, which, after an extended period of doctor and hospital visits, were diagnosed as calcific tendonitis in the rotator cuff, and bone spurs in the neck. As I attempted to get those under control, my wife lost her mother, and my own mother's dementia gradually progressed. She suffered a series of falls and spent a large chunk of the early part of this year in and out of hospital for weeks at a time. We're getting some support with her care now, which is helping greatly, but the dementia is only going to worsen as time passes. With all of this in the background, I completely neglected my own well-being, quit exercising, ate like crap, didn't look after myself mentally, and spiraled into a dark place. I could feel my health worsening as my weight increased, to the point where everything was becoming uncomfortable, and I felt constantly sick, tired, and sore. At the end of July, I made the decision to rejoin the gym and go completely cold turkey from my arch nemeses, chocolate, cakes and fizzy/energy drinks. On my first visit back to the gym on August 1st, I weighed myself. 257 lbs. Back to square one, literally. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $100. I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) So, since then? I weighed in for the first time at the end of August - the plan is to weigh in at the start of each month and go from there - and I'd dropped the first 9 lbs. Tomorrow (Friday 15/9) will be 7 weeks since I started the vice purge. In that time, I've had no chocolate whatsoever, and one custard/fruit tart and a mouthful of cloudy lemonade a couple of days ago, when, in my defence, I was high as a kite on painkillers after being rear-ended on Monday. I haven't been to the gym this week yet (see previous sentence), but I'm on the road to recovery and planning to go back for a gentle session either tomorrow or Saturday. Where Do We Go Now, But Nowhere? Here's where. Weight - Right now, the primary target is getting back to One-derland (that's sub-200 for the uninitiated.) I'm only going to step on the scales on the 1st of each month, or thereabouts. The initial weigh-in I did was on the electronic scales at the gym, so I'll stick with that too. Food and Drink - Stick to the plan of no cakes, chocolate or fizzy drinks of any kind, possibly allowing for a slight relaxation of the rule between Christmas and New Year. Other than that, I'm not ruling any foods out. Drinks will be limited to water, coffee (no more than 1 a day, 2 at the weekend), and red wine or single malt whisky (which I'm growing increasingly fond of) at the weekend. No more eating late (i.e. anything after 8pm) as it triggers horrendous trapped wind episodes for me. I've had three in the past month, and the pain is like nothing I've ever experienced. Working out - the goal remains 3 a week for now, just building it up gradually. The current workout is as follows: Cross Trainer: I'm incrementally building it up by going up 1 level and 1 minute each progression. Started at one run of 5 minutes at level 5, and last visit had me doing one run of 11 at 11. Once I start getting comfortable at a level, I'll step it up. The end goal will probably be 15x15 twice in one workout, to start and finish. Treadmill: Fast walk, 6km/hr for 15 minutes. I might change this up as I go. Rowing: When time permits for now, do 1000 metres. I'm currently between 5-6 minutes. I'm going to aim to get closer to 4 minutes, just to see if I can. Physio: Always finish off with the exercises the physio has given me for my neck and shoulder. I've been discharged from physio now, I just need to keep on top of the mobility and make sure it doesn't recur. I Had a Dream, Joe Things in the works - besides the fact I want to get my ass back into reasonable shape by at least Christmas, I've got a couple of events in the calendar as motivation. At the end of January, I'm taking SWFS (SomeWifeFromScotland to any new followers) to see Miss Saigon for her birthday. It would be nice if I could get back into my suit by then. If not, I would at least like to not look like a complete schlub. Two weeks after that, I'll be going to hear Henry Rollins, one of my absolute heroes, speak in Glasgow. If it's at all possible, I'd like to get a chance to shake his hand and tell him what an inspiration he's been to me for the best part of 30 years. Finally, we'd made it our mission to go on a family holiday next summer, having not been abroad since 2012, and next June will be our 20th wedding anniversary, so we're off to Kusadasi in Turkey at the end of June. Need to be rocking that bikini bod. Papa Won't Leave You, Henry, So There Ain't No Need to Cry Finally, I've been in a better place of late. I need to make sure that continues. So, some non-food and fitness type goals to help me keep my head above the water as winter approaches. Don't Isolate! Stay connected to my NF family (Doodlies Assemble! Perkele!) Stick with my daily Bible recommended reading plan (read the entire Bible in 365 days, still on target) Make more time to paint and create That'll do, Donkey. Shall we?
  3. We're winning! The battle to defeat the return of the dreaded Dad Bod has been waged on rocky ground for quite a while, but I'm finally finding my footing and marshaling my forces in the most economical way to make sustainable progress. In the last challenge we simplified the attack and adopted a few new weapons into the arsenal--intermittent fasting and yoga joined the team. IF was extremely beneficial, and I'm going to continue to use it in the exact same way. Yoga was tougher to implement because I haven't yet found the most effective method of deployment, but I've got an idea about how to use it better in this challenge to further my life quest of reaching a lean and strong body. I'm going to rock with the same four goals, slightly modified: 1. Sleep. In bed on work nights by 10:30 pm with lights out and ready for proper sleep. The two-episode limit I imposed on my TV viewing was very effective. This time of year brings new challenges with football and hockey games that sometimes run late, but I'm just going to exercise my good judgment and impose the discipline of prioritizing my sleep to turn off the TV and go to bed as planned. 2. Wake. Good days also start on time, so I'm going to continue to push myself to get up at the appropriate hour. Instead of trying for a morning yoga session (which failed spectacularly last time) I'm going to attempt a new morning routine of rolling out of bed, doing a few minutes of warm-up stretching, reading a quick Bible passage, and getting ready for work. 3. Eat. The return to calorie counting has paid off bigly--it's always been the best way for me to manage my intake. Since I lost a decent bit of weight last time around I've been able to recalculate my targets and adjust them downward slightly. Six days a week I'm aiming for 1860 kcal, then Sundays will be a relatively free day. Macros aren't important, but food quality is. I'm aiming for 80% Paleo/Primal on program days. Free days need to be mindful without being restrictive. I'm also going to impose another no-ice-cream challenge. 4. Move. In the last challenge I changed how I was lifting to focus on cutting weight, and it worked very well. I'm calling my new gym regimen Power Cardio since it's just semi-heavy powerlifts at higher-than-usual volume with shorter rest periods to keep my heart rate up. Each power lift also has a complementary accessory exercise. My body seems to appreciate how this program is working, so I'm going to run it exactly the way I ended last challenge with just a few small increases to certain exercises. Tues and Thursday are my gym days, but new to this challenge is that I'm going to add Yoga to M-W-F afternoons when I get home from work. At first it will just be simple beginner yoga videos on Youtube, but if it works well and sticks for the whole challenge then I'll look at moving up to something more deliberate like NF Yoga or Flexible Steel. The usual spreadsheets are fabricated and ready to go for tracking my progress. I'm hoping to hit 220 lbs. in this challenge, and at that point I'll start taking monthly body composition measurements again to aid in some finer tuning of my nutrition needs as I get closer to my goals. I'm also invoking the oh-so-scientific method of counting belt notches as I slim down, and as of this morning I'm starting on Notch 6 7 of the skinny-DFG belt. Each notch represents an inch of circumference, and I'd be thrilled to reduce by two or three over the rest of this year. Standard weekly check-ins will consist of metrics and photos, but I won't be entertaining specific photographic requests in this challenge. Still a couple of solid months before the holidays start to get in the way of things, so as I'm fond of saying, "Make hay while the sun is shining." The time is ripe for awesomeness!
  4. The Mjolnir Challenge This is the challenge where I finally get to do one of those epic things I've been wanting to do since I started at NF. I had planned on doing a couple last year but they all feel through and I was wracked with anxiety about them anyway. The HammerRace is at the end of week 3 of this challenge. I started training specifically for it last challenge or so. I still don't feel ready but I'm not letting another opportunity pass my by. Not only am I Wonder Woman, but this is the challenge I show I am worthy to behold the power of Thor's own hammer I haven't actually put that much thought into my goals. I don't reckon I plan to change much. Power. Pick up the Hammer! I'll continue Sledgehammer Shenanigan workouts. My goal is at least twice a week, ideally thrice. Two of those have been at the gym, immediately following a lifting session. I am usually tired and only have enough umph for about 15-20 minutes, if that. For the first three weeks, it might be a good idea to get a longer Sledgehammer Shenanigans workout out in without lifting. I've signed up for the short race, which I have no idea how long that it is. I think it only means less trekking through the woods and focusing more on obstances. But I need to be ready for a long day with the hammer. This is the plan for the first 3 weeks, including week 0. During Week 3 of the challenge, I'll taper the lifting and focus on some lighter hammer workouts to save my energy for the race. Week 4 will be all about recovery. I have no idea how beat up I will feel that week. Grace. Move! I've been really struggling with my main goal of losing some weight. I'm in a place where I've gained some weight back and some of the workouts I was doing are just a little too difficult right now, or at least difficult enough that it makes me dread them, I'm talking to you running. I want to get back to what worked for me when I started and get more walking in. I can make it a ruck if I am feeling bold, but I'm also battling my own mind a bit. If I only have to tell myself I am going for a simple walk, it will be easier to get out there. And just a simple walk around the neighborhood is enough to get me working up a sweat so I'm good with that. It's also proven to be a good opportunity for some one on one time with LS when I can get him to come with me. Ideally, I should be able to get about 3 walks in a week on my rest days. Wisdom. Eat Smart! This has been the biggest obstacle of late. I did well on my Whole30 a few challenge ago but I have struggled to take those lessons and make something sustainable. I am tired of logging food and when my mind isn't in the right place it can backfire on me anyway. I'm going to try and continue the goal from last challenge and just try and follow a smart version of Whole30, maybe I'll call is Paleo Plus. Anything that is Whole30 compliant is allowed as much as I want. Exceptions are allowed because it' smart but as long as I pick smart exceptions. Whole grains are smart in the right quantities, dairy can be smart, even ice cream can be smart if done just right. The trick is making the smart choices. I will allow 3 variances a week for less than smart choices. I will also track the number of servings of freggies as that has proven to be a good litmus test for how smart my choices were. Wonder. Enjoy Life! This is where I take care of me and my family. I need quality time for myself and I need to give quality time to my family. Right now my own time is spent just watching TV and crocheting, especially with some peace and quiet. I try to make time to do fun things with family, either all together or one on one. I don't have any SMART goals here but I'll just use this space to report on my own meanderings.
  5. We are The Doodlies - aka Accountabiddlydoodlies - aka Miscellaneous Beings Intent on Losing Weight* *This is a Closed Group and only open to current and former Doodlies - you know who you are. Please PM for interest The Doodlies are a bunch of people who together for a while now. We have had our ups, we have had our downs. But the main thing is we stuck together for all that time. At this point it feels like we are in a bit of a slump lately. It is time we do something that helps us have a look into the daily grind we go to. To help us bond and better understand each other. With this idea in mind i had a bolt of inspiration yesterday. IN order to better understand each other every doodlie designs a workout challenge for the others. This workout will lst for a week and is meant to be a view into the routine of the doodlie who designed the workout routine. Every doodlie gets a number assigned. The workout of the week will be decided by a die roll. The workout routine you design has to be a routine where you need as little equipment as possible to make sure everyone can participate. If there are excercises that you can not do just ask the designer if there is an alternative you can do. If you run into any difficulties post them here to discuss them and help each other out. Try to keep you workout secret until you are rolled. We will roll for a new workout every sunday. Signup sheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LKN8iMALJ_olVKYXzihpJZwVDtLnu9RsLKJZ7sAqGKA/edit?usp=sharing
  6. This challenge I'm going to take my hippy/druidy stuff to a new level. I will be kind and forgiving towards myself, and take care of myself to the best of my ability. Eating rules for this challenge: The 'eat, stand still, shift' I learned in this course. Basically it means: 1) See that you're about to eat things you don't need/binge. Project the things your body is promising you for eating on an imaginary screen. (pleasure, escaping boredom, etc.) 2) Stand still for a moment to see what is happening. Be in the moment, be mindful. Look at that imaginary screen from a distance. 3) Shift your attention to the bigger picture/something else. Kick, punch, push that imaginary screen away, and shift your focus on something else. And for the fitness part of this challenge: Dancing off course. Had you really thought something else? I'm addicted, and I'm fully committed to feed this addiction with as much dance as my body allows me to do. Off course I 'll keep listening to my body. I will push myself, but never go to far. My life goal this challenge is very simple: use the pomodoro technique when appropriate, use todo lists when I start feeling overwhelmed and just get stuff done.
  7. Arrow training The Arrow is one of my big inspirations. How olliver queen, no good play boy, rich kid and party boy became one of the strongest superheroes by just training is an inspiration. So since had a big gap since last time it is time to start again. I will pick up my training, continue where i left off and this time beat my personal demon. My training will exist of 2 parts. Strength and Endurance. The strength part will be done in the gym following one of their programs. I will HAVE to go to the gym 2 times a week and finish the workout. The endurance part will also be done in the gym. This will consists of increasing my running speed on the treadmill. At this point i am at 8 KM/h for 15 minutes, as soon as i reach 10km/h i will start working on increasing the running time. The goal is 3 times a week, but 2 times is accepted. Less then 2 is not. As an extra motivation i will have to track my food intake except in the weekends. I will use my fitbit to know if i ate to much or not. I will make a daily post here where i lett people know if i made it or not.
  8. I have ghosted on the forum for a big ammount of time. This happened due to the illness and passing of my father in law. Combine this with a part-time job and school stress. I had to take a step back and the forums got cut out of my daily routine. Just like Oliver Queen when he moved to Ivy Town with Felicity this did me good. I kept working out a little, had time for the family and got recharged. Now i am back at the rebellion to support all of you on the forums. I will be chilling with the Doodlies if they still want me, for now i will join the rangers to continue my training and will make daily updates again.
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