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  1. All right, let's be matter-of-fact and to the point. I moved. It was a lot of work over several months - hard, stressful. That part is over now. (Another move is coming up, but we'll not think about that right now.) However. Apparently somehow, somewhy, this move broke something in me. I have been hit with what I can only assume is depression and/or anxiety. Attacks of sadness. Guilt. Self-doubt. Fear of abandonment. Weight loss. Deteriorating self-confidence and self-esteem. You get the idea. I'm sure it's all related to the move, and will resolve itself in time, but in the meantime, it sucks and I hate it. It's all the more frustrating since I don't have any real problems to speak of. And it's getting more intense rather than less. So. What to do? I think I need to try to shore myself up. I'm going to focus on some specific things that make me feel guilty and make them better, and some things that will simply make me feel happier in general. Finish my book. I have a book that's now months overdue for a client and that is almost done. I just have trouble getting myself to sit down and work on it. Get it done and delivered. Read. I have a large pile of interesting library books (and an even larger pile of my own books in my basement) that I can only describe as "aspirational reading". As in, I wish I had already read and absorbed the information in this book, but I never bother to actually do it. I might wish that I could sit on a book and absorb the words that way as my cat seems to believe she can do, but sadly I cannot. Having a large pile of challenging, interesting reading available and reading only fluff does not make me happy. Having books that were recommended to me that I requested for personal and professional development that I have not touched does not make me happy. Actually sitting down with a book and reading does make me happy. So let's do that every day. (And even if it is only fluff, that's going to be okay for the purposes of this challenge if that is what I end up needing.) Play games. I play video games from time to time, but my real gaming love is board games. I have a large stack of these in the basement, many of which can be played solo. I also play online at BoardGameArena, where they have hundreds of them. There are so many that I haven't tried. And I have both a stack of puzzle magazines to work through, and a pile of jigsaw puzzles to try out. I would like to try to learn some new games, and get some joy out of the gaming and puzzling, for the sole reason that it is fun. If I really want to step out, I could try some video games too (I'm most interested in retro console RPGs, IF, and true roguelikes but I've only dabbled really, and I'm open to suggestions....) Prayer/Exercise. May be odd to include as one item but they're both on my habits list and they're both supposed to be good for improving mood - exercise because it generates happy chemicals in the body, prayer because, like meditation, it gets you out of your own head and gives perspective. Try to do one of these daily, preferably both. But do not allow this to become a source of guilt if not done. Read and post in other people's challenges. Maybe I shouldn't beat myself up about this, but I do. I've missed at least two in a row, and I don't want to miss another. You guys check up on me and give me support. The friends (and friendly acquaintances) that I have made on here mean a great deal to me. I would like to keep up with your joys and hardships, cheer your successes, and provide support in the form of a listening ear, a different perspective, a kind word, or just a warm presence who cares. All the things I have received from others. I feel I owe you that, and you deserve it. I can't do it if I don't show up. So get back in the fray. That's it. Might change, but it's a start.
  2. I know it is not an obligation to do challenges, but despite my failure to keep up tracking and reporting, I WANT to be accountable for these things. And so I try again. Tai Chi - minimum three times per week I'm doing well with exercise, but I am intrigued by this practice as martial art that I can perform. As someone who didn't know I had a body until a few years ago, it is a way to maintain and strengthen that connection. One day I can imagine taking a class, but for now I practice by video or app. 3s - Big 3 and 3 Gratitudes Even when I'm not feeling as rudderless as I am now, my life is pretty free flowing. Not always good, as making the bed can end up feeling like the only thing I accomplished on my to do list. Step #1: create a to do list! And as much as I take time to breathe each day, I don't always take time to appreciate, be grateful. Read professionally and for leisure daily It's such an important part of my life, but often gets short-shrift. NF Check-in - share and/or comment 3 times per week minimum I am a loner by nature, but I don't always want to be. NF is a community, and I'm grateful when I discover someone is checking up on me. So I need to report in more often, and affirm others in their journey. NF is a community, and I want to be in community - not just dipping my toe in occasionally.
  3. The focus for this challenge is to BELIEVE in myself and my place in the universe enough to take risks, and to embark on new journeys that previously may have appeared daunting. Not to be impulsive in my actions, to look before I leap, but also not be afraid of the gap. Relationships require flexibility, and I have the opportunity to use the balance insights from last challenge to increase my flexibility--of expectations and of myself-- and be more flexible with my relationships, letting them deepen by going wherever they need to go. The universe seeks to resolve anything that is in tension, because tension creates imbalance. Through being flexible and having faith, I can help release tension in body and in the relationships around me. How tensions find an outlet for expression often reveal hidden truths, like gold in a mine, treasures to be discovered from deep digging. I often feel pulled in different directions internally, and sometimes I struggle with what choices to make. There is also a stew of external conflict, competition, and often these conflicts mirror my inner dichotomies. Conflict is inevitable. Combat is a choice, and I have the opportunity to see what is being expressed in the tension, to mine for the gold of the universe and let the treasure come forth. Spring is often heralded as a time if new life, but the path I have walked so far leaves this autumn feeling potent for new beginnings. There is treasure in the short days, the deepening of darkness that reveals the subtle shimmer of the universe all around us. When I am flexible and balanced, I lay claim to my place in the universe. Truth can be uncomfortable. It requires courage and compassion to sit with discomfort and uncertainty. When I meet the universe where it is, with an open heart from where I am, insights are possible. Mind *Writing. The dissertation is at 15,726 words as the challenge opens. We’ll see how much gets written. *Classes and papers continue. I have a document analysis due in mid November, and it’s one of my favorite types of assignments. I then lead the class discussion, which I also usually like. *Statistics are real, despite what Mark Twain said about them. I have three quizzes and an exam this round. Body *Make something and eat it every day. *Supplements daily until November 11, review with acupuncturist *B12 shot 11/10 *Saturday vegetable pickup *Milk *Acupuncture or Massage *Maybe the gym especially for the sauna and the hot tub. Sometimes swimming. Heart *Time with Vivian *Outings with a friends *Virtual visits *Pinball Soul *Meditation. Five minutes? Fifty minutes? Whatever, it’s All good. Focus on #reasonsnottoquit and #HeidiKoans *Sleep. My Spirit requires a lot of rest. *Still water float October, November Significant dates: Stats Unit 3 (3 quizzes, 1 exam) due 11/5 Court 11/9 B12 11/10 Paper 4 due 11/11 History of Higher education discussion leader 11/15-22 Insights from last challenge: I am stronger than I know. My real strength comes from trusting myself and trusting the universe. There is nothing that I can't handle when I focus on being present and allow myself to breathe. As we head into the waning light of the year, I am learning to lean into uncertainty with faith, to be able to look at challenges with open mindedness, and to focus on the future instead of the past. Also, random #reasonsnottoquit, because I need them. Possible drops of a #HeidiKoan here and there, because I need to remember them.
  4. I took a much needed break from the forums last challenge. That's not to say I fell off the wagon, as I've made progress, especially in regards to regular NF Yoga sessions going. The trend will continue this challenge as well. No theme or set goals, expect laconic updates much like a Battle Log, for the same reason that kept me away earlier. I need to keep things simple and I do not feel safe to open up on these boards for the time being, for reasons unrelated to this community whatsoever. You're all still my tribe.
  5. This is my first challenge on my journey to become the best ranger (larper) of them all (in my area). I hope you enjoy reading. Leitmotif: Falling leafs I have started to declutter my home, but also my routines and habits. Everything that does not serve a purpose, makes me happy or helps me grow, everything that holds me back, I will let go of. A look out of my window shows, that there can be beauty in it, too. When you have a generalist approach to fitness, I think it's easy to fall in to the trap of trying to practice everything at once. At some points this summer, I lost focus and track of progress, sometimes, things fell off the wagon, because I was tired at the end of training. I need a clearer separation between my training focus (+3x per week) and the maintenance work (occasionally at my own leisure once every week or two). “...you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.” lotr Body Running After a failed first attempt and some form and posture correction training afterwords, I started CT5K again last winter and build up to a fourth day of weekly running in spring. In August, I turned one of these into a long run by increasing the time gradually to an hour and above. That quite revealed my weak spots: It's not the aerobic endurance that is lacking behind but my legs, knees, and hip flexors especially. I think, I need to strengthen them before pushing for longer runs again. I will skip the long run until further notice and introduce some strength exercises instead. I started to add strides (now 4×100m, 1min recovery) to my easy runs twice a week, as a non-taxing way to work on speed. The forest runs are where the fun starts. I run alongside, across or through a small creek in a nearby forest, jumping from stone to stone, vaulting over fallen logs, balancing and crawling. It's not so much about speed yet, but about the integration of techniques into a run as well as the adaptability and fluidity of movement. I will continue those as long as the weather allows and before winter is coming. Easy Run: 3x per week, 35 min each, split between a soft track (dt:„Finnenbahn“ fin: „Pururata“) and a forest trail. Pulse < 130 bpm Leg strength: 2x per week, on the evenings after the ERs Forest Run: 1x per week, 30 min My final goal is to be able to run the 5km in 24min on the trail if I need to, without hurting myself. (That's one of the benchmarks in my epic quest log. But this is still far of.) Climbing When a ranger is not stalking, crouching or running away from something (s)he is hiding in a tree munching apples and watching the surrounding countryside. But You need to get up there first. After learning swing ups, tuck pop-ups and different traversing techniques, it's time to master … well to manage the muscle up. At the moment, I can get to one kick muscle up, but only on a bar from standing. Mayor weaknesses being the height and explosiveness of the pull as well as the transition. Goal: Get to a couple of muscle up reps on a branch, starting from a jump, then reduce kicking gradually. Muscle up with kick: 3x per week, starting on a bar For height: seated L-sit pull-ups, get from sternum height to the halfway point between it and the naval. Supportive strength training: My strength routine so far was quite cluttered with exercises and I saw not much improvement in the last couple of months. For the next five weeks, I want to go minimalist here as well and reduce the volume to something more manageable. Performed after the muscle ups. Inclined one-handed push-ups, one-handed pull up progression, dragon flag progression Three exercises, in a rep range of 3-5, three sets each. (For those interested, I'm using the operator template from the book „Tactical Barbell“, as far as that is possible with body weight only.) strength training: 3x per week Heart „How much higher, then, is the pluck of the single scout who goes on some risky enterprise alone, on his own account, taking his life in his hand, when it is quite possible for him to go back without anybody being the wiser (...)“ Aids to Scouting Without getting into too much detail, the psychological aspect is probably my greatest weakness. (Among other things, I'm a chronic ruminator.) I am quite good at researching different models (e.g.: CBT) and exercises, less so at implementing them. In what is left of week zero, I will go through my old notes and decide on two or three practices to implement, then make an update to this section. (WIP Otherwise, I would postpone this post even longer. ) Note to myself: Can not be replaced with more pull-ups. Goal: Finally get a habit going 3x a week Wits Meditation Reflecting on my sessions in the past months, they were infrequent, long and of low quality. Let's see, if doing the opposite will help my practice. Anapanasati: 5x per week, in the morning, for a minimum of 10 min, expandable to 20min. Woodcraft Well I wanted to practice my bow drilling skills again and guess who just got volunteered to teach a few people at my community how to start a fire. The date is not set yet, but will be somewhere in November. This means, I need to collect quite a bit of material (tinder, kindling, wood) make some bows, boards and spindels, maybe get a tarp in case of rain. Goal: every one of my pupils gets a fire going Preparing the event 1x per week Practicing bow drill 1x per week Wish me luck!
  6. vs Was debating in-between Avatar Last Airbender or Winx Fate themed... Fairies are winning for now, in the end this is the Realm of the Rebellion... I can come up with my own world of combination of both. For this challenge its the whole forming habits, while taking the medicine I've been told to take for a while.... Some background, this is my first Fall of not only being out of school but with a full time job (supposedly graduated idk where my degree is though). I'm still living at home with my mom and official stepdad (they just married) where we are finishing the move by Halloween (exactly 4 years from when we moved into the apartment). I work as Security, and for once don't feel overwhelmed (or incompetent) but seeing it as a place to settle for a year (unless I like security). Last few challenges even if I wasn't here I found if I just meditated daily or listened to a chanting music video. I was doing better, wasn't getting energy tied up in areas that don't match my life. So what would happen if I got started on most of the list? Mind/Spirit (aka Grounding)-- Everything in life seems to fall in place when I take this seriously. Sometimes tough stuff, but these are key factors -Listen to chanting music for first 30 mins in bed -Meditate or Qigong for 5 mins -Bed by midnight (if O/T bedtime within an hour) Nutrition -- Following a Naturopath's advice, and seeing strengths for eating from home. -Follow Naturopath Diet Guidelines with "no 2 in a row being the goal" (50% of the time avoid flour and sugar foods) -Follow Med Supplement Plan when I get them -Eat only from home at work Fairy Tower -- (Konmari in a smaller goal, as I pick up the mess I make daily and try to find new habits. While moving more stuff from my old apartment). -Do some picking up/putting away/declutter around my room All of these are daily goals 🌱 I will be tracking daily on weekly counters, and get the percentage each week. 🎃- Mean I hit it 👻 - didn't hit the mark. If I hit 50% good results on all these goals, I will have $100 to spend for fun at the end of the challenge. If not, it goes straight to student loans... One thing I did in 2021, have a good budget and know I can have this easily by the end of this challenge (and a too long wish list to spend). If I do hit 90% or higher... I will double the winnings. Above will have saved me enough money/time to give a 6 week reward! Also! One more mini challenge: 👻 🎃"Not-so-Halloween Mini Challenge"🎃👻 So we're moving, but things are being taken care of. Only biggies is getting certain paperwork changed like addresses and Insurance. I've been dragging my feet. So I'm putting $60 on the line to help myself! I get this right away, if I don't finish goals by Halloween (which I have listed somewhere). I will not get the money because I have to cover other fees. So I'm busy... but may have more time on the forums because I may get bored at work
  7. I want to start "showing up" again. My strategy for climbing back to the "functioning in society the way I'd like to" has been: do things half-assed, but do them. So that's the mentality I'm adhering to the past challenges Seeing the (gl)ass half full and all that. :'D What I'll focus on doing this challenge period is: * Feel first, think second (and write) * Swimming - Decide which and get myself swimming lessons - Get swimming strip card for the waiting period until said lessons can start, watch videos about technique and swim * Drink water before grabbing empty calories
  8. This challenge, I’ll be starting off by getting back into whatever passes for my usual swing - again - and will take us through the only big holiday I’m doing this year - Thanksgiving. Nutrition While traveling: Do what I can to not kill myself - Georgia is known for its wine & cheesy bread; wine is fine - cheesy bread: not so much. I know I’ll have to have it at least once, knowing that I’m going to have a bad time. Let’s not roll that into reckless abandon, yo. While home: Veggies & protein first - carbs to fill in the gaps. Movement While traveling: Should have that covered on this trip While home: Yoga 4x a week; contemplate picking up a 10kg kettlebell; keep thinking about barre - after re-establishing my yoga schedule Others While traveling: Do the things and have fun with DH While home: Dog enrichment, hit the fabric store for supplies, finish crochet projects, finish corset, jump on other bag project(s) Pretty simple stuff overall - I’m coming off of a 3-week trip while writing this and have another 6-day trip right at the start of challenge. I feel a bit bloated & chubby - and my liver is a bit tired. Will address all that when challenge starts in earnest. Until then: And (try to avoid):
  9. Critical Role: Campaign 3 starts tonight!! So it's fitting that this challenge is inspired by Critical Role related media. I often play lofi or jazz videos on our TV. It's a good compromise when Pumpkin wants to 'watch something.' He likes the music but after a couple minutes, he starts playing with his toys because there's nothing happening on the TV. He calls this one "purple music." Critters who haven't seen Campaign 2: I don't think there are specific spoilers here but it does feature a character from Campaign 2. The character says random things throughout the video so you can probably deduce who plays the character and a little about the character's personality. You've been warned. 😊 Maintenance Goals Run 3x a week (pursuing a 30 minute 5k) I'm signed up for a Turkey Trot! I don't think a 30 minute 5k is achievable just yet, but I'm shooting for 35 minutes, which is about 5 minutes faster than my last official 5k. NF Bodyweight Workout 2x a week (pursuing quality standard pushups and eventual pullup) Why mess with a good thing? I need to update my bullet journal progression chart. Nourishment Goals At Least One Vegetable with Lunch and Dinner *Bonus Points for breakfast too.* I try to do this for dinner already, but consistently adding veggies to lunch will be a new thing for me. I got some great recs at the end of my last challenge for new recipes to try. Weekend Meal Planning Session To help goal 1 succeed (and to help curb our grocery spending...) I'm going to try meal planning again. Mediate 3x a week Maybe this time it will stick? 🤷‍♀️ Things are busy but I'm also getting into some good routines in other areas of life, so maybe it's time to set a specific meditation time in my day. Week 1 I'm going to make an effort to do it before I start my work day and see if that works. I've got some other time slots in mind, but that seems like the best one. That's enough for one challenge, yeah? I'll post the journal spread for the challenge as soon as I do it. I'm excited for it.
  10. That's right, I'm going waaaaay back to my childhood for this one. I saw the movie version of The Phantom Tollboth when it first came out and was enchanged. A few (?several) years later I read the book and was deeply disappointed. It wasn't like the movie at all! Life went on and got busier and busier. Work started spilling over into evenings and weekends. I was always tired at work so I didn't concentrate well so I didn't get much work done so I had to work evenings and weekends and didn't get enough sleep and was tired at work and.....In short, there is no Rhyme or Reason to how I am spending my time. Fast forward to the present when I recently reread the book and realized Holy cow this book was written about me how did he know so much about me??? (Also there are word and math games which are a hoot even if they are not related to this challenge.) And so begins my Quest to Rescue Rhyme and Reason. 1. Don't Dawdle in the Doldrums. As Tock tells us, if we don't pay attention to what we're doing we get further and further off the road and have more trouble doing what needs to be done. My goal is to develop a roadmap of how I will spend my time by scheduling the biggest, most time consuming activities. If I know something needs to be done by the end of the week and will take 3 hours to accomplish, I need to find those 3 hours somewhere in my schedule, put it on my calendar, and stick with it. 2. Track the Terrible Trivium. Those little things (like grains of sand and drops of water) can take up several lifetimes if I don't pay attention. I've been tracking how much time work takes me, now I'm going to start tracking how much time I waste online and on devices. I don't have Tock to bark at me when I'm wasting time, so I'll have to use my activity tracking app. That's is for this time. If I get my work done at work I'll have time at home for sleep, exercise, and other neglected goals while I'm at home.
  11. Past couple challenges have fallen short due to various chaotic life things. Looking back on past challenges, one thing that served me well was strictly tracking and using that to decide a path forward. So rather than a list of goals, I really only have one simple one - Track. Bullet journal is already set up for the next 5 weeks to track: Drinking Water (in Liters) Alcohol (# servings) Fruits / Veggies (# servings, broken up by Breakfast (1), Lunch (2), Dinner (2)) Activity (to describe in writing) And.... that's it? Outside of challenge stuff, super excited for Critical Role Campaign 3. Also still watching The Black Dice Society and loving it. Recently discovered Vampire the Masquerade - LA by Night which is also pretty great. Also apart from simply consuming TTRPG awesomeness, I'm looking to join a D&D 5e campaign with some coworkers. So fingers crossed that works out.
  12. This Cycle may or may not see me home the entire time - I may end up following DH on a trip; we may end up taking an actual vacation - who knows? We may just be here the whole time. If I need to adjust, adjustment protocols will be enacted. Nutrition I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s time to shift some weight. I don’t want to buy a second round of new clothes. Cook paleo-ish meals (fake meats, soy and the occasional garbanzo bean are ok) with an emphasis on protein Go back to tracking macros. My scale had itself an electrical aneurysm and started muttering to itself all on its lonesome (it was seriously sad - poor little guy kept trying to weigh air, coming up with wildly different answers, until his batteries died). As it stands, I’m estimating my TDEE at 1541 based on my current weight and activity levels. I’ll start with reporting and tracking via MFP with an eye on coming in under calories and will strive to make protein a priority. We’ll see what that gets me re: fitting into some of my clothes again by the end of challenge and refocus from there. Movement Keep up with my 4x a week yoga with walks to and fro - hopefully in less than 115F temps, “windchill” of 125, and over 70% humidity. Fall, as it were, is coming - the news and the Ministry promised. As my schedule stands, and I hope it continues, I’ve got: Monday morning: Slow Flow (a mostly gentle class) Tuesday evening: Functional Flow (hella hard rehab style movements) Wednesday morning: Detox (a hard class with lots of twists and fun movements) Friday morning: Slow Flow (ha! I guess it’s slow? It’s usually hard and full of novel movement - same teacher as Wednesday’s class) With an 18-minute walk to and from. I also want to add more HIIT or Barre videos at home, but wasn’t quite meshing with that this past challenge. We shall see here and I’ll do what I can. I need to get on my ass about it a bit, but finding the balance between that and the don’t wannas has proven difficult without an actual tangible goal in sight. Enrichment I’m still playing both Stardew Valley and Cozy Grove and will pick Animal Crossing back up if they ever release an update. I’m currently working on an 18thc. shift & chemise set. After I finish that, I want to dye the rest of my medium weight linen with avocado pits, and jump to a modernized walking skirt/vest/petticoat project. I also have some crochet supplies on order - I want to do something with my hands again while watching tv at night. Sashiko sounded great, but is a bit fiddly for my hands at the moment. Hand sewing has been great, but I want to give crochet another go. It seems to hurt my hands less than knitting. I also want to keep up with my digital art practice, and still feel like I should be doing something actually useful instead of just killing time. It’ll ostensibly be cooler soon, so the pups would appreciate more evening enrichment. Although it’s going to suck mightily, walk practice and desensitization with Odin should go back on the docket. And that’s it. Nothing earth shattering, but without something big looming (like a mud run or series of 5ks), self-starting is not my strong suit.
  13. I didn't get around to a wrap up last challenge and I'm not going back. *pretend I found the Edna Mode gif " I never look back darling, it distracts from the now"* Zero Week was rough. Kids and I all had allergy attacks and mine turned into a sinus infection/bronchitis. Luckily kids bounced back fast, the COVID test was negative, and I'm quickly improving with antibiotics. Run Run 3x a week, working towards a 30 minute 5k. Saturday mornings are reserved for long runs (1 hour or more). We're trying to decide where we'll be for Thanksgiving but either way I'm planning on running a Turkey Trot as my next real race. I don't know if I can shave a full 10 minutes off my current best (39:45 ish), but I do think I can meet or beat my all-time PR (34:45 right before I got pregnant with #2). Work Out Last challenge I did the NF Bodyweight Workout 3x a week. With the running I'm doing, this is not sustainable for my legs. So the new plan is: NF Bodyweight Workout 2x a week 30 minutes of Pa Qua once a week Pa Qua (or Ba Gua depending on how you want to westernize the term) is something I learned in Tai Chi classes. It's a circular form and I remember it well, so it's a good starting point for getting back into my Tai Chi practice. Meditation Meditate 3x a week (Headspace) I mean really this should be daily. But I'm not going to put that kind of pressure on myself. Working on mindfulness and forcing myself to slow down helps me be a more patient partner and parent. That should be reason enough to do it but I get in such a rush... That's enough for this challenge. I'm also trying to keep going with my other habits (Chores and Bullet Journaling) but maintenance is not fun to report or read about. Happy Fall, Y'all! (It's under 90 degrees. Amazing...)
  14. During my previous challenge I took some steps back to joining you all again. I was asked what "getting back on track" means". @Harriet @Mad Hatter @Epsilonte For me, right now, it means not slacking with my morning and evening routines. Mindful eating. (I took a step towards this by having yoghurt with muesli and a smoothie, BAM. I've been having cookies or pastries with something for breakfasts for so many weeks ) Watching my posture and doing my fysio exercises and meditation. AND making time for more active sports. AND spending my time and energy more mindfully in general. I also have my first meeting with this person I was given the contact information of by the psychologist I went to an intake for in April... Or was it May... She had said my symptoms aren't bad enough. I need to learn still how to not down play the things I feel and experience. Probably going to ask for a meeting again after a few talks with this person. Let's call her C. Challenge goals this time will be: * Drink 4 bottles of water each day. * Again, find/go back to different ways of coping with boredom and nerves and a low fun meter than having food that ultimately makes me feel blah. Alternative name: snack on veggies and fruit and make your regular meals tasty af. (I've already been giving myself some gut rest this past week by not eating later than 7-8 PM mostly.) * Reduce mobile time to 16 hours a week. (Sounds like a lot still but this is a big cutdown according to my mobile use tracker app ) Even though I have done this many times, I have no mental space to think of a more SMART approach to these goals. Let's see how it goes!
  15. Happy First Day of AUTUMN! (North Hemisphere - Happy First Day of Spring to ya'll Southerners!). So life has me starting a new job! I finished my Internship (basically cried in the end with people not wanting to see me go). Trying a job in Security (because Money... it pays more than any Janitorial job, but will have to stay grounded). My mom and step-dad getting married on October 9th, we moving out of the apartment by Halloween. A great time to make new habits as life goes into chaos... but a calm can be seen for the Holidays (honestly see myself working on the Holidays this year... because Overtime!) I have been LOVING NF Prime, (the Journey App) and had a realization of what are "baby steps." Small goals you can keep up for the next 3 years even on shitty days.... I have taken a weight off myself because I remind myself daily. My small things now will help make the best step better. I actually think I'm in the right mindset to back at getting NF Coaching, but this year instead of buying a couple months I want to save up for the whole subscription. So seeing if I can keep up the momentum for myself and see how that goes, as I save up. The only issue I have with NF's Journey App, is the continuing habits after the quest. So why I'm here, to help keep the momentum up. Currently my character is at level 28 after 1 month and half. I've decided to not step on the scale until Halloween, just to check in. Small changes make small changes.... The Scale only says so much. Now to the habits. Nutrition Habits I feel I have: ⭐Intentional eating is coming out, not a burden more of coming out when I eat food I know I want to sit down and enjoy (and gives my bedroom and car a break from the crumbs. ⭐Intentional on Drinking Calories...(Finally accepted Diet Drinks when I do want Soda, or intentional at home cold brew with cream at home). Idk if the weight is falling off, but I've made it a goal some days just to drink zero calories (or order Small... and noticing how big they are). ⭐Read Labels for Calories and Serving Size... Been intrigued by how this shifts how much I eat when I acknowledge both... Habits I will Be Working on! Meditation - Been working on this one for awhile, right now it just involves me turning on a chanting video that has me get out of my head before falling asleep (just listening to it, grounds me like crazy where I have listened to the whole hour without realizing_ NF Planning A Meal- Planning out Meals the Next Day NF No 2 in a Row - Enjoy my treat/rest, make the next option better! NF Walk - I'm at 7 mins currently (found a lap in the front of my house that works perfectly for this in the morning). Morning Routine After Walk - Making the goal to work out in the morning, so first a walk than breakfast/shower/getting life together (I work at 3 pm - 11 pm now). NF Dailies - A daily goal that the NF Journey gives will note here if I did it. YNAB - Check in on my budget transitions, bonus when I reconcile! Side Quest - Post daily, work on Konmaring my room (still working on this...) Yesterday's Results/Template: 9/21/2021 NF Walk (7 mins) 🍁Done after work Morning Routine after Walk - 🍁 Went to On the Job Training for 7-3, was presentable (can see why this shift would be appealing but meh). NF Plan Tomorrow's Meal 🍁 (Breakfast and Lunch was planned and made) NF "No 2 in a Row": (didn't start) NF Daily 🍁 Was "plan a meal", I planned out a Dairy Queen run when I couldn't say no to mom before driving out there (and ate it at the table when I got home). Post daily! 🍁 Konmarie? No... just not a day. Now trying not to eat more than 1 serving of cookies... if I'm hungry I'll batch cook
  16. This challenge is all about cultivating the quiet strength of balance, and I can’t think of a better time to set that intention than at the new moon just before the Autumn Equinox. I’m focusing on the core elements that sustain me and bring me peace, security, and the quiet strength to be who I am in the world. Heal as I can, when I can. Eating Wellness Wednesdays Sometimes the gym Do not give in to despair. Writing (Dissertation is 12, 343 words as the challenge opens) Classwork Connections Allow no one to choose combat for me Sleep, regularly but also often Schedule as little as possible by the clock and calendar. Meditation, including small bits of sitting throughout the day.
  17. It is still too early to feel like fall weather yet, but it is also too late to be summer. The beautiful sunny day is in that nearly perfect place in between the two, the one that is warm and bright, but not so much that it is unpleasant. It feels like autumn wants to be in the air. The afternoon smells fresh, like a clean new beginning. And it's terrible. For as long as Scalyfreak can remember, every single time she has found a peaceful spot to relax and enjoy the sunshine, that has been the start of an ordeal, or a drawn-out fight with something large and powerful she barely understands. Most recently, that something has been Self -Sabotage, the silent, often invisible demon that whispers on the wind and hunts with endless patience. The road is empty. The sky is blue. There is not a single living thing in sight, and the landscape around Scaly Freak is peaceful and quiet. Too quiet... A combination of instinct and experience prompts Scalyfreak to draw her sword before she reaches the curve in the path up ahead, and to slow down and veer off the path enough so she can see around the bend, and look for an ambush. But there is nothing. Nothing to see, nothing to hear... and that only makes her more cautious, and she is not the least bit surprised when the air over the path begins to vibrate, darken, and take on a very familiar shape. “You again. Really. I am so surprised and astonished to see you here, waiting for me. It's so unusual for you.” Self-Sabotage tilts its large head and smiles, a familiar, sinister, and condescending smile. “Silly human, surprising you would be counter-productive. It would deprive you of the pleasure of anticipating my company.” Scalyfreak lowers her sword, but keeps a firm grip on it, and brings her shield up at the ready. “Feel free to give me lots of opportunities to anticipate, by staying far away from me for as long as possible.” The large beast begins hissing, a rhythmical hissing noise complete with shaking shoulders. It is laughing. Scalyfreak sighs, an exaggerated theatrical sigh, and shakes her head. “I guess that was too much to ask for.” “Not at all, silly human. It is very easy for you to avoid me for a long as you wish to.” The laughter has stopped and a smile that is neither warm or friendly curves dark monster lips and reveals sharp teeth. “All you have to do is go back to that bunker you like so much.” Scalyfreak frowns and takes a cautious step back. That sounds far too easy, and yet it makes perfect sense. Stay in the bunker, with its wards, and shields, and its ability to keep everyone away, including the demons that stalk her, and she will be safe. “That seems a little too easy. And too helpful, coming from you.” While she talks, Scalyfreak slowly lowers and turns her left arm and hand out, showing she is not hiding a weapon behind the shield. “You built the bunker to keep you safe... I am simply confirming that it's working.” The creature smiles. It is not a friendly smile. Scalyfreak contemplates this. Go back to the bunker and live in safety and isolation... she smiles. She nods. And she lifts her left hand in a tossing motion and sends a large sphere of thick red flames straight into Self-Sabotage's face. So here we are, at the start of Week 2, and I am finally posting my challenge. It is a simple and straight forward challenge. I need to find a way to go to my new gym and spend time with the barbells, while I also find a way to get enough sleep, somehow. I also really need to stay on top of my reading challenges, because I really want that book bag. And that is it. I will figure out the details as I go. Lastly, for those of you who don't know me very well yet:
  18. Hello witches and wizards, and welcome back to Hogwarts this September! I'm Professor Annyshay, the current headmistress of Hogwarts. You've been sorted into your houses and are ready to tuck into a delicious feast. Now it's time for me to say a few brief words before we start the term. This year the houses will be working together to support general wellbeing. Gryffindor = Breathwork It takes courage for me to be present in my body without trying to change anything. Breathwork can be anywhere from 5-30 minutes. I'm aiming to do it most days of the week. Hufflepuff = Snacks I ten to skip snacks and go too long between meals and then get a bit shaky. I'm going to be more intentional about aiming to have a morning and afternoon snack. Ravenclaw = Writing I'm trying to get back into the habit of creative writing, but this will start with keeping my streak on 4thewords.com. That means writing 444 words a day. Slytherin = Decluttering Since I'm moving across country, I need to be ruthless with my possessions and get rid of the things that don't truly bring me joy. I'm going to try to do at least 15 minutes of decluttering each day. More details will come as you go through your time here, but for now... let's eat!
  19. Hello. I am Stronkey Kong. I've been on NF for over eight years . I'm still fat and making the best of it. learning from my mistakes. 🤔 GOALS: MEDITATION+: Still practicing the Buddhism. Still on a meditation streak since March 21st. That's all fine and good, and is habit. Now I need to step it up and memorize the "King of Aspiration Prayers: Samantabhadra's Aspiration to Good Actions." The prayer/mantra itself is a guide to the essential meditation preliminary practices we do. It is also 259 lines long. But for the benefit of all sentient beings I will memorize it... in English at least. Then I'll start on the Tibetan. Settle in to the WIZARD TOWER: As some of you saw last challenge, I bought a house and moved in. While I'm almost done upacking, now is not the time to stop. So definitely want to get all that finished up this challenge. This weekend I got the bedroom in order by unpacking all the clothes, doing ALL THE LAUNDRY EVAR, and putting clothes away. There's one more box in there, then I need to get the office and kitchen done. MOVEMENT: Now that the house moving and all is tapering off to just regular chores, I need to start working out again. So I'll be lifting weights and following the Greyskull LP... M, W, F or S. It'd be great to get a little cardio and yoga on top of that, but that'll be a bonus. NOOM: Just showing up and getting it done. Weigh in, log food, read articles. I think that's all. I thought briefly about a writing goal, but maybe I'll add one when the office gets settled. And there will be pictures of and stories about this idiot...
  20. Still need to figure out how to work in the Critical Role theme of past couple challenges but since buying Mass Effect Legendary Edition, I've been basically spending all free time exploring that storyline. (I love it, but I also need to pull myself away from the computer and get back to actually being a real person) This challenge is going to be all about nutrition & meal planning. Big Picture where I want to get to for nutrition in process of being written. To be added soon. SMART goals to continue taking the baby steps in that direction also in process of being written and will be added soon....
  21. Jedi know how to deal with stress. They manage their emotions (or at least they're supposed to) and strive to be at peace. They train a lot, body and mind, to become resilient and flexible. And so, a challenge in three parts: Nourish the Body Follow the PFF rule — protein, fiber, and fat at every meal and at least two of those for every snack. The goal is to keep my blood sugar stable throughout the day. Eat lots of cruciferous vegetables. Drink more water (used to be great at this but I'm lagging). Tame the Bees Mind Do yoga at least three times a week. Breathe deeply while doing it. Reduce caffeinated coffee intake. Since I've got a lot of full-caff beans currently, taper down to 10g per cup over course of this challenge and supplement with green tea if needed. (This is kind of cheat, to reduce coffee and include green tea which I've always found to be less jittery without necessarily reducing daily caff intake, and then I'll adjust next round.) Train the Body Do physical therapy exercises every day. Stretch every day. Hopefully I'll be able to run next challenge! My knee is much better, almost 4 weeks after I bashed it, but it's too early to commit to a running goal.
  22. So after taking it easy last challenge (not to mention hammering out an identity shakeup), I think it's time to get back into the game this go-round. Stuff's starting to get a little slack around here, and it's showing. And since people farting around with long, pointless introductions and other pleasantries is a personal pet peeve of mine, let's get to the damn challenge already. The (Agile) Routine Sprint Planning and Daily Stand Ups: 1. One-week sprints that shall be planned on Sundays with a retrospective on Saturdays. 2. Daily NF Stand-Up each day. What did I work on yesterday, what am I working on today, what are my impediments? 3. Daily planner checks. The Workout: 3 X per week. Inverted Rows and squats. -Still trying to get to the point where I can do a full pull up. Still can't do one yet, and after taking off the last challenge, I've fallen behind somewhat, but that's okay. I'll pick up with where I'm at. -I was doing Stronglifts 5X5, but the problem with Stronglifts is that it takes me almost an hour and a half from start to finish each session. That's fine on the weekends, but on the weekdays, given that I'm also doing things like preparing meals, doing CPE, doing all this planning stuff, and taking care of my sanity, it simply isn't sustainable. The Piano: 4. Sprints will include updates on my piano progress each day. Rather than spell all that out here, I'll say just keep an eye out for the "daily stand-ups." Alcohol: 5. Not gonna do it. Full year or bust, baby.
  23. I joined NFR in Fall of 2019 and have failed every challenge. Every. Single. One. The last two challenges, I didn't even bother setting up because I knew it would be one two more fails. Nevertheless, I did attempt to lose weight during both. I've seesawed between 165 and 172 for over a year and a half. 2019: My lowest was 159 in May 2019, right before I went on vacation. I joined NFR in the fall at 178. 2020: My highest was 183. My lowest was 16 2021. In March, I was at my lowest at 162. Then I went on vacation. June 2021 began at 168, had two binges, and ended at 165.4. July 2021 began at 165.4, had one 5-day binge, and ended at 163.6. August began with an 8-day binge. POSSIBLE SOLUTION I wasn't even going to do this challenge, but I think I have finally found a solution to my problem. The reason I binge so often is because I haven't allowed carbs since 2021 when I actually hit my goal of 129 (from normal weight of 150) and maintained 134 on a low carb diet for a year and a half. (I gained 15+ pounds after binge eating carbs all summer). Then I got pregnant back-to-back, gained 60 and kept it on for 4 years. I need a diet that allows all foods, including whatever carbs there are. 2 months/challenges ago, I discovered Intermittent Fasting allows as much. I never would have considered fasting before, but I was desperate. The first I heard of was 5:2, which I thought sounded amazing for maintenance but seemed too slow for someone who is used to losing 10 pounds a month with Keto (if I don't binge, which I haven't successfully accomplished since 2012). So in June, I tried 16:8. It was hard. I can NOT cut out my first thing in the morning coffee and I can NOT not have creamer. So that meant I had to close my window at 6 pm. That cut out 6 hours of habitual snacking. I pushed through (except for weekends, and still ended up binging and only losing .6 a week even on weeks and weekends that I adhered perfectly. Because the loss was sooooooo slow, and I'm tired of dieting/deprivation AND being fat (come on, at least if I'm deprived always dieting I should be thin), I tried Keto AND 16:8 in July. That's what ended up triggering the 8-day binge last week. On Sunday, I ate half a doughnut, then a couple slices of cheesecake after church and then later went to the store for a slice of tuxedo cake. Really? Even on a typical binge, I only have one dessert on a day. Even if I have several helpings of the same dessert (which is why I almost NEVER buy more than a slice), I've never had several helpings and then, oh, let's go get something else too. So Sunday night (while eating the tuxedo cake), I read a book on Alternate Day Fasting which allows for eating bread and not counting calories every other day. But as I looked over a typical week, I knew I could never do it. One, the routine is always different -- 4 days one week, 3 days the next. Also, a Friday and Sunday or Saturday is always part of the mix. Not realistic. Not maintainable for life. The best I could tweak was fasting (500 calories) on Mon and Wed and allowing 500 on a Friday night but 100% that would feel like a diet and something that I could (and would) cheat on. But obviously, fasting 2x a day (4 times in a 14-day period) is NOT Alternate Day Fasting (7 fast days in a 14-day period). It's barely more than half. And even if I count both half-fast Fridays, that only 5x in a 14-day period. That can't possibly be enough to eat whatever I want every other day. So then I had to create calorie limits for the other days, which once again means it is not Alternate Day Fasting. That's when I realized that basically what I had created was the 5:2 plan. The one that inspired me to try IF in the first place. The one that I knew instinctively I could do for life to maintain. 2 days @ 500 calories 5 days @ Maintenance Calories - 500 (for me, that's 1400) for weight loss or Maintenance Calories (1900). It's probably the slowest of all the IF's, which is why I wasn't going to attempt it for weight loss. I want/wanted to lose 10 pounds a month, or at least 8. But looking back over the last several months, and realizing I am miserable/deprived all the time (or bingeing) and only losing 2-3 pounds a month, I may as well be happy/not deprived and not binging (because all foods are allowed in moderation) and lose 2-3 pounds a month (maybe/praying/hoping) 4 pounds a month. I wasn't going to come back to NFR until I could report a success, but I logged in today to check the challenge dates and realized it just started and that I would basically be skipping an entire challenge again. So I've decided to log my progress after all. CHALLENGE GOALS My goals are EXTREMELY modest. 1) Stick to 5:2 (eat mostly 500 / 1400 and NEVER more than 500 / 1900) 2) Yoga on Fast Days 3) Weights on Non-Fasting Days 4) Weight loss: Of course I would love to end this challenge at 159 (as I've wanted to end nearly every challenge I've ever done). And I don't really know my starting weight (due to the binge). So, I will consider this challenge / 5:2 a success if Sept 3rd's weight is 1.5 pounds less than this Friday's (8/14) weight.
  24. Zero week. Day one. My last challenge was over a year ago. I was training to prepare for an intense period of zen practice called sesshin. While my training went well, I experienced a brain injury caused by a series of seizures. Since then, I have regained my ability to walk and speak clearly. I started working again in July. My over arching goal is to return to my dojo ready for anything. This challenge will reflect my first steps in preparation for my pilgrimage. Goal #1: Eat without distraction This will encourage mindfulness with eating. I tend to make better choices with nutrition and pay more attention to my level of hunger when I pay attention to what I am doing. In my life, this primarily means avoiding scrolling on my phone and not eating while driving. Goal #2: Move every day I am still overwhelmed with keeping up with domestic tasks and work. Whether I go on a several mile hike or take my dogs on a quick walk, I commit to move each day. I will try to incorporate sword cuts and will go to the ocean or mountains at least once each week. Goal #3: Keep up the good work I have been an occupational therapist for awhile but have always worked in the community or in mental health. I am currently working in a hospital. Interestingly, I find working in the hospital to be a good counterpart to rinzai zen training. I need to be aware of my surroundings and ready to act appropriately at all times. Working with people who have COVID-19 requires compassion and courage. Knowing when to push someone and when to encourage rest requires I practice wisdom. I will be a modern day samurai one day, gosh darn it. Aloha and mahalo for reading.
  25. In a lot of ways I feel good about my last challenge, but I did fade a bit on MFP and my gratitude journal toward the end. So I'll work on those and pick up some new things. My Fitness Pal, and keeping to goals; Tai Chi - minimum twice per week Weight Training Three Times Per Week Gratitude journal entries three days a week 3 veg 2 fruit daily
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