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  1. This challenge I'm going to apply everything I learned in the previous 19 challenges. It's going to be glorious Food I'm back to clean eating. I've tried it before, but failed. Since then I learned a lot: Mistakes I made in the past How I will avoid these mistakes: - Thinking I had to be perfect - I can eat something that isn't clean once in a while. It doesn't mean I messed up. I can continue eating clean immideately, not my entire day/week/challenge is ruined because of it - Tense up, holding on to tight - Consciously relax. Taking mindful moments have proven to be very effective in my case - No portion control - Control my portions: just one plate full, no seconds. I will use my hands as guideline - Let emotions get the best of me - Emotions are just emotions. I will accept them for what they are and use them only if they are useful. - Binge eat - I understand now that binge eating is a choice. I can choose not to. As I learned from the book "brain over binge" Fitness What did you expect? Keep on dancing off course! And one body weight workout or lifting workout a week. Life We want to sell the house, so I'm going to tidy it up, and put some stuff in storage at my MIL's if necessary. I'm going to tidy something for 5 minutes each day. With the exception of Sunday It's okay if I want to spend more time, or do something on Sunday off course. By setting the bar low I will not fall into the perfectionist trap, and think if I can't do it all I will do nothing at all. I will pick one area every day to work in. - Living room - Kitchen - Bathroom - Hallway - Kids bedroom - Master bedroom - Laundry/storage room
  2. Hey everybody! In case you´re wondering, I took a while off and used week zero to think about life, lifting and love. Which takes me to my challenge: You´re used to me filling my threads with tons of gifs and pics (because more gifs is more gainz u know), you´ll be surprised. No funny gif themed stuff, I´ll keep it simple this time: BarbarianBassBro starts success simply living, lifting, loving - short BBBSSSLLL Quest 1) Lift 3 times a week and don´t forget the accessorys Quest 2) Eat selfcooked meals and drink at least 2 liter water, avoid fast food and such. Ah and stop drinking soda! Quest 3) Get at least 8 hours of sleep, before early shift at least 6 hours Quest 4) Meditate daily for 15mins Bonus Quests as needed I´ll try to get up to date with your challenges and update mine daily if possible. Now I need something to blow my headache away...
  3. 4-Week Challenge beginning Feb 1. My Main Quest for 2016 is to shed enough fat to wear size 12. To that end, my behavioral goals are: Eat Clean, Lift Heavy, Keep Score. These are basically a continuation of my January goals. Eat Clean-Follow Whole30 Meal Template at 90% compliance. Weekly: Review food journal Plan meals; shop and cook Include at least one new menu item each week Daily: Mindful--eat slowly, allowing at least 15 minutes to eat each meal Stop eating at 80% fullness--or serve smaller portions Keep daily food journal, noting energy and fullness before and after each meal. Lift Heavy - Josh Hillis Kettlebell Program: Fat Loss Happens on Monday Weekly: Three Kettlebell workouts: Sun, Wed, Fri. Take a walk or bike ride two times week Keep Score Weekly: Measurements--rotate scale weight, BF%, circumference Cost out one day's meals to check macros Daily: Journal Gratitude--express gratitude for something about myself Food log Workout log Extras: Fellowship Online: Participate in NF forums and other groups Weekly: Post recap for the week and upcoming areas of focus Daily: Read and respond to at least one fellow Rebel Real Life: Actively cultivate friendships outside of work Life Quest Home Improvement projects Finish kitchen Plan Square Foot Garden layout Shop for and select flooring for living room/hall. Plan the summer vacation trip
  4. If this is in the wrong area I apologize. I consider myself a druid, one wishing for a spiritual/introspective fitness and health journey. I would say that I am a spiritual person and enjoy the concepts one thinks of in the Druid's guild... I just suck at practicing them. Right now I am working towards eating clean/paleo. I love the idea of it, the freedom I perceive it to have. My problem: I don't practice it. I eat processed food every day, if only for the regulation of calories. I also enjoy eating junk, even though I know it is not good for me. Case in point: went in to the cafeteria for a salad and walked out with a burger and fries. To my more esteemed friends of the Druidic (or other) persuasion: how do I fight this junk food addiction?? -MJ
  5. Well, crap. I got my dates mixed up and I thought the challenge started this week. Last challenge I did really well in the beginning and kind of dropped off, but I'm still happy I got as far as I did. Main goal: Get up to a healthy weight- I've been a shrimp all my life and Steve convinced me I don't have to live this way forever. The plan: Goal 1: 1800 calories a day I know this isn't a huge amount, but for my size I think it will work. If I do this consistently, I'll probably bump it up a bit for the next one. Goal 2: Strength training 5x a week I've found that 5 shorter, muscle group focused workouts go better for me than three whole body workouts inspired by James Grage's Rewired Goal 3: 6-8 cups of water a day I have several reasons to keep this in check and make sure I'm getting enough. I had decent gains last challenge so I'm looking forward to seeing how far I can get this time.
  6. During this challenge, I'm going to be completing three separate Spartan Races: Tatooine - Las Vegas Super on 18 April. 8-10 miles, 24-29 obstacles. Endor's Moon - Montana Beast on 9 May. 12-14 miles, 30-35 obstacles. The Death Star - Miller Park Stadium Sprint on 23 May. 5k, 15+ obstacles. Doing all three Spartan Race distances in a single calendar year is a trifecta. I will earn my first this year during this challenge. I'm a little focused. My kids are probably sick of hearing about it and all my friends will probably be happy when the actual races start so I stop talking about training. This is my Grail: I chose wisely. Challenge Goals Quest 1: Don't Feed the Sarlacc I did really well on the last challenge, dropping 15 pounds by tracking what I am eating and following the plan my trainer and I have agreed to do, but I can get lazy and when I do, it turns into my healthy standbys of my favorite Chipotle burrito bowl and the Ensanada Chicken Platter at Red Robin. Now, neither of these is a bad thing, but that tends jack up my sodium intake and also gets expensive fast. The only exception to this goal is during the Vegas weekend because it's my first planned vacation since 2008 that doesn't involve volunteering my time as a youth leader. I'm going out regularly that weekend and I'm going to eat a slice of cheesecake the size of my head. For the Montana and Milwaukee weekends, I can bring healthy stuff like pre-cooked chicken breasts and salmon fillets. Goal: Eat out no more than two meals per week. Quest 2: Forest Moon Frolic I did a good job upping my miles in the last challenge. Prior to March, I had never run an event of more than 5k. Recently I did an 8m trail "run". I might never be fast per se, but I can be faster than I am now by continuing to push my limits and distances so that I build on these successes. Eventually I may stop dreading things like the Montana Beast and instead look forward to how hard I'm going to kick that mountain's butt. Goal: Run 2x per week for at least 30 minutes, plus one trail run per weekend at Lebanon Hills or a similar trail that goes for 8 miles or more. Quest 3: Destroy the Death Star A Stadium Sprint is a bit different than the other events. There's no mud and no terrain to deal with. There are, however, literally miles of stairs, broken up by lots of Crossfit-type things like a weighted jump rope and the water jug carry and box jumps and whatever else they decide to come up with this year. Recently I have been slacking off on my out-of-class weightlifting and while it hasn't had a negative effect yet, it will soon and I'll be losing ground on the strength gains I made over the past year. Goal: Weight training 2x per week as programmed by my trainer. Life Quest: I nearly missed out on my Vegas vacation due to a major financial issue that came up in the middle of the last challenge. That was taken care of, but a continuing lack of planning leaves me in this position on a regular basis. It can't go on. In theory, I'm an adult, and should be doing things like managing my finances and living on a working budget. This needs to happen now. Goal: Make a monthly budget and stick to it. Goal Grading: Quest 1 Goal: Eat out no more than two meals per week.. A: Ate out 2 meals per week or less. B: Ate out 3 meals per week. C: Ate out 4 meals per week. D: Ate out 5 meals per week. F: Ate out more than 5 meals per week. Quest 2 Goal: Run 2x per week for at least 30 minutes, plus one long trail run per weekend. A: Met or exceeded the goal B: Ran once and also got in my trail run C: Got in my trail run but no other runs D: Got some short runs but no trail run F: Anything less is a fail. Quest 3 Goal: Weight training 2x per week as programmed by my trainer. A: Did both programmed weight training sessions C: Did one programmed weight training session F: Didn't even lift, bro Life Quest: Set a budget and stick to it A: Set the budget, stuck to it. C: Set the budget, mostly stuck to it, didn't have enough discipline. F: Didn't do it, didn't try, just... didn't. I'll assign attribute points at the end, depending on my results.
  7. I have been doing challenges with the Adventurers, but it's time I embrace my true nature and continue my training there. A little background: I am not who I used to be. I used to be this guy: That guy sucks, and I sort of despise him. He was a weak, lazy bastard who could barely run to the end of the driveway without gasping for breath, and even when doing something as low-impact as mowing the lawn, would sweat like it was raining. In late 2011, I finally grabbed at an opportunity to change and started doing group fitness twice a week at work. That was a decent start, but I was still fat, and then in August 2012 I left the company and stopped working out. And I went nearly back to being that guy up there, who like I said I sort of despise. Just look at him with that smarmy food-coma, glazed-eye smile. I bet that's ranch dressing on that plate. In January of 2013, I joined a Boot Camp class and quickly started doing 2 classes per week.Since I was nearly back to where I had started, I wound up puking in the garbage can in the corner of the gym during my first class. But then, in a massive middle finger to that guy, I jumped right back into the class and finished it out. That was the beginning. Over the last two years, I consistently increased my activity, my strength, my stamina, and my moments of intermittent badassery, and am currently this guy: This guy, I like. First of all, this guy's beard is infinitely more awesome than that other guy, plus if I'm going to sweat like it's raining, I better at least be doing something awesome to earn it. Along the way, I learned some things about myself: I like working out with other people. Boot camp, small group workouts, even just running with a friend - all awesome, and having someone else to push you to keep working or to not blow off a workout is the best. I like lifting weights. Alone in the garage, in front of others at Boot Camp, in the living room with the kids; hell, I'm even not freaked out anymore to lift with the bros in the free weight section at the gym. I heart hypertrophy. Someone should make that into a tee shirt. I like running. I'm slow, and I'm still working my way up to a full 5k without stopping, but I run. I ran a bunch of 5k races this year and I enjoy pushing myself to try and hit my personal bests. Right now I'm working toward a personal best of under 34 minutes while still working on that whole run-without-walking part. I like eating clean. I've been logging my food while working with Jon, my trainer at the gym who started a Small Group thing (he calls it Focus Group). In 2013 I lost 35 pounds in three months between April and June letting him teach me to eat clean and eat whole, and when I am focused and actually am consistent with logging, I can shred off almost 2 inches around my middle in just over a month. I like me some Spartan Race. I did my first one (that money shot up there) in September of 2014 in Illinois. I am kicking myself for all the times I told myself "I can't" or "Not yet" or whatever the hell else all my excuses were. I loved that one race so much, I signed up for the Stadium Sprint in Milwaukee a month later, dragged my youngest kids out to do the Spartan Kids' Race, signed up for the Minneapolis Sprint for June of 2015 the day it was announced, and am already trying to figure where to fit a Beast into my schedule so I can complete at least one Trifecta this year. I'm going to quit talking about it now before I start going "Aroo!"Lifting and running. It's not just a Spartan thing; this sounds like a certain NF Class, and it's time to embrace this thing. Challenge Goals: I have been measuring myself in Burpees since the last weekend in September at the Illinois Spartan. That number was 90 - 30 each for the three obstacles I failed to successfully complete, the Spear Throw, the Traverse Wall and the Rope Climb. In November it dropped to 60 when that damned spear sagged but did not drop. Sadly enough, I was less than six feet total away from a Burpee-free run in Milwaukee, but cramped up badly on the Traverse Wall and fell off two steps from the bell, and couldn't make it up the last few feet of the rope climb. Close enough to taste it, but far enough that I was in Burpee purgatory. Suck. I am planning to do the Las Vegas Super Spartan in April, and it's time to get serious about training for it, because otherwise I'm going to be the king of Burpees at the end of that weekend. Quest 1: Grip it and Rip It. I know I can beat the Traverse. I've been working on my grip strength ever since, to make sure that the damn rope does not beat me again. Jon has me working on pull-ups and chin-ups to increase my grip strength and my pull-force. Right now I can do two pull-ups in a row consistently and sometimes three. I need to keep at it to build up. Goal: Do fifteen chin-ups or pull-ups every day. Grading: A: 100+ per week B: 85-99 per week C: 70-84 per week Anything less is a fail. Quest 2: You Go Long. If I'm actually serious about this whole Trifecta thing, it's time to push up my miles when I run. 5k isn't going to cut it if I'm really going to tackle the Super in April. Right now I am doing interval training on the treadmill and can do 4.5 miles in an hour. It's time to push it some more. I'm currently only doing one extended cardio session. Doing it more often will help me increase my long-term stamina and my distance. Goal: Run for at least one hour twice per week. Grading: A: Two days or more, one hour each. B: Two days or more, 90 minutes total C: One day, one hour Anything less is a fail. Quest 3: You Have Logs? For the most part, I am consistent about staying away from processed foods and eating clean, whole foods, but the last couple months, I've been pretty lax. It's time to get back on track. Goal: Log all my food, every day. Grading: A: Logged all food intake every day B: Logged every day but missed some entries C: At least four days per week logged Anything less is a fail. Life Quest: Do It The Write Way. I am happiest when I spend some time writing. During one challenge in 2014, I had writing as a goal, and while the challenge overall didn't quite go great, I did do some decent writing. I aim to get back to that. Goal: Produce one piece per week - fiction, non-fiction, or essay. Grading: A: Six total pieces. B: Four pieces total C: Three pieces total Anything less is an incomplete. Motivation: My kids. All five of them. They rock. And I want to still be going over the eight-foot wall when they're old enough to run it with me... and their kids, too. I want to be the 85-year-old man doing wall-sits and making the kids climb up my knee and onto my shoulder as I hoist them over the wall.
  8. I’ve followed NF off and on for almost a year but this is my first challenge commitment! So here it goes for 2015! Background: I am a 30 year old mom of 2, struggling to figure myself out enough to grow in a “healthy†way. I used to consider myself a “country/farm†girl but now that I have a decent job/career established, I find myself behind a desk for what seems like the majority of my time. When I am not working behind the desk it seems as though I’m frantically trying to figure out how to provide nutritious meals to the husband and little people (one (the 4 year old child, has extensive medical demands including a high salt, high calorie diet! ugh!) and keep everyone happy. With extra help in 2014 I was able to successfully get my weight down to a healthier range, while also getting the 4 year old to maintain a good weight with HEALTHY food and keeping the other 2 family members relatively content. Now it’s time to keep building on that. Long Term Lifestyle Goal: I would still like to eventually loss another 20-30 lbs assuming that’s what it would take to get rid of some more of my belly bulge and have more engery and feel “STRONG†but want to be smart about it and will be focusing more on non-scale victories/activies along the way so I’m not putting an immediate deadline on this goal as long as I’m not noticing additional flab to squeeze into the clothes and I’m maintaining overall happiness. I would also like to figure out some physically challenging activities that I can enjoy and grow old doing. Fall 2015 goal: I’ve committed to a 30 miles in 1 day rugged Hike in efforts to raise money to support medical research that could greatly benefit my family down the road. This hike is in September 2015 and scares me ALOT! But I think I can do and am starting to train NOW! So now we have arrived at my 3 measurable goals for this 6 week challenge, that will get me closer to the goals above… 1) Focus on Strength training three times a week. I have never really focused on “strength†before so will start with the body weight program for this challenge. 2) Continue to progress through the Coach to 5k Program I started before Christmas. (Strength training and C25K work will be on alternating days) By the end of this challenge, I should be able to jog for a continuous 30 minutes and should have a good foundation established to start working on time and/or mileage goals by the next challenge. 3) Eat clean, consistently. I will do this by committing to plan meals WEEKLY so they are ready to go, easier on me and the family and more likely to be excuse proof. If I know what’s on the “menu†ahead of time I’ll have better luck avoiding the temptations at the office, grandmas, etc. that are around me ALL THE TIME! That’s the plan, here we go! *I will try to report in with weekly progress updates but will be significantly limiting my “technology usage†in hopes of better time management and focusing on goals. oh and a note to self: be nice to ME...
  9. I've been knocked back with a cold the last few days so getting this up later than planned, but better late than never. I've found over my last 2 challenges that I started off really well and then had a wobble which knocked me back, causing me to miss out on completing some of my goals. So as well as my 3 quests and life goal, I'm going to aim to change this pattern. Main Quest This is still the same: to gain enough strength and stamina to complete Tough Mudder next year. Quest 1 Strength training 3 times a week 2 sessions of chin up training. (3 STR, 1 STA)I did well on this last challenge, and was going to drop it from my challenge altogether, as it's not been a challenge to get myself to the gym as I love it so much! But having a cold over the last week has meant I've missed a few gym sessions and I've realised how easy it is to fall out of a habit when something gets in your way.With that in mind, I need to keep this as part of my 6 week challenge. Quest 2 Handstand Training every other day (2 DEX) I've been trying out handstand training over the 2 week break and have been enjoying it. My sense of balance has always been atrocious. I'm one of those people that can fall over while standing still, so this may be quite a challenge, but one I think I'll enjoy. Quest 3 Eat a balanced diet (2 CON) I discovered last challenge that cutting out certain foods like white potatoes stopped me having suffering digestive issues and made me feel a lot healthier, so I'm building clean(ish) eating into this challenge. Plan and pre-prepare meals to prevent eating junk I'm pretty good at planning my evening meals, but really bad when it comes to lunch so I need to make sure I spend time on a Sunday preparing my lunches for the week.Treats are allowed, but must be homemade. I'm hoping this will reduce the amount of treats consumed. If I fancy cake, I can have cake, but I have to make the cake from scratch. The amount of time that takes will probably put me off the wanting the cake! Life Quest Improve my job prospects! (2 WIS) I really dislike me job. I work for a very small company as a support manager. Which is actually a ridiculous job title as I only manage 1 person, and in 4 weeks, they are leaving anyway. There is no way to move up as there are only 5, soon to be 4 people in it, and the only person above me it the Company Owner. The main problem is, although it's essentially an IT job, it's very niche and not many of the skills I've learnt here are transferable to another role. I've always been fascinated with programming, so I've been trying out the Python course by Code Academy. I'm hoping I can grasp this, and then Java, and then I'll have some skills that are worth putting on my CV. Do at least 6 hours of programming course each week I think this should be enough to start with. I don't have a lot of time in the evenings, so I'm going to break this 6 hours down into bite size chunks (lunchtimes, weekends etc).
  10. Hello Rangers! Long time no see. I did a couple challenges with you fine folks in ages past, but disappeared for a while, then hung out with the adventurers and the Druids. Good times! But really, I'm a ranger. I got sucked in to signing up for a Spartan Sprint under duress (I wanted to do a Warrrior Dash with work folks, SevenFootGeek wanted to do the Spartan with nerd folks. We agreed to both do both. I feel like I was had... The Spartan is so much harder!!) and I'm totally not ready for that shit! So what do we do about it? Get ready, that's what! I gotta shed some pounds cause that will make it easier, and I gotta get stronger. I know I know, shouldn't try to do those two things at once, but here is my plan: calorie deficit + yoga and body weight work outs= fat loss & muscle maintenance= seeming stronger because there is less of me to haul around with equal muscle. Eh? Eh? Makes sense to me. Goal 1: Eat like a Spartan! I wanna go from a (female version of) this: To THIS: Last challenge I really focused on adding the good stuff. This challenge we are going to work on eliminating the bad. I am going to focus on eating clean, unprocessed goodness. If I have a treat, try to make it a clean, unprocessed treat like home made ice cream, not vending machine crap, or stove top pop-corn not corn twists. To track how I am doing here, we are going to be using MFP and tracking every day. So, don't finish a day, loose a point. Eat something processed and bad, loose a point. Then grade it like school. Yogurt and pepperoni sticks are processed and will be allowed. Also I will be internet un-accessable for Week 2. I will write down what I eat, but I'm not going to piss about with trying to calculate calories and what not, just good and bad to stay accountable and not fall in to the 'I'm on vacation, I can eat all the things!' mode. I will also will be using this to track moods and emotional eating. "I'm tired... stressed... over worked,... moody ect ect ect" are not reasons to stuff my face. They are reasons to yell, cuss, go for a 5 min time out walk, punch the air violently, or throw a shoe, but not this: Be tough! With your shield, or on it! Goal 2: It'll take more then good eating to get Spartan Tough I need to do pull ups, push ups, squats and... other stuff.I need a bodyweight work out that will help me transition to relatively out of shape to in pretty good shape. I plan to start going to the gym to lift heavy weights in the next challenge, but right now I don't even think I could do the empty olympic bar, so we are going to work up to that. I haven't found the right work out yet, so I need to do some research for this one! I test myself out the other day... I could do 4 knee push ups, no full ones, and can't move myself from a dead-hang to pull up. That being said, I could climb up the walls with rope like a squirrel at the Warrior Dash, so WTF man? There are scary mega rope climbs and other nasty obstacles in the Spartan, as well as plenty o' hill/stair climbing. Here are my thoughts BW work out 3/week (Exact work out TBD, SFG to be consulted) Goal 3:Rock climbing 1/week (won't happen week one or 2 because of scheduling maddness so we'll aim for 4 times this challenge) and Yoga 2x week. Classes are better, but at home is good to. Goal 4:Walking/Running up and down a hill near my house 2/week Side goal to make it all happen: This is going to take hella organization to accomplish. I am adding a LOT. Probably too much to be honest. But, its gotta happen. Meal planning is going to have to be a thing that happens every start of the week, with grocery shopping not being optional. Making lunches in the evening so that I can get to yoga or the park in the morning before work without getting up at 4am. Please, keep your comments of "I get up at 4 am every day blah blah blah" to yourself. I need 8hrs of sleep, if I get up at 4, I need to go to bed at 8pm. Really? Nope. I will likely start aiming for bed by 9:30pm, up at 5:30am This goal isn't getting marked. Its success will immediately impact the success of the other goals. If I'm not organized, I won't get anything done. If I am, I will get all of the things done and be amazing. I will also have to do progress pics this time I think. Starting the process of going from this: To this:
  11. Hello, everyone! Having finished my first challenge, I'm pleased as punch to join the Rangers for this challenge. Really, this will just be a continuation of my last quest to learn how to lift and test my limits with strength training while eating clean and stretching to prevent injury. I'm a Hobbit Bounder who's just trying to get stronger and get lean while keeping up my endurance. In real life, I'm in the military so while my personal workouts will be focused on the StrongLifts program (on week 5!), daily PT tends to focus more on cardio and circuits. This will be a fairly long post as I spell out my goals, where I'm at, and what I did today. I welcome any words of advice or encouragement and am happy to answer any questions about my own experiences. Anyway, here's where I am at. Current Stats Squats: 115lbs Bench: 90lbs Row: 90lbs OH Press: 70lbs Deadlift: 145lbs Pullups: 8 3 Mile: 24:30 Height: 5'1 Weight: 130lbs Main Quest:I want to learn how to lift with good form, and test my limits with strength training. Along the way, I'll be putting on lean muscle and losing body fat. In light of upcoming weigh-ins, I need to stay under 132lbs despite putting on muscle mass. Side Quest:Score a 290 or better on the CFT. Quest 1: Get Stronger. * I will do StrongLifts 3 days a week.* It has been interesting navigating my personal workout schedule around PT on Mondays-Thursday. So far, I've been doing Sunday-Wednesday-Friday. Wednesday has been variable because while Monday's Run Day (usually sprints), Tuesday has often involved brutal amounts of pullups such that lifting that afternoon would hold promise of dropping a bar on myself. So! The plan is to stick to Sun-Wed-Fri for now. Current Status:- July 28: Today for PT we did a Shamrock Drill variation. Essentially, it's 6 cones set up in a line, 25m apart. We started at the first cone, sprinted to the second station's exercise. Then we sprinted back to the first, then to the second to repeat its exercise before moving on to complete the third station's exercise. After you complete each station for the first time, you sprint back to the beginning and re-do every previous station before moving on to the next. Twelve was the random number picked between 10-20 for the number of reps to complete at each station. The first station was an overhead press (35lb plate) to simulate ammo can lifts which are part of our upcoming CFT (more on that later). The second was bodyweight squats, then burpees, then situps, then pushups. In all, we did 60 overhead presses, 48 squats, 36 burpees, 24 situps, and 12 pushups. At the end, we did bodyweight . Basically, whenever the song says Down, you squat down and hold until he says Up again. I promise, the song seems absurdly long when you're doing it. As a note, yesterday I to Lost Mine Peak in Big Bend National Park (5mi round trip, 1300ft gain, 2:35 including numerous pictures and lunch at the top), so my legs weren't too happy about that squat drill. Anyway, that was this morning's PT. For this afternoon's StrongLift workout... Today was Squats (115lbs), Bench (90lbs), and Row (90lbs). So far, the squats, bench, and deadlift have been progressing steadily. Rows are getting a lot better and today felt good. The overhead press is definitely my weakest exercise so far, but that has been improving as well. I've taken to videoing my last set to ensure I'm keeping good form even when tired. Still resting only 90s between sets except for squats. I'm now resting the full 3 minutes between sets. I'm super excited to put on 45lb plates for my squats soon. Quest 2: Eat Real Food and Stay Under 132lbs.* The chow hall here is pretty good and I've been doing a decent job of eating right.* Sugars and desserts are still right out.* Beer and bourbon still counts as real food and are very much in (but in moderation). * Stay in weight regs (132lbs) while still lifting and eating healthily. Current Status:This weekend was spent mostly on the road (again) with a 5 hour drive out to Big Bend National Park. So food hasn't been the best, but as of today I'm back on track. This morning I had 2 scrambled eggs with mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, and salsa with a cup of fruit (cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries). We have a test tomorrow, so I stayed to study through lunch and snacked on sunflower seeds (which are very low in calories yet distracting and time consuming to eat). For dinner I had meatballs with spinach and a small slice of broccoli quiche. With clothes, on my scale, I weigh exactly 132lbs. This is bad, because the scale in the office may or may not be calibrated the same and usually a 2lb buffer provides some room to breathe easily. Hence the skipped lunch and rather small two meals. We weigh in on Thursday and while I usually don't have to starve/dehydrate myself to make weight (which is depressingly very, very common in the Marine Corps) I might do it this time. Being overweight is essentially criminalized with a lot of harsh consequences, so it's better to avoid that altogether. And since I've started lifting, I've definitely put on muscle mass. My shoulders are bigger and my quads are pretty huge. I look strong and solid, but the alternative to making weight is making tape, and the process for taping females is absolutely ridiculous. In order to make tape, they have to measure my hips, waist, and neck. They calculate everything with [Hips + Waist - Neck] and for my height (5'1), the total has to be under 51" (51.5" is right out!). I just taped myself and depending on how generously I'm taped, I'm sitting between 51" and 53" which is borderline just like my weight. As a note, the hip measurement is absolutely ridiculous. *facepalm* In all, as awful as it is and as much as I advocate healthy body image and not obsessing over one's weight as a sole measure of fitness and health.... I think I'll be eating very little until Thursday. Which is kind of awful because we're doing a practice CFT on Wednesday. Oye. Quest 3: Rejuvenate.* I will stretch for at least 10 minutes after every workout and use this time to quietly reflect. * I know I'm prone to injury if I don't stretch and warm-up properly.* I am constantly being stimulated by technology and other distraction. 10 minutes of quiet to myself will be novel, and will hopefully give me time to reflect and gather my thoughts. Current Status:I've been doing a good job of stretching. So far, I've rarely had soreness persist more than a day, and when it has, it's usually been caused by morning PT. I've also been doing a decent job of stretching and warming up before workouts, so I haven't suffered any injuries yet, just minor twinges that go away after a bit. But this will stay a quest because after having been injured before, I'd much rather stay healthy than have to recover. Side Quest: High CFT* Traditionally, I've always done well on the CFT. I'd like to keep it that way. * For females, max points is: - Movement to Contact: Half mile sprint in under 3:23 - 61 Ammo Can Lifts (35lb overhead presses) in 2 minutes - in under 3:01* I'd like to score a 290 or better. Last year I got a perfect 300. Current Status:On Wednesday we're taking an inventory (practice) CFT, so I'll see where I'm at. Ammo Can lifts have never been an issue for me, even before lifting. I'm fairly confident my arms have gotten stronger. Also, we're allowed to bend our knees and essentially do push presses, so that portion is fairly trivial. I've also done the MUF in under 3 minutes every time. It's 3 minutes of utter pain and misery and burning lungs, but thankfully it's only 3 minutes. Hopefully I can do it again this year. My biggest trouble is the half mile sprint, which is conducted in boots and utes. I think to work on my side quest, I'm going to have to do more sprints on my own to ensure my time is good.
  12. I joined up with the Rebellion at the start of the the previous (ending today) challenge but I haven't gotten around to writing an official introduction until now. I'm about to turn 26, average height at 5'4" and I'm currently at 148 lbs. I joined up with the Druids because I wanted to add Yoga into my routine but I've become increasingly more drawn to and motivated to do body weight exercises so I may just switch professions over to the Assassins. I'm a kids pastor and so although I have a typical nine to five job in the office during the week it's not all spent behind a desk. However, I do spend more time at a desk than I would like (I'm actually looking into cheap, easy ways to convert my desk into a standing desk. So if anyone has any good suggestions I'm totally open). I am an introvert and have a tendency to be a bit of hermit but I try to get out and be active as much as I can. I joined a gym at the beginning of this year and although I haven't made it into the weight room (that cost more $$) I've enjoyed being able to take Zumba, Yoga, and Pilates classes. I started with Zumba about a year ago in an attempt to get out and be active. I wasn't actually trying to lose weight but I wanted to be able to have the energy and range of movement to keep up with my kids. Even though I'm only 25 I already feel old when I'm hanging out with the kids (I tire out a lot quicker than I would like) and I don't want that feeling to continue to progress. I figured that I probably would lose at least some weight with Zumba as I have heard some great stories from women who have lost quite a bit. However, after about 6 months my weight was still the same. So I decided to start counting calories. At that point I wasn't really watching my diet - I wasn't too horrible but I also wasn't paying too much attention to my eating. Well, frankly counting calories sucked. I hated it. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app, put in that I wanted to lose 1 lb every two weeks and was given a max of 1310 calories a day. I stuck with it for about two months, got really annoyed having to count everything, lost nothing and was constantly hungry. So I decided to toss that idea and went back to not really watching what I was eating. Then about a month later I found out that my best friend, fellow Rebel Vrasile2, had started an Eat Clean diet and lost about 10 lbs in a month. I asked her all kinds of questions, read The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno and decided to give it a try. I liked what Reno had to say about NOT counting calories and eating MORE food. Well, I ate twice as much food in a day than normal and lost 8 lbs in my first month. And I wasn't worried about staying under a calorie amount! Yay! I've lost a total of 10 lbs altogether over a period of about 5 months, which doesn't sound like a lot but it's noticeable and I feel so much better with all the healthy choices I'm making! I haven't lost a pant size but it looks like I have, if that makes sense. My weight hasn't decreased too much but seems to have shifted somehow. So now that I'm eating clean and staying active in classes at the gym 4-5 times a week I'm working to increase my strength. I'm currently at 5 pushups, 3 good inverted rows, and about 12 pistol squats. I'm still researching bodyweight strength training to make sure that I'm following a good routine but thanks to our Fearless Leader I think I'm off to a good start. So that's my journey in a nutshell so far. I hope to one day become a beast at pushing or pulling my body over or through any obstacle just in case the Reaver's ever make another appearance. It's going to take a while to get to that point but I'm definitely in it for the long haul!
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