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  1. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "This is NOT going to go the way you think!" - Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi {I avoided spoilers this time!} We can plan and schedule everything in life. We can make assumptions, predictions, and estimations. We can set expectations high or low. None of it may amount to a hill of beans. There are always outside factors, randomness, errors, and poor judgement to throw any perfect plan off track. For each of these, we just reset, re-plan, reschedule, and go again. But nothing every goes exactly how we think. Worrying about it, getting frustrated with it, or crying about it is a waste of time and energy. It is a waste of life. Killing time is not murder, it's suicide. In this spirit, I decided to focus on a few items in different ways for this challenge. Chores and Maintenance I have a lot of control over my time. Others Life Categories are effected by how my free time gets chewed up or manipulated by outside factors. Instead, I'll have those tie into my incentives to push me more in those areas. I upped the stakes on my IJRS Lessons. There have been a lot of things keeping me from doing that, most of it on my shoulders for not making it a priority over other things. After Epic Nerd Camp, it'll be time to get it done. The things I prioritized over it, namely Toastmasters, needs to take a backseat for a bit. My evening Toastmasters club may be folding in September. It just has not gone well. I could go on and on about the new Toastmasters education program and it's online platform, but I already vented about it in an email to another Toastmaster. I feel it has a direct correlation with all of my clubs recent struggles with member retention and recruitment. Even I am having difficulty using it, which just shows how poor the user interface and program design is. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 4 Level 3 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 600 min total, 150 weekly STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 240 min total, 60 weekly. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 800 min total, 200 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. TURN UP THE HEAT! CON +4 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 80 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 20 hours each week. Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge Dishes (10) Laundry (8) Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (20) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($257.20 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 20 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 20 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $50 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $10 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. REWARD: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. REWARD: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD: $1 for each morning or night of brushing and flossing. $0 for just brushing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $1 for each morning or night I forget to floss. Lose $2 for NOT flossing for the full day. BONUSES: Life: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons). $2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings. $2 for healthy grocery shopping or healthy meal prep. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 150.0 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in.
  2. This picture always seems to resonate with me because - well - it's hard to explain, but I'll try. I wish that I would meet a girl who would see past all the pain, scars, and anxiety I have. I wish that I would meet a girl who would see past all of the defensive walls I put up when things start to look up. You see, I met someone - someone I really am starting to like and I can feel those defenses coming up again. Those feelings of "wanting" to push her away. I don't really want to push her away, but I start to do these things anyways. I know it's because I'm scared of getting hurt again. I know it's my fault, but I don't know how to fix it. All my friends say I'm a great guy - kind, intelligent, funny, and that I'll find someone. But here I sit, the most confident I've been in my life, after a night of insomnia because I'm terrified that I'm going to push her away again. When will someone stop seeing the Hulk and start seeing Bruce Banner? When will I stop seeing the Hulk and start seeing Bruce Banner?
  3. Not entirely relevant to the Challenge itself, but kind of important. There might be some SongSpam this time around just because I decided to make a Positive Song Playlist. For, uh, science. <.< Anyway. Recap: Week One was okay last time, Week Two was Better, and then I epically crashed and burned in Week Three under the weight of feelings I still don't fully understand. This whole 'life' thing just sometimes feels like more than I'm interested in dealing with. As typically happens, that particular thought is now receding and the motivation to Do All The Things is returning. I'm not going to count my last Challenge as a success, because that would be a lie, but I'm also not going to dwell on defeat and instead of spending more time feeling bad about it am going to Get Up and Try Again. Goals: This time, I'm between changes. Life has recently been irreversibly altered, and more change is coming up, though hopefully in a happier context. Big steps where school is concerned, life in general. So the focus will be quite basic, pretty much the same goals as always. Better emotional stability would be a nice payoff. And speaking of emotions, theme time! This movie punched me repeatedly before the credits rolled. Set Up: Five characters, five categories. The aim is to earn one point per category per day. No weekday-only restrictions this time, so there won't be that to think about. Much more flexibility than I usually give myself. Zero Week will be even more flexible because there's a lot to do this week aside from Challenge things, but I need to get going again as soon as possible. Zero Week will not be scored, but I will be starting my Tasks nonetheless. Potential Points: 140 I wanted to do the Islands thing, too, but couldn't think of how that would work or what to do with it, so, not doing that. Staying bare-bones, super basic. GIFs are welcome and encouraged even if totally unrelated to the theme. Let the silliness commence.
  4. Howdy from Montana! My character name is Sagiquarion, but you can call me "J" or Justin. I'm a former World of Warcraft junkie, transformers collector, and love playing magic the gathering with friends. I like long walks with a great podcast or book, super curious everything and have a decent job. But something is really wrong, like, depressingly wrong. I'm here because I'm at a crossroads in my life and I don't know which way to go. I'm 36 and still figuring out what I want to do when I grow up. I'm tired of being afraid to make "the wrong choice" ya know? I'm tired of wondering when I'll start living and working towards something rather avoiding things. I use to be 285 pounds in my early 20s but lost (and kept it off) the weight many years ago. I'm fully confident in my ability to mind my health and fitness, and teach others to do the same. I'm not at all confident in myself to become an entrepreneur and I'm reaching out to you guys for solidarity. I've been learning a lot about Internet marketing and building an online business these last several weeks. I know more than enough to get started, but I'm dicking around and I can feel the urge to self medicate creeping in because of that uncertainty. Sure, I have goals: maintain a web based business that brings in $3k per month before taxes. Host or be a part of a podcast (got the loot and the talent)! help others forge a better version of themselves. i want the freedom to travel without having to ask for time off the job. I want to wake up and look forward my work rather than fight the urge to call in sick. Be a part of a community of self driven people whose goals and life philosophies align with mine. In short, from the outside I looks like I'm in a good spot. But not so much on the inside. I need to be ... more. Better. How? I need to feel like I'm progressing towards something rather than collecting underpants (thanks for that analogy, Steve!). is this resonating with anybody? Cheers!
  5. of the questions of these recurring, Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill'd with the foolish, Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew'd, Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me, Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined, The question, O me! so sad, recurring -- What good amid these, O me, O life?Answer. That you are here -- that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. The first thing I thought when I first came here was, "What if I drown amidst this gargantuan forum?". So many posts and threads bombarded my sight, it feels daunting to even start lurking here. Then this poem popped into my head. It portrays how I currently feel quite accurately and reminds me that as vast as life or this forum may be and as insignificant as I may feel in the face of it, I can still contribute something of myself and that makes all the difference. So hello, how are you and do you happen to love "Dead Poets Society"? Because that is my ultimate favourite movie ever. Omgletsgushaboutitplease. And you, whoever you are, strolling around the Introduction forums, be it other newbies like me who are looking to feel less alone in this huge place or regulars who enjoy greeting fresh bloods, I just think that you must be a very warm, friendly individual or in a serious need of collecting good karma. Now I should probably share my health goals. Its been a long while since I last checked my measurements and last I remember it was 143 lbs, 4'9". I aim to lose 2 pounds 4 weeks from now. I know, I know, I'm starting small. I've done the beginner's bodyweight workout twice this week and I jog 20 - 40 minutes 3 times per week. So I'm not concerned about staying loyal to my exercise routines...it's my diet that I'm devastated with. I live with my family and we eat a lot of carbs and never enough vegetables. I ate a slice of pizza for dinner last night for goodness sake! I need a buddy to pair up with and help keep me disciplined on eating healthier. Anyone want to be my diet buddy? Would be a bonus if you're a (South East) Asian like myself since you'll understand my palate. I'm planning on cooking for myself more and more often so I can control my nutrition and calorie intake. Also, anyone else use myfitnesspal as a daily food journal? Let me know so we can add each other and learn what good things to eat. For those of you struggling to manage a healthy diet like me, holler at me and could you please tell me how you improve your situation? 'tis a pleasure to meet everyone!
  6. It's good to have a list of successes. It helps to look back to gain courage to move forward. Today .... minor ..... But I finished BBWW 2! Some exercises are still modified.
  7. "Pick up the pieces and keep going, one painfully slow step at a time." -Hiraedd, The Conqueress (Bare bones, to be elaborated later. It's certainly quite blunt as it is now. But it's written, and I'll work from there.) 1) A task a day A distance net-course due 30th of June, and another 30th of July. Marketing law and Strategic marketing. Soft deadline aimed at 21st of each month to give some space to maneuver. 2) Honorable Order of Rebellious Appraising Yeomen and Gratitude statements Positive, honest self-appraisal. Once a day. --> HOoRAY Things outside yourself that I am grateful for. Three times a day. In the challenge thread and cross-posted there rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/26507-3-things/ 3) ZenHabits1000 cuts 1) The Zen Habits 1000 cuts Plainly from the previous challenge. 200 points, 3-4 things a day. Adding that 5 min of streching, or every 5000 steps over the daily 10k I usually get, are worth one point. 4) Something from Brene Browns work, a single step towards recognizing shame and the symptoms, but I dont know how. I will think this a bit more.
  8. A fair warning: This thread may still contain thoughts of suicide, depression, and dark and sad emotions. I feel I cannot and do not want to clean those away. To me, fluffing it away would be a another kind of lie. It is not wise to be so immensely honest. I probably going to tell things other people would think thrice to tell anyone. If I ever am going to make waves and go out in the public to do great things, some bastard (or worse...) is going to look out for my weaknesses, and use them against me. There are people like that. But there is also people who this will help, and give strength to, and make lives more loving and beautiful! Those I help, even only a few, are more important than some hurtful S.O.D delibrately looking out ways to hurt other people. Or my personal hurt, if that happened. But what if this will be used to hurt those I love? That's what I'm scared for. After you've read this, I would appreciate help about this matter. I am so young I do not know the dynamics of the Internet. At which point doing what feels right meet the limits of caution of common sense? The worst case scenario: If I was a parent, and a random jackass came and said: "Yeah, your son had depression and suicidal thoughts, right? So did you fail as a parent?" it would hurt tehm like seven hells... And even if they would understand my need for excruciating honesty, it would still hurt them badly. ----------------------------------------- Brene Brown's work inspired this challenge, and I am grateful for stumbling into her talks. http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/16/being-vulnerable-about-vulnerability-qa-with-brene-brown/ https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame I try convey the impression she has had through this challenge write up, but it will be imperfect. Things marked in this post "in quotes" are all direct quotes from Brene. *breathe...* Getting a name for the core fear of myself, the fear of vulnerability and shame, felt so real and important, and also really icy fear scary. I have big issues with this, but I know there's a way out, and I will love myself. I know that. It ain't easy, but I know I can do it. Do you know those people who like to hurt other people from the sheer joy of it? My inner critic, Demonemon I named him, is one of those. And he is a part of me, because if I curl up, put up walls and nurse my hurt and let it all get to the point of... You see where this is going? Not pretty. I will very easily remember again I am not good enough, I am a bad person, good for nothing, I am not worthy of love... Hypocrite. Hurting other people. Dark dark dark. It is a lie, I know, but it hurts the same as someone came and dug up one of the worst things from the box of hurts you keep locked... Those sudden times, I am not strong enough to believe it. But oftentimes, I can also love myself! You know, the amazing feeling of "worthy of loving and belonging" "I am enough", I am a good person. I can take mistakes, make the best of despite them and find good sides of almost all of my darkest thoughts... And forgive myself. 1) Go to work every day, on time and do productive work and the best I can. My practical placement is 5 months, and I know I will inevitably screw up, and it will feel like the whole world at the time. It is not. Whatever I feel, I will go to work and do good work, because I cannot let my personal pain hurt other people. I need an immensely good, indefiable reason not to go. And 99% of the time it is not, even if it feels like it. 2) [Reddit post Ryans gospel -> http://www.reddit.com/r/NonZeroDay/comments/1qbxvz/the_gospel_of_uryans01_helpful_advice_for_anyone Okay, this quote is from Ryan: "Rule numero uno - There are no more zero days. What's a zero day? A zero day is when you don't do a single fucking thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros. I'm not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that's not the point. The point I'm trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. -- -- Turning into productivity ultimate master of the universe doesn't happen from the vortex. It happens from a massive string of CONSISTENT NON ZEROS. That's rule number one. Do not forget." So, Non-zero for me is either: be something where I face my shame/vulnerablity or do something definitive towards my dreams, or otherwise do something I would regret not doing. But despite what was said, my self worth is not tied to achieving. List of things to count, but depends from the best I can do at the given day: This doesn't work, but I am too tired to change - I look at the list, and I am already overwhelmed by it, because most of the things has to be done consistently or they do not matter enough. And I cannot do it all consistently, just too much. It is a giant, terrifying 'if I do all this, I am good enough' to-do list from hell. ... Write something of your own. Plan the trip abroad a bit. Practice Japanese. Visit a gym to ask if they have personal trainers to teach me bodyweight exercises. Find a traceur(s) to practice parkour with from my hometown. Work out. Cook a new recipe/eat a helthy meal. Reach out to people, old friends and new ones. Reach out of my way to help someone. Reveal an idea I might get negative feedback from. Do something differently. Stand out and make waves. 3) I will strive to love myself fully, flaws and the good and bad and the whole package that is me, so that feeling is not dependent about anything happening outside me "You are worthy of love and belonging" - Starting by completing her worksheet full of important and difficult questions about shame 4) I will continue the Zenhabits 1000 cuts fitness program (fitness things in manageable chunks spread throughout the day) It is easy, and making results. The goal is to make it consistent throughout the challenge and make at least 120 fitness-things.
  9. How is everyone? My name is Scat the Scaredy-Cat. I actually signed up for this forum a week ago and didn't realize until today that I still hadn't properly introduced myself. I apologize for being an accidental-creeper. I have been following Steve's blog for about a year and absolutely love it! I thought that it would be fun to create a character and role-play as I try to meet my new lifestyle goals! The changes I want to meet are just a bit out of defiance (I'll explain this more in my Battle Log, which I will link to later.) and I took it as a sign that a support community dubbed "The Rebellion." It was so appropriate that I couldn't help but join. I feel sort of enlightened right now and I have an idea of what the most optimum version of myself should be. I would like to take this chance and become that person! Please look after me from now on, Scat (=ↀωↀ=)
  10. Fear. Fear sucks. We all experience it at one point or another, for some of us it is a constant companion that we use as a crutch to hold ourselves back. A couple of years ago I decided that I would no longer let my fear control me, but instead face it with both eyes open. It has been a painful challenge. However, I have achieved some small victories, and suffered a few set backs. BUT, I am still committed to this goal. I can only walk one step at a time, and that is what I shall do. This step is moving up in rank in TKD. Motivation: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.†--Dune--Frank Herbert Main Quest: To dominate my next belt test in TKD. Train for at least 1 hour, including warmup and stretching, 3 days a week outside of normal class time using a HIIT routine inspired by Sourbier on another thread. Strengthen my legs by doing a "figure eights" routine 3x a week. Shadow box at least 3 rounds for 2 minutes each, 2-3x a week. Find at least 30 minutes a day to meditate. Life Quest: To finally send off a short story to be either published or rejected, and frame the results. Already have story "finished." So, edit and tighten language. Locate a proper potential publisher. Send it to proper publisher. Patiently wait while resisting the urge to bang my head against the wall in anticipation. Frame whatever correspondence I receive from the publisher. Well...that's my first challenge. Time to take that one more step...
  11. Right, I actually got a gym membership today. Starting Saturday and lasting until at least the end of September. I'm totally freaked out and I have no idea what to expect. What can I expect? Am I expected to know anything, or is that part of what I'm going to pay $45 every month for? Or is that what these personal trainers do? Will the gym working people be insulted if I ask them for help? I need help with learning how to do exercises with proper form, and I need help with learning when to stop an exercise and I need to learn how not to quit once I reached my short-term goal. Further on, I haven't found much about gym etiquette. Sure, I get you're s'pposed to wipe equipment off after use, but how? And what about queueing? And... like, how should I warm up? And what about clothes? Shoes? Yeah, slightly panicky.
  12. Dear All, thanks to this forum I have started my journey to improve my fitness. Since my first post in 2011 I am fitter, slimmer and stronger. BUT there is still something that bothers me a lot and while I do not expect to solve it in one day, I hope to get some feedback from you that can guide me towards the right direction. Since more or less forever I have a sense of anxiety and a sort of continuous fear that something bad could happen to me and my family. Those fears are almost always completely unmotivated but still they can occupy my mind for long time; Those fears usually are towards authorities or bureaucratic institution. I would spend nights thinking that for some reason my tax return form contains some mistakes and the tax authorities will hunt me down and get all my money (even if I had never had issues and paid a good accountant) Or I would start creating inner stories about something I did at work and for some reason I would get sued for some mistakes. The fact is that I have never done anything illegal or even remotely shady, but it is like I create lot of dreadful scenarios in my mind. I have consulted a psychologist and tried meditation but with no luck. Now the question. What are the strategies you have used to overcome your fears, and/or to stop the endless creation of dreadful movies in your head? I know it is little bit crazy to ask this kind of questions and I do not expect to receive a Freudian consultation on this forum ;-) but I was wondering if this is something you have experienced and what were your strategies to cope with it. Thanks!
  13. Hello NF! It’s been far too long! My fault, but I’m going to make a sincere effort not to fail this time. Here’s the background short version -- I’m 29 years old. I had a stroke at 28 and it SUCKED. I got physical therapy and made dietary changes that helped me bounce back and recover from that completely. (YAY for no long term damage!) I’ve got two kids, 10 and 3, who are my pride and joy. I’ve got a wonderful wife who loves and supports me. This site changed my life in November of 2012. I lost quite a bit of weight, learned about this amazing thing called parkour and committed to a healthy lifestyle. I felt great about my first challenge and had good momentum. Started at 206 and got down to 179 lbs via Paleo and exercise. Had an amazing opportunity to train in Shaolin Kungfu in my second challenge and loved it, but had to quit due to a close friend and his wife passing away unexpectedly, leaving a daughter behind with no job and a house payment and bills that needed to be paid with no one to help. Enter my family…and a LOT of personal sacrifice, including KungFu. I tried coming back for a third challenge in April and never really got started. Again life stepped in and I made other things priorities. (We’re never too busy, we just prioritize something over getting fit or eating right.) FAIL-sauce on my part. So yeah…that’s me and a quick synopsis of my journey on here thus far. Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “Well what makes this time different?†That’s a very valid question, so I’m going to give you a very valid answer. “Greed.†Yeah, I know, I know…greed is bad right? Well, not all the time. I’m greedy for a longer life. I’m greedy for more time with my family. I’m greedy to feel better and have more energy. So yeah, I’m greedy…I want more! And yeah, I’m greedy in the traditional sense too…there is money involved… a contest at work. So yeah, no false pre-tenses, no bs, let’s do this. The contest is whoever loses the most body fat % by December 20th, 2013 wins $1100.00. So yeah…that’s a LOT of money. That’s plenty of money to add a nice new toy (or several) to my new man cave. (I recently finished my basement.) I’m at 26.5% at 196lbs, so I’ll need a pretty significant drop to win this thing. Either way, I’m getting healthier, which feeds into the other greed I listed above. Win-Win even if I lose and don’t have the most BF% lost. So, here we go… Drink Water and ONLY water!!! – Short and sweet. No soda and no beer. Eat clean! Paleo only! – Clean eating to power strong exercise! Exercise! - Starting Convict conditioning, running with Zombie 5k, and doing Parkour! Life Goal: Get promoted or get a new job! – Things are in flux at work. Lots of position shifts…but none of the people that need to go are being moved….i.e. it’s getting rather toxic.I’m up for a promotion for a job that I am over qualified for and have been doing the work of since I got into my current position. If I don’t get it, I’m looking for a new position where I’m getting paid what I’m worth and valued.Toxic workplace = bad news bears. So, that’s it. Hope you’ll join me on my journey. There will be lots of fun along the way. Attached are two pictures, one of my lunch today and one of me (note: I’m not the green leafy one) Oh yes, and one more thing... I'm Batman!
  14. Hi all, I typically currently do Starting Strength at the gym. SS calls for powercleans. I've learned most things from the book and then checked my form with good youtube vids ect. but I'm terrified to try the power clean. I'm 5'6 and fairly small and my upper body is not particularly strong (although much stronger than two months ago when I started the program) and I'm terrified of doing the power clean. I've contacted an SS trainer to teach me but I'm even afraid to meet with him because I'm so afraid that I'm such a klutz that I'll seriously hurt myself. Anyone who does olympic lifts, how and why did you get into them and what, if anything, did you do to cope with any fear that you felt about trying them? Thank you!
  15. The rain fell heavily against the stone as Fear made his way up the mountain pass to where his dojo was located... The journey had been long and full of pain... It had taken it's toll on Fear, emotionally and physically... Rounding the bend, he found nothing but ruins. A fire had burned the entire place to the ground. Based on the state of things, it had been this way for some time... Fear fell to his knees, feeling that terrible loss, screaming out in rage! Why! Why had so many things, people, places that were dear to him been taken away in such a short time! "What have I done wrong!" he screamed at the top of his lungs in the middle of the storm... but there was no answer but the flash of lightning and a crash of thunder, miles away. Fear sobbed... he cried out from the depths of his soul, with more pain that one person can bare, and then, darkness embraced him, and the world he knew crumbled away completely. ----- "I was so cold, so alone...and the next thing I remember was dreaming...I haven't done since I was a child." Fear said, swallowing down pieces of fish quickly. "I feel like I haven't eaten in a life time." "You haven't." said the figure sitting across the fire from him in a raspy voice, face hidden under a long black hood. "Arise and go forth. The fires of rebirth are upon you. The cold flame consumes you and you will be remade." "Am I...Dea-" Suddenly that cold feeling ran through Fear again. The fire disappeared and the rain was pounding once more against stone. He awoke, laying face down on the stone. Opening his eyes to see the rain, mixing with fresh blood. Rolling over, he quickly got to his feet and surveyed the area. 4 men, dead, lay around him. "How...how did I...what..." Fear struggled to comprehend what happened, the last thing he remembered was screaming and the lightning flashing. "There's nothing left for me here...I must go home..." Fear stood, turned, and began the long journey home... ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It's been a while NF! How the heck are ya? I've gone through some REALLY rough crap lately, hence the story stuff above. My emotions, spirituality, and physicality have all taken a hit. I've put on weight, my stress has increased, and frankly, I'm really frustrated with how I look and feel. So, F it. I need my support, friends, and family to push me and help me out... A big thank you to Kibcy and Croman Red for keeping in touch with me throughout this. I REALLY appreciate it more than you know. Thank you so much! So here we go. I'm late, but as they say, better late than never.. 1. Kick soda...again. - Water, water everywhere, now just freaking drink it! -- NO SODA. Period. Not one. This is a pass/fail. Pretty simple, but an easy way for me to cut those calories down, reducing my intake and helping drop weight again. +2 con + 1 Charisma 2. Get moving...again. - Got a new iphone, starting over with Zombies, Run. I will go running at least 3 times a week, completing one mission each time. It'll continue to help me drop the weight, burn those calories, and get me loosened up and active. +1 Str +2 Charisma 3. Bodyweight... ho! - I will do a bodyweight workout on the days I don't run. Convict Conditioning and/or the NF BW workouts. - +3 str 4. Life goal - Get through this madness, sadness, and funk by doing things that make me happy at least twice a week. (Play a game, parkour, etc.) +1 Charisma for not being such a grouch to be around. Thank you all for your support, friendship, etc. It means a lot more than words will do justice. ~ Fear
  16. Ah Paleo...something that almost scares me shitless. I have an associate that is on the Paleo diet and she loves it. She's also lost quite a bit of weight that is pretty noticeable. I know she's lost weight because of her massive diet change coupled with working but I'm jealous, in a good way. I wanna do that. I know I can but I'm scared. Not that Paleo is a fad, it's actually a way of life that works. But please sweet baby Jesus, don't take away my sugar and grains. I love those two things more than a lot of things. And I mean a lot. I FREAKING LOVE THEM. I also find joy in baking (most the aspect of it's tasty even though I mostly give it away but it also is a stress reliever) so I find it difficult to cut my sugar out my life. I would love to take life by the uterus and just do the Paleo life but I am scared. Of failure. Of missing food so terribly I'll binge. Of...just all of that. Does anyone have any advice or tips? I know I can ease my way into it such as cutting down my grains and artificial sugars to say...twice a week but that freaks me out too. I have a lot of bread in the house. Heeeeeeeeeelp <3
  17. Last challenge was tough for me. I had a lot of stuff happen in life and I realized my coping skills leave much to be desired. I relied heavily on food for self-medicating and whiskey for forgetting, trading useful daylight hours for laying in bed way too long, and generally living mostly immobilized by fear. Living from a place of fear has meant that my reaction time is lightning fast, my fight-or-flight system is on hyperdrive, my responses to life are often irrational, and I care too much about things I can't control. At the root is ultimately fear of pain, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. Fear of pain leads to a desperation to escape from discomfort. The desperation fuels the hyperactive amygdala which in turn heavily influences physical and psychological reactions. I've lived this way for 31 years and I'm just plain tired of letting fear of fear dictate the parameters of my life. I have a well-established paleo lifestyle and a solid training program going, so I plan to simply stick with those. As far as diet and exercise go, the idea for the next 6 weeks is just to stick to the plan. No program changes, no switching to a new idea from a new website/magazine/podcast. Just stick with the current program for the next challenge, and at the end I can determine if changes need to be made. With that in mind, my goals for this challenge are stacked heavily toward battling this fear beast that is blocking my path toward my goals. For 31 years, this thing has always been there...I'd work on a goal right up until I smashed into it, then I'd back off and think, "I just need to try something different." The obstacle always looked vague, shapeless, and immense, so naturally I thought the problem was with whatever program/hobby/diet I was doing at the time. This past challenge, something clicked into focus and I finally saw the beast as it is. It's not vague and it's not shapeless; it's big, but not insurmountable. It's my dependence upon fear. Truly, dependence. I don't know how to live without it being there, so that seems like dependence to me. It's dark, and hard as granite, shiny with a menacing oily sheen, and it's tall enough that I can't see past it. But, it has edges, scaly pockmarks, and fissures, and I can work with those. Edges can be climbed over, scales can become handholds, and fissures can be split wide open. I know I probably won't be able to conquer this thing in 6 weeks; after all, it's been sitting there blocking my way for 31 years. But I can sure as hell get it in the crosshairs and see how much damage I can do to it over the next 6 weeks. My efforts this challenge focus on these areas: --establishing a consistent journaling habit; nothing fancy or melodramatic, just a notebook and a pen to write down whatever. I started this already; I have been writing 3 positive things about the day prior every morning before getting out of bed. --honoring my spirituality and my commitment to Buddhist practice by bringing regular meditation back into my life. I also have a few books on various teachings that have been collecting dust, and I'd like to break them out every now and then to foster my learning. --not allowing my mind to keep my body in bed for 9, 10, 11 hours a day. I did that a lot last challenge, and ultimately I felt like crap...sluggish, grumpy, etc. I'm not setting any specific bedtime/wake-time goals, but just focusing on keeping my time in bed in the sweet spot of 7-8 hours per night. This includes waking time in the bed, so I will not be reading in bed anymore. Not only has this been terrible for my posture, but reading in bed keeps my mind super active and I have a harder time falling asleep. Which leads to laying in bed doing nothing for a longer period of time. --committing to taking my vitamins and supplements every day. I eat a healthy diet but my food choices are limited in variety because I live so rurally. In the summer, this is not a problem as the local farms explode and the farmer's market is awesome. But during the fall/winter, the rural community just shuts down and all I'm left with are produce choices at the grocery store, which are expensive and often taste like crap. I want to make sure I'm getting a solid range of nutrients so I have done a lot of research and come up with a supplement routine that has worked well for me...when I take them. --being intentional about preparing my body for movement and recovering adequately from movement. In short: MWOD, baby. My jump stretch band and tennis balls are en route to my door as I type this, and I am going to explore the wonderful world of MWOD throughout the challenge. I did an assessment of my current habits and environment, and came to the conclusion that evenings in my living room while watching Hulu would be a perfect time for MWOD. I mean, I'm there almost every night already anyway...the only difference is that instead of sitting on my couch or laying on the Saint Bernard, I'll be rolling my spine on tennis balls or stretching out the shoulder with a band slung over a beam. One thing that I truly believe is that people carry their feelings inside their body. I know I do. Many times when doing a long yoga session or other stretching that works major joints, I find that the physical opening-up often results in feelings rising to the surface. I fully expect that this will happen with much of the mobility work. --doing good stuff for my body and mind out in the wide world. As I've mentioned (probably hundreds of times by now), I live in the middle of nowhere and I work from home. I am extremely isolated, and on weekends I also have no car, so when I actually have time off I can't go anywhere. I rarely see actual people, and that starts to make me feel a little crazy after awhile. I love health and fitness, and every time I've ever done anything health- or fitness-related out in the community with other people, I've loved it and felt great for days/weeks afterward. So I have set up three tasks, pass/fail, to work on toward this goal. My expectation for this challenge is that the cultivation of journaling and meditation, combined with attention to my sleep hygiene and solid nutritional/recovery support, I can start to address the underlying emotional issues that make up that big, nasty, dark barrier keeping me from moving forward in life. Fear is the mind-killer... Without further ado, the individual goal details. And...yes, these are based on MTG cards. I had a lot of fun on the Gatherer doing research for this challenge. (Also, my workouts will be tracked in my battle log thread, while specific goal progress will be tracked here.) Level 5: Wherein Sambie Faces the Jabberwock (source) Defeat: Meishin, the Mind Cage Every morning upon waking, write in my notebook before getting out of bed. 42 days = 100%. +2 WISDaily sitting time. 42 days = 100%. +2 CHADefeat: Entangling Trap Spend a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 8 hours in bed each night. No reading in bed. 42 nights = 100%. +4 CONAchieve: Beastmaster Ascension Take vitamins/supplements every day as scheduled. 42 days = 100%. +2 CONPractice MWOD every evening. 42 days = 100%. +2 CON Acquire: Healing Salve Sign up for 1 massage with massage therapist in town. +1 CONSign up for 1 yoga class at the studio in town +1 CHAMake 1 telephone inquiry to the naturopathic doctor in town. +1 CON Support Strategy: Continue eating 100% paleo - sugar/honey/maple syrup are officially out. There's no way around it...my body hates them, acts like I ingested poison when I do eat them, so I gotta give 'em up. And the thing is, sugary stuff never tastes as good as my mind tells me it will before I eat it. Tricksy brain cells, they lies to us! This includes (le sob) chocolate. But, I have my cacao tisane, which is 100% roasted cacao bean shells and nothing else, and is delicious. Continue with current training program: BodeeFit full metcon 2 days/wk Free weights + BodeeFit mini-metcon 2 days/wk (not two days in a row) Yoga 1 day/wk Rest 2 days/wk (rest day can include Moving at a Slow Pace if desired, i.e. walk/hike, more yoga, etc.)
  18. I was interviewed and accepted into a Shaolin Kung Fu school! The school only takes 4 new students a year and I'm 1/4. SOOOOO Happy! WOOT! Thanks for sharing in my joy for a few NF! Oh yeah, and I've kept off the 30+ lbs I lost last 6 week challenge! (Started last October) So WOOT x2! - Fear
  19. Well, after that melodramatic title, I can only imagine what you must be expecting from this post. ALAS! This shall be anticlimactic! I am at an interesting point in my life. I am 25 years old, 5'8" tall, female, a university student (Bachelor's of Science in Biology;Pre-Med), and an avid metal head. Five years ago,I weighed 320lbs. Today, I weigh ~185lbs. (read* I have lost 135lbs). This is all through diet, as I have always been fairly active. My waist measurement used to be 48 inches, and is now 33 inches. that is JUST my waist, folks... -15 inches. Previous body fat = above 45% (doctor says the caliper test is too limited to accurately test above that) to around 28% now (adding 2% to caliper test)This seems like a great success story! But here is where it gets interesting. I still need to lose a minimum of 30 pounds and 5" off my waist. Also, I would like to get to no more than 22% body fat. My body no longer wishes to respond to diet alone, and I have noticed that certain foods that I could eat and lose weight before, I can't now. Any sweetner (artificial or natural), dairy (jury is still out with greek yogurt, though), fruit, and legumes now cause weight gain. Which is fine, but the elimination of those foods also doesn't seem to be enough to prompt lipolysis. There are also the issues of loose skin and (still) large breasts that make exercise painful (but not impossible). I had previously tried BodyRock.tv for workouts, but I found myself unable to relate to the hosts, and also really depressed about my body, as the hostess runs around in nothing but a bra and hot shorts and resorts to plastic surgery for body modification (despite being at about 14% body fat). So, I went in search of something else, and my friend turned me onto Nerd Fitness. Since just after Thanksgiving, I have been reading the articles and receiving the email, and went about creating a character for myself. I want to change this. I am so close to acheiving what I have already worked so hard to acheive. But, I am afraid. I am at a point where, since I was 12, I have never weighed less than I do now. As an adult, this is the least I have ever weighed. And though my journey, I have noticed people treat me differently, and somehow this bothers me. Yes, they are treating me better. But, what does that say about people that they felt like I wasn't worth good treatment before. And what does that say about me (my personality). And how much more will that change as I become more and more physically fit. And shoot, just the fear of the unknown. So I need to conquer fear. Or, perhaps I ought to ignore it and just DO. There is a lot I do not know. But, what I do know is that I need support. My husband has the opposite problem of being unable to gain weight, and he likes seeing me happy, so there is frequent "OH MAN THIS TIRAMISU IS soooo GOOD; HAVE SOOOOMMMMME!" And because he is small (to the point people say hurtful things and tease him), he doesn't like the idea of me strength training because he doesn't want me to be stronger than he is. [my solution was for him to suck it up and strength train too, but that didn't go over so well lol]. I also know that I need some one to be accountable to, and some type of structure that works for me. But I do not know whee to begin or what to do. I am pretty strong in my arms,chest, and legs, but not so much in my core. My core is also where I carry my fat; straight across my hips, like a skirt (the loose skin makes this a pretty accurate description). I want my life to be awesome. I am already so much happier than I used to be (I was fat partially due to genetics but mostly due to unhappiness... longer story). I refuse to change in anyway unless it's for the better. And I am determined to get better; stronger, happier, faster, smarter, wiser, and calmer. I am hoping NerdFitness is the place for me to start. BEFORE AFTER
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