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  1. Big mood right here. With health, with finances, with everything. Quest: Lose 50lbs by Dec 31, 2021 [46 weeks] Progress: 0lbs Sub Quests: - Aim for 1700 calories / day Track calories daily Veggie or fruit with lunch + dinner 1 starch per meal (2 slices of toast, 1 cup rice, 1 cup pasta, 1 medium potato, 1 serving cereal) - 2 extra movements / week Good Morning Workout weekday mornings Cozy Up Sofa Workout once during work day Walks on Saturday + Sunday - Do something creative every day (paint, doodle, digital art) Passive Habits > 2L water / day > Floss + brush teeth every night This challenge is about pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying to move forward (as it always is). I want to apply this to multiple parts in my life. I really want to keep chiseling away at the definition of my ideal life and what I will need to do to make that a possibility. In my ideal life I have a fantastic relationship with food. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I appreciate my food and enjoy every bite. In my ideal life I am a strong and able woman. My body is useful and can do many things. I get to spend more time outside doing active things and exploring nature. My gyms are lakes, oceans, forests, beaches, meadows, mountains, and deserts. In my ideal life Mr.R and I don't need to work a traditional Mon to Fri 9-5pm. We have time to do things we want to do and the resources in place to do those things. We live a flexible life where the jobs we choose to work are because we think they are fun. In my ideal life I am creative and make fun, bold, colourful paintings that invoke feelings of whimsy and nostalgia. I experiment and play with my art. Ideal Me I am continuing my goals for eating at a calorie deficit and getting more active minutes. I am asking myself a little mental checklist of questions when I eat... especially if it is impromptu snacking. On top of my 90mins of exercise from horseback riding I am looking to do 2 more active things (ideally this will add up to 1 extra hour of exercise). I am thinking my main form of exercises will be walking or DDR. Ideal Life I am taking steps towards getting other streams of income aside from my day job. I started investing in 2020 and last challenge I took the leap and set up an Etsy shop. This whole small business thing is scary but also exciting! It will help me gain money for my investments and I am hoping it will help burn some of my random pandemic energy which might help me snack less. Plus its creative! My first goal for the store is 160 sales so that I can use that money to purchase an iPad Pro + apple pen. That goal seems huge right now haha but if you don't try then it won't happen right? My very good friend was actually my first sale on Etsy! I am very appreciative towards her because this has been such a learning experience and now I only need 159 sales! I am also going to take my original art more seriously and really work on being more creative in my life by painting, doodling and making "sticker" designs. I am looking to get my online portfolio up and running and I can put stuff up for sale on their too. 2021-02-08: 250lbs (Zero week starting) 2021-02-11: 249.6lbs 2021-02-18: 252.6lbs 2021-02-25: 252.2lbs 2021-03-04: 248.2lbs 2021-03-11: 2021-03-18: Sales Goal: 2/160
  2. So I've been on hiatus for most of a year for a variety of reasons (good and bad). But it's time for a respawn, so I'm reaching out again to the support networks I have (the forums here, Connect on the WeightWatchers app, etc) to try and maintain accountability and get regular feedback on things. Yet to do: re-write my Life at Level 50 mission statement/goals (Work changed, and with it, the driving need to drown my frustrations in food and shopping). The previous battle log is here, if anyone wants to visit the unpleasant swamp of the past: https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/83812-tokidoki-kittys-daily-log/ Going forward: - If not a daily log, at least a weekly one - Revisit and refine my goals regularly (and set them up in smaller, manageable pieces) - Improve my productivity habits / reduce my procrastination habits -- this goes for both work and home. - Address, treat/mitigate my physical pains (through diet, exercise, etc). - Financial success (large savings account) and freedom (no more credit card debt/recurring balance carryovers) - I want to go to Japan and spend a lot of time on experiences and shopping for tea and kimono equipment that I can't get in the States. Need money to do that. :/
  3. I openly admit I got my title from a YT group whose Bible teachings I'm currently watching. Changed it a little bit, so as not to infringe on their name/title/rights... but this is what my challenge currently in real life comes down to: the good, the nice, the fun. Also... Rocco (my youngest son) is stuck on silly alliteration rhymes (eg. Peter Piper picked a pack of pickled peppers...) and I guess it rubbed off FOR FAITH, FAMILY & FIREARMS Life threw us all kinds of loops this last two weeks, so I have to change my exercise schedule a bit. Still going to do my strength from last challenge, still going to try to walk (now with the boys), and still going to try to make time to play with Zuzu (better idea to get him to loose weight). Exercise: Strength - Wednesdays: Warmup: Jumping Jacks 30x Squat-Up-KneeXElbow touch 10x each side Walkout2HighPlank 3x Superset 1: do at least 2 sets, try for 3 Deadlift 10x30kg Dumbbell rows 10x5.25kg (both sides together) Jumping jacks 20x Superset 2: do at least 2 sets, try for 3 Bridge form - chest press 10x20kg Bicycle crunch 20x Finish off - Cool down: One legged deadlift 10x 5.25kg each leg Stretches Walking around the block - Mondays / Tuesdays / Fridays: Literally take the boys to walk around the block in between school work - once a day. Hopefully we'll get more than one day a week in, but aiming to start with at least once a week. Fun: Play with Zuzu - any day for at least 15min.: Zuzu is our sterilised Sausage X Big dog (vet thinks a Labrador), who is very muscular, but also overweight. I've been struggling to get him to loose weight via food changes, hoping that him playing with the other dogs, and the boys, would help, but alas... I'm also going to use this to get myself outside a bit more. He used to walk on a leash, but got such a fright when we took him walking shortly after adoption (two years ago), that I never tried again. Now he hates the leash. Spoke to the vet and she said to rather get him playing more in the garden with the other dogs and/or the boys, for now. Faith & Family: Bible study - listen every weekday morning (and some weekend days) to Bible lessons on YT. Washing/Laundry - wash and hang clothes to dry (dryer packed up) - iron if necessary. Finances - still getting into the routine of doing finances on new spreadsheets every Friday. Seems to be working, as I'm actually looking forward to it (I know! GASP! SHOCKING!) PERSONAL UPDATE: That's my intro to this challenge, hope to chat again soon. Have a good week.
  4. Around middle January I'll be here for nigh on 6 years. For the last year+ I slowly but surely lost almost all my fitness. I've maintained some strength but nothing like before. So here goes... getting back on track to become a Super Woman - Super Wife - Super Mom. I'm an early bird, no matter what I try. I can easily get up at 5am, make coffee, feed the pets, then get back in bed and sleep some more. But I've decided I'll leave that for weekends, so that it is a real treat. At the moment I'm not home schooling our two boys, so I'm "on holiday"... sort of. I am trying to catch up on doing our finances in between taking a break. This is close to the schedule I used to run a bit more than a year ago, before I realised I was heading for a huge fall and needed to take things slower. Get up at 5am on weekday mornings (I naturally wake up that time, winter or summer); Put on the coffee! Exercise! Feed the pets; Start with breakfast for the four of us (hubby, myself and our two boys) at 6am, pack hubby's lunch; Get the house sorted: unpack dishwasher, make our bed (boys do their own), tidy the house, etc. etc. Quickly go on Fb or NF; Start home school day at 8h30. Finish around 13h00-13h30; Lunch break; Either house work, finances, or extra-murals for the boys from 14h00 on wards; There isn't much of the latter; Start dinner prep around 16h00-16h30; Feed the pets; Have dinner around 17h00-18h00; Do whatever needs doing OR play games OR read OR... Go to bed around 21h00. Those highlighted activities ^^^ are what I'm going to focus on, as well as the schedule in general. There are going to be days where I don't exercise in the mornings, because Murphy happens, then I'll try to do it in the afternoon if possible. If I don't get to it... mmm... I'll cut myself some slack. Let's say 3 passes throughout the challenge. EXERCISES: Mondays and Wednesdays: (exercise inside) High knees X elbows 20x Reverse lunges 10x Pushup burpees 10x Band rows 20x Tuesdays: (exercise outside) Jumping jacks 30x Tire pulls 10x (tire weighs 7.5kg pull for ~10-12m) - I jog down our driveway with the tire, put it down, jog back to the end of the rope, pull the tire in; repeat 10x Tire flips 20x (old tractor tire weighs ~15kg?? I actually have no idea anymore, but it isn't very heavy) Squat, put hands under tire, lift up, flip, repeat 20x Russian twist 20x (15kg weight plate) Sit on floor with knees slightly bent, leaning a little backwards; hold weight plate in both hands, twisting from left side to right side of bent knees; repeat 20x to each side Jump rope 30x Thursdays and Fridays: Walk around the neighbourhood for ~ 30min. We have very steep hills. This would be a good start on cardio again. HOUSE WORK/FINANCES/EXTRA-MURALS etc.: Mondays: Vacuum and dust furniture; R's music lessons will start again middle to end of January, then we'll have to drive to neighbouring town if I can't arrange online lessons Tuesdays: Laundry/Washing AND/OR Saturdays (depending on how much there is to wash) Wednesdays: Clean bathrooms and those odd places and things in the kitchen (wiping down machines, bins, other than the regular everyday cleaning) Thursdays: R's fencing lessons start around middle to end of January again. Drive him to neighbouring town. Fridays: Do Finances. This is my weakness. I hate finances. I'm really going to try and do it once a week, and not procrastinate. Also making some changes, and there'll be changes to banks, etc. Saturdays: 1st Sat. of the month: Wipe down all the open shelves and on top of wooden curtain boxes; 2nd Sat. of the month: Wipe all the light switches, electrical plugs, door frames, those kinds of things; 3rd Sat. of the month: Wipe all the inside window sills, ceiling and wall corners that gather dust, etc. We have pets, this accrues frequently; 4th Sat. of the month: After washing the wooden floors, oil/polish them. Wipe down all the skirtings; 5th Sat. of the month: Only in those months that have a 5th Sat. and no consecutive months, so this will happen roughly twice a year - Wash all the windows inside and out.
  5. I sat down today to brainstorm my next challenge and couldnt do it. I was unable to tell what my priorities are. I want to get into Cross Fit again, I want to write book #2 and I want to spend time with my dog in nature. I want to recover from back surgery, I want to get to 99,0kg, I want to prep keto meals, I want to stay away from addictive behavior, I want to be financially stable ( teach more).... I don't see how I can get all of those things done at once since I have mental health issues that make me feel overwhelmed easily, and I am unsure about priorities. So I will use this challenge to try out different versions of a regular week and hopefully at the end I will know what I want a regular week to look like. So this might happen ( or not ) being keto and reaching 99 kilos are non negotiable. I will reach this goal ( if I don't fuck up!!!! ) during this challenge after working on it since June. After that its maintenance for a while. The energy then can go towards other goals. dog walks are also non negotiable and I will do a short walk 5 times a week and a long one 2 times a week.. I have a garden for her to play and pee in, but still, this is the minimum to be a good dog mum! ( weekly steps will be counted towards Walk to Mordor ) If Cross Fit doesn't work out I will probably add to my walking goal and try more hiking with the pup. the bodyweight stuff was hard to do by myself and I suspect I need a group setting to kick ass. So Crossfit ( with scaled down movements!!!! ) it is. I texted my coach and asked him if I can go to class tomorrow and Friday early morning and to make up for it, clean the box for two hours on Wednesday morning. (He had the same deal with me when I first trained there years ago. Its because I cant afford the fee) He hasn't seen my text yet but I hope to be able to start tomorrow and experiment for a week or two or three 😉what a life with Cross Fit on top of all the other stuff would feel like. If I cant do it this week I will do it next week. Am scared shitless about this decision but cant wrap my mind around the question if I can manage this - unless I actually try it out. recovery is also not optional and I will have to develop a stretching routine and include some PT stuff. Maybe: Minimum 1/ week( plus after workouts) To be determined later. concerning smoking and drinking I will repeat my goals from last challenge and a) track my alcohol, b) have a goal to smoke not more than 24 cigarettes / day. I wasn't consistent enough to lower the number last challenge and will stick to 24 until I do it regularly. finances are looking better since I took on more students. Goal now: Be consistent. Also budget wisely and don't order crap! If Im overwhelmed Im allowed to scale down here though... mental health is most important. writing is probably optional although I really really really want to do it. Will try out some writing goal later this challenge. Maybe find some regular writing times??? I will adjust my goals every week and see how I feel experimenting with the different priorities. Maybe I even surprise myself and manage to do all at once in a reasonable sustainable way?? Its great to start from zero. Hopefully its gonna be as fun as I think it will be!
  6. Hi everyone! I realized that I tend to by the same things every time I go to the store, win! But there's a point to it, I'm not sure what to do with all of this heathy food! Loss! I have around 20 items and I need help creating recipes that would be easy to meal plan with. I'll leave the list below, thanks! P.S also any way you can help me with budgeting all this would be greatly appreciated! I'm a poor college student now! Protein 1. Whole Eggs: cage free 2. Any of these could be in my kitchen, Lean Meats: Chicken, turkey, lean cuts of pork (like tenderloin), beef, along with wild game (buffalo, venison, elk, ostrich, rabbit) if I want something different. 3. Fatty Fish: Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies can help to increase mood during my long shifts and stressful calls. Likewise depends on week 4. Fermented Soy: This produces natural antibiotic agents to increase the body’s resistance to infections. Legumes 5. Beans: Small red beans, kidney beans, chick peas, and black beans depending on what's available for cheap, it's in bulk. 6. Lentils: Low in calories and perfect for reducing the chances of heart disease. Bulk Vegetables 7. Tomatoes: They can help with connective tissue strength and even help to improve vision. Get 8 8. Spinach: Packed with Vitamin K, which contributes to building stronger bones. Buy a box or two 9. Cruciferous Vegetables: Packing your plate at the firehouse with broccoli, cabbage cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts will leave you feeling fuller longer in-between meals. Steamfresh if possible Fruits 10. Avocados: Studies have shown that avocadoes can reduce cholesterol and even help you burn fat. Bag 11. Citrus Fruits: Oranges and grapefruit Bag it and tag it when available 12. Berries: Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cranberries Frozen Starches and whole grains 13. Sweet Potatoes and Yams: These act as your body’s storage tank for energy. You better have just the right amount of energy if you’re going to be fighting a fire. A few lbs 14. Quinoa: High in protein, but more importantly, high in riboflavin, which has been shown to reduce the frequency of migraines. If there's someone who deals with enough migraines, it's emergency workers. Bag and tag 15. Amaranth: A great solution to having more fiber since it contains three times more than wheat. Bag and tag Heathy fats 16. Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, and pistachios can all help reduce inflammation and even lead to a better mood and mental process. Can also be eaten in nut butter form. Bulk it 17. Seeds: Flax, hemp, chia, and pumpkin all contain good fats that help you feel fuller for longer. Bulk 18. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: This is high in antioxidants and the healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help to control your cholesterol. Drinks 19. Water: Water makes up approximately 70% of our body I carry around a gallon of water while I'm at work, especially on hot days when your uniform and gear will cause you to lose more water than normal. 20. Green Tea: A chemical in green tea called EGCG can help lower cortisol (your stress hormone) and increase your immune system after long shifts.
  7. Running with the Dogs Tired Elize sank down to a shady spot under an Acacia tree, next to her three canine companions. They were deep in the African bush. The dry, dusty African bush. Her assignment was to find and stop the Malicious Monkeys Troop that has been infected by Maltazard. Her three companions each had a very special ability: the first with the wisdom of the ages, the second had the curiosity of the young, eager minded, and the third had the strength of the loyal protector. She herself was half human, half elf, with the lanky athleticism of the elves, their acute hearing too, but the strength of the humans. What she lacked in agility, she made up for in tenacity. She'll keep going at her task. Her blond locks was cut short, standing every which way. Her fingers had tunneled through it so many times, ruffling the locks to make a little bit of cool air to dry off the rivulets of sweat streaming down her face. Rosy, the curious Maltese canine, had been sniffing, leading them along the scent trail for hours. She was still nose to the ground, hunting for that whiff of odour that would give them a new trail to follow. Warily Elize made a cup with her one hand, filling it with water from the flask, for the companions to drink from. They were all weary and hot. The other canines noisily slurped up the precious liquid. They had to catch the monkeys and rid them of this new virus before it infected the other animals, driving them stark raving mad, sending them on rampages around bush and camps alike. It was one thing looking at the devastation that a troop of monkeys rushing through a camp could cause, quite another watching a herd of elephant, or rhino! They had to tranq the lead monkey, known locally as The One with the Evil Eye. Rosy took a noisy drink of water as well, before slumping down between Missy and Zuzu, chests heaving, tongues lolling pink against the dry, yellow grass. Just a quick respite before they go on. Late afternoon found them nearing a stand of trees on a small hillside. In the hollow below huge boulders formed an enclosed area. It was the third time that they passed this place, in as many hours. The MM Troop seemed to be running in circles from a stand of fruit trees (which were planted by migrating humans years ago), to a water hole in a slowly meandering stream, back to a copse of thorny, num-num bushes full of sour red berries, spread out around another rocky outcrop close by. This rocky, cave like area they were at now, would be ideal as base camp. Elize quickly gathered dry, broken branches for a campfire later that night. Upon closer investigation they found a small trickle of clean, fresh water dripping off the rocks in a shady spot, forming a small pool, before slowly disappearing under another rock slab. This would be a mighty fine spot indeed. As she made camp, securing the area, then settling in to make dinner, Elize heard the soft, distant sounds of African drums beating the air. The doof-doof rhythm had a calming effect right at that moment, but she knew from experience that when the rhythm changed, became faster, louder, it sent out a totally different message over the African bush. --------------------00-------------------- I woke up to someone playing this drum sound in our street the other morning. Probably a driver by, sharing his music. It gave me the idea for the theme, and if you know Jumanji, then you know that at one stage monkeys caused a lot of trouble. We are used to Vervet monkeys causing all kinds of mischief in our area. We have two troops living here, swinging and traipsing through the trees, screeching loudly to chase the other troop away when spotted. They do have a couple lookouts who are always on duty. One particular troop is very naughty, habitually stealing food and fruit from our neighbour's kitchen, tearing open bags of pet food, lounging and defecating on their stoep furniture. They even swam in their pool at one stage! Our neighbours don't have dogs. Our three dogs (Missy, Zuzu, and Rosy) are constantly running (not Zuzu so much though) out of the house chasing monkeys that dare come too close. I'm not really going to hunt down and tranquilise the monkeys (that's against the law anyway), but I'm going to try and 'run with the dogs' once a week, for a bit of extra exercise, and to try and get Zuzu a little more active. Otherwise it is business as usual: My challenge will be about de-stressing (personal me time), doing monthly finances, exercising, and watching my food intake. I have been reading the book "Kick your Fat in the Nuts, by T.C. Hale, and he was so friendly as to send me a personal email pointing out some causes for health issues I told him about. I listened to radio broadcasts from his show on various issues (skin problems - Rocco, Adam, and Brandt, gout - Brandt, acid reflux - me, and other minor ailments), to help balance your body and get the 'machine' working right, before attempting to loose weight. After Brandt and I discussed it, we decided that we really didn't want to get too deep into all the nitty-gritty of bodily functions, but to just focus on probable vitamin, mineral, deficiencies and such for now. In general we are healthy, and most of our problems are gone, except for small issues. So... De-stress: Meaning personal time breathing, OR lying down, OR sitting outside to relax, OR pray/talk for at least 10min. at a time. Just let my mind go, no reading, no games, no chatting, except when praying/talking to Father. At least 3x per week. Finances: Do monthly finances. At least August's and September's. Burpees: Twice a week at least (Tuesdays, and Thursdays), but third time on Saturdays would be tops. Every burpee in which I do a full push up, counts towards my pushup count to reach 200 cumulative over these challenges. I am currently at 121 full pushups. Walking: Try for at least the long one of the two walks a week - long one on Wednesdays, and short one on Thursdays. Dog run: Yep... try for some old fun (obstacle) training at home on a Friday afternoon. Get Zuzu running around with us a bit. Get me to lift my butt and moving every day for 10min. but especially with Zuzu. Food: Gluten-free, low on starch, carbs, and sugar: I can have one piece of special coconut oil chocolate treats, once a week. Fruit are not a problem as long as I don't have more than two a day. I'll be using my old Banting portion sizes. Water/Tea - have to keep this here. Equal to 2Lt/day. Coffee: no more than 4 mugs a day (back to small mug size). Only one mug with cream, the other with milk. Measurements: Weigh in first thing on a Monday morning, and take down measurements.
  8. MY FRIENDS, WHAT IS UP I've kinda taken a bit of time away from the forums in my last challenge - October's been a busy month full of commitments and fun and AWESOMENESS. TL;DR I'm still actively living my best life and after some time away - and away from everything to reset and recharge - literally tho', I'm currently spending a week at a little coastal New England cabin and it's PERFECT - I'm ready to slam the reset button on my goals and GET GOING AGAIN. More details to come but I wanted to get this post going 'cause I'm HYPE. Goals will SURELY include: - GYM TIME SHAAR YOU BUTTHEAD. I NEED to get back into this routine. 3 times a week, zero excuses. - Get outside! Log 3 adventure hikes this challenge before it gets butts cold out! - I have two open credit cards right now, and my goal is to pay them both down before 2020 hits. Bigger win if I don't have to use any part of a holiday bonus to do this. I want to be able to start directing way more money into my savings account and I've been super aggressive with my debt so far, I just need to stay on target through the holidays too!! - READ MORE. While I was away for a week I took my Kindle with me and started reading one of my favorite old books, Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite... it's so good, it totally digs my aesthetic of like 90's era queer southern gothic vampire culture (I know that sounds weird but I too am weird) and I want to re-finish this book and start another one! Goal is to finish this book and buy another one, and finish it too!! - MORE VIDEO GAMES! I haven't actually been gaming a lot lately - I know, shocker! - because October has been so busy! But now I'm back home and with much less commitment going into November so I want to stream some games and show you guys what I play!! I have a Twitch account at twitch.tv/loiire/ and will stream at least 3 gaming sessions over the course of this challenge. I'll announce ahead of time when I'm doing the live streams, but I'll also post the finished video on my thread so people can watch afterwards. What games will I choose?!!?!/1?! WE'LL SEE~ :3 Ok more later, ciaociao for nownow my pals~ <3
  9. This is the first stanza of a children's spring song we sing here in South Africa, with English translation in brackets. I tried finding a YT video but alas... Dis heerlike lente, die winter is verby, (It's wonderful spring time, winter is past) weer vrolik die velde vir jou en vir my! (joyful are the fields again, for you and for me) Ryde the Spring Wave Blooms are opening up in an array of colours; grass shoots are pushing their little heads through the dark, nutritious soil; the warm sun is shining bright, and every now and again the soft swish of rain comes down to quench the thirsty soil. I'm just trying to keep my balance between stress, life, and continuing with a 'normal' routine. Not aspiring to reach any level of fitness, not training for anything, just keep moving. Oh, but I am trying to reach 100 (maybe aim at 150?) push ups at some point in time. I am going to try and learn line dancing with my youngest son, and I am going to try and loose a bit of weight. Again, nothing serious, just... cut down a bit on food, think seriously before I eat, weigh myself every Saturday and see how I do. The extra stress-causing-things going on in my life at the moment are... nr. 1 probably the current situation of our country (South Africa). nr. 2 our plans to try and emigrate (and all the preparations it entails). nr. 3 my mom, and the usual little foxes that happen in life to throw you a curve ball. NOTE: My birthday is going to be end of week 3/beginning of week 4 and I am going to have cake/chocolate or something in that line. Goals to focus on this challenge: (only going to check over week days - will continue over weekends, and try to stay in control over weekends, but only check weekdays for the challenge) Bible/Quiet time doing bible study with/without my boys and/or quiet time sometime during the day to gather my thoughts, praying, or just unwinding and relaxing (catching my breath). Water/Herbal tea, fruit/veg water drinks +-2 bottles (just under 2Lt) per day. Go to bed at the latest 21h30 (give or take 5min.). Food: keep gluten to one day a week only (Fishy Fridays), and try to cut down on how much I'm eating. Check weight every Saturday (report on Monday). Let's see if I can loose 1kg (2Lb) this challenge. I'm the heaviest that I've EVER been in my life. Finances: monthlies and dailies. Monthlies are up to date, but will need to be done by end of September again. Dailies are done +-3x/week, or as necessary. Clean house: I have a schedule for the month. Certain chores that I need to check on every day. My vacuum cleaner just burnt (basically brand new) and I'm back to using a broom. Will know whether they'll fix it within the next two weeks. Burpees at least 3x/week, which will include a pushup, which will count to my pushup challenge if they are full pushups. Pushup count: currently 39 Other exercises: Walking (Wednesdays for a long walk, and short, steep uphill on a Thursday) and Dancing (going to try and learn line dancing with my youngest son) on a Friday.
  10. Well, *this* challenge cycle snuck up on me, and it’s Zero Week already! At the end of last challenge we shifted apartments and are still settling in (mostly the pups are adjusting) to the new floor and the new space. This is going well some days - and some days I get calls from security because my little terrorist assholes are barking while I’m gone. #goodtimes #firstworldproblems #problemswhenyoudonthavethesamerightsyoureusedto We are adjusting. It is a process. This challenge will officially start for me while in Helsinki at a wedding and will stretch to aaalllllllmost Halloween. Which should be prime pumpkin season, but since I live in the Summerlands, I’ll just be busy trying to convince myself that it really is getting cooler while whining about the flannels, boots and pumpkin shit I’m missing. Goal 1: Nutrition At the moment, my macros are (loosely, but I’m not assigning judgement to at the moment): 1200 Calories 91g Protein 119g Carbs 40g Fats This year, I’m also posting a photo collage a day of what I eat, and tracking all my meals in both My Fitness Pal and Cara (mostly to track GI symptoms). And I’m reintroducing foods after doing the FODMAP diet and getting my gut back to some semblance of balance. Goal 2: Physical Fitness I’ll be continuing to focus on rebuilding my yoga practice this challenge and am aiming for 3 classes per week. I’m dropping the aerial class from last challenge, because it was tweaking my knee. As of this moment, a reasonable schedule (1000% could change at any moment because schedules are not fixed here) is: Monday am, Tuesday or Thursday late afternoon, Friday or maaaaybe Saturday am. Goal 3: Fulfillment I need to continue to keep myself accountable here. Things I’m working on: Finances Cobbling together some sort of at-a-glance spreadsheet of finances Contacting a financial planner for advice Picking a direction and sticking with it Futureproofing Figuring something out to do that will generate $ Hobbies Sewing sofa covers Picking another sewing project Blog improvements
  11. Hi, all - I’m Darkfoxx; long-time Ranger corps member and yoga (among other things) enthusiast. I’ve been on the Forums for 59 consecutive challenge cycles - so, since - January 2013 (yay, obsessive records-keeping and challenge linking). Wow, and looking back, my very first challenge included my first yoga love - Jillian Michaels. Awww, baby me <3. Since then, I’ve tried my hand at pretty much every fitness thing that’s run across my path (thanks, RangerBrainTM), including: rucking, wogging 5 and 10ks, running short distances from Zombies, OCRs, HIIT workouts, weightlifting, kettlebells, and tons and tons of mini challenges - but the thread running through all of that has always been yoga. My body (and I think everyone’s bodies, tbh) just works better when I’m on my yoga game. My brain works better with yoga, too. So - here I am, I’m glad to meet you all, and I hope to help make this corner of the Forums everything it could and should be. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to do that, let me know! On to the Challenge part of this cycle. Goal 1: Nutrition This is always my first goal in a challenge, and the most important cornerstone of my personal fitness. I’ve found over the years that sticking to macros works best for my body and brain, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do. At the moment, my macros are: 1200 Calories 91g Protein 119g Carbs 40g Fats I’m also in the process of seeing a functional fitness doctor to try and get a handle on the GI issues I’ve been plagued with for as long as I can remember. We are currently on the reintroduction phase of the FODMAP Diet, and I’ll be monkeying around with foods and reporting. This year, I’m also posting a photo collage a day of what I eat, and tracking all my meals in both My Fitness Pal and Cara (mostly to track GI symptoms). Goal 2: Physical Fitness My goal for awhile has been to rebuild my yoga practice. I took a year or so off to attend an intensive course on web development in 2016/2017, and have been clawing my way back into a regular practice since then. Well, since I’m now a GL of the home of all yoga, I should probably redouble my efforts, no? To do that, I’ve got to go to class more than once a week definitely and probably twice if I can make peace with the scheduling. I can do better than this, but let’s not kill my shoulders and knees with all vinyasa all the time. The goal here is to attend 3 classes in the style of my choosing, but at least 1 needs to be alignment-based, and 1 needs to push myself out of hiding in the strict beginner classes. I’m also adding to this goal some other fitnessy things. It’s Summer with a Capital S where I live (it gets to 120F with or without the humidity that generally comes with living on the water - mold season approaches either later this month or next). Since going outside feels like stepping into an oven on a calm day, or a hairdryer on a windy one, I need to do more than a few yoga classes a week if I want to shift a bit of weight before the vacation I have planned in December - or the wedding I’m going to in September. My tentative schedule - yoga classes out of the house are 100% subject to change; classes where I live shift to a frustrating degree based on the season, month, or whims of chance. This is what I’m currently seeing and have been seeing consistently or somewhat consistently for a few weeks. Mondays: A girlfriend and I are really liking the beginner Yoga class offered at 10am. If it’s not too killer hot, walk back from that (:20); if it is, Uber back and take a :30 walk on the treadmill before coming back home. If I'm not completely wiped (and especially if I Uber back home), hit the gym on the way up to the apartment for some sort of something for a short podcast - Nightvale if I’m tired; Sawbones or Stuff You Missed In History Class if I’m not. Tuesdays: I’ve got a weekly coffee thing at 10; either get up with DH (DH is my Darling Husband) at 6:30? 7:30? Whenever he leaves, and go walk on the treadmill for a podcast before needing to get dressed at 8:45, or wait until after if sleep has been crappy. If it’s been really crappy and I’m up at 5:30/6 with the jerk face dogs - leave then. I’m not running a marathon, walking in my lounge pants and glasses is fine. I won’t die if I don’t have my contacts in. If I bail on that, do one day of the 30 Days of Yoga challenge when I get back home - or sometime before bed. Or, if I’m feeling Smurfy - there is a 4pm Slow & Strong class I really like that’s also generally alignment-based. Try to feel Smurfy. Wednesdays: Most weeks I have a coffee thing at 9, and usually getting out of bed on time is a struggle. If it’s not and I’m up with the jerk dogs, go at least walk on the treadmill. If not, do a day of the 30 Days of Yoga challenge when I get back. Or sometime in the long afternoon if I'm carsick from the trip home. If coffee doesn’t happen, walk + gym session. Thursdays: I only have a set thing to do here 1 Thursday a month, and it’s a brunch. Some weeks there’s an 11-something class at the yoga studio - if so, take that if I’m not too blasted from the rest of the week. If I am, 30 Days of Yoga challenge + walk a podcast. I think there is also usually the Slow & Strong class today at 4 too - if I feel like I can do that and not die during silks, go for it if I didn’t make it Tuesday - if not, silks tomorrow. Fridays: There’s an aerial silks class offered at 11:15 on some weeks and I'm really liking it. Go to that. If it's not offered, double up on 30 Days of Yoga + a gym session + a walk. Consider making it a long one. Weekend: We usually walk a fair amount around a mall one day and do pretty much nothing the next. This is fine. The theme for workouts here is to walk some each day and get in at least 15 minutes of yoga. I have a bad habit of doing either nothing active all day - or of only mall walking, and I can do better here. I have the time in my schedule to: put my gym clothes on, take the elevator downstairs, put in my headphones, and do something active for a podcast. I can even fit that + the copious amounts of YouTube I watch in in the same day. Goal 3: Fulfillment A little background here: I am a (literal) card-carrying housewife living in Doha, Qatar with my DH and 2 dogs. This is sometimes a good thing, and sometimes grates on my ever-loving nerves (I’m an American who had, if not an actual career, a string of employment that equalled to a career in creative services + a pivot I was trying to make happen into tech when we moved). So, I need to find fulfillment outside of the workplace. Which means being more social than I was comfortable with while living in my home country, and by finding other things to do that ensure my mind doesn’t turn to mush. As such, I’ve been doing (or trying to do) the following, and will keep it up this cycle: Reading articles on finance Spreadsheeting a finance plan Contacting a financial professional when I have my version of a plan and spreadsheet to see if I'm on track or cray cray Applying for or bidding on freelance gigs (when I can be bothered - most weeks, it's not happening) Taking a class on Skillshare (ok, so I have at least signed up for Skillshare - still haven’t made a class happen) Working with the dogs on training And that’s about it for this cycle. It’s mostly a repeat of my last (few) Ranger challenge(s), just with a bit more planning on the fitness part. I can’t wait to get to know my new home and Guild mates!
  12. Elize, Elvin Toboggan Ryder Elize and her fiery orange-red fox faced the dawn. In front of them spread a vast open grassland specked by dark evergreen trees, pocketed with shrubs showing off bright coral and peach spiked flowers reaching up towards the morning sun. Huge boulders dotted the grassland too, thrown there by an enormous monster from the depths of the earth, when it was attacked by a raging river of fire. This happened eons ago, when giant reptilian behemoths walked the earth, while great flying beasts blasted fire and acid from the sky. Patches of yellow, green, and white lichen covered the cold, black rocks, showing the time they've been above ground. The shadows were lifting oh so slowly with the rising sun, but still cast an air of secrecy where the mist swirled into the nooks and crannies of the rocks. The fox rubbed his head in farewell against Elize's side. Their paths separate here, for a short time. This journey was not for him to take. This path Elize had to face on her own. He'll join her again, soon enough. Carefully the girl moved along the well trodden path. She had to reach Sleepy Hollow by the end of today. Then she had four sennights to get going. This was the time in between challenges; a time of near restfulness, and relative safety. But there will always be some trouble afoot - little foxes playing in the vineyard, as the Old People used to say. This was the time she had to build up her strength, physically and mentally. This was the time she had to prepare, before she faced the battles that will lead to her reaching The Land of the Long White Cloud, hopefully her final destination. That will bring challenges of their own, no doubt, as once there, she will have to capture and bring back The Magic! With very little magic of her own left, but some willpower and stubbornness, maybe a dab of inquisitiveness and excitement too, she faced the morning sun. Little puffs of dust lifted around her every footfall as she slowly made her way into the grass field. By noon Elize had reached a tall hill with a modern contraption rising from it's back. The metal rail ran all the way down the other side of the hill, throwing huge curves across the grass saddle stretching on for miles between hilltops. One side it came within reaching distance of the scary, jagged cliff dropping down to meet the river below. She followed the rail to where it disappeared into the darkness of The Forest. All was quiet, peaceful. A light breeze ruffled the grass tops, while eagles soared on high, specks of black against an azure, cloudless sky. Elize could feel the animals around her. That was the little bit of magic she had left: she could feel the different animals, and borrow some of their abilities from time to time. But magic was growing weaker by the day, and she needed to build up her power, so that she could help her people build up their magical abilities in turn. Slowly she folded her tired body into the bright yellow sled. It was going to take a bit of time to build it up to its former strength and health. The worker gremlin smiled wickedly when he fastened her belt tight around her middle. "Hold on tight now, and whatever you do... Don't pull the brake!" he shouted as he pushed her forward onto the track, which immediately picked up speed going down the incline. The wind rushed around her face, the toboggan sled throwing her hard to the left as she rounded the corner. She tried to keep her balance, but it was difficult not to go with the momentum when being tossed from side to side. She saw the edge of the cliff from before, rushing up, knowing, waiting for the sharp turn, with some trepidation building in the pit of her stomach. The toboggan was going faster and faster, closing in on the drop! Another lurch and she felt herself rising a little bit, slowing down the toboggan ever so slightly, then some more, before she hurtled around the corner on the edge of the cliff. She couldn't help but look down. Caught only a glimmer of the racing waters far below. Then her head was whipped to the other side as the rail changed direction yet again. In less time than she anticipated Elize had crossed the vast grass plain and was nearing The Forest. The rail ran arrow straight down the hill, slowed down some on a flat stretch of land, then fell again and in no time she was zipping past trees, going ever faster in the murky shadows. She saw light up ahead as she neared the far side of the forest. Bushes with spooky white flowers flashed past, and imperceptibly the toboggan started slowing again. The momentum was carrying it up and over the small rise. For a split second she felt suspended at the top, suddenly out in the open again, before the rail, and therefore the toboggan, with her fastened to it, fell down the last hillside. In the distance she could see where it stopped at the Misty Mountain station in Sleepy Hollow. It slowly lost speed and momentum, until at last the toboggan barely crawled into the station before coming to rest with a soft bump against the thick rubber stopper. This was her destination for now. She felt hope blossom inside her heart. Little Hobbit children where shouting and splashing in icy blue-green mountain pools, oblivious of the cold, diving and swimming in the crystal, clear water. Yes, this was a place she could spend some time at, doing her share of duties to secure, cook, clean and manage the place. And train... she was here to train too. (I can't believe it took me nearly 3 hours writing this whole piece!) ----------------------------------------- Brandt (hubby), myself and our two boys were in the mountain town Sabie this first weekend of the challenge, visiting family. On Saturday we went to Mac-Mac Pools where we walked along the 3km Secretary Bird Day Trail. When we came back to the starting point, Rocco (my youngest son - on the left on the photo above) and his cousin dared each other into swimming in one of the pools. Within no time their lips were blue from the icy cold mountain water! Of course hubby couldn't let this opportunity pass, so he went in as well. Sunday we spent a (sort of) peaceful day at m.i.l.'s home, where I did my first strength workout for the week. We walked about 2km on the road to her house as well. Monday we went to Misty Mountain Lodge, a small private resort on the Long Tom Pass, where we all rode toboggan sleds down the hill. It wasn't quite as scary as I made out in my story, but definitely exciting. Now I'm hopefully ready to take charge of the rest of this challenge, trying to improve my health (mentally and physically), strength, as well as getting some things crossed off my To-Do list. Some of these things are needed to prepare for possibly immigrating to NZ hopefully before the end of the year; other things are just normal chores that needs doing, which I'm inclined to procrastinate on. Food-wise I'm cutting down on gluten as I know it makes my sinus and health in general worse. The same with milk/cream, but the main reason is to support Rocco, my 10yr old son who has very bad eczema from some food product, and we need to cut out food to find the culprit (long back story on this). As per advice from a friend ( @Lightning) , I'm increasing our probiotics (for digestive health) intake too. I'm also increasing food and vitamins that fight inflammation, as well as Omega 3 fish oils, to see whether it will help in this fight. It would also help both him and myself if we manage to loose some weight in the process, but we are not focusing on that right now. But it would be welcome... as a side benefit... Moving Moved my goals down to another comment block/post as I made some changes.
  13. NEW CHALLENGE TIME! Due to recent and upcoming events, I have to change my priorities for a while. The main reason for this change is that I’m aiming to move out and live entirely by myself for the first time in June. Other than that, I have a wedding at the end of March, my 30th birthday at the end of this challenge (YAY), and my coworker invited me to her daughter’s quinceanera in June (for which I need to buy a dress ). I’m sure more things will pop up along the way - I’ll have to take them as they come. With the shift in priorities, and having looked back on what worked and what didn’t last challenge, I’m doing a bit of an overhaul. Back in my early NF challenge days I used a point system, and that’s what I’m going back to. It gives me a little wiggle room to tailor minor goals to whatever my schedule is each week, while also keeping up with my main goals. All tracker info and updates will live in the post below this one. ><><><><><><><><>< Self care Dragon Journal: This will be staying the same. It can be anything from a few words to a few pages, I just need to get something out in order to manage my stress level. 4x per week. Declutter: I want to start my almost-spring cleaning. This includes going through clothes, re-organizing, decluttering, and purging stuff I don’t want/need/use. I’ve made a list of general tasks to complete in my tracker throughout the course of the challenge. Financial Dragon The goals: cut spending, save more, pay down debt, and sell anything I don’t need or want. Finances are going to be a big deal from here on out, so I’m making it the main focus. Spending/saving: I want to live on my own, and I’m stubborn enough to find a way to make it work. Sure, having roommates makes apartment living more affordable, but I’m genuinely sick of dealing with other people’s shit (can you tell I’m a little salty...lol). I get more stress from it than anything else, so I’m determined to do it on my own even if it means becoming a hermit and pinching my pennies. I’d also like to start on the path towards homeownership. In order to get on track for both of these, I need to see exactly where my money is going so I’m going to be tracking everything in a notebook. I’m not excited for this process, but it needs to happen. From there I can cut out unnecessary spending, be thrifty, and save, save, save the rest. Debt: Between the remainder of my car loan and two credit cards, the combined total of my debt is less than 10k. Not terrible, but not great either. I want to begin by paying down the higher interest debt that I’ve accumulated - the two cards. To do this, I can go one of two ways - 1) One card has a much lower balance on it, so I put more money towards it and pay that one off first. When that is done, I can put a larger monthly sum towards the other card. 2) If I can find a low or zero interest card to transfer both balances onto, then I’ll only have one payment per month instead of 2. Having the low or zero interest would be a HUGE help too, as I’d actually be paying the balance down. I want to look more into option 2, as interest is the real killer here. I’m going to do some research to see if that’s a possibility for me, and what options I have if it is. In the meantime, I’m going to work on option 1. Once these cards are done, I’ll go back to paying a larger sum each month towards my car until that’s gone too. Sell: Part of my self care goal is to declutter via almost-spring cleaning. In addition to throwing away and donating, I want to post any eligible items for resale online in order to make a little extra cash. Another thing I can try is to dig into my surplus of unused crafting supplies and make stuff to sell on etsy or wherever. Not sure how much luck I’ll have with that, but worse come to worst I’ll donate them. Health Dragon Diet: I’ll be continuing to cut down on soda this challenge as well. I’m not totally cutting it out yet, but that will come. Fitness: Workout 3x per week, though with less specificity as to what kind of routine I need to do. Last time around I wanted to stick with beginner bodyweight and/or kettlebell workouts, buuuut I don’t like to confine myself to a box. As long as I’m purposefully getting exercise one way or another, it counts. Misc. Dragon(s) There are a number of things I want to do outside of my main goals that I may not be able to do consistently every week or are only one-time events. Reading, photography, crafty stuff, updates, etc. They’re going here. Crafting: My mom asked me to crochet her some dish cloths, and I want to get those done before this challenge is out so I can ship them to her. Included in this category will be crafting things for an etsy shop or something of the like. Reading: I recently started a book called The Joy of Less, which is about minimalism and decluttering. I thought it would be a good thing to read while I go through my cleaning process. Photography: A continuation from last challenge, though I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up with it regularly as I’d previously planned. I still need to find new editing software, but otherwise I’d like to get a few shoots in. Updates: Aiming for 2 per week overall, preferably on Mondays and Thursdays. I’ll try to be better about following other challenges as well; I know I wasn’t super on top of that last time.
  14. Forgot to post this earlier! The following Home, Health, and Financial sections will be the foundation for all my goals and challenges for 2019. Below is just the same text from the first challenge that will pretty much follow me throughout the whole year. If you are new, you can start with the spoiler. Also forgot February is a short month...some Feb. goals may bleed into March. FEBRUARY GOALS HOME: MK Cloth: Make room/spot for all items in one room, go through each category below and separate into items that spark joy, items that need to be discarded, and items to be donated. Once separated, either put away, discard (get it out of the house) or donate. Once that is done, move onto the next category. Bags Shoes Accessories HEALTH: Workouts: So Washington State's winter came to visit and decided it wanted to stick around longer than it normally does. It's overstayed it's welcome. This also means I need to come up with a HIIT workout I can do at home. 4 HIIT Workouts: 0/4 Jan Soda Goal: 42/31 FINANCIAL: On-time Payments Budget Pay Bills - Online and In-person 2-3 days prior to the due date MARCH GOALS HOME: MK Paper: I have a lot of paper. Papers currently in use Papers needed for a limited period of time Papers you need indefinitely HEALTH: Veggies for lunch! Honestly, I've been reluctant to have veggies lately. Mostly because I'm lazy and veggies require effort. FINANCIAL: Start Emergency Fund 1. Save at least $50 2. Create a yearly extra's spending list. This amount will be the yearly amount I need to always have on hand or at least available to pull from for my extra spending.
  15. It has been almost 3 years since I attempted a challenge here on NF. I have an unusual attraction to the syntax of Shoujo episode names, hence the title. One of my life goals is to be able to have a transformation sequence. This isn’t just new year, it’s a new chapter of my life without my mother. She unexpectedly passed away in September. My world came crashing down. The last months of 2018 are a blur. When I hit rock bottom and bounced 30lbs heavier, the wise words of Queen Serenity came to mind: "Serenity...You must always keep the star in your heart shining strong to defeat the dark and evil souls." So here we go, time to begin again Lose Weight I gained 30lbs in two months. Most of it is water weight and bloat from food sensitivities(corn and dairy). Getting my diet back on track hasn’t been difficult, exercising more on the other hand. My goal may seem ambitious, but I have been exercising some just not enough. I’m in a dance group, and we have 90-180 minutes of practice on Saturdays. I get in another 60-120 minutes between home workouts and the gym. Quest: Exercise 300 minutes a week Understand Money Better My parents taught me a little something about money: have your income be more than your expenses, live within your means, pay your debts, and save something for a rainy day. Living in the most expensive area in the country, I've managed to keep my expenses low. I save but not nearly as much as I should. As for a retirement plan, home ownership, entrepreneurship? Plenty of dreams. No plans. I’m in my 30s, and I’ve never done my own taxes or had any notion of retirement. Sure I contribute so my job matches because that’s what you do. I don’t really understand money beyond the basics. Now, I'm being forced to deal with these things. My mother left me some life insurance/retirement, and she had recently bought a house that I want to take the mortgage over for. I started reading a book on finances and it recommended going back old school. Quest Write down every purchase. Everyone, even the ones using credits. Blog More A couple years ago, I had a great idea for a blog about being a woman engineer with ADHD/depression. Of course, having ADHD has lead to this not being super consistent. Social media and its search for perfection is intimidating. I have dozens of draft posts. Time to get them out there. Quest: Publish 2 blog posts. Engage more on instagram Learn Python My freshman year of college, I was a computer engineering major. My sister snagged me a great internship, I spent the summer in a basement staring at code. The thought of spending my life in a basement or cube prison staring at code sounded awful, so I went the construction/project management route. I immediately switched schools, switched majors to electrical – only to discover I still need 4 more programming classes. Sure, I’ve had to program an Excel macro or PLC for motors but it’s stayed pretty basic. As iot invades building science, the gap of understanding between the field engineers and coders is leading to personal frustration. My work would be so much easier if I had better understanding I needed to learn some basics of Python for an ongoing project. I know I’m using my limited knowledge in an inefficient matter. The syntax was the easy part, the implementation on the other hand… Nothing has made me feel more elderly than talking with the IS department at work. When I asked “What compiler do you use?”, They politely held back laughs. I started with this course, recommended by some coworkers: https://www.coursera.org/learn/python Quest: Spend 5 hours a week on course. Let's do this!
  16. Back to the Island of Basics... Where There be Dragons 1. Pray - Read - Talk Spend proper, peaceful time with Father. At least 15min. every morning before exercises. 2. Be good about food and water You cannot have one without the other: just keep an eye on what and how much I eat, BUT drink at least 1x bottle of water/day. 3. Sleep, wonderful sleep Even fierce dragons need their sleep: before 22h00 every night. 4. Train like Astrid and Fishlegs, with passion. Put some passion back into training: LEGS- Monday, Wednesday, Friday Squats 3x10 X-over lunges 3x10 Deadlifts (start 28.5kg) 3x10 Plank2Pushup core - start 3x5 ARMS- Tuesdays, Thursday, Saturdays Pushups 3x10 Shoulder presses (start with bar @ 6.5kg) 3x10 Inverted rows 3x10 Abs wheel 3x10 5. Do finances studiously! As required... Finalise slips. (Aug-Nov). If finance-work felt like activity sheets, I'd have no problem doing them. Change my attitude about doing finances, and GET IT DONE! -------------------------------------------------------- IN SUMMERY -------------------------------------------------------- 1. Pray - Read - Talk 2. Be good about food and water 3. Sleep, wonderful sleep 4. Train like Astrid and Fishlegs, with passion 5. Do finances studiously! No, we haven't seen the 3rd movie yet, we are waiting for the dvd to come out. I have no problems with spoilers.
  17. Have husband, and Band of Brothers and Sisters Will Exercise and Get on with Life I had such a weird dream last night, and that is where I got the challenge theme and name from. So I'm tackling this challenge knowing I have someone who is cheering me on, and others supporting, helping, and protecting me along the way. Let's see how the race pans out. I've been very tired (physically and emotionally) these last couple of months, specifically November after the bout of flu the boys and I struggled to get over. Our home school year is luckily coming to an end (about week 3 of the challenge), and we are off to Sabie (10hrs drive one way) this coming weekend, where I hope to be able to meet (possibly for the last time) with a friend who has terminal cancer. I also have a couple months of finances that I need to update this challenge, and I hate doing finance work. I've also been struggling with a mom-issue (who has BPD and I'm trying not to have contact with as advised by psychologist and the nursing sisters at the old age home she is in), and her birthday is tomorrow. I'm expecting something to happen that side too. I'm not feeling particularly happy about my body, about the muscles I've built over the year (I'm happy about the strength and the muscles themselves, but they are making me a lot bigger, and I'm not small), not to mention the fat I've picked up along the way. I feel like this geared up soldier...just a lot bigger built. So I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed, but I'm also actually feeling a whole lot stronger, hopeful, and somewhat ready to face whatever I have to. Life is good, maybe a tad scary and unpredictable; we are doing well as family; it is summer with frequent summer wind- and thunder storms, but things are actually going well and working out in general. So... I'm trying to stay positive, build up energy and enjoy life. What I really want to feel like... I'm trying to get back into my routine of morning exercises, which seems to be falling into place by itself (judging by Monday and Tuesday this week), but I'm starting off slowly doing one set of 12 reps of four or five exercises every morning. Here's the schedule and what I'm trying to get to after I get back from Sabie next week Tuesday. This week I'll do what I can, when I can. 1. Focus on: Health Strength: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays Walking: Tuesdays, Wednesdays Food: Only when I'm hungry <= 800g per day Water: At least 1 bottle (1Lt) per day, preferably more 2. Finances August (week 2) September (week 3) October (week 4) 3. Other crucial to life Bible study (at least 3x/week) Dry fire practice/Concealed carry/Awareness EXERCISES: Mondays and Fridays: building up to 3x12 Calf raises and a goblet squat: up on toes, go down into squat, then heels down below step level, then up to level again, while holding a 10kg dumbbell. Pushups: trying for full, but not able to go down all the way yet. Bicep curl into tricep extension: bicep curl, turn arms up and over, do tricep extension above my head. Arms down and in bicep curl position, then down to my sides. Using 2x2.5kg dumbbells. Ab-wheel: self explanatory. Wednesdays: building up to 3x12 Flys: front and lateral in one rep with 2x 2.5kg dumbbells. X-over lunges: because I prefer them to normal lunges, and they target thighs and adductor muscles better. Dumbbell shoulder press: Self explanatory using 2x5kg dumbbells. Inverted rows: using broom stick through security gate, pulling myself up from incline lying position. Plank2 Pushups: self explanatory. Walking: Tuesdays over lunch time with hubby. He is still sick (head cold), but the boys and I will try to walk still (3-5km) Wednesdays: I walk +-5km while the boys do Lego course, also over lunch time. The Lego finishes this week, so I'll have to find another place to walk in the following weeks.
  18. No other way to start this challenge than with what week 0 ended with: huge thunderstorm, the smell of rain (wet soil) and jasmine in the air, and almost two days next to the beach. Thursday night a thunderstorm came up, and it was so nice to both fall asleep and wake up Friday morning with the sound of rain falling on our carport roof. The first sniff of jasmine in the air, mixing with the wonderful promise of wet soil, all to let you know that spring is on its way. The boys and I left for the south coast Friday morning, firstly to stop by a friend, but mainly to join Brandt for one evening with his racing buddies. We fell asleep with the sound of surf in the background. Saturday (this morning) saw the boys and I driving the 2.5hrs back home, but breaking it up into smaller chunks by stopping at a small beach town (Ifafa) for breakfast, and a dip in the ocean. The boys enjoyed the man-made ocean pool, while I collected some mussels washed up after the last high tide. The first hour and half's driving was almost constantly next/close to the coast. It was breathtaking. Top left-clockwise: boys in ocean pool; view from restaurant's deck; looking back at the restaurant from the beach; another view from the restaurant's deck. Things I HAVE TO concentrate on this challenge: Bible study: I've joined the 28days of Daily Devotionals via sms. At least every week day, but aiming for every day, and a longer church sermon via Fb on Sundays. Walking with the boys! We need to get fit and strong for a short hike in the mountains with friends around end September. At least 2x a week with the boys. Finances: I've taken on a lot more of our financial responsibilities and have to find a new routine of doing things. I tend to procrastinate on finances because I don't like doing it. Now I can't. I have to keep up, doing things in a new way. Finalise June and July finances. Update planned and actual finances every single day for August from slips. Sleep: Go to bed between 21h00-21h30. This has been slipping the last challenge and week0. At least every weekday night. Otherwise all my other daily life goals are still there: dry fire practice once a week and club shoot once a month, sort of intuitive eating where I seriously cut down on how much carbs (starch and baked stuff) and sweet things I eat. And last but very important: try to get two or three strength training sessions in during every week. I've decided on a basic strength training routine for those mornings: Joint circles (warm up) Jumping jacks (warm up) 20x Circuit to repeat at least 2x: Plank2Pushup 10x Abs Roll Out 10x Front Lunges 10x Deadlifts (starting at 30kg) 10x (hopefully able to increase +-2kg every week) Flys: Front 10x & Lateral 10x at 2.5kg d.bells Bridge & Pinch 1x20sec Sit-twist stretch Shoulder stretch Chest stretch Hopefully the spring feeling will help to invigorate me to keep things going.
  19. Goals: Nutritional Budget: No eating outside of eating windows: Breakfast in the morning: 6 out of 7 days: protein shake Lunch in the afternoon: 6 out of 7 days: salad Dinner in the evening: eat what the wife cooked up No alcohol Exempt in week 4: Only when others are having too No candy/cookie No bingeing (exempt: bingewatching) Financial budget: No overspending during lunch (salad only) No spending of money on anything else Exempt: Grocery shopping Change healthcare provider Workout: After DST, at least once a week running. This will coincide with the "CrossFit Open" being over. 0-week Working out: Deload, only CF (Thu: WOD / Fri: Dryrun of 18.4 / Sun: 18.4) Weigh in: March 14th: 81.3 KG / 28.2 BF% Goal at the end of the challenge: 79.3 KG
  20. Hi so my friend is a vegetarian and I've recently been able to get him to come workout with me and he wants to eat heathier. I'm not sure how to help him with his food but I'd like some tips! We're college students so meal prep is essential too! Any recipes would also be greatly appreciated
  21. Last challenge went fairly well, if far from perfect. I also really liked the format, so I'm going to give that another go. With that, on to the new challenge! Let's Get Spooky! It's Halloween season (shut up, I know most of this challenge will be in November, I don't care. ), which means it's time to let your dark side out to play (or at least out to dress up). But how spooky am I? Let's find out! 0-36 points - Nice try, but you're adorable 37-72 points - That's a bit creepy 73-108 - Ok, you're scary 109-144 - Terrifying! Err...that's the wrong kind of terrifying. Try again... That's better. The Quests! Don't Eat Out! Eat better! - 1 point for each meal I don't purchase already-made from a shop of some sort (restaurant, cafe, grocery store counter, etc). Save money! - My wallet sure is spooky right now. It looks empty when I open it, but there's this weird sucking sound coming from it. I think it might be the credit card? It sure feels like it's trying to eat any future vacation plans...or Christmas presents...actually, I think it's going to suck me in if I look too close! 15 points/week with less than $100 spent on food purchases (not counting grocery shopping for real food) and other incidentals. I may drop the amount I'm allowed to spend to get points if this turns out to be too easy. I've got exactly one year to pay off the credit card and save enough money for a trip to Hawaii if I'm going to succeed with my epic quest of taking the family to Hawaii for my 10th wedding anniversary. It's not looking like we'll be able to go without putting it all on the card at the moment. 5 bonus points are available each week, zero week through week 3, for getting a meal plan together for the following week. Groceries to be able to follow it must be purchased ahead of time to get the bonus points. As always, I will be continuing to try (and somewhat failing) to juggle derby practices, working out, spending time with my family, and getting enough sleep as well as my quests. Edit: removed some of the items that have turned out to not be feasible right now, and readjusted the points accordingly.
  22. Howdy, guys! I’m back for challenge #2 of my respawn! Last challenge went all right, but needed some tweaking for the second round. Goals are staying roughly the same, or within the same vein, and I’ve made things a bit more interesting. Not only do I have an actual theme this time around, but I’ve also done some gamifying! This challenge is wholly inspired by Cowboy Bebop, which is one of my all time favourite animes (right along side Ghost in the Shell). This show came about in the late 90’s (early 2000’s for the US), and was quite progressive for it’s time. I used to stay up until ridiculous hours just to watch it in my early high school years. As I never got around to watching every episode back then, the BF and I have been going through the series over the last week. I’ve grown a new appreciation for it, and it saddens me that I haven’t found anything modern that even comes close to being on par as it (if anyone knows of any, let me know!!). Well, without much ado, lets get this thing started! Cowboy Bebop Intro
  23. Last challenge, @Tanktimus the Encourager and @fleaball had an interesting discussion about rewiring your brain by picking an archetype that you want to emulate. It wasn't immediately obvious to me what kind of archetype I would pick if I followed the process, so I thought about it for a while and eventually realized that all of the archetypes I thought of had one thing in common: they were guardians. And when I had that realization, a lot of other things clicked into place: I scored "guardian" on the reebok be more human test a while back (I think) I keep coming back to the mantra "courage, honor, self restraint" I ALMOST NEVER get angry about anything and avoid conflict, except if someone is mean to my little sister or something So it works. The qualities of a guardian I admire and want to emulate include: A relentless, headstrong commitment to hard work and self improvement - to the point of stubborn refusal to compromise on any goal Faith that if they trust the process and do the work they will gain the skills they need Genuinely interested in and attentive to other people (as long as they're not trying to enter a forbidden realm) In their developmental years, they learn & grow alongside peers on the same journey, engaging actively in their training As they gain skill, they gladly guide & nurture others and think nothing of it Takes delight in the simple things in life. A happy day is just talking and being heard, and confirming our present happiness. Driven by the urge to help others Peaceful/zen except when defending others or facing obstacles Completely willing to fight with people when provoked Loyal to their people Honest Brave despite fears. Always. Focused outward - interested in other people and events around them and being in the world as their primary way of interacting with the world Physically balanced between strength/agility/endurance Examples of guardians: Pretty much every Tamora Pierce heroine ever, but especially Alanna from The Lioness Quartet and Kel from The Protector of the Small Dragons. Dragons protecting princesses and elder/mother dragons looking after their tribe/family The leader/seer/healer of a tribe who makes decisions based on how to protect their people Keepers of lore/wisdom/secrets/hidden places who do their jobs at all costs Monsters guarding the entrances to hidden realms Knights Priestesses Gargoyles? Background Every challenge this year, I am focusing on just one new habit. There are 10 challenges in the year, so by the end of the year I'll have TEN NEW HEALTHY HABITS. Challenge 1: Walk every day and/or aim for 16 miles per week Challenge 2: Morning routines Challenge 3: Eat a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch every day Also, my theme for this year is honesty. That doesn't just mean honest in the sense of not lying. It means facing into things when I'm feeling the urge to withdraw because I'm self-conscious. It means being true to myself even when I want to act differently because I'm afraid people won't like me. It means showing up and doing the work even though I want to procrastinate or avoid it because something stresses me out. It means honestly making the effort. It means listening to my body and listening to my heart. It means feeling my feelings. I feel like 70% of my anxiety in life comes from situations in which I'm not being fully honest. And if I can learn to embrace that honesty, I can drastically improve my life. @Ensi made a comment a while back about how she just needs to be honest and brave, and I still think about that. Courage, honor, self restraint. Challenge Goal So in general this challenge is about getting into the habit of acting like a guardian. But obviously I need something more specific than that to work towards. So, two things: 1. Start every morning with a mantra/affirmation/whatever that I am a guardian, to help set the tone for the day 2. Work. I started working from home full time in April, and I've been struggling with switching to and from work mode. I'm also working on a very stressful project at the moment that has me really nervous and self-conscious. So, like a guardian, I want to face into the work. I want to relentlessly and uncompromisingly work hard every work day. I want to stop delaying the hardest things for last because of stress. I want to be driven by how I can help other people with my work. Honesty. Courage, honor, self restraint. And so on. Other Things So, they aren't goals, but I'll also talk about a million other fitness/health things that I work on, including: Aikido Running GMB Elements program Bodyweight strength workouts OCRs Yoga Food habits - eating primalish Reading Mediation Spending challenges Previous challenge habits: walking, morning routines, smoothie/salads Icebreaker I read a book a while back about a family that gave up sugar, including honey, fruit juice, and artificial sweeteners, for an entire year. Once per month, they would have a dessert that contained sugar. But that's it. Each family member could also pick a single thing with sugar in it to keep for the year. They chose things like wine, soda, and jelly. So I'm curious. If you had to do a challenge where you could only eat one thing with sugar for a WHOLE YEAR, what would you pick? I'm personally torn between ketchup and tea lattes.
  24. So, I am choosing one habit per challenge this year and focusing specifically on developing and exploring that one habit. Then each challenge, I am maintaining the old habits while tackling a new one. At the end of the year, if all goes well, I will have TEN GREAT HABITS. Challenge 1: Walking daily (aiming for 16 miles per week) Challenge 2: Morning routine Challenge 3.... It's food time. Here are some misc. things about me and food: So, that's me and food in a nutshell. What works for me seems to be limiting my food enough that it's a little boring, and getting plenty of fiber/vegetables. It's a challenge because food is also such a hobby for me that I don't want to limit it in that way. So I think what I need to do is somehow find a balance. And I want to avoid setting excessive rules or tracking overly much, because even when it works, I don't think it's totally sustainable. And I want healthy eating to become something I do on autopilot, just like exercise is. So. I think for this challenge, I'm going to experiment with a hypothesis. The blog nomeatathlete mentions this concept at one point: I think there's something to this. Although I'll add protein to the salads because I'm not aiming for no meat. So, I want to experiment. If I have a smoothie every morning and a salad for lunch every day, then eat whatever I feel like for snacks and dinner, will that balance me out? Details The smoothies and salads can vary, obviously. I have a basic green smoothie formula I use a lot, but I can also just tinker with other options. I have a roasted veggie salad recipe and a cobb salad recipe I really like. I'll need more variety than that to keep salads interesting, so please do share if you have any favorite salads! I do want to experiment with black bean pasta salad, but loaded with lots of veggies. Oh, and there's that Mediterranean salad I like too. So that's 4. And thai steak salad with goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. I think I'll use the term "salad" loosely here. Like, if I make a ton of ratatouille or something, that's a large pile of vegetables, which is basically a salad. I can also make an omelette and chop it up on top of a salad. I just need enough variety that I'm not like "ughh, salad" after a few days of this. I like craisins on a salad. And caesar with avocado. And so on and so on. Mark over at MDA also eats a big ass salad for lunch every day, and swears by it, so there's another basis for this to work. The other thing I kind of want to do is build up my salad database. When I have a tasty salad somewhere, I want to figure out how to recreate it at home. I've had two at the cafe where they hold a gaming meetup that I really liked - a spinach bacon salad with tomatoes, creamy balsamic, and sunflower seeds, and a caprese salad with tomato and mozz and balsamic glaze on greens. I haven't quite figured out a good creamy balsamic dressing yet. Or a balsamic glaze. Dressing is going to be the key to success here. Other good ones I've had...there's one I don't remember that well, but I think it had arugula and goat cheese and some sort of crispy topping that didn't feel super unhealthy. Hrm. And there was one at a pub with figs, portobello mushrooms, and either feta or goat cheese, which was also amazing. Planning There are a few things I need to prepare for. What if I don't want breakfast one day? Does skipping the smoothie and just having a banana mid-morning count against me? I don't think it should. That will be allowed. And also, I think there will be times when I just really want some eggs or some pancakes. Or get a chance to go out for breakfast and have something other than a smoothie. And I think for now I'll just observe what happens without judgement if it does. I'll see how often this variance actually happens, and then adjust from there if I need to. There's also travel. It's harder to make a smoothie when I'm staying with friends or the boyfriend. I guess I can do it at the boyfriend's. Although sometimes we don't eat breakfast and lunch is our first meal of the day. I'm not worried about the time with friends. It's not so common that it's an issue. The time with the boyfriend will need some care though. We both like eating out as a hobby, so it's hard to say I'm just going to have a salad, especially when there are so many salads I don't really like at restaurants. So, I'm not sure. I don't want this to turn into deprivation or forcing myself to eat a mediocre salad when there's something else amazing in front of me. It might be dangerous, but I kind of want to play this by ear too. Maybe have a salad for at least one meal out of every three days I'm with him? Or maybe focus on just getting a certain quantity of vegetables in general? Or on eating paleoish? I don't know yet. There will probably also be times when I end up having something other than the planned salad for lunch. In those cases, I think I'll just try to adjust by having it for dinner instead. I don't like eating salad for dinner unless it's amazing, so I won't plan for this to happen. I'll just be prepared to adapt when it does. Other Stuff So none of this is a specific goal, but I have other ongoing habits / fitness stuff that I'll often report on here: Yoga 3 workouts / week 2 runs / week Meditation Shopping ban running Jan - March (and maybe longer) - no eating out unless travelling or socially, no shopping unless I need to replace something that runs out Aikido
  25. Duty - Responsibility - Adventure - Freedom We can do the impossible - And that makes us mighty A little poetic license taken to Captain Mal Reynold's words This challenge the Super-family takes it to space! We got ourselves a Firefly class "ship", called Serenity and we are going to spread our wings! In order to win against the Alliance, Reavers, and everyday happenings, we need to pull our socks up and work together. For everything we do, we earn points. Those points will see us through each week's battle(s). (Each week will be based on a different episode of Firefly.) Points are earned through the following: HEALTH: Water (1 bottle/day = 1point) - Elize: 10p/week min. Tea (1 mug = 1point; 2 mugs/day) - Elize: 14p/week. Breakfast (healthy b.fast = 1point each; 4 b.fasts/week) - Adam/Rocco: 2x 4p = 8p/week. Lunch (healthy lunch = 1point each; 7 days/week) - Elize/Adam/Rocco: 3x 7p = 21p/week. Milk (1portion = 1point; 4 portions/week) - Adam: 4p/week. Milk (max 4portions/day; 1point/day/week) - Rocco: 7p/week. Sleep (go to bed in time every night = 1p/night) - Elize/Adam/Rocco: 3x 7p = 21p/week. 85 points minimum per week WORK OUT: Weeding 1x/week each - Elize/Adam/Rocco: 3x 10p = 30p/week. Mowing/Wheelbarrow push 1x/week each - Elize/Adam/Rocco: 3x 10p = 30p/week. Strength 1x/week - Elize: 1x 10p = 10p/week. Dry Fire Drills 2x/week - Elize: 2x 5p = 10p/week. 80 points minimum per week EXTRAS: Kinect/FreePlay/Sport/Walk - Elize/Adam/Rocco: 5p each/day. LIFE/ADMIN: Bible Study: Every day = 1 point - Elize: 7x 1p = 7p/week. Finances: Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb (5p each completed) - Elize: 1x 5p = 5p/week. Proof Reading: Read a section (30min-1h) each week (5p each sitting/day) - Elize: 1x 5p = 5p/week. 17 points minimum per week - ALL done + 3Bonus points! EXTRAS: Contract: Thoko - Elize: 5points once off. Serenity: Paperwork finalised - Elize: 20points once off. Serenity: Checks / COR / Drive around to buy parts, etc. anything that takes time - Elize: 5p each instance. AVG POINTS/WEEK: 185 Food: 2x variances allowed for the boys every week. 1x variance allowed for me every week. Must reach at least 175p every week. For every point under 175, I must do a burpee! Each week starts at 0 points. The boys earn money for activity/exercise and going to bed on time: Weeding: R10/each Dump cut grass (wheelbarrow push): R10/each Kinect/Free Play / Walk / Playball: R5/each Go to bed on Time: R2/each
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