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  1. Run, run, run Late again. But it's nothing new this time around, just trying to clean up my diet further and and in more positive habits. I have a 20-mile and a 23-mile training run during this challenge, so I'm trying to not hyperventilate at the thought. I call it 'running' even though I do run/walk intervals. I may be going to France for 2 weeks during this challenge, and would have to adjust the training plan accordingly. A major mini-goal is to avoid deviating from the plan as much as possible, because I tend to get distracted/seduced by other plans easily. Overarching Goals: Body fat 25%. Making very slow progress. Marathon 11/5. Just aiming to finish. Be happier and more energetic This is mesmerizing to me Goal #1: THE FOOD 1a. Meal prep weekly - make breakfasts, and lunches including protein and veggies 1b. Limit alcohol - 3 days/wk max worked well for me last challenge 1c. Veggies at dinner - this is the area I want to clean up. I'm fine with some dairy/carbs, but want to at least get produce into every meal. hahahhaha nope Goal #2: THE WORKOUTS 2a. Run 3x/week per Jeff Galloway marathon training plan 2b. Lift or strength workout 2x/week 2c. Foam roll + stretch 3x/week Looking at sleeping puppy pictures = guaranteed mood boost Goal #3: THE BRAIN 3a. Sleep 8 hrs/night or as much as my body will allow me. I struggled with this last challenge 3b. Meditate. If I get through the free Headspace sessions I may subscribe, or just use calm.com 3c. No solo TV. I can watch with bf or other people (social-ish activity), but stick to music (for background) or reading on my own. If I succeed at this then I will upgrade my Spotify to the commercial-free version for a month.
  2. Failed before, yada yada yada. That doesn't matter, because it's in the past. And you can either run from it or learn from it. So onwards to this challenge, where I'm just going to use whatever images/gifs I think are appropriate. None of my goals really tie together, either. So this is my random challenge! MAIN GOAL: Don't be the fat kid -Everyone else in my main friend group is in rather good shape, except for me. I'm tired of being the fat one, so I'm going to try and lose enough that I can no longer call myself fat. GOAL ONE: Run -Run 3x per week -Ultimate Goal: Run 5 miles straight by the end of the challenge -Exception: Week 1 (I got sunburned really badly on Sunday and now it hurts to even walk. I'm hoping to still get two runs in this week, but I'm going to play it by ear) -Background: I've run off and on for a few years, and towards the end of last year got to the point where I ran over 6 miles without stopping. Then I quit because it was cold, and now I'm back to barely being able to run a mile. I'm using Zombies, Run! 5k to get back to 3 miles, then I'll go back to the normal app after that. GOAL TWO: Cook -Cook at least one Paleo meal per week (I cook in batches, so it's at least three meals, usually four) -Ultimate Goal: Eat 100% paleo during the week, whatever I want on weekends -Background: I've gone back and forth with both eating paleo and eating nothing but garbage. So my compromise is to eat Paleo during the week and whatever I want on weekends. GOAL THREE: Bend -Squat for 5 minutes per day weeks 1 & 2, 10 for weeks 3 & 4, 15 for weeks 5 & 6 -Foam roll at least 5 days/week -Ultimate Goal: Be able to be comfortable in the bottom of a squat -Background: I have very poor mobility. Nowhere is it more obvious than in my squat, so I clearly need to work on that. Also, my calf has been bothering me while running, and I know I should foam roll more, but never do. So that's part of this now. GOAL FOUR: Russian -Listen to 5 Pimsleur lessons per week -Background: I'm going to Russia at the end of September! I'm really excited about it, but don't know Russian. So I want to try and learn the basics of conversation. I'll also be doing a couple of other things when I can, like Memrise for extra vocab and Rosetta Stone. I also have a text book from which I'm going to try and learn a little bit of grammar. -Ultimate Goal: Be able to speak enough Russian that I will be able to learn while I'm there, rather than just struggling. Or to drink with Putin. Whichever. So that's it for now. Oh, and I'm going to own this challenge.
  3. Hokay, so... I'm a few days late getting this challenge up. I had a real struggle with trying to figure out exactly what to do here. I had such a success last challenge, and want to continue to do everything that I accomplished... but I don't want to make every little thing a part of something I grade. I've kind of hit that wall with challenges that I've seen many people hit where I've pseudo succeeded and I'm kind of like... where do I go from here? SO. I decided to have my goals be related to things I am already doing, but not the actual things I have already accomplished habit wise. That sounds way more confusing than it is. Here's an example: Last challenge I made it a solid habit to do Stronglifts 3x/week. I know I will continue this, and I'm not worried about grading myself on it. So on this challenge, I will have a mission to foam roll before every stronglifts session. I also have gotten into the habit of cooking dinner. This challenge I will tackle the hurdle of lunch. I'm also going to throw in a bonus goal for each mission to keep things interesting. Anyway, on to the missions... because I've waited long enough MISSION 1: Foam Roll As I said above, I will foam roll every time I do SL. This will be 3x/week most likely, since that's how often I usually do SL. However, since I am not grading my actual SL performance this mission will be graded on the percentage of many foam rolling sessions I do (or don't do) out of lifting sessions. +2 STA BONUS: Roll out my IT band for at least 3 minutes per side 50% or more of the foam rolling sessions. So painful. +1 STA MISSION 2: Be Mindful Every Day I have been finding real benefit in Meditation (via Headspace) and yoga. So I'm going to step up my game... instead of doing this just every morning when I wake up to go to work, I am gonig to try to do both of these things every damn day. Even if it's a 3 minute mindfulness exercise, and this 5 minute essential morning yoga poses flow. I have this problem where I do stuff when I have other things to do... like go to work. But the second my schedule is not that.. ie I am teleworking or it's the weekend... I do NOTHING. And it's awful. This will at least force me to get a little self love in no matter how lazy I am feeling. +2 WIS BONUS: Complete the 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Adriene by the end of this challenge. +1 DEX. MISSION 3: Take Control of my Beverages (this is a 3-parter) Last challenge I more or less gave up beer. I only had 4 beers for the entire challenge! Which for me is huge, as I like to pretend I'm a beer connoisseur, and I absolutely love my IPAs. But I did it. This challenge I am going to allow myself 1 beer a week, 3 more than I allowed myself last challenge. However, now I can only drink alcoholic beverages one night a week too. All other beverages aside from the single beer (and ONLY if it's a delicious beer. None of this miller high life crap the boyfriend likes to bring home) must be wine or whiskey. +1 CON (percentage of weeks with only 1 beer and only 1 night drinking) My water consumption may also be lacking. I feel like I drink enough, but I wake up every morning with horrible dry mouth and sometimes I get so thirsty it wakes me up in the night. So, for the first three weeks of this challenge, I will log my water intake every day. +1 CON (percentage of days logged) Then I will set a goal for myself based on this data, and try to meet it every day. +1 CON (percentage of days met) FOOD SIDE QUEST: Eat Salads! Eat a salad for lunch 3x/week. Pretty self explanatory. +2 CON BONUS: Try 2 fancy salads that aren't just leaves + tomato + protein. +1 CON LIFE SIDE QUEST: Accountability I usually bail out on my challenges towards the end... even if I'm doing well I forget to post and then I forget what I've even done and then I don't feel as awesome being able to say I hit all my goals, or I find it easier to make excuses for not. So, I will post to NF with updates 4x/week at least. Even if it's just a small "did yoga this morning" from Tapatalk. +3 CHA
  4. Syren Rocks Out (To Bad 80’s Music) Physical You betcha, another strength training goal. I just can't get it down to a habit, so I keep trying different things. I know strength training is good for me... I just hate it. I'm going to try an every day approach this time for 20 - 30 minutes each session. Rolling Due to all the aches and pains I frequently acquire, despite the phenomenal amount of stretching that I already do, I want to add in foam rolling to my regime. So everyday, one of my muscle masses is going to get rolled. Safety Because I always need an extra challenge, I would like to make my left foot my dominant pool exiting foot since the right tends to be swollen nearly all the time due to an old soft tissue injury. The right one works, but why overburden it? Manic Do something Scouty almost every day. This will probably be swimming majority of the time since it is the thing that I love. I am still aiming to get in a least one kayak trip, one SCUBA trip (more adventurey), a couple of walk/runs, and biking excursions throughout the challenge. Fire In the vast experiment of trying to follow the paleo/primal path a bit, this challenge I am giving up the legumes for a bit, or giving better effort to do so. Keeping up with the low EtOH consumption as well. This challenge: The things about legumes that I love -- peanut butter, soy sauce, refried beans, red beans and rice, hop’n’johns, black bean salsa, the Pooh Bear -- the best smoothie ever Stop drinking soda pop! Take Stats and I have a hate hate relationship, and because of this, I am retaking my experimental design class. I understand the content, but I could not express the understanding properly on my exams last year. I do not like pressing the restart button when it comes to class work, so this year I am trying something different: 30 minutes of stats each day to get the wording on my essay exams just right. The math is not really involved in this class, it is theory and application of stats in biology. I may be writing a lot of posts about this class since re-writing is one of my study necessities. Bad Yay, more teeth cleaning challenges! Devoting a whole 4 minutes a day to the brushing instead of just willy nilly throwing the brush in there. 2 minutes in the morning, 2 minutes in the evening. Must maintain the flossing though. Physical Fitness Training (0/36) +2.5 Strength 0%0% Exit Stage Left (0/36) + 1 Sinisterity 0%0% Foam Roll (0/36) +1 Dexterity 0%0% Scoutyness (0/36) +2.5 Stamina 0%0% Legume and Alcohol Free (0/36) +2 Constitution 0% Soda (0/35) +1 Constitution 0%0% Study Experimental Design (0/36) +2.5 Wisdom 0%0% Proper Brushing of the Teeth and Flossing (0/42) +2.5 Charisma 0%0%
  5. Hey fellow rebels. I've been super mega busy lately, things should calm down Wednesday but for now I'm just going to get this challenge up. So last challenge was a rousing success for me. Things were totally freaking unbelievably insane from travelling nonstop for work and some other things. INSANE I TELL YOU. But I used my training program to stay focused and grounded during stressful times. I also think I actually really started my health journey last challenge, even though I've been trying (and moderately succeeding) to do these challenges for over 6 months now. I learned I had to be doing this from a place of self love, and that I have to always remember how good I feel when I treat myself right. I've just got to do it. And making myself do it during the flurry of travel really kept me sane and destressed me. It also helped pull me out of the depression I was kind of sinking into. All in all, I feel great. And I want to keep this momentum going. I'm going to seroiusly switch up something huge in my life for this challenge. Two things in fact, both food related. I'm going to officially stop counting calories. Completley and totally stop. This is crazy for me. I've never not counted calories. I'm kind of really freaking out about it.... Previously I've counted them but set a ridiculously high limit for myself, just to make sure I'm not completely out of control, but when I have it down to a number based system I end up hurting myself. I'm like "oh this pizza only has 1200 calories in it. If that's all I eat all day it's fine" Nope... not OK. I'd rather just judge my food on what it is. And that brings me to the other thing I'm switching up. I'm going to grade myself for my food intake based purely on whether it was "healthy" or not. I know when I'm being healthy, and I know when I'm not. I can spot a healthy meal from a mile away, I can feel it in my stomach almost instantly, I can usually smell it. I know gluten and dairy are no nos for my tummy, and I know I'm trying to avoid soy. I know when I'm BSing myself, and can now be honest with myself and admit it. I don't need to micrcomanage my diet any more (or at least I hope so!) and am just going to try to eat the healthiest I can possibly eat this challenge. No stressing about calories, and no micromanaging every single meal. I'm also going to be listening to my body more when it comes to exercising. I'm cutting my strength training down to 2 days a week, and replacing the third with a wild card. Every week I'll see how I'm feeling and pick whatever exercise I want to do that weekend. It could be another strength session, but it could also be pilates. Or hiking. Or even a meditation session if I feel so inclined. So here's the spreadsheet: Quick explanations: Move pretty self explanatory Strength 2x/week Yoga 2x/week Zombies, Run! 2x/week Random! 1x/week Stay Moving I sit at my desk all day, and do watch a fair amount of TV. I want to stop sitting so much basically. So I've set an alarm on my phone to remind me to walk around and do little desk exercises throughout the day, I'm in the office an average of 3.5 days a week, so I'll try to complete all my deskercise goals that many days a week. I've also purchased a mini elliptical stepper thingy that I will be using 100% of the time during TV commercials and if I'm watching Netflix I'll set a timer to make sure I'm doing it for 5 minutes every 15 minutes (which is the average commercial set up I think). . I watch TV probably most days so I put I need to do this 5 days a week. I might adjust this when I have more time to think about how to actually grade this... maybe deduct points for whenever I watch TV and don't do it? We'll see... I'm going to grade this like I grade eating out. Start at 100% and dock points when I don't do what I plan on doing. Take Care I need to take better care of myself externally. And have more me-time. Nightly Routine: Wash my face, floss, brush my teeth and moisturize every weeknight Weekly Routine: Relax, take a bath, light a candle. Face mask. Monthly Routine: Add a hair mask, a foot mask and a bath bomb to one weekly routine a month. Live it up. Eat Healthy Self explanatory, eat healthy every day. Also stop eating out so much. Eating healthy is positive points I earn, eating out are negative points I dock from a starting 100% when I do it. Keep Clean Staying in line with my listen to my body/intuition goals, I'm going to clean every day... but I'm going to pick what I'm going to do the day of depending on the state of my apartment. Grading Based completely on level of effort, numbers based solely on excel's rounding to the nearest 0.25 calculation (using the MROUND() function if anyone was interested): >87% = A >62% = B >37% = C >12% = D <12%= F Possible points and point types are in the spreadsheet. Sorry this is so all over the place and not at all organized. I swear it makes sense in my head. I'm so excited to be a normal person again on Wednesday and be able to hang out with you nerds via the interwebs again. I also am going to get back to keeping my battle log up to date, because I mega slacked on that last challenge and it makes me sad. So that's that. *Edited to fix spreadsheet errors, update TV stepper grading info and to add grading percentage numbers to letters info (and more gifage because that was seriously lackingand not up to my usual standards)*
  6. WARNING: LARGE PUDDLE OF BRAIN VOMIT AHEAD (feel free to skip ahead to the actual missions) Last challenge went pretty poorly for me and I got a little lost. There was a lot of eating bad stuff, some emotional issues to deal with, and a lot of general wallowing in my own sadness, and by the end of the 6th week I had completely stopped tracking and basically given up on the challenge all together. In fact, I've more or less bailed on all of my challenges at some point since I started this. I was feeling pretty beat up. Then I started getting some little daily mini goals in, and eating better in this week between challenges. The difference it has made on my mood and energy is astounding. And now I'm ready to kick some serious challenge butt! I still have a long way to go to get back to where I was almost 2 months ago, and am still feeling a little lost as to how exactly I am going to get back there. My overall life goal is still to be able to do a back walkover, but for this challenge that specific focus is going on hiatus so I can find my way. No looking back on the past few months, no regrets... just moving forward. I have decided I need to up the intensity of my focus on my challenge this time around. I want to turn to exercise and healthy eating to make me feel better, not run away from it when I'm feeling crappy which only makes me feel crappier. I also want to quit making excuses that it's "OK" to have a cheat day because I was out with friends. Well yes, it is OK to not eat as wonderfully as I would with a home cooked meal... but I can totally still find healthy options where ever I am! I also need to cut back on my social life in general anyway, and focus on myself. (The only exceptions to this are when it involves my family. They come first no matter what.) I really just need to take better care of myself is what I'm getting at. I also need to rely on myself more. Living with my boyfriend has made it difficult for me to reach my fitness goals. He's not as interested in them as I am, so sometimes he wants to eat badly and not work out and I just kind of do too. I need to lead by example, and do my own thing. If he's watching TV eating popcorn, I can still be working out. I love him, but I don't need him for this. Hopefully he will come into the fold soon enough on his own once he sees me kicking mega butt. So with that in mind, I'm making this challenge involve a lot of work outs. This is for two reasons: (1) I want to up the intensity of my mental focus on my body to give me more of an outlet and (2) If I miss a workout there's always another one coming real soon. Before when I only had 2 a week if I missed one I'd just be like oh well... guess I'll just do 1 this week. Anyway, I decided to make this challenge Lost Girl themed because it has so many strong female characters who stick together and love their friends/family but still are independent and kick mega ass on their own. And I'm feeling a little lost lately, so the name fits. Also, the show is my newest guilty pleasure and finding gifs for it brings me great joy. /BRAINVOMIT Thanks for bearing through that, if you did. If not, thanks for being here anyway! Here are my challenge details: Mission 1: Work Out More --Strength Train 3x/Week --HIIT 2x/Week --Run or Hike 2x/Week This is all flexible. I can incorporate HIIT into the strength workout, or the running, or have it be its own thing. I just want to start doing it. Mission 2: Relax & Destress Because I needs it. --Yoga 2x/Week --Foam Roll 3x/Week The yoga will be of the stretchy/mediatey kind. Not intense sweaty yoga. Mission 3: Sleep. I've been seriously slacking on this as of late. Stress = not sleeping = stress. It's a vicious cycle. So I want to get to bed by 9:30 every "school night", and have an average of 8 hours or more per night by the end of the week, but never less than 6 hours any night or the average doesn't matter no matter how much I make up for it later. Food Goal: Eat Good, Feel Good Get as many meals as I possibly can that are: --Home cooked --Gluten Free --Dairy Free --Soy Free I'm going to give myself points in each of these categories, so that when I go out I am still encouraged to eat as healthy as possible. (i.e. - if there's no dairy free options, maybe I can still get gluten free, etc.) Life Goal: Get to the Damn Doctor Soooo I've been putting off going to basically every doctor I should be going to for check ups for a little over 2 years now, others haven't been so long but I'm still due for a visit and I'm great at putting this kind of stuff off. I really need to take care of myself and get this done. Points for each of the following I make appointments with by the end of the challenge: --General Practitioner (physical/bloodwork/etc) --Dentist --The Lady Doctor --The Eye Doctor (I've been out of contacts and wearing the wrong perscription glasses for far too long) --Dermatologist Grading As per usual with me, points earned are based on the percentage completed rounded to the nearest 0.25. Everything but the sleep is a potential point, each sleep goal is 0.5 points. Grading is: >87% = A >62% = B >37% = C > 12% = D <12% = F I picked these numbers simply because those are the cutoffs Excel uses to round to the nearest 0.25. & here's my excel tracker: And that's it! Time to channel my inner potential and get going
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