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  1. **** Hi Rangers! New girl here. Just finished my first challenge over in the Recruit forum and thought I'd come over and play with you guys for this one. Hope that's alright. I finally got around to writing up an introduction last night, and for some reason it came out as a Q&A session. It felt natural and like a good format, so I'm going to stick to it for this post. Think of the person asking questions as my somewhat confused and mumbling super-ego, trying to make sense of what it is I am doing with our shared self. Now that I think of it, maybe he's the Groucho peeking out behind my Dylan Dog in the profile pic. Not sure when all the monsters inside will come out or what will happen then. We'll see! (you realize this sounds a bit crazy, right?) Uh, yeah. I'm actually pretty sane, though. Quiet type. The kind that likes to sit on the couch and read all evening. Since I also sit down in front of a computer all day, I really need to get regular exercise and eat well to stay healthy. (so the main focus is on staying healthy?) Well, getting healthier – preferably. And stronger. And a bit slimmer. I like being in my body better when it's in good shape and a few kilos lighter than it is now. There is really no end-goal here though, just an interesting process that I would like to continue. (and what does this process entail at this particular point?) For the past six weeks, I've followed a mostly paleo diet and gone to the gym to do bodyweight exercises three times a week. I feel like those things are slowly turning into habits, along with drinking a lot of water and doing a lot of walking. I don't like tracking food and I don't like failing myself for eating this or that, so I'm going to skip the nutrition quest this time. The walking happens naturally, so I'm not going to turn that into a quest either. I'll just try to keep that up on the side, and might mention it from time to time. (uh-uh. That's the non-quests, then. What are you going to track?) Glad you asked. This is what I'm going to do: Quest 1: Strength I'm going to continue going to the gym for bodyweight training three times a week. The goal is to eventually be able to do pull-ups. This will take a while. For now, I'll focus on keeping the exercises difficult enough that I can almost do what my plan says, and then add weights or some other element to push myself. I'll log every work-out in a progress bar: 18 work-outs total for the six weeks. Quest 2: Cardio/stamina The second quest will be to go for a run twice a week. Once we hit December 1st, I plan to join the Advent Running crowd and run every day until Christmas. I'll exclude gym days, though. I did this last year and loved the community and the build-up of it, so I'm really looking forward to it. Caveat: if running that much interfers with other quests, I'll tone it down or just go for a walk some days. To start with, I'll log two runs (doesn't matter how long, just going out for 20-30 minutes count) a week in another progress bar: 12 runs total for the six weeks. (you seem to like progress bars) Oh, I do! I like coming up with colour schemes for them even more than I do filling them in! (whatever works. Any other quests? Something not exercise-related, perhaps?) Quest 3: Sleep (or not, as it were) This will be a difficult one, but I have high hopes for it. I'm going to get up at 7 every morning of the challenge. Even on weekends. I usually get up at 7.30 on weekdays, so the extra half-hour there will give me time to pack my gym bag and fix lunch, or just do some extra reading. The main point is for the weekends, though. I don't want to sleep all my free time away, and actually really enjoy mornings – once I'm out of bed. If I manage this, I'll have more time to do the stuff I like and launch around for hours in my pj's. There will be no progress bar for this one, just a tally of early mornings accomplished. Quest 4: No spending My fourth and final quest is an attempt at turning a sad neccesity into a personal win. I've been really crappy at living within my means lately, and after paying my bills for November, realized I have absolutely no money left. In order to not take too much out of savings, and to get my behaviour in this area under some semblance of control, I'll try not to spend any money on non-essential stuff for the duration of the challenge. Essential stuff is food from the grocery store, basically. I'll keep another tally for this one and add every day I haven't spent any money to it. (so, four quests, two progress bars, two tallies. Got it. Anything else?) No, I think that's enough to be going on with. (Agreed. We seem to have a chronic problem with writing overly long posts.) Yes … I'm going to try to check in here as often as possible and look forward to reading about all the rangering going on. I've also joined the Gryffindarlings' accountabilibuddy group for added coolness. Their focus this time around is on strength, so I'm excited about that. Well, start as you mean to go on. It's Friday night, so for my part, I'm going to have a small glass of whisky from the cupboard and fix my progress bars. Happy start to the challenge, everyone! ****
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