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  1. Elize, Elvin Broom Ryder Elize and her trusty fox left the Misty Mountain training lodge for their first assignment: Stop Evil C.Roach from getting the three factions (Antzies, Dusti-Mites, and Fleashies) to work together, to overpower and eventually rule The World. She wasn't sure exactly how this would work, as she would have to venture into the world of the Minimoys. They were a minuscule, African tribe, barely 3mm tall, whereas she was a normal human of 1.74m! During this assignment she would also be responsible for two Minimoys Warriors in Training, called Adamus, and Roccodemus. Elize sighed and looked over the dry, dusty winter landscape. The path she was shown to take out of Misty Mountain Training Lodge, was into new territory. She had only a short distance to travel with Foxy, before she (once again) had to leave him behind, set forth into the mini-world, and start saving the world, one step into the dirty underworld, at a time. --------------00-------------- Elize couldn't believe she was twirling around a wet mop as weapon. The emperor of the Minimoys had quickly found out that the Magic Dust that covered the critters, protected them against normal metal weapons. Made their hides impenetrable. It was however susceptible to water. That was why she was carrying a mop, and other protectors following in the tunnels, were carrying all kinds of cleaning equipment, from feather dusters, to brooms, and wet cloths. Unfortunately the Magic Dust also gave the wearer the power to multiply exponentially as soon as they stepped foot above ground. They had to stop and wash off every single particle of dust from each critter. "The other warriors have the rebels surrounded in Evil C. Roach's hide out!" Adamus whispered urgently to Elize. "He is giving them the "We shall conquer and overcome!" speech," added Roccodemus in just as quiet a voice, jogging next to her, trying to keep up. Elize nodded in acknowledgement of the information and gave quiet hand signals to her brothers in arms behind her. Although the critters were still small, they each had their own natural defenses that had to be faced. Dusti-Mites had a bite that left you with red, itchy welts all over your body. The Red-Antzies were an off shoot of fire ants and therefore a pinch with their mandibles didn't just remove your body part, but also made it feel as if hot coals were burning into your skin, wherever they touched you. Fleashies? They could jump, and kick worse than an ostrich. One kick hitting you square on a bone could easily break it in half! No, it wasn't going to be an easy fight at all. From left to right: Roccodemus, Adamus, and Elize (in Minimoy-form) The protectors crept quietly into the hideout, but stayed hidden in deep shadows on the outer rim. This hideout, although aired via small ducts, were still dank, not much better than the tunnels they had come through, but the dampness was in their favour. It made the magic dust less effective. On Elize's signal the protectors stepped forward as one, drawing the attention of Evil C and every rebel in that hole. A cacophony of shouts erupted that nearly burst her eardrums, but the only outward sign she gave was to start twirling her mop round and round in her hand. The protectors to her sides stepped clear, making space, and planted their feet securely. Minimoy warriors stepped back and lit candles in cornices, then fell in beside the protectors they were assigned to, wet cloths at the ready. The plan: the protectors catch and hold the critters, the warriors wipe the magic dust off the outside shell, without anyone being bitten or injured, if at all possible. The great white beasts would refill water buckets as well as the plant gel water that numb limbs. With a high pitched screech a Dusti-Mite stormed Elize. It was about knee height, with an almost translucent body, which helped it to blend in with its surroundings if it stood still. Dim light reflected off its body to blind her momentarily. Elize cocked her head picking up sounds, hearing the footfalls, focusing on the movement around her, the way it created a swirl of motion in the air. She twirled her mop like she did her favourite bo staff. The Dusti-Mite's head was sunken into its body, with just its two mandibles sticking out in front, ready to pinch a piece of skin. The business end of the mop hit it squire in the beak between the mandibles, and forced the critter to a grinding stop. It tried to pull the mop hair out of its mouth, disgusted by the taste, but couldn't get any grip. Instead its mandibles got stuck in the filaments and it became ever more anxious. An icy cold sticky drop of gel water dripped on its back, slowly sliding down the body, down each leg, effectively immobilising the dust mite, as it numbed the limbs. More water splotched onto him as the warriors hurriedly wiped the critter down with soggy rags. The mop was pulled from its face but just as quickly brought down on the top of its body, forcing its underside down into the drop of water that had pooled underneath. Two great beasts slowly dawdled closer, grabbed the Dusti-Mite and carried it out. "Eek! You'll pay for this, Elf!" it screeched loudly while trying to spit the last of the disgusting woolly filaments out of its mouth. Elize's one eyebrow raised a little bit before she turned to meet the next critter full on. The first one forgotten already. Again her mop twirled around, again, and again, another critter immobilised, more magic dust washed off. Big pack beasts carried the immobilised creatures out of the hall, straight to holding cells, giving the protectors and their respective warriors more space to fight and clean up any magic dust they could find. Hurtling over ants, sliding underneath mites, kicking the legs of a Fleashie out from underneath itself. On and on Elize fought, side by side with her protector colleagues. As she slowly stretched herself to her full height, she faced off with Evil C.Roach himself. He was the last critter standing in the hideout, grinning like the Joker from ear to ear. What ace did he have up his sleeve, she wondered before slowly starting to circle him. She had a long thin rag in her one hand. The mop long since been bitten in half by another critter. The rag looked very similar to a lasso, except there was more material, and it was sopping wet. With slow careful movements she started twirling it in small circles above her head. Drops glinted in the firelight, flying every which way. Faster she spun it still, until she reached her ideal pace, all the while also circling Evil C. He on the other hand, was monologue-ing! Telling them all just how ingenious his plan really was, and that they would never find his hidden stash of magic dust. Evil C. Roach Quietly the other protectors started moving in, closing the circle like a noose around his neck. Then in a blindingly fast move Elize let go of the lasso-rag. It almost whistled as it flew through the air, and settled high around Evil C's shoulders. His one useless shell of an arm hang limply by his side, but his other hand had cruel, sharp claws, which he had no trouble using to try and cut the rag, or scratch and infect protectors. With a sharp whistle as signal to the protectors, Elize advanced with a second lasso, and as Evil C angrily high stepped to take a jumping start in her direction, she threw the next lasso and it caught his legs, bringing him down like a rock. One protector secured the first lasso around Evil C's arms, while another used the lasso and trailing material to immobolise his legs. Some Minimoy warriors stood closer but preferred to use long handled mops to wash him clean of magic dust. No one wanted to be a victim to those poisonous claws. A huge sigh of relief filled the hideout from almost every soul in there. Then excited babbling and slaps of congratulations filled the air. The danger had been averted, although they still had to find the hidden stash of magic dust. But that was a job for another day. --------------00--------------
  2. 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.
  3. SECOND VERSE SAME AS THE FIRST! 1. Do physical therapy 2. Eat gluten free 3. Write good things BONUS - Do things THUMBS UP.
  4. Although technically this is my... fifth challenge. I guess I just wanted to throw a Doctor Who reference in there what with the Regeneration and all. Second verse same as the first! 1. DO PHYSICAL THERAPY 2. EAT GLUTEN FREE 3. WRITE GOOD THINGS
  5. O.K., so the last challenge may not be my most excellent of accomplishments. Crashed and burned, and the flames were spectacular . Lessons learned: I bit off way more than I could chew. As a result, I've stepped back to see what when wrong and where, and decided I need to fix a few foundational issues in order to reach my bigger goals. First off, I need to remember my bigger goals: 1: Strong Arms: I want those Deltoids to be showing all the time. I'm getting there... 2. 20% body fat. I'm not currently overweight, but I've got the typical mom sqiggliness (and yes that is a technical term). I want lean and hard. 3. To feel good about myself. This one is a bit more ephemeral, but it would be damn nice to wake up in the morning and like who I am, and feel proud of what I choose to do with my life. I don't exactly know the benchmark for this one, but I'll know it when I get there. . So on to this challenge's goals: In order to get to that magic number of 20% body fat, I've got to eat right. The last challenge, I didn't count my calories, and tried to schedule making recipes when in fact I just didn't have the time. I ended up stress eating, and deviating from my gluten free - vegan regimen. I've paid dearly as a consequence. So I'm eating some humble pie, and going back to the basics: Goal 1: 1410 calories per day. (Vegan and gluten free) and only ONE new recipe per week (probably during the weekend). Moving on... Last challenge, I tried to schedule using the gym. My mistake was to focus on the where rather than the what. The point is that the location doesn't matter, I just need to get the cardio in. Guess what, my gym was too far away to be useful. And it turns out, I don't particularly enjoy going to the gym to exercise like a hamster in a wheel all the time. My workout routines have a pretty set schedule, but I only have a few precious windows of opportunity to get my cardio in. I'm still struggling with this pesky tendinitis issue, so the cardio is going to have to remain light on my feet. Goal 2: 20 minutes of cardio 6 days a week (from past challenges I've learned that I need at least one day off). My time is extremely limited because of my work schedule, classes I'm taking, soccer schedules for my son..... My wish is that using my lunch break to get my cardio in will be a good habit, both for my physical strength, and as a good method for dealing with stress caused by work. So, I've joined a gym that is closer to my work BUT I also want to be able to spend some time outside. The town I live in just recently finished a walking trail close to work. The plan is to spend my lunch break either going for a walk, or going to the gym. If all else fails, I can use my treadmill at night before going to bed. Ultimately it's about the what I do, and not about where I do it, that is important. And just because I would feel totally bad ass if I could do it: Goal 3: I want to be able to do 20 push-ups (knee) for each of my 3 sets during my workouts. This is just a nice and simple physical goal that is easy to work on (since my workouts are already scheduled anyway), and it will get me closer to having those deltoids I so covet. Currently my "A day" I do 16 push-ups per set, and my "B day" is 12 reps of triceps push-ups per set. And last but not least, my life quest goal... I think the biggest lesson learned during my last challenge is that my life is a mess. A great big physical obstruction to my goals. Last challenge I was supposed to vacuum every day, but I've got so much crap in my way that I couldn't get anything done! As I said above, my time is extremely limited right now, and I don't have the hours it takes to clean my house as it stands in my current state. So this challenge I'm getting rid of a whole bunch of crap I don't need! Goal 4: I'll be participating in the PVP minimalist game. It's only is supposed to last for 30 days, but when it's done I still want to get rid of something every day. I don't think my home will be minimalist in a true sense, but it should be a lot less cluttered when this challenge is all said and done. and THEN I can start thinking about keeping my house clean and vacuumed . So that me, miss eager beaver, ready to start this challenge, like NOW , I'll be using this "off week"as a test run for my schedule to see if I'm being realistic with my goals... Good luck everyone! Happy challenging!
  6. Keeping it simple for all of the reasons. 1) Keep moving run at least 3x a week martial arts when there are classes (they're a bit sporadic due to summer) cycle to work at least 2x a week (with allowances for weather because, scotland) bonus exercise = yoga and/or at home technique or bag work 2) Food I've notice that I can't stomach much processed food at the moment, so cook from scratch. Key guidelines for me = gluten free, dairy light, mostly AIP compliant but with some rice and other gf grain. For funnsies cook one new recipe per week. 3) Music Play that bass 6 days a week. Bonuses (funnsies?) = aural training app, tuba and flute - once a week each please. That should keep me nicely out of trouble - I'm just hoping we have some mornings without rain cause this morning, no way was I running or cycling, and there wasn't even that much rain! I kind of got ahead of myself already on the food - made a "danish rye bread" containing no rye (from http://www.friendsofadam.se/brodbok/friendly-bread.html), and it is the best gf bread I have ever ever made!!!!! Tasty tasty - but made it on sunday.... ooops. Along with belly dancer beets from Well Fed 2. All tasty, all good. Need to make more recipes from both cook books. Challenge is go!
  7. I am doing the exact same challenge as last time. ok, so maybe I don't want to be THIS big... but I DO want to be strong enough to do this easily. Short story: There is NOTHING like doing a few Kino MacGregor videos when you are 259lbs to make you realize just how weak and out of shape you are. (except I lost 10 lbs last challenge, so now it's 250...but still) Over the last 10 years, I have addressed and dealt with a lifetime of trauma and abuse, and changed dramatically, but also gained 100 lbs. The last 2 years have been about coming to grips with the fat me and loving myself despite what my body looks like...and just recently I turned a HUGE corner with that, and it's time to move on to the next phase of becoming who I want to be (and she isn't a princess...weird!) and that person is not 260 lbs and someone who plays video games all day long to cope with life. She is an active, fun, happy person who can do anything she wants with her body and loves her life. So it's time to get un-weak and un-out of shape and un-fat. So it's time to get strong, because getting strong will build muscle, increase my metabolism and help me lose fat and be able to do the things I want to do, but I am also going to be addressing cardio and flexibility, because you don't get to be a super yogi who can run whenever she wants, without doing those things. I am planning to keep the same 4 year-long goals I started last challenge, but the exercise portion will be a mix of yoga, cardio and strength and I am going to cold turkey sugar and dairy, seriously! I realized I am not capable of small steps with stuff like that and it happening, and it's not about my emotional health, so it's not going to screw up my head. I didn't quit drinking or smoking or drugs a little at a time, I said "no more" and walked away and never looked back. This has to be the same. TL;DR-- Goal Summary 1. Consistent Wake Up/Bedtime 2. Consistent Exercise Routine 3. Consistent Cooking Dinner 4. Read 2 Yoga Centric books this challenge 5. Cold Turkey Sugar & Dairy
  8. Respawn Rodeo Since I ran my half-marathon last spring, I've gained about 15 lbs, let my fitness habits slip, and eaten like crap (hence the respawn). I need some basic goals to get myself headed in the right direction again, so my days are less like an 8-second ride and more like a relaxing trail ride. Break the Horse My fitness habits have been left unattended for too long, and need to be brought under control again. I need to break some bad habits, and put better ones in their place. I've been using my bad back as an excuse, and it needs to stop. Actions: Work some kind of fitness into every day. Anything counts. I've been loving Lift Weights Faster, and their mini-routines should be easy to work into my life. I'm also getting workouts emailed to me from Metabolic Effect. Treadmill, Zumba, traditional weights, walking at work, DVDs at home are all options too. Success: Any day with activity is a success (x/42) Calf Roping My eating has gotten a little (ok, a lot) out of control. I need to lasso in my eating, especially sweets and "bad carbs." Actions: Go gluten-free. I seem to respond ok to other carbs, like rice, corn, and potatoes, so I don't see a need to really restrict them. I do have trouble limiting gluten items once I get started on them, and I think this will be a good gateway to a more paleo way of eating.Limit sweets to 3 or fewer treats per week. Fruit doesn't count, and I'm also not counting the sweetener in my coffee.Track daily in MyFitnessPal to keep tabs on myself. I'm not detracting for going over on calories right now, but it's a factor and needs to be watched.Success: Any day with no gluten is a success (x/42). Any week with 3 or fewer sweets is a success (x/6). Get back in the Saddle When you get thrown, you need to get back up and try again. I've been a pretty poor excuse for a PT patient. I don't do my exercises regularly or completely. I only have a few exercises to do, so they just need to be done. Actions: Do my physical therapy. Every. Day. No excuses. Success: Complete the exercises daily (x/42) Bonus: Do some additional "therapy" once a week - take a relaxing bath, get out of the house by myself, enjoy an alcoholic beverage to take the edge off, get a massage, etc. Side Quest: Herd the Cats Most days are so unorganized that I feel like I'm herding cats. I need to make a few easy changes to stay sane. Actions: Lay out kids' clothes the previous night. This makes things go smoothly in the morningMake a weekly meal list and have all ingredients on hand. This makes things go smoothly in the evening.Bonus: Do some kind of cleaning or a load of laundry 3 times per week. This will make for less work on the weekends.
  9. Here's a little back story: So, after a little over a year of paying attention (paleo diet, exercise, etc), I have gone from 198 lbs, to 133 lbs. However, I have had many recent changes in my life, and my personal goals have fallen to the wayside. I still stay active, do my "best" to make healthy choices, and log my food every day. I have also put my health to the back burner, and have been more lax with my diet. A recent bout of depression and the fact that I ended up losing my workout partner have simply compounded this. I had been eating bread (gasps), and have recently started breaking out into a rash/hives, and feeling generally crumby. I know that I have lost a decent amount of muscle tone, and I want to work on this, as well as being more loving to my body than I am lazy. I have figured out how to stay "thin" without trying to hard. It's time for that to stop. I do best when I challenge myself. I also know that the last time that I participated in one of these challenges, I simply set too many goals. Even though I championed most, I fell behind in a few others and beat myself up about it pretty horribly. All that in mind, I am going to set a few reasonable goals to get myself back on track. I have decided to go with a points based system, logging each day, and updating this at least once a week to keep on track. I will also measure once every two weeks to see my progress, and weigh at the beginning and end of the challenge. Food Nom-worthy Gluten free, and at very least an 80/20 ratio of healthy to nonsense - 10pts/wk Keep within 200 calories of food goal a day (I have a tendency to go too far under) - 10pts/wk Keep logging food like a champ - 10pts/wk _____________________ Exercise Goal 1 - Build muscle tone (100 push ups/day by end of challenge): Push up goals Week 1 - Do 25 , 2X/day @ least 5 days/wk - 25 points Week 2 - Do 30, 2X/day, @ least 5 days/wk - 30 points Week 3 - Do 35, 2X/day, @ least 5 days/wk- 35 points Point of no return (more than I have ever done before Week 4 - Do 40,2X/day, @ least 5 days/wk - 40 points Week 5 - Do 45,2X/day, @ least 5 days/wk - 45 points Week 5 - Do 50,2X/day, @ least 5 days/wk - 100 points_____________________ Goal 2 - Strengthen Core: Core Goals Week 1 - Plank 1X/day and post time - 15pts15 situps with 10 lb kettle bell - 15pts Week 2 - Plank 2X/day and post time - 15pts20 situps with 10 lb kettle bell - 15pts Week 3 - Plank 3X/day and time - post best time - 15pts25 situps with 10 lb kettle bell - 15pts Week 4 - Plank 4X/day - post best time - 15pts30 situps with 10 lb kettle bell - 15pts Week 5 - Plank 5X/day and time - post best time - 15pts35 situps with 10 lb kettle bell - 15pts Week 6 - Plank 6X/day and time - post best time - 15pts40 situps with 10 lb kettle bell - 15pts_____________________ Mind Goal 3 - Self Love:Flexibility Try a new yoga pose for meditation every week and post - 20 pts/wk _____________________ Rest Get at least 6 hours of sleep a night - + 5 bonus pts/day (this might be my biggest weakness, so I'm going to give myself more leniency, and chances for points... I get up crazy early, and am terrible about going to bed)_____________________ Scoring: 390 pts & Up- CELEBRATE YOUR BADASSEDNESS320-380 pts - CHAMPION250-310 pts - APPRENTICE>250 pts - QUITTER So after the first week, it would appear that I need to make some changes to my goals, as I am much more weak, and more out of shape than I would like to admit. I am modifying my goals to do this routine 5 days/wk instead of 6, as I need more time for my puny muscles to recover. I also need to modify the ammt of pushups I will be doing, as it appears I am farther behind on this than I would like to be. Make no mistake, I am still going to push towards 100/day by the end of this challenge, but initially, I am going to have to baby step this >_< Let's start off with my progress to date: ​​Week 1 YOGA POSE FOR THE WEEK: BRIDGE POSE DAY 1 (MON PM)2X 25 PU Tot PU= 502X 15 SU W KB39 SEC PLANK1X 15 LR, 1X 12LR1X 10 SQ, 1X 2 SQ W KBPOST HR = 98Pro: 104 cal under, 14% CarbsCon: Smoked 1 cig, 16 oz Coke Zero DAY 2 (TUES - PM)1X 14 PU, 1X 6 PU, 1X 5 PU1X 15 PU, 1X 6 PU, 1X 3 PU (To failure) Tot PU: 491X 16 SU, 1X 21 SU W KB30 SEC PLANK1X 15 LR, 1X 9 LR2X 15 SQ W KBPost HR: 98Pro: 116 cal under, 20% CarbsCon: 20 oz Diet Sunkist DAY 3 (WEDS)1X 15 PU, 3X 10 PU, 1X 5 PU(To failure) Tot PU: 502X 16 SU W KB53 SEC PLANK2X 10 LR2X 12 SQ W KBPost HR = 112(No pauses during circuits)Pro: 42 cal under, 14% CarbsCon: Smoked 2 cigs, 12 oz Coke ZeroBonus: Found allergen free low carb cookies for work munchies... Woot! DAY 4 (THURS)Day off to prevent injury (listen to your mother)Resting HR = 74Pro: 94 cal under, 17% carbsCon: 6ish oz Coke Zero, Fatigued​​ DAY 5 (FRI)Day off... SickResting HR = 85​​Pro: 16% carbsCon: Smoked 3 cigarettes, Sick (UTI) DAY 6 (SAT) - REST - FEVER33 SEC PLANK DAY 7 (SUN) - REST - FEVER30 SEC PLANK WEEK 2 DAY 8 (MON PM)2X 25 PU Tot PU= 502X 25 SU W KB39 SEC PLANK1X 20 LR, 1X 12LR2X 20 S W KBPOST HR = 128Pro: 96cal under, 20% CarbsCon: Smoked 2 cigs, 20 oz Monster Blue This week's score: (I am also giving myself 15 pts for pushups and sit-ups, as I did my very best and listened to my fitness obsessed mom and resting when I was really sick to avoid injury and allow myself to get better) Exercise = 30 pts Yoga = 20pts Sleep = 20 pts (Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun) This week's score = 70points I have decided that my emphasis is going to be consitency, and not how much I can do. I know at this point that the hardest part for me is getting started. While I did need to take at least two days off this past week in order to get better from a UTI and to let my muscles heal, I didn't necessarily even mean to take 3 off. The simple truth is, that while it may have benefited me in the long run, I recognize that this means that my routine is far from a habit. What I am going to strive for is creating this habit. I have decided to add 10 extra bonus points for each day that I get up early and work out in the morning before work. This is something that I have been "meaning to do" for a long time. However, as this means getting up at 5 when it's cold outside, I have been dragging my feet. My new goal for this week is to get up and do this in the morning, as I tend to have better workouts, and to establish this as a new habit.Whatever I cannot complete of my workout in the morning, I will be doing in the evening. Hopefully this will help me improve more quickly, and I will be better able to meet my original goals.
  10. Hello Everyone! I've tried over and over again to get healthy, fit, and happy. But Usually it lasts a few days, then I kind of slip into my old habits. Being in college, my life is pretty crazy but I know that is no excuse to be unhealthy and to make time to work out. Honestly, I'm basically writing this so I WILL follow through this time. I've started logging my food, watching my carb content and doing pushups, squats and wall sits when I have a few minutes to spare. Anyone have any suggestions for a crazy busy college student? I also have Celiac so that makes going Paleo a little easier, but all the gluten-free treats seem to be almost haunting me. Anyone have any advice? Thanks.
  11. Eeeeeekkkkk! New challenge, already one day over and I didn't notice - soooo..... COMPLETE PANIC! Stress stations! Total disorganisation..... But I'm due a challenge - there is gonna be some food stuff in here, there's going to be some flexibility stuff in here, some punching and kicking practise, and I need to learn my techniques for my next jujitsu grading. Hmmmmm, that looks like i'm doing all of the stuff. First week of challenge now = make realistic goals for the other 5 weeks. Get to the gym 3 x (running, BWBL3 workouts), yoga 2x, jujitsu 1x and kickboxing 1x. Must away to sleep so that I get up in time tomorrow morning.
  12. Name: Hammlin "Hammi" Race: Wood Elf | Class: Footpath Ranger Leader Level: 17 (STR):43.25 (DEX):36.25 (STA):29 (CON):30.25 (WIS):30.5 (CHA):24.25 Motivation: Pull myself out of the mud pit I feel stuck in and actually make progress on SOMETHING. Main Quest: I Wanna Get Better. (I didn’t know I was broken until I wanted to change) (July 28 to Sept 7) Missions: 1. Inches. I hate taking measurements. Hate it. But, I feel stalled, and I already don’t weigh myself, so I have no idea if I’m making progress. I will take measurements every other week and record gains or losses truthfully. Pass or Fail (+3 CHA) 2. Nutrition. I have spent the last year or so wandering between schools of thought for eating, some work well for me some don’t, but still I float along. Gluten free seems to be my minimum, dairy seems to jack with me (*with the exception of harder cheeses and Greek yogurt), and sugars before 2pm makes me cranky and ravenous. Each day will have 3 components: GF, DF*, SFB42 J 36-42 days = A 29-35 days = B 22-28 days = C 15-21 days = D 0-14 days = F (+4 WIS) 3. Clovers. My last PR of clovers, a November Project end of month workout (35 minutes doing as many loops as you can) I got 8 clovers. I would like to get at least 10 on August 27th. Progress will be made by regular attendance at NP, doing all the workouts, to get faster 10 Clovers = A 9 Clovers = B 8 Clovers = C 7 Clovers = D 6 Clovers = F (+4 STA) Life Quest: 4. Purge. It’s that time of year again- spring cleaning. Mr. Ham and I have accumulated more things, more than we should have, and so it is time to go through the house and clean it up. Zones include: my dresser, our master closet, small closet, guest closet, pantry. Final point for getting it all to the donation zone J 6 zones = A 5 zones = B 4 zones = C 3 zones = D 0-2 zones = F (+4 DEX) TRACKING My Story (challenge history): 1. Wandering across the mountain ranges of the west, I came upon another wood elf, who was running through the tree lined forest. I tried to keep up, because I knew he was waiting for me, but nothing I did would keep me at pace with him. Eventually I slowed, to catch my breath and I lost him. Dejected and worn out, I decided to dedicate my life to keeping up with this other elf... 2. Sneaking through the woods I can feel my senses getting sharper and I begin to wonder if the elf that I'm following, is actually following me... 3. Catching my breath I slow my run as I approach a clearing. Did I get lost? I don't know where I am and the elf I had been following has picked up the pace. My mind... it's jumbled up... my thoughts are foggy... I need to focus. I'll stay here for a while, find my center, and then continue on... 4. After pausing in the clearing to refocus, I see what looks like a beaten down path off to my right. Have I been here before? Walking up to the path, it looks familiar, but overgrown. I take out my sword and slowly start hacking away the brush that seems to have grown in over the years. Yes. THIS is my path. 5. Following the path for what seems like a lifetime I suddenly find myself at the tree lined edge of a beautiful meadow. The sun in the sky that is glaring down on me makes me realize something glorious- I have made it through the woods! Over the hill I see the elf that I have been tracking this whole time. He is napping… This is my chance!!! 6. Running up to the elf that I have been following for what seems like forever, I find myself out of breath. As I slow down and approach him, I see him slow down and turn to me. I don't know if he knows that I have been following him, but I can tell by the look in his eye that he's ok with this. As we start to wander the forest together we notice that things aren't quite as bright and cheery as they were months ago... something is wrong... 7. As we continue to approach the edge of the forest we can feel something bearing down on us. Picking up the pace we stay laser focused on getting out of here. The night has grown darker and the forest is eerily quiet. The wood elf and I look at each other and begin to run. I can tell that the time where we have to battle is near and we really need to stay focused... 8. Standing on the front line, victorious, I wonder "Now what?" I ponder with wise words of a foreigner who taught my people to stay motivated when they feel like they have arrived. The skills I have learned in the past keep me pushing forward. I move confidently north, to find new lands. And that other pesky elf can come with me… 9. On the north side of the valley I see something far away that I can’t take my eyes off of. It almost looks like the mountain side is glistening and the sun is dancing with the peaks. I fall into a trance, staring off into the distance, as if I'm under a spell. A few minutes later I am able to snap out of it, but the lingering desire to see who, or what, had a hold on me begins to push me forward. Is some powerful mage up in the hills, drawing people to him? Or is someone sending out a distress signal, begging for help. All I know is the allure of finding out what is in those hills is forcing me onward. We have mountains like these back home, but I am far from that place, and out of practice. It will take some time to traverse these mighty giants, but I have no choice but to start… 10. From the top of the mountain I can see everything. I have a level of clarity that I've not experienced before and it makes me take notice to my surroundings. I have an epiphany and realize that I need to race home to my family. They have no idea what’s in store! As quickly as I can I need to make my way back down the hill and back to my village… Part of the way down the hill I trip. When I catch myself I see that the sign in front of me has directions. I’m tired of being a follower in my own life. I need to go my own way. I turn on my heels and walk south. 11. Down in the city to the south I find myself in the camp and company of strangers. Although I’m not entirely sure that I can trust them, they seem safe enough. Maybe, I’ll hang back and just observe them and mind their ways. Something inside of me says that these people have information that may be valuable to me and my quest, and I am determined to get my hands on it. Knowledge is oddly alluring and very appealing to my senses… 12. As I spend weeks on end with these people, I start to sense a power coming over me. I am being changed from the inside out- is it sorcery? Magic? Am I evolving? All I know is that I need to stay the course. Over time, my memories start to fade. The days of running through the wilderness with the other elves feel miles away- as if they occurred a lifetime ago. Only the here and now makes sense. I have my plan. 13. The strangers have become less strange and more like family. It feels like I have finally returned to a place where I feel at home and at peace. When I look down I start to notice that my slender Elven legs have begun to take a form of something more resembling tree trunks. When I stand, I can't move quite as nimbly but I feel stronger than I ever was before. In the back of my mind I still remember that I am following something- the dragon... 14. As I wake with a start I feel strange. My heart is pounding out of my chest, and I can’t seem to calm myself down. I am in no condition to face the dragon. I need peace. 15. Relaxed and recharged I pull out my map. I haven’t looked at it in quite some time and it’s almost foreign to me. Over my shoulder I see that elf that I had chased so long. He’s back and there is a stranger comfort in knowing that. I turn back to the map and start down the trail. There is a point in the road where it splits off into three. I see on the map that all three get where I need to go, but one seems most logical. I start down that path… I must find the thing that haunts me. I run until I can't feel my legs and I burn all over. 16. The fire that consumed me begins to subside, but I am still feeling the after burn. I pull a map out of my pack and examine it for water. I tilt my head trying to make sense of the nearest body of water, but the letters suddenly look foreign to my elven eyes. I take some time to sit and focus- after a while it will come to me and I can find the cool liquid that will cool my legs and quench my thirst. I pick up my pack again and though it’s very heavy, I make towards my intended destination, swiftly and confidently. 17. All at once I am out of breath and lost. Again. I feel like I have been here before, if only I could figure out where “here” is. Things look familiar, but I still feel lost. Wildflowers, a stream, a beaten path. What the hell.
  13. Im facing the facts here: I hate the gym, I hate walking in to the gym and doing a bunch of the same exercises with my one gym buddy or going by self and awkwardly looking around thinking ok so what am I doing, when really all I want to do is Burpees and lunges and pull ups (which I know sounds a lot like crossfit but have you seen how much that shit cost) SO for the next 6 weeks My goals are simple 1. follow the 6 week work out plan that I have already pre made STR: 3 DEX: 3 STA: 3 2. Continue to eat well, Minimum sugar, no gluten or dairy and make sure to eat protein (im bad about eating protein), drink plenty of water and take vitamins COM:3 3. find time each week (preferably everyday) to detox all the stress that is accumulating in my body from opening a business, meditate, write, just relax WIS: 2 CHA:1 1. Every other day I will be doing a simple body weight based work out that I can do in my home that will take 30 - 45 minutes and is designed to work out my whole body but not leave me unable to walk the next day, Run every other day interval style to increase stamina. By the end of the 6 weeks my reps and mileage increase Every day I work out I get 8 points 2. Continue with no gluent and dairy and minimum sugar Drink kombucha a few times a week because it makes my belly happy and keep making tasty infused water because its super tasty and refershing and apparently it helps your body flush the fat you are burning in your work out, I dont know how much of that i believe but its fucking tasty http://skinnyms.com/fat-flushing-recipes-flush-fat-with-these-5-delicious-drinks/ Each day I do these things I get 8 points Every day I cook dinner at home I get an extra point My grading system is the simple 100 points at the end of the week means an A and 50 points means an F and you can fill in the middle I have a lot going on with work and the business so this challenge will be a challenge but because i took the time to map out what i need to do each day and I don't have to go anywhere to do it and I wont be running my body down with crazy amounts of squats or lifts I should have no excuse but to rock out at this! SO yay ALL THE YAY
  14. I basically went off of this recipe, but made some changes. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/fluffy-sweet-potato-biscuits-recipe.html 3/4 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (about 1 large sweet potato) 1/3 to 1/2 cup almond milk 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour, plus more for dusting (I'm sure it would also work with corn flour, spelt flour, or whatever other flours you wanted) 2 tablespoons honey/maple syrup/agave syrup 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits (you could totally use whatever fat/oil you wanted) A few tablespoons of polenta/cornmeal for the pan Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/fluffy-sweet-potato-biscuits-recipe.html?oc=linkback Step one: Microwave potato. Step two: Cooked potato and 1/3 c of milk in a food processor, then everything else in a food processor. Sprinkle the pan with corn flour and drop the batter onto it. I made 8 pretty big biscuits Bake, 15 minutes 175C or 350F
  15. 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)*
  16. So this is based on a recipe from an amazing Vietnamese cook book I have. It's all 'home food' that this guy makes. I've gone with that recipe and added. I have no idea if fish sauce is paleo. It is! I just looked it up. http://thepaleolist.com/2013/11/15/is-fish-sauce-paleo/ In Vietnam, this is a dish to eat any time, other than breakfast. I ate it with rice noodles, on toast, on it's own....it's just basically a twist on scrambled eggs. Eggs (.5 of a teaspoon for each egg for the next two things) fish sauce palm sugar/brown sugar/agave syrup (or leave it out, but it does add a certain something) A portion of ground pork or chicken (I've used both) corn starch (.5 teaspoon for each 1/4 cup) tiny cut up vegetables, I used thinly sliced baby corn and it was bomb, but you basically want it to be able to fry until it's a bit crispy (however much you want) Mix the meat up with a splash or three of fish sauce and the cornstarch (or omit, but it helps it brown) and then fry until it's pretty crispy, remove from pan Fry up the veg until pretty crispy then add the meat back in. Crack up the eggs and whisk, adding the sugar and fish sauce and then add to the pan in a layer. It's kind of omlette like? Or scramble it. It's going to taste the same! Let me know what you think!
  17. 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
  18. Why yes, yes they are. That being said, what the hell am I doing? Relaxation and Recovery are NOT my strong points, so it could be argued that I never stop "doing something", and that may be true, but why do I never "feel" like I do anything??? Perhaps because I don't "do" what is important to me. Why not? you ask. That IS the question. I have said before and I will say it again, I feel like my life is nothing but a series of chaotic events that I just manage, rather than actually living and enjoying my life...and I am starting to REALLY hate that. So, the ever present question in my head is "What do I enjoy?" and I have a few answers, and some of the realizations I have come to, aren't very pleasant, because well, I am not really a princess as much as i want to be...so I have to live in a world not structured for be to be a princess...and that is not how I like it! So...what do I enjoy: 1. Yoga (but I have realized that in order to "do" yoga, I need the perfect surrounding space...which makes me not "do" it.) 2. Reading 3. Cleaning and organizing and decorating my house (but I can't get the process started on my own...stupid Executive Functioning!!! grrrr! so I never actually do it either) 4. Climbing, jumping, running, generally acting like a child outdoors (I don't ever do this either, because I'm afraid of hurting myself mostly, and trying to get someone to do it with me is like pulling teeth around here and I don't like going alone, so I dont do this either) 5. the beach 6. Quiet (which is more of a need than a want, but I have teenagers, so you can imagine how much I get of it) 7. Cold weather (and I live in Florida...grrrrr) 8. Not having to worry about money (hahahahahahaha like this EVER happens ) 9. Helping people 10. Games (video, computer, board games etc.) 11. Making things colorful (decorating them, coloring them, crafts...whatever, I love looking around me and seeing lots of color) 12. Learning new things (which I am not sure why I shy away from this so much...fear of failure is the only thing I can guess, because I really love learning in general) So, my challenge goals are going to be to actually DO some things I enjoy, and not make excuses. The last time I did anything fun outdoors was when I was doing challenges for BL 1.0, and that seems like a lifetime ago, and i can't really do much physically at the moment anyway bc of my recent surgery...so those will have to wait. I am going to participate in BL 3.0 but it's not going to be part of my challenge this time. Probably next time for sure since it usually goes for more than one challenge round. Challenge Goal #1: Cleaning, Organizing and Decorating: Make a PvS (or PvP if anyone is interested) for doing Flylady daily routines, missions and zone work. and settle definitively on what I want as far as decor changes (I need new curtains and bedroom stuff mainly). I get a rainbow sticker for doing this everyday before 9pm. Challenge Goal #2: Quiet Time: Do the Mediations from the Mat and finish up the WoT series and use my earplugs in the house ALL the time if I need to. Spend 10 minutes after my breathing doing the Meditations, and just read before bed like I have been doing. I get a star sticker for the doing the meditations. Challenge Goal #3: Helping People: I have really been slacking on my Ambassador duties around here, granted I had a good reason, but it doesn't make me feel good to have committed to doing something and then not done it. I have done the same thing with my son's Scout troop and both make me feel terrible about myself. So I am going to go to his Scout meetings every week during this challenge and take on the training coordinator role that I have been assigned, and I am going to spend no less than 30 minutes, 3 days per week here helping out new and potential Druids. Challenge Goal #4: Learn something new: I need to learn how to do the various yoga breathing techniques correctly...and I really have put it off, because I don't ever feel like I'm "doing it right" and so I just quit...but I can't practice any asana right now, but I can damn sure sit on my mat and breathe...so I am going to spend 10 minutes a day just learning to breathe. I get a big smiley sticker for doing my breathing.
  19. Who knew Princesses weren't born with immunity to all harmful illness or disease? I certainly didn't. So enters the emergency surgery for an obstructed bowel that decided to come around on my break between challenges. Although, to be fair, my several weeks of discomfort in the last challenge's end were clearly indicative had I done something about them sooner. So here I am post surgery and another challenge has begun, clearly there will be no fitness goals to speak of, other than increase activity gradually as tolerated. But the diet...ohhhh the diet! After no food for 9 days, it seems logical to only reintroduce things I am trying to eat, rather than things I will have to cut out later. My body makes life easy for me like that! So we have diet goals, rest goals, continue the reading goal. All starting once I get home from the hospital. Challenge Goal Recap: 1. No gluten, dairy, sugar, allergens or artificial ingredients in my diet...and KEEP IT THAT WAY! 2. Menu planning and cooking for said diet to cement changes for harder times. 3. Firm Bedtime of 10pm 4. Read Book 8 "The Path of Daggers" and continue "Meditations from The Mat"
  20. Hey guys! So after bailing on the last two weeks of the previous challenge, I'm back! I'm glad to be here with the Rangers again, I just loved the mini missions last challenge Motivation/Life Quest: I've had a really rough time the past 4-ish months due to a death in the family. I've been letting myself go because of it, making excuses to not do anything, and basically just moping around. I know this is normal, but I need to stop throwing myself a pity party with a pizza every time I get upset. I need to take care of myself. This is a big portion of my "life" side mission, and part of my overall life quest. I need to value my health and myself in general more, I want to take pride in my life and how I eat and live. I shouldn't want to have a clean apartment so I'm not embarassed when I have guests. I should want a clean apartment because when I wake up to a clean apartment I'm happier. Why should I not value this happiness and make myself happier each morning with just a few quick cleaning sessions? My other main mission has been the same for a while... I want to get my back walkover back! I used to be able to do it... now I can't. I'm working on it. I got a wall handstand last challenge, and a backbend the challenge before that.... this challenge I'll be building more specifically towards a backwalkover progression. Main Missions: Be strong! I will strength train twice a week. One of these will be the ABWW, the other will be some heavy lifting. Same dumbbell olympic lifts I started working on last challenge. I can get a max of 3 +STR, and it is based on percentage of workouts completed gets me that percentage of 3 possible points, rounded to the nearest 0.25 points. Be Relaxed! Two yoga or cardio sessions a week. Both of these things help me relax in different ways, depending on my stress level (running helps relieve angry stress, yoga helps relieve sad stress). So I'll pick depending on my mood and get two sessions of one or the other done twice a week. Points are a possible +3 STA, same as above, based on percentage of level of effort. Be Bendy! Back walkover progression exercises 3 times a week. These can be quick 5 minute things tacked onto the end of another work out, or their own thing before I go to bed or when I wake up. I'll be doing rocking back bends and walking up the wall while in a backbend and eventually kicking over. 3 points of DEX. Same award system as above. Diet Side Mission: Eat Cleanly Eat whole food based, gluten free & cheese free. Cheese makes my tummy go ow. And I've discovered gluten makes me feel really bloated and lethargic by cutting it out for the most part last challenge. So I'm moving forward with this and going to try to go all the way these next weeks. Possible +3 CON. Same percentage points based on number of meals following these restrictions. Lift Side Mission: Take Pride in Myself & My Surroundings This ones kind of complicated. Basically, I want to do each of the following each weekday day to increase my pride, and happiness in myself and my surroundings: --Fly Lady Daily Mission --Scoop Cat Litter --Swish & Swipe Bathroom --Prep Breakfast & Lunch for the next day --Brush AND FLOSS my teeth --Wash my face before I go to bed --Moisturize before I go to bed. My face & my body. And here's my spreadsheet for the challenge with points broken up and pre-calculated as I fill it in over the challenge: *Notes* Since I'm starting this late, and my whole life if kind of a wreck (I need to go massively grocery shopping, set up a meal plan and get the mounds of clothes and shopping bags off my floor), I am using the remainder of this first week to get to base zero. Next week I will start really doing everything I listed above, and I will extend the challenge into the extra week between challenges. I will post every day here this week to say how I worked towards getting back into the swing of things though, so I won't just be slacking off this week! Anyway, it feels great to be back. And I can't wait to go catch up on everyones threads
  21. Ok kids....I'm early, but I'm planning on spending the better part of this next year (at least...it may turn into a much longer stay, even permanent residence) in the Druid forest, so I figured now was as good a time as any. My name is Bekah and I am not new to the Rebellion, and I am a special type of Druid, but they have wayyy too much shiny stuff over in the Assassin's camp and I need to get and keep my core focus before I branch out again. What is my core focus, you ask? Getting my yoga practice consistent and getting this weight off once and for all, and keep reading, because I love it. That's it and that's all. Simple, easy, straightforward...it works for me that way. I love to overcomplicate stuff until I do nothing at all, but no more of that. No challenge grades, no Stat points, nothing except leveling up each challenge. I LOVE Ashtanga Yoga, although there are no local classes here, so I am on my own, but I'm okay with that mostly. My plan is just to work my way through the Primary Series and get to the point where daily practice is second nature. I am also going to do daily meditation for 10 minutes, using the book Meditations from the Mat and I'm going to have a calendar with star stickers as my way of keeping track of my practice days, and will post photos of said calendar. As for the weight loss: No Gluten, Dairy or Allergens and stay Feingold.I am also going to eliminate sugar using the program in the book Your Last Diet This makes the weight fall off and stay gone, it's just not easy. I am also going to participate in the Biggest Loser 3.0 started by AlienJenn when it begins, and that is it. No other goals, no more detailed plans. I will also be keeping track of this in my planner using smiley face stickers. Keep it Simple Silly! My plans for reading include finishing the Wheel of Time Series and then finding a comprehensive list of the classical works in literature and reading those. Challenge Goal Recap: 1. Read "Your Last Diet" book and eat breakfast with protein daily until it becomes habitual. (Step One in the book) Keep track of breakfasts eaten daily by smiley stickers in my planner. 2. Practice Surya Namaskara A and Closing Sequence and Savasana every day except Saturdays, Moon Days and Girlie Holidays and Do 10 minutes of meditation folowing Savasana using the Meditations from the Mat book entry for that day. Keep track of practice days (or meditation on non practice days) by star stickers in my planner. 3. Finish Reading "Lord of Chaos" (Book 6) and start on "A Crown of Swords" (Book 7).
  22. Hey everyone, This is my fourth challenge. My bigger goal is body recomposition -- burning fat and adding muscle. I'm an overweight noob so at least I get linear gains still. In the past I've done the usual, workout 3x a week, eat these macronutrient ratios, fix form, blah, blah, blah. These are ongoing battles that I feel require more experimentation, and I'm learning a lot of complicated stuff trying to figure out the best plan for me. If you're curious about that struggle or my latest crazy experiment, go here. In the meantime, for the challenge I will be focusing on some other small habits to help with the recomp journey and improve my exercise and overall health. Goal 1: Cutting down on gluten and dairy Much to own chagrin, my diet is getting more paleo-esque. But, I will remind everyone here that the reasoning behind it is a gimmick based on a very shallow and narrow interpretation of evolutionary biology, genetics, and anthropology -- and yes, Darwins_Demon is getting his PhD in evolutionary genetics so he knows what he's talking about. That said, such diets do benefit some people, I'm always up for an experiment, and based on personal I experience I will benefit from cutting some dairy and gluten from my diet. I'm not giving up gluten wholesale, but just a few of the main sources of it in my diet -- wheat and barley. For me this means giving up bread, pasta, cereal (grape nuts usually), and beer for the most part. I already get at least half of my carbs from rice, potatoes, and fruit. Oats will still be allowed -- they contain gluten but not much, and even most people with coeliac disease can handle them. Rye? I don't eat it much, but I don't know how it compares. I had spelt once or twice, but that was an anomally -- what else? No dairy... except whey protein... my issue if any is with the lactose, not the protein. But I'm cutting the cheese, yogurt, and butter... these I'm usually fine with, but they add a lot of unnecessary fat to my diet, and they are kind of expensive. Edit: I've decided that avoiding wheat and barley is enough for one challenge. Maybe I'll take on dairy at a later time. Grading: 1 point for each day without consuming wheat or barley in some form, 1 point for each day without dairy (except whey). Goal 2: Stretching and Mobility I am going to spend 20 mins on rest days dedicated to stretching and mobility work, and 10 mins at the end of each workout. Mobility will target my hip flexors, ankles, and shoulders especially. Edit: I'm going to increase my workout frequency to 5 days a week. Each of those five days will include 10 mins. of mobility and recovery work. I can supplement on my two off days as I see fit. I've got my foam roller already. And a tiger tail is coming in the mail soon. Grading: 1 point for each session of stretching and mobility work. Goal 3: Daily exercise breaks at work Exercise 5 days a week. I work at a computer at least 8 hours a day. I'm in the last year or so of my PhD so I'll be putting even more, 10+, hours a day to finish. While I usually have a 20-25 min walk to and from work, that's not enough and I need to break the stagnant nature of my body and elevate my heart rate during the day. Thus, I will take at least 3 exercise breaks per day. Edit: I will exercise 5 days a week. Sun, Tues, and Thurs. will be for strength training. Mon. and Wed. will be for circuit/cardio training. I prefer weight circuits, but I can take it easy with some light jogging, walking, or cycling if I'm too sore from strength days. Each break will be 2 min dedicated to exercise. On rest days I can opt for mobility or a stretch of some kind. E.g. pushups for 2 min, 2 min of tabata KB Swings, 2 min plank etc. I'll also get a bonus point for finding new random opportunities to add exercise to my routine, like finding a new hill to walk over, or a stairwell, or some other obstacle. Maybe I'll eventually get a bit more assassin-like and do some half-assed parkour on my way to work. Also, I have bought a 25 lbs. kettlebell that I plan to carry around in my backpack. Then I also have something to do KB swings and rows with during my exercise breaks at work. Grading: 1 point for each workout. exercise break, up to three per day. Edit: Mini Goal: Knowledge is POISON! I need to stop reading all different things about diet and exercise right now. It makes me want to keep changing things up. I need to find what works and stick to it. No new additions to my routine. No switches in diet from here on. No more books, websites. Just ignore everything and stay on track. Life Goal: Get my dissertation outlined, and papers too As mentioned above, I am trying to finish a PhD this year. I need to have a detailed outline for my dissertation chapters, and three publishable papers by the end of this challenge. I was supposed to do this during last semester and put it off till now. Three chapters, plus three papers equals six. I'll shoot for one a week... but I will ultimately get one point for each relatively well-thought-out, detailed outline I have by the end of the challenge. I might do partials. Grading: A = 6, B = 5, C = 4, D = 3, F = 2 or less pts. MUSCLE OF THE DAY! For rewarding those who follow and our mutual entertainment and education... Each day, M-F, I'll post information on a muscle found on the human body. This will include, if possible: common name, anatomical name, exercises that work it, fun facts...
  23. Hello Druids! I'm joining you after some rough (read failed) challenges with the Adventurers and a one challenge break. I needed that time to clear my head and refocus, and I've determined that it is time to make some life changes that I have long put off due to fear. These changes most closely align me with the druids, so I wanted to join you as I start a fresh new challege, this time without fear. 1. Swim 3 times a week. I love the water and swimming is very peaceful and healing for me. My goal this challenge is to go to a lap swim 3 times a week. 2. Do my yoga and meditations daily. I usually do well with daily meditations, but I need to do more yoga to add strength, balance, and flexibility to my body as well as my soul. 3. Switch over to full vegetarian and gluten free. This is where the fear lies. I've skirted around this with my family for a while trying to dodge meat dishes without hurting their feeling and inevitably being guilted into eating it anyway. Part of this will be firmly telling my family that I am a vegetarian, and to not be insulted if I don't eat everything they offer. 4. Smoothie fun! This will be a fun part. I should have some kind of blended beverage everyday, and for fun I should photograph them. I'll have to be creative to give a variety of images (so you guys don't get bored). I look forward to doing this challenge will the druids and becoming a member of your community!
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