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  1. Continuing the war against my quarter life/existential-y type crisis thing. My success last challenge resulted in a not so anxious Hermy. Life... might be okay. All might not be lost. Next battle! Onward! Goal 1: Volunteer Last challenge I had a really hard time finding anything to do that fit with my schedule. Goal is keep looking - pick something - do as much as possible. Grading: Subjective, up to 4 points - split between WIS and CHA. Goal 2: Socialize I did really well with this last challenge, but my first instinct is still to hermit. Goal is get out there an be social but not let this monopolize my free time (see goal 1). Areas of concentration/priorities: - NF meetups - Hang with friends - Meetup dot com gathering(s) Grading: 3 points possible - 1 point for every 2 friendly like activities - applied to CON. Goal 3: Eat I'm in a really weird/not good head space regarding diet right now. That kind of happens when I cut or restrict pretty much anything for too long. I need to step back and evaluate - focus on figuring out where the "too long" line is. Reset self and sanity, then attack with new plan. Actual goal is to Eat. The. Food. Do not intentionally restrict. Do not go crazy either. Just try to remember not to eat like an asshole most of the time. Goal: Don't eat like an asshole. Eat enough to fuel the workout. Don't let the guilt of eating mess with the head. Grading: Subjective up to 2 points applied to CON and/or WIS Goal 4: Lift Heavy, Run Far Last year at this time I fractured my foot - some may recall that fun. Before the fracture, my aerobic and endurance base was pretty damn good. Since the healing of the fracture, it's pretty much gone (use it or lose it, guys). I've had a hankering for some running (no, seriously, I don't even know who I am) and decided to do Couch to 5K as an easy-ish program that will force me out for runs (as opposed to me just saying, "Hey, I'll do some runnin'"). So, new workout plan is roughly: Sun - run Mon - rest Tues - lift Wed - run Thurs- lift Fri - run/yoga Sat - lift (and you see why I need to EAT) Goal A: JDTFPBLTMB - follow all my programming (lifting and over all fitness) but listen to my body - if it gets too much, scale back, take a day, whatever I need. Goal B: Add 10 pounds to my squat (had to drop the weight to get used to HB again, so time to rebuild). Run. Goal C: Recovery - Get to sleep on time, no matter how good my book is. Take at least 1 epsom soak per week. SMR my ass off (my quads are taking quite the beating with the squats and running) Grading: Goal A - 1 point - pass or fail, applied to WIS. Goal B - 1 point for every 5 pounds added up to 2 points, applied to STR, 1 point for the running, applied to DEX. Goal C - 2 points, subjective, applied to CON
  2. “Examine your world from all angles and you will see the interconnectedness of all things. Even that which is humble can be the key to greater things.†– The Lion of Two Rivers Last challenge, I began the journey to learn how to love my body for what it is, right now. The battle is far from over, but once upon a time, when I first joined Nerd Fitness, I actually started to like how I looked, so I decided to go back to when I feel I was the most successful at these 6-week challenges from a body image standpoint and have recycled old quests from my first two challenges. Because while learning to love myself is largely a mental and emotional challenge, as a sufferer of depression and ADHD there is most certainly a physical component as well that affects my mental and emotional states, and vice versa. Everything is connected, and through this connectedness, I can find happiness. Wu the Lotus Blossom is my home girl (and someday, I’d love to cosplay her!) MAIN QUEST: Love my body and love myself! Because poor body image issues and low self-esteem are a pain in the ass. QUEST 1: MIND: REMEMBER THE BASICS [+5 CON] Eating is 90% of the battle, and I’m all about making sure I eat smarter. Last challenge, I focused on taking control of my mindless snacking, which was a definite success for the most part; this challenge, I want to revisit calorie counting and macro management and utilize the IIFYM practice, at least until I get to the measurements I want, in which case I will reevaluate. Whether or not that happens this challenge, we’ll see; I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. In the meantime, 6x/week, I will be sure to eat between 1430-1787 calories (gross) daily. If I burn more than 500 calories in exercise, I will allow myself up to 2000 calories in total. I will also track my macros (target: 150g carbs/98g protein/49g fat), but it will not be part of my grading just yet, if at all this challenge. I will reevaluate every week to see if any of these numbers need to be tweaked any, and so the exact numbers will be subject to change based on lessons learned. A = 6x/week | B = 4-5x/week | C = 3x/week | D = 1-2x/week | F = 0x/week I will, of course, strive to make this a 7x/week goal, but I'm giving myself some leeway in case of Life. That said, I don't want to fall back into a "Well, I managed it for Monday through Saturday, I can take Sunday off!" mindset because there has only been problems with that approach for me. So, if I manage to eat within calorie limits for all seven days of the week, I will put $10 towards the bonus gift at the end of the challenge. QUEST 2: BODY: WAY OF THE CLOSED FIST [+3 STA, +1 STR, +1 DEX] Throughout the course of the next 6 weeks, I will be running in four races, which while I know I can finish them, I want to make a strong showing. That said, I don’t want to let up on my other training in dance and bodyweight strength training, but I know that considering my life, I can’t do it all. So, I will commit to running 3x/week and other workout (strength and/or dance) 2x/week. If I can do more, I’ll certainly try, but I won’t hold myself to it. Dancing during rehearsals, if the total time spent on choreography is over 30 minutes, WILL count. Also, Week 6, in lieu of tech week for Cabaret, will be exempt from this quest because I literally won't have any time between work and rehearsals and whatever little sleep I actually get, and any spare time I do find will likely just be resting. Running: A = 3x/week | B = 2x/week | C = 1x/week | F = 0x/week Strength/Dance: A = 2x/week | C = 1x/week | F = 0x/week If in any given week I manage to dance 2x/week and strength train 2x/week, I will give myself $25 towards the bonus gift at the end of the challenge. If I don't do the ideal but manage to do strength/dance more than twice in a week, it'll be $5 per extra workout. That said, dancing for Cabaret rehearsals will have a max limit of 2x/week; if I want extra dance points, it needs to be outside of rehearsal. Working on choreography outside of rehearsals will count, though. During Week 6, aside from the race I'm running that week, any workouts I do that isn't part of the show's dancing (practicing choreography on my own outside of rehearsal will count, but if it's during a run-through or part of the rehearsal itself, it will not count because that's just cheating) will merit me an extra $5 per workout. QUEST 3: SPIRIT: WAY OF THE OPEN PALM [+3 DEX] Of all physical skills to let slide while in rehearsals, this is the one that will take the hardest and longest time to recover from, plus flexibility will make all sorts of things easier from a physical, a health, and a performance standpoint. 3x/week, I will dedicated 10-15 minutes to flexibility work be it long and deep stretches, splits work, yoga, what have you. Also note that for Week 6, this quest will not be exempt and the challenge will then become about fitting in long, deep stretches prior to rehearsals/performances. A = 3x/week | B = 2x/week | C = 1x/week | F = 0x/week LIFE QUEST: EXPLORE THE JADE EMPIRE [+1 WIS, +1 CHA] Once a week, I will endeavor to try something new. These can be big things like going someplace I’ve never been before or trying a new activity, or small things like trying a new recipe or new exercise/yoga pose or what have you. As long as it’s something I’ve never done/tried before or someplace I’ve never been before, it counts! Alternatively, something that maybe I’ve done/tried a long time ago, failed, and have been too scared to try again, will also count. The more outside of my comfort zone, the better! Any new exercises/yoga poses done during mini challenges will not count towards this quest because that's cheating. Pass/Fail; there is no middle ground BONUS QUEST: 100 Days of Happiness! I started this at the end of last challenge and would like to use Nerd Fitness as motivation to keep it up. From May 23 – August 31 (for a total of 100 days) I want to have one image to describe what made me happy that day, or if nothing in particular made me happy or if I had a bad day, an image showing what makes me happy in my life. Ideally, I will take the picture myself, but there are days when it won’t be possible so I’ll use a stock photo or pull something from the Internet instead. I will include these in each of my daily updates. No grading or stat points included. This is just for fun. SUMMARY: Quest 1: Eat according to IIFYM 6x/week. Quest 2: Run 3x/week, Strength/Dance 2x/week at minimum Quest 3: Deep flexibility work 3x/week Life Quest: Do something new/scary 1x/week STAT POINT DISTRIBUTION: +1 STR | +4 DEX | +3 STA | +5 CON | +1 WIS | +1 CHA WEEKLY RECAPS Day Zero | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Challenge Complete! MINI CHALLENGES Day Zero AMRAPs: Assisted Dips: 9 Assisted Pull-ups: 6 Assisted Pistol Squats: 4 Hanging Knee Raises: 1 5 Current AMRAPs: Assisted Dips: 20 Assisted Pull-ups: 11 Assisted Pistol Squats: 15 Hanging Knee Raises: 13 +1 STA Earned! +1 STR Earned! +1 DEX Earned! REWARDS! I haven’t utilized rewards in a while mostly since it was too hard and stressful coming up with a suitable/realistic reward system. This time, for Reasons, I have some rewards that I want, to look forward to, and that I can’t justify spending money on since I’m trying to tighten up my finances in lieu of the Cancun vacation in August (all paid for, but I’m saving up money for surprise extra costs that might pop up), possibly moving this autumn (because we’re considering adopting a puppy, and a third floor apartment just won’t cut it, plus we are So Over the crap parking situation at our current place), and a relatively last minute surprise Japan trip around New Year's (that I'm already needing to dip into my savings account to be able to pay for). Stacking rewards! A-average = Professional massage/spa day B-average = New swimsuit for Cancun trip C-average = Buy a thing (less than $25) at Charming Charlie’s (preemptively purchased, whoops!) Bonus Gift! The money I earned for going above and beyond the Quests 1 and 2 minimums will be used towards extracurricular (read: unnecessary but desired) extra costs in Cancun, such as drinks, souvenirs, touristy things, etc. Week One Earned: $70 Week Two Earned: $100 Week Three Earned: $75 Week Four Earned: Starting Measurements and Photos: Waist @ Narrowest: 26.75" (Goal: 24") Waist @ Navel: 30" Hips: 35" WHR: 0.76 (Goal: Maintain between 0.75-0.80) Chest: 31" Bicep: 9.5" Thigh: 20.5" Calf: 14.25" Neck: 12" Wrist: 5.5"
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