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  1. I think I may have done a Harry Potter themed challenge semi-recently BUT I'm doing it again because I have a dance performance coming up and it's to Hedwigs Theme so I'm feeling pretty Hogwarts inspired right now However since I probably exhausted all the good old fashioned Potter gifs in my challenge a few months ago, this challenge will be hilarious and no-good HP gif themed. #sorrynotsorry Yeah we will see how long this lasts. Some background on me - my two main pursuits are powerlifting and ballroom dancing. Powerlifting I've been doing for a long while now and ballroom dancing I just got into back in December. I did ballet for 15 years when I was growing up so dance isn't super foreign to me but ballroom is SO FREAKIN' different and it's been 13 years since I've danced at all so it's definitely a challenge. I've actually got my first ever competition coming up in September (AHHHHHHHH), even though it's a super friendly not serious between some studios competition and not like... a real one. I did something similar with a performance team back in March but this one it will be just me doing a showcase (it's the Hedwig's theme dance I am basing this challenge around mentioned above). I'm ascared. But also still pretty darn excited. Lifting wise I've been more or less doing as a maintenance activity but the past 2 weeks I've been starting to step my game up again because I want to be stronger and I am finally feeling I am in a place where my body is used to how much dancing I am doing and it won't exhaust me. So far so good. As far as my challenge goes I usually end up using them kind of as a glorified battle log but I here are some goals anyway: Goal 1: Clean Fly Lady Daily Tasks 5x/week Last challenge I mostly focused on decluttering and making my apartment presentable and I succeeded! I have had people over semi-regularly and don't feel a wave of nausea inducing panic anymore at the thought of house guests. My first goal this challenge will be to maintain this as the status-quo. Honestly, I've been trying to do the Fly Lady thing for 3-ish years but I've never had a good baseline to go off of and it always just feels so overwhelming. Now that I've got a clean baseline apartment I feel like I can *gasp* actually do some maintenance cleaning?!?!?!? Should be interesting. Goal 2: Lift Strength workout 3x/week I have generally failed every darn time I tried to re-up my strength training from 2 to 3 days a week over the last few months and I think it was because I was still adjusting to my new dance schedule. The last few weeks I've been actually doing it super successfully and feeling pretty great about it so I want to keep this up. Goal 3: Dance Private lesson 1x/week I probably don't need to make this a goal because I'm going to do it anyway, but it's an easy win and I want an excuse to talk about it so there you go. So there you have it, a few days late but what are you gonna do. Time to do the thing!
  2. (yeah I know that title sounds real intense and then it's just a cartoon hahah - bait and switch!) Background: For those just joining - I'm Raxie! This will be my 33rd challenge here. I recently got really into ballroom dancing and have been focusing a lot on that, but my other love is lifting. I have three kitties that I love dearly and I have a severe case of RangerBrain(TM). So! I really love how I set up my last challenge where I went hard on the goals, but also gave myself a lot of cushion to fall back on if I needed it. I ended up really needing that cushion in the last week, and that's fine! I passed, and I had a high bar that was quite ambitious that inspired me throughout the challenge. This challenge I am going to do kind of the opposite. I am going to set up some really rigid rules that are simple and not too ambitious... but I'm not going to give myself much leeway in terms of a grab bag of freebies. I find jumping back and forth between these two approaches has really helped me up my game slowly over time and I love it! Part of my problem with a lot of my goals in the past is I have an x times/week goal and I'll push it off and try to squish it all in towards the end of the week, but then it's the weekend and then I either don't do it or rush it. This time around I'm going to assign specific tasks to specific weekdays. If I don't do them, I can't "make them up" later. I just didn't do it, move on and I will do the task for the next week day. AND THAT'S OKAY. My inspiration for this challenge is Rick and Morty's Get Schwifty song -- two of the most inappropriate non-musically talented people on the planet went for it and created a song that won an intergalactic song contest, saving the earth from certain doom. If they can do that... my sometimes uncoordinated self can certainly go out on a limb and do The Scary Thing that is different dance styles and start competing in the future! (OK so that's a stretch - real talk I actually I don't have a theme that relates to my goals for this challenge and just wanted to throw some Rick and Morty gifs around because I love that show.) Big Picture Stuffs: I will be dancing. A lot. My goal is to do a non-group competition before the end of the year. That may be under ambitious but knowing me and my imposter syndrome that line in the sand needs to at least be drawn somewhere. As long as that line is there I could be convinced to move it to sooner, but I want to have it far enough away for now that I don't feel like I need to push it back if that makes sense. I want to focus on Foxtrot, Jive and a yet-to-be-determined Latin dance (I'm thinking maybe Rumba because it's so darn pretty). I will also continue to lift because I love it so. I re-started the beginner Strong Lifts progression for my OHP and Rows last challenge since I've been not doing them, the other lifts (DLs, Squats, Bench) I'm in intermediate Strong Lifts, but I'm shopping around for a more progressive intermediate program that I'll probably move on to either this challenge or the next. ROMWOD has become my backbone throughout the last two challenges and I will keep on keepin' on with that as well. Cleaning. Ugh. My eternal enemy. I feel like I would be the perfect adult and have my life together SO HARD if I could just keep my freakin' place clean! Why won't it just stay clean?! I am going to go full Fly Lady this challenge in terms of daily tasks so I have more of a direction in my cleaning, since last challenge I feel like I cleaned every day but nothing really... got done. Food. I've been eating kind of boarderline bad lately. I was away a bunch last week and am feeling I need to be more accountable about it, so I'm thinking I will report every day what I eat. No calorie counting, no paleo-compliance, I've just got to say here what I ate. That's it. The accountability will inspire me more than trying to meet macros and probably forcing "compliance" upon something that I know I'm just trying to game a system with. Goals: Under the spoiler is my "skeleton schedule" that is my baseline. Each Monday I will post a slightly altered schedule based on travel or volunteer meetings I may have to skip stuff for (I'm traveling almost every weekend this challenge so that will probably be the biggest struggle for sure). Grading: Points for each week will be out of 14 - basically each day I did the things I said I'd do I get a point, and each day I report what I ate I get a point for a total of 2 possible points a day. At the end of the challenge I need to have accumulated at least 55 points out of a possible 70 to pass! I'll be starting now, in week zero. Let's do this thing!
  3. Considering that my user name is a Doctor Who reference, and that it is one of my most intense nerdoms (I’ve seen almost every episode of the old doctors 1-8 from 1963 and on, even sat through some horrible animated and audio recovered versions of the “lost” episodes) I was shocked to realize that I’ve somehow never done a full up Doctor Who challenge since I joined in 2013?! I think I subconsciously wasn’t ready to do something so close to my heart and have the chance to screw it up, so a few times I’ve considered it and said to myself “next challenge” or “oh I’ll have to put more thought into that before going forward with it”. Well you know what? It’s time. After a couple of taking-it-easy challenges ramping back up from taking a while off last year for my wedding planning, wedding itself, and honey moon, I’m ready. Last challenge was the most successful I’ve had in a really long time, and I have recently discovered a new love (ballroom dance) and started really diving into it, and am ready to ramp it up to full gear. I’ve got my sonic and I’m ready to travel time and space and get. shit. done. So as still not to dive in too quickly, because I've learned my lesson there, I’ll be ramping up my goals all through the challenge, each week I will face off against a new Doctor Who enemy alongside a different regeneration of the Doctor. By the end of the five weeks (I’m starting this week in zero week!) I’ll be all up to speed in All The Things. Well, not all the things because I’ll still be focusing on dance and lifting (continuing to suppress the Ranger Brain and not add other things in like a nut job) but I’ll be diving in HARD. I’m also going to go back to lifting 3x/week and give up doing barre once a week. I wanted to do it to get posture work in, but I’ll just add in more core-type accessories to my lifting days instead. I miss it too much. So without further ado, I present Raxie’s Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Challenge!
  4. Main Quest: Foundation Building This one has turned into pretty much a short-term Epic Quest. I'm still working on shelter. I figured out a [constantly-evolving] weekly chore list in the previous challenge, which I will keep adding to. I am thinking timelines and scheduling should be the main focus this time to ensure that they get done. Chore List: Laundry - Wednesday and Saturday morning Dishes - Wednesday and Saturday morning Sweep and dust once a week Grocery and cooking once a week Taking out the dogs once a day Trash once a week Junk mail/email once a week Bathroom cleaning once a week Eliminate tabs on browser Misc: Daily Instagram and Facebook post Bi-weekly Coaching updates Big Tasks: Living Room - boxes of papers, books, old magazines, etc. Closet - sort clothes, throw away other clothes Weekly Schedule - install whiteboard, figure out priorities Side Quest: Order of the Mage Slayers Knowing that the Order might be itself corrupted if exposed to magic, the Vizjerei deemed that the Assassins would have to possess the purest, most focused minds, that they should draw their power from within, not without. I will be embracing the guild's roots in minimalist training to avoid distractions as much as possible. (1) Training in my garage will always be timed and limited to 60 minutes; as I always end up spending too much time playing hee-haw with the fuck-around gang. (2) I will also be focusing on the ever-elusive Handstand, until I can eventually hold it for 60 seconds. Daily 5 minutes of Handstand work followed by 10 minutes of meditation. Ya makasi. ======================================================================== WEEK 1 TASKS ✘ Draft Facebook Posts (5/7) ✔ Update Trainerize ✘ Bathroom ✘ Sweep and Dust ✔ Grocery ✔ Cook ✔ Junk Mail ✔ Trash ✔ Laundry 1 ✔ Laundry 2 ✔ Dishes 1 (delegated) ✔ Dishes 2 ✔ Dogs Sun ✘ Dogs Mon ✔ Dogs Tue (delegated) ✔ Dogs Wed (delegated) ✘ Dogs Thu ✘ Dogs Fri ✔ Dogs Sat Tab count: 31 Handstand / Headspace Sun: Partial Wall 5x6s; Motivation 6 Mon: miss / miss Tue: Partial Wall / miss Wed: Partial Wall / miss Thu: Partial Wall / miss Fri: Partial Wall / miss Sat: Partial Wall / miss
  5. A lot of uncertainty in this challenge. This Friday 7/11 I go see my orthopedic for the results of my MRI & see the nutritionist. What I find out from them will probably largely shape what my challenge looks like, but going to have some things that I focus on each week, some things to focus on for the whole challenge Quest 1: Find the time Headspace Just with my record last challenge, I would like to meditate 5 days during the week. Each week I do this I will set aside a little money from my spending money to help create a space to make mediation more easy in. Quest 2: Spend at least 10 mins every week day cleaning something I'm really bad at letting things go, then getting super fed up with the house and spending a ton of time/energy cleaning it all at once. I would really like to get better about keeping it from getting to the point where I get so stressed out by the house. Quest 3: Weekly Quests Week 0: Stretch at least 10 mins every day Week 1: Eat the grains/carbs Create a weekly calendar Week 2: Do PT homework Do school homework Week 3: Do PT homework Do school homework Week 4 Do PT homework Do school homework I think that's about it for now! Hope everyone has a great challenge!
  6. I have been wanting to do a Dark Tower themed challenge FOR EVER. This series is probably my absolute favourite of all time. I’m encouraged by the movie hopefully providing a wide availability of gifs so I'm finally doing it! I won’t be following the movie plot though, I’ll be sticking with the book characters and locations. This is going to be a 3 challenge long theme, with pre-planned variations and additions each challenge. This triple-challenge is all leading up to Mr. Raxie and I’s wedding in October, and then our honeymoon in early November! The first major thing I’ll be working towards is Mr. Raxie’s and I’s first dance. We started taking dance lessons last week I want to continue that. I also want to start taking group dance classes when I can because I remembered how much I truly love to dance (I did ballet for 15 years of my life growing up but it’s been quite a while since then) and every time we leave a dance lesson I feel so unbelievably happy and light. I want to get more of that feeling. A few weeks after the wedding is the honey moon! We were originally going to do something relaxing like going to an all inclusive resort or Disney or something like that and then realized that’s just not us, no matter how much we would love to pretend it is. So instead we are going to do a ~2 week backpacking trip across the Great Smoky Mountains via the Appalachian Trail! About halfway through we’ll be submitting Clingman’s Dome, which at 6,643 feet is the highest mountain on the Appalachian Trail and the third highest mountain on the east coast. It’s going to be really tough. I’m not concerned about being out in the middle of no where for that long as I feel adequately prepared in that sense, the terrain itself is just going to be hard as heck compared to what we are used to… so we are going to have to get really serious about training for that with as much hiking as possible between then and now, and rucking around the city when we can’t get out to nature. With all that said, I’ve got a pretty rigorous training plan for the next three challenges, and my challenges will include zero weeks so they are each 5 weeks long. Each challenge will be a leg of Roland’s journey to the tower with his Ka-Tet (for non-constant readers: the Ka-Tet is Roland’s tightly bound group of travelling companions through the series. They are so tightly bound they are essentially family and their destinies are entwined) and will be traveling towards a confrontation with one of the Dark Tower big-bads. The main Ka-Tet will come with me for each challenge, and each challenge will also have a guest member from the series for that challenge alone. Note: The characters that do and do not come with me, the potential deaths of big-bads, and how each relates to the locations of that particular challenge will have no correlation to book events, so it’ll all be pretty spoiler free.
  7. I'm back from vacation and needing a serious re-boot. Vacation was awesome, but also filled with beer, moscow mules, cake, pizza, burgers, chips... you get the picture! Time to cleanse the crap and reestablish routines. Pokemon Go was released during the trip and I've joined Team Mystic. I didn't have a theme prepared this time so this one seemed like an obvious choice given the hype train and it plays nicely with my walking/step goal. Updates will be a minimum of couple of times per week. I'd like to do daily, but no guarantees. GOALS: Lapras (water type): HYDRATE! Only water to drink for the duration of the challenge. Iced green tea will be allowed. One beer allowed each Friday and Saturday evening. Hypno (psychic type): MEDITATE! I've been keeping up with my Headspace through the whole vacation! (it was not easy! *pats back*). Keep up my meditation run streak throughout the challenge. I will need to decide about spending the money to continue the Headspace subscription or find something new. Marowak (ground type): WALK! I'm going to do walking a bit different this time and try to revert to my fitbit step counting days. It just kept me moving a bit more all day long rather than just concentrating on one walk per day. Goal will be progressive. Week 1, 7000 steps/day. Week 2, 8,000 steps/day. Week 3, 9,000 steps/day. Week 4, 10,000 steps/day. This should be completely do-able. Hitmoncha (fighting type): STRENGTH! Desperately need to get back to a routine. This may be a work in progress as I'd like to get in some strength, yoga, and mobility workouts but don't want to work out every day. Minimum 3 workouts per week of some sort. Biggest goal is to find a routine that hits all those areas that works for me and my schedule. Jigglypuff (/normalfairy type): MINIMIZE AND CLEAN! I'm going to throw all this under one roof (so to speak), but continue minimizing, shopping ban, and general adulting. The last few challenges I've focused on this quite a lot and I will continue my work, but general adulting/cleaning needs to improve around here. Mostly it's just me being lazy and not cleaning often enough. It's not a fun job, but I need to find a way to treat myself for getting it done or some other incentivizing. I'm open to ideas. GO!!!!! I think it will be fun to include some running Pokemon Go dialogue as well. It was hard to get much Pokemon'ing done on vacation but as of right now I'm Level 7 and have 28 in my Pokedex. I caught Pikachu in my living room last night. It's been super fun since we got home last night because the church next door to us is a Pokestop. The front porch people watching is going to be SUPREME. In fact, a little part of the side of my house is IN Pokemon Go. I'm such a nerd. haha! I haven't done anything with gyms yet. Still learning. I'll update my thread with new catches when I update. Anyone else playing?
  8. Respawning, Rowing, and Rangering The last challenge (and frankly the two before that as well) have pittered out rather pathetically for me. Some family drama I've been dealing with somehow morphed into my spiraling into a super-down-on-myself-really-dark-time, the likes of which I haven't had to deal with since high school. I've been treating myself so poorly, eating awful foods, not sleeping, not cleaning, not meditating, etc etc. Though somehow I've managed to continue lifting through this (I guess that habits locked in haha) which is a positive. I physically and mentally feel awful. Over the weekend I caught myself. I knew I was not doing well but I hadn't realized how much time had gone by since I started letting myself have "a break" from my routines. Then I ate 3 White Chocolate Linder Truffles (I HATE WHITE CHOCOLATE I THINK IT'S VOMIT WORTHY DISGUSTING WTF) just because they were there and I kind of saw what I was doing to myself and had a reality check moment. I realized how much I missed my nerds and how much I missed my routines and how I was totally making up my anxiety that you guys would judge me for falling off the wagon. So, I did an overhaul of my routine and my goals and instead of trying to distract myself from my problems (which is what I've been doing for the past couple of challenges causing me to ghost out) I'm going to use this challenge to gently ease back into things with super simple and straight forward goals, the number one goal being accountability and brainspace check-ins daily. So be warned, there might be a lot headspace stuffs going on here over the next five weeks! And then onto the fun goal! I have been trying to get through Zombies, Run! 5k for over 2 years. I just can't freakin' do it. I HATE running. I've gone through this a few times where I think once I'm fitter I'll try again, and maybe I won't hate it so much, and hit some in-better-shape bench mark and try again, and I just can't. I dread it. It makes me hate going to the gym or going outside depending on where I'm running. But over the last week I've discovered rowing! I know a bunch of rangers do it and I can't believe I haven't tried it before now but I LOVE IT! The main reason for me trying to get into running is because of how much I love the Zombies, Run! plot. Solution? RANGER THAT SH*T AND TURN IT INTO ZOMBIES ROW! I'm basically envisioning that the entire plot of Zombies Run is happening in a swamp, where I have to row away from zombies treading through the water, instead of running away from them. Kinda like this: but more rowing less poking with sticks. I'm going to start out with a 3 minute split time for "walking" and a 2:40 split time for "running" on a 4.5 resistance and see where it takes me. Maybe by the end of the program I'll have a halfway decent 5k race time! Right now I am slowwwwwwwwwwwww so I know even those speeds will be a challenge. I also want to make it a point to go outside with intention every day. It can be anywhere from 30 seconds and up, but I have to be outside with the intent of being outside, not darting between meetings, or running out to the grocery store. I will acknowledge that I am outside for a reason, because that is where humans are really meant to be, I will breathe the air, and I will take the time to enjoy it. I can expand this into a walk, a hike, reading a book outside, choosing to walk to a meeting instead of driving, whatever. Just something that isn't otherwise necessary and will bring me the happiness that being outdoors brings. TL;DR - GOALZ 1) Accountability: Post on this thread every damn day. EVERY DAMN DAY! Address what I've done (or haven't done) that day and my current headspace. This can be a quick "things are good" on tapatalk or a verbose essay about how I feel about my dinner (this probably won't happen). Maybe even a screen shot of my Google Fit profile from the day. I don't care, just something, every day. 2) Zombies, Row: Use the Zombies, Run app with the erg! 2x/week at minimum. 3) Find Joy Outside: Go outside with intent every day. Any amount of time will do, it's the intent that matters. I'll be continuing with my strong lifts, but I don't think I need to track that specifically. I'll probably mention it in my daily updates but beyond that I'm pretty locked in on that habit... considering it was the ONLY one I managed to maintain during the last few months of spiraling off the wagon. Also, as I am pretty excited about this and I'm SO READY to get the momentum going, I'll be starting this challenge during zero week and continuing on through to the end of the next challenge. Tally ho! Swamp zombies, here I come!
  9. I've stepped away from Nerd Fitness for awhile, but I'm joining up again because I need to lose some weight and this style of tracking has always worked for me. I'm very happy to find it's still a vibrant community, and even see a couple of familiar faces I'm usually a scout, but I'll be joining the druids this time because I would like to work on a more mindful approach to better living. I hope to find inspiration in your writings and in the group challenges. I've chosen three simple goals for my first challenge after a long break. 1. Track all food on Myfitnesspal App. My goal is currently to stay under 1500 net calories.and to consume 100 g protein per day. I'll give myself one point for calories and one point for protein, for a total of 14 points available in a given week. 2. Incorporate Adventurous Exercise. I already have a good routine (thanks to previous NF challenges) of either running or doing yoga 5-6 days per week. I would like to spend one active day doing something adventurous: paddleboarding, bike riding, bouldering, or maybe go to a different yoga studio. The goal is to have fun and try something new. 1 point available per week. 3. Meditate Every Day. According to the Headspace app, I'm already on a 14 day streak. My routine is currently to meditate in my car during my lunch break. I would like to continue working through the Headspace program. One point for every day completed, 7 points available for the week. Total challenge points available: 88 Thank you very much for reading my challenge. Feel free say "hi" or to let me know what you think.
  10. I've stepped away from Nerd Fitness for awhile, but I'm joining up again because I need to lose some weight and this style of tracking has always worked for me. I'm very happy to find it's still a vibrant community, and even see a couple of familiar faces I'm usually a scout, but I'll be joining the druids this time because I would like to work on a more mindful approach to better living. I hope to find inspiration in your writings and in the group challenges. I've chosen three simple goals for my first challenge after a long break. 1. Track all food on Myfitnesspal App. My goal is currently to stay under 1340 net calories and to consume 100 g protein per day. I'll give myself one point for calories and one point for protein, for a total of 14 points available in a given week. 2. Incorporate Adventurous Exercise. I already have a good routine (thanks to previous NF challenges) of either running or doing yoga 5-6 days per week. I would like to spend one active day doing something adventurous: paddleboarding, bike riding, bouldering, or maybe go to a different yoga studio. The goal is to have fun and try something new. 1 point available per week. 3. Meditate Every Day. According to the Headspace app, I'm already on a 14 day streak. My routine is currently to meditate in my car during my lunch break. I would like to continue working through the Headspace program. One point for every day completed, 7 points available for the week. Total challenge points available: 132 Thank you very much for reading my challenge. Feel free to let me know what you think.
  11. The Introduction Hello, dearies! If you can't tell from the above gif, I have been watching a lot of Once Upon a Time lately. At first I thought of it as a guilty pleasure, but then I started to realize that this show is actually quite good. Modern takes on fairy tales, not only having kick-ass strong female characters but the entire cast essentially being strong female characters, having Disney characters being gay, amazingly creative costuming and makeup, and overall incredibly imaginative plots that totally switch everything up that you thought you knew about fairy tales is completely inspiring from all angles. I love how they address a lot of the issues with fairy tales and make fun of themselves too. (At one point, in reference to Beauty and the Beast someone says "not that I'm saying you should love someone who is keeping you prisoner, what kind of message would that send to girls everywhere?"). So refreshing. And don't even get me started on the villains. The characters and backstories they create are so imaginative I have a lot of respect for the writers who take something so old and used and turn it into something so fresh and exciting. Also, Snow White's character is SUCH A FRAKKIN RANGER IT'S RIDONKULOUS. So anyway, the more I thought about this the more I realized that in all honesty, fairy tales are quite nerdy. In fact, fairy tales were possibly one of the first things that were ever nerded out about. I started looking into the origins of modern fairy tales and discovered that the Brothers Grimm were some of the first fantasy nerds to really make a name for themselves. They didn’t *write* fairy tales. This would have made them authors, not necessarily nerds. But they were obsessed with the fantasy stories of German folklore, they not only wanted the story, but they became cultural explorers, researching at a collegic level the cultural affects and representations of folklore. They developed a methodology for collecting, recording, validating, and researching folklore. They not only were nerds, but they opened up a whole new area of study for others to nerd out about in the future. And at its core, they were fantasy stories! If that’s not nerdy, I don’t know what is. Also, for a lot of us fairy tales were the first kind of fantasy we were exposed to. Think back to the first time you heard a story that took you away to another place. When you were a tiny child, whether it be a movie, a radio broadcast, a TV show, a book. Chances are it was some sort of fairy tale (Disney-version or otherwise). As you grow up, you transition to stories that fit your likes, dislikes, and age. But at its core, fantasy and science fiction stories are really all their own kind of fairy tale. So here I present to you without further ado, a throwback from a way old school nerdom themed challenge with a modern twist – Once Upon A Time in Raxie’s Enchanted Forest.
  12. I'm back! Last challenge my life took a turn for the crazy. My classes started getting really time consuming, I got more responsibilities piled on me at my job, I went on vacation, and my family life got a little hectic. All this resulted in me, for the first time since joining the rebellion 17 wonderful/crazy/difficult challenges ago, having to step away from the forums for a few weeks and settle back into my life. I missed you all terribly, there were so many times I’d be like “oh I can’t wait to tell the nerds!†and then I’d remember I had to use my time doing other things. NF has become such an engrained part of my life it was really hard for me to just take a beat and work things out on my own. But I did, I have finally gotten used to the new pace of my life which seems it is here to stay, and am feeling refreshed from both my vacation and my challenge hiatus. So I’m feeling super motivated to tackle this new challenge. This challenge will be focused around my weekends. I have noticed that a lot of times I am unsuccessful during the week because I am not taking advantage of my weekends adequately. So I’m going to make all of my goals weekend oriented. If I set myself up for success, it’ll be hard to fail. I am definitely guilty of wasting entire Saturdays away doing basically nothing because I am not planning it out. I plan my weekdays every week now it’s time to plan my weekends too for MAXIMUM SUCCESS! Main Mission One: Move Weird I will utilize the weekends to do some fun movement that I don’t have a chance to do during the week. This can be an intense mobility session, restorative yoga, a hike, a ruck, or anything else of that nature. Main Mission Two: Homework I will do all my homework every weekend no matter what. I will not leave it for the weekdays. This has been something that’s been holding me back on weekdays a lot. I have plenty of time on weekends to do it, I’ve just got to get it done. Main Mission Three: Laundry Self-explanatory. I’ll wash, dry and PUT AWAY (seriously Raxie, put your damn clothes away) at least one load of laundry every weekend. Food Mission: Batch Cooking Every weekend I will prep all of my meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) for Monday-Friday of the upcoming week. I will post pictures here of my success each week for accountability and because nom. Life Mission: Nerd Fitness Because part of the reason I had to step away from the forums last challenge was due to not enough time, I will make sure to dedicate a chunk of time every weekend to catching up around here and commenting on all the threads I am following. And there it is. I’m gonna ranger my weekends for serial! Oh also, PS – I recently crossed something off my 2016 yearly goals. I paid off my credit card! Wohoooo! It’s crazy how it really wasn’t hard to do once I decided to do it. Making the minimum payment each month was so easy, but once I forced myself to buckle down, stop charging to it, and live a little more frugally to put more money towards, and also not spending my tax return on things but instead on my future by throwing a large chunk towards this as well… I was able to 100% pay off all 3 of my cards, not just my Discover card which was actually my goal of the year. Feeling really great about this.
  13. Pre-Challenge Spiel So my previous challenge was meant to reset my body and my mind for the upcoming year. It did that to an extent. It forced to make more time for myself in my busy (and getting busier) schedule and also to really focus on what I am putting into my body. I have upped my water intake significantly and aside from slipping up on a business trip week, did not drink alcohol for the whole month of January. I feel pretty great and refreshed and am so ready to start hitting things hard again! But going hard is uh... hard. For those of you who haven't been following me, I had a hip pre-injury (not quite an injury but a pain that told me to stop what I was doing and figure it out or an injury would basically be guaranteed to happen) and got pretty freaked out about it. My sister has serious hip problems (she is 20 and has already had to have hip surgery) so I took this very seriously. I figured out my issues were a result of glute amnesia - my glutes were not doing the work they were supposed to during DL and squats, and allowing my hip flexors to do all the work. Hip flexors are tiny muscles, they are not supposed to be taking on so much stress! But my glutes just werne't firing. I essentially put a halt on my lifting program and spent the last 6-ish weeks (basically ever since the end of the challenge of 2015) doing connectivity drills I learned at Camp Nerd Fitness from the lovely Kate Galliett and also some other glute strengthening isolation drills I found online. I also began doing a lot of core exercises to help protect my lower back from the same fate. Apparently lower backs are over acheivers too. Plus, core strength = better everything so why not? Anyway, I'm now feeling pretty confident with my glute amnesia being banished (I notice them firing when I walk and go up steps and basically do anything, and I even had a dream about squats where I noticed my glutes activating properly so they've definitely finally decided they want to do some work) and it is time for me to return to Strong Lifts! I'm going to have to deload a bunch, but I am so pumped to get back at this. I am also taking 2 classes as well as working full time. Typically I take one class but this semester I decided to really lean forward on my degree. Wow was it a lot more to take on than I expected. Basically, between beginning SL again, wanting to maintain my occasional glute activation drills an dother mobility drills, continuing to make sure my core gets some love, keeping up with my classes, my job exploding more and more and wanting to keep up with you nerds as much as possible because you are THE BEST I need to seriously work on my time allocation. Unfortunately I do not have a time turner to get more hours from my day. I know what I need to do, and what I want to do. I have the motivation and the habits. What I need to do now is take both of those and be flexible with my schedule in order to get in everything I want. So this challenge won't have very complicated goals from the outset, but each week will be treated individually depending on what I've got going on, work travel, homework, etc. I'm going to continue with the Fly Lady baby steps as well and hopefully finish out all 31 by the end of this challenge but if I get held up on a specific day again that's fine. I want to integrate this into my life slowly so it sticks. I'm currently on day 15 - and have been for about a week now. Main Goals 1. Every Sunday or Monday I will post my schedule for the week to include major items that may affect my productivity on a given day for the next seven days (ie - class) and what I will be doing for each of those days BROKEN DOWN BY THE HOUR. This sounds crazy, I know, but I only have a few hours between when I get home from work (6PM) and when I need to get to bed (9/930PM) so I truly need to plan out how to utilize each of those minutes to get the most done I can without trying to do too much and blowing my bed time. Non-work days are a bit more flexible but I still want to list what I want to do on those days. This includes homework, cleaning tasks, meditation, reading, and of course work outs. 2. At least 3 times a week I will update my thread on my status of if I hit my to-do goals for each day. 3. Each week I need to fit in a core work out and a glute drill workout. This can be the same workout. (I won't do this if I don't make it a separate goal). Food Goal 4. Continue to not eat dairy. 1 minor slip up a week is allowed (ie some melted cheese on some meat. Eating 1017 cheese cubes from an appetizer tray does not count as a "minor" slip up). Life Goal 5. Sleep at least 7 hours a night. No on average, but actually legit, 7 hours a night. This will prevent me from expecting too much of myself in (1) and (2) above. My final grade will be based 20% on the success of each of the above. Planning, execution, special work outs, dairy consumption, and sleep. Goal 2 (posting updates) will be half based on posting 3x/week and half based on actual completion of my schedule items. I'm aware this is going to be quite the strict challenge with no bells and whistles but I needs it. Bad. SELF DICIPLINE FTW! Also, I've made the commitment to watch through Xena. Girl power also FTW! I debated making this challenge Xena themed but I didn't have time. I'd rather spend my time making my rounds here than thinking up a way to make this challenge more themed....but feel free to post Xena gifs as they will bring me joy
  14. Annyshay was raised on stories that her Gaffer told. Folks in those stories had plenty of opportunities of turning back, only they didn’t. Annyshay wants to be like the characters in her Gaffer’s stories. Her own story started a few years ago as detailed in her Quest. She wants to be strong, wise, and compassionate. Luckily, she joined the Rebellion and is working to become the hobbit she knows she can be. For this challenge, she will focus on nourishing herself with the healthful habits that she continues to build and refine. Goal The First = Nourishing Eating 5 experiments from Eating the Moment per week No screens while eating Goal the Second = Nourishing Movement GMB Integral Strength for the second time supplement with yoga, walking, and play time Goal the Third = Nourishing Sleep 30 minutes of light in AM electronics off at 8:00 Life Goal = Keeping Track document headspace and habits in spreadsheet newly dubbed the "Red Book" weekly review of my life (more organized and structured) report intermittently on trends Also, HAPPY NEW YEAR, REBELS!!! Let's make it great!
  15. WARNING: MASSIVE HUGE BRAIN VOMIT AHEAD. FEEL FREE TO SCROLL DOWN TO THE OTHER SHTUFF (labeled as such for your convenience) Heads up: my wordsplosion below, while it obviously has impacted what I chose as my goals, doesn’t really have a ton to do with my challenge, and aside from the mega nerd love and life leveling up description to follow, it’s not really nerd related either. I just felt the need to get this stuff out there, kind of as a re-intro for me, or updated Raxie background… or something. This challenge happens to fall upon a very meaningful/kind of emotion heavy time of year for me, for a ton of reasons. So take it as you will. Or, like I said, skip it. I won’t be offended I promise . Especially because I am not filling it with gifs. So… without further ado, here goes: FIRSTLY, this marks (ever so slightly late) my second Nerdversary! I glossed over my first nerdversary last year because I hadn’t quite grasped what this place would grow to mean to me at that point. It still had had its impact… but in the last year more than ever NF has influenced and changed my life in ways I couldn’t possibly have imagined at that point. Since I joined NF 2 years ago, I’ve gone from having to do WALL PUSH UPS because I couldn’t even do knee push ups, to benching 70+lb. From getting sore with 20 reps of BW squats in the Angry Birds workouts to squatting triple digits! I’ve lost 20-ish pounds, dropped a size, been eating much healthier, I am cooking more often, and generally feeling overall more awesome, more like a real human. I’ve also found this wonderful group of people that I know will help me out through thick and thin, offer amazing fitness and life advice, and just generally be lovely humans and provide good cheer and gifs when all else fails. This is the most supportive, ridiculously crazy community I have ever encountered and I really truly seriously love you guys. Even people’s threads I may not visit, you too, just because you’re a part of this community and therefore you’re part of all the general awesome that is this crazy place. Then this year I went to Camp Nerd Fitness. I crossed the boundary between fun acquaintances on the internet to real people, real faces, and real friends. I made the promise to myself going there that I would fake it til I make it with my social skills. Even though I have social anxiety, I made myself walk up to every person I made eye contact with, say hi, introduce myself, and get chatting. Since I’ve gotten back having this success under my belt, it has made a HUGE noticeable difference in my interactions with people in my everyday life, people have actually commented on it! CNF also taught me how much I need to focus on my mobility, my primal movements, and my overall view of fitness. I know people say this all the time, but I really truly get it now - fitness isn’t just going to the gym and eating healthy ‘til the weekend so you can look good. It’s about being good to yourself and embracing a beneficial healthy lifestyle, it’s primal squatting when I’m waiting for the bus, it’s choosing to not eat cheese because I know it makes me feel like crap and not because it’s high in fat which supposedly means “not healthyâ€, it’s taking the arms off my work chair so I can more easily sit in more natural and varied positions, it’s foam rolling my shoulders out and doing mobility drills so I can move them the way they are supposed to move, it’s buying new shoes that let my feet be feet, it’s BEING WEIRD, and yes, it’s going to the gym going beast mode and deadlifting the hell out of stuff. It’s everything, it’s life. And I am SO SO grateful to this place for allowing me to discover this side of myself. For real, I wish I could say this differently or better, but I’m not that great with words. So HERE HAVE ALL OF THE INTERNET HUGS FROM ME TO YOU <3 <3 <3 SECONDLY, my eating habits have also changed profoundly. I’ve been a vegetarian/borderline vegan for 8 years. Being on NF and interacting with people with all different backgrounds and eating habits made me really examine why I choose to put what I do into my body. My issue with meat has always been factory farming and the treatment of animals during their lives and how they are slaughtered. I really have no problem with the food chain, and have always eaten hunted meat, I am just very against unnecessary suffering. So starting about 3 months ago, in secret IRL, I have been on a quest to really investigate the best course of action to make the biggest impact on the heart of the things I take issue with, and (drumroll, please) I’ve decided to start eating beef again. To clarify, if anyone cares, only humane certified beef. This is not only because I selfishly need more protein for all my lifting (which yes is true), but also because I nerded out, took responsibility for my decisions, did the research, and realized that the farmers who are doing it right NEED support - they are getting pushed around by the bigger companies who are doing it so very wrong for profit. I don’t want to just shut everyone out, I want to vote with my dollar to the people who are doing good things. I also decided to completely cut dairy out, as it hurts my belly and it creates the veal industry which I just can’t be OK with, and I won’t be eating pork or poultry because after investigating the “humane certified†standards for them I still don’t feel comfortable supporting what those standards are. And PLEASE DON’T GET ME WRONG any vegetarians reading this. I think you are awesomely awesome, for real, and your food choices I still think are completely valid and what is right for you, but I know this is the right choice for me. My whole family is vegetarian and I’ve been one for so long that I’ve been kind of scared to explore other options for fear of being judged. This community has given me the courage to really do the research, figure out what I’m about, and do what I truly think is the right course of action for me personally not for anyone else, and for the impact I want to have on the world, as tiny as that may be. So, I’ve been behind the scenes eating beef behind since I got back from camp… but starting this challenge I’m going to do it in public. I’m sure people are going to comment/question/nag but I WILL DEAL WITH IT. It annoys the hell out of me how much people think what you eat is their business, and I know I am going to be basically harassed about this once I start doing it, but… I am a big girl and I will calmly deal with the people at large. And finally, anyone who doesn’t really care about the environmental/ethical impacts of meat eating, please please please don’t take this as me trying to be preachy. I’m not trying to influence anyone here, and I definitely am not judging anyone in any way, I am getting out everything I’ve been going through this past year which has been a very serious and profound change for me. I really had to share because I’m excited and honestly really nervous about it, in fact it might require some support, especially for when I tell my family. I also might need advice on cooking because I have never cooked beef before in my life so that should be interesting. Oh, and for those of you concerned for my lack of pork which means no bacon, don’t worry. I’ve already found beef bacon and it’s AMAZING. THIRDLY, and this is really personal for me so I’m going out on a limb sharing it with like, the whole freaking internet, but it goes along with my “NF has really changed my life†theme of this giant wall of text, so here goes…This also marks the second anniversary of my grandfathers death. This was the first truly hard loss of my adult life, not in the least because he wasn’t just my grandfather, but was my only father figure growing up. I lived with him for many years and he had a huge hand in raising me. Those of you paying attention will notice that this lines up with my second nerdversary. In fact, I wasn’t even though my first challenge when he passed. I did say I had a death in the family, but I never really shared who it was or what he meant to me, and I don’t know why. It was just too hard I guess. But I was very depressed for ~8 months after this, and I didn’t realize it at the time but in retrospect NF had a huge impact on me during that time, and helped pull me out of what could have been a lot worse by helping me focus on myself, and giving me a community to kind of escape to. I know everyone has lost someone, and I know some have lost parents and parental figures and shared it on here so I don’t know why I felt so shut off about it, I think it was a symptom of my depression to be honest. So with the second anniversary rolling around it’s obviously a struggle for me and my family. Because of this, this challenge might be a bit hard for me to stay focused on at times, so please feel free to poke me/yell at me/gif me if you see me retreating. FOURTHLY, it’s ma birthday in a few days (Nov. 6)! And I am rapidly approaching 30 (I’m turning 28). Honestly, I’m not feeling like I’m going to hit a quarter life crisis or start freaking out about getting old or anything, I don’t care about getting older per say… but I’m stressed about it because I feel like people still think of me as a kid since I’m in my 20s. But now that I’m in my “late†twenties, and definitely once I turn 30, I might be seen as someone who is an actual adult, whatever the heck that is. I feel like people are going to start asking me when I’m going to start popping out babies left and right, or think for some reason that I 100% know what I want out of life. And I don’t. And I’m not stressed about the fact that I don’t, in fact I like that I don’t. Honestly I don’t really ever want to know 100% what I want out of life, aside from knowing that I want to be happy, help people, and see the world. But I don’t have a be all end all goal in mind, because that implies I can be finished, and I don’t think that’s possible, I don’t want to ever be finished until I’m dead. But people are going to start expecting me to justify this to them, not that I should have to, but that’s the way society is and it kinda blows. This is challenge relevant because 1) stressors suck and affect my fitness life and 2) I am going to very much not be doing anything challenge related on my birthday and I’m accounting for that right up front. There will be beer, there will be scotch, and there will be gin. There will also be mass amounts of not paleo food. NO GUILT. ------------------------------------------------------------------ *deep breath* Okay Okay. So that’s it for my worldsplosion brain vomit of headstuffs. If you made it this far… in all sincerity, seriously thank you for caring enough to read that, it got quite a bit longer than I intended. If not, no worries, here you go: tldr; This is an interesting/emotional time of year for me for a lot of reasons, and this challenge will be tough because of it. I have also gone through a lot of positive changes in the past 2 years, a lot of it because of NF, and to celebrate that I’m going to go hard this challenge. And, most importantly, I LOVE YOU NERDS!
  16. Main goal: Climb all of the things! Parkour all of the things! Thumb my nose at gravity! Make and post videos of all of the things! My schedule is already really full, so I'm not biting off too much this challenge, fitness-wise. I already spend a lot of time doing parkour, rock climbing, and yoga. When I can manage to squeeze it in, I also like hand balancing, playing with weapons, hiking, rucking, and playground workouts. I'm also trying hard to remember that rest days are important, too. Even if I don't have so many direct fitness goals, I tend to log and talk incessantly about the parkour and climbing and other shenanigans. Because PARKOUR!!! and CLIMBING!!! Goal 1: Stick to strict rations (food goal) Between all of the holidays, the Halloween candy, football booze, and my body trying to convince me to fatten up for winter, it's really tough to avoid eating like an asshole. But, for once, I don't want to just brush off this season as a "dirty bulk". So, it's time to stick with (what is for me) strict rations. 1a. Fix that breakfast. I typically eat an apple, greek yogurt, and some sort of breakfast bar. Not only is the breakfast bar unhealthy, but I'm also usually hungry well before lunch time. So, the goal is to have 5 days/week where I avoid any sort of breakfast bar or cereal, and instead replace that by cooking eggs or some oatmeal. 1b. Continue loving the crock pot. The goal is at least 6 batch cooked meals over the course of the challenge. Having healthy food in abundance tends to encourage healthy eating. 1c. Don't overdo the booze. I'm not being as strict as last challenge, but I'm still only allowing myself 12 drinks over the 6 weeks. Also, whenever I'm in a social drinking situation and don't really want to drink, but go along with the crowd, I lose a point. I can re-gain that point by either foregoing one drink for the challenge or by making a point of passing up some social drinking. Goal 2: Jump like I'm in Martian gravity. (fitness goal) At this point in my parkour training, I really feel that my jumping ability is holding me back. I was a decent (but not great) jumper before the knee blowout, and I unfortunately still haven't managed to even regain my old abilities. One of the better ways to jump higher is to add some weight to that squat. So, twice/week, I will do some sort of squat session. It might be goblet squats. It might be assisted pistols. It might be weighted bulgarian split squats. I also need to take better care of my knee(s) if I want to continue with training hard. But, I learned last challenge that if I don't make a goal of doing my prehab work and foam rolling, I just end up not doing it. So.... Goal is twice/week squat session and 5x/ week prehab. Goal 3: Science! (Life goal) Now that the kids are in school, I have much more time to return to my scientific roots. One of my future goals is to make a bunch of science and math educational apps. I have a lot of ideas. What I lack is some of the coding knowledge. So, the goal is to completely finish my Xcode 7 and Swift course. Goal 4: Become a data nerd -> Hack my headspace. (Life goal) Most days, the kids are in school, the husband is at work, and I'm spending too much time like this And to be fair, I am very productive. I just don't always deal very well with too much alone-ness and too much unstructured time. I'm prone to anxiety. I also have bouts of being overly pissed off and some bouts of seasonal affective disorder. Anyone who has followed me for any length of time knows that I'm the antithesis of being a data nerd. Usually I just wing everything and more or less remember what's what. But for once, I want to keep better notes, so I can see a pattern. The goal for this is to track what effects any of these have when I'm having mood issues and want to re-gain control of my headspace: calming tea, playing the piano, yoga, guided meditation, taking a nature walk, and any other methods I can come up with. I'm not going to expect results this challenge. I just want to get in the habit of recognizing the signs of a bad mood, trying something, and tracking how well it works. And here is the spreadsheet. Bonus: #1 - Get back in the habit of playing the piano. At least 60 minutes/week. Hopefully, this can double with goal 4 in helping with the headspace. Bonus #2 - Be resourceful! I'm going to shamelessly steal Raptron's Catch-em-all hand balancing fest. Because I can. Bonus #3 - Actually participate in the guild mini this time. I'll probably have some strong edits for this later. The new challenge thread was already exploding, and I wanted to get in on the action right away!
  17. So last challenge I tried to go hard. And I hurt my back (freaking walking on a treadmill of all things! wtf). The recovery has been quite a few weeks in the making and it's really disheartening, but I'm feeling 95% better. I'll need the rest of this week to really get all the way there, and I'll have to deload when I start up again, but I'm ready to tackle what I tried to tackle last challenge. Just gotta be more careful with my incline work. I'm pretty sad as I can already feel how much strength I've lost and I am feeling kinda slouchy and blah. I can't wait to get back into this stuff and give my body the boost it wants. So yeah, I'm literally just copying and pasting the last challenge because Buffy gifs never get old even if they're the same. The only thing I'm changing is I'm going to run once a week and do hiking conditioning once a week, instead of running 2x/week AND doing the hiking conditioning. Maybe that was a bit too much for me. I'm also removing the sleep goal because I have a hard time tracking it with how weird my schedule's been lately. I'll add it back in if I start feeling wonky though. Basically I'm moving this challenge to just focus on the physical stuffs for now. Also CAMP THIS CHALLENGE AHHHHHH!!!!!!!! So excited. As a side quest for myself I've gotta go introduce myself on the facebook page. I don't get FB at work and hate going on my computer at home so I've been seriously slacking on it. I do occasionally "like" random posts but I've got to go introduce myself before it's too late! So without further ado, a non gratuitous straight up copy and paste of the last challenge. DEAL WITH IT. -------------------- I've been rewatching through Buffy lately. With my little sister, who has never seen it. She doesn't know *any* of the major plot points and it's really awesome to kind of be watching one of my favourite shows of all time through new eyes. I've always loved the show for the Joss Whedon geniusness. The character development, the campiness, the witty dialogue. But I forgot how much the female characters are all just so strong. Not just Buffy, but her mom, Willow, the women vampires, Glory, Anya. Just so much awesome. And since I'm newly inspired by the show, I figure I'll just use the inspiration to get me going! Mission One. Strength. So I thought about not including this and doing something else here, since I have been consistent with Stronglifts even when it's not an actual goal. But since I'm upping my training this challenge, I don't want to not put this here and have me slack on it. I also am expecting to slow down with the newbie gains soon, and I don't want that to let that affect my motivation. So here it is. Stronglifts, 3x/week. 5x5. Do itttt. Mission Two. Speed & Endurance. Here's where I'm really upping my game. All the other stuff I've been more or less doing anyway. So I want to run 1x/week and then once a week either go on a hike or do incline treadmill work. Mission Three. Flexibility Need to be limber for all those high kicks! And also IRL to get up those big scrambles! Yoga 5x/week. I do this most mornings anyway. Life Quest. Focus. I've been slacking on the meditation. I think I didn't like the exact technique I was doing. Back to focusing on the breath... how I fell in love with it in the first place. Meditate 5x/week. ----------------------- So this all might seem like a lot, but I've really been doing most of it most of the time already, before I injured my back. I'm just putting it all together here and making it a priority.Time to focus and go kick major butttt
  18. So I have essentially breezed through my last two challenges. I don't know if I would say they were easy, but they were definitely doable and I knew I would probably come out with mostly A's on the other side when I was putting them together. I do, however, feel like I have made some serious progress. I'm on a 48 day yoga streak, am lifting a barbell pretty easily, and making better nutrition decisions overall. I am starting to see some real changes in my body. My habits are becoming much more habit like, as in I just do them as part of my routine, and much less like I have to constantly remind myself. Mentally, I think I am at my fitness baseline. Physically, maybe not so much... I am still struggling with doing more than one push up DEFINITELY can't do a pull up and haven't been seeing much progress in my core area. With all that in mind, I am going to make this challenge hard for me. Going into it, I know it's going to be rough. But it's all things I have been struggling with for a while and I need to just get it done. And now, riding on the momentum of my last few challenge's successes... I will do this thing. I'm setting things up pretty differently than regular challenges. I'm not really breaking things out by missions or nutrition or life, there's things I want to work on and I'm gong to try to work on them in measureable ways. I wouldn't really recommend this set up unless I hadn't done 11 challenges before this, I am looking to switch things up. But if this set up doesn't work for me I'll reserve the right to change things around as I go, because I don't want to waste 6 weeks on doing something that isn't working. But for now, here it is! My Adventure on the 7 C's! 1. Cardio Goal: Cardio 2x/week (+2 STA) I REALLY hate cardio, but I've noticed lately that I don't think my cardiovascular system is in as tip-top shape and it should be. I'll be hiking and my muscles are fine, but I find myself out of breath way more quickly than I should with my heart pumping out of my chest. I need to fix this. I'm hoping to get this in mostly as Zombies, Run. Because I want to do a 5k someday. 2. Core Goal: Core Work 3x/week (+2 STR) My arms and my legs have been losing inches like CRAZY since I started stronglifts. My arms are starting to actually look muscular too! I'm not seeing any progress in my core area though. I know all those compound lifts are supposed to be working my core as well, and I certainly feel it, but I am just not seeing results as quickly as the rest of my body and it's frustrating. So I am going to start adding in some core-specific moves to my work outs. That can be during yoga, or during Strong Lifts, or totally separately, just something. 3. Crow Goal: Crow practice 2x/week (+2 DEX) I fell in love with yoga last challenge and I plan on keeping up my streak. I want to be able to do crow so badly!! So I will incorporate crow practice as part of my yoga sessions each week. I already do yoga every day so this just means throwing in some crow play time at the end. 4. Cheese Goal: Cheese free 5 days/week (+2 CON) Ugh I've tried this one so many times before and had various levels of success. I seriously love cheese to the point that I feel like if I have a single piece I can't stop. It's awful. And what I know is that I function better when I don't have a bunch of dairy in my system. Even though I can't stand that I need to do this. It just needs to be taken away from me. So I'm going to try for this one again. 5. Cigarettes Goal: 0 cigarettes the entire challenge (+2 CON) I know, I know. You can't even believe this one is on here right?! I've never mentioned this on here before for two reasons. One, because frankly it's embarrassing. Here I am on a fitness forum professing to be having all these successes and I'm also smoking. TERRIBLE. The other reason is because honestly I don't really smoke except for literally once or twice a month when I'm drinking I'll bum a single cigarette off of a friend. I've never bought my own pack or anything like that. Because of that I haven't really seen it as a problem. However it also makes me think that there's literally no reason for me to be doing it. I'm not addicted, I don't crave them or even think about them unless someone offers me one whilst drinking and I'm like sureeeee. And I guess I do it as a social thing in that case? So... really I should just stop. Anyway, it might happen that this entire challenge I never even get offered one so it might be a free 2 points. But if I do get offered, I will say no. Simple as that. 6. Consistency Yoga: Complete the Do You Yoga 30 Day Challenge within this 6 week challenge (+1 WIS) Strong Lifts: 3x/week (+1 STR) Salads for Lunch: 3x/week (+1 CON) (idk the relevancy here I just adore this gif) This is stuff from previous challenges that I am pretty certain I'm still going to do them but I want to keep track of them on a much lighter scale anyway. I'm counting them for very little points, and are really just here to keep me honest about stuff. These will definitely go away as real tracked things next challenge. 7. Creatitivity Complete the 30 day creativity mediation pack in Headspace (+1 WIS) Journal 4x/week (+1 WIS) Pretty self explanatory methinks. Also Claudia Black. Aka Aeryn Sun. Also aka Vala Mal Doran. GAH. I love her. One of the most badass women in sci fi history (more so in Farscape than in SG1 but I digress) and my current inspiration <3 Bonus: her name starts with C.
  19. Hokay, so... I'm a few days late getting this challenge up. I had a real struggle with trying to figure out exactly what to do here. I had such a success last challenge, and want to continue to do everything that I accomplished... but I don't want to make every little thing a part of something I grade. I've kind of hit that wall with challenges that I've seen many people hit where I've pseudo succeeded and I'm kind of like... where do I go from here? SO. I decided to have my goals be related to things I am already doing, but not the actual things I have already accomplished habit wise. That sounds way more confusing than it is. Here's an example: Last challenge I made it a solid habit to do Stronglifts 3x/week. I know I will continue this, and I'm not worried about grading myself on it. So on this challenge, I will have a mission to foam roll before every stronglifts session. I also have gotten into the habit of cooking dinner. This challenge I will tackle the hurdle of lunch. I'm also going to throw in a bonus goal for each mission to keep things interesting. Anyway, on to the missions... because I've waited long enough MISSION 1: Foam Roll As I said above, I will foam roll every time I do SL. This will be 3x/week most likely, since that's how often I usually do SL. However, since I am not grading my actual SL performance this mission will be graded on the percentage of many foam rolling sessions I do (or don't do) out of lifting sessions. +2 STA BONUS: Roll out my IT band for at least 3 minutes per side 50% or more of the foam rolling sessions. So painful. +1 STA MISSION 2: Be Mindful Every Day I have been finding real benefit in Meditation (via Headspace) and yoga. So I'm going to step up my game... instead of doing this just every morning when I wake up to go to work, I am gonig to try to do both of these things every damn day. Even if it's a 3 minute mindfulness exercise, and this 5 minute essential morning yoga poses flow. I have this problem where I do stuff when I have other things to do... like go to work. But the second my schedule is not that.. ie I am teleworking or it's the weekend... I do NOTHING. And it's awful. This will at least force me to get a little self love in no matter how lazy I am feeling. +2 WIS BONUS: Complete the 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Adriene by the end of this challenge. +1 DEX. MISSION 3: Take Control of my Beverages (this is a 3-parter) Last challenge I more or less gave up beer. I only had 4 beers for the entire challenge! Which for me is huge, as I like to pretend I'm a beer connoisseur, and I absolutely love my IPAs. But I did it. This challenge I am going to allow myself 1 beer a week, 3 more than I allowed myself last challenge. However, now I can only drink alcoholic beverages one night a week too. All other beverages aside from the single beer (and ONLY if it's a delicious beer. None of this miller high life crap the boyfriend likes to bring home) must be wine or whiskey. +1 CON (percentage of weeks with only 1 beer and only 1 night drinking) My water consumption may also be lacking. I feel like I drink enough, but I wake up every morning with horrible dry mouth and sometimes I get so thirsty it wakes me up in the night. So, for the first three weeks of this challenge, I will log my water intake every day. +1 CON (percentage of days logged) Then I will set a goal for myself based on this data, and try to meet it every day. +1 CON (percentage of days met) FOOD SIDE QUEST: Eat Salads! Eat a salad for lunch 3x/week. Pretty self explanatory. +2 CON BONUS: Try 2 fancy salads that aren't just leaves + tomato + protein. +1 CON LIFE SIDE QUEST: Accountability I usually bail out on my challenges towards the end... even if I'm doing well I forget to post and then I forget what I've even done and then I don't feel as awesome being able to say I hit all my goals, or I find it easier to make excuses for not. So, I will post to NF with updates 4x/week at least. Even if it's just a small "did yoga this morning" from Tapatalk. +3 CHA
  20. Raxie

    Raxie's Revamp

    Happy New Year Nerds! I'm so excited to be getting going with this challenge. I took a break from NF over the holidays because I hurt my back and I was just generally stressing out over too many things. But I didn't fall off the wagon tooooo hard and my back is all better and I had a lot of time to think about how I wanted to start off the new year. I'm honestly looking forward to this year more than any past years I can remember basically since I was in high school. After a year and a half I am finally starting to not be constantly depressed about my grandfather's death, I am much more financially stable than I have ever been in my adult life, and I got a new long term project at work that I am really excited about. Also things happening this year that will make this year even more awesome: 1) The boyfriend and I are going to Alaska in July 2) I'm going to Camp Nerd Fitness!!! Squeeeeeeeee 3) My roommates are moving out in February and the boyfriend and I will finally have our very own apartment for the first time ever! 4) We're getting a new cat! In the break I took over the holidays I had a lot of time to think, and I realized a few things about myself and my goals that I think will help make this a really successful year. Firstly, I am constantly getting frustrated with my cleaning goals because I feel like I never make any progress. I've come to the realization that our apartment is completely at capacity with 2 couples and a cat and A LOT OF STUFF. So I'm going to stop beating myself up about this situation, do my best to make sure everything doesn't go to hell, and once the roommates move out stick to a cleaning schedule I've been dying to do forever, but it will then be 100% under my control, instead of trying to do stuff and having it completely negated by other people's doings. I also realized I absolutely need a morning and evening routine. I feel so much better throughout the day when I didn't get up and rush out the door like a mad woman, and I imagine an evening routine will help me deal with my sleep issues. Finally, I realized that I've been saying I'm going to start Stronglifts for over 6 months now. It's freakin' time! I've been resisting because I have always absolutely hated gyms. But... I'm going to just do it. I've been wanting this for so long. So I will start with super super low KB weights (like I'm talking 5lb) and increase by 2.5lbs (because those are the fractional weights I have), and then once I hit 40lb I'll suck it up join a gym and start using barbells, at that point I'd be increasing by 2lbs each workout, as this is what the Stronglifts program reccommends for women. And, without further ado, my challenge: MISSIONS Grading on all 3 of these are pure percentage of completed out of possible, rounded to the nearest 0.5 point. 1. Routines Do my morning and evening routines 5x/week each minimum. Possible Stat Points: 5 CHA Morning MeditateJournaling (I've made my own that's basically a version of the Five Minute Journal tailored more for me. It includes an area for dream journaling and an area to write about my meditation experience that day, it actually seems like a fantastic idea and I highly recommend checking it out) Evening: No electronics the hour before I have to go to bedPick Out Clothes for the Next Day (I find this usually gives me so much stress in the AM)Sleep by 7 hours before I have to wake upJournaling 2. Morning Workouts Possible Stat Points: 5 DEX I will either run or do yoga in before meditating in the morning, 5x/week. I have a feeling I will probably lean towards yoga most of the time, but maybe I'll get ambitious. 3. Evening Workouts Possible Stat Points: 3 STR/2 STA Stronglifts 3x/week Foam Rolling 2x/week DIET CHALLENGE Cook More Food Possible Stat Points: 5 CON I need to go back to basics with this. I always struggle with my food, and in general I do eat healthy when I cook for myself but when I am with my family or eating out it's just basically an all cheese all the time show. Which is bad in so many ways. So instead of restricting myself from eating things, I am going to look at it in a different way. 4 dinners a week will be a home cooked meal! This includes leftovers and batch cooking, so if I just want to make one meal enough for 4 dinners that's fine too. Grading will be pure percentage of completed cooked meals out of a possible 24, rounded to the nearest 0.5 points. LIFE CHALLENGE No More Beer! All the Scotch Possible Stat Points: 5 CON So this method may sound a little nuts, but I've done it before and it works. I drink so many extra empty calories from beer. I drink beer on board game night with friends, I drink beer or wine when I come home from work to unwind, and all that adds up to a lot of carbs for no reason. I also do it a little mechanically, like oh I'm at my friends and everyone is having beer I'll have one too. I love drinking and relaxing, so I'm not saying I want to stop drinking completely, I don't see a need for that right now at all. What I'm going to do is restrict myself to only drinking scotch. I LOVE scotch. Like a lot. But, I am not going to pound back 4 of them just for the hell of it like beer. I can't drink scotch without drinking it slowly and with intent, and enjoying every sip. Plus one teeny glass packs the same punch as a whole beer with a lot less calories. And since scotch is on the pricier side I'll be much more likely not to drink it just because. I'll allow myself one beer every two weeks. This way if someone comes along with a ridiculously awesome new microbrew I'll never get to try again I can try it guilt free. This one will be graded by beers over the limit. For a 6 week challenge I'll be allowed 3 beers total. For every beer over this limit my grade will drop: 0 beers over: A (5 points) > 3 beers over: B (3 points) > 6 beers over: C (1 point) < 6 beers over: F (0 points) And that's that!
  21. So, I don't know about you guys but the holiday season stresses. me. out. I absolutely adore my family, but we are definitely one of those families where the drama level is usuall high (hooray for being Italian-American!). Like seriously, I end up hiding in my cousins room with a bottle of wine 99% of the time on thanksgiving/christmas at my grandmas. This year there will be none of that! I will take care of myself and my mental health. I also have a lot going on the next few weeks. My birthday is this weekend, next weekend I'm going to visit my friend in the Carribbean (because that's where she lives. That jerk.). The weekend after that I'm visiting my high school friend. Then it's Thanksgiving, and then we're going camping, and then my boyfriends birthday. Ahhhh so much stuff. I have been finding some real comfort in finding a routine, and doing things every day from my last challenge. So I am going to basically do the same thing as last challenge, (which was my most successful yet!) except focus more on the calming factors of working out, meditating, and having a routine even while traveling. Main Quest. Keep going with my regular routines, working towards my epic quests and KEEP CALM. The Challenge. The way I'm setting up this challenge may seem kind of complicated (and definitely not the normal NF challenge set up), but it really worked for me last challenge so I'm just expanding upon that. Instead of just having a list of every day things, I'm breaking it down to every day, every week day, and every week tasks. Things I Will Do Every Day (1 pt/day): Move. Preferably doing my 30 day challenges, but since a few of them require equipment I only have at home I am OK with doing something else when I'm away. Especially if it's hiking related Or just this: Eat. And eat consciously. I've also been doing really well with for the first time in my adult life stopping counting my calories. Or even my macros. I have been doing both those things for so long, I know what is good and what isn't. Having calories and macros to fall back on almost hurts me because then I can eat a pizza (or 20 of my grandmas deviled eggs) and somehow finagle the numbers to "fit" in my calorie or macro goal. I know if it's not healthy, and if it isn't I will eat it with purpose and because it is enjoyable, not in an uncontrollable food rage. Things I Will Do Every Week Day (1 pt/day): Clean. I may bring Fly Lady back into my life, the site helped me out a lot when I first started on NF. Not sure yet, but every week day I need to do something to improve the space around me. If I'm not at home I can help clean up where ever I am, or straighten up my car, or even declutter my purse. Just something. Meditate. With Headspace. This meditation program is amazing and has really helped me ground myself the past few weeks. Sleep. I always get enough sleep on weekends and try to tell myself I get enough because of "making it up" during the weekends. So I'm removing weekends from the equation and just saying I need to get 7 hours of sleep a weeknight. No exceptions. Things I Will Do Every Week (1 pt/wk): Duolingo: I have been progressing with my spanish a lot lately and would like to keep on top of this. I'd like to do this 4 times a week. Lumosity: I love Lumosity. I know the science is questionable but I have been really enjoying it so I don't really care hahah. Plus it takes like 10 minutes and its free. And it really seems to help curtail my stress if I do it during lunch at work. And destressing is the theme of this challenge! Also 4 times a week. Foam Roll. 2x/week. It needs to be done. This can count as my movement those days if it is a rest day. Bonus! Bonus Activities (1pt/wk): Handle Snakes. My pet snakes are lacking in the love department. They are really good pets in the sense that they don't need a ton of attention but I'd like to make it a point to hang out with them when I can. Pamper. Do something for myself. A bath, a face mask, get the bf to give me a massage. Even finding time to relax and reading a book. Whatever. Something to add to the destress action. Extra Bonus (1 pt/challenge): Volunteer. If the opportunity presents itself I will volunteer again with HRC. They are an amazing bunch and I love every time I volunteer with them. Scotland Trip. I was supposed to post something here about my Scotland trip back in September and never did. I was also supposed to finish going through all my photos and put them on FB and haven't either. If I have time I will do both of these things before I don't do it at all. Cross Something Off My Epic Quest. Some of the things on that list are pretty doable in the short run. It's unlikely I'll have time for any of it right now, but I'll throw it in here just in case. Grading. I will start with 200 points. For every daily, weekday, or weekly task I miss I will lose 1 point. For every bonus I will gain 1 point. I will distribute the 15 stat points at the end of the challenge based on the areas I feel I've improved upon most. A: 199+ (15 stat points) B: 180-199 (10 stat points) C: 165-184 (8 stat points) D: 150-164 (5 stat points) F: <149 (1 stat point IF I stick with the challenge to the end, even if I do horribly and fail. Otherwise 0 stat points) Now, if at any point I become overwhelmed by the challenge instead of it helping me destress, I reserve the right to totally change my daily goals. Holiday Zen, here I come!
  22. A little late but here goes... So tomorrow marks my 1 year NF anniversary. And while I wish I could say my life has drasitically improved or changed since then, it hasn't. This doesn't have anything to do with NF, it has to do with me and how I've been approaching this journey... my brain has certainly changed dramatically in the way that I look at the world and what I do with and put in my body. But somehow everything I've been working on just hasn't stuck. I've had bouts of sucess and bouts of failure over the year, but nothing really consistent. Going over my past challenges (excluding my most recent) I notice a trend of doing really well in the beginning, and falling off towards the end. Or doing well all the way through only to lose a lot of my progress during the zero weeks. Essentially, habits have not been formed as I had hoped. Basically I've been having some trouble getting through the every day stuff. Even after my vacation I came back and instead of feeling refreshed and jumping back into things I have kind of just been sitting around for 2 weeks and doing not much at all. So now I am switching everything up. Instead of assigning myself specific tasks, I am going to just make sure I do a few things every single day. I have gotten into the habit of meeting my goals on a weekly basis instead of a daily one. I'll cram in 3 different work outs in one day (morning, afternoon, evening) or do extra sets to make up for a missed work out. But, shockingly, my body doesn't respond well to that and I'm really just playing mind games with myself pretending I'm doing what I've asked myself to do. I've also been struggling with how to eat healthily. Mostly because the restrictions I've put on myself (which really do make my tummy feel awesome) my boyfriend has a hard time enjoying. Even if I make something that I think is delicious, he still wants pizza or cheese fries or something of that nature. And it's hard to have to try to stick to my guns and eat what I made and try to convince him to eat it too nearly every day. So I end up giving in a lot and we eat something terrible. So I'm going to back off on some of the restrictions I've had in place and see how I feel and will possibly work them back in at a later date, this is in the interest of cooking healthy things that hopefully the boyfriend will want to eat, and that we can enjoy together. I'll be not considering gluten a failure anymore, as long as it is in whole grain form. I will also not be so picky about dairy, since I have learned I can't not eat pizza, I just need to think more when I eat things that are "bad". If I don't think of it as bad it will hopefully be easier for me to eat a normal human amount instead of like 20 slices. More on this down in my food mission. So. I will do small things. Or big things. Or medium things. My choice depending on how I'm feeling as long as I do something from each category every day. Every day I will focus on myself and improve myself a little bit. Even if I'm exhausted and it's something super tiny, it's still something better than yesterday. Every Day Missions 1) Move. This can be running, yoga, strength work out, swimming, or going for a walk. Or even hopping onto my mini stepper for a bit if I'm super busy. Even stretching and foam rolling counts here if it's a rest day or I'm super sore or sick. Just do something every day. Especially if it's capoeira. 2) Meditate. I started using Headspace before I went away and continued to use it on vacation but I kind of lost track of it since. It's small little meditation sessions that build up over time in length and intensity (ie - become less and less guided) and eventually begin to branch out into different aspects of life that I can focus on. I absolutely love it, so I'm going to make a commitment and really start doing this every day again. 3) Make Healthy Choices. Try to avoid gluten, but when neccessary make sure it is whole grain. Also portion control is key. Don't over eat. I know when I've screwed up, if it's one thing I've gained over the year it's knowledge of what's good and what's bad to put into my body. Actually following through with this hasn't been super sucessfull but I do know. So this is kind of subjective but that's also kind of the point. I want an overall feeling of making healthy choices and really thinking about what I put into my body every day. I'm not too worried about the nitty gritty. 4) Improve My Space. Clean something, or organize something, or make something look a little nicer in my space every day. Even if it's tiny, even if it's just scooping the cat litter. If I'm not home for a day, this can be as simple as organizing my purse, throwing receipts out of my wallet or cleaning my hair brush. Just something. 5) Sleep. Get at least 7.5+ hours a day. This can be supplamented with naps in extenuating circumstances. No excuses. 6) Be accountable. I have tapatalk, I have access to it everywhere. I can get on here every day even if I'm not at a computer. Even if all I say is something like "Today: 1235" beecause I everything on this list except for number 4 sort of thing. It's not that hard. I can do it. This doesn't count towards grading but I'd really like to keep on top of it. Bonus Activities These will make sense once I get to the grading portion. 1) Brain Train. I don't expect to do this every day, but I do want to do it a few times a week. I have a free Luminosity account and also a brain exercise thing on my DS. So either one will work. (MAX 5 POINTS/WEEK) 2) Snake Love. Not sure if I've mentioned this before here but I own 4 snakes. I completely love them but sometimes I don't play with them as much as I probably should/want to. So once a week or so I'll try to take them out and handle them. (MAX 1 POINT/WEEK) 3) Pamper. Take a bath. Give myself a face mask. Get a manicure or a pedicure (or do it myself). Do something nice just for me. (MAX 1 POINT/WEEK) 4) Boyfriend Time. Do something romantic with the boyfriend. We have been living together for 3 years now so the romance is starting to be more like let's lay on the couch all night in our PJs and order in as opposed to going out for a nice dinner or see a movie. I feel the opportunities to be healthy are much better in going-out situations too. Plus I enjoy dressing up and looking/feeling nice. (MAX 1 POINT/EVERY 2 WEEKS) 5) Volunteer. I've been volunteering on occasion with HRC, if the opportunity arises during this challenge I want to volunteer more! (MAX 2 POINTS/CHALLENGE) 6) Duolingo. This is basically a free version of Rosetta Stone. I've been on and off using it for Spanish for about a year now. Hopefully I can find the time to work on this a bit. (MAX 5 POINTS/WEEK) Grading I will start off with 175 points. If I miss an every day task, I lose one point. If I do a bonus activity, I gain one point. But I can't get more than the max points per week from the bonus activities listed under each bonus activity (so I can't just take 20 baths in one week and get 20 points haha) At the end of the challenge I will grade myself based on my end total points. 175 is 35 (days left in the challenge) times 5 (number of daily tasks). So I can't actually get below 0. 210+ points: A (15 stat points) 190-209: B (11 stat points) 175-189: C (8 stat points) 125-174: D (5 stat points) 100-124: F (1 stat point) 0-99: F- (0 stat points) I will award myself the above number of stat points. Since my end grade isn't broken up into how well I did in each category, I will decide at the end what kind of stat points I get depending on what I feel I improved upon the most during this challenge. And I'm off!
  23. Main Quest: Oneness... still This installment of 'Laura gets her shit together' will focus largely on my work life since I'm not going to have anything other than work life for the next few months. Next week we ramp up to session, which is rumored to be nonstop until the end of the March. That means no 'off' days (or days off) and longgg hours. Lucky for me, I'm a hard working bad ass and have no problem getting to the gym regularly (time permitting, of course) so I don't need to work a "workout this many days" goal in this session. That leaves me open to continue working on my never ending stress management goal and to revisit my 'don't be an asshole' goal. Goal 1: Consistent zen seemed to help some last challenge but I let it fall off. So, instead of trying to do X days weekly I'm going to aim to complete the Take 10 on my headspace app without taking any breaks. So, that's only 10 days. Then what? Honestly, I'm not sure yet. I might just repeat the Take 10, I might take up levitation (what? that's a thing, right?) Regardless, I'll have an updated goal by the end of the Take 10. Goal 2: Current Laura ^. But yeah. I'm a big girl and it's time to put on my big girl pants and act like it. My main focus this session will be to not overreact, yell, or flip out (or anything else) when someone makes me want to punch them in the throat. How I'm supposed to accomplish this is still a mystery to me. I guess I'll take the 'count to 10 and then speak' approach to start. Suggestions welcome! Goal 3: Just don't die (Thanks Blueberries!!). Long, busy, intense work days + weekend job that is also super busy + working out = super tired Laura. Goal is to make it through without burning out completely. How? Well, I have my back up lifting plan. And a back up to that plan, too (ohai well prepared). So if I need an extra off day I can have it. Also, I'm going to schedule a periodic weekend off day, too. That will set me back a bit in my pay off debts goal (that I don't post about) but right now it's about making any progress I can and not ALL THE PROGRESS! while maintaining my sanity and health. Also, I will eat. And I will keep quick foods on hand that are Laura friendly. That means more fruits and larabars. Big eating goal will be to just eat enough protein and fill the rest however it falls. As long as I eat enough I don't care which macros I eat (omg, i said it - gah!). And that's it. That's all I got. oh, that and I thought I could change the name of my challenge, but I can't. Sooooo, there's that. Seems fitting.
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