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Found 23 results

  1. Not sure what this challenge holds for me, so I'm coming in with an open heart. Stay tuned, because this is the mindset that usually means the doors get blown off.
  2. I had a plan. I really did. And then during my devotional/prayer time, this verse came up: "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son," -- Colossians 1:13 Message received. I have been in some emotionally dark places this year, instigated mostly by current events and being too much in my own head. If you've been following me for a little while, you know that some old bad habits have crept back up, and I have been fighting some demons, slaying some dragons, and bouncing between feeling like a failure as a husband and father and feeling hopeful that I really am doing as well as I can in the circumstances. This challenge, like many that have come before it, will have three categories: Mind, Body, and Spirit. It will be themed after things that give me hope: scripture, poetry, music, nature, fictional and real-life characters, motivational videos, stories of success and overcoming adversity, and of course lots and lots of time with family and friends. I will use a daily point system based on the level of personal difficulty. For example, even though I love to read it is difficult for me to sit still and focus for for an extended period of time. Therefore, that task is worth more points. Every 250 points I will "level up" and will reward myself in some way (sleep in, eat a cheat meal, buy something for myself, etc.). Mind (17 points): wake up early Monday-Saturday -- (1 point) read for at least 20 minutes a day -- (5 points) learn something every day (via podcasts, articles, videos, etc.) -- (5 points) complete the daily goal on Duolingo (Spanish) -- (1 point) journal daily -- (5 points) Body (22 points): intermittent fasting (at least 16 hours) -- (5 points) practice the Wim Hof Method daily using the WHM app -- (5 points) daily workout -- (5 points) integrate creative movement throughout the day (walking, squatting, crawling, sprinting, etc.) -- (1 point) eat mostly (75%-80%) whole foods -- (5 points) no sodas and at least 11 glasses of water daily -- (1 point) Spirit (11 points): meditate at least 10 minutes daily -- (5 points) daily prayer/devotional/scripture reading -- (1 point) reach out to at least one friend or family member a day via message or call -- (5 points)
  3. Now that my health seems to have stabilised and I've been back on the forum a reasonable length of time, I want to start a log of sorts to track my (any?) progress and hopefully my recovery. Of course what I really want to do is turn back the clock. I want to get back to where I was in 2014 before things all started going pear shaped. I saw some pictures of myself last night on Colin's (my bf) phone from 2014 and it was a bit of a shock to the system. I saw a young woman, full of life, smiling, and dare I say it - pretty. Now - I feel like an old woman, I look haggard, unkempt. I don't stride around with confidence and purpose, I shuffle around in pain and discomfort. I spend a good portion of my day asleep and I rely on Colin to an huge degree. When I look in the mirror I feel old and ugly. I want to be the other Guzzi again so that's what I'm setting out to do. My goal for 2017 is to try and get back to being the woman I was in these pictures. My plan to accomplish this involves: No. 1 - Post monthly progress pics I'm going to use this as a kind of doodle pad for my thoughts. There obviously won't be any workout logs but I plan to post my monthly weigh-in and progress pictures. I gained around 10kg whilst I was ill so although I'm definitely not "dieting" I am trying to get back to eating better and cutting out the boredom eating, which should have an impact on my figure. I will track these using the pictures rather than the scale number. I'm deliberately weighing myself in kilos so that I can't get hung up on the number. Kilos mean nothing to me. No. 2 - Post my food accomplishments The last 2 years have been pretty poor in terms of diet and nutrition. I couldn't cook because I was ill and Colin really couldn't cook because.... Well just because, apparently, so there has been a big reliance on food that goes from the freezer straight to the oven. I plan to slowly work on getting back to eating better. Of course this is totally dependant on my mobility and stamina so it's outwith my control to a certain extent but I'm hoping to see improvements in my health and mobility over the course of the year. I plan to posting my food related accomplishments, whether that's sharing a recipe that I've managed to cook or just doing the usual "food porn" photos. It's all about celebrating my successes in the kitchen and hopefully giving me the the confidence and incentive to cook again, when the mobility issues allow it. No. 3 - Be active on the forum I also want to feel young and carefree again. Now there's not much I can do about this one other than hope things improve and try to shift my focus away from the pain and mobility issues. Anything that helps me to do that is invaluable. One of the things I think was fundamental to my state of mind back in 2014 was the community here on NF. The members friends I made and the support I received had such an important role in shaping my mindset but more than that, their encouragement gave me real self confidence for the first time in my life. I was able to be myself, something I don't think I'd ever really been able to do before. That's the real reason I felt so carefree, because I was actually happy in myself for the first time. The last two years have kinda sucked the life outta me so I plan to find my confidence again. I can't really engage with people in the Real WorldTM because I'm fairly house bound and all my friends and family are hundreds of mile away, but I can be an active member of the forum again and help other people to improve their lives too. No. 4 - Search out opportunities for fun There's not a lot that I can take part in, I don't know from one day to the next what my mobility or ability is going to be so I need to try and make opportunities for fun as and when I can. I will write about anything fun in here because I want to focus on the fun stuff and not the times when I can't do stuff. "With out thoughts we make the world" is one of my favourite quotes and I truly believe it. If I can keep my attention focused on the things that make me laugh or smile then my perception of myself will follow suit and I will start to feel like a happy, fun person again. I already feel more optimistic just by writing this post. Win! I might also go waaaaaaay off topic and post some utter shite because, y'know, shits and giggles.
  4. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it you'll never make it through the night." Hope is something which comes and goes. Like motivation. Or passion. Or love. Each of these need attention to be maintained or it will fade with time. Motivation needs to be refreshed. Passion needs to be re-energized. Love needs to be nurtured. Hope needs to held close to the heart. Hope is attached to these other concepts (motivation, passion, love) as well as others, like dreams, beliefs, etc. Hope is a theme in The Last Jedi and will lead to the epic conclusion in Episode IX. In health and fitness, hope is part of our goals. We hope to our plans work out and we meet our goals moving closer to our dreams... When things go off the rails, our goals are obstructed or appear to be out of reach, those are the moments when hope is most important. It has to be held onto through those moments, return with you to the drawing board, and make it to a positive achievement. Hope in something better is what can get us back up after a failure. If we let even a little hope go, then it can all slip through like sand in your hands. Maintaining hope is best done with priorities. We prioritize our lives by what matters to us. Most of us would say that family is our number one priority. Tie your hope for your goal to your number one priority, then it will never fade. My hope is to be a Jedi who influences the world to make it a better place for my children and their children to inherit. That drives me to coach, mentor, and teach others. It drives me to make changes in my life to be a proper role model for everyone who may look up to me. Another hope I have is to maintain a healthy body so that I can take care of my family, and give them as much joy and happiness as I am able. My back injury made me grumpy and sedentary due to pain and discomfort. I committed myself to fixing it. Part of that was financially through doctor visits, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and a spinal injection. The other part is making changes in my daily life to correct poor posture and spinal issues through exercise, diet, and better sitting practices. Hope is your life line. Without hope, your life may be lost. Keep that life line strong with prioritization. With hope, you will always be rescued. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 4 Level 4 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 600 min total, 150 weekly STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 240 min total, 60 weekly. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 800 min total, 200 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. Cut out the crap. Eat salads, not burritos. Eat fruit, not cookies. Eat carrots, not Cheez-Itz. Eat less, not more. TURN UP THE HEAT! TURN DOWN THE EAT! CON +4 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 60 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 15 hours each week (reducing for the school year as I need time to help the kids with homework). Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge Dishes (10) Laundry (8) Cooking/Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (20) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($294.35 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 17 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 15 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $50 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $20 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. REWARD: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each day without fasting. REWARD: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD: $2 for each morning or night of brushing and flossing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each morning or night I forget to floss. Lose $10 for NOT flossing for the full day. BONUSES: Life: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons). $2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings. $2 for healthy grocery shopping or healthy meal prep. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 149.5 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in.
  5. This is the beginning of my journey, and I need your help. My name is Lindley. I am an ICU nurse with a really shitty night schedule. I am 5'1" and the heaviest I have ever been at 163 pounds. I was in a very unhealthy five year relationship, had two sons with the individual, and am now a single mom. I struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder, depression, anxiety, binge/purge, and PTSD. Now for the thing that sent me over the edge... June 12, 2016, I woke up and discovered my 5 week old son (Ronin August) had died from SIDS during a nap. Needless to say, it was the single most traumatic experience of my life and it's left me with an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and apathy. Any kind of will to live just went out the window, let alone any king of will to get healthy and back in to shape. Now, just waking up and doing day-to-day things is a struggle. I live in Oklahoma and have a very limited support system (one friend within physical proximity, and my mom and aunt available via telephone). I'm maxed out on my antidepressants and I go to hypnotherapy 4 times a month (which is not cheap!). Also, I'm now hypertensive and I just FEEL the toll this is taking on my body. I don't feel good. I used to be very in shape. I loved being active and eating clean. But now, the smallest things are a challenge. I don't want to live like this, but the sadness overwhelms me. I am reaching out to this community because there is still a sliver of something inside of me that wants me to "get better". I'm searching for support. I've tried to be mentally healthy, thinking my body would follow suit, but that obviously didn't work. And now I need a different approach. I want to be healthy for my remaining son (Olin Anthony). We all have struggles. We all have our crosses to bear. I would love to hear what others have overcome and how they did it. Tell me your story.
  6. ____________________________________________________________________________ "Fatigued with life, but loathe to part, yet on Hope, the soul relies, and every pang that rends the heart bids expectations r i s e. Hope, like the gleaming, tapered light, adorns and clears the way; and still, as darker grows the night, emits a brighter ray." The above is a somewhat modified version of a song that I discovered during research for a story. It...struck a major chord, and so is now saved to my book of favorite words. <3 There were several variations, so the modification comes from attempts to merge them somewhat. It's...just true, really. I had not anticipated stumbling across something so relatable. As for the song above that, also..."Every breath that you breathe takes all that you've got, you wonder if you're always gonna feel this way...feeling overwhelmed before the day even begins..." It's exactly where I am. But...then there's the rest of the song, and it's a hopeful note. So, I was going to say there's no Theme this time, but... there kind of is one. : ) Honestly, right now I feel Stuck; I went away for most of the recent Challenge. Not all of that time was spent in the doldrums of anxiety and sadness, but rather in a slumped loss of energy and interest. Just don't have a lotta get-up-and-go at the moment. But...to put it in terms of Characters and RPG, Miaulin's wandering Ye Darkende Woode, well off-path. There are no signs to mark the way, and nought in sight but further tangled trees and fog. The Black Dog walks at her side, growling frequently, biting at unpredictable intervals. There's an ashen bird perched on her shoulder, and it whispers dread in her ear in a voice like snakes slithering over damp leaves. She is weary. Something tells her she'll never leave this forest. Sunlight is rare, dribbling to the ground in watery patches, never quite enough to dent the looming mist. She rushes for them, when they appear, stays close by and never fails to dismay when they fade. It strikes her as pointless to keep walking when the journey will never end. But, in those soft moments by dwindling pools of natural light, when the dog sits tame and panting, and the bird ceases its whispers, she remembers...if there is an end to this forest, she will not discover it by setting up a permanent camp and making a home of the dark. I dare not entertain further illusions of doing much in the way of narrative, but I have done a bit more writing lately and so won't discard the notion entirely, perhaps some small snippets and snatches here and there. As for goals...I worry it would be a set up for failure to set the bar much above ankle-height for the time being. So, instead of a collection of goals, the aim is to take at least one small step a day just to gain some ground. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Tracking Zero Week: Day One: Check Day Two:Check Day Three: ? Day Four:? Day Five: ? Week One: Day One: Day Two: Day Three: Day Four: Day Five: Week Two: Day One: Day Two: Day Three: Day Four: Day Five: Week Three: Day One: Day Two: Day Three: Day Four: Day Five: Week Four: Day One: Day Two: Day Three: Day Four: Day Five: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  7. As I sit at the bus stop, with the growing heat of the morning sun on my shoulder and a welcome breeze lifting my hair and swirling around my feet, a familiar melancholy accompanies my experiences, beautiful and haunting. Dreaded because it comes and goes as it wills, unbidden, it is yet a misunderstood visitor, mysterious and multifaceted. Closer even than breath, it permeates my being, inviting me to feel, deeply and poignantly. Dare I listen to its call, let my armor fall away, and stand; open, feeling, and vulnerable?
  8. I feel kinda burned out on the 6WCs. I slip up because of the gap between them, and the goals seem to be mostly the same. Not real drive behind some of them, either. Next year is also forming a major hurdle, too. I will not act upon my suicidal thoughts, no matter how tempting. 1) A plan for the remaining schoolwork. 2) 1 drawing a day. Small everyday objects, tackling bigger things as I develop skill. I wasn't comfortable with putting pictures I've drawn this far on a public album quite yet, so it's friends only. Can share them, if you ask. Open for articulated critique, of course. "I like this, but not this, because [reason]" 3) Zen Habits 1000 cuts, 3 things a day. 4) Gratitude statements every day. 4.12.2015 Fri I am grateful.. That I am still alive,as the Christmas is coming. I am dabbling in drawing after a half a year pause. At least I enjoy it, though it is not an 'useful' thing as such. That drawing is a skill, and can be trained. Relatively healthy is a good thing. 1000 cuts 10 push ups 2 pull ups 2 chin ups
  9. Great Creator, I see my enemy, but they're cunning and fierce. I plan to attack on the dawn of the second sunrise. I know I cannot face them in battle alone, and you have provided the allies I need to succeed. It will all end with them or me, and if it's war to my dying day, so be it. These spirits of the Shadow do not oppress me alone, but every living creature in this land. It was you who saved me from the Shadow's deadly grasp. It was you who appointed me with the sight to see beyond this physical realm into where the spirits deal, your realm and the enemies'. You gifted me with great skills, talents and admirable qualities as the means to help rescue others from the Shadow and his followers. I ask for your strength and perseverance to under this quest and pursuit against the spirits of Gluttony and Sloth. Spirit Chaser a.k.a Sachiko, the Golden Hind (These battle entries will continue to be directed as personal letters to a higher power that Sachiko turns to for daily wisdom and guidance.) *The Great Creator appears to Sachiko as a mighty Golden Eagle of Guidance in the Sky.
  10. "Pick up the pieces and keep going, one painfully slow step at a time." -Hiraedd, The Conqueress (Bare bones, to be elaborated later. It's certainly quite blunt as it is now. But it's written, and I'll work from there.) 1) A task a day A distance net-course due 30th of June, and another 30th of July. Marketing law and Strategic marketing. Soft deadline aimed at 21st of each month to give some space to maneuver. 2) Honorable Order of Rebellious Appraising Yeomen and Gratitude statements Positive, honest self-appraisal. Once a day. --> HOoRAY Things outside yourself that I am grateful for. Three times a day. In the challenge thread and cross-posted there rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/26507-3-things/ 3) ZenHabits1000 cuts 1) The Zen Habits 1000 cuts Plainly from the previous challenge. 200 points, 3-4 things a day. Adding that 5 min of streching, or every 5000 steps over the daily 10k I usually get, are worth one point. 4) Something from Brene Browns work, a single step towards recognizing shame and the symptoms, but I dont know how. I will think this a bit more.
  11. I just copy-pasted my tags from last challenge. This challenge I think should be about end result and reporting my progress every day. The future keeps changing... one week, we're not going to be here next xmas, the next we're stuck in this area for life.
  12. ***This thread may slip to dark areas, like depression or suicidal thinking, so as a warning, it may shake things. And though I may sound harsh and judgemental, please remember, it's not towards you at all, but my inner things. I wouldn't think such things about anyone else <3*** I let things slip even more, to the point it starts to look really hopeless. Before, if I had did my best, and started crunching things, I would've been able to pull through the studies. Now, with another major paper not getting done, and two other assignments being due this week of the challenge, I'm nearly done for. I feel like I'm drifting in a river, floating gently, towards a waterfall. Until about a week ago, I tried to swim against the current, trying to finish schoolwork, at least trying to do something, though feeling worried and anxious. But now, I'm simply floating. Yes, I need to get the schoolwork that affects someone else's marks done, and then... I hope I can go. Not that fixing things is not possible: I could if I wanted to: focus in this moment, do the assignments, work on my shortcomings and faults, like procrastination, lack of sparks in my life, all that stuff. I feel it's too little and too late; that I would need so much more than I am now to do turn this around. I have no mental scars, like abuse or rape or anything major like that, just feel like a piece of sh*t, and that all that I have failed until now, and which I judge myself is a big pile of little pieces of gravel, and it all together is too much to bear. About suicide, so in spoilers: So, tl;dr My problems feel so big, I feel I don't want or can't solve, so I want to get rid of them. Now, I don't want to go like this: wasting my time away, nothing much to show after this life, finishing it half-baked.. All the little things, like hugs, and the rare occasions I've made someone's day, and when I've felt in peace and free, like moments with nature, or time spent with friends, it is encouraging. Things that have helped in the past: 1) The Zen Habits 1000 cuts Fearkiller, on 26 Feb 2014 - 10:46 PM, said: 200 points, 3-4 things a day. Adding that 5 min of streching, or every 5000 steps over the daily 10k I usually get, are worth one point. 2) Positive, beautiful, grateful things in my life (3 daily) http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/26507-3-things/ http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/24603-pvs-the-honorable-order-of-rebellious-appraising-yeomen/ Like those threads. And from the members, at least Liberator does this, whose gratitude statements are beautiful! Vnv nation, Assemblage 23, Rotersand... I am grateful for great music. 3) Due diligence - Seek out all the deadlines of assignments into one sheet, hang it to a wall, and decide how much I can do, and arrange the rest http://calnewport.com/blog/2011/11/11/if-youre-busy-youre-doing-something-wrong-the-surprisingly-relaxed-lives-of-elite-achievers/ Things that help - Leechblock - Firefox addons that blocks sites you want for a certain time. Reduces distraction and procrastination. Aiming to use it daily. - I have to stop worrying. I don't know yet how, maybe that's another goal. - Go to sleep at 10 pm, so the next day isn't such a grind.
  13. I was going to sit this challenge out because we were supposed to be on a space-a flight to England by now, and my internet access was spotty last time I went. Instead, in another shining example of my husband's command's abusively neglectful disregard for his welfare, they told him that he didn't need any paperwork to leave the country, then at the last minute they tell him that it takes a month to go through all the paperwork. They told him it was his fault, and they washed their hands of him because he's not at the school anymore (vacationing between commands.) We're loosing a very expensive commercial return-trip, and it was money we didn't like to spend in the first place. The thing that's stopping me from going without him is that I would have to buy a commercial flight because I can't fly nearly-free without him. I got a little bit depressed and overwhelmed by the house last time he was deployed, but he also never really recovered. His ship kept increasing the amount of stress with the amount of work he needed to do, the random schedule, just using him up so much that what time he did get off wasn't enough. It would have been better for me if he wasn't there at all instead of having to take care of him when he didn't have any energy to interact. He was almost returning to normal during Christmas break, but then they started using him up so hard that having a vacation between the ship and the school was needed but denied. Also when I started panicking and being convinced that they were trying to kill him, they just casually dismissed that there was a problem. He's fairly stoic about it most of the time, but he's been dragging home stress and not being there for me for over a year and it's been wearing me down. The only thing I can do to express my frustration and anger is to say "It's not your fault" because he knows and he's helpless about what his commands do to him. Also my gradual fear of driving and inability to cope fed the problem. (The traffic here scares me, but mostly I was scared of having a panic attack while driving, which mostly would have been brought on by the fear of having a panic attack.) I also hated driving because we only have one car and his schedule isn't predictable. I told him to find me something that runs better than it looks so I won't have so much anxiety about some nut-job hitting me. I'll be checking in every once in a while, but probably not much. First I'm going to go visit my mother so that hubby can have solitude, and hopefully it will break the stress-cycle. Then in return for me painting her baseboards and a few other chores, she's going to talk me through the problems caused by my hoarding and help me get my house so that I can keep it presentable and ready for play with an easy routine. Right now, I'd have to move a bunch of stuff that doesn't have homes off of the table just to do a small puzzle. I still haven't been able to find the box that I put my cross-stitch stuff in. I stopped cooking because I got sick of cleaning the kitchen and cycling the dishwasher every single day, and then not being able to do anything fun because the rest of the house was a blocked-up mess. Hopefully I'll be ready to have a goal like "play with legos or something every day" and have it not be a chore by the time the next challenge starts.
  14. Battle With a Demon Vs. Prologue: The Battle Begins Tigera stumbled into Div's office, clumsily shutting the door as she dropped her bag on the floor. "I think I'm losing," Tigera said without preamble. "It's getting stronger, I can tell." Ed the Demon smiled sadly at the sorceress-in-training. It, of course, had smoothly slid through the door before Tigera managed to close it. "Of course you're losing. I mean, look at you. How could you ever think you had a chance?" Div rose from behind her desk, glaring at Ed. "OUT," she said, waving her hand. The demon scowled, but slowly faded. Ghost-like, it blended with the background until Tigera could almost forget it was there. Almost. Div sat back in her chair, gesturing for Tigera to sit as well. The older woman (much much much older) was an elf. They made up the majority of the faculty at the Academy, largely because their ability to see demons made them uniquely suited to mentoring young spellcasters. Everyone had their own demons to deal with, but when you start using magic…well. Your demons become a bit more real. "I'm not strong enough," Tigera continued. "It starts talking and I can't make it shut up. And once I start letting it get in my head, I can't do anything. Magic gets hard, I just don't have the energy. I can't make it stop. I don't know what to do." "Please sit," Div said, motioning again to the chair in front of her desk. Tigera looked at the elf's face, then sat. "Now. You already know what strengthens it." "When I'm out of balance, yes. But--" "So to defeat it, you need to regain that balance. It's an essential part of magic." Div rose, moving to one of the shelves that lined the wall. "Every element of your life must work together. They must all combine to give you the peace of mind necessary to banish it forever." Div picked up a smooth black stone from the shelf and turned back to Tigera. "You want mental strength? Alright. That doesn't come from the mind alone. It also comes from the body." The elf sat back at her seat, placing the rock in front of Tigera. "Physical strength leads to mental strength. This--" she tapped the rock "--is part of a set of Balance Stones. Each stone tests one element of your life. You see the character inscribed in it?" Tigera nodded. "When you can make that character glow, your body will be adding strength to your mind instead of taking it away. The demon should be much weaker then, and we can move on to other ways to vanquish it fully." The elf sat back in her chair, dismissing Tigera for the time being. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Main Quest: Be happy Sub-Quest: Gain physical strength Goals: 1) Work out three times a week. At the moment, this will be the Recruit Workout. As the challenge progresses, I may move to a different bodyweight routine. 2) Walk an average of 10,000 steps per day (or a total of 70,000 steps per week). 3) Eat three balanced meals per day. This is an intentionally vague goal, because it has to be. The demon I’m struggling with is disordered eating (and mild depression, but that’s heavily tied together with the eating), so if I create rules for myself about the types of food I should/shouldn’t be eating it will likely lead to restriction. Same with setting calorie goals or tracking macros. So instead, I’ll just log several things a day: a. Binge: Y/N b. Restrict: Y/N c. Meals eaten: number d. General health of said meals: i. 0: Completely unhealthy. Probably a binge in meal form. ii. 1: Some good, some bad. Mixed. iii. 2: Great. Healthy food, but also enjoyable. Balance is the key, so it could even include a dessert if I haven’t been doing that a lot lately (that probably won’t happen at the beginning, as sugar is quite triggering for me). The tracking for this goal will be very subjective. But that’s because my main quest is related to mental health, not strictly physical. And, for me, eating is very problematic (much more so than exercise) so this is the best solution for me. Life Goal: Participate in the Honorable Order of Rebellious Appraising Yeomen as an apprentice. Goal is to complete my apprenticeship this challenge and become a Journeyman! I think this fits very well with the mental health theme of my challenge. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* As Tigera walked back to her room on the north-most side of the Academy campus, she turned the stone over in her hand. Physical strength. That was something concrete. That was something she could do. It wasn't like the whispered taunts about her appearance or her friendships or her life that Ed made--she didn't know how to change those things, which was why the demon mocked her for them. But this...this she could do. As she walked back to her room, holding the stone in her hand like a talisman, Ed rematerialized behind her. The demon was fainter now than it had been in a long time. The battle had begun.
  15. Coping through Hoping “What do you want out of life? That is your hope.†I've been stressing over my actions and decisions without bothering to take the time to pin down exactly what ends I hope to accomplish in life. This... is madness... and also exhausting! Time to slow down, calm down, and find my inner peace. Enter my new challenge: MAIN QUEST: Discover Hope. Goals: 1. Awaken to Hope I've scheduled a date every morning at 6:00 am for the next six weeks with God. This is where I connect with Hope and awaken to possibilities. It's time to see myself through God's eyes and ask that He establish my ways. Maybe I'll get some clarity on future plans here... and if not, there is still peace to be won! 2. Gloved Shovel I've seen too many posts about people working with sledgehammers to NOT attempt it. The shovelglove website recommends 14 minutes a day. Week one will find me at half that – 7 minutes, 3 times a week - adding minutes through the challenge as I feel ready. Oh, and I'm using a ten pounder to start out. 3. Meal Manifesto Last challenge I did 21 days gluten, dairy, and sugar free and saw no relief from my stomach / GI issues. I've since read that it could take months, not weeks, to clear up my digestive trouble. That challenge now continues, with a few more suspicious foods cut from my diet. I'll also be journaling to record my food and feelings. Life Quest: 1. Authoring Hope I really benefit from writing: putting pen to paper helps me think through problems and is inspiring. I will write every night to remind myself that my hope is in Christ. Hope doesn't rise or fall on my own failures and shortcomings. Motivation: God can comfort my heart and establish me. (2Th 2:16-17 ESV) “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.â€
  16. "The winter is coming" -The words of house Stark (George R.R Martins seires A song of ice and fire) In the realm of Westeros seasons last many years, and I have taken the saying to mean that it's easy in good times forget caution. The year 2015 will be a hard one: I have left over assignments from many courses, which I now must do, I have the new courses pushing in, there's the thesis which I have no idea for... I've let things slip, like a child of summer, and must now pay for it. I'm in a bad shape, don't eat well, take the easy way out a lot more than I'd like, and come to regret those choices many times over. The main goal: To think every decision well: ponder what I want and what I need to do. 1) At least 2 hours of schoolwork day, and plan weeks every Monday with a calendar. 2) Limit screen time (except schoolwork) to 3 hours/day
  17. Looking at how my life has been lately, I may bring up dark topics, like depression, suicide, sadness, vulnerability... Spending so my time with these thoughts, I've gotten very used to them. 1) To do the right thing Last 2-3 months I have spent about 50-75 % of my time at work on webcomics, and non-work related websites, like Tvtropes.org and Cracked.com. But I have still gotten my salary. That is same as I had stolen the money, and I need to talk to my boss about this. But I might get fired, and/or need to return the money. But it's not mine, so the talk must be had. Continuing the 1000 cuts upping it to 200 points at the end of the challenge. And continuing the gratitude journaling. 4) At least 2 hours of productive homework time/day, 5 days/week. I have a ten page essay (due end of this month) and practical training paperwork to do. -I'm grateful for the NF community among other things for encouragement, and words of hope. -I had a decent meal health-wise lately. -A 3.5 mile/5.5 km walk, and some bodyweight exercises lately. I feel a bit better because of it. (Seems like I can't see much in my life to feel grateful for.) Hence the challenge.
  18. Looking at how my life has been lately, I may bring up dark topics, like depression, suicide, sadness, vulnerability... 1) I will commit to one Random Act of Kindness every week Jitters suggested it'd be helpful to look for opportunities to help other people. Not just opening a door for someone, or a compliment, but something they will remember, and smile about. 2) Zenhabits 1000 cuts "Over the previous challenges, I have several times tried working out as a solid set of bodyweight exercises with a warm up, exercises and streching. It has felt intimidating and pressing to obsess over it and have it as a unyelding chunk. Then, during the Planksanity I found it fun to do planks in small 1-2 minute doses over the day. So it turns out The Zenhabits Thousand Cuts Fitness Program, as described there, http://zenhabits.net/1000-cuts/ is small things along the day. A few pushups there, a pull up when you pass the bar, run when you feel like it. Making them more frequent, harder and preferably something playful given time. So for future comparison, run until I have to stop, 10 push-ups or 1 minute good-form plank are sufficient each for one point." This has worked before, I got results with it, I felt better. I can do 10 push ups, a little planking, a few lunges... I feel like shit sometimes, both mentally and physically. Human beings are meant to move, and when that doesn't happen, it leads to all kinds of problems, right? So I have to get off my butt. 3) Find three significant / beautiful / good things I am grateful for, every day. (I remember Liberator did the same thing before, so tip of a hat her way ) There has to be, and are, good things in my life, I know it. I forget/don't want to look for them sometimes, and still they are there. I am alive. I bought vegetables instead of candy. My workday wasn't a complete disaster. I still did some productive things. 4) Go to work, every day, on time, and do focused, productive work. Last week, I used almost three full workdays on computer games, NF and other shit not related to work. That is unacceptable. I am not proud of it. They pay me to work there, and then I cheat on them like this? Makes me feel horrible. I wouldn't go and steal from the cash register, or lie to my co-workers, but what I am doing is so close I might as well have. It isn't right. I do not want to be that kind of a person. Also, I will not cut a single meeting with my therapist, and I will be honest with them.
  19. The topic turned out maybe too honest. A fair warning: I personally think you should read this as an adult, and then decide if it is okay for your kid to think of such. Concerns dark and sad emotions and suicidal feelings. -Thank you My motivation: See to that all the true and beautiful things what I learned from my clear moment after the really dark patch in the middle of 2014 does not become one of those times I’ve had many before, where I see clearly, and then I let it all drop because of the struggles of day-to-day living, and they never get a chance to become reality from thoughts. There’s been many lapses before and thinking about every single time pisses me off. How could I blow such a great chance? The quote encompassing this is: Author probably unknown. My big goals, broken into achievable steps: Skim on everything non-essential, that, in the end, only takes from my happiness, getting me only a short burst of pleasure. Coffee, buns, junk food. I don’t eat them all that often, but I feel unable to dodge the thought of paying 5 € for a pizza to get to stuff it in my face feels like selling my dreams a tasty piece-by-piece. And with that thought the pizza tastes like ash. And burn ludicrous amounts of money into things that really are important, show in my life and others’ lives and make them better. Quality healthy food, exotic+expensive fruits that spice up the meals, good quality meat and fish, the occasional, to-die-for melt-in-my-mouth chocolate, quality, emotion inspiring movies and visits to movie theater with friends, to use money to get more time… I get that as I drop out those useless experiences that I already forgot? Yes all the way! Because one day I thought: “How much good memories cost, anyway?†They are priceless. I want to save up 1000 € by the start of the Camp Nerdfitness (640 for the camp access, 400 for travel), because I want to be there. And even if I do not make it to the Camp, I have a whole grand to use on something awesome. Win-win situation. Yes, partially I want to show my family that I do a thing that’s completely my own . I will swap the NF camp to at least a month abroad, preferably more. With 1000+ euros I can do a lot better than 3 days abroad. I know the NF camp would've been fun, but this will reap more benefits for sure. How: I will take part in No soda PvP, cutting down coffee, soda and sugary juices completely during the challenge. One cheat allowed per week,if it is something amazingly good, like thick, warm choco. I drink coffee twice a day, like a clockwork, juice daily, but soda very seldomly. I have a jar in which I wrote “Dreams†to remind me to save all the small coins from my wallet every time I pass it. --------------------------------------------------------------- I am going to continue the Zenhabits 1000 cuts fitness program that is making progress. Fearkiller, on 26 Feb 2014 - 11:46 PM, said: My first touch with parkour was Mirror’s Edge, and when you speed-drilled you way through the level, and it went good, the flow was amazing. I want to be like Faith, a flowing thing of movement, grace and beauty. And brag about it as I do the ever so casual vault over the fence that everyone else is taking as a obstacle. And if parkour is a awesome way of life as a side effect, it is a sweet bonus "Parkour is natural, effective movement. That’s it. In French, we use the term passement for overcoming any obstacle. You pass or traverse a barrier in whatever way suits you and the moment; there’s no one prescribed method for anything. Parkour is a lens of efficiency applied to every aspect of your movement through life. At its broadest definition, it implies a low-impact and considerate attitude towards bosses, co-workers, family, friends, driving, consumer purchases, and the environment (natural or manmade). What is the least effort and stuff you need in order to live the most meaningful and happy life you can make for yourself? As with the Nerd Fitness Rebellion, it is an exuberant and responsible celebration of life." -Dakao, in The definitive guide to parkour for beginners 2) And we were watching a parkour video from Youtube with my little brother, and this was the discussion: Me: That is wicked cool, just look at it! Seriously! Him: Yeah, it is. Me: If I start right now, I could be there, doing that! In a decade, easily. Him: Yeah, like you could. You’d be tumbling on your face in a second. Me: Oh, but it has to be started so slowly, with the basics, working your way up… Him: Mmh… Just forget it, it’s not going to happen. Me: Oh, we will see. I will get there, in ten years, vaulting over things and being awesome! You just watch! How: I will start making the ‘cuts slowly into something more parkour like: plyometric box jumps on top of and over objects, running through uneven terrain in the woods, learning three easy parkour moves that can be done everytime the opportunity arises. And I am planning to join the Assassins the next challenge. ---------------------------------------------------------------- The practical training place – go to work, be in time, and do actual work there, every single day. Even if there’d be a “fuck-it-all, hopeless, dark negativity†somewhere in between there. That demon has been beaten, and I fear to talk about him, or he might come back. There must be a ridiculously, immensely good reason not to go. If I play the fuck-it-all-card even once, it’s fearfully easier the second time, and third, and then… I would lose the golden line of doing things, if I get kicked out of there. I will not go there again, if I can help it. NO. Also, I am fortunate in that when I walk out of the door at 5 pm, I do not have to drag a single piece of my work home. So, as it is common that people say “I am so tired after workdays, I really can’t imagine doing anything else than fall to the sofa and zone out†and I have been there seldomly with the schooldays, and I see people in my family do it often. I want to experience how do I have to use my limited free time usefully so that it helps me to be alert and vigilant. How: Go to sleep at 10 pm, get up at 6 am, and find a way to get up, even if it is that alarm clock that sounds like a fire alarm (but I hope I don’t have to go there). Spend 15 minutes daily/an hour weekly thinking what I did wrong/right, how do I feel, why, and what can I do to improve. The practical training work starts 14.7, so this goal would only apply the last week of the challenge. I will switch this simply to a sleep goal. To sleep at 10 pm, up at 6 am. I will find a way. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Life goal: I have had trouble lately, because not much gives me joy anymore, and life feels useless. Living life because of the life itself is pointless, and even the good moments, while nice, lack a reason, they have no deeper meaning. I could shrug all I do away with little effort, not a lot of things feel real. 3 minutes of meditation daily. Whenever I have spare time (have to wait for something, have a break, etc.) I will close my eyes and breathe from my diaphragm, letting my mind settle, focusing my attention to the breathing only. That’s how the theory goes, my practical application may vary
  20. This turned out maybe too honest. A fair warning: I personally think you should read this as an adult, and then decide if it is okay for your kid to think of such. Concerns dark and sad emotions and suicidal feelings. -Thank you Lately, that mental bullsh*t started giving me trouble again. After one extremely bad "not-any-kind-of-beautiful-thoughts" day, I am seeing professional help. On a rational level I mostly know what is causing it (depression, addiction, loneliness, low self-esteem like glass and a general "why the **** bother?" with life), but it is a royal mess to start making life easier. Tried to tidy up the challenge to save people from the hurt. Well, seems with this kind of subject, I can't tidy it up enough. PM me, if you want a rougher account, I will gladly give it, but I am not comfortable with the idea of making it public. Main goal: Although I feel sometimes like suicide is a good option, I am afraid of death. I don't want to die. The small steps of beautiful things: Escapism is not a depression medicine 1) 2 hours of homework day, and no gaming/books before that. 2 hours is less than I'd need to solve the huge backlog accumulated, but as I currently do next to zero, that'd be a good step up. Love, human connection and beautiful things 2) I know I need close people, and just a normal conversation with someone makes me feel better, but I do not know how. I have spent so long alone, I find it hard to reach for people, especially strangers. Despite family and two good friends, (sometimes) I feel terribly lonely. 3) Look on the positive Due to depression and my self esteem feeling like glass, if something happens (I fail at something, break stuff, can't hit a deadline) I have a tendency for spiraling thoughts of negativity that go on and on, and I tend just listen to that little voice that tells me I am worthless (and worse...). On the worst times I really believe that lil' bastard. I am going to take active part in the Honorable Order of Rebellious Appraising Yeomen and Love Your Body and Food. To have a defence for the horrible days. 3) Finding thing that bring me joy Lately not even PC games or reading has brought me much joy, other things even less or not at all. I just do those to have something, to have bubble that shields from the boring real world. See #1 But then again, sometimes the little things, like walking in the sun, or drinking warm chocolate are fun. But I still can smile and laugh, and enjoy things. Finding more of those. Right now, I would rather feel pain than nothing at all, because of the chance of life. -Yours, Fearkiller
  21. After years of yo-yoing and letting myself go, and letting myself pig out on sweets at any time of the day, I am ready to treat myself right! It's time to grow up and realize that just how much I let sugar and pleasure control me. I've become lazy and complacent and when I look in the mirror I'm not happy with what I see. So I'm determined to start putting in some effort. Drink water, eat healthy but delicious meals, and treat my body well. I look forward to having energy, to not jiggling when I move, and smiling when I look at photographs. I have 40 lbs to go, and I know I can do it this time, as long as I just stay positive and motivated. Sorry it's such a mini photo, but it's my only full body, This is me 190 lbs, and my goal is 150.
  22. First and foremost, thank you in advance for all your help and support. I look forward to repaying you all with a little entertainment in the future (see Life Quest). Disclaimer: This may be a tad depressing, but it has a happy ending : ) Background Story: (The Beginning) When I was in high school I was a nationally competitive gymnast. Needless to say I was in fantastic shape. However, I lived in a home that had a healthy food regiment and didn't really eat out. Leaving for college, however, did a number on me. Junk food, soft drinks, and alcohol. It was a hard time balancing a small budget, having no car, and eating healthy, but I generally was physically active enough to retain most of my fitness. I had a great time, but towards the end things got very dark. (The Fall) Junior year my girlfriend at the time cheated on me with my best friend. To add insult to injury it was while I was in the same house, after I had bought them both dinner, when I had gone to bed early to get back to work early the next morning. Treason once I could handle, but twice? I was in a dark place for senior year of college. (Rock Bottom) My drinking became a problem as I numbed myself to the world around me. The numbness caused me to hurt others who did nothing but care for me. Then when I was sober enough to realize that, I felt even worse; I drank even more. I had met the woman I am currently with and, while I did not know at the time, plan to be with for as long as life allows. I nearly lost her to all my idiot actions that year. I knew that if I was ever going to be worthy of such an incredible person, I needed to change. (Hope) I decided on a sort of reinvention of myself. My first priority was academics and peace of mind. I decided to go to law school far away (in Michigan) from my college (in Florida), to eliminate anyone that could draw me back into that darkness. In short, it was a success: I got the grades; I got the girl (she's ended up coming to another [better] law school in Michigan); and I got the new life I wanted. (If you want to know more about what it takes to succeed in law school, feel free to PM me). (Start Loop) Yet, because fitness and health was not a priority, I was gaining weight and my shape was worsening. I didn't change my diet, nor did I stop drinking. Like a typical New Years resolutioner I bought an exercise system (Rip60) last year and finished it with pretty good results, but I was still The Fork Outrunner. Having run out of workout DVDs I fell off the workout boat and my bad eating/drinking habits caught up to me yet again. (Repeat) I've started and stopped 1) P90X, 2) Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and 3) Running since then... Main Quest: I want to break this cycle: Get fit, keep eating/drinking. Stop working out, keep eating/drinking. Get out of shape again/gain weight. Repeat. In short, I need discipline. I suppose this is my initiation into the Ranger's guild. 3 Specific Goals: 1) Eat better, drink less. My plan is to go paleo and booze-free weeks with weekends limited to a finite number of drinks/cheat meals. In order to accomplish this I will post proposed weekly food regiments and hold myself to them. Success or failure in this is going to be pretty dependent on accountability. Please help me construct reasonable meal plans and devise punishments for failure to adhere to them. 2) Improve Cardio. I'm constantly moving from one place to another so I never have a gym membership. Winter in Michigan is a runner's nightmare with black ice and below zero temperatures. I cannot afford to buy a treadmill and then proceed to move it everywhere I end up going. Therefore, jump rope. I'm doing the workouts in the Rebel Fitness Guide with jump rope as my cardio, and as my supplemental exercise on off days. I can barely do it for a minute straight, so my goal will be ten minutes of coninuous jump rope by the end of this challenge. I will post weekly bests along with my meal plan. 3) Improve Flexibility. While I'm quite happy with the warm up and cool down of the Rebel Workouts, I used to be a competitive gymnast. I'm frankly ashame of how inflexible I have become in relation to my past. Therefore, I will add my old gymnastics/martial arts flexibility regiment to my workout and off days. I will also post weekly bests on my splits in order to be held accountable. My belief is that each of these can be done regardless of my access to workout equipment, and will ensure that I can not fall off the boat. I will set alarms on my phone so that I can never forget. Side Quests: 1) Become a better cook with Paleo recipes. Try at least one new recipe each week. Report the results. 2) Game while standing. When I game I will try and remain standing to avoid sitting all day when I'm not exercising. Life Quest : I want to finally finish developing my magic routine and perform it from start to finish for an audience. I've been casually practicing magic, putting hundreds of dollars into it as a hobby, and never having more than a few isolated tricks to do. My goal is to develop, perfect, and perform a full 10 minute routine. I want to finish this by the end of this challenge and post a video for all of you to enjoy/critique. Motivation: I've always had a fascination with the jack of all trades (aka Batman). Being the best I can be at a variety of things has always brought me pride and pleasure. It is a point of pride then to be not just a Computer Engineer/Patent Lawyer/Archer/Magician but a fit Computer Engineer/Patent Lawyer/Archer/Magician. Being the best I can be, is being the happiest I can be.
  23. Hi All! I know I'm joining late so I'll really only be here to watch your challenge and then officially join in on the next 6 weeks. I have selected (if I can) both Druid and Scout classes because that is my focus for my 3 most prominent goals. So here's what my stats would be currently: Level 1 Druid/Scout Race: Half-Orc (Wants to look or feel like a Half-Elf at least) Strength: 1 Dexterity: 1 Stamina: 1 Constitution: 2 Wisdom: 5 Charisma: 5 I currently lead a very sedentary life and work in the marketing and development agency for a nonprofit organization focused on HIV/AIDS. I would like to get into at least better shape, but preferably I would like to actually accomplish something for once. Truly accomplish. So I'm going to try and follow these three goals and I'm already a week in! Goal 1: Run a 5k without stopping/walking STA 3/DEX 2 (mostly because I am working on endurance and breathing here; not just speed. Currently I'm at 14:06/mile hope to get down to at least 10!) A = No Walk/Stop at all C= No walk/stop until half-way point of 5k F= Didn't even enter the 5k Goal 2: Implement Yoga on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in between my C25K program training STA 2/Wis 3 A= At least do sun salutation routine on all of these days C=At least do 2 different yoga routines in a week F=Not do any yoga at all in a week Goal 3: (the hardest) Quit Smoking Cigarettes by June 30, 2013 WIS 5 A= Have no cigarettes and maintain the patch before June 30, 2013 C= Have at least half of my original amount per week (20/day) F= Continue smoking at regular amount per week These are my goals! So far I've started the quitting smoking today and it's going well because I've already been off of additive-containing cigarettes for a few months now and have my trusty patches and a small stress ball for my hands. Also, and I may post on this later, I have before this been tallying the amount of cigarettes per day on my arm and writing a word of encouragement each day, but I'll explain later. I'm committing these three things to my life and am not going to berate myself about food yet (though I will slowly start to get back on Paleo) or about my body image. I look the way I do and I am beautiful. I can't wait to Level UP! And I hope you guys are with me!! I'm with you!! Good luck to all of those quitting smoking as well! EDIT: I accidentally posted this in the general forum for the 6 week challenge. But am now re-posting here since this is my class. Sorry! Does anyone know how to cancel/delete the one I posted outside of this sub-forum? Thank you in advance!
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