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  1. Well, I have been hanging my metaphorical hat for the past few weeks in the Warriors 4-week Challenge area, but this seems a more logical place to maintain my long-term growth tracker. Hi, y'all! My secret identity presents as a perfectly ordinary middle-aged woman, educator, grandma, gardener, pillar of the local church, crocheter, and canner of homemade chicken broth. I'm polite, introverted, bookish, somewhat motherly to the young Marines I work with at the military leadership school, and generally appear harmless. But the *real* me is a Guardian, a powerful force of loosely controlled and readily accessible berserker rage, an impenetrable mass of strength and skill. I'm a hybrid Warrior/Monk, but I'm on indefinite hiatus from martial arts training due to living in a small town with a dearth of convenient Krav Maga instructors. For the present, I am focusing all of my time and energy on re-learning to pick up pieces of iron and set them back down again. I recently returned to myself after a long period of sedentary aimlessness, and found myself considerably weaker than I wish to be. So I found a Starting Strength coach and a black iron gym, and after about a month, this is where I am today: Squat: 45# 3x5 55# 1x4 65# 3x5 45# 1x6 (backoff set to practice form tweaks) Bench: 45# 2x5 65# 1x3 77.5# 3x5 (PR) Deadlift: 95# 1x4 115# 1x2 125# 1x1 135# 1x3, 1x2 (PR) The squat is the main motivator for hiring a coach. I'm super awkward under the bar, a little scared of it, and really struggled to get to depth when trying to do this on my own. Coach has me most of the way straightened out now, but she keeps pushing me to extra volume because I'm not consistent. She says I overthink it. What she actually says is "Quit ANALYZING and freakin' just SQUAT!" So, that's what I'm working with.
  2. Hello visitor. For those who don't know me, mandatory background info: Here are my goals this challenge. I'm doing a bare minimum because I've just been "done/tired" with everything lately. My mental health is not quite up there, so I take it easy for a bit. #1 No Snacking - No snacking on weekdays - A snack is anything not part of a meal (max 3 meals a day) - Fruit and nuts are not counted - A deep fried cafeteria snack is still a snack, even if it's eaten with lunch #2 Intermittent Fasting - Every day for at least 15 hours (up 1 hour from last challenge) #3 Cardio - 3x a week - Walking / Cycling / Spinning - At least 5 km or 20 min I've decided to do my fitness goal slightly different, mostly more relaxed and have me stressing a lot less. The important thing is that I do exercise 3x a week, doesn't matter whether that is on a bike or on my own feet. IF is gonna be challenging again. Last challenge I did manage 100% at 14 hours though, so I'm feeling confident! That's all there is to it. I generally use this thread to journal. I also post challenge updates reguraly. This challenge I will use Track your fast and Habit Bull for tracking. This in place of my handy spreadsheet.
  3. Hello Scouts! I thought I give this guild a try My name is Siferiax, or Sif, or Siffy, or... be creative! I'm a female and 30 years old. I have a boyfriend and two cats. I'm working within the limitations of autism & hypermobility (the moment flexibility SUCKS) I love road cycling and spinning. I also love walking. I unfortunately have quite a road cycling trauma I have to get over at the start of every season. I made a false start with a walking goal last year. The idea was to walk every single weekend for the entire year. Hypermobility basically ruined it and it ended up with me unable to walk for more than 30 min. I got shoe soles and special physical therapy and I'm happy to be able to say I CAN walk again. SO this year I'm again going for that goal! Unfortunately my problems with cycling haven't been resolved yet. I have been to the hospital and hopefully soon I'll get a special adjustment in my cycling shoe. Right now I do spinning for at least 20 minutes. Sometimes it goes well and I go for longer and sometimes it doesn't. I have been doing more spinning though. Right now I'm trying for Tuesday and Thursday. As for diet I'm currently focusing on Intermittent Fasting (IF) and no snacking (see below). I'm otherwise eating whatever I want. This has to do with my mental health in part and my sanity as another part. I'm a very picky eater and I dislike a lot of common foods. And ESPECIALLY I can't take anything spicy/hot/sharp/whatever you wanna call it. And with anything I mean not even in the slightest. Which is a challenge all it's own. And that's basically my background in regards to my health. ONTO THE FUTURE! I focus on habits instead of goals, but I have decided on some passing grades. So here goes. #1: No snacking (+WIS) Limited to weekdays only. On weekends I can snack, though it shouldn't be a snack feast either. A snack is defined as follows: anything not part of a meal (max 3 meals a day) and not a fruit or nut. Snacks as part of a meal are not tolerated when they fall into the category of deep fried cafeteria snack. (I seem to gain a bad habit there) Passing grade: 50% #2: Intermittent fasting (+STA) I fast at minimum 14 hours every day. I don't hold strictly at times, though usually I don't eat between 19:00 and 9:00. Passing grade: 100% #3: Drink 2 bottles of water (+CON) Every weekday I drink 2 bottles of water (I have 2 bottles with me to work) On the weekend I don't use my bottles, but should be mindful to drink enough Passing grade: 100% #4: Physical Therapy (+STR) As part of my recovery from downright evil hip problems I had physical therapy. I should still be doing this every day. They are mostly core strength exercises. Passing grade: 25% #5: Walking (+STA) I love walking and I want to do more of it! I want to not be limited by my endurance or muscles. I walk at least once a week. At least 5km. My end goal would be to have enough endurance for a vacation to New Zealand (goal and reward wrapped up into one ) Passing grade: 100% #6: Cycling / Spinning (+DEX) More spinning more better! And road cycling when weather allows. They are my absolute joys! I cycle (outside or inside) at least once a week for at least 20 minutes. Passing grade: 50% #7: Take medication (+CON) So on top of all the limitations I have... I have some more I have laxatives as a "real" medication. I also have supplements for my period. I should be taking my laxatives every day. Period supplements are more... flexible?! Passing grade: 25% #8: Creativity (+CHA) I want to be more creative. Writing, drawing, designing, coloring, you name it. I want to do a creative activity at least once a week. D&D Prep and D&D sessions count toward this. Passing grade: 0% As you can see my passing grades are all over the place. They indicate my focus and most important habits. For example IF is one of my main focus, while creativity is more of a nice to have. These grades and exact habits are probably going to change every challenge I don't change goals, I change focus and details. I use a nifty Google spreadsheet to track all these things. Including my current streak. Link is in my signature EDIT: I forgot I was gonna do stats again Here's the challenge start stats as I promised myself last challenge: STR: 2 | DEX: 2 | STA: 3 | CON: 1 | WIS: 1 | CHA: 1 What's what? I've added to my goals what they can earn me! I always felt the stats go up too quickly. So I earn 1 point for getting at least a passing grade. I'm not gonna bother with levels, so I'm leaving those out.
  4. Second challenge since returning to NF! Last challenge went quite well (if you happen to know my challenge track record XD) I have some goals I wish to work on... far too many! I wish to deal with some things related to autism as well. Hopefully I will manage! Going to be a real challenge though. I gave my goals a priority :3 hopefully that helps! Goals Diet #1 Don't buy snacks to and from work #2 Only eat planned breakfast - Try to not eat lunch as extra breakfast. Lunch = 12:30 - Experiment with drinking water instead #3 Don't eat work snacks - No Sinterklaas snacks before December 1st. - Make meal plan for Christmas. Exercise #1 Do therapy exercises (~30 min/day) Life #1 Addiction management - Make plan for addiction / obsession management - How to avoid addiction while still doing things I love. #2 Track energy levels #3 Write - NaNoWriMo - DnD campaign (optional/depends on sessions)
  5. Hi, I'm posting this in the Women's Specific forum because my research has led me to learn that women have a lot more of this problem than men do. I went to my physical therapist for the first time this past week, and he informed me that while my ankles are tight (old injuries), my knees, hips and elbows are hypermobile, extending pretty far past the normal range of motion. I don't think I quite have hypermobility syndrome, as I only pass 2 of the 9-points they use for scoring that. He basically said that I have to stop stretching (bye bye, yoga) and work on strengthening muscles to protect the joints. He gave me a couple of bodyweight/resistance band exercises to try for the week, and they certainly appear to be doing something. He also wants me to stretch just my ankles. That's really tough - my old sprains have severely limited my dorsiflexion. Does anyone else here have this particular issue? If so I'm curious to know what's worked for you. I'm gonna miss yoga, but I don't want to get hurt again (I sprained my LCL a few weeks ago.)
  6. So, I'm back to trying to get into shape (for what feels like the millionth time), but this time doing it DIFFERENTLY. Not trying to restrict per se, but having my main goal to be stronger, like, waaaaay stronger. Strong enough to bench press a bear. Maybe a small bear. And also joining here, so it feels like I'm not in this alone, and can get inspiration and support. I'm 38 (39 on Friday!) and have a good chunk of weight to lose - my first goal is 50, and I know that will take about a year or so. But I want to focus on strength training. I'm right now working on solidifying and specifying my goals. I know why I sucked in the past - impatient, lack of focus on the long game, and sort of whiny. I'm also hypermobile, so somewhat prone to injury - I'd love to hear from other bendy-flexy folks on how they take care of themselves. I have always been larger, and have been larger than I am now, but what's killing me right now is how much I sit due to my work. My hips, glutes, and quads are tight and painful. My first goal is to simply walk 10,000 steps daily, for a month straight. Today is day one and I'm at 10, 629, woot! As for nerdy stuff - I'm pretty run of the mill I think - grew up with Star Trek and Star Wars, (carried a Chewbacca figurine in my pocket for all of high school), love seasons 3-6 of the Simpsons, every Terminator movie there is including the terrible ones, and all things Mario-related. So, hello! ^__^
  7. This is technically my 3rd challenge, I think. But I didn't finish any of the previous ones and I forgot about this website for 2 years. Depression makes goal upkeep hard. I've recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, hypermobility, and I may have IBS, but I'm kind of sick of doctors, so I haven't gotten a diagnosis. All this on top of my depression, anxiety, and crippling body image issues. BUT being in better physical health is supposed to help with all this, so I want to break my "barely scraping by" inertia, and actually do something with my life. I've been meaning to start Whole30 to address my food sensitivities but keep putting it off because junk food is comforting. There is also a significant possibility that I will be moving later this year, and thus will need to interview for a new job, and thus will need to fit back into my suit, seeing as I cannot afford another one. I've gained a whole lot of weight in the past few months, that is doing nothing to help. This challenge is going to be about getting myself back to being able to function. I'll be working on eliminating inflammatory foods, starting a gentle exercise routine, and establishing a more regular sleep schedule. Goal 1: Diet I already know that cheese makes me feel like I've been poisoned, but it's hard to give it up because it's so yummmyyyyy. BUT I am making the commitment to discovering how I feel with out it, or other problem foods, which I intend to identify, in my system. I've chosen to follow the Whole30 program, which eliminates grains, dairy, legumes, and processed sugar. My house is already prepared. To carry out the program, I need to Meal plan each week BEFORE grocery shopping, so I don't make 10 million and 5 trips to the grocery storeRefrain from eating out, just for the duration of this challenge, since Whole30 is REALLY hard to comply with outside the houseDesignate 1 day per week to be a prep day so I have food to eat even on days when I lack the spoons to cook anything. Or move at all. ​Goal 2: Exercise I'm starting from an extremely sedentary lifestyle. I walk to and from work 4 days a week (1 mile each way. Up a really steep hill on the return. It is death. It makes me want to collapse in the middle of the sidewalk. On bad flare days, I have done just that.) But otherwise, I do nothing. I intend to Start every morning with some sun salutations to wake up my body and mind and center myself to be able to take on the day before moving on to some focused stretching. My hip flexors are constantly far too tight and my lower back is a permanent knot. I've chosen Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday as my workout days. The workout plan I'm following is a slightly modified version of one a physical trainer built for me a few years ago. (Modified to make a little easier on my body.) Goal 3: Sleep My sleep schedule is erratic, at best. I either sleep far too much, or am awake all night (I'm writing this a 5:30 am, for sanity's sake). Sometimes it's because I don't feel like going to sleep, while other times I just can't sleep. I have to be awake by 7:30, so 8 hours of sleep means going to sleep at 11:30. I intend to aim for bed between 10 and 11:30 Current measurements: bust - 44waist - 36"hips - 44butt - 47thighs - 28R arm - 13.5L arm - 14.5
  8. I'm jj. If you don't know me, I'm an amateur aerialist and a mom. <insert continuing adventure story of acrobat/performer/treedwelling assassin here> Don't quite have the creative fortitude to deal with writing my continuing story today, sorry, it's one of those days that has required a lot of me on the parenting front, so I'm just getting my goals down for right now. MAIN QUEST: To execute a really amazing aerial performance! This may take a year or so to do with my current apparatus focus (straps and/or straps moves on an aerial hammock), but that's OK, since I'm in it for the long term and I love my training. Main goal #1: Complete my modified training schedule for GMB Rings 1. I've written out a schedule that stretches the program to 6 weeks which both allows for me to continue circus work without overtraining and allows for the fact that I'm a girl and may not make super fast progress with such a demanding program. I'm tackling this specifically because many of the rings moves translate pretty closely to stuff I'm trying and failing to do on straps. I need an overall more novice progression for my home training and then one day a week when I work hard and fail on the straps under quality coaching. Main goal #2: Keep a paper training log. Yeah. So I've been around the fitness game for a while and NF for several years and I should know better, but I do not keep a training log. Never have. Since R1 requires some basic logging of technique and perceived exertion, I figure it's as good of a time as any to try keeping a training log (of all my training: rings program, recovery days and circus training) to see if it helps me out any. Main goal #3: Work on my knees. I have hypermobile knees (they lock out at >180 degrees). In P.E. or yoga classes or dance classes or wherever I've gotten a lot of weird ideas from people about what to do about my knees. Well... a couple of weeks ago I came across a technique video on yogaglo.com from Jason Crandell about dealing with hypermobile knees and for the first time ever someone was saying something that made physical sense to me. So one goal for this challenge is to simply work through that video once a week for the 6 weeks of the challenge to really absorb how to keep my legs engaged and straight without locking back my knees (which locks my femur into my hip). I'm hoping this will eventually allow me to have better control and alignment of my legs while performing... not to mention walking around. :-D I have two side quests: Life side quest: To do 30 minutes of yardwork 5 days a week. We just moved into a new house and lots of things were neglected by the previous owner, who was quite elderly. It's time to get to work on the yard. Rather than being overwhelmed by the hugemongous task of getting it cleaned up (some of it is going to require some professional help), I'm just going to do it like I got strong, bit by bit, day by day. I will allow a pass on outside yard work on days when it's either pouring rain or our green bin is full... but those days I'm going to spend the time doing research on what I want to do for plantings and landscaping. Fitness side quest: Juggle more! It's fun! It's silly! It's cross training for my hands! I did a slapstick comedy playshop last week and found a local contact juggling/body rolling teacher who I'd love to work with. She only teaches once a month (and not every month), which is cool, because it's not a huge time commitment. So my final side quest is to just put some time in with my juggling props on a low key, semi regular (not strict, not measured) basis. OK... now back to my kiddo who is FINALLY playing quietly instead of sobbing about random things all day. Fellow assassins, I look forward to an excellent challenge with y'all! -jj
  9. Greetings Members of the Rebellion! I'm Anna, an almost 30-something from Texas, with a few health challenges that I'm hoping I can overcome in my quest to "level up" my life. I've already participated in one challenge (as a Druid - the challenge in June/July) and I was quite successful, but I never really became part of the bigger community, so I thought I would introduce myself. I have EDS-III (Hypermobility ) in a fairly mild presentation. Basically, I am SUPER BENDY. I am extremely flexible in almost all of my joints, and several of my joints sublux fairly frequently - which is to say I can partially dislocate my shoulders and hips, at will. This makes for weird party tricks where I gross everyone out, but I'm not supposed to do that because it's actually kind of bad for the joints. As well, this makes me both prone to injury and highly susceptible to joint pain and early onset arthritis. My fingers/elbows/knees also bend in weird directions and are fairly unstable. As a result, I have fairly significant joint pain that I am managing with my rheumatologist through pain meds, diet, and exercise. (And lots of sleep. I MUST sleep 8-9 hours a night or I am a mess!) Anyway - this pretty significantly reduces the exercises I'm allowed to do. I can only run intermittently, for short distances, on soft surfaces (like grass or a track), and my doctor prefers that I don't run at all. For cardio I'm allowed to walk, bike, and swim, but not do anything that would create impact on my joints. I'm also not allowed to do heavy barbell training because of the risk of dislocating something. My elbows bend 25-30 degrees in the wrong direction, which makes things like overhead presses really hard. What I CAN do is resistance training with my own bodyweight and exercise bands, and light barbell work (like dumbbell rows). I'm impacted differently day-to-day - some days are very hard, others are easy. Some days my hands are strong enough to open that jar of pickles, other days I just can't do it. This is very frustrating, and is part of my motivation to "level up" - I want to be strong and healthy, and more able to do things. This means building my muscle strength to make up for my joint weakness. For the last year I've been Walking to Mordor - right now I'm about 50 miles shy of Rivendell. I wear a pedometer (fitbit Zip) daily, and am trying to do things like walk a lap of the building every time I use the bathroom, or use a printer that's farther away, to increase my daily steps! This week I've started two things: Beginner's Bodyweight Workout - I can do two circuits. I'm lifting a bocce set instead of a dumbbell for the rows, but it works! (Completing this workout nets me 1 extra mile in my Walk)Moderate intensity interval training - walking quickly (3.5 mph pace) for 2 minutes, jog (2.5-3 mph pace) for 30-45 seconds. I'm on a concrete walking trail, so when I jog I move over into the grass. (This workout takes me about 2 miles to complete, but I just count the steps for this, no extra credit on my Walk)I have major IBS issues and celiac disease - so aside from occasional oatmeal or rice, I'm already grain-free! I'm moving towards a more paleo diet, though I am hard pressed to give up my daily yogurt, or milk in my tea (I've tried soy milk and almond milk, and while both are fine in coffee, in tea they are not my favorite). Also I love dark chocolate, so I'm loathe to give that up, even though I only eat it in small amounts (one square a day, max!) At 5'7'', I have a little bit of weight to lose (15 lbs ish) to be where I feel most comfortable (currently at 165, hoping to be at a strong and fit 150). IRL I'm a desk jockey working in the oil and gas industry (doing sales writing), a WoW gamer (Human Paladin/Troll Druid, mostly RP, a little bit of PVE raiding, though I'm a retired hardcore raider), an avid D&D player (currently a 3.5E Elf Ranger in one game, a 4E Dwarf Cleric in another), and the Chief Distributor of Gooshyfood for two cats (Max and Charlie). I also enjoy gardening and crafts, but my job and commute have made that less of a priority in my life lately. I am hoping with some support and community I can stick with this increased intensity of working out, get strong, and be better at life in general! Progress will be slow, since I recover slowly, but any progress is good progress. I am thinking about joining the current challenge, looking forward to the Rebel Women's Academy, and ready to kick life in the butt. I want my body to work WITH me, not AGAINST me, and I want to feel like it's my ally, not my enemy.
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