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  1. All around us, it was as if the universe were holding its breath . . . waiting. All of life can be broken down into moments of transition or moments of revelation. This had the feeling of both. G'Quon wrote, "There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities – it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender." The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain. Big Why I have respawned more times than I can count. And I think the main reason is that my big why wasn't strong enough, or big enough, or revisited often enough. I always start out strong but then something happens to disrupt the routine, or I get distracted, or lose focus, and it all comes crumbling down again. I was having a deep conversation with my partner and he said, "I wish you could just be happy with yourself the way you are, and I think you would be happier overall if you just accepted yourself as you are, instead of constantly trying and failing." I understand what he was trying to say, but I think there is a fundamental part of me that says, "You could be better." It says, "You weren't always like this, and staying this way is a failure." There's a logical part of it that says, "A healthier lifestyle would be good for your mental health because endorphins are a great remedy for depression," and "Most of your depression and insecurity comes from being unhappy with the state of your health and appearance, your inability to buy clothes, the loss of looks you once had under pounds of extra flesh, and being too unfit to do things you used to be able to do so easily." So, while I appreciate that he was saying what he said from a place of love and with the hope that I would love myself as much as he loves me, and be happy with myself in who I am now, I think that I will respectfully disagree. I deserve to be in the best condition I can be. I owe it to myself to look after my body. When I know what the right choices are, it makes no sense that I keep making the wrong choices. SMART Goals/Quest list This is a master list; I won't work on them all at once but I will work towards these big goals with the challenges. Nutrition: 1. Eating planned meals according to macros: 33P/29C/38F 2. Weighing and tracking food on MFP for at least 30 consecutive days 3. Phasing out carbonated drinks (including diet soda) in favour of water, tea and black coffee. 4. Cutting down on sugar and processed foods over time. 5. Reducing take-out meals to 3 times a week. Mental: 1. Getting control of my depression through meds and therapy. 2. Improving self-care such as brushing my teeth at least twice a day for a month. 3. Meditating every day for a month. 4. Overcoming social media addiction. 5. Updating progress here at least once a day. 6. Using my bullet journal to manage my time effectively. 7. Doing deep thinking about relationship stuff to improve our communication. 8. Tidying the apartment for 30 minutes every day. 9. Completing a konmari of the apartment before we move to Ecuador. 10. Quit smoking. 11. Developing real life, sincere friendships. Fitness 1. Exercising every day (30 day fitness challenge app). 2. Building a regular workout routine (on paper and in practice). 3. Developing a yoga practice routine on my rest days. 4. Spending at least 30 minutes outside each day (once I have left China and its air pollution). 5. Swimming at least once a week. 6. Do a 2 minute plank. 7. Do a pull up. 8. Run a 5k. 9. Climb a volcano. And if anything pops up to throw me off track, I will be prepared. After all,
  2. My family and I are American expats who live/work in a developing country which has not much choice in the selection of foods to maintain a healthy diet. Our food sources are found at a local bazaar and are seasonal and therefore we do not have availability to all foods year round. In late fall and winter there are only beets, carrots, potatoes (sweet potatoes only available from late October to the end of November), onions, apples, lemons, and oranges. There are no greens, tomatoes, nor other spring veggies, fruits, and berries. To workaround this we can or freeze what we are able. Meats that are available to us are beef, chicken, lamb, and sometimes goat. We have little or no access to pork (for cultural reasons) or fish. The fish comes in frozen and is not well taken care of meaning that we have become ill each time we have eaten it. Farm raised trout is something new and can be found at times in various markets. We do have access to nuts, legumes and pulses here in abundance. Also, buckwheat, barley and a variety of white rices. We have very little to no access to chia or quinoa. Most dried foods are good here except fruits in which the drying process is done in the villages where they lay out a sheet on top of a roof and let the sun do the work over several days. These dried fruits often have worms in them which forces us to freeze them for a period of time to both kill the worm and the eggs. The water is not clean and we must filter it through a bio filter plus another heavy metals filter before we can drink it. Many times during the week the water will be shut off for an entire day. Therefore we store several days of potable and non-potable water to make it through each week. We are looking for a nutritionist or other food expert who might be able to help us with our situation. We are excellent cooks and have a lot of knowledge in the kitchen. We do not eat processed foods and make every meal from scratch. Yes, this takes a lot of time. Most of the locals here eat every meal fried because they believe that it is the healthiest choice for them as they feel that the bacteria will die at high temps when frying. I will be happy to proved more specific information if necessary. Thanks in advance, Sonic
  3. Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. I'll quit being a slacker, and actually *do* a challenge. This hype train ain't gonna build and run itself, now, is it? This is step 1 in a multi-part challenge where I: brace for impact but hurry up and wait, (temporarily) lose my DH, jettison 99% of the shit I own, pack my dog and myself up and move halfway across the globe, reunite with DH, and adjust to a whooooooooooole other level of "new normal". I thought this last year was a kick in the butt? Well, I haven't seen anything yet. This first part of the challenge *should* see me through about half of this journey - the DH is scheduled to bounce at the end of this month, and I'll be following shortly after on a grand tour of sorts to see a few people I need to see before relocating my start map. That is, providing this shit actually happens this time and we're not forced to reconsider all of life reeeeaaaaaal quick. Again. It should also see the return of some of my favorite Nerds to the boards, and an inevitable revving up of the hype train. So maybe I'll actually get off my ass and *do* something. Like, I dunno: Work Out, behave my belly, aim in a direction, post more than once a day while half asleep. Goals Since I'm still in a holding pattern as of this morning (I'm actually in an airport on my way back from a fantastic Nerd wedding weekend where I got to see some of my favorite Internet peeps + recharge my social batteries a bit), waiting to see if the last of the DH's paperwork clears and his timeline stays the same, I'm aiming to start small. Goal The First Macros, yo. If I'm not Bucket listing it or at an event with Chef friends, I need to eat what I need to be eating to not feel like utter shit. That includes a mostly-paleo diet following the following macros: 70g protein 70g or under carbs 100g or under fats Now, given my current life circumstances (namely, the best damn brunch game in town run by a friend in my freaking building), a little leeway for fresh English muffins on the benny and chilaquiles is permitted on weekends. Goal The Second Print, codify, collate, and color-coordinate as much moving-plan-wise as possible. Book as much travel as I'm able. Adult things like the dog shots & my vaccinations. Also, film a weekly update for YouTube. And, plan when and how to get rid of my shit - plan the "house cooling" party. Get bins for and pack the shit we're storing with friends. Spend as much time as possible with local friends. Pull the trigger on the Amazon shopping list for travel essentials & clothing basics. Detail aaaaaaaalll this minutia for y'all. Goal The Third I've noticed over the past month or two that the arch on my left foot (my garbage fire side) has started collapsing. At the Walking Store, the foot scan they did showed a false high arch because I tend to stand with weight on the outsides of my foot - which is something I've noticed and tried to remain cognizant of since childhood - and is super totally why that side of my body is jacked up and that ankle rolls if you look at it funny. Duh. I need to work on this. I've found a couple rehab routines that take zero space and almost no time - I need to do them. Daily. Or as close to daily as I can remember to do. My side-eye peeps, go ahead and rev those peepers up. I'd throw in a lofty yoga goal here too, but that's probably not realistically going to happen while my tiny-ass apartment is in chaos and I'm running around like a damn chicken with its head cut off. Goal The Fourth Stay Calm And Support My Nerds Some of the more bananas Rangers *@Raxie* *cough* *@Wolfie* *cough* and I were missing the hype of the Ranger Board Of Old and feel it's time for a resurgence of the hype train. #allthethings is missed, y'all, as is hitting the gas for the sake of hitting the gas. Even though my little corner of the universe is upending itself (again), Imma do my part and throw myself at that shit wherever possible. I'm returning to the minis, answering call-outs, and generally planning on supporting my Herd wherever possible - be that through numbers in a game, exposition, or simply more engaged commenting -- I'll be here with a big bottle of Hype. And some gifs. Even if finding said gifs sux0rs on Tapatalk.
  4. Anyone else in Toronto? We should form a clan and support each other in our adventures in fitness! We should set a meetup and go from there
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