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  1. Oh, how life is feeling more and more like a battle every day lately, but I'm doing my best to keep fighting! Quest One: Movement I am currently finishing off my doctor's "minimal and gentle movement only" restrictions and will be back to normal activity allowed by next Tuesday (though I'm cheating and going on at least one as-gentle-as-possible hike this weekend). Last challenge I made 5 workouts so I'm going to be pushing myself all the way up to 6 workouts. 😄 Hey, progress is progress, right? Quest Two: Nutrition Quest 1: Diet Coke! I'm going to keep my goal at one Diet Coke per day (though I'm already forgiving today because it's a 12 hour workday and I very well might need it just to survive) and I'm going to try to push myself to have at least 2 days this challenge with no Diet Cokes at all. The whole one Diet Coke a day thing was tough last challenge but I made it, so that's my gentle push to keep on improving myself. Quest 2: make/eat at least one veggie-heavy dish every week. It might not be truly vegetarian, but veggie-heavy is good enough. This theoretically should be fairly easy with my Sidekick app, but Lord knows when I get stressed I auto-default to an endless stream of chicken fingers with mac and cheese. I'm hoping if something tasty and healthy is in the fridge, I might be more tempted to grab it since leftovers are fast and take very little brainpower. Quest Three: Work Ah, school. The source of many of my joys and most of my stress. Quest 1: Keep up the department Instagram posting. Once a week is the goal, but more is always awesome! Quest 2: I have a meeting tomorrow to chat with the local university's MA in Romance Languages program. I was going to push it off another school year or two, but I have a chance at getting some tuition reimbursement now so I'm teetering on the edge of just biting the bullet. However, I am still very concerned about my ability to do this work quickly and easily (I can do it, but it takes me more time than I feel like I might have available). To prep, I am going to read at least one book in Spanish. Not sure which one right now, but I do already own Lety alta su voz so that stands a good chance at being the book I pick. It's 29 chapters and 208 pages, according to the Internet (since I don't have the book in front of me right now). Quest 3: Prep for French 2 next year! I need to write a course description and rationale no later than November 1st and have the first unit fully prepped no later than November 28th. I am technically currently on day 9 of about 21 in unit 1, though I do need to go back and improve days 6 and 7 a bit before I move on to the next focus. Quest 4: Japanese study for future expansion. I'm going to stick with Mango Languages for this one and I would like to do my daily reviews (hopefully more or less daily!) and finish chapter 2, which is 19 lessons away. Quest Four: Rest I am the epitome of working way too hard without rest until your mind and body step in to force you to stop...I'm trying to get better, I really am, but I keep on doing stupid things like asking to expand the French program at work which keep on adding to my plate 😅 Quest 1: I want to work on that log cabin quilt from the block exchange! It's getting cold and another quilt would be nice. But seeing as I spent the entire last challenge just talking about this and not actually doing anything with it, my goal is going to be to just make 1 block. I need 3 more to finish the layout of the top, and honestly once I sit down and do it, a single block doesn't take terribly long. Quest 2: There is a good chance that we will have a new dog at home before the end of this challenge...if that does end up happening, I want to spend some time playing with and training that dog! Specific goals will vary wildly since they will of course depend on what dog we get when and how much it already knows. But we're looking at the biggest local shelter on Nov. 12 which gives me two weeks with the dog (IF we find one immediately). My hope is that maybe I can at least get it used to whatever we name it, maybe teach it the command "come" if it doesn't already know that one? Or at least get it comfy at home if it's shy or nervous from the shelter kennels.
  2. After years in the wilderness (lifting weights in my local gym), undergoing countless horrifying ordeals (queuing for the one decent bench press, getting annoyed as the awesome gymnastics rings setup is used for crossfit classes), as the outside world burns I have returned to my spiritual home: The Guild of the Assassins. Whilst others may be lamenting their lack of a squat rack, the assassins know that all that one requires is the weight of their own body (plus maybe a pull-up bar and a few other bits of equipment) to maintain and even increase their strength. Solitary confinement is all too easy an excuse to allow laziness to take hold and for personal well-being to be discarded so I call upon my fellow assassins to bear witness to my attempts to not just keep in shape but to improve myself and be reborn in the forge of the fires of this insufferable pestilence. As you may be able to tell from my challenge title, in the intervening years I've also been learning 日本語 so for this returning challenge, my goals shall centre around learning from the Japanese chapter of our illustrious order: 忍者 (ninja). I aim to become more balanced, both physically and mentally, return to testing myself on my beloved gymnastic rings, and take my language studies to the next level. Goal 1: Regain my physical balance. At one time I could happily hold a wall handstand for a minute as was even making some progress with supporting myself away from the wall. Recent attempts however have revealed that 40 seconds upside is a challenge for me. My first goal therefore is to practice handstands every day with the aim of being able to consistently hold a 1 minute wall handstand by the end of the challenge. Goal 2: Regain my mental balance. Like with my handstands, at one time I was achieving great success with maintaining a consistent daily mediation routine but this has slipped in the last year. To regain my composure, my second goal is to spend at least 5 minutes a day meditating using the Calm app. The daily 'Calm' meditations are around 10 minutes so I'll try to do those most of the time but if I get pressed for time (unlikely at the moment) I'll make sure I do at least 5 minutes sitting quietly. Goal 3: Back on the rings. Pretty simple really, just create a new workout to be done 3 times a week using my gymnastic rings. I'll look through various sources including the NF rings course and Overcoming Gravity and put together a new routine. Previously, as I would have to be out of the house to got to work by a specific time each day, my workouts had to be kept to under 30 minutes so that i could do everything I needed in the morning. Now that things are much more time flexible, I want to incorporate and proper warm up, skills section, main workout and then decent cool down/ stretching session. My goal is to create this, then test and modify it over the next few weeks so that I have a sustainable workout to see me through however long we are confined inside our houses. Goal 4: Take my studies further by spending 15 minutes a day reading 日本語 text. Along with my anki flashcards and my (now online) tutorials, if I start reading some Japanese every day, I'm sure this will help both my grammar and vocabulary but also improve my reading speed. I was given a variety of dual language texts for Xmas so it's about time I started working through them. Even if I only manage to get through one sentence a day, as long as I feel like I really have a good understanding of it, then I will be satisfied. I also have some traditional folk tales (including some ghost stories) as well as the 4,500 sentences from Tofugu to work through. Those are my goals then. 1. Daily handstands 2. Daily meditiation 3. Create, refine and implement a new rings-based workout 4. Daily reading
  3. I got a little buried under work last time (or two... or three) I tried to do a challenge, so time to give it another try. It would be a lot to try to explain here, but long story short I went from functionally being the only person doing my job (it's a 2 person job and the other person wasn't interested in actually working) to literally being the only person in my job for a few months, which also meant I was pulling some crazy long weeks. This is thankfully no longer the case, and the person working with me now is doing a fantastic job so far and eager to help out, meaning I get to have a life outside of work again! (...now I just need to get my mind to understand that I don't have to work nonstop, because brains are complicated and annoying) Unsurprisingly, my main goal remains the same: RECLAIMING MY TIME (honestly most of this challenge is basically going to be a repeat of my Grumpy Cat one, hence keeping with the silly cat theme. There's also a lot of overlap of the quests because of their relation to time) Quest 1 : Sleep (4 points/wk) Kinda hard to claim time when I'm tired and want to sleep most of my not-work time. I went to a doctor last year right before things went crazy and he gave me some things to try to do to improve my sleep that I want to start doing this challenge: Going to bed near the same time every night (I'm going to be aiming for between 11:30 and midnight) Getting up at the same time every morning, when my alarm goes off - this one is DEFINITELY going to be a struggle, I tend to snooze and I absolutely hate getting up in the morning Exercising 4-5 hours before bed, this is the window the yoga class I want to go to falls into, and I can try to add swimming or walking on days without yoga too with my Y membership that I really need to use one point per day I'm up before 7:30am, I'm not expecting myself to be able to roll that back all days hence not doing 7 points on this one Quest 2 : Food prep (6 points/wk) I've had issues with eating a lot of fast food because I haven't always prepped food ahead that I can eat/want to eat when I've gotten busy, so I need to prep food ahead for both work and outside work so I don't wind up eating more Burger King due to lack of preparation. Get meals made ahead - lots of Instant Pot recipes left to try Make sure lunch and breakfast are packed ahead the night before a work shift (when I actually prep ahead, I throw a frozen breakfast sammich in my lunch bag and leave it in the fridge so I can just run in the morning) Reduce eating out to 1-2x / week, preferably an intentional meal rather than just hitting a drivethru because I didn't have anything better available. 1 point for packing ahead (4 work days/week, 'cause 10 hr shifts) 1 point for batch cooking ahead 1 point for staying under 2x eating out/wk Quest 3 : Schedule outside of work (especially exercise, 4 points/wk) (not Pusheen, but adorable and my cats would never let me do it) So... I'm still enrolled in that yoga class that I have NOT been able to go to for months, some of which was because of it being cancelled for a month because of lack of enrollment (I just had them roll mine forward a month each time that happened) and some of which was the fact that I was still at work when the class was happening. I do also want to get exercise in on other days as well per sleep doc's recomendation, not to mention it helps my ADHD as well and I would definitely get a lot of physical benefits as well. I do also want to get some other things I've neglected back on my radar as well, like crafting and gaming. Attend yoga classes (M,W) work on setting up schedule for exercise besides yoga (T,H,F) - likely swimming at the Y or doing a Zombies, Run! session as a walk set aside time weekly for at least one of the following: solo gaming, painting minis, knitting, playing music 1 point for making a yoga class 1 point for making a non-yoga workout 1 point for planning for and following through on one of the above activities Life quest : Japanese (2 points) Like most other things on my challenge, this got shoved to the back burner (and then promptly dumped off the stove entirely) due to lack of time and energy. Use Duo min 5x/wk Study 1 lesson/wk from my text books (I think I was on the second one when stuff went crazy? I'll be starting back at one though) 1 point for Duo 1 point for studying from the text books So, hey NF community, I've missed you folks. LETS DO DIS!
  4. I am a little late to start this challenge, but I sort of started it yesterday... when I bought the e-Book of the RBG Fitness Routine. If Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg can do it at 85? Damnit, so can I. But baby steps, yeah? I'm starting a shortened version twice a week, 30 minutes, as I don't have the time to do more right now, but yeah, it's a cute book, and why not? Which brings me to.... TIME BLOCKING. As I get closer to my trip to Japan, my time is more and more valuable. I have two major puppet builds to do this month, a day job to keep on top of, and learning Japanese throughout. So I need to make a nice obvious easy to follow time blocked schedule and then I need to STICK TO IT. Wish me luck. But I need to EAT to have the energy to do all this, so I figured I'd try a vegan/vegetarian version of Whole 30. I've been vegan off and on, and was thinking to keep that up, but I might being in eggs from the local farmers here, as they are local, good for me, and cruelty free. It depends how I feel about eggs at the time, I guess. So far I've been starting my day with frozen fruit, kale, protein powder, and chia blended to death smoothie, lunches seem to be lettuce wrap based, and dinner I've been making insane fusion tacos that are kinda brilliant. I will mix things up, but I'm going to try to do Whole 30, but the vegetarian version (so lentils, peanuts, tofu, that sort of thing are okay as protein sources.) That's about it, besides massively studying Japanese. Which I'm doing alright with. I am going to start using tutors to talk to in June and July, as I leave end of July and need to be able to base level function in conversation. That and I'm making a delightful puppet to accompany me, and I will share him with you all when he's done!
  5. April 23 to May 20 Routines are sexy. I read this sentence somewhere and wrote it down as a motto for this challenge. This challenge I’ll start writing my thesis and getting some data at school. I’ll have to keep the momentum of last challenge to get this task done and keep going for my studies. I’m curious how well I’ll handle these tasks. Goal One: no snacks! I’ve been snacking again. So I’ll try to cut the sugar again. No chocolate, chips, cookies, or other artificial stuff for me. If I really need something I only get a cocoa. I should look up, what sarakingdom wrote about the cocoa in one of her old challenges. Goal Two: Exercise Aiming for three workouts a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I can try to get in a missed workout on Sunday, but I don’t want to make that a habit. Bonus: Go to classes 2 to 3 times a week. Goal Three: Study So it’ll be 25 Hours this challenge und I’ll try to get in 20 pages during this challenge. Let’s see, how that goes. I’ll need a page tracker. Some old habits I had accomplished and how well I did last month:
  6. I am back! I need to work on follow through for this sort of thing! I've fizzled out on my last challenges, but travel had a bit to do with that. Travel exploded my world in the most delightful of ways. What are my goals for this challenge? Be vegan for a month. I've done it off and on, and I just want to try it, actively, for 4 weeks. I rarely do dairy, so it's not too far a jump, but being vegan forces me to focus on what I am eating, and I often am making my food anyway. Tonight starts 4 weeks of meal prep! In the Japanese bento style! I'm going to make little bento for my lunches each week, see how that works. Why Japanese? BECAUSE I AM GOING BACK, MOTHERFATHERS! I got a scholarship to go study Kuruma Ningyo puppetry there, attend a giant international puppet festival, and teach my own workshop in Tokyo! I am literally vibrating with excitement... but I don't speak Japanese so hot. I mean... I do alright, but not "hot". I have a subscription to a learning website (multiples, really), a tutor, and rampant ambition. I want to clock 10 hours of study a week, at minimum. This is not so much, but also a lot. I need to find where it fits in my routine. I joined a Doctor Who themed mini challenge which is about running around looking for The Tardis (oh, my hearts) and that will keep me physically active. Though on dreary winter days I am going to stay in a do yoga. Anyone have a suggestion for a good yoga class app? Or youtube video series? I had Yoga Studio, I bought it any everything, but they clawed it back and now want more money via subscription, which makes me want to watch it all burn. Not very enlightened of me, I know. So I am open to suggestions. Alright, a day late to the party, and I must dash, but I am in! What are you doing?
  7. I was trying to find a good theme. But I think I'll take the easy route for now, and go with my name sake. And some Harry Potter. I wrote some venting stuff. It wasn't very good. So let's cut to my big 2018 goals: Blackbelt Prep Iaido Prep Get down to 15% body fat I need to build back up a whole lot of habits that have fallen to the wayside the last couple weeks/months. I also haven't done much physical activity in December, with the official start of the 'new' job and the travel prep and traveling. So slow and steady is how this is going to go, until I build back up to where I'm comfortable. That said, I DO need to keep in mind the whole "schedule free time" thing. I don't want to end up exhausted and stressed by all the 'fun' stuff I'm supposed to be doing. And so, we begin. 1) Return to the Count: Count all the calories, 2400 calories per day (taking into account physical activity) I do really well calorie counting. It honestly is the best way for me to both lose weight, and maintain weight. So I'm going to log all the food in MFP, like the olden days. Unlike the olden days, I'm going to be actually taking into account my physical activities. Honestly, it won't be much, because I stopped lifting months ago to give myself some more sleep time. Maybe the lifting will make a come back, maybe it won't, but either way no lifting will likely happen in January for me. Also, some additional stuffs: Nothing but fruit and nuts from the work snack stashes will be allowed. Also the lifesaver mints. Which definitely have calories. Might actually empower the receptionist to knock my hand away from the candy dish.... But I should be able to get some decent calorie cutting by not eating all the things at work. 2) Aikido Archive - Document 5 techniques a week in name, one a week in video format I have seriously been slacking on this project since I decided to do it. By which I mean I wrote up the base document and haven't filled in a damn thing. So I need to start working on that. I should be able to get through the 5th to 2nd kyu exams pretty easily, and I can actually put our testing video into the document at this point, at least until I get the techniques individually recorded. 3) Class Time - 5 Hours of aikido a week Like, seriously. How is this not expected at this point. I'm aiming right now for QUALITY hours on the mat, more than quantity. I plan on testing the end of 2018 or the beginning for 2019, and I will have more than enough hours by then. I don't need more hours, I need more brains on the mat. I need to start playing again a bit more, I need to embrace the fact that I suck, and I need to find ways around it. Eventually I also want to start attending classes at Harvard Aikikai (at least once in a while) and New England Aikikai. Both because the different instruction will help, and also it'll be good for helping mend the relationships between the dojo's current generation. Even if the older generation can't play nicely due to the history behind everything. 4) Find an easy, short mobility routine for ankles. Perform in the morning. I've come to the conclusion that my ankles are my biggest limiting factor in aikido these days. My knees bend easily enough, but my ankle lock out a bit sooner than I would like, which makes lowering my center while maintaining my posture a bit more tricky. This likely also contributes to my hatred of squats. In any case, I'd like to get my mornings started with some mobility work, so maybe things will get a bit better on that front. 5) Extra Credit Adulting: Tidy up the Pantry Purge old/unworn clothing Put the clothing away Fix the Oven and/or call the landlord to replace over Find two new recipes to try Host a house Game night That should cover it for the first couple of weeks. I need to get my head back in the game. At least this time I have stable employment. What an odd feeling that is. Hopefully it helps give me an anchor for the coming year.
  8. Soooooo! I am getting in on this new challenge too! Last challenge was a sort of "grand" return to these fine forums, and I had a lovely time doing it, and could not wait to sign up or volunteer as tribute for the new challenge! My goals in four parts are thus, this time, not all fitness oriented, because Summer's coming and I have art to make! 1) I have a FitBit. Time to make use of it's nifty app. I'm aiming to hit my step goal (10,000) everyday, but the goal is more to track food, water, sleep, and calories in/out. I tracked calories last challenge with a different app, but I am trying to take advantage of the Fitbit's all-in-one-stop-shop-ness. (This is the "pattern" part of my title, in that I am trying to sort out my eating, drinking, sleeping patterns) 2) Here's where things get more interesting, and a bit more... ME. I am building a Rick for DragonCon (ala Rick & Morty), I've not been publicizing this, but I try to bring a new puppet down every year. I've been leaning on #PuppetCapaldi from Doctor Who (you can google it, I actually show up!) but his tenure as The Doctor is ending and I feel the need to move to a new puppet. #PC is still coming with, I might even give him a new hair cut (wig). But his days are numbered. I LOVE having grumpy old man puppets, I don't know why. So I am making a Rick with mechanical eyes and brow. This is a huge step in my mechbuilding, and I am attending the National Puppetry Conference in June (during this challenge) to pick up tips from the incredible Jim Kroupa, who I studied with last year, and just wrap my brain around it all and STOP BEING SO SCARED OF JUST TRYING TO BUILD SOMETHING. Anyway, it's going to be a lot of work, but it's going to be fantastic, I hope. 3) JAPANESE. I am trying to head back to Japan to study Kuruma Ningyou Puppetry with a master there. I've been invited, which is stellar, but I want to brush up and rebuild my Japanese. Right now I have been using Memrise (I've paid for it at a discount), and I just need to keep up once-a-day practicing. This will be most difficult when I am at The O'Neill (Puppet Conference mentioned above) but I can make it work. And if I fall off the wagon, I can climb back on. Just trying to keep it a priority. Japan is freaking amazing and I need to go back. 4) My last part of my goal was going to be veganism, but I am not sure. Really it was going to be "Freeganism" because I wasn't going to complain if someone made me something that had egg in it, or dairy, I am just not that picky, or pretentious. But for myself at home, I was going to cut out dairy and animal byproducts. I am still on the fence about how much a actually care about this though. I am a vegetarian and have been for 15+ years, so that's not going anywhere... but veganism interests me, I just don't have the commitment to it. That said, I am interested in trying it out, veganism with intent rather than vegan-by-accident. Maybe I'll book mark that for the next challenge. PROPER GOAL 4) Zombie 5K Training. I tried this last challenge and utterly, utterly failed. I just couldn't get my schedule to fit it in. I am attempting 3 evenings (or mornings?) a week with this app. I just need to do it. I intend to keep up running at The O'Neill, so that's a goal the conference won't shove-off. And maybe I'll eat a bunch of vegan lentils after. Oh, and keep running shoes and clothes in a bag in my car, with an inhaler, so I am always ready to go. That's about it, I would still love accountabilibuddying! It helped me SO MUCH last challenge!
  9. BEHOLD the challenge in which I pretty much do exactly the same goals as last challenge, but with NEW silly pictures. (SO FANCY!) JUST KIDDING! I added one goal that is totally new! 日本語, bitches! :D! GOAL 1- STRENGTH Strength training at least 3x per week! this can be bodyweight training, aerial, or lifting. OPTIONS, YO. I am especially determined to get my chin up back some day soooo yeah ALL the hanging and pulling and ab work! GOAL 2 - RUNNING Running 1x per week! I sucked at actually getting around to this last round so sticking to aiming for once per week and not ramping up just yet. GOAL 3 - MACROS Track macros on weekdays for duration of challenge! I am happy with keeping track of these during weekdays. It helps me make sure I am getting enough protein, and since I am getting used to seeing about how much food I need to eat during the weekdays I still mostly stick to that on weekends even if I skip tracking on those days. GOAL 4 - JAPANESE OH LOOK I ADDED A GOAL. SO FANCY! Study Japanese every day for at least 15 min (at bare minimum this means doing Anki flashcards due for the day.) I am SO MUCH BETTER at knowing how to develop habits and get better at things than I was back when I was getting my BA in Japanese. I never really did enough work on reading because "it was haaaard waaaah" and go figure I always sucked at reading and it held me back on getting better. Also just in generally I did not do enough practice on the route to fluency and then I just was like whateverrrrr I am out of practice guess I will just stop working on this at all. But yo, I LIKE studying languages and it is super fun and who cares if I don't plan to move to Japan or something; it's still a fun skill to have and to work on. Like...I do aerial and I'm not planning on joining a circus yo, so my whole "meh but it isn't useful enough" excuse is dumb. Also, I occasionally see jobs that want native English speakers fluent in Japanese and I'm always like THAT COULD HAVE BEEN YOU DUDE BUT NOOOO.... Anyway, LOTS OF REASONS. DO THE THING! WOOT! Life Goal: GET SHIT DONE! GET THE THINGS DONE WOOHOO. I copied over my list from last round and will add to it as I see fit. My goal is to get ONE of these things on my list done per week. LIST OF LISTYNESS: Gather 1 bag of stuffed animals or clothes for donations or to trash because no one wants it (depending on the stuff!) I gathered 3 total! Yay! Move box of books into the closet. Declutter the damn floor so you can actually move the desk and the AC unit and vacuum and stuff. - partial! water bottle graveyard is gone! Disassemble your old desk. Trash/Get rid of old desk. Move air conditioner to correct spot once desk is gone. Set up new air conditioner once moved. Move furniture around in more useful configuration. (Even moving one thing or coming up with some schemes will count for this.) Come up with better way to organize clothes and make things more accessible (this will also be a big process.) Deal with water-bottle graveyard in my car -- partially! Reseal leaking window on the studio appt DO TAXES/ Do house finances/rental income info spreadsheet for me and brother Come up with more expanded flea prevention scheme AND enact (last year was flea hell and it looks to be getting hot even earlier this year. DO NOT WANT. I want to do stuff NOW rather than wait until I actually see the little fuckers. I already started the kittehs back up on spot treatment, but I think I also want to upgrade to a better flea comb and maybe do a house treatment with borax..which will be a pain because I have to keep the cats out of the space to use that so I am thinking a room by room process and locking them elsewhere will be the way to go.)
  10. Hello! I wanted to create a thread for anyone learning Japanese to post about learning methods, grammar and vocab questions, and writing practice. Of course, responses to grammar and vocab questions by any helpful rebels out there who are native or fluent speakers would be greatly appreciated. To start us off, I am very interested in the learning methods of other language learners (feel free to post methods you've used studying other languages as well): what has worked, what hasn't worked, what ideas do you have to try out in the future, etc. My response: I am near fluent in Spanish, but that was accomplished through study abroad and now through conversing with my boyfriend and his family in Spanish. I don't have the ability to drop everything and move to Japan for 6 months now, so there's not too much here I can apply to my Japanese learning efforts. My sister is currently studying in Nagasaki (she's on her 4th year there), so, once I get to the point where I can hold a conversation, I can try to Skype with her in Japanese. But I need to get to that point first! I've tried using text books and My Japanese Coach for the Nintendo DS, but I would always get busy, drop it for a few months, and then have to start over from scratch. I discovered the Pimsleur Language Program last November at my local public library (yay, free!), so I've been working my way through that during my 30+ minute commute to and from work. It's great because I don't need to work time into my schedule to do it - I'm spending that time in my car no matter what! However, I'm starting on level III, which I believe is the final segment of the program. I'm not sure what I'm going to do next, hence my initiating this thread .
  11. Arrowan’s Eighth Challenge: For the Rebellion! Stay on target Themes: Focus, Discipline, Hope Name: Arrowan Class: Adventurer (but I'm sneaky and like to hang out with Monks) Faction: Volo Starting point: Weight: 155 lbs, Height: 5’6” Introduction: I’m back after another leave of absence. Even when I’m away from the challenge forums, though, I’m always fighting for the Rebellion. I never forget about my fellow rebels—you guys inspire the hell out of me. Anyway, I want to do more challenges this year in order to keep my goals structured and be a part of the community. I’m now active in Rising Heroes, and I’m incorporating it into the challenge, because otherwise I’m likely to get overwhelmed with all the various goals and missions and posts. I’m heading into a period of change in my life, so I have to stay focused and disciplined to maintain fitness goals and keep my life in balance. There are dozens and dozens of goals on my “master list” of things I want to accomplish, but as always, I need to narrow it down so I can actually make progress on some of them. So here are my official challenge objectives: Challenge Goals: 1. Stay on target with Rising Heroes missions 2. Eat more Paleo 3. Study Japanese 4. Job hunt Side Quest: Daily meditation, 2-5 minutes a day Strategies: 1. Rising Heroes—This just started but it’s turning out to be tons of fun. The missions include physical challenges, so I’m just going to keep up with them and count that as one of my challenge goals here. 2. Eat more Paleo—I would be making this a goal about counting calories, but right now I don’t want another thing to have to log into the computer. Eating Paleo sounds like way more fun. I’m going slow, so I don’t lose interest or willpower. Each Saturday will be entirely Paleo. With each progressive week, I’ll do three more meals that are Paleo only – but they don’t have to be three meals on the same day, they can be spread out during the week. Week 1=1 day of Paleo; week 2=1 day of Paleo + 3 meals; week 3=1 day of Paleo + 6 meals; week 4=1 day of Paleo + 9 meals. You better believe I’ll be hitting up the NF recipes for ideas. 3. Study Japanese—I am brand new to this, and I’m intimidated as hell. Why do I want to learn this language? Martial arts is on my to-do list (I’ve been dabbling for a while, just haven’t committed yet), and learning the language would be a nice complement to this goal, allowing me to pick up terms for movements and have a better insight into the culture. I know it’s one of the most complicated languages I could pick, but it’s kind of like being faced with an enormous mountain. You know it’s going to be difficult as hell to climb, but the allure of the view from the top, and the feeling of accomplishment when you get there, is just too much to resist. Also, Ninja Turtles. Strategies…I’m working on it. I’ve flagged some websites and I’ll have to see how it goes. But the specific challenge goal is to work on this for at least 10 minutes every day, and at least 30 minutes 3 days a week. 4. Job hunt—Man oh man, do I NOT want to have this as a challenge goal again. But I keep taking on temporary jobs, so I continue to have to search for the next one. My current job is pretty menial, although I get to walk all day, listen to music, and I like the people I work with. But the position ends in March, and I’m not guaranteed full-time hours each week, so I really need to move on as soon as I can. The goal is a minimum of 2 job applications submitted each week. I’m aiming for something in the wildlife field, but I’m out of touch, so I’m also going to read 1 journal article each week relevant to wildlife research. Side Quest: Meditation! Two minutes to start but working up to at least 5 minutes a day. Hopefully this will bring a little clarity and focus into my messy brain. Grading: A=100% B=75% C=50% D=25% F=0% 1. Rising Heroes: grade will correspond with percentage of missions completed 2. Eat more Paleo: Three points for each Saturday of Paleo meals (12 total), plus a point for each additional meal (3 in wk 1, 6 in wk 2, and 9 in wk 3) makes a total of 30 points. Grade will correspond to the percentage of these points that I actually earn. 3. Study Japanese: One point for every 10 minutes of study; if I stick to the goal of 10 minutes a day, and 30 minutes on 3 days a week, that would make 52 points (the 30-minute sessions include the 10 minutes for that day). 4. Job hunt: One point for each application submitted, plus one point for each article read, for a possible total of 12 points. (I’m skipping the starting and ending attributes this time, because accomplishing these goals is a reward unto itself. I don’t get much out of allocating the points.)
  12. Okay, I'll be out of town, living it up in NYC for Halloween on October 30, so I should line up my 4 Week Challenge now. It's pretty straight forward. I am starting Week 3 of the Zombie Run 5K program, and my goal is to continue that 3 workouts a week. I am also starting the Handstand course from Nerd Fitness, I've not had time to look it over but I intend to do Handstand work on my non-running days. Also I am headed to Japan in EXACTLY 2 MONTHS! So I am not reading any more books, or listening to anymore podcasts. Only my Japanese lessons so Ican get back to functional speaking (I took it in college, I was alright speaking, but never learned much kanji). I have little Japanese learning games I play on my phone rather than Facebook, etc. I can look at Facebook too, but I'd prefer after a round of Japanese quizzes. On top of this I want to keep meal prepping, and pill prepping (I feel SO OLD). I have new medications for anemia and asthma, I might lay off the iron pills a bit because they made me feel ick last night, and just iron-up my food (hello lentils, kale, etc), but I am now the little organized lady with an am/pm pill box with my meds and vitamins all laid out... and it's wonderfully convenient! I prep wonderful looking meals, but often when it's time to eat them I have no appetite... I need to figure out why this is, and what I can do about it. So working on light, clean food for lunches. I also started something I've been sharing with people from Camp nerdFitness, but should throw out to everyone! I've made up a game called "#WednesdayBridgeClub, which is just posting pictures of ourselves in backbends on social media. On Wednesdays. For fun! Everyone's invited to join. Okay, Oct 30, bring it.
  13. Hello everyone! My name is Sora, and I'll be joining the Rangers this time around if you'll have me (previously a scout). The last challenge was my first in a very long time; I rejoined after a long hiatus, and semi-successfully completed my challenge with the scouts. I'm hoping to join the Rangers as I begin to explore different types of workouts. I have historically been a distance runner (cross country and track team in middle and high school). In about a month, I'll be a Freshman at the University of Michigan, and I'm hoping to try out something new. For this challenge, I want to explore different types of workouts and begin to find something I might like to do in the future. For this challenge, I will be centering around a theme from the Anime "Magi: Adventure of Sinbad" which recently finished airing. I'm currently studying abroad in Japan until August 12, so I appreciate the idea of adventure. Goal 1: Workout! Workout 5 days a week, including some mix of running and non-running exercises. One of the main ideas behind what I am trying to accomplish is based in working out. Like Sinbad, I want to try to live like other people do and experience different ways of life. Through this, I hope to find the best fit for me. I will continue running as it's what I know I am capable of. Otherwise, I will try to find new workouts to incorporate. I don't have access to a gym or anything, so body weight workouts will probably be in store. If you have any ideas for what I should try out, please let me know! Goal 2: Try Paleo! Have 6 paleo meals a week (try new recipes or make good choices out). I am currently living on my own and cooking for myself, so I would like to try to learn some new recipes and eat in a new way. I like the philosophy behind paleo, and I've wanted to give it a go for a while. This will be a little difficult due to being in a small apartment in Japan (limited kitchen and living in a country that eats a lot of rice). However, I will give it my best shot! Let me know if there is a recipe I must try! Goal 3: Smile! Brush teeth every morning and night (bonus points for mid day). Smile more. Over the past year I've become less consistent with my oral hygiene due to a wacky schedule. It's time for this to stop. Sinbad is known for his charm, and a big part of that comes from his smile, so I want to have a smile that I am confident in! Life Goal: Study the world around you! Study Japanese 7 days a week (at least 5 days of two hours a day [consisting of grammar, vocabulary, and kanji], and another 2 days of review and practice). I am in Japan, after all, so it's about time I become better at studying Japanese. I've taken a few years of classes, but I have a lot of review that I need to do. In the last challenge I improved, but now it's really time to step it up. Part of Sinbad's travels is him learning about new places and other ways of life, so what better way to do this? Overall Goal: Look Good Naked I'm hoping to cosplay Sinbad at Youmacon (the first week of November). In order to do this character justice, I want to improve my overall figure and become more confident in my appearance. Rather than having a goal like "lose X amount of weight/bf/etc", I'm simply trying to make habits that will result in that on their own. I don't want to worry about the numbers, only the work. I will have this as my overall goal for the next few challenges leading up to November! Thanks for having me, Rangers! I look forward to working among you.
  14. Sora.2

    Sora's Shot

    Hello all! It's been quite some time since I was last part of the scouts or the NF community. You may remember me from my previous account, username "Sora". I made a post HERE yesterday detailing my absence and change of account. Regardless, I'm back, and that's what's important! Part of the reason I'm starting this challenge a few days late is my account troubles, but I figure better late than never. So Let's Go! This Summer, I'm completing an internship in Japan, near Kyoto. Some of you may remember my challenges from the past that led up to my first trip to Japan, and I'm really happy to be back in this amazing place. However, I have found that I haven't been living a very productive life while I have been here. It's been almost a month, and I'm sick of being unproductive and wasting this amazing opportunity to improve myself. So, for this challenge, I have decided to channel Saitama from One Punch Man and work towards a better me through aggressive repetition. Goal 1: Workout! Rather than taking Saitama's workout directly (100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats, and 10 k of running everyday for three years), I'll be adapting it so fit my my current fitness level and timetable: Run 5 days a week, and incorporate body weight exercises... week 1: 2 days / week 2: 3 days / week 3: 4 days / week 4: 5 days The idea is to get back into running consistently again, while adding in some other moves to make myself more well rounded. I'm hoping to try out some types of fitness in the next year, so the body weight work (primarily push ups, squats, and sit ups) should help me gain some strength outside of distance running and improve my overall fitness level. There is also a good chance that I'll be climbing Mr. Fuji in July during my trip to Tokyo, so I'll need all the strength I can get! Goal 2: Cook! Cook 1 meal a day at least six days a week. At least one recipe must be new each week. This is my first time living and cooking 100% on my own for an extended period of time, and I've been wasting a lot of money the last few weeks eating out. The food here is AMAZING, but I need to start eating a little healthier and economically. My Goal here is to expand my cooking ability through consistently cooking and trying new recipes. One of my ideas for the next four week challenge is to work towards a paleo diet, but I think the first step towards this goal should be simply cooking in general. Goal 3: Hydrate! Drink 100 Ounces of Water a day, and limit soft drinks to once a day. At home in Michigan, I'm usually much better about staying hydrated. However, since my lifestyle changed significantly when I moved here, I have found myself drinking less. It's also much hotter and humid here than I am used to (yay rainy season!), so it's even more important that I am intentional about my hydration. I also need to try to avoid the many options that the plethora of vending machines here have to offer (Japan has the highest ratio of vending machines to landmass of any nation worldwide). I have downloaded the "iHydrate" app to track my progress. Life Goal: Daily Routine Complete at least three of the following each day, and complete all of them at least: Week 1: 1 time Week 2: 2 times Week 3: 3 times Week 4: 4 times Tasks: Read (20 minutes), Vlog (Film one video OR Edit one video), Study Japanese ( 1.5 hours), Clean (including laundry, dishes, etc. Basically anything in my apartment), Adventure (go somewhere I have never been before), Draw (1 completed sketch of 30 minutes working on full drawing) I have a lot of things I want to accomplish while I'm here, and the only way I'm going to be able to do that is by consistently practicing all of them. I've been doing fine doing them individually, but the problem for me has been giving attention to all of these things at once and finding the proper balance. So, through this goal, I'm hoping to slowly add more on to my plate and adjust to the balance gradually. IN SUMMARY: I'm hoping to slowly add more onto my plate as the challenge progresses. Through repeating everything consistently, I'm hoping to become a hero like Saitama! I'm super excited to be back among the NF community, especially the scouts. I'd love to talk more with you all, and I hope we can all reach our goals together! Let's go!
  15. Hello, Steve Kamb and Nerd Fitness staff. I recently finished reading Level Up Your Life and I love it. I've already started a very long epic quest. I live in Japan where many people like me are badly in need of self help. So why not let me translate it into Japanese for you? Thank you very much for your time. Sincerely, Jahan Zoltan Honma A.K.A. The Legendary Zoltan
  16. WARNING! THE FOLLOWING CHALLENGE CONTAINS SUPERNATURAL SPOILERS FOR SEASON 8. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. ALSO I HAVEN'T SEEN SEASON 9 OR 10 YET SO NO SPOILERS PLEASE! Welcome to the bunker bitches. I’m once again using this challenge to see what I can do and how far I can come. Last challenge I learned how to dolphin kick, and how to hold my breath. This challenge will be all fun and games….at least until someone gets shots in the chest with rock salt. My main focus will be to build up endurance, flexibility, and to have fun. (also Supernatural themed because I can) Main Quest: SEAL THE GATES OF HELL I get a lot of questionable doubt, both from myself and others around me. These are my demons. And they need to get back to hell. I want to build up my stamina and endurance, improve flexibility, and to gain strength. I want gain knowledge and use it as the lock and key to seal these demons away in hell. First Mission: ACQUIRE & SAFEKEEP THE DEMON TABLET I'll have to work hard to not only acquire the demon tablet, but make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands (*cough*Crowley*cough*) Mermaid training M & FParkour workout M-W-FO2 and/or CO2 training on Weds.This will work on my endurance, stamina, and strength. Things needed if I’m going up against demons. Second Mission: ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES When your trying to outsmart the King of Hell and run from Angels, while hunting down the things that go bump in the night…you gotta be kinda flexible. I will work on flexibility for at least 5 min or do yoga on my “off†days. Su-Te-Th-Sa Third Mission: DECIPHER THE DEMON TABLET It’s going to take a lot of work to decipher a tablet written in a language even Angels can’t understand. 5 min review vocab5 min grammar5 min reading5 min Kanji reviewI’ll have to do this every four hours (8,12,4,8). This will be on a point system. Each item is worth 1 “wordâ€, for a total of 16 “words†a day. Listening and reading podcast notes can substitute for 15 min of vocab, grammar, and reading. Fourth Mission: COMPLETE THE DEMON TRIALS There are three trials that need to be completed in order to seal the gates of hell. But I won’t know what these trials are until I decipher the demon tablet. Motivation: Always Keep Fighting I admire both Jared and Jensen as actors and as crazy human beings. Their characters in the show motivate me, but so does their campaign, Always Keep Fighting. That’s all the motivation I’ll need.
  17. This thread is for my favorite recipes. My boyfriend is from Ecuador, so I end up learning and cooking a lot of Ecuadorian recipes. However, I also love lots of other cuisines and make (or try to make ) dishes from all over the world (including my home country, 'Murica). We rarely eat out, but we're both busy so I end up doing a lot of batch cooking on the weekend. A lot of these recipes are primal, paleo, or easily modified to be so. My boyfriend isn't in to healthy eating, but he likes almost everything I cook and has a big appetite. To start things off, here's one of my favorite Ecuadorian dishes: ---Paleo, unless you go with some non-paleo toppings--- Encebollado de Pescado - a soup with tuna, yuca, and red onion. recipe - http://laylita.com/recipes/2008/03/01/encebollado-de-pescado-or-tuna-soup/ Laylita's recipes are usually pretty spot-on; I highly recommend her blog. Notes: - Since fresh albacore tuna is difficult to find and cost prohibitive where I live, I usually make this with canned tuna (I get the Wild Planet brand from Costco). - The way my boyfriend's parents make it, they cook the onion in the soup rather than pickling it. I love it both ways. - I like the soup as is, while my boyfriend likes adding a squeeze of lime juice, tostado, chifles (recipe here or you can buy them in a latin american grocery store), or popcorn. Another traditional accompaniement is toasted white bread, but we usually skip this.
  18. Off to the second challenge we are. And this time I decided to join up with the assassins! Hello, my fellow assassins and everyone else of course who wanders into this thread So, what is my main goal this time? I have not yet given up on losing bodyfat and gaining muscle/strenght. But I think this challenges goal could be better summarized with just improving myself on a general basis. Yeah, I know that this is very vague and that i really shouldn't be that vague. It's the journey that matters though and not the goal. The interesting part is going through the story and taking a bit of time for some sidequests, just enjoying the story and the world building, yes? Sometimes as a bit of a lone wanderer, sometimes with companions. Okay, Okay. So, what are my goals then? Flexible: Last challenge I starting training three times a week and also took up dancing (namely Jazz dance and ballet) Especially ballet and deadlifts showed me that I lack in flexibility and Squats and also ballet showed me that I could also improve on my ballance. So this challenge I want to do stretches every day and work on my balance every other day that is not a training day. Swift Leaner: The start of the challenge (Monday, June the 8th) is my 27th birthday. Only three more years till 30. What happens at thirty? Well I promised myself some years ago that by age thirty I wanted to have traveled to Japan, to see the various cities, taste the food and just witness the culture and everything. But I wouldn't dare go there without speaking the language well enough to find my way around. And by that I mean, that I really want to get proficient enough to talk to people, watch the news, maybe read something in a newspaper. In the span of three years. Starting today. Well, I actually already started some time before but fell off the wagon, and now I restarted and managed to learn the Hiragana so far , a few basic vocabulary and the first of the Katakana. Sooo. How will I go about this? Minimum of 15 minutes of japanese learning every day? (it will be more if I'm in it but 15 minutes seems unthreatening) and every week I want to try to find a native speaker and talk to them for a bit in exchange for speaking german or english to them. This will also force me to be sociable and overcome my fear of being awkward. Living Anatomy: I'm terrible. I'm a learned graphic designer who after her graduation just dropped everything because I felt so worn out and now I'm afraid to get back in again. The thing is, I do love it, but now I'm working in a bakery and as a waitress which helps me pay my bills of course but I hate it. So my goal here is to do something to get back into graphic design, build a portfolio I can be happy with (that's hard for me) and to apply for jobs in that field. That means: At least three days a week, spending the afternoon on graphic design and drawing in general. Illustration, Web design, folders, posters, logos, packaging. My old goals of eating well, sleeping well, and training regularly stay. Wait, didn't I want to simplify? Anyway. To keep me accountable on the food front, I made an Instagram account where I will post my daily food. I'm not allowed to eat anything that I don't take a picture of and put it on there. If someone wants to follow me there, I would really be overjoyed. So, let's start this. If you got any tips for me on any of my challenges, you are very welcome to share.
  19. Intro and Long-Term Goals I’m Presea, and this is my second 6WC. I am a 25 y/o 5’ 7’’ female, currently weighing 183.6 pounds (4/7/15). My over-arching quest is to lose weight, with an initial goal of 160 pounds, at which point I’ll reassess. For this 6WC, my goal is to lose 5 pounds. I live in the Midwest region of the US, and I have a desk job (actuarial work). I enjoy many types of exercise and feel better when I work at least some activity into every day. Edit: Starting weight morning of 4/13 was 182.5, so my goal for the end of the 6 weeks will be 177.5. Need to take measurements, as I haven't done so since the start of the last challenge (oops). Subquests (SMART goals that will help me complete my overall quest): Subquest #1: Control food intake. Last challenge, my focus was breaking my binge eating cycle, so I had a calorie limit of 2500. Although I went over that a few times, it was never a full-on binge (no secret trips to the grocery store to buy donuts or ice cream to later eat alone in hiding in my car). I believe I succeeded in breaking my binge eating cycle, however, I was not eating at enough of a deficit to actually lose any weight. I track food using MyFitnessPal and activity using a FitBit Zip. Over the course of the entire previous challenge, I ate 98,370 calories and burned 99,495 calories, meaning my total deficit was only around 1,000 calories for the whole 6 weeks. No wonder I hardly lost any weight. This time around, my quest each week will be to have a cumulative deficit of 1,750 calories = a total deficit of 10,500 for the whole challenge. Possible points: +3 CON +4 CON Subquest #1b: I believe protein and fat are keys to satiety. While I tracked my macronutrients during the prior challenge, I didn’t really have any goals for them. My averages per day were 180g carbs, 125g fat, and 143g protein. I’m going to aim for some small improvements this time around: >=150 grams protein/day, <=150 grams carbohydrate/day, fill in the rest with fat. Possible points: +1 CON I decided to remove my macro goals, because I'm honestly not sure I know what works best for me yet. I'm going to keep reporting them, but I'm only going to score myself on the calorie deficit since that's what counts in the long run. I'm going to try to include notes on energy levels to see if that reveals what the optimal macro balance is for me and my lifestyle. Subquest #2a: I’ve been tracking my daily step counts from my FitBit, and I feel that I have small habits like taking the stairs and parking further away down pat. However, I want to push myself to dedicate more time to go on walks. I’m a huge Tolkien nerd, so I’ll be tracking my walks against Frodo’s journey with the Eowyn Challenge. My goal is to make it to Crickhollow (73 miles – counting dedicated walks only, not other daily activity) by the end of the challenge. Possible points: +1 STA, +1 DEX Subquest #2b: The past two summers, I have ridden my 15 year old mountain bike to work (14.2 miles each way). Even though I take mostly trails to get there, they are all paved, so I feel riding a mountain bike is really slowing me down (I think my average time was around 1hr 30mins). Therefore, I am in the market for buying a road bike soon. I’m such a Tolkien nerd, in fact, that I’m going to have a second save file in my Eowyn Challenge game in which I will be trying to ride to Weathertop by the end of the challenge (241 miles). Possible points: +1 STA, +1 STR Subquest #3: I often have a hard time getting up in the morning, and I seem to be getting to work later and later. I used to get there around 7, but that has slowly crept up over the past 6 months to the point where now I’m getting there around 8:30. I have flexible work hours, so it’s not a big deal, just means I need to stay later – but I don’t like it. I think bettering my sleep habits will help, but I haven’t really been tracking my sleep. My quest is to track my sleep every day, so that I can set some good goals for next challenge. Possible points: +1 WIS Subquest #4: I got an A+ on my goal of playing tennis an average of 2x/week. I’m going to up my goal this challenge to an average of 3x/week. Possible points: +1 STR, +1 DEX Life Quest #1 – I have recently completed all my requirements for my ASA, so now I’m on to the FSA requirements. My goal is to complete one FSA module during this 6WC. Possible points: +2 WIS Life Quest #2 – Last challenge I completed the Pimsleur series for Japanese around week 4. Since then, I’ve studied zero Japanese and I’m not proud of it. My goal for this challenge is consistent practice – 30 minutes a day, every day. Possible points: +2 CHA I will attach an image of my grading spreadsheet later.
  20. A simple Hobbit in Hobbiton, Kareesh never thought about going on an adventure like the well-known Bilbo Baggins. Yet, as is usually the case, adventure finds one whether they want it to or not. For Kareesh, it happened one afternoon as she was outside tending to her herbs. A strange sound reached her pointed ears. She straightened herself and looked around to see what on Middle-Earth could be making that noise. She could scarce believe her eyes. Just a few feet away from her, a giant blue box was appearing out of nowhere. It could only be this strange object that was making that strange sound. Blue eyes watched with curiosity, and with a touch of healthy fear, as it came fully into view. Before she could do anything more than close her gaping mouth, a door suddenly appeared and swung open. Out jumped a male human wearing clothes Kareeh couldn't identify. They looked to be something of a suit, but it's likeness had never been seen before in Hobbiton or the entire Shire. "This is new," the man said pulling on a pair of dark-rimmed spectacles. He peered around before finally noticing Kareesh. "Ah! A native! Could you by any chance tell me where I've landed?" It took her a few moments to find her voice to answer the stranger. "Uh…oh, yes. You're in Hobbiton," she said as politely as her shock would allow her to. "Hobbiton, eh? Never heard of it. And that's strange…" A look came across his face which Kareesh couldn't quite tell what it was. Worry? Confusion? Excitement? Or perhaps a bit of all of them? Before she could contemplate it any further, it was gone replaced by pure excitement. "Anyway, I'm the Doctor, and you are…." "Kareesh. Kareesh Greenhand, sir," she replied. And, though she hardly knew it at the time, this was the start of Kareesh Greenhand's adventures… And with that, I've started on my third challenge. I decided to do a theme this time around, though I couldn't decide if I wanted to do something relating to Middle-Earth or Doctor Who, so I figured "Why not both?" I've never written the Doctor, so sorry if I butchered him. He's surprisingly hard to write about. Anywho, onto the real reason you're here. My challenge. I've taken bits of information from my previous challenges and hopefully I'll do a lot better this time around. Some of the things I've made a bit more broader, which I'm hoping will keep away the discouragement that I often run into about halfway through. Main Quest Get down to 125-130 pounds. Quest #1 - What About Elevensies? As a hobbit, I love to eat. But, once I'm out travelling with the Doctor, nutrient-dense meals are going to be more important and I won't have time to eat chips and dip. For this challenge, I need to track my food intake with MyFitnessPal. I also need to stay in the 1400-1500 calorie range. I'll take a look at this around week 3 and see if I need to do any adjusting on that. Quest #2a - The Road Goes Ever On and On Before the beginning of this challenge, I'm going to be getting myself a pedometer and start tracking how far I've walked in a day. My overarching goal is to walk to Mordor from the Shire, and from Mordor to the Grey Havens. It is very unlikely that I'm going to accomplish all that in 6 weeks, but this is a start. Quest #2b - Run! Okay, I'm not going to be running, but I am going to be moving in that direction. For 5 days a week, I need to be doing something active. Whether that's a long walk, dance cardio, yoga, anything! If I want to be a good companion for the Doctor, then I need to be able to handle myself in dangerous circumstances. Quest #3 - Pop is Rubbish. I Hate Soda Pop. Okay, no, I actually love it, and that's a problem. So, this challenge, I'm going to limit myself to only drinking 2 sodas a week. My husband "has" to have soda in the house, so it's going to be a little bit difficult, but as I found in the past challenge, I can go days only drinking water, so I'm going to do that. Maybe a bit of juice or something if I get the sweet tooth thing going. Life Quest - Pedil edhellen? Though most of the time while travelling with the Doctor, you don't really need to know any other languages thanks to the translation circuit, but sometimes it doesn't always work. Which is why I'm going to be taking this time to learn Japanese. I know a tiny bit, but not a whole lot. So, for 5 days a week, I'm going to be studying Japanese with some text books that I bought.
  21. Introduction: Hi all! I recently completed my first challenge and am ready to try another one! In my first challenge, I sought to lose a bit of pudge, continue running despite the heat and start up some body weight workouts. Overall, it was a success and now I'm going to try building on that success. The extra challenging bit this time will be that my main job has started back up so I'll be busier than last challenge, but I think I can manage (and will re-evaluate if it seems like I've taken on too much). Without further ado, here's what I had in mind. Main Quest: Lose the pudge. Get down to a 68 cm waist. Grading: A = 68-70 cm, B = 70.1-72.0 cm, C = 72.1-73.5 cm Reward: +1 CHA for loss of 0.5 cm or more. Quest 1: Go farther, faster. Farther: Increase my weekly distance to 25 km. I was running 20 km a week for the last challenge, but since I slacked a bit during the break, I'll spend the first half building up to 25 km and in the second half, I'll just run 25 km each week. Week 1: 20 km Week 2: 22 km 20 km Week 3: 24 km 22 km Week 4: 24 km 20 km Week 5: 22 km Week 4 5-6: 25 km 24 km Grading: Will be done for distance over the course of the challenge. A = 113-141 km, B= 112-99 km, C = 85-98 km. A = 110-136 km, B = 97-109 km, C = 83-96 km A = 24 km in the last week, B = 22-23.9 km in the last week, C = 20-21.9 km in the last week Reward: +3 STA note: Revised due to a minor hamstring issue at the end of Week 1. note: Revised due to an unrelated blister acquired during Week 3. Faster: Eventually, I'd like to run 5 km in under 30 minutes. To start working on that goal, I'll be making one of my 5 km runs each week an interval training run. Grading: A = 5-6 interval runs, B = 3-4 interval runs, C = 2 interval runs. Reward: +2 DEX Quest 2: Get stronger Do a full-body body weight workout 2-3 times a week and do some core workouts 5 times a week (to be incorporated into the body weight workouts on overlapping days). By the end of the challenge, I should have completed 15 full body strength workouts and 30 core workouts. Grading: A = 12-15 full body and 24-30 core strength workouts, B = 10-11 full body and 20-22 core strength workouts, C = 9 full body and 18-19 core strength workouts. Reward: +3 STR Quest 3: Prevent injury and burnout. This one is all about keeping myself in good working condition. So I will do some recovery yoga twice a week and also meditate for at least 15 minutes twice a week. Grading: A = 20-24 yoga + meditations, B = 17-19 yoga + meditations, C = 14-16 yoga + meditations. Reward: +2 CON, +2 DEX Life Quest: Learning Japanese. Last time, I tried focusing on getting a better job, but the problem with that is that a lot of the jobs around here require some amount of Japanese language skill (which is fair enough because this is Japan). I'd personally rank myself as having basic skills, but that sometimes feels pretty generous. So I'm going to work on this some more and possibly sign up for the JLPT 5 in December (based on how confident I feel about it by the deadline at the end of September... if not then I'll study for the JLPT 4 next July). This is what I'll be doing: Daily review of flash cards using Anki (both kanji and vocabulary).Spend 1 hour a week studying grammar.Spend 1 hour a week reading manga and looking up words I don't know.Spend 1 hour a week focusing specifically on JLPT vocabulary.Grading: Each task will be evaluated individually based on completion, then weighted equally and averaged together. A = 80-100%, B = 70-79%, C = 60-69%. Reward: +2 WIS Starting measurements Bust/waist/hips: 91.7 cm / 74.0 cm / 94.0 cm Ribcage/navel: 81.5 cm / 85.0 cm Thigh right/left: 54.0 cm / 53.9 cm
  22. So uhhhh hi. I'm going to Japan in the fall and I need help! I took a little bit of Japanese a number of years ago, but it's gotten very rusty and I also don't have anyone to practice with here IRL. So I was hoping for a pen pal, or a forum pal, or something, with which to converse and learn some new skills. I will also be working on the reading (re-learning the kana and learning many kanji for the first time) so some conversations may be taking place very slowly and painfully in roomaji. Doomo arigatou gozaimashita!
  23. So, we all caught up on Skin Game? No? Fine (slackers). I want to use my favorite Dresden Files book for motivation anyway. Why? Because holy crap, here's a challenge that's all vanity for me. It's the summer, and I want to look damned good for the (maybe two) times I hit the beach. Last challenge was a bit ho-hum, as I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and challenges - and then I realized I'm actually at the point where I want to have the goal of "look purdy," rather than "get healthy." Vanity is a sin I'm okay with indulging in. So how am I becoming a Fit, less pudgy Knight of the Summer Court of Fae? Like this: 1) Devour the Chlorofiend. Goal: Eat Primal*. I need to try a different dieting technique. I eat pretty healthy, but noticed a lot of cheats happening because I could fit them in my calorie count and still be under. So no more of that. I'm going to put forth a lot of will to go mostly Primal, with a few caveats. Mainly, I'm allowing peanut butter (because I find the reasoning for not allowing it to be consumed bulled), and allow beans and lentils. I'm also going to allow my pita pocket which I use for lunch - because I realized I'm stressing way too much about trying to make carb/grain free lunches, and that thing is literally the only grain I have. And it's like 4g of Carbs. I can account for that. Hence Primal*. Biggest thing is I want to keep carbs lower than I've been eating (~175-200g/day), and get them around 100g/day. Lower is better, and I'll aim them as such, but definitely no more than 125g/day. Largest issue I foresee is my sudden lack of oatmeal for breakfast, which is a staple of mine. In the mean time, going to track how well this goes by tracking my weight, pictures, and measurements ONCE A WEEK. Photos you guys likely won't get, but the numerical metrics you'll get thrown. 2) Out Run the Blue Beatle. Goal: Finish and entire stadium tour (37 sections) at November Project by the end of the Challenge. I've been running with the November Project on Wednesdays regularly now for something like 6 months. Since we started doing full section sprints, I haven't made it from section 37 to section 1 at all. I usually stall out around 30-ish, and can push myself for a few more before time runs out. So I want to do a whole tour before the challenge ends. I'm currently maxing at 32, so if I just add one extra section per week... 3) A Correspondence Course in Latin Japanese. Goal: 1 Japanese lesson per week; save $100 per week for the Japan Trip in 2015. So May 2015 my dojo is "hosting" a trip to Japan for 2 weeks, where we would tour the country and also get to practice at the Honbu dojo. I want to go so bad, it's ridiculous. So I will. However, I'd like to have some understanding of the Japanese language (beyond noting if someone is asking me a question or suggesting we do something) and I need to save money. So I have a book to learn Japanese for at least a cursory start point. Given I know enough people who speak Japanese, finding someone to talk to later on shouldn't be too hard. But figuring out how to say hello and how are you should be first. Also money. I should have enough wiggle room in my personal budget to toss some extra cash into savings, especially since it looks like I'll be keeping my current gig full time come September - so I don't have to worry about saving money for another round of unemployment. Clearly things could change, but for now, lets go with this. 4) A Part of Camp Kaboom. Goal: 3 workouts per week. Foam roll every workout day. Okay, I have seriously been lacking motivation to do my lifting workouts. Between injuries, and guests, and just general malaise, I need to get my mind moving again. So this is the goal for now. Get back into things. Lift heavy things, and be happy doing it. I left it as a vague "3 workouts" because I may end up doing some running with a friend, which will take place of lifting workouts, just so I do have some time for, you know, myself. These workouts also don't include my regularly scheduled aikido classes (which is about 5-7 hours a week, so not an insignificant amount of time). With any luck this starts motivating my butt more (also because I need to do heavier workouts if I'm doing the Primal* eating plan, which has no specific calorie cap). So that's the goals this time around. I am so much more pumped for this challenge than last challenge. Lets do this.
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