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  1. It’s the beginning of a new year and I need to get back into my fitness and eating routine. Happy New Year! Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My Motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will mostly be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. Although I’m going to try to limit it to one day, rather than both Saturday and Sunday. I enjoy doing themed workouts and for this challenge it will be Star Wars in conjunction with the release of The Last Jedi (which I loved!). May the Force be with you! Smaller Quests 1. "Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try." - Yoda Walking When I'm in Europe I’ll be walking everywhere, so I need time to get into proper walking shape. This challenge will be heavily focused on walking as many miles as possible. I usually do 2 miles at a stretch, several times a week on a treadmill. For this challenge, I’m upping that to adding in another walk early in the mornings before work. While space travel and transport on planets was likely done by some type of vehicle, there’s no doubt that training to be a Jedi involves a lot of physical activity, which includes walking. Rey herself walked a lot on both Jakku and in searching for Luke, in addition to her other Jedi training. Scoring: x/50 miles in 5 weeks Reward: +3 to STA & +3 to DEX 2. "Help me DuoLingo (Obi-Wan Kenobi). You’re My Only Hope!" - Princess Leia French I’m going to Europe soon so I need to get back to practicing French. Since I found it difficult, I know I need to practice every day. I want to practice at least three DuoLingo sessions each day, once a day. I also find that I practice more regularly in conjunction with a challenge here. As a member of the Rebel Alliance, I would encounter many other species and cultures. Although despite something like either translator microbes or the babel fish being available, still being able to speak and understand another language would be useful in the Outer Rim Territories. Scoring: /35 Reward: +3 to WIS 3. "Never Tell Me the Odds" - Han Solo Editing Edit ‘Bonita Blue’, my 2017 NaNoWriMo win, once a week by getting through 3-4 chapters at a time. The story currently has 18 chapters so this seems reasonable. Scoring: x/5 weeks Reward: +3 to CHA 4. "I'll Never Turn to the Dark Side!" - Luke Skywalker Sweet Treats I have a terrible sweet tooth, particularly where processed sugars are concerned. And since, over the holidays, there were tasty things everywhere, I need to focus on less sugar in my daily diet, especially as I move into the new year and getting back into more exercise and healthy eating again. It’s a good goal to have for the first challenge in 2018. Because of my blow meals on weekends, I’m going to try to only have sweet treats 2-3 times per week, Monday through Friday. Eat healthier by cutting down on the sweet treats to 2-3 times in the 5 day week. Scoring: /15 days Reward: +3 to CON
  2. I actually did the planning worksheet this time. Who am I, and what have I done with my impulsive hot mess self? Here's the fire plan sketch... Guardian: Increase weight on squat and deadlifts at least weekly. I've had a few "resets" recently to check form. I want a consistent four weeks of increase. Sometimes I tend to wimp out - especially on squatting - because I get scared. If 65# feels so heavy I'm scared to go to depth, I will make excuses and not even try 70#, even if Coach tells me I'm strong enough. Yeah. It feels heavy. So? Pick it up anyways. Big Girl: Diligently hit protein targets every. single. day. It is a pain in the heiney to track my macros every single day, but it is making a big difference in my strength, recovery, and firmitude of bicep. I struggle the most with getting in my target 110g of protein every day, so for the duration of the challenge I want to be very intentional about putting a bare minimum of 100g in my face every day. Yeah, even if that means I have to choke down an Exo bar or make a second protein shake before bedtime. You have to EAT if you want to grow up big and strong, right? Junkyard Dog: No Junk Food for 30 days. This is from the NF Academy nutrition quests, and I almost checked it off without thinking about it when I first saw it, because I hardly ever eat junk food. I didn't let myself, though, because I had not specifically tracked or paid attention to whether "hardly ever" actually equalled a certain number of days. Well, today I got out of class late and starving, stopped at the grocery on the way home for butter (mmmmmm.... butter....) and somehow in the checkout line the evil hangry imp that I had not seen or heard from in I don't know how long got a candy bar and an orange soda pop onto the checkout belt, into the bag, and into my belly with almost no protest from the brain part of my brain. So now I'm going to hold myself publicly accountable before I award myself that check mark and 75 points! Chronicler. Complete the exercises in the Structuring Your Novel Workbook during July Camp NaNoWriMo. I am an aspiring writer. Not sure if I've mentioned that anywhere except the NaNoWriMo thread, but I am a long time fangirl/participant/devotee of National Novel Writing Month. Usually I "pants" (as in, write by the seat of my pants, just fling words at the paper and let the story go wherever it will, making a disorganized mess of plot devices and rabbit trails that ends up way too daunting to revise and edit) but this year I am trying a more disciplined approach that might actually lead to a coherent, workable novel draft. Maybe. I hope. Worth a shot. I'll be starting this one early, because these 30 writing exercises are my goal for the upcoming Camp NaNoWriMo which runs the calendar month of July.
  3. Like many, I laughed at the idea of being "addicted to food" for a long time. But the more I've considered it, the more I've realized: being addicted to certain combinations and kinds of processed foods is quite real. One need only review several Google searches on the topic, as well as statements from physicians and neuroscientists that various combinations of food spike dopamine and serotonin levels pretty high, which, just like cocaine or meth, can lead to tolerance and require more and more of the same to get the same "high". Anyway, I'm here to ask the question: how do you actually BEAT this addiction? I recently finished the book "Fat Chance" by Dr. Robert H. Lustig, MD. In addition to citing a lot of evidence and discussing quite a bit of science behind this newly-emerging (albeit slowly) notion of addiction to various combinations of food, he claims that the way to beat it is, basically, "eat right and exercise." Well, gee doc, that's a lot of help. While I loved the science in the book (and highly recommend it; you can even get it on Audible if that's your thing), I found the advice for recovery pointless. "Do the thing that you least want to do to make you want to do the thing you least want to do" is not advice: it's circular (anti) logic. Does anyone have any experience with actually recovering from this kind of addiction? I'm interested in actionable information, like techniques, personal experiences, things that helped (and that didn't), and most definitely any supplements or even prescription drugs (legally acquired only, please) that can help reduce one's cravings for high fat/salt/sugar food(s), making healthy food seem more palatable. Willpower alone doesn't beat addictions this strong, especially when some of us have had that crap shoved into our bellies since before we could walk (see "McDonald's" for example). There's got to be a neuropharmacological system of some kind that we can leverage to "invert" the reward system of the brain against junk food and toward healthy food. Finding some mechanism to do that is THE answer to fixing the obesity crisis. Thoughts, anyone?
  4. My challenges this year are improving and I am sure that this will get better the less time I spend being ill. However, this challenge is going to be slightly different. As I will be doing a lot of campaigning this challenge for upcoming local elections and trying to rest and take care of the rest of my life at the same time. I'm going for three simple but important challenges plus I am going to add my own mini-challenge per week. Goal: Reason: I created a goal to travel by foot more than I did in 2014. What a perfect time to put a focus on that part of the challenge than during an election. I will still be going to the gym and whatever else but there won't be the same focus on it as I may not be able to go as often. What: Track (via my phone and runkeeper app) 20km walking (about 5k a week) this should be do-able but may have to add in extra walks How: Track my walks while out delivering leaflets and any extra walking I do Bonus points: Extra walks, particularly in nature Motivation: I need to beat my 2014 self! Goal: Not to give in to temptation Reason: While I tend to eat quite well, my eating habits of late have tended towards junk food. This is not good for me or helping me stop being ill. What: Remove as much junk food (high calorie - low nutrition, generally just not good for you) as possible. No take-aways and when eating out choose something that at least has vegetables in it (as far as being vegetarian will allow me). I don't have enough fridge or freezer space for much meal-prep (though I still need to read that NF article) but I will keep making my healthy lunches. Evening meal I need to work on as I am mostly feeding myself at nights for now. How: Say no, plan ahead, buy fruit etc. for snacks. Tracked on myfitnesspal. Bonus points: Actually saying no to junk food. Making it through the whole month without junk food. Motivation: To feel better. To be better. Goal: Keep on top of life Reason: I'm going to be busy this month. I need to make sure I don't neglect other things in my life and includes me/ rest time as well. What: List! I love lists. I have done something similar to this in previous challenges but I have decided to bring it back as it feels appropriate. How: I will make a to-do list every Sunday for things I need to do that week including rest/me time each week. Keep track of what I need to do and not just leave it all for a day off. Bonus points: Bonus points for every day that I finish my to do list early. Motivation: It gets stuff done. I like lists. I will feel better. Mini-challenges Week 1 - Every morning get up 5 minutes earlier than normal and do as many push ups as possible. Week 2 - Update my challenge thread every day Week 3 - Week 4 -
  5. This is how I feel. This is also probably how I look - especially given how tight my clothes have gotten. I had a good excuse - several in fact. But no more. I am building the habit of eating right. This 4-week challenge will be perfect to get me started. I will be posting results weekly but following daily. THE RULES! 1- No shaming, no disgracing, no criticizing. I make a mistake, I move on and do not repeat it. This also means no weight measuring until after the four weeks. My clothes will be my judge. No comp. 2- Exercise every day. At least a little. It can be some biking, a BBWW, dancing, but it has to be at least 15 minutes, EVERY DAY. Yes, I am looking at You, Saturday, and You, Sunday. You will become workout days too! Comp allowed within a week. 3- At least 1 fruit or vegetable per meal and for snacking. Exception can be made with protein shake if no real dinner is eaten. Total of 3 fruits / vegetables (or portion of) is required per day. Comp allowed within a day. 4- Daily journaling. Because it heals my soul to put on paper the torments it endures and the feelings it experiences. Because choosing with care the little stickers I put in my daily box helps me process these emotions. And because it helps me reflect and accept what I feel. So back to 1! Comp allowed until the last day of the challenge. THE POINTS Note: to make it easier, I used 1 pt per fruit per day (5 pts total instead of 3), so I moved the negative comments to -4 pts. This is a 4-week challenge, so total of 28 days and I start with a small handicap, since I missed Monday. Breaking Rule 1 will take 4 points away, while following Rules 2, 3 or 4 will bring one point each per day (so if I do everything right, but I say "I look fat" instead of "I don't fit in that dress, let's change it", I get only 1 point for that day). Over four weeks the goal is 100 points, which means basically doing all right with Rules 2, 3 and 4, but failing to provide self love for 10 of the 28 days (more than 35%). THE REWARDS Note: rewards adjusted to fit 5-pt per day rule Nanoblooooocks! >99 points: ALL the Nanoblocks 67-99 points: 2 nanoblocks 33-66 points: 1 nanoblock <33 points: Start again next challenge. I WILL GO BEYOND! Over a maximum of 140 points over 28 days, if I gather at least 117 points, I will get MORE NANOBLOCKS!!!!! THE STRATEGY This challenge is really to help me get back on track after I lost myself in work last year (and gained 22 pounds, yikes). Rule 1 is so that I will stick to it and stop the downward spiral of "I am fat, therefore I can eat like a fat girl", Rule 2 is to build the habit before gradually increasing the intensity, Rule 3 is to help because nutrition is 80% of the battle and to get me into the habit of eating good foods, and Rule 4 is to remind me that everything doesn't have to be okay all the time. LET'S GO!!!!
  6. Since October 21, 2015 we’ll have flying cars and hoverboards, I thought a Back to the Future themed challenge would be fun. So, Great Scott my 11th challenge is now on! Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will mostly be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. I've managed to put on some muscle in an effort to become stronger by weightlifting and I’ve discovered that I love lifting heavy things! However, since I have neck pain, for this challenge I’m going to go easy on lifting weights. I want to take a bit of a break from the more serious weight lifting I’ve done in the past in an effort to try to help my neck heal. Nothing else has worked, so maybe not lifting as much will? I’m not giving weightlifting up entirely, since I love being the tank, but I do want to not focus on poundage so much as form and function for this challenge. So I’m *gulp* joining the Scouts this time to focus on speed and endurance! Smaller Quests 1. “Run for fun? What the hell kind of fun is that?†-Saloon Old Timer #3, Back to the Future III Marty does a lot of running throughout the trilogy; from Bif and his cronies to the Libyan terrorists. I am not a runner and never aspire to be one. I’m of the mind that I don’t run unless something is chasing me (t-rex, zombies, otters). But in the case of this challenge and in an effort to be a True Hero, I am going to practice this hated exercise and try to at least not die while doing it. Run three times per week working my way up to running for at least 30 minutes by the end of this challenge. I’m starting with running 10 minutes straight during week #1, 15 minutes during week #2, 20 minutes during week #3 & #4, 25 minutes during week #5, and, hopefully, 30 full minutes during week #6. Week 1: 10 minutes Week #2: 15 minutes Week #3 & #4: 20 minutes Week #5: 25 minutes Week #6: 30 minutes Since I’m not a runner by nature, I’m going to strive to simply run the allotted time length and not a set amount of times per week. Scoring: /6 (one for each week’s achieved) Reward: +3 to STA & +3 to DEX 2. “Save the clock tower!†-Back to the Future Without the clock tower to supply the lightning and power, Marty would never have gotten back to his own time. Doc must have climbed a lot of stairs, and quickly, to get up there to fix the wire in the first movie. While I’m not climbing stairs, I am going to continue working on getting my first dead-hang pull-up. I was thrilled when I attempted a pull-up with my arms flexed at about 120 degrees so it gave me hope that one day I will be able to do one from a full dead-hang. I am going to continue working towards my first dead-hang pull-up by lifting weights. a. Rows: 45lbs → 55lbs b. Assisted Pull-ups: 25lbs → 15lbs assist Scoring: /10 days Reward: +2 to STR (+1 for each completed) 3. “Hey, Frisbee. Far out!†-Marty McFly, Back to the Future III Frisbees back in the Old West were a brand name for pies and Marty recognizes it and refers to the toy when he sees a Frisbee pie tin in the old west. I need to go back to limiting my sweet treats during the week since processed sugar is evil. So I’m going back to no sweet treats M-F. Last challenge, I tried eating more veggies but since I’m so picky when it comes to green stuff, I only had carrots and red beets. Focusing on not having junk food during the week has worked before so I’m going back to that for this challenge. However, since I’m at the beach the week of September 12-19, I’m not counting sweet treats then. Because: ICE CREAM!!! Scoring: /25 Reward: +2 to CON & +2 to CHA 4. “When this baby hits 80mph, you’re going to see some serious shit!†-Doc, Back to the Future While not explicitly stated in any of the movies, being fluent in another language is incredibly useful! And I’m sure Doc speaks several. I really enjoyed practicing Spanish a few challenges ago so I’m going back to it. I want to focus on practicing for 30 minutes per day, M-F. Scoring: /25 days Reward: +3 to WIS Let's do this!
  7. I'm interested in trying the paleo diet, but have been hesitant to start so far because I am also a picky eater. Well, that and I love my processed sugars (cookies, cake, bread, pizza, pasta) and am not sure I could give them up 100%. But maybe giving it a try, even temporarily, would aid me in my weight loss goal. Some background: I count calories and have successfully dropped weight using this method. It's been working for me since 2009, so I'm hesitant to change it up too much. I eat 1200 calories M-F and then have a blow meal (whatever I want) on the weekend. This eventually turned into: 'eat whatever I want F-Sun'. With my Nerd Fitness challenges though I've managed to limit my sweet treats to about 2-3 times per week (doesn't include weekends, unfortunately), all within the limited calories I'm supposed to be eating. However, I recognize that eating things like Twinkies and bread is not healthy for me. I want to cut down, but my sweet tooth is always calling me! That being said, not only do I love my sweet junk food but I am a picky eater. We're talking 5 vegetables that I can eat here (green beans, carrots, corn, potatoes, red beets). {Do not comment on how corn and potatoes do not count as vegetables: I only like 5 of them so just gimme those!} If it doesn't look or smell good, chances are, I won't like it. I'm also big on texture. For example, I enjoy the taste of onions, but hate the texture (I hate the surprise crunch of onions and the sliminess of cooked onions is just gross). I've gotten better at simply trying new things, but since I grew up in a household where salt and pepper were the only spices, I'm not sure how else to branch out. I know fruits and veggies are good for me, but how can I enjoy them as much as I like my processed sweet treats? Is it just a matter of weaning myself off chocolate until I no longer have a taste for it? I'm not sure if I want to go all-out paleo, or just give it a try next challenge instead of doing 1200c/day. So I'm looking for advice. As a picky eater, and a calorie counter who loves chocolate, what can I do to make vegetables not taste bad? Green ones are a particular nightmare of mine (the smell of broccoli makes me nauseous!). Also, does trying the paleo diet sound like something I should go for based on my dietary restrictions? Thoughts are appreciated!
  8. "There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us." -Walt Kelly I’ve conquered boredom eating. I’ve conquered loneliness eating. I’ve conquered entitlement eating. Deeper than all these things I found something else, something different altogether. Here is how we recently met: A maple bar. I took it, intending just to have a few bites. I ripped off a quarter of it and enjoyed that. It was good. Then I decided I was done, I didn’t want any more of it. My stomach, which has always been sensitive to sugar, also let me know that I should stop. That’s truly all I wanted. But there was some other voice inside my brain, a hot little salamander buried somewhere deep that said, “Mmm, get fat. Cozy, cozy. Good, good. Fat happy.†And I ate the whole bar. I haven’t lost a lot of weight this summer as I’ve been doing the challenges, but I’ve gotten a lot stronger without gaining weight, and I’ve got some noticeable muscle tone that wasn’t there before, so I know I’m making significant changes. And there’s some part of my brain that’s not happy about it. It’s not really part of my intentional mind, not something really conscious. Something subconscious that’s keeping track of its lovely collection of fat, its shiny dragon horde of extra – something that’s not happy with the way things are going. And it can be very persuasive. My goal for this challenge is to draw this dragon out into the open and identify my weapons against it. To this end I will: 1) Completely abstain from all junk food until the dragon shows its head. This may take a few days the first time, I’m not really sure – but I’m certain it’ll starve out well before the end of the challenge. The metric for this goal will be pass/fail for each campaign, each cycle I have time to go through during the six weeks. I can then assess a percentage of successful attempts to hold tight until the dragon appears. (Stats: 4 stamina for 100% success.) 2) Identify the dragon’s strategy. When the dragon appears, I will not ignore it or push it away from my thoughts. I will observe it carefully and attempt to document its weapons against me. I will hold out for a reasonable time, long enough to attempt some strategic (less unhealthy) pacification of the beast. This is, however, not a dragon-slaying expedition, but merely an investigative one. The metric for this goal will also be pass/fail, based on effort. (Stats: 1 stamina, 1 con, and 3 wisdom for 100% success.) 3) While I wait in my camp outside the dragon’s lair, I will continue to improve my strengths for future combat by maintaining the exercise plan I’ve built up over the last two challenges: I will go running at least 15 miles a week, and I will do my expanded bodyweight exercise routine at least three times a week. (Stats: 4 strength, 1 dexterity for 100% success.) I also have a life goal during this time. My spouse and I agreed that the time had come and I could buy myself a laptop if I wanted, even a pretty nice one. I’ve never had a laptop before, and have really no idea what I want or how to make a good purchase on something like this. So my life goal is to research and make this purchase. (Stats: 1 wisdom)
  9. Hello I am a very consistent eater during the week (I work full time as a receptionist), I normally have a smoothie for breaky/or oats, salad with (vege) protein for lunch & some sort of a cooked dinner (normally a vege protein with heaps of veggies) with fruit/hummus for snacks. However, my boyfriend is one of those types of people with a very fast metabolism and can eat whatever he wants without gaining an ounce. I cook him healthy meals during the week with his meat and I make his lunches (he is a full time mechanic). The problem is on the weekends we are normally out and about driving around, catching up with family and friends, and we always gravitate to fast food while we are running around everywhere. There are never a lot of vege options & they sure aren't healthy when there is. I can only eat so many Subway veggie pattie subs before I get sick of them! I feel like a big inconvenience too, when our friends (and my boyfriend) have all decided on McDonalds or KFC or somewhere else I can't eat which is unhealthy. Is there a way to convince them to take me somewhere healthier where I can eat? It's hard enough where we live (Australia) as there aren't a lot of cheap healthy options for an easy takeaway. It's a hard subject to talk with them about as I'm forever being mocked for not eating meat and wanting to eat healthier. If someone in Aus has any suggestions for easy places to eat that would be great!
  10. Hello everyone! My name is Amanda! I am from a big town in Rhode Island. I am currently 225 pounds, roughly 80 pounds overweight for my height. Between a neurological condition, going to college and working in a fast food restaurant I have made unhealthy decisions that have led me to where I am. My biggest struggles are making the right eating decisions and holding myself accountable. I am a chronic justifier, but no longer! Today is the second day since I have made the decision to make myself even more awesome. I am particular interested in the Paleo Diet (who doesn't want to be able to eat whenever they want?) and strenth training, so I must be a Ranger! After poking around on NerdFitness for a couple of days, I am ready to do whatever it takes to get comfortable in my own body. I joined the community because I need help holding myself accountable for the choices I make when eating and exercising. I am looking forward to this experience!
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