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BIO Since I'm setting up camp in an entirely new area this challenge I figured I'd delve into some background info. I've been with NF since 2011. I've done countless challenges, made many health improvements, and learned a whole lot about lifting weights. Previously, I've been fighter-boxing, dabbled in Muay Thai and an OMer-longterm love affair with yoga. Currently, my fitness routine is a little hodge podge of bodyweight and weight work (we'll talk more about that below). I've also run the gamut on dietary lifestyles. I spent the better part of 14 years as a vegetarian; some years were vegan, some pescatarian. I'm now (grudgingly) what one may consider paleo (we'll talk more about that below, too). Oh, and I partake in intermittent fasting. Otherwise, I'm semi ranty and enjoy shenanigans of all sorts. Oh, and I have a thing for gifs. I'M A HOT MESS All that stuff we'd talk more about, yeah, here it is: Issue 1: Injured Laura is injured. I just don't know that much about it yet. Something about disc degeneration in my cervical spine. Currently using chiropractic to treat it while I wait for my new doctor to become available. So, lifting heavy is on the back burner for the time being. I can still lift from time to time, but not as often. So, I've got a hodge podge of stuff set up. Currently, I'm trying to own the pistol squat. Issue: 2 This is the big one. My body hates me. Or thinks I hate it and is fighting back? Not sure. I do know that I have anxiety and it's out of control. I also know that I'm not happy. At all. And there isn't really a reason for that. And I know that I've been under intense stress for a very, very long time now (hmmm, funny how this all works together). So, in addition to the neck thing I've started to notice a lot of other issues. I won't list them all but I suspect three things might be the issue: 1. Leaky gut (which sounds gross, yay), 2. An Autoimmune disease (specifically RA), and/or 3. Cortisol/Adrenal issues. Before this challenge I was mostly a primal style eater. I didn't' bother to name my dietary choices, but that sums it up pretty well. Now that my body is freaking the frak out, I'm starting an autoimmune protocol. And I'm not that happy about it. Which brings me to: GOALS This isn't going to be set up like NF recommends, but hey, I'm getting way out of my comfort zone here. Mental Well-Being Goals: Goal 1 Get help. I've seeking professional help but I'm a slacker. I'm not going to grade myself on finding the right person to help me since there's no telling how long that will take. I am going to grade myself on how much effort I put in. Call or email nice lady who offered to help and ask for names Call and set up appointment with someone on The List If, after a few meetings, I deem this person isn't The One, call next person on The List within 3 days. Rinse and repeat as necessary.Goal 2 Guided meditation. I tried alone style meditation before bed previously and that was an epic failure. I think something guided will be better. Also, not before bed. I think I'd like to get an app or something to use during walks (which I generally take during my "lunch" break). Do this at least 4x per week. Goal 3 Walk. Minimum of 20 minutes, twice per week at work, as many times as I want at home. Health Goals: Goal 4 Cut back on coffee. Coffee is a no-no in the AIP world, much to my chagrin. Generally, I drink 2 cups in the morning (black). I do this for two reasons: 1. Caffeine, duh. and 2. It's helpful during a fast. I'm going to slowly decrease my coffee intake and grade accordingly: Week 1, one cup per day maximum. Week 2, half cup per day maximum.From here, I'm honestly not sure where I'll go. I thought about doing X number of days without coffee each week but I don't think that will work well. Also, depending on if this is AI or cortisol the future will vary. Cortisol treatments generally recommend no caffeine, while AIP is okay with some caffeine but not COFFEE. So, theoretically, I could add in green tea, which I miss desperately, but I become nauseated when I consume tea on an empty stomach (all kinds). So, unless anyone knows a way to change that, I'm out of luck. So, I think, starting week 3, I might just go cold turkey. We'll see. Goal 5 Eat for autoimmunity. This is helpful for anyone unfamiliar. I rarely drink, or eat gluten as it is. I don't take NSAIDs unless it's an extreme situation. I do adore eggs and eat a ton of grassfed dairy and love me some nightshades. So, my heart is breaking just a little here. These, along with spices, will be the hardest for me to give up. I've already gone a week without dairy. It was annoying more than anything and I've pegged that as the easiest to get rid of. Okay, well this post was full of long, boring words and lacked my usual gif fest. Not my best first impression, I'm sure But I promise for more fun at a later date. I might add points later to 4 of the 5 goals if that's permissible. I haven't done a challenge in which I felt comfortable leveling up in a little while, but if this all goes well that might change.
BIO You can learn all you need to about me by googling "kitty snuggle gif". Seriously, go do that now. I'll wait. ... Okay, so welcome back! Now that you know me, let's talk challenge: CHALLENGE FOCUS This challenge coincides nicely with the end (or almost end) of Crazy Work Season. While I have plenty of things I want to do I realize starting something new right now, or adding more than the bare bones, is just setting myself up for failure. So, let's maintain and plan ahead for days I know will be the craziest. Everything else is on the back burner. GOALS Come at me, Big Eatah! Plan to eat big on long, crazy work days. There is always ample free food and I always pretend like I won't enjoy it. I fail more often than not. This year: plan to pig out on those days by planning to eat well the rest of the time (weekends included!). Known Culprits: Tuesday March 5 (high potential day)Thursday March 7 (if scheduled as we believe this will likely be 14+ hour day)Last week of Crazy Work Season (dates to be determined but should coincide with the end of this challenge)Tools for Success: Batch cooking (which I already do, and have done, for years)Back up foods for surprise long daysStuff like cottage cheese, greek yogurt, fruitPosting weekly schedule here before the week starts Come at me, Brotape! Last challenge I realized I needed more food so I upped my intake. Must keep track of measurements (every two weeks), take photos again, log that info here. Starting Measurements: Weight: 164.8 Shoulder: 37.5 Chest: 35.5 L. Bicep (held): 12 L. Bicep (flat): 12.25 R. Bicep (held): 11.5 R. Bicep (flat): 11.5 Above: 30.7 At: 34.25 Below: 37 Hips: 39.25 Butt: 41 Left thigh: 23.25 Right thigh: 23.25 Notes on starting measurements: I freaked out a little about the weight. That's 3-7 pounds more than I usually weigh. My increase isn't substantial enough that I think I've actually gained that weight. I definitely feel more bloated than normal. I hope this is because of the increase in carbs.Above and At Navel measurements are both up a little (actually AT is up .5 in from 1 month ago), which makes me worry. Carb increase? Fat increase?Butt is up ~.5 inchThighs are down ~.25 inchWhat does it all mean?!?! But seriously, I guess it's okay if I'm right about the increased water weight from more carbs. Otherwise, it's not okay and I'm getting fat Come at me, Cardiovascular Health! Sweet and simple: Do two finishers each week. Caveats: Getting in any workout is better than getting in no workout. So, on those later nights when I just barely get to the gym it is okay to skip a finisher so I can get home and eat/sleep. Come at me, Bro! Life goal is to keep myself as sane and happy as possible by any means necessary. I'll come back with points later.. maybe...