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  1. CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION. Hi to everybody, I am here because I've always wanted to be Lara Croft. I never thought this would be an easy task for a skinny elf like me, but here I am ready to try. I have walked a long path to be here; I've spent the last 3 years of my life doing things like: ending or changing hurtful relationships; quitting my job (a place full of unpleasant and angry idiots) and finding a better one; changing my diet to paleo (one of the greatest decisions I've taken in my life; feel free to ask me about it if you are considering going paleo; I am not an expert but I can tell you about all the great things it has brought to my life); meditating (4 months now following the getsomeheadspace program). While doing all this stuff I tried to exercise too, but it was just a long line of starts&stops, which didn't bring me closer to impersonate Ms. Croft. After reading Steve's article "The 5-step plan to success after failure" (and many others), I've found my mistakes, which were A LOT, say: I defined global objectives like "I want to be able to climb to trees", "I want to be strong and put on weight", "I don't want to use a cane and walk dragging my feet when I get old", but no specific tiny objectives; I let my (fitness) health in hands of -now I see it- not truly professional trainers; I undervalued the role of rewards; I didn't keep track of my progress; I always started too many things at the same time so I finally became overwhelmed and quit; I forced myself to do activities I clearly dislike just because everybody said "it's very healthy" (e.g. swimming); I had very little support from friends and family (one of the reasons why I am here, among others). So... to be Lara... I have a lot of work to do... Life quest Besides becoming Ms. Croft, skinnyLara has two more big goals she wants to accomplish in her life: One: beat a state of general anxiety that has been with me for too many years. Two: beat a frustrating stage fright which appeared as a consequence of suffering work harassment for almost four years at my old job. Postscript: Appart from a little background at highschool, I've learnt english mainly by reading Tolkien books and watching to "The big bang theory", so please, be compasionate and forgive any misspelling, grammatical inaccuracy or weird/uncomprehensible expressions.
  2. Hello I’m //Min and this is my 3rd NF challenge. I am trying to improve my physical health in 2020 and doing well so far. For this challenge, I want to improve my focussing abilities and continue to improve my basics of exercise and diet. CHALLENGE DIRECTIVES 1. Breathing: Breathing exercise for 15 mins a day at least 5x a week Since I’m new to breathing exercises/meditation/focus exercises, I think understanding about this will be a learning trajectory. I want to use this to help cultivate a positive and never give up mindset. Also I think breathing is very important aspect of physical training. 2. Exercise: HIIT exercise for 15 mins 1x a week Time to add something that will push me harder. Currently undecided between adding 3 sets of 5 min Takata exercise across my daily workouts or a 15 min weekend stationary bicycle HIIT. How to choose... 3. Dietary: Snacking only on fruits or nuts at least 5x a week I’ve already cleaned up the main meals, now is time to attack the in between. Not sure how I can refine this goal though. I shall continue daily habits I built in the previous 2 challenges; morning exercise 30 mins + dog walk 20 mins, eat 6 servings of veg and fruit, foam roll 10 mins, facial regime twice. For flexibility, if I miss a day for whatever reason, I must continue the next day to keep forward momentum. HOW I’LL UPDATE Once a week progress report on challenge directives and occasional thoughts. There has been a step up in work and I won’t have time to make the graphics like I did in challenge 2 which is a shame. Back to text base I suppose. I was really undecided if I should join the challenge this round, I still feel my goals and plan are not clear enough and that’s usually a sign that I’m likely to be waffly about it. Let’s see how it goes. Please lend me your support! Thank you for reading!
  3. Hello there, I’m //Min. I joined the nerdfitness community hoping to find others to journey along and celebrate with. My resolution for 2020 is to improve my physical health. Each month, I focus on one aspect of physical health to explore and build habits that will hopefully become second nature to create the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. It's a pretty organic process with constant tweaks. By the end of 2020, I aim to have routines build that will continue for the long term and help me progress forward. I will end this battle log at the end of 2020. If you’re doing anything similar, or just want to share, give a shout out. (ˆ_ˆ)v //////////////////////////////// 2020 HIGHLIGHTS REEL Jan // Dietary // Change body fuel General rules of eating three meals a day, increase protein (veg and non-veg sources) and reduce carbohydrates. My tastebuds changed and my body started rejecting higher concentrations of sugar. Also bought an Applewatch and weighing scale that measures body fat. Mental struggles in the second week but saw steady fat loss approx 400g per week. Feb // Exercise // Build muscle Hired a personal trainer, gym session once a week. Focussed on bodyweight and free weights exercises to build stronger body to prevent knee injury. Introduced to foam rolling. Fell sick mid-Feb for one week, however still saw same steady fat loss as dietary change going well. Started to drink kefir and increased veg and fruit intake from 3 to 4 servings daily. Mar // Hygiene // Improve external appearance Updated skincare, haircare and teethcare routine. Cut and permed my hair. Gym twice a week, once with trainer, one alone. Veg and fruit intake fluctuate between 4 to 5 servings daily. Weight loss, brighter skin and new hair got noticed by some people. Same steady fat loss and feeling lighter till near end month where I backtracked on dietary due to work stress. Apr // Massage // Increase blood flow I'm still clear as mud on this, so deciding to follow self-massage routines outlined in the book "Deskbound" by Kelly Starrett for "body maintenance" to enhance mobility. Veg and fruit intake maintained at 5 servings daily. Changed gym to daily morning 30 min exercises and evening 20-30 min dog walks. Did my 1st nerdfitness challenge. Working from home is helping my fitness level. Stagnation in fat loss. May // Stretching // Increase flexibility Refinement Fat loss still stubborn and barely moving so decided to refined previous habits of dietary (increased veg and fruit intake to 6-7 servings daily), exercise (changed to harder 30 min morn exercise, experimented HITT on stationary bike) and massage (trying to make this routine). I read up on heart rates - resting heart rate (58), heart rate recovery (30), heart rate training zones - and started some 5 min breathing exercises after workouts. Got better acquainted with Apple's activity app. In the progress of 2nd nerdfitness challenge. Jun // Breath // Increase oxygen flow Finally saw movement in fat loss and broke 70. Begun Tummno breathing exercises (a form of focussed meditation) 5 mins in the morning and evenings. Foam rolling became regular and more focussed. Dog walk became a social event. Stressed with work at the end month which caused some anxiety. Habits created from last few months all on track. In the progress of my 3rd nerdfitness challenge. *update 4/7/2020* //////////////////////////////// 2020 FUTURE REEL Other aspects of physical related activity to work on (in no particular order) that I intend to work on: - Stretch - Flexibility Sleep - Deep rest Medical - Resources Make-up - Image projected Sport - lifeskill (swimming / running / self-defence) Flow
  4. Hiho, I’m //Min I just graduated from the last Level 1 challenge with success and would like to join the Rangers guild. I hope to cheer and celebrate along with everyone. Well met ~(^◇^)/ For year 2020, I am reinventing myself by building habits for a foundation of a strong body and healthy life. I update my progress on that at my battle log. Recently, I’ve been motivated by a comic titled Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan), where the main characters fight for freedom from caged walls and man eating giants. I too shall fight for my freedom from the prison of an unfit body and mind. Freedom!! .·゚゚ヽ( `д´)ノ CURRENT STATUS As at the end of my last challenge. Dietary: I eat three meals a day, 5 servings of vegetables and fruit (mainly veg). Exercise: 30 mins gentle exercise every morning (follow youtube channel) and 20-30 min dog walk every evening. For flexibility, should I miss a day, I must continue the routine the next day, so at the minimum I’m exercising half the week. CHALLENGE DIRECTIVES To focus on increase movement to the muscles throughout the day and fuel the body right. 1. Dietary: Eat 6 servings of fruit and vegetables daily I don’t have enough fruit intake so I’ll add one serving of fruit to dinner. I’m going to try to have dinner before 7.15pm too. 2. Exercise: Push up progression at least 5 times a week I want some strength building and choose the classic push up. Currently I cannot do any push ups on the ground at all. (>_<III) I’ll start with wall push ups 50 reps, adding them to my 30 min morning workout or do sets throughout the day. 3. Massage: Self-massage at least 5 times a week (10 mins) I must try each day of the 14-day whole body routine prescribed in a book I’m reading at least twice. #2 and #3 will be the mental challenge for me to carry through: For exercise, I tend to want to do everything (add an intense cardio session, do every exercise etc) but I also tend to give up the moment the exercise gets too tough. So in the end, nothing gets done. To overcome this, I have to keep focussed and commit to the easier exercise I said I would do and ignore the calling to try other exercises. For massage, there is a mental block to drag myself to the floor to do them (floor required for foam rolling etc). When I do get there, I am impatient to focus on each massage point long enough to see effect. I’m still not sure how to get round this other then summoning all my mental willpower to do it. UPDATE SCHEDULE Once a week on my challenge directives. Occasional thoughts thrown in now and then.
  5. Hello there, I’m //Min. I’m late to the challenge but I would still like to try as it looks like fun. I’m new to nerdfitness and joined hoping to find others to journey along and celebrate with. I also created a battle log. Big Picture: Building habits for foundation to healthy life. Challenge goals: Dietary: Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables combined daily Exercise: Exercise at least 5 times a week (30 mins) Skincare: Do facial regime twice daily I selected the above as they were habits I started to build recently and am working on keeping them up. Though, #2 is a change from before where I went to the gym at least once a week. Since I have started working from home indefinitely since 1 April, I cannot go to the gym and my daily activity level has gone down, hence I want to try and build something into my daily routine. Additionally for April, I am exploring how to incorporate self massage into my life, so I’ll share my thoughts on that. How I’ll update: Once a week on the above.
  6. They had been gathering for weeks now, making their homes at various corners and crevices of the cities. Individuals of all races dressed in bright reds and purples. Honestly, it was a bit garish at first sight. Large banners hung around their necks declaring the end of days, death to the world, and visions of green fire. It didn’t phase the adventurer. She had heard these declarations before, taken up arms, and defeated the looming threat. The victories weren’t always celebratory. Many had been solemn, but relieving. If there was something lurking, she had little doubt that it could be handled. * * * ”You are weak. The darkness will consume you. You are nothing.” She knew that smell; the smell of bitter sulfur. The corruption of fel. It was not the words that jostled her awake, but that smell. All was still in the alcove she called home in the Inn. A few snores, a goblin chattering about money, and the aroma of dying embers were all that surrounded her. Were they getting to her? Had she read too many of those ridiculous pamphlets? “Go back to sleep.” A timid command to herself, as though she was pushing herself to do so. Everything would be fine. Everything was fine. Until it wasn’t. * * * News of the tragedy and loss at the Broken Shores spread quickly. One would say faster than a warlock’s affliction. She felt for them. All of them. Had they witnessed what she had seen and done, she wasn’t sure if they would meet her own level of composure. On the outside, all was calm. On the inside, she was...a mess. A jumbled mess of mixed emotions; sadness, anger, rage, guilt, fear, confusion. The questions just kept coming from within, asking if she did enough, could she have done more, why didn’t they stay, and could they truly win this war that was now upon them? She was pulled from her muddled and darkening mind at the sound of a scream. The scream ripped through her filled with a level of terror she had never heard in her lifetime. Another followed, this time in a different direction. Then another, and another. The faint smell of sulfur filled her nose and the too familiar sticky warmth of green fire nearly burned her skin. There was no time to react and no time to get the innocent to safety. Not before she brandished her weapon and, without a second thought, rushed into the fray. * * * The healers and priests hadn’t slept for days. Parts of the city had been blocked by groups of worried soldiers. It was clear what had been causing the sudden outbreaks of insanity and demons. They were trying to turn everyone against each other. In the midst of the chaos, people killed their friends and allies without a second thought. It was only after the madness ended anyone realized what had happened. It had put the city on edge, which was a danger unto itself. “This is the fifth time this week, old man. I’m going to start charging extra,” she said in a joking tone as she dropped the still sparking lizard tails next to the fisherman. He, like many of the older orcs, gave a gruff laugh as she did. Handing her a bag that smelled all too ripe of fish guts and sea water, she bade him farewell with wave of her hand. ”Give in to the darkness. Drink in the power. Let the energy consume you…” She turned quickly, looking to either side of her as well, confused and alarmed. Someone had been talking - no, whispering - to her. They had been right there, hadn’t they? Had she been under the water too long earlier? Too many tiny shocks during her gathering? ”Consume you…” Her eyesight grew blurred, and the air around her was thick and stale. The people of the city, faces she knew, seemed...different. Dark, twisted, and paranoid. Her head felt heavy, as though her mind was filled with countless weights. The weight worsened with each step she took, and soon everything seemed to swallow itself. A dark void colored the sky with green fire streaking throughout. Later she would not be able to recall the details of how and why it happened, but perhaps it was for the best. She had no control over each swing of a strange weapon in her hands, no pull on the dangerous magics seeping from her. All she knew was that the relief that came over her when she fell to the ground unconscious was welcomed. She never wished to feel that way again. When the adventurer came to and heard of her actions, it stung. The pain was worse than any she had felt in the past. This could not continue. She could not allow them to tear her world - her very being - apart. This time her battle would not only be to bring salvation to all, but to redeem herself as well. The Legion forces threaten not only the world, but those who live within it. With both body and mind susceptible to their attacks, it is imperative to remain in good health. Perhaps you have relied too heavily on them in the past, but potions and spells are not always the answer. Balanced meals, movement and activity, along with being well-rested. Though they are simple and foundational steps, everyone seasoned adventurer needs a reminder. SANITY METER: 70/100 Quest 1: Eat a nutritional breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rylaks Claws and Miner’s Coffee aren’t going to cut it! Be sure to add an element of protein to give you a needed boost of energy to your meals. Find ways to “hide” vegetables if the siblings are in house for dinner. Make the effort to add more salads to meals. Look for easy-to-prep options for all meals! Also, take the time to make yourself said meals. You have it, so use it wisely. Make the Bronze Dragonflight proud! TANK ALERT: Skipping meals is a big no-no! If you know you won’t be able to make it to an Inn in time, break a snack along for the ride or give yourself enough time to eat a bigger meal at another time. Too many meals skipped, costs you some of your sanity. (-5 sanity per skipped meal) Quest 2: Move around. You have a choice. You can choose to sit, or you can choose to move. Sitting doesn’t always accomplish anything. Moving accomplishes more. Do something to keep everything circulating, stretched, and ready for anything. Make it count. Heading from one room to another? Don’t just walk! Jog, dance, lunge, or skip. Check the mail! You never know when an auction will sell for a good bit of gold. DPS ALERT: Going from the computer to the couch is NOT moving around. You’re just going from sitting to sitting. Sorry, but your DPS is not going to help fight the good fight! If you haven’t done ANY activity that counts, your sanity is going to dwindle. (-10 sanity for a lack of meaningful movement on any day) Quest 3: Form a concrete sleep schedule & Be Good To Yourself! You know that, once it’s dark outside, no one wants to roam Azshara, Tanaan, or any of those wooded areas. Especially Tirisfal. You won’t miss anything, so when you’re tired, go to sleep. Stop making yourself stay up for whatever reason. Most likely that reason will still be there in the morning. Besides, the early bird catches the worm, and I hear that’s what a few of the undead citizens like in their morning meals. Be sure to keep personal hygiene in check! You feel good when you do! Why neglect yourself of that feeling. HEALER ALERT: Small, 20-minute power naps are okay! Maybe you’re just feeling groggy for whatever reason. These days and times happen. Falling into hour or more long naps? Not okay! You’re not paying attention to your body’s signals for when you’re tired and you need sleep! Keeping yourself clean also plays a huge part in this! Not only is sleep good for you, but also feeling fresh and clean wakes you up and helps you take on the world! (-5 sanity any time a nap lasts longer than 20 minutes if taken or personal hygiene lacks) Bonus Quest: Get others involved! Your life is not like group and raid finder. You have a solid party that you can gather together to help you through this. Announce when you’re going for a walk. Suggest better meal ideas. Ask for prep help. Work together and you will be victorious! (+5 sanity for any time you get a family member involved in your journey)
  7. The end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 were very trying. The overload of emotional stress was overwhelming, and it took a lot to dig myself back out of the hole I was sitting in. I haven't quite reached the top yet, but I am getting closer to the opening. I am so happy to be jumping back into the challenge routine. I am keeping things very simple, but effective. Quest One: Eat Three Balanced Meals Every Day I'm really terrible at making sure I eat a breakfast and a lunch. I usually end up either not having breakfast and going right to lunch, or I eat a very late breakfast (brunch?) which means I skip lunch. By dinner time, I'm starving. This goes hand in hand, in my opinion, to making sure you're eating the right amount of calories/fat/sugar/etc. If you're not eating, you're not getting the amount your body needs, which doesn't help in the health and nutrition field. Did I have a breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day during the challenge? Yes or No Quest Two: Drink 8 Glasses of Water Every Day I had gone almost 300 days without drinking Soda until the second week of December 2015. I drank a total of five sodas, and I regretted it afterward. I felt so sick since I had not had any soda for so long. Needless to say, I have been successfully cruising along the No Soda road since then. However, I am not drinking nearly enough water, or I am trying to cram all glasses at one time in the evening. This should not be difficult because water = feeling good, no headaches, and no body aches. Among other healthy positives of course! Did I drink 8 glasses of water every day during the challenge? Yes or No Quest Three: Yoga for 10-20 Minutes I feel off my yoga train as well, which is very sad. I keep saying that I am going to get back into the routine, but I need to push myself to do it. I have been doing a lot of re-reading in the Academy, and I want to make this commitment to myself. I want to show myself that I am worth those few minutes every day. Even if it's every other day, I am allowed to take that time for myself to work on a better lifestyle. Did I do 10-20 minutes of Yoga for, at least, three days a week during the challenge? Yes or No Quest Four: 15 Minute Sketching To work on leveling up my life, I am going to take 15 minutes every day to sketch something. It does not have to be perfect or complete, but something will have to be on the paper. It can be anything! Rather than continuing to say I need to get back into drawing and art, I will do it.
  8. Several months ago, I made the decision to set off for my first adventure. Well, apparently I wasn't ready to leave the comforts of my life of peasantry. I became disheartened with my lack of visible progress and gave up on myself and headed back to the tavern. Since that failed adventure, I began attending classes at my local Kaia F.I.T. I just finished my first CORE session, during which I have made progress on my strength and endurance. I began going on weekly nature hikes with my family. I still can't "see" a difference, but every day I feel stronger, faster, and more flexible. It has given me the confidence to move forward. I WILL become my own superhero. Although for the purposes of this quest I am going to record my visible stats, I refuse to let those numbers be an indication of my self-worth. Instead I will also be performing a "fit" test at the beginning, middle and end of the challenge to gauge my growth. Taraniztika, the Peasant (starting point) Visible Stats Height: 5' 10" Weight: 182.4 lbs Bust: 41.5" Waist: 36.75" Hips: 43.5" Arms: L 12" / R 12" Thighs: L 22.25" / R 22.25" Fit Stats Plank Hold (time before failure): 0:57 Push-Ups (# before failure): 10 Forward Bend (fingertips to floor): 9" The Main Quest: Preparing for the Adventure of a Lifetime I must prepare my mind and body for a life of adventuring as a Ranger. The main purpose of this quest is to develop healthy fitness and nutrition habits that will eventually turn into lifestyle changes. (re)Starting the Fire Before I can move onto trail running and long distance hikes, I must be able to build my endurance. By the end of the challenge, my goal is to be able to run 1 mile without stopping. To accomplish this, I will workout three time per week, following the 4 weeks to 1 mile program on the Personal Running Trainer app. Each run will be followed by 10 minutes of stretching. In order to build a solid foundation, I will repeat workouts when necessary. Accountability: A - Meet requirement for 'B' and be able to run 1 mile without stopping B - Complete ALL scheduled runs (18 total) C - Complete 14-17 runs D - Complete 10-13 runs F - Complete 21 Days My blog is up! You can find it here. I. WILL. SUCCEED. The last time I tried my hand at a challenge, I failed because my sights were set on the wrong target. I was so focused on the lack of change in my outward appearance that I quit before I could make lasting progress on my inner strength. I will not do that this time. I will succeed in making changes to my lifestyle so that I can be the best me that I can be. I tell my girls that it's what they do that makes them awesome, not how they look. It's about time I take my own damn advice.
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