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  1. Let's go back to January 2019. I weight 94.6 kilo and getting heavier. So it was time for a change. I ate less, mostly cutting out snacks and lost weight. 1st of July I weight 92.1 kilo. I had been lower, but the last two months was gaining again. Also I wasn't really happy with the progress anyway. I attempted IIFYM and pledge to do that for July. However as I had to eat more, I got more and more hungry. (How's that for a twist, eating more made me more hungry and miserable). Come August my BF and I did a lot of research and were ready to take on the next challenge. My weight was now 91.4 kilo. We decided to go low-carb. At first aiming for no more than 100 grams of carbs. Half way through August we easily could stay below 50 grams. We learned a lot. Managed a lot. And we're going strong to this day. I'm currently weighing 83 kilo give or take. At the start of December I was 85.1 kilo. Even the holiday season can't ruin my progress anymore. I feel the best I've felt in a long time. So in 2020 I'm going to continue and smash more goals! I want to lose another 10 kilo, but that's no longer really the focus. That'll happen on its own. Also the centimetres are more important to me now anyway. I'm losing those too! So for 2020 these will be my goals! Health 1. Cycle 100 km 2. Do 10 real push-ups Relationship 1. Spend more meaningful time with BF 2. Give my attention to BF every day Discipline 1. Disconnect from technology every day 2. Meditate every day Career / Education 1. Learn how to manage my time 2. Learn how to create better photos For January these are the habits I'll be working on. 1. Meditate every day 2. Do 1 push-up (any progression) every day 3. Be in bed by 10 pm before every work day 4. Fast till 12:30 pm every work day 5. Read every day 6. Take my medication every day Let's go
  2. So... Last challenge went reasonably well. I need to work out more and focus much more on my diet. Moreover, I need to find a way to spend my free time. Unfortunately, all my hobbies are so interesting!! And I always have a hard time deciding what to do. So, I want to tackle from a particular angle: I'm a big fan of Thomas Frank and his YouTube channel. He mostly talks about how to be a good and successful student. In his podcast, he once talked about how everyone should have three hobbies. One movement-/fitness-related hobby that should go beyond working out for the sake of working out. One entrepreneurial hobby that you took as serious as a second career. And a skill-based hobby. I want to spend the next challenges focussing on three hobbies that fit those categories in order to find out what I really want. I will most likely change in-between challenges depending on my experiences. So... Let's start! ------------------------- Moving Working out Running A new round of physical therapy started today in order to fix -- or at least manage -- my back pains. I hope I get a few pointers on how to work out better and then actually do it. I aim for two times a week of "intense" workouts. But I will try to do yoga or something similar as often as possible. Running helps my back pain and it is fun. And in June there's a 5k at my university and I think about participating. I want to go running twice a week. Dieting Low-Carb or low-calories So... Dieting is not going too well. I'm sitting firmly at 94kg. To be a bit more proactive I do not only want to track my food intake but aim for something. I had great success with going low-carb in the past and, obviously, low-calories is always a good idea. So, I'll try both: I want to stay below 150 grams of carbs or below 2000 kcal on as many days as possible. As both correlate -- at least the way I usually eat -- I expect to achieve both or neither each day. Hobbies Walking Drawing Studying/playing Go Practising the guitar So, my three hobbies. For the fitness-related one, I want to be much more active. But I'll start with walking. Last challenge I managed on average 8955 steps per day and maybe I can get that up to 10000. Moreover, I want to listen more to audiobooks and podcasts. Thus, I want to combine these two and aim for a 20-minute walk each day on which I listen to a podcast. Next, I want to get back into drawing. I don't have a particular goal in mind -- just sketching for now. The mid-/long-term goal is to draw and publish comics. Lastly, I want to play and study Go more again. I'll try to go to the local meet-ups and read a few books. Moreover, I'll add practising the guitar as an extra hobby. First of all, it's close to meditating for me and I can easily do it daily for a couple of minutes. Second, I want to propose to my girlfriend in April with singing a song to her. So, I have to practice. ------------------------- As always, I probably have too many too hard goals. But I'll adapt the challenge.
  3. My last challenge went quite okay; the main problem was being too inconsistent. Logic dictates that I do the exact same quests by my insights from the last weeks. But, of course, I want more! So, I do add one or two things and we will see how it goes.... Theme-wise I'll go for my favourite comic of all times: HUNTER X HUNTER And of course I will use the King, Warrior, Magician, Lover classification again. Took me a while to figure out who's who, as all four protagonists show all four characteristics throughout the run of the manga. In the end it doesn't matter, obviously.... Here are the quest. It seems a lot, but mostly they are from last challenge plus some small things I mostly do anyway. And I start in week 0 -- i.e. today! -- but I probably won't push myself too hard. Details/descriptions will come later. Leorio's Quest: Find at least 2 concrete questions for the 5 "open areas" in my dissertation. Write at least 20 pages for the introduction or application chapters of my thesis. Getting my PHD is still the main goal for 2018 and I want to hand in my thesis in summer. Last challenge I tried to write many pages, but it didn't go too well. Firstly, I was unmotivated. Secondly, I have quite a few things to do for the project I work in. (An interactive school book for iPads.) So I want to do things a little bit different. Two weeks ago I had an official feedback talk with my advisor and one thing he told me is I should try to "impress". That petrifies me a bit right now, but because of that I want to find a few more small results even though my thesis won't grow in volume. Hence, the first step will be to come up with intersting questions. I have about five parts in my thesis where I have ideas, but which are barren at the moment. I will try to come up with as many reasonable, interesting question for each; but a minimum of two seems sensible. Apart from that I want to work on the introduction and the chapters about my algorithm/software. Here I can simply use the page count as a measure of progress. Overall, this can be a very easy quest. The first part shall! be done in this week and the second part can! be done in the next. Killua's Quest: Work out 2 times a week. Design and implement an easy & simple movement routine in the morning. Go running once a week. I still have back and shoulder problems/pains, but I want to go for more strength training if possible. Hence, I will do two workouts a week, but "unofficially" I will aim for a third one which then can be a bit easier. I also want to look into kettlebell training. Last week I dug out my fitness bands (or whatever they are called...) and tried some easy back/shoulder exercises. As a huge Katy Bowman fanboy I want to get into moving more again. In particular, I'd like to have a simple, easy and fast routine I can do in the morning. Three exercises in three minutes or something like that. During this challenge I will work on that. And I'd like to run more often and more consistently. Kurapica's Quest: Track calories and macros 7 days a week. Stay below 200 grams of carbs or 2400 kcal 5 days a week. Meditate 4 days a week. As I already said in @Cataleya's challenge: Obviously I will continue tracking my progress. During the last challenge I realised that I eat too much in general and too many carbs in particular. I haven't gained any weight; but I want to lose a few pounds, so something has to change. 2400 kcal is my base metabolic rate and 200 grams of carbs seems a good start, too, considering the numbers from last challenge. I also want to continue meditating as it seems to help with my anxiety and other psychological problems. I aim for daily, of course, but 4 times a week as during last challenge seems to be a nice minimum. Gon's Quest: Practise the guitar 4 times a week. Read 220 pages. Draw something 4 times a week. I was not super consistent with my guitar practises, but I did it often enough during the last challenge.But I have to search for new songs to be more goal oriented. Reading is still a big problem. Last challenge I finished a 174 pages book, so for this time I aim for 50 pages a week plus something extra in week 0. I plan to read more often in bed at night -- instead of playing with my phone -- and also more on my way to work. That time is usually "reserved" for playing video games. But until May (Dark Souls!!!) I will only play a few Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC's and a bit of The Escapists 2. It's a fantastic game, but I'm not so hooked, that I cannot stop. Maybe Hollow Knight once it releases on the Switch... So, there's little reason not to read during that time! Bonus challenge: I also have three new comic books I want to (need to!) read as soon as possible. In order to get more comfortable with my various hobbies I will try to focus on one more thing. After a poll in the NF Academy Facebook group it was decided that this "thing" will be drawing. To be precise: drawing comics. Probably I will do sketches and character studies for one of my epic fantasy stories, such that I don't have to create new characters. I want to share the drawings here and in the Facebook group, but I'm not sure yet whther I'll scan them or be lazy and take bad pictures wih my mobile phone... This might seem like a lot. But combining guitar and drawing basically means: sit down for 20 minutes every day and do something you enjoy. Sound easy!
  4. In my last challenges I used the masks from The Legend of Zelda -- Majora's Mask for the different quest. Now I want to keep this flexibility of the theme, but I want to use different items. Furthermore, I really, really want to gamify my fitness/life journey more. In particular, I want to add some sort of "points" (exp, stamina, strength, etc.) to my challenges I can achieve. But I have no idea how to balance them. So I decided to use something more discrete. Hence, I'll use collectibles from Breath of the Wild. It will be a mix of things I plan to do as the core of the challenge plus some more which are optional. Let's go! ------ The collectibles: Swift Carrot Go for a 30 minute walk. Hightail Lizard Go for a run. Hearty Radish Do back exercises for 15 minutes. Hearty Bass Do "proper" workout for 30 minutes. Mighty Bananas Track weight, macros and fructose intake. Cane Sugar Stay below 100g of carbs. Star Fragment Get something done for my PHD thesis. Silent Princess Meditate for 10 minutes. Ancient Gear Consume something bookish for 30 minutes. Fresh Milk Play video games for 30 minutes. Goat Butter Study/play Go for 30 minutes. Rock Salt Draw/write something for 15 minutes. Luminous Stone Posting my progress here in the forums. Fitness Quest: Go for a walk 5 times a week; do back exercises 3 times a week. Food Quest: Track calories every day of the week; stay "low-carb" 4 times per week. Life Quest: Do something for my thesis 5 times a week; meditate 5 times a week; "read" a "book" 5 times a week. Explanations and bonus stuff: Again, I want to focus on the fundamentals. As long as I struggle with them, there's no need to do something "fancy". Hence walking, tracking and working on my PHD. I know that walking is the single best exercise one can do, as long as it is done often enough, i.e. daily. My schedule is usually very unbalanced with somedays without any appointments and some days that are super full. So I aim for a minimum of five walking days.Furthermore, my back is feeling good right now, but I shouldn't take that for granted and do my exercises. Five minutes every day would be best -- many even shorter movement breaks throughout the day greasing-the-groove style would be better -- but three times a week seems like a good "maintenance level". If possible, I would like to do more. As just mentioned, my back is better. And my digestive problems seem to improve. Without these two motivation killers I hope to be able to be more active again. But that also depends on the temperatures outside. August in Munich can vary from heat waves to snow storms.... Structurally, a big, "proper" workout also counts for the Fitness Quest, as most of my back exercises are included in it. However, going for a run doesn't not count as a substitute for walking, since I want to build a walking habit no matter the circumstances. I struggle with tracking my macros, but it seems to help a lot with loosing weight. Just seeing what take in apparently triggers small changes. In the last six weeks I lost about 3 kg which is good enough. So there's no need for any bigger effort. Tracking fructose is new, though, as I'm most likely intolerant to fructose. I have yet to talk to my doctor (next Monday) and tomorrow is another examination checking for lactose intolerance. So there might be some adaptations for these quests the next days. And in order to make the weight loss a bit easier, to passively regulate my fructose intake and to reduce my gluten intake I also try to eat low-carb as often as possible. The single most important thing I have to do (apart from staying healthy) is finishing my PHD. It is a struggle, especially as I'm in a "creative phase" right now. A lot of research and trying things out and I don't have anything concrete I simply can get done. So, getting something concrete done, no matter how small, is my priority. And, apart from work, I need to reduce my stress level. I'm reading a lot about proper breathing at the moment, but the most "simple" (i.e. un-fancy, fundamental) thing I can do is meditating. Habit-wise I like to do it in the evening after my shower. But, even thought that cue is "strong", I often fail to actually do it. So I aim for five times a week. Edit: Adding another task to the life quest: Reading. At the moment I try to read How to be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci. Unfortunately I struggle a lot -- with this book in particular, but also generally with reading. Last year I read about 30 books and this year, so far, maybe... three? But yesterday I managed to read about 50 or 60 pages in How to be a Stoic and it was super fun. And considering the 45 minutes I sit in the underground on my way to work, there is little reason to read so little. The concrete task is verbalised a bit awkwardly as it includes audiobooks. Another stress relieve are, obviously, my hobbies. I focus too little on them, but no hobby is a priority at the moment. So they just make my good life (build through movement, diet, work) even better. Because of that they are represented by ingredients which "just" make meals better -- both in real life and in Breath of the Wild. By design, this challenge is part about achieving something, part about assessing what I (can) do. I will prioritise the Quests stated above.... And now that I've written all this, I'll probably add another collectible for writing here daily to boost acountability.... Done!
  5. Back to Basics This challenge will not be a part of the "Becoming Ulfhedinn" series. Along the last few challenges I've deviated from my original weight loss goal... and it's been awesome. I've learned a lot, from hand balancing to survival skills. But I feel my original goal got left behind and my size reduction has lost it's momentum. One could argue that the first puonds melt away and those stubborn last pounds are the harder to get rid of, but I don't think I'm near the "last few pounds" yet. Besides, I don't have the sightiest idea of my current carb intake, let alone the rest of my macros. Using the weekly variance as an excuse to binge eat has become dangerously normal... long story short, I got lost in all the fun of learning new skills and getting stronger and lost track of my eating. So, this challenge will be aimed at getting back to basics: Tracking my macros, taking weekly measurements and returning to the old habit of monthly progress pics. Of course excercise and to-do lists will be a part of the challenge as well, all in a Tapatalk-friendly way, since class is in session si I'll be spending little to no time at home and surveillance levels at work are still too high at the moment. Wish me luck!
  6. Hi guys, I've been doing a lot of research on the difference between sugar and fat as fuel sources for our body. I'm currently a student at the National Bakery School in the UK and have become fascinated with the idea of producing a range of "baked" goods that are not carbohydrate heavy but rather protein and fat based. I am currently working on a sandwich bread alternative and would find it really helpful if any one could spare a couple of minutes to complete my survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H5XNYC6 I'm really passionate about turning the baking industry in to one that is beneficial to our health rather than damaging, I just need to find out if there are potential customers out there! A huge thank you to anybody that can spare the time to help!
  7. Took a bit of a hiatus from the site (still followed some folks) but had to focus and get my thesis project done. I still worked out plenty, but just had to sacrifice my time here. I did 8 weeks of JDangers program (which is good) and I did the first 4 weeks (hypertrophy) of Layne Norton's PH3 (also good). Ended up pulling 405lbs on Sunday for a 20lb PR and bench pressing 225lbs for 2 reps (PR). Not the numbers I was supposed to hit but I wasn't able to stick to the schedule during the last week. Still hit some PRs and I put on some size. Literally, I was up to 230lbs. Which leads me to my goals for this challenge: Goal 1: Lose Body Fat - Low Carb Utilize a paleo-ish diet to lower body fat. Why low carb? Because I know it works for me. I've done it before and lost nearly 100 lbs. Higher carbs while trying to lose weight has never worked for me, those damn carbs drive me to more. I won't be tracking super diligently either. Emphasis is on high protein for muscle mass retention, good fats as they come with cooking or from food, and carbs from veggies only. Some starches around workouts from sweet potatoes. Maybe some dextrose preworkout only Goal 2: Train Daily The idea is to keep my strength while I drop the weight. So I'll keep my lifting fairly heavy some days with lower volume and go lighter other days with more volume. Sticking to the big 3. On off days, I'll do some accessory work with isolation exercises. Rest days will be cardio/conditioning days: sprints, distance running, long walks etc. The idea is to move!! Goal 3: Sleep Sleep is the hardest thing for me. I have a full time job, finishing my masters, a 2 year old boy, and I'm the lead mentor for a HS robotics team that is about to start it's season. Time is at a premium, but all the training and diet won't be optimized if I don't get sleep. I'm going to try to get to bed by 9:30pm and sleep til 4am. The goal with waking up early is to train in the morning before work at 7am. I'll also try to take naps as much as possible. Something I've never really been about. All the sleep = all the gainz. Keep me honest and post/ask questions. I'm terrible about updating when I get busy but if you guys post I'll respond. .... i hope. P.S. Bonus Goal: Be less fat than Brodin.....
  8. Hi all, I miserably failed my last (and very first) NF 6-week challenge and since a new one is starting soon, I though "what the heck" and signed up for this one. Previously, my goals were a bit too ambitious. I over-estimated my abilities greatly and thought I could handle the exercise, diet change AND uni. I was very, very wrong in all three areas. So I'm back. I started a daily battle log about 1 week ago detailing my transition to paleo, and now I want to convert it into a 6-week challenge. As far as I understand, those who have attempted and failed their first challenge proceed to post in the Adventurer's guild for their second challenge. Correct me if I'm wrong and I'll move my thread to the recruits. Main Quest: Lose about 3Kg by end of 6 Week Challenge. (Current weight 60Kg, goal weight 57Kg) Motivation: Goal 1: Eat an as-paleo-as-I-can-afford diet at least 80% of the time, with veggies taking up 50% of every meal. Grades A = 50% veggies & paleo 80%, B = 50% veggies, paleo 50% OR 30% veggies, paleo 80%, C = 30% paleo, 30% veggies, D = 30:20 paleo:veggie, E = 20:30 paleo:veggie, F = anything less Goal 2: Reduce those cheat paleo snacks I love to eat all the time to twice a week (i.e. only 2 paleo treats per week) Grades A = 2/wk, B = 3/wk, C = 4/wk, D = 5/wk, E = 6/wk, F = daily Goal 3: Climb up and down those stairs at work instead of using the elevator when I have time when moving between floors. Only permissible exception is if a superior expects me to follow them into the lifts, or if I'm really time poor and there are 7 flights of stairs to climb. Grades A = 90%, B = 80%, C = 70%, D = 60%, E = 50%, F = <50% This goal will be tracked in a daily tally of each encounter. I may end up just uploading photos of the tallies due to convenience. Life Quest: Make and follow a reasonable study plan for my Mid-Year Finals in June. [insert panicked face here] Grades = same as Goal 3, and tracked in a similar manner. Fun facts about me: I like most things pink, I'm a Taylor Swift Fan (i.e. I have all her albums, but not such a big fan where I stalk her online or know who she's dating and whatnot) and I love cuteness! Hence all my stuffed animals from childhood are still littered around my office and bedroom. My parents recently gave me a ginormous stuffed dog that I affectionately named Spot (to my parent's dismay, lol). I openly admit I'm child-like, in a small body, but with a profession that requires suits most of the time. The question: "shouldn't you be in high school, sweetie?" gets old quick, although I'm happy to know I'm not the shortest at my workplace, so I get to share our clients' love around. I don't know how I'm going to work with my daily battle log and this 6-Week Challenge thread, but we'll see how I go.
  9. I've been absent for the last challenge, but I haven't been a total slacker. Have decided to return to the fold and start keeping an official log again. Goal Still continuing on my goal to get my BF% down to around 15% for my wedding in November. Missions Workout 4 times a week, following the You Are Your Own Gym routine that I've been using. Stay hydrated, drinking 6-8 big glasses of water every day. Eating grains on a limited basis, as part of a post-workout meal that also counts for my lunch that day.Objectives Work out: A - 4x that weekB - 3x that weekC - 2x that weekHydration A - 6 big glasses of waterB - 5C - 4Grains A - Only after a workout OR Not at all if a rest day.B - Eaten on a workout day, but not as part of a post-workout meal or snack.C - Eaten on a rest day. I have a friend who has been powerlifting for a while and I may switch out some of my usual workouts for that with her. Not sure how I'll count that yet, but I'm excited to try it.
  10. Hi everybody. I have been following nerdfitness for almost 2 years, it has helped me to lose some weight (15kg), and also to feel healthier and stronger but I think maybe I've hit a plateu. That's why I would like to start a 6 week challenge. Main Quest: To get below 80kg (175lb) and 18-20% body fat. Quests to accomplish the main goal: 1_Eat clean After the holidays I want to clean my diet again. This means, no sugar, no processed food, no bread, low-carb. I will allow myself 1 soda and 2-3 beers a week. 2_Record food daily and keep calories under 2100 This should mean a 2-3kg weight loss in 6 weeks. I have to weight myself this week, but I think I'm around 85kg. I'm using Myfitnesspal to keep the track. I will restart with intermittent fasting, something near 16:8 3_Workout at least 3 days a week I will start weightlifting again, 3 days a week. I would like to add 1 more day a week either walking or running. Life goals: Improve my English One post a week talking about the challenge will help. I would like to hold a conversation in English with a friend at least 2 times in this 6 weeks. Please, feel free to correct if I write anything wrong. I will update soon. Thanks.
  11. Hi all, My family recently decided to go on the Atkins diet, and I was wondering how this compares to Paleo. I've always loved fruit and potatoes and having to leave that out is hitting me the hardest, so does anybody know of any comparisons done or anything? Does one have a significant advantage over the other? Could I mix them (I love dairy too)? Which one gives me the fastest and best results? If you can, please include a source for your information (personal experience included). Thank you so much!!
  12. Just shooting straight with myself and anyone who cares to follow. I'm starting late, but I'm starting. I'm angry and upset, not at a certain friend who busted my chops, not even at the calling to the carpet that was mostly on the mark, but at the fact that it's true and I've let it get to this point. I've been doing "enough" for a challenge to get a challenge done and pass, but I haven't been challenging myself since a couple of failures back for one reason or another. I can talk a good talk, but if I don't really stick with what I'm saying, what's the point? Yes, we're not perfect this side of Heaven, but I need to get back to progress that maintains itself. This isn't easy and I shouldn't try and game the system, nor should I be hard on myself for failing, that's part of progress. I'll post goals and clean them up before the day is over.
  13. My long-term goal is still to be awesome, as defined several months ago. Continuing with my quest, I still have several issues that keep coming up, so will address them this round, hopefully making some better habits. Physical Goals Eat low-carb. I define low-carb as anything below 100g of carbs per day, with 60g per day as the target to allow some overshoot. My goal is 100%, but I will count it good if I do it 80% of the time. I have been doing better lately, but not there yet. +2 STA, +2 CON, +1 CHR Work at learning a handstand. My long-term goals include a headstand, but handstands are more impressive. Steve just posted an article on how to gently pull it off. I will practice for 5min per day during the challenge. With any luck, I should be able to do it by the challenge end, since my major problem is dizziness inverted, not strength. +2 DEX, +2 STA Start tracking my workouts again. I used to track repetitions and weight, but my old PDA died and I have yet to find another app to do it well. I have a shiny android phone with a nice display (Nexus 4). I will find an app and start using it. +2 STRLife Quest I love playing my mandolin and violin, but don't do it enough to stay sharp. I will practice music for thirty minutes at least three times per week. Goal is five to seven times per week, but life has been a bit too complicated lately to make this realistic. +2 WIS, +2 CHR
  14. Main Quest This will be my third challenge on my "year to awesome" quest. I have made some progress toward the physical goals, more toward the life work goals. I have been very consistent about getting old projects done, furniture fixed and refinished, etc, but have still been neglecting my music a bit too much. My main area of work this challenge is getting my body fat percentage down. Short Term Quest Keep carb consumption down to 100g per day or less, subject to 80/20 rule. STA +2 CON +3 Drop an inch or more of waist size (currently 36.1"). CHA +2 Work on headstands at least four times per week. I still get dizzy when I try them and I need to get over this. STR +2 DEX +2Life Quest Publish some music, somewhere, and let this community know where. I currently have several projects in the works that could qualify for this. WIS +2 CHA +2
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