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  1. The next major step for me zeroing in on my goals has got to be figuring out my macros. The trouble is, all the websites seem to disagree with what my macros should be! All of these ratios are of Protein/Carbs/Fats (in that order). For all, I'm researching recommendations (if there is a difference) for an endomorph who is cutting, not an endomorph who is bulking, and not for an ectomorph or a mesomorph. Most of them come out super carb heavy: http://iifym.com/iifym-calculator/ - Entering my info comes out with 30/40/30 http://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-calculator - Same info comes out with 30/55/15 http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm - Same info comes out with 35/45/20 http://sareyko.net/leancalc/ - Recommends 30/20/50 for rest days, and 20/60/20 for training days (I train five days a week) http://www.freedieting.com/tools/nutrient_calculator.htm - 25/50/25 http://macronutrientcalculator.com - 30/40/30 http://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/nutrition.htm - 25/50/25 But some of these come out quite differently: http://bfitness.ca/blog/calculating-your-calories-macros-for-bulking/ - 45/25/30 http://www.zonednutrition.com/blogs/zoned-fitness-health-bodybuilding-blog/14810665-how-to-eat-for-your-body-type-ectomorph-endomorph-mesomorph - 35/25/40 http://xbodyconcepts.com/best-macro-ratio-for-fat-loss/ - 35/25/40 And there are articles that seem to suggest a diet for a cutting endomorph be very low carb: One of the physiological mechanisms that cause endomorphs to gain fat easily is poor insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity refers to the cells response to insulin or insulin's efficiency on cells. A cell that is very insulin sensitive needs less insulin to uptake glucose (carbs) than a cell that is insulin insensitive. Insulin is anti-lipolytic (blunts fat oxidation) and increases fat storage. Therefore, when more insulin is secreted, fat oxidation will be blunted and fat storage will be increased to a greater degree than if their cells were more insulin sensitive. In order to maintain better health one must control insulin. The consumption of carbohydrates leads to a large output of insulin since insulin is necessary for the uptake of glucose into cells. Eating large amounts of carbohydrates throughout the day will lead to elevated insulin levels, thereby decreases fat oxidation. Dietary carbohydrates are necessary to gain muscle mass and normal body functioning, therefore they cannot be eliminated from the diet. Instead they should be consumed during specific meals when your body needs them. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodytype_nutrition_guide.htm Endomorphs can put on a lot of muscle, but they also tend to carry more adipose tissue and thus have a greater propensity to store fat. Because excess carbohydrates in the endomorph's diet end up as fat, a high carbohydrate intake will make it difficult for them to get lean or lose weight. Diet Recommendations: Endomorphs should stick to the low end of the carbohydrate range, between 10-40 percent of total calories, depending on their goals. Here, I recommend no more than 30-40 percent carbohydrates for mass gains, the middle range for maintenance (20-30), and low-end for fat loss (10-20). As with the other body types, protein and fat provide the remainder of your calories, with 25-50 percent of total calories from protein and 15-40 percent from fat. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macro-math-3-keys-to-dialing-in-your-macro-ratios.html In order to lose body fat, you need to increase your fat intake, while decreasing carbs. Sounds EXTREMELY counter-intuitive, I know, but there’s a lot of science behind this fact. http://www.ftsnutrition.com/macro-ratios/#.VNEKLck4Jr0 With little or no exercise, anything totaling more that 80-100g of carbs per day will likely lead to fat storage, and will certainly not allow fat loss to occur. Please remember this, and be aware of your carbohydrate intake. Remember, carbs are your fuel. If you don’t use it but keep pumping it in, you will have a surplus of unused energy, and this will become fat in your body. http://www.zonednutrition.com/blogs/zoned-fitness-health-bodybuilding-blog/14810665-how-to-eat-for-your-body-type-ectomorph-endomorph-mesomorph CARBS ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND The only time you should eat starchy and/or sugary carbs is immediately after your workouts. Other than that, avoid starchy/sugary carbs all-together (still eat mounds and mounds of vegetables). Carbs are hard on your body because of your relationship with insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to absorb glucose (sugar) from the blood and use it as energy. Fat and protein both have very little effect on insulin. Carbohydrates, however, have a profound impact on insulin. The problem is, through a combination of genetics and environmental conditioning, your body isn’t efficient at using insulin to lower blood sugars. Make it easy on your body by not giving yourself sugary or starchy carbohydrates that send your blood sugars and insulin levels bonkers. http://www.bandanatraining.com/endomorphs/ From a metabolic perspective, the endomorph body type sometimes has varying degrees of carbohydrate sensitivity and insulin resistance. Pay close attention, because this is an important point. If someone is metabolically carbohydrate intolerant due to a genetic tendency, then high carbohydrate diets are not the preferred choice for fat loss goals as they will stimulate excess secretion of insulin and glucose will be partitioned into the fat cells more easily. A nutrition strategy for the carb intolerant endomorph then is to immediately clip the processed and refined carbs from the diet, particularly white sugar and white flour products. These concentrated carbs will be much more problematic for endomorphs, while the ecto and meso's seem to get away with it a little bit more. http://www.burnthefat.com/endomorph_body_type.html Endomorphs typically do best on a higher fat and protein intake with carbohydrate intake being controlled and properly timed (e.g., after exercise). So that’s what we recommend: more fat and protein, less carbohydrate. http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-body-type-eating Applying this... Does that mean I should be aiming for a high protein, high fat diet? Ignore all those early calculators and stick with the wisdom of the articles, supposing the articles are more specific to my body type and goals than the calculators? Maybe 45/15/40 is in the ballpark? Or 50/15/35? What has worked well for other cutting endomorphs?
  2. This Cycle may or may not see me home the entire time - I may end up following DH on a trip; we may end up taking an actual vacation - who knows? We may just be here the whole time. If I need to adjust, adjustment protocols will be enacted. Nutrition I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s time to shift some weight. I don’t want to buy a second round of new clothes. Cook paleo-ish meals (fake meats, soy and the occasional garbanzo bean are ok) with an emphasis on protein Go back to tracking macros. My scale had itself an electrical aneurysm and started muttering to itself all on its lonesome (it was seriously sad - poor little guy kept trying to weigh air, coming up with wildly different answers, until his batteries died). As it stands, I’m estimating my TDEE at 1541 based on my current weight and activity levels. I’ll start with reporting and tracking via MFP with an eye on coming in under calories and will strive to make protein a priority. We’ll see what that gets me re: fitting into some of my clothes again by the end of challenge and refocus from there. Movement Keep up with my 4x a week yoga with walks to and fro - hopefully in less than 115F temps, “windchill” of 125, and over 70% humidity. Fall, as it were, is coming - the news and the Ministry promised. As my schedule stands, and I hope it continues, I’ve got: Monday morning: Slow Flow (a mostly gentle class) Tuesday evening: Functional Flow (hella hard rehab style movements) Wednesday morning: Detox (a hard class with lots of twists and fun movements) Friday morning: Slow Flow (ha! I guess it’s slow? It’s usually hard and full of novel movement - same teacher as Wednesday’s class) With an 18-minute walk to and from. I also want to add more HIIT or Barre videos at home, but wasn’t quite meshing with that this past challenge. We shall see here and I’ll do what I can. I need to get on my ass about it a bit, but finding the balance between that and the don’t wannas has proven difficult without an actual tangible goal in sight. Enrichment I’m still playing both Stardew Valley and Cozy Grove and will pick Animal Crossing back up if they ever release an update. I’m currently working on an 18thc. shift & chemise set. After I finish that, I want to dye the rest of my medium weight linen with avocado pits, and jump to a modernized walking skirt/vest/petticoat project. I also have some crochet supplies on order - I want to do something with my hands again while watching tv at night. Sashiko sounded great, but is a bit fiddly for my hands at the moment. Hand sewing has been great, but I want to give crochet another go. It seems to hurt my hands less than knitting. I also want to keep up with my digital art practice, and still feel like I should be doing something actually useful instead of just killing time. It’ll ostensibly be cooler soon, so the pups would appreciate more evening enrichment. Although it’s going to suck mightily, walk practice and desensitization with Odin should go back on the docket. And that’s it. Nothing earth shattering, but without something big looming (like a mud run or series of 5ks), self-starting is not my strong suit.
  3. Here I am for another comeback! One of these has to stick eventually... I have no idea how I left things in my last challenge, or even how long ago that was, and I'm way too lazy to check, so some updates which may or may not be known: I got a new job with a Real Adult Paycheque™. This has allowed me to get a shiny new computer, which makes these forums much less of an onerous task (my 13 year old Mac would get me there eventually, but it left me lots of time for idle contemplation and getting distracted). It has also allowed me to indulge just a bit in my Ranger Brain and join a HEMA class. Between work, holidays, and events being held by, or attended by, the class organizers, it's been a while since I've gone, so this might take a bit to really settle in, but I've enjoyed what I've done and plan to keep with it if I can. It has also allowed me to try a new program for weight management, so hopefully I can shed a few. Alas, the Real Adult Paycheque™ has not yet allowed me to move out of my parents' basement, but hopefully that'll come some day... Along with the new job and the new-found financial security (ish), my mood has taken a definite upswing. Though the job is more stressful than my previous one, mainly because I care about it and want to do the best job I can do, rather than that I find it overly stressful in and of itself, so my sleep (already not great) has suffered a bit. I still have my down days and struggle to get my arse off the couch, but I'm feeling like I'm in a place where I can move forward, albeit slowly. So, my goals: Goal 1 ~ The Dude Abides By the macro goals, that is. The group I joined is called the Focused Adipose Reduction Team (yes, that spells FART, and yes, that was on purpose, apparently), and among other things, the person running things gives you macro goals to abide by. This is nothing new to me, but it's the same goal every day, unlike previous programs I've tried, which is nice and simple. It also requires periodic check-ins, daily weigh-ins, and participation in a dedicated Facebook group (not usually my thing), so this goal is mainly about the macros but also about Doing the Other Things Too. Goal 2 ~ Run, Forest, Run! So apparently my goals have a movie theme going on...? I used to run regularly, and hated every second of it. I do, however, feel much better just in general when my cardiovascular health is better, and running is the least of all evils when it comes to cardio. Also, while gyms are open again, there's nothing stopping The Unvaccinated Masses from spewing their germs everywhere while Dancing to the Oldies, or whatever, so I'm not real cool about going, so running outdoors is about all I've got (home workouts will not work, I've given up trying and just accepted that's how it is). My physio suggested trail running, since trails are rugged and require more focus than sidewalks, and are also softer on the ol' joints, and I didn't hate the idea. I've been working through an injury that was aggravated by running, so it's been a while, and I need to take it slow. So the goal is to go for some kind of run 3x/week. I went today on a trail that I've walked my dogs on many times and am familiar with, and it wasn't horrible, so this will be my starter trail (plus ample doggos means ample excuses for a short break, cuz you can't not say hi to the good bois and girls). I'd like to be able to do the whole trail without stopping by the end of the challenge (breaks for pats notwithstanding). I'd also like to walk on my off days. I've never preferred to run 2 days in a row, and usually the other days would be gym days. I'm not gymming at the moment, though, so walking will get me a bit of activity without being overly taxing. In a perfect world I'll run Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then walk Tuesday and Thursday with swords on Saturday and rest on Sunday. On the weekend where I have to work, I won't make it to swords so I'll do an extra walk that week. Goal 3 ~ Goodnight, Sweet Prince I'm sure Kenneth Branagh has made a movie of Hamlet at some point in time, if nothing else... Stick to my bedtimes. This has long been a contentious issue for me, and one I struggle with constantly. Right now, in a sort of ideal world, my bedtime is 10:30pm on work nights and 11pm on non-work nights. I rarely meet this, but I'mma try again to be diligent about it. Goal 4 ~ Moving 'Boxes' I'm sure there's a movie quote somewhere using a box as a metaphor, but I've not seen that movie, so just imagine your own reference here. My boxes are metaphorical (though there are a few actual boxes kicking around), and are related to a clean room. My room is habitually a disaster (I hate putting things away and I don't know why!), and actually I'm ok with it. What I'm not ok with is being ok with it (this has been a lifelong internal conflict), so I really need to clean (I've been ignoring this directive for some time now and reading Kishi's goals made my brain go ping, so I'm adding this goal). I'm going to try to 'move' one 'box' per week. My boxes consist of the following: The Floordrobe, The Office Corner, The Carpet, and The Other Random Detritus. I'm only listing 4 despite it being a 5 week challenge (it is a 5 week challenge, right?) because The Office Corner in particular, but also possibly The Other Random Detritus, might actually end up being a box consisting of 2 or more sub-boxes that must be split between weeks, because all work and no play makes obax a cranky human (this is a surprisingly recent realization, believe it or not). And that's it! Some other things I'd like to work on is reading more and vegging in front of the tv/my phone less, and picking away at the writing course I signed up for (it's free, and has no set due dates, which is good because I can work at it whenever, but also bad, because I can procrastinate forever with no consequences...). No formal goals for those, though, just some things for me to keep in mind.
  4. It’s 74. 74 challenges. *insert Count* 74 Cycles of varying levels of having my shit together-ness. As it looks like I’m not quite finished languishing, I’ll be continuing on my slow roll toward better habits (yet again) and going the simple route. Goal The First Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition Keeping up with macro tracking has proven to be too much in the realm of effort for my brain again, so I’ll be edging toward that way again. Gotta hit those things side-on. Actual macros have not changed in ages, though off the top of my head I can’t remember what they are. Maybe I need to re-institute weekly weigh-ins for a little kick in the pants. We shall see. Aside from that, eat in a way that doesn’t kill my GI system, with a mind toward more veggies in my life, and not over eating. Or at least limiting the over eating, since I *still* can’t control myself around Indian. Goal The Second Movement in a way that feels good and does good. Zoom yoga 2 - 4 x a week as the schedule allows - as many classes as the schedule permits. The goal here is at least 1 functional-based class, 1 joy in movement class, and 1 handstand practice class. Keep the TRX straps up during the day - on yoga days do squat pull sets of 10 every time I pass the straps; on non-yoga days do at least 2 run-throughs of my full-body set per day + squat pull sets. Go for walks on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday in the sun; Sunday in a mall. Goal The Third Fulfillment. Do something to feed myself each day, be it something with digital art, graphic design, or one of my physical crafts. Something. Also: keep up with the social media stuff for DH’s Twitch thing & my blog. Also chucking redecorating and Spring cleaning the apartment in this slot. I’m tired of looking at our shit and tired of having the shit we have shoved in drawers that I literally never see. Since the move is off, I need to find a way to make this place annoy me less for the next 13 months. List Of Fulfillment Work with the dogs on some sort of training goal Digital art tutorial Digital art freestyle time while listening to a podcast Big projects on my Animal Crossing Island Creating images for WTFGaming Instagram & channel banners Taking pictures for Gastography Instagram Creating, writing, photographing & publishing recipes for Gastography Finding a way to include more food content on Gastography Instagram feed Creating & posting Pins for Gastography recipes Lucet cord making Tablet weaving Sashiko embroidery The quilt project I’m supposed to be doing but have put off because it’s a pain to find fabric Lace crocheting And that’s all I can think of for the moment; I’m sure there are more things. We also need to plan some sort of getaway - a staycation is fine; as long as it involves the dogs at the boarder + suitcases. When things open back up a bit here (i.e. we won’t have to stay in our room if we visit one of the resorts here that are still hella expensive even with zero amenities open), we shall make that happen. We’ve got at least a semi-portable setup for DH’s Twitch channel, so we can at least stream our Bad Game on a Saturday from the “road” if we don’t want to take a week off in this early stage with like 6 followers. We had intended on doing that for our anniversary in April, but (light) lockdown happened, amenities closed and some of the less bonkers places were reclassified again as COVID hotels. I mean ... we *could* have gone to the resort offering massive iftar catering all Ramadan for their private villa rental residents ... but we are not spending $1,000 a night for anything, let alone a villa in a resort with no amenities open. Hellz to the no. Even if we had the money. That’s ridiculous. Or, the brand new water park hotel - with the closed water park and nothing else open. That’s an option. Yeah. My ass is not getting into a pool in this weather, let alone going to a just-opened water park in the middle of a pandemic. That may or may not be dodgy. It’s a Hilton, but .... I don’t really trust it. We did hear something about more travel bubbles for vaccinated people flying Qatar Air opening up - Georgia is on the list, as are Turkey, the Maldives, and Greece. Out of those, Tbilisi Georgia is tops on our list for being affordable, pretty and having great food. Greece is definitely on the list as well, but they’ve got their own drama to deal with at the moment - I have no idea how they got on the travel bubble list, and from what I’ve been seeing (from @DarK_RaideR and others), I worry that that’s going to be a shitshow for them. Maybe Tbilisi is less of a mess? I don’t even know what we would want to do on vacation, at this point. Eat in a restaurant. Be in a Western city with modern Western morals (i.e beer, democracy(at least ish) & side boob). Drink a beer on a terrace. Look at some old shit; hike a bit ... Which, tbh, is what we generally do on vacation anyways. We’re not ones for doing crowded and popular things unless those things consist of walking around and not interacting with other people that aren’t chatty shopkeepers. Mostly just ruminating, there - it’ll be at the bare minimum a month before we can even contemplate leaving the country, and then it will be a 99% chance of DH flying out for work with a 15% chance of me being able to follow for Week 2 of his trip like we were doing. We will lightly contemplate, but actual firm planning is a recipe for those plans being immediately cancelled.
  5. ‘Cause we’re not jingling all the way anywhere this year. Is it Deep Holiday Season again, already? This year has seemed interminable - and yet quick; but like it’s barely happened? Let’s get an early review in: Jan - Feb: “Normal” life; a fair bit of travel, too many nights and weekends spent eating and drinking allthethings in preparation for my local bestie skipping off to a different desert. Mar - July: Fortress of Solitude life - yoga where I had the band with for it, kicked creative projects into high gear sparked off by Animal Crossing and coloring on the iPad. Ate like a college student for the most part. August: Lockdown lite and kicked yoga into high gear with walks to and from despite it being surface of the sun hot - I was just happy to be outside and moving my body in a way that felt nourishing. A return to not eating like garbage. September: Quarantine for reals and a wrist (re-re-re) injury; back to doing what I could as far as yoga was concerned. Kept up the healthy eating and was 100% tired of French fries at this point. October - November: A great groove was found with my Zoom yoga classes; most week I was able to fit 5 in. I had a bad week or two with anxiety and body freak outs, but overall some solid progress to be had. December: Hoping for the same. This year, I’m actually looking forward to staying the course as it were. The Holiday Season is always kind of wonky for us - if we’re Stateside and we travel, it’s either for Thanksgiving or early December and that’s always stressful. If we’re left to our own devices, it’s either travel for pleasure around my birthday and Chinese food + a movie on Christmas; or it’s lots of little get-togethers with friends and possibly a big blowout brunch on Christmas itself. This year, we aren’t able to travel anywhere so we are doing a birthday staycation (hence the dunes part of the challenge title), and we don’t feel like joining the masses for a big brunch blowout. If we congregate, it will be with 1 other couple. And that’s okay. Every year, this time is a whirlwind and it’s Really Frickin Easy to absolutely go off the rails when it comes to my own fitness and nutrition goals. Some years I manage to keep my proverbial shit together, but not the past few. This year will be spent focusing on other things. I’ll be spending this holiday season keeping the habits going that will fuel future-me, instead of creating a situation 2021 me will have to dig herself out of. If we choose to celebrate with back home family via Zoom, great. If not, that’s fine too. We have games for our NYE game night right here to mark the end of the year in our own style. Holiday Bash NF-Style Goals Betcha didn’t think I’d say nutrition. I’m going to continue to build on my last couple challenges here - continue to MFP track daily and report weekly without judgement, continue to post a daily log, continue to post daily pics, and continue to do what a can re: portion sizes, meat consumption, garbage consumption, and veggies. Movement. This month is going to be kinda wonky with Zoom classes - Hopefully by Week 1, schedules will have settled out and I’ll have figured out what I’m doing and who I’m paying for the privilege. Feed Your Mind. Continue on with 1 Skillshare course a week + ongoing crafting project(s). Feed Your Family. Continue on with doggie enrichment and training. Feed Your (potential) Future. Continue learning how to grow readership with the blog and figuring out if monetization is something I want to pursue. Mini Challenges. I know there will be mini challenges. I have the bandwidth to participate this year, whatever this may bring - Be it internal or external, Bring It! Come on Squatmas!
  6. First off: *g8ggle gif* Ahem. Now that we’ve got that out of the way .... It looks like #lockdownlightlife is not evaporating where I live any time soon. Things are mostly back to normal - with a few exceptions. Masks, temperature checks and green status health apps are required everywhere but running outdoors Restaurants are still limited to parties of 5; with varying capacity Gyms are strictly limited to something like 3m of space around each goer Entrance to the country - even for residents - is highly limited and is a dodgy proposition at best, with strict quarantine protocols upon re-entry for those lucky enough to gain permission to enter. It’s a far from guaranteed thing. I’m sure there are more things, but those are the ones that affect me directly I’m still fairing pretty well with things as they are. It looks like this challenge will encapsulate Thanksgiving - let’s see if I get to do my big to-do for that, or if I’m running packaged plates to friends individually. I’ve promised that hell or high water it’s happening this year. Goals - Of Consistency, no less Nutrition. Continue on the trajectory from last challenge by: Not eating like an asshole (meaning not eating things I know are going to cause me pain or too damn much or all junk in a day) Keeping a loose eye on my macros on a weekly level and seeing how closely they resemble My Fitness Pal’s gentle weight loss guidelines by tracking my food daily with an eye toward accuracy but not Nazi-ism Making sure to eat at least 2 servings of vegetables a day even if I don’t wanna Try to get enough water. What’s enough? An amount so I don’t wake up dehydrated feeling Movement. Continue on my 4 - 5x a week yoga schedule via Zoom or in-person if desirable/available; add in some sort of accessory work on Saturdays. Either a 5th yoga class or something in the gym in my building - even if that’s just treadmill & a podcast Social Habits. Continue on with my Zoom Tuesday Coffee with friends for as long as that lasts; continue supporting my Herd as daily as possible; continue trying to expand my social network through this new D&D group; try to interact with other humans in the world at least once a week Stoke That Creative Flame. Keep my running crafts going. Currently, I’m still into clothes sewing and embroidery. Keep that up. Maybe add other things in as they catch my fancy - but, and this is a biggie: use up the supplies I have on hand before delving into a new thing that requires a bunch of specialty tools. Yeah. I know. This is the bane of all handicrafts peoples. And I used to have bins and bins of supplies from all the different things I’ve done over the years - but I don’t have that here, and to re-build that level of stash is ridiculous. I also don’t have storage space for that shit. So: use what you’ve got and then move on Also tied to #4: Exercise Your Brain. I’ve got a year of Skillshare, and while that’s not learning on the level I feel comfortable with, bite sized info is fine. And it’s better than the plague of listicles that has taken the rest of the godsdamn Internet over. Pick a “class”, complete it, take with it what I can, move on. Not every instance of learning needs structure or metrics. Or papers. Certainly not dissertations. And I almost forgot: Get out of my comfort zone. We all know how much I love a photo challenge. I’ve been stagnant in my photography for months and months and wanted to grow my skills. I haaaaaaaate people in my pictures and my selfies are abominable. I’m also never satisfied with my face in them. Which seems like a psychological bear that needs poking. Hell, I bailed on my 365 days of yoga for Year 40 challenge - let’s fuck around with some insecurities. Shake some trees and see what falls. As such, work on improving my people photography game through selfies - and post the best one in a week. Phone or “real” camera, it doesn’t matter. Face in the shot or hidden - whatever. Just create something and get it somewhere decent. Doesn’t have to be magazine worthy. And that’s pretty much it, at least thus far. Not a deviation from previous Cycles, but more a continuation of that solid foundation I’ve built with a look toward at least gathering the supplies for a second level.
  7. I tried a free consultation at LA Fitness, but the woman suggested I needed to eat only 920 cal to stay at my current weight...I'm suddenly very confused about all the prior knowledge I had about nutrition! Here's a bit about me and my goals: I'm about 105 lbs, 5'3, about 20-21% body fat (lean body mass about 83 lbs), 17 y/o female. I try and work out near everyday, 6-7 times a week. I do a push pull leg split and do HIIT cardio some days as well. I split my weights and cardio days. I'm admittedly a bit scared of lifting heavy because I work out by myself and have a back injury. I really want to see more visible muscle, I feel I still have to lose some weight in addition to building muscle so I can a)get rid of some body fat b)see/have muscles. My goal is to look slim and lean. Right now I'm eating about 1400 cal per day which the LA Fitness woman said was good for building muscle, but I'm unsure with her advice. Is that too much or too little? What should my macro's look like? How should I approach weight lifting sessions, and around how long should they be (maybe a better question is how many exercises should I aim to do within one session)? I'm sorry if this is too specific but if I just had this information I feel I could see better results and have better energy levels. I'm so frustrated with feeling tired everyday and hating how I look. Any/all advice is appreciated, as I'm unsure if I'm approaching my fitness in the healthiest way. Thank you for reading!
  8. Hi Nurds. Since we have an all-guild mashup, I'm going to go ahead a re-re-introduce myself. I'm Chris Tarly. Up until the beginning of last challenge, I was known as Curl Brogo (among other names, check my sig). I joined NF 6 friggin years ago as an overweight grad student. Over those six years there have been many trials and tribulations over weight loss, becoming a massive beefcake, then anxiety and depression, and getting through days with jobs I hate and family members who annoy me (I did the move back home thing a few years ago, it was not fun). I've spent a lot of my time with the warriors, but now I challenge mostly with the adventurers. Now I work as a machinist and I'm writing a Fantasy novel, while trying to not turn into some kind of obese potato shaped slug. Onto the challenge. Here's the big deal... I'm switching to night shift! On day shift, which is scheduled (loosely) for 5 am to 5 pm, I tried to get extra hours by going in early, then burning out because I'm not a morning person at all. And right now I need 45 hours just to make ends meet. I'd prefer to be getting 50+ so I can have a savings again. Now I'll be scheduled to come in at 3pm. I have to get 10 hours normally, but I'll have Fri, Sat, Sun evening off unless I want overtime on Friday. I'm optimistic. I used my long weekend to push my sleep schedule back. I like it. I might never again need an alarm clock. But this is a time to build awesome new habits. Goal 1: Exercise 3 days a week -- kettlebell and barbell complexes Weather permitting: go on coffee walks around the neighborhood. 1 pt. per workout +1/2 bonus point for coffee walking 15 total points. Goal 2: Stick to macros 2376 calories, 201 g Protein, 60 g Fat, 258 g Carbs Always bring a lunch (dinner haha) to work. 1 point days on target (within error of +/- 200 calories, 20g for Pro/CHO, 10g for Fat) 1 point for bringing dinner to work. 33-36 total points. (depends on how many days I actually work) Goal 3: Keep Writing I stepped up and tried NaNoWriMo this year. I kept at it but didn't make it to 50,000 words. But I started a fantasy novel that I'm keen to see through to the end at my own pace. I don't see myself getting to the end of this book until I hit nearly 150,000. Add 300 words minimum to word count everyday... no matter what* Add 6300 words minimum to pass (2100 / week) Add 12600 words -- awesome! (casual congratulatory) Add 18900 words -- excellence! Reach double the current word count [78,194] -- awesome! (formal literary) Word Count: 39,097 excludes plagues, family emergencies, and apocalyptic phenomena I feel like I should have one more goal, but I think that's because I usually have a sleep goal, and now I don't need one. Ha ha!
  9. Why are all the recommendations online all over the place? I can't find any consistency from post to post. I'm a 49 yr old mother of 3 (who feels 29 but certainly doesn't look it!). A friend recommended carb pairing??? I dunno. That's a new one for me. She sent me to carbpairforloss which, I’ve never heard of. I'll check it out and see since she referred them and had success, but was hoping to hear from some others. Anyone got suggestions?
  10. Well, *this* challenge cycle snuck up on me, and it’s Zero Week already! At the end of last challenge we shifted apartments and are still settling in (mostly the pups are adjusting) to the new floor and the new space. This is going well some days - and some days I get calls from security because my little terrorist assholes are barking while I’m gone. #goodtimes #firstworldproblems #problemswhenyoudonthavethesamerightsyoureusedto We are adjusting. It is a process. This challenge will officially start for me while in Helsinki at a wedding and will stretch to aaalllllllmost Halloween. Which should be prime pumpkin season, but since I live in the Summerlands, I’ll just be busy trying to convince myself that it really is getting cooler while whining about the flannels, boots and pumpkin shit I’m missing. Goal 1: Nutrition At the moment, my macros are (loosely, but I’m not assigning judgement to at the moment): 1200 Calories 91g Protein 119g Carbs 40g Fats This year, I’m also posting a photo collage a day of what I eat, and tracking all my meals in both My Fitness Pal and Cara (mostly to track GI symptoms). And I’m reintroducing foods after doing the FODMAP diet and getting my gut back to some semblance of balance. Goal 2: Physical Fitness I’ll be continuing to focus on rebuilding my yoga practice this challenge and am aiming for 3 classes per week. I’m dropping the aerial class from last challenge, because it was tweaking my knee. As of this moment, a reasonable schedule (1000% could change at any moment because schedules are not fixed here) is: Monday am, Tuesday or Thursday late afternoon, Friday or maaaaybe Saturday am. Goal 3: Fulfillment I need to continue to keep myself accountable here. Things I’m working on: Finances Cobbling together some sort of at-a-glance spreadsheet of finances Contacting a financial planner for advice Picking a direction and sticking with it Futureproofing Figuring something out to do that will generate $ Hobbies Sewing sofa covers Picking another sewing project Blog improvements
  11. Hi, all - I’m Darkfoxx; long-time Ranger corps member and yoga (among other things) enthusiast. I’ve been on the Forums for 59 consecutive challenge cycles - so, since - January 2013 (yay, obsessive records-keeping and challenge linking). Wow, and looking back, my very first challenge included my first yoga love - Jillian Michaels. Awww, baby me <3. Since then, I’ve tried my hand at pretty much every fitness thing that’s run across my path (thanks, RangerBrainTM), including: rucking, wogging 5 and 10ks, running short distances from Zombies, OCRs, HIIT workouts, weightlifting, kettlebells, and tons and tons of mini challenges - but the thread running through all of that has always been yoga. My body (and I think everyone’s bodies, tbh) just works better when I’m on my yoga game. My brain works better with yoga, too. So - here I am, I’m glad to meet you all, and I hope to help make this corner of the Forums everything it could and should be. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to do that, let me know! On to the Challenge part of this cycle. Goal 1: Nutrition This is always my first goal in a challenge, and the most important cornerstone of my personal fitness. I’ve found over the years that sticking to macros works best for my body and brain, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do. At the moment, my macros are: 1200 Calories 91g Protein 119g Carbs 40g Fats I’m also in the process of seeing a functional fitness doctor to try and get a handle on the GI issues I’ve been plagued with for as long as I can remember. We are currently on the reintroduction phase of the FODMAP Diet, and I’ll be monkeying around with foods and reporting. This year, I’m also posting a photo collage a day of what I eat, and tracking all my meals in both My Fitness Pal and Cara (mostly to track GI symptoms). Goal 2: Physical Fitness My goal for awhile has been to rebuild my yoga practice. I took a year or so off to attend an intensive course on web development in 2016/2017, and have been clawing my way back into a regular practice since then. Well, since I’m now a GL of the home of all yoga, I should probably redouble my efforts, no? To do that, I’ve got to go to class more than once a week definitely and probably twice if I can make peace with the scheduling. I can do better than this, but let’s not kill my shoulders and knees with all vinyasa all the time. The goal here is to attend 3 classes in the style of my choosing, but at least 1 needs to be alignment-based, and 1 needs to push myself out of hiding in the strict beginner classes. I’m also adding to this goal some other fitnessy things. It’s Summer with a Capital S where I live (it gets to 120F with or without the humidity that generally comes with living on the water - mold season approaches either later this month or next). Since going outside feels like stepping into an oven on a calm day, or a hairdryer on a windy one, I need to do more than a few yoga classes a week if I want to shift a bit of weight before the vacation I have planned in December - or the wedding I’m going to in September. My tentative schedule - yoga classes out of the house are 100% subject to change; classes where I live shift to a frustrating degree based on the season, month, or whims of chance. This is what I’m currently seeing and have been seeing consistently or somewhat consistently for a few weeks. Mondays: A girlfriend and I are really liking the beginner Yoga class offered at 10am. If it’s not too killer hot, walk back from that (:20); if it is, Uber back and take a :30 walk on the treadmill before coming back home. If I'm not completely wiped (and especially if I Uber back home), hit the gym on the way up to the apartment for some sort of something for a short podcast - Nightvale if I’m tired; Sawbones or Stuff You Missed In History Class if I’m not. Tuesdays: I’ve got a weekly coffee thing at 10; either get up with DH (DH is my Darling Husband) at 6:30? 7:30? Whenever he leaves, and go walk on the treadmill for a podcast before needing to get dressed at 8:45, or wait until after if sleep has been crappy. If it’s been really crappy and I’m up at 5:30/6 with the jerk face dogs - leave then. I’m not running a marathon, walking in my lounge pants and glasses is fine. I won’t die if I don’t have my contacts in. If I bail on that, do one day of the 30 Days of Yoga challenge when I get back home - or sometime before bed. Or, if I’m feeling Smurfy - there is a 4pm Slow & Strong class I really like that’s also generally alignment-based. Try to feel Smurfy. Wednesdays: Most weeks I have a coffee thing at 9, and usually getting out of bed on time is a struggle. If it’s not and I’m up with the jerk dogs, go at least walk on the treadmill. If not, do a day of the 30 Days of Yoga challenge when I get back. Or sometime in the long afternoon if I'm carsick from the trip home. If coffee doesn’t happen, walk + gym session. Thursdays: I only have a set thing to do here 1 Thursday a month, and it’s a brunch. Some weeks there’s an 11-something class at the yoga studio - if so, take that if I’m not too blasted from the rest of the week. If I am, 30 Days of Yoga challenge + walk a podcast. I think there is also usually the Slow & Strong class today at 4 too - if I feel like I can do that and not die during silks, go for it if I didn’t make it Tuesday - if not, silks tomorrow. Fridays: There’s an aerial silks class offered at 11:15 on some weeks and I'm really liking it. Go to that. If it's not offered, double up on 30 Days of Yoga + a gym session + a walk. Consider making it a long one. Weekend: We usually walk a fair amount around a mall one day and do pretty much nothing the next. This is fine. The theme for workouts here is to walk some each day and get in at least 15 minutes of yoga. I have a bad habit of doing either nothing active all day - or of only mall walking, and I can do better here. I have the time in my schedule to: put my gym clothes on, take the elevator downstairs, put in my headphones, and do something active for a podcast. I can even fit that + the copious amounts of YouTube I watch in in the same day. Goal 3: Fulfillment A little background here: I am a (literal) card-carrying housewife living in Doha, Qatar with my DH and 2 dogs. This is sometimes a good thing, and sometimes grates on my ever-loving nerves (I’m an American who had, if not an actual career, a string of employment that equalled to a career in creative services + a pivot I was trying to make happen into tech when we moved). So, I need to find fulfillment outside of the workplace. Which means being more social than I was comfortable with while living in my home country, and by finding other things to do that ensure my mind doesn’t turn to mush. As such, I’ve been doing (or trying to do) the following, and will keep it up this cycle: Reading articles on finance Spreadsheeting a finance plan Contacting a financial professional when I have my version of a plan and spreadsheet to see if I'm on track or cray cray Applying for or bidding on freelance gigs (when I can be bothered - most weeks, it's not happening) Taking a class on Skillshare (ok, so I have at least signed up for Skillshare - still haven’t made a class happen) Working with the dogs on training And that’s about it for this cycle. It’s mostly a repeat of my last (few) Ranger challenge(s), just with a bit more planning on the fitness part. I can’t wait to get to know my new home and Guild mates!
  12. So, it's been a minute. I've been trying to re-find my momentum for a while. It hasn't happened. There are a myriad of reasons and excuses, but the bottom line is that I need to protect my long-term health, and a sedentery lifestyle is what I've been successfully trying to avoid for the past six years, but it's what I've been pulled back to over the past few months. It's my Dark Side. A re-introduction, since I've been absent for a while: I grew up a skinny teenager but got fat in college through beer and bad habits. I stayed that way until my mid-Forties, tipping the scales at around 260lbs at 5ft10in. In 2012 I joined a gym and lost a whole bunch of that weight and began to gain some strength and regained some athleticism. I enjoyed working out but had few goals and was just kind of coasting along, gaining and losing the same five pounds and not really adding strength or endurance. And then, in 2014, I started Obstacle Racing, doing my first Spartan Race in September. I was hooked. In 2015 I completed two Spartan Trifectas, falling short of my third Trifecta on the last weekend of the year due to illness. I was irritated at not reaching that goal and completed 5x Trifecta in 2016 while completing a number of other events and some road races. In 2017, I realized I was getting good at this for an old man and qualified for OCR World Championships as an age group competitor in the Over-50 Men's group. It was by far my most successful year as a "competitive" racer and I was as fast as I have ever been, mostly due to consistency and work ethic. I traveled to Toronto, Ontario and competed with my peers for 9 miles up and down a ski hill in the rain. This was the height of my Jedi powers. I remained active for the first part of 2018, but gained weight, lost a little speed, and even though I qualified again for OCR World Championships this past year, could not attend. The combination of pain, injury and disappointment de-railed me. I let my scheduling issues get the best of me. I've lost a significant amount of muscle mass and nearly all of my cardio fitness. I've allowed some of my mental health issues - depression, anxiety - to re-surface and get the better of me. It's time to take the long road back. Main Goal During the last weekend of October and the first weekend of November I will be competing in Spartan Races on back-to-back weekends on different continents. That's a LOT of miles to rack up in an eight-day period for someone who has not run anywhere of any distance since December, and before that September. Thankfully, I have a tried-and-true training and nutrition plan. Also, for the first time in three years, I am going to be focusing on treating myself with kindness and not just "allowing" for goals that include self-care, but making it a priority. Nutrition Usually I put this as my "third" goal, but I'm putting this in the first slot because without proper nutrition, everything else may as well just go by the wayside. I know how to eat right - plenty of quality, lean protein (chicken, pork, fish) with real fruit and vegetables and quality carbohydrates. I normally have a training macro goal. For this challenge I'm going to start by logging my food - every bit that goes in my mouth - and start dialing in my nutritional goals based on my real activity. I'll add specific training macros as I go along, but only after this goes well. Goal: Track my food intake every day and report it here. Track total calories, protein, fiber and sodium as these are the biggest macro issues for me. Full-Body Strength When I started working out, I was going to the gym two to four times a week and mostly doing Boot Camp workouts. I eventually fell in love with free weights and enjoy strength training, but I also have arthritis and chronic tendinitis and my joints tend to fight against me because I'm a heavy guy for my size and they take a lot of pounding. I have a gym that I have belonged to for six years and I need to start getting my money's worth out of the membership. I will start slowly and ease back into what I know I'm capable of as not to injure myself and be done before I get started. Goal: Full-body strength workouts two to three times per week. Running I actually enjoy trail running, but there's not going to be any of that in Minnesota for me for a while as I just do not enjoy outdoor winter running. If I'm going to complete the Spartan Ultra in Glen Rose Texas in October, I'm going to have to be able to make specific time hacks or I will be removed from the course. I've never received a DNF in an Obstacle Course race. I'm not going to start now. I'm going to ease back in as I stated above with my strength goal. Goal: Start my distance running plan at the novice level: 3x per week, no more than 3 miles per day. Self-Care I'm socially awkward at best and struggle with social anxiety daily. I also have lived with depression and anxiety and in the past have been treated (medicated) for symptoms. I haven't needed that level of help in the past few years as I have successfully self-treated with nutrition, exercise and a healthy dose of service to others. However, the scales are waaaaay out of whack right now and I am dangerously close to some bad places. Fortunately, I also spent a lot of years paying a lot of professionals to help me develop healthy coping habits. It's time to exercise some of those, daily, to regain my equilibrium, and if I can't, it's time to seek out professionals to help. Goal: Practice one tanglble act of self-care daily and report on it. Challenge Obstacles I will be leaving Wednesday afternoon of Week 1 on a 1,500 mile road trip to Florida, to delivery my partner/GF and her vehicle to her month-long break from our Minnesota winter. She works remotely and this will be the second year in a row that we are doing this and I suspect it will become an annual tradition. I will fly back Saturday night, but there will be a couple long days in the car during the trip. I need to roll with this and not get anxiety over the fact that for two days at the beginning of this challenge I will not be able to meet my goals. Events I try to always have something on the docket to keep me focused. I will be attending the Central Florida Terrain Race on Saturday morning, partly because its' five minutes from where we are staying on our trip to Florida. I am in no way trained for this event. I am going to show up, run, get a gauge of what goes well and what doesn't, I'm going to be kind to myself if things go as badly as they could, and enjoy the experience regardless of how I perform. I'm going to be kind to myself above all else during this challenge, but I need this to get myself jump-started and back to being the best me that I have been as an adult. I know it's possible as I've done it, and recently. I'll likely need some accountability to keep my focus on my long-term goals. Above all, it's good to be home.
  13. After a great start to 2017 that was highlighted by qualifying for the first time at age 50 for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships and capped off by competing in the Age Group category in that race, the year ended rather quietly as I "whatever"-ed myself into missing workouts, backing off on my running program, and basically falling as out-of-shape as I have been in over three years. Coming on its heels, my 2018 has been consistent in its inconsistency. The year started off poorly; I was eating poorly, I was not working out consistently, and I was missing my scheduled runs. In context, I am not failing, regardless of what the scale says. I look reasonably good in clothes that fit and I am pretty fit in comparison with most of my peers, who largely laugh when I describe myself as "Old, fat and out-of-shape." This is true despite the onset of psoriatic arthritis in the middle of 2017 that has adjusted how I exercise and how I recover. However, I'm not ready to admit defeat to my arthritic knees and lower back. Instead of my deskbound co-workers, I expect to measure myself against a whole different set of peers: These men, 50 and over, who are not content to take that knee but will Rise Up and Conduct Their Business as Grand Masters. I will not go quietly into the night. I will fight until I can't fight anymore. I will Rebel. Main Goal In October of this year, I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships. I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the 2017 season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I will travel to the UK to participate and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again. This time, I don't want to be happy to be there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal (or two, or three) and a tee shirt: I want to finish with 100% obstacle completion. This is where I say "I know what it takes to get where I want to be" and put my goals in. I do know what it takes. If I had any self-discipline, I could run a Battle Log, because this is basically Level Grinding, but I have the self-discipline of a weasel on crack and the attention span to match, so here we are. If you've been around for any of my challenges you're already familiar with what's going on, but if there are any new eyes reading, here's what's on the menu: Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." I'm still building up my mileage from a long winter of slacking, but I have a running plan that works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Strength I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with boot-camp style bodyweight and high-rep, low-weight training, and pull-ups. This will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. There will be white boards. Plan: Boot Camp Monday and Wednesday, weight training Tuesday and Thursday. Bonus: 400 pull-ups during the course of the challenge. I tried this last time and it faded out due to inconsistency. Goal: Skill While raw strength will help with some obstacles, it's not going to help me through a ninja-style rig or on Pegatron or obstacles where there are specific skills involved. I have a gym membership to Obstacle Academy for this. Plan: Weekly Friday obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Goal: Sustenance When I track my nutritional macros, I can lose inches around my middle and still keep up my muscle mass. When I'm consistent, I see the results I want. I've worked with a couple trainers over the past five years to arrive at the numbers below and as long as I am honest with myself, I can meet my goals here and also look good in my mud jersey when I hit the starting line at the Spartan Race in June. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Sanity This is my self-care non-goal. I'm chronically over-scheduled and currently don't have an out for this, and it won't even get better at the end of the school year until I'm back from my summer Youth Mission Trip, which happens during the last week of this challenge cycle. This is not a quantifiable, SMART goal, but it will stay on the list to remind me to spend some time in self-care daily. Starting Line I Race, and I love it. I love the atmosphere and the people and the event itself. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. Including my trail race during Week Zero, I've got a handful of trail "races" on the docket this cycle to ensure that I am getting in my weekend long runs, and one OCR in the middle: The Minnesota Spartan Sprint is my lone local OCRWC Qualifying event of the year, and this year they've made it part of their "Mountain Series", which means it will probably draw more people than I'm used to seeing at our venue and may stack my Age Group with highly-competitive runners who are significantly faster than me and who want the cool finisher medal. We'll see what happens as far as OCRWC qualifying times, but I'm going to go all out trying in front of my friends and family. Finally, I have bee pretty crappy about keeping my challenge threads up-to-date for the past couple months. I won't ghost on y'all - I love my Rangers - but bear with me, especially since this challenge will be done for me at the end of Week 3. I want y'all to know that regardless of the lags in posting, every like and every comment is observed, read, and appreciated. Carry on, Rebels. It's time for an adventure.
  14. Main Goal In October of this year, I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships. I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the 2017 season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I will travel to the UK to participate and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again. This time, I don't want to be happy to be there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal and a tee shirt: I want to finish with 100% obstacle completion. If I do this, I will get to keep my band. A bunch of my friends kept theirs last year. At the end of the last challenge cycle, I ran a qualifying event and did not place well. I got pretty down about it. While it was a wake-up call regarding my training, it was also a wake-up call to re-focus my mindset and my attitude. I needed to be reminded that I do this for FUN. This is about a mile and less than 15 minutes into the race. Does this man look like he's having fun? This man is 8.2 miles and eight hours into the same race. Does this man look like he's having fun? Kacey spent the whole race, including the double-hill bucket carry, smiling. He also was quoted as saying, while standing in a puddle, "You better be careful here, the mud's up to my waist!" and laughing. I ENJOY obstacle racing. I'm going to spend this cycle putting in the work while changing my mindset and enjoying the process. I need to choose the path to the Light Side, where there is joy in the process. This is where I say "I know what it takes to get where I want to be" and put my goals in. I do know what it takes. If I had any self-discipline, I could run a Battle Log, because these things don't change, but I have the self-discipline of a teenager on a Red Bull drip and the attention span to match, so Challenge Thread it is. If you've been around for any of my challenges you know what's coming: Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." The problem is, our trails have been frozen since November and the cold aggravates my psoriatic arthritis. We should have had a thaw in March, but it's now mid-April and IT'S STILL SNOWING. I'll get in most of my work on the Dreadmill with some scheduled trail runs while things are I'm still building up my mileage from a winter of slacking, but I have a running plan that works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Strength I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with boot-camp style bodyweight and high-rep, low-weight training, and pull-ups. This will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. There will be white boards. Plan: Boot Camp Monday, Wednesday, and Saturdays when I don't have a scheduled race or trail run. Weight training Tuesday and Thursday. 400 pull-ups during the course of the challenge. Goal: Skill While raw strength will help with some obstacles, it's not going to help me through a ninja-style rig or on Pegatron or obstacles where there are specific skills involved. I have a gym membership to Obstacle Academy for this. Plan: Weekly Friday obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Have a specific training plan every time instead of just going in and goofing around on the toys. Goal: Sustenance I lost a bunch of weight five years ago by tracking my nutritional macros and I've kept it off by doing the same. I've occasionally dropped five to ten pounds in between that has not stayed off because when I'm not tracking macros, I eat junk. I've stuck to my macros pretty well over the last challenge cycle and my race jersey is fitting pretty well right now, but I'd like to look AMAZING when my home race in June rolls around. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Goal: Sanity This is my self-care non-goal. I'm chronically over-scheduled and currently don't have an out for this. Work is a hot mess and I'm along for the ride. Aside from Yoga on Mondays when it fits my schedule, this is not a quantifyable, SMART goal, but it's on the list to remind me to spend some time in self-care daily. Starting Line I Race. I do it because I enjoy it. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. I've got two trail "races" on the docket this cycle to ensure that I am getting in my weekend long runs. There's also one obstacle mud run at the end of this cycle: Muddy Warrior Run, May 19 This is NOT an OCRWC qualifier, so it is going to be more of a fun run than a competitive race for me. It looks like fun. I'm going to go race happy that day. Time to choose your path, Jedi.
  15. Quick Introduction I'm Natalee, fun, funky, fabulous mother of 2 sweet little boys charting her course in waters rough and rugged. I've been struggling to get my fitness, specifically bodyweight fitness in order these last few months and it came to mind to visit this wonderful haven and lo and behold a challenge is about to start, so here I am. For the next four weeks my aim is to do all of four things Bodyweight train 6 days a week, actively rest on Sundays, a part of this bodyweight training will be a focus on improving flexibility. Improve my eating habits; I need to make healthier choices, increase protein intake and decrease the consumption of cookies. (Cookie monster Alert!!} Develop the program outline for my proposed physical education program. Listen to Bible and personal development audios daily. I'm short on time at the moment... working on work... but this is the outline and I will add an in depth breakdown of my goals, adding my workouts and diet plans when time permits. I feel really excited, NerdFitness has helped me before, and I have all confidence that sharing with you all will help me to LEVEL UP! Can't wait to meet you!
  16. Antidepressants and unhealthy habits have pretty much put my libido in a Saharan pit, so, hey guys, here's a super fun challenge. Of course, this being a public forum, I'll be working hard to keep it to innuendo and limit the juicy details. Food: - track on MFP every day - 10 points for every day without sugar - 10 points for every healthy meal - better hydrate... 10 points for every bottle of water consumed. - limit to 1 diet coke a day Brain: - read at least 30 minutes before bed every night House: - clean for 30 minutes every day as soon as I get home from work - 10 points for cleaning in lingerie Relationship (this was hard to make into smart goals because it involves more than one other person's needs and schedules): - 10 points for going out on a date - 10 points for hanging out together doing stuff other than watching TV - 50 points if I finish reading The Book about poly stuff even though it is dense and dull - 100 points if I you know what with the you know who in the you know where Exercise: - yoga on rest days to be sexy and flexy - 50 squats a day - darebee workout program for amazonian sex goddess warrior body - 10 points for every swim in the school pool Loot - 50 points: facial - 100 points: massage - 150 points: dinner at Brown House - 200 points: dinner at Patty's -250 points: free pass day
  17. This challenge cycle finds me home ... I think. At least, I don't have any scheduled travel at the moment. So ... since I'm home, and I got peer-pressured into joining a dragon boat team - I guess my challenge kind of writes itself, no? Goal 1: As always, Macros It's getting hot here in Doha already and my face can't fathom butter at the moment (refresher: was flying high on keto, went to Sri Lanka aka the land of pineapple and other fresh fruits where it was hot, face don't wanna keto during sweaty temperatures) It's back to low-ish carb paleo for me - at least for now. Old-school macros: 1500 calories (I'm actually aiming for 1350 here, but 1500 is maintenance) 70g protein 70g carbs (going for way under here though - I don't wanna return to my carby ways atm) 100g fats Goal 2: Activities Paddling at least 2x a week. Saturday mornings is a good technique paddle and throw in either Monday or Wednesday evening. 1 other active thing per week - I finally found a yoga whose time, location and price agrees with me - it's beach yoga within walking distance on Sunday evenings while DH is at BJJ. That, or my dragon boating team has a weekly bootcamp at that time. Eew bootcamp. Goal 3: Keep on top of my other shit Social life Adulting Social media Think about adding in something I can do for some $ or creative fulfillment (*cough* that dog rescue website design that got put on hold *cough*) Get my Residence Permit (hopefully) If that happens, work on getting my drivers license Plan our next travel - either Kiev in the late Spring/early Summer together or a visa hop weekend with a girlfriend in India in late Spring - or both, depending on what happens with life and visas and whatnot
  18. This winter has been pretty rough. I don't remember having seasonal depression like this in a good 7-8 years. Cold, darkness, pain (arthritis) and work-related anxiety have all been pretty hard to handle. Now, slowly but surely, I'm rising from my winter-long withdrawal. It's a bad place for me to be; I am an introvert, and I like my quiet time, but my mental health suffers when I isolate myself. I'm not staying here. I'm not Luke Skywalker and I didn't come here to die. It's time to find myself again. I'm still trying to find my consistency from a training standpoint, but I can't just force-project myself back into goal shape; it takes consistent work, and I need to continue to put in that work, consistently. Main Goal I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships for the second year in a row. In 2017, I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I'll be traveling to the United Kingdom this year to race again, regardless of whether I qualify, and will run as a journeyman if necessary. However, it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again this year, and this time, I don't want to just show up and be happy I'm there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal and a tee shirt: I want to keep my band. I lost mine on Stairway to Heaven. It was humbling. Most obstacle race series (With the exception of my first OCR love, Spartan Race) expect pro and competitive racers to COMPLETE ALL THE OBSTACLES in order be podium-eligible. Everyone else is an official finisher, but those of me in the other category are not eligible for podiums - overall or age group. To make sure officials can tell who falls into which category, racers get a band, which is removed when one cannot complete an obstacle, usually after multiple attempts. Some race directors take pride in the bands they capture. Freaking Canadians. For the record, I completed this thing at OCRWC after 4-5 attempts. I'm pretty obstacle proficient, and have been for some time, but this year, I'm aiming for 100% completion at the World Championships, and that goal will take consistent work to achieve. Anyone who's been around an EricMN challenge over the last three years knows what they're about to see below: Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." The problem is, our trails have been frozen for almost five months and the cold aggravates my psoriatic arthritis. Also I just plain hate the cold. We're having a good thaw right now, but I'm still running on the Dreadmill until I know I won't kill myself on the trails. Last year I hired a running coach to give me a running improvement plan. It works. I'm working back into this plan; right now I'm still building up my mileage from a winter of slacking. "Long" runs are relative. I know this works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Strength Without consistent strength training, I turn into a limp dishrag. Besides, I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with training that includes pull-ups and other raise-my-bodyweight exercises. The group classes I attend don't incorporate pull-ups basically because the instructors and most of the other attendees can't do them and are intimidated by them. I need them because arms, shoulders and back will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. Plan: Strength training 3x per week: Weight training Tuesday, Boot Camp Thursday/Saturday, Grease the Groove pull-up work every day. Goal: Skill I've learned over the last four years of competing in Obstacle Course races that while one could probably power their way through many obstacles with sheer strength, there is a certain degree of skill necessary for things like rope climbing and rigs and Devil Steps and zip lines and whatnot. I bought a membership to Obstacle Academy, and they just finished a remodel. It's time to get on this. Plan: Weekly obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Have a specific training plan every time instead of just going in and goofing around on the toys. Goal: Sustenance I lost a bunch of weight five years ago by tracking my nutritional macros and I've kept it off by doing the same. I've occasionally dropped five to ten pounds in between that has not stayed off because when I'm not tracking macros, I eat junk. Right now I look more like Kung Fu Panda in my race jerseys than I want to admit. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Goal: Sanity This is even more important right now than it was last time around. Work is a hot mess and I'm along for the ride. This is not a quantifyable, SMART goal, but it's on the list to remind me to be mindful and spend some time in self-care daily. Starting Line I Race. I do it because I enjoy it. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. I've got two race weekends bookending this challenge cycle: Savage Race Florida, March 17 Wheel World, my nemesis. We meet again. I really like Savage Race. It's obstacle-dense at around 30 obstacles over 6-7 miles. Any course in Florida is by definition going be pretty flat. These are things that work in my favor in the Open Waves. Based on both Spring and Fall results from 2017, I have a legit shot at an OCRWC Age Group qualifying finish. Seattle Spartan Super and Sprint, April 14-15 Jesus, that jersey was too small for me. Also, I miss that bandana. I loved this venue when I did it back in 2015. The course is fairly flat and runs out along the Snohomish River, which is gorgeous. Also, I will be visiting my middle daughter, who moved to Seattle a year ago. Best of all, she and one of her friends will be on-course, volunteering during the weekend. I'm glad the jerseys stand out so she can see me as I shuffle on through. The Sprint race on Sunday is another legit shot at a qualifying time. It's been a long winter of self-imposed semi-isolation. I'm ready for it to be over.
  19. Current status: still on Accutane, still low-key have a perma-cold, body is less achy, turns out that running in gross weather is my jam (wtf, self?) Keeping the same goals from last challenge. Accidental ASOIAF/Game of Throne theme #WinterIsHere Previous Challenge Stats STR - 31.75 | DEX - 53 | STA - 54.25 | CON - 89 | WIS - 56.5 | CHA - 50.5 Waist 30.25" Belly 34.5" Hips 37.5" Thigh 22" Weight 162lb Body Fat 26.52% Goals Goal 1: Cardio Run 2x per week. Run outside as much as possible, if the weather is too cold then treadmill intervals instead. +3 STA +2 DEX Goal 2: Food Blah, blah, macros, blah. Variances twice a week, I'm thinking. Points I can get, cause fake internet points motivate me: - 2 points for being within 5% of my goals - 1 point for within 10% - 0 points for being out more than 10% I want 10/14 possible points a week +5 CON Goal 3: Sleep 11pm bedtime, follow my bedtime routine to help make that actually happen. Bedtime routine: get clothes/bag ready for the morning when I get home; do any food prep that I need to do while I'm making dinner; 10:20pm get ready for bed; 10:45pm in bed with a book/journal/etc +3 CHA +2 WIS Stuff and Things You have a journal. Write in it. Post here daily cause accountability and whatnot Also post in at least one other thread daily Do the Mini #TeamHawk #CA-CAW The Road So Far Week One Cardio 0/2 Macros 7/7 [didn't track Saturday/Sunday cause other people's home cooking] 11pm 1/7 Bedtime routine 0/7 Week Two Cardio 2/2 Macros 10/10 11pm 0/7 Bedtime routine 0/7 Week Three Cardio 2/2 Macros 8/8 11pm 2/7 Bedtime routine 2/7 Week Four Cardio 2/2 Macros 9/8 11pm 0/7 Bedtime routine 0/7
  20. Ummmmmm ..... sooooooo ..... last challenge is over??? I kinda lost 11 days there while I was away, aaaaaaaand forgot that challenge was one of the reasons I was keeping (slack ass as it were) contact with my friends. This cycle looks to be little better galavanting-wize. I'm theoretically off to Abu Dhabi next week (leave it to DH's job to approve travel at the very last minute possible), and Challenge ends the day after I get back from DH's first real vacation since the move - in Sri Lanka. So. Probably won't be starting any lofty fitness plans this cycle. Will continue to Keto to the best of my abilities. Hoping to post a 'what i eat in a day' video this month ... super meant to for all my keto newb friends last month but flaked. Will continue to take pupper for her walks as long as the weather holds out. Will continue with my socialization so I don't goes crazy. Will continue to keep minimalism in mind as I spend more time than I'd like cruising the malls. Will continue to do what I can to try and yank DH out of his self pity/adjusting to a new location spin. Will formulate a plan that is going to cost a little money and not be as convenient as I want it to be re: fitness going forward. I'm going to have to compromise and I DON'T WANT TO. But, self-motivation is absolutely not happening if this past ... ummmm ... year? Two years? has taught me anything. I don't has it without that carrot of race bling to dangle in front of myself. I'm currently trying to wrap my brain around committing 4 weeks to a personal trainer - and paying for that. Don't Wanna. Friends Love Him. He Will Come To My Building. WHINE. NOPE, STILL WHINING. CONTINUED WHINING
  21. I've been complaining for two years that I did not want to be "Luke Skywalker, Jedi Legend", and withdraw. And while the Jedi Master was redeemed in my eyes by his character arc in The Last Jedi, that didn't mean that, starting in December, I had to go join him in hermit-like seclusion until now. But I kind of did - except there was no awesome island monastery, just frozen-assed wintry Minnesota, and no straight-from-the-source liquid nutrition. I didn't completely collapse into my couch - I've been working out, although not consistently, and I'm not back to square one as a runner. However, if I expect to achieve my goals for the coming year, it's time to force-project myself back into the universe and get busy. Main Goal I'll be travelling to England in October to compete in the 2018 OCR World Championships for the second year in a row. In 2017, I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the season and competed in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I'll be going again this year regardless of whether I qualify and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again this year, and this time, I don't want to just show up and be happy I'm there. I want to go home with an additional souvenir from the weekend that can't be bought: With the exception of my first OCR love, Spartan Race, most obstacle race series expect pro and competitive racers to COMPLETE ALL THE OBSTACLES in order to reach the podium or at the very least land in the "podium eligible" column. Everyone else is an official finisher, but those of me in the other category are not eligible for podiums - overall or age group. To make sure officials can tell who falls into which category, racers get a band, which is removed when one cannot complete an obstacle, usually after multiple attempts. I'm pretty obstacle proficient, and have been for some time. This year, I'm aiming for 100% completion at the World Championships. I can't just decide "FITNESS!" and achieve my goals of qualifying for and competing in the World Championships (and, on the way, the North American OCR Championships); it's going to take months of training to get there. It's a good thing I know what works for me: SMART goals with plenty of checkpoint events to keep me motivated on my quest to qualifying. Goal: Strength I've struggled my entire life with upper body strength. I have bad family genetics and without consistent strength training, I turn back into a limp dishrag. Besides, I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with training that includes pull-ups and other raise-my-bodyweight exercises. The group classes I attend don't incorporate pull-ups basically because neither the instructors or many of the other attendees can't do them and are intimidated by them. I need them because arms, shoulders and back will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. Plan: Strength training 3x per week: Weight training Tuesday, Boot Camp Thursday/Saturday, Grease the Groove pull-up work every day. Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." The problem is, it's aggressively winter here (my beard froze in seconds the morning I wrote this) and all the trails are frozen wakes of ice and terror. Also, the cold aggrivates my psoriatic arthritis. Also I just plain hate the cold. I'm running on the Dreadmill until conditions outside change. Pray for me. Last year I hired a running coach to give me a running improvement plan. It wasn't revolutionary and it was directly based on stuff that literally everyone is teaching: speed intervals, consistent mileage, weekend long run. He tailored the plan to my schedule and my starting baseline speed and I saw enough improvement that I put up OCRWC qualifying times in two separate events last year. It works. I'm working on getting back into this plan; right now I'm building up my mileage from a winter of not much running while mixing in intervals. "Long" runs are relative. I know this works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Skill I've learned over the last four years of competing in Obstacle Course races that while one could probably power their way through many obstacles with sheer strength, there is a certain degree of skill necessary for things like rope climbing and rigs and Devil Steps and zip lines and whatnot. Plan: Weekly obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Have a specific training plan every time instead of just going in and goofing around on the toys. Goal: Sustenance Because "Nutrition" does not alliterate with all my other "S" goals. I lost a bunch of weight five years ago by tracking my nutritional macros and I've kept it off by doing the same. I've occasionally dropped five to ten pounds in between that has not stayed off because when I'm not tracking macros, I eat junk. I just got a brand new jersey for Christmas from my GF and her family and I want it to fit, but right now I'm looking more like Kung Fu Panda than I'd like. It's time to get serious about getting little in the middle. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Goal: Sanity I wish I could quantify this as a SMART goal, but I can't. Stuff has gone fully sideways at work for reasons completely out of my control and I'm working to stay afloat as best I can while balancing a busy non-work life. This is more a reminder for me to be mindful and spend some time in self-care daily. Hey Jedi man, what events are happening during your challenge? I try to always have at least one event per month to keep my motivation up and my training focused. January was a planned bust, as I have given up pavement running due to the pounding on my arthritic joints, but February will end with a busy weekend. I'll be leaving on 21 February to drive with my GF from our home in Minnesota to drop her off for three weeks near Orlando, Florida. That's over 22 hours of driving, one-way with a stop on Thursday just north of Nashville to visit my brother and his family. When we get there, I'll be running multiple laps at the Central Florida Terrain Race on Saturday... ... and then driving to Miami to run the Spartan Sprint on Sunday. Both will be good tests for me to gauge my early-season form and fitness, determine my weaknesses, and set goals for improvement. It will feel good to get back on the horse, but I'm going to need support to keep focused. I'm glad I've got this place to come to for that. Rangers, Rebels, Nerds, thanks for being here.
  22. Don't Turn to Stone I have all the mobility stuff ... foam rollers, lacrosse ball, miracle ball. Do I use it? Nope. Never even think about it. I'm pretty flexi-bendy for my age, years of dance, martial arts, and forced yoga marches had a lasting effect. Still, though, I am older than I was, and I do have aches and pains and stiffnesses. Challenge Goal: Work on mobility, mostly cervical spine but other areas as needed, at least 5 min/night at least 5 nights/week. 25 points possible Enjoy Second Breakfast Challenge Goal: This one is simple - I am now on week three of my gym's three-month Nutrition Transformation Challenge - continue to comply with coach's meal plan. Bonus points: streamline meal prep down to 5 hours (currently about 7). 5 points possible (one point per week, including zero week) Walk to Mordor According to my often-ignored fitness tracker, I average about 6k steps per day. Challenge: Walk 7,000 steps per day at least 28 of the 35 challenge days (counting zero week) A Hobbit Hole Means Comfort I've made some dents in the library/junk room/cavern. I'll take pics when I'm home during daylight (probably weekend). Time to buckle down and get this library party started! Goal: Get rid of enough junk that I can move the remainder to the center, leaving room around the perimeter to start prepping the walls for paint. Scoring is simple pass/fail Don't Turn to Stone 0/25 Enjoy Second Breakfast 0/5 Walk to Mordor 0/28 A Hobbit Hole Means Comfort 0/1
  23. Back to basics because it's sorely needed... Sit. 1) Make a meal plan for the week. I'm going to try adding some more structure to my nutrition and hit certain macros at certain times, rather than just generally trying to eat an appropriate amount and get enough protein. My boyfriend recently coded up a script to help me figure out how much of the selected foods I need to eat to hit my macros, which will make this a lot easier! Also, if I already have my meals planned out and just follow the plan, it means I don't have to track or count! This is how to meal plan, right? 2) GET OFF SCREENS AT 8:30 PM. In caps because I'm shouting at myself to actually follow through with this - it's the best way to make sure I get to bed at a decent time. Exceptions can be made for briefly using a meditation app or playing music, but that's it. 3) Calm the monkey mind: meditate daily. I'm now preparing for a lifting competition, which will require traveling and staying away from home - both of which make me anxious these days. In order to prevent my mind from sabotaging me (I'd really like to sleep the night before lifting...) I need to develop skills for calming and focusing my mind. Lifting-wise, I'm currently on a deload, which is convenient because I'm also sick. Hopefully I can start my next phase fully rested and recovered this weekend. After a few months in the 6-8 rep range, I'll be back to focusing on strength with sets of 5, making count reps much easier! And I used to think anything over three was a big number... I'm now preparing to compete in 7 weeks, so I'll have a short strength phase (week of 5's, week of 4's, week of 3's) followed by a mini-deload and then tapering for competition. No theme because I'm lazy - please send gifs. EDITED: Now with corgi gifs. EDITED AGAIN: Now with meditation goal and competition prep!
  24. Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. As requested, I'll post early and quit sitting on my challenge. Even though posting this ish means I actually have to live up to it, lest all my cool points be ganked. ;p --------- Doesn’t this happen to me every year? I’m sitting here, and my stomach feels like it has little daggers in it. From food. Some of it I know damn good and well I shouldn’t be eating from years of trial and error (much of that some of y’all have seen), and some of it I’m not sure if I’m 100% ready to give up (like bell pepper and if my gut tries to take broccoli from me it will have to pry it from my cold dead hands so help me jibbers). But really, with the cheese I FREAKING KNOW BETTER. I wanted to believe that I could magically handle dairy in the Middle East. Dairy is freaking everywhere, in everything, and it doesn’t *always* spell disaster where my stomach is concerned. Often, even, it does not. Just contributes some low level inflammation and mild bloating. Labneh is often a trade-off, and ordering milk with coffee while out feels like it has to happen usually. It totally doesn’t. I also don’t need to tempt fate as much as I do with goat dairy and soy. As for my other steady goal of working out 3-5 times a week (if you guys have come along in the last year or so (*cough* two *cough) when I’ve suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked at fitness, you may not know this, but my ass used to be known for consistency around here. For setting tons of X number of X goals, adding mini challenges and goals for myself mid-cycle, and 1000% sticking to all of that no matter what kind of ridiculous bullshit was happening in my day. Well, that shit has not happened in oh, 2 years? Are we admitting it’s been that long since I ran that metric asston of races?), well, my fitness goals have completely and utterly fallen by the wayside for way too long. LIKE WAY TOO LONG. LIKE I CAN’T HANDLE LIFE OR GO FREAKING GROCERY SHOPPING WITHOUT MY ARMS BEING TIRED AND MY HIPS HURTING FROM MARBLE FLOORS LONG. FOR SO LONG THAT WALKING MORE THAN A LITTLE BIT CAUSES MY BRAIN TO WANT TO HAIL ONE OF THOSE GOLF CARTS THAT ARE PERPETUALLY IN MY VICINITY TO FERRY LOCAL LADIES AROUND. Well that shit has got to stop. And I’ve got to do it without a full race schedule to keep me motivated, or classes I love that are hella convenient to keep my attention in one place. Or easy access to any damn thing I want (like my climbing gym, my building yoga, my archery place and a walking-friendly city that I happen to love). I don’t have much in the way of a ‘Come To Jesus’ at the moment, just a ‘quit acting like you don’t know better you dumbass; what’s next? Going to try not eating again?’ warning to self. Self, you’re an idiot. You know better. You know what works. You know how to freaking do it. You liked your home video programs. You liked home yoga FOR YEARS. You also quit eating dairy AND DID NOT MISS IT. YOU ALSO WILL NOT DIE IF YOU DRINK TEA OUT INSTEAD OF COFFEE. COFFEE IS ALSO JUST FLAVORED WATER. YOU WILL NOT GO BANKRUPT IF YOU SPEND THE SAME AMOUNT ON HOT WATER AND A TEA BAG THAT YOU WOULD ON COFFEE YOU GENERALLY DON’T ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT. QUIT BEING A DAMN NINNY. Also, keep with keto, self. Your ass doesn’t really need carbs to keep it warm in the “winter”. Less carbs is good for you. Maybe try smaller portions. Eat more veggies again. Cool it on the keto convenience foods - you can do both Paleo & keto. It’s super not hard - not even in the Sandpit. You will not die. Think vegan + fat out if you damn have to. Salad won’t immediately give you Hepatitis. Probably. Also, you have a puppy that loves people and animals and an overly-active social life with a modicum of responsibility to keep up. Aaaaaaaaaand you should totally bring your marketing knowledge to bear on your social media endeavors. Also consider using that expensive ass coding education you just finished - if only to dick around. Hellooooooooooo, building a freelance portfolio full of actual shit. Work and a direction also would not kill you, though I’m not pushing hard for Q1 or Q2 in 2018. Let’s work on fitness first. Get back to where you’re happy and where your routine is thriving and we’ll talk. This shit could all disappear tomorrow and you may have to *gasp* un-retire. It could happen. Let’s not think about it. Travel. That’s going to happen for you too a bit this year. It’s going to take planning. Planning and stepping yet again out of that non-existent comfort zone you still want to consider clinging to. Plus the DH. He’s working a lot more than he has in years and years. Plan some shit for him to do so he doesn’t feel the grind so much and can step away from that game you want to firebomb on the daily. Ok. Enough wingeing (damn Europeans). On To The Goals. Goal The First Macros. Oooh. Such a departure. My keto macros are thus: 1318 calories (I don’t judge here, lest it make me crazy) 70g protein (21%) 20g or less net carbs (6%) 106g fat (73%) Goal The Second Work out. I’ll be starting slow here with 2x a week at the gym doing the NF beginner gym track. Goal The Second.5 1 “fun” workout a cycle. Something like finding a climbing gym, stand up paddle boarding, swim classes, or some sort of other something until I find something I want to inconvenience myself to do regularly. Goal The Third Walk the dog every day. It’s nice outside at night. She has short legs and doesn’t need much exercise, but appreciates it greatly. Goal The Fourth Learn how to play the dulcimer DH got me for Christmas. Not sure what form this will end up taking, but strides need to be made here. OTHER LEVEL UP YOUR LIFE GOALS NO FREAKING DAIRY, DAMMIT Find puppy daycare and socialization groups for Freya Plan fun things on the weekend Continue with socialization Find a hobby group to get involved with Find a way to volunteer my skills to keep them fresh - or just practice them Keep up with my social media pursuits and act like I actually know what I’m doing Consider building a real and actual freelance portfolio to attract dolla dollars bills yo Vacation like a damn boss Remember you’re a minimalist while spending all your damn time in the mall Also remember that one of your social media pursuits is a freaking food blog Take your camera out and use it KEEP ENGAGED WITH MY COMMUNITY AND MY FRIENDS EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE 8 HOURS (+) BEHIND YOU IN TIME (and you tend to only forum once a day after DH has gone to bed and while you’re watching copious amounts of not-tv aka YouTube) Ahem. QUIT WATCHING COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF NOT-TV GET ENOUGH WATER, YOU ARE NOT A JAWA Get a new Fitbit; let that little wrist demon shame your ass into action Learn Arabic, or at least try to do so According to my BuJo, this is what I have the mechanisms in place to track daily: Macros Calories Protein Net Carbs Fat Water Steps Workout Dog Walks Dulcimer (Lack of) Dairy Mood Stomach Mood Editorial Calendar Main Shit To Do/Done/Other Add-Ins The quantified life is not worth living, yo.
  25. Just two days after receiving the summons, Rhovaniel was back on familiar ground. For a moment, she stood and looked up at the Guildhall. Rebuilt just last year by their own hands after the attack, it nonetheless appeared timeless. They had made improvements here and there, but ultimately, they had been faithful to the original design, welcoming Rangers like her back home after long and often arduous journeys. A cold northerly wind whistled past her, reminding her that although it was slightly milder here than in the mountainous region where the Dúnedain made their home, it was still far from warm, and she hurried inside. Instant warmth greeted her. The fire was roaring in the grate, with several figures huddled round it, talking in low voices. A few rangers sat in shadowy corners, as was their custom. Usually, and in any other inn, Rhovaniel would be among them, but this was no ordinary visit to the Guildhall. “A large tea, if you would” she told the barkeep. “I’ve had plenty of ale lately.” “Often the case, this time of year. Even Rangers are not immune to the festivities, it seems.” “Oh, we know how to enjoy the merriment of the season, and still remain true to our aims, in the long term,” she smiled. The barkeep chuckled, and turned to refill the glass of another patron. Something cool in a long, slim glass for them. “Where might I find the Chaplain?” Rhovaniel asked when he’d finished. “In the back room. You heard about the Dandenite Ore?” “That’s why I’m here. I’m here to help get our hype back.” When she entered the back room, tea in hand, it was not just the Chaplain who looked up but many other familiar faces as well. Despite the grim circumstances, she found herself smiling as she greeted old and new friends. Her smile came from fond memories, and it was a few minutes before the Chaplain could call attention back to the task at hand. “Thank you to all who answered the summons. I’m sure others will join us, as and when they can. Long leagues separate us all, but we cannot afford to wait till we are all assembled. Each of you know the peril that we face. We have all weathered a challenge without hype, and most have seen far less success than usual. Not all of that is our own fault. The effect of Dandenite Ore is not to be taken lightly. Without the hype, it’s power will grow. Challenges conducted entirely without hype, battling the effects of Dandenite as well as all the enemy can throw at us…” “It would mean disaster,” Rhovaniel said quietly. “Even far up in the mountains, I have felt its effects. It’s not just this physical building. The Guildhall is part of us, wherever and however far we Rangers go. I think that somehow, whenever we choose the path of the Rangers, we also choose the Guildhall. It has an energy, somehow, and we are all connected to it.” “You’re right!” One of the other rangers chipped in from the corner. “I wasn’t even near the Guildhall last challenge, I was many, many leagues south of here, and still I felt it. My energy, my desire to do anything at all… it just wasn’t there. Only, back then I thought it just a consequence of the season.” Many of the others murmured their assent, but before it could turn into a discussion on everyone’s hypeless experiences, the Chaplain held up a hand and the room fell silent. “This must be the work of the enemy; whoever stole it – or ordered it to be stolen – must know how devastating it would be to the entire corps. We use the Grind when we can, but without the hype… how long can any of us last?” “Which enemy, I wonder?” Rhovaniel murmured softly, almost to herself. “So many have tried to thwart us before.” “We shall soon find out,” another Ranger answered grimly, throwing back her hood to reveal short blond hair and a determined look in her eye. Rhovaniel smiled, remembering an adventure together now some months past. “That we will.”
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