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  1. The last challenge I started over. I decided to take the first steps down the dark and scary path toward being fit. I aim to continue that journey this challenge and hopefully pick up the pace a bit. I have been fairly successful at keeping my arch nemesis the peanut butter ninja at bay but he still creeps past my defenses every once in a while and strikes. This challenge I am going to focus on keeping my calories in check, beating the peanut butter ninja, and getting to the gym while following my selected lifting program. Current Stats: Sex: Male Age: 35 Height: 5’10†Weight: 247.2 lbs. Stomach: ??" Chest: ??" Neck: ??" Bicep: ??" Main Quest: Get below 20% body fat this year. I currently stand at about 32% body fat. This is not healthy for me at all. I am hoping that at the end of the year I can be about 50 lbs. lighter but the weight is only an indicator of my progress. If I end up at 20% body fat and am nowhere near 200 lbs. I will be fine with it. Once I hit 20% I will set my next goal to drop additional body fat. Challenge Goal 1: Count my calories as accurately as possible. My goal is to average 1,800 calories (or less) per day for the entire challenge. Calories will be tracked on My Fitness Pal. Graded weekly, the final grade will be an average of the weekly grades A = 1800 Calories per day B = 1900 Calories per day C = 1950 Calories per day D = 2000 Calories per day E = More than 2100 Calories per day Challenge Goal 2: Defeat the peanut butter ninja. I have a very bad habit of ruining my daily calorie count by eating peanut butter. Peanut butter by itself isn’t a terrible thing unless you eat 1,000 calories of it at a time (like I do). I tend to grab the jar and a spoon when I get the urge. This challenge I am removing peanut butter from my eating habits all together. No peanut butter at all during the entire challenge. Graded weekly, the final grade will be based on the total number of days I went without peanut butter. A = 95% of the days B = 90% of the days C = 85% of the days D = 80% of the days F = less than 80 % of the days Challenge Goal 3: Continue going to the gym and lifting. I am on the final week of my current program and my lifting partner and I will be selecting a new program this week. It will likely be a 4 to 6 week lifting program. My goal is to be in the gym every morning I am scheduled to be there. Grading will be done weekly to evaluate where I am at but the final grade will be based on the number of days I make it to the gym throughout the challenge. A = 95% of the days B = 90% of the days C = 85% of the days D = 80% of the days F = less than 80 % of the days
  2. Hey everyone! I can't wait to meet you all and show you a couple of my fave places in my beloved Des Moines Date: Saturday, March 1st (time TBD) We will start off at: Brenton Skating Plaza 520 Robert D Ray Dr Des Moines, IA 50309-1824 We're obviously going ice skating, and Brenton is an outdoor skating arena, so wear several layers and bring plenty of gloves, hats, scarves, etc. Also, it costs $6 for admission and $3.50 for ice skate rentals. However, if there are 10 or more people, it will only cost $7 per person. This is one reason that it would be fantastic for everyone to commit as soon as possible, so I know what kind of numbers we're looking at, but either way, no big deal. For more information about Brenton, check out: http://brentonplaza.com/ We will then be going to my favorite restaurant, Zombie Burger The food's delicious, it's a really fun atmosphere and it's undoubtedly one of a kind. The restaurant is literally two blocks away from the skating plaza and has been my hangout spot since it opened in August 2011. They also have really creative shakes, spiked shakes and a full bar. For more information, here's their website, along with the menu: http://www.zombieburgerdm.com/ If everyone would like and if we had time, we could go over to UpDown (which is also a couple blocks away; all of the places we're going are in the East Village). drink beer and play arcade games http://updowndsm.com/ Or, we could just stay at Zombie Burger and drink there Either way, it's going to be a blast! As far as accommodations, I would definitely let you guys stay with me if I had my own place, but I don't yet. I would suggest finding a hotel near the airport, which is about 10 minutes away from the East Village, where we'll be spending our time. There are some very nice hotels in downtown DM, but they will be pricier. Here's a link to some airport hotels: http://www.tripadvisor.com/HotelsNear-g37835-qDSM-Des_Moines_Iowa.html Confirmed nerds so far: SnowWhite FalseAesop Wufkar SammyShark mmitchell151 Bananandrea And lastly, please reply if you are still planning on attending, and let me know if you have any questions; I'd be more than happy to answer them! I'd recommend everyone post their challenge thread or battle blog so we can get to know each other a bit before the meet up. I can't wait! Battle on, Nerds. Cheers! -SnowWhite
  3. Name: 18ck Class and Race and All That: Ferret Demon and Free-Range Scout Level: 4 Stuff I like: Readin' Runnin' and Rowin' Lard Content: 12 st 7 ib (drifted up slightly...) Starting Stats: STR 8 | DEX 7 | STA 13 | CON 9 | WIS 9 | CHA 4 Total: 50 This challenge is going to be a bit more subdued than the last one, with no sound effects or anything. March is going to be a busy, busy month - the last month before a big project deadline - and this usually means sitting down a lot, with my head in the computer, not sleeping much, not seeing the light of day, hunching over, snacking and generally not doing well. Last time around I gained a lot of weight. But this time, I have a plan. It's a plan that keeps me busy and keeps me moving forward on my core goals without being too demanding of time. I also want to keep some variety and keep it interesting without making unrealistic expectations of the amount of time I'll have. I'm also going to do a proper points scoring system this time rather than "we-e-ell, this feels like a sort of B+" which is a bit wishy-washy really. Fitness 1: Run Faster At least 1 short, fast run and 1 long run per week, aiming to improve technique and run faster without necessarily expending a lot more effort - building on some of the drills we looked at in the mini-challenge and aiming not to waste a lot of momentum in messy landings. Scoring: Just do the runs=C; Improve and do a full circuit of Richmond Park in 1 hr = B; 58 min = A; 55 min = A+ [Current PB for this distance: 1 hour dead, but that was a couple of years ago, and I just about did myself in, so 55 minutes is ambitious, to say the least!] Points on offer: 1 STA, 1 STR, 3 DEX Fitness 2: Get Lighter Eschew the ways of the caramel-filled wafer (7AM-start-food), shun the home-baked goodness, lose the "it's probably paleo" excuse when faced with a fry-up and stick to proper healthy food, aiming to lose weight, not gain it, and shooting for 12 st (that's a loss of 7lb). Scoring: Gain Weight: Fail, Maintain: D, Lose 1lb = C; 3lb=B; 4lb=B+; 5lb=A-; 6lb = A; 7lb or dare I say more =A+ Points on Offer: 2 CON, 2 CHA Fitness 3: Keep Moving and Keep It Interesting Don't just sit there - Take a break once an hour and walk about for a bit Do at least one bout of proper get-you-out-of-breath exercise of some kind once a day - strength or stretch, Try at least one new and different exercisey thing per week(end). Possible items to include A handstand, Rock Climbing, Revolving Plank of Doom, Some new yoga pose...? (Any suggestions most welcome) Scoring: Start with 100 points and lose one for each day with inadequate breaks and one for each day with no exercise, add five for each week I do a new interesting thing (so max possible =130) If I get 130 that's an A+; 120 or more is A, 110 or more is a B 100 or more a C, and so on Points on Offer: 3 points to be determined by whatever exercises I find to do and what sort of good they seem to be doing me Level Up: Portuguese (De Certeza!) Work through 2 more chapters of Lathrop and Dias with exercises over the course of the challenge; Watch the RTP news at breakfast at least 3 days a week and do at least one "thing" per day - so if not one of the above then at least listen to a podcast or read a bit of portuguese text. Scoring: Unbroken Streak for 42 days, plus both chapters read and 3 days a week of news = A. If I go beyond that substantially with some feat of linguistic heroism then it's an A+. Any breakage in the streak goes down to a B, then C (if I don't finish the chapters and watch the news) and D (If I don't manage to do either). I'll only call it an outright fail if I capitulate completely and don't touch the Portuguese books for a week or more due to work. Points on Offer: 3 WIS Bonus Rounds: Gold Dubloons - let's grab 'em and go! Here are some things I am going to try to shoehorn in somewhere along the way: Take the final, practical stage of the Thames Tideway Steering Certificate ("Steercert"), which will give me a lot more freedom of movement to scull independently Some Librivox Volunteering - preferably recording but given the time sitch, more likely proof-listening Give Blood Get my teeth cleaned by the hygienist Have a week without coffee. I AM NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS but it just seemed like a good idea to see what I was like as a baseline without nature's life-giving nectar. A week should be enough to feel like I have stared into the Abyss and it has stared back into me...
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