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  1. Hi everyone!!! I cannot believe that I have never came across this webpage before. Since I am a huge dork and overall fitness/health fanatic this seems like a great idea for like-minded with similar goals. I know it have been a while since the mass effect trilogy ended, but deal with this. I picked Commander Shepard as my inspiration for this four week challenge because regardless if you are paragon or renegade Shepard, she is determined and perseveres. And who doesn't want the body of the elite group of N7's from the Alliance Navy. Quest One - Fitness: Run 15 km per week I want to up my endurance and run a half marathon this summer, Shepard definitely cannot be huffing and puffing behind everyone else. Quest Two - Fitness: 100 burpees per week I have a love/hate relationship with burpees but it is an efficient way to get a quick full body workout in. Quest Three - Diet & Budget: Do not buy food out No post gym smoothie. No lunches from the cafeteria or buying tea while I am at work. I waste my money and end up eating food that is not healthy when I eat out. Shepard has to save money to buy more important things such as armour upgrades or fish for her fish tank and I have to pay off my student loan. Life Quest: Find one positive thing about myself everyday I am hypercritical of myself and Femshep is one confident badass. I am going to write down one positive thing about myself per day. It can be anything from a personality trait or something that I did that day that I was proud of. Best of luck to everyone with their quests - Akaviri
  2. Hey everybody =) I'm working up new themes these past few challenges. Last time was Dresden Files, and this time is another of my favorite worlds! I'm going to be spending most of this challenge focused on gathering data to figure out how I work best. That's going to include tracking calories, hours of sleep, energy levels, and more. I need to get to know myself the way Garrus knows Normandy. So, if anyone is looking for me this challenge... Yeah. Garrus is easily the best character in all 3 Mass Effect games (what do you mean they made a fourth one? You're clearly delusional.) There are lots of great personalities aboard Normandy, but nobody can hold a candle to this guy. So, goals. 1) We're in this 'til the end. Track one hundred percent of food intake with MFP. There's really not a lot of room for negotiation here. Normally I'm happy if I land 80% of a goal, but 80% of data is not good. In fact, it's pretty much useless. Which means I'm going to have to swallow my embarrassment on days when I go over, and log faithfully regardless of what the number is. 2) After what I've been through lately, calibrating a giant gun is a vacation. Gives me something to focus on. Yeah, things have been a little rough the past couple of months. Hopefully drilling down into numbers and spreadsheets will give my brain something to work with. The goal is to make entries in the daily log. This also has to be 100%. The entries are quick, only about 5 columns in a spreadsheet. I am recording the hours of sleep I got the previous night, the total caloric intake for the day, a subjective rating on my energy level (Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Awesome), and any notes I think might be pertinent. At the end of each week, I am recording the total of the 7 days' calories, a 'weekly deficit' (maintenance goal minus actual intake) and stepping on the scale to figure out where I'm at. 3) We can disobey suicidal orders? Why wasn't I told? Okay, so goal 3 has to be something physical, but hard physical work outside of my kung fu has a tendency to make me ill. And sad, because it sucks to be sick. Last two times I tried it I ended up with 12-day sinus infections that kicked my ass up and down and required antibiotics to treat. So, I'm disobeying that 'suicidal order' and I'm going to start by adding some simple chi gung exercises a few times a week. I actually know the ba duan jin (the Eight Pieces of Brocade) routine from a much earlier time in my life, so that's what I'll be starting with. Combine that with some half-hour walks at work (yay summertime) throughout the week and I should be getting some light additional activity without hurting myself. Honestly, I'm not sure why I'm so physically limited. Some people seem to be able to do ridiculous amounts of training and be fine. I apparently just don't have that ability, or maybe it's just a baseline of fitness I haven't reached yet. Regardless, all I can do is all I can do, so I'll do what I can.
  3. PATHFINDER TEAM NEW RECRUIT: STARPUCK Pathfinders are the "tip of the spear" for exploring new worlds. Pathfinders are trained to improve the viability of potential planets, initiate first contact with unknown species, find suitable outpost sites, and handle any external threats before the first colonist touches soil. Recruit Dossier: Starpuck Female, 5'2" 155lb Ranger Archetype, N7 Graduate, Rampage Squadron Notes: Upon academy acceptance, did not rank in the upper percentile of classes and testing but showed great determination and perseverance throughout the courses and field training. Team skills are a strong point, as is the ability to lead as a subordinate. Capable marksman, physically strong, and well adapted to creative, "outside-the-box" thinking. Assignment: Andromeda Initiative, Ghost Squadron EXPLORATION GOALS Finding sustainable food sources that will provide beyond minimal needs is an essential mandate for the Pathfinder teams. Any potential planet must be capable of providing the required nutrients for ongoing health and training, as well as ensure increased health and vitality. SUSTAINABLE FOOD SOURCES - Produce; fruits and vegetables 5 servings/day Fruit: 1-1.5 servings per day Vegetables: 4 servings per day PROBIOTIC/IMMUNE BOOSTING RESOURCES - Healthy cultures; yogurt, kombucha, natural teas daily [I will be trying a challenge where I do not track my calories, but will be tracking what I eat. I'd like to get my gut into better working order, and I'd like to fill up on foods that promote health and satiety without a lot of garbage calories. To strive for this, I will be focusing on eating more fruits and veggies at each meal, as well as trying to do some of my own cooking ahead of time. I'm also going to be adding more variety into my food plan. I have been eating the exact same thing during the work week for years.] COMBAT PREP While exploration of viable planets is the forefront of the pathfinder's mission, they must be prepared for the high likelihood of encountering dangerous fauna. Well trained members will be capable of handling rigorous encounters with both beast, and potentially aggressive native inhabitants. ENDURANCE TRAINING - Movement; activity based on increasing heart rate and engaging respiratory system. Aerobic-Anaerobic Zone: 2x/week [running, hockey] Temperate Zone: 1x/week [walk] STRENGTH TRAINING - Functional strength improvement; designed to keep the pathfinder in peak shape for a wide range of potential risks. Strength Training: 3x/week [bodyweight, pull ups, balance focused movements, some barbells] [Maintaining the usual routine here. The goal is to move with intent six times per week. Walks, even ones that are slower or unweighted will count toward this and not act as a rest day. Trying to shift the mental focus from 'this will make me look better' to 'this will make ME better - stronger - healthier - more capable" as I have too long struggled with results driven motivation.] DATA ACQUISITION AND ANALYSIS Acquiring and analyzing the data that the pathfinder team has is essential to determining if the new world has potential for success. Detailed information must be gained over a period of at least four weeks for accurate analysis. DOCUMENTATION, STATISTICAL - Bullet Journal; keep track of all important factors for analysis. Daily: Food, exercise, health stats. Daily: To do, appointments, reminders. Weekly: Goals, calendar, upcoming events. Weekly: Upload picture to database of exploration progress with a positive commendation. DOCUMENTATION, ARTISTICAL - Art; Per Week Total of 5 Days MangaStudio Work - 3x Sketches, detailed or doodled - 2x Tutorial Work - Search for online classes, books, youtube channels. - D&D Campaign; weekly progress required. [The reading the bible and daily Tank-inspired affirmations are no longer goals... because they are habits. I do them without thinking now and do not need to keep track of them in a journal, or as a challenge goal because I have done both, almost to perfection, since October of last year! The art is almost there, but the D&D work needs to be mentally reminded. Want to keep up with, and get better with, the BuJo. I think this could turn into a really good long term resource. A return of an oldie but goodie, is the self-love pic with affirmation. Remind me on this one guys!] In addition to the daily/weekly goals, I will be posting a list of things I'd like to work on getting done over the next four weeks. I will likely put that into the second post, along with more concise outline of goals and things to track. But, with the basics figured out. Let's get to work.
  4. For this quest I'm taking advice from the dark side of Mass Effect - the Reapers. Life's gone crazy, and it's time to assume direct control. Main quest - Reclaiming the health bar Now that some very, very big things got taken care of last challenge (nasty roommate evicted, hired in at work, Whole 30) I need to get some of the basics back on track, while keeping the progress that was made. I wasn't as consistent as I would have liked to be with workouts, but it was definitely a step up from where I was. I've noticed a lot of improvements in my strength and endurance, and I know I'm much calmer than I was 1-2 months ago, but there's still a lot of loose ends that need picked up. So it's time to ratchet up the game a bit: Side quest 1 - Food tracking (Con+2) Now that I'm done with Whole 30, I want to keep track of my food 6 days a week on LifeSum to make sure that I don't start going off on bad habits again. Ice cream one day isn't a bad thing, but ice cream 3 days in a row needs to be addressed, that type of thing. I'll also keep a log here on my challenge thread as well. I'm going to try to stay under my calorie limit, which does adjust daily based on my activity level (have I ever mentioned how much I love my smartphone? Technology is amazing.) Side quest 2 - Fitness (+3End, +2Str) Bit of a 2-in-one, but I want to make sure I'm getting in 6 exercise sessions per week until I get done with the couch to 5k, after which I want to do 5 total; 2 runs and 3 strength. I do want to ride my bike for work and errands as much as possible as well, but that'll be a bit of a bonus rather than actually part of the challenge. Bonus a - 1 precision/parkour training session outside at the park per week. Bonus b - Bike to work all 5 days, + church sunday Side quest 3 - Meditation (Wis+2) I have some aspects of my mental health coming back under control, but I know I'm still waaaay more stressable than I should be overall, and that needs to be addressed. I want to start meditating at least once a day again, 6 days a week. I'm going to aim for 15 minutes per day, but for week 1 I will accept anything that's at least 5-10 minutes. Life quest - Guitar (+3Cha, +1Dex) This fell almost completely to the wayside during the stress of evicting my roommate then cleaning up after she left, so I'm going to push it back to the top of my priority list by sticking it on here. I was able to get myself to practice once or twice a week the past couple weeks, but I need to set up time 3 times a week, at least a half-hour per, for guitar. Bonus - 1 hour of piano a week (more is awesome, but only 1 hour will count) Those are the main aspects of the quest; a lot of these will involve some scheduling on my part that I'll aim to get done this week before the actual challenge starts so I have them on my agenda, and I want to start making sure the items I put on said agenda get taken care of, hence the emphasis on control this challenge. I need to say to all the madness and stress in my life: I've already started making dual lists of things I can/need to do that do or don't require sunlight, since my day is split oddly due to a 2nd shift schedule.
  5. Originally I had no idea what I wanted for this next challenge. But, after talking with a wise and true friend on Sunday, my brain started working. What are the things I need to accomplish during the time frame? Key moments are: - April 16, Boston Athletic Association 5k - April 24, PAXEast Great. So, I know I'm running, and the next week there will be a long Sunday with good friends, where I will hopefully discover some fun and interesting games. Which means I really need to step up my running game over the next two weeks. Other than that, I have a big problem. For much too long, I have been allowing myself the idea that I have no control when free and available food is offered, and simply doing whatever in those moments. This wasn't such a problem when I was being less social overall, but recently my number of social encounters has gone up, which means that this idea is now directly opposed to my wants, desires, and progress. Thus, the theme of the challenge. I decided a little Mass Effect wouldn't hurt. Goals for this month are as follows: Run 2x/week starting right now. There is no time to waste on this, the race gets closer and closer every day. Fortunately I already know that I can run a 5k, which means that all I'm doing is making sure that I do so respectably. Forge a morning routine that includes at least 10 minutes of meditation. Every day is better when I do this. It's necessary, and I need to stop allowing myself to think that it's not. Practice mindfulness around eating at all times, with particular attention to social encounters where food is available. The idea that I have no control in these situations is hereby once and for all declared FICTION, and has absolutely no relevance to real life going forward. I know that I will struggle, and I know that I will fail as I fight this life-long fiction, but dammit, I WILL REWRITE THIS STORY. That's it. All of this is surrounded of course by my attending martial arts class as much as possible; a habit and activity at which I am already well-accomplished. In May we've got our Pride Day demonstration coming up (sounds like I might get to be on the drums this year!), and then in early June the Wu Dao tournament to attend. There's also a book to write, but I've decided against making it part of my challenge here. Added pressure is not helping with that process right now, as the alchemy of my brain is actually getting more resistant under pressure, where usually the opposite occurs. So it's just a thing I'm working on, that's all. A project which deserves completion.
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