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  1. I sat out the last few challenges due to vacation/work travel/life. I've been on-again, off-again with working out and eating healthy (big surprise, I know). I was supposed to do a Spartan Sprint last weekend with coworkers but we ended up deferring due to collective injuries and conflicts (I am not injured but not prepared). I think we're going to be targeting a race in early November, which means I have 7 weeks to ACTUALLY TRAIN THIS TIME. As many races as I've done, every single I time I've undertrained...not just butterflies-at-the-starting-line-doubts, but clearly missed too many workouts to perform optimally. Long Term Goal: 25% body fat This Challenge Goal: Feel my Feels Reading one of the NF articles combined with some thoughts swirling around my crazy-brain made me realize...so many of my struggles are coming from a place of anxiety. My poor eating choices, and maybe even my various maladies (headaches and gut issues) which wear me out and drain my motivation to work out. Those moments in the store where I grab the bag of processed carbs, I'm feeling despair, hating myself for being weak, desperately wanting to feel better. I'm eating (and drinking) and watching TV, even reading, out of that desperation - needing that instant numbing and pick-me-up. I KNOW that I feel better when I work out (seriously don't know how people who don't feel the endorphin rush work out ever), but that place of feeling like I might cry or scream in groundless misery is not a place of energy. I'm simultaneously wound up and drained by anxiety. So this challenge...I'm going to try not to numb/drown the feelings. Getting back into the meditation habit and being more mindful of my choices is a start. I've been succumbing to the sucky feels - fighting back starts with understanding. As a reality check, work right now is not even particularly stressful - I'm just not handling it well. Goal #1: Move 5x/week For the endorphins. Any combination of yoga/running/walking/spartan workouts/spin/climbing. Running-crying counts too. Goal #2: Mindful shopping and eating I know how to cook reasonably balanced meals. I'm not aiming for perfect paleo, but roughly: Breakfast - protein, Lunch - protein + veg, Dinner - protein + veg + carb I'm still struggling to find a way to balanced eating, but I'm tired of that post-work feeling-like-I'm-going-to-meltdown induced stop at the grocery store for cheese or chips. I've even fallen back into my popcorn addiction (I know it can be a healthy snack, but not the way I make it, ha). The real goal is, every time I want to buy/eat something unhealthy, to: Write down what I want and what I'm feeling Take 3 deep breaths (or start a meditation through the Calm app) As needed/available, use a non-food mood booster If I still want it, have it Ideally I will only eat unhealthy things when I am in a mental space to fully enjoy them, rather than a space of please-anything-to-make-it-better. Goal #3: Wake early, Meditate daily Just do it. Bed at 9. Lights out by 10. Up at 5. THE PREPARATION I'm pre-paying for a year of Calm so I HAVE to use it to get my money's worth. I will buy the yoga pass with gift cards, and pre-book my classes for the whole challenge Stock the fridge with healthy easy staples: Steamfresh veggies, deli meat, eggs Make a list of mood-boosters that are not food/alcohol Make a list of healthy quick meals/snacks and post it in the kitchen Give fiance $50, and if I miss a workout it gets donated to Trump's 2020 campaign *shudder*. If I hit all my workouts I'll buy new running shoes. THE REASONS JULY 2018 WEDDING!!! I bought my dress and even though I love it, I don't love how my upper arms look right now. Gotta work on those guns. Christmas in Spain - For one this is with my skinny sisters and mom and I'm sick and tired of being the heavy one in the pictures. I want to be able to indulge (TAPAS AND WINE) without feeling like I'm being judged by my mom, looking at me and thinking "this is why you're overweight". I wore holes in my size 10 jeans, and instead of buying new ones I squeezed into my size 8's. Since gaining weight again (142-->152lb) they are tight. I'm not buying bigger jeans. Spartan Sprint in November? My coworker is trying to talk me into doing a Spartan Trifecta next year. But based on my Sprint training track record I'm not ready to commit. But #1 is wanting to feel better all the time. Psst this is my wedding dress: Obviously this is not me. But the flower pattern in the fabric shimmers. Also it's sooooo comfy.
  2. While I consider the last challenge a success (at very least a solid "B" grade), I realized something: I need variety. Routine became...too routine. The constant parkour drilling was good, but both my mind and body cried out for a little something else to mix things up. My body ached for the yoga routine I once had but let slip over the summer. My Barbarian Mind cried out for something a bit martial-artsy. I kept my daily meditation routine through the whole process, so that was good. But the bottom line is I need to mix things up a bit. In the spirit of variety, I don't have a very specific blueprint for this challenge. I don't have specific SMART goals, as is customary for my usual NF challenge. I suppose that makes it a bit of an anti-challenge. I want to keep the parkour routine going, practicing/ drilling 3x/ week. Doing this 4x/ week proved to be a bit taxing on the body. Beyond that, I want to experiment with some things. I want to add yoga back into the routine, in a way that is manageable and easy to remember. I also want to play with some weapon-like stuff, for the physical and mental discipline, but mainly for the fun of it. Swinging a bokken suburi-style has been good in the last week. So has knife-throwing (I have an excellent target in an old stump behind the garage). Expect to see both make an appearance in the next challenge. I just don't know how much of it to do yet, or at what rate. I guess that's the ultimate goal, finding the right balance, and the right variety. The parameters of this challenge are likely to ebb and flow over the next few weeks. As is the frequency of my posting. This just tends to be my way. The Barbarian Way.
  3. Mistr

    Mistr makes time

    Mistr Makes Time Challenge 32 I've been thinking about the things I'm struggling with. They all come down to me being unhappy about how what I want to do matches up with what I actually do. I used to think this was a time management problem. Now I think that is the wrong approach. I'm not spending much time goofing off. This is not about being more efficient. It is about thinking about time and choices from a whole different angle. Part I - Why do I want to do this? I enjoy it It will help me reach my goals It will make my life better It will make my family's life better Someone is pressuring me to do it I am making a bet that this will pay off down the line Part II - Is now the right time for this? yes - this is urgent and needs to get done yes - this is something that fits well in the time between other things yes - this task has risen to the top of my list no - I need to check with other people first no - someone else has taken responsibility for this no - this is not important enough to spend time doing now, if ever Hopefully answering these two questions will help me choose the things to do that will make me a happier camper and make my life better. I want to reduce my stress level by taking off some of the pressure to do ALL THE THINGS. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to do more things than I have time to do. At this point in my life, most of the pressure is coming from me - not other people. No one gets on my case at home if I let my cleaning tasks slide. Certainly no one complains if I don't do creative projects. My family is likely to push me to do aikido because I am a nicer person when I practice. They don't ask for much. I feel responsible all on my own. I'm not sure yet how I will track this. I'm still going to make lists so that it is easier for me to remember stuff on my wish list and see progress. I like the way @chemgeek and @Xena have been tracking tasks. TBD
  4. This challenge I'm going to take my hippy/druidy stuff to a new level. I will be kind and forgiving towards myself, and take care of myself to the best of my ability. Eating rules for this challenge: The 'eat, stand still, shift' I learned in this course. Basically it means: 1) See that you're about to eat things you don't need/binge. Project the things your body is promising you for eating on an imaginary screen. (pleasure, escaping boredom, etc.) 2) Stand still for a moment to see what is happening. Be in the moment, be mindful. Look at that imaginary screen from a distance. 3) Shift your attention to the bigger picture/something else. Kick, punch, push that imaginary screen away, and shift your focus on something else. And for the fitness part of this challenge: Dancing off course. Had you really thought something else? I'm addicted, and I'm fully committed to feed this addiction with as much dance as my body allows me to do. Off course I 'll keep listening to my body. I will push myself, but never go to far. My life goal this challenge is very simple: use the pomodoro technique when appropriate, use todo lists when I start feeling overwhelmed and just get stuff done.
  5. Main Quest: Resilient and Radiant Hi everybody! My name is Annyshay. I'm an assassin adventurer from Hyrule. I've been wandering these wilds for quite some time now, but there's always more to practice and learn. I am committed to recovery (anxiety, depression, disordered eating, etc) in order to seek adventure and inspire others to rise up. Feel free to check out my battle log if you'd like more backstory and/or nitty-gritty details. Last challenge went really well. Let's not mess with it too much, aye? (Remember Steve's article? We are Groot.) In order to collect an ingredient, Annyshay must complete one session or at least 5 minutes of one of the following activities... Mighty Bananas = body weight movement Endura Carrot = active recovery Raw Prime Meat = meal prep Hyrule Herb = homemade food Hearty Radish = intentional time in the Wild Staminoka Bass = breathe Fresh Milk = cold showers Bonus Ingredients (Varies) = anything I deem "Worth It" Sound good? Let's get cooking!!!
  6. 1. Strong Enough to Shoulder It He grabbed the Librarian by two handfulls of chest hair and pulled him up to eye height.'I'm not bloody well going to have it, understand?' Vimes shouted, shaking the ape back and forth. 'Oook,' the Librarian pointed out, patiently.'What? Oh. Sorry,' Vimes lowered the ape, who wisely didn't make an issue of it because a man angry enough to lift three hundred pounds of Orangutan without noticing is a man with too much on his mind. -- Guards, Guards Goal: Lift Heavy Things (preferably not Orangutans) 3 times a week 2. The End of Cake Winder's mind felt even fuzzier than it had done over the past few years, but he was certain about cake. He'd been eating cake, and now there wasn't any. Through the mists he saw it, apparently close but, when he tried to reach it, a long way away. A certain realization dawned on him. "Oh," he said. YES, said Death. "Not even time to finish my cake?" NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE. -- Night Watch Goal: Take a month off from sugar My diet has tightened up a lot, but damn do I still have a sweet tooth. I'm going to make an effort to cut out anything with processed sugar - sodas, sweet tea, cookies, etc. etc. 3. Long Arm of the Law 'It seems I've only got to be unwell for a few days and you manage to upset everyone of any importance in this city.' 'Sir.' 'Was that a yes, sir or a no, sir, Sir Samuel?' 'It was just a sir, sir.' Lord Vetinari glanced at a piece of paper. 'Did you really punch the president of the Assassins' Guild?' 'Yes, sir.' 'Why?' 'Didn't have a dagger, sir.' -- Feet of Clay Goal: Heavy Bag Workouts 5 days a week Goal: Swim Cardio 2 days a week My new gym has a heavy bag and a pool. The heavy bag is a great warm-up before I lift weights, and it's also a fine Act 1 before I do a longer bout of cardio work in the pool. I'm trying to get to the gym every day, so the heavy bag will be my warm-up every time that I do. Special Long-Term Quest: Cholesterol II Vimes carefully lifted the top of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and smiled inwardly. Good old Cheery. She knew what a Vimes BLT was all about. It was about having to lift up quite a lot of crispy bacon before you found the miserable, skulking vegetables. You might never notice them at all. -- Thud! Goal: Lower cholesterol numbers (significantly) by September. OK that doctor's appointment has finally been scheduled for September 19, next week. My cardio is better, my weight is down, but I may need to go ahead and start with the cholesterol meds if my numbers haven't dropped.
  7. I'm Severine and this is my first challenge with the rangers. I was in the rebel guild for a long time and finally decided it's time I branched out a little. One of the reasons I stayed so long with the rebels was my difficulty in choosing a guild. I like bodyweight training and rock climbing, I like walking and hiking and exploring, I like barbell-based strength training and aspire to do more of it, and one of my goals is to condition for running and do a 5K sometime soon. Oh and I am doing a lot of work on mindset stuff and just recently started meditating. Plus I just got sucked into OCR stuff by @Sylvaa and @NeverThatBored and @fleaball...so a little bit of almost everything. Eventually I decided that if my problem was my inability to choose between a million different things, there is a decent chance I belong with the rangers. It helped that @Tanktimus the Encourager sweeps periodically through the forums, proclaiming the supreme friendliness and general excellence of his home guild to anyone who will listen I'm in an interesting transition period of my life right now. This past winter, I shut down my small farm and since then I have been teaching ESL at a local community centre, trying to figure out what comes next for me. I was in farming for ~6 years and in law before that, but for various reasons neither of those professions feel like the right place for me right now. I do enjoy teaching ESL but am not completely sure if that's where I want to stay indefinitely. One thing I do know is that I really enjoyed running my own business, and am currently leaning toward starting starting my own little company, whether it be ESL tutoring or one of the other ideas I have. Transition times can be a great chance to establish new habits and re-evaluate priorities, so this is a great opportunity. However, times of unrest where I don't have a firm routine are also the times I am, historically, most likely to go off the rails and relapse into really unhealthy old patterns. So I want to be vigilant and make sure this is a time of progressive unrest rather than regressive. I struggle with anxiety, binge/disordered eating, and insomnia, and these are all things that are easier to manage if I have a solid foundation of healthy behaviour and self-care, so there's a lot of incentive. Food is my biggest health challenge, both recently and throughout my entire life since I was a preteen. Heh. It's funny: that sentence is a bizarrely sanitary way to represent decades of tears and self-loathing and denial and dysfunction and food-based self harm. I don't want to go into the whole story but I feel like I need to signal it's there, underneath everything. Anyway. This challenge I'm going to focus pretty heavily on food and try some brave/scary new things in that area, as well as work to solidify and improve exercise and mental health habits for a well-rounded approach. My hope is that this challenge will get me on an even keel and prepare me to start some more ambitious training for the October challenge, so that I'm less unready when the Spartan Sprint rolls around in November. THE GOALS! FOOD Bright line ban on foods that I have repeatedly shown I cannot handle in moderation: Chocolate, ice cream, fast food of any kind, soda of any kind including calorie-free Note, this is the scary/hard part. But I also have good reason to think it's the right approach - I did this once before just with chocolate and it was shocking to me how much easier it was to cut it out than to try to moderate it. I felt awesome. So going to bring it back and expand it to all my binge trigger foods. No caffeine after noon Food tracking every day Minimum three servings of freggies a day Calorie deficit when averaged over the week ACTIVITY Exercise for at least thirty minutes every day. Most days my basic exercise is a 30-minute walk in the morning. In addition, once per week find an interesting bit of nature to go walk around in for at least 45 minutes. This good for me both physically and mentally. The Japanese call it 'forest bathing'. Autumn is my favourite season so this is a delightful time to do this. Start the Elements training program from GMB and do a minimum of three sessions per week. MINDSET AND LIFE Meditate using the Headspace app every day (preferably earlier in the day but not required) Update my Hobonichi Do at least one thing from my giant to-do list every day Spend at least ten minutes a day on foreign language learning Go to bed by 11:30 Go to therapy every week So there we have it. These goals represent a good picture of what balance looks like for me and if I can get all of these habits as a default mode of living it will be a powerful platform from which to launch myself into a dazzling array of ambitious and exciting new projects and adventures.
  8. Hello there, Druids! I am very excited to be joining my first challenge with your Guild. My name is Equinoxe, I love cooking and funky sunglasses. Pleased to meet you! For my challenge, I wanted to focus on deepening my mindfulness/meditation practice. I thought I might find some wonderful like-minded company here. I'm a big fan of nerdy themed-challenges. Wouldn't want to leave home without one! I'm ambitious, so I'm kicking off what will (hopefully!) be the first of many meditation-centered challenges. The mindful and spirited nature of Airbending came to mind. So without further ado - Equinoxe's Airbender Challenge Mindful Study: Reading and Practice My goal is an hour a day of solid mindfulness practice: 30 minutes of reading/study, 15 minutes of meditation in the morning, 15 minutes at night. It's a more rigorous schedule than I've ever tried, but work's never been more rigorous than it is right now. I get the feeling that some discipline here will help a lot! Mindful Moving: Hit the gym 4x per week Pretty self-explanatory. I did 3x in the last challenge, and felt great! My biggest challenge will be making sure I hit all four. I hate routines, and so it's difficult when to predict I'll be able to make it in for a workout. If it comes to two-a-days on a Saturday, so be it! Mindful Eating: No Distractions! I have a habit of eating while working, eating while surfing the web, eating while nervous... My goal is to eat 3 meals a day (with no distractions) and to be more mindful of my urges when I want a snack. This means no eating while I'm working at the office! I'll take a break and have a snack. No snacking while walking from meeting to meeting! Just no. Same with snacking while stressed! Nope. I will sit in a meeting and munch a salad or sip my soylent (yes, I know) like a GROWN LADY. But no more downing chocolate on-the-go because I need an energy kick. Life Goal: Build the Sanctuary This is a hold-over from the last challenge, but I really want to see it through. I have a spare bedroom that's been holding unused furniture ever since I moved into my apartment. My goal is to sell all the furniture, fix up the room, and turn it into a dedicated meditation and movement space. Excited to get this challenge underway! I'll be spending Week 0 doing minor tests, to see what pitfalls I might run into with the challenge. There's no way I'll be an Airbending Master in 4 weeks, but it's a good place to start! Here we go!
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