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  1. Respawning 5 years his after last post, with starting stats 50 pounds heavier than his last character, Stag looks to the sky and finds inspiration in the form of a technicolor nebula: 18 constellations, 18 skills to level up. He picks a few stars to follow for 4 weeks, and sets off on a journey toward holistic vitality. Goal 1: Bike Across Connecticut. Go to the gym and stationary bike for 6 miles 3 times a week. Gain ~6 EXP Hours toward Biking. Goal 2: Day to Savor the Flavor. Mindfully eat for 24 hours: Mindfully savor 2 meals a day for at least 25 minutes each. Gain ~20 EXP Hours in Nutrition. Goal 3: Counseling Apprentice. Complete 14 hours of course work and career development outside of class each week. Gain ~50 EXP Hours in Research and Counseling. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ How Does This System Work? Why Are You Doing This? Rational: When I used to use the use the forum, it was cool to role play 6 week challenges with D&D'esque RPG stats. I enjoyed the role playing and leveling up, but I never really played D&D, so it always felt a little detached for me. I also didn't like how stats leveled so quickly with each challenge, and how these inflated stats felt very arbitrary. My 20 STR could like very different than your 20 STR. I resolved to make my own system based on the RPG I know best: Skyrim. This was a blast to design, tapping both into my digital art and spread sheeting interest. I enjoy emphasizing the Nerd in Nerd Fitness. Why these skills?: These are just skills that I enjoy perfecting and/or are important to maintaining my vitality and health. If someone else were inspired by the system and wanted to try it, they would pick there most important 18 skills. Starting Stats: In Skyrim there are 18 skill trees. The dragonborn always starts with twelve level 15 skills, five level 20 skills, and one level 25 skill. Although I have some experience in all the skills with my skills nebula, I allotted the twelve level 15 skills, five level 20 skills, and one level 25 skill based on my relative past time investment in each skill. Skill Leveling: Skill leveling is set up such that a skill begun at level 15 will take at least 10,000 hours of effort to reach level 100. The 10,000 hours is based off of Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hour Rule, a proposed number of hours of deliberate practice required to reach "expert level." It is an oversimplification of what it takes to master a skill, but it still provides an aspiration rule of thumb. Every time I invest time honing or engaging in a skill, I earn EXP Hours. However now all skill practice is created equal. I created a formula to account for this: F = Level of Focus. It is measured on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being perfect, absolute focus, and 1 being no focus. D = Level of Deliberate Practice. It is measured on a scale of 1- 10, with 10 being highly conscientious and deliberate skill building and practice, and 1 being engaging with improving not even on the radar. R = Relevance of activity to the given skill tree. It is measured on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being extremely relevant, and 1 being only the slightest smidgen relevant. P = Percentage of the time spent engaging in the activity. It is measured on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being 100% engaged in the activity, and a 5 meaning only actually engaged in the activity 1/2 of the time. T = Time spent engaged in the activity in minutes. EXP Hours = F * D * R * P * T / 10,000 / 60 True to Skyrim skill leveling, skills level on an exponential curve. It takes significantly fewer EXP Hours to level a skill from 20 to 21 (13 EXP Hours) than 86 to 87 (224 EXP Hours). The formula for skill leveling is the same used in Skyrim's leveling system, but with an additional divider so it takes exactly 10,000 EXP Hours to level from 15 to 100, rather than 528804.0234 EXP Points: L = Current skill level. EXP Hours Required to Level Up a Skill = 2 * ( L ^ 1.95) / 52.915 Outputs from this formula are rounded to the nearest whole integer. Character Leveling: Character leveling is set up such that by leveling 13 skills to level 100, the character will reach level 100. 13 skills is kind of arbitrary, but it makes the XP Character math easy, and the 13,000 hours required is ~1.5 years worth of cumulative skills practice: An impressive feat. Just as in Skyrim, a character levels up in the Nebula Skill System by accumulating enough XP Character to cross a level up threshold. XP Character is gained every time a character levels up a skills. It is a simple formula: S = Skill level the player has just leveled up from. XP Character = S * 2 The formula for amount of cumulative XP Character required to level is unaltered from Skyrim: C = Current character level. Amount of cumulative XP Character required to level up = (12.5 * ( C ^ 2 ) + (62.5 * C )) - 75 Whoa, This Seems Pretty Complicated: It is definitely a lot, but this spreadsheet will make keeping tabs all the maths easier. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Quick About Me Hey! I'm Nathan. I'm a 26 year old counseling graduate student from CT, USA. I'm hoping to lose about 60 pounds, develop an enjoyable relationship with eating wholesome foods and moving my body, and generally improve at the things I enjoy doing. It's nice to be back. Thanks for reading!
  2. OKAY! I, uh, completely dropped out last time. Forgive me. NUTRITION QUEST: Pack your lunch For a while, I was having a lot of success with packing my breakfast, lunch and snacks for work on Sunday night. I was getting a lot of fruits and veggies, plus my lunch was filling and I didn't compulsively eat those damn 12-flavor gummy bears. I won't be able to pack all my lunches today, but I do have snacks ready and can pack my breakfasts as I go along--so this week the task is to bring snacks and breakfast to work. The remainder of the month, I need to bring lunches, breakfast and snacks, prepped on Sunday. NUTRITION QUEST: I will be more mindful of my fullness levels when I eat. I have been overeating lately and feeling like crap when I'm done. EXERCISE QUEST: I will go on four walks each week. (This is in addition to my 2x weekly bodyweight exercise--I've missed the walks I used to have built into my schedule with my commute). EXERCISE QUEST: I will check out one of the gyms near my house with a guest pass. There is a location literally two short blocks from me, which is the closest I've ever lived to a gym. The commute to and from the gym (plus general social anxiety) has always kept me from regular gym attendance, but with my new second-story apartment, it is time to at least investigate other options. I will also re-read the NF Academy sections on going to the gym. MINDSET QUEST: I will check in on this thread at least three times per week. Last challenge I kept putting it off and I lost my focus--this time I want to remain engaged with the challenge. I am not going to do a lifestyle quest--I have a lot of things on my monthly to-do list that I could use, but I'm feeling like a strong focus on my health is worth it to get back into the challenge swing of things. Alright! That's it for now. I'll be back in a few short days!
  3. Remember the Animorphs from the nineties? I was a big fan, and I recently got the books back from my mom who stored them for me for the last 10 years. I'm reading them again, and actually enjoying them that doesn't happen often when re-reading books from when I was a kid. This challenge will contain a lot of spoilers, but I doubt there are a lot of nerds here that are reading the series right now, and definitely none that are reading it for the first time A small recap for those who don't know: The animorphs are a group of 5 teenagers: Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel and Tobias and an alien teenager (an Andalite they call Ax) who are fighting an alien invasion. The aliens they are fighting are called "Yeerks" and look like slugs. They crawl into your head through your ear and take over your brain. Trapping you in your own body, still seeing, hearing and feeling everything, but unable to move or talk yourself. People with a yeerk in their head are called a Controller. The animorphs have one weapon: the power to morph. To change into any animal they have 'acquired'. Acquiring means touching them to absorb their DNA, don't ask me how, it's andalite technology that isn't explained much in the books). It does have a downfall though: if they stay in a morph longer than 2 hours, they become trapped and can't change back to their human shape. To extend the analogy: I have to change my behavior, my thought patterns to fight this battle. During the challenges in 2017 I plan to bring down my brain weasels, my yeerk so to speak. The thing inside my head that makes me do things I don't want to. Like eat the entire chocolate bar, skip exercise and makes me feel bad about my body and myself. To guide me, I have made a roadmap for 2017 I will make new goals every week. Or keep them the same. Just what I think I'll need that week.
  4. Hi! I'm NTB and my special talents are oversharing, bop-it extreme, and getting headphones really tangled in a very short time. Let's do an icebreaker! What are your special talents? And also, will you remember that I asked this by the time you get to the bottom of this post? I was planning a slightly different challenge for this month, but after my post-vacation struggles with food last challenge, I haven’t been feeling as aggressive. So. I read an article a few years ago that mentioned a culture where people consider anything that is too perfect to be an insult to the gods, because only gods can be perfect. I thought that was neat, and the idea stuck with me even though I remember literally nothing else about what I read. I’m not a perfectionist like some people around here, but I do get frustrated easily when I start to backslide. My only benchmark is myself, but I have had some pretty awesome challenges in the past, so there’s still a lot to live up to. Last challenge I tried to be a king, and that failed miserably. So I guess this challenge my goal is still to do pretty much all the same stuff as usual, but also to remember that not every week will be my best week, and that’s the way it should be. Goal 1: Food Goal 2: Maintain Fitness Workout 3x/week (usually two at-home bodyweight workouts and 1 bootcamp class) Run 1x/week - After the Spartan is over, I’m going to resume experimenting with sprinting. I also get points for remembering to do ankle alphabets before and after each run. Walk. My walking is usually really strong, but that’s suffered lately too. So instead of walking 16 miles/week this challenge, my goal is just to walk deliberately every day, even if it’s just a loop around the block. Goal 3: Movement Focus I don’t actually have any formal goals this time. This is just kind of a mishmash of things I want to do and might potentially get around to: Leading up to the Spartan: prioritize frequent yoga, excessive walking, miscellaneous burpees, and trying to climb stuff September: I’ve been daydreaming about trying out a GMB program for months now, so I am thinking of trying either their elements or flexibility program. I have 0 plans for integrating this into my current exercise schedule and complete #doallthethings rangerbrain about it. I would still like to haul the bike out and get riding, even if it’s just in the parking lot next door. Goal 4: Life Goal - Swimming This should be the easiest life goal ever. I’ve been wanting to take swim lessons for ages since I never learned to tread water. I don’t even have to sign up for anything yet. I just have to contact at least once place and get moving on this goal already. Bonus Goals: I get a bonus point for each week I accomplish one of these goals, but I cannot complete these goals at the expense of others: Meditate daily Yoga 4x/week Clean the sink 4x/week Go to bed around 10pm on Sunday nights
  5. Oh hai guys! Kinda fell of the face of NF for a while there, but I’m back Intro The time I’ve been away has allowed me the room to do some much needed reflection and truly figure out where I need to put my focus. I’ve been dealing with some pretty severe waves of depression and anxiety for the better part of a year now, and especially since the start of 2016. There are definitely good days and weeks, sometimes even a month or more, but overall it’s affected just about everything I do in the real world - from work to socializing to diet and exercise. That’s where this challenge comes in - and I’m so ready to be back! (Plus, I really missed you all!!) The general focus/goal for this challenge is self care: something I thought I had been doing, but in which I’m actually quite lacking. I’ve touched on the below goals in some shape or form throughout my previous challenges, but not so much as a way of caring for myself. They always felt like things I was just supposed to do or be doing as an adult. In keeping with the self care, this challenge is going to be kept pretty relaxed as to not add additional stress, but structured enough that it shouldn’t be a problem getting everything done. Now, on to the goals!
  6. I'm an assassin at heart who loves to mess around with climbing, contortion, aerial and handbalancing. I feel like I'm in a great place when it comes to training, buuuut not so great when it comes to eating to support the training. So this challenge is all about food and mindful eating and thought the druids might be a good place for it. I love food and I love to cook, but my relationship with eating is a rocky one, even disorderly at times. Sometimes I forget to eat. Sometimes I binge. And then there are periods when I effortlessly eat really yummy, healthy food that makes me very happy. For the past few weeks I’ve been in a bad eating like a jerk phase and I gained weight in a very short amount of time which frankly feels gross and so very unhealthy. But enough is enough, and now I’ve reached a point where I feel ready to tackle my eating habits. Not to lose weight or even for performance, but for my physical and mental health. The hard goals Goal #1 Keep a food journal I’m not talking about calorie counting, but I will track my food together with notes on how I feel both mentally (mood, stress levels...) and physically (hunger, tiredness levels…) before and after the meal. I will also be keeping track on any strong cravings. This is a pass or fail goal, but I only have to keep it up for as long as it’s interesting. Goal #2 Max one portion of dessert or snacks per day And as long as it’s made from scratch! I sometimes fall into the bad habit of getting crappy chocolate or other unhealthy thing straight after work to boost my energy levels, when really I need real food and rest. This goal is really about preventing that, but disguised as an incentive to bake more cookies. Goal #3 No eating out This means zero takeaway and going out for work lunches max 1 day/week. The fun goals! Goal #4 Experiment with food Try 4 new “mystery” recipes or flavour combinations that I’ve never tried before. Ideas are always welcome! Goal #5 Grow food I've never grown anything in my life, but got this fix idea that I want to start growing food on my balcony. Last challenge I started by researching how and when to plant, and I planted some seeds on my window sill. This challenge will be about setting up the rest of the balcony, and be patient enough with my little ones to not murder them because they are growing too slowly.
  7. We've had some bumps and bruises recently in some challenges so with the last challenge of the year upon us, it's time to take a look at the past and find out what worked and use it to attack the holiday chaos. So, with that, we are unleashing our theme: Back to the Future!!! Now, why I didn't use this theme last month (especially with Back to the Future Day and all) I will not stop kicking myself over that. Back to the Future was the first movie I saw in an actual movie theatre back in 85 with my family. It is one of those trilogies that I could sit down and watch any time. This should make for a great and useful challenge!! Besides going back to habits that worked or I feel would be beneficial, I'm subdividing them into three facets of myself which, I'm going to amp up by using the three times Marty and Doc traveled to (1885, 1955, and 2015). Without further ado, he we go: 1885 - Focus on the Body I've really got to start making my exercise automatic! Something that I don't have to think about, just something that I do. My 40th year is encroaching here soon (another year and change) so I need to get myself really into a more defined shape for my health and comfort. Plus, then I could look good in 1880s garb: With this goal, just going simple: Exercise every other day for a minimum of 20 minutes. I've started looking at some of the workouts on Darebee and I've right now picked out 6 of them. I'm going to go through the movements of them all this weekend to see if there is anything I need to vary but they will be my workouts I will use this challenge (to be posted here later). Then, with an added gamer twist, I'm going to pick the workout of the day with a simple d6 roll. So, get into workout clothes, roll die, turn on music and get to work! 1955 - Focus on the Spirit There was a particular feel and spirit to the movies, especially when they were back in '55 (considering that seems to be the focal point to everything). With my spirit, I need to be more mindful of my emotions and feelings plus how I present myself to others. With that, I'm going to work on my spirit. This goal: Meditation for 20 minutes on my off exercise days. 2015 - Focus on the Mind Or, more specifically, being mindful. This will have two parts because I saw two really good mindful goals and that, along with the exercise, should help me out greatly. One is recent, one is from the first challenge I ever did and it's time to use them together. Part one of the goal will be a repeat of Empty Night from last challenge (and I thank you Emerald for giving me the thought to use this again). As a reminder, this is a goal of eating nothing after 8:30pm except on gaming night Saturday. I'm going to add the extra hurdle of no drinks either except for water. Part two of this goal will be a blast from the past, my first goal of mindful pop (or soda) drinking. Recently I haven't been as good as I was before on my drinking so I need to wrestle that back down to something manageable. So, we will be limiting myself to 40 ounces or less of soda daily. Now yes, I realize that amount of pop is about the same as 500 calories (depending on brand) but I HAVE A SICKNESS!!! I like my pop and I need to work on weaning myself off of it but that's a long time goal. So, slow and steady on this one. I know my last few challenges have been poor but that just means this challenge will be GREAT!!! Let's get traveling!
  8. Main Quest - Weigh Less than 160 lbs by 3/27/2015 From - this lovely artist, minionslayer Dungeon Map = GMB's Elements Any explorer or potential hero needs to know where she is and where she's going. She needs a plan, or you might say a map. Luckily, this hero stumbled across an excellent plan from Gold Medal Bodies called "Elements". It focuses on helping explorers develop "physical autonomy", which they describe as a balance of strength, flexibility, and motor control using a familiar symbol given to us by the goddesses. I want to move well, and I'm sick of reps and sets, so this is the map that I'll follow for the next phase of my quest. Fairy Slingshot = Craving Control Habit I really wish that I had a weapon that could help me knock down cravings before they take hold and change my behavior. I'm imagining a ranged weapon that would be small and easy to take wherever I was going - something sneaky and micheivious, like a slingshot! I've used mindful eating a lot in the past and found the book Eating the Moment very helpful for exercises and experiments to continue developing my skills here. I plan on writing about my experiments here as I practice. Compass = Level Up My Diet My weight has not been going in the right direction lately. I've learned that drastic changes do nothing to help in the long term. I already eat fairly clean paleo, except for the occasional victory of my sweet tooth. Forbidding certain foods works for a little while, as does calorie counting... but restriction just beeeeeegs for a binge. So, in keeping with the above, I want to experiment until I find a reasonable in between. Tracking carbs in MFP for a while and then transitioning into healthier habits with some mental calculation. Gold Skulltulas = Extras I will count up the days that I do each of the following for at least 5 minutes. If I get more than 90% in any of the three, I earn that gold skulltula. 1) Meditation and Quiet Time 2) Study 3) Active Recovery (foam roll, nap, stretch, walk, etc)
  9. I have missed a few Challenges, but that's ok, I have been ticking along in a Daily Battle Log. I went away over the Christmas break and have finally got the lifting back on track...........more or less. Now it's time to start mindful eating and dialling back into full Paleo. So main goal is to keep those noob gains coming as long as I can ( coming into 12 months of SL, this has got to slow down pretty soon ) and watch what goes into the Pie Hole to maximise every lift I do. The main reason for this Challenge thread is to log food as well as workouts, and let's see how we go with some accountability on my back. Seven.......Shut Your Pie Hole and Lift!
  10. (Big thanks to starsapart for the theme idea!) This challenge should be less chaotic than last, but let’s knock on wood to be certain of it! That said, I still have a lot going on between a vacation to New Mexico during Week Two and entering tech/Hell Week for The Mikado at the end of Week Six, but hey, I’ve had successful challenges in the past for a lot more going on, no reason this should be any different! And I have an end-goal in mind to keep me motivated: making sure I’m as proud of my body as I can be for Cabaret rehearsals and performances this summer, because rumor has it, I’m going to have to flaunt it. Time to spirit myself away from poor body image issues to confidence and love for my body! MAIN QUEST: Get into Cabaret-shape! Because while this isn’t a production where they require all the Kit Kat Girls to be skinny/fit because they want us all to be of different shapes and sizes, I want to be as comfortable and confident in myself as possible! QUEST #1: Don’t Eat Like No-Face! [+3 CON, +1 WIS] One of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to eating is eating sweets and snacks just for the hell of it. I don’t want to give up sweets and snacks altogether, but I do want to make sure that treats are for a good reason rather than just because. So 6x/week, if I ate anything in between meals, I’ll have to own up to you all on NF why I had it. Nothing is held against me if I had the treat for an acceptable reason; I get penalized if I eat outside my meals for an unacceptable reason. Ideally, I’ll do this every day, but I’m giving myself a freebie in case of Life. (Acceptable reasons: it was a special occasion (birthday, party, etc.), it was the end of the day and I had the calorie allotment for it or I planned for it, I was legitimately hungry (and I chose a healthy snack), it was immediately after a workout (and it was an appropriate post-workout choice), etc. Unacceptable reasons: I felt like it, it was there, emotional/hormonal turmoil, I didn’t want to be rude, etc.) A = 6x/week passed | B = 4-5x/week passed | C = 2-3x/week passed | D = 1x/week passed | F = never QUEST #2: Be Bendy Like Dragon-Form Haku! [+3 DEX, +1 CHA] While our version of Cabaret doesn't necessarily call for bendiness, I want to be as flexible as possible, which will help me in the long run for future castings and dance. I’ve been kind of haphazard on my flexibility routine lately, so it’s time to redirect focus to it. So, 4x/week, I will dedicate at least 15 minutes to good, long stretches. Yoga will also count for this, as well as stretching done in jazz/ballet classes. A = 4x/week | B = 3x/week | C = 2x/week | D = 1x/week | F = never QUEST #3: Never Stop Training! [sTR, DEX, STA] – exact stats TBD at the end of the challenge (5 pts) One of the fears I have about not dedicating any quests to my training plan is that I’ll let it slip, so this quest exists to make sure that I don’t. Every Sunday evening/Monday morning, I’ll present my workout plan for the week and stick with the plan the best that I can. Obviously, I won’t count anything against myself if I get sick or injured or if Life happens. What I will count against myself is poor planning and the “I didn’t feel like it/was too tired†excuse. No real ideal schedule, to be completely honest, especially since Week Two and possibly Week Six are going to be crazy enough! What I'll most likely fit in are dance classes, Stronglifts, bodyweight workouts, and running, and the flexibility exercises from Quest #2. Vague and optional plans are acceptable; sometimes, it'll just be better to give myself leeway, especially when I know I'll be presented with difficulties for xyz reasons. A = 7 days followed | B = 5-6 days followed | C = 3-4 days followed | D = 1-2 days followed | F = never Starting in Week 4, I will be changing this quest to a simple workout 5x/week with the intention of working out 6x/week, but giving myself an extra day of rest in case things get chaotic. This quest is actually a lot more bothersome than I thought it was going to be. The spirit of the quest will remain the same but with more freedom to change my mind on a day-to-day basis. I will still lay out my intended weekly schedule at the beginning of each week, but I will not be so strict in my adherence to it. A = 5x/week | B = 4x/week | C = 2-3x/week | D = 1x/week | F = 0x/week LIFE QUEST: Do Better Than a Ponytail! [+2 CHA] I need to stop relying so heavily on the hair and make-up artists when I perform, especially for two of my upcoming shows (The Mikado and Cabaret) where we have a huge cast of which I am not a principal but ensemble, and the principals will need to have the attention far more than ensemble members. So it’s time to learn how to do hair and make-up all on my own! It’s an essential skill for an actor, after all. I will spend at least 30 minutes a day 3x/week playing around with hair and make-up. Yes, I will provide pictures! And yes, expect ridiculousness since this is theatre training, not adulting training. A = 3x/week | B = 2x/week | C = 1x/week | F = 0x/week In Summary: 1. Mindful Snacking 6x/week (ideally 7x/week) 2. Flexibility Training 4x/week 3. Keep to the Plan 7x/week 4. Hair & Makeup Training 3x/week Attribute Point Distribution: ? STR | 3+ DEX | ? STA | 3 CON | 1 WIS | 3 CHA (5 points to be distributed to STR, DEX, and STA per completion of Quest 3 and what exercises I do over the course of the challenge. Tentatively +2 STR, +1 DEX, +2 STA) Weekly Recaps: Day Zero | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Challenge Complete! Mini-Challenges: +1 STA earned! +1 STR earned! +1 WIS earned! +1 CON earned! +1 CHA earned! Before Pictures: Measurements: Waist: 27" Waist @ Navel: 37" Hips: 37.25" Thigh: 21" Calf: 14.75" Bicep: 10.5" Wrist: 5.75" Neck: 12" (I will not weigh myself because I do not care about that, or I'm trying to force myself not to care about that.)
  11. Main Quest - Establish a Craving-Control Habit In more nerdy terms, I'm hoping to learn how to run from the black riders that plague my quests (black riders = cravings)! Previously, I focused on what and how much I eat. This has not sustainably changed my choices around food. I want to shift my focus to my habits around food and cravings. Writing has always been a powerful tool for me to explore my life. My words are more meaningful to me than numbers and naked data. Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish in terms of daily goals (hopefully establishing new habits). Notice - I will pay attention to the cravings, triggers, and coping strategies I use. I am using Eating the Moment to help direct my experiments. Record - I will record my observations in the Recovery Record app after each meal and whenever I notice something important related to my eating. Journal - I will spend at least 5 minutes every night reviewing my day and my eating habits in writing. Say Grace before each meal (life goal). Deepen my yoga and meditation practices (side goal). For each goal >90% accomplished, I will choose one of my "big rewards list" (ie, fancy sports bra, digital scanner, new fitness equipment, etc) at the end of the challenge. Extras - quiet time, studying, mindfulness, creating, cleaning, focused movement, decluttering - for greater than 25 activities per week, only counted once per day, I will randomly roll one of my "weekly rewards" at the end of each weekly wrap up. Glad to continue in fellowship with all the Rebels! Let's do this.
  12. Greetings, Druids (and other welcome guests)! This is my fourth challenge, I think...though I'm not really keeping track. It's been a little over a year since I joined NF, and it's been a good one, so I'm focusing more on enjoying this community. Welcome to my little thread. This focus is threefold: maintenance, mindfulness, and music. Maintenance: I'm aiming to maintain the workout regimen that has been pretty successful to date, so that I continue to grow in strength, toughness, and flexibility. Workout 6x per week: 3x strength (M-W-F) 3x cardio (T-Th-Sa) Rest and recover: Daily evening restorative yoga (M-Sa) Sunday as a day of complete rest Proper sleep (in bed 7.5 hours per night) Mindful Eating: I eat like a starving wolf. And it's a little disconcerting, because I strive to be a gentleman in the truest sense, but when I sit down to eat all that goes away. I'm face down in the plate, elbows up, bare hands scrabbling for sustenance, until the plate is cleared in about 3 minutes. That's all well and good, except that I am absolutely convinced that the way I eat is the primary contributor to my challenges with body composition. I'm at a decent weight for a 43 year old (6' 1" and 190 pounds), but those last few inches of excess fat on my torso (some is ok) are persistent. I think it's because I eat so fast that I overeat, and I don't pick my foods carefully enough. So I want to start working on slowing down, stopping when satisfied, and choosing better. Practice the '5Ws and an H' of mindful eating as best I can in an institutional dining environment: Who: I'll choose who to eat with when I enter the dining space, or eat alone. What: I'll choose the most nutritious options that I'll enjoy eating. Where: I'll pick a seat away from distractions (like the TV and loud talkers). When: I'll eat at a set time each day. Why: I'll remind myself before entering the dining hall that I'm eating for optimum health. How: I'll take smaller bites, chew thoroughly, and swallow completely before the next bite. Musical Growth: I've recently re-discovered music (I used to sing in a band and played tuba for years), and have newly discovered that I f***ing love the bass guitar. I've been stifled creatively for a while, always putting some form of writing on challenge after challenge but never actually doing it. So I'm going to focus on musical growth this challenge, embracing my love of the bass and stoking the flame of creativity within me. Daily practice: AT LEAST 15 minutes daily on bass basics. PREFERABLY 30 minutes or more of basics + actual music Weekly song: I'll try to learn one actual song per week. Points? Can suck it. I'll report in daily but I'm not doing math. Success will be defined by doing better than not, seeing some body comp improvement, and knowing some songs at the end of this. I think this one will be lots of fun! There you have it, friends. Let's get it on!
  13. During this six weeks I guess my focus is going to basically be mindfulness. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy three months ago and I am unhappy with the progress of my weight-loss; it dropped much more quickly after my first. I have lost quite a few pounds but still need to lose 15-20 more. I am not focused on a particular number I just want to find my 'happy' weight: the weight at which my body stays comfortably and I feel confident in my body. I have tried many diets from Paleo to veganism in the past, but I have never been able to really feel satisfied. I think about food too much and over-eat. This bad relationship with food distracts from more important things such as my children. So, for the next 6 weeks I will work toward the following goals: 1. Mindful Eating: I will practice only eating when I am truly hungry. It will be hard for me, but I know it will get easier as I learn to identify what 'true hunger' feels like and learn to work past cravings. When I do eat, I will focus on eating slowly and listening to my body. I will try to stop eating at around 80% fullness so that I do not over eat. I also want to keep my diet based on 80% REAL food and the other 20% can be filled with whatever I have been craving. 2. Meditation: I will meditate for 5 minutes a day and add a minute a week until I work up to ten minutes a day. I am hoping this will help me in eating mindfully and also being more mindful throughout the day. 3. Yoga: I already do some form of exercise at least five days a week but I want to include more yoga on a regular basis. I have bee very sore and stiff and I think this will help me feel much better! I will do yoga for thirty minutes at least three days a week while keeping my body weight work-outs only two days a week. Hopefully at the end of this challenge I have lost weight and changed my relationship with food for the better. Hopefully I will be able to notice these changes through less stress related to food, a better mood (which is usually negative by the end of the day) and physically through measurements as well as the way my clothes fit. I will retake my measurements every Friday. (I will also take photos, but I will not be posting those! My current measurements: Weight: 154.5 Waist: 34 3/4 inches Hips: 40 1/4 inches Dominant Thigh: 23 1/2
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