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  1. Whelp... I bit off a little more than I could chew last challenge, so this time: TWO goals! 1. Sleep 2. Doggie walks Not-really-a-goal: Be more mindful about how I spend my day and what I'm doing with my time (and why)! No specific goal here just 'do this more'. Sleep I will aim to get eight hours of sleep a night from roughly 10:30-7:30. Right now I fluctuate wildly, although it's settled a bit thanks to the last challenge. I've been getting up and downstairs prior to 8am seems to slowly become more ingrained. (My alarm has been going off at 7:15 each morning for a while now and it's getting easier to get to sleep before midnight.) I had a more concrete plan for improvement last challenge, but that didn't seem to help, so I'm going to focus more on Mindfullness and force myself to evaluate how the night went each morning before work. (Which hopefully will also end with me being a little more social here as a side bonus! ) Doggie Walks I did pretty well with this last challenge! I really don't do well in the cold, so I went into hibernate mode when the snow moved in... but it looks like we're on the track to warm up a bit. And rain. Lots and lots of rain. Sigh. So the challenge this time is that if it's over 35 and not raining, then I WILL take the dog on a doggie walk for lunch. If it's lightly raining and it's over 40... then I will give it a try and see how miserable it is. (Our lunch walk is 1 mile and takes us roughtly 25 min, but that might be too much cold/damp for the doggo.) I will think Mindful thoughts whilst walking. I will also take him out on a longer walk on the weekends, trying to take him to a few different walking trails so he can smell the good smells!
  2. ...on Asgard Yes it’s another Loki themed challenge. I have so many gifs I didn’t get to use lol. Last challenge I didn’t do so great in some of my goals, and even the one that I smashed, I’m not content to let it stagnate. So much of this challenge will be carried over, with adjustments to my methods. 1. Training grounds Loki isn’t only proficient in daggers. I'm itching to get back to some staff work, but I also haven’t lost a microt of my love for knives, and I’m stoked about my new bow. Having goals in all of these areas would be too much to focus on, so I’m making one simple overarching goal that contains them all. Goal: a collective three hours per week weapons/props work 2. Learning halls This is a two parter. For the first week of the challenge I’ll be attending an intensive 6 day course. Zero week I’ll be studying for it, and although I usually don’t count zero week, I’ll be tracking how much I study to keep me on track. Then week one, the class itself is going to count for this. I have lots of books that have been sitting on my shelf begging for my attention and I’ve been neglecting them due to making myself too busy. I know I’ll be a happier person if I get reading back in my regular habits. Also, NaNoWriMo will be starting and I’ll be half-heartedly participating in that (not pushing for the 1200/day, but ramping up the volume and putting some effort into it) After the class is over, the goal will be: read or write 1 thing per day. I’ll post a snipit of what I wrote, and try to share something I learned from what I read, if I learned something. 3. Harness my powers I will do the friggin mindfulness!! I remain dedicated to making this a daily habit. If I have NOT done it when I post my daily update, I will take ten minutes to do it BEFORE I post. This is the new rule. Everyone is allowed one free swing at me if I don't do this. Pinned to the first page for easy location, the table of code names for the people in my life: That being said,
  3. The more things change... By the end of the first week of the new challenge D and I should have closed on the new house and my son will be visiting to help us unload the U-Pack Pods. We're purchasing some of the furniture in the house, this includes a treadmill, I can walk/run/intervals again! This should also mean the beginning of my new schedule and mostly working from home I know I haven't talked a lot about my new job but I love the fact that I get to be an accountant, utilizing programs and processes that are valuable should I need to find another position in the future, and my boss is really fuckin cool! I'm not expected to just know it all and I actually am being shown what to do and what I'm responsible for! Oh, and in a paperless office The Plan... Control - Comfort eating and drinking was an issue, be mindful of this until in the house then back to Cardio. Update - Post in thread three times a week. Track - Sleep (at least 7 hours a night) Food (eat when hungry, stop when full, track to be mindful) Extra - Rides, 5k's, events, and life events go here Done - Not Done - So as we can see things will change about mid-way through, I'll have to be flexible while life settles into whatever a normal pattern will be,
  4. So, historically I've been prone to leaping into Grand Plans that fail to get traction. I have a manic squirrel for a brain and am easily distracted by the shiny. (So. Much. Shiny!!) 1. Thus this first proper challenge back, I'm aiming to decide what my not-Grand goals are for 2022 and then play around with some plans on how best to track/achieve them. I have a pile of index cards with ideas and right now my main piles are: Health/Fitness, Art, Writing, Decluttering/Cleaning, Learning/Coding 2. Aim and bring up my 'I'm not thinking about it, it just happens' daily steps to a minimum of 2k a day through the Power Of Chores! (and decluttering). My current daily meanderings fluctuate from 1k-3k, so it shouldn't be that hard of a thing to manage. 3. Winnow off the Diet Coke so it's a 'migraine days only' sort of drink. To psych me up, here are all the things I've accomplished since I last did a NF challenge (many many moon ago): I got down to one Diet Coke a day (from 2-4 liters) and I drink a lot of water I've done a bunch of organizing of my art supplies so they are now in tupperware containers in the basement and easy to find I've lost 20-ish pounds, just by changing how I'm eating to something that's a better fit for how I like to eat (large meal in the middle of the day, less carbs) I did a lot of cleaning in the week off between jobs and I've done a good job maintaining that I picked up bullet journaling again in May and have been constantly experimenting to find things that work I've made crazy strides in fixing all the formatting issues with the blog and with adding images and summaries to the old Saturday Story Prompts posts! I've gotten a LOT better about marketing my art and ebooks and it looks like I may break even this year! (so the IRS won't hate me! )
  5. i want to do a taoist inspired challenge, something centered around mindfulness and the middle way. i've found taoist philosophy inspiring for years, and with everything going on in my life, i desperately need to find my center. there's a book i read that contained the phrase "return to trueness" and that's exactly the vibe i'm going for with this challenge. taking time to check in, to be my authentic self. my adhd has been out of control hard to deal with, returning to the present moment and being mindful of distractions (both helpful and not) is a good way to help manage my stress and anxiety. i've been reading some articles about adhd management so i'd like to try and incorporate a tip a week. but ultimately this challenge is about staying present and listening to my mind and body. 1. mindful reading: read a page of the tao te ching every day 2. mindful reflection: daily to do list 3. mindful breathing: daily meditation 4. mindful body: continue with the doctor follow ups, trying to figure out the cause of my exhaustion and headaches LETS GOOOOOOOO!!!!
  6. Hello. I am Stronkey Kong. Umm... Been on NF over seven years. I'm still fat and making the best of it. Which means I'm tempering my goals, accepting what is and what is not (feasibly and sustainably) possible. I eat as healthy as I can while enjoying my food. I move as often as I can while enjoying movement. I think. I create. I devise elaborate plans for challenges and eschew all rules as soon as convenience dictates. <sigh> This challenge is inspired by a recent dream I had. This is one of my stress dreams. It came after spending a week switching to day shift, rather abruptly, after having been on night shift for over a year, going to a training course across town, then coming back to work to find out that someone more senior than me, and training/guiding me at work is leaving in another week and then I'm pretty much on my own kinda. Idk. This is gonna get tough. I suppose the point/meaning of this dream, if they do have meanings, is that I need to avoid quick fixes and work on my coping mechanisms ahead of stressors. Then there's the fact that I'm turning my attention back to mindfulness and my Buddhist practice. I have dabbled and practiced with varying degrees of seriousness in Zen. I'm currently learning about Tibetan Buddhism and reading and meditating on Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva, and am planning to get back into my meditation routine. If you've never heard the term, Bodhisattvas are beings who have attained enlightenment, but rather than pursuing full Buddhahood (where you get to just chill out in Nirvana for eternity, free from suffering) they choose to return to Samsara (the eternal cycle of life, suffering, death, and rebirth) to guide other beings on the path to enlightenment. Hence, they are good examples to follow for freeing oneself from suffering and helping others. I could go on on this topic, but I'll leave it there for now. I just thought I'd let you know why I named my challenge as I did. And then there's the Big List... which I made during the Holiday challenge as a set of goals to pursue long term. From this list I usually create a goal or two from something on the list to work toward, and lately I usually focus on Intuitive Eating, Exercise, Creativity, and buying a home. My goals are listed in order of general priority. I'm putting the TL;DR up front and spoilering the details to tidy things up here: TL;DR Mindfulness: daily meditation with increasing session times Lotus Position: stretch to improve lotus posture during meditation Nourishment: Eat mindfully and watch out for GERD symptoms Movement: Qigong Abode: spring cleaning Creativity: Knit a Beanie or Finish part one of my fantasy novel Wisdom: Study The Way of the Bodhisattva Knowledge: study Tibetan language
  7. Hello Friends! If you're new to my threads, feel free to check out my battle log for some backstory. It turns out being an infectious disease doctor in a global pandemic comes with a fair amount of stress and over-work. I'm trying to regroup and dig deeper into self care and healing. Goals: 1) Breathwork - I found a teacher named Eryn, who leads frequent courses on breathwork. I've been using this three part active breath to really help calm my nervous system and convince my body that it's safe. It's allowed me to do some deep processing of wounds that I received in childhood. - Sign up for any classes that Eryn offers. - Use recordings from Patreon to practice at least weekly. 2) Health Team Homework - My health team currently includes Taylor (my therapist), Rebecca (my IE-certified dietician), and Amy (my health coach). I work with them at least weekly and they frequently assign me homework to work on between sessions. - Report on my calls with my health team. - Work on my homework between calls. There's a lot of stuff going on in other areas of my life as well, which I'm happy to talk about if people are interested. This is a good start however!
  8. What’s up nerds! It’s your friendly neighborhood ballroom boy / data and Econ nerd / calisthenics dabbler here for another challenge, I’ll add a longer preamble (with rough goal priorities for the next year), but basically... My goal this year is to first build the foundations I’ve perennially neglected that over time cause my best laid plans to fall apart over time, THEN build on top of them. Specifically, my usual stumbling blocks are mild sleep deprivation leading to an energy crash or injury, slow building anxiety leading to a need for a hard reset, and insufficient time allotted for rest leading to burnout (of course, they all help reinforce each other, AND they’re all sneaky problems that are hard to spot as they slowly build up). To that end, I’ll have a few main goals this challenge; The place where it all starts: Make a plan how I’ll spend my time each week, with a special focus on making time for sleep (7.5-8 hours a night) and rest (some breaks each work day, plus some in the evenings and on weekends). A pitfall I’ve fallen into with planning is that I typically approach it from asking, “how much time can these things take to all fit into my week?” Typically, this leads to me packing too many things into the plan then being disappointed when I don’t do everything I planned. The better question that I’ll aim to ask is: “How much time does this thing need?” This will force me to make hard calls up front and be ok with the amount planned - and hopefully short circuit some disappointment (and maybe also make some low value activities drop out of my life). This goal will be squishy and hard to concretely evaluate, and that’s ok. All I’ll hold myself to is making a plan each week and reflecting on what actually happened each week so I can keep learning how to better plan. To make this a little more exciting, I’ve bought a new planner to tryout in the new year. Get good sleep: I want to get in a better habit of winding down every night and getting good quality and quantity of sleep - I’ll report on things I’m trying and my smart watch will keep track of my sleep quantity for me (God bless automated data collection). Mobility daily: I ask a lot of my body as an athlete, and I owe it some daily maintenance. As a bonus, some types of mobility work make great evening wind down activities so it helps the sleep goal. 10 minutes or more of mobility a day, plus at least 5 at the start of each dance practice and at the end of each conditioning workout. Pretty straightforward, just need to keep myself from “I don’t wanna”ing out of doing it. Mindfulness daily: This has an unbelievably good impact on my stress levels when I do it. But once it’s worked for a while it’s easy to forget why I made it a daily habit in the first place! So the goal here is not to forget, 5 minutes or more of mindfulness daily (typically in the form of praying the rosary). That’s it, that’s the challenge! I’ll also be working on rebuilding a strength and aerobic conditioning baseline and writing about it (along with dance practices) but they won’t be goals per se.
  9. Hello Friends and Nerds! I'm annyshay. I'm an adventurer at heart, and I'm going to spend this challenge with the druids. I'm finally starting to see the end of a long, deep depression, so I am prioritizing my mental health. I'm working to maintain my current habits and expand the last one. Mindset Pack - every morning - meditate - joy journaling - intention mantra Compassion - at least once per day show compassion to my inner child Drop into Body - every evening Allons-y!
  10. It's been a year since I last did a challenge and 2019 was a year of letting go and laziness. Not purposeful laziness but just not caring enough. Not only with my physical self but my mental self as well. I stopped doing the things I enjoyed and was more hermit like than ever before. I changed things up for 2020 and did my Whole30 in January instead of in the fall. Not sure I'd do that again but it was a nice way to bring myself back to better eating habits. But what do I do now, where do I go from there? This has lead me to mindfulness. I've been going on and on for a year without living purposefully, I need to try and change that. These are more Druid goals but I've missed the assassins and decided to create my challenge here. Plus, I want this to be the push I need to get back into body weight exercises. Goal #1 : Meditate 1 Reach session a day. 0/34 Days Goal #2 : Yoga 3 yoga sessions a week. 0/15 Days Goal #3 : Mindful Tasks 1 of the following tasks each day. 0/34 Days Eating without distractions Walking with purpose Go somewhere new Do something I love Actively listen Pause between actions Tracking will be here and I'll make my updates 3 to 4 times a week.
  11. Hello nerds! I'm annyshay! Here are my goals for the next 6 weeks... Pass my boards Win NaNoWriMo Go Deeper with Health Coaching There's been a lot of upheaval in my life in the recent past from moving across country to the death of my Grandpa to a lot of traveling, but things are starting to mellow out just in time for... my boards and NaNoWriMo. Hehe. That's right, within the span of this challenge, I will be taking two sets of medical boards and trying to write 50,000 words in one month. So, I want to try to lean on my community here a little bit harder instead of just phoning in my updates. So, I have overarching goals and will give narrative reports within those about what's going on for me at the moment. I hope to continue to post consistently and wander among other nerds threads a bit more than I have been doing lately. We'll see how it goes, and everything is open to tweaking as necessary to help support my goals. Sound good? Let's do this thing!
  12. Hello again, friends. My name is annyshay, and I'm a challenge veteran working on intuitive eating and movement. If you're new and want more information about my backstory, feel free to check out the battle log pinned in my signature. Those that have been following along at home know that the last few months have been pretty challenging for me on quite a few different fronts. I just moved across the country to a new city where I knew nobody. My Grandpa just passed away. I've been struggling to get my feet under me in this new normal. So, this challenge I'm going to focus on just that - settling in to my new normal. Goals: Water - fill my water bottles each day - track my intake Food - distraction free eating - challenge the food police Coaching - work on the tools that my health coach assigns me
  13. I've met some of you monks around the guilds, but a brief intro... I am Brogo, I typically hang out in the warriors or adventurers. I just got done with an 80 day stint of ketogenesis in which I lost 10 lbs., but my motivation to workout has gone flat. So to give myself a reason to run, lift, and stay limber, I'm going to return to martial arts (or at least give it another shot). In college I studied Shaolin Eagle Claw Kung Fu. I did that for three years and it was the best shape of my life (granted I was in my early 20's). I went from about 260 lbs. down to 210 in the first year. I got stronger, faster, and felt awesome. I was able to to jumping spinning kicks, and could almost do the splits, and new how to lock joints and spar and throw people around. Super fun. Plus, I had a lot of focus, discipline, and mindfulness. In grad school, when I got back up to 260, I started NF and lifting weights. Since then, it has now been right about 6 years, I'm stronger, but I have not been lower than 244 on the scale, and I struggle with motivating myself to get below 250. Recently on keto I saw 249, but struggled to push below and didn't have the energy to workout. Hopefully, practicing a martial art can motivate me to crush that goal. Goal 1, Conditioning: I don't move like I used to and I don't have the endurance. So before I settle into a martial art practice/study I need to get my body moving again. Daily: Stretch, Breathe, Meditate: 2x Daily, individually or in combination Combat: Do one basic stance, strike, or technical drill 1x Daily Core: Do one core exercise 1x Daily Conditioning: Run: 1x Weekly Strength Training: Pretty much any other kind of workout 2x Weekly Goal 2, Find a dojo: I need to pick a new martial art. There is no Eagle Claw Kung Fu here in Indianapolis. Plus, what I'm looking for in a martial art now is different. Kung Fu was great because it was physically demanding, but now I'm more interested in something I can do sustainably for years to come, and something that has more applicability for self-defense, and develops character in a balanced way. Here are a few dojos/martial arts in town I'd like to try: Jumonkan (Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu, Senso Jujutsu, Kenjutsu, Judo) Mudokwan (Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Kendo, Iaido) MMA (various clubs) (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, etc) 7-star Praying Mantis Kung Fu That's the short list. I'm going to try Jumonkan on Aug. 7. They offer a free Aikijujutsu class as an intro to their dojo. What I pick will be a balance of money/time/interest/whether or not the teacher is crazy etc. Goal 3, To-Do List: Daily: Clean something, Check To-do list Weekly: Update To-do list/challenge sheet The Tao of Brogojutsu (spoilered to remain hidden from those who would use this haphazardly compiled collection of musings about martial arts practice for evil)
  14. Annyshay blinked in shock as the outline of the Old Man faded into blue flames that disappeared just as suddenly as he had done. Who on earth was this Old Man that had been guiding her around the Great Plateau? She shook her head, half expecting to hear an answer from the strange disembodied voice that had started her on this journey by urging her to pick up the Sheikah Slate that hung from her hip. No answer was forth coming, so she was left alone with her thoughts. The Old Man had told her to head to the point where lines through the shrines that she had found would intersect. Looking at the map on her Sheikah Slate, it was clear that he meant the old, broken temple close to the cave where she had awoken in nothing but her undergarments just a few short weeks ago. Annyshay could remember nothing prior to waking up in that cave. She couldn't remember anything about who she was or how she had found herself in this strange wilderness. She didn't know much, but she knew that she wanted to help the princess that was fighting that Beast called Calamity Ganon. To do that, she needed to get off of this Plateau and out into the wider world of Hyrule. The paraglider that the Old Man offered was the only way that she knew how to do that. Well, sitting around staring at the Sheikah Slate and ruminating on what had happened to her in the last few weeks wasn't moving her any closer to getting the paraglider from the Old Man. She returned the Sheikah Slate to her hip, and climbed a nearby wall. She would have to be careful not to get into too many more battles on the way back to the temple as she was running out of weapons.
  15. Since Spring is on its way in and the weather is getting warmer, I feel it is time to get back in touch with my love of nature and the outdoors without neglecting my current goals and the progress I have made so far. The first thing you may have noticed is the name change. Two reasons for this: I am WolfDreamer at most of my social media, and because spring is a season of growth and rebirth, I felt this challenge needed to be about transformation. Not total transformation, but enough to bring new life and energy, to be healed from the drag of winter, to breathe in change and breathe out pain, to reach towards the sky while rooting deeply into the earth, to grow. The name WolfDreamer has an origin, which I plan to share on here in a later post. This also means my goals might not stay consistent since transformation is also about change. I need to be willing to me gracious when goals aren't working out and make changes towards newer or modified goals. But there are a few things I can guarantee: this challenge will be an amalgamation of things that inspire me and bring me joy: music, art, literature, nature, wildlife, movement, faith, poetry, and lots of quotes from people who inspire me. However, in the interest of giving myself some structure, here are a few tangible goals to start the challenge off: wake up at 0430-0445 M-F (20 points total) say the Lord's Prayer out loud every day (28 points total) listen to or read a daily devotional/meditation/prayer (28 points total) do some kind of vigorous movement every morning to wake my body up (28 points total) complete at least one Wim Hof Method breath rotation, exercise, and cold shower every day (28 points total) get at least 30 minutes daily outside in nature (barefoot if possible). (28 points total) eat intuitively and mindfully (28 points total) walk at least 12,000 steps/day (28 points total) run at least three days/week; this can include sprints (12 points total) read for at least 20 minutes every day (in this instance, audiobooks do not count; it is about sitting still and focusing on one thing for at least 20 minutes). (28 points total) continue working toward Masters degree And that about does it for now. Hope you'll follow along; I feel so much stronger when friends come along on the adventure.
  16. Hello, friends! I used to be an active member about 3-4 years ago, but sadly dropped off the forum as time went on. However, I really missed the community here and have some new workout goals to meet, and so I decided to come back! A bit about myself: I'm a 26 year-old attorney (graduated in 2017) who is trying to make a significant career shift by applying to the United States Marines Corp! I would still be a lawyer, but the work I'd be doing if I get in is the kind of work I want to do. Why the Marines? Well, why not? The physical standards for Marines are arguably the toughest out of all of the service branches, and I really like that they want their attorneys to be as in shape as any infantry officer. I also want to be a resource to and for women in the military, and the best way to do this is by being there. My long-term goals: 1) apply and get accepted to Officer Candidate School (OCS) by passing a Physical Fitness Test (PFT) 2) pass OCS and get my commission 3) be able to max out on pull-ups (12 for female Marines) 4) live a healthier, happier life 5) become more knowledgeable about Stoicism 6) continue developing and improving my language skills (Polish and French) Goals for this challenge: Physical goals: 1) Get to at least 2 consecutive pull-ups. I am currently able to do 1 pull-up without assistance. The minimum requirement is 4, starting 1 January 2019. This means I have to figure out how to do 4 consecutively by the time the selection board meets to select candidates in mid-March. My short-term goal is to be able to do 2 consecutive pull-ups consistently by the end of the challenge. • How to accomplish this? - "Greasing the groove" by doing assisted (resistance band) pull-ups whenever I walk by my pull-up bar as well as making them the focus of my strength building workouts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 2) Rehab the knee and get better at running again I sprained my knee back in November, and it's finally recovered. It was a minor sprain (grade 1, no surgery needed, just a compression sleeve on the knee and no running or excessive lower body movement), and after 4 weeks of recovery, it's better! However, I don't want to do too much too soon and resprain my knee, so my goal for this challenge is to incorporate running just twice a week back into my workout schedule, as well as walking more regularly. My goal is to get back down to my 8 minute mile, 24:21 3 mile time for my PFT. • How am I going to accomplish this? - Do one sprint session a week and one 1-2 mile run a week to build up the strength in my knee again. - Walk whenever possible, and take breaks to take walks if necessary at work - Take the stairs at the office!!! - Slowly integrate squats (both bodyweight and with weight) back into my workouts to strengthen my knee 3) continue building core strength Crunches are a PFT requirement. I'd like to be able to max out and get a full score on crunches for my PFT (110 in 2 minutes) • How am I going to accomplish this? - Have a family member hold my feet while I practice crunches in 1 or 2 minute sessions to improve abdominal strength 4 times a week. If no family member is free, stick my feet under some furniture and go! Intellectual goals: 1) Practice my language skills and continue to improve I used to have near-native fluency in French. Sadly, a lack of practice is causing me to forget a lot of what I know! I'm also learning Polish so I can communicate with my mom's side of the family more (my grandmother speaks no English) as well as connect more with my culture and heritage. • How am I going to accomplish this? - Practice Polish on Duolingo for at least 5 minutes a day every day. Duolingo is far from perfect, but I've learned a lot in the past couplele of months and I want to keep improving! - Read at least 1 news article in French per week and 1 book or short story in French this month. I have a subscription to the Monde (French newspaper) and a couple of French novels in my house! I have no excuse for missing this goal. 2) Build a healthy mindset by studying and implementing Stoic practices I'm a recent student of Stoic philosophy (I've been teaching myself since this summer), and while I've read a lot, it's time to start implementing what I've learned. For this month, I'm going to focus on practicing gratitude (an important Stoic practice!) as well as practicing reframing my more negative thoughts and habits • How am I going to accomplish this? - I have included a gratitude page in my bullet journal for the month of January! I'm going to write down 1 thing I'm grateful for each and every day this month - Stay up-to-date with the Stoic philosophy podcasts I listen to, and make sure I'm actively listening and absorbing what I'm hearing - Practice mindfulness every day. If I encounter a stress point or obstacle, approach it rationally rather than immediately getting stressed out 3) Clean up my diet... Again The holidays got me again! Snacks and sweets everywhere, and I am particularly susceptible to dark chocolate and praline pecans that just happen to be in the house (and unfortunately, I can't just get rid of them. My mom bought them and I'm still living with my parents because living costs are high here in MA and because if I get into the Marines, there's no point in moving if I'm going to Quantico in 6 months!). I need to cut down on my snacking and eat cleaner again. • How am I going to accomplish this? - Replace my snacking habits with a specific time of day to enjoy a piece of chocolate or dessert - EDIT: new mini challenge: drink a minimum of 2L (or 64 Oz) of water a day! Other things of note: I have 2 formal events this month: a med school formal and a black tie wedding! I need to make sure I don't go off track because of travelling. I'm excited for this challenge! EDIT: I've gotten rid of the food tracker portion of my challenge because it takes a lot of time and I don't have a scale to measure foods accurately. It also just isn't very practical while I'm at work to spend time inputting recipes or trying to figure out how to eyeball my homemade food. I've also edited the crunches portion so I can stick my feet under furniture to practice crunches.
  17. Last challenge, over in warriorland, I implemented my 23andMe results into a diet and exercise plan. I wound up floundering around quite a bit. Weight went up for a while, now it's back down. I realized that weightlifting during weight loss is not a winning strategy for me, even tho I want it to be. So, I'm back. One thing I did realize is that I really like thinking about biological problems, which is probably why I went after a PhD in genetics a while back. (settled for the M.S. after 6 years and being burned out). I looked at my results, and figured out a dietary program which mostly works so far. I went with a gluten free, lactose free, pescatarian diet and lasted a month before I kinda derailed for a couple days for cheeseburgers and pizza. If I could had a taste of one or the other it would have been worth it, but now I know that both was overkill. Now I alternate fish and poultry every day, so I'm feeling a little more balanced and able to hold off on meats. Anywho, point is I used science to solve a health-related thing and it was fun. I kinda thought about getting back into some research or being a doctor, and somehow took a practice/sample MCAT exam. I did terrible, but it was mostly from forgetting simple facts I learned in undergrad/gradschool. Somehow the idea wormed its way into my brain and now I can't think of anything else but to at least try. So this will be my last big attempt at being like OMG, he's a doctor successful. Bear in mind. I'm not doing this because I hate being a machinist. That is a good steady job and I sense some opportunities on the horizon in my current company (QA manager is kind of an idiot bro and I know I could do a better job managing his department) but I'd still need at least a year at the company to move up, and probably some experience in that department would help. But before I"m a year in at the machine shop, I'm going to take the MCAT before I choose to settle in. I haven't scheduled it yet, but I'm hoping to schedule it in Jan. If I do well I'll start moving in that direction and apply. Go back to school and take a couple pre-reqs, work in some bio labs. If I do it I'm going for neurosurgery. Why aim any lower? (also, google avg. neurosurgeon salary and try to to squeal and go "I want, gimme!") Edit: And now we're naming goals after brain partz! Goals: Goal 1, Hippocampus! The hippocampus is the part of the brain involved in memory formation. This goal is about studying/cramming for the MCAT. I've got four years of undergrad science classes worth of material to review in less than six months. I bought a boxed set of study guides for the test (seriously, material is almost identical to my B.S. Biology with a minor in chem and psych), and it comes with three online practice tests. The plan is to work through those guides, and take a practice test each month before January (three tests in this set, plus the three available on the AAMC website). I want to finish reading the books, then take the first practice exam at the end of this challenge. (3288 pp. and I'm already about 700 down in the first week). Goal 2,Spinal Cord! Even when complex movements are worked out somewhere else in the brain, our balancing abilities, reflexes, and the final motor output are controlled by the spinal cord. This is my yoga goal. Mindful, stretching, and balancing is the way to go if you're gonna be a neurosurgeon. Got work on balance, muscle control and endurance in all those posture muscles to work so I can keep my balance. Yoga, 3x per week. Goal 3, Anterior Cingulate Cortex! This part of the brain is believed to have roles in processing self-awareness, consciousness, empathy, morality, emotion, and bunch of similar stuff that Buddhists and people into mindfulness talk about. This is my meditation goal. I'm back on doing Soto Zen Zazen in the morning after a quick stretch sesh. It's a good way to start the day. Do morning meditation daily (>= 10 min). Goal 4, Cerebellum! The cerebellum (or little cerebrum) coordinates complex motor movements. The commands for movement usually initiate from the motor cortex along with the help of a few other places. The problem is that the signals are not refined. The cerebellum fine tunes those signals so that muscle contractions are coordinated and balanced. This is my coordination goal. Use my time at work to develop the connection between my eyes, hands, and brain. Not to mention my art and guitar playing. I've already got a lot of acumen when it comes to the eye-hand-brain thing. I just need to do some thing daily to steadily improve. Practice a fine motor skill involving the hand and eye every day. This could be painting/drawing, playing an instrument, or tinkering/fixing something. But! I have to challenge myself and put forth maximum effort so that I improve. Goal 5, Pineal Gland. The pineal gland regulates sleep/wakefulness. It secretes melatonin which regulates your circadian clock (daily metabolic cycle) and dimethyltryptamine (DMT) which is the most powerful hallucinogen known to man.Its the chemical that knocks you out. It's also called the spirit molecule. Hippies think the pineal gland is the "third eye" and a window into the spiritual realm. This is my sleep goal. My aim is to habituate myself to functioning on less sleep. Right now I'm shooting for 6 hours per night as opposed to the 8-9 I usually get. This seems counterintuitive to health, but the fact is if I want to/can become a doctor, I have to figure out how to function on less sleep and do complex things while I'm a little groggy. I'm just going to see what happens if I stick to just 6 hours a night M-F for now. I'm in my second week of this and it's actually going well. I actually sleep much better, and deeply, I'm less groggy in the morning, and I have more energy. Of course, partly this is linked with an improved diet. Goal 6, Pre-frontal cortex. The pre-frontal cortex is the big area behind your forehead (it includes the anterior cingulate cortex) that is involved with logic/reason, planning, and moderating social behavior... adulting. This is my adulting/stoic goal. Clean kitchen and bathroom weekly. Tidy up daily for like 10 min. Schedule a trip to the doctor. Schedule a trip to the dentist. Finish reading Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. Back on that too.One of the facts of being a doctor/surgeon is that you can't fix or control everything or everybody. You lose patients. You can make mistakes and ruin lives. Even with the utmost of effort and skill, it will happen and you have to strengthen yourself to accept and cope with those facts. Not wanting that level of responsibility, not wanting to bear such a burden is probably what kept me away from medicine in the first place. Every bio student has to consider it. First, I chose research but wound up in a field that just burned me out. But part of research in speciation is that human lives do not hang in the balance of every decision. So it was cozy for a while. Now I want to do something with some real weight to it and hopefully do some good. I actually thought about it pretty deeply last week. The time it takes to become a neurosurgeon is another 11 years (4 in med school, 7 in residency). Yes the paycheck is dangling there, but on the way are the lives of so many people that I might be able to help. Neurosurgeons save people from brain tumors, aneurysms, paralysis, and pain. If I can help even one person, change or save even one life, all that effort will have been worth it. Plus, brains are super neat.
  18. Hello everyone! I'm going to do an extended summer challenge in this thread that will run for roughly 7 weeks. This will include prep week, the four week challenge, and the two week summer vacation that the nerd fitness forums have planned. It feels a bit nostalgic for the old days of nerd fitness when we did six week challenges on these forums. I'm a thirty something single woman with a cat named Dragon. There's a lot going on in my life currently in terms of my mental health and recovery, and it can all feel pretty intense and heavy. I've decided to make my next challenged centered on something that I can always use more of in my life... PLAY! I don't intend to have any rigid goals, but will post regularly with my experiences and experiments in several domains of life. More may open up as we go along, but currently I'm thinking about these areas. Annyshay plays with her movement, food, friends, and imagination. Music, gifs, and other shenanigans as well as really intense and/or nerdy discussion is always encouraged and appreciated. Let's play!
  19. After year of getting ready mentally, I'm finally able to lose the weight I need to lose to get healthy. Last challenge I finally got my BMI below 30. This is a great step towards being healthy. Food as always be a comfort to me, a way to relax. Now I see I don't need food to do this. Yes, sometimes I get thoughts like "I'm so stressed, I need to eat something to calm down" or "I worked so hard today, I deserve this food" or "I feel so bad, some food will make me feel better". But that's just wat they are: thoughts. I see now that I don't need to act on them. I am in charge, not the random thoughts that pop in my head. Enough talk, lets dive in Quest 1: Nutrition I will eat 1200 kcal combined with intermittent fasting (18/6'ish) for 5 days a week. And eat normally (aka around 2000 kcal a day, no fasting) for 2 days a week. This way I will prevent my body adapting to the lower kcal, so I will still be able to eat normally once I reached my goal weight. Besides that: it will prevent me from going crazy Usually the normal days will be on Wednesday and Sunday, but if I have a birthday to go to for example, I will switch it around. This plan should fit my life, not the other way around. Quest 2: Fitness Body weight training 3 times a week. I've been doing the sessions on fitbit coach. It tailors the workouts to your goals and capabilities. It never asks me to do a regular push up for example And off course zumba and dancehall classes! Like I am able to skip those There will be a showcase on July 1st, and I need to train for that. So I will attempt to go to all extra trainingsessions, and go the the regular ones (2 hours on Tuesday, 1 on Thursday and 1 on Friday). BUT, and this is important: if I feel my body needs to recharge I will skip a workout, or at least postpone it. I will not over-train my body, and I will rest when I need to rest. Quest 3: Keep sane To adhere to these goals I need to be mindful. I need to be aware of my thoughts and why I do what I do. To keep on track I will either watch 1 masterclass a week or read a blogpost on Life on Tellus, or I will read a chapter in "the little book of big change" or "mind over binge". And to provide extra motivation I'm participating in DietBets. And to make things even better. Here is a Spreadsheet for my accountability and your entertainment
  20. Since getting my Master's last August, I have found a solid routine. I lift weights three days a week, do cardio/PT three days a week, and do 10 minutes of Kenpo Karate practice in the morning. My food intake is reasonably consistent and balanced, and I can see slow but steady changes in my body. Naturally, I'm going to throw a wrench in all that. Setup: I've stayed in touch with my school, and one of the electives I wanted to take is being offered this summer, so I enrolled in it, just for funsies. While it's not quite as serious, being not for a degree, the final grade will still be on my transcript, so I can't just blow it off. Keeping in mind that one graduate class is considered equivalent to part-time work, my free time (and possibly energy) will be heavily affected. Problem: I have a tendency to get caught up in "what will be" and "what I want to be" and forget to pay attention to "what is," inevitably resulting in feelings of disappointment that reality doesn't match my dreams. Worse, it usually takes a while of growing, vague frustration before I recognize what's happening and work to fix it. That time has decreased lately, but the last one still took me 2-3 weeks to realize and correct. Since I've chosen to burden myself with another class (which I'll be paying for myself, so don't want to arbitrarily drop it), I expect my opportunities to reflect on my internal state will be limited; on the other hand, I don't want to spend 10 weeks being grumpy and growly at those around me for reasons that are entirely my fault. Challenge: Pay attention. To right now. To my mental state. To my expectations. To reality. To my reactions to reality. Stressful doesn't have to mean stressed out. I've got this, and I can do it, calmly.
  21. Klaybae's New Groove: The Outtening I AM RETURNED. Goal the First: Follow the first half of GMB's Elements according to the scheduled do / rest days. Goal the Second: Row 10 minutes a day. Let's just get that habit rolling again. Goal the Third: Get back to keto eating M-F with primal carbs on weekends. Goal the Fourth: Complete the first half of my MBSR course. Hello, why am I sticking to these goals? THE BIG OL HWHY. Hi there, it's ya boi Klaybae fka Klaymates here. About a month ago, I reached out to my GP about starting the process for FtM (female to male) transitioning. Among other things, testosterone therapy can cause weight gain and impact mental wellness, and I just want this transition to help me be the h e a l t h i e s t me possible. And right now, I don't feel like my healthiest self. Would you believe how completely and utterly shattered/off balance/stressed/exhausted I am processing all these EMOTIONS and shrugging off the uninformed/hateful/not-my-business opinions of others throughout this process? My GP included? It's hard stuff y'all. Aside from all the distress and other nasty feels I've carried around in my little gender dysphoria feelings bag, I've also constantly felt like a fraud or impostor or liar or fake for living without full authenticity. But hopefully, I can be approved for gender affirming treatments. WHOOOWEEE NOW THAT WE'VE GOTTEN THAT OUT OF THE WAY. Even so. This is the most fulfilling and most terrifying thing I've ever done in my life! My whole, big, great, grand, wacky, wonderful life! On the first day of this challenge I'll see my GP again, hopefully for a referral to an appropriate psychiatrist who specialises in gender therapies and can give me a nice little letter to take to an endocrinologist so that I can begin T. And get my titties lopped off. She asked for some weeks to try to figure out how to deal with all of this, after saying some really stupid, unprofessional, and hurtful things. I am secretly terrified she is going to try to block this process here, by refusing to refer me onwards just because she doesn't believe it's a real thing that's impacted my entire life. I guess I'll figure out how to cross that chasm if it happens. But anyway, in the meantime I've quit smoking, I'm shedding weight, I'm improving my fitness, I'm improving my mindfulness, I'm reconnecting to the things I love about myself, I'm hoping, and I'm going to breathe deeply and maybe have a nice cuppa. Also this will probably accidentally turn into a journal space about transitioning, so if you really don't want to read about that stuff...well there's your heads up. Thanks!
  22. *peeks in* oh dear... Ive really let this go to poop I'm a first year medical resident in my mid-twenties in WA, studying and seeing patients. I am also a big fan of Elder Scrolls, Star Wars, Game of Thrones/ASoIaF, Animorphs, Outlander, Star Trek (TNG), and various other scifi/fantasy themes. Ping me if you play ESO! I would love to adventure with you. I'm also now into DnD5e and currently play and DM. I've fallen off the bandwagon here at NF a few times, but always worth it to try again and try to be a physician who is doing their best to practice what I preach, in a way! [[[ May 28 - June 24th Challenge ]]] LEVEL 1 - Basic Instincts Diet (pick two) Drink 1 bottle/glass of water in the AM and PM Eat one full, prepared and cooked meal with protein and vegetables per day Fitness (pick one) Complete the NF bodyweight workout at least 3x a week Go to a yoga class Level Up Your Life 5 minutes meditation daily Go on a walk OUTSIDE 3x a week ================================================= My OG Character who I think I ought to retire given how much I'm back to Level 1: Level: 4 | Race: Khajiit | Ranger STR: 6 | DEX: 5 | STA: 5 | CON: 6 | WIS: 14 | CHA: 4 Challenge 1: Step one to Escaping Dragons Challenge 2 v2.0: Getting back in the saddle Challenge 3: Getting to the Core of the Matter Challenge 4: Climbing the Ranks Challenge 5: IN PROGRESS (current) =================================================
  23. Heidi

    Heidi: Receive

    Mind Body and Soul I’ve gotten a bit slack with the daily writing and the yoga routines and all the rest. I was feeling disconnected, spent from a very bleak midwinter indeed, and I need to reconnect, especially at the soul level. I’m looking forward to setting down anxiety and fretfulness and worry. I’m looking forward to living in harmony and love, letting the universe be in charge. I’m thinking of this round sort of like a sustained balance pose, like the Eagle or the tree. Or, my favorite, Lord of the Dance, even though this past challenge I considered it a huge success just to do Corpse pose. Let’s see what the Universe has in mind for me, shall we? This spring I’m doing something kind of weird. I’m putting a whole bunch of stuff out into the universe and seeing what comes back. I’ve put out a mountain of energy and intention and effort and invitation in the past three months. Mostly, I’ve heard nothing, except for the occasional faint and distant no. Okay, universe; message received. Apparently the directions I have been looking are not the ones the Universe has in mind for me. But I still don’t know exactly what I am supposed to be doing. This round I’m working with the uncertainty of it all, leaning on the knowledge that I am a powerfully effective person and very capable indeed. If it should all come back that I end up with two master’s degree programs and a full time job and a part time one on top of that, I could probably do it all, frankly, though not for very long. But maybe just long enough to see what I want to keep. I’m crafting this challenge around what I want to be doing regardless of the external validation structures that might come my way. I’m going to highlight the things in my life that are actively positive elements, and I’m going to update on how my focus on them is going. Mind - daily activities Read Spiritual Book Group Book A Testament of Devotion I'll add in other books as they happen. This place is being left as available depending on what happens with the two graduate programs I'm working with. Knit Publish the patterns that I have finished. Finish the Mrs. Who capelet and publish the pattern. Consider the possibilities of a wholesale yarn order Begin Vivian's Daphne Dress Write Pages are due before the colonoscopy on April 25. More pages will be required at the Queens Workshop May 20-26 Then pages will be needed for June and July, too. Body Gym: I have missed the gym, and it has missed me. It's no real surprise that there is a positive feedback loop of negativity when I don't go to the gym because I'm getting depressed. So the answer is: More Gym Time. Weights and walking and swimming are wonderful and have been missing from my world for too long. The Steam room and sauna are definitely needed. Any day with these is a good day. Yoga: I've added in a bit of structure since the yoga has fallen by the wayside. Tuesday Morning Yoga at the Library Wednesday Evening Yoga at the Mansion Friday Morning Yoga at the Library Soul - This is the area of greatest need, and fortunately is the one that has the most activity scheduled. These are the ways of the universe, in which there are no coincidences. Monday Evening meeting Sunday Friends Monthly Spiritual Formation Meeting - date tbd for May Monthly Women’s Wisdom Meeting April 18 & May 16 Semi-annual Spiritual Retreat May 4-6 Annual Friends Blue Ridge Gathering April 29
  24. THE PRESSURE IS ON! Respawn, because I have been a slack lately. More nerdy references (and some kind of story line and D&D references) to come in the next few days. There is a Pole Sport competition I will be going to in about seven months, where I will need to be able to move, climb, flip and be awesome like a ninja. In order to not be a disappointment at this competition, I need to do multiple things. Increasing flexibility is the main priority, and getting my ass back into some kind of workout routine is a close second. 1 - Increasing flexibility MUST ABSOLUTELY HAPPEN AND IS NOT NEGOTIABLE (daily except Sundays) 2 - Following the Gymnastics Bodies program on a regular basis (5x/week) 3 - Going for 20-30 min walks at lunch now that the weather is less shitty (5x/week, unless there's a staff event at lunch or something) 4 - Doing the pole workout given to me by Coach (daily: full workout if at pole gym, partial workout if at home) 5 - Drinking more water daily--at least 72oz/day (72oz, because I have a 24oz cup and 3x24 is 72 and I didn't feel like doing any more math than that) 6 - Tracking food intake and rough calorie total (daily, also requested by Coach) 7 - 10 min meditation & journal on a daily basis (I already do this, but want to keep going) 8 - Eat less cheese (this will probably be the hardest item of the challenge) Implied goals: 9 - I will lose some pounds (fat) as a result of all of the above 10 - I will drink less alcohol because I'll be too fucking busy to do so 11 - I will check in to this thread on a regular basis to brag/whine as necessary ;P BONUS task: Working on my cosplay(s). PRE-CHALLENGE LIST, to remove the emotional/mental load: 1 - Cancel the expensive gym membership that I no longer use It's a good place and I've been there for years, but the schedule is no longer working for me. 2 - Booking appointments that I keep procrastinating on booking 3 - Contacting people that I keep procrastinating on contacting (0 of 2) 4 - CLEAN MY FUCKING ROOM so I have space to work out, work on cosplay, etc. 5 - Change my user name on NF, because using my RL name on the Internet is probably not a good idea May will be particularly difficult, because I will have the usual work hours (8AM to 4PM) and then coaching hours from like 6PM to 10PM from Monday to Thursday. This will result in VERY LITTLE FREE TIME and probably a lot of complaining. I want to have all my ducks in a row as well as some momentum before May so that I'll be less likely to fall off the wagon.
  25. Last month's theme was NO. Saying no more, noticing opportunities to say no, and removing distractions and input. The theme I set up for March was "f*ck yeah or no". I want to do stuff I only feel f*ck yeah about. But, I'm struggling a bit with this philosophy. a) I have to do boring stuff like go to work. b) I get tired of "f*ck yeah" all the time. Instead, I want to focus on mindfulness, processing, and being intentional about what comes into my life. The same as before, but an amped up version of "no". Combat the FOMO. I want to involve myself in experiences that are good enough I want to live them twice, I want to keep being aware of how much I take on, and I want to be a little bit bored. I want more downtime than I know what to do with...it's not my strong suit. Q1: Salad every day! Same as last challenge--a salad every work day (4 days a week). Last month was pretty easy but I want some more time to settle into this habit. Q2: Skill practice/flexibility work Last challenge I wanted to do one session of skill practice/flexibility work per week. This challenge I'd like to do two sessions per week. Q3: Daily Social Media Check-in Last challenge I set up some tracking and kept my social media use down during work hours. It was pretty effective, but it didn't touch any social stuff I did on my phone or my home laptop. I just want to track if I've accessed Twitter or Facebook on any device, each day. How many days can I go without checking in? I found last challenge that the longer I went without going to Twitter/FB, the less interesting it was to me. And I want to track why I went to social media each time. I've also tried to turn off my Google Now feed on my phone...but it isn't working. So I want to track how often I go there. Q4: Daily Writing Write every day for 15 minutes. Any kind of writing. The end. I haven't been getting enough sleep so FIRST AND FOREMOST that has to stop. But I'm pretty good at regulating that, so no official quest. -- A few obstacles: My partner's parents are coming to visit for a week I'm going to a HUGE HUGE conference the last week of the challenge. It's always crazy intense and exhausting, and as I've gotten more involved in the community, it gets more and more exhausting. I'm already overwhelmed trying to figure out where I'm going to be when. So, I'm going to do a special challenge week like I did last year, adjusted based on what I learned: Goal 1: Stay hydrated (3 nalgenes per day) Goal 2: Lie down on the floor for ten minutes every day. Goal 3: Bring sneakers so you can work out in the swanky hotel gym. Goal 4: Check-in with my conference buddies at least once a day.
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