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  1. This month, I’m invoking Hakuna Matata. I want to finish out the year by adding an extra layer of “problem-free philosophy” to all the awesome progress I made in 2017 — amping up the Ease in these new habits and better setting myself up for no worries. Drawing on some insights I stumbled over in the last challenge, I want to focus on doing things that will feel good now, and will also feel good later. The biggest focus this month is a “no worries" diet, so let’s start with that. #1: Rigorous Moderation on sugar & alcohol (“no worries" = no hangovers, no sugar crashes) Continuing the protocols that evolved over the last challenge: On normal days, I limit myself to one alcohol drink and one sweet max per day. I only choose things that will be super enjoyable, and I savor them. If I’m not genuinely in the mood to enjoy something, I will skip it. On special occasion days, I only consume things that will feel great now and will help keep me feeling good later. I guard carefully against hangovers and sugar crashes, and practice being mindful about how my body feels and what it wants. Tracking & Scoring: Logging compliance for each day in the LumenTrails app. Sugar and alcohol are tracked together — if I fail on either, then the whole day is a fail. If I end up unexpectedly feeling cruddy as a result of sugar or alcohol decisions, then I’ll retroactively call a day a fail. #2: Explore methods for moderate eating. (“no worries" = no overeating regrets) I really like what I’m doing with sugar and alcohol (moderating consumption rather than restricting choices) and I want to see if I can also do it for food, too, before I dig back into nutrition refinement. I recently learned about the “eat until you are 80% full” rule, and that seems like a good place to start. I have no idea how well this concept will work for me because I’ve never paid attention to it before. I want to study it, try some things out, and see if I can make it (or something else) a practical strategy for not overeating. If I can, and it feels right for me, I’ll add it to my ongoing moderation protocol. Tracking & Scoring: While in research mode, I’m just going to give myself a pass/fail for doing enough digging & experiments to see if these ideas can work for me. If I find that they don’t, well, that still counts as a Pass for research efforts. If i do find a method that works for me, then I’ll switch over to compliance tracking for whatever days are left in the challenge. #3: Continue ramping up the NF Beginner Bodyweight Workout (“no worries” = no overthinking, just follow the plan) I’m loving the workout plan I started in the last challenge, and I’m just going to continue it. Changing nothing about the commitment (which is 3x a week)— let’s just see how much I can increase reps & intensity while still enjoying how it makes me feel. Current Baseline: 3 Circuits per workout Each Circuit includes: Squats: 11 Push-ups: 7 kneeling (or 7-10 on various inclines) Lunges: 7 per side Dumbbell Rows: 8 per side using a 25lb dumbbell Plank: 20 seconds Jumping Jacks: 30 (not intending to increase jacks — this seems like enough for the workout) Tracking & Scoring: using Runkeeper app to record workout time, which syncs to Beeminder, which will charge me money if I start slack off. If I can’t hit the perfect workout for logistical or health reasons, I’ll modify the timeframe or exercises however is needed to make sure I still show up 3x a week. Revised Nov 27: added Meditation as goal, and downgraded home stuff) #4: Meditate (“no worries” = notice the worries and release them) Using the Headspace app, I want to focus on being mindful of the present moment, noticing impatient thoughts, and letting them go. My main goal is to increase my sense of calm in stressful situations at work, so I'll focus mainly on the "Patience" series in the app. I'm open to doing sessions while walking, and while on a public transit commute -- it doesn't just need to be sitting in a quiet place. Wherever I can fit it in is fine, as long as I show up, focus, and continue to bring myself back whenever my mind wanders. Tracking & Scoring: Requiring a minimum of 5min, 3x a week, just to make myself show up. If it I do that much, it counts as a 100%. (Ideally aiming for 15min, 4x a week.) BONUS: Get rid of trash & donation piles (“no worries” = clear open spaces in my home) Since i started decluttering my house, I have growing piles for trash & donation in my guest room and garage. Time to clear it all out, and do it properly — with accurate tax receipts for Goodwill donations, and good homes for larger items. Tracking & Scoring: Breaking this down into 4 big tasks: Log inventory of donation bags for taxes, then take to Goodwill Offload the king size box spring & old chandelier to craigslist Help the air conditioner find a good home Get rid of all the trash (note: our trash collection bin is too small, so this will either take week-by-week persistence or a special pickup) Scores & Rewards I’m trying out a “Loot Budget” for buying non-essentials that bring me joy, to be funded purely by challenge successes. Here’s the initial plan for rewards based on total challenge score: 100%: $80 for loot 90 - 99%: $60 for loot 80 - 89%: $40 for loot Below 80%: Fail. No loot. Bonuses: worth $5 each, 4 available Total Possible Reward: $100 for loot. Gif Theme: ALLLLL the Lion King. Bring it.
  2. SUMMMMMMMMERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!! Not officially here, but I didn't think spring/summer weather was EVER going to get here. But it finally arrived in it's fashionably late glory, and I am SO EXCITED! Oh, hello! How have you been? I've been away for a while. I had a lot things going on both with myself and others in the family. A lot of things weren't adding up or connecting. The disconnect was the most trying, but I think I have successfully straightened out those wires. I THINK. The thing could blow at any time, but what I have managed has proven QUITE GOOD, so I am not focusing on the bad, or the could be's. ANYWAY~~~ I decided to not jump right into the challenges and I'm going to be working on logging activity here. I have also reset everything in my academy quests, so I can start ~ANEW~. The spring/summer is always the time where I really thrive on building good routines...even if they didn't last throughout last year. I was in a different place, then. A lot of things were different on a mental level, and that really plays heavily on getting where you want to be on a physical level. I'm not worrying about diets or weighing myself. I am going to focus on eating in moderation, getting physical activity in on a daily basis, and building a healthy lifestyle that I can share with my family. Good? Good. Let's do this! Today was filled with a lot of physical activity. I had two dance parties with myself along with some massive cleaning in the fridge and pantry. Yesterday I did some hardcore cleaning at part of the floor where new pantry now is. I REALLY WANT A PLATE OF NACHOS. mmm nachos. I almost typed machos. MACHO NACHOS. Happy Tuesday!
  3. So hello again; I'm respawning after an NF hiatus. This is my first challenge in the new 2016 format so please bear with me if I don't get it quite right in the beginning. My challenge for this month goes something like this: 1. Moderation! When it comes to chocolate, I practice moderation. I eat no more than 50g of chocolate per day. 2. Breakfast! I eat a healthy breakfast after I work out. 3. Treadlift! I follow the Treadlift workouts. 4. Alarm! I make use of my smartphone alarm app to organise my life and maintain discipline / boost mindfulness.
  4. Alrighty, I am a 43 year old woman of varying talents and skills. I am a mom to 2 teenage boys, one with HF autism/aspergers, depending on who you ask. I am almost step mom to another teenage boy, preteen boy and cutie pie little girl. I also raised my 23 year old nephew I have gone from being in what I considered amazing health and fitness to less than fit and tired. I have lost both my parents, and gone through divorce. I have been on the divorce diet and lost too much weight in a very unhealthy way. I have gained that back and then some due to lack of movement and loving all food. My struggle with weight is nothing compared to some other people, but it's my struggle and my journey. I stumbled on NF looking for something for my BF to embrace, but found something I want to embrace. I have been following principles of moderation and have been lifting weights and doing cardio. My strength and endurance are improving and I want to continue to improve. I have completed a half marathon (walk/run) and have my black belt in TKD. I have a new crazy goal of a marathon next year with a group of friends. I am hoping that my strength training and cardio training will help avoid injuries and just having a new goal is exciting. I am looking forward to joining challenges and meeting other newbies.
  5. Hello Assassins! I'm Claire, and I finished up my very first challenge last session. I'm excited to join a guild this time around. I've been thinking quite a bit since then about what goals I want to set, and where I want to aim for. I've ended up deciding that I want to feel stronger, more resilient, more capable and happier, and I've chosen goals that I hope will help me get there. I also want to make sure that I cover both the physical and emotional/mental side of things. I've had a rough couple of years health-wise, but things are looking pretty good at the moment. Main Quest I want to feel stronger and more capable in myself, both physically and mentally. Quest 1: To Dance Again! (2 DEX, 2 CHA) A couple of years ago, I was dancing pretty frequently. I like partner dancing, and I've dabbled in various different ballroom and latin styles. Then a combination of dodgy knees and depression stopped me, and now I haven't been dancing for... 18 months? probably longer. So, my goal for this challenge is 1 Dancey-type activity per week Hopefully these will involve getting out of the house and interacting with other people, but if I need to do something at home that will count as well Quest 2 Stand on one leg (2 DEX, 1 STA, 1 STR) My ankles have always been my weak point - they get sore when I run, they get sore when I walk too long, they get sore if I hold them in a funny position.... so this challenge, I want to strengthen them, so that I don't have to constantly make excuses for them. My plan for this is Part A: ankle exercises every day Part B: Single leg balances 5 days a week Quest 3 Control the Snacks (4 CON) Overall my diet isn't bad, and I don't want to absolutely give up any foods, because then I get cross and unhappy. But I do have issues with eating way too much of some foods, and then feeling sick and guilty afterwards. So this challenge, I am aiming for: Maximum of 1 indulgence food a day Life Quest: Mental Homework (3 WIS) I want to look after my mental health, and I tend to keep putting it off as something that's not important and can wait till later. Well, later is now. This challenge I want to: Part A: Do mindfulness 3 days a week Part B: Write in a journal 2 days a week Grading I've never understood letter grades - I didn't use them growing up - so I'm just going with percentages here. I have finally allocated stat points! Measurements Height: 180 cm Weight: 95.9 kg Arms: 32 cm Chest: 115 cm Waist: 91 cm Hips: 112 cm Thighs: 68 cm Calves: R 45cm L 44cm Before Photos (Please forgive my dreadful picture taking skills)
  6. Where to start, what to say. So here is the dealio, yo. There have been some major changes to my life in the recent months. Some things at work changed for me, and I am traveling quite a bit. This overall is a good thing, but there are a bunch of issues i am having to work myself through, most of it being mental. Let me explain, so when i travel i have very little choice as to what i eat. I am limited to hotel breakfast in the morning, lunch is what ever is provided (typically pizz) or something really fast and so my only choice is dinner. Overall, not horrible, just very difficult to maintain any sort of regularity. Working out is very similar. While i am out traveling i typically work 10-15hr days, so between dinner and sleep, i have very little to no time to work out. My challenge goals will explain it all further. Challenge 1. Eat how much i need not what i want So, i can only partially control as to what I eat, so I think really the name of the game this time will be controlling how much I eat. Lets face it, I can eat a large pizza and a gallon of ice cream in a sitting, and if its there, in front of my nose, i may actually do so. This is a huge struggle for me, portion control has always been a big problem. This will be my goal. Instead of half a pizza, eat a slice, instead of 4 double cheese burgers, have one or two etc. Tracking calories will be hard, as i am not making it, so really i will have to go strictly based of portion. Challenge 2. Just do something If i work insane hours and only get like 4 hrs of sleep, i can't sit there and hope to workout 1hr as well. I just need to wrap my mind around the fact that doing anything is better than nothing. A few minutes early to do some pushups and squats etc, will be better than nothing at all. At the same time though, i need to make sure if i do have the time that i do go to the gym and use the time effectively. There is no plan here, just do what i can Challenge 3. Make the right choices, when i am able to make a choice Doing a lot of traveling make it very easy to excuse horrible eating. Hotel breakfasts have mainly breads, and other carbs sitting out. Lunch is typically something fast and my dinners are company expensed, so why not eat a giant steak with a fully loaded potato right? Well, I am starting to realize this is horrible thinking. Fast doesn't mean horrible, a wrap from MCd's is better than a double cheese burger for example. A smaller steak with veggie sides is better than a 20oz porterhouse with a loaded baked white potato. I can't have a perfect nutrition, but i can make the best choices possible. Side quest Ever wonder what it would be like if our Food was teleported straight from the plate into our stomache? Watch me eat sometime, you may understand. The comments are always there "damn you ate that already?" "No way you could've enjoyed that food" "Did you even breath while you ate that?" I do not know if it will help, but people seem to think if i slow down, i may actually stop eating so damn much. So i will try it out. Though I have no clue how, i have eaten the same way i do, ever since HS. Count every time i chew? Don't load up the fork till i swallow? Hell I don't know, i will try though. Hey, if you guys have suggestions, please let me know. Luckily i start the challenge off being at home, but week 2 will have me in charlotte, NC. And i am anticipating 18hr days because of the work load there, after i don't know where or when yet.
  7. Hello Fellow Rebels! I've recently read a book called The Thin Woman's Brain: Re-Wiring The Brain For Permanent Weight Loss I fully am onboard with this book in that I believe in it and I think it's a viable long term/lifelong plan. As much as I believe in this book I feel stuck on implementing it. I'm hoping there are some other rebels out there who are implementing this book, interested in it, or have implemented it successfully so that maybe we can have an accountabilibuddies style forum going to discuss it. I think sometimes it's hard to see if I'm self sabotaging and it's often clear to an outside observer. Ideally my boyfriend would be the best pick to see what I'm doing and what I should be doing but he refuses to read the book or learn what I should be doing... Please join and we can help each other
  8. Hello everyone This is my second challenge, and I'm ready to kick my butt into gear again. My goal last time was to lose weight, however I weighed exactly the same at the end of the challenge as at the beginning. I'm not overweight, but I have a stubborn 10 lbs. I would like to get rid of. I tend to gain a few lbs, and lose a few lbs, but my body has decided that it likes being at 142 and I'd like to shift that number downward. Last challenge, I made amazing strides in consistency and gaining a sense of groundedness through cultivating a regular meditation practice and exercising regularly. Since the holidays, I have gained a few pounds and would like to start this year off with laser-sharp focus and clear intentions, while also being compassionate and patient with myself throughout the journey. My goal weight is 134 lbs. 1. Become a Paleo Princess - CON + 3 I want to be hardcore about the Paleo lifestyle, and that means eating 80% Paleo 5 days/week. Last challenge, I would totally give myself credit if I was closer to 65% Paleo that day. This time, I want to be extremely honest with myself in order to encourage myself to make the best possible choices throughout the day. Last challenge, I was hoping that the Paleo diet alone would gently shift my weight, but in order to have a better chance of success I've decided to count calories this time, with a net calorie goal of 1300/day. 2. Regular Workouts - DEX +1, STR + 1, STA + 1 My goal is to work out 6 days/week for 1 hr+ each day. I have tons and tons of options as far as workouts go, including Brazil Butt Lift, Zumba, yogaglo.com, fitnessblender.com, etc. I just have to be sure to do it! I will also be using a heart rate monitor to see how many calories I burn during the workouts so I have an accurate sense of my net calories. 3. Regular Meditation - WIS +2, CHA +1 My goal is to meditate 10 minutes/day, 5 days/week. I've been using yogaglo.com for short guided meditations, and I've also been really into these Middle Earth meditations on youtube. I gradually worked my way up to 5 days/week last challenge, and by the end I was able to sit for much longer than 10 minutes, and it felt amazing. I'm really looking forward to continuing to connect with myself in this way and help me manage my stress and anxiety proactively. 4. Alcohol Moderation - CON +2, WIS +2 This one is so crucial. All of my goals end up being intertwined and inevitably affecting one another, but none so obviously as this one. When I overindulge, it often means that my workout, diet, and meditation goals for the next day or two are totally blown. I suspect that drinking is throwing a giant monkey wrench in my weight loss goals. Last challenge, I was only keeping track of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but I noticed that I was drinking more throughout the week than I had been in the past year. This challenge, I am going to keep track of every day. My goal is to have no more than 2 drinks from Monday through Thursday, no more than 4 drinks Friday, no more than 5 on Saturday, and no more than 3 on Sunday. Ideally, I would like to drink less than this, extra credit points if I do lol. 5. Chocolate Moderation - WIS +1 I am a chocolate monster! If left unchecked, I will eat whole boxes at a time! Trying to quit chocolate has not worked though, and only made the inner beast more ferocious! Because of this, I'm going to eat no more than 2 squares/pieces of chocolate (totaling no more than roughly 100 calories) each day, and be really mindful and grateful of it instead of wolfing it down greedily. 6. Wake Up Early - WIS +1 During the last challenge, I did a boot camp Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 6:30-7:30am for 6 weeks. And it was freaking COLD!!! To get there at 6:30am I was waking up at 5:45am, so I shouldn't have too much of a problem waking up by 6:15am Monday-Friday. That's my goal! That'll give me about an hour to work out or meditate in the morning, and then I can squeeze in whatever is left over in the evening. Through this challenge and always, I'm hoping to cultivate a stronger mind-body-spirit connection. In the past, trying to "control" my diet and fitness has turned me into a mean-spirited drill sergeant with myself (which has often led to rebelling against myself). This time, I want to create an internal shift in which I am doing these things because I choose to, because I want to, because it makes me happier and healthier and stronger. And I know there are going to be times that I want to skip a workout or eat a quesadilla and it will be hard. But I'm going to hold firm because I know that there is another part of me, a part I am trying to align with more fully, that's on the path to becoming a bad-ass, magical druid that doesn't back down from challenges when things get tough! Best of luck to all of you in your challenges!!!
  9. The good news: my next assignment will involve jumping out of high performance aircraft, while in flight. I've been here before. I was out of control. A heart warming success story. The bad news: That was 20 years ago. Now I'm domesticated (marriage, kids, mortgages, and a ridiculous number of pets). The Quest: Rise to the occasion. I have 6 months to get into "Airborne" shape. Lots of running, lots of calisthenics, lots of lifting, and lots of stretching. Basically more of everything. The goal is to bounce, not break, when I hit the ground. Goal 1: Run. I can go long, but now I gotta build my speed back up to acceptable levels over shorter distances. Exception, week 6, I'll be hiking the highlands of Scotland. Goal 2: Push ups, sit ups, pull ups. As many continuously as possible. Airborne is just a different way of saying "stupidly high reps", I dunno why. Its important to be able to do more than the young-uns though, their piteous cries for mercy as I break their will to live warms my soul. Goal 3: Joint rotations, stretching, jumping drills. Gotta protect the machine. Limber and bouncy. Level life: Moderation, organization (say it aint so!) and consistency. Healthy eating choices, reasonable amounts, drink only on Fridays and Saturdays (Scottish Distilleries are the exception, but moderation still applies). Soft living lately. Gotta harden up. Time to get serious again. Organize the admin side of the house to OCD levels. 18 hours from anywhere doesn't leave much room for slack. 6 months is enough time to get ready, more than I've ever had before, but it goes fast. Easily squandered. Oh, and I'd like to do one day a week of high volume weights just because. Sorry, no stripping down to sexy pink/glittery spandex while pole dancing. Too much fur and flab, just looks wrong. Like a bear in a pink tu-tu. My motivation? Ready or not, here it comes!
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