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  1. LET'S KICK SOME ASS!!! It has been a fun return so far! Returning to working out and Muay Thai has been great. Tracking is...well it's tracking and I do need to figure out tweaks to my diet, but having that habit again is great! Also doing art again! My muse has returned!! The last challenge just kicked so much ass so I wanted to make sure I kept the awesome train going! As most of you may remembered, I first sought out my NerdFitness training about...one over a year and half ago and brought myself to this gym in my introductory From Lurker to (Newb) Rebel! thread before moving onwards in detailing more of my training for various boughts and challenges I would do in BlackTezca's Daily Battle Towards Feline Greatness. In there I have logged my many victories over my honorable challenges (as well as one crushing defeating) include my comeback fight with my latest challenge BlackTezca's 12(.5)th Trial: An Artsy Geeky Amazon Must Choose Between Mercy...or GENOCIDE!. And now it's time to face my NEXT CHALLENGER!!! For this challenge I have chosen a long running anime for my theme. A boxing anime called Hajime no Ippo that seems well suited to my chosen martial art (we went over Boxing Techniques and movement Wednesday) and a very awesome character study. Though gifs maybe hard to come by, I'll do my best to show this show off with this challenge! Not only does this show match up with my main goal, but so do my quests! My quest to get my strength back, my Muay Thai and kickboxing going, my artistic muse kicking, and also to honor those who may have returned from the battlefront but did not fully come back home...this quest is... My Main Quest to be as POWERFUL and BATTLE READY as Wonder Woman Lets' move onward to the quests! This is gonna be a bit of a hard challenge than last time, mostly cause I'm trying to set stricter ground rules on what I had built up before. Gonna be a bit of a pain, but hey...a challenge isn't suppose to be easy! It's suppose to LEVEL ME UP! Ichiro Miyata has the technique and the diligence but needs to work on that glass jaw! Details: Miyata is an awesome boxer with great technique on footwork and famous for his counters, however he is not the strongest puncher (thus why he utilizes his opponents strength against them through counters) and is infamous for his glaw jaw. A trait inherited from his dad. I myself need to get stronger like he does and thus will be doing strength training 3 times a week. This could be a leg day and arm day then a combo, or combo all three times (squats, deadlifts, benchpress, overhead press for at least 2 sets of 8). We'll see. Contingencies: Sickness and travel pretty much. However considering the flexibility here, I should be able to do something! Walking, yoga, etc! Tracking: I'll be tracking the workouts using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) and this lovely thread will be updated as well. Grading: A for strength training 3 times a week - 25 pts ( 2 Sta 2 Str ) B for strength training 2 times a week - 20 pts ( 1 Sta 2 Str ) C for strength training 1 times a week - 15 pts ( 1 Str ) F for all else Ippo Makunouchi keeps up his passion and training for boxing! Details: Let's up the ante and train more like Ippo! Twice a week for kickboxing and/or Muay Thai! I have an Shirt Promotion ceremony Sunday which will help dictate which classes I can go to (all of them should be the answer. Except for sparring and NOT because of the shirt but for...other reasons). Contingencies: Sickness, vacation and any nausea from clone habitat building. Should be all right though now that the first trimester is over! We'll see! Tracking: I'll be tracking the workouts using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) and this lovely thread will be updated as well. Grading: A for Kickboxing/Muay Thai twice a week! - 15 pt ( 1 Sta 1 Dex) B for Kickboxing/Muay Thai once a week! - 10 pt ( 1 Dex) F for all else Masaru Aoki is a great chef who makes great food which I need to eat! Details: So Aoki is an...interesting boxer, but a very good cook who also makes delicious food. While I don't make delicious foods, I eat a lot of delicious foods and now I need to go back to getting my protein game on! So hoping to eat over 100 grams of protein again for the added strength training! Contingencies: Phone does like my myfitnesspal anymore. However, I can still track with a tablet and my computer. As well trust my trust memory!Tracking: I'll be tracking the workouts using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) and this lovely thread will be updated as well (with total calories and some food descriptions. Good and bad).Grading: A > 100 grams of protein goodness 6 to 7 days a week - 20 exp ( 1 Cha 2 Con )B > 100 grams of protein goodness 4 to 5 days a week - 15 exp ( 1 Cha 1 Con ) C > 100 grams of protein goodness 2 to 3 days a week - 10 exp ( 1 Cha ) F for all else Masahiko Umezawa is finding his own identity and making art his dream! Details: Umezawa grew up A LOT since his high school days; going from bullying Ippo to being his biggest fan, to his best friend, and finally finding his own dream of being a manga artist. I need to keep my own art up and it's almost NaNoWriMo, so I need to get back to working on my story! Expect not just art but also more character descriptions coming up too! Contingencies: Busy weeks and weekends and friends visiting during labor day. However I have been making time for both model painting and my drawing so this should not be an issue :D.Tracking: I have an art Tumblr and I also have DeviantArt (WATCH ME FOR ACCOUNTABILITY). I shall use those and this thread to keep track. Grading: A for at least 30 minutes 4 to 5 days a week - 20 exp ( 2 Wis 1 Cha )B for at least 30 minutes 2 to 3 days a week - 15 exp ( 1 Wis 1 Cha) F for all else Ryo Mashiba has the longest arms in Japan and has grown up too hard and too fast... Details: One of my friends nominated me for the 22 push ups for 22 days challenge. This challenge is known as 22Kill and is to honor our veterans and raise awareness of veteran suicide. I am a proud military brat and my father, brother, uncles, and grandfather are all veterans and each one has had their challenges from the wars they each served in. Sadly our veterans don't get the support they need once they return home; some of them come home with demons that they sometimes don't escape from and battles they don't win against. I'm doing this challenge not just for my family who I am grateful to still have in my life, but for those families who have lost their loved ones and honoring those who still serve in hopes they finally can get the support they need and that they deserve. I'm not gonna 'tag' or challenge anyone for this, but if someone else wanted to join in, that would be awesome :D. Contingencies: Need to remember to do this. 22 push ups is not a lot, but ugh pregnancy brain and tiredness. Also illness. Hope not to get sick.Tracking: Tracking to be done here mostly as well as MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) under individual exercise reps!Grading: A for 22 push ups 20 to 22 days of challenge - 20 exp ( 1 Wis 2 Str )B for 22 push ups 18 to 19 days of challenge - 15 exp ( 2 Str ) C for 22 push ups 15 to 17 days of challenge - 10 exp ( 1 Str ) F for all else The challenge is set up and I'm ready to go SMASH MY FIST INTO IT! Below is a 'fitness' photo; though some things are getting a bit bigger, I like to point out my arms are one of those things :D. <Photo TBD> Got a photo up and I'm planning on making it slideshow...in fact I may post it as a slideshow gif once I have the preferred photo. It show my state as I get into the ring with this challenge. I'm quite excited to still be here and get my ass into gear and beating this challenge will definitely show that I am here to stay...for now. Until later in the third trimester maybe. Until then, lets' fight on!!
  2. These challenges are just going to fly by. I didn't make enough progress on my goals last month to need to move on yet. The only difference will be no boxing since boxing abandoned me. Goal 1) 2 long walks/runs per week. I know there are lots of ways to work on cardiovascular endurance but my feet need to get used to pounding up and down the field so longer walks/runs it is. Might be inside on a treadmill or outside depending on weather. For me long is greater than 2 miles. Goal 2) Rugby 3 days/week. Practice is Monday, Thursday and Saturday. In the event that I can't attend a scheduled practice or we cancel for weather I will replace it with an hour of intense movement of some kind to mimic what I would be doing at practice. Goal 3) Eating. This is my eternal Achilles heel. Probably always will be. I'm continuing with the goal of eating breakfast at home 5/7 days and adding bringing my lunch to work 4/5 days. By not eating out, I am lowering calorie intake without thinking about it. Goal 4) That pesky morning routine. It's going well but it's only been about 3 weeks so I'm just keeping this as a goal for at least one more month. This month I'm going for the added bonus of getting up at 6:30 or earlier, because I can't keep getting up at 7:30 am. I need to be on my way to work by then.
  3. I'm wildly unprepared for this challenge to start. Fortunately my goals are pretty much unchanged. Fitness goal 1: Boxing twice per week. This will be Wednesdays and Saturdays. Fitness goal 2: Rugby practice twice per week. Monday and Thursday Food goal: Eat breakfast at home 5/7 days. Level up my life goal: Figure out what steps need to go in my morning routine and then make it a habit so I stop being late for work. My overarching theme this year is to get fit enough that I can convince my wife it's okay for me to play rugby at 40 years old. I was just going to help out with the team but now that I've been to a few practices, I'm not sure I'm done playing. My wife has valid concerns because I have history of concussions. My partner in rugby crime thinks that if I lose a lot of weight and get in shape, my wife will be more comfortable with me playing. We'll see. About me: I'm a 40 year old female. I work in highway construction as an asphalt mix designer and materials inspector. My wife and I got legal married during the last challenge but we've been together for almost 8 years. We have 5 cats and 3 dogs in the house. Right now we have 1 garage cat who basically belongs to the whole neighborhood and another feral that I'm hoping to get tame enough to TNR. My nerdly pursuits involve all the basic nerdy tv shows, I read a lot, and I'm building a group for table top gaming. Happy challenge!
  4. I jokingly told my partner that we were going to be the last gay couple in America to get legally married. The next day she said, "What are you doing December 5?" I said, "Uh, whatever" and she said, "Well that's when Phil can marry us." Ooooookay. She decided that we could pull together a wedding in just a few weeks. I didn't realize what that entailed. Basically, UPS throws up on our porch every day and we are single-handedly keeping Etsy going. Sadly, no TARDIS cake, although my friend Brandon is bringing a red velvet armadillo cake. Let's do a challenge! The last challenge was not so hot for me. I need some help to get back on track. I have a friend who is a Team Beach Body coach. She has always been super supportive of me, even though I'm not a paying client. I had decided some time ago that I would buy something through her at some point. Then she announced she has a challenge group starting 11-2 for the 21 Day Fix program. I thought, perfect timing. What the hell. About 21 Day Fix behind the spoiler Goals for this challenge: Goal 1) Boxing 3 times per week. I'm not quitting boxing just because I've got Autumn Calabrese on my DVD player. 3 times = A, 2 times = B, 1 time = C, 0 = F Goal 2) 21 Day Fix DVD workouts. These are daily workouts of 30 min each. They seem to be mostly intervals of body weight and light resistance exercises. 7 times = A, 6 times = B, 5 times = C, 4 times = D, <4 = F Goal 3) 21 Day Fix nutrition program. So for me I'm supposed to eat 6 veg, 4 fruit, 6 protein, 4 "carbs" (grains/potatoes), 1 nuts/cheese, 1 salad dressing, and 6 teaspoons of oil or seed/nut butters daily. If I'm hungry I can add additional veg portions. The break down is roughly 40:30:30 carbs, protein, fat. I know my body does really well on that breakdown but it's going to take a lot of planning and prep to make it work. I need to work out the grading here. Goal 4) Yoga. NF yoga twice per week. I'm having a ton of back pain right now. Hoping this will help. 2 per week = A, 1 per week = B, 0 per week = F So there it is. That's a pretty ambitious challenge after the summer I had but I'm feeling good and I'm ready to attack this thing. I will share some starting measurements once I get them. I'm also going to take one more round of Before pictures. Seriously, getting tired of Befores. And of course I will share the wedding pics!
  5. I didn't really feel like I was ready to upgrade myself to Je'daii Ranger, but continuing the Journeyer theme gives me the perfect framework for this new challenge. Also: GUYS! Do you realize that this challenge will carry us through the premiere of Star Wars Episode 7? Like, by the time this challenge is over, we will have seen it, and know for certain whether or not J.J. Abrams' desecration of Star Trek was even a little bit worth it. ----- Master Alora Denn's holocron tells me of the ancient rites of the Je'daii--those who came before, the first Force users. They lived on Tython, the homeworld of the Jedi Order, in those forgotten days. A Je'daii, upon completing their initial training, became a Journeyer--and it fell to them to travel all of the nine temples of Tython, to learn and understand their place in the Force, before they could be granted the rank of Ranger. Most of those temples are lost to time, and I am no longer welcome on Tython. It falls to me to find my own way in the galaxy, to find my place within the living Force. The Temples of Tython Part One Kaleth: The Temple of Knowledge Kaleth was only recently rediscovered, and now it is best known to the Jedi as the final holdout of the dark master Rajivari during the Force Wars, but before that, it was a shining beacon of knowledge. It was home to a library more vast than any other in the known galaxy, and Je'daii of all kinds spent thousands of hours there, learning what they could from its archives. EDITED After some thought, my improvement of technique in both Lightsaber and Kung Fu falls firmly under Part Two's umbrella. Instead, my knowledge/learning for this challenge will be focused on my budgeting skills. It's something I really need to focus on, and I need to figure out a method that works better than keeping it all in my head, because that doesn't really work at all. For the first four weeks of this challenge, Part One will be about working with YNAB to see if it fits my needs and thinking style in this arena. We'll see what happens after the trial is up. --------- Part Two Stav Kesh: The Temple of Martial Arts Stav Kesh was where the Je'daii trained in the martial ways of their order--learning their weapons, building strength and agility, becoming the warriors that they aspired to be. In the days before the Force Hound Xesh appeared, bringing the first forcesaber (the precursor to the lightsaber) to Tython, the Forge Master created blades of metal that were the signature weapons of the Je'daii. It was with these metal weapons that they learned their arts and honed their craft. EDITED All of my Kung Fu/Lightsaber/Kettlebell stuff will fall under this part of the challenge. Anything I do which improves my knowledge of form, the finesse of technique, endurance, or strength will be considered to contribute toward the Martial Arts part of my challenge. This includes: 1. Attending Kung Fu class 2. Attending lightsaber class 3. Attending dueling day 4. Working on kettlebell form (either swing or TGU) 5. Specifically setting aside time to work on Kung Fu/Lightsaber outside of class 6. Running (just in case I decide to do so once in a while) -------- Part Three Akar Kesh: The Temple of Balance Akar Kesh was once the site of a great eight-pillared temple built around a circular pool of water, where the Je'daii reflected on the lessons of balance between Ashla and Bogan--the light and dark sides of the Force. Maintaining balance between light and dark, peace and passion, was central to the tenets of the ancient Je'daii--and the reason that I am drawn to Master Denn's teachings. The remaining 40% of my focus will be a continued emphasis on eating. For the past six weeks, I have practiced the discipline of the Light side of the Force when it comes to sugary snacks. Before that, I was definitely over-indulging the Dark Side. Now that I have seen both, the goal will be to integrate a balance of peace and passion, of discipline and indulgence, in order to make my life into what I really want it to be. I can't hardly claim to believe in this blended ideology and not actually practice it, so deprivation will not remain the ultimate goal. The focus of this goal will be calorie counting in order to resume my weight loss, but making sure to leave room for the foods and treats that I am really passionate about; and to make exceptions for those times when the passion takes precedence, and return to discipline after those moments have passed.
  6. I'm so bad at this creative title and theme stuff. I would have had this up sooner if I could have thought of a title. My last few challenges have been mostly about maintaining and continuity. My work is about to slow down so its time to start thinking about what I want to do this winter. I'm really tired of just maintaining my weight. I'm ready to start losing. I want to take a different approach this time. I make all sorts of grand plans without considering what I am really committed to doing. The results have been some meager weight loss and lots of half assed challenges. For week 1 I only have 2 goals. 1) Track my food and aim for average daily calories of 2250. 2) Take a good hard look at things and decide on some concrete goals, short and long term and what steps I'm really willing to take to meet them. Next weekend I will plot out what I'm doing for the remainder of the challenge and what my longer term goals are going to be.
  7. Part I There is no ignorance; there is knowledge I have a tournament coming up in November (a big multi-art shebang in MA), and last Friday, Sifu was talking about my white-sash test coming up in a couple of months. I'm hoping to impress him enough that he might test me before the tournament, so that I can proudly wear my sash to said destination. Part II In balance with chaos and harmony My second focus is going to be on food. I have problems with food. I need to find balance between chaos and harmony when it comes to my eating habits; I find them very easy to manage when in harmony (ie, when I have full control), but throw in a little chaos and it all goes out the window. Goals Part I I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, and I've decided that the best goal for knowledge this time is simply to attend as many classes as possible throughout the next six weeks. I need to expand and refine my knowledge of my arts, but given that I keep causing injury when I try to add extra sessions, I don't think it's wise to push, at least for now. There are 24 classes (3 kung fu & 1 lightsaber per week for 6 weeks) between now and the end of the challenge, and I'd like to hit as many of those as I can. The real focus of this challenge will be on Part II. Part II According to my food log from the last challenge, I am fairly sure that the biggest resistor to my weight loss is sugar. Not all kinds of sugar, just the empty kind of snack treats and desserts that I was raised on. I killed my soda habit years ago, and that's really the major factor that caused me to drop down from ~290 to ~230 the first time, way back when. I think it's time to perform an anti-sugar experiment to see if it is the cause of the inertia. To this end, for every day of the challenge in which my "empty" sugar intake is zero (that means no candy, cookies, cakes, or ice cream... how come all of those have keywords that start with 'c' anyway?) I will get one Galactic Credit. For an unbroken streak of 7 days, there will be a bonus of 5 Credits. At the end of the challenge, those Credits will convert into dollars, and I will have a maximum of $72 (42 challenge days plus 6 potential bonuses) to spend, guilt-free, on whatever I want.
  8. I really wavered on doing a challenge this time. But I'm afraid if I don't do one this time then soon it will be 2017 and I will weigh 400 pounds because I broke the only tether that reminds me I don't want to weigh 400 pounds. I've got another hectic few weeks coming up so I wanted to make this challenge as simple as possible. Goal 1) Eat 15,750 calories per week. That averages out to 2250 per day but I like to measure by the week because some days I'm hungrier than others. Goal 2) Household tasks. I will do 1 household chore per day. Every day. The only exception will be if I'm home literally less than 8 hours between work shifts. It happens sometimes and that time is too precious. Other than that, at least 1 thing per day. It can be as big as cleaning out the spare bedroom closet to as small as clearing off a small space in one room. I just need to get better about keeping the space around me in good shape. That's it. See Spot Run. You might notice there is no exercise goal for this challenge. My back is still giving me all kinds of grief so until that clears up, I'm not pushing myself to get to the gym. I am doing enough physical activity at work right now anyway. I also wanted to do a more stringent food challenge but I have to be realistic about what my schedule looks like. My beloved companion is not in the same place I am with eating right now so I need to keep it small manageable steps. I've been in a really horrible mood for the last 2 or 3 weeks. Just writing out this challenge already made me feel a bit better. It's that crazy NF magic.
  9. joedog

    joedog resets

    After last challenge I clearly need to get back to basics. Soon I will be revealing that plan but now I need to do terrible things to asphalt. Okay: Goal 1) 3 work outs per week. Days to be declared at the beginning of the week Goal 2) Track food, meet the calorie goal my trainer set out for me Goal 3) Keep up with YNAB.
  10. THE THREADS ARE UP ALREADY?! Dang it! That means it's time to get to work-Oh wait this doesn’t start until June 8th…Oh well! I’m posting this anyways! Ya’ll probably know who I am already. If not WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! I'm BlackTezca, a generally loud, gif addicted, game addicted, movie addicted, anime-addicted, whatever addicted big old NERD. I already have my fourth challenge ready to go, though thanks to the longer break, I have some time to think on this challenge and tweak it before it starts. However, pretty sure this is how it’ll go! Just in case some of you are crazy enough to forget about me; I have several lovely links of my exploits, including my introductory From Lurker to (Newb) Rebel!, the interim and still awesome BlackTezca's Daily Battle Towards Feline Greatness, and of course the latest platinum selling hit BlackTezcas' 3rd Trial: An Artsy, Geeky Amazon Must FIGHT...In STYLE! Of course, all of these challenge are just working up to the final goal. The award that is nearing ever so closer to me, the glowing light at the end of the tunnel… My Main Quest is to be as POWERFUL and BATTLE READY as Wonder Woman So now that have that out of the way, let’s get down to business and check out my planned Side Quests!! This time I’m getting creative with names . You know...actually using my theme instead of having an excuse for more gifs! Fight Like Kamui: Do a kickboxing workout twice a week, preferably with Easton. Details: It’s time to get a bit more serious about kickboxing! Since I have a school, I need to utilize it as well as practice what I learn! Now, just in case something happens (class is CANCELLED for instance, basement renovation takes over EVERYTHING, etc), I will also do kickboxing workout at home to make up for it. I do aim for two classes a week, but I’ll keep myself sane and flexible for this instead. Contingencies: No Contigencies: Since I am counting the kickboxing workouts I do at home, this gives me a little more flexibility if I miss one of the two days I want to give myself for kickboxing in class. I should be able to make at least one class per week as well. Tracking: I'll be tracking the workouts using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) and this lovely thread will be updated as well. Grading: A for Kickboxing Workouts twice a week (one must be a class) ( 3 Dex 2 Str ) B for Kickboxing Workouts once a week (must be a class) ( 2 Dex 1 Str ) F for all else Don’t Eat like Gintoki: Don’t binge! Don’t eat a crap ton of sweets! CHEAT LESS! Details: Ugh…so… I guess it’s’ time to be mindful ALL days of the week. I have been a bit more lenient on myself last challenge since I didn’t have a food quest, but that has slowed down progress and since I already workout 5 to 6 times a week, an hour each workout (or more) and I now do kickboxing, that means watching my fooding and drinking. Both of which I love but need to be kept in check. Using a combo of MFP and this handy calculator with this IIFYM calculator, I have calculated that I need to eat about 1467 (aggressive weight loss) to 1834 (maintaining) calories a day to lose a pound of week as someone in between moderately active to very active. That is quite doable. Throwing more from IIFYM, I need to eat 148 - 239 carb grams, 103 protein grams, 52 fat grams, and 26 - 32 fiber grams a day. I'll keep those values in mind while I’ll again aim for eating below the carb and sugar limit on MFP (ESPECIALLY YOU SUGAR) while not caring if I go above my fat (even the 52 fat limit) and protein limit (which I hardly do, thus I need more protein). The hard part is…I will aim to do this EVERY DAY OF THIS CHALLENGE, giving myself a few days where realistically I may bingecheat (Top Taco Denver Festival. Tacos. Tequila. I’m screwed that day). Contingencies: This always has contingencies. I need to be flexible in how much calories I allow. To maintain, I calculated that I need about 1936 calories a day as a moderate to very active short woman, which is a fair amount of calories. If I eat to that amount or slightly over (2100) and I’m not like crazy over my sugar, I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. However, I know I tend to eat sweets and drink more during the ‘cheat’ days I give myself and thus I go WAY over that. Therefore, I need to be quite mindful when I’m out and about. A lot more than I have been. Tracking: I'll be tracking the food and cheats using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) and this lovely thread will be updated with my diet changes and plans. Grading: A for <= 6 Cheat days this challenge ( 2 Con 1 Wis) B for <= 8 Cheat days this challenge ( 1 Con 1 Wis) C for <= 10 Cheat days this challenge ( 1 Con ) F for all else Sleep like Sogo: ENFORCE THE SLEEP POLICY Details: So a while back, I enforced a sleep policy: My alarm for the morning starts at 6 am. If I’m not in bed by 11:15 pm, the alarm is set to 6:15 am. If I am still not in bed by 11:30 pm, the alarm is set to 6:30 am, etc. For each 15 minute chunk I am not in bed, the alarm is moved later to the morning by a 15 minutes. Thus I have a moving, flexible sleep policy which is working better than trying to enforce a bedtime. I still want to get up earlier, but this is flexible and thus better than a bedtime. Contingencies: No contingencies. I need the bloody sleep. It must be enforced. Tracking: This thread only. Not sure how to track it elsewhere for accountability Grading: A for 28 to 31 days of enforcement ( 2 Con 1 Cha) B for 25 to 27 days of enforcement ( 2 Con ) C for 22 to 24 days of enforcement ( 1 Con ) F for all else Don’t be like Housen: GO OUTSIDE! SMELL THE ROSES! Details: Housen is not a fun of the sun, being a Yato, and is kinda dick for it. I work out a lot inside and I don’t really do a ton of outdoor activities. I’m not taking about just fitness, but even fun stuff like check out festivals, or explore a park, take a hike, etc. So I’m making this my life quest for the challenge. I would like to do some kind of activity (short walk, visit an outdoor event, etc) at least three times a week in the outdoors. Contingencies: THE WEATHER! If it’s down pouring every day of the week, of course I won’t go outside cause I won’t have the sun. This is unfortunate and out of my control. I hope that I have most days that are beautiful to really enjoy this life quest. Tracking: I'll be tracking the outdoor activities using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) and this lovely thread! Grading: A for 3 days a week of SUNSHINE ( 1 Con 1 Sta ) B for 2 days a week of SUNSHINE ( 1 Sta ) F for all else Practice like Shinpachi: Shinpachi practices his sword art (sometimes. He’s still a weak fighter) and I need to practice on some artsy stuff! Identify five items to improve upon when it comes to art. Practice (sketch, full painting, etc) on those items! Details: There are a few things I noticed in my art that need some work. HANDS! I HATE HANDS! I HATE EM! But I need to work on them Poses! Sometime I use the same boring static poses. I want to work on dynamism in my characters. Perspective. Ugh…this sucks. I need to work on this though. Along with adding dynamism in poses, I need to practice some perspective in backgrounds and sizes, and etc. Varying character designs. I have a lot of SAME face going on in my work. Need to work on this. Speed. I’m slow. I simply take too long with some of my pieces. I need to speed up on my work. So this would be a good time to do some 15 to 30 minute prompt work.Contingencies: Well this time I’ll be practicing on some of my weaknesses, so I’ll be doing more sketching work than actual painting which should take up less time. This will be more than just weekly practice depending on the topic of the week. Hopefully nothing blocks me or brings me down so I can keep at it. Tracking: I have an art Tumblr and I also have a DeviantArt (WATCH ME FOR ACCOUNTABILITY). I'll use those for tracking and on a weekly basis...like a weekly update or something, I'll post art on this thread. Though for this challenge, considering it’s sketch work, maybe more often than weekly. Grading: A for 5 items practiced, denoted by at least 1 sketch piece per item ( 2 Wis, 1 Cha ) B for 4 items practiced, denoted by at least 1 sketch piece per item ( 2 Wis ) C for 3 items practiced, denoted by at least 1 sketch piece per item ( 1 Wis ) F for all else Here are my beginning measurements for this challenge! This may change by June 8th, but hey, that might a mean a bigger loss in some inches or partial inches! I’m down for that! Starting Measurements: Date: 05/23/2015 @ 11am Weight: 130.6 ***Body Fat***: 24.91 Waist: 23.5 Waist @ Navel: 24 Hips: 35.5 Neck: 12 Chest: 33 Left Bicep: 10 Right Thigh: 16.5 Wrist: 6 Forearm: 9 This is a jam packed challenge! I’m back to five side quests! The art challenge is a little lighter this time around, which is good, cause once again that was one of the tougher quests! However despite how ‘easy’ the art quest seems, I make up for it in that food quest…UGH!! I must fight back everyday against my urges to binge on sugar and decrease the cheat days. That will be quite hard considering several factors (Top Taco Denver, MIL’s birthday along that same week), but as long I can be mindful of my eating, I should be fine). I’m a little bit scared though. Just a tad. … WISH ME LUCK!!!!
  11. A new challenge! I haven’t been this excited about a challenge since last challenge when I stupidly decided not to participate. You know what else gets me super excited and it’s also coming back? That’s right. Dragon Ball Super! And to celebrate this comeback I decided that Dragonball is the theme of this challenge. Brace Yourselves: The Saiyans are coming! Whatdoyoumean Wrong Series? INTO THE HYPERBOLIC TIME CHAMBER! Goal One: I will head to The Hyperbolic Time Chamber three times a week. I will meet Mr. Piccolo twice a week. In my non-RPG, non-Nerd, boring life, The Hyperbolic Time Chamber used to be known before the DBZ excitement as The Danger Room. But, I'm more passionate about DBZ than the X-Men (Thanks, Fox), so I re-baptized the Functional Training Room I've got in my work. I have arranged my schedule to be able to attend three times per week. (Mon-Wed-Fri) even forcing me to stay until late on Tuesdays and Thursdays for my freelance tuition gigs. I need to make it worth the trouble; being the only one: It couldn't be closer to my job, it’s free, it’s got a trainer, and the other people besides me are a dozen of beautiful women whom I see every day and keep me accountable. Very hard to miss... But I still manage to do it from time to time. As some of you RisenPhoenix know, I decided to freeze my BBT Training. Why? Let's just say I didn't feel quite yet as a black belt and with Operation Save The Shogun going on I needed to focus my attention on more pressing matters (and spend way less money). But I am a Monk. I fight. That’s what a Monk does. Martial Arts are one of the things that define me. I need them or I will explode! That happens to me sometimes. So, I made a few calls and decided to retake my Wing Tzun Kung Fu lessons. This time, it will be only the instructor and me. This way it’s way cheaper, way closer and it won't distract me from my other noble pursuits. My goal is here is consistency, to make all the troubles and difficulties I have taken upon myself in order to have these benefits and never miss a day. This isn't even my final form! Goal Two: I will change my measurements for the better. A key element in the Dragon Ball Z series is the power of transformation. Almost every important character progressively transform themselves into something better. And what is the best way to transform in real life? Nutrition. I’m taking back control over my nutrition, planning my meals, hitting the farmer markets, prepping my bento boxes and making healthy choices. But that’s only a habit and a life style I need to constantly pursue. My goal here is to change my measurements for something I'll feel more satisfied and glad, no matter how small the change. That is the concession I make to myself. My measurements: WAIT FOR IT! And now that I mention numbers... My power levels are over 9000! Goal Three: I will learn to count my macros and apply that knowledge to my life. At the beginning of the series, Saiyan had this hipster Google Glass thingy with feed them with continuous feedback about everyone they encountered. I've been counting calories from time to time, keeping a food journal. And yes, while I can drop weight by counting calories and fasting, I’m not just interested in dropping weight. I want a good looking, athletic, healthy Saiyan body. Forget World Peace! Gohan needs to study Goal Four: I will focus on my professional pursuits at least one hour daily. I've been lazy regarding my studies. I constantly say myself I'm too tired to sit down to study but you can see me a few minutes later playing Clash of Clans or something similar. Also, I got a new and very important gig with two small international airline. I'll be in charge of the English section of their online training platform. It’s good money, good hours and I can work from home, during the hours almost no one use the servers. But, the gig requires me to work on the project at least one hour daily. I need to make the time for this, get all the Chichi’s attitude and say no to the rest of the world for at least one hour daily. The beginning of a very ambitious challenge and I can't wait to start. Let’s do this.
  12. Challenge #5 - Spring Cleaning my Lifestyle So, this will be a 5 week challenge for me... It's SPRING in Scotland Wikipedia's climate section was right, right now is THE BEST TIME of the year! It's been super sunny and, ahem, "warm" (you know, 18°c...) and the days are getting so looooong 8D So I need to make sure I enjoy this to the fullest before Rainy Summer and Dark Winter come back (which is all I've seen of Scotland so far). I have to take care of my health asap, be kinder to myself, chase the bad habits (such as comfort eating) and consistently work towards a strong healthy body. Quest 1 - Sleep 8 hours OR be in bed before 23:00 (22:30 from week 3) +2 CHA +2 CON Quest 2 - Walk to work every day +2 STA Take the bus only if it rains or in case of "emergency" (if too dizzy for example) Quest 3 - Eat clean +2 CON Limit to 1x /week: sugar, wheat (bye bye bread) and coffee Eat veggies 2x /day +1 CON Bonus: abstain completely from alcohol, dairies, processed snacks, fried foods Life Quest: practice vocal exercises daily +2 CHA Exception: From 23/04 to 26/04, I'll be traveling with my family, so I'll take a break from the rule, as long as I remain mindful and careful
  13. My week has been a little hectic so I don't have anything really set down how I want it. But my goals are going to keep on being pretty similar. I just really want to have some details and hammer on some grades this time to see if that helps me be a little more locked on to my goals. Goal 1 will be about exercising consistently even when my job interferes with life. Goal 2 will be about food, tracking religiously and maintaining a calorie goal. Goal 3 is going to be about me time. I have a new chain mail project to work on so I want to at least get that started. I'm also going to do something really outside my normal bubble and go to a board game group I found on Meetup. They meet every Tuesday and Thursday night. Eek!
  14. RisenPhoenix Blah Blah Blahs Last few challenge have being dealing with my weight issues, as well as my food-thought issues. Plus, trying to wrap my head around wanting to get stronger and build muscle, even though it’s practically dead-set opposed to my weight loss goals at this point. Last challenge I got comfortable with eating without calorie counting (though I apparently gained weight, which in the best case scenario is just a pound of muscle), but mostly was an injured, snowed-in sod. Anyway, this challenge is a bit of a crap shoot, meant mostly to gather data and blah blah blah my way through a few issues, while keeping me accountable for the run-of-the-mill stuff. Plus, I’m hoping the blah blah blahing will help reduce the oddly high amount of stress I’ve been feeling lately for no seemingly good reason. Blah Blah Food Blah Blah ~Count Calories ~Graph the Data ~Progress Pics So food is my biggest issue I have. It’s been made a larger issue in that I’ve gained back almost half the weight I lost when I first joined NF. Now, some of that is recomp. I have no illusions about that. But ultimately, I want to be a hell of a lot leaner than I am currently. I don’t want a six pack. I just want to not be able to grab a huge handful of fat along my stomach. Vain? Fuck yes. But it’s a goal. (Interestingly enough, when I started losing weight I didn’t actually care about the aesthetics of my body. I was just curious about if I could lose weight. Vanity was never a factor, because I could never imagine myself looking like anything but a 250+ pound blob. Now not only do I think it’s possible, I am SO CLOSE. So it’s been an interesting mental change over the past two years. Right, I did mention this was going to be a lot of blahblahblahing, right?) Anyway. Goal for the next 6 weeks is collect a lot of data. I used MFP to lose my weight in the first place, so I’m pretty damn comfortable with using it. I figure I’m going to log my food for the first 3-4 weeks and track my weight and measurements (neck, chest, gut, any others you guys suggest) and see if I can’t observe any trends. I do pretty well on Primal eating, but I am going to try and limit some things. I’m going to switch back to almond milk for shakes and oatmeal. I’m going to limit my fruit to 3-4 pieces, with most of the fruit being berries (instead of higher calorie things like pears, apples, and oranges). I’m also going to try and limit my cottage cheese/dairy intake to 2 helpings a day (helping, rather than serving, because I eat 2 servings of cottage cheese in a sitting – less and I don’t feel full). Also might re-institute my cheat jar, but since I only had $34 in all of the last challenge, I don’t think that’s as big of an issue for me as I initially expected (buying some new workout clothes with the newish funds, by the way). Anyway, a quick calculator suggested my BMR is around 2,000 calories, with a TDEE of ~2400 assuming I do not a whole lot (like my sole rest day). I figure days where I am doing one activity (lifting only, aikido only, shoveling all the damned snow) I probably have something closer to 2700, and on days where I double up it’s probably closer to 3300-3400. Weekly, that means I should eat ~22,100 calories. So for a pound of weight loss, ~17,500 calories per week should do the trick. Whether or not the data confirms this is another story – but then again, that’s the whole reason for this challenge. Blah Blah Zen Blah Blah ~10 minutes of mediation per day ~15 minutes per day of no electronics ~Finish personal review form ~Update resume and look I’ve been oddly stressed as of late. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m miserable at my job. I’m most more on edge than I’ve ever been (which is saying something because while I was burnt out and miserable in grad school, this is an entirely different feeling), and actively want the week to end about 5 minutes before I walk through the door on Monday morning. I really think that is starting to get to me. So I want to try and get some mediation/quiet breathing practice in to see if that can calm me down. On top of that, I’ve been really way too connected to my phone/internet/computer/video games. Normally I’ve done full disconnects and feel fantastic, but current circumstances make that a bit harder (why hello there, long distance relationships). So maybe instead of trying to do a full day/weekend disconnect, a 15 minute “no electronics” rule will help? Just a good time to give it a shot. As for the last two points… Our annual reviews are coming up at work. As a positive for where I work, my director said I should say I’ve been working with the company for a year – even though I was a contractor last March and not technically working for them. So hopefully that means even if I’m miserable I’ll be up for some compensation increase – because that’s all that’s really keeping me in this job these days. So, while maybe a hope and a chance can get me to stay at work (where I’m mentally bored and unchallenged), I’m going to update my resume and try to see if anything else pops up in the world for me. Unfortunately, the microbiology field in Boston right now sucks – the current research ‘fad’ is cancer, which I am not a particular fan of working on. Infectious disease? Yes, please. I will work till the end of time, because it’s interesting to me. It’s a puzzle I like. Cancer, not so much. Anyway, no numbers associated with the job hunt, as I learned that it causes undue stress. But I will say I’m looking forward to looking for a job while currently employed, unlike the last two times I’ve been searching. Blah Blah Lift Blah Blah ~Look into 5/3/1 for Squats and OHP ~Find a way to tackle Strength Training Anatomy ~Look into a Trainer for help Dem lifts. At the moment, I’ve been limping-ish along on the program of Starting Strength, but the problem is I never quite made it into the more intermediate training. I can’t really do the power cleans that SS says you should eventually alternate with deadlifts. They are just a great deal more technical than the other lifts I’ve been working on without having a 1 on 1 coaching session. I also don’t really know my lifts beyond that, so I want to tackle things a bit more in depth. And add in the fact that I really want to learn my anatomy (for lifting as well as aikido), trying to read Strength Training Anatomy seems like a wise life choice (though how I can tackle it and have it make sense is an issue I need to answer). Anyway, I’ll probably post my thoughts in ramble form here, but keep the numbers of things over in my Daily Battle Log. This place will get long winded enough without dry numbers showing up, too. I’ll do my best to keep you all somewhat entertained. That about covers it. I expect lots of rambles, hopefully a few mental breakthroughs, and maybe a few PRs along the way. Here’s to hoping my blah blah blahs entertain. (Yup. Catspaw still does these better.)
  15. I'm covered up at work so no time for a full challenge write up now. Here's a little peek at the adventures ahead. 1) More training. 2) Less eating (or maybe just eating less) 3) Maintaining my sanity while being away from home for basically 3 weeks for work travel, plus kicking off the summer construction season. I tagged myself with monk eating since losing fat is my main goal. I also tagged with monk mentor. I'm not sure I'm the greatest example of how to succeed at challenges but I've been around a while. I spent some time thinking about actual fleshed out goals today during my class. Goal 1 is going to be training 4 times per week. I would love to get to 5 per week, 3 at Title and 2 lifting but for now I'm shooting for 4. And no getting off the hook for travel. I can do a bodyweight workout if nothing else. Goal 2 is about the food. Week 1 is just going to be "Don't eat like an asshole". I may get more explicit in week 2 or I may just continue not eating like an asshole. Goal 3 from above is still valid. I'm also going to add in reading a book called Drop The Rock. It's a book written for the AA crowd but it talks about letting go of the past and some of the crap we hang on to. The Mrs has wanted me to read it for a while so I'm going to give it a try.
  16. will clean up and polish it later but here is the new challenge ideas 6 week challenge Goal 1: Fitness 25 Pushups in 1 go1 unassisted Pullup75 situpsComplete Daily Hero Journey WorkoutGoal 2: Job -Apply to 3 different companies OR -Start new Job Goal 3: Reading -Finish Book For of A Song Of Fire And Ice: A Feast for Crows Goal 4: Life -Meditate for atleast 15 minutes every day (can be sitting quietly on the couch with coffee, at gym with headphones in w/e as long as I take time to center myself I have also decided to add into this challenge 3 more mini goals MG1: going sober~ no alcohol of any kind for the next 6 weeks MG2: Natures energy~ No caffinated beverages(i.e. Coffee/soda) for 6 weeks MG3: You gotta pay to play~ Cheat jar in effect $1 for things I shouldn't eat (per item so a mean consisting of 5 things I shouldn't eat is $5) Missed workout =$5 (unless for medical/injury reasons)
  17. ok, the last challenge did not go oh so well. There were pros and cons…more cons, but I do think I have a few ideas on how to avoid the pitfalls and failures I experienced in the last challenge. No real theme to tie this all together, I have a feeling I will be bouncing all over the board on this one. Goal 1: Can’t out run your fork Stated this way due to the fact I do not eat awful, I eat too much!!! I have to break a lot of old habits when it comes to food. Tracking intake is the key yet again. 2000 cal limit, and keeping an eye on what are my trouble zones…aka too many fats, wrong food choices. Minimal bread or flour tortillas, these are a crutch I have to break out from. Goal 2a: Bendy like Cheechoe Do the hip stretches from the wonderful mind of Cheechoe…I needz the moving hips. Goal 2b: Breaking Muscle 12 week beginner program I am choosing this program due to the fact it was developed and created for both strength and mobility. It acts like you are starting from a ‘clean slate’ and helps train the body proper movement. The strength aspects look minimal, but when I realized the support muscles and movement range being worked, I’m pretty sure I will suffer DOMS like never before. Plus it stresses to obtain great form before taxing the load. So I will stick to its workouts, even if I can do more of said exercise. Be one with my Noobness! Goal 3: Update dee threadz I need to update on here! I tend to get sidetracked when I get on NF trying to keep up with everyone else to the point that I overwhelm myself and barely even comment on all the outstanding Nerds!! I will make sure to continue the trend from last challenge and comment on at least 3 threads a day, even if all it says is “Hi†(just so you know I’m watching, as SFG has pointed out can be just enough sometimes). I will also more importantly update my own thread daily. I realized last challenge how bad I am at this considering how much I am on these boards. I realized that trying to update at night was bad, I was tired and would fight it so to make this easier I will be updating my thread FIRST each morning (sorry guys, but I need to prioritize myself foe once) when I log in after training. So updates will normally contain info from the day before and that mornings training. Goal 4: Start blog I have always had a need to find a place in the world and have always wanted to one day inspire, motivate or help teach someone something, anything. I have come to realize that there are many blogs that share training tips and experiences for BJJ, but maybe 1% cover what it’s like to be a big/fat guy trying to learn the art. I know that not a lot of bigger people try BJJ or even stick with it but there are some of us, and on the other hand not many people train against someone my size. I feel like I have a unique perspective that I can share and hope there are people who are out there that will appreciate it, hell I’d just be happy if someone read it. This is a big deal to me due to being so critical of myself in all aspects, writing, photos, fitness, skills, etc and I am planning on putting it all out there….so this might actually be as tough as goal 1. To not overwhelm myself here I will only require 2 posts a week, no daily blogging for me yet. Today was a rough one so this all starts in the AM tomorrow......enough babbling. Onward and upward!
  18. I wanted to make my first challenge with the Monks have a great story but alas I have had epic writers blog for the last 2 days and now it is 11 mins until the start of the challenge and I am already stressing….something I don’t need any extra. So I will leave this with the down and dirty and hope that wit and humor show up in the near future. I am currently training in BJJ, I trained for roughly a year, then took a year off and am back at it now for about 3 months. With the new year starting my BJJ training and overall health (I link the two hand in hand) are priority #2 in my life, right behind family! To that extent all challenges this year will be focused on goals that will help with learning and exceling my practice. Goals 1: Food Log This is a must. I need to keep my eating in check and the only real way for me to do that is through logging and tracking all food intake every day. This has been a major tripping point in my past so it is my main focus during this challenge.Food will be tracked on MFPCalorie limit of 2250 per day. Attention to lowering cheese and bread intake during this challenge (bonus not a breaking point if I don’t, again truthful and full tracking is priority)Goal 2: TRAIN!!! Kind of pointless to have improvement as a life goal if I don’t train. I will attend at least 4 training classes a week. This should be no issue due to Mon-Thurs morning classes are a norm (as long as the instructor makes it) but I will add at least one night or Sat class in the mix.Journal training; issues, highlights, thinks to research, etcGoal 3: Movement Jump Rope: x5 a week: starting at 5 mins week 1 and adding a min a week to make 10 mins by the end. I know this will not be continuous, there will be trip ups, but I will focus on minimizing the stall time.Push-ups: x5 a week: Will be doing some form of push up increase over the challenge, just not sure what….current thoughts are, multiple smaller sets throughout the day, increasing suspension sets, or just standard pushups to fail…BW Squats: x3 a week: self-explanatory, down then up.Drills: x5 a week: movement drill sets: shrimp-situp-shrimp; 10 each side, hipup-slide unders; 10 each sideGoal 4: Start Blog I have always wanted to start blogging my training, I have even started and quite many times, but I would particularly like to stick with it now. Being a big guy I have always found it hard to find info, ideas, tips, hell anything in regards to big guys doing martial arts, especially BJJ. I would like to journal some of my thoughts, ideas and even my issues for use by anyone like me that was looking for some perspective that few can give.Bonus Goals: Establish morning and night habits: Working from home for 4 years and now unemployed for 4 months has not helped my grooming habits, as in shaving, haircuts, dressing nice, etc.Sleep: In bed by 2230 (2300 at the latest) on weekdays.Water intake: get back up to at least a gallon of water a day. That’s about it. I really look forward to joining in with you all at the monastery and know I will try to comment often but if not I am lurking in all you fellow monks threads!
  19. My previous challenge was indeed a challenge. Now I'm discombobulated. My self-inflicted physical and mental injuries have made me wary of what I am capable of, but the weirdest part is that I'm still going. Can chalk that up to my dragon half, I know. So here are the snippets from my previous post, here to take step 2. I don't want a lot, I just want to feel like I'm a strong woman. I want to be able to go to the beach and actually wear a bathing suit. Wear shorts and maybe a dress now and again. I want to feel like I have permission to take a run along the beach. I want to workout as I enjoy the feeling I get afterward. I want to know what to do and when, and how to do it properly. But it seems like it's a loss cause. I want to do a 2015 resolution but I don't think I should. I'm far too messed up mentally and physically to think it's going to be fixed in a year. But for this challenge I guess if I can lose 10 lbs by the end of it I'm happy. So same as before, just 10 lbs instead of 25. Workout 4 days a week: Monday upper body, Tues or Thurs cycle, Wed legs, Fri Upper and legs. Saturday and Sunday are both up to chance. I just want to get that down and maybe next time I'll go from there. I will also try to continue doing my meditations. So far it's only been about 10 minutes of real meditation, twice a week as I work from home Mondays and Fridays and during the week it's not easy to find a spot where I'm comfortable enough to get into that meditative state. I'll add the points later, I just needed to get this started and I really need to go meditate. Oh but I will add that for day 1, I did continue with my salad-for breakfast this time-and I did workout this morning. Upper body with resistance bands.
  20. Oh. Is it the first challenge of the New Year already? Hm. Guess I better get out of bed then. This challenge I want to try to keep it somewhat simple. I have come a long way from where I was 2 years ago, but I need to still work on a few more things – though at this point it’s less from need and more from want. But hey, why not gamify our lives a bit to make them more fun, right? The name of the game this time around is really just an all-around “Get better at stuff you’re already decent at” challenge, and hopefully by the end I’ll be both more well informed and proficient. How am I going to do this? By collected the Triforce! Which one is this? The World may never know. Yea, the Power-Wisdom-Courage one, but also the Heathly-Happy-Look Good Naked one, too, hopefully. I’ve got a bit of each of them, but I need to assemble them a bit more. So here’s the game plan: Triforce of Power ~Break through workset plateaus: Squat over 215# Deadlift over 330# Benchpress over 185# OHP over 110# So after the Nerds/My Birthday/the onslaught of the holidays/stress totally derailed my lifting schedule, I decided I needed to deload a bit and work back up to where I was in early November. I have this problem of being slightly concerned about being able to lift things and not break, so I figured backing off and building up again should be good. My only issue is I feel like I’ve been at these weights for a while (except for the Deadlift. That’s been pretty nifty). I had seen some Warriors (Gainsdalf and Knightwatch) suggest to a newbie lifter that to break through the plateau you can add more weight (if it’s mental) or do the normal workset you’ve been doing, with the last set being X+. So I’ve been doing 3 sets of 5, so instead do 2 sets of 5, and the last one 5+. I’ve been doing this actually for the last week or two, and it’s felt pretty good. So I want to see if I can get over my goals this challenge. Triforce of Wisdom ~Attend 7 aikido classes each week ~Skim Supple Leopard to determine about Achilles ~Read Four Hour Body’s Rapid Fat Loss section ~Skim 4HB Rapid Muscle Gain section So this initially started solely as the Monk-side of my challenge and grew a bit. Really the book reading parts are secondary, the class hours are really what I want to focus on. I want to test for 2nd kyu in April, because testing in April and then going on my Japan trip in May would be freaking amazing. That gives me 13 weeks to get through about 90 classes of aikido. I may make getting to the exam, I may not. Not that I want to bank on it, but I’m also fairly certain that if I was short only 10 or so classes by the exam time, Sensei would probably still let me test (because he subtly hinted that I should have tested in December – except I was missing 100 classes). I feel pretty confident with most of the techniques I’ll be tested on, but I want to work on my flow a lot more, make sure my shoulders don’t shoot up when grabbed, and keeping my center low (or at least as low as my somewhat gimpy knees will allow). However, for the most part I need hours. All the instructors I’ve talked to so far said I’d be fine with the exam as is – I just want to be better. As for the reading, these are just things I’ve been meaning to do, but haven’t gotten around to it. I’m hoping putting it down in writing will help motivate me to get around to it. The Supple Leopard is TinMan’s, but I’m gonna skim through it to see if I can find an answer to my Achilles woes. It’s just a weird injury, and I may have to suck it up and see a doctor about it, because it’s been a month and there isn’t much else I’ve been able to do about it. I’ve more-or-less been resting it, but what’s odd is when I’m warmed up the pain isn’t nearly as bad, so I think it’s a tight muscle thing, as opposed to a tendonitis/strain thing. Hoping that reading the book will give me a clue, or at the very least help me to describe in reasonable detail my issue to a doctor. And then there’s the Four Hour Body. It’s… and interesting book. I know Cheechoe was not a fan of the Tim Ferriss’ tone, but I can’t deny the whole “experiment on yourself” thing appeals to me a bit. So I’m going to see if reading the fat loss/muscle gain sections can shed some light on something I might be missing or give me some new insights. Wisdom, right? Triforce of Courage ~Primal eating, no/minimal calorie counting, Cheat Jar ~Weekly measurements ~Weekly Progress photos Ah, food and body image. My nemesesesssess. I’m going to try something new. I’ve been counting calories pretty damned regularly since I’ve joined NF. And as a weightloss thing, that’s been fantastic. It helped me scratch my data-collection itch, let me see numbers and percents, and gave me some good insight into how to eat healthier. But it’s not enough for me any more, and it’s added a few habits I’d rather not keep around. Like seeing I can fit a cookie or two into my caloric budget (or end up slightly over…). Thing is, while I’m definitely not opposed to a well-timed cookie, it really doesn’t help my goals – because my goals are steadily becoming more performance-based rather than weight loss-based, and a cookie does not help me perform better (though occasionally chocolate covered almonds before I do aikido have worked wonders). So, what’s a growing Phoenix to do? Try to remove the thing that helped him lose all his weight in the first place, obviously! See why this is the Triforce of Courage yet? So my goal is to take the advice of This_Is_Seth and try to make it a lifestyle. Do I mostly do that already? Ayup. But maybe switching things up a bit will help with both my performance and my weight fat loss. So. Going mostly Primal (since I’ve totally cool with Dairy), with a few caveats. 1) I’m keeping my damned pita pocket for lunch. I don’t like making second meals, and I stress a lot more about trying to figure those plans out than a whole 3g of carbs are worth. 2) Oatmeal is allowed once a week. Why? Because I like oatmeal and while I’m okay with cottage cheese in the morning, the fact it’s winter means that I want to eat warm things for breakfast – even though I’m toying with the idea of doing fasted workouts this challenge as well. 3) Beans. I’m allowing them in moderation. Yea, a bit carby, but with my activity level those carbs are going to be needed somewhere.4) I’m going to allow myself 4 cheat “events” – times where I’m being social, or family is visiting, or something falls out of the sky and I need to react and my food choices are the options of bad, terrible, and worse (clearly I’ll aim for the least bad bad). But speaking of which, I’m also going to have a cheat jar. A dollar goes in every time I have a cheat. At the end of the challenge, I’ll tally up what I have, and use it for some fitness-related thing. I actually have started the jar already…. There may be a good chunk of change in it after a week and a half. Now, I’ve been trying to regularly take progress photos. I have a bunch… just they are all stuck on my phone and not in any easy-to-observe order. So not only do I need to take the progress photos, I need to take the 20 minutes or so on the weekend, pull them off my phone, and into a powerpoint where I can do comparisons easier. I also need to take weekly measurements, and put them in the same place so I can correlate measurements and image. Honestly, I’m currently weighing in at ~220. I do not like that. At 205 I could see ribs. I want my ribs back. They made me incredibly happy since I don’t recall ever seeing them in my life, ever (because even Little Phoenix was Fat Phoenix). So. Of all the goals and challenges I have this time around, this is the one that scares the shit out of me the most. So you’ll probably all get to read my anxiety on the subject several times. Sorry in advance. Boss Battle: aka, the Gut Government ~File Taxes by the end of the challenge It’s the New Year, which means taxes are due in a few months. I have historically left myself maybe three days before they are due to fill them out, so I’m going to try and be good this year. Also, after Christmas spending and the upcoming Japan trip, I really need my tax return. So with any luck, it’ll be a decent return. So. That’s the plan for the New Year. Try to break some new ground, try to improve already existing abilities, and all and all kick some ass. Time to suit up and get that Triforce.
  21. Well, hi folks. It's been quite a while since I stalked the NF rebellion. Well, let me give you a short overview of my glorious deeds ... It's really short: None. Maybe some of you guys remember that I had to restart my engineering studies ... well, that restart was a disaster. I only passed three of 10 exams - I'm still in, I can continue, but it's pathetic. That totally dismantled me ... well, I spare you the details. I had to stop my TKD classes, and of course the workload is so immense that it's THE perfect excuse for skipping exercise and drowning in misery. Well, good news is: I pulled myself together, I even found friends at college [sic!] and studying is finally as natural as it was in High School. The bad news: Sedentary lifestyle, bad nutrition, BC pill (I will stop taking that crap very soon, switching to a hormone-free method), so I put on about 10 kg. Which sucks. But not as much as the loss of the little strength and endurance I crammed together so painfully. And now also my mind starts messing around with me again. Freaking out over everything, making an elephant out of a fly ... My soul too isn't in best shape, therefore the tag uncertainty. Now, what to do: I'll be honest: I don't have the slightest idea. I don't think I have the willpower to reset now, but I hate my life as it is now - I could make so much more of it than just being reactive and being afraid and anxious about everyrhing all the time. It's not that I have biiig problems or feeling like shit all the time, don't get me wrong, all in all, I'm fine. I ... just kinda hit a dead end and don't know how to get past it. So forgive me that I don't have a good plan for this challenge, maybe I just need a place to share my thoughts to get them in order - to kick some butts again.
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