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  1. I needed a challenge off to get some aspects of my life together and figured out, but while always imperfect, I’m such a better person when I’m doing a challenge. So here I am with the Adventurers once again.... Who am I? (Yes, this image is to show off my awesome new hair.) I am Ann of Vries, aged 40, diarist, LARPer, stitch witch, traveler, walker, and an aspirational forest fairy living in the city. I’m an American living in London, UK; married to my true love and brilliant partner (Mr of Vries) and my main job/labour of love is raising our adorable toddler son (Rowan of Vries). Which is mostly fun, but occasionally harrowing. (You wouldn’t know he had a total tantrum meltdown on this same train a few days before....) I immigrated to the UK from Seattle three and a half years ago. I love it here, although I’m still trying to find my tribe (outside of the House of Vries, of course). I long to live in the English countryside, in a stone house with a large garden that grows most of our herbs, vegetables, and fruit. But that time is out in the future—for now, we are city folk and I aim to make the best of that. Not every person gets a chance to move abroad and live in one of the most famous cities in the world! To that end.... I am the Dream Look at my short summary up there. I am, by many people’s standards, ~living the dream~. But a tendency toward Hedonic Adaption, some much wished for (and worked for) dreams that didn’t come true, and a history of depression (which gets much worse in the darker part of the year) means I often forget this. The Challenge There’s no reason to let these dreams turn into a nightmare. So to help keep the darkness at bay and remain living the dream, I will be: Practicing gratitude/journaling Write and post about something I’m grateful about at least 3 times a week. Many will be about my general status of life, but least one of those per week should be something current. Keep up on my personal journals in between. Meditation and spiritual practices I’ve recently started a course to help motivate me out of being an occasional witch and more of a regularly practicing one. Practice grounding/centering/meditation at least 5 days a week. Every day is better, but every day doesn’t always happen. At least two more lessons completed for the pagan degree course I’m in. At least once a week, work on book study or a branch class assignment. Get outside/stay active RoV is now a walker (although not particularly fast or with a destination in mind), and he doesn’t want to be carried all the time. In fact, he doesn’t much like carriers at all anymore and I’ve had to give and buy a stroller if I want to get him around (I’m not sure why he prefers the stroller to the carrier, but he does). This means my days of hours and hours of walking have become more challenging as has my use of public transport (my nearby stations aren’t step-free accessible), despite that RoV needs to go out 2 or 3 times a day to burn off energy. Go outside at least once a day, even if it’s just the back garden Embrace and enjoy going out. 10k steps a day; more is better. Engage in mind-healthy pursuits (and cut back mindless ones) I’m finding myself wasting a lot of time on mindless Facebook scrolling, news rubber-necking and other such activities. Cut back to only checking a couple of times a day and for no more than 5 minutes a go. Spend that time on reading, appreciating the outdoors, journaling, embroidery, knitting, and playing with RoV. I may resurrect my Instagram account. We’ll see. Don’t (always) eat the croissant I’m at a healthy weight and I’m generally a healthy eater, but the last few weeks has seen me engaging in a lot of indulgent, often junky eating (made worse by a two weeks cold I’m still recovering from) and my weight has crept up just enough to concern me about the beginning of an ongoing trend. My household consists of foodies, and I’m not a calorie counter, but sometimes I just need to resist the croissant. (And I definitely need to resist the junk food!) Sometimes, I’m allowed to have the croissant but it needs to be a conscious choice. There’s a lot going on in this challenge, and you guys know I’m not a huge fan of collecting the metrics. My general intent is that by striving for these things with some accountability, I will do them more often, and I’ll try to update a couple of times a week with how it’s going. Except! I’m going on an adventure during this challenge! We’ll be headed to Wales for 2 weeks shortly into the challenge. I haven’t decided if I’m taking my laptop or if I’m just going to go with a notebook and my phone and have a bit of tech break. Depending on how this goes, I may go silent for a couple of weeks. But I’ll be back. Cheers, AoV
  2. So, I’m about as noob as can be when it comes to having a proper healthy lifestyle. I used to never have issues with my weight. Being 5’0†and petite with my mom’s Filipino frame I could eat anything I wanted without worries. I was an "unhealthy-skinny" person; where my metabolism happened to offset my terrible diet of soda and chips. That being said, I was never fit. I was that stereotypical inconsistent-gym-go’er who sat on various machines because it looked about right. I didn't have a plan, no predetermined amount of sets or reps; I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. So I would do a few of the machines, walk a few laps, give myself a pat on the back and grab a venti latte from Starbucks as a reward. Then the inevitable: Hello 30s. Having three babies within 5 years took a toll on my body. The yo-yo weight gain & loss, a pesky hyperthyroid condition that would creep up and then disappear, the lack of sleep and mediocre nutrition has left me at the heaviest I’ve ever been. So here I am at 5’0†carrying 145 pounds on a frame meant to carry significantly less fat. I began my research since everything I had tried prior (including the calorie counting + run until you faint diet) resulted in no change. I hate distance/treadmill running with a passion; it’s really difficult for me to just run long periods of time before wanting to burst into tears. I had set myself up for failure and discouragement. In my desperation of frantic fitness site link hopping I once again stumbled upon Nerd Fitness. I found this website a few years ago, signed up but forgot all about it. However, something clicked this time with the introduction to strength training and I immediately became hooked. I’ve decided that strength training to become stronger + burn fat + better diet is the direction I want to go. I’ve dropped calorie counting and picked up a modified primal diet. I’ve opted for strength training + interval training which is what I think makes me fall into the warrior (with a dash of ranger) way of life. So this is me getting raid ready... TL;DR? I'm not happy with myself. I'm finally making changes. For the Horde. Updates Here: Stats Here:
  3. I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire The Wasteland is a harsh place to travel through. Even the water can kill you if you don't watch your Rads. I just have to watch my step for traps and mines, carry a lot of stimpacks, be quick with my guns, and take care of my companion. I'm not on this journey alone. My biggest enemies are going to be Raiders (depression), Bloodbugs (time wasting), Ghouls (hormonal emotions), Super Mutants (eating disorder), and Deathclaws (suicidal thoughts). I don't want to put any workout goals on this challenge because I'm still pregnant, and expecting the baby any day now. So this challenge will be mainly battling my mental issues, creating good habits that fit my New Year's goals, and doing everything I can to get better. Goal #1: Read and study the "Wasteland Survival Guide" (the Bible) everyday. (Wis. + 2) A+. Read everyday with my companion B. Only read every other day C. Read fewer than 3 days in one week Goal #2: Drink purified water throughout the day. This will keep dehydration at from getting to me, which will keep me from drinking dirty water, or Nuka Cola. (Con. +2) A+. Drink 6-7 glasses a day B. Drink 4 glasses a day C. Drink less than 4 glasses Goal #3: Keep a illustrated as well as written account of what is going on in my head. This is part of my therapy to keep sane in this crazy world. (Cha. +3) A+. Spend 30 minutes everyday drawing and writing B. Spend less than 20 minutes drawing and writing C. Skip one day in the whole week (Optional) Goal #4: Keep physically active to gain an advantage against the Wasteland's horrors. If I am out of shape, I can't help out my companion much less myself. (Str. +2, Dex. +1, Sta. +2) A+. Walk and/or strength train everyday B. Workout 3 days in one week C. No workout all week Life Goal is to get through my labor without getting a epidural, and to not stress myself out with my mother in law coming by to visit. My Mission, to lose 50 pounds in a year. Hoping I will be able to update my challenge everyday. After all, the inhabitants of the Wasteland love to hear good news on the radio.
  4. Hi there ! My second child was born December 20th as a surprise Christmas present, the little buddy was supposed to be here February 2nd. He is super well, doubled his size, is too cute to be true and a very good tiny man. Now i'm ready to add a little more structure to my life and get back in the wagon of fitness. RESPAWN !! So, the goal is to get back to the habits that were lost in the process, and keep my sanity (oh lack of sleep and hormones, how we fear the) Mindfull intention for the year : be present 1) zzzzzz's...... .how many hours do i need again ? oh, yeah, 8.5.... not going to happen while getting woken up by this cute baby ogre 3 times per night. BUT i can do things to help, like : - to bed at 10 pm, like, play with the idea, set a bedtime reminder, and try to reach it 3x week, hopefully getting to 5-6 by the end of this challenge. - do 1 yoga nidra in the afternoon, to prepare/replace a nap (whatever i can manage, from 10 to 40 minutes) - set an alarm around 5h30, to get up 30 min before household so i can do the rest of the stuff i plan for this challenge. This might not work, again due to mini ogre, but we'll see how that goes and adjust. (keeping track of progress through sleepbot) 2) foodz : - eat a super protein breakfast, preferably eggs benedict (hello calories, goey eggs, fat ...i love ya'll). I feel better when i eat this as a starter. I'm weird like that .. i know, but i must not lose weight or it's gonna be bad for me - drink water each time i breastfeed (keep a full bottle at all times in the living room) - plan/prepare snacks : 1 proteinated (is that a word) green smoothie, 1 fridge overnight oatmeal with fruits 3) yoga : do 1 video each morning, in said 30 mins. from yoga by Candice, yoga with Adrienne, or plain spine stretch. whatever works that day. No pressure, this is to get back into it and keep my sanity, so the more i do the better but i wont hit myself on the head if i miss. Its basically an intention. (bonus if i actually follow the 30 day yoga challenge from adrienne) 4) gratitude : that was my new year resolution...that didn't happen. So ill use my cute little notebook i bought just for it, put it on my pillow when i cake (wow, mommy brain attack...i meant WAKE !) and write something in it, every day. bonus for 3. again an intention, no head banging allowed. now, i do know this is a lot, and that i wont reach everything by the end of the challenge, but its still my aim for now. Whatever i can achieve is a step forward. I'm just trying to get back some order through my day. I know what i like and what works, all things above i love doing/eating, and so it shouldn't be too hard. i've got mommy zombie brain at the moment and if i don't write it or plan in i WILL forget it, so here it is !!! have a great challenge people !
  5. Well, this challenge will be a lot different than I expected at first. We have a major event going on in our lives : I am pregnant with my second child !!! I am so happy, but this means the huge goals I had in mind will need to be somewhat downsized for the safety of number 2 growing in my belly. I will maintain what i gained from the previous challenges and add a couple of things I think will be alright. The key being listening to my body as this amazing adventure continues. Therefore, i bring you : THE TRI-FORCE OF MOVNOMZ !!!! GOAL: Shape up my shape and be as healthy as I can be for the newcommer MOTIVAION: My growing family Mov : move 30-60 min daily, with the following : (STA 1 + CON 1 + STR 1 + WIS 1 + DEX 1 )Morning sadhana practice : spine torsions, leg stretches, sun salutations (10-15 min)Walking during work breaks and lunch (up to 45 min)Running 2 times a week for 30-40 min, using zombie run 5k and/or the cruise control app. As of now, i can run 5k in about 45 min. I want to increase my speed a little. Aiming at 30 min for 5k. (Tuesday to my yoga class, Thursday, and once during weekend)Yoga class on Tuesday for 1h30*NEW* BBWW 1 time, on Wednesday or weekendNom: the way to 80% paleo (STA 1 + CON 1) *NEW* Wean from caffein, black tea is allowed as a transition (1-2 a day), then rooibos or herbal tea. I love a hot drink in the morning, so i will in general take 2 teas, cafffein free.Paleo breakfast (prepare egg muffins full of veggies in advance)Paleo lunch for me, 4 days out of 5, at leaseLunch for 2, 5 days a weekZ: Get minimum 7h of sleep each night ( WIS 1 + STA 2 + CON 1 + CHA1)Tracked by SleepbotWill use yoga nidra as needed to help fall asleep and restore missing z’sLife : happy mommy + meds (WIS 1 + STR 1 + CHA 1) **updated june 12th**Takes meds: sinus rince, 40 min inhalotherapy of pulmozyme & coly-micin, digestive/vitamin pills, pumps, lax-a-day in morning tea. Some meds i can't take anymore, so i need to prevent where i can, meaning i will take pulmozyme again, addign another 20 min to my treatments routine, and doing the sinus rince at least once a day, more if need be. Physio when needed as well, though i hate it and would rather run/walk/do yoga. Taking my digestive pills and lax-a-day means better digestion and no belly acke so win-win.Learn good discipline practices and work on being firm and constant. I often talk to a wall ... my fault ... I want to work on that.Soapy Thursday (get back into it). I will plan ahead some soaps i wanna make, and also wrap the ones that are ready and clean up/organize my supplies and workshop.Side quests : Clean fridgeClean ovenSort through baby/kid stuff in the basement and donate what will not be used, organise the rest better to be able to find it when needed (must put my son’s Max Schnell t-shirt and put it in our keepsake pile, as per his request)Shop and find our hardwood floor for this summer’s RenovationsWell, it might be a lot, we’ll see how it goes. Priority is sleep, and maintaining my exercise habits. Food is to eat less crap and continue progressing towards a paleo lifestyle. A lot of the goals are already in my routine, so I believe I will achieve this. June 12th edit : less side quests, modified life quest to replace meditation by taking meds religiously wich is more important in prevention for now.
  6. I've been making great strides at developing new habits, make great changes and evolving into a better me. After a short break from the forums and challenges I'm so ready to jump back in I previously sucked at updating these so I'd love to be held accountable to checking in often, as I love the community. My end of year summer goal is to lose 20lbs. I would like to achieve this at the very latest of September 15. I want to do this on my own, no relying on other people to help me. In case the scale doesn't move, my ultimate goal is to lose my belly fat which exists due to pregnancy and surgery. I want to erase the physical evidence of my illnesses and regain my confidence. I have a wonderful fitbit that is helping me track my efforts, I've been doing much better than the beginning of the year at being more active, and I've tried a ton of new foods or ways of eating foods that I never would have before. So I guess the How! 1 - Limit my sugar intake. I can have sugar but not often and preferably in healthier forms such as honey or stevia. This should allow me enough flexibility that I could take my kids for iced cream or have s'mores but not have sugar control my cravings and eating habits. Ultimately I would love to keep sugar out of my regular day to day routine. 2 - Be consistently active. Right now I do yoga once I week but I want to get moving and be more active on a more regular basis. There is a running group starting that I'm hoping to join, but even just hoping to walk more, run up and down the stairs, play with the kids in the yard, anything. As a starting point it would be great to have a minimum 15 minutes of activity each day. 3 - Get dressed daily. Even if it's into yoga pants or sweats but get out of my pajamas and be ready to go or be active at all times. Create more yes opportunities and less no's for the kids by being dressed in something we could at least go to the park in each day. 4 - Spending fast. No spending on unnecessary things. No toys, no extras, no material things. We can spend on experiences though so a trip to the zoo, maybe go to the drive in, those types of things are good. This should help us clear out the house of excess items, use up what we already have and encourage us to be more active and present this summer. This does not include the previous habits I have already been doing like tracking what I eat in myfitnesspal, drinking more water, meal prepping and eating at home as much as possible. I still need to keep these up. Would love some buddies and some help so please feel free to connect! Looking very forward to this challenge!
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