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  1. Hello Druids! Can I hang out with you for a challenge? Brief backstory: I started powerlifting in April 2014, joined the Warriors, and never looked back. My original motivation for strength training was to help manage PCOS (an endocrine disorder that typically affects insulin and sex hormone functioning in women). Unfortunately, despite the lifestyle changes I’ve made over the last several years, recently I’ve struggled to manage some of my symptoms (especially fatigue), and a lot of upheaval these past couple of months (finishing my Master’s, moving thousands of miles, starting a PhD…) hasn’t helped. However, I’ve finally found good medical support in the form of a naturopath and am already feeling MUCH better. For this challenge, my focus is on moving towards optimal health and balance. Goals: “This food stuff is supposed to help us, not hurt us...†–Urgan [+ 3 CON]Follow an elimination diet (pretty much the autoimmune protocol) to root out paleo-approved foods that I’m nonetheless sensitive to. I started on Oct. 26, so depending on how I feel I might get to the reintroduction phase towards the end of the challenge.Limit red meat to ½ lb/week to decrease inflammation. I'm also going to try to eat more fresh fish so I'm not stuck with poultry and canned fish.Stick to low carb (<25% of calories from carbs, probably significantly less on rest days). Sweet potatoes, squash, and the like only after lifting. Limit fruit to a couple pieces/week at most. Right not I’m not tracking closely—I have in the past and have a pretty good idea of what I need to do to stick to the low carb plan. I’ll modify my strategy if need be.Yoga 3x/week (15+ minutes) to start re-forming this habit [+ 3 DEX]. Any suggestions for free guided sessions (esp. in the 30-min range) focusing on stretching and de-stressing would be appreciated Meditate [+ 3 WIS]. I’m not setting a concrete goal because I don’t want having met my goal to be an excuse NOT to meditate. Instead, I’m just going to try to rack up as many minutes as I can using the Calm app to track. It should be easy to add 180+ minutes over the challenge if I’m consistent.Schedule to support sleep [+ 3 STA]:On lifting days, go to the gym right after lab/class. This means hauling my lifting gear all over campus because I don’t have a locker, but it really helps me get to the gym sooner à getting out of the gym sooner à getting to bed sooner (since I lift in the evenings).9 pm screen computer curfew for non-work, non-chore, non-meditation activities (including NF). Ideally this will hold for work- and chore-related activities, too. If this goes well, I’ll start moving the curfew to an earlier time.Take the supplements [+ 2 CON]. I already take some supplements to support insulin and testosterone balance, as well as to reduce inflammation; I’m about to add some more to help with progesterone and cortisol levels. Because of the number, I need to stay organized, especially since for some, the time of day and whether I take them with food matters. As part of this goal, I need to organize those supplements that are in pill form in pill containers at the start of every week. Life Quest: read part one of a book on dynamical systems theory [+ 1 WIS] As mentioned above, lifts will still happen and will be posted sporadically in my battle log (link in my signature). My focus isn’t on gainz, though, and I’ll listen to my body when judging how hard to push myself—it helps that my current program has a lot of autoregulation built in. It would be ideal to continue making slow and steady progress, though. My participation this challenge will be a bit hit-or-miss because of my schedule, but I look forward to meeting some Druids and learning more about your approaches to health and fitness .
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