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  1. I took a break, got back on track, and now I'm ready for the kick up the butt that I need. I'm heading over here to the Scouts because this time round I'm doing more riding/running stuff, particularly hashes, cycling and walks. SMART goal: I want to hit 75-8kg by the end of the challenge, on my way to squeezing into my wetsuit at my upcoming family reunion. Because... My oldest sister was put up for adoption as a baby, and she tracked us down somehow (despite us moving to another country more than 22 years ago) and I'm going to meet her in person for the first time in August, and I want to be at my best when I do. To measure my success or failure - I have a particular pair of jeans that I want to fit into, rather than obsess over numbers. It's achievable, if I stick to my goals. Goals: 1. Complete the Darebee Hero's Journey (I'm 38% of the way there already - why fix what's not broken?). After that, complete a Neila Rey/Darebee workout every day for the rest of the challenge (balanced out with leg days, arm days, core, rest/recovery and cardio day), or start another one of her programs... I'll decide when I get there. (STR +3, DEX +2) If I miss a day, I must make up for it the next day. 2. Go on every hash during the challenge, regardless of illness, hangover or weather. (CHA+2, STA+3). They happen every second Sunday. I may flip a coin for the running or walking trails, but must jog at least 1/3 of the walking one, and run as much as I can of the running one. PASS/FAIL. This will probably be easier if I stop drinking, which comes into goal number 3. 3. If it's not paleo, don't eat it. Stick to the diet, drink lots of water or tea. No ordering take out. No fast food. No bread. No ice cream. No beer. Concession: rice (half a bowl) is OK if inescapable, because this is Asia. (CON+2, WIS +2) Measuring: logging food with a weight watchers app. 6 cheats allowed before failure. Water is being logged with plant nanny. Bonus Quests: 4. Early to bed, early to rise. Go to bed before midnight and wake up at 9am each day. (This is early for me, because I work from 2pm to 8pm) (CON +1) 5. Couch 2 5K (zombies) I'd like to start this again. Now's as good a time as any. (+1 STA), pass/fail for completing the at least 4 weeks during this challenge. So that's it. Let's do this thing.
  2. I am in a place of in-between. In between what? I don't know really. But I do. Last challenge was a kick start, a respawn, the beginning of a new year. Now I've made a tentative road map for the year. This is the year I expect to hit my goal weight, learn new things, explore, and develop super powers. This challenge is the challenge between the kick start and the rest of the year. As we all know will power is a limited resource. We can only change a few things at a time. In my previous challenges I started with the low hanging fruit, the obvious choices, the habits that have the most impact on my main quest. In this in-between space is the time to address some other habits that I have neglected and also to regroup to prepare to prepare (yes, I meant to do that) for this year's goals. Goal 1 - Strength Training Last challenge I focused on cardio since I felt I had let it go by the wayside. I did marvelously but now I miss the strength training. I don't think I have lost any muscle but I don't feel stronger anymore. I want that back. But, to avoid making the same mistake again I need to balance cardio and strength better. I'll be trying out Neila Rey's 90 Days of Action. It seems a good combination of both. This will spill over into the next challenge as well. If I time it just right I should complete the 90 days right as the next challenge ends. No exceptions here. The point of this is to workout every single day. Rest days are built in as stretch days or challenge days so really there shouldn't be any excuses (barring illness and injury of course). I should, though, reserve the right to shuffle a little due to time constraints. For the purposes of grading, the goal is 7/week. This will be a point based challenge with rewards explained later. For the purposes of that, each missed workout will cost 1 point. Worth +5 STR Goal 2 - Sleep This is one of those habits that I know I need to work on but just have ignored it for the all previous challenges. This is the first step of a 3 step process of improvement. I would like to be in a place where I can get my workout done in the morning or go for a run. I can barely make it to work on time as it is. For this challenge, I will focus on going to bed at a reasonable time. For the first week the goal will be in bed, going asleep by 11:30. Each week the goal will be reduced by 10 minute increments with the final week in bed by 10:40. For weekend nights bed time can be extended by 1 hour. The goal is going to bed on time 7 nights a week. 1 point awarded for each weeknight in bed on time and 1/2 point for each weekend night for a total of 6 pts/week. Worth +4 skill points TBD. I figure proper sleep will help me in all areas so I can award these points as I see fit at the end of the challenge wherever it is most applicable. Goal 3 - Water Actually, this is more about pop than water. I typically drink 'enough' water if just barely. But I also drink too much diet soda. It will not work as well for me to just say I will cut back or (the horror) stop drinking it altogether. But, if I increase the water I drink I will just simply not be able to drink as much pop. I have a 24 oz container at work and similar ones at home. The goal will be to have 3 of those a day, 2 at work and 1 at home. 1 point awarded for each 24 oz container with a max of 3 pts/day. It's not that I don't want to drink more than that but I want to avoid manipulating my own system and drinking extra on some days to counteract bad days. The goal is 21 points a week. Worth +4 CON (Non) Goal 4 - Walking The is the part where I am preparing to prepare. On my roadmap for the year is a 5K. The weather isn't really ready for me to start any training there, nor am I as I want to get a little closer to 200# before I start running. But I had loved walking outdoors when I started challenges last year and the stinking weather has pushed me indoors. I want to get back out there, weather permitting of course. It doesn't really matter how far I go but I do have a fallback route that is 1.5 miles and another that is 5k. I also want to get a membership for a local park with hiking trails. This will get me used to it again so that next challenge I can start Zombies Run or C25K. This is a non goal as it's not really a SMART goal. I would like to walk at least 2x a week but I'm not committed to that number and it is weather permitting as well. 1 point awarded for each walk, no maximums. The goal is 2ish walks a week. Worth +2 STA Rewards Now for the fun part. Typically rewards do not work that well for me. I have been so engrained in the mentality of rewarding myself with food that I find this difficult. Also because non-food things don't always make great rewards for me since I feel like I will buy it anyway so what's the point reaching a goal. But, I thought points made sense for this challenge and I do have a few things that I would like but I probably wouldn't pay for them anyway without some other reason. For the same of the reward system, we will say there is a potential for 175 points assuming I make in about 2 walks a week. Top Marks Award earned at 155 points = I get to order a Nerd Fitness tank from the online store! Honor Award earned at 140 points = a date with the Mr and he has to go to any movie of my choosing (Thanks babe!) Honorable Mention Award earned at 120 points = a music book for my guitar. The Mr got one with some songs for his new drum set so I'd like to find the 'easiest' song for guitar and learn it so we can play together. Side note - I do intend to keep up with the diet aspect as well. Last challenge was no grains or starches after lunch every day of the week but 1 cheat allowed. That probably contributed to the weight loss for the challenge but it was part of the kick start and not necessarily sustainable. I had done this before but grains were making their way back into my meals and even worse, they becoming habit. The point of last challenge was to break the habit. I am essentially OK with eating them with dinner but as an exception, not as a habit. So I'll basically be following the same practice but will allow for more carbs for dinner as long as it isn't a routine. I'll also be working to include as much veg as I can. But this is just continuing habits and not goals for this challenge. But I don't want it to go by the wayside. Feel free to ask me how this is going if I don't mention it. I would hate for this to slip as I focus on other things. Also, as I finish writing this it occurs to me I haven't mentioned Dr Who at all. So, we need this.
  3. So I did my first two months without a challenge, and I dropped 20 pounds (yay!) mainly with calorie cutting. Now it's time to step it up. I've got DDPYoga, and I like it well enough, but I can't do the same thing day in and day out. So after some research, I've decided to do Neila Rey workouts for my first challenge. Every week will be a different theme, and every workout (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) will be a different workout in that theme. I'm keeping it real, though, and saying just one set to start with. Yes, I know the "LEVEL ONE" workouts are supposed to be three sets, but I'm starting with just one so I don't hurt myself, quite honestly, and to give myself the goal of being able to do three sets for the next challenge. GRADING SYSTEM: WEEKLY: All three workouts: A Two workouts, B. 1 workout, C GOAL TWO: I don't normally drink soda unless we eat out, but I suck down coffee with now half and half like it's about to be outlawed, and water isn't normally in my repertoire. So goal two is to drink one 24 ounce bottle of water a day. Hey, got to start somewhere. GRADING SYSTEM: WEEKLY: 7 bottles, A. 5 bottles, B. 3 bottles, C. Past that: FAIL GOAL THREE: Stick to my calories for the day. Currently, MyFitnessPal has me on a 1200 calorie a day plan. Depending on how long each of the workouts will take, I will be uploading them as "cardio, medium effort" because MFP does not give you caloric credit for bodyweight stuff. So I figure depending on time expended, et cetera, those days I'll get up to 13-1400 or so. Lately, I've found myself horribly raging hungry by the end of the day, and I've cheated some this week for sure. So the goal is to keep to my caloric limits daily. GRADING SYSTEM: WEEKLY: Caloric limits met daily, A. Caloric limits met four times, B. Caloric limits met three times, C. Past that: FAIL Oh, life goals, how you frighten me. LIFE GOAL: Keep working on the second draft of Raven's Flight, my new paranormal romance, first in the BloodWorld series. ATTAINABLE GOAL: Another 50 pages by the end of the challenge. OPTIONAL LIFE GOAL: Title and outline the next in the series. Well, there we have it. ShadowSilk's first challenge. GERONIMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. I started this journey at my 2014 weight and have been travelling back in time. I am happy to report I have made it to my 1999 weight. I have gone back 15 years! I love time travel. For those of you who are following along, you may be expecting some Whovian reference… Since I hate to disappoint… The 8th Dr is the perfect companion for this challenge. You know – New Year’s Eve, 1999, right? Anyway, watch the movie. I have accomplished a lot so far. I have lost about 60 pounds since discovering NF back in June and people are constantly noticing the new me. I feel like the changing of the year celebrates the new me. Just like the Dr, I am still the old me (Let’s not talk about Christmas) but I have regenerated into a new body and ready to keep working so I can do it again and again. My main Quest is still the same; reach my goal weight of 160 pounds, though I will fine tune this once I am closer. I anticipate that I can get to 180 pounds and then stop looking at weight as the indicator and start looking more at body fat %. I am tracking both at this point but I don’t feel like I can really set a main goal on bf% just because it is too far off and I don’t feel like I know where I will reasonably end up. During this challenge I am shooting for 218 pounds (aka 1997) My motivation is still the same but I think it is due time for me to reflect on this again and put it out there. I have two main motivations. 1 is me and the power my body has over me, the other is the example I set for my daughter. When I started my first challenge, I had only lost 12 pounds and I still felt like I couldn’t do anything. My body just didn’t cooperate or I had these visions of my body falling to the ground in some horrible manner. I have more freedom now. I still have a long way to go but I don’t want to forget the little things that were so difficult for me to do that ‘normal’ sized people take for granted. Now that I can do these things I don’t want to get lazy and take it for granted. My motivation to set the example for my daughter will also help me to make changes for the long run, not quick fixes. What I am really doing is changing habits to be healthier and I just happen to lose a bunch of weight along the way. I need to develop these habits, keep them up, teach them to my kids, and then encourage them to be the best they can be… leading by example. Last challenge wasn’t as successful as the previous ones. I wouldn’t call it a failure. There were legitimate reasons for the under-performance and some not so legitimate reasons. But that combined with the holidays makes me feel like it is time to buckle down a bit. I am still following my habits but I am not really pushing myself as much as I was at first. This applies to workouts and eating habits. I am looking for BAMF level performance this time around.
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