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After so many years of doing variations on the same theme, this challenge is finally going to be something new for me. All of my time with NF thus far has been me focused on meeting the physical requirements for a job with the police. My belief in that possibility has waxed and waned over the years, but that was always my main goal. As I've gotten older, I've felt growing pressure to get my life going (I've been working low paying, dead-end jobs for over 20 years, and been living in my parents' basement for most of that time, and I'd like to be a real adult someday). That pressure has caused me to explored a few job Plan B's recently. One of them has finally worked out, and I start the new job next week. This is the first real live, professional, adult job I've ever had, the first time in my life I'll be making a living wage, and, if all goes well, this will be the job I do from now until retirement. Being physically fit will be an advantage for this job, for a few different reasons, but there are no specific physical requirements, which allows me to shift my focus a bit, and relax a bit. I want to go back to some fundamentals I've been neglecting, and reset a bit on my fitness journey in an attempt to find the joy in it, rather than pushing myself to do certain things I don't always enjoy just to meet someone else's benchmarks. Goal #1 ~ Healthy Eating and Meal Prep The pandemic has not been kind to me in a lot of ways, but specifically it has not been kind to my waistline. I'm not ready to focus specifically on fat loss, but I do need to rein in my eating and meal prep habits a bit. So, for this goal, I'd like to track my food intake with MFP, with a (admittedly arbitrary) goal of 2005kcal/day. MFP makes me set macro goals in order to make a kcal goal (hence the slightly odd number), but I'm not overly concerned with the exact macros, I'm just interested at staying around 2000kcal/day. Food tracking seems a bit much right now, so I'm just going to focus on mostly eating homemade food, only eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full, and staying away from junk food like chips and Wendy's. Related to this, I'll need to be more consistent with my meal prep. Generally, if I have prepared food in the fridge I'll eat it, even if I'm craving something else, because microwaving leftovers is easier than leaving my house to go to a drive-through. If I'm mostly eating healthy food prepared by me, I don't mind getting the occasional healthy-ish takeout (I have several options for this in my city), nor having the occasional treat, but I can't be living on treats alone. Goal #2A ~ Back to Basics I've known I need to work on mobility for a long time, and I've never been able to find/make the time to focus on it. It always felt like focusing on this would take away from my focus on my other physical goals, so I let it slide by the wayside. I'd like to make this a focus, at least for this challenge, and build from there in the future. To this end, I would like to try again to follow the GMB Elements program. So this goal is to just do what the program tells me to do on the days it tells me to do it, and not worry about any other specific strength training. The only thing I need to add to this is the exercises my physio has given me. There aren't many, and they're not strenuous, so I'll add those in before or after the Elements session. Goal #2B ~ I Don't Like It, but It's Good for Me I may not enjoy cardio much but I can't deny that I feel better and have an easier time just in life when my cardiovascular system is in better shape. For a long time, running has been a challenge for me, because I don't particularly enjoy it but I needed to do it, and had to meet certain requirements. It's still the easiest and simplest way to get in some cardio training, and doing it 2x/week seems like a reasonable, but not burdensome, goal. I'm not going to set any particular performance goals with this, and I no longer feel the pressure to improve, so I'm hoping this will make it a bit less miserable for me, and that I'll be better able to accept the short term misery for long term benefits without feeling the need to go faster or longer on a regular basis (ie. it won't feel like failure if I'm tired and need to walk one day, despite the fact I ran the whole distance the last time, or if I shorten the distance because I'm not feeling it). Goal #3 ~ Sleep I'm naturally a night person, and my new job involves some very early mornings (for me, they're probably normal mornings for people with normal circadian rhythms), so I'm going to have to do a major overhaul of my sleep hygiene if I have any hope of being even a little bit well rested. Week 1 will not be off to a good start, as I work until midnight the Sunday before my first day, and I'm certain I'm going to have a hard time getting to sleep through the whole week. The trouble is, I have no idea what routine is going to be best for me, so this is gonna be a bit of a vague goal for now. So, I want to go to bed when I'm tired, or by 11pm, whichever comes first (midnight shifts notwithstanding). I will only read magazines in bed. And no TikTok after 10pm! Goal #4 ~ Exercise the Brain I used to read voraciously when I was younger, but have gotten away from it as Life happened. I'm trying to get back to it, and have had some mixed success over the last couple of months. One thing I do know is, as I've started to read more I've felt more engaged in life, as if my brain is actively engaged in things rather than just observing my life as it goes by. This is a good thing, so I'm formalizing my reading goal by making it a goal to finish 2 books during this challenge. The 2 books I want to read are The Fires of Vengeance by Evan Winter, and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, but if any others pique my interest I'm down for switching that up.
Hi all. I'm rising from the ashes of my fitness journey & sloughing off the dust & dirt from my epic fail. What went wrong: A death in the family after a long illness No will = greedy people = family drama School changing webhosts = I need to be done by October or take all my tests over again as the grades won't migrate to the new forum=stress! New job + reactions to chemicals at said job = migraines + insomnia on & off for a month & a half. Breathe.... Start again. This time will be better. Plan to be posted in Battle Log forum. Stay tuned!