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  1. It's that time again!!! Super excited to be back on NF, back in Detroit, and back to work! Due to the inclement weather, literally all of my plans got thrown out the window, hence the slightly late start, but I'm totally ready for action now. Main Quest Continue to drop the extra weight and develop a positive body image Active Missions Cut that starch! [+3 CON, +2 CHA] As I mentioned in my last challenge thread, I have PCOS and have always found it difficult to lose weight. I got some material on the Glycemic Load Diet for Christmas and have been reading up on that. I think it makes a lot of sense for me based on my experience with food and my body up to now as well as those of my family members. Because I live in community, it's likely that I won't be able to entirely cut out every starchy thing, but I'm going to up the ante from last time. Even if it's part of a community meal, I'm going to separate out as much as possible any bread, rice, white potatoes, pasta, etc. This is in addition to the obvious absence of empty calories from sweets and sugary drinks. None of that nonsense! A: >=40 days sticking to the above guidelines B: 36-39 days C: 32-35 days D: 28-31 days F: <28 days Work on my fitness! [+3 STR] This is also a continuation of something I worked on last challenge. I felt good running and doing a body weight workout three times a week each. I'd like to keep that up, but the freezing temperatures are making it really difficult. The solution? Get my ass to the YMCA (finally). Last challenge, I chased down an answer as to whether or not I'd be able to get any special membership discount as a full-time volunteer. That answer was a resounding "no". The plan now is to get a family membership with my housemates. This goal will be broken up into the following steps (A >= 90%, B >= 80%, C >= 70%, D >= 60%, F < 60%): Talk to the whole community about going in on a membership (15%)Inquire about family membership (10%)Tour facility (optional, 5% bonus)Obtain personal transportation (borrow, fix, or buy a bike) or figure out when I can drive to the Y (25%)Try group classes, go at least once/week for the remainder of the challenge (20%)Get to the Y at least 3 times/week for the remainder of the challenge (30%)Zombies, Run! 5K [+4 STA] I started running using Zombies, Run! 5K Training and, though I did go running while I was home for winter break, the holidays threw me off a bit. I want to finish out the training and keep right on running. Eventually, I want to do a 5K event, but that will most likely have to wait until I have an income. This goal will be split into two parts of equal weight. First, I'm going to finish the last three weeks of the training by February. This gives me a little wiggle room, which I think is necessary given the fact that I don't yet have a place to run indoors. The second part is that I want to get my 5K time down below 30 minutes. I'm not entirely sure because I've never timed for exactly that distance, but I think I'm probably around 40 minutes with plenty of walking thrown in there right now, so shaving off 10 minutes feels reasonable. A: Done by 1/31; 5K in less than 30 minutes B: Done by 2/1; 5K in 30-31 minutes C: Done by 2/2; 5K in 31-32 minutes D: Done by 2/3; 5K in 32-33 minutes F: Done 2/4 or later; 5K in more than 33 minutes Life Quest Don't touch those savings! [+3 WIS] In the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, you're encouraged to remain at your placement site (with the exception of any JVC retreats) for the entire year. Most people go home for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. I work at a high school, so I went home during the students' winter break. The only other time I'll be leaving Detroit for any personal reason is to go to my friend's wedding in late June. I'm guessing I'm going to need something like $300 to cover airfare, a dress, and any food not provided by the families of the bride and groom or carried along with me. As I receive $100/month as a stipend, this means I need to start saving now. Between now and the end of the challenge, I'll receive two months' stipend. I still have a little left over from December. At the end of the challenge, I will have put away at least $100 towards my wedding trip fund. A: At least $100 set aside B: $92-$99 C: $84-$91 D: $76-$83 F: $75 or less Having finished my first full challenge, I'm already noticing a big difference in how I look and feel. I want more of that. If I keep on making changes like the ones these challenges inspire me to, I can tell I'll eventually reach a point where I'm happy with my self-image. I want to be able to look in the mirror and say, "YES! I did this!"
  2. Normally I would have posted for the challenge the day it started - or maybe the day before. My wifi is out, and since my husband is the nerd in the family and currently extremely busy, I have been without internet. I have however already started the challenge. A ranger is the life for me - currently. I love to run and can currently run a 5k in about 30 minutes, but I also enjoy the results from weight lifting, so to pick one to focus on more than the other is impossible. This is why I chose this guild. As for may challenge... Part of what I'm doing in my diet is getting rid of the things that would cause insulin spikes naturally. My mom has both diabetes and hypoglycemia. Due to this, she has to be very careful about what she eats. Besides flour, the thing that causes the highest spike in her insulin is corn. That is a very starch food and not paleo anyway, so that is the thing I am focusing on for the diet part of this challenge. This will include anything that contains any type of corn product in it. This will be added to my current status of keeping flour and sugar out of my diet. I will, however, allow myself 2 days to "cheat" on this strict diet due to Thanksgiving. - An A will be anywhere from perfection to 10 days of having corn, sugar, flour (CHA+4) - A B will be anywhere from 11 to 21 days of having corn, sugar, flour (CHA+3) - A C will be between 22 and 32 days (CHA+2) - A D will be 32-41 days (CHA+1) - An F would be having these nasty things every single day. I have been successful at keeping up with a 30 minute workout 5 days a week. During this challenge, I plan to increase four of those workouts to an hour long. These are my P90X strength training workouts, and the Yoga workout. I'm hoping to add a 6th day exercise, but it will not be included in my challenge. - If I manage to miss less than 5 workouts during the challenge, I will have an A (STR+3; DEX+2) - 13-16 missed workouts will earn me a B (STR+2; DEX+2) - 17-20 missed = C (STR+2; DEX+1) - 17-20 missed = D (STR+2) - I will receive an F if I miss more than 20 workouts during this challenge. I've always had the occasional heart palpitation, but have just recently discovered that Cardio arrhythmia runs in the family. I do know that msg aggravates this condition, but I don't eat that stuff anyway. In order to have a healthier heart, and to test to see if anything else might cause palpitations, I have decided to keep a food journal. - An A will be anywhere from perfection to 10 missed entry days (WIS+4) - A B will be 11-21 missed entry days (WIS+3) - A C = 22-32 missed days (WIS+2) - A D = 32-42 missed days (WIS+1) - An F = 0 entries into my food journal for the entire 6 weeks I have never done a side quest before, but there are so many things that I want to tackle that I though I would give it a try. Last week, I read the blog post about learning to do a handstand and thought, "Why not?" By the end of 6 weeks, I plan to be able to do a handstand. I will work on this daily. If completed: (STA+1) Now for a Life Quest. When I home schooled my children, we had Bible study daily as part of school. Since they've started public school (3 years ago), I'm ashamed to say that I've seriously dropped the ball. For the next 6 weeks, my goal is to have a Bible study once a week. Small beginnings... If completed: (WIS+1) My main quest in these adventures is to reach a size 6 in clothes, and to obtain the best health possible. My motivation? My family. I don't want my husband or my children to have to care for me as I age. I also want to be a good example to them.
  3. Hello fellow questers! Although I've been around the NF forums since the new year, this is my first excursion away from the adventurers. I'm ready to move upward and onward, and am excited to really work on diversifying my skills and improving overall fitness. My MAIN QUEST: As in my life-long goal, is to become a homesteader. I honestly cannot remember a time when I did not ultimately see myself living some version of this - being as self-sustaining as possible, living off the grid, on my own terms. While most of my efforts in this direction have been of the day-dreaming sort, recently I've started to really think about the skills I'm going to need and begun seriously trying to prepare. At last, my husband and I live in a place with a yard! So we put in our first garden this year - it's very exciting, and going well for a first effort I think. I also joined a CSA, which will really help with the eating locally aspect, and I'm learning to can. XD (Also, we are starting a graphic design/t-shirt/decal business soon, in order to have some income in our desired future). So, the main quest has officially begun. But here's the thing. I know full well that the life I want is going to be damn hard work. And quite frankly I couldn't handle it at this point. I need to be stronger, mentally and physically. And I need WAY more endurance than I have now. *Cue training montage* Heh. But that's the thing, isn't it? There are no montages in real life (Although I would really like to enact a dressing room montage, am I alone here?) you have to live the full minutes of it all. And that's okay! That's what NF is going to help me do. GOAL ONE: EMBRACE MY INNER YOGI (+2DEX, +2END, +1WIS) Attend a minimum of two yoga classes per week I have an unlimited yoga pass that goes until August 23rd. So far, I've averaged going once per week, which is barely enough to make it worth it. I WILL go at least twice per week. The final two weeks of the challenge, I will not have classes, so I will switch to at-home sessions, still 2x/wk. I really enjoy yoga, and I know it helps with so many aspects - dexterity and endurance, but also mental calmness and clarity. Who doesn't need a little more of that? A:12 B:9 C:6 D:3 F:2 or fewer GOAL TWO: EAT MY VEGGIES! (+3CON, +1WIS) Eat every single item in our CSA box each week. As I mentioned, we joined a CSA this year. We've had a few boxes so far, and I've done pretty well - there's been a huge quantity of lettuce so far, which has been hard to get through, I need to eat more salads, I guess! But I want to commit to not letting anything go to waste, and to try all the new things I've never had before. I get my box every Wednesday, so I want to have finished the previous one by then, although if it's something that keeps longer than a week, that's ok, as long as it doesn't get thrown out (or I should say composted - I have that option now!). Obviously I'll be sharing with my husband, but I'm the primary cook in our household, so it's really still up to me to ensure everything gets used. A:6wks B:5wks C:4wks D:3wks F:2wks or less GOAL THREE: EAT SLOW FOOD (+2 CON, +2 CHA) Refrain from eating any fast food for the next 6 weeks. So, I was really good about this for a while, and then I started slipping. You know how it goes. "Oh, I'll just have a salad, that's not so bad." "Mmm, forgot my lunch today... bunless burger! Sure!" "Well, I haven't had fries in a while..." It's a slippery slope. I did a "bring your own lunch" goal a couple challenges ago, and it went really well, so this will build on that - I need to get back into the habit of preparing ahead for lunch, but also there have been some late night poor decisions, as well as some breakfast issues (Damn you, Tim Horton's bagel BELTs!) This stops now! There's no excuses, really. I'm a good cook, and I enjoy cooking - we have proper dinners every night anyways, I just need to ensure leftovers. If I do forget my lunch, my option is to go to the grocery store, where I can easily get non-crap filled salad fixings, or if I really need a nomnom fix, sushi. A:None B:Twice C:Four times D:Six times F:More than six LIFE GOAL: CREATE! (+2WIS) Spend a minimum of 90 minutes each week, working on something creative. I've done this one a few times in the past, and it's a great incentive to do something that I enjoy but rarely make time for. Buuuuut I have some extra motivation this time. You see... I HAVE DECIDED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL! WAHHHHH! I have wanted to take formal art classes for a long time, and always thought I would do it eventually. Pardon my French, but SCREW THAT! Why put off the things you really want? Our local college has a Visual Arts diploma program (and I know a few people who have been through it - it may not be the shmanciest art program, but their skills improved vastly) and I can take it part time while continuing to work. I won't be able to start until January 2014 at the earliest, or Sept 2014 at the latest, but I really need to work on my discipline for actually completing projects now. A:540 mins B:450 mins C:360 mins D:270 mins F: less than 270 mins And while my main quest is my main quest (and we are only supposed to have one!), my more immediate motivation is to look good in a swim suit for our vacation in November! I can't pretend I'm not vain And technically this will be our honeymoon - we got married last year and haven't been on one yet. And I don't want to have to cringe when I see the pictures. Starting Stats: Weight: 165lbs Bust: 40" Hips: 39" Natural Waist: 32" Belly button: 38" Thighs: 24" Arms: 13.5
  4. main quest: lose total of 25 pounds so improving fitness is faster and more effective goals: 30 minute (minimum) cardio workout 5x/week usual; 2x/week during summer camp weeks Cross Fit workout 3x/week usual; 2x/week during summer camp weeks Diet- "natural"- no processed food, no sugar (goal has been in process for months) side quest: unassisted pullup life quest: try kayaking
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