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  1. I'd been thinking about doing a challenge to help me in my (suspected) COVID recovery, but hadn't gotten very far on the specifics when I came on here two days ago to see when the next challenge was. Surprise! I went ahead and started a topic to anchor my commitment to doing this one. The last two years have been quite a series of adventures and lessons. And, I have several more big ones planned for the next couple years that I need to get ready for. Expect to see goals beyond simply recovering. I've got hikes and back country travel planned–and plenty of other adventures–as soon as I am able to do so again. Stories, photos, artwork will be sprinkled liberally throughout. This gal has been rediscovering her younger wild nature child self the last couple years! I have also discovered that I have an additional spirit animal as I immerse myself in my sixties. (Ha!) 😄 River Otters at Sequoia Park Zoo, Eureka, California. There will be more pictures of them... Stealthily shot out the door of my rental cottage on the shores of Cordova Bay, British Columbia, Canada, March, 2020 Juvenile Bald Eagle and ravens. So, goals. I got back on the soda and put on weight during the last two years. A sedentary lifestyle of sitting behind a computer for hours on end is not my friend and I've used sugar and caffeine to moderate my moods, energy, and attention span. My programming job is fast-paced and stressful, and there habits are not helping that either,. They are creating a long term form of health debt which, having just recently turned 62, is a really stupid thing to be doing. I want to live to be a healthy, happy, badass old lady, which means I need to reverse course on the stupid ass habits now, and build towards those big items in my bucket list. My health scare the last few months was a much needed wake up call. OBJECTIVES I resolve to use the next five weeks to: 1) Reduce my soda consumption 2) Increase my physical activity 3) Reduce my stress level 4) Create cool stuff GOALS Turning those into specific, measurable goals, each with an associated "WHY" for motivation: 1) Reduce my soda consumption to 25% (or less) of what I am currently drinking, with the end goal of being 100% soda free on or before November 1st, 2020. I'm not even sure how much I'm drinking, but it is a lot, so I need to track it throughout the challenge. Knowing how I am about tracking a bad habit, if I am diligent enough with it, I will eventually reach a tipping point where it's easier to just stop the habit than to keep tracking it. Shadowlion psychology... Make my environment conducive to quitting - have filtered water, ice, green tea, and yerba mate on hand and the ice tea made ahead of time to make substitutions easier. See if I can get D's buy in to purge the fizzy stuff from the house. Or to at least not drink it in front of me. This will help me lose weight and improve my overall health, leading to a faster recovery. I want to be able to hike harder trails sooner so that I can get those Arizona Trail section hikes in! (Hopefully some of the easier ones in Spring 2021.) Why? I want long term health and independence as I age, and to get those long section and thru hikes in before I get too old! 2) Increase my physical activity gradually, and as steadily as possible, given that I am still recovering from COVID-19 and am still quite de-conditioned from it. Increase my daily short walks and/or exercise biking beyond my current walking max of three circumambulations around the backyard or biking max of .5 miles in 30 minutes per day. Increase the variety of my free weight exercises as my costochondritis and joint pain heal. Increase weights, gradually and steadily, as I am able. My goal is to increase either intensity or duration by about 20% per week. Keep a log to help me gauge when I am ready to increase. In keeping with my otter photo above, make it FUN! Why? I want to regain my stamina and ability to do everyday things around the house, to be able to hold up my end of things. Longer term, I want to be able to haul my pack and photo equipment around easily for my hikes and other excursions, and to be able to move back up to the mountains and do my permaculture project, which will require my being in good condition to do physical labor at 7,000 feet elevation. 3) Reduce my stress through meditation and journaling. Keep my current meditation and journal writing, but extend the meditation from 2x a day for 5 minutes each to 2x a day for 10 minutes each. For journaling, keep my 15 minutes in the morning, but add on a 5 to 10 minute daily review and quick plan for the next day session in the evening. Why? The coronavirus (or its evil twin - my tests came back negative, though my symptoms indicated otherwise and my healthcare providers treated it as COVID-19) played havoc with my immune system and triggered off an old autoimmune problem that has been in remission for around 40 years. I am responding well to medication for it and have a good chance of it going back into remission. I do know from past experience that stress is a major factor for both length and duration of an episode, so keeping my stress levels as low as possible will increase the odds of achieving and maintaining remission. 4) Create cool stuff at least 5 times per week for a half an hour (or even more!). Do fun, creative stuff. Stay curious. Play! It doesn't have to be something to hang in a gallery. Sketch, take some photos, play around some digital art tutorials, whatever! If the joints are up to it, play a few minutes of music, too. Why? Life is too short to spend it all working and striving. Creating is good for the mind, the heart, the soul. And, otters - they are the epitome of curious and playful! Bucket List (Ongoing) Arizona Trail section hikes Thru hike the AZT Pacific Crest Trail section hikes Thru hike the PCT Relocate to the Flagstaff, Arizona area Design and build my permaculture paradise in the pines (including my art studio) Draw and paint wildlife and plants, landscapes Learn manual mode on my camera - ha! Take up the mantle of my uncle's woodcarving and art More "Creative Coding" - digital art, VR, games, data visualization Travel - National parks and monuments; wild places, the wilder the better Complete my Permaculture Design course and dual certificates Complete my Octalysis training (game making, gamification, and behavioral design)
  2. Happy New Year! I am Mr. L and this is my first challenge. A bit about myself: I have a collection of board games that I do not play enough (current favs right now are Arkham Horror: LCG and Terraforming Mars), I teach high school math, and I am presently potty training a very feisty 2 year old. I am starting this challenge, because I have 3 big things to face this year and I need to be healthier to tackle them. "What are those three things you say?" Good question. I turn 40 in September I signed up for a Goruck Light Challenge in October Child #2 is due to arrive in July My goal for this quest is to lose 15 pounds by the end of the challenge. My quests for this challenge are: No Pop: I am giving up pop (soda, Coke, sugary carbonated beverages, etc) for the year. I drink way too much of it and I often make poor food choices to get more (ie getting fast food or ordering pizza) since we rarely have any in the house. I plan on maintaining this particular quest for the whole year. Be Active: I need some more activity in my life and my goal is to have at least 5 days of activity per week over the course of this challenge. I plan on starting the Stronglift 5x5 program later today and on some of my off-days I will do some rucking (either on the indoor track at the Y or around my neighborhood - weather depending). Eat Better: Eat within my calorie target goal for the day - at least 6 days per week. My non-fitness related quest is: Cleanup Time: Ever day due 15 minutes of cleaning, or other housework while my daughter is asleep. Good luck to everyone!
  3. I still need to eat better, snack less, move more, and lose weight. I've almost certainly been going through some levels of depression over the last year, but I'm hoping that the warmer weather and extra sunlight will improve my mood. Either way, it's time to quit whinging and start doing again. I will certainly still talk about parkour and silks, but I'm going to focus on basic exercises for this challenge. Challenge goal: Pay my debts These are the exercises I "owe" each week and must pay off: 1. Pull ups - 20/week 2. Push ups - 50/week 3. V-ups - 60/week 4. Squats - 100/week (but can choose regular, sumo, or side to side squats). 5. intense cardio/HIIT stuff: 10 minutes total/week (burpees, mountain climbers, jumping exercises, etc.) 6. walking - 30 km/week, with at least 1 ruck/week 7. If I miss silks class, then I also owe some silks conditioning work at home. Bonus debts: 8. I need to learn one new crochet technique each week. So far, I just know basic stitches, which is great for scarves and blankets, but not much else. 9. 1 hour of piano each week On the eating front, I'm planning to re-give up soda. I'm also going to try something new with the evening snacking: I will get myself a reasonable portion of food to eat, including some healthy things like carrot sticks or cheese, and then I will not under any circumstances let myself get up for more food. I'm a bit bummed, though. Right when I was going to gather the kids so we could head to the parkour and silks gym, my son came in crying with a scraped up face, cut, and lump on his forehead. So, no parkour tonight.. Maybe parkour on wednesday, though.
  4. The second half of 2018 was all kind of crazy for me, good crazy though. I tried to keep up with simple challenges but that didn’t work. Between frustrations at work, making the decision to look for another job, interviewing, getting a new job, learning the new job, getting promoted and learning another new job, I was emotionally exhausted. I barely kept myself functioning. While I still have an incredibly hard upcoming 2019, I think I might be at a point where I can focus on myself outside of work. Also as a note, I did a pretty fantastic job keeping my weight down and not eating my emotions back to where I started in 2018. The following Home, Health, and Financial sections will be the foundation for all my goals and challenges for 2019. I’ll break that down after the last section. HOME One of the biggest areas in my life that cause me to relapse into old habits is the chaos that is called my home. I jokingly say that my house looks like I’m losing a game of Jumanji. Each year I make an effort to get on a cleaning schedule or organize the disaster I live in. Every year it starts out well then things start to snowball and accumulate, bringing me crashing down and curling up on the sofa to watch Netflix. I'm looking at you, Michael Scott! I decided to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. For years I’ve wanted to read this book but had anxiety just thinking about it. Well, I had lots of quiet data entering time at work so I downloaded the audiobook and that helped me start and finish the book. Just thinking about how she describes the process still makes me uneasy but I think I need that. I just have too much stuff I never touch and the clutter is driving me insane. Marie Kondo says it can take 6 months to a year to fully tidy up and I think I’ve broken down her categories pretty good so I can hit my goal of December 31, 2019. Bonus, Marie Kondo's Netflix show starts on January 1st. I'll try to incorporate that into my goal somehow. HEALTH I can’t ignore health so of course, it has its own section. My health section covers exercise and nutrition. 2018 was a year of slacking when it came to exercise. I don’t remember the last time I went to the gym or did a routine workout. I could check but I honestly don't care...I don’t have a specific end goal for workouts in mind but one big goal is doing the Christmas Rush 5k in December. I have no excuse for not doing it since it’s in my town and only a 5k. Nutrition was not horrible but it can always be better. I want to get back in the habit of not drinking my calories, I want to make sure I’m making my lunches for work and it’s always good to get more veggies! FINANCIAL Who doesn’t want financial freedom? With my new job and new salary, I have a real chance to pay off my debt and start working on my retirement. I took some time and did a rough draft of my budget, plus snowball payments on each of my debts and did my budget out until I had no more debt. According to my math, I can pay off everything, including my townhouse, by my 40th birthday. With a pretty aggressive budget plan, it is doable. The budget does not include potential income increases and increased bills but it’s a great place to start. 2019 MONTHLY CHALLENGE BREAKDOWN I’ll follow the challenge dates but all my goals start on Day 1 of the month and end on either the 28th, 30th, or 31st of the challenge months. Some challenges will have 2 different sets of goals, I’m ok with that. I’ve found that not starting on the 1st can stress me out and I want to do as much to avoid that as possible. Plus it’s easier for me to keep track that way.
  5. Self-indulgent whining.... Goals are going to be super simple: 1. Go to parkour and silks classes according to schedule, even when I don't want to go. I'm currently doing 2 classes on each of Saturday and Monday, and I can't let the blahs stop me from going. Yesterday was a perfect example: I didn't want to go, but went anyway, and after the fact, was glad that I did. Part of the grade will simply be showing up. The other part will be attitude when I'm there. This means that when I'm doing parkour open gym, I need to focus on rebuilding my skill base rather than getting frustrated about things I can no longer do. 2. Do a big workout on either Wednesday or Thursday each week. This means pull ups, push ups, core, and grip. I'm going to set a goal and then if I can't complete it, drop down to an easier version of the exercise rather than abandon ship altogether. 3. Splits stretching at least 2 times per week (not including silks classes). It should only take 5 or so minutes, so there's no reason for me to skip this stuff. 4. At least one meal per day needs to be salad or something healthy and home-cooked, even when I don't feel like it. 5. Soda at most once/week. I drank soda for many years. I gave it up shortly after starting nerd fitness. But, in the last 6 months, I've resumed the habit.
  6. Since I'm focusing more inwards this challenge, I decided to hop on over to my Druid buddies! Hi!!!!! This Heathen Mama has a Master Plan to start eating like a Viking! This challenge will be 100% diet based for me. After much research I keep coming back to the Nordic/Viking Diet. The paleo diet that I have tried many times before is far too restrictive for me and my carb-loving self. I do well for about a week and then end up going carb crazy and derailing my progress. So instead I found that the Viking Diet allows me limited carbs in the form of root veggies (potatoes, etc) and whole grains. I'm going to stick to this plan for the length of this challenge and see what kind of differences I see and feel. My goal is to keep it super simple and set myself up for success. If I do well following this, then next challenge I may add some other things. Here are my goals for this go around: 1. CARBS - From Whole Grains (rye, barley, oats, oatmeal), root veggie (potatoes, onion, parsnip, carrot, broccoli, sweet potatoes,etc) and fruits as desserts (focus on mainly berries, apples) 2. WHOLE FOODS ONLY- Focus on real whole foods. Proteins should consist of fish about 3 times a week, chicken and lean meats otherwise. Root veggies and fruits. no fast food, no processed food. no junk food, no sweets (except for occasional treat of dark chocolate 72% or higher). Based on previous trial and error I found that I LOVE stews. Healthy and filling when done right. Going to break out my crockpot about twice a week for easy, filling meals and plenty of leftovers. I love stews, casseroles, pot pies, basically anything that is like "all in one" meals. I hate cooking, so it helps! 3. DRINK HEALTHY - Drink 10 cups water daily, herbal tea and black coffee - no soda or energy drinks. I'm allowed alcohol 2-3 times a week, but stick with low cal low carb beers or wine. 4. FOCUS ON KEEPING PERCENTAGES IN BALANCE- the Nordic diet, based on what I've found, should be about 30% healthy fats, 50% carbs, 20% protein. veggies and fruits should make up 2/3 of my plate, with protein only being 1/3. I'm not going to focus as much on calories for the time being, but focus on eating until comfortable and keep the percentages within that general range. To succeed I'm going to set aside time to cook in advance with larger portions with allow for easy leftovers and work meals already packed up and portioned to go. I'm also a creature of habit, so work to create set meals that I can rely on. Example would be having a set breakfast of a fruit and oatmeal sweetened with cinnamon and a tsp of honey. That way I don't have to worry as much about WHAT I'm gonna eat. I know what I'm gonna eat and know that it follows the Master Plan. *muahahahaha devious laughter ensues!* I'm going to try to be good about taking photos of my foods as well to document and hold myself accountable. Skal!
  7. Greetings and salutations Fellow travelers! My name is Devon eh hemm I mean Doc. I am a mid 20s male. Former US Army. Sadly quite out of shape. well kinda of out of shape..... as in i can lift and carry anything i can still do pushups and pullups but I have gone from 165 lbs in the army to 250 lbs in the last 5 years. My goal is to cut down to around 190 to 210 and get back to the point where im not wheezing after running a mile. I was a medic now im a cook and a caregiver with dreams of travel and romance. But oh you want to hear about Doc, That most debonair of rogues? Well if you insist. Doc may have once been a soldier but no longer now he is a rogue for hire a bit of a fighter, an expert gambler, and masterful tactician. Doc is quick on his feet but is often overlooked because he tends to blend into the shadows with his dark leathers and soft boots. At home in forest or city Doc makes a wonderful companion who can cook a good meal as well as guard his companions. Doc gets along well with his companions but when it comes to a fight he tends to blend into the shadows until he is needed often sending a well worn dagger flying or throwing caltrops under the feet of his foes. He knows the score and at least three ways into anywhere and four ways out. In other words its a pleasure to make your acquaintance and i look forward to speaking with you all. I intend to be around awhile and hope that my meager workouts will help me and if i need help with them i can look to you all for support
  8. As per my usual in 2016, its the third day of the challenge and I'm getting my thread started. Meh, I've been busy. But, let's get to it. Last challenge I mastered my late night snacking tendencies after limiting them in my first challenge. I'm not going to make that a goal, but intend to keep it going. I've also been soda free since the start of the last challenge, but I'm going to continue that goal. Those 2 things plus the training has my weight down 5.5 pounds in 2016 and has my 5K time down by about 30 seconds per mile. So, let's kick that up a notch. Goal #1 While continuing to limit the late night snacking I'm setting my sights on the other part of my day that is near sleepy times -- the morning. I have a tendency to hit the drive thru for some coffee on the way to work. That wouldn't be so bad, except while sitting in line I will usually decide that I need something to eat to go along with the coffee. I speak from lots of experience, there are no healthy foods available in any drive thru. So, my goal is to eliminate the drive thru food. My plan is to attack it the way I did with snacking after 9 PM. So, for this challenge, I'm limiting myself to once per week and the next challenge I'll eliminate them completely. Goal #2 Continuing the no soda goal. Goal #3 Continuing the plan. We're on to the second month of the plan, which means new exercises but the same overall program layout. I'm feeling stronger and faster on my runs. Additionally, I haven't had any of the injuries I typically get when jumping into a new routine. So, I'm just following the plan. Goal #4. I failed at this goal last time, but, I'm going to try to do it this month. 1 blog post per week for the length of the challenge. So, 4 posts this challenge.
  9. Well, here I am again. A little blurb for those who don't know me: I'm a stay-at-home-mom who really needs to lose some weight. I think this will be my 4th challenge, but I've rarely finished for various reasons. Last challenge I stayed out, opting to do a Battle Log instead, but I didn't even stick with that. But I really need to change. I need to lose this weight, not only to feel better, but so I can be there for my little girl. I want to be able to keep up with her never-ending energy. While listening to Pandora, this song came on, and it was part of the reason that inspired me to do a challenge this time around (as well as some pushing from Teros. )I've heard it before, but this time, it resonated with me for different reasons than it has before. Lately, I've been struggling with depression a lot. I've had to force myself to get out of bed, and even then, I normally stayed on or near the couch. A couple of weeks ago, I actually got to the point of suicidal thoughts and almost reverted back to cutting. I'm still struggling, but I can see the light outside of the cave. So, I'm going to attempt to keep things simple this challenge to help me get back up on my feet. I'll be focusing on creating habits that I can stick with and that will help me achieve my weight loss goal. My Main Goal is to get down to 130 pounds, which is about 80 or so pounds. Of course I'm not going to lose all that in one challenge period, but at least I can get a start. To achieve this goal I need to: Log all the foodz! Normally when I log food, I just get "close enough" or I give up halfway through the day because I decided to scarf down an entired frozen pizza or something. Not any more. I need to get back into the habit of food logging and log everything.Exercise. Last November I joined a gym and I haven't been very consistant about going. I enjoy being there, but getting there is the battle. So, I need to get to the gym at least 3 days a week, though I'm going to try and start going 5, but only 3 are neccesary to pass. I'm also going to start measuring how much I walk in a day, as on another forum we're starting the Walk to Mordor challenge.No Soda. My husband has to have soda in the house, so it's a huge temptation. I have gotten better about drinking more water, but I really need to cut this sugar demon out. My goal is to have 3 or less sodas the entire challenge.I do have a Life Goal of becoming a better housewife. I really suck at doing chores and the like. There's some sort of mental block going on there that I'm struggling to get over. I have a few simple steps that I can take to start going in the right direction. Get some clothes on. One bad habit of being a SAHM is not getting dressed some days. It's way too easy to just stay in your PJs when you don't have anywhere to go. So, I need to start getting me and my DD dressed when we get up. Simple chores done every day husband works. I recently read somewhere about a mindset that another SAHM started to take, and that was "If my husband is working, than I need to be working". That doesn't mean that you need to thoroughly clean the house everyday, but I need to be spending less time on the computer and other things that aren't completely productive. Here are some simple things that I need to get done every day DH is at work:Wash dishesHave DD pick up toys at end of the dayClean up after cookingMake sure most (if not all) my stuff is picked up​I'm still working on a grading scale for everything. As for the point system, I'm going to take a page out of our guild leader's book and just divvy them out as I think I earned at the end of the challenge. Will be less stressful at the start, and at the end I can accurately gauge which stats went up. Come Monday, I'll post my starting stats and all that jazz. Just gotta survive the weekend first.
  10. If you are trying to clean up your diet and sugary sodas are your nemesis, like they are mine, you may want to check out this Player vs. Player (PVP) challenge. You will need to be participating in the upcoming 6 Week Challenge to be part of it. We can use a little friendly competition to help us kick those empty calories out of our diets together... Hope to see you there!
  11. Good afternoon! In thinking about this challenge and how to not set my (sometimes easily discouraged) self up for failure, I decided to design my personal newb zone as the "obvious tutorial" type. The kind with fairy NPCs, where the toughest monster is a largish rat. Since the hardest part of any fitness goal for me is the get up and do it! part, my main quest here is to learn how to play the game. I will tackle the habit of building habits. Sub quest 1: No liquid calories! I mean it! This has been a problem for me, as my fiancé enjoys a soda and we keep them in the house for him. I just need to get over the idea that I have to have one (or 4) just because they are there. Sub quest 2: Walk every day! This is mostly about habit training. I picked walking because I enjoy it and it allows me to spend time with my daughter, so I am more likely to stick to it. Once I accomplish this, I will have proved to myself that it is possible to set aside time for fitness every day. Baby steps! Sub quest 3: Streeeetch! I am very not-flexible. It hurts the backs of my knees to sit with my legs stretched out in front of me, and please don't ask me to point my toes up. Oww. in an attempt to improve my flexibility, I am going to do stretches for at least 5 minutes every day. Again: setting aside time every day for fitness, with the bonus of preparing myself for strength exercises in the future. Life quest: Dear diary.... I'd like to start keeping a journal every day. I want to try out a strategy that was explained in an article on the nerd fitness blog-- the idea to choose "3 big things" that must be accomplished each day-- and use it in the journal. I think it will help me stay organized and motivated to have all of my lists in one place. My motivation is to become happier, healthier, and more productive so that I can be a good role model for my daughter, as well as a better partner to my fiancé. I want to retrain myself from a whiny procrastinator to someone who just does what needs to be done without a fuss. Basically, it's time to grow up. (I'm posting this from my phone, so I'll have to add pictures later)
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