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  1. This challenge, I’ll be starting off by getting back into whatever passes for my usual swing - again - and will take us through the only big holiday I’m doing this year - Thanksgiving. Nutrition While traveling: Do what I can to not kill myself - Georgia is known for its wine & cheesy bread; wine is fine - cheesy bread: not so much. I know I’ll have to have it at least once, knowing that I’m going to have a bad time. Let’s not roll that into reckless abandon, yo. While home: Veggies & protein first - carbs to fill in the gaps. Movement While traveling: Should have that covered on this trip While home: Yoga 4x a week; contemplate picking up a 10kg kettlebell; keep thinking about barre - after re-establishing my yoga schedule Others While traveling: Do the things and have fun with DH While home: Dog enrichment, hit the fabric store for supplies, finish crochet projects, finish corset, jump on other bag project(s) Pretty simple stuff overall - I’m coming off of a 3-week trip while writing this and have another 6-day trip right at the start of challenge. I feel a bit bloated & chubby - and my liver is a bit tired. Will address all that when challenge starts in earnest. Until then: And (try to avoid):
  2. In 61 days time I'll be running in a 5k event for a Children's Cancer charity. It's booked and paid for, I'm running it with a friend who has also paid and is locked in. Right now I can't run very far, maybe 500m to 1k so I'm going to be following a couch to 5k program. It's supposed to be 12 weeks, I'll do it in 9 as I'm too close to the date. I'm the heaviest I've ever been at 104.7kg. That is way beyond anything I've ever weighed in at before, my diet is totally out of control and at times I'm unhappy. It's getting harder to do simple stuff like put shoes on. I really need to make a change and get back to an active life. Goals: - Record here every day, even if it's to say nothing happened. - Track calories - Run 3 times a week to the Couch to 5K program I would like to be eating sensibly and doing some walking as well, however experience being at this kind of low tells me to keep my goals simple and achievable while I build some momentum. Here we go!
  3. I'm back for the rest of this challenge! Hope everyone has been doing well. I didn't really have much to say over the course of the almost a year I've been away from here (reason why I took a break) but these days I find myself with a problem, so I thought I'd better post here before I go crazy in confusion. If anyone can help it's you guys. See, I've always had a good relationship with food. I did have outside pressure about the amount of food I ate (aka people thought I didn't eat, then acted surprised I did) but it didn't manifest into anything. And I have always eaten quite a lot. But also I have slept a lot. And now I stepped sleeping as much and got to a nice 7-8 hours a night that didn't make me feel like a drummer used my head as a practice space on the daily. Due to the heat I've also gotten in the habit of drinking about 10 glasses of water a day from my usual 4. All great stuff. But, my appetite has gotten bigger. Like, a lot bigger. Like, I had three fried eggs with cottage cheese, and was hungry half an hour later - had to eat one and a half gyros in order for my stomach to stop freaking out. Five meals a day, all pretty large, all about three hours apart. I'm hungry all the time, the stomach hurting kind of hunger. I have a few go to meals and snacks but they have begun to take a tool on me (I can't eat another peace of bread with peanut butter or I'm going to scream). This naturally leads to frustration and anger and stress which of course make the situation worse. And I have no ideas left. I am also on a pretty tight budget. So this month I'm gonna try and see what to do. If anyone has any tips, or can just reassure me a bit, I'd appreciate it. Current plan is to introduce a lot more meat in my diet - I'm not a vegetarian, but I eat more vegetarian meals than meals with meat in a week. I don't think 'increase the physical amount of food in one meal' will work because I don't want to make myself sick but I'm gonna try and see if I can get into the habit of refilling my plate (a full plate used to fill me, now not so much). I also know I've been eating a lot more simple carbs just due to the fact I can't think of what to cook and the veggies with tomato puree and mushrooms get annoying. So I'm going to switch out pasta with frittatas for a while as a 'we have nothing in the house' meal. Updates will happen when I figure stuff out. An addendum - I haven't had any extra physical activity - actually exercising less these days due to heat, knee inflammation that just passed and just general reshuffling of priorities. And my weight hasn't changed. I also don't have any other symptoms, not fatigue, nothing, so I'm pretty confident it's not a medical thing. The less sleep = bigger appetite has happened before, hence why I connect the two. So let's see if I can stop being hungry.
  4. It’s 74. 74 challenges. *insert Count* 74 Cycles of varying levels of having my shit together-ness. As it looks like I’m not quite finished languishing, I’ll be continuing on my slow roll toward better habits (yet again) and going the simple route. Goal The First Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition Keeping up with macro tracking has proven to be too much in the realm of effort for my brain again, so I’ll be edging toward that way again. Gotta hit those things side-on. Actual macros have not changed in ages, though off the top of my head I can’t remember what they are. Maybe I need to re-institute weekly weigh-ins for a little kick in the pants. We shall see. Aside from that, eat in a way that doesn’t kill my GI system, with a mind toward more veggies in my life, and not over eating. Or at least limiting the over eating, since I *still* can’t control myself around Indian. Goal The Second Movement in a way that feels good and does good. Zoom yoga 2 - 4 x a week as the schedule allows - as many classes as the schedule permits. The goal here is at least 1 functional-based class, 1 joy in movement class, and 1 handstand practice class. Keep the TRX straps up during the day - on yoga days do squat pull sets of 10 every time I pass the straps; on non-yoga days do at least 2 run-throughs of my full-body set per day + squat pull sets. Go for walks on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday in the sun; Sunday in a mall. Goal The Third Fulfillment. Do something to feed myself each day, be it something with digital art, graphic design, or one of my physical crafts. Something. Also: keep up with the social media stuff for DH’s Twitch thing & my blog. Also chucking redecorating and Spring cleaning the apartment in this slot. I’m tired of looking at our shit and tired of having the shit we have shoved in drawers that I literally never see. Since the move is off, I need to find a way to make this place annoy me less for the next 13 months. List Of Fulfillment Work with the dogs on some sort of training goal Digital art tutorial Digital art freestyle time while listening to a podcast Big projects on my Animal Crossing Island Creating images for WTFGaming Instagram & channel banners Taking pictures for Gastography Instagram Creating, writing, photographing & publishing recipes for Gastography Finding a way to include more food content on Gastography Instagram feed Creating & posting Pins for Gastography recipes Lucet cord making Tablet weaving Sashiko embroidery The quilt project I’m supposed to be doing but have put off because it’s a pain to find fabric Lace crocheting And that’s all I can think of for the moment; I’m sure there are more things. We also need to plan some sort of getaway - a staycation is fine; as long as it involves the dogs at the boarder + suitcases. When things open back up a bit here (i.e. we won’t have to stay in our room if we visit one of the resorts here that are still hella expensive even with zero amenities open), we shall make that happen. We’ve got at least a semi-portable setup for DH’s Twitch channel, so we can at least stream our Bad Game on a Saturday from the “road” if we don’t want to take a week off in this early stage with like 6 followers. We had intended on doing that for our anniversary in April, but (light) lockdown happened, amenities closed and some of the less bonkers places were reclassified again as COVID hotels. I mean ... we *could* have gone to the resort offering massive iftar catering all Ramadan for their private villa rental residents ... but we are not spending $1,000 a night for anything, let alone a villa in a resort with no amenities open. Hellz to the no. Even if we had the money. That’s ridiculous. Or, the brand new water park hotel - with the closed water park and nothing else open. That’s an option. Yeah. My ass is not getting into a pool in this weather, let alone going to a just-opened water park in the middle of a pandemic. That may or may not be dodgy. It’s a Hilton, but .... I don’t really trust it. We did hear something about more travel bubbles for vaccinated people flying Qatar Air opening up - Georgia is on the list, as are Turkey, the Maldives, and Greece. Out of those, Tbilisi Georgia is tops on our list for being affordable, pretty and having great food. Greece is definitely on the list as well, but they’ve got their own drama to deal with at the moment - I have no idea how they got on the travel bubble list, and from what I’ve been seeing (from @DarK_RaideR and others), I worry that that’s going to be a shitshow for them. Maybe Tbilisi is less of a mess? I don’t even know what we would want to do on vacation, at this point. Eat in a restaurant. Be in a Western city with modern Western morals (i.e beer, democracy(at least ish) & side boob). Drink a beer on a terrace. Look at some old shit; hike a bit ... Which, tbh, is what we generally do on vacation anyways. We’re not ones for doing crowded and popular things unless those things consist of walking around and not interacting with other people that aren’t chatty shopkeepers. Mostly just ruminating, there - it’ll be at the bare minimum a month before we can even contemplate leaving the country, and then it will be a 99% chance of DH flying out for work with a 15% chance of me being able to follow for Week 2 of his trip like we were doing. We will lightly contemplate, but actual firm planning is a recipe for those plans being immediately cancelled.
  5. Hi everyone! Remember me? If not, don't feel bad because I kind of dropped off the face of the forums for the last 3 weeks of the previous challenge. But I am trying again, with the same goal...and more! I'll break apart the decluttering into separate levels, or zones, or whatever. It's kind of like an MMO where you stick to certain areas that are appropriate for your character's level range. Like in an MMO, the player can venture into higher level areas, but the player can also get killed more easily in said areas. Low level: Level 1 - The Bedroom: the starter area, where I began the last challenge. This area is already partly decluttered, and will be where I begin this challenge. Level 2 - The Sun Porch: long ago, items that lived in The Bedroom were banished to this area. Contains old university notebooks and textbooks, as well as furniture we no longer use or have space for but for some reason refuse to get rid of. Level 3 - The Dining Room Table: a small area. In fact, it's not even an area, it's a fucking table. It is the table that seemingly spawns clutter from nothing. Mid level: Level 4 - The Entryway: similar to the Sun Porch area, but a smaller space. Needs organizing more than anything. Clutter to space ratio makes this area look more intimidating. Level 5 - The Garage: the realm of tools and forgotten objects. Currently in disarray. Will remain in disarray until the fence around our yard is built. Level 6 - The Workshop: when things are banished from the house, they go to the workshop. There is a fridge in there, still in its box. Legend says this fridge has been there since 2017, waiting to be powered. High level: Level 7 - The Basement: end game content. Boss fight. Do not attempt. Bonus lifestyle/vanity level: Level 8 - My hips and thighs: self-explanatory. I have a photo shoot coming up on June 12 (hey, look at that, the last day of this challenge) and I want to look good for it. I've already got decent exercise habits, but nutrition could be slightly improved. Alcohol consumption could definitely be improved. Or should that be un-improved? Disproved? In any case, I'll be cutting booze out of my diet for the duration of the challenge. This challenge I will be working mainly on Level 1 and Level 8.
  6. Hey there everyone! Your neighborhood Kishi back at it again. I kind of dropped off at the end of last challenge. I have a reason for this. So, the challenge didn't end badly, but OTOH it didn't go as great as it could have. I gotta go for now, but I'll explain more later, and I wanted to stake my place. Sorry I left y'all in the lurch, and I didn't even thank people for stopping. Sorry for that too. I'll get around to you when I can. It'll be sooner rather than later.
  7. My new challenge is to introduce/ reintroduce some habits into my life: Hydrating more with water Eating more nutrient dense snacks Less social media Exercising more More bullet journaling
  8. I suggest you put this on your speakers while you're here Welcome to Glorantha, a heroic, mythic place of heroes and gods, where people hold allegiance to tribe, city, and cult, not to abstract alignments or ideologies. Although humanity is the dominant species, their dominance is due only to the quarrelling of the Elder Races, who still rule large parts of the world. In Glorantha, the gods and goddesses are real, and through their cults they play an important role in most major events. Would-be heroes of the age are known as adventurers, and each is tied to several of the Runes, cosmic powers that define Glorantha and are likewise manifested by the gods. Powerful deities are associated with the Sun, Earth, Air, Water, Darkness, and the Moon, as well as with Death, Life, Change, Stasis, Illusion, Truth, Disorder, and Harmony, and each has its Rune. Adventurers join the cults of their gods, from which they get magic and aid. Adventurers are participating and active members of society, whether clan, tribe, city, or other community. They have duties, loyalties, and conflicts beyond being mere freebooters, with ties to the world of Glorantha and the Runes as deep as they are profound. As adventurers advance within their cults, they strengthen their connection to the Runes, gaining power and questing towards becoming true Heroes. One of the most important places in all of Glorantha is Dragon Pass, located in the heart of the great continent of Genertela. It is a land beset by conflict and blessed with opportunity, an extremely magical place, center of many of the world’s great myths, and Dragon Pass is prophesied to be the site of the great, apocalyptic series of events called the Hero Wars. A recent revolution against the occupying Lunar Empire has left many of the cities of Dragon Pass in ruins. Nobles, cults, and clans vie for power and authority in their wake, and its liberators struggle to rebuild and reclaim that which was lost. Hello everyone and welcome to my new challenge. Featuring old goals, because I aced the previous one and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but also because I joined the 10lbs in 10 Weeks PvP at the start of January and calculated its end roughly coincides with the end of this challenge. What’s changing however is the theme and presentation, as last time I also did the challenge of reading a new RPG rulebook every day of January to finally get through my backlog of to-read books. No such thing will be done this round, however I will be using one of the characters I created for the narrative and setup of this challenge. More on this below, under my third challenge goal. Workouts: Last challenge I did Darebee's 30 days of HIIT Advanced program, which seemed to provide a structured sequence and pretty short (but intense) workouts I can do home with no equipment. I did it aiming for Level 2 (5 sets) in each workout, which provided some wiggle room to drop down to Level 1 if I was in pain or a hurry, or take it up to Level 3 if I wanted to push more. I completed the program and I’m quite satisfied, so after a Week Zero of physical recovery, for this challenge I will be re-doing it but aiming for Level 3 every time. There’s also a chance I might be able to join my Muay Thai school for some outdoor trainings, but with lockdown management being a raging dumpster fire, I have no security to work these into a proper and predictable challenge goal. Nutrition: I returned to the Zone Diet guidelines last challenge, and together with workouts it helped me drop from 96.9kg at the start to 93kg by the end. For those not familiar with the terms and science behind this, I'm basically 1) cutting out sugar and alcohol, 2) limiting grains and starchy vegetables, 3) putting together plates of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat, 4) having 3 meals and 2 snacks per day, with a minimum 4 hour gap between meals (or 2 if last meal was a snack). I will be logging, tracking and reporting my meals on a daily basis, plus Monday’s weigh-ins, which will also be reported to the PvP. RPG stuff: RuneQuest was one of the games that really struck me during the January character challenge and I really want to try it out. I’ll put the game and character summary/review from back then in a quote below for ease of reference. The company has made a quickstart guide for the latest edition of the game available online for free, complete with pre-generated characters for an introductory adventure. I will be more or less playing that one out using some of those characters and the one I created, as a test run to familiarize myself with the rules and hopefully run it for friends in the near future. I also plan to include non-narrative breaks, from dice rolls to context for the game’s world, to make it easier for anyone interested in following that part.
  9. Fellow voyagers - I come to vanquish a likely common foe, the "post dinner snack monster". I'm generally able to stick to the training program that will will allow me to progress towards my goals, until the post dinner downtime rolls in and I pillage the snack pantry far too regularly. This is likely (a) due to undereating throughout the day and (b) emotional eating (boredom & frustrating being the two key ones) - my quest will have two main objectives: Eat sufficiently throughout the day to be satiated after dinner (given my size & activity levels that's ~160g protein and ~340 - 400g carbs) as opposed to "rabbit eating" throughout my standard meals Immediate summon my (tooth)brush of valor post dinner and create a moat around my poor nightly eating patterns. Given the damage I can do in these nightly binges I am challenging myself to do this consistently for the next 30 days, and I will allow myself one slip up in this journey. To battle I go!
  10. The morning was still and sharp with frost as the cold yellow light of dawn began to trickle through the bare trees, illuminating the campsite where I hunched over my flickering lantern. On the makeshift table in front of me, I had arranged the materials I would need for my task: Light steel from my home in Middle Earth, solid iron from Temple Island, woven straps from Ciena the Healer, soft leather pieces shared by Eamon, Ayre, Amethyst, and the Bearded Ranger. I had never done anything like this before, but I took a deep breath and flexed my fingers lightly. It was time to give it a try. My ice powers had continued to grow inside me - sometimes clenching my body tight with acute pain, more often dulling my senses with their persistent low hiss of crackling cold and fear, they had become increasingly present in my consciousness to the point that I saw the world through fearful eyes as often as I did through my own. My stripe of white hair was spreading and lightening the rest of my hair; my skin grew translucent, the runes had lost their graceful definition and become more jagged, more fractured. I had lost so much of my power and my world had shrunk to the size of my own mind. Day by day, I was becoming more Eldarwen, and less Sky. I lightly ran my fingertips across each piece of metal, feeling their contour, their unique timbre and shape. Each one represented a lesson I had learned, knowledge I had gained, truths that could protect me or power that could guide me. The straps from Ciena were the tools and truths that bound all that together. And the soft leather from the friends who loved me best would protect me from the cold surface of the metal, reminding me I was safe, supported and loved. The bracers I was about to make were not meant to simply strengthen an arrow shot - these were the tools and knowledge I needed to bring me back to myself. These bracers would protect my ragged, raw wrists and arms, allowing my runes to begin to heal and keeping me strong when the ice flooded my veins. Not long ago, I had begun to heal by shattering the supports I no longer needed - but that healing needed to continue by shoring myself up with support and protection once again. The sun had just let go of the horizon as I lifted my hands over the pieces of metal and summoned my healing and light powers from deep in my belly. It was harder these days to find the light in myself - but it rose to meet my call today, flowing warm and sweet down my arms, appearing in the air before me as I began to stitch the pieces together. Only love could make these what they needed to be - the icy chill of self-punishment would not do. The edges of the metal pieces began to melt and fuse together, as I wove strand after strand of light through the air, grafting and molding them into place. I was aware of Eamon entering the camp as I worked, but I did not speak, and he paused a respectful distance away from the table, watching as I completed the first bracer and began to pull the second together. Knowledge to fight or deflect the Voice, wisdom on how to care for my body, the knowledge of who I was and who I wanted to be - a dozen lessons blended together as I molded and shaped the metal. At the end, I carefully lifted each one into the air and etched on its surface the familiar scrolling vines of the Silver Bow. These bracers would not dampen my power - rather, they would help me channel it. The sun was fully up as I set the second bracer down and drew a long breath, tired but satisfied. They were a strange conglomeration of colors and textures, but the lines from the Silver Bow tied them all together. Eamon approached the table as he saw me sag against it, gently touching one of my hands. "I saw what you were doing, but didn't want to interrupt you - these are beautiful and I'm so proud of you." "Thanks." I looked up and grinned at him, breathing heavily. "I'm pretty proud of myself too. These are good work. And they'll help me get stronger again." "You're already stronger than you think. But I'm glad you're doing what you need to do to support yourself until you feel strong again. May I help you put them on?" "Yes, please, that would be much appreciated." I stretched out my trembling hands and he gently fitted the bracers over them, carefully tying the soft leather straps over the bruised, raw runes on my wrists. They fit snugly and softly against my skin. Smiling a little, I lifted my hands and summoned my healing powers once again; and the scrollwork on the bracers lit up, surrounding my weakened arms with warmth and light. The Silver Archer would return to her full strength one day. With help and knowledge from my past, I would be strong enough to become myself once again in the future.
  11. PREVIOUSLY... Down-on-their-luck Yeti ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time, forcing them to flee their home and everything they'd known. After passing out in a drifting row boat, they wake to find that they seem to be very, very far from home. Desperate, they trekked into a nearby boulder field. In that place they came across what appeared to be a shrine to one of the old gods, and in that shrine found food and equipment to keep them alive as recovered and planned their next move. In the end, they decided to go to a place marked on the map that had the potential to be another shrine in the hopes that maybe a similar supply cache would be hidden there. However, getting there may prove to be a problem... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [SLOW AND STEADY] An explosive exhale left Yeti as they slipped again, knee impacting on the wet rock, shoulder slamming into the side of the chokepoint. A white hot flare of pain lit their knee for a few long moments before settling into a dull, thudding pain that beat in time with the rhythm set by their shoulder, back, and ankles. At least this time they hadn't bitten their tongue. Yeti struggled upright and looked down, wincing when they realised how little progress they'd made. Grimacing when they realised just how far they had to go. The map had been useful for pinpointing water sources. It had been useful for locating the larger masses of rock. What it did not over, however, was the intricacies of the passages between the boulders, that they sometimes turned into deep gorges, and that some had massive rockfalls blocking them. Whether they had happened before or after the map had been made, they didn't know. Likely after, but they had to focus their anger on something other than themselves. Anger at the unknown mapmaker brought with it a certain level of bitter spite, and it was that which kept Yeti moving even when the going became perilous. This rockfall in particular had caused many problems. Somewhere above there had to be a water source, one not marked on the map. The pebbles at ground level remained fairly dry, but the higher they climbed, the slicker the rocks became. Moss morphed into sludge, forming innocuous looking clumps that, when trod upon, would offer no purchase and send a foot shooting out from underneath the unwary climber. Yeti had run afoul of the stuff twice before figuring out what had happened. Unfortunately it wasn't easy to avoid. They reached up, fingers traversing the unseen rock beyond the ledge immediately above them, searching for a good hold. It took some time and a good deal of test pulls before they were comfortable with one patch in particular. Then came the task of finding somewhere to place their foot without risking another fall. Yeti had found, with no small measure of amusement, that their holey shoes were ideally suited for such a task. It was easier to find good surface with an exposed toe, and better to brace and push with the sole of the shoe. Whether or not they would survive such punishment remained doubtful. Before long grunts, groans, and growls of effort accompanied every movement. Not long after that the stream of cursing began. As the daylight began to dim, Yeti, panting, gasping for breath, slick with sweat, blood, and slimy moss, reached the apex of the rockfall. For a moment a broad grin crossed their face as a giddy feeling of victory swept through them. When it became very real dizziness, they began moving again, slowly, carefully. Though they'd assumed the way down would be easier, that didn't turn out to be the case. Now, with the fading light, they found their heart racing as they tried to pick their way down the rockfall, toeing the line between fast enough to get down before nightfall and slow enough to avoid falling the rest of the way down. They'd spied what looked like an overhang not too far from the foot of the fall. It would be a sheltered, semi-safe place to spend the night if they could get to it. Otherwise it would be a night spent out in the open, pressed in against the rocks, shivering with cold, hoping nothing came looking for supper. The mountain fear spurred them onwards, sharpening their senses to fever pitch. Every skitter of the debris they dislodged against the rock made their gut lurch, every shadow they saw out of the corner of their eye seemed to move in unnatural ways. Their hands began to shake. They tried to keep control, but when they realised they were moving faster and faster, more recklessly than was safe, the panic only spurred them to move faster still. It was with unsteady legs and growing nausea in their gut that they leaped the last few feet down, landing in a sprawled heap, shaken but unhurt. The dash towards the overhang almost saw them fall again, but they were able to get there, to duck under the reassuringly solid rock and nestle up against the main boulder, out of sight, or so they hoped. Removing the sleeping bag proved tricky, but eventually they managed, wrapping themselves in it tightly before breathing a shaky sigh of relief. Mere moments later the calm that had begun to descend turned to ice in their chest. Skittering came from outside. Not random, but rhythmic. The sound of many feet dashing across the pebbled ground. Though it was distant enough not to be an immediate threat, still Yeti remained clutched in the grip of fear. Somewhere out there an insect hunted.
  12. ‘Cause we’re not jingling all the way anywhere this year. Is it Deep Holiday Season again, already? This year has seemed interminable - and yet quick; but like it’s barely happened? Let’s get an early review in: Jan - Feb: “Normal” life; a fair bit of travel, too many nights and weekends spent eating and drinking allthethings in preparation for my local bestie skipping off to a different desert. Mar - July: Fortress of Solitude life - yoga where I had the band with for it, kicked creative projects into high gear sparked off by Animal Crossing and coloring on the iPad. Ate like a college student for the most part. August: Lockdown lite and kicked yoga into high gear with walks to and from despite it being surface of the sun hot - I was just happy to be outside and moving my body in a way that felt nourishing. A return to not eating like garbage. September: Quarantine for reals and a wrist (re-re-re) injury; back to doing what I could as far as yoga was concerned. Kept up the healthy eating and was 100% tired of French fries at this point. October - November: A great groove was found with my Zoom yoga classes; most week I was able to fit 5 in. I had a bad week or two with anxiety and body freak outs, but overall some solid progress to be had. December: Hoping for the same. This year, I’m actually looking forward to staying the course as it were. The Holiday Season is always kind of wonky for us - if we’re Stateside and we travel, it’s either for Thanksgiving or early December and that’s always stressful. If we’re left to our own devices, it’s either travel for pleasure around my birthday and Chinese food + a movie on Christmas; or it’s lots of little get-togethers with friends and possibly a big blowout brunch on Christmas itself. This year, we aren’t able to travel anywhere so we are doing a birthday staycation (hence the dunes part of the challenge title), and we don’t feel like joining the masses for a big brunch blowout. If we congregate, it will be with 1 other couple. And that’s okay. Every year, this time is a whirlwind and it’s Really Frickin Easy to absolutely go off the rails when it comes to my own fitness and nutrition goals. Some years I manage to keep my proverbial shit together, but not the past few. This year will be spent focusing on other things. I’ll be spending this holiday season keeping the habits going that will fuel future-me, instead of creating a situation 2021 me will have to dig herself out of. If we choose to celebrate with back home family via Zoom, great. If not, that’s fine too. We have games for our NYE game night right here to mark the end of the year in our own style. Holiday Bash NF-Style Goals Betcha didn’t think I’d say nutrition. 🤣 I’m going to continue to build on my last couple challenges here - continue to MFP track daily and report weekly without judgement, continue to post a daily log, continue to post daily pics, and continue to do what a can re: portion sizes, meat consumption, garbage consumption, and veggies. Movement. This month is going to be kinda wonky with Zoom classes - Hopefully by Week 1, schedules will have settled out and I’ll have figured out what I’m doing and who I’m paying for the privilege. Feed Your Mind. Continue on with 1 Skillshare course a week + ongoing crafting project(s). Feed Your Family. Continue on with doggie enrichment and training. Feed Your (potential) Future. Continue learning how to grow readership with the blog and figuring out if monetization is something I want to pursue. Mini Challenges. I know there will be mini challenges. I have the bandwidth to participate this year, whatever this may bring - Be it internal or external, Bring It! Come on Squatmas!
  13. First off: *g8ggle gif* Ahem. Now that we’ve got that out of the way .... It looks like #lockdownlightlife is not evaporating where I live any time soon. Things are mostly back to normal - with a few exceptions. Masks, temperature checks and green status health apps are required everywhere but running outdoors Restaurants are still limited to parties of 5; with varying capacity Gyms are strictly limited to something like 3m of space around each goer Entrance to the country - even for residents - is highly limited and is a dodgy proposition at best, with strict quarantine protocols upon re-entry for those lucky enough to gain permission to enter. It’s a far from guaranteed thing. I’m sure there are more things, but those are the ones that affect me directly I’m still fairing pretty well with things as they are. It looks like this challenge will encapsulate Thanksgiving - let’s see if I get to do my big to-do for that, or if I’m running packaged plates to friends individually. I’ve promised that hell or high water it’s happening this year. Goals - Of Consistency, no less Nutrition. Continue on the trajectory from last challenge by: Not eating like an asshole (meaning not eating things I know are going to cause me pain or too damn much or all junk in a day) Keeping a loose eye on my macros on a weekly level and seeing how closely they resemble My Fitness Pal’s gentle weight loss guidelines by tracking my food daily with an eye toward accuracy but not Nazi-ism Making sure to eat at least 2 servings of vegetables a day even if I don’t wanna Try to get enough water. What’s enough? An amount so I don’t wake up dehydrated feeling Movement. Continue on my 4 - 5x a week yoga schedule via Zoom or in-person if desirable/available; add in some sort of accessory work on Saturdays. Either a 5th yoga class or something in the gym in my building - even if that’s just treadmill & a podcast Social Habits. Continue on with my Zoom Tuesday Coffee with friends for as long as that lasts; continue supporting my Herd as daily as possible; continue trying to expand my social network through this new D&D group; try to interact with other humans in the world at least once a week Stoke That Creative Flame. Keep my running crafts going. Currently, I’m still into clothes sewing and embroidery. Keep that up. Maybe add other things in as they catch my fancy - but, and this is a biggie: use up the supplies I have on hand before delving into a new thing that requires a bunch of specialty tools. Yeah. I know. This is the bane of all handicrafts peoples. And I used to have bins and bins of supplies from all the different things I’ve done over the years - but I don’t have that here, and to re-build that level of stash is ridiculous. I also don’t have storage space for that shit. So: use what you’ve got and then move on Also tied to #4: Exercise Your Brain. I’ve got a year of Skillshare, and while that’s not learning on the level I feel comfortable with, bite sized info is fine. And it’s better than the plague of listicles that has taken the rest of the godsdamn Internet over. Pick a “class”, complete it, take with it what I can, move on. Not every instance of learning needs structure or metrics. Or papers. Certainly not dissertations. And I almost forgot: Get out of my comfort zone. We all know how much I love a photo challenge. I’ve been stagnant in my photography for months and months and wanted to grow my skills. I haaaaaaaate people in my pictures and my selfies are abominable. I’m also never satisfied with my face in them. Which seems like a psychological bear that needs poking. Hell, I bailed on my 365 days of yoga for Year 40 challenge - let’s fuck around with some insecurities. Shake some trees and see what falls. As such, work on improving my people photography game through selfies - and post the best one in a week. Phone or “real” camera, it doesn’t matter. Face in the shot or hidden - whatever. Just create something and get it somewhere decent. Doesn’t have to be magazine worthy. And that’s pretty much it, at least thus far. Not a deviation from previous Cycles, but more a continuation of that solid foundation I’ve built with a look toward at least gathering the supplies for a second level.
  14. For my return to the Challenges, I'm going to go with a Lord of the Rings theme, since I'm currently doing a Walk to Mordor challenge too. So, attempting to follow Frodo out of the Shire, here's what I'm aiming for: Declutter the Hobbit Hole Like Bilbo getting ready for his 111th birthday party and subsequent departure from the Shire, I need to get rid of some stuff. I already have some bags ready to go, but I'm not sure what to do with them, so for this part of the challenge my three main objectives are: Figure out what to do with old stuffed animals that are still in good shape Weed out my wardrobe and pitch/donate the stuff I don't wear anymore Organize my closet Farmer Maggot's Mushrooms I've been doing a very good job (if I do say so myself) of eating local throughout the summer. In my climate, we're getting to the time of year when that becomes a bit trickier, but to try to keep the momentum going, during this challenge I want to visit: A new farm stand nearby that has fruits and veggies The local pumpkin patch The butcher shop next to my work A nearby apple orchard I always say I'm going to check out and never have Walk to Mordor As previously stated, I'm working on my own Walk to Mordor Challenge (just left Bag End on September 1). I hope to make Bree by the end of this challenge (135 miles total, I already have 26.81 miles in). Strength Training For strength training, I'll be doing the Lord of the Rings workouts. Instead of doing each book as a super set though, I'll be treating them as separate workouts. Thursday, Saturday, Monday is currently my best schedule for working out. And there you have it! By the end of this challenge, if all goes according to plan, I should be out of the Shire and ready to take on the rest of Middle Earth.
  15. Continuing on in my ‘the only constant is change’ theme of the past few years .... We are in Phase 4 Part 1 of lockdown where I live (maaaaaybe opening to Phase 2 next week?). Malls are open with no restrictions but kids’ play areas and entertainments being closed (mall restaurants are limited to 30% capacity) - fitting rooms are open again and kids are allowed back into the mall Cinemas are open for very limited capacity Gyms are open with restrictions Mosques are open with restrictions Restaurants are open for parties of 5 or less unless single-household - some are at 100% (new) capacity; some are still at 30% depending upon government approval (still no buffets or shisha - which is actually kind of funny: there was a move to ban shisha a couple years ago that met with huge local pushback) Offices are up to 80% capacity Water sports are back Home care services are back with testing Spas, health clubs and indoor pools are back at 30% capacity Beauty centers are open at 50% capacity General guidelines for out of the house remain at: masks everywhere, hand sanitizer everywhere, temperature and green status health app checks when entering all buildings but home, social distancing This last few weeks has seen an influx of people returning from either being stuck abroad or taking their Summer holiday at home per usual and returning for school. Schools are staggered at lots of home time + a little classroom time for limited numbers of students per day. As of yesterday, September 4, we are sticking at around 150-200 new cases daily, which is good. We shall see what happens in the next 2 weeks to a month when people that are coming back leave quarantine (which is a mix of home and hotel). There were 4 people arrested yesterday for breaking home quarantine. My routine is currently in flux again because my gym is closed due to deep cleaning because of COVID exposure. Hoping by the time challenge starts it’ll be open again. Hoping that by the time Zero Week starts it’ll be open, but that may be optimistic. My goals aren’t really updating from last cycle. Goal 1: Fuel my body in a way that brings me joy and moves me closer to my goals This is actually harder than one would think. Getting back to a regular yoga practice last cycle has me wanting more and more veggies and lighter meals. My gut disagrees with that assessment for the most part (my favorite veggies are off the table if I want a happy gut). Lighter meals are definitely possible, and I’ve already put the brakes on eating like crap during the weekends a bit. I‘my not back to my ‘all no all the time’ ways, but I’m not okaying or suggesting weekend BS either. Mostly. This Cycle I’m focusing on: Eating more veggies (that don’t kill my gut) Continuing down the less-meat path, but also less fake meat Focusing on smaller portions Not eating garbage during the weekends Making sure I have emergency food on hand that isn’t chips re-re-re conceptualizing meal times to incorporate more nutrient dense options but not necessarily going back to paleo (ie I’m not ready to give up sushi rice bowls, I just need to make sure I’m getting more actual nutrition than lotsa carbs + fat + some herbs) Not discounting fancy hippie food out of hand - I used to love making this shit, but stopped when I moved because nothing was ever available locally. There is a lot more selection nowadays. I’m also toying with the idea of going back to macro counting. I was at my healthiest and had my best relationship with food when I was eating paleo and tracking macros. (Minus gut issues. The death farts were real, but at least came without ripping pain). Since I’m not eating out anywhere near the amount I was pre-Covid this should be totally doable. I just might not like what I see. Which will also help with portioning 100%. Fitness Fingers crossed that I can get back into the studio and that the schedule they had set holds. If so, continue on with my 4x a week yoga classes and walking to and from. 1 day off a week to chill and hibernate is good. If not, I’ll sign up for more Zoom classes from the other gym - or go in person, though that would necessitate Uber trips instead of walking and I don’t know if I’m there yet. Feeding My Non-Food Needs Continue to work on a main project + busywork projects + Animal Crossing + coloring Set a deadline and actually make myself take 1 Skillshare class on something with no pressure to apply that knowledge Continue checking in with y’all mostly daily Continue on with 1 dinner a month with friends Continue taking 1 morning each week (currently Tuesdays when the dogs are at daycare) to spend some time out of the house doing something else like getting breakfast in preparation for rejoining the demands of being social, and sitting with that to see how it feels before deciding if i want to return to my social life at all. Examining what feeds me v what drains me. What anxiety is my brain being an asshole and what anxiety provides room for growth. Current projects: An exploded Ohio Star quilt for my Dad Sew House 7 Tea Dress in black cotton lawn (the shirt version, not the whole dress) Braided cable experiments with the lucet fork Knit lace experiments with quilting cotton Busywork knit shawl I don’t really even like anymore Maybe macrame that looks like lace with that quilting cotton? Finding something to do with the printed lawn cotton I bought Blackwork embroidery - probably handkerchiefs for gifts That smocking dress I have in my head if I find the right fabric and tutorial Finishing the fruit tree grove on my island (Animal Crossing) Finishing the Overlook Hotel on my island Finishing the beach resort on my island Finishing the witchy studio on my island Figuring out what to do with the area surrounding my house on my island
  16. As we slide into this next challenge cycle, the place I live is on the cusp of entering Phase 3 of reopening. According to the Ministry, Phase 3 will include: Medium-sized gatherings of less than 40 people allowed 54 mosques reopening for Friday prayers Low-risk inbound flights for returning residents Driving schools opened Playgrounds and skate parks opened Team trainings in groups of under 40, amateur sporting events with no spectators Hospitals operating at 80% capacity Nurseries and childcare facilities opened All malls open full hours; souqs and wholesale markets open with restrictions Restricted restaurants open with gradually increased capacity Gyms, health clubs, pools, beauty parlors, spas and hairdressers open at 50% capacity What I’m looking forward to is my yoga studio(s) opening back up, the probable return of IRL Tuesday coffee group, and maybe changing my haircut up eventually - when I find a new hairdresser I like. I was in the middle of finding one that I liked who was sticking around; aaaand who knows who is still here after months of being out of work. So we shall see. I most likely won’t actually get a haircut scheduled for the first month open; my salon is popular and I can imagine they will be packed to the rafters. What this means for me: A potential gradual rejoining of the flow of at least somewhat “normal” life (or whatever you call what I had Before Corona). We won’t be traveling for a bit yet and 2/3 of my friends have scattered to the winds, but it will be good to rebuild myself a new-new-new normal for a bit. I plan on hitting the yoga studio as much as I can fit into the schedule I’m liable to make happen (read: morning classes that aren’t too early), have a once-weekly scheduled social outing over breakfast, maaaaaaaaybe plan a wine by the pool day with a girlfriend, and maaaaaaaybe go out to dinner with DH. This will also mean a return to taking Ubers all over creation; yay, during the heat of the summer. Fingers crossed that I get better Ubers with adequately-powered air cons. As such, my goals are shifting a bit for this cycle as I find my footing for the umpteenth time. Goal 1: Nutrition. Always nutrition This goal is largely the same: don’t eat like an asshole, don’t eat things that I know are going to cause gastric distress, and eat moar veggies. Actually kind of happy that buffets aren’t returning and that a chunk of my ‘let’s go eat a ton of shit and drink all day’ friends have bounced. That will help re: not eating like an asshole. Goal 2: Physical Movement I need more of this in my life. Go do yoga as much as I can make work with my actual schedule (I have 1 set social thing I could actually be late to but hate being late so won’t), the schedule I tell myself I have (100% have to be home in the evenings because DH is), and the schedule I can commit to without anxiety paralysis (anything between 10am & 4pm except Tuesday, when even 4pm is a stretch but I make happen). Goal 3: Creativity Outlets I still need to keep this up because I like it and it’s good for me to actually accomplish things. Currently planned projects include: another bed gown, another quilt, finishing my peplum top, finishing more of my fake lace, a corset, fixing or remaking my walking skirt because the damn hook and eye closure came off (the last of it while I was walking around the mall - so I held my skirt shut behind my back while I continued shopping for half the afternoon. Don’t think I remembered to tell y’all about that hilarity), maybe another article of clothing - probably yet another dress - maybe pants instead. Depends. Also planning on continuing with Animal Crossing, just maybe not for hours every day; maybe quick check-ins on the days I leave the house + longer on days I don’t. Depends on how draining leaving the house turns out to be. Shoehorning in-person being social is going to be incredibly draining for a bit, I’m certain. I need to find ways to deal with that drain that isn’t just watching hours of true crime and historical documentaries on YouTube while semi-napping on the couch. Yoga, man. Yoga. Build some shit on my island. And that’s it. Not terribly different than the goals I’ve had for the last while, but some new challenges to navigate and minor course-corrections to help with that.
  17. As I write this - during Week 5 (barely) - the place I live is getting ready to relax some of its quarantine protocols. The government seems to be confident we are now out of peak (barely? Ish?), and that with the onslaught of Summer and the time when Western expats leave en masse to spend those months in more agreeable climes, things are relaxing a bit. We still have to wear masks outside when not exercising and to enter shops. Temperature checks at the door are still de rigeur, as is checking the tracker app everyone has to have on their phone - if you don’t have it or it’s not clear, no entry is supposed to be allowed to any shopping spaces. I don’t believe they are still doing police stops to check and see if the app has been downloaded, but I don’t actually know since I’ve been in a car twice since this all started. Kids and people over 60 are not allowed in any shopping spaces (as far as I’ve seen). Families of over 2 can now drive in the car together - some beaches and parks are opening (though it’s like 114F; who tf wants to go to the park?). The malls are partially opening - larger stores at 30% capacity, though how they will police that it’s hard to say. Restaurants and cafes are now allowed to offer curbside takeout (not just delivery). Restaurants will start the first openings July 1, with strict capacity rules and without the multitude of buffets that are so popular here. Pools are opening, but I think they are not supposed to be - at least not in my neighborhood. Still no real gatherings (that’s phase 2 for gatherings of under 10 I think and July - probably to coincide with the restaurant openings). Gyms open in August and are already starting to inform Zoom clients of plans. Watercraft are allowed from this week, just not personal watercraft (yachts: yes, SUP: no) - not sure what that will do to neighborhood traffic at the marina. This all means little for my bubble - I’m continuing to stay home, but will go with DH to IKEA this next weekend to grab some house supplies (some way to block off the lower quarter of the balcony so the pups can’t see the pool, a rug to keep bitchy downstairs neighbor appeased, a comfy place to sit on the patio despite the heat, maybe a nice nonstick large pan because I still frickin hate metal bottom pans, and maybe a Dutch oven for a different type of crusty bread. I’ll not be rushing out to dine, though we may try and schedule a date night out. I’ll not be meeting up with friends just yet - but may once the 10-person limit is enacted. Not sure what this means for my Tuesday coffee group; my Wednesday group is pretty much dead as 2 more are moving out of the country the second they get clearance COVID tests, 1 still isn’t back from her quarantine abroad, and 2 usually leave for the Summer - leaving me and 1 other person. So, effectively dead - and that means wine group is, too. Which is kinda fine? I’m also not rushing out to hit the mall alone - I’m enjoying my no Uber/no spend time. When gyms open, which is either phase 2 or probably 3, I’ll be heading back to in-person yoga. I may also go on a supply run to a craft supply store. Maybe. I’ll probably just finally break down and order stuff on Amazon, 2-3 week lead time be damned. Goals Nutrition as always. This challenge cycle finds me utterly tired of the amount of garbage I’ve let creep into my diet in an effort to be gentle to DH and his food ish. I’m sick of the salt, the junk, and the lack of actual nutrition. That stops. No more chip binges, no more fries as the default on weekend meals, no more big pizzas, no more batches and batches of noodles. No more 2 takeout meals in a day. I think I’ve been “fun” and indulgent enough over these last 3 months. Back to mean wife. I’m not to the point I’m ready to track macros, but I do need to bump up my ‘don’t eat like an asshole’ directive. More effort to eat proper veggies, even though I’m currently scared of them. I’ve not been doing terrible on quantity, but more work is needed here. More cognizance of limiting garbage, even on the weekends. Especially on the weekends. Yoga as always. Continuing on with my Monday Zoom class; trying to get off my ass for more actual yoga and less coloring or ACNH meditation. Not assigning judgement here quite yet, because my brain is a stubborn child, but it’s coming. Feeding my creativity - I’d like to pick a non-coloring non-ACNH craft and work toward getting the supplies and starting that this challenge. ACNH is a great creative outlet and it has given my hands a chance to (mostly) rest, but I miss hand sewing, be it seam finishing or needlework. And that’s about it. Another super simple challenge full of shit I’m already doing, but that’s what I have the bandwidth for at the moment. I feel like I’d just entered a space where I could submit to pushing myself before all this happened - and now my energy (and giving a fucks) level is back to square one. And that’s okay. For now. I just don’t want it to stretch another 3 winters. 4, really, if we’re being honest.
  18. Starting Monday, May 4th, the government round these parts will be gradually lifting the lockdown and quarantine measures, with a view to a full lift by late June or early July. While they haven't done much to contain the virus besides impose lockdown (as opposed to, say, strengthen public healthcare) social isolation has kept the numbers surprisingly low. Now, with the measures gradually rolling back and still no real plan apparent, the strategy truly seems like the image posted above and I can't help but worry that frustrated people will storm out and potentially re-circulate the virus. Either way, I'd love to do a "May the 4th be with you" challenge, but I'll leave Star Wars to the master @EricMN and go Hunger Games instead for this challenge, which basically covers most of the "return to normality" period. Workouts In case you didn't notice, I'm joining the Scouts for this challenge. I started going for night runs after Easter and it seems like it'll be the only viable option until any workout-specific locations begin to operate again, probably around September. For this, I'll be employing the "never twice in a row" rule: I can miss a day of running, but never two days in a row. Nutrition Speaking of running, you may recall Rule #4 of the Rebellion: You can't outrun your fork. It's not about (over)training to burn fat and excess calories, it's about getting your eating habits in check before you even consider working out. Obviously, lockdown was mostly about cooking, eating and not being very physically active. I've slipped back into eating large servings of food, more sugary items than I actually like and a bit of mindless snacking, all of which saw me put on weight. Now I've saved up some mental fuel, but quarantine isn't holidays;it takes a toll and I'll need most of that fuel for my return to the world, so making big changes here would be foolish and short lived. Instead, I'm going for sustainable baby steps as I'll be tracking my weight and eating every day on my phone app. Networking I'd like to up my NF game, both in terms of consistent posting here as well as keeping up with other people's threads (and, you know, actually read stuff instead of speed-reading it). Between this challenge and the return of my pro wrestling narrative thanks to the recent release of Total Extreme Wrestling 2020, I should have enough motivation to stick around so I'll be using a quid pro quo approach: no posting on my own thread until I'm done catching up with other threads. I also need to get a new job and sort out my financial situation, but that's not something I could make into a challenge goal, especially with The Uncertainty still raging.
  19. Hi everyone! I realized that I tend to by the same things every time I go to the store, win! But there's a point to it, I'm not sure what to do with all of this heathy food! Loss! I have around 20 items and I need help creating recipes that would be easy to meal plan with. I'll leave the list below, thanks! P.S also any way you can help me with budgeting all this would be greatly appreciated! I'm a poor college student now! Protein 1. Whole Eggs: cage free 2. Any of these could be in my kitchen, Lean Meats: Chicken, turkey, lean cuts of pork (like tenderloin), beef, along with wild game (buffalo, venison, elk, ostrich, rabbit) if I want something different. 3. Fatty Fish: Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies can help to increase mood during my long shifts and stressful calls. Likewise depends on week 4. Fermented Soy: This produces natural antibiotic agents to increase the body’s resistance to infections. Legumes 5. Beans: Small red beans, kidney beans, chick peas, and black beans depending on what's available for cheap, it's in bulk. 6. Lentils: Low in calories and perfect for reducing the chances of heart disease. Bulk Vegetables 7. Tomatoes: They can help with connective tissue strength and even help to improve vision. Get 8 8. Spinach: Packed with Vitamin K, which contributes to building stronger bones. Buy a box or two 9. Cruciferous Vegetables: Packing your plate at the firehouse with broccoli, cabbage cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts will leave you feeling fuller longer in-between meals. Steamfresh if possible Fruits 10. Avocados: Studies have shown that avocadoes can reduce cholesterol and even help you burn fat. Bag 11. Citrus Fruits: Oranges and grapefruit Bag it and tag it when available 12. Berries: Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cranberries Frozen Starches and whole grains 13. Sweet Potatoes and Yams: These act as your body’s storage tank for energy. You better have just the right amount of energy if you’re going to be fighting a fire. A few lbs 14. Quinoa: High in protein, but more importantly, high in riboflavin, which has been shown to reduce the frequency of migraines. If there's someone who deals with enough migraines, it's emergency workers. Bag and tag 15. Amaranth: A great solution to having more fiber since it contains three times more than wheat. Bag and tag Heathy fats 16. Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, and pistachios can all help reduce inflammation and even lead to a better mood and mental process. Can also be eaten in nut butter form. Bulk it 17. Seeds: Flax, hemp, chia, and pumpkin all contain good fats that help you feel fuller for longer. Bulk 18. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: This is high in antioxidants and the healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help to control your cholesterol. Drinks 19. Water: Water makes up approximately 70% of our body I carry around a gallon of water while I'm at work, especially on hot days when your uniform and gear will cause you to lose more water than normal. 20. Green Tea: A chemical in green tea called EGCG can help lower cortisol (your stress hormone) and increase your immune system after long shifts.
  20. Or not ... maybe quarantine is affecting my brain afterall? This is what my brain came up with for a title, and it makes no damn sense. This challenge may or may not see a lifting of quarantine conditions where I live and may or may not see the opening up of some International borders. As such, dunno what these next 5 weeks will bring. Having said that, my little routine shouldn’t change much - even if we get off of lockdown, it’s still Ramadan and heading into the Summer months here - when schedules get wonky and things just randomly close. And temps are hovering at 90 - 100F. So. My general guidemap: Daily yoga or meditation or breath work Not eating like an asshole as much as possible Supporting my Nerds and keeping in touch with my IRL friends Feeding my being through creative exploits Goal 1: Activity Daily yoga, aiming for 1 - 2 in a live class setting, 3 - 4 in video setting and 2 free form. It’s now ramping up to be Summer here, so I will keep a weekly walk as long as weather permits. Goal 2: Nutrition Daily vegetables, eating so my GI tract doesn’t rebel, and not eating so much or so unhealthily that I feel like a space slug. Also, no alcohol on weeknights - Friday date night and hanging out with friends or family only. And water - need to get better about staying hydrated. Goal 3: Support and Connection Keeping up with y’all on the forums. Reaching out to and making time for my IRL friends. Goal 4: Feed My Sense of Well-being Keep up with my steady stream of crafts - both physical and digital creations. And that’s it - shirt and sweet.
  21. Annnd I'm late again/already, whoops! And I'll have to start tomorrow since I'm in so late today. I can't be bothered to set up a theme with GIFs because my 7.5 week old is absorbing 110% of my energy bwahaha. Overarching Goal: Lose the baby weight plus a bit more before my sister's September wedding. Challenge goal: See 165lb on the scale (anything 165-166lb counts). My weight fluctuates a LOT right now so I just have to see it once for it to count. Goal #1: Eat one fruit and one vegetable per day Because apparently 2 servings of vegetables was too ambitious at this stage. Goal #2: 300 squats, 200 pushups, 100 minutes in plank, 10 workouts (15+min) Trying a Xena-inspired cumulative goal. Goal #3: Post every day It can just be a sentence, but I find that one missed day turns into two and it just snowballs and I start to forget my goals, sigh. During my pre-challenge work I successfully completed the Blogilates 20-day challenge, and I lost the first few postpartum pounds. I'll have to keep weighing myself to believe it, but i saw 169.8lb on the scale two days in a row which would mean, I've already met my mid-April (B) goal. We'll see! Here we gooo!
  22. Hello and welcome to my battle log, est. 2016! I've been doing challenges for over a year straight and I decided to experiment with an alternative style that gets away from the feeling of being perpetually "on" and one step away from the pointy end of the spear that is the 4WC format while not losing the structure that said 4WC format provides. Kinda strike a balance, like? This will be an ongoing experiment, with some room to adjust. This will be accomplished by a month-to-month formal re-evaluation of goals, without grading per say, and the freedom to change things up at any point with no regrets. All in one place! No need to wonder when my new thread will be up, just stay tuned for the next day's post! Below I will update links to each month's first post so you can see change over time. To round off 2016's activity, I'm posting links to prior challenge activity for the sake of completeness. ...And we're off! Index 2016 Challenges: January, February, March, April 2016: May, June, July, August, Intra-Month Madness, September, October, November, December 2017: January, February, March, April, May, Intra-Month Madness v.2, June, July, August, September, October, November, December 2018: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December 2019: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December 2020: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December Lessons Compendium *~* 5/6/2016 *~* Magnesium deficient is something you don't want to be--supplement You might also be deficient in other vitamins and minerals--supplement with a multivitamin Magnesium is a diuretic Squat foot position should be maintained at hip width, no farther: a wide stance is Trouble for your inner legs *~* 5/21/2016 *~* Ukemi must be executed with one's head tucked There is in fact such thing as too much ukemi, especially when biased to one side of the body TM Fact: If you get to a place on Intensity Day where you struggle to PR, add volume to volume day *~* 8/1/2016 *~* Daily neck stretches keep even small tension headaches away Too much of the wrong kind of foot rolling can lead to TIGHTER feet *~* 8/27/2016 *~* Stress is real and it will harm training momentum. Knee sleeves are good tools in the gym for preventing quad tension. *~* 11/7/2016 *~* 1/wk DL Intensity Day is too intense. 2/month is good. *~* 1/29/2017 *~* When stressed, a massive deload is not necessary. Just hold fast to the same weights and...wait it out. Too much magnesium = diarrhea *~* 7/10/2017 *~* A reminder: sleeping on one's back reduces the risk of headaches and muscle knots. *~* 12/09/2017 *~* Do not stop taking Slo-Mag. Just. Don't. *~* 1/19/2018 *~* Drinking a minimum of 44oz of water helps regulate headaches, even migraines to some extent. *~* 7/18/2018 *~* Hormonal birth control does cause migraines. So does looking down at phone with bad posture all day. *~* 7/30/2018 *~* Dairy and yogurt disagree with my stomach. Vegetables + fermented food are keys to BM balance. *~* 10/1/2018 *~* Fruit disagrees with my stomach. Bananas are fruit. Lacrosse ball rolling helps manage bad posture headaches. *~* circa 4/2019 *~* I need the lunch hour away from my desk to keep headaches down *~* 10/4/2019 *~* Remember how fruit disagrees with my stomach? That goes for ingredients found in preworkout. Gas and bloating.
  23. [Fireworks, Explosions, Team America memes] I mean .... I *did* just crack open my actual computer for the first time in over a month just to edit this shizz, soo ... Happy 10th, Nerd Fitness! It was 10 years ago in March our Rebel Commander started this little corner of the Internets we’ve all found a home in. Let’s celebrate that decade-long accomplishment by branching out, not sitting on our collective laurels, and pushing the envelope just a bit more. I know I call for a return of the Hype Train(TM) often, but dammit, I miss my train. I *miss* the overhype we used to have around here - the breakneck speed at which (6 week) challenges flew, the community engagement ... /getsmistyeyed As so many others are doing, let’s take a look back at my NF journey. Warning: Shit gets mushy and I’m not re-reading it or I’ll start deleting the mush. Could be rambly and make zero sense. I promise nothing. Ooh. I should cop out and spoiler this next bit, but I won't because it's probably cringey and that's how I roll: uncomfortably. Challenge 1 https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/22780-first-challenge-darkfoxx/ My first challenge was in January of 2013, right after I decided I was tired of using the holidays as an excuse to completely feel like a slug every January. I remember being fed up, and sitting in my little bedroom office in Brooklyn - freezing my ass off because that apartment was so cold in the winter it was (barely) legal - and Googling something along the lines of Nerd Fitness. This was right after a chat with my DH (Darling Husband for those of you new to my exposition), where he floated the idea of a support network, I scoffed at it, and went about finding one anyways. He thought I could benefit from having people to talk to about fitness that wasn’t him; I thought that (fitness) realm wasn’t really for me and that everyone would be lame af and we wouldn’t have anything in common. Oh boy was I ever wrong. I remember how I felt when I found that first article Steve wrote - don’t remember what it was, but I remember feeling like someone could finally maybe see me - maybe not with that article, and maybe not him specifically, but it was enough to get my hella introverted IRL (at that point I was basically a hermit and only ever talked to my DH in person) self to feel comfortable putting herself out there - especially in a realm I still found terrifying. My challenge was only 2 goals long, and they are goals that have carried forward in some form for all 63 of my challenges: moving my body and eating right. I was already working out a bit (thanks to the Nintendo Wii, I’d already lost a fair bit of weight), and had sloooooooowly started unpacking all things food and brain related. This first challenge, I focused on 4x a week workouts - alternating the NF bodyweight exercises with my first foray into non-Nintendo yoga: Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown. Which I loved. And would still legit do, no matter how much she annoys me. And paleo. eating paleo consistently, finding ways to cut down my meat consumption, and eating more veg. Sound familiar? Awwww … looking back at this challenge, my first few commenters - whom I will be forever grateful to - have fallen by the wayside (hello @tekilla @vic-torus @bagpipenebula @Slosh - come back!), but my girl @Fonzico was there from page 1, cheering me on. Hey, girl! We were so cute and young! Since then, and here’s where I squirm in my seat because shit gets mushy, I’ve found immeasurable worth in my community. The friendships I’ve formed here have gotten me through some dark shit, and have given me the confidence to do some crazy ambitious shit - like that year I did, what? 16 medal-winning races/rucks/OCRs, or the fact that I smashed my shell to do my first OCR at all and found a huge love for the sport. The SPORT. That the girl who used to practice lying still on a fainting couch - and ate just enough to not land in the hospital - and refused to break a sweat (whose body was only hydrated and nourished enough to barely actually do that) found that she LOVED. And I hella wouldn’t gotten to that place without y’all. I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate carrying on tedious conversations with fitnessy people (even yoga people) IRL, and have like ZERO tolerance for dumbassery; so being able to have a safe home where I can be my F-bomby, snarky, side-eye of judgement self (and where I can totally get called out on my own BS in like 3 seconds), is something I hold SUPER FUCKING DEAR. I loves y’all, and I loves what Steve has built here. So thanks, Steve. Lots. And that’s not all! My first and main love will always be the Forums and I’ll champion them until the Internet dies - to anyone that shows anything other than open hostility to the first three words I say on the subject. Repeatedly. I’ve taken part in NF Yoga, and started down the Rings & Handstands path (mostly because any time the Crew put up a chance to send some lucre their way I was All Frickin On It - because I can’t express how much I’ve gotten out of this free service and want to help in any way possible). And the Facebook groups. And then there were IRL meetups. That were terrifying but awesome and where I met some rad-ass people (hello @Raxie;@rowan I MISS YOUR DAMN FACE COME BACK WE NEED HYPE). AND CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMP. Where I had the privilege of giving back to my community by serving as a Wizard. And meeting so many of my friends in meat space. With actual hugs. And already knowing the actual them. And making new friends. Who I have legit seen IRL. I can’t think about Camp without getting mistily maudlin. That shit was transformative, yo. AND A NERD FITNESS WEDDING TAKEOVER. WEEKEND. @Taaaaaaaaaank @Tanktimus the Encourager what’s this season’s Shiner? And people who know my drama and accept it encouraging me to learn new scary skills (*cough* Ranger Jedi Master @EricMN *cough*). Then lending a shoulder and giving me space through that whole next year of BS and then a difficult move. Internet friends aren’t real friends, my ass. I know a ton of Rangers (and now Druids) - an ENTIRE REBELLION ACTUALLY that would BEG TO DIFFER. And my DH. And half my other friends, TBH. TAKE THAT, OLD (guard) PEOPLE. TAKE THAT, EMPIRE (tho your fashion choices are on point). /END MUSHINESS. EEEWWWWWWWWWW *shake* Errr. Ummmm … #soexposedrn Back to business. And Poiiiiiiiiints. Because: American, and we like points (which is something that fascinates my non-(this type of) nerdy and European friends to no end). This community is only as strong as its members, and as such - I’m laundry-listing this challenge. And remembering to keep all my goals in sight this cycle. Old Business Not eating like an asshole (eating intuitive-ish with a look toward limiting the overall quantity of food I eat while watching the pain level that certain foods create); I will be documenting meals with pics for year 2 of a 365 project, and will be collating a list of current go/no-go foods in an effort to work more veggies back into my diet. I miss veggies. I don’t miss pain. Yoga 365 project - Daily 15 minutes+ of either yoga or meditation/breathing exercises (or as long as I can muster on the latter). I’ll be sharing weekly wrap up pictures here for that as well. Keeping at least 1 current craft going (at the moment, I’m knitting a busywork shawl, knitting a baby blanket, and waiting on the final supplies for a quilt). Pics of course when I finish a project and more information than you want during. Cultivating my current support network and actively recruiting more. This cycle I’ll be experiencing the downside of expat life - friends moving. I’ll be losing at least 3 friends in February/March to the four corners of the Earth, and that’s going to be hard. I need to allow for that hardness - that time of grief (especially for 1; my local bestie is leaving for a country it’s not currently easy for me to visit), and move on. My monthly drunk brunch group is most likely dissolving with these two leaving (we’ll be down to 5 OG members; 1 of which is actually reliable at attending our monthly fetes), and that’s going to take one of my set social days out of my weekly calendar - that’s mostly ok, for the moment at least I’ve replaced my weekly Wednesday breakfast with a rousing Detox Yoga class. But still ... I’m going to need to address this issue sooner rather than after I’ve refused to get off the couch or take a shower for 3 days in a row. Dog Training - The home training is going fairly-well; the wiens understand (mostly) that we don’t want them to lose their everloving minds every time someone is in the hallway, and they’ve (mostly) stopped singing when locked in the bedroom while I’m out. We do, however, need to continue to work on Odin’s leash manners - his anxiety, panic attacks at seeing other dogs and not being able to play with them all - and his pulling. OMFG the pulling. Such strength for 7 kilos, you’d think he was training to singlehandedly win the Iditarod. We have 1 private training session left and a good few group sessions to attend. We need to go to those, and continue to work with him daily. I need to get better at this - currently, I suX0r at it and DH has it down pat. I need to suck less. New Business Because of all this impending turmoil, I’m feeling a loss of control. Happily, this loss is taking the form of wanting to do a big ole’ purge. I’ve been feeling uneasy about the amount of - things - I’ve let creep back into my life for awhile now and I feel like I’m at odds with my wardrobe again. Since I like a good long-term challenge and feel like I may need to be strong-armed into not sewing allthethings (especially impractical things) clothing-wise (like, when would I actually *wear* a corset in my current life? How many historical skirts do I need? Do I need more 50s dresses? What about weirdo structural pieces? Do I actually need any of those?), let’s do a 333 challenge: 33 articles of clothing only (aside from underpinnings, athletic and swimwear) for 3 months. I’ll at least start it this challenge by reviewing and documenting what I have, and I’ll report on the outcome. This challenge should shoot me riiiiiiight through at least 1 holiday and into the beginnings of Summer - when things get interesting. I’m curious to see if I can make it work without blowing my 7 kilo carry-on rule or melting in the heat. Mini challenge (either all-guild) or Druid-specific. I’m writing these goals out hella early, and it remains to be seen whether we are doing an all-guild dealie, or if we are reviving Druid-specific minis. Do that. Whatever *that* is. EDIT: The all-guild mini has shaped up, and I think y’all will like it. I’m excited about it. Scoring & Reporting Points are fun, so let’s go back to scoring. Most of my goals are daily, so scoring will take the shape of ‘x of 7’. A few are more esoteric, and will be more of a ‘did I do X thing by the end of Challenge? Food POD x of 7 Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snack Anything try to kill me? Yoga 365 What did my practice look like today? X of 7 Crafts Current Project(s): What did I work on today? X of 7 Support Network What is my battle plan this week? Did I work toward it? X of 7 Dog Training Did I work with the babes today? X of 7 Clothing Have I done an assessment? Have I pared to 33 items? Mini Challenge Did I do my part to drive my car of this particular Hype Train? X of 7
  24. starsapart: A Brief and Abridged History I think an anniversary challenge calls for a bit of retrospection, doesn't it? I found Nerd Fitness in summer of 2014 after someone sent me one of Steve's articles. I'd been on a health and fitness journey since April of that year, which had marked an all-time emotional low point for me. I'd latched on to weight loss as a silver bullet of sorts, with this vague idea that if I could just be conventionally attractive, my life would sort itself out (spoiler: it doesn't work like that). Finding the forums really helped me start to find some joy in movement and began my slow journey to mental recovery. I had a serious injury in August of that year after a brief trial of parkour, which forced me to start building my upper body strength while my broken ankle was in a cast. I didn't really know what I wanted to do once I was healed, but around that time, I met @sylph, who opened my eyes to the crazy idea that an adult could absolutely learn to be an acrobat. I started aerial in November of 2014, at which point I was about 50 pounds down from my highest weight and feeling a lot better about life, the universe, and everything. I stuck to the forums, becoming a member (and then briefly the commander) of the Cutlasses, then an ambassador for the Assassins. I was just about 80 pounds down when I was featured as a success story on the Nerd Fitness blog, one year after my fitness journey had started. My mind was much healthier in a lot of ways by then, though in retrospect I realize I had slipped into disordered eating in the form of orthorexia. I never addressed this on the forums, but I ended up having to undo a lot of mental tangle again to fix my broken-in-a-new-way relationship with food. Based on my doctor's insistence in 2015, I actually had to regain a small amount of the weight I had lost. Still, things were going well overall - despite additional injuries and setbacks, my aerial skills improved greatly. I got my first pull-up. I started performing. I became a guild leader for the Assassins. By mid-2016, I felt like I had my health and fitness sorted, and with life getting progressively busier, I left the forums for several years, though I retained some of the great friends I had made here and at CNF 2015. Then 2019 rolled around, and my life changed drastically again: my wife and I adopted a baby! And this was very exciting! But very exhausting!! I lapsed (completely) on lifting weights. I lapsed (a lot) on making good food choices. I lapsed (a little) on training in the circus gym. I came back to the forums in December of 2019 in hopes of finding some support as I tried to right my course. That brings us to today! I survived my return challenge and I'm back for more. I definitely don't have time for the careful selection of song lyrics and themed gifs anymore, because #momlife, but I do have goals! I am performing in a major circus production close to the end of this challenge (the shows run March 13-15) and I've been frantically rehearsing and preparing, which has done a lot for my consistency. Still, there are a few things I need to address as I prepare for the show. As such, my goals are as follows: GOAL 1: NUTRITION GRAB BAG Last challenge, I got back on the food tracking bandwagon, but I didn't address exactly what I was eating and when. I was batting around several nutrition goal ideas, but ultimately, I think I'll do a grab bag. I am aiming to earn 80 points by the end of the challenge, meaning I need to earn 2+ points a day. I can earn (or lose) points in the following ways: Caloric deficit (1800 calories or less) : +1 IF (eat only between 11am-7pm) : +1 Vegetarian day (I already try to do this once a week, but this will hopefully be a nice motivator to do more) : +1 Zero junk food day (no chocolate, no chips, no cookies; a serving of dried fruit or nuts is fine but eating a whole bag of either is not...) : +2 Caloric surplus (2100 calories or more; I can take a bye on this if I've had a very physical day, i.e. 3+ hours of aerial in a row or 10 miles of snowshoeing or something) : -1 Excess sweets (3 or more in one day) : -1 Skipped tracking (lack of best-effort tracking in MFP) : -1 GOAL 2: LIFTING REDUX I had a lifting goal last challenge and I mostly stuck to it, but I don't feel confident that I've built a sustainable habit yet, so here we go again, Lift two times a week, better three. Anything counts, even if I just go down and do a 5x5 of bench press and then call it done. I get a bye on show week - no lifting required at all the week of March 8-14, because I will basically be in the gym or the theater every bloody day and I'm going to be massively fatigued. Depending on how I feel post-show, I may require only one session the week of March 15. GOAL 2B: RECOVERY IS KEY I had to suspend my lifting goal due to changes in my aerial schedule. Instead, starting week 3, I am looking for foam rolling sessions after every practice and performance. GOAL 3: FLEXIBILITY I've been pretty lax on stretching outside of rehearsal warm-ups. My wife and I occasionally do yoga videos together, but that's not super consistent, either. I'm aiming for two flexibility sessions a week. They need to be a minimum of 15 minutes and can focus on splits, straddles, backbends, whatever. Yoga counts. Aerial practice or class doesn't count, unless I specifically take a flexibility and contortion class. GOAL 4: FAMILY TIME I'll run this one grab-bag style as well, aiming for 15 points by the end of the challenge (to be adjusted once I see how this goes). I earn points by: Family meal (everyone, including baby, sits down to eat together at the same time) : +1 Family walk (Around the block or to the park or whatever, but it has to be outdoors) : +1 Fun family outing (anything from storytime to going to the aquarium; going to the grocery store obviously doesn't count) : +1 I think that's plenty to focus on this go around. I have a few big disruptions hitting during this challenge as well: Feb 21-24, we're heading up for a long weekend at my family's mountain condo with a couple friends (yes, we're taking baby), which will include lots of fun activities but also probably lots of food. March 9, my daughter turns one! Cue more food and lots of prep (her party is on the 8th) and general insanity. Finally, as previously mentioned, I've got a show running the weekend of March 13. So, here we go! Sending shoutouts to @stillskies, @blkhole24601, and @Kagetsukai to get their fine asses back here for the anniversary challenge. C'MON LADIES, JOIN THE FUN!
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