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  1. The dawn will take you all Spring is upon us here in Australia and I'm beginning to feel my funk lift, but I'm not out of the woods yet so I'm staying in the temple for another challenge, very grateful for the encouragement the monks have provided. Goals 1. Positives. At least once a week list out some positive things that happened that week. 2. Rehab/Mobility. 2 hours of rehab/mobility per week. This I'm planning as 10 mins per day of exercises for my recovering back and 2 x 30 min mobility sessions of some sort (yoga/swimming/stretching etc.) 3. Calorie Counting. This is one of my least favourite things but it's very effective and I need to do it to shed my 'winter coat' Starting weight: TBA on Monday... Calorie goal per day 4. Learning Python. 3 hours per week of coding Python. I bought a raspberry pi recently to learn Python with, largely as a distraction from playing addictive video games and because I enjoy it so this should be a fun goal. Things to look forward to: - I'm going to Europe for 2.5 weeks in November - I've booked 2 nights in a pub in the Peak District (An area of natural beauty in the UK) and will be spending the weekend with only my brother. We've never done this before and I don't really know him that well so this is a chance for us to hang out and get to know each other better. - I will get to see my good friends in London and Berlin - I get to spend 4 days intensively learning some cool new technology
  2. So, I fell again. I had really good intents last challenge, but once again my spawn died in the first half of the challenge. This has happened consistently for the past few challenges (and all the ones I did not do). So how do I make sure that I don't fail this time? Well, I need a stronger starter. I was like a low level Grass Pokemon trying to win at the Pokemon League against a Leader whose specialty is fire. (Hint: NOT. HAPPENING.) Bulbasaur!!! So cute! Winning? Will be challenging. But even Grass Pokemon have strengths. They have deadly attacks, and the ability to restore their HP even if they are hit. (Take that Fire Pokemons!!) So, since I cannot change my Pokemon type, I will make sure I take a loooooooong time going around in the first town before advancing to the next, more challenging one. I will even try to evolve my Bulbasaur into an Ivysaur before I move too much forward. Ivysaur has much better stats and ability to defend itself against attacks. But this is a long term view. For this quest to be successful, I also know that I have to set myself small, attainable goals. I am a very imperfect Pokemon, so I will miss my attacks, not be able to withstand enemy attacks and faint, and need my trainer to care for me a lot (Pokebeans!). Chi va piano va sano. Bulbasaur starts up with 2 attacks: Tackle and Growl. Not strong, and not even leveraging the Grass-type moves which are stronger. So I will go and try to learn Vine Whip - This is done by Leveling up to level 7. I am currently starting, so I am level 5. I need 2 levels to learn this new attack! Vine Whip! How do I gain points to level up? There are 4 ways! 1- Spend time in the tall grass - Fight off other Pokemons and get stronger! 2- Go to the Pokemon center regularly - Always be full of energy! 3- Eat good Pokebeans - Make sure my body is fed the right nutrients! 4- Visit all the houses on the way - Pick up skills and hidden objects! This will enable my Bulbasaur to grow in a balanced way, without too much pressure or fear of not reaching my objective. Boring point details Let's say I need 100 points to pass one level, I thus need 200 points to pass 2 levels and learn Vine Whip! Today is the first morning, and I already earned 2 points by having a balanced breakfast and doing 30 minutes of exercise bike! I sincerely hope I can continue and become a stronger, healthier Bulbasaur! Let's be happy Bulbasaur!
  3. After doing so well on my Whole30 (-17.8lbs & -2 inches to almost all my measurements) I want to keep galloping ahead. I’m not going to do a whole30 but I want to continue some of the eating habits and this time get in more workouts. I’m going to use this week to come up with a way to track my progress and I’m moving back to points. Points : 100% = 244 : 75% = 183 - Will be added to my Jonesy's Fun Adventure I learned a lot from my whole30 and I don’t want to lose that knowledge. I also don’t want to restrict myself as much. I need to find a good balance and that is something I’ve always struggled with. Food No soda, No snacking, No sweets(occasional sugar in food is ok just no candy, cookies, etc), No eating out. Exceptions : Fancy coffee on Monday and Friday, Events, Work outings, Special Meals with Friends or Family Weekends have no restrictions. Points : 5 per day for good days - 3 per days if I slip I feel like I started out good last challenge and then got sick. I also found an archery club that has $5 Introduction to Archery classes every Thursday, except during Fair times (next one is 9/28). Exercise 5 days each week (at least 20 mins) Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri & Sat/Sun (Rest Days Wed - may be sub for another day if something comes up, Sat or Sun) Try Archery! Points : 20 per 20+ min workout - Bonus points for Archery: 50 I can’t skip my responsibilities and I’m running low on funds. Budgeting is a priority and I thought I’d try donating plasma for some extra cash. I went in on 9/9 and have to come back since I donated blood in August. Forgot about that. Life Daily Cleaning Bujo before Bed Weekly budgets Donate Plasma Points : 1 point per each Weekly Game Goals : Each week I will draw a quest from my list of quests from Jonesy’s Fun Adventure. Redraws are ok if I know for a FACT I won't be able to accomplish. Points : Points based on Game and count as extra credit!
  4. Hi, guys I’m here to try this thing again. Last challenge didn’t really go so well. I didn’t meet any of my goals. I’m hoping this one will go better, because time has magically built itself into my schedule to Do The Things. I’m not even joking - I had given up on ever having time for this stuff, but now suddenly I do have the time - it’s just how things have worked out. A lot of self-improvement is on the road ahead. Last weekend (Sept 8-10) I went to a retreat for the women at my church, and it was fantastic. I feel like this is the first breakthrough I’ve had in a while, for progressing in my faith and getting out of this pit of despair I’ve found myself in. And I also started rereading a book by Kay Arthur called As Silver Refined, which is really great and has already addressed some of my problems head-on. So it got me thinking about refining myself, not just spiritually, but in other ways, too. I want to make as much headway as I can before I move away to the mystical land of Graduate School next summer. Living alone + pit of despair + unhealthy habits = not good! Due to the fact that I don’t have my own car, and so must be dropped off on campus according to other peoples’ schedules, I now have a whole hour before work every day during which I can Do The Thing. I also have some time on a couple afternoons during which I can Also Do The Thing. So, here are my goals this time around to get started on the road to being a refined human being and a refined child of God. Spiritual Refinement: Use that hour in the mornings to do some kind of study. This could look like meditating on a piece of scripture, reading some more of As Silver Refined, or working through a discipleship workbook that an older woman at church has offered to study with me. (I’m being discipled, guys! Cool? Weird? This has never happened to me before.) This will be Monday-Thursday mornings, and Friday morning I meet with the lady from church to discuss what I learned throughout the week. Strength Refinement: Excercise 3x/week. Use that hour in the afternoons to get my booty back in the gym! I won’t have long, but it will certainly be long enough to do a thoroughly exhausting bodyweight circuit or some such. Plus, I’ll have to boogie back to the main section of campus to get picked up by my awesome mama - cardio! This will be Tuesday and Thursday afternoons; and I have Fridays off this semester so I can do a third workout on that day. The goal is 2 bodyweight workouts and one cardio-type thing. Sustenance Refinement: Track macros 2 days per week. Don’t buy stupid snacks from school. Still trying to get back on that paleo/primal bandwagon. It worked so well for me when I first started out! I don’t know why I lost steam. I just have to put my mind to it once more. My portion sizes could use some work. Also, bring more healthy snacks from home when I go to school. Tracking days: I dunno yet. Maybe Monday and Thursday?
  5. I'm Severine and this is my first challenge with the rangers. I was in the rebel guild for a long time and finally decided it's time I branched out a little. One of the reasons I stayed so long with the rebels was my difficulty in choosing a guild. I like bodyweight training and rock climbing, I like walking and hiking and exploring, I like barbell-based strength training and aspire to do more of it, and one of my goals is to condition for running and do a 5K sometime soon. Oh and I am doing a lot of work on mindset stuff and just recently started meditating. Plus I just got sucked into OCR stuff by @Sylvaa and @NeverThatBored and @fleaball...so a little bit of almost everything. Eventually I decided that if my problem was my inability to choose between a million different things, there is a decent chance I belong with the rangers. It helped that @Tanktimus the Encourager sweeps periodically through the forums, proclaiming the supreme friendliness and general excellence of his home guild to anyone who will listen I'm in an interesting transition period of my life right now. This past winter, I shut down my small farm and since then I have been teaching ESL at a local community centre, trying to figure out what comes next for me. I was in farming for ~6 years and in law before that, but for various reasons neither of those professions feel like the right place for me right now. I do enjoy teaching ESL but am not completely sure if that's where I want to stay indefinitely. One thing I do know is that I really enjoyed running my own business, and am currently leaning toward starting starting my own little company, whether it be ESL tutoring or one of the other ideas I have. Transition times can be a great chance to establish new habits and re-evaluate priorities, so this is a great opportunity. However, times of unrest where I don't have a firm routine are also the times I am, historically, most likely to go off the rails and relapse into really unhealthy old patterns. So I want to be vigilant and make sure this is a time of progressive unrest rather than regressive. I struggle with anxiety, binge/disordered eating, and insomnia, and these are all things that are easier to manage if I have a solid foundation of healthy behaviour and self-care, so there's a lot of incentive. Food is my biggest health challenge, both recently and throughout my entire life since I was a preteen. Heh. It's funny: that sentence is a bizarrely sanitary way to represent decades of tears and self-loathing and denial and dysfunction and food-based self harm. I don't want to go into the whole story but I feel like I need to signal it's there, underneath everything. Anyway. This challenge I'm going to focus pretty heavily on food and try some brave/scary new things in that area, as well as work to solidify and improve exercise and mental health habits for a well-rounded approach. My hope is that this challenge will get me on an even keel and prepare me to start some more ambitious training for the October challenge, so that I'm less unready when the Spartan Sprint rolls around in November. THE GOALS! FOOD Bright line ban on foods that I have repeatedly shown I cannot handle in moderation: Chocolate, ice cream, fast food of any kind, soda of any kind including calorie-free Note, this is the scary/hard part. But I also have good reason to think it's the right approach - I did this once before just with chocolate and it was shocking to me how much easier it was to cut it out than to try to moderate it. I felt awesome. So going to bring it back and expand it to all my binge trigger foods. No caffeine after noon Food tracking every day Minimum three servings of freggies a day Calorie deficit when averaged over the week ACTIVITY Exercise for at least thirty minutes every day. Most days my basic exercise is a 30-minute walk in the morning. In addition, once per week find an interesting bit of nature to go walk around in for at least 45 minutes. This good for me both physically and mentally. The Japanese call it 'forest bathing'. Autumn is my favourite season so this is a delightful time to do this. Start the Elements training program from GMB and do a minimum of three sessions per week. MINDSET AND LIFE Meditate using the Headspace app every day (preferably earlier in the day but not required) Update my Hobonichi Do at least one thing from my giant to-do list every day Spend at least ten minutes a day on foreign language learning Go to bed by 11:30 Go to therapy every week So there we have it. These goals represent a good picture of what balance looks like for me and if I can get all of these habits as a default mode of living it will be a powerful platform from which to launch myself into a dazzling array of ambitious and exciting new projects and adventures.
  6. Nutrition This seems wrong. I feel like somehow the cart got in front of the horse? Or maybe on top? I need to get a plan in place for my meals and I need work my plan. I don’t feel like I’ve developed any bad habits, but I’m not actively controlling what I’m doing anymore either. Eating out of habit is how you get into bad habits, plus it’s kinda boring. I need to re-evaluate how many calories I’m eating and make sure I’m getting enough. On 9/7 I woke up feeling awful and stayed that way until dinner the next night. I can’t help but wonder if it was a lack of protein from eating a pescetarian lunch all week (2 servings of tuna and 3.5 servings of chick peas spread across 5 days). Exercise I got a little out of habit. The past few weeks I’ve gotten back into a weightlifting habit, but not really back on my running. I also want my Saturday long runs back. Half marathon or bust! I want to get to the gym and lift 5 days a week (taking some fiddling with the new commute) and run at least 4 days a week. Music I have been trying to re-learn/learn guitar over the past month or two. I’ve picked up a few chords but I’m stuck with mostly the old songs and basic campfire strumming. All I ever knew was some basic songs on acoustic and I don’t want to be stuck in the same boring rut. This challenge I want to work on music theory and scales which means reading my theory book and practicing my scales at least 3 times a week. In upcoming challenges I’m going to start fiddling with different styles of music to see what I like playing and what sticks. Spanish I’ve been working on this for a while. I try to do duolingo daily (I love the new bot upgrade!). I want to try and get into some kind of Spanish media. I’ve tried a few news podcasts and flipping on the Spanish language channel, but I can’t get into something. I need to find a castellan anime studio or a Chilean movie studio or a Colombian youtube channel or something. Suggestions welcome. Possibly encouraged. Maybe desperately needed. My ideal week: Mon: Lift, Run Tue: Lift, Guitar Wed: Lift, Run Thur: Lift, Run, Meal Plan Fri: Lift, Guitar Sat: Long Run, Nap, Guitar, Shopping Sunday: Church, Food Prep, Spanish Something or Other
  7. So I have a... habit I've noticed when it comes to my nutritionist. I'm willing to incorporate little healthy changes (eating 2 cups each of fruits and vegetables a day, drinking 3 liters of water a day), but when it comes to big ones I balk. Like a show horse that doesn't want to jump over that fence thing. An example of a big change for me is that for two weeks my meal plans were supposed to look like this: American healthy plate 1/2-1 cup cooked brown/wild rice or quinoa or beans and legumes or whole wheat/grain pasta with 4 grams of fiber 1-2 slice of whole wheat/grain bread with 4+ grams of fiber 1 deck of cards or palm size fish/seafood or chicken or meat or 4 tbsp. flat nuts and seeds At least half of plate as non-starchy vegetables (No potato, yam, sweet potato, corn, peas, pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash) As you can probably figure out from the text of my post, that didn't happen. Because I balked. I'm noticing, that if I think a change is too extreme that I don't do it. Has anyone had this happen with their own nutrition choices? For those wondering, I pretty much kept to the card deck sized protein. (I don't actually eat bread unless it's hamburgers or something, so that one went out the window.) I have a meeting with my nutritionist this Friday, and I'm going to talk to her about my reluctance to integrate food changes that I feel are too strict (such as this one, which I originally agreed to). In our previous meeting she mentioned doing no carb, high carb, or calorie counting. I know from previous experience that calorie counting leads towards bad habits for me (choosing not to eat a meal because it'd put me over my calories).
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