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  1. My goal for 2024 is a smaller waistline. The scale is relevant only as it relates to either that metric or to how it affects the load on my knees. To start small is to start smart. My goals Stength: Strength workout of some kind twice a week. All I have to do is start. Stretch: Stretch my beck and do a forward fold and a squat hold every day. Stroll: Get more steps in by going for walks. At minimum check the mail six days a week (community mailbox around the corner). Other good stuff, cook and avoid sugar. Incidentally, when I do cook, if I describe it, don't be hungry when you read about it.
  2. The last challenge was derailed by a train of illnesses that my grandson brought home from day care. I managed to power through most of them, but COVID really knocked me on my butt for three weeks. Not surprisingly, my cardio fitness took a hit. Strength gains pretty much stayed even. Coming into the next challenge, I have loose goals, but I want to stay flexible .... really a big part of the rest of the calendar year (2 challenges?) will be in looking for some new tools and strategies .... and recommitting some that have worked well in the past. I am not going to score these challenges. Daily narration is enough accountability. The murder mystery gets to continue and ties in with this theme. 😉 Goals: Lose fat and build muscle. I'm going to ease back into WW. The investigation focus here is on figuring out how to track without burning out on tracking. Success measures: weigh 150 by the end of the calendar year (151.5 by Thanksgiving) and be able to do a pullup with only 20 pounds of assistance (30 pounds by Thanksgiving). I also will probably be changing gyms again. Write a draft of a novel. Yes, I decided to try NaNoWriMo. I want to write a cozy mystery novel with an older female protagonist. I may warm up with the continuation of the Wolves of Langston .... fanfiction. Investigations: Exercise snacks. On the days that LTL is here, it's difficult to get much of a workout in. We can usually get a walk, but strength training ..... those end up being rest days. But, if I have a plan, I could fit in some bodyweight strength training and stretching. Functional fitness (aka CrossFit) without the box. CrossFit.com, WodWell.com, 50 North fitness classes? The social aspect is almost as important as the fitness, but getting hooked and sticking with it without getting injured ..... Join the "senior center" .... which really has much to offer. It has a gym and a pool (and sauna and hot tub ....) and fitness classes and volunteer and social opportunities. As Rebel One has written, it is really tough to make friends as an adult. This is a possible vector. How to inject some fun into logging food intake?? How to create changes that will become habits?
  3. Had a blood draw last week. My A1C is up a point, from 5.7( in Feb) to 5.8. Pre-diabetes is 5.7 to 6.4. It was 5.9 in October of last year, and has been 5.9 once before that. I do NOT want diabetes, as I've seen the way it can kill people one toe at a time. And quite frankly, kidney dialysis scares me more than Chemo does, and a lot of patients who do not manage their diabetes blow out their kidneys. I have the appointment to discuss it on Wednesday (my doctor is part of a medical practice with a good app that lets you see your lab results once the doctor looks at it) and I do not anticipate a reaction as dramatic as my challenge title, but I'm taking this seriously. Therefore: Limit sweets: I'm doing this already, but I suspect my weight gain despite limited sweets is the cause of this. Even so, Sweets at Thanksgiving and Christmas (and only the day of) and that's it. Move: My exercise habits have been virtually nonexistent since getting the new job, and were minimal before that when I was on the summer of night shifts. That is something that will help. Eat good food: As much as possible.
  4. I've been bouncing between different themes in creating challenges and in organizing my epic quests and battle log threads so much that I really should create a theme based on Heinlein's World As Myth collection and label myself a multi-verse Time Corps Agent. Problem is, since they never got made into movies, there are few, if any, cool images and gifs. So, I've returned to organizing my fitness and life goals around the Star Wars universe. It's been my framework and inspiration since college, and during a wonderful period from 1998 to 2005, that inspiration was extremely effective. When I let the disciplines of meditation, running, weight lifting, and karate training slip, I gained weight and lost a lot of who I wanted to be. While I've been HERE at Nerd Fitness for years, I have not been putting in the dedication and effort required to make necessary changes --- and stick with them. So, I have titled this a RESPAWN in recognition to making a major break with my recent past. I may occasionally write fiction about my character in order to help me re-imagine myself as my ideal self. You can't achieve what you can't conceive. That role-play character will be placed in the universe of the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. I haven't played that game in years, but I downloaded the update and am in the process of getting used to the changes. After a couple of hours, I recall WHY I stopped playing. It's only available for the PC (which we have, but it's my husband's machine). And the dual currency .... with so many features tied to purchasing cartel coins is annoying. Plus, I don't know anyone who plays it anymore. SO .... I'm not sure how many hours of my limited gaming time will be shifted over to SW:TOR from WoW.
  5. Honestly, I'm not even trying to win the race, I'm just focusing on consistency. If I eat good food and move I win. Consistency is so much more important than performance. Furthermore, this is a positive look at consistency. I don't lose points for not doing things on a day, I get points for days I do them. That simple. Right now I'm doing darebee's 30 days of LIIT (Low Impact Interval Training). I assume they mean 30 days in a row, but I'm not letting perfect get in the way of good. Each day I do the workout I win. I'm currently on day four or five (haven't worked out the last three days and that's ok). When I get done I'll figure out what's next. Cooking is helpful, cooking real food even more so. I'm continuing to learn how to be gentle with myself. Last challenge I left one job and started another. I'm back on days, I sleep at night, I have weekends off (except when I'm on call). Now that I'm no longer angsting about a bad schedule I'm more aware of other stresses that were always there, but were ignored in light of larger issues. One new stressor is learning how to do a new-ish job; there is much more scrutiny of Chaplain charting in Hospice work than in Hospitals. It's nice to feel this stress though, it's from wanting to learn to do a good job rather than fear of failure. The former is new to me, and much more fun than the latter. I'm noticing a change in how I interact on the forums too, and I like this. The new job also is helping me interact better with my mother in law, who has Vascular Dementia and is on hospice care with another company than the one I work for. Many of my patients have a similar condition, and learning to work with them has helped me be with her. I like this. Blessings friend, your friendly neighbor hood paladin was never away, but even so I feel like I'm back. I bring hope to the hopeless. I bring love to the forsaken. I speak truth to lies. I shine light in the darkness.
  6. Looking over the last (not very successful) challenge, I realize that I am often my own worst foe. You all probably know the drill. I say that I want to follow a particular plan, but then I also want to deviate from that plan ... repeatedly. Right?? I'm getting in my own way again, after having made quite a lot of progress, and so, this challenge theme is centered around fighting and neutralizing my shadow self. Taking the idea @Rhovaniel is working with this challenge, I am setting up a confrontation between myself and my shadow and using hit points as the measure of success. When confronting my character's shadow self in World of Warcraft, I know it is going to be a hard (and confusing) battle. So, I'm giving each of us the same number of hit points at the onset (350). I may have a slight advantage on potential scoring, but I am putting the positive actions on the light side of the battle, and the things that I do that undermine my goals are the weapons of the shadow. I will use a spreadsheet again to keep track of things. Positive Actions Follow the MIND diet. Same scoring system that I've used in the past (that came from the researchers themselves) to track level of healthy choices. Also, yes, continue to log in WW. Scoring is slightly different from the icons I used last time. I get 1 point for logging, 2 points for staying in buffer, 3 points for blue dot, 4 points for target or lower Do some cardio for 30 or more minutes every day. Walking counts. Do some strength/CF/OCR training (5 days per week) Each week, tackle the shadow self of one of our characters using the Manual of Gainful Exercise. I'm going to start with the easiest (Bladesinging Wizard Khrum) and work up each week. I can also do damage to the shadow if I PR on an exercise. Shadow Actions or Non-Actions Eat out, per meal. Hopefully, I won't have to go down to Iowa for the closing on the house. Eat salty foods such as tortilla chips (I love tortilla chips and popcorn) Have alcohol that is not my MIND diet daily glass of red wine Wipe out my WW points buffer at the end of the week Not record (honestly) in WW Rest more than 2 days per week Fail on a shadow-character fight (and I am pretty sure that I will fail at least one of them) It's a little unformed, but I think that details will surface as we go.
  7. Just today I got a verbal job offer about two hours after the interview ended. I posted in my other thread I am done with nightshifts in two weeks, which I hope is true, but I won't give my two weeks notice till I get the offical offer in writing (over email) and depending on the timing might have to do a third week. I have been promised, however, I can start my new job on August 15th. I am currently a hospital chaplain working nightshift three nights a week (with a dayshift every week as well). That's about to change, I'll be going to work for a Hospice, and have day shift Monday through Friday (I haven't had weekends fully off in ten years). That means adjusting to a new schedule. I'll have to figure out when to workout, how cooking is going to go, when to get groceries, etc. One of the few benefits of a weird schedule is the ability to get those things done when everyone else is at work. So for the first half of the challenge I'll keep doing what I have been doing. Then I'll figure out how to make things work with a normal schedule. Cooking is important. Strength training is important. Mobility work is important. The one new thing I want to do is make sure I do neck stretches, and 30 seconds each of forward fold and squat hold every day.
  8. Saturday of Zero week I turn 42, which makes the theme for this challenge rather easy to pick. I am currently working nightshifts as a hospital chaplain, looking to move into Hospice Chaplaincy, and am waiting to hear back after an interview with a hospice agency. If I get it, it would mean for the first time in almost ten years I would have a regular, Monday Through Friday dayshift job. If I do get it, I'll have to revamp everything, and that's ok. I will plan a challenge for the situation I'm in today. Find a way to Strength train twice a week. Cook. Stretch. Sleep. Doing those four things are the best things I can do to be healthy right now.
  9. On Sunday, I was getting ready to plan out the next challenge and rebelled against the complicated schemes I was trying to spin. So, I backed off and let the brain mull stuff over while I spent a few hours painting at our Rotary club's affordable housing project. By evening, I was so tired that I didn't have the energy to be anxious anymore (I also biked to the site .... so I'm channeling Indiana Jones at the moment), and I came to the conclusion that I should do some recycling of successful components from prior challenges and aim to keep it simple and (dare I say) fun over the summer months. By the end of the challenge, I want to: Weigh <= 150 pounds again Have the boxes unpacked or tucked into organized sections of the basement (bonus objective ... have the workout space set up) Have had FUN .... ok, hard to quantify, but there ya go Still playing with the D & D theme here, and so the "party" refers to the different characters journeying with me to ultimately deal with the dragon terrorizing the Sword Coast. There probably will be no actual beaches, but I am hoping to spend some time by the local pool. I do have my new, serious swimmer swimsuit on hand. Still .... "party" invites lots of memes and video sharing. Plan: Rejoin Weight Watchers with the ultimate goal of 135 pounds, which is my happy, healthy weight. Should be achievable in 9 months. I will use my icons tracking from a previous challenge to report daily progress here. Daily cardio using the random map. This gives me some guidance and inspiration, but .... every day, I have a choice of 8 directions in which to travel!! And, like "42", "walking" is always the correct answer. Use icons for tracking accountability. "Other" movement daily, based on the classes of party members*. Use icons for tracking accountability. Unpack a box or organize stuff for 15+ minutes daily. Checkboxes. Weekly-ish: Do a grandmother level hero workout for TREASURE!! Trying to mix it up a bit with workouts, each class in the party (a couple of us are multi-classing it): Inspired by: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/419273/Manual-of-Gainful-Exercise-DD-Subclass-Workouts Artificer: use the machines at the gym, bike ride, or a fitness game Bard: Dance or music based workout Druid: animal flow, swimming, yoga Paladin: free weights or kettlebells Ranger: CrossFit, archery practice Rogue: bodyweight, gymnastics moves (especially pullups and rope-progressions) Wizard: Fitness video, yoga I'm not going to be too hard on myself. I'd like to really mix up workouts for the summer and do one for each class each week. But .... trying to avoid the overwhelm too ......
  10. Those who followed my last challenge know I have some STUFF going on, and it's brought up some anxiety/depression. Therefore, without neglecting physical habits, I'm doing a mental health challenge. First, the physical stuff: Strength training 2x week Cook as often as possible I'm in different facilities for work, which means I'll easily get steps on the days I'm at work Stretch on non lift days when not at work, preferably stretch on work days as well (I stretch to cool down after strength workouts) Now, the Mental health Stuff Gratitude: Post three things for which I am grateful on my updates Imagine myself happy. Spend 30 seconds each day imagining myself happy. At one point a few years ago a therapist said when you do this your brain codes it as a memory and it can help overall mood and be a coping skill for anxiety Self-Affirmation: Write three nice things about myself when I do my updates. That should about cover it
  11. So, while holding office hours .... ... I wrote up the next challenge. Well, here we go again. We’re moving. Again. At least, this time, we are moving to a location that I know well and where we already have friends and family. Yes, Virginia, we’re moving home!! The goals for this challenge are to: Change residences and transport our stuff successfully. This shouldn’t be too hard. We’re packing and have movers lined up to do the heavy lifting … literally. Nudge blood pressure down to less than 120/80 Keep weight within 1% of 150 pounds. Keep MIND score above 8.5 each week Prepare for the Trek Pack and tidy up the old house for sale. This is a little hard to measure. We will succeed at it because we must. We might not get all of the spiffing up done before the end of the challenge (or the house sells …), but we will be moved unless something drastic and unforeseeable happens. Travel 240 miles More cardio!!! The distance between our current house and our new house is about 240 miles. I won’t rack up this distance in the 35 days of the challenge (nearly 7 miles per day, which is a lot for a desk worker but not much compared with the D&D assumption of 30 miles per day), but I’m going to set the distance and get as far as I can get …. picking it back up for the next challenge. That also gives me time to do the pre-journey stuff in both the game world and real world. Since cardio helps decrease my stress and blood pressure, this is a strong success contributor. I’ll be counting the distance on my FitBit … so every step counts. If I bike or row, I’ll add that distance separately. Forage for Health Keep tracking on the MIND diet with my Google sheet. This is going well and is pretty easy to maintain without feeling deprived. Has it helped my blood pressure?? Hard to say, but it is arguably a healthy plan no matter what the measurable results. I am maintaining my current weight, and increasing some strength measures. Keep Growing …. Stronger! Strength training is one area at risk during the move. I’ll maintain my gym membership until the end of May, and I have plenty of basement gym equipment, but I need to set a goal to make sure that it doesn’t fall by the way. Ok, 10 strength sessions of any type. Travel with Friends and Meet Strangers MAYBE, I will be able to write some more story episodes as I go. I do have a party of Strixhaven students (including Khrum!) that will be taking the journey with me. They can help battle foes along the way with their various skills. Misc Tools Tracking spreadsheet Hevy app How to Play D&D By Yourself Uncharted Journeys This seems a little light, but it's going to be a busy 6 weeks, and I don't want to stress out and quit because I got overwhelmed with details.
  12. I write this challenge at the end of a successful Pajama day and am feeling content and mellow. I think that means let's stick with what's working. Nutrition: Imma Keep Cooking Strength: Imma Keep Powerlifting Technically, as a member of the clergy, I have to quibble with this, but I can't seem to remember why... Sleep: This is important, don't not do it LOTR Gifs: Remember Them Happy Challenge everyone!
  13. My armor is contempt. My shield is discipline. My sword is fury. Challenge Inspiration: We've been talking character classes again lately. The Great Move™ took us to realms new and challenging, deep into the woods and on the frontier of nearest civilization. In doing so, we've learned the value of self-reliance and self-mastery; both necessary to truly thrive away from all the conveniences I've ever known, and picking up traits and skills of great important to our survival. We have both of us accidentally taken an unplanned multi-class dip into Druid in order to embrace homesteading, animal husbandry, and self-sufficiency in balance with nature (blame the Conservation Committee). But my primary traits, my master class of late, is something more martial. More fiery. More...ironclad. Strength and Constitution, with Will to match. My crusade may be long passed, my hands more used to the shovel and plow than my old sword, but my conviction has not failed. My hands no less calloused by work. My heart remiss, almost empty somehow, but craving the cold iron of discipline and the burning fury of militant dedication to a cause greater than oneself. But the greatest cause of all is... what I choose to make of myself. Out of curiosity I recently googled the difference between a Cleric and Paladin within the realm of D&D; according to many, the Cleric is chosen by their god and a Paladin strives to be worthy of their chosen celestial patron. Here I am, full of righteous fury for Total Life Reform, filled with conviction and relentless purpose, so an Oath of Conquest speaks to my soul. My religion is the Iron Vigil, my Order one of the Sacred Flame; I am the Knight-Errant of Fire Within & Iron Without. So shall I nurture the bright flame of passion and motivation, and feed it well, knowing that no fire burns eternal and every ember needs constant fueling and guidance. It will take the iron discipline of willpower that forges my body on the anvil of war to achieve my health goals. The Sanctum Parabellum awaits. May the bridges I burn light the way. Here lay the Tenets of my Iron Vigil: Suffer not the profane (body) to exist. Uphold the glory of the Sacred Flame. Abhor chaos. Destroy indolence. No commitment shall be left unfulfilled, no matter the odds. A reminder from my Battle Log: To slay the Great Dragon: [FLAME, GRANT ME STRENGTH!]: 5 garage gym workouts per week. [TEMPLAR'S VERDICT]: Row 5 minutes or more 5 times, and complete 3 morning rucks weekly. [LITANY OF THE IRON VIGIL]: Check-in on the Forums 4 times per week, and weigh-in for the 12lbs/12wks PvP. [FIRE WITHIN, IRON WITHOUT]: Don't eat like an Asshole, track and stay within calorie limits (Every. Single. Day.) In the name of the Sacred Fire, let none stand before me.
  14. One of the things that's become revealed to me, both in personal reflection and in my spiritual practices, is the wholesome goodness of focusing on the present and being grateful for what I have now. In addiy tion, focusingm on the now and gratitude for what I already have leads naturally to good Stewardship of that which has been entrusted. I have an amazing wife. I'm grateful for Sra. Tanque. Our relationship is a good thing, and intentional work on the relationship is no less than it deserves I have an amazing daughter. Remembering how grateful I am to have her in my life lends itself into more intentional focus on being a good father. I have a good job, and schedule that is a two edged sword. I like chaplaining and visiting sick people. I have an odd schedule, and I can either focus on what I don't like about it, or I can reflect on all the benefits that come with being off during the week, like getting to the gym during business hours when it isn't as busy. I have an awesome body, and I can be grateful for all it can do and take good care of it by lifting and stretching. I have a good kitchen, and I can honor it by cooking good food for me and my family. I have amazing friends on here. I'll keep following their threads.
  15. My Happy New Year I’ve been blessed in abundance in 2022, with the end of the year glittering with moments of miracles and love. That doesn’t mean it was easy, or simple, or that there isn’t work left to do. In many ways, this land of abundance is alien, and I’m making my way into 2023 a little star-struck from it all, and with no small amount of culture shock. How to live in this space, amplify it and honor it? How to make sure I don’t squander the gifts with a scarcity mindset, or from anxiety? How can I go forward in love? This is a time of having set down the weapons; the sword stands at rest in its scabbard; the bow has been unstrung. There is no fight and I have no enemies. The Way forward is one of gentleness, a time of tending to my Self and my Spirit as I would tend a newly-laid garden bed, rich and fertile. In the lunar calendar, this is the end of the year, a time when all things should be squared away, buttoned up, and arguments ironed out. For the Celts, this was a time of looking forward as the earth tilts towards the light, culminating in Imbolc, a time to sweep the house and set the fields to right for the coming gifts of Spring. The Christian liturgical calendar brings Epiphany, a time of revelation and gifts, the joy of the end of waiting in the dark, the manifestation of the miracle. These traditions focus on looking at our everyday lives in ways that we can prepare for the coming abundance, making ourselves ready to receive very real blessings. This challenge, the goal is to take stock, see what’s what, and make a plan from there. Will there be a spreadsheet? Possibly, but the numbers are less important than the measurement. Because the universe loves me and wants me to be happy.
  16. Consistency was something I really worked on when I got back to the forums lo back in 2015. Consistency will serve me well now. I'm making it a focus this challenge because there are many things upcoming that will disrupt routine and make consistency difficult. I joined the YMCA in December, hoping to get acclimated to this particular gym and to get through initial DOMS before the resolutioners hit in January. This has been successful. A typical week looks like this: No workout on Sunday but get steps (7k) in thanks to work Lift on Monday Walk on Tuesday Lift on Wednesday Focus on getting steps at work on Thursday and Friday Rest Saturday. Zero week and week 1 of this week are not typical. Little Bit has been sick, and while we are hoping she gets over it soon, it is a variable. There is a family get together on the 28th, though that's in the evening. Also, Little Bit is home all week. If I can lift Monday and Wednesday, all is well and good. If I can't lift Monday, I'll shoot for Tuesday, and shift Wednesday's workout to Saturday. Same goes if I can lift Monday but Not Wednesday. Week 1 Little Bit is off from day school on Monday But Sra. Tanque and I have to work. Coordinating care with my parents (driving there and back) may complicate matters, but I'll shoot for the same contingency plan as zero week. The other variable is the New Years Resolution crowd all month long. I'm not avoiding the gym, but I am expecting to need some flexibility on my part for January while I'm at the gym. So, the plan is lift days on Mondays and Wednesdays, Walks on Tuesdays, being active at work Sundays, Thursdays and Fridays, and using Saturday as a catch-up day if needed.
  17. Last challenge was about embracing the stillness, and as we enter the final days of the year, the nights seem to be gobbling up the daylight, and the thin sunshine buffeted by wind, rain, and and a cold that crawls through the cracks. I have a list of things that need to be buttoned up before the end of the year. My focus this round is to go slowly, making time and space for what supports and sustains me. I've found that when I do this, and go gently, all the rest falls into place. Happy Solstice, friends.
  18. After seeing a deadlift gif on imgur I realized I very much want to get back to barbell training. I researched options and found that the YMCA two miles from my house is reasonable and has a ton of amenities, including three deadlift platforms and several squat racks, as well as a few benches. I've fizzeled with consistency on KettleBells, which I won't eliminate, but it's time to return to powerlifting. Because of budgeting reasons I won't join the Y until the first of the month, and because of scheduling reasons it probably won't be till Monday of next week that I get in for a workout. Having said that, I am ready to get back over, under, in front of, and other prepositions relating to the position of the barbell. I'll do KettleBells for zero week, and keep up with step goals, as well as cooking. I don't get as into describing the cooking process as I used to, but be warned, this is not a thread to read when you are hungry. I'm also dealing with pre-diabetes A1C levels, so I will not have dessert or candy except on Christmas day (or whenever we get together, I'll work the afternoon of Christmas Day). The plan for the mini challenge is to work out a 5x5 plan for barbell lifts. What I'm planning is to start with Squats on Monday, and Dumbell OHP with Dumbell Bent over Rows, then on Wednesday do Deadlifts and Bench. I also plan to throw some accessories and some bodyweight warm ups in there. My hope is to get a routine going so when the flood of New years Resolutioners hits in January I'm not one of them but actually know what I'm doing so I can get in and out. The way my schedule works Friday would be very difficult to get to the gym without seriously disrupting my sleep, and I don't sleep enough as it is. Saturday is family day, it's the only day everyone is off work and school. I might experiment with doing swings on Fridays at some point in the day. I'm going to keep my step goal at seven thousand steps a day for this challenge, with Saturday as a rest day.
  19. This challenge is a little different, although I am still working on attaining a healthy weight (152 by the end of November ....). My major goal is to manage my mental health and to be calm, rational, and adulting by the end of the year. With the approaching holidays, I am feeling dread and stress. Not at levels that would send me to a health professional or counselor, but enough that I know I need to institute self care routines to head off problems. For the most part, I think that small changes will have a big impact. I have been noticing that I am spending too much time online with social media and news sources, and it is definitely stressing me out. In addition, some nasty graffiti has been appearing on campus. This wouldn't stress me out, but the campus reaction and blame-game is definitely pushing me over the edge. Especially since, there is little to nothing that I can do about any of it. My first sensei, may he rest in peace, always told me that I should remain relaxed until an opponent came into the "red-zone" --- the point at which they could strike me. To be calm and relaxed in the center of the my circle was the goal then. And I think it needs to be the major goal for the next challenge. How?? Working on it ..... but here are a few ideas: A social media and online news fast. Other than Nerd Fitness forums. Meditate Hang with my peeps: Pound class, pottery class, CrossFit sessions, etc. Be with people off-campus. In fact, be off campus unless I am in class or holding office hours. Improve 5K time. My last attempt was 48 minutes. I can beat that if I just keep working on it gradually. I like the Zombies, Run! app. Lat pulldown max of 100 pounds. I already dropped a bunch of Discord server memberships. Not that I am on Discord very often .... Facebook is more of a problem. I turned off "news" notifications on my cell phone. I am not going to log!! That can also become a point of stress. I will come and describe what I am doing and how I am feeling. Time to ....
  20. I had my A1C checked for my upcoming physical on Tuesday, and it read 5.9, which is right in the middle of the pre-diabetes range. This happened two years ago after too much candy during the early days of the lock down, and it went away after I stopped eating candy and sweets. That's the plan again. I work as a hospital chaplain in a city with some of the worst diabetes rates in the nation. I see people living with dialysis, blindness, and amputations every day. That won't be me. Steps is something I've made a priority recently. Last challenge my target was 6500 steps every day. In the process of writing this challenge I set my target to 7,000 steps per day. I had originally planned to keep increasing my target by 500 steps every challenge till I got to 10,000, till it was pointed out that is an arbitrary number set by the people who invented the first pedometer in Japan in the 60s. Somewhere between 7-8 thousand steps a day seems to be enough to get the benefit of a step-goal, so I'll probably go up to 8,000 and just keep it there. Swings is about Kettlebells. I modified the NF Beginnner KB workout to something that works for me. Three rounds of: 8 halos each direction 10 squats (Bodyweight for now till I drop some pounds) 10 Overhead Press each arm 15 swings 8 Bent over Rows each arm I also do the cooking in our house and write about it, so don't come to my thread hungry. I've been told my descriptions of dinner are hunger inducing.
  21. I'm going to stick to what works, splitting the KB workout into arms and legs and doing one or the other M-Sat. I'm also going to cook as much as possible and eat restaurant food as little as possible. I'm also going to focus on step count this challenge, a new thing! I'll use the NF Walking challenge as a spur to focus on step count. Last week I set the goal steps on my tracker from 6k to 6.5k steps, with the goal of getting to 10k per day.
  22. I've decided to embrace RangerBrain and enjoy some variety as well as maintain a consistent core of practice. Base: Log food and activity in WW's app Do SOME sort of workout daily Participate in the NF Walking challenge All of the base goals are on a spectrum of success, and any activity that is an improvement on the slough of despair and inaction will count as success. Fun: The Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos is the inspiration for daily activities and/or study. Every day, I'll do something that would fit within the focus of the 5 Strixhaven University colleges. More about that will emerge as the challenge progresses, but I will be taking a pottery class (throwing on the wheel) during the challenge. Since this is a fairly light semester, I MAY also write some fanfiction as I go.
  23. Last challenge worked. I'm going to do what works. Every time I make my workouts "easier" I gain consistency and end up doing more reps over the course of a challenge than trying to go all out and only working out sporadically. When I split the NF Beginner KB workout into the arm section and the leg section, and did each on alternate days, I started being very consistent. Ergo: Goals KB workouts (alternating legs and arms) 4-6 times a week Everything else is a bonus. I really want to lock down that movement consistency.
  24. Lately I've been chasing my old consistency, and in order to do that I will remember that something is immeasurably better than nothing. I'm bringing back my old standby of giving myself full credit for a workout if I do the first rep, anything else is a bonus. Goals: Do the KB workout 3 times a week, or split it into upper and lower body portions and do six workouts a week. Walk a little Cook That's it. In honor of the late Mr. Willes, I present some Gifs
  25. I'm going to set up a challenge that mostly doesn't require the computer and internet connection because we'll be on vacation for the last two weeks of the challenge!! I'll probably have my computer, but based on prior trips, I may not be have a decent internet connection unless we are in port. The goal is to draw 6 x week number cards from a mixed deck ... and then do them. So, week 1, that's 6 cards. And week 5 .... that's 30! If I don't clear the cards for the week, I have to pay a forfeit to church or charity to resurrect me. There's no guarantee that the resurrection spell will work correctly, and I could end up cursed or undead or ?? I can use the Goodberry spell (one per Omega 3 rich food eaten) to undo the damage of one card missed. Cardio: terrain cards Strength: monster/villain cards Balance/flexibility: yoga, BOSU ball workout, any other agility related thing I can think of Nutrition: Omega-3 rich foods (cast the "Goodberries" spell for each one) Social: Place and encounter cards Omega-3s: Itchy skin and thinning hair .... hoping that it is just because 1) I have gotten older and 2) I have been eating more animal-based fats than vegetable-based fats. And ... Alaska. Hello .... let's eat some salmon!! A friend of mine from the SCA commented that she needs to figure out how to "people" again, and I agree. Teaching doesn't engage the small talk and social interactions, and I need to practice before I get on a boat for an 10-day cruise full of strangers. I think I can mostly do this with my Pathfinder and MTG Forgotten Realms cards, plus the ones that I am making. HUM >>> might get creative and actually make my own "playing" cards for the "game"??? And .... I might pick up some tokens to represent healing potions. For someone who doesn't currently play D & D, I'm looking at a lot of game props to help with this. I'm still in search of the dragon. The dragon is a lifestyle and set of habits to support health and a "normal" body weight and BF%. Not quite there, but last challenge, I pretty much coasted on habits and didn't gain weight. Didn't lose it or reduce BF% .... so that means I AM getting close. It just needs some minor adjustments.
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