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  1. This is me for the past… long while. Tired and unmotivated. And frankly, I still am. I know I’m capable of so much more, but I just haven’t had the energy for it. I have noticed that I get the most done during the school day. I am not able to wake up any earlier than I already do (trust me, I’ve tried); and by the time I get home from school, I’m so exhausted that I usually just lay down in bed for the rest of the night. So, I’m going to try a new exercise strategy this time around: Go to the gym while I’m on campus. Don’t expect to get it done at home. GO TO THE GYM. I also need to get a better handle on the things I put in my mouth! I am pretty good about meal prep and having healthy foods available; but while I’m at school, if I run out of snacks, the moment I become hungry I am tempted to buy food and drinks! That is a problem. I know I’m capable of much more than I’ve been doing, because I’ve done much more in the past. So I’m going to do my best to push through this tough time in my life, even if it’s a nanomoment at a time. I have it in me, somewhere. I just have to figure out how to unbury it. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I’ve started a bullet journal, and I’m going to design a spread in it to keep track of my goals: ~ work out AT THE GYM [3 times per week] ~ eat healthy [5 days per week] ~ didn’t buy consumables at school [5 days per week] [weekends don't count, cos I'm not at school anyways!! has to be during the business week] ~ read my Bible [3 days per week] [getting back into the habit, so starting small]
  2. Shamelessly stolen from [mention=53735]jonfirestar[/mention]: The hole is the grind is the challenge is the goals. Think about how insulted you are when someone (probably someone with a very long beard and a hunch back) tells you you lack discipline! The truth hurts, doesn't it. What a weak minded soul, to lack discipline. What kind of warrior (or hole-digger, for that matter) can you be? Well, excuse my French, but EFF THAT. I'm tired of being soft, physically and mentally. I'm tired of not doing what I say I'm going to do. Enough is enough. Let the grind begin. GOAL #1. Do things. I often have workout goals, which is great... but I want to give myself credit for all activity, large and small, to encourage a mentality of moving all the time. I'll probably add to this list as time goes on, but for starters: 1 dog walk - 1 pt 10 push ups - 1 pt 3 chinups or 5 reverse pull ups - 1 pt 20 snatches per side - 1 pt 20 weighted squats - 1 pt 100 swings - 2 pts 25min+ Yoga video - 7 pts 20min+ At home KB session - 8 pts Kettlebell class - 15 pts Aiming for 40 points per week. The glory of this is that it's super grindy. Most things give very little credit in and of themselves, but add it all up, and it's worth something real. A=160 pts B=120pts C=80pts D=40pts GOAL #2. Eat well. 5 pts per week - Meal plan and prep 1x per week. 1 pts per day - Avoid dessert. (I don't even like sweet stuff, but its so ubiquitous this time of year, I find myself eating it, and it's NEVER worth it.) 1 pts per day - Track all food. I know it's imprecise, but it keeps me honest. 1 pts per day - Eat your damn vegetables. At least one serving per meal. I LIKE vegetables. But I get into bad habits sometimes. 26 points per week. A=104 pts B=90pts C=76pts D=62pts Goal #3. Meditate. This is another goal that I've had in the past, that I often fail at. Why? It's not difficult? Anyways, I am finding my new job, which I do love, is definitely taxing my mental resources more than my previous one, and meditating absolutely helps. This is all about trying to stay sane. I will aim to meditate at least once one each weekday. A=20 pts B=16pts C=12pts D=8pts I'm going to leave this challenge at that. The grind isn't about getting fancy or aiming so high - it's just about getting through it and getting what you need out of it. Let it begin.
  3. "Do, or do not. There is no try." - Yoda Here we go "again". My first challenge back in November and intro to the Rebellion didn't go quite as planned so here I am again, starting fresh and looking for a respawn. I'm a huge Star Wars fan and for that reason I see no other better theme than Star Wars for this challenge. I am basically a new Jedi in training... unlearning bad habits, learning new good habits and acquiring a skill set to defend myself and defeat the Dark Side wherever they should rear their ugly mugs. Overarching Goal: - Get under 200lbs again!!! At one point in 2012 I believe it was, I was 242lbs at a height of 5'9" and decided that enough was enough. I changed my diet and started working our regularly. In about 6 months I dropped all the way to 191lbs and had never felt better in my life. Well needless to say that I am back to square one and would like to see those results again. My current stats are similar to the last starting point, 5'9" and 241.7lbs as of this morning. I know it won't be easy but one step at a time and I know I can get back to where I once was, and even progress further in my fitness abilities! Diet and Fitness: Mind Over Matter - Attend Crossfit 3x Week - Eat within my suggested macros (2500 cals, 40P/30C/30F breakdown) I remember the last time that I lost weight via exercising and eating healthy that the first month or so was a bit of a mind fuck for me. I had to break habits that we years old and basically hit the RESET button. Hence the "Mind Over Matter" mantra. This isn't an impossible endeavor, this isn't even ground breaking work, this is just something that I have to face head on and get through in order to build good habits and get back into a new routine. LUL Challenge: LUL = Level Up Your Life LMAO - Stick to budget - Read One book This year the fiancee and I are saving like mad for a down payment on a house so that we can house shop near the end of the year! Woot woot, I love house shopping lol. A lot of people find it the most stressful time in their life but I look at buying a new house as a new beginning, a chance to build a new life, an opening of a door of sorts into the future where anything is possible. So my goal is to stick to my budget and savings plan in order to buy that house near the end of the year! Also I would like to take the time to read one book a month and no time like the present to start. I spend so much time playing video games, or watching TV that I should be able to find the time to finish at least one book per month! All right, goals are out there, now time to get into action! Let's do this folks!
  4. My 2016 -- by all measures -- has been a very stressful year. The first half of the year was dominated by my mother's declining health and her passing in June. The second half of the year has been a process of putting the pieces back together again, only to have them fall apart in November with sickness and my son's learning difficulties. At one point, I had managed to handle all of that stress with consistent exercise and had dropped 12 pounds since January and was running my fastest 5K's in a very long time. Unfortunately, the last scale measurement showed 6 of those pounds had come back. But, the last week-ish of the last challenge proved to me that it's not over until it's over. I accomplished half of my challenge goals in those last 10 days. That and @mr_willes comment of have provided the theme for my last challenge of 2016. I'm going to do my best to bring that 2016 total weight loss number back to the 12 pounds it was previously. I'm going to finish out 2016 with such a kick ass challenge that come New Year's Eve, I might even look back on 2016 somewhat fondly. How? Goal #1: Lift heavy things. The biggest weight loss I experienced this last year was when I was lifting heavy things and running sprints. So, I'm going to lift heavy things, at least 3x per week. This shouldn't be that hard. That's not that much time. I know the holidays and everything, but those holidays are SUPER stressful to because...family. I be much less stressed by lifting heavy things. Goal #2: Sprint. This is partly because the weather around here is going to make it more difficult to run long distances and partly because it helped with fat loss in the past. Plus, long runs on a treadmill inside bore the hell out of me. So, sprints. Twice a week. Goal #3: Gratitude Journal. I started this last challenge and I think it has made me a more positive person. I certain have a lot to be grateful for when I stop and think about it. So, I'm prioritizing the stopping and thinking. I'm going to remain positive through these holidays and work on getting shit done. Every day. Goal #4: Paleo-ish. I really love training and feel like something is missing when I don't exercise. Unfortunately, I really love eating and feel like something is missing when I don't eat all kinds of crap. So, building on my diet hacking of the last challenge, I'm adding some guidelines on how I grade my meals. Instead of a gut reaction to what I ate, I'm going to grade it on whether or not it fits the Primal guidelines of eating. It's time to stop collecting underpants and be specific about diet. I can't out train my fork no matter how much I want or think I can. So, I'm going to start doing this for realz to finish 2016 with a bang and setup 2017 for some kickass success. I think that should do it. I will probably still go for a longer run on weekends because I like running. But, the distance running will take a backseat to lifting this winter starting now. If it doesn't have the success I'm looking for, I'll revisit and tweak in January. I also plan on taking some body measurements tonight to use those as part of the judging criteria for success rather than leaving it all up to the scale.
  5. ...who wanted to rank among the best. These are my some of favorite characters. I have read their story, played their game, watched their show. They are who I strive to be and turn to for motivation. And thus, begins my story. :o) Main Story Quests: Achieve the Splits, Go Down to 18% Body Fat, Eat Healthier This Year: Horizon 2017 Dawn ~ Trophy Guide and Roadmap 2016 Challenges: Team RWBY Training, Overwatch Team Training 2017 Challenges: X-men
  6. Owlet vs Demogorgon or: How I Learned to Love the Upside Down (yeah, yeah, I know, my references are getting all mixed up. Don't care) * I will do my best to avoid Stranger Things spoilers but advance at your own risk...* It's War! The Battle To Sit Up Straight did not end so well for either side and things have escalated somewhat... My neck has developed a fun habit of seizing up/going into spasm/basically not performing it's usual neck duties to a satisfactory standard. Owls should be able to swivel their heads right around after all, so I'm barely an owl right now. The nights are long and dark, the storm clouds gathered weeks ago and continue to dump rain everywhere with careless abandon. Also, general anxiety about life ,stuff, the usual. So, lately I've been finding myself venturing into The Upside Down - a darker, scarier version of this world, an alternative universe if you will: And deep within The Upside Down lurks the Demogorgon. You don't want to come across this wee beastie, trust me. He's big and creepy and has a hell of an appetite . It really is best to run when this guy turns up to the party. But as for escaping The Upside Down, that's a little trickier. The more you fight it, the further in you sink... So, to the challenge! For the next few weeks, my priority is to avoid having any sort of breakdown due to stress, anxiety, depression etc etc. The only way out of breakdown land/the upside down, is to be kind to myself, recognise my limits and stick within them, do everything I can to get fit and healthy again so I can get back on track to the land of awesome sauce. It's a work in progress, but here's the plan so far: Fitness: Walking: Since I can't do full workouts at the moment, and I'm not getting nearly enough vitamin D, it's time to ramp up the lunchtime walks again. Aim for at least 3 per week Neck Rehab: do whatever exercises and stretches the physiotherapist and osteopath give me to do Limited bodyweight exercises: work out which ones I can still do eg squats, lunges, do 2X per week Diet: Paleo-ish: avoid refined carbs, excessive sugar. Maybe reintroduce some rice. Balance: make sure meals provide a good mix of nutrients. Life Stuff: Bedtime: in bed by 10:30, lights out by 11:30. Meditation: continue with 100 day challenge Art: life drawing each monday, or at least 2 hours of art at home Getting to bed on time will be key to my escape plan - being tired gets me down and makes me fragile, keeping me in The Upside Down. Walking might turn out to be quite important too since I've been feeling very wintery and blue. Some fresh air and sunshine might be just the ticket. Other than that I will be trying to pay close attention to my mood and doing things to improve it - whether that is reaching out to friends, making a blanket nest on the couch for a night of movies, going horse riding, or treating myself to some waffles: (promise I won't shoplift though ) At the end of the day, these goals are here to make me feel better, so if achieving them causes stress than alleviating it, I will reassess. The main thing is, by the end of this challenge I'll be feeling back to my normal self and ready to take on any old demogorgon that dares cross my path.
  7. Hello, friends! I'm working on my respawn and have been doing pretty well for the last two weeks, at least in terms of consistency. I'd been thinking of journaling about my struggles and remembered that I already have a place I can do that! So I'll update this as often as possible, but as a full-time grad student, part-time graduate assistant, and part-time counseling intern, time is a very difficult thing to find. Anyway, hello again! I'll write more after my classes today.
  8. Introduction: I just completed my first successful challenge as a Rebel after three previously-failed attempts and I'm really excited about this next one. I nearly joined the Rangers because I felt like their fitness goals aligned with my own, but the Druids have always been attractive for their introspectiveness. I really want to find myself. Also, I've always had this voice in my head saying that someday it'd be nice to do yoga and meditate regularly. When I almost went Ranger, I was thinking that I could put off the yoga and meditation for another month, but I figure why not try to learn and kickstart my new prospective habits during this challenge. Really though I feel like I might be a combination of Ranger and Druid, like a wizard who's wise but can also kick some ass. And then it hit me like a low-hanging archway in a Hobbit hole: I want to be Gandalf the White! I'll admit that I've only seen the movies and only read "The Hobbit," but according to his origin story, his name was Olórin before he was sent to Middle-earth to help those who opposed Sauron. I often find myself feeling the same as Olórin, but I'm here because I want to overcome my fear. In an effort to do that, I recently joined the Academy to take my fitness to another level and I'm loving it so far. I want to transform myself from Olórin to Gandalf the Grey and eventually fight a Balrog to the death (or whatever the Nerd Fitness equivalent is) to be reborn as Gandalf the White. Main Quest: My 30th birthday is in October. I'd like to lose 30 pounds and get down to 200 by then. Quest 1: Complete my assigned Bodyweight Level 2 exercises three times a week. I've already scheduled them in my calendar for this month. A = Complete workout 3 times a week. B = Complete workout 2 times a week. C = Complete workout 1 time a week. D = Complete 0 workouts in a week, but do some other form of exercise or physical activity (walking, yard work or potentially yoga). F = No physical activity. Quest 2: Walk every day. On workout days, I will walk at least 5-10 minutes. On my rest days, I will walk at least 30 minutes on the treadmill. I found success with this on my last challenge while watching The Flash. (I'm almost done with season 1!) A = Walk more than 6-7 days a week. B = Walk 4-5 days a week. C = Walk 2-3 day a week. D = Walk 1 day a week. F = No walking. Quest 3: Drink less alcohol. This was a serious struggle on my last challenge, but I know I can make progress. I've adjusted slightly to give myself wiggle room and to better track myself. A = Have no more than 3 drinks per week. B = Have no more than 5 drinks per week. C = Have no more than 7 drinks per week. D = Have no more than 9 drinks per week. F = Anything more than that. Quest 4: Cook paleo-ish meals more often, eat out less. This is not just a weight loss goal but a money-saving goal. I had quite a bit of success with this on my last challenge, but I want to keep at it to make sure I'm adopting this as a long-term Hobbit — I mean, habit. A = Eat out no more than 2 times a week. B = Eat out no more than 4 times a week. C = Eat out no more than 6 times a week. D = Eat out no more than 8 times a week. F = Eat out more than 8 times a week. Quest 5: Investigate yoga/meditation and find a routine that fits into my life. I used to dabble in yoga (on my Wii Fit) as well as meditation (via Buddhism — though I'm not a Buddhist), but I'm a noob. First I want to educate myself, then jump into it as soon as possible, either practicing at home or even (gasp!) taking a class locally. A = Learn more about yoga/meditation and take a yoga class by the end of the first week (before June 19). C = Learn more about yoga/meditation, but don't take a class in the first week. F = Don't do anything. Life Quest: Read more, avoid Netflix and write, damn it! I used to consider myself a writer, but outside of work I've slacked off. I want to become a writer again. Steve has been a huge inspiration with this — the fact that he knew he was terrible but kept working at it and published a book, which I'm currently reading. I've always been too afraid to really write because I fear that I'll never be good enough to get published. But I won't get better if I don't practice for 10,000 hours. I feel like I've sort of kick started this by writing here in the forums, but I want to write, with a pen/pencil and paper, beyond this and work. Motivation: I feel like my lack of self confidence is a big obstacle that gets in the way of enjoying life and taking chances. I'd like to look good, so I can feel good and live life to the fullest.
  9. Putting this up real fast due to coming back the night a challenge started...plus, do frivolous details real matter… Goal 1: Track my attempted paleo-ish intake Yippee, back to tracking food…..but not only that, I am also trying to go at least 80/20. This will be done by weekly meal prepping so most all meals will be measured and ready to eat. Target: track all intake into MFP and make at least 16 meals in the week as paleo-ish. Goal 2: Tackle the Academy I have logged back into the newly improved NF Academy and have started the Body Weight track and am starting at level 2. Target: 3 NF Academy BW workouts a week. Goal 3: Get on the mats I have finally returned to training back at the academy, now to make it a priority. Target: train 3 times a week Goal 4: Sleep With so much going on and training again I need sleep…well more/better sleep. Target: bedtime is 2230 so I get at least 6 hours a night. Again, making this fast as I just saw a new challenge started and its 32 mins past my bed time.
  10. "My daddy's smarter than Einstein, stronger than Hercules, and can light a fire with a snap of his fingers! Are you as good as my daddy, mister? Not if you don't visit the Gatherer's Garden, you aren't!" Aaaand I'm back! Grad school's been hella busy (did I seriously just say that?), but I'm ready and excited to start my first 6WC as a n00b assassin. I've decided on a Bioshock theme this time around, since I've recently been thinking about the games (thanks, Timehop). Who's ready to evolve?? Main Quest: Slim-Down Okay, so this wasn't actually a usable gene tonic in the games, but it was certainly advertised! My long-term main quest is to decrease my BF% from 24-26% to 14-16%. Let me go ahead and restate that it's a LONG-TERM goal, just to remind myself that patience is a thing that will serve me well here. Fun Fact: In Rapture, you could choose to receive either the Slim-Down or Telekinesis plasmid for free with a root canal. I've had 2 (or is it 3..?) root canals already, and I've yet to get a free plasmid with the procedure... ='[ Quest 1: Extra Nutrition, Fountain of Youth (+3 CON) Rapture probably isn't the best place to grab a snack, seeing as the edibles mainly consisted of things like alcohol, potato chips, and canned goods. Thankfully, I'm in Athens and have access to grocery stores. For this challenge, I'll be cutting out grains and limiting dairy (super loose, "paleo-my-way" type), as well as intentionally drinking more water. Should be attainable, seeing as I already don't eat many grains/dairy, though the local bakery (Fluff) is constantly calling my name, and I've got one hell of a sweet tooth. Drinking enough water during the day is more of a struggle for me than I generally realize, but it's nothing I can't fix with a bit of determination. I'll be tracking my meals/water on TwoGrand, which my friend will be using for added accountability. Goal: Drink all of the water and stick to no grains/limited dairy 90-100% of the time; I don't expect perfection--my best will do just fine ;] Quest 2: Sports Boost (+3 STR, +3 STA) While this technically is more about speed, I'm tailoring it to be a bit more broad (does that mean I also have the Clever Inventor tonic? I'm going with yes.). The goal for this quest is to work out 3-4 times a week, likely doing more than that when possible. I just bought YAYOG, so I'm going to look into that in the upcoming weeks, hopefully checking out the program tomorrow morning (I generally start my week--and therefore my challenge--on Sunday). I'll be typing up a more specific program tomorrow when I'm not dead tired. Goal: Work out 3-4x per week; I'm a hero! Quest 3: Armored Shell, Human Inferno (+3 DEX) This goal is all about injury prevention and maximizing potential, though I wish I were actually going to be a human inferno. I'll be working on flexibility and mobility, therefore increasing my body's defenses (injury prevention) and offenses (maximizing potential). Similar to the role of water in my life, I've tended to neglect this area of fitness, so I've decided to make it a main part of this challenge. Goal: Perform mobility routine once a day (add some simple stretching through the day), 5-7 days a week; I'm going to shoot for every day, but I realize that habits aren't formed overnight. Life Quest: Brain Boost (+3 WIS) Another gene tonic that's only sort of mentioned in the games. I've just past the halfway point in my first semester of graduate school, and I've been doing really well in my courses. With only a bit over a month left, I'm determined to keep that trend going and kick ass for the rest of the semester. I've got a couple projects and a presentation left to do, so I'll be focusing much of my brain power on those. Goal: Finish the semester like a boss because I'm awesome ;D ---------------------- Well, now that I've finished my novel, I think it's bed time. More on this tomorrow, my friends.
  11. My life quest continues to be: become fit (i.e. not overweight and not skinny-but-weak), strong (with an emphasis on bodyweight exercises and functional fitness), and flexible. I finished my last challenge but I was so far behind in posting that I didn't post that. Given that I didn't tell anyone I was done, I also didn't adjust my stats, so we'll just pretend that one never happened. Looking back over my last several challenges, I realized that I had tried to do too much too soon in my last one. Once I realized I couldn't hit all of my goals I felt like a failure and stopped posting. Once I stopped posting, I lost my support system. I didn't quit, but I certainly didn't give it all I could after I realized I couldn't do it all. I need to be able to reach or come close to my goals or I lose my drive - this is a good thing to know about myself. I also realized/remembered that I very quickly become focused on scale number to the exclusion of all sorts of other important things. I would like to lose weight, but it won't be part of this challenge - possibly a byproduct, but not something I'm grading myself on. This challenge: 1. Eat "clean" 90% of the time (indulge 2 meals a week) (CHA = 2, WIS = 1) I've discovered that I feel better if I avoid most grain products so that won't be a problem. Staying away from social drinking will be the challenge. If I have a meal that would otherwise be clean but also have alcohol it isn't a clean meal. 0-1 extra meal = A 2-3 extra meal = B 3-4 extra meal = C 5-6 = D >6 = F 2. Exercise for at least 10 minutes 6 days a week (STR = 3, DEX = 1) This can be anything. 10 minutes of stretching or 10 minutes of burpees or anything in between. It has to be above baseline: e.g. 10 minutes of walking counts, but walking the kids to and from daycare doesn't count since I'd do that anyhow. Skip 3 or fewer days = A 4-6 = B 7-9 = C 10-12 = D >12 = F 3. Run at least 15 minutes OR do 3 sets of 10 pull-up practice at least 3 days a week (STA = 4, STR = 2) Yup. There's a lot of overlap with #2. That's ok. These are two skills I want to work on and this prevents me from sliding into 10 minutes of gentle stretching or casual moseying every day while not eliminating the probability of casual moseying being needed some days. Miss 0-2 = A 3-4 sessions = B 5-6 = C 7-9 = D 10+ = F Life Quest: To enjoy walking into my house Do the Flylady plan OR spend 15 minutes cleaning 6 days a week. (WIS = 1 CHA = 1) Skip 3 or fewer days = A 4-6 = B 7-9 = C 10-12 = D >12 = F
  12. The past few months have absolutely devastated all my healthy routines. Its time to get back on track. This winter I was completely levelled by a vitamin D deficiency and my ongoing depression and anxiety problems. This also explains why my last two challenges have tanked, and I haven't been able to follow a fitness plan for more than two weeks without getting derailed. I've been to the doctor about both of these, and am seeing a counsellor regularly about the depression. I've also got some meds now to help me out. I am feeling much, much better and am ready to take on this challenge. My main emphasis this challenge is to lose weight. I have made a great deal of strength gains in the past nine months, despite my problems, but I am still quite overweight and want to be able to show off some of the muscle beneath. Unfortunately, I do have a number of bad habits to break in order to proceed in getting awesomer at lifting heavy shit and getting in shape. I am currently reading the book The Power of Habit: Why We do What We do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. I still have to read the last 100 pp. but I highly recommend it. Some of my strategies for reinventing my habits will be based on insights from that book. These are the key guidelines: 1. Habits follow a simple cycle: Stimulus --> Response (the habit behavior) --> Result ( another stimulus that signifies completion of and justifies the Response ) (this is almost Pavlovian) 2. Building a new habit or breaking an old one can be achieved by altering the response or the stimulus 3. Keystone habits: these are habits that when established or altered create sweeping changes in other habits Goal 1: Get up when the alarm goes off. early M-F and go to the gym. exercise at home Sleeping too late is my keystone habit. Too often I hit the snooze button and let my morning drag on. With the depression this winter it was exponentially worse. Then I'd be late to work, fall behind, get extra stressed out, and have to work late leaving little time to get a workout and a good meal in in the evening. Old Habit Cycle: Alarm --> Snooze Button (zzzzz) --> stressful day I am going to change the stimulus, and response, which will fix the result to something more rewarding. New habit Cycle: Alarm (with different ringtone) + coffee pot noise and smell --> Exercise and good breakfast --> productive day, done by 5pm (ideally) I'll be getting up a 6:00. 4:30. The gym opens and five and if I get there by then I usually have all the weight equipment to myself. Not all days will be SL 3x5, all I have to do is show up and do something. I'm switching this one up already because I can already feel that 4:30 am is going to be too early, it will save me time in the morning and not make me wiped out too early. If I stick to light exercise at home, I can get it done while breakfast and/or lunch is cooking. I'll probably stick to light kettlebell practice, pilates, body weight, and stretching exercises. Just to get the heart pumping first thing in the morning. I also don't want to short my strength training in order to get to work at a respectable time. I can also read a paper or two during breakfast. I did that this morning and it worked out really well. I'll add that below. The important thing is that I get back on a schedule, and quit wasting time in the morning. Not how early I get up or whatever. I think my natural circadian rhythm is sleeping somewhere from 11 pm - 7 am-- later, since I prefer to lift in the evenings. Grading: Percentage of the 30 opportunities to do this during the six weeks. Goal 2: SL 3x5 at least 3 days per week. If I'm successful in goal 1, I'll have plenty of opportunity to do this. I might limit it to two during the week, then sneak the third in on Saturday or Sunday though. Lifting before breakfast can be brutal. I'll just stick with doing this in the evenings. Also, I'll be adding the Ice Cream 5x5 accessory work to my SL 3x5. Grading: percentage of 18 total required SL 3x5 workouts Goal 3: Poverty Paleo Eat healthy -- support the gainz -- but economically. So my financial troubles have forced me to go paleo-ish and ketogenic. Essentially, I have to cut back drastically for a while on how much I can spend on food. However, I REFUSE TO GIVE UP MY PROTEIN! So I'll be living primarily on chicken leg quarters and eggs on the challenge. I did the math. I can hit ~2500 cals per day (maintenance = 3000) and ~150g protein (my lean body weight is somewhere just above this). If I eat lots of chicken, without being picky about the leanness of the meat, on my budget I still have room for a good dose of veggies everyday. So I'm going paleo/keto. I've figured out that I can splurge on some other stuff to break the monotony (I've been doing this the past two weeks, its boring for sure). So I'm going to stick to eating this way 6 days a week. Going keto and having the deficit will promote weight loss. Getting gains is going to be tough. I will have some carbs for recovery after my SL 3x5 workouts, that ought to help. Okay, so I'm not really paleo or keto. My goal is to just eat economically (and therefore monotonously) and avoid splurging on anything extra except for maybe one thing a week. In other words, don't buy and eat an entire frozen pizza and a can of Pringles cuz I'm drunk, emotionally, and/or bored. And yeah, avoid drinking. Grading: Number of days out of 36 that I stick to this plan. don't splurge on a more expensive/less healthy meal. Goal 4: Exercise at least 5 evenings after work a week. I want to build a habit of exercising at the end of my day. Life gets busy, and there will be days when I can't exercise afterwork, but if I make a habit of doing something every day when I get home, and not put off working, I decrease the number of workouts I'll miss. 3 of these will be my (SL)Ice Cream 3x5 workouts. The other two will be lighter stuff like pilates, playing with the kettle bells, stretching/recovery work, or body weight exercise. Grading: Percentage of 30 points Life Goal: Be more productive, and increase rate of progress toward finishing my PhD. Gonna try to hack my work habits here: Sub-goal: Spend 1 hour in the morning a day writing: As soon as I get to work, spend one hour writing my thesis or papers. I've been lagging a great deal on this front. Habit cycle: sit down at desk --> write --> check progress (word count, review/edit) Sub-goal: Read at least one article directly related to my thesis M-F: At the end of the day (when reading is best) whenever, but I'll try to do this during breakfast to just get it done. Habit cycle: ??? Food + Coffee --> Read --> Check this one off the list for the day. Sub-goal: Go to work at least one day on the weekend: Focus on catching up (things will be missed). Habit cycle: ??? Not sure how to hack the habit cycle on all these. Maybe add alarms on my phone, look for other cues. We'll see. The first one will be easy, as its just sitting down at my desk. Grading: Percentage of the 66 total points.
  13. Well we're back for another go 'round! It was an honour watching you all last Challenge and it'll be an honour again this time. I got some big ambitions this time around, namely, the Spartan Sprint. I'll be running at 0900 on June 30. The goals are like this: 1) Train for the Spartan Sprint. I know this is kind of an open ended, undefined goal. But my plan over the next 3-and-a-bit weeks is to begin a bit if a cutting cycle. I'll be looking into a new gym near where I live so I can workout before school on week days (it's open 24 hours) so that'll allow me to get a good workout in on an empty stomach and hopefully cut some fat so it'll be easier to hall my backside around that 5k obstacle course! The workouts will be detailed in my Battle Logs. 2) Fix Diet. AGAIN! I've been on a faux bulk for a while. Which was really just an excuse to eat like garbage without entirely killing my motivation to workout. So it's time to get that under control. The school schedule is KILLING me. The hours are ridiculous and it's just entirely unpleasant. I'm glad I only have 4 weeks left. 3) Settle Down, A Little. I will begin seriously considering where I'd like to live, and weather I want to rent or buy. Really more of a life goal, but my life goal is a continuation of previous Challenges. Listed next. 4) Master Gravity. A while back I biffed a box jump and skinned up my shin pretty good. Now I'm super timid about doing them. So I'm going to be putting a little bit of effort into getting back to my box jumps and overcome my fear. Because I'm going to be skydiving as a personal reward to myself after I pass school. So I better be able to overcome my fear of jumping onto a box if I wanna jump out of a plane! Also, as a side note, I'm going to try revive my Battle Log.
  14. Note: Edits have been made because I decided I would try the real-life role playing again. Let's get to it. I've done a 5k before, I've done push-ups before, but that ability has deteriorated over time. I also need to continue to improve my diet. And most importantly, I need to find something that I have a passion for. Goal 1: C25K (again) I've done the C25K program before, just about a year ago actually. Completed it, hurt my back lifting a window AC unit, aggravated it on a hilly mud/obstacle run, stopped running until about April. I was doing the Zombies, Run! 5K app, but despite loving the story and the character of the app, I just don't like the program. So I'm starting C25K over, which I have done and like, while simultaneously re-running the missions from the original Zombies, Run! app, which I did the first time. I'll be going for a run every other day*, first thing in the morning, lest it get too hot outside. By the end of the challenge I should be up to week 6, though my grading will account for the possibility of necessary repetition of a single workout or a week of workouts. Finished Week 6, A; Week 5, B; Week 4, C etc.. Reward +5 STA Goal 2: Bodyweight Strength Training I want to start getting into consistency again with improving my strength through bodyweight exercises. Minimally, I want to do 1 set of upper-body training (probably push-ups or pull-ups), 1 of lower-body training (bodyweight squats, squat jumps, or lunges), and 1 of core (leg lifts, sit-ups) to failure. This will be done every other day, on the non-running days.* Grading here is all about consistency. An A can only be achieved through fully following through with the schedule. A full letter grade will be taken off for each missed day, until F. Reward +2 STA +2 STR Goal 3: Cleaner, Closer-to-Paleo Eating (4 Cheat days left) I am not good at avoiding fake foods. I never have been. My diet rarely involves more water than soda and alcohol. I would rather eat a bag of chips than any kind of fruit or vegetable you could think to stick under my nose. I grew up believing with glee that bread, rice, and especially pasta should be the foundation of my diet, usually skipping fruits and vegetables and making cheese and meat my next two candidates for things I would maybe consider eating. I've been working on a change in general, but I need a kick-in-the-pants, stick-to-it plan. For the six week challenge, water is the only thing I can drink. I don't need to drink my calories. I am also eliminating cheese and anything that I might refer to as "junk food," i.e. most things at the school vending machines. I have six allowed treat days during which I can diverge from this, with the hope of using at most one per week if I use them all. On these days that I select, I must report here what I had that goes against the guidelines, in what quantities, and for what reason. If I don't, it's a strike. If I have any beyond six, it's a strike. A letter grade reduction for this goal will be made for each strike. Reward +3 CON Goal 4: Seeking Passion I posted a bit ago on the pub forums on my panic over grad school, my research job over the summer. Sure enough, the more I do my job, the more I'm convinced that something about what I'm doing is not for me. I have no passion for it. But what do I have passion for? Good question. I would quit my job if I had a dream to chase, but I don't. Weekdays for now might just be mostly 9-5, making money, riding my bike to school, making dinner, cleaning the house, blah blah daily grind. But I have the weekends! So here's the goal: Every weekend of the challenge, I must work on something I believe I could have a passion for. I will report back not only what I did, but how I felt while doing it, how I felt afterward, and whether I think further pursuit is warranted. Working on the same passion candidate for any number of the weeks is allowed, assuming I haven't definitively decided that thing is not my passion. Possible pursuits may include, but are not limited to: -Drawing, both in pencil-paper and digital form. -Writing stories or working on a book. -Teaching something to someone. -Starting a blog, or vlog, or something like that. -Designing a program centered around something I care about and beginning the implementation in code. -Studying material from a field in which I have taken no classes or few classes. Doing something of this nature and making a post about it for every week will warrant an A. Miss one and I get a C. Miss two and I fail. Reward +3 WIS Where I Am Now I'm 22. I am female, 5'5" and somewhere in the 190-200 pound range, firmly in the category of obese (and yes, I know BMI is BS, but for me there is no change my weight is due to muscle). I have been riding my bike to and from work for about two weeks now. It has made me a lot more conscious of my nutrition, my energy levels, my hydration, and my fitness. I've been drinking generally less soda (but haven't cut it out completely yet) and more water, eating more fruit and vegetables, eating less bread and cheese, and actually being consistent about putting on sunscreen. I am actually living on my own by myself for the first time this summer, so instead of moping about it and getting scared and lonely and depressed, I am trying to embrace the opportunity for independence, to understand what makes me feel good without having to consider other people. I get to be selfish, which might be good because I tend to be a bit of a doormat. Speaking of which, bonus goal: don't be a doormat. Don't accept people pushing you around, don't say you agree with things that offend you, be assertive. And my current "character" stats, I'll be a shifter: STR: 2 DEX: 2 STA: 2 CON: 3 WIS: 3 CHA: 3 Okay, that's all. I've not done great on previous challenges, so any comments as to feasibility would be really appreciated. *After a pattern of workout-break-workout-break-workout, a 2 day break may be taken without penalty.
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