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  1. Here we are again... I was all over the place trying to come up for goals for this challenge, trying to find ways to push the goals just a little further. Should I award points? Have a reward? Should I follow some work out schedule? What's the right amount of this or that. I realized that in the end it really just comes down to doing more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff. So that's what I'll try to do. Eat LESS! At least eat at a deficit, consistently even. I log my food on Noom. My goal varies based on activity levels. It's set at around 1600 calories, give or take. The goal is to just stick to it and stick to it consistently so those bad days don't undo the good days. Fast MORE! Fasting has always helped me before. It helps stick to my deficit and any other health benefits are a bonus. And it makes life easier. My goal is to fast about 14 hours (or more). Move MORE! I haven't been great about keeping up with fitness goals. But I just need to move more. Ideally, I'd do some intentional fitness at least 5 days a week and at least 2 of those would be strength focused. It doesn't always have to be intense. A leisurely walk around the neighborhood or yoga would count too. That's basically it. I'll also track food quality and try to eat MORE healthy foods and eat LESS unhealthy or processed foods but I'm trying to just keep things simply this time around.
  2. I am not really doing anything differently this time; I'm just sticking to what works. Except it hasn't been working, but only because life has been busy and getting in the way. This challenge happens to run during a break in travel. I jsut got back from a trip to my brother's and the challenge ends right as I leave for the Minnesota State Fair. There are few planned things that get in the way of my goals in between so I'm hoping to buckle down and gain some ground, and lose more than a few pounds on the way. But it occurred to me that I often try to hit all my goals and sometimes they end up conflicting. Eat more green category foods or eat more freggies but stay within a deficit. So I've set some priorities... I've listed out all the usual goals and prioritized them by the ones that I think have the greatest impact on losing fat and getting healthier. And since I'm buckling down this challenge why not assign points to them? I will run my challenge weeks Friday - Thursday with the exception of a mini week 0. There are a total of 75 points per week. I'll track points and my reward, or punishment, will just be posting the percent of total points earned. Priority #1 - Eat at a Deficit. I could focus on every other goal but not eat at a deficit and won't lose any weight. If I did only this and none of the others I'm betting I would. 5 points a day for a deficit. I may tweak the calorie target during the challenge but not for the purposes of meeting this goal. I set my calorie target on the Noom app. Its a 10 point scale between tortoise and hare. For week zero I'll set it at 2, but it'll end up around 5 or 6 for the challenge. Priority #2 - Do Some F*cking Cardio The impact of fitnessing is obvious. I have the hardest time getting cardio in because I enjoy strength training more. So I've made cardio a higher priority. Also using the Noom app, it puts half of my exercise calories into my daily calorie allotment. I don't always use them but they are there if I need them. 4 points a session, including intentional cardio or some functional fitnessing. The goal is 3 times a week. Priority #3 - Strength Training For now this is mostly bodyweight or kettlebells and the goal is to bundle it with the cardio at least 2 times a week. 3 points a session. Priority #4 - Eat Good Food Putting a focus on eating higher quality foods makes it easier to stay within a deficit and is just better overall. I log food on Noom and it sorts foods into green, yellow, and red foods. The goal is to keep green foods above 25% and red foods under 50%. 2 points per day, 1 for each goal. 1 bonus point available for keeping green foods above 30% AND red foods 45% or below. Priority #5 - Freggies This is a separate goal from eating good food. The Noom app focuses a lot on whole grains and low fat dairy. It seems to be effective if I have plenty of Noom green foods but not as many freggies but freggies are good too. But it's not a big deal if I don't hit this all the time. 1 point a day for eating 4 servings of freggies. Priority #6 - Intermittent Fasting I'd like to get to fasting at least 14 hours a day but I'm also listening to my body and eating when I'm hungry. I'm slowly retraining myself to break my fast later in the day. 1 point a week for the average time to break fast is at least a minute later than the week before. Week 0 points - 18/40 Deficit - Cardio - Strength - Green - Red - Freggies - Week 1 points - 72/75 Deficit - Cardio - Strength - Green - Red - Freggies - Week 2 points - 60/75 Deficit - Cardio - Strength - Green - Red - Freggies - Week 3 points - 51/75 Deficit - Cardio - Strength - Green - Red - Freggies - Week 4 points - 28/75 Deficit - Cardio - Strength - Green - Red - Freggies - Week 5 points - 33/75 Deficit - Cardio - Strength - Green - Red - Freggies -
  3. I have a few trips planned during this challenge. Overall I'll end up visiting 5 states, 7 if you count the 2 additional that I'll be driving through. Half of the challenge will be busy with all the travel and with travel comes difficulties sticking to goals. So why not just plan the challenge around the travel? I'll be traveling with my kids for our annual family vacation, this year to the east coast, over the week of the 4th of July. We'll visit North and South Carolina and Georgia. The weekend after we return I'm spending a long weekend in Kansas City with my college besties. Then the final weekend of the challenge I'll be driving up to my brother's in North Dakota to drop Peach there for her summer visit. Welcome to my Wanderlust challenge. During the challenge I'll document my travels and post a picture of the day. When I'm not traveling I'll just post a picture of something that relates to my goals or other activities that keep me busy. It might be food or workout related or maybe just something that makes me happy. And for the actual goals: There's nothing much new here. I'll be trying to do much of the same, meal planning, eating freggies, using Noom's food color categories, and trying to get 3 fitness activities in a week, travel dependent. But this challenge marks the end of one quarter and the beginning of another. According to my 2021 Roadmap (posted in my Battle Log) it's time to introduce some strength training to the mix and some new projects around my castle. Weight In my roadmap I expected to finish this quarter at 240. I'm starting this challenge at 248.8 so 240 isn't about to happen that quickly. Since this is a travel challenge, I'm just planning to make whatever progress I can make before traveling and then just maintaining from there. Nutrition In addition to the usual tactics I'd like to get back to IF. 14 hour fasts were my sweet spot previously, never really making 16 hours work comfortably. I haven't been able to get back to the habit unless I sleep in. Although I would love to just sleep in every day, it's hardly practical. This year is all about baby steps so I'm just going to use this challenge to focus on slowly moving breakfast later, ideally right into lunchtime, even if it's only 5 minutes later than the day before. That should get me in a place for next challenge. Fitness It's time to start adding some strength training to my routine. Since I'm traveling so much this challenge my fitness goals will already be under strain and since this is the year of babysteps, I'll just start by bundling some bodyweight reps to the end of my existing fitness activities. It doesn't matter how much, maybe just a plank or some squats after a walk. Personal The goal here is the same but I am definitely in a period of transition. My goal is to take advantage of opportunities for quality time with family and the people that are important to me. Qbert is working at camp for the duration of this challenge. He returns home just after the challenge ends but will be off to college in a couple weeks. I'll spend the time I can with him but focus on Peach. DDG and I are also trying to create as many opportunities for his boys to come hang out here too to prepare for when DDG moves in. Castle I still have not completed my quarter 2 projects around the home. I do have the projects for quarter 3 lined up but there won't be any time this challenge to start them. I'll just focus on finishing the ones going. The project that needs to get done is finish organizing the garage. Some work got done but the tools and workbench is still a mess. The declutter project was going through all the stuff from when kids were little that was in storage. Clothes and blankets is done, and Peach's school work and papers are done. I only need to finish going through Qbert's. The project that I really want to get done is painting the game room. The closet got done in the first quarter and I'm excited to get the rest of the room painted.
  4. "What's the smallest task I could do to still feel like I'm doing something for this goal?" -@NeverThatBored "I'm going to have Present Qbert do things now instead of saving them for Future Qbert to make my life easier" -Qbert My goals haven't really changed but I'm going to try framing this challenge differently. I know the things I need to do daily to reach my goals but sometimes life just gets in the way of meeting the goals all the time. Meeting every goal every day just isn't practical but there's no good place to draw the line. It's more important to make sure every day I'm doing what I can to move towards my goals. All I can do is focus on today and make the best choices in each situation. As long as I am focusing on making the best choices, future Shello will get closer and closer to where I want to be. Target: The target is to lose as much weight (fat) as possible and be as mobile and capable as possible but also balancing a quality personal and home life. For this challenge, I'm hoping to get under 245 pounds. GOALS: Fitness The plan is to get at least 3 fitness activities done a week with an emphasis on walking. I have tools in my toolbox to help me reach these goals; long walks around the lake, short neighborhood walks, Youtube vidoes, yardwork and other functional fitness activities, also rest and recovery. Nutrition Eat high quality food under calorie target. I'm going to try decreasing the calorie limit for the challenge so I'm ok going over by a little. Toolbox: Eat 4 freggies daily, logging food on Noom, Noom food categories and red/green ratio, meal planning Personal The focus here is on quality time with the people important to me and also making sure my kids are getting the stuff done they need to. Toolbox: being available for quality time when the kids are home, hanging out with DDG when we have time, setting aside personal time for myself, coaching the kids, and will resort to nagging. Home I have a few projects to work on for this quarter. I've got kids old art work and clothes to sort through, the game room to paint, and the garage needs organizing. The first and last tasks should preferably be done by Qbert's graduation party at the end of the month. Toolbox: No tasks is too small. Do something.
  5. Last challenge was a resounding success. The goals worked really well and I'm ready to build from them. I also need a break from the rigidity of points so this challenge just sets some guideposts that will continue to guide me on my way. This challenge focuses on the same pillars from my 2021 Roadmap posted in my battle log (link on the left if you're interested). I know it looks like a lot but it's not really that much more than last challenge. I'm going to try something different with the schedule for this challenge. I like to start on Mondays. Monday is the day you start new things. But my life is lived Friday - Friday. Friday is the day the kids come to my house and we start our week together and it's the day they go to their dad's and I start the week without them. My habits and meal planning is done on that schedule. So I decided to try running my challenge that way too. I'm going to coast through zero week and then start next Monday. Week 1 will be M - F. Then Friday I'll start my next weeks. Weight Pillar I've set milestones in my roadmap for weight loss. They aren't strict goals because you can actually control that?! My goal for quarter 1 was to hit 249, or at least just under 250. I'm starting this challenge at 255.2 and the end of the quarter is in 9 days. That milestone won't happen but I'm not far behind. I'd be happy to hit the 249 by the end of this challenge. Nutrition Pillar I'm building off from previous habits and working to improve some bad habits. Here are some guideposts that will help develop these habits. 4 freggies a day. This has served me well. It makes less room for unhealthy snacks. Eat at a deficit. There is a deficit built into my Noom app. I don't know what the number is. I have it set to 1 point past halfway between turtle and hare. I just want to keep under that. Any deficit I report is relative to the target Noom gives me. 500 calorie guide (green). I log my food on Noom. Noom has food categorized into colors. Green, yellow, red. They recommend a ratio of 30/45/25. I used the 30% guide for green foods as a goal last challenge and it worked well. For a 1600 calorie target, that's 480. I use 500 as a general guide when meal planning. if I hit 500 calories in green foods, it's a good day. 500 calorie guide (red). I started noticing that I have a lot of red foods and few yellow foods. 25% of a 1600 calorie day is only 400. I easily hit between 800 and 1100 daily, though I have had some really good days near 400. My average for last challenge was 813. Hitting 400 seems like a stretch. I'd like to use this challenge to find some replacements to reduce red foods and try to stay near or under 500 calories. Noom Daily Topics. I'm paying for Noom. I use it daily to log my foods and track weight. But there are daily lessons and I'm no longer really paying attention to them. I'll either skip them entirely or just swipe through them without really thinking about them. I'll select 1 topic weekly that I find interesting and post my thoughts about it. Fitness Pillar This challenge sees the move to quarter 2. This is the time I planned to increase my activity level and get some walking in. I am completely ready to start this. Here are the guideposts for this challenge's fitness. 3 workouts a week. Walking plays an important role here but isn't absolutely necessary. Any intentional fitness counts. I'm tentatively thinking a workout on the weekend and then Tuesdays and Thursdays but whenever they happen works. With the different schedule this should still end up being 15 workouts. Increased intensity. The weeks that DDG is over I plan for a long walk over the weekend, then a short neighborhood walk during the week and any fitness on another night. It could certainly be a walk but I don't want to be tied to it. The week the kids are home, I'll go for a walk on the weekend and then any fitness I get to during the week, walks or otherwise. In the end I'm hoping to get 2 long walks, 5 short walks, and 8 any fitness workouts. Personal Relationship Pillar These are all challenge long guides, nothing that needs to happen daily or weekly. College. The end of this challenge is decision time. This is less of a guidepost and more of an actual deadline. The earlier the better. Family Vacation. The kids and I have agreed on a destination for vacation over the week of the 4th of July. I want to get the basics planned so I can get things booked. DDGs kids. DDG and I stay very aware of making sure each of us has time to dedicate to our own kids, but we also need to foster relationships with each other's kids. I will keep my eyes open for opportunities to invite DDG's kids over to get used to being around my place and me. Home Pillar Things get dicey here. RangerBrain does not just effect fitness goals. This is why I set up my roadmap this way in the first place. Also, These are not projects to be completed during this challenge, just projects that will be going on at the time that need my attention. Complete 1 need. OK, there are really 2 but they both NEED to get done. The carpet in the hallway and stairs needs to get replaced with laminate. This was originally just something I wanted to do but the cats have been shredding the carpet at my bedroom door as they try to get in to remind me to feed them every morning. I am also scheduled to teach 2 classes over the summer, both online. I took a course in the fall about best practices for teaching online courses so now I have some changes I want to make. I need to record a bunch of mini lectures. They don't all have to be done during this challenge but I need to start. Declutter 1 space. Ok, there are 2 here also but I can't find a way to avoid it. I have several totes of pictures and artwork from when the kids were little. They came out of the game room closet and now I need to bring the volume down. Plus Qbert graduates and he'll want some stuff displayed. But the garage workbench is in a sad state and it's making it difficult to get other projects done. Now that the weather is warming up it's time to organize it. Complete 1 want. OK, I know. There are 2 here also. Now that the game room closet is (just about) completed, I want to finish the rest of the room. It's getting painted (it still has the Harry Potter fake castle brick paint work I did when it was Qbert's room) and new decorations. But it's also spring and I want to get some stuff done in the gardens before it gets too hot. Ok wow. This looks overly complicated. Trust me it's not. My spreadsheet is quite simple, you just got the word vomit version from my brain. tl; dr - I'll log foods, eat at a deifict, and work on fine tuning the ratio of red/yellow/green. And I'll go for walks. Then hang with the kids and do some projects around the house.
  6. One challenge completed for the year and I'm feeling my mojo back again. I've learned not to take my mojo for granted so I'm going to run with it as long as I can. For this challenge I'm taking the points to a new level and using them to earn badges! The two main pillars of my 2021 Roadmap are fitness and General Health (essentially nutrition) and the core of the challenge but as always, this is balanced out with some life goals. General Health Goals If you've followed any of my recent challenges you know I've recently joined Noom and this has informed my goals. None of the old habits seemed to work for me anymore so I was using Noom to kickstart some new ones. So far, the things that have really worked for me and contributed directly to my weight loss goals are eating more freggies, sticking to my calorie limit, and increasing the volume of foods Noom considers 'green' foods. So 1 point a day for the following 3 goals: Eat at least 4 freggies daily finish the day with a deficit (all foods must be logged) 30% of calories from green foods Another habit that helps but I am terrible at it is hydration. I have mostly given up on focusing on it and creating the habit, but in the even that I manage at least 48oz of water in a day I'll award a bonus point to be used towards badges. 3 possible points a day beginning Week 1 for a total possible points 105. I'll earn badges along the way for hitting point milestones @35 points - Freggy Slayer Badge @50 points - Getting Your Life Together Badge @75 points - Nutrition Rockstar Badge @100 points - You are Undefeatable Badge Fitness Goals The focus is still on setting aside the time for fitness, but now with a goal in mind. Intensity is not important yet. I just want to set aside time to fitness for at least 15 minutes 3 times a week. 1 point for every 15 minutes (additional points awarded for consecutive 15 minutes of activity). @5 points - Get Your Sweat On Badge @10 points - Workout Killer Badge @15 points - Fitness Rockstar @18 points - Hot Damn! You're a Beast Badge Weight Loss Goal The whole point of the previous goals is to hit this goal but this goal is not graded. I have a goal in my Roadmap to get under 250 by the end of the 1st quarter. I'm not entirely sure that's feasible. This challenge ends just 10 days before the end of the quarter. However, I have joined the 10lbs in 10 weeks Weight Loss PVP. My goal for that is to hit 255.8 by 3/15. Hitting 255 by the end of this challenge seems reasonable. No points are award here but there'll be a badge when I hit 260 and another hitting 255. @260 - Back on the Saddle Badge @255 - Throwing out those Saddle Bags Badge Personal Goals Personal goals are about the same this time around. Family Fun night never happened last challenge but I'm perfectly happy getting quality time with each of my kids at separate times and together time is even better but it has to happen naturally. Trying to force these kids to hang out together on a schedule is like training cats. No points are awarded but I'll savor the time and award badges accordingly. We should also be hearing from the rest of Qberts college applications this month. He needs lots of redirecting to get him to check on these and on scholarships. Both kids need redirecting to get their homework caught up. Home Goals I'm making my way through the projects for this quarter, one that needed to get done, one that I wanted to get done, and declutter one space. The basement closet needed to get done and mostly got completed last challenge. The game room closet needed decluttering and it mostly got done too although that evolved into a better organizational plan (and some painting) that should get done this challenge. I still want to get the master bedroom painted and is still on the list but I'm diverting all my energy on the previous projects. I'll award badges as I hit milestones along the way. I don't know what those milestones are yet but I'll know them when I do them. Caveats and Disclaimers Week zero will be a trial week. I'll award points but bank them to use during the rest of the challenge as needed. I don't need any extra pressure over Week 0. Week three is Spring break for the kids. Qbert didn't get to visit most of the colleges he applied to due to Covid. We are considering making a single trip to a school he didn't see if he gets accepted and the scholarships make it a reasonable choice. If I end up traveling during that week, I'll apply a 1.5 point multiplier as a travel bonus. Hitting goals is so much more difficult on the road. Rewards I suck at creating rewards, If it's something I really want I'll end up getting or doing it anyway. If it's something I can wait and only do if I earn it, then I probably don't want it as badly so it's not that motivating. I've decided to rewards my self with $1 per point to spend on myself at the end of the challenge. My Noom coach suggested I make a list of things I'd like but don't tend to buy for myself. I'll work on that list over the next few weeks and then hopefully use it for some reward. Regardless, I will reward myself with some guilt free purchases at the end of this challenge. Badges Earned Fitness Goals Get Your Sweat On Workout Killer Badge Weight Loss Goal Back in the Saddle Getting Your Life Together Badge Personal Goals Home Goals Miscellaneous Defeated Environmental Temptations Like a Champ! (2/11)
  7. Time to kick off 2021 and this year is all about moving forward. You might expect something like this: But this challenge will be more like this: FITNESS First order of business is to actually get moving. I'm going to break through this mental block that has kept me from getting back to any type of fitness. It's something I need and I want, but I just don't want to, you know? I'm going to keep it simple with any gentle movement, anything. Yoga, stretching, going for a walk around the dog park, or the block. Pick up a sledgehammer and do a little bit of shovelglove. Anything counts. 1 point for any activity. GENERAL HEALTH This goal pertains to nutrition and all that revolves around food decision making (mindfulness, stress, sleep, hydration, negative thought patterns). The goal will change weekly, or as often as needed. I'm following the Noom program so I'll tailor the goals depending on where I am with that. PERSONAL A new semester starts for the kids. They have had a really tough time. To be fair, this is a not a new problem. They are both smart kids but Qbert procrastinates and gets stressed out and Peach just refuses to try that hard. So I'm plan to be on them like white on rice from the beginning. Stricter rules will be in place for bad grades but I can only enforce those rules every other week when they are at my place. Qbert also has to work on some scholarship applications. To counteract all the nagging, I'd want to put more energy into family fun night. It's tough because they are busy on different nights and then want to use the other nights to hang with friends. Ah, teens. HOME My goals for this quarter are to finish the basement closet (need), redo my master bedroom (want) and (declutter) the cupboards under the bathroom sinks. Hopefully there will be some progress made on these during this challenge. If anything gets finished maybe I'll post pics to Insta. I'm not sure about the new grand forum idea but I am using it as an opportunity to tag as a Ranger, because that's what I am, and Rookie, because I am considering this a respawn and I'm starting over. I need all the help I can get.
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