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  1. *****Finally UPDATED***** Greetings, and welcome to all! I’m a married parent of 4 kids aged 1-9. The last 3 weeks have been a long-anticipated pair of events, and the second I officially over tomorrow. I have gained at least 10 lbs (probably 15 or more) and it’s a bit uncomfortable. But I also didn’t want to travel Europe without partaking in the food and beverages. I’m ultimately an adventurer at heart, though I train similar to a lot of Rangers (and I’m something of a Druid Paladin which is also something of an equivalent to a Ranger). I love hiking, exploring, traveling, and other fun things with the family. Since shortly before joining Nerdfitness, my physical training is typically built around injury rehabilitation (which happens a bit more often due to autoimmune arthritis) and training to be able to travel, explore, and play with my family. I have a pretty effective Disney World training system, and try to ensure that at any point I’m strong enough to carry my whole family somewhere. That has become more difficult as the years go on but I can still do it for the most part. I am also an enthusiastic suburban homesteader bent on establishing an orchard and vegetable garden, so things can get pretty out-doorsy depending on my goals. My needs mean I do a variety of types of training, and my earliest two physical training goals were “run fast” and “be able to competitively play any sport I come across.” I prefer to avoid gyms and do a lot of body weight training. When I do lift weights it is at the YMCA or, more commonly, takes the form of children, sandbags, or logs. We’re training for one of the Disney races as a family. Though it’s mostly on hold due to a hip injury Jessie had. The last 2 events (travel) were pretty helpful in my training; I’ve been performing heavy carries to ensure I could carry luggage and children long distances and times, and frankly it was well worth all the effort. Homesteading is in full swing. Our tomatoes and berries are going crazy. I’m a bit sad I haven’t been home for most of it but Marinara and the neighbors have been ensuring none are going to waste. Healthwise, we’ve been living the keto lifestyle for most of the year and we’ve found it to be incredibly easy to stick to 99% of the time, meaning we’re seeing more success and I’m burning less willpower on food-related stuff. I am currently quite above past my arbitrary goal weight, and while I don’t much care about that I do care about my joints as well as how my clothes fit. The trip to Europe in particular was really good for me mentally, and I think for Jessie as well. We travel well together and I really enjoyed having the new experiences together. The bakery kept running while we were gone but unfortunately during that time and the immediate aftermath in which half our appliances died a lot of things went sideways. We’re stepping in to fix it. Goals: 1. Sleep. As best as possible. This is critical to managing my emotions as well as general health and quality of life. I am in a far better position now than at the beginning of the last challenge. 2. Race training? This includes calisthenics, the race plan training, and loaded carries. Jessie is still hurt and after 8 months got into a new GP, who prescribed physical therapy that can’t start for a month. 3. Take one concrete step forward per day- at least one tangible, visible thing to make life better. This ranges from things as small as “dig out the replacement toaster” to as big as “reorganize the playroom.” I don’t have to complete the bigger ones as long as I make progress. -> Especially important since we’re moving in a year. 4. Take one concrete step forward per day career-wise. I need my job but I’m not satisfied in it and otherwise need a change. I need to hone/adapt skills and look for other opportunities. -> This now involves expanding bakery sales, and potentially moving into another remote job. 5. Home and Garden. Home is a lot better. Most stuff is fixed though the washer, while functional, also leaks meaning the last fix wasn’t a complete one. 6. Therapy. I have a new(er) diagnoses and new(er) medication that have been, it feels, pretty life changing. I finished intensive therapy that was also insanely helpful prior to that and I am continuing with less frequent sessions. My goal is to better learn how to manage ADHD and how to be a more connected, present, and supportive husband and father. I think I have been progressing well. I feel healthy. I am excited about how this has gone. I am working on anger management and taking a page from the book of Mr. Fred Rogers. I had no idea that he struggled with a strong and volatile temper. He never wanted to be remembered as a saint because he didn’t want his example to be unachievable but I do think he is probably the best person who ever lived a full life. I will be looking to him as an example and we’ve decided to introduce the show as a regular part of our kids’ lives. Gods know it’s as helpful to me as it is to them. And I’m adding care of words as well to this goal for things don’t have to be yelled to hurt.
  2. Greetings, and welcome to all! I’m a married parent of 4 kids aged 1-9. The last 3 weeks have been a long-anticipated pair of events, and the second I officially over tomorrow. I have gained at least 10 lbs (probably 15 or more) and it’s a bit uncomfortable. But I also didn’t want to travel Europe without partaking in the food and beverages. I’m ultimately an adventurer at heart, though I train similar to a lot of Rangers (and I’m something of a Druid Paladin which is also something of an equivalent to a Ranger). I love hiking, exploring, traveling, and other fun things with the family. Since shortly before joining Nerdfitness, my physical training is typically built around injury rehabilitation (which happens a bit more often due to autoimmune arthritis) and training to be able to travel, explore, and play with my family. I have a pretty effective Disney World training system, and try to ensure that at any point I’m strong enough to carry my whole family somewhere. That has become more difficult as the years go on but I can still do it for the most part. I am also an enthusiastic suburban homesteader bent on establishing an orchard and vegetable garden, so things can get pretty out-doorsy depending on my goals. My needs mean I do a variety of types of training, and my earliest two physical training goals were “run fast” and “be able to competitively play any sport I come across.” I prefer to avoid gyms and do a lot of body weight training. When I do lift weights it is at the YMCA or, more commonly, takes the form of children, sandbags, or logs. We’re training for one of the Disney races as a family. Though it’s mostly on hold due to a hip injury Jessie had. The last 2 events (travel) were pretty helpful in my training; I’ve been performing heavy carries to ensure I could carry luggage and children long distances and times, and frankly it was well worth all the effort. Homesteading is in full swing. Our tomatoes and berries are going crazy. I’m a bit sad I haven’t been home for most of it but Marinara and the neighbors have been ensuring none are going to waste. Healthwise, we’ve been living the keto lifestyle for most of the year and we’ve found it to be incredibly easy to stick to 99% of the time, meaning we’re seeing more success and I’m burning less willpower on food-related stuff. I am currently quite above past my arbitrary goal weight, and while I don’t much care about that I do care about my joints as well as how my clothes fit. We’ll be back into keto after we return. The trip to Europe in particular was really good for me mentally, and I think for Jessie as well. We travel well together and I really enjoyed having the new experiences together. I am also excited with how well speaking and understanding French went. The bakery also seems to have kept running while we are gone so major props to our manager. Goals: 1. Sleep. As best as possible. This is critical to managing my emotions as well as general health and quality of life. I am in a far better position now than at the beginning of the last challenge. 2. Race training. This includes calisthenics, the race plan training, and loaded carries. Race training as a family is currently paused as Jessie hurt her sciatic nerve and needs rest to recover. She tried training through and reducing the intensity but that exacerbated the problem. It is likely a torn muscle and while it’s slowly getting better it’s really only going to improve with time and rest. 3. Take one concrete step forward per day- at least one tangible, visible thing to make life better. This ranges from things as small as “dig out the replacement toaster” to as big as “reorganize the playroom.” I don’t have to complete the bigger ones as long as I make progress. 4. Take one concrete step forward per day career-wise. I need my job but I’m not satisfied in it and otherwise need a change. I need to hone/adapt skills and look for other opportunities. -> This now involves expanding bakery sales, and potentially moving into another remote job. 5. Home and Garden. I want both to be better. Especially the home. A major amount of cleaning and organizing took place while we were gone and I’m feeling better about the overall state. However, it appears that both the fridge and washer are borked up and need to be fixed or replaced. Hoping just fixed. The washer a least is still under warranty. 6. Therapy. I have a new(er) diagnoses and new(er) medication that have been, it feels, pretty life changing. I finished intensive therapy that was also insanely helpful prior to that and I am continuing with less frequent sessions. My goal is to better learn how to manage ADHD and how to be a more connected, present, and supportive husband and father. I think I have been progressing well. I feel healthy. I am excited about how this has gone. I am working on anger management and taking a page from the book of Mr. Fred Rogers. I had no idea that he struggled with a strong and volatile temper. He never wanted to be remembered as a saint because he didn’t want his example to be unachievable but I do think he is probably the best person who ever lived a full life. I will be looking to him as an example and we’ve decided to introduce the show as a regular part of our kids’ lives. Gods know it’s as helpful to me as it is to them. And I’m adding care of words as well to this goal for things don’t have to be yelled to hurt. If I’m being entirely honest with myself, the best way to do any of this is to cut down on what I do altogether. There are just too many things. It’s not so bad during the summer, but during the school year… rough. A lot of our house work is a straight up investment in freeing up time later. I am eager to be back home now. Oh, and if you’re following from my last thread and the thread before AND the thread before, we’re STILL RPing a scene with Barnaby the Brass Dragon in our D&D campaign since March 4th. Almost 4 months of RP and close to 100?hours of me pretending to be a lonely brass dragon having the time of his life at a party while sharing dragon lore with the party. Technically they are now off his porch but he’s offered them a ride in an old, not-entirely-functional airship (that he’s carrying). We haven’t played much in June, of course. I brought the stuff with us but we haven’t played this week.
  3. [Preamble] Welcome to Owlshire, a beautiful woodland property in the Forest of Dean, England. I’m a 42 year old American woman living here with my British husband (Mr) and pre-school son (Enting). I work in gamedev and when I’m not doing that, I’m tending to my garden, doing needlework of some sort, writing, playing games (of various sorts), and exploring our local woodlands. However, this challenge will involve a lot of time away from home…. [Challenges] Zero Week we are headed off across the country for a wedding and will be away for 4 days. During Weeks 2-4, we will be headed across the globe to attend my father’s memorial hike in the US, staying a bit extra to reconnect with family and friends that we’ve been separated from due to life and pandemics. And in the spaces in between we’re going to be preparing and catching up on what’s fallen behind at home. … so I’m keeping this challenge very simple. Organize: Keep using the planner every day. I started it again a couple of weeks ago and it’s been so helpful. Keep on top of travel-related organization. This has its own planner… Continue to Mordor: I will aim for 30 miles walked on a week (average). 435 miles left to Mordor… my goal is to reach it by November. Hobbit in Attitude, not in Width: I’m starting this challenge with a BMI of 22. My goal this challenge is to be the same or less by the end of the challenge. I have a longer term ambition to get to 21 BMI, but at the moment I’m focusing on maintenance. I will check in weekly on Mondays or thereabouts, optional when I’m traveling.
  4. Fashionably late to the party… [Preamble] Welcome to Owlshire, a beautiful woodland property in the Forest of Dean, England. I’m a 42 year old American woman living here with my British husband (Mr) and 4 y/o son (Enting). I work in gamedev and when I’m not doing that, I’m tending to my garden, doing needlework of some sort, writing, playing games (of various sorts), and exploring our local woodlands. [Challenges] Two, actually. The first one is a happy event in the Yorkshire Dales in June for a wedding, and the second is a solemn pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest, USA, to help carry my father's ashes* into his favorite spot in the mountains, as per his request. These both happen during the next challenge, but there's a lot of preparations! * Rise Up The hike into the mountains is steep and challenging. I know because I did that hike with Dad many times as a child and once as an adult. Most of the adults (sisters, nieces/partners…) joining us are not particularly fit for purpose, and there will be four children under the age of 5 as well. It’s going to be chaos and I don’t expect everyone will make it to the top before turning back. I’m not turning back. So I want to make sure my hill game is in order, and also get Enting prepared for a longer, steeper walks since I likely won't be carrying him--I'll probably be carrying other children! This means going out at least twice a week and walking (for example) up our lane, which is a very long, steep climb. (More often is better, but I’m trying to be realistic given other life constraints.) I also want to take Enting with me at least once a week to get him better motivated for walking distances. (He has proven he can walk for several miles, but he often doesn’t want to.) The post-wedding June hike in the Yorkshire Dales will be a bit of a test run to further gauge what we will expect in the mountains and any strategy changes we should consider. Organize We haven't done a family overnight trip (let alone a trip abroad) in 2.5+ years. Setting up both of these trips is a lot of faff! I have some huge to-do lists and files and paperwork and coordination with family, and I'm making my way through them. Keep on it! Reach Mordor I’m 555 miles away! I’ve been wanting to complete this challenge since the early 00s (when it was called the Eowyn Challenge), and I’m sure I’ve been “there and back again” several times over, but I’ve never managed to track the whole thing. I want to finish my walking route to Mordor by November 2022. I’m so close! A Hobbit in Attitude, not in Width At the moment, I'm in a good place with my weight/BMI. I do want to get both a touch lower, but all things considered for this challenge I’m under a lot of emotional stress and I just want to maintain. I’ve got enough other things on. My BMI is currently 22.1, and I'll count this successful if it's the same or lower at the end of the challenge. Admin note: I always start on Week 0, and I track from Monday-Sunday. I’m also useless at actually updating my challenges, but I’m always a better me if I post one.
  5. Greetings, and welcome to all! I’m a married parent of 4 kids aged 0-8. Last challenge I sorta crashed in burned as half of us got COVID and I got a wonderful secondary lung infection. I have only been feeling right a couple of days but I’m getting back into the swing of things. I’m ultimately an adventurer at heart, though I train similar to a lot of Rangers (and I’m something of a Druid Paladin which is also something of an equivalent to a Ranger). I love hiking, exploring, traveling, and other fun things with the family. Since shortly before joining Nerdfitness, my physical training is typically built around injury rehabilitation (which happens a bit more often due to autoimmune arthritis) and training to be able to travel, explore, and play with my family. I have a pretty effective Disney World training system, and try to ensure that at any point I’m strong enough to carry my whole family somewhere. That has become more difficult as the years go on but I can still do it for the most part. I am also an enthusiastic suburban homesteader bent on establishing an orchard and vegetable garden, so things can get pretty out-doorsy depending on my goals. My needs mean I do a variety of types of training, and my earliest two physical training goals were “run fast” and “be able to competitively play any sport I come across.” I prefer to avoid gyms and do a lot of body weight training. When I do lift weights it is at the YMCA or, more commonly, takes the form of children, sandbags, or logs. We have returned to school in person, which I think the kids needed mentally but I’m still incredibly nervous about, especially since the youngest two are too young to be vaccinated. I know getting some level of COVID is virtually inevitable but I really want to push that at least until we can all be vaccinated. We’ve been both cautious and lucky thus far, especially since when we had it we were able to avoid the older 3 from getting it at all. L’enfant shows no signs he ever had it aside from testing positive and some short, mild symptoms but I will feel much better when he and Bo Peep are vaccinated. While we were down the well members of the family, all children, stepped up and totally ran the household. That is, fed the pets and cooked the food, washed dishes, did laundry, etc. Rex made gourmet chef level food for every meal. I’m super proud of them. Though I really missed them. We barely saw each other and it wicked. At the beginning of last year, we started shopping for an existing business with a professional kitchen to give a physical location to our small bakery. We now own the bakery kitchen and business, and are focusing hard on getting our renovation done and team built, as it had grown by multiples over the summer from the original numbers given to us. We’ve done home hiring, had some more curveballs come our way, and may have to pivot again. I think we found a good balance that keeps us from having to spend all of our capital on machinery, and let’s us move forward with the original plan. Of course, we didn’t go into business for the guarantees, we went into business to make our efforts matter. Those efforts are still paying off and I think this will enable us to lead a much better life going forward. The fruit trees and bushes are all doing well. They’re going to sleep for the winter. The kumquat tree and pepper plants live at the bakery now. It’s been extremely hard to homestead as I want to, with both of us having day jobs and the bakery. I see some light though. We’re again looking at possibly moving and possibly even a new build. It’s either that or some major work on our house; we love our neighbors and location but the bedroom situation is difficult and the garage is painful when you have 2 big vans instead of smaller cars. I don’t want to move but on the other hand we also gotta take care of people. Healthwise, we’ve been living the keto lifestyle for most of the year and we’ve found it to be incredibly easy to stick to 99% of the time, meaning we’re seeing more success and I’m burning less willpower on food-related stuff. I am past my arbitrary goal weight, and I’m focusing hard now on maintaining around this weight while achieving my goal composition. We took a break over the holidays and I gained about 18 lbs, but it’s almost all inflammation; my muscle and waist measurements are substantially the same. I dropped the weight (inflammation) but swelled up from the infection treatment, and am again back to normal. I still plan to enjoy Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies and Christmas Even bourbon slushes and New Years black eyed peas. But not a month at a time. I’ve been doing lots of bodyweight squats and lunges with the 6-lb trays and I can tell a difference. Working in the bakery is much better physically than desk work (which I also still do). It’s a good physical job. I’ve been physically much better minus COVID. I've generally been doing well with my “no yelling” goal, though I’ve slipped a and I suspect it’s in part due to being tired and habits being difficult to break. I continue to strive towards zero yelling. I am also striving to be careful with my words at all times. I’m tired of being so very careful of my words most of the time to the point where I’ll simply be silent (where I have to be careful to not stonewall) but then just let loose and impulsively say a bunch of thoughtless things. I think the trip really, really helped. Getting away is mentally good for us and we kinda rely on the resets to break us out of bad mental-emotional routines. Goals: 1. Sleep. As best as possible. This is critical to managing my emotions as well as general health and quality of life. I’m currently trapped in sleep deprivation until we can hire and train our team. But I can also see a light at the end of the tunnel. 2. Basic calisthenics routine at the least. I was gonna be in strength building mode but COVID hit. I did BFR to minimize atrophy but one thing I am noticing is recovery is not as fast as it was; that’s probably in part due to the 3 weeks of sickness and meds induced insomnia. But I plan on easing back into it. 3. Take one concrete step forward per day- at least one tangible, visible thing to make life better. This ranges from things as small as “dig out the replacement toaster” to as big as “reorganize the playroom.” I don’t have to complete the bigger ones as long as I make progress. 4. Take one concrete step forward per day career-wise. I need my job but I’m not satisfied in it and otherwise need a change. I need to hone/adapt skills and look for other opportunities. -> Currently, this involves finishing the bakery renovation. 5. Home and Garden. I want both to be better. Especially the home. The basement is… bad. I spent one today doing laundry and cleaning up. The basement needs a tremendous amount of work. The dogs have been staying down there snd it’s better than kenneling them but they’ve eaten some toys and containers which made a huge mess and the best dog’s separation anxiety issues are coming back into play. I hope that in the future I (or one of us at least) can be home half the day with them most days. My Christmas gift to Jessie was to rehire the lady that helped us previously. She’d graduated to become a hairdresser shortly after we moved, and I asked her for a referral. Lo and behold, COVID really changed things and it didn’t end up being what she wanted, so she’s going back to school to get her art degree and she’s cleaning/organizing houses to pay bills. So I coordinated with her and Marinara to get the main floor and bedrooms cleaned and organized while we were on vacation. The basement is further down the list but it’s there. We totally wrecked the house as we left. Then we kinda wrecked it unpacking and coming home but I’m taking this morning to clean and straighten up so it’s maintained. She’s not feeling well and I’m not pushing her to come in while she’s sick, but once she’s well she’ll be back to help more. 6. Therapy. I have a new(er) diagnoses and new(er) medication that have been, it feels, pretty life changing. I finished intensive therapy that was also insanely helpful prior to that and I am continuing with less frequent sessions. My goal is to better learn how to manage ADHD and how to be a more connected, present, and supportive husband and father. I think I have been progressing well. I feel healthy. I am excited about how this has gone. I am working on anger management and taking a page from the book of Mr. Fred Rogers. I had no idea that he struggled with a strong and volatile temper. He never wanted to be remembered as a saint because he didn’t want his example to be unachievable but I do think he is probably the best person who ever lived a full life. I will be looking to him as an example and we’ve decided to introduce the show as a regular part of our kids’ lives. Gods know it’s as helpful to me as it is to them. And I’m adding care of words as well to this goal for things don’t have to be yelled to hurt. Overall, I am anxious to get back into things. I also cracked my phone screen so I was barely able to use it the last several days but it is now fixed. Yay!
  6. Greetings, and welcome to all! I’m a married parent of 4 kids aged 0-8. I’m ultimately an adventurer at heart, though I train similar to a lot of Rangers (and I’m something of a Druid Paladin which is also something of an equivalent to a Ranger). I love hiking, exploring, traveling, and other fun things with the family. Since shortly before joining Nerdfitness, my physical training is typically built around injury rehabilitation (which happens a bit more often due to autoimmune arthritis) and training to be able to travel, explore, and play with my family. I have a pretty effective Disney World training system, and try to ensure that at any point I’m strong enough to carry my whole family somewhere. That has become more difficult as the years go on but I can still do it for the most part. I am also an enthusiastic suburban homesteader bent on establishing an orchard and vegetable garden, so things can get pretty out-doorsy depending on my goals. My needs mean I do a variety of types of training, and my earliest two physical training goals were “run fast” and “be able to competitively play any sport I come across.” I prefer to avoid gyms and do a lot of body weight training. When I do lift weights it is at the YMCA or, more commonly, takes the form of children, sandbags, or logs. Quite nearly a year ago, we welcomed baby 4 into the family. We take all kids to Disney World for their first birthday (or roughly thereabouts) and thus Le Bébé becomes L’enfant. My cat was diagnosed with feline dementia last year and I’m struggling between putting her down and trying to adapt. Some days are really good. She’s snuggly and social and totally fine. Other days she forgets what litter boxes are and hides. As it is I think she had something like it when we adopted her at age 8 and I suspect when she went missing during those early deep freezes she’d run off to die. So. Struggling. She’s really messed up some things in the house. But on the other hand… yeah. We adopted a kitten (our third cat and Rex’s first), and I don’t want my old broken cat to inadvertently teach her bad habits. We have returned to school in person, which I think the kids needed mentally but I’m still incredibly nervous about, especially since the youngest two are too young to be vaccinated. I know getting some level of COVID is virtually inevitable but I really want to push that at least until we can all be vaccinated. We’ve been both cautious and lucky thus far. At the beginning of last year, we started shopping for an existing business with a professional kitchen to give a physical location to our small bakery. We now own the bakery kitchen and business, and are focusing hard on getting our renovation done and team built, as it had grown by multiples over the summer from the original numbers given to us. We’ve done home hiring, had some more curveballs come our way, and may have to pivot again. I think we found a good balance that keeps us from having to spend all of our capital on machinery, and let’s us move forward with the original plan. Of course, we didn’t go into business for the guarantees, we went into business to make our efforts matter. Those efforts are still paying off and I think this will enable us to lead a much better life going forward. The fruit trees and bushes are all doing well. They’re going to sleep for the winter. The kumquat tree and pepper plants live at the bakery now. It’s been extremely hard to homestead as I want to, with both of us having day jobs and the bakery. I see some light though. We’re again looking at possibly moving and possibly even a new build. It’s either that or some major work on our house; we love our neighbors and location but the bedroom situation is difficult and the garage is painful when you have 2 big vans instead of smaller cars. Plus, with the recent car accident taking out my van and putting us into a Tahoe… it literally doesn’t fit into the garage. But it’s way more cramped than either van. Truly, I hate the Tahoe. It’s big in all the wrong ways and cramped. But it will do while we’re waiting for my van to get fixed. My leg is still messed up, partly because I sat in the super cramped passenger seat along with 3 backpacks and a suitcase giving me little room to move for our roughly 2,000 mile round trip. I drove maybe 600 or 700 miles. Healthwise, we’ve been living the keto lifestyle for most of the year and we’ve found it to be incredibly easy to stick to 99% of the time, meaning we’re seeing more success and I’m burning less willpower on food-related stuff. I am past my arbitrary goal weight, and I’m focusing hard now on maintaining around this weight while achieving my goal composition. We took a break over the holidays and I gained about 18 lbs, but it’s almost all inflammation; my muscle and waist measurements are substantially the same. I can feel my psoriasis and arthritis flaring. We were planning to have a hiatus throughout January too but I don’t think I’m gonna last with my joints (psoriasis gets a lot worse in winter anyways). A huge problem is that I still struggle with intense carb cravings when I have more than, say, 1-2 cookies per day, and being otherwise low-carb but not keto isn’t quite enough. It’s better perhaps, craving wise, to stay generally keto while occasionally breaking out an indulging. I still plan to enjoy Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies and Christmas Even bourbon slushes and New Years black eyed peas. But I think I may make it more a series of per-meal or per-sitting exceptions in the future? Maybe not. Arthritis sucks. I’ve been doing lots of bodyweight squats and lunges with the 6-lb trays and I can tell a difference. Working in the bakery is much better physically than desk work (which I also still do). It’s a good physical job. The slowdown combined with standing throughout Jim’s funeral is probably what triggered my calf. I’m getting back to it and recommitting to the rule of “never bend where you can squat.” I've generally been doing well with my “no yelling” goal, though I’ve slipped a and I suspect it’s in part due to being tired and habits being difficult to break. I continue to strive towards zero yelling. I am also striving to be careful with my words at all times. I’m tired of being so very careful of my words most of the time to the point where I’ll simply be silent (where I have to be careful to not stonewall) but then just let loose and impulsively say a bunch of thoughtless things. I think the trip really, really helped. Getting away is mentally good for us and we kinda rely on the resets to break us out of bad mental-emotional routines. Goals: 1. Sleep. As best as possible. This is critical to managing my emotions as well as general health and quality of life. I’m currently trapped in sleep deprivation until we can hire and train our team. But I can also see a light at the end of the tunnel. 2. Basic calisthenics routine at the least. I don’t want to lose my pull-up and chin-up strength so I’m still doing those in the morning every other day. I’m catching up on sleep and housework so I hope to move into a strength-building mode soon. 3. Take one concrete step forward per day- at least one tangible, visible thing to make life better. This ranges from things as small as “dig out the replacement toaster” to as big as “reorganize the playroom.” I don’t have to complete the bigger ones as long as I make progress. 4. Take one concrete step forward per day career-wise. I need my job but I’m not satisfied in it and otherwise need a change. I need to hone/adapt skills and look for other opportunities. -> Currently, this involves finishing the bakery renovation. 5. Home and Garden. I want both to be better. Especially the home. The basement is… bad. I spent one today doing laundry and cleaning up. The basement needs a tremendous amount of work. The dogs have been staying down there snd it’s better than kenneling them but they’ve eaten some toys and containers which made a huge mess and the best dog’s separation anxiety issues are coming back into play. I hope that in the future I (or one of us at least) can be home half the day with them most days. My Christmas gift to Jessie was to rehire the lady that helped us previously. She’d graduated to become a hairdresser shortly after we moved, and I asked her for a referral. Lo and behold, COVID really changed things and it didn’t end up being what she wanted, so she’s going back to school to get her art degree and she’s cleaning/organizing houses to pay bills. So I coordinated with her and Marinara to get the main floor and bedrooms cleaned and organized while we were on vacation. The basement is further down the list but it’s there. We totally wrecked the house as we left. Then we kinda wrecked it unpacking and coming home but I’m taking this morning to clean and straighten up so it’s maintained. She’s not feeling well and I’m not pushing her to come in while she’s sick, but once she’s well she’ll be back to help more. 6. Therapy. I have a new(er) diagnoses and new(er) medication that have been, it feels, pretty life changing. I finished intensive therapy that was also insanely helpful prior to that and I am continuing with less frequent sessions. My goal is to better learn how to manage ADHD and how to be a more connected, present, and supportive husband and father. I think I have been progressing well. I feel healthy. I am excited about how this has gone. I am working on anger management and taking a page from the book of Mr. Fred Rogers. I had no idea that he struggled with a strong and volatile temper. He never wanted to be remembered as a saint because he didn’t want his example to be unachievable but I do think he is probably the best person who ever lived a full life. I will be looking to him as an example and we’ve decided to introduce the show as a regular part of our kids’ lives. Gods know it’s as helpful to me as it is to them. And I’m adding care of words as well to this goal for things don’t have to be yelled to hurt. It is a very exciting time. The bakery is coming along. It looks a lot more like what we wanted. The house is getting in order. D&D isn’t strictly regular but it won’t wait. It’s a good activity for the family and super easy to do in the car. I’m glad they love it so much. Rex really comes out of his shell and I think it’s his favorite activity. We haven’t played in a while and want to get back to it; the car is great but with a fully packed car it wasn’t feasible in the Tahoe. Speaking of Rex, he loves dresses. Big poofy Princess dresses are his favorite. But kids at school, particularly this group of girls led by one in particular who loves to tell him his favorite stuff is only for girls, have been getting to him. He was afraid to wear a dress to Disney (his custom), even his brand new light blue Cinderella dress. So I offered, if he wanted, to buy and wear a dress with him. He had me buy a Captain America dress, and I wore it to our day at Epcot. It was kinda fun. Definitely not my normal style. And… as good as Rex looks in a dress, I look bad (at least in the one I was wearing). But he wanted me to wear one with a lot of blue. He ended up wearing that with a chef’s hat with Remy in it and if that isn’t the most Rex thing in the world I don’t know what is. I adore that boy. Of all our kids he’s the least conventional so far and I want all of our kids to be supported and empowered to be themselves. He had tons of compliments, and a lot of older people saw him and were just overjoyed to see a young boy receiving love and support from his family, as I suspect some of them did not. He’s himself and that’s what matters. The alternative is hardly living.
  7. Greetings, and welcome to all! I’m a married parent of 4 kids aged 0-8. I’m ultimately an adventurer at heart, though I train similar to a lot of Rangers (and I’m something of a Druid Paladin which is also something of an equivalent to a Ranger). I love hiking, exploring, traveling, and other fun things with the family. Since shortly before joining Nerdfitness, my physical training is typically built around injury rehabilitation (which happens a bit more often due to autoimmune arthritis) and training to be able to travel, explore, and play with my family. I have a pretty effective Disney World training system, and try to ensure that at any point I’m strong enough to carry my whole family somewhere. That has become more difficult as the years go on but I can still do it for the most part. I am also an enthusiastic suburban homesteader bent on establishing an orchard and vegetable garden, so things can get pretty out-doorsy depending on my goals. My needs mean I do a variety of types of training, and my earliest two physical training goals were “run fast” and “be able to competitively play any sport I come across.” I prefer to avoid gyms and do a lot of body weight training. When I do lift weights it is at the YMCA or, more commonly, takes the form of children, sandbags, or logs. At the beginning of the year, we welcomed baby 4 into the family, my cat was diagnosed with feline dementia a few months ago, we adopted a kitten (our third cat and Rex’s first), and we have returned to school. At the beginning of this year, we started shopping for an existing business with a professional kitchen to give a physical location to our small bakery. We now own the bakery kitchen and business, and are focusing hard on getting our renovation done and team built, as it had grown by multiples over the summer from the original numbers given to us. We’ve done home hiring but had some more curveballs come our way, and may have to pivot again. Equipment orders just have everything so very far out that I’m not sure anything is going to come in time, and we’re looking for used/secondhand/other stuff for sale but that’s not guaranteed either. Of course, we didn’t go into business for the guarantees, we went into business to make our efforts matter. The fruit trees and bushes are all doing well. They’re going to sleep for the winter. The kumquat tree and pepper plants live at the bakery now. It’s been extremely hard to homestead as I want to with both of us having day jobs and the bakery. Who am I kidding though, we’ve been living at the bakery I hope we’re able to return to it. However, we’re again looking at possibly moving and possibly even a new build. It’s either that or some major work on our house; we love our neighbors and location but the bedroom situation is difficult and the garage is painful when you have 2 big vans instead of smaller cars. Healthwise, we’ve been living the keto lifestyle for most of the year and we’ve found it to be incredibly easy to stick to 99% of the time, meaning we’re seeing more success and I’m burning less willpower on food-related stuff. I am past my arbitrary goal weight, and I’m focusing hard now on maintaining around this weight while achieving my goal composition. The last time I was this weight was before I met Jessie and when I was in my student teaching (yeah, before the wrestling coach gig!) That is, one of the best shapes of my life. I want to be lean and strong, not skinny and weak. (Tried that and hated it). We did very specifically NOT stick to keto for Thanksgiving and it’s leftovers. We still are watching what we eat and are going back until Christmas but we’re not totally skipping green bean casserole, stuffing, and the pies of my favorite holiday. Even if we are still be pretty darned conservative with the consumption. I’ve been doing lots of bodyweight squats and lunges with the 6-lb trays and I can tell a difference. Working in the bakery is much better physically than desk work (which I also still do). It’s a good physical job. I've generally been doing well with my “no yelling” goal, though I’ve slipped a and I suspect it’s in part due to being tired and habits being difficult to break. I continue to strive towards zero yelling. I am also striving to be careful with my words at all times. I’m tired of being so very careful of my words most of the time to the point where I’ll simply be silent (where I have to be careful to not stonewall) but then just let loose and impulsively say a bunch of thoughtless things. Goals: 1. Sleep. As best as possible. This is critical to managing my emotions as well as general health and quality of life. I’m currently trapped in sleep deprivation until we can hire and train our team. But I can also see a light at the end of the tunnel. 2. Basic calisthenics routine at the least. I don’t want to lose my pull-up and chin-up strength so I’m still doing those in the morning every other day, but I’m in maintenance mode until I can fix the sleep situation. I see a light at least? 3. Take one concrete step forward per day- at least one tangible, visible thing to make life better. This ranges from things as small as “dig out the replacement toaster” to as big as “reorganize the playroom.” I don’t have to complete the bigger ones as long as I make progress. 4. Take one concrete step forward per day career-wise. I need my job but I’m not satisfied in it and otherwise need a change. I need to hone/adapt skills and look for other opportunities. -> Currently, this involves finishing the bakery renovation and acquiring additional equipment. And hiring more people. 5. Home and Garden. I want both to be better. Especially the home. The basement is… bad. I spent one today doing laundry and cleaning up. The basement needs a tremendous amount of work. The dogs have been staying down there snd it’s better than kenneling them but they’ve eaten some toys and containers which made a huge mess and the best dog’s separation anxiety issues are coming back into play. I hope that in the future I (or one of us at least) can be home half the day with them most days. 6. Therapy. I have a new(er) diagnoses and new(er) medication that have been, it feels, pretty life changing. I finished intensive therapy that was also insanely helpful prior to that and I am continuing with less frequent sessions. My goal is to better learn how to manage ADHD and how to be a more connected, present, and supportive husband and father. I think I have been progressing well. I feel healthy. I am excited about how this has gone. I am working on anger management and taking a page from the book of Mr. Fred Rogers. I had no idea that he struggled with a strong and volatile temper. He never wanted to be remembered as a saint because he didn’t want his example to be unachievable but I do think he is probably the best person who ever lived a full life. I will be looking to him as an example and we’ve decided to introduce the show as a regular part of our kids’ lives. Gods know it’s as helpful to me as it is to them. And I’m adding care of words as well to this goal for things don’t have to be yelled to hurt. It is a very exciting time. The bakery is coming along. We’ve had so many problems and I think we can or have overcome them all. I think I’ll feel better when our renovations are complete and the doors are open, and we can openly market for retail business. As always, I seem to bounce between exuberance and despair . That is, some of the long days are really hard. But having help is, well, oh-so-helpful. And though it is slow going, building a team will make it absolutely doable. Baking itself is FUN. And physically more pleasing than sitting at a desk. D&D isn’t strictly regular but it won’t wait. It’s a good activity for the family and super easy to do in the car. I’m glad they love it so much. Rex really comes out of his shell and I think it’s his favorite activity. I made my first delivery to Jim’s place today and it took a while. Their doorman was run over too; broke both legs, shattered ribs, and he’s got to relearn how to walk. He’ll be by later. I’ve never seen that place so somber. They’re keeping him on the payroll and having him as a guest to watch the Blues game tonight with everyone. It really is a family, and one in mourning. I really miss him myself but I can’t even imagine.
  8. Greetings, and welcome to all! I’m a married parent of 4 kids aged 0-8. I’m ultimately an adventurer at heart, though I train similar to a lot of Rangers (and I’m something of a Druid Paladin which is also something of an equivalent to a Ranger). I love hiking, exploring, traveling, and other fun things with the family. Since shortly before joining Nerdfitness, my physical training is typically built around injury rehabilitation (which happens a bit more often due to autoimmune arthritis) and training to be able to travel, explore, and play with my family. I have a pretty effective Disney World training system, and try to ensure that at any point I’m strong enough to carry my whole family somewhere. That has become more difficult as the years go on but I can still do it for the most part. I am also an enthusiastic suburban homesteader bent on establishing an orchard and vegetable garden, so things can get pretty out-doorsy depending on my goals. My needs mean I do a variety of types of training, and my earliest two physical training goals were “run fast” and “be able to competitively play any sport I come across.” I prefer to avoid gyms and do a lot of body weight training. When I do lift weights it is at the YMCA or, more commonly, takes the form of children, sandbags, or logs. At the beginning of the year, we welcomed baby 4 into the family, my cat was diagnosed with feline dementia a few months ago, we adopted a kitten (our third cat and Rex’s first), and we have returned to school. At the beginning of this year, we started shopping for an existing business with a professional kitchen to give a physical location to our small bakery. We now own the bakery kitchen and business, and are focusing hard on getting our renovation done and team built, as it had grown by multiples over the summer from the original numbers given to us. We’re on the cusp of hiring and some of our equipment is in so I am hoping we tame it a little bit because the volume has been insane and has left us all burning the candle at both ends. The fruit trees and bushes are all doing well. The Methly Plum tree which is recovering well from the last deer attack. We’ve had ever more figs, the Ranier Cherry tree isn’t dead year (and seems to be doing well thus far), and the serranos have a dozen new flowers and the Carolina Reaper is really filling out. They’re going to move insider along with the kumquat tree, though the kumquats are likely going to live at the bakery over the winter. No pumpkins and sadly, the few female flowers we have came very late. My dreams of a fall homestead surrounded by a bountiful crop of squash will likely need to wait at least another year, though if I possibly can I’ll make it happen this year. Even a handful of small ones would be awesome. The people with those violent dogs sold their house and they moved last challenge. Good riddance. This brings a great relief to me and basically all the neighbors. For those who don’t know, we were warned about the dogs when we moved in. Then one of them came over the fence and attacked my dog out of the blue, and my precious Mama Dog lost half her ear. Turns out that the pair of dogs 1. Gets out regularly and 2. Attacks other animals, children, and even adults. 3. The owners take zero responsibility and gaslight people about it. These are the only neighbors here I don’t like, because they’re an actual danger. I am relieved they’re gone, because it means soon I’ll be able to remove the rabbit fencing I’ve kept at the very back to keep our dogs and kids several feet away from that back fence. I’ll have the freedom to establish a real garden at the back, since my attempts to grow an espaliered tree hedge have largely failed. We do have a thriving Crapemyrtle and blackberries along the back and I look forward to basically making those and the lilac bush a full hedge without the threat of a dog attack. Healthwise, we’ve been living the keto lifestyle for a little over 8months, and we’ve found it to be incredibly easy to stick to 99% of the time, meaning we’re seeing more success and I’m burning less willpower on food-related stuff. I am past my arbitrary goal weight, and I’m focusing hard now on maintaining around this weight while achieving my goal composition. The last time I was this weight was before I met Jessie and when I was in my student teaching (yeah, before the wrestling coach gig!) That is, one of the best shapes of my life. I want to be lean and strong, not skinny and weak. (Tried that and hated it). I fell off the wagon a bit when it comes to strength workouts. I do push-ups in people’s name as a form of prayer and last challenge saw a lot of sickness and worry, so it sort of took over everything else. I’ve been doing lots of bodyweight squats and lunges with the 6-lb trays and I can tell a difference. Working in the bakery is much better physically than desk work (which I also still do). But it’s a nice physical job and I like it. I've generally been doing well with my “no yelling” goal, though I’ve slipped a couple of times. I continue to strive towards zero yelling. Goals: 1. Sleep. As best as possible. This is critical to managing my emotions as well as general health and quality of life. I’m currently trapped in sleep deprivation until we can hire and train our team. But I can also see a light at the end of the tunnel. 2. Basic calisthenics routine at the least. I don’t want to lose my pull-up and chin-up strength so I’m still doing those in the morning every other day, but I’m in maintenance mode until I can fix the sleep situation. 3. Take one concrete step forward per day- at least one tangible, visible thing to make life better. This ranges from things as small as “dig out the replacement toaster” to as big as “reorganize the playroom.” I don’t have to complete the bigger ones as long as I make progress. 4. Take one concrete step forward per day career-wise. I need my job but I’m not satisfied in it and otherwise need a change. I need to hone/adapt skills and look for other opportunities. -> Currently, this involves working towards dramatically expanding the team to help run the formerly part-time business that exploded with the acquisition of another bakery. Said bakery's business grew out of control and the previous owner did no real expanding of the business, she just worked herself into the ground. 5. Home and Garden. I want both to be better. 6. Therapy. I have a new diagnoses and new medication that have been, it feels, pretty life changing. I finished intensive therapy that was also insanely helpful prior to that and I am continuing with less frequent sessions. My goal is to better learn how to manage ADHD and how to be a more connected, present, and supportive husband and father. I think I have been progressing well. I feel healthy. I am excited about how this has gone. I am working on anger management and taking a page from the book of Mr. Fred Rogers. I had no idea that he struggled with a strong and volatile temper. He never wanted to be remembered as a saint because he didn’t want his example to be unachievable but I do think he is probably the best person who ever lived a full life. I will be looking to him as an example and we’ve decided to introduce the show as a regular part of our kids’ lives. Gods know it’s as helpful to me as it is to them. It is a very exciting time. We just celebrated our 11th anniversary and went for fondue and axe throwing. I’m pretty good with the axes though Jessie is far better with shuriken and throwing cards, which are substantially similar to throwing a ball. She played softball as a catcher and was on the Olympic team arc before an injury so she is an amazing thrower and it’s rare that I can out throw her with anything. Actually, so far, it’s only ever been the axes. And I suspect I would come out ahead on throwing spikes and throwing knives as well, but only because those things I practiced throwing as a kid and they are markedly different from throwing a ball. It was a good time. The bakery is overwhelming, though in a good way. We have too much business, which I think is probably better than the opposite problem. We’ve had no end of bank problems and then state withholding paperwork took forever to get processed, so payroll is only just now set up. I have a pretty good idea on how to best utilize people; even a totally untrained, unpracticed helper can dramatically increase the output by taking care of easier tasks allowing the other person to keep hand-rolling the pretzels. Machines are expensive and not able to adequately roll and work dough consistently so they tend to create pretzels that dry out quickly or are super chewy. Our real “technology” advantage is teamwork. A team of 3-4 could make half a week’s worth of cases in a day, being limited then by the mixer output. Walk-in retail is surprisingly high given we have a sign on the door that says “closed for renovations.” We have to lock the door to keep people from coming in and some knock and ask anyway, and I hardly have the heart to turn them down. As always, I seem to bounce between exuberance and despair . That is, some of the long days are really hard. But having help is, well, oh-so-helpful. And though it is slow going, building a team will make it absolutely doable. Baking itself is FUN. And physically more pleasing than sitting at a desk. Sadly, our D&D campaign is on hold until we iron things out with the business. We have to focus on that so that we can all get our sleep/be able to take care of our homes/actually take our vacation over Christmas without ruining the business.
  9. It's been I don't even know how long since I participated in a challenge - maybe a year? I hesitated to post this, then spent a moment reflecting on the darkness of 2020, and found myself crying. So here I am. I've missed this wonderful virtual place, but this year has really knocked me on my rear - as it has for most people. Hiroro's 2020 in a (large) nutshell Parenting: my baby girl was born 12/26/19 - so she is approaching 1 year old! She started reliably sleeping through the night about a month or two ago (HALLELUJAH), which means this year has entailed several months of sleep deprivation. I am finally, sort of, feeling functional-ish again. Fitness: I started working out again a few months after the birth, and within weeks strained my hip/groin. Over the next few months the pain increased and my physical capability decreased until I couldn't walk more than a few blocks without pain. Months of physical therapy later, I've finally "graduated" from PT a few weeks ago. I can now run a few miles without pain - sometimes. I'm still doing my PT exercises and stretches on my own, though I'm not perfect about getting them in every day anymore. Nutrition: I definitely let this get haywire, I've been eating lactation supplementing treats all year as I struggled to keep my milk supply up while pumping at work (went back to work at the end of April). After putting a lot of pressure in the early months to try to get back to pre-baby weight, I decided to put it on hold while trying to get my hip fixed and my head on straight. So right now I'm probably sitting at about my highest pre-pregnancy weight, and it doesn't feel great. But I feel like I finally have the energy again to focus more on cooking and eating healthy - it helps that I'm planning to wean soon. A side factor is that my husband started a very extreme diet early in the year and after hitting his goal weight (and improving his BP and cholesterol) has fallen off the wagon. I'd love for us to be able to find a moderate middle ground. I've been working on buying and cooking more veggies, and preparing an actual dinner so we sit down and eat instead of the grazing we were doing before. Mindset: Speaking of my head, I fell pretty hard into a deep, dark, hole of postpartum depression. After trying to manage on my own for way too long, I found a new therapist who was a much better fit than the woman I'd seen before. Unfortunately she left the practice about a month ago, so I'm flailing a bit as I try to find someone new. Etc: My parents have been amazing support during this year, and I have no idea what we would have done without them. My husband was laid off halfway through the year, and I'm thankful that our financial position is solid enough that he was able to be selective about finding a new job - he has a tentative offer and expects to start in January. Since he's been stay at home parenting, this is going to be a big adjustment - wonderfully, my parents will provide childcare likely until some point next year when we feel safe sending the baby to daycare. Though he has enjoyed getting to spend extra time with the baby, being the SAHD has left him worn out all the time, and made it hard for me to take time for myself (and even when I do, with COVID going anywhere is anxiety-inducing). At work we've gone through two rounds of layoffs and are expecting a third early next year. While I think my job is fairly secure, we are understaffed and overloaded, and people I work with and like could be laid off - cue stress and anxiety. This challenge is well timed (even though I'm late to the party, as usual) as I feel like I'm finally seeing a small light at the end of the tunnel - to being able to be physically active, and take better care of myself, and find a new routine with both myself and my husband working. Thanks to a lot of physical and psychological therapy, I'm finally in a place where I am excited about the idea of setting new goals. At the same time, my pattern is to get overambitious and then peter out. So the plan is to start small, adding kindling to the tiny bit of fire I've found still burning within myself. Challenge Goals Sit down for dinner every day with my family Usually daily goals are not the best for me - but this seems very achievable. Even if it's a frozen pizza and a salad. Move my body 6 times Basically anything. I just bought a set of dumbells off a coworker friend who was moving away so those are a handy option when I can't get myself out the door to run. Go to bed by 10pm Since the baby has started sleeping better, I find myself staying up too late because I'm so desperate to extend the few hours of free time at the end of the day. But it makes me feel pants the next day, and I know better. Side Goals - just for fun Finish reading In Defense of Food Complete scrap yarn crochet basket I'm excited to be crafting again. I think a 2021 goal is going to be whittling down my yarn stash (it's taking up way too much of our limited storage space) so this is a head start. Do something fun on my own at least 1x/week (socially-distanced friend meetups count) When I'm not intentional about this, I find I stay home all the time trying to give my husband some relief, but really it just means we both end up worn out. When we each take time for ourselves it's better. Even though it's more difficult now, I can visit the library (people are pretty good about masking and it is sparse enough that I feel safe/comfortable) or meet a friend over a firepit. Looking forward to connecting and reconnecting with fellow Rebels!
  10. I'm sick of Covid and Covid accessories. The vitriol has become more tiresome than the virus. I also work as a hospital chaplain, so there we are. My wife is a High School Spanish Teacher, and school will "Start" during this challenge, though at minimum the first three weeks will be online. However, life still happens. I've taken my warning signs of pre-diabetes seriously, and plan to continue with that by cooking at home as much as possible, eating out as little as possible (which includes delivery of prepared food), and having as little sugar as possible. I plan to do Kettlebells following Nerd Fitness' Beginner KB workout, and to do yoga. If the budget allows it, I'll get the bike I was given last challenge set up and buy a helmet and start riding some.
  11. The Uncertainty is getting to me. I remember the before times, and wish they could go back. I think to the future, and know this will eventually end. Right here, right now, it feels like we are locked in a never ending cycle. There will come a time when I scream defiance at the universe and decide to Ranger the Heck out of my circumstances. Right now, as I write this challenge before the previous one ends, I know what will help is to lean into the angst and acknowledge it. What better way to do that than to post songs from Angst Rock? Angst Rock is the name I made up for Rock that feels angsty to me. It can include Pink Floyd, much of 90s grunge and Alt, and a few other things. It may very well be that I get to determined before the challenge ends. If so great, but I know what I need to post now is Angsty. This is the definition of Angst to me. It's the song I play when I want to remember what it was like to be a teen and think that no one understands me. Goals: Continue with KB workouts. I wasn't as consistent with three workouts a week in the previous challenge as I was in the two before it, but I did enough to move up. Therefore, I will keep doing the NF Beginner KB workout. The first round will be with my 20lb bell, the 2nd and third will be with my 15 lb bell. This is a step up from last challenge, where I was doing all three rounds with the 15lb bell. The goal is 3 times a week. Comfortably Numb is the superior Floyd Song, and arguably more angsty, but this feels more strung out. Goals: Yoga 2 to 3 times a week. Has to include frog pose and forward fold if I make it up, videos do not necessarily have to include frog pose. Whatever your views of country music, you can't deny some of it is Angsty Goals: Walks For goodness sakes, do some. I've not been going on walks for far too long. The goal is to rebuild the habit. How can you angst without a Nirvana Song? Goals: Continue to lean into intuitive eating. Lately I've been in a stage of letting myself have things I've long denied myself. I've been on this IE journey for some time, and have found things to let myself have. Right now I'm leaning into chocolate and cookies. This is fine. It's part of the process. The point of these songs and this acknowledgement of Angst is not to surrender to the Angst. It's not giving up. It's validating the Angst and myself for feeling it. Rather than a surrender, it's a declaration of war. I will not fight the angst head on. I will accept it and myself and find meaning in it. Universe, you cannot bring me down by inducing angst, you can only make me stronger, for I will integrate these feelings and love myself in so doing.
  12. starsapart: A Brief and Abridged History I think an anniversary challenge calls for a bit of retrospection, doesn't it? I found Nerd Fitness in summer of 2014 after someone sent me one of Steve's articles. I'd been on a health and fitness journey since April of that year, which had marked an all-time emotional low point for me. I'd latched on to weight loss as a silver bullet of sorts, with this vague idea that if I could just be conventionally attractive, my life would sort itself out (spoiler: it doesn't work like that). Finding the forums really helped me start to find some joy in movement and began my slow journey to mental recovery. I had a serious injury in August of that year after a brief trial of parkour, which forced me to start building my upper body strength while my broken ankle was in a cast. I didn't really know what I wanted to do once I was healed, but around that time, I met @sylph, who opened my eyes to the crazy idea that an adult could absolutely learn to be an acrobat. I started aerial in November of 2014, at which point I was about 50 pounds down from my highest weight and feeling a lot better about life, the universe, and everything. I stuck to the forums, becoming a member (and then briefly the commander) of the Cutlasses, then an ambassador for the Assassins. I was just about 80 pounds down when I was featured as a success story on the Nerd Fitness blog, one year after my fitness journey had started. My mind was much healthier in a lot of ways by then, though in retrospect I realize I had slipped into disordered eating in the form of orthorexia. I never addressed this on the forums, but I ended up having to undo a lot of mental tangle again to fix my broken-in-a-new-way relationship with food. Based on my doctor's insistence in 2015, I actually had to regain a small amount of the weight I had lost. Still, things were going well overall - despite additional injuries and setbacks, my aerial skills improved greatly. I got my first pull-up. I started performing. I became a guild leader for the Assassins. By mid-2016, I felt like I had my health and fitness sorted, and with life getting progressively busier, I left the forums for several years, though I retained some of the great friends I had made here and at CNF 2015. Then 2019 rolled around, and my life changed drastically again: my wife and I adopted a baby! And this was very exciting! But very exhausting!! I lapsed (completely) on lifting weights. I lapsed (a lot) on making good food choices. I lapsed (a little) on training in the circus gym. I came back to the forums in December of 2019 in hopes of finding some support as I tried to right my course. That brings us to today! I survived my return challenge and I'm back for more. I definitely don't have time for the careful selection of song lyrics and themed gifs anymore, because #momlife, but I do have goals! I am performing in a major circus production close to the end of this challenge (the shows run March 13-15) and I've been frantically rehearsing and preparing, which has done a lot for my consistency. Still, there are a few things I need to address as I prepare for the show. As such, my goals are as follows: GOAL 1: NUTRITION GRAB BAG Last challenge, I got back on the food tracking bandwagon, but I didn't address exactly what I was eating and when. I was batting around several nutrition goal ideas, but ultimately, I think I'll do a grab bag. I am aiming to earn 80 points by the end of the challenge, meaning I need to earn 2+ points a day. I can earn (or lose) points in the following ways: Caloric deficit (1800 calories or less) : +1 IF (eat only between 11am-7pm) : +1 Vegetarian day (I already try to do this once a week, but this will hopefully be a nice motivator to do more) : +1 Zero junk food day (no chocolate, no chips, no cookies; a serving of dried fruit or nuts is fine but eating a whole bag of either is not...) : +2 Caloric surplus (2100 calories or more; I can take a bye on this if I've had a very physical day, i.e. 3+ hours of aerial in a row or 10 miles of snowshoeing or something) : -1 Excess sweets (3 or more in one day) : -1 Skipped tracking (lack of best-effort tracking in MFP) : -1 GOAL 2: LIFTING REDUX I had a lifting goal last challenge and I mostly stuck to it, but I don't feel confident that I've built a sustainable habit yet, so here we go again, Lift two times a week, better three. Anything counts, even if I just go down and do a 5x5 of bench press and then call it done. I get a bye on show week - no lifting required at all the week of March 8-14, because I will basically be in the gym or the theater every bloody day and I'm going to be massively fatigued. Depending on how I feel post-show, I may require only one session the week of March 15. GOAL 2B: RECOVERY IS KEY I had to suspend my lifting goal due to changes in my aerial schedule. Instead, starting week 3, I am looking for foam rolling sessions after every practice and performance. GOAL 3: FLEXIBILITY I've been pretty lax on stretching outside of rehearsal warm-ups. My wife and I occasionally do yoga videos together, but that's not super consistent, either. I'm aiming for two flexibility sessions a week. They need to be a minimum of 15 minutes and can focus on splits, straddles, backbends, whatever. Yoga counts. Aerial practice or class doesn't count, unless I specifically take a flexibility and contortion class. GOAL 4: FAMILY TIME I'll run this one grab-bag style as well, aiming for 15 points by the end of the challenge (to be adjusted once I see how this goes). I earn points by: Family meal (everyone, including baby, sits down to eat together at the same time) : +1 Family walk (Around the block or to the park or whatever, but it has to be outdoors) : +1 Fun family outing (anything from storytime to going to the aquarium; going to the grocery store obviously doesn't count) : +1 I think that's plenty to focus on this go around. I have a few big disruptions hitting during this challenge as well: Feb 21-24, we're heading up for a long weekend at my family's mountain condo with a couple friends (yes, we're taking baby), which will include lots of fun activities but also probably lots of food. March 9, my daughter turns one! Cue more food and lots of prep (her party is on the 8th) and general insanity. Finally, as previously mentioned, I've got a show running the weekend of March 13. So, here we go! Sending shoutouts to @stillskies, @blkhole24601, and @Kagetsukai to get their fine asses back here for the anniversary challenge. C'MON LADIES, JOIN THE FUN!
  13. As the title implies, this challenge is about losing as little as possible while I wait for the new year. With a new baby, finding a routine has been a challenge, and I need routine to develop consistency with workouts. It's a fool's errand to try and generate consistency and routine at this time of year, so I've given myself permission to wait till the new year to try and set up a new routine. I am not, however, giving myself permission to quit. I've posted this challenge to keep myself mindful of the fact that something is better than nothing, and I will populate this December with as many somethings as I can. As such, I'm going to try and get as many hits as possible on my list of Good Things (as it pertains to health and fitness, there are many more good things than what's listed below). Tank's List of Good Things: Intuitive Eating Cooking Kettlebells Yoga Baby Rucking Thanks for following!
  14. So I'm using my Admin/Mod powers to write up this post early in the event Baby Tank also comes early. We are in the window where if the baby comes it's safe to do natural childbirth at the birthing center. The due date is the 8th of September the last day of the previous challenge and the beginning of zero week. Incidentally, if zero week starts early it's because I put the new forums up the day before I normally do in case the baby comes on time. When the baby comes I'll be taking off five weeks from work, so I can probably still post and be on here once we get settled back at home. Goals: Cooking: Do it. Workouts: at least 10. Stuff to do while not at work: Finish the baby room (she will be sleeping in the pack and play in our room for a couple of months at first so we have time) Get an eye exam and new glasses [contacted Optometrist to request exam] Fix the passenger door on my truck [Currently seeking estimates] Get tires on Truck Rotated and balanced Get Firewood for "winter" (Help a buddy chop down a tree and cut up the wood which we will share) Finish Hanging Decorations Obtain and hang curtains for the house Organize Garage and Shed
  15. Tzippi Tastes the Vinegar If you've read the Tao of Pooh (and if you haven't, consider it!), you might remember the allegorical image referenced at the beginning of the Vinegar Tasters, in which three men taste from the same vat of vinegar, one tasting sourness, one bitterness, and one sweetness. These three are representations of the three major religions/philosophies of China, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The vinegar is life, and the men each taste it differently. Tai Chi, which I have begun studying and is a hugely positive practice in my life, is largely based on Taoist philosophy. I'm not going to get very deep into Confucianism, Buddhism, or Taoism, as I am at best a tourist and at worst completely ignorant of them. Instead, I am going to use my battered copy of The Tao of Pooh to look at what I want to do in my life, as I get a little deeper into my goals, study of Tai Chi, and continue to grow and refine. The "theme" of this challenge is halfway between using the three vinegar tasters as my models and metaphor, and using the characters from the Hundred-Acre Woods as the same. Taking my inspiration from the inimitable @sarakingdom and @Mistr, I am building on last challenge's success by adding tiny incremental goals to enhance my new habits, rather than adding a million new ones. “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” Body and mind - * Continue to support my Tai Chi practice with daily work, whether class, Tai Chi practice, or some other exercise. * Once per week, one weight workout or long walk/hike. Could be body weight, or a hammer. Poetry and Hums - * Continue with daily (more often nightly) five-minute+ meditation. Got Calm subscription, starting with the Pooh meditations. * Using my MyOmer App, count the omer every evening. * Once per week, one longer meditation. Try different stuff, report and review here. I may start with metta meditation: Rumbly in my Tumbly - * Three servings of vegetables a day. * Plant more stuff in the garden. Herbs? Will it get warm enough for cukes, zucchs, and tomatoes?
  16. Book: Water Also known as the Tale of Tzippi and the Too Many Tags I am returning to the Rebellion after a long battle with a demon of depression. The dark spirit swept in as I was weakened by becoming a mother. I am doing better now, and am just beginning to practice Tai Chi, which (along with the fine spring weather) is inspiring me to respawn here, as a monk. One goal under each bending style is a constant habit, one-two one-time goals under are straight up success if done. Thanks for the help refining my foals, @sarakingdom Goal One: Plantbending ☆ Eat 2 fruits and veg per day. (If this gets too easy, up it to 3). ☆ Research and plan an indoor greens growing system. ☆ Shop for weeStockings sized garden tools, pit on wish list. Goal Two: Waterbending ☆ Exercise every day to support Tai chi. On class days, go to class. Other days, Hammer, walk, yoga . . . ☆ Sweep back deck for morning practice. Goal Three: Cloudbending ☆ Harness the breath like an Airbender by Meditating 5 minutes daily. ☆ DONE. Get reusable travel mug again. A nice ceramic one with a silicone lid. ☆ For week with April 1st, make a new Gratitude BuJo spread. ☆ With first paycheck, sign up for Calm premium subscription.
  17. Heidi

    Heidi: Receive

    Mind Body and Soul I’ve gotten a bit slack with the daily writing and the yoga routines and all the rest. I was feeling disconnected, spent from a very bleak midwinter indeed, and I need to reconnect, especially at the soul level. I’m looking forward to setting down anxiety and fretfulness and worry. I’m looking forward to living in harmony and love, letting the universe be in charge. I’m thinking of this round sort of like a sustained balance pose, like the Eagle or the tree. Or, my favorite, Lord of the Dance, even though this past challenge I considered it a huge success just to do Corpse pose. Let’s see what the Universe has in mind for me, shall we? This spring I’m doing something kind of weird. I’m putting a whole bunch of stuff out into the universe and seeing what comes back. I’ve put out a mountain of energy and intention and effort and invitation in the past three months. Mostly, I’ve heard nothing, except for the occasional faint and distant no. Okay, universe; message received. Apparently the directions I have been looking are not the ones the Universe has in mind for me. But I still don’t know exactly what I am supposed to be doing. This round I’m working with the uncertainty of it all, leaning on the knowledge that I am a powerfully effective person and very capable indeed. If it should all come back that I end up with two master’s degree programs and a full time job and a part time one on top of that, I could probably do it all, frankly, though not for very long. But maybe just long enough to see what I want to keep. I’m crafting this challenge around what I want to be doing regardless of the external validation structures that might come my way. I’m going to highlight the things in my life that are actively positive elements, and I’m going to update on how my focus on them is going. Mind - daily activities Read Spiritual Book Group Book A Testament of Devotion I'll add in other books as they happen. This place is being left as available depending on what happens with the two graduate programs I'm working with. Knit Publish the patterns that I have finished. Finish the Mrs. Who capelet and publish the pattern. Consider the possibilities of a wholesale yarn order Begin Vivian's Daphne Dress Write Pages are due before the colonoscopy on April 25. More pages will be required at the Queens Workshop May 20-26 Then pages will be needed for June and July, too. Body Gym: I have missed the gym, and it has missed me. It's no real surprise that there is a positive feedback loop of negativity when I don't go to the gym because I'm getting depressed. So the answer is: More Gym Time. Weights and walking and swimming are wonderful and have been missing from my world for too long. The Steam room and sauna are definitely needed. Any day with these is a good day. Yoga: I've added in a bit of structure since the yoga has fallen by the wayside. Tuesday Morning Yoga at the Library Wednesday Evening Yoga at the Mansion Friday Morning Yoga at the Library Soul - This is the area of greatest need, and fortunately is the one that has the most activity scheduled. These are the ways of the universe, in which there are no coincidences. Monday Evening meeting Sunday Friends Monthly Spiritual Formation Meeting - date tbd for May Monthly Women’s Wisdom Meeting April 18 & May 16 Semi-annual Spiritual Retreat May 4-6 Annual Friends Blue Ridge Gathering April 29
  18. Quick Introduction I'm Natalee, fun, funky, fabulous mother of 2 sweet little boys charting her course in waters rough and rugged. I've been struggling to get my fitness, specifically bodyweight fitness in order these last few months and it came to mind to visit this wonderful haven and lo and behold a challenge is about to start, so here I am. For the next four weeks my aim is to do all of four things Bodyweight train 6 days a week, actively rest on Sundays, a part of this bodyweight training will be a focus on improving flexibility. Improve my eating habits; I need to make healthier choices, increase protein intake and decrease the consumption of cookies. (Cookie monster Alert!!} Develop the program outline for my proposed physical education program. Listen to Bible and personal development audios daily. I'm short on time at the moment... working on work... but this is the outline and I will add an in depth breakdown of my goals, adding my workouts and diet plans when time permits. I feel really excited, NerdFitness has helped me before, and I have all confidence that sharing with you all will help me to LEVEL UP! Can't wait to meet you!
  19. Heck yeah, MORE, gimme MORE MUAHAHAHAHA Will update with more concrete info here soonest. So life has me by the belt, and is flinging me about. I have no theme, per sé, but I was thinking about taking a photo of my stash yarn. Still not sure if maybe I'll do that. I have a few WIPs that need finishing, a tiny pi-shawlette that needs a border, a gift (old shale triangle shawl) for a friend that needs some love (stitches and beads), a second sock for my left foot, because unequal foot wear is not fun, first ever woolen sock pair I am knitting for myself (the one pair of cotton sneaker socks, 5-10 years ago don't count as knitting socks for myself). If I can knit size 49 (German sizes are weird, I'm on the phone and too lazy to translate that) for hubby, I can knit some socks for myself. I deserve amazing footwear. A few acrylic crochet toy things I am not looking at right now. I stress knit. But I also am finding the joy in fibres, textures, patterns, colours again. So it's not just my son's physical/mental health problems anymore. Not enough? More. I teach Luebecker Modell Bewegungswelten classes twice a week in an elderly home a half-hour walk from home. Good program, amazing people, good money. I am only training once a week myself right now. But that's way enough. Or it has to be for now. (Tuesday night 630-9pm) I should be focussing on all the things. But I am mostly sitting down at some point in the earliesk afternoon, for some knitting and some thinking. I rarely pull out my bujo, but I shall endeavor to do so more often, for it helps keep track of Schiff, if I don't have to carry it in my head, but have it written down instead. I weigh myself daily, for a nice pretty moving average, but I don't look at it too much. Sadly it's currently going in the wrong direction overall. But I have to breathe and go on. Giving up is not an option. I need to take the time and figure out a few breakfast and supper options that I can eat, do eat, and will eat so I don't have to log every ingredient separately every time. I need to make logging so easy I can't not. That's my plan for some of this month. I have someone coming to my class at the end of the month to give me coaching, which is exciting and scary. But I'll prevail. I have all the things on my plate. It'll be fine. Linkage and pics later today when there's natural light and such. Possibly. Did I mention that it's hubby's bday Wednesday and he's turning 40 and I love him and I actually finally have a gift for him? I am giving him a card, telling him of the weekend with no kids, got the car and day of hiking we'll both enjoy like crazy, may even book a room in advance and stay out and make it a weekend-thing instead of a Saturday thing. Never done that kinda stuff before. I pretty certain he'll love it. Nature, walking, no appointments, no obligations, just an easy 10k walk or something of the sort. Gift on Wednesday, actual walk on the 31.March/1.April-weekend. I'll keep you informed. So that's my challenge posted up. About time, isn't it?
  20. How auspicious that @Sylvaa poked me the same day the new challenge starts! I will be back later to actually post my challenge.
  21. It's been awhile... Over the past past couple of months I have lost my way in terms of fitness. A combination of the end of the school year, my wife being hospitalized a couple of times (eventually being put on bed rest), the birth of my first child, and spraining my ankle have caused me to neglect working out and eating properly. Now that we have gotten into a routine (as much as possible with a newborn) it's time to get back to taking care of myself. Quests Lift: 3 days a week - no excuses, I have the length of this entire challenge free from work, so there is no reason I can't set aside 3 hours a week to lifting. Chart Calories: Everyday - I need to be more aware of what I am eating and take ownership of it. Eat Like an Adult: No pizza, no burgers - with all that was going we got into a bad habit of eating carryout several times a week. Not only is this unhealthy it's expensive. Garden: 3 days a week - in addition to neglecting my fitness, I have neglected my lawn and parts of it are starting to look like a jungle. I need to spend at least 3 days a week trimming plants, pulling weeds, and getting things looking nice. WARNING Cutest Baby Ever
  22. I'm going a little backwards. My week zero I am being super strict. Don't throw things, but it's my "detox" week. I'm not going to take detox tea that gives me diarrhea or anything - I'm going to hardcore clean up my food. Then, for the actual challenge, I'm going back to more reasonable goals, so that I'm not setting myself up for failure. I can do one week. I CAN DO ONE WEEK. Spreadsheet here
  23. First off - challenge spreadsheet here! Keeping things kind of simple, but I think these are some good goals, and would be helpful habits to get into (keep into, in the case of my step goal). Goal 1: 15k steps work days/10k steps other days Last challenge, I just went with the default 12k every day goal I have set on my fitbit. I decided to increase the goal for work days, because I'm very active on work days. I lowered it on weekends, because I really struggled to hit 12k, and I don't want to step a goal that is unrealistic to attain. The plan is to increase again next challenge (maybe something like 17k work days, 12k other days). Goal 2: 5 new recipes The last two challenges, I've had goals about how many different dinners (instead of repeats, leftovers, or takeout) in the four weeks. I started at 15, then I did 20. What I learned is that with a three person household, it's really hard for me to not have at least one (usually two) leftover nights a week. My freezer would fill up so fast. And... eating leftovers isn't really a bad thing. Eating out? Yeah, I am still trying to avoid that. But, I do want to continue to encourage my cooking creativity and to grow my skills as a cook, so over the course of this challenge I will make at least five new recipes. Goal 3: leafy greens 3x week I've noticed that while I eat a ton of veggies, I don't eat a lot of leafy greens, and I know they have lots of health benefits. I also know that the weeks I increase them, I seem to feel better. So this challenge I will eat them at least three days a week. Goal 4: Turn off TV at bedtime Honestly, this will be my hardest challenge goal. I have a LOT of trouble falling asleep. I typically either have something playing on my TV or laptop to fall asleep to. It helps to distract my brain away from thinking. Well, the last few weeks this has shifted into me staying up way too late because I get too interested in what is on the TV/laptop. So for this challenge I will work on turning the stuff off and just falling asleep.
  24. Where to begin…..I’m a 30 year old mother of one little boy and recently completed a three year whirlwind of moving, commuting long distances, and childbirth. Needless to say healthy habits got lost in the frenzy of activity and now I am where I am and somewhat in a stable routine (I feel like with kids you never truly have a set routine ever again). Trying to get back to living a healthy lifestyle and taking it a bit more slowly than I did previously while also incorporating the new reality of hypothyroidism. I have been tracking my food for the past month on myfitnesspal and will be working in yoga, exercise, and better bedtime habits over the next few months. Looking forward to trying to plan hikes in the warmer weather with the wee one. Thanks for being awesome nerds and let’s do this!
  25. Hello! I am joining the assassins for the next challenge as I am focusing on body weight work. Now let me start off by saying i am a beginner. In fact, I am lower than a beginner. I had a rough pregnancy that i couldn't exercise at all during. Everything (especially my core!) has suffered. However after being diagnosed with coeliacs I am determined not to get osteoporosis so time to stress those bones and muscles! STATS Mother of 2, wife of 1 Shift working nurse 5 elevated pushups 10 lunges (5 each leg) 20 dumbell rows with 3kg 20 squats (about the only exercise i get with my kids ha ha) 10 sec plank PLAN Meal Plan: Every week have a plan and have shopped for it by the beginning of the week Beginners Body Weight Routine: 3 times a week Yoga 3 times a week Do something I enjoy every day (gardening, sewing, knitting, play piano) Simple but effective! I found a place in my town that does aerial hoop and silks classes I wanna try out so maybe as a treat if I do well this challenge?
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