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  1. My City of Ruins: A select few of you may remember me. I came, I did some challenges, I dropped some weight, and then life started life-ing me and I disappeared. In early 2015, I weighed 255 lbs. I joined a gym, started eating better, found NF, and in around 18 months, I'd just about scraped under 200 lbs, got myself a nice suit, and life was going... better. But interest started to flag, and a combination of work-related stress, family dramas, injuries, illness and dark depression took hold, and I went under the ice for a while. It started with some niggling aches and pains, which, after an extended period of doctor and hospital visits, were diagnosed as calcific tendonitis in the rotator cuff, and bone spurs in the neck. As I attempted to get those under control, my wife lost her mother, and my own mother's dementia gradually progressed. She suffered a series of falls and spent a large chunk of the early part of this year in and out of hospital for weeks at a time. We're getting some support with her care now, which is helping greatly, but the dementia is only going to worsen as time passes. With all of this in the background, I completely neglected my own well-being, quit exercising, ate like crap, didn't look after myself mentally, and spiraled into a dark place. I could feel my health worsening as my weight increased, to the point where everything was becoming uncomfortable, and I felt constantly sick, tired, and sore. At the end of July, I made the decision to rejoin the gym and go completely cold turkey from my arch nemeses, chocolate, cakes and fizzy/energy drinks. On my first visit back to the gym on August 1st, I weighed myself. 257 lbs. Back to square one, literally. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $100. The Rising: There have been two weigh-ins since I rose from the ashes. September was 248, October 244, meaning 13 lbs lost, against a backdrop of having my car smashed and written off, and picking up some bumps and bruises and a mild case of whiplash in the process. Gym attendance hasn't been quite as consistent as I would have liked, but forcing myself to go even inconsistently is better than where I've been. Other than a two-day spell where two of my kids had back-to-back birthdays, the food choices have been pretty solid. I managed the best part of ten weeks completely cold turkey, had a treat around the birthday bashes, and resumed progress afterwards. The goal is to get back to completely cutting off chocolate, cakes and fizzy drinks between now and Christmas, and then take it from there. Further On (Up the Road): And so, we beat on, boats against the current. There's no grand theme, no complex strategies, no delightfully colourful spreadsheets (this time, but they're itching to make a return), just some simple goals. Get to the gym, three times a week. This goal should now be a little more attainable for me, given that a couple of changes to my regular schedule are in the process of happening. As of Sunday, my church has switched to Saturday evening/Sunday morning services, which means not having to rush home on Sunday afternoon and do a quick turnaround to get back at it on Sunday evenings. Gym goal is to keep pushing the cross trainer level up, notch by notch. It's currently sitting at 20 mins at level 12/13. I'd like to get that up to level 15, and start working on building up a second run to end each session. During my first run on NF, I was starting and ending with 20 minute runs. I can get back there. Food goals, see above. My only restrictions are cutting out the chocolate, cakes and fizzy drinks. Other than that, I generally can be trusted to eat sensibly. Mental goals: stay positive, stay connected to my friends here, stick to my daily bible reading plan. The rest will take care of itself. What's coming up in this period? We're entering a busy new season in church again as we prepare for our annual giveaway, which of course means the return of the panto. SGFS regulars will know that I regularly get roped into performing in the shows, and this year will, I've been informed, be no different. Over the past couple of years, I've played (off the top of my head), a hyena sidekick in the Lion King, Augustus Gloop (Willy Wonka), the Tin Man (Wizard of Oz), Anger (Inside Out), Shere Khan (Jungle Book), Cogsworth (Beauty & the Beast), Mr. Potato Head (Toy Story), a couple of World War 2 soldiers, a Jersey Boy doo-wop singer, and a granny tranny in a Queen "I Want to Break Free" tribute. This year's panto has just been announced, and it's Shrek. No idea who I'm playing yet. Secretly, I'm hoping Fiona... Now, as a wise man once said, "Let's go to woik."
  2. I failed spectacularly. I have gained almost ALL my weight back, and I've been sick for the last 7 months with colds, sinus infections, bronchitis, and then COLDS. A nurse kindly said to me "It's very easy to neglect your health." and I realized being sick had become normal. I didn't think I was neglecting my health, I thought I was taking care of my loved ones and being a good family member. Just because I gained all my weight back and couldn't breathe without coughing, I mean... Yeah okay. I neglected my health BIG time. I knew I should be working out, I knew I needed to eat better, and I knew that I wasn't working. I was depressed, and all the things I was working towards seemed pointless and impossible. I lacked purpose, I lacked meaning, and I lacked a sense of self and life. Then I went to Ireland. Where I got an airplane cold (laughs bitterly) but it was an amazing experience! I drank beer! I had Guinness and Beef Stew! I had the best vegetable soup in the world! I climbed steep hills (coughing along the way) and I saw amazing views. I met people who were kind, grouchy, silly, and quiet. I saw ruins, I saw SO MANY SHEEP, and I had a wonderful time going somewhere with just my mom. And while I was REALLY happy to come home and recover in my bed and finally sleep, I finally understood why I failed so completely: My "Big Why" was not good enough. I mean, it's a good "Why" but it's not the "why" I need at this point in my life. My "Big Why" was someday I was going to have kids and get married and I wanted to be in great shape for all the life we were going to live together. I was saving for a down payment on a house, so I could move out of my parents' house. I was so excited to get ready for this life that I didn't have. I wasn't even dating. I'm NOT even dating right now. I have no interest in dating right now. The idea of moving out and living alone feels really sad and lonely to me if we're being completely honest. I LIKE having someone to say hello to in the morning. Eventually I know I'll move out and probably live too close to my parents, but right now, this is okay. So how can I work for a goal when it's not really what I want RIGHT NOW? What do I want? I want to travel and see the world! I am willing to work, to lose weight, to save, to live well and healthy for the end goal of traveling somewhere new. I want to climb up hills without the additional 100 pounds. I want to pack smaller clothes in my suitcase so I can pack more clothes I want to be strong and have the endurance to keep up with 4 hour walks seeing beautiful sights without melting into a pile of sweaty goo at the end of the day. I want to feel healthy and stop getting sick. I want to stop buying frivolous things and save my money, and I want to work and REALLY be successful so I can earn enough to travel more. Because I can say "Someday I want a family." but what really works for me is saying "The fall of 2018, I want to go to tour Tuscany and take a cooking class about making pasta and tiramisu." OH HECK YES. THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. A concrete goal, a firm deadline, and something I am almost guaranteed to do (provided they don't cancel the tour two times ) Having changed my Big Why for now, I feel motivated to really take care of my life, to stop hiding from the world, and LIVE. I have a reasonable weight loss plan. Eat 3 meals a day and drink lots of water. Alternate workout intensity every other day. So maybe one day is strength training and hiking, and the next day is yoga. Or one day is yard work and swimming, and then the next day is going for a walk. YOU GET IT. Sundays are my day off. No working out. Still three meals, but this is where dessert and fried chicken can have a spot. Or Irish coffee, RIGHT? Eating healthy meals, working out, and getting enough sleep. All important parts to losing weight and staying healthy. Working more. I work freelance, and I've let my business SLIDE. So now I'm back to work with renewed energy and motivation. I have something to earn money for that is in the near future, not just some "Wouldn't it be nice" dream. I might get a part time job to help save money when I'm between clients. I can do this! Getting out of the house and having a life between traveling. Spending more time with friends, going out to the movies, festivals. Climbing out from under my laptop to DO things. Take a class, join the local YMCA, explore the local museums. Lots of things to do by myself and with good company. It's funny, because a lot of what my plan is looks very similar to past plans. But it feels like it's purposeful now. I feel like there's a point. I have my Travel Wishlist, and I'm going to take the next few years and fulfill it. I'll come back about once a week or so to keep you updated on how the Respawning is going Have a wonderful day, and thanks for listening!
  3. In the words of Bugs Bunny, "I should have taken a left at Albuquerque." A few months ago I gained a couple injuries and took some time off to recuperate, then I let that spiral out of control for 5 months of very little activity and negative progress towards improving my health. Well that changes now. In my constant efforts to not bite off more than I can chew I am going to change my training methods to remove potential excuses before they arise. My goals will be simple and revolve around a basic start in endurance, strength, and food. Endurance: As much as I want to go out and work on running because it lines up with my ultimate goals, at my weight and cardio condition right now that is not feasible. So 2x/week I will ruck with my dogs and aim for either a faster pace or a longer distance each week. Strength: I love lifting weights. Unfortunately I have found that I let weight training take up most of my attention to the detriment of everything else so I determined that I will have to earn my way back to the Iron. To do so I will start with body weight work 3x/week. Food: My girlfriend does most of the cooking at home so I'm not always in control of the food available and she is not 100% on board with healthy eating habits. So for this goal, I will strive to take over cooking most days by planning and preparing meals I can put in a crock pot to cook while I sleep so that we have food ready when she gets home from work. On days that this doesn't happen (even on days that it does honestly) I will focus on portion control. That way even when my nutrition isn't optimal, I will be working towards maintaining a healthy calorie intake. Optional: In place of my endurance and strength training I will have an optional 1x/week I will do GPP and heavy bag training and/or sledgehammer work on my tire (weather dependent), again I will strive for longer duration or more rounds completed in a time limit. As either of these options have a bit of both I will use it instead of one of the others on a day where I am constrained by time or weather. Punishments: If I don't follow my planned routine or if I sub in my optional work more than 1x/week I will perform some corrective measures that have yet to be determined but I'm thinking 5 minute cold showers seems like a likely candidate. I am aiming for 1 training session per day but if I need to make up missed time I can do two different types of training a day the give allowances for unforeseen circumstances. I can only make up training sessions for the week I am currently in. Remedial training was the word I was looking for instead of make up training... Brain wasn't cooperating yesterday. Last, but certainly not least, for my fellow Doodlies... PERKELE!!
  4. I debated using a theme for this challenge, something to do with time, do-overs, or epic battles. But nothing quite sums up the extent of the epicness of the do-over that is this challenge. I'd like to just forget 2016 ever happened. I almost could except I have to re-lose the 25 or so pounds that I gained during last year. Last year I let a lot of habits go. Some habits still stuck with me and I worked on some others. I feel like I got derailed but found a detour and I'm back on the road, but a few miles back. I did it once; I can do it again. This year is going to be different. The first step is to re-build some habits. No, wait. The first step is my 2017 roadmap. In order to follow the roadmap, I need to rebuild some habits. That's what this challenge is about. FOOD I'm going to try something a little different this time. My food hasn't been terrible, well OK maybe, but I've been sticking to my batch cooking during the day, and suppers have been decent 70% of the time. It's the snacking that is out of control. So instead of focusing on logging my food, I'll focus on snacking, rather not snacking. The goal for Monday - Thursday will be to avoid snacks. Once I make a meal plan for the week, I pretty much eat the same thing every day. On days after lifting I'll allow either one healthy snack or I can have a larger meal. Saturday and Sunday I'll log food and stick to the calorie goal. Saturday's goal is 1900 calories, Sunday's is 1600. I don't usually eat at routine times so snacking is allowed as long as I don't go over the goal. Friday is a bit of a beast. It's not realistic to avoid snacks on a Friday night but I am eating the same thing during the day as the rest of the week. My calorie goal is 1900 so it'll be something like if I don't snack then I don't need to log anything. If we eat something extravagant then I'll log and can only snack if I stay under the goal. TRAINING Rebuilding old habits. Any workouts count but it has to be 30 minutes, moderate intensity, at least 4 days a week. THE INNER CRITIC My inner critic got really out of hand last year and I don't want to let it happen again. For this challenge I want to spend a little bit of time each day to visualize what my success looks like write out one affirmation a day. SLEEP I'm going to babystep myself to better sleep habits. For now I'll focus caffeine intake. I used to be able to drink caffeine until very late and still have no trouble going to sleep once I decided to sleep. But I suspect now it is having more of an impact than I care to admit. So I'll curtail the caffeine after supper, or after 8pm, whichever is later. I probable need a bigger buffer between caffeine and bedtime but babysteps remember. FAMILY TIME I'd like to be more present with my family and take time to have fun with them. Each week I'll have the following goals: - spend some time one night a week doing some family activity, even if it's just dinner at the table - Spend one on one time with LordShello and each kid FINANCES 2017 is the year of austerity. To get the ball rolling I have 4 tasks to be completed by the end of the challenge: - Start a budget on the YNAB app This is actually done already. I couldn't resist. - Cancel cable We started streaming. - Pay off one credit card - Pay off some medical debt - Take care of that student loan paperwork I've been putting off forever In addition to these goals, I'll be using my kitty jar to track successful days. I'll be using this the entire year to see how it adds up. Quarter - a great day, not perfect, but pretty much hit every goal Dime - a good day, hitting most of my goals Nickel - a mediocre day, hitting enough goals for some credit Penny - a pity penny, for days when no goals are hit but for a decent reason. Some Exclusions May Apply The challenge is supposed to end on 2/4 but I usually end my challenges on a Friday. The last Friday of this challenge is my birthday so I'll my challenge the day before that. One other exclusion is for LordShello's birthday that falls during week 2 of the challenge.
  5. Luke = my goals The Emperor = my bs Darth Vader = my bs detector Yes, I am totally doing a Star Wars challenge. Deal with it Anyhoo, this is a Star Wars themed challenge, because this morning I just got enough of my own BS. I had a horrible migraine this weekend, and I don't know exactly what it did to my brain, but I recognize the same amount of determination I had a couple of years ago when I started losing weight. You know, the knowledge that every day you either do things that get you towards your goals, or you don't. Either way, the time will pass, and it's up to you how you use it. It's half-way through the summer, and my weight hasn't gone down, nor have I done as much with my hobbies as I'd like to. It's time to cut the BS and get going! I was actually in the process of making some yogurt chocolate mess to have as extra to my usual breakfast, when I just caught myself going "what the efffff are you doing??" and, after struggling, I threw away the sweet, yet pointless calorie bomb I was making. (I very much dislike throwing food away, but forgive me for this once!) After that, eating's been on point today. I can do this. D8< I have two goals for this challenge. 1: USE THE FORCE You get things done by doing things. Every day, I decide on one activity I wish to accomplish, and get it done. These activities can be: art: draw, paint, sketch, write languages: study French, Russian or Swedish (extra to my daily Duolingo) exercise: yoga, biking, walking read I'm not allowed to open computer before achieving this daily goal - I'm spending way too much time online, anyway. 2: RESIST THE DARK SIDE Follow the meal plan - no thoughtless grocery shopping or snacking! I bought the guide by Mind Over Munch to give me some extra motivation. Time to put my money in good use I'm going to plan the meals for the whole week, make a list of needed ingredients, and follow that list. ** The migraine's after-effects aren't still completely over, and I feel somewhat sad, scared and lost. I've really started to reevaluate some things in my life - having stress that makes my hormones cause this kind of effects is something I can't have in my life. Gonna do some Mental Training now, and just relax It was a good day at work, and I'm travelling to Fort Foxy this weekend. Let's kick this challenge going!
  6. INTRO: When the wheels come off, sometimes the only thing you can do is stop, step back, and rebuild. This is one of those times. I’ve scraped through a couple of challenges lately and just about held it together, but during the last one, things completely fell apart in a perfect storm of mental and physical burnout, bad luck, and family drama. My work life has been increasingly busy and stressful over the last couple of months. I’ve had to deal with a series of nagging injuries and aches around my shoulder, lower back, hip and groin. My mum had two nasty falls in the space of five days, the upshot of which is that she’s had to move into sheltered housing, and my wife is taking a career break in order to look after her, meaning we’re back down to being a one-income family for the foreseeable future. Add to that the challenges which come with having three demanding kids of your own, and you can start to imagine why I’ve been sliding into a dark, dark place of late. Previously, my answer to this would be angry, hate-fuelled workouts to fight my way back. This time, that’s not going to cut it. I don’t have the energy. I need to get myself into a better place, mentally and emotionally. That place, this time around, is the Druids. Here’s the plan. QUEST 1: EXERCISE / STRETCH (Achievable points: +4 DEX) Nothing heavy, nothing scheduled. I tried to force it last time and aggravated the injuries. I’ll limit the exercise to light cardio and a lot of stretching. I’ll get to the gym as often as I’m able to, but there’s no target. My mum’s new house is going to be a lot closer to mine, so I’ll try to walk there when I can, rather than driving. The stretching is going to be key this time. I need to loosen up, for my mental wellbeing, just as much as my physical. QUEST 2: FOOD AND DRINK (Achievable points: +3 CON) In dark times, my default is “Eat all the chocolate.” That needs to stop. Again, this is a simple challenge. For the duration, I’m going to try to stay off the chocolate bars and the energy drinks – I might even try to just curb the Diet Coke as well as the usual Rockstar/Relentless/Monster. QUEST 3: ME TIME / REST AND READ / BE SOCIAL (Achievable points: +4 WIS) This is an all-encompassing “sort my head out” goal. I’ve had the weight of the world on my shoulders lately, and it’s been crushing me. The last couple of months have been a complete blur. I need to intentionally slow the pace down and take some time out for myself. Whether it’s introvert pampering (shut up, it doesn’t make me less manly!), picking up a book, soaking in the bath, or just taking a little break to sit alone in a quiet place to close my eyes, it’ll be whatever it is. Rather conversely, I also need to stop isolating, so I’ll try to be more active here, both in terms of keeping myself accountable with my goals, and in following and encouraging my friends on here again. You guyses are the bestest. QUEST 4: CREATE (Achievable points: +4 CHA) There’s a definite plan for this part. I might decide to share something at the end of each week, or I might leave it until the end of the challenge. This is a distraction I need, and it fits in nicely with the Me Time goal.
  7. Intro: The end of this challenge marks the first anniversary of me joining NF. At the end of January 2015, I weighed 255 lbs, hated myself, and constantly felt sick and tired. I started watching what I was eating, and then at the end of February took the plunge and joined a gym. I came across NF a week before the April 2015 6WC started. By that point, I was five weeks into attempting to establish a new workout routine, and nine weeks into attempting to eat better. There are links to my introduction/origin story and my first seven challenges in my sig below. Feel free to go rummage around in there. I’ve made steady progress through the challenges over the last 12 months, with just the occasional setback. In October, I was invited (and thrilled) to become an Ambassador for the Adventurers guild. Life Quest: There is an ongoing life goal to dress like a proper grown-up adult man, in clothes which actually look good on me, and make my wife proud to be seen with me when I take her out. The general aim is to continue to overhaul my entire wardrobe, getting rid of anything which falls into one of the following categories: baggy, sagging or ragged. Over my first four challenges, I set a specific goal of getting properly fitted for a good quality, tailored, three-piece suit, and get a good photograph taken wearing it, because I was sick of being disgusted when I looked in the mirror or saw a photo of myself. Having hit that goal, I kind of lost focus towards the end of 2015, so for now the focus is on getting back to basics, keeping it simple, and shooting for a fixed target weight of 180. With that in mind, the targets are almost identical to the last challenge. Once again, there’s no theme as such, so the quest titles are purely for my own juvenile amusement. Quest 1: “The Cleveland Steamer†7,000 calories burned on the cross trainer at my gym. Achievable Points on offer: +4 STA A - 7000+ (Points x 1) B - 6500-7000 (Points x 0.75) C - 6000-6500 (Points x 0.5) D - 5500-6000 (Points x 0.25) F - < 5500 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 2: “The Alabama Hot Pocket†500 burpees within the 26 days of the challenge. Achievable Points on offer: +4 DEX A - 500+ (Points x 1) B - 450-500 (Points x 0.75) C - 400-450 (Points x 0.5) D - 350-400 (Points x 0.25) F - < 350 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 3: “The Hoboken Squat Cobbler†500 bodyweight squats within the 26 days of the challenge. Achievable Points on offer: +4 STR A - 500+ (Points x 1) B - 450-500 (Points x 0.75) C - 400-450 (Points x 0.5) D - 350-400 (Points x 0.25) F - < 350 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 4: “The Hangry Pirate†Log food, stay mindful of CI-CO, and stay within my calorie target. Achievable Points on offer: +1 CON, +1 CHA A – 25-26 Days in Deficit (Points x 1) B - 24 Days (Points x 0.75) C - 23 Days (Points x 0.5) D - 22 Days (Points x 0.25) F - <22 Days (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 5: “The Mississippi Mud Pie†No chocolate. Achievable Points on Offer: +1 WIS. A – No chocolate. (Points x 1) F – Had chocolate. (Fail. 0 Points.)
  8. This challenge is really just a continuation of the previous challenge, a little fine tuned. Nothing fancy. Main Quest: My main quest is spelled out in my roadmap for 2016. It encompasses my goals for 2016. All my challenges for this year will be geared toward getting me closer to those goals. This challenge's goals - simple and straightforward: Bulletproof Bracelets Manage food intake. This means stay within macros - 1600 calories, carbs less than 120g, protein at least 100g. Preferably, I'd like to leave some calories at the end of the day, 100-150 but I'll just be mindful of what I need. Balance this with allowing occasional small variances for sanity's sake. Amazonian Strength Strength training 3 times a week. Probably Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. No exceptions. Lasso of Truth Rucking 3 times a week. No distance requirement, just get out there. Probably Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Tiara Yoga/stretching on rest day, once a week - Monday Work on FlyLady routines KonMari wardrobe Read Steve's book Villain Face-Off Battle Wonder Woman still has villains that need to be defeated. I'll be continuing with the same villain sign up sheet from last challenge. Each villain is represented by another NF rebel. In order to win the battle against the villain, I will need to declare 2 additional goals from the 4 goal categories above and compete against the supervillain’s own goals. I will declare my goals at the beginning of the week once the villain is selected and challenge my fellow rebel to set their goals. Highest score or closest to 100% wins the Face-Off. 1 stat point awarded for every Wonder Woman win and whichever skill best matches the goal category. I’ll be posting the villain sign up sheet shortly so if you are interested in a Face-off battle, stay tuned.
  9. Intro: This challenge marks the first anniversary of me attempting to get my health on track. At the end of January 2015, I weighed 255 lbs, hated myself, and constantly felt sick and tired. I started watching what I was eating, and then at the end of February took the plunge and joined a gym. I came across NF a week before the April 2015 6WC started. By that point, I was five weeks into attempting to establish a new workout routine, and nine weeks into attempting to eat better. There are links to my introduction/origin story and my first six challenges in my sig below. Feel free to go rummage around in there. I’ve made steady progress through the challenges over the last 12 months, with just the occasional setback, and currently weigh in at 207. In October, I was invited (and thrilled) to become an Ambassador for the Adventurers guild. Life Quest: There is an ongoing life goal to dress like a proper grown-up adult man, in clothes which actually look good on me, and make my wife proud to be seen with me when I take her out. The general aim is to continue to overhaul my entire wardrobe, getting rid of anything which falls into one of the following categories: baggy, sagging or ragged. Over my first four challenges, I set a specific goal of getting properly fitted for a good quality, tailored, three-piece suit, and get a good photograph taken wearing it, because I was sick of being disgusted when I looked in the mirror or saw a photo of myself. Having hit that goal, I kind of lost focus towards the end of 2015, so for now the focus is on getting back to basics, keeping it simple, and shooting for a fixed target weight of 180. With that in mind, the targets are almost identical to the last challenge. Once again, there’s no theme as such, so the quest titles are purely for my own amusement. Quest 1: “Faster than Walt Flanagan’s dog.†Back to where it all began. 7,000 calories burned on the cross trainer at my gym. Headphones on, and go to the Happy Place. Achievable Points on offer: +4 STA (v2: 25XP) A - 7000+ (Points x 1) B - 6500-7000 (Points x 0.75) C - 6000-6500 (Points x 0.5) D - 5500-6000 (Points x 0.25) F - < 5500 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 2: “I feel a hate crime coming on!†I will do 500 burpees within the 26 days of the challenge. Achievable Points on offer: +4 DEX (v2: 25XP) A - 500+ (Points x 1) B - 450-500 (Points x 0.75) C - 400-450 (Points x 0.5) D - 350-400 (Points x 0.25) F - < 350 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 3: “I hope his pants get caught and a bloodbath ensues!†I will do 500 squats within the 26 days of the challenge. Achievable Points on offer: +4 STR (v2: 25XP) A - 500+ (Points x 1) B - 450-500 (Points x 0.75) C - 400-450 (Points x 0.5) D - 350-400 (Points x 0.25) F - < 350 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 4: “Nothin’ worse than watching a fat man weep.†Log food, stay mindful of CI-CO, get a consistent deficit happening, and keep getting the body fat down. The official metric here will be Days in Deficit, and tools used will be my Fatsecret phone app and my Mifflin-St.Jeor magic number. I’m applying the Manquivalent™ of “Shark Week Rules†this time around, and only monitoring 25 of the 26 days. I get a free pass on Superbowl Sunday (Feb 7), because food and beer. I regret nothing. Achievable Points on offer: +1 CON, +1 CHA (v2: 15XP) A – 24-25 Days in Deficit (Points x 1) B - 23 Days (Points x 0.75) C - 22 Days (Points x 0.5) D - 21 Days (Points x 0.25) F - <21 Days (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 5: “Say, would you like a chocolate-covered pretzel?†No, I would not! I desperately need to shake off the post-Christmas chocolate addiction. It’s all or nothing on this one, moderation hasn’t been working. Achievable Points on Offer: +1 WIS. (v2: 10XP) A – Completed 26 Days. (Points x 1) F – Had chocolate. (Fail. 0 Points.) Things 'boutta get a little hardcore up in this. I've been meandering for the last couple of challenges, not logging food as diligently as I used to, guesstimating, sailing close to calorie limits, and generally slacking. Going to get some discipline in place this month, and log EVERY. SINGLE. BITE. I weighed in at 207 on Saturday (before taking the family to the buffet, I might add - let's never speak of it again.) By the end of February, I want to be closing in on 200 again. This is achievable.
  10. Intro: I joined NF a week before the April 2015 6WC started. At that point, I was five weeks into a new workout routine, and nine weeks into attempting to eat better. There are links to my introduction/origin story and my first five challenges in my sig below. Feel free to go rummage around in there. I’ve gone from 255lbs at the end of January 2015 to 209 as of right now, getting as low as 196 by challenge 4 before backsliding after a horrible flu and then cake season. It’s a work in progress. Life Quest: There is an ongoing life goal to dress like a proper grown-up adult man, in clothes which actually look good on me, and make my wife proud to be seen with me when I take her out. The general aim is to continue to overhaul my entire wardrobe, getting rid of anything which falls into one of the following categories: baggy, sagging or ragged. Over my first four challenges, I set a specific goal of getting properly fitted for a good quality, tailored, three-piece suit, and get a good photograph taken wearing it, because I was sick of being disgusted when I looked in the mirror or saw a photo of myself. Having hit that goal, I kind of lost focus over the last couple of months, so for now the focus is on getting back to basics, keeping it simple, and shooting for a fixed target weight of 180. Quest 1: Roots Bloody Roots Back to where it all began. 7,000 calories burned on the cross trainer at my gym. Headphones on, and go to the Happy Place. Achievable Points on offer: +5 STA (v2: 40XP) A - 7000+ (Points x 1) B - 6500-7000 (Points x 0.75) C - 6000-6500 (Points x 0.5) D - 5500-6000 (Points x 0.25) F - < 5500 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 2: Arise I will do 500 burpees within the 28 days of the challenge. Achievable Points on offer: +4 DEX (v2: 20XP) A - 500+ (Points x 1) B - 450-500 (Points x 0.75) C - 400-450 (Points x 0.5) D - 350-400 (Points x 0.25) F - < 350 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 3: Beneath the Remains I will do 500 squats within the 28 days of the challenge. Achievable Points on offer: +3 STR (v2: 20XP) A - 500+ (Points x 1) B - 450-500 (Points x 0.75) C - 400-450 (Points x 0.5) D - 350-400 (Points x 0.25) F - < 350 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 4: Refuse/Resist Log food, stay mindful of CI-CO, get a consistent deficit happening, and keep getting the body fat down. Ideally looking to have an average daily deficit of 500 or more by Day 28. The official metric here will be Days in Deficit, and tools used will be my FatSecret phone app and my Mifflin-St.Jeor magic number. Achievable Points on offer: +1 CON, +1 CHA (v2: 10XP) A - 27-28 Days in Deficit (Points x 1) B - 26 Days (Points x 0.75) C - 25 Days (Points x 0.5) D - 24 Days (Points x 0.25) F - <24 Days (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 5: Inner Self Since I’m looking to get writing as well as reading this year, it’ll be read one book per challenge (for now, anyway.) This challenge: The Road We Must Travel by Francis Chan & Others Achievable Points on Offer: +1 WIS. (v2: 10XP) A - Completed 1 book (Points x 1) F - Complete none (Fail. 0 Points.)
  11. We are the doodlies! The craziest, weirdest and by far the best accountability group ever. Want to join next challenge on January 4th? Read this: We doodlies are awesome. We are the cool kids. We have the drive, the smut, the craziness. Actually everything you need to succeed here on NF. But this awesomeness comes with a price: we are growing too big. We want to share our awesomeness, but don't want to be overwhelmed by it. So we decided: we are going to create a second Doodlie Universe next challenge. All under the supervision of existing doodlies off course. We have two new teams that will be the core of this new universe: Team Doughnut, that will be lead by Scott and has Rab as vice president Team Croissant, that will be lead by Def with Domirev as vice president. Both teams have 2 senior doodlies in them and each will give place to 3 new doodlies. Next challenge we will have two accountability groups, but still one pvp thread. Team pancake, waffle and french toast will battle against each other. And team doughnut and team croissant will battle against each other. This way you will still have the support of a lot of doodlies, but you won't get overwhelmed by the numbers. Still want to join? Read through our newsletters You sure, you still want to join us after reading this? It's your funeral. Sign up here And introduce yourself Beware: once a doodlie, always a doodlie. The only way out is through a million burpees on a single day If you want to join us, you can sign up here. But before you do, please read the newsletters of our last challenge, so you know what you are getting into We have our own pvp. It is lots of fun to participate, but not obligated. We have 2 teams competing each other: Team Waffle and Team Pancake. We have our own cookbook After reading all this, and you think this is the place for you: sign up and introduce yourself in this thread. Weeks -3 until week 0: We are doing a Bye-weeks Face-off. If you want to compete, sign up here. It's doodlie against doodlie. You pick your own goals, plus you get assigned an old pvp challenge.
  12. So, who is SomeGuyFromScotland?: I joined NF a week before the April 6WC started. At that point, I was five weeks into a new workout routine, and nine weeks into attempting to eat better. There are links to my introduction/origin story and my first four challenges in my sig below. Feel free to go rummage around in there. I’ve gone from 255lbs at the end of January, to 232 at the start of my first 6WC, 223 at the start of my second, 211 by the third, 203 by the fourth, and 196 as of right now. It’s a work in progress. There's no specific weight number in mind (yet - this might change as the challenges go on), but I suspect it might be somewhere around the 175-180 range. And what does he want?: There is an ongoing life goal to dress like a proper grown-up adult man, in clothes which actually look good on me, and make my wife proud to be seen with me when I take her out. The general aim is to continue to overhaul my entire wardrobe, getting rid of anything which falls into one of the following categories: baggy, sagging or ragged. Over my first four challenges, I set a specific goal of getting properly fitted for a good quality, tailored, three-piece suit, and get a good photograph taken wearing it, because I was sick of being disgusted when I looked in the mirror or saw a photo of myself. This goal having now been achieved, I’m starting to think about the next level. There are two things I would quite like to do in 2016. One of them is write a novel and self-publish it on Amazon. I’ll probably hold off on starting that until the first challenge of next year, and make it an ongoing item in the 2016 challenges. The other, I’m going to start working towards in this challenge. So, without further ado, I bring you: Issue #5: SomeGuyFromScotland vs. The Cartel of Carnage Every good superhero comic needs one or more bad guys. Arch enemies, Supervillains, or just plain old Asshats. Spidey had his Sinister Six. Dredd had the Dark Judges. Every Avenger has his Dark Avenger, and SomeGuyFromScotland (with occasional comic relief from his exotic dancing alter ego Buff McSavoury and comedy sidekick Tartan Temptress) has… Mephistopheles – The self-styled Father of Lies, and the evil mastermind behind CoC. His true power lies not in his wisdom, but in convincing you that yours is false. Stronghold – The Cartel’s enforcer, he is brutality incarnate, a wrecking ball of strength, power and rage. Alluria – She is a succubus, the addiction who calls you like a siren. She looks good, but she is poison. Succumb to her, and your strength and willpower will be gone. Heisenburp – A former high school gym teacher who was driven to insanity by, oddly enough, the Insanity workout. Following his escape from the asylum, he was recruited by the Cartel to eliminate threats by forcing them to perform burpees until death from exhaustion. The Five Thousand – The terrifying result of genetic experimentation, The Five Thousand is a constantly regenerating being with a myriad of heads and arms. Chop one off, and more appear. The Five Thousand cannot be truly defeated, simply survived. Note: Targets adjusted on 30/11 to compensate for a complete bust of a phlegmy, sweaty, viral sick week. Quest 1: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (The Five Thousand) “Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light†The last chapter ended with the line “And when the hand touched my shoulder again, I somehow found the strength to run.†Now begins the next stage in my journey. I have always hated running. It’s time to get over that. I’ve identified a six week beginner’s 5k training plan and this is the first step towards my next small life goal, to compete in and complete an actual 5k. Beyond that? Who knows. Maybe I’ll tackle a 10k. Maybe I’ll never run again. This training plan calls for 18 sessions, three per week. I’ll record my time taken to complete 5k on each run, and hopefully the walk : run ratio will change significantly over the 6 weeks. Achievable Points: +4 STA A: 15 sessions (Points x 1) - Current Progress B: 13 (Points x 0.75) C: 11 (Points x 0.5) D: 9 (Points x 0.25) F: < 9 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 2: Iron Sharpens Iron (Stronghold) “Never easy, never clean, to be a beast among human sheep.†This is a fight to the death. As iron sharpens iron, so I must get stronger by battling the epitome of strength. The focus of the last couple of challenges has been primarily weight loss and fat burning, so cardio has taken priority. Now that I’m getting more comfortable, it’s time to re-establish a good lifting regimen. Two workouts a week with a focus on weights. Workout plans will be detailed below, but it’s based loosely on Stronglifts 5x5. I have no idea what my baseline will be, but the targets will self-adjust as I progress. Achievable Points: +4 STR A: 10 sessions (Points x 1) - Current Progress B: 8 (Points x 0.75) C: 7 (Points x 0.5) D: 6 (Points x 0.25) F: < 6 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 3: He is the Danger (Heisenburp) “You all know exactly who I am. Say my name.†Trapped in the lunatic Heisenburp’s underground lair, the only way to escape is burpees. He may be the Danger… but I am the One who Rocks. Achievable Points: +1 STR, +3 DEX A - 830+ (Points x 1) - Current Progress B - 750-830 (Points x 0.75) C - 670-750 (Points x 0.5) D - 590-670 (Points x 0.25) F - < 590 (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 4: Lead Me Not (Alluria) “We gain the strength of the temptation we resist†The power of the succubus is temptation. Alluria is beautiful and almost impossible to resist, but she is poison. Do not succumb to her. Eat mindfully and continue the good habit of maintaining a daily deficit. Tracking purely on food logged against a daily fixed calorie target this time, instead of including exercise calories. Achievable Points: +1 CON, +1 CHA A – 40+ Days on Target (Points x 1) - Current Progress B - 39 Days (Points x 0.75) C - 38 Days (Points x 0.5) D - 37 Days (Points x 0.25) F - <37 Days (Fail. 0 Points.) Quest 5: The Wisdom of Solomon (Mephistopheles) “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.†There is only one way to defeat the Father of Lies: with Truth. Slightly different reading challenge this time, with apologies to Doc Feelgood for completely ripping this idea off from his recent challenges. I’ll use my YouVersion bible app, choose some reading plans and begin each morning with 15 minutes to read and absorb that day’s word and get myself right for the day ahead. Ideally, it’ll be six 7-day plans, but we’ll see where it leads. Achievable Points: +1 WIS A - 42 Days (Points x 1) - Current Progress B - 40 Days (Points x 0.75) C - 38 Days (Points x 0.5) D - 36 Days (Points x 0.25) F - <36 Days (Fail. 0 Points.) Minis: #1: Hoth Battle - Done! +1 STA #2: Yoga with Yoda - Done! +1 WIS #3: Combined Force #4: Recipe Book #5: Helping the Pilots #6: Blaze of Glory IRL Things: Following my triumphant performances as "Doo-Wop Backing Vocalist #4", Queen tribute Granny Tranny, Scar's Hyena Sidekick, and Augustus Gloop, I can now officially announce I will be making a return to the stage on the 7th and 8th November playing a WW2 soldier in our church's annual fundraising show, which this year is a seriously emotional musical named Hope & Glory. Thankfully, no speaking part this time. Just as a bit of background, every single penny raised at the shows, either from ticket sales, or the associated auction and raffle afterwards, goes to our Christmas giveaway where we give toys and food parcels to struggling families in our local community. At last count, the total given away over the last six or seven years is somewhere around £90,000. The Wolverine and I will be making a road trip to (not so) sunny Bradford, Yorkshire from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd November for our annual church conference, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse to go off the rails, even though we will most likely be faceholing the world’s best curry at Akbar’s on the Saturday night, and if previous years are any indication, an outstanding fish and chips at Murgatroyds on the Friday. I do have two days’ wiggle room on the calorie challenge, but I’d rather not use both in the same weekend. I’ll be logging food as normal for those days, and attempting to make good decisions. In terms of workouts, I’ll just need to make sure I either have my schedule nailed, or get a slight cushion built up just in case. Oh, and this challenge ends right before my birthday. Pleasing.
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