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  1. I sat out the last few challenges due to vacation/work travel/life. I've been on-again, off-again with working out and eating healthy (big surprise, I know). I was supposed to do a Spartan Sprint last weekend with coworkers but we ended up deferring due to collective injuries and conflicts (I am not injured but not prepared). I think we're going to be targeting a race in early November, which means I have 7 weeks to ACTUALLY TRAIN THIS TIME. As many races as I've done, every single I time I've undertrained...not just butterflies-at-the-starting-line-doubts, but clearly missed too many workouts to perform optimally. Long Term Goal: 25% body fat This Challenge Goal: Feel my Feels Reading one of the NF articles combined with some thoughts swirling around my crazy-brain made me realize...so many of my struggles are coming from a place of anxiety. My poor eating choices, and maybe even my various maladies (headaches and gut issues) which wear me out and drain my motivation to work out. Those moments in the store where I grab the bag of processed carbs, I'm feeling despair, hating myself for being weak, desperately wanting to feel better. I'm eating (and drinking) and watching TV, even reading, out of that desperation - needing that instant numbing and pick-me-up. I KNOW that I feel better when I work out (seriously don't know how people who don't feel the endorphin rush work out ever), but that place of feeling like I might cry or scream in groundless misery is not a place of energy. I'm simultaneously wound up and drained by anxiety. So this challenge...I'm going to try not to numb/drown the feelings. Getting back into the meditation habit and being more mindful of my choices is a start. I've been succumbing to the sucky feels - fighting back starts with understanding. As a reality check, work right now is not even particularly stressful - I'm just not handling it well. Goal #1: Move 5x/week For the endorphins. Any combination of yoga/running/walking/spartan workouts/spin/climbing. Running-crying counts too. Goal #2: Mindful shopping and eating I know how to cook reasonably balanced meals. I'm not aiming for perfect paleo, but roughly: Breakfast - protein, Lunch - protein + veg, Dinner - protein + veg + carb I'm still struggling to find a way to balanced eating, but I'm tired of that post-work feeling-like-I'm-going-to-meltdown induced stop at the grocery store for cheese or chips. I've even fallen back into my popcorn addiction (I know it can be a healthy snack, but not the way I make it, ha). The real goal is, every time I want to buy/eat something unhealthy, to: Write down what I want and what I'm feeling Take 3 deep breaths (or start a meditation through the Calm app) As needed/available, use a non-food mood booster If I still want it, have it Ideally I will only eat unhealthy things when I am in a mental space to fully enjoy them, rather than a space of please-anything-to-make-it-better. Goal #3: Wake early, Meditate daily Just do it. Bed at 9. Lights out by 10. Up at 5. THE PREPARATION I'm pre-paying for a year of Calm so I HAVE to use it to get my money's worth. I will buy the yoga pass with gift cards, and pre-book my classes for the whole challenge Stock the fridge with healthy easy staples: Steamfresh veggies, deli meat, eggs Make a list of mood-boosters that are not food/alcohol Make a list of healthy quick meals/snacks and post it in the kitchen Give fiance $50, and if I miss a workout it gets donated to Trump's 2020 campaign *shudder*. If I hit all my workouts I'll buy new running shoes. THE REASONS JULY 2018 WEDDING!!! I bought my dress and even though I love it, I don't love how my upper arms look right now. Gotta work on those guns. Christmas in Spain - For one this is with my skinny sisters and mom and I'm sick and tired of being the heavy one in the pictures. I want to be able to indulge (TAPAS AND WINE) without feeling like I'm being judged by my mom, looking at me and thinking "this is why you're overweight". I wore holes in my size 10 jeans, and instead of buying new ones I squeezed into my size 8's. Since gaining weight again (142-->152lb) they are tight. I'm not buying bigger jeans. Spartan Sprint in November? My coworker is trying to talk me into doing a Spartan Trifecta next year. But based on my Sprint training track record I'm not ready to commit. But #1 is wanting to feel better all the time. Psst this is my wedding dress: Obviously this is not me. But the flower pattern in the fabric shimmers. Also it's sooooo comfy.
  2. So here we are again. I'm a bit late posting this challenge. I had two other challenge ideas to choose from for this round, and they were both great, but I haven't been feeling it enough to take the plunge. I took my longest break from working out in AGES over the past two weeks. I had a headache/spine pain issue for a week, during which I managed one sort of half workout before accepting that I couldn't handle working out in that state. Then by the time it faded I was on vacation without a plan because I hadn't known if I would recover enough to even be able to do ANYTHING so I wasn't prepared. I managed two runs during the two week period, and that's it. And the first week was 100% justified, but the second week was on me. And that's really sort of infuriating. I worked out 3x/week + runs EVERY WEEK for an entire year last year, even on vacation. and this year I just can't seem to get it together. Yeah, I have a wrist problem that's getting in the way, but that's not enough to account for all of the trouble I've been having. And when I don't work out, I start to feel terrible. I feel weak and my life feels out of control and my emotions feel out of control and every little thing feels like it can break me apart. I feel like I'm just going to keep slipping until I totally lose all of my progress completely. I start to feel like my whole life is coming apart. And I'm not ok with that. So today I did a bodyweight workout at home. And this song came on. And I pushed through. And it was a start. A lot of the problem is just mental. I'm frustrated with the things getting in the way of progress, so I avoid doing even the things I CAN do, and that makes my progress even worse. It's a vicious cycle. So this is going to be my challenge theme instead of the other stuff I was planning. My body keeps telling me no. I feel tired and bloated. My wrist hollers if I try to put weight on it. My shins rebel when I increase running mileage. I want to take about 200 naps per day and drown all of my problems in tv and sleeping. But screw that. I felt on top of the world when my workouts were going well, and I'm not going to let my body's creaking take that away from me. So this challenge is all about refusing to be defeated. If my last challenge was about channelling some inner peace, then this challenge is about channelling some SCREW THIS. The Year So Far For my challenges this year, I decided to focus on one single habit per challenge instead of doing the usual 3+ goals / challenge. There are 10 challenges in 2017 so I can potentially establish 10 new healthy habits over the course of the year. Challenge 1 - walking daily / aiming for 16 miles/week - is still going strong. I score usually in the 12-16 mile range per week and I walk most days, which is acceptable. Challenge 2 - morning routine - this took a while beyond the actual duration of the challenge, but I have a kickass morning routine now. I started doing it again as soon as I got home from vacation, which is the sign of a great routine. And I even did a modified version of it while I was ON VACATION, which is an even greater sign that it's the right thing for me. Challenge 3 - I had a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch every day to see if this would create a healthy basis for the rest of my eating. It unfortunately didn't stick because I started experimenting with skipping breakfast instead, which I prefer and have continued doing since I started. Challenge 4 - Guardian. I focused on being productive at work and approaching my mental wellbeing from the perspective of the guardian archetype. Getting work done = being a guardian for people. Being a guardian = personal fulfillment. It's been hit or miss, but it does help on the days that I do it. I do a little mantra on work mornings to help focus on being a guardian, and I think this one will get more effective as I continue to practice it. Today I went on a walk and stopped to pull some cardboard out of the street that was in the path of the cars. #guardianedit Challenge 5 - I was feeling frustrated and negative instead of celebrating my accomplishments, so I banned any updates that weren't basking. I could only talk about the things that I basked in and I couldn't talk about the things I was feeling down on myself about. This made a big impact on me and helped me reset my mindset. Now of course I feel frustrated by the vacation/sickness break and I'm sharing that as part of the explanation for this challenge, but I ALSO plan to continue basking as a habit going forward. Challenge 6...this challenge. See below. It feels silly to approach this challenge since I already had this habit down. And I still work out weekly, so it's not exactly...NOT a habit either. I feel sort of ashamed to be tackling this again. Or rather, I feel like I'm breaking the imaginary "rules" of my 10 new habits experiment. Which is silly. And, y'know, a master has failed more times than a beginner has even tried. So my goal is to work out 3x/week. Work out = bodyweight, HIIT, or other strength training. Yoga, running, etc. are all good but not workouts in this context. I want AT LEAST 2 of those workouts to be my standard bodyweight routine. The 3rd is usually bootcamp class, but since I haven't been going to that lately, I might sub in a basic BBWW for that 3rd.
  3. As you may know, one of my workout challenges this 6 weeks is to do more every time I work out. It's paying off! This morning I churned out a full 4th bodyweight circuit for the first time. Bam! Having it settled that "today I'm going to do more than last time" has kept me from getting complacent or bored. And I have left every workout shaky, sweating, feeling "I have done something big today". If you wanna check the numbers out - I log my workouts on Fitocracy, and my cumulative totals on my daily battle log. (One of these days I'm going to figure out what my max-out reps are for each of these exercises.)
  4. Alrighty, this tricky coyote's back in the game and is planning on F-ING FINISHING THIS TIME!!! Body: 1. Log food 6 days out of 7. I've seen how good this is for me and I need to commit to doing it. The cheat day must include ONE incredibly healthy meal in it. 2. Plan and follow through with all physical activities: it goes in the planner, and you do it when you should be doing it. Spinning should happen 2x/week, yoga 1x/week, lifting 3x/week. 3. Chocolate and sugar intake in general needs controlling. Two pieces a day is PLENTY. If you have a sweet craving, go drink water, wait an hour, then see what happens. Life: I'm not reading or writing nearly enough to prep for my applications this year. Dedicate and log 2 hrs of DIRECTED reading (not brain candy reading, actual useful reading) and 2 hrs of writing (NOT EDITING, actual writing) per week. These can happen any time, but they MUST happen. And as a kick in the pants for myself, update this thread 3x/week. I find that I stick to challenges more when I hold MYSELF accountable. I will have a vacation period during this challenge, but that's no excuse - if I don't have access to a gym, I still need to be logging things, moving, playing, and practicing. XP allotments to be updated tomorrow. For now, time to go log food and get this show on the road. Here we go boys and girls!
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