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  1. There's been a recurring theme in recent challenges: I have a good plan, tailored to my current circumstances. Two weeks into the challenge, circumstances change. I spend the last three weeks of the challenge attempting to stick to my original plan, which is of course, pure garbage given the set of circumstances in which I currently find myself. So I did a branch analysis on myself. What it tells me is that my plans are fragile. So for this challenge, I'm going to pursue the same plan but put more energy into addressing the presumptive root causes of the failures. Here's the plan, which is framed around elemental magic: Water Prime my personal energy by proper hydration — packing water, limiting caffeine intake, and minimizing alcohol and other diuretic fluids. Past Performance: 3 of 5 Fragility: Defaulting to coffee (rooted in preference for hot drinks) Trial: Pack a non-caffeinated, non-dehydrating, non-grody tea as an alternative to coffee #2,3,4,...,n. Fire Build energy by balancing macros and food intake for target BMR — packing lunch daily, sticking to the 7pm cutoff, and minimizing processed foods. Past Performance: 4 of 5 Fragility: Contact with food through kitchen cleanup, next-day prep, etc.. Trial: Say no to leftovers. You are not the family goat. Earth Build core strength and stability through Pilates and yoga. 4x weekly for 30 minutes is the goal. Past Performance: 2 of 5 Fragility: Incorrect scheduling (this should be the afternoon workout) Trial: Reschedule to afternoon workout. Air Increase aerobic fitness through running or alternative cardio, utilizing the maximum aerobic fitness framework of 80% work below threshold heart rate. 4x weekly = 3 slow easy runs and one intense interval or tempo run. Past Performance: 4 of 5 Fragility: Incorrect scheduling, as above. This is further rooted in a tendency to sleep through the morning workout window, so I scheduled this later to avoid missing it. But really, this should be the morning workout. Trial: Correct sleep hygiene. Ether Daily meditation and/or contemplative prayer. Two long opportunities: morning at work and evening before bed. Warrior’s meditation (Micro-meditations using vagal breathing) throughout the day. Past Performance: 5 of 5 Fragility: I've been doing consistently well here. Trial: Keep it up; monitor for second-order effects from other adjustments. Healing Be a healer in all domains of life: Sleep 8 hours. Eat restfully. Move fluidly. Listen attentively. Speak melodically. Return to kindness. Past Performance: 1 of 5 Fragility: A lot of failure here, but mostly rooted in sleep hygiene. Particularly: late bedtime, and using the phone in bed. This is exacerbated by late eating. Trial: Set the phone to require passwords to use apps after 9:00 and put the charger on the dresser. This is to force electronic shut down earlier, encourage actual reading, and make me get up to turn off the alarm. ] Good luck, everyone!
  2. This challenge is all about fine-tuning habits, breaking up large blocks into smaller modules, and building in agility. Previous challenges have a common theme -- I get into a groove, and then get interrupted. I find a good time for my workout...someone else thinks that's a great time for their meeting. I find a good staple for my lunch kit...someone else decides not to stock that item any more. I find a spot for meditation...someone else decides I look lonely and could use some company. The world is dynamic, so I have to be more agile. Another common thread in those past challenges is that I have tended to program in large blocks: workout once per day, eat twice per day, sleep x to y, meditate z amount of time. I've wanted to nail it all down. But that's what blows up, and worse...that's what I also get bored with. This time, we're breaking it into smaller bites. BODY Fuel: work toward macro balance and calorie targets. I've set my calorie intake to target BMR + workout calories, with an understanding that every single monitor overestimates workout calories. Still, I'll keep packing my early meal, logging both meals, and cutting off snacks 2 hours before bed. Hydrate properly! Work: Here's where the smaller pieces start. This time we'll try morning Pilates, so that lunch only needs the run (continuing the heart rate focused MAF routine, so these are easy runs). This will also give me two chances at getting something in, so interruptions won't necessarily cost me a whole day's workout. Mon-Tues, rest on Wed, Thu-Fri, recover on weekends. HEART Play: Work through the fretboard course on bass (I dug out the guidebook, so just need that 10-minute minimum 5x weekly). Do something for self-care twice weekly. I have sucked at this...working on it. Love: Mindful listening practice continues: look at the talking face! The second piece: respond to the emotional need in the talking, and not necessarily the concrete one. There are already a thousand little pieces to this one. SOUL Grow: This is another small-pieces area. I need to use pomodoro much more frequently, and with more intention. So: identify the daily task, and work on it with gentle intentionality during the pomodoro sessions. Pray: Continue daily meditation, but add in grounding at key times. A short list of such keys: before driving, before a meeting or phone call, before eating, before exercising. Again, many opportunities so that missing one long sit doesn't derail the intention. REST: Down by 10:00, up by 5:30. Eat restfully. Walk between pomodoros at work.
  3. New life at springtime leads to a new long-term focus. I spent much of last year trying things on, rebuilding the habit of regular workouts, food consciousness, and intentionality in multiple areas. I feel that, especially over the past several weeks, I've landed on a road that I want to follow for a while. Here's the plan: BODY: Fuel: Continue focus on balancing macros and setting caloric intake for my target body composition. This involves packing lunch every day, cooking at home 5 days a week, and maintaining healthy hydration. We've decided to continue "Dry January," and I'm allllmost ready to drop another cup of coffee each day. Work: 45-minute heart rate run followed by 30-minute Pilates, 4x weekly on M-T & Th-F. Wednesday is full rest; Saturday and Sunday are 5k walks. HEART: Play: Bass practice for 15 minutes, at least 5 times weekly. 2 self-care activities each week. Love: Practice listening before speaking. I want to cultivate a practice of seeking 3 times to understand before speaking, unless waiting that long would make the conversation weird. Obviously this requires mindfulness, and I know it will be a growing edge, but I'll take it into meditation. SOUL: Grow: Study metta, stoicism, and other topics related to the above goals. This is primarily through Audible on my commute. The challenge part? Turn off NPR, and actually listen. Buy the paper book when I need to take notes, and then....take the notes. Pray: Metta meditation or contemplative prayer for 15 minutes every day. My cue is to sit after my morning water bottle and before my second cup of coffee. I remembered the cue today, but had an event disrupt the intention. Still, remembering the cue is telling me it's a good cue, so I'm going to stick with that intention. I'll also reserve the "just before sleep" window for a secondary window, with hopes to grow into twice daily sessions. REST: Honor the Wednesday rest day. Go to sleep by 10 (preferably earlier) (don't do the stupid crossword on the phone!). Relax while eating, and don't feed the face like it's dying. Off and running...see you on the mat!
  4. Hi, I'm AuntDinosaur and was last active (on NF and in life) over five years ago, but I'm back as a Druid-in-training rookie. I'm 37, in the midwest US, and most recently a pastry chef, currently unemployed. Not walking to work or working in a kitchen has dropped my activity level to sedentary, and I definitely notice the effects on my body and mood. My physical goals are to move and stretch more, to build strength, stamina, and flexibility. I used to be pretty active in yoga and Pilates, and would like to get back into that. I also purchased GMB Elements last year and want to, you know, actually do it. On your mark. Get set. BAKE! Roll out the mat. Get on the mat and do something. A mix of yoga and pilates, aiming for around 15 minutes per day, but working under Mini Habits rules of committing to 'just one' a day. 5x per week Week One: [X] [X] [X] [] [] Week Two: [] [] [] [] [] Week Three: [] [] [] [] [] Week Four: [] [] [] [] [] Week Five: [] [] [] [] [] Move it. Shape it. Continue GMB Elements program three times per week. 3x per week (MWF) Week One: [X] [X] [] Week Two: [] [] [] Week Three: [] [] [] Week Four: [] [] [] Week Five: [] [] [] The Big Finish* To catch up on my Goodreads challenge and clear out my TBR and SCR (Simultaneous Current Reads) piles, I need to finish five books. These books do not have to be started during the challenge, as I'm halfway through at least three books right now. I would also like to start posting reviews of books** on Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, and my website. During this challenge, I will write and post five reviews to social media. The five reviews do not have to be of the five books I finished this challenge. Book reviews for my own blog will require me making food and taking pictures, so those are just super-extra-yay points if I do any during this challenge. *Several books on my TBR are romance and I am not sorry for this pun. **Mainly cozy mystery, LGBTQ+ romcoms and culinary romcoms, or something to do with dragons. Finish 5 books. Review 5 books. Book One: Book Two: Book Three: Book Four: Book Five: Review One: Review Two: Review Three: Review Four: Review Five:
  5. [Future Home of AuntDinosaur's Epic Quest]
  6. Happy New Year folks! I completed a four week challenge over the festivities though not being great with foods, I kept up most of the exercises so am happy with that. I'm back up to 12 stone (was a few lbs under a month ago) but that's to be expected, and my main goals are to lose bodyfat and get stronger. THE CHALLENGE (running six weeks from today) Exercise: Run before work (M-F) up a nearby hill: 0.7m total with ~50ft incline Pilates before work (M-F) the Hundred with straight legs ribcage closure every 20 beats Weight training, 3x10reps of each unless stated: Monday PUSH: Bench press, Military press, Table dips Wednesday PULL: Gym ring pull up angled with bent knees, 3x 5sec Pull-up hold, Barbell rows Thursday LEGS: Squat, Lunge, Romanian Deadlift Pilates class Monday evenings - youtube class otherwise Walking: Office days: to the station and over the river at the other end (~2mile total) WfH and non-work days: 2 miles min, ideally in daylight Teethbrushing squat: held for 2+min Cycle once a week Foods: Tracking 1600 calories on mfp, days that may scupper: 8th January: Afternoon tea with the quartet 15th January: Burns Night evening That's it at the moment but I'm sure more things will come up! Other: Stop scrolling crap on my phone before bed Read instead! POINTS AND SCORING Complete all morning and evening workouts in a week (run, hundred, squat) = 100pts Complete all weight sessions and pilates in a week = 100pts Complete 2 miles of walking every day = 100pts for the week Cycle once a week = 50pts Any missed sessions, the week will be scored at my discretion based on how well I did otherwise. Max exercise points = 2100pts Under calories every day for a week = 100 points Under calories six days out of the week = 75 points Under calories five days out of the week = 50 points Day over 1600 but under 1700 = minus 5 points Day over 1600 but stayed relatively health = minus 10 points Day over 1600 and splurged = minus 25 points Two weeks under cals in a row = 50 bonus pts All six weeks under = 50 extra bonus pts Max food points = 900pts No phone scrolling before bed: 100pts for 7/7 days, 75pts for 6/7 days, 50% for 5/7 days Read instead of phone crap: 50pts for at least 4/7 days Two weeks in a row = 20 bonus points Max better bedtime points = 1000pts Total possible points = 4000pts
  7. Oh hai there, how are you? I am very pleased that this got saved as a draft from yesterday! My last challenge was named incorrectly thanks to me not knowing how to find my historical info (oops) so correcting this to 21st. I successfully completed my last challenge with 85% and levelled up, woop! Main goals as ever: reduce body fat % and get stronger (should probably actually check my current bf%). I would also LOVE to be under 12 stone by the end of the challenge, currently 12.5. Existing good habits: Run before work (M-F) up a nearby hill: 0.7m total with ~50ft incline I've been switching to a short walk pre-hill which I'd like to not do Pilates before work (M-F) the Hundred with straight legs ribcage closure every 20 beats I'm happy keeping this as is Weight training, 3x10reps of each unless stated: Monday PUSH: Bench press, Military press, push-ups (elbows in, on knees) Wednesday PULL: Gym ring pull up angled with bent knees, 10x Negative chin-ups, Barbell rows Thursday LEGS: Squat, Lunge, Romanian Deadlift Pilates class most Monday evenings Walking: Office days: to the station and over the river at the other end (~2mile total) WfH days: 2 miles at lunch or after work Sat/Sun: 2 miles min Teethbrushing squat: Basically my evening teethbrushing I do a held squat for 2min I have also just got a bicycle, so would like to incorporate this! THE CHALLENGE Exercise: Pre-work run: move to cutting the 'walk' so my final week of the challenge is all run Pre-work pilates hundred - improve form Weight training - carry on carrying on Pilates class OR 1hr online makeup class during the week Evening squat: move to squatting lower and/or holding for longer Walk to the station and over the river every office working day (2 miles) Walk 2 miles every WfH lunchtime/after work Walk 2 miles every Saturday and Sunday Cycle at least once a week (any distance!) Foods: Continue on mfp tracking 1600 calories a day. From today up to 28th November I currently have the following things which are likely to scupper/lead to overeating: 24th Oct: Niece's birthday party, usually full of buffet food, cakes and biscuits (this will be tough) 31st Oct: Boardgaming at a friends, which usually involves takeaway - might be doable 6-7th Nov: I might be going away for the weekend, but as yet undecided so we shall see 10th Nov: Theme Park day - I'm hoping I can make a packed lunch and not buy snacks I think that's it. And I think all of these are pretty much manageable, except this Sunday where all the sugar. POINTS AND SCORING Complete all morning and evening workouts in a week (run, hundred, squat) = 100pts Complete all weight sessions and pilates in a week = 100pts Complete 2 miles of walking every day = 100pts for the week Any of the above missed get NIL PWA, but I can make them back for 75pts instead Cycle once a week = 50pts Max exercise points = 2100pts Under calories every day for a week = 100 points Under calories six days out of the week = 75 points Under calories five days out of the week = 50 points Day over 1600 but under 1700 = minus 5 points Day over 1600 but stayed relatively health = minus 10 points Day over 1600 and splurged = minus 25 points Two weeks under cals in a row = 50 bonus pts All six weeks under = 50 extra bonus pts Max food points = 900pts Total possible points = 3000pts
  8. Hello, all! I was on here a long while ago working on my fitness and am returning several years later (and several years older - welp!) from an entirely different country and with completely different goals, ready to work on myself again! 😄 Back then I was in my late teens and concentrated heavily on cardio and studying to great success, but I also had far less to contend with back then. I'm quite a changed person now, with a job I love in a city in England, an intolerance to lactose that I was free of as a youngster (boo), and an only slightly detrimental work ethic (total workaholic, need to work on that) - plus a newfound desire to work on self-care since I seem to let that fall second to just about anything to do with work 😂 The preliminary goals I've outlined for myself are going to be: Eating nutritiously and healthily and not just whatever's there/quick. Exercise for mind and spirit. It used to be such a powerful tool for my mental and emotional wellbeing, and I hope I can refind that now! To learn a new skill that's personal to me. I'm leaning towards learning BSL currently as I feel quite strongly about it. Self-care and to utilise my free time in the evenings or days off not just to 'rest for work tomorrow' but to do things for me. The biggest challenges, I think, will be exercising (as this is practically a foreign concept to me now) and studying (something I haven't had to do in, really, any capacity since, well, since I was a student! Haha!) I'm planning on digging up the old Nerd Fitness bodyweight exercise videos I used to love following. I'm also a huge lover of kpop and dancing as somebody who used to be a dancer, so hope to learn a few of the dances as a fun thing to splice into a routine. And now that gyms are starting to re-open I plan to find some classes I can go and attend, namely beginner Pilates as I'm very flexible but have never done anything exercise-wise with it, which seems like a shame! I'd absolutely love to meet some people here and get chatting, so if you're open to it feel free to shoot me a message and lets be friends! I've got today and tomorrow off of work and my plan is to sift through the forums to remind myself of how the monthly challenges work and pick up some tips, and then plan to sketch out something of a routine for myself - so exciting! Thank you so much if you read so far! Its so great to be back again. 😄
  9. When we last left our hero... I was last active here in 2015-2016, but have had a few false starts since then. The short version is that I've been dealing with depression most of my life, and since 2013 have lost both parents, ended two relationships, and of course have recently been dealing with the effects of the pandemic as someone who works in and is finishing up a degree in hotel and restaurants hospitality. It's been really, really hard to have any motivation to do anything. My depression has gotten a lot worse, I haven't been doing well in school or work, and I have gained about 20lbs. I've tried to jump into a challenge a few times recently but for whatever reason get immediately overwhelmed with the challenge and keeping up with the forums, so I've decided to sort of slip through the back and work on my battle log while commenting on others' challenges for the time being. Anyway. Hi. I'm Cody, she/her, 35 from Michigan. I'm 100% a Druid that low-key wants to be a Ranger. I very much miss when we were doing subclasses/professions like Innkeeper on the forums and would love to bring it back.
  10. Discipline A good assassin practices discipline, and great assassin lives it. Instead of focusing on different aspects of being an assassin, Snuggles needs to focus on improving the discipline in her life. She needs to focus on the things she can control and actively change. Physical #1: Working on the back. I have joined a Pilates group that meets twice a week. I also want to get back into my physical therapy. Week #1 of my challenge: Focus on physical therapy 3 times Week #2 of my challenge: Focus on physical therapy 4 times & Pilates twice Week #3 of my challenge: Focus on physical therapy 5 times & Pilates twice Week #4 of my challenge: Focus on physical therapy 6 times & Pilates twice Week #5 of my challenge: Focus on physical therapy 7 times & Pilates twice Physical #2: I need to do something physical every day. Things to include are walking at least 2 miles, hiking, weight training, knife practice or something else. Week #1 of my challenge: 3 times a week Week #2 of my challenge: 4 times a week Week #3 of my challenge: 5 times a week Week #4 of my challenge: 6 times a week Week #5 of my challenge: 7 times a week Bonus: I would like to average at least 70k steps a week and 10k a day! Prize to be determined… Diet: Snuggles needs to start interacting with food in good ways again. I need to eat breakfast 6 days a week. Sunday Brunch is acceptable if I get at least a piece of fruit early. Week #1 of my challenge: Week #2 of my challenge: Week #3 of my challenge: Week #4 of my challenge: Week #5 of my challenge: Tracking is King: Finally Snuggles needs to start incorporating her many interests into her daily routine. (The To-Do Chart has returned!) In the past my chore chart is a wonderful indicator of what works and where I need work. It gives me a weekly visual so I know very quickly where I need to focus my energies. I will use this along with my Fit-bit to track food and activities. Activities include French, Knife Defense, Knitting, Lockpicking, Game Night, etc. Week #1 of my challenge: Week #2 of my challenge: Week #3 of my challenge: Week #4 of my challenge: Week #5 of my challenge: Builder Goals: I will be starting fresh so this challenge will be spent focusing on creating a baseline. Week #1 of my challenge: Week #2 of my challenge: Week #3 of my challenge: Week #4 of my challenge: Week #5 of my challenge:
  11. Lilmissbri joins the Game of Thrones Now, obviously, the ending hasn't happened yet. BUT this probably my favorite show of all time besides Avatar: The Last Airbender (for completely different reasons.... obviously). Season 7 started last month and it's all I can think about these days! So let's make it the theme. Mwahaha. - - Become No One ~ Fitness Goal: Complete this 14 day pilates challenge. -- Grow a Dragon ~ Diet Goal: Drink 3 bottles of water and serve dinner with veggies every day. Bonus: New paleo recipes I actually like to make and eat. -- Fight to Be Better ~ Level Up Your Life Goal: Update Voices profile, finish Self-Management for Actors, plan out animated video schedule. Bonus: Complete 5 or more auditions per day. -- Converse with the One True God ~ Spirit Goal: Complete the 5 Day Reading Plan and go to church every Sunday. _.-*-._.-*-._
  12. Hello. I was here quite awhile ago using a different name. I've had a pretty rough time since then and have completely fallen off the mat, as I like to call it. I haven't worked out in well over a year, so I've decided to start back at beginning, this time as a mermaid. Always be yourself. Unless you can be a mermaid... then always be a mermaid. Just Add Water As a person with depression and anxiety, the suggested amount of alcohol and caffeine is none. I do believe in moderation, but lately I've not really been living it. The problem is, I love the ritual of coffee in the morning and wine in the evening. I've tried to cut down in a few ways, but for this challenge I'm just going to drink a glass of water after each caffeinated or alcoholic beverage. That's literally after each mug/glass, not a cumulative "I'll have two waters later." The idea is to slow down my consumption of caffeine and alcohol and maybe annoy myself with the trips to the bathroom. For every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage, drink a glass of water. Pack a Lunch I'm a pastry chef and I've gotten pretty used to the "restaurant freegan diet." My current kitchen has a pretty limited menu and no staff lunch, so I've been spending too much money on food I just don't like at local shops. To save money and eat better, I will bring veggies and a protein to work every week to supplement the free food in the kitchen. Plan, shop, and take lunch to work. Meditate #everydamnday This is an ongoing goal. Headspace just updated their app and I have no idea why I'm not using it more. Meditate. Every damn day. Go to the Mat I'm going to start slow with simply getting on the mat. I can do yoga, pilates, stretch, or meditate. I've been talking to my therapist a lot about the emotional baggage around things I used to like to do, and the idea of creating new positive associations really stuck with me on this topic. If I end up stretching while listening to an audiobook, at least I showed up to the mat. Spend 15 minutes on the mat 3x per week.
  13. So last challenge didn't go so well ... lets modify and try again ! Recently i realized i gained 10 pounds, which is super duper awesome, i'm finally back to my regular weight prior to kids 7 years ago. BUT.... i don't quite like the way my shape looks now. Too jiggly for my liking and i'm not fit at all. Time to kick myself in the butt and tone up those muscles ! So the goal is to make muscles and feel awesome and strong, while keeping that weight I finally managed to gain. From past experience, i know that adding things from my goals into my morning routine is what works best, since getting it over with at the start of the day is the best way for me to feel proud of myself and to make sure i don't forget it. MAIN GOAL : BE THE BEST VERSION OF ME I CAN BE (FIT, STRONG, POSITIVE, HEALTHY) WAKE AT 5H30 - 7 days a week I need to wake 30 minutes before now to make time for exercise, and if i do it daily instead of just in the week days, i will get easier and easier BLOGILATES JULY CALENDAR - 2 videos per day (1 cardio + 1 toning) I will follow her calendar daily, doing 2 videos, the first one being the cardio warmup and then whichever i feel like doing from the other 3 that are programmed that day. This should take between 20-30 minutes to do. I have my yoga mat in my room ready for use, and i am taking the ipad with me to follow the vids. DRINK WATER ! I fill and drink my bottle from work twice a day, which will add 1 liter of water in my day CYSTIC FIBROSIS : sinus rince & physio & pills I will do those once daily. I started adding these last challenge and it went well, but i started skipping .. so lets get back on track ! The irritation i had seems to be gone finally, so i will continue to do my pulmozyme every other day. AND i need to get better at taking my vitamins am/pm, so i'll take a picture of the leftovers after everyweek to track how i'm doing for that, before changing anything. I think that's simple enough to be doable, we'll see how it goes ! ** PROGRESS ** WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4
  14. (Kind of a placeholder for my official re-introduction. You may know me from before, but I'm starting over completely.)
  15. Hello everyone! If you saw my last challenge, you know that April was kinda ridiculous for me, in that there was just a whole lot of changes and I never really had time to spend on myself. I've decided that May will be better, so I'm starting now! I'm switching back to my original challenge format, just because I want a bit more structure this go around, since my life is still in flux (someone else gave notice at work, it's unknown how this will affect my already affected job). I don't forsee any trips etc coming up this time, so I'm ready to get rolling. (I'm a Monday start fan, so my weeks run Monday-Sunday here for tracking purposes) Quest 1: Use my shiny new gym memembership: I will take a fitness class once a week (preferably a new class each week). Because the class membership doesn't start until May, to compete this goal this week I have to actually sign up for that class membership Quest 2: Do 3 other workouts during the week: This can be anything from walks with my husband (still trying to get that going for the year) to S&S to more gym workouts, including classes. I'll also count working on the minichallenge here. Quest 3: Have (at least) 3 no drinking days a week. Quest 4: Since I got a shiny new lunch box as a reward last challenge, I have to use it, and that will involve posting one pic a week here of my healthy snacks. Quest 5: Spend 2 hours stretching over the course of the 4 weeks. Bonus quest: finish this dang baby blanket I've been knitting Reward: Since I'm a stationary nerd, my reward for completing is a new planner (mine runs out at the beginning of June) and a fancy notepad for taking meeting notes. No theme, it's a gif free-for-all! I feel like this is the perfect date to get started!
  16. Hey Druids All of my previous challenges have been with the Assassins, but I hope you don't mind me visiting, since my goals this go-round are closer to this group's style. After some adventuring... I seem to have taken an arrow to the knee, and to let my body recover I'm going to lay off of high-impact workouts and stick to yoga, pilates and meditation along with tracking my food this challenge. I'll have to see how my knees and strength are doing after this challenge to know if I'm ready to go back to running around and jumping off of things, but for now I need the (deceptively, I know) calmer discipline of re-balancing and core/stabilizer strengthening given by these disciplines, which are beneficial all the time any way but this time I'm just going to take everything else off the table and focus on them, since I've completely neglected them in other times that I've had them on my challenges ^^; So to keep these issues from sneaking up on me (or getting worse from my boneheaded abuse of my joints the moment they stop hurting perpetually) I'm going to try to focus there exclusively. So, much like a Dragonborn visiting High Hrothgar, I'm hoping to visit the temple and learn from the wisdom of those who probably have WAAAAY more experience with Yoga, Pilates and meditation than I do. Main Quest - Earn Your Thu'um (getting back on my feet) Sidequest 1 - Focus: Meditation. I can try to control external factors as much as I want, but until my mind's in some semblance of order there's not going to be much permanent progress with other stuff. Meditate 6 days a week, at least 10min. Sidequest 2 - Food: Between the knee injuries and lack of food discipline during the holidays, I've regained all of the weight that I had lost and gained extra back. *groan* So along with the exercise to try to burn some cals and rebuild some muscle tone on the weight front, I'm going to try to make sure that I track my food every weekday (I use Lifesum, I'll try to figure out how to link that on here) and even just the act of tracking food can do a lot to control intake by making oneself aware of the actual amount going in. Track food 5 days a week Sidequest 3 - Fitness: Yoga and Pilates - 3 30min sessions of Pilates (M/W/F) and at least 2 shorter (15-20 min) Yoga sessions (T/H) to work on core strength and muscle/tendon strength around joints. Work out 5 days a week, but GENTLY and listen to my body. Lifequest - Guitar. There’s something about playing music that’s very therapeutic, plus it helps keep certain pathways in the brain working and I could use a bit more organization there. Plus I just really like playing guitar (so long as no one’s there to hear how bad I am lol) Went ahead and made a tracking worksheet for this challenge, linked here
  17. I'm using this challenge to shape some new behaviors for the next four weeks. I've had a super successful summer as far as archery is concerned, which is great. Interestingly, I've got a 15K race on October 2nd, so that's going to affect the initial week of my challenge, since I'll be tapering. Lots of yoga and short, quick runs until right before the race, and then nothing for a day or two, and then the race. After the race is over, however, I want to get back into the gym and lift some. I've been spending a lot of time training for the race, so the majority of my workouts are either running or to recover from running. Not to mention I've been taking my son to school on the bike, which amounts to just over 10 miles of commuting by bike every day, half of which is towing him on his tag-along bike. Furthermore, I'm leaning towards getting my sports hernia operated on, so that might take me out for a few weeks, and I want to be as strong as possible before that happens with the idea that I'll be able to come back quicker if I'm stronger. In any case, details forthcoming. Right now I'm thinking it'll look something like: Bike commuting 3x/week (or more, weather dependent) Lifting 2x/week (or more) Yoga or Pilates 2x/week (or more) and.... Sign up for an acting class
  18. I don't have a full challenge sorted out yet, so this is kinda a place holder. I've been on NF a little over six months now. When I started in September 2015 my goal was to lose 20lbs by Christmas. Instead I gained 3lbs, am up to the heaviest I have ever been and it's getting to the point where my clothes don't fit. I know that I'm stronger than I was six months ago, but I still cant do a push up, I'm not as strong as I want to be and I REALLY don't like how I look at the moment. I know this challenge is going to have to focus on my diet, and that means tracking. But I just haven't worked out how I'm going to make that happen yet.
  19. ☆☆☆ ☆ Main Story, Goal 1: get back to pre-wedding weight (Goal 2: Pass avg fitness test Goal 3: 25% or less body fat Goal 4: gain post apocalyptic survivalist fitness level Goal 5: ???) Quest 1: Workout 3x a week! (09/12 +3STR, 07/12 +2STR, 05/12 +1STR) Quest 2: Primal 80/20 + 90g max weekly avg + 1500 max weekly avg! (3/4 +3CON/1CHA, 2/4 +2CON/1CHA, 1/4 +1CON) Quest 3: Weening off dairy! 10oz max weekly. (3/4 +3CHA, 2/4 +2CHA, 1/4 +1CHA) ☆☆☆ My motivation ☆☆☆ 1. I want to be a good example for my sisters and future children 2. To optimally manage my mental health 3. I want a healthy relationship with food 4. I want to be more comfortable in my skin 5. To be able to better participate in walks, hikes, and other outdoorsy things I once enjoyed 6. To be able to be pregnant safely and have the energy to play with my child (disclaimer: I have jacked up ankles and very literally weak core muscles that don't even activate properly when exercised, so if I got pregnant while being in my current physical condition I likely could render myself immobile) 7. I want to be able to protect myself 8. To better my chances at having a long and healthy life with my loved ones 9. My husband 10. Myself ☆☆☆
  20. So I'm gonna try and make this a bit simpler. I think I will be better off focusing on a couple of things and doing them well, really making them habits, and then evaluating how I did at the end of the challenge and going from there. This is basically me telling myself to SIMPLIFY MY CHALLENGES I've been re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender (and also The Legend of Korra). Mostly, I've been listening to Uncle Iroh. So this challenge is about connecting/listening to my inner Iroh and using the wisdom I've earned. I'm asking myself the things that add the most value to my life and making those my focus for the moment. Inspiration and Gratitude will still happen but they're not Challenge Goals for the time being. The Spirit World: Daily Meditation Fun fact: I found this gif on google....from one of Korranation's old challenges This can be as little as one minute. As long as I do it, it counts. Something is better than nothing Avatar Training: Daily Movement This really really helps my mood. So a little bit every day is better than nothing for me. This is ALL about the mood regulation for me Tea Time: Daily Creativity This has been a quest the past couple challenges and it's really starting to become a habit, at least with writing. I'd like to do more guitar and drawing too, but I've been pretty good about doing at least one creative thing...probably 85% of February. And that's awesome. Sokka's Schedule: 2 Hour Blocks Gonna keep working on this cause when I do it, it really helps my day 5x per week Order of The White Lotus: Reach out to 1 Friend per Week I haven't been reaching out to my friends as much IRL so my goal is to contact one friend from school a week And that's it!
  21. Pre-Challenge Spiel So my previous challenge was meant to reset my body and my mind for the upcoming year. It did that to an extent. It forced to make more time for myself in my busy (and getting busier) schedule and also to really focus on what I am putting into my body. I have upped my water intake significantly and aside from slipping up on a business trip week, did not drink alcohol for the whole month of January. I feel pretty great and refreshed and am so ready to start hitting things hard again! But going hard is uh... hard. For those of you who haven't been following me, I had a hip pre-injury (not quite an injury but a pain that told me to stop what I was doing and figure it out or an injury would basically be guaranteed to happen) and got pretty freaked out about it. My sister has serious hip problems (she is 20 and has already had to have hip surgery) so I took this very seriously. I figured out my issues were a result of glute amnesia - my glutes were not doing the work they were supposed to during DL and squats, and allowing my hip flexors to do all the work. Hip flexors are tiny muscles, they are not supposed to be taking on so much stress! But my glutes just werne't firing. I essentially put a halt on my lifting program and spent the last 6-ish weeks (basically ever since the end of the challenge of 2015) doing connectivity drills I learned at Camp Nerd Fitness from the lovely Kate Galliett and also some other glute strengthening isolation drills I found online. I also began doing a lot of core exercises to help protect my lower back from the same fate. Apparently lower backs are over acheivers too. Plus, core strength = better everything so why not? Anyway, I'm now feeling pretty confident with my glute amnesia being banished (I notice them firing when I walk and go up steps and basically do anything, and I even had a dream about squats where I noticed my glutes activating properly so they've definitely finally decided they want to do some work) and it is time for me to return to Strong Lifts! I'm going to have to deload a bunch, but I am so pumped to get back at this. I am also taking 2 classes as well as working full time. Typically I take one class but this semester I decided to really lean forward on my degree. Wow was it a lot more to take on than I expected. Basically, between beginning SL again, wanting to maintain my occasional glute activation drills an dother mobility drills, continuing to make sure my core gets some love, keeping up with my classes, my job exploding more and more and wanting to keep up with you nerds as much as possible because you are THE BEST I need to seriously work on my time allocation. Unfortunately I do not have a time turner to get more hours from my day. I know what I need to do, and what I want to do. I have the motivation and the habits. What I need to do now is take both of those and be flexible with my schedule in order to get in everything I want. So this challenge won't have very complicated goals from the outset, but each week will be treated individually depending on what I've got going on, work travel, homework, etc. I'm going to continue with the Fly Lady baby steps as well and hopefully finish out all 31 by the end of this challenge but if I get held up on a specific day again that's fine. I want to integrate this into my life slowly so it sticks. I'm currently on day 15 - and have been for about a week now. Main Goals 1. Every Sunday or Monday I will post my schedule for the week to include major items that may affect my productivity on a given day for the next seven days (ie - class) and what I will be doing for each of those days BROKEN DOWN BY THE HOUR. This sounds crazy, I know, but I only have a few hours between when I get home from work (6PM) and when I need to get to bed (9/930PM) so I truly need to plan out how to utilize each of those minutes to get the most done I can without trying to do too much and blowing my bed time. Non-work days are a bit more flexible but I still want to list what I want to do on those days. This includes homework, cleaning tasks, meditation, reading, and of course work outs. 2. At least 3 times a week I will update my thread on my status of if I hit my to-do goals for each day. 3. Each week I need to fit in a core work out and a glute drill workout. This can be the same workout. (I won't do this if I don't make it a separate goal). Food Goal 4. Continue to not eat dairy. 1 minor slip up a week is allowed (ie some melted cheese on some meat. Eating 1017 cheese cubes from an appetizer tray does not count as a "minor" slip up). Life Goal 5. Sleep at least 7 hours a night. No on average, but actually legit, 7 hours a night. This will prevent me from expecting too much of myself in (1) and (2) above. My final grade will be based 20% on the success of each of the above. Planning, execution, special work outs, dairy consumption, and sleep. Goal 2 (posting updates) will be half based on posting 3x/week and half based on actual completion of my schedule items. I'm aware this is going to be quite the strict challenge with no bells and whistles but I needs it. Bad. SELF DICIPLINE FTW! Also, I've made the commitment to watch through Xena. Girl power also FTW! I debated making this challenge Xena themed but I didn't have time. I'd rather spend my time making my rounds here than thinking up a way to make this challenge more themed....but feel free to post Xena gifs as they will bring me joy
  22. Alrighty then. My stomach had other plans for my last challenge. I did lose weight, but probably not in the most healthy way. Dang it. What I did learn from all that is, just keep going. And maybe if I make my goals a little smaller, I can do more celebrating and certainly that will make me keep going. So, I will keep walking but I'll be dropping my daily goal to 6,000 steps. That's around 2.5 miles a day. So average 17.5 a week and 65 miles over the whole challenge. I may not get to freaking Mordor fast, but I will get there. I'm keeping meditation. Maybe more mindfulness will make my stomach happier too. Can't hurt. So 3 times a week with bonus points for more. Then at least 3 strength workouts a week. Two pilates classes (pretty easy since they are scheduled) But to add a little boost, I want to do 5 real life serious fancy pants pushups. I can do about one and half right now before my wimpy arms give up. Then we have the last challenge. A sketch every day in the sketchbook. No excuses. So there they are. Slightly simpler, slightly smaller, but here we go. In other news, I have somehow found myself the captain of the Cronuts. I'm sorry that the leadership of the Doodlies has fallen to such sad levels, but I will try to at least figure out what I'm supposed to do. Def promises to help and save us if I blow it. Go Cronuts!!!
  23. [whitewineandcathair] " Recycling the theme from my abandoned challenge, because I got a little distracted that time around. OK. A lot distracted. To make a needlessly long story short, I've been dealing with some hormonal issues for quite a while now, and the most recent birth control pill I was put on gave me a pretty serious case of the Don't Wannas. I was dealing with depression symptoms, lack of motivation, and brain fog. All of which make these challenges, uh, extra challenging. I'm on a new pill now, and have no idea how well this will work out, but here we go... ...builds a better core I'll be taking a little break from the lengthy yoga sessions this time and doing a mixture of Pilates, bodyweight exercises, and a little yoga that mainly focuses on core strength. I'll be doing a 30 minute workout 3x per week. All workouts will be tracked in my battle log. A = 11 -12 workouts B = 9 - 10 workouts C = 7 - 8 workouts ...introduces rainbow-hued biofuel I think I do pretty well on my intake of fruits and veggies, but just like my protein challenges before, I thought it would be a good idea to track my eating habits and get a feel for the serving sizes and variety I eat on a daily basis. For this challenge, I will aim to eat five servings a day of fruits and vegetables, and "eat the rainbow." I'll be tracking the color variety in my notebook/journal and posting the results here once a week. (I'd originally planned to try one new fruit or vegetable per week of the challenge, but walking around the produce section... I couldn't find four I'd never had. Go me?) A = 126 - 140 servings of fruits and veggies B = 112 - 125 servings of fruits and veggies C = 98 - 111 servings of fruits and veggies ...installs toxin filtration system [whitewineandcathair] does Drynuary. Between the stomach issues, the depression issues, the financial issues, and the brain fog, this is just a good idea. I will not drink for the month of January. (Bonus: I'll still get my wine club shipment and will have a full wine rack by the time I'm "allowed" to drink it.) Pass = 0 drinks in January Fail = >0 drinks in January ...recalibrates internal clock I've been having more than a little trouble getting up, finding time to do my morning meditation, AND making it to work on time. I don't actually have any trouble wanting to go back to bed once I'm up, it's just the actual act of getting out of bed when the alarm first goes off. This might actually be my hardest challenge. I've been using an app that's supposed to wake me up during the lightest part of my sleep cycle, and that's only been helping a little. The goal for this challenge is to get up, meditate, and get to work on time. A = 18 - 20 successful mornings B = 15 - 17 successful mornings C = 12 - 14 successful mornings grading: To pass and level up, I must get a C or better in each challenge. (And pass Drynuary.) reward: Funko Pop! Joy and Sadness (Must pass with all A's and B's.) progress: week one week two mid-challenge summary week three week four final report
  24. This will be my second challenge with the druids. I feel good here, and I am sure this is the place to be for my quest to physical and mental health. I will turn 50 this year, and by the time I reach this magic date I want to have my life in order. In detail, this means to focus on physical health by doing yoga and pilates on a regular basis and by cleaning up my diet again. I've been slacking on my paleo, not liking the consequences. Mental health is something that for some reason I tend to neglect, and this needs to change. Usually, I sort of race through my work days, and if someone asks me what time it is, I answer something like "uhm, winter?" Not good. Also, I tend to sacrifice self care as something that is not as important as other things. Which is wrong. So a change of attitude is needed. Quest 1: return to my established paleo lifestyle to fuel my body properly, keeping below 40g carbs per day Quest 2: regain flexibility and core stability with yoga and pilates - twice per week should be doable Quest 3: have every day some time for self care, appreciating my body without judging it Quest 4: Whatever I do, I need to be fully into it. No matter whether work, sports, playing with kids, gardening … simply be more in the moment. To consciously live my day, I will write a journal, reflecting my day before I go to bed. From last challenge came a few things that I will keep continuing, since they have turned into good habits: drink enough water, take St. John's Wort, keep decluttering (very satisfying!), use the stairs at work instead of elevator, spend talking and/ or story telling time with my children. What I won't continue: step tracking and logging my water intake . Honestly, numbers don't satisfy me. Life is precious, I don't want to feel wasting it on the wrong things or - even worse - run through it without really feeling alive...
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