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  1. Welcome to the annual thread for reading and reading talk! While we of course make room for talking about books (and other reading materials), this thread is first and foremost for reading. We love books here, of course we do, that kind of comes with the territory. But more importantly, we love to read, and that is what this challenge thread is about. We have a small number of rules that we respectfully insist that everyone who joins this thread do their best to follow: First of all, Rule Zero: Anyone who wants to join, can can join at any time during the year. There is no enrollment end date, and no reading minimums of any kind. Now for the rest of the rules: Any reading counts as reading. This means we are not required to read books. Any reading material is acceptable reading material, including but not limited to graphic novels, blogs, poetry, philosophical treatises, newspaper articles, periodicals, sheet music, and anything else anyone can think of. All reading counts as reading. Audio books count as reading. If this rule isn't self-explanatory to you, that's fine, as long as you don't question it. Everyone reads at their own pace and level. Reading goals are personal, and while we freely give and take inspiration from each other, we don't compare our goals to each other. This isn't a competition. Everyone reads for their own reasons, and every reason for reading is valid. Again, take inspiration from others, but don't compare yourself to anyone. There are as many reasons for reading as there are readers, and just as many reading goals, and that is exactly the way it should be. Enjoy the reading challenges and have fun with them! This is the most important rule, that no one should ever feel pressured to compromise on. If keeping up with your reading challenge causes more stress than it relieves, do what you need to do to restore that balance to where the reading challenge is a haven again. And that is it. Please tag fellow readers as you come across them in your travels across the greater NF community, and never forget to honor Rule #5.
  2. 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:
  3. I read this thing on Twitter about FUN goals: Flexible, Uplifting, Numberless. I loved it so much. SMART goals are really good, and I still have smart goals, but right now, I need to focus on the journey, and I think FUN goals are more process focused and less results focused. For this challenge the plan is to: 1. Exercise every day. Doesn't matter what it is, just need to do something every day and then throw myself a parade. Which marching in a parade also counts as exercise 2. Read some books. This is the perfect time of year to read a good book and escape winter. I'll happily tell you what I'm reading! 3. Love my mouth. When winter blues hit, I immediately start slacking off on things like brushing my hair or flossing my teeth. This winter, I'm going to take ridiculous care of my teeth. I am armed with a sonic toothbrush, floss, mouth wash, a waterpik, and a whitening kit. It's a lot, but I've already started this month, and it's really contributing a lot to improving my mood.
  4. Okay, okay, so "bang" is probably overstating it, but I wanted to be positive! I've been so complain-y lately, this sounded better hahaha. My 2 week winter break was desperately needed and I'm so thankful for it - honestly, I think the entire first week or so was legitimately just recovering from fall semester. I slept, ate, and existed as a lump for multiple days on end because that was all I had the mental and physical capacity for. But by the end, I was starting to exist as an actual human being again...just in time to go back to work! Yay! I still have about a week until my new grad school semester starts though, and this one should, theoretically, be better than the last one (though I still have at least 4 and a half sections of my thesis to write by the end of April...ugh) so I'm hoping to pick things up a bit more and really get some balls rolling for 2022. But I have a few too many things to do (ah, ranger brain...) so I'm going to try a 4-pronged challenge this time: Quest One: Get Moving So one of my major goals is going to be getting ready to start an archery team (or at least club) in August. One thing I very much want to do before that can happen is increase my draw weight at least slightly. I also need to just get my body going a bit in general! So my goal is going to be 5 workouts, theoretically one a week - admittedly a big jump from my last challenge but I think I can do it. Also I'm going with "can be short and small but needs to be an actual designated workout" as my definition this time, so no more "well I ran around with my kid a lot, that can count". Examples of things I might count include but of course are not limited to: -a yoga video -at least one set of dumbbell things I've been doing to help my draw weight (I think they're called tricep rows? I probably should learn that) -a walk or run -an actual shooting practice (though let's be honest, I'm a complete wuss about the cold, so this probably won't happen until at least the spring unless we get an unseasonable warm snap) Quest Two: Eat Better I'm still struggling to gain weight, though I have my GI appointment at the end of this month and hopefully that'll give us some more possibilities! But I also need to improve my nutrition anyway, because it's been pretty bad. I signed up for a weekly cooking challenge - basically, they give you a theme or inspiration every Saturday, and your job is to try to cook something that week to match that theme or inspiration. One meal a week shouldn't be too bad, and I really do miss cooking. Plus I'm making it even more complicated and saying that my challenge meal every week must include at least one "high priority" ingredient: -chicken, cheese, or potatoes (to slow down my guts and help me gain weight) -any red meat or spinach (for the high iron content because I'm becoming anemic again) -any "unusual" vegetable (not necessarily actually unusual, but at least unusual in our kitchen) Quest Three: Get the House Together I'm meaning this to be both literal (as in, our actual house) and a bit metaphorical (like, the semi-external structure around the family). It's not a perfect category, but I'm trying to differentiate this from my personal life goals below. We're hoping to move sometime between this summer and summer 2024 (preferably before fall 2023 but we'll see if that happens!) but our current house needs a lot of help before it can be shown. Also I'm sticking family-type goals in here. But I'm going to do this checklist style: I made a list of stuff I want to get done this year, and all the things below are the next "milestones" in getting those things done, so I think that will make more sense than focusing on frequency like my first two quests. 1. decluttering: clear out one bag of clothes I don't want anymore as well as clearing/putting away EVERYTHING on or under the sidetable in the playroom, including the sidetable itself since we probably don't want it anymore 2. start a 529 for my kid 3. institute Spanish time at dinner - likely starting at just 5 or 10 minutes, but holy bajesus my kid needs the input and practice. I will count this as "complete" if we do it for at least 14 days, since we've been trying to get this started for like two years now and haven't kicked ourselves enough in the butt to make it happen despite the fact my husband and I are both proficient speakers 4. complete at least through row 12 on my son's quilt - currently about halfway through row #9 Quest Four: Personal Life Goals This is my category for non-health related personal goals! It's also going to be checklist style, but it's much shorter: 1. read a book. Any book that is not related to grad school counts. Preferably two books, which should be do-able since I'm a super fast reader, but let's start small and go from there. Starting in English because the local library does a winter reading challenge where you can win a coffee mug if you read 5 books before March 15th and I collect coffee mugs, so I really want to win one, but I read much faster in English than any of my other languages. 2. use at least 3 "new" nail polishes. I have a stash of polishes that I have bought and never used, and I'm trying to make sure I use each one of them at least once. These can be manicures or pedicures and might even include using more than one color at a time - as long as I can move 3 bottles to my "I've used this at least once" cabinet, it counts. 3. I'm also trying to use up my makeup items since that pile was starting to grow bigger than I needed. Starting with eyeshadow, because I have a ton of it and lipstick still really isn't a thing with my mask. I'm going to wear eyeshadow at least 16 out of 24 work days (so 2/3 of days, counting from my return to work yesterday) 4. of course work on my thesis! Am I cheating by putting this here? I kinda think so, yeah. But oh well, if it helps get me motivated, it's a challenge goal now too! Let's see, by February 5th I need to have finished section 4 for sure(the one I'm on now) and let's go with...be halfway through section 5. Is this challenge arguably way too big and I've gone right back to biting off more than I can chew? Maybe! I really did try to make each one not too big so it'd stay as reasonable as possible, and a few of them I've already started since I had these goals in mind before I got around to typing this up (to be laid out in the next post)...so...never say never, right?
  5. ...on Asgard Yes it’s another Loki themed challenge. I have so many gifs I didn’t get to use lol. Last challenge I didn’t do so great in some of my goals, and even the one that I smashed, I’m not content to let it stagnate. So much of this challenge will be carried over, with adjustments to my methods. 1. Training grounds Loki isn’t only proficient in daggers. I'm itching to get back to some staff work, but I also haven’t lost a microt of my love for knives, and I’m stoked about my new bow. Having goals in all of these areas would be too much to focus on, so I’m making one simple overarching goal that contains them all. Goal: a collective three hours per week weapons/props work 2. Learning halls This is a two parter. For the first week of the challenge I’ll be attending an intensive 6 day course. Zero week I’ll be studying for it, and although I usually don’t count zero week, I’ll be tracking how much I study to keep me on track. Then week one, the class itself is going to count for this. I have lots of books that have been sitting on my shelf begging for my attention and I’ve been neglecting them due to making myself too busy. I know I’ll be a happier person if I get reading back in my regular habits. Also, NaNoWriMo will be starting and I’ll be half-heartedly participating in that (not pushing for the 1200/day, but ramping up the volume and putting some effort into it) After the class is over, the goal will be: read or write 1 thing per day. I’ll post a snipit of what I wrote, and try to share something I learned from what I read, if I learned something. 3. Harness my powers I will do the friggin mindfulness!! I remain dedicated to making this a daily habit. If I have NOT done it when I post my daily update, I will take ten minutes to do it BEFORE I post. This is the new rule. Everyone is allowed one free swing at me if I don't do this. Pinned to the first page for easy location, the table of code names for the people in my life: That being said,
  6. Y'all - hold my hand. I'm doing something a little scary this challenge. I'm going off-roading. I've spent the last couple days rereading my old NF challenges (which was a fun trip down memory lane) and realized that while I've done some kick ass challenges over the last 8 years, I consistently fail once I fall off the boards. And while I love the NF boards, I don't want to spend my whole life always replaying the same game: doing weight-loss challenge after weight-loss challenge. I want to win the damn game and do new things. Once upon a time, I thought that meant 1. Get to my goal weight, 2. Profit?? but I'm realizing that the challenges I do here on NF are challenging... but unsustainable for long term. I need to build organic habits and set up systems that don't come crashing down the minute I take a break. Instead of starting anything particularly new this challenge, I'm going to set myself up for success by focusing on the big things that really help: meal planning and intentionality. For possibly the first time ever, I'm not doing a paleo/primal/grain-free challenge. Instead, I'm building up my recipe book with healthy recipes (and ok yes, those tend to be paleo/primal/grain-free for me personally) and let meal planning guide my diet. That's the scary part. I worry that I'm going to binge eat and go to donut town the minute the restraints are loosened. But letting go of the diet mindset is probably the only way I'll ever really get long term success. I am going to keep myself accountable by posting more often here on NF (plus I'm kind of an awesome cook, and I want to share what I make!). Meal Plan and Share - Meal plan 6 healthy recipes per week - Add 5 recipes per week to Plan To Eat - Log meals on NF challenge thread 5x per week – ideally with pictures! I'm also going to keep running – but that's it. Rule 6 of the Rebellion is: We Don’t HAVE to exercise, we GET to exercise. And I realize I've been putting myself in a box trying out video workouts from home and ST exercises that I don't really enjoy. I'm never going to want to do that long term. For 2022 I have a goal to find some kind of active hobby I enjoy (in addition to running) in order to cross train and working more activity, but for now – when it's cold and dark and I just want to hygge and hibernate? – I'm going to take a step back and focus on what's sustainable. Run - 1 long run (Starting at 45 minutes and adding 5 minutes each week) - Run 5k 2x per week I'm going to take the habits that work and keep doing them – no point quitting something that works! This is a compilation of little habits I've been fairly consistent at over the last 3 challenges. My goal is to track here, rather than Habitica, since I'm going to be posting meals anyway (right?). Continue Healthy Habits - IF 16/8 5-6 a week - Drink 8 glasses of water daily - Floss daily - Limit alcohol to 2x a week Finally, one of my big goals for the upcoming year is to read more. I want to keep up with my monthly Book Club, I want to finish the books I've started, and I want to knock some books off my to-read list. For this challenge I'm reading Atomic Habits, which is something I think will help a lot in the year going forward, as I make healthy living more of a habit instead of a diet. Read - Read November Book Club pick, Talking to Strangers - Finish The Starless Sea - Finish Deep Work - Read Atomic Habits
  7. So for the next 2 weeks(9/11 - 9/25) I will be leaving sunny wonderful Florida to spend time at my cabins in Wisconsin. Highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s. It is going to be quite the change. Goals for the challenge Workout of some sort daily 10k steps daily Eat whole foods(mostly paleo with limited dairy and maybe one whole grain serving daily). Two travel days are cheatish days(morning food and some beer). Also some freeze dried camping food reviews for content. I may choose to have whiskey once while up at the cabins but other than that strict. Daily hobby 50XP of Duolingo daily Read 10ish pages Post a picture of dinner Examples of WODs Ruck Run Circuit training Weight lifting Hobbies Minis Content creation(youtube videos and launch channel) Fishing Model rockets Building things(fish tank stand) Board games Currently also running a PvP warm up for Rucktober. I need to market Rucktober and get some sign ups. The PvP for the warm up is here if anyone is interested.
  8. Good day fellow Rebels. Last challenge, I made some observations about goals that were lacking, and I selected three: reading, breathing (specifically Wim Hof Method breathing) and journaling. The other goals have essentially become daily habits now because they have been part of my routine for quite some time. So if you have been following me for a while, assume that the rest of my usual daily habits and routines that have been mentioned in the past are now expected. And so I begin: Goal 1: Read Harder and More Often -- I love to read. I love books. I have all the traits of a bibliophile. However, I'm not very disciplined, and I struggle to focus and pay attention when I read. I know this is normal and nothing to be ashamed of, but it still bothers me. I'm also a very picky reader, like... picky to a fault. Yes, some of it is because I have standards, and because I value my time, so I struggle to read something that just... isn't very good. But, if I'm honest, much of this pickiness has led me to make unfair assumptions about various genres, authors, and forms of writing. So, I have decided to take on the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge, as well as to set an ambitious but doable reading goal of 50 books in 2021. I have a few strategies for helping meet this goal: read every day for at least 30 minutes put my phone on the charger on the other side of the room while reading select and read books from the Read Harder Challenge first audiobooks, children's books, and poetry collections totally count towards the 50 goal Goal 2: Breathe Harder and More Mindfully -- I have practiced the WHM in the past, and many of the elements have stuck like glue, specifically the cold showers and cold exposure (going outside shirtless and shoeless in the cold, taking long hikes in the snow with no shirt, etc.), but the breathing (which, if I'm not mistaken Wim himself said is the most important part of the method) has just been a struggle to fit into my daily routine. It's not that I don't want to; in fact, I really enjoy it and feel great every time. It's almost like my brain says, "Dude... It's breathing. We do that al the time. Just skip it." And so, I end up skipping it. However, I noticed last challenge that I was filling that gap of time normally reserved for WHM breathing with mindless scrolling of Instagram or Facebook. So, for this challenge I will work to fit WHM breathing into my morning routine, just as I was before. Below are my strategies for meeting this goal: schedule a time for breathwork, after prayer/devotional time but before workout and cold shower: 0445 Mon-Fri, Sat/Sun time varies use the app and/or music or a guided audio or video to make the experience more interactive at least three rotations; time is not as important as impact, so be mindful of the impact of each inhale and exhale, as well as how your body feels during and after each rotation Goal 3: Journal More -- In addition to loving to read, I also love to write (or at least I used to love it in that I used to write a lot because I wanted to, not because it was a requirement or a chore). I need to get back to that love, but in practical ways that don't make it feel like a task or just something else to check off on my daily to-do list. I used to keep a journal regularly, writing just a few paragraphs a day, recording my thoughts and my feelings and occasionally sharing favorite poems or song lyrics or lines from movies and TV shows. And sometimes I would draw (not very well, but it brought me joy). I need to get back to that less prescribed and more open journaling practice because if it feels to rigid or more like a "have to," I won't do it. Instead, it should be a "get to." I get to journal every day. So below are my strategies for meeting this goal: journal every morning before starting my day and at the end of the day: Mon-Fri right before leaving for work (0630) and before bed (2100); Sat/Sun times vary aesthetics matter; use a notebook that you want to write in and a utensil you want to write with in order to feel encouraged to do so make it brief but important and free flowing, not prescribed or stilted; just express yourself freely and openly without judgement keep it secret; keep it safe (you knew I wouldn't get out of this challenge without at least one LotR reference) And there you have it. My goals for this challenge. Sorry it doesn't have any creative theming or anything, but I knew these areas needed to be refined and strengthened, so that was my main purpose. And of course, you can expect plenty of nerdiness to arise in the form of cool gifs and memes and quotes.
  9. My spine is broken as fuck and here I am with a slipped disc again only 6 months after surgery. I don't know how things are going to unfold in the next weeks, so its 4 goals a week, changing up things as necessary. *realizes she is old now and cries softly* but hey: week zero goals: build back and stomach muscles by doing bodyweight core workouts daily (as long as it doesnt make the pain worse). Experiment with what's possible. Don't sit for very long. find out whether to keep going with keto or whether to eat a less strict low carb diet. Read recommended book on low carb. move outside with dog as much as possible organize doctors appointment LETS GO AND FINISH OFF 2020 ALREADY!
  10. Hi Nerds! I'm Merrin. I haven't done a proper challenge for over a year at least. It may look like I have a lot of goals, but all of these fall in line with my daily schedule. I was going to Culinary school but had to withdraw last April. I need structure to thrive, so putting my goals down along with writing a daily schedule with my partner is really going to be good for me. We just bought a house! We drove 1100 miles across the country to move into a house built in 1900 (yes it's 120 years old) and used to be a funeral parlor! It's old and spooky and sometimes bats get in. It needs a lot of love and attention. (We spent most of October re-plumbing the entire basement.) I love sewing! I taught a Cosplay 101 class at Nerd Camp 2016. I don't have any LARP plans until January of 22, but that doesn't mean I can't sew a pile of things until then. Mercury: There's always something to be studied, and right now, that's language. 1 chapter Duolingo each day. Learning Japanese in the hopes that Duncan and I can go back in 2023. Venus: all hobbies in moderation! 1 hour social media, 1 hour video games per day. No old games. No Animal Crossing. Moon: Usagi's favorite thing is spending time with Mamoru. Ifrit and I were enjoying a more regular date night. 1x a week for games [Firefly, Lovecraft, Villains] Mars: keeping the home clean is an act of duty and an act of love. 2x weekly, including house painting, hanging art, repairing windows/treatments, laundry, floors. Jupiter: Mako-chan loves being in the kitchen. She shows her love for others by feeding them often. Cooking 3+ times a week, opposite chore days. Baking counts. Saturn: Silence is a necessity. 2 hours downtime daily, reading, stitchwork. Finish pumpkin set, gem poster. Castle poster? Uranus: No time for slacking. Ringfit, 1 section daily. Neptune: Deep Submerge! Daily skincare, hydration goals. [Oops it's like they go together on purpose.] Pluto: Cosplay work, 3x week. If I feel like there are other areas to improve, I'll branch out the challenge to the Starlights.
  11. I decided to just start fresh on this challenge then carry over my "OODA Loop" one I created last week. The idea behind the OODA Loop is still in place but mentally, I'm trying to morph into something else entirely. I'm trying to shapeshift into a Renaissance Man of Lethality. So what exactly is a "Renaissance Man of Lethality? Ironically, he's basically what a Nerd Fitness Ranger is: A jack-of-all-trades but master of none, Rangers are well equipped for any situation....and so is the RMoL (Renaissance Man of Lethality). The video above breaks down a massive amount of things that a RMoL should have in his bag of tricks. Some of these "tricks" just are not obtainable at the moment, but I don't want to focus on the things I can't do. I want to focus on things I can. Things like: Fitness: Power Speed Agility Endurance Flexibility Every Day Carry (EDC) Verbal Judo Military History Now, on to things I would like to obtain at some point. (A lot of things are put on hold because of the COVID stuff Martial Arts ground game standing game disarming improvised weapons Emergency Medical Firearms Pistol Concealed Carry Run-N-Gun Rifle Shotgun Precision Shooting Cyber Security/IT Criminal Psychology Bushcraft "Don't get tunnel visioned in to the sexy thing you saw on Instragram, in terms of 'THAT is self-defense and protection!'. Instead I want us to be really well balanced... so that if we were in a video game you would choose yourself as the avatar - as the good, well-rounded person of lethality." - John Lovell on "Be the Renaissance Man of Lethality" So! How does this translate to my challenge goals. I'm so glad you asked Goal #1: Learning A true Warrior Poet... a true Renaissance Man of Lethality is going to soak up as much knowledge as he possible can. He's going to read. He's going to research. He's going to be open to new ideas. He's going to be humble. He's going to be sensitive and vulnerable in the right situation. He's going to test theories, ideas and hypothesis. This goal will entail a few things. Reading is the first part. Instead of a goal to finish this book or that book, the goal is to read/listen for 7 hours a week. That's 1 hour a day. This can be reading a book on Military History. This could be reading a book on Verbal Judo. This could be meditating on the Bible... which is really something I should do every day anyways. But the goal is to read and learn and apply if applicable. The second part is teaching my kids what I know (and even what I don't know). If they ask me a question about WW2 Tanks. I want to do some research and watch documentaries with them that can help explain the various tanks in WW2 and how they functioned. If they want to know why the sky is blue or how big the sun is, I want to be able to tell them the correct answers and be involved with the development of their mind. We home school our kids and for the first time since they've been doing home school, I am able to be a teacher and a presence in their life that can help them find the answers to the questions they are seeking. The goal would be to find time, be it 10 min or 1 hour a day, in helping them answer life's most burning questions and expanding their minds. Stats Earned: +4 WIS, +1 CHA Goal #2: Lifting Due to the fact that one day is still just 24 hours long, I needed to scale back my training. I'm not scaling back the intensity, just the days of the week i'm at the gym because 5+ days a week is just too much. Maybe not for me, but adding in more training days takes away from time I could be spending with my family. Luckily for me, I paid for a program last year from Athlean-X. The problem with last year is the workouts were taking 90 min to complete when I only had 60 min to train. Now that I'm working from home on a more permanent basis, working out for 90 min is no big deal. So, I'm going back to the BeaXst Program and starting at day 1. The program itself is 3x a week lifting, utilizing a full-body split. The days I'll be lifting are M/W/F. Tu/Th will be active recovery days (like yoga or KB metcons) as well as days I can help my wife train and help her reach her fitness goals too. I always forget to take before/after pics but I'm doing my before pics today, 09/08, and will be taking after pics at the end of the challenge, 10/17. I will post them for accountability. I'm also going to do better at writing my workouts down and tracking them as I progress through the program. Stats Earned: +2 STR, +2 DEX, +1 END Goal #3: Loving If you've known me a while, you know I love my wife and kids. However, his is an area I want to improve. I want to be more purposeful about the time I spend with them. I want more date nights with my wife..even if our (almost) 18 mo old daughter has to tag along. I want to be more purposeful about doing things with my kids. I was listening to a podcast a while back called Dad Tired, which is a good podcast for all fathers out there, and he mentioned something he did with his two boys. Once a month, he would do something with them on they specific day they were born on. For example, Racer was born on May 4th, so, on the 4th of each month, I would do something special with him. And the same goes for the other boys. It doesn't have to be anything crazy. It could simply be playing with Lego's for an hour or drawing made up Pokemon. I've already missed Jamison's, Racer's and Declan's this month because they are the 1st, 4th and 5th respectively. Jamison's is tougher because we get him every other weekend so I won't always have him on the 1st of the month. I'll find time to make that up to them. And, as mentioned above, I want to find more time to have a "date night" with Heather. Trixie is still pretty clingy but she's recently started eating more solids the last month or so and she FINALLY sleeps in her own bed. It actually didn't take a lot of effort to get her used to that. It's been AMAZING to have our bed back to ourselves because you wouldn't believe the room that little girl can take up, lol. Anyways, because of the recent development's with Trixie, Heather and I should have more opportunities to get away with just the two of us for a couple hours. That's enough time to go have dinner or even see a movie! I want to make stuff like this a priority and continue to strengthen the relationship between my kids and my wife. Stats Earned: +1 WIS, +2 CHA, +2 CON As you can see, a Renaissance Man of Lethality is going to be a continued work-in-progress. I doubt I'll ever reach a pinnacle of excellence because I feel like there's always so much more to learn and skills to sharpen. We'll take it one step at a time and that starts with keeping my challenge afloat lol. Happy Challenging, Nerds! Wolf
  12. Quarantine and isolation! Even an introvert like me can get stir crazy when the only people I get to see are my parents and occasionally the Amazon delivery guy. Here's how I plan to entertain myself, effective immediately PLP Challenge (but different). Starting point: 15 Bulgarian split squats per leg, 10 knee push-ups, 15 inverted rows, 10 dead bugs, 60 seconds side planks Thermo studying. 1 hour every day. No excuses. I need to do well in this class. Bible reading and prayer. I'm stuck at home, I've got the time for it. Working afternoons. I'm lucky my college is allowing me to work from home online. Making dinner (and make enough to have leftovers for lunch). We're still on paleo ish as much as we can be, as long as the local produce stand is still open and has vegetables and eggs. Meat is a bit harder to come by. We'll make it happen. Clean something. Tracking sheet I also have some incidentals that need taking care of. File the damn taxes. Read The Silmarillion. Funness.
  13. I have gone back and forth probably about a million times on whether or not I wanted to do this challenge; obviously you can see which side won. Content Warning for depression and anxiety. Last challenge did not go well. Near the end of December, depression and anxiety hit me hard. Within a few weeks, insomnia set in and progressively got worse. By mid-March, I was so sleep-deprived I often felt sick and dizzy and was often terrified to drive because I could not see or react properly. I have dealt with anxiety for all of my life, and depression for about half of it, so those were not new, but I had never experienced insomnia quite to that level before. I have been working hard to try and manage my mental health in healthy ways (opposed to the unhealthy coping mechanisms of my past), but it has seemed that everything I have tried either did not work, or provided minimal or temporary relief. Over the last few months with the added insomnia, things spiraled and became crippling. I have refused to even consider taking medication for years and years, but a few weeks ago I finally reached a breaking point. I felt it was time to try it. If there is a chance it might help get my life back, I have to at least TRY. For those of you unfamiliar with anti-depressants. They are no quick fix. They often take anywhere from 4-12 weeks to start working fully...but the side effects tend to start overnight last for the first 2-12 weeks. I am now on day 16, so a little over two weeks in, and it has been a rollercoaster. Part of it has been physical - my side effects are mild, but still unpleasant. And some of it has been mental - I have always thought of myself as someone who "didn't need medication", and opening myself up to taking medication has been a journey. I still haven't told more than my husband and a friend about it, until now, of course. In some ways, taking medication makes having mental health issues feel more real. Mental health is still something I struggle to talk about, despite how much it has impacted my ENTIRE life. Anyway, this journey just so happens to coincide with a pandemic that is sweeping the planet right now, and like many of you in the US, I am under a shelter-in-place order. I have been furloughed by my company, which means I have been out of work for two weeks, and will be out for at least another week, maybe several more. As frustrating as all this is, it has at least given me some time to suffer through the initial side effects of the medication outside of the office, and more importantly, it has given me some MUCH NEEDED time to work on my mental and physical well-being. I would love to say that I have spent the last two weeks out of work just accomplishing all the things. But I haven't, and I have to keep reminding myself that is ok. It is ok that a lot of it was resting and just letting my brain be what it was going to be. It is ok that sometimes the most productive thing I did in a day was read for an hour and clean off the kitchen counters. It is ok that I have not been as active, productive, or creative as I wanted to be. Because the last two weeks have been a journey of off-loading my over-loaded brain. But, I am starting to feel a little better. Some days are still TERRIBLE, but I am starting to have more ok days again too. I am starting to have days where I feel more motivated and productive, more hopeful, more active, more myself again. And I feel like I am ready to try another challenge again, even if I am a bit late to the party. Goals: Physical: Plank for as long as you can at least once a day - starting time 50.9 seconds (4/4/2020) Stretch for at least 10 min, 4x a week Walk for at least 10 min, 5x a week Mental: Read 3 books to stay on track with New Year's goals The Dip by Seth Godin Daring Greatly by Brene Brown The War of Art by Steven Pressfield Emotional: Write down three things I am grateful for each day.
  14. Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My motivation In honor of Nerd Fitness’s 10th birthday, I thought I’d be nostalgic as well. So, for my 36th challenge here, I’m going back to the Warrior’s Guild to focus on strength training. It’s been over a year and a half since I was with the Warrior’s Guild and that challenge was not successful. The only one I’ve failed! I started here back in 2014, after having dropped weight and started a fitness routine on my own. However, with Nerd Fitness, I honed my focus and added muscle. For this challenge, I want to get back to my Warrior roots and lift all the heavy things! I’ve maintained the 1200 calories per day, M-F with blow meals on the weekends and have been going to the gym for about 45 minutes M-F, but I’ve found loopholes and caved in more than I should so I’m still keeping to that calorie count. And as I enjoy doing themed workouts, and in the spirit of nostalgia, I’m going back to one of my earliest themes with Murphy from the Dresden Files as my mascot. I realize it would’ve been simpler to go with a Game of Thrones theme, but as I feel that’s a poor example of fantasy, I went with something better. Smaller Quests 1. Ironborn - muscle definition from Darebee.com I enjoy weight lifting; it makes me feel better about my body and it has real-world, practical uses too. For this quest, I’m going to follow another Darebee fitness program. I like bicep curls, so the Ironborn challenge seems right up my alley. This will be a different sort of strength training because it focuses more on getting to muscle fatigue rather than getting to a high number of reps by adding more weight. I’m sure I will be very, very stiff for 30 days! Scoring: x/30 days Reward: +5 to STR (+1 for every 6 days completed) 2. Animal Flow To off-set the strength training, I will be going back to Animal Flow for movement practice. I think, in addition to the Ironborn workout, this will help keep me from being too stiff as it will encourage me to stretch and focus on how my body is moving. Scoring: x/25 days Reward: +5 to DEX (+1 for every week completed) 3. Read I feel like I’ve fallen behind in how often I read. It doesn’t seem like I make enough time to do so any more, so I haven’t been getting through as many books as I’d like. And since my to read pile is enormous, I need to get on that! I want to read for at least 20 minutes a day, M-F. Scoring: x/25 days Reward: +5 to WIS (+1 for every week completed)
  15. It's been a long while since I've had a gif-laden challenge. Or a themed challenge. And everyone can always use more Avatar in their life. And the new year seems a good time to do that. In a way, the limited challenges have been my vague attempts at keeping myself moving forward in some way, while dealing with a whole lot of other crap. There's been a lot of upheaval, a lot of change, a lot of drama, and a whole bunch of RP sitting in the corner rocking back and forth with anxiety. I think a majority of these things are ultimately one-off things (shodan exams, company reorgs, house buying, dojo moves and fundraisers), but also they were a slew of things that I feel prevented me from actually focusing on myself and what I want, rather than being pulled along and put into a form of survival mode (Okay yes, the house thing is all on me, but damned if I underestimated how that process works). And so far in 2020, there are definitely things I'm looking at that aren't my most favorite thing to deal with that I'll have to do, but for the most part I want to take 2020 to refocus on my needs a bit. Within reason. 1) Teaching to Learn - Teach once a week, and train at least four hours After all of the drama that happened a few months ago, I am now covering a Friday night class at my dojo for the foreseeable future. (Cliffnotes version of previous drama: Asked to start covering morning classes and teaching. Then asked to cover a class and told I couldn't teach. When I asked why, got told 3 different reasons for why I couldn't teach and in every case was excluded from any form of communication. Then ignored. Now this.) So the large issue here is.... technically the Friday night class is a weapons class. I have been given permission to *not* have it be a weapons class if I so wish, but my dojo does so few weapons things that I would rather not. Honestly, it's a good chance for me to work on the relation our weapon work has to our unarmed techniques, and is a good study in physiology, using ones center, and extension. But it also means that I need to work on all of those things. So on top of trying to figure out the best ways to relay those things to other people, I really need to solidify things myself on that front. Entertainingly, I taught this same class last week as a last-minute favor. The only 'negative' comment I got from the yukyusha was that he "Did totally stab me" when I was trying to teach something. Hey, I'm learning, was my response. But I should work on not getting stabbed during class. 2) Count All the Calories - Track everything eaten, every day, even if it's a hassle My weight/body fat has spiked pretty high since the car accident/depression/forced shodan exam anxiety that defined Late 2018/Early 2019. I tried to do some things, but nothing really worked that great. I kept kind of waffling on what I allowed and what I didn't. Work has a million snacks, which made stress eating happen a lot more than I would allow over all. And for a while I was pretty much dependent on the food that was ordered on company dime to save money. But that meant I let myself get lax about my eating habits. Stress made me less likely to batch cook anything. And since moving I haven't exactly restocked my kitchen and freezer to have good, quick meals. So I need to start logging things again, and hopefully in a couple months I'll at least comfortably fit in the majority of my clothing again. I'm angling for about 2000 calories a day. No idea where my weight is at, and honestly if I step on a scale I'll get depressed. So I'm avoiding all forms of "pre" measurement here. Yea, not great for trending, but better for my mental health. 3) The Morning is Good - Wake up MWF at 0530. See how plausible it would be to leave the house at 0600 for a workout. So the holiday challenge I got somewhat comfortable with the pre-0600 wake up. I didn't make it to the 0530 time regularly because a lot happened and I needed to prioritize sleep and recovery and sanity over an arbitrary wake up time I set for myself that did not impact when I got to work. But trying to get to that point this time is the goal. I've got a tentative plan that I'll join the gym literally across the street from me early next year, but I want to make sure I'm up and somewhat human before I go drop that cash. I would love if it were a slightly fancier gym, but I can't complain since it's like $15 a month. But anyway, we can see how I fair doing early mornings. At least now I have a coffee pot that will start brewing coffee when I set it, so that's great. 4) All Reading is Good Reading - Read something every morning over coffee I have a goal in 2020 to read 30.... things. I tried to keep some tabs on what I read in 2019, but I lost count, and 30 seems like a good number. I'm leaving it as "things" because I'm totally going to count novellas and graphic novels in this count. Probably not run-of-the-mill comics though, unless its a compilation that covers an entire story arc. But I do want to tone down my morning reddit browsing that's jumped up in the last few months. For the most part I'm not exactly learning anything, and I rarely feel strong enough about my opinion that I consider it worth it to comment on things I do read. So at least I should try and at least read things I feel stronger about and will help me. First book I'll finish in 2020 is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. I'm about halfway through it right now. Nothing particularly earth shattering other than realizing a lot of my reactions make perfect sense, and why I've been feeling so drained at work lately (read: Having to extrovert for things a lot more because a lot is annoying me and not recovering well enough after the fact because crazy 2019). Morning reading should help with the pre-work charging, though. And thus begins my 2020 challenge. We'll see how good I am at maintaining it.
  16. Hey everyone! To those who frequent my challenges, welcome back! To those who are new, welcome to my crazy rantings. Feel free to introduce yourself, I love meeting new people. I was looking over my New Year's goals from 2019. Many of them I at least attempted at some point this year. Some I realized just were not for me, others I just didn't prioritize, some I stuck to all year, and some I started and stopped throughout the year but am finally getting them to stick. I noticed that most of the weightier of my goals, the ones that should have been highest priority and were of most value to me were the ones that actually received the least priority. In other words, I prioritized the easy stuff that didn't matter as much instead of focusing on the things that would really propel me toward where I want to be. One of those things is fitness. I have put going to the gym on my list of goals every year, and every year I make very little progress towards that goal. It is not for lack of interest. I have gone to the gym, I know a good workout session feels good, I WANT to be a person who goes to the gym, but I always have a (rather pathetic) excuse not to go. I have a lot of life goals that I want to work on next year, and I don't want to be fighting tooth and nail with a gym habit, so my goal is to use December to at least start to get into the swing of things so that by the time New Year's hits, I don't have to focus as much energy on just convincing myself to go. I also want to continue solidifying some recently introduced habits (twice-daily skincare routine, twice-daily teeth brushing routine, daily flossing routine, intermittent fasting) so they are more secure before I add new resolutions in January. The recently introduced habits all had great streaks last challenge, so they are definitely getting closer to where I want them, but I am not yet ready to take the focus off of them. And finally, I want to finish up my reading goals for the year. Challenge Goals: 14:10 Intermittent Fasting during the workweek (attempt on weekends and during holiday travels, but not required) Gym Week Zero: Get a gym membership at pre-selected local gym and workout at least once Week One: Get to the gym at least twice for weight training Reading - Finish last book to hit my goal of 30 books in a year (complete) Daily Routines 2x Skincare 2x Brushing Teeth 1x Flossing Let's finish this year out strong!!
  17. Good day, fellow Adventurers and any guests to our guild. I have no clever theme this challenge, but regardless I can promise it's going to be a lot of fun. As always, I plan to continue my usual morning routine, which if you're interested you can view in the spoiler below: For this challenge, I plan to focus on three goals: Burpees: At least 30 burpees per day -- This is based on a physical challenge I saw online. As most of you know, the burpee is one of the best bodyweight workouts, an excellent "bang for your buck" kind of workout that can be integrated into other movements and moments throughout the day. It is permissible to change these up and try a variety of burpee types. Books: Read any book for at least 20 minutes per day -- Seriously, I love to read, and I love books, but in the midst of my busy life I often neglect to make time to just sit still with a book. No more. Brainwork: Learn about/study something every day -- As a teacher, I should be setting the example of the importance of lifelong learning. Articles, podcasts, websites, NPR, documentaries, Youtube videos, TED Talks, apps, anything that teaches me something. This goal can include schoolwork but must be separate from goal #2. And that's it. Short and simple and to the point. I will also be participating in the Darebee Daily Dare PVP. And of course I'll continue my consistent running routine, visiting the fitness center on campus, and integrating a variety of other movements throughout the day.
  18. In the two weeks leading up to this challenge I've been focused on sustaining my sobriety (12 days and counting) and my general health and well-being - finding better balance and growing in gratitude, humility and wisdom. I aim to cultivate a more balanced, fun, grateful, engaged/connected/present, and healthy life. I've titled this challenge "Back in the saddle" because I want to prioritize a few things I've neglected in recent months, biking among them. Here are my four goals: 1) Ride my bicycle 200 or more miles between July 1 and July 28 2) Pack a healthy, balanced lunch for work 5+ times between July 1 and July 26 3) Play my guitar (and sing) 3+ times a week between July 1 and July 28 4) Read 2 or more books before July 28 with at least one for enjoyment and one for personal/professional development. A few others I considered and will work on, but not the focus for this challenge: *) Go out with my wife on 2 or more dates in July - just the two of us. *) Complete 2 or more strength workouts every week in July *) Ride the bus 5+ times next month to be a better steward of the environment and secure some time for reading *) Continue my sobriety streak without interruption from 15 consecutive days to 46 days by the end of the month!
  19. Happy New Year friends I'm back in another attempt to challenge it up, keep writing, and build the hype for my epic challenge come up at the beginning of March based of BioWare's upcoming gamed, Anthem. I'm really excited for it and the stuff I have planned for story wise is gonna be fun to include you all in! As we get closer to that, I'll let y'all know about character sign-ups for anyone interested in joining in on the fun . (@WhiteGhost I got you and Aloysius included already ) Now, onto the challenge. I need to make this as basic (b**ch) as possible. I have this tendency to complicate the crap out of things just to get a little praise on wow factor. Then, in the end, I try and do to much then end up doing hardly anything at all. I like being lazy, I'm not gonna lie. But, I hate it too. I have to make small changes that will lead to bigger ones and eventually establish consistency. That's all I want. After I get into some sort of healthy flow of working out, eating good, drinking lots of water, sleeping longer. It's really simple but I don't always make it that way. As an aspiring Freelancer Pilot, I need to be ready for anything and everything. Sound of body and mind. I left the last challenge off with Chapters 1 & 2 of "Always Two Steps Ahead": Chapter 1: The Meeting Chapter 2: The Unwelcome Guest I'm working on Chapter 3 and have a little over a page written right now. I'm hoping to post that sometime next week . The goal is to get to Chapter 5 by the end of this challenge. I need to set up some story plots before everyone else comes in and I would LOVE to be around Chapter 9-10 by the time the epic challenge starts, but, of course, RL will be there waiting for me. I need to be ok with wherever I am come that time, but I'm shooting for 9-10 chapters. I also need to get off my lazy bum and get back to wolflean status. I will revisit "The Gauntlet" in the story from the previous challenge. I didn't really train for it properly and still want to complete it, so I'm hoping to do that sometime during this challenge. Also, I've been SUPER busy with my discord. William recently received honors as an EA Game Changer, which allows him some really neat perks I can't really talk about, but, his YT channel has grown to 6.2k subscribers...and 2 weeks ago I think he was at 4k. Not only that, the discord grew from roughly 650 members to 1100 since Wednesday!! Right?! It's been crazy! Plus, the weekend of the 17th-20th I'll be in San Antonio with Willaim and KT (the other Mod) for PAX South. AAAAAnnnnnddd BioWare announced they would be there for Anthem. . Will's recording some video while we're down there so I'll post tha tfor everyone's viewing pleasure lol. Busy, busy . Heather, the boys and our growing baby are all doing great! Heather will be 21-weeks on Monday! I'll have to update you guys on what her app tells us the baby's size is being compared too. I have a lot on my plate, but with well thought out planning and KNOWING chaos can strike at any minute...I think I'm in a good spot to succeed . Challenge Goals! Goal 1: Path of the Scribe Get to chapter Chapter 5 of "Always Two Steps Ahead" +3 CHA. +2 WIS Goal 2: Path of the Freelancer Focus on body weight (BW) and progressive calisthenics (PC) 3-4x a week +3 STR, +2 DEX Goal 3: Path of Valor 100+ oz of water a day Average 7 hours of sleep a week Use Overcoming Poor Posture book to mobilize daily Make time to read to the baby; 1 hr a week (minimum)- A combination of I Declare War by Levi Lusko and The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis +4 CON, +1 CHA That's about as basic (b**ch) as I can get it and I'm gonna rock this first challenge of 2019. Thanks for coming along for the ride everyone! I hope you continue to enjoy the story and I pray everyone is doing awesome ! #StrongAloneStrongerTogether Wolf
  20. Hi everyone. I'm Bookish. You can call me Book for short (Browncoats forever!) I found Nerdfitness browsing for "Help me create a workout" and it seemed a lot more inviting than the first option, which was in all caps and kinda....intense... There are some intense people here, but mostly it seems like a place where everyone has fun trying to get healthy and supports each other when it gets hard. My big why is simple. I want to be healthy. I'm almost 40, and I'm losing strength, and I get sick more easily. I'm not a kid anymore, and I can't rely on youth to help me bounce back. It takes more work and effort, so I might as well start today. I'm hoping I can have some fun doing it while I'm here. Fitness Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3 sets 10 dumbbell rows 15 squats (alternative, 20 lunges) 10 dumbbell presses (alternative 10 push-ups) 25 crunches 20 mountain climbers (alternative 20-second planks) Tuesday, Saturday Yoga Thursday, Sunday Rest Walk on non-freezing days Nutrition Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day Eat chicken and fish Whole grains Occasionally red meat and dairy Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Life I really liked in the holiday challenge that the life goal was to do something to relax in the midst of family and stress and excitement. That's my life challenge. To keep reading in the evenings and taking time to relax away from noise, TV, family. Just chill for a bit. Checking in, I'm gonna just say Done or Fail. I either do it, or I don't. Easy enough.
  21. CON: Logging food and staying in keto. I'm on day 7 as of today, with only one partial treat meal (doing this just before Thanksgiving was not wise, I had a tiiiiny bit of mash and some sweet potato and only ONE bread roll. So ha!) I do have vacation Dec 7-9 and all the meals are buffet/catered, so I might be able to stay in keto. I can't be sure. Best practices: fizz in the fridge always, cooking on Sundays, microwave protein for lazy and shelf-stable stuff for work. Bulletproof coffee and tea forever. WIS: 1-2 books for the challenge. Try to set aside reading time on the weekends? Pending titles:, Thud!, Alice Isn't Dead, Tropic of Orange, +1 red/black graphic novel (?), Lisey's Story (re-read). CHA: daily skincare steps (as needed), one night a week for fancy masks. STA: My desk job only offers me excuses to get on my feet a few times a day. But it's also getting too cold to walk to the Pokestop near me. Aiming to hit my 3k step count at least twice a week., even if I just walk around work at lunch, or take a walk from my apt before it gets dark. STR: my 25lb dumbbells have been looking a little dusty. I haven't really worked out in a long time. I'm aiming for one BBWW a week, probably on the weekends. DEX: Sitting at a desk is bad for lots of things. Daily stretches at work, with yoga on non-work days. Each of these has a corresponding category in my Bujo, which is where I keep track more frequently than here. I also have two costume items to finish by Dec 6. Jacket: Serge raw edges, find new lacing? Blouse: attach hem ruffles, put lining together, lining in, finishing front seam, hem shoulders
  22. 1) Go to the gym and lift some weights (+1 STR per day, aiming for 3 days a week) 2) Count calories in MyFitnessPal on phone. Target at least 2740 calories/day. (+1 CON) 3) Meditate every day for 15 minutes. If I don't do it in the morning, then do it after work. Everyday; including weekends. (+3 WIS) 4) Spend 30 minutes reading from the Great Books of the Western World (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Books_of_the_Western_World). (+3 WIS) 5) Floss my teeth. (+1 CHA) 6) Shave every day (+1 CHA). I currently shave every third day. Would be nice to stay clean shaven. 7) Brush my teeth at night (+1 CHA). Dentist recommended. I currently brush (and floss) in the morning. # Extra Credit 8) Wake up every weekday morning by 5 AM. Moving this back to extra credit for now. (+5 CON [1 per day, up to +7 if I did it on weekends, but I’m not planning on weekends]) 9) Do yoga every weekday (easiest when I get up early, but I might like doing it in gym from 7 pm-8 pm also. Will definitely try that this month). YogaWithAdrienne or some other yoga is fine. I recently got a new Insight Yoga DVD for myself for my birthday. (+5 DEX [1 per day, up to +7 really if I did weekends, but I'm not planning on weekends]) 10) Go to the gym and do cardio (walk at 3mph or higher, or stationary cycle) for 30 minutes (+1 END per day, aiming for 3 days a week). Building up to C25K goal and burning calories. # Future goals 11) No candy from basket (+1 CON). Not now, the candy basket hasn't been filled lately, so this would be a gimme. 12) Couch 2 5K. I'm totally not a runner, but maybe I could become one.?. A basic level of endurance is a helpful prerequisite to most other physical activity. (+6 END [2 per day for up to three days a week]). Keeping this around. It’s warmer now. But just walking on the treadmill is beating me up pretty good right now. Classics read so far: Homer [Iliad, the Odyssey], Edith Hamilton [Mythology], Aeschylus [All Complete Works], Sophocles [All Complete Works], Marcus Aurelius [Meditations], Pierre Hadot [The Inner Citadel], Dante [The Divine Comedy], Milton [Paradise Lost] Currently reading: Euripides [All Complete Works] Current Weight: 188.2 Pounds lost so far: 59.8 Pounds lost last challenge: 5.6
  23. ...is that a try-hard title? I feel like it might be a try-hard title. Oh well. I miss running, and I miss my LotR references, even though I'm not terribly clever with them. So here we go!! Fitness Quest #1 Goal: Run at least 8 times, slowly increasing to running a full mile at a time. Notes: I will have to be a little bit slow starting this, as I just got a tattoo yesterday on my left leg that can't be exposed to sweat for a little while. Hence the 8 times, rather than twice a week. I'd really like to average three runs a week, but between tattoo healing and baby, twice feels a lot safer. Grading: 7+ runs with at least one being a full mile = A 6 runs with at least one being a full mile OR 7+ runs with no complete mile = B 5 runs with one full mile OR 6 runs with no complete mile = C 4 runs with one full mile OR 5 runs with no complete mile = D 3 or fewer runs with a full mile OR 4 or fewer runs with no mile = F Fitness Quest #2 Goal: Continue to work on pushups (now with planking option!) at least 3 times a week Notes: My pushups are still working towards 3 sets of 10 completed reps of the side of the couch. Since I'm very close to this and haven't found a stable place to practice after that (I have a stool that's like the perfect height but has a tendency to slide out from under me...eeep!) I'm also accepting sets of 3 planks (on hands, not arms anymore!) with a goal of holding at least one for 20 seconds. I haven't actually tried it yet though, so that might be a silly goal and is subject to change as I begin practicing. Grading: 10-12+ practices in total (when adding both kinds of practices together) = A 8-9 practices = B 6-7 practices = C 4-5 practices = D 3 or fewer practices = F Nutrition Quest #1 Goal: 4 sodas or less during this challenge Notes: I did so well with the 8 or less quest last challenge (final score: 3.5 sodas left) that I really feel like I can make a big jump here! Grading: drinking 4 sodas or less = A drinking 5 sodas = C drinking 6 or more sodas = F Nutrition Quest #2 Goal: Eat veggies on pace with my son Notes: My son has started on solid foods! He's getting at least part of a puree every day, and while we're slowly working up to eating an entire container at one sitting, we're also slowly expanding the foods he's safely eaten. Due to allergy concerns, we've been told to only introduce one new food every three days. We've been starting on fruits mostly (the single-ingredient baby foods are mostly fruits...) but now that he's starting to have a decent list of safe foods, we're expanding into more veggies and grains. Which made me realize I eat about as many veggies as he does...oops? So I'm going to try to complete at least one of the following options every 3 days as well! My Choices: 1. eat a new fruit or veggie 2. eat a veggie-centric meal 3. have a veggie-centric side dish at least twice (Schedule: May 28-30, May 31-June 2, June 3-5, June 6-8, June 9-11, June 12-14, June 15-17, June 18-20, June 21-23 = 9 rounds) Grading: complete 8-9 rounds = A complete 6-7 rounds = B complete 4-5 rounds = C complete 2-3 rounds = D complete 1 round = F Life Quest #1 Goal: 15 minutes of language practice a day (on top of classwork!) and earn an A for the first 3 weeks of Spanish class Notes: I'm starting a summer Spanish class on June 4th! I want to earn an A in that class (not completed until end of July) and want to practice on my own time as well. However, outside of class I can choose to work on my Spanish, French, Arabic, or Burmese. Grading: 26-28 days of practicing = A 24-25 days of practicing = B 22-23 days of practicing = C 20-21 days of practicing = D 19 or fewer days of practicing = F Life Quest #2 Goal: Read at least 2 books Notes: I'm severely behind on my yearly reading goal. I want to read minimum 2 books during this challenge to help me at least not continue losing ground. In an ideal world, I'll read at least 1 personal book and 1 book for work. I picked up a few options at the library today but I'm not sold on my work-related choice and might end up changing it out. Grading: 2 books read = A 1 book finished, 1 book more than halfway through = B 1 book finished, 1 book less than halfway through = C 1 book more than halfway through = D 1 book less than halfway through = F
  24. Swifts are here! I impatiently await their arrival every year, and it's been a bit sad that it took them so long to come, but considering it was still snowing a couple of weeks ago I guess they were right to wait. Following what caracterizes swifts -nonstop flying, they can fly uninterruptedly for 10 months- this is going to be a movement challenge. A free movement challenge, no pretensions. Because a swift will just fly, without thinking of achieving results. So, I'll move as much as possible and it could be anything: self-defence lessons? Yes. Feeling like picking up my parallettes again and doing a workout? Sure. Weights? Why not. Running in the country? Lovely. Yoga, silat tables, walks, handstands, biking, exploring... anything goes, the final purpose being to spend sitting as little time as possible. Secondary purposes: - Keep on the WH thing, no hurry, no pause. - Keep reading. Let's go! Clarification: I know that bird is a swallow, but apparently it is impossible to find any swift gif/animation
  25. Ok. Another month, another challenge. What I'm doing has been working ok. Adjusting my "waking up" goal so it's no longer extra credit, now that I'm getting into the swing of it a bit. Weight loss has slowed a bit, but it still is noticeable. Last month I went from 199.7 to 196.4 with eating mostly at 1600 calories and some really over doing it cheat days spread in there. I'll take 3 pounds on such a manageable diet. I may emphasize the "or less" part of my 1600 calories or less, since it feels like I've been taking in some empty calories I don't need just to say I ate 1600 calories. I do pretty good in less calories anyway (around 1200 or so) . My overall weight loss for last month is better than I was giving myself credit for now that I actually look back at the numbers, so maybe 1600 even with some empty cals thrown in isn't so bad. Anyway, I'm mostly doing more of the same, but I did include two new goals to try to cut out some of the empty calories I've been getting. 1) Continue my diet. Simple calorie restriction with target of 1600 calories or less daily. Counting in MyFitnessPal on phone. (+3 CON) 2) Meditate every day for 15 minutes. If I don't do it in the morning, then do it after work. Everyday; including weekends. (+3 WIS) 3) Spend 30 minutes reading from the Great Books of the Western World (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Books_of_the_Western_World). (+3 WIS) 4) Wake up every weekday morning by 5 AM. I did a bit better with this as extra credit last month, so I'm moving it up to a core goal. (+3 CON) 5) Floss my teeth. I had cavities in between my teeth last time I went to dentist, so they said I really should floss. (+1 CHA) 6) No granola (+1 CON). Granola has been my empty calorie of choice. I've been allowing it as long as I don't go over 1600 calories, but I have impulse control problems keeping it in line and sometimes have to cut out real healthy meals or go over my calorie count because I had too much granola early on in the day. It's easiest to just cut it out entirely. I have to deal with it being in the house, since my wife eats it too, so I can't entirely avoid it being there like I do with most temptations, so I just need to double down on my commitment to avoid it. 7) No candy from basket (+1 CON). My co-worker has a candy basket on his desk. I tend to grab a piece or two a day... Sometimes four. I have problems enjoying candy in moderation, so it would be best for me to learn to leave the candy basket alone. It's such a pain already having to log individual pieces of bite size candy in MyFitnessPal, and I don't like having all these different candies in my recent food items list. # Extra Credit 8) Do yoga every weekday (easiest when I get up early, but in all honesty, I could squeeze it in after dinner pretty easy when baby is down for night [but that's probably when I'll be doing my 30 mins of reading too]). YogaWithAdrienne or some other yoga is fine. I just got a new Insight Yoga DVD for myself for my birthday. (+5 DEX [1 per day, up to +7 really if I did weekends, but I'm not planning on weekends]) 9) Go to the gym (+2 STR per day, aiming for 3 days a week, but I wouldn't complain if I did more) # Keeping this around as a goal, but probably for next month when it's warmer. Maybe mess around with it this month; will see. 10) Modified Couch 2 5K. I'm totally not a runner, but maybe I could become one.?. A basic level of endurance is a helpful prerequisite to most other physical activity. (+6 END [2 per day for up to three days a week]) Wow, my list is growing pretty large. Most of these are tasks that I'll never really be "finished" with... Maybe I'll overcome my desire for granola or the candy basket enough at some point that I don't need to keep track of them... Maybe I'll institute a house rule that a goal can appear three times as a core goal before it either needs to be modified (like upping my meditation minutes from 15 to 20, which I think is the plan for next month) or reduced in points to a +1 for the week "maintenance goal". That way I have somewhere to put flossing once I'm totally used to flossing but don't want to remove it as a challenge because I probably wouldn't do it anymore but don't think it's worth 3 points over and over and over again. Not sure if I want to reduce my Great Books points after three months though, because it's so time consuming it feels like I really earn those points. Maybe I'll just do that for flossing and other low maintenance maintenance activities. Or else I'll just drown in Charisma points. I have some other CHA ideas too, like brush twice a day instead of once, and shave daily rather than every third day or so like I do now. Both seem like habit improvements worth considering. Too bad I don't want CHA points very much. CHA is usually my dump stat. It makes sense that I would increase in CHA while doing stuff in a public forum though. Anyway those seem like neat changes to consider adding in at some point. Maybe the modified goal will just replace the basic flossing goal. So flossing becomes: brush twice a day and floss once, then graduates to brush and floss twice a day. Do people actually need to floss twice a day? I think dentists say brush twice, floss once. Shaving still seems to fit into its own thing. So maybe I don't need that house rule about shaking it up every third repeat or so. Eating granola and eating candy don't seem like they should be worth as much as my entire diet; especially once I'm used to them. Hmm.... Will keep an eye on it. Everything's fine enough for now. Classics read so far: Iliad, the Odyssey, Edith Hamilton's Mythology, Meditations, the Inner Citadel, The Divine Comedy Currently reading: Paradise Lost Current Weight: 193.8 Pounds lost so far: 54.2 Pounds lost last challenge: 3.3
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