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  1. Hi Friends! Monday is the Equinox, which was a deeply significant night for me when my friend Kriket was still alive. We and our drumming circle would gather with our drums to celebrate the end of winter and the emerging of Bear into the Spring. It was work, to Wake the Bear with the drums, and it was joy to know that the wheel of the year was turning again, taking us into the warmth and prosperity of the green seasons. I've never owned my own drum, always rented or borrowed. This year I decided to invest in a deer hide and white ash frame drum making kit so that I could have the ability to drum for myself. I have daydreams of doing it by my fire in the back yard this summer and they make me very happy. The hide is currently soaking in my tub and I will spend tomorrow afternoon in contemplation as I build my drum. While I don't think the drum will be dry enough to play on Monday, I will still be able to smudge it and offer tobacco on Equinox, which satisfies a very deep yearning in my heart and seems ritually appropriate. Bear has always been a significant figure in my life and now that mourning Kriket isn't such a sharp thing, I feel drawn into Bear's orbit once again. What does that mean for this challenge? Waking the Bear is the cue for Bear to emerge from the den and their winter's rest and re-engage with foraging and motion. In this challenge I will be refining what worked for me in the last challenge as I felt it went well on those fronts. Foraging: I will be focusing on eating my berries, greens, and fish as I try to stay within a carb window of 50-75 grams a day. I have been likely hovering around the higher end of that spectrum or just above for the past few weeks. I would like to dial it in and be more consistent with it. This will require tracking. I have added a box to my Bujo tracker for the daily task of tracking, and I can check it off if I track two or more meals a day. I am currently using Cronometer as my tracking app. Related to this, I would like to be consuming 25-30 grams of fibre a day, and ideally some of that needs to come from leafy greens, not just nuts and seeds as I am mostly gleaning. I have added a tracking box to my Bujo for this as well, and I can check it off if I hit the 25g threshold in a day. To support myself in this, especially with Dave due home April 3, I will be continuing to batch cook my lunches for the week on Sundays and make sure I have what I need for breakfasts for the week as well. I know supper will be the most challenging meal to manage and I am watching out to make sure I don't get in my own way too much there. We may resume our GoodFood subscription once he is home, I am not sure yet. Movement: I did not make my goal of movement last challenge, only tied it. This challenge I am aiming for 16+ days of walking a minimum of 30 minutes a day on the treadmill and a minimum of 5600 daily steps. I have been trying to get this to become a daily habit, but inertia is really getting the better of me. To try to better achieve this I am going to be setting an alarm and getting up at 7 am so that I can walk before work. I have two boxes in my Bujo for this, one for getting up and the other for the walk itself. It's not a deal breaker if I don't get my walk in before work and do manage it in the evening as long as it gets done, but I intend to make this part of my morning routine. The exception to the alarm is Sunday, my day off, where I will let myself sleep until I want to wake up, which is usually around 8. In addition to walking, I have set up a box in my tracker for a daily Darebee routine and will be endeavouring to do something from there each day. My intention is to be using my marigold weights I bought last challenge. I haven't quite worked out where that is going to fit into my day yet, but probably the pre-work period. Last challenge I added a bunch of things to track when we transitioned from February to March and I found that kind of discombobulating. This time around I have set up my Bujo for the full 6-week span of this challenge (zero week included) so that I don't have a sense of lost continuity when we transition from March to April. We will see if this new set up changes anything for me. I hope it helps me maintain a sense of orientation in time (I struggle with that) and a sense of rhythm with my goals. I am now tracking 20 things which feels like a lot. Some of them, like brushing my teeth twice a day, I have integrated surprisingly well. I have a feeling the sticking point will be getting up with the alarm. 😅 Bear emphasizes introspection. I look forward to discovering what I will learn this challenge. Thank you for being here. ❤️
  2. Greetings! 41 year old mom in Phoenix, AZ. 3 goals- 1. Reduce soda intake 2. Movement snacks in my day 3. Increase fat in my meals Looking forward to reading your posts during this challenge!
  3. Okay, I might still have a tiny spark of sass and style, but it needs to be fanned into flames for sure. I've got gains, but they aren't the good kind. I'm at 141.6 lbs. and heading the wrong way, so this challenge (my first one) is right on time. I need it. Really, really need it. I have been in a winter slump and it's time to move past it. I wish my brain could conjure a lovely tale complete with a point system and rewards, but that is a bit of a reach at the moment. Perhaps I will work on it during this challenge once my brain is functioning better. Anyway, on to my goals for these five weeks: Fitness: NF app's Bodyweight Level 1 Attempt a pullup every time I look at the anime dudes hanging from the bar in my kitchen doorway. Whatever pops in my head to move a little more that day (walk, dance, etc.). Drop under 135 lbs. Nutrition (I know what works for me and I have to just do it): Lots of good proteins, carbs and fats. Limit tea (seeing if it affects my migraines), caffeine, sugar, grains, and whatever else that keeps me sick and unhealthy. Drink at least five cups of water a day with plans to increase as I adjust. Plan some meals. Mindset: Use music to motivate myself. Spend a little time each week on learning to play either my guitar or the piano. Memorize something (some French, a new word, lyrics, etc.). Try to overcome my shy nature and meet people on here and become part of the community (totally outside of my comfort zone). Follow a better sleep routine and work my way off of Benadryl as a sleep aid. Get creative: art, photography, whatever creative thing pops in my head. Writing: Complete Camp NaNoWriMo (my first time participating in the camps). Set up Scrivener. Work on my novel or something novel related a little each day. Continue journaling and writing on 4TheWords (online fantasy writing game and tool). Okay, I think that is my plan. Detoxing from sugar, grains and caffeine will be rough for the first week or so, but I have done it before, and I can do it again. I just might be prone to growling, snarling and biting for a bit, but it's all good.
  4. Slaying dragons, vanquishing evil or just being a bad ass is hard work and requires preparation of the mind, body and soul. Preparation can be done in two ways, haphazardly, or well thought out and methodically. The former usually results in failure, the latter if done right can lead to success. This druid (now warrior) seeks to be an all around bad ass and looks to the warriors before her to learn how to train smart and hard for the adventures to come. Training regiment: Getting strong of body requires that you actually train. For the next 5 weeks my training schedule with a local warrior will be : Tuesdays after work Fridays before noon Sundays at home by 2 PM These sessions will be mostly lifting heavy things with some overall body conditioning mixed in. (I am hitting 2 out 3 of these days currently so this goal is only the addition of Sundays) Meal planning: Successful regular training requires well balanced meals. In our manor we have implemented monthly meal plans to help remove decision fatigue around what to eat, cook or buy. Each meal for the next 5 weeks will continue to include at least one serving of: Fruits Vegetables Protein Complex Carbohydrate 12 oz of water To allow for some flexibility, one cheat meal per meal time (so one for breakfast, one for lunch and one for dinner for a total of 3) is allowed each week. (I am currently hitting these goals for 80% of my meals.) Mental Health/Rest Rest is essential to training and mental health hardens the mind for the adventure ahead. For the next 5 weeks this will include Bed before 11 PM. The digital devices will be placed across the room or removed entirely. (Rest) Wake when the bird alarm chirps and get out of bed (6:30 AM). Journal/mediate/yoga (Mental Health) Move every hour during mental tasks/work day (Mental Health) Ask others to do tasks in our manor that need to be completed so I have space/time to focus on rest and mental health. (Rest and mental health) (The first three bullets here are carry overs from the last challenge. The fourth one is new and one I have been trying to do more of) Creative outlets Training all the time isn’t fun. Therefore fun should be had in other spaces. For this challenge some fun things I could do: Writing creatively. I am going to try the 5 week world building challenge. I have been dwelling on some ideas that I need to get down and the excuse “I am not good at writing creatively” doesn’t do me any favors. The new mindset here is “Creative writing is a muscle just like my biceps and needs to be worked”. Getting a weekly date night with the hubs or hanging with friends. We used to do this a lot and I miss it. It allowed us to connect and get out of the house. D&D. I am the GM for our current campaign. This is a newer muscle I have been building. Learning French. We have a trip to France this summer and I don’t want to sound like a complete idiot. I am using Duolingo currently and we have a close friend who is also fluent that I would like to ask for help in speaking at least the basics. Tracking/Measuring Progress For Training regiment, I will be taking measurements before and after the challenge. For meals I will continue tracking in MyFitnessPal For rest and mental health I will continue journaling my progress here. For creative fun I will get at least week one and week two date/meet up with friends on the calendar by the start of the challenge.
  5. TimovieMan respawns in 2023 - Part I: Move It! It's a new year, and I'm in need of another respawn. Let me summarize the history: I weighed 112 kgs in September 2018, started working on that, signed up here, lost 20 kgs by February 2019. Remained at 92 kgs until September 2019, at which point I got a "second drive" and lost another 4 kgs by December. When Corona hit in 2020, it all went to hell. I had lost 24 kgs and reached a weight of 88 kgs. Corona made me regain 18 kgs in about a year. April 2021: respawn time. In the period between April and June, I lost 9 kgs again, from 106 to 97. And then I faltered again. Repeat in 2022: regained 9 kgs, respawned in April, lost the 9 kgs again, then faltered again. So now I'm respawning yet again. The damage is a bit less this time, only 5 kgs gained since June. So I'm at 102 kgs. The big goal: get the weight under 90 kgs again. How will I lose the weight? By doing what I know works for me. Just being a bit more strict about it again. That means intermittent fasting. But for now, I'm content just tracking things again. Ballpark the calories in, look at the Fitbit for calories spent, any deficit is good enough for now. The real goal now? Get moving again! I've been faltering for a while and need to gain momentum again. Do something, anything. Even if it's just a set of burpees and a 30-second plank. Get moving now. The rest will follow later. Week 0: Track things again. Calories in & out, amount of activity. Try to get a set of burpees and a plank in every day. Don't sweat it if you miss one, just don't miss two in a row! Week 1: Add a full bodyweight workout in there. Just the one. Week 2: Get the daily step count up. 4 days of 8000+ steps is not enough. Try to get 60.000+ for the week. Week 3: Try to get a second full bodyweight workout in there. Week 4: Get the daily step count up. Try to get 70.000+ for the week. Week 5: No additions this week, just keep at it. Small steps... 😇 Possibly. I'm currently suffering from a tennis elbow. I'm seeing a physiotherapist for it, but it hasn't really improved yet, and I have daily stretching exercises to do. I do them, that's not the issue. The issue is that I don't know how my elbow is going to hold up during exercising. I haven't really been doing anything since my elbow started acting up (late November), so I just don't know. I will need to adjust my workout accordingly... But for now? Let's do this!
  6. Jumping in a bit late with my very first challenge. Wasn't sure whether or not I should wait since the challenge has already started and I currently also have covid which knocked me off my feet but then I figured the challenge is still going for almost 4 more weeks and this is a great opportunity to ease myself in so what the heck, here I come! In this challenge I will be focusing on making sure I do the best I can for myself (I experimented on that the past few days already and apparently laying in bed 24/7 and eating nothing but 2 slices of dry bread is not it) and adjust accordingly once my body recovered. Currently my goals are: 1. Drink at least 2 L of water a day. 2. 15 minutes of gentle movement daily unless I feel too dizzy. 3. Eat 3 meals a day that I know won't upset my stomach. Keeping my fingers crossed I can challenge myself a little bit more soon but for the time being these three goals are my priority. Edit to update my goals after getting rid of all covid symptoms: 1. Prep veggies on Sundays 2. A minimum of 10 minutes of exercise 5x a week. 3. Do the dishes and put them away every evening
  7. I've been feeling very uncomfortable in my own skin as of late. Mainly because I keep gaining weight and now a lot of my clothes are not fitting nicely. My eating habits are most definitely to blame. My water drinking habit has become mostly undone. - Lose 5lbs - 2L of water a day - Track what I eat in MFP I feel my heart hasn't really been in the challenges but I'm going to keep trying. On a more positive note, Winnie starts her agility class on the 21st! I'm excited. I'm going to try to do more walking with her to work on my stamina for our class.
  8. Hail Friends, it is a privilege to be back here with all of you. I know it has been some time, and I hope you are all faring reasonably well. What as triggered my return? A desire to be more intentional; my natural philosophy is essentially to "wing it". This worked for most of my life, but is failing me now. I struggle to plan 24 hours ahead, let alone 6 weeks. Therefore, I am going to try something a bit different: having one goal but give myself the ability to adjust next week's plan based on last week's data. Goal: intentional strength/flexibility movement sessions at least 3 days a week; minimum 15 minutes Week 1 Plan: Scheduled movement sessions 8:30am Monday through Friday. Bodyweight strength circuit M-W-F Yoga/Stretching T-R Like many a person, I have at various times in my life achieved some level of athletic success (team sports as a child and teenager, running as a young adult, could do a pull-up at some point in there, etc.). My mindset challenge is to be okay with where I am at. It pains my soul that I can no longer do a full push-up and have to restart at an easier variation, for example, but I know the only thing to do is start where I am at. I tend to fall-off the challenge and forums, so I'll also try to post in the AM after my movement session and once on the weekend about any notes/adjustments I might try. Week 0 Day 1: Monday Warm-Up: I have been a huge fan of the mobility portion of the Ninja Turtle Workout from the moment I encountered it many years ago. This has long been my warm-up, though today I skipped both of the squats. Need to work back up to those being warm-up status. Strength Circuit: 2 times through Pull: 3 shoulder shrugs and 10 second bar hang Lower Body: 12 bodyweight squats Push: 8 knee pushups Core: Hollow body hold - 15 seconds, two times each circuit. Definitely need to form check this one and probably do some sort of tuck variation instead Cool Down: 5 minutes of stretching - your classic gym class routine with a bit of yoga thrown in.
  9. As a young bairn I was independent, fierce, and adventurous. However over the course of time, suffering (from trauma and chronic ailments like fibromyalgia, debilitating migraines, and hormone deficiencies), excessive weight gain, and sadness have worn me down and snuffed out my fire and stolen my joy. That must change! So today, I've dusted off my bow, sharpened my arrows, and am planning for my next great hunt! My primary goals for this first challenge are mobility and awareness. 🏹Every time I get up at work (sedentary job) to get a drink or go the bathroom, I'll be doing a set of body weight exercises or stretches. If I forget but remember afterwards, I'll do it two sets right then. 🏹Every night that I'm home before 8pm, I'll be training for 20 minutes, except Sundays (3-4 times a week). It doesn't matter what kind of movement - I can walk the dog or myself, body weight exercises, tai chi or yoga, or targeted pain management exercises. I'm also interested in trying some martial arts, but I'm very overweight so that may be tricky. 🏹I'll be tracking my food again in MFP and trying to stay within my previously established goals for percentages on Carb/Fat/Protein and hitting protein minimums and under on sugar maximums at least 80% of the time. I really struggle with this, since I'm not actively involved in food prep - my husband diligently does this for us. So, I'll set aside the time while he is meal prepping on the weekends to get our meals entered. BONUS ROUND! 🏹I'll take a 5-10 minute walk around the building 3 days a week after lunch.
  10. Hi all! My overarching goal for this challenge is to set a good foundation for the rest of the year (only 1 challenge late). Goals: Record everything I eat: I have myfitnesspal, but like a lot of stuff in my life, I get complacent about updating it. This should be easier than before since I get breakfast and lunch at work most days. Go to the gym at least 3 times a week: I was so good at this. I would go before work and get a full 90 minutes in. With the holiday and recovery from wrist surgery, this fell by the wayside. I'm paying for the gym, I should use it. Do a Sunday win-the-week preview: This is a Sunday activity that focuses on planning for the next 7 days and focusing on the positives. I've done this for work, but this is a good opportunity to meal plan, sort out anything that needs to be scheduled, and get personal tasks on my todo list. Do nightly check-ins: Take time to review the day. This is to make sure myfitnesspal is updated and do some brief journaling. Hopefully this results in me going to sleep with a clear mind. I'm going to fit the thread updates in the Sunday tasks, so that hopefully keeps me focused. I tried this last year and it fell off. What's changed this time? Calendar reminders.
  11. With a snort and a shake of her head, the dragon stood shakily for the first time in what seemed like eons. Faint puffs of smoke escaped from between her teeth as she grumbled, rising slowly and stretching out each digit in turn, flexing each weary paw, and finally rising up to lean back and extend her spine all the way back like a cat. Whether it had been a thousand years or a single winter, she was awake now. And well, mostly alert. It was time for Aziriel to get back to the business of being a dragon! Hi there! New to the forums and looking to gently challenge myself in the next 5 weeks. I have a shiny new advanced diploma in computer programming, in addition to a fresh diagnosis of ADHD and meds to help with focus, but I need to practice channeling that focus into the things I actually want to do and not into say, putting 19 library books on hold at once, or spending 3 hours intently doom-scrolling. So while I continue the 3 habits I've formed so far and try to keep them up, I also want to work on home projects and on finding a job. My final goal is reading through resources, updating my resume and cover letters, and applying for jobs. Key HABIT - daily thing I want to do or pay attention to. The sleep and read are from the night BEFORE because otherwise I obsess over them, and I take my pill in the morning so that isn't a wait. 1 PT QUEST - weekly thing I want to accomplish, lasts at least 2 weeks. 7 PTS SIDEQUEST - one-off tasks. 3 PTS Habits are sacrosanct, Quests are a priority, SideQuests would be helpful to finish. Week 1 - A Pestilential Dilemma - 2/12 to 2/18 HABIT - sleep between 1am and 9am - ✅✅🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 HABIT - take ADHD pill daily - ✅✅🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 HABIT - read from 12am to 1am - ✅✅🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩 QUEST - My Paws Are Tide! Part 1/3 - Defeat the Laundry Monster's minions, the Sock Army [All my clothes washed and fully put away. 2 loads probably) After a brief scuffle with a replicating Sock Banshee, the Sock Army has been defeated! [AKA I forgot to put soap in the second load so had to do it again...] QUEST - Practice My Tail Swipe! Part 1/5 - Complete 2 exercise sessions. 1/2 completed Feb 13 - Darebee Foundation Light Day 1 Fast Pace Cardio, 3 sets QUEST - This Cave Is A Mess! Part 1/4? - Strike off at least 5 tasks in my office (of 18) QUEST - The Hunt! Part 1/5 - Gather my resources Read The Job Closer Read/skim Parachute Find AAM resources and read SIDEQUEST - Where'd I Put That Goblet Again? [Fix the banking login] SIDEQUEST - Where's My Signal? [Call ISP and try to get a lower rate] SIDEQUEST - What Day Is It Again? [Buy a pill organizer] - Wednesday? BONUS QUESTS Su - floors 5 (kitchen, vacuum general), general 2 (prep), dishes 3 M - hygiene 5 (shower), general 5 (Dr appt, veggies w dinner, did a hard thing I've been procrastinating), dishes 2, cats 2 (litters, cleaned bowls) Tu W Th F Sa Week 2 - Straighten Up The Lair - 2/19 to 2/25 HABIT - sleep between 1am and 9am HABIT - take ADHD pill daily HABIT - read from 12am to 1am QUEST - My Paws Are Tide! Part 2/3 - Defeat the Laundry Monster's personal guard, the Towel Demons QUEST - Practice My Tail Swipe! Part 2/5 - Complete 2 practice sessions QUEST - This Cave Is A Mess! Part 2/4? - Strike off at least 5 tasks in my office (of 18) QUEST - The Hunt! Part 2/5 - Create the lures. [May take more than this week] Review resume resources Update my resume Get J to edit it Review cover letter resources Update my cover letter template Get J to edit it SIDEQUEST - It's Been HOW Long? [Get up to date on COVID and flu vaccinations. May take more than this week] SIDEQUEST - What Died In This? [Descale my Keurig] Week 3 - Look For Food - 2/26 to 3/4 HABIT - sleep between 1am and 9am HABIT - take ADHD pill daily HABIT - read from 12am to 1am QUEST - My Paws Are Tide! Part 3/3 - Defeat the Laundry Monster itself, the Blanket Fury QUEST - Practice My Tail Swipe! Part 3/5 - Complete 2 practice sessions QUEST - This Cave Is A Mess! Part 3/4? - Finish all tasks in my office (of 18) QUEST - The Hunt! Part 3/5 - Narrow in on my quarry Find 5 promising job sites Start putting in applications [Plan/brainstorm new goals now and for next weeks] SIDEQUEST - Is Something Growing In This? [Clean my keyboard thoroughly, pop off keys] Week 4 - Treasure Hunting - 3/5 to 3/11 HABIT - sleep between 1am and 9am HABIT - take ADHD pill daily HABIT - read from 12am to 1am QUEST - Practice My Tail Swipe! Part 4/5 - Complete 3 practice sessions QUEST - This Cave Is A Mess! Part 4/4? - Strike off at least 5 tasks in my office (of 18) QUEST - The Hunt! Part 4/5 - Further hunting required 1 [Plan from here] SIDEQUEST - There Must Be Something Pretty Here? [Sort through all my framed pictures] SIDEQUEST - Where's My Abacus? [Preliminary research on how to do my own taxes] Week 5 - Rout Out Any Adventurers - 3/12 to 3/18 HABIT - sleep between 1am and 9am HABIT - take ADHD pill daily HABIT - read from 12am to 1am QUEST - Practice My Tail Swipe! Part 5/5 - Complete 3 practice sessions QUEST - The Hunt! Part 5/5 - Further hunting required 2 [Plan from here] SIDEQUEST - That's An Interesting Smell? [Clean the guest bathroom and make a work request to fix sink] SIDEQUEST - Burn It With Fire! [Brute force through any projects/tasks that need it, especially any from this challenge] SIDEQUEST - What Next? [Plan next challenge - taxes, optometrist/therapy insurance, more? Carry over anything here that needs it, re-evaluate Sooner and Later lists] Bonus Quests [Various other things that I would like to do or keep up on. ADHD makes executive functioning and chores very difficult, so any rewards are good here! I'm just tracking points and not the tasks I think.] Cats - clean food bowls, refill food containers, clean or refill water fountain, clean litters, fully clean litters Floors - literally anything. Mop, vacuum spot-clean, sweep... anything. Dishes - empty sink, empty dishwasher, handwash fully Hygiene - shower, wash my face, brush my teeth, weekly laundry General - take out garbage before it's overflowing, take down recycling, refill products, finish a fiction book, bake or cook, fix or do sundry things around the house, prep literally anything, eat veggies/fruit, go to appointments, visit friends... Rewards Weekly outing! Every Wednesday, I take the previous week's points total and can go get a treat/meal in that range. Points for bonus quests roll over, but may only be spent if I completed 80% habits and all QUESTs and SIDEQUESTs for that week. Otherwise I just get the base level? Need to figure out points system...
  12. Last year was quite rough. I had an iron deficiency anemia, while doing very physical job last summer. I was totally exhausted. I was feeling dizzy, out of breath and overall horrible. On top of that I had the longest period of high functioning depression I've had in my life. It took a year to finally pull myself out of it. After all that, I decided this year I will take better care of myself. I applied on two really interesting, guided hiking trips for the summer. They are now my biggest motivation to get into a better shape. The first trip will be 3-day hiking - packcrafting trip close to my home, and the other one will be 7 day hike in Lapland. My goals for now: - Fix sleeping schedule. Start by going to bed a bit earlier every night. The actual goal is to go to sleep at 11 pm. - Add more protein to my breakfast. I love cereals with soy milk and berries, but it's just not giving me enough energy for work or exercise. - Exercise 3 times a week (bodyweight training / dumbbells), even if it's just 15 mins. - Go for a walk every day. I have a dog, so it's kind of mandatory anyways. He just hates the cold, so I might need to go by myself, if it's too cold for him. When I have found some consistency, I will adjust my goals again. Right now the finished workout / walk is always better than the skipped one.
  13. Back story: Former teacher turned SAHM. Then, husband got covid November 2020. Was hospitalized three times, almost died twice and now, two years later deals daily with covid-long haul. OG NF members may remember that my husband (was) an iron man triathlete. At the time covid tried to take him down he was on two competitive cycling teams as well as an active cyclocross enthusiast. Anyway, that's all changed. It looked like he was heading towards retirement which meant, I had to go back to work after 20 years as a SAHM. Luckily my teaching certificate was current, and I have been able to pick up back-to-back leave replacement teaching positions. But since I am having trouble getting hired for a full year contract in my home district (do not want to commute) I decided to go back to school to earn my MEd. I'm ALMOST done. So close. So, so close. But that's been the story of my life for the past couple of years: I'm back to school, again. Both as a teacher, and a student. It's stressful, being a student and, basically, a "first-year" teacher at 54. I'm exhausted. I've gained a ton of weight. My energy is super low. I'm in survival mode. I'm like a deer in the headlights. So why add a challenge into the mix? Accountability. I thought, why not make it a triple shot of school... Back to School NF Challenge Body: Joined the January Whole 30. Starts January 2nd. Will keep a food log of some sort. Mind: We do mindfulness in school, it's part of our curriculum. Bring those lessons home - do some headspace or something mindful. just breathe. at home. everyday. Spirit: Go outside. Take a walk, every day. Appreciate the world around me. Give myself grace to take a break. I'm talking just a walk here. No playing Pokémon Go, no hills/or power walking, just a "look around and appreciate" walk.
  14. Been doing a lot of reflecting. Having your Saturnalia festivities interrupted by having to evacuate the house due to pipes busting will do that. Mostly just seems to be an appropriate moment in my life to get back into the challenges. I experienced something of a mini-mental breakdown last week that had me staring at my basement wall from the time I clocked out of work until going to bed that night. I think I just broke under the stress. I've been existing as a Work Completion Machine(tm) in some capacity or another since I began my career change. At the time, it made sense to prioritize building my reputation as a guy who got shit done. That, and my anxiety never let me shake the fear that I was always just one wrong step away from being thrown out on my ass. And then there was my relationships, also mostly driven by fear. Will I get kicked out of the tribe for being too liberal? Or not liberal enough? Or for being an atheist? For speaking my mind? Because I didn't bring a casserole or a bottle of wine to the dinner party? In other words, I kept putting everyone and everything else ahead of myself. To the point where, when my therapist, a few sessions back, asked me what my values were, I had no answer for her. I've lost track of my identity. And, at the same time, I find it leaking out everywhere. I inject my identity and my ego into conversations so much that every interaction feels like one of those ninja course challenges where I'm trying to verbally dash across the spinning log to say all the right things, crack the right jokes, and not offend the wrong sensibilities. My social interactions become this weird dance where I'm both trying to shield my ego from danger while also ordering it to dance for other people's entertainment. That changes now. This challenge is dedicated to me. I'm putting my own mask first. I'm looking out for my needs and my wants. And I'm starting by taking on my demons. I might turn this into a narrative. Could be fun. A sort of demon hunter thriller. At least build in some form of gamification. We'll see. For now, this challenge is still a work in progress. Challenge Goals. By 2/4/2023 (end of challenge): 1. 170 minutes meditated (5 mins per challenge day less 2 cheat days). 2. 10 salads prepared (2 per week). 3. 2 braises prepared. 4. 2 bicycle trips. 5. No more than 12 video game hours. 6. Update NF daily. 40 hours extra work (i.e. work in addition to my usual 40) by the end of the challenge. -------------------------- Challenge progress: 1. 26/170 minutes meditated. 2. 2/10 salads prepared. 3. 1/2 braises prepared. 4. 0/2 bicycle trips completed. 5. 8/12 video game hours. 6. 5/40 extra work hours. Last updated: 1/8/2023.
  15. Hey everyone! Returning "player" here, it has been quite a few years since i did a Challenge. Last year i noticed i often during work would over stretch or feel slight pain during work and i made the goal with myself to get back into fitness AFTER i moved to a new apartment. Currently im living in my new apartment for a month and so its time to get back into fitness. Going to keep it simple to get back into the groove of things: -> Workout 3-4 times a week: I'm going to keep it to the basics of the Rippetoe 5x5. Squats, Bench Press, Overhead Presses, Deadlifts and Chin-ups. (Eventually i want to "evolve" my program to Wendler with BW and such but thats for WAYYY later). -> Eat a piece of fruit every day: I'm low on my veggie & fruit levels, so first up a piece of fruit every day. Apple or Banana (i like both) -> Start my day/night routine atleast 3 times a week: I had a whole morning/evening routine which involved stretching, reading, some coffee or tea and i've lost that routine. I want to get back into that aswell. Nothing too crazy and lets just see how it goes
  16. I've started with the Anti-Challenge (even if not fully caught up), and so I thought I'd set a few small goals and appeal to my inner corvid with shiny rewards! I made a sticker chart and got some star stickers to mark off each item each day Goals: Take my meds every day. Drink at least 2 bottles of water a day. Get some sort of movement in each day. Eat something with protein in it every day. The last one is a real big challenge for me because I struggle with eating regular meals and often find myself sliding into things like cereal, tortilla chips and salsa, or bowl of instant potatoes in lieu of more nutritionally substantial foods.
  17. So I'm back! After literally a decade! I did literally none of my goals I set last time! Woo! Last time I was here I was 27, a stay-at-home mom to only a three year old, and was about seventy pounds lighter than I am right now. Now I'm 37, a stay-at-home parent to two kids (13 and 7), and tipped the scales this morning at 304 pounds. Whew. Something's gotta give. I have remembered this site here and there a few times over the last decade, but for some reason never thought to come back. My husband and I have even mentioned it here and there! Well, here I am. I'm back. And I'm hoping to make a bigger difference this time. I know I'm not in a good position to be trying to do the heavy weightlifting I wanted to do before, but I can at least make myself smaller before I try to make myself bigger again (in a different direction). I have goals! I think! Fitness: move every day. Good options for this cold Michigan winter are the gym (we have that membership, after all...), the (new! not the one from a decade ago oh gosh) beginner bodyweight workout, or either Ring Fit Adventure or Just Dance on the Switch. Nutrition: Drink a glass of water as soon as I wake up. Eat more vegetables and less sugar. Mindset: Use that ding-dang bullet journal! You had good stuff going on when you used it!
  18. Here we go again; I've lost count of the times we've gone again at this point but as always, once more with feeling! The only thing worse than starting again would be not starting again, so I've got that going for me. It's been a hot minute since I was here last and a hefty chunk of things have happened since then, but a few things have remained constant. Specifically I've sat very firmly in at least one pit of denial over the course of the four-ish years since I got my hEDS diagnosis. It became a very predictable cycle. I would pull myself out of my depression cave, usually spurred on by content of people my size or bigger getting shit done to achieve their goals and me saying "if they can do that then I can definitely do that!", begin a new wave of something while firmly ignoring the voice in the back of my head whispering "Yeah, those people are doing those things at your size; but they're not also built out of old rubber bands and caffeine.", cause myself a significant enough injury to need to stop doing the things, get angry about failing again, crawl back into my depression cave. Repeat ad infinitum. It's been exhausting, physically and mentally. I'm now in the worst shape I've been in my entire life. The day before this challenge officially starts is my 35th birthday and I've slid so far down the mountain that I've lost sight of the base of it, never mind the top. The starting line most people start at is a hazy blur in the distance, whereas I'm here outside this ramshackle barn being stared down menacingly by an alpaca who has declared the "start" spray painted on the dirt track as his territory. Even considering approaching is daunting. So, we're starting with acceptance. Accepting that I do not have the tools or the ability to start in the same place as most people; nor most of the farther back places others start at. And that it's not fine, but there's nothing I can do to change it unless I accept it and use the tools that I do have instead of pretending I have ones that I don't. The latter hasn't gotten me anywhere productive, it needs to stop. With that in mind, it's three goals for the start of the year. 1. Steps My fitbit pings me at ten minutes to the hour, nine hours a day, to do 250 steps. Do the steps, get the 9/9 active hours every day. It's not hard, not really. Min 2250 steps/day 2. Core I saw an exercise physiotherapist earlier this year and the start was going really well, but as with all things seeing a physio who wasn't hEDS informed became a problem very quickly. Building muscle is a necessary thing for me, but it takes longer than it does for other people and pushing me to almost triple my output after six weeks is just asking for injury and failure. So I no longer see her, but there are lessons I can take away from that and things that did work that I can implement until I feel ready to progress them further. Right now it's my core that needs the work, it's a mess and without immediate attention I'm probably heading for a wheelchair. 3x8 Sit to Stands 3x8 Seated Calf Raises 3x8 Wall Push Ups 3. Calories I'm on the waitlist to discuss bariatric options with a general surgeon, but that doesn't mean I can't work on it myself in the meantime. I use Lifesum, no muss no fuss, it does me well when I use it. Track food intake/maintain caloric deficit
  19. Hello friends, old and new. Now that the forums have stopped being a buttface and seem to be letting me log in without resorting to incognito mode, as they have for around two years now, I thought I would try my luck again. This challenge is all about building my roots so I have a strong foundation for who I am/want to be. I've started using a new to me journal which is all about planting seeds (very small projects/steps) instead of planting trees (trying to start a huge project/task) from the beginning. My seeds this challenge will be more about deciding what I want. I am still assuredly an adventurer over all else (my one year projects include geocaching, hiking, trying new things) but I need to decide what that really looks like and set up a foundation that will support it. So, this challenge: 1. 1.8L/3 bottles of water/water with an electrolyte each day. I got hydration tested at work and was found 🌟 moderately dehydrated 🌟 and that is not a good look for a safety person. 😅 2. Move all my furniture to the new rooms and have everything set up with its own place. This might be me trying to plant a tree (a small tree!) but it's doable, there's a reason for it and I will break it down into smaller steps when it is not 4:30am in the morning. 3. Finish writing up my life planning, long term plans, and January project set up in my planner. And that's it! Small (mostly) seeds to help my garden grow. A talent I need to convert to offline gardening. Happy New Year peeps, and I'll be hanging out in your threads soon (again, when it's not 4:30am in the morning).
  20. First challenge, or new to Nerd Fitness? Start here! *Note: You can participate in guild discussions regardless of your chosen guild.
  21. I've been reflecting on what does and doesn't work for me as I get back into fitness after 18 months of slothdom, and I think the key to setting manageable and sustainable goals for myself is to be modest in my expectations for myself. I need to build my endurance and stamina up from basically nothing. I need to build a foundation first, so that I can later push myself and see what I'm really capable of while avoiding injury. Goals 1. Do 4x-5x jog-walk intervals each week, aiming to improve in distance by a little each week. 2. Do a yoga sequence after each jogging session (habit stacking!). 3. Drink 16 ounces of water before every meal.
  22. Here I am, respawning myself at the end of the last full NF challenge of the year. I quit NF the last time because I was having trouble keeping up with my challenge to myself, with chatting with others and keeping up with their journeys, and frankly, I was depressed about my inability to sustain progress toward the goals I had set for myself. I quit because I thought that it was the best thing for my mental health - as though NF was the reason for my depression, ha - and because as I assume many depressed persons do, I didn't want to be reminded by all of the people who were doing well on NF that I was doing poorly, if you get me. In hindsight, I was blind (pun intentional). My point is - I'm back and think that my vision is clear, this time. I intend to set more reasonable and sustainable goals for myself this time. I intend to not beat myself up if I can't make progress on every goal every day. I intend to keep logging in even if I didn't have the energy to do a single thing, just to say "hey, I didn't do a single thing." What's "that" thing I'm not going to do from my post title? That thing is "give up". I'm not going to do that.
  23. EPIC QUEST: BECOME PREGNANT OR OVERWEIGHT Been trying on the first for thirteen months with one loss so if succeeding causes me to fail the latter, excellent. I just need something that is a goal that I feel I have ANY CONTROL OVER WHATSOEVER. And overall the goals here will promote either so whateverrrr. Goal 1: Maintain current positive food habits and track/minimize how much I deviate. The habits I've got SOLID are: * No alcohol * 2 large bottles water per day And less solid, which I need to track the deviations of: * No sugary beverages. * High protein breakfast with no bread. This one is VERY important for me, as I've tracked that a high protein, low carb breakfast drastically improves my energy levels throughout the day. I'm also nudging a little bit on getting more veg and higher quality dinners and subbing baked goods for fruits when I want a dessert, but I would like to focus my tracking right now on the two above areas, which I think pack the most punch for me with the greatest immediate reward for success - higher all-day energy and more fullness per calorie. Goal 2: 30 minutes of exercise, as early in my day as possible. I have a hard time getting exercise even though it's good for every single one of my issues and goals. It's good for my ADHD, PCOS, depression, anxiety, sleep, weight, fertility, mood, and energy. I'm not zeroed in on a particular activity, but I've got a treadmill, exercise bike, rowing machine, weight rack, punching bag, and yoga mat on a floor of my house. I should be able to manage to do SOMETHING! Track and report back. Goal 3: Address cortisol. I have one hormone in my profile that is super out of whack: DHEA. This can be an issue due to my PCOS, but can also be worsened by stress. I suspect my OB will order a rerun of my hormone profile after I see her mid-month. I would be psyched if I can lower this from my first test by then. I've been doing daily meditation and started acupuncture. I would like to lengthen my meditation sessions, and perhaps add some yoga and/or Tai chi as part of my morning routine. I probably should work on my sleep hygiene I say as writing my challenge from my phone in bed. This is less a tracky and more a feely-flowy goal. Report back regularly on how it seems to be going. CURRENT STATS Height and weight: 5'5", 220 lbs (goal <180 to be not obese)
  24. It's a tired old story: tried many times before, whether via NF or other means, and failed just as many times. And am now worse off than any time prior. I just got back from a vacation on which I barely fit in any of my clothes for, got tired when trying to have fun, and was definitely too big for my airplane seat. But, getting away from it all for the first time since The Before Times, I was able to clear my head and do some soul searching. I actually did a lot of reading and research and thinking and I think I'm ready to try again. Driving Principles: 1) Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. 2) Discipline > Motivation 3) I need to do this for me, not for someone or something else. Goals: 1) Intermittently fast 12/12 on work days (Stretch Goal Starting 10/30: Intermittently fast 16/8). I have chosen Intermittent Fasting as my framework for food consumption. Keeping in line with my 1st Principle, I am starting easy with a 12/12 Routine (eating window from 9a-9p), with weekends off. It's not full on IF, but it's better than what I have been doing, especially since it cuts off my late night snacking and drinking habits. Later on I'll look at increasing my fasting time, fasting on weekends / a 24h fast midweek, etc. But for now: do good, not perfect. I will also as I get into this habit start improving what I eat, learn how much I should eat, etc. But the primary goal is to stick to the 12/12 on work days for the duration of this challenge. Everything else is gravy and I'll post my wins on that as well. 2) Drink 64 oz. of water a day (Stretch Goal Starting 10/30: 128 oz. of water). Especially with my tendency to drink night caps or sodas, I am likely chronically dehydrated. With me cutting out my late night drinks, this is a perfect opportunity to replace with water. I will count water, unsweetended carbonated water (like Waterloo), and water with something minimal like a Power Pak as full water, any alcohol I do drink as nothing, and everything else (juice, milk, coffee, etc.) as half. 3) Devise and implement a proper goal and progress tracking system. None of this will work if I don't know where I'm heading (the above goals for example are not the best stated for example, and are only short term), where I started (I already took before pics, need to get measurements as well), and how far along I am (tracking via Lose It!, Fitbit, a spreadsheet, or what have you). I don't expect to come out of this challenge with the "perfect system," but a good enough one that I can then grow and edit as I continue my journey. 4) Stretch Goal Starting 10/30: Do literally any amount of working out during my lunch break. A walk, 10 minutes on the eliptical, some calisthenics. Whatever. Just more than I have been doing, which is nothing. Stretch Goals are just that, extra. I will not have "failed" if I don't meet them. I've just been finding everything very easy thus far, and want a little extra to go for. Well, here goes nothing!
  25. Sad but true. I'm only 31 and I already have a cholesterol problem. Given that my maternal grandmother had a heart attack a few years back and that my paternal grandfather died of one this year I'm taking it seriously. My doctor told me there were two main things I could do to lower it naturally: 1) eat fewer animal fats, and 2) walk everyday. I've come back for the accountability as well as the camaraderie. My life has changed pretty massively over the past couple years but especially in the previous six months. I finally succumbed to a burnout that I spent five years working though. Now I haven't worked since the end of April and I was only just approved for disability income. It's a whole thing that I'll probably get into at some point but I already feel like I'm rambling so I'm going to stop. I have two goals for this challenge. Goal 1 - Eat Well: I will eat at least two plant-based dinners per week. Additionally, for my animal-based meals I will cut back on animal fats by trimming the meat or buying leaner options. I will also attempt to increase my fiber intake by tracking some of my daily sources of dietary fiber. Goal 2 - Walk Tall: I will walk for 30 minutes daily. If I don't go for a walk I am allowed to sub in an alternate 30 minutes of something else that counts as exercise (ie. when I muck out the horses for my landlords that's 30 minutes of labour - as it combines strength and cardio it counts). That's it. Hopefully I can stick to it and when I have my next blood test in a little less than a year my levels will have gone down and I won't have to worry so much about the family history of heart attacks.
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