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  1. 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.
  2. I had a hard time choosing what to focus on this challenge. I feel like I am still recovering from moving house the last 2 months and then half my family catching covid these past weeks.... and now we're moving into a very busy time of year! with all the birthdays, events and holidays in november and then.. december, need I say more? Then there are the homeschool meetings that I promised to help organise, my SIL's theater show and my nephews band performance I promised to attend, the museum theme's I really want to see, the three Christmas dinners I really want to plan to cook... and then I also really really really would like to get back to more serious training sessions. So..... Goal 1: plan and organise all the things Here is a list of everything that's going on and what I need/want to do for it. Goal 2: make some training progress I'm really happy that I learned to do all or something instead of all or nothing these last two years and it has helped me maintain even during rough life-patches, but I want to see if my brain can handle making a certain volume and intensity of training non-negotiable. Making it a serious priority. Which probably means making more sleep a serious priority (help). > turning off all electronics by ~10pm, except book things > 4 days a week a combination of lifting weights and kettlebell sport, 2 days a week of running, all the commuting by bike. > 5 week block of a simple lineair progression, see program below WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5 -> small deload
  3. Hey, there. I'm Trashcan Carla and I've been here before. To be honest, I'm surprised that I am even back on NF after my depressed, hobbling exit, but here I am with new intentions and just enough self-confidence to start this challenge in its last week. So let's do this! (by the way, if you want to read about why I left before and why I'm back, here you go) I live a sedentary life at present. That is the sucky truth. My sedentary life is the swarm of bloodbugs, you feel me? And me putting on running shoes again (it's been a while, but I know I'll love it once again) is me running away from that sucky truth. I got my Brooks shoes, my reflective running belt and a few new pairs of socks. I am equipped and ready. I mean, I think I'm ready. I haven't run since the summer of 2021 when I busted my ankle while on a jog (damn you unseen pothole!) BUT my joints seem strong enough to handle some easy jog-walk intervals. I have this fond memory of running up a steep hill on Madison in downtown Seattle. I have a fond memory of running eleven miles to get to a brewery. I have a fond memory of running completing a half-marathon in Las Vegas. Basically, I know that the beginning of this journey is going to be tough, but I have enough fond memories of myself running to get me through my first week. I just need to think back to those days of glory and envision them in my future. Goals Jog-Walk for 15m-20m 4x. Since there's only one week left in the challenge, I can be super-specific (which I understand is good for setting goals): 11/20, 11/21, 11/23 and 11/25. Log in and post something 4x. I don't care to be specific with this one. I just want to practice logging in to Rebellion again and posting progress or whatever.
  4. Hello Frenz I've been feeling reluctant to come on here since I have been fairly feeble in my commitment to training and it's depressing coming in day after day and reporting that I have done naff all again. But I've managed to get into a groove, albeit only a few days so here I go, trying to keep the wheelie up... I'm doing a 15km race in a warm climate on sand in 9 days' time. I'm not in especially great condition. I mean, I'll finish it, but I've seen the organisers' Facebook page and they look like they are pretty professional. Road racing is a big deal in Portugal apparently. I'm going to struggle to keep up! Taking part in an organised race in. Portugal has been on my bucket list for ages so I'm excited but apprehensive for a few reasons I won't go into. I'm. Going to spend a few days there and Flyer is coming with me and we'll have a sort of weird working holiday. It's going to be an adventure. Anyway, between now and then I have scheduled in daily exercises to lose weight and develop my stamina a bit. Tomorrow I'm going to row, and do a short fast run home. Then on Sunday I'm going to run the 15km using a camelbak to get used to using that. After that it's mainly weights and swimming to let me legs rest a bit. Also diet control and daily potuguese of course. The usual. It's a routine I can do when I have my shit together but my shit is so often all apart these days.
  5. Hi all! I'm Stronkey Kong. I started on NF 9 years ago and am still fat, but making the best of it, and grateful for the community here regardless. Main Goal: Find my 'Best Weight' My ideal weight is probably 180 lbs. going by the numbers and pictures. I recently (today actually) came across the idea of best weight, the weight that lets you live the life you want to live. So that's the real goal. Mine is probably about 220-230, which is halfway between my current 285 lbs. and my 'ideal.' Goal 1: Run. I'm still following the program in Run Your Butt Off (RYOB). I had some trouble tho, once I hit the run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes workout, and these last two weeks I've only got 1 walk or run/walk workout per week. I'm going to redo the run 1 min./walk 4 min week, then increase 20 s per week until I hit 2 min, then pause and reassess there. Goal 2: Eat 99% Vegan I tried to go vegan back in the spring. I was thirty days in and it was going very well. Lost a few pounds, had fewer GI issues. Then I got Covid (probably) and went off it since. I'm going to try again for 100 days (July 24 - Halloween) of 99% vegan eating. I call it 99% to allow for mistakes and variation in practice. I will probably forget at some point that most pestos contain cheese, or that some vegetable recipes have beef/pork/chicken broth etc. But I will not: eat a steak, put cheese on salads, eat baked goods that have eggs... yada yada. If I can see an animal product on my plate, or on an ingredient list, I have to start over. Otherwise, I can keep on going without a restart. Halloween is good, it's right before the holiday season when the temptation to have animal products based solely on tradition is highest... and there's a good chance I won't be able to refuse polish sausage, ham , and cheese pierogies as part of my family's Christmas Traditions. I've read most of the book Vegan for Life (VFL) which is written by a couple of Vegan R.D.s and will be following their plan and recommendations. Doing so, it will be hard to go over 2500 cals/day which is a good goal given what RYOB recommends for daily calorie intake on their program (per my individual calculations based on their program). =============================== First? (addit: No. RES beat me.)
  6. I was going to call this challenge Artemis Prime Breathes, but I decided to jazz it up a little. But this challenge is all about breathing. Last month I decided I wanted to start running again, and then promptly decided to push it off until fall so I wasn't trying to condition myself during this ridiculous heat wave we've been stuck in. So in lieu of actually running, I dove into YouTube and discovered Nate Helming of The Run Experience. He's got a bunch of good videos, but the one that inspired this challenge was his video on the breath hold test, or Body Oxygen Level Test, or BOLT. It's based on Patrick McKeown's The Oxygen Advantage, and basically has to do with the Bohr Effect and increasing your body's tolerance of carbon dioxide in order to use oxygen more efficiently. Video spoilered if you're interested. Science was never my best subject, but it seemed sound to me, so I decided to check out McKeown's book. By happy chance, it arrived this week, so this challenge I'm going to read the book, practice the breathing exercises, and see if I can increase my BOLT score. The absolute ideal score is 40 seconds. Average score for reasonably fit adults is 20 seconds. I tested this morning and hit 20 seconds, but it's not supposed to be how long you can hold your breath, it's how long you can go before your body really starts to crave air, and I think I pushed it a few seconds longer than I should have, so I'm probably actually in the 16-17 second range. I'll retest every week of this challenge and see what I'm at by the end. Challenge Goals: Read The Oxygen Advantage: I've read the first 2 chapters so far, and mostly it's the same material that's covered in the Run Experience video. Breathe through my nose: This is the one thing that McKeown really pounds throughout his material - noses are for breathing, mouths are for eating. I do pretty well at breathing through my nose, but it's something to stay mindful of. Do breathing exercises daily: I haven't gotten to the part of the book that has many breathing exercises yet, but I do have an app on my phone with breathing exercises that I've enjoyed doing in the past, so I'll start with them. Retest BOLT score weekly: I'm not sure what a reasonable expectation is for improvement week to week over a 5 week period, so I don't have a real goal here, just want to see if/how much it improves. Supposedly there are noticeable improvements in mental and physical performance for every 5 seconds you add to your BOLT score. Like I said, the science makes sense to me, but considering my science credentials, or lack thereof, that doesn't mean much, so I'm mostly treating this challenge like a 5 week experiment to see if I notice any benefits to practicing breathing exercises and improving my score.
  7. Hi I'm KB Girl, 34 year old mom of two littles (5&2), gym owner, kettlebell sport coach, avid Harry Potter fan fiction reader, novice gardener and lifter of heavy things in many shapes. I struggle with juggling too many things I want to be doing and things I feel I should be doing. The overwhelm does my mental health no good. In the past bullet journaling has helped me keep that overwhelm at bay while also helping me focus on all the good things in life, so I want to get back my regular habit of using it. Main quest: use my bullet journal Perfectionism is standing in my way, there are so many things I have used my bujo for in the past and I also have many ideas for how I could be using it and now I feel like I have to pick all of that back up straight away.. which is bullshit. I think that if I give myself permission to start small that I will gradually pick things back up and start new things. Plan: write down one good thing about the day, every day, ideally right after the kids fall asleep and I've cleared some space for it if necessary. Side quest: pick up running I dislike starting running because.. well its painful at first isn't it? I've always toyed with the idea of pushing through that initial phase because it would be very beneficial for my kettlebell lifting, but never felt motivated enough. This has changed in Porto when two of my teammates would go for a run together in the morning- it seemed like such a great way of doing some extra sightseeing. I love being outdoors, running could be something I'll love. Plan: start small, on Saturdays when my 5yo is in swimming class and on Wednesdays after lifting heavy things. Bonus challenge: grow and cook good food! This one is simple! I shall learn all the things about the growing and the cooking! if the stars align I might even write down in my bujo what I'm learning aka what went wrong and what I'll have to do different next time Plan: there is no plan! just winging it. Also give me all your recipes involving lettuce, because I have so much lettuce to eat!
  8. Hello. I'm back. I'm still like 280 lbs. All this year I've been toeing around, trying to get back to some cardio. I talked about it with my Punch Out! challenge. I even bought new running shoes back in January. I still haven't run. I remember gym class, in 7th grade, we had to do a 1 mile run. We went out to the football/track field on a hot muggy day in August. The track was this awful, ugly black gravel (that I'd be picking out of my shoes the rest of the day). I was fat, and had never tried to run a mile before. At this point, it had even been a couple years since I played football with the neighborhood kids regularly. I remember the gym teacher blew the whistle, and I started out at a good pace keeping up with everyone... that lasted about 10-20 sec. By the time we reached the first turn, I was falling behind, and before I finished that turn I was walking, breathing hard, sweating, and feeling awful in the muggy August heat. I paced 14 min, and I'm pretty sure I was the last person to finish that day. Every time I think about running, I think of that day, if only for a nanosecond. I think I need to get over it. The other time I did get over it, I gradually built up a tolerance for running one summer in grad school. The next year, I would go on a 4+ mile run 2x a week (most weeks). Now when I try to run, I feel like anything less than that is failure. I need to get over that too. (my one and only) Goal: Run... or walk as my program dictates... get get to level 5. Specifically, I am using the JogGo app. It is a graded running program with assessments every two weeks to see if you're ready to move up. Level 5 is the 'Beginner' running level. At the moment, I'm at level 3, 'Walker'. It has me doing workouts 4 days/week, with a mix of fast walking and lower body strength training (BW squats, lunges, etc.) The next week looks like: M: Fast walking (short distance) and strength intervals T: Recovery W: Fast walking (long distance) R: Recovery F: Strength intervals S: Fast walking assessment S: Recovery It's easy at the moment, I just need to stick to the schedule. I'd be surprised if I didn't level up my assessment on Saturday this week. Then I'll have four weeks and two chances to get through level during the challenge. That's it. My one and only goal. I'm not focusing on diet/nutrition this challenge. I'm still trying to eat mostly plant based, but mostly I play it by ear. I usually go for tofu and beans etc. first, but I'll eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy, etc. if it's available and the plant foods really don't appeal to me at that moment. I'm also still gardening and working on home repair, playing music, and all the usual stuff. My tomatoes are flowering so expect photos of big, juicy heirloom tomaotes soon!
  9. Hi It's been quite a while since I really came out of my shell. I was last around in November and at that point my health (due to a chronic illness) simply fell off of a cliff edge and I became extremely ill for an extremely long time. A few months ago I was almost hospitalised with Sepsis but that was thwarted thanks to a cocktail of antibiotics. Since then it's been a slow and steady improvement. Over that time I've gained a bunch of weight and while I'm nowhere near my highest weight it's much more than I'm okay with. I suspect that has a lot to do with the extreme level of inactivity, since my diet hadn't really changed for several years. I've actually been feeling pretty good for the last month or so but I've been fighting with inertia. Over that time however I did a long overdue overhaul of my diet. Eating better is one of the few proactive things I can do to improve my chances of not getting sick but, honestly I only found the will to do so after my appetite started coming back. It's been a weird and hard few weeks. We lost Mr Wills, who was quite simply one of my best friends, last week I lost another close friend (she wasn't from the forums), and a little before that my brother-in-law had a heart attack and was in the icu for several days (he's doing okay, thankfully). So maybe I'm looking at this a bit of a kick in the backside to stop myself from sequestering myself away and start doing stuff to help myself. The challenge. Stupid simple. I've started to run again. I've got a rough plan that I'm following to get myself back into it. I've not really run for the last 7 months (I've done less running this entire year than I would have done on a bad week this time last year). Run every other day. By the end of the challenge I should have phased out all of the walking intervals and it also marks a perfect point to start phasing in different workouts.
  10. I'm feeling the urge to get back into running and I wasn't very happy with my last pair of Sauconys, so I'm in full shoe research mode. So far I'm leaning towards the Brooks Revel 5. Does anyone have any experience with them?
  11. Hey, Ive had a drastic change in my life and have left my political work. in the next 3 weeks I want to use this mini challenge to heal mentally and do things that make me feel good. Since Ive signed up for a 5k run in September its time to see if there is a way for me to get back into running after dozens of injuries, I will use the 3 weeks until the end of the challenge to see whether thats possible. goals: jog/walk intervals for 30-40 minutes 3 times a week in addition to hikes and dog walks on non "running" days - do weight training( bodyweight and kettlebells) or stretch/foam roll/yoga. Sunday is rest day keep eating keto and have healthy food, even though my kitchen is still not finished and I cant use it do one fun thing every day ( like today I will put my citrus plants into new, bigger pots) I might also be able to reduce my "drugs" during this challenge: have a break from alcohol, reduce smoking and reduce sleep medication. Ive really overdone it lately and this needs to be adressed. Today I woke up happy and content, had yoghurt with berries and coffee, got invited to hike at the river at 1pm and in the afternoon I will put my citrus plants in their new, bigger pots. Im looking forward to the day and have slept well so I feel rested. All is well.
  12. credit: Old Door by Stefano Aneto CHAPTER 3: AThousandWords Alights (Chapter 1, Chapter 2) I used to think that Doors were rare and mischievous. After all, finding an ephemeral passage between monotonous reality and the tingling prospect of adventure isn't something that happens everyday, right? A lifetime could pass by before the opportunity presents itself again. I was wrong. It turns out that Doors — like cars with one darkened headlight or a word you swear you've never read before — appear far more often after you've noticed them once. As if acknowledging their existence brings them bubbling to the surface. Once upon a time I saw a Door at a train station and walked away, fearing I would never see one again. Instead, the persistent openings pop up in the corner of my eye at every turn. A broad-slatted blue Door out of place in a stone wall; a fairy Door tucked away in the roots of an oak tree; an inconspicuous louvered Door when I stop at a red light. "I liked that one," my son says idly one night, marching a chicken nugget through a trailing doorway of ketchup on his plate. "The green one we saw at the playground. I bet it had dinosaurs on the other side." Across the table my daughter shrieks in delight and chomps down on her fork with a loud roar. I smile at her but my eyes dart to where my husband sits with a raised eyebrow. I shrug in return. It's a conversation that's been played out after bedtimes and in passing a hundred times with no real answer. We've been putting it off, but it feels insistent, inevitable. And if I'm honest, exciting. "A dinosaur Door? Wouldn't you rather open a Spider-Man Door?" my husband teases and I start the lists in my head. What to pack - snacks? Probably. Diapers, for sure... And I wonder what the next door we find will be. Spring is sprouting! And while currently we're still in grey chilly days (and I have a seasonal, non-covid head cold to go with it), I'm starting to look ahead to sunnier and more exciting days. Last challenge, I had a long weekend break with my husband, celebrated my 36th birthday, and ran my first ever half marathon! What started out as a longing for change manifested in a lot of adventure coming my way. In 2 weeks we're hosting my son's first real birthday party, then two days later driving to North Carolina to see my sister's new home, and during week 5 of the challenge I'm flying to Georgia to meet my coworkers for the first time at a developer's retreat. I'm anxious and excited and ready for something new. So this challenge will be flexible (there's a lot of travel days in there!) and hopefully fun. I'm looking forward to not spending my Saturdays doing long runs every week, but I still want to do something active. My next running goal is a sub-30 5k, so I'll be doing more interval runs. And I need to take a closer look at my diet because my cholesterol is up and honestly I've been letting a lot of unhealthy habits slip in because I was running enough to not care what I was eating. In particular, I need to cut out the afternoon snacking because I've gotten reeaal comfortable eating cheetos and girl scout cookies at my desk... Habit 1: Run 3x a week for at least 30 min Follow training plan for improving 5k times Ideally running Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday -- but can move around days if needed due to travel, daycare schedules, etc Habit 2: Endurance Activity on weekends Options include: 5mi+ run, 10mi+ bike ride, 2 hour hike, or similar level of activity Include the family as much as possible! Habit 3: Stop the Snack Follow IF 16/8 (usually 12pm - 8pm) for 6/7 days a week Coffee + creamer or water allowed outside this window (I can't give up my morning coffee!) No after-lunch snacking (eat enough to be sated at lunch) Habit 4: Follow Meal Plan (Weeks 1,2,4*) Meal Plan for the week every Tuesday Cook from the meal plan 6/7 days a week * Weeks 3 and 5 are exempt for this goal, but make every attempt to meal plan and cook on the days I'm home Bonus Points: Eat Well No more than 1 red meat dinner per week Eat 4+ servings of vegetables a day Drink 8 cups of water a day
  13. Starting as I don't mean to go on yesterday - Mrs 18ck and I had our twentieth anniversary so we wandered about on the North Downs Way with our beloved offspring to give our old bones a challenge and then ate a lot of cake and drank some sparkling wine from the vineyard where we'd stopped for lunch. But that's it for cake and wine now, at least until my birthday. OK, I've been struggling a bit to stay motivated and work is not helping: I'm super-busy at the moment and likely to remains super-busy at least till the end of the month, so I think my best chance of success is to keep it simple and manageable but not so easy it's boring: I'll go for an indoor lockdown-style workout once a day, in the morning, 10-30 minutes, probably either yoga or a Joe Wicks session, and see anything on top of that as a bonus. I'm aware that I need to run a a bit and also to start working on my cycling endurance (because months ago I signed up for this shit and the day of judgement approachetheth) but I don't want to make those into goals because I don't think I'll stick to them. I'll just concentrate on cranking out small wins and see each extra as an added bonus. I am not a lost cause yet but it definitely feels like with a little inattention I could just slip into bad habits and end up giving up, so giving myself some wins is essential. I'm less worried about the cycling anyway. I've been riding so long I'm practically a bike centaur by now so my only real worry is whether I'll be able to stay up past my bedtime. I'd quite like to sign up for an organised 10k run to motivate myself for running too but money is tight and it feels like an indulgence so I might need to motivate myself the old fashioned way, through the power of prayer. Ó Rosa Mota, nossa senhora da maratona, dá-me força... Food-wise, I need to do better. Nothing sweet other than fruit, count calories every day and stay under target. And... Actually, that's it. Two goals. Exercise once a day, food under limits. I might review in early April but for now, two seems to be a realistic maintenance level. Me & my homeys out training for our 10k
  14. Greeting Nerd Fitness Well the theme of marathon is wrapping up and well I finish the Oakland Marathon on Sunday. It was not the fastest I've run one but was not my worse either. Official time was 5hr55min53sec - yes my wife gave me grief about those 2 seconds! So a new theme must be brought to the forefront as we leave the theme of marathon behind - or perhaps we continue it... I'm not sure yet, but I know what I'm gonna do for this challenge - so let's get to that! QUEST 1 - Keep Moving Marathon is over but that doesn't mean we stop running. Taking a few days to recover and should be running again soon. My wife is seriously considering the San Francisco full in July so we'll look into training and such We'll likely keep with 3-midweek run and 1-weekend long run QUEST 2 - Fruits and Veggies Food game has gotten kind of junky as we burn so many calories during marathon training - so time to focus up on more greens and fruits! QUEST 3 - Read More! Hope to finish Grave Peril and move into Summer Knight by the end of this challenge QUEST 4 - Monster Hunting My RPG group has started Monster of the Week with me being the Keeper (aka GM/DM) so I'm gonna focus efforts on that. Hopefully with mystery prep and after action reports posted here
  15. Some may say I need to be committed, I say if it includes my own padded room that doesn't sound so bad! I have reached challenge number 70...not all of these challenges went the way I planned, not all of these challenges resulted in me leveling up, All of those challenges have resulted in learning something, even if it's what doesn't work for me. I'm a pretty typical type A, I prefer to do things myself, have a difficult time asking for help and sharing my feelings...the older I get the more I realize this is not always healthy. I work from home, so making sure I have enough movement in my day as well as not eating "all the unhealthy things" is important. Checking in to hold myself accountable is key to this being successful, I don't want to have to post bad news here. I struggle to get enough sleep so that shall remain on the list until it's no longer a struggle. I've been a workaholic as long as I can remember, mostly because of past experience and not wanting to have to count on anyone for things I need. D (my wife for those new here) and I have had many conversations about this. She understands my feelings because she's the same way, but we also know the importance to our relationship for us to be able to depend and count on each other. This is a very long winded way of saying that we need to remember to step away from work and have some fun, riding our motorcycles are a huge part of this for us for right now our every 4 week trips to FL also count towards this. The Plan... Cardio - 8,000 steps a day (includes 30 min on treadmill), and one kettlebell workout a week Update - Post in thread three times a week. Track - Sleep (7 hours a night) and Food (deficit per tracker) Extra - Rides, 5k's, events, and life events go here Done - Not Done - I have a Terrain Race planned in May that I do not want to embarrass myself at, I'd also like to get rid of the 35 lbs. that I put on since the last race I did in Feb 2020.
  16. Happy (almost) New Year Friends! So things have got a little slack around here for the last few weeks. Weird work stuff and vacation stuff have had me doing not a great job of keeping up with my fitness routines. So this challenge is about getting back into the foundational stuff. Here are the goals: Run 3x/week I am continuing with my 5%/week increase plan. It has worked so far and I expect it will continue to do so. Lift 3x/week I might do as many as 6x/week, but 3 will be my minimum. Track Calories and stay on target I'm using MFP. My target is 1800/day, plus 100 on a day I run, and 100 on a day I lift. Since I often run and lift on the same day, this will mean often I will alternate between 1800 days and 2000 days. I'm watching to see how my weight responds. I'm up about 5 lbs from a month ago, but for the last month I've done a crap job with tracking and food choices. So I'm expecting over the course of this challenge to drop back down at least that 5. We shall see. I think that's it. I'm going to give myself a point for each run/lift/day tracked and on target, against the 13 possible points each week. I'm starting with zero week, and I'm starting on a Monday because that's today and so far I've tracked everything and this will be a very good day for a start. Happy Challenge!
  17. credit: MorJer on DeviantArt CHAPTER 1: AThousandWords finds a Door At the top of the hill. At the back of the wardrobe. At the end of the trail. There is always a Door. Today it is hidden in yellow siding, tucked away at the back of an unused train station, metres away from a bustling pedestrian highway. Hundreds of cyclists and joggers and families passing by daily, none the wiser. Finely painted, with a trompe-l'œil handle that you think you could reach out and turn. An ornate window made of clouded glass, just far enough out of reach that you'd have to get on tip-toes to see through. If there were anything to see. I must have run past it a hundred times myself - surely it's always been there? Tucked away by creeping vines and tall brown grass. I hesitate, torn between wanting to reach out and feel if the doorknob is real and warm from the sun, yet unwilling to let the illusion dissipate. Happy New Year! I'm going to indulge myself this year in a long-running, immersive fantasy. For me, 2022 is a work in peeling back layers of old habits and forging new ones that support the identity I want to embody. I'm unlearning some negative traits (particularly around diet and weight loss) and opening a door to more consistency, simplicity, and joy. My framework for this challenge is based on Atomic Habits: establishing micro-building blocks that feed into the habits I want to establish. It looks a little different from my previous challenges, but I'm giving it a whirl! Habit 1: Schedule and Start 2 hours of Deep Work every weekday Use reclaim.ai to schedule 2 hours of focused work time on work days When the notification goes off, I will actually get started with work - even if it's just 2 minutes Habit 2: Fill up water cup every morning Every morning while I make coffee, I will fill up my big 24oz water cup Habit 3: Spend 15 minutes every weekday adding recipes to Plan to Eat Use reclaim.ai to schedule 15 minutes of time every weekday Add at least one recipe that I'm actually willing to cook/eat to Plan to Eat during this time Habit 4: Practice yoga for 30 min a week I will complete a 30 min yoga class from the Peloton app for 30 min on Tuesdays, after daycare dropoff If, for some reason, I can't do Tuesday, Friday or Sunday are my back up days Behind the scenes, there are lots of other things I'm working on: I'm still training for a half-marathon and running 3-4x a week. I'm trying to read more (that's a work in progress that will probably be its own challenge item down the road). I never finished those dollhouses, so that's definitely going to be happening this month. I'm also still parenting two small kids during a pandemic, with all the associated stress and joy that brings. But these four things feel like a good starting point toward establishing healthy habits this year, and casting a strong vote toward the person I want to be at the end of 2022.
  18. Last year, Man Uncivilized founder Traver Boehm shared that instead of the typical New Year's Resolutions that many people make (and often fail), he names his year. For me, 2021 was the year of Purpose and Power. In spite of the year's challenges, I did indeed tap into my purpose and power as a father, as a husband, as a leader, as as educator, and (most importantly) as a man. After some meditating and deep contemplation, I have chosen to name 2022 The Year of Connection: connection to my self (my truest self), to my body, to my loved ones, and to the universe. This challenge is step one of that connection: Elevation. (side note: I also binge-watched the Jack Ryan series, so if that influence trickles into this challenge, don't be surprised; and of course, expect some poetry along the way). Elevate Your Body: 40 push-ups upon waking two-a-day workouts: one cardio (running, brisk walking, hiking, elliptical, stairs, etc.) and one strength (weights, machines, bodyweight, kettlebells, cinderblocks, etc.); aim for 30-60 minutes each, but don't stress if this is not possible fast intermittently when practical and eat whole foods when possible cold shower daily drink at least 93 ounces of water daily Elevate Your Brain: at least 15 minutes daily using Duolingo at least 15 minutes daily using Elevate read at least 10 pages daily of any book (I am participating in the Read Harder Challenge for 2022) stay informed via NPR One app & podcasts (with one caveat: do not exceed 15 minutes of news consumption) limit social media Elevate Your Mind/Soul: 0415 wakeup daily meditation/prayer daily scripture/devotional reading daily breath exercises daily spend focused and present distraction-free time with wife and kids evening reflective journaling
  19. In 61 days time I'll be running in a 5k event for a Children's Cancer charity. It's booked and paid for, I'm running it with a friend who has also paid and is locked in. Right now I can't run very far, maybe 500m to 1k so I'm going to be following a couch to 5k program. It's supposed to be 12 weeks, I'll do it in 9 as I'm too close to the date. I'm the heaviest I've ever been at 104.7kg. That is way beyond anything I've ever weighed in at before, my diet is totally out of control and at times I'm unhappy. It's getting harder to do simple stuff like put shoes on. I really need to make a change and get back to an active life. Goals: - Record here every day, even if it's to say nothing happened. - Track calories - Run 3 times a week to the Couch to 5K program I would like to be eating sensibly and doing some walking as well, however experience being at this kind of low tells me to keep my goals simple and achievable while I build some momentum. Here we go!
  20. "Quiet friend who has come so far, feel how your breathing makes more space around you. Let this darkness be a bell tower and you the bell. As you ring, what batters you becomes your strength. Move back and forth into the change. What is it like, such intensity of pain? If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine. In this uncontainable night, be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses, the meaning discovered there. And if the world has ceased to hear you, say to the silent earth: I flow. To the rushing water, speak: I am. Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29 Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower by Rainer Maria Rilke Greetings and Happy Holidays fellow Rebels. As some of you know, life has been wild crazy busy for me lately but for good reasons. While this is always a difficult time of year for me personally, I am determined to rise above dwelling on past traumas and instead focus on upgrading my mind and body as I turn this new page in my life. My challenge will be similar to my last one with a few minor changes. Since winter is approaching and cold weather is already upon us, I am returning to my Wim Hof training. I'll be squeezing it in with my morning meditation practice. I am also intermittent fasting again but not in the same way as before: I will eat if I feel hungry (as in stomach actually growling), but if not then I will hold off until I am hungry. So here are my challenge goals: PHYSICAL GOAL: Lift heavy objects as often as possible and move in ways that bring me joy. This includes cinderblocks, logs, stones, kettlebells, weights, and my own body whenever the opportunity presents itself (yoga, Darebee workouts, etc.). The key is to have fun moving again and to lift mindfully, focusing on specific muscles/muscle groups and specific movements. NUTRITIONAL GOALS: I will eat mindfully, selecting foods that nourish my body and don't leave me feeling blah after eating them. From the Harvard School of Public Health: "Eating mindfully means that you are using all of your physical and emotional senses to experience and enjoy the food choices you make. This helps to increase gratitude for food, which can improve the overall eating experience. Mindful eating encourages one to make choices that will be satisfying and nourishing to the body. However, it discourages “judging” one’s eating behaviors as there are different types of eating experiences. As we become more aware of our eating habits, we may take steps towards behavior changes that will benefit ourselves and our environment." This will also include eating only when I feel hungry and not because I'm bored or because I think I'm hungry. This requires me to listen to my body and be mindful of my hunger. MENTAL/SPIRITUAL GOALS: I will re-instate my morning practice which will now include Wim Hof practices. I will meditate twice daily (morning contemplative meditation and evening gratitude meditation). I will read and post one poem a day, as well as write a poem of my own every day. I will read at least ten pages of a spiritual development book daily. I dropped the ball on the "poem a day" goal last time, but I struggled because life was so busy. Now that I'm finished with my Master's degree work, I should have the time to read and compose some poems. MORNING PRACTICE: 0400 wakeup prayer/contemplative meditation scripture reading breath work (Wim Hof) cold shower
  21. 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
  22. DISCLAIMER: This challenge has nothing to do with the show Supernatural. Sorry if the title is misleading. Late to the game, but blessed to be able to join this challenge. After some serious (but not severe) life challenges... ... I've found myself lost amid the chaos again. Bad eating habits and not staying active have taken a toll on my health lately. I used to be the guy who hardly gets sick, but now in the course of two months I've had a respiratory infection and a stomach virus, and my stress levels have been higher than typical. So, I return to something that used to both bring me joy and help me stay consistent with my workouts: lifting heavy objects Upon visiting their site this morning, I came across a new-to-me RPG style workout program called Pathfinder. After a closer look, I've decided it's a perfect way to get back into caring for myself with some physical training. And, as has become part of my true nature, there will also be plenty of poetry to accompany this adventure. PHYSICAL GOAL: Lift heavy objects as often as possible. I've had to modify my goals since the first time I posted this, but I'm beginning to realize that I need to return to simple and practical. I'm finding opportunities to run but struggling to find time to follow a prescribed workout routine, so I've decided to start lifting heavy things again. This includes cinderblocks, logs, stones, kettlebells, weights, and my own body whenever the opportunity presents itself. They key is to lift mindfully, focusing on specific muscles/muscle groups and specific movements. NUTRITIONAL GOALS: I will eat mindfully, selecting foods that nourish my body and don't leave me feeling blah after eating them. From the Harvard School of Public Health: "Eating mindfully means that you are using all of your physical and emotional senses to experience and enjoy the food choices you make. This helps to increase gratitude for food, which can improve the overall eating experience. Mindful eating encourages one to make choices that will be satisfying and nourishing to the body. However, it discourages “judging” one’s eating behaviors as there are different types of eating experiences. As we become more aware of our eating habits, we may take steps towards behavior changes that will benefit ourselves and our environment." Seven practices of mindful eating From SAVOR: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life Honor the food. Acknowledge where the food was grown and who prepared the meal. Eat without distractions to help deepen the eating experience. Engage all senses. Notice the sounds, colors, smells, tastes, and textures of the food and how you feel when eating. Pause periodically to engage these senses. Serve in modest portions. This can help avoid overeating and food waste. Use a dinner plate no larger than 9 inches across and fill it only once. Savor small bites, and chew thoroughly. These practices can help slow down the meal and fully experience the food’s flavors. Eat slowly to avoid overeating. If you eat slowly, you are more likely to recognize when you are feeling satisfied, or when you are about 80% full, and can stop eating. Don’t skip meals. Going too long without eating increases the risk of strong hunger, which may lead to the quickest and easiest food choice, not always a healthful one. Setting meals at around the same time each day, as well as planning for enough time to enjoy a meal or snack reduces these risks. Eat a plant-based diet, for your health and for the planet. Consider the long-term effects of eating certain foods. Processed meat and saturated fat are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer and heart disease. Production of animal-based foods like meat and dairy takes a heavier toll on our environment than plant-based foods. I do not plan to switch to a plant-based diet, but I do plan to increase the amount of vegetables and fruits that I consume and reduce processed meats. MENTAL/SPIRITUAL GOALS: I will re-instate my morning practice. I will read and post one poem a day, as well as write a poem of my own every day. MORNING PRACTICE: 0415 wakeup prayer/contemplative meditation scripture reading breath work cold shower BONUS CHALLENGE: Read Becoming Supernatural and complete the recommended mindfulness exercises. And that is my challenge. As always, I am grateful to those of you who have faithfully encouraged me and followed me on this journey, even while I was away from the forums. I look forward to continuing with this new adventure.
  23. This is my first challenge on my journey to become the best ranger (larper) of them all (in my area). I hope you enjoy reading. Leitmotif: Falling leafs I have started to declutter my home, but also my routines and habits. Everything that does not serve a purpose, makes me happy or helps me grow, everything that holds me back, I will let go of. A look out of my window shows, that there can be beauty in it, too. When you have a generalist approach to fitness, I think it's easy to fall in to the trap of trying to practice everything at once. At some points this summer, I lost focus and track of progress, sometimes, things fell off the wagon, because I was tired at the end of training. I need a clearer separation between my training focus (+3x per week) and the maintenance work (occasionally at my own leisure once every week or two). “...you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.” lotr Body Running After a failed first attempt and some form and posture correction training afterwords, I started CT5K again last winter and build up to a fourth day of weekly running in spring. In August, I turned one of these into a long run by increasing the time gradually to an hour and above. That quite revealed my weak spots: It's not the aerobic endurance that is lacking behind but my legs, knees, and hip flexors especially. I think, I need to strengthen them before pushing for longer runs again. I will skip the long run until further notice and introduce some strength exercises instead. I started to add strides (now 4×100m, 1min recovery) to my easy runs twice a week, as a non-taxing way to work on speed. The forest runs are where the fun starts. I run alongside, across or through a small creek in a nearby forest, jumping from stone to stone, vaulting over fallen logs, balancing and crawling. It's not so much about speed yet, but about the integration of techniques into a run as well as the adaptability and fluidity of movement. I will continue those as long as the weather allows and before winter is coming. Easy Run: 3x per week, 35 min each, split between a soft track (dt:„Finnenbahn“ fin: „Pururata“) and a forest trail. Pulse < 130 bpm Leg strength: 2x per week, on the evenings after the ERs Forest Run: 1x per week, 30 min My final goal is to be able to run the 5km in 24min on the trail if I need to, without hurting myself. (That's one of the benchmarks in my epic quest log. But this is still far of.) Climbing When a ranger is not stalking, crouching or running away from something (s)he is hiding in a tree munching apples and watching the surrounding countryside. But You need to get up there first. After learning swing ups, tuck pop-ups and different traversing techniques, it's time to master … well to manage the muscle up. At the moment, I can get to one kick muscle up, but only on a bar from standing. Mayor weaknesses being the height and explosiveness of the pull as well as the transition. Goal: Get to a couple of muscle up reps on a branch, starting from a jump, then reduce kicking gradually. Muscle up with kick: 3x per week, starting on a bar For height: seated L-sit pull-ups, get from sternum height to the halfway point between it and the naval. Supportive strength training: My strength routine so far was quite cluttered with exercises and I saw not much improvement in the last couple of months. For the next five weeks, I want to go minimalist here as well and reduce the volume to something more manageable. Performed after the muscle ups. Inclined one-handed push-ups, one-handed pull up progression, dragon flag progression Three exercises, in a rep range of 3-5, three sets each. (For those interested, I'm using the operator template from the book „Tactical Barbell“, as far as that is possible with body weight only.) strength training: 3x per week Heart „How much higher, then, is the pluck of the single scout who goes on some risky enterprise alone, on his own account, taking his life in his hand, when it is quite possible for him to go back without anybody being the wiser (...)“ Aids to Scouting Without getting into too much detail, the psychological aspect is probably my greatest weakness. (Among other things, I'm a chronic ruminator.) I am quite good at researching different models (e.g.: CBT) and exercises, less so at implementing them. In what is left of week zero, I will go through my old notes and decide on two or three practices to implement, then make an update to this section. (WIP Otherwise, I would postpone this post even longer. ) Note to myself: Can not be replaced with more pull-ups. Goal: Finally get a habit going 3x a week Wits Meditation Reflecting on my sessions in the past months, they were infrequent, long and of low quality. Let's see, if doing the opposite will help my practice. Anapanasati: 5x per week, in the morning, for a minimum of 10 min, expandable to 20min. Woodcraft Well I wanted to practice my bow drilling skills again and guess who just got volunteered to teach a few people at my community how to start a fire. The date is not set yet, but will be somewhere in November. This means, I need to collect quite a bit of material (tinder, kindling, wood) make some bows, boards and spindels, maybe get a tarp in case of rain. Goal: every one of my pupils gets a fire going Preparing the event 1x per week Practicing bow drill 1x per week Wish me luck!
  24. Here I am for another comeback! One of these has to stick eventually... I have no idea how I left things in my last challenge, or even how long ago that was, and I'm way too lazy to check, so some updates which may or may not be known: I got a new job with a Real Adult Paycheque™. This has allowed me to get a shiny new computer, which makes these forums much less of an onerous task (my 13 year old Mac would get me there eventually, but it left me lots of time for idle contemplation and getting distracted). It has also allowed me to indulge just a bit in my Ranger Brain and join a HEMA class. Between work, holidays, and events being held by, or attended by, the class organizers, it's been a while since I've gone, so this might take a bit to really settle in, but I've enjoyed what I've done and plan to keep with it if I can. It has also allowed me to try a new program for weight management, so hopefully I can shed a few. Alas, the Real Adult Paycheque™ has not yet allowed me to move out of my parents' basement, but hopefully that'll come some day... Along with the new job and the new-found financial security (ish), my mood has taken a definite upswing. Though the job is more stressful than my previous one, mainly because I care about it and want to do the best job I can do, rather than that I find it overly stressful in and of itself, so my sleep (already not great) has suffered a bit. I still have my down days and struggle to get my arse off the couch, but I'm feeling like I'm in a place where I can move forward, albeit slowly. So, my goals: Goal 1 ~ The Dude Abides By the macro goals, that is. The group I joined is called the Focused Adipose Reduction Team (yes, that spells FART, and yes, that was on purpose, apparently), and among other things, the person running things gives you macro goals to abide by. This is nothing new to me, but it's the same goal every day, unlike previous programs I've tried, which is nice and simple. It also requires periodic check-ins, daily weigh-ins, and participation in a dedicated Facebook group (not usually my thing), so this goal is mainly about the macros but also about Doing the Other Things Too. Goal 2 ~ Run, Forest, Run! So apparently my goals have a movie theme going on...? I used to run regularly, and hated every second of it. I do, however, feel much better just in general when my cardiovascular health is better, and running is the least of all evils when it comes to cardio. Also, while gyms are open again, there's nothing stopping The Unvaccinated Masses from spewing their germs everywhere while Dancing to the Oldies, or whatever, so I'm not real cool about going, so running outdoors is about all I've got (home workouts will not work, I've given up trying and just accepted that's how it is). My physio suggested trail running, since trails are rugged and require more focus than sidewalks, and are also softer on the ol' joints, and I didn't hate the idea. I've been working through an injury that was aggravated by running, so it's been a while, and I need to take it slow. So the goal is to go for some kind of run 3x/week. I went today on a trail that I've walked my dogs on many times and am familiar with, and it wasn't horrible, so this will be my starter trail (plus ample doggos means ample excuses for a short break, cuz you can't not say hi to the good bois and girls). I'd like to be able to do the whole trail without stopping by the end of the challenge (breaks for pats notwithstanding). I'd also like to walk on my off days. I've never preferred to run 2 days in a row, and usually the other days would be gym days. I'm not gymming at the moment, though, so walking will get me a bit of activity without being overly taxing. In a perfect world I'll run Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then walk Tuesday and Thursday with swords on Saturday and rest on Sunday. On the weekend where I have to work, I won't make it to swords so I'll do an extra walk that week. Goal 3 ~ Goodnight, Sweet Prince I'm sure Kenneth Branagh has made a movie of Hamlet at some point in time, if nothing else... Stick to my bedtimes. This has long been a contentious issue for me, and one I struggle with constantly. Right now, in a sort of ideal world, my bedtime is 10:30pm on work nights and 11pm on non-work nights. I rarely meet this, but I'mma try again to be diligent about it. Goal 4 ~ Moving 'Boxes' I'm sure there's a movie quote somewhere using a box as a metaphor, but I've not seen that movie, so just imagine your own reference here. My boxes are metaphorical (though there are a few actual boxes kicking around), and are related to a clean room. My room is habitually a disaster (I hate putting things away and I don't know why!), and actually I'm ok with it. What I'm not ok with is being ok with it (this has been a lifelong internal conflict), so I really need to clean (I've been ignoring this directive for some time now and reading Kishi's goals made my brain go ping, so I'm adding this goal). I'm going to try to 'move' one 'box' per week. My boxes consist of the following: The Floordrobe, The Office Corner, The Carpet, and The Other Random Detritus. I'm only listing 4 despite it being a 5 week challenge (it is a 5 week challenge, right?) because The Office Corner in particular, but also possibly The Other Random Detritus, might actually end up being a box consisting of 2 or more sub-boxes that must be split between weeks, because all work and no play makes obax a cranky human (this is a surprisingly recent realization, believe it or not). And that's it! Some other things I'd like to work on is reading more and vegging in front of the tv/my phone less, and picking away at the writing course I signed up for (it's free, and has no set due dates, which is good because I can work at it whenever, but also bad, because I can procrastinate forever with no consequences...). No formal goals for those, though, just some things for me to keep in mind.
  25. Time for another challenge! I'm on vacation for week 1 and another vacation in October. Decided this would be a good challenge to just keep on working on the habits I've acquired. During vacation: The only eating skill I will focus on is to eat slowly, and to really enjoy the food and the moment Mr.Incredible has the week off. Part of the week we are in San Diego, and part we are at home. So , maybe I will get workouts in. Or maybe not. Whichever is fine The rest of the time Fitness Continue with the running app on NF. Pick a arm workout to do and do it Food: Practice the eating skills Especially focusing on delaying before unplanning snacks, plating a well balanced meal, and eating slow. It might be nice to track , but I seem to be horrible at that, so we shall see Life: Continue making weekly and daily plans. Continue Bible reading fall yard work I'd really like to spend more time doing creative stuff: weaving , scrapbooking. I'm pondering how to actually make this a habit Edit to add @Nymeria reminded me that rings were a good arm workout.Which reminded me that I had been working on L-sit, but paused when the pressing got intense. So, I think I will resume that. And then maybe do handstand work too. Doing skill work sounds like a good break, and something that works well with me being gone part of each month.
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