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  1. Getting ready for Memorial Day 2016 Hello! New to Rangers but not a newbie. I've been with the Assassins for several challenges. I thought I'd switch things up for the new year and try the Rangers in order to prepare myself for the Memorial Day MURPH. Last year I did the MURPH for the first time modified. I did ring rows instead of pull ups, box push ups (24"), and "wogged" the mile runs (my squats were RXd!!). It's been a year, I'm getting stronger all the time, so while I'm not ready for the body armor I am ready for banded pull ups, a lower box for push ups and to run the run. I have sort of a phased out plan in my mind that I'll roll out over the next 5 months but here's my base plan to get started: Prep for MURPH Challenge Fitness Quests 1. add 1x weekly run to my exercise routine (5 pts per run/20 total) This run is outside of whatever running I do at xfit. Plan to use c25k program to build endurance. 2. add 1x weekly CINDY to exercise routine (5 pts per CINDY/20 total) CINDY will happen outdoors at whatever park works into my schedule. Plan to be doing pull ups with a super stretchy band which is in the back of my car at all times and using park bench for the push ups. Diet Quest 3. return the 7 pounds I got for Christmas (3 pts per pounds lost/21 total) Joining the husband unit in his Dry January challenge should help as well as logging my meals on MFP to keep track of my carbs (@70g daily). Level Up Life Quests 4. practicar mi español! (1 pt per practice/20 total) I'm taking a beginner spanish class 2x weekly starting January 4th. Practicing spanish on the class days won't be a problem, it's on the other days of the week where I'll need to step it up. The goal here is to practice 15-30 minutes on those non-class days (5 days each week) para aumentar mi confianza de hablar español. 5. get to know the Rangers (5 points per mini-challenge completed/20 total) Jump in and join in on the Ranger mini-challenges. I really enjoyed the Assassin mini-challenges not just because they often complimented my challenge goals but because I got to meet so many cool people. Looking forward to a similar experience with the Rangers! So there it is! Hope my goals are Rangerly enough for a former Assassin For those of you meeting me for the first time I'm a 47yo SAHM living in beautiful Washington State with the husband unit of 21 years and our three boy children (16 yo twins + 12 yo singleton). For old friends, thanks for finding me and cheering me on!
  2. Hello out there... I'm a newbie finally poking my head out of the woodwork after a few weeks of lurking, finally trying to get a plan together for myself, get my head on straight, and start actively turning my hand to my health -- and actively getting involved in a community of other folks trying to do the same. I'm a 31-year-old married stay at home mom, living in the mountains of North Carolina. At December rolls toward January, I've been increasingly more mindful of how 2015 didn't go at all like I'd hoped. To back the story up a bit... I've been overweight since I was about 8 years old or so, my weight fluctuating between 160-180 lbs throughout high school, college, and grad school. When my husband and I got married, newlywed-life-food (i.e. "oh, I'll do something nice for my husband and make bacon cheese fries!" type thinking) had me up to juuuuuust under 200 lbs. soon after we got married. We started talking about having kids, and we both REALLY wanted to get in better shape first, or at least be headed that way -- so we shared an online Weight Watchers subscription and I lost 45 lbs. I was perfectly happy at 155 lbs and maintained it for half a year before I got pregnant with our daughter, then went on to maintain a healthy pregnancy without gaining more weight that I ought to have. "Yay!" I said. "I know how to cook and eat healthily now and exercise enough to keep my strength up, life is set, all is roses and happiness and unicorns and rainbows." The following year was pretty rough. I had had to have an emergency c-section to have my daughter, and recovery from that was difficult. It was really 6 months or so before I back up to speed afterward. It was at that time that I quit my job to help my mother take care of my 95-year-old grandmother with Alzheimer's disease, and that took a lot of my time and effort, along with having a baby to take care of as well as my husband. When my daughter's first birthday rolled around, I hadn't lost any of my pregnancy weight and had gained about 10 more pounds. I was back at 180. I re-joined WW and vowed that I was going to get back into pre-pregnancy shape at the end of 2014. I had some moderate success early in the year until my local WW group was disbanded due to low participation, and I thought I didn't need it anyway, that I could keep it up on my own. But it seems like since that happened, I haven't been able to have any success at all -- and have gained back the 15 lbs I had managed to lose. It drove me crazy that I couldn't seem to get the scale to go down beyond 165. I tried "diet" after "diet" masked as "lifestyle changes" -- we did a Whole30 and most of our meals are paleo-ish and low-carb, but as I started looking harder and harder at what I ate and trying more and more methods of cleaning up my diet, I started feeling like more and more of a psychological mess and developing some really unhealthy eating problems and thoughts. I honestly never had a binge problem until this summer, but there have been a number of times in the past six months when I've approached a trigger food and had what I'd call an actual binge. I would try to straighten myself out and get back on the wagon or find a new "wagon" of counting calories or using a FitBit or doing a detox or cutting out sugar/caffeine/carbs/random things completely. It's gotten to the point that I can't even seem to make it a week without my plans falling to pieces. This has been really rough on my husband, too. He gained back all the weight he had lost while I was pregnant, too (is back up to around 400 lbs), and since our daughter was born he has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at age 28. That's serious, and that's really, REALLY scary to the both of us, and he's trying to make some changes on his own, and I want to help him in every way I can. I feel like when I fall off the wagon and don't cook every meal for him or remember to pack his lunch or let sugary/carb-y foods come in the house that I fail not just me but our whole family. He's said that he's given up on me when it comes to me being able to stick with a plan or feeding him three healthy meals a day on a regular basis (I always cook dinner and try to get up to cook him breakfast and pack lunch every day, but when I would miss a morning he wouldn't have anything, so he's recently just started eating only one meal at dinner time each day, and I know that's bad for him -- he says he's not going to bother cooking for himself and that he eats fewer calories this way, but I know it makes him miserable, and if I want him to have anything to eat it's up to me to make it... and really, since I don't work, I don't have any excuse not to, other than laziness). We've also been trying for a second child all of last year with no luck, which has been emotionally harder on me than I've really admitted to anyone IRL. I've dealt with feeling like my body betrayed me with the emergency c-section before, and I feel betrayed by it every day when it comes to how my metabolism has changed, the fact that I let myself be so easily led astray by cravings, that I give into the blech that keeps me from committing to changes, that it's looking increasingly more likely that my parts for making small humans aren't working as they should. I'm supposed to go get a physical in January, and I plan to talk to my doctor about this stuff then, but I know she's going to tell me to do what I already know -- start by losing weight, making my diet better, getting in better shape. I HAVE to find a way to fight the voice inside me that says "You'll never really be able to change," "even if you lose some weight you'll just gain it back," "it's your fault your husband isn't going to live to see his daughter grow up," "you'll just try something new and fail at it within a week or two," "it's not even worth believing in yourself if your husband has given up on you." I know that last time we succeeded in losing weight together, we both had better attitudes -- we actually had hope and believed we could do it. I've lost my husband's faith in me, but I know that I have to at least get myself in the right headspace for anything to work, and I'm sure that my own attitude has been a HUGE part of why I fall off the wagon when I do and why it's so hard for me to get back on when I make mistakes (if I had an easy time of "just start again with what you know you ought to do with your next meal" this probably wouldn't be a problem... it's usually a 3-4 day period of "I already f***ed up, this ____ isn't going to make a difference" and the (incorrect!) believe that comfort foods actually make me feel better even though I know they don't really). I *do* think it's essential that I do this with others -- that was a big part of what worked for me before, and since my husband isn't really going to do this with me in terms of being an active participant in trying to do it rather than just eating what I cook, I hope I've found a place where I can talk about this sort of stuff with others (who also happen to share a lot other nerdy things I'm interested in!). I'm trying to take things slow this time getting my head around what will be the easiest and yet most effective plan of eating that I can stick with the best and a fitness routine that is doable for a mom with a very hands-on two-year-old -- I want to figure out how to make this really achievable for me, not just an ambitious idea that I can't follow through with. If you have any encouragement, words of advice, or anything else to share, I would most definitely appreciate it Allons-y!
  3. Main Quest: to regain strength, composure, and balance. Took a look at my former challenges and decided to bring back old goals instead of creating brand new ones. Seems like the way to go since I'll be starting the challenge recovering from gum graft surgery! Strength* Mini Quest 1: Yoga 2x weekly. +2 STR +2 DEX Bonus: 3x weekly = something shiny. I enjoyed the shiny part of my last challenge so why not keep it in there for fun! $20 max per shiny. Mini Quest 2: One. Freaking. Pull Up. +2 STA +3 WIS 5-10 minutes daily skill work to build strength and/or technique to achieve an unassisted strict pull up (ie flex hangs, negative pull ups, dead hangs, body weight rows, etc.). *Until I am cleared by my surgeon for exercise I will walk 30 minutes daily in place of the strength mini-quests. Composure Life Quest: Recommit to the bedtime routine. +3 CON I’ve been rushing through my bedtime routine. I need to slow down and do it right. And do all the parts – I’ll admit I’ve been ignoring my screen curfew because things have been stressful and Hulu/Netflix seems like a great escape... Recommitting now to all 3 parts: Face, floss, and focus (which means do something unplugged like read a book)! Balance Mini Quest 3: Log Meals daily on MFP. +3 CHA Sometimes MFP stresses me out but it’s important after recovering from surgery that I know I’m getting what I need nutritionally from my meals. The key for consistency here will be not stressing about the numbers (that’s why I’ve assigned CHA points for a “diet†goal)
  4. Running Up That Hill Nerd Fitness Challenge #41 I heard this song on the radio the other day - Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush (1985). Since then it keeps coming to mind, especially during the running part of my crossfit class. I figured I might as well use it to keep me motivated! Main Quest: to prepare myself for Unleashed at Stadium Bowl Unleashed 2015 will take place up and down the 1,628 stairs of Stadium High School (Tacoma, WA) August 2nd and raises money for the rescue animals of Kindred Souls Foundation. http://unleashedatstadiumbowl.org/ Mini Quest 1 “be running up that road†add 3x weekly running to my routine. +3 STA 600-1600m per 3x weekly run. can be counted if completed during xfit class and/or combined with stair training. Mini Quest 2 “be running up that hill†continue uphill battle of maintaining my current weight and bf%. +2 WIS +3 CON struggled with this goal last two challenges - thus the "uphill battle" feeling. my plan is to continue to log my meals daily on MFP (keeping net carbs between 70-100g and protein between 96-107g) to help maintain current weight and body fat% (120-125lbs/20-22%) - knowledge is power, right? will be weighed every other week on scale that shows bf% to hold me accountable. Mini Quest 3 “be running up that building†1x weekly training to run up that "building" aka Stadium Bowl. +1 STA + 3 DEX train on stairs (60-100 steps in elevation) for 15-25 minutes and keep track of total steps climbed. Life Side Quest: a Greater Understanding “And if I only could I'd make a deal with God And I'd get him to swap our places I'd be running up that road Be running up that hill With no problems†Kate Bush commented on the song saying “I was trying to say that, really, a man and a woman can't understand each other because we are a man and a woman. And if we could actually swap each other's roles, if we could actually be in each other's place for a while, I think we'd both be very surprised! [Laughs] And I think it would lead to a greater understanding.†While I’d love to swap places with my boys (that includes the husband unit) so we'd have a better understanding of each other instead I'll be using these lyrics as inspiration to prepare myself for a different kind of understanding... Work daily on my Spanish (10 minutes – 1 hour) +3 WIS In September I will be traveling to Mexico to volunteer with Esperanza International. It’s my hope that if, between now and then, I put forth a regular effort to learn/understand some Spanish the experience will be that much better! If you've followed me before you know I track my progress the old fashioned way (with pen and paper) in a journal and then I post a picture here to NF. Here is my starting stats/goals page for this challenge! Looking forward to getting started June 8th! Check back often - encouragement and support needed (and appreciated)!!
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