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  1. Hello friends! My name is Sky, and I'm a 30-something wife and social media specialist who has been Rangering here at NF for almost 7 years. There are a lot of physical goals I need to be working on right now (rebuilding strength in my legs so my knees don't hurt so badly; building core and upper body strength; losing a little weight; getting my janky shoulder looked at), but the biggest hurdle I'm facing this challenge is a pair of therapy/psychiatrist appointments that I've been putting off for many years. Short version: I have moderately severe anxiety and a severe phobia that have made my quality of life pretty crappy for a long time, but they worsened during the pandemic to the point that a lot of my daily energy goes to managing my symptoms and it's wrecking my body (nightmares, panic attacks, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.). Recently, my husband and I started looking for a new house, which is something I'm very excited about and have looked forward to for months; but even that positive change triggered strong anxiety attacks and made me miserable for several weeks. So, I'm finally admitting that I need some extra help to get back to where I'm feeling good more days than I'm feeling bad. Next week, I have an appointment with a psychiatrist to start medication (likely antidepressants), and with a new therapist to start specialized phobia treatment. While I know these are positive steps that will almost certainly drastically improve my quality of life ... I'm terrified. I've never been on antidepressants before and I'm scared of possible negative side effects (even though I know those are uncommon, I'll start on a very low dose, etc.). And I know that no matter what paradigm this new therapist uses for phobia treatment, one way or another it's going to mean facing the thing that scares me more than anything else in the world. I would basically rather sacrifice my own hand. I almost didn't create a thread this challenge, because I really don't have many concrete goals besides rest, self-care and doing the hard work of starting meds and settling into that routine. That could be either really boring or really dramatic, and I feel a little shy about both options. But I really need the support and accountability of my NF peeps who will not only listen to me process with compassion, but also give me a kick in the pants to keep going and not give up. So ... I'm showing up because I'd rather run away and hide, and in my experience this has been one of the best places to go when I feel like that. ❤️ This will probably be more of a battle log than a challenge, but I do have other projects and workout things I'm tinkering with, so I'll talk about those too. And I'm glad to be here. I love you guys. ❤️ Onward!
  2. Hey, this is a super late add to this challenge, but I didn't feel like waiting for the next one, so, whatever. This is not a really "challenge-y" sort of challenge, just a place to log my workouts and nutrition for a while. Life has been kind of topsy-turvey for a while, and a lot of things have sucked ass, for a lot of people, not just me. So I want to spend the next three months just nourishing my body and seeing what can happen if I actually get some sunlight and a nutritious diet, and don't waste mental energy beating myself up for all of my real and imagined mistakes. I have a workout schedule to follow and a nutrition plan, but I'm not going to slavishly follow one eating style or workout program; I just want to experiment and see what happens. I don't have a huge event with a countdown timer or a dress to fit into. I just want to do stuff and have a good time. I'll probably post a bunch of images of women athletes for inspiration, in an attempt to make it interesting. I'm terrible about following other people's threads, so please don't feel obligated to follow mine.
  3. Hello, all! I was on here a long while ago working on my fitness and am returning several years later (and several years older - welp!) from an entirely different country and with completely different goals, ready to work on myself again! 😄 Back then I was in my late teens and concentrated heavily on cardio and studying to great success, but I also had far less to contend with back then. I'm quite a changed person now, with a job I love in a city in England, an intolerance to lactose that I was free of as a youngster (boo), and an only slightly detrimental work ethic (total workaholic, need to work on that) - plus a newfound desire to work on self-care since I seem to let that fall second to just about anything to do with work 😂 The preliminary goals I've outlined for myself are going to be: Eating nutritiously and healthily and not just whatever's there/quick. Exercise for mind and spirit. It used to be such a powerful tool for my mental and emotional wellbeing, and I hope I can refind that now! To learn a new skill that's personal to me. I'm leaning towards learning BSL currently as I feel quite strongly about it. Self-care and to utilise my free time in the evenings or days off not just to 'rest for work tomorrow' but to do things for me. The biggest challenges, I think, will be exercising (as this is practically a foreign concept to me now) and studying (something I haven't had to do in, really, any capacity since, well, since I was a student! Haha!) I'm planning on digging up the old Nerd Fitness bodyweight exercise videos I used to love following. I'm also a huge lover of kpop and dancing as somebody who used to be a dancer, so hope to learn a few of the dances as a fun thing to splice into a routine. And now that gyms are starting to re-open I plan to find some classes I can go and attend, namely beginner Pilates as I'm very flexible but have never done anything exercise-wise with it, which seems like a shame! I'd absolutely love to meet some people here and get chatting, so if you're open to it feel free to shoot me a message and lets be friends! I've got today and tomorrow off of work and my plan is to sift through the forums to remind myself of how the monthly challenges work and pick up some tips, and then plan to sketch out something of a routine for myself - so exciting! Thank you so much if you read so far! Its so great to be back again. 😄
  4. Woohoo! Welcome to 2021 everyone! Usually I love New Years...so much open possibility and excited energy for all those awesome new plans. But I'm having a hard time getting into that mindset this year. Not sure if it's due to exhaustion with 2020 making me feel worse than usual, witnessing the recent death of my maternal grandmother (December 28th), or something else entirely, but it's definitely a thing. I've been hitting that "I slept for 8 hours and still want a nap and have no energy to do even things I normally enjoy doing if it means getting off the couch" level pretty hard lately. So I'm keeping it simple - or, rather, simple for me, which for those of you who have seen my threads before, is still arguably not very simple. One quick disclaimer: we meet with our first fertility specialist on January 19th, so everything I say now may change based on any recommendations he has, though this is just a "meet the doctor" consultation before we decide on which clinic to work with so I'm not expecting much outside the general "be healthy" type stuff. Quest 1: Workouts So I have two main workouts/goals here - running and strength (kinda). My biggest goal is to increase my draw weight for archery, but I do know it's not smart to only work out one set muscle group, so I'm trying to balance it out wisely at least a little bit. I'm also way worse at getting the strength workouts done because they're honestly not really my thing - it's more of a "thing I need to do in order to do the other things I want to do" - so I'm setting up my goals here separately: Running: Currently at a 12 minute, 1.2 mile run. I've been feeling better about my runs lately (except my most recent one, but I think that was because winter finally hit and I'm not adjusted to the cold yet). Sticking to the "at least two runs at each time/distance before moving on plan" to make sure I don't go too far too fast and get hurt, but otherwise... Goal A: get to a 2 mile OR 20 minute run Goal B: get to a 1.75 mile OR 18 minute run Goal C : get to a 1.5 mile OR 15 minute run Strength: I don't have a great way to measure progress right now, but I'm doing a terrible job of even doing these workouts at all so that's where I'm going to start. Goal A: do a strength workout 7+ times (1-2x a week) Goal B: do a strength workout 4-6 times Goal C : do a strength workout 1-3 times Quest 2: Nutrition I tend to do better with this on days that I workout, because I often don't want to "ruin" my work with junk food. I also realized I've been drinking a LOT of calories lately. So I'm focusing there to start: Hydration: my goal is 2 liters of water a day. I'm allowed to count my coffee, according to my OB (yay!) which is usually vaguely around 400-500mL and the rest should be primarily water. Goal A: 2L on 30+ days Goal B: 2L on 20+ days Goal C : 2L on 10+ days Beer/Eggnog: my primary high calorie drinks, though eggnog is clearly not far from being seasonally ruled out. Here's how I'm setting it up: I can earn a beer by doing a workout (doesn't have to be day of, but the numbers should match). I can have one glass of eggnog only on days that I don't have a beer and only until the eggnog in the fridge is gone (which is, admittedly, still a lot). Goal A: no "extras" of either Goal B: 1-3 "extras" Goal C : 4-7 "extras" (I'm also trying to eat at least one "produce" thing a day, but am not tracking it currently to try to make sure I don't stress myself with too many goals at once) Quest 3: Mental Self-Care Yeah, this has been an issue, and I'm hoping that by doing small bits of things that I enjoy and can make noticeable progress on, it'll help me feel less like a lump on the couch and more like a competent human being who can do cool things. Sewing: I've been oh so very slowly working on a pattern to make some more long-sleeve shirts for my son. Also thinking about embroidering some of my old skirts. Goal A: 5+ hours total with one shirt done Goal B: 4+ hours total Goal C : 3+ hours total Mani/pedicures: Yes, this old standby. I'm slowly whittling down my GIANT pile of untried polishes and it does make me feel slightly pulled together even on days when I don't do my makeup or even change clothes (which is a majority of my at-home working days). I've also started saving empty bottles to use for mixing my own colors out of polishes I don't love otherwise! Haven't actually tried it yet but I've seen people do it on YouTube so it seemed worth a shot. Might be fun? Goal A: 10 "new" polishes used Goal B: 7 "new" polishes used Goal C : 5 "new" polishes used
  5. Hello everyone, for those of you who don't me; I shall give a short intoduction: *daughter of the King *bibliophile *tea lover *creative Anything else you want to know? Just ask.
  6. "But if you can survive mentally tearing yourself apart for decades, you can survive confronting that, in whatever form that takes." Mark Bradley, Creator of Bugbops I had posted a challenge last night, and Tank and Deffy pointed out that I was projecting. I had to admit that I wasn't feeling very genuine in my first topic, and I took some time to really assess what I was trying to say. Mark Bradley, creator of Bugbops posted a thread on Twitter about suicide awareness and it really resonated. Not the suicide part, but the depression and how sometimes the way we look at things isn't what's actually happening. Here we see Bumble and Gloomer, and there's also a character named Snug who gets anxious that I also love. You look at this comic, and you can feel the compassion radiating off the page. I love it so much. I'm not okay right now. I need to do more in my life, and the idea of actually doing any of it makes me want to cry and go back to bed. I'm sad, it's fogging up my worldview, and I need some time (and glitter) to work through it. For this challenge, my goals are: Keep a throwaway journal. When I was a teenager, I had a journal for keeping, and a journal for throwing away. The journal for keeps was about things that happened that I wanted to remember later, and the throwaway was all the thoughts and feelings and where the real work happened. I usually held onto it for a while just to remind myself, and I could go back and write notes about how I felt looking back and the reality of the situation. And when I was done with it, I'd throw it away and get a new one. I stopped doing this in college, because roommates, and never really picked it back up. I'm going to start again. Meditate. I sit in this chair and stare out the window, so I can easily set down my laptop, close my eyes and meditate for a while. I think it will be helpful, and the days I can't get through it, I have the Balance app to guide me. Make the Bed every day. My dad always says that making the bed preserves civilization and prevents its collapse. If he waits until the afternoon, he says "I must go restore civilization as we know it!" and we all know he's going to make the bed. I love this. I don't make my bed. I find it too much. But if I can make the bed, then civilization will be saved for another day, and we cannot let it collapse because I'm feeling sad.
  7. This is a short cycle, but I’m determined to roll into this new year on track. At the start of this challenge, I’ll be on vacation celebrating my 40th(!!!) birthday with friends in a place I never imagined I’d actually get to visit. I plan to OD on junglescapes, Insta-worthy healthy food, yoga, boutique shopping and (hopefully) some culture. While I’m put, my goal is to maintain or increase my yoga schedule (a solid 2x a week - hoping for 3), and look into which other classes I might want to get into. Word around the campfire is that more friends are moving on, so I need to do what I can now to mitigate that shit. I will also continue to try and not eat like an asshole, aim to finish at least 1 more sewing project, will continue working on dog training, and hope to spend more time outside and off my couch. It is the “good” season, afterall. It would be a shame to miss it. Holiday 2019, let’s do this!
  8. Yes, the picture has changed, I may go into the reason why at some point....but don't be fooled I am STILL a badass So the big goal is still this... Lose 50 lbs (total) by October, 31st, that's 5 lbs a month January - Done! February - Done! March - Done! April - Done May - Nope June - Double Nope July - Nope Nope Nope August - Yes! The Plan.... Run: I'm following NYAR 10K training plan currently, so points for when I do what is scheduled (including rest days) Eat: Continue making the 24 hour plan, eat on plan when hungry, stop when full. Lazy: Three times a week (at least) take time for me, this can be journaling, crocheting, or time to read. Sleep has been an issue lately so more of this adventures: not an actual goal or on the plan (hence the little a) but I need more of these, less making excuses to not get out and enjoy life! xamine: I've spent a lot of time 'navel gazing' lately...some of it has resulted in some interesting revelations. I want to continue this and finish a couple of 'self help' books I've been reading during this challenge. On with the show! Disclaimer, I'm a kinky lesbian in an open relationship. My threads used to have a tendency to get rather interesting (it's been years but I can hope it happens again ) and I have had people unsubscribe because of that...
  9. The Ranger drops the hood of her cloak as she approaches the hilltop cabin. Already, the serenity of the area washes over her, easing the anxiety that has built up over the past...weeks? Months? No. Years is more like it, though only recently have the flood gates opened on it all. She quietly enters the cabin and, after taking off her traveling gear, finds a comfy spot near the fireplace. The cabin's host brings her a mug of hot tea, which she graciously accepts. Closing her eyes, she takes a deep, restorative breath. "Finally..." The full context is a long, long story, but ultimately, it boils down to the fact that I've spent far too long giving up far too much of myself for others, with little to nothing in return. It finally came to a head last month and I've basically been in emotional pain and turmoil ever since. It's affected pretty much all aspects of my quality of life and has been a large hinderance in getting back to any kind of workout routine. So, I've decided to come visit for this challenge (and probably at least the next one, or however many I feel I need). I really only have one goal for this time: engage in some form of meditation every day and build that habit. Said meditation can be "moving meditation" (I have both a couple of Tai Chi DVDs and several yoga resources) or more "conventional" meditation, but the goal is to take 5-30 minutes or so each day to just...stop (particularly mentally) and work on me and my wellbeing and -- even if only for that block of time -- not have to fight, and be able to let go of all that is troubling me right now, and to just be.
  10. So, this is likely to be a minimalist challenge: Summary: Due to being way behind at work and Ms. Moros being very sick (but recovering), I will focus on what I can do each day, rather than what I would want to do or my perfectionistic self expects me to do. So, keeping it brief, Ms. Moros has been very sick since our son's wedding. She's gotten extremely anemic, and last week, was in the ER due to a bad infection. She's getting better now, but is very weak and it is taking a long time for her to get back to normal. In addition, I am still very far behind at work, and the stress levels are very high. Right now, I am trying to exercise just to burn off stress, not for a particular fitness goal. I really have only two goals this challenge: Do what I can do of my plan each day. If that turns out to be meditation only, so be it. Post every day to NF. When I post every day, I get better. When I procrastinate or hide, things get worse. I've attached my normal challenge stuff, but I need to remind myself that my real goals are #1 and #2 above.
  11. - Recent words of wisdom from a good friend. Introduction: Last month, a nuclear bomb went off in my life—I gave birth to my son. We’ve survived the first four weeks, but I’m struggling with creating new balance in my life especially after my husband has returned to work. So for this challenge, I’ve left my adventuring pack behind, and wandered into the druid’s grove, to focus on being, (un)becoming, and the transition into fallout. Around the time I gave birth, a blog post appeared that really spoke to me—it’s about Being—being who you are rather than always chasing for Becoming Someone. It sounds unaspiring, but I actually found it quite the opposite. I feel like I have been given permission to be right where I’m at. (And, when I asked myself the Hard Question of “what if this is all that there is”? I mean, I have to admit a pretty amazing life. Stupid hedonic adaption.) I still aspire. I still aim to inspire. But for the moment, I need to focus on being right where I am. I need to learn how to balance this huge, new responsibility in my life without it consuming all of who I am. Background: I’m an Adventurer at heart. I’m a traveler, a hiker, a storyteller, a diarist, a fiber artist, a gamer. I’m madly in love with my husband (Mr of Vries), and of course my new son (Rowan of Vries). I hail originally from Seattle, WA, but I followed Mr of Vries and immigrated to the UK (London) about two and a half years ago to marry him and start a new life in a new city, a new land. This has opened up whole new adventures and travel opportunities in my personal universe, and also added myriad new challenges—including having a new baby with a near non-existent support network. This has been… difficult. My son is wonderful and very loved, but the situation comes with a high emotional/physical toll. The Challenge: Note: I don’t do hardcore metrics. My way is to have spheres of priorities, and keep focus on fulfilling actions within those priorities. So what you will see are categories and example/target actions in which I aspire to. Balancing the Books of Vries: I used to have a daily spread/layout in which I kept track of my desired and needful tasks for each day, but baby blew that system apart. I want experiment with and design a new record-keeping system for my day that incorporates mum-care, baby-care, and everything else. Try different spreads/layouts Make sure to add self-care and the space to actually do it (taking care of the baby is a given) Relaxing I have not done much purposeful relaxing over the last four weeks, and it’s wearing me down. I need to be better at centering myself. Recognize when I tense up, relax my muscles Stretch! Breathe Recognize and dispel anxious or other damaging thoughts Reading and journaling Movement There was the obvious recovery from childbirth, but then learning how to be out and about with a tiny baby. I’m getting better at this. Get walking regularly, or whatever else gentle movement I can do (with and without baby) Figure out good pram routes for local and city travel (not all stations--including our local one--have step-free access) Sort out a good baby carrier so I can move around more easily when I don't need the amenities of the pram Creativity/Psychic Space I am a creative being. I need to find the space in my self again to contemplate, to write, and to Make. One could argue that I’m Making a person, and that’s true, but it can’t be everything I do. Writing (journal or novel) Reading Knitting and other fiber crafts Here we go....
  12. THE SILVER ARCHER: BOOK II Chapter 5: Solo Mission The theme of this month's challenge is really about self-care. I feel like I've been doing a lot of that lately and I'm more than ready to get back to butt-kicking, but as the sun rises on Week One, I will be in a van driving ten hours away from the only hometown I've ever known, preparing to spend three months working an incredibly high-stakes internship, living with two strangers (and their cats!), learning the rhythm of a metropolitan region, and basically upending every imaginable portion of my currently quiet, happy, predictable Midwestern life. Recipe for freaking out. So this month, I will be laying out goals to help myself stay centered and not withdraw into a melty puddle of panic during the move and subsequent transition. Week Zero will be move-related goals; the main challenge will help me check in with my morning and evening routines, make sure I'm eating well, and try to work in some physical activity to release stress and keep me feeling good. This will also be a fluid challenge, as I don't know yet what my daily routine at my internship is going to look like (other than the fact that it begins way earlier in the morning than the night-owl schedule I've been keeping) and what is going to be feasible and realistic. I may create small sets of goals at the beginning or end of each week instead of one big set at the beginning of the month. Tomorrow I'm going to create a plan to help me finish packing and getting all the utilities turned on properly (everything is in progress, just not getting accomplished as quickly as I'd like), and this will guide me in the second half of Week Zero. Yoga and physical therapy exercises must happen too, and eating reasonably despite stress and sharks. And lastly, Sky's narrative may or may not appear in this challenge, just to be realistic. But whether or not I find time to write it down, I am very aware of what she is doing currently, and she and all the wisdom she has gathered over the last few months are close with me while I pack and prepare for my own "solo mission", as she prepares to set out into the forests of Middle Earth and uncover the Dark Elf's latest evil scheme.
  13. When people talk about stress management, I get this image in my head of a man or woman sitting in a bar after work, her suit jacket draped on the chair and sleeves rolled up as he says confidently "I manage the stress department. Those guys are killing it!" and takes a confident swig from their glass of whiskey, neat. I don't like whiskey, and I look terrible in suits. Stress is significantly impacting my well-being. Last night I was awake for 4 hours. I have panic attacks, and while I'm usually a stress eater, lately, I've lost my appetite, and feel too upset to eat. I really need to work out some self-care stuff while life is pretty stressful. My dad is getting blinder every week it seems, my parents are talking about moving in a year, and I need to find a new job, a house, and try to lose 100+ pounds so I live long enough to enjoy those things. The future is uncertain, and I'm ill-equipped to manage on a daily basis. This is my challenge: To live life with all its messiness without losing my mind. Because it's not going to get better for a while, so I need to create mental and emotional space and tell the little screaming person in my head that things are going to be okay. 1. Develop a bedtime routine. I don't have any routine before bedtime, and I often go to bed feeling like the day is incomplete, which wakes me up in the middle of the night. I think a consistent routine would help cue my body into "go to sleep, dammit" and I can stay asleep if I'm falling asleep more contentedly. 2. Make 5 mistakes a day- This is more of a mindset goal. When I'm working at the library, mistakes are okay, and I joke to volunteers and co-workers that the day isn't complete until I've made at least 5 mistakes. I say this to comfort them when they make mistakes, or if I'm having an off day. I'm just going to keep embracing this until it sinks in. 3. Meditate- Taking some time to sit in a quiet space, and being able to say "For the next ten minutes, I have nothing to do, nowhere to go. This is my time to just be." 4. Plan my day and stick to it. I really like the planning set up I had started last challenge of Fitness, Hobbies, Life Chores, and Work. But I often let Fitness and Work slide down the tubes and focused on hobbies and life chores. Which is funny because if you look at my bedroom, you'd never know I clean.....ever.
  14. Sticking with similar things from my last challenge and adding some new ones. I meant to have this all typed up over the weekend but life got in the way. Nutrition *Bring lunch to work at least 3x/wk -- I've been falling into the habit not preparing my lunch bag the night before and then I end up running out of time the next morning. *Veggies with lunch and/or dinner -- I did ok with this during the last challenge but I need to do better. I wasn't consistent *One non-water drink/day -- This will be difficult for me because I always seem to think I have to have some kind of juice or soda with my meals. Exercise *Continue with Orangetheory (OTF) at least 3x/wk *Run/Cross-Train 3x/wk *STRETCH daily *Foam Roll 2x/wk -- I am terrible at doing this and really want to get into the habit of doing it regularly Self-Care *Give myself at least 1 uninterrupted hour every night to read and relax -- I'm quite looking forward to this challenge since I love to read and rarely get to spend a full uninterrupted hour doing it.
  15. Hey Druids, I'm joining the Circle this month, had a change of plans from my Monk activities due to injury, and also just general stress and need for self-care and things, and it feels like this is the place to be. Hello! The name of my post is the Utada Hikaru song featured in Kingdom Hearts, it really seems to suit what I need in my life right now: Simplicity in a hectic life, and clean pure eating and living to treat my body right and calm the heck down. Without getting into detail, 2 small kids, full time job (including drama there out of my control), and just life making it hard to calm down and take care of myself. Adding my wrist injury to the mix, it's very frustrating dealing with a partially immobilized arm when I need to do do do so much for the household and family. Hoping for things to get better on that front after I start going to PT this week. Aaaaaand....the quests in a nutshell: 1. Feeding the Body: Clean whole food 6 days (I do have a definition for this in mind, basically unprocessed stuff, will post later), minus the Friday morning treat with my son, minus vacation. "Treat day" is not gorge day, treat it like a regular sort of person not struggling with eating issues would eat. 2. Feeding the Soul: Me-time: A nice bath, sit down to an art project/creative endeavor, meditate, etc. Soul-feeding activity 1x a week. Outdoors/Activity: Stay home and spend time in the yard, OR go out for an out-in-nature endeavor one weekend day per week, minus vacation. Bonus (but not optional)Practice 5 Animals Qigong DVD finally. (hopefully my injury doesn't get in the way of this one too much, and it's a soul feeding activity I haven't gotten "around to" ) 3. Simplifying life 1: Budget - Save money by not making unnecessary purchases this month (minus vacation). Use things I have rather than buying more. Getting coffee out 1x (no more than 2) week (minus vacation). Buying meals out (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner) 1x/week (minus vacation) 4. Simplifying life 2: Declutter, etc. Perform one "Round Tuit" (when I get a round tuit) duty per week. This may take the form of taking a solid hour block of time devoted only to getting things done at the house that are put off. Organizing the cupboard, clothes, sweeping the floor, cleaning the bathroom LOL, SOMETHING This challenge is devoted to living a better life and fixing things that have been neglected.
  16. Today they are moving my grandfather into hospice care. In the next few weeks, I'll be attending a funeral, my annoying uncle will be here, my aunt may fly in and my mother will be sad, mad, and many other things. I will be tired, and I will want to over-eat, drink too much and become anxious and self-destructive. So this challenge is simple. Be kind to myself. Instead of eating and drinking my feelings, I'm going to go for walks, play the ukulele and journal. I'm going to eat healthy foods that will make me feel better, and I will give myself permission to walk away from my family when they are overwhelming me. Self-healing, not self-destruction. I'm going to go eat some fruit now.
  17. I've been complaining for two years that I did not want to be "Luke Skywalker, Jedi Legend", and withdraw. And while the Jedi Master was redeemed in my eyes by his character arc in The Last Jedi, that didn't mean that, starting in December, I had to go join him in hermit-like seclusion until now. But I kind of did - except there was no awesome island monastery, just frozen-assed wintry Minnesota, and no straight-from-the-source liquid nutrition. I didn't completely collapse into my couch - I've been working out, although not consistently, and I'm not back to square one as a runner. However, if I expect to achieve my goals for the coming year, it's time to force-project myself back into the universe and get busy. Main Goal I'll be travelling to England in October to compete in the 2018 OCR World Championships for the second year in a row. In 2017, I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the season and competed in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I'll be going again this year regardless of whether I qualify and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again this year, and this time, I don't want to just show up and be happy I'm there. I want to go home with an additional souvenir from the weekend that can't be bought: With the exception of my first OCR love, Spartan Race, most obstacle race series expect pro and competitive racers to COMPLETE ALL THE OBSTACLES in order to reach the podium or at the very least land in the "podium eligible" column. Everyone else is an official finisher, but those of me in the other category are not eligible for podiums - overall or age group. To make sure officials can tell who falls into which category, racers get a band, which is removed when one cannot complete an obstacle, usually after multiple attempts. I'm pretty obstacle proficient, and have been for some time. This year, I'm aiming for 100% completion at the World Championships. I can't just decide "FITNESS!" and achieve my goals of qualifying for and competing in the World Championships (and, on the way, the North American OCR Championships); it's going to take months of training to get there. It's a good thing I know what works for me: SMART goals with plenty of checkpoint events to keep me motivated on my quest to qualifying. Goal: Strength I've struggled my entire life with upper body strength. I have bad family genetics and without consistent strength training, I turn back into a limp dishrag. Besides, I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with training that includes pull-ups and other raise-my-bodyweight exercises. The group classes I attend don't incorporate pull-ups basically because neither the instructors or many of the other attendees can't do them and are intimidated by them. I need them because arms, shoulders and back will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. Plan: Strength training 3x per week: Weight training Tuesday, Boot Camp Thursday/Saturday, Grease the Groove pull-up work every day. Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." The problem is, it's aggressively winter here (my beard froze in seconds the morning I wrote this) and all the trails are frozen wakes of ice and terror. Also, the cold aggrivates my psoriatic arthritis. Also I just plain hate the cold. I'm running on the Dreadmill until conditions outside change. Pray for me. Last year I hired a running coach to give me a running improvement plan. It wasn't revolutionary and it was directly based on stuff that literally everyone is teaching: speed intervals, consistent mileage, weekend long run. He tailored the plan to my schedule and my starting baseline speed and I saw enough improvement that I put up OCRWC qualifying times in two separate events last year. It works. I'm working on getting back into this plan; right now I'm building up my mileage from a winter of not much running while mixing in intervals. "Long" runs are relative. I know this works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Skill I've learned over the last four years of competing in Obstacle Course races that while one could probably power their way through many obstacles with sheer strength, there is a certain degree of skill necessary for things like rope climbing and rigs and Devil Steps and zip lines and whatnot. Plan: Weekly obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Have a specific training plan every time instead of just going in and goofing around on the toys. Goal: Sustenance Because "Nutrition" does not alliterate with all my other "S" goals. I lost a bunch of weight five years ago by tracking my nutritional macros and I've kept it off by doing the same. I've occasionally dropped five to ten pounds in between that has not stayed off because when I'm not tracking macros, I eat junk. I just got a brand new jersey for Christmas from my GF and her family and I want it to fit, but right now I'm looking more like Kung Fu Panda than I'd like. It's time to get serious about getting little in the middle. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Goal: Sanity I wish I could quantify this as a SMART goal, but I can't. Stuff has gone fully sideways at work for reasons completely out of my control and I'm working to stay afloat as best I can while balancing a busy non-work life. This is more a reminder for me to be mindful and spend some time in self-care daily. Hey Jedi man, what events are happening during your challenge? I try to always have at least one event per month to keep my motivation up and my training focused. January was a planned bust, as I have given up pavement running due to the pounding on my arthritic joints, but February will end with a busy weekend. I'll be leaving on 21 February to drive with my GF from our home in Minnesota to drop her off for three weeks near Orlando, Florida. That's over 22 hours of driving, one-way with a stop on Thursday just north of Nashville to visit my brother and his family. When we get there, I'll be running multiple laps at the Central Florida Terrain Race on Saturday... ... and then driving to Miami to run the Spartan Sprint on Sunday. Both will be good tests for me to gauge my early-season form and fitness, determine my weaknesses, and set goals for improvement. It will feel good to get back on the horse, but I'm going to need support to keep focused. I'm glad I've got this place to come to for that. Rangers, Rebels, Nerds, thanks for being here.
  18. Greetings! Sassyfrassy here. You could call me the artist formerly known as roseofmay, kelliestrasza, and other monikers. It has been quite some time since I've participated in a challenge, but the amazing @shaar made sure to poke me to start the new year right. So, here I am to do just that! I'm starting off small since I'm getting back into things. regrowth - establishing & learning I'm going to get back into tracking my food intake on a daily basis. I'll be able to see what I'm eating, what I'm not eating, and assess my mood and feeling based on that. I noticed that when I eat something substantial for breakfast, I feel more awake and energetic. When I just have a cup of coffee and a piece of peanut butter bread (or something worse or JUST coffee), that doesn't last long at all. Gotta make sure I'm fueling the body properly so that I can get my metabolism working again. rejuvenation - yoga & stretching Along with the access to NerdFitness Yoga, I also received a whole SLEW of new yoga courses and what not online. I also have a new yoga mat. I really miss doing yoga and it really helped boost my energy, mood, and general disposition! restoration - self-care & self-worth I've really fallen off the wagon of taking care of myself. Sometimes I get in a "why do I need to do this?" frame of mind. I need to remember to do things for ME. Even if that's painting my nails or spending an hour reading, do it for me and no one else. SO OKAY. Let's do this!
  19. Written 2016-05 I'm starting my battle log because I want somewhere to record my progress when I'm not in a challenge. I think my first challenge will be the one coming up in June (2016). Written 2017-05-25 I'm putting the rest of the original post of this battle log in a spoiler and starting with a fresh first message, written in May 2017. So a year after joining the forums and a year after starting this battle log which I barely used because I've done a year of consecutive challenges. If you want to learn more about where I started, here is my original introduction thread. Otherwise you can find links to all my past challenges in the post right below this one. ~*~*~*~*~*~ Written 2017-05-25 With all that out of the way... Hi! I sold my home on May 2 and became voluntarily homeless at that point. I am technically residing at my parents' address in Stockholm, Sweden and will return there periodically, but most of the time I am traveling the world. Now, when I say traveling the world, I mean slow travel. I go to a place and stay there for 2 weeks to 3 months or so. Or that is how I travel most of the time. There are exceptions, of course. In the post below this, you might also find an up-to-date travel schedule of where I will be. If I remember to keep it up to date. And if you at any point would love to meet me when I am in your neck of the woods just post or PM me and we'll see if I have plans to be close by soon or if I'll just add you to a list I have that I always check before I travel somewhere to see if there is anyone I know in the area. This battle log will basically help me challenge myself. My travels make it hard to follow the normal challenges since my life will be chopped up into blocks depending on where I am at the time and those blocks might not at all correspond with the normal challenge dates. The post right below this one (aka the first reply or the second post depending on how you see it) will be a post that holds links for organization of this battle log as well as previous challenges and such. So if you keep track of that post, you should be able to find the goals I'm trying to currently follow and such. I also tend to keep my signature up to date so you should be able to find the latest relevant links there. I most often do daily reporting with some lag (especially on travel days, aka when I move from point a to point b). The easiest way to find the most relevant posts, beyond going to the last page, would be to go to the latest goal post or whatever I call it below and to read from there. Feel free to read the whole battle log but the first couple of pages span my first year on the forum and that was all before I became nomadic. Bon Voyage and See You Around the Forum Block!
  20. Hello all! Bulba and I are back after a difficult challenge last time, who saw us lose some steam and some of our spirits, so it is time to get back on track. But this time the goal will be US. It will be okay if we do not go very far in the forest. It will be okay if we don't do everything we had planned to do. (Many many thanks to @Manarelle for reminding us of that last challenge!) It will be okay if we ask for help. It will not be okay if we are not okay. So this challenge is all about finding the right balance to be okay and move forward in a positive fashion. Encouragement, celebrating victories, being grateful for all of the things we receive, enjoying the moment without guilt will be our weapons, and serenity and an even mind will be our goals! Actual challenge goals will be relatively consistent with our previous challenges, but much more geared towards building a happier life. 1- Visit every Pokemon Center - Prioritize sleep 2- Eat nutritious Pokebeans every day, and sweet Pokebeans from time to time - Focus nutrition on balance between reason and happiness 3- Speak to many people and learn from them - Continue preparing the exam, celebrating successes 4- Fight in the tall grass - Exercise, in all forms, making it fun to lift heavy things 5- Spend time playing with Bulba - Do something kind for ourselves. Every. Day. I will also simplify the accounting system because last time it was impossible to do... Goal details (note that this is obvious for most people... but since I was not able to follow these rules lately, I am writing them down to remind myself - feel free to skip this section entirely!) 1- Sleep Step 1: sleep. There is no step 2. 7 hours will be set as minimum, 8 hours will be the goal. 6.5 hours are tolerable. This means: in bed at 930pm, lights out at 945pm ideally. If not possible, then 1030pm and 1045pm In extreme cases lights out at 1115pm, even if the house is in disarray, dirty dishes are not done, Korean was not studied and I have not played or done anything relaxing. (I should print this and put it next to my bed...) This is where nights of six hours or less end. It just makes life miserable and not worth living given how physically difficult the remaining hours are. - 2 points for 7 hours, 4 for 8, 6 for 9 or plus, 1 for 6.5, 0 for 6. Weekly goal: 14 points 2- Food If I don't sleep I want to eat crap (doesn't everyone?). So let's not offer me too many opportunities to eat badly first by sleeping more (I see an emerging theme here). Food is key to lose weight and to train well (duh). And I want to do both. So I need to eat better. First I need to start tracking again. I have been holding on around 86.5kg, which is okay, now I need to start losing weight again and tracking is a great tool. - 1 point per day where I track. Weekly goal: 7 points Second, I need to make sure to eat protein and not too much carbs - I will play around with servings and see if I have to adjust (any nutrition suggestion around protein / carb balance is welcome!) Let's say 1 serving of protein with each meal + 1 in snack, and only 1 serving of carb per meal + 1 in snack - 1 point per each meal / snack done correctly (carbs + protein). Weekly goal: 20 points Finally, I need to stop feeling guilty when I don't follow these rules and eat pasta with tomato sauce or chocolate. - 1 extra point whenever I am able to catch myself guilt-tripping and manage to make it okay (because it is okay, really). 3- Exam prep So I have not dedicated as much time to exam prep as I would want to. But let's face it, I would want to spend 8 hours every day prepping this exam, which is not possible because 1/ work and 2/ boring. Also, commute. But at the same time, I have noticed I read emails (in Korean) faster and understand more of what is happening in meetings, which means I am progressing and this is also success! Especially since the exam is part reading and part listening!! (And I am already not bad at writing.) So I need to remind myself that work is helping me study. What I need to focus on is specifically vocabulary training, grammar studying and mock exam taking. all of which can be done during weekends, and with the first two being doable in 15-min increments. So small goals, because they will add up. - 1 point per workday when I spent 15 min doing vocab and 15 min doing grammar. Weekly goal: 5 points - 2 points per weekend day when I spent 1 hour doing exam prep. Weekly goal: 4 points - 1 point per hour spent speaking Korean with friends (really? really!) - 1 point per episode of Korean drama watched instead of Castle or Buffy or other things which do not develop my Korean power I can try to do more, but I do not have to. Because every email, every meeting, every lunch is actually studying. 4-Workout I hurt my neck and had to dial back on weightlifting and started missing my 3-minutes daily. I started inventing reasons in my head to lift and even games to trick my friends to do it with me. This is a serious clue that I want to lift weights! So let's do it, being careful not to hurt myself again (although my injury had nothing to do with lifting and everything to do with me being a klutz hahaha). - 1 point per day when I lifted for at least 1 song. It can be all different exercises, all deadlifts (I am in love with deadlifts even if my hamstrings hate me now). Weekly goal: 7 points Nothing else, because I already move quite a lot and need to stop being guilty when I don't exercise. Yes, I will 90% of the time still do 30-min biking in the morning, and two 90-minute dance classes per week. But if I am late I will only bike 20 minutes and it will be okay, because it is okay!! 5- Self-care I need to spend more time taking care of me, and less worrying about others. Others have themselves to take care of them (or should). So I need to do more things to soothe myself, especially during winter months with no light, gruesome commuting and uncertainty about employment (not very high probability, but high impact if it happens!!). So I should do something nice for myself every day. It can be small like taking 5 minutes to put on body lotion, it can be taking time for a nap or meeting friends on weekends, it can be just taking 15 minutes to read a book. I should just get used to doing it everyday, like the weight lifting exercise I love so much. - 10 points per day when I do something for me. Weekly goal: 50 points Because this is the single most important goal of all! So it is almost half of the expected points per week. Total goal 107 points per week (who decided that weeks would have 7 days making calculations so difficult??). I will do my best and if I can meet this goal it will be great and I will buy myself some new nice clothes which will FIT. And If I cannot meet that goal, I will try meeting it the following week!
  21. Hello! My name is Angela and I am here because I have lived the last few years of my life in a way that led to me packing on around 50 lbs. Whoops! Backstory I started at a stressful job around 3 years ago and moved to a even more stressful job 7 months ago. I was laid off and was devastated. After about a month and a half of funemployment, I started working again at a place earning less money, but also with much less stress. It is a job with the state, which means great benefits and job stability (at least in my state it does). I feel such an unexpected and palpable sense of relief after starting this job. I didn't realize what my previous jobs were doing to my body and my mind. I also got married and bought a house in the last three years, so it's not all bad, but I feel like I haven't had any mental space to focus on my physical and emotional well-being in some time. I have the opportunity to change things though, and I'm hoping by yelling them into the void here it will help keep me accountable to myself. I don't want to lose weight to look better, although that will be a nice benefit. I wish to be healthy and live forever (obvs) and at my current state of obesity, that is going to be a tough sell. We are also thinking about having children in the not-so-distant future, and the better health I can be in at the start of my hopeful pregnancy, the better. I want to be able to lift things and have healthy muscles and bones. I used to run long distance and would like to get back to doing that on a regular basis, though I'd like to lose some of the weight before doing that for the sake of my bones. I also love yoga and hiking. These are things that make me feel better both mentally and physically. I'd like to incorporate them when I can. Stats Age: 29 Height: 5'9" Starting (and current) Weight: 245 Long-term Goal Weight: 170 Plan Lifting: I will be following this workout plan. While the intermediate category doesn't really apply to me at this point, I'm planning on starting on the higher end of the reps. The big bonus in this plan for me is the split in body chains so I am able to do some running/walking as well without squatting/deadlifting every single workout (only most!). Scheduled days for this are M/W/F. Run/Walking: One the days my office does not have a yoga class over lunch, I will be walking as weather permits. On T/Th, I would like to run/walk with my doggo before or after work for about 30/40 mins if it's nice-ish out instead of slogging on a treadmill. Yoga: My office holds 45 min yoga classes over lunch on W/F with live teachers. I will be going to these as I am able assuming it's not super awkward. Hiking: I would like to establish a longer endurance activity on the weekend, with bonus points if the dog can be involved. I'd like to get back into hiking, but as the winter approaches, that will likely be at a minimum. Long walks, long runs, etc. We'll see what feels good. Nutrition: I am tracking on MFP (friend me!) and striving for ~30% protein. It's a work in progress.
  22. PRELUDE I’ve heard it said that the spirit leopards of the frost-touched highlands know there is no glory in a death of age, that they seek the deadliest lands and foes when old age threatens and winter steals into their enigmatic coats, that they may die as they lived. And thus came I, Rurik Harrgath, wild-bearded and sullen-eyed, gunblade in each hand, a ranger, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the wild places of the earth under my booted feet.” Starting weight baseline: 207 lbs. CrossFit Skill Metrics: CrossFit Metrics AIM WITH MY EYE: A treatise on Blood & Alchemy. RP Plan & MyFitnessPal Tracking 6 of 7 days/week: ☐☐☐☐☐☐ Mindful Moment before meals [Challenge Total: __ ] KILL WITH MY HEART: The Non-Permissive Environment Specialist. Follow the Training Protocol 5 days per week: ☐☐☐☐☐ Ruck or Bike once per week: ☐ SHOOT WITH MY MIND: A Self-Improvement Junkie. Partake of 3 sessions of “Be Happy” per week: ☐☐☐ Post a daily challenge update 4 of 7 days/week: ☐☐☐☐ Ongoing To-Do list… ☐ Read: Focus on your N.U.T.S. ☐ Minimalize: Liquidate personal vendor trash. ☐ Other Big Three Objectives… ☐ Weekly goals. CHALLENGE INSPIRATION: I’ve forgotten the Face of my Father and his Seven Commandments. @ShadowLion once said we ‘live’ our challenge titles and so I shall. This challenge is dedicated to the fallen Jedi, the Paladins who've lost their Light, and the mercenaries who have fought for nothing. When you lose your purpose and your hope, your days seem to be plagued by overcast weather. Everything is Shadows and Mist. All a man can do is find his own way through the wasteland sprawl of life. It may not be the destiny full of triumph and grandeur he might have hoped for but even survival itself can be a trial worthy of celebration. When that isn’t enough for the world-weary, one must seek out a greater glory - a reason for living and a purpose in action. That much at least is something tangible he can cling to… a foundation worth setting out from. A primal matrix to override his self-imposed programming. I am whiskey, gunpowder and leather – I am blood, sweat and tears. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll feel that same grim determination settling in your old bones and the tingle through your weathered skin; it’s a call to action threatening to drive you mad with passion and purpose. Dial your shit up to Mother Fucker, folks. It’s time to hemorrhage awesome all over the goddamn place. My name is Rurik Harrgath, and this is my story.
  23. She blinked as she woke up. She reached for her glasses on the nightstand...good god, it's covered with stuff. What happened to the sleek modern nightstand with a couple magazines and a fancy ipad that controlled the lights? This place is a wreck. She finds her phone...it's 7 am. She never wakes up that early without an alarm. Slowly she begins to remember. She's not in London anymore. The view outside her window is no longer the impenetrable Tower of London, it's...a two-story 1960s LA apartment building. She can see the smog in the distance, and it's already pushing 85 degrees. The mission was a success. She ran through the tasks: the dry suit diving at the Churchill Barriers to get the keys to the Tower. The coded message from the shepherd in the highlands, delivered in morse via sheep shears. The unexpected rendezvous with an agent she'd known since childhood. The coordinates, hidden in plain sight at Westminster. And finally, the disaster thwarted when she returned the missing treasure to its spot in the Tower. It had been a great success, and no one would ever hear about it. And now she was back at home, awaiting the next gig. Maybe this time she'd try to settle down. Work a regular job, that kind of thing. It seemed impossible, but who knows? Stranger things have happened. ---- Well, I'm back from a 3 week vacation in Scotland & London and I barely know what real life is anymore. I'm crashing hard from the long time away from work, all the walking, the good food, the time outdoors, and of course, all the people and problems I ignored while I was gone! I'm trying a gentle re-entry challenge to get my head back in the regular day-to-day, with a little bit of travel inspiration thrown in. What I love about traveling: I don't worry about anything that isn't actually important. I see lots of cool new stuff and have a lot of time to think. I have far fewer possessions to deal with and all of my possessions get used regularly. I intentionally use things up rather than saving them for a just-in-case scenario. What I don't love about travelling: I don't take care of my body as well (eat bad food, don't work out, don't hydrate) I spend too much money My quest for this challenge: To retain the magical spirit of vacation but also To rebuild the habits that support me (It's also the one-year anniversary of my last re-spawn, as well as QUEST #1: Work out 2x per week. Although I'm behind on my yearly workout goal by 9 workouts, now is not the time to go crazy on adding workouts! Before the trip I was solidly at 2x/week and I am sure I can achieve that again. QUEST #2: Eat vegetables every day. I have a lot of support here from my partner who is also lamenting the large quantities of potatoes we ate in the UK. QUEST #3: Get to bed by 10 pm every work night. I will sleep minimum 8 hours per night, and get to bed before 10 pm each night. QUEST #4: Write and post a poem every day. I'd really like to do more here (like get my Patreon page set up) but for now I want to just keep up the momentum I had on this project while I was travelling. I'm also trying some new strategies for managing my day-to-day life that I'd like to record here without making them part of the official challenge: Don't fill up your to-do list just because you have things to do. In fact, if you fill it up, you're doing it wrong. To-do list should be reserved for things that are actually going to get done, not things you are idly considering. Clothing diet: this is something I've done after trips before, where I wear the same clothes I wore on my trip for about a month after I return. Often the things I packed for the trip are among my favorite clothing and it reminds me that I can get rid of clothes I'm not wearing AND I can get by with fewer clothes. One fun thing, one work thing: I gotta keep doing laundry and stuff but I don't have to only do laundry. I will prioritize one fun activity every day. Save money wherever possible. Stay in, eat in, prep lunches. Okay, it's about 3 am according to my body so off I go to bed. I'm excited for the challenge ahead and really trying not to overstuff it.
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