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  1. I got the 42 positive, honest self appraisals in Milythaels' HOoRAY, (as the moment, Bekah, the Druid ambassador, as the boss). And still counting! A part of what helped me succeed was that it was always in the back of my mind reminding about positive things, and all that "about surrounding yourself with positive people", yanno? So, I was very, very broken until the last week, somewhere inside me I still am, but I am doing a f*cking insane progress. I can't really believe how awesome this is! I am not sure, if this is borderline delusional, but what the hell! Given where I am coming, this is welcomed for a change. And where I am going, when the endorphins and dopamine ( = The moments/days when it could rains shit and you'd keep on smiling) levels drop, these things still stay, and are a golden line in the middle of day-to-day living that so often is disillusioned and hopeless. - Fending off for the moment the Demonemon (the negative voice we all have to some degree that tries to bring you down and keep you there) - A lot of brutal, honest, wickedly useful and fun (Yeah! I know!) self-appraisal, realisations, stomping on the lies we feed to ourselves, throwing out of the window several parts of the useless, bad habit-ridden crap we haul around daily, - I'm getting better at stomping down my ego, pride, stubbornness and fear of change - As there is said to be the delusion with young people that "life goes on forever, there's always a new tomorrow and I am immortal, I cannot die, ever", thinking about death daily has ground that illusion to the ground. The very, very little things good, that I mostly took granted, hit me sometimes speechless. - And I still like doing immature, unexpected, weird, useless things just for the fun of it, giving a mental middle-finger to the "Oh, what other people think about me"-thought -hell, let them look! Comparing to the shitstorm I have gone and going through, I have a lot less to fear. - Oh yeah, if this or my struggles helps someone, ever, let me know! It would make my day! I feel solemn at the face of this all, because these things usually take a lifetime to learn, and can't be really taught by anyone else, they have to be lived to be learned. And kept alive constantly after learned. And I am barely past 20 years! And how miraculously I happened to be given the hardships, that I have survived, to find out these things, and the knowledge and tools to learn all that I have learned and be here in the forums, with this swirling, wonderful atmosphere. It is not over, but going to the right direction!
  2. Objective: Build up a better self-image to help boost confidence and motivation. Hopefully to gain better mental health and positive attitudes towards exercise, diet, & life. Quest 1: post daily affirmations, in any form (picking something I like about myself or posting a motivational picture or quote). It will be a big challenge for me, I am a very negative person. Quest 2: Daily morning yoga and/or Piriformis muscle stretches and/or meditation. Going back to a staggering-type challenge, waking up 5 minutes earlier. Then I will increase by 5 minutes each week. My herniated disc has healed but having troubles with piriformis muscle. Chiropractor gave stretches I need to do every day. Quest 3: Frequent journaling. I have gotten close to pinpointing the sources of my depression. Journaling has helped me notice triggers and realize which emotions are a result of other emotions. Quest 4: Daily belly to spine posture practice, as recommended by my chiropractor. Gotta strengthen my deep inner core. Life goals: Set up doctor, dental, and hair appointments for myself and my kiddo.
  3. Chapter 3- Phoenix Ascendant The curse ran rampant and the cleric, intrepid though she might be, fell to hew knees. Her body ached and her heart hurt. She sat there, not ready to bow but feeling so very, very heavy. Her mind reeled- what had she done wrong? What could she possibly do to make things right again? Her fellows, her confidantes, those she cheered on so gloriously had been abandoned in favor of disappearing. Running away when things became too hard; running because she (wrongfully) thought she could never change. "Coward," she spit, speaking words between tears, "you've always been a coward." You are no coward, dear cleric, a voice said, you did not run from them. Your friends, your allies, you did not run from them. "But I did, I ran from them and I turned my back on the gods. I have lost my patron's favor, my might is gone." Your might is not gone, your patrons have not abandoned you. You must try harder to truly lose the favor of the gods. "But I had given such inspiration, such encouragement to have faith in the path, what can I do now?" she sat up, dirt still on her hands and tears on her plain face. When she looked up she saw a bird, something haggard and molting. Something older than time, reaching its end- as all things end. How could she think herself as finding a new beginning when faced with something so haggard? I came because your patrons have faith in you. I came because the gods of our land know you, and know your strength and your worth- "But I no longer-" Shhh, she heard the voice say. The bird flapped its wings, hopping as if trying to fly only to fall again. It tried, but fell again. The cleric's heart sank and she crawled forward. She reached for the bird. She held it close. "Stop trying to fly, you can't," she whispered, her heart aching, "sometime things end and you can not fly. Accept it." The bird thrashed, wriggling itself out of her arms again. She tried to pick it up again but it flapped, it pushed away. "Please," she pleaded, "you'll hurt yourself, it's too long-" It flapped again and let out what the cleric presumed were its death throes. It fell, flapped its wings and struggled to its feet. The bird took to the air ever so precariously; it began to glow a golden warmth before that warmth became sweltering. The gold turned white and suddenly there was a pop, a sound- a sound of pure magic and it erupted into flames. The cleric only watched in awe and confusion and horror as the bird smoldered away into nothingness. Each feather consumed, each squawk consumed by the sound of something indescribable. It fell, all ashes, into a large pile. Nothingness, it seemed. Nothing but smoldering embers and remnants of what it had been. The cleric pulled her hands to her lips. "Why would the gods do such a thing," she asked the voice. Her tears were daring to come again- what was her patron telling her? She could not understand. Quietly, she heard a chirp, a sound like fire and magic. She scrambled forward to the source- the pile of ashes. Suddenly, a smaller, young hatchling hopped forth. Brilliant reds and ambers and golden flame. It took to the air, wings and tail and eyes blazing. Her crowed a victorious sound, invigorated with the sound of youth and vitality. She understood- a phoenix. The cleric had only thought them a myth, but she had witnessed one's rebirth, had witnessed something life-altering. Sometimes, dear cleric, we must fall. We must give ourselves to the fire so we may rise again. ~*~*~*~*~*~* ~~~<-@ ~*~*~*~*~*~ Hello, lovelies! I crashed pretty hard last challenge. It is in the past. It is an ashen, dirty past. A sordid past, one full of debauchery and- okay, I basically just had to do an extreme overhaul of the medications I take, so I was taken out by medical crud. That said, I am back, I am alive. I am a tiny fledgling bird that brings the might of elemental fire and I will rise into glory. Think Conchita Wurst- Rise Like a Phoenix. I'll post a link to the video when I get back home and have time to go do things. I am a little (a lot) late on this challenge, so I'm pulling a freshman here and carefully slipping in the back of the lecture hall and hoping my professors don't notice. Without further ado, I give you my challenges: Fitness Goal - Water World: Go swimming 3x per week I like swimming. I like water. I even bought a new, cute swimsuit that (I hope) looks good on me. I have purposefully avoided poking new and exciting holes in my body until swimming season is over. I will put my lack-of-piercing-having into good use and actually, you know, enjoy water. I don't anticipate doing laps terribly well, but I do like to piddle around in the water and generally stretch out a whole bunch. PASS: A : 3x per week B: 2x per week C: 1x per week FAIL: no swimming. BOOOOOOO! Reward: Armor upgrade: Buy yet another new swimsuit. Let's face it, I am like a dragon hoarding swimwear. I really like it, and I totally have a shopping problem that I'm not yet ready to admit to. Lifestyle Goal - My Spirit Animal is a Camel: drink 64oz water daily I did a challenge similar to this the first time I did this, but it was only 32oz. I did end up judging myself on the 64oz scale though, which is bad form. Even when I succeeded, I didn't succeed. Basically, I figured out a good way to make this work: 32oz at work, 32oz at home. Home bottle stays at home, work bottle stays at work. A: 64oz per day B: 46oz per day C: 32oz per day D: 18oz per day FAIL: no water whatsoever that day Reward: Potion bottles: No, seriously, I'm treating myself to another potion bottle if I do this. I freaking love potion bottles and they make me beyond elated. Lifestyle Goal - Foraging for food: 4 vegetables per day I live of cheese and bread. I basically live like a starving prisoner- I eat bread, I drink water, and I eat cheese. Sometimes, I eat yogurt. Sometimes. Basically, I load up on carbs and act surprised when I feel super bloated. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome- my body does not treat carbs nicely. Basically, if I can start putting some veggies in my body I will be a happy cleric. A: 4 veggies per day B: 3 veggies per day C: 2 veggies per day D: 1 veggie per day FAIL: You didn't try putting vegetables inside of you at all. Shame! Shaaaaaame! Reward: Swim the waters of mnemosyne: Go on a float trip! See if the room mate or the girlfriend want to come, but basically if I pass this challenge I am going to go out and have a freaking blast being out in nature and enjoying the fun of it. Nature is awesome, veggies are awesome, and I kinda want to reward myself with toasted marshmallows on a real fire. Personal Development Goal - Wearing the Woad: Wear makeup 3x per week A lot of people have some problems with makeup. A lot of people have the impression of "I don't have to wear makeup to feel beautiful. Screw society's beauty standards!" Well, I agree with you. You are right. You don't have to wear makeup to look beautiful or feel beautiful. I, however, like wearing makeup. I like wearing makeup because I like painting up my face and putting shimmery, sparklie colors on my eyelids or finding a new lipstick that is an absolutely gorgeous color of finally, finally experimenting with fake eyelashes. I also like faking bruises and making myself look like an old person. In short: makeup is fun for me. In shorter: makeup makes me feel good. I make all sorts of excuses as to why I don't wear makeup to work. I'm not trying to impress anyone. I don't owe anybody anything; I don't need to be held to some ridiculous ideal of women in the workplace while my coworkers just wear polos and khakis and they're considered work appropriate. Nobody is going to see me, so what is the point? The point is this: makeup makes me feel good. Makeup is fun for me. I am actively avoiding doing something that I enjoy, that is fun for me, and I can do every day to set the tone for the day. Usually, I avoid it because I don't want to get out of bed and I only make just enough allowances to put clothes on and go to work. When I look in the mirror, I see a person who is only minorly put together, who got to work/times with friends/dates with minimal effort. It impacts how I sit, how I work, and how I view myself through the lens of other people. I am afraid people see me as lazy or slovenly because that is how I see myself. I project my negative emotions about my appearance on other people. So, enough of that! We are not putting up with that crap any longer. This time, I'm wearing makeup because, gosh darn it, I like it. I spent a lot of money on this stuff (because this dwarf will shell out some cash if it's a good pigment) so I want to put it to good use! PASS: A : 3x per week B: 2x per week C: 1x per week FAIL: Not a single time this week. Not even a little eyeliner left over from last night. Reward: Sidhe's Blessing: Go play at the MAC counter! Get some new shimmer eyeshadow, a new blush, or maybe even see what the fuss is about this lipstick! Get the tools necessary to paint yourself up like you've been summoned to the courts of the fae.
  4. My main quest is to lose weight (fat, mainly) and fit into size 6 uniform pant (Waist: 28"; Hips: 37.5"). Something had been keeping me from posting my new challenge early. I’d been working on it in a Word document for about a week, and even though I felt it was ready to go by middle of last week, I refrained. Now, I know why. And reason meant my overarching, multi-challenge main quest needed to change. I’d gone back to school (full time) this semester to pursue a new, different career. One that would require me to work at least twice as hard (20 hours per week → 40+ hours per week, including weekends and holidays) and make probably ¼ of my current hourly rate (and I should get a nice year end bonus in December and a fairly nice raise in July.) On Saturday night, my husband finally asked the question he should have asked in August before we made this decision. “What’s really wrong with your current situation?†And, instead of giving my standard off-the-cuff answer, I really gave it a hard, hard thought. I mean, I work 20 hours per week, doing a job that I’m actually really good at when I apply myself, and make more per hour than a lot of people make in a day. So, why would I want to make such a drastic change? The answer: Self-Confidence. When it comes down to it, I’m uncomfortable in my own body right now. I’m carrying a significant amount of extra fat. My clothes don’t fit (and clothes shopping spirals me into a very, very unhappy place.) The extra weight, as is the norm with me, screws with my hormones and keeps my face broken out. So, I walk around in ill-fitting, starting to look 'worn' clothes with a broke out face, minimal and cheap makeup (because I hate going to buy 'good' stuff when my face is a mess.) I feel bad about how I look, so my posture sucks, making me look worse. I walk into a room and instead of owning the room – I stare at the floor. I work in a male dominated field, where meek women (and men, I assume) are likely to fail – spectacularly. I'm a meek mouse in bad clothes. So, I’m not continuing in my current program of study after this semester. My pursuance of this endeavor was (likely) done out of a feeling of desperation. My lack of self-confidence (in a male dominated field) has crippled my ability to be a productive team member and left me feeling hopeless. In many ways, this career change was going to be a Band-Aid on a problem instead of a solution to the problem. My husband offered that I should make “ME†my full-time job for the next 10 months (and longer, if necessary.) So, I’m dropping a full time school workload to pursue a full time ME workload. (My husband is seriously the best!) My Main Quest: APLOMB The idea here is to do a series of smaller sub-quests that will have me walking into a room and owning it. Here are some of the things that I need to happen to rebuild self-confidence: body redesign, (re)learn how to be a little more girly-girl, improve athletic performance, intelligence boost, streamline life, regain my strong work ethic… 1. Run, Girl, Run I quit running a few years ago – between all the naysayers that were touting the evils of ‘cardio’ and the fact that I ran two distance races either untrained or sorely under-trained in 6 months – I just quit. I've started back and am wrapping up Zombies 5K training now. Next, I’m moving on to Season 1. Zombies has helped me regain my love of running. I’m hoping to continue to rebuild my capacity and maybe pick a race in 2015. Maybe. The goal for this challenge is to complete Season 1 of Zombie, Run! App. That’s 23 missions, or an average of 4 runs a week. I will be completing 3 as 30-minute runs and 1 as a 60-minute run. [+3 STA, +2 DEX] A 20+ Runs Complete (100% award) B 18+ Runs Complete (75% award) C 16+ Runs Complete (50% award) D 13+ Runs Complete (25% award) F <13 Runs Complete (0% award) 2. Finding Inner Strength Over the last two years, I’ve run the spectrum of Wendler to CrossFit to two coaches. I have strength. With proper training and consistency, I can move a big amount of weight. However, I do tend to broaden out when I’m lifting heavy. Right now, that’s not what I’m looking for in an exercise program. A few weeks back I heard a quote that basically said, if you can’t control your own body weight, you shouldn’t even be touching a barbell." I’ve always kind of bypassed the body weight exercises, other than the ones thrown into a WOD at CrossFit. The goal for this challenge is to follow a body weight strength training program. I plan to follow the YAYOG app for an average of 3 days per week. For scheduling, these will be done on the same days as my 30-minute runs. [+3 STR, +1 CON] A 20+ Workouts Complete (100% award) B 18+ Workouts Complete (75% award) C 16+ Workouts Complete (50% award) D 13+ Workouts Complete (25% award) F <13 Workouts Complete (0% award) *In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm still doing CrossFit 2x/week. I will continue that, which will end up being 5 days of some sort of weight training. 3. Rock-a-bye, Lull-a-bye Sometimes, I think I have (self-diagnosed) Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. I have a hard time staying focused on the task at hand. I can be incredibly scatterbrained and very disorganized. This problem is compounded when I’m getting inadequate sleep. Lack of sleep also slows recovery and tends to leave me in feeling drained. With the husband living in another city, I’m finding it challenging to wind down and go to bed for an adequate amount of time. This is likely affecting my recovery, my health, and my ability to get stuff done at work. Whereas I used to get 7-8 hours a night, I’m down to 5-6.5. The goal for this challenge is to average 7.25 hours per night for the duration of the challenge. [+3 CON, +1 WIS] A 7.25+ Hours / Night Average (100% award) B 7.0+ Hours / Night Average (75% award) C 6.75+ Hours / Night Average (50% award) D 6.5+ Hours / Night Average (25% award) F <6.5 Hours / Night Average (0% award) 4. Minimalist Move With the pending move to the new city in ten months, I’m realizing I don’t want to move all the stuff we’ve accumulated in the twelve years we’ve lived in this house. My goal for the next ten months is to really start selling/cleaning out/throwing away the stuff that we don’t need. Plus, if I’m going to revamp my wardrobe, I need to make room for new stuff. I cannot squeeze another item on my TWO closet racks, my shelving system is crammed full, I have FOUR large storage containers in my closet FULL of clothes that don’t fit or don’t fit comfortably. (Size 0 to size 10). I have a six drawer chest packed so tight I can barely open the drawers. The goal for this challenge is to eliminate $2,000 of stuff. (Calculation: If the item is sold, the sale price goes to the goal amount. If the item is donated, the lowest fair market value, according to Goodwill Valuation Guide, will be used. If the item is trashed, the item will be valued at $1. So, if we sell our old sofa, which is sitting in the garage, for $50 - $50 counts. If we donate the sofa, Goodwill gives a value of $30-150 for sofas, so I get to take $30 from the goal amount. If we had to throw the sofa away (not likely), I’d only get $1. Note: If the item would generally be deemed worthless (i.e., papers that need to be shredded and trashed) then no value should count to the goal amount.) [+1 CON, +1 WIS +1 CHA] A $1750+ eliminated (100% award) B $1250+ eliminated (75% award) C $750+ eliminated (50% award) F <$750 eliminated (0% award) During this challenge, I'm going to do a few 'mini' quests that don't award attribute points, but award other goodies. I'm also over in the PVP No Soda Challenge. Hi!!!
  5. Main Quest: Build strength, lose fat (end goal is 18-21% range, estimated current BF around 26-28% so this is a more-than-one-challenge type main quest) Missions: 1) Less than 100 g carbs/day (so the body burns fat instead of using sugar for energy) and 80-90 g protein/day minimum As little as possible (!) of this should come from added sugars in foodFollow Paleo/Primal principals as closely as possible (meat and veg, natural foods only) 2) Drink 2L of water/day (I'm horrible with this and it's dragging me down, so time to really grind in this habit!) Purposefully measure this out each day to know how much water I am taking in 3) Strength training 3 times per week (at least) and low-impact activity on off-days Weight lifting (dumbbells when available, Strong Lifts 5x5 at the gym w/barbell, resistance bands when on the road)Make opportunities to start Level 2 on the road to a pullup (I'm gonna go for the chin-up for now, or whichever I can get to first lol): Bodyweight Rows Life Quest: Consciously choose not to allow low self esteem or self-consciousness get in the way of living my life One way to accomplish this is to use public spaces to train toward pull-ups, such as finding a playground/park where I can practice bodyweight rows This is gonna be a tough one because for the next 6 weeks I will be on the road 80% of the time and I won't have control over my menu options. I'm gonna do my absolute best to crush this challenge, however. This time around it's going to be especially important to define success and map out how I'm gonna accomplish this stuff, so: For mission 1, I will track my food as meticulously as possible using MyPlate app on my phone while on the go. This is not so much for calorie counting as for nutrient tracking, to try to make sure I'm not going over my carb goal and not falling too far under my protein goal.For mission 2, I will use a water-tracking app on my phone that reminds me to drink water. I will actually listen to it, lol. I will pack the minimum amount of water with me for my day and make sure those bottles are empty at day-end.For mission 3, I will use work-out tracking apps (StrongLifts 5x5 and MyPlate) to keep track of my activity and make sure I don't miss more than one workout due to the chaos that is surely waiting for me (heh!) How I'll grade myself, based on missions 1) A = < 100 g carbs/90+ g protein; B = 100-125 g carbs/ 70-80 g protein; C = 125-150 g carbs/ 60-70 g protein; D = 150-175 g carbs/ 50-60 g protein; Fail = 175+g carbs/<50 g protein 2) A = 2 L + water; B = 1.5-2.0 L water; C = 1.0-1.5 L water; D = 0.5-1.0 L water; F = <0.5 L water 3) A = All 3 workouts completed each week; B = 2 workouts completed and other physical activity during the week; C = 1 workout and other physical activity during week; D = 0 workouts; physical activity during week; FAIL = sat around all week! I foresee Mission 1 being the most challenging with the lack of menu control and the complexity of the grading system I just made (jeez), but it's something to aim for and maybe even if I don't manage it this round I'll have a better idea what is realistic and aim for something more within my grasp. It's something to aim for anyway. The other 2 should be very doable and within my control, so I should have no excuses there!
  6. This is a new group, very loosely based on the Black Dog Tamers, which was a support group for people with depression. In the next six weeks, we are going to teach ourselves to be a bit more positive about almost anything, but mostly about ourselves. In the current world it is easy to believe that you're worth nothing, that you're ugly, that you're eating the wrong food, etc. In reality, this is not true! Almost anyone is awesome in their own way. Especially on this forum, all challenges I have seen were of awesome people. TL;DR: What will we do In order to train ourselves in believing that we are awesome, I'd like anyone in this group to post in their own topic or in the group's topic, three times a week: One aspect of their body that's awesome at the momentOne aspect of their food today that's awesomeOne good decision they made todayI also want anyone in this group to give someone else a compliment at least three times a week, either online or IRL. Lastly, I want you to check in at least once a week with your fellow (sub-)group members. Motivation During my first few challenges, I have encountered many people that deal with self-esteem issues. I've been telling myself every night why I'm awesome for a few months now (as advised by my counselor), and it really helped me to see the world more positively . I hope others can also see the benefits of this approach. For anyone who wants to read more about positive psychology, see this article on Wikipedia and the references therein. Rules This is not a substitution for professional help. If you're doubting about whether or not you need professional help, please contact your doctor or counselor as soon as possible.You may repeat your awesome points. For example, if you eat an apple every day, you can make that your awesome point for food as often as you want.Because there are many people in this group, there are sub-groups. Please follow the people in your own sub-group. Of course you may also follow the other people if you want .If you'd like to join, the most effective way is PM'ing me. You can also post your topic in the sub-group you want to join and sign up on the spreadsheet.There will be a weekly discussion theme, but I'm not sure yet what form it will take. Probably specialized awesome-practice, about for example the weather, your job, etc.There is a maximum of 7 people per sub-group. I don't know what to do yet if there are more than 21 people that want to participate. Chances are that you'll have to wait to next challenge if you are the 22nd. Of course you can practice calling yourself awesome without being a part of this group.If you have questions, if I'm unclear or if you have suggestions, please let me know . Groups: Group 1 Waanie Varelse Scorpia (now with correct topic) ChristArtist The Swedish Ninja skinnyLara Group 2 Kobnach imadork Leimanu idealistinfire Pretzle Group 3 Heidi TennisGeek Quirkyself annyshay elsfaire Do you think your name should be here and it is not? Please let me know by sending me a PM.
  7. The struggle to fit into the size and shape that today's beauty industry makes women feel like they ought to have in order to be happy, healthy and successful in life has always haunted me. Limbs too thick, hips too wide, legs too short, not enough chest, too much booty, etc etc etc, has always left me feeling like an outsider very unable to identify with other women and with the entire industry that makes me feel like I'm not a real or beautiful woman unless I look like all the advertisements tell me I should. I'm not fat, but I'm not skinny. I'm not hideously out of shape, but I'm not fit either. I work an unpredictable job with a lot of uncertainty as to when I will be home and when I will be living in a hotel or in a camp, and for how long, well who knows. In the midst of life's chaos, my main quest is to strengthen my body and live the healthiest life I can. I want to live a lifestyle whereby my self-esteem does not rely on unrealistic physical requirements placed on me by society. Put in more specific terms I believe the best way to improve my self-image and help myself to stop caring what others expect me to look like is to reduce my body fat percentage while increasing my muscle mass. As a female I know I will not become "bulky" by doing this. I am also not concerned about my scale weight so long as I am seeing real progress in the mirror, in how my clothes fit, and in how strong I feel. After some careful reading, and because my job requires physical capability, I know that weight loss is simply not enough to level up my life in terms of emotional and physical well being. Being thin and weak will not improve my self confidence. Being strong and lean will. It is just as important to look good as it is to feel good, and to feel strong, and capable of handling a physically demanding job that will only degrade my body over time if I am not strong enough to handle its rigors. With that intent in mind I will list my missions that will bring me closer to this goal: I will do a strength-training workout at home with dumbbells (because I have them, and I am still very intimidated by the gym and its inhabitants) at least 3 times a week I will increase my protein intake and follow the Paleo diet as closely as possible (this is not always 100% possible because I am often subjected to situations where I have no control over my menu for weeks at a time due to working out of remote camps... in these cases I do my best to select the most simply prepared food items consisting mainly of meat and vegetables, as humanly possible) I will eliminate unhealthy food items that have weaseled their way into my diet, such as replacing chemical and sugar-laden coffee drinks at work with unsweetened teas and reducing froyo excursions to once a week or less. Motivation As Daenerys Targaryen often tells herself before she makes a bold move, "If I look back, I am lost." If I do not push forward, I am lost. Living sick, weak, and unhealthy is no life to live and I do not want to go back to that. Without health and fitness it is easy to lose oneself in negative energy and depression and that is no way to live. If I go back, I am lost. The only clear path to improving happiness and confidence comes through improving health through diet and fitness. With improved health comes improved mood, and this is the best starting place for a more successful and happy life, equipped with more ability and resolve to handle the challenges that life throws at us.
  8. Hello good Druids, I hope that I can join your gathering for this challenge, and maybe more? Though I have been a druid in my past "World of Warcraft" life, I was the type of druid that many of my race looked at with disdain... as they felt "feral" druids were a disgrace to the class, when healing was the path to prosperity. I join you now, actually, in a very similar situation...As a ranger, I challenged myself to master my fitness through cross fit and outdoor adventures... I find now that I have a workout routine that will work for me, that I must achieve a balance between my love of fitness and my love of...food. My challenge this time, is almost all food related, with a side helping of self-esteem boosts. (see, even my goals sound like a meal!) I must achieve an inner balance, and it will be a difficult one... Food has an amazingly strong hold on me. It is a reward, a punishment, something to keep me awake, or to indulge on vacation. Food has always been a comfort, a reminder of all of the social gatherings that revolve around it... and diets? they have been something that I just seem to be unable to just suck it up and "do"... I was successful early on with ending my addiction to sugar, but I had a lot of support, and I'm going to need that support again... Will you support this feral druid and help her find balance? Goal 1: A well balanced meal. Weeks 1-2 will be dedicated to logging my food every day...all of it...which is a challenge in itself. Weeks 3-4 will be dedicated to altering my breakfast and lunch towards a diet (as suggested by my nutritionist) that minimizes carbs and fats, and embraces the vitamins and minerals our good earth provides. Weeks 5-6 will be the culmination of this effort, bringing in a balanced dinner. I am ramping up the effort for many reasons, but mostly because jumping into all of this will be very hard for me, and I want to set myself up for success as best I can. The other reason, is that as a teacher, school ends in a week and a half, which means that I will then have more time to dedicate to my diet. Challenges other than just the restrictions on food: I am meeting up with BopGun during this time, and am afraid my diet will look abnormal on my food logs from the travel food choices I may have to make... This could alter my schedule by a week, if this is the case, this is my backup schedule: Week 1-3 logging, 4 breakfast, 5 breakfast and lunch, 6 breakfast lunch and dinner. Goal 2: Achieving a balance of mind and self-worth Balance out the self doubt with self love. Keep up with my workouts 3-5 days a week. Lets face it, I'm going to feel miserable giving up so much that I have loved my whole life....so my goal is to feel sexy and beautiful by embracing my successes and minimizing my attention to the failures of the past. This means, I will come to my challenge with my concerns, but for every negative, I must also have a positive in my post...a light, to every darkness... good for every evil...etc. etc. etc. One thing that always makes me feel awesome? CrossFit, and working out with my Coach...therefore I need to stick with that and not let the difficulty of this challenge take away from the activities that I love. (Also take note: workout days may have added carbs to my diet to give me the energy I need to keep going...but not significantly large amounts of course!) Goal 3: Achieve a balance between what I want, and what is realistic. I'm not perfect. I am striving for 5 of 7 days each week of keeping up with my main diet goal. That means that I can still hang out with my friends and eat a slice of pizza and not feel that I have failed myself. I will add my official diet plan as I figure log my food and analyze what I am doing right/wrong in my daily meal routines. I would appreciate any feedback from those who have done something similar! ~*~*~*~*~*~*~ If you've made it this far through my ramblings, then please stick around and give me the support to keep me going! We all must achieve balance in our lives, and for me, your encouragement and love gives me the strength to balance out the difficulty of this challenge. I need it! ~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Will you help support this feral druid? She's a bit spunky, but she comes in handy now and then... Myfitnesspal link: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/SaraMagee Follow me!
  9. This turned out maybe too honest. A fair warning: I personally think you should read this as an adult, and then decide if it is okay for your kid to think of such. Concerns dark and sad emotions and suicidal feelings. -Thank you Lately, that mental bullsh*t started giving me trouble again. After one extremely bad "not-any-kind-of-beautiful-thoughts" day, I am seeing professional help. On a rational level I mostly know what is causing it (depression, addiction, loneliness, low self-esteem like glass and a general "why the **** bother?" with life), but it is a royal mess to start making life easier. Tried to tidy up the challenge to save people from the hurt. Well, seems with this kind of subject, I can't tidy it up enough. PM me, if you want a rougher account, I will gladly give it, but I am not comfortable with the idea of making it public. Main goal: Although I feel sometimes like suicide is a good option, I am afraid of death. I don't want to die. The small steps of beautiful things: Escapism is not a depression medicine 1) 2 hours of homework day, and no gaming/books before that. 2 hours is less than I'd need to solve the huge backlog accumulated, but as I currently do next to zero, that'd be a good step up. Love, human connection and beautiful things 2) I know I need close people, and just a normal conversation with someone makes me feel better, but I do not know how. I have spent so long alone, I find it hard to reach for people, especially strangers. Despite family and two good friends, (sometimes) I feel terribly lonely. 3) Look on the positive Due to depression and my self esteem feeling like glass, if something happens (I fail at something, break stuff, can't hit a deadline) I have a tendency for spiraling thoughts of negativity that go on and on, and I tend just listen to that little voice that tells me I am worthless (and worse...). On the worst times I really believe that lil' bastard. I am going to take active part in the Honorable Order of Rebellious Appraising Yeomen and Love Your Body and Food. To have a defence for the horrible days. 3) Finding thing that bring me joy Lately not even PC games or reading has brought me much joy, other things even less or not at all. I just do those to have something, to have bubble that shields from the boring real world. See #1 But then again, sometimes the little things, like walking in the sun, or drinking warm chocolate are fun. But I still can smile and laugh, and enjoy things. Finding more of those. Right now, I would rather feel pain than nothing at all, because of the chance of life. -Yours, Fearkiller
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