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  1. Been gone for awhile. I’m going to write a bunch of stuff, but I’m planning on one main goal with supporting goals. These will be the basses for future goals as well. The main goal is to become a Christian Minimalist. I’m already a Christian and I believe Minimalism fits together well with Christianity. In Luke 12:15 Jesus says “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Sounds like minimalism to me. To me, minimalism is about simplifying my life and that’s what I want. I’m listing this goal first, because I feel it is necessary to support the following (more important) goal. 1 Time Management - Cut Out TV Monday thru Thursday(during work week) Keep moving till at least 6pm / Read Books. I’m sure on My death bed, I won’t say I wish I'd spent more time watching tv. 2 Spiritual - Meditate on God’s word before going to bed. Meditate on God’s promises. Believe his word over/instead of my circumstances. I’m OK at reading God’s word in the AM but not in the evening. 3 Space Management - Review possessions Declutter (At least 30 minutes a week) I believe by decreasing my possessions I can spend my energies on more important things. I realize I haven’t posted any exercise goals. That’s OK. I normally workout 6 days a week. I also either ride my bike 5 days a week (as weather allows) and/or go skating once or more a week. I’m doing pretty good on the exercise side. The thing that is preventing any further weight loss is my poor diet. I’m not ready to deal with that yet. My current height is 5’ 9” and my weight is 188 lbs. I’m almost 53 years old.
  2. No one is obligated or expected to actually read all of this lol. Just wanted to log everything for my daily workouts and basic plans. It changes often, so I'll be updating and revising here and there. The more I do a routine, the more I find gaps, or things I need to adjust and will do so as they come. Also, any outdoor activities or swimming, or other adventures that happen away from home gym I will share in thread to keep track of my activities with pics 'MOON'DAY - ELEMENT OF WATER 5:00 AM - Wake 5:10 AM - Monday's Meditations: Moon energy, healing, self love, focus on feminine energy, and water energy. Accompanied by: Moonstone, rose quartz, snow quartz, clear quartz, selenite 6:30 AM - Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes or 5 Miles +2 for additional minutes or miles 7:00 AM - Strength Training - Light Full Body Workout 7:30 AM - Core, obliques workout (Coincides with Monday - Moonday, Goddess energy) 8:00 AM - Shower, then quick breakfast. EGGS. ALL THE EGGS. 8:45 AM - Leave for work 9:00 AM - Arrive at work 12:00 PM - Lunch followed by 10 minutes of meditation. 12:30 PM - Back to work 3:00 PM - 5 minutes of jumping jacks and stretching in back office to perk up and get blood flowing again. 5:00 PM - Released from the land of the dead - I mean work. (It's a cemetery. Literally the land of the dead so it's actually legit af.) 5:15 PM - Home. 6:00 PM - Head to the home dojo. Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes with 3lb weights, 5lbs, and 10lb kettlebell. Strength training with kettlebell and body weight exercises for 15 minutes. Core focused exercises for 15 minutes. 6:30 PM - Cook dinner/Eat 7:30 PM - MCT Protein Blast with Collagen >Insert mundane $#!% here< 8:30 PM - Recumbent Bike for 20 to 30 minutes with highest resistance for the day. Yoga/Tai Chi/ Qi Gong/ Meditation Accompanied by: Moonstone, rose quartz, snow quartz, clear quartz, selenite 9:30 PM - Read for 20 minutes, something inspiring and uplifting, comforting, and familiar. 10:00 PM - Set intentions for Tuesday manifestations, review planetary orbits, visualize my day, write keywords for how I would like to "feel", and how I can do something with that day to improve that. Journal for 10 minutes. 10:30 PM - Bedtime Bonus points today for taking a swim indoors or outdoors or just spending time with or by a natural body of water. +8 Bonus points for taking telescope out and spending quality time with La Luna +5 WARRIOR TUESDAY - ELEMENT OF FIRE 5:00 AM - Wake 5:10 AM - Tuesday's Meditations: Warrior energy, Mars, Masculine energy. Focus on strength, courage, empowerment, honor, loyalty, protection. Accompanied by: Smoky quartz, black tourmaline, obsidian, carnelian, pyrite 6:30 AM - Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes or 5 Miles +2 for additional minutes or miles 7:00 AM - Strength Training - Light Full Body Workout 7:30 AM - Shoulders, Back, Arms (Coincides with Tuesday - Mars Day - Warrior Energy!!! YEA!!!) 8:00 AM - Shower, then quick breakfast. EGGS. ALL THE EGGS. 8:45 AM - Leave for work 9:00 AM - Arrive at work 12:00 PM - Lunch followed by 10 minutes of meditation. 12:30 PM - Back to work 3:00 PM - 5 minutes of jumping jacks and stretching in back office to perk up and get blood flowing again. 5:00 PM - Off work. 5:15 PM - Home. 6:00 PM - Head to the home dojo. Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes with 3lb weights, 5lbs, and 10lb kettlebell. Strength training with kettlebell and body weight exercises for 15 minutes. Arms, shoulders, back focused exercises for 15 minutes. 6:30 PM - Cook dinner/Eat 7:30 PM - MCT Protein Blast with Collagen >Insert mundane $#!% here< 8:30 PM - Recumbent Bike for 20 to 30 minutes with highest resistance for the day. Yoga/Tai Chi/ Qi Gong/ Meditation Accompanied by: Smoky quartz, black tourmaline, obsidian, carnelian 9:30 PM - Read for 20 minutes, something empowering, heroic, courageous 10:00 PM - Set intentions for Wednesday manifestations, review planetary orbits, visualize my day, write keywords for how I would like to "feel", and how I can do something with that day to improve that. Journal for 10 minutes. 10:30 PM - Bedtime Bonus points today for having a sacred fire and/or fire scrying, incense making, smoke scrying +5 Bonus points for taking telescope out and spending quality time with corresponding planet +5 MERCURIAN WEDNESDAY (Weigh-In Wednesday) ELEMENT OF AIR 5:00 AM - Wake 5:10 AM - Wednesday's Meditations: Messenger, Intellectual energy, Mercury, Masculine and Feminine energy. Focus on outward energy. Promoting positive thought patterns, banishing negative thought patterns, contemplate how I use words with myself and others and if I do that in the healthiest most positive way and how I can improve that today. Accompanied by: Ametrine, obsidian, pink botswana agate, lepidolite, clear quartz 6:00 AM - Weigh-In 6:05 AM - Log weight, set new goals, make any necessary changes to nutrition and fitness plan, make grocery list and write out meal plan. (Wednesday's Mercurian Energy is great for all the intellectual, mathy, tedious stuff. Here's to Gemini's and Virgos!) 6:30 AM - Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes or 5 Miles +2 for additional minutes or miles 7:00 AM - Strength Training - Light Full Body Workout 7:30 AM - All limbs lifting and resisting today, and breathing exercises. (Coincides with Wednesday- Mercury Day - lungs, hands, arms, legs, feet) 8:00 AM - Shower, then quick breakfast. EGGS. ALL THE EGGS. 8:45 AM - Leave for work 9:00 AM - Arrive at work 12:00 PM - Lunch followed by 10 minutes of meditation. 12:30 PM - Back to work 3:00 PM - 5 minutes of jumping jacks and stretching in back office to perk up and get blood flowing again. 5:00 PM - Off work. 5:15 PM - Home. 6:00 PM - Head to the home dojo. Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes with 3lb weights, 5lbs, and 10lb kettlebell. Strength training with kettlebell and body weight exercises for 15 minutes. Arms, shoulders, back focused exercises for 15 minutes. 6:30 PM - Cook dinner/Eat 7:30 PM - MCT Protein Blast with Collagen >Insert mundane $#!% here< 8:30 PM - Recumbent Bike for 20 to 30 minutes with highest resistance for the day. Yoga/Tai Chi/ Qi Gong/ Meditation Accompanied by: Ametrine, obsidian, pink botswana agate, lepidolite, clear quartz 9:30 PM - Read for 20 minutes, something witty, clever, intellectual, thought provoking, science related topics such as theoretical physics, astronomy, etc. 10:00 PM - Set intentions for Thursday manifestations, review planetary orbits, visualize my day, write keywords for how I would like to "feel", and how I can do something with that day to improve that. Journal for 10 minutes. 10:30 PM - Bedtime Bonus points today for writing a short story or poem. +6 Bonus points for taking telescope out and spending quality time with corresponding planet +5 JOVIAN THURSDAY - ELEMENT OF AIR/FIRE 5:00 AM - Wake 5:10 AM - Thursday's Meditations: The day of the "Luck Planet" Jupiter. Philosopher energy. Divine wisdom. Abundance. Wealth. Luck. Accompanied by: Amethyst, smoky quartz, clear quartz, Preseli bluestone, carnelian, obsidian 6:30 AM - Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes or 5 Miles +2 for additional minutes or miles 7:00 AM - Strength Training - Light Full Body Workout 7:30 AM - Hams and Butt day (Coincides with Jupiter- Jovian Thursday - Thighs and butt. I have to admit that the biggest planet getting butt day is hilariously ironic) 8:00 AM - Shower, then quick breakfast. EGGS. ALL THE EGGS. 8:45 AM - Leave for work 9:00 AM - Arrive at work 12:00 PM - Lunch followed by 10 minutes of meditation. 12:30 PM - Back to work 3:00 PM - 5 minutes of jumping jacks and stretching in back office to perk up and get blood flowing again. 5:00 PM - Off work. 5:15 PM - Home. 6:00 PM - Head to the home dojo. Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes with 3lb weights, 5lbs, and 10lb kettlebell. Strength training with kettlebell and body weight exercises for 15 minutes. Hamstrings and butt focused exercises for 15 minutes. 6:30 PM - Cook dinner/Eat 7:30 PM - MCT Protein Blast with Collagen >Insert mundane $#!% here< 8:30 PM - Recumbent Bike for 20 to 30 minutes with highest resistance for the day. Yoga/Tai Chi/ Qi Gong/ Meditation Accompanied by: Amethyst, smoky quartz, clear quartz, Preseli bluestone, carnelian, obsidian 9:30 PM - Read for 20 minutes, something philosophical, financial and budget planning, entrepreneurial 10:00 PM - Set intentions for Friday manifestations, review planetary orbits, visualize my day, write keywords for how I would like to "feel", and how I can do something with that day to improve that. Journal for 10 minutes. 10:30 PM - Bedtime Bonus points today for participating in any kind of arts for 1 hour. +6 Bonus points for taking telescope out and spending quality time with corresponding planet +5 VENUSIAN FRIDAY - ELEMENT OF WATER/EARTH 5:00 AM - Wake 5:10 AM - Friday's Meditations: The day of love. Love, compassion, self love, marriage, friendship, mother energy, healing from water energy, stability and growth from Earth energy. Accompanied by: Amazonite, rose quartz, clear quartz, snowflake obsidian 6:30 AM - Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes or 5 Miles +2 for additional minutes or miles 7:00 AM - Strength Training - Light Full Body Workout 7:30 AM - Chest, abs, leg day (Coincides with Venus- Venusian Friday - Chest, breasts, do I even need to add womb here lol, legs) 8:00 AM - Shower, then quick breakfast. EGGS. ALL THE EGGS. 8:45 AM - Leave for work 9:00 AM - Arrive at work 12:00 PM - Lunch followed by 10 minutes of meditation. 12:30 PM - Back to work 3:00 PM - 5 minutes of jumping jacks and stretching in back office to perk up and get blood flowing again. 5:00 PM - Off work. 5:15 PM - Home. 6:00 PM - Head to the home dojo. Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes with 3lb weights, 5lbs, and 10lb kettlebell. Strength training with kettlebell and body weight exercises for 15 minutes. Chest, abs, legs focused exercises for 15 minutes. 6:30 PM - Cook dinner/Eat 7:30 PM - MCT Protein Blast with Collagen >Insert mundane $#!% here< 8:30 PM - Recumbent Bike for 20 to 30 minutes with highest resistance for the day. Yoga/Tai Chi/ Qi Gong/ Meditation Accompanied by: Amazonite, rose quartz, clear quartz, snowflake obsidian 9:30 PM - Read for 20 minutes, something romantic, or about friendship, companionship, motherhood (even though I'm not a mom, I can't resist a Gilmore Girls - esque tale. I do happen to still be a daughter ) 10:00 PM - Set intentions for Saturday manifestations, review planetary orbits, visualize my day, write keywords for how I would like to "feel", and how I can do something with that day to improve that. Journal for 10 minutes. 10:30 PM - Bedtime Bonus points today for taking a bubble bath with essential oils, candles, flowers, music. Treat yourself. +6 Bonus points for taking telescope out and spending quality time with corresponding planet +5 SATURNIAN SATURDAY - ELEMENT OF EARTH 5:00 AM - Wake 5:10 AM - Saturday's Meditations: Father Saturn, Capricornian energy, the teacher Accompanied by: Amethyst, citrine, or ametrine, smoky quartz, rainbow obsidian, black tourmaline 6:30 AM - Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes or 5 Miles +2 for additional minutes or miles 7:00 AM - Strength Training - Light Full Body Workout 7:30 AM - Focus on mobility and joint health today as well as breathing exercises (Coincides with Saturn- Saturnian Saturday- joint health, flexibility, breathability) 8:00 AM - Shower 9:00 AM - Breakfast - Chia bowl with berries, a mini-chaffle size of palm(an egg waffle) with tomatoes, peppers, onions. 1:00 PM - Lunch followed by 10 minutes of meditation. 6:00 PM - Head to the home dojo. Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes with 3lb weights, 5lbs, and 10lb kettlebell. Strength training with kettlebell and body weight exercises for 15 minutes. Flexibility and low impact focused exercises for 15 minutes. 6:30 PM - Cook dinner/Eat 7:30 PM - MCT Protein Blast with Collagen >Insert mundane $#!% here< 8:30 PM - Recumbent Bike for 20 to 30 minutes with highest resistance for the day. Yoga/Tai Chi/ Qi Gong/ Meditation Accompanied by: Amethyst, citrine, or ametrine, smoky quartz, rainbow obsidian, black tourmaline 9:30 PM - Read for 20 minutes, something insightful, educational, motivational, self improvement, even home improvement! (Do some Dad things. Done.) 10:00 PM - Set intentions for Sunday manifestations, review planetary orbits, visualize my day, write keywords for how I would like to "feel", and how I can do something with that day to improve that. Journal for 10 minutes. 10:30 PM - Bedtime Bonus points today for learning a new trade, or for researching *opposing* political views. +8 Bonus points for taking telescope out and spending quality time with corresponding planet +5 SOL SUNDAY - ELEMENT OF FIRE 5:00 AM - Wake 5:10 AM - Sunday's Meditations: God, Sol, Sun, Divine Masculine energy, Leo energy, Fire, self love, ego Accompanied by: Citrine, smoky quartz, clear quartz, pyrite, shungite, lemon quartz, carnelian 6:30 AM - Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes or 5 Miles +2 for additional minutes or miles 7:00 AM - Strength Training - 10,000HP Full Body Workout!!! GO HARD BISH. YOU A STAR. Literally, be a star. It is "Sun" day after all ) 7:30 AM - Focus on total body, calisthenics, then follow up with something light and calming such as stretching, slow flow yoga, Qi Gong (Coincides with Sol- Sunday- perfomance, endurance, stamina, and cool down, plus a bit of "ego check" ) Fuel the fire, then cool the fire. 8:00 AM - Shower 9:00 AM - BIG BREAKFAST TODAY YES. 10:00 AM - Go say hello to the sun. Take in that glorious fk'er. Get outside and get some D. Vitamin D. 1:00 PM - Lunch followed by 10 minutes of meditation. 6:00 PM - Head to the home dojo. Recumbent Bike for 20 minutes with 3lb weights, 5lbs, and 10lb kettlebell. Strength training with kettlebell and body weight exercises for 15 minutes. Flexibility and low impact focused exercises for 15 minutes. 6:30 PM - Cook dinner/Eat 7:30 PM - MCT Protein Blast with Collagen >Insert mundane $#!% here< 8:30 PM - Recumbent Bike for 20 to 30 minutes with highest resistance for the day. Yoga/Tai Chi/ Qi Gong/ Meditation Accompanied by: Amethyst, citrine, or ametrine, smoky quartz, rainbow obsidian, black tourmaline 9:30 PM - Read for 20 minutes, something insightful, educational, motivational, self improvement, even home improvement! (Do some Dad things. Done.) 10:00 PM - Set intentions for Monday manifestations, review planetary orbits, visualize my day, write keywords for how I would like to "feel", and how I can do something with that day to improve that. Journal for 10 minutes. 10:30 PM - Bedtime Bonus points today for going on a hike, going fishing, bird watching, boating +10 If it's raining and you still do it, +3 more cuz you rock and stuff. Bonus points for taking telescope out and spending quality time with corresponding planet +5
  3. I needed a challenge off to get some aspects of my life together and figured out, but while always imperfect, I’m such a better person when I’m doing a challenge. So here I am with the Adventurers once again.... Who am I? (Yes, this image is to show off my awesome new hair.) I am Ann of Vries, aged 40, diarist, LARPer, stitch witch, traveler, walker, and an aspirational forest fairy living in the city. I’m an American living in London, UK; married to my true love and brilliant partner (Mr of Vries) and my main job/labour of love is raising our adorable toddler son (Rowan of Vries). Which is mostly fun, but occasionally harrowing. (You wouldn’t know he had a total tantrum meltdown on this same train a few days before....) I immigrated to the UK from Seattle three and a half years ago. I love it here, although I’m still trying to find my tribe (outside of the House of Vries, of course). I long to live in the English countryside, in a stone house with a large garden that grows most of our herbs, vegetables, and fruit. But that time is out in the future—for now, we are city folk and I aim to make the best of that. Not every person gets a chance to move abroad and live in one of the most famous cities in the world! To that end.... I am the Dream Look at my short summary up there. I am, by many people’s standards, ~living the dream~. But a tendency toward Hedonic Adaption, some much wished for (and worked for) dreams that didn’t come true, and a history of depression (which gets much worse in the darker part of the year) means I often forget this. The Challenge There’s no reason to let these dreams turn into a nightmare. So to help keep the darkness at bay and remain living the dream, I will be: Practicing gratitude/journaling Write and post about something I’m grateful about at least 3 times a week. Many will be about my general status of life, but least one of those per week should be something current. Keep up on my personal journals in between. Meditation and spiritual practices I’ve recently started a course to help motivate me out of being an occasional witch and more of a regularly practicing one. Practice grounding/centering/meditation at least 5 days a week. Every day is better, but every day doesn’t always happen. At least two more lessons completed for the pagan degree course I’m in. At least once a week, work on book study or a branch class assignment. Get outside/stay active RoV is now a walker (although not particularly fast or with a destination in mind), and he doesn’t want to be carried all the time. In fact, he doesn’t much like carriers at all anymore and I’ve had to give and buy a stroller if I want to get him around (I’m not sure why he prefers the stroller to the carrier, but he does). This means my days of hours and hours of walking have become more challenging as has my use of public transport (my nearby stations aren’t step-free accessible), despite that RoV needs to go out 2 or 3 times a day to burn off energy. Go outside at least once a day, even if it’s just the back garden Embrace and enjoy going out. 10k steps a day; more is better. Engage in mind-healthy pursuits (and cut back mindless ones) I’m finding myself wasting a lot of time on mindless Facebook scrolling, news rubber-necking and other such activities. Cut back to only checking a couple of times a day and for no more than 5 minutes a go. Spend that time on reading, appreciating the outdoors, journaling, embroidery, knitting, and playing with RoV. I may resurrect my Instagram account. We’ll see. Don’t (always) eat the croissant I’m at a healthy weight and I’m generally a healthy eater, but the last few weeks has seen me engaging in a lot of indulgent, often junky eating (made worse by a two weeks cold I’m still recovering from) and my weight has crept up just enough to concern me about the beginning of an ongoing trend. My household consists of foodies, and I’m not a calorie counter, but sometimes I just need to resist the croissant. (And I definitely need to resist the junk food!) Sometimes, I’m allowed to have the croissant but it needs to be a conscious choice. There’s a lot going on in this challenge, and you guys know I’m not a huge fan of collecting the metrics. My general intent is that by striving for these things with some accountability, I will do them more often, and I’ll try to update a couple of times a week with how it’s going. Except! I’m going on an adventure during this challenge! We’ll be headed to Wales for 2 weeks shortly into the challenge. I haven’t decided if I’m taking my laptop or if I’m just going to go with a notebook and my phone and have a bit of tech break. Depending on how this goes, I may go silent for a couple of weeks. But I’ll be back. Cheers, AoV
  4. Tzippi Tastes the Vinegar If you've read the Tao of Pooh (and if you haven't, consider it!), you might remember the allegorical image referenced at the beginning of the Vinegar Tasters, in which three men taste from the same vat of vinegar, one tasting sourness, one bitterness, and one sweetness. These three are representations of the three major religions/philosophies of China, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The vinegar is life, and the men each taste it differently. Tai Chi, which I have begun studying and is a hugely positive practice in my life, is largely based on Taoist philosophy. I'm not going to get very deep into Confucianism, Buddhism, or Taoism, as I am at best a tourist and at worst completely ignorant of them. Instead, I am going to use my battered copy of The Tao of Pooh to look at what I want to do in my life, as I get a little deeper into my goals, study of Tai Chi, and continue to grow and refine. The "theme" of this challenge is halfway between using the three vinegar tasters as my models and metaphor, and using the characters from the Hundred-Acre Woods as the same. Taking my inspiration from the inimitable @sarakingdom and @Mistr, I am building on last challenge's success by adding tiny incremental goals to enhance my new habits, rather than adding a million new ones. “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” Body and mind - * Continue to support my Tai Chi practice with daily work, whether class, Tai Chi practice, or some other exercise. * Once per week, one weight workout or long walk/hike. Could be body weight, or a hammer. Poetry and Hums - * Continue with daily (more often nightly) five-minute+ meditation. Got Calm subscription, starting with the Pooh meditations. * Using my MyOmer App, count the omer every evening. * Once per week, one longer meditation. Try different stuff, report and review here. I may start with metta meditation: Rumbly in my Tumbly - * Three servings of vegetables a day. * Plant more stuff in the garden. Herbs? Will it get warm enough for cukes, zucchs, and tomatoes?
  5. Book: Water Also known as the Tale of Tzippi and the Too Many Tags I am returning to the Rebellion after a long battle with a demon of depression. The dark spirit swept in as I was weakened by becoming a mother. I am doing better now, and am just beginning to practice Tai Chi, which (along with the fine spring weather) is inspiring me to respawn here, as a monk. One goal under each bending style is a constant habit, one-two one-time goals under are straight up success if done. Thanks for the help refining my foals, @sarakingdom Goal One: Plantbending ☆ Eat 2 fruits and veg per day. (If this gets too easy, up it to 3). ☆ Research and plan an indoor greens growing system. ☆ Shop for weeStockings sized garden tools, pit on wish list. Goal Two: Waterbending ☆ Exercise every day to support Tai chi. On class days, go to class. Other days, Hammer, walk, yoga . . . ☆ Sweep back deck for morning practice. Goal Three: Cloudbending ☆ Harness the breath like an Airbender by Meditating 5 minutes daily. ☆ DONE. Get reusable travel mug again. A nice ceramic one with a silicone lid. ☆ For week with April 1st, make a new Gratitude BuJo spread. ☆ With first paycheck, sign up for Calm premium subscription.
  6. Alright, it's time for a take two. I struggled with my first return challenge, and then a cold kind of cut me off from finishing up the last week of the challenge. So, I'm calling a redo/restart/respawn. Here are the goals from last challenge, so I can meet them all the second time around. I am going to start early with Week 0. It's not going to count for the challenge, per se, but I still want to track it. As before, getting to the gym is not so much of a challenge for me because Brandon and I have a pretty strict schedule about it, and I only want to give myself goals that are an actual challenge to make. Health Goals No snacking after dinner, 5 days/week (20 pts) Stay under an 1,800 calorie goal 5 days/week (20 pts) Spiritual/Mental Health Goals Go to bed by 11pm 4 days/week (16 pts) Keep a dream journal 3 days/week (24 pts) Meditate 5 days/week (20 pts)
  7. So, my romantic life took off and kind of consumed everything else. It's still going strong (yay!), but it's time to step out of the love bubble a bit and into the real world again. I'm going to stick to just focusing on my goals and forget about the theme for this challenge. It's good to be back! Edit: So I was convinced that I had gained weight during my little fitness vacation, but when I weighed myself last night, I had not. Not necessarily a sign of any persisting good habits, but I am glad I didn't undo what I had accomplished. Part 1: Physical Health (72 points) Exercising 5 days/week - Belly dancing, walking, and weight training. I will do at least 30 minutes, but up to an hour when I can. (20 points)Tracking my caloric intake every day and keep within the limit set with my doctor (1,800 cal/day) - I get a pass on game nights. (24 points)Taking my meds - Morning pill every day (28 points)Part 2: Spiritual/Mental Health (45 points) Meditating 5 times per week - Meditation allows me to clear my mind so that I can reflect with an unclouded perspective. (20 points)Getting to bed by 11pm on weekday nights (16 points)Committing to spiritual study 2 hours per week - This can be anything from reading to lessons, to readings, to ritual, etc. (8 points)Read one book from year-long book challenge (4 points - 1 for each week I work on this, although I can take them all at once)Part 3: Financial Health (6 points) Planning my expenses and tracking free money for each pay period - Budgeting like this prevents me from spending foolishly and being unable to take care of needs. I need to also start budgeting for eating out when I know my schedule will keep me on the road, in combination with those times I am able to take food from home. (2 points)52 week challenge - Each week, I will put in a dollar amount equal to the week of the year; $1 for week 1, $2 for week 2. The total sum at the end of the year is over $1,000. (4 points)Note to self for when I have more time: check out year book challenge to see if it fits. Also need to assign stat values for this challenge.
  8. Here we are again, at the beginning of another adventure!! This is one of my favorite times of the year (Autumn and Halloween) so it's time to really take my fitness goals by the horns and ride them to the ground. Really have to get this challenge right this time so why not pick a great theme to go along with it. This time I'm going with another book theme but this one has WAAAAAAY much more source material to play with/have fun with. And the winner is: For those that don't know, the Dresden Files is a book series written by Jim Butcher about the wizard and private investigator Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden and his misadventures through the mean streets of Chicago. I've heard it described as a "Philip Marlowe meets Gandalf" series. Told in the first person, you get to see things through Harry's eyes and in his head. I have been reading this series from the very beginning and I haven't been able to stop since! I absolutely LOVE this series (the TV series... that's another story). So, this theme is ON!!! I'm looking to four major goals this time around. 1) Empty Night -- No eating of any kind after 8:30pm every night except Saturdays (36 points // STA +2; CON +1) I really wanted to make this goal more about eating my larger meal for breakfast and/or lunch and then a smaller dinner but sometimes you just have a craving for something hearty after a long day at work. I relax, start watching TV or checking the forums and I tend to snack on crap food. I'm going for the next best thing, cut off all food intake after 8:30pm except for Saturday night gaming night. 2) Infriga/Forzare/Fuego -- Scheduled, specific exercises with two days on, one day off. (28 points // STR +2; DEX +1) Not only do I need to get my exercise game going again, I've discovered I need to SCHEDULE IT!!! Doing that will take the burden off of what I need to do and allows me less room to make excuses. The three workout types I'm planning are for Leg Work (Fuego), Arm Work (Infriga), or Walking/Jogging (Forzare). Two on, One off. 3) Keeping Up With My Allies -- Sustained support to my peeps here. Minimum 5 Rebels and 5 messages of solid importance weekly (Pass/Fail per week // CHA +1; STA +1) I love this community, I don't think I've said that enough!! Anyone that has given me a like, said a supportive or positive word to me, and you crazy lot that follow my challenges, I love you all greatly!! I've had my bumps and bruises the last couple of challenges but I know that I can keep up on it with help and support from you all. So, helping others helps me so I will be making sure I keep up with my fellow Rebels this time along. 4) Not Just Phallic Foci -- Cosplay/Halloween Costume of Harry Dresden for Party just after challenge (Pass/Fail overall // CHA +2) Elaine -- "Still going with the phallic foci, eh? Staff and rod?" // Harry -- "They make me feel all manly." OK, I just remembered that line and it felt waaaay too appropriate but I'm thinking that since I know I will be available for my friend/gaming buddy's Halloween party, I've decided to shoot for doing a Dresden costume/cosplay for the party. Now, I did do one for a convention three years ago and I really just threw some things together for that and it was OK. I know that it's only 7 weeks til Halloween but I think I can put it together. Now, I've seen both the artistic drawings on some of the covers, plus the show and actual book descriptions so I'm hoping to put something together that channels it all together. Here are a few examples: My tentative schedule is here under the Spoiler tag (plus so I can fiddle with the sizing) Now, to officially start this challenge, this quote pretty much shows the focus on I have on this challenge: "My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, conjure by it at your own risk. When things get strange, when what goes bump in the night flicks on the lights, when no one else can help you, give me a call. I'm in the book"
  9. For this challenge, I will be working on conquering the aspects of Wands, the second tarot suit I am exploring. Wands are, depending on the deck, connected to Fire, and so to things like action, passion, love or lust, light and knowledge (through mythologies like that of Prometheus and other fire bringers), etc. Wands are often conflict cards in a reading, as well, and so there is that aspect, of opposition and difficulty. As far as action is concerned, one can have all the potential in the world, but it takes the actual activity or energy of taking the first step to unleash and realize that potential. Without energy, potential can stagnate and rot. So, I think with this challenge, I will get back to doing what works, which is mostly the actual doing part. Fire is an element that is tough for me (being a naturally Earth-oriented person), so I think that played in to my difficulty last challenge. Because the two decks I have actually look at Wands differently (the Sorcerer's deck connects Wands with Air, not Fire), I'm only looking at one deck for this challenge. The Queen of Wands here is depicted on a throne, bearing a torch-like wand and accompanied by a lioness. Lionesses are the hunters of the pride, the providers and the nurturers; the maternal instincts of a lioness are legendary. I think these are also qualities of the Queen of Wands - a provider, but a fierce one. Outsiders dare not test her, and her love is more focused on protection than nurturing. Note, too, that although a lioness is an untamed animal, in the card she is chained. I think this points to the unbridled passion of the Queen being, well, bridled. Energy without control can be destructive - think of lightning or a forest fire. Yet controlled fire brings us technology, warmth, and light. Be sure that one's passion has a direction or a purpose or it will simply burn itself out haphazardly. Finally, the Queen is alone here, with no sign of civilization - the Queen of Pentacles was accompanied by both herd animals and crops. I think this speaks again to a more wild, untamed nature, but also to the isolation and independence or self-reliance of this archetype. To start this part of the journey, it is important to look at the Ace of Wands, the beginning and end of the journey. On this card, the character (Medea's father? Greek god?) is clearly a ruler. Not only is he crowned, but he also holds the globe in his hand. This particular depiction shows that he is master of his kingdom, whether it be Olympus or simply an earthly kingdom. He bears the golden fleece, which is also a symbol of kingship, as well as a powerful magical item (especially healing). He is in a lofty area, at the top of mountains (fitting for Olympus), which again stresses that independence or self-reliance of the Queen of Wands. It is strange to be the master of one's domain already at the start of the journey, but perhaps that has to do with conquering the domains found within oneself, or conversely, of looking outside of one's past experiences or familiar territory to something grander. For me, I think this has more to do with being more self-reflective and looking at my goals maybe more long-term - see the big picture, so to speak. So, to become the Queen of Pentacles, I must: Take action and energize my goals by Exercising 5 days/week - Belly dancing, walking, and weight training. I will do at least 30 minutes, but up to an hour when I can. (30 parts) Tracking my caloric intake every day and keep within the limit set with my doctor (1,800 cal/day) - Alcoholic intake only permitted socially. Snacking only permitted between lunch and dinner. Per my doctor, I'm also watching cholesterol. I get a pass on game nights. (30 parts) Limiting TV watching to 2 hours on weekday nights, no later than 10pm (and no FB after 10pm) - TV watching makes me less inclined to actually *do* anything. (30 parts) Taking my meds - Take morning pill, and evening pill (84 parts) Be self-reflective by Meditating 5 times per week - Meditation allows me to clear my mind so that I can reflect with an unclouded perspective. (30 parts) Getting to bed by 11pm on weekday nights - Being over-tired also affects my ability to reflect on my internal state and govern myself thoughtfully. (24 parts) Committing to spiritual study 2 hours per week - Spiritual study allows me to look at some big picture questions, including what kind of person I want to be and where I want my life to go. (12 parts) Be self-reliant by Planning my expenses and tracking free money for each pay period - Budgeting like this prevents me from spending foolishly and being unable to take care of needs. I need to also start budgeting for eating out when I know my schedule will keep me on the road, in combination with those times I am able to take food from home. (3 parts) Plan for trip to CT in October. Need to budget for airfare, hotel, and other miscellaneous items. Removed - I'm getting the money from family, so no longer part of the challenge. Bridle my passion by Balancing my commitment to myself and my decision to start dating - Filling up my schedule with going out, etc., really hindered my commitment last challenge. Alone time is really important to me or I feel over-committed and resistant to doing planned items. As much as I like the people I'm meeting, my health and wellness should be the priority in my life. point values, etc. Action - 174 parts; +2 Dex, +2 Sta, +1 Con +2 Str Introspection - 66 parts; +2 Wis, +1 Cha, +1 Sta Independence - 4 parts; +2 Wis Balance - 1 part; +2 Wis I may be adding some stuff about passion and dating on this. And I'll get photos of the cards, too. But I'm back - time to get back on track! Another one of those fun "coincidences": the face cards in the Tarot - King, Queen, Knight, etc. - are often representative of real people, and can even depict how they look. The Queen of Wands is often a red-headed woman with a fiery personality. I am naturally a brunette, but just colored my hair a shade of brown that looks red in the right light, which is actually pretty close to the color of red that is on the Queen depicted in this deck. I unintentionally, and literally, just made myself physically the Queen of Wands. I got this.
  10. Sovellis

    Balance

    Sovellis woke with a splitting headache. He felt woozy and disoriented. Looking around, he saw he was back in Noor's stone shack. How had he gotten there? Wasn't he just at the ruins of that tower? Despite feeling awful, at least he could feel that the fae beast's hold on him had been broken. Noor calmly chopped vegetables, layering them over chunks of rabbit meat to start a stew. She ached all over and her mind felt crisped, but it was over for now. The tower was free of beasts and she could finish her research and collapse it's haunted hall. Sovellis was freed for now. "What the hell happened...?" he croaked, his voice hoarse from disuse. How long had he been out? "You were almost taken by a faebeast in that blasted tower. Do you remember anything? Did you accidentally talk to it?" Noor crossed to him and handed him one ofher heavy mugs filled with strong smelling tea Taking the mug, he tried to remember. "Ishu, I talked to Ishu." He shook his head. "But that makes no sense, Ishu couldn't be there. I had to get out, but I couldn't." His memories were a confusing mess, and didn't seem to flit together cohesively. "AH. it stole an image from your mind and tricked you into speaking to it. There was too much magic in that place to be safe." She shuddered, glad that the creature was gone. He stared down into the steaming mug, slumping. "I'm sorry, I should have been stronger. I'm not being any help at all. Just putting both of us in greater danger." She placed one large gnarled hand on his shoulder. "Stop. You know how dangerous fae can be. That's why I waited fro there to be two of us to go back. Had it been just me, it could have taken me I would still be there in its clutches. He looked up at his old friend with a sad smile. "Thanks for saving my life. Again. Heh, my family should have paid you double." She laughed long and hard remembering. "Your family pays plenty well. You should send them a letter after this. Speaking with Ishu for real might do you well." Nodding and fiddling with his signet ring, he sniffed the tea, then took a cautious sip. It was surprisingly good, if rather pungent and strong. "Were you able to find out anything helpful at least?" "Well, I came close to sorting through all the magics and traced the curse to the fae's room. Now that its gone and made a bond to not return, I can go back and finish my work. One thing I do know is that this curse can not be dispelled and has to be survived or bested." "A curse that can't be dispelled? I didn't know such a thing could be done. Damned fae. Sounds like you are doing a pretty good job besting it so far!" He still felt a little ashamed for being tricked and captured by the fae, but he tried instead to focus on his friend's success. "So, back to the tower again?" "Yes, soon. First though we need to make you well again. You didn't eat properly for several days, or meditate." That explained why he felt so horrible. "I'll be fine, I should just need a day or so. I don't want to slow you down." "And I could use a day to research and rest before heading back to work. We shall have stew and relax tonight, spend tomorrow regrouping. Then we can see how well you have recovered and if the fae keeps its word." At the mention of stew, his stomach growled. Nodding, his smile grew as a spark of hope returned to him. "Good plan, especially the stew part!" "I had good hunting today. A brace of rabbits, a small deer. Hunting w iht a cat is so difernt than with a dog." SHe beamed at the large sleeping cat napping inthe sunlight "Heheh, I bet, a predator that large that can also sneak up on things? Terrifying!" He stretched his stiff limbs, trying to feel closer to normal. This quest had not been kind to him so far, but he had to find a way to move forward. <-------<<< Woo! Another challenge! Last one did not go so well for me. My poor elf succumbed to the pressures he faced, but luckily he had his friend Noor there to defeat the fae beast and drag him to safety. This challenge I am back with the rangers, and will look very different for me, because school stuff is ramping up again. I am going to focus on balance. In therapy I realized there were 5 basic areas that I need to succeed in to be a happy, healthy person. Academia, spirituality, physical fitness, chores (basic adulting), and reducing my drinking. I have shown many times over that I can rock any one of these at a time. The problem is that I need to make them all work at the same time. For this challenge, I must do something productive in each category to be counted successful. Four of five categories accomplished is a successful day. This feels uncomfortable for me, because it will place less emphasis on several things I've been doing awesome at and more emphasis on things I've been avoiding. I am also trying to practice greater patience and empathy for myself, but most of the time I still want to kick myself in the face. We will see how this goes, hopefully it works better than the last challenge! Woooo! *dives in* Also, I am starting my challenge tomorrow and counting two days past the official end of the challenge because I mixed up what day of the week it was. Oops.
  11. For this challenge, I will be working on conquering the aspects of Wands, the second tarot suit I am exploring. Wands are, depending on the deck, connected to Fire, and so to things like action, passion, love or lust, light and knowledge (through mythologies like that of Prometheus and other fire bringers), etc. Wands are often conflict cards in a reading, as well, and so there is that aspect, of opposition and difficulty. As far as action is concerned, one can have all the potential in the world, but it takes the actual activity or energy of taking the first step to unleash and realize that potential. Without energy, potential can stagnate and rot. So, I think with this challenge, I will continue the energy and momentum of my last challenge by doing, by taking the actions necessary to maintain my goals. Because the two decks I have actually look at Wands differently (the Sorcerer's deck connects Wands with Air, not Fire), I'm only looking at one deck for this challenge. The Queen of Wands here is depicted on a throne, bearing a torch-like wand and accompanied by a lioness. Lionesses are the hunters of the pride, the providers and the nurturers; the maternal instincts of a lioness are legendary. I think these are also qualities of the Queen of Wands - a provider, but a fierce one. Outsiders dare not test her, and her love is more focused on protection than nurturing. Note, too, that although a lioness is an untamed animal, in the card she is chained. I think this points to the unbridled passion of the Queen being, well, bridled. Energy without control can be destructive - think of lightning or a forest fire. Yet controlled fire brings us technology, warmth, and light. Be sure that one's passion has a direction or a purpose or it will simply burn itself out haphazardly. Finally, the Queen is alone here, with no sign of civilization - the Queen of Pentacles was accompanied by both herd animals and crops. I think this speaks again to a more wild, untamed nature, but also to the isolation and independence or self-reliance of this archetype. To start this part of the journey, it is important to look at the Ace of Wands, the beginning and end of the journey. On this card, the character (Medea's father? Greek god?) is clearly a ruler. Not only is he crowned, but he also holds the globe in his hand. This particular depiction shows that he is master of his kingdom, whether it be Olympus or simply an earthly kingdom. He bears the golden fleece, which is also a symbol of kingship, as well as a powerful magical item (especially healing). He is in a lofty area, at the top of mountains (fitting for Olympus), which again stresses that independence or self-reliance of the Queen of Wands. It is strange to be the master of one's domain already at the start of the journey, but perhaps that has to do with conquering the domains found within oneself, or conversely, of looking outside of one's past experiences or familiar territory to something grander. For me, I think this has more to do with being more self-reflective and looking at my goals maybe more long-term - see the big picture, so to speak. So, to become the Queen of Pentacles, I must: Take action and energize my goals by Exercising 5 days/week - Belly dancing, walking, and weight training. I will do at least 30 minutes, but up to an hour when I can. EDIT: I decided that I really want to increase my strength stat, so I'm going to do weight training 3/week, in combination with another exercise when appropriate. (30 parts)Tracking my caloric intake every day and keep within the limit set with my doctor (1,800 cal/day) - I learned last challenge that there are not so many calories in wine or liquor (except in the mixers), but I'm still going to minimize intake, though not as strictly as last challenge. I'm also going to continue to limit snacking, but doing the calorie counting seems to be taking care of that on its own. Per my doctor, I'm also watching cholesterol. (36 parts)Limiting TV watching to 2 hours on weekday nights - TV watching makes me less inclined to actually *do* anything. (30 parts)Be self-reflective by Meditating 5 times per week - Meditation allows me to clear my mind so that I can reflect with an unclouded perspective. (30 parts)Getting to bed by 11pm on weekday nights - Being over-tired also affects my ability to reflect on my internal state and govern myself thoughtfully. (24 parts)Committing to spiritual study 2 hours per week - Spiritual study allows me to look at some big picture questions, including what kind of person I want to be and where I want my life to go. (12 parts)Be self-reliant by Planning my expenses and tracking free money for each pay period - Budgeting like this prevents me from spending foolishly and being unable to take care of needs. I need to also start budgeting for eating out when I know my schedule will keep me on the road, in combination with those times I am able to take food from home. (3 parts)Planning a long-term budget, to include paying off credit card debt and saving for a down payment on a home (long-term), as well as paying for desired items/services like belly dancing, clothing, and home furnishings (short-term). point values, etc. Action - 96 parts; +2 Dex, +2 Sta, +1 Con +3 Str Introspection - 66 parts; +2 Wis, +1 Cha, +1 Con, +1 Sta Independence - 4 parts; +2 Wis This may still have some revisions, but this is it to start.
  12. Though I never stopped tracking the leveling-up of my life, I wasn't commenting on the NF forums. My old battle log is now inactive. Here comes some more! Me? I'm a family man, physician assistant, sci-fi novelist, and triathlete. I have sucked at all of those except the PA at one time or another, but visualizing myself as a video game hero changed my perception, and I changed my level of success.
  13. At the encouragement of RDNottingham, I have decided to go with a theme for this (and at least three other) challenges. I am going to use the Tarot suits as guides for my challenges. This challenge is the suit of Pentacles or Coins. Pentacles are symbolically tied to the element of Earth, whose aspects are strength, steadfastness, firmness, and determination (to name a few). I think this is pretty much in line with the characteristics I want to demonstrate this challenge. Pentacles are also connected to money (hence the second name for the suit, Coins, and a major part of this challenge for me), home (I will be moving before the end of the challenge), and fertility or creativity. To further help focus my mindset, I have pulled out my Tarot decks and studied the Ace of Pentacles. The Ace is the beginning, but like everything in nature, every beginning is also an end, so it is both my starting point and goal. I have the Sorcerer's deck (left) and Mythic deck (right - based on Greek mythology). When I look at the Mythic Ace of Pentacles, I see that this suit is transformative - not something I normally associate with Earth - but since Poseidon is the Ace here, that makes sense. When Earth changes, it usually requires things to get "shaken up" (Poseidon is the god of earthquakes, after all), so change isn't necessarily easy - it can feel like an upheaval. I can say I am not necessarily looking forward to that, but I do have to shake up some of my beliefs and get over some hangups (especially since I do tend to like just comfortably plodding along), and I am looking forward to a transformation. Additionally, the Mythic Ace shows that the end result is fruitful (grapevines) and rewarding. As for the Sorcerer's Ace of Pentacles, this card is what I call the Gandalf card (I hope someone else sees it, too). The Ouroboros (snake eating its tail) is a symbol of eternity, and also immortality. I have no idea how that ties in to my challenge, tbh, but it gives me sense that this is the turning of the wheel, a step in a longer journey. Because I see this as Gandalf, this is a card of mastery (even if it is a card of beginnings as an ace), or more accurately maybe, the journey to mastery (Gandalf started out in a different place than he ended up, of course), or to mentorship; Gandalf is the great mentor in LOTR, after all. For my challenge, I think it means I need to be ready to learn and to teach in turns, and this is definitely part of a longer journey for me. Alright, this post is starting to feel a bit tl;dr, so I will speak about what the Queen of Pentacles, specifically, means to me and how I intend to become one in another post.
  14. ...Or maybe I'll just work on these things instead. I've made many bucket lists and to-do lists before, but I want this one to be detailed, with a range of activities and goals. Even the wild and crazy ones I don't think I could ever do, with projected end dates from next week to the end of my life. I'm sure I'll add more to this as time goes on. If there's anyone out there who can help me with this list or has similar goals, let's do it together! Travel -Europe -Finland (explore ancestry in Kalvia and Kokkola, see Lapland, Northern Lights) -Italy (flex my Italian language muscles, explore ancient monuments, Renaissance culture) -England (visit Shakespeare's tomb, ride the Tube, work on my British accent, go to 221b Baker Street, admire British people, Hadrian's Wall) -Ireland (kiss the Blarney stone, explore ancestry) -Scotland (get inspired, buy a kilt... can girls wear kilts?) -Spain (because why not? figure out what to see) -France (see the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Normandy) -Germany (learn German, figure out what to see) -Greece (see the ancient ruins, Mediterranean Sea) -Asia -Japan (Fox Island and the Pokemon Center) -China (Great Wall of China) -Nepal (Himalayas) -Africa -Kenya (Safari, wildlife) -Malawi (Lake Malawi) -Tanzania (Mount Kilimanjaro) -Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) -Egypt (Pyramids, Sphinx, Nile River) -Australia -Swim in the Great Barrier Reef -Uluru -See a kangaroo -New Zealand -North America -Canada (Timmins, Ontario, Niagara Falls, Quebec, Nova Scotia,Newfoundland, Alberta) -United States (Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, Washington D.C., Alaska, Hawaii, amusement parks) -South America -Chile (Easter Island, Torres del Paine) -Peru (Machu Picchu) -Ecuador (Galapagos Islands) -Venezuela (Angel Falls) -Argentina (Igguasu Falls, Buenos Aires) -Antarctica Health -Complete a Tough Mudder, and then 2, 5, 10... as many as I can! -Complete a Spartan Race -Get down to 145lbs. -Waist 30 in. -Grow to not hate cooking -Run for 30 minutes straight Skills/Things to Learn -Train in traditional archery -Compete in an archery competition (field, 3D, and target) -Learn basic survival skills -Fire starting -Self-reliance -Shelter construction -Primitive tool skills -Create a WTSHTF pack and emergency plan -Geocaching (and how to read a map with only a compass) -How to pick locks -How to whistle with two fingers -How to ride a motorcycle (get my motorcycle license) -How to drive manual -Basic firearm safety -How to change a tire (I know in theory... but I've never tried) -A martial art (no idea which one or how to choose) -Basic woodworking, carving, and whittling -Blacksmithing Giving Back -Volunteer at an animal shelter -Give to the homeless -Become a living organ donor -Donate blood -Donate unused possessions -Join AmeriCorps Living Simply and Honoring Myself -Live in a tiny house -Own 100 items or less -Follow my "Should I Buy It?" Flowchart -Make meditation a habit -Follow the Rede in daily life -Be true to my spiritual path Miscellaneous -Keep up with my blog, "The Giving Project" and amass a following -Become internet famous -Go skydiving -Publish a book -Rescue and foster as many shelter animals as possible -Build a chicken coop, get some chickens, fly with them off buildings like Link, receive eggs -Build a bird feeder (already have the plans drafted) -Go cliff diving -Pay off all debt -Conquer my fear of horses and go horseback riding again -Continue healing from my previous relationship and find new love -Kick social anxiety's ass -Curb stomp depression
  15. So, here is my thread for work between challenges. I'll keep track of any exercises and other work I do between challenges, and ruminate on ideas for the next challenge. So far, I know I'm going to include financial health in the next challenge. Some of the things I'm already doing - limiting how often I buy coffee, taking breakfast bars with me when I'm on the run, etc. But the big thing I'm going to do is try to figure out which bills fall into which pay period, and figure out from there how much free money I have each pay period. And, to keep track of that, I'll use either play money or actual cash to track the free money - when it's out, I have no more. The end. Another thing I'm going to do is track my food every day, but give myself 6 passes. If I say I only need to track 4 days/week, I'll only do that, but I also don't want to set myself up to feel shitty if I go to a party or something. 6 passes is one pass per week, and I don't have to use them every week (because what if I have two parties in a week - I don't want to use them foolishly). The next thing I need to do is figure out why I'm not losing weight. I had even higher fitness goals this time and I didn't lose any weight. I maintained, but no weight-loss. I even focused more on eating healthier, which I neglected last challenge. I'm bummed and a little frustrated. But there has to be something I'm missing if I'm not losing weight and working so hard. A couple of things I'm thinking of - one is to cut down alcohol. I like having a glass or two a few nights a week, but those are empty calories. Another is to cut out snacking altogether, but that will be really tough. I get hungry between meals, and if I don't keep something around, I'm afraid I'll eat candy or end up bingeing. And lastly, I may use a calorie tracking app. I really, really don't want to do this. I have a very unhealthy emotional relationship with food, and calorie tracking brings up a whole lot of my hangups. So... I'm wavering on that. It might be the only realistic way to get a handle on what I need to do to see some progress. Finally, I'm toying of the idea with trying to use a theme for future challenges. I was thinking of using Tarot, and focusing on Pentacles/Coins for next challenge (perfect for finances and Earth, which is strength, stability, etc.). I thought of this once before, and then I had a nice title for next challenge that had nothing to do with Tarot, but I've forgotten it. So I'm back to Tarot. We'll see. (Yes, Chris, this is thanks to you.) Forgot to mention - did my 1 hour belly dance video today. The stuff that was super difficult last time was much easier this time. I'll get those moves down!
  16. Introduction Trying this out again, last time I posted once then gave up! I'm a physician-scientist & can usually find some reason I'm "too busy" to eat well or exercise (like being up for 24 hours!)When I was growing up, I was "husky" and was never very physically fit and have typically had an unhealthy relationship with food (it's a "reward" & I can blow through a box of Cheez-It's by the end of a Big Bang Theory episode!)I've weighed as much as 203lb and was down to 168lb many years ago (thanks elliptical!) but am now about 190lbMotivation I've had a whole lot of life changes recently and am on a quest to make myself "better" both for myself & for a girl I'm seeing . I'm 30 years old & although that's not "old," I want to make sure I live the rest of my lifeTeddy Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" quote (in my signature) is the underlying motivation in my life right now - I'm tired of hiding & saying "I'll do it later" & being complacent!!!!Main quest To improve physical fitness: to get back to a middling-BMI (170lb = 23.1) by the middle of the year (like three to four six-week challenges?)Workout 5 days a week: alternate the "Beginner Bodyweight Workout" here on NF with a Namaste Yoga (only 22 minutes!) workoutGrading: A = 30+ workouts, B = 18-29 workouts, C = 12-17 workouts, F = <12 workoutsEat less: net 1830 calories a day (per MyFitnessPal to lose 1.5lb/week)Grading based on average number of calories/day over the 6 week period: A = on target, B = 2080 calories/day (per MFP to lose 1 lb/week), C = 2330 calories/day (per MFP to lose 0.5 lb/week), F = >2580 calories/day (per MFP to maintain current weight)Try to cook more (I'm already a pretty good cook if I do say so myself!) - one-dish pasta dishes are usually my go to (I know I know, but I can't commit to doing Paleo - it feels like too big of a change... maybe one day) and this way I can also avoid processed, artificial food!A big help towards achieveing this is to not eat anything after dinner - snacking in bed while reading is a no-no & "easy" way to cut down on calories!Life Side Quests To improve spiritual fitness: grow closer to God & incorporate faith into my lifeI've been going to weekly mass for a few months and want to continue thatContinue nightly prayers & saying grace at dinnertimeWork through The Purpose-Driven Life - it's a 40 day journey which fits nicely into a 6-week challengeTo keep a clean homeI've been pretty good about doing a top-to-bottom cleaning every two weeks, but certainly need to do better than that...It can only help my social calendar & with two cats, it's necessary!Clean all the rooms on a weekly basis: two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room - maybe one a day? Or vacuum/dust on one day then mop on another, tackle bathroom on its own day? I'll figure this out as I go...Plus cleaning counts as cardio! (the harder you work, the faster it goes!)My username comes from my former obsession with ska (which I am now over) and Star Trek (which I still get excited about) Atrribute point allocation pending...
  17. Battle Log. Here it is! I started this in 2012, inspired by Nerd Fitness. This is what I do instead of challenges now, as it's more long-term. i was doing both, but it was too much paperwork. I'll explain as I earn points in each of the nine areas.
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