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  1. Hello. I am Stronkey Kong. Umm... Been on NF over seven years. I'm still fat and making the best of it. Which means I'm tempering my goals, accepting what is and what is not (feasibly and sustainably) possible. I eat as healthy as I can while enjoying my food. I move as often as I can while enjoying movement. I think. I create. I devise elaborate plans for challenges and eschew all rules as soon as convenience dictates. <sigh> This challenge is inspired by a recent dream I had. This is one of my stress dreams. It came after spending a week switching to day shift, rather abruptly, after having been on night shift for over a year, going to a training course across town, then coming back to work to find out that someone more senior than me, and training/guiding me at work is leaving in another week and then I'm pretty much on my own kinda. Idk. This is gonna get tough. I suppose the point/meaning of this dream, if they do have meanings, is that I need to avoid quick fixes and work on my coping mechanisms ahead of stressors. Then there's the fact that I'm turning my attention back to mindfulness and my Buddhist practice. I have dabbled and practiced with varying degrees of seriousness in Zen. I'm currently learning about Tibetan Buddhism and reading and meditating on Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva, and am planning to get back into my meditation routine. If you've never heard the term, Bodhisattvas are beings who have attained enlightenment, but rather than pursuing full Buddhahood (where you get to just chill out in Nirvana for eternity, free from suffering) they choose to return to Samsara (the eternal cycle of life, suffering, death, and rebirth) to guide other beings on the path to enlightenment. Hence, they are good examples to follow for freeing oneself from suffering and helping others. I could go on on this topic, but I'll leave it there for now. I just thought I'd let you know why I named my challenge as I did. And then there's the Big List... which I made during the Holiday challenge as a set of goals to pursue long term. From this list I usually create a goal or two from something on the list to work toward, and lately I usually focus on Intuitive Eating, Exercise, Creativity, and buying a home. My goals are listed in order of general priority. I'm putting the TL;DR up front and spoilering the details to tidy things up here: TL;DR Mindfulness: daily meditation with increasing session times Lotus Position: stretch to improve lotus posture during meditation Nourishment: Eat mindfully and watch out for GERD symptoms Movement: Qigong Abode: spring cleaning Creativity: Knit a Beanie or Finish part one of my fantasy novel Wisdom: Study The Way of the Bodhisattva Knowledge: study Tibetan language
  2. Indeed I am back in my favorite place in the forums with my true companions! Already its' time for another challenge to keep this kick-ass train going! It's time to go beyond the Earth and into the next frontier! There are new species to explore, most already ahead of the game. We need to establish ourselves worthy to be along side of them, as well as a fight off a race of genocidal bio-organic machine insanity! Time to exploit the mass effect to travel faster than light! But who am I? I am an uber awesome, N7 trained, Pathfinder capable BlackTezca! I have many talents, usually known as the GIF Commander who was introduced to the citadel council in From Lurker to (Newb) Rebel! and completing smaller but importnant side missions in BlackTezca's Daily Battle Towards A Much Better Year. My latest accomplishment came in successful completing a major mission known as BlackTezca's 17th Trail: An Artsy Geeky Amazon Creates Movie Magic! I am now here for the next mission, cause saving the galaxy is a job I have to do, and I also plan on having fun while doing it! Granted even this mission, as big as it is, is only a part of the grand picture. I need to complete this in order to move forward on my main quest! This quest will help build me up beyond Spectre, beyond Commander! With this I can lead our people to find and colonize new galaxies, to fight out invaders and those who seek to destroy or control us! This ultimate quest will return me to the warrior I know I am inside and with that we can be saved and become stronger than ever! For my MAIN quest, as it has always been, is...!! My Main Quest to be as POWERFUL and BATTLE READY as Wonder Woman We have no time to lose! We have the recruit the best of the best and need to consider more than just humanity here! We are newbies in the great space race; other species have long since ruled the vast reaches of the beyond and we need to consider them for the mission! Let's move onto our introductions! Turian are disciplined warriors; willing to use the force necessary to keep the peace. Details: Time to get disciplined...with my meals! This is gonna be rough cause I'm gonna need to keep up intermittent fasting AND going a bit more primal, which means less carbs and more protein and the easiest way for me to keep track is by making sure I do go primal(ish). So, no bread, no rice, no corn. The Rice is the killer. THE RICE IS A KILLER and the bread is no joke. Also no sweets. So that means I need to eat all that Easter chocolate this weekend! No beer, but wine, particular red wine, and vodka are good. Wish me luck cause I'm sure something will go wrong...need the discipline! Contingencies: Any visit to my inlaws is prime time for disaster...SO will be doing cheat days here.Tracking: I'll be using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) with extra accountability done here.Grading: A for Intermittent Fasting, 9 pm to 12 pm, 5 to 7 days days a week, eating primal(ish) - 25 exp ( 3 Con, 1 Cha ) B for Intermittent Fasting, 9 pm to 12 pm, 3 to 4 times a week,eating primal(ish) - 20 exp ( 3 Con ) C for Intermittent Fasting, 9 pm to 12 pm, 2 times a week, eating primal(ish) - 15 exp ( 2 Con ) F for all else Krogan are resilient, powerful fighters; they can survive anything, including near extinction. Details: Righto! Let's get buff and beefy like that Krogan and keep up my workouts! I have taken a break zero week. Unintended but it happened due to lethargy, laziness, too much stress and just wanting to chill...etc. Which is bad. So I'm gonna get back int the swing of things even more so with this challenge, except gonna try and up this a notch! If I aim for 5 days a week just focusing on doing short workouts too it still would be good right!? Right! Contingencies: Sickness and travel pretty much. However considering the flexibility here, I should be able to do something! Walking, yoga, etc!Tracking: I'll be tracking the workouts using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) and this lovely thread will be updated as well.Grading: A for ANY workout (Kickboxing and Muay Thai included) 5 to 6 times a week - 25 pts ( 2 Sta 1 Dex 2 Str )B for ANY workout (Kickboxing and Muay Thai included) out 3 to 4 times a week - 20 pts ( 1 Sta 2 Str ) C for ANY workout (Kickboxing and Muay Thai included) out 1 to 2 times a week - 15 pts ( 2 Str ) F for all else Asari are elegant, diplomatic, and no one matches their biotic aptitude. Details: The Asari are all beautiful and elegant, with amazing Biotic prowess. Naturally perfect for my art quest. Granted a little smaller now since I split up my art quest this time, but hey wanted to give something a try! So expect to see some beautiful work here! Included sketches since I am trying out a brand new art program (Medibang!) which has some awesome brushes that look really similar to pencils! Nice! Makes me wanna sketch out a few things and stick with that, especially when I start doing commissions! So much fun here . Contingencies: The usual! Friends being in town, going on possible trips else where, etc. Can't bring my computer everywhere!Tracking: I have an art Tumblr and I also have DeviantArt (WATCH ME FOR ACCOUNTABILITY). I shall use those and this thread to keep track. Grading: A for Arting and Sketching at least 30 minutes 3 to 4 days a week - 15 exp ( 2 Cha ) B for Arting and Sketching at least 30 minutes 1 to 2 days a week - 10 exp ( 1 Cha ) F Salarian are energetic inventors with sharp wit and efficient intelligence. Details: Salarians have excellent memory, are logical, intelligent and particular good at figuring out all the details. They would have so many models for Warhammer 40k assembled and painted meticulously that not only would their strategies WRECK an opponent, their armies would look good doing so! ...Essentially I need to fucking paint. Contingencies: The usual! Friends being in town, going on possible trips else where, etc. Need to focus on these models!Tracking: I have an art Tumblr and I also have DeviantArt (WATCH ME FOR ACCOUNTABILITY). I shall use those and this thread to keep track.Grading: A for model building and painting for at least 30 minutes 4 days a week - 20 exp ( 2 Wis 1 Cha ) B for model building and painting for at at least 30 minutes 2 to 3 days a week - 10 exp ( 2 Wis ) C for model building and painting for at at least 30 minutes 1 day a week - 5 pts ( 1 Wis ) F for all else Angaran have strong family ties and bioelectric capabilities for deep communication. Details: Angaran one of the new races discovered in Andromeda and they are lovable species that are very much family oriented. Their communities are filled with many children and each one shares different parenting figures. It truly takes village...to clean after so many kids. I myself have two dogs, a cat and a house and with my husband to help, it's still quite a bit! It's already mid spring so time to do some chores! Contingencies: I can't clean my house if I'm out of town... Tracking: Tracking on this lovely thread of course! Grading: A for working on a household chore (yard, garage, pets included) 5 days a week - 15 exp ( 2 Wis ) B for working on a household chore (yard, garage, pets included) 3 to 4 days a week - 10 exp ( 1 Wis ) F for all else I myself have already recruited solid companions from these excellent allied races assembled to save the world and explore new galaxies for The Federation! Each one is prepared and trained for the mission and the best at what they can do! Now let's see what I am starting out with stat-wise! Starting Measurements: Date: 04/24/2017 @ 7:00 am Weight: 151.4 lb ***Body Fat***: 26% Waist: 25 in Waist @ Navel: 26 in Hips: 39 in Neck: 12 in Chest: 32 in Left Bicep: 11 in Right Thigh: 18 in Wrist: 6 in Forearm: 9 in Let's do this! Let's save the galaxy! One epic challenge at a time! Go out there and give them hell. We were born to do this!
  3. I fell in love with fencing. Obviously this calls for a Utena-themed challenge. So last challenge did not end so well for me. I was getting burned out on life and everything, and then tragedy hit and I just couldn't with anything anymore. After giving myself the past couple of weeks to regroup and recuperate, I have a clearer path going forward in all sorts of things, which makes my summer less panic-inducing (if you're just joining in, work is going to be crazy busy PLUS I'm going to be in rehearsals for Evita starting on May 22), and I know what I want to do with my fitness goals. Because I love fencing, my workouts will all now be tailored towards conditioning for the sport. But I'm also dealing with a back muscle injury of sorts, which is thankfully just a benign injury of the strain/spasm/knot variety, so I need to make sure I take care of that, too, while also making sure that it never happens again! I'm too young for back pain... So, without further ado! MAIN QUEST: Maintain my sanity as I rehabilitate my back, juggle work and rehearsal and life and fitness, and continuing to pursue my newfound love for fencing! QUEST ONE: ENDURANCE TRAINING [+2 STA] In fencing class, my strength is great, but cardio is kicking my butt in ways I did not expect. Seriously, when you’re a very fit person and you have to sit down because your cardio is sub-par, it is a super embarrassing thing. So, twice a week, I will dedicate my workouts to cardio training. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as my heart rate is pumping, I’m calling it good! A = 2x/week of cardio | C = 1x/week of cardio QUEST TWO: BACK CONDITIONING [+1 DEX, +1 CON] As mentioned, my back has been bothering me and it's been preventing me from doing a bunch of exercises like working through pull-up progressions, toes-to-bar progressions, and sometimes even bench presses and other variations of push exercises. Also, working on anything that deals with back flexibility has been a no-go. The doctor gave me a list of stretches I need to do every day, and other self-care tips, of which I intend to follow through on. So I'll do this quest in two parts: 5x/week I will do the flexibility exercises, and 5x/week I will give my back some heat therapy and/or some massage/foam rolling loving. A = 5x/week | B = 4x/week | C = 2-3x/week | D = 1x/week If my back is completely back to normal before the end of the challenge, part one will continue but part two will either be revised or given a pass for the remainder of the challenge. Here’s hoping that this is a bridge I WILL have to cross! QUEST THREE: SMART SNACKING [+2 CON] The winter months are over and I can no longer use my “I’m a mammal so I’m mammaling” excuse for eating like an asshole. Therefore, over the course of the challenge, I’m allowing myself 8 non-freggie, non-protein snacks. Basically: popcorn, chocolate, candy, ice cream, drinks that aren’t water or tea or my chai latte, Snapea Crisps (SOB THIS IS GOING TO BE THE HARDEST THING – and no, I’m not counting is as a freggie), etc are all restricted. Chocolate milk is okay ONLY IF I consume it within an hour of a workout. A = 8 or less snacks | B = 10 or less snacks | C = 12 or less snacks | F = did you even try to control yourself LIFE QUEST: SPRING CLEANING [+2 WIS] My summer is going to be super busy and there is going to be a lot of things in my life outside of work and rehearsal that will fall by the wayside. That will include keeping a clean home. So that my apartment doesn’t fall into complete chaos and disarray over the coming months, every week I will focus on each area of my house and give it a nice, good, and hard spring cleaning treatment. The four areas will be: bedroom and home office, bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room, and the living/dining room. A = 4 Areas Cleaned | B = 3 Areas Cleaned | C = 2 Areas Cleaned | D = 1 Area Cleaned SIDE QUEST: PIANO PRACTICE [+2 CHA] I’ve been itching to relearn the piano again for years now (I used to be so good, I don't understand why I quit, wtf 11-year-old me), so why not start now? At the very least, I want to master a song, and that song will be the theme song from Tonari no Totoro because as my family and friends will tell you, I am a Totoro fanatic. No joke, 50% of the things I own are Totoro-related. Over the course of the challenge, I will log at least 240 minutes towards practicing, which averages out to be about 1hr/week. This won’t get me from Zero to Hero over the course of the next four weeks, but it’s a start, at least! A = 240+ minutes | B = 180+ minutes | C = 120+ minutes | D = 60+ minutes Ready to do the thing! If you binge-watch the show, you seriously start to get super annoyed at how often they reuse this particular animation sequence...
  4. The first two weeks of the last challenge went great. Then work killed it. We had to expedite a project for a client. Ended up working crazy hours, which leads to me getting stressed out and being too tired to cook and too tired to workout. Excuses, excuses, I know... But now I am ready to get back in there. This challenge I want to reinforce some of the good habits that I have let slip over there last couple weeks. Basically get back in there, and not lose the progress I have made this year! Main Quest: Weigh less than 200lbs by the end of the year. Start: 242.2 lbs | Current = 225.6 lbs. | Progress: 16.6 of 42.2 lbs Challenge Starting Stats (More for my reference if anyone cares). Goal 1: Morning Exercise Get up in the morning and exercise. Mon, Weds, Fri: Bodyweight Brigade – Level 1 Tues, Thurs: Interval Training Goal 2: Food Tracking Using My Fitness Pal I will track my calories and macros to learn what it takes to meet my goals. Using this info to help me plan meals over the next few weeks. Goal 3: Morning Routine My morning routine has gotten all out of whack, and switching to working from home this year is not helping. So here is my plan to help get into a regular Rhythm. 6:00 - Awake 6:15 - Out of bed, coffee, reading. 7:00 - Work Out 8:00 - Shower, cook breakfast. 9:00 - Start workday. Goal 4: Spring Cleaning My bedroom, closet, and shed are in complete disarray right now. Mostly from transitioning from my winter activities to warmer weather ones. I will come up with a plan and tackle each section a little at a time until they are organized.
  5. I realize today is the first day, but I am still ironing things out. Regardless, I will be here and I am going to do whatever it takes to get back onto the health train. More to come!
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