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  1. Atreus: Father, when will I look like you? Kratos: In what way? Atreus: Like bigger... when do I get muscles like yours? Kratos: When you work for them. Atreus: But Baldur was really strong and he didn't have any muscles. Kratos: My strength does not come from my body but both are honed by discipline. Atreus: What does that mean? Mimir: Means you've got the strength of a god no matter what, lad. But if you want the physique of one, you better start picking heavy things up and puttin' em back down. Atreus: Ugh While I am, of course, not a child, this advice sets the tone for this challenge. If I want to become stronger, I need to work for it. While I do not expect (nor want) to be as big as Kratos, he will be inspiration and motivation during this challenge. I have broken this challenge into four categories: STRONGER, FASTER, SMARTER, CALMER. If you've been following me for a while, you might notice that I have tried something different this challenge by setting SMART(ish) goals that are a little more specific. However, expect that my usual morning routine and past habits will continue. STRONGER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will have increased my physical strength by at least 10% as measured by an increase in number of reps to failure of kettlebell single-arm overhead press. HOW: I will pick "heavy things" up and put them back down for at least 20 minutes, three days a week; this can include standard equipment, such as kettlebells and dumbbells, but also includes logs, stones, cinderblocks, and my children. Workouts will be MWF, which is both manageable and sustainable. BONUS: On "off days," practice "greasing the groove" by doing a single set of a low rep exercise with a "heavy thing," stopping well short of failure. Training will look like this: Monday: Strength workout Tuesday: Grease the groove Wednesday: Strength HIIT Thursday: Grease the groove Friday: Strength workout Saturday: Trail run Sunday: Rest and recover FASTER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will be able to run a sub-30 minute 5k as measured by a 5k run. HOW: I will run 5k at least two days a week, with an endurance run at least one day a week and sprint/speed intervals at least two days a week. Training will look something like this: Monday: Sprint intervals Tuesday: 5k run Wednesday: Rest Thursday: 5k run Friday: Rest Saturday: Trail run (for endurance) Sunday: Rest and recover SMARTER: GOALS: By the end of the challenge, I will increase my daily use of Duolingo; I will increase my daily reading habit by at least 5 minutes a day; I will learn at least one new thing daily. HOW: I will set a reminder to complete at least the daily requirements to achieve a 30 day streak on Duolingo I will set aside at least 30 minutes of reading time daily I will use apps such as Humane and Kinnu to learn new information, as well as the NPR app and podcasts. CALMER: GOAL: By the end of the challenge, I will improve my mental health by reducing my angry reactions to stress. HOW: I will use a meditation app to increase my meditation/contemplative prayer practice from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. I will take 30 minute mindful walks to help clear my mind. I will write down what I am grateful for and create daily affirmations using the 5 Minute Journal app. I will practice a relaxing breathing technique (short inhale through nose, long exhale through mouth) and apply this technique in moments of stress and frustration. I will listen to music that elevates my mood.
  2. Since I am re-watching season one of The Witcher, finally watching season two, and listening to an audiobook version of Blood of Elves over the next few weeks, I thought it appropriate to theme this challenge after The Witcher. As has been my trend lately, I will break my challenge goals into two parts: Physical and Mental. Physical: For this goal, I am returning to a training plan I followed a few years ago: the Primal Blueprint plan. The university gym is closed this week, so I need a schedule that is flexible and does not require the gym but still asks for strength workouts as well as cardio and HIIT workouts. I will continue to use Darbee as a source for workouts while intentionally choosing workouts that match the Witcher/fantasy/warrior theme. Also, I plan to do most of these workouts outdoors in nature whenever possible. I will link a video below that shows a Witcher workout and explains a few of the reasons why it is always a good idea to train in nature. Monday – Sprint Tuesday – Lift Heavy Things/Bodyweight Exercises Wednesday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Thursday – HIIT/WOW Friday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Saturday – Lift Heavy Things/Bodyweight Exercises Sunday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest My diet during this challenge will be similar to the Darebee Modern Hero meal plan: 1/2 plate fruit/berries/veggies/mushrooms/healthy fats, 1/4 plate protein, 1/4 plate healthy carbs. Additional physical goals: morning stretches, "grounding" every morning, cold shower daily, 10,000-12,000 steps M-F I plan to mix this up by lifting heavy objects such as cinderblocks, logs, sledgehammer, etc., doing bodyweight exercises, and using the gym, as well, for dumbbell and kettlebell . I can also use the "Move Slowly, Play, or Rest" days for such things as yoga, tai chi, stretching, etc. Mental: For this goal, I am returning to my morning routine of prayer/meditation/scripture reading, as well as breath work. It does not have to be Wim Hof breathing but does need to be some kind of breath work. 0445 wakeup pray/meditate/read scripture at least 5 minutes of breath work The video below is a discussion on how to "train like Geralt" by training in nature and using such things as clubs, the Gada (mace), and kettlebells. It also discusses using hybrid moves and meditation.
  3. The Patellar Tendonitis Troubleshooting Quest 21 July 20 **All exercises done w/ heels up on a 45 lb bumper plate Squat: 6 x 5 @ 135 lbs Box squat: 1 x 5 @ 145 lbs Front squat: 5 x 5 @ 95 lbs Good morning: 3 x 5 @ 125 lbs 5-rep squat test: 145 lbs Observations: Right knee was sore for the 1st two sets, but after adjusting the heels to be closer towards the edge of the bumper plate, felt much better and had no issues. Definitely felt the pump in the adductors. Getting home, knee felt a little sore, but no different than previous days.
  4. Decisions I made during the last challenge: 1. I think I need to switch gyms. I'm currently with Planet Fitness, and I hate it. One of the things that brought me out of bulimia 6-7 years ago was barbell training; and I miss it terribly. Planet Fitness doesn't have any; but there is a new gym close to my house that is an old school gym that has many. Also the new gym claims to be open 24 /7, actually open 24/7. If it is that will help a lot because, most of the time I don't seem to be done with my day, in a way that I could workout until 8 or 9 in the evening, (when my planet fitness closes). I got some client payments last week and I'm financially stable right now, so I'm going to go check out the new gym tomorrow. 1 (a). Recently, Steve posted something on the NF Facebook page about working out every day of the week being easier than working out 2-4 times a week. And I realized, for me at least, that's true. When I worked out everyday, there was no question as to whether or not I'd workout that day, I didn't need motivation or even really a schedule, it was just a question of what the workout would be. I've been very cautious to workout every day again because I didn't want to retrigger the bulimia. (My purge method was excessive exercise). But if I make a workout everyday schedule with less intense, recovery, days; I'll lessen the risk of constant injury, and won't go overboard. 2. I really need to eat more, earlier in the day. I habitually eat very little during the day and then eat everything in the evening. But on the rare occasion that I eat enough during the day, my dinners at night become very reasonable, and I feel better overall. 3. I still need to drink more water and get more sleep. Goal 1: Workout every day. Goal 2. Eat more, earlier, in smaller portions, and everything should be clean Goal 3. Water-6 cups at least; Sleep -6 hours at least. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Work Work Work Work Work Jujitsu (AM) Church “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ Cardio Resistance Jujitsu (PM) Life Group Errands Cardio Resistance Endurance or Speed Hams (RDLs) & Chest Yoga Abs Yoga Endurance Hams (RDLs), Lats & Delts
  5. Assault on the Gloom Monster! - again I am quite literally, copying and pasting a challenge from October 2018, lol. Why? Autumn into winter is my most difficult time of year because the shortening days, the degrading weather and grey skies all weigh on me heavily. While I've never been clinically diagnosed with S.A.D. I would be surprised if they said I didn't suffer from it. Autumn and winter is brutal for me, yo. I cannot let the Gloom Monster derail me every year, so we are doubling the efforts to avoid the trap that will turn me into one of the Gloomfallen. RULE #1 - Consistency, not Perfection will damage the Gloom Monster! I've spent the last 4-6 weeks getting into a very good routine with strength workouts. I work out so that I am strong and physically fit enough to move through life in a way that allows me to enjoy a lot of things. I also know it is great for aiding the mood and guarding the emotions against attacks from the Gloom. Exercise at least 5x a week. Continue strength training 2-3x, fill in other days with any kind of non-laziness. Basically, anything 20m or more that has me up and about, can count for this. RULE #2 - To keep the soul healthy, the body must be nourished. I'm on a good streak with tracking my calories, and it is currently not causing me any rage, stress or tantrums. I have taken a couple months off of tracking. I've held the line with my weight during that time, but I would like to shrug off at least half of the pounds I put back on after hitting my all time low. I am going to start off this challenge with tracking again. Both because I think I need the refresher, and also because my sister will be tracking food again after meeting with a doctor about her weight gain. I'm hoping that I can help her by doing this along side her. If not, it's always a good re-focus for myself. Track Food in MFP 7x / week. Plan for 1 Fun meal / week. RULE #3 - A sharp mind keeps a sharp sword. So, this was mostly about art back in 2018. I've not done that hardly at all for the past year and it shows. As I had always wanted art to be a means of practicing "a thing I am not super good at, but will continue even thought it doesn't come fast or perfect" - I would like to get this going again. I almost always get re-inspired during Inktober. So I just need to make time for this. It will also include other creative outlets and anything that makes me put down the video games. Sketch a few times a week! 3x / week Reconfigure desk to set up an EASY tablet access point. D&D Prep 1x / week RULE #4 - Face fear, conquer lies. I don't even know how to quantify this, and that typically marks for a bad goal - but this is so dang important right now. Any ideas you all have on it, I am open eared. Some ideas floating to work on this are: Gratitude Note Daily Positive Body remark Daily Change 'doom' What If's to be a what if 'best case scenario'. Continue Devotions Find a small group / even if it's online to help me with faith side things. Side Goals for the journey: Really hone in on the budget app. Use it for every single thing purchased. Get outside, even when it gets cold and bleh. "Man's heart away from nature becomes hard." ~ Standing Bear (Read this at a N.P. once and loved it.) Recreate 1 movie inspired gif per week! See at least 4 houses to start getting ideas of what works and what doesn't taste wise.
  6. I'm Stronkey Kong -- neutral good human/wizard adventurer/warrior hybrid. I made a list for Santa during the holiday challenge. That is now 'The Big List' that I'm trying to achieve goals on to improve life, health, and fitness. Right now the big things on my plate are strength training, getting outdoors and walking/hiking, cooking/eating healthier, painting/drawing, and buying a home (my Wizard's tower). I left off last challenge building a foundation of barbel training, batch cooking, and just put an offer on a house. Here's the big list: (spoilered cuz it's a big list) And here's what I'm focusing on for this challenge. Intuitive Eating: Keep batch cooking tasty, healthy meals Start food journaling, Bujo portions and notes on mood, energy, etc. Intuitive Exercising: Keep up the barbell program 2+ times /week Ruck (>= 1 mi) or walk (>= 2 mi) 1+ times/week Painting and drawing: Ahh.... just keep going. But especially with the ink drawings right now because that makes me focus... cuz you only get one chance with ink. Buying my Wizard's Tower: This one's an ongoing to-do list Satisfy requirements for loan Gather documents Do taxes Complete first-time homeowner class(es?) Realtor/Property Search Look at moar houses. Work and save Respond to shop manager about the lab position Tax returns: Set aside a portion for first-time homeowner classes Save the rest
  7. So I've been on hiatus for most of a year for a variety of reasons (good and bad). But it's time for a respawn, so I'm reaching out again to the support networks I have (the forums here, Connect on the WeightWatchers app, etc) to try and maintain accountability and get regular feedback on things. Yet to do: re-write my Life at Level 50 mission statement/goals (Work changed, and with it, the driving need to drown my frustrations in food and shopping). The previous battle log is here, if anyone wants to visit the unpleasant swamp of the past: https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/83812-tokidoki-kittys-daily-log/ Going forward: - If not a daily log, at least a weekly one - Revisit and refine my goals regularly (and set them up in smaller, manageable pieces) - Improve my productivity habits / reduce my procrastination habits -- this goes for both work and home. - Address, treat/mitigate my physical pains (through diet, exercise, etc). - Financial success (large savings account) and freedom (no more credit card debt/recurring balance carryovers) - I want to go to Japan and spend a lot of time on experiences and shopping for tea and kimono equipment that I can't get in the States. Need money to do that. :/
  8. For my return to the Challenges, I'm going to go with a Lord of the Rings theme, since I'm currently doing a Walk to Mordor challenge too. So, attempting to follow Frodo out of the Shire, here's what I'm aiming for: Declutter the Hobbit Hole Like Bilbo getting ready for his 111th birthday party and subsequent departure from the Shire, I need to get rid of some stuff. I already have some bags ready to go, but I'm not sure what to do with them, so for this part of the challenge my three main objectives are: Figure out what to do with old stuffed animals that are still in good shape Weed out my wardrobe and pitch/donate the stuff I don't wear anymore Organize my closet Farmer Maggot's Mushrooms I've been doing a very good job (if I do say so myself) of eating local throughout the summer. In my climate, we're getting to the time of year when that becomes a bit trickier, but to try to keep the momentum going, during this challenge I want to visit: A new farm stand nearby that has fruits and veggies The local pumpkin patch The butcher shop next to my work A nearby apple orchard I always say I'm going to check out and never have Walk to Mordor As previously stated, I'm working on my own Walk to Mordor Challenge (just left Bag End on September 1). I hope to make Bree by the end of this challenge (135 miles total, I already have 26.81 miles in). Strength Training For strength training, I'll be doing the Lord of the Rings workouts. Instead of doing each book as a super set though, I'll be treating them as separate workouts. Thursday, Saturday, Monday is currently my best schedule for working out. And there you have it! By the end of this challenge, if all goes according to plan, I should be out of the Shire and ready to take on the rest of Middle Earth.
  9. Hi everyone! I realized that I tend to by the same things every time I go to the store, win! But there's a point to it, I'm not sure what to do with all of this heathy food! Loss! I have around 20 items and I need help creating recipes that would be easy to meal plan with. I'll leave the list below, thanks! P.S also any way you can help me with budgeting all this would be greatly appreciated! I'm a poor college student now! Protein 1. Whole Eggs: cage free 2. Any of these could be in my kitchen, Lean Meats: Chicken, turkey, lean cuts of pork (like tenderloin), beef, along with wild game (buffalo, venison, elk, ostrich, rabbit) if I want something different. 3. Fatty Fish: Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies can help to increase mood during my long shifts and stressful calls. Likewise depends on week 4. Fermented Soy: This produces natural antibiotic agents to increase the body’s resistance to infections. Legumes 5. Beans: Small red beans, kidney beans, chick peas, and black beans depending on what's available for cheap, it's in bulk. 6. Lentils: Low in calories and perfect for reducing the chances of heart disease. Bulk Vegetables 7. Tomatoes: They can help with connective tissue strength and even help to improve vision. Get 8 8. Spinach: Packed with Vitamin K, which contributes to building stronger bones. Buy a box or two 9. Cruciferous Vegetables: Packing your plate at the firehouse with broccoli, cabbage cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts will leave you feeling fuller longer in-between meals. Steamfresh if possible Fruits 10. Avocados: Studies have shown that avocadoes can reduce cholesterol and even help you burn fat. Bag 11. Citrus Fruits: Oranges and grapefruit Bag it and tag it when available 12. Berries: Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cranberries Frozen Starches and whole grains 13. Sweet Potatoes and Yams: These act as your body’s storage tank for energy. You better have just the right amount of energy if you’re going to be fighting a fire. A few lbs 14. Quinoa: High in protein, but more importantly, high in riboflavin, which has been shown to reduce the frequency of migraines. If there's someone who deals with enough migraines, it's emergency workers. Bag and tag 15. Amaranth: A great solution to having more fiber since it contains three times more than wheat. Bag and tag Heathy fats 16. Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, and pistachios can all help reduce inflammation and even lead to a better mood and mental process. Can also be eaten in nut butter form. Bulk it 17. Seeds: Flax, hemp, chia, and pumpkin all contain good fats that help you feel fuller for longer. Bulk 18. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: This is high in antioxidants and the healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help to control your cholesterol. Drinks 19. Water: Water makes up approximately 70% of our body I carry around a gallon of water while I'm at work, especially on hot days when your uniform and gear will cause you to lose more water than normal. 20. Green Tea: A chemical in green tea called EGCG can help lower cortisol (your stress hormone) and increase your immune system after long shifts.
  10. Jedi Masters have a canon-long history of going into hiding when their plans went sideways. Obi-wan Kenobi went to Tatooine. He evidently didn't hate sand, even though it's all coarse, and rough, and irritating. And it gets everywhere. Yoda went to Dagobah. Mudhole? Slimy? His home this is. Luke Skywalker went to Ahch-To. And refused to answer the door. That puts me in good company as I practice social-distancing while my world remains on hiatus during the COVID19 shutdown. From the comfort of my home office, in front of the standing desk I knocked out last weekend. "Practice". Seriously, people, as an introvert I've been practicing social distancing almost my whole life. Pandemic social-distancing and potential quarantine is like the Introvert Olympics and I'm going to win all the gold medals and look like Usain Bolt in his prime while doing it. The challenge for me won't be social distancing, it will be to not allow myself to shut down while preparing for a Shelter In Place order. I don't want to let myself lose the healthy habits I've been started to regain over the first part of this year. Goal: Strength Training For all of January and a good part of February, I was staying consistent with a gym regimen. Somewhere at the beginning of March I came down with a case of influenza (tested), which knocked me out for the better part of two weeks. I was just starting to feel like myself again when the State mandated gyms and spas to close, which meant my gym was closed. Fortunately, our gym has an amazing owner who has built up a large Facebook group for gym members support, and the trainers are all broadcasting their classes online. I've got weights at home. I literally have no excuses for not working out. Goal: Three strength, boot camp or crossfit-style workouts per week. Follow the recorded live broadcasts if my work schedule doesn't accommodate doing them live. Goal: Cardio Training This one's not hard. I have good running shoes and good running gear, and most of the snow is gone. I don't like cold weather, but that's an excuse. I should be running multiple times per week while it's still allowed. Goal: Run three times per week. Non-Goal: Nutrition The bad part about being stuck at home is that boredom leads to eating. The good part is that it's harder to go out to eat, even though takeout is still a viable option and being widely suggested as a way to support local businesses through the economic disaster that will accompany the pandemic. The other good part is I already know how to batch prep for meals and there's less of an excuse now as to why I'm not doing it. I'm not going to track my macros because I'm not in that kind of headspace right now, but I generally understand what 1800-2400 calories is when I'm batch-prepping. Non-Goal: Eat sensibly and avoid snack binging while home. Goal: Self Care This is the tricky part. We're only a couple weeks into widespread social distancing and I'm seeing a LOT of people reporting issues with anxiety and depression. I'm worried about my kids as much as I'm worried about myself. Kids were scheduled for spring break this week, but got an additional week off as schools cancelled the previous week to give districts and teachers time to prep for distance learning. Additionally, my three adult kids all work in the hospitality industry - restaurant, barista, hotel - and two of them are temporarily out of work and the third would be, but his hotel is still under construction and he's on the management team trying to open it to... no guests any time soon. Nobody is panicking and it looks like the social safety nets that are supposed to be in place will do what they should to help, but I'm concerned and I'm already a worrier and a habitual caregiver who needs to make sure I am taking care of myself. No green milk.
  11. Hello adventurers ⚔️ On this 18th day of April 2020, I begin my food and training log, as a way to ensure accountability! I am a girl (or woman?) in my 20’s, 5’4", and 124 lbs. I have always been physically fit — I have a black belt in taekwondo and I have run a mile in 7 min 15 seconds. However, those milestones were achieved back when I was a teenager. Throughout my college years, I lacked the time management skills necessary to balance academics and physical activity. Now that I am back home, I hope to regain my former strength and become even stronger than I used to be. I do not wish to completely cut out any particular food groups from my diet; I rather want to simply practice moderation and limiting my consumption of processed foods. I also wish to use this time off to exercise 7 days a week, for 45 min each day, doing both cardio and strength training. So...first of all, my food intake for today: Morning: 1 bagel with cream cheese 1 cup of tea with milk 1 glass of protein, fruit & veggie shake Afternoon: 1 small bowl of fried rice with broccoli 2 small baked potatoes (seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil) 1 large cup of coffee with oat milk and 1 spoon brown sugar 1 bowl of chickpeas (Indian style) Evening: Jelly beans (~130 cal, 30g sugar) 5 small slices of homemade, thin-crust veggie pizza
  12. So the big goal is still this... Lose 50 lbs (total) by October, 31st, that's 5 lbs a month January - Done! February - Done! March - Done! April - Done May - Nope June - Double Nope July - Not looking good for the home team The Plan.... 1. Three interval runs, and one strength training a week. Make one of these runs outside when possible. Non-game days only, game days give me at least 10,000 steps and at least 20 flights of stairs 2. Continue making the 24 hour plan, eat on plan when hungry, stop when full. 3. Three times a week (at least) take time for me, this can be journaling, crocheting, or time to read Those that have followed me before know I was going through some personal stuff, I posted an update in my last challenge which I will put under a spoiler here for those interested Season is almost over, will be done before the end of this challenge unless we make the playoffs. Good thing for my goals is a lot of temptation will be removed and I'll have time to train. Bad thing for my goals is I have built in activity on days I may not have Still have 30 lbs to go towards my original goal which would be 10 lbs a month, I'm not going to give up on working towards it but not 100% certain I will make it, but shoot for the moon, even if you miss you still land among the stars.
  13. So, I bought a Wii U (yeah, I know I'm seven years out of date). After my wife saw a second-hand Wii Balance Board for sale, we now have Wii Fit U and we exercise using it every week day. The great thing about Wii Fit is that has the gamification built in. You earn credits by exercising longer. You unlock harder exercises by getting better at the more basic exercises. The Fit Meter is great at encouraging us to walk more. Anyway, I created a bodyweight strength training routine, based on the Nerd Fitness basic bodyweight strength training routine, using the available Wii Fit U exercises. If anyone else around here has played with Wii Fit, perhaps you could advise me on ways in which this routine could be improved or it could be a starting point for others: Bodyweight strength training routine Warm-up: Free-step (10-mins) (I do this with hand-weights, planning to level-up to dumbbells this week) Strength-training (repeat three times): Rowing Squat (instead of bodyweight squat; with hand-weights/dumbbells) Push-up and Side Plank Lunge Single-leg Reach (with hand-weights/dumbbells - this is the closest I could think of to the dumbbell rows) Plank Side-lunge (this is the closest I could think of to Jumping Jacks) Jackknife (just an extra one I threw in for my abs; I do this with hand-weights/dumbbells) Is this good enough? Would other Wii Fit U exercises be more beneficial?
  14. recrudescence breaking out afresh or into renewed activity; revival or reappearance in active existence. I'm back! It's been a couple of years since I've been active on Nerd Fitness. I went back to work in 2017 after 16 years as a SAHM and every spare moment has gone into my re-education and re-acclimation to the working world. Now I'm in a place where I'm looking to return to a life of balance. Work at work, home at home, self-care prioritized. Until the start of the next 4-week challenge, I'll check in daily on this battle log thread to report where I'm at. What I'm eating and how I'm being active so I can plan out a good challenge. I am looking for suggestions for strength training. I'm coming off of a very painful 18 month tennis elbow injury. I dropped xfit, tried medication, did about a year of PT/acupuncture, a round of cortisone, and also a round of PRP. I fear the return of the pain but know I need to strength training. So ideas - please!!
  15. A bit late to the party and yet there so much to do! High time I put my challenge up and get some oooomph going again For those who don't know me, I'm a happy go lucky fire dragon from Germany that used to fly around pole and a bitty on the aerial hoop as well, then kind of fell into a slumber of inertia and padded up a little... Life was still moving, but fitness not so much and I discovered how the longer the gap between things, the harder the hurdle to get started again. Well, the hurdle was crushed during end of 2018 and my January challenge this year was like reaping from the three or so before in terms of it going super well and me feeling like I can do this fitness thing again I even managed a nice balance of fitness, family, work and household things, go me. Thanks to a silly stubborn cold, I lost momentum a little and could not wooosh into this challenge like I would have loved to, but I'm getting better everyday and it's time to rock another challenge Talking about rock, I've got a theme song this time, check it out This song always puts me into a good mood and helps me take all those flippin decisions in my life less seriously. I really believe we can change like the weather and watch out I might just do that I'll spend the last week of this challenge in an intense meditation retreat with Dr Joe Dispenza in Bonn, Germany and am beyond excited about it, squeeeeeeeeee (There are so many possible challenge themes in preparing myself for it, that I had trouble choosing and don't ask me how I ended up with this song instead, I really don't know) Anyway... No way of knowing what all will happen there, but I am expecting the unexpected and new for sure Miracles even, as a lot of people have spontaneous healings at these events. While I don't have any health issue that needs healing, I am very keen on learning how to help others better in their healing. Also am really curious what activities await us for going beyond common comfort zones, have to admit heights might really freak me (they never used to when I was younger) at the same time I remember the boost of energy I had after the two fire walks I had the chance to go on some years ago and this might be similar in having conquered things that my mind tells me I can't. Climbing up a pole like they did in this event would be soooooo awesome, the feeling at the top must have been utterly amazing! But before I go, there is lots that I want to get done still. A good chunk of work projects that I'd like to progress on, some house keeping stuff (that always seems to pile up), getting back into my training rhythm plus adding some pole fun, keeping up my meditations and experimenting with intermittent fasting.... Basically I want to do all the things again Rock, Paper, Scissors, which one is it going to be....? Let's see how often I can go for each of them ROCK - Strength training 2x/week - Pole PvP with @Mad Hatter and who knows where that will lead to .... plus - rock solid foundation in meditation: rise and meditate at 4am (Mon - Fri) or 5am (Sat/Sun) PAPER - tend my website, get some more audio recordings up and update some texts - write a nice article and send it out with a newsletter - get accounting done for January plus - some reflection on my day on actual paper at night or coloring in on paper instead of on screens SCISSORS - cutting down my eating times again; going for 16/8 and maybe an occasional longer fast in between - cutting and pasting motivational images into a mind movie to encourage me into bold, new adventures (this is actually preparation for the meditation retreat, so I better get on it asap) plus - cutting screens out of the hour before bed time might have to rediscover some creative things
  16. So i have just completed my first ever OCR. My training leading up to the event, plus post-race analysis, is detailed in my Barbarian Challenge training log. This log will pick up where that race ended. i do hope to do more of these events in the future, plus a smattering of 5 and 10ks, some powerlifting meets, some shooting comps, and whatever other epic adventures i may come across. So, here we go!
  17. Missed most of this week due to vacation. I did a lot of walking, but no running. I am going to run later today.
  18. Hey y'all! I'm pregnant with my first child and I'm having a little bit of a conundrum. The conundrum is that we weren't trying not to have kids, but we weren't trying to either, so this hit me right in the middle of a great stride in actually losing weight. The other part of this, is that my OB (whom I love to bits and only wants the best for me) actually wants me to maintain or at least not gain very much over the course of this pregnancy--Maybe I mis-heard her, but I thought she said 5 lbs max?? That means that I'd actually have to lose fat and whatnot in order for the baby to make me gain weight without having a net gain. Since I was already in the mode of working out and starting to lift, I'm keeping that up, but I'm curious if there are other fit-minded overweight (optional) pregnant Rebels out there. I guess I'm looking for company Here's the stats in case you're wondering: 5'5" (I always say 5'6", but apparently I've shrunk) 243 (at the last doctor's visit. My home scale says 238) BMI 40 BF% 40 (as of April) 8 weeks (estimated) into the pregnancy. My blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. is fine. My RMR is 1580 (as of April).
  19. I switched to Adventurer class primarily because I want to get more 'outdoorsy' activities into my life. Therefore, the highlight/climax of my challenge will be either a short "hike" (might be more of a walk around the park) or a trip to the beach. It's difficult for me to find time to make a special trip for this kind of purpose, so that's why there's only one for this 4-week challenge. I suppose you could say, "it's not a priority", but it's a lot easier to do a bunch of small stuff than carve out a one- to six-hour chunk of my life for the purpose of doing something special. Hopefully, if I make it more of a priority, it will eventually become just part of my schedule and require less effort. My other goals are all quite basic: 1. Food tracking. (Every day, and AS I GO, so I can self-correct if I start to go over my calories.) I'll probably continue to put this on my Daily Battle Log. 2. Track water. Every time I stop tracking it, I find that I'm not drinking enough. So I need to add this to my food log. 3. Walk 5 out of 7 days each week. Just something short, like a 5-minute walk around the block. The idea is to build a habit of going out and doing something every day. 4. Two weeks (out of the 4) where I do the Nerd Fitness beginner's bodyweight training. Again, this is more about building a habit than anything else. 5. Edit: Get ready for bed by 9:30pm! And try to be asleep by 11. And that's it! Back to basics, since it's been over 2 years since I last did a challenge. I will reward myself each week depending on goals met. One prize is available each week for the walking, and one for the bodyweight. No prizes for food and water tracking; I don't think I need the extra incentive. I have an Amazon list of fairly cheap little items that I want, but can't buy until I earn them. There's also a slightly more significant prize for doing the outdoors activity.
  20. I've been lifting heavy and hard for roughly a year now, and raised all of my maxes significantly. But within the last few months, I've hit a hard plateau on my bench press at 200/205. I've tried multiple different programs to break though it, but I always end up failing sets around this weight. Programs attempted thus far: 1. Stronglifts 5x5 - This is where I started, and this got me to about 150-160. 2. Effortless Superhuman (Tim Ferris, 4 Hour Body) - This worked well up until I hit the 200/205 plateau. Despite multiple resets, I couldn't break it. 3. Eating the Elephant (Tim Ferris, 4 Hour Body) - This program is supposed to be designed specifically to break bench press plateaus, but I still failed at the 200/205. My diet for roughly 6 months has been Tim Ferris's "Slow Carb Diet," to include the Saturday cheat days, and extra protein from whey protein powder + water shakes to support muscle growth. The only area I already know I struggle with is sleep, as I often times will only average 5 hours a night. I've come a long way in my journey, but I'm not satisfied, and I refuse to let 200 be my max when I know there are people out there lifting triple that or more. Any and all help would be appreciated, I can take the criticism if anyone knows something I'm doing wrong or a program that would be helpful.
  21. Hey! I'm Jean but you can call me PurplePotato! I was recommended this website by a friend of mine and I was wondering if you guys could help me out. So, I wanted to get into muscle acquisition since I've got various health issues that often hinder my energy and overall strength. I'm looking to exercise my arms, legs, and core, since I have to work a lot of retail jobs and heavy lifting looks good on a job application, lol. I'm a creator, and a lot of my work is sedentary (I'm both a writer and digital artist), so anything I can do indoors is wonderful, though I'm not opposed to outdoor workouts as well! Just anything where I don't have to use or pay for a lot of expensive equipment since I'm a student and have to pack light! I also have disordered eating and food insecurity, so please, no diets or weight discussion! (Weight and diets are also triggers for me, so please tag before you discuss it!) Just anything that'll help me feel less woozy all the time would be great! If you need more details, my PM is open! Thanks for whatever help you can bring!
  22. After a great start to 2017 that was highlighted by qualifying for the first time at age 50 for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships and capped off by competing in the Age Group category in that race, the year ended rather quietly as I "whatever"-ed myself into missing workouts, backing off on my running program, and basically falling as out-of-shape as I have been in over three years. Coming on its heels, my 2018 has been consistent in its inconsistency. The year started off poorly; I was eating poorly, I was not working out consistently, and I was missing my scheduled runs. In context, I am not failing, regardless of what the scale says. I look reasonably good in clothes that fit and I am pretty fit in comparison with most of my peers, who largely laugh when I describe myself as "Old, fat and out-of-shape." This is true despite the onset of psoriatic arthritis in the middle of 2017 that has adjusted how I exercise and how I recover. However, I'm not ready to admit defeat to my arthritic knees and lower back. Instead of my deskbound co-workers, I expect to measure myself against a whole different set of peers: These men, 50 and over, who are not content to take that knee but will Rise Up and Conduct Their Business as Grand Masters. I will not go quietly into the night. I will fight until I can't fight anymore. I will Rebel. Main Goal In October of this year, I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships. I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the 2017 season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I will travel to the UK to participate and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again. This time, I don't want to be happy to be there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal (or two, or three) and a tee shirt: I want to finish with 100% obstacle completion. This is where I say "I know what it takes to get where I want to be" and put my goals in. I do know what it takes. If I had any self-discipline, I could run a Battle Log, because this is basically Level Grinding, but I have the self-discipline of a weasel on crack and the attention span to match, so here we are. If you've been around for any of my challenges you're already familiar with what's going on, but if there are any new eyes reading, here's what's on the menu: Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." I'm still building up my mileage from a long winter of slacking, but I have a running plan that works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Strength I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with boot-camp style bodyweight and high-rep, low-weight training, and pull-ups. This will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. There will be white boards. Plan: Boot Camp Monday and Wednesday, weight training Tuesday and Thursday. Bonus: 400 pull-ups during the course of the challenge. I tried this last time and it faded out due to inconsistency. Goal: Skill While raw strength will help with some obstacles, it's not going to help me through a ninja-style rig or on Pegatron or obstacles where there are specific skills involved. I have a gym membership to Obstacle Academy for this. Plan: Weekly Friday obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Goal: Sustenance When I track my nutritional macros, I can lose inches around my middle and still keep up my muscle mass. When I'm consistent, I see the results I want. I've worked with a couple trainers over the past five years to arrive at the numbers below and as long as I am honest with myself, I can meet my goals here and also look good in my mud jersey when I hit the starting line at the Spartan Race in June. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Sanity This is my self-care non-goal. I'm chronically over-scheduled and currently don't have an out for this, and it won't even get better at the end of the school year until I'm back from my summer Youth Mission Trip, which happens during the last week of this challenge cycle. This is not a quantifiable, SMART goal, but it will stay on the list to remind me to spend some time in self-care daily. Starting Line I Race, and I love it. I love the atmosphere and the people and the event itself. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. Including my trail race during Week Zero, I've got a handful of trail "races" on the docket this cycle to ensure that I am getting in my weekend long runs, and one OCR in the middle: The Minnesota Spartan Sprint is my lone local OCRWC Qualifying event of the year, and this year they've made it part of their "Mountain Series", which means it will probably draw more people than I'm used to seeing at our venue and may stack my Age Group with highly-competitive runners who are significantly faster than me and who want the cool finisher medal. We'll see what happens as far as OCRWC qualifying times, but I'm going to go all out trying in front of my friends and family. Finally, I have bee pretty crappy about keeping my challenge threads up-to-date for the past couple months. I won't ghost on y'all - I love my Rangers - but bear with me, especially since this challenge will be done for me at the end of Week 3. I want y'all to know that regardless of the lags in posting, every like and every comment is observed, read, and appreciated. Carry on, Rebels. It's time for an adventure.
  23. It had been a while since her defeat at the hands of her own companions. Though Devyn’s team of fellow assassins had supported her, she had drifted from them and found herself running with the wrong crowds, getting further and further from her goals, obsessing more and more over her enemies. Devyn left her friends and followed a group of secret assassins who had tempted her with power. She became more and more preoccupied with her demons to the detriment of her own health. When she had faced one of her enemies, she fell. And she had fallen hard. Had it not been for a friendly monk of Majere who had found her, half dead, in the woods she most likely would not have made it. The monk had taken her back to the monastery (much to the displeasure of the other monks who did not take kindly to a kender on the compound) and had nursed her back to health. During that time, he had taken her under her wing and had taught her the power of meditation and slow movement - something that Devyn had always had trouble with. For the next several months, as she took care of the monastery as an aide, she had learned the ways of the monks and had eventually passed their rigorous test to become an acolyte. But her kender roots had been calling to her lately, craving movement and change, craving a new adventure. And so, with the permission of the monk, she had set out to find a group of druids unknown to most of Ansalon. These druids, it was said by those who knew of them, possessed a gift, known in their language as buti - a secret cure known only to them. Those who knew of them spoke of the strict discipline of these druids, who used wild magic, rigorous movement, and strict eating regimens to cure body and mind. When Devyn had heard of this she had to learn their secrets. And so she packed her bags, meditated, and then set off to find these druids. Main Quest: Complete the Buti Yoga Certification (XP 100) My certification for teaching Buti Yoga is on June 30-July1. I’m hoping to build my strength up to get through this very difficult certification. Buti Yoga combines yoga, tribal dance, and plyometrics...it is not easy...and it’s not easy to do for 12 hours a day 2 days in a row. So it’s time to step up my game and build some lean muscle. Quest 1: Buti 4-5 times per week (XP 40) I need to complete Buti classes either in person or online as much as possible to get used to the movements. As the challenge goes on I will be doing longer classes to build up my stamina as well as strength. Quest 2: Strength Training 2-3 times per week (XP 30) In addition to the classes, I need to build up some muscle as fast as possible. That means I’ll probably be lifting some weights, doing some bodyweight exercises, and/or attending strength based fitness classes. Quest 3: Follow the Buti Meal Plan (XP 30) The certification sign up comes a meal plan. In order to slim down and build muscle as well as a way to keep as many “spoons” (aka willpower) as possible, I’m going to follow it to the letter and take the choice out of what I’m eating. Let's do this.
  24. Main Goal In October of this year, I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships. I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the 2017 season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I will travel to the UK to participate and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again. This time, I don't want to be happy to be there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal and a tee shirt: I want to finish with 100% obstacle completion. If I do this, I will get to keep my band. A bunch of my friends kept theirs last year. At the end of the last challenge cycle, I ran a qualifying event and did not place well. I got pretty down about it. While it was a wake-up call regarding my training, it was also a wake-up call to re-focus my mindset and my attitude. I needed to be reminded that I do this for FUN. This is about a mile and less than 15 minutes into the race. Does this man look like he's having fun? This man is 8.2 miles and eight hours into the same race. Does this man look like he's having fun? Kacey spent the whole race, including the double-hill bucket carry, smiling. He also was quoted as saying, while standing in a puddle, "You better be careful here, the mud's up to my waist!" and laughing. I ENJOY obstacle racing. I'm going to spend this cycle putting in the work while changing my mindset and enjoying the process. I need to choose the path to the Light Side, where there is joy in the process. This is where I say "I know what it takes to get where I want to be" and put my goals in. I do know what it takes. If I had any self-discipline, I could run a Battle Log, because these things don't change, but I have the self-discipline of a teenager on a Red Bull drip and the attention span to match, so Challenge Thread it is. If you've been around for any of my challenges you know what's coming: Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." The problem is, our trails have been frozen since November and the cold aggravates my psoriatic arthritis. We should have had a thaw in March, but it's now mid-April and IT'S STILL SNOWING. I'll get in most of my work on the Dreadmill with some scheduled trail runs while things are I'm still building up my mileage from a winter of slacking, but I have a running plan that works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Strength I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with boot-camp style bodyweight and high-rep, low-weight training, and pull-ups. This will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. There will be white boards. Plan: Boot Camp Monday, Wednesday, and Saturdays when I don't have a scheduled race or trail run. Weight training Tuesday and Thursday. 400 pull-ups during the course of the challenge. Goal: Skill While raw strength will help with some obstacles, it's not going to help me through a ninja-style rig or on Pegatron or obstacles where there are specific skills involved. I have a gym membership to Obstacle Academy for this. Plan: Weekly Friday obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Have a specific training plan every time instead of just going in and goofing around on the toys. Goal: Sustenance I lost a bunch of weight five years ago by tracking my nutritional macros and I've kept it off by doing the same. I've occasionally dropped five to ten pounds in between that has not stayed off because when I'm not tracking macros, I eat junk. I've stuck to my macros pretty well over the last challenge cycle and my race jersey is fitting pretty well right now, but I'd like to look AMAZING when my home race in June rolls around. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Goal: Sanity This is my self-care non-goal. I'm chronically over-scheduled and currently don't have an out for this. Work is a hot mess and I'm along for the ride. Aside from Yoga on Mondays when it fits my schedule, this is not a quantifyable, SMART goal, but it's on the list to remind me to spend some time in self-care daily. Starting Line I Race. I do it because I enjoy it. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. I've got two trail "races" on the docket this cycle to ensure that I am getting in my weekend long runs. There's also one obstacle mud run at the end of this cycle: Muddy Warrior Run, May 19 This is NOT an OCRWC qualifier, so it is going to be more of a fun run than a competitive race for me. It looks like fun. I'm going to go race happy that day. Time to choose your path, Jedi.
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