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  1. CW: Loss, death, cancer, Some of this is cross-posted from blunder-bolt.tumblr.com I have had an account here under the name "Kingclumsy" but combo of forgetting my password and coming out as transgender meant I wanted to change my user name. Bolt451 comes from my roller derby name "Blunderbolt" and my derby number. I used to skate with roller derby teams but a series of deep vein thromboses (bloody clots) left me with mobility problems and unable to skate, let alone take part in contact sports. I’ve got a plan for fitness and I hope I don’t set myself up for a fall and don’t follow through with this. If anyone reads this I’d be grateful if you pestered me into keeping up to this. I’m mostly writing this for myself to poke myself into doing this. Quick explanation for people who don’t know me that well and it starts on a massive downer. I lost my brother, Ian to cancer last year year, in the space of seven months he went from diagnosis to passing away. It’s been just about six months and it still effing hurts sometimes. I’ve set my mind to do something positive out of this in the grand tradition of raising money for charity and in Ian’s tradition of doing something epic with probably minimal preparation. A few years ago Ian tried to enter a charity London to Paris cycle ride but didn’t get a place on it. I can’t remember if he missed the deadline or didn’t raise enough money or just didn’t get a place but still wanting to raise money he instead cycled from his then house in Feltham, Greater London to my parents’ house in Dursley, Gloucestershire. He did this in a day. A quick google maps tells me this is approximately 110 miles and nine and a half hours of cycling. This was a relatively easy trip up the Thames valley and then cross the far harder Cotswold Hills. Apparently he got to mum and dad’s and pretty much slept for 24 hours. So in honour of the big bearded one that was my brother. I’m going to do the return trip. Dursley to Feltham. Hopefully in a day, but I’ll settle for two. There’s only one major flaw to this. Medically speaking: my legs are knackered. Again, apologies to people who know me well. Owing to an abnormality in my circulatory system I have a problem called post-thrombotic syndrome in both my legs. It means I can’t walk that well or for that far, I can’t run and I definitely can’t ride a normal bike! Instead I have a reyhatri handcycle. So I’ll use that My upper body strength is and always has been atrocious. Hills are really evil on this bike as it’s big, heavy and awkward and a quick google looks like there’s either several ranges of hills in the way or a big detour. The date I’had set myself for this big trip is around the sixteenth of May. It would’ve been Ian’s thirty sixth birthday but this has been delayed to to health problems. I’m going to self indulgently blog about this. Feel free to pester me into doing this, or follow me on any of the following, or here. I’ll try and keep this up to date with my training and other thoughts. Twitter: @bolt_451 Instagram: bolt451 Myfitnesspal: Blunder_bolt
  2. Hi all! I'm 37, currently living in Chicago and determined to lose some weight. I was quite fit in my 20s but multiple health issues in my 30s have taken their toll. I have osteoarthritis in my feet, knees and spine (which I can deal with) and a herniated disc/compressed sciatic nerve that has knocked me on my ass. I've had two surgeries to repair the disc since 2014, and now it looks like I'm going to need a third in the future. The doc who did the last surgery says all he can do is a fusion. Second opinion is vehemently opposed to a fusion since my images show I'm predisposed to disc problems. He says if I get a fusion it'll be like dominoes - I'll end up needing more and more surgeries and end up completely disabled. Due to chronic pain and injury, I've been mostly sedentary since last December. That, combined with depression and medications with weight gain as a known side effect, led to me packing on 30 pounds. I know this extra weight isn't doing me any favors (and is probably making my pain even worse). I've had enough. I'm limited in terms of activity, but I'm really hoping I can drop most of this weight with diet changes alone. I believe in myself and I know I can do this. Another aspect of all of this is that I was assigned female at birth but identify as a non-binary transmasculine human (gender is complicated but also simple - I'm happy to answer questions). I'm struggling with the possibility of starting hormone therapy (testosterone) but a side effect of T is weight gain, especially if you're not active and have an unhealthy diet. I've held off for this reason - I simply can't afford to gain any more weight. In any case, I'm happy to have found NF. I'd love to hear from others who have dealt with back injuries/chronic pain and what sort of plan they follow. I'd also love to meet other trans folk! Sam
  3. It's been about 2 1/3 years since I last posted - heck, since I'very checked the forums - on NF. (Apologies to friends for going into hiding!) While my health and fitness have fluctuated quite a bit, I can proudly say that with the many lessons learned from and alongside you wonderful folks that I've managed to maintain my weight over that period of time! (losing was a frequent goal) However, I have since made some massive progress with my Epic Quest. As some of you know, I am Transgender. Starting my transition (on a physical/medical scale) required a lot of focus on changing my health for the better. Today I proudly stand before you (digitally) not only healthier in many aspects, but further along in my transition that I ever imagined living to see. In the meantime, I just want to say thank you to Steve, Staci, Catspaw(?), Loren, the Adventurer's guild and pretty much everyone and anyone that's helped encourage me at one point or another towards becoming healthier and happier! (Attached pic is Approx joining NF vs Now)
  4. Weeeell, the inter-challenge challenge NAXIUS ASCENDING (Part 1.5) was a complete fail. This probably happened for two reasons: 1) it was my birthday week, and 2) let's pretend that I was getting all the fail out of the way before NAXIUS ASCENDING (Part 2) This challenge will have a heavy focus on time management. As a result, the initial post is mostly a copy/paste job from the last challenge, because I'm lazy efficient. I'm usually more on the ball when there are cosplay-related things at stake. Is it a bad thing that the act of pretending to be a (usually terrible) fictional character gives me greater motivation to be healthy than my own well-being does? Don't answer that. It turns out that my only successful challenge so far, the one from the newbie area where I needed the body of a God had similar cosplay motivations. I wanted to lose 10 lb of fat so that I would make a better Loki. This involved eating more fruits and veggies, and greatly limiting bread and beer. Limiting bread and beer made me sad, but I got some freaking results! And by "limiting beer" I really meant that I switched from beer to whisky. Those of you who've seen my tumblr (or know me in RL) are probably aware of my newest obsession: Jupiter Ascending. This movie was filled with action, cheesiness, amazing costumes, and The Mary Sue describes it in the following manner: "This movie is like if [The Matrix, Dune, Star Wars, and The Fifth Element] plus the music video for the Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life†and the really weird parts of the Mass Effect trilogy all got really drunk at a party and had a massive orgy while H.P. Lovecraft filmed it." Epic, no? Unfortunately, the critics wrecked Jupiter Ascending before it even came out, the marketing for the movie was done wrong, and the movie was considered a failure as far as money goes. I bet it'll make enough money back by the end of the year to break even, but whatever. My obsession with this movie specifically centres on one glorious, twisted, entitled space asshole of a character: Balem Abrasax. I can haz money, power, and ripped abs? (Never fear, the Loki obsession has not gone away. I just can't wear the Loki cosplay for a while because of a recent surgery and associated looooong recovery time. My Loki game will end up much greater in a few months, though! I'll also be making an Agent of Asgard Loki costime for Animaritime this year (JUNE 26! DEADLINE! PANIC!) because fuck wearing several layers of leather in a summer heat wave. Personality-wise, Balem will be much harder to roleplay than Loki, whose character pretty much came naturally to me. Both characters have some psycho in them, but Loki actually has a sense of humor and makes frequent use of snide remarks. Balem, on the other hand, is typically serious ALL. THE. TIME. Oh, and he whispers everything he says...when he's not hysterically rage-shouting, anyway. (Pic 1) (Pic 2) Top: calmly threatening someone. Bottom: FFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU EDIT: IT'S NOT LETTING ME USE GIFS AND I AM RAGE-SHOUTING RIGHT NOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW!!!!11!111 I am not very good at being serious, so I will need to get some practice with that before November, which is when I want to have this costume done. The hysterical rage-shouting I can definitely do well, because I do it all the time when 1) the internet is slow, 2) this video is not available in my country, 3) I get stuck behind a dumbfuck driver in traffic, and 4) I attempt to prepare an under-ripe avocado. The bottom line is that, besides wanting to become a wizard, I also seem to have a desire to become an evil space lord who wears awesome clothes. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. First came Darth Maul, then there was Loki, and now there's Balem. (There will eventually be a Ronan, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.) So, what will I be doing to overlordify myself over the course of the next six weeks? 1: Regeneration/rejuvenation! Because I'm vain. I've had a vanity-based challenge goal before, which I stuck to moderately well because priorities. Now I'm going to do it again, except better, and for a different reason: I want to be as healthy as possible for surgical healing purposes. Then I can hopefully hit the gym again sooner and start working on getting ripped abs. The rejuvenation aspect and associated good looks is merely a nice bonus. I'm not sure if I want the abs for cosplay or just for the sake of having them. Why not both? In Jupiter Ascending, the entitled take baths in a substance called RegenEX. One tube (seen below) is refined from about 100 people. If I can get my hands on a long, hexagonal bottle like this, I'm pretty sure that 4 parts vodka to 1 parts Hypnotiq will make a liquid with the same color. Unfortunately, I am 1) not an entitled or a royal being in real life (yet!) and 2) RegenEX doesn't exist in real life. Oh, and 3) the whole thing about RegenEX being made of people would probably not fly in real life, either. So I need to get a similar (but lesser, obviously) rejuvenation effect by using more mundane methods. 1.1: Minimal coffee use. Pass/fail. I will have no more than one cup per day. Coffee interferes with collagen production, and apparently that's important during healing. I'll post more on this later, but I'm not sure how much later. Probably toward the tail end of the challenge. 1.2: HYDRATE! Grade from 0.0 to 1.0 5L of water per day, or more. Simple enough, right? Especially if there's less room for coffee. My addiction to having a drink in my hand should make this doable. This was done successfully last challenge with 3L, now I'm upping it. I considered making this pass/fail, but I've noticed rather quickly that getting 5L of water in me in one day is not that easy. I don't want to fail if I only manage to drink 4.5L because that would be demoralizing, so I'll give myself 0.2 points for every litre I drink. Max in one day is 1 point. 1.3: Tweak my diet, have one BIG-ASS SALAD every day, or LOTS OF VEGETABLES. Not graded. I did well with the salads in the last challenge, so now I'm going to make this work for every type of vegetable. I enjoyed having the salads, but ever since I got sick during the week between challenges (wheeee, Norovirus!) I haven't wanted salad AT ALL. Opening this part of the challenge to all vegetables should still be easy because there is no cooking involved. I've also figured out that if all I bring to work are veggies and nuts, I actually eat my vegetables. As an aside, it was mentioned to me that the optimal diet for healing was a raw vegan diet. I have no problems with the raw part since it involves less effort, but the vegan part makes me a bit sad because I rather enjoy eating dead animal pieces. When it comes to cruelty, ingesting dead animal pieces pales in comparison to bathing in a pool filled with liquid refined from tens of thousands of people, so all is good. The protein powder I normally use is labeled raw vegan, so that should work. It's also the elitist, pricey type of protein powder, which is good for two reasons. First, it fits well with the "I am going to cosplay an elitist jackass" theme. Second, the higher price ensures that I won't be over-indulging with it because I am not that much of a rich elite in real life. YET! I also have to look ripped in order to fully complete the Balem Abrasax look, but that'll be tough since my workouts are a bit limited right now. Next challenge, fo' sho'! tl;dr version: EAT GOOD FOOD, BECAUSE SPACE LORDS DO NOT EAT TRASH. 2. I can business! Seriously, I know NOTHING about anything even remotely finance-related, or business-related. I hate being ignorant, especially when it comes to something like money. Money sort of makes the world go 'round these days, and not knowing anything about it seems counter-productive to, well, everything I want. How does this fit with the cosplay theme? Well, it turns out that Balem Abrasax is an epic businessman, or at least that's what the movie hints at near the beginning. Unfortunately, he seems to be more and more mentally unstable as the movie progresses, so we poor viewers don't actually get to witness his l33t busine55 sk1llz--although I suspect it involves a lot of coercion, harsh negotiating, and threats. And probably murder. All fictional character shenanigans aside, though, I really do want to have more of a clue about how to deal with money in several aspects of life. Disclaimer: the Earth will not be harvested in the course of this challenge. 2.1: Basic financial literacy: watch (and UNDERSTAND) at least one video per night. Pass/fail. I signed up for am "Introduction to Finance" class on coursera. It started on June 1st, and I don't meet some of the pre-reqs (how do I economy? I can haz accounting? Derp? Very statistics!) so I'll have to read up on things. The professor who gives the video lectures has mentioned several times that the course will be hard work, especially for an introductory course. 2.2: Number cruncher! Pass/fail. This will involve Lumosity Raindrops. I know that Lumosity was a spectacular fail last time, but maybe if I focus on just ONE GAME (Raindrops) then maybe I can succeed. This isn't totally related to finance or business, but being able to work with numbers more efficiently certainly can't hurt. Being better at math might also help me get rid of the feeling that I'm a fucking idiot. Knowing more financial things and being better with numbers may result in me having more money in the future, and/or result in me obtaining money faster. Filthy rich space royals need to have money, otherwise they wouldn't be space royals. Life is a game, and the game is pay2win. I want to fucking win. And when I have a lot of money, I can pay someone else to prepare my vegetables for me Won't have time for Raindrops this round, unfortunately. Will add it back in the next challenge. The Intro to Finance course involves math and stats, so I'll be doing my number crunching there instead. 3. Mindfulness. Again. 3.1: Five minutes of mindfulness, every day. Pass/fail. I'll just keep this in my challenges until I stop failing at it. It's got to happen at some point. 3.2: Hand control. Not graded. Being able to look like an aloof, arrogant space lord while walking around on a convention floor is only going to be a side benefit of this. The main reason for controlling what I do with my hands is to keep my hands away from my face. I've tried to tackle this terrible habit in the past, and failed every freaking time. There are obviously some psychological factors at stake that I am completely unaware of, and it's a shitty habit I've been doing since I was in elementary school. Right NOW is the time to give breaking this habit another shot, though, for two reasons: - I will begin taking hormone injections during week 2 of this challenge, which will increase the likelihood of me having shitty skin. It's like second puberty, and I fucking swear if I end up getting acne I'm going to hate my face so much... Having my hands on my face all the time will greatly increase the chance of me developing skin problems, and thus DO NOT WANT. I won't be able to cosplay anything with a half-red, pus-oozing, crater-filled face. - I had a surgery last month, which left me unable to raise my arms (or hands) much for several weeks. This was the perfect power-up to begin this quest. I've been doing great at not picking at my face so far, and I want this to continue. Right. Hand control. While in the midst of enlightening research (read, while fucking around on Tumblr) I've stumbled upon these things called Mudras, which are basically like hand yoga and apparently there's benefits to doing this. I'm still rather clueless about it all, so I'll just paste a thing that came up when I typed "mudras" on tumblr: Goggle also showed me this web site for mudras. And then it showed me other sites with the same hand gestures and different effects that they're supposed to give and...??? I'll figure this out as I go along, but so far I've memorized the all the one-handed ones on the Kundalini site (the one with the link at the beginning of this paragraph). I'm not sure how much I buy into the part about the energy flow and purported benefits, but those will be an added bonus if they do happen to work. I don't have anything to lose by trying the mudras out, anyway. Also, if anyone wonders how this part of the challenge fits with the pretend-to-be-a-finctional-character and cosplay theme, see for yourself: I don't know if he's actually mudra'ing, but close enough. Won't I look foolish steepling my hands like an evil villain in real life, doing day-to-day activities? Nope! Because unless it's gym time, I hardly ever leave the computer's side and thus nobody will see me. Other activities involve driving, or watching TV at friends' places, in which case nobody pays attention to where my hands are anyway. I can be a dramatic evil villain in a stealthy manner. UPDATE, Part 2: Since I cannot use my arms at the gym for a while, I've been finding myself steepling my hands like an evil villain while on the stationary bike and while doing core work. It happens without me noticing it, and...it's awesome and a bit creepy. 3.3: Epic fingernails. Not graded. LOOK AT THE PERFECTLY DONE FINGERNAILS, and not at the Backstreet Boys-like hair disaster! Bonus quest: maintain long and perfect fingernails. This will deter me even further from face picking, mainly because picking at my face with pseudo-claws will probably cause damage and be a little painful. If I pick at my face with long nails, I'll have to clean my nails, too. Effort. Ugh! This isn't being graded because long and perfectly manicured fingernails aren't quite compatible with my workout and crafting habits, so it's inevitable that some of the nails will get smashed, chipped, or broken. UPDATE, Part 2: I DID NOT BREAK ANY NAILS DURING PART 1. NOT EVEN WHILE GOING TO THE GYM REGULARLY. Wait, wasn't this challenge about time management? 4. Time Management I was hoping to do the Intro to Finance course after my current degree was all done, but sadly this did not happen and now I'm doing this on top of the final preparation for my thesis defense. I will therefore be a hermit until June 22nd, which is the day of the defense. Did I mention that I also have to make a new cosplay before June 26 also? Yeah. Fun times. 4.1 - Thesis defense prep. 6h per week. 4.2 - Cosplay prep. 4h per week. ^ I'll make goal #4 more interesting to read later. For now it's fairly self-explanatory. Besides, I'm saving time by not writing! To reiterate: 1.1 - Cut down on coffee 1.2 - Hydrate 1.3 - Vegetables 2.1 - Basic financial literacy 2.2 - Number cruncher 3.1 - Five minutes of mindfulness 3.2 - Hand control 3.3 - Epic fingernails 4.1 - Thesis defense prep 4.1 - Cosplay prep Now, for the ones that are actually being graded: 1.1 - Cut down on coffee: 1.2 - Hydrate EVEN MORE: 2.1 - Basic financial literacy: 3.1 - Five minutes of mindfulness: 4.1 - Thesis defense prep: 4.2 - Cosplay prep: Re-writing this here is mainly to encourage further laziness, because then I can just copy/paste this entire list for update posts. I realize that I have several goals that aren't being graded, but it's kind of tough to grade something like hand control :\
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