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  1. This is my fourth challenge since returning. My previous ones had... mixed success. This one will be better. Yeah, positive thinking, right? I’ve previously used a stat system for my challenges, which was fun. So I’m reviving that, more or less. The stats are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Sanity, and Charisma. There are also points from doing the goals, which I can redeem for loot. Which I have listed in a wishlist. This challenge, I have four goals. Two are repeats from my last challenge (with a little tweaking). One is from my first. And one is a new goal. All of these goals will be tracked in a habit app. -> Eat 3 times a day, 1 point each (Constitution) -> Drink 75oz (~2.2 liters) a day, 1 point each (Constitution) -> Wash face once a day, 1 point each (Charisma) -> Exercise 2 times a week, 5 points each (Strength) 125 points = passing (Note that passing is about 80% of the total possible points.) Exercising will be a Zeroh Custom Workout, consisting of sets of squats, planks, incline push-ups, and door pulls*. For 0 week, there are 3 special goals. Find my face wash, clear an area to exercise, and continue with the eating and drinking goals from my previous challenge. Each of these are worth 5 points. For those who read this far, here’s a little bit about me. I’m an asexual genderqueer vegetarian on the autism spectrum. And tarot reader. I was raised by gamer parents. I enjoy hiking and taking pictures. I’m interested in parkour and snowboarding, but have no experience in either. Also, I struggle with a number of mental health issues. Edit: By door pulls, I don’t mean actually door pulls. But something more like doorway pulls. It’s an exercise that I came across years ago, but I don’t remember where or what the real name for it is. This is in a doorway without a door. Grab each side (left and right) of the doorway, lean back, and then pull yourself up. I usually get a bit of momentum near the top of the pull, so I’ll end up letting go of the doorway if I go too far. But then grab back on as I end up falling backwards. Very important to make sure you’re using the correct form with your back. Well, it’s important all over, but especially with your back for any pull exercise!
  2. What do you guys do for post-workout nutrition? By that I mean the first thing you consume after a good workout. I've recently taken a liking to a quick baked sweet potato in the microwave usually with some greens.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. Hello everyone, I've been reading along here for a little while but not as a member so since I can't seem to find an answer / help for my problem I thought I'd sign up and see who has any ideas / tips / we've been there and done it & please don't give up kinda thing. A bit of background and history of me: In my teens I weighed a whopping 92kg at one point. How?? Simple eating delicious stacked sandwiches with 6 different topping plus a few extra helping of chips, chocolates and no exercise. My mom dragged me to the GP, got a major telling off and was put on a hypoglycemic diet (had sugar crash problems) and within 7 months I was back at 68kg and healthy as a horse. Fast forward to now: I became a mom 8 months ago, couldn't be happier apart from one thing: I'm still way way waaay too heavy. But this time I can't go to the gym (like I did 2 years ago), I can't do too much outside (nosy neighbours) and I can eat for 3. Or 4 or 5 people for that instance. I asked the GP and got told: just move 30 minutes a day and eat healthy. That doesn't work for me anymore. I've lost and gained 10 to 15 kg over the past 10 years and I've never been able to keep it off. Me and my husband looked at lots of the vegan / plant based movies and I decided to try it. I felt loads better without the milk and meats but I still don't know what else to do to get my weight off and fitting into a lower carb way of eating. I have one set of weights at home and a kettle belt plus a bouncy baby who wants to do all kinds of things but that's it. I live in the UK so walking outside in horrible weather doesn't bother me but isn't such a good idea with a small baby. What can I do now? I don't want to give up my new way of eating but I don't lose weight. I can eat 4 slices of toast and after 30 or 45 minutes be hungry again. I have no idea anymore after trying almost every diet and trying loads of new exercise routines.I tried Insanity Max 30 (30 minutes is easy if baby is asleep) and I gained a few kg of weight in 4 weeks that I stopped totally baffled!!! I would really really appreciate any ideas or help since I have no idea anymore what I can do at this moment to get healthy and fit again. I know losing weight isn't done overnight neither is getting fit but after struggling for months and months I really hope I can make permanent positive changes
  6. It’s been so long since I’ve last logged in here or even since I’ve last used this username anywhere. If I’m being honest, I’m mostly here because emcee got me to join this month’s challenge. I’m going through some changes with a new job, plus freelancing, and building my own brand so this is as good a time as any. Goals: 1. Fix Muscle Imbalances: Supplement 3x/week climbing with accessory exercises (need to strengthen and loosen push muscles) 2. Eat more vegetarian proteins and protein supplements (goal is 90g protein daily), as of right now I do not eat red meat as I’m sloooowly transitioning to vegetarian 3. Stick to a budget using Daily Budget phone app Keeping it simple. This week life is sort of on pause because I’m out in Arizona until next Monday (which is when I start work) so for me, the first week will be a pre-challenge prep and organizing time while I’m semi on vacation!
  7. After too many challenges away, I'm back. It's been a long, strange trip which has, hopefully, made me a wiser shadow lion... I am building my challenge out of several other small challenges, sort of like challenge "lego bricks." Tiny Habits First, I am using the the five day "Tiny Habits' challenge starting tomorrow to kick things off. I expect to roll these over and build on them as I progress through the four weeks of this challenge. They are tiny, and that's the point. If you aren't already familiar with the concept, you can read more about the theory and method of tiny habits here. I will be following these 3 rules the first week of this challenge. After I turn off my morning alarm, I will do one visualization After I brush my teeth in the evening, I will floss one tooth After I lay down in bed, I will recall one happy memory Vegetarian Challenge Second, I have a goal of eating a vegetarian diet at least 90% of the time by Jan. 1, 2019. I've come to the conclusion that my previous efforts failed because of not really understanding how to keep my macros in healthy balance and get enough of the other nutrients I needed so that I did not crave meat. I'm giving this effort another shot, using this 30 day challenge as a more gradual 60ish day plan. That will overlap nicely with this challenge and next. Just What the Doctor Ordered Third. Recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, I need to use a pressurized airway device at night while I sleep. This condition carries a "compliance" requirement with my health insurance. I am still in the "adaptation" window and doing well, but my competitive streak wants to do REALLY WELL. That, and the doctor put the fear into me with what untreated or poorly treated OSA can lead to. Luckily, they have a "coaching" app that assigns points and let's me see ALL THE DATA! My nerdish side is very motivated by that. This photo of Lion and Safari Park is courtesy of TripAdvisor Photo of a sleeping (and snoring) lioness. Sleeping good; snoring, not. Preparing for the Adventure of a Lifetime Finally, I am easing into a more active exercise routine using some of the ideas from "Tiny Habits' grafted onto some things I was already doing to decrease the amount of sitting I do at work–stretches at my desk, breaks of stair laps or walking or a few bodyweight exercises. I will track these on my spreadsheet and summarize weekly here. This is part of a larger, secret plan I am hatching with a good friend of mine (with whom I have another 30 day health and happiness challenge going). I will gradually reveal details as they coalesce... Hmmm, not such a tiny challenge after all, but neither is it one of the overwhelming Shadowlion challenges of old. Finding my balance with four smallish mini challenges rolled into one larger one. I am still finalizing my point system for the above and will update that in my next post here. Woot! New Nerd Fitness challenge, and my first one as a 60-year-old!!!
  8. Alternative title: "Brogo eats his jeans genes" I recently did 23andMe and got back results that suggest I need to change my diet and exercise plan. From a recent challenge post: This is a long list of behaviors to alter and track. I can only think of one way to do it simply. I'm going to keep track of the streak for each item, and just count the days or weeks (as appropriate) that I've done the thing or done as planned. So here's the list and the plan: My Behavior Goal Effect on weight Count Frequency Notes 1. Eat whole foods 15.1% daily No fast food, processed junk foods, restaurant food okay (generally) 2. No Red Meat 14.2% daily none 3. Exercise 2 times a week min. 13.6% weekly intense workouts, must break sweat 4. Lights out by 9 11.3% daily I try to get up around 4:30-5am 5. Eat Veggies 3x a day 11.1% daily every meal b/l/d 6. Eat leafy greens 4-5x a week 10.0% daily salad every workday 7. Eat Fish 2x a week 8.7% weekly 8. Eat fruit 1-3x a day 7.5% not counted can replace with veggies 9. Eat probiotic foods 3x a week 4.9% weekly fermented foods and non-alcoholic beverages, no yogurt because of lactose intolerance 10. Manage stress 3.7% not counted TBD 11. Avoid Saturated Fat 6.0% daily Remain on pescatarian diet. Limit butter to 1 tbs per day 12. Avoid gluten N/A daily Do not eat foods made primarily of glutinous grains, choose gluten free options when possible 13. No alcohol unknown daily No alcohol until I weight 199 lbs. or see abz I'm going to track these on my dry erase calendar on my fridge. I'll try to update here once a week with the latest counts.
  9. I want your input on whether the following diet can result in a slimmed down appearence: Breakfast: protein shake (like this one) Lunch: quinoa lentils avocado Dinner: refried beans corn tortillas black olives nutritional yeast hot sauce
  10. Split Pea Dal Yields 2 Litres 2 tbsp ghee, or any cooking oil 1 large spanish onion, small dice 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp grated ginger 1 tsp chili paste or sauce of choice 1/2 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp cloves 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 1/2 cup split peas, rinsed to knock the dust off 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock Salt & pepper to taste 1 tbsp lime juice Chopped cilantro leaves to garnish (if you hate cilantro, parsley, celery leaves or scallions work fine) - Gently saute the onion until soft and translucent, 4-5 minutes. - Add the garlic, tomato, ginger, chili and spices. Stir well and cook for another 1-2 minutes. - Add the split peas and stir to coat thoroughly before adding the stock. - Simmer gently 30-50 minutes, until cooked. The peas can be cooked longer to break them down to a mushier consistency if desired. - Adjust seasoning to taste, stir in the lime juice before serving with rice or bread.
  11. shy

    Shy Takes A Second

    I can't believe I'm still here!! Wow! I didn't give up, I completed my first challenge, and I'm actually proud of myself! So.. hey! I'm Dawn aka Shy.. I'm super shy. My first challenge goals were... Exercise every single day. (Week two of January and I've managed this since the 3rd. W00t.) Drink more water. Eliminate Caffeine. Work up the courage to go for a walk or go to the apartment gym. (Super scary for cowardly me!) Here are my Feb-Mar goals.... Main Goal I should say "lose all this excess weight" but I'm going to say TRY to lose 15lbs by the end of April for a start. Here's what I'm thinking for the Feb-Mar challenge... Smart Goals Exercise every single day (Again?! Yesss... because I can.) Keep track of my calories (Aiming for around 1550 or so. Might adjust later.) Stop going to bed with dishes in the sink (I HATE that I keep doing this!) Try to get any amount of dishes done before bed! (No joke, this has been my most difficult challenge.) I might add another goal later but, if I'm honest, I've got some stress on me at the moment and I think that's enough for right now. I've already started counting my calories on Cronometer. Believe it or not my most difficult goal might be number 3. I'm SO tired every single day I usually fall asleep holding my daughter on the sofa after dinner. (I'm not proud of this.) I need to make the next day less stressful for myself and do future me a favor and get the kitchen clean. (I feel more stressed when things are messy, which they usually are.) As much as I'd like to add "get under 220" or "do x number of crunches", etc. I think this is a reasonable goal set for me. Good luck on YOUR challenges!!! I can't wait to see all of you meet your goals!!
  12. Carrying over my goals from the last challenge: Work out 5 days a week (run / row) Eat in accordance with my doctor's orders (as vegan as possible) My running goal is to get into consistent (re: at least one week) 10:30 1 mile time. Once I hit that 5 days in a row, I will increase my distance from my current 1 1/2ish miles to 2 miles. My food goal is to continue practicing Intermittent Fasting 5 days a week, and to continue experimenting with new and delicious meals.
  13. I already wrote a little intro about me and my difficulties and what not here.. Basically I'm a big shy nerdy Mom and I REALLY need to start taking care of myself. I've got some obstacles that I'm struggling with. I have lots of metal in my right ankle so jumping, running, etc. is a no go. Also I've got anxiety disorder and it's really hard for me to do new things, meet new people, go outside, etc. I'm really just a soft, squishy coward who's trying to be a big girl and do what needs to be done. I love my little my little nerdling so SO much and I want to be there for her as long as I possibly can. Side note.. I'm a vegetarian! Hi my fellow veggie peeps!! <3 Main Goal I should say "lose all this excess weight" but I'm going to say TRY to lose 15lbs by the end of April for a start. Smart Goals Exercise every single day. (Week two of January and I've managed this since the 3rd. W00t.) Drink more water. Eliminate Caffeine. Work up the courage to go for a walk or go to the apartment gym. (Super scary for cowardly me!)
  14. Greetings and salutations to all of my companions on this road to health! Its been a while since I've been as active as I want, so I am going to make my first goal to: 1. BE ACCOUNTABLE: Come on the forum at least 4-5 times a week and read up on peoples progress, update my own progress, and not be too hard on myself. Now for a little about me. Hi my name is Crafty and I am an alcoholic.......wait, scratch that, wrong forum. lol! Seriously though, I am currently working on getting my certification as an EKG Monitor Tech. I will be reading patients EKG strips that basically can tell me if I the patient is ok, or if they need a nurse ASAP! My mom had a heart attack back in January and I've decided that more than anything I want to be able to help people. This is just the first step to much more certification and schooling. I'm loving it!!! The heart is a fascinating muscle. Like seriously, I can't believe how amazingly complex and yet super simple it is. In my studies I've been discovering just how your heart health can be affected (good and bad) through what you eat. Now, I have lost and gained weight plenty of times before. I have been on every diet, program, etc out there and while I lost weight, I never felt "better" health-wise and stereotypically gave up and gained it all back. I mostly just ate less. Now I am older and wiser and to be frank, I really don't want to have a heart attack or any other chronic illness. My mom went through hel. Surgeries, medications, therapy, omg the list goes on. I want to be healthy and happy in my 80s and 90s, not dead by 50 (or on 20 meds and miserable feeling like I'm 70). Among the other things that I've researched, I have been watching all the healthy eating documentaries on Netflix. Its fascinating and has helped me to strengthen my resolve. My BIG PICTURE goal: To transition to a healthy diet based on plant-based calories. Basically I'm going to work my way up to becoming a vegan. I have a bad track record with my follow through, so I'm going to break it down by weeks and change my goal eat week until I am 100% clean vegan eating. I'm very excited about this, but also scared. Growing up I've been a typical fat American - I hated fruits and veggies, loved soda, junk, and meat. And what's worse, is I've noticed I'm passing these horrible habits along to my two boys (2 and 3 years old). The fear of failure is all too real. Thus, the weekly breakdown. Small changes, am I right NF peeps?! I also work for a hotel at night and have to make the breakfast each morning. I HAVE to handle bagels, muffins, sausage, donuts, omg this list goes on and on. What can I eat that the hotel offers for vegans? Bananas, oranges, and oatmeal in a packet. The struggle is real people! But I'm going to be healthy dammit!!! The main goals I hope to accomplish by the end of this challenge are: 1. Limit meat to dinner only 0-3 times a week. (Lets be realistic, a self-proclaimed carnivore cannot change overnight!) 2. Minimum 10 cups of water daily. (I'm actually already doing this, but it seems like a good goal to keep me positive!) 3. All meals must have 2/3 plant-based foods. (The more fruits and veggies i can pile on the better!) 4. Twice a week I will allow 1 serving of a processed food (ie-I've been craving doritos like a mad woman. the smallest bag available would be ok.) 5. Try a new fruit and a new veggie each week. (I have a very narrow experience with these and need to force myself into trying new things. yay!) 6. Limit sugar intake to less than 50g daily. (Defeat the sugar beast that has had his claws in me all my darn life!) Ok, that about sums it up. Now to post my goals for the first week! Hi ho Silver! Away!
  15. Hey everyone. Ne player here, trying to do what we're all here to do. Right now one of my big challenges is trying to keep up with a good diet, but not sure how to advance past where I am now. I've cut most processed foods out (I snack occasionally, but have been getting better about making healthy choices here), though I do fight with my sweet tooth from time to time still. I've been a fairly strict vegetarian for about 19 years (no poultry, fish, or straight up eggs, though it's taste/texture for the last), and fast food is not much of an issue (don't like the stuff and hard to find good vegetarian options). My big challenges are finding new meals (all 3 major ones) that are friendly for my vegetarian diet and that I can make with very little time (I'm a grad student with a family/child), bored eating, and portion control/dealing with the hungry feeling. I've read all the usual material available; stuff like using smaller plates, etc, but it hasn't been as effective as I'd like. What do *you* guys do for challenges like these? Anything that works well for you?
  16. It should be obvious what the theme is this challenge. I'll be working on four goals, plus writing story. The story portions will have their own posts. I'm planning on six parts, one at the end of each week, plus the opening. This time I'm starting the challenge at the beginning of zero week. AKA, today! Goal #1: Poké Chef! Cook one *new* family meal a week. Goal #2: Catch that pokémon! Work on job hunt four times each week. If I get the job I interviewed for last week, replace job hunt with study. Goal #3: Walk, walk, and walk some more! Walk 25 miles (40 km) each week. Goal #4: Wake-up Slap! Follow the morning routine five times a week. Meditate -> Daily Dare -> Bullet Journal -> Nerd Fitness
  17. I suppose you could say I'm here as a mentor? (If that doesn't sound too pretentious or anything...) I've done a good number of challenges, not always successful, not always at my best, and rarely in one guild for too long. A bit of an introduction would probably be good... (It's spoilered because it's long and a bit of a brain dump, and some people already know a lot of it.) So I've narrowed it down to four goals to focus on this time around. I'm also grading this challenge, which I haven't done in awhile. Hydrate Drink at least two liters of fluid five times a week. Engage Post at least once on this thread and on someone else's thread five times a week. Hunt Work on job hunting stuff at least four times a week. Explore Go outside and explore at least once a week. Grading Each success will count as 1 point. So, if I 100% this, that makes 15 points a week, for a total of 60 points. Bonus points are also possible. Rewards are to be determined. I have to be creative since I can't really buy much. A+ = 65 or higher A = 60 - 64 B = 50 - 59 C = 40 - 49 D = 30 - 39 F = 29 or lower
  18. The purpose of this thread is to keep track of all of my challenges, PvPs, and other odds & ends. The second post will be a master list. And subsequent posts will contain summaries of the challenges. First up, an introduction. *digs out and dusts off first post* It may be a tad out of date... When I joined in August, I was a bit over the halfway mark in my weight loss journey. I've since reached that goal, and have been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to put together a new goal. Something along the lines of get stronger, lower body fat percentage. When it comes to exercise, I stick to what I can accomplish with just my body and the things I find around me. So that boils down to mostly bodyweight stuff. I do a lot of walking too. I'll (very likely) get into hiking down the road, but it's not something that I've had a chance to try yet. As for food, I've been a vegetarian for almost a year. I do eat a fair amount of packaged and frozen food, but I try to make smart decisions about what I buy. And I've been gradually learning how to cook. There are, however, a couple of obstacles that are a recurring theme in my life: anxiety (predominately social) and depression. Add that on top of my ADHD, and the result is a lot of unproductive days (where, aside from my job, I stay at home and play video games all day) and half-productive days (where I start working on a dozen different things, but never finish any of them). I think that covers most of the basic things.
  19. Soooooo! I am getting in on this new challenge too! Last challenge was a sort of "grand" return to these fine forums, and I had a lovely time doing it, and could not wait to sign up or volunteer as tribute for the new challenge! My goals in four parts are thus, this time, not all fitness oriented, because Summer's coming and I have art to make! 1) I have a FitBit. Time to make use of it's nifty app. I'm aiming to hit my step goal (10,000) everyday, but the goal is more to track food, water, sleep, and calories in/out. I tracked calories last challenge with a different app, but I am trying to take advantage of the Fitbit's all-in-one-stop-shop-ness. (This is the "pattern" part of my title, in that I am trying to sort out my eating, drinking, sleeping patterns) 2) Here's where things get more interesting, and a bit more... ME. I am building a Rick for DragonCon (ala Rick & Morty), I've not been publicizing this, but I try to bring a new puppet down every year. I've been leaning on #PuppetCapaldi from Doctor Who (you can google it, I actually show up!) but his tenure as The Doctor is ending and I feel the need to move to a new puppet. #PC is still coming with, I might even give him a new hair cut (wig). But his days are numbered. I LOVE having grumpy old man puppets, I don't know why. So I am making a Rick with mechanical eyes and brow. This is a huge step in my mechbuilding, and I am attending the National Puppetry Conference in June (during this challenge) to pick up tips from the incredible Jim Kroupa, who I studied with last year, and just wrap my brain around it all and STOP BEING SO SCARED OF JUST TRYING TO BUILD SOMETHING. Anyway, it's going to be a lot of work, but it's going to be fantastic, I hope. 3) JAPANESE. I am trying to head back to Japan to study Kuruma Ningyou Puppetry with a master there. I've been invited, which is stellar, but I want to brush up and rebuild my Japanese. Right now I have been using Memrise (I've paid for it at a discount), and I just need to keep up once-a-day practicing. This will be most difficult when I am at The O'Neill (Puppet Conference mentioned above) but I can make it work. And if I fall off the wagon, I can climb back on. Just trying to keep it a priority. Japan is freaking amazing and I need to go back. 4) My last part of my goal was going to be veganism, but I am not sure. Really it was going to be "Freeganism" because I wasn't going to complain if someone made me something that had egg in it, or dairy, I am just not that picky, or pretentious. But for myself at home, I was going to cut out dairy and animal byproducts. I am still on the fence about how much a actually care about this though. I am a vegetarian and have been for 15+ years, so that's not going anywhere... but veganism interests me, I just don't have the commitment to it. That said, I am interested in trying it out, veganism with intent rather than vegan-by-accident. Maybe I'll book mark that for the next challenge. PROPER GOAL 4) Zombie 5K Training. I tried this last challenge and utterly, utterly failed. I just couldn't get my schedule to fit it in. I am attempting 3 evenings (or mornings?) a week with this app. I just need to do it. I intend to keep up running at The O'Neill, so that's a goal the conference won't shove-off. And maybe I'll eat a bunch of vegan lentils after. Oh, and keep running shoes and clothes in a bag in my car, with an inhaler, so I am always ready to go. That's about it, I would still love accountabilibuddying! It helped me SO MUCH last challenge!
  20. Main Quest: Pass my Transfiguration class with an Outstanding mark. (Drop body fat% and show off some toned muscles, possible because of my newbie gainzzz???, also maybe become an Animagus because why not.) Quest 1 – Transfiguration 101: Lift weights 3-4 times and do 1-2 yoga sessions, per week. Quest 2 – Don't disappoint Oliver Wood by falling off my broom: Work that core everyday to have perfect balance during Quidditch. (will follow Neila Rey's Core Challenge for 30 days, then the 5 minutes plank challenge for the remaining days of the challenge.) Quest 3 – Help out with S.P.E.W.: Only one meal will be eaten in the Great Hall per week, the rest of the food has to be cooked by myself to help the house elves and we all know they don't like processed stuff. (No takeouts, as few processed food as possible. Only one meal allowed per week to be bought or at a restaurant, and it has to be enjoyed and a wonderful experience to make it worth it. Butterbeer totally counts.) Life Quest – Do your homework and don't slack: Create my routine in the morning; Meditation.Writing ~500 words while drinking my cup of tea and breakfast. I'm really looking forward to getting stronger alongside you guys! Who else is a Potterhead around here?
  21. Hey guys, Wasn't sure to put this in another category but as I'm a vegetarian leaning towards vegan I thought I'd get more refined advice here. So I'm mainly a runner (minimal soles / barefoot(ish)) but I want to bulk up. I have a rack in my garage with weights and like doing the 5X5 compound strength training. But I have 2 issues. I need to lose about 5kg of body fat. I'm 65kg and would rather that was made up of muscle as this is in my ideal weight range but I've got plenty of spare flab around my mid section. I know a protein shake is important for muscle growth, but worried its going to slow down my fat loss. I'm an intermittent faster between 8PM and 12PM each day. What should I ideally be eating? My main diet is plant based with lentils, beans, tofu etc. Bonus question: Should I also take a protein shake after a 10km run or is it too much for that? Just looking for some direction really. Any help is greatly appreciated
  22. Another challenge is here and once again I'm building it around my mindfulness practice. I decided that for 2017 I'm renewing my commitment to my practice of Soto Zen Buddhism, which has been on and off for about a decade now. The practice centers on daily zazen (sitting meditation) and mindfulness practice throughout the day. This practice has in recent months been helping me re-center and rebuild my life and has proven effective with controlling my mood and depression, hunger, and is currently helping me reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption. Plus it is really helping me better appreciate every moment and live more fully. I have two goals for the year related to this. The first is to explore the different Sanghas (buddhist communities/churches) in/near Indy. The second is to go to a seshin (meditation retreat) which is usually 3-5 days of just meditation, work, eating, and sleeping. So this challenge is about improving my zazen practice and endurance, and using mindfulness to improve my health, fitness, and life in general. Goal 1: Zazen Sit in "lotus" or seiza for meals at home. Spending more time in a criss legged sitting posture should help me increase my flexibility and endurance in zazen. I also need to: Maintain daily zazen practice (@least 10 min) Do stretches before zazen Do one long session (40+ min) once a week Side quests: Caffeine causes scatterbrainededness, and alcohol diminishes awareness. So... 1) No caffeine for 30 days 2) No alcohol for 30 days These will be ongoing, resetting after failure until I achieve all 30 days on both. Reward: I'll buy a French press for single servings of coffee afterward. Goal 2: Nutrition Here are some dietary observations I've accumulated. Meat: Makes emotions more intense, especially red meat. To little interferes with sleep. I need to experiment more with fish. Grains: wheat/gluten are fine, a are oats and rice. Barley and rye cause bloat/gas/discomfort. Dairy: Milk and lots of whey/milk protein causes gas/bloat/discomfort. Eating high quantities of dairy send to cause mild seeking and mucus formation in the throat and nasal passes and overall puffiness. Soy: Is fine with me. Legumes: canned and pressure cooked are fine, but otherwise cause gas/bloat/discomfort. Nuts/sees: limit to small handfuls. To much causes constipation and bloat. Peanuts are mildly irritating. Tubers: white potatoes cause more fullness but are mildly irritating. Sweet potatoes do not. Sugar: Every time i eat a sugary snack/soda/candy/dessert i feel fatter at the end of the day. Literally, my stomach seems fuller and more jiggly. In light odd these observations I'll focus on the challenges that are most difficult to surmount. Track meat consumption vs. sleep quality I'll just be jotting firm days i eat meat on my calendar and noting my sleep quality each morning. Limit dairy and sugar I'm going to make conscious decisions to not consume or substitute these in various recipes. Eat more root vegetables Eat a tuber everyday. Replace some carbs with more tuber veggies. Buy more fresh tubers at the store, and try new ones out ones I've not had in a while. Goal 3, Exercise: Break a Sweat 6 days per week. Barbell, treadmill, kettlebell, bodyweight... 30 min., 20 min., 5 min.? No matter. Just break a sweat. I also want to go to the actual gym at least once a week, i am paying for membership after all. LUYL_1: Manage finances Spend one hour a week with my mind on my money. Making spreadsheets, planning a budget, going through receipts, clip coupons, read about saving and paying off debt, retirement plans, investments. Whatever. One hour. I currently don't really think about money until there's a problem... and that's why I'm in debt and living paycheck to paycheck. Sidequest: have enough extra cash lying around at the end of cheyenne to buy a cable modem and wifi router. LUYL_2: Art Paint and complete at last one painting each week. Grading: Basically I've got my dry erase board calendar set up. Every time I do a thing for a goal, including side quests etc. I make a doodle or dot on the calendar. If the calendar is reasonably congested with squiggles and dots while i contemplate the progress I've made and the challenges i faced during the 1+4 weeks... Cool. If it's empty, not cool.
  23. I need to meditate, exercise, eat better, and make more art. Why? Because doing all those things makes life more awesome. Goal 1, Meditate. Well, since I such at doing it in the morning on my early as hell work days, i guess I'll just do it in the car. Also, 10 min or more of zazen on weekends, plus attempt at least one hour long session each week. Goal 2, Determine training maxes. I need to get back to lifting, and to me that means following a damn program so i don't fuck around... too much. But, to run a program i need training maxes. Figuring those out will require a few sessions on each lift to ease back in and find accurate numbers. Then hopefully next challenge i can run my program. the lifts will be the usual: Squat, bench, deadlift, and press. I'll be trying to get calculated maxes from amrap sets in the 3-8 rep range. Goal 3, eat better Rules: Meat once a day Cereal is for breakfast only Waffles too 6 drinks per week max Luyl, make art At least one painting each week. I did two today: I was really surprised at how good these turned out. I've been talking about trying to find a way to make a living by painting. The first step is just practicing more and get a portfolio going. Hopefully I'll do enough that I have one or two works to put up for sale. We'll see.
  24. During the last challenge, I realized how important mindfulness is for my success. When i make it a priority, everything else seems to fall in line. It also got me reflecting on a number of my fitness choices, goals, and results since I joined NF and before. For this challenge I'm going to give a few things from the past another shot with a strong dose of mindfulness. Actually, many of these will be gearing up for the next challenge. Goal 1: Phase Out the Meat WHAT!!! I know right. Blasphemy. The truth is, during my two or three best attempts at weight loss that got the best results I was practically a vegetarian. I never fully committed to it, but there were long stretches with good health i can remember where i might have only eaten meat once a week. Another reason for this is the cost of meat. I need to be cutting expenses. And reducing overall consumption means i might actually be able to afford to support local, organic, pasture-raised, etc. I'm not against killing animals for food, but i do prefer that they had decent lives before they were on my plate. But I've got to get the protein i need. The one time when i didn't eat meat for like three months and was damned miserable, I'm sure I didn't get enough protein. Basically, for this challenge I will but no more meat. I will finish what's in the fridge and start to cook more with vegetarian foods... eggs and milk etc. are fine. I'm sure as hell not going vegan. That and shoot for a minimum of 110g protein/day. Edit: I'm going to eat vegetarian (ovo-lacto) for dinner every day during this challenge. Also, I will not add any more meat to my kitchen. Never mind the protein goal. I'm sure I'll hit it. Goal 2, Exercise Feeling healthy to me means being strong but flexible and balanced, and it feels good not getting winded easily. In the past I've done best balancing all three. Each week: 3 lifts 30 min. yoga 20 min. cardio Goal 3, Mindfulness Need I repeat myself? 10 min. of zazen, first thing in the morning daily. Keep a mindfulness journal by logging one mindfulness experience daily. LUYL: Pull the f***ing trigger Job search stuff. I need to move on and/or up to something soon. I have to do at least one of the following: 1) Apply for a manager job at Amazon 2) Register to take the A+ certification exam 3) Take a big step toward becoming a teacher... I've been thinking about this again... I might register for an exam, or apply...something. In any case, one of these represents a commitment to move on.
  25. Greeting and Salutations Druids, I hope you don't mind a visiting assassin for this last challenge of the year. I have struggled a bit with my previous challenges, so I wish to spend a bit more time reflecting on how I want to approach the new year. Challenge #8 Assassin's Spiritual Journey I have chosen a path, but I have not taken the time to truly reflect on and get in the mindset of my journey. My mind is as cluttered as my space. With the holidays and new year approaching I believe it’s a good time for me to focus on defining the path I wish to take. Towards that end I will shape this challenge to help guide me in my journey. Meditation: This will be a 2 part goal. The first part is getting into the habit of practicing some kind of meditation every day. This can be walking meditation (No vocal music or books on tape allowed), sitting quietly, or something else I come up with. The goal is to do it daily with the amount of time increasing gradually. I want to clear my mind and center myself. Week 1 practiced a minimum of 3 times = .5(WIS) Week 2 practiced a minimum of 4 times = .5(WIS) Week 3 practiced a minimum of 5 times = .5(WIS) Week 4 practiced a minimum of 6 times = .5(WIS) The second part will be reflecting on a specific topic. There are a couple of big questions I haven’t really addressed in my life and I believe I need to. For these, I will dedicate 10 uninterrupted minutes to reflecting on one of the following questions… 1. = Why is doing my physical therapy so challenging? .5(WIS) 2. = How do I see the Assassin in my real life? .5(WIS) 3. = What will I do if I’m not accepted into grad school? .5(WIS) 4. = Do I truly want to spend my life alone? .5(WIS) (I am not looking for feedback on the topics I wish to reflect on, unless it is a way to expand on the them) Physical Therapy Yes I hate it with a passion. It is tiring and soul sucking and the absolute bane of my existence. However, I need to do this and I want this to become habit before the new year. My back injury is preventing me from doing the things in life I want to, like parkour, tango and rock climbing. Before I can truly begin my Assassin Training, I need to be injury free. 2 Sets (Everyday) Trunk Rotation 10 times Bridge 10 times Spinal stretch, Hold for 15 seconds 3 times both sides Dog to Camel pose 10 times Knee Planks, Work up to 2 min each set Quadriceps Stretch, Hold for 15 seconds 3 times both sides Shoulder Rolls, forward and backward, 10 count each A. = last ten days of my challenge = 2(STA) & 2(STR) & 2(DEX) B. = last nine days of my challenge = 1.5(STA) & 1.5(STR) & 1.5(DEX) C. = last eight days of my challenge = 1(STA) & 1(STR) & 1(DEX) D. = last seven days of my challenge = .5(STA) & .5(STR) & .5(DEX) Bonus: If I can complete 5 days in a row before the end of the challenge I will treat myself to "Make up 101" class I've been wanting to do Workday Vegetarian (Stolen from TedTalks weekday vegetarian) As I have been accessing my diet, I believe I am eating too much meat. There are many other ways to get the protein I need and I want to start exploring them. I have found that eating fruits and veggies are not much of a challenge from the last 2 challenges, but I want to see if limiting my meat intake, specifically my unhealthy meat intake. (Edit: My work days will be from midnight Sunday Morning to midnight Thursday evening) A. = 4 weeks sucessful = 3(CON) B. = 3 weeks sucessful = 2.25(CON) C. = 2 weeks sucessful = 1.5(CON) D. = 1 weeks sucessful= .75(CON) Life Goal – Writing I love writing, when I sit down and do it. Although my journal is important, I want this challenge to include my fiction writing and letter writing as well. With the holiday season approaching I want to focus on writing all of my loved ones a personal letter. I also need to make sure that I am taking the time to write down my reflections from my meditations and insights I gain from this challenge. I would also like to transcribe my hand written novel pages to a digital file and add to it. A. = 12 times during the 4 week challenge = 1(WIS) & 1(CHA) B. = 9 times during the 4 week challenge = .75(WIS) & .75(CHA) C. = 7 times during the 4 week challenge = .5(WIS) & .5(CHA) D. = 4 times during the 4 week challenge = .25(WIS) & .25(CHA) Epic Quest bonus points: For each digital entry journal I transcribe into my handwritten journal I get 10 points + 25 if I complete all!
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