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  1. I'm so excited about everyone's challenges and the energy they're bringing to the forums. I've been through almost a year here making small steps of progress toward better health and mobility. Long rambling tangents of where I'm coming from: And I have three goals to track! 1. Write 1667 words every day (starts April 1) 2. Do a mobility exercise every day (bonus points for biking and/or DDR) 3. Eat a fruit, a veggie, and a portion of mixed nuts every day (bonus points for ones that I don't already eat on regular basis) Gotta go get ready for work! Thanks for being here! Sincerely, Maerad
  2. Welcome, my fellow nerds, to my eighth step in a healthier direction! I've been keeping my focus on small habits to practice consistency since my history of falling out with exercise stems from losing momentum. I also want to avoid burnout, so I'm doing my best to make my goals fun. Apparently (based on the length of what I've composed here) more fun means more details? lol XD For context: I've been playing various iterations of Animal Crossing for 15+ years, and last fall Cid gave me the Switch version New Horizons. I anticipated the immediate obsessive reaction I would have to playing it, so I postponed until I finally started it a little over a week ago. One of the new features I like in this new version is the Nook Miles+ Rewards that give you a bonus reward for doing the first five tasks, and if you want to continue playing, more rewards without a bonus will spawn as you complete the tasks in hand. Ahead, I've got a list of the Nook Miles+ Reward challenge names from ACNH, a list of the exercises done in the plaza of ACNH, and all my numerous wordy thoughts on how I intend to adapt the challenges into my own goals so that if I put them all on Index cards and shuffle them into a deck I'll have a random draw of which five goals will get a double point bonus for getting done. XD I'm sharing the list of the tasks so that anyone can pick as they please. My picks are whichever I can pair with my personal goals. If you join me in this ACNH-themed 5-week challenge, you are neither limited to my selected tasks nor to my interpretations of what I do to accomplish them. Tbh, I am not entirely sure the list is complete despite being found online since I noticed a few missing, and tacked them on at the end. Even so it's pretty long. The first thing that made me consider this theme for my 5-week challenge was the stretching that can be done as a daily activity in game. I want to scale back my goals so that I have a daily goal to do that warm-up first thing in the morning, and/or last thing at night. I don't have the ability to do it in the video game because I don't have the joy cons, but I do have the ability to do the exercises without the game giving me credit for it. So I've compiled the list of stretches used in the little exercise. That being said, I already know I'm including the "Stretch to Refresh" challenge because it's already a goal I want to accomplish every day - even if I don't pull the index card. It can be a warm-up for other exercises, but I am going to consider just doing these warm-ups their own goal in attempt to promote motion. I will keep track of my daily streak in my attempt to do the stretches every day. My next thought is the fact that my coloring project I originally included as one of my crafty options for my Artificer goals *never* got touched in all of January. But I *do* want to color and draw. My solution is to disguise it in a less daunting facade. I'm using "Chop Down a Tree" as a goal to sharpen one pencil. That puts me in the place where I can use said pencils. In the same theme, "Plant a tree" would be a challenge to draw something, and "Plant a fruit tree" would be to color something. I could also include "Chop 10 Wood" as a journal prompt or letter-writing assignment. "Talk to 3 neighbors" immediately goes into the ranks with little creative thought needed. So long as I make contact with three friends by the end of the day, this goal will be met. To be honest, that's a very necessary goal at this time. I can try spreading it out to one per mealtime if reaching out to three at once seems daunting. I'll include the DIY project challenges, but strangely enough, not for my quilt. XD I'm thinking "Make 3 DIY projects" could be writing for 30 minutes (maybe in sprint mode), and "Customize 2 things" could be editing for 20 minutes (or contemplative writing). That way I get started on the second draft. It's not going to revise itself. XD I *do* want to include my quilt as a goal, though. I think it'd be a good match with "Pop a Balloon" (because needles and pins are sharp?), and the goal could be to get a thread's length of quilting done. "Sell 10 Seashells" fits with an activity I've already been spending some time doing: sifting through my phone's gallery, trying to delete the excessive hoards of saved images. I'll also apply "Sell 20 Weeds" to this task because I move files around while I sift through them. "Sell 20 weeds" is moving 20 images to trash or folders, and "Sell 10 shells" is moving 10 to trash. Another aspect of sifting through my folders of pictures is sharing them. "Sell 5 fruits" can be sharing 5 pictures with friends. "Sell a hot item" could be sharing a picture on Facebook. I feel like the goals for catching bugs and fish would be a funny way to get points for eating fruits and vegetables. The goal of catching 5 fish would be to have an abundance of vegetables at my meal. The goal of catching 1 fish could be to go and get an unusual veggie (we almost always have carrots, onions, or bell peppers, but we do like plenty of other veggies that a diverse array is viable... potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, celery, asparagus, salads, corn, etc.) Likewise, for fruit, catching 5 bugs would be to have an abundance of fruit, and catching 1 bug would be to get one that I don't usually have on hand (I love so many fruits, that it's basically anything except apples which I almost always grab for an addition to my lunches). "Water 8 flowers" should definitely be to use my enormous Hufflepuff cauldron mug for my water. XD That thing hydrates like magic. But I don't know what "Planting 3 flowers" would be in that sense, so it may not make it into the challenge. That fine - it wouldn't be the only challenge that I liked but didn't have a goal to align the challenge with. I haven't made any of my index cards yet. 18 things to do is a lot, but I wonder if I might just get standard points for each task until I have made the index cards? Can't get a x2 bonus until there's an index card to pull? I've already had a few days to make them, but maybe I'll get them made this week, or slowly as I go, or I'll never have them made to pull and still get ridiculous point counts despite having no bonus. XD I'm basically just trying to make something that sounds fun. It looks like I put a lot of effort into pairing my things with an existing list, but I really am just going with whatever sounds reasonable to me. I hope it doesn't come across as too zany or hard to follow. And to avoid the broken link emojis, I'll just be keeping track of the Nook Miles I earn? I'm hoping taking credit for a lot of small successes this month helps me keep doing things I like. Have a beautiful day! Sincerely, Maerad
  3. Let the power of youth explode!! "It's not always possible to do what we want to do, but it's important to believe in something before you actually do it." - Might Guy I will eat veggies with every meal.... And if I cannot eat veggies with every meal then... I will eat max 1 carb portion with every meal.... And if I cannot eat only 1 carb portion with every meal then... I will walk up and down the hill by my house 2 times a week.... "If you want to be free from your suffering, make up your mind. If you give up on your dream, you will suffer more." - Might Guy
  4. Back in action, my focus word for 2022 is Dare. To me this means doing the things instead of thinking about doing the things, or planning to do the things. I've done a lot of thinking and planning and dreaming. None of that is actually taking off the weight I gained during COVID or getting me in better shape. I need to 'just do it'. But I don't want to be all 'Nike' about it, so I picked 'Dare' instead. I DARE YOU TO FLY! Specifically, Firefly, a simple workout that I found on DareBee. It's not too complicated but gets me moving and used to exercising regularly again, that's the plan anyway. I plan to do it 3 times a week. Bonus for additional days! I DARE YOU TO EAT THAT! Specifically, veggies, since I'm sure I don't eat nearly enough of them. My plan is to track and make sure I get at least one serving of veggies daily. Bonus points for eating more! I DARE YOU TO TRY IT! Specifically, try one new thing every day during this challenge. How is this possible? Well, most things won't take long to do or involve leaving my house, hopefully. I've found some lists of ideas, and I want this last challenge to be something fun for me. And also something that will get my off my cellphone/youtube/games/ass/whatever at least for a few minutes. I DARE YOU TO STREAK! Along with my major goals I also want to work on some simple habit streaks. I have a couple ideas but I'll work up everything in more detail, maybe in a spreadsheet, later.
  5. I'm keeping this one really simple and focusing on eating habits. For the last year, I've been trapped in this vicious workout cycle, where I push too hard because I want to do the things I used to be able to do, I strain something, and then I'm sidelined for a bit. So, I'm backing away from pushing myself in the physical arena and instead pushing myself with better eating. Also, the kids start (virtual) school next Thursday, so I need to keep things easy and loose this challenge. Goals: 1. Delay the meals. Whenever I have a yogurt and coffee at 7:00, lunch around 1:00, and dinner around 7:00, I end up not needing an evening snack. The evening snack has been a huge source of extra, unneeded calories, so eliminating it would be great. Right now, the kids and I swim around noon and around 5 or 6 each day, so that has helped tremendously with pushing back meals. 2. If I'm hungry, I need to drink a glass of water, wait 30 minutes, and then only get a snack if I'm still hungry. 3. Eat more veggies! My husband got a green egg, so we've been grilling. Grilling is a great way for me to fill up on veggies for dinner. I've also been trying to eat more salad, and we've also started our garden. So, the plan is to eat at least a couple servings of veggies for both lunch and dinner, and turn to carrots + hummus first as a snack. 4. Exercise wise- Do stuff, but don't push. In the last 4 months, I've had problem areas in my lower back, left elbow, and hip/glute. The plan is to continue trying to do things, but the moment anything hurts at all in an unhappy way, rest and let it heal. My back was finally okay enough to do some yoga today, a full 3 weeks after my first issues, largely because I didn't rest it right after straining it. 5. Complete things in my nerdy checklist: -Learn the piano part for the 2nd movement of the Breval sonata in C, so I can do the duet with my son. -Record at least some piano piece. Ideally, it will be the first movement of the same Breval sonata, but it might be something else. -Have at least 2 outings where I drive somewhere with less light pollution and stargaze. -Focus on Saturn with my higher mag eyepiece (already managed with the lower mag one). -Find neowise -Research other cool things to view with the telescope. -continue coaching my kid for math contests. He's also trying to self-teach high school level geometry. -Get antifog, nearsighted goggles so I can truly swim while still seeing things. -Research what my family needs to do to get scuba certified. -Get the 3d printer working again, and print cool things. -Finish my Norbert the Dragon crochet.
  6. BODY I just realized how out-of-shape I am when I was out of breath I was while I was cutting weeds in the yard. I almost passed out from the heat after mowing the lawn the other day, and I have to deal with what reminds me of the beginnings of an asthma attack from my youth. This is bad. I also recently did blood tests, and I have a horrendous cholesterol profile (high LDL, low HDL), high liver enzymes, terrible kidney health, constant borderline hypertension, and total Testosterone of like 300. Though it's tempting to "hack" my T levels to get teh gainz, I'm thinking the best way would be to get healthy first. I just need to let go of my ego, disassociate, and assess and coach myself as I would as a new person I'm working with. Client Profile: Male, 33, married, sedentary, former athlete, has not exercised at all in 4 months, has access to kettlebells,and a nearby gym. Medicated for major depression, currently unemployed and highly stressed (which leads to entire days of productivity shutdowns). Mostly eats takeout, has substituted diet sodas instead of regular. Takes daily vitamins and meds 99% of the time. First steps: Exercise: Tracy Reifkind's 15 to 20-minute swing workout twice a week, after a quick priming warm-up and hip + shoulder + t spine mobility. Nutrition: Eat a serving of vegetables each day. MIND I scheduled a Technical Admissions Assessment for a coding bootcamp two weeks from now, so the pressure's on. I think if I total 40 hours I'll be as ready as I can be for it, so a little over 3 hours a day starting today would be reasonable, though I tend to get in the zone sometimes. So the Program Minimum: Swing twice a week One serving of veg 3 hours of coding ======================================================================================================================================= 13 JUL, Mon - 2h 47m 14 JUL, Tue - 1h 21m, veggies, workout 15 JUL, Wed - veggies 16 JUL, Thu - veggies 17 JUL, Fri - veggies 18 JUL, Sat - veggies 19 JUL, Sun 20 JUL, Mon - workout 21 JUL, Tue - veggies, coding 22 JUL, Wed - veggies, coding 23 JUL, Thu - veggies, coding 24 JUL, Fri - veggies 25 JUL, Sat - veggies
  7. Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My Motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will mostly be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. I might even push to only have 1 blow meal per weekend, but that’s hard. I enjoy doing themed workouts and for this challenge it will be properly 300-themed since my main subquest is the Spartan Trials. Smaller Quests 1. “This is Spartaaaa!” -King Leonidas = Spartan Trials (strength & tone) For this challenge I’m going back to weights with the Spartan Trials workout from Darebee.com. It reads as deceptively simple compared to some of the other workouts I’ve done, so I’m withholding judgement until I actually start it. Since it’s strength-focused and all about becoming a better warrior, I’m back in the Warrior’s Guild for this challenge! Scoring: /30 Reward: +4 to STR & +3 to DEX 2. “For tonight, we dine in hell!” -King Leonidas = More Fruits & Veggies Because of my blow meals on weekends, I’m going to try to only have sweet treats on the weekends. I’m considering “sweet treats” to be things with high amounts of processed sugars like Oreos, ice cream, cookies, etc. Several challenges ago, I added in fruits and/or veggies to my daily diet. I don’t like many vegetables, so I’d like to try incorporating more into my daily intake. I want to aim to eat a piece of fruit or vegetable once per day during the week. Spartans likely ate a strict diet of meats, probably similar to either the Paleo diet or very carnivore-centric. I know everyone needs a balanced diet, so that means more fruits and veggies for me! Scoring: x/20 days Reward: +4 to CON 3. “Then we will fight in the shade.” -Stelios = Spanish Because there are different dialects, even within the same region, a true Spartan would need to be able to communicate between different peoples. Even while off on campaign, being able to understand the natives is very important. I enjoy practicing Spanish, so I’m continuing with it for this challenge. Scoring: x/20 days Reward: +4 to CHA
  8. I'm continuing my studies at Hogwarts, with many of the same themes. Hopefully, this time I don't pull a 3rd year Hermione and bite off more than I can chew. New Classes: Herbology: Goal is one new cooking recipe each week. Also, evening snack must include a veggie. I'm hoping to reduce and make my snacking healthier, and add a little bit more excitement to my diet. Arithmancy: Goal: Complete the entire 3rd problem set 8 problems selected from the 3rd problem set on cryptopals.com or from projecteuler.net (difficulty rating must be 40% or higher). Complete at least 3 more chapters in my crypto book, along with the corresponding problem sets. History of Magic: This is where I'm putting my sleep goal. Sleep has been terrible lately, so I'm going to revisit some tried and true methods of improving my sleep. Drink tea and stop eating at 9:00. Reading only after 10:00. And, here's the meat of my challenge: I'm joining the Quidditch team, and I'm determined to win the Quidditch cup. Quidditch is largely going to represent my (flying) goals of parkour and now silks classes. I'm also going to gain points for any supplemental activities that support parkour or silks. Gryffindor (courage): + 10 points for every new flow or new thing attempted at parkour. +10 points for doing anything at the parkour gym that scares me. + 10 points for doing anything at a greater height than I normally would. Ravenclaw (intelligence): + 10 points for drilling down into techniques at parkour or silks class. + 20 points for any home reviews of technique. Hufflepuff (kindness (to my body)): + 20 points for any yoga or mobility work. I'm not flexible, and it's hurting my performance at the parkour gym. Slytherin (nastiness): + 20 points for strength workouts. The goal is to net 200 points in each, and see which house wins the cup!
  9. It’s time for Jonesy's Magical Christmas! 2017 is coming to an end and it’s time to bring my Disney theme to a close. This year has been a year of fantasy and disbelief. I’m not exactly where I want to be health and fitness wise but I’ve done a lot of good things this year. To end the year I want to focus on the Holiday and enjoying the season. Holiday Funtivities I have a few activities planned and have created an advent calendar for even more fun! I’ll post either a picture or a description of the activity I have been tasked with. Calendar must be completed by December 1. Mission: Complete at least 1 funtivity a week Points:10 points per activity Expectation: 50 points total Get pumped like Santa and have endurance like his reindeer Sticking to a workout routine during December is HARD. Instead of stressing about missing workouts I will plan on going to the gym at least once a week. Mission: Go to the gym at least 1x each week Points: 20 points per gym session Expectation: 80 points total Santa’s bag may be stuffed with goodies but I will not! Time to reign in the free for all spirit of the season in regards to food. This tends to be a time when the office is filled with delights and or I get lazy and eat fast food all them time. I’m not sticking to a specific food plan but I will be trying to continue to add more veggies to a meal. I want to load up on Veggies before I load up on sweets or other foods. Mission: Eat my veggies and avoid sweets Points: 1 point per vegetable eaten & Bonus 5 points for avoiding sugary treats Expectation: 28 points total Make the house guest ready - Santa is coming Tis the season to be lazy and busy! I feel better when my house is clean and I need to have room to wrap presents, put up decor and my tree. No specific cleaning routine, I just need to clean! Mission: Clean for at least a hour each week Points: 1 point per min cleaning Expectation: 240 points total
  10. Come one, come all! Join my Disney pals in celebrating my NerdFitness Anniversary! November 5th is my official 5 year NF Anniversary. To celebrate I’m going to challenge myself to do my original challenge. Although I’m making a few tweaks based on my end of challenge results because I still hate the morning mile and because I’ve learned a lot in 5 years Oswald is going to remind me what my original goals were, right after he gets done fighting this guy… ORIGINAL - Back when challenges were 6 weeks and we still used stats Now time for this years goals, who wants reveal what I’ll be doing now? Now now, let’s introduce my anniversary goals! DRUM ROLLLLLLLL Fine I’ll do it myself. Forward 5 years later, Goals 1. DIET: Veggies! I still struggle with this goal. I know I can’t do 5 veggies or even 5 servings yet but I can start to build the habit back up. Wk 1 - 1 veg serving per day Wk 2 - 2 veg serving per day Wk 3 - 1 veg serving each meal (2 meals) Wk 4 - 2 veg servings each meal (2 meals) GRADE : WK 1 - A = 7 veggies WK 2 & 3 - A = 14 veggies WK 4 - A = 28 veggies 2. FITNESS : Go to the Gym 1x a week & Body weight workouts I started to make working out a habit again but I let stress ruin that. I want to make sure I get to the gym every week. No excuses. If I’m sick I go and walk on the treadmill. If I’m injured I go and do something that won't hurt my injury. I need to stop using those as crutches. Wk 1 - 1 gym & 3 10 mins Bodyweight workout Wk 2 - 1 gym & 5 10 mins Bodyweight workout Wk 3 - 1 gym & 1 30 mins Bodyweight workout Wk 4 - 1 gym & 2 30 mins Bodyweight workout GRADE : WK 1 - A = 1G & 3/3 WK 2 - A = 1G & 5/5 WK 3 - A = 1G & 1BW WK 4 - A = 1G & 2BW 3. HABIT : SLEEP - 7/7 There was no way I was doing the morning mile again. I actually remember waking up some days and dreading it. Not going to happen. Instead I want to work on getting to bed early and waking up early so I have more time in the morning to stretch, get ready, make breakfast, etc. Wk 1 - In bed by 11pm Wk 2 - In bed by 10:30pm Wk 3 - In bed by 10pm Wk 4 - Wake up between 5:30am and 6am GRADE : # of times per week = A:7 - B:6 - C:5 - D:3 - F:2-0 4. LIFESTYLE : Inventory the Townhouse/ keep a report (Complete at least 2 worth 50 points) I did actually do a few of these but it’s been 5 years and I need to do them again because I was slacking and forgot. Organize the pantry for easy inventory Pull out all items and organize Possibly label front of shelves Make an inventory list for pantry items Organize kitchen cabinets for easy access Pull everything out and organize Light bulbs and light fixtures counted and recorded as well as batteries Inventory all light bulbs - watts and styles Check to see how many bulbs I have total Count all items that use batteries and make an inventory list Maintenance schedules Create a schedule Go through coat closet and organize Go through linen closet and organize Thanks Guys! BARBIE!!! Sigh...
  11. Hi, I'm Raptron. I do gymnastics, lift weights, and fill in the rest with the occasional run, visit to the stadium, hike, yoga session, bouldering session, etc. I like doing things. I also like people. Hello, people! This challenge doesn't officially start for a while, but I am going to post in it anyway. 1. Atomic Breath Weapon Skreeeeeeonk~! *Idk, work out like you normally do? Rapzilla's bread and butter. Doing the work is how we defeat all enemies. This goal is just phoning it it because Rapzillas gotta move or they get sad anyway. 2. Eat Your Vegetables Lean, mean, green machine *Heaping servings of vegetables 14x per week Rapzilla needs more veggies. We all need more veggies, really, but if you're this big and this green, you need more spinach than the average kaiju. 3. Public Service Rebuild what you tear down *Take boxes down to recycling 1x per week *Clean counters 2x per week *Sweep kitchen floor 2x per week Rapzilla is really good at breaking things and making them dirty, but it seems like a good idea to follow-up on the reverse of that and help put things back together. 4. Queenly Beauty Dragzilla...? would wear a wig...? *Attempt to braid hair for at least 30 minutes per week *Find a new face moisturizer Gotta keep up with those fresh lqqks. It's extra important to moisturize when you've got scales.
  12. Mission Log: Practice Makes Perfect Putting my goals for the next challenge out here now.... may tweak and finalize the goals through zero week but here they are for now. Also guess what I've been watching lately Tracking Spreadsheet Maintenance: Cardio - 60 min / week Strength - 30 min / week Yoga - 45 min / week Water - 2 L / day Nutrition: 5 servings/day of produce Breakfast Ideas: Homemade Smoothies Fruit + Yogurt Veggie Omelettes Lunch Ideas: Salads Wraps Veggies & Dip (snack) Dinner Ideas: Salads Grilled/Roasted Veggies Stir Fry[/spoiler] Loot: Succulent Plant + Planter. Currently $19/$30 earned since April Resistance: 9 or less servings/week of alcohol Grading: 9 or less servings of alcohol (not just beer) = 100%. I loose 20% for every serving after I hit 9. Loot: Star Wars Prequel Trilogy (DVD/Blu-Ray) + Rogue One (DVD/Blu-Ray) Estimated current consumption = 17 beers / week Estimated cost = $1.50 per beer Estimated Savings after 4 Week Challenge = $48 Recovery: Weeknights bed by 10PM. Weekends bed by Midnight
  13. Okay, I had some time off this winter to be a lazy slug, but I am getting back in the game! Target is 80% of days. Aside from helping partner, these are all habits I've done fairly consistently in the past, and have worked well for me. 1- Daily Fitness Activity Some type of strength-building activity, and some yoga, every day. 2- Eat Adult Meals One meal a day has a reasonable portion if protein and veggies. 3- Help partner get fit My partner asked me to prompt him daily to do some physical activity. His health is not great, so probably gardening, or walking, but maybe something more fitness-y. 4- Daily Check-in Every evening, check the calendar for tomorrow and review plans with partner. Make a list, and use it. 5- Daily prayer Some quiet time to walk in the woods, and prayer beads before bed. PREVIOUS CHALLENGES:
  14. Hey everyone, complete newbie here hoping to have some fun with the assassins I've been a member of NF for about 6 months now, but never got round to checking out the forums. I very recently had to respawn so I thought 'why not'? After all, there's a lot of cool-lookin' stuff going on in here My personal challenge is a simple one of pure self-improvement; strength training, cardio, drinking more often, and eating more veggies (and potatoes, oddly enough - versatile things, spuds): At the moment I can do about 24 push-ups in a minute, I would very much like to increase that number - if I can do about 40 *consistently* after 4 weeks, then I'll be a very happy bunny. I've not really done much in the way of running or interval training, but it's been on my to-do list for ages now, so I'm putting that in there too, else I never will I'm hoping to go out at least twice a week, every week - that should be a good starter. I don't drink enough water - it's actually a little embarrasing that I'm even putting that on the list, but frankly I'm tired of not drinking properly. So there - it's on Finally I'm adding that quest to eat at least one vegetable a day, every day - my super veg. is the humble carrot - because I can cook that in just about any way I fancy After that long-winded post, I think I'll sign off with a "It's good to finally join you all, I'm looking forward to knocking this one out of the park", and maybe a "Dickie, reporting in" to try and sound cool. I might also join in on the Assassin-e street thing, that looks fun. Included is a picture of my personal trainer - he's not led me wrong yet
  15. Hello! I am a new member to NF and am just beginning my journey towards fitness. However, I hate veggies. I absolutely refuse to eat almost every single vegetable there is. Does anyone have any recipes I could try to try and like my vegetables more? Thank you!
  16. As I stated in my Battle Log, there is nothing quite like a little time with the folks and a new year to put some gas on the fire of lifestyle change!!!! I will be adding more headspace type challenges later in the year to that end. I am processing so much right now I couldn't even put together my thoughts in time for the challenge. There is much I want to address in that arena. Exercise and diet first though... I've discovered in my time here that I cannot jump into things with the vigor I would like. I am more prone to injury and over-doing for whatever reason, perhaps the mystery of autoimmune disease, who knows, doesn't matter. Fall is usually my favorite season, but this year was rough. I felt weak and achy and just blech, sad, weepy, ugh. I'd spent months complaining and moaning and generally acting like a victim of my circumstances. I was no fun for anyone including myself. Around my birthday in November, I decided to get some more medical help. Things weren't right and I sort of knew it. Very long story made short, it seems likely that my thyroid stuff (I essentially have no thyroid due to radiation) has been poorly managed for years and years. I had all the symptoms and complications of being long-term overmedicated and likely teetering into some dangerous territory with heart and blood sugar issues not to mention further complicating all the hormone situation. I felt better within a week to two of the change. Finding a good, caring, listening endocrinologist is like finding a pot of gold. I am very blessed. I was also entirely fed up with my lack of doing anything physical other than walking for months and months on end. It was time for some real reflection about how exercise works and doesn't work for me. After thinking about my needs and goals, it was pretty clear that weight training was the absolute right answer for me. Unfortunately, the gyms around here are surprisingly either not equipped well for that or beyond my budget. I went to every gym in the city within reasonable distance. So much sadz. My husband had been trying to help and finally just decided we'd invest some time and money in a home gym in the basement. That man is gold, I tell ya. GOLD. So, a couple of weekends and... I started a pre-made program called Strong Curves in early December. So far, so good. I did have a jigsaw puzzle/snow shoveling injury ( @T2sarahconnor) and unplanned Florida getaway that set me back a week or so. The timing was actually pretty good since the vacation forced me to rest my back and I'm feeling ready to get at it. OK, enough with the update/novel... The Basement: I'm doing Strong Curves 3 days per week, M/W/F. The programming changes at week 5 and week 8. Since I went on rest mid week 4, I am doing the last workout for week 3 today and starting the challenge on Monday with Week 4. Programming will change a bit mid challenge. I am being quite cautious with increasing weights. I read a great article about exercise and autoimmune disease that makes me think slow and steady is probably the right way for me for long-term success. I am likely more prone to tendinous injury and strain. Success = 10 workouts before end of challenge. The Garden: Eat more veggies. Yeah, this is not so measurable, but my criteria for success here is to come up with a few new veggie based meals or sides to incorporate into our routine. We tend to eat a lot of the same meals over and over and not enough of them include veggies. Success = find and try 4 new recipes this challenge, particularly one that will work as a make-ahead lunch option for me. The Kitchen: Figure out a way to get more protein. This is such a struggle. I am tracking my food a bit this challenge. I don't need total compliance on this one, but I really need to find a way to sustainably get more protein in my diet. I tend to obsess when I track, so I'll be walking the line a bit with this one. However, I've found that when I tracked here and there, I am a bit underfed most of the time and usually abysmally low on protein. Make steps to rectify this. Success = getting close to 100g per day in a sustainable way by the end of challenge. The Living Room: Make a house a home. We've mass decluttered over the last 2 years and now it's time to home-it-up a bit. There is still some decluttering to happen. I imagine there always will be. The house needs a good thorough cleaning in week 1 and I'd like to make some effort in weeks 2, 3, and 4 to reestablish some aesthetic improvements. Replacing some worn cushions, adding some candles to burn, or things like that. New towels and pillows are also on the short list. Success = clean and at least 2 additions Along with all that, I have non-goal goals of using my bullet journal more and better, listening to more music at home, meditating a bit more often, and maybe some yoga when the mood strikes. I really want to build from a strong foundation this year and thats why I'm starting with the core of fitness and diet this challenge. I hope I can find some success in my challenges this year that was lacking last year and really build into more and more sustainable lifestyle changes and refine my headspace a bit too.
  17. MON MOTHRA'S TURKEY CHILI Makes 6 Servings Ingredients 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds ground turkey 4 medium carrots, diced 2 small yellow onions, chopped 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped 1 red bell pepper chopped 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes w/ liquid 2 15 oz cans red beans, rinsed 2 tbsp. chili powder 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour* 1 tbsp. ground cumin; 1/2 tbsp. dried hot red pepper flakes 1 tbsp. dried oregano 1 cup chicken stock or broth Olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste *may be substituted one-to-one with arrowroot flour for the gluten-free people Preparation In a dutch oven, pour 1 tbsp of olive oil into pot over medium-high heat. Brown turkey meat, salting and peppering and cook for about 10 minutes, breaking up meat into small chunks along the way. While the meat is cooking, whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Remove cooked turkey from pot and reserve on a plate to the side. Using same dutch oven placed over a medium-high heat, pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and scrape off some of the brown from the turkey meat at the bottom. Add the flour mixture to the oil and whisk together into a paste. Allow to sit for 30s, or until aromatic. Add two more tablespoons olive oil followed by the onions, bell peppers, garlic and carrots. Coat the vegetables until well coated. Cook until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Add the diced and chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, kidney beans, cooked turkey meat and give a thorough stir. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer, mostly covered (leave a crack open on lid, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.
  18. Hello! I'm back! Also, I've been watching a lot of 30 Rock so bear with me... Last challenge was mostly successful but some of the big takeaways were these: Sleep is awesome. How did I forget that sleep is so great? Breakfast doesn't have to be a huge pain, inconvenient or packed with sugar. Movement is movement. I don't have to spend an hour at the gym to accomplish my exercise goals- I just need to be mindful about getting it in where I can. Meal planning is my friend: spending an hour or two at the beginning of the week to figure out my meals makes it much more likely that I'll have easy meals to make (or reheat), instead of picking up fast food or ordering pizza. Eating better = feeling better. Eating crap & drinking lots of alcohol = feeling sluggish and full of regret. My goals are mine alone. Some people will criticize, others will cheer me on, but at the end of the day, the only voice that's going to keep me going is my own. So onto the next one! My challenges this time around: Exercise/Move 4 times a week: Walk for 30+ minutes Weight Train with 15+ minutes cardio Attend a yoga class / Complete a yoga video Variety has become really important for this challenge. I despise routine and if I just pick one goal, I can excuse the heck out of it until I don't do it. Having options (or back up plans) is going to be crucial for my success. Eat 2 veggies or fruits (raw or steamed only) every day I don't eat near enough veggies or fruits as it is- maybe 7 servings of veggies in the whole week? And very little (if any) fruit. So I'm planning to work that into my meal planning. Some substitutions: Steamed cauliflower for rice roasted rutabaga (golden beets) for roasted potatoes spaghetti squash for noodles (I don't eat much pasta anyway, but I love me some ramen. I'm going to have to play with this recipe) The one substitution I can't seem to find anything for is sour cream or cheese or mayo. I am really not a fan of greek yogurt and I've been looking for something creamy for taco salad, chili, sandwiches, tuna/egg salad, etc. Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe this is just something I'll have to use sparingly when the mood strikes? Arrive at work on time 4 days a week This one is pretty shameful. About a year ago, when my health was declining, I started showing up late to work. Eventually this became a regular thing and my boss stopped commenting on it. Now, it's just accepted, that this is the way that it is and other people have ended up covering for me for the first ~30 minutes of the morning until I get here. This is definitely not putting my best foot forward and I'd like to get back on the right path. Habits created from my last challenge, including going to bed at a more reasonable time, will be really helpful for this challenge. I've spent too long waiting for the right time to take control of my life. It was always "when I meet the right guy", "when I find my true calling", "next year", "next month", "when I'm feeling better", or "when I find the motivation". But waiting for those days is just preventing me from reaching my goals, my potential, and the life that I want! I'm so excited to continue on this journey.
  19. So after a fairly successful return with my last challenge, I am moving on and planning to add a little bit more to this challenge. Goal My goal for this challenge is to lose 12 lbs. Quests More Lifting: I am switching up to the Jonnie Candito's Linear Program with this challenge. I liked following Greyskull, but I want to move to a 4 days a week lifting scheme. Over the course of the challenge there will be 20 lifting sessions. More Veggies: I will have at least 1 vegetable and 1 fruit every day. I would like to transition over to a paleo-type diet, and the first step for me is getting used to daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Over the course of the challenge there will be 35 days where I will eat fruits and vegetables. More Sleep: I have been staying up far too late, and with increasing my lifting from 3 to 4 days per week, I will need the extra rest to maintain my recovery. To insure that I maximize my sleep, I will be turning off the tv, phone, and computer every work night at 8:30. Over the course of this challenge, there will be 25 work nights for me to insure turning everything off. More Cleaning: Everyday I need to do one chore around the house - dishes, pickup a room, vacuum - anything really, I just need to do at least one thing every day to keep the house under control for the next 35 day. Reward At the end of this challenge I would like to purchase a foam roller to aid my recovery. In order to justify my purchase I need to have at least 80% completion on my quests. That means of the 115 daily tasks between my quests, I must complete at least 92 of them.
  20. My injuries are healing, but now I must regain my power, my speed and endurance. I have journeyed far across the land to my new home and now I much be ready to not just survive, but to thrive. I have settled into my new home and my new job. I have started a routine that I need to improve to accomplish the challenging goals ahead of me. Like most cats I like short periods of activity followed by rest. I must be wary that in my nights off I am still seeking that activity, not just resting. My endurance is lacking so I just bought a new pair or running shoes so it’s time to break them in. I currently walk 2.7 miles 5 nights a week to work. For the active part of this challenge I want to start walking home after work. Week 1 = Walk home 2 days Week 2 = Walk home 3 days Week 3 = Walk home 4 days Week 4 = Walk home all 5 days On my off days I want to walk a minimum of 10k steps. This means I must be diligent in tracking my steps. *This goal may be amended to reflect the start of my 5k training if I am able to walk home from work all five mornings before the 4 week challenge has been completed. I have gained much weight over the course of my injury, I want to lose it. My diet must reflect that of a Rakasta, healthy and natural, not that of a goat who will eat anything it comes across. I have 2 nutrition goals. First I need to increase my hydration. Toward this end I will make this a two pronged attack. First I will increase my water intake gradually over the next 4 weeks to 8 cups a day. (I can have up to 2 cups of tea a day)Second, I will limit any calories I drink (soda, juice, milk, etc.) except a protein shake ONLY if it’s a meal replacement. Week 1 = 5 cups of water a day Week 2 = 6 cups of water a day Week 3 = 7 cups of water a day Week 4 = 8 cups of water a day For my second health goal I want to eat 1 real (not potatoes, dried fruit, juice) serving of fruits or vegetables every day. I will set specific goal increases after my first week to determine where I’m at. Week 1 = Week 2 = Week 3 = Week 4 = 5 Bonus points will be awarded for each new fruit or veggie I try and finish! I seek to bring my mind, my body and my spirit into alignment. I know for me, an uncluttered space leads to a more peaceful mind. Towards this end, my goal will be to vacuum my room once a week and to maintain it every day for the next 4 weeks. Week 1 = 4 days a week Week 2 = 5 days a week Week 3 = 6 days a week Week 4 = 7 days a week Like most felines, I am nocturnal so a day’s end is marked by my going to sleep, even though that is in the morning.
  21. Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will mostly be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. I've managed to put on some muscle in an effort to become stronger by weightlifting and I’ve discovered that I love lifting heavy things! I enjoy doing themed workouts and for this challenge it will be valkyries; proper female warriors! Smaller Quests 1. Weights It’s time to get back to lifting all the heavy things! I’ve missed it, so it’s time to re-set and lift stuff again. I like it, it makes me feel better about myself and it’s got practical, real-world purposes. Scoring: x/4 (1 for each weight achieved) Bar Curls: 30lbs → 40lbs Bench Press: 70lbs → 80lbs Deadlift: 65lbs → 80lbs Rows: 30lbs → 40lbs Negative Pull-Ups: 5 → 8 Reward: +5 to STR (+1 for each completed) 2. Eat more fruits and veggies I should cut down on processed junk food again so I’m hoping to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my weekly diet instead, based on my 1200 calorie intake. Besides, eating veggies and fruit is (apparently!) good for me. I want to aim to eat a fruit or vegetable once per day during the week. (Most weeks I don’t have a single vegetable, which, I know, is bad.) Should the fruit or vegetable take the place of a sugary snack in the evenings too, all the better. Scoring: x/20 Reward: +2 CON & +2 CHA 3. Running While I do not enjoy running, it is a physical activity that warriors use: a lot. Walking is great, but running into battle in full armor is much more impressive. It’s also a hell of a lot harder. So, in order to properly train like a warrior, I want to run at least twice a week. I’m aiming for the following time breakdown: Week #1: 10 minutes Week #2: 15 minutes Week #3 & #4: 20 minutes Scoring: x/8 Reward: +3 STA & +3 to DEX “Wise thought her the valkyrie…” - Hrafnsmál poem
  22. I've been scrolling through trying to find a forum about recipes/protein shakes. I have found a few interesting ideas with meal plans but nothing about protein shakes people make themselves at home with simple ingredients. If anyone has a favorite shake or recipe I would love to hear what it is. I'm trying to kick my hubbys booty in gear with eating a healthier diet and he loves making shakes and protein drinks. He passionately dislikes veggies but has been making progress due to my meal plans. We made spaghetti squash "pasta" but after the first few bites he decided to give it to the dogs xD So that was a no go there. Any advice on how to make something a veggie hater would eat? I've gotten him to try some veggies but he is a stubborn man. He complains more about the consistency then anything else. He hates things like mashed potatoes so cooked veggies are definitely a no go for him unless it has some "kick" in it for taste. Then he might try it without giving me a look that i'm the craziest person alive. If I wasn't around he would only eat pasta, ramen, and sandwiches xD; on a side note at least he loves his meat. Advice would be much appreciated.
  23. Possible DA O spoilers Oh welcome back! If you are here to see how we did against the Darkspawn you might be disappointed. I know I’m pissed as hell! Let me fill you in. Alistair and I did get to see a little darkspawn action while we raced to light the beacon in order to signal the army. When we got up to the top we fought this wicked big troll, which we totally killed. We barely managed to light the Beacon and send out the signal. The coward Loghain turned tail and King Cailan’s army fell. Duncan fell. Alistair and I only escaped because Flemeth, the witch of the wild, saved us. Now it’s just Alistair and I, we are being hunted and the Grey Warden are considered traitors. Flemeth has offered help and has instructed her daughter, Morrigan, to travel with us. Lothering Alistair and I are being hunted, the Grey Wardens are being called traitors, and we don’t know what to do. All we know right now is that we are the only Grey Wardens left here and the Darkspawn are coming. We can’t stay and help every town we travel through but we can help them defend themselves. Morrigan really hates this idea. Free the Qunari prisoner : There is a guy, well a Qunari, just hanging out in a cage. He’s not much of a talker and it sounds like he might have done something horrible. Right now we could use all the help we can get so I’m going to see if I can get him to come with us. Turns out, in order to free the Qunari prisoner, we need to talk to the Chantry, since they have his key. To help out the Chantry we need to help the villagers and make a weekly donation to their coffers. Need to make a donation to the coffer 2 times a week in order to free Sten, that’s the Qunari’s name, and take him into our custody. Exercise Quest: 1. 2 Cardio / Gym sessions Take care of the bandits : There are bandits everywhere in Lothering. They’ve come to take advantage of travelers and block the Imperial Highway. In order for the villagers and fleeing refugees to move on, we are going to make travelling a little safer. I mean we are in the middle of a Blight, so safer not SAFE. Exercise Quest: 1. BodyWeight Workout 3x a week Make Health potions : There are a lot of people here in Lothering. Lots of refugees and some of them have been wounded. One of the villagers said that health potions would go a long way in helping the refugees and current villagers survive another day. Time to get 20 health potions for the village! Food Quest: At least 1 serving of veggies for lunch and dinner M-F Collect Toxin for Traps : Some of the local farmers need help protecting their farms and have asked us to help them make their poison traps. I know a guy who can make the traps so we are going to help the farmers by collecting 4 toxins for the traps. Life Quest : Take out the trash every week. Tracking
  24. "The Road to Success is not a Path you Find, but a Trail you Blaze." -Robert Brault- Tired of falling backward when it's Spring and I should be leaping forward! I see there've been some changes around here since the last Challenge I attempted, so let's see if I can get back into the swing of things with you guys. I'm really glad Adventurer is its own guild now and not just a place for people who don't know what other guild to be in. Adventurers are awesome! I love hiking and climbing so I feel like this is where I belong. Let's start with the basics. I really need to develop some GOOD habits to counter all the bad ones I've got. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to gain altitude this year, and another is to lose weight. How does that translate? Spring Quest - Hike at Lapham Peak and climb to the top! Summer Quest - Participate in the Dirty Girl Mud Run in August! Diet Goal #1 Eat at least two servings of vegetables every day, including weekends! Diet Goal #2 No food after 8 pm, at least 5 days every week. Fitness Goal Workout three times per week. Choices are: -Kettlebell Workout -Bodyweight Workout -Climb at Adventure Rock -Others? Life Goal Eliminate Clutter - Remove 200 things from my home. Since I'm having some troubler with my computer right now, and it's getting late, I'll sort out the grading and what-not tomorrow. But it's good to have a start on this at least.
  25. I'm coming over to the druids for this challenge since it's mostly about self refection and improvement. I have lost my muchness and I need to find it again. EAT ME, DRINK ME Maintain Calories in the Green Zone tracking with MyFitnessPal and my FitBit I cannot outrun my fork. I cannot get healthy by over OR under eating. I need to eat the proper amount to fuel my body. I will also try to limit my fast food and junk food by eating at least 1 homecooked meal a day. Slimfast shakes for lunch at work will help me feel full and satisfy my sweet tooth. Eat a minimum of 1 veggie a day, preferably with dinner. Need to get better about eating my veggies. Will work to include at least 1 portion of veggies at 1 meal a day. Start small, and achievable. FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” Complete NF Beginner Bodyweight Workout Lvl 1 3x/Week. Try to Lvl up to Lvl 2 by the end of the challenge, but this is not required to pass. I rocked out this workout last challenge and I hope to continue the momentum. The scale and clothes don't lie! My knees have been giving me a lot of problems, so I have forgone the Bodyweight Workouts this challenge. Do FUN activity thrice a week This can be yoga, walking, darebee apocalypse, hula hoop, jumping rope, wrestling with the boys, etc. Whatever is fun and gets me moving! Even extreme cleaning can count! Walk An Average of 5 Miles a Day (35 per week) Gotta walk to Mordor! REGAINING MY MUCHNESS “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to." "I don't much care where –" "Then it doesn't matter which way you go.” Organize 1 Bin of Unused Items Every Week To Donate To Charity I have a house filled with extra knick nacks and clothes and stuff that I do not use and do not need. It is wasted extra that need to be donated to others who may use it. I will focus on deep cleaning/organizing one area of the house every week and in the process collect at least one box (generally going to use the big pampers diaper box) of goodies I don't use/need to donate to a local charity. Meditate with my Mantra Daily Over the last challenge I worked on a mantra for myself that I could memorize and practice daily to keep me mindful of what I want to be and do. While I wont list the actual mantra here for personal reasons, I have memorized it and will practice in daily in my sacred altar space as I meditate on the energy I wish to manifest in myself. No excuses, no skipping. Work to figure out which way I want to go.
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