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  1. My partner of over 12 years and I are FINALLY tying the knot in October! It's been a long and bumpy road, and I'm so excited!! I am less than excited though about my health, which has steeply deteriorated the last half a year or so. Between financial stress, family health stress (several cancers have been popping up in my immediate family), and work stress, I've been absolutely exhausted and drained and letting myself go. While my perfectionism would love to focus solely on getting my weight down, I know that would only wind up making things worse. So instead I am forcing myself to focus on making myself FEEL better, and be more healthy in general, and the weight will eventually follow, even though it will likely be a lot slower than I would want. For this first challenge we'll start kinda slow. Nutrition: We have been eating out basically every meal lately, it is hitting the waist line almost as hard as the pocket book and therefore is a HUGE stressor right now. I want to focus on only eating out 5 times or less a week for this first challenge. What constitutes eating out: Takeout, drive-thru, restaurant. What does not constitute eating out: meals at family's house (regardless of whether it's takeout), family gatherings at a restaurant when paid by family (Sunday lunch with my parents after church is still considered eating out). Fitness: I am going to start focusing on getting my core strength up. It is the area I am severely lacking in. To do this, I will be doing the Core Play program by Karina Dimitrovova. This is a 4 week program that I will repeat for a couple times (at least 3 times). It takes approximately 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, with a 7th day of rest. If I feel up to it after my Core Play routine on Mon, Wed, a/o Fri, I can also do a water aerobics class at my local rec center, but this is completely optional for this first challenge. Mindset/Mental Health: I have been spending far too much time bingeing TV shows and webtoons lately, and just generally being pretty lazy, but lately I started re-reading the Harry Potter series, and remmebered just how much reading really calms and centers me. I have a buynch of books I've bought in the last couple years that I had ever intention to read, and never got to, so I will slowly make my way through them. In addition to rediscovering my love of reading, I have discovered a NEW SHINY HOBBY! of bookbinding! So my goal this challenege is to work for at least 30 minutes daily on either reading or bookbinding projects. In order to keep from going overboard on things to do, I will not be striving to update daily here, but I do need to have some sort of consistency goal for posting or I will completely drop off the challenge somewhere around week 2 or 3, so I will aim for at least 1 post/update a week So excited to get started!!
  2. So I know I'm joining really late in this challenge, which is why this is a prologue. I'll be using the rest of this week, and next week (zero week) getting myself set up for success going in to the next challenge. As you may be able to tell from the title, or if not, definitely by the tags, I'm getting married! The wedding is at the beginning of October this year, so I have almost 4 full challenges before then to get ready. Lately I have really (REALLY) let myself go, a combination of stress and health issues (my own and various family members) and I want to be feeling my best as I walk down the aisle. When you feel your best, you tend to look your best! Therefore I'm not going to focus too hard on specifically losing weight, but making changes that make me feel good, and the weight will eventually follow. The goals for the next 4 challenges will be roughly the same for each one, just building in intensity as I achieve goals. They will be roughly: 1. Nutrition: I will start off with decreasing eating out to just 4 times a week (currently, sadly, we are eating out almost 2-3 times a day, and this is greatly impacting my health, energy, stress, and pocket), then move on to only twice a week (Sunday lunch with my parents after church, and Wednesday lunch while doing laundry at the laundromat), Then focus will switch to what I am actually eating, and logging food. 2. Fitness: I will be going through Core Play again, doing at least 2 rounds of it, then deciding whether to continue with another round, adding more reps, or move on to Beyond Flexibility. I will also be doing a water fitness class anytime I feel like I can swing it. 3. Lifestyle/Mindset: I have started bookbinding and making my own sketchbooks and notebooks, so I will aim for 1 hour daily working on that, and then 1 hour of either reading, writing, or arting. So what is the prologue going to look like if those are my goals for the actual challenges? Well, like I said, I need to set myself up for the best chance at success, so this "prologue" will be for getting everything together. 1. Nutrition: I need a clean kitchen and clean dishes in order to prep food. Then I will also need to go shopping so there is actually food in the house to eat instead of ordering more food. So, daily I will be working on cleaning the kitchen and putting it back together (we've had to take it apart a couple times now due to roaches in the building and the new landlords actually doing something to get rid of them for real). I think 30 minutes daily will work greatly. I will also need to make a list of foods to prep, and grocery list based on that. Then go grocery shopping and prep some meal items. 2. Fitness: I need to renew my membership to my rec center, pack my gym bag and start packing it in my car, along with printouts of my workouts for the day. I need to figure out schedule of when the rooms I will want/need to use will be available, and what time classes are, and create a working schedule around that for sleeping. 3. Lifestyle/Mindset: Make sure I have all materials I will need for bookbinding, and clear off desk again. (clearing the desk shouldn't be too bad, it was done 2 weeks ago). Ready a list of books to read, and place them in bedroom near bed for reading before sleep. I will try to update semi-daily, but not stress myself out about it, I have enough going on already. I will commit to updating at least once weekly, to make sure I'm staying on track and focused. I encourage punishment for not posting updates for over a week. I have a bad habit of falling off the edge of the world after about 2 weeks...
  3. The evening breeze curled playfully around the hillside where Eamon and I had spread out our picnic several hours before, surrounding us with the spicy damp scent of trees exhaling their warmth from the day and the soft hum of insects serenading each other in the dusk light. Night was falling, and the village vista far below had quieted, with lamps lit in windows and a softening of the sounds of bustling carts and brisk voices. Our conversation, too, had softened into a comfortable silence; and I curled into the space underneath Eamon's strong arm, resting my head on his shoulder and letting his body support my weight. It was my favorite kind of evening, where in privacy I could tell and show my partner how deeply I loved him - but as happened so often on those evenings, instead of being filled with bright warmth and loving happiness, I was hollowed out with the frosty stillness of my ice powers, as numb and lifeless as a forest clearing buried in midwinter snow. I ached with wishing I could just once feel the love and delight I knew I felt for him underneath the chill - but no matter how hard I tried to shake free, I was locked inside, all my emotions buried underneath the cold. I laughed when he joked or flirted, said all the things I knew in my head that I would say if I could feel anything - but I was sure that somehow, even in the dimming light, he had to see the deadness in my eyes and hear the hollow emptiness in my laughter. I didn't understand why it was happening and that made it even worse. As we gazed quietly down across the valley, Eamon unexpectedly reached over to take my hand - and I thought I saw him flinch the tiniest bit when his warm fingers contacted my frigid palm. Still, he didn't hesitate as he enveloped my small hand in his big one, and he said calmly as if nothing had happened, "You know, I heard from a friend a few villages over that some of the harvest festivals might take place this year. If you like, I could ask him for more information and we could try to go. It might even be after the wedding, so we could go together. What do you think?" I looked sorrowfully down at the dull blue glow of the runes on my bare wrists and arms, and two cold tears rose in my eyes. "Eamon," I whispered, "I'm sorry I'm not going to be a better wife for you." Immediately Eamon shifted to gaze down into my eyes, his heavy brows lowered over concerned blue eyes. "What are you talking about?" I spread my palms and bit back tired tears at the scars and patterns that laced across my hands and forearms, all of which were glowing a jagged, frosty blue instead of the golden light of healing and compassion that seemed so elusive these days. Words and emotions jumbled up in my thoughts, until all that would come out was, "I'm sorry I'm ... not normal. I'm ... sorry I'm ... broken." Eamon sighed heavily and pulled me close to his heart, pressing his warm hand over the cold one I rested miserably on his chest. "Sky," he said, firmly but gently, "I love you. Because you're you. I wish I could do something to help you heal and make your life easier - and if there ever is anything I can do, I will gladly do that, because I want you to be happy. But even if nothing ever changes - even if you feel this way for the rest of our lives - I'm going to love you and be here with you anyway. Not because you're perfect, not because things are simple and easy, but because you're my best friend and the woman I love and want in my life. Nothing will ever change that." "I know," I mumbled. "I just wish I were -" "- perfect," Eamon supplied. I looked up at him, startled. "What?" "You want to be perfect and flawless. But honey, that's not how anything works. I'm not perfect and neither are you. But we don't have to be." His words reminded me of one of my counselor's favorite sayings - "Breathe in, and when you breathe out, release your need for perfection and say to yourself, 'This is good enough,'", she always said. "I don't want you to suffer and I do want you to heal. But that's not for my sake. I'll love you no matter what. And part of how I'm going to love you is by supporting your healing journey any way I can." Maybe allowing love to come into your brokenness is part of being good enough, I wondered to myself. Maybe accepting that two broken people are going to have mess and pain and needs - and can still bring all the love they have to give - maybe that's good enough. Maybe it's good enough to be unwell or irritable or frustrated or half-healed or struggling, together. "Okay?" Eamon leaned back to smile into my face, and for the first time all evening, a tiny spark of hope flickered in my heart as I smiled back. "I may not be perfect, but I'm good enough," I whispered back. Eamon beamed and kissed my forehead. "Amen."
  4. Hi everyone! I've been hanging out with the Rebels for the last year or so, but I thought a change of scenery would do me good The line = 73.5kg. This is what I weighed when I picked out my wedding dress a week ago, so now the prime directive is to hold this line and not exceed the limit. It won't arrive until May, and the wedding is not until September, but if I can maintain good habits until then (and forever after that) there will be a lot less anxiety around alterations etc to deal with. Exercise 1) Do any exercise every day 2) Do a major exercise 3x a week (Zombies Run mission or full home workout) 3) Be stealthy Nutrition 4) Maximum of 25g of sugar each day 5) Earn your sugar allowance 6) Two bottles of water each day (and no liquid calories) So my main focus is to exercise more and to eat less chocolate (the basics of healthy living I seem to have been struggling with lately) It's a bit childish, but I'm going to bribe myself to get a better balance. Basically, for every 10 reps (of whatever exercise) I do, I can have 5g of sugar, up to a daily maximum of 25g, which is the recommended daily intake of added sugars. I know 10 squats is not enough work to offset a teaspoon of sugar, but this is all about enticing myself to just get in the habit of doing the squats in the first place. I'm also going to have to be stealthy, because this challenge also includes the first crazy work weeks of the year. My roster is just going to be bizarre for a couple of weeks, which makes it hard to get into a regular routine. So I'm going to encourage myself to seize opportunities for exercises as they turn up. Do some squats in a toilet cubicle. Do some pushups against the kitchen counter while waiting for rice to boil. Do something, dangit! Good luck everyone Also, this has been in my head since I thought up the title, so now it's in yours too
  5. I skipped the last challenge, but things have still been happening over here in my little corner -- wedding planning, family trip to Spain (holy drama llamas guys), work getting really busy, and the normal episodes of the sads. When we saw this movie fiance was like THAT'S YOU. Unfortunately true. So the year is shaping up like this: February bachelorette in San Diego May 6 Flying Pig Half Marathon June 3 Spartan Sprint Ohio July 1 WEDDING!!!!! September Honeymoon in Portugal I'm such a lucky duck. Goal 1 - Dial in Nutrition (for real this time) So...fiance and I are doing another Whole 30. It's going pretty smoothly, I'm not even having bad cravings (though fiance is...he's dreaming of pizza lol). My post-W30 is always the struggle. This year I have my bachelorette in San Diego right after, and I tend to enjoy non-paleo food and wine. But once I come home I will be shopping Complete the Whole 30 Enjoy my bachelorette party. Eat intentionally and consciously. Go back to mostly Whole 30 eating (~90%) Goal 2 - Training, duh As a Christmas gift my mom signed me up for the Flying Pig half. Training starts this week, eek! The goal components: Complete all half marathon training runs Yoga/barre/pilates 2x/week Complete the Nargles 9k Goal 3 - Be Happy Meditate every day (this is my 2018 resolution and I've been successful so far) Go to bed by 9:30 Wake up at 5am - this is to facilitate either getting in early to get on top of my work, or having a quiet moment alone before heading into the office. Last Saturday I watched a sad movie (Only the Brave), and I don't follow a lot of news so the tragic end hit me really hard. Over the next hours I went into a depressive tailspin that ended with me sobbing on the floor trying to explain to fiance that I was sad for no reason. This is on a day that I took an awesome barre class and then played tennis. Eating Whole 30, working out...it's frustrating to feel like I"m doing everything right and still get the doldrums. All I can do is work on the little things. ETA: Rereading this it sounds really depressing but I wanted to note that these episodes are occasional. And after I cry I feel better. The Whole 30 is just sort of exposing this stuff because I can't stress or emotional eat, so I end up just kind of wallowing in it.
  6. So what is this about you might ask? Well, I'll tell you! Just take a seat, this could take a while.... It all started back about 10 years ago. I was in high school and just getting to figuring out who the hell I was. I met this really cute guy and got infatuated. I even invited him to go to prom with me but he declined, said he wasn't interested in going. I was sad but not heartbroken and found another dude to go with. And oh boy...was that ever a disaster! Fast forward a few years and I meat this boy again but now via my boyfriend. He is funny and sweet and nerdy, just like me. And I liked him. A lot. But since I had a guy already and was happy (not really, I just told myself this...idiot teenager...) I never thought more about it. Instead things changed and me and this guy started hanging out like friends and that was just fine. Until one night when he was drunk and it slipped out, when we were alone, that he had liked me since high school and regretted so badly turning me down for prom. I had no idea what todo with the information and it just got stored away in the back of my mind. So I moved away for college and he got a job, life went on. My relationships started and ended like bad sitcoms all of them, one worse then the other, and this guy stayed with me. He became my closest friend and confidant and I told him everything. I even felt a few times that if he ever was single I would snatch him up. But he never was. When he had a girl I was single and vice versa. So time went on. And then I got engaged. To a dutch guy. And was planning on moving from Sweden. And me and my friend were hanging out a lot that last summer, because I realised that I would miss him the most of all the people I had in my life. And then, one night, something just came over me. We were sitting outside in the Swedish summer night, meaning it was still a soft light out at 2 am and the wind was warm, and I just felt like something changed. I looked at him and all of a sudden his lips were on mine. One kiss. That was all. Nothing more ever happened and I know I should have been beating myself up over it since I was engaged but....I just couldn't. I was just blown away. And all those feeling came rushing back in. But yes....I was engaged....and I was moving the week after. I remember thinking "WTF dude!? NOW?! REALLY!?!?!?!" but I didn't say anything. And I left. I packed up my life and moved. And after 2 weeks I regretted it. I had the feeling in my gut that neither the guy or the country was right for me. He was mean, stupidly cheap and nothing I wanted to do was worth the money. We couldn't go to Amsterdam because that was expensive but he could have a scooter, a car and really expensive hobbies. I felt like shit and I was reduced to a nervous wreck. And after a year I gave up and moved back. I don't regret going but I do regret not listening to my gut feeling sooner. That was the time I finally learned to listen to my intuition. And it has payed of since then. So I moved home. And me and my friend started hanging out again. And something had changed. Something huge. Like....the planets hade changed path and the sun was just....so much brighter. And I realised that it was this guy I wanted to be with. So I did what any sensible woman would do - I made him mine. It wasn't hard since he never had been able to forget me either. And that first year was so blissful it was almost irritating. Reality hit. We hit a really rough patch and after a lot of heartbreak and tears and anxiety we decided to move apart. When things had settled we started talking again and both of us realised that we missed each other. So we tried again. We started dating, took it really slow, kept living apart and just easing into it. Using the time we spent apart to figure out what we wanted individually and where we wanted to go in life. And it worked. About a year after we started dating we decided to move in for a trial period. He stayed with me for one month in my apartment and after that I stayed with him for a month. We managed to find someone that wanted to rent my apartment for a year when me and the guy tried living together again. This time we kept all the safety-measurements on. I kept the apartment so in case of chaos again I could move back and not have to go to my parents again as the last time. We started talking more, communicating more, letting each other in. It worked. <3 We found each other again, over 9000 times stronger this time, more grown up and knowing what we needed to do to make it work in the long run. And THIS brings me to the topic! We got a really nice offer for a fantastic house, it needed alot of TLC but it was too good to pass on, and we started talking about the future. Slowly it nestled its way into our conversations, things like how many kids we would like, would we get married in the spring or fall, what last name would we take? And it happened so naturally and didn't feel scary on bit. So now, this February I decided - I would propose. I was waiting for him to do it but then I thought - why should I? I wanted him as my husband and I'll be damned if I was just going to sit there like a damsel in distress and wait. F*CK THAT! I had a plan! Neither of us are that kind of lovey-dovey old school romantics. For valentines one year I got Heart of the Swarm and we had a ton of fun. He got a 6-pack of MTG boosters. Yeah, that is how we roll. And that got me to the plan - I would design a MTG-card to propose! So I got to making and it turned out awesome, I'm very pleased with it. But come on, that would just be weird with one card, right? So I had a friend of mine help me make a whole playable deck with the theme "Rings". And I printed it out and made a proxy. And omg I was so nervous when I was sitting at the kitchen table cutting out the cards that he would figure out what it was. He just looked at the cards and said it looked weird and laughed. So when the second week of march comes around we go to Prague for a family trip and I'm so nervous I think I'm going to die. I had managed to buy us a pair of rings and smuggled them into my bag together with the deck without him noticing. We get to Prague eventually, went out for the evening and on the way back I feel like puking from the nerves. He thinks I had something bad to eat so we go up to the room and he asked if I wanted to sleep. Ok, now or never! I say I want to play a bit first and that was of course ok. (Side track, but it was me that got him into the whole MTG-scene about 2 years ago) So we sit down and play. using the bed as a table. And I feel my hands sweating more and more. And then I get it. The card! With this I can play the proposal-card from out of my purse and him not having any idea wtf is going on. We keep playing for a while and then I just feel like I have to play it. And I do. And then I start going thru my purse and he asks me what I'm looking for and makes some kind of lame joke about using my lipstick as a token..hurr hurr, we'll see ho laughs last. This is where things starts to get blurry. I remember playing the proposalcard upside down and him looking at me like I'm crazy. He later told me he thought I was pissed at him since I was acting so weird....oops. XD I play the card and as he reads it I literally throw the rings up on the bed, not saying anything. I had this HUGE speech prepared but nope, that didn't work. At all. I just grunt and jerk my chin at the rings and raises an eyebrow at him. The answer was a flying man and a lot of laughing and kissing and many many yes:es. So I got him....finally. I got my heart-neerd. <3 ----------------------------------------------------- Ok, so if you managed to get this far- CONGRATUFUCKINGLATIONS! You are a champ! And the reason to why I post this here is because there is a wedding coming on April 2018. And I want to lose some of the weight until then. I'm not aiming for model thin but just a lighter frame. I want to feel pretty walking down the isle. And I want to be healthy enough to have a baby or two down't the line. That is it. Welcome to my story.
  7. Okay so last challenge was interesting. Moving, getting ready for the wedding, work going crazy and school. I've started using a bullet journal and it's helped a lot but missed being on here. Kind of messed up my shoulder moving, so Kung Fu has been a little hard. Plan is to go to just 1 of the hours tonight, although I really wish I could do two. Joined a farm share program (CSA) and now get a box of veggies every week. only had 1, a few things were a bit of a challenge but overall most everything turned out well. I do hope to be on here more. I know when I"m following a long with others it makes it easier to stay on track with mine. Challenge 1: Don't eat all the things As stress has gone up, eating well has gone by the wayside. I want to get back to PHD, and the only way to do it is just jump in. No alcohol other than wine. White rice, sweet potatoes and other PHD approved starches only Focus on veggies, and protein. Keep tracking Quest 2: Make Yoga & Meditation a Priority Yoga twice a week, at least a mini session Guided meditations an additional 2 days a week A yoga challenge really shouldn't be THAT hard right? (only been the last 3 months of challenges and still yet to complete) my whole body has been off. and when I tried doing some yoga last night it was super hard, ended up not even being able to finish the whole session. Going to start with some mini's and work back to water A One of my favorite white noise apps now has guided meditations. Quest 3: sleep!! Get at least 7 hours of sleep at least 5 nights a week. Take time to enjoy: This challenge ends on my wedding day, and I really want to enjoy the last weeks before the wedding. At least once a week going to make time to do something fun with my fiance. could be something like going out to eat, a movie, or as simple as taking the dog on a walk.
  8. Another month, another couple of miles of this year's life marathon! I've gotten through the Zombies, Run! virtual race and the bulk of wedding dress shopping, tackled the challenge of consistent food logging, and I'm now rounding the corner into some pretty big wedding planning tasks, a steady increase in work responsibilities, and I can just make out moving day looming on the horizon! GOALS For this challenge, I'll have a couple of consistent foundational goals to set me up to do well: Sleep for a minimum of 7.5 hours per night (I'll count it if I'm down for 7.5 hours but am restless in the middle of the night, since my FitBit subtracts that from my total sleep) Weekly review of goals, problem solving of what went well or not so good, and planning ahead (what's coming up? What are some possible problems, and what can I do ahead of time?) It may sound silly, but I've had a lot of success doing this when I've noticed ahead of time that, say, the next week is going to be really busy at work, and putting in a couple of hours over the weekend (which felt like pretty much nothing because my weekends are so relaxed) that shifted the entire week into a much more relaxed situation instead of crazy 12 hour days and being overwhelmed. After that, each week will shift slightly in what I'm focusing on. Tentatively, I'm thinking.... Week 0's focus is on planning: start off my day with a personal and work to do list and return that evening to note how many things I got done and any other notes from the day. Week 1's focus is "shouldn't I already be doing this?" habits - flossing daily, brushing my teeth for the full time my electric toothbrush goes (even when I'm in a hurry!), tracking my spending in You Need A Budget (YNAB), and a full morning and evening facial routine to maybe, maybe help rid me of this acne I've had for over a decade (ugh!) Week 2's focus is on adding on to those routines with at least one item from my 'utility belt' from last challenge; I realized in the middle of the challenge that I know what actually works well in helping me cope instead of eating/laying around/other less than ideal habits, I just don't consistently do them, and get bored if I feel like I have to exactly the same ones every day. So I'm building some freedom into this one - I can pick which ones to do, but I need to do something in the morning and at night (e.g. meditate, exercise, read, etc) Weeks 3 and 4 are TBD, probably as I go through these first couple of weeks and find areas I need to work on Maybe a dedicated wedding planning week? MOTIVATION I just signed up for a Biggest Loser challenge with a few friends that goes through the end of June - my competitive spirit is getting stoked, and just the $20 investment already has me eager to see how I stack up against my competition. I also finally created goals in YNAB for honeymoon, wedding, paying off student loans, and other big goals. It's easy when I see a relatively big number in one account to take it easy, but taking the whole picture into account we have a lot of work to do and it's a shame to fritter away a bunch of that money on eating out and other stuff I don't need that isn't healthy for me anyway. I haven't set up any activity/stuff rewards for now since, honestly, I'm pretty content with what I have and I think seeing my budgets go up and debt go down will be more motivating than a pair of new sneakers or something. Though I do have a coupon for a massage I need to use by the end of June, so that may come into play somewhere!
  9. The Introduction Hello, dearies! If you can't tell from the above gif, I have been watching a lot of Once Upon a Time lately. At first I thought of it as a guilty pleasure, but then I started to realize that this show is actually quite good. Modern takes on fairy tales, not only having kick-ass strong female characters but the entire cast essentially being strong female characters, having Disney characters being gay, amazingly creative costuming and makeup, and overall incredibly imaginative plots that totally switch everything up that you thought you knew about fairy tales is completely inspiring from all angles. I love how they address a lot of the issues with fairy tales and make fun of themselves too. (At one point, in reference to Beauty and the Beast someone says "not that I'm saying you should love someone who is keeping you prisoner, what kind of message would that send to girls everywhere?"). So refreshing. And don't even get me started on the villains. The characters and backstories they create are so imaginative I have a lot of respect for the writers who take something so old and used and turn it into something so fresh and exciting. Also, Snow White's character is SUCH A FRAKKIN RANGER IT'S RIDONKULOUS. So anyway, the more I thought about this the more I realized that in all honesty, fairy tales are quite nerdy. In fact, fairy tales were possibly one of the first things that were ever nerded out about. I started looking into the origins of modern fairy tales and discovered that the Brothers Grimm were some of the first fantasy nerds to really make a name for themselves. They didn’t *write* fairy tales. This would have made them authors, not necessarily nerds. But they were obsessed with the fantasy stories of German folklore, they not only wanted the story, but they became cultural explorers, researching at a collegic level the cultural affects and representations of folklore. They developed a methodology for collecting, recording, validating, and researching folklore. They not only were nerds, but they opened up a whole new area of study for others to nerd out about in the future. And at its core, they were fantasy stories! If that’s not nerdy, I don’t know what is. Also, for a lot of us fairy tales were the first kind of fantasy we were exposed to. Think back to the first time you heard a story that took you away to another place. When you were a tiny child, whether it be a movie, a radio broadcast, a TV show, a book. Chances are it was some sort of fairy tale (Disney-version or otherwise). As you grow up, you transition to stories that fit your likes, dislikes, and age. But at its core, fantasy and science fiction stories are really all their own kind of fairy tale. So here I present to you without further ado, a throwback from a way old school nerdom themed challenge with a modern twist – Once Upon A Time in Raxie’s Enchanted Forest.
  10. Hello everyone! Since this is my first Challenge, I'll get right to posting my goals. You can read more about me on my character page. Main Quest: Lowering my body fat percentage My goal in the past was to lose weight. Since I am getting closer to my 'perfect' weight, I'd rather focus on body composition. Fitness Quests: Increase difficulty level of workouts twice a week I exercise every morning, and I feel like my body is getting used to it. Since I can't really increase the frequency of my workouts (without quitting my job), I will increase their intensity. Do not skip more than 2 workout sessions The past few weeks, I've found myself skipping workouts with lame excuses (It's still dark outside!). This month, I'm going to stick to my program and only skip 2 workouts for the whole month. Diet Quests: Do not cheat more than once a week Just like I was skipping workouts, I was cheating with my diet (One cookie won't hurt, right? So another one shouldn't either?). Aside from planned 'cheat' meals with friends - which are not really cheating, in my opinion - I will not cheat more than once a week. Try 2 new foods every week The cheating was partially caused by a lack of variety in my food, so I'm going to spice things up and try new things. Level Up Your Life Quests: Complete my wedding invitation I'm getting married in June! I really want to design my own invitation, but I've been putting it off and my fiancé is suggesting we take it to a professional designer. If I manage to finish this in time, I'll be able to send out invitations I'm really proud of. Submit building permit request Aside from getting married, we're also building a house! In Belgium, getting a building permit can be a hassle. My goal is to complete the request documents (there are a LOT of them) by the end of the month, so we can file our permit and hopefully start construction by the end of the year. Motivation: Getting married in June and going on a honeymoon to Florida. I want to look great in a bikini by the time I reach Miami beach. Any tips and tricks from fellow Questers are more than welcome!
  11. Hello there, I'm Croaker. Lady and I are finally getting married next year. We set a date of October 1st. The problem here is I am carrying around too much weight especially around the middle. When Lady and I met and we fell in love I had a physical job working out side. Fast forward 5 years and I now work in a laboratory (go Croaker for leveling up in life.) The downside is I work in a Laboratory and get no physical exercise. So I have been ballooning from a nice 170 -180 to 230-240. I started fixing my diet back in January and have been doing pretty good at it. I dropped down to 217 just by eating better. The problem is I have hit a diet plateau so to speak. I could tweak my diet more but I am pretty happy with it as it is. I eat plenty of vegetables and some fruit. I eat lean meats like fish and chicken for lunch and dinner is usually vegetarian or has little meat in it. As for grains, I have celiac disease so those are fairly restricted as it is. I do eat granola in the morning and a serving of cookies as a snack. Other than that we are looking at rice and occasional gluten free baked goods. Like I said my diet is pretty good. As for exercise I have started doing the NFYoga. Other than that I have zero exercise in my life. In the past I have enjoyed doing body weight training and I did lift weights when I was in college(I hated lifting weights...) All of that being said "I want to look Sexy as F*CK" for my wedding photos next year. Lady is a professional model so she always looks good and puts a great deal of effort into that. She goes to the gym several times a week, walks everywhere and eats really well... unless she is on a candy binge. Just as importantly I want to look Sexy as F*CK for her. Yes, yes there are better reasons to improve my health and well being, but this is what has me motivated. I want her to be proud to be seen with me. I want to have people look at us and think what a nice couple they are, not how the hell did he get her? So, I am looking for what to do to exercise and kick up my weight loss and of course look Sexy as F*CK. Thanks for paying attention folks. Croaker. P.S. I am a 28 year old male 5'11" 217 pounds with full medical clearance from my doctor to physically do anything I want. My diet was worked on by a dietitian so any major changes will be run by her.
  12. Hi y'all, My story starts off with a cliche. About a week and a half ago, my partner of almost eight years proposed and I accepted. For the first time in a long time, I felt so happy and excited and hopeful. Like there were things to look forward to again. I looked around my house and realized, I need to get my shit together. Suddenly, I wanted to be better, for the sake of myself, for him, and for our impending marriage. Let me back up a little. I've been seriously depressed since at least 2012, if not before. Around that time I was living with my parents, struggling to finish my degree, working a restaurant job I hated, all while my dad was undergoing treatment for colon cancer. I witnessed first hand my dad's suffering through harsh treatments and his disease while the rest of my family members grieved. I did my best to help out my family as a way to cope with my grief, but looking back that was one of the darkest times of my life. When my dad eventually died I was relieved. I finally felt that there might be an end to the suffering one day. When he died I was unemployed and living with my partner. For five months after that I did little besides lay in bed. I didn't go outside at all that summer. Eventually I realized I need to return to life and I went to the doctor to seek antidepressants. I got some medication and a month later I was hired with two jobs, both outside of the restaurant industry and in the job sector I really wanted to work in. For about a year now I've been working full-time, still dealing with depression, but managing it through medication and therapy. I didn't realize what a funk I was still in until we decided to get married, and suddenly it was as if the clouds had parted and I remembered what all there is to life again. I remembered that I haven't even hit all the good parts of life yet. And suddenly, I wanted to lose weight. I am a recovered overeater and undereater: basically fat person former dieter with eating issues. It has taken me so long to lose the diet mentality and even though I am excited about getting healthy, I am very nervous that if I start dieting and exercising again it will resurrect some of my old issues. The other piece is that I have failed many, many times to lose weight, and I am now at my highest weight ever. I am afraid of failing another time. Right now I'm still in the contemplation stage. I am interested in a paleo diet because it seems to be efficient for building muscle and losing weight, and also because I am all about cooking at home and using whole foods rather than diet foods. I am nervous about food restriction. I think for exercise I want to start with body weight exercising and move on to lifting, because it seems to be most efficient, but I'm nervous about getting started. Basically I am super weak right now, from years of being basically sedentary, and I have an old knee injury that I'm afraid of aggravating. I would like to eventually add some cardio, like running or swimming, but I feel like making all of these changes would be a tall order for just getting started. Writing this down is my baby step for today. I think it might make sense to take pictures and keep track of my weight and measurements--maybe I can work up the courage to do that later this week.
  13. It's been a while...lots has happened, but all is better now. In October I'm getting married. I'm super excited, and can't wait to walk down that aisle, and soon I will be having my first wedding dress fitting. I bought my wedding dress at the end of October, since then I have moved into my own home with my future husband, and it's been both Christmas and my birthday, so as you can imagine, some weight has been added. I would like if possible, to lose some weight, and generally firm up all over the place. And while I'm at it I'm going to improve my skating skills and my refereeing skills. Goal: Weight - 65kg Quests: 1. Make my own lunch every day - [WIS + CON] This one shouldn't be too difficult as I'm pretty much doing it now. Focusing on eating less bread and cheese, and focusing more on clean meals. 2. Strength train twice a week - [sTR] We have our garage gym now! I'm really rubbish at using it, but maybe if I pick two days; Wednesday and Friday, then I'll actually use it! 3. Referee at least once a week - [WIS + CHA] I no longer play roller derby, instead now I referee it. I'm having so much more fun and am having such a good time! But to get more confident and making penalty calls etc I need to do it more! I either do this at the women's practice on a Thursday (which is scary cause they're like 4th in the country) or at the men's which is better cause there's only like 8 of them. Life quest: Keep the house clean! Seriously just do it.
  14. Hello! so here is the thing. Last year I started the paleo lifestyle like 90%. I started exactly a year ago in April, and then I started obsessing with the exercise too, so I was doing too much. I was in the better shape of what I have been my entire life. Then I injured myself. I had a spinal surgery in June because of an hernia that happened because I was not resting enough between exercise sessions, and my spine got injured. Everything went well, I healed super fast, I dont know if it was because my nutrition was very well but I healed and recovered very well. Even when I was in the hospital, I tried to follow paleo the most possible, and also the recovery time in my house. The months went by, and because I could not do exercise at the time of the recovery, I started losing the motivation I had for paleo, and to keep in track. In october I started doing exercise again, (I started from zero of course), Now I can do exercise again, Im doing kickboxing, I do a lot of squats, etc. But what I can not do is get back on track with paleo in february I got engaged, my wedding is in August, and I dont know why, Ive been trying ever since to get back to paleo lifestyle, but I dont know why I cant do it. This time has been very difficult to me. I dont know if it is because of anxiety sometimes I started eating without hunger. I am not fat, but I am not as lean and ripped as I got to be last year. And honestly I want to be again. Even worse, sometimes I simply dont want to go exercise because I feel very very tired. Is this sress? what can I do? I have been thinking that if I go back to paleo, in a month I will be so so well that everything will be worth it but I have not been able to do it until this day. In may 29 im going to cancun for my bachelor, my wedding is in august, I have a lot of parties before, and I need to get back in track and in shape. But what is wrong? it has been very difficult I dont know why. Why dont I have the motivation all my life I've had, now that I need it the most? :/ please help. anything.
  15. In 6 weeks time I will be Bridesmaid Dress Shopping for my sisters wedding in August, perfect timing for my first six week challenge. Operation, not be the fat sister at the big wedding! Main Goals: 1) Aim for a 90-10 Paleo Diet, I am almost there at the moment but I think I can step it up a notch. 2) Be able to run 5K, I can currently run a slow mile. Speed it not important to me, just distance. 3) Lose weight, I have reached a plateau with my weight and I would like to smash it. Life Quest: Read the books that have been stacked next to my bed for 4 weeks (and finish catching up with game of thrones)
  16. Hi, Im getting married August 15, 2015, and my bachelorette to Cancun is May 29, 2015 OMG, ive got 6.5 weeks, and this is my challenge: 1. To lose the most of fat that I can doing kickboxing 3 days a week and step for 2 days a week for an hour each, and rest 2 days for cardio. 2. For muscle building Im going to do The lower body 2 - 3 days a week and for upper body 2 days. 3. Kind of a paleo way of eating (no refined sugars, no flours, no bread or pasta, no cakes or pastries) Im saying kind of beacuse sometimes maybe I will eat a corn (mazorca), and maybe beans, but I will try my best to not eat them. 4. Continue with the process of New skin in my face with the treatment. (As I have one week since I started) This involves taking care of my skin and my face. 5. Get done as much as I can with my Wedding, because the days are counting (124 days until wedding day) Thats it, I guess im a recruit or something like that because is my first time in this challenge
  17. ***Note: This is a busy week at work and as such I will finish this entry as soon as I can*** Helloooooooooooooo! Hello If you haven't seen me for a while, there are some reasons. But now I'm back and getting ready for a wedding in less than eight months! Main Quest Basically my main goal is going for the reduction of fat in my bodyweight composition. Plain and simple. I really don't have an end percentage in mind, just going for the "look good naked" thing, especially with my wedding happening in October I really want to look sexy for the lady-friend. I'll be sexy and I know it Goals: Get up and go! Due to my now-insane evening schedule detailed in reasons, I need to get up in the mornings to do workouts. Meh. Now, this can be done in any combination possible, as long as I get five days in between Sunday and Saturday with adequate rest days thrown in. My preference is Monday through Friday, but sometimes variation is necessary. Currently I am doing Stronglifts 5x5 and I don't see myself switching before the challenge is over. I will post my daily workouts of 5x5 and the cardio days in between them each day. As a side bit to this, I'm trying to figure out how I can add pull-ups into my workout, but I won't exactly track that this challenge just yet. Total days - 30 Stat points awarded if completed: +2 Str, +1 Con, +1 Sta The Beard goes modeling... sorta... To gauge my weight loss, rather than step on a scale (though I will continue to do that), I will take a weekly picture to gauge my progress. Nothing much else to it, it's pretty straight forward. Weight will help, but the difference after six weeks should be apparent. Total days - 6 Stat points awarded if completed: +3 Cha Forget about the guy, look at that beard. Quite the specimen. Om nom nom This one figures to be the hardest of all, it requires me to very open and vulnerable with you all. My goal is to hover around the 1800 mark for daily caloric intake (though if enough people recommend otherwise for whatever reason, I will reconsider). To help show that I am adhering to this, I will try to figure out a way to link my My Fitness Pal page to this site. Putting up pictures of me is a proverbial cake walk compared to this. This really makes me feel vulnerable. Because this is an experiment on my part, I will aim for 25 days, just because I might take a week to figure out the whole linking profiles thing. I will consider any and all suggestions people have on recommended edits to my diet. Total days - 25+ Stat points awarded if completed: +2 Cha, +2 Con Normally, I would post a life goal, but with my life being virtually consumed by everything else, I think I'll just try to get through until may with everything as is. So no life goals other than managing every aspect of my life. Well, that's it. Getting back into my first full challenge in a while. Let's see how this vulnerability thing goes. Also.... You forgot about him, didn't you. It's okay. He still thinks you are awesome.
  18. Hello fellow​ NF rebels! I'm Sam, a long-time lurker but first-time poster on the forums. I live in North Yorkshire in the UK, and led a life that was completely devoid of any sort of healthy stuff until last March, at which point I realised that I didn't want to be the sort of person who's unfit and hates the way they look for their whole life. Anyway, I'm 24, female, live with my lovely partner and run my own French tuition business. I love every aspect of my life except my looks and generally poor physical condition, but am really proud with how far I've come. I have mild asthma which I always used as an excuse not to do any exercise as I always got out of breath within the first minute. After 10 months of concerted effort however, I can run 5 miles without stopping, do 70 squats and 250 sit ups. I still cannot do a press up however! I've been focusing on running and bodyweight exercises as I don't have a gym membership or a big enough house for any big equipment, but I did get a core bag (a.k.a a sandbag) for Christmas so that's a new addition to my fitness routines! Tl;dr version: I started getting fit last year, and now can run 5 miles without stopping. Aiming to do the Great North Run (a half-marathon) in September. Main Quest: To be able to run a half marathon on the 13th September 2015 Quest 1: Go on a run of any length at least 3 times a week. Measurement: A= ≥ 3 x a week, B= 3 a week at least 4 weeks and no fewer than 2 a week. C= 2 a week all weeks or more. Reward: A = +3 STA, +1 DEX, +1 CON, B = +2.25 STA, + 0.75 DEX, +0.75 CON, C = +1.5 STA, +0.5 DEX, +0.5 CON Quest 2: Go on a run of > 5 miles at least once a week. Measurement: A= 6 long runs, B = 5 long runs, C = 4 long runs. Reward: A = +4 STA, +1 CON, B = +3 STA, +0.75 CON, C = +2 STA, +0.5 CON Quest 3: Go to the doctors for a chest check-up Measurement: A = book appointment, go and follow through with any advice, B = book appointment and go, C = book appointment. Reward: A = +2 CON, B = +1.5 CON, C = +1 CON Life Quest: Finish my coding courses in HTML, JS and PHP Measurement: A = finish all three, B = finish two, C = finish one. Reward: A = +3 WIS, B = +2.25 WIS, C = +1.5 WIS Motivation: I mainly want to live a long and healthy life in a body which is working with me, rather than against me. I also am really enjoying seeing how far I can push myself and the rush that I get after each run. The vain reason is that I'm getting married in the summer and I would love to look my best, and to continue to look my best while I'm young! And in terms of my geeky credentials, I have recently got into coding in a big way, love Doctor Who and everything that Joss Whedon has ever done, (Firefly and Buffy are my absolute faves, although his version of Much Ado was incredible too) and hardcore French grammar. Also lists. And tongue-in-cheek statements.
  19. The last few challenges have left me feeling a bit like: And I just keep feeling like I’m I'm not actually getting anywhere because I keep losing my way and then I have to start over. I’ve had a lot of life changes lately. The biggest one is new job with new hours. For the first time in my working life I am a M-F 8-5 type person. I don’t even know what to do! Ennica and I have finally set a wedding date and this time we’re going through with it, deaths or no deaths. We have also planned a post wedding, long weekend honeymoon trip to New York to see all the Broadway shows. We’ll be seeing Phantom of the Opera, Beautiful, and If/Then, hence the If/Then-ish theme. We’re doing this in October and since I’ve basically landed back where I started (on my ass), I’d like to be able to, you know, walk around NYC without dying. Goal 1: Eating Primarily Primal. 6 indulgence meals over the challenge, preferably to be used once a week and not all at once. Instead of eating all the sugar, eat some fruit when the cravings hit. It worked for me before. Goal 2: Moving My Ass CrossFit at least 2 times a week. I hope to do more, but I will start with the baby steps.Side goal: extra movement by walking dogs, going to the park, swimming at friends’ pool, other fun stuffs Goal 3: Wedding/Honeymoon Financials Get hotels in NYC and DC pre-paid. We’ve already paid for plane, train, and show tickets. After we pay for the hotels, everything after that will be spending money. Goal 4: Checking in Check in here at least 4 times a week. With the new job, I’ve lost the luxury of being able to pop in unless it’s on my phone. This means I’m going to have to make an effort to do it at home or on break/lunch/conference calls (because, wow, BORING).Insert my big, bad, broadway voice: I will have Ennica take my stats, but I dont. want. to. know. I'll put them in my summary at the end of the challenge. I might be able to handle the beginning stats if there's ending stats. :-/
  20. Hello Everyone! I'm a week late to my sequel, but I have a decent excuse. I just completed my Masters Thesis and Oral defense last week so I think I can forgive me. Maybe you can too! Starting today I need to set up some rules! Following my happy, happy graduation and receiving my degree in Ruling-the-Masses from the Princess Academy I'm set to get married. Two months to work hard. Lets do this! My simple plan: Goal 1:Eat better Lunch and dinner half veggieseat fruit for breakfast/dessertmilky/alcoholic drinks twice a weekGoal 2: Exercise more regularly Exercise five days a weekweightlifting twice-three timescardio/HIIT and pilates/yoga twice a week Side-quest: Spend some time volunteering at the local community center and animal shelter.look for a job I'm just going to assume that I'll need to be more specific along the way, but for now this is the basic framework!
  21. Hello Everyone, I am getting married in october and want to lose 20-30lbs before then. only issue is that i'm lazy and usually pretty tired when I get home from work ( i'm a Web/Mobile Developer ). My fiance is skinny and in shape but I am not. I currently weigh 230 lbs and would really liek to get to 200lbs before oct 18. My major issue with food is that I like to cook big meals and don't know how to simplify. When it comes to working out..... Im just too lazy. I am also on a strict budget because i am paying for my wedding so i only spend about $300 in groceries a month for me and my fiance I know there are people here that have been in the same boat. If you have any motivational ideas or if you have some really simple meal plans that are easy to follow please let me know. Thanks again, and I hope to start losing weight soon.
  22. Greetings, NF! I've been a lurker for the past month or so, and your stories, along with those at r/fitness and r/loseit, have inspired me to join and introduce myself. First off, here's my obligatory progress album: http://imgur.com/a/MNLWI#0 I have been lifting off and on for the past 3 years, ever since I started and completed P90X in 2011. I was very fit, active and strong in college. However, a little over a year ago I graduated and moved to a new city away from my friends and support group and worked a shitty job, which unfortunately led to a period of depression and drinking too much, and then dealt with unemployment for almost 2 months, which didn't help either. This led to general laziness and weight gain. I just re-started my fitness journey a few weeks ago after an honest look at the scale and needing to take breaks during flag football revealed that I am just not in good shape. I was up to 235 pounds at 6'0", almost 50 pounds from my most fit weight of 180. So I bought a planner, started meticulously counting my calories to a significant deficit, cut down my alcohol and carbohydrate intake, and started working out 4-6 times a week. I've already dropped 10 pounds so far, so something is working! My goal is to lose 30 pounds by March 29, which is the date I'm getting married. My fiancee has been incredibly supportive through my depression, unemployment and current state of "could be better" physical health. We'll be going on a delayed honeymoon in July to somewhere sunny and gorgeous, so I am trying to get in great shape before then. I know I can do it; I dropped similar weight in 3 months in 2011 with P90X after I broke up with my high school girlfriend, and now I have a little over 7 months. The honeymoon is going to be something I want to remember for the rest of my life as a wonderful, joyous experience - not one where I was worried about love handles and posing for the camera just right. My goals: Cut down to 190lbs by March 29th, then bulk for 9 weeks, and cut for 4. Fit into my old 34/32 jeans Run a 4.60 40yd dash again Join the 1000 lb club (currently at 885 lbs between the big 3 lifts) Complete The Witcher 2 on Dark Mode How I'll do it: Weight lifting 5x/week: emphasis on high weight, moderate reps (8-12) HIIT Training 3x/week: 2x gym, track, hills, biking, or rowing; 1x football, ultimate frisbee or other sport on Saturday. Sunday is a rest day. Count Calories: Consume between 1500-1800 kcal/day Limit Alcohol: Beer is allowed only on weekends, and then only in moderation (1 of my favorite beers packs 255 kcal/12 oz!) Home cooked food: Cook everything on Sunday to meet macros (45/30/25 Pro/Fat/Carb) Happy to join the Rebellion!
  23. I'll get started tomorrow. Just deciding some goals. Since the end of the last challenge I've got a new job for next school year as head of department, and my girlfriend and I got engaged, and I can get into all but one pair of trousers despite weighing exactly the same as I did about 45 days ago. I'm more interested in seeing everyone else's challenges than my own this time, they're more entertaining somehow! I like the ideas.
  24. Main Quest I want to lose 25 pounds before 3/28/14 in order to fit nicely (but STILL curvaceously) into my wedding dress Three Specific Goals Run at work on my break at least 2.5 miles/3X per week Eat MORE fruit and drink at least 40oz of water EVERYDAY Complete Nerd Fitness/Crossfit workouts and least 3X/weekSide Quest Life Side Quest: Pray every day for strength, motivation and patience. I'm praying for me to stick to this because God knows I don't want to be the "chubby bride" HERE GOES NOTHING!! Yaaaay!
  25. Hey guys! Super excited about this 6 week challenge! I'm getting married (OMG it's getting closer and closer!!) in 9 weeks so I really want to pump things into overdrive. What better way than a 6 week challenge Main motivation: Looking and feeling AMAZING for my wedding. And also just building my confidence so that I can spend 5 gazillion hours taking photos on the day and not hate it. Main Quest: Lose 6kg Goal 1: Bikram yoga minimun 4x per week Goal 2: Keep track of all food in my food diary Goal 3: Eat paleo/primal throughout challenge Life Quest: Organise transfer to full time work at NRMA Alright guys let's do this!!!
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