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  1. I sat out the last few challenges due to vacation/work travel/life. I've been on-again, off-again with working out and eating healthy (big surprise, I know). I was supposed to do a Spartan Sprint last weekend with coworkers but we ended up deferring due to collective injuries and conflicts (I am not injured but not prepared). I think we're going to be targeting a race in early November, which means I have 7 weeks to ACTUALLY TRAIN THIS TIME. As many races as I've done, every single I time I've undertrained...not just butterflies-at-the-starting-line-doubts, but clearly missed too many workouts to perform optimally. Long Term Goal: 25% body fat This Challenge Goal: Feel my Feels Reading one of the NF articles combined with some thoughts swirling around my crazy-brain made me realize...so many of my struggles are coming from a place of anxiety. My poor eating choices, and maybe even my various maladies (headaches and gut issues) which wear me out and drain my motivation to work out. Those moments in the store where I grab the bag of processed carbs, I'm feeling despair, hating myself for being weak, desperately wanting to feel better. I'm eating (and drinking) and watching TV, even reading, out of that desperation - needing that instant numbing and pick-me-up. I KNOW that I feel better when I work out (seriously don't know how people who don't feel the endorphin rush work out ever), but that place of feeling like I might cry or scream in groundless misery is not a place of energy. I'm simultaneously wound up and drained by anxiety. So this challenge...I'm going to try not to numb/drown the feelings. Getting back into the meditation habit and being more mindful of my choices is a start. I've been succumbing to the sucky feels - fighting back starts with understanding. As a reality check, work right now is not even particularly stressful - I'm just not handling it well. Goal #1: Move 5x/week For the endorphins. Any combination of yoga/running/walking/spartan workouts/spin/climbing. Running-crying counts too. Goal #2: Mindful shopping and eating I know how to cook reasonably balanced meals. I'm not aiming for perfect paleo, but roughly: Breakfast - protein, Lunch - protein + veg, Dinner - protein + veg + carb I'm still struggling to find a way to balanced eating, but I'm tired of that post-work feeling-like-I'm-going-to-meltdown induced stop at the grocery store for cheese or chips. I've even fallen back into my popcorn addiction (I know it can be a healthy snack, but not the way I make it, ha). The real goal is, every time I want to buy/eat something unhealthy, to: Write down what I want and what I'm feeling Take 3 deep breaths (or start a meditation through the Calm app) As needed/available, use a non-food mood booster If I still want it, have it Ideally I will only eat unhealthy things when I am in a mental space to fully enjoy them, rather than a space of please-anything-to-make-it-better. Goal #3: Wake early, Meditate daily Just do it. Bed at 9. Lights out by 10. Up at 5. THE PREPARATION I'm pre-paying for a year of Calm so I HAVE to use it to get my money's worth. I will buy the yoga pass with gift cards, and pre-book my classes for the whole challenge Stock the fridge with healthy easy staples: Steamfresh veggies, deli meat, eggs Make a list of mood-boosters that are not food/alcohol Make a list of healthy quick meals/snacks and post it in the kitchen Give fiance $50, and if I miss a workout it gets donated to Trump's 2020 campaign *shudder*. If I hit all my workouts I'll buy new running shoes. THE REASONS JULY 2018 WEDDING!!! I bought my dress and even though I love it, I don't love how my upper arms look right now. Gotta work on those guns. Christmas in Spain - For one this is with my skinny sisters and mom and I'm sick and tired of being the heavy one in the pictures. I want to be able to indulge (TAPAS AND WINE) without feeling like I'm being judged by my mom, looking at me and thinking "this is why you're overweight". I wore holes in my size 10 jeans, and instead of buying new ones I squeezed into my size 8's. Since gaining weight again (142-->152lb) they are tight. I'm not buying bigger jeans. Spartan Sprint in November? My coworker is trying to talk me into doing a Spartan Trifecta next year. But based on my Sprint training track record I'm not ready to commit. But #1 is wanting to feel better all the time. Psst this is my wedding dress: Obviously this is not me. But the flower pattern in the fabric shimmers. Also it's sooooo comfy.
  2. So, I fell again. I had really good intents last challenge, but once again my spawn died in the first half of the challenge. This has happened consistently for the past few challenges (and all the ones I did not do). So how do I make sure that I don't fail this time? Well, I need a stronger starter. I was like a low level Grass Pokemon trying to win at the Pokemon League against a Leader whose specialty is fire. (Hint: NOT. HAPPENING.) Bulbasaur!!! So cute! Winning? Will be challenging. But even Grass Pokemon have strengths. They have deadly attacks, and the ability to restore their HP even if they are hit. (Take that Fire Pokemons!!) So, since I cannot change my Pokemon type, I will make sure I take a loooooooong time going around in the first town before advancing to the next, more challenging one. I will even try to evolve my Bulbasaur into an Ivysaur before I move too much forward. Ivysaur has much better stats and ability to defend itself against attacks. But this is a long term view. For this quest to be successful, I also know that I have to set myself small, attainable goals. I am a very imperfect Pokemon, so I will miss my attacks, not be able to withstand enemy attacks and faint, and need my trainer to care for me a lot (Pokebeans!). Chi va piano va sano. Bulbasaur starts up with 2 attacks: Tackle and Growl. Not strong, and not even leveraging the Grass-type moves which are stronger. So I will go and try to learn Vine Whip - This is done by Leveling up to level 7. I am currently starting, so I am level 5. I need 2 levels to learn this new attack! Vine Whip! How do I gain points to level up? There are 4 ways! 1- Spend time in the tall grass - Fight off other Pokemons and get stronger! 2- Go to the Pokemon center regularly - Always be full of energy! 3- Eat good Pokebeans - Make sure my body is fed the right nutrients! 4- Visit all the houses on the way - Pick up skills and hidden objects! This will enable my Bulbasaur to grow in a balanced way, without too much pressure or fear of not reaching my objective. Boring point details Let's say I need 100 points to pass one level, I thus need 200 points to pass 2 levels and learn Vine Whip! Today is the first morning, and I already earned 2 points by having a balanced breakfast and doing 30 minutes of exercise bike! I sincerely hope I can continue and become a stronger, healthier Bulbasaur! Let's be happy Bulbasaur!
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