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  1. What's around the river bend? This is my second challenge, and my first as a Swing-Dance-Ninja-Assassin. For those who don’t know me, I’m a 25 year old with a desk job and a passion for lindy hop and all other swing dances. My Level 50 is:To wear a size 4 in pants (currently a size 8)To be able to dance all night long and never have to turn someone down because I’m too tiredTo be a recreational whitewater paddler For my first challenge, I focused on maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, exercising 3-4 times a week, and eating mostly paleo but always with a caloric deficit. I feel like I stayed on target really well despite some stressful days and a business trip near the end, so I’m excited to step it up a bit! But before I jump into that, I want to recap some lessons learned: My digestive system does not thrive on paleo dieting. I wish there was a simple solution to figuring out the perfect diet for me, but as far as I can tell, my system likes to function with at least a little bit of dairy and bread. I’m going to be experimenting with other diet habits this time around. Sleep schedules are awesome, and I feel really comfortable that my mind and body recognize the importance of keeping a 10:30 bedtime and 6:30 rise time. I don’t think this is enough of a challenge any more to warrant a mission. Goal accomplished! My weight on a scale means nothing. During the last challenge I gained 2 lbs but lost an inch off my hips. The only measurements I’ll be focusing on are the ones I get from the tape measure and the calipers. I love routine! I love the feeling of getting up in the morning and working out before work! I love the feeling of jogging after a good ab workout – so tight! Yeah, happy things! I also venture into whitewater rafting and kayaking in the summer months. For this challenge, I'm letting the river guide me! The week after this challenge ends I’ll be taking a combined dancing/whitewater vacation (WOOT!). It will be my first time on a river in a hard boat (I've just done single-person rafts in the past), so I want to use this challenge to get me mentally and physically prepared for that! Mission 1:Exercise 4x per week - I'll be continuing my mix of walk/jog intervals in my neighborhood, pilates for dancers exercises, and aerobics with light weights. I'll be focusing a lot on core strength to help with dancing and also rolling my kayak Mission 2:Diet - eat a caloric deficit daily, and drink lots of water! I use a fitbit one to record my calorie burn and sync it with MyFitnessPal to record my calorie intake. The water is a major challenge for me, so I'm going to start with a goal of 2 - 24oz bottles for weeks 1 and 2, and by week 3 I want to be drinking 3 - 24oz bottles of water a day. Mission 3:Devotion - have 30 minutes of devotion time 7 days a week. My spiritual health is just as important as my physical health! I've promised myself for years that I would create a habit of spending time with God as soon as I got a handle on my physical habits. It's time. Side quest:Take kayaking courses. Guys. This is so intimidating. As a child, I HATED getting my face wet, and growing up I would never go underwater without goggles. I hate the idea of being upside down, underwater, with a boat on top of me. You might be wondering, "so why the heck do you want to be a kayaker?!" Well, I love the river, I love the mountains, I love the thrill of navigating the rapids - it's exhilarating and relaxing and beautiful. I just have to get over my fear of being underwater in frigid rushing water. So, I'll be taking a roll clinic so I can learn how to roll myself out of the water. I signed up today. It happens in 11 days. I'm not terrified, but it's going to be tough. I'll keep you updated. So here we go: a new challenge, a new journey! Let's do this thing! (For the record, the kayaker in the picture is not me - but it's exactly the sort of thing I want to do! But that is me in the brown skirt in the dancing picture!)
  2. Hey there Nerd Fitness! Like a lot of people, I'm a 20-something with a desk job and not a lot of free time. Or at least, that's what I tell myself. Last spring and summer, I had a gym membership and made tons of progress improving myself, working out at least 3 times a week and eating responsibly. Then I started traveling for work, and my discipline flew out the window. 3 months passed without a foot stepped inside the gym, so I cancelled my membership. Although my weight hasn't changed much in that time, my body mass definitely has, and I'm ready to do something about it. My motivation: swing dance and kayaking. Lindy hop is my earthly obsession. I love swing dance, swing music, swing nerds...it's kind of the most awesome thing ever. When I'm feeling brave (which is most of the time), I even compete! I know getting in shape makes me a better dancer, and I want to dance harder, longer, and be able to do more awesome stuff (like this!). I've been rafting every summer for about 10 years now, and I recently got my first hard boat. I'm terrified that I will have to roll my kayak when I flip, but I know that if I'm going to level up my whitewater skills, I have to learn to roll, and building up core strength will make rolling easier. Plus I just want to be the best me I can be. So here I am, struggling to get back into a healthy routine and hoping that by joining you all on your own journeys to improve yourself, we can all make this a little more fun. What is your favorite benefit of getting fit? Are there any other dancers or whitewater fanatics out there?
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