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  1. Goals: 1. Eat breakfast at home daily This seems like it would be easy, but I live next to a Tim Horton's and I'm a weak bitch for iced capps. 2. 2 am bedtime As it stands I don't get enough sleep, I nap constantly and am always tired and if you check the timestamp on this post, it's a little around 4:30 am right now... 3. Yoga once a week I'm not as bendy as I used to be and it's making it harder to do things like tie my shoes, do my job and move in simple ways. Also, decent way to workout that doesn't really mess up my feet more than they already are. I've been terrible at finishing challenges and have ghosted everyone here multiple times. I've got a clue as to why and since it's a bit dark and very likely triggering as all get out it's behind a spoiler tag. A few things that have happened in the last month of 2020: My girlfriend could have died early this month when a large stone in her gallbladder started to shred it's way through her gallbladder at the start of the month. Her surgeon said it was falling apart from the inside out as he was removing it. If she had waited to sort out her sleep apnea before getting her surgery like she was supposed to it might have ruptured. Oh, and she's got the worst case of sleep apnea the entire sleep lab had ever seen. I've been telling her that she has apnea for like 8 years so HA! Called it! On a happier note, I feel like I won Christmas this year for my nieces. Aunt Leigh kicked ass by finding a gigantic dragon squishmallow and mermaid hightops for my niece Blake and gifting my entire Harry Potter book collection to her older sister Olivia. There's even a cute video of Blake losing her tiny 4 year old mind over the squishmallow, screaming at the top of her lungs, slamming the poor dragon onto the floor and literally belly flopping onto it on the floor. It's adorable. And to end off my post, I'm turning 36 on February 1st, right near the end of this first challenge. If anyone wants to get me something, I like memes, and you can post 'em here, or ask me for my phone number if you want to send them directly and get random ones back here and there.
  2. Hello! I'm Severine. I've been here for just over a year. I've had both successes and failures, and lately I've started to feel like they're cancelling each other out and the result is stagnation. It's why I took last challenge off and just did a battle log instead: I was messing up most of the challenges in a repeating pattern, stuck in a rut. I'm basically working on all the same fitness/health stuff I was working on last year. I don't like it and it's frustrating. And let me be honest: the problem is not lack of knowledge. The problem is not lack of time or equipment. The problem is follow-through, adherence, discipline, and persistence. The problem is me repeatedly making excuses and finding reasons not to do the stuff I know I need to do. The time away from challenges was helpful and I feel ready to tackle a challenge again. And the theme came to mind sort of by accident: something that keeps coming up in my threads is the fact that my grandma is a badass who I really love and respect despite her flaws, and many of my problems would be solved by listening to the things she used to tell me when I was a kid. A recent picture of my mum and grandma. At the time they were 54 and 82: My grandmother and I are extremely close - she basically raised me, and I lived with her instead of my mother for a long time. My childhood was complicated and the details aren't relevant here, but suffice it to say my grandmother was more like a mother to me, and my mother was more like an irresponsible older sister. So what's the advice I need to follow? Well, my situation is that I know what I need to do and the problem is just bloody doing it. And here's what my grandma would say about that: 1. Cultivate Self-Command Grandma is a big fan of what she calls self-command: "doing what needs to be done without stopping to think about whether you want to do it or not." My grandma had many years in her life when the question of what she wanted was not something she had the luxury of considering. It made her miserable sometimes, and she had some terrible coping mechanisms, but she always did what needed to be done. And I should be able to avoid misery and other bad side-effects, because my situation right now is so much more fortunate than hers was back then. More than anything else right now, I need to cultivate self-command. I have found in the past that it's self-perpetuating, and various scientific studies have shown the same: we have a finite amount of willpower in a given day, but over time our pool of available willpower is something that increases with use. This means doing the things I know I need to do every day: Exercise every day, even if it's just a half hour walk (1 POINT) Morning routine (glass of water, stretching, Hobonichi) (1 POINT) Track my food (1 POINT) It also means tackling procrastination: every day I need to cross one thing off my to-do list. I get 1 POINT for doing anything on the list and 1 BONUS POINT if the thing I do is something I really don't feel like doing. 2. Reject the Victim Mentality I remember so vividly when I was 13 and something really bad had just happened to the family, and I was pretty distraught. And my grandmother was consoling me in a very loving way. But then when she started to talk about me going back to school the next day I started to cry and said I couldn't. I said I could get a note and everyone would understand because of what had happened. And she said, "Oh yes, everyone would understand. But many times in your life you will have to choose whether you want to be someone whose failures are understandable given what you've been through, or someone whose successes are surprising given what you've been through." I have never forgotten that, and although I do believe in having compassion for yourself, I think that sometimes the strongest expression of self-love is expecting the best of ourselves, believing that we're capable of carrying on despite difficulties, and pushing ourselves to be better than anyone would expect given the circumstances. This part of the challenge is mostly about anxiety. I have it, and it's a problem. But I don't want to let it define me or limit me. I don't want to become less capable or more fragile. And currently it is affecting my health adversely, because I have emotional eating issues and a lot of why I'm overweight is that when I'm stressed or anxious or sad, my impulse is to eat for comfort. I'm in therapy, which is helping, and I just started meditating a couple weeks ago and I am finding that useful too. So here's how this will work: Going to therapy once per week is worth 5 POINTS (except the one week I'll be on vacation, which doesn't count) Meditating is worth 1 POINT every day Every day I am tempted by emotional eating and I do something else to cope instead (music, tea, walking, writing, etc.) I get 1 BONUS POINT. 3. Face Up To My Mistakes If past challenges have taught me anything, it's that I am going to have days when I screw up. My past pattern is a lot like this: things start off well. I feel awesome and I'm engaged in the challenge and my enthusiasm is high. Then something happens and I miss a day or two of goals, and then I feel guilty because I am no longer perfect. (Perfectionism is a real problem for me). So I decide I'll just not post until I get myself back on track and can report success instead of failures...but being absent from the boards and having lost my streak of perfection makes it easier for me to feel like it's okay to make exceptions and fail some more. And then I avoid the forums more because of the guilt. Sometimes by the end of the challenge I'm posting on everyone else's thread but not my own. My grandmother made a lot of mistakes in her life. Serious ones that, in some cases, really hurt people. I remember as I grew up and found out stuff about her past, I really struggled with integrating it into my image of the woman I knew, who was very different. She was ashamed, but she never hid it or denied it or tried to get people not to talk about it. She believed it was important to face it, to bear the discomfort of confronting it and the pay the price for her previous actions by letting people know about what she had done. She also had an immense amount of compassion for people who had screwed up: she believed in second chances and helping people make amends. She volunteered in prisons, and she took homeless acquaintances and friends-of-friends who were detoxing into her home for weeks or months at a time, to help get them back on their feet. She understands fallibility and she understands that people are complex and that you can't completely judge a person based on a single moment or action. So the final requirement is that I post every day, no matter what is happening, and report on how that day went. 1 POINT per day and, although this may sound counter-intuitive, I get 1 BONUS POINT for reporting in on any day when I have met less than 50% of my goals. Okay! So that's the challenge. I'm going to make another post with details of my grandma's life for those who are curious. Also I will continue to update my battle log if there are details specific to OCR training - I'm working to get ready to run the Fenway Spartan Spring in November!
  3. Well spring is here and the sun is shining. Unfortunately, the sunshine isn't bringing me the energy it should. Long hours at work, restless nights, and stress at home (did I mention I have 3 kids under 4?) are taking their toll. Last week was crap for my goals. Ate too much junk, slept too little, and didn't exercise. This was also following a less than stellar challenge. So, now I am trying to get some momentum back and get back into things before summer comes and the shit really hits the fan. Willpower has always been an issue for me especially late in the challenges. I have been trying a few different tools to help me out on this front, but ultimately it comes down my will and my routine. Since I am low on willpower these days and my life is such that I need to be a little more flexible in my routine right now, I am going to build some flexibility into my goals. First is of course lifting followed by sprints. I did pretty well with these last challenge but with my schedule being as fluid as it is right now I need to be able to bend a little more so I am going to allow the option to bike into work as a replacement for any given workout but I still need to keep 4 workouts a week. Third is diet. I am going to be breaking from my previous challenges a bit for this one. On weekdays I am going to stick to the 180g protein minimum 2500 cal max, but on weekends I am not going to penalize breaking those goals as long as I keep track of all my food on MFP. I found last challenge that after weekends where I splurged my performance in workouts was better and I actually made progress cutting fat so we are going to see if I can keep that going or not. Finally, the doll house. I got nothing done on this last challenge and time is slipping by. I am going to shoot for working on it one day a week for an unspecified period of time. Hopefully I can make some progress this time. In Short: Q1: Lift 3 days a week (or bike) Q2: Consume at least 180 g protein per day while staying under 2500 calories (MFP only on weekends) Q3: Sprint 6x30 sec 1 day a week (or bike) SQ: Work on Doll House 1 night per week.
  4. "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.
  5. Hi everybody, I've thought of coming with the druids many times, and this new challenge feels like the kind of challenge a druid would take, because it is about inner change. So here I am! I've been at NF for two years now, trying to build a better and healthier version of myself. I've tried small steps, motivation, rewards, routines... I got results and I won't undervalue them (I especially appreciate the clearer thoughts I have since I decided to focus on lowering my anxiety), and I'll keep those ideas that worked, but I am kind of tired of my on and off pattern with exercise and food. Recently I've been reading about willpower and I've found some ideas I want to try in the long run (for those interested, there is a more detailed thread on those ideas here), so I've designed a challenge with this thought in mind. I want to be strong, agile, flexible, have a calmer mind and a controlled metabolism. But right now, I need to become the kind of person that takes action everyday towards those goals. I need to become the kind of person that finds the time for the things she enjoys, the kind of person that looks for ways to achieve her goals. I've been thinking about: if I don't do this now, when? If I don't take those steps, who will take them for me? There are no chances than in a near or far future it will be easier to change my health. If I want to change I need to commit and take the responsibility of my own health. And I have to do it now. Ways to start my mindset shift: 1) Remember my why · Take a moment everyday to remember my why and to picture it. Remember that the more I work towards my goals, the more easier it will be. 2) Pause and think · Be mindful of my decisions regarding food, exercise, meditation and so, and notice my feelings and sensations: before, during, after, and when giving in and going against my goals. No judging allowed. 3) Stop the inner debate · Be respectful of both my two selves: hedonistic and smartypants. “The part of you that wants to give in isn't bad, it simply has a different point of view about what matters most “. 4) Never leave the table feeling hungry · Maintain steady energy and blood sugar levels. "When sugar blood lowers, brain shifts to a more impulsive state". 5) Moral licensing · Think and write about the concept of moral licensing. Commit to my goals and think of my why, instead of feeling good or bad about my actions. · Think and write about the concept of progress. What counts is building my healthy identity. I hope this ideas will help me to have my goals more present and to start a change I feel I need. Points I can win: Remember my why. 1 WIS Pause and think. 2 WIS Stop the inner debate. 1 WIS Never leave the table feeling hungry. 2 CON Moral licensing. 1 WIS I reserve 3 points to divide between STR, STA, DEX, depending on the amount and type of exercise I'll do during the challenge.
  6. Me over the holidays: Me in my head, going forward: I'm so lazy that I am a week late to a 4 week challenge. But at least I'm here at last! Goal One: Eat Healthy and Lose Weight Create good habits.Make it easier to make healthy choices.Track all food. Goal Two: Be More Active Get back to twice weekly gym visitsGo hiking every weekendPersonal Goal: Read constantly. My goal for the year is 50 books. I intend to surpass my goal. Right now I am re-reading the Anita Blake series. While I was off work after Christmas, I read a book per day. Now that I am back to work, it takes me about 3-4 days per book. Should still get done the 26-book series pretty quickly. One of the reasons I chose this as my first series of the year is that Anita Blake is a strong, ass-kicking necromancer who's got a black belt in Judo and lifts heavy, runs, and takes absolutely no one's bull. She's also 5'3", just like me, but WAY less Hobbitish. Day One Food so far: Breakfast was a wrap with ground beef, mozza, hummus, lettuce, yellow peppers and spring onions. On the side I had the rest of the yellow pepper and some cucumber. Tea with a tiny bit of honey and milk. I will be refraining from honey in my tea going forward, unless I have a sore throat. I have an apple on my desk in case I need a snack before lunch. Lunch will be a sandwich with ham, sharp aged cheddar and hummus. Another apple on the side. Dinner I haven't decided on completely yet. Chicken drumsticks with a large veggie side. TBD. My goal today is to not have any snacks that aren't fruit/veggies.
  7. The Force of willpower! (Now updated with some more goals!) I have a laziness problem. It includes depression, anxiety, general not wanting to do anything, anger, hatred... Willpower is my #1 issue. For sure. 70% of the time I will skip things I enjoy instead of doing them, no wonder I never stick to anything. So this challenge will focus on just ... doing things. And keeping doing things and building up my Willpower storage system. 1. Work out on days I do not go to work. (usually two days a week) (+2 STR) Like I said, its usually two days a week. I previously tried to use these days, without success, for going to volunteer hours. Turns out, days off I want to stay home. My gym is IN MY BUILDING. Even then, I might just work out in my apartment since I mostly do body weight stuff anyway. I got a few buddies who go with me sometimes. They have been doing a good job of actually getting me to the gym. 2. Volunteer at the SPCA for at least 2 hours a week. (One shift a week) (+2 WIS) Something I enjoy at a place I want to work, but somehow I can never get off my ass... Going to start trying to go after a work shift. That way I am already dressed, out of my apartment and have been up for a while. 3. Stop sleeping past noon on days off. (+1 STA) PRODUCTIVITY! 4. Read some at least a chapter of a book every day. (+1 WIS +1CHA) I do not often finish books. I would like to read more books. 5. Record anxiety attacks & depression episodes & days when I have to struggle to do things. (+1WIS +1STR) I get these regularly. I just want to write them down, keep track, so that when I finally get the courage to go to a therapist I can have something to talk about. 6. Develop Morning/Night routine(s). (+1WIS +1CON) Maybe to help my skin dryness or take vitamins or just shower more often. There are a lot of things I feel I could be doing that I am just not because it's not a routine. 7. Work on a craft thing for an hour a week. (+1WIS +STA) I have an unfinished sweater in my closet. It has been almost finished for 4 months. I have 3 projects lined up after it. 8. Keep on track with pet cleaning stuff. (+1WIS +1CON) I bought a real calendar to help me keep track of things like how long its been since i cleaned the cat fountain or litter box or did a water change in my fish tank. Non-counting goal: Try not to feel crushed. Who's with me? Reporting All % Rounded to nearest 5% Week 1 - (11/29) 40% F (Rounded up) Week 2 - (15/29) C New Grading Week 3 - (8/31) No. F Week 4 - (13/29) C Goal totals: (11/116) 1. Work out on days I do not go to work. (5/8) (+2 STR) 65% 2. Volunteer at the SPCA for at least 2 hours a week, one shift. (3/4) (+2 WIS) 75% 3. Stop sleeping past noon on days off. (6/8) (+1 STA) 75% 4. Read some at least a chapter of a book every day. (13/26) (+1 WIS +1CHA) 45% 5. Record anxiety attacks & depression episodes & days when I have to struggle to do things. (+1WIS +1STR) I would give me a 75% for this 6. Develop Morning/Night routine(s). (8/52) (+1WIS +1CON) 15% 7. Work on a craft/art related thing for an hour a week. (1/4) (+1WIS +STA) 25% 8. Keep on track with pet cleaning stuff. (7/12) (+1WIS +1CON) 60% Overall 55% ish
  8. I am new to the forums, but I've read a few of the articles. I'm mostly interested in the Rebellion challenge! Speficially the women's. Is it worth the money? I want to gain the ability and knowledge to eat properly. I would also like to learn will power while others are pigging out on pizza, cookies, and doughnuts! Thank you in advance for the advice/assistance you provide!
  9. Goal 1: exercise for an hour a week. This is extremely doable. I already do this sort of. 6 weeks...at least hours. I must do this Goal 2: Complete at least one codeacademy course a week. That's only 6 courses. It's python! Again doable as f*ck. Long termish Goal: Earn 10% more revenue. I'm reading and working hard to develop passive revenue. Making more money will allow me to keep doing the job that I love (that pays very little). I just need to keep moving forward and not get beat down by setbacks.
  10. This sub-forum couldn't have come at a better time for me. I had planned to be doing the Manchester Marathon in April 2015, and the London Triathlon in May 2015. I'd been seriously lacking motivation recently, and this had resulted in poor training runs, eating too much, and putting off the day when I'd 'seriously start' further and further back. So I made a promise to myself - I had one week where I would be home for the first half and then visiting a friend for a massive food-fest for the second half - after that, I swore I would eat healthy and get back into my exercise regime. I did my week of gluttony, and I think it was what I needed. I realised that I felt so bad by the end of it, so greasy and slow, with headaches and a general bad mood - it opened my eyes to how powerful a factor food is on how we operate and how we feel. I've basically shocked myself into getting back into the rhythm of making the right choices. Another thing that has really helped is the decision to not do the Manchester Marathon - I did one this year and all through my training I was excited and I wanted to get out there and get the miles in. That was /not/ how I felt this time, so I decided that my heart wasn't in it, and I'll just do the triathlon - the first one I've ever done too, so it's pretty exciting. I know I've got a long way to go before I'm back to automatically living a healthy life - in particular, I need to - identity when and why I overeat a lot. ATM I think it's down to food being there/forgetting my goals, drinking calories (esp. wine...), and not planning my meals effectively. - use my time wisely - I ain't getting fitter lying in bed checking twitter for half an hour each morning. I want to get up at 7 and get into bed at 11, and plan my training well. So, new start. Thanks NF for this chance to Respawn. Triathlon, COME AT ME BRO.
  11. Harika


    For this challenge I want to go back to the basics. Last challenge was a 50%, before that I skipped, and before that it was bad. This time I am going to start from the beginning with a simple, boring challenge set-up with the basic guidelines focused on establishing systems that will allow my aims to be reached without being disappointed that my estimates on what it would take to get there were wrong. To aid me in not over planning, I will try out willpower points; I will chose what to apply the day's points for and not over plan for them. There will be a lot of tweaking in what things cost one and how many I IRL have per day. Main Goal: Get shit done (feel accomplished, no longer daunted by the list of started projects or future projects) Goal 1: One new PR each day (+5 STR) The PR can be in any exercise, part of the Magic Numbers pvp or not. (I am not sure how handstands would work in the pvp, but I could just do it on time.) If I try one exercise and cannot go better, I can just try another. Stretching counts too, it is important, but the PRs will be holding a pose length. Goal 2: Time Structure (+8 WIS/CHA/STA) I have no job, but I came up with an idea for my own "work day". When I am in a section and timing it that is my job, being distracted is bad and should not count for the time. (Increments are currently set to be 15m with a short break if desired.) This is listed as a 9-hour day, which is reasonable, but 3 hours are set able to collapse to make this easier to ease into. I know no goal should be more than 5 stat points, but this one needs it. Reduced to six hours, and 8 pts (from 9).-> 2h Applications (Jobs and Graduate schools, looking, researching, and writing specifically, as well as finding and reading research in my field of interest to find schools/advisors)-> 2h Studying (I am working on a Calculus text now, Differential Equations and Linear Algebra are on the list, as well as Physics and homework from my Electrical Certification class. Very far down on the list are a few languages.) -> 1h Outside (I am a vampire, my hands are typically the temperature of death and the sun is an evil ball of burning light. There are useful things to be done that require being outside, however, such as walking with my dog, raking the pond, and strategically killing plants.) -> 1h Easy Math (Khan Academy and Work math) Goal 3: Projects (+2 ) There are two sides to this. I want to finish some things, and I want to use the time I hope to gain from Goal 2 from less dawdling to do things I want to do. This will be judged by taking time to work on something here (to keep with the building a system theme.) 18 days, 3 per week, seems conservative but a stretch. -> Finish Stuff (corset, a circuit, puzzle, . . . ) -> Write to my penpals (this is planned to be silly stories because there is not a lot about me to talk about right now) -> Clean out apparel I no longer have a use for -> Read Willpower: I will start with 10 points per day. Getting up on time, starting Goal 2 for the day(and other start points), doing Goal 1 at breaks (no more laying on the floor not doing push-ups!), stopping myself from checking webcomics, reading stuff online I do not care about, and going to bed on time each use a point. The idea is that after they are all used up I should have Goal 1 and Goal 2 done for the day and work on anything I like in Goal 3 or do something useless. Rewards: Calculus - The Calculus text has 17 chapters, I am currently in ch 3. Finish Chapter 5: buy a wax seal stamp (I should have the custom design complete by then) Finish Chapter 12: buy stationery Finish the book (ch 17): Calligraphy pen I am not sure about any other rewards.
  12. This post is a two-parter: The first (and probably more important): Earlier this year I was diagnosed with ESRD (End stage renal disease) which translates to "my kidneys are just about useless". With this diagnosis, I have to change a great deal of how I eat. Which, regrettably, I am not doing very well with right now. My main concern is the phosphorus in foods - it is in literally everything. I am also to limit my potassium. I have learned that many of the fresh veggies and fruits that I love are high in potassium as well. Shame. I suppose my question, then, is does anyone have any links/resources for a paleo diet that is geared toward kidney patients? The second half of the post: I have been paleo for a few years now. In those few years I lost more than 160 lbs but recently, with the medical issues and dramatic change in living, I have put 20+ of those pounds back on. They've got to go and more! I am now living with my girlfriend and her 2 year old daughter. My girlfriend has no issue with me cooking (I do all of the cooking) a cleaner and paleo-type meal. However, she allows the 2 year old to dictate far too much so there is always an abundance of junk - PopTarts, hotdogs, snack bars - around and are far too easy to grab myself. I am struggling with getting back on the wagon and improving my life the way it used to be but it's difficult when there is so much crap around the kitchen. I understand that it is, ultimately, my responsibility to make changes in my life and I'm certainly not dropping blame on them but I am asking if anyone has any tips to help me get back the habit that I worked so hard to train myself into previously.
  13. Oh dear. This had to happen some day. The Courier has lost her mind for good. Guys! Wait, don't give up on me yet! I'll illuminate you! Reactivity is the exact opposite of proactivity. Figures, doesn't it? … No? Uh ... I came across this term in Stephen Covey's „The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“. It was a fascinating book which I literally devoured (don't worry M, not THAT literally, you'll get it back in one piece). The first big kick in the butt was the following simple concept: That there is a gap between an external stimulus and the behavioural response. This gap contains the „freedom to choose“. So it is totally up to ME how I react to something. I am not a subject of my environment, the conditions, the weather, or to gremlins. Although that is quite logic, it has to be manifested in your consciousness. Now, how do you define 'proactivity'? Let me quote Mr. Covey: „... It means more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behaviour is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.“ Well, it hurts to admit it, but I am still a quite reactive person. I noticed it with much discomfort again just yesterday. I didn't really feel like participating the service as a member of a choir, and the fact that it took me more than 2,5 hours to get to the church because of building sites all over the public transport system (plus irregularities that resulted in missing almost every train and that the choir made several unnecessary mistakes which almost screwed us worsened my mood extremely. So I spent half a nice summer day angry and sulky, green with envy for the guys in the TKD-boot camp I would have SO DAMN loved having attended, feeling sorry for me for being stuck here, having such an awful morning, instead of … I don't know, for example packing my things and get to the lake and go for a swim to spend some nicer hours and relax a bit. (Which I did this morning. Better late than never.) … you see what I mean about me being reactive? Although I must also say I was much, much, much worse. Such as described above happened much more often and the feeling lasted much longer. But still, there is a lot of work to do. And why bothering with all this? Because I happened to notice, that me being slacky on daily exercise is not a problem of a busy life, or finding the right program, but of a serious lack of guts and willpower. I do come home very late almost every day during the week. So what? One still CAN do 2 sets of 10 'exercise XY' The answer, why I don't do them, is simply: I don't feel like it. And now there comes the reactive personality: „I had an exhausting day, I deserve to rest. There's always a tomorrow.“ Well, vicious cycle. And it is so silly, since exercising and eating right brought me some results. Nothing extraordinary, but I feel much better about myself. And would I do a bit more, I would feel even better. Self-rewarding system, actually. The big question is, how to accomplish it. I don't really have more of a plan than to pay more attention on how I behave. Unfortunately, there is no emergency kit when I notice I am being reactive again, which I do. I am well aware when I am making excuses or blaming gremlins. Unfortunately it seems that I am perfectly willing to listen to them far too often. (T__T) So, this is more of challenge about the right mindset than about health itself. Regular exercise which is independent from TKD-lessons, is the last big health issue I have to master, but it's been over a year that I am struggling with it, so … maybe I need to concentrate more on my brain first. Speaking of Taekwon-Do, since my school is closed this week due to a boot camp almost all members are attending, I have one explicit, measurable goal for week #1: Do any kind of exercise every day. That might be a 5km-walk, 15 min of jogging, a CC session ... doesn't matter what, but do something to get you to sweat. It might not be efficient as far as getting strong is concerned, but not much unlike M, I really have to get used to exercising daily. I know that I have to come up with a more specific plan to succeed at least a little bit, just give me the first week to observe, as a time of making up and developing strategies against the reactivity gremlins. So, brace yourself for a frenzy of modifications during those six weeks.
  14. Since I love getting a great start at the beginning of a challenge run, I'm going to do the best possible thing I can do to make the first week a week of a resounding success: go to a martial arts bootcamp at a beach site and relinquish control over my timetable to two crazy trainers who enjoy making us do push-ups in the water (in full gear of course) just a tad bit too much.[1] Oh, and what better place to write a PhD application to, well, anywhere-not-here than by putting us in straw huts with no electricity or paper whatsoever? Doesn't that sound great? … Okay, so now you know where my first week is going, let's talk about week four: the 50-year celebration of our martial arts branch in Germany and Europe, and we're hosting the event. Some 600+ people are expected to come. It's gonna get crazy. Not just that week, but also the weeks before, as everyone from our school slowly loses sanity and gives in to paranoia. Oh, and did I mention that the other Singapore application is due by end of June, right around the 50-year celebration above? … So yeah, by the looks of it, this challenge too is dominated by the "important and urgent"… and not the "important but not urgent", which is where I'm trying to get to. So, taking into account that I don't (realistically) have a lot of say in what I'll be doing, I'll be working on the small things which I can choose to do, in between everything else. In detail: Challenge Goals Burpees, burpees, burpees. To misquote a case study from Made To Stick: “Why are challenges successful? It's because of three things: Burpees, burpees, and burpees.â€[2] Therefore, I pledge to do (number of week) × 5 burpees per day, minimum. Convict Conditioning. I've been on and off CC for the whole of my NF career. If there is one major downside to this program,[3] I'd say that it is intimidating to restart if you've slacked on it for some time. (At least for me that's the case.) Therefore, I pledge to do round_up((number of week) ÷ 2) sets of at least one repetition of a CC exercise, one CC exercise per day. Both of these goals aren't exercise goals in the common sense, they're willpower goals. They're supposed to get me used to exercising regularly again. Therefore, while there is a steady increase in load (# of burpees/sets), right now I don't care about e.g. having at least 8 reps per set or so. Just that I show up and do the work, no matter how shitty it is. Side Quest Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues. In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin outlines 13 virtues he practiced to achieve moral perfection. I pledge to practice the 13 virtues according to Franklin's system (with modifications to virtue #12, chastity, because it's based on religion and IMO thus outdated) over the next 13 weeks. Each week, I will focus on exhibiting that week's virtue, as well as all preceding weeks' virtues, taking note of where I have failed to do so. This means that for this challenge, I will be practicing the first six virtues: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality and industry. And yes, there is a steady increase in load here as well. Book 7/Conclusion Of Book 6 …will come sometime next week if I find internet access, and at the beginning of week two otherwise. 1I swear I'm not making this up and I'm not exaggerating. They really love making us do this sort of stuff. 2The actual case study is about a local newspaper with above-average readership. Original: “… asked why the [local newspaper] Daily Record has been successful, [founder] Adams replies, ‘It's because of three things: Names, names, and names.’†(Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Made To Stick. p. 42) 3I hear that not everyone is happy with CC's progression system, its steps and conditions for advancing. But I don't feel knowledgable enough in calisthenics to pass (useful) judgement here.
  15. So that was my first introduction to the forums. At this moment I am struggling to find motivation (or inspiration?) to get my shit together, get rid of all distractions and excuses and just start one step every day. I can't stand people that complain about how fat they are, how they should be doing a lot of things to get stronger, healthier or fitter. Today I feel like that. One of the things that I think is very very important for me is to learn how to break everything into small steps. As I have said before, I have tried just about everything but never stuck with it, and that is my weakness. I have no will or perseverance to keep on my track. This week I've come to say to myself that it's just what my body is asking for, just arrive at home and play a video game or watch a series. I would really like to hear from someone who has overcome this scenario. What made you change your perception about getting up and doing it? I'll be leaving the office pretty soon and hopefully making it to the gym later tonight. Will let you know tomorrow in the right forum about it. Regards, Daniel
  16. Hello everyone. To tell you about myself, I'll tell you about my name: Bedouin: Not ethnically so, but my life has some resemblance. I live in the desert. I frequently move on to new opportunities; a modern nomad. And I appreciate the importance of poetry, music, and dance. Mariner: I'm a sailor and have been on the water since a child. Sailing and kayaking bring me to a rare state of peace and satisfaction. I love being both on the water and surrounded by rocky/sandy terrain. Or hiking through cacti and boulders to see, from the top of the mountain, a shimmering lake. An oasis. The heat. The colors at sunset. Dry and wet. It's all one beautiful contrast. Fitness Past: I'm a fairly lucky guy. I respond well to exercise and diet, and generally see results early on, regardless of whether I'm trying to lose weight or gain muscle. I have no health or medical issues and can play sports well enough. But this has made me lazy. I'm now getting older, and my ability to transform my body quickly is waning. Muscles now ache and I get winded earlier than ever. While physical activities came naturally in the past, now is the time where the rubber meets the road. For me, this isn't so much about my body. I'm here to transform my mind. My will. The motivation to push and struggle and achieve, even when it's not easy. Looking forward, here's what I've got: Assets: Supportive friends. My friends are active physically and, unlike me, they started out of shape and overweight and have worked hard to earn where they are today. Gym. I'm a member of a local gym with quality owners and excellent resources that I haven't even fully tapped into. Confidence. I've been in locker rooms and on playing fields before, and I'm comfortable exercising with others around. Obstacles: Donuts and pie. Seriously. ("My kingdom for a cruller!!") Roommates. They're good people, but they're commitment to health is more along the lines of "we're all going to die, so might as well eat what I want while I'm here." House is filled with junk food and they'll prepare burgers or pizza for dinner (which I can either accept, or spend time making my own meal). Schedule. Work and other responsibilities keep me very busy. And I have to travel a lot. Several times a month. I've learned to eat healthy on the road, but it's tough to workout when exhausted from travelling and the suitcase needs to be unpacked, laundry done, etc. I'll be joining the current challenge, halfway through, and will have my goals and motivations posted there. For now, I'll say that this nomad is setting up his tent in the Rebellion's camp. There's no time like right now.
  17. Here's a little background on myself: approximately 1 year from now, my husband and I are planning to quit our jobs and move onto a sailboat, cruising the world. We've been planning and saving for about 2 years now and are super excited to be as close as we are. That being said, I want to make sure that I am ready for life aboard physically as well as mentally to assist with boat jobs and add safety to our journey. (For more info, visit my first challenge thread.) For this particular challenge, I'll be working on maintaining consistent workout habits, as well as breaking the bad habit that I have of eating any snacks that are available to me. Especially this time of year when there are so many temptations, wining the battle over my willpower is always a struggle. In addition, my life goal is also going along with the willpower theme. I need to be better about consistently updating my blog to maintain readership and grow it before we leave. Main Quest: To increase strength, dexterity, and overall health before casting off the lines. Fitness Goals: Get Strong! Going with this again since I want to just continue to increase my baseline strength. This time around, I will be following a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule to hopefully increase my motivation retention and eliminate confusion on when I should be working out. I am the Pretzel: Improve overall flexibility by doing yoga twice a week. The schedule will fit into the Tuesday/Thursday slots in my week, with the potential to use the weekends as catch up for special circumstances. Also, I've found in the past that yoga is a great way for me to relax. Defeat the Cookie Monster: Limit junk food intake to twice per week maximum. This includes (but not limited to): baked goods, candy, and other garbage made available at work and family gatherings during the holidays. Lifestyle Goal: Willpower Renaissance: Post a new article on my blog a minimum of once a week. Grading: Get Strong: 3pts of Strength possible. 3 = miss <4 days during challenge 2 = miss 4-6 days during challenge 1 = miss 7-9 days during challenge I am the Pretzel: 2pts of Dexterity; 2pts Stamina 2 Dex/2 Sta = 10+ yoga sessions 1 Dex/1 Sta = 8-9 yoga sessions Defeat the Cookie Monster: 2pts Constitution; 2pts Wisdom 2 Con/2 Wis = <13 samples of junk 1 Con/1 Wis = 13-15 samples of junk Willpower Renaissance: 4pts of Wisdom possible 4 = Publish 6+ posts on my blog 3 = Publish 5 posts 2 = Publish 4 posts 1 = Publish 3 posts Motivation: To be ready when my family needs me.
  18. Nyxy

    Nyxy does less

    Let's do this thing: Main Goal: See how good things can get. Last month, I found out that I have PCOS, and it's been messing me up by making my metabolism wonky and my brain ridiculously depressed. It kind of explains why I have been failing at the past challenges in an extraordinary manner. Now, I get Fancy Pills that should, in time, turn me into a robot make my body work better. This is awesome and really motivating, because it sounds like I'll have more of a 'fair fighting chance' than I've had the past... two years or so. So here is my chance at doing stuff and actually seeing results, and finally becoming a ninja. Because fun is important in this ninja-plan of mine, all my goals will go towards being physically able of having more of it. This challenge, I will be taking it extremely easy, and focus on some daily habits, because I'm still pretty weak, and I'm inspired by the "do less" line in this post. I think I can gather the willpower points for the following: 1. I have a mini-rountine of exercises that stop my back from hurting. I will do that every morning. Because not having pain = good. 2. Every evening before bed, I will either do 3 sets of push-ups, or 3 sets of squats. Because it's a start. That's what I need right now. 3. I will drink at least one and a half litre of water every day. Because being thirsty is for suckers. By means of an AWESOME side-quest, I thought it would be rather assassin-like to know how to tango, so I enrolled myself into some tango classes. ALSO THIS: Yay!
  19. Hi all, I'm new around this sector of the internet. It's nice to see such a lively community combining the realms of nerdherdery and fitness! Anyway, I've tried many times to reach exercise goals on my own to no avail of lasting proportions. Perhaps having the GUI companion to my journey on which I'm about to embark will make a difference, not to mention anyone who should read and offer encouragement (I'll be sure to do the same for you)! A little about me: I'm one of those unconventional stay not just at home daddies who loves computers, web design, long-boarding, and so much more! I'm 25 and have recently relocated to Japan and am undergoing a minor case of culture shock which is why I've decided that now is as good a time as any to put a positive spin on this adventure that I'm lucky enough to be embarking on. MAIN QUEST: Overall purification of the mind and body through meditation, exercise, and healthier eating habits. - Visit 1 Buddhist Temple every week - Insanity Workout 5x every week. - Zero food after 6:00 every night. LIFE QUEST: Increase monetary responsibility by record-keeping. - Record every purchase, no exceptions! MOTIVATION: My family, self respect and the decision I've made to seek out and face challenges. No excuse of the body or mind will hold me back from taking proper action when the time arises. I shall post pictures from our travels as well as a starting point picture of my buddha belly. I'm not really fat or anything I just want to tone it up a bit, ya know? Thanks for reading now it's time to get reading all of your posts. ~c_M
  20. I am so excited to be starting a new challenge. I learned a lot from the last one, from both the successes and the failures. At first, I was at a loss to address the failures, and was considering a very wild and loose challenge of trying a little bit of everything to see what I liked best. Then, I had a revelation. Doing a little bit of everything is the problem. I have a limited amount of willpower. Trying to chase goals in too many directions diffuses my willpower in each one, leading to failure. In the case of the last challenge, trying to add seriously hard strength training and seriously hard dietary restrictions while learning a new running style was too much. Running went very well, the other stuff not so much. Hence, my new motto: Keep It Simple, Phoenix. I'm putting my fitness goals into a maintenance phase in order to focus on nailing the diet (since diet is the most important for me in terms of weight loss). Fortunately, I have exactly 6 weeks before I start my half-marathon training, so this is a great time to do this. Next challenge, I'll be able to shift focus to running goals. On to the goals: Simply Stay Fit: The idea here is to maintain my current level of fitness and let my tendons, muscles, etc. catch up before the big training push for my first half-marathon in Nov. a. I must run barefoot for 30 minutes X 3 days/week. No speedwork, adding distance/time, etc.!!!! (Yes, this will be a challenge for me to hold back.) CON +1, DEX +1, STA +3 b. I will be switching my strength training program to the "New Blood" Levels One and Two of Convict Conditioning. It is four basic exercises (pullup, pushup, leg raises, squats) split up over 2 days. Two exercises a day? Can't get any simpler than that and still get a full body workout over the course of the week. STR +2, DEX +1 Simply Eat Clean: I was surprised to learn last time that my generous 80/20 leeway actually opened the door for even more poor eating. This time, I'm keeping the rule simple: No grains, no overt sugars. The only exception allowed will be the week of July 4th, when I will be a guest in someone's home. That week, the 80/20 rule applies (since I'll likely have control over all my own meals except dinner). CON +2, CHA +2 Simply Automate Meals: One of the hardest things for me is trying to stick to my diet when I'm hungry. Bread-y foods are almost always immediately available, while chicken takes a while to cook. I'm taking Steve's advice to be a diet robot. I must prepare Paleo foods in advance so grabbing the protein becomes as easy and automatic as grabbing a sandwich/toaster waffles used to be. I need to keep on hand: hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, nuts to snack on, cooked meats for salads, and fruit to curb the chocolate craving. Other suggestions welcome!!!! WIS +2 Simply Enjoy Life: It is summer vacation, which means my boys are at home. I do NOT want us to waste the summer watching TV reruns and playing video games. SO, at the bare minimum, we will get out of the house twice a week and do something fun. CHA +1
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