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  1. I respawned with the new year, but I kept it to myself for a month to avoid overwhelming myself into failure. I feel like now I can really announce my official respawn (though I've been a part of the challenge for a couple weeks now). This year thus far: FeelGood Plan - I love that everything is broken into 15 minute chunks or 1% of the day. I'm focusing on doing those workouts as I simply got bored of the bodyweight plan from NF. I live out in the country, I have a rowing machine and a stationary bike. I try to walk the dogs 3-4 days a week (about 1 mile. Too cold now and soon too hot for them). Gym is not going to happen because I'm NEVER going to drive 45 minutes out of my way to work out. And I'm certainly not waking up at 4am to do that and get back before work. I've progressed to the second workout in the book just this week. I went from 3 days a week of 15 minute bodyweight (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and then 15-30 minutes minimum of a fun movement activity Saturday) to 4 days a week (plus that same Saturday movement). Not only is it 15 minute body weight workouts on Monday, Thursday, and Friday but I have cardio sprinters on Tuesday and Thursday. I'm a huuuuge fan of the rower so I did both my cardio sprints on the rower this week. I missed that thing. The book says to change it up so I might walk/power-walk (once the sunrise is early enough to get outside before 7am. Running causes too much pain due to old injuries so I typically avoid it) and use the stationary bike to switch things up. Nutrition - I'm just being mindful. I'm trying to get back to a fasting schedule that works. Given I work out early (finished by 7am when I hop on the computer for work) and my fasting window usually ends at about 11am most days it's a struggle. I've been eating 2 hard boiled eggs on days I can't manage until my eating window and that usually suffices. Protein shakes cause huuuuuuge cholesterol issues. I've tried 6 different types and all cause similar issues so can't do that. I'll figure it out one day. Also focusing on listening to my body cues. If I'm hungry, I check in: am I bored? Am I tired? Am I stressed TF out? When did I last eat/what did I eat and could I reasonably be truly hungry now? When I'm eating I'm focusing on slowing down significantly and trying to listen to my body telling me I'm satiated. Focusing on "hara hachi bu" Mindset: Daily journaling. I have 2 journals (both dated) that started on the 1st that I had bought in November, knowing the holiday season was going to need to be reversed! One has scripting, what I'm grateful for today, a mantra for the day, whether I met my sleep, workout, water, and food goals, mood, ritual/mindfulness time, 3-6-9 manifestation, and one thing I did to move forward. The other simply is to get my thoughts down at the end of the day and fill in/check off any to-dos that day.
  2. Goals: 1. Log all my food, no matter how horrible. 1.1 Begin incorporating more protein and vegetables 1.2 Start reducing anything that doesn't make me feel good 2. Move!! 2.1 FeelGood Plan workout Mon-Wed-Fri + fun activity Sat 2.2 Walk the dog at least 1 mile every Mon-Wed (Thurs-Sun high potential to be out of house) 2.3 Yoga on rest days and workout days as needed for extra stretch/cooldown 3. Journaling! 3.1 Scripting journal with gratitude, mantra, 3-6-9 manifestation, and one step forward 3.2 Daily journal, dear diary style to get down all the thoughts So far, on Jan 10: 10/10 days completed!
  3. 2022 flew by for me. Unfortunately all the progress I made in the beginning of the year was undone and I’m my new heaviest weight I’ve ever been. The tail end left me tired, exhausted, and out of spoons. But it wasn’t all bad; it was a big year. A few notable mentions for 2022 were: - made some good soup, bread, jam and other canned goodies - got some big house tasks accomplished - got Daisy ❤️🐴 - learnt how to trim Daisy’s feet - made raised planters and grew tomatoes, raspberries and strawberries - car is finally paid off - tried fly fishing - went cross country jumping with Daisy - did fall camping - got Winnie ❤️🐾 - took my first dressage lesson - I finished 5 paintings I’m really proud of and have 2 in progress I had a bit of a mental decline near the end of this year and I still don’t feel 100%. I’m happy to say there have been some improvements. My feet are also still not great but they are a lot better and I’ve been doing small walks with Winnie as part of her training. 2023 Goals - Get work skills up to date - Lose 50lbs - Improve stamina, core, flexibility and balance - Plan wedding - Try agility with Winnie - Continue Winnie’s barn dog training - Continue on improving my look - Paint 1 painting for myself - Keep working on improving Daisy’s feet - Read the Hobbit (started) , Paper Girls, Walking Dead, Gwenpool - Continue making my house a home That’s all I can think of for now. Some of these aren’t very SMART goals. I will try to figure out what I want my 1 year of progress to look like and how to accomplish it. Challenge goals: - Daily Winnie training - Lose 5lbs - Drink 2L water - Practice 12:12 IF - Floss and brush every night - Take pill every night - Cook dinner 5 times a week Other goals: - decide about/arrange Rooks lump removal surgery - finish Dani painting - beat God of War - sign Winnie up for Agility - attend at least 2 social obedience walks with Winnie
  4. Life has been a lot. I realized a few months ago that, while I haven't felt miserable or unhappy, my current trajectory isn't great. I can feel my mental health slipping and some bad habits returning. However, two specific things have helped re-direct my mind towards my goals for this challenge. First, my daughter bought be a kettlebell for Christmas. It sort of started as a joke. She texted me and asked, "What do you want for Christmas?" I responded that I kind of wanted a kettlebell, not really being serious. Her reply: "I can do that. What weight?" So I asked for a 35lb/16 kg, what the Russians refer to as one "pood". My daughter ordered the kettlebell early, so for the past few weeks I have been training with it using a plan known as Simple and Sinister, designed by Pavel Tsatsouline, a man often credited for starting the kettlebell craze here in America. I'll explain S&S more in a later post. Second, I saw an ad online for the Discipline Equals Freedom Reset, hosted by Jocko Willink's leadership organization, Echelon Front, and Jocko Fuel. While I know Jocko and his military brand of motivation isn't for everyone, I admire the man and am often motivated by his message and his story. Short background: I was in Marine Corps JROTC in high school and would have enlisted if not for epilepsy. This may explain why I respond well to someone like Jocko. So, without further delay, below are my goals. They are modified to nearly mirror the goals of the DEF Reset Challenge: Objective: Develop and/or strengthen healthy habits within my life. Set achievable goals for each category. Use the DEF tracker to track daily/weekly progress and report here. This challenge is a 4 week challenge. In addition to daily challenges, there will be weekly challenges that will focus on two daily challenges per week to be posted on social media and to be entered into prize drawings. GOAL 1 — UP BEFORE THE ENEMY: 0415-0430 wakeup GOAL 2 — GET AFTER IT Morning run or walk (at least 2.7 miles) Kettlebell workout (Simple & Sinister) GOAL 3 — PRIORITIZE AND EXECUTE Identify the top three things to accomplish each day and then execute! GOAL 4 — HYDRATE OR DIE Drink at least 120 ounces of water per day GOAL 5 — FUEL Keep it simple: Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants; avoid boxed, processed foods (i.e. "fake" foods) GOAL 6 — SUGARCOATED LIES No blatant sugar (cookies, candy, cake, ice cream, sugary drinks, etc.) GOAL 7 — BACK TO THE BOOK Spend at least 20 minutes a day on personal development (reading, journaling, etc.) Meditate/pray at least 10 minutes a day Write at least one poem a day GOAL 8 — REMEMBER Write down at least 1 thing I am grateful for each day BONUS (as challenged by Jocko): 100 burpees in less than 10 minutes or 10 minutes of burpees WEEKLY CHALLENGES: WEEK 1 — UP BEFORE THE ENEMY/GET AFTER IT Post a photo/video of how you are getting up early and/or completing your daily physical activity, use #DEFReset, @echelonfront, and @jockofuel to enter to win WEEK 2 — PRIORITIZE AND EXECUTE/HYDRATE OR DIE Post a photo/video of how you are accomplishing tasks and/or hitting your hydration goals, use #DEFReset, @echelonfront and @jockofuel to enter to win WEEK 3 — FUEL/SUGARCOATED LIES Post a photo/video of how you are sticking to your diet and avoiding junk food, use #DEFReset, @echelonfront and @jockofuel to enter to win WEEK 4 — BACK TO THE BOOK/REMEMBER Post a photo/video of how you are spending time on personal development and honoring those who sacrificed for us, use #DEFReset, @echelonfront and @jockofuel to enter to win
  5. "Link.... You may not be at a point where you have fully recovered your power or all of your memories, but courage need not be remembered, for it was never forgotten." Hi guys and gals. I know this challenge is nearly over but I'm hoping because I have friends in high places *cough* @Tanktimus the Encourager *cough* that it can be moved to the next challenge once it starts. I debated on just waiting till next weekend but decided I was an impatient prick and wanted to start now . Gawd...it's been a minute since I've been back. Lots has happened. The newest edition to the Wolf Pack™ is my last and final child, another baby boy, Mr. Atlas. Atlas was born July 11th of last year: National 7/11 Day. He is my 6th kid and 5th boy overall lol. But, yes.... LAST kid. Daddy Wolf got himself snipped in August. Some of you may be saying "FINALLY" but honestly, that's just mean. There's honestly too much to update and cover in one post. It would end up being a small novella by the time I was done. If you already know me and want to ask a question - then please do. I'll answer whatever . If you don't know me and want to know more - I'm an open book. Let's get to the goals! As you'll see moving forward, my theme is Zelda...or more Link inspired. Specifically fan art dedicated to the upcoming Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom coming out on May 12th of this year. I'm SO EXCITED! POWER What is power? Does it mean social status? Maybe a hidden super power? Money? To me, it is very simple. It's physicality. Being physically strong has always been an appeal to me. Coming from a background of being lean and usually fairly light, I've always wanted more "bulk". I'm sitting around 188lbs right now, back up to my normal weight since having a large decline at the end of 2021. I've also been consistently in the gym say for a couple days here and there. So, this goal remains simple: 3x a week in the gym Focus on Legs/Push/Pull 1x a week implement a KB metcon WISDOM Ahhhh...to be wise. I've learned a LOT in my 35 years on this Earth. Some lessons I didn't learn the first...second or even third time around, but I did learn them eventually. I think wisdom may be the most important aspect of the Triforce when it's all said and done and is solid in nearly every situation. For this goal, I want to focus on the wisdom of maintaining a healthy sleep schedule and getting a nap in on training days: 3x a week of a 20-25 min nap (M/W/F) My bed time relies heavily on when I leave Costco but usually I can be in bed by 11. The goal is to be in bed and asleep before 11:30 on week nights. Friday is an exception. COURAGE I'm SOOOOOO close to being able to quit Costco and move down to working just 1 job. I'm super motivated at the moment and I'm loving my new job working for a pharmaceutical company as a sales rep. Right now it's inside sales gaining a 1% commission. The goal is to get promoted to outside sales where I get 8% commission. This is the difference in getting an extra $700 on my check to an extra 4k. As personable as I am, I'm still stepping outside of my comfort zone and I can't think of one attribute that attest to this better than COURAGE. The goal is: Shoot for 3-5 enrollments a week 20+ calls a day 3-5 sales a week Despite being busy and knowing I'll barely manage to keep up with my own challenge, I'm excited nonetheless to be back. I need the accountability. I'll try and stop in on some old friends threads to say hi, otherwise, I'll see you here in mine Wolf
  6. Hello friends, old and new. Now that the forums have stopped being a buttface and seem to be letting me log in without resorting to incognito mode, as they have for around two years now, I thought I would try my luck again. This challenge is all about building my roots so I have a strong foundation for who I am/want to be. I've started using a new to me journal which is all about planting seeds (very small projects/steps) instead of planting trees (trying to start a huge project/task) from the beginning. My seeds this challenge will be more about deciding what I want. I am still assuredly an adventurer over all else (my one year projects include geocaching, hiking, trying new things) but I need to decide what that really looks like and set up a foundation that will support it. So, this challenge: 1. 1.8L/3 bottles of water/water with an electrolyte each day. I got hydration tested at work and was found 🌟 moderately dehydrated 🌟 and that is not a good look for a safety person. 😅 2. Move all my furniture to the new rooms and have everything set up with its own place. This might be me trying to plant a tree (a small tree!) but it's doable, there's a reason for it and I will break it down into smaller steps when it is not 4:30am in the morning. 3. Finish writing up my life planning, long term plans, and January project set up in my planner. And that's it! Small (mostly) seeds to help my garden grow. A talent I need to convert to offline gardening. Happy New Year peeps, and I'll be hanging out in your threads soon (again, when it's not 4:30am in the morning).
  7. I've been in this really annoying cycle for the past few years. The cycle goes like this: 1 Getting a wake up call about how far my fitness has fallen, 2. Diving into workouts that are too intense for my current level of fitness, 3. Getting hurt, 4. Having to rest for several weeks, to heal 5. Getting comfortable with laziness, and ceasing healthy behaviors. And repeat. Let's just try it again. The goal right now, is just to workout ..... at all. I don't care the schedule, frequency, style, program. Just to workout at some point in the week and to let that build.
  8. 2019 seems so far away... that's when, even if I never posted, I created this account. It was also a great year: - Got to my lowest weight. - Ran a Spartan Race trifecta. - Ran my first half marathon. - Lived alone after a (smooth) breakup from a 10+ years relationship that had gone sour. - Started a new relationship. - Developed a lifestyle and habits that allowed me to work and train at pleasure. - Diched the car and biked everywhere. In short... I used to be an adventurer (like you). Then I took an arrow in the knee. Or more specifically, COVID hit and everything came to a full stop. Two years later I've gained 10kgs (22lbs) of weight, lost all exercise and training habits, changed jobs to a "desk bounding" position, go everywhere by car... You get the idea: Game Over, try again. Luckily, I still have some tokens in my pocket (and already signed for a Spartan race in Houston next March 2023). Using the last weeks of 2022 to restart, setup and test some strategies for 2023. 1. Healthy Body Started at Orange Theory Fitness a couple of weeks ago. I really like the structure of it as long as I go to the afternoon sessions (not an early bird). Looking to attend 8 out of the first 12 days of December and 3-4x/week after that. Also planning on hiking 1 or 2 weekends every month (already found/tested a trail in my area) and gym-bouldering once a week just for fun. - OTF 12 days of fitness, 3-4x/week after that. - 1 hike at local trail. - 1/week bouldering session. 2. Healthy Eating Definitely need to add more veggies to my diet while reducing sugar. Will be experimenting with pre-built salad jars for lunch and freezing some pre-chopped veggies to quickly use in a breakfast omelet. Biggest challenge would be taking ownership of planning and cooking my food instead of just relaying on whatever is available or my girlfriend cooks that day. - Salad jar lunches. - Veggie omelet breakfast. 3. Healthy Mind The fuzzier one for me... meditating, language learning, programming, reading, photography and some others come to mind. Maybe it's a signal about needing to define some priorities and a clear focus. Will give some time and circle back. Decided on coding (web/python) and reading. Coding as a way to learn something new and, maybe, create a new semi-passive income in the future. It will need to have a clear schedule for "studying". Reading as in "just for fun", sticking to only one fiction and one non-fiction book at a time with no rush. - Non-fiction reading: "Level Up your Life" (re-reading). - Fiction reading: "The Silmarillion". - Stablish a viable schedule to study web coding.
  9. Title inspired by some wintry fantasy ambient/dungeon synth by Snowspire, check it out here! It's hibernation time, but I'm gearing up to trudge across the frozen wastes. I must make it to Alice Lake by April 15! When I arrive, I will join in the ritual ascent to the peak, so I must prepare my body and my mind through the coming months. There will be adventure, surely, but also the discipline of repetition. One foot in front of the other. Physical Discipline All in a day's march - run at least once per week. Walking is acceptable if snow/ice makes running dangerous, but otherwise I will be hitting the trails every Saturday, or making time on another day if I know Saturday is too busy. Combat training - do at least one workout per week. The past few weeks I've been meshing together the Zombies!Run Dragon Flight workout story with the Darebee Hero's journey. It's working pretty well to get me active and not bored, but I don't like that I can't set the Dragon Flight workouts to run less than 30 minutes, so there will probably be some weeks when I do my own thing instead because let's face it, December is a busy month. Mental Discipline Strengthen the shine - celebrate immediately every time I choose a veggie or movement snack instead of junk food. In Tiny Habits, B.J. Fogg makes the case that while long-term goals are important to motivation and help us discipline ourselves, humans are overall built to prioritize immediate reward. We need to know our Big Why and see how our moment-to-moment actions connect to it, but we can train ourselves to start new, healthy habits by celebrating - by creating the feeling that Fogg calls "shine" - immediately, the second we do the thing. When the reward happens right away, it connects the behaviour and the reward in the lizard brain as well as the thinking brain, whereas long-term reward systems only work for the thinking brain. My celebrations include: singing the Final Fantasy fanfare (with a li'l dance if I'm feeling super happy and not too shy), imagining the feeling of cresting a mountain peak in cool drizzle and looking out across the cloud-shadowed conifers on the surrounding hills, or just simply saying, "Hey! You just did the thing!" Adventure? There is no adventure inside the box - do something creative every week. Writing (game prep counts!), knitting, painting, decorating the house, crafting, taking photos. Say 'yes' to Plot Hooks - schedule two fun winter activities for this month. I have a few things already planned (seeing one of the kids I nanny dance in the Nutcracker! Family & friends sing-along Christmas party!) but I want to make sure I actually get out and do some things with my special people. Possible plot hooks include: Christmas light wander with Mr. Radost and Sibling B; carolling with my vocal ensemble; coffee and/or a walk with a friend; run at a park on the outskirts of town instead of the golf course right by my house.
  10. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Ok. Ok. I got this. Don't panic. Lol j/k. I am most definitely panicking. The con is in 10 days. I have gained 10 pounds, on top of the 15 pounds I gained the year before. I can no longer see my abs unless I flex REAL HARD and even then the lower abs are no longer visible and there are blubbery rolls where there were no rolls before. Unacceptable. While it's not mandatory that I see my abs for the upcoming con (teeeennn daaaaayyyysssss), it is most absolutely mandatory that I have visible abs again for an upcoming photo shoot in just a little less than 2 months. I have embarked on such a challenge before, multiple times, and I have failed miserably. I am now trying the same thing, but with one additional ingredient: PANIC! Panic and cosplay usually gets shit done. Or at least it has one time before, back in like 2013 or something. Surely it can happen again? Optimism! Things I'll do to shed the muffin top: - MAXIMUM of 2 glasses of wine (5oz) on week nights. Ideally I wouldn't have any wine, but telling myself I absolutely cannot have a thing just makes me want the thing more, so I'll just try to be reasonable. - Go to bed before 11:30. Preferably 11:00, but I'm trying to set realistic goals here. - LEAVE MY FUCKING PHONE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MY BEDROOM so I don't hit snooze like 7 times and then panic because I'm all like RUSHRUSHRUSHRUSH to get to work. This is the bad, unwanted kind of panic. - Right, speaking of alarm, set it for 6:00 AM. Refer to the bullet point above re. the use of the snooze button. - Run the dog, do a quick workout, stretch. This should all be completed before 7 so I have time to actually relax while having breakfast. - Morning break exercises at the office (2 min wall sit, 1.5 min hollow body hold). - Lunch time run at the office (about 3.5k). - Lunch time run on Tuesdays and Fridays, 3x (jump squats to failure, push-ups to failure) and plank to failure on M, W, Th. - Afternoon break PT exercises (shoulder mobility). - On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays: whatever evening classes I have. - Thursdays and Fridays: ???? work on cosplay or w/e, just don't reach for the wine immediately upon arriving home. - Weekends: cosplay, D&D Online, some kind of physical activity. Attempt to limit wine intake to one 750ml bottle on Saturday. I'm good when it comes to nutrition and hydrating, and I actually enjoy exercising, but have been doing less of it lately. This needs to change.
  11. SKY RETURNS: THIS IS THE WAY Hello and long time no see!! My name is Sky and this is my first challenge thread of 2022 - I've been an active member on the forums since 2016, but this year I've been hibernating in the Battle Logs section of the forums, mostly treading water while I navigate a wildly busy year. In addition to enjoying my first year of marriage to my amazing husband Eamon, we've also both changed jobs, had medical procedures, traveled for work and vacations, hosted friends and family, and supported both our sets of parents and grandparents in major health problems. It's been a lot. In the midst of our lovely happy chaotic year, I have not prioritized my diet and exercise, and as a result I've gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of strength and stamina. But now is the time to change that - I've recently been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a chronic condition in which the large intestine's muscle movements don't coordinate correctly, leading to irregular bowel movements and other symptoms, like cramping, nausea, and pain. In addition to being triggered by certain foods, IBS is also often worsened by stress and anxiety; and as a lifelong anxiety sufferer, I've definitely found that my mental and physical symptoms can get into really obnoxious feedback loops. So this month, I want to finally take my health seriously and try to feel better - I want to develop an IBS-friendly meal routine, get back in the habit of moving at least a little each day, and keep caring for my mental health and stress to try to lessen their triggering power. This Is The Way I'm doing a Mandalorian-themed challenge because Eamon and I watched the whole thing together on our recent vacation, and we were obsessed. I love the idea of a creed that uses its strength and power to protect the vulnerable and take down the bad guys, and I also loved watching Mando's growth over the course of the show. I want to grow healthier and stronger so I can better care for the people in my life and be ready for whatever adventures come my way, just like Mando. The Creed: Anxiety management and mental/emotional health Frustrating as it is, changing my diet alone will not be enough to help me manage and recover from IBS. My primary trigger is anxiety and emetophobia, an extreme fear of vomiting that's linked to OCD and trauma. When I eat a food that makes me sick, that triggers anxiety and panic; and when my anxiety and panic levels are high, that almost inevitably triggers IBS symptoms. So I need to tackle this problem from multiple angles, and the foundation is my mental health. My goals for this month are: List 3 things that help me manage or breathe through anxiety symptoms and discuss how to practice those daily / as needed Make (or at least talk about) a plan with my therapist to begin EMDR or exposure therapy for my emetophobia Create and practice a mantra or group of mantras to remind myself that I am more than my fears, I am not controlled by my fears, and I am safe even when I feel afraid. Ironically, as I write these goals I'm recovering from a panic attack brought on by an unusually strong reaction to something I ate at dinner, which made me feel very nauseous and, subsequently, very panicked. I'm feeling okay now but embarrassed at being triggered and a little rattled by the unexpected food reaction, since I don't know what caused it (allergy? pre-existing anxiety from a stressful movie? hormones? problem with how I cooked it?). But on the other hand, it's a perfect opportunity to remind myself that I am safe (even if the worst were true and I were very sick, Eamon is with me and would help me, and I can get to a doctor if I need to), this will pass (I already feel better and I've made it safely through nauseous episodes many times before), and I am not controlled by my fears (after the initial panic had passed, I was able to gently move around and do some simple tasks to help ground myself while I breathed through the downswing). ❤️ The Armor: Physical movement Like many of you, I'm participating in the Nerd Fitness Walking Challenge on Facebook, which is a great kickstart to help me be a little bit active every day. While I certainly eat a lot more now than I was eating before I got married, the other factor in my weight gain is that I really just ... don't move. Our apartment is tiny, it's only about ten steps to everywhere we need to go, and it's been a very hot summer and much more fun to hang inside with my new husband and play video games than to sweat and gasp up and down hills in the heat. However, I've had periods of my life where I was very active, and periods where I was very sedentary, and so I know from experience that I feel immensely better when I'm active. While I'd love to be able to just flip a switch and go easily back to the levels of activity I was at when I felt best - who wouldn't! - I know I can only get back there slowly, through patient effort. So for this challenge, my goals are: Walk 10 minutes every day. It's totally fine if that's just walking in circles around the apartment while Eamon plays a game, or two 5-minute walks up and down the apartment building stairs during the work day. But 10 minutes a day. Go to the gym once a week. No limit on what I do there, how long I stay, etc. because I want it to be for the fun of it. Do I feel like rowing? Walking? Playing with medicine balls? Whatever my little playground heart desires, I'll be moving and that's what I want. ❤️ The Child: Diet and IBS symptom management And lastly, the final piece of the puzzle is diet. I'm working with a nutritionist to try the low-FODMAP diet, which is a diet that restricts certain foods and sweeteners that are shown to often irritate IBS. Typically, the process looks like cutting all foods that could possibly trigger my symptoms, then slowly re-introducing possible triggers one at a time and watching for symptoms, until I figure out the unique constellation of foods that I personally can and cannot eat. Now, I happened to have my first nutritionist appointment right at the beginning of a crazy month, so I have made almost no progress on the plan and need to ask her for more time to get in the groove. But last week, I did finally download some apps to look up FODMAPs in foods, planned some mostly-compliant meals for this week, and added tracking into my daily goals. So, progress is being made. My goals for this month are: Complete my second nutritionist appointment and modify my plan based on her feedback Track all daily meals in a food / nutrition app Track all daily IBS symptoms to collect data for patterns Try one new low-FODMAP recipe and report (and share!) It's not a fancy challenge, and progress will be small and slow, but it feels good to be back. I'm hoping for good discovery - and to get to check in with you all more often! This is the way!
  12. Better late than Never 😊 Hello 😅 I'm back. I did amazingly last challenge. I then got so slammed with work I felt I didn't have time to do the next challenge, or more- I just never got around to it and it was soon way in the background. And then the stress hit 3 days ago. And I ate. And I ate. And I ate. And I drank. And I didn't think I shouldn't have. And I finally thought just now "I should go back to the NF Challenges." So here I am- after eating takeaway, with dessert on the way and sipping on whisky ready to write up a challenge and start afresh tomorrow. Last Challenge Review ✨Achieved✨ I barely remember the last challenge so it's actually nice to remember how well I did looking back. Research effective muscle recuperation techniques for rest days to try- although I didn't use them consistently, I learned a lot and a few habits stuck. I learned a little more what to use when. Completed a Nerd Fitness Quest: ✅ Plank Practice- Advanced (60") ✅ Pick a program and stick with it!- Never missed an exercise day- and I really saw the slow improvement from it! Stuck to my nutritional routine. Still ordering food from a healthy delivery service. Still doing well with my work contract despite the stress from it. Got through my endoscopy and colonoscopy on for cancer checks. 🐾Attempted🐾 Attempted Nerd Fitness Quests: 🔄 Fitness: Pushup - a bit more stable but still not a full good one 🔄 Bench press .5x your bodyweight: Currently at 35kg Muscle recuperation on off days like muscle soak baths- although I got two in and did a bit of foam rolling ❄️Didn't Work❄️ Start the Nerd Fitness Yoga program on my rest days- it was a nice idea, but really on my rest days I just wanted to chill and do nothing so this was hard. Bedroom ended up being a mess. Remembering to take my multivitamins every day. Can't really do much tracking or quests when working full time
  13. I very, very rarely log into the forums (I made literally one comment back in 2014, and that's it...) but I'm going to assume it's the will of the universe that I land back here the day a new challenge starts. Time for some respawn goal setting! ✨ MY GOALS ✨ - Close my "Exercise" ring every day (yoga, walking, or a workout) - Eat either breakfast or lunch, every workday - Finish reading 1x personal development book - Finish 3x quilt projects In order to do this, I'm going to: 🟢 Start... - Walking to Mordor (incl. writing out a tracker) - Meal prepping lunches - Sewing in the evenings after work 🔴 Stop... - Skipping my lunch breaks! - Staying late at work every day - Collapsing onto the couch at the end of the day 🟡 Continue... - Planning out my weeks - Use timers to help stay focused - Working with Coach Andrew to stay on track My weeks tend to fall apart by about Wednesday/Thursday, so I'm going to set a reminder to come back here and follow up every Thursday. Should be easy enough to do while we're watching football! When I go to write these goals in my planner, I'm also going to include some red light/green light options so that it's less tempting to skip them.
  14. I caught the tail end of the last one but this is technically my second challenge since I've become disabled 4.5 years ago. Keeping it the same as the last challenge-if I push it too far I'll end up making myself ill. So: 1. Workout at least twice a week. Just doing the warm up and cool down counts, what's important is consistently working at reversing the muscle atrophy. 2. At least 1000 steps a day, even when I've had a big day the day before and I'm exhausted. Should be easier now, my new walking sticks are steadier/more solid. 3. Leave the village at least once a week for something that isn't an appointment. Started this challenge off with a bang-it was Pride this weekend and I went to a last minute dinner with my brother last night, so I'm a bit exhausted today, but proud of myself for making it through even if I did push myself too far and have a seizure in a restaurant 😂 don't worry I'm fine, it's normal, but I did freak out a waitress! 23rd: 4927 steps and Pride 24th: 3514 steps and dinner 25th: 1164 steps and just the warmup and cooldown.
  15. This wannabe mighty warrior was felled by their own brain nearly 5 years ago and is looking to get back into the fitness game! One of the symptoms of my brain disorder is fatigue, so I've been mostly housebound on a good day/bedbound on a bad day since 2018. My health has improved lately and I'm looking to do my best to make it even better! My goals: Do two workouts a week, even if you only do the warm up, or one rep. The important thing isn't consistent reps, it's not pushing myself too hard. Showing up and trying twice a week and collapsing on the floor after one wall push up is still a win-apart from maybe I'm not ready for that exercise! 1000 steps a day. Leave the village for something that isn't an an appointment once a week. Ideally I'll surpass some of these sometimes, but the goal is consistent baby steps and not beating myself up. Disability is unpredictable and that's not my fault! They/them or she/her
  16. Respawning is a weird act. I feel focused, a bit embarrassed, and a bit hopeful. I do know that writing down my days is worthwhile and helps my accountability troubles. I have reached good places before with the help of the NF community and I'm here to utilize that generous spirit again. If my therapist has to tell me to 'Focus on being in the Now' one more time, her head may explode! Well, I'm a kind and moral person and do not want to witness that kind of waste. So here goes... Goals: Don't worry about what's been. (no idea how to quantify this so moving on) No Dr Pepper – none/100% success rate Water – 6 cups per day/80% success rate Basic Workout Foundation – 80% success rate (half in AM, half in PM) A. body-weight squats – 2x10 per day B. counter incline push-ups – 2x10 per day C. face-pulls with new resistance tool – 4x10 per day D. stationary bike – 2x 5-minute interval training per day Get Outside as often as possible A. Walk to Appts – 2 Tuesdays (1.3 mi) and every Friday (1.5 mi) --100% success rate B. 1 mile-long walk per week – 80% success rate C. 5 Trips Outdoors per week - cannot be just going to the store – 80% success rate [if more than 1/2 mile - bike workout at that time is cancelled] Okay, that's a lot but the 80% rule should make things doable. I'm 2 full days of no Dr Pepper at the moment so that certainly helps. Water and Workouts needs to be consistent more than plentiful. I definitely crave outdoor fresh air which is really helping me get out there so I want to build on that. I'm also wanting my desire to get back into writing to be helped along by posting here regularly. Looking forward to checking out what folks are up to around these parts.
  17. Hey all, long time no see! Work went completely sideways on me, and I think I knew after last year I'd either have to wait to pick this back up until I either moved up in the company and got a normal M-F schedule, or left the company. The last 3+ years have been an educational experience - but it's time to leave the job that's been eating my life and making it difficult for me to develop routines in my life that didn't involve eating fast food. The experience I gained while there has opened a couple of doors for me, and I will be leaving my current company this Friday. Which is both really exciting, and really scary. I have learned a lot for my career, but my health (both mental and physical) has taken a hit - I am tired, stressed, and my breathing issues have gotten worse which I think is largely due to lack of exercise the last few years, but working in a powder production / chemical factory while also having a sensitive respiratory system to begin with probably also didn't help. I was getting my RHR lower most of last year but added stress currently have it hovering in the mid 80's, which... is not great. I'm giving myself a couple of weeks between ending this job and beginning the new one, for a couple of reasons - one is to give myself some time to decompress and process after leaving my current job, and the other is to give myself a chance to start developing some habits before getting to the new job. Main quest - reclaiming my health bar 1 - Flee the zoms: Picking back up with Zombies, Run! as a training program, going for walk/runs on a nearby trail when weather allows, and doing indoor training when it doesn't. Week 1 plan - Train today (Monday), Thursday and Saturday. 2 - Food planning - I'm actually doing a lot better on this than I had been when I still lived in nowheresville, but right now I'm having trouble with the actual food planning part - thankfully I have some back pocket recipes that are easy to throw together (I have some chicken noodle soup cooking in the Instant Pot right now due to lack of planning/executive disfunction issues) but I would like to get more to the point of actually having a set menu for the next week, get the list together, and get what I need for that. Mealime has been super helpful getting me partway there, so my goal is to get better at planning ahead for food. Week 1 plan - I have smoothie stuff for tomorrow morning, and ingredients for soup/salad lunches and shepherd's pie dinners Tue and Wed (work days), I'll have to go get groceries Thursday for the rest of the week. 3 - Unpack and reset apartment: I moved early last year, but never unpacked all the way - I would like to get the clutter dealt with, get some new shelves and other items I picked up put up, and generally just reset my home base to be a place that helps make my life easier and less stressful. I think step 1 of this is going to be making a list, since it's been too big of a thing to tackle on its own and needs to be broken down. Week 1 plan - take stock of what needs to be done, and write it down as a list. I'll reassess after the first week a bit and try to determine whether I need to adjust anything or not. I'll also try to post on here at least twice a week to help keep up motivation.
  18. And here we go again! I've hit rock bottom, with nothing to show for it, and no precipitating event to mark it. But if I was a rolling stone slowly gathering moss, I'm officially stationary at the moment. That sucks, so I guess it's time to start rolling again. I have quarterly goals and kinda-sorta affirmations for each area I'd like to improve in, but specificity is the name of the game. Week 1: - try BUJO to help keep track of the days, check in here daily with the calendar 'Words of Inspiration' - C25k w/ 100-Ups at least 2x, weight training at least 1x - spend at least 1hr decluttering my room or office (possibly while listening/watching CreativeLive?) - sign up for CreativeLive - write out a 7-14 day meal plan (5:2 or vegetarian keto?) - set an alarm for bedtime (9:45pm) in bed for 10pm, no reading in bed (UGH) - do some research on if there are resources and/or a coach that I would trust to chat with, to try to figure out WTF to do with myself ____________ ____________ Jan 01 - You will never win if you never begin. - Helen Rowland
  19. Starting late this time around but what else is new amirite. It's been quite a while since I joined in on one of these, 2021 kicked my ass in a lot of ways but I'm back and ready for action! Starting Stats Age: 32 Height:5'4" Weight:230# The Goals: Exercise daily! Starting an exercise program to work out 7 days a week! 7 days- A 6 days - B 5 days - C 4 days - D 3 or less - F Log Foods Daily! I don't really know how many calories I should be eating anymore, but I definitely need to get back in the habit of keeping track! I'll be monitoring on Myfitnesspal my username there is also RoachRex 7 days- A 6 days - B 5 days - C 4 days - D 3 or less - F Sleep better! My sleep schedule is pretty garbage. I go to bed at 8 or 9 and end up just laying in bed or tossing and turning until 11 or midnight. Sometimes even til 2am which just doesn't work with my waking time at 7am. So during this time I'm going to try different methods to fall asleep faster. Scoring will be based on how many hours a night I get, averaged for the week. 8 hours- A 7 hours - B 6 hours - C 5 hours- D 4 hours - F
  20. The bright autumn sun colored the forest a shimmering rainbow of oranges, reds and yellows, curtains of leaves floating and tumbling down around me as I walked slowly down the path toward town. And I saw none of them, because I was in the throes of the pounding panic that beset me every week on this miserable assignment. "Sky, think of all the opportunities this will open up for you," my husband had said earnestly, holding my hands as if to help me feel how strongly he felt about his words. "There's so much you can see, so many new places you can go, whenever you want. We can help more people instead of relying on them. You'll be even more independent and it'll be such a confidence boost. I really think this is something important for you to do." I didn't know how to explain to him the steel-cold shots of fear that gripped my stomach at the thought of trying this again. I knew he was right and I wanted everything he said - yet I could think of very little I would rather do less. Every weekly lesson felt like the culmination of every failed exam at the Temple, every scolding from my parents, every wound from the Elder and every bungled work assignment, all wrapped up in one miserable hour. But I was Sky Elvenword Nobleheart; and I was brave. I did not run away from hard things; I did not let fear stop me from my goals and I never said no to an adventure. So I swallowed hard and tried to hide the panicky tears in the back of my throat as I said quietly: "I'll try, Eamon." I wrapped my cloak a little tighter around my shivering body and hoped no one in town would see how pale my skin was. I had learned after the first lesson to keep the runes on my arms carefully covered with long sleeves or strips of cloth - my Dark ice powers shone like beacons out of every exposed rune the first time my terror levels shot through the roof. And considering how close I'd come to a fiery crash last week, keeping those runes covered seemed like wisdom for every lesson going forward. Much too soon, I came over the dreaded last hill and saw the stables and open field ahead of me. I was right on time; the other students were opening the pens and greeting their mounts for the day. But I was not learning to ride a horse. I was learning to ride a dragon. I'm not a Dragonrider. I'm not a Dragonrider. I tried to drown out the refrain beating like an ice storm in my brain, but it matched my footsteps toward my assigned pen. I've gotten along fine all these years without this. It's not worth it. I don't need it. I'm not good at it. I can't do it. I don't want to - A gentle huff from the pen at my elbow made me jump, and I realized I couldn't stall any longer. Slowly, I turned to face the slender white dragon who sat quietly in her cage, her ten-foot tail curled primly around her four graceful white feet, her long neck bent to bring her intelligent dark eyes down to my level. She seemed almost amused by my shaking and heavy breathing. I fleetingly wondered, not for the first time, how much these creatures could understand about us. "Hello, Tianlong," I stammered, fumbling with the latch on the gate. She waited quietly until I shook it off and pulled open the door, and I held my breath as she gracefully unfolded herself and slipped out into the grass. She was too well-trained to try to escape, even though it took me three tries to get the harness on her neck and the saddle on her shoulders, my hands shook so badly. Once again, I saw her glance at me with a look in her eyes that was almost amused. "How we feelin' today, Missus?" The teenage boy teaching the lessons, Erkus, stopped by and doffed his hood respectfully. "A little nervous," I admitted. There was no point in hiding it; I let a strap slip through my fingers the moment I spoke. "'Ow, now, ye'll be just fine, you wait an' see," he said confidently, and patted Tianlong's neck affectionately. "This 'ere is the finest dragon I ever took off an Eastern trader. Almost as smart as our Western dragons, she is. Just trust 'er, trust yerself, an' ye'll get along just fine." He'd said the same thing the last few times, so I nodded politely and focused on getting her saddle strapped snugly around her muscular body. I didn't trust Tianlong, and I didn't trust myself, and we probably were not going to get along at all. "Owright, today we're takin' a short flight out to the hills an' back, same as we did two weeks ago," Erkus hollered to me and the other (much younger) riders shuffling nervously. "We'll be practicin' the turns, so remember how to use the reins an' shift yer body weight. Remember: Trust yer dragons. They know more'n ye think they do." My mouth was too dry to swallow against the nausea rising in my throat, so I just tried to focus on steadying my rapid breathing as I shakily climbed up into the saddle and settled onto Tianlong's back, strapping my own safety harness around my thighs. The dragon flicked her tail and stood up, ready to take off into the frigid, empty heights yet again. I sucked in a deep breath. I was a Ranger. I was a Lightbearer. I was a Protector. And now I was going to be a Dragonrider.
  21. Alternately titled, “Let’s Try This Again, Shall We?” Apparently, attempting to join a new community of cool fitness friends while also getting a master’s degree AND battling a pandemic is just doing one thing too many. So now I’m back again to see if I can make this nifty Forum thing work! First things first: hi! I’m Sparkle, a 24-year-old lady in the piney forests and concrete canyons of Seattle, WA. I spent the pandemic finishing my bachelor’s in graphic design, then earning my MBA (Fighting Irish, twice over!), driving cross-country back to the family home, and getting my first Real-Deal Adult Job as the Creative Director for a small engineering firm. Now I’m getting my mental feet back under me after the chaos of moving and readjusting, and this challenge has landed in my lap like a perfectly-timed kick in the pants. My goal for this challenge is simple: be brave. Enough of running scared and wishing for more courage, it’s time I made myself some courage of my own. Be brave at work, by daring to engage playfully with my grouchy-bear boss and proposing innovative designs that push his conventional envelope rather than just keeping my head down. Be brave in my workouts, by pushing myself to hit 80 lbs for all sets of my upper body lifts and adding rear deltoid rows to my existing routine. Be brave personally, daring to carve out time for myself and spending at least two concerted, focused hours on personal development/enjoyment each weekend. Charisma: +1 each weekday for engaging playfully and teasingly with my boss (possible total: 5 points per week) Strength: +1 each workout (goal of 4 per week) that I add in shoulder work, bonus point for each new lifting set I push to hit 80 lbs (possible total: 4 points per week, more with bonuses) Intelligence: +1 for each solid, focused hour spent working on sewing projects or learning to design mobile-first websites via my Skillcrush course (possible total: 2 points per week) I’m not gonna start my challenge until November 1, for tidy timekeeping reasons, so this weekend will be a good time to get some practice in. So, without further ado, let’s go! HUZZAH!
  22. Here I am for another comeback! One of these has to stick eventually... I have no idea how I left things in my last challenge, or even how long ago that was, and I'm way too lazy to check, so some updates which may or may not be known: I got a new job with a Real Adult Paycheque™. This has allowed me to get a shiny new computer, which makes these forums much less of an onerous task (my 13 year old Mac would get me there eventually, but it left me lots of time for idle contemplation and getting distracted). It has also allowed me to indulge just a bit in my Ranger Brain and join a HEMA class. Between work, holidays, and events being held by, or attended by, the class organizers, it's been a while since I've gone, so this might take a bit to really settle in, but I've enjoyed what I've done and plan to keep with it if I can. It has also allowed me to try a new program for weight management, so hopefully I can shed a few. Alas, the Real Adult Paycheque™ has not yet allowed me to move out of my parents' basement, but hopefully that'll come some day... Along with the new job and the new-found financial security (ish), my mood has taken a definite upswing. Though the job is more stressful than my previous one, mainly because I care about it and want to do the best job I can do, rather than that I find it overly stressful in and of itself, so my sleep (already not great) has suffered a bit. I still have my down days and struggle to get my arse off the couch, but I'm feeling like I'm in a place where I can move forward, albeit slowly. So, my goals: Goal 1 ~ The Dude Abides By the macro goals, that is. The group I joined is called the Focused Adipose Reduction Team (yes, that spells FART, and yes, that was on purpose, apparently), and among other things, the person running things gives you macro goals to abide by. This is nothing new to me, but it's the same goal every day, unlike previous programs I've tried, which is nice and simple. It also requires periodic check-ins, daily weigh-ins, and participation in a dedicated Facebook group (not usually my thing), so this goal is mainly about the macros but also about Doing the Other Things Too. Goal 2 ~ Run, Forest, Run! So apparently my goals have a movie theme going on...? I used to run regularly, and hated every second of it. I do, however, feel much better just in general when my cardiovascular health is better, and running is the least of all evils when it comes to cardio. Also, while gyms are open again, there's nothing stopping The Unvaccinated Masses from spewing their germs everywhere while Dancing to the Oldies, or whatever, so I'm not real cool about going, so running outdoors is about all I've got (home workouts will not work, I've given up trying and just accepted that's how it is). My physio suggested trail running, since trails are rugged and require more focus than sidewalks, and are also softer on the ol' joints, and I didn't hate the idea. I've been working through an injury that was aggravated by running, so it's been a while, and I need to take it slow. So the goal is to go for some kind of run 3x/week. I went today on a trail that I've walked my dogs on many times and am familiar with, and it wasn't horrible, so this will be my starter trail (plus ample doggos means ample excuses for a short break, cuz you can't not say hi to the good bois and girls). I'd like to be able to do the whole trail without stopping by the end of the challenge (breaks for pats notwithstanding). I'd also like to walk on my off days. I've never preferred to run 2 days in a row, and usually the other days would be gym days. I'm not gymming at the moment, though, so walking will get me a bit of activity without being overly taxing. In a perfect world I'll run Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then walk Tuesday and Thursday with swords on Saturday and rest on Sunday. On the weekend where I have to work, I won't make it to swords so I'll do an extra walk that week. Goal 3 ~ Goodnight, Sweet Prince I'm sure Kenneth Branagh has made a movie of Hamlet at some point in time, if nothing else... Stick to my bedtimes. This has long been a contentious issue for me, and one I struggle with constantly. Right now, in a sort of ideal world, my bedtime is 10:30pm on work nights and 11pm on non-work nights. I rarely meet this, but I'mma try again to be diligent about it. Goal 4 ~ Moving 'Boxes' I'm sure there's a movie quote somewhere using a box as a metaphor, but I've not seen that movie, so just imagine your own reference here. My boxes are metaphorical (though there are a few actual boxes kicking around), and are related to a clean room. My room is habitually a disaster (I hate putting things away and I don't know why!), and actually I'm ok with it. What I'm not ok with is being ok with it (this has been a lifelong internal conflict), so I really need to clean (I've been ignoring this directive for some time now and reading Kishi's goals made my brain go ping, so I'm adding this goal). I'm going to try to 'move' one 'box' per week. My boxes consist of the following: The Floordrobe, The Office Corner, The Carpet, and The Other Random Detritus. I'm only listing 4 despite it being a 5 week challenge (it is a 5 week challenge, right?) because The Office Corner in particular, but also possibly The Other Random Detritus, might actually end up being a box consisting of 2 or more sub-boxes that must be split between weeks, because all work and no play makes obax a cranky human (this is a surprisingly recent realization, believe it or not). And that's it! Some other things I'd like to work on is reading more and vegging in front of the tv/my phone less, and picking away at the writing course I signed up for (it's free, and has no set due dates, which is good because I can work at it whenever, but also bad, because I can procrastinate forever with no consequences...). No formal goals for those, though, just some things for me to keep in mind.
  23. The rain was coming down in sheets outside the cabin, the striking drops like a stream of pebbles crashing against the roof. I padded over to the window and gently wiped away the fog, pressing my fingertips against the cool glass and relishing the glimmer of the dense branches and leaves flickering under the heavy water weight. It might still be summer, but the first hints of autumn were showering down with the gray rain. After a few moments I realized I was twisting my wedding ring on my left hand, and I smiled at myself. I had been a wife for a little more than a week, and both the ring and the title still fit me a bit oddly. I frankly didn't know who I was as Sky Nobleheart - Eamon's wife. And while I knew the only way to get to know this new version of myself was to wait patiently for it to reveal itself over time, I was impatient to see who I was going to become. I turned away from the window and realized I was also rubbing the scrollwork of scars on my left arm. The magical rune-like scars had once resembled a constellation when they were fresh; when I joined with the Dark Elf and balanced my light and dark powers, they came to resemble the twisting curves of willow branches. But regardless of what they looked like, they still bothered me when my powers were out of balance. And they had been burning and itching more than usual lately. "Good morning! What are you looking at?" Eamon came around the corner and greeted me warmly, wrapping his arms around my waist and softly kissing my forehead. I smiled and breathed in his warm morning scent, pushing aside the rising pain in my arm. "Just the rain. It's starting to storm again." "Is it? Let's go look." He led me back to the window and held me close to his chest as we looked quietly out at the darkening sky. It was such a strange sensation to feel the warm flush of happiness and peace rising from my belly and beginning to flood my body, only to meet the prickling chill in my scars and subside, like a wave dashing against a rocky shore. It had been like this since our wedding day and I paid it little attention, only feeling dully sad that even in this happiest time of my life, I was denied the complete joy others seemed to feel. This was the curse of being the Dark Elf, I thought ruefully - no amount of light would ever drive away the dark. No amount of warmth would ever melt the ice. Eamon gently turned over my arm to look at the scars, and I knew he could see the faint bluish glow pulsing under the skin. At first he said nothing, just wrapped me a little tighter in his arms and kept looking out the window. After a few moments, however, he asked: "What would help?" I started to form my usual resigned reply: "Nothing really. It's just like this sometimes." But I paused this time to ask myself the question more deeply: What would help? I had given up trying to bring my powers back in balance so long ago - for what felt like an age now, I had simply accepted that this was how things were. That I was just destined to be secretly anxious and cold and numb inside forever because of who I was, the Dark Elf. But what if that wasn't true? What if there were a way to feel wholly warm and alive again? "Well," I said slowly, looking back out the window, "the opposite of fear is love." "It is." "These scars hurt when I am afraid - and I'm always afraid." "I know." "I'm constantly operating out of fear. I work because I'm afraid of letting my supervisors down. I do things for my loved ones because I'm afraid of being a bad wife or sister or friend. I even clean the house because I'm afraid of being a bad housekeeper. My primary motivation is always fear." "So what if you could change your primary motivation to love?" I couldn't keep a small sigh from escaping my chest. "I don't know how to do that. I've tried to will myself into it but that doesn't work." "No, it doesn't. The only way you can change your motivation from fear to love, is by believing that you're already loved, no matter what. No matter if you fail, if you work or don't work, if you clean the house or don't clean the house. When you believe that God loves you, that I love you, and that your family and friends love you no matter what you do or don't do - then you can let go of fear." I knew he was right. And I also didn't know where to begin in believing that. I knew it to be true in my head, but my heart had toppled backward into the same lies over and over again for my whole life. "Maybe that would be a good first project for me as a wife," I said quietly. "Maybe it's time to figure out how to let myself be loved." Eamon lifted my arm and kissed the aching scars. "I support this plan."
  24. I don't remember the last time I did a challenge here. So now I'm gonna come in late and set up shop like I've never been away. Because why not?! (and, uh, I missed you folks, you know?) Long story short, I have a damn good reason for not being here for so long and due to circumstances being what they are now, it seems like a good time to dip back in and see what happens. Life is actually pretty good right now. I've worked hard to make that happen and would really quite like to keep it that way. There are, however, a few sticking points that I do need the extra accountability for. So now I'm back for some habit building. Nope! Guess who started adding more junk back into their diet again? Yeah, not a good move on my part, so that's stops now. Anything already in my home is fair game (which is minimal and a rule because I will absolutely not throw out edible food), but from hereon out I will not buy any chocolate/cake/ice cream/etc or scrounge it from the work canteen. Even if it's free. Yep! Exercise is erratic at best right now. I am in the habit of doing at least one walking commute per workday, which means at least three miles walked at least five days a week. And that's great, but it isn't pushing me towards any of my goals. Right now the focus is mobility, so what I will do is something mobility based every day. Simple as that. Oop! I have a lot going on right now. Between work, my two unofficial and very voluntary 'jobs', two very different avenues of self-guided learning, running a homebrew based D&D campaign and participating in two others, and the sheer amount of home based stuff that needs doing and sorting and redoing and so on, well... I need to relearn how to structure and manage my time so that I don't run myself into the ground. Not sure how to work things beyond 'do things requiring brainpower in the morning', so this is probably going to be less of a goal and more of a collection of musing and thoughts about different things I try. And that's that on that!
  25. Technically there are six days left, but still. I feel like I'm cheating, but I didn't want to wait! 😅 I've been away from the forums for quite a while (and if you count 'productively participating in the forums'... even longer!). Life got in the way, but now things are settling a little and instead of waiting for a perfect calm I'm just going to jump back in. For this tiny challenge I'm going to pick some simple things to get back in the motions: 1. Swap out morning Diet Coke for morning Tea. Over the past year I've managed to go from drinking a lot of Diet Coke to one a day and this week I'm testing out the none at all unlock. 2. Log into the forums and post an update once a day. I am historically very inclined to have good intentions... and then get horribly distracted half-way through the challenge. So. Baby steps and teaspoons! 😂 3. Bullet Journal for realz, yo! I started bullet journaling again this May and have been making little handcrafted weekly 'books' to track in. Most of it has been focused around just being more mindful of things I've accomplished during the day and it's been a real help. Now I'm going to take it step further and start using it to track to-do tasks and project plan in a more focused way. We'll see how it goes! Next Challenge: Actual fitness-ing! 🤣 Anywho, now it's time to go hunt down old forum friends and see what they've been up to! 😁
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