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Harriet's Year of Energy: Act I


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I went to the gym today. I walked up the hill again yesterday. I've been doing posture stretches & exercises. Wine & Caffeine totally under control. Protein remains high. I've been going to bed before 11 and relaxing, but not necessarily succeeding in falling asleep every day. Oh well, practice makes perfect. By the end of the challenge I'll be falling asleep in 7 seconds, no doubt. So everything is splendid. Except. I cannot for the life of me decide what to do about my diet & body goals.

 

Some days I think I'm fat and need to cut calories. Other days I think I look normal (not perfect, but good) and I dread cutting calories after the evil year of restriction (2017, but I'm still traumatised). Other times I'm in the gym thinking "why am I still so weak? Is it true you can't build muscle without a caloric surplus?" Plus I looked better, not worse, after putting on 6kg while lifting, even though I would prefer to have lower body fat. So there it is. I'm either too fat, too skinny & weak, or both. Or not. And I should either cut calories, add calories, or neither. Ugh. I've decided to track what I'm eating and lifting so I at least have a basis for whatever I choose to do next.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Today I not only walked the hill, I walked the steep and endless stairs of doom at the end of the hill. All in 17 minutes. On a scale of sloth to death, this was 80% exertion. I'm super excited that it might be easier to build up my cardiovascular fitness than I thought. And this, surely (surely!) will lead to more energy/less fatigue in my day to day life. Of course, the scales are mocking me with their continued unresponsiveness, and my tape measure even says I might be slightly bigger (maybe 1 cm) around the waist. Either there's some random variation, or inverted rows and deadlifts are making my back thicker, or I'm getting fatter on a diet of mostly protein shakes, cottage cheese, eggs, meat, tempeh, fruit and vegetables. And two slices of pizza. And if that's the case, I guess I have to come to terms with it because I'm just not ready to feel deprived again. Just thinking about dieting makes me feel like clinging to pizza as to a life raft. 

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bb7e2003537426459

 

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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On 10/5/2018 at 6:07 AM, Harriet said:

I went to the gym today. I walked up the hill again yesterday. I've been doing posture stretches & exercises. Wine & Caffeine totally under control. Protein remains high. I've been going to bed before 11 and relaxing, but not necessarily succeeding in falling asleep every day. Oh well, practice makes perfect. By the end of the challenge I'll be falling asleep in 7 seconds, no doubt. So everything is splendid. Except. I cannot for the life of me decide what to do about my diet & body goals.

 

Some days I think I'm fat and need to cut calories. Other days I think I look normal (not perfect, but good) and I dread cutting calories after the evil year of restriction (2017, but I'm still traumatised). Other times I'm in the gym thinking "why am I still so weak? Is it true you can't build muscle without a caloric surplus?" Plus I looked better, not worse, after putting on 6kg while lifting, even though I would prefer to have lower body fat. So there it is. I'm either too fat, too skinny & weak, or both. Or not. And I should either cut calories, add calories, or neither. Ugh. I've decided to track what I'm eating and lifting so I at least have a basis for whatever I choose to do next.

 

Your journal is so full of awesome workouts, Harriet! Between the hill and the deadlifts, I think you're doing great! 

 

I sympathize with how hard it is to choose goals. It strikes me that since fatigue is your ultimate Big Bad, could your goal for now be to have a body that's not fatigued? And make your diet goal to find the foods that make you feel the least fatigued? 

 

What kind of calorie intake do you mean when you say "calorie restriction"? I did Precision Nutrition's coaching program a few years ago (it's pretty cool) and I learned it's possible to be to lose weight and build muscle at the same time. But it requires eating lots of healthy foods. (Which is a good goal anyway!) As for calorie restriction, the philosophy I got from doing PN was this: eat real (mostly healthy) foods, and stop eating when I'm 80% full. 80% full means I feel satisfied, but I don't feel stuffed. That isn't "calorie restricted" the way the people training for the Olympics or body building competitions mean it. Those people have to monitor their calories and nutrients obsessively. But it's good enough for people like me. Are you thinking restriction in the 80% full sense or the intense getting-down-to-minimum-body-fat-for-a-competition sense? I can imagine why that would be traumatic!

 

I'm a fan of the 80% full kind myself, because I don't want to obsessively track my food. There are so many other things in life I want to use my brain power on! Whatever you choose, keep feeding those muscles with protein and veggies! And enjoy how amazing you are! Here's a gif of you slaying fatigue:

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Lady Amezan said:

 

What kind of calorie intake do you mean when you say "calorie restriction"? I did Precision Nutrition's coaching program a few years ago (it's pretty cool) and I learned it's possible to be to lose weight and build muscle at the same time.

 

Thanks for the encouragement! Yeah, so I used to basically live off pasta and cheese. Last year I tried to cut my calories down without changing to healthy foods - I didn't care whether it was healthy, I just wanted to reduce calories. Think puffed rice cakes and zero fat dairy. Think counting the calories in cherry tomatoes to decide how many I could have. It worked for a few months, in which I lost weight quickly. Then for the next 6 months I lost weight more and more slowly, while getting more and more obsessed and hungry. So I lost a total of about 12kg (from 71 to 59kg) in 2017. Over new year I decided to focus on food quality, not quantity. I immediately put on 2kg (water?). Since then I have been trying to eat healthy (but the sugar and carbs were sort of slipping back in more and more frequently, hence this challenge). I also put on 6kg eating somewhat healthy food when I started lifting. So I'm back at 66kg, but with more muscle than before the lifting. Counting calories makes me crazy, as does going hungry. I'm currently making smallish meals so I feel satisfied enough to not think about food for a few hours, but I'm not "full". That's all I can manage, mentally, at the moment. Ugh, basically the internet says I can't build muscle and lose fat at the same time, and I have to bulk and cut if I want progress. I can't face a "cutting" cycle where I have to go hungry in order to lose more fat. Nor can I imagine deliberately eating beyond my appetite, that sounds awful. I would really, really love recomposition to be possible, even if it's slow. But is it a mythical unicorn now that I'm not a weightlifting beginner any more? I don't want to give up food or muscle gainz... but I want to lose fat off my legs/hips. Eh. I don't know what to do. 

Edited to add: Lord no, I do not want to compete or get down to crazy low body fat. I just want to get rid of the squishy thighs/hips.

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Week 3 Results

Quest successes:
Caffein under control
Drank no alcohol 

Ate much protein, many vegetables

Got to bed early & used relaxation to fall asleep 

Did stretches & exercise for posture every day

 

Planned & unplanned diversions: 
I had only two treats: one planned treat (2.5 slices pizza – I ordered 2 but they gave me extra, what could I do?), one emergency treat after a ruinously exhausting squat workout (a very restrained single lindt chocolate ball, chosen at grocery checkout line when my head was filled with wild, glycogen-depleted visions of pizza, biscuits, cake, etc.)

I plan to go to a restaurant tonight with my husband & have non-diet food & wine. I'm pretty much accustomed to the idea of not having wine at home now.


Bonus:

I did three hill walks which made my heart race and which are surely turning me into an endurance athlete.

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bba81766978444555

 

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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5 hours ago, Harriet said:


Edited to add: Lord no, I do not want to compete or get down to crazy low body fat. I just want to get rid of the squishy thighs/hips.

 

I hear you! Kudos to you for giving up on the calorie counting. It sounds exhausting, miserable and unsustainable. (One of my coworkers currently eats rice cakes for lunch while I have my veggie and tempeh stew, and I feel so sorry for her! Plus there can't be many nutrients in those things.)

 

I think I said something wrong up above, because I got muscle growth and strength increase confused. I should have said people can gain _strength_ while losing fat. I'm easily confused by this stuff. The only thing I really know for sure is that the internet is full of bad advice. It's hard to know which advice to take, except by experimenting on your own body and finding out what works for you. We're all different.

 

My experience a few years ago: over 12 months, I went from 30% body fat to 22% body fat through HIIT, intense weight training (bodyweight and TRX) and healthy eating. I monitored body composition pretty carefully. (But no calorie counting.) I didn't gain any muscle. But, here's the important thing: I also didn't LOSE any muscle. While I lost many, many pounds of fat. (End result: way less squishy.)

 

And I DID gain a lot of strength. And since I was strong and the squishy fat was missing, I felt pretty damn good. (Until I came to South Korea and started drinking all the beer.)

 

So yeah, I guess if you want to gain muscle (as opposed to strength) at the same time as losing fat, that's super tricky. But there's an easier alternative: if you lose the squishy fat on top of the muscles, while keeping the muscles nourished, strong and well-fed, it can feel really awesome. If you're deadlifting, your muscles are definitely there and getting stronger! (Even if they aren't getting bigger in a poundage sense. Poundage isn't everything. This is why strong women can lift as much as a man but still be small and petite.) 

 

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14 hours ago, Lady Amezan said:

The only thing I really know for sure is that the internet is full of bad advice. It's hard to know which advice to take, except by experimenting on your own body and finding out what works for you. We're all different.

 

Yeah, that's true. I should stop reading so much internet fitness crap, because I know the key to being more awesome is consistency, not some magic set/rep scheme.


My main problems is indecisiveness. 

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bbb7e004f6e395167

 

I can't decide whether to gain or lose. On the lose side, I have extra squish that I don't like in my legs and hips, and not much muscle definition in my arms or anything. On the gain side, I have skinny shoulders and upper back, semi-visible abs, and I have no willpower left for going hungry. I also looked better, not worse, when I gained that 6 kg. So one day I decide to lose weight, next day I decide to gain it, and then I decide that both are too scary and end up not committing to anything. 

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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12 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Yeah, that's true. I should stop reading so much internet fitness crap, because I know the key to being more awesome is consistency, not some magic set/rep scheme.


My main problems is indecisiveness. 

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bbb7e004f6e395167

 

I can't decide whether to gain or lose. On the lose side, I have extra squish that I don't like in my legs and hips, and not much muscle definition in my arms or anything. On the gain side, I have skinny shoulders and upper back, semi-visible abs, and I have no willpower left for going hungry. I also looked better, not worse, when I gained that 6 kg. So one day I decide to lose weight, next day I decide to gain it, and then I decide that both are too scary and end up not committing to anything. 

 

Awesome gif! Sums up my thinking about so many things. I feel you!

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Going strong into week 4! Awesome!

 

I think gaining weight if it's muscles is all good. I gained 5 kilos when I got my birth control implant. When I had it removed years later, instead of losing them, I gained another 5. Doh. I was hoping to lose a bit of weight this challenge, but my scale is crap and I can't tell if I've actually lost any or not. I've decided, in the end it's about what my body is able to accomplish. If I end up running a 7k with maybe even some elevation changes without dying, then I'll happily keep the extra cushioning around my waist :D

 

Also, after reading your post, I'm really craving Pizza now :D 

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3 hours ago, Mera said:

I think gaining weight if it's muscles is all good. I gained 5 kilos when I got my birth control implant. When I had it removed years later, instead of losing them, I gained another 5. Doh. I was hoping to lose a bit of weight this challenge, but my scale is crap and I can't tell if I've actually lost any or not. I've decided, in the end it's about what my body is able to accomplish. If I end up running a 7k with maybe even some elevation changes without dying, then I'll happily keep the extra cushioning around my waist :D

 

I need to either lose the cushioning, or lose the deeply self-critical mindset, in order to be happy. I guess I'll have to work on both and see which shifts first :)

 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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2 hours ago, Exylem said:

 From what you told me on my thread, for instance, it appears you are already doing great in your diet!


I AM! It turns out you can eat healthy for 4 weeks and still not be thin. Who knew? 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Oh Harriett!

First of all, AWESOME JOB!!! So much working out and exercises, you're doing so well!!

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And from all that you've written, it sounds like the only thing you really NEED to lose is your deeply self-critical mindset (as you said)!

It sounds like you and I have a similar body type, and I really get where you're coming from. I've dreamt of not having squishy thighs/hips for sooooooooooo long! But now I've come to terms with the fact that it's pretty much impossible unless I start training like a pro-ballerina/(insert any other pro athlete).

I suffered from ED when I was younger, I dropped to 47kg at one point, I did tons of cardio and leg exercises (I spent between 1 and 2 hours a day on the stair master), I was suuuuuper thin, but lemme tell you, my entire lower body was still soft.

We're just programmed to have an invicible layer of fat, and a healthy fat at that (none of the increased risks that abdominal fat has). It's basically the perfect body to survive and be fertile, thanks nature xD

7JAP.gif

 

 

Don't get me wrong, I think it's perfectly possible to get firmer legs (Beyonce in that MV being a good example), but we've still got to embrace the softness :)

Also, I found that, in my case, part of the chunkiness is caused by a semi-permanent edema, which lots of ladies with bigger legs are prone to. One big motivation for keeping up with my lower body stretches is that they reduce the swelling and my legs look slightly smaller. Vanity can be useful ^_^

 

Either way, you should love your shape no matter where you're at, and you really deserve to feel great about yourself, you can do amazing walks and lifts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dancing Sylph - Level 9 Monk/Druid

Former Captain of the Nerdians of the Fitalaxy

Current Challenge

"E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle" - We came forth, and once more saw the stars, Dante

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Thank you so much for the post, Nol. For many years I was also just under 50kg (at about 5'6"), as a teen/in my early 20s. Guess what, my legs were still not small. And I have to remember that's not a good place to want to get back to because I was so weak. Yes, I must work on my mindset, strength, and energy and let my war-legs do whatever they need to do. I''ve also decided to just go ahead and buy myself some clothes that suit me as I am, not as I'd like to be – I'm thinking high waisted, wide legged pants and some skirts.


I should be kinder to myself. I've never seen a british shorthair cat, a corgi, or a hobbit worry about their weight, or their short, thick legs, and they are awesome creatures who have happy lives and many admirers.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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2 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I should be kinder to myself. I've never seen a british shorthair cat, a corgi, or a hobbit worry about their weight, or their short, thick legs, and they are awesome creatures who have happy lives and many admirers.

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bc114da652e764e4dgiphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bc11539396d35664dgiphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bc1160978684f366b

 

THAT :D

Dancing Sylph - Level 9 Monk/Druid

Former Captain of the Nerdians of the Fitalaxy

Current Challenge

"E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle" - We came forth, and once more saw the stars, Dante

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24 minutes ago, Harriet said:

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bc11539396d35664d

I look at that gif and this plays in my head...

Active challenges: Show up and don't go AWOL | Walk to Mordor - (spreadsheet) | DailyDare | Weight Loss PVP 10/12 lbs in 10/12 weeks - (spreadsheet)

2023-24 threads: Challenge VIII | IX | X | XI | XII | XIII | XIV | XV | XVI | XVII

2018-19 & 2021 threads: Battle log | Challenge I | IIIIIIV | V | VI | VII

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Reporting in at the completion of my challenge. My original quests and finishing grades:

 

To eat a diet with no sugar or refined carbs, and at least 100g of protein per day: A-

To have no wine: A- 

And no more than 2 teas or 1 coffee per day: A+
To meditate each night to help fall asleep instead of ruminating A

And lastly, to do my posture exercises and stretches every day: B

 

I'm grading not on perfect compliance, because treats and social events are important, but rather on how much I improved and how close the result is to my longterm lifestyle goals.

 

I incorporated some treat meals into my diet, and social events took a small toll on compliance. But twice I resisted my husband's suggestion to get pizza for dinner when I was tired or depressed, and instead made the dinner I had already bought ingredients for. I think my overall compliance was about 85% for sugar/carbs, and about 90% for getting enough protein. Given the importance of social events and deliberate treats, I am calling this an A-,  as I was eating a diet of junk, sadness and desperation before the challenge. I could do a little better, but it's getting close to a diet I can live with indefinitely.

Caffeine 100% compliance: A+.

 

Alcohol I had about four times in four weeks, and in smallish amounts except for the somewhat immoderate concert drinking. I am calling this an A- because, despite the concert fail (a valuable lesson), I started off drinking wine almost every day at home, and now consider it normal to have no alcohol and home and to only drink when we go out. This is something I've been trying to change without success for a long time. 4 Week Challenges FTW!

Sleep: 90% compliance: A. There were a couple of nights when I let rumination get the better of me, but I have vastly improved my overall sleep habits.
 

Posture exercises for the anterior pelvic tilt: I forgot these a couple of times, and also kept changing the exercises and stretches as I'm not 100% certain what will help my posture. I think my barbell workouts are actually strengthening almost everything, so I'm cutting the posture routine down to hip and calf stretches and some hollow body holds for my lower abs, which seems to help hold my pelvis in a neutral position. I'm calling this a B, because I didn't stick to the original plan, but I'm no longer sure the original is the best, and I ended up with something I think will help.

I am already planning my next challenge, and I hope to see some of you first time challengers in another guild soon <3

 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

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Man, some huge monster fights you took on and you did awesome! So impressed with how you completely turned your alcohol consumption!

 

I really like how you evaluate your challenge on your progress rather than being "perfect", that's what it's all about!

Will you be joining the warriors next challenge?

I'm looking forward to following you, you're super motivating and, of course, so much fun to read! Best gifs!

 

I'm curious about how you feel after weight lifting since you're also suffering from fatigue. I took up lifting a couple years back but it made me so tired that I eventually gave up. I felt that instead of giving me strength, it just depleted me (like sleeping for 12 hours the following two nights, while still being dead-tired all day the following two-three days...). Have you experienced that? Maybe you have some tips ^_^ (because lifting was super fun!)

 

 

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Dancing Sylph - Level 9 Monk/Druid

Former Captain of the Nerdians of the Fitalaxy

Current Challenge

"E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle" - We came forth, and once more saw the stars, Dante

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4 hours ago, Nol said:

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

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Man, some huge monster fights you took on and you did awesome! So impressed with how you completely turned your alcohol consumption!

 

I really like how you evaluate your challenge on your progress rather than being "perfect", that's what it's all about!

Will you be joining the warriors next challenge?

I'm looking forward to following you, you're super motivating and, of course, so much fun to read! Best gifs!

 

I'm curious about how you feel after weight lifting since you're also suffering from fatigue. I took up lifting a couple years back but it made me so tired that I eventually gave up. I felt that instead of giving me strength, it just depleted me (like sleeping for 12 hours the following two nights, while still being dead-tired all day the following two-three days...). Have you experienced that? Maybe you have some tips ^_^ (because lifting was super fun!)

 

 

 

Thank you! Yep, I'm thinking about joining the warriors, even though I'm not very strong yet. Better to be a tiny beginner warrior than not a warrior at all. 

Hmmm, so fatigue and weightlifting. So I started in February, I've done about 8 months. I do actually get very tired sometimes. Sometimes I come home, I'm wiped out, and I have to take a nap. However, it has gotten less frequent and less severe over the last few months. I might have been tired for two days at a time earlier on, but now I only get tired the same afternoon, unless I do something foolhardy like high volume deadlifts. A few things worth noting: moderate weights for moderate volume is much, much worse for my fatigue than low volume/heavy weights. For ages, I only did 3 main lifts each workout, and only 3 sets each (I've added some back off sets now because I feel I can handle more), and it worked well. For squats and deadlifts in particular, I go heavy as possible for 3-6 reps. Higher reps make me catatonic later in the day, even with lighter weights. Even the days with 6-rep deadlifts are tough. Other people feel differently. You may need to experiment to determine which kind of stress (volume or weight) is more draining for you, which could vary from lift to lift. Also, I have been eating intuitively and never going hungry. I increased my daily calories to probably 2200 when I started and put on 6kg in the first 6 months (only on my hips and legs, not on my waist, so it's fine I guess), though I stopped gaining a couple of months ago. Some days I feel awesome, some days I need a nap. But it's been so worth it for me because ordinary activities like carrying things, walking, and just standing up straight are now easier for me. I wish you the absolute best luck with lifting, it's awesome and everyone deserves to get strong :D

 

 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Awesome job on all your quests! I was really inspired by your posts! I'll keep reading if you do the next challenge. I'm still thinking about my goals for the next one, but I think they will include some lifting heavy objects. (Specifically: myself. Bodyweight training FTW!)

 

I hope you feel good and jazzed about all your healthy eating, better sleep and better posture!

 

Image result for celebration gif

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"Believe that a further shore is reachable from here." --Seamus Heaney

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7 hours ago, Lady Amezan said:

Awesome job on all your quests! I was really inspired by your posts! I'll keep reading if you do the next challenge. I'm still thinking about my goals for the next one, but I think they will include some lifting heavy objects. (Specifically: myself. Bodyweight training FTW!)

 

I hope you feel good and jazzed about all your healthy eating, better sleep and better posture!

 

Image result for celebration gif

 

Thanks! Bodyweight exercises, yay for strength! They can be quite demanding! I can't do pushups or even a single chin-up yet. Ah well, one day we'll be complaining that they're too easy. 

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Thank you for your tips!

Last time I focused on low rep, as heavy as possible. Maybe going a little lighter would help...

I just found out my husband's workplace has a gym I can use for free so this might be a thing that actually happens ^_^

 

Also, this gif is just awesome Lady Amezan! Makes me want to dance all my worries away!

giphy.gif

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Dancing Sylph - Level 9 Monk/Druid

Former Captain of the Nerdians of the Fitalaxy

Current Challenge

"E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle" - We came forth, and once more saw the stars, Dante

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22 hours ago, Nol said:

Thank you for your tips!

Last time I focused on low rep, as heavy as possible. Maybe going a little lighter would help...

 

I was just thinking about you and the fatigue again. I just wanted to point out that I spent 6 or more years gradually increasing my energy from absolute zero to not-very-much, mostly by walking. So even if you can't do weights yet, I hope you can find an area that's easy enough for you to work on, and challenging enough that it slowly increases your capacities. To me, it never seemed like a bit of walking here and there would add up to anything, but I certainly have more energy than I used to. I don't think I would have been able to start lifting 7 years ago. We both have to keep pushing at the edges of what we can do, wherever those edges happen to be right now. 

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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