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SeekingCassandra

SeekingCassandra is finding bears to punch

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For those of you just tuning in, a recap of my life:

This is me:

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This is my husband:

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This is our adorable almost 4-month old:

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As you can imagine, trying to keep up with a high-energy Fox, and dealing with the overwhelming adorableness (and teething) of a Red Panda, often times feels impossible, especially considering that in my soul I really am a large Ursid that wants nothing more but to lie around eating and napping all day. But, in my heart I want to be more . . . I want to be like Cassandra Pentaghast. And Cassandra Pentaghast doesn't sit on the couch mindlessly eating. She doesn't let her husband (*if she had one)(*and if she did you know it would be Varric) do all the house work and baby minding. She doesn't use her busy work schedule as an excuse to not train hard every day and still find time for a good book.

 

So, it's time for my inner Cassandra to punch the laziness out of my inner bear.

 

My last challenge went pretty well, all things considered, and was focused on re-building the habits I lost over the 9-months of pregnancy, and 3 months of post-partum. I want to continue with that general theme, because at the core of all my Epic Quests is a need for baseline, rock-solid habits.

 

So, without further eloquence, my challenges:

 

  • Nutrition Goals: I want to really focus on practicing self control while eating, and to make responsible choices/maximize what I am eating. Self control is such a huge thing in so many aspects of my life, and practicing it in one way, helps train for others too.
    • Challenge 1: I will keep the remainder of the Nativity Fast (which is pretty much Vegan, with occasional days allowing for fish), with allowed exemptions for travel, illness or accepting hospitality.  
      • Notes: By virtue of the fact that vegan cooking is still not second nature to me, this challenge basically requires me to meal plan pretty intensively. But, with my challenge last month of trying 2 new recipes a week, I have expanded my arsenal of meals, and am confident that we will be eating more and better then repeated nights of cabbage and noodles until Christmas. In other, excellent and helpful news, my local Aldi now has grocery delivery, so meal planning and grocery shopping should be really easy. You have no idea how much of a godsend this will be. Finding the time to plan, list, then shop and actually food prep has been really hard, so this will make it so I don't run out of time to do the things.
    • Challenge 2: I will keep a log of my calories and make sure that I have a daily average deficit of -500 calories (average for the week)
      • Notes: This, in conjunction with challenge 1, is basically me tricking myself. It is pretty easy to keep the fast, and still eat like garbage (helloooo Burger King Veggie Burger and Large Fries! Helloooo Oreo cookies!). But rather then making a huge list of "do not eat" which usually makes me cranky, and then feeds the guilt cycle, I am just setting it as "you can eat whatever you want that is lenten, but make sure your calories are on point". That way, I will actively chose NOT to eat the oreos, cause it will use up way too many calories and then I will be hungry the rest of the day. But conversely, if I have been really good, and eaten well, and have a few calories left over in my day, I can spluge and try some of the vegan cookie recipes I have found.
    • Loot: undecided
  • Fitness Goals: I want to be ready to defeat the level 2 boss by the end of the challenge/new year.
    • Challenge: Complete BWW twice a week, with a 3rd work out of any variety.
      • Notes: I have noticed the trend in my previous challenges that I can usually manage to find the time to do a full work out at twice, but that third time is harder, so I am giving myself some flexibility.
    • Loot: also undecided
  • Personal Goal:  Ok, I have a confession - I *actually* love my job. I know, weird, right? Especially considering this time last year I was crying on the regular at my old office (though that was maybe partially early pregnancy hormones) and was being literally driven crazy by shenanigans, politics and good old fashioned corporate gaslighting. But my new job has been amazing! How many small businesses would be thrilled that their new hire has to go on maternity leave 7 months after starting? How many people can say they truly like the company they work for - ethics, ethos, product and all?! So with all that in mind . . . I would really, REALLY, really, like to keep this job for something like the next 30 years. To do that, I need to stop being a phone addicted, lazy, distracted slacker!! It was getting to the point that I would have Facebook pulled up on the computer (cause IT doesn't block it, cause, seriously, coolest job ever, they just trust you) and when I would minimize it to go back to my work screen, I would open it up on my phone! I don't even LIKE facebook that much! a week or two ago, I tried out an app blocker on my phone that worked out well, and I only allowed myself access on my phone during lunch. But even then, there are so many better things, goal oriented things I could be doing during lunch. So, some self-policing is in order.
    • Challenge: No Facebook at all, even during lunch, during weekday work hours.
      • Loot: You guessed it, undecided.

 

Fetch quests for this 4 week period include, finishing up baby book and monthly photos for the Red Panda, drum up 20 seconds of courage to email the local SCA and/or HEMA groups, post the next chapter of my fanfiction, fix my bookshelf, organize the sun room, read a new book, order and send christmas cards, finish christmas shopping, sort out clothes to donate, finish painting the fireplace, and finish the trim next to the tub in the bathroom, and keep up prayer rule, daily advent study, and duolingo streak.

 

I am also starting a 31 day housecleaning challenge. I liked the "clean 1 zone a week" challenge I did last time, but it was too much of a time sink. With this, I just spend a little time each and every day. I didn't want to make it a real challenge yet, because I am not sure how well it will work for me, but I wanted to try it.

 

I am off to a good start so far. Hit all my challenges yesterday, and several of my fetch quests. Let's see if I can do it again today, and for the next 26 days.




 

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You guys - it's not one of my challenges this time around (but was last time) . . . but I am already finishing off the last of my 64 oz of water for the day. It's noon! And I have drunk all the water!! This is unprecedented! Granted I am peeing like a racehorse, but what can you do.

 

In case you are wondering why I am so excited, it's because YAH HABITS!! Oddly enough, this was the one challenge I struggled with the most, last challenge. But I pulled it off, and got my loot, which was a 64 oz water pitcher to keep at my desk so I can't forget to go get water throughout the day as I fill it once and it sits in front of me the whole day. I was worried that even with the pitcher, if this wasn't one of my actual challenges I would stop drinking water consistently (as I hate the stuff. Weird, I know). But here's me, chugging 64 oz in 4.5 hours, just out of habit from previous weeks. So again I say, YAAAH HABITS and YAAAH LOOT!

 

Speaking of loot, why is it so hard for me to pick loot for my goals this time?

 

Otherwise, on track as well. Food logged and on target for my deficit. Last nights meal was a delicious meatless chili that I had made a week or two ago and froze. Tonight's plan is Lemon Chickpeas over rice. Haven't worked out at all yet, so need to get a move on that, but finding time in the evenings is still proving tricky. Have not Facebooked between the hours of 8 and 5 for three days and can't say I even mind (though, I am able to find a million other creative ways to slack. Am genius like that. One bad habit at a time though)

 

Also did my daily cleaning - it's nice because it's keeping my house clean. It's bad because even though it's only a "small" task a day, it's still taking my about an hour each night. So either I need to clean faster, or find another routine come next challenge. I might also farm 2 nights a week of cleaning off to the Fox, so I can use the hour off from cleaning to work out. We shall see. . .

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Following.

I also just left a job I hated and started working for a tiny company that I love. And like you I still manage to spend way too much time doing non-work stuff, though I do keep it off my work computer and just have my phone by me at all times

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2 minutes ago, Maigahane said:

Following.

I also just left a job I hated and started working for a tiny company that I love. And like you I still manage to spend way too much time doing non-work stuff, though I do keep it off my work computer and just have my phone by me at all times

 

It's so strange isn't it? You can love what you do and your job, but still find a million other things to distract yourself, even when you don't want to be distracted. Facebook was the worst offender, with my Kindle on my phone as a second. Now with access them shut off, and a reminder to myself to not pull it up on the computer, it's getting better. I want to do great though. It is amazing though, how a great job with great people can make you want to work harder and do better, while horrible jobs just make you more horrible. I guess it's true, what you surround yourself with you will become . . .

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sO . . .I think I need to start waking up early. I don't WANT to wake up early. Trying to do so has always been catastophic for me. But finding time in the evenings to cook, clean, be a mom, and remember that I am, in fact, human, has been enough of a challenge, that any attempts to work out, pray, read or write has been impossible.

 

It's early, or the only other option to maximize my time is starting to work out at the office. Which, we have a little gym set up in the warehouse. Sounds ideal, but is rife with problems. First, the warehouse guys might see me work out. Ew. Second, it's all machines and besides the general advisory against machines, I always feel like they are some kind of medieval torture device and hate using them anyway. Point the Third, going back to work smelly and tomato faced doesn't sound like my idea of a good time.

 

So, mornings? Mornings!

 

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On 11/28/2018 at 12:05 PM, SeekingCassandra said:

It's so strange isn't it? You can love what you do and your job, but still find a million other things to distract yourself, even when you don't want to be distracted. Facebook was the worst offender, with my Kindle on my phone as a second. Now with access them shut off, and a reminder to myself to not pull it up on the computer, it's getting better. I want to do great though. It is amazing though, how a great job with great people can make you want to work harder and do better, while horrible jobs just make you more horrible. I guess it's true, what you surround yourself with you will become . . .

At my old job I spent the last couple of years with Facebook, NF, and another forum I participated in up at all times as well as a personal excel file where I tracked my finance and fitness stuff. Literally, at ALL TIMES. Plus I had my phone right there for whatever else might come up. I'm working on breaking those habits but they're deeply ingrained. I took most everything off my phone except Tapatalk and even that I disconnected from the other forum so it only has NF. I even turned off the notifications from my emails since they're rarely something that need immediate attention. I really like my new job and I think once I get settled in more I'll naturally stay away from distractions, but for now I'm trying to learn the job from people who are very busy which makes it harder to train

 

8 hours ago, SeekingCassandra said:

I don't WANT to wake up early. Trying to do so has always been catastophic for me. But finding time in the evenings to cook, clean, be a mom, and remember that I am, in fact, human, has been enough of a challenge, that any attempts to work out, pray, read or write has been impossible.

I struggle with this a lot too. I am NOT a morning person. What I've been doing is slowly moving my alarm earlier (actually I started by limiting the number of times I let myself hit snooze....) and let myself adapt to getting up 10 minutes earlier at a time. Right now I'm using the extra time to keep the house clean but I want to give myself enough time to keep doing that and take Floof (our large fluffy dog) for walks before work. Maybe eventually I'll get up early enough to work out before work, but I'm finally accepting the fact that I need to take teeny tiny baby steps on my goals and just concentrate on the current step instead of trying for "ideal" now

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15 hours ago, Maigahane said:

Right now I'm using the extra time to keep the house clean but I want to give myself enough time to keep doing that and take Floof (our large fluffy dog) for walks before work.

 

Luckily, my extra-large dog is about as lazy as I am and doesn't like waking up in the morning either.

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I can totally relate! My dog isn't a morning person either; literally we're all snuggled up in bed right now on a Saturday morning :) I'm slowly becoming more of a morning person because I realised it's just nicer getting to work early, because then you get to leave early and the traffic's much better both ways and you've got more time at home in the afternoons. But I'm lucky to have a job that lets me start any time between 8 and 10, as long as I do all my hours.

 

I'm glad you're enjoying your job so much, it's a great feeling! I also love my job but it requires me to be super focused (exhausting) while reading the same thing over and over (boring) so I let myself have a five-minute topic break to refresh my brain between tasks or drafts. The trick is to keep and eye on the clock and limit it to five minutes! Otherwise, to get away from screens altogether, I'll get up and walk around for a bit of nobody will miss me for five minutes.

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5 hours ago, SeekingCassandra said:

Luckily, my extra-large dog is about as lazy as I am and doesn't like waking up in the morning either.

Oh, mine's pretty darn lazy too. But my new job means he's home alone longer during the day so I would feel better if he got a short (mile-ish) walk between sleeping all night and sleeping all day. Plus it helps get me some more steps :)

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I am only jumping in your thread now and I might have missed that you are already prepared on this... Have you tried 'stay focused' an app to disable other apps in defined time ranges?

Sent from my FIG-LX1 using Tapatalk

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On 12/1/2018 at 4:32 AM, Diadhuit said:

I am only jumping in your thread now and I might have missed that you are already prepared on this... Have you tried 'stay focused' an app to disable other apps in defined time ranges?

Sent from my FIG-LX1 using Tapatalk
 

 

I actually am using "Off Time" right now, as an app blocker, and it's working pretty well. There is no way to turn it off once it's set, or even access anything to uninstall it while it's running, so I can't get around it - but I am able to put certain apps on my "allow" list so I can still message my husband through the day, access my bank account, pull up my camera and photos (which sometimes i need for work), things like that. It's working pretty brilliantly so far, and knowing that I have blocked on my phone is my reminder to not pull it up on the computer.

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So, recap of last week:

Nutrition was on target! Any meat or dairy consumed was covered under the hospitality clause. Rolling average for calories was a deficit of about 694 calories, which wasn’t bad considering I had 2 days that I went a little high.

Was off Facebook all week during the work day. It felt great. Still occasionally feeling the brainless compulsion to pull it up, but that is slowly wearing off too.

Exercise is where I majorly failed. Like, epic fail . . . a complete non starter.

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I can’t even count play rehearsal at church as my non-specific work out, because the challenge this year isn’t trying to herd the kids and chase them around, it’s getting them to even show up to rehearsals. Mid week attempts to start waking up an hour early to work out were stymied by a 4 month old who’s sleep pattern has changed a bit due to growth spurt and teething. It’s hard to wake up at 6 when you were up at 3:30 for an hour to feed, change and rock the worlds cutest Red Panda back to sleep.

But what would Cassandra do? She would get up anyway. . . .

I am giving myself a bonus quest this week of hitting my hourly/daily step goals every day this week, in addition to my work out goals to make up for last week’s failures.

In non-challenge goals, I have been keeping up with my 31 day cleaning routine. Missed 2 days, but then doubled up over the weekend. Still one to catch up on, but over all going well.

Haven’t checked off any of my other fetch quests for the month yet, though have made some progress on some of them

 

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Baby, most of last night:

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Me, this morning:

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Needless to say, no work out this morning.

 

It just figures - the baby that has been sleeping through the night since 2 weeks decides she wants to wake up wanting to play every 1.5 hrs overnight the MINUTE I say that I am going to wake up early. Further proof my child is an ornery, evil genius, disguised behind ginger hair and adorable chubby cheeks.  . .

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This morning, I was a kick-ass Seeker of Truth, not a fat evolutionarily suicidal bear. . .

 

So, I have been setting my alarm for 6am, and basically just really sleeping through it. So, after 2 weeks of abject and spectacular failure, I was determined that this would be my week. Had a solid plan in place and on nights that I wasn't on baby duty, I was going to wake up and do the things while Fox and Red Panda snoozed.

 

As per the new usual, Red Panda had other plans (seriously, my kid is an adorable jerk). She was up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:30am, despite Fox having gotten zero sleep last night due to my fitfulness. Needless to say, Fox had to tap out.

 

So there I was, at 5:30, grumpy and peeved that my plans were stymied again. Fed the kid, tried to get her soothed back to sleep, still grumbling to myself about how it's not fair that she always wakes up early on the days I want to work out, etc, etc, etc, *insert whineyness here*

 

Till finally, I just told myself- enough with the bullshit excuses. Go down stairs, put her in her swing, put on a sports bra, and do the thing. You might have to stop every 2 minutes to deal with a fussy baby, but that is better then not doing anything.

 

Well, dammit, if she wasn't sweet as pie the whole time, vastly amused as she was watching Mama jumping around and being silly. She then cuddled with me nicely while I did some prayer time. Then we had a nice warm shower. By then Daddy had woken up and I felt entirely less discouraged and like a substandard human parent. Seriously - best morning in a long while. More of that, please.

 

Now, just need to repeat it. And add in coming home during lunch on non-early days to keep up with the cleaning. Maximizing time is the name of the game . . .

 

 

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Well, I did it again today. Baby was super fussy all night, but didn't actually wake up early, so up I got at 6 to do my work out. Ended up not being able to do all three sets of my "finish with" excercise, cause by then she WAS awake, and in dire need of a clean nappy and a bottle. So, hooray!

 

Down side is, tracking and keeping within my calorie targets has gotten a bit wobbly this week.

 

ZanyFearfulBufflehead-size_restricted.gif.ac6ccbc41bdae2a6ce11278d15b4a63d.gif >>>> my nutrition goals this week

 

 

Not an all out wipe-out, but on the highway towards. Retirement party leftovers in the office kitchen haunt me. But, despite the left over cake that I ate for breakfast again today, otherwise, getting it back under control, with my lovely bowl of cabbage & noodles for lunch.

 

No facebook also got a bit sidetracked. The app is still working great to block it on my phone, but during lunch one day i caved and brought it up. And fell down that rabbit hole. Working on kicking it again. It really is like a drug, dammit. But, having it open really slows down my whole computer which drives me CRAZY, so I keep focusing on that. . . .

 

 

Another realization I had, is maybe I have struggled more this time because I don't have any loot set up. I am like my puppy - will work for treats. Even if I don't end up getting them righ-away (still haven't purchased sneakers from my squat bonus challenge last month), having some kind of reward to work towards gives me something. If I have nothing in mind to either win or lose, it's easier to just give up. So . . . rule for next challenge - MUST HAVE LOOT IN PLACE!

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