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starsapart: A Brief and Abridged History

I think an anniversary challenge calls for a bit of retrospection, doesn't it? I found Nerd Fitness in summer of 2014 after someone sent me one of Steve's articles. I'd been on a health and fitness journey since April of that year, which had marked an all-time emotional low point for me. I'd latched on to weight loss as a silver bullet of sorts, with this vague idea that if I could just be conventionally attractive, my life would sort itself out (spoiler: it doesn't work like that). Finding the forums really helped me start to find some joy in movement and began my slow journey to mental recovery. I had a serious injury in August of that year after a brief trial of parkour, which forced me to start building my upper body strength while my broken ankle was in a cast. I didn't really know what I wanted to do once I was healed, but around that time, I met @sylph, who opened my eyes to the crazy idea that an adult could absolutely learn to be an acrobat. I started aerial in November of 2014, at which point I was about 50 pounds down from my highest weight and feeling a lot better about life, the universe, and everything. I stuck to the forums, becoming a member (and then briefly the commander) of the Cutlasses, then an ambassador for the Assassins. I was just about 80 pounds down when I was featured as a success story on the Nerd Fitness blog, one year after my fitness journey had started. My mind was much healthier in a lot of ways by then, though in retrospect I realize I had slipped into disordered eating in the form of orthorexia. I never addressed this on the forums, but I ended up having to undo a lot of mental tangle again to fix my broken-in-a-new-way relationship with food. Based on my doctor's insistence in 2015, I actually had to regain a small amount of the weight I had lost. Still, things were going well overall - despite additional injuries and setbacks, my aerial skills improved greatly. I got my first pull-up. I started performing. I became a guild leader for the Assassins. By mid-2016, I felt like I had my health and fitness sorted, and with life getting progressively busier, I left the forums for several years, though I retained some of the great friends I had made here and at CNF 2015. Then 2019 rolled around, and my life changed drastically again: my wife and I adopted a baby! And this was very exciting! But very exhausting!! I lapsed (completely) on lifting weights. I lapsed (a lot) on making good food choices. I lapsed (a little) on training in the circus gym. I came back to the forums in December of 2019 in hopes of finding some support as I tried to right my course.

 

That brings us to today! I survived my return challenge and I'm back for more. I definitely don't have time for the careful selection of song lyrics and themed gifs anymore, because #momlife, but I do have goals! I am performing in a major circus production close to the end of this challenge (the shows run March 13-15) and I've been frantically rehearsing and preparing, which has done a lot for my consistency. Still, there are a few things I need to address as I prepare for the show. As such, my goals are as follows:

 

GOAL 1: NUTRITION GRAB BAG

Last challenge, I got back on the food tracking bandwagon, but I didn't address exactly what I was eating and when. I was batting around several nutrition goal ideas, but ultimately, I think I'll do a grab bag. I am aiming to earn 80 points by the end of the challenge, meaning I need to earn 2+ points a day. I can earn (or lose) points in the following ways:

  • Caloric deficit (1800 calories or less) : +1
  • IF (eat only between 11am-7pm) : +1
  • Vegetarian day (I already try to do this once a week, but this will hopefully be a nice motivator to do more) : +1
  • Zero junk food day (no chocolate, no chips, no cookies; a serving of dried fruit or nuts is fine but eating a whole bag of either is not...) : +2
  • Caloric surplus (2100 calories or more; I can take a bye on this if I've had a very physical day, i.e. 3+ hours of aerial in a row or 10 miles of snowshoeing or something) : -1
  • Excess sweets (3 or more in one day) : -1
  • Skipped tracking (lack of best-effort tracking in MFP) : -1

 

GOAL 2: LIFTING REDUX

I had a lifting goal last challenge and I mostly stuck to it, but I don't feel confident that I've built a sustainable habit yet, so here we go again, Lift two times a week, better three. Anything counts, even if I just go down and do a 5x5 of bench press and then call it done. I get a bye on show week - no lifting required at all the week of March 8-14, because I will basically be in the gym or the theater every bloody day and I'm going to be massively fatigued. Depending on how I feel post-show, I may require only one session the week of March 15.

 

GOAL 2B: RECOVERY IS KEY

I had to suspend my lifting goal due to changes in my aerial schedule. Instead, starting week 3, I am looking for foam rolling sessions after every practice and performance.

 

GOAL 3: FLEXIBILITY

I've been pretty lax on stretching outside of rehearsal warm-ups. My wife and I occasionally do yoga videos together, but that's not super consistent, either. I'm aiming for two flexibility sessions a week. They need to be a minimum of 15 minutes and can focus on splits, straddles, backbends, whatever. Yoga counts. Aerial practice or class doesn't count, unless I specifically take a flexibility and contortion class.

 

GOAL 4: FAMILY TIME

I'll run this one grab-bag style as well, aiming for 15 points by the end of the challenge (to be adjusted once I see how this goes). I earn points by:

  • Family meal (everyone, including baby, sits down to eat together at the same time) : +1
  • Family walk (Around the block or to the park or whatever, but it has to be outdoors) : +1
  • Fun family outing (anything from storytime to going to the aquarium; going to the grocery store obviously doesn't count) : +1

 

I think that's plenty to focus on this go around. I have a few big disruptions hitting during this challenge as well: Feb 21-24, we're heading up for a long weekend at my family's mountain condo with a couple friends (yes, we're taking baby), which will include lots of fun activities but also probably lots of food. March 9, my daughter turns one! Cue more food and lots of prep (her party is on the 8th) and general insanity. Finally, as previously mentioned, I've got a show running the weekend of March 13.

 

So, here we go! Sending shoutouts to @stillskies, @blkhole24601, and @Kagetsukai to get their fine asses back here for the anniversary challenge. C'MON LADIES, JOIN THE FUN!

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Following along to support my parenting buddy!

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"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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7 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

What a crazy ride you've been on. Awesome. Can't wait for your shoooow! I do hope there will be videos? :) 

 

There will definitely be videos! Probably not right away, but I'll be sharing pictures and little video snippits along the way on my Insta for sure. I'll toss one up in here once in a while, too. 😊

 

5 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Following along to support my parenting buddy!

 

Woohoo! Parenting Club! I still can't believe my baby will be ONE WHOLE YEAR OLD in under a month. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN???

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19 minutes ago, starsapart said:

 

Woohoo! Parenting Club! I still can't believe my baby will be ONE WHOLE YEAR OLD in under a month. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN???

Well, I mean technically it hasn't happened yet.

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1 hour ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Well, I mean technically it hasn't happened yet.

 

Well technically technically the thing that I'm currently shocked about is the fact that we've got less than a month to go... when the actual 1 year mark comes along, I may be a quivering pile of tears and emotions.

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17 hours ago, sylph said:

Here for support, of course. ❤️

 

 

Yay! You are always welcome. ❤️

 

 

 

 

These last couple of days, I've tried to haul myself back onto the IF train, and boy oh boy is it rough. I am hangry and very tired. I know that eventually that eases, but I do anticipate being hangry and tired for the next month at least, because it takes me well over a month to stop feeling like garbage when I'm cutting. Baby girl decided to skip her afternoon nap again yesterday, and it's been a little while since we had to listen to a long stretch of angry wailing, so that was an unpleasant surprise and caused me to skip lifting yesterday. I probably need to shovel snow today and I have rehearsal tonight, so at least I'll get some movement in.

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2 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Ahhhh yess!!! Here to support you doing all the good things!

 

Love that you've given yourself a lighter load to lift the week of and possibly week after the show - wise decision I should imitate around my own competitions, methinks.

 

If I've learned one thing from last challenge, it's to adjust lifting expectations based on aerial requirements. I need to not die during this show. 🙃

 

1 hour ago, sylph said:

 

That is cute!

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Currently trying to get through the quagmire that is filing taxes after adopting a child, and can I just say my take on it is 0/10, do not recommend. Why do they make this so COMPLICATED???

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I love you, that simple.  Your drive, your motivation, aerial pics on insta, parent shares, it's all so honest and real!

 

Thank you for being you!!

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Just now, mitch_dee said:

I love you, that simple.  Your drive, your motivation, aerial pics on insta, parent shares, it's all so honest and real!

 

Thank you for being you!!

 

You're so sweet, and I really needed some kind words today, so thank YOU for being you!

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Hi! Mind if I hang out? It's nice to see other parents kicking butt :) 

Also, last thread (yes I browsed for a bit) there was mention of needing a light at the end of the tunnel- my first daughter is now 3+ and really, it does get easier and you do get more time and energy for other things again... as I recall, it was around her first birthday that I noticed the first signs of that! 

 

 

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Just now, KB Girl said:

Hi! Mind if I hang out? It's nice to see other parents kicking butt :) 

Also, last thread (yes I browsed for a bit) there was mention of needing a light at the end of the tunnel- my first daughter is now 3+ and really, it does get easier and you do get more time and energy for other things again... as I recall, it was around her first birthday that I noticed the first signs of that! 

 

 

 

OMG YES, of course, you are welcome!

 

giphy.gif

 

I've heard from a few quarters that at 3-4 it eases a bit, and my cousin swears that at around 7 the tiny humans become downright helpful. It's definitely easier even now than it was in the newborn stage (those three months are a haze of tears and anxiety in my memory), so I have hope!!!

 

I'm going to head on over to your challenge now~

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44 minutes ago, starsapart said:

Currently trying to get through the quagmire that is filing taxes after adopting a child, and can I just say my take on it is 0/10, do not recommend. Why do they make this so COMPLICATED???

Turbotax worked for me. We didn't adopt but I have complicated preacher taxes. 

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1 minute ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Turbotax worked for me. We didn't adopt but I have complicated preacher taxes. 

 

Yeah, that's what we use, and we did end up getting it done in the end, but it took a call with one of their consultants because apparently the special forms for adoption paperwork aren't automatically integrated into the software and we had to go hunt them down, pull them into our return, and then parse a variety of fees out in completely different configurations than the ones they were in when billed. It was a massive headache. We paid for audit support just in case because we should be getting a big return ($14k) and that makes me feel like they'll try to audit us even though everything is aboveboard.

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45 minutes ago, starsapart said:

OMG YES, of course, you are welcome!

 

I've heard from a few quarters that at 3-4 it eases a bit, and my cousin swears that at around 7 the tiny humans become downright helpful. It's definitely easier even now than it was in the newborn stage (those three months are a haze of tears and anxiety in my memory), so I have hope!!!

 

I'm going to head on over to your challenge now~

Thank you! 

Haze of tears and anxiety sounds pretty similar to my memories, haha. Glad that's already much better :)

I hadn't set up my challenge yet, it's there now though!

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5 minutes ago, KB Girl said:

I hadn't set up my challenge yet, it's there now though!

 

I realized that after I clicked through but I'm there to follow the new one now!

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I'll second what mitch said - thank you for being you - honest, real, and open about the good and the not-so-good things going on. I'm glad to hear you got taxes sorted out and that there's a nice windfall coming your way, but sorry to hear it was such a headache getting there!

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 Ballroom dancer, data nerd, calisthenics dabbler

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54 minutes ago, Mike Wazowski said:

I'll second what mitch said - thank you for being you - honest, real, and open about the good and the not-so-good things going on. I'm glad to hear you got taxes sorted out and that there's a nice windfall coming your way, but sorry to hear it was such a headache getting there!

 

I'm just glad my honesty isn't entirely offputting -  thank you for reading along and supporting me!!

 

"Windfall" is relative, as the adoption itself cost $50k out of pocket and we're up to our necks in debt because of it... but the tax return and adoption tax credit will help a lot in putting out the most urgent fires and setting a bit aside in savings (as my savings account balance is currently, I kid you not, $37.42). Between that and refinancing our house later this week, I'm hoping we can crawl out of this financial hole soon. Wheeeee, adulting!

 

In positive things: I did, indeed, shovel the drive and porch yesterday, and I had a good rehearsal. My hands are soooooooo tired. I was considering squatting today, but not sure that will happen with work being what it is. Still managing the IF and maintaining a deficit! I'm hoping to set those habits this week so that the challenge itself doesn't feel quite so insurmountable.

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Following along again :) 

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13 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Following along again :) 

 

Welcome back!

 

 

 

 

Still managing to cut and stick with IF. Does anyone else feel super sick an nauseous in the mornings when on a cut? No? Just me? My wife is joking that I've got morning sickness.

 

I've got to shovel again today (this is the chore that never ends in February-March around here) and might squat later if I can get up the energy. A couple of good friends from grad school who recently moved back to town are planning to come by and hang with baby and me this evening, which I'm looking forward to a lot. I think my wife promised to make vegetarian tacos before she heads out to her evening shift at the bookstore, so I'm very excited about that. Speaking of books, I've finished a pretty good (despite some flaws) audiobook and I have FINALLY gotten my hands on the next Michelle Sagara book, so I've been reading a lot whenever baby is sleeping. It's a very relaxing pastime when I've got a cup of tea and it's snowing outside, so at least I'm finding my moments of chill despite the overall craziness of my life!

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