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ShadowLion

Shadowlion Returns From Her Quest via the Plague Zone

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15 hours ago, doctorake said:

Are you drinking regular or diet soda? If regular have you tried using diet to help ween you off?

 

Drinking regular and I have tried the diet version to wean me off, but I couldn't handle the chemical taste. Unfortunately, sugar seems to be at the root of the craving.  

 

I've gotten off it before, though, so just have to do it again. Then, maintain it. That would be easy for me, if the only option available to me was diet! I'd choose water hands down. The other person in the household drinks the sugary stuff, though, and has no intention of stopping. 

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Tuesday Challenge Log

1) Reduce my soda consumption to 25% (or less) of what I am currently drinking, with the end goal of being 100% soda free on or before November 1st, 2020.

  • Finished my measurements and determined my benchmarks. Tomorrow begins the gradual withdrawal process.

2) Increase my physical activity gradually, and as steadily as possible, given that I am still recovering from COVID-19 and am still quite de-conditioned from it.

  • 2 laps around the yard this morning and 2 this evening
  • Managed the post-workout chest pain and tightness today fairly well. Took an NSAID tonight to prepare me for what bodes to be a hell on wheels day at work tomorrow. I likely won't be getting rest breaks. 

3) Reduce my stress through meditation and journaling.

  • 2 10 min meditation sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening
  • 15 minutes in the morning, and 10 minute minutes in the evening for 2 journaling sessions

4) Create cool stuff at least 5 times per week for a half an hour (or even more!).

  • Sketched a river otter portrait for around half an hour. Quite a bit left to do on that one.
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Challenge Log for Wednesday, September 16, 2020

1) Reduce my soda consumption

  • Yikes! Calculations show that I've been averaging 40oz of soda a day. As of Wednesday, I have set new max at 36 oz and will be decreasing that max by 4 oz every 4 days. Tracking and measuring, making consumption as tedious and mindful as possible. 36 oz consumed. Daily goal met, on track for week *

2) Increase my physical activity

  • 2 laps around the yard this morning and 2 this evening - 4 total 
  • Passed on the strength workout due to ribcage pain. Took an NSAID at night to help recovery and hopefully be able to just delay the workout by one day rather than skip it altogether. !

3) Reduce my stress

  • 2 10 min meditation sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening - 2 meditations
  • 15 minutes in the morning, missed the 10 minute session in the evening - 1 journaling session X

4) Create cool stuff

  • Skipped to go to bed earlier - 3/5 so far this week *

 

Note: It was a stressful day, following a 12 hour work day on Tuesday that had me working until 2 am. My prediction, based on past experience, that this would likely lead to increased joint pain was confirmed. Went to bed early Wednesday night so I could get some extra rest. Better this morning, but still need to carve out some more rest and recuperation time on Thursday and Friday to overcome the setback. 

 

Week 1

Reduce Soda - P√ 

Increase Endurance - √ √ √ √ 

Increase Strength - √ !

Meditate - √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 

Journal - √ √ √ √ √ √ | √ X

Create - √ √ √ 

 

Legend

√ - Success for the Day     P - Preparation Work     *  - On Track for Weekly Goal

!  - Danger Zone for Weekly Goal      X - Missed for the Day

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Challenge Log for Thursday, September 17, 2020

1) Reduce my soda consumption

  • Daily goal met, and actually drank less than anticipated - was at next week's goal level. Not going to shift quotas yet, though, because it was sort of a fluke and I don't want to move too quickly and fail. See how tomorrow goes. 

2) Increase my physical activity

  • 3 laps around the yard this morning and 2 this evening - 5 total, new PR post-covid 
  • Went back to first strength workout intensity: 1 x 6 3# biceps curls; 2 x 6 3# overhead extensions which avoided kicking off ribcage pain /costochondritis 
  • Added a short, easy morning stretching routine which is designed to help the costochondritis, contemplating this as a third subgoal in this goal. Testing it out; see how it goes.

3) Reduce my stress

  • 2 10 min meditation sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening - 2 meditations 
  • 15 minutes in the morning, 10 minute session in the evening - 2 journaling sessions 

4) Create cool stuff

  • Skipped to go to bed earlier - 3/5 so far this week !

 

Note: It was a stressful day, following a 12 hour work day on Tuesday that had me working until 2 am. My prediction, based on past experience, that this would likely lead to increased joint pain was confirmed. Went to bed early Wednesday night so I could get some extra rest. Better this morning, but still need to carve out some more rest and recuperation time on Thursday and Friday to overcome the setback. 

 

Week 1

Reduce Soda - P√ √ 

Increase Endurance - √ √ √ √ √ 

Increase Strength - √ √ 

Meditate - √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √

Journal - √ √ √ √ √ √ | √ √ √

Create - √ √ √ !

 

Legend

√ - Success for the Day     P - Successful Prep Work     *  - On Track for Weekly Goal

!  - Danger Zone for Weekly Goal      - Missed for the Day

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On 9/18/2020 at 5:58 PM, Xena said:

is the rib cage pain related to the covid, or is it an injury, or something else?

 

It started with the pneumonia and got better, then flared up again a little later. Not clear if that was because I increased my breathing exercises and general activity level too fast as I was beginning to recover or if it is the rheumatoid arthritis. It may be some of both. It definitely responds to rest and NSAIDs. It can be tricky finding the right line between progressing and doing too much!

 

 

 

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Challenge Log for Friday, September 18 and Saturday, September 19, 2020

1) Reduce my soda consumption

  • Daily goal met, both days  

2) Increase my physical activity

  • Friday - 3 laps around the yard in the morning and 3 in the evening - 6 total, new PR post-covid 
  • Saturday - 4 laps around the yard in the morning and 3 in the evening - 7 total, new PR post-covid 
  • Friday, rest day; Saturday changed it up and added weight and cut reps. This seemed to help me better feel if I was isolating adequately. 1 x 4 5# biceps curls; 2 x 4 5# overhead extensions (stood facing wall with elbows lightly braced on the wall for stabilization); rested immediately after and tool NSAID,  which avoided kicking off ribcage pain /costochondritis 
  • Both days, continued the short, easy morning stretching routine. I like it and it helps overall mobility. I am still experimenting, but expect I will add it to the mix this coming week.

3) Reduce my stress

  • Both days - 2 10 min meditation sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening - 2 meditations  
  • 15 minutes in the morning, 10 minute session in the evening - 2 journaling sessions  

4) Create cool stuff

  • Friday and Saturday, 1 hour each day! (See note below)  

Note: I bought some old, used/discontinued/out of print wood carving books from a woodcarver's supply house out of Colorado. That sort of thing is always a bit of a crap shoot; you never really know for sure what you're going to get. Out of seven books and pamphlets/patterns, 3 were so-so, 3 were good and I hit the jackpot the seventh! It was one that I thought would be an ordinary "this is bird carver so and so and this is how they make their carvings" kind of book, with lots of nice, full color photos of their work and some light instruction or tips and tricks. Turns out this one was almost 40 years old, but in great shape and it is packed with detailed instructions and a step by step progression on how to learn your craft! I've found a few other instructional books, but they are often incomplete or aimed at those with more woodworking experience than I have. I've been poring over this new find for about an hour each of the last two nights, making notes and figuring out when and how I'm going to replicate the projects. The only downside is that the photos are mostly black and white so I can't get a good idea of the colors in the painting instructions, but in a couple weeks there will be a whole lake down the street full of migrating waterfowl to observe first hand!

 

Week 1 Wrap Up - Win State!

Reduce Soda - P√ √ √ ||

Increase Endurance - √ √ √ √ √  √ ||

Increase Strength - √ √ √ ||

Meditate - √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ ||

Journal - √ √ √ √ √ √ | √ √ √ √ √ √ √ ||

Create - √ √ √ √ √ ||

 

Legend

√ - Success for the Day     P - Successful Prep Work     *  - On Track for Weekly Goal

!  - Danger Zone for Weekly Goal      - Missed for the Day

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Some of you may be wondering, "Since when has SL started wandering around the western United States, taking photographs, carving wood, and painting owls?" 

 

Ah, that leads us back to the story of my quest...

 

About this time 2 years ago, my friend T and I started getting out early in the mornings before work once or twice a week and hiking around the one of the desert mountain preserves here in the Phoenix area. Every few weeks, we'd go further out into the desert and take a longer, more challenging hike. It was great to catch up on all the goings on in our lives and get outside to enjoy nature.

 

Both of us were unhappy with the stress levels of our jobs and we spent a lot of time on our trips brainstorming changes we wanted to make in our lives and coming up with ideas of fun things we wanted to do. We started making plans to do some sections of the Arizona Trail that runs the length of the state the following year. Our longer term plan was/is to eventually hike the Pacific Crest Trail (that runs from Mexico to Canada through the mountains of California, Oregon, and Washington) in a couple of years, hopefully as a thru hike, but most likely in sections due to work realities.

 

On one of our hikes we visited Superstition Mountains State Park. We did a morning hike, starting from an area outside the lower left corner, up the slope and around behind the two golden buttes below the main dark brown mountain. They're to the left of the saguaro cactus. If you look close you can see where the trail comes back down the slope between the cactus and the right butte, heading back to the left. This lovely sunset shot is not my photo. I wish...

 

SUPERSTITIONS_AZ15.jpg

 

The summer of 2019 brought a lot of changes for both of us. T's changes were more intentional. She went back into teaching; her schedule and life completely changed. As for me, I was still muddling along with my programming job, playing with more creative programming projects on the side, and exploring permaculture design - all over the map, as usual. That is, until July when I was visiting my mom in Flagstaff and we got word that her brother, my uncle, had passed away. She was having such a hard time with the loss and with not having a way to get to his memorial service that I decided that we were going. The next day we loaded up my vehicle and hit the road to Washington state. 

 

Back on the first page of this challenge, I mentioned the trips my family would take to the Sierras and other parts of California. We'd meet up with my grandparents, and often my uncle Donald, and camp and hike and fish. Good times. Those were some of the times my mom and I talked about as we traveled through Utah, Idaho, and Oregon on the way to Washington, along the same route my uncle had traveled the previous fall on his way back home from visiting us. Though our purpose was a sad one and we were on a tight schedule, the scenery was gorgeous and it reminded me of those earlier times, whetting my appetite for more travel in the future. I had no idea how many other ways the trip was going to impact my future...

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9 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

OOOOOhhhh cliffhanger...

 

Indeed!

It's cool that you got a great book and are enjoying the woodworking so much. I'm very curious to learn more about your journey!

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Challenge Log for Sunday, September 20, 2020

1) Reduce my soda consumption

  • Dropped to next taper goal, 32 oz. Daily limit not exceeded 

2) Increase my physical activity

  • 4 laps around the yard in the morning and 2 in the evening, picked up pace; counted steps. Each lap is right around one hundred steps - 6 laps total 
  • Rest day for strength training
  • Continues short, easy morning stretching routine. Need to formalize this and add it to goals.

3) Reduce my stress

  • 2 10 min meditation sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening - 2 meditations  
  • 15 minutes in the morning, 10 minute session in the evening - 2 journaling sessions  

4) Create cool stuff

  • "Studio Time" - One hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon. 

 

Worked at the art table in my "work from home office" for an hour in the early morning. I am working on building the habit of "being in the studio" first thing in the morning, before any job activities or any other large block of time, except for my basic morning routine and some exercise. Right now that means seat in the chair and focusing on something/anything art related. As I build up more stamina, I'll get back to going out and sketching birds at the lake or going on hikes and taking photos and sketching. Half of today's studio time was journaling (art journaling, not counted under "Reduce my stress") and planning, the rest was split between sketching and looking at art books for some composition ideas and watercolor techniques. In the afternoon, I spent about half an hour preparing for a short photo shoot in the back yard tomorrow morning.Will post once I do some processing. Not saying what it is ahead of of time. It's a surprise. Another cliff hanger... 😺

 

Week 1 || 2

Reduce Soda - 5/5 ||  

Increase Endurance - 7/7 ||  

Increase Strength - 3/3 ||

Meditate - 14/14 ||   

Journal - 13/14 ||   

Create -- 5/5 ||  

 

Legend

√ - Success for the Day     P - Successful Prep Work     *  - On Track for Weekly Goal

!  - Danger Zone for Weekly Goal      - Missed for the Day

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I'm backtracking a little bit to May of 2019, when T and I did one of our most strenuous hikes to date, clambering over boulders and hiking along the Tonto Creek drainage. Here are some pictures from along the creek bed, where it was shady and cool. (Temperatures at the top of the small canyon were well over 90 degrees F.)

 

creekside.thumb.png.5e19d1d5fa047e59b8761c76c1923fab.png

 

At one of the crossings where you had to boulder hop, nobody seemed to notice this little guy.

347314396_SmallToadTontoCreek.thumb.png.0a4729047e5133ecee028cc11f760a92.png

 

Just hanging out, sunbathing

1182682962_Justhangingout.png.47d1e89d2e443b41b4ca822e9f38e389.png

 

I came across these photos while I was looking for some from the trip to Washington with my mom. I'll pick up from there next installment.

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I'll catch up with things tomorrow. Just really tired today. Going to bed early for some extra sleep so I'll still be able to get up in time to have my morning studio time before work. 

 

For old times sake, and because it's already Tuesday where some of you live, it's....

 

 

Truck Porn Tuesday!

 

Giving a nod to CalFire and one of their lovely brush trucks.

 

CAL FIRE - INTERNATIONAL FIRE TRUCK 3164

 

From navymailman on Flickr.com 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/navymailman/4855494985/in/album-72157624501843421/

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Yay, Truck Porn Tuesday is back!

 

Also, one of my players in a Play-by-post RPG recently mentioned he'd be slow in posting for a while because he's off fighting the California fires and it made me think of you.

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15 hours ago, ShadowLion said:

I'll catch up with things tomorrow. Just really tired today. Going to bed early for some extra sleep so I'll still be able to get up in time to have my morning studio time before work. 

 

For old times sake, and because it's already Tuesday where some of you live, it's....

 

 

Truck Porn Tuesday!

 

Giving a nod to CalFire and one of their lovely brush trucks.

 

CAL FIRE - INTERNATIONAL FIRE TRUCK 3164

 

From navymailman on Flickr.com 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/navymailman/4855494985/in/album-72157624501843421/

I had forgotten all about this. I'm so glad it returned.

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A quick update...I plan to catch up on the weekend. I've had a perfect storm of big changes at work, a side gig rush request, along with the drag of more RA symptoms. I've managed to keep up with about half of my goals, but decided that journaling or meditating once instead of twice a day was okay under the circumstances. The one that was non-negotiable was the soda reduction.

 

I've stayed 100% on track with that and I should make my my 5 on the creative projects, so doing better than I might have. Be back soon with replies and another installment, and to get out to more of your threads!

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And now I'm sucked into the story...  Hope you are getting the work changes and side-gig requests figured out.  Take care of you under these stressful conditions.  Looking forward to the next chapter in your story.  (You have been traveling through my old stomping grounds and I miss many of those places!!)

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Things did not work out as planned! More side gig over the weekend for a founder's second presentation to potential investors that she is doing this morning. If that has the hoped for results, could be some big changes in Shadowlion land before year's end. I have no idea the odds, but putting my skills into the gamble and hoping for a breakthrough. Fallback plans - studying for a certification that would let me transition out of the day job work into consulting. Gotta do something, because  the...

 

Day job work has been insane. My big accomplishment, though, is that I have kept it under 10 hours per day and on Monday I finally broke the sitting at the desk barrier. First time since the first week in May, I have been able to stay sitting up for the whole workday and didn't have to spend some portion either reclining in bed and working on the laptop or taking extra or long breaks sleeping or lying down and thus having to stretch the work day out longer to make up for it! I was able to take frequent short breaks and walk around or do a little kitchen chore or the like. It doesn't sound like much, but it is a big milestone for me at this point!

 

Saturday was the first day since I got sick that I cooked an actual dinner for D and me. Wiped me out and haven't done it since. 😄 Going to have to re-strategize kitchen duties awhile longer. 

 

Challenge progress:

My tracking has been spotty on some things: Haven't done strength training in a week; chest/rib pain is much better. Walking every morning and laps are back up on a per session basis; evening walks are about 50/50. Four laps around yard this morning. Everything else - Soda compliance 100%! Meditation - 100%, Journaling - 75%; Artmaking/creativity - 200%.  Been getting at least an hour a day in on this. Considering bumping quota up. 

 

I missed Truck Porn Tuesday, but have something ready for Friday in its place for this week. I made time to do my civic duty and watched the presidential debate last night. Thinking that I should have had the laptop out so I could have done TPT and visited your threads--doing something positive whilst witnessing the debacle! 😬Hopefully tonight... Time to switch laptops and go to work!

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