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Scaly Freak does a full re-spec


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It started with a bad morning, and it did not improve from there. Bad enough to wake up in what felt like someone else's body. Except Scalyfreak knew for a fact that it was her own. It was familiar. It just felt so different

 

A while later, there was the unpleasant discovery that her armor is gone. Along with her shield, and her broadsword. The corset style leather vest hanging off the armor stand instead fits perfectly, of course. As do the boots and the vambraces, and the sleek rapier, that is so light it feels like waving a knitting needle around. And where her backpack was placed last night, is a satchel, a beautiful dagger, and a couple of long hair pins.

 

There was also a scroll, with specific directions.

 

Hours later, the fire that has been humming inside Scalyfreak, tearing at the back of her mind all day long, begins to grow louder. And louder. She slows her steps, comes to a stop to take a deep breath and then, without hesitation, steps out into the large clearing where the scroll has informed her that Self-Sabotage can be found this afternoon.

 

As with everything else the scroll's prediction is correct on this topic as well. The ugly beast stands quietly in the clearing, looking as smug as ever. The large monster lifts its head and almost lazily gives Scalyfreak a slow once-over, before it begins making that slow hissing noise that passes for laughter among its kind.

 

The flames and their humming grow louder. It's starting to burn.

 

Oh, this wasn't my idea. But the quest scroll says this is what I'm doing now.” Scalyfreak glares at the ugly demon beast in front of her, and has the brief satisfaction of shutting up that hissing laughter. The quest scrolls are powerful, after all, and must be obeyed at all times, by everyone.

 

Uneasy, feeling quite exposed without her armor on, Scalyfreak draws the uncomfortably flimsy looking rapier and feels a little bit better when her unfamiliar-feeling body automatically flows into a perfect fencing stance as if it has practiced the movement her entire life. But only a little. Self-Sabotage is formidable and brutal, and Scalyfreak is well aware that her heavy armor was all that kept her alive during some of their previous encounters. The armor she no longer has access to... and its absence is heavy and frightening.

 

Self-Sabotage's hungry stare returns to Scalyfreak, eventually coming to a stop at her abdomen. While the monster most likely envisions feasting on spleen or liver, Scalyfreak hears the noise from the flames grow to a roar as the fire soars through her, demanding an outlet.

 

As the giant monster begins to circle her, Scalyfreak decisively pushes her fear aside and focuses on the upcoming battle. She is the protagonist in her own story. She knows what to do, somehow, despite never having used a rapier before in her life. She moves closer, circling in the opposite direction to her opponent, while her left hand draws the ornate parrying dagger, and lifts it into a ready stance.

 

And then she sets the flames free.

 

MCguSE0.png 

 

 

For the very first time ever since I joined The Rebellion, I am doing a weight loss challenge.

 

Spoilering the rest because weight loss talk.

 

Spoiler

For the first time in over a decade I will be attempting to lose weight.

 

This is going to be difficult. After spending practically all my adult life working on getting past weight-related insecurities and retraining my mind into thinking about food and exercise and fitness in general in terms of health, not in terms of weight, I now find myself in a situation where I need to actively try to lose weight.

 

The reason I am doing this is my doctor says I need to do it. My blood pressure is consistently staying at a dangerously high level, and the medication I've been on for several years is no longer able to keep up. So he gave me two options:

 

1. Do more cardio and lose 5-10 lbs of weight, while making some adjustments to my eating habits.

2. Add a second medication to the one I'm already taking.

 

My doctor then proceeded to explain how more cardio would increase my cardiovascular fitness/health, and how losing the weight and reducing the amount of salt I consume also would have a similar benefit. These things combined would be more long-term effective for lowering my blood pressure and keep it low, in addition to a list of other health, which is why he recommended option 1 over option 2. After thinking about it for a couple of days I agreed to give option 1 a fair chance.

 

Of course, the drawback with that first option is that I have to do it and sustain it.

 

I've spent the past couple of weeks turning this decision over in my head, not because I had second thoughts, but because I honestly had no idea how to go about doing this without spiraling down and backwards into the mental health hell I got stuck in the last time I actively tried to lose weight. After many difficult lunch walk conversations with Husband, who was there for the unhealthy and failed weight-loss attempts earlier in my life, I was able to settle on a mindset that I hope to be able to keep: This is about lower blood pressure and cardiovascular health. My weight is relevant only as an indicator of progress, and is secondary to the weekly blood pressure readings I'll be taking.

 

So now that we had the mindset obstacle out of the way, at least for now, I had to figure out how to do it. Tracking food and/or counting calories is not going to happen, for a number of reasons that all track back to the festering and vile heap of emotional baggage created by those earlier weight-loss attempts I mentioned earlier. But I do need some kind of tracking method, just so I can collect data and have a record of what works and what does not work, so I know what to continue to do and what to change.

 

And that's where I got stuck.

 

After trying, unsuccessfully, to figure this out I eventually decided to just post my challenge without figuring this part out, and ask for help. After making this decisions, I spent a large portion of the afternoon checking out other people's challenges, and as I was doing that, I found a possible solution: PAI.

 

PAI is short for “Personal Activity Intelligence”, and appears to be a system and app that operates entirely based off my heart rate, and assigns me points based on how often that heart rate indicates that I am physically active, and how active I am. So it does all the tracking for me, without a need for me to track anything on my own, and it is specifically designed to improve cardiovascular health...?

 

Huh. Is it just me, or does that sound as if it is an almost perfect fit for what I need?

 

It's not just me. It does.

 

So now I'm trying to pretend that I don't care that the app has an average rating of 2.7 stars on Google Play and install it, and see where this goes. I am happy to have found a tracking method that doesn't even mention calories and that allows me to set the in-app prompts and behaviors to focus on heart health and activities instead of weight or what I'm eating.

 

Keeping this new focus on cardiovascular health in mind, these are the goals for this challenge:

 

Build HP (physical health)

Another first time ever; This will actually be measured in PAI points! Becoming more active while learning how to use the PAI app and its measurement system all falls under this goal.

(Many big thanks to @Ann of Owlshire and @oromendur for introducing me to PAI!)

 

Restore Mana (mental health)

Continue to meditate every day. The nature of this challenge will fuel The Flame and preemptive fire fighting will make all the difference. The mental health properties of working out also puts home workouts and gym workouts on the blue mana bar for this challenge.

 

Build Stamina (emotional bandwidth)

Keep up with the library reading challenge, stay engaged with the D&D campaign, listen to music, cook and eat good food, spend time with Husband and the Sidekicks. In short, do things that make me actually happy, not just things that feel good in the moment.

 

Here we go. To battle.

 

 

 

And lastly, a short intro behind the spoiler, because assuming everyone always understands my strange re-imagery would be a bit delusional. :) 

 

Spoiler

I cheerfully approach all my challenges as video game quests, with boss fights and level grinding, I have re-framed my anxiety into pyromancy, because it's very destructive when it flares up and gets out of control. But like the pyromancy flame, if the chaos is embraced and can be harnessed, all that energy can be used against against my enemies. In fireball form.

 

Track record in my boss fights so far:

 

  • Self-Sabotage drains levels and health, and heals herself with what she drains from her opponent.
    • Current strategy: Apparently it is to face her without my armor, while carrying a long needle. I'm sure there there is no way this can go wrong.
  • Procrastination is good at hiding and then hitting me with a back-stab when I least expect it.
    • Current strategy: Ignore; deal with her later.
  • Self-Indulgence was gradually convinced it would be easier for her to reach her goal if we worked together. Before the alliance fell apart on its own, Self-Indulgence was viciously attacked, and killed, by a very angry unicorn.
    • Current strategy: Dance on her grave
  • Stress-Hydra spawns whenever too many things are happening at once, or when something really big and overwhelming happens, and cutting off one of her heads makes no difference because it re-spawns a replacement head almost immediately.
    • Current strategy: The Herakles Method - Ask for help

 

I'm currently dual-classing as a Warrior Druid, because meditation is a great way to quietly build Endurance and Resilience stats while figuring out how to make my need for sleep work with my need to go to the gym and lift barbells.

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38

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No armor and no shield? Looking forward to see the barrage of daring, wits and charisma that comes with the rapier territory. A different kind of protection, but still an efficient one...

 

Sounds like you're going from fitness in general terms of health toward fitness in specific terms of health. I like the idea of tracking levels of activity rather than calories. As a fellow enthusiastic amateur cook, cooking with the purpose of building my health and physical efficiency could funnel my inner battle and discovery spirits enough to fuel my challenge-driven enthusiasm. I would ponder learning to cook especially efficient and tasty meals that fit the purpose. Once the habit is in and the meals are tasty and delightful to cook, that battle should be won. Some ingredients are more filling than others for less calories, an option could be to develop a whole culinary style around them. Pairig it (or anything, really) with  a slew of homemade sauces with fresh ingredients could enhance both the cooking and tasting experience. Depending on how far you want to go (this may not be for you, it could break the whole cooking experience, I'm mostly throwing it in as a random idea, just in case), you could recruit Husband to weight the ingredients beforehand and let only the desired portions on the counter so that what you have in front of you is what you're going to cook and eat, without ever having to touch a scale.

 

New territories are disconcerting but you know the routine of keeping on exploring even after registering setbacks. The path ahead may seem alien but you do know yourself. Sure feet will find stable ground, no matter if they slip at first. From stumbling to tumbling, you'll bring out fear in Self-Sabotage's eyes. Looking forward to see this unfold.

 

Also this:

5 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

do things that make me actually happy

Love this!

 

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Legally bound to hug people in need.

 

Living life as a Druid is about walking with the beasts. It's about being scared, looking your fears in the eyes and going on anyway. Dread doesn't go away, you just learn to know it. It's still a beast, it still has fangs, but you walk among it.

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You can do this!

 

Mr is prone to high blood pressure, and we eat basically zero salt in the house to keep him off additional medication. We don’t add salt to food or recipes even when called for (except for baking when it’s needed for Chemistry, and then I have experimented with the minimum amount that can be used, and the occasional treat of home-popped popcorn), and we don’t eat a lot of processed food or ready meals because of salt/sodium.

 

When we have guests for meals, we warn them of this and hand them the salt shaker XD But we’re just used to the no/low salt taste of things now, and use other herbs and spices for added flavor. 

 

The PAI app is a bit flakey, and it logs me out like every which is obnoxious. But it’s still less faff than tracking stuff manually!

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🇺🇸 Adventurer 🇬🇧

🌳🦉🌳

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 

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I was really impressed by your intro as well as by your bravery in taking on this goal - the re-speccing analogy is a great way to describe tackling a new challenge. It will be difficult and uncomfortable, but it will also give you new strategies and more flexibility moving forward - you've got this! 

 

I will spoiler weight/food talk too so you can choose when to engage with it :) 

 

Spoiler

It really sucks that your body has thrown you this curveball, but you've made your weight loss goal for good reasons that are ultimately coming from a place of love for yourself and your body - which I suspect wasn't the case >10 years ago. And your armour may be gone, but you have a bunch of new tools now like your therapist, meditation, and NF - the re-spec can't get rid of everything you've gathered over the years :)

 

I took a look at the PAI app and that seems like a cool way to get more data out of a fitness watch - although I'm not sure how I'd feel if it said I looked decades older cardiovascular-wise  😅. If you end up needing some sort of strategy on the food side, too, then you could possibly experiment with meal planning instead of tracking - i.e., when you have the mental resources, coming up with multiple meal options that would fit your goals (or delegating that job to someone else). That would remove a lot of the mental load and stress that tracking creates, although I could still see it causing problems if monitoring portion sizes is still triggering or if working from a list of meals seems restrictive. 

 

It's interesting that your doctor has really given you three strategies for managing your blood pressure (reducing salt intake, cardio, and weight loss). The scientist in me wonders if a particular strategy is going to be more effective for you in particular and if they have synergistic effects (cardio: +2 HP, weight loss: +2 HP, cardio + weight loss: +10 HP). Shame you can't run this particular game of life multiple times with different strategies!

 

On a less stressful note, do you have any fun activities planned for the PAI points? (maybe picking up skating again??)

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-:- THE LIONESS -:-

Challenge 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 

 

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Here for support!

 

I just linked this in someone else's challenge the other day, but can you maybe chat with your doc about also trying to add hibiscus tea to your daily intake? It could potentially help with the blood pressure goals.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6621350/

 

I love your goals, and the thought that went into them. This is clearly a challenging focus for you, and you approached it with logic and sensitivity to your own needs. Brava.

 

I also have food thoughts,  in spoilers for if/when you're interested in exploring them:

Spoiler

This is a super interesting summary on the concepts behind 'weight loss for blood pressure': https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/hypertensionaha.107.094011

 

Some of things that stood out to me were

1) (obviously) reducing sodium, which I assume you're already pretty mindful about

2) dietary interventions like the DASH diet, which emphasize plant based foods as far as I can tell

3) even modest weight loss can help!

 

Some of my own reading also suggests that increasing vegetable intake, and leaning more into plant based proteins vs animal proteins have the potential to help. Some of the reasoning, as I understand it, is that the benefits are potentially caused by the  increase of minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, etc. as a result of eating foods more rich in those things.

 

SO. My question is: what if, instead of setting 'weight loss' goals, you set 'minimum intake goals'? That way you're still not really focusing on weight loss or caloric restriction, you're focusing on ADDING stuff to your daily diet.

 

eg. Eat at least 5-7 vegetable servings a day, and/or replace animal protein 5 meals a week with plant protein

 

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...but I'm adorable! Ask anyone who doesn't know me...

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26 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

MonkeyInsult.jpg?width=828&quality=80&fo

Monkey Island reference earns you my undying love. My apologies in advance, I'm never letting you go.

 

(I am joking, in the sense of all the creepy connotations - totally not joking about the love part)

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...but I'm adorable! Ask anyone who doesn't know me...

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Oh! No wonder you had to think about this challenge a bit longer. I love that you have your husband to talk to about this, it can be so helpful to talk to someone who has been there and knows you so well. 

What kind of behaviour prompts will the app give you? 

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Main Quest: becoming a decent kettlebell lifter and a great coach

Current challenge: KB Girl gets her bujo back

my instagram - my gym's instagram

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14 hours ago, Jean said:

As a fellow enthusiastic amateur cook, cooking with the purpose of building my health and physical efficiency could funnel my inner battle and discovery spirits enough to fuel my challenge-driven enthusiasm. I would ponder learning to cook especially efficient and tasty meals that fit the purpose. Once the habit is in and the meals are tasty and delightful to cook, that battle should be won. Some ingredients are more filling than others for less calories, an option could be to develop a whole culinary style around them.

 

One of the things I believe will be a great help to me as I begin working out how to change my eating habits, is the fact that I already cook on a daily basis, and I genuinely enjoy it. That is going to make it a lot easier to make the necessary adjustments to cooking the kinds of meals I will need to eat more of.

 

11 hours ago, Ann of Owlshire said:

Mr is prone to high blood pressure, and we eat basically zero salt in the house to keep him off additional medication. We don’t add salt to food or recipes even when called for (except for baking when it’s needed for Chemistry, and then I have experimented with the minimum amount that can be used, and the occasional treat of home-popped popcorn), and we don’t eat a lot of processed food or ready meals because of salt/sodium.

 

 

I already do a lot of my cooking without salt, but this is an area where I know there is a lot room for improvement. I also do eat a too much processed food in the forms of frozen meals, lunch/deli meats, and various kinds of snacks, and one of the first things I plan to do during the set-up and data gathering phase is to try and find a way to track the amount of sodium-infested things I eat on a daily basis. This should help me identify where a minor change will have the biggest impact, and that in turn will tell me what to change first. 

 

11 hours ago, Ann of Owlshire said:

The PAI app is a bit flakey, and it logs me out like every which is obnoxious. But it’s still less faff than tracking stuff manually!

 

I haven't had any issues with the app yet, but I'm only on my third day, so... :D I love that I don't have to track anything in the PAI app itself, and I am very happy about how it imports my Fitbit data seemingly without delays.  What little tracking I do today is in Fitbit, and now I know I can use it to track my gym workouts without needing to do things with the PAI app, which will be helpful.

 

10 hours ago, Alanna said:

I was really impressed by your intro as well as by your bravery in taking on this goal - the re-speccing analogy is a great way to describe tackling a new challenge. It will be difficult and uncomfortable, but it will also give you new strategies and more flexibility moving forward - you've got this! 

 

Thank you! I think I needed to hear this. :) 

 

10 hours ago, Alanna said:
Spoiler

I took a look at the PAI app and that seems like a cool way to get more data out of a fitness watch - although I'm not sure how I'd feel if it said I looked decades older cardiovascular-wise  😅. If you end up needing some sort of strategy on the food side, too, then you could possibly experiment with meal planning instead of tracking - i.e., when you have the mental resources, coming up with multiple meal options that would fit your goals (or delegating that job to someone else). That would remove a lot of the mental load and stress that tracking creates, although I could still see it causing problems if monitoring portion sizes is still triggering or if working from a list of meals seems restrictive. 

 

It's interesting that your doctor has really given you three strategies for managing your blood pressure (reducing salt intake, cardio, and weight loss). The scientist in me wonders if a particular strategy is going to be more effective for you in particular and if they have synergistic effects (cardio: +2 HP, weight loss: +2 HP, cardio + weight loss: +10 HP). Shame you can't run this particular game of life multiple times with different strategies!

 

 

Spoiler

Whoa there! I have not seen that feature in the PAI app, and now I refuse to look for it! :D 

 

I am still figuring out how to approach meals... actively preparing and cooking dinner every day is an important mental health ritual for me, so whatever end up deciding on needs to account for this need and allow for the actual cooking to take place. One of the mental things I'm working on for this challenge is to actively make an effort to come to terms with the fact that I will need to do some kind of tracking of my food, and then find a way to do so without sabotaging anything in the process.

 

I'm wondering the same thing about the different strategies, but I do like that I have three different ones to work on. If I had only one tactical approach to take, I would have to be perfect, but because I have three different ones, I have room for error. It's reassuring that I don't have to be flawless, but instead will be able to get result simply by putting in earnest effort to the best of my ability, in several ways.

 

10 hours ago, Alanna said:

On a less stressful note, do you have any fun activities planned for the PAI points? (maybe picking up skating again??)

 

Not yet! Husband and I have added a second daily walk together to our routine, but beyond that, I'm still in the initial data gathering phase with everything, including PAI. Rollerblading is definitely a consideration though!

 

4 hours ago, Defining said:

I just linked this in someone else's challenge the other day, but can you maybe chat with your doc about also trying to add hibiscus tea to your daily intake? It could potentially help with the blood pressure goals.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6621350/

 

Intriguing. I shall read this later and think on it. My doctor has recommended herbal teas to me in the past, to ease gastric/digestive symptoms, so I feel confident he'd be open to using them for other means. I'll need to research this to see if it's something I want to do, before talking to him about it though. Thanks for the link!

 

4 hours ago, Defining said:
Spoiler

Some of my own reading also suggests that increasing vegetable intake, and leaning more into plant based proteins vs animal proteins have the potential to help. Some of the reasoning, as I understand it, is that the benefits are potentially caused by the  increase of minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, etc. as a result of eating foods more rich in those things.

 

SO. My question is: what if, instead of setting 'weight loss' goals, you set 'minimum intake goals'? That way you're still not really focusing on weight loss or caloric restriction, you're focusing on ADDING stuff to your daily diet.

 

 

Spoiler

One of the things I am going to need to continue to pay attention to and work on, probably for the rest of my life, is to maintain a healthy mentality around food choices. I know that in order to lose this weight and keep it off, and to improve my cardiovascular health, I am going to need to make changes to what I eat and how much of it. I also know that I need to avoid thinking in terms of calories, and in terms of limiting or reducing anything. But if I avoid thinking "eat less of X" and instead think firmly in terms of "eat Y instead of X", I should be able to avoid falling back into negative thinking patterns. 

 

Do you have more links about vegetables and plant proteins, and weight loss, in relation to blood pressure, that you'd be willing to share? I know need to makes change what I eat, and how much of it. I don't eat nearly enough vegetables, and my intake of plant proteins is more or less non-existent.

 

I also know that I need to make these changes from a blood pressure perspective, without the weight loss as the deciding factor. "I eating less eggs because I want to be more healthy" is fine. "I'm eating less eggs so I can lose weight" leads down a slippery slope that ends with me handing Self-Sabotage my weapons and standing still in order to make it easier for her to aim for my vital organs.  More knowledge would make it a lot easier for me to avoid that slippery slope, and easier to make informed food decisions.

 

 

 

 

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38

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2 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

You've got this.
MonkeyInsult.jpg?width=828&quality=80&fo

PAI seems like a neat way to track, might experiment with it too.

 

I am liking it so far. It's very straight-forward, it tracks something that matters to me, and it's low effort. Most importantly, it's not setting a goal related to my weight or size and telling me I fail if I don't meet it.

 

Also.

 

I wanted to make sure you feel comfortable around me.

 

32 minutes ago, KB Girl said:

What kind of behaviour prompts will the app give you? 

 

It doesn't, as far as I can tell. It gives me points for activities, and it also rolls over points from previous days (to a point!), and shows me my overall total, and the amount of points I've earned today. PAI suggested a daily points goal, and I have the ability to override that and set another goal if I want to. I have left it at the default for now, since I am still in the "do thing the way I always have in order to get a baseline of data" stage.

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38

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1 hour ago, Scaly Freak said:
  Reveal hidden contents

One of the things I am going to need to continue to pay attention to and work on, probably for the rest of my life, is to maintain a healthy mentality around food choices. I know that in order to lose this weight and keep it off, and to improve my cardiovascular health, I am going to need to make changes to what I eat and how much of it. I also know that I need to avoid thinking in terms of calories, and in terms of limiting or reducing anything. But if I avoid thinking "eat less of X" and instead think firmly in terms of "eat Y instead of X", I should be able to avoid falling back into negative thinking patterns. 

 

Do you have more links about vegetables and plant proteins, and weight loss, in relation to blood pressure, that you'd be willing to share? I know need to makes change what I eat, and how much of it. I don't eat nearly enough vegetables, and my intake of plant proteins is more or less non-existent.

 

I also know that I need to make these changes from a blood pressure perspective, without the weight loss as the deciding factor. "I eating less eggs because I want to be more healthy" is fine. "I'm eating less eggs so I can lose weight" leads down a slippery slope that ends with me handing Self-Sabotage my weapons and standing still in order to make it easier for her to aim for my vital organs.  More knowledge would make it a lot easier for me to avoid that slippery slope, and easier to make informed food decisions.

 

Spoiler

With the obvious disclaimer that I'm not a dietician, and I'm clearly seeking out stuff that supports the idea rather than rejecting it ;) :

 

Plant proteins / plant based food choices:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1832195

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33275398/

 

On veggie intake in general:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12076551/

 

Supports 'protective effect', rather than intervention efficacy: 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26320302

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350612
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579650/

 

On the DASH approach specifically:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/dietary-approaches-to-stop-hypertension-diet

 

And on replacing some carb-rich foods with protein: (unrelated to the above, but I figured it was interesting)

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/83/4/780/4649129

 

 

If you want to chat about plant based protein options, ovo/lacto/pescatarian stuff, etc. just hit me up!

PS. you probably don't need to worry about cutting out eggs, within reason: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7189334/

 

 

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Cheering on the respec and the defeat of Self-Sabotage!!

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Some kind of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

 

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Hey Scaly ❤️ Sorry you have to deal with doing weight loss again after traumatic dieting. But I am sure you'll find a way to make it work. Did the doctor tell you how to lose weight, or just tell you that you must?

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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Following! 

 

What cardio activities are you looking at doing? 

LEVEL 4 - Half Elf - Sword Assassin

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SKILLS: Swordsman 

EQUIPMENT: Padded Armor, Wooden Sword 

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11 hours ago, Harriet said:

Hey Scaly ❤️ Sorry you have to deal with doing weight loss again after traumatic dieting. But I am sure you'll find a way to make it work. Did the doctor tell you how to lose weight, or just tell you that you must?

 

He didn't, which I appreciate. He hinted very strongly that he wants me to do it in a health way (not by starving myself for two weeks, for example), but the method is left to me.

 

5 hours ago, h3r0 said:

 

What cardio activities are you looking at doing? 

 

I'm not sure yet. We already walk every day, but that is very low effort cardio. Darebee has cardio circuits I can use, and now that the new years resolution crowd has left the gym I can also use the machines there. I have also started a Dance for PAI playlist on YouTube, since dancing used to be how I did cardio and it is fun.

 

42 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

That's not your job. :) This is your challenge and you're doing something important to you, no need to sanitize or hide it for our sake. 

 

My post there is the in-game response to one of the insults in your Monkey Island screenshot.

 

"You have the manners of a beggar."

"I wanted to make sure you felt comfortable around me."

 

I'm going to need to deduct some geek points here. ;) 

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38

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29 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

My post there is the in-game response to one of the insults in your Monkey Island screenshot.

 

"You have the manners of a beggar."

"I wanted to make sure you felt comfortable around me."

 

I'm going to need to deduct some geek points here. ;) 

Ahhahaha my brain really has shut down, I already forgot I posted that.🙈

 

@Defining feel free to redact your post. 😆 But it is one of the greatest games ever. 

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15 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

He didn't, which I appreciate. He hinted very strongly that he wants me to do it in a health way (not by starving myself for two weeks, for example), but the method is left to me.

 

Ja, probably good to avoid prolonged calorie restriction unless you enjoy hunger and neurosis. Well, best of luck finding something that works and isn't triggering.

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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19 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

He didn't, which I appreciate. He hinted very strongly that he wants me to do it in a health way (not by starving myself for two weeks, for example), but the method is left to me.

 

Spoiler

I know you're on the cardio and the doctor specified diet changes here, but in case this factoid is useful...

 

Hormonal weight loss/gain models like intermittent fasting (the only one I'll name, because it's the only one that has no hint of food tracking built in) do not inherently rely on calorie restriction to work. A lot of people, most people, do intermittent fasting by fitting the same meals into eight hours of the day instead of being spread over 12-14 hours. The benefits come (so goes the theory, in its roughest form) from spending more time without food being actively digested, and thus the hormones involved in energy storage dropping to lower levels for more of the day. Between the science I've seen, anecdotal evidence, and personal experimentation, I find this credible. Not effective for everyone, but credible enough to try.

 

Just an option if you need another tool in your back pocket, or need to sidestep the "must do the thing harder to make it work more" mindset with a bit of "maybe I can do two moderate things instead".

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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1 hour ago, sarakingdom said:
Spoiler

I know you're on the cardio and the doctor specified diet changes here, but in case this factoid is useful...

 

Hormonal weight loss/gain models like intermittent fasting (the only one I'll name, because it's the only one that has no hint of food tracking built in) do not inherently rely on calorie restriction to work. A lot of people, most people, do intermittent fasting by fitting the same meals into eight hours of the day instead of being spread over 12-14 hours. The benefits come (so goes the theory, in its roughest form) from spending more time without food being actively digested, and thus the hormones involved in energy storage dropping to lower levels for more of the day. Between the science I've seen, anecdotal evidence, and personal experimentation, I find this credible. Not effective for everyone, but credible enough to try.

 


 

Spoiler

I am very interested in intermittent fasting and have informally experimented with it in the past. I was experimenting with it to avoid gaining weight and unintentionally lost some so I know it works for me for that purpose. 

 

Unfortunately, intermittent fasting has one major drawback for me: My anxiety levels go through the roof. :( 

 

So when I am starting out here, I think I need to avoid intermittent fasting. I have been talking to Husband about how to make food changes during our lunch walks, and I find myself becoming deeply resentful and defensive at the mere suggestion of restricting anything. Even the suggestion that I eat less salt makes me snap at him, despite the fact I've already decided to reduce this and begun a sodium tracker so I can identify the low hanging fruit and reduce them first.

 

So with that in mind, I think I need to avoid intermittent fasting in Phase 1. I should revisit it in later phases though, so thank you for reminding me that it's an option. :) 

 

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38

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56 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:
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I am very interested in intermittent fasting and have informally experimented with it in the past. I was experimenting with it to avoid gaining weight and unintentionally lost some so I know it works for me for that purpose. 

 

Unfortunately, intermittent fasting has one major drawback for me: My anxiety levels go through the roof. :( 

 

So when I am starting out here, I think I need to avoid intermittent fasting. I have been talking to Husband about how to make food changes during our lunch walks, and I find myself becoming deeply resentful and defensive at the mere suggestion of restricting anything. Even the suggestion that I eat less salt makes me snap at him, despite the fact I've already decided to reduce this and begun a sodium tracker so I can identify the low hanging fruit and reduce them first.

 

So with that in mind, I think I need to avoid intermittent fasting in Phase 1. I should revisit it in later phases though, so thank you for reminding me that it's an option. :) 

 

 

Spoiler

Understandable. The reason I'm not consistent is that, especially with longer fasts, it hits my anxiety centers sometimes, too. Eight hours, I can usually handle, because it's like a brunch, but that's very individual. And I find it an awkward eating window sometimes.

 

If intermittent fasting is effective for you, I suspect low carb would be, too, but it is a restriction, and thus not amazing for your needs. (That is a mindset that can be changed; one can gradually start seeing carbs as more of a filling starch paste of low nutrient value than real food, and prefer to omit it 90% of the time in favor of deliciousness.  But probably not a phase 1 sort of challenge, because it is initially a restriction.)

 

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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1 hour ago, Scaly Freak said:


 

  Hide contents

I am very interested in intermittent fasting and have informally experimented with it in the past. I was experimenting with it to avoid gaining weight and unintentionally lost some so I know it works for me for that purpose. 

 

Unfortunately, intermittent fasting has one major drawback for me: My anxiety levels go through the roof. :( 

 

So when I am starting out here, I think I need to avoid intermittent fasting. I have been talking to Husband about how to make food changes during our lunch walks, and I find myself becoming deeply resentful and defensive at the mere suggestion of restricting anything. Even the suggestion that I eat less salt makes me snap at him, despite the fact I've already decided to reduce this and begun a sodium tracker so I can identify the low hanging fruit and reduce them first.

 

So with that in mind, I think I need to avoid intermittent fasting in Phase 1. I should revisit it in later phases though, so thank you for reminding me that it's an option. :) 

 

 

 

42 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

 

  Hide contents

Understandable. The reason I'm not consistent is that, especially with longer fasts, it hits my anxiety centers sometimes, too. Eight hours, I can usually handle, because it's like a brunch, but that's very individual. And I find it an awkward eating window sometimes.

 

If intermittent fasting is effective for you, I suspect low carb would be, too, but it is a restriction, and thus not amazing for your needs. (That is a mindset that can be changed; one can gradually start seeing carbs as more of a filling starch paste of low nutrient value than real food, and prefer to omit it 90% of the time in favor of deliciousness.  But probably not a phase 1 sort of challenge, because it is initially a restriction.)

 

 

Spoiler

I am finding low carb really helpful despite having transformed into a permanently panicked and ravenous caterpillar after the disastrous prolonged harsh calorie restriction of 2017. Happy to discuss now or later if desired.

 

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, sarakingdom said:
Spoiler

If intermittent fasting is effective for you, I suspect low carb would be, too, but it is a restriction, and thus not amazing for your needs. (That is a mindset that can be changed; one can gradually start seeing carbs as more of a filling starch paste of low nutrient value than real food, and prefer to omit it 90% of the time in favor of deliciousness.  But probably not a phase 1 sort of challenge, because it is initially a restriction.)

 

 

59 minutes ago, Harriet said:
Spoiler

I am finding low carb really helpful despite having transformed into a permanently panicked and ravenous caterpillar after the disastrous prolonged harsh calorie restriction of 2017. Happy to discuss now or later if desired.

 


 

Spoiler

One of the things I have bene thinking about is reducing the amount of carbs I eat, but also change the specific kinds of carbs around.  I have determined to spend Week 1 tracking what I eat without changing anything, to give me a baseline of sodium intake and identify what I need to change first. After I've made that decision and implemented it, I plan to start studying the articles Defining shared (Thank you again - your disclaimer is noted! :) ) and identify what things I currently eat that can be replaced with robust vegetables.  At that point, I am most likely going to want to revisit the carb discussion.

 

But that is Phase 2.

 

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38

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