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Maris Stella

MarisStella January 2013 Challenge!

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So I haven't been so good about the challenges, in the past. Or rather, I haven't been so good at tracking my progress and checking back in. Last challenge I set nebulous goals and by the end, wasn't sure how far I had come. I think I could have done a lot better if I had kept up on the forums! 

 

Hopefully having this thread will help me get better.

 

My theme for 2013 is overcoming fear.  A lot of aspects of my life have been hamstrung by my fear of failure, and my fear of people's judgement. That's no way to live, so I am trying to ask myself "what would I do if I weren't scared" every morning. It is pinned to my inspiration board at my work table :)

 

I also read The Happiness Project last fall, which has motivated me to think of myself as more of a work-in-progress (rather than an abysmal failure).  It is an interesting read, and while I did not identify with the author's particular set of concerns very much, it was inspiring to follow someone's year-long leveling-up journey. 

 

So anyway. On to business. Format shamelessly stolen from livinggroovy.

 

 

 

Beginning Stats:

Level 1 Half-Elf Druid

Height: 5'10"  Weight: ~140lbs  

[sTR] - 1 // [DEX] - 3 // [sTA] - 1 // [CON] - 3 // [WIS] - 4 // [CHA] - 3

 

 

Goals:

 

1. I am a yogaholic.

The challenge: Spend at least 3 hours a week doing yoga, plus five minutes daily meditation

 

Grade yoga: A= >3 h/w B= 3 h/w C= 2 h/w D= 1 h/w F= less than 1 h/w

Grade meditation: A= 40+ Days. B= 35-39 Days. C= 30-34 Days. D= 25-29 Days. F= 24 or less days.

 

+1 [sTR], +4 [DEX]

 

 

 

2. I eat clean.

The challenge: 2 paleo clean (preferably vegetarian) meals per day, no soda, no silly coffee drinks.

Grade: A= 40+ Days. B= 35-39 Days. C= 30-34 Days. D= 25-29 Days. F= 24 or less days.

 

+3 [CON]

 

*So I needed to update this. No grains or legumes is impossible for me, without adding meat. I know from a weight loss standpoint, adding meat and subtracting the grains and legumes would be the more expedient choice, but I'm not really doing this for weight loss anyway. I'm doing it to feel better, and I feel crappy when I eat meat. Only whole grains though, and legumes without added sodium!

 

 

 

3. I am strong and balanced.

The challenge: 5 full push-ups and 5 unassisted pull-ups

Grade: A= >5 push-ups, >5 pull-ups  B4 push-ups, 4 pull-ups  C3 push-ups, 3 pull-ups D2 push-ups, 2 pull-ups F = 1 or less

 

**I may need to edit this one. I was setting a low goal because upper body and core strength has always been a huge problem for me, especially considering recent injuries to my back. But if I reach this goal quickly, I will modify it to be more ambitious. (I have never been able to do a "real" push-up or pull-up in my life so this will be huge for me!)

 

+4 [sTR], +1 [sTA]

 

 

 

4. I am a writer.

The challenge: Complete 30 pages of my book, read 1000 pages.

Writing Grade: A= 30 pages. B= 20 pages C= 10 pages D= 5 pages F= 0 pages
Reading Grade: A= 1000 pages. B= 750 pages C= 500 pages D= 250 pages F= <250 pages
 
**Reasoning: The writing is the hard part of this challenge, as I already read voraciously. But THE FEAR gets me every time I try to work on my book. So, no more of that! Eff you, fear!
 
+2 [WIS]
 
 
5. Extra Bonus Awesomepants goals (accumulated along the way)
- Post to this thread.
 
 
 
Weekly Tracking!
 

Week 1:

Yoga: 2/3

Meditation: 5/7

Clean Meals: 10/14

Pages Written: 0...

Pages Read: 336

 

 

Week 2:

Yoga: 2/3

Meditation: 3/7

Clean Meals: 8/14

Pages Written: 0....!!!

Pages Read: 768

 

 

Week 3:

Yoga: 1/3

Meditation: 3/7

Clean Meals: 1/14  (giving myself a pass, due to illness)

Pages Written: 5

Pages Read: 288

 

 

 

Week 4:

Yoga: 2/3

Meditation: 4/7

Clean Meals: 12/14

 

 

 

Week 5:

Yoga: 2/3

Meditation: 5/7

Clean Meals: 17/14

Pages Written: 3

 

 

 

Week 6:

Yoga: 2/3

Meditation: 3/7

Clean Meals: 12/14

 

 

TOTALS:

Yoga: 11/15    B-

Meditation: 23/35   C

Clean Meals: 60/70   B

Push-Ups: 1/5   D

Pull-Ups: 0/5   F

Pages Written: 10/30   C

Pages Read: 1440/1000   A

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hahaha awesome!! Glad I could help :) Welcome to the Druids! Looks like we both have a writing goal this challenge... we can keep each other accountable! If you get stuck with paleo veggie recipes let me know... I just came off of 6 weeks of eating paleo vegetarian.

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Yes! I would love a writing accountability partner. And all of your recipes, ha! I am always open to new recipes, especially as I usually cook for both myself and my boyfriend so I need to keep things interesting, or pizza will appear in my house and I'll have the extra challenge of refusing something right in my face.

 

I recently tried a breakfast thing that is basically soaked chia seeds blended with some cashews and banana, then mixed with some walnuts and spices. It was kinda like a pudding? It was delicious, if you're into that kind of thing.

 

Also spaghetti squash is just about my favorite thing in the universe. 

 

Did you do no grains? That's my biggest concern with paleo vegetarian. 

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I love how you phrased your goals as affirmations! I am trying to get better at that...or rather, I am good at stating goals as affirmations :)

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Thanks, Tanktimus!

 

 

 

I love how you phrased your goals as affirmations! I am trying to get better at that...or rather, I am good at stating goals as affirmations  :)

 

Yes you are! :D

 

I started thinking about that based on Steve's latest post, and then I saw how livinggroovy did it and decided to give it a try. I've realized that phrasing my goals as "I am going to try to do xyz" always ends up being a cop-out. I bet almost everyone needs to think of themselves differently, but I think introverts and nerds have it really bad...I definitely always thought of myself in negative terms, usually exaggerated. Actually, now that I think about it, they were almost all affirmations of what I was afraid I was, or would become, and not who I actually am.

A far cry from how I feel about my characters in video games. :P "You think you can defeat ME!? MUAhaHAHAhahaHA!!!"

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Update 1:

 

So, I know they are controversial, but Briohny Smyth's Equinox yoga videos totally inspire me. (If you haven't seen them and are about to look them up, please be aware that she does not wear much clothing...and I respectfully ask that you NOT look up the videos if her lack of clothing is the only reason for you to do it. I personally appreciate that her routine is really exposed because you can see the contrast between the serenity in her face and the hard work of her muscles.)

 

She really belongs in a circus more than a yoga studio. I know that. But the amount of control she has over her body is just astonishing, and I want to have control like that. I don't have a desire to be a Cirque du Soleil contortionist, but I do want a mind-body connection that mirrors the ease and control I have over other aspects of my life (there aren't many of those, but they do happen to be the things I most love and enjoy. GO FIGURE.)

 

Anyway, I'm going to try to look up videos like that whenever I need a reminder of why I am doing this.

 

Day 1 went pretty well. I got a late start but dinner was nice -- we made a really kickass salad with baby kale and romaine, fresh raspberries and basil, almonds and walnuts, and just a teensy bit of a homemade balsamic dressing.

 

I did not quite make it to 5 minutes of meditation because I couldn't stop thinking about how offensive this acquaintance had been to me on facebook. So lame, I know. And then I was beating myself up, thinking I need thicker skin and that "unfriending" him would be childish. Um. What? It finally dawned on me that he's one of the few people that I'm still "friends" with on facebook who isn't my actual, honest-to-goodness friend, and why on earth was I putting up with his nonsense. DELETE. It felt good. Drain the poison. 

 

But it did make me think: why do we do this to ourselves? Keep connections, even tenuous connections, to people that are just complete vampires? How could it possibly be a mark of immaturity to walk away from a relationship that does not help you grow? If someone were that rude to me at a party, I wouldn't just sit there and let them use me as their punching bag. I would walk right out. Why do I feel like virtual relationships are any different?

 

So now I am giving some thought to what I am keeping in my life out of guilt or fear.

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Hi Marisstella, I think that theme-ing your year around overcoming fear is an amazing idea. I think I'm going to take that idea of asking "what would I do if I wasn't scared?", I also get completely overcome by fear often.

 

Sounds like your off to a great start. Congratulations. Thanks for mentioning Briohny Smith's Equinox yoga, I've not seen them before and you're right her body control is incredible, I'd love to be able to stuff like that. I agree with you about the relationships, there's nothing positive about continuing to inflict people who drain you of energy and positivity  sometimes it's best just to get some people out of your life.

 

Good luck, keep it up!

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I'm so glad you enjoyed her video! I think it's just gorgeous.

 

 

Update 2:

 

First hour-long yoga routine in a looong long time last night. It was astonishingly challenging. It's amazing how stiff I have gotten in the few years I have worked a desk job. But I felt really great afterward, and my routine transitioned very easily into the five minutes of meditation. I don't want to speak too soon, but I may end up modifying my weekly yoga goals, because I am eager to get back to where I was, and then get to making big progress! Planning to do another hour routine tonight.

 

I used this video and really liked the instructor. If it becomes too easy I'll look into getting her other videos. I'm anxious to get to the point where I can attend an actual class again.

 

I did very well for food on days 2 and 3 -- yesterday all three of my meals were paleo, and 2 were vegetarian (lunch was spaghetti squash with shrimp). BUT the salad I threw together last night was so underwhelming that I woke up this morning crazy for heavier food, and ended up caving for a breakfast burrito. It wasn't as bad as it could have been -- no cheese, no meat, really nothing weird in it besides a bit of potato and the tortilla -- but it's still sitting in my stomach like a brick. 

 

So, anyone have awesome salad recipes? 

 

I've been really remiss about the reading and writing because I have been watching MARATHONS of Castle. Need to get a hold of myself. Breaking the trend, tonight!!

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When I want a really good salad I use the following formula Baby Spinach+Fresh chopped veggies I like and have+good protien (Canned tuna or salmon work great cause their convineint+nuts+cheese (leave this out if your paleo goals don't involve cheese+healthy dressing.

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On the topic of deleting 'poisonous' people from our lives... I went through a phase of that at the beginning of this year. Just mercilessly deleting anyone that negatively impacts me... with the exception of certain family members that I'm currently staying with... but hey, we can't always have everything perfect? I find it feels so freeing and liberating not to worry about toxic people anymore. I have to remind myself sometimes that, yes, I do have a choice, and no, I don't have to put up with that kind of behavior!

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Yeah, I have definitey gone through several rounds of "friend"-purging since Facebook began way back when. It was just so novel in the beginning that I never said no to a friend request, and then for some reason I felt like I owed people my attention. Which is a big steamy pile.

It feels merciless at the time, but really it's the most merciful thing you can do for yourself in that kind of situation. The more attention we devote to people who drain us, the less we have for great people, and for activities that make us better.

 

 

Update 3: Doin' alright, except with the writing. Had two fail days for food. Looking forward to week 2!

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Yeah, I have definitey gone through several rounds of "friend"-purging since Facebook began way back when. It was just so novel in the beginning that I never said no to a friend request, and then for some reason I felt like I owed people my attention. Which is a big steamy pile.

It feels merciless at the time, but really it's the most merciful thing you can do for yourself in that kind of situation. The more attention we devote to people who drain us, the less we have for great people, and for activities that make us better.

 

 

Update 3: Doin' alright, except with the writing. Had two fail days for food, but part of this whole process is converting my significant other to healthy eating, so I think this was pretty good progress. Looking forward to week 2!

At some point you have to get rid of those people. Definately a good move.

 

Looks like you had a good week. Very well done. First down, five more to go. I wish you the best of luck for next week!

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I got over facebook not long after I got into it, its just not for me. Good job cleaning up your friendlist.

 

I wish I could! I just find it so, so useful for networking that it is really indispensable to me. 

 

And thank you :)

 

 

 

At some point you have to get rid of those people. Definately a good move.

 

Looks like you had a good week. Very well done. First down, five more to go. I wish you the best of luck for next week!

 

Thanks, substix! Affirmations from my fellow rebels really help me out. 

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Preemptive update #4

 

Mondays.

  • Ugh, I missed my yoga session yesterday.
  • Ugh, I miss lifting weights. 
  • Ugh, I was just. so. not. ready. for. MONDAY.

 

CURSE YOU, MONDAY! CURRRSSSEEE YOOOOOUUUU! *shakes fist*

 

 

 

No, but seriously. Yesterday I made a bunch of excuses about why I couldn't do my yoga routine. All of them were super lame, but it mostly comes down to being disorganized, and trying to tackle way too much on the weekends. Clean ALL the things. Make ALL the food. Re-pot ALL the plants. Organize ALL the drawers. It's amazing how much you can get done when you are avoiding doing something important. The worst part is, I was looking forward to doing yoga. Amazingly, I can look forward to doing something active and still sabotage myself. 

 

On top of that, my food decisions were borderline yesterday. 

 

BACK ON THE WAGON, GURL. New week, new me.

 

 

So far today, I am a clean eater. I made a huge batch of this amazing garlicky greens + white bean soup last night and packed it all up for lunch this week. Breakfast/Snacking on walnuts, almonds and fruit. Tea for my caffeine fix, no sugar. 

 

Tonight, I'll practice my yogaholism, and probably add on some body weight circuits. I am so anxious to get back to lifting, but my lower back is very fragile right now so I need to take baby steps. Hopefully by the 4-week mark I can do some, and maybe in the meantime I'll do some arm stuff. 

 

Trying to turn my impatience into motivation, instead of just frustration.

 

For the reading+writing, I think I'm going to start The 90 Day Novel, tonight. I've heard lots of good things, and honestly for round 1 I need to stop worrying about creating a masterpiece and just get the thing done. I can always tweak, rewrite and improve later. 

 

 

Thank you everyone for your encouragement. It means a whole lot to me that you're willing to give this a glance and check on my progress. :)

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These cursed mondays! But as long as you manage to get right back on the wagon for tomorrow all is well. Just need to stick to it. You're awesome enough to keep on track. 

 

Maybe you can find something that makes monday fun? Makes the whole back to work thing way easier to get through.

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God job getting back on the wagon. I hear you about the strength training stuff. I'm making myself do nothing but Yoga because my back started to hurt last challenge. I'm pretty sure it was stress related, but because I don't want it to become workout related, I'm giving it plenty of time to heal.

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These cursed mondays! But as long as you manage to get right back on the wagon for tomorrow all is well. Just need to stick to it. You're awesome enough to keep on track. 

 

Maybe you can find something that makes monday fun? Makes the whole back to work thing way easier to get through.

 

Thank you! Honestly I don't normally hate Mondays so much but this week is just going to be crazy crazy. Well...this MONTH, I should say. And I have to leave for a week to attend my best friend's wedding (starting next Wednesday) so I'm just packing so much in before I go. Basically it's a circus. But my team is fantastic, and at the end of the day it feels good to have gotten a lot done. Perspective, right?

 

 

 

 

God job getting back on the wagon. I hear you about the strength training stuff. I'm making myself do nothing but Yoga because my back started to hurt last challenge. I'm pretty sure it was stress related, but because I don't want it to become workout related, I'm giving it plenty of time to heal.

 

Thanks! Yes, it's frustrating. Getting a lot stronger is one of my long-term fitness goals, but this challenge I just need to get healthy. I'm in the same boat as far as not knowing for sure the root cause of my injury -- I threw my back out twice in two months, doing really mundane everyday things around the house. I had a pretty serious injury in high school (I was a competitive equestrian) but it hadn't been bothering me for at least five years. The only thing I can think of is that maybe getting this desk warrior job and sitting down all day has compromised my back health.

 

If anyone knows things about good chairs for this problem, let me know. The obvious first step is to get up and walk around more often, but I think it might be wise to switch out my buttholder, if this is chronic. 

 

 

 

 

Thank you shortstuff, evenewbie and substix for your kind words of encouragement! We can do this thing!

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Thanks! Yes, it's frustrating. Getting a lot stronger is one of my long-term fitness goals, but this challenge I just need to get healthy. I'm in the same boat as far as not knowing for sure the root cause of my injury -- I threw my back out twice in two months, doing really mundane everyday things around the house. I had a pretty serious injury in high school (I was a competitive equestrian) but it hadn't been bothering me for at least five years. The only thing I can think of is that maybe getting this desk warrior job and sitting down all day has compromised my back health.

 

If anyone knows things about good chairs for this problem, let me know. The obvious first step is to get up and walk around more often, but I think it might be wise to switch out my buttholder, if this is chronic. 

 

Depending on what kind of backproblem it is, a "stool on wheels" with a saddle seat or anything that doesn't have a backrest and so forces you to keep your muscles active can be good. Also there are desks that can be elevated so you can work standing.

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