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The Token Ginger's first challenge

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Sorry I’m getting a tad bit of a late start, but I’ve been out of town to visit friends and family in South Carolina.  I have mentally had my goals set since last week, I just never had a good change to sit down and bang them out in a thread.

A little less than a year ago, I lost my job.  It wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened to me because I was a contractor and had the job for a year longer than my first contract was supposed to last.  Also, the commute was unbearably long and the job was not ideal for what I want to be doing long term.  I saved enough money to get by without a job for a while, so I’ve been focusing on the improv and sketch comedy teams and classes that I’m a part of in Chicago while trying to find a job that I would be happier with that would to lead to a career.


The upside of all of this is that I have been foregoing taking public transportation for 9 months in favor of riding a bike.  I’ve also been cooking more meals for myself instead of buying food at work or in between work and rehearsals/shows.  These are things that I do to save money, but they have also led to healthy weight loss of my pesky college chubbiness.  I’m a 5’2†tall, so extra weight sits weirdly on my small frame.  


In the last few weeks, I’ve been at a breaking point of restlessness during the day in between job searching and interviews.  I decided to start running in addition to a nice, aerobic Jillian Michaels yoga video that I had already been doing 2-3 times a week since January.  I needed something to get my head in the right place and make me be productive by day so that I wasn’t a wreck by night.  I only run/walk two miles/30 minutes at a time thus far, but I love feeling like I’m getting into better aerobic shape.  When I was introduced to the Nerd Fitness challenge, I knew it was a great idea for me to fill in the gaps between some already present life goals.


My goals are as follows, but I am open to any suggestions of clarification or adjustments:

1) Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred – I would really like some toning and definition especially now that I’ve lost some weight.  My upper arms and thighs are pretty stubborn, which also makes clothes-buying weird: I lost a lot of weight in my waist, but my legs are about the same size.  It’s obnoxious.  I also like JM a lot.  However, I want to do only 30 days of Shred over the course of these 6 weeks.  I have a very busy schedule on certain days, and I don’t want to feel stressed by having to fit it in somewhere or feel guilty if I miss a day. 


2) Run 10 miles a week – I have never, ever been a regular runner.  I played soccer and basketball growing up, but I never just did running training.  I think 10 miles will mean 4 to 5 30-min running sessions a week.  By the end of the challenge, I may be able to up this, but I think 10 a week is a good starting place.  The bonus of better aerobic health is that I think it’ll help my on stage with better breath support for improvising and singing.


3) No eating after 10:30 PM – Honestly, I’m thinking this shouldn’t be a terribly difficult goal for me.  I am not typically a snacker (especially not at night), but every time I have been on a run recently I get SUPER HUNGRY when I get home from a rehearsal late at night.  Eating late causes me to stay up later, which causes me to sleep later and waste the next day.  This goal is as much a lifestyle change as it is a heath goal.  I need to be sure I’m getting up early enough to get in at least 3 meals to balance the exercise metabolism.


4) [Personal] I want to start (release at least 3 episodes of) a podcast called "MBS-ing" – I’ve had this desire for months.  I used an Amazon gift card that I got for Christmas to buy a decent podcasting microphone.  I have a fully realized idea for what I want it to be about:  the title stems from my initials, but I also want to cut the BS out of conversations in my life and on the show.  I want each guest to come in prepared to talk about a topic about which he/she knows preferably an obsessive amount.  It’s ok if I know some about the topic; I just want him/her to be able to share knowledge with me (and the audience) of something he/she loves.  It could be as simple and pointed as one particular film or band, or something as broad and loose as a sport or their college major.  As I get older and have been out of school for longer, I stupidly find my pathways to learning waning.  I love talking to people about anything I’m/they’re passionate about, so I think this could be a cool way to get to know more about an odd variety of topics and an assortment of my friends and members of the Chicago comedy community.  There are so many bonuses to this goal: getting to know people in a cool, new way, garnering information from people on some things I may know nothing about to color my life and to color my improvisation, and being able to have a physical artistic project for myself and for friends and family (and strangers?) within but especially outside Chicago to appreciate and support.


Boom.  I hope these don’t seem too lofty.  In my mind they are measurable and simple, but I haven’t run them past anyone else yet.  Thanks for reading, nerds. 

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Hi. Your username caught my eye, and your goals my attention.


Way to go with the ambition. I was doing the 30ds for the last challenge but, honestly, doing the same thing 10 days in a row is not for me. So I got about halfway through level 2 and then just gave up and started my own much more interesting programme. I like how you've gone for doing it throughout the 6 weeks to gove yourself space to breathe - very sensible in my honest opinion!


10 miles a week is super cool, but is it feasible? I don't know, but maybe you'd benefit by looking at your schedule and seeing how much time you realistically have to fit in. Or maybe simply changing your goal to 'x number of 30 min runs a week'. It'd be a shame to do your runs but then feel like you'd failed because you didn't go fast enough!


Loving the no eating after 10.30 and can't wait to hear the podcast.


You've given no indication of how you're going to measure/ grade your goals. Do you have anything in mind? 


Can't wait to hear how you're getting on, and have a listen to MBS-ing when it's up and running. All the best!

LVL 1.5 Chubby Wood Elf Adventurer [challenge 1] [challenge 1.5

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"You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there." -- Edwin Louis Cole

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I especially like your last one. Having an artistic, creative goal is really important, I think.


Thanks!  That has been a goal of mine for way too long to not throw it into the fray for this challenge.  Creativity is certainly very important to my well being.


10 miles a week is super cool, but is it feasible? I don't know, but maybe you'd benefit by looking at your schedule and seeing how much time you realistically have to fit in. Or maybe simply changing your goal to 'x number of 30 min runs a week'. It'd be a shame to do your runs but then feel like you'd failed because you didn't go fast enough!


You've given no indication of how you're going to measure/ grade your goals. Do you have anything in mind? 


Thank you for the kind words!  I am glad you think the 30ds spread over a longer period is a solid idea.  I'm also not going to hold myself to 10 days on each level.  I just want to feel it out.  Thanks or the tips on monotony, too.  I haven't started 30ds yet, which is totally bothersome, but I just got back into town today and plan to pick up weights to start tomorrow.


As for the running, I went out for 25 minutes today and did just over two miles fairly easily.  I had to stop more because of time constraints than exhaustion, so I think 10 will be ok as long as I make time for it.  I am worried that pairing these two goals may lead to some crazy muscle fatigue, so I am not afraid of crossing bridges when I get to them.  Just the fact that I woke up at 7:30AM to run is a huge change for me.  I know it's early but giving myself purpose to work towards is already feeling good.


I will come up with some grading/attributes this week.  I didn't have quite enough time to read about how the attribute system worked before I posted originally.

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Week 2:

I hit my weekly running goal fairly easily from Tuesday to Friday at 2.5 miles per day. For future weeks I definitely want to split this up with more recovery days in between because a couple of those runs were not very strong.

As for 30 Day Shred, I really like the way it keeps you moving for a solid 25 minutes, so I'm ok with continuing to do it.  However, I'm going to have to find more opportunity to work it in to my schedule.  I only did it three times last week (partially due to the late start I got).  My weekend kept me busy with rehearsals/shows from 9:30 AM - 10 PM on Saturday and 11 AM - 11 PM on Sunday.  Neither one of those days found me being very good about making sure I got enough to eat or did any exercise whatsoever save biking from place to place.  Next weekend may have to start with earlier mornings to ensure I make time for at least food.  


With all that said, I still didn't eat post 10:30 all week.  Last night I was very tempted, but I went to bed instead. Yay goal-setting!

The podcast still hasn't been touched.  I know I'm going to do an introductory episode by myself, then send that to anyone I know who may be willing to be a guest.  That episode 1 should happen this week.

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Oof.  My goals are going better than my updates.


Week 2 (April 22nd-28th): Still hit my 10 miles from Monday-Friday and did 30 Day Shred each of those days, but this time around I actually made some time on Sunday to get in a 30 Day Shred and make up for a few days I missed at the top of my challenge.  Still no after 10:30 eating, and decent sleep scheduling.  Still no podcast.


Week 3: (April 29th-May 5th): Actually hit 11 miles from Monday-Friday and did 30 Day Shred on Tuesday-Friday, but that weekend was one of the busiest I've had in a very long time.  I did no workouts.  Still no post 10:30 eating, but still no podcast.


Week 4: (May 6th-May 12th): Hit a little over 10 miles from Monday-Friday, but the best part about passing the halfway point was that my runs were markedly easier at the top of the week (A ha.... rest over the weekend.  Even though it was busy, and not very much sleep was had, my body recovered a lot).  I did level 1 of 30 Day Shred on Monday and Tuesday, then missed Wednesday.  I felt the level getting much easier, and I felt a little guilty for skipping a week day work out.  So I started level 2 on Thursday, and proceeded to do it on Friday, (early... so early) on Saturday, and on Sunday.  The actual plan that Jillian designed has you stepping up to level 2 after 10 days, but I had decided to do it when level 1 felt much easier than when I started.  I did it 14 times over the course of 2 weeks, and I think I made the right choice.  Level 2 is really a sweaty kick in the pants, but it feels great.  I feel much stronger and healthier than I did 4 weeks ago.


Week 5 thus far: Monday I did nothing.  At all.  But mostly because I was working on an artistic project.  So I can't complain about that too much.  The rest of the week has been much more successful where workouts are concerned (about 2 mi per day and level 2 of 30 Day Shred Tues, Wed, and Thurs).  My sleep schedule has been the worst it has been during the challenge, though.  I also ate a handful of M&Ms at 11:30 last night without thinking about it.  It felt odd to break a goal without even really thinking about it, but I didn't sweat it at all.  The idea was more to pay attention to my eating patterns and to have healthier ones than to not eat chocolate before bed.  I still haven't started the podcast.  it's interesting to me that that's the goal I've let slip away the most.  I'm hoping to get the first one in before the end of the challenge.


I truly do feel stronger, healthier, and more mentally tuned in as a result of these goals.  I don't know if I've ever had any arm definition or if I've ever been able to run as far as I can without resting.  I still don't have a job, and that's still very taxing on my psyche.  But having something to focus energy on is helping my days a lot.

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