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Élan's Second Try


Honeybee

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Hi! My name is Élan.  Welcome to my second challenge thread on NF.  I tried my first challenge at the same time last year, but didn't quite finish.  This time, I'm going all the way!  My job is very high stress, so I've set small goals so I won't get burnt out.

 

Starting stats:

Age: 23, Height: 5'6.5", Weight: 125, BF%: ~23-24%

Upper Arm: 10, Forearm: 8.5, Chest: 34, Waist: 27.5, Hips: 37, Thigh: 20, Calf: 14

Level 1 Adventurous Elf

STR 1 | DEX 2 | STA 2 | CON 3 | WIS 4 | CHA 3

 

Challenge #1: Learn how to take proper measurements and take them weekly.

My fitness journey is about changing my body shape and adding muscle, so I don't think my scale will be of much use. I've always thought measurements would be the best way to track my progress, but never got around to learning the proper places to measure. During this challenge, I will take my measurements every weekend and hopefully make a habit of it. 

Scoring:

A - Take a full set of measurements six times

B - Take a full set of measurements five times

F - Take a full set of measurements less than five times

Bonus - Take before & after progress pics and post them here in challenge summary

Reward: + 2 WIS

 

Challenge #2: Four 30-minute workouts each week

Right now, I'm still trying all different kinds of workouts. I haven't exactly found my groove yet.  With this challenge, I'll be a bit vague and try for four 30-minute workouts per week. By the end of this challenge, maybe I will have found my best workout style. This will be my hardest challenge, but my workout can be light yoga or a walk if I'm feeling exhausted from work.

Scoring:

A - 24+ 30-minute workouts

B - 20-23 30-minute workouts

F  - Less than 20 30-minute workouts

Bonus - Extend one of those 30-minute workouts each week to 60 minutes

Reward: + 2 STR, + 1 DEX, + 2 STA

 

Challenge #3: Cook a new meal each week. 

I don't mean a basic salad or a turkey sandwich--I can handle those. I'd like to cook something that involves the oven or stove at least once each week. My current diet is a mix of frozen meals (for lunch), takeout, and meals cooked by my husband. I've already done a great job cutting out takeout/fast food, but now I'd like to develop basic cooking skills so I can be responsible for my own healthy eating.

Scoring:

A - Cook six different meals

B - Cook five different meals

F - Cook four or less different meals

Bonus - 3 or less "Lean Cuisine" or other frozen meals

Reward: + 3 CON, + 1 CHA, + 1 WIS

 

Challenge #4: Write 2000 words each week

This challenge is made to encourage my creativity to come out. Often, I feel like creative writing is a waste of time when I have other things to do (household chores, work, exercise, cooking, etc.) I know I shouldn't feel that way, so I'll try to encourage my writing with a challenge. 

Scoring:

A - 12,000+ words written

B - 10,000-12,000 words written

F - Less than 10,000 words written

Bonus - 15,000+ words written

Reward: + 1 STA, + 1 WIS, +1 CHA

 

There we go!  About two weeks ago, I started my own little challenge to try to get healthy and fit.  This will take it to the next level and ensure I can really see my results, even if they don't show up on the scale. For each challenge "bonus" that I successfully complete, I'll buy myself a new fancy item of workout clothing. 

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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Looks like a good start. When I first got married, my speciality was mac and cheese from a box. I don't know if I would say I'm a great cook now, but I've made a lot of progress. :)

 Fairy-Nymph, left the world of Natural Powers to join the knighthood of the King

 

Pre-Adventurer

 (STR) -1    (DEX) -2    (STA) -3 (CON) -4 (WIS) -3 (CHA) -3

 

Contents of bag: one fire flower

 

 

 

 

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Looks like a good start. When I first got married, my speciality was mac and cheese from a box. I don't know if I would say I'm a great cook now, but I've made a lot of progress. :)

 

That's me too!  I can make a mean grilled cheese, but that's about it.  I'm lucky my husband loves to cook, but he's trying to gain weight and makes really high-calories dishes (lots of pasta and cheese sauces!) It's time I learned a few things for myself.  I've been married for a couple years, but I haven't made much progress.  :P

 

 

Although I started a little late, I reviewed my exercise logs for the week and so far I'm right on target! I'm also down a pound since I last weighed myself one week ago.  This afternoon, I did 30 minutes of Zumba, one episode of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, and took the dog for a walk for 20 minutes.  Yay!  Celebrated a strong Saturday with sushi.  :)

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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Another day, another good workout!  I did 30 minutes of Zumba + Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred.  I also earned +1 WIS from the first mini challenge by revising my goals.  I'm TIRED!  I think tomorrow will be the perfect rest day. 

 

I hope to push through the exhaustion and finish strong by taking my car to the car wash, filing it up with gas, and making the long drive back to my apartment to see my husband.  :) I visited my parents for the weekend and gave him space to work on his thesis.  

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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The beloved REST DAY has arrived.  My arms and back are especially sore from yesterday's workout.  As much as I want to keep pushing, I know it's better if I take a day off.  Still, I'm planning to do some yoga for relaxation before bed... and maybe a few squats for good measure.  :P

 

Today, I worked on challenge #3 by cooking dinner in the oven.  I shot for simple this time--I roasted all the random veggies we had hanging around in the fridge.  I'm doing well on eating, but I am not getting enough protein.  I'm going to try to add more chicken, tuna, and omelets into my diet--they seem like the easiest for someone who cannot cook.  

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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chicken is terribly easy to make.  I make a chicken hash everyday to supplement my meals in order to push my protein up (without pushing carbs up) - all you really need to do is cube the chicken, add spices, some easily cooked veggies (peppers, onions, mushrooms etc) and pop in a pan (with very little oil/butter) and voila you have a tasty treat :) You can have this over rice or pasta etc or just over some salady stuff even (i like mine over slightly steamed spinach).

 

Another easy recipe is quiche (i often teach my bachelor friends this first - they come to me for cooking lessons):

  • melt 85gr butter (a little less than a 5th of your average size block of butter) & mix 1 cup flour (i use homemade almond meal, but you can use normal flour). Spread out on 24cm pie dish and pop into the oven at 180°C for 10 min or until golden. 
  • sprinkle your meat (fry/brown first) and veggie (steam if it's a hard veg like butternut squash) and a small helping of cheese
  • beat 3 eggs in one cup of milk and pour over the toppings.
  • Pop back into the oven for 30 - 45min (until golden at the top)
  • Serve with salad or veggies or just on it's own.

My top three quiche toppings are: Tuna and onion, Bacon and butternut & Ground beef/ostrich and spinach

Half Faerie (Sidhe) Scout | Black Belt Kitchen Ninja
"A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort" - Herm Albright
You're welcome to skype me (audriwolf) too but let me know who you are

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Those are great goals. Recently I taught myself(well the internet taught me) how to make potato pancakes and they were delicious. One of my friends knows how to make brownies in the microwave and I might have to get the recipe from her. :P

Zeuel the level 1 Human
STR 2|DEX 1|CON 2|STA 1|WIS 1|CHA 3

 

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Thank you so much for the recipe suggestions!  I am a total kitchen n00b so I need all the tips I can get. I don't like eggs, but I love quiche... so that's a fantastic idea to get more eggs in my diet.  Yum!  

 

Here are some recipes I'd love to try during the challenge:

 

 

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/2011/12/08/zucchini-fritters/

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/2013/03/11/tuna-fish-patties-and-quick-coleslaw/

http://mypersiankitchen.com/kuku-sabzi-persian-frittata-with-fresh-herbs/

http://glutenfreefix.com/3-ingredient-peanut-butter-cookies/3115/

http://www.theburlapbag.com/2012/07/2-ingredient-cookies-plus-the-mix-ins-of-your-choice/

 

Just cataloging for myself and for anyone else who wants to try some supposedly easy recipes.  :)  

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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Week one progress report:

 

1 set measurements taken, 1 weigh in

4 30-minute workouts, 2 60-minute workouts

1 new meal cooked

2200+ words written

Mini challenge #1 completed for +1 WIS

 

Yesterday was a bad day, so I wanted to type these up to give myself some motivation.  I'm right on target! I had the day off yesterday, but I let work anxiety get to me. I have a long day at work today and I WILL exercise when I get home. 

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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Had another bad day yesterday and felt awful by the time I got home.  Still, I managed to eat a healthy dinner and do a 35-minute workout. I got a full 7 hours of sleep last night at woke up at 6am feeling super energetic!  I danced my way out of bed and toward the coffee maker!  I'm not sure I've ever had such a good morning.  Let's hope this energy sticks with me throughout the day.  :)  

 

For the second Adventurer mini challenge, I'm focusing on my core for 15 minutes each day.  I started last night and actually had a lot of fun.  What's everyone else doing for the mini challenge?

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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See how strong and awesome you are!  Despite having the kind of day that would leave most people curled in a ball of mess on the couch, you got out there and did something!  That's fantastic and well done.

 

Keep going.

 

PS.  I'm also working my core, but by doing wall sits (and i've roped my whole office in for the Friday Challenge to help me).

Half Faerie (Sidhe) Scout | Black Belt Kitchen Ninja
"A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort" - Herm Albright
You're welcome to skype me (audriwolf) too but let me know who you are

My challenge

 

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See how strong and awesome you are!  Despite having the kind of day that would leave most people curled in a ball of mess on the couch, you got out there and did something!  That's fantastic and well done.

 

Keep going.

 

PS.  I'm also working my core, but by doing wall sits (and i've roped my whole office in for the Friday Challenge to help me).

 

Thank you for the motivation!  I love that you got your whole office into the wall sits.  I totally forgot about them until I saw your post--they're a nice way to add in core work.  I'm having fun with the mini challenge and I can really feel it!  Today I feel pretty sore for the first time since this challenge started.

 

I got on the scale and I'm down two pounds since last week. I don't know if that's good or bad!  I'm taking it as a good sign that fat is coming off.  

 

Aaaaand I finally made those 2-ingredient pancakes. I added peanut butter to mine.  Here they are:

33kqa1x.jpg

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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Those looks good! I've been meaning to try them, I just haven't yet.  Hope your week goes well and your energy stays high!

 Fairy-Nymph, left the world of Natural Powers to join the knighthood of the King

 

Pre-Adventurer

 (STR) -1    (DEX) -2    (STA) -3 (CON) -4 (WIS) -3 (CHA) -3

 

Contents of bag: one fire flower

 

 

 

 

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Those looks good! I've been meaning to try them, I just haven't yet.  Hope your week goes well and your energy stays high!

 

Thank you!  I did 3 very ripe bananas, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup peanut butter, and 1/2 tsp baking powder.  It made 13 small pancakes. Very yummy if you're craving a sweet breakfast treat.  :) 

 

 

I felt a lot of soreness today, so I didn't get to work out as much as I'd like.  Still, I managed to do about 30 minutes of exercise. I added dumbbells to my regular routine--how great that was!  Less reps and more sweat = happy Élan.  I hope to do some yoga this evening while watching Game of Thrones. 

 

I had a bad bad bad weekend for eating, but I tried to make up for some treats by eating lots of protein.  Turkey burgers ftw!

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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Hi Elan, I like your goals, it's good to see a realistic approach, I favor this.

 

I'm not the greatest cook alive either although I have improved a lot over the last 3 months.

 

This recipe for ginger chicken is the easiest ever, cheap and it's totally delicious, I cook it often.

 

The other pretty easy one I do regularly which is really good is Fish Sarciado I just throw in 2 large pieces of fish chopped up into quite big chunks, Salmon and Snapper work well.

 

Good luck with the challenge ;)

Dominic

 

P.S. Those pancakes look delicious :)

         Endor, LVL 40 Half-Elf Ranger 

PR and Motivation Log | Current Battle Log 

      

      Current Challenge (Jan 2021)

   

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Hi fellow Maintenance Maestros! Thank you for stopping by!  I also appreciate the recipes, Dominic.  Until the last month, I had never done any cooking, really.  I'd never browned hamburger meat, I'd never cooked a frozen chicken breast.  Nothing.  So I love the easy recipes.  :)  I still don't enjoy cooking at all, but I feel proud of what I'm learning.  I'm an adult--I should be able to feed myself.  :P

 

I took a rest day yesterday and now my leg (right above my ankle) hurts like crazy.  Leave it to me to injure myself on a rest day!  I'm going to work out very carefully today and avoid using that leg as much as possible. I'm also hoping to play some Skyrim this afternoon (I only worked 6 hours today) to reward myself for doing so well in the 6WC.  

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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The way I improved is to cook the same 2 or 3 things over and over, even if they are not so good at first. I always expected to just follow a recipe and bam an amazing meal shows up! It's not always like that, often the second or third time is much better than the third, same as anything the more you practice the better you get.

 

Good luck, let me know what you cook  up and if you find any good recipes :positive:

 

Enjoy the skyrim, I haven't dared play it. I get addicted to video games too easily so I only play offline stuff these days. Enjoying Darksiders 2 at the moment on PS3.

         Endor, LVL 40 Half-Elf Ranger 

PR and Motivation Log | Current Battle Log 

      

      Current Challenge (Jan 2021)

   

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I totally feel that way right now--if I follow the recipe, it has to turn out well.  Not always!  Tonight I'm trying some chicken in the crock pot.  We got a crock pet for a wedding gift 2 years ago, but never used it until today.  We'll see how this one turns out!

 

I also get super addicted to video games, so I've had Skyrim for ages but never tried it.  Started this week and I'm officially hooked!

 

I came home from work today intending to play Skyrim first and workout later. Instead, I forced myself to exercise first. I tried the beginner bodyweight routine for the first time--lots of fun!  I managed 4 circuits and I even did 45-second planks instead of 15-second planks.  And I added 50 bicycle crunches at the end  of each circuit for good measure.  I think I'll try the advanced bodyweight workout over the weekend. Every time I watch the video of Steve doing inverted rows at the kitchen table, though, I picture me flipping my own table over onto my head.   :tongue:

 

Edited to add// I'm really psyched by how well the beginner bodyweight routine went!  I didn't know I could do a 45-second plank, much less four of them in a short time.  I can tell I'm making progress!

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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I really like your set of goals that you have here, particularly the writing one. I know this whole thing is primarily based on your workout goals and whatnot, but as a creative person myself, I know how important it is to be able to write and express your self. Keep up all the good work!

Level 2 Human Adventurer

STR: 6 |  CON: 5.25

DEX: 1  |  WIS: 5.25

STA: 5.75  |  CHA: 4.5

 

My First Challenge

My Second (Current) Challenge

-Second Challenge Progress Blog

 

"Don't freak out until there is a reason to freak out." -My grandmother

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Thank you!  I'm a little behind on the writing challenge, so I'm hoping to have a wonderfully creative weekend and get at least 3000 words written.  

 

I've been really hoping the weather would improve and I could do a little jogging outdoors, but we got another foot of snow yesterday.  Minnesota is so confused about seasons this year. 

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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Another week and I'm still doing it!  I had a really bad eating day on Sunday.  Friday and Saturday were also not great because I allowed myself to have wine on the weekend.  I can't be too hard on myself, though, because I have managed to do some sort of a workout on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Now that the weather has improved, I decided to try running again.  I got the Zombies Run 5k training app and it's going well so far.  General exercise doesn't seem to give me the same stress relief boost that it did two weeks ago, so I'm hoping that adding running will help.  Work has been crazy and I kind of feel like I'm drowning most of the time.  

 

The only goal I'm failing on it writing--I need to pick up the pace on that one.  I'm taking the day off work on Thursday, so I hope I have some time to catch up.  

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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It's okay, you can't get too hard on yourself. I don't have a smart phone, so I can't get the Zombie 5K app, but I'm glad to hear it's going well for you. And as far as the writing goal goes, don't worry about setting aside a whole day. If you just set a little time each day to write (no matter how much), it'll become habit and you'll begin to write more and more. Keep up the good work!

Level 2 Human Adventurer

STR: 6 |  CON: 5.25

DEX: 1  |  WIS: 5.25

STA: 5.75  |  CHA: 4.5

 

My First Challenge

My Second (Current) Challenge

-Second Challenge Progress Blog

 

"Don't freak out until there is a reason to freak out." -My grandmother

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Thank you for the encouragement! I managed to do some writing this morning finally.  I just got a smart phone and I think it's convenient, but I don't feel like "Omg how did I live without this?"  Zombies Run is super cool though.  

 

I had a "wow" moment with food yesterday. I had to buy lunch outside of the house and decided to go with a turkey sandwich from Jimmy Johns. With mayo, it was ~500ish calories. Without mayo but with avocado and extra meat, it was less than 400 calories. I was shocked! It's extra meat + avocado for me now. Never eating mayo again.  :P In other news, I've been craving scrambled eggs.  I hate eggs!  What is happening to me?!

 

Zombies Run 5k training is still fun.  Week 1 consists of an intro, then 3x runs in the format of: 

-10 minute walk

-1 minute walking, 15 seconds running (repeated 10x)

-10 minutes "free run" (walking/running mix, whatever you like)

 

I seem to want to run sooner than the app thinks I should, so I usually run the first four of the 1 minute walk/15 secs run. Then I do the last six as intended.  I have seen progress already! On Tuesday, I went 2.7 miles in 39 minutes. Today, I went 3.2 miles in 41 minutes. I'm anxious for Saturday to come so I can run more!  Again, what is happening to me?! I hate running!

 

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I know I won't be having the best diet weekend (all those liquid calories from champagne!), but I'll do my best to eat well and keep the workouts going.  

Level 2 Rebel
STR 5 | DEX 4 | STA 4 | CON 6 | WIS 7.5 | CHA 4.5

Aspiring Assassin | 1 | Current

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I'm with you in the same food boat, I don't eat mayo (never have though :P) and I love scrambled eggs (I've now shifted to mostly egg whites instead of the whole thing).

 

That's great that you're starting to like running. When I started this challenge, I hated running too...and now, I'm not afraid of my running workout days. Keep up the good work!

Level 2 Human Adventurer

STR: 6 |  CON: 5.25

DEX: 1  |  WIS: 5.25

STA: 5.75  |  CHA: 4.5

 

My First Challenge

My Second (Current) Challenge

-Second Challenge Progress Blog

 

"Don't freak out until there is a reason to freak out." -My grandmother

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