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Ensi

Ensi's Challenge #2 - Finding Inner Peace

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Hello there! It's time for challenge #2 :D

During the previous challenge I started in a horrible shape: I had spent many months recovering from my ultimate burnout, and at the beginning of the challenge I didn't feel so happy about life. The challenge and my accountabilibuddies group made me feel like I could get back to live a happy life - and so, here's my challenge number #2!

My main quest in three words is:

Finding Inner Peace
Woot, a bigger font size for that!

In every way, that is. I have PCOS, which pretty much means that I have a hard time keeping my hormones in balance. It has always made losing weight difficult: I need to follow a good diet and exercise plan. I want to have balanced hormone levels and feel happy and healthy! :) I hope to see some results in December, hopefully even before that.
Last autumn I had no power or will to keep following a healthy diet and exercising went too far, so my hormone balance went off. I started eating too much sugar and sweets, and right now I'm witnessing the concequences. I'm out of shape, suffer from anxiety, sometimes I can't control my feelings at all and I have severe PMS symptoms. But I know that I can make them go away. Here's how:

#1 Eat clean foods with less carbs
I ate like this a couple of years ago: I lost a lot of weight and felt healthy and happy. I'm going to educate myself to follow a clean diet and, well, follow it!

- Track eating every day: keep it around 1700 kcal and 80 g of carbs a day
- Cut sugars, white flour and all processed foods: keep it clean!
- Only eat two portions of dairy a day

+ 3 points to CON

#2 Exercise!
My knees are a little problematic at the moment, so until I lose some weight, I'm going to stick mostly with strenght training and moderate cardio. I'll see if I can get running in the next challenge...

- Strenght training: two times a week, pick either kettlebell or gym
- Cardio: go boxing or jogging once a week, walk 30 minutes every day

+ 2 points to STR, +2 points to STA


#3 Mindfulness
Mindfulness, meditation and yoga have helped me treat my anxiety disorder, so that's a keeper in my quest to find inner peace.

- Start your days with a moment of yoga
- In the evenings, do a short meditation exercise
- Concentrate on eating! ask yourself: How does the food taste and feel like? How do you feel like when you're eating it?
- Find out, where you can do instructed yoga in your town and go there

+ 3 points to WIS, + 2 points to DEX

#4 Start a website (life goal)
Oh wow, this is kind of scary... and important. I would like to have a place online where I could post my drawings and comics, and a website of my own could be nice. It's also a great excuse to learn html or css coding!

- Create an account on Webs
- Build a simple site with basic knowledge of coding
- At the end of the challenge, there should be at least 10 drawings/comics!

+ 2 points to CHA, + 1 point to WIS

 

Motivation?
The idea of feeling good motivates me enough. I feel like I've started to take control of my own life (I switched banks and started a savings account, left behind some poisoneus 'friends') and I want to have a healthy mind and body. Taking care of myself is important for my future. Also, I want to run in the forests again as I used to. :D
-----------

And that's it! I'll keep a log here, in this topic. Let's work hard, people! :)

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Hi there! 

 

Your quest is looking good! Glad you sorted your goals :) 

 

Wooo you do boxing? How's that? Always wanted to try it!

 

 

Anyway, good luck! 

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Hi Ensi!

 

Great to see you are back :)

 

You seem to have a lot of goals for this challenge though! Are some of them things you are doing already and just want to keep up with? Just be careful not to overload yourself taking on too many challenges at once, otherwise you might burn out.

 

I am interested in your mindfulness meditation! I do a little and find that what I have done has been really helpful. Do you have any particular meditation exercises to recommend? Thanks for your help!

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Hi there! 

 

Your quest is looking good! Glad you sorted your goals :) 

 

Wooo you do boxing? How's that? Always wanted to try it!

 

 

Anyway, good luck! 

 

Thanks! :) I've done boxing a few years, and I think it's one of the funniest sports there is! And we never punch other people in the classes, we just beat the sacks... Boxing sacks, that is.

"You seem to have a lot of goals for this challenge though! Are some of them things you are doing already and just want to keep up with? Just be careful not to overload yourself taking on too many challenges at once, otherwise you might burn out.

I am interested in your mindfulness meditation! I do a little and find that what I have done has been really helpful. Do you have any particular meditation exercises to recommend? Thanks for your help!"

Gypsy, happy to see you again! :) And thank you for your concern, it made me check my goals again. After giving it some thinking, I'm only doing two strenght trainings a week instead of three, that way I won't stress about exercise as likely. Other than that, I do still feel that I can follow this challenge through. I've tried to live by these goals for a long time, but now I'm really doing it. And I come prepared: I downloaded a food tracking device in my mobile phone and I have a couple of low-carb cook books that I'm going to put to use. I have kettlebells at home, gym is not far away and because boxing is the toughest one, I will only have one class a week.

So yes, some of these are habits that I want to keep up with and make them solid habits. I started tracking my food in the previous challenge, and it has prepared me for this one. I promise to take it easier with some goals, especially #2, if they become overwhelming :) Thanks, again!

Meditation is awesome! I've followed the instructions given in a book by Mark Williams. The book also has a CD with guided meditation practices. I did those for a few weeks, and now I am meditating without instructions. My book's in Finnish, I think this is the one in English: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-practical-guide-finding-frantic/dp/074995308X

It was actually my psychologist who said I should try that book, and those exercises ended my panic attacks almost immediately. If you have the time, here's a video about it:

emptyknight, I read your challenge thread and I'm glad to see you getting back in business after your injury! I'm sure we'll both get back to running where ever we want, just give it time and work hard :)

(Writing short answers was never an option....... Also, I'm sorry this post looks like a mess, I'm not sure what's happening with the quotes here o__o)

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Hmm... Something's not right with my text editing options this morning :D I can't see the font options, linking or anything. It's just a blanc box for writing. Hmm. Anyone else having the same problem?

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Thanks, KingLeeroy! I visited your challenge and wish you a lot of luck with your goals! Nice to see that there are other artists in NF, too :)

I made a couple of new adjustments: max 80 g of carbs a day instead of 60 g and two portions of dairy instead of one. My studies are going to start again shortly, so it's better to make a little less drastic changes for now...

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I'm happy that you lowered your goals a wee bit - I too was worried that you had a little too much this time. 

 

Anyway, hope you are having a fantastic first day :)

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Aww, you can't imagine how happy I am to have people like yourselves helping me and telling me to calm down before I go crazy! I edited my goals a little and made them seem a tad more reasonable. We'll see how it goes...

 

Day 1 almost done! I ate 1,425 kcal and 96 g of carbs. I still struggle with letting go from excessive yoghurt and milk in my coffee, but two portions a day will have to do. :D

 

My morning yoga was cut short, but I will meditate for a moment before bed.

I went walking for an hour, with some running sprints. That will have to do for this week's cardio, and I will do strenght training later this week: I'm travelling to another city tomorrow for a couple of days. I can easily walk there, and maybe do one strenght training session... But if not, I'll be back by Friday and will have time for two strenght training sessions this week. :)

 

Now it's time for some tea. See you tomorrow! :)

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Days 2 and 3!

 

I'm travelling with my mum, and even though there has been one portion of soft ice cream (so goooooood!) and dark chocolate, I've kept to the diet. It's hard to keep the carbs in check, but most of them come from fruits, berries and vegetables... Maybe it's actually good to do the transmission towards 80 g a day slowly? I've told my mum about my clean eating project and she's being very supportive. She wants to lose some weight herself, so we've eaten salads (a delicious tuna salad today!) and other nonprosessed foods.

At the moment I have one more meal for today, and my carbs are at 107 g. Calories are at 1,100, which isn't enough for the day... I'll make a big, beautiful omelette for dinner. With one frankfurter! :D

I'm tracking my food with MyFitnessPal, and I accidentally searched for "kurkku", which is Finnish for "cucumber". I was surprised to see that the database has an impressively large index of foods in Finnish! That makes my life a little easier :)

 

I missed my morning yoga yesterday, because our train left at 6 am and we had to leave early. I did some yoga later that day plus my evening meditation, and I got back to my morning yoga today. I won't do any exercise while we are travelling, since we're walking several hours a day and I'm almost too tired to sleep! :D I'll do my strenght training later this week.

 

All in all, everything's going well. I'll start building my website next week, and for now I'm drawing material for it. :) Let's keep this party going!

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That's brilliant, laurabzz :D Luckily accidents happen, sometimes good things come with them...

 

It is day 4, and it's going pretty well. I ate some candy and ice cream today, but I've stayed in my carb and calory limits (approximately 1600 kcal, 72 g of carbs).

I did my morning yoga, and we've walked several hours today, including some shopping! I found a knitted black poncho and now I'll be fabulous when my studies start. :D

 

My university offers its students many different sports possibilities. The whole year (from September to the end of May) only costs 55 euros, so I'm definitely buying a card there: I can use the gym as much as I want, participate in many different instructed classes such as boxing, and they said they'll even have kettlebell classes this year! I hope there will also be yoga, so that would solve one of my goals for this challenge. :) And this reminds me of another happy thing! During my last challenge, one of my goals was to study every day and finish my essays. I have now written my both essays and I even got the grade for the other one already: I got a 4 (on the scale from 1 to 5)! I'm so happy that I could do a little dance. I turned the other essay in to the teacher earlier today, and now I'm waiting for the grade for that one... Now I only need to read a couple of novels and history of French literature and I'll be set to do my exams in two weeks.

 

Blergh, writing feels hard today, I'm so tuned in to Finnish that I'm truly struggling with English :D Let's listen to some Game of Thrones music instead of trying to write some crazy text here....

 

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Thanks, Gypsy! :) I created an account for my website yesterday, and it turned out that you can't code your own HTML pages in Webs.com anymore. I thought that it's ok, as long as I'll have a website and my material there I'll be fine. I'll keep studying HTML, nevertheless.

 

It is day 5! Mom and I travelled back home today. Quick status of the day:

1816 kcal, 96 g of carbs. I ate a little more today, because travelling sometimes throws chocolate and stuff into your mouth. :D But I only ate 30 grams of chocolate, even though there was 200 grams available. It was OK, considering that I'm notorious for being able to eat at least two chocolate cows in an hour (that doesn't make any sense). Travelling's done for now, so I can focus on my diet with more control again. I think I did okay even during travelling, though!

I had some spare time this morning, so I did a kettlebell workout: 25 minutes of kettlebell training (two 11-minute circuits with 7,5 kg and 10 kg kettlebells), plus warm-up and cooling down. I did some yoga for stretching. Now I only need one more strenght workout for the week, and I'll meet my goal of one cardio wo and two strenght training wo's. Hurah! I really loved the workout today, and I'll probably hit the gym this weekend. :)

 

The past few days I've had some trouble with a few people I know, more about it here. The worst feelings have passed, though, and I'm starting to feel OK with the situation. I just shouldn't waste energy by worrying about people, who I shouldn't really worry about at the moment, because I need to study my exams that I'll be taking in two weeks. So, that's the plan for the days to follow: follow the plan and study hard.

 

See you tomorrow! :)

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Phew, it's been a very lazy day! I haven't tracked my eating and well, I've just hung around. :D We'll probably watch a movie, and I'm planning to eat some vegetables while watching. Eehehee.

 

I went jogging, and met an older woman on the track, and she joined me. We just jogged and chatted, and turned out that she was 76 YEARS OLD! It was very inspirational to see such an old lady running and being full of life. I definitely want to be like her when I'm at her age...!

 

So, nothing much going on. I will do some stretching now, and tomorrow I'll be fully back on track. :D Toodles!

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Welcome RPG Fanatic!  I laughed reading, "we just beat the sacks."    I really like GoT.  I didn't watch it until 2 weeks before the season3 finale.  Figured I'd try it so I got season 1 for netflix.  OMG, watched season 1, and 2, and 3 and saw the 3 finale live.  I debated making the guild name something like: House Stark or something before I settled on RPG Fanatics. 

 

I feel ya when it comes to knee problems.  Back in the middle of May, I did a bus pull and tweaked my left knee.  It was so aggrivating because I wanted to start trying out bodyweight squats to my workout but they killed.  Finally felt fine about week and a half ago so I experimented yesterday and did 5 squats.  I might do barbarian squats if I build up to 30 bodyweight squats.  For now it's experimenting.

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Thank you, terosx! It was great to find a group to join :)

 

It took some time before I really started to like GoT. I didn't like the extreme-ish sex and violence side of it, still don't (my fragile boxer's soul!), but when I look past that (which is, at the end of the day, just a realistic portrayal of a world that's very different from ours) I see great characters, a fascinating world and a show that's visually stunning! Daenerys is my favourite character, not to forger about Tyrion Lannister...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwS_QAtyf7M

 

The music is awesome, too. :D

 

Good thing that your knee is starting to get better! My are a little on-off at the moment, I broke them last December, but they've slowly healed after that. I'm sure they'll get better with time. Let's keep experimenting...!

 

Today is day 7, and though statistics show that I have eaten 1730 kcal and 110 grams of carbs, I'm not sure I can call it a success... It has been a hot and humid day and I read J.M. Coetzee's Foe entirely, which means that I have mostly chilled and read a book. :D The heat made me feel very weird and tired, I snacked some ice cream and bun, but I went biking for half and hour and I did a kettlebell workout in the evening: 4 rounds of 7-minute circuits (1 minute working out, 15 seconds of rest between movements). I'm super happy about that! I was first going to do only 3 rounds, but after 3 rounds I felt like I could keep going a little longer. So here we go, I got my other strenght training session for the week :) It took about 45 minutes, warming up and cooling down included.

 

This week's statistics:

Food? I still have to work with clean eating, I'm snacking too much ice cream and chocolate. I went travelling, so that made controlling my snacking a little harder, but I'll just be better prepared next time. I'm staying at my parents' house at the moment, and I can't wait to go back to my own apartment: that'll make clean eating a little easier :)

I tracked eating 5 days out of 7, and I've kept to my goal of 2 portions of dairy a day.

All in all, I'd say this goal has been worth 70 %.

Exercise? Ding-ding-ding! 100 %!

Mindfulness? Going pretty well, but I would like my morning yoga to be a bit longer than what it is. From now on, I'm aiming for 15 minutes and I'll only do it 5 days every week so that I won't stress about it. Other than that, mindfulness is good, and I'd say the week has been worth 90 %.

 

Week 1: 87 %

 

So far so good: I'm happy with how things are going. I need to concentrate on eating clean from now on. Week 2, here we come!

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Great job with the challenge so far! 

 

I really like your website goal, that's a good one :) I have been doing some websites myself, but not a personal one, and that one is something I will propably do in one point. A place for your works is a really good reason aswell ^^

 

Our fitness goals are very similar, though we're going to them a bit differently. Tracking with myfitnesspal sounds like it will make it so much easier to track proteins and stuff, so I must concider starting up with it. For the moment I just write everything in my topic. Has it a good database of food, does it include things like raw cacao powder or lucuma? If it does, i for sure has to start with it ^^. 

 

For me, things like herbal tea that is made from liquorise, and raw cocoa smoothie are curing my sweettooth, and that + the firm decision to not eat any sweets have helped me. I don't know what works for you, of course :) 

 

Keep it up!

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I really like your website goal, that's a good one :) I have been doing some websites myself, but not a personal one, and that one is something I will propably do in one point. A place for your works is a really good reason aswell ^^

 

Our fitness goals are very similar, though we're going to them a bit differently. Tracking with myfitnesspal sounds like it will make it so much easier to track proteins and stuff, so I must concider starting up with it. For the moment I just write everything in my topic. Has it a good database of food, does it include things like raw cacao powder or lucuma? If it does, i for sure has to start with it ^^. 

 

For me, things like herbal tea that is made from liquorise, and raw cocoa smoothie are curing my sweettooth, and that + the firm decision to not eat any sweets have helped me. I don't know what works for you, of course :)

 

Keep it up!

 

Eep, my website challenge is changing a little by little :D I'd like to learn HTML, but Webs.com doesn't allow custom HTML sites anymore. I started thinking that I could learn HTML on my own and instead create an account on deviantArt.com, that way my  drawings could get audience more easily... Well, I'll see what I'll come up with during the challenge :)

 

I can totally recommend MyFitnessPal for tracking food! I just checked raw cocoa powder and lucuma: it has both, and several options for different brands etc. It actually has a terrific database of Finnish foods as well, you can just type in "nakki" and it'll find you all sorts of... well, nakkeja. :D I've never had tracking food this easy, and the mobile application works fine, too. So yeah, if you want to track your eating easily, that's the best calory/nutrient counter I've ever had. (I sound like a commercial, gosh, but it's just because this really makes my life a little easier...)

 

Oh, I love liquorise... Maybe I'll give it a try! This morning I almost had some ice cream, but I just reminded myself how annoying it is to add that to my food diary... And I didn't take any. I just need to remind myself about the good diary, that usually curbs my appetite for sweets. u__u

 

Thanks for checking up on me, Leeroy! Everything's going fine, and today I've had rest day: I went for a morning walk, and later I went for a swim in a nearby river. Now I might go study some literature, I have an exam coming next week... eep!

 

I'll edit my stats here later today, I still have one meal to go :) Laters!

 

Edit: It is day 8, and stats are  1602 kcal and 67 grams of carbs. I'm very pleased with this: I didn't snack any ice cream today! We still have some chocolate ice cream in the freezer, but I've left it alone. As said, it's resting day and I've only walked, went for a nice little swim and I went to a shopping mall by bike. Now I might go study a little and do some stretching... See you tomorrow!

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Looks like your challenge is going great I'm so proud of you! And I'm pretty sure resisting chocolate ice cream is practically impossible so you must have some kind of superpowers!

 

How are your meditation exercises going? Looking back to a previous post, it's so funny because that book you linked was the one I read about mindfullness meditation! It caught my eye in the library so I borrowed it. I didn't actually do the full programme, but I found some of the ideas and techniques really helpful.

 

Keep up the good work for the coming week.

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Ha, some cryptonite today! Had ice cream with a friend. Day 9, stats: 1644 kcal, 124 grams of carbs. Calories are ok, but dem carbs. :D Most of my carbs come from fruits and natural yoghurt, but still... Oh well, I'm back on track. Mum went to pick some blueberries earlier today, so I had a tasty evening snack: fresh blueberries and yoghurt. Yum! I can't wait to get back to my own apartment, where I'm allowed to buy my own food. I could do it now, actually, but it's awkward and mum doesn't like it when I buy food myself. Oh, it sounds like I'm making excuses, but I could really use some time on my own.

 

I've felt strangely tired a few days, and I think it's because I've slept late every morning. I'm gonna put the alarm to wake me up at 7.30 am tomorrow, I hope this fatigue is only due to excessive sleeping... I sleep at least 10 hours every night and feel tired, when the ideal for me is about 8 hours. Let's see how it goes, it's hard to keep up with stuff when you're tired all the time.

 

 

How are your meditation exercises going? Looking back to a previous post, it's so funny because that book you linked was the one I read about mindfullness meditation! It caught my eye in the library so I borrowed it. I didn't actually do the full programme, but I found some of the ideas and techniques really helpful.

 

Keep up the good work for the coming week.

 

I spend a moment meditating every day, usually before I start reading my book in the evening :) It's a nice way to calm down. Today I sat in our yard, just observing the birds, bees and sounds. Sometimes there are moments during the day when I feel overwhelmed (there might be music playing, many people talking at once and just bunch of things happening around me). I might feel the need to get away from situations like that, and those are the moments when I just try to focus on my breathing and my body for a moment to see that everything's ok and it's only my surroundings that's restless, not me.

I didn't follow the actual programme through, either, but I did the exercises on the CD and they have given me a lot of tools to work with, if I start feeling anxious. I'm actually starting to feel pretty good these days. I still freak out every now and then ("oh my god what is this feeling in my stomach oh my I'm gonna die now ok oh no wait maybe I just need to go to the bathroom yaaayyyy"), but not as much as a few months ago :D

 

My friend and I walked a lot today, so that's my exercise. I also biked an hour or so, and went to a second hand store. I found Underworld on DVD there for my friend: the DVD was brand new and only cost 2,5 euros! We were super happy about that, since we've been looking for that movie for a couple of years now. They just don't sell Underworld on DVD in any store here, unless you buy the four movie set...

 

Blergh. Studying also happened today. Now I'm feeling kind of tedious, so it's maybe time for some meditation and then some reading. :) Laters!

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Way to go, Ensi! You're doing excellent on all your goals thus far!   :star:

 

Also, it's good to see there are artists on NF. Maybe we could do an art trade sometime? :)

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