Jump to content

From the center: Finding my balance. [Robbie Blair's 2nd 6-week]


RobbieBlair

Recommended Posts

My Main Quest: To obtain a healthy relationship with my body through a holistic approach that helps me manage stress, improve my diet, and become more active. Target weight (phase 1) is 220lbs with a 38" waist.

 

Mission #1: I will meditate four times per week. (+4 wis)

 


Since stress is a major trigger for binge eating and meditation helps me simultaneously combat depression and anxiety, it's a major weapon in my fitness arsenal. Meditation is a consistent part of my mission goals, with the number of sessions increasing for each six-week cycle. A meditation session counts if it lasted at least 10 minutes and I was actively attempting to meditate. For each yoga session I miss I lose a letter grade for that week.


 


Mission #2: I will do yoga three times per week. (+3 dex, +1 wis)

 

Yoga is a dear friend to me, but one I don't spend nearly enough time with. Three times per week is perhaps ambitious, but by reminding myself that I can turn on a favorite TV show during the yoga, I hope to re-introduce this level of union into my life. A yoga session counts if it's 20 minutes or longer; corpse pose and other similar poses don't count toward the 20 minutes. For each yoga session I miss I lose a letter grade for that week.

 

Mission #3: I will energize my body by staying properly hydrated by having 2 liters of water per day. (+1 con, +1 stam)

 

Hydration is difficult for me due to ADD medications I'm on. However, staying hydrated has been shown to have a major positive impact on my happiness, health, and energy levels.  For each liter I fall short, I will dock myself one letter grade.

 

Nutrition Quest:  I will continue to keep a reduced-fat diet by having only 3 high-fat dishes per week and 2)  (+1 con, +1 stam)


 

A "high-fat dish" is defined as any dish where more than a third of the calories are from fat. The calorie percentage is in place solely for situations where the fat content isn't obvious (e.g., I know full well that a peanut butter brownie bar or a cheese pizza are high fat dishes, but hummus and vegetables may be a harder choice). For each high-fat food beyond the allowed 3, I will dock myself one letter grade.


 

Life Quest: Develop an Alpha Leveling system for Nerd Fitness. (+2 wis)

 

One area of academic emphasis for me is group psychology, and I've spent time studying the psychology of video games (and specifically MMOs). Simply put, Nerd Fitness doesn't create appropriate incentives, use an effective "learning curve," or otherwise fulfill its potential as a motivational tool. I'm uncertain how effectively I can introduce a new "leveling system" to improve the motivational aspects, but I'd like to put together something that can be put into "alpha testing" by volunteer members during the next 6-week cycle. I'll spend two hours per week on this project. For each half-hour less than that, I will be docked a letter grade.

 

My Motivation

 

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl, you find someone to carry you.."

 

It's easy to be hard on myself for not making the progress I want to make in the timeline I think is "correct." I want my focus to be on progress, not perfection. Moving forward—inch by finger-tensing inch if necessary—is the point. And having a positive relationship with my body ("My body is not an apology") is a major part of that. The Firefly quote above is currently my computer wallpaper.

 

Starting weight and measurements:

 

Pants: ~40" waist.

Shirt size: XL.

Weight: 237.2 lbs

 

Next six-week, I'll put focus into cardio again. I will likely track cardio activity during this challenge, but I won't be grading it. At my level 50, meditation and yoga would be near-daily activites, cardio would be regular, weight / bodyweight training would be common, my weight would be in a healthy range (165lbs to 185lbs), and I would maintain an energy-oriented diet (rather than food choices based on coping with stress).

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

great goals man :) nice to see some dudes in druids guild as well :)

your life quest sounds awesome - good luck with that as well :)

Elf Druid - Level 8         looking around for happiness || tracking || #intro || #old


 


"Most people think they’ll feel good once they reach some goal. By linking happiness to something you don’t have yet, you denying yourself the power to create it in the moment. Your happiness is your birth right. It shouldn’t depend on you ACHIEVING something. Start by claiming it and using it to make your journey fun all the way and not just at the end." S.Chandler


 


"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy" G. Apollinaire

Link to post

Welcome to the Druids!

 

It's easy to be hard on myself for not making the progress I want to make in the timeline I think is "correct." I want my focus to be on progress, not perfection. Moving forward—inch by finger-tensing inch if necessary—is the point.

 

 

 

This is so true!!!!

 

I look forward to seeing how you do over the next 6 weeks.

Lusitanian Druid, Level 9
STR: 13 | DEX: 15 | STA: 17 | CON: 22 | WIS: 25 | CHA: 25

“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.†- Aristotle

Current Challenge: Living the Good Life II Past: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th,  8th9th, 10th11th, 12th

 

Goal: 1001 Steps on the Road to a Home -> 18/348 in 2015 

5.27%
5.27%

 

Goal: loose 9KG in 2015 -> 1.5KG lost 

16.67%
16.67%
Link to post

I had to laugh at your corpse pose doesn't count part.  I do yoga at home, and I swear every time my husband walks in the room, it's during the corpse pose portion.  He must think that's all I do.  It's great to do at the end of a session, so I hope you're not skipping it, even if you don't count it towards your time!

Brenda

Cave-dwelling Druid

 

Current Challenge

 

Link to post

Thanks for the responses, everyone. :) So far I've done one meditation session and am going to be doing my second shortly. Along with Yoga. (Yes, Rob, you're going to do yoga now. You have to. You just told these nice people you were going to do it.)

 

One of the big questions I have on the "leveling system" I'm devising is how much I'd like non-physical stats to be present. We have wisdom and charisma currently, but not any variation of intelligence. Since this isn't a "life improvement" forum, it makes some sense to dodge the non-physical stats, but then wisdom and charisma feel out of place. I was thinking of using the stat system I've been toying with for my table-top RPG (strength, stamina, coordination, reflexes, intelligence, sense, will, and charm), but the inclusion of some of these may be a bit of a detour. And yet ... good sense, strong will, strong social connections, and a strategic approach to health are all important in reaching a healthy place. What do you guys think?

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

I put intelligence under wisdom, because you cant level up your brain as such, only add to your knowledge. Intelligence would be fixed. Similar thoughts on sense. it comes from experience.

Will would be a good addition i think, and maybe social/charm could be joined. I still put socialness as charisma, just for ease. the one time i tried making it more complicated it was a nightmare defining everything!

Kairiel level 6 Amazon Assassin

str9 wis13 cha5 dex8 sta11 con10

four  five six seven eight nine current

Link to post

Thanks for your feedback. :) I'm tempted to go off on a long ramble on how intelligence is definitely not fixed. I'll keep it simple: Intelligence is definitely not fixed! The last two decades have had a stunning amount of research into neuroplasticity. Not only do we learn new things, we learn new capabilities. Our brains change their structure, our neurosynapses ... okay, I said I wouldn't go on a long ramble. Just ... yeah. ^_^ This is something I geek out about.

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

haha, i dont mind! It would be nice to know how to increase my intelligence, i killed my brain a bit :P

Is it also possible for children born with issues to due heavy drinking parents and stuff? can special needs children increase their brain power? that would be something i'd love to work in if its possible... i see a lot of it around bogans-ville

Kairiel level 6 Amazon Assassin

str9 wis13 cha5 dex8 sta11 con10

four  five six seven eight nine current

Link to post

I may have some time to put together a few "good reads" for neuroplasticity, but a book that does a good job of giving the basics is Shawn Achor's The Happiness Advantage. As for how brain damage, mental retardation, etc., impacts neuroplasticity, that's something I haven't seen specific research on. However, I'm almost 100% sure that such research exists. This subject has become its own field within psychology and neuroscience.

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

I've done some work on the Alpha Version of an alternate leveling system. Since I haven't got another place to put it, I'll go ahead and toss some information together here. Your thoughts are welcome, but please don't take this as a final version or what the system would look like for new members. I'll get to that in time.

 

Core Starting Concept

 

Elimination of race - while the idea of race is functional in the introduction given on the Nerd Fitness blog, it does far less good in the efforts on the forum. Especially since the races are purely for fun and are never directly applicable to the content, this winds up as an unnecessary step that increases the learning curve without giving anything in exchange. People who want to say their race are welcome to do so for purely cosmetic reasons, but it has no impact.

 

Using guilds as starting areas - one of the best ways we could help people get involved quickly is if we had "starting areas."  The most logical way to divide people out into different starting areas would be to use the guilds. Starting areas could be used for low-pressure tasks and quests while getting people familiarized and socializing. I'll detail more later about what these "Starting Areas" would entail and look like.

 

Starting statistics - The current attempt to get new members integrated is, I fear, misguided. It places all new members together and as a result gives few established support groups, members, or sense of social connection. It also starts all statistics out at 0 for at least four weeks, which prevents any sense of growth. The starting statistics could be done in any manner of ways, but for my own simplicity I think we can use the system I've developed for a tabletop game and revise as that's necessary. To avoid a sense of inequality, having a set of starting stats that you can assign as you see fit feels like the best option.

 

As arbitrary numbers at this point, everyone would have 8 stats to assign: Three strengths, two moderates, three weaknesses. More specifically, stats of 6, 7, 9, 10, 10, 11, 13, 15. These would be associated with bonuses and penalties equal to the score minus 10. (Alternatively, we could give a set amount of stat experience to distribute as the "player" saw fit, but let's keep the learning curve as low as possible for now.)

 

The stats themselves - The stats I use are:

  • Strength. Basically what you'd expect.
  • Endurance. Would combine the current "endurance" and "constitution."
  • Coordination. Includes balance, direct coordination, and items like core muscle strength.
  • Reflexes. The speed of one's reflexes, one's flexibility, one's ability to move quickly.
  • Intelligence. For those who want to include mental development as part of their routine or credit themselves for the mental development that's built into their lifestyle choices.
  • Sense. Our intuitive abilities and common sense. This could be used, for example, as part of "sensible eating." The use of the term "sense" makes the language more accessible and obvious than a tricky term like "wisdom" (which few people can define in a narrow scope).
  • Will. Our willpower, which is one of the most important things to develop when making lifestyle changes.
  • Charm. For the site, it would be our social connections, friendships, etc. Considering how valuable friendships can be in emotional sustenance and forming changes, this seems appropriate for the list. I'm strongly opposed to the idea that this is "physical attractiveness." Attractive doesn't come in just one form, and the beauty standard is pretty messed up these days.

These stats also form into sub-groups, though I don't know that these will be immediately relevant. The sub-groups are Str + End = Fortitude, Cor + Ref = Agility, Int + Sen = Mind, Will + Cha = Spirit. Then further sub-groupings: Fortitude + Agility = Body, Mind + Spirit = Soul, Soul + Body = Being.

 

People would assign the stats based on their perceptions of themselves. I would put myself together something like this:

 

Str - 7 (-3) | End - 6 (-4) | Cor - 10 (0) | Ref - 13 (+3) | Int - 16 (+3) | Sen - 11 (+5) | Will - 11 (+1) |  Cha - 9 (-1)

 

A Level-Less System:

 

Instead of having levels in the traditional sense, I think the best thing here would be to have an achievement system, maybe an "area" system (where you get new quests as you unlock new areas), and then leveling stats directly. The system would be a "stat experience" setup based on quests (as will be described below) and habit formation.

 

The system for my table-top game is set up to encourage people to focus on eliminating their weaknesses before improving their strengths; numbers under 10 receive more penalties per point than numbers above 10 receive benefits. In my table-top, this is accomplished by having people gain 4 bonus stat points at first level and 1 stat point every time they level up. Here, the idea would be different. I think the best way would be to have everything count identically but make it easier to get points at lower levels.

 

Quests and habits would be assigned experience for various stats with the amount of experience changing based on the difficulty of the quest. (One of the difficult things in forming quests is going to be figuring out how to make them flexible enough that anyone can use them, but let's address that as it comes to it.) I'll detail more on that in the quest section, but the general idea for levels stats would be that you increase a stat once you've earned enough experience to do so and it gets harder to level up a stat the higher the stat is.

 

Some figures to use as the starting point could say that the amount needed to increase a stat would be 10 * (current stat^2), so raising a 6 to a 7 requires 360 experience, 7 to 8 would need 490, 8 to 9 would need 640, 9 to 10 would need 810, 10 to 11 would need 1000. To give a few random numbers from later development, 16 to 17 would require 2560 experience, 23 to 24 would require 5290 experience, and so on. If done effectively and put into an experience table, this shouldn't increase the learning curve too much. Exponentially-based difficulty increases are also a major part of how MMOs pull people in so effectively. You get rewards quickly at first then more slowly as time goes on, but those first few levels help pull you into the game and train you to expect and seek out those rewards.

 

One potential use for the bonuses and penalties mentioned earlier is that it provides an alternate way to track your total comparative "power" with others. The starting stats, using the sub-categories and my own sample assignments noted earlier, would be:

 

Str - 7 (-3) | End - 6 (-4) | Cor - 10 (0) | Ref - 13 (+3) | Int - 15 (+5) | Sen - 10 (+0) | Will - 11 (+0) | Cha - 9 (-1)

Fortitude: -7 | Agility: +3 | Mind: +5 | Spirit: +0

Body: -4 | Soul: +5

Being: 1

 

So you would start with a total score of 1, and for each bonus point you earned, you would go up by one in your "character score" or "being." The best way to do this for fast results would be to focus on your weaknesses—which I think is what we want to help people do anyway.

 

One habit at a time:

 

All major studies into the formation of habit have found that it starts with a single change. This single change creates a sense of momentum that can build over time, but it's unwise to have people taking on 3 or more major habit changes during a 6-week period. That's just what we've found in our scientific studies of it. (I'll cite that as I put together the actual alpha system.)

 

As such, having a target habit that you work on for weeks. More than 4, by the way; that "28 days" thing is not based in scientific fact, and studies on how long it actually takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit. It gets tricky, though, as you try to define what exactly "habit" means. In any case, a system that allows and encourages people to focus on a single habit is going to be best if we trust these scientific findings.

 

And quests:

 

If all the forums are used for is the tracking of a single habit, the forums will get boring. The best idea I have on how to encourage effect habit formation strategies while keeping things interesting is to follow the example set by MMOs.

 

While it's great to let people make their own goals, one of the biggest benefits of MMOs is that it eliminates the need to make these choices. I'm hoping this will be controversial, but I suggest that we do likewise. We can also make room for those who want to create their own goals, but for the core RPG I think we have the opportunity to create specific quests for people.

 

A sample quest would be to meditate for 10 minutes. It would also have a number of repetitions that you can do. Something like, "You can complete this quest five times" feels proper. The quest would be put up as a thread (probably pinned in a sub-thread for the "starting area" of a given class). The title would be the name of the quest, the post itself would detail the requirements and provide helpful links, and the post would conclude with your promised rewards. 

 

The sample quest "meditate for 10 minutes" could have these rewards:

 

Intelligence XP: 50

Sense XP: 75

Will XP: 125

 

To simplify the advancement process, we could create a spreadsheet online (such as through Google Docs) that would be copied for each new member, possibly after having done something basic to show they're actually interested. It wouldn't be hard to create. Here, let me do it now.

 

Here's the link: http://bit.ly/15dsQCM

 

And to create a copy, someone would just have to go in, push "Make a copy," assign a modified name to it, and put in the starting statistics for the person. They would then be able to use this to track their stat advancement. Every time the "To next point" hit 0, they could delete the experience, increase the score, and the spreadsheet would automatically update itself. Maybe something even smoother is possible (having a running experience total that automatically increases stats when appropriate), but as a simple stop-gap, the version I created may well work better than having people track it by hand.

 

Here's one I created for my own hypothetical stats. It can be edited. http://bit.ly/15dtKiJ

 

And groups: 

 

The "dungeon finder" tool in World of Warcraft was a boon back when I played the game. Currently, this site lets people connect but there's no sense of exactly how that functions or who is supposed to do what. If we put together a "group finder" based on the traditional roles of MMOs, I think it would do a great deal of good. People could be tank, healer, or DPS—or indicate that they could fill multiple roles. Tanks help organize, direct the group, and keep people accountable and involved. Healers encourage and support the group members. DPS want to plow forward and make progress without worrying about those details.

 

I feel these "group compositions" would be great on a number of levels and would help create social connections. But we also need something more obvious for what the groups do. I think the easiest solution is a new sub-section of the forums where each group is put together and can talk about their adventures in a thread devoted to the group's progress.

 

GOLD! ACHIEVEMENTS! SPELLS!

 

At some point, rewards for quests should also include some neat, motivational stuff—with the easiest short-term solution being to give an on-site "gold" which can eventually be spent for rewards. Rewards could be self-selected by members (things they'll do for themselves, like take themselves out to dinner), could be digital rewards such as on-site avatars or special opportunities (like a chat with Steve from the blog), could be some form of tangible rewards (though that one's tougher), or (my preference) specific things that people will do for themselves in real life, given a gold value by a central "Nerd Fitness Store." It decreases personalization, yes, but it also dramatically decreases the learning curve and, because it decreases the amount of effort that goes into the non-vital parts of developing one's health, it increases the value of the motivational tool when looked at in a per-hour-invested way.

 

Achievements are another obvious incentive that taps into the social element of these forums. It would be great if these could be integrated specifically, but for the time being we could have a list of achievements in a sub-forum and have each person have a thread that they update with their earned achievements.

 

Spells and abilities based on class would also be cool. These could be unlocked with specific quests, once you've reached specific areas, or once you've reached specific stat points. I think having them based on class would be great. These could be used as entirely cosmetic things, or they could be associated with some forum games (probably associated with groups), or they could be associated with real-life permissions. For example, a druid spell unlocked once you've completed a specific quest chain and have sense and will above 14 might be, "Seeker of Wisdom: Once per day, you may spent 20 guilt-free minutes browsing the web for information on meditation, yoga, spirituality, philosophy, or other worthy topics."

 

Another item, though, is that many people seem to go back and forth between two classes. It was even mentioned in the original Nerd Fighter post that talked about these classes. If we have an "area based" system, we could have people get the opportunity to add a second class once they hit a specific being score, once they complete a specific set of quests, etc. This would give access to new abilities. I'm in favor of allowing anyone to "travel" to the quest areas of other classes, however.

 

I'll explore more of this in a bit (possibly in just a couple hours since I do seem to be thinking about it right now), and the next priority is showing how areas might work. I may set up an example forum somewhere just to demonstrate more effectively. Or maybe it's a good idea to do so for alpha testing anyway. I'll see if I have the time.

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

^_^ I didn't realize we were in such an amazonian guild. Quite alright by me, though. Glad to be along.

 

I spent quite a few hours on the Alpha project. I actually set up a forum that I'm calling "NF Alpha." Mostly just dinking around on it right now, but those curious can browse. It's also where I'll be putting any other musings on the rules and structure. I realized as I was thinking it out that what I had in mind would require so many additional forums that the alpha test would be almost impossible to do in the main forums. The forums I threw up will be a bit naked, but hopefully they'll give an idea if this sort of system is feasible and enjoyable.

 

My results for the 1st week:

 

Mission #1: I will meditate four times per week.
Success!
 Grade received: A

 

Mission #2: I will do yoga three times per week.
Success! Grade received: A

 

Mission #3: I will drink two liters of water per day.

Missed on, maybe. Grade received: B

(My biggest problem wit the water isn't drinking it: It's tracking it.)

 

Diet goal: No more than two high-fat dishes per week.

Success! Grade received: A

 

Life goal: Work on the NF Alpha system.

Success! Grade received: A

(I think I actually spend about 5 hours on it.)

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

Heh, I think it's the Druids association with yoga, and yoga's reputation as a "women's exercise." Which is silly, since it was created and taught/practiced mostly by men for centuries, even though today most yoga classes are dominated by women.

 

So yeah, the more dudes the merrier!

 

 

^_^ I didn't realize we were in such an amazonian guild. Quite alright by me, though. Glad to be along.

 

Cave Dweller Druid, Level 4

STR: 5 | DEX: 5 | STA: 9 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 8 Start:1/2/1/3/6/2

 

 

Link to post

Rough week so far. Well, not rough on all fronts, but I've been so busy---just running from one thing to the next---that I haven't done a single yoga or meditation session. By the time I reach the end of my day, I feel too depleted to recharge. Does that make sense? Getting myself to do anything that requires effort (including the things that will energize me) is something I just don't feel I have energy for.

 

Monday and Tuesday were WILDLY productive, of course. I'm working to establish a creative writing community here, and with the help of my officers I got 138 new newsletter sign-ups. But it's really hard for me to prioritize my sanity when I feel like it's impossible to keep up on everything else. Haven't been doing all my homework (I have not yet started the math homework that's due in an hour, the four page writing assignment due at 4pm, or the 50 pages of reading due at 5:30pm). And I've got some life drama, no doubt, though I don't think I'll ramble at that here. (Shall I just simplify it to "love life"?)

 

Anywho ... any thoughts on creating a space for sanity when I'm feeling totally overloaded? And advice for avoiding the downward spiral that can so easily result from this rock/hard-place?

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

Results for week 2.

 

Mission #1: I will meditate four times per week.
Grade received: C

I honestly don't remember if I meditated 2 or 3 times this week, but it wasn't 4. I clearly need to come up with a better system for tracking all of my goals.

 

Mission #2: I will do yoga three times per week.
Grade received: B

It was either 2 or 3, but again, let's go with the lower reasonable estimate.

 

Mission #3: I will drink two liters of water per day.

Grade received: C

Again, tracking is an issue. I'm going to give myself a C since I did drink a fair deal of water and I even bought a water bottle to keep at school for the days I forget my water bottle at home.

 

Diet goal: No more than [450 calories of fat] per day.

Grade received: D

Again, poor tracking. So need to come up with something better. Also, "high-fit dishes" is a nice simple way to put it, but I think I want to shift to "fewer than X calories from fat in a day." Let's say 450 for now; I'll see what this looks like in practical application as I go forward. I may lower it to 375 or 300.

 

Life goal: Work on the NF Alpha system.

Grade received: A

Okay, I didn't touch it, but I did more than twice the necessary work last week so I'm going to give myself a pass here.

 

Goals for next week: Implement a better system for tracking, probably having to do with my calendar. Get more of the yoga/meditation done early in the week to keep up the momentum. Get on top of my to-do list and find more functional ways to address my "personal life drama." 

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

Anywho ... any thoughts on creating a space for sanity when I'm feeling totally overloaded? And advice for avoiding the downward spiral that can so easily result from this rock/hard-place?

 

I've found, when I start feeling like that, the best thing to do is to start really small. 1 minute of deep breathing, for example, instead of thinking about how you're going to fit in a 10 minute meditation and a 30 minute yoga session and OH GOD ALL THE THINGS. But you can do one minute. In fact, one minute of deep breathing (in 4, hold 2, out 4, hold 2) may even make you work BETTER at all the assignments and things you have to do. Usually I get caught up in negative headspace ("you don't have time, you're failing at your goals, you can't do that now you have to do all the things") and I need to slow down, mentally talk to myself ("Okay, I have a list of things to do, but for right now I'm going to take one minute to breathe deeply and calmly. Just one minute, and then we'll hit the books") and then just DO IT. With so many things, inertia is crucial - if you really only have one minute, set a timer and do one minute, but for me usually once I get started on something, I can stick with it a little longer, which helps with the sanity points. You just have to overcome that initial hump - the mental "static friction" (to borrow a physics term).

Level 3 Human Druid

[sTR: 3] [DEX:8] [sTA:5] [CON:9] [WIS:8] [CHA:2]

Previous Challenge Thread: A Wild Anna Appears

Current Challenge Thread: Just one Anna, Just TWO challenges!

Walking to Lothlorien: On the road south of Rivendell

Twitter: @justanna

Link to post

Great tips. :) Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I often think of my psychological struggles as being about "overcoming the inertial barrier." It's easy to forget that one of the simplest solutions is to choose an action that already has a lower barrier to overcome.

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

I'm doing very well on yoga, meditation, and drinking lots of water this week. I'm doing far less well on keeping my diet low-fat; while I'm not keeping track of it, I'm fairly confident that if I did keep track of the calories from fat I would be well above my limit.

 

I'm doing more work on NF Alpha, which has actually become something of a way to unwind for me. I'm going to make a post or two over there right now to outline some of how I'm conceptualizing the project.

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

Results for week 3.

 

Starting making tally marks on my physical calendar for these goals. Definitely a simple and effective method for tracking.

 

Mission #1: I will meditate four times per week.
Grade received: A

Nailed it.

 

Mission #2: I will do yoga three times per week.
Grade received: A

Super nailed it.

 

Mission #3: I will drink two liters of water per day.

Grade received: A

Super-duper nailed it.

 

Diet goal: No more than [450 calories of fat] per day.

Grade received: F

And ... totally ignored this one.

 

Life goal: Work on the NF Alpha system.

Grade received: A

Yep, did a bunch of work on this.

 

Goals for next week: Decide whether I want to invest into the remainder of this six-week project and, if so, how I can motivate myself. Honestly, while it's great to have something prompting me to do yoga and meditation (the bits that really matter on this for me), it's a to handle at once while still trying to handle all my other crazy. I'm losing motivation pretty quickly here. If I decide I'm out of juice, though, I think I'll just hone in on a single element of this process (meditation, probably) and aim to track that.

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

So, I've come to a decision.

 

Nerd Fitness is a really cool blog and forum. The people here are awesome. But the social support is ... well, limited.

 

Understandably limited, of course. It's not like I'm a paragon of providing support for everyone else during their six-week struggles.

 

But that kind of brings me to the point: These are set up as struggles. Now, I know I've talked about the NF Alpha project, which I may well still work on from time to time. It's a neat idea, I feel, and one that could be implemented in some fun ways. But I don't have time to do more than put together some ideas. Many of those ideas are already put together in the linked forum. In fact, I wrote up about 20 pages of my thoughts---and an outline of how it could all be implemented---in this specific sub-forum.

 

The short version: We have plenty of studies that show the approach advocated, perhaps unintentionally, by these forums is counterproductive. The best thing to do is focus on a single habit and work at it until it's ingrained. This takes about 60 days on average. As core habits change, the "small wins" create more emotional energy and space which is naturally used to behave in healthier ways and disrupt negative habits (many of which are manifestations of unhealthy stress patterns, etc.). This happens naturally when we employ our willpower to change a solitary habit at a time. Then, as we move toward the next habit change, we have more emotional energy and willpower to work with.

 

Anyway, that's why these forums have such a low success rate. That so many gimmicks are necessary to make the six-week routines feasible makes sense given how difficult it is to employ our willpower to change even one habit. But those gimmicks only add to the learning curve and further decrease the success rate for participants on this forum. I really do hope some of my ideas will be useful to you.

 

It's easy to get ambitious with fitness, especially since the move toward a healthier lifestyle often happens once our shame and resentment has built up to the point that we feel completely broken down. We want to change everything at once. Only we can't, and the end result is that we return to our established habits the majority of the time. We may have a stretch of healthy living, but it ... peters out. Ultimately, the shame mentally destroys our chances of success because what we do is never enough to make us into the ideal version of ourselves we imagine we should be able to become.

 

One change every two months seems like very little, but how many of us really make six positive changes to our daily lives over the course of a given year? I like these forums and I like the people I've met on them, but there's no reason for me to make this more complicated than it has to be. I would like to simply move forward with one habit at a time and work toward developing a positive relationship with my body. Right now I'm going to work to meditate daily. I may well track some of this on my YouTube channel or blog (linked in my signature) for those of you who are curious.

 

Anyway. I know not many of you will check this thread, but for those who have been keeping tabs on me at all, I wanted you to know that I've made a conscious decision to step away from this six-week set of missions and instead focus on changing my habits and lifestyle using the best scientifically supported methodologies possible—and using the approaches that feel most right to me.

 

Best of luck to all who remain on these forums and continue to work toward similar goals. I hope that my presence and input here has been of some help.

 

Slainte,

 

Robbie Blair

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post

Hi RobbieBlair!

Hopefully you'll have a peek at this thread at least one more time and read this :-)

Welcome back to the Druids whenever you feel like it. I found your thoughts above very interesting, and my view is that there are probably as many roads to "improvement" or whatever we want to call it as there are individuals. Did you share the interesting ideas that you had about the forums with any of those who design them ? (I'm a simple Guild leader and I just hang around  :nevreness:  )

 

Good luck with the road that you choose!

I have chosen to believe in myself.


Link to post

As they say, "There are many paths to the top of the mountain."

 

I haven't communicated these ideas to those who run the forums, partially because I have no idea who those people are. Do you want to refer me to the write blokes---or just nudge them on my behalf?

Druid | My Current Challenge | Past Challenges: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

"When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl anymore, you find someone to carry you."

Link to post
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines