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Just One Anna - Just TWO Challenges


justoneanna

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Starting the post a little late, but I started the challenge last week!

 

My big overall goal, which will take me through several challenges and (hopefully) the Rebel Fitness Academy, is: Transform my body into my ally instead of my enemy.

 

In support of that goal, for the next six weeks I will do the following:

  • Meditate at least 3 times a week, using the Headspace app to track meditations (this is the mental aspect of transformation) (WIS +1) During these meditations I will concentrate on being present in my body, and accepting however it feels on any given day.
  • Complete at least 2 circuits of the Beginner's Bodyweight Workout at least 3 times a week (this is making my body stronger) (STR +2) I will focus on good form and not speed.
  • Walk/moderate interval training at least two times a week (this is helping my body get leaner) (STA +1) - this goal makes me nervous, as it involves jogging, and the last time I jogged I caused a massive pain flare. This time I will only jog on soft surfaces (like grass) and only for 30-45 seconds at a time. I will not push this limit until I know I can do so healthily.
  • Eat at least 80% paleo (this is also helping my body get leaner) (CON+1) - especially as part of this goal will be cutting out all added sugars except adding a spoonful of honey to my tea. (I shoudn't have to give up ALL the nice things in life.)
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: Listen to my body, and override any above goals if I am in danger of causing injury or a pain flare (this is helping me become my body's ally as well)

As a SIDE QUEST - I'm going to push hard to complete my therapy assignments, and try to kick this depressive swing in the butt. I will do this by always going to therapy, doing self-care when I need to, and meeting my goals with NerdFitness, because accomplishing something helps! (I have bipolar, and I'm smack in the middle of an autumn downswing.)

 

My MOTIVATION for this challenge is to do this because I know I can be better, stronger, and leaner, and because excuses are boring. I am worth being in the best shape I can be, and I am worth being healthy and happy with who I am and how I look. I only get this one body, so I might as well learn to love it -- AND treat it the best way I know how.

 

We're about halfway into week two, and I am already on track with all of these goals except the meditation one, which I just added because I have gotten lazy about meditating and had forgotten about that aspect of fitness. I am not giving myself a weight goal, because it's possible that with my EDS meds I actually can't lose the last 15 lbs I need to shift, but that's OK - if I complete these goals, I will have gotten healthier in six weeks, and will hopefully be on better terms with my body.

 

Pain is hard, and it makes me feel like I'm always fighting against my body - slow progress towards fitness will, I hope, bring me into better communication and happiness with who I am and what I look like.

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

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MINI CHALLENGE 1: THE LOOK

 

As part of MIni Challenge 1, I will buy a new (god damn) belt. I don't want to buy all new pants yet, but my belt is ratty and old and yucky, and it's almost completely too big. I've had to punch a new belt notch in it just to keep my pants up!

 

I will also evaluate if I can tailor (easily) any of my dress pants that currently do not fit. I am down to two pair of work pants, and that's scraping it a little close if I spill anything!

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

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Forgot that today was supposed to be a BBWW day, hung out with friends talking D&D all evening. Now it's 10pm, and I'm getting ready for bed, and I remember I need to work out to stay on track. Squats in pajamas, GO!

 

Edited: Ended up only doing one circuit instead of two. Better than nothing, but I just have no gas left in the tank to do a workout at 10:30pm after being up since 5am. Only half credit for today.

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

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Second Week Recap:

  • Meditate at least 3 times a week, using the Headspace app to track meditations:  3/3 meditations, all using Headspace, plus one, more religious meditation.
  • Complete at least 2 circuits of the Beginner's Bodyweight Workout at least 3 times a week: 2.5/3 BBWWs - I will try not to forget about workout days and end up trying to work out at 10:30pm.
  • Walk/moderate interval training at least two times a week (this is helping my body get leaner): 2/2 - one interval training workout and one 60 minute bike ride.
  • Eat at least 80% paleo (this is also helping my body get leaner): 6/7 - Saturday was a total diet bust, but I got back on the wagon today, and have been doing well so far.

I am REALLY sore today, so I'm glad today is just biking and not any more strength training. I am up almost 5 lbs since the beginning of the challenge, but I'm pretty sure that's a combination of too much salt yesterday and water weight from beginning to strength train. Historically I have put on weight whenever I started to exercise, and I'm up almost 10 lbs from my lowest weight in April, but I still think I can find a way to be strong AND lean instead of strong and fat. If I go by my weight this morning, I have 20 lbs to lose to be at my goal weight.

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

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Talked to my psychologist this morning about food and weight issues (finally), and she thinks I need to be really careful. I've been logging my food intake since January, and the program I'm using says I'm almost to 270 consecutive days of logged meals - which is great on one hand, but I've become somewhat obsessed with calories on the other. I know we're not supposed to count calories on the paleo diet, but I'm finding I am really really scared not to log - even though I haven't lost any weight since April. I lost almost 20 lbs in the first part of the year via calorie counting, but I stalled out in April and haven't lost anything/have regained some. That combined with the water weight from starting to do strength training and I'm afraid of giving up any kind of control right now. I feel like the exercise I'm doing "isn't enough" even though there's no time for me to do anything more.

 

The mental battle of this challenge is going to be the hard part. :(

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

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So far this week I'm 1/3 BBWW and 1/2 Interval training, and 1/3 Meditations. I may need to tone down the interval training, my joints hurt today (I did that yesterday), and that's something I have to watch out for. I've still got a good case of DOMS, which doesn't seem to be going away (probably because I'm training sore), but that doesn't bother me as much.

 

I joined the Womens Fitness Academy last night, and started looking around. There's a lot of information there, but a lot of it seems like it's repeated from other Nerd Fitness articles. The strength training exercise demonstrations are really good though, and the workouts are slightly different. I may switch to their Bodyweight Level 1 training plan instead of just doing the BBWW, since it's more varied in the exercises you do.

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

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Taking a rest day today. Will get back on the BBWW tomorrow. Tried to do a squat and nearly fell over, I'm so sore, plus my hips and knees (and wrists) are hurting and swollen (which is never a good sign).

 

Instead, I am going to do a nice stretchy yoga session to try to loosen up these muscles, and give myself .5 credit toward one of my workouts this week for doing so. It's "extra" exercise, so I won't be taking a true rest day, but will be taking care of my joints. Win win, even if I'm choosing to wait a day on another strength training workout. (Emphasis on choice. I am choosing this, because it is what my body is telling me it needs right now.) This is probably at least partially related to battling the Scarlet Onslaught, which began in earnest today.

 

Dinner is pan cooked chicken and chipotle-ranch salad. And probably a square of dark chocolate.

 

So far this week I'm 2/7 on Paleo days, and I've even managed to not succumb to the temptation that is my admin's desk, which currently has a bowl of snickers peanut butter minis on it. I haven't even eaten ONE.

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

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2/3 BBW workouts, 1/2 walking workouts, plus an extra 1/2 workout for the yoga session. 5/7 Paleo days this week. We may go out for dinner tomorrow, so I'll have that as my one non-paleo meal. Only 1/3 so far this week on meditation, I need to get my butt in gear on that one.

 

Noticed this morning that I am feeling my muscles more - not just because they're sore (which is less prominent today, taking an extra day to rest was a good idea), but because I am just more aware of how my body feels. I hope this is a sign of getting stronger. My BBW workout yesterday was really good - I am still doing 2 circuits, but it was easier than it has been in the past, and I was able to get really low in my squats.

 

Also, I got my dumbbells finally, so I will be changing to that workout next week. (Nerd Fitness Academy Dumbbells level 1 workouts). That will be more challenging than the BBWW, since it's both 5x5 and circuit training. 

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

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3/3 BBWW, 1/2 walking workouts, plus two yoga workouts (both an hour long). I need to figure out how I'm going to measure yoga, or if it's just going to be a "bonus" workout. I'm considering letting it count for a walking workout if I do at least an hour. I'm finding my muscles are really tight now that I'm strength training, so I kind of need the extra stretching time, especially in my shoulders/upper back. I don't want to set myself up for doing 7 workouts a week - that's not sustainable long term, and everyone needs off days. Maybe I"ll say 3/3 BBWW and 2 other workouts that I get to choose? Not sure.

 

I had to go easy on my BBWW today, because my left hip and knee are really torqued about something. I'm thinking I might have stretched too deeply on the yoga yesterday.

 

Had my one non-paleo meal for the week - shrimp enchiladas! I didn't eat any rice, and only had a few bites of the charro beans, so I stayed away from most of the really bad stuff. It was DELICIOUS, and the perfect choice for a splurge meal, since it was both extremely tasty and very satisfying.

 

Also went grocery shopping today, and got more frozen fruit and plain full fat greek yogurt to start making my own yogurt cups (to avoid all the sugar in the commercially prepared ones). Going to add some bacon to my scrambled eggs this week too. Yum.

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

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Third Week Recap:

  • Meditate at least 3 times a week, using the Headspace app to track meditations:  3/3 meditations, all using Headspace
  • Complete at least 2 circuits of the Beginner's Bodyweight Workout at least 3 times a week: 3/3 BBWWs
  • Walk/moderate interval training at least two times a week: 2/2 - one interval training workout and one 70 minute bike ride. Plus 2 bonus Yoga workouts.
  • Eat at least 80% paleo: 6/7 - Ate out Saturday Lunch (Mexican food!) but otherwise was on track for 80% paleo.

I also started doing yoga using the Yoga Studio app. It has pre-programmed workouts for strength, flexibility, relaxation, or "combination" in 15, 30, and 60 minute increments. I am going to count 1 hour of yoga as a walking workout, or as a bonus. I don't "need" to do any yoga to meet my goals, but doing so will help keep me from being as sore from the strength training.

 

I worked out 7 out of 7 days this week, and I'm pretty proud of that!

 

MiniQuest 2: The Silence - for this mini quest, I exercised this week without background noise. No TV behind my BBWW, no podcasts when walking or biking. It worked okay, but it was harder once I started getting tired. Having something to focus on that wasn't my screaming muscles is helpful.

 

Today I start the Dumbbell Level 1 workouts from the Nerd Fitness Academy instead of Beginner Bodyweight. My modified goal will be 3 workouts following that regimen instead of the BBWW.

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

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2/3 Dumbbell Workouts (which have a significant bodyweight component) - these are MUCH harder than the BBWW, and I couldn't complete workout B (which has 5 circuits as the second part of the workout, and I could only finish four). I also need to work on my grip strength, so I'll be doing some farmers walks on off days when my hands don't hurt.

 

2/2 walking workouts - I've gone on two long walks so far this week. I am less than 10 miles from Rivendell! I need to figure out how I'm going to celebrate when I get there - 458 miles is a lot of walking and exercise!

 

1/3 Meditations - I like to meditate before bed, but I've been watching the baseball playoffs until almost 9, when I have to get in the shower and go to bed immediately (I get up at 5am), so I haven't had time to meditate more than a few minutes. I need to break off from the game earlier tonight and do my meditations.

 

One thing I"m struggling with is getting enough food - I eat lunch around 1:30 usually, and then have a small snack when I get home from work at 5 before I work out (because I feel a lot better if I don't work out hungry). But then I am not even remotely interested in dinner - last night I had two spoonfuls of almond butter just so I'd have something in my stomach to take my meds, and called that "dinner". I don't like forcing myself to eat, but I know that a 900 calorie diet isn't enough with all the working out I'm doing either.

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

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Fourth Week Recap:

  • Meditate at least 3 times a week, using the Headspace app to track meditations:  3/3 meditations, all using Headspace - I'm moving on to doing 15 minute meditations now!
  • Complete Nerd Fitness Academy Dumbbell Division 1 Workouts (3 workouts per week) - 3/3 workouts
  • Walk/moderate interval training at least two times a week: 3/2 - three walks. Plus 1 bonus Yoga workout.
  • Eat at least 80% paleo: 7/7 - Ate out Sunday lunch, but I had veggie soup and stir fry with no rice, so mostly Paleo. Had half a soda on Saturday night, but it made me feel so sick I didn't finish it! On track for at least 80% paleo.

 

Mini Quest 3 - The Playlist - is going to be a hard one for me. I LOVE music, but very little of it is "dancing" music. Time to bust out my jazz CDs I guess! I know a lot of the really up swing Count Basie stuff makes me want to move my feet. Also samba music. That's very dancey too!

 

So far the Nerd Fitness Academy workouts are going fairly well. They're considerably harder than the BBWW, and take me about 30 minutes to complete, but I'm getting through them.

 

Also?

 

I MADE IT TO RIVENDELL!!!

 

458 miles since January, as of last Friday. Since then I've started tracking my miles for the next leg, which will take me to Lothlorien. Eventually I'll have to decide if I'm going to follow Frodo and the Ring to Mt. Doom, or follow Aragorn and the rest to Rohan and Gondor. Or do them one at a time, and then follow the whole group back to Hobbiton. I'm really proud of myself for getting this far (I give myself extra miles for non-walking workouts, 2 miles for 30 minutes of strength training, 1 mile for 30 minutes of yoga, as a way to keep me moving and motivated since I do other exercise than just walking).

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

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Fourth Week Recap:

  • Meditate at least 3 times a week, using the Headspace app to track meditations:  3/3 meditations, but I didn't do Headspace at all. Somehow fitting in 10 minutes of meditation seems easier than 20, and I want to move away from only doing guided meditations
  • Complete Nerd Fitness Academy Dumbbell Division 1 Workouts (3 workouts per week) - 3/3 workouts - still sore from doing push presses on Saturday.
  • Walk/moderate interval training at least two times a week: 3/2 - three walks. Plus 1 12 mile bike ride
  • Eat at least 80% paleo: 7/7 - Ate out Sunday lunch, where I had a bowl of pho, but tried to focus on the veggies/broth/meat and less on the noodles. On track for at least 80% paleo.

Right now I'm exercising 5-6 days a week, and I don't know if that will be sustainable long term. We'll see how it goes after the challenge once I"m just doing the Nerd Fitness Academy work.

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

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Keeping up with the exercise this week, but had a bit of a falling down and ordered a gluten free pizza for dinner on Tuesday. Guess that will be my "off" meal for the week. I'm finding it hard to stick to healthy food this week for some reason - I think it's stress and not getting as much sleep as I really want. My workouts have been slower, even though I'm finishing them (and still adding weight each week on most exercises!).

 

Tonight I'm going to play video games until 8pm and then read/go to bed. That seems like a good compromise and will hopefully help me sleep better. I'm so ready for the weekend it's not even funny.

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

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Hi justoneanna!

I agree so much on being ready for the weekend....

So glad I made it here before the challenge is over. Congratulations on making it to Rivendell!!!

It's inspiring to see how you listen to your body and it's needs. This also goes for needing rest this week.

Well done!

I have chosen to believe in myself.


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Fifth Week Recap:

  • Meditate at least 3 times a week, using the Headspace app to track meditations:  2/3 meditations, but I didn't do Headspace at all. Downloaded some apps to do drumming tracks while I meditate, just to see how that goes. I haven't tried them yet though.
  • Complete Nerd Fitness Academy Dumbbell Division 1 Workouts (3 workouts per week) - 3/3 workouts - next goal will be to get all my lifts to 50 lbs.
  • Walk/moderate interval training at least two times a week: 3/2 - three walks. Plus 1 hr of yoga.
  • Eat at least 80% paleo: 6/7 - The pizza got me off track, but otherwise I was successful with eating paleo this week. I'm not sweating it too much, since it was just one pizza. On track for at least 80% paleo.

Working with the NFA people to see why after almost six weeks of continuous strength training and paleo eating I haven't lost any weight OR any bodyfat% (via my calipers, even with multiple measurements, I'm still at 169 lbs and 31.5-32.5% bodyfat). I did some really extensive logging for the last few days and sent that in to see if there's anything I'm missing. I wouldn't mind the scale not moving (I'm only about 15 lbs above my goal weight of 150-155) if I was clearly building muscle and losing bodyfat, but my pants are, if anything, TIGHTER than when I started.

 

I may need to start taking additional measurements, but I'm going to be really annoyed if I'm putting on belly fat while I lose fat on my arms and legs. At least at my previous weight, the weight was distributed and I had a fairly flat stomach.

 

I'm feeling very discouraged about it all right now, and while I"m still forcing myself to do the workouts, I'm not finding any real enjoyment or satisfaction out of any of it. It's hard to keep doing the "right" things, when you were doing the "right" things before and didn't see any results, and you're not seeing any results now.

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

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