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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION.
 
Hi to everybody,
 
I am here because I've always wanted to be Lara Croft.
I never thought this would be an easy task for a skinny elf like me, but here I am ready to try.
 
I have walked a long path to be here; I've spent the last 3 years of my life doing things like:

  • ending or changing hurtful relationships;
  • quitting my job (a place full of unpleasant and angry idiots) and finding a better one;
  • changing my diet to paleo (one of the greatest decisions I've taken in my life; feel free to ask me about it if you are considering going paleo; I am not an expert but I can tell you about all the great things it has brought to my life);
  • meditating (4 months now following the getsomeheadspace program).

While doing all this stuff I tried to exercise too, but it was just a long line of starts&stops, which didn't bring me closer to impersonate Ms. Croft.
After reading Steve's article "The 5-step plan to success after failure" (and many others), I've found my mistakes, which were A LOT, say:

  • I defined global objectives like "I want to be able to climb to trees", "I want to be strong and put on weight", "I don't want to use a cane and walk dragging my feet when I get old", but no specific tiny objectives;
  • I let my (fitness) health in hands of -now I see it- not truly professional trainers;
  • I undervalued the role of rewards;
  • I didn't keep track of my progress;
  • I always started too many things at the same time so I finally became overwhelmed and quit;
  • I forced myself to do activities I clearly dislike just because everybody said "it's very healthy" (e.g. swimming);
  • I had very little support from friends and family (one of the reasons why I am here, among others).

So... to be Lara... I have a lot of work to do...
 
Life quest
 
Besides becoming Ms. Croft, skinnyLara has two more big goals she wants to accomplish in her life:

  • One: beat a state of general anxiety that has been with me for too many years.
  • Two: beat a frustrating stage fright which appeared as a consequence of suffering work harassment for almost four years at my old job.

Postscript:
Appart from a little background at highschool, I've learnt english mainly by reading Tolkien books and watching to "The big bang theory", so please, be compasionate and forgive any misspelling, grammatical inaccuracy or weird/uncomprehensible expressions.

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CHAPTER 2: GETTING STARTED (part 1).

 

So...

 

...I'd love some day to change my nickname to something like awesomeLara, superCroft or, why not, amazingkickassironspiderwoman (one can dream, right?).

And I definitively want to climb to trees.

And I want to put on 6 or 7 kg (now I am at 46).

 

To accomplish this, I will start easy this time, specially because I have not done any exercise for the past 7 months. I need to get my ass off the couch, with:

  • a mile a day routine;

  • doing something fun: signing up for tap dance lessons (and attending to them, sure).

Besides this, I will get track of my calorie intake at paleotrack.com, to see how much I am really eating and plan my fattening phase.

 

My rewards will be:

  • after the first week of "a mile a day": a little box of blackberries.

  • after my first tap dance lesson: a little box of raspberries or strawberries.

  • after a month of tap dancing lessons: a black or green refillable pilot v7 or a little notebook.

  • after the whole month doing a mile a day: a relaxing massage.

If I am able to keep my objectives for the whole month then I will consider to start the beginner strength routine.

 

Life quest

 

To help with anxiety: use the techniques learnt at getsomeheadspace to avoid going on and on with negative or anxious thoughts. I'll write at least three times each week about my success or my failures. I'll exercise, so that will help too.

 

Stage fright: I'll be playing with some of my youngest pupils on their concerts; very easy music and friendly audience. Concerts will take place on january 20th and 30th.

 

 

 

Postscript: I accept (and am hunger for) any advice you people can give me. As you see I've decided to start easy, but... do you think I am missing something?Please tell me. I will truly appreciate.

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Hey and welcome!

 

You and I sound very similar, in terms of the anxiety thing - and aspiring to be a real life Lara!! :) I think I have the anxiety under wraps for the most part at least, I had SSRIs and therapy last year which has helped - I'll be off the crazy pills in a week's time! Still have bad days which I feel I'm conquering by focusing on getting physically stronger - it helps you get mentally stronger, too.

 

I think some people already may have helped you with this, but I think if you want to GAIN weight, you'll have to do some sort of weight training to build some muscle and eats lots :) I'm by no means an expert, but I have read quite a lot on here over the weeks and it seems to be the right way to go. Definitely have a look round on the forums for advice, it's an awesome place.

 

I did wonder, I'm eating clean at the moment but Paleo seems to be the way to go for a lot of people, and I wondered just what benefits you've seen? How hard is it to transition? I feel like I would miss the things that 'aren't Paleo', but I'm really curious how it worked for you.

 

Once again welcome to the party and good luck! I'm sure you'll do great :)

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Hi Farenhayla and Sukiyo151,

 

thank you for taking the time to read my posts. It's always nice to receive support :)

 

 

I did wonder, I'm eating clean at the moment but Paleo seems to be the way to go for a lot of people, and I wondered just what benefits you've seen? How hard is it to transition? I feel like I would miss the things that 'aren't Paleo', but I'm really curious how it worked for you.

 

Farenhayla, going paleo changed my life. I was feeling tired and weak everyday. I had to eat 6 to 8 times a day to keep on going, and I had no "hunger" feelings before eating but instead was feeling nauseated. I had candida infection, I was always thirsty while drinking more than 3 litres of water everyday, I could do no exercise because it weakened me more and made me loose weight... I was easily irritated, and skipping one little snack always ended in tears, hand trembling, nausea and heartbeats. It turned out I was hyperinsulinemic. After eating, I usually had stomach aches, like stabbings.

I took the radical approach and went paleo for once, one morning. After a week, nausea went off and truly hunger feelings appeared, and I discovered I was skipping off meals because I didn't need them anymore. One week later I was eating 3 times a day without feeling weak and with no hypoglycemia at all. 2 months later I had no candida anymore, after many years of suffering them. I tried a strengthening workout and to my surprise, muscle started to build itself for the first time. It was like being in wonderland to me.

The only thing that has not yet changed is a chronic rinitis I've got since I was a child. It has improved, but is still here.

 

Sometimes I've struggled with sugar cravings, and 2 or 3 times I surrendered to them, just to see what happened. Everytime it cut my appetite for the next meal, and made me feel weird. When I have sugar cravings I usually give myself a treat like a special fruit I don't usually eat because it's expensive (mainly berries) or I add one or two dates cut in small bits to my salads.

You can see the transition was not hard at all for me, because I had such an extreme good reaction it was too easy to change.

 

About food missing: I've found two ways to deal with it. 1) When I have a craving hard to resist I think "I don't eat that". I don't say "I can't" but "I don't" so I make myself aware that it's not a forbidding but a responsibility I choose to have with my body and my brain. 2) I've found that the more time I kept on eating paleo, more changes started to happen with my sense of smell and my taste. I mean, it is easy not to miss a food when you try it one day and you find that it not longer tastes good to you. It's not hard to resist buying a baguette when walking near a bakery when the smell that arrives to you is not longer so pleasant.

 

I hope this helped.

 

Anxiety is a hard thing to live with. Don't discourage, it can really improve. I've never tried SSRI's but I suppose there was a time it would had been easier with them. Nowadays, I'm rather well but I have bad days. Meditation helps a lot, in case you want to try too.

 

Thank you again for your encouragement. I hope we will become great Laras!

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CHAPTER 2: GETTING STARTED (part 2).

 

What happened after a week.

 

A mile a day: I don't feel like doing it: it's cold, is dark, it rains... so I decided not to think about it and just do it. And then, as days have passed, I've started to focus on the good things I perceived: the fresh air going into my lungs, the solitude, the sound of my feet on the muddy ground... and feeling completely awake when coming back home.

 

Tap dance lessons: awesome! The people, the teacher, the music, the dancing, the sweating...

 

Calorie intake trackback: I eat an average of 1500 calories a day: my top days I eat around 1900-2000 calories, and the lower ones are around 1200-1300.

 

Where do I go from here?

 

  • A mile a day: I'll just keep on until I finish the whole month. I'll see then.

  • Tap dance lessons: I will add a practice day at home.

  • Calorie intake: I am thinking about adding a coconut milkshake everyday, which would add between 200-300 calories to my daily intake depending on the fruit I'd used to mix with and whether I add a raw egg yolk. But I wonder if I should wait until I start with the beginner's workout to increase my calorie intake.

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Hey, SkinnyLara!

 

Your goals are well outlined and you know what you want! That's cool! Tapdancing sounds awesome!

You have designed a good plan for yourself that will be sustainable. Keep it fun, keep it steady! As you progress along the path you'll want to try new things. Experiment, see what you like and adopt it!

 

I switched to mostly paleo as well. I still use dairy because I don't have a problem with it and it's delicious!  Nothing beats that feeling you get when you push harder and realise that you just reached a new personal best. Keep at it!

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Hi SilverRapier,

 

thank you for your support!

Tapdancing IS great! Superfun!

And at then end of my lesson, yesterday, I happened to think of you :) I've recently met this girl at my tapdance lessons, who happens to be an actress. She told me about some fun activities she did last year and told me about fencing. She told me she took lessons with the guy that prepares every fencing choreography appearing in spanish movies and encouraged me to take some lessons with him. She told me that choreographic fencing and competition fencing are in fact rather different, is that true? I don't think I can afford regular lessons, but maybe I will add them to my list of rewards (for a great accomplishment).

 

Have a nice day!

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Hi SilverRapier,

 

thank you for your support!

Tapdancing IS great! Superfun!

And at then end of my lesson, yesterday, I happened to think of you :) I've recently met this girl at my tapdance lessons, who happens to be an actress. She told me about some fun activities she did last year and told me about fencing. She told me she took lessons with the guy that prepares every fencing choreography appearing in spanish movies and encouraged me to take some lessons with him. She told me that choreographic fencing and competition fencing are in fact rather different, is that true? I don't think I can afford regular lessons, but maybe I will add them to my list of rewards (for a great accomplishment).

 

Have a nice day!

Absolutely! Watch any movie with a sword duel (The Mask of Zorro, The Three Musketeers (any of them)) and compare that to an olympic fencing match. It's night and day. Like all things Hollywood, the fencing in movies is made to look flashy rather than practical. A real fencing match has a lot of feints but little contact between the swords. One of the best movie duels of all time is the one between Inigo Montoya and The Dread Pirate Roberts in the Princess Bride.

 

Compare:

The Princess Bride duel

Men's fencing finals in the 2012 Olympics (epee)

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Current form: Chubby House Cat (lvl4)

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I love that duel!! I'll be taking a look to the Olympics one.

:D

Which one did you practice?

You be sure to watch that Olympics match! It was awesome! I used to practive Epee, but I tried them all. I wasn't very good (lack of discipline and dedication, and being the only girl), but it was fun.

In epee, you can hit your opponent anywhere with the tip of the weapon.

In foil, you can only hit the torso area with the tip.

In sabre, you can hit the limbs and torso with the flat of the blade. That one hurts a lot!

 

As you can guess, fencing is the one competition I never miss at the summer Olympics. I'll get back into it one day, but the equipment is expensive (my old epee was all rusty and the electric wire was busted.) Next time I get fencing gear, I'm taking all black! Because it looks badass!

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Current form: Chubby House Cat (lvl4)

Weight objective: 20%

S. 4 P. 6 E. 4 C. 7 I. 8 A. 4 L. 5

Battle log

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CHAPTER 2: GETTING STARTED (part 3).

 

About my life quest:

 

My intention this week was to write about my anxiety at least three times, but finally did it only twice. Also, I have noticed I am a bit reluctant to meditate (I skept the last two days). This kind of things -not accomplishing my goals- usually happens when I am starting to be overwhelmed. I have been working extra-hours this week and, more than that, my first pupils' concert is going to take place tomorrow so, yes, I am a bit overwhelmed. Positive things: only a bit overwhelmed, and I know this will be a big step to beat stage fright.

 

 

On the other hand, I've been told I will be playing a pretty difficult piece in concert, next April, with the teachers' orchestra. I knew this was going to happen sooner or later, but it was not in my initial "stage fright schedule" and I never thought the piece selected would be one with such difficulty. I am worried about it, but also confident: I have time to prepare my part and to build self-confidence, and I played that piece many times years ago so it is not new to me.

 

I know I can do it.

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Thank you again for your encouragement. I hope we will become great Laras!

 

Thank you for writing such a thorough reply, it's really helped me understand some great points about Paleo, and I've since been looking up some tasty recipes and trying a couple of Paleo breakfasts and I even had a Paleo dinner this evening! I know this journey for me will be life long, and having you explain the plus points is only reinforcing my decision to eventually go Paleo :) I'm continuing my research, and I can't believe it helped you health-wise so much! I watched a TED talk earlier about a Dr. that overcame MS by eating a Paleo diet. It's amazing.

 

Thank you!! :)

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CHAPTER 2: GETTING STARTED (part 3).

 

About my life quest:

 

My intention this week was to write about my anxiety at least three times, but finally did it only twice. Also, I have noticed I am a bit reluctant to meditate (I skept the last two days). This kind of things -not accomplishing my goals- usually happens when I am starting to be overwhelmed. I have been working extra-hours this week and, more than that, my first pupils' concert is going to take place tomorrow so, yes, I am a bit overwhelmed. Positive things: only a bit overwhelmed, and I know this will be a big step to beat stage fright.

 

 

On the other hand, I've been told I will be playing a pretty difficult piece in concert, next April, with the teachers' orchestra. I knew this was going to happen sooner or later, but it was not in my initial "stage fright schedule" and I never thought the piece selected would be one with such difficulty. I am worried about it, but also confident: I have time to prepare my part and to build self-confidence, and I played that piece many times years ago so it is not new to me.

 

I know I can do it.

Don't give up! Although, it can happen that we bite off more than we can chew at the beginning. If it's causing you too much stress, reduce a bit until you build enough momentum to carry you through.

 

Enjoy practicing for the concert!

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Current form: Chubby House Cat (lvl4)

Weight objective: 20%

S. 4 P. 6 E. 4 C. 7 I. 8 A. 4 L. 5

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CHAPTER 2: GETTING STARTED (part 4). Oh, lord, am I ever going to start a new chapter?

 

Solving problems:

 

1) I was not writing enough about my anxiety, but I've found an extremely easy solution: instead of keeping my notebook in the drawer I keep it on the desk. I see it everytime, so it's easier to stop a moment and reflect about how I am feeling.

 

2) I was puzzled and confused when I realised yesterday that I didn't prepare any rewards for my success at stage fright, whether verbal or gift-type. It strucked me hard.

I've decided to leave aside any philosophical discussion about why I acted like that (if unconsciously I don't appreciate what I do, if being my profession (not the adventurer one, the other) makes me feel is my duty to work on it so there's no need to reward...) and put some cheering assertions on the table. So I've wrote and thought a lot about how I felt and how I performed last monday. Also, I've decided I will track my progress too (everyday study, progress on the tough piece...) in a very nice notebook I will be offering myself this week (when the 30th concert is overcame).

 

Any suggestions on nice notebooks? I love stationery.

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Good job on overcoming stagefright!

 

Mmh, notebooks are nice! It really depends on your tastes here. My own logbook is black with golden decorations and looks like a mystical grimoire. Perhaps you would like a classical look? Leather bound with parchment-like paper? Or something more fanciful, with a nice picture on the cover and pastel-colored paper? Practical look, plain cover and lined white paper?

 

Go to a store, look at a few notebooks and see which one speaks the most to you. It's going to become your best friend over the next few months, you might as well pick one that strikes your fancy.

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Current form: Chubby House Cat (lvl4)

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S. 4 P. 6 E. 4 C. 7 I. 8 A. 4 L. 5

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My own logbook is black with golden decorations and looks like a mystical grimoire. Perhaps you would like a classical look? Leather bound with parchment-like paper? Or something more fanciful, with a nice picture on the cover and pastel-colored paper? Practical look, plain cover and lined white paper?

Suddenly it sounds like a very complicated matter...  :joyous: 

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CHAPTER 2: GETTING STARTED (part 2).

 

What happened after a week.

 

A mile a day: I don't feel like doing it: it's cold, is dark, it rains... so I decided not to think about it and just do it. And then, as days have passed, I've started to focus on the good things I perceived: the fresh air going into my lungs, the solitude, the sound of my feet on the muddy ground... and feeling completely awake when coming back home.

 

 

Good for you! Not thinking and just doing is a good strategy for many things (not every thing, of course, but certainly walking!)

 

And those solitary, fresh-air walks are the best! I know some people who are totally capable of not going outdoors all day, but even in the worst weather I have to get some fresh air.

 

(And good luck finding a great notebook! :)

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Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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CHAPTER 2: GETTING STARTED (part 4). Oh, lord, am I ever going to start a new chapter?

 

Solving problems:

 

1) I was not writing enough about my anxiety, but I've found an extremely easy solution: instead of keeping my notebook in the drawer I keep it on the desk. I see it everytime, so it's easier to stop a moment and reflect about how I am feeling.

 

2) I was puzzled and confused when I realised yesterday that I didn't prepare any rewards for my success at stage fright, whether verbal or gift-type. It strucked me hard.

I've decided to leave aside any philosophical discussion about why I acted like that (if unconsciously I don't appreciate what I do, if being my profession (not the adventurer one, the other) makes me feel is my duty to work on it so there's no need to reward...) and put some cheering assertions on the table. So I've wrote and thought a lot about how I felt and how I performed last monday. Also, I've decided I will track my progress too (everyday study, progress on the tough piece...) in a very nice notebook I will be offering myself this week (when the 30th concert is overcame).

This is very inspiring to read about you. I have anxiety aswell and am struggling to get through with it. Ill try out writing a journal as well. I hope you succeed! One of the things ive tried to get over my anxiety with women was a self help book i found at http://www.freedatinghelper.com/review/the-tao-of-badass-review-bringing-out-the-inner-badass/ and i find it very helpful in increasing my confidence. Still have anxiety panics but i can tell it has gotten better.

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This is very inspiring to read about you. I have anxiety aswell and am struggling to get through with it. Ill try out writing a journal as well. I hope you succeed!

 

I would strongly recommend you to try meditation. Not maybe a "spiritual" kind, but some kind of mindfulness meditation. It helps a lot. I am doing it online (can you imagine?) and it's incredibly useful. I know myself much more than before, I know where thoughts and feelings come from, I've learnt to use my mind and my feelings in my benefit.

Let me suggest this short presentation (10 minutes):

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes.html

 

It is not my intention to make an advertise here nor some kind of promotion, I am just saying this guy programs have helped me a lot (and still are). If you want to know more, his website is at getsomeheadspace. The first program (very basic but useful to get a taste on how he works) is free (10 days). I started it and before it finished I decided to enroll for the following ones. I have no regrets.

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CHAPTER 3 (finally!): WORKING OUT.

 

I did it.

A whole month walking a mile a day.

A whole month going to a tapdance lesson every week (well, this was not hard at all).

I've got my rewards (the massage is booked but not yet received) and I'm in better shape than a month ago.

Yippiiiiii!!!!

 

Now it's time to level up.

My objectives for these new phase are:

 

  • to increase strength and stamina,

  • while I try to put in some weight or at least not to loose it.

 

I've planned achieving this little by little. As I said before I have this tendency to feel overwhelmed, so I'll keep on going easy:

 

1st week: two! miles a day (it turned out I like it) AND introducing the beginner workout, only once a week by now (on tuesdays). I'll have yet to determine if I can do it entirely. I'll make sure I eat 1700-1800 a day so I don't loose weight. I'll put myself on the scale on the first day and I'll do it again one month later.

 

2ndweek: the cleaning workout, every friday. I'll take 30-45 minutes of my time to vigourously and deeply clean and declutter one room or part of the house.

 

3rd week: hold up.

 

4th week: I'll try to add a 20 minutes tapdance practice session, on monday or thursday, depending on the time I have available. This won't be a must, but a treat. And of course, I'll keep going to my lessons :D

 

If I achieve this, then I might be ready for my first challenge and start to workout three times a week. But we'll see.

 

Life quest

 

As I discovered here thanks to SilverRapier, I was not eating enough, and it has make me think that sure my thoughts (which I am starting to tame) and past events are a source for my anxiety, but what if a part of it was because I was a bit underfed? I'll observe myself attentively to see if my anxiety is reduced when eating a surplus. And I'll keep on writing 3 times a week about it, helps a lot to land some thoughts and to avoid distorsions. I'll keep on meditating.

 

I've made 3 small concerts with my pupils by now, and I'll have another one this week. I'm starting to feel more confident. But, this month, the 20th, I'll have my first rehearsal with the orchestra. Ugh.

 

Rewards

 

- First beginner workout: a coconut water carton to drink while working out. My boyfriends says it's like drinking dirty water, but I love it.

- A month doing the beginner workout: I'll have duck for lunch. I can't say I love it, it goes far beyond love.

- First week doing two miles a day: a box of berries.

- A whole month doing two miles a day: I'll buy a season of "Allò allò".

- First cleaning workout: a coconut water carton to drink while doing the job.

- Three weeks doing the cleaning workout: a relaxing massage.

- Tapdancing: it is a reward in itself :D

- First rehearsal with the orchestra: I'll buy a book on stage fright anxiety, Greene's or Caldwell's one.

 

Let's go!

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