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The Rescue of "Princess" Self-Esteem from the clutches of mainstream Marketing and his evil Unrealistic Beauty Standards!


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The struggle to fit into the size and shape that today's beauty industry makes women feel like they ought to have in order to be happy, healthy and successful in life has always haunted me.  Limbs too thick, hips too wide, legs too short, not enough chest, too much booty, etc etc etc, has always left me feeling like an outsider very unable to identify with other women and with the entire industry that makes me feel like I'm not a real or beautiful woman unless I look like all the advertisements tell me I should.  I'm not fat, but I'm not skinny.  I'm not hideously out of shape, but I'm not fit either.  I work an unpredictable job with a lot of uncertainty as to when I will be home and when I will be living in a hotel or in a camp, and for how long, well who knows.  

 

In the midst of life's chaos, my main quest is to strengthen my body and live the healthiest life I can.  I want to live a lifestyle whereby my self-esteem does not rely on unrealistic physical requirements placed on me by society.  Put in more specific terms I believe the best way to improve my self-image and help myself to stop caring what others expect me to look like is to reduce my body fat percentage while increasing my muscle mass.  As a female I know I will not become "bulky" by doing this.  I am also not concerned about my scale weight so long as I am seeing real progress in the mirror, in how my clothes fit, and in how strong I feel.  After some careful reading, and because my job requires physical capability, I know that weight loss is simply not enough to level up my life in terms of emotional and physical well being.  Being thin and weak will not improve my self confidence.  Being strong and lean will.  It is just as important to look good as it is to feel good, and to feel strong, and capable of handling a physically demanding job that will only degrade my body over time if I am not strong enough to handle its rigors.  

 

With that intent in mind I will list my missions that will bring me closer to this goal:

 

  1. I will do a strength-training workout at home with dumbbells (because I have them, and I am still very intimidated by the gym and its inhabitants) at least 3 times a week
  2. I will increase my protein intake and follow the Paleo diet as closely as possible (this is not always 100% possible because I am often subjected to situations where I have no control over my menu for weeks at a time due to working out of remote camps... in these cases I do my best to select the most simply prepared food items consisting mainly of meat and vegetables, as humanly possible)
  3. I will eliminate unhealthy food items that have weaseled their way into my diet, such as replacing chemical and sugar-laden coffee drinks at work with unsweetened teas and reducing froyo excursions to once a week or less.

 

Motivation

As Daenerys Targaryen often tells herself before she makes a bold move, "If I look back, I am lost." 

If I do not push forward, I am lost.  Living sick, weak, and unhealthy is no life to live and I do not want to go back to that.  Without health and fitness it is easy to lose oneself in negative energy and depression and that is no way to live.  If I go back, I am lost.  The only clear path to improving happiness and confidence comes through improving health through diet and fitness.  With improved health comes improved mood, and this is the best starting place for a more successful and happy life, equipped with more ability and resolve to handle the challenges that life throws at us.

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Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

[STR - 1] [DEX - 1] [STA - 8] [CON - 7] [WIS - 13] [CHA - 3]


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I love your writeup! I struggled my way to better self-esteem/body image when I was younger. It always gives me so much hope when I see others like you starting on the journey to change those perceptions. We can make this a better world, one person at a time. Will be following you in case you want encouragement.

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Level: 3    Race: Wood Elf

STR: 4    DEX: 4    STA: 5 CON: 4    WIS: 4    CHA: 5

Previous Challenge Current Challenge

Spoiler

 

5%

Bodyweight Workout 3X per week (1of 18 total)

8%
8%

Cardio 2X per week (1 of 12 total)

23%
23%

30 Days of Yoga - Day 7 Completed

 

 

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Welcome to the rebellion!  I am Super Destroyer, lord ambassador of the warriors.  You sound like a warrior to me.  Getting strong and lifting heavy stuff is what we do.  Looking forward to seeing how you rock your challenge.  Stop by the warriors' thread if you have any questions.  And as far as being intimidated by the gym. don't be.  There are MANY female warriors here who love lifting heavy.  Best of luck on your challenge!

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Checking in at the end of the day to show a lil accountability on day 1  :pride: 

 

Since I’ve entered this six week challenge at the end of week 3 I will be part of Level 1 Rebels again next challenge, which is totally all good with me!  I’m still finding out how everything works around here and how to use the resources and community to its full potential.  These next three weeks will be about focusing my main quest and related missions, and finding my fitness fit so that I know what guild best suits me going forward!

 

As I stated above I am by no means completely out of shape but I am most definitely not fit either.  I hover somewhere in between, and although I was not gifted with a naturally fast or strong body, I do have the advantage of natural flexibility that I have taken for granted as of late… as I get older I begin to see warning signs that not maintaining my flexibility will eventually result in the loss of it as time progresses.  On the flip side, I greatly desire to build physical strength not only to improve my capability but also my confidence.  So there are parts of me that lean towards druids and parts that lean towards warriors.  In many ways I think they complement each other.

 

It wasn’t long ago that I finally changed my mindset and decided that my constant weight-loss-weight-gain struggle was lacking substance.  For the last 10 years I have been on a health and wellness journey that has had many ups and downs.  Every time I lost the weight with some extreme program I thought I was done and good to go.  And every time that weight crept back.  And it didn’t matter how much weight I lost either, I always felt wretched.  I always felt fat, and weak, miserable and unsatisfied.  And never fully where I wanted to be.  So now I start off at “Averageâ€.  Not fat, not skinny, not strong, not weak… but somewhere in between.  Sounds like a good starting point to me.

 

So why get strong? Two months ago, I received a job assignment that put my body to the test more than I had experienced in my line of work thusfar.  In some ways, it was akin to bootcamp.  It kicked my ass… and by the end, I kicked its ass right back!  And my ass wasn’t looking half bad by the end of it either!  I felt strong, and capable, and I wanted to keep going and get stronger, and more capable… but I lacked focus, I lacked a goal, and I quickly lost motivation as I transitioned back to full day-consuming office work.  I adopted a basic strength training routine that I kept up for a couple weeks and then let fall by the wayside when I began experiencing pain due to strains accumulated on the job.  I “benched†myself so to speak and forgot the workouts for a couple weeks… til I found NF.  I have sought out therapy for my aches and pains and am cleared for lifting (carefully)!

 

So, what I did today:

 

Started with Steve’s warm-up: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2012/01/09/warm-up/

Did the entire warm up (and very much liked it) with a couple modifications:

  • 1 minute jump rope (pounding headache made me stop :hurt:)
  • Kicks/punches instead of the jumping jacks to appease my downstairs neighbours and reduce thumpity thumping above their heads

 

I then moved on to this basic dumbbell routine I’ve been using (numbers are 1st and 2nd set) :

 

 

  • Squat
  1. 8 kg x 10 (this was done with the weights held at shoulder height, little too tough for me...)
  2. 9.5 kg x20 (this one was done with weights held at about hip-height, which seemed to make it easier to do more squats...)
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift
  1. 8 kg x 10
  2. 9.5kg x 20
  • Lying Press
  1. 8 kg x 15
  2. 9.5 kg x 6
  • Lying Flys
  1. 7 kg x 7
  2. 7 kg x 6
  • Overhead Press
  1. 7 kg x 7
  2. 7 kg x 6
  • Lateral Raise
  1. 4 kg x 6
  2. 5 kg x 6
  • Bent-over Rows
  1. 11 kg x 10
  2. 11 kg x 10
  • Bicep Curls
  1. 7 kg x 8
  2. 7 kg x 7
  • Lying Triceps Extensions
  1. 5.5 kg x8
  2. 4 kg x 20
  • Pilates “Bicycle†Crunches
  1. 20
  2. 20

 

Before today I was focusing more on low-weight high rep sets.  After reading a little bit on NF blog posts I decided to try to add weight and do fewer reps, so this is a result of that.  I generally would have a third and possibly 4th set in this routine but I decided not to push myself too hard as I did not want to aggravate my shoulder issues on the first go. 

 

I also did quite a bit of walking today (probably about 1-2 hours), as it is my favourite method of getting around in my vehicle-clogged neighbourhood J

 

In terms of my nutrition goal, today I managed 59 g of protein, which isn't quite where I need to be. Based on calculations for non-active females my weight I should be getting somewhere around 80 g of protein a day and in order to actually replenish spent muscles I'd have to look at increasing it to *eep* 100-120 g of protein per day.  Good Lord.  I think the protein mission will be one of the toughest for me, which is probably why I always feel so weak.  I'm not vegetarian by choice, but I tend to avoid the meat section of grocery stores simply because I dislike cooking meat (and I'm not great at it) and it's expensive (which is why it sucks so much when I don't cook it very well).  So this is an area of extra special focus for me while I am trying to gain strength: get enough protein from high quality sources that won't break my bank account.  That will be requiring some homework.

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Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

[STR - 1] [DEX - 1] [STA - 8] [CON - 7] [WIS - 13] [CHA - 3]


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Looks like a great workout!  I love that you are ready to get strong.  There is no better feeling.  

 

You mentioned a lack of focus.  Maybe you got bored with what you were doing.  I can't tell you how many times I worked my ass off, then got to my goal and quit.  And each time, I gained back more weight than I lost.  However, since I started barbell training back at the end of October, I feel like I have discovered the fountain of youth.

 

I would suggest looking into a 5x5 strength program like Strong Lifts of Starting Strength.  A LOT of strong people on here got their start on one of these programs.  Check out the programs and ask around in the programming area.  Could be just the thing for you.  Take care!

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I would suggest looking into a 5x5 strength program like Strong Lifts of Starting Strength.  A LOT of strong people on here got their start on one of these programs.  Check out the programs and ask around in the programming area.  Could be just the thing for you.  Take care!

 

I will, thanks!  I am also in the process of finding a local trainer to get some pointers on form and what I should be doing to meet my goals.  That might take a bit since summer is the most unpredictable season for me, so it might be a side mission when I join a guild in the fall! :)

Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

[STR - 1] [DEX - 1] [STA - 8] [CON - 7] [WIS - 13] [CHA - 3]


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Today the focus is on food (and great timing, since our weekly farmer's market is in full swing today!) since I am definitely feeling yesterday's workout and will rest today.  I got some awesome noms at the market and am currently relearning how to cook meat.  Today: baked chicken breast!
 

Nom_zps4966a879.jpg

Moving towards Paleo!  (Don't look in my cupboards though!  :nevreness:  lol)

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Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

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Love the thread and your Targaryen quote. Personally I can not wait for the winds of winter to come out. Maybe in another year or two... As far as what you mentioned in the opening post about too much booty, maybe its just where I am from but too much booty as a bad thing for a chick is something I've never heard of. Just saying. Anyway good luck with the challenge and hoping you kick everydays ass!

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"a cleaved head no longer plots." -Viking proverb

 

"You are not your job, you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the content of your wallet. You're not your f#$king khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world."  -pay me no mind I've seen the fight club about 28 times...  

 

Hakuna Ma-frickin-tata

 

 

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If you do decide to get a trainer, and I am not suggesting you need one, make sure you find one that understands power lifting. I have seen trainers "teaching" some ridiculous form on squats

..

That's a really good point.  Form is super important.  I think one of the main reasons the weights section of the gym intimidates me is because I feel like I look like I don't know what I'm doing.  My thought is that if I can get some training, maybe I'll feel more confident to walk over there and lift with everyone else :)

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Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

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Day 3!
 
Today's Accomplishments:

  • 77 g protein, 1600 cals consumed/300 cal burned (non-workout day)
  • Whole foods only consumed

Some minor slip-ups:

 

Tomorrow is workout day!

Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

[STR - 1] [DEX - 1] [STA - 8] [CON - 7] [WIS - 13] [CHA - 3]


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Day 4, Workout 2!
 
Looked about the same as last time, form gets a little sloppy towards the end so I didn't think it was wise to push it beyond what I'd been doing.
 
Warmup
·        1:30 skip rope
·        25 jumping jacks
·        20 body weight squats
·        5 lunges (each leg)
·        10 hip extensions
·        5 hip rotations each leg (like you’re stepping over a fence)
·        10 forward leg swings (each leg)
·        10 side leg swings (each leg)
·        10 push ups (real ones! yep!)
·        6 spiderman steps (each leg
 
 
Main Workout (1&2 are sets; performed using dumbbells)

 

Squat

  • 8 kg x 10 (this was done with the weights held at shoulder height, little too tough for me...)
  • 11 kg x10 (this one was done with weights held at about hip-height, which seemed to make it easier to do more squats...)

Stiff Leg Deadlift

  • 9.5 kg x 15
  • 11 kg x 10

Lying Press

  • 9.5 kg x 10
  • 9.5 kg x 8

Lying Flys

  • 7 kg x 6
  • 7 kg x 7

Overhead Press

  • 7 kg x 8
  • 7 kg x 5

Lateral Raise

  • 4 kg x 7
  • 4 kg x 6

Bent-over Rows

  • 11 kg x 10
  • 11 kg x 10

Bicep Curls

  • 7 kg x 8
  • 7 kg x 8

Lying Triceps Extensions

  • 5.5 kg x8
  • 5.5 kg x 8

Pilates “Bicycle†Crunches

  • 20
  • 20

Protein... 90 g today so far.  Food intake has been of good quality for the day:

 

Some not-so-paleo foods:

  • Elevate Me Cranberry Matcha protein bar
  • Dagoba Lavender Blueberry Chocolate Bar  :nevreness:

Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

[STR - 1] [DEX - 1] [STA - 8] [CON - 7] [WIS - 13] [CHA - 3]


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Today was kind of a throwaway in some respects.  
 
What went right:

  • Lots of walking (beautiful Canada Day!) for some geocaching fun in my neighbourhood
  • Protein intake respectable: 75 g
  • Some good quality food: avocado, farm eggs, sprouts, bananas, strawberries, vegan protein powder, almond milk
  • Did not overeat in terms of calories

What went wrong (mostly food):

  • Chocolate....  :shame: (Dagoba noms)
  • Reliance on protein bars (Elevate Me bars)
  • Froyo (argh!)
  • Carbs made up half my cal intake for the day, not great
  • Basically, a good proportion of my calories were not of the best quality.  Going to fix that for tomorrow.
  • I am also not drinking enough water (big challenge for me) I may have to make this one of my missions next challenge.

Well, that's all for today.  
 



HAPPY CANADA DAY!! :D

canadian-flag.jpg

Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

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Work is seriously cramping my style today!!  After a not so awesome sleep and a not so awesome and hella long day, today is a write off.  Didn't get my workout in :(  Although, one great thing: I did not let that sugar/sucralose laden evil keurig hot chocolate and coffee drink into my office today!  So at least I managed knock off one mission.  I did OK on food, 70 g of protein today, but mainly from quick sources (protein bars, smoothies).  I only ate 1200 calories today which would be good if I was still aiming for the skinny-fat weight loss track... it's too low though if I actually want to get strong.  Hoping that my protein intake will at least be a bandaid for today's not so great performance.  Will do a reboot tomorrow and get back on track with this.

 

One thing I am also noticing is that my carb intake is too high, and my water intake is way too low, so those will likely be missions come next challenge (but I will do my best to look after them starting now of course!)

Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

[STR - 1] [DEX - 1] [STA - 8] [CON - 7] [WIS - 13] [CHA - 3]


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Gah, crazy week at work.  Turned into a desk-bound lump for 3 days while I gave my brain a serious workout learning how to do new things in a program that I love and hate: ArcGIS.  I have no idea how I can equally love and hate something so much lol.  This past few days has been the ArcMap version of playing a videogame on ultrahard mode (until you figure out what the heck you are doing and then it becomes super easy and you feel both accomplished and stupid at the same time! ack) But I digress... back to fitness!
 
So I'm giving myself a mental pat on the back (ah, hell, I'll actually pat myself on the back! There!) for getting right back on the wagon after a crazy week.  My biggest challenge with maintaining a fitness routine is getting discouraged when I fall behind due to general life chaos.  I lose motivation really easily because I feel like it'll be too hard to regain the ground I lost during the sedentary period.  Well, screw that!  Did my dumbell workout and am still doing well.  I'd like to add a 3rd set soon but I tend to get distracted after about set 2, which is why I'm making them as hard as possible.  I need to learn how to make tables so that I can summarize my workout stats in a more efficient manner.  That'll be a task for tomorrow.
 
Other wins:

  • Avoided shyte chemical laden food while working in the office (yeah!)
  • Good protein intake (though this coming week I want it to be less dependent on powders and bars)
  • In addition to workout routine, lots of time was spent last week just moving around (walking mostly) which is always beneficial!

Needs to be worked on:

  • Get food intake more aligned with paleo (not doing too bad actually but grains and sugars, although less frequent, need to get gone altogether!)
  • Complete workout schedule (last week I got 2/3, so this week aiming for 3/3)

As a side note on motivation, yesterday I came across a facebook post by Michael Moore (yeah, that guy) reflecting on his commitment to walking for health and happiness.  Link to post:here.  My favourite part of his little rant is this: 

 

It's all a scam and it conspires to keep you miserable. If it says "low-fat" or "sugar-free" or "just 100 calories!" throw it out. Remember, one of the main tenets of capitalism is to have the consumer filled with fear, insecurity, envy and unhappiness so that we can spend, spend, spend our way out of it and, dammit, just feel better for a little while. But we don't, do we? The path to happiness - and deep down, we all know this -- is created by love, and being kind to oneself, sharing a sense of community with others, becoming a participant instead of a spectator, and being in motion. Moving. Moving around all day. Lifting things, even if it's yourself. Going for a walk every day will change your thinking and have a ripple effect. You'll find yourself only eating when you're truly hungry...   

 

Right in that quote are some of the best realizations a person can come to on a path to better health through diet and fitness.  Don't get caught up in marketing BS, get moving, and lift stuff.  I don't necessarily agree with everything in his full rant, but his general intention is great: the path to being happier is as simple as going for a walk. Be present, take care of your body, get stronger.  I am always happiest in motion (either physically or in terms of my path in life).  No one likes to be stuck.  Physical movement echos my intention to move successfully through life.  The things I work towards when I'm lifting weights, going for a bike ride, or a long walk, mirror my intention to work towards better things in my life.  So kudos, Mr. Moore, for reminding me of what's meaningful and what's not! :)

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Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

[STR - 1] [DEX - 1] [STA - 8] [CON - 7] [WIS - 13] [CHA - 3]


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And there you go. Keep doing what you are doing, and have an awesome week5! :)

And just a thought. Consider strong lifts 5x5 for your next challenge.

I've looked into it and it looks like a great place to start!  I even downloaded the app :D  I'm teetering on the edge of nervousness about the gym though  :nevreness:

I need to get up over that hurdle really badly lol.  That's my secret side quest between challenges, because I'm already wondering what I'm going to do after my weights aren't heavy enough.  Actually they kind of aren't right now.  I'm using my heaviest ones for deadlifts/squats and managing about 10 reps, which for the 5x5 it means they're too light.... also I know I wouldn't be able to hold onto heavier dumbbells in the correct position for those workouts so I really do need to progress to a bar.  *Sighhhh* lol.  

 

Thanks for the encouragement :D 

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Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

[STR - 1] [DEX - 1] [STA - 8] [CON - 7] [WIS - 13] [CHA - 3]


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My daily dose of fitness-related chuckles:
 
"Sun's out, guns out!"  from #Protein, a video that rather accurately portrays everything I hate about the gym while allowing me to laugh at those people that make it rather intolerable to go to said gyms... #Protein (Youtube)

 

Gonna go play in the sun, catch ya later NF!

Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

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I've looked into it and it looks like a great place to start!  I even downloaded the app :D  I'm teetering on the edge of nervousness about the gym though  :nevreness:

I need to get up over that hurdle really badly lol.  That's my secret side quest between challenges, because I'm already wondering what I'm going to do after my weights aren't heavy enough.  Actually they kind of aren't right now.  I'm using my heaviest ones for deadlifts/squats and managing about 10 reps, which for the 5x5 it means they're too light.... also I know I wouldn't be able to hold onto heavier dumbbells in the correct position for those workouts so I really do need to progress to a bar.  *Sighhhh* lol.  

 

Thanks for the encouragement :D

Just to try to ease your nervousness about the gym, there was a time that I was afraid of the free weight section of the gym.  I was worried about looking out of place.  When I finally made myself jump right in, I discovered that most people don't even pay any attention to what others are doing.  Now I feel just as comfortable there as anywhere else.  Read everything you can, look up videos, and ask questions and post videos of yourself lifting here.  I guarantee you will never regret it.  :)

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My daily dose of fitness-related chuckles:

 

"Sun's out, guns out!"  from #Protein, a video that rather accurately portrays everything I hate about the gym while allowing me to laugh at those people that make it rather intolerable to go to said gyms... #Protein (Youtube)

 

Gonna go play in the sun, catch ya later NF!

I know this is satire, but all satire is at least partially based on reality.  And I think I have seen these guys at the gym before.  

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Argh. Very bad day.  Good thing it was a rest day and I can reset and workout tomorrow.  Things are potentially looking up so there is hope on the horizon :)

 

I am generally a stress-eater but I experienced the sensation of lost appetite due to stress today, a strange feeling for me.  Today I did not consume enough water at all and I feel it.  I ate healthy foods but not enough or in the right proportions (though I did cook and eat some chicken - yay for me cooking meat!) and the food I ate was pretty much all paleo-friendly.  That's a plus!

 

I want to add a mini life quest this week to gain +1 to WIS (can I do that?) and just because I've really wanted to learn this skill for a long time.  I never had the financial resources to do girl guides or scouts when I was a kid so I never got to learn all those cool skills like tying knots and surviving in the wilderness.  My job is based on remote wilderness work and I've always hated operating on the assumption that if I get into trouble, a rescue will come.  Well it might not always.  It's always good to build outdoor survival skills and so this week I'd like to teach myself basic knots for different survival situations.  I even have a mini guide to show me how it's done and everything!  Heck maybe I'll even post pics of my successful knots :)

 

Back at it again tomorrow!

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Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

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hello, just found your thread! You look like you're doing pretty well, and trying to keep going even though life and work is getting in the way, so keep it up!

 

In terms of cooking meat, why not try to learn some slow-cooked stews to make - for starters, you can pick up much cheaper cuts of meat, and once you have a kinda basic recipe they're pretty simple and staightforward. Brown meat and veggies, add some stock, simmer on stove or in oven for a few hours, voila. Maybe try google for recipes? It can also be a way to level up your wisdom for the challenge  :)

 

Best of luck for the last 2 weeks, you can do it!!

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level 2 Hobbit. Assassin-in-training

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

Current Challenge: There and back again

Previous Challenges 1 2

"I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone." Gandalf the Grey

 

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In terms of cooking meat, why not try to learn some slow-cooked stews to make - 

 

You are so right.  I even have a slowcooker but I always ignore it.  New mission! lol.  AND, I have grass fed stew beef in my freezer.  NO EXCUSES! lol.  I might wait til it's not 31 degrees out tho (sorry, 88 F depending on where you're from lol)

 

My meat-cooking vocabulary is currently limited to roasting chicken parts in a countertop oven and broiling frozen grass-fed beef patties in said oven (nom) but it would be great to add stew to the repertoire, especially in the fall!

Level: 3 Race: Human-Wood Elf Hybrid Class: Rebel

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