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Hello there.


You may call me Nika, 24 yo American woman.


I struggled between choosing Hobbit or Wood Elf for my 'signature' race. Since I'm 5'5" and grew up in a forest, I went with wood elf since that isn't particularly short and when I'm not overweight, my frame tends for that lithe-look (though I got dem "babymakin' hipbones", in my grandmother's words)... though I'd say it's much more of a Wolfrider/Wendy Pini kind of Wood Elf. I thought about putting down Wolfrider Elf, but wouldn't know how many would get the reference so went with the regular......  


Anyways, I'm sure that says plenty about me already.


I've known about NF for a year or two, and have used a number of the articles for help, but never felt the urge to join the community before now.


What changed? Well, first I had a recent perspective shift from "I don't want to be fat" (which I've been operating around for the past couple of years) to "I want to be strong". Second, I felt like it. Third, I felt so inspired by reading the Staci/Spezzy article, which I only happened on recently. Then, I went and read all the other success stories and was like ":I *join*"


Despite aforementioned hips, I do not have any children. I do have a wonderful husband (who IS, more or less, a hobbit) that I've been with for the past 4 years.


It was a pretty happy and busy past years too, lots happened. And, I gained 45 lbs. and am, currently, at my peak weight of 180 lbs with absolutely no strength in muscle.


I used to have a regular routine of cardio and yoga @ 20 yo, but at that time I started having medical issues and dealt with a lot of pharmaceutical changes to a chronic pain condition I manage. It was easier to stop exercising, instead of trying to navigate the resulting pain that came from my usual activities. /background. Right now, I've gotten it under control (less and less pain each day) and have gotten entirely off all pharmaceuticals. My body's immunity seems to have strengthened a great deal from not constantly taking OtCs and other drugs (I don't smoke cigarettes or drink either).


It's important for my condition to strengthen the muscles in my back and shoulders, specifically the rhomboids and latissimus dorsi. I, also, hope to improve the flexibility of my spine and hips. My neck has a tendency to collect tension and the occipital artery swells in response, causing pain on the nerve underneath, so any exercises that take this into account are welcomed.


My ultimate goal is to strengthen my body to be able to cope with anything that may come its way... a strong, fit body that if I need to run from zombies, I can.


For me, it is important to keep a mind-body connect and maintain a mindfulness towards my activities. I regularly meditate, though I don't have a rigid practice set in place. Yoga has a special place in my heart. I've spent a lot of time doing yoga in the past. I enjoy physical practices that include spirit-mind-body connects.


I'm not sure which guild to join up with? Adventurers or Druids? Can I do both?

Since I'm a week late on the challenge, I'm going to join the next one and lurk this one.

For the past couple of months, I've been walking 30-50 min. every day or so (been trying for every day, but missed a few). I used to have notorious discipline, aware of it, working on it, getting better.


I feel like there's probably a specific thread for this talk on whatever guild or group or challenge...or... I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by this forum. There's so much to explore!


Does anyone know how to get those neat tracker bars on the sigs? What guild should I go to? What is the meaning of the universe? Where do I go? What do I do?

I'm plannin' on starting with the Beginner Body Weight Work-Out (today, after I post this) and keeping with my walking routine, while watching my eating habits (like usual), and lurk the current challenge. ...And track like crazy in a private journal.

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I think I figured out the guild stuff some... Also, since it's only been one week and not two, I can join the current challenge cycle with the Level 1 Rebels...  which I will do.


So, I'll have to consider Adventurers and Druids after I get past Lvl1. :)


Oh, I also found the Progress Bar information for the sig. So, I guess I've figured out my questions now... unless someone knows the meaning of the Universe?

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Almost a year later, I'm back. Some things have changed... for instance, I am 25 now! (funny how that happens)... 


In this last year since I joined NF, my health has gotten better. My chronic pain has lessened so much that it isn't even chronic pain anymore! I find this to be a great victory as when I do deal with pain, it's seemingly just ordinary regular pain. At most it is a minor headache every week or two, which is so different than what it used to be.


My weight has been fluctuating, however. I keep going between 165-185lbs like a pendulum and I chalk it up to that I haven't been able to manage a consistent exercise routine and lapse into really poor, binging eating habits. 


Sometime in April, I started jogging/running every day and that was good and fun because it helped strengthen my breath and muscles. But I started running because I got my first ever set of stretchmarks (a couple bright red ones) on my stomach and they freaked me out so much that it's super depressed me over my body! Before my stomach was so nice and smooth... So, I wanted to try to do something that would equalize that sense of failure in me. It hasn't actually helped with the emotional side of it though and I'm still reeling from the change in my skin's appearance. A new, small one between the two initial ones have appeared this last week too and it's FREAKING ME OUT! I'd like my body to stop changing without approval now, okay? :I


So, anyways, I stopped running when my partner and I moved to the city these last couple of months. In the hustle and bustle, I just lost my routine and haven't started it up again because running isn't my passion... it was just something to do, like I described.... also, I don't really have actual clothing for it, I was just running around in a dress and leggings that have worn through now.


Anyways, I'm looking to start a fairly heavy cardio program involving HIIT and Strength Training. I've started this week and I've got a schedule I'm going to keep to. When the next challenge cycle on NF rolls around, I'm going to join in again. I need the community for an extra set of eyes and that additional support.

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Welcome back, we excel at being eyes and support. Glad you're working on yourself again.

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