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Battle With a Demon

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Prologue: The Battle Begins


Tigera stumbled into Div's office, clumsily shutting the door as she dropped her bag on the floor.  "I think I'm losing," Tigera said without preamble.  "It's getting stronger, I can tell."


Ed the Demon smiled sadly at the sorceress-in-training.  It, of course, had smoothly slid through the door before Tigera managed to close it.  "Of course you're losing.  I mean, look at you.  How could you ever think you had a chance?"


Div rose from behind her desk, glaring at Ed.  "OUT," she said, waving her hand.  The demon scowled, but slowly faded.  Ghost-like, it blended with the background until Tigera could almost forget it was there.  Almost.


Div sat back in her chair, gesturing for Tigera to sit as well.  The older woman (much much much older) was an elf.  They made up the majority of the faculty at the Academy, largely because their ability to see demons made them uniquely suited to mentoring young spellcasters.  Everyone had their own demons to deal with, but when you start using magic…well.  Your demons become a bit more real.


"I'm not strong enough," Tigera continued.  "It starts talking and I can't make it shut up.  And once I start letting it get in my head, I can't do anything.  Magic gets hard, I just don't have the energy.  I can't make it stop.  I don't know what to do."


"Please sit," Div said, motioning again to the chair in front of her desk.  Tigera looked at the elf's face, then sat.  "Now.  You already know what strengthens it."


"When I'm out of balance, yes.  But--"


"So to defeat it, you need to regain that balance.  It's an essential part of magic."  Div rose, moving to one of the shelves that lined the wall.  "Every element of your life must work together. They must all combine to give you the peace of mind necessary to banish it forever."  Div picked up a smooth black stone from the shelf and turned back to Tigera.  "You want mental strength?  Alright.  That doesn't come from the mind alone.  It also comes from the body."  The elf sat back at her seat, placing the rock in front of Tigera.  "Physical strength leads to mental strength.  This--" she tapped the rock "--is part of a set of Balance Stones.  Each stone tests one element of your life.  You see the character inscribed in it?"


Tigera nodded.


"When you can make that character glow, your body will be adding strength to your mind instead of taking it away.  The demon should be much weaker then, and we can move on to other ways to vanquish it fully."  The elf sat back in her chair, dismissing Tigera for the time being.





Main Quest: Be happy

Sub-Quest: Gain physical strength


1)  Work out three times a week.  At the moment, this will be the Recruit Workout.  As the challenge progresses, I may move to a different bodyweight routine.

2)  Walk an average of 10,000 steps per day (or a total of 70,000 steps per week).

3)  Eat three balanced meals per day.  This is an intentionally vague goal, because it has to be.  The demon I’m struggling with is disordered eating (and mild depression, but that’s heavily tied together with the eating), so if I create rules for myself about the types of food I should/shouldn’t be eating it will likely lead to restriction.  Same with setting calorie goals or tracking macros.  So instead, I’ll just log several things a day:

a.   Binge: Y/N

b.  Restrict: Y/N

c.   Meals eaten: number

d.  General health of said meals:

         i.     0: Completely unhealthy.  Probably a binge in meal form.

        ii.     1: Some good, some bad.  Mixed.

       iii.     2: Great.  Healthy food, but also enjoyable.  Balance is the key, so it could even include a dessert if I haven’t been doing that a lot lately (that probably won’t happen at the beginning, as sugar is quite triggering for me).

The tracking for this goal will be very subjective.  But that’s because my main quest is related to mental health, not strictly physical.  And, for me, eating is very problematic (much more so than exercise) so this is the best solution for me.


Life Goal:

Participate in the Honorable Order of Rebellious Appraising Yeomen as an apprentice.  Goal is to complete my apprenticeship this challenge and become a Journeyman!  I think this fits very well with the mental health theme of my challenge.





As Tigera walked back to her room on the north-most side of the Academy campus, she turned the stone over in her hand.  Physical strength.  That was something concrete.  That was something she could do.  It wasn't like the whispered taunts about her appearance or her friendships or her life that Ed made--she didn't know how to change those things, which was why the demon mocked her for them.  But this...this she could do.


As she walked back to her room, holding the stone in her hand like a talisman, Ed rematerialized behind her.  The demon was fainter now than it had been in a long time.  The battle had begun.


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Aight, this week's mini-challenge!



= Specific

= Measurable

= Attainable/Achievable

= Realistic/Reasonable

= Timeous


Here are some questions to put your goals to the test:

1.     Is your overall quest achievable (over a short or long period of time)?  Is it reasonable?

Yes! Absolutely, it is achievable and reasonable.  At least, it better be.  The world would be a pretty sad place if happiness isn’t achievable/reasonable


2.     Do your 3 quests all build towards your main quest in little ways, or are you taking on too much? Do your quests have sub-quests or is it just one thing to focus on?

They’re all pretty focused, the first two especially.  Those definitely build in little ways.


3.     Are your main goals realistic? Can you scale them to smaller steps to fit your life better, even if it will make it take a little longer to achieve them?

They are definitely achievable.  I walk a lot anyway (although that number will be a lot harder to keep up once summer starts.  I may have to scale it back then), and exercise is something I want to start doing.  The eating goal is realistic and necessary, especially because it’s not super specific (see below).


4.     Are your goals able to be measured and tracked?  What will you use to track them?

Yepp, they can be.  I’m using my phone to track my steps, and a spreadsheet to track everything else.  The fitness goals are very binary pass/fail—either I exercise and walk or I don’t.  The eating stuff is less clear-cut, but I’ve made up my own way to track it.  It’ll still be subjective, but that’s okay.  My main quest is “happiness†which is pretty subjective in itself.  So I think it’s appropriate.


5.     How are you grading your goals?  Are they pass/fail (“every dayâ€, “not even once over the six weeksâ€)?  Is there a reward for the effort, or are you only grading yourself on whether or not you “lose the weight†or “run the distanceâ€?

I’ll be tracking everything weekly.  For me, this Challenge isn’t so much about grading how well I do in each of my goals—it’s more just finishing the damn thing.  I’ve tried before and never made it, so I really want to this time.  Next challenge I’ll worry about coming up with a system for grading each goal in more detail, but it’s not important for this one.  Right now, as long as I put forth the effort and finish the Challenge, that’s a victory in my book.


6.     What is your plan for continuing/altering/grading those goals if you become ill or injured?

I’ll figure that out if I become ill or injured.  Eating would stay the same, but exercise would have to be scaled back, I guess.


7.     Did you take into consideration any special occasions (Labour Day, Independence Day, birthdays, anniversaries, etc) that may occur during the challenge?  What modifications do you need to build into your goals for those?

Because my eating goals are fairly vague, I think events like that will take care of themselves.  The big thing will be learning how to enjoy myself without it turning into a binge.


8.     Do any of your main goals conflict with each other? Will one goal make it hard to do another?

Nope, don’t think so!


9.     Do you already have the time in your schedule to actually complete the goals you’ve set?  If not, what are you planning to do to make time for them?

Yes, I absolutely have time.  I walk a lot anyway (as already mentioned) and the exercise shouldn’t take that long.  And food has taken up a large portion of my waking hours for a long time.  This goal is about changing the focus of that time, which is a plus and shouldn’t add any time to it.


10.  Are you trying to build multiple habits, or is all your energy focused on your main quest?

I’m trying to build two habits I guess: a better relationship with food, and a regular exercise routine.  They should both help a lot with my main quest though, and they should work together well.  So yes, but not in a bad way?



Yay, +1 WIS!!

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Week One, Saturday


Steps: 5,735.  Not many, but I was sitting around studying most of the day.  The average for the whole week should still turn out well though, I think.


Exercise: Yes!  I finished the Recruit workout.  It went well, and I am now very much sore.  Not in a bad way though.  It's good.  I missed this.



     Binge: No

     Restrict: No

     Meals eaten: 2

          Lunch: 2 (balanced)

          Dinner: 2 (balanced)


Happiness: I'd give the day a 0.45 (mostly neutral, maybe a little bad).  The daytime was fully neutral but when it got late it kinda sucked.  I couldn't find people because they were out doing things.  I started texting people though, which helped a lot (helped me feel less isolated).  So it ended up being okay, and it was definitely a productive day!!

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Week One, Sunday


Steps: 5177


Exercise: Nope! Rest day



     Binge: Yes

     Restrict: No

     Meals eaten: 3

          Breakfast: 2

          Lunch: 2

          Dinner: 1


Happiness: 0.6


Week One Summary


Not much to summarize since I came into the challenge late.  This "week" was two days long.  But, anyway.


Average steps: 8,516.  I counted the steps my phone had recorded from earlier in the week, which is why this isn't an impossible number.  It's not too bad, but I definitely want to do better in Week Two!


Exercise: Once in the two days.



     Total Binges: 1

     Total Restrictions: 0

     Average meals eaten: 2.5

          Average breakfast: 2

          Average lunch: 2

          Average dinner: 1.5



Average happiness: 0.525.  So not a great two days, but I kinda knew that already.


Week Two, Monday


Steps: 7,508


Exercise: Yes!  Recruit workout again.



     Binge: No

     Restrict: No

     Meals eaten: 3

          Breakfast: 2

          Lunch: 2

          Dinner: 2


Happiness: 1.  It was a good day.  I didn't get as much done as I needed to in terms of exam-prep (ie. I didn't study all day) but lately it seems like there's a big tradeoff for me--I can either be productive and lock myself in a room to do work, or I can make my happiness a priority and be with people.  A balance between the two I must find.  Regardless, it was a good day.  We watched the 25th anniversary stage production of Phantom of the Opera (RAMIN KARIMLOO) which is insanely good.  Also I'd never watched it with my roommate before, and she's a huge fangirl so I got to watch her bounce around the room as she turned it on  :onthego:  :nonchalance:


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Week Two, Tuesday


Steps: 11,432


Exercise: No, rest day.  But I did go on a long walk when I reached that point while studying where my eyes were about to fall out of my head and roll over to one of the HOD majors who are already done with exams  :grumpy:



     Binge: No

     Restrict: No

     Meals eaten: 3

          Breakfast: 2

          Lunch: 2

          Dinner: 2


Happiness: 1. It was a good day, despite the fact that I spent the whole day studying Calc.  I got a lot done, and I think I'll be in fine shape to get what I need to on the exam.  My other exams are another story, but I'll deal with them them they come....the day after calc.  Shit.  But regardless, I was just happier today.  So yay for that.


HOoRAY #1: I'm smart.  That's a thing I've always been confident in, probably because it's more cut-and-dried, more provable than other aspects of life.  If I put in the effort to learn something, I can do so very effectively.

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Thanks for stopping in on my quest thread. I like the background story you wrote, am following :) .

TheMadEngineer the level 0 Human

My first challenge is here!




"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."---JFK

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