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ABlessing

6 Week Challenge - Participation without Perfection

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Hello All,

 

I have been skulking around Nerd Fitness for about two years now with no great participation or success.  I avidly read Steve's blog posts and find them both informational and motivational.  On the spur of the moment I decided to start the April 6 Week Challenge.

 

Year End Goal (2016) - Attend Emerald City Comicon and participate in cos-play in costume of my design and creation.

 

Six Week Goal (End May 27) - Participate in yoga once a week at the local rec center (yoga dvd or similar low impact work out if rec center not available).  Purchase local meat & shop at local produce markets.  It has become more important to me after recently moving out on my own to make purchasing decisions on a more localized and community driven level. I am very interested to see if my body can tell the difference between local organic or big box chain store produce.

 

Side "Life" Quest - Read and complete reflecting questions in "Tune In - let your intuition guide you to Fulfillment and Flow".  I am a bit worried about this one - as I have been procrastinating very well for the first week of this challenge. I have already started the book and answering questions but it's been hanging around for about 6 months with no sight of completion.

 

Status Update -

 

Went to yoga on the weekend, walked to the Rev and back - beautiful day! I was much stronger in yoga than I thought I would be. It has been well over a year since I have done any remote form of exercise.  I actually feel my muscles aching today - in a good way.  

 

Checked out a new (to me) local produce place and bought a single expensive chicken breast sources from a local free range farm.  Cooked my big box chicken pack - to have pre cooked meat all week.  I will pay attention to what my body tells me and see if I feel different or what my impressions are while eating the chicken.  Tried tofu - impression was: this is not food.  

 

I interested in developing a connection with the food I consume - to have a deeper level of fulfillment - instead of "food = fuel, salad = skinny".  I am looking away from the robotic fueling and to take a greater personal responsibility and enjoyment for the things I consume.

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Food is really interesting and is way more than fuel.  I read something interesting recently on a fitness blog stating that Americans only spend 14% of their income on food.  Compared to other post-industrial nations this is low.  Apparently in Japan they spend up to 30% of their income on food.  

 

Keep up the hard work!

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Thank you for the vote of confidence!

 

That is an interesting fact and a bit of a mind bender.  It does speak to my current spiritual journey of incorporating more mindfulness, participation and responsibility toward myself and the food I consume.

 

Yes I can spend $5 on a flat of bloated 8 pack of chicken breast - or I can a conscious decision to know where my food is coming from and save to spend on expensive organic free-range happy farm chicken breast. 

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Hello! I was a late joiner too. :) 

 

I really like your goal to buy more local food. It's so easy to just go to the regular store, but it feels so good when you support local farmers and it's often better for you too. 

 

If you need any help with finding yoga videos, let me know! I know of a few. I'll be following you to offer support throughout your challenge!

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Wow! Thank you NeverThatBored! It's great to have the support.

 

Status Update - Ate peanut butter straight from the jar last night.....and some chocolate chips.  Chucked the peanut butter out and hid the chocolate chips in the back of the cupboard.  My theory is to Jedi Mind trick myself to cultivate proper eating habits - if it's not in the house - I can't eat it.  

 

I've got a lot of big box chicken and salmon the freezer so I will be working my way through that while continuing to purchase local meat to freeze - so I think my the end of the 6 week challenge the big box meat will all be out of the house.  Then when I consistently eat the organic goods I can tell if there is a noticeable difference.

 

I also stopped procrastinating on reading and answering the questions in "Tune In".  I was procrastinating because in the previous questions I have answered, I had a lot of negative self talk, which made me nervous to continue.  It made me think "What will this book really bring to my life - doesn't it seem to just make me feel worse about myself because I'm not experiencing the things described?"

 

However once I started working on it again, it was like all things, built up much worse in my head.

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Good call! Throwing out the bad stuff in my kitchen is the only way that I can resist it. It seems to work pretty well, though it's amazing how many temptations still pop up. I don't think peanut butter is so terrible for you, and there are natural versions, but it's calorie-heavy in any form.

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Hello!! I'm another late joiner... also a cosplayer and interested in levelling up my eating habits. I'm curious about the results you'll find comparing foods of different qualities. Since finding NerdFitness and getting into paleo/fitness/nutrition, I've been way more in touch with how my digestive system responds to what I eat. Now I don't have days of "Wow, my stomach hurts and I have no idea why, why is my body so dumb", because I know it's from that 50 grams of sugar in that candy I just ingested. Having that knowledge gives us power to eat right and strengthen ourselves.

Considering that we must eat to live, and what we eat is so important in how our bodies function, it's CRAZY how little thought we typically put into it. Your post is really inspirational to me to pay more attention.

Keep up the great work!!

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I feel ya! I've gone so far as to buy a large bag of chips (potatoes, olive oil, and salt only, no nasty chemicals) eat several ounces, feel bad an hour later, then crush the entire bag and toss it in the garbage. It's better out of the house than to worry about how much it cost and how bad I'd feel if I ate it. Still learning and trying to resist tempatation. It gets easier.

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Wow - I have got to say I am so please with the responses and participation on my thread.  Thank you for the encouragement and sharing your own stories!

 

Weight loss is the by-product to achieving my long term goal of participating in cos-play. I am at a point in my life where I am going through a transitional phase and consider myself to be on a spiritual and psychological journey.  Creating cos-play and "food" goals create structure for the life style changes and life style I will ultimately achieve. 

 

Status up date - Went for yoga on the weekend. Walked there and back again, and walked around the local flea market. I bought parsley, lemon balm and chives to grow.  Potted the herbs and cleaned off the deck.  I was up from dawn till dusk and my body sure felt it - which made me happy.  I am happy to aware to changes in my body and listening to when it speaks to me.  I also manged to purchase all my meat and produce in one local market with meat produce by a local farm.  I am toying with the idea of getting rid of the rest of my big box chicken in the freezer - I haven't felt ill eating it - but the more I think about what I am doing and my responsibility to nurture myself - the harder it is not to think about why the chicken breast are so large and white and shapeless and what the living being had to go through to get to this state of being on my plate.

 

I am still procrastinating like a champion on finishing my reading/answering questions in "Tune In".  The trouble is - it's easy to make excuses about what needs to get done around the house than to sit down and do the inner scary work on myself. 

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Side note - I have forgotten to clarify - in case anyone is wondering - I am not worried about my eating habits when I am getting at restaurants or friends/relative houses.  My current goal 6 week challenge is to concentrate on the things/food that is within my control.  Since I make and eat 80% of the meals I consume I am focusing on that - instead of worrying about how to control every single little detail of what I consume.  I am not counting or tracking anything - I am only focused on how I feel about the food I make for myself.

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Seems like you are doing great! :) Keep up the good work. 

 

If you want here are my own observations on dietary habits. 

I took it as a challenge. Simply saying that i needed to do X for Y number of days, then i would be able to grab a reward. BUT when i got around the to reward i normally wanted to push it ahead of my instead of grabbing the reward. So perhaps just noting down on a calender each day you felt like you had a good days food according to your goal and allow yourself a reward once in a while. Could be optional like i did though.. helped me to know i earned it, but i didn't feel like it. It was more about making the achievement for me :)

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Hi Swoop - that's a pretty darn good suggestion. Maybe for the next 6 week challenge I will incorporate a dietary challenge that needs to be tracked the way you suggested. "I don't eat "insert sweet/coffee/bad habit" for Y number of days.

 

I will keep this short and sweet - last week was very demoralizing and stressful at work.  I didn't go for yoga on the weekend. I sat around soaking up the sun and had some drinks and sweets at a friends baby shower.  I didn't feel guilty about it until the evening when I thought "I could have felt stronger tonight than I did this morning if I had gone for yoga".  I was going to freak out and try to cram in a yoga session this week but I just feel like I can't go back.  I can only go forward. So yesterday I went for a 20/30 min walk around some side streets and greens spaces during my lunch hour. I'm just going to say that's that and move on.  

 

I made yummy burgers from local (local - not from withing my city but as local as possible to where I live or from withing my province) lean ground beef.  They were pretty darn good and I got more burgers out of the package than I thought I would.  I would have to eat local organic meat for a sustained period of time before I noticed a difference though, I would like to do a side to side comparison but I am more dedicated to the process of getting rid of all my big box meat.

 

I also carved out a big chunk of time to answer questions out of "Tune In" this morning.  It's hard not to be afraid when you start digging deep and re-examining you current lifestyle.  There have been several times where I've gone with my intuition and fallen flat on my face - so it's hard to trust yourself and what your really listening to - because sometimes I think - is this my intuition? Or is it just a bad life decision? But then I think - really what's so amazingly magical extraordinary awesome about your life now? It good, it's great, it's really really good - but it's no where compared to where I could be if I stepped it up and really started digging deep.

 

Going to see Avengers next weekend  :nevreness:

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I'm dying to see Avengers too! But I also have to wait until this weekend. :P

 

It sounds like you had a rough week but you just have to remember it was only one week, and you're trying to improve and as long as you keep moving forward you'll get there eventually. Good job cooking those burgers and getting out on a walk! 

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Thank you NeverThatBored! Thank you for the pep talk!

 

Quick Status Update - Carved out half an hour to work on more questions from "Tune In".  I am not sure I will finish the book in time, my original plan was just to blaze through and answer the questions quickly - but I am getting more in depth and writing paragraphs when I answer the questions.

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Yesterday I went for a walk again at lunch and I am looking forward to going again today.  It is so bright and sunny and warm!  Also I carved out more time last night and this morning to work on "Tune In".  

 

I feel like I am getting a second wind on this challenge.  And I am looking for easy ways to "step it up" without jumping into a crazy amount of exercise that will just make me feel bad when I can stuff it into my schedule.  The easiest way is to take a quick walk at on my lunch break.

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Went to a groovy free health presentation at my local health food store.  It was a bit of a sell job for supplements at the end - but the majority of the presentation was pretty motivating and informative.  Glad I signed up and went for the experience. 

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I have been MIA because I have been too busy rocking this 6 week challenge like a champ.

 

I chucked out/traded all my big box chicken for frozen fruit and now the only non local/non organic/ free range meat I have on hand is one lone pack of bacon.  Cooked two large chicken legs, bone in and skin.  I swear - I don't know if it's just my mind set or there is a real difference but I swear - it tasted different, or felt different, or looked different.  It just looks like an actual piece of chicken on my plate, with the skin crackling and golden brown.  It was a total pleasure to eat dinner last night.  I had caramelized red onions, apples and snow peas with the chicken.  My plate looks "happy" whenever I cook.  It looks happy and alive and green.  I am very interested in the concept of "healing from the inside out" instead of simply treating symptoms.  

 

Which I have been getting into by working on the "Tune In" book.  Really figuring out what I actually desire and want out of life and letting creative solutions evolve.

 

I also did a "warm up" and "cool down" phase of a yoga dvd and did one set of the beginner body weight work out posted on Nerd Fitness.  Did a warm up by dancing/flinging my arms and legs around and two sets of the beginner body weight work out last night.  Light stretching as a cool down.

 

Walking almost every lunch hour. I am starting to look forward to it - because when I get out and walk I feel like "I've escaped! I'm outside! Freedom!" 

 

I've gone from a size 8 to a size 6 (Canadian Size FYI) in about 2 months (ish).

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Man  - has been a stressful last two weeks! I took on a sewing project (long story short - I have made 11 mice costumes and have 11 mice head bands to complete), there have been some personal things going on, and I have been laid off of work for the summer starting in June.

 

It has been pretty easy to get thrown off track and I am just not sticking with the yoga once a week like I thought I would.  I thought it would be easy, but even with the rec center within walking distance I end up debating with myself whether or not to go and I usually seem to miss it, more than I make it.  I have still been making a point of going for walks (usually about 40 min) during lunch on a particular route that has some inclines and gradual slopes.

 

It has also been stressful sticking with buy local meat and produce since I received the news I won't be working during the summer.  My instinct is to run around and find immediate ways to save and start shopping at discount grocery stores/chain stores and the dollar store (for dry goods/almond milk).  But I have been proceeding as usual, which makes me think I am doing something wrong.  

 

I have found that as easy as it is to get side tracked - it's getting easier to re start the next day, or even the next meal.  Or if I have a big meal out (like I did on the weekend (Grilled Cheese Burger, fries and potato salad) it's easier to fast, or eat less during the day and make a smoothie or light dinner.  Or if I am eating out a lot of "messing up" I don't throw in the towel and say "I'll do it Monday", "I'll do it after X", I keep buying a tone of veggies and looking at my grocery list to see what I can do better.  I used to pre-make large batches of lunches so I would have something to grab everyday of the week.  Due to time constraints this isn't possible to send 4 hours in the kitchen on a Saturday but reevaluating my meal plans and having a more focused idea of what I'll be eating that week will be a key factor to "leveling up" I think.  Instead of making a giant batch of one thing I have have one or two variations of meals I can make through out the week - so my food is still fresh but I still have a double batch of something if I don't have time to make my lunch or need something quick for dinner. Example - this week I bough Kale and Broccoli, I'm planning on making two separate salads, one kale, one broccoli - all the "extras" to add to the salad will be the same for both so I don't have to make everything separately or buy 5 different ingredients for each salad. 

 

I'm not doing as well as when I decided to "reset" and eat only veggies for a week two months ago - which was the start of my re focus on health and wellness.  It has been frustrating and I feel that it is difficult to step up my game plan while still being able to stick to it.  Somethings just feel out of my league right now.

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It seems a bit after the fact to do a summary post after the challenge has ended but since this thread is mostly for myself - who cares?

 

Looking back over the challenge a few major things I learned -  1. It is incredibly easy to get through off track when life doesn't go well. 2. Eating local organic meat is really important to me and I'm not sure if I could go back to buying regular meat unless I really have to, since I have been laid off work for the summer I have saved the meat I bought so far and am transitioning to a vegetarian/vegan diet to save money. 3. Mental and spiritual health is one and the same/ goes hand in hand with physical health and development.  

 

I am not sure what I accomplished or if I "won" the challenge.  It was a roller coaster ride and it felt like every single day I was starting over.  It got very frustrating and with the personal challenges I am facing lately I am surprised I didn't just throw in the towel.

 

Meat - Bought only local/organically raised meat. Win.

Yoga - Did okay for the first 3 weeks I would say, then the last several I missed going to yoga and made up for it by walking during my lunch breaks about 1-3 times a week.  I would say - Win again.

Personal - I didn't finish the book I set out to read.  Mostly because I thought I would rip through it and it would be easy.  But I have been answering the questions slowly and find I am able to work on it better when I have carved out large chunks of time to work through the book.

 

All in all I would say - it was very tough for me and I don't think I accomplished a lot but I am not discouraged to keep going.  If anything, it's made me put my head down and focus on putting up bricks, rather than flying around, rocking the challenge and skipping around with with my head in the air.  

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That's excellent! You say you didn't accomplish a lot, but it sounds like you actually did pretty well with your goals! It's not a huge deal if your book is taking more time than you expected. :)

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