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Chaos embraces Eskcanta

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Hey team!
What has been before:
I feel like a baby assassin.  A preemie baby at that, I barely finished my recruit challenge.
I had a absolutely great first four weeks, nailing some pretty big changes in my lifestyle and seeing good fitness improvements, then felt sick (and started having increasing and major life stress) most of week five and then felt better but became swamped with life stress week six - and essentially threw my challenges away and laughed insanely for quite a few days.
So I stayed at level one, I feel I didn't quite earn the second level most recruits finish with, though I decided I wanted to come play here in the 'big nerds' pool anyway.
I had felt like I was getting into good habits and being consistent during my first month of effort.... a couple tests above my level made me rather uncertain of that 'commitment' to myself.... I kinda think now that I'm committed to surviving and panicking and freaking out.  'Good life habits'?  Ahahahahahahahaha.
I tend to like a monster-based theme.  I kind of like thinking of us all facing an apocalypse, and too, that fits with the 'you are your only hope' theme.   :onthego:  I feel surrounded by monsters of all types.  A few are even friendly.  I like the friendly ones.  Maybe they're even all friendly.  I'll believe it when I see it.... Ahhahaahhahhahaha.
What happens now:
My life is in something of chaos as of the start of this challenge.  It'll be the last week of my current employer's employment, and one or more of a great many things will be happening to my employment.  It's extremely unpredictable, and largely out of my control.  On the upside, I am -certain- I can find a job if I need to.  I also may not need to.  I may be assigned to another employer in a somewhat similar capacity - I also may be moved frequently or asked to do the equivalent of multiple part time jobs for several different bosses.  I may end up assisting my current employer (as well?) on a part time basis (or more?) in her new employment situation (Or not?).  I may also need to find an entirely new job.
I am also attempting to transition into a 4 year university.  I finally just was awarded (multiple, go figure) A.A degrees, and I am trying to race towards getting my B.A. Biology degree.  I have tentative acceptance into my university choice, the cheapest of my local options.  There have been many stumbling blocks.  In any case, some time during this challenge I should receive admittance confirmation or not - and if not, I get to fight a bit more to try and get reconsidered.  If admitted, I have appointments Sept 1, the last week of the challenge, to meet with counselors and be given my educational plan, and enroll in classes which will start the last week of September (and won't my employer(s) of the time love how that will affect my availability for their work.... I already have been talked to by one of my potential new employers about my inability to give -right now- a firm schedule once school starts for me again  Come on world!  Flex with me!)
There are other financial issues (paying for university, mmmm) and social issues, and relatives' needs issues, and some bad habits I have issues, and my powerful drive towards escapism issues....  And the more pressure I am under the more I tend to want to either (rarely!) buckle down and pull off miracles (I have done such before, even rarely for months at a stretch... but I could snap at any moment) or just freak out and hide in escapism until I feel like coming back out to face the world.  Gladly, I always have wanted to come out of escapism before, and surely will again but.... it's an issue.
What I am going to do about it:
Placeholder section.  This will be my Freddy Kruegar (one, two....) themed challenge.  I'm still creating it and out of time for now, but will update soon.... if I don't run away into escapism or break down and just laugh maniacally for a while instead.
Okay!  Finally took time to get back to this, barely in time to start.  Elastigirl recommended that I try to do only one challenge this time, given the chaos of this time period, but I'm going to go for three, because the first is something I utterly need to do, challenge or not, and the second is quite forgiving but good habit building and tracking and should add no stress to my life.  The third will be my 'one' real challenge for this period.
One, Two: Freddy's come for you.
Ohai there, Freddy and his pack of assorted other monsters.  Not just visiting, you've all moved in with me.  Great!  Okay, sure enough, 'monsters' (fears, doubts, problems, negative stressors of all sorts) abound, Freddy (a boss... or many... This is some big life change stuff I face) among them.  My goal here is one that I really need to do, period.  This challenge, and making it part of this challenge, is just a helpful reminder.
Here's what I have to do:  I need to try to enjoy life.  Sure, I can be mad, upset, scared, whatever - but I can also embrace what is good about life and be as positive as I can....  That positiveness might be having an absolute fit - as long as I keep in mind that better times will come.  It's easy for me to become vastly negative under pressure, negative enough to view just about everything in life as bad and hostile.
So, whatever it takes, meditation, self hypnosis, enjoying the way feeling angry feels if that's the only answer I seem to have at the moment.... whatever it takes.  My goal is to be as relaxed, accepting, and glad 'as possible' throughout this period.  It's something to be regularly aware of throughout each day.
I don't require myself to control or fix my moods, I'm not going to require myself to stuff any emotions or accept anything unacceptable.  I can fight, resist, change my life as needed...  But I need to try to feel aware of my own self control and power as I live through this troubled time, I need to reach towards gladness and goodness, and I need to try and notice what is good and that there's good stuff....
Maybe work was horrible, maybe my boss had a fit of being furious and needing to vent at me.... but hey, my shoes fit great and my feet feel wonderful.  Whatever it takes.  Under enough stress, I'm prone to deciding that -everything around me is part of the problem and nothing is right or good- and that's a pretty nasty perspective to live in.  This challenge is my most important challenge, and my assumption is, I cannot fail - unless I decide to quit keeping this intention as part of my perceptions and attitude.  But that it is a challenge is a huge reminder.  This should help keep it hugely in the front of my mind throughout each day, every time I think about our challenges or anything about this fitness and healthy eating game we play, it will remind me to reach towards what I like and feel good about at the current moment.
Doing this:  Constantly try to enjoy my life as I live it and do what I do:  A.  There is no other possible outcome, as I want to do this and it's really important that I do it.  If I -can't- do it, it's still assumed that I am trying to, which is all that is required and is complete success, and that when it is possible for me to see results of my efforts, I'll see them again.  Yay!
Three, four:  Track and keep the score.
This is the dietary part of my challenge.  Last time I was trying to go 100% primal at least 5 days a week.  That worked great for four weeks, then I started having issues and essentially gave up.... after having thought that I had gotten it to a decent level of habit and preference too.  Ahhahahahehehe, how I can fool myself.
This time my dietary goal is extremely, seriously simple... but hopefully really effective at building better habits and..... when stress levels don't make my choices for me.... encouraging towards healthy eating.  But I don't -have- to eat healthy.  I'm competitive towards myself and others, and like to just 'keep up' with others as well.  Many of you guys are eating well, and I know eating well is 'better'.  That'll help encourage me... but I am a binge eater, and stress contains many triggers for me.  This is a time of great and complex stress from many directions.  
Here's what I have to do:  Track everything possible that I eat and drink through this challenge.  That should be pretty easy for me, I carry a water bottle with me and only want to fill it up with filtered water at home, I can weigh the bottle easily and track how much water I drink that way; I can weigh the food I cook or serve myself at home and if I'm eating out it usually is fast food, and I can track that food or drink information very easily.
There are a couple of pot-luck type work get-togethers and other food situations that I know are coming up during the challenge, so I'll give myself a bit of slack, I shouldn't have more than one time each week when I am eating something 'unmeasurable'  (like food that someone else cooked at home, so I have no idea what exactly I'm eating or how much I had)
Doing this:  Track everything I eat and drink for at least 36 days of the challenge:  A.  It is possible to do worse, but I really expect I can meet that standard.  If I need to figure out what a worse result is worth, I'll evaluate that at challenge end.  This allows me to have 6 days anywhere throughout the challenge were I have 'unmonitored' consumption, to be taken as needed - that's to be used for social events I must or choose to attend, where I can't realistically track what I am eating and drinking.  If I'm stressed enough to binge eat, oh well, that happens, especially under this much stress.  Just measure it, that's fine for now.
Five, six:  Time to play with sticks
Seven, eight:  Move at a varied rate
Nine, ten:  Lets work out again.
All that, for what is just one challenge, heh.  It is a triple area of focus, this is the exercise portion of my challenge.  I want to do stuff that will help my dexterity, endurance, and strength - ideally while being reasonably fun, comfortable, and of course good for me and safe.


I considered making tight, set rules for myself about how much and when and what, and then decided to throw all that 'planning' away and just trust and encourage myself, because a ) There's a lot of pressure on me right now, I don't need or want more, and b ) I really do want to improve my coordination, stamina, and capability to do stuff, especially fun stuff.  And quite a few things are fun to me.... I -like- doing a wide range of things, especially if I'm aware of enjoying it and myself at the time (beware, beware what it means to not do the first challenge, me!  If I lose that sense of enjoyment, I tend to perceive -everything- as bad and unpleasant, meh)


Here's what I have to do:  For at least 30 of the days of this challenge (12 days off allowed) I need to do something that is exercise, ideally of one of three types:  Something that is cardio effort, or something that is strength building, or something that is a dexterity challenge for me.  I'm expecting myself to feel 'exercised' by at least the cardio and strength building stuff, but I am not going to set a specific time limit or define an exact strength program.  I am going to be trying to have fun with what I do, and I am going to trust myself that I will put real effort in.


I've always wanted to learn how to juggle, and sometimes tried a little.  That counts for dexterity stuff, if I want to put some real effort into it for a bit.  So would using poi (which I have) or juggling sticks(which I've wanted to get for a long time).... I've never been able to coordinate myself enough to jump rope, or even hula hoop for more than a few seconds.  Any of that, or anything similar, qualifies as 'Time to play with sticks' stuff.  I hope to reserve most of that neat playtime for the days when I'm very sore, or days when I utterly don't want to do cardio or strength work out, but might be enticed to 'play' with something I've always wanted to do and have nearly never made time to learn.


Otherwise, I can do any strength or endurance or cardio stuff I want.  I can mix it up, do the BBWW (which I'm out of shape enough that's exercise aplenty for me still).  I kind of like picking an exercise and doing it in small spurts throughout the day, like as many sets of squats or something that I can get through in a day...  If I'm very sore somewhere I can ignore that part of my body for a few days and do something else, there's no schedule to risk 'messing up' if today I really do not want to use some part of my body.


My boss is packing up and moving her lab, so.... some days I do a lot of exercise assisting with that.  That counts too, if I feel I did enough hard work on the job to count as part of or all of the exercise I do on a day.


And too, there's the assassin minichallenges, which this style of exercise quest leaves me very free to weave what I do into those minis, without extra pressure to do entirely different exercises too, which I may not have the time or conditioning yet to do as well.


Doing this:  Some form of exercise or coordination training for at least 30 days of the challenge:  A.  I won't make grades for doing less than that unless I must, but I can get some + here, 'extra credit' if I do work out more than 30 days.  My first challenge, my 'days off' were set to the week, I had two a week and if I didn't use them, I lost them, but got to count them as 'plus days' if I didn't use them.  Come the end of the challenge, I needed more days off, but didn't have them because of how I made the challenge.  That doesn't happen this time, Every day I train this stuff counts, and I 'lose' nothing if I don't happen to need to take a rest day at any given time.  If I need less rest than I thought, great!  Earn some pluses at the end of the challenge.... which last challenge was the absolute worst time for me and I needed extra incentive which I did not have.

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Hey all!  Me and Freddy posting this and saying hi.




It's been hectic for me, monsters abound.  This is a quote from my first challenge, my opinion of what monsters are and their place in our challenges:


So I have picked a few other recruits, and am playing an imaginary game with us all.  The game is this:  We're stuck in a zombie apocalypse, whatever doubts, fears, temptations, problems we face with being comfortable happy people are 'zombies' (or perhaps worse, even in a zombie apocalypse there may be worse things than zombies), and our quests are our survival plans.

We're not together in this apocalypse, at least, I'm separate from the rest of them and I imagine us all as being separately stranded.  But our posts are like 'voices on the radio', each of us faces our own situations, unable to directly help each other, but able to communicate, able to know that each of us is not the last survivor left.

It's a 'sort of' accountibilibuddy thing, only it's very informal, and it doesn't require playing back (though if anyone is bugged by my game, I will drop that person from it, of course).


So I ran away for most of the week between challenges.  I just now, the evening of the first day of the challenge, have finished deciding what I would do this time, and finally made time to write it out.  So I updated my first post, it has my three quests now.  In short, I am trying to focus on what I do like about life and what is going on in it no matter what stress and problems I face at the time, I am going to track what I eat and drink, and I am going to improve my strength, endurance, and coordination, though I have some flexibility in the exact workouts I follow to do so.




I got weighed, for the first time in about a week.  Still 288 pounds.  I've been between about 285 and 289 for about 3 months now (down from a high of 296, a two week diet got me to 288, then I sort of got 'stuck' around that weight), regardless if I've dieted or not, worked out regularly or not.  For the last... mostly 3 weeks (because I did terribly for the last two weeks of the last challenge) I've eaten pretty unrestrictedly, nice to see I haven't gained outside of that weight range at least.


I'll post later with how today actually goes, challenge wise, and probably update once a day with that.



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I am pretty sure I had a good case of the zombies when I started in April. This is from my introduction :

My Big Why:

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired, and in excruciating pain.

I'm tired of feeling so lousy most days that death starts looking like an action plan.

I'm tired of limping and looking like a crazy, old bag-lady.

I want to dance and have fun.

I also think that I might have given up if it wasn't for the voices on the radio - but this time I am so psyched up. (I am having so much more fun with this than anything else in my life at the moment.)

I love the zombie apocalypse idea. I really have felt like I am fighting for my life.

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 ... So I updated my first post, it has my three quests now.  In short, I am trying to focus on what I do like about life and what is going on in it no matter what stress and problems I face at the time, I am going to track what I eat and drink, and I am going to improve my strength, endurance, and coordination, though I have some flexibility in the exact workouts I follow to do so...



Awesome goals to focus on.  You are going to do great :)

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Eskcantaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Found your new thread and am following!! I think you are too hard on yourself, you did so much during our first challenge!!


I'm stuck at the same weight too, BUT I am smaller. Are you taking measurements? Eskcanta, you gots to take your measurements!


It's been a while since you posted. Are you in escape mode? Come back and let us know what's happening. Escape into your get healthy habits and let us help you deal with the stresses. You were my rock when I was crumbling last time. I'm here for you. Unless you're on a beach drinking margaritas. Forget that, if you're on a beach drinking margaritas, I want details on that too.


In all seriousness, I hope you're well, recharged and ready to put your healthy needs ahead of everyone else's wants. Rooting for you to slay this challenge like a super-awesome-baby assassin. You got this :)

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