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Manarelle adopts a new stance


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Despite 2016's determination to start on a bad note, I'm going to try this whole "if you can't change your circumstances, change your attitude" concept. A fellow rebel pointed out that I was being kinda hard on myself for not being a smaller size and hitting more goals, despite alternating between lifting weights and being heavily injured for most of last year. Upon buying clothes that fit what I am, instead of what I want to be, I realized that my attitude wasn't the only thing out of whack- my posture had actually been affected by crap attitude and crap clothing as well. So here's what I want to fix:

  1. Posture: Stop slouching when sitting.
  2. Posture: Stand centered, weight on both feet, toes forward rather than splayed out.
  3. Attitude: Stop taking temporary setbacks as personal failures.
  4. Attitude: Stop being depressed about numbers. Strong and lightweight are not mutually compatible.



Obviously, there are a lot more attitude/expectation issues that I need to fix, but that's going to be a long-term thing, and I think this is a good start. Now, how to make these measureable?

  1. Posture - sitting: Keep tally how many times per day (at work only) I have to remind myself to sit up straight.
  2. Posture - standing: Make a conscious effort to fix this every time I stand. Check natural posture in the shower, weekly.
  3. Attitude:  Replace last month's workout routine with last year's as my base-level comparison. Keep tally of temptation to compare myself to ridiculous idealized goals. 
  4. Attitude:  Weigh/measure once at the beginning and once at the end of the month. Shift focus to how I feel, not what the numbers are. Keep tally of negative feelings toward personal numbers (weight, clothing size, etc). 



So the goal will be to reduce the number of tallies for each of these, and have better posture in the shower (most relaxed stance) at the end of the month. Oh, and life goal: own the Intro to Parkour class I'll be taking this month. I'm beyond excited about this. 

Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current


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I kinda want to hug you. Just so precious. Haha I like the look of your challenge, ans I also like that you're keeping it simple. Nice easy way to keep track of your progress!

Actually...I think I should check my own posture...hm.

Attitude is pretty big, fitness-related or no, and I think you're definitely on the right track. So I'll be keeping an eye on you! (AND YOU WILL OWN YOUR PARKOUR CLASS.)

Jaz Xiao Long | Level 2 Assassin | Half-Giant
STR: 1 | DEX: .75 | CHA: 2.5 | CON: 5.5 | WIS: 2 | STA: 1.25
"We do what we need to do, and then we live." -Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead.
Current Challenge | Challenge 1

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Unrelated to this challenge, but: I tried out a new bodyweight workout on Wednesday, as I'd been doing the BBWW for about a year now. I figured one workout would be pretty similar to another, since it's mostly the same exercises and muscles right? 




Oh man, I'm so glad I scheduled a massage for before parkour this weekend! It's a good ow, but still very ow. 

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current


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Week 1 summary:


  1. Posture - sitting: Although I intend this week to be a "control" week, I did see a decrease in numbers from Monday to Friday. I can tell it's getting better at home, too. 
  2. Posture - standing: Same thing; this is improving, and I've identified why my posture is off. Have moved from a passive stand/walk stance to an active one. 
  3. Attitude:  Went back and looked at where I was 1 year ago. I have made some serious gains. Also decided to use a new BBWW to lessen comparison.  
  4. Attitude:  Checked in with weight/measurement. After listening to various people complain about "omg, can you believe I had to buy a size X?" where x was everything from 2 to 20, I realized that everyone obsesses about numbers. Focusing now on what I can do with my strength, rather than arbitrary measurements as a sense of worth.

The biggest setback this week was having to reschedule parkour again. Last weekend, I got food poisoning and had to reschedule. This weekend, my partner-in-silliness had something come up. So we're aiming again for next weekend, which dang well had better happen, because there are only two weekends left in February, and by gosh, I will parkour!



Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current


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Week 2 summary:

  1. Posture - sitting: Continued improvement, the number of time I have to remind myself to sit up straight are seriously lowering. 
  2. Posture - standing: Definitely improving. I've even noticed a difference in my core muscles and actually feeling them engage now.  
  3. Attitude:  Improvement on this, as detailed below.
  4. Attitude:  Huge improvement here. I managed a handstand this week, albeit a very short and shaky one. I realized that with all the working out and gains I've made, I'm still not as strong as I want to be (to hold handstands and do parkour). Further realized that if that strength comes with larger superficial numbers (weight, pants size), I still want it. It feels like the difference between failing at someone else's game (being skinny), and making progress in a game of my choosing (being strong). 

And the big news of the week is: I finally got to go to parkour class! It was freaking amazing. My friend and I lucked out, and most people were away at some event, so we had a mostly empty location and were able to have a far less formal class with just the two of us and the instructor. We went over the basics: tuck jumps and landings, rolls and bails, easy vaults, and using walls to change directions. I wasn't very good at the last bit (couldn't find the sweet spot for foot placement and pushoff, so I skidded a lot), but it turns out I'm pretty decent at rolls (yay!) and landing/balancing. So now I know weak spots to work on, and, most importantly, that I can do it.




I will be going back, probably "just" on a once-a-month schedule, but I'll be practicing every chance I can (safely). I am a little sore in some places, but I didn't injure anything, which was a pretty big concern. What's even better is that when they asked how I learned about parkour in general, I mentioned nerdfitness, and a couple of the guys went "wait, what? That sounds awesome!" Oh it is, gentlemen... it is. Come join the fun...

Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current


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Week 3 summary:

  1. Posture - sitting: Still improving. Had a bad attitude day this week, but sitting up straight is becoming a knee-jerk reaction when I notice myself doing it. 
  2. Posture - standing: Having an issue here with one of the muscles in my left leg. It's gone from very painful to a dull ache, so I'm hoping that's improvement?
  3. Attitude:  Reviewed old photos and my first couple challenges. Realized how far I've come in 1,4, and 8 years. Definitely improving attitude!  
  4. Attitude:  Read a bunch of success stories (on and off NF) about women getting into weightlifting and feeling strong despite weight/clothing size. Feeling better about it, but I know this will be an ongoing battle. 

Hit a new PR this week, though it sounds like not much. I asked the IT guy at my company if he had any suggestions for a pull-up practice location. Turns out he has a spare server rack (slightly narrow, but bolted to the floor and clear of obstruction), so I've been working on pull-up progressions. The first day I tried, I managed only a hang. The second day, I managed two very pathetic negative pull-ups. By the end of the week, I'd reached three not-totally-awful negatives. I know I'm still at the starting line, but at least I've taken the first step...



Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current


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Aha, I found it again! Hey there :) you commented on my challenge a few days ago and I'd read through yours with the intent to comment as well, but then I lost track of it (being on mobile can be treacherous!). I love the positivity in this challenge. As important as all those stats and tracking can be of things like exercise and eating habits, the bottom line of change is the personal aspects of it - whether or not you can mentally do so, and why. I think keeping track of trying to change your thinking for the better is a great spin on a lot of the challenges here, and I hope it gives you what you need to keep moving forward!

ETA: after looking through your more recent posts again, I want to just add in that I'm one of those people who is 'heavier' number-wise than is deemed 'acceptable' for women my height, but am very happy with how I look! I'm only human, so I have my bad days, but I definitely feel stronger than ever before, and I really enjoy my body. The number is just a number, and it can't tell how strong my ligaments are or how happy I am to have come as far as I have. :) I'll go ahead and leave out exact numbers to minimize possible negative comparisons, but my BMI actually puts me in 'overweight'. And yet I feel fantastic. You can do it! Don't focus so much on the numbers that you lose track of the REAL benefit of getting healthier, which is feeling better! 

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     Thank you for the words of support. I do like feeling stronger, and for the most part, I'm okay with it. My biggest problem is when I can tell I'm making progress with the weights, and then the next day my clothes fit just a bit tighter. It's hard to separate the sensation of tighter/ill-fitting clothing with the "omg I'm huge" reaction. Clothes and I have never gotten along, so the prospect of finding office clothing that fits my body and muscles is just daunting. 


     Unrelated, I'm right there with you on the "overweight" BMI. Thankfully, that is not a measurement I've ever concerned myself with, so I'm just going to rock that one. :) Here's to feeling better over worrying about numbers!

Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current


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Keep at it and you'll be vaulting over your goals in no time. (See what I did there...it's a parkour thing ....)

Stay focused on what you know to be right and the rest will follow in time.

I have to get back to slaying orcs. Keep in touch!


Sent from this device in my hand that must be of elvish construction.

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"There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark."  Aragorn

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Week 4! And, incidentally, my second parkour class which was tiring as heck, but good. I bought a 10-punch card, and I'm one of those who will NOT waste the money, so I have to go. :)Not too sure about mixing in a class with 9-year-olds, but the instructors didn't mind when I did as much as I could and then stopped for a breather. Made it all the way through, and successfully broad jumped from a 4' hurdle to a 4' box without slipping/falling/killing myself. 


So here we go with the final check-in:

  1. Posture - sitting: This dropped drastically from the first week ( approximately 30 times per workday) to the last (approximately 5 times per workday). 
  2. Posture - standing: This is not fully fixed, as I still tend to stand pigeon-toed and unbalanced. It's better, but not perfect. Walking has improved drastically though.
  3. Attitude:  Have a better idea of what "reasonable" progress is. Parkour is also helping this a lot as slow but safe and steady. 
  4. Attitude:  Will be weighing and measuring tomorrow morning, as I neglected to this morning. This shows the biggest progress though, as I recently had a small bout of depression, and the little voice that whispers "you're fat and worthless" was actually interrupted by another one that argued "actually, that's strength, and here are the PRs to prove it." Unexpected and very useful. 

All in all, a very positive and useful challenge. My posture, back strength, leg strength, core strength, and balance have all improved, and I do feel better about myself. I'm sure this will be a lifelong battle, but now I know how to fight it. To the next challenge!



Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current


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