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Yuuki

Yuuki - The First Challenge

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So I've just joined NF and NF Academy, and this will be my first challenge!

 

 

About Me

For background, I'm a law student in my mid-twenties who's been steadily gaining weight and losing fitness since I graduated high school. Before I started university, I was pretty fit - I got my black belt in karate when I was 12 (and kept attending my dojo regularly until about 18 when I moved for school), I played competitive volleyball on the school team and played soccer in a community league every summer. I wasn't a star athlete by any means but I was fit and in shape and confident.

Once I moved away for university, I gradually started losing it all. I obviously wasn't near my dojo anymore and never really looked for a new one. I wasn't a good enough athlete to join any school teams, and wasn't social enough to join the intermural leagues. I'd also never been someone who really enjoyed 'working out' - I enjoyed the sports I played and karate but running or going to the gym wasn't something I enjoyed at all (doesn't help that I have some pretty severe exercise induced asthma that means that even at the height of my fitness I struggled really hard with breathing while running or jogging).

Since then things have just continued to spiral downhill health and fitness wise. I've ballooned to about 250 pounds, started developing some health issues (borderline pre-diabetic, tendon and muscle problems, plantar fasciitis, etc.) and was diagnosed with depression. All in all it's a pretty grim picture.

 

 

 

Main Quest

My main quest is to get myself back to health and fitness. When I picture myself, I still see who I was in high school - fit, strong, athletic and confident. Now it's time to make that mental image the reality - I'm too young for the laundry list of health issues I have, and I don't want to spend my life only getting worse (or even just staying this bad).

 

 

Challenge Quests

Eat fruit or vegetables with every meal

Even though I don't mind a lot of fruits and vegetables, I don't eat them a lot, or in very big quantities. So I'm challenging myself to make sure that every single meal includes some kind of vegetable, even if it's just that the pasta dish had green peppers in the sauce. I'm envisioning this will include a random bowl of broccoli or other frozen veggies on the side of meals a lot, which hey, that works too!

 

Walk 5 minutes every day on purpose

I walk to school (and anywhere else I have to go) all the time, so I do tend to get 30-60 minutes of walking in 4 days a week. But most of the time that I don't have school I stay in my apartment. So I'm going to ensure that every single day includes a 5 minute walk - even days I have school (I won't count walking to and from places in this calculation).

 

Bring lunch to school at least one day a week

I struggle really bad with having things to bring for lunch - I prefer leftovers but rarely have any (since I tend to make a recipe and then eat it for days for every single meal) or they just don't feel enticing enough to bring to school. And if I don't bring anything or bring something only so-so, I'm highly tempted to eat out, which is both expensive and not great for my health. So at least one day during each week I'm going to bring and eat a lunch to school.

 

 

Life Quest

Do one load of dishes every single day

I struggle really badly with getting things done, whether that's chores or homework or anything really.  Dishes have literally been my nemesis for years now. I live alone so they tend to just pile up, and then take multiple loads to try and plough through. So the goal is to do a load every day. I don't care how big or how small, I'm going to at least do some dishes every day. This will make it into a habit so that someday in the future, I won't have a pile - I'll be at the point where my one a day load will get all the dishes in the kitchen cleaned and that'll be that.

 

 

Grading

I'll be grading myself based on the total number of times I should have completed a quest objective during the 4 week challenge. So for instance, there are 26 days in the challenge and I'm supposed to do my dishes once a day, so my grade for dishes will be out of 26.

 

 

 

Looking forward to my first four week challenge!

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Welcome Yuuki!

 

First off my normal disclaimer:

 

In the two-ish years I've been on the forums one very important thing has made itself clear to me. You get out of it what you put in! Saying that, I encourage you to seek out a couple other members here and follow along with them and offer support when and where you can, together we are all stronger!

 

It looks like you have well thought out goal for this challenge, great job! Might I also suggest you check out a couple people in the Druids guild, since (to me) that seems like a good fit for you next challenge. If you do look in on the Druids, might I suggest you follow "Spookyfoot", she's a great inspiration to many of us with her upbeat attitude. <g> Best of luck this challenge!

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So, since I tend to space out a lot and forget anything that isn't immediately important (like the next upcoming to-do or due date), I think that daily progress updates is the best way for me to keep thinking about this challenge.

 

 

Day One

Day one was mostly a fail.

 

- I ate vegetables at 2 out of 3 meals. I added some baby carrots to my breakfast specifically for this challenge, but then didn't at lunch. I did eat an apple after lunch but I'm not counting it since it was more snack after lunch than part of lunch. Dinner had vegetables in the dish so I'm counting it (though not as exciting as purposefully adding veggies to an otherwise veggie-less meal like at breakfast)

- I did not go for a purposeful 5 minute walk (though I did a ton of walking to get places - actually hit my 10,000 steps!)

- I did not do any dishes

- I did not bring lunch to school (though I actually ate all my 3 meals at home today anyway)

 

It was a weird day for me. It started out fine, but then my phone meeting with opposing counsel at 9am threw a big monkey wrench into a case I have going to hearing next week so I spent half the day scrambling to deal with that. Since that distracted me so much from my normal routine, once we got it all figured out I had no motivation to do homework/study like I usually would have so instead I went home, picked up fast food takeout for lunch and Netflixed the night away.

I definitely know I'm prone to getting run off target like that when things go blitzy, and that throws my thinking about things like challenges and quests out the door too. Something to think about for moving forward - maybe I need to try and get some of these challenges out of the way in the morning so I can't get off track later and forget about them.

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I gained most of my weight during college, so I feel your pain. 
 

However, this is the perfect chance for you to 'respawn' and get back on track. You can still achieve your goals for the rest of the challenge!

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Day Two

 

Day Two was no better than Day One. I'm kind of starting to realize that this challenge (and my greater goal of fitness) isn't something that can just be done as a quick 'oh yeah, I need to complete my challenge!'. It takes some forethought and planning to build these new habits into my life, and I need to start giving it the attention it deserves.

 

Yesterday was a kind of unusual day for me again, in that I had to miss my class for an emergency client meeting. Just this change in routine threw me off and thus the day was pretty much a waste (for more than just my fitness goals too).

 

- I ate vegetables at 2 out of 3 meals - breakfast and dinner - because it was part of the leftovers I ate for those meals (go veggies as part of a larger dish!). Lunch however was takeout again, and no veggies.

- I did not do 5 minutes of purposeful walking (though did a bunch of walking to and from my meeting)

- I did not do any dishes

- I did not bring a lunch to school (though again didn't actually eat on campus but instead came home)

 

 

I'm going to have to try and brainstorm how to keep this challenge and my overall fitness journey at the forefront of my brain all the time, because otherwise I know I'll just get caught up in my day to day stuff and all of a sudden it'll have been a month and I won't have done anything or REALIZED that it's been that long. I have a tendency to only be able to think of one thing at a time, usually whatever's due next, and everything else gets pushed aside and promptly forgotten. I also have a horrible sense of time so when I think it's only been pushed off for a day or two, it's more like a week or two. 

So I need to figure out how to make sure that doesn't happen with my fitness goals (I mean, ideally it'd be nice to make it not happen to anything, but baby steps!).

Today I'm going to be on campus all day, and that means I'll be eating lunch and dinner away from home. I don't have any leftovers to bring for my lunch anymore so I've already planned on hitting a grocery store at lunch time to get something healthy (with veggies!) for my lunch and dinner instead of getting fast food somewhere, which is both expensive as hell and horribly unhealthy for me (especially with the choices I make). I also have some baby carrots here at home so I'm going to bring a container of those to school with me to have as emergency meal veggie additions.

I'm also going to plan on taking a 5 minute walk between obligations today - I have 2 2-3 hour periods between classes/meetings/etc. today and during one of them I'm going to just take a stroll around for 5 minutes.

The hardest goal today will definitely be the dishes, since I'm gone from the apartment all day and won't be back until probably around 11pm. Now I'll be wide awake then due to walking around in the cold to get home, but when I just get home is rarely a time when I feel like doing anything. But I'm just going to have to make myself do a load of dishes before bed and that's that.

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I'm going to have to try and brainstorm how to keep this challenge and my overall fitness journey at the forefront of my brain all the time, because otherwise I know I'll just get caught up in my day to day stuff and all of a sudden it'll have been a month and I won't have done anything or REALIZED that it's been that long. I have a tendency to only be able to think of one thing at a time, usually whatever's due next, and everything else gets pushed aside and promptly forgotten. I also have a horrible sense of time so when I think it's only been pushed off for a day or two, it's more like a week or two. 

 

Have you tried putting a Kanban board with post-its somewhere in your appartment where it's very visible (e.g. living room, back of your front door)? Visual reminders usually help me 'remember' that I'm on a diet and that I need to work out.

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It sounds like your days are rather unpredictable which always makes it difficult. Far easier when you have a set routine. Don't despair though, you can do it :) Are you able to get up a little earlier in the morning to smash out some dishes, or a 5 minute walk? I'm not a morning person myself, but I also find that if I don't take care of the 'chores' early in the day, they just won't get done. I feel you on the sense of time thing too, mine is terrible haha. Keep up the good work!

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@Marbres - I've tried things like that before with reminders around the apartment, and with reminders built into my daily to-do list document. Typically what I've found is I start looking right past them. I have a very good ability to get distracted by whatever's in my head and ignore the rest of the world haha - it sucks!

 

@Owlet - yeah, my days have very little structure right now and that doesn't work well for me; I'm someone who likes routine and a lot of structure in life, and law school so doesn't provide that. I am also someone who does better knocking things out early, and I definitely have the time, it's just a matter of doing it that's harder for me. Once I get into relax mode in the apartment I tend to stay in that mode until I absolutely must do something, and many mornings I'm free and thus go right into relax mode. On days when I actually get up and get ready as soon as I wake up I might be able to build those mini chores in then though.

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Day 3

 

Another fail day.

 

 

- I had vegetables in the leftovers I ate for breakfast, but no veggies in lunch or dinner (barely ate lunch actually; just had a hot chocolate and a scone, but breakfast had been quite large)

- I didn't go for a purposeful 5 minute walk (but lots of walking to and from places)

- I didn't do any dishes

- I didn't bring lunch to school with me (though I brought baby carrots, and promptly didn't eat them)

 

 

I'm thinking that over the weekend I'm going to do a big meal prep session and make up lots of protein, then prepackage some lunches for the days of the week I know I'll be on campus. I make most of my veggies from frozen (they taste good + no prep = win) so I can just dump those into the container with the meat and maybe a bit of rice. That'll also help save me from eating as much fast food lately since there's nothing to eat in the apartment that doesn't take a bunch of thawing / cooking and often by the time I'm hungry I'm not in the mood to cook / cooking means cleaning some dishes and counter space.

 

I know that most of the roadblocks to success here are all mental. It's not a 'there's no time' or 'I can't cook' etc. kind of issue going on here (I realize all those excuses are also mental, but at least there's some grounding in reality). My issue really is just a matter of not keeping things in the forefront of my brain, and not feeling like it if I do think of it. Part of that is probably my depression - I have no motivation to do anything most of the time - but it doesn't matter. I can't let anything, including mental illnesses, be an excuse or a crutch. Whether I have depression or not, I WANT my life to be a certain way, so I'm just going to have to do it. I just need to keep experimenting and thinking up new ways to try it until something works.

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Time for more drastic measures: how about putting the dishes in a box, and leaving them on your bed in the morning? That way you won't be able to ignore them when you go to bed.

 

For a quick veggie fix: cherry tomatoes are lifesavers!

 

If you stick to the challenge until the end of this week, you'll have some momentum to carry over into the next challenge week. You can do this!

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Day Four

 

Another not so great day in terms of this challenge.

 

 

- I ate vegetables for dinner (actually give myself super props for this one as I was buying from the school cafeteria, and instead of my usual Subway or something else unhealthy, I got a grilled chicken Caesar salad - not like the healthiest food in the world but a healthier choice than my usual and super tasty). But no veggies in breakfast/lunch (didn't really eat separate meals for those so much as just kind of snacked all morning)

- I didn't take a purposeful 5 minute walk

- I didn't do any dishes

- I didn't bring a lunch to school

 

 

I've cooked up a bunch of chicken breasts today and will buy more meat this weekend on my grocery run and cook more up so that I can have food ready to go and pack for lunches - just mix some pre-cooked meat with a bag of frozen veggies and I'll be set on the food front at least.

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I was going to suggest prepping a bunch of stuff over the weekend, but you beat me to it. At least this week you've been learning where you need to focus (eg prepping ahead of time in case something throws off your routine). Any chance you can throw a load of dishes in the dishwasher before you leave in the morning? And just let it do its thing while you're at school?

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I've cooked up a bunch of chicken breasts today and will buy more meat this weekend on my grocery run and cook more up so that I can have food ready to go and pack for lunches - just mix some pre-cooked meat with a bag of frozen veggies and I'll be set on the food front at least.

 

This sounds like a reasonable plan; I'm sure you can get back on track for week 2!

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