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    Fitness Challenge: Winter 2017

    Back by popular demand!

    Lots of us pagans (and non-pagans, too) want to be in better shape--because our path might regard the body as the ultimate temple, because it would allow us to better serve or honor our god(s), because we simply want to improve our health generally, or a host of other reasons--but our community seems too often to be heavy on the bookishness and light on the athleticism. Here's an attempt to rebalance that a bit.

    No, we're not going to groom a horde of Schwarzeneggers (though if you're in that league, that's fine, too.) The idea is to use this thread as mutual encouragement to get us all to make incremental improvements in our fitness, no matter where we're starting from, and no matter what physical challenges we may face on a daily basis.

    Here's how it works:

    1) Set your goal. Things to consider when you do--
    • Evaluate where you are now and what would be a good place for you, personally, to be fitness-wise.
    • Make sure the goal is achievable. If you've never done a pushup, don't set your goal as "bench press 300 pounds in the next 3 months," because then you're just setting yourself up to fail. Yes, it should be challenging--whatever that means for you--but give yourself a reasonable chance at success, so that when you win, you can build on that for the next goal, and the next.
    • Make sure the goal is measurable. No, not "feel better in the morning." Something like "lose 10 pounds and keep it off"...and guess what? If you achieve a measurable goal, odds are you'll feel better in the morning, too. (But maybe a little sore the first couple of mornings. In a good way.)
    2) Announce the goal in this thread to all us lovely people. We'll egg you on and keep you honest. Promise!

    3) Check in to this thread regularly to let us know how you're doing. At least once a week, people!

    and best of all

    4) ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR SUCCESS!

    END DATE for this iteration of the Fitness Challenge: March 21, 2017.

    (The spring equinox, about 3 months from now. That will give us most of the winter, even after the inevitable gluttony and slacking of the holiday season, to get our act together.)

    Shout out your goals here now, folks! No shaming, just tough love--as in "YOU set this goal; now we're going to see to it that you stick to it."

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    Re: Fitness Challenge: Winter 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair View Post
    1) Set your goal. Things to consider when you do--
    • Evaluate where you are now and what would be a good place for you, personally, to be fitness-wise.
    • Make sure the goal is achievable. If you've never done a pushup, don't set your goal as "bench press 300 pounds in the next 3 months," because then you're just setting yourself up to fail. Yes, it should be challenging--whatever that means for you--but give yourself a reasonable chance at success, so that when you win, you can build on that for the next goal, and the next.
    • Make sure the goal is measurable. No, not "feel better in the morning." Something like "lose 10 pounds and keep it off"...and guess what? If you achieve a measurable goal, odds are you'll feel better in the morning, too. (But maybe a little sore the first couple of mornings. In a good way.)
    2) Announce the goal in this thread to all us lovely people. We'll egg you on and keep you honest. Promise!

    3) Check in to this thread regularly to let us know how you're doing. At least once a week, people!

    and best of all

    4) ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR SUCCESS!

    END DATE for this iteration of the Fitness Challenge: March 21, 2017.
    Now that I finally got a tape measure, I can post my goal. The lying liars of the men's apparel industry have lied to me! Though the pants that fit me are routinely marked as having a 34-inch waist, the tape measure says my waist is really 35-1/2 inches. So my goal for the winter is:

    Lose 2 inches off my waistline (from 35-1/2 to 33-1/2).

    I've had similar goals in the past, but this time I've got the tape measure to hold my feet to the (actual, not lying liars' fake) fire. This should be achievable, but not easy; I have a body type halfway between a mesomorph and an endomorph (stocky build, like a rugby player), which means my body loves to pack on mass (muscle if I'm training right, which is good) but tries to hang onto fat, making it very difficult for me to get cut (which is bad). Plus at 53 years of age, fat weight doesn't come off easily.

    But the biggest hurdle will be me. I'll have to retool my diet, and my brain will resist any change that I perceive as jeopardizing my hard-earned muscle. Tough! If a little muscle has to go to hit my waistline goal, so be it.

    (Remind me of that last bit, people, when I start to whine...)
    Last edited by Altair; 26 Dec 2016 at 07:22 PM. Reason: added boldfacing

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    Re: Fitness Challenge: Winter 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair View Post
    Now that I finally got a tape measure, I can post my goal. The lying liars of the men's apparel industry have lied to me! Though the pants that fit me are routinely marked as having a 34-inch waist, the tape measure says my waist is really 35-1/2 inches. So my goal for the winter is:

    Lose 2 inches off my waistline (from 35-1/2 to 33-1/2).

    I've had similar goals in the past, but this time I've got the tape measure to hold my feet to the (actual, not lying liars' fake) fire. This should be achievable, but not easy; I have a body type halfway between a mesomorph and an endomorph (stocky build, like a rugby player), which means my body loves to pack on mass (muscle if I'm training right, which is good) but tries to hang onto fat, making it very difficult for me to get cut (which is bad). Plus at 53 years of age, fat weight doesn't come off easily.

    But the biggest hurdle will be me. I'll have to retool my diet, and my brain will resist any change that I perceive as jeopardizing my hard-earned muscle. Tough! If a little muscle has to go to hit my waistline goal, so be it.

    (Remind me of that last bit, people, when I start to whine...)
    It is definitely a balance trying to find that sweet spot between muscle and fat (one reason why I don't like scale numbers.....muscle gain doesn't equal weight loss).

    I really dislike the clothing industry too! Vanity sizing is not only frustrating (when trying to find clothes that fit), but also kind of makes me mad and can be depressing (when you find something you like and it's drastically not the size you thought you wore). Men's tend to be closer (at least your sizes are modeled off of inches), but yeah that sucks when they aren't sized properly.
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    Re: Fitness Challenge: Winter 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair View Post

    Lose 2 inches off my waistline (from 35-1/2 to 33-1/2).
    I'm eating lunch as I type: a steak with salad (with minimal dressing) and a glass of red wine. This will help towards my goal (strip off the fat, preserve as much muscle as possible)...

    ...but I eat 5 high-protein meals a day (small ones, but still), to fuel muscle growth. I fear I'll have to edit that down to 4 meals to reach my goal, and then I'll start freaking out about shedding hard-earned muscle mass. But I won't heed that siren "eat protein" call! No, not me, not this time.

    Friends convinced me to join them last night for a crazy "Nutcracker Rouge" burlesque show in Brooklyn, and one of the performers, Todd Hanebrink (you can google him, but have a drool cup ready) was nearly naked onstage and rocking my world. Good inspiration to keep me on track.

    The other thing I'm doing to keep me on track is adding a reward: When I hit my goal, I'm going out and buying a new pair of sweatpants. This sounds pathetic, I know, but I want a carrot hanging in front of me as well as a stick. If When I hit my goal, I'll want to flaunt what I've got, and a flattering pair of sweatpants for the gym (as opposed to the baggies I tend to wear) are just the thing.
    Last edited by Altair; 29 Dec 2016 at 01:14 PM. Reason: deleted redundancy

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    Re: Fitness Challenge: Winter 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair View Post

    The other thing I'm doing to keep me on track is adding a reward: When I hit my goal, I'm going out and buying a new pair of sweatpants. This sounds pathetic, I know, but I want a carrot hanging in front of me as well as a stick. If When I hit my goal, I'll want to flaunt what I've got, and a flattering pair of sweatpants for the gym (as opposed to the baggies I tend to wear) are just the thing.
    I don't think it's pathetic at all! Sometimes it is really simple things that are deeply motivating...and nothing is better for a fitness goal than something that actually encourages more fitness!
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    Re: Fitness Challenge: Winter 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair View Post
    Friends convinced me to join them last night for a crazy "Nutcracker Rouge" burlesque show in Brooklyn, and one of the performers, Todd Hanebrink (you can google him, but have a drool cup ready) was nearly naked onstage and rocking my world. Good inspiration to keep me on track.
    As a performer and producer, this makes me happy.
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    Re: Fitness Challenge: Winter 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair View Post
    So my goal for the winter is:

    Lose 2 inches off my waistline (from 35-1/2 to 33-1/2).
    Since then I've avoided the tape measure in terror, until now.

    I finally decided I couldn't put it off any longer, and I had to see how things were progressing, now that we're only a week shy of a month into our challenge. So I took the measurement this morning...

    ...down half an inch!

    BUT I think I might have to revise my goal. I decided to shoot for 33-1/2 based on the false waist sizes promulgated by the lying liars of the men's fashion-industrial complex, when in fact based on my body type (midway between a mesomorph and an endomorph) and my age (53), I think 1 inch (rather than 2) may put me exactly where I want to be, and be a more realistic goal.

    I'm still going to shoot for 2 inches, though, in the hopes that will make it a certainty that I achieve 1. So far, so good.

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    Re: Fitness Challenge: Winter 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair View Post
    Since then I've avoided the tape measure in terror, until now.

    I finally decided I couldn't put it off any longer, and I had to see how things were progressing, now that we're only a week shy of a month into our challenge. So I took the measurement this morning...

    ...down half an inch!

    BUT I think I might have to revise my goal. I decided to shoot for 33-1/2 based on the false waist sizes promulgated by the lying liars of the men's fashion-industrial complex, when in fact based on my body type (midway between a mesomorph and an endomorph) and my age (53), I think 1 inch (rather than 2) may put me exactly where I want to be, and be a more realistic goal.

    I'm still going to shoot for 2 inches, though, in the hopes that will make it a certainty that I achieve 1. So far, so good.
    Good job facing that terror! I think that sometimes it can be really hard to find that line between realistic and still pushing ourselves. I like that you kept your original goal, but added a secondary acceptable level!
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    Re: Fitness Challenge: Winter 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair View Post
    1) Set your goal. Things to consider when you do--
    • Evaluate where you are now and what would be a good place for you, personally, to be fitness-wise.
    • Make sure the goal is achievable.
    • Make sure the goal is measurable.
    2) Announce the goal in this thread to all us lovely people. We'll egg you on and keep you honest. Promise!

    3) Check in to this thread regularly to let us know how you're doing. At least once a week, people!

    and best of all

    4) ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR SUCCESS!
    Ok, saw this thread when it went up, and balked. Made all kinds of excuses: have too much going on right now, don't want to join another project (as I am finishing up one, in the middle of one, and about to start three!), and just don't want to commit to something that I may fail (or don't 'want' to do....)

    But here goes!

    Where I'm at right now: I am a stay-at-home mom, who is working on building up my writing into something that will actually bring in money. I have a big, year-long project that I am going to be starting for 2017 that is going to involve not only some big personal work, but also public sharing (so more writing!). I also joined a year long art-journaling program, so will be getting weekly art prompts. Plus I blog every week, and do some other online community building things with my local Pagans. Oh, and hubby and I run a guild in a MMO (computer game), so I spend a decent amount of time a week doing stuff in the game. I am also the primary driver for mom-in-law to take her to doctors visits (which she typically has a couple a month). So even though I don't have a traditional job, I do have a lot of things I do during the week.

    And most of that is quite sedentary. I spend a lot of time sitting at the computer. I do have some knee issues, sometimes some back issues, and Ulnar nerve problems with my left arm (that effect me being able to lift stuff well with that arm). I know I need to be more active, I always feel better when I am, but I struggle trying to work in working out into my day (not just the time to work out, but also to shower after, and trying to do it at a time that fits with the rest of my day).

    So my goal: work out at least 3x a week. And measure myself (with tapemeasure, we have no scale) at least once a week. Then (*eek) share my progress here (once a week)

    I actually have a hard deadline for a writing piece that needs to be finished by the end of the month, so I will start at the start of January.
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    Re: Fitness Challenge: Winter 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Kylara View Post
    Ok, saw this thread when it went up, and balked. Made all kinds of excuses: have too much going on right now, don't want to join another project (as I am finishing up one, in the middle of one, and about to start three!), and just don't want to commit to something that I may fail (or don't 'want' to do....)

    But here goes!

    Where I'm at right now: I am a stay-at-home mom, who is working on building up my writing into something that will actually bring in money. I have a big, year-long project that I am going to be starting for 2017 that is going to involve not only some big personal work, but also public sharing (so more writing!). I also joined a year long art-journaling program, so will be getting weekly art prompts. Plus I blog every week, and do some other online community building things with my local Pagans. Oh, and hubby and I run a guild in a MMO (computer game), so I spend a decent amount of time a week doing stuff in the game. I am also the primary driver for mom-in-law to take her to doctors visits (which she typically has a couple a month). So even though I don't have a traditional job, I do have a lot of things I do during the week.

    And most of that is quite sedentary. I spend a lot of time sitting at the computer. I do have some knee issues, sometimes some back issues, and Ulnar nerve problems with my left arm (that effect me being able to lift stuff well with that arm). I know I need to be more active, I always feel better when I am, but I struggle trying to work in working out into my day (not just the time to work out, but also to shower after, and trying to do it at a time that fits with the rest of my day).

    So my goal: work out at least 3x a week. And measure myself (with tapemeasure, we have no scale) at least once a week. Then (*eek) share my progress here (once a week)

    I actually have a hard deadline for a writing piece that needs to be finished by the end of the month, so I will start at the start of January.
    Excellent, Kylara! Glad you're here; it was getting a bit lonely.

    Looking at where you're starting from, your goal is quite wise, I think; these days nearly all of us spend so much time sedentary in front of computers (kind of self selecting if you're in this forum to begin with) that some sort of activity would be a real boost to the health.

    Since the workouts themselves (the number of them that occur per week) is the measurable goal, I'd suggest aiming for 4x per week; that way, if life throws you a curveball and you miss one, you still have a workout "banked", so to speak, and your goal is intact. Maybe the fourth workout can be a light one, mostly stretching.

    And then if you *don't* miss a workout that week...then you've just gotten that much more exercise.

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