Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Level Up Your Life

Early on in my quest for better health, someone told me about Nerd Fitness, a blog and forums started by Steve Kamb and dedicated to helping geeks focus on fitness, weight loss, and diet while bringing them together to support & educate each other on their way. Can anyone say, "Perfect match!" I'm rabid scifi/fantasy/gaming nerd and, as I've written on this blog many times, a HUGE reason I've finally found success with weight loss and health is because I discovered ways to use that stuff to motivate me rather than letting it be an escape so that I wouldn't have to face my issues.

Right around the time I discovered Nerd Fitness, Steve delivered this TEDxTalk and I was incredibly moved because his mentality is so similar to mine.

This whole journey is about improving your life and giving you the strength you need to take what you want from it. On Nerd Fitness I found tons of great articles about eating healthy on a budget, the amazing transformations of the forum members, using Frodo's trek to Mount Doom as inspiration for a new walking regimen (seriously awesome), and how to approach seemingly impossible goals in a way that actually helps you accomplish them- not to mention several articles with workouts you can do outside of the gym if you can't afford a membership. There are so many more awesome posts and new ones come out every week both from Steve and sometimes guest bloggers.

When I started looking through the forums and discovering the threads for the "real life role playing game" and six week challenges, I got really inspired and very intimidated. These people were accomplishing amazing feats just by applying the structure of a tabletop RPG to their actual lives.  It's genius. Everyone creates their character, decides a profession/class that correlates to their fitness goals, and assigns 15 points to their level 1 stats (Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Constitution, Wisdom, Charisma). Each challenge offers the opportunity to gain one level and more stat points. Everyone sets four goals (3 fitness/health and one 1 life goal per challenge), assigns the amount of points they'll win for different statistics should they succeed, and at the end they grade their work and award the amount of points they feel best reflects their progress. You can learn more from the full rundown on Nerd Fitness Rebellion Forums.

As much as I loved the idea, I was already participating in challenges on the Nutrisystem forums and every time I checked back, they were in the middle of a challenge and I had to wait to sign up for the next one. I missed a few opportunities, but FINALLY I figured out the challenge dates and put it in my calendar so I wouldn't miss it. I amped myself up by preparing my character in the down time:

Hearthsinger the Wandering Bard
Level 1 Halfling Ranger
STR 2 | DEX 1 | STA 2 | CON 2 | WIS 4 | CHA 4
"You are what you do. You can re-create yourself every second of your life." -Xena

Clearly I couldn't resist quoting Xena- and it's a damn good quote too! I chose to join the Rangers guild (a mixture of cardio and strength training), and started getting my goals ready. You can read about them and see all my starting measurements and weight below.

Fitness/Nutrition goals:

  • Take at least one Yoga class a week. (+2 STR)
  • Complete 5k training missions with "Zombies, Run" 3x/week. I'm starting my week 2 training missions on October 25. (+5 STA)
  • Complete at least two 45 minute training sessions on the elliptical per week. (+2 DEX)
  • Learn to cook three Paleo meals by the end of the challenge. NOTE: I'm on Nutrisystem right now, but it's just an open door into a much larger world. I'm learning a lot about portion size and breaking food into 5-6 smaller meals a day, but I want to learn a little about Paleo and cleaner eating so that when I get to my goal weight and drop my subscription, I'll be ready to hit the ground running. (+3 CON)

Life Goal:

  • Write at least 2 new blog posts a week and create a logo for the header. NOTE: I've been posting backlogged entries from the past seven months daily so there's constantly new content, but I need to keep CREATING content on a schedule so that I can stick to releasing two articles a week on a regular schedule for the readers once I catch up to current time. (+ 3 WIS)


  • Bust: 38"
  • Waist: 41"
  • Hips: 44"
  • Thigh: 22.25"
  • Calves: 16.5"
  • Bicep: 12.5"
Starting Weight:
  • 162.4 lbs
Yesterday, Feb 25th, was officially day one of my first challenge as a Nerd Fitness Rebel and I'm REALLY excited to get to work! In fact, this is post number one for my first week. One down, one to go! If you decide to join in, I'm Hearthsinger on the forums. So take the plunge, join the rebellion and let's do some serious power leveling! 

Before I send you off to do great things, here's some final inspiration from Steve as he exercises around the world. 

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