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  1. Photo by Robert W Scott Photography on Flickr: Costume by me Photo by Robert W Scott Photography on Flickr Nightcrawler has been working hard to lose the extra pounds he had gained during his two years away from the team. Over the course of the next four weeks, he plans to drop the remainder of the excess weight and rejoin his friends at the mansion. Goal: Finally get back to my Weight Watchers goal weight! Plan: 1. Follow the Weight Watchers program: Track everything and stay within my points allowance each week. 2. Go to the gym three days a week: I got a gym membership between challenges and plan to use it! I don't feel like I need a goal for while I'm in there for now...Its still new and exciting and I feel like just getting in will result in doing real workouts each time. 3. Stay out of the pantry at work: Continuing this from the previous challenge since I had so much success that time! There is a cupboard at work that is always filled with junk food, which is a major reason for the weight gain over the last 1-2 years. I am not good with self control when it comes to free food, so I go all or nothing - either I eat everything I find in there all day long, or say its off limits and cant have any of it. I am staying out of it all together. Life goal: Improve interpreting skills: I was accepted into a control group for a program that ends in November or December in which they will pay for my national certification test at the end, which costs about $450 and has a 14% pass rate. Because of the low pass rate, I am considering this a free trial to see what I need to expect when I actually have to pay for it. However, I would LOVE to not have to pay for it at all, so will be trying my best to improve as much as I can over the next six months. How: Finish the initial tests: The program involves tests at the beginning and end to compare. The first set of tests is due April 1 and they are fairly time consuming. I did the practice ones, which took me about five hours all together...And they are much shorter and far less work than the actual tests. I am not entirely certain what the next steps after that are, but I will update this part of the challenge at that point.
  2. The Time Management beast can't be a dragon. It just can't. So it's a gnome. It looks innocent and harmless, and you don't even think you need to wage battle, let alone that it would be a tough one if you do. But gnomeses are sneaky and little and their teeth are sharp. And they are worthy if diminutive foe. And boy oh boy to I have a swarm of gnomes coming down on me! I am just straight up short on time this challenge. I have a LOT of things that need to get done. I have a lot of prior commitments. And I am trying to get a job in a new city, so depending on how that goes, I may have a whole 'nother set of things to take care of! Naturally, what bugs me the most about this is is not KNOWING which immediate future I am planning for... So yes. This challenge is about getting stuff done, but it's also largely about staying sane while I do it. So here are the various gnomic categories that will be occupying my efforts: 1. American Sign Language Class: Every Tuesday and Thursday, except April 27th. I have barely enough time to eat supper after work, and I don't get home until after 9pm, so Tues/Thurs cannot accommodate any further scheduling, unless it's before work. (Blergk!) 2. Workouts: twice a week 3. Disc Golf: I have been bitten by the competitive disc golf bug, and I am determined to get better and do well in tournaments this year! There's a tournament this weekend, and one May 6-7 that will fall under this challenge. Obviously I also need to get lots of practice in - this doesn't have a specific schedule, but will be taking up a great deal of what little spare time I have. This also has a secondary aspect, which is that the hubs and I are 4. Purge the house. If we ARE moving, we need to seriously downsize the absurd amount of possessions we have. If not, this is still a good thing to get done. We have more space that we need in our current abode, and it has just collected clutter, and I'm done with it. So some of these things will be part of my goals, and others are just challenges that I will need to work around to get my other goals done. Without further ado, here are my goals! Eat: But not gluten. Less than 120g of carbs each day. At least 80g of protein. Simple, yes? 1 pt per item per day. Bonus point for carbs below 80g. Bonus point for dairy-free days. A - 84pts B - 74 pts C - 63pts D - 53pts +3CHA Bike: 130 kms. Ease into it for week one, then bike commute daily for weeks 2-4. My bus pass runs out at the end of April, at which point I will switch to bike commuting. It's not far at all (4.2km one way) and takes me about 20 minutes (closer to 15 once I'm in shape!). I need to rent a locker, since I'll be showering at work, and I need to get my stamina back up! The biggest obstacle with this is that I am usually completely wiped out for the first week or so until I get used it again. If I miss a day, I can make up the kms with other biking, that's fine. Weather and sleeping in happen sometimes... I also have a physio appt sometime during this challenge I think, so I'll have to drive that day. A - 130kms B - 115kms C - 100kms D - 85kms +3END Workout: Twice a week. Gym sessions. One on Sundays, one weekday morning. Yes, I'mma have to get up damn early for this. Sigh. A - 8pts B - 6pts C - 4pts D - 2pts +2STR, +2DEX Steps: Take at least 308,000 of them during the course of the challenge. That's 11,000 per day. I have a goal of averaging 10,000 steps per day over the entirety of 2017. I'm a little behind on this right now, so I'm aiming to gain some ground. A - 308,000 B - 299,000 C - 290,000 D - 280,000 +2END PURGE: Get rid of excess possessions. Donate and sell if possible. Throw away if not. Clean as we go. There are a couple rooms that are especially daunting, and so they will be the primary focus of this challenge. 1. Basement Storage Room #1 - this mostly contains camping gear, old shoes, winter gear, supplies for our business and a giant wooden thingy that was rescued from a job site for absolutely no purpose other than to take up room in our house. 2. Basement Storage Room #2 - this is full of recycling, cardboard boxes, tools and assorted building supplies. 3. Craft Room - this one is all on me. I have a LOT of crafting supplies. Like... a lot. The only other thing this room contains is the cat litter and one bookshelf.. and it is full. That being said, every other room in the house needs this treatment, except the upstairs bathroom, which is the only one I've completed so far. So I can still get points for other rooms, but no bonus prize unless I get the 3 big ones done. 10 pts awarded for each primary room complete. 2 pts each for any other room. A - 30pts B - 20pts C - 10pts BONUS PRIZE for 40 pts achieved. TBD. +3INT
  3. I'm coming off the high of a wildly successful challenge, and I am so committed to making those changes last! I completed my 3rd Whole30 last round, and it was by far my most successful. I ate like a Queen, I got all my workouts in, I walked, I learned, I journalled. Now I need to find a framework for it all that works in my post-Whole30 world. I find the extreme strictness of the program much easier than exercising moderation - if cheating isn't an option, I won't do it. If it's okay to have just a little of whatever, drawing the line where I stop is SO much harder! So my focus is now on maintaining the good habits that I built to support good decision making going forward, instead of just making a complicated set of rules that I am just supposed to magically follow. Firstmost and Foremost: Diet. I want to keep eating very clean - I felt so good (so energetic, so happy, so NOT bloated) on the W30, and I don't want to give that up. But what does that mean? 1. (5pts/week)Weekly breakfast prep: Take the decision-making out of the first meal of the day. A big batch of protein + veggies will get made on the weekend. If it's there, I will take it to work. If I have to figure out what I'm eating for breakfast in the morning, it doesn't always end well. 2. (10 pts/challenge) Restock Freezer meals: This doesn't necessarily need to happen every week, but I need to have some easy backup food for when my plans fall through. Chicken patties, meatballs and soup have been successful here in the past. 3. (10 pts/week; -5pts for additional variances) Plan and shop for mostly compliant dinners: I have a handy dandy recipe app (Paprika) that I have been using to plan dinners, and then it will automatically generate a shopping list. 3 times per week, this dinner can include legumes OR non-gluten grains. (I take leftovers for lunch, so these things will be eaten again the next day as well.) 4. Don't put cheese on everything! I'm going to aim for 4 non-dairy days per week. Dinner one day through lunch the next counts. (-5pts for each day above 3 with dairy) 5. Macros! Bonus 5 pts per week if average carbs are under 100g, Protein is over 80g, and Calories under 1600. EDIT: 6. I forgot to address wheat. Not gonna lie, I miss bread. I love it so. My short term goal is to not make myself any meals containing it, but to allow it if we eat out (which happens very rarely, so that's not like a carte blanche or anything. And I don't mean fast food, I mean a proper sit down restaurant meal.) 1 freebie for the challenge, then -5 pts for further indulgences. *While I am not technically making these in to goals at this point, I want to be very aware of alcohol and evening snacking. I am feeling pretty okay with not drinking, and I want to keep going for now. I'm okay with having a drink if I really want to, but not just for the sake of it. (Bonus points of 5 for each alcohol-free week.) For the snacking piece, I have rarely felt any desire to snack lately, and if I wanted more food after dinner it was because I was genuinely hungry, and then I ate some appropriate, filling food. I am going to keep up with this, and for this challenge, will just be tracking this item and we'll see how it goes. My logic is that if my daily meals are satiating enough, I shouldn't want to snack. So if I do, I need to recalibrate my other meals.* Okay. Phew. That was a bit of an essay. Hopefully I'm not overcomplicating things, but I think it touches everything I need it to. A : 70pts B : 60pts C : 50pts D : 40pts F : <40pts +4CHA Secondmost and Midmost: Workout. Time to ramp this up a little. 2x workouts per week - formal gym dates (with sister). Body weight and/or dumbbell workouts, with a little cardio mixed in. 1x something else per week - whatever! Yoga, bouldering, and kettlebells all count. Walking doesn't. A : 12pts B : 10pts C : 8pts D : 6pts F : <6pts +7 STR or DEX or END decided upon at the end depending upon mix. Thirdmost and Betwixtmost: Walk. This is a yearlong goal, as I am aiming to get 3,650,000 steps this year! I'm a little behind already, so I'm gunning for 71,250 per week A : 285,000+ B : 255,000+ C: 225,000+ D : 195,000+ F : 194,999 or less. +2END Fourthmost and Aftmost: Talk. I started taking American Sign Language classes last month, and the first level ends Feb 16 and the second starts March 7th, meaning that I will have 4 classes during this challenge. Critically though, I need to get more practice in. There is a casual, student led conversation group on Mondays that I will attend, and I will do some other kind of practice online (watching youtube videos, practicing sign and fingerspelling recognition etc) at least one other time per week. (2 extra times on the weeks with no classes.) A : 10 B : 8 C: 6 D : 4 F : <4 +2INT
  4. Man, I just love the new year! It's like a brand new notebook, with margins unscribbled. It's like a fresh field of snow with no foot prints. It's a bright Saturday morning when you woke up early and have no plans. In short, it's pure, unadulterated potential. Right now, I have the potential to become an absolutely amazing version of myself, and DAMMIT I'm going to realise that potential THIS YEAR. Full stop. This challenge is stepping stone #1 towards that Fonzico. Nitty gritty: Goal Number One: Complete the Whole 30. Jan 8 - Feb 6th. Incidentally, we have a big Ukrainian family feast coming up on January 7th, so naturally the perfect day to start is the day after, which just happens to coincide with the start of the challenge. Week Zero will be all about the prepping, and for the challenge proper, it's just breathtakingly simple. Follow the program. There is no fail option here, so it will simply result in: +3CHA +2INT Goal Number Two: Hit the gym. My sister and I have started going to the nearby community gym. It's not the fanciest thing you've ever seen, but it's close, inexpensive and so far we've been really enjoying going. We take turns planning our workouts, and just get it done. We had a talk last time about upping the intensity too. There are also drop in classes there which are included in our membership, so I want to start trying those out too. A : 8+ B : 6+ C : 4+ D : 2+ F : 1 or less +3STR +2END Goal Number Three: Get walking. Okay, so call me crazy.. but I want to give myself a year long step goal of 3,650,000 steps. Yep, 10,000 per day ALL year. Holy crap. I'm already behind. Anyways, in order to support this goal, I'm going to get 285,000 steps during the challenge. A : 285,000+ B : 255,000+ C: 225,000+ D : 195,000+ F : 194,999 or less. +2END Goal Number Four: Learn American Sign Language. Whoohoo! This is something I've wanted to do for a long time... and now my work is paying for me to take Level One and Two classes for the next 4-ish months! So excited! All I have to do for this goal is attend the classes, which, like the Whole30 goal, does not have a failure option - aside from extreme illness, there is just no excuse not to go. Classes are Tues/Thursdays from 6pm-9pm. I will attend 8 classes during this challenge. +2INT Goal Number Five: (yeah, Yeah, I know, that's a lot of goals) Bullet journal. I started a Bullet journal a few months ago, and have been kind of half-assedly using it since. I want to actually fully utilise it. Goal is 5 days of week of writing SOMETHING in it. A : 20+ B : 15+ C: 10+ D : 5+ F : 4 or less. +1INT
  5. Nightcrawler_Bamff Joins the X-Men! Nightcrawler awakens in the medical center of the X-Men's mansion after his defeat by the Blob. Professor Charles Xavier is at his bedside. "Welcome back, Kurt. How do you feel?" "Like I was hit by a bus" "You took quite a blow, but with a couple days rest, I expect you'll make a full recovery." "I am sorry, Professor. I failed and Blob got away." "No, Kurt, he didn't. Your efforts kept him busy long enough for me to arrive and telepathically subdue him. The police were able to handle him from there." There was a knock at the door and with Professor X's beckoning, a tall man dressed in dark blue and yellow with a visor covering his eyes entered the room. "Kurt, this is Scott Summers, Cyclops. He is the leader of the X-Men." "Hello, Kurt. I hear you are the one we need to thank for stopping the Blob." "But I failed. It was the professor who stopped him." "Without you, Professor Xavier would not have gotten there in time and there would likely have been numerous injuries, if not fatalities. As part of a team, one is able to accomplish so much more than they would be able to on their own. I watched the footage from the encounter; your skills are impressive. With some training, I feel you could be a valuable member of our team." "And you do not mind the way I look?" "Don't hassle me about my shades and we'll call it even." "Zen I shall give you my best." Challenge 10(!!!!) Time to start training for the X-Men! Main Goal: Slim down and tone up. We got tickets to San Diego Comic Con this summer, so I need to look my best to try to fit in with all the amazing costumes I know will be there! Gymnastics: Continuing to work on back handspring combinations and aerials. Specific Quests: 1. T25! Got the program from a friend and I will be following this workout program IN ADDITION TO gymnastics workouts. I've done P90X and Insanity with great results, but got burned out from the minimum of one hour workouts seven days a week. I'm really excited about this program because it is supposed to be Insanity condensed down to just 25 minutes a day. 2. Eat right! I will be following the Weight Watchers program throughout the challenge and tracking my food/activity points. 3. Splits! Haven't made too much progress the last challenge, but going to continue working on these. Wont be devoting as much time to this as previous challenges due to time constraints (see "life" section!!). Stretching sessions will happen once daily, seven days a week. Life: Yet another super busy challenge! 1. School: I'm currently taking two classes, which are turning out to have a lot of homework and will need to be my priority. 2. Star Wars costume: I decided on Kyle Katarn because his costume is relatively simple and goes with my friend's Mara Jade costume. I would like to have this costume at least most of the way completed by the end of the challenge. 3. X-Men costume: Continuing to upgrade Gambit. By July, I will need to have an extendable staff, boots made of foam and warbla, inside pockets added to the trench coat, and sew a bodysuit. Current Gambit:
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