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  1. "It's good to be home," Steve said, shouldering his duffel and eyeing mine as we made our way to the elevator. I just re-adjusted the bag on my shoulder. There was no way I was letting anyone carry my bag but me. Not at the Tower. No matter how chivalrous Steve was wanting to be. "Yeah," I agreed. "Yoo-hoo!" the voice echoed in the concrete of the underground parking lot. "Petra!!!" I looked around, half-recognising the voice. A flash of red sped between cars, and I dropped my duffle. "Wade Winston Wilson, you bastard," I called, a grin spreading across my face. "Baby!" Wade said, rising from between two SHIELD-issue black sedans. I felt Steve tense next to me as Sam started chuckling. "Darlin'," I drawled in return, half-jogging towards the merc. "Dude, it's been years!" I got pulled into a katana-filled hug. "Glad to see you're in one piece, sweetness," he said, serious for once. "And that's the only time I'm gonna be serious in the whole thing, Author-lady, so there!" I shook my head, used to Wade's antics. "Ridiculous as ever, Wilson," I said. "Have you met the family yet?" "What, including Mr. Man-mountain who's glaring at me?" Wade asked. "I know Fly-boy over there - heya, hot stuff!" he waved cheerily at Sam, who half-saluted back. "Come on, then." I picked up my duffle as we returned to where Steve was still standing. Wade was right - he didn't look happy. I grinned a little wider. "Why so serious, Steve?" I asked, bumping his shoulder lightly with my own. "Here - this is Wade Wilson, better known as Deadpool. Wade, this is Captain America himself - Steve Rogers." "Heya, Cap," Wade said, extending a hand. "Nice to meet ya. And I gotta say, Stark is right. A human Dorito with an ass I'd kill for." "Wade!" I blushed. Not that I disagreed. I just knew better than to say it out loud. "Hey, I have no filter," Wade protested. "And if I did, you wouldn't know it was me." "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Wilson," Steve said, shaking Wade's hand. "Your reputation precedes you." "Oooh! Which one?" Wade actually bounced. "The one where I can't be killed? Or the one where I kill everything? Or the one where I leave on the mask so people won't be blinded by my beauty?" "You don't actually have to answer him," I whispered to Steve. "He's weird, but good people nonetheless." "I trust you," Steve murmured back, and warmth glowed in my chest. "How about we all drop off our stuff?" We all moved in the direction of the FRIDAY-controlled elevators, me quizzing Wade on what had happened to him since the last time we'd met. "So - I heard something about you and a brand of soap? Please tell me he's double dead..."
  2. Hi all! I am here because I'm tired of feeling, well, tired! I am in my fourth year of nursing school and married with a basement suite to manage which have been my main excuses for not taking better care of my health. The challenges of all the above, especially nursing school, have made me incredibly mentally strong (I'm not full of myself, I swear!), but I feel I am lacking in physical strength. I am inspired by black widow and want to be able to kick ass like she does! I also have some GI issues that would be helped a lot by cleaning up my diet, which currently consists of anything quick and lots of cheese and sugar. I'm starting with bodyweight exercises and yoga/some meditation for stress. I just started a 4 week challenge in the Rebel guild but will likely move to assassins as I am inspired by the idea of mastering my bodyweight. I would also like to try parkour! Basically, I see myself at level 50 as a badass action heroine!! On a side note: Laidir is Irish for strong. Strength of body and mind is my ultimate, super broad goal so I picked Laidir as a reminder of that.
  3. You probably haven't heard of me. And that's fine. That's the way I want it. My name is Petra Romanova. My sister's name is Natasha. Yes. That Natasha. But she's missing. She left on a mission to Wroclaw a few weeks ago, and we haven't heard anything from her since. Barton's looking for her now, scouring most of Poland along with some of his friends from old SHIELD. He'll find my sister. Eventually. But there's another problem. Nat leaves without telling anyone. It's the way her missions work. And she's always back to fulfil her usual obligations as a member of the Avengers. (Don't get her started on a spy being 'in the public eye'. It involves half-hour lectures on public perception, the idiocy of SHIELD, the US government, and various other entities, as well as the burgeoning power of the Internet and social media, and how all of those tools can be used for our own benefit. It's exhausting...) So everyone's expecting a Romanov to show up for Stark's annual Halloween gala. And to help Steve be the public face of the team. Except she's somewhere, probably interrogating some hapless goon who doesn't realise he or she is being played. So I drew the short straw. I'm going to be the one subbing in for Nat. Going to meetings. Holding press conferences. Being in the public eye. They pulled me out of SHIELD training for this. But what am I gonna do? Say no? After all, I'm a Romanov. And the Avengers are my family. And nothing is more important than family.
  4. I wasn't sure I was going to participate this time, but then an email inspired a theme and a purpose for the next 6 weeks ..... fixing a bunch of bad habits that have stalled my weight loss efforts!!!! As I skimmed this article from Fitocracy, I realized that I'm guilty on 5 of the 6 counts. If I want to succeed, I need to fix a bunch of mistakes and stop setting myself up for failure!!! Thankfully, I am usually a good shopper with only a weakness for the deli counter, but the others ..... I have my work cut out for me. So, this challenge will be a bit different for me. And newbies be warned - I'm breaking a number of the guidelines for RP challenges. So don't use me as an example. I'll be setting goals that primarily will increase wisdom and constitution. But, since 80% of success happens in the kitchen (and the grocery store), I think this challenge will set me up for success in the future. So, watch this space for details ..... I'll be editing it through the weekend to make measurable goals that help me fix my mistakes and use lots of exclamation marks!!! Mistake #1 - Eating out/Take out The good news is that I have historical data on how frequently I eat out or grab take out. The bad news is that ...... out of 42 days in the challenge, I ate out or grabbed "healthy" foods from the deli ....... get ready for it ..... 37 days!!! 88% of my challenge days involved buying prepared foods, most of which I can prepare easily at home. FIX #1: Stop eating out so much, DUH!! (2 WIS, 1 CON) To be reasonable and yet make progress, I'm going to reduce the number of days in which I eat out or grab something from the deli .... Scoring based on days that I mess up: 4 days: A 8 days: B 12 days: C 16 days: D 20+ days: F Mistake #2 - Snacking This isn't SUCH a big problem for me as eating out is ... or so I thought, until I went back through my data. YIKES!!!! 34 days out of 42 had a snack, and often NOT something light. FIX #2 - Reduce unplanned snacking (2 WIS, 1 CON) I am going to plan for truly healthy snacks, especially for after hard workouts. And I will aim at reducing the number of days when I give up and eat something just because I am bored, because hubby is having a snack, or because I didn't plan ahead and eat properly at the prior meal. Scoring based on days that I mess up: 4 days: A 8 days: B 12 days: C 16 days: D 20+ days: F Mistake #3 - Not planning for splurges In fact, I have not been planning meals at all!! Breakfast (eggs) is on autolock, but the rest of the day has been done by last-minute inspiration. At the end of the day, when I enter in what I've eaten, I might be pleasantly surprised ..... or completely shocked. Logging is a good first step, but planning needs to be a close second. FIX #3 - PLAN!!!! (3 WIS) I'm usually a big planner, but a lot of things have been up in the air for the past two years, and I just stopped planning meals. In part, because when I'm home alone, it doesn't seem like I NEED to plan meals. Not like when I had a family, and we needed to know what we were eating so it could be accomplished before dashing off to the evening activities. So, time to stop moping about the empty nest and a hubby who lives a couple hours away. I'm going to sit down this weekend and create interchangeable menus on index cards. That way, I can have some variety within limits. And I'll be better about cooking (see fix #1) and freezing the extras. I have the big freezer plugged in downstairs and can just call this "cooking ahead". To keep accountable, I'm entering the weekly plan into LoseIt. And I'll post pics here!!! So, watch for food porn. I AM a pretty good cook. Scoring based on SUCCESS days: A: 38 B: 34 C: 29 D: 25 F: 21 or fewer Mistake #4 - Food as medicine As an athlete, I was just interested in food to support my activity level and provide the needed macros. I've fallen a long way from that stance since 2005 and now routinely use food and wine to make me feel better, to reduce boredom, as part of socialization, and as celebration. The problem is that .... it doesn't work. And often, I not only feel worse physically but also then beat myself up emotionally. But I keep falling back into those patterns, in part because hubby encourages them. Fix #4 - Food as fuel (2 WIS, 1 CON) Measuring the mental shift might be a bit of a challenge, but I'm going to try this strategy: Identify 20 triggers or situations where food becomes more than food Construct 20 alternatives - one per trigger - that can be played to combat the problem situationScoring: A: 20 B: 18 C:16 D: 14 F: 12 or fewer Mistake #5 - Inconsistency in exercise Looking back over my logs, I see that I have episodes of high activity, burning 400+ calories in exercise. And then, I have days when I don't really do much other than a gentle 30 minute walk. To some extent, that's fine, and I am exercising most days. But it also means that it is hard to plan meals when I don't know how much I'll be burning, and I've often eating as if I were going to have a big workout day ..... but then end up on the couch and stockpiling that extra calorie intake as fat. Fix #5 - Plan workouts and even out calorie expenditures (1 WIS, 2 STA) Well, the theme of the challenge is planning and consistency, I think. It's OK if I don't workout every day, but it is essential that I PLAN for rest days instead of letting them just happen. So, the aim is to plan my work and work my plan. At the beginning of the week, I'll sketch out planned activities as well as meals. That means that I ADJUST meal plan for the planned rest day(s), if necessary. I've been fighting a bit of a sore hip and knee, which means that I may end up adjusting workouts to prevent injury. Scoring based on days that I mess up: 4 days: A 8 days: B 12 days: C 16 days: D 20+ days: F Attribute points ..... A 100% B 90% C 80% D 70% F 50% for trying ..... PLUS MINIs!!!! Week 1: +1 STA Week 2: Week 3: Nada Week 4:
  5. I'm super tired right now, so I'll just make a really quick summary, and tomorrow I'll finish it off! MAIN QUEST - To lose weight and fit in my prom dress by April 25 SIDE QUESTS - successfully do a complete pull-up - run a 10k in under 60 minutes - do yoga everyday, even if it's just for 5 minutes - 3 strength trainings/week LIFE QUESTS - To finally paint and redecorate my hobby room Okay okay so I waas having a bath earlier today and I was thinking about how I'd take on this challenge and I got it all perfectly worked out! Here goes: Laodamaren's 6-week challenge rules 1400 kcal limit (little more than my BMR) , this goes for all days, whether severely active or notI will try intermittent fasting for the very first time. However, if it makes me feel bad, I will stop doing it.My workout schedule looks somewhat like this: M: bodyweight training (I use NF bodyweight workout level 4 of the academy) T: Active rest day: yoga class W: Running: intervals T: Strength: lifting day!! (squats, deadlifts, bench, all of it, me likeeey) F: running: intervals S: HIIT and bodyweight training curcuits S: long distance run + arm and abs day I usually don't run this much, as I'm more a bodyweight training kind of person (with a passionate secret affair with lifting weights), but I'm currently training for the Antwerp 10 miles run on April 26 and I want to have a decent time I do not eat any gluten, refined sugar (or artificial) or dairy, with an exception for sheep yoghurt in the morning cause there's no other way I can reach my protein goal.MY carbohydrate intake looks like this M: normal - 75g T: low - 50g W: normal -75g T: low - 50g F: normal: 75g S: normal: 75g S: high -100g Tbh, I'm not so sure whether this is a correct view of the low/high carb intake, so I'd be very pleased if someone could help me with this?Daily protein goal is around 90g, which is quite an accomplishment for me.I have a daily yoga practice of 10 mins before I go to bed (been doing it for a week now, trying to make it a habit) and as soon as I wake up i do one set of push-ups AMRAP cause that wakes me up!Will try to minimise dried fruits, although that shit is delicious!! Also trying to minimise legumes, but I'm not obsessing about them!For the record, Natasha Romanoff/black widow is my greatest motivation, as she's such a badass woman and I'd love to be like her! My friends say I've already got her red hair and bitchy face, hah! Looking forward to starting!!
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