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  1. highly, highly recommend this to dystopian and sci-fi fans Crake saw the direction humanity was going, and took steps to change it. I can see the direction I would go in (if it wasn't for starting NF), and am taking steps to change it. No spoiler's ahead, just doing what Crake did- Keep What Works, Toss What Doesn't Work, and Make Necessary Changes. Part 1: Keep What Works Lift heavy things 3 times a week: Continue increasing working weight amounts and tracking it on my spreadsheet. Ride 2 times a week: Last day of this month's challenge is a local horse show, and both pony and I need to be ready for it. More jumping exercises, more bending exercises, and remembering to keep my elbows back! First day of next month's challenge is a hunter's pace, and I'd like to see him load up easier. Ideally, we'll go on another trail ride the first or second week of august to prep for this. Lights out by 11pm: this got fudged several times because I'd want to stay up later and read, and towards the end of last month we just ignored the bedtime alarm all together. MUST SLEEP. Read 5 times a week: was 4 times last month, and that was easily done. Now, the caveat is that if it is past 11, I can't say "well, I already missed bedtime so what is another 1/2 hour of reading". This is assisted by the muscle relaxers I've been (unfortunately) needing to take to knock the pain down enough to sleep. I usually pass out in 10-15 minutes of taking them. Part 2: Toss What Doesn't Work Cycling: I could not for the life of me get into cycling last month. Part of this is fibro-pain related, and part is not making it a priority. Well, newsflash, we have a 60 mile ride in less than 6 weeks. So I need to be ready. I am going to plan out some rides and times and stick to it, gosh darn it! However, it is not a part of this month's challenge specifically under cycling. See below: active for 20-30 minutes Single serving of dinner: really quite a cake walk. leveling up in nutrition this month. See below: Veg with 2 and 50oz water. Sunscreen: I went about this one all wrong last month. Good-smelling non-greasy sunscreen is not a loot, it's an incentive to do the right thing. Since I wasn't cycling and riding outside, I wasn't putting it on. The biggest change is from listening to a Freakonomics podcast about childhood obesity. Well, sunscreen now will help me avoid skin cancer in the future. Instant feedback be damned. I bought Hawaiian Tropic Sport today, and will set using it as bonus points. Part 3: Make Necessary Changes Active 20-30m 4 times a week: Instead of doing nothing on my non-lift days, I'd will do something (cycle, yoga, walk, etc). This is separate from horsebackriding. Also, I cannot triple up on a day off of work (i.e. ride, lift, and yoga; not that that is likely to happen cause after riding and lifting I am **tired** but ya know) and then sit on the couch after work. However, I am giving myself a little leeway for really painful and/or ehausting days. Veg with 2 meals per day: 1 meal per day was easy last month. However, I only counted when it was a side of veg, and not a serving (i.e. a load of spinach and roasted red pepper on my burger). Drink 50 oz water per day: I drink mostly water, but don't drink a lot when I am at work for some reason. Not this month! Dessert: Single serving of dessert was a snap. Changing point system for +2 if no dessert of healthy dessert, +1 for a single serving of dessert, 0 if extra. Meditate 4 times per week: Following along Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project, my hubs and I chose "themes" for each month. July is mindfullness. Also, I enjoyed meditating for the mini last month. Bonus- on time for work: I really like being on time for rounds. Even if they aren't that useful in and of themselves, I like not walking in just as the team is done talking. I'll also be tracking my pain levels, since I'm pseudo-journaling daily now, and since Rangerbrain is a very real thing. Other things to take into consideration this month: Week zero will be used to get a head start on these habits, but points will not count. Week 1 will have be flying to NY for some CE, wrapped within a vacation. 2 days in NYC, 1 day touring the place I grew up, 2 days of CE, and meeting up with a friend who just moved to CT. Last night in NYC we may go to a Brazilian steakhouse. ::drools:: Week 2 will NOT be awful because the office manager WILL let me take a day off. 5 days straight with 10 hour shifts and 1 hour drive each way is brutal. I will be a giant ball of pain. I am supposed to work 3 days a week. 5 days in a row should not happen. So it won't. Cause I said so. Last day week 4 is the horse show Last day of the next week 0 is the 60 mile ride I'm wishing for a good challenge!
  2. The winner book in our wee poll is Oryx And Crake by Margaret Atwood! The reading goes for November 11 - December 22, same as our 6 week challenge. You can start reading at any point in this given time. If you post spoilers, warn us by writing SPOILERS, noting the chapter you're in and leaving some empty space between this and your message. Respect each other's opinions and be nice. Ready.... GO!
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