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  1. I haven’t exactly been rocking my goals lately, but I find that I try harder and ultimately do better for myself when I have them. So… I’m back again! The most recent "about me" can be found in my previous challenge. Otherwise, we'll figure it out as we go along. For this challenge my Inspirational Witch is Tiffany Aching, or, really most of the witches of Discworld. I adore these no nonsense ladies, and this line in particular has me right now: I'm not the sort of person who generally casts fault but I could do better at dealing with things. It’s the holidays which is always jam-packed and in addition, I have three trips of 5+ days in the diary during this challenge which doesn't make anything easy, let alone taking care of myself. So I’m going to start by dealing with my own self-care (because I can't help others if I'm not functional, and the Enting only has one mummy): Some way, some how, get in that 10k steps. Some way, some how, get in that 2L of water. Some way, some how, write 100 words a day on fiction or nonfiction. My aspiration is every day. Spoiler: I won’t hit every day! But by trying to do it every day, I’m going to hit it more often than I would otherwise. Let's go deal with things.
  2. The Prologue So, I had originally envisioned a LotR-themed challenge in which I engaged in beauty and running around the woods (or at least local parks) and singing to the trees. But it rang hollow, and I realised something important: I'm no elf princess. * I’ve also been pondering a Harry Potter-themed challenge, but nothing ever came together. Until it did. Forget beauty and serenity. WEIRD and WONDERFUL is who I am. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that. I need to re-embrace my inner Luna. Okay, Let's Back Up I'm Ann of Vries, aged 39; a storyteller, a diarist, a fiber artist, a gamer, a traveler, a hiker, and a new mother. I’m madly in love with my partner, Mr of Vries, and my 6 month old son, Rowan of Vries--usually known as the Enting. Warning: There will be baby pics on this thread. I’ve been in the Adventurers Guild for the last several challenges. I love the Adventurers, but recently the class hasn’t been quite fitting right… and it, oddly enough, took a recent adventure for me to figure out why. About two and half years ago, I emigrated to the UK from Seattle. I love it here, it sings to my bones. It speaks to my soul. This is the place I want to settle. But I’ve realised recently that while I intend to make my home here, I have been treating my stay like a long term tourist. It’s time to live here. To belong. To dig deep and grow some roots. I can't do that in the mindset of a visitor. The Challenge Note: This challenge is in conjunction with the 12 Week Year System. I'm still figuring out the details of this particular "year" so you may see some tweaks in my challenge as I sort that out. Get Weird and Wonderful: Engage in my creative projects: writing, knitting, other crafts (I was recently given some acrylic inks to use with my dip pen and have I even opened them? No!) . Do my hobbies at least 10 minutes per day, 5 days a week. Be my weird and wonderful self. I used to be this eccentric weird girl with an odd charm. These days I just feel awkward and unsettled. I suspect that culture change has something to do with this (Seattle is full of awkward charm; London is full of sophistication), but I don’t feel like myself anymore and I want to change that. I’d rather be myself and stick out than try to fit in and feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Internal journeys are hard to track with SMART goals. So I’ll start with the physical: I want to look like myself again. Unshockingly, I gained weight during pregnancy. Not a lot—I’m only carrying about 10lbs of it now. But it’s enough that my wardrobe no longer fits (or fits poorly when it does). I told myself I’d wait at least six months before I fussed about it. That time has come. Lose at least 2lbs during this challenge. I'm for gradual changes, and anyway it's hard to do a strict fitness routine with the Enting. Return to drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. I can't seem to stick to this one without tracking it, which annoys me, but it is what it is. Clean out my closet: pack away maternity/nursing clothing, sort for the season, figure out what is missing and make a plan to replace them. For example, I know that I’m short of autumn/winter footwear. They all wore out last year, but I didn’t want to try shoe shopping whilst pregnant. Study to Become a Wizard Naturalist: Get walking. Walk at least 10k steps, 5 day a week, as per my fitbit. Note that this will usually involve carrying my 20+lbs-and-growing baby for an extra workout. There is a known inaccuracy because it counts patting the Enting (while winding/burping him) as steps, but I'm opting to accept that for ease of tracking. Observe my surroundings: Note 3 interesting things I’ve encountered, at least 5 days a week in my journal. This is meant to get my out of my head and engaged in the world around me. Eat more healthy homecooked meals. I’m so bored of living on ready meals and prepared foods. Keep records. Create a layout to track these items in my shiny new Bullet Journal. I've been keeping daily to-do lists these last few mad months, but I think I'm now ready for more long term coherency instead of disconnected daily episodes. Let's see how this goes, shall we? AoV x
  3. Hello everyone! This is my third challenge. My first challenge…I can’t remember what happened but I didn’t complete it. My second challenge started shortly before I found out I was pregnant and while I tried to meet my goals I just couldn’t do it. So, here I am. Third time’s the charm right? A little about me: I am a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) of Munchkin (3 years old) and Tadpole (1 month). I discovered the Paleo/primal lifestyle not long after Munchkin’s birth and have been working to lose weight and gain strength ever since. I have problems staying consistent though, which is why it’s been 3 years and I still haven’t met my long-term weight/strength goals. It’s the journey, not the destination right? I love to garden, hunt, fish, SCUBA dive, and ride horses (though sadly I’m horse-less at the moment). I have a 5 month old German Shepherd pup who you’ll (hopefully) be seeing a lot of during this challenge. Now that you have some background on to the fun stuff! The Main Quest Lose 15 pounds and/or lose 12 inches (overall) off my frame. Goal 1 Eat my version of perfect Paleo/primal 5 days a week, preferably 7 but I’ll give myself some leeway what with lack of sleep and all that other newborn stuff. (My version includes full-fat dairy and occasionally rice.) Goal 2 Lift weights for 30 minutes, 3 times a week and complete the 30 Day Plank Challenge. (Trying to figure out a good way to track this online so I can watch my strength grow (hopefully) and prove I did it. Ideas?) Goal 3 Walk or bike 6 miles a week. Munchkin’s preschool is (according to Google) 1.4 miles away from home. She goes twice a week. In the interest of saving gas, exercising the pup, and getting in some cardio I will walk or bike to pick her up. Bonus points if I drop her off as well. Pics will be posted (either facebook or here) for every walk/ride. Life Quest Internet silence, 3 days a week. This will be hard; the internet is my main form of communication with other adults. But, that’s the problem-I need to develop real life friendships. I also need to be more efficient online. I go to look up one thing, then take a side trip to visit Facebook or check my mail and suddenly an hour has gone by and I still haven’t finished the one thing I got online for. Motivation I’ve been out of shape for about 10 years. At least, that’s when my size started getting in the way of what I enjoyed doing. I tried different diets, exercise programs; joined gyms, ect. I would do great for a month or so and then fall off the wagon, regain the weight and become lazy, then restart or get on a new program and…wash, rinse, repeat. Now I have two kids. I need to keep up with them, but more, I need to feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m naturally an introverted hermit but, as Munchkin becomes older, I find I have to go out in public *gasp* and be around people *ew!*. School functions, field trips, ect-I need to not dread and hate these things, especially when Munchkin loves them. I don’t want her to hate being in public as much as I do. My hope is that being more comfortable with my body will make being out in public less horrible. Plus, have you ever been around a 3 year old? I can barely keep up. And now there are TWO of them! By the time Tadpole is walking I need to be ready. I will be using my Facebook page to post pics (proof!) since I have often have problems uploading stuff here. If you’d like to follow along the address is: https://www.facebook.com/ThePrimalGardener (I will still try and post pics here as well.) What I’d Like From You My largest hurdle is staying consistent. I am hoping that joining this challenge and posting will make me accountable and stay on track. Or near the tracks. Within view of the tracks? Heck, at this point I need all the support I can get! So, help me stay on course! Let me know how I can help you-lets conquer these goals!
  4. I've been reading the site for quite some time, and given that I'm now finally trying to make some changes to my diet and fitness, thought I would join the forums - particularly with the 6 week challenge starting in a few days. For most of my 20s my weight and fitness levels have been up and down. I had my first baby 10 months ago, and wasn't focussing on too much other than getting through sleep deprivation. However, I'm now back at work (as a lawyer, so I'm sitting at a desk all day) and instead of the very slow loss of pregnancy weight that I wasn't trying too hard at, I noticed it was starting to slowly increase again. (And then I stopped weighing myself, which is always my warning sign - when I go into "I don't wanna know!" territory). Mostly due to bad eating habits - the worst of which is being incapable of having just a little chocolate/just one sweet, and instead eating the whole block/bag - exacerbated by a complete lack of exercise. I am planning to have another child in a year or so, and I would like to be lighter and fitter this time around, and maintain a better level of fitness during my pregnancy. With that goal in mind, I'm making some gradual changes. I've started going to the gym in my lunch hour at work - taking classes to begin with, because I like the structure and tend to work harder if someone is saying "faster, faster!" at me. I've also started the C25k program again. I'm trying to completely quit any kind of chocolate/sweets, which is a bit of a hit and miss affair so far. I'm considering what else I'd like to change about my diet - I don't think paleo is for me, but I'm considering something like Mark Bittman's VB6 idea. (Mostly because it wouldn't require me to make too many changes to our evening meal, and therefore wouldn't require twisting my picky-eating-husband's arm). So. Within the next 12 months, I'd like to be at least 10kgs lighter. Ideally more, but I want to give myself reasonable, achievable goals. At the moment I'm around 89kgs at 175cm tall (and, conversions.... lemme google... 196 pounds at aaaalmost 5'9"). I'd like to be eating better - something I'm going to measure by eating a lot more vegetables, and a lot less sugar. And I want to be fitter... but at the moment I have no idea how to make that a more measurable/accountable goal. I think I need to make all those goals a bit more specific in order to make them easier to stick with, but I'm not entirely sure how. And I'm trying to think of some goals for the 6 week challenge that fit within these vague larger goals. Any suggestions very welcome Oh, and nerd quals - big reader of sci fi and fantasy, ditto tv series. Currently watching Game of Thrones, and reading one of Seanan McGuire's urban fantasies.
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