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  1. Hey y'all! It's nice to be back after taking a challenge away to focus on recovering from eye surgery. My eye is healing really well, and I'll have my final check in with the doc this month as well as an optometrist appointment for new glasses prescription. Yay! For this challenge I will be going through my bookcase. There are notebooks, drawing pads, art books, writing, pattern books, songbooks, a cookbook, language how to's, and a bunch of novels. Not to mention pens, pencils, stuffed buddies, and more... This bookcase has become representative of my to-do list, and it’s growing teeth.I bought most of these books when I decided I was going to accomplish a big goal and the books and more were tools to help me reach those goals, but instead it became overwhelming. Maybe instead of focusing on the result, I need to focus on the journey. 1. Read the books. 2. Do the assignments in the books. 3. Decide if the book is worth keeping. 4. Deliver unwanted books to donation centers. Do not put them back on the shelf! 5. Draw and write in the empty notebooks 6. Keep the drawings I love and put them in a binder together. Take the trash ones out and recycle them. 7. Do not purchase anymore books, notebooks, drawing pads, supplies, etc. That's a procrastination tactic. 8. Record and reflect on my progress here. 9. Remember this is not a shame exercise. This is a fun practice to remind me that time and effort spent just for me is worthwhile. So we'll see what the bookcase looks like at the end of the challenge. What will stay? What will be gone? I can tell you that the Raggedy Anns on the top of the case are staying. (but they may need a good dusting ) Supporting this goal, I've set a limit to social media on my phone for 30 minutes a day. That gives me enough time to keep up with my friends and family, but also not so much time that I'm wondering where my free time went. I'm also going to continue following the "Put things away instead of putting them down." I save a lot of time not having to pick up piles of stuff. Cleaning is so much faster because I can just just start dusting right away, and I have less laundry to do. And I feel like I can focus better on what I'm doing because I'm not surrounded by a mess. Which reminds me, Bing Bong needs to go on the bed, not the keyboard. LOL
  2. After a really long absence I have returned! Work and hockey coaching things got busy (in great ways) and I wandered away from the awesomeness that is Nerd Fitness. While I wandered I began to notice that I missed the friendship, accountability and tremendous google-fu that only NF Rebels can provide. So I started this battle log to serve as a place to share what I’m up to and stay in touch with the Rebellion. I created a 4 week challenge for myself in the style of a 6 week challenge crafted around the things I need to work on. There are about 800 things I want to cram into my weekly schedule, but I want to keep things realistic so I picked 3 things I want to do more of. Workout, Write, W-clean my house (damn, I really wanted three things that started with W…) Witcher Wild Hunt came out in May and experts (me) agree it is the greatest open world RPG ever created by mankind (I like it a whole bunch), and a perfect theme for my battle log. You play as a monster hunter for hire who plies his trade with swords, spells and super human senses. Lucky for me I have all those things.... Weekly Goals: Workout 2 days per week- strong, fit Witchers live longer.Write at least 1 hour per week- Witchers can have hobbies too.Witcher cleaning contracts- 2 per week- I swear monsters live in my house, constantly creating clutter and dirty dishes. Jerks. End of Challenge Goals: 15 regular pushups in a row (right now I’m doing them from my lady knees) 10 pages of writing completed A clean house Rewards: Warm fuzzies. When I work out I feel good. When I keep up with my cleaning duties I feel good. When I spend time writing I feel good. I often get the feeling that life is going way too fast and I don’t have time to do everything I want. The best way to combat that feeling is by identifying priorities and spending my time and energy where it matters most. (Sorry Netflix) Time to sharpen some skills, slay some monsters, and craft my legend as the greatest me there has ever been. *Jennifer Stark equips her silver sword and gets to work*
  3. Good morning! It's a new challenge! I'm so excited! YAY! Remember when you could click and drag to adjust the size of things you posted here? Ah, those were the days. So for this challenge, I'll be following the wisdom of Mr. Rogers and take my time when I do things. I tend to rush through everything, and when I can do things well and fast, that's perfectly okay, but when I'm making mistakes, am distracted, or can't really remember what's going on because I just muppet flailed my way through the day, then it's time to slow down. I'm going to focus especially on slowing down during meals, taking a deep breath before making decisions, and just allowing myself the time to get things done right. So the second part of this plan is to write down a master to-do list, pick a few items from that list and just get them done. Take my time, get it done. I think often I find myself rushing through many things because I'm overwhelmed with a sense of things needing to be done without having a direction. Having a list will allow me to focus on what I'm doing without getting distracted by "Oh no, I need to remember to do this!" For some big tasks that are easy to procrastinate, I'll choose them, set a deadline, and then get it done. And the final part of this challenge will be meditation. I didn't do this last time. When I did, I felt a lot better and in control of the day. Just to take some time, sit down and just breathe. Be at peace, calm myself and clear my mind. I'll do this in the mornings because as soon as I leave my bedroom, the day will be noisy and distracting, so I want to give myself an advantage from the start. tl,dr Stop rushing through tasks Make a list, get it done Meditate each morning
  4. December of 2017 was my first time in 51 years of life doing a formal year-end inventory, and I am using the data I gleaned from that experience to formulate my goals for 2018. I modified the categories from Level 10 Life, and came up with what I want to focus my attention on for this year. I'm stashing these here so I have a place to look for inspiration to create my four-week challenge goals more intentionally vice haphazardly as I have been doing. Spirituality: Add a daily prayer focus to the beginning of every day; add a brief gratitude bullet at the end of every day (record in BuJo) Re-boot prayer journalling habit, using The Power of Prayer Journal because that actually worked out great for me when I used to use it Physical Health: Participate in my gym's annual 3-month nutrition Transformation Challenge, starting Jan 13 Figure out what my actual maintenance calories are Learn to do unassisted chin-ups Squat my bodyweight Add HIIT sessions to strength workouts 3x/week Marriage: Verbally express gratitude/appreciation at least daily Environment: Convert horribly cluttered and neglected bonus room/junk storage room to cozy, welcoming Hobbit Hole/library/writer's sanctuary Incorporate Weekly Home Blessings into weekly routine (FlyLady quickie whole-house-cleaning) Commit at least 15 minutes/day to de-cluttering and tidying up using combination of FlyLady and Marie Kondo methods Relationships: Commit at least two days a month to face-to-face time with friends (women's ministry events, coffee dates, Wednesday studies) Call at least two out-of-town family members (mom, one of the sisters, eldest) every month Career: Schedule specific daily times for records maintenance and reporting Use Pomodoro technique for mundane tasks Finances: Pay of three smallest of remaining student loans using snowball method Replenish emergency savings used during recent emergency veterinary surgery Pay off medical/veterinary bills by July Helping: Volunteer at domestic violence shelter Take supplies to DV shelter at least monthly Buy at least one thing for food pantry at every weekly grocery trip Mental: Take another Coursera course, possibly Stanford's "Mathematical Thinking" Learn contact juggling "Butterfly" Finish Duolingo French, start Duolingo Welsh Complete BookRiot 2018 Read Harder challenge Read 120 books (Goodreads goal) Emotional/Personal Development: Continue daily meditation Write Morning Pages Finish rough draft of novel The BIG THREE goals for the year are officially: Finish novel Create library/writer's sanctuary Pay off three student loans I plan to re-visit these at least quarterly, modify or add to as needed.
  5. In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. My inspiration for the month of October starts with the gentle hobbit folk of the shire, and then makes a gentle tour through the copyright protection of the generic halfling people, before tumbling over the cliff that is Belkar Bitterleaf. This pint-sized, chaotic evil hero has brought more good into the world with his a-moral ways that ten paladins, and this month I'll be copying him the following ways: Murder - Belkar is an expert at taking lives and also, at taking lives. Like him, I'll be trying to murder three things, a 455 squat pr, a 305 bench pr, and a 515 DL pr. Streaking - Pantsless o'clock and being a consistent sumbitch are both Belkar's specialties. Like him, I'll be tracking my streaks of consistency on language, journaling, meditation, mobility, and calories counting. Loot the room - Belkar be getting the loot all day erry day. The mrs and I moved in April and we're still maintaining a mountain of boxes in one room. Like Belkar, I'll be opening treasure chests (or uhaul boxes) this challenge at a rate of four per week.
  6. (My mini-theme is 'getting my house in order'. For all you non-builders, the 'deck' of a house is the flat subfloor that all the framing of the house sits on). Hello all! I failed the last challenge due to a really nasty, persistent cold. I've finally recovered and am continuing forward. This is basically the same challenge for myself that I set last time, although I've tweaked it just a little. 1) Sleep: I'm still working on getting my hours to both the amount and the time period that I want. 2) Devotions: I really need to consistently have a morning time set apart to pray and read my Bible. 3) Productivity: 3x a week, I'm either going to do some sort of housecleaning or something else productive on the farm. 4) Bodyweight: I'm going to reset my workout progression back to 3 sets of 2 reps each, and I'm going to be focusing on getting perfect form for each movement. 2nd week of the challenge, I'll start increasing again. By the end of the challenge, I should be up to 3 sets of 5 reps each. Goals: Sleep - 9:30 PM to 6:00 AM Devotions - First thing in the morning after I shower Productivity - Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays do something useful Bodyweight - Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays Workout plan: Quads - squats - 02 - 02 - 02Glute - hip raises - 02 - 02 - 02Push - push ups - 02 - 02 - 02Pull - chinups & pullups - 02 - 02 - 02Core - planks (in seconds) - 02 - 02 - 02
  7. Hello all! In my journey toward 'having my house in order', I successfully built the foundation in the last challenge, so I'm moving on to laying the deck down (for all you non-builders, that's the flat subfloor that all the framing of the house sits on). I'm keeping the same goals, but adding to them. 1) Sleep: I'm still working on getting my hours to both the amount and the time period that I want. 2) Devotions: Now that I'm actually getting up in the morning, I really need to consistently have a morning time set apart to pray and read my Bible. I had that this winter and early spring (before I fell apart and had to respawn), and I KNOW I was a lot healthier spiritually then. 3) Productivity: I'm also adding in the need to do something, ANYTHING, useful during the day. It doesn't matter what it is or how big or small. Wash a single dish. Build a new animal shed. Whatever. Just do something productive. 4) Walk: I want to be more consistent in walking 3x a week. I've got two usual paths I take, each one takes me about 30 minutes round trip. 5) Bodyweight: I'm so incredibly happy with my progress last challenge! =D I'm going to keep on with the same progression. By the end of this challenge, I should get up to 3 sets of 10 reps each. As with last challenge, I'm not going to tally up success and failure overall, just work on adding these to my life until they 'stick'. Goals: Sleep - 9:30 PM to 6:00 AM Devotions - First thing in the morning after I shower Productivity - Do something useful Walk - Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays Bodyweight - Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays Workout plan: Quads - squats - 05 - 05 - 05Glute - hip raises - 05 - 05 - 05Push - push ups - 05 - 05 - 05Pull - chinups & pullups - 05 - 05 - 05Core - planks (in seconds) - 09 - 09 - 09
  8. Hey everybody, I only have a vague idea about what my goals will be and I'm too exhausted to write them down now.
  9. I have been reflecting on my previous challenges and have noticed many recurring themes. Not eating shit, being more productive and being kind to myself. I've just reviewed my full challenge sheet and have re-adjusted some short term goals with the view to making some real progress and not just talking about it. I'm not going to be unrealistic about all things. keep it simple and achievable and just GET SHIT DONE. Goal one - CUT OUT THE CRAP This is the one I've been most reluctant to take head on and taking a softly approach hasn't worked. Here's the plan: Food Plan Rock Breakfast - This is a no-brainer. Pick and stick a few easy breakfasts Routine lunch - I've got this one pretty much already (soup or salad) Pre-dinner snack - I've done this before with some success. The idea is not to get home starving so a piece of fruit or other pre-planned snack for the car trip home Dinner - Have a few go to meals either pre-made or pre-thought out for when there is nothing on the go when I get home. No other snacks. No after dinner, no biscuits or cakes at work, no icecream on the way home or snack from the servo. Motivation plan Recuit my gym buddy colleague to be my at work accountability. She is the one that most leads me astray (apart from the biscuit jar) so if I recruit her I'll have someone to make me accountable and she will have my back on the needless cakes and free food. Tell my family I'm not eating crap. (although sometimes I feel this leads to sabotage,) but this time I'm GETTING SHIT DONE and not pussy-footing around it Goal two - GET BACK ON THE LIFE LONG LEARNING I lost motivation on this when I decided I wasn't going to go down the whole certification route but the reason I decided was that it was only really a vanity certification and I have other things to spend good money on. I've got my eye on an online course that work would pay for but I want to get back in the habit of a few Edx sessions a week. Learning Plan 3 weekday sessions and 1 weekend session of at least 40 min each per week Goal three - STRETCH AND STRENGTHEN I'm not having any particular intense fitness goals. I do have an awesome bike ride planned in Sept and I'm planning on getting back on the bike around July (over the worst of winter). I want to do a bit of preventative maintenance in particular lower back and a rather troublesome coccyx. Dr Google has given me some yoga, stretching and strengthening exercises to do. I'm also planning on some massages. Stretching Plan Develop a daily routine (still need to finalise) Incorporate some of these stretches into work gym sessions Massage once a week (this will be good but I hate spending the $$) Goal four - GET SHIT DONE - PRODUCTIVITY I really want to work on my productivity but don'T have any firm plan. Is this ironic or just a symptom of needing to be more productive? Here's what I am thinking about: Go to bed early to make it easier to get up and have time for a morning routine. I'm not an early person so I've never had a morning routine past get up, get to work. Therefore if I am up early I just tend to get to work earlier Not sit around watching hours of senseless TV after work with hubby (study time helps with this) I tend to be a bit of a workaholic - so I would like to set some boundaries about work hours and making sure the time I spend there is productive. Productivity Plan watch this space Good job its week zero - a few days to firm this up. Any suggestions or hints would be appreciated.
  10. Oh my gosh, that's a giant puppy. Screw it, Giant Sleepy Puppy stays. It's so cuuuuuuute. awwwwww. Let's find some other puppies.... Awwwww this one has wet paws and doesn't look like he's happy with that. WAIT WAIT WAIT....ONE MORE ONE MORE HE'S SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU!!! When I feel blue, sometimes I do an image search of puppies. I also look at puppies in waiting rooms when I'm really nervous. Looking at puppies makes me feel good. I like puppies. Is this challenge just about puppies? You know what? This challenge is ALL about puppies... Every day there is a list of things that accumulate in my head. Things that I'd like to do. Not things I have to do, just things I'd like to do. Play the piano, practice the ukulele, clean the kitchen, do some laundry, wash my hair. And each thing feels really overwhelming so I spend a lot of time sitting and looking out the window, wishing I could be doing something else, absently refreshing social media sites that do nothing to help my mood. I'm not completely lost, I mean, I count calories and cook meals. Yesterday was 50 degrees and sunny and I got a lot done. But then it got grey, and I could feel it settle over me. The greyness gets to me. The constant feeling of dusk that is only relieved by night. So I figured for this challenge, I need to just get things done and regain a feeling of efficacy. And look at puppies. Puppies are like sunshine. So back to goals and puppies: 1. Limit social media to Thursday evenings and news on Sundays. 2. When I feel overwhelmed, look at pictures of puppies. 3. When I think "I'd like to, or "I wish I could", DO it. Don't overthink it, don't let the greyness get in, just do it! 4. Celebrate with NF pals with listed accomplishments and pictures of puppies. PUPPY
  11. “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” Previous Challenge Stats STR - 27.75 | DEX - 45 | STA - 40.25 | CON - 67 | WIS - 38.5 | CHA - 44.5 Weight 178lb Waist 31 1/2" Belly 36" Hips 41" Thigh 23 1/2" Body Fat 27.33% Goals Sleep Bed by 10:30pm unless socializing - I'm going to try some different things to see if I can figure this out +2 CON +2 CHA Cardio 30 minutes of cardio at least 1x per week +1 STA Swim 1x per week +1 STA Mobility Daily mobility - foam rolling/lacrosse balling + stretching +1 DEX Yoga class or video 1x per week +1 DEX The List Write in journal weekly +1 WIS Work on 2 to-do list things per day, or 1 big thing +1 WIS Food Food prep on Sundays for Monday-Friday (breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner) +2 CON Keep (trying)/doing IIFYM +1 CON Pullups At least 10 (attempted) pull-ups daily +2 STR Mini Challenge Week 1: We're all Rangers now! COMPLETE Whether we like it or not, there is a long road ahead. It'll take the unity of all our party to see this action through. The road will be long, the journey tough, the effort herculean, and the rewards intangible. Gather your courage this week by sharing a tale of your abilities. Share a story of a triumph or tragedy you experience this week to bolster your comrades' faith in you. If nothing comes to mind, hit the gym and tell us all about an incredible workout you completed or PR you set. Week 2: The Long Road Ahead COMPLETE Leaving behind nothing but a demolished and ransacked guildhall, a few circles of stones which had once been cookfires, and a discarded piece of refuse or two, the raiding band departed from the Ranger's Clearing, a dell in the woods which had hosted generations untold of Ranger Gatherings. Now dark mountains beckon. Smoke rising in the distance. The trains of refugees fleeing devastated villages and townships have trickled and stopped. Only decaying bodies remain where once proud settlements stood. We're nearing our destination... steel your heart, and ready your muscles for whatever may present itself in our path. It's bodyweight week. Keep a running total of your bodyweight exercises throughout the week and record your total in the tracking spreadsheet. We're just aiming to get a good pump on so our limps are limber for the battles to come! Week 3: Week III: Preparing For The Wars To Come COMPLETE Smoke crested the hill. A scout reported back having seen a medium sized battalion of dark armored creatures and their demonic summons a short march away. Harrgath convened his war council in short order. The unanimous decision was made that the combined guild would raid this force for much-needed supplies and armaments. Harrgath paced through his assembled force. Archers readied their bows, swordsmen and women ran whetstones down the lengths of their blades, pikemen and spearwomen ensured the shafts of their polearms were secure. Meanwhile the senior Ranger ran a gloved finger along the wide blade of his twin axes. This would be a feast for crows, a sword song, a dance with axes and shields and spears. He would be a Lord of War, commanding a great host of warriors eager to avenge fallen comrades. He spared a glance across the camp and smiled a grim grin at the clash of steel to come on the morrow. Preparation for battle is all about mobility and being warm enough to execute any series of movements in the dance of battle. Select a series of mobility exercises to help warm yourself up. Next week will be the class with our first foes, so prepare yourselves and steel your nerves! Week 4: And All The Wars To Follow The sword song was sung. Arrows hammered shield, hide, pierced chainmail and flesh alike. Axes hacked limbs from body. Daggers found the delicate places on a man's body even in the chaos of battle. Screams and cries were as the wind, howling and shattering the silence. Many fell that day, and many more would in the days to come as their succumbed to their wounds found on that fateful field. It was a rout still, though many friends were laid to rest at twilight, draped in their cloaks to hide their lifeless eyes from grief-stricken friends. No quarter was asked and none given. Only one body emerged from the morass of slain foes alive. When questioned by the senior Ranger Harrgath, when it was demanded he reveal his patron, his master, one name escaped from tortured lips. "...Loki." It's the final week of your challenge, ladies and gentlemen, and we have much more story to tell. A battle hard-won deserves celebration, but not before we finish this week out. Your goal this week is for 100% completion of your challenge goals. It doesn't matter what else has happened all challenge long, Week 4 is going to crash and burn before our combined efforts. Share your accomplishments here, tell us what efforts you made to wrap up Week 4 successfully, and then give us a glance into what your celebratory efforts might be. To Do List Get a haircut Work on Imagining Other Earths on Coursera Shrink sweater sleeves Sew jeans Sew leggings Look for NZ/Aus shot glasses Clean off desk/printer table (aka The Corner of Doom) & find AAO certificate Consolidate boat lists YL website - image gallery; design Make list of accounts/passwords - started Files in 'school'? Finish white skirt Clean green purse Drawing Officially change address (yes, I moved out of my parents' place 3 years ago, what?) Get watch button fixed; get other watch a new battery Tidy Closet Wardrobe (bottom) Bathroom cabinets Dresser top Bookshelves Grey drawers Clean Kitchen cupboards - buy jars Dust - bedroom done Vacuum - bedroom done The Road So Far Week 1: Sleep 1/7 Cardio 1/1 Swim 0/1 Mobility 3/7 Yoga 0/1 Journal 1/1 The List /7 Food Prep 1/1 Tracking 7/7 Pull-ups 7/7 Week 2: Sleep 0/7 Cardio 1/1 Swim 0/1 Mobility 4/7 Yoga 1/1 Journal 1/1 The List 7/7 Food Prep 1/1 Tracking 7/7 Pull-ups 7/7 Week 3: Sleep 5/7 Cardio 2/1 Swim /1 Mobility 7/7 Yoga 1/1 Journal 1/1 The List 7/7 Food Prep 1/1 Tracking 7/7 Pull-ups 7/7 Week 4: Sleep 1/7 Cardio 1/1 Swim /1 Mobility 5/7 Yoga 0/1 Journal 1/1 The List 7/7 Food Prep 1/1 Tracking 7/7 Pull-ups 7/7
  12. I'll type this up quickly and then flesh it out later, because I need to get to bed (see below). I had some time off of work between jobs recently and got into a pretty lazy, unproductive habit. I've started working again, but I'm still getting to bed too late and wasting a bunch of time on the Internet to the detriment of my workouts, chores, and personal projects. My overall goal is to get back into a pattern of productivity and avoid vegetating on a daily basis. Goals Lift 11 times. Ideally, it would be 12, but I'm going out of town on Friday. I'm not sure what my gym situation will be on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but I am crossing my fingers that it will be open. 3 STR Do 2 mobility sessions each week. This doesn't have much to do with productivity, but it does help my recovery, and it sometimes does a good job of getting me out of bed in the morning on weekends. 3 DEX Spend 3 hours a week on average on personal projects. I envision this mostly involving doing exercises from The Wizard Book. 4 WIS Schedule a rust removal appointment for my car. I've been putting this off for a while, and it should really happen before they start salting the roads. 4 CHA (because the paint job right now probably detracts from my dateability)
  13. I hope it's ok for me to post here as this is only my second challenge! I joined NF back in April, did my first challenge with the Rebels, and then kind of lost track of things. I've been active in the FB group, but not here, and I want to change that. Part of the problem was that I felt like I was wasting too much time messing about online, but I think posting here is actually useful and I love getting feedback and having a sense of community. I think I also got ridiculously over-ambitious with my first challenge and burned out by the end. I set myself 16 initial goals, and probably added a few things along the way (that were things I was doing anyway). I tracked everything using a Google Sheets spreadsheet, which worked well, but I ended up just feeling like I was checking boxes for the sake of checking boxes. Since then I switched to an analog tracking system for exercise, meditation, food, mood, time spent on Facebook, as well as my general calendar and work scheduling, which has been working much better for me. So, for this challenge, I'm drastically simplifying. My goals are: DIET: For the past few weeks I've been trying to reduce my spending on food due to some unexpected and expensive car repairs, as well as realizing that my financial situation isn't as healthy as I'd like. This has actually resulted in forcing me to be more creative and think of ways to use things that have been lurking in my pantry for a long time. I've also been eating healthier as I have only been buying essential items instead of empty snacks. I've also been more mindful of how much food I prepare for each meal, as well as making sure that I'm not throwing out leftovers just because I don't feel like eating them. My goal for this challenge is to continue being mindful about the food I purchase, prepare, and consume, and find new ways to be more cost-effective. EXERCISE: I have two upcoming aerials performances- next week I'll be performing ambient lyra at a fundraising event at a bar, and in October I'll be performing at a Harry Potter-themed event. I'm doing one act on static trapeze as a Dementor (yay I get another use out of my skeleton bodysuit!), and also a duo lyra act with a girl who is being Harry's stag Patronus. One part of my goal is to work on my Dementor trapeze act. I'm reworking my ongoing trapeze act which started as Pris from Blade Runner, and then was adapted last year for a Grim Reaper act for Halloween. Hopefully I'll get some good pictures to share! The other goal, which is more long term, is to focus on developing my split. I just turned 39, and although I am far away from having a full split, I want to have it by my 40th birthday. Some time ago I was actively working on improving my split flexibility and made definite progress, so I know I can do it if I really focus on it. LIFE: I am finally admitting that I have too much credit card debt and my financial habits have been disorganized and ineffective. It's not a huge amount of debt, and I've been sort of ignoring it, but it's not going to go away on its own. I am going to take stock of my expenses and make an actual budget, rein in unnecessary spending, start saving more, and pay down my credit card debt. I'm looking forward to being more active here! (The spreadsheet of doom): (New and improved analog tracking):
  14. The chaos of summer has done a number on my sleep habits. I'm going to bed later each night, having bad insomnia, waking frequently in the middle of the night, and generally not feeling well-rested. So, this challenge, I'm going back to basics and re-establishing good habits in the hopes that it will promote better sleep. Plus, I'm in the middle of a Sandman re-read, so it all seems to fit. Each goal will focus on some destructive aspect of my sleep habits, and try to address them: 1. Electronics and nighttime overstimulation: I've been staying up way too late watching tv, playing video games, or messing around on my phone. But that's all pretty self destructive when the goal is to fall asleep easily. So, the new rule is that by 10 pm on weekday nights and 11 pm on weekend nights, the electronics all have to go away, and instead it's time to read. Each day that I comply with this earns 4 points. The goal is 100 points by the end of the challenge. 2. Poor food choices and nighttime sugar: I've been eating food based on convenience, and I'm binging on junk at night. So, I'm probably consuming entirely too much sugar, as well as spiking my energy levels too late at night. The new rule is to batch cook at least one healthy meal each week to encourage healthier eating. Also, the goal is to minimize nighttime snacking and stick with healthier choices like vegetables, fruit (in moderation), or cheese. Each night that I have a modest, healthy snack earns 2 points. Each batch-cooked meal earns 12 points. The goal is to hit 100 points by the end of the challenge. 3. Time wasting: Having the kids home all day breaks my day into a lot of 15 or 20 minute chunks of time. And I sadly tend to waste those, as I often feel like it's just not enough time to get anything done. But wasting a whole day tends to make me anxious, and I generally waste them by spending too much time on the computer or my phone. Extra screen time + extra anxiety = pretty crappy sleep. So, the goal is to use those chunks of time for something productive. For the first 2 weeks (kids still out of school), each time I would waste time, but instead do a cleaning task, read, practice the piano, program, work on art for my apps, study the parkour manual, handle adulting tasks, or otherwise do something useful with one of those chunks of time, I earn a point. For the second 2 weeks (kids back in school), for each solid block of time (1+ hour) where I focus on programming, cleaning, adulting, etc., I earn a point. Once again, the goal is 100 points. 4. Get re-grounded in my fitness routine: Several things with my summer fitness routine have increased my anxiety levels. 1. As much as I love Pokemon GO, I can get overly obsessive about things like this. While I enjoy the game a lot, I want to back away such that it's just something fun I do when I otherwise want to take a walk. 2. All of the parkour is great, but teaching causes me to get into my head too much, to a point where I'm overanalyzing and re-playing everything I did in class. And that's just not healthy for me. So, I need to work on prepping some strong routines before class, and then after classes, largely let it go. 3. My current haphazard strength routine makes me feel like I'm doing a whole lot of nothing and just grinding my gears without getting stronger. I'm going to borrow one of the parkour conditioning drills* (which I'll describe later) twice/week so I have more of a plan. 4. Yoga is good for my anxiety, but I've struggled to fit it into my schedule. I hate overly complicated rules, but here goes: + 3 points for doing yoga + 3 points for shutting down any neurotic over-analysis of parkour class + 2 points for just doing a casual Pokemon GO walk or taking a walk/ruck with no pokemon involved at all + 3 points for the parkour conditioning drill + 1 point for successfully using any meditation apps or videos + 3 points if I go climbing and just relax and enjoy it, rather than letting the grading or other things get into my head The goal, once again, is 100 points. My current fitness schedule is: Sunday: Parkour - combination of assistant teaching and taking classes Tuesday: Parkour - assistant teaching classes Wednesday: Parkour - taking class + open gym Friday: Strength training The remaining days will be filled with yoga, walking, rucking, and things like that. The parkour conditioning drill is to make a sequence of 10 bodyweight exercises, each to be performed for a minute: Push ups, pike push ups, dips, cat hang, pull ups, squats, wall sit, glute bridges, v-ups, toes to bar. I want to give this a try for the HIIT aspect, and since it's only a 10 minute workout, I'm more likely to get in the habit of tacking it on after my parkour classes. And, just to add an extra wrench to things, my kids are still off of school for another 3 weeks. So, right in the middle of the challenge, we have to nail down our back-to-school routines. It also means I absolutely will have to be awake and functioning by 6:45 every morning.
  15. This summer I stepped away from the heavy goal setting and just let life take whatever shape it would. It was a good exercise in some ways. I got a little better at rolling with the punches instead of stressing myself out by trying to control everything. But now it is time to exercise some discipline. Goals Weight loss is still one of my top goals. I've made huge amounts of progress, having lost about 50 pounds since I started a year ago! I've got another 25 pounds to go until I hit my initial goal. Tracking and copious amounts of training have been the two biggest components to my successful (with accountability from you lovely people coming in a close second!). So I'm back to daily tracking and not exceeding my total weekly calories. Organization/Discipline at Work. My new job is awesome. Great coworkers, awesome flexibility...almost too much flexibility. My work is almost completely self-directed, which I prefer, but it leaves a lot of room for slacking off. My goal for week 1 is to create a weekly and monthly work schedule to instill a little structure in my days and to come up with a way to keep track of one-off tasks (a list I keep on the wall will probably be sufficient). Training. BJJ is my sanity. Even when everything else in life is crazy pants, I can go to the studio and life feels better. For this challenge I want to focus on using my feet and knees more effectively. I'm not sure of details/specific moves right this moment...those can take shape along with the challenge. Control the daydreaming. All the stress and life changes have me retreating from reality through daydreaming. (That feels weird to write, but I'm certain I'm not the only person who does this...right? Maybe?) It is affecting my ability to focus, and focus is something I really need to have right now. I have creative pursuits I'd rather be working on; I think I just need a little nudge to go after those instead of retreating into made-up versions of reality. Initial goal: finish a book by the end of the challenge. Secondary goal: learn a song on the guitar. So that's that. I'll tidy this up into something easier to track over the days to come, but this is my focus for the next four weeks. See you all around the boards!
  16. THE CURSE OF THE 3RD WEEK Stand against The Demonic Ferret's reign, before it is too late.... The challenge is removing the curse. This challenge, there. will. be. NO CURSE ! The 3rd week must score an "A" or at least a "B". Challenge Items: Demonic beings killed will show progress. 1. Timely SLEEP TIMES - Score (YES/NO) 2. Productive RACE VS WASTE - Score (YES/NO) for speed-productivity instead of time-wasting 3. Clear VISUALIZE - once (Mon) Short term goals, long term goals REMEMBER - daily (Mon to Fri) Purpose, Death, How MEDITATE - daily (Mon to Fri) Love, Gratitude, Energy 4. Energized WORKOUT - 4 to 5 days/week (Some activities may overlap. Never train on Sun) x2 Strength Training x2 Bodyweight x2 Muay Thai This is also a Productivity Race Bricks built will show progress. -- Linking this to the Monkey Tamers United group challenge. At my best Lay bricks: CREATE VALUE ! ASAP Waste no time Optimum health and mental condition must be prioritized
  17. So, last challenge was ok but kind of fizzled out towards the end. But that's fine because I'm taking a two week break as I'm off here at the weekend: Download is the biggest rock and music festival in the UK (and occasionally the biggest music festival in the UK), and it's going to be awesome. This will be my 9th consecutive year, and I just cannot wait to get there. Whilst this is the most awesome, and strangely relaxing weekend of my year, it's definitely not the most healthy. Much much beer will be consumed, very little sleep due to a combination of that beer and the sound of 100,000 partying (and wanting to party with them), whatever food is closest to hand and many many miles of trudging through mud. All in all I'm going to need a few days to recover when I get back, so I'm starting this challenge on 20/06/16, running it for four weeks, and then I'll go straight into the next challenge without a rest to get back in line with everyone. So, on to my METAL goals: Down with the Sickness - 15XP What? As with my last challenge I'm cutting back on smoking, with the intention of quitting over the next couple of challenges. Why? Because I'm starting to notice it hampering my fitness. I exercise more or less every day, I'm pretty lean, but I still get out of breath a lot quicker than my non-smoker friends. Particularly I want to be able to improve my swimming times and not get so puffed out when hiking. How? Follow these rules: I do not smoke in my car I do not smoke at home I do not smoke at the gym Maximum 8 cigarettes per day, any day. This is designed to allow me the occasional cigarette break at work, and the occasional one when out drinking, but to break the habits of smoking when I'm bored or hungry. Until It Sleeps - 10XP What? Get better/longer nights sleep. Why? My body needs sleep to recover from workouts, my mind needs sleep to recover from life, and I found that this was getting easier and I was getting up to swim more last challenge out of this. How? In bed every night by 11pm or within 1 hour of getting home, whichever later. Iron Man - 10XP What? Keep going to the gym to become strong like iron man. Why? Because I want to be strong enough that I never have to turn down an activity I want to do, or be unable to help my friends. Also I'm discovering some new muscles I didn't know I had, and it looks awesome. How? Go to the gym minimum 2x per week, sticking to my current plan. Bonus: 12 gyms visits throughout the challenge - bonus 5XP (providing main goal is hit) The River - 15XP What? Swim in the mornings before work Why? Because I want to hit some new PRs. And it wakes me up in the morning. And it makes me feel fitter in general. And it makes my shoulders look awesome How? Swim at least 3 days per week (expected to be mornings before work, but can be any time). Rewards: New prescription goggles. Bonus: +3 XP for any week where I swim 5 times (cumulative) (providing main goal is hit). Kuss Mich - 10XP Can't find a video for this. It's a Rammstein track anyway. What? Keep brushing my teeth like an adult. Why? Because otherwise they'll all fall out. And at 27 years old it's ridiculous that this even needs to be a goal. How? Brush my teeth at least twice per day, at least once with sonic brush. Floss at least once each day. Wasted Years - 10XP What? Make some time for myself to do stuff I really enjoy. Why? I seem to spend a lot of my spare time watching re-runs of old TV shows on the sofa, rather than making the effort to spend that time on something new or more interesting. I'm actually too lazy to enjoy myself at home! I also burned out a bit last challenge, so want some along time where I feel like I'm really recharging. How? At least 1 hour per week doing something alone that I actually enjoy. Could be playing computer games, watching a new show, reading etc. I Can Only Count to 4 - 15XP What? Do at least 4 adult tasks every weekend. Why? Tidy house, tidy mind. I feel better in a nicer environment. Also, these things need to be done anyway, and procrastination does not help. How? Pick any 4 things to do. Sample list in spoiler (though if something else comes up I can do that). A little housekeeping: It's hard to crowbar in songs to fit these goals, so I'm open to suggestions if you can think of better ones Challenge runs 20/06/16 - 17/07/16 as mentioned above Units may be in Metric or Imperial depending on the the phase of the moon, my waistline and your shoe size Volume will never be in US Imperial, because I don't understand why your pints are smaller than ours Song recommendations and devil horns in replies are strongly encouraged
  18. I was writing out my goals. when I realized, I was typing "goats" instead of "goals". So I scrapped my old theme and went with goats. Because having Life Goats is a great way to start a challenge, right? RIGHT!! Goat 1: Use the schedule. I'm happier when I'm productive, and having the schedule provides just enough structure to help me do that. It's not an hour by hour schedule, but just a "This morning, clean the basement before you take Dad to the gym." Pretty easy stuff. But without the schedule, I stare into space and fill up with panic that I'm never going to do anything with my life. Boundaries are not a bad thing, even for a creative. Goat 2: Stop counting calories and focus on eating well. After gaining 10 pounds counting calories, I realized that once again, I needed boundaries. 1600 calories of cheetos wasn't helping me. And I feel like crap a lot. So I'm going back to what works: Low sugar, high fiber, lean protein, healthy fats. I've been toying with cheat meals and indulgences, and I decided Sundays I would have a meal that didn't follow the PCOS diet guidelines. This time, I think I will succeed because I'm cooking more. BUT there will be obstacles to jump over....goat style. Goat 3: Meditate and breathe deeply through stress-eating triggers. This summer will be filled with stressful situations for me. I mean, my family is great, but I find having extended visits stressful, and I usually snack cake my way through them. This time, I'm going to start and end each day with meditation and gratitude, and when I feel overwhelmed, just walk away for 10 minutes and breathe deeply. This goat looks so satisfied. I'm going to embrace its goatiness and say at the end of the challenge this will be me.
  19. It’s the come-back-Hamilton-themed-challenge you never knew you needed! So - I’ve been super flakey this year (I mean, holy cow, is it really June already?), only participating in a few challenges, and usually not completing them. If you haven’t met me yet (haven’t had the chance), I have a pretty good intro written up in my last challenge. That should catch you up. About four months ago, my hubby and I decided to start baby-making, and that’s consumed a lot of my focus and my own health/goals kind of took back burner. Which, I know, is dumb, because being healthy can only help with trying to conceive! Anyway, we’ve been finding that the process isn’t quite as quick as we’d hoped, and I realized that I can’t just put my life on hold while I’m waiting. So here I am, back again. NerdFitness is like my happy, get-shit-done home. I always come back when I need a kick in the pants. This time, unlike previous challenges, I’m not focusing on losing weight, just maintaining healthy habits and keeping my sanity while TTC. In addition, I’ve taken on some freelance work outside of my normal job (Hamilton would be proud of my hustle) so I just need to work on my productivity. >>--- GOALS ---<< 1: Ten Five Food Commandments (3 CON) Goal: No grains Vegetable at every meal Drink 8 glasses of water a day No alcohol Substitute green tea for coffee Graded: Daily - 20% per itemized goal, averaged across the month 2: Rise Up. (1 STA, 2 DEX) Goal: Practice yoga for 30 minutes, 3x a week. Bike Ride 1x a week. Graded: Weekly - 25% per exercise, averaged across the month 3: Work. Non-Stop. (2 WIS) Goal: Identify and complete five tasks every business days. Record tasks in a journal at work. *In addition: Enable StayFocused during business days to limit non-productive activities. Graded: Daily - 20% per completed task, averaged across the month 4: Write like you’re running out of time. (2 WIS) Goal: Journal 4x a week Graded: Weekly - 25% per journal day, averaged across the month >>-- TRACKING --<< Link to spreadsheet I have the honor to be Your Obdt. St - a. thousandwords
  20. I've stepped away from Nerd Fitness for awhile, but I'm joining up again because I need to lose some weight and this style of tracking has always worked for me. I'm very happy to find it's still a vibrant community, and even see a couple of familiar faces I'm usually a scout, but I'll be joining the druids this time because I would like to work on a more mindful approach to better living. I hope to find inspiration in your writings and in the group challenges. I've chosen three simple goals for my first challenge after a long break. 1. Track all food on Myfitnesspal App. My goal is currently to stay under 1340 net calories and to consume 100 g protein per day. I'll give myself one point for calories and one point for protein, for a total of 14 points available in a given week. 2. Incorporate Adventurous Exercise. I already have a good routine (thanks to previous NF challenges) of either running or doing yoga 5-6 days per week. I would like to spend one active day doing something adventurous: paddleboarding, bike riding, bouldering, or maybe go to a different yoga studio. The goal is to have fun and try something new. 1 point available per week. 3. Meditate Every Day. According to the Headspace app, I'm already on a 14 day streak. My routine is currently to meditate in my car during my lunch break. I would like to continue working through the Headspace program. One point for every day completed, 7 points available for the week. Total challenge points available: 132 Thank you very much for reading my challenge. Feel free to let me know what you think.
  21. Arrrrrrr matey! This is a challenge for sword fighting, rum, and exploring the seas! Arrrr!!! Goal One: Drop the Dead Weight Oh no! The Queen's Navy fast approaches! We must throw out the dead weight so we can sail ahead and lose them! They'll never hang this pirate! Arrrr, you can be sure of that! Through continued exercise and proper eating, one hopes to lose 5.6 pounds, placing one at 228 pounds by the end of the challenge. Currently, my calorie count is between 1350 and 1530 calories and I try to follow the plate rule: lots of veggies and fruit, a nice lean protein and a whole grain. I shoot to burn about 500 calories a day through different exercises like Tae Bo, Yoga, Walking, Stationary biking, dancing, and strength training. Goal Two: Sail Out of the Bermuda Triangle We've sailed into the Bermuda Triangle! No one has ever entered it and come out...alive.... Triangle Pose is something I really struggle with. I always find myself making this beached whale "whuffing" noises, and I feel like I'm dying every time I do it. But I'm going to get it right and do it until I can breath freely and it's challenging, but not so dang hard! Goal Three: Walk the PLANK! On second thought matey, instead of walking the plank, yer gonna BE THE PLANK! Hope the sharks aren't too hungry! In prepping for this last conference, I've slacked off on my strength training, and lost a LOT of strength. I want to get back to doing a 2 minute forward plank and then tackle new ground: a 30 second side plank. Side planks fall under the same category as triangle poses as far as feeling like I'm going to die a horrible death if I have to hold it too long, so accomplishing it will be pretty major. Side Quest: Scrub the Poop Decks! Poopy Pirate jokes aside, this one is simple. Spend an hour a day working on my to-do list. Cleaning, repairing things, making contact lists, errands. Well, errands take a long time, but I can get a LOT done around the house in an hour and if I can keep that up for 4 weeks, that's 28 hours of productivity that I might not accomplish otherwise.
  22. Boring backstory I have been recycling the same goals for the past several challenges, changing my focus each time on a different aspect. But really what it comes down to is all of my goals are related and tied to each other. My food choices fuel my workouts, my workouts take time that I used to spend on other necessities and free time, the less efficient I am in getting my To Do's done takes away time from leisure, which ends up costing me sleep so I can unwind, and the lack of sleep affects my food choices and my workouts. This challenge I am trying to focus on all these aspects and balance everything in such a way that I can meet my goals and live my life at the same time. I am hoping that finding a way to balance these will help ensure more win and less suck. It's getting closer to my summer races and events so I want to try and lock down the foundation so I can focus on training for those events. Main Over-arching Goal: My goal is still to lose bodyfat and gain strength. I still haven't been to Onederland but my ultimate goal is somewhere over that rainbow. Main goal for this challenge: Make progress on fat loss and running time/endurance. I don't care how much progress but I'm tired of maintaining. I had this intricate points system all worked out for this challenge to facilitate this balance and accentuate the ties between my goals but then I realized that every weekend this challenge I have trips and plans that have a high likelihood of derailing my goals. So I simplified the points and will work around the weekends to mitigate the damage. For this challenge Wonder Woman will be borrowing some web weaving skills from other heroes and using the lasso for defensive maneuvering. I am hoping have a solid web during the week will be my safety net for the weekend. The Woven Web I'll be focusing on 6 habits this challenge that will work together to weave the web. Each week will be scored based on percent of goal achieved and recorded on the chart below. I'm not really expecting 100% on all of these goals but by tracking them using the web-like chart will be an easy way to track my success for the 33 days of the challenge and also allow me to quickly identify weak points. It is unlikely that any of these goals can be 'made up' at a later date if I miss them so any misses just go down as misses and I'll just see how many there are. I can track the number of successful days and shoot for as many as possible. I am also hoping this chart helps me to turn any misses around quickly so that I can save the following day and not get stuck in a downward spiral. Goals Eat Well (Macros) CON - Hit MFP macros every day* Lift STR - Lift 3 times a week Sleep DEX - Get 7 hours of sleep a day Conditioning STA - 3 cardio days, most likely 2 runs and 1 ruck Demolish Tasks WIS - Set 3 daily tasks and accomplish them each day. This should incorporate FlyLady, personal tasks, school and scout tasks. Leisure CHA - Find time to do some leisure activity at least 5 days a week. (TV before bed on my own doesn't count as this is part of my routine, but setting time aside to watch something with LordShello or the kids counts or watching a movie, as do other quality time activities with them or self care things like pedicures.) *Variance days may be scheduled in based on Winning the Weekend and this will be incorporated into the goal. Winning the Weekend Since there are pitfalls every weekend this challenge, I will be setting unique Weekend Protocols for each week's pitfall. This will allow me a little wiggle room as far as workouts and diet and also force me to make plans to accomplish as much as possible and prepare for the pitfall in a sensible way. Though I may not be able to get some workouts in, I will continue to score that goal with the same set goal as listed above; the food goals may be relaxed a bit. Weekend #1: May 6-8. Mother's Day Weekend. I am travelling to my mom's for the weekend. Weekend #2: Girl's Weekend. The boys will be off camping. When it's just Peach and I we can get a little wild. Weekend #3: Mom's campout. I will be camping with my son's boy scout troop. Weekend #4: Memorial Weekend. Perhaps won't be a huge pitfall but I better make plans to ensure this. Side Quests There are some other things I'd like to keep up with. I'm not sure how they fit in the scoring system. Maybe I'll make a reward system for these... For the daily tasks I still have a tendency to put off some things. I started the 3 daily tasks as part of the PVP for last challenge but when I am thinking about what to do each day, I will forget about big tasks that need to get done and then I'll remember them later and they never make it into the rotation. So I'm making a list. Ideally, the Demolish goal will incorporate these tasks but in the event that they don't they will be documented here and I'll get some kind of bonus point for getting these done. I also have some specific rucking goals I'd like to get to. Ruck WOD Ruck with coupon Long Ruck KonMari Get passport paperwork done. Student Loan paperwork Write Final Export class data for Canvas transition backup laptop and send it for repairs Wonder Woman is taking a break from villain PVP's. I feel like this is already a lot to balance and there isn't really any room to make additional goals. Plus I've signed up as a villain in Rurik's challenge and I'll have to battle for Pancake Glory in the Doodlie PVP. The Villain Face-off's will resume at a later date.... In the meantime, villains are scheming....
  23. So my last challenge went ok, but to be honest I lost track of what I had and hadn't done by the end of it. So I thought I would start up a battle log to help me keep track in and out of the challenges, and to preserve my meandering ramblings and drunken thoughts. Currently main goal wise I'm broadly looking to maintain weight whilst getting fitter and stronger. A few pounds either way wouldn't bother me, so that may change over time. I'm tracking food and exercise with Fitbit so will put that here together with anything else that comes up. Aside from fitness, I need to try and become a functioning adult and keep my house and mind tidy, do things that need to be done and not avoid doing useful things for reasons I don't even understand. My greatest enemies here are Dr Sofa and Count Bed who seek to ensnare me and suck all inspiration, enthusiasm and finally conciousness from my body. (Wow those are crappy villain names, someone help me out with that?) Gonna make an effort to update this daily, but for now a round up of where I've been since the challenge. Easter Monday Being a bank holiday I took the day off from trying to be productive or energetic. Have recently re-discovered Diablo III (why didn't I play this more when it came out!), so spent my morning playing that instead of exercising, and then spent 8 hours of my day playing snooker with friends and drinking beer. Together with a good deal junk food to keep us going. All good fun, and was a nice end to the long weekend. Calories: 4,004 in, 3,803 out = 201 surplus Exercise: No! Other Productivity: No! Tuesday Back to work. Forgot over the weekend to make breakfasts (I've been doing omelette muffins for the last couple of weeks), and forgot to make lunch as well. So an apple for breakfast, petrol station sandwich, crisps and fruit for lunch. Then badminton for 50 minutes, played absolutely awfully after the first game, lost 3-0 and really lost the will to carry on by the end. Got home, made a curry with leftover lamb (which was bloody good if I do say so myself), followed up with lots of Easter chocolate and more Diablo III until bed. Calories: 2,507 in, 2,906 out = 399 deficit Exercise: Badminton x 50mins Other Productivity: No! That's it so far; will let you know how today went tomorrow.
  24. Next challenge, let's go! Why sharks? Why not! Sharks are cool. Sharks are social creatures. I want to be more involved with people. No reason to be shy, right? This challenge, I am going to read YOUR topics more than I read my own. I am going to follow and comment and support. Sharks keep moving. It's a myth that a shark will die if it stops swimming, but it is true that they need to keep water flowing over their gills in order to breathe. I am going to be a shark and keep moving. This will be a balancing act. I have so many hobbies! I have so many interests! Sometimes I get lazy or drag my feet about things, and I can't do all the things I want to or need to do, and that bums me out, big time. This is especially true about working out - no more spending half an hour trying to figure out the "best workout" or the "best route" when I only have 45 minutes to work out! Just do it! I'm going to stop dragging my feet. I will get things done and then move on to other things. Sharks cover great distances. I'm still adding to my Mordor mileage, and I'll be adding long runs (over 2 miles) with my sister once a week to my schedule. During the week I'll keep it under two miles. I'm aiming for 8 miles a week. Apparently, the average shark speed is 5 mph, so I'm going to throw in some treadmill runs to see if I can't push myself to run that fast, even for 30 seconds. Mainly, I want to just go after the things I want instead of just sitting around waiting for them to come to me.
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