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In my last challenge, I finally found a motivation that *totally* worked for me: a points system where I could earn books for doing things right (instead of a negative system where I'd lose points for doing things wrong). I dropped four pounds, earned four books, and dropped two pants sizes--total win! So I'm going to keep the same basic principle and add a couple of tweaks.

 

Food: +5 points if I'm under 1400 calories, +2 points if I'm under 1550.

Alcohol: +5 points for now alcohol, +2 points for 2 drinks or less.

Exercise: +5 points if I do 3 sets each of 2 different bodyweight exercises. +2 points for 3 sets of one exercise.

Maximum 15 points per day.

 

Because I've added more ways to get points, it will take 75 points to earn a book. Ideally I'll earn a book a week, but even the four books I earned last challenge got the job done. Looking forward to starting the challenge!

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Four pounds and two pants sizes...talk about efficiency! Can't beat that math and congrats for that. Here to see more winning and scoring of all the books! 

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Thanks everyone!

 

Re: pants size. I started the year at 132 lbs and size 8 post-pregnancy pants. And I hadn't really tried any of my old size 6 jeans until just last week, even as the size 8s were getting looser and looser. So at the end of last challenge when I went from 126 to 122, I went looking for old jeans and found my old size 4s that I couldn't bear to get rid of. I figured I'd try them on just-to-see, and they fit perfectly. Woohoo!

 

Re: books. I knew I was going to get multiple books from a series, so I didn't put my order in until the end of the challenge. I don't actually have them yet! They're all non-fiction essay collections about science fiction literature, so a little obscure. ;-) As a book reviewer I usually get all the fiction books I need for free--more than I can read. So non-fiction books are my reward treats!

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Week One, Monday: Not quite perfect. I'm recovering from a weird feeling sick/having a migraine thing that's been messing with me. At the end of the day I flat ran out of willpower. But:

 

1263 calories (5), one glass of mead (2), and 3 sets of hanging rows and 3 sets of bridges (5), and I start off with 12 points. Off to the races!

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Wow! 12 points on a recovery day, that's a great way to start off the challenge! Glad to hear you are on the upswing!

 

Re books: What essay collections are they if you don't mind me asking? My husband is obsessed with Sci-Fi and has started to move on to the more meta stuff about sci-fi. Also, what is your favorite sci-fi book of the moment? I finally got my hands on our copy of Ancillary Mercy and I'm excited to start reading it.

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Sick, sick, sick, sick, bleargh. Also: couldn't take today or yesterday off work. arghlefarglebarg

 

Week One, Tuesday: 1274 cal, no alcohol, but no exercise. 10 pts = 22 pts total.

 

Suzaqu: I got Volumes 1 - 4 of the "WisCon Chronicles," essays by people associated with the feminist sf convention WisCon. They have a lot to do with feminism and intersectionality and how that operates in the sphere of sf literature.

 

Other phenomenal essay collections might be Evaporating Genre by Gary Wolfe, Starboard Wine or Jewel Hinged Jaw by Samuel R. Delany, and What Makes this Book So Great by Jo Walton (mostly book reviews, but very insightful ones).

 

For what I'm excited about this year? I'm gearing up for a big thing about Neal Stephenson, so I've been reading Reamde and Seveneves. (I think I liked his earlier stuff better.) One of my 100% favorites from last year, on the same level as Ancillary Justice but totally different subgenre, is Elysium by Jennifer Brissett. And the Hugo winner from this summer, Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, is really really good.

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Thanks, I think I'm finally on the mend--went to bed at about 8:30 last night, but don't feel quite so achy this morning.

 

Week 1, Wednesday: 1022 calories, no alcohol, no exercise: +10 points = 32 pts total.

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Week 1, Thursday. Working some long weeks here. Still: 1358 cal, 2 glasses of wine, 3 sets incline pushups and 3 sets 1 leg rows = +12 points = 44 total. Halfway to book 1, which will likely be a Bill Bryson book that I shockingly don't own yet.

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Whew, I've never started off a challenge this badly. I'm feeling better today: woke up on time, braved the cold weather for a walk, even got some meditation in. And I'm realizing that something's not quite right, so I actually made a Dr. apt, which I'd been meaning to do for the last three months. So I think I'm moving in the right direction.

 

Week 1 final:

Friday: 1386 calories, more alcohol, less exercise = 5 points

Saturday: 1671 cal, more alcohol, less exercise = 0 points

Sunday: 1345 cal, more alcohol, less exercise = 5 points.

 

Total = 54 points so far.

 

I think my biggest problem is remembering to do the exercise when I'm at home. Sometimes I can knock them out in my cubicle at work, but last week I was in the lab most of the time so it didn't get done. I think I can do some improvement this week, especially since I'm going to try for the crawling mini-challenge!

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Still stuck in the lab, still not feeling great. Hoping for things to get back to normal next week. Scheduled a Dr apt for next week, since this isn't normal for me.

 

Week 2

Monday:1669 cal, 2 alcohol, 1 exercise  = +4 pts 

Tuesday: 1573 cal, 2 alcohol, 2 exercise = +7 pts

Wednesday: 1464 cal, 2 alcohol, 0 exercise = +4 pts

 

= 69 points total. Getting closer!

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Closing out Week 2, with 0 additional points. Things just kind of went to heck this weekend. Still, I think I can knock out a solid week before Thanksgiving. Things haven't gotten off to a good start, but there are still books to be earned!

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Funny how it's so much easier to exercise when I'm stuck in my cube all day instead of running all over the lab!

 

Week 3, Monday: 1169 cal, 2 alcohol, 4 sets of 2 exercises = +12 pts = 83 total. Book #1 unlocked!

 

Also, despite starting this challenge poorly, *something* is working: had my lightest weigh-in yet this morning at 121.6 lbs. Started the year at about 132.6!

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