Monday, November 07, 2011
Well, sort of (I just redid all my math and I'm not as short of cash as I thought I was...hang on, I'll explain).
I'm having a LOT of fun with the Challenge of Harry Potter now that I've jumped back into the weekly challenges! They're a lot more involved than the challenges I remember from last year (which is a good thing - the main reason I dropped it was because it started feeling like we were doing the same thing every week and I was getting bored).
This past week we were earning Galleons, Sickles and Knuts in order to pay for our Hogwarts supplies and tuition (and extras too) - here's the list:
Hereís what you will need first:
- Tuition = 4154 galleons + 4 sickles + 11 knuts = $40504.00
3 Sets of Plain Robes = 15 galleons + 4 sickles + 24 knuts (x3) = $447.03
1 Winter Coat with Silver Fastenings = 6 galleons + 10 sickles + 40 knuts = $64.28
1 Pair of Protective Gloves = 3 galleons + 15 sickles + 10 knuts = $38.74
1 Plain Pointed Hat = 2 galleons + 10 sickles + 40 knuts = $26.00
- Books (The Standard Book of Spells, A History of Magic, A Beginnerís Guide to Transfiguration, One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi, Magical Drafts and Potions, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection) = 92 galleons + 50 knuts = $898.00
- Additional Supplies:
1 Telescope = 12 galleons + 4 sickles + 36 knuts = $120.00
1 Cauldron (pewter, standard size 2) = 10 galleons = $97.50
1 Wand = 7 galleons = $68.25
1 Set of Brass Scales = 2 galleons + 8 sickles + 47 knuts = $25.00
1 Set of Glass or Crystal Phials = 2 galleons + 25 knuts = $20.00
Total $ needed for required supplies = $42,308.78
Once you have earned everything youíll need for the basics, you can keep working to earn money for these additional items:
- Copy of the Daily Prophet = 7 knuts = $0.14
- Pile of candy from the Hogwarts Express cart = 11 sickles + 7 knuts = $6.41
- Used shooting star needing minor repairs = 7 galleons = $68.25
- Omnioculars = 10 galleons = $97.50
- 12-Week course of Apparition Lessons from a Ministry of Magic Apparition Instructor = 12 galleons = $117.00
- Unicorn horn = 21 galleons = $204.75
- A full set of second-hand Quidditch balls, slightly worn, with a Snitch whose wing is damaged = 30 galleons = $292.50
- Triwizard Tournament Prize = 1000 galleons = $9750.00
Here's the breakdown for earning money:
- Cardio: For each minute of cardio you complete, earn 15 galleons.
- Strength Training: For each 15 reps you complete, earn 100 sickles.
- Water: For each 8 oz glass you drink, earn 50 knuts.
- Posting in your house common room: Each day you post, earn 100 galleons
- Freggies: For each serving you have, earn 50 sickles
And the monetary equivalents of US dollars into Wizarding money:
1 gold galleon = $9.75
1 silver sickle = $0.57
1 bronze knut = $0.02
I THOUGHT that I'd only earned $41,004.20 (and still needed = $1304.60), thus I was sympathising with Ron Weasley and his hand-me-downs when I first started writing this (thus the change of the profile pic) until I decided to do all the math again because something just didn't seem to add up there (I mean, I didn't see THAT much more work being done by those who'd posted their results than what I'd done for the week). And of course, it WOULD take a Ravenclaw's template (thanks SARRA1991) for it to all add up right and make sense (that and I did it with a calculater instead of by hand).
Total amount of Wizarding Money earned for Gryffindor: $53,900.75
Total points earned for Gryffindor: 1200
Money left over: $2547.92 (Woohoo! Hogsmeade here I come!!)
FWIW, 'Yote is highly amused - I was explaining all this to him in the phone a little bit ago (and how I'd figured if I got in 3 good sessions of 30 minutes of cardio I'd have all my required supplies paid for, or that plus some strength training today...). His comment was that someone was far more engulfed into the Wizarding universe than is probably healthy (I *think* he meant the person who thought up the challenge...or he MIGHT have just meant me). LOL The poet CERTAINLY can't understand doing that much math and not have it count for college credit or something.
SO, I no longer have to worry about earning money this week and can focus on taking classes (though we're allowed to earn more money for the term if we want, we just can't "double-dip" - it either counts for a class and points, or money, not both).
Of course, that means I need to go back and make a totally new plan for my syllabus this week (everything exercise related I was going to put into earning cash until I'd earned my necessities, and THEN I'd add the classes in later in the week). But that's okay - this is fun! No really - just check out what our class choices are!
Fall Term - Week 6 - Nov 7-14
You can select three of the required classes and up to three of the elective classes, but watch your time. Don't overburden yourself. You can add more of the required classes as electives if you wish, in place of the other elective classes. Each class (except as noted) will earn 10 points per day for each day you complete the assignment. Give yourself the points on Sunday for those classes that only count for the week.
If you are ready, there are some advance placement options for classes as well, but you have to have completed the basic class first. The advanced placement options will be listed with the classes that allow them.
There are also some fun activities included - 10 points for each day that you include one of the fun activities.
Required - Choose a minimum of three Classes
Defense Against the Dark Arts - We all need support as we progress along this journey - so communication with your house every day will earn you 10 points. Advanced Placement - in Addition to communicating with your house, you can communicate with the rest of the school in any of the common rooms like the library or the Great Hall and earn an additional 10 points each day.
Quiddith Practice - For each day you get in at least 30 minutes of Cardio, you get 10 points. Advanced Placement - For each day you get at least 60 minutes of Cardio, add another 10 points.
Herbology - For each day you eat at least five servings of Fruit and/or Vegetables you get 10 points
Transfiguration - In order to change we need to work on strength training - This is the only class that does not count 10 points per day. If you get at least three strength training sessions in this week, you will earn 70 points. You should not work the same muscle group two days in a row, but you should work all three major areas at least three times in the week. Yoga and Pilates can count as strength training, but then you cannot count them as cardio. And you must work all three areas three times to get the points.
Potions - Have you been drinking the right things. For each day you get at least 8 glasses of water and no caffine, and no added sweetner (sugar or artificial)) you will earn 10 points.
Charms - How are you feeling about yourself - write something in your blog (does not have to be public) each day and explain how your are progressing and earn 10 points. Advanced Placement - In addition, comment on someone elses blog and earn an additional 10 points each day.
Elective Classes (Choose up to three, or add some of the required that you did not choose)
Care of Magical Creatures - In addition to the time spent in Cardio, for each additional 30 minutes you spend out of doors doing some type of exercise or activity, you earn 10 points
Astronomy - for each day you get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep, you will earn 10 points.
Divination - What do the stars hold in store for you? Have you set up short and long term goals? Write down both your short and long term goals, rewards along the way and steps you will use to accomplish them and earn 70 points for the week. You may share this in a blog with the castle.
Arithmancy - Keeping track of numbers is helpful so for each day you track your appropirate ranges (must state range to start and what you are counting - calories on Spark or something else, like weight watcher points) you will earn 10 points. Advanced Placement - Just tracking is good and it lets you know where you are, but staying within your target ranges if better. Earn and additional 10 points each day you stay within your range.
Ancient Runes - For each day you read and report on at least three articles you will earn 10 points. Advanced Placement - Read and report on and additional three articles and earn and additional 10 points each day
History of Magic - Where have you been on your journey - if you do not know how you got to this point, how can you make your way forward. Write a blog (or multiple) looking back to see how you got to this point in your life. 70 points for this class regardless of the number of blogs.
Muggle Studies - For each day that you do something increase your activity (such as take the stairs instead of an elavator or park farther from the door) you get 10 points. You can do more of these each day, but you only get 10 points per day.
Fun Things (bonus points) - You may add one each day for 10 points. It can be different each day. Advanced placement - Add a second fun item each day and earn and additional 10 points each day.
Meet new people - post on another students Spark Page and welcome them to the castle.
Encourage others - Give others in the castle a Spark Goodie as encouragement
Healthy Treats - Give yourself a healthy treat just because and let us know about it
Pamper time - Take some time just for yourself and let us know what you did
Choir/Music Practice - Enjoy making music (or listening to it). Report on the type of music you enjoy while out and about or working out
You must choose your classes and list which ones you want to take for this week. Good luck to everyone. Also indicate if you are chosing the basic class or the advanced placement option for classes/activities that have one.
See what I mean? Neat stuff right? Oh, if you couldn't tell, this is my Charms homework for today. Because I'm really pretty pleased with where I am right now - still hanging just under 190 lbs (at 189.5 when I weighed in last week) but I am pretty hopeful that all that work I did earning galleons and sickles will add up to a loss on the scale this week. I am GOING to see 180 (or lower) by Thanksgiving!
And in the meantime, the CoHP team is JUST what I needed to shake up my etch-a-sketch a bit and get me enthusiastic and looking towards the holidays. In fact, I may just break out the HP books again, particularly considering I haven't read them since right before "Deathly Hallows Part 1" came out. But not until I finish "A Dance with Dragons" by George R.R. Martin (the 5th book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, on which the HBO show Game of Thrones is based) - we are TOTALLY sucked into the world of Westeros right now. Believe me, I'm going to go CRAZY waiting for the next one to come out ('Yote took a long time finishing book 5 to try and make it last longer - I don't know if I have that kind of patience, and Martin spins a RIVETING tale).
But scenes like this just get me in a holiday mood. Don't you agree?
Sunday, October 30, 2011
First, in explanation - I've done some serious thinking and decided to go back to what worked for me during the holiday season last year. I'm only doing two challenges for right now - the BLC with my Wisteria Wolves team, and I've gone back to the Challenge of Harry Potter (never left really but pretty much went AWOL). I found last year that having one serious challenge and one that was more "just for fun" really worked well for me (and kept me from getting caught up in taking myself too seriously, a surefire way to get overwhelmed and burn out). Thus the Gryffindor bling having returned to my spark page. (And the returning use of one of my favorite emoticons, who is wearing the Gryffindor colors - just look)
Now, on to my homework assignment...
This week we have a daily assignment (can be done in any order) from 7 different Hogwarts professors. For my final assignment, I've chosen Prof. Umbridge -
Umbridge - I Must Not Tell Lies - 100 points
Who can forget Umbridge's cruel and unusual punishment? Fortunately, writing a blog involves a lot less blood and permanent scarring. Blog today about the lies you tell yourself on your weight loss journey (and how you can stop lying!)
At first I wasn't sure if I really *had* an answer to this one, as I try to be realistic and recognize my failings on this journey and I couldn't really think of any lies that have been tripping me up. But in reading another student's essay on the same (thanks Nimsy) I realized something I've been telling myself that has had me on a slippery slope as of late -
Lie: "I'm content at the weight I'm at now"
See, I've lost 70 lbs on this journey so far, and I realized over the summer that I look pretty "average" these days. When I pass myself in a mirror (or catch my reflection in a shop window), I no longer cringe in horror at the person I see there who doesn't look a thing like my mental image of myself. Right now they're pretty on par, and frankly I'm pretty pleased with how I'm looking these days. It would be fairly easy for me to say "Hey, I like where I am, I look like my internal perception of myself, and I'm good with that."
But am I? Am I really? Yes, I'm already doing so many things I'd never thought possible (me? do a Warrior Dash? Seriously?). And I'm no longer prohibited by "weight limits" in doing things I enjoy - I'm well below the limit for riding roller coasters (not that we actually made it to Kings Island this summer unfortunately, but knowing that I *could* is still pretty awesome), or going horseback riding. I could even go ziplining at Camp Kern right now without worries (something I just discovered they offer a few weeks ago - and yeah, even with my fear of heights that's one of those adventures I've held in my secret heart of hearts as something I really want to do for ages).
I'm also rapidly approaching the weight I was at when I threw in the towel the last time - my lowest adult weight evar was 180 lbs, and that was before the Disney Half Marathon I did in January of 2004 (I'd actually already started gaining back some of the weight through the holidays leading up to the marathon, my lowest weight was September before the half). I've got it in my head that I'd like to be back at 180 by Thanksgiving. And yet, the past few weeks I've gone up and down around the 190 mark - I've gotten as low as 188.5, and as high as 194.5. Right this moment (as of stepping on the scale when I got up tonight) I'm sitting at 193 lbs. I know exactly why I gained this week (two days of babysitting my niece this week meant no gym time AND not-so-great food options that I didn't make the best choices around), and it bothers me. Not in an "I'm going to beat myself up" way, but more that I'm wondering if I've become complacent at this size, and am "throwing in the towel early" so I don't have to face that number again (because I suspect getting under 180 is going to have some emotional baggage attached that I'll need to recognize and deal with).
And I'm not done.
I want to be at a size where I can go into ANY store and try on pretty things that might actually fit me. I want to be at a size where "one size fits most" is actually true (mostly because I want to order hippie clothes from the Gypsy Rose catalog, and their "plus size" stuff is super limited and the stuff I *really* like is never offered in plus sizes). I want my mate to be able to pick me up (no really, that is an actual goal - a goal that goes back to the same emotional baggage I expect to be facing down at the 180 mark actually, having to do with my last marriage and some of the stuff that happened as I was finally realizing it was time to leave).
So I had a serious talk with myself before I went to bed today. If I really want this - if I want to start the "holiday season" at 180 lbs - then I need to knuckle down and get SERIOUS. No more "just this once" and then not tracking it. No more keeping money in my pocket so I can succumb to the siren song of the Vending Machine of Doom (seriously - I actually bought a bag of chips last night? I haven't done that in months and months, and it wasn't even that stressful a night! WTH?) No more not cooking extra on my days off so I'll have healthy leftovers on the days I work when I've got no time to cook.
We've had a lot of extenuating circumstances over the last month or so - travel for the Warrior Dash and the Handfasting, the Handfasting itself, multiple kid birthdays, my mate's birthday and the annual trip to Con on the Cob to celebrate, and of course babysitting my niece this week during her fall break. That's it - there's nothing on the agenda until December at this point (when we'll be traveling to the NEO to fit the obligatory holiday "seeing the folks" in while following our favorite band around like Dead Heads). I've also taken every Saturday (after the time change this coming weekend) off other than Christmas Eve (and I'd take that one off too if it was an option, but that's our "freeze period", being "peak season" and all) until the end of the year. AND I'm getting off early on Mondays from now on, which gives me an extra 2 hours of down time between shifts that can (and will) be spent at the gym.
SO - starting today it's on, baybee. No more excuses. No more settling. I am GOING to be 180 (or as close to it as possible) by Thanksgiving. And I am going to either maintain that weight or lose during the holidays. I'm going to start 2012 at the lowest weight of my adult life, and by the time I turn 49 next December, I'm going to be in a healthy weight range.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Since I'd promised to post it on Livejournal for a few friends who couldn't be there, and Livejournal is FAR more complicated than Sparkpeople when it comes to posting pictures, I'm not going to try and replicate the whole thing a second time - head over to my livejournal for all the pics, videos, etc...
And the blissfully happy together just gets better every day.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
A little back-story might help here, I suppose. See, a few years back I specifically and intentionally (and at MY initiation) backed out of my supervisory role at work and moved to a different area of our command center in order to "get the target off my back" (because things had/have devolved to the point that management doesn't have the supervisors' backs anymore so everything lands squarely in their laps, and I couldn't take the stress anymore).
I've come to realize over the past few weeks that the target is not only back, but it's permanent - there's no getting rid of it. It doesn't matter what I do, what duties I take on for a night (because we assign duties nightly and shuffle them around to keep things fair) - if anything happens on my shift, I'm the one who will be held responsible, because I'm the "senior" person (even if I've only been doing most of this job for just over a year) and we don't have a supervisor on our shift. Last week I had to take the fall for something that wasn't my responsibility (I'd specifically avoided taking that task for the week since we'd had problems with it the week before when it WAS my responsibility - and after the mess the week before I wanted a break from the pressure). Because I've been here, because I am the type of person I am, because everybody just tends to defer to me or ask my opinion (gods, it drives me bats)...there's no avoiding it. The buck will always stop squarely in my lap. And there's no real way to fix or change that - it just is.
And it sucks. And I am SO done. Even when I'm NOT working, stuff ends up falling in my lap. Like Sunday night - I'd taken off, but said I'd be available by phone if any issues came up with the maintenance - and of course there were issues. Frankly I did pretty well on the phone when I got the call (particularly considering how very NOT sober I was at the time, not to mention waking up from a dead sleep), but now I'm fielding questions about why things were handled a certain way, and I wasn't even fricken' there. *sighs*
So I ended up having chat with my boss yesterday (in the wake of several e-mails I sent last week telling him to just fire me already), and I think I've got an exit strategy that will actually work (if what we discussed actually comes to fruition anyway...here's hoping it's not just so much smoke and mirrors). It means "holding my nose and thinking of England" for a little longer than I'd like, but with an actual end in sight that doesn't sound quite so impossible to me at the moment. Of course, last night was a relatively quiet night compared to the past few weeks, so I may be overly optimistic here. If it gets to the point I just can't take it anymore...well, I have a few ideas so I'm keeping my options open. But what my boss and I discussed would be a whole lot less disruptive to my lifestyle than just bailing right now, so I think I'll give his plan a shot.
And it's sad that this is so very much in the forefront of my mind considering what an awesome trip we had this weekend. Seriously, it was wonderful. I even got up with the bellydancers - and there is pictorial evidence (because my mate rawks like that).
But right now, I'm feeling simply worn out with everything. All I want to do when I get off today is go home and curl up with the mate. I *should* go to the gym, particularly since I didn't go before we left town last week. But my "want to" is kinda broke right now. My mate has already warned me he's going to encourage me to go when I get home (because I was in this state of mind before I even left the house tonight so we've already discussed it), and I'll probably suck it up so he'll be proud of me (and will probably feel tons better having gone). But right now? Can I just crawl under my desk and hide until the shift is over please?
** Edit added at 1:25 AM
I am feeling significantly better than I was even as recently as an hour ago. I read a couple of spark blogs that just inspired the heck outta me (GoGoShire's if you're interested - she ran the Chicago Marathon sick as a dog last week, and is now thinking about doing an Iron Man...and just tossed all my excuses not to go to the gym today to the curb).
Can I just say, reading Spark Blogs is totally DA BOMB when you're feeling down and burnt out and like you're spark has sputtered? Now I can't WAIT to go get my run on today.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
This is when living in Cincinnati (the HOME of Sparkpeople) is pretty awesome. :)
I've already ordered my copy - it should arrive while we're out of town, but still!
In the meantime, it's been just as bad a week at work this week as last week (I don't even want to talk about it, which you know means it's been BAAAAD), and I'm counting the MINUTES until I can get out of here. I wasn't able to make the Jump Rally last night - I didn't get out of work until well after 10 am yesterday, and there was no way I could get up early enough and be even remotely coherent at work afterwards.
Thank all the gods I've taken Saturday and Sunday nights off, so I don't have to be back until Monday night. I can REALLY use the time away from this place (and if there was a way I didn't have to come back at all, they'd never see me again, believe me).
In more positive news, I actually lost another half pound this week, which I didn't expect (I figured I was due for a plateau, and so hadn't expected the scale to move).
So anyway. 30 more minutes of hades, then a mandatory "all hands meeting" for an hour (a waste of an hour of my life I'll never get back), and then I can turn all of my focus for prepping to hit the road for THIS: www.cononthecob.com/index.html
Keep it sparkly, sparkfriends!
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