Month: December 2018

Weights and Measures

I promised a health goals update, so here it is.

The big news is that I got back to Lifetime status at Weight Watchers (or “WW” as they have rebranded themselves). The intention* here is to have members stay no more than two pounds above their goal weight, and not too far below either.

This came a little more quickly than I expected. I was creeping down to my goal weight with my weekly weight loss having dropped to only a pound or so. Then at the end of October, I had a sudden larger loss to two pounds above goal. This put me back within the Lifetime zone. Since then I have been trying to find levels to maintain my weight.

Maintaining is hard.

The first thing I had to do (and the thing that really bombed my weight loss last time) was to stop losing weight. There is a maintenance mode in the app which immediately added some points, then they sent out additional guidance on how to further adjust your points to stabilise. I kind of fish-tailed all over the road as I tried to slam the anchors on with the weight loss, but my weight seems to be close to stable at a few pounds below goal.

I have started buying clothes again.

Q: why did you decide to stop losing weight?

This is a question I have asked myself as well as been asked, and the basic reason is maintainability. I have had long term periods of weight stability at much lower weights than I am carrying now: when I was at Uni I weighed 9st8 for the entire time**, and then when I started work I was stable at 10st7 for about four years. Given that, there is arguably a stone and a half I am leaving on the table for my weight loss now.

But, there are differences. That was thirty years ago, for a start, and when I was working at my first job I was cycling at least an hour a day. While I didn’t exercise regularly at Uni, I also didn’t have money to be extravagant with food. The Uni weight was also when I was naught but skin and bone, so it would be deeply unhealthy to aim for that weight again.

Regardless, where I am now is a maintainable weight and maintainabilty is more important that idealness. And I am already quite bony so I don’t want to lose any more.

The next challenge is to make it through the feast season without putting enormous amounts straight back on again: apparently the average American gains fifteen pounds from Halloween to New Year. For me Halloween was a non-event food-wise and Thanksgiving was manageable so I maintained through it — I have even had scones at the local bakery a couple of times***. The trick, it seems, is to only have one of these treats a day, and not every day either.

We have our Christmas traditions that we are going to follow and which I am going to enjoy: the breakfast coffee cake, the Christmas lasagne, my special whipped cream on pie, and a certain amount of wine. I will partake of those but not to the point of being unable to move, and then I will go for a run on Boxing Day.

It’ll be fine.

I hope you are reaching your goals. I will report back after the holiday food is but a memory.

[*] I say “the intention”, but it is also worth noting that to obtain lifetime status now you have maintain your weight in a +/- two pound window around your goal weight. This is harder than the standard I had to meet before.

[**] somehow I lost another three pounds just before I started work. I don’t actually know how. I also feel like this is the absolute lowest weight I could thrive at.

[***] celebrating NaNoWriMo achievements.

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December Things, 2018

It’s the last month of the year and I feel like I am waking up after the long month of November. What exactly is going on again?

Three Things for November

  1. NaNoWriMo — made the words, if not the entire story yet.
  2. blog — I made some blog posts, admittedly mostly about NaNoWriMo but there were blog posts.
  3. office clean-up — didn’t really do anything here. Ugh.

Still, a firm 2/3.

I never wrote a blog post in November about health goals but I do want to post an update about that so a health-focussed update will be coming. It is good news, though.

The best thing about November was a regular write-in with some local authors. We are going to be continuing that in the new year, which I am quite excited about.

Three Things for 2018

Where am I on my goals as the year draws to a close?

  1. finish A Turquoise Song — I not only decided against querying this in November, but chose to engage a developmental editor to look at the pacing and other issues with the book. Basically, I feel like I need some advice on how to make the book function properly. I am expecting feedback in a little over a week, but once those comments come in I will be working on the fourth draft. I will call it a new draft, because I want to draw a distinction between how far I got on my own and where I went with guidance.
  2. submit my work — a goal in two parts:
    1. submit Song once it is done
    2. complete and submit short stories

    All my Boundary Shock Quarterly stories are done. I will not be querying Song this year.

  3. produce Livia as an audiobook — no new work, and this looks like an abandoned goal unless there is some extraordinary effort in December.

    I have no plans for such an effort.

I have made consistent progress on everything except the audiobook production. I would be happier if more things were actually complete, but having three stories out in the wild is pretty special.

Three Things for December

Finishing up 2018 in fine style, I hope.

  1. Cinnamon Harmonies — I don’t particularly expect to finish this in December, but I do want to keep working on it.
  2. Song fourth draft — I am nervous about the feedback I am going to receive, but I am looking forward to making the book better. This month will probably be more about ensuring that I understand the feedback I receive than necessarily applying all of it.
  3. blog — there are a few posts I have delayed. Catch up on those.
  4. office clean-up — I just need to clean that shit up. Not expecting to set aside an audio are of any type.

Let’s get it done.

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NaNoWriMo: The End

I kind of fell across the finish line on Friday so I spent the weekend just remembering what daylight looked like.

How did it go, in the end?

My final validated word count was 75,392 words. The NaNoWriMo word count validator gave me about 300 more words than Scrivener thought, which is not unusual, but still – I averaged a little over 2.5k a day for the whole of November.

The story isn’t done, though. I’m probably about 25k away from the end of the book, and I will be working to finish that off over the next few weeks — not at the same pace, of course, because that was too all-consuming, but if I write about a thousand words a day I will be done before the end of the year. I am changing ink colour on my maze tracker, though, so as to draw a distinction between November words and December words.

I can’t offer any judgement on how the story actually is. My process is to not read a novel manuscript until several weeks have passed, so even if the story was actually complete now I wouldn’t be reading it until January anyway.

But running this without a formal outline has been a good experience. I feel like the story has gone places it would not have with a more detailed outline. I do know that the story currently suffers from meetingitis, where the characters exchange information by having meetings all the time.

But now it’s back to the word mines for me.

How did your November go?

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