JULY update on my ‘Year of Change’ Challenge

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This is the month that prompted me to start the challenge in the first place. The month my beautiful Becky married her charming Chris. More of that later.

First, the regular stuff.

A very disappointing month on the challenge front.

  1. The weight loss plan. Officially a failure. On the wedding day I weighed in at 174.8. Not even 10lbs lighter than where I started. And I was trying. Yes, I could probably have tried harder, but for all the difference it made, I might as well have not bothered at all.  The exercise bike finally went back. The second attempt at collection failed when their van broke down. Third time lucky? Well, it went. At 6.55am when I wasn’t even dressed yet. At least Bob got his refund.  I finally got a dress I thought would be lovely – on my birthday. Looked okay when I tried it on in the shop, although it needed a couple of little darts and a tuck. Did the alterations, seemed fine. But on the day, I hated it. I’d wanted to look elegant. Just that. Not a big ask. But the dress just didn’t sit right. It showed my bra a little at the front underarm, and a lot at the back. The straps kept slipping down. It fidgeted me, and it doesn’t look right in the pictures. Very disappointed. I would have done better to stick with the evening dress for both. That was lovely. Still, Becky looked totally awesome, and that’s the main thing. She was the star, I was just supporting cast.
  2. The write more plan. This one slipped pretty badly. I’ve done some writing, but nothing like every day. Okay, so there were other priorities this month, but still not good. On the plus side, I have been doing some editing for a friend, so that is part of my excuse.
  3. The read more plan. I’ve been just about ticking over on this one. I’ve read 58 books, of which 54 count towards the challenge.  I currently have 4 part-read. Also, I’ve been reading the above mentioned work that I’m proofing for a friend. At nearly 700 pages, it ought to count for something! No shame on this one.
  4.  I’m still updating the blog. 

Bonus:

The wedding was wonderful!

Yes, there were a few tiny imperfections, like my dress.

The vicar forgot, despite us making a point of it at the rehearsal – so the couple didn’t use their full names when exchanging vows. A shame, but not the end of the world.

We had a ribbon malfunction on the car taking me and the bridesmaids to the church, which held us up. Not a biggie.

I ended up ‘rescuing’ Becky’s phone at the reception from a pile of used plates and napkins and forgetting to give it back to her when I left.

Bob sat in something on a bench outside, and the stain won’t come out of his pants.

I’m sure there were other minor negatives.

None of which take away from the fact that it was a beautiful day and not just in terms of the weather. The church looked lovely with the hearts strategically place at the ends of the pews and on the arches etc. Better than traditional flowers, because they were more personal and original. I can’t remember when I last saw the church so full. The ceremony was very moving, and just about the right length!

We were very moved that Dr Disher, Becky’s Godfather, made the long journey from his retirement home to attend.

The photographer was very well organized and professional. I’m looking forward to seeing her shots.

The bridesmaids all rocked their royal blue dresses. Despite being different sizes and skin tones, they all carried it off splendidly.

The reception hall looked wonderful. The little butterfly boxes were so pretty – I wish I’d nabbed one to keep.

The cake was adorned with edible butterflies and fitted so well with the color scheme, and it tasted great. My only regret there is that mum wasn’t here to make one for them.

I was really proud of David for giving the father-of-the-bride speech he’d been so nervous about. And of Bob, especially for sticking it out till I left at 10.45pm. I hadn’t expected that.

The speeches were all great. I got a bit teary eyed. Would have kinda liked to give one of my own, but Bex knows what I would have said, and that’s what matters most.

Oh and did I mention? Becky looked absolutely gloriously stunning in her gorgeous wedding dress. For a gal who rarely wears a dress, she really nailed the princess look. She positively radiated happiness. If smiles were pounds, they’d have amassed a fortune that day. God willing they’ll remain as happy and in love as they were that day.

JUNE update on my ‘Year of Change’ Challenge

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A DISASTER of a month.

  1. The weight loss plan: VERY DISHEARTENED. I’m still the same weight as last month.  Not helped by the fact that Bob’s exercise bike broke. We’re waiting for them to come and take it back, which should have happened 2 weeks ago but they didn’t turn up. The thing is so busted we can’t get it apart to get it back in the box properly, so I’m betting there will be rows when the van finally comes to get it. And I STILL don’t have an outfit for the church, with only a little over 3 weeks to W day. What is even more upsetting is that I haven’t lapsed greatly in the ‘less food’ aspect, even if the exercise hasn’t increased as much as I’d like. So it isn’t like I’ve totally given up and reverted to all my bad habits. Yet I still managed to break my bed just by sitting on it. Very bad for the ego.
  2. The write more plan: Feeling way more positive on this front having learned I am one of the three winners in the QL Podcast fanfic contest. My prize of a signed copy of the QL novel ‘Foreknowledge’ just arrived. I’m still not writing EVERY day, but I’m doing okay-ish. And I’m getting ready for my next pitch.
  3. The read more plan: I’m still more or less on target here. I’ve read 51 books, of which 47 count toward the challenge. And I have 5 part-read. I’m reasonably confident I can keep up with this one.

Yes, I’m still updating the blog – but it is so boring I doubt anyone is bothering to read it.

MAY Update on my ‘Year of Change’ Challenge

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It has NOT been a good month.

1. The weight loss plan. Definitely not going according to plan. For the first time I have slipped back. I tipped the scales at 177 exactly this morning. I am very disappointed in myself. I think I’m finding it hard to stay motivated given that finding the right Mother-of-the-Bride outfit is proving all but impossible. Either the length is wrong, or the color, or it isn’t in my size, or it costs more than Becky’s wedding dress. I’m still using the exercise bike, but not yet managing every single day. I am still trying to resist temptation and eat smaller portions too. It obviously isn’t enough. Must try harder.
2. The write more plan. This too is not good news. Another rejection email for my Sweetpea stories has put me on a downer and knocked my confidence. I’m at a standstill on the WiP I want to finish this year – awaiting help from a beta. I’m still doing some writing, but far less than I’d like.
3. The read more plan. I’m doing better here. I’ve read 44 books, of which 40 count towards the challenge. So, more or less on target here.

 

At least I’m still updating this blog on time.

April Update on my ‘Year of Change’ Challenge

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1. The weight loss plan. Today I weighed in at 175.8. Not a big loss, but at least the trend is still in the right direction. I’ve been using Bob’s exercise bike around 4-5 times per week. Not as much as I’d like, but frankly more than I expected to. It isn’t easy to climb on to as the crossbar is quite high for me. And the saddle is far from comfortable. I’m trying not to let those things put me off. I’m snatching 20 minutes or so whenever I can. One day I even managed two sessions. Can’t say I’m proud of my progress, but at least I’m not ashamed of total failure.
2. The write more plan. I AM writing something most days, but not getting very far with the WiP I’m desperate to finish. It is close. There’s only really the final battle to choreograph, and the wrapping up and I know more or less most of what has to happen. It just doesn’t seem to want to get from my brain to my fingers to the page.
3. The read more plan. I’m still on target, with 33 books under my belt. Actually, I’ve read 36, but since four of them were a series of very short children’s stories, I’ve only counted them as one. Think I can feel pleased with myself on this one.

And yes, still updating the blog on time. Yay me.

March update on my ‘Year of Change’ Challenge

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  1. The weight loss plan. I tipped the scales at 177.9 lbs this morning, so I’ve virtually plateaued. My excuse is that it was mother’s day in March in the UK, and Becky bought me a couple of bags of fudge. No sinful Easter eggs, since I’m a recovering chocoholic, but still enough to make me slip. On the other hand, son Bob has decided he needs to get a bit a fitter, and his exercise bike has just arrived. He says I can use it too, so let’s hope April will be a much better month. I can report that I’ve got my dress for Becky’s wedding reception – and it is a size 16 instead of my normal size 18. It fits perfectly. OK, so that is more to do with the fact that the style tends to come up large. Still, good for the ego. Also, we went for a long walk in Ampthill park this morning. I’m trying.
  2. The write more plan. I’m doing better here. I wrote a second drabble for the Alphabet soup, and I’ve returned to a long-standing WiP which I’m determined to finish this year. I had a record month for stats at fanfiction.net. 452 visitors from 32 countries, with 588 views. Knowing I’ve got so many readers is a great incentive to keep writing.
  3. The read more plan. I’m on target, having read 24 books so far. Very encouraged on this one. Nearly 25% done!

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Plus, I’m still updating this blog. I even put up an additional post in March.

Shameless Self Promotion

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Bonus post

I have been trying to increase my online presence, including posting more regularly on this site. Not that difficult considering I only used to post a handful of times per year before.

To both these ends, I felt it appropriate to advertise here that one of my Quantum Leap fan fiction stories can be heard – yes heard! – on the quantum leap podcast:

QLP Beast of A Leap by Helen Earl

This story was specially written for the Podcast contest. I received a Quantum Leap mousemat for being one of the first entries. If I’m chosen as one of the top three entries, I’ll win a copy of one of the official Quantum Leap novels, ‘Foreknowledge’ signed by the author Christopher DeFilippis.

Wish me luck.

 

Month 2 – Update Another month into my ‘Year of Change’ Challenge.

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Except not all that much has changed, exactly as I feared.

  1. The weight loss plan. I’m currently at 178.2 lbs. So it is a trickle, but still the trend is in the right direction. I guess that the ‘slow but sure’ method is more likely to last long term than the ‘crash now, relapse later’ approach. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’ll NEVER be slim. I just want to try to stay healthy. I’ll take what I can get. I’m trying to take more walks, since more vigorous exercise is proving difficult. The weather hasn’t been helping though. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to up the ante on this in the summer.
  2. The write more plan. Much like last month, I haven’t quite achieved something every single day. I’m still writing more than I was last year though, so again, the overall trend is positive.
  3. The read more plan. This is proving difficult, and I’m a tad behind, but I have read 14 books, so I’m not doing too badly. I’m part way through 3 books, too, so it isn’t as if I’m massively behind. I’m certainly not admitting defeat by any means. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to make up lost ground.

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As for regularly updating this blog – I’m on schedule! Yay for one target being met.

How about you guys? Any resolutions achieved or on target? Or have they been abandoned?