Friday, December 30, 2011

Be A Healthy Writer in 2012

I've been working really hard to lose weight I'd gained as a result of a Thyroid malfunction. It hasn't been easy and many of my readers have watched me slowly lose the weight over the course of 6 months. In addition to losing 19 pounds with 11 pounds to shed, I've also increased my fitness levels. I have worked out hard and the results are showing in a firmer and more toned body.

As a writer I am very sedentary because it requires sitting in front of a computer screen, whimpering on occasion, and writing in a fixed position. Sometimes I don't want to leave my fictional world to go to the gym because I'm so involved in the story I'm crafting. Sometimes I am unable to leave my writing to take a full hour or more to workout because I have a deadline to meet. Sometimes I don't want to workout just because I'm feeling lazy. But I do. The greatest challenge for me is when I have a deadline.

No. I am not published yet, but I have deadlines. I enter contests to put myself into that position. I hold myself accountable and treat myself as a published writer because once I am published I will have to meet deadlines all the time. There is no time like the present to hone the skill of meeting a professional deadline.

But I must take care of myself. Here are my strategies for protecting myself from a widening derriere and writer's bloat in 2012 particularly when I am in deadline mode.

*Go to the gym and vary my workouts. I attend Zumba and Pilates classes as well as use the weight machines.
*When in Deadline Mode, force myself to get up every hour and move for 15 minutes. This can be stretching, dancing in front of the TV to a music channel, or doing Max Capacity. You can access Max Capacity here.
*Walk. I've discussed this with a writing buddy. We plan on alternating houses every week and writing together. We'll set the timer for 60 minutes, then when it beeps we will walk for fifteen. We'll talk while we walk.
*Get the Fitbit. You can learn more about the Fitbit here. I plan to walk 10,000 steps a day. This will hold me accountable to remaining fit and strong.
*Pay myself a quarter for every workout. A healthy writer is a strong writer. This all contributes to my writing fund which pays for writing activities.
*Look for unique ways to ramp up my fitness levels by doing Wii Dance Programs and attending different classes which challenge my strength and flexibility.
*Feed my body healthy foods so I can increase my health and brain power.

What are your plans for staying strong and healthy in 2012? Do you have any tips for me? I'd love to learn all about it!


Gwen Hernandez said...

My husband and I decided to avoid meat and dairy as much as possible. We've been doing it for two months now and it's been easier than I expected, especially since I was such a cheese hound. It certainly makes keeping the weight down easier, and I get plenty of protein through beans, nuts, grains, and veggies. Plus, I feel better.

I use LoseIt to track my nutrients and exercise, which makes it really easy, and holds me accountable.

When I don't want to work out, I remind myself that I usually get good ideas for my MS when I'm exercising. I've scheduled it into my day like an appointment, which helps a lot.

Great job with the weight loss so far, and good luck in 2012!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Great tips and reminders, Christine! I have been so lazy the last three months! I've gained a few pounds, too. I got sick and stayed sick for about a month and a half, so I couldn't go to the gym, but it's time to start back! I'm going this morning, and I'm planning to start back using the program again. I just plain need to eat healthier, and eat less! I hope I can get psyched up enough to stick with it! That is my problem--not sticking with it.

But you are doing it right, Christine, and I'm proud of you for giving yourself deadlines and being serious about your writing! When you're really committed, it shows!

Christine said...

Hi Gwen: I will check out the LoseIt program. Is it free? I am on Weight Watchers and use that to track my diet/exercise. I just ordered the Fitbit and can't wait to get it. I will send the LoseIt idea to my Teen and the Physicist. We pulled them from the #WW cause they weren't using it and it cost $$. I have very few encounters with cheese these days. I allow it only during the holidays and special occasions. It is like a drug to me. I love it and can't keep a block of cheese in the house for long. It goes straight into my belly. I have cut out a lot of meat, but I need my protein so I think the WW points plus program is working for me. That and a lot of exercise. I also like to have social time during the workout classes. I'm not the shy writer type. I love people and need interactions to help improve my craft.

Hi Melanie: I think that's what hurt me last year when I started gaining: getting sick. I started with the flu and a massive sinus infection during Christmas 2010. Then the winter snow came and covered us under 8 inches of white stuff. Yuck. Cookies and more cookies! You'll get back in shape in no time!! I know it. Keep me posted on your gym visits. I'd love to cheer you on. And thanks for the support of my writing journey. It means a lot to me!

B Snow said...

Great ideas. I'm definitely too sedentary, and my schedule has shifted so that I can't get to the Zumba classes I like so much. :( I need to figure out how to get more exercise at home, definitely.

That max capacity looks interesting, especially since it's such short durations.

Good luck with your continued weight loss, and have a happy and healthy new year!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Last time I checked, LoseIt was free. You can enter data on either online or on the iPhone app, and the two will sync.

Heather said...

Accountability is key for me. If left to my own devices, I wouldn't exercise and I'd chase every piece of chocolate I ate (and there would be many) with a glass of champagne. For the last few months, I've worked with a trainer three times a week. Having the standing appointment (that I'd paid for) MADE me go exercise regardless of whether I wanted to. For 2012, I won't be working with a trainer, but I've devised accountability devices. I think I am going to work into the routine the $0.25/workout reward.

Christine said...

Hi Gwen: That's good to know about the loseit app. I will pass it on to the family!! Thanks!

Hi B Snow: I know how hard it is to adjust to the changes in the schedule. One break in the routine and I have to force myself to do something. I read somewhere that 1/2 an hour a day of walking is very beneficial so all else fails, I force myself to do that. And it can be done in 15 min. increments. Good luck!!

Hi Heather: I would love to have a trainer, but it's not in my quarter budget LOL. I'm so happy your trainer worked out for you. You might really love the fitbit device. I ordered one today and can't wait to set the steps on it. And the $0.25 workout reward is nice. I pay myself a quarter every time I exercise. It adds up!! Sometimes I make a $1.75 a week!! All for a good cause--my time with writers and learning more about writing is worth it!

And I am with you about chasing chocolate with champagne :-)

Chris Bailey said...

Cool tips! When my cholesterol tested borderline high, our insurance company sent me a pedometer, and I've been on the 10,000 steps a day program for a while. It's been fun and interesting to find ways to add steps during the day. Like the ridiculous practice of folding clothes while walking them to their destination. One piece at a time. The other thing I find that works for me is to allow myself an afternoon treat. I bake a couple of low-fat cookies or a No Pudge brownie and enjoy it with a reading break. The small indulgence forestalls a later binge.

Christine said...

No pudge brownies sound amazing!! I think a treat every once in a while is a good idea, Chris. I am getting the fitbit any day and am setting it to 10,000 steps. I'll have to try the walking while folding articles of clothing trick. Hope I don't trip ;-)

Happy New Year!

Ellen said...

Christine, purging our house of tempting food and having a trip to Sandals 90 days or less away (= NOW!) is the only thing that helps me! Plus running a lot. Chewing a lot of gum. And drinking coffee. ;-)Tomorrow: taking all of the Xmas cookies to work to dump on all the 20-somethings.

Ellen said...

Oh, "Ellen" is actually "PAtrick" not sure why Ellen is showing up under my Google id. But she is very cute so it's a good thing. Kids have their own laptops now, maybe I'll get to use my computer--and my identity--more often.

Christine said...

Hi Patrick *grin*--that is what we do as well. No naughty food allowed in the house after the first. Tho' we do have some amazing chili from New Year's Day that I will enjoy again tonight.

I send naughty food to the office with the Physicist all the time. Better for me if the mad rocket scientists and their cronies to eat that stuff :-)

Happy New Year!!