Tuesday, June 14, 2011

THE WEIGH IN ....

As I have been reading posts throughout the blogosphere, I've come to realize that I wasn't the only one who's life has dramatically changed because of writing.

We all know that is it a MAJOR commitment and require lots of time, but to what expense? It's happened to me and it just might have happened to you as well .... lack of movement and unwanted weight gain.

I have written a post about this before, but I never realized that it has happened to many others. Have any of you gained a substantial amount of weight since starting that first novel? For me I put on 25 pounds my first year of writing and didn't even realize it until the second year I put on even more. I wrote every spare second and stopped decided my work out time should be replaced with writing time.

DON'T let this happen to you! I can become a vicious cycle. For us to stay mentally healthy and clear minded we need physical activity. Even if it's only for a daily half hour walk make sure you do it. Even if you don't have a weight problem you should step away from your laptop, desktop, Ipad, or Kindle. The endorphins we produce during physical activity is wonderful for our mental as well as physical health.

As most of you know I have taken my life back this past winter and became physically active again. I dropped almost all the weight I gained during my first two years of writing and I feel fantastic. I never liked to live by schedules, but this one is working for me so well I'm even surprised. I start early with an hour or so of blogging, then mid to late morning I zip out to the lakefront for my 90 minute power-walk.

By noon I take care of my design work and when I finish I get to writing/editing. By late afternoon, I trekked to the gym for an hour of weight training, return home, and get back to writing.

Now I know most of you have full time jobs, family, etc, but I'm sure you can create a schedule that works for you. Squeeze in 30-60 minutes into your day for you.... Yes, this is for you. Staying healthy with exercise and eating right really will get you through you busy day much more pleasantly.

In my next post I will talk about healthier ways to eat. I know we all have our addictions like CHOCOLATE, chips, cookies, etc. There are healthier choices....

Let me know what you do to keep fit.... Perhaps some of your suggestions might be able to help others. We are a supportive community in all of our writing endeavors, let's now help each other stay fit and live longer and healthier lives so we can keep writing those award winning novels....

I'm off to the lakefront. Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!

26 comments:

  1. Michael, this post is so right on - I've been maintaining a 50-pound weight loss for three years now, after being overweight most of my adult life. I do believe we must put our health first, before writing, before everything. I eat very healthily now after hiring a nutritionist to teach me how to eat for my body and with my food issues. Thanks for addressing this.
    karen

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  2. Oy. Poundage. Throw in age + chocolate and it's the perfect trifecta. Whether I want to or not, I get myself to the gym or the desert (depending on the season) and run, walk, and lift weights every day for at least 1.5-2 hours. If I didn't, I'm sure I'd be about 1000 pounds, given my chocolate addiction, if nothing else. But one of the other side benefits is that it clears my head too.

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  3. Good for you, Michael! I have a gym membership and go several times a week, so no gain here.

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  4. For me it's been muscle atrophy and stamina that have suffered from writing. I don't hike or bike nearly as much as I used to.

    I've gone in and out of food issues. When my daughter was in preschool (she's now a rising 3rd grader) and I could write 3 days/week, I was so intent on maximizing my time, I'd forget to eat lunch! So sometimes having food out of reach, and getting really entranced with your project can help!

    I'd love to hear tips for keeping up with exercise!

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  5. It's funny, I had the writing to exercise ratio figured out. I worked out five days a week to balance all the sitting done while writing. THEN I started blogging. Doh. I went from five workouts a week to two or three because I had to sit and read everyone's great blogs in the morning. Yeah, the pants are fitting a little snug, so it's time to get back to the treadmill again.

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  6. Writing, or any job where you're required to be sedentary to do it, can really cause problems with your physical health. The best thing about exercise for writers is that it truly charges your batteries and is better thinking time than a shower. Don't believe me? Go on a 30 minute walk or run and tell me your mind doesn't wander all over the place.

    Great thoughts, Michael, and I'm glad you're sharing your story with others. After college I had some health issues and ended up putting on 50 lbs. I'm proud to say 7 years later that I've lost all 50 + 5 more. I actually weigh less than I did in college!

    If your'e struggling with weight, you can beat it with time and the proper approach. Weight Watchers helped me get started because I'd gone beyond (due to health problems) the point of being able to jump back into lots of physical stress. Once I'd shed a few pounds, I was able to take up exercise to go with my new eating lifestyle and the pounds really started coming off.

    There are tons of programs out there to help, even if you're a complete nutrition moron like I was. (No shame in it. Like many, I never had to worry about what I was eating in college because I'd been the same normal/healthy weight since my freshman year in high school.) WW really taught me things about portion control and smart food choices that I'd never learned previously.

    Educate yourself and get to work. It has literally changed my life, and most likely extended it.

    ~EJW~

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  7. You're spot on, my friend. Staying in shape is SOOO important. I ride horses, swim, and I have an elliptical in the basement.

    I've tagged you, my friend. You can choose to accept this challenge or not. MWA HA HA HA

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  8. I had no idea that non-organic meat was bad for you. Thanks for pointing this out. I thought meat was essentially meat and maybe it's one of the reasons I have difficulty losing pounds.

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  9. I have spent the last year in front of my computer- mostly for college homework- online volunteer work at EDF's slushpile, and then of course my writing.

    I knew I started gaining a bit of weight and this summer one of the first things I signed up for was a Zumba- dance aerobics class. Its a lot of jumping- I go twice a week. But I'm doing something. Great post!

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  10. This is a subject that I think hits close to home for most writers. It can be so hard to remain active and healthy in our profession. I exercise for half an hour every morning and I also go hiking, horseback riding, or just for walks. I'm looking into building a desk for my treadmill too. I don't care about appearances, I just want to be healthy.

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  11. Oh, MAN--I've gotten into a bad cycle, too. I still get my walking in--45 minutes twice a day for my commute. But I find I stay up too late writing, so don't get up early for a power version. I sit down first thing when I get hom from work and write, then don't take my half hour for weight work. And after you pass 40, the body gets much less forgiving... I need to figure it out. I have this feeling it may just take until I can give up the day job to quite master it. I need more TIME.

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  12. Oh, tell me about it. I've become so inactive! Just this week I started up my running routine again - I used to go out running all the time on my lunch, but then I got busy and it went out the window. I really need to start back again, for my mental sanity as well!

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  13. Exercise used to be the only time I took for myself away from my family. Once I added writing and regularreading to my schedule...yup running and weight classes went down the tubes, a bit. Now that I'm pregnant I just use it as an excuse not to walk or bike. I've decided biking at the Y in the morning would be a great way to get some reading in at the same time. Early morning reading while exercising will hopefully motivate me. I'll let you know how it goes in a week. Cuz I haven't actually started yet...! Christy

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  14. Wow...you're dead on. Writing has changed me inside and out. Or maybe I'm just finally letting the inside out. *grins* Exercising has always been a vital part of who I am. As a former dancer, it was unavoidable. The older my children get and the busier they are, the harder it is to find the time to do both writing and exercising. But I do try and balance it out. Plus, I watch what I eat...except for chocolate. Yum...

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  15. Ooh, ditto much of the above! I'm 5'1" and extra pounds show like billy-oh! I loathe running but like what it does to the old body....just keep plugging away and keep those carbs down...sigh...

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  16. Congrats on losing all that weight! What a great accomplishment. I try to run two or three times a week, take a zumba class, a step class with friends and fit in some yoga. I find if I can schedule it with friends I'm much more likely to show up because then its social time too.

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  17. those are two very nasty words Michael - exercise and weight.

    I gotta admit though, your power walk around the lake sounds more like sight seeing than exercise.

    Well, I suppose I should get back on that eliptical machine. Blogging in front of the TV has replaced my 20 minutes on the dreaded machine.

    Ok, tomorrow . .

    .......dhole

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  18. I have definitely had this problem this past year. I'm not a writer, but I have become less active for some reason and I can feel it dragging me down in all areas. I've recently decided I need to get out and walk more, which is always inspiring and gets my imagination going, especially if I go to new places. I always take my camera too, in case I see something amazing, which I usually do. I recently added an app on my phone that has been great for helping me keep track of what I'm eating (which is always an eye opener) and how much I'm exercising each day. It's really easy to use and has been really helpful. It's called My Fitness Pal. It's free!! Congrats on your weight loss, that is awesome!

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  19. Congrats on your weight loss! It's great that you take advantage of the beautiful lakefront, as well as going to the gym. I do find that I spend more time at the computer so I try to walk more often. Even stretching is helpful after sitting for long periods of time. Thanks Michael!

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  20. I walk every morning but I feel I need to do more. I love my chocolate too and when the revisions aren't going well I dive into my supplies.

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  21. Oh dear... you ain't lying! I was doing zumba every other day over a year ago and in great shape. Then my work schedule changed and I started writing in early mornings, which was better creatively, but with coffee and pastries or whatever... I gained 20pounds. Writing has def put the pounds back on me. But I'm back on a routine. I hit the treadmill for an hour every other day and watch movies so I kill tow birds with one stone. ;)

    Great post, Michael... I've been thinking of doing a similar one for the same reasons. :)

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  22. So that's why I have been gaining weight! Seriously, all you say is true. Now I have also noticed that walking and exercise helps the muses create inspiration. SO, bro---Go team Michael!

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  23. The lakefront there is a fabulous place for a power-walk or a run. You lucky thing. Here it's all agricultural, and it's kinda hard to go out without treading in cow do.

    Running is what keeps me fit (when I do it regularly). It's the one exercise I benifit most from, and half an hour a day is pretty good for keeping fit.

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  24. Interestingly, increased weight is something I have not encountered since starting writing. I feel lucky. ;)

    Great post!

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  25. I need to remind myself of this often, but I could work out time as writing time---because my best inspiration usually comes at the most inconvenient times AWAY from the computer. You give good advice that it's healthy both mentally and physically to step away form time to time. And I think a schedule is brilliant---must devise and enforce one of my own.

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  26. Two years ago I started on a plan of healthy eating and exercise and have lost 60lbs..when I started blogging I noticed that my time in the gym was decreasing...I haven't gained back the weight I've lost, I just noticed a general sagging and puffiness that wasn't there when I was working out.. I've started my workouts again and have already noticed a difference...It is amazing what eating right and exercising will do for your body...and your mind...this topic is one of my passions and I wish everybody would get the bug to get healthy! That'd be awesome! And chocolate in small doses can be very healthy, but it has to be at least 70% cocoa...and not very many people like that, it's very bitter..

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