I am entering a drawing for DirectLife activity monitor giveaway…! So this post has a bit of a (selfish, commercial) bent to it, though I hope you can gain some insight into my writing life as well…
My friend Foodie McBody has been blogging about her weight loss and fitness over the past year or two. Foodie and I have been friends a long time, ever since I took a workshop from her, long before any of my fiction had been published (in fact, it was she who convinced me to send a story out to ZYZZYVA, which voila, got accepted a week later). Our commonality was writing.
Over the years, she and I also became workout buddies, seeing each other through some grueling workouts with a personal trainer, sweat, and at times, tears, streaming down our faces. Or in my case, puke streaming OUT of my face (until I was diagnosed with a PFO and my PFO was closed, it was often the case that I would puke several times during a vigorous aerobic workout).
We each had different motivations for getting fit. Hers reached a pinpoint focus when she was diagnosed with diabetes; she wanted to get healthier. Mine was the more nebulous motivation “to get fit.”
Now that my PFO is closed, I have a newfound ability to run
without puking and getting a migraine afterwards. Getting fit is no longer torturous. Annnd….I am nearing 40. I want to be in better shape, and to be better looking, than I was at 30. I want to live to a ripe old age in good health.
Add to the above that running has helped my novel writing; the two, in my mind and body, are inextricably linked. I am not sure if this is because I release my stress thru running and thus am better prepared to write…or if the running is changing my brain chemistry and helping with endurance and thus helping me with my novel…but either way, the more often I run, the better my writing progress.
But what about accountability?
I write best when I have a writing partner/buddy to whom I email my wordcount each week (and occasionally, an excerpt or the entirety of what I wrote that week). I write best when I have a goal and incremental milestones.
As for fitness/weight loss…? I weigh myself each day even though I know that this is a no-no to many experts. This accountability works for me. When I wake up 3 pounds heavier, I know it is because I did not eat well the day before; perhaps I had processed foods that contained too much salt, or maybe the bagel and rice dishes have made me bloated. Either way, it is a way for me to check-in with myself.
But checking in with my weight is a lot like checking in on number of pages written on a novel. It is merely product…without process. I could be losing muscle and not fat. I could just be dehydrated. Weight loss is NOT the only way I want to measure my progress, because there is more to fitness than weight loss. Just as in novel writing, there is more than just pages written; there is quality of work and revision and all the process between idea and pages completed.
And that is why I want to win a DirectLife monitor from Foodie. I want to understand my process. I want to get FIT, not just lose weight.
There are big changes ahead for me in 2010. My lifestyle will change due to these changes; I’d like to keep abreast of my fitness through the shift and accelerate my fitness. (And it’s not without coincidence that starting in January, my plan is to make revising my novel a priority until September). I know, I know…it’s still a secret as to what’s happening come January…but soon! I will share that soon.