My publisher, Buzz Books USA, is sponsoring Writer Wellness Wednesdays. Here are my dirty secrets–plus my plan:
I’ve gained 10 pounds since becoming a published author. How can I attack them? It won’t be straightforward. I am a five foot tall stress-eater who has a sugar-filled vending machine at my workplace. I have deadlines to meet, already work out and eat mostly healthy–oh, and I turn 50 this coming spring.
This is war.
With an arsenal of gimmicks and shysters surrounding me, I’ve assembled a strike force of true techniques for losing the fat. The most important is fooling me–or rather that part of me who likes to sit and converse over chili con queso. I call that chic, “the muffin top.” If she feels deprived in any way, she’ll pull out the cheese. My techniques to fool her are:
1) Eat less, more often, while fooling yourself into thinking you’re eating more. I am my own worst enemy on this front. Having had food issues since childhood, I immediately start cheating the moment the word “diet” passes my lips. In fact, I began weightlifting and my current fitness routine as my personal pass for eating whatever I wanted. And it worked until now.
There is one thing, however, that the weightlifting community taught me that I haven’t adopted because, quite frankly, I didn’t want to. It’s the “cutting” technique used by female body builders worldwide:
Eat small meals every two to three hours to control your metabolism and feel like you’re eating all the time.
There are many methods, some very strict involving eating the same thing for three meals in a row. No way on that part, but I CAN easily tell myself, as I did an hour ago, that I can still have more, just a little bit later. Generally, the meals I eat should be about half the size of what I ate before.
2) No skipping the gym and no more wimping out. I still bench press the same amount of weight I did over six months ago. I’m doing mostly the same exercises I did a year ago. No more. I have a challenging new workout designed by my trainer to push my body beyond its comfort level. And I can’t skip even for a deadline. Much of the work of writing is mental; I can think while I work out.
3) Cardio. I abhor cardio, tend to do about ten minutes per day, with 40 minutes of yoga, weights and calisthenics. That has to change. For my own personal Wellness Wednesday, I’ll be doing 40 minutes of straight cardio. Yes, it bores me, so I’ll break it up between the rower, the elliptical, and the arc trainer. I have a metal ankle so I can’t run or do fun, jumpy stuff, but I can force myself to do these machines for longer spurts.
I tried it this morning. Despite the music, I found myself chanting, “I won’t get fat again,” in the back of my mind. The odds are against me. After fifty they say weight loss gets even more difficult. My body will begin to change more. I want to start those changes in the best shape I possibly can. I have no diseases, awesome blood pressure and low cholesterol. My motivation has to come from within.
Which brings me to my last point, 4) No vending machine. Instead, I’m keeping healthier snacks in my purse. They’re sweet and yummy–maybe not as sweet as a frosted honey bun, but about a third of the calories.
My birthday is in April. I don’t want to miss my goal because of some stupid sugar treat. So I’ll convince myself that I’m smarter than that vending-machine craving. I’ll learn to enjoy my dried fruit or granola. “Cutting,” after all, is a mental game. Ir’;s just a matter of fooling myself, the muffin top.