OMG- Is My Arse Really That Big??

Have you read Jennifer’s post yesterday about Christie Craig being sued by the Texas Department of Transportation? If you haven’t, scroll down and take a look- an amazing waste of tax dollars when you consider what they could be focusing on in this state. I want to talk about the stress I’ve watched my friend, Christie, being put under while this has been happening.

It’s weighed heavily on my mind. Couple that with going to two funerals recently and turning 50 and you have the perfect moment when you have to say, “Whoa, I need to take a step off this crazy go round and take a breather!”

Life comes at us faster than a speeding bullet. Sometimes we get hit point blank by events and it’s difficult to re-group. Of course, being creative, we also ask ourselves to write amazing things while dodging the bullets flying around us.

Are we crazy, or what?

Stress, age, and inactivity will take a heavy toll on us before we know it. Guess what! I’m at the point where I know it. Crap.

While I’ve been taking a breather from life and contemplating me and my body…. A scary thing to do. I’ve noticed a pattern in my life. I would also hazard a guess that I’m not unique- I bet many of you have this same pattern, or one similar.

It seems that with each major upheaval in my life, I get fat. There! I said it out loud. Whew, that was harder than I thought.


What does this have to do with writing? A whole helluva a lot. If you can’t sit down at your computer with a clear mind and a body that’s reasonably healthy, writing will be difficult at best! Non-existent for many of us.

When I had my daughter, I experienced a severe case of postpartum depression. It lasted for about 13 months and I was completely disabled for the first 4 months of her life. My wonderful mother stepped in and helped me make it through, along with my amazing husband. All I could do was cry and eat. Bounced back from that and started working out again. Back to normal and healthy.

Next came the birth of my son. I couldn’t fall apart this time because I had my daughter to take care of. So, I left out the crying part, but took the eating to new heights! You’d be amazed how good a peanut butter sandwich feels when you’re stressed and sad. When my British friend asked me if I was alright because I had gone all square, I knew I had to come back to myself. Walking, eating fruits and veggies and deciding I could write a book helped me get happy and healthy once again.

Fast forward 13 years. My mother is slowly dying from COPD. Cigarettes destroyed her heart and her lungs. It’s not a pretty way to die…and did I mention it’s slow? Needless to say, the writing was sporadic and peanut butter became my ultimate best friend again! There you go folks, stress, inactivity and eating. It will kill your writing and eventually take its toll on your health.

So what do we do? Do you remember my article on the Pomodoro method of organizing your time? I still think it’s a wonderful way to be productive. What do you do on your breaks? Most of us would choose to relax somewhere. Fight that urge! Get up and move. Eat some fresh fruit- forget the peanut butter- stretch, or walk.

My mom’s been gone a year now and it’s time for me to take back my life. My writing is coming again- using tricks like the Pomodoro and leaning on my critique partners and friends for accountability has helped tremendously. I’m also on a great adventure to lose the 30 plus pounds I put on.

I bought a pedometer. Talk about accountability! Sheesh.

Every time I’m on a break, I walk. Even if it’s standing in one spot. My goal is to make 10,000 steps each day. I feel better, don’t have that sore ache at the back of my legs from sitting, am writing clearer and with more emotion (Food is a drug.), and have lost 7lbs in two weeks. I’m not doing anything difficult. Walking and making better food choices- that’s it.

Writers have many health issues associated with this passion. Our backs, necks, and hips all suffer from long periods of sitting. I don’t even want to get into the possibility of thrombosis! Take care of yourselves and the writing will improve. You will improve. Your life will improve.

You have the power.





18 Responses to OMG- Is My Arse Really That Big??

  1. Judy says:

    Well, well said!! I love what you said about sitting down at your computer with a clear mind. It’s hard for me when I know I’ve just eaten enough to feed a family! Thanks for shaing! Love you, Judy


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    Congratulations on dropping that many pounds in such a short time. The first pounds are the hardest, I’m told.
    For different reasons, I had ‘bottomed-out’ health-wise in 2003-4 and got where I just went to work and church and did absolutely nothing else.
    Went to Phys. Ther. beginning in Jan ’05 and started MOVING again. Slow process and easy to forego. I never WANT to go to the Y, but I’ve dragged myself there 887 times in those 6.7 years. Yep, I COUNTED. It’s about the only way I can motivate myself to go.
    But you are absolutely right: it’s much healthier to write when your body feels moderately okay.

    BTW, sorry about your mom. I understand.


  3. It goes back to that old song, “The leg bone’s connected to the…” Everything we do is connected to our well being. Moving sometimes goes against what we’d rather do…ok often goes against what we’d rather do…but the benefits are immeasurable! Not only does it make your body healthier, but your mental status improves as well. I still swear that walking and doing yoga are what finally pulled me out of the postpartum doldrums. Thanks for sharing with us, Jeff. I do hope your health continues on solid footing.


  4. Hey Judy-
    Not only will you have a clearer mind, you’ll actually have a bigger brain!! Studies have shown that your brain will increase in function with exercise. I’m not saying you have to get crazy, just get healthy. Thanks for stopping by. Give yourself a hug.


  5. William says:

    When I’m in the office, a trick I use is to NOT hit the “Play All” option on a DVD. A small thing, sounds silly to some, but it forces me to get up, find the control, and hit the button for the next one. On average, every 45-50 minutes, I HAVE to get up and move.

    Since I’m up, it’s probably time for some coffee. Or a yogurt (office is upstairs, refrigerator downstairs). Little things, certainly, but they do make a tremendous difference to those of us who spend all day at a desk.


  6. OMG!! What a terrific idea!!!
    I really like your trick. This isn’t rocket science, but it is the path of most resistance. I think rocket science would be easier some days. I’ve already taken 890 steps today and that’s just making tea, fixing breakfast etc. It IS the little things that add up to better help. Tahnks so much for the great idea.


  7. Thanks for the inspiration, Stacey, and congrats on losing those pounds. I’m getting up out of my chair as soon as I hit send!


  8. Hi Teri-
    You are an amazing published author! Celebrate yourself by moving around today. It doesn’t have to be big, just start with something small…..maybe we can be workout buddies when I’m ready to return to the gym???


  9. Ruth Kenjura says:

    Hi Stacey
    Gee I know exactly where you are coming from. I too took a long hard look at things. And have made a few changes in lifestyle. I sit at a computer all day, my fingers whirling- unfortunately it isn’t on my currrent writing projects- it’s for the job that pays my bills. I do get a bit of time here and there to work on my project- and I have added walking twice a week with my daughter. Hopefully it will help, but since I only started this excise routine- my muscles are still screaming at me ” what the **%%$$**” do you think you’re doing? And I came up with my own “Jennie craig/weight watchers/nutrisystem’ eating plan. and I will follow it(except sept 14,15, 16) I gave myself permission to fall off the wagon. Good luck and hopefully we both see progress in all areas by the end of the year.


  10. “What the &&$$!!## do you think you’re doing to your body?”
    I’ve gotten that question from mine when I start adding in going to the gym! I’m not at that point yet this go round. Walking seems to be the easiest and least painful way of getting my arse back into the gym. All I know, is that I want to continue writing, I want to live a long fun life, I want to see my family grow up…I must make decisions to help myself. Good for you to start walking with your daughter! Try getting a pedometer, if you’re competitive at all, it really will motivate you. I find myself at gas stations filling up my car and marching around my car. Hmmmm I think I may look a bit crazy, but who cares!!!


  11. jbrayweber says:

    I’ve lost 40 pounds this year and I feel fabulous! It’s so true, feel good about yourself and the rest will follow. But it isn’t always easy. I’ve been trying to lose those pounds for 15 years. Crazy diets, insane exercising, making healthy choices didn’t do it for me. It was the *combination* of foods, no matter how healthy, that kept me from losing weight.

    BTW – Stacey, you’re beautiful (inside and out) no matter how much weight you carry. Just sayin’.


  12. You also helped motivate me to go back to doing what I was doing when we first met. Watching you lose the 40 lbs has been fantastic! With a positive feeling towards yourself, your writing can only be stronger….who knows maybe it made the difference with Carina??? Just sayin!!!

    Thanks for the compliment- right back at cha.


  13. Hugs, girl! Seems like I’m always too exhausted to do anything. But, I’ve been forcing myself to get out and play tennis with the kids. And ya know, we’ve been having so much fun! 🙂 I get my exercise and they get their laughs. LOL


  14. Glad to hear you’re getting out with the kids to play tennis. Thought we lost you to revision Hades!! If you remember when we first met at our Friday get togethers, I ws always just coming from working out…that’s where I’m heading again. I just wrote a brilliant paragraph (if I do say so myself) after I did 1000 steps. Did it while waiting for my dad in a docs office! Easy.


  15. Congratulations on the weight loss Stacey:)…I agree with you, getting UP, and making yourself do the exercise makes a big difference in your productivity. I have more energy and a clearer mind if I jump on my iron horse (Healthrider) before I write…otherwise, I’m slugging through the work. The ideal thing is to find something you love to do as exercise…I’ve only found a couple of things, but when I used to do them, I didn’t mind going.
    Great, positive blog, gal! And, yes, I remember the Pomodoro…apply it often:)



  16. Keep using the Pomodoro!!!
    Thanks for the encouragement, Lo. I also find that my mind clears if I move some. What an amazing balanced machine we live in. Our body was designed with such precision, it deserves to be taken care of!!


  17. Jody says:

    Thank, Stacey. I needed that.j


  18. No sweat tootsie! Well…..maybe just a little!!


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