Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Writer's (fat) Life

by Donna MacMeans

Let's face it. The writer's life is a pretty sedentary one. While my heroine might be dancing away at a ball, or my hero chasing a bad guy down a dark alley, I am seated at a chair, typing away. My fingers get quite a workout, but the rest of me - not so much.

So what's a fat writer to do?

I'm not an expert, but I have managed to shed about 10 pounds in the last month or so. I thought I'd share what I've been doing and I'm hoping you'll share what works for you. Because quite frankly, I can use all the help I can get!

The Food

It's always the culprit. I confess, I like to eat. At one time my daughter decided she wanted to be a pastry chef. I was more than happy to devour her practice desserts, and it shows. Jess never finished her culinary arts program, but she did learn enough to be a highly effective cook. Now, she uses her skills to make healthy dishes for her overweight parents. We're eating lots of fish, beans, chicken - even tofu occasionally. We rid the house of sweet "bad for you" foods, and eat fruit and nuts for snacks.

But even with a healthy diet, you still need...

The Exercise

During the winter, spring and fall, I take an aerobic class three times a week. That class incorporates about 40 minutes of cardio-movement, 8 minutes of crunches, and 12 minutes of weights. It's comfortable. It's doable. But this year we added a new class to the workout - ZUMBA! It's 60 minutes of fast salsa dancing with hip hop and popping moves tossed in. While I'm doing better now, for a while I was gasping for breath after 10 minutes of class. This is a killer - but it's a lot of fun.

The other thing that assists me in the battle of the bulge is my fitbit. Never heard of a fitbit? It's a tiny little lightweight gadget that you clip onto your clothes (I hook mine onto my bra) and it keeps track of steps taken, miles walked, calories burns and sleep cycles. Here's a photo of one in my hand.

Actually, it was the sleep cycle information that inspired my purchase for my husband for Christmas. Then I thought - heck, I'll order one for me too. The fitbit keeps track of all this information and uploads to your personal fitbit site whenever you walk close to the computer. Cool!

You can view the information in the form of graphs and trends on the website, plus you can input what you've eaten for the day. You can only lose weight if you work off more than you consume, and the graphs will tell you if you're accomplishing that. But I haven't been very good about entering all that I eat. I just trust my daughter is only preparing the allowed number of calories for dinner, then it's up to me to make sure I work it off. A click on the fitbit tells me how I'm doing. I can see my calories burned and decide if I need to put in time on the treadmill or if I can cuddle up with a good book.
It also shows a flower that grows according to activity - a little bit of positive reinforcement. Most of the time my fitbit only shows a flower with a couple of leaves, the bane of a sedentary writer - but after Zumba class, that flower is ready to poke right out of the device! Here's a before and after shot. The before to the left is after I'd dashed up and down the steps for something. Looks like there are three leaves on that baby! The flower on the right is after zumba. (eleven leaves!) (The fitbit is on a lightweight band that I can wear on my wrist - which is great for those times when you don't have clothes to clip it onto (grin))

So tell me what you do to fight the battle of the bulge? Checking the prize bin, let's see...how about a book (I'll let you chose one of mine or one from my stack), a fancy bookmark, and a fridge magnet featuring a chocolate dipped strawberry (yum!) to someone posting a comment


Jo Robertson said...

What a timely post, Donna! I was just thinking about how in the world I was going to shed those 20 pounds before (1) my family reunioon in June, which I'm hosting and (2) Nationals in July.

I've never heard of a fitbit! What a clever gadget. I want one!!

Cecile said...

I love your little gadget. I am actually off to check that out! For maybe me and hubby! That is a great idea!
I just watch what I eat and watch my potions. Thanks for sharing this, I have learned something new!

Jo Robertson said...

Ah ha!! And I won the rooster! Since I'll have Emma on Tuesday, I'll keep him busy entertaining her. At fourteen months, she's gotten quite active.

mariska said...

Great Gadget that you have Donna, i wonder whether they sell it in Indonesia :)

What i always do to reduce the 'bulge', i had at least two cup of brewed Chinese green tea. And i drink lots of plain water (3 liters a day !)

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL Jo - don't try to put the fitbit on the GR. He'll burn out the chip in no time with all his international flying.

BTW - the website for more information about this gadget is fitbit.com (tada - bet you couldn't figure that one out!) It was retailing for $99 when I bought it so that's...$10 a pound at present (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Cecile - I think portion control is really important. Heck control of any sort is important when it comes to health. I think that's why led to my downfall (sniff) when it comes to the sweet and yummy - I have no sense of portion control.

Donna MacMeans said...

Mariska - When I looked at the website a month or so ago, that said they were still working on jumping through all the hoops to sell this overseas. I guess each country has to decide if the gadget is safe enough for their population. Plus there's always the problem of writing the instructions in all the different languages.

Did I mention that one of the things that this gadget tracks is how much water you drink? Now I live on Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Coke. Not very healthy - and I'm trying to drink more water - but blech. I miss my fizz (grin).

s7anna said...

Hey Donna,
What a fantastic post...I've been slowly trying to better manage my weight for the last couple of months. I've found that gnoshing on almonds or soy nuts really help with the munchies. For meals, I always make sure that I've got a good protein source to fill me up and not rely too much on carbs...plus to try and have a veggie dish with every major meal. In between, drink lots and lots of water...so whenever I get ghost hunger pangs...I go and drink a glass of water to dissuade myself from popping something in my mouth.

I'm taking a chromium supplement which is helping me big time with dealing with my sugar cravings.

I'm also doing light yoga and weights to slowly incorporate exercise in my everyday routine.

Happy Reading
Anna Shah Hoque

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Congrats on getting the chook, Jo-Mama! I'm sure Emma will give him quite a work out. ;-)

Donna, kudos to you for losing those 10 lbs. I probably "found" them! LOL! And I've never heard of a fitbit either, but it looks ingenious.


Donna MacMeans said...

s7anna - I miss yoga. My dh and I used to go to yoga class once a week. However, the class didn't end till 9:00 PM and that was just too late for my early-rising dh. (The guy gets up at 5:00 AM just to work out before work. The man is insane! I just kiss him goodbye and go back to sleep). I miss the stretching of all those little muscles you didn't know you had.

They say those hunger pains are really thirst pains. I should drink more water.

Does anyone else have the urge to eat when reading? That gets me on the gnoshing.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey AC - You'd like this gadget given that you live on the West Coast and this promotes flower power and all that (grin).

Of course, the fitbit doesn't actually LOSE the weight for you - it just reminds you that you're falling short of your goals.

Hey - I need a writingbit. Something that smiles at me if I reach my wordcount. Yeah - that's the ticket!

Virginia said...

I need your motivation, send it to me. I do try to exercise some but not near enough! I wish the weather would improve so I can get out and do some walking. I did get to on Sunday and really enjoyed it. I don't do well about fighting the bulge, I just keep bulging! My problem is I have a sweet tooth for hell and it like I just got to have it. If I could stop this and exercise more I would do better. The way hubby wants to eat doesn't help either, because he wants everything fried. I fixed him fried chicken breast today but I didn't eat it, don't care for it much! If I could do away with carbs I would do all right I think. Their my down fall.

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Jo.

Hi Donna,
I try to walk as much as I can. I also take the stairs when I come back from lunch. I haven't completely given up soda, but now I only drink a can or two a week in stead of daily.

Rebecca Lynn said...

This was a great post!

I just finished "The Writing Diet" by Julia Cameron, the author of the "Artist's Way". It is interesting to me the idea that creative flow can help to unblock our ability to be healthy in our bodies. I like that.

Anyway, great post!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Thanks for reminding (and inspiring) readers to get fit! I prefer to speed walk along the Pearl Harbor channel so I can exercise and watch for subs/ships arriving/departing this historic port (yes, I appreciate the good weather to walk outdoors). But I alternate with a trip to the gym to read a book while I use the exercise bike!

So hopefully we’ll all be fit and trim for the RWA National Convention!

Helen said...

Congrats Jo and he will certainly have fun with Emma and I totally agree aren't they active at that age Jake is running everywhere but Corey crawls so fast he is hard to catch up with as well. I gotta say having grandkids around is a great way to help with exercise if I was good and watched what I ate LOL.

I love the sound of a fitbit as well very interesting. I have always found for me anyway the best way for me to loose weight is to go to weight watchers and walk and finding the time and the inclination for me to go is so hard I know what I should do but my TBR pile is calling me all the time and it has been so hot and humid here I don't have the energy to walk.
Well done on the weight loss Donna I wish I was more motivated.

Have Fun

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I will have to look that gadget up but I am afraid my flower would die. Exercise or rather the lack of it is what is keeping my weight on for certain. I sit on my backside all day at work. Going to the printer is the extent of my exercise.

Laurie said...

I've started walking to work ( about 20 minutes). I try to swim a lot. When I don't have to work I walk 4-5 miles with my husband.

Eating chocolate is my downfall. I now allow myself a small amount of chocolate daily. I savor every bite instead of shoveling a handful into my mouth at one time!

I also use a few tips my daughter gave me ...put your fork down after every bite, don't get distracted watching TV or talking while you eat, walk away from the table when you're full, drink lot's of water throughout the day and especially with meals.

Anna Sugden said...

Great post, Donna - I'm wondering how to lose the weight, especially since I seem to have pulled a muscle in my leg and can't work out!

Most weeks, I run for three miles (5k), three times a week or do 4miles on the elliptical- I got into this with my hubby's two daughters and use a charity run as my goal.

I don't tend to have a problem with sweet things - it's the savoury (like potato chips) that do me in! And the whole hormonal thing is hell on the weight!

Love the sound of that fitbit - must check it out. What happens if you let the flower die?!

Deb said...

Donna, congrats on the weight loss. As one who has trouble losing, my hat is off to you.

Two years ago, I joined a little gym and went faithfully every day. I also cut down on my bread intake and increased my proteins. From April to November, I lost 30 pounds. I kept it all off until this last October when my husband was off work for over 7 weeks and cooked almost every night...I gained 16 of those pounds back and it has been a huge struggle to even get motivated again. I bought myself an elliptical and need to be better about having a daily routine. But, I know I can do it, and I just need to...DO IT!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Virginia -
We sound like soul sisters in the diet/weight area (grin). My daughter reads all these health studies and she told me yesterday that some study said that people who eat carbs are happier than those that don't - the trick is to eat the right carbs. Whole wheat versus white flour/white sugar. Personally, I find that people that eat, and do so without guilt, are happier than those that read health studies! But that's just me.

Donna MacMeans said...

Oh and Virginia - it helps that we're all trying to lose weight in the house. It's a matter of health for us. Hugs to you on trying to do it on your own when your husband insists on the fried stuff - that would be hard to do.

Donna MacMeans said...

Jane - One or two diet drinks a week? I would be happy with one or two diet drinks a day!

Seriously, I'm on of those people that get a caffeine headache if I don't drink a can in the morning...and those headaches are killers.

I'm working on drinking more water. I really think it's part of the key to unlocking weight loss, but I'm not there to drinking enough myself. Seems like a simple change, but I'm finding it difficult.

Donna MacMeans said...

Rebecca - Interesting. Thanks for sharing that! I know that when I'm in the zone in writing I don't even think about food. I wonder if it has something to do with the fingers? When they're moving across the keyboard, I obviously can't be lifting food to my mouth. It would explain why I like to eat while reading. Turning the pages doesn't keep them quite so occupied.

Guess I'm one of those people that shouldn't get a Kindle!

Donna MacMeans said...

Well Kim -

The piles of SNOW outside are inhibiting my outdoor walking at the moment. That's not true. Yes, we still have about five or six inches on the ground - maybe a couple feet in the walls where we'd tossed the shoveled snow - but the sidewalks are clear for the most part. I COULD walk outside, but it's no way as pleasant as walking around the harbour - that's for sure. (must not get jealous).

I've found for me - I need to be surrounded by people when I exercise. Guess I'm a social animal. I especially like classes where someone will ask why you didn't show up the last class. Guess that's one of the reasons why Zumba is working for me.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Helen!

I think we just put the fitbit on those grandkids - those flowers would be blooming non-stop!

I've never tried weight-watchers. As social as I am, I should. Working as a group is always better than in isolation, I think.

Donna MacMeans said...

Dianna - Must say, this flower likes if when I get up and toss a load in the dryer or wash a pan or two (grin). It's one of the things I like. The calories burned count reminds me that if I haven't burned enough in my sedentary day - I need to make an effort to get out and walk or exercise in some manner.

Sometimes just knowing it in your head isn't enough - at least for me. I need to see it as well to get motivated.

Donna MacMeans said...

Laurie -

Your post reminded me that the fitbit is not waterproof - not that I'm a big swimmer...sinker, yes...but not a swimmer.

I like the tip about putting your fork down between bites. Of course I had a sandwich for dinner last night

Donna MacMeans said...

Oops - that last post flew off the computer before I was finished. Sensitive little thing (must not insult the computer!).

Anna - Puh-lease. You and KJ, both runners I might add, are like sticks! I can't believe you have weight issues.

I think if the flower dies - like all things in our advanced technological society - you recharge it!

Donna MacMeans said...

Oh Deb -

I hear you. About five years ago, we all went on this diet and I lost about 25 pounds. I swore I would never put that weigh back on again - yet here I am.

FWIW, the last time we followed this diet called "Eat what you love and lose." This book (by the same name) gave you a menu plan and some really good, healthy recipes. We all lost - mainly due to portion control as well as healthy eating. But we got tired of the recipes and started branching out on our own and the weight came back. It took five years, but it came back.

I'm hoping this new awareness on exercise with the fitbit, and my daughters determination to cook our way thin will pay off in the long run.

Gannon Carr said...

Good for you, Donna! I definitely need to drop a few pounds. I was thin (effortlessly) most of my life, but when the perimenopausal hormone roller coaster hit, the pounds crept on and never left. Ugh!

I do try to drink lots of water, and I'm getting back into working out--not as much as a should, but it's a start. The elliptical, weights, a little yoga...

I've heard so much about Zumba. It may be what I need to kick my butt into high gear!

The fitbit sounds like my kind of gadget. :-)

Jo, I hope Emma keeps the GR hopping. LOL

Christie Kelley said...

Donna, I've never heard of the fitbit, but now I want one. I'm back on the elliptical for at least 30 minutes a day. Now, I just have to get back on the healthy eating kick again.

Minna said...

I walk, swim and ride by bicycle.

Another Day Goes By (Mr Green)

traveler said...

What a great post today. I think that many could relate with it since it resonates with me. I try to do some form of activity each day whether it is a walk, or going to the gym and using weights, the bike or treadmill, but the most important ingredient in weight loss to me is calorie monitoring. Protein, complex carbs and I drink tea. Best of success and the cute gadget is something special.

JAD said...

Hi, Donna! What a great post; it's something that comes up in my writing group from time to time. I have to say, I'm also a sendetary person, but I do try to something at least once a week, whether it's lifting little weights, steps, push-ups or all out yoga. I'm fondest of doing yoga, but don't always remember, so the others fill in when I can't bring myself to the mat, so to speak.

Donna MacMeans said...

Gannon -

I signed my daughter and I up to the class because I thought she'd enjoy an aerobic class that was more geared to the young (20-30 somethings). This one definitely is. I'm sure they wonder what this older woman is doing trying to rock the boat with hip hop moves and hip rolls ala belly dancing. It's been a lot of fun. My daughter already told me that we're doing this again.

Donna MacMeans said...

Christie - I can't do those ellipical machines. Something about my inner ear, I guess. I get dizzy. Good for you for finding time to fit that in. It's important.

Donna MacMeans said...

Minna - bicycling! Love it! We should do more bicycling here. I envision Finland though as covered with snow and ice most of the year. Not sure I want to man the bike in the cold. I'm a whimp (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Traveler -

Seems the older I get, the more varied exercise is required. Aerobics for the heart and calorie burn, weights for toning and maintaining bone density, yoga for flexibility. Hmmm...I've been slacking off on the yoga part. Think I'm going to start doing yoga on my "off day" for the other stuff.

Donna MacMeans said...


Hugs to the "others". That's important. I think there's a special benefit connected to yoga & writers. I think it's tied to the meditation component especially in the dead man pose at the end of the class. (Except I often fell asleep given the late hour - just another reason why I went with my dh. I needed someone to poke me if I started to snore. (grin))

Donna MacMeans said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jo robertson said...

Thanks for the fitbit website, Donna. That's a pricey little doodad!

jo robertson said...

Yes, Helen, they're terribly active, aren't they? I wish running after Emma would help me lose weight. She's at the almost walking stage, but prefers to scoot along in a strange half-crawl.

MsHellion said...

I go to the gym three times a week. That's the minimum. (Unfortunately I have to work out when I get there.) In the past, I used to do a BodyPump class, which our instructor changed and I've been less inclined to do it--now I get on the elliptical machine in the theater room and go for 30 minutes. Doesn't burn near the calories of the Bodypump class and now I'm not doing strength/weight training. (Bad.)

My goal this year is to go 4x a week. As incentive to do this and write more and think more "positively"--I've doing the dangling carrot objective. I can order something from Amazon if I do. I'm not sure I'll make this month though. I only went 3 times last week; and I'd have to go 5 times to make up for it this week. But I might make it.

I need to add more strength training, yoga, et al, back in the fray. I also need to eat more healthy and lay off the sweets, but I think that will involve me giving up diet soda to make that effective. That's demoralizing. *LOL*

jo robertson said...

Minna, bicycling is a great activity! We have wonderful California weather so it's very popular here.

Donna MacMeans said...

Jo -

Well - like I mentioned, I originally ordered it for my husband. He has sleep issues. The gadget tells him how many times he wakes up at night...you know, those wake up but not really wake up incidents. I think two nights ago, he said he was really tired during the day. Checked the sleep log and discovered he'd waken something like seventeen times during the night - he had no idea. He has sleep apea, but can't find a CPAC mask to fit him right. The doctor said if he lost weight, he wouldn't need a mask - so that's the goal. I figure the sleep track gives him motivation to stay at it.

Donna MacMeans said...

Ms Hellion - I hear you on cutting back the diet drinks . That's the hardest thing for me.

So much of the effectiveness of those classes depend on the instructor, don't they? The instructor of this Zumba class is great - very fun, very motivational, and boy, can she move! There's another instructor who takes the same class. That lady is more one that goes through the motions and calls it leading. We won't take her class.

Good luck on the carrot approach - that's a mighty good incentive!

catslady said...

Oh I want a fitbit - sounds fantastic. Is it very expensive? I tried two different pedometers but neither worked correctly but I did find I walked more when it was working.

What works for me is that I have a yougurt and a glass of tart cherry juice (antioxidants) in the late morning and that's usually it until dinner but if I do get hungry I will nibble on some nuts or trail mix. Also having a glass of wine with or before dinner seems to help.

My downfall is when I make my husband's lunch at night - the cats come around for a snack and I can't always resist lol.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Catslady -

So the cats tell you to have a snack? Hey - I want one of those (grin). The fitbit costs $99 and that includes the recharging and tracking device that hooks up to your computer - the thing you pass by and poof! all your data is uploaded to the website.

As Jo says - it's pricey. It costs about less than filling up my gas tank three times, but lasts a lot longer!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jo, you've got the chook! That doesn't often happen. Keep him ont he straight and narrow.

Donna, firstly, huge congratulations on losing 10 pounds. Wish I could say the same - you're right about the writer's life not being the healthiest. We have to sit for large amounts of time and because I'm at home, I also have access to the fridge and the pantry. Naughty!

Silvia said...

Congrats on losing 10 pounds! Not an easy task I know. My bottom grew quiet a bit over Christmas. It's all those cookies, cake, extra side dishes and party snacks. These I now tend to avoid.
Eating more green is always good but, you said it, got to exercise.

I like to think I'm burning some calories while giving my house a real good spring clean from top to bottom. Sweeping floors, washing the inside of the windows, painting the walls. Polish the furniture. I tidied up all the stuff hidden in my attic and now the snow is almost gone I plan to trim the garden shrubs. Besides all this I take my bicycle when I need to do some shopping. I hope it all adds up. Or better said comes off.

Joan said...

I gained the 10 pounds I'd lost last year VERY insidiously....eating fast food, on the run since the fall while taking care of family and friends recovering from surgery.

Then those "HOLIDAYS" showed up...

And Surprise! I found them back on my hips just in time for my MD visit!


I'm Weight Watchering it and joined the Y. Still struggling to make time at the Y but going to my cable On Demand for mini workout tapes.

I need 30 lbs gone by June!

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna -

I have the same problem (pantry-wise). My daughter threw out all my snack foods...cookies, chips, etc. I think she watched one too many episodes of "You Are What You Eat!" but as it's for my own good, I can't really complain.

Now the pantry still whispers my name, but the darn thing is bare. Phooey!

Donna MacMeans said...


Well, if this flower is any indication, all that stuff does add up. You can work off a goodly sum of calories doing housework - but who wants to do that all the time? I would rather do the exercise than do the housework. Unfortunately, that doesn't help the housework getting done (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Joan -

It's such a pain, isn't it? Putting the weight on is sooo easy (especially when one is in their 50s), taking it off is sooooo hard. You'd think it would equally proportioned.

Good Luck with the loss goal. Let me know of your progress - we'll inspire each other.

Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna MacMeans said...

Kirsten - I'm with you on dancing. I LOVE to dance - Rock 'n Roll, baby! However, I'm not big on dancing at home alone. My dh and I found a place across town that plays the music we like but it's hard to get our schedules in sync to go there more than once or twice a year. Wish we could go more!

Pissenlit said...

...What is this "exercise" you speak of? ;) I had this msn messenger picture for awhile that said something along the lines of - I'm not into working out. My philosophy is, 'No pain, no pain.'

Actually, I mostly watch what I eat and walk when I can. I think I'm losing the battle. Heh.

Pat Cochran said...

You don't want to lose weight the
way I did! Really, you don't! It
started with food poisoning and a
hospital stay which was followed
by a diagnosis of diabetes. This
diagnosis called for a total life
style change. Honey was diagnosed
shortly before I was so we share a
sugar-free life together. It's not
always fun, but we keep chugging
along, maintaining my fifty-pound
weight loss

Minna said...

There is no way I would bicycle at winter (I know some people do)! I tried it once and on 2 kilometers long trip to the shop I fell or nearly fell about dozen times when I was going there and when I was coming back. Next time I went to the shop I walked and pulled the groceries in a sled.

Queen - Bicycle Race

Crash Test Dummies - Afternoons & Coffeespoons

Crash Test Dummies: The Ghosts That Haunt Me

Tawny said...

Oooooh, a new toy!!!! I want one :-)

Donna, I'm fighting the weight battle, too. And finally, I'm starting to win *g* What was doing me in, although it took SOOOOO long to realize it and then believe it enough to change, was that I wasn't eating enough. My metabolism was just pooof, shutting down. But when I didn't lose, instead of eating more I'd exercise more. Oh yeah, that helped (not).

I do intervals on the treadmill 6 days a week, along with a Bosu step workout. I'm going to be slowly adding in weights and yoga over the next two months, too. I'm a big believer in setting a firm foundation then slowly tweaking it - but only after years of trying to do it all at once and burning out LOL.

Off to research fit bit... I have a birthday coming up and this looks like a great pressie :-D

Donna MacMeans said...

Pissenlit - LOL on the "no pain, no pain." I'm going to remember that! I hate dragging my butt to an aerobics class - especially in winter. But I'm always glad once I get there, and better still when I'm back home and in the hot shower.

Donna MacMeans said...

Pat - Oh no on the diabetes! That is a bummer. Diabetes is a fear. I'm hoping, though, that as I'm been doing aerobics fairly regularly for over 30 years now that it's lessened my risk.

Bet you feel a lot better though without that 50 lbs!

Donna MacMeans said...

Minna - crash dummies - I like that! Well - I don't like you crashing...but you know what I mean. I'm getting pretty tired of this snow and ice stuff. I'm ready for spring when I can get outside and walk and see green again.

Donna MacMeans said...

Tawny - now for me, a good foundation would be something along a firm mattress and box springs (grin).

If anyone can establish a routine that will work it will be you. LOL on not eating enough. That would be an interesting problem to have.

Definitely check out the fitbit. I think you'll love the goal setting and monitoring aspects. Then we'll have to put our heads together and see if we can develop a wordbit. You set goals, wear the gadget and if you don't meet them - you get an electric shock or something. Of course, that might cause me to start writing horror instead of romance (grin).

Tawny said...

ROFL - electric shock treatment? Talk about motivating!!!

It looks like the fit bit is backordered for awhile, but I'll mention it to the pressie buyers and see if I might get one for, oh, say Mother's Day or Easter or a random Thursday or something LOL. I love the idea that it tracks activity through the day. I tend to err on the side of lazy and just calculate that I'm sedentary all the time, so my BMR shows a pretty low number. Since I've added more healthy food to my day, I'm starting to lose, so I wonder if realizing my TRUE activity level would make any changes as well.

stupid backorder...

off to research jolts of electricity...

Morning Glow from Novel Addiction said...

Good timing, I was just thinking about what I need to start doing to shed some weight. Every week night, from eleven to twelve thirty, I'm glued to the television to watch first Family Guy, then two episodes of Seinfeld. I think it's about time to pull out the stationary bike, and just ride. I'm still watching my shoes, but I'll be active during them. And it's definitely time to cut out all the fast food runs - make them a treat instead of a regular meal choice a few times a week.

And what an interesting little gadget. Fitbit.. I even love the name! I'll have to check into it.

Oh, and hello again! I got to meet you at a signing a few weeks ago, and even blogged about it on my blog. (www.glowsnoveladdiction.blogspot.com) Hope you're doing well!

Morning Glow
ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Morning Glow! Love the avatar - doesn't look a thing like you (hehe)

I've started taking to the treadmill when the fitbit says I haven't burned enough calories for the day. I plan it so I do the treadmill when my fav shows come on - then I pump up the volume so I can hear the show over the thump, thump, thump of my feet. At first it took some getting used to - then I discovered that I was putting in more time on the treadmill - just so I could watch some show. I figure if I wasn't on the treadmill then I'd have no excuse not to be writing.

BTW - I'm a Seinfield fan as well. Those shows never get old (grin). I don't think I watched the early seasons when they were first on TV - but I've watched them about fifty times since!

Laurie said...

Last year before the National conference, I went on a lower carb diet with a writing buddy and lost 30 pounds in about 6 months. My diet consisted basically of lean proteins, most veggies, nuts, and berries and apples. For exercise I took the dog for two 1.5 mile walks a day.

After I lost the weight I added in some things and gained back about 10 pounds so I need to get serious again.

10 pounds is great and I love the idea of that fitbit!

flchen1 said...

Wow, that's neat, Donna! I've never heard of a fitbit; it sounds a little like a fancy pedometer :)

As for battling the bulge, I need some tips myself; I've been hoping for better weather so we can get back to walking to and from school. And I really have to start making it a point to either toss the leftovers or put them away rather than just eating them!

BTW, I tried zumba for the first time a couple weeks ago, and boy is that an incredible workout!!

Having fun with the GR, Jo?

Donna MacMeans said...

Laurie - Yeah - You'd think you could cut yourself some slack after losing 30 lbs! I bought some new clothes - thought I was looking good and allowed myself to indulge in some richer food - not much (I thought) but it does add up.

And I do miss my Oreo. At least taking her for a daily walk got me out and about as well - although one wonders of the effectiveness when you have to stop at every tree and fire hydrant (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi fichen!

THat was my first thought - it's a fancy pedometer, but it's a bit more. I've found the sleep cycle measurements fascinating. Have to admit, I've never really been fond of pedometers - number of steps didn't matter to me. But I think that this converts the numbers into pie charts and graphs appeals to my analytical side.

Cool on the Zumba! THere's two old men in my class and I think they go just to watch the teacher's derriere when she does all those salsa moves. It's an amazing workout and I'm always proud of myself at the end of the hour that I survived. We've had to turn the heat off in the car on the way home because my daughter and I are putting out enough steam to keep the inside warm.

Louisa Cornell said...

Hey, Jo-Mama got the GR !! Wonder how that little gadget would read him? I LOVE the idea of that gadget. I need to get one.

And I SO want to lose 50 pounds before Nationals. Yeah, like THAT is going to happen, but heck I'd settle for 20.

I really wish I had the time to go to the gym or to do belly dancing (a girl in my hometown writing group does it and it has REALLY helped her figure. She just plain feels better since she started it.)

Between work and writing I just don't have the time.

However, I am not a complete couch potato. I do spend 8 to 9 hours a day on my feet at work, constantly moving, yelling at people and lifted case of merchandise and bread dough in the 20 to 50 lb range. That has to help somehow, right?

And once I get home it is the dog walking, dog petting, dog feeding Olympics !! I usually try to spend at least an hour a day with the outside rescue dogs and they wear me out. Frisbee toss, ball toss, lets wrestle Mama to the ground. And then there is always the - one of the dogs got out so now I have to chase them all over five acres because they think it is a game workout. This usually involves Bodie - the Russian gymnast of dogs or one of both of the Idiot Brothers. I had a blind dog - Mickey - who it always took me at least 30 minutes to catch. He once evaded three humane shelter workers for an hour!

Okay, all this talk about exercise is making me tired. I think I'll go lie down, after I find the rest of that last Cadbury Dairy Milk bar.

Donna MacMeans said...

Louisa -

You wore me out just reading about your day! Definitely not a couch potato. You just try a fitbit just to see how many calories you're burning at work and playing with the dogs.

I took a belly dancing class once. It was fun and I discovered muscles I didn't know I had. Too get the benefits, though, I think you have to do a lot of it. I think I have a belly dancing DVD around here somewhere. i should give that a try on these snow days when aerobics classes are cancelled.

I'll be watching for you in Nashville, Louisa. Not sure I'm the one to impress (grin) but if it adds incentive - know that I'll be watching for you.

Donna MacMeans said...

And the winner is Rebecca Lynn for recommending "The Writing Diet" by Julie Cameron.

Rebecca - if you see this, please send me your contact information at my website www.DonnaMacMeans.com and we'll talk prizes.