Exercise and Writing–Yea, Write! . . . I Mean Right!

How many of you find yourself working on that scene—you know the one where your characters are finally getting into the juice of the story, working on that love scene you just can’t walk away from until it’s finished and bam, another day has gone by while you promised yourself you’d start exercising again?
Okay, maybe it’s just me. Lately I’ve been so focused on my writing/editing/researching and yes, checking out blogs/websites/Tweeting—all in the name of my writing career. In the meantime, I’ve managed to find my clothes a bit snug and soda cans piling up in my trash can.
My favorite words lately—‘Just a few more sentences. Let me finish this scene.’
By the time I’m done I don’t have the energy to work out or it’s time to fix dinner, or some other excuse. That was me, a year ago. I was spending time applying to jobs on-line along with my hubby who’d been laid off (I was the stay at home Mom for many years), working on my novels and trying to keep up with my teenagers schedules. One was in college locally and the other active with theater and art. Where was I supposed to find time to exercise, finish a novel and do everything else? My idea of exercise was walking up and down 3 flights of stairs to do laundry and then I was winded—no, I was out of shape!
It took me getting into my favorite Renaissance dress (or barely) to realize something had to give. I had gained a size in my upper body, my clasps barely fit around my bodice and though the dress hid a multitude of sins elsewhere, I realized my jeans weren’t fitting as well and I had those wonderful muffin tops hanging over my stretch Lee’s.
I evaluated what I’d been doing. We started buying sodas, something I rarely kept in the house, when my hubby was home. My routine had changed drastically now my hubby was home and I busied myself with my books to stay with him and look for employment. Just a few things were making my life different. I didn’t feel like exercising—I hate to when someone is home, I prefer alone time for that.
So now hubby is working again, even though the kids are home for the summer, I’ve gotten back into power walking in the morning and playing Kinect on the Xbox in the afternoon when I begin to get sluggish. Yes, it breaks up my writing but it also keeps me alert and wakes me up. As far as eating/drinking—I’ve gone back to flavored waters, juices and one cup of coffee in the morning and air popped popcorn or fruits and veggies when I’ve got the munchies.
Is it working? Let’s say, I’m maintaining a ten pound range—not going under but not going over either. Any suggestions?
How do you find time to stay fit and write, live, etc?

15 thoughts on “Exercise and Writing–Yea, Write! . . . I Mean Right!

  1. Yay for the power walking and playing Kinect. Those are big steps!

    I’ve recently lost weight and here’s my suggestion: make it a priority but not a chore. I’m a slave to my planner so if I write something in it, I will do it. Sometimes I have to schedule in writing time. I always schedule in working out. That way, both writing and getting exercise have become part of my day.

    I also suggest buying a pedometer. There are a lot of articles that say you should aim for 10,000 steps a day. That is a lot! So take a week or two and do an average of how many steps you typically get in. Then the next week, try to increase it by 1,000. Just a little way to get some movement in your day.

    You can do it!!!

    1. Kerri,
      Thanks for the comment and motivation!
      I like your suggestion of making time in my day planner. Why not? I schedule everything else–exercising should take priority over some of the other things.
      I usually do two miles in my power walks in the morning (a little over half an hour–used to be faster but . . .) 🙂

      1. Plus, when it’s in your planner (or a list), you get to check it off when you’re done. And that’s the best part!

  2. Loni, great post. I’ll let you know when I figure it out! I used to do a much better job of managing my time, but this spring I have had so many other demands on my time that exercise has been at the bottom of the list. And it shows! I like Kerri’s ideas a lot! They have worked for me in the past, I need to put them into action again NOW!

  3. Loni – Know you have friends cheering you on!

    This came on the perfect day for me. I just bought my first bike since middle school. A friend is going to let me borrow her baby carrier pull along thingy and I’m planning to go get my two-year-old from daycare and bike home. It’s a two mile trip and I’m really hoping it get my butt back in gear.

    1. Avery, we just got one of those this summer, too! It is a double carrier, but unfortunately my kids are a little too big for it and were extremely uncomfortable the couple times we used it. So we are looking to sell it if anyone is interested?!

    2. Thanks Avery for the pep boost!
      Wow! The last time I rode a bike was the day my husband brought two home for us as a suprise gift–I had a suprise for him too. It was the day I found out I was pregnant with our first daughter (over 19 years ago). Don’t have a place to ride one now that’s safe anyway.
      I love your idea of the baby carrier and biking two miles–will be a good work out and a great incentive. All the best to you!

  4. Loni,
    This exact problem has been plaguing me for months — finding the balance among mothering, writing, and exercising. I still struggle with it, but some solutions I’ve come up with are: swimming laps during my daughter’s swim lessons; running with my husband in the evenings while we push our kids in the jogging stroller to the playground; and using the elliptical while I watch tv at night. Unfortunately 9 pm to 12am is prime writing time for me (since the kids are sleeping), so the elliptical (along with the tv) are usually the first to go. If the choice comes down between writing and exercise (as it often does), I almost always pick writing, if left to my own devices. But! My husband has been a great motivator to me and can usually guilt me into going for a 4-mile run just with a single sentence of encouragement.

    1. P.H.–Iknow what you mean. Sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day to get everything done. But like Kerri said, we’ve got to put ‘us’ time in our day planners. Even if that means making time to exercise. Your idea of making exercise work when you can, and incorporating it into family time is awesome! It will promote a healthier lifestyle in your children too to have them see all enjoying exercising. We forget it can be fun things too.

      You have a husband who supports you and is willing to go with you on jogs so that is great! Need more men like him!

      I’m a morning person and that is when I get my writing done (4am-6am) so by 10pm I’m exhausted. But I tend to start writing and forget to stop. I have to set timers to remind me to make sure people are up at 6am for work/school. 🙂

      All the best to you and keep up the good work and motivation!

  5. Recommiting yourself to good health is the most important step – congratulations! I literally write down on my calendar what days I’m supposed to exercise every month – no excuses. But what makes the biggest difference is portion control. When I’m good about it, the weight drops right off. Even eating healthy and working out, if I slip up on portion control, it creeps back on. Give it a try!

  6. Christi,
    Hi! 🙂
    I’ve started working it into my day planner too. So far this week I’ve been working out on a daily basis to some extent and trying to eat moderately. We shall see. When I lose it’s in inches not so much pounds so I’ll have to check out the tight clothes again soon.


  7. Hi Loni! First off, you made me smile when you said walking up 3 flights of stairs to do laundry was exercise! Yep, do that all the time over here!! Sometimes you just have to get creative with the whole exercise/writing thing. I have days where I turn myself into some character I’ll probably never write a book about but she’s an exercise enthusiast who has caught the eye of a hot guy at the gym. That way my mind is on the two of them and sometimes it is such a fun imagining that I find myself looking forward to the treadmill time each day!

    1. Carlene,
      Yea! Okay, so I’m not the only one who pretends when she’s working out–I do to! The great thing about that is when I’m on my treadmill/or out doing my powerwalk around neighborhood, listening to my tunes, as that sexy woman who catches the eye of hot hero, I end up finding myself being able to write some pretty good scenes for my characters. It’s one of those ‘one thought leads to another’. It does make exercising more fun and interesting. Before I know it, I’ve done my half hour/hour work out and sit down and type out that scene while it’s fresh.
      Kudos to you! Thanks for sharing with me. 🙂

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