Friday, April 6, 2012

F: Food, Writing and Exercise

If you look at the photo of me on the right side of the blog, you'll see that I'm overweight. Being a writer has not helped that in any way. Unless very disciplined, a writer gets very little exercise and, for me anyway, has to make themselves become active.

I have a full time day job sitting at a computer all day. During my lunch hour, I sit at my desk and write. When I come home, I eat dinner and then its back on the computer spending time on social networks and email groups to publicize my books. It's no wonder I'm in the shape I'm in.

Weekends can be murder for a writer, no pun intended. I find myself typing away usually with an unhealthy snack nearby. I'm preaching to the choir, right?

What I need to do and what I'm going to try and do is schedule in twenty to thirty minutes of activity everyday. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of a fitness center or gym near my home or office. What I do have access to is an exercise bike at my office and a treadmill at home and of course, there's always the best and easiest exercise of all, walking. In the past, I've ridden that exercise bike at work while reading a book or listening to my MP3 player. At home when the weather didn't cooperate, I would get on the treadmill and put in a DVD to help pass the time.

Now, snacking while writing can be a challenge. There's always carrots, celery, and cauliflower, all of which I love. Sometimes though, you just have to have something sweet. I'm going to try bite-size dark chocolate for that. I'm not a big fan of dark chocolate, which is why it will be the perfect snack for me. I won't over-indulge in that that. As I understand, dark chocolate can actually be good for you, too. What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Wish me luck,

A - Z April Blog Challenge


  1. Hi from A to Z! My E was for exercise and I saw it on several blogs, so clearly it's an issue for writers! Like you said, it's about making a conscious effort to eat better and set aside time to exercise. I need to practice what I preach, never mind preaching to the choir. Good luck! PS Yes, dark chocolate is good for you.

  2. Carol, this is a wonderful post, and so very true. Glad to see I'm not the only one who actually has a day job while trying to write books. It is definitely hard to stay fit! I actually enjoy walking. In fact, I think it was Stephen King who said you should take a 30 minute walk everyday with your mp3 player because, one, it gets you exercising and, two, you can think about your book.

    As for snacks, I, too, LOVE chocolate way too much. Junior Mints, mainly. They're my weakness. But raw veggies are so, so good for you. My favorite? Baby California Carrots.

    Now, if I can just avoid dipping them in Ranch...

  3. If you get a Fitball, you can sit on that instead of your chair for part of your day--then you will be sitting actively versus sitting passively. Plus, you can take breaks and bounce just for the fun of it! I also love to do ZUMBA. I'm lucky enough to have a rec center close to me, but you could buy the DVDs or, if you have a wii or Kinect, buy the game for ZUMBA. You can burn a lot of calories with ZUMBA. As for the food, I find the only thing that helps me with that is having a bare cupboard--ha, ha!

  4. Almonds are terrifically good for you too. And if you freeze grapes, they make a great snack that you can't overindulge on either.

    I'm a popcorn addict myself, which is good for you if you can avoid drowning it in butter, which I can't...

  5. I sit all day at the computer too. One of the things I have done for myself is create a chair workout. You can watch sit and be fit for ideas or email me and I can send you what I do. I do hip flexors while washing my hands after the bathroom or march on my way to the bathroom - anything to get me moving.
    I can send you snack ideas as well. I love popcorn. I hated adding butter but I couldn't figure out how to make it taste good - not that I don't like plain popcorn but I wanted some flavor. I bought a squirt bottle and filled it with oil. I spritz my popcorn as it comes out and now seasonings stick to the popcorn. I use very little oil and none of the popcorn is soggy.

  6. Hi Carol!

    I'm gonna give you a heart-felt Hallelujah! And then go sit back with the rest of the folks in the choir!

    I recently took up the challenge of just trying to get more healthy. Gave up caffeine, switched up my diet. All in all, I just feel better about myself. So good for you for just deciding to make it a priority!

    My favorite low-cal snack? Air popped popcorn! Sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese or some lemon pepper, yum! Or if you need a sweet treat, melt a little of the dark chocolate and mix with some cinnamon and drizzle over the top. It fills that I-need-something- chewy/crunchy craving, ups your fiber, and doesn't rack up the calories!

    Good luck to you! I know you can do it! :)

  7. Thanks everyone for the great suggests and support! I do keep a can of almonds at my desk for a quick snack and popcorn is one of my favorites for home, too. I still have to work on eating it without butter though. I also started walking this week, after getting approval from my surgeon. I'm still healing from that.


  8. good for you! I think most of us spend way too much time sitting in front of the computer!