Why Wait For The New Year?

Today is not only the last Sunday of the month, but also the last Sunday of the year 2014. Over the past couple of months, there have been lots of excuses to behave in less than healthy ways. Most people think they will start living healthier come the New Year. That’s what Resolutions are all about.

Resolutions rarely work. https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/why-most-new-years-resolutions-dont-work/

http://www.businessinsider.com/amy-cuddy-psychology-new-years-resolutions-2014-12

But what about Cousin Bill who kept all his resolutions? Yes, goal setting works. But they have to be obtainable, measurable, and have time frames. Here’s a great collection of links to articles on the subject, one of which might be just right for you. http://psychcentral.com/newyears/

If you are thinking that the holidays are almost over, you don’t need to worry until next October 31st, let me point out that you no doubt will get invited to a SuperBowl party, will give or receive chocolates for Valentine’s Day, will consume the Required Minimum Dosage of green beer on Saint Paddy’s Day, will eat half your weight in jelly beans on Easter Sunday, and then there are birthdays, weddings, christenings, trips to warehouse-type stores that have free samples of stuff, and so on. Every day, in this culture that revolves around food, you are challenged to stay healthy.

So lets begin with parties. http://www.zonya.com/healthtips_party_survival.html If you are going to a pot luck, bring something healthy that you know you can eat without guilt. A chicken and quinoa salad, maybe. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/asian-chicken-and-quinoa-salad-recipe.htmlA tip I learned from Dr. Nick Yphantides http://www.healthsteward.com/MyJourney.htm is to be adventurous when you eat at parties. Don’t waste your calories on mashed potatoes and gravy. You know what that tastes like. Try the proscuitto-wrapped mango bites. http://www.southernliving.com/food/healthy-light/healthy-appetizer-party-recipes/healthy-food-recipes-proscuitto-mango-bites

A healthy life-style includes not only healthier food, but daily, regular exercise. A minimum of 4 days a week, 30 minute sessions, and then as much activity as you can manage the rest of the week. Weights and resistance bands are great ways to exercise while watching a movie at home. Once you get the blood circulation going, I bet you will remember the plot of the movie longer.

As a writer, I spend a good part of my day sitting in a chair. This is one of the worst things a person can do. Add to it that I am overweight and diabetic, and I might as well be smoking 2 packs a day. Well, recently I had the pleasure of attending a group session led by Bo Beauchamp, a personal trainer with Fitness 19. He taught us how to use a chair as the start of our exercise routines. First of all, sit up straight. You won’t believe how much that alone will help you strengthen core muscles.

Here’s a chair warm up and cardio that is wonderful. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/videos-detail.asp?video=38 And follow with the sit to stand exercise. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj0lQeps4R0 Yeah, sorry about the elderly bit, but if you are someone who hasn’t exercised regularly, then you need to start slowly.

So start this now, today, immediately! Don’t wait for January 1st, that’s silly. Eat healthy every day, look for tips that will help you do so, and plan your day around your exercises. Writers are successful when they schedule their writing time and actually track number of words written. Exercise is successful for you when you plan it and track how much time you put into it. You can do this! I’m cheering you on from my chair.

I’ll be back on Thursday.

Healthy Writers Make Better Lovers

This post is dedicated to the memory of Phillip Motta, husband and father, writer of songs and stories, and beloved of my family.

That title may be true, but I haven’t finished my research yet. I do know that a positive outlook and mind set will make for a healthier person. On Thanksgiving, I posted about an Attitude of Gratitude, and how that one focus in life can improve your health and your writing. Not everyone believes what the Huffington Post writes, but these five points make sense and uses your own hand to remind you how to be proactive for gratitude. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marymorrissey/5-tips-to-have-your-best-_b_6200880.html

In my own writing, I was putting off writing a scene because it didn’t want to go where I envisioned it. I thought I’d need to do a really unwieldy bit of exposition to make it work. Then, while reviewing the previous paragraphs, I had An Idea. Not your usual, just go with it idea, but a capital Idea. Now the scene is going to work much better.

As soon as I stopped thinking I needed the idea before I could write it, I was in the right place at the right time for the idea. I am more grateful than I can express for the joy of writing and creating that I allow in my life.

I’m grateful for the friends I have made through my weight loss support group. Believe it or not, I am a rather shy person. I can speak in front of crowds without the least trepidation. I will get up and sing and dance for just about any group. I cha-cha down the aisles in the supermarket. But one on one, I tend to have issues. However, it’s absolutely true that in order to stay committed to exercise or healthy eating, you must be accountable to someone. I have started so many times to walk every day, or every other day, or every evening, or whatever. I bought DVDs on Yoga and Tai Chi, but after one play of each, just haven’t had the time to go through them again.

Luckily for me, a new friend in the support group, Cathy, wanted a partner to walk with at least once per week. So we meet one morning and walk for half an hour. It’s so much fun to walk with someone. She worried she was going to hold me back, but we walk at about the same pace.

When I get home from that walk, I am exhausted. I get chores done and nap, pretty much the rest of the day. But the next day, I am energized, thinking clearly, and getting Ideas. My writing is going much better now that I am taking a day to take care of me. I hope to expand to two days of walking, followed by three through six. It could happen.

I continue to be grateful for my life as a writer, for friends who hold me accountable, and for things that serve the purpose of pointing out just how well off I am. An on-line friend lost his long-term girlfriend suddenly, and unexpectedly. A friend who has had unbelievable pain in her back for years was diagnosed with cancer. The leader of my support group is going in for surgery this week due to cancer. And my niece lost her husband the day after Thanksgiving, suddenly and unexpectedly. I am so blessed to know these people, to support them in positive thought and an attitude of gratitude. I will keep looking for the magic wand to cure and heal all of this planet’s woes, and will never stop believing that it can be done.

And do healthy writers make better lovers? With an attitude of gratitude, sources say yes! http://www.prevention.com/sex/sex-relationships/optimists-make-better-lovers I’ll be back on Thursday.