Packing Your Bags – and Packing on the Pounds
Stan, the main character in my novel, Stan Finds Himself on the Other Side of the World, actually likes exercise. It’s easy for him and he feels better when he does it. He goes out of his way to find places to run and ways to keep in shape while he’s traveling.
I have more of a love-hate relationship with exercise. I’m not its biggest fan, yet I love its results. So I do it with some consistency. Fortunately, I have two big pluses going for me that help me keep going even when I don’t want to. One, I am blessed to have a fabulous trainer in Miles Beccia. Not only is he good at the physical fitness, but he knows his nutrition, too. His patent-pending ThermoMetabolic System really works.
The basics are things you already know:
- Move more than you eat.
- Paying attention to your daily caloric intake really does make a difference.
- Doing a little bit every day is better than doing nothing.
- Eating BREAKFAST every day is essential!
Then there are things you might not know:
- Get moving early in the morning (or at the start of your day) to raise your metabolism for the day.
- Eat a combo of both soluble and insoluble fiber at every meal to help you stay full and eat less throughout the day.
The second plus is that my husband is training with me – so we’re in it together. When one of us gets off track, the other keeps going, which eventually and inevitably encourages the one who took a pause – for whatever reason – to get started again and, more importantly, to keep going.
We just got back from the Tribe Conference – a relatively intimate motivational get-together for writers and other creative souls (hubby is a professional musician). The last speaker of the 3-day event was, for me, the most powerful. Jon Acuff is the author of a book called Start, which was published a few years ago. As is perhaps the case with you, I don’t have a problem starting. I do have a problem with finishing: Stan has been “forthcoming” for a long time, now. So Acuff heard that feedback from a lot of readers, which was the impetus for his most recent book – Finish – and the topic of his talk at the conference.
He said that most people’s reason for not finishing is perfectionism. That’s not really my issue. Mine, generally, is trying to do too much, or too many things at one time. With Stan, though, it’s a combination of factors. The great news is that I’m closer than ever to finishing this novel that I’ve been writing for far too many years. And I PROMISE I will tell you all about it the second the first full draft (there are many, many unfinished prior drafts) is done.
Acuff suggests that the only way to finish anything is to make it fun. And the only way to make it fun is to know what motivates you – fear or reward. In the case of motivation for exercise, you may fear having a heart attack and dying before your kids grow up and go out on their own. Or, like me, you may be motivated by reward. My reason goes something like this: I cannot wait to slim down enough to have the confidence to approach any ride (theme park, hot air balloon, zipline) knowing there won’t be any doubt or hesitation that I can just get on without first considering the weight limit. And to fit into cute jeans.
So according to Acuff, perfectionists make a habit of quitting the first day their plan derails. That’s how I know that’s not me. I get back to it right away, even when I miss a few days. Here’s the proof: I had great intentions of exercising while we were in Tennessee for this conference. And I did – the first two out of the five days we were traveling. We got home last night about 10 p.m., had some food – because (a) they don’t feed you on the plane anymore and (b) 10 p.m. is the perfect time to eat – and then we went to bed.
This morning, I got up, ate breakfast, put on my sneakers, got back on the treadmill, and walked 2 miles. Then I gave myself the gift of waiting till tomorrow to get on the scale.
Laura’s first novel, Stan Finds Himself on the Other Side of the World IS forthcoming in early 2018. Watch here for updates – and prepurchase your signed copy here.