Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I know. It's cryptic, but all will be revealed.

First I need to say that today I am ALSO at East for Green Eyes and My Writing Journey, talking about my... erm... unconventional path toward publishing.

And besides that... yesterday one of our fellows had a SUPER-helpful post on all the things we sort of need to have in mind on the off chance we ever get that infamous elevator ride, and then a chance to expand on our tale...  I've actually archived Roland's Nazca lines for Writers, as I will want to come back to it, but I also wanted to share it with you.

Okay, so What's with the 44.66?

Let me e'splain... I am 2/3 of the way through my 45th year... 4 months exactly to my birthday, so 44.66 is my age today.  66 also would have been my DAD's age today, had he not died many years ago (he is 23 in the pic; I'm 2)... so I can get a bit morose, but what I really want to focus on is this:  In 4 months, I will be 45 and I have some cleaning up of my act that needs doing by then!

My writing goals are going along FINE. I am on target with my timeline--all the editing has taken just a little longer than planned, and I have not queried yet, but it was a rational decision, because the changes were bigger and I want to make sure they indeed made it ready (or near ready) before I jump in there.  But I have STARTED my next Gardening Cozy--had the first couple scenes bugging me so I went for it, even though I need to sort the plot. My cast of characters has been ready for a while now (though I added a new one recently who I think has a lot of potential).

But there is a big elephant in the kitchen who just needs to be dealt with... erm... and sadly, I am starting to look more and more like her... you heard me... it is TIME to get on that ignored-to-this-point fitness plan.  I can do it now though... let me tell you what is different:


This is a biggie for me... WHY do I want to do this? Why put myself through the suffering life style change, if there isn't some shiny fabulousness to be gained? I'd like to tell you I want to do this for my health, but that would be a lie. My health has NEVER been an adequate reason to take on something like this. No... the only thing that has ever worked is SHAME. I don't WANT to be the elephant in the kitchen, and I CERTAINLY don't want to be the elephant at the ABNA midwest meet-up that I hope to attend at the end of June.

In fact I'd really like to be hot. There. I said it. I am vain and petty and low... erm... not low enough to wear make-up every day, mind you, but low enough that I don't want people saying “Gads, I didn't know Hart was fat.”

Now I know that is sort of an exaggeration... I've always been... erm... statuesque? And there has never been a person who accused me of being a pixie. And up to about 20 pounds lower, my weight distributes well enough that the description BIG (though would-be world dominatrixes prefer the term Amazon Goddess) has always been more apt than fat. But I've crossed the line and stayed across for about four years now, and it is time to get back below that threshold, and if tapping a little vanity is what's needed, I am ON BOARD.

Bye-Bye Obstacle #1

It is SO CLOSE to above freezing in Michigan! (never mind we are getting snow yet again on Friday)... But I can convince myself to commit to a month of the elliptical machine if I know sunny walks are on their way. Every year I live in Michigan, I think I become more 'bear'. Come November, I really just want to hunker down and hybernate and it gets SO HARD to keep up my fitness routine (oh for the day I am rich with no day job and I can go to a gym at 10 in the morning!) At the Mo, though, we are BROKE (no membership fees available) and my work hours and family life are bad for working out anyway. I've trained myself to WRITE in the evenings, the only non-committed time I have.

Incentive, Revisited

I have a book release date, FINALLY. It is a LONG time from now, June 2012, but I really need to be comfortable in goddess mode by then, yes? Erm... okay, maybe we are back to the vanity on this one...


So I figure 45 marks my half way point in this life, yes? Isn't it really just good thinking to start that second half as hot as possible? *shifty *


Two things: Commit and stay committed to my 4 days of power exercise (in addition to the walking to work, which I have never dropped). COUNT points (yes, weight watchers)--I can join free online. I've resisted because you know... I already live online... but maybe if that's where I am, that is where I should be... if that makes sense. I've also heard about something called SparkPeople that is a fitness online gig that I think I will look into. But I know for a fact if I really count points and exercise, that will do it. (Oh, and when my tax money shows up, I am buying better walking shoes—the last pair fell apart)

Now I don't want to bore all of you with all this, but I DO need some accountability, so... because W begins both Wednesday and Weight, I think I need to check in with just a sentence or two every Wednesday from here on out... I will keep it brief though...

So there you have it... my intention to get fit in the last third of a year in the last year of the first half of my life... erm... or something.


Dan said...

I can relate to what you're going through. In four days I turn 40. Yikes. This week's been all about reflecting on what I've accomplished (or lack thereof). Especially in the last decade.

Good luck with your goals! (I am also impatiently waiting for spring, or at least above-freezing temps so I can use our basketball court again.

Adina West said...

Wishing you all the best with this, and you've taken the first big step, in saying (publicly!) that you really want this to happen.

That said, exercising in a cold winter is HARD. Maybe put on some reruns of Baywatch to motivate you while exercising indoors?

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I know what you mean--I'm working on the 4-0 stuff. It makes for a good time for self-reflection and I see plenty of opportunity for change for me! Good luck with your goals. :) I'm looking forward to June 2012!

Hart Johnson said...

dan-I hear you there--I think I changed paths in my 30s, so suddenly realized I wanted something totally different than I'd been thinking and was suddenly FAR from my goals again. Happy birthday to you!

Adina-I've been watching Supernatural on DVD, so those are good to put on, though my fall back is Lord of the Rings... Viggo makes me want to sweat...

Elizabeth--that's right, you have a milestone birthday coming, too! It is definitely a good time for all that!

Megan Bostic said...

Oh, Hart, I can so relate to this. I've gained 25 pounds in the last couple years (i'm sure you know the reasons why) but I'm tired of the extra fat everywhere. Winter has not helped. I like to walk outside with my ipod and it's just been too friggin' cold.

I have an elliptical machine on its way to my house as we speak, so on those days I can't walk outside I can sweat inside. I figure if it's sitting there in front of my tv I'd feel guilty not using it for at least a little while. lol.

Good luck with your goals.

Katie Mills said...

Happy almost birthday! I love that pic. And don't worry, you're a writer. Perservierance is in your blood and you can achieve anything!

Theresa Milstein said...

44.66 is so clever. Lovely picture of you and your dad. I'm sorry he died young.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i did spark people for a long time. I don't do it anymore, though, since the webpage plays havoc with my work PC. Still, it's pretty easy and helpful.
I hop you reach your goals. I play racquetball 4 times a week and work out (elliptical or treadmill) M-Th, and yet, i can never lose weight. it's kind of a bummer.

Simon C. Larter said...

I was going to say something along the lines of all nurses should wear that kind of uniform. But then I reconsidered. One of those "be careful what you wish for" moments....


Good luck with the health goals, dear tart! Yay, vanity!

Old Kitty said...

Time to get down & seriously NAKED methinks!!! No more faffing around especially now in your 44.66th year!!! Yay!!!!

Take care

Lois D. Brown said...

You got me with the title of your post. Very clever.

Hart Johnson said...

Megan-we should make a pact here! I hope you love your elliptical. I like mine, but it's definitely NOT outside... that is better.

Katie--perserverence I do. Sadly, I seem only capable of one obsession at a time, so it's hard to add this one, but I need to!

Theresa-thank you!

Sarah--cool to hear it's helpful! I will have to check it out. I know I USED to be able to keep my weight in check with just the exercise, but not since about age 30 (I blamed having babies, but it might be age)

Simon-you need to just order your wife a dominatrix outfit... I think you'd like that.

Jenny-now FAFFING is a GOOD WORD! It's officially adopted!

VR Barkowski said...

I have a treadmill that winks at me every morning, trying to lure me into it's evil clutches; a bicycle in the garage with chrome polished to such a high sheen, non-exisitent light bounces off its mirror surface; and a dog who expects to be walked between 6 am and 9 pm - not little walks, one continuous trek. I've no excuses. But every time we move, I gain 20. We've moved three times in a year and a half. You do the math.

You take Weight Wednesday, Tarty, but Fit Friday is mine.

Good luck!

Liz Fichera said...

Happy Almost Birthday! You look marvelous. :-)

Love the photo of you and your dad. Nice to meet you.

anny cook said...

It's easier to shape up at forty than sixty. From experience, I recommend doing it now. Those next twenty years will whiz by.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

OMG, Hart! I realized as I read this how much we have in common. I have just over 7 months until I hit 45 -- so hey to the babes born in '66! And, I have been hitting the gym hard since...okay, since Monday...but three days running now, and I have all the same goals you described here. I'm as vain as the next, and looking hot is always a more motivating goal than "being healthy." Healthy-shmealthy, right? LOL. So, best of luck with your fitness program, and if you want to cheer each other on or talk through the pain, I'm right here!

Speaking of pain, here's the quote of the week posted at my gym right now:

"Pain is weakness leaving the body." (<-- apparently the Marines say that??)


Hart Johnson said...

Ha! Lois, I missed you in the last round--WELCOME!

VR-those changes--home or job, are ALWAYS the hardest for me... adapting to a new routine, I always seem to underestimate what I need to do to keep on plan.

Liz-THANK YOU! yes, I'd celebrate every 23rd plus the whole month of June if I could get away with it.

Anny-probably about the same difference as 20-40, I imagine, which means I'm in trouble!

Nicole--too funny! FIRE HORSE Solidarity!!! and OH, those Marines sure know how to rub it in!

LTM said...

omg, TH, you are so hilarious. The elephant in the kitchen... :D But I am SO thrilled you've finished Legacy revisions and that ABNA thing is... tomorrow, right? *squee!* I'm so holding my breath for you... lmk if I need to vote or anything. I'll haul out all my dead relatives! :D

good luck w/the fitness goals, and remember, it's OK if you mess up. Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint~ ;p <3

Pk Hrezo said...

I am so with you on this, Hart! I turn 38 this year and since I started dedicating myself to novel writing, I've gained about 12 pounds. Writing is not a stay fit hobby/career/endeavor. So I know what you mean and I admire your dedication to get it done.
I'm on my own personal health kick too. I'll be here to cheer you on! Here's to 45 more glorious (and healthy) years!

Holly Ruggiero said...

Okay, we will all hold you accountable! I understand about the goals and just doing it for health and whatever doesn’t really work for me either.

Charmaine Clancy said...

Right there with you. I've put up my hand at school to take the walking group for sport, because it's the only one where I have to participate and can't just watch from the sidelines. Whenever I do have bursts of healthiness, I do find I get more creative and write more. So here's to you meeting your fitness goals and letting that achievement flow over into other aspects of your life as well - and don't forget, 'hot' is a state of mind.

Donea Lee said...

"Diet"....can that be the word I hate most in life? "Exercise" is a close second. But, they are important, I guess. We all secretly want to be slinky-black-dress approved, after all, don't we? BEST of luck with your routine! I hope you get there ~ :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You can do it, Hart! Do it for yourself.

Helena said...

45, you say? You're such a baby compared to an old fart like me! And you're right about winter being tough on the body. Here's my own cheapie exercise solution -- Jane Fonda's challenge workout. 90 minutes of sweat. Old VHS format. Close the drapes and don't let anyone inside or out see you doing the exercises. 80's-style headbands and legwarmers are optional.

Hey, it works for me. But I'm weird.

Cheeseboy said...

When I need incentive to start working out, I take off my shirt and dance around our living room. My wife kicks me out into the cold air and says "Start running, loser!"

Works every time.

Jordan McCollum said...

Good luck! I'm trying to lose my baby weight, so I'm right there with you. (I'd love to make it by my birthday, but it's only five weeks away.)