Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Non-Writing Goals for 2015


Know what I've realized? I haven't been truly fit since I started writing. Don't worry. It's not you, it's me... and what I mean by that is I am capable of total and utter obsession, but with a limited number of things. And fitness, to my poor addled brain, requires this obsession. I've never been able to do it unless it is the THING I am doing.

This has to change and I know I need to figure out how, but in the short run, I think I really need to allow the obsession in January so I can get some habits formed. I followed Weight Watchers SO CAREFULLY and SO SPECIFICALLY in September and October and lost a grand total of two pounds. That is a lot of work for a whole lotta nothin... I'm thinking this time around I need to do something I've thought was taboo since I was about 16. I need to get drastic. I'm thinking I will start with a cleanse. I've never done one, but hey, why not? I will look for one that is said to be a nice metabolism re-set.

The other trick I plan to mix into following low-end Weight Watcher points is NO REFINED... no white flour or sugar, no highly processed anything, no fake sugars (really the only sugar source I''m going to permit is fruit and the bit of brown sugar I can't skip on my oatmeal). I think the chemistry ban may help... a bit caveman-ish, but NOT skipping the fruit. Anyone who tells you cavemen didn't eat fruit doesn't understand hunter/gatherer culture. I DO get though, how carbs can prime you for hunger, so I think I may segregate fruit to the early hours of the day (fruit and carbs before noon, none after? Still working on this)

The final eating trick I learned from my friend Leslie... mini-fasts, she called them... confining all food to an 8-hour period. Our bodies, biologically, expect feast famine cycles and work most efficiently this way, so I intend to eat all my food between 10 AM and 6 PM...

Part of that trick ALSO wants you to exercise while your body is depleted to burn of the last of the prior day's food, but walking to work sets me up for this—though I will need to add something weekends.

The gym is also going to make a reappearance. Hell, I'm paying for it already and haven't been since October... And that Flex and Strengthen thing... I need to work it in... I will spend some time New Year's Day hammering this out...

The Day Job:

I know I grumble about this because it interferes with my writing, but I honestly consider what I do very important. I do research geared at reducing health disparities and making my med school and health system a more equitable and welcoming place to work and study for people of all backgrounds. It is stuff that matters.

And I've struggled since our office became this big behemoth. I went from being the single researcher for a physician with disparities interests to being part of a 20-person team with a cubicle. I am an introvert who needs to dive into my tunnel to be productive and I feel like I've really fallen down on this, so this year I pledge to work out a system whereby I can be more productive at this important work—productive enough by day that I can leave it at the office, which is something I've struggled with this year.

My cousins and our families rafting this summer

Some of this has to do with HWMNBMOTI so does not belong online... suffice it to say we've talked and have a plan that I am committed to. The other is my kids. At 19 and 16 they often seem to not need me, but I feel like my daughter has spun her wheels a bit this year and needs some help finding traction and my son is just entering the 'get that application ready for college' part of his life, so they deserve my diligence.


Remember my pledge for one book a month by a blog buddy? If NOT, you can join this, TOO. It is HERE. I really encourage you to--it is a great way to be mutually supportive. I ALSO intend to read a classic every month. And then a third book (when the classic isn't super long) that falls into the genres I try to write in so I can keep up a bit. Three books a month seems about right for my reading speed when I consider I also read a book of my own most months as part of the editing process...


Man, has my blogging commitment fallen off. Part of this is the stress of that reciprocity that I KNEW with the day job I couldn't do as well. And I think that is right. I really can't keep up several days a week if I intend to do it right. So I think my plan is this: Twice a week, plus a guest here and there (maybe twice a month). Monday and Thursday seems to make the most sense (except the first week of the month where Insecure Writer Support Group would move me by a day). That gives me three days to do my reciprocity attempt, eh? That is the part I really need to be diligent about—visiting a few (6-10) blogs EVERY day instead of just the days I blog. I should probably clean up my blog roll, too, to better reflect who is still visiting ME regularly so I see your new stuff as it goes up and not just when I am “back-visiting”


This is the trickiest part and I know it. I am STILL suffering burn-out from that serial and the shifts at work. I haven't found my balance yet, but by-golly, I MUST. For me this means getting a bit rigid about a schedule for a while, I think. I can't seem to fit it all in if I haven't given it a place. Everything takes more time than it seems like it should, unless I've set the timer and said “it only gets this today”... So January I am going to SCHEDULE my balance, tweak that schedule in February, and hopefully by March I will have fallen into it more naturally.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hart, that's why I only blog one or two days a week. Gives me time to catch up.
Fruit is not your enemy. Actually, neither are carbs if you know how to balance them. But dumping the sugar otherwise is a good idea. More natural and organic is better.
You can do it, Hart!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Such positive and inspiring goals, Hart! I'm definitely getting back on the health/fitness track this year. I did well for a good chunk of last year but I started slipping when I thought I had a handle on it. Obviously, I didn't. On to 2015! :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

NO SUGAR is something I'm trying. Who knew drab Cheerios had ONE GRAM OF SUGAR! I've gotten to reading those lists on the sides these days!

I wish you luck on balance. It is so hard for me as a rare blood courier to write my novels and my blogs!

Here's to a happier new year!!

Helena said...

Only two pounds after two months of diligent Weight Watchers? I wouldn't be surprised if you need a very specific change in your diet, one that could be unique to you. I once read an article by a woman in England who tried desperately to lose weight; she even went to a fat farm but only put on more pounds while there. Finally she saw a superb nutritionist who found that she could eat stuff like oat cakes but not wheat, wine but not tomatoes, and so on. When she cut certain foods from her diet, the weight just fell off. It was a pretty idiosyncratic change that likely wouldn't work for most people, but it worked wonders for her. I wouldn't be surprised if such a personally tailored diet would work for you too. Everyone's body is different.

Or maybe I'm just blowing hot air. Either way, I wish you the best in the New Year.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Have you looked at the Whole30? It's a system reboot where you take out all sugars and dairy and breads and concentrate on eating whole foods for thirty days.
I'd really like to try it, but it just won't work since i'm not the only one responsible for meals, but i've known some people who have done it (or are about to) and they said it's really hard but it helped them stop their migraines or insomnia or heartburn or joint pain.
It's all online and it's free.

Yolanda Renee said...

Sounds like a great plan, and getting healthy always improves the writing! I do wish you all the best achieving your goals. I'm right there beside you! Diet, exercise and family will influence your writing muse in wonderful ways!

Wishing you the most prosperous, healthy and love filled New Year!

Lynn Glazewski said...

Let me know when you've delved into the Outlander books enough to discuss. I am dying to talk to someone who has read them, but is not necessarily a member of the Sassenach Fan Club......Send me a FB message when you've read the word "alacrity" for the hundredth time.....