Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lose pounds, Gain story characters

A few months ago I read a news article that stated as you age you may be healthier carrying ten extra pounds. Wait a minute, why didn’t I read this last year before I invested hundreds of dollars with a trainer to lose that nasty fifteen pounds hanging around my tummy, hips and thighs.

I’m the gal in the doctor’s office who always removes her shoes before stepping on the scale, in hopes of hitting that perfect BMI (body mass index) number qualifying me for a “good girl” high five. I finally succeeded in coming in at 25 only to learn I should have kept on the weight and not reached the perfect BMI. I hate mentioning those letters twice. They sound like something one doesn’t say in polite society. I hit my BMI.

Since I don’t have deep pockets I cut back on sessions with my trainer in the past months. As a writer I’ve already planned on using my trainer as a model heroine. I mean she’s fantastic at five foot nine with what I label a luscious body, a California surfer girl with streaked blonde hair. She’s all for the idea, having asked me a couple times if I’ve began ‘her’ story.

In an effort to stay in shape I now hike once a week with a local Sierra Club group. I'm exploring places I’ve never seen up close. Since we live near the coast the club opts for beach walks all summer rather than hot and humid inland hikes. We are fortunate to have this option.

My new hiking buddies not only offer new friendships but plenty of story fodder. Vietnam vets, divorcees, devoted vegans, and the list grows as I continue my weekly jaunts. It’s fun to meet new people when you spend most of your hours alone staring at a monitor screen. The simple act of participating in the outside world expands your plot ideas and character models.

As writers most of us struggle with flab issues due to time spent at the keyboard. Each of us owes herself the time to stay in optimum health and, hopefully, include meeting people at the same time.

What is your ‘stay healthy’ plan?


Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

I want to live where you live!!! Wow, 10 pounds over is healthier! I love it!

Well, I walked a couple of weekends ago with my coworkers at a park in the afternoon, but it was 104 degrees, and I felt terrible afterwards. So much for hiking for health!!! :) But I do love to hike! When it's cooler.

Sheila Tenold said...

Hi, Terry!
Oh, a hundred and four degrees and you're outside? I'm a total wuss when it comes to high temperatures. We stay mostly in the 60's to 70's here near the beach.
The only downside is the super high cost of living.
Everyone wants to live here. We're just lucky my husband bought our house long long ago.

Vonnie Davis said...

You've lost weight? I'm so jealous. Yay, you. Boo, me. I'm spending so much time writing and promoting that rarely do I leave the computer. I know I should exercise more. I've given up do-nuts, snack foods, ice cream, soda and pizza. Zero weight loss. But we both know if I started eating those items again, I'd gain 30 pounds in a heartbeat. Our bodies betray us so often.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Well, bless your heart for being so good at keeping fit. Every time I try to do something to stay fit, I end up with pain in the knees, tree allergies, etc. I've given up on the exercise stuff and now just accept the fact that I will never look like your trainer.

Gabriella Hewitt said...

I have to say that one of the advantages of living in Japan is that the diet here helps keep my weight down. Also, we don't have a car and I walk everywhere. Most people do, if they're not biking. When I went home this summer to CA, I found myself driving everywhere all the time. Portions at restaurants are huge, too. I think it's a challenge to stay fit if you don't make an effort.

Good post and good reminder to all us writers to get away from the computer and get some exercise.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Sheila, looks like you live on the CA coast, as do I. Beach walks (Pismo Beach) are wonderful. If I could be so lucky as to be '10 pounds over.' Hell, I merely gaze at a sticky bun and the lbs leap from the pastry case to my hips. I've got 'boat' pounds on me I must shed...111 days on the boat (and inactivity), haven't helped. My health plan is to avoid carbo's, play golf, garden, walk when I can and work out at the fitness center three times a week. Sigh. Still trying to get rid of the same 5-10 pounds no matter what I do!

Sheila Tenold said...

Vonnie, I wish I had your problem spending time promoting a book!!

You know its not weight so much as being fit. Just give yourself permission to walk ten minutes a day, every day. Put on the MP3 music, think about your next story. That works for me!

Sheila Tenold said...

Hey, Paisley, I'll never look like my trainer either! My goal is to stay fit and not be out of breath climbing a couple flights of stairs.

I have arthritis in one foot and in both shoulders. My trainer did a fine job, and today I have less pain, and more flexibility.

Sheila Tenold said...

Gabriella, I envy you living in Japan. What a fantastic experience.

Our son lives in NYC and we sure get plenty of exercise visiting there without a car. You don't see too many overweight people on the streets.

And you're so right about American restaurant portions being huge. Just once I'd like a 'woman-size' one instead of gigantic man-size.

Sheila Tenold said...

Roylnn, you and I are in the same crowd of women trying to lose the same 5-10 pounds. I'm short and 5 pounds makes a difference in my dress size.

I think your fitness plan is perfect! Thanks for stopping by.

Joan Leacott said...

Hey Sheila, Your beach walks sound like excellent plan--fun and fitness at the same time. My workout schedule consists of Pilates 3 times a week, Aquafit twice a week, and walking whenever my destination is close enough. My friend says she lost the same 10 pounds so often, it's now become 30 pounds.

Mona Risk said...

Sheila, I also take off my shoes, jacket, belt and necklace before stepping on my doctor;s scale. I used to walk last year. Results: a heel bone spur taht I have been traeted for 6 months!

Josie said...

I run on the treadmill 4-5 days a week. It takes me 62 minutes, but I run 5.5 miles.
My dh says it's too much, but I have to exercise because I love to eat.