Back In The Saddle--Writing, Dieting, Exercising

The big writing conference is over. I'm back home and settled into a daily routine.  Can't really say that I've returned to MY daily routine, though, because four days of being "on" during conference was just long enough to shake up my regular programming.  Not only did the break affect my writing schedule, but it also did a number on the eating and exercising gig that, incidentally, I must do for the rest of my life. But this isn't a complaint, just an acknowledgement of how I'm hardwired. Breaks in routine = falling off the horse.

Eating healthy away from home is possible, but wasn't probable for me. And I wasn't going to feel guilty over the realization, either. I ate my way through the breakfast buffets -- filled up so I didn't have to buy a big lunch; industry receptions -- filled up so I didn't have to buy dinner; and late night feedings with  my buddies -- eating and chatting go hand-in-hand. Oversized portions and desserts were my friends, traitorous ones, but friends, nevertheless.

When I returned home, I still couldn't get back into my routine while another seven days zipped past me. The writing schedule kicked in first because I have to produce on lots of promised projects. However, the eating and exercising gig took its own sweet time until I was motivated by how sluggish I'd felt and how my clothes were now fitting me.

Limited caloric intake and calories burned are the necessary evils for weight loss. I had no desire to embark on an extreme diet plan that stripped me of necessary vitamins and proteins.  So I went for guaranteed success. When I'd tested to be a fitness teacher last year, I needed to lose weight relatively quick to save my joints from the impact of the aerobic workouts. But I couldn't afford to feel fatigued or suffer muscle loss.

At that time, the 17-day diet was recommended to me. Using a cycle approach, the diet has four cycles that are 17 days each. Some cycles can be repeated until the desired weight loss has been achieved. The other major point of this exercise is eliminating the pesky carbs, sugars, and fat. However, the diet does provide for lots of lean protein, appropriate servings of fruits and vegetables. Water intake is also pushed for the obvious reasons of hydration, but because of the volume of fiber that I will consume.

Exercising isn't a problem once I've made up my mind. When body shape is shifting out rather than in, that's nature's way of saying - "Get your butt up and move."  I have a 45 -50 min attention span for exercising. One minute more and I'd start thinking that I'm a tortured victim that needs to be rescued.  I will walk, jog, raise the incline - whatever it takes to get the calorie burned number to settle in between 400-500 calories. Music is important. Slow songs are skipped. If my heart is going to pump, and if sweat is going to drench, then music had better be a huge motivator.  iPod contains my various playlist and I blast it.  Why wear headphones. I want the world and the cat to know that I'm working out.

And as for the writing, every day for most of the day, I'm writing, revising, or plotting. Work hard now, play hard later.

Here's to Cycle 1, Day 1.