Sunday, March 8, 2015

March Madness Check-In Day 8! #WIPMadness

If you haven't set your goals for March yet, or seen the arsenal of prizes we are giving away to people working toward their goals this month, it's not too late! Check out this post and chime in with any kind of bookish goals you want to work toward this month.
Salad, Fresh, Food, Diet, Health, Dieting, Meal

But actually, I'm going to talk a little about non-bookish goals today. I noticed among the goals posted, that many of you have physical or health goals this month too, along with your writing goals, whether it's to lose weight, eat healthier, or exercise more. I'm also working through some physical goals. I'm generally in okay shape. I exercise regularly and eat fairly well, and I've never been terribly overweight. However, a few years ago I went through a very difficult personal year and put on some weight that I haven't been able to shake off. My clothes haven't fit right, and I just haven't felt like myself every since.

So I've finally decided to do something about it. I'm not a fan of starving myself or doing anything crazy. My husband is a personal trainer, so he helps keep me in check with any weight loss strategies. He often tells clients who don't want to feel overwhelmed with their goals simply to start by doing a little more and eating a little less.

I think it's a great mantra to keep in mind. Another phrase that goes through my mind regularly now is "What would be a healthier choice?"


The Gabriel MethodI recently read a holistic book on weight loss called The Gabriel Method by Jon Gabriel. He focuses heavily on adding better choices into our diets, rather than concerning ourselves with what to cut out. He also spends a lot of time teaching on using visualization to achieve goals. I admit, this is not an area I've ever been very good at. But I'm trying it, not just with my diet and exercise, but also with my writing. I spend a few minutes here and there, closing my eyes and imagining a writing session where I'm so enthused and bombarded with great ideas, I can't get them onto the page fast enough. I can't say for sure that this is what has brought the improvements I've seen recently in my writing, but I'm fairly sure it is what's made a difference to me healthy wise.

Picturing myself full of energy and thinking of my body as a well-running machine has actually made me crave unhealthy food much, much less. And I've finally shaken the habit of relying on sugary snacks to fuel my creativity.

Do you have any experience with visualization or any other techniques that have made your writing and/or health goals easier? I'd love to hear about them, and I'd also love to hear about how your March goals are coming along so far.

Don't forget to check in on Kim's blog tomorrow!




20 comments:

  1. It's interesting that once I set my mind on something, it's easier to stick to it. I've been eating less red meat and carbs. Tripled up on salads and fruits. Because my school schedule is so packed, I exercise when and where I can: take the stairs throughout campus, walk more during my commute to and from school. I feel more energetic.

    With my tutoring job, I'm saving up so that come summer, I can buy a new wardrobe because--yay!--I've dropped a couple sizes. :) Between that and taking care of the nephew and niece, I've had a pretty healthy 2015 (and the last six months), so far.

    As for writing, I'm inspired by my fellow writers in class as well as the people I've interacted with in person and online. I hope that March Madness will keep that inspiration going!

    Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on the weight loss, even while you've been so busy! I'm glad you're finding yourself inspired these days, Tonette! (And I'll bet you are an inspiration to others.)

      Delete
  2. Funny how your topic of your post ties into what I was thinking about writing...as you know, I took up running a few years ago for health reasons. Running and I have had a very tumultuous past - despite playing competitive soccer and being a sprinter in high school, I have always hated long distance running, mostly because I believed I couldn't do it. Because, it hurt, and I mean doubled over, can't breathe, someone's stabbing me in the gut hurt. I just believed I was fat and lazy, and that's why I couldn't run. Unfortunately, that was reinforced by bullying in my elementary school days and some unhealthy messaging on the home front.

    But, then! I had a doctor who told me I needed to get in better shape, pronto, so I started running. And I couldn't do it - physically could not. So I went back to the doctor, and learned I have really bad asthma, which explains SO MUCH! Running still isn't easy for me (long distance, that is - I can out spring my husband, who is six inches taller than me, any day of the week), but I've learned that by going slow, breaking things into manageable packages, and tracking my progress, I CAN run. Like, half-marathons and things.

    Which is all a really long way of saying that I think, when it comes to writing and to health, for me, it's better to focus on the process, on the day by day, than to think about the end goal. Can I run one step? Can I write one word? Sure. Can I run ten steps? Can I write ten words? Sure. And one by one, or ten by ten, marathons get run and books get written.

    As for March Madness, I didn't write today (except this - this counts, yes?) due to my neck going out and spending all day in bed. The pain isn't so bad now, maybe, just maybe, I can squeeze in a few words before I go to bed...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love this, Catherine -- word by word, step by step, choice by choice, "bird by bird"... Big goals can be so overwhelming, but focusing on the process makes it manageable.

      Delete
    2. Yes, this is a great bit of advice for all of us, Catherine. Bit by bit we can all do it!

      Delete
  3. I have very little experience with visualization--tbh, I think I'm a bit resistant to the idea, for some reason...or maybe it just doesn't seem like "me". But the one thing that's close to visualizing is thinking of my goals as a point on a journey -- like the journey is a line, and each choice I make moves me either closer to or further from my goal. Like with health goals, I can choose to eat some junk or whatever, and that in itself isn't "bad", but it will move me in some tiny way AWAY from my goal. And I can use the same image for choices I make about how I use my time, whether or not I make writing a priority.

    Sorry, I'm rambling. But your post is great food for thought -- thanks!

    I got *some* of my writing done today -- I made a choice to use up some of my time this evening to finish the book I was reading. ;) (Belzhar...really good!) And then, a quick March Madness check-in and it's time to call it a day. Lucky to have extra days off in the upcoming week, so I'll make GOOD CHOICES and get ahead with my writing goal, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm always on the lookout for good choices or better choices. I wish you plenty of relaxation this week on top of working toward your goals!

      Delete
  4. Love this! I try to visualize myself getting book deals and handling conferences. It does work! My problem is that I start to doubt myself which makes me go backwards. Need to not do that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that can be a downfall part of it, Kim. I tend to be an optimist,not necessarily about myself, but just about life in general, which probably helps.

      Delete
  5. Oops, don't go online on the weekends so I forgot I had to check in! I love trying to visualize my goals, especially on weekends because I unplug from everything! I'm behind on my goals but hopeful I'll catch up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem! Better late than never, and I don't think it's a bad idea for any of us to unplug on a regular basis!

      Delete
  6. I didn't get anything done yesterday, including checking in! It was a day full of doing other things. It's hard to accept that a full week of MM has already gone by! I haven't written a complete chapter, so I've missed this week's goal, but I spent a couple days doing some revamping, and that has set the stage for doing better this week.

    The start of every novel is always a visualizing process for me -- seeing an image and 'watching' to figure out the who, where, what, why and when that set the story in motion. But I don't use visualizing after that.

    Decades ago I joined TOPS and lost a lot of weight. I recall visualizing my goal along with putting a graph on the fridge and delighting in charting each week's change in weight. So I know there are benefits to it. These days, though, although our meals are generally pretty healthy, when I'm in the midst of a concentrated writing sprint I don't pay a lot of attention to whether my snacking choices are healthy ones or not. I'm in awe of all the Wipsters who have added diet and fitness goals to their writing ones! I don't think I could multitask quite that well. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear you feel you're in a better position for this week, Carol. For me, goals seem to go hand in hand--either I'm focused and accomplishing all of them, whether they're writing or health or work related. Or I'm not doing very well at any of them. These days, thankfully, I seem to be on an upswing!

      Delete
  7. Funny, this post is exactly in sync with where my mind is at this week, especially given this past weekend, where we visited two of my husband's family members who are quite ill.

    Among other things, it got me thinking about my own health...and the weight I've gained over the past few years. I am the typical yo-yo dieter, but I know that "cutting food" isn't the answer for me. Even when I do, I NEED the exercise to be able to regain the energy.

    We don't have quite the weather you're enjoying in Chilliwack right now, but we do have a bit of a cold snap reprieve. I'm starting out with long walks...because I know they also help me plot.

    Good luck with this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, so sorry to hear about your ill family, Dawn. Glad the weather isn't too bad there, and I hope you get to enjoy some time outside. For me, that always helps my moods and productivity.

      Delete
  8. LOVE the visualizing concept. I try to do this too every morning before I get out of bed I visualize what I want to get done in the day writing wise, and what healthy choices I'll make. It doesn't always work, but it does work more often than not. So - great topic to bring up. Funny how a lot of us all struggle through the same things!

    I wrote today and worked out. The weekend was all about planning a trip to Spain though :) For Sept. Fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Planning a trip to Spain???!!! So jealous.

      Delete
  9. I've gotten behind on my check-ins, but I wanted to pop in and say, yes, I have had to work on visualization and other methods to deal with pain and limitations brought on by RA. Some days, I can't get out of bed without help, but the new meds seem to be working well, so I am hoping that the worst is behind me. There were days that writing had to happen in my head, and in a way, that visualization kept me going. I would remember the MC and worry about her. I would plan her day and imagine what she would have to overcome to move forward.

    Now that I'm feeling stronger again, I don't want to lose that visualization, so I sit down and summon what I can and try to look ahead instead of dwelling to much on what's wrong with this particular passage. Write through it and find something on the other side :-)

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear you're feeling stronger, Mary Ann. The one thing I really like about visualization is that it forces me to slow down and not get overwhelmed with life. I feel like that's a really healthy process for my body and my brain.

      Delete
  10. Checking in late. I've been busy getting ready for our trip to Florida. i'm a planner so I make up itineries for each day (with room for spontenaity too). Not much done on the writing front except making backups to the cloud and loading up my ipad with the ten chapters I want to work on.

    I use visualization for a lot of things (relationships, work, stress, birthing, health, fighting colds, migraines), but I haven't for writing. Thanks for the reminder. I'll have to try it.

    ReplyDelete