Can you write your ass off–or, at least prevent it from getting too big for your chair?

richard simmons                                                                                                                                                                           So summer’s almost here, and you’re writing like a champ. You are logging in some major butt-in-chair time, and the words are flowing. Then you remember summer is right around the corner: the beach, the pool, weddings, reunions, and of course, a writer’s conference or two. Does this realization come with dread, or anticipation? What happens if writing has hijacked your fitness routine, or made your lack thereof even more sedentary than usual?

I’m writing this because in the past couple of weeks, my metabolism has gone through a major change, and not one that’s been particularly friendly to skinny jeans or bikini bottoms. Yeah, turns out all the fat you burn breastfeeding doesn’t keep on burning itself after you wean. Big surprise, right? Apparently it was for me! Seriously, the only thing smaller about me right now is my bra. Good times, folks, good times.

So naturally, it’s time to get this thing back on track before i’m totally in the ditch, and that means all the typical stuff: eat less, move more, yadda, yadda. Except for one little detail: writing productivity is commonly thought of as the opposite of all that. Do I have to sacrifice my writing time to exercise and plan healthy meals? Or do I add that to a list of stuff I already struggle to accomplish in a day? If so, it ain’t gonna happen.

It may seem like I’m defeated before I’ve begun, but I’m not so sure. One thing I noticed about that magical summer when I really got the writing bug was that with my fingers occupied on the keyboard, and my mind on my plot, I snaked less. I actually lost weight in spite of the time my ass was glued to the seat. If you’re a boredom grazer like I am, a good run of inspiration can be beneficial to the waistline.

On the other hand, I sit and ponder a lot when searching for ideas, and my effort to get up early and squeeze more writing time into my day has resulted in a serious coffee with fancy-schmancy creamer habit. It’s only 35 calories a serving, right? Well, today I did some measuring, and in my large-ish mug, I’m using four tablespoons, not one. Multiply that by two to three refills and I might as well be downing a liter of Mountain Dew.

So, no more extra-large cups of coffee and enough International Delight destinations to fill up my passport. Tea was good enough before, and it still is now. I’ll be taking my pondering on the road instead of confining it to the couch. It may not be much, but it’s a start. And, with fingers crossed, I’ll get a good enough dose of inspiration for the words to keep my fingers out of the cracklin bag 🙂

How about you? Have you found writing to be good or bad for your health and waistline? How have you found a balance? GImme some ideas, ladies!

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