I know what you’re saying, “Where is the Human Centipede? I came for the Human Centipede!” This is not that post. Also protip. Don’t Google it. You just did, didn’t you? Sorry. I warned you.
The Human Garbage Dump is not Soylent Green, but us. (Which is technically the same thing I suppose?)
Back in 2012, Chuck Wendig made the most amazing post called 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing, and it is a piece of advice I come back to year after year for one particular gem.
“STOP TREATING YOUR BODY LIKE A DUMPSTER”
Yeah, yeah, we heard it all before. Books on writing craft all come with gentle prodding that have things like “Make sure to take care of yourself.” “Take a walk once in a while.” “Get plenty of sleep.”
My personal favorite: “Are you willing to let your butt expand to be a productive writer?”
Are. You. For. Friggin. Real?
Since when has gaining weight to be a writer a requirement?
No. Just. No.
This is not a post telling you what to do. This is a post of me relating a story of what I do. If you get inspiration from it, and I hope you do, awesome! We all know as Miss Martha told us in kindergarten, no one can tell you to do anything you don’t want to do.
I’ve always had issues with my weight, and I come from a heavy family. I also come from a family that comforts themselves with food. I have a diabetic father, a brother with high blood pressure, and a mother a whole host of undiagnosed gastronomic issues. And you have me, overweight, self-conscious, sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I joined Weight Watchers in 2011. And I have been on the wagon, off the wagon, and on again. The most important milestones I made was when I lost 30 pounds for GRL 2013. The following year I had lost 50 pounds total. And I planned to lose 60 total by GRL 2014.
Well. Let me tell you how I gained it all back. I went back to my old habits, and sure enough, back on it went.
Safe to say, I’m back on the Weight Watchers wagon as of Valentine’s Day 2015. Not lying, it’s been a struggle getting back into the swing of things. The Bayou Fairy Tale deadline was breathing down my neck which meant a lot of butt in chair and a lot of mindless munchies in mouth. Also a loss of sleep that the next day chapters would have to be rewritten because WTF did I mean?
My favorite line out of the WTF files was “He held her up like a taxidermied beaver.”
I have no freaking idea where I was going with that line.
Because of this book under deadline, my weight wasn’t coming off. And everyone says “Oh. I know what I need to do! I just need to do X or Y or Z.” I was the same way. I am the same way. And my answer finally was “Well why aren’t I doing X or Y or Z? And how can I make X or Y or Z happen?”
My excuse has always been I have a book under deadline. I’ll eat like crap. And promise myself I’ll get back to my healthy habits.
Newsflash! There will always be books under deadline. Have you seen what’s coming up for the next three years of my life? That is some crazy business right there. That’s not counting the stuff without concrete release dates.
So, there will always be books to write, always be books to promo, always be social media, blogging, everything. Just everything. But where is the time for me? Or for that matter, where is the time for you?
If you know where I’m coming from, you might be here for some tips right? (Or you’re still Googling the Human Centipede. I said stop that.)
Here’s a few bits that I do:
Keep a Veggie Tray on my Desk
For my birthday of all things, Mom bought me a Rubbermaid party platter. You know the thing where you put your snacks and has a spot for your dip in the middle for you and your guests. I fill that crap up to the limit with various things I like. Raw carrots, blanched green beans, apple slices, sweet pepper rings, whatever. I also make a dip of salsa and Greek yogurt with a few extra bits in there. You will be very surprised how salsa and apples mesh quite well.
Coffee is okay once in a while. But water is where it’s at. Sometimes I don’t drink enough, and I mistake my hunger cues for dehydration. Coffee being a caffeinated beverage will dehydrate you and therefore make you think you’re hungry. Science! I but a crapton of cute water bottles or cute cups. Anything to keep me drinking. My go to cup is Taylor V. Donovan’s mason jars from GRL 2014. Seriously. Useful swag people!
Seriously. Sleep. Just. Trust me on this. I’m under doctor’s orders to get 8 or more hours of sleep. At minimum 7, but dude wants me sleeping forever. Doesn’t anyone know there’s 24 usable hours in every day? Yeah. I did too. Until the 6 hours of Facebook and cat videos. Doesn’t seem very useful now does it? I have a bed time, and I set my alarm. Even on weekends. If I fluctuate one way or another too frequently too often I crash hard. Anything from mood swings to crying jags. Sleep is beautiful. Because you should see the dreams I have. They’re extra cracky when I have a book due.
Never once did I say exercise. Never once. If you want to do that business, you do it for you, and you should know you have my full support for doing it. I myself am trying to work up the nerve to join a swim club. I bought a new swimsuit to the tune of the economic worth of a small country. You better believe I am getting in that damn pool.
Are you willing to let your butt expand to be a better writer?
Not just no. But hell no.