Balancing Priorities

A few months ago, new numbers began to appear on the scale when I weighed. Now, I am getting a little older, mid-fifty. So I know I need to get my weight under control or I could have even bigger health problems later.

Being healthy is a lifelong struggle, and we need to be diligent in caring for ourselves. I tried the South Beach Diet probably ten years ago and lost thirty pounds. The problem was the changes I made didn’t stick, whichhas led to my recent dilemma.

When I was in my forties, I wanted to avoid having to take blood pressure medicine. I made changes to my diet and started running. I worked up to running two half marathons. (And no, two halves do not make a whole. I can’t imagine the training you have to do to run a marathon.) The last one was near my 50th birthday.

The results of trying to stay off the meds: I’m taking two blood pressure pills a day.

To help make so lifestyle adjustments, I bought Jenna Wolfe’s Thinner In 30: Small Changes That Add Up To Big Weight Loss In Just 30 Days. I wasn’t concerned about the 30 days as much as I wanted the tips to change my habits.

A few tips from the book that I’m doing to reach my goals.

  • Walk 10,000 steps a day. (I bought a Fitbit for this and it’s going well. It really pushes me. A lot of evenings I’m walking in place to hit my number.
  • Exercise two to three days a week. (In addition to the walking.)
  • Take 20 sips of water when you wake up. (I’m getting slack on this.)
  • Start a food diary. (It makes you question that extra snack when you have to write it down.)
  • Rethink what you drink. (I have coffee in the morning and water the rest of the time. No sodas except for special occasions.)
  • Watch the servings of packaged food you eat with more than 5 ingredients. (Good tip)


But the biggest threat to my health is the novel career I’ve taken, being a novelist.

What is the most important thing we can do for our health? Exercise, get up and get moving.

As a writer, what are the two things I’m suppose to do the most?

  1. Reading, otherwise known as cute hiney in recliner, and
  2. Writing, or butt in chair.

Neither one is conducive to good health.

And don’t tell me to try to do them standing. The brain doesn’t work like that.

I’m struggling to get in my ten thousand steps. Here are my tips to help you if you have a similar goal.

  1. Get a good portion of your steps in the morning. I try to have four thousand by noon.
  2. Take a break in your reading or writing or get up from your desk job every so often. I try to get up for ten minutes each hour and move around. You can make an exception if you’re in a flow and you’re not sure you can get it back. But don’t use this as an excuse to procrastinate.
  3. Walk your dog. Can you really be a writer without a dog? Dog walking is great for plotting and working out your characters.

    A busy dog.
    A busy dog.
  4. And your cat. Well, don’t walk it. But let it purr on your chest and feel your heart rate go down.
  5. And sometimes, just chill. This is for you, you’re in charge. And since you are doing the walking for your heart, don’t get stressed about it.

So where am I now? I’ve lost ten pounds, and not increasing like I was. Afterall, your health isn’t a thirty day sprint, but a marathon.

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7 Replies to “Balancing Priorities”

  1. Good tips. I’ve been battling the scale too. I’ve been trying to get up and move for a few minutes every hour, and I’m planning to start a Whole 30 next week when the kids go back to school, just for kind of a boot camp to help me put some new boundaries around my eating habits.

  2. Boy, did I ever need this! Thank you so much for these tips. I feel like I spend so much time sitting, and the scales are showing those “new numbers” that I’ve not seen before. Great tips that I want and need to implement.

  3. You are so right! AND I want you to know that I stood up and walked in place while I read your post. 🙂 Between my writing/reading and family responsibilities I struggle to get the exercise I need. I enjoyed your post and it was a good reminder for me. Thanks.

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