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  • You're not too old, and it's never too late

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fighting the January Head Games



Well, it's January, and many people with eating/food/body image issues knows what this means. It means we get jazzed about working out, dieting and losing weight. Even though I've been actively working on overcoming these issues for the past two years, January always seems to be a trigger for me. I fall back into old habits and old ways of thinking. Thankfully, I have an appointment with my ED therapist later this afternoon.

This month, two things have piqued my curiosity: the Daily Burn and Intermittent Fasting. 

I signed up for the free 30-day trial of the Daily Burn, and so far, I have to say I like it, and I believe it's a good tool for me. I answered some questions and they put me in the "True Beginner" sector, which admittedly, felt like a "put down." I've come to terms with being placed in the True Beginner group, because thinking I can work out like a fiend at a higher level than where I should be exercising has also been an issue for me in the past. So, fine. I'm a "true beginner" and that's ok with me. The Daily Burn provides me with workouts that are specifically suited for people who are getting back into exercising, who aren't in great shape. I've done four workouts and feel like I've been challenged physically. I will sign up for the program, which is $9.00/month and allows me access to a range of different workouts and health tools.

Now, for Intermittent Fasting, or IF. I realize my old diet mentality has kicked into high gear with this one. IF says you eat for an 8-hour period of time then stop eating, usually in the evening so part of your fasting time includes the time you're asleep. (This is just one method of IF). Sounds do-able, right? So I eat from noon to 8 p.m., stop eating, go to sleep and don't eat until noon the next day. This eating style jumped up and down, waving its arms to grab my attention, and grab my attention it did!

Knowing what I know now thanks to my DD (Dynamic Duo) after my excitement subsided, the red flags started going up. Purposely eat this way? It's total diet mentality, and one I'm trying to fend off. I called and scheduled said appointment with my therapist and I texted my dietician, who says she's never heard of IF. IF is everywhere on the Internet, but when I explained it to her, she said she didn't like the sound of it. I knew she wouldn't.

Many people hail IF and say it has worked for them as an "eating lifestyle." These people also pointed out how many religions utilize fasting periods, and this was ironic me because yesterday in church, my rector's sermon included something about fasting and why it's good for us as Christians--to purposely give up something we like (food) in order to challenge ourselves and prove that we can give up things we enjoy. It's always interesting to me how what I hear in church specifically speaks to me and my life at the current time.

I'm thinking about IF, but I know it goes against all of the "intuitive eating" lessons I've learned these past few years. I'm doing well with my eating issues, and I've had a fair amount of stress these past few weeks. The old Amy would've given into food cravings and binge-eaten, but not now, and I'm proud of that. Still...January is playing its usual head games with me. I'm trying to stand strong. Anyone else out there jump on the diet/workout bandwagon in January? If so, how long do you usually stay on for the ride?


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Aspiring to Not Throw in the Towel


I've been working and reworking my novel-in-progress for the better part of the last seven years. Yes, you read it correctly: SEVEN years. I know...many authors--famous ones at that--have worked longer and harder on more significant pieces of literature. But I'm wondering...should I continue?

I'm now rewriting the entire novel because I'm at a different place than I was when I first set out to write the thing. I've unearthed more interesting plot lines and characters. I no longer want to say what  I wanted to say seven years ago. Is this normal? I wonder if the authors who've gone before me faced the same issues--that they weren't the same people they were when they began the adventure of writing their novel?

Advice I've read and heard from others keeps playing over and over in my mind. Like, "the only difference between a published author and an unpublished one is perseverance." I wonder, is that the case with me? Am I just losing steam, or have I really lost interest in the topic(s) of my novel? I don't think I agree with the latter. I think I still like my characters, I'm still interested in the story line, so it must be the former. I'm just losing steam. And I write and say this after I've gotten a lot of writing done in the past few weeks. It's first-draft, rough babble, but at least it's down on paper and I have a mound of clay with which to work. Still, the process of rewriting a novel is daunting.

In my Internet search for some sign of whether or not I should continue, I found this:


And I found a great web site for writers called The Review Review. It's edited/owned by Becky Tuch and you can find it here: www.thereviewreview.net.

This site has many articles related to writing, the writing life, magazines where one can submit, etc. The editor, Becky Tuch, penned an article about just what I've been feeling lately--about how many writers get to the point where they just want to quit because they've faced so much rejection, or because they feel their well has run dry, whatever. I'm hoping you can follow this link and read the article here:  http://www.thereviewreview.net/publishing-tips/quitting-writing-i-cant-go-ill-go#.

I've recently shared my story outline with my eldest daughter, who is an avid reader who is sixteen years old. She likes it. She's jazzed to read it, so because of her excitement and my recent discovery of cyberspace commiseration, I'm going to soldier on. It gives me some hope, something to go on, something that tells me to keep plugging away. At least I know I'm not alone. I'm actually in good company.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year to anyone who might be stopping by! I'm excited to see what 2015 brings--in the way of healthy attitudes, publishing opportunities and anything else I'm not aware of just yet.

I'd like to share two things that were brought to my attention by a good friend within the last few weeks. The first is librarian/writer/blogger Kelly Jensen. She spoke recently about plus-sized protagonists. This is where my friend and I found her: www.twinjabookreviews.blogspot.com. She can also be found here: www.stackedbooks.org. It's great knowing there are other women out there talking about and bringing light to the subject of plus-sized living in a "thin is in" world. The articles I read discuss how plus size girls are popping up more and more in YA fiction, in particular. I think this is great for younger girls/women to see characters that reflect a more realistic worldview--one that's more in keeping with reality than what's often portrayed on TV and visual media. Maybe female writers can educate young women and help downplay body/weight stereotypes that surround us today. I would like to be one of those writers. Reading these articles have made me rethink a character I'm working on at the moment. I haven't described her body or physical traits yet. Maybe I'll keep it that way and allow my readers to come up with their own vision of my female lead. Going forward, perhaps I'll write something where I can incorporate a plus-sized character--one that's real, and one to whom women can relate.

I was also introduced to a Tumblr feed called "This is How Fat I Am." Follow this link to check it out: http://iamthisfat.tumblr.com. I admire the women who have submitted to this feed. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to post a picture of oneself and share their weight issues with the world. It's courage I do not possess at the moment, but I am buoyed by this sense of pride and self-worth these women have.

This is a short post because "Mommy duty" calls, but I wanted to touch base with anyone who might be checking in with me, and  share these positive body image related resources.

On a lighter note, I found this a couple of weeks ago, and I cracked up. Of course it spoke to me! I apologize for the "F" word...it's not one I usually use. Still, this is funny.