In 2010, I took a break from the 9 to 5 to write. I figured it was now or never and, with careful planning, I could make it work. So far, it's going well. I've put out one novel, I have another on the way and I should soon finish a non-fiction work which has truly been a labour of love. I've been quite the busy bee. Whereas before I used to put a book out every three or four years, I've whittled that down significantly but I've noticed that the whittling down in one area has contributed to an expansion in another. What on earth am I on about? Well, to be blunt, my waistline is not now what it was three years ago. It takes more of the measuring tape to go around me. Yep, the hours of sitting before my computer pounding out stories or editing stories have taken a toll on my weight.
Now, you might think that this has really nothing to do with writing but I'd beg to differ and this is an interesting take on the connection between fitness and creativity. The fact that as writers we often sit hunched over our computers, tapping away, can also take a toll on bodies.
Writing is a sedentary profession. Perhaps the most sedentary. At five a.m. I get up and go jogging for about twenty minutes then walk for a further twenty-five or thirty. I have breakfast at seven and by eight I'm responding to mail, checking Facebook, etc.. By nine I've begun to work on whichever manuscript is taking my attention. I stop for lunch at about twelve and then I'm back at the computer a half-hour or so later. I continue working until about five or six. (This is the summer schedule - from September I'll be stopping at around mid-day to home-school my daughter. There isn't much activity involved in home-schooling either.) This means that I've gained a few pounds, I won't say how many but it does mean that I'm not quite the same dress size I was just a few, short years ago.
So far, I've managed to avoid some of the health issues like diabetes and hypertension that have affected certain family members but I can't count on luck to keep on dodging the bullet of ill health. Clearly, a burst of activity once a day isn't enough to keep the weight down so now I'm trying to incorporate brief periods of activity into my whole writing day. Two or three times a day I log on to YouTube and dance along to a few zumba clips. I've also bought a stepper and use it whenever I'm on the phone. Twice a week or so, I skip for about ten minutes. These are all in addition to the morning exercise.
I don't have to walk to my car or walk from my car to my office building to reach my work. Neither do I live in a mansion; it takes me less than a minute to walk from my bed to my computer. Working at home has meant that I've got to work harder and more consciously at building exercise into my my daily life but I'm trying. Any tips would be appreciated!