The Healthy Author

So how was everyone’s Valentine’s Day?? I ran into one of the usual V-Day perils–having to wait 2 hours for a table even with a reservation! Luckily I had some cute new pink ankle-strap shoes and lots of good people-watching (plus a protein bar in my purse!) so all went well.

And I have to send out thanks to Michelle Willingham for sending me this link to Cataromance’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards, which named To Catch a Rogue one of their favorites of the year. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

And in weather news here–the snow is finally GONE (for now, anyway), and the temp is in the 60s and 70s this week. But for a couple of weeks I was pretty much stuck in the house, and for a few days I basically sat around eating potato chips, taking naps, and reading stuff I downloaded to my Kindle. Then I started to feel pretty yucky, and I realized it was because I had missed my exercise. I’ve always been allergic to anything that feels like “exercise”–maybe it’s flashbacks to the hell that was middle school PE class. I will run on the treadmill when I have to, or even take a spin class if I’m feeling especially ambitious, but I prefer things that feel more like fun, like dance. And I absolutely swear by yoga. When I make it to class at least 3 times a week, I feel calmer, more energetic, and more creative, and my jeans fit better. It also helps me avoid the dreaded Writer’s Butt Syndrome.

Writing is an entirely sedentary job. When I’m close to a deadline, my muscles start to ache, I feel tired, I eat bad stuff, and I start talking to my cats like they know what I’m saying. (I also start shopping online more). Yoga and dance helps me stay flexible and alert–the fees ought to be tax deductible, because they’re a big key to feeling creative and keeping me from falling behind on my schedule. I just have to make myself do it, which is usually easier said than done.

But then there are days when I can’t make it out, and that’s when I break out the exercise DVDs. Here are a few I like:

The Bollywood Dance Workout (so much fun!)

Ballet Conditioning

Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss

The New York City Ballet Workout (this one is kind of a toughie, but it’s a great workout)

Getting enough sleep, eating right, and meditating are also important for me if I want to stay healthy and get the writing done, especially this time of year when I just want some sunshine, darn it!

What do you do to keep the creativity flowing and stay in shape?? Any tips for fun things to try? (A friend of mine swears by Zumba, which I have yet to try…) And what did you do for Valentine’s Day?

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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11 years ago

I go to the gym and/or use the treadmill at home. Occasionally I go for a run. I start getting antsy if I miss the exercise.

For V-day I went to the day job then I came home and dealt with . . . stuff.

Margaret Evans Porter
11 years ago

I do the NYCB workout 4 or 5 times a week, and the Elements Ballet Conditioning 1 or 2 times. I actually think the Elements one is tougher–and because I intensely dislike the new-age-y music & narration I I mute it!

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

I’m a Curves gal….when I go. I slacked off terribly from Nov to now but got myself back there last week. Not yet this week, though. It is about 2 minutes from my house and is a friendly, welcoming, nonjudgemental place.

My V day was great! My dh and I went out to lunch because he worked from home yesterday. For V day he gave me his Macbook Pro (and got himself a new PC which I made sure was delivered before V day), so we were both happy!

Elena Greene
11 years ago

I alternate weight lifting (moderate!) with lap swimming. I find upper body strengthening helps me avoid neck, shoulder and back strain. Swimming feels meditative and calming, which helps with creativity.

Occasionally I have to miss swimming if the weather makes driving to the YMCA dangerous. Then I go on the treadmill but I really don’t care for it. I may try that Bollywood Dance Video for those days. It sounds like more fun!

Jane George
11 years ago

Thanks for the inspiration, Amanda! That Bollywood DVD looks like mucho fun. 🙂

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

LOL Margaret! I have had to start hitting “mute” on that one too–her annoyingly perky voice chirping “Smile! Enjoy the dance!” while I’m trying to raise my leg above my waist just makes me want to yell at her. 🙂

Jane and Elena, the Bollywood DVD is soooo much fun! And since I do it alone at home I don’t worry about how I look while doing it, because I’m pretty sure I look ridiculous. (and it’s a good workout too)

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

I definitely need to try one of these video exercise routines! Thanks, Amanda!

My V-day was similar to Carolyn’s. I went to the day job, made LOTS of cupcakes and then came home and cleaned out the fridge and vacuumed. The glamorous life of an aspiring romance writer!

11 years ago

My V-Day – watching the three grandsons while DD and SIL went out for dinner. *meh*

Anywho. I’m too am allergic to any type of exercise and sweat profusely whenever I engage in that activity. Actually, when the cold weather hit in November my RA raised its ugly head and it was downhill from there. Before then, I was doing P90X. Doing my best and forgetting the rest! Although, because of my joints, no yoga for me! I’ll have to look into the dance videos. Anything to keep me moving until the weather warms up again.

11 years ago

Didn’t really do much. We ate an early nice dinner at home (prime rib). I had a women’s club meeting which took up the evening. We gave up trying to go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day and other such holidays. It is just too crowded and not really enjoyable.
Right now, the treadmill is all I am doing. We live out in the country so it is a 20 mile drive if I want to get to a pool to swim laps or do water aerobics. There isn’t a good place to walk out here. With the dogs and crazy drives, the roads aren’t safe to walk along. We got a Wii Fit for Christmas, but haven’t used it yet. The Bollywood Dance video sounds like fun.

Michelle Styles
11 years ago

I have recently discovered Jillian Michaels and have just completed her 30 day shred. It takes 20 minutes per day. I lost a dress size. It means I can now fit into the dresses that I couldn’t wear in Orlando so I will be able to wear something new at NYC. And I took 3 bin bags full of clothes to the recycling on Monday. I have just started her 6 week 6 pack dvd. I am NOT a dancer and so can’t do those types of dvds. I do prefer the boot camp ones. I also read her book Winning by Losing and so have stopped my mindless grazing. The diet makes sense to me and explains why I fail miserably at certain types of diets.
But writer’s bottom is a BIG problem. We are in seditentary job and the pounds do pile on!

I had a quiet Valentine’s Day. My dh made a meal and we had champagne.