An Authors Life: Fighting writer’s block and pain of rejection and flab all at the same time.

This post is not about writing. It is a confession.

I am going to confess something which most of my readers already know. I love sweets. I love baking. I don’t necessarily consider this negative –except that I stress eat. If I only ate sweets when I wanted them, I wouldn’t worry about it at all.

Other Systems put about 30 pounds on me. The comics added some too, but they were less stress added less, but lets say I have been on an upwards creep for the past six years. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows every year my New Years resolution has been to exercise. I discovered for about a month I do really well and then give it up. Main reason I get bored. Being a writer and artist means I spend a lot of time alone. What would happen is if I don’t work out first thing in the morning, well I’d tell myself, I’ll just do it later. Then the day ended and I never exercised.

Well seven weeks ago, I have finally realized I need a workout buddy. Or more accurately I need someone to hold me accountable.

My friend, Rebecca and I started doing a few easy hikes.  We both hiked when we were younger and enjoyed it. We went to Iron Goat and Snoqualmie Tunnel…. these are both easy. Then we thought maybe we could start by doing some moderate hikes and work our way up.

So we did Rattlesnake Ridge. It is 4 miles with moderate elevation gain. We were panting terribly. In fact I am pretty sure my heart and lungs wanted to explode out through my ribs. We could only walk about a quarter mile before taking a short sip of water to cool down.

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Rattlesnake Lake is where you start to get to Rattlesnake Ridge.

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Then you climb to the top and see this view!

Sitting on the top of the ridge, we enjoyed the view for awhile, and I remember this is why I started hiking so many years before. I found I really missed it.

Somewhere between the ridge and the car, we decided if we really wanted to enjoy hiking again–we needed to exercise every day.

We even said we would be buddies, but we didn’t have a specific plan yet.The next day, Dennis was watching a movie and I decided to walk around my neighborhood with the dogs.

I found our workout. Seattle has a bunch of stair climbs because we are a city of hills. So Rebecca and I started climbing the stairs. (The Day Street Hill Climb)

Week 1: We made it up and over and back down the hill, resting at 27th AVE but took the easy way back through the bike tunnel. We were panting and gasping for breath. But by Friday we could talk as we walked up the stairs.

By Week 2: Now there is a noticeable difference in our breathing.  We started going up and over, and then back up and back down. We still rested at 27th Street. But on the way back through the park one day, I got the bright idea to climb over the big toy.  She had the idea to run through the rock garden.

By Week 3: One day I felt spunky and refused to stop at 27th Street. Damn it hurt, but I made it.  It took Rebecca a little longer, but now she doesn’t stop either. On that weekend we hiked up Granite Mountain, we meant to do 4 miles, instead did 7. Rebecca and I had a epiphany: Crap the daily exercise was working! We just hiked 7 miles!

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This is Lake Serene: 23 switchbacks and we climbed them all.

By Week 4: We were mixing up the hill climbs with other hill climbs to get max elevation gain in an hour. Don’t ask me why except we wanted to get to Lake Serene. That weekend we made it. 7.2 miles with an elevation gain of 2000 ft.

Three weeks later: we are now at week 7! I have exercised 5 days a week and one weekly hike!

Now here is the part no one will want to hear: Though I have noticed some bits of me (legs) more toned and I am much stronger, I have NOT lost a single pound. I am still a pleasingly plump pear shaped kind of woman. I have a soft and squishy belly. I was a size ten seven weeks ago and I still am a size ten. That might not change, but something else has: I used to exercise so I could lose weight and when I didn’t lose weight, I lost interest. Now my goal is a healthy mind and body no matter what size I am.

1) I am exercising because it allows me to remain strong enough to do things that I love such as hiking.

Rebecca and I have two “goal hikes” by the end of the summer.
Hers is Easy Pass which is 7 miles and 2800 feet elevation gain.

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Here we are last week at Big Creek Falls. I am in blue.

Mine is Blanca Lake. which is 7.5 miles and 3300 feet elevation gain.

Our secondary goal is to exercise all year round so we might do snowshoeing in the winter.

2) It relieves stress and pain of rejection. I still love desserts, but have stopped going for a snack every time I get a rejection letter which is good because I have gotten three this week alone.

3) I have not had a day of writers block since I began exercising in the morning. It resets my brain and ideas have flooded in.

I am, Tycho, the might mountain poodle!

I am, Tycho, the mighty mountain poodle! Where is my cookie?

4) I love my dogs and I want them to be healthy too. Tycho LOVES running up the stairs in the morning. He has gotten much more confident over the past several weeks. He wants to play with other dogs again. He has lost weight. He was plump in the middle now he has toned up through his hind quarters. So the flab part of the headline was actually for Tycho.

Stoic Rosie doesn’t show her emotions, but is always awake and ready to go. So I think she likes it. She loves the hiking, because she gets lots of attention on the trail.

So I finally found something that works for me. I still like doing DVD exercise programs, but being accountable to someone else really gives me the push to do it –even when I don’t want to. Trust me there has been complaints.

So I realize this isn’t really about writing, but what works to keep you motivated on your goals?

I claim this mountain for Rosie! It will furthmore be known as Mt. Rosie. You and You and You are my subjects. Bow before me so I might cuddle you.

I claim this mountain for Rosie! It will furthmore be known as Mt. Rosie. You and You and You are my subjects. Bow before me so I might cuddle you.

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sheila Guizzetti on July 19, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Very proud of you Elizabeth! Wonderful post and photos!

    ________________________________

    Reply

  2. Wow amazing! Great job. My Husband and I love hiking, it’s a great way to get inspired and get fit at the same time!! Beautiful pictures
    ALSO I was thinking that even though you haven’t lost weight maybe you’ve lost inches and gained muscle tone? that usually happens when you work out and the weight comes off a little later.

    Reply

    • Thanks Kristen, Yes, on the muscle tone and hiking is definitely inspiring.
      No, on the inches at least on the waist, but I didn’t take body measurements when I started — except time measurements on our exercises. Maybe there has been some minor change, but they need to change much more to be noticeable 🙂

      Reply

  3. I’ve been trying to get fit recently – after Christmas I was at my ‘biggest’. I now go jogging 3 times a week for 20 mins. I’ve seen a real improvement, but its taken about 2 months.

    Reply

    • That’s great Dan. I’m glad you found something that works for you too. Thanks for commenting. Do you also find that it helps with your writing or the writing related stress?

      Reply

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