As a single person and for most of my married life, I have stacked fun experiences and friendships and travel on top of each other so tightly that I left little to no room to rest. After graduating from college having studied the craft I loved and holding a degree in Journalism, I rarely wrote for myself, using up all my words in verbal processing with others and leaving no space for quiet contemplation. In my most recent years, I lived at the break-neck pace of New York City, simultaneously loving and hating the incessant rush and excitement of this urban life. There is always something new to experience and someone new to meet. There are a million ways to fill my time.
Every January, we make resolutions to get healthier.
Well, January has come and gone. How are we doing with those resolutions, folks?
While looking back at the goals I set in 2014, I was surprised to find that while I was still active last year, I did not cover nearly as ground than the year the before. I finally tried spinning classes (and loved them), so that accounts for some of it, but according to my Map My Run data, I completed about 30 workouts less. It was kind of disappointing to see those numbers go down, but I have still managed to maintain my weight (within a constant 5-7 pound fluctuation).
The weather has been in the teens here lately, and it has been next to impossible to get motivated to move outside of the minimum required to live life. I ordered cold weather gear from Under Armour at Christmas so I would be prepared to take on running in the cold, but when it dips into the 30’s and below, I just can not bring myself to do it. I don’t know, burning lungs just are not my thing, you know?
Now, I am not totally sedentary. Lucky for me I live in one of the most walkable cities in America, so lately an average day has me covering over 2 miles to get to work and run errands. I am still making (relatively) decent food choices and trying to not indulge every single winter carb craving that hits me. Eating protein is still high on the dietary priority list, but getting in my green vegetables has definitely been a challenge. Sugar and I have yet to entirely break up. I don’t use it in my coffee or tea, but if there are sweets in front of me, I will rarely say no.
Here is the thing. I know I have about 10 more pounds to go until I reach my “goal” weight, what I weighed when I moved to Hoboken four and a half years ago. But my clothes (mostly) fit, I generally feel ok. Exercising less has allowed me to write more. I hate that I feel like I have to choose, but it seems like it often comes down to deciding to pour my energy into writing or exercising.
I find myself thinking, “You know what? I would rather carry around that extra 10 pounds and let my body be a little softer and become a better writer than be proud of my exercise regime but be a half-hearted writer.
That makes me feel somewhat guilty. It seems like the thing I should do is dedicate equal time to both – be both a regimented exerciser and a great writer. But I have not yet found a way to balance both equally – one always gets the short end of the stick. Writing and exercising for a lengthy amount of time in the same day is often unrealistic for me. So do I switch back and forth? Do I just make healthier (stricter) food choices? Everything I read says I need to write every day, and writing is a much longer, emotionally involved process. How do I stay holistically healthy in the midst of dreary winter?
Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle versus up-keeping creative workflow? Have you found a way to balance the two?
Over the past two years I’ve received messages from readers asking, “How did you lose the weight?”
I shared the start of my weight-loss journey with you, but since weight loss hasn’t been a focus on the blog, I haven’t formally checked in much along the way. At this point, I have lost 16 pounds in total, about 2 dress sizes, and am feeling back to “normal” and confident in my own skin. My ultimate goal is to lose 10 more to get back to my pre-Hoboken weight but I’m no longer being aggressive about it. As I am sure you well know, there is no magic formula, only hard work, but here are some important truths I have embraced in the last 22 months.