Monday, May 9, 2011

Chub is just excess creativity build-up.

I have noticed something, something most scary and intimidating.  It follows me wherever I go.  It refuses to leave.  And it keeps trying to grow.

What is this demon you ask?  Oh, I will tell you.  It is *gasp* flab.
It's alright.  Take a moment to be scared.  I sure did.

One thing that I have honestly and fully come to notice is this: We writers, we sit.  Alot.  We snack.  Alot.  We drink sugary drinks.  Alot.  And where is all of this "alot" going?  To our midrifts.  Our thighs.  Our well sat-upon butts.

Back in the day, I was pretty active in school.  I was very dedicated to Track, along with being a hard-core thespian always sweating it out on the stage.  Though I did often complain of feeling fat (what girl doesn't?) I know I never was.  Yes, I was a stick.  I will admit it.  There, I said it.

Then came mommy-hood.  I have brought two amazing little boys into this world.  I have gained weight.  I have lost it.  Most of it.  But there are certain parts of my body which refuse to ever return to their once flat and awesome looks.

Now, a stay-at-home mommy, writing in any spare moment I can find, this flab has come to haunt me.  I feel it at every moment.  I hate my tummy and sport the sweatshirt a tad bit more than I like.  Alright, I am still "slim."  But I am so far from being in shape.  So, so far. 

This seems to be a dilemma for many many writers out there.  How can we avoid it if all we do is sit?  We need the sitting time.  Our art begs for it.  Our creativity calls for the snacks and caffeinated beverages to sustain it.  We cannot write while running.  We cannot edit without chocolatey encouragement.  And we know, for sure, that we cannot sacrifice this small amount of time that we do have for our art to do something as tedious as running or yoga or... um... whatever other kind of exercising you refuse to do.

So, what to do?
That, dear reader, is a very good question.

I would love to make a proposal.  Writers.  Bloggers.  Random stumblers to my blog.  Make a goal to move your body.  Even if its just a small break between writing sessions, do it.

Write a chapter.  Do twenty jumping jacks.  Write another chapter.  Run around your apartment/house/boat/wherever you are.  Edit a few pages.  Dance like a monkey, do a downward dog.  Ok, I am getting a bit ridiculous, but you get the idea.

This last week I have been attempting to move more.  Once my kids are in bed, before I allow my butt to glue to this swivel chair of mine, I exercise a bit.  The time varies, the intensity ebs and flows.  But I can tell you this: This last week, I have felt much more intense on my editing, because I feel great.  I am sore.  I am tired.  But my belly doesn't feel as loose and I just don't feel quite as disgusting.  Which, somehow, is making me want to edit more.

What think you?  Are you willing to let your fingers take a break every so often as you let your heart rate actually rise above the "I'm a tortured writer" rate?  Don't take a facebook break.  Take a "flab begone" break.  Who knows.  This could be the start of a new era:  Hot writers.  Oh yes.  I can see it now.

Remember though: Don't push yourself.  Never let your book make you feel bad about how you look.  You are beautiful.  You are an amazing writer, who is so devoted to your work that you accidentally let other things in your life slip.  Hey, it's never to late to fix things though.  Right?

And, for kicks and giggles, when all else fails, here are some quotes I have coined for you to use as a great excuse for your new writerly figure:
"I'm a writer.  The chub is just excess creativity build-up."

"This isn't a spare tire.  It's my spare plots."

"The flab is a sign that I let my fingers do the walking."

"I wanted to exercise today, but my antagonist got in the way."

"I just got out of my Post-Novel-Writing Hibernation and am working on wearing off my winter build-up."

"More to love, more to write."

"It's book gut."

"My protagonist loves me just the way I am."

Ok you followers, go do something.  Then, when your done, get back to writing!  Happy Monday.


Amanda said...

My roommate was shocked to discover that by switching from army life to civilian life (i.e. an 8-5 desk job), she couldn't keep the weight off. She got a yoga ball to sit on at work instead of a chair. It activates you core, and makes it easy if you want to take a quick break and roll into some sit ups. Just an idea for you. May be tough to keep the little ones from wanting to play with it though :)

Jenni Merritt said...

Amanda - I DID have an exercise ball. I practically lived on it during the last leg of my pregnancy last year. Sadly though, it is packed away now. Kiddos really couldn't keep their hands off of it!

Keary Taylor said...

This was an awesome post Jenni! I think about this WAY too often and wish I could somehow rig a desk to the top of a treadmil, lol. LOVE the quotes you came up with! I need a challenge for myself, to finally get this writer/baby weight...

Jess said...

"This isn't my spare tire. It's spare plots." LOVE that one!

I feel you about being out of shape. It's frustrating, but I keep myself feeling justified by doing butt squeezes on occasion :)

Andrew Leon said...

My antagonist got in the way! That's awesome!
My kids and I ride bikes to school and home again every day instead of driving. That helps a lot.

Trisha said...

I'd be terrible as a stay at home anything. I'd get flabby REAL fast. The only reason i get any exercise is walking the 20 mins to my car after work each day. LOL.

Kimmel Tippets said...

LOVE this post because it's true! I'm taking you up on that challenge, gonna get myself moving more so I can feel better and hopefully write better!

Oh, and "My protagonist loves me just the way I am!" was my favorite!

kandra said...

This post just cracked me up. I wish I had your excuse! lol


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