"Workin' On My Fitness"
Written by
Hallie Sawyer
March 2011
Written by
Hallie Sawyer
March 2011

Exercising and eating right are tough habits to develop. It takes hard work and discipline, which, let's face it, doesn't have much appeal. But when we do them, it feels so great!

Last year, about this time, I was preparing for our trip to Hawaii. My husband had qualified for a sales trip (yay, husband!) to the Big Island and we decided to extend and take the family. Another trip to Hawaii wasn't going to happen again for a while, at least while I still have most of my true hair color, and I wanted to look good. I knew I'd be in a picture or two, you know, just to prove to my children that I actually existed and that I  accompanied them on the trip. I didn't want that one picture to show their mom looking like...well, a mom.

Our gym was running a special on training sessions right after the first of the year so I jumped on it. I considered myself in pretty good shape; I normally hit the gym six times a week, Monday through Saturday, while taking Sunday off (amen.) But I wanted to really see what I could accomplish; see if I could knock off those pesky five (or ten) pounds that wouldn't go away.

Boy, was I wrong about being in good shape. After I finished my first training session, I was a wobbly, panting mess and silently, or not, cursing my trainer's name. Being the competitive person I am, I pushed through the next eight weeks, determined to prove to my Nazi trainer that I was not a wimp. I still cursed the day he was born, but I got through it, and in the end, realized I loved every second of it.

At the same time, I was eating clean: no processed foods, no added sugar, low carb, high protein, high fiber, and no alcohol (yes, it is possible) was the name of the game. I had to show my trainer my food log, (imagine Catholic guilt) and we made adjustments as needed. (No soup for you!) And I saw results! I lost 5% of my body fat. At my size, 5'4" on my tiptoes, that makes a huge difference.

I went to Hawaii, enjoyed my new vacation clothes, and felt better about myself than I had in years. Maybe ever. My self-confidence was at an all-time high and I was determined to stay with the healthy game plan.

I did great for the next few months but when football season hit, and then the holidays, I realized I had fallen off the wagon. Actually, it was more like I had jumped.

However, motivation has kicked back in and I'm back in that wagon. Costa Rica is our next destination, coming up in a few short weeks. The clean eating habits are back on as well as the no-alcohol policy (okay, I may have had two glasses of wine last weekend but it was a Mardi Gras party-had to). I have been doing it for three weeks now and have lost almost 3% bodyfat again. It is much easier this time around since I have done it before. It is sort of like visiting a favorite vacation spot that I can't wait to get back to. Ahhh, that wondrous place called Self-Confidence.

I'm trying to apply these same health and fitness strategies in my writing life to make me a lean, mean, writing machine. Scheduled writing sessions, daily practice, better organization, and working with a Nazi trainer (critique partner) are habits I'm trying to develop. If I can get these down, then maybe I can find a nice little bungalow in the Land of Self-Confidence. And stay there for good.

How do/did you establish a healthy writing life? What writing habits have you developed? Do you apply the same techniques to your health?

My challenge to you:

*If you are a health/fitness enthusiast, apply that same discipline to your writing.

*If you have strong writing habits, exercise those same habits in a fitness program.

Imagine the self-confidence you will have by doing both!




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