Come January, you will be most likely deluged by "get rid of that holiday flab" commercials till you can’t stand it. So I don’t want to harp on that angle, since I find it personally demotivating to exercise for reason of my jiggly thighs or emerging love handles. In fact, that just makes me want to eat more ice cream and stuff my face with cookies, since I am a rebel when it comes to any kind of authority telling me what to do.
That said, I strongly believe that physical health contributes to mental clarity, increased energy and overall well-being. I am a total extremist … either I work out like a fanatic, or I do nothing at all. In my twenties when this picture was taken (25 to be exact), I did 17 classes a week of martial arts and had abs that would make Janet Jackson look bad (in her lean and mean phases, of course!). I then moved on to yoga, pilates and lifting weights in my 30s, which generally made me feel strong and unstressed.
Then I became a Mom and work at home coach and writer, and have found my usual activity level is reduced to walking up and down the stairs a few times a day. And my late night writing sessions are fueled by cookies and ice cream … not the celery sticks I really should eat. Andy Wibbels wrote a very funny post about "bookfat" .. the pounds gained by first-time authors during the year that they write, revise and publish their book.
I am thinking we have a new phenomenon called blogfat … which is really an aversion to doing anything physical that takes us away from crafting a new post.
So I propose that we support each other virtually to do a little moving and shaking that doesn’t involve incoming blog links, but actual physical exercise.
For my part, I joined a local martial arts studio and will be doing 2 short classes a week on Monday and Wednesday evenings. I had my first class last week and almost passed out as I tried to fire off rapid kicks since I am so out of shape. But I am willing to try baby steps and take a few minutes each day to do some situps, pushups or squats.
Because I know that when I do exercise, my mind clears, ideas emerge, and my intuition feels much more "tuned up," since it usually speaks through the physical, not intellectual realm.
What kind of exercise could you start that would make you feel a little less lethargic, get working on a bit of your blogfat and shake some creative ideas loose?
Blogfat is the notable increase of weight gained from blogging and lack of physical exercise.
Blogfat was originally coined by David Weinberger with his 2003 blog entry, Blogging makes you fat.
Read more about the blogfat phenomenon:
My husband has an iTunes addiction and he has managed to turn his significant spending into a positive by purchasing the workout stuff Nike has created. We have been hitting the high school track and letting Alberto Salazar cheer us on. It’s incredible and I cannot stress how much the music helps.
Choose a specific day.
Like the “Half-Nekkid Thursday”
Shall we choose a specific?
I love that picture–what a badass you are, Pam!
You are totally right about finding it hard to tear yourself away from the computer. I so love my work and all the daily activities and conversations I participate in, I don’t want to stop.
But I force myself. I’m fortunate to live both on the water, and bordering a land preserve, so I have my choice of walking on the beach or traipsing around in my beloved woods. I try to go on my little nature hikes just about every day. It’s both energizing and meditative.
Just one of the perks of being self-employed. 🙂
Very thoughtful post, and great blog! I’m glad I found you. I’m fortunate in that I live in a walkable part of DC, and I can walk lots of errands, which I just include in my schedule. I also bought a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day (right now I may get there only 3 days a week). I still have a gym membership, but I have to drive there. I also have a basket of hand weights in plain view, but they’ve been collecting dust for… well, a long time.
What an awesome pic. I totally understand about the blogfat and I think you’ve created a new buzzword. I started some pilates classes and find myself cancelling due to the fact that I want to stay home and write posts on my blog. So I try to “wrap”, “suck in” and “tighten” all while I blog and it just does not work. Oh well, I guess I have just decided that the mental thrill of the weblog is more fullfilling than being in shape! I hope my husband agrees…
Great post & great advice! For me, it’s walking 15 mins to the mailbox – especially lovely at this time of year, cold & fresh really clears out the cobwebs! It is so easy to get ‘distracted’ by the computer, I find hours go by before I realise it and all I have done is write a piece on the blog or ‘updated’ my files.
What a cool pic. Seems you do/could to things I only watch people do (like my yoga instructor in bizarre poses that would snap my bones in 2).
I for one can’t bear to be without my workout routine. It is my midday savior and my weekend escape. I would rather be doing something physical to blow off steam, clear my head, and feel better than just about anything else.
Now before I sound like a health nutcase, I know the benefits flow over into the work I do. If I’m not physically on track I have a harder time being present with my clients and creativing rushes to a total halt. A lot of folks starting businesses cry that there’s no time to workout or exercise and my belief is that there’s no excuse or reason not to exercise unless you’re going for the sprint & burnout with your endeavor.
What do I do when the motivation is lacking? I just do it anyway whether I feel like it or not. I wrote a post about that a while back — sometimes it comes down to “just doing it” because of the short and long term benefits it yields.
I love games. They are so much fun than going to gym. We played volleyball this whole summer, almost on every weekend. As cold fronts arriving in Texas, we started playing shuttle and ping-pong. Also learning Tennis every wednesday.
Still I spend a lot infront of the computer. I am a software developer and still in the cube :-)). So, bought Dragon Naturally Speaking, a speech recognition software. Now I can browse and blog without typing. And I can move around, walk and even dance while posting my blog or sending an email. Its so much fun watching this software trying to decipher my indian accent.
Here in the southern half of the world we have had the tone up ads since Sept and summer has yet to arrive, after Christmas overindulgence it will only intensify!
Children are the perfect excuse to get more exercise. My daughter would never sleep until she had been out for a ride in the stroller, every evening we went for a walk we wore out two strollers and uncounted pairs of shoes! As she got older we graduated to bikes, swimming lessons and sports. Kids make you tired watching them but you feel a lot better if you join in.
Pam – what an AMAZING picture. I think you’re my new hero!
I exercise the same way – all or nothing – and since September I’ve been in a nothing phase.
I just started walking this week (I was up to 5-7 miles a day when I was getting ready for the 3-day 60 mile breast cancer walk this summer – but I’m starting slow @ 2 miles a day this week!)
Next week I add weights and a LOT of abs work – thanks for the push.
We all know we feel better when we’re working out but somehow it’s the first thing to get knocked off the to do list!
(In support of blog addiction – you should see how fast I can type now – at least my fingers are in good shape!!!)
Ever since I’ve started working out I’ve been feeling a lot better about myself and definitely mentally clearer. But you definitely have to take the baby steps approach. For me it’s all about clearing out some of the cobwebs in the mind and the gut all at once but not in a hurry. I’m teaching myself patience and seeing the rewards.
Good luck with your classes.
Great post, Pamela. Again, something to keep inspiring people to make those necessary changes.
In my 20’s I was in the gym constantly and was on a regional powerlifting team. Now that I am a father of three and closing in on my 40’s, I have rediscovered the joy of getting up for an early morning workout. I’ve made that time part of my workday – in order to stay sane.
The soreness only lasts for a while. The main problem is working around a traveling schedule . . .
BTW, that is a fantastic picture. I have something similar on my treasure map. By my 35th B-day, I want to take a picture like that.
I’ve discovered the joy of walking. 3 months ago I started a self-made life transformation program and one of the things I had to do was walk for 30 minutes a day.
Since then, I’ve gone up to 40 minutes and next month I’m going to start swinging my arms. I also take 2-15 minute walking breaks during the day and usually walk around to get my lunch.
Those morning walks have been great for clearing out all the chatter and the to-do lists. By the end of the walk, I’m in a clear zone. Then I meditate. It’s a great ritual.