Why do I think I need to make the extra effort? Several reasons:
1. I weigh a bit more each year from all the hours in the chair and not enough going for walks or doing aerobics.
2. Both of my parents have had heart attacks; my dad's also had a stroke; diabetes and anxiety run in my family; and living a healthier life will hopefully keep these things at bay.
3. I turn 40 next year. I hear it becomes much more difficult to lose weight and get fit after 40.
4. I worked a long time to become a published author. Kicking the bucket now just as I'm getting started as a published author would really bite. I still want to be writing and publishing books when I'm in my 90s! :)
5. I don't want to be depressed when I go clothes shopping.
6. Exercising and making smart eating choices makes me feel better, and I want to feel good physically and mentally.
So I'll be sharing my progress over the days and weeks and months to come as well as some tips and useful Web sites, books, etc. Basically anything I think will serve as inspiration. I hope you'll share your own ups and downs, your own tips and inspirational stories. And while my focus will be on fellow writers and others who have desk jobs, you don't have to fall into those categories to take part -- just anyone who wants to live a healthier life.
1. Lose 35-40 pounds. I have a healthy target weight in mind. I'd love to lose this by next July, when the Romance Writers of America National Conference will be here in Nashville. I plan to weigh each morning and post about how far I am from my target weight.
2. Wear my pedometer every day, and make sure I get in 10,000 steps. According to The Walking Site, an average sedentary person may only get in 1,000-3,000 steps a day. I've been wearing the pedometer lately, and I notice that on an average day with no exercise, I get in about 3,000 steps. So getting in those extra 7,000 steps requires me to get off my tookus and move. The Walking Site says that walking 10,000 steps equals about 5 miles.
3. Don't drink Coke. I like Coca-Cola -- the real stuff. Not diet (bleh!), not caffeine-free. So it's best that I just cut it out altogether. After a few days, it's actually not that hard. I pretty much just drink water all the time.
4. Much harder for me is giving up sweets. I have an enormous sweet tooth. But I'm limiting the intake and looking at options with fewer calories.
5. Figure out what my max caloric intake needs to be each day in order to lose weight.
6. Portion control. No seconds.
Calorie intake: 1,584 (Just did some research and figured that I can take in 1,994 calories a day and maintain my current weight. But I want to shed pounds, so I'll go for less than that.)
Exercise: 1 hour of mowing the lawn (Calories burned = 437.4)
Steps: 10,051 (Calories burned = 198.8; estimate since all this walking isn't done at one time and therefore I can't judge the mph rate at which I was walking)