Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight,

 ...because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

Oh, this one makes such good sense to me.

I gained 25 pounds when I quit smoking 22 years ago. There were a combination of factors. I quit smoking. We moved to a house where I now had to drive everywhere instead of walk. And we moved to a location with convenient fast food nearby.

That last thing is HUGE. Prior to the move, fast food was a long walk away (it didn't make sense to drive. We were in a large metro area and driving was a pain). But after the move, I drove by a fast food place almost every day. It was so convenient, so easy, so simple ...

...so fattening. I didn't realize it until we moved to our current home and the weight kept adding on. Fast food was there, simple, easy ... I tried now and then to lose weight, but I never really put my heart into it. And that's what it takes. You. Have. To. Want. It. It's really that simple. You have to find a diet that works for you and stick with it. Counting calories has always worked for me. Very easy: count what goes in, count the exercise expended. Exercise should be more than calorie.

And I did it. I lost most of the weight. Yes, I gained some back, but overall: it's off. And it will stay off. Because I realized something very valuable about myself: given the chance, I will eat like a horse. And I can't afford to do that. It's really very simple. It's not whether or not I *deserve* that donut. I can't have it. Next question.

So think about it:if you haven't gained weight, try not to. And if you have, work at getting it gone. You'll feel better about it in the long run.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day...

Teach a man to fish and he'll sit in a boat drinking beer all day.

I don't understand hunting or fishing for sport. I can somewhat understand the enjoyment in pitting one's intelligence against a wild animal, but I don't understand how anyone can kill another creature.

Side note: yes, I eat meat. Yes, I know where it comes from. Yes, I know there are many places in the U.S. with inhumane animal handling plants that process my meat. I don't have an answer for this except I try to buy cage-free and organic when I can. It's a sop to my conscience, but there you are.

I just don't get the whole 'killing' thing. I don't understand how one can look at a creature which is as beautiful as a doe and kill it. I know they're urban nuisances (because humans have invaded their territory and killed off their natural predators, but don't get me started on that!) and I know that 'culling' is good for the herd.

But why do people get enjoyment out of it? I don't know. And you know what -- I'll just go out of my way to avoid those who do enjoy it. I'm not going to understand it; they're not going to understand me. Why give myself the stress? I'll just avoid 'em.

Now if they would sit in a boat and drink beer all day then eventually fall in ...


Monday, October 18, 2010

Letting the cat out of the bag...

... is a lot easier than getting the cat back in.

Or, another way to phrase it is: Think before you speak.

I found this out the hard way a few years ago. I was relatively new to publishing and when I got a lousy cover, I said to my editor at the time that I thought it was an inappropriate cover (yep. That's it).

I thought my editor would be on my side. But no! She was on the publisher's side. Said publisher did PANELS at various conferences about how little a cover matters. Said publisher did presentations on the subject. According to them, cover art isn't a draw for readers -- good writing is.


The long and the short of it? My editor decided she could no longer work with me and requested a transfer. I had 3 (or maybe it was 4) editors after that and I'm no longer submitting books to that publisher. And a good thing, too, since they're changing how they manage the mainstream branch of their publishing house (where my books sat).

The moral of the story? Think before you speak. But if you feel you have to speak, damn it, go ahead and speak. There may be fallout but it may be all for the better.

Only time will tell.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pain and suffering are inevitable

... but misery is optional.

Oh, I can attest to this one. I've been helping my elderly mother as she copes with emphysema. This is not a pretty disease. It saps your strength, it invades every waking moment of your day, and there is little anyone can do about it.

I'm 250 miles away, so it's hard for me to be with her a lot. I do go as much as I can, usually for a week at a time. I'm fortunate because I have a job where I can log in and work remotely, and I'm able to work around her doctor appointments, etc.

There are no good outcomes here, of course. This is a wasting disease and the most we can hope for is that she's comfortable. She's not happy being restricted like this. She's 91 and up until last year, she was totally active, in a restrained way: she played bridge 2 times a week, she went to club meetings, she could get her groceries. Now she sits in a chair and that's about it. Getting up and going to dinner is exhausting and takes it all out of her.

I hate to see this happen, but at least she's not miserable. She's not taking out her anger on the people around her. She's handling this with grace and dignity, and believe me, I appreciate that. Misery truly is optional, and she's doing every thing she can to keep her misery from washing over the people around her.

I can learn a lot from her. A lot.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Experience is what you get

 ...when you don't get what you want.

How often do you get what you want? I don't know about you, but I'm doing pretty good. I have a home, a good job, a steady income, relatively good health, a partner who is supportive, and a loving family.

Did I really *want* all those things? I'm not sure, now. I do know that I appreciate all those things. I know far too many people who don't have those: they're unemployed, or in a toxic relationship, or hate their job, or have poor health. Every time I spend time with those folks I come away with an appreciation of what I do have.

To be honest, I think I usually set my 'want' list to things that are attainable. I don't 'want to climb Mt. Kilamanjaro' and I don't 'want to take a 10-day hike'. I'm intrigued by people who do those things and I sometimes think, "Man, I should do something like that. I should travel to Bali or Bolivia and hike in mountains and eat perched by the side of the road."

Then sanity returns. My idea of camping is a hotel without WiFi. I do walk a lot (about 10K steps a day) but I'm not up for 20K steps for 10 days or more. I hate heat and humidity. I like having my 'things' around me.

Maybe that's why I don't worry about getting what I want -- I'm a pragmatist in setting goals.

What about you? Is something on your 'want' list that might not be attainable? How bad do you want it? If you REALLY REALLY want it, you'll probably drop a lot of other things off that Want List and go after it.

And if you're not willing to drop things...how bad do you want it?