by Rachel Hauck
Boy, doesn’t that title just make you sit up and take notice. I woke up thinking about this today.
Food. Writing. Diet Coke. Writing. Chips. Writing. Diet Coke. Writing. Tea. Writing. Water. Water. Water. To undo the chips and Diet Coke, of course.
After returning from a fantastic writer’s retreat, I resolved to cut back on this, do a little more of that…
But a few months later, I can feel myself, see myself, slipping into old habits.
Some of it is just determination. Any kind of discipline requires inspiration followed by a boat load of determination.
But to keep going, we need motivation.
Motivation comes from little successes. Big successes. Encouragement. More inspiration. A notch up on the determination.
But it also requires resolve in our emotions. To just do it! And this is where a lot of writers, including me, lose the wind in our sails.
As I’m plowing through the final scenes of my latest story, cranking out new dialog and prose, I can feel myself emptying out. I’m a bit distracted. My emotions are thinning.
But I’m good… got some energy. The end is nigh. Light at the end-o-the-tunnel is bright and beckoning.
But suddenly, I want… food!
Hey, Stephen King had an affinity for cocaine! I’m not begrudging those munchy moments.
I said to Hubby one day, “Now I know why writers struggle with their weight. We sit all day, then we feed our emptied out emotions with yummo food.”
Listen, when my heroine is on the brink of heart break as my hero faces the jowls of a fire eating dragon, a baby carrot snack just ain’t going to cut it. I need cake!
(Isn’t cake such a fun word? Ca-ke!)
But least we all become over indulged, there are some things I think we can do to change any bad eating habits.
1. Really boost your spiritual life with prayer. Even a bit of fasting. Get filled with the spirit, not food. Sometimes I take a break just to pray. I pray in the spirit, sit at the piano and worship or put on good worship music – which most assuredly aids my fiction-drained emotions. So, if you’re not feeding yourself well spiritually, let that be your first priority.
2. Find good snacks that you like. Buy 100 calorie packs so you can track your intake easier. Even better, go with high protein diet and minimize the carbs.
3. Find veggies and fruit you like. I’m not a big carrot person but I love celery with peanut butter or cream cheese. I track the calories so I don’t ruin a low cal snack with a big cal spread. So easy on the peanut butter but it is a great mid afternoon protein boost. I like radishes. They have a nice bit and crunch to them. I like apples and oranges. So, find veggies and fruits that works for you. Fruit is great for the sweet tooth, too.
4. Take a few minutes to measure your food. I bought a cheap scale at the grocery store and when I buy meat, I measure it out into 4 oz sections. I put them in freezer bags. Those portions become my weekday lunch. I sauté or brown the meat, throw in a fresh onion, tomato, spinach and mushrooms, add some spices and YUMMO.
5. Keep at it. I am pretty good at not eating after lunch until dinner. But I had to develop a habit. Instead of eating, I take the dog for a walk around the block.
6. Don’t eat at your work station. Once I broke that habit, it became real easy to resist small temptations. I didn’t want to break my writing streak to run downstairs for a snack. Not worth it.
7. Exercise. Believe it or not, exercise helps the creative process. I’ve gotten plenty of good plot ideas in the middle of a spin class. There are so many exercise options. DVDs, walking, treadmill, elliptical, swimming, yoga… Don’t let any physical or time limitations keep you from some form of exercise.
8. Believe you can do it.
Writing is hard enough without adding health issues. We can be healthy writers. Be blessed!
Rachel Hauck is an award winning, best selling author. She is past president of ACFW and now serves on the Executive Board. Rachel is also a writing teach and craft coach, and mentor. She is the book therapist for My Book Therapy.Com.