Long time, no blog

Beauty and the Ballplayer | Arlene HittleMy life is still a work in progress, in more ways than one. As usual, I’ve been busy reading, writing and editing. I sent edits on Book 3, SLIDING INTO HOME, back to my editor tonight.

Last week, I got the cover for Book 2, BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER. (When I got my first glimpse of it, I may or may not have screamed loudly enough to startle three dogs sleeping on the floor at my feet.)

Y’all may have seen my tweet about finally figuring out a way to get myself out the door to exercise every morning: I just have to take an ebook with me and read while I walk. By the time I’ve finished a couple of chapters, I’ve been out, moving around, for 20 to 30 minutes. Then I get to cross TWO things off my to-do list — reading more and working out.

Who knew it was so simple to rekindle my joy in exercise?

Please don’t tell me walking while reading is not a good enough workout. I know it’s not super strenuous, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the nothing I’ve been doing. Maybe, once it becomes a habit, I’ll drop the book and pick up the pace.

Or maybe I should give an audiobook a try. I’ve resisted audiobooks until now, because I’d rather read than listen. Then again, I used to say I’d never prefer e-books to print books … and now I tend to read more e-books than anything else. Ah well. If you’re not changing your mind from time to time, you’re not growing and learning, right?

I joined a team at work for a company-wide weight-loss challenge … so I have to face the scale and start tracking my eats again today.

In preparation, I stocked up at Trader Joe’s while I was in Prescott Saturday. I bought a whole lot of veggies, as well as some other ready-to-eat goodies. Reduced guilt Greek yogurt and kale dip, anyone? Mmmm. I also couldn’t resist a bag of those Horseradish-Cheddar potato chips. So yummy! And as long as I stick to a single serving instead of inhaling half the bag, they’re perfectly acceptable. That’s do-able.

Trader Joe's Haul

Then, with my veggies on hand, I made a meal plan. My last menu experiment was probably about a 50 percent success. I started the week strong, and kind of fell off the wagon by Friday. “Snacks” was the hardest square to stick to. Perhaps I should leave that one blank and wing it.

Nah. Winging it tends to get me in trouble with my inner diet police.

I’m looking forward to making veggie scrambles with those frozen peppers. And I plan to sautee the kale with sausage to add to frozen TJ’s pasta arribiata, to bulk it up. A variation of Tina’s sausage with cheesy sprouts is also on the menu.

I need to take my own advice and remember that losing weight takes hard work. It means giving up the junk food, cutting back on sugar (or completely cutting it out, I haven’t decided). It means counting calories or points or net carbs (as much as I wish it didn’t). It means long walks and fewer fancy coffee drinks from Starbucks. Tea is a perfectly acceptable substitute.

Another thing to remember: If I don’t buy the junk food, I can’t eat it. (Goodbye horseradish-cheddar chips … I hardly knew ye.)

And, of course, I have to remember the very important principle: Progress, not perfection.

In that way, weight loss is a lot like writing. Just as you don’t write a book in a day, you don’t get to goal in a day. Word by word, page by page, you write a story—and you lose weight day by day, pound by (agonizing) pound.

Easy to say, yes. Harder to take to heart.

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