Krissie: Onward!

I weighed myself before I read the suggestions that I give it up for a while and weigh only weekly. 243. I now understand why my sister jumped on her scale in a rage, destroying the poor thing.
So I’m breaking it up with it. No more daily meetings. Unless, of course, my rings are suddenly very loose . Otherwise that scale is gonna end up flatter than a pancake.
I was gonna write like a crazy woman yesterday (and indeed, wrote a lot of good stuff) before the Serpent’s Tooth arrived with Alex, in a nasty mood. So I shooed him out (making the mistake of saying “damn, he’s bipolar” when he was still in the house and I thought he was outside), but having Alex was fun anyway. Today I do nothing but write. Oh, and bring my mother the newspaper and visit. Sigh.
But that was interesting about writers needing to exercise. Maybe I’ll finally break the shrink wrap on the Richard Simmons DVD today and have a little break.
At least I had 12 hours (yes, that many) of deep sleep last night, so I won’t fall asleep while I write.
So. Hard work today. 5k words? At least? This isn’t about writing, but it’s about work and balance and getting things done. And if the Serpent’s Tooth comes over today I’ll make Richie take Alex while I work.

Remember that tomorrow is All About You. I’ll be posting what I need to do this coming week. Hell, I’ll start out now.
Gotta finish the draft, of course. But even with such a heavy load of work, I still need to swim three times this week. I won’t be able to swim and go to my shrink and work on Wednesday (maybe I’ll call it work and not writing?) so something’s gotta give. Or I can swim two days in a row. Or hell, four days this week and miss Wednesday. But I gotta finish … my work.
But I think maybe the really huge challenge for me this time is to finish it and not feel sick the way I did last time. I always finish writing in a white hot fury, getting a huge amount done in the last few days. That won’t change. What I need to change is the rest of the way I handle the week. I’ve long ago learned that food indulgences end up making me very sick, so I’ll keep eating wisely.
And damn it, I absolutely must do something for myself in between the hours of pushing. If I can make it through the week with mental health intact and not feeling like I’ve been kicked by a mule then I will have really triumphed.
If I can make it through the week with a finished book, a couple of days of swimming and only feeling slightly exhausted it will still be a triumph.
If I make it through the week with a finished book then hell, it’ll be a triumph. But I want to reclaim the rest of my life even while I’m writing, and that’s going to be my main plan. To write. And to live.
I’ll let you know how well I’m doing.

22 thoughts on “Krissie: Onward!

  1. Egads says:

    If you could get to the swimming just to get out of the writing chair, that might be good. Do you get stiff joints and sore shoulders/neck when you sit and write too long? Maybe you would get to the swimming easier if you look at it as helping you write.

    • Good point. For some damned reason I took a two hour nap after a long stretch of writing, and that was after a 12 hour night of sleep. Jeesh.
      Yes, to swimming, though. Gotta figure out if I’ll do it before or after I get some work done.

  2. Agree with the exercise bit. I do my pilates and elliptical every other day and always write more on those days even though I have less time. But 5k words? If that’s your average output, I’ve still got a long way to go. That’s awesome.

      • My routine isn’t fancy, Kieran, and I do it at home. But yes, I do them both together–just under an hour of pilates on a mat, some free weights, about 15 minutes on the elliptical, then stretching to wind down. Whole thing takes about 1 1/2 hrs tops. And I do leave a day in between on purpose–partially to rest the muscles but that’s also how they build (the stress on them gets the body to send out signals that encourages growth and maintains strength, but it needs that day in between for that process to happen). Also, hubby and I like to walk so sometimes that gets added in too. We both grew up in a city that’s very pedestrian friendly and community-based, so we’ve never converted well to a car society:)

        For me, the pilates has been a lifesaver, though. I went through a few years of severe breathing problems (the kind where you can’t speak in complete sentences) and couldn’t tolerate meds. Still, I kept up the pilates routine I’d established years before as best I could. Helped rebuild my strength, but more importantly, it’s anti-inflammatory which helped loads with my lungs.

        For more movement, I could only afford one machine and chose the elliptical because it gets the whole lymph system going and can be adjusted to whatever tension is comfortable. Plus, it’s very much like cross-country skiing–which as a Canadian I learned young. But I hate the cold so this way I get to do it indoors!

      • Thanks for the clarification. Still impressive that you can bang it out like that near the end. Probably has a bit to do with deadlines, but it’s interesting that your pace picks up the same way a reader’s pace typically picks up in the last act as the action heats up. Good match.

  3. Even if you get up from the writing chair and stretch at regular intervals you’ll feel better.

    You are approaching everything with a terrific attitude, knowing that you need to set your intention to take better care of yourself.

  4. Kathryn says:

    Or, shoot, even just go out and walk around the house 1 or 2 or 3 times. Sometimes just being slightly more active than yesterday or last week can be enough.
    It really is that whole damn bird by bird thing. Can’t get to the pool today, ok. What CAN I do? Well, then, I’ll do that. And that will be enough. And we’ll swim tomorrow. Sure, you can talk to yourself in the plural. Why the hell not?

  5. First time I’ve been on the Internet since Friday afternoon–we had guests all weekend. Fun, but now I’m listless and don’t want to work. But, I’m going to go to the pool this afternoon and that will help motivate me. Writers do need exercise–I get so much more written if my body hasn’t been in the same position for hours on end. I have a timer–I set it for 54 minutes (my own random number)–it goes off, I get up.

    You’re doing great, Krissie!

  6. I am constantly amazed by you. You have and are achieving so much. I am bipolar and it’s no excuse for being rude and nasty and I can always expect a “verbal” smack up the side of the head from my sisters should I be so self involved as to think mental illness is an excuse. Today the sun is shining which means that my body feels the need to punish me, even so I dragged myself out to get new paint brushes at Curry’s (and ended up with more than paint brushes). Came home took some painkillers (not that they actual kill pain but after a while I won’t care that my freaking body feels like it’s been put on the rack!). Called my sister in law to wish her a happy birthday ( a day late because yesterday was NOT a good day) and had to cut the conversation short because I’m not going able to be polite when I’m hurting (actually I’m able I just do not want to be). Now I’m waiting for the pain killers to actually do something so that I can paint. Reading that you are going to do 5k today, I’m in awe. Even when I had aspirations (self delusion) of being a writer, I could not do that. And stretching is good besides not taking a lot of time. And congratulations on your break-up with the scales. Sorry about the grammar, blame it on the drugs, I’m going to.

    • I didn’t mean to be flippant about bipolar illness. The Serpent’s Tooth came into the house in a jolly, excited mood and then got nasty.
      But in fact we have a very strong bipolar trait running through my father’s side of the family. My grandfather, uncle, aunt and father suffered from it. I think it was responsible for my brother’s death from alcohol poisoning. So I know how awful it can be — the highs and the lows.
      Despite all indications to the contrary, I take after my mother’s Danish family when it comes to mental health, which is, of course, straight depression, a la Hamlet.
      Hugs for the challenges.

  7. Setting a timer is a great idea. I don’t always pay attention, and before I know it, I’ll have been in the chair for hours. When I get up, I look like a bent over old crone. I’m not quite ready for that. I’ll admit I’m getting close, but still . . . . if a timer helps, I’m for it.

    Is there a nifty little Mac ap that allows you to set a timer?

    Also, does anyone use a treadmill desk? I’ve wondered about those.

    • Lani turned me on to a great program called Vitamin R. I set a computer timer, work 30 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. It works really well — that way I’m able to put off reading email etc.

    • I use a treadmill desk, Terrie. I got it from http://www.treaddesk.com and I LOVE it! First I tried changing my desk to a standing desk (using a whole bunch of encyclopedias, LOL) because my back/hips were always killing me after a day writing. I liked it, but really wanted to be MOVING, so I went searching online. I found lots of folks had built desks onto treadmills, but I really, really love my big U-shaped desk, so instead I went for a flat treadmill (with a separate control panel connected by a cable) that just slides under an existing desk. I’ve found that not only do I get a lot more exercise this way, but the walking seems to stimulate my creativity. Not too surprising, really, since the way I always worked through plot issues was to go for a walk. I’ve found (trial and error–especially errors!) that my ideal walking speed is 1.3 MPH. Faster, and I make a LOT more typos. Today I walked 4 miles while rewriting a chapter. Double win!

  8. Kieran says:

    Heard about this from Dr. Anne, the online nutritionist. I’m on her Facebook page. She suggests replacing all your rice dishes with this stuff. It’s at Costco and called Truroots: “a vibrant mix of sprouted brown and red rice, quinoa, and wild rice.” It’s also “a powerhouse of protein, minerals, fiber, and GABA” (whatever that stands for).

    I’m making it now, and it smells great.

  9. I made Krissie’s Pizza tonight, Krissie (eating it now) and did the nutritional analysis on it. You’re still here in spirit. Well, in pizza. Aside from the saturated fat in the cheese, it’s very healthy. Yes, I know you use non-fat cheese. I’m not that good a person. I also got diced tomatoes by accident (couldn’t find the no-salt sauce) and they’re really good. You should be here to taste it.
    Also I went from 179 yesterday to 181 today. The scale doesn’t bother me much, so I won’t be jumping up and down on it. I just weigh myself daily because Nettie D wants to know. Nosy bitch.

    • actually I use low-fat cheese, not non-fat. Nonfat cheese tastes like rubber bands. Low fat simply tends to be made from low-fat milk, but it still tastes like cheese.
      I left some behind — try it!

  10. So it all comes down to taking care of yourself when you’re not writing, so you can be a typetive madwoman when you are writing. Hrm. Am I saying this for your benefit or my own? Because that about sums it up all the way ’round.

    As a great lady named Jenny once told me, Protect The Work. Wiser words were never spoken.

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