Friday, November 21, 2014

Food, Exercise, and Writing

I admit it. I would be a great hypochondriac. Luckily, I'm usually too busy to think about what my body's doing until something happens to remind me I should be attending. That happened this morning. I woke up with a topic for today's blog post – crime theories in crime fiction – and my scribbled notes ready beside my lap top. I sat down, looked out the window at the gray morning, and felt my energy draining away. Along with that loss of energy went my enthusiasm for my post. I spent twenty minutes trying to get it to come together and finally gave up. I decided to have some breakfast to see if that would help.

A famous cereal company would be pleased to hear me say that a bowl of their little O's (with almond milk and a banana) did wonders for my mood and got me back to my laptop. Or, maybe it was the big mug of green tea with honey and lemon that did the trick. In any case, I had breakfast and I was ready to write. That got me thinking about how good nutrition – as opposed to the half-dozen miniature candy canes I munched last night - and exercise might improve my stamina and concentration. Would eating right make me a better writer? Would putting on my running shoes help to garner great reviews?

Somewhere in my bookshelves, hiding from view right now, is a book that I bought years ago. I can't remember the title, but the book is advice about nutrition and exercise for writers. As I recall, the author (herself a writer) advocated sensible strategies such as taking a break from the keyboard to go for a walk and eating healthy meals at the table rather than gobbling snacks in front of the computer. Of course, by now, we all know what we should be doing. But knowing and doing are two different things (my cliche for the day). 

However, I think I may be saved from myself by Harry, my new cat. According to his vet, Harry (weighing in at 19+ pounds) should lose 2 or 3 pounds. He's hefty even for a Maine Coon mix. I don't think Harry understood the discussion we had right in front of him. But now that he is on prescription cat food for his finicky stomach, he seems to be naturally gravitating toward getting more movement into his life. Sure, he likes to sit and look out the window and have a nap in the sun. But he gets up and stretches. He strolls through the house. And now and then, he jumps up and does a dash into the next room. Harry is ready to play any time I reach for the laser light. Only a few minutes at a time – when he's bored, he strolls over and indicates he's done – but Harry is getting up and moving. He's an eight year old, but he is calling on his inner kitten. Want to bet which one of us is going to be looking slim and fit when he goes in for his three month weigh-in?

It is not New Year's Day, but I hereby pledge to spend the next three months getting into shape – fruits, veggies, and healthy protein, exercise at least five days a week, get 7-8 hours sleep. . . can't wait! Three months from now, I'm going to be in shape and ready to write my way onto the best-seller list.

On my way to buy new running shoes (well, walk/run shoes). . .I will not stop for a nap first. I'm a writer on a mission. . .not to be outdone by a cat.


Donis Casey said...

I live in continual hope that if I eat just the right food and find just the correct yoga posture, a fount of creativity will open in my body and I will write a brilliant piece of literature. Haven't found it yet, so if you come across it, Frankie, please share that information. I promise to do the same.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

Will do, Donis. My hope springs eternal :)