This week in Christina Katz’s e-zine, The Prosperous Writer, she talked about the importance of good health. Boy, does that speak to me right now. Not just because we’ve had a round of a stomach virus in our house (current score is 2-0), but because I’ve been thinking of a new approach to my own health in recent months. For me, health breaks down into three categories: physical, nutritional, and emotional.
Sports and physical activity have long been a part of my life. But, over the last ten years, it’s been a lot more work to maintain a good level of physical activity. Last year I embarked on a great program offered through my employer and increased my physical activity by going to a gym five days a week. But since the formal program ended, I’ve become less and less vigilant about getting there. About a month ago I realized that I’d also stopped walking to the commuter train every day after work. I made a pledge to myself, thanks to an article in Oprah Magazine, that walking to the train after work four days a week would once again be my routine. What a difference this has made. I’m more energetic, more engaged when I get home and I’m starting to feel better in my clothes.
Thanks to the FoodyMcBody blog, I was introduced to a concept that Dineen Diette calls “Eat Without Guilt”. Dineen’s goal is to help people eat with intention. I haven’t joined her formal program, but I read blog posts and listened to a recorded teleclass she conducted. What I’ve taken away from this is that I need to consistently journal what I eat as well as my hunger level when I am eating. I am listening to my body. Again, these small changes have made a huge difference. For the first time in a long time, I feel in control of food rather than food being in control of me. I’m not obsessing about calories, the balance of protein, carbs and fats or even the time of day when I eat. I’m a lot more relaxed and more in control.
After nearly forty years on this earth, I know that my emotional health is directly tied to physical and nutritional health. Over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that my emotional health is also directly impacted by my writing health. If I’m not writing, my emotional health suffers. Writing allows me an outlet and an investment in myself that proves to be beneficial for all aspects of my life. My 2010 goals for my writing are helping me to prioritize writing in a way that I haven’t before. When I’m fueling my creativity through writing, I am mentally stimulated and I’m happier. How can I deny those health benefits?
Over the last few months, I’ve seen results in all aspects of my health because I’ve let go of the need for perfection. Sure, walking 25 minutes to the train each day won’t get me in shape for a marathon, but it will increase my level of cardio activity. My calorie counts aren’t exact, but I am know and pay attention to what I’m eating. I am focused on submitting rather than on reviewing my writing over and over and over again.
I’ve sought out simple solutions — I incorporated daily walks into my regular routine and bought a small spiral notebook for tracking food.
I’ve invested in myself. I chose a box of green tea over a bag of coffee. I made time to listen to the teleclass about intuitive eating. I signed up for five weeks of free workshops about the craft of fiction writing.
So, yes, I couldn’t agree with Christina more. Good health is definitely important for this writer’s body and spirit. And, I’m finding when I do “good health” in a way that works for me, it’s actually fun.
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