Inspiration of the Poet, Nicolas Poussin. Oil on Canvas, The Louvre
I’ve always found this time of year inspiring. I’ve spent a large part of my life as either a student or a teacher, so fall has always been the real start of a new year for me. January? Forget January. Nothing starts in January except diets and Christmas bill payments.
I’m feeling inspired creatively and personally these days. I’m dabbling in writing poetry for the first time in years, I’m getting to the fun stuff in Shattered, and I’ve made a resolution to get myself into better physical shape over the next few months. OK, I’ll put a number on it – I want to lose twenty pounds by March Break.
I know how to do it. I’ve done it before. Being hypothyroid as well as vertically challenged, weight control is a life-long issue for me. It doesn’t help that all the things I love to do most – writing, reading, painting, playing guitar, cooking and eating – are either sedentary or fattening. I’ve accepted the fact that for me, exercise will always be something of a chore. Not an unpleasant chore, but a chore nonetheless.
About four years ago, it started to hit home that the big 50 was edging ever closer, and I didn’t like what I saw ahead for my health or my self-esteem. I looked in the mirror, said ‘enough’ and joined Curves. It worked. I built muscle, cut back drastically on sugar and starches, and watched the weight melt off. Six months took me from a size 14 to a size 6.
For two years I kept working out and kept the pounds at bay. Then my teaching job ended and I spent a year on the road selling insurance. Hours sitting in the car every day, stopping for junk food on top of the lunch I took with me, getting home at eight or nine o’clock at night, eating supper and falling into bed. When I wasn’t working I was writing. That year was plain hell on my body. Relentlessly the weight crept back.
For me, exercise has to be a no-brainer, a part of my routine. No fixed routine, no workouts. Now I’m teaching again, with a regular schedule, and it’s time to get back on track. This will be my third three-workout week, and I’m seeing the results already.
One of the things I appreciate about circuit training is that I don’t have to think. I change machines on cue, my muscles working hard while my mind is elsewhere. Not bad for the creative juices. Neither is having more energy and focus. I’m taking it slower this time. Instead of dieting, I’m focusing on the exercise and trying to eat sensibly and sustainably. After all, for me, there is no life worth living without chocolate and cheesecake, or even better, chocolate cheesecake. All things in moderation, including moderation itself. I’ve lost five pounds and a size so far, so I’m moving in the right direction. I’ll update my progress here as part of Folk Friday, starting next week.
I'm a teacher, an amateur musician and, for over thirty years, a writer. I fell in love with words at a very early age, and the affair has been life-long.
Glimpses of the past spark my imagination. There's an archaeologist buried in me somewhere. I'm currently working on a series following the McShannon family as they put down roots and find love in the old world and the new, against the background of the American Civil War. Along with this series, I'm writing a story set at the time of the Halifax Explosion in 1917. I'm really enjoying delving into the history in my own backyard.
I write for children as well as adults. When I'm not writing I garden, play guitar and spend time with my DH, our cat Emily, and our dogs Chance and Echo, the most spoiled Duck Tolling Retrievers on the planet. I live in Nova Scotia, in my opinion the most beautiful place in the world.