Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wild Card Weekend: Tales from the X side

PHS Editor Donna Alward chats about the constant struggle with writer's bottom, what she's doing about it, and how sometimes things don't add up....

Writer's bottom is a constant struggle a lot of us deal with. It comes from working in a job - as most of us do - that requires your butt in the chair. And things spread in some really ugly ways.

After having the kids I lost weight and kept it off for quite a while, but it began creeping on again after I got The Call in July of 2006. A year later I'd added 10 lbs. By spring of 08 I'd added 20 more. And by February 2010, yet another 20. Fifty pounds in total.

Last year I lost 14 of it, put 7 back on, and then finally in December I got my crap together and I've been slowly losing ever since. Slowly because I plateau a lot. Slowly because I am making changes that hopefully will last FOREVER rather than being a drastic "diet" that will result in me putting it all back on again. Dietary wise it is about ensuring I get enough protein and cutting back on starchy carbs and watching my fruit. I let myself eat all sorts of non starchy veggies. When I signed up for RWA Nationals in New York, I had extra motivation. Because at RWA 09 I saw pics of myself and was decimated. I don't want that to happen again.

Has it come off as fast as I'd like? No. I wanted to reach my goal weight and truthfully I still have 1 week and several pounds to go. BUT I have had results. I got to "shop" for conference clothing in my closet and some clothes that I haven't been able to get into in several years.

The latest weapon in my arsenal against Writer's Bottom is P90X. The husband and I had done Power 90 - Beachbody's "easier" program and really enjoyed the style of the workouts, the fact that we worked and sweat and still had fun. We both liked the resistance bands too. So for Mother's Day I asked for P90X - if you've seen the infomercial you know what I mean. If you haven't, go to and you will find it there. It's labelled "Extreme Fitness" and it is intense.

Tony Horton (developer and DVD leader) has a saying that is "do your best and forget the rest". You should push yourself to failure reps, but if you can't do as many as Tony does it's okay. Good thing too - there are some exercises that starting out I could only do five and had to work my way up. My initial goal was to do SOME of everything, and I did. The one caveat is that we aren't set up for a pull up bar, so we end up using the bands/weider machine to do pull downs instead.

It comes with a food guide too, though I have no idea how I'm going to eat all that I'm supposed to by phase 3. A cool discovery? I sometimes have to eat more to lose weight. Each workout is an hour except for Cardio X which is 45 minutes. Yoga is a long 90 minutes, and at the end of each resistance workout you add Ab Ripper X which is another 16. It is a big commitment and you burn mucho calories and build muscle.

My fave workouts so far are Shoulders and Arms and Kenpo X which is martial arts and a blast! I have seen results already, and when I finish a workout I feel AWESOME.

But you know, it's still hard because I'm still large. Even after losing as much as I have, even after fitting into clothes I haven't for a while, I'm still much bigger than I should be. I can feel tall and strong and then see myself reflected in a window and feel - just for a few minutes - discouraged and, as one weight loss buddy put it last year - blobular.  It doesn't add up sometimes - how the number on the scale and the size of my jeans seems so BIG and then I look at what I'm capable of physically.  In some ways I'm in the best "shape" or fitness level that I've been since first year university. Hmph.

I have 8 weeks of P90X left (I'm doing the lean program) and then I think I'm going to try the Classic version which is 1 workout lighter on the cardio and heavier on the resistance training.

And when I'm in New York in a little over a week, I'm going to NOT look at myself in windows but instead enjoy every moment.

Donna's latest release is A FAMILY FOR THE RUGGED RANCHER, out in the UK and India this month. She's signing books at RWA Nationals in New York and also giving a workshop, How to Write Sizzle Without Sex and Emotion Without Tragedy with pal Fiona Harper and Sr Editor, Romance, Bryony Green.

1 comment:

  1. I'll avoid the windows with you :D I felt the same way about the pix from RWA '08. Since then I've had a baby, which is the happiest reason to be blobular. Here's to looking in windows and mirrors by Anaheim (RWA '12)