One is that I spend most of my time (sometimes 8-12 hours a day) sitting and staring at a keyboard and screen. And getting up to stretch can lead to cups of tea and snacks. Or meals.
Last fall I knew I should do something about my weight — I weighed more than I ever had. But then snows were deep, the YMCA gym and pool half an hour away, and I had deadlines … and migraines.
My neurologist prescribed meds to help with the headaches, and I forged on. No one could help with the deadlines. (Yes: all manuscripts were in on time.)
I got that news in the middle of a series of weeks I was speaking (sometimes in different states) several times a week. Dieting and exercise didn’t seem realistic. I had too much to juggle in my life already.
Then my headaches got worse. When I spoke with my neurologist again he mentioned, casually, that, well, those meds he’d put me on in December sometimes caused weight gain
I threw out the rest of the bottle and by Memorial Day I was serious. I had to lose weight. A LOT of weight. I asked my Facebook friends about devices that counted steps, and ended up with a Garmin I love. It sets goals for me, counts my steps, and keeps track of my weight. Now, almost two months later, I walk 3-5 miles a day, am still counting calories, and have lost over ten pounds. Yes, I have a bad knee. Recovering from a walk requires an ice pack. But the pain is worth it. Slowly but surely I’m returning to a body
I’m comfortable with. But I still have a long way to go.
Almost every day I walk down a road near my home that I’ve come to know well. It’s along the shore of a river, so houses on one side have waterfront. Houses on the other side have woods. And there are many acres of woods without homes.
I head down that road, not knowing what I’ll see. I’ve met deer. I found a perfect (dead) luna moth. Great blue herons hang out in one area. Neighbors who seem to work in their gardens no matter when I walk, greet me. When cars pass, we wave at each other. Even in parts of the road where woods are deep, I hear lobster boats working their traps, and pleasure boats speeding along. I’ve met most of the dogs who live along the road, and we’ve made peace with each other.
I’ve grown selfish about my walks. It’s my time to think. To plan. To listen to crows and bees and the rustle of squirrels and chipmunks in the woods. To plot my next chapter, or my next meal.
My Garmin nags me to make sure I walk at least 10,000 steps. When I started, I thought 5,000 steps was a good day. Now I miss my goal only on days when weather is really awful (when I walk on a treadmill, which is much more boring) or when I have a signing or book festival or other “away from home” event that takes most of the day.
Maine is a beautiful place. And walking in it is, yes, helping me get my body back to where it should be. But it’s also helping me focus more. There’s more to my world than a computer screen, and it’s good to be reminded of that. So, today, I’m taking you all along with me on my walk. All the pictures I’ve posted are scenes I pass along the way.
Welcome to my world.