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Category Archives: Weight Loss

Creating Character

 

“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.” Stephen King

No matter what genre you are writing, I think this is true. Mr. King may literally turn the monsters loose but I believe all writers, no matter what genre, need to torture the characters. Otherwise why would anyone want to continue reading.

I have read that character is half of what is needed for story. The other half is plot. Without both there is no story. A story may be character driven but without plot, there is no story. A plot driven novel may have characters that don’t change so much from book to book because they are often part of a series. Those characters are developed well but the reader may not find out everything about them in the first book. I do believe those characters reveal more slowly over a series.

Creating characters is fascinating. Whether they are completely fabricated or created piece by piece from real people, kind of like Frankenstein, the choice is up to you. How many of you have been tempted to model a victim or a villain after someone you are not so fond of? I know I have. Even with that seed of someone you know though, my characters tend to become their own people, so those real life templates get buried in the work. How do you create your characters? Do you start with a seed of an idea and write or do you spend time filling out background and bio information? Do you do personality tests on your characters? What is your secret to creating characters?

For more on character – don’t miss this week’s IRN meeting. Leigh Michaels will be speaking about ‘Character Secrets’. Don’t know about you but I can’t wait.

Talk about interesting characters, just finished reading ‘Dark Side’, by Belinda Bauer. I want so much to tell you about this character but it would ruin the book. Just trust me that this is a worthy read, if you like mysteries. It has the feel of Midsomer Murders which is one of my favorite shows. An inspector that no one seems to like but who has moments where I actually did like him. The story is about a village in England where older women are being murdered. They are all burdens to their families so there is the possibility that it could be any of the family members who are doing it. Of course the killer is crazy but they can’t come up with solid clues. Officer Holly is the local police who bumbles his way trying to help. He too has a family member who has become a burden. His young wife has MS and now he spends most of his time worrying about her. Lots of twists and turns and a shocker ending. I did start figuring it out before the end but I still felt satisfied. This author has been added to my list of authors to watch.

Also my friends Sparkle Abbey’s second book in their Pampered Pet mysteries just came out the other day. ‘Get Fluffy’. Plan to get my copy very soon. If you haven’t read the first, ‘Desperate Housedogs’, you need to get moving.

See you Saturday and keep writing!

Virginia

 

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Weight Loss for Writers…

Okay so I have been at this since February 5th and I feel like I am slowly going forward. It hasn’t been a straight path. Some weeks I do lose a couple pounds and just keep going but most weeks, I fluctuate. I think I have figured out why I fluctuate mid week.

I have Tuesdays off so meet my writer friend Sara for lunch and coffee. I try to watch what I eat and I do use my app to check for calories. I continue to make better choices but sometimes I am weak and give in to something I really shouldn’t…

Obviously my weekly meetings with Sara make it more difficult but I think life would be more unbearable if I had to hide away and not enjoy it a little. So it may take me longer but I will enjoy the journey so much more.

One of the things I do that I feel is essential is keeping a log of what I eat. No matter what I eat, I put it on my log. I own it. That way when I gain, I can trace it back to what I did that could have caused it. Without a record, I would have to resort to guessing.

I did read the Loseit book in the beginning. If you are thinking of doing this program, I would recommend reading it. It goes into more detail about everything. I also discovered another free program called Spark People. I will tell you more about it next week. The website is a little more complicated so not sure how far I will go with the online stuff there. I did, of course buy the book to read  and think I may get the most benefit from the book anyway. The Spark People program encompasses more than weight loss. It is supposed to help you achieve all of your goals.

Well enough for this week. I continue to lose slowly, even though today I am on one of those rebound days where I regained the pound I lost yesterday, I know it will come off again soon. I keep floating between 6-8 pounds so far but because I have so many more to lose, I’m not sweating it. I know it will come off now. I am feeling more confident with each day that I continue.

If you are just starting the weight loss journey, my tip for this week is to keep a food log. It makes you think about what you are eating and it keeps you honest.

Until next week,

Virginia

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Weight Loss

 

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Weight Loss so far…

I continue to push forward with the Loseit program. Today was a struggle. No matter what I did, I was hungry. I probably ate too much today and will pay for it tomorrow. My loss continues to be pretty steady, usually at least a pound a week or more. It seems like when I stall at the same weight for a few days, if I keep doing what I am supposed to, I’ll see a day when I drop two pounds. Seems like it is inching along but if I want to see real results, I know I can’t quit.

I have tried to adapt the changes to my lifestyle. I like to workout but sometimes after a hard day at work, I really would like to veg out. When I really feel that way, I sometimes veg out. I refuse to beat myself up to the point where it’s a real battle because then I know I will lose.

One of my tricks is forced exercise. I park further away so I have to walk further. I haven’t gotten to the point that I will take the stairs up all the time, but I will take them down. I really get into housework and try to work up a sweat. It may not be a fancy form of exercise but if I’m sweating, I’m moving and that’s all it takes. When the weather is bad and I feel like walking, I will go to the mall. Yes I like to shop, but I make myself wait until after I’ve walked. I try not to miss working out two days in a row. I think I have to keep the momentum of at least every other day.

I am not perfect and never will be. I’m human and I will have days that I cheat and eat a little chocolate or skip a workout but as long as I keep my eye on the long term goal and get back onto the program the next day, I know it will all workout.

Though I am a long way from my final goal, I can say, I feel better and I am noticing my jeans feeling a little bit looser.

Until next time…

Virginia

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Weight Loss

 

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Two Weeks Down

I continue to follow the Loseit plan and am finding success. So far I have lost 5 lbs. Not bad since I set it up to lose 1.5 lbs a week. I feel like I have a little more energy and do not feel as if I have been deprived.

No food is totally off-limits but I do look at portions. I hate getting to the end of the day and feel I have cut myself short for dinner. Even if I overdo one day, I don’t dwell on it, I stay positive, tomorrow is a new day and I get all the daily calories again.   Watching calories does make you more aware of healthier choices. Fruits and vegetables are lower in calories and help fill me up more than some of the junk I used to eat all the time.

I try not to overdo two days in a row but if I do, I have a safety net, exercise. I pop in the Wii fit DVD and workout. That usually gives me the added calories to make up for overeating.  At first I was really pushing to do something physical every day and that did help kick-start the weight loss but I started feeling like maybe my 15 minutes to relax at lunch could be better spent relaxing and reading instead of rushing to walk the skywalks of downtown. I normally have to walk several blocks every day between the parking ramp and the office anyway. So to balance it out a little, I have decided to use my Wii fit every other day at home, except on Saturdays when I do my housework. I feel like I get a pretty good workout doing that, with lugging the vacuum up and down two sets of stairs along with everything else that needs to be done.  I look at cleaning in a different light now. It’s not a chore, it’s a workout and when I’m done, I get immediate gratification by having a clean house.  As soon as spring really arrives, I plan to add walks around a lake near home. For now though, I have decided to back off a little during the day at work and actually take a break.

The most frustrating part of last week was the pound I kept floating. One day I was down a pound and the next day I was up. I did that most of the week. I tried not to get too excited about it.  I just kept doing the plan and eventually this Monday, I broke through and dropped 2 pounds.

So far, this feels like something I can do for the long-term to meet my weight loss goal. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s an app for your smart phone. I use it on my Nook. The website is http://www.loseit.com. It’s free and that makes it even better.

If any of you have decided to do it, be sure to friend me on the site. I will do my best to help motivate and encourage.

I plan to post a writing blog this weekend.

Virginia

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Weight Loss

 

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Weight Loss For Writers – and Everyone Else

Last weekend I made the decision to do something about my weight, again. I have tried weight Loss programs at least three times with real success only once. Right before Christmas, I decided to try one again. I signed up for the on-line version. I lost 3 pounds in two weeks. At the time, I thought anything in the right direction was good. Then came Christmas and New Years and I gained back a pound. Still I thought I could do this. After New Years I just couldn’t get myself into the mindset to make it work and I hated spending the money to use a program on-line knowing that I would have to depend on myself to keep motivated. I think they make it difficult to connect to people on-line so you have to go to the meetings. I started doubting my ability to keep myself motivated.  I know me, I would cheat. I really didn’t want to do the meeting thing either. Never got used to weighing myself in front of other people. Besides I don’t have the time especially since the only meeting place in my area closed and if I wanted to attend, I would have to drive across town to do it. Then the points, could never get the hang of counting them.

Then one day, I was playing around with my Nook. I found an app on there for weight loss. There was also a website and it was free. It’s called Loseit.com. It does everything I wanted the other on-line weight loss program site to do but didn’t.

Lose It has a daily food log with a search engine that pulls up any kind of food you could imagine, including restaurants. It also has a place to add your exercise. There are also forums where other members can discuss and share information about their journey toward weight loss. You can also friend those people who will then be there to help motivate you with little messages of encouragement. They also send you badges when you reach certain goals.  And maybe the best part is there are no points. It’s based solely on calories.

It takes about five minutes to sign up and you decide how many pounds you would like to lose a week. You choose from half a pound up to two and it will automatically adjust your calorie level.   I use the app during the day listing what I eat and it tells me what I have left for the rest of the day.  I eat pretty much what I want but I have caught myself making better choices because I want to be able to have dinner at night.

There is one safety valve just in case you go over a little. You just move. There is a huge list of activities you can choose from, including house cleaning and vacuuming, and the one I really like is the Wii fit program. Go burn up a few calories. That adds to the calories you can eat, either giving you more or allowing you to stay under your goal.

Okay, so after my first week, you are probably wondering how I did. This past week included my birthday. We always go out to eat as a family on birthdays so I couldn’t get out of it. I ate my favorite, prime rib. I chose a smaller portion and made better choices with the rest of my meal. I did go over my calorie allotment that day but I didn’t let it sidetrack me. The next day was a new day and I started over.  By the end of the week, I had lost three pounds. My goal was 1 1/2 pounds. I moved everyday, even if it was just a short walk at lunch.

I think this is a great program. If you have been wanting to lose some weight and get fit, I can say that I highly recommend it. If you decide to join, friend me. I truly am a great motivator and will work to keep you on track.

I’ll check in here each week to let you know how it’s going and share some of my secrets along the way.

Until next time,

Virginia

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Weight Loss

 

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Birthdays – Goals – Life

Today was my birthday. Used to get depressed thinking about another year older and no closer to my goals. If I could choose what I really wanted to do with my life, I can tell you it wouldn’t be working in a call center. Before you start feeling too sorry for me, it isn’t like I have been doing it my whole life. I have done many things over the years. Worked at a local grocery store in the gifts and cards area in high school, a one girl office, a purchasing department, three different insurance companies as a commissions clerk, assistant underwriting tech, and  administrative assistant in a wellness center. On top of all that, I was a REALTOR for 15 years. It just about broke my heart to give up being my own boss as a REALTOR to do what I’m doing now but it’s just another chapter in my life.

That said, if I could do anything that I wanted, I would be writing full-time. But you know what they say about people in Hades and well, you know.

As if my writing goal was not enough, I have decided to lose weight and become a little more healthy.  My life is way more sedentary than it used to be. Being a REALTOR  is more  physical than most people think, unless you have assistants, and I didn’t. Besides the usual meeting with buyers and sellers you had to service listings and that meant putting signs in yards and taking them out. This time of year was dreadful. The ground is frozen and it involved a lot of lugging hot water in milk jugs and yanking and pulling on signs and lock box stakes. I don’t miss that. You also had to tour houses every week and that meant rushing through maybe a dozen houses in a short period of time, usually within 2-3 hours and that is a lot of going up and down stairs. I don’t miss that either.

Most days now are spent sitting at a desk moving infrequently. When I am not at work, I spend more time in front of my computer at home, writing and moving infrequently.

So I have decided to add another tab to my blog and write about my adventure in losing weight and getting fit. I will try to post as often as I can about what I am doing and the results. Don’t cringe, I will not share any fat photos. I will share my journey and encourage anyone else out there to join me. I know there have got to be a few writers who are struggling with weight gain too. Feel free to share your secrets and encouragement. I will need it.

Watch for Lois Greiman’s guest blog on the 9th. If you like romance or mystery. She’s got you covered.

Virginia

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2012 in Weight Loss

 

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