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Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Have you ever felt the need for change? L.B. Joramo did, and she’s here to tell us about it today. Learn more about her at her website

I worked in the health and fitness business for sixteen years before I packed it all in and went back to school for my Master’s in US Military History; my area of concentration is the American Revolution. I had been planning to quit for several years, since my ultimate goal was to actually make a living at my writing, and my early “retirement” couldn’t have come at a better time. Before I quit my business, I partly tore my rotator cuff again and strained my groin. I could barely walk, let alone lift anything with my left arm. Obviously, I was doing something wrong, but what it was, I could have cared less, since I didn’t have to work out for my job anymore. I was elated!

For the next three years I became more and more sedentary. Hey, I was a part-time Master’s student, hence a lot of sitting while I read, and was actively pursuing getting published with my writing—even more sitting. And with my injuries, I didn’t mind sitting more. I really didn’t mind, but my body did. I started to gain weight, but what disturbed me the most was my mood. I was sad more often than I ever had been and agitated. I just thought it was because I was having such a struggle with getting published, but it was more, much more, than that.

You see, I know the science behind why our bodies do what they do. I knew better than to sit around with two injuries. The quickest way to heal is movement--gentle, consistent movement. The best way to lose a few pounds is movement. I’m sorry diet industry, but it’s been proven over and over again that diets don’t work. Activity does. Besides, what the diet industry really doesn’t want mainstream Americans to know is:

1.) being overweight does not mean you are unhealthy—the stats show that a person who eats more healthy meals and consistently moves, yet is overweight, will live longer and have less diseases than a thin person who does not eat the same kind of healthy meals or move regularly. And,

2.) most people are overweight by their standards, which might not be accurate or even scientific. All my male clients were 20, 30, sometimes even 40 pounds overweight, but none of those pounds were fat. All of my guy clients were fine with that. With my female clients it was more difficult to talk about the scale, because many women valued their sense of self with the number on that scale. And that broke my heart.

However, many of my women would open up to the idea that muscle did weigh more than fat. We would do a science experiment, where I would cube an inch of butter and an inch of steak, and the steak would sometimes weigh three times more than the butter, especially lean steak—in other words, pure muscle. The only way to get that muscle was to move.

I’m a realist, as well as a very sedentary person now. I do not, nor have I ever, thought you had to work yourself until you’re purple in the face to gain muscle. And don’t get me wrong, I do love a challenging exercise class, where I end up dripping sweat. But that’s me. Everyone has different emotional needs, so why not have different physical needs too? Some people move all the time, yet never work up a sweat, and they have great muscles and cardio health to prove it. Some people, like me, will want to burst with energy and lift weights and or do power yoga until sweat streams off us. Both these kinds of examples are proof of movement and people being active, and they are both right for those particular people.

We’ve been studying exercise for a long time, and the one thing that has been proven over and over again to work for people is doing what they like consistently. That means, when I was a trainer, I would have to think outside the box for training my clients. One of my clients actually liked cleaning, and I helped her set up her own organization of cleaners to help people who are diagnosed with a fatal disease. She cleans all day long, happy as a Jay bird, gets fit, and does it all for a great cause.

Another client of mine was a preacher’s wife, and for the longest time I couldn’t find anything that she loved so much that she would want to do it every day. Until I found strip aerobics for her. Yep, my client, the preacher’s wife, knows how to have a good time, and her husband has no complaints either.

The point is that exercise should be some activity that is fun and something you look forward to doing almost every day. My problem, before I quit, was that I had forgotten that, and was just working out because it was my job. As a consequence, I started to listen less and less to my body as I was moving, and that’s how you get a couple killer injuries.

Listen to your bodies, move as often as you can—during commercial breaks, get up and dance for me, lend a hand to your neighbor when they’re sick, show your kids how terrible you are at the hula-hoop, but the most important rule of exercise is to have FUN! Find something you find completely exhilarating and do it as often as you can! 

Our bodies will adjust and want something else to do soon enough, so then it’s your job to find that something else that is incredibly fun for you to do. It’s a journey, like so many other things, and I guarantee you will not only discover so much about your body, but yourself too. I’ve been privileged to watch my clients change, adjust, and grow, and now it’s my turn to do the same. I hope you’ll join me! Let me know what you like to do for exercise, activity, or movement, whatever word resonates with you?

As black clouds gather for America in 1775 Violet Buccleuch transforms from simple colonial farmer to become the Immortal American.

While Boston roars with protests, Violet Buccleuch fights to survive. The lone provider for her mother and sister, Violet knows that soon enough she must surrender to the only option a woman of 1775 has: marriage.

For two years she's delayed a wedding to Mathew Adams, her fiancé. He’s loved her since they were children, and Violet knows he will be a good husband. But he’s gone and committed the most dangerous mistake a man can make: He’s introduced her to his friend, Jacque Beaumont, a Frenchman and a spy, a dark, dangerous man Violet can’t stop herself from wanting.

Then Violet’s life is shattered--brutality, death, and the threat of debtor’s prison surround her. Both Jacque and Mathew come to her aid--one man rescues her farm, the other rescues her heart. As the Battle of Concord rages at her door, Violet is entangled between her loyalty to Mathew, even as she's drawn further into Jacque's shadowy, mysterious world – perhaps a world from which there's no return.


Morgan Mandel said...

I spend too much time in front of the computer.
That's one reason I walk the dog a few times a day. I also go to Fitness Class twice a week. Invariably, I get a few aches and pains after a class. I persevere, since the alternative is a body that won't want to function at all. I've heard that if you don't use it, you'll lose it!

Morgan Mandel

Marsha said...

Great post and reminder, Janice. I've become more and more sedantary as I've focused more on my writing. After years on my feet as a school principal, the pounds have packed on. I go to Pilates twice a week at my daughter's studio and try to walk my 10 K steps 4 other days. Doesn't always happen, but it's a good goal. Yes, I get muscle aches and I sweat a ton, even mall walking, but I feel virtuous. And I can pick up my grandkids and get up and down off the floor to play with them.I couldn't have done that before the regular exercise. Even though I weighed less when I was a principal, I wasn't as strong and when I ate it wasn't healthy. I'd love for the pounds to magically go away. LOL Wouldn't we all! Probably not going to happen. I need to do something different to lose the pounds or come to terms with not looking like I did 6 years ago.

Heather Thurmeier said...

Thank you so much for this post!! I really needed to hear this right now. I've discovered that since my kids are now both in school full-time, that means I get to write full-time. It also means I'm sitting full-time so I can type. And I've started to notice a difference in how I feel, my energy levels and my weight. So I've started making little changes that I hope will help. I now rotate between my couch and a standing desk to write, take the dog for a walk every nice day and do a kettlebell workout with hubs 3 times a week. I know it's not enough yet, but it's a start. Now to find something else that I really love to get me moving the other 4 days in the week!

Linda Andrews said...

Thanks for the informative post. I recently bought a treadmill since I like walking and I can read any book I want while I do it. Lately, I've decided to increase my pace when a really fast song comes on through my MP3 player for some variety. Of course with summer approaching, I'm considering looking into water exercises too to mix things up. There are some days I don't want to get on the treadmill, even to read.

www.raynegolay.com said...

I'm glad I read this post. It confirms everything I believe in and know about fitness and dieting. Being an addictions counselor, I've taken courses in nutrition, the bottom line being just as you say, diet without exercise isn't enough.
When I was in Geneva last week, I noticed how much more people there walk than we do here in the U.S. European cities weren't built for cars, so we have to walk, and the weather being awful most of the time, we walk fast.
Love this post.

Terry Shames said...

What a great post! Having dogs helps--they need to be walked, and I do a fantastic walk on a fire trail near our house. Plus go to the gym. But it's still a fight to the death with weight because I'm in front of the computer so much. I think I'm going to take your advice about dancing in between "sets" on the computer.

Thanks for the pick-me-up!

Nancy DeMarco said...

I have a treadmill set up with a keyboard across the handles, attached to a laptop outputted to a big screen TV. Most of my writing is done while walking.

If I'm editing, I can walk maybe 3 mph. For writing from scratch, it's more like 1.5. Not fast, but way better than sitting. And I can take breaks and get in a quick run - I'm already there. :)

Lani said...

Thanks Morgan, Marsha, Heather, Linda, Rayne, and Terry for your comments! You all rock with how much activity you include in your life! I love it how you all include little snippets of activity throughout your day. You know, there was a study done about 20 years ago about brisk walking. If one did a 10 minute brisk walk, the scientists found that it increased one's serotonin's fluctuation, which makes people happy, but also was enough to show a cardiovascular improvement! Just 10 minutes a day!

You all are inspiring! I'll be thinking about all of you the next time I'm 10 minute briskly walking around!

Lani said...

Wow! Nancy! That's fantastic! Good for you!

Reese Ryan said...

Great post! This is something I've been struggling with for the past few months. I am determined to get out and move more. It's not just for aesthetic reasons, there is also the matter of my health. So far I've been walking, going to the gym, and taking yoga. Today we're playing tennis. I feel better and it gives my creativity a boost. Thanks for addressing this issue.

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

The first year I was writing I gained weight. Then I started on an exercise routine. I can't afford the gym right now, but I walk two miles on the beach, try to do three on the hill, work out with weights, do pilates and paddleboard on Saturday. It's coming off, but slowly.

Donis Casey said...

The absolute worst thing about the physical act of writing is the long periods of sitting still. I find that if I get up and walk or move about every hour or so I can concentrate better and am actually more productive. And I make it a point to do at least half an hour of aerobic exercise every day of the world, because otherwise my lifestyle doesn't provide enough movement.

Lani said...

Thanks, Reese, Ella and Donis for commenting! Wow, Reese, it sounds like you move a lot, so good for you! And, Ella, oh, do I commiserate with you! After being in a gym for almost twenty years for hours a day, I was sick of it. And, honestly, we don't really need a gym anyway. Good job on the walking on the beach! The sand is a strong element to walk through, so just imagine all your strong leg muscles working for you! And Donis I applaud your lifestyle! I get more creative if I move more often too. And I'm not so prone to getting grumpy, but I just need to remind myself of that from time to time!
Again, thank you all for commenting!

Susan Macatee said...

Great post, Lani! I'm a firm believer in working out and being as active as I can. I do a one hour workout each weekday, varying my routine, so I'm not working the same muscles every day. I also walk the dog most days and spend time cleaning the house on weekdays. I try to do something active, then work my writing and promo time in at the computer; promo in the mornings, and writing in the afternoon. That way I'm not sitting for long periods each day.

Sonya said...

Good post! I clean for exercise too. I lose the calories and the house looks great. Win-win ; - )

Lana Williams said...

Wonderful post, Lani! I feel so much better when I work out - somehow it gives me a better feel of control over my life which makes me feel more positive! LOL! I like to mix it up with walking, running, yoga and a little P90X to keep it interesting. Twenty minutes 4-5 times per week has made a big difference to me! Thanks for the great info. I absolutely LOVE your book and highly recommend it to everyone!

Lani said...

Thanks Susan, Sonya, and Lana! I'm so glad you all came by! Susan, I'm in awe! You are an inspiration! I will grow up to be you! Sonya, I love it! Yay, your clean house and you! Lana, You are an inspiration as well! Wow, girl, that's impressive! And thank you for the compliment on my book! That means the world to me!

Cindy Sample said...

Great post, Janice. I'm fidgety by nature which I guess helps me burn calories faster. After I had a "cha cha" injury (don't ask) I couldn't sit comfortably for two months so I ended up putting my laptop on an elevated surface and stood all day writing away. It became natural for me although I discovered you do need to move around every 30 minutes or so. The trick is to remember to take those breaks you mentioned and just shake your booty (or whatever you can still shake)

Mia Marlowe said...

Great post on a common writerly problem. I've decided I am susceptible to blackmail. I can't do X until I do Y. I figure it will get me on the treadmill daily.