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Too Much Of A Good Tweet?

I’ve been getting (and giving) huge support for health and fitness efforts over on Twitter. I love the community there and how it rallies around people, cheering them on for accomplishments, and lending a supportive hand when things aren’t going as well. I’ve found it to be something of a community OA sponsor, talking me down from cupcakes or lying on the couch when it’s time to exercise. I LOVE my Twitter community but sometimes… I find it hard to drag myself away. The thing about Twitter is that it’s going on 24/7, and there is always something to respond to.

This week the awesome MizFit wrote a very provocative blog post with the statement, “You are what you repeatedly do.” I contemplated this for quite a while. (update: the full quote is from Aristotle. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”)

I am what I repeatedly do.

In some areas, this is quite good news. I have been repeatedly working out and making (for the most part) good food choices. I have been mindful. This is all good.

BUT. I have also been repeatedly Twittering, quite a bit. And recently I’ve seen that it’s kept me from doing other things I need and want to do. And I realize that it’s been a bit too much of a good thing. So I have put myself on a Twitter diet, with the invaluable help of a (free) program called LeechBlock. (what a name, huh? So it blocks the leeches from sucking your lifeblood away??)

LeechBlock is a simple productivity tool designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day.

I’ve added Twitter and Facebook to this program, and allowed myself five minutes per every two hours. I figure that this is equivalent to a “water cooler” break. I’m not going cold turkey, but it’s a good helpful reminder of what I want my priorities to be, and how I want to spend my time. And of course I can bypass it by changing the settings, but that’s like “cheating” on a healthy eating plan. I’m only cheating myself, so what’s the point?

That quote also reminded me, sadly, of what I am NOT repeatedly doing that I want to do more of, and that’s write. In my “other” non-Foodie life I am (or was) a writer, working on two novels, a book of nonfiction, short stories, a column etc. none of which have been getting much attention since I began this blog. So I am a blogger, but not a Writer. In my mind, these things are quite separate.

My day job is working up to its annual Big Event in a few weeks, and after that I really want to turn things around and spend more time writing. Keeping up the healthy stuff.

Tell me: who are you, based on what you repeatedly do?

And the Winners are…!

The day has finally arrived and I am announcing the winners to my Laptop Bag Giveaway Contest! This was a wonderful contest to read and I really enjoyed and appreciated everyone’s answers. These were the five that really shone for me. I chose five semi-finalists and then could really not pick ONE from there, so I went to the Random Thingy Chooser (yes, that is really the name of it!) Read down to the bottom to see whom it chose.

dscn2636-thumbBut the four semi-finalists will all receive a prize: this incredibly cool and perfect “Foodie” jewelry charm (can be either a charm or necklace) made by the artistic father of Mara, the blogger at I Made Dinner!!  (Mara is going to get her own Special Prize for helping out with this) Is that not PERFECT? (the crossed utensils over the laptop keyboard??)

So….. drum roll please!! Here are my five finalists.  You can see their complete posts here, but here are some excerpts.

  • Lavagal made me laugh out loud with her post.  Weight Watchers has taught me that journaling is the most honest you can be with yourself. As a result, I blog about my WW progress (lavagal.wordpress.com). For every day that I work out at 24Hour Fitness I tweet my calories, strides, miles, and minutes along with two photos: the first at the start of my workout, the second at the end…Believe me. I eat like a cow so I have to work like an ass, LOL! I love to cook and eat, but I also like to paddle out on my surfboard and wait my turn in the lineup. I’m 50. I still have plenty of waves to catch. Rather than look like a manatee in the lineup, I want to be the chick who’s still hip!
  • Bwjen is another bookworm and English teacher, and she created the inspiring TweetWalker Clubhouse for the benefit of walkers and runners. I have been using twitter and blogging to stay motivated and accountable. I tweet constantly with fellow walkers. I came up with the virtual walking club The TweetWalker ClubHouse where currently me and 15 other walkers blog about our walks. We are a source of inspiration, motivation, support and encouragement for each other. We have each set goals and are walking away our extra pounds.
  • JaimeH is also using blogging, twittering and online communities to help her with her diabetes. I found tudiabetes.com, twitter and started journaling once again. I’ve always known about diabetic communities online but not until I fully engaged in the DOC (diabetic online community) did I realize how much I really needed them. Through writing and connecting with these fabulous people I started to put myself back on my priority list. Out of the 12yrs with diabetes I always took it very seriously and kept my #’s pretty much where they should be…that year I stopped caring was the worst A1c I’ve ever had. These people I started communicating with made me feel like I was not alone in my battle. Not only diabetics but other people on twitter that are living a healthy lifestyle. Even through the internet you could feel their kindness and they are always there to cheer me on when I need it the most. Since then I have become an online admin for tudiabetes & the socal ambassador.
  • ShariMacD is a writer/editor who has found a more personal (and healthy) way to use writing. I’m an editor and writer, but I’ve resisted personal journal writing for years – thinking that it was a waste of writing time because I wasn’t producing something for public consumption. I recently started journaling as a way to help deal with some personal issues, and that has serendipitously coincided with my beginning a new phase of healthy eating/healthy living. Where I’d failed hundreds (thousands?) of times before at weight loss and healthy living attempts, this time around I’m finding it much easier to eat well and get my body moving. I believe this is because I’m journaling, which I’ve found to be a tremendously powerful form of self-care. By journaling, I’m allowing myself to feel what I feel, on the page. To process my life via words, instead of running from it by comforting myself with food. When I’m upset or stressed now, the first thing I think of is grabbing my journal, not grabbing a package of mini chocolate donuts.
  • knk had the most quoteable quote of all. blogging helps me get out what food helps me stuff in. emotions, thoughts, issues, concerns, dreams, fears. and the daily struggle to balance child, career, home, and me– that stuff only gets done by writing/blogging. otherwise, it sits, festers, infects me– takes over my subconscious until i’m doing things i don’t want to do. writing is a way to cleanse my soul, process my emotions, and find the energy to clear a path to a healthier happier life, even if its obscured. it bring me clarity and serves as a conscience. the words bear witness and keep me honest. they provide solace and comfort. writing allows me to listen without responding and gives me time and space to clear away the layers until i am sure of myself again and can face the challenges of weight loss, food demons, and personal growth.

So…. the moment is here! and the Random Thingy Chooser has chosen… JaimeH!

Congratulations, Jaime! You have won the laptop bag! Please email me your snail-mail address, and I will send it out this week! Keep doing that great work for diabetics everywhere. You have already helped me so much, so thank you!

Congratulations, Shari, knk, lavagal and bwjen! You have all won the foodie charms! Please send YOUR snail-mail addresses to Mara here, and she will send you your choice of either a necklace or cell-phone charm or zipper pull.

And thanks to Mara for sending out these prizes! Mara, I have something special for you, so please send ME your snail mail.

Thanks everyone who participated, I truly loved EVERY answer. I hope you will keep writing for health!! And guess what? I have another contest/giveaway in the works! Write about your favorite vegetable, and another fabulous prize might be yours!

Foodie’s Vegetable Writing Challenge!

I was so inspired and pumped-up by the Fab Fatties’ fitness challenge that they issued last week. They challenged friends and readers to either bike 50 miles or run/walk 15 miles in a week and then report back. The Twittersphere was buzzing with people who were at various staged in the challenge – it was really cool. I participated, and came up with 21 miles of running/walking for the week. Yay me!

I was trying to think of a similar challenge that I could issue on my blog. I was mulling this around. And then it came to me: a writing challenge!! Some of you may not know this, but I am a writer, have been a writing teacher for 15+ years, and am an editor. Lately I have not been teaching writing — too many other things going on – and I really, really, really miss it.

So I’m going to issue a little writing challenge here.  Everybody knows that eating healthily should probably involve vegetables. Some of us really love vegetables. Some, not so much.  So I would like this challenge to be in appreciation of some vegetable: either one you’ve always adored, OR a new one you’re trying for the first time (and maybe are a bit suspicious of) or one that you used to hate and now enjoy.

Please do a freewrite on your vegetable. Or any-kind-of write. It can be prose or poetry. It can be as simple and sweet as a haiku.  (remember? 5-7-5 syllables)

Tender artichoke
Reveals its succulent heart
to prying fingers.
Georgia Terrell, Houston

Pop open pea pods
Set free some plump round voyeurs —
Peeping toms in green.
Jane Butkin Roth, Bellaire

It can be as elaborate as Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Tomatoes.

the tomato,
star of earth,
recurrent
and fertile
star,
displays
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.

(swoon) Isn’t that beautiful? (I meant that as inspiration, not as pressure! None of us are Neruda!!)

So. Please choose your vegetable, contemplate it, taste it, smell it. Pay close attention. Then write! I will pick a winner and announce it next Thursday, May 27th. A prize will be given! (not sure what it is yet) Either post your entry as a comment here, or email it to me.  The winner (and possibly some honorable mentions!) will be published on this blog.

Healthy living involves so many different aspect of ourselves: moving our bodies, eating well, and doing some mental/psychological work. This is a challenge in mindfulness. Have fun! I can’t wait to see what y’all come up with. I’ve already been very impressed and moved by the comments I’ve seen in the laptop-bag giveaway contest. (WHICH, by the way, is still accepting entries!!)

Laptop Bag Giveaway!!

51WSk36dmpL._SL500_AA280_I’m doing a giveaway! The prize is this festive bag for carrying a laptop computer.  What you need to do to enter is to write a comment about how and why WRITING (blogging, freewriting, journaling, Twittering etc) is helping you in your quest for healthier living (eating well, exercise, dealing with illness, etc).

The winner will be picked only semi-randomly. I will choose the top five posts in terms of thoughtfulness. It’s too easy to just write “I love to write, and I want that laptop bag!” THEN I’ll send those top five to the random picker. The deadline for this giveaway is Monday, May 25th.

I truly believe that writing has made my journey towards health possible. I’d like to hear about yours.

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