Posted in Health, mental-health, Personal, Writing

Writing and Exercise Go Hand in Hand

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of vacationing and writing. We took the boys to a water park. It was fun, but we were ready to come home. Family vacations are important. They give us an opportunity to connect with our kids again. They’re especially important this year because of the pandemic. I’m so glad things are finally starting to open, and we can travel now.

But enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about staying active, especially for writers or people who sit at a desk for eight hours a day. It’s so important to get up and move. I’m trying to exercise at least five days a week. I was able to achieve that goal last week, but it’s harder when I’m working.

It’s important for writers to get up and move because writing is such a sedentary occupation. Did you know that sitting more than three hours a day can take two years off your life? Even if you exercise regularly, you still need to get up and move around every couple of hours. Take a break and go for a quick walk. Get the blood flowing again.

The benefits of exercise are not just physical. It helps with depression and anxiety. Exercise increases serotonin levels and dopamine levels which explains the fact you’re happier after you work out. I find that when I’m feeling anxious, going for a quick run helps reduce my angst.

I’ve also found that when I get stuck in my manuscript, if I step away from my work and go for a run or a hike, I can usually work out the problem. When I’m running, my brain works differently and I’m able to work out solutions to my story problems.

Any type of exercise will do. I run and do palates, but you could do Yoga or Zumba. Anything that gets your blood flowing. I used to do Yoga when I was younger and I’m going to start it up again just because I need the variety. How about you? What kind of exercise do you do? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, Personal

Is the Answer Pre-Packaged Meals?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of work, running, and writing. I’m hoping to send a few more query letters out this weekend, so wish me luck!

My hubby bought me a Fitbit so I can check my heartrate when I’m running and count my steps for the day. It helps me keep my focus on exercising, especially now when I can get outside to run. I want to stay healthy, so I can see my kids get married and have kids of their own. So many people my age are having health issues, and I’ve had a scare of my own. I’m trying to avoid any more by exercising and eating right.

The exercise part I’ve got down, but the eating right is another matter. I do pretty good normally, but I still love my ice-cream and chocolate on occasion. Sometimes on more than one occasion. 😉

I have to be careful because when you get right down to it, you can’t exercise a bad diet away. I see a trend cropping up where companies are sending you boxed meals that you just take out of the freezer and put in the microwave or oven. Their claim to fame is that they are good for you with just the right amount of protein and carbs.

There’s also a new diet out there, it’s called Optavia. This is where you eat five fuelings a day and then a lean and green meal at night. You have to buy all your food from the company and by doing this you’ll lose weight. It works, too. I’ve got a friend who’s lost approximately thirty pounds in a short period of time, and she’s still going strong. My question is, when you’ve lost enough weight, what do you do?

According to my friend, you transition back to eating normal meals, but I’m skeptical because it was those normal meals that made you overweight in the first place. This is a new program and people claim they’ve been able to keep the weight off. However, I’ve found the way they keep the weight off is by continuing to purchase the food from the company, and it’s not cheap. Now, this is okay if you feel a lot better and can afford it, but I want to know what’s in the food. What are they eating?

If it’s just low-carb meals. You can do that without spending top dollar for their meals. I have another friend who is following the keto plan. She’s lost sixty-five pounds. It took her a couple of years to do it, but I feel this might be the healthier approach.

Then there’s the fact, that our bodies do need carbohydrates, but they have to be the complex carbs not the sweets so many of us are addicted to. I think if you do that you don’t have to spend so much money on these special diets or special meals.

One thing these two things have going for them is time. Both save you time. It takes a lot of time to cook a good meal and then clean up after it’s been consumed. We’d all love a little more time in our day, wouldn’t we?

So, do you think these special diets and these special mail-order meals are here to stay? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Ageism, Health, Personal

Becoming Internally Oriented

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve been busy with work and writing and I’ve also taken a few days off to spend with the family. It’s important to do this. We’re trying to create some lasting memories with our kids. They’re growing up so fast and time feels like it’s slipping away.

Even though they believe they know everything and don’t want to listen to our advice or wisdom, they’re still sweet kids. So, the terrible teens aren’t so terrible. However, this shift in perspective from relying on our advice to trying to make decisions on their own, I see a loss. There’s so much wisdom the older generation has that the younger generation needs.

In ancient times, our elders were respected, and their advice was sought out. When did this change? And why? Now, society tries to make our mature adults feel as if they have nothing of value to offer. They try to push them aside and shove them out of the limelight.

Did this change when manufacturers started creating products to make us look younger? When did we buy into the idea that looking young was the only worthwhile state of being? We’ve become too externally oriented as a society. We need to focus on how we feel. Do we feel healthy?

Look at all the products on the market that really aren’t good for us. All that processed food is killing us by making us overweight. Do you know many diseases are manifested because of being overweight? Diabetes, Cancer, and Heart Disease just to name a few. Our young people need to be aware of this.

They sit in front of their computers playing video games for hours at a time. What is this doing to their bones? They need physical activity to make them healthy and strong. I try to get my boys outside and most days I’m successful, but is it enough?

That’s why listening to our elders is more important than ever now. With the way the media “spins” things, and the way manufacturers disregard the effects their products have on the people and the earth, we’re all vulnerable. No one knows what to believe anymore.

How can we turn this around? First, we need to become internally oriented. Focus on our feelings and our health. We need to turn off the TV and Social Media, where they work on keeping you engaged by posting pictures in your feed based on previous likes.

We can turn this around by focusing on our health and making sure we get enough nutrients as well as sunshine and exercise. It really is that simple.

How about you? Do you have any ideas how we can turn this around? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in friendship, Personal

In Real Life Connections

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of writing and work. I did take a day off and spend some time hiking with one of my gal pals. It was so nice to meet in real life with a friend and go hiking. I appreciate these moments together and the deepening of our connection.

I appreciate my gal pals. It’s so important to make time with your friends. I’ve found through the years some friends leave to travel their own paths. Sometimes there’s a falling out that makes us sad, but inevitably, we find new friends whose energy is closer to our own. I feel we develop more authentic friendships instead of situational ones as we grow older.  I’ve found some awesome friends who support me, and I support their endeavors. The friends I’ve kept along the way are the ones I just clicked with. They get my wacky sense of humor and enjoy the same things I do.

We have to honor the ebb and flow of these friendships. Sometimes, we can be extremely close and get together often. Other times life takes us in another direction for a while. The bond is still there, but it’s stretched to accommodate the distance we have to put between us. There are friends who’ve left me to pursue another path, I honor the history we have together and if we were ever to come back into contact, I’m sure we’d pick up right where we left off.

The circle of friends I have now, I value with all my heart. I have an artist friend who I’ve been spending a lot of time with. She’s showing me how to create some beautiful art. This is good for me because it’s another avenue for me to express my creativity. In our moments in her studio, I’ve shared details of my life and she’s shared details of hers. What I’ve noticed is that we’ve had similar experiences along the way, so we understand each other. She is wise beyond her years and I appreciate her wisdom.

I feel with the age of the computer, we’ve lost some of the ways we connect with our friends. Just working on a project together is immensely satisfying. There’s something to be said for those old quilting circles and I remember years ago getting together to play cards. I miss those days. I feel we’ve become lazy because we connect on social media now. It’s not the same. I believe this kind of loose connection is one of the reasons the suicide rate is rising. I worry about how future generations will interact. How will they make real connections over the internet?

I hope they’ll see the positives of the internet but also the negatives. I feel fortunate that I have the friends I have and we’re able to get together in person as well as connect on the internet. How about you? Do you have a circle of friends you connect with? What do you do when you get together? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Reading

What I’ve Been Reading

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work and writing. I’m back to working on another WIP I started a while back and I’ve picked it back up. I’m excited about this story as well and I hope I can do it justice.

But enough about that. Today, I’d like to say Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there. The ones who are still with us and the ones who’ve passed on. You are missed. Where would we be without our Dads, right?

With that being said, I’d like to share with you what I’ve been reading. It’s summer and it’s time to share one of the books I’ve been reading in between writing sessions.  The one I’m sharing with you today is titled “The Good Sister” by Sally Hepworth. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I must say it kept me engaged. The cover and blurb are below.

The Good Sister: A Novel by [Sally Hepworth]

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“A stunningly clever thriller made doubly suspenseful by not one, but two unreliable narrators.” 
People

Sally Hepworth, the author of The Mother-In-Law delivers a knock-out of a novel about the lies that bind two sisters in The Good Sister.

There’s only been one time that Rose couldn’t stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be…dangerous.

When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.

Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s the story of two sisters, Fern and Rose. Fern has some sensory issues that make her a little quirky and Rose well she’s Fern’s night in shining armor, always coming to Fern’s rescue. This story doesn’t start out as a typical thriller. There was an accident in the past that the girls kept secret and Fern believes she caused this accident, so she’s very careful to follow her schedule because if she doesn’t dangerous things happen.

All this changes when Fern decides she can pay her sister back by having a baby for her. Rose has been trying to get pregnant but has been unsuccessful. She sets her sights on Wally, who’s just as quirky as she is, but he’s also very smart. So, when they start dating Fern’s carefully structured life starts to unravel and secrets from the past are revealed.

This was a great story. I enjoyed Fern and Wally’s relationship. I loved Wally for the way he tried to accommodate Fern’s issues. He was gentle and caring. This story takes you a little by surprise which is a good thing. I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, but if you’re looking for a good beach read, this story is for you.

Posted in Health, Personal

Time to Get Moving

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of work and writing. I’m working on my second WIP while I query my first one. I have to change my query to reflect the changes I made in my WIP, so I’ll be doing that today, but enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about exercise.

It is so important for your health to make time to exercise. I know everyone knows this, but I don’t think it’s sinking in with people. Did you know that being overweight or obese leads to many diseases like diabetes and cancer? When my doctor told me, I was close to being pre-diabetic, I knew I had to do something, so I made it a priority to start running again. I had to lose some weight. I did and got my numbers back down, but I have to keep this up to keep the weight off.

A study done in 2018 shows that 10.4% of the population has been diagnosed with Diabetes. That is disturbing. I believe part of the problem is because of the food industry. I’m starting to believe anything man made isn’t good for us. Food manufacturers add sugar to their processed foods, so they taste better which leads us to be addicted to sugar, but enough about that. To learn more about that click this link. https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/is-processed-food-poisoning-us/

Sorry for my digression. Now, back to exercise. I run but walking will also help along with any type of exercise. Did you know that a walk after dinner helps keep your blood sugar down? We just need to get moving again folks. Exercise is also a great stress reliever. So, it’s good for your mental health, too.

Diet is also important. I saw a meme once that said, “you can’t exercise off a bad diet.” This is so true. However, I didn’t really believe this until just recently. When I was younger, I figured I could eat what I wanted because I was exercising. This may have been true back then, but now I pay attention to the carbs I’m eating, and I try to stay away from sweets. I do indulge occasionally because deprivation can lead to binge eating and that’s worse than an indulgence in my opinion.

Writers need to be very careful because they’re work is so sedentary, but that can be said for anyone who sits in front of a computer for work every day. Get up and get moving, you’ll be glad you did.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. What do you do to stay active?

Posted in Documentaries, Parenting, Personal, raising kids

When will the Catholic Church be held Accountable?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. My beta readers have liked my story, so I’m finally ready for the next step in the process. I will keep you posted on my progress. I may start querying again. We shall see.

But enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about something serious. I want to talk about the horrible news we received this week regarding the two hundred and fifteen dead children found at the Kamloops Indian Reservation school in Canada. This school was run by the Catholic Church until nineteen sixty-nine. This is the third time I’ve come across major abuse by the Catholic church.

The first time was the movie “Spotlight,” the second was the documentary “The Keepers,” and now this school. It’s heart-breaking what these victims went through. Abuse has long term effects. People learn to self-medicate to deal with the horrors of what happened to them when they were unable to protect themselves.

I’m angry. The Catholic church had so much power they were able to continue abusing students long after people in the community had grown suspicious. They were able to sweep their actions under the rug.  In “The Keepers,” it wasn’t until years after the abuse occurred that two women decided to investigate the death of one of their favorite teachers and uncovered it. This didn’t just involve the church it involved the police department as well.

Abuse like this leads to suicide and addiction. It makes me so sad to think of those innocent children and no one was there to protect them. I know we’re more aware of this kind of thing and it’s less likely to happen in today’s world, but the church still needs to be held accountable. After all, the only thing they did was absolve these priests of their sins and move them to another parish where they continued the abuse.

Not one priest went to jail. The church has paid out money, but not to all its victims and not enough. It’s like there’s two sets of laws in our country. One set for us the common man, and one set for the people in power. It’s just like when the bubble burst on the homing market in late two thousand and eight. Not one banker who wrote fraudulent loans went to jail.

This isn’t right and it needs to change. The laws that apply to the common man also apply to the people in power. There’s no other way around it. I’m not sure how to change this. Corruption is always going to be there. There are people willing to take bribes and turn a blind eye when it’s in their best interest.

I’m not sure of the answer. How about you, any ideas on how we can change this? Leave a comment! I love to hear from you!