Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reading and Weight Loss

I never thought these two things could be related, but I am one happy camper right now. If you're a writer (or reader) who has never struggled with extra poundage, you can skip this post--also, I hate you. Not like hate hate, but like jealousy hate. First, three facts about me.

Fact #1) I don't love exercise. I have friends, a sister, and a husband who train for triathlons because they're "fun." Fun is laying by the pool while drinking pina coladas. Fun is going to the movies and eating a large tub of buttered popcorn. If you ever catch me swimming, biking, and running ALL IN THE SAME DAY, then you know the apocalypse has arrived.

Fact #2) I reward myself with chocolate. When revising my first YA novel last year, I'd treat myself with chocolate after every revised chapter. When revisions got really painful, I indulged after every page. Somehow I ended up gaining a few pounds in the process.

Fact #3) We have an entire workout area in the basement (courtesy of my exercise-loving hubby). I was vaguely aware that we had cardio machines and a weight bench, and some big ball that's supposed to have some sort of fitness function, but I'd never gotten up close and personal with any of it. I couldn't even use the excuse that the gym was too far away--it was down a flight of stairs, and I still never went.

I was talking with my hubby about my goal of reading more books in 2011, and how I wouldn't mind losing my revision weight. He said I looked great the way I was (part of why I've been happily married for almost 15 years), but when I persisted, he suggested doing both at once. So I grabbed one of the books on my monstrous TBR pile, and headed downstairs (he even vacuumed the whole basement, because one of my excuses was that there could be spiders and bugs congregating down there).

 I got on the recumbent bike and started to read. ONE HOUR later, I realized I was still biking. The book was that good. Now I love that bike, but mainly because I love reading. And granted, when I say 'biking,' it's not my hubby's version of a bike workout. He does Level 5 and is drenched in sweat when he's finished. I stick to Level 1 and don't think anyone who saw me after would even know I'd been exercising (and full disclaimer: I look nothing like the girl in the above picture). BUT... 

New Fact #1) I'm reading more than ever. I still don't love exercise per se, but I love anything that allows extra reading time.

New Fact #2) I lost all the revision weight.

New Fact #3) I still reward myself with chocolate. I'm now revising YA book #2, and eating chocolate by the bucket--but I'm not gaining weight thanks to my magical bike.

Any other tips out there for those who have struggled with writer's/reader's butt? Does anyone else love the recumbent bike as much as I do?


  1. That's awesome. I have an eliptical machine - yeah, really hard to read and do that machine! But, I managed to carve the time out and use it to stew on my current WiP. Just gotta keep it up!

  2. I have never tried or even thought about reading and exercising at the same time! I can't wait to try it out.

  3. Christine-that's still multi-tasking which is awesome!

    Bethany-I barely even notice I'm exercising. It's fabulous!

  4. Haha! Great idea, Kristi! I am not a fan of exercise either. I have an inversion table, but I can't imagine it's easy to read upside down. And an ab lounger. Not happening there either.

    (Both machines are in pieces sitting behind a stack of books)

    But great idea! Eventually I might invest in a magic bike too. After I invest in a bigger house. :)

  5. Lacey-inversion tables scare me. Aren't you supposed to do sit-ups from an upside down position? That's just not right--I'd be hanging there crying until someone rescued me. :)

  6. Lol! Yes, that's what it's for. It also stretches and straightens your back, which is a good thing to do if you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, slouched over the keyboard. But it is a little scary at first.

  7. What if I'm like 20-30 pounds overweight, but I don't struggle with it?

    Just kidding. This is actually really awesome. Now if only I had a basement ...

  8. What an awesome idea! I don't have a bike but I do have a treadmill! I'm going to try this. I've never been naturally skinny and I won't lie, I detest those that are just a little, tiny bit.

  9. Matthew--yeah, I'd be lost without the basement.

    Heather--we have a treadmill too, but I'm not coordinated enough to read while on it!

  10. I tried something similar to get myself to exercise. I have an elliptical, so reading isn't an option but I found I could stay on it for an hour if I'm watching a tv show. I don't get cable there but I started watching tv on DVD and it goes by so fast. I need to get back to doing that!

  11. Oh! I meant to add congrats on the weight loss! That's awesome!

  12. Valerie-thanks. We don't have a tv that gets cable in the basement, but if I could watch GLEE while biking, that would be awesome!

  13. Love it, Kristi! Congrats! If only we had an exercise bike. We've got the weird bouncy ball though. Maybe I can bounce and read?


  14. Jeanne-that would be comical to watch. Make sure to put it on You Tube if you try it. ;)

  15. OMG! Why did I not think about reading while working out. I'm so taking a book to the gym next week!


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