Archive for July, 2010

Friday Photo

Wild Rose in the Birch Forest

Have a great weekend!

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If you missed Monday’s post, a Submission Belly is a fleshy pouch mysteriously appearing in the mid-section of the body above and beyond what might already be there. Having a book on submission, querying,  or entering a writing contest could create this condition.

I gain weight pretty quickly. I’ve been this way my whole life. The main way I deal with it is to exercise. Luckily, I am an exercise addict and seek out activities that require endurance. As some of you know, I spend about half of my writing time on my treadmill desk.

I was puzzled when I was exercising and doing a good job of watching what I eat and I put on a few pounds. I increased my activity and the weight stayed. Just a few pounds, but still, there it was, the dreaded Submission Belly.

So, here’s the deal. Weight gain can be caused by stress.

No, I’m not talking about eating junk food or carbs as a response to stress.

You might have really healthy consumption and exercise habits and still gain weight. I know, it’s not fair.

Medically speaking, my understanding is that our bodies have an ancient hormonal response in reaction to stress. That response triggers our bodies to store fat in the abdomen.

Back in hunter gatherer days it was a survival mechanism. Not so in our calorie rich contemporary times. If you want the medical details, check out these links:

Stress: The Hidden Factor For Weight Gain

Adrenal Fatigue

I ended Monday’s post with a call to make friends with your submission belly. In other words, do things to relieve the stress. (Stressing about the presence of a submission belly just adds fuel to the fire.)

We all have different ways to relieve stress. One thing I do throughout the day is to be conscious of my breathing. It’s amazing how relaxing breathing is when you are aware that you are breathing. One conscious breath can go a long way.

When I was teaching in a program for at risk teens I used this technique before responding to students who were cussing me out or threatening me. Don’t get me wrong. The kids I worked with were great. They just had a lot of anger because of their life situations. One conscious breath helped me remember that before responding.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on stress reduction. What do you do? Does it work for you?

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Submission Belly

New Publishing Term:

Submission Belly—fleshy pouch mysteriously appearing in the mid-section of the body above and beyond what might already be there.

Known prominent causes—having a book on submission, querying, entering a writing contest, or obsessing about any of the above conditions whether you are in them or not.

Submission Belly size may vary, and even fluctuate significantly week to week.

Sometimes a Submission Belly may appear to disappear only to reappear just as mysteriously. (Mine has done that several times over the past year.)

My submission belly, near as I can tell, ebbs and flows in size from three to five pounds.

I took my little submission belly on journey yesterday when I ran the Gold Discovery Run—my first race since my knee surgery sixteen months ago.

Boy, did we have fun!

We traveled together on a 16 mile down hill romp, averaging about 8:35 per mile. Without my submission belly I probably could have run faster but was just happy to finish the race uninjured.

I say, make friends with your submission belly. Take it for walks and bike rides. Or to the movies. You never know when it just might disappear.

Have you made friends with your submission belly?

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Here’s a few photos from our sea kayak trip in Prince William Sound.

Rain is the default setting in Prince William Sound.

So, a little sunshine went a long way.

I was fortunate to catch some salmon.

Which we cooked in the coals of a driftwood fire.

Mostly, it rained. But I still loved being out there!

 On those rainy days I managed to do a bunch of writing in my journal. I even started a new YA novel, which I had no intention of doing while I was out there. Oops!

This was one of our kitchen/writing rooms.

Definitely a room with a view.

We saw countless numbers of sea lions and bald eagles and otters but spoke with just one other party of kayakers during our ten day trip. And saw maybe three other groups of kayakers from a distance. 

The longest I’ve ever gone not seeing another human being was on a nine day solo backpacking trip where I literally not only didn’t speak to anyone but saw no one, not even from a distance. I definitely did a lot of talking to myself on that trip, but hey, I do that anyway.

I’m reacquainting myself with my WIP this week, reading it and making some notes before writing the last 10K or so of a first draft.

How long have you gone without seeing or speaking to another human? And, what are you up to this week?

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I had to put my “How my writing journey is like a Desert Tortoise” post on hold because I’ve been packing for a kayak trip.

We leave Monday. That’s tomorrow! Yikes!

I’ve been battling a cold and sore throat which I hope to leave at the dock in Valdez as we paddle into Prince William Sound.

I’ve started other trips feeling a little on the lousy side so I’m not too concerned, but still, I’d like to be 100 % by the time we leave.

The first time I went sea kayaking (19 years ago) I was out for nine weeks and paddled over 500 miles. Since then I’ve paddled both solo and with friends on trips ranging from one week to one month. My wife’s shoulder is a little on the blink so this trip will probably be more hiking-oriented, and lounging on deserted beaches than paddling. Or, hunkering down under a tarp in the pouring rain.

Yeah, that’s us on one of our more soggy trips. We named this place Camp Hunchback because we spent most of the time stooping under a tarp while it rained buckets. On a few trips we’ve had more sun than rain. But hey, you go into the rainforest, you expect it to rain!

I look forward to catching up with everyone when I return.

Happy writing!!

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