The last three months I haven't been as active on Spark as I usually was. I don't expect that to change. Why?
Because after a year of losing weight and working out, I'm ready to get ON WITH MY LIFE. It's hard probably for people to understand who only have 20 pounds to lose. Maybe it's hard for the person with 100 pounds to lose.
But at some time or another you must start GETTING ON WITH YOUR LIFE.
And it's there that the football is fumbled.
Let's get down to it shall we?
In February I was having a hard time working on the sequel of a book I had self-published in ebook format on Amazon 18 months ago. A short story kept knocking me in the head so I decided to switch directions and just play with it so perhaps I could get back into a routine of writing.
That short story got finished and I took it to a writer's critique group (first visit) and it met with a lot of enthusiasm. Hm I thought. I could write a fairytale short story probably in about 10 days. What if I did a collection of short stories for now?
In 90 days I've written 52,000 words, not including the amount I wrote and trashed. That is going to translate to a 230 page 5.5 x 8.5 book.
This takes a lot of commitment. It means I spend my day writing or editing at least for 2 hours and sometimes up to 6. I've written so much that the arthritis in my hands is causing me problems and I've had to spend a few days icing my fingers (this isn't carpal tunnel - this is my actual fingers).
The Wicked Wolves and other Fairytales book (by Byrd Nash) had the same extensive edit process I put into Dragon Shadows (by Rebecca Dante), BUT this time I brought it to read aloud at the writer's critique group AND I paid an editor to work with me.
For awhile I was giving Kate (my editor) a story to review, while I hit the computer to output a second story; met her to get the edits, re-edited story while handing her the next story etc..
Like Dragon Shadows, I've paid for a book cover to be made for Wicked Wolves. Unfortunately, this last 2 weeks it became obvious that the original artist I paid wasn't that keen on the project and the art sucked. So after paying them off (we had a contract), I'm working with a 2nd artist on a VERY tight deadline.
In the last month I've also been scrambling to put all the marketing in place. Being self-published that falls on me to organize and do. With my first ebook I did nothing thinking foolishly that people would read it, fall in love with it, and share/review it. What a joke I found that out to be - a joke on me.
For Wicked Wolves I'm investing a lot more time and money into the process:
I'm doing a mail out to about 700 people who did business with me before;
I've designed a bookmark to use as a headout in lieu of business cards;
I'm setting up my own publishing business as it has tax benefits;
I'm designing a postcard to go out for the mailing;
I'm redoing all my social media platforms (I'm at IG with byrd_nash and Facebook under Byrd Nash Books);
I'm writing and editing the book description that will go on Amazon and the paperback edition;
I held a Book Focus Night to talk with readers about how to market my book;
I designed a new website;
and lots and lots and lots of research into keywords, search terms, genres.
During that time I slacked off on my healthy program and the weight bounced around. In the week, Miles was gone and I was dealing with Book Cover Artist #1 I was snacking a lot from stress (not bad stuff but let's be real nuts have high calories!).
When these things happen we learn stuff:
1.) Daily weigh-in has been a HUGE HELP. As soon as my numbers went up, I got my eating under control.
2.) Eating out continues to be an issue contributing to weight gain. I can guarantee that if I eat out and still choose good options, I will go up at least 2 pounds in 24 hours probably due to salt or other inflammatory ingredients that nowadays I don't eat but restaurants slather onto food.
3.) Snacking becomes a huge landslide if allowed to go on even if it is "good" things. Calculate 200-400 extra calories through fruit, nuts, beans and I (being the efficient weight-gaining metabolism I am) wham-bam pack on the pounds in no time.
4.) The walks have continued (not as consistently but pretty consistent considering me) and that has helped me a lot both mentally and in burning off some of those extra calories.
These are all lessons to understand HOW can I LIVE MY LIFE? and NOT BACKSLIDE into fat.
The question here is where do I go from here? What do I want to do and how will I achieve that?
1.) Mentally I'm rather tired of the weight loss battle. I think I might need a break from that and go to maintenance.
2.) Physically my body is trying to keep to a status quo of around 200 pounds. I might need to give it a longer break than I had planned so it can re-settle into my new body (vs. my 287 pound body I had back in January 2018).
3.) A LOT of changes are going to happen in the next 4 months: MIL's health, my youngest son goes in for surgery in June; youngest son transfers to OU in August; we become true empty nesters; and my book gets published; while I move on to the next book.
I'll discuss this all in more depth with some more blogs but for now I've got to run!
Becky aka Labyrinth