Write Away 10 Pounds In One Month

Does writing keep you out of shape?

Write Away 10 Pounds In One Month

Photo Credit: samurai / freedigitalphotos.net

It does for me.

I wouldn’t say I’m pudgy, but I used to be a pretty good athlete with very little fat on my body.

Since I graduated from college, started my marketing career, then moved onto writing, I noticed one big change:

I don’t push myself physically anymore.

Sure, it wouldn’t be a day without riding my bike or walking around for a little bit, but I don’t seek out those areas of discomfort that make me REALLY healthy.

I indulge in pizza or junk food on most weekends, I take my time on my bike and the pull-up bar I bought for my bedroom door is quite dormant.

I gained about 20 pounds since I graduated college and last month I decided to change that upward trend.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being comfortable. I enjoy the leisurely (at least physically) craft of writing . So I wanted to see if I could add a small level of discomfort while still receiving quality results. I didn’t want to get “ripped”, but I wanted to look and feel healthier, and in turn help energize myself to write more.

So I’m proud to say that over the last 30 days (prior to my vacation, so I guess more like 40 days) I lost 10 pounds, while writing and writing and writing some more.

Here’s how I did it and hopefully you can try your own rendition:

Healthy snacks and meals

In high school I had a personal trainer for football and he always told me that most people who work out don’t actually see quality results because they don’t have the right diet. He said that 85% of losing weight or gaining muscle is diet and the remaining 15% is exercise.

I love pizza and beer on the weekends. I also eat chips or chew on salty sunflower seeds while I write. Ok, so I didn’t cut the beer out of my diet, but all my meals consisted of things like turkey sandwiches, oranges, carrots, cottage cheese, celery and other healthy stuff. For snacks, I stuck to unsalted almonds or other nuts.

The best thing about this? All of these foods are delicious. I always loved them before and for whatever reason they just slipped away from my regular diet.

Write away from home

This is an area that might differ for every person based on personal preference and location. However, I would suggest choosing a location to write outside of your home and then walking, running or biking there everyday. I chose to bike to the Chicago Public Library which is about 16 miles there and back.

Yes I know that sounds long, so you could obviously adjust accordingly. However, I would encourage you to get a bike and try it out. I hate running, but when you’re on a bike time flies by and it’s more enjoyable than taxing. Not to mention, if you are going to write every time, you have a set destination with a determined goal which helps pass the time and make you excited to arrive.

Get up to go get things

I typically use Amazon to deliver all my groceries and toiletries directly to my doorstep. However, this past month I stopped doing that and I would only purchase groceries that would last me for about two to three days. That way, in order to eat I was frequently required to get up, walk or ride my bike to the grocery store.

Writing bursts + exercise bursts = reward

Before I ate or watched TV or did anything that would provide me any comfort I would write for one hour straight, then I would do three sets of 10 pullups or as many pushups as I could handle. After that I would reward myself with some sort of comfort. This helped my writing and my health.

Looking back I believe the key to my success was that I created destinations – places I need to be, whether it was to write, eat or congregate with friends and simply substituted a car or public transportation with walking or riding my bike (try rollerblading or skateboarding or uni-cycling – whatever floats your boat).

This, combined with eating a little healthier allowed me to achieve my goals of integrating my writing life into a healthy life. It pays off too. You feel better, want to write more and have a higher appreciation for life.

Let me know in the comments how you promote your own healthiness. Maybe you use your writing to stimulate exercise?

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About Joe Warnimont

I am a writer, marketing expert and adventure seeker. I help people write, market their writing, live truthfully and embrace their lives through creativity. You can find me riding my bike around the streets of Chicago. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.


  1. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Award. What’s that about? Just take a look here http://talesoflyelle.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/the-liebster-award/ and keep up your awesome writing πŸ™‚

  2. There are a lot of really good ideas here for keeping healthy while fulfilling your writing goals. I’ve been planning to get back into biking for months and this is the kick-start I needed. I don’t want to lose any weight, but I would like to tone up and change the soft layer to muscle.

  3. Good for you, Joe! I thought the article was going to be about how to write headlines that pulled people into your blog: Using the classic weight-loss magnet. But you really did it! Excellent post directed specifically to writers, about real and workable solutions to a problem you can bet almost all of us would like to do something about.

  4. Lots of great ideas here Joe. I’m particularly interested in the Write/Exercise burst. Have you played with different intervals for this? I’ve seen some evidence that something as short as 20 minutes might be optimal both in terms of how long your brain can maintain full concentration and how little your body is designed to sit still. Also, have you tried this in the library? I’d like to see the reactions πŸ™‚

    • Haha I haven’t tried this in the library. I typically do this when I’m home on the weekends. As for the intervals I haven’t tried as short as 20 minutes, however I have heard that 20 minute intervals can be beneficial.

  5. Great article! I’ve been battling with this for a few months and now that summer is quickly approaching, I’m reminded of how little exercise I’m squeezing in.

  6. Hi! In thanks for your being one of the first followers of What I Learned While Writing a Novel, I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award. More details here: http://whatilearnedwhilewritinganovel.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/two-months-in-and-the-liebster-award/
    Thank you!

  7. Hi Joe… like yourself, i was more athletic when i was younger, even a cheerleader in high school. *blushes* recently, i’ve been focusing on photographey, blogging and writing, and I’m struggling with the reduced activity. I like your reminders and ideas for keeping active. Kind regards, Yordie

  8. Thanks for a great post Joe. I’ve recently subscribed and love the practical, well founded ti

  9. Orla Shanaghy says:

    Thanks for a great post Joe. I’ve recently subscribed and love the practical, well founded tips you post. I’ve recently started getting back to fitness and writing after having my fourth baby. It’s challenging to fit both in around the baby. However the best motivation I’ve found to get exercising is the mental health benefit. On days when I don’t exercise, I feel slightly uncomfortable and unsettled, whereas when I’ve exercised, I am energised and content. On days when I’ve exercised and written, I’m on top of the world πŸ™‚ Looking forward to your next post.

    • Hi Orla. You’re absolutely right. The mental benefits are the best part of working out. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the dedication it takes with four kids! Good luck to you and thanks for posting.

  10. As a busy mother with 3 small kids, caring for myself often hits the back burner. But I recently changed my diet – smaller portions, healthier meals, more fruits and veggies, etc. – and I made a focus on getting exercise. I get up way before my kids do and get anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes of exercise 6 times a week. It’s been working, too. I’ve lost 5 kilos since February, and am still going down.
    It’s so true that diet is the main reason most people don’t lose weight. I had exercised before but didn’t lose weight until I changed the way I ate.

  11. Great that you were able to lose so much wait and write. But I find the concept of celery and unsalted almonds being delicious highly unlikely.

    • Haha celery is usually better with peanut butter, but I actually can’t stand almonds with salt now that I switched…they taste fake for some reason.

  12. Congratulations Joe! Keep up the good work.
    I need to do the same thing. I will read this post again and make my own similar plan. I will be writing a LOT more in the foreseeable future and I will be checking in with you regularly, too.

  13. collette henry says:

    Thanks for following my blog!

    I am wondering, if I send you a copy of my cancer book “Get Outta My Head: My Journey Living with Brain Cancer” (it’s only 80 pages), would you be willing to read it and put your rating/brief review up on Amazon for me. Then, would you blog about it, and put the following tags: brain, brain tumor, cancer, brain cancer, seizures, inspiration, motivation, anxiety, uplifting, depression, hope, adversity, marketing, writing, publisher, radio, radio show, media, media relations. If yes, please send me your full name/address to: [email protected]

  14. silly as it sounds.. i get most of my exercise from cleaning. i got used to cleaning 600 sq ft of a studio, and now that we have 2000 sq ft in a house, it takes a whole lot more effort. start scrubbing, it works the muscles πŸ™‚

  15. I’ve had a lot of these challenges, post baby and becoming a full-time writer. I’ve discovered that I keep up with my kids and my word count best by standing while I write. I try to limit myself to no more than four hours of sitting a day, and I do some quick 25 minute workouts and walk the dogs. No weight loss, but I haven’t become crazy from being too sedentary.

  16. Very timely post. I found the pounds sneaking up on me, too. I recently heard of a woman who writes via laptop while she’s walking on the treadmill. Haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds possible.

  17. Nice post! Just wanted to say thank you for following my blog, I hope you enjoy my posts πŸ˜€ x

  18. Hi Joe, thanks for following my blog so I had the chance to find yours. I recently went from teaching full time (never time to sit) to writing full time (sit all the time) and disabled with MCS (can barely leave the house). So for me it’s dance. The movement makes me feel energized and as the music flows in — the swirling thoughts flow out and I’m ready to focus again.

  19. I have lost 12 pounds and have just about ten more to lose but have gotten lazy again and need to just say no to the carbs that call out to me..Thank you for taking time to visit at In Other Words and Pictures..