Practice fitness – easier said than done |

Practice fitness – easier said than done

As regular readers of my column know, my progress and reversals read much the Perils of Pauline, or a poorly scripted soap opera. Most of my struggles have involved eating – I don’t want to regain the 62 pounds I lost. In contrast, maintaining my exercise routine through tennis and floor exercises is relatively easy.

Until now.

What’s different? I’ve gone back to work!

In June, I submitted a manuscript of my book on the Meltdown, “From Fat to Fit-Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction,” to a national association of independent publishers. They, in turn, gave my manuscript along with its competitors, to a committee of 30 professional buyers and experts in the book trade. The committee’s job was to pick books they felt had potential for national distribution.

Guess what? “From Fat to Fit” was selected! The paperback will be distributed nationally by Independent Publishers’ Group, or IPG. A highly respected distributor, Chicago-based IPG has ties with Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon, and other major retailers. The official publication date will be April 2007.

Even before the ink on the contract was dry, I faced a demanding schedule of deadlines with no wiggle room. I was coordinating the work of the designers for the interior and the cover, printer, indexer, polish editor, and copy editor. I was simultaneously completing a final editing and working with marketing people on promotion.

Without ever intending to take a full-time job again, I found myself working overtime! IPG’s high standards were valuable in terms of improving the book. But their demands put me under tremendous pressure to perform within a very tight timeframe.

Eating healthfully wasn’t easy, since I didn’t have much time for meal preparation.

I also squeezed in a two week trip to France to visit my son’s family. Travel with its delightful recreational eating represented unlimited opportunities for self-indulgence.

Between travel and work, I was tempted to forgo my exercise routine – not exactly a good idea when combined with sitting at a desk for hours each day! I also found it difficult to leave my office for tennis. I tried to get up early each day to get my morning floor stretching and weight-lifting routine finished before each hectic day started and still not rob myself of a full night’s rest, an essential part of maintaining fitness.

How ironic that my success in promoting fitness would pressure me to abandon my own!

Don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled at the response to the manuscript. To have a book in Barnes & Noble and Borders will be a dream come true. At the same time, if I give up my own well-being and fitness, I make a lie of everything I’ve championed.

Right now, I weigh 131 pounds, up from 122-125. I have a choice – accept the new baseline and increase my waistline, or go back to what I know works, 1,200 calories and 90 minutes of exercise each day.

I’m barely holding my own. Clearly, it is a struggle. Whether I can sustain my commitment to fitness in the face of an increasing mound of work is the question. Knowing what’s at stake may keep me from caving in. I can gain pounds and lose self-respect, or lose pounds and re-gain momentum. I’ll have the answer for you in November in the next installment of the Perils of Pauline.


Carole Carson is a fitness and nutrition advocate from Nevada City. E-mail her at or write her at The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.

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