Counting Down to Nanowrimo 2016

Nanowrimo is just around the corner. Although I’ve participated since 2007, I have yet to reach the goal of 50,000 words. Like many folks, I make the usual excuses—too busy, too stressed, too tired—but the truth is, I’m always busy, stressed, and tired. And yet, this year feels different somehow.  

How so? I am more self-aware. After ten years of “failing,” I’m practically an expert. I’ve learned how I work and why I don’t. My strength is that I’m a great starter with lots of energy and ideas in the beginning. However, I know that after a few days I burn out, or I lose momentum very quickly once I see how far behind I’m getting. Therefore, I really need to stay on target with little tricks and incentives/disincentives along the way.

What I plan to do differently this year for Nanowrimo:
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No More Sit-ups? Hooray!

Instead of working on trimming down my 4,500 word deficit for NaNoWriMo yesterday, I decided to stick to my usual program and go through the Sunday paper, as well as clip coupons. (Believe it or not, I actually do save money—as long as I remember to bring them with me. Last week, I saved an additional $7 with a 10% off grocery purchases coupon—woohoo!)

All it takes is one good article for me to justify going through the paper. I tend to skim through the news, only reading those articles with intriguing headlines or pictures. But when I get towards the features or pop culture section, that’s when I concentrate. (It’s a backlash from all the literary and scientific readings that I had to do in college.)

This week I saw an article in the Chicago Tribune that made it worth my while—”The Good News: No More Sit-Ups” by Julie Deardorff. (I love her!) The article highlights top 5 exercises that women should avoid especially as they do more harm than good. Women have looser joints than men, so “poor form and too much weight can lead to stiff joints or even damage.” Not to mention, we have different fat distribution, so certain exercises end up building bulk in areas we don’t want. Highlights from the article…

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Comtemplating the Navel for Weight Loss

My old college and Boston roommate, Kar-yee, used to talk about contemplating her navel, and I didn’t quite understand the gist of it until recently, when I learned that yogis would contemplate their navel to gain a greater understanding of the world and their place in it. On the basic level, as one would gaze at the navel, s/he would be watching the rise and fall according to the patterns of one’s breath. Ideally, this action alone helps one to relax, slow down and clear one’s mind, and zzzzzz….meditate.

I thought about all the associations with the navel—being connected with the mother, the attachment even after the separation of birth, and in looking at mine, I sadly acknowledged the fact that despite efforts to whittle down, my belly will stick around till the end of my days. Where there is stress, there is cortisol. And where there is cortisol, there is the belly. Continue reading