Another Book, Another Pound, Another Goal

Friday, June 15, 2007
By Margo Candela

I know motherhood can add a bit of pudge that’s hard to get rid of, but can publishing a book have a similar effect?

I’ve been seriously working on writing novels for three and a half of my son’s almost seven years. (See? I’m already trying to justify my pudge.) Since he started school, my weight has fluctuated five to eight pounds, even though I was at my pre-pregnancy weight on his first day of pre-school.
What happened? Getting published is what. I first got the news that my manuscript, Underneath It All (Kensington, January 2207), was going to be a book in September of 2005. How did I celebrate? By going out to eat, of course. This week I got some very good preliminary news concerning my third and fourth books and how did I choose to commemorate it? With a meal at favorite homey diner that hasn’t heard the bad news about trans-fats. Someone once told me it’s important to celebrate the little things in life and I totally agree. But even I know I’ve taken it too far when I used receiving a package of book flats of my new cover for my next book, Life Over Easy (Life Over Easy, October 2007), as an excuse to go out for a banana split. A big one.
No one, least of all my agent, editor or publisher, is forcing me to indulge or telling me to sleep in instead of getting up and working out. It’s all me. And it’s me who’s feeling the effects of living it up at the dinner table, hamburger booth or ice cream counter.
When I have to finish a manuscript I set a goal of so many words or pages I have to complete a day, week and month. And I do everything I can to make sure I meet that goal. At the end of this process I wind up with a draft of a book which I then polish and refine and turn into my editor or agent. If I can make myself write a novel this way, there’s no reason why I can’t apply this kind of focus on myself.
So this summer, along with my word count goal, I’ll be adding a workout to my to-do list. (And I plan cut out those banana splits. At least until I have a really good reason to enjoy one. )If I can’t make myself get up, get going and get my exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, then I’ll have to take time out of my writing day to do it then. As a mom and a wife, I have a limited amount of hours I can dedicate to being a writer and this is going to hurt. (It’ll hurt enough to get me out of bed at 6 AM so I don’t have to worry about stopping myself mid-sentence to ride my bike or do lunges.) But I know when the time comes to face down those jeans I’ve been avoiding; it’ll all be worth it. When all is said, done, typed and sweated, I’ll have a book and a butt I can be proud of.
Margo Candela is a wife, mother and writer who lives in Los Angeles. Her debut novel, Underneath It All, was published this January by Kensington Books. Her second, Life Over Easy, will be out this October. She’s currently hard at work on her third and her goal to do one armed push-ups (Demi Moore) style by the time her next birthday rolls around. For more news and updates, visit her website.


Sue said...

You're an ambitious woman, especially in regard to the one-armed push ups! I understand your new outlook, completely...I discovered (after ten years with my two kids and increasing hours at my computer) I was averaging a gain of 6 pounds per year! A quick calculation into the future (plus a visual) made me change my lifestyle fast!

Best wishes to you through that crazy comfort curve (the time it takes to develop the new routine)! You can do it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sue.

And I did do it, at least today. And I'll make time to exercise tomorrow and the day after that, but I'm taking weekends off. I'm only human.

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