Monday, January 29, 2007

Health and the Writer by Camy Tang

Whether you’re a writer who also works a full-time job or are a busy stay-at-home-mom, it’s hard to stay healthy. I researched and figured out a bunch of tips and tricks to help me stay in shape without carving out of my precious writing time. I also found some tips to help me have just general better health. Pick and choose which of these will work for you.

Try to cut back on refined sugar

You’ve heard all the hype about why refined sugar is bad for you, but you just can’t stop those sodas and candies and cookies and...

It’s not just the calories. Sugar depresses your immune system, and if you have kids, that just means you’ll get sick even more often than you already do.

Sugar can cause mood swings, fatigue, and headaches, which certainly aren’t inductive to churning out powerful prose. The nature of sugar itself can mess with your body chemistry if you eat too much of it, and if you’re sedentary.

Problem is, we’re writers. Our profession naturally means we’re sedentary. We can’t exactly type out a novel while jogging with the dog.

However, there are ways we can cut back on sugar and make up for the necessities of the writer’s life.

(I personally don’t support artificial sweeteners, because as a biologist, I know that there’s no way to really know what all those fake chemicals are doing to our cells. We also recently had three church members discover they had cancer.)

I know you have that case of Dr. Pepper in the fridge. Or maybe it’s Coke or Pepsi. Regardless of your poison, try to limit the number of cans you drink. Pour your soda into a glass of ice to water it down a little AND chill it even more so that you drink it slower. Use a straw to also prolong the time it takes you to consume a can.

Take baby steps. Try to cut back on a can a week. Then maybe two cans a week. And so forth.

Try not to keep candy, cookies, and cakes in the house. If you do, put it someplace where you won’t see it all the time, like the top shelf of the pantry or the back of the fridge.

Be smart--don’t keep a bowl of M&Ms at your desk. Keep all that stuff out of sight.

I personally know it’s not easy to cut sugar out of our lives entirely, and I’m not suggesting that. After all, we need some kind of reward for finishing that chapter, or that page! Where would a writer be without chocolate?

However, be sensible and try to cut back on that stuff. You might actually see your writing efficiency improve.

Camy Tang is a novelist also fighting the battle of the bulge. Find out more about her and her books at, or enjoy the read on her blog at



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