Nationals or Bust Week 2: Mindset

Nationals or Bust, Healthy eating, diet challenge, RWA Nationals, writing, authors, exercise, sedentary job, weight loss, romance authors

We’re working hard to slim down before RWA Nationals in July through healthy eating, exercise, sharing information, and accountability. Join us any time along the way, introduce yourself and post goals, or just contribute to the conversation! We’re here to share!

The biggest challenge in getting healthy, for me, is Mindset. It’s too easy to tell myself, Well, this once it won’t hurt to… One little cookie won’t make that much of a difference… Missing exercise just this once isn’t a big deal… But I feed myself these excuses again and again.

I let myself get away with things I shouldn’t because I won’t tell myself “No. You can’t have that (or that much).” My internal dialogue needs some serious adjusting.

I don’t think switching to all negative self-talk and beating myself up will help, but a gentle reminder of what I have to gain through self-restraint or continuing to work hard would go a long way towards changing my outlook and helping me confront temptation head on.

So I’m making a list of reminders to guide me until I can maintain a different internal dialogue. It needs to become second nature. So here are some ideas for more positive internal dialogue:



“Eating that will not make you feel better.”

“Your health is extremely important. Is eating this going to help you reach your health goals?”

The occasional “Not having that cake (cookies, etc) won’t kill you,” probably wouldn’t hurt either.



“Remember how good it feels to workout on the elliptical?”

“Exercising will help your body regulate your insulin and sugar better.”

“Moving will lift your mood.”

“Remember how the story ideas flow when you work out and crank up the music?”



“Being here for my family is more important than this moment.”

“I can write better and longer when I feel better physically.”


CHALLENGE: What are some positive internal thoughts that would help us reach our goals?

Share Your Progress! (even if the #s haven’t changed, we still have lots to celebrate)





23 thoughts on “Nationals or Bust Week 2: Mindset

  1. 14 more weeks! Can you believe it? 🙂 How did everyone’s first week go?

    I’ll admit, it took me a bit to get going full throttle. I missed 2 of my workout sessions that I didn’t find a chance to make-up, so this week I’ll be adjusting the days I do them on. Same amount, just different times to see if that works better.

    All in all — I’m down 1.5 pounds. Woot! Very happy. And feeling better.

    I’m doing great on my water, especially at work. And my meals are getting there. Just being aware of what I need to be focusing on helps. I’ll go to choose something and think, “How many carbs is that?” I’m on my way. But I’m so glad I have y’all to do this with or I would have given up after day 3. 🙂


    *Plan: 1 carb per meal, more protein, 40 oz water, 5 exercise sessions. Down 1.5 pounds.

  2. I didn’t have such a great week because baseball started for my kids. We had seven games throughout the week and I missed my night classes at the gym. As for eating, I was “meh.” I crave chocolate when I have PMS and that was going on too. Been very high stress time for me these past few weeks and it’s only going to get worse in May. So, it’s very important I get my exercise in. I’m aiming for 4-5 times a week.

    I’ve slowed in my water intake, so I need to up that, too.

    I’m hoping for a better week and so in a couple of hours, I’m heading out to zumba 🙂

  3. I’m down 1.5 pounds, but it could have been better. This week more exercise. No excuses! My eating is in pretty good shape, healthy and in the right calorie range, but I sometimes want to snack at night. And sometimes I do. :-/ So, I need to put a limit on what I can have at night and stick to it. That’s my goal for this week.

  4. My restraint sayings lately have been:

    “If I drop a size, I get new clothes.”

    “Even though it’s in my hand and I’m feeding it to the baby, I still should not eat it.”

  5. I’m late to this party, but glad to be here! I’m trying to lose weight before going to Ireland next month, and writing conferences in June and July. Sadly, I keep injuring my left foot which limits my exercise options; the podiatrist yesterday told me not to exercise it for 2 weeks! Argh! So I watch what I eat/drink as closely as I can. I use to help me track my food and exercise, btw. I love that!

    For me, I’ve learned that I need to change my inner dialogue to be “I” or “me” related instead of “you” related. For instance, instead of lecturing to me (You shouldn’t do that) I need to think, that’s not good for me, or this is a better option for my goals. Somehow putting it in second person gives it more negativity, as though I am separate from “you”. Weird, huh?

  6. How great is all this info! The clothes bit is working for me too, Kristin — every time I put on a pair of pants and they’re baggy, I just keep thinking how good it feels and that it’s gonna keep getting better! I’m also using some “positive imaging,” so to speak. Instead of telling myself what I should do, I’m trying to imagine the end results. I actually have this visual in my head of the pounds literally “melting away” that I replay anytime I want to get some encouragement or just want to cut my workout short, for heaven’s sake, because I just don’t want to be on this d**n elliptical any more!!! 😀

    By the way, I ordered two dresses for Nationals this week. I should probably wait, but I’m kind of a hard fit body-type wise, so I have no idea what style will look good. I found two dresses I loved on sale with free shipping, so I ordered them. My dream is that both will look great AND need to be taken in before Nationals, lol.

    So what has my progress been this week? I’ve done all of my exercise sessions! Woot! I also got a gold star every day except one! (Did I mention my gold-star reward system last week? I give myself a gold star sticker on my food journal each day that I eat correctly, drink my water, exercise, and take my meds. Every 7 stars gets me a prize of buying something for one of my trips.) Know what’s funny? I earned my 7 stars, then couldn’t figure out what to give myself. :p So I put $30 in a clothes account for a shopping trip after I drop the weight.

    AND…I lost 1.5 lbs this week too. Yay! That’s a total of 3.5 lbs for me, and since I needed to lose 21.5, I have 18 to go.

    I hope everyone has a great week this week. Feel free to hit Dani or I up on FB or even post a comment here on the blog during the week if you need some encouragement. We need it too, so don’t be shy! I may need the encouragement this weekend, since I have a kung fu seminar that lasts all weekend, meaning I’ll be out of the house and away from the homemade meals a lot. I hate trying to choose good things in a restaurant when there are so many yummy, BAD choices available!

    *Plan: 1 carb per meal, more protein and veggies, 48 oz water, 5 exercise sessions. Down 3.5 pounds, 18 to go.

  7. Betty, have you thought about some kind of calisthenics/exercises you can do seated or lying on your back? I meet with a group once a week to do circuit training and have a bunch of weight lifting, band, and even leg exercises that do not require you to stand. Or maybe doing an exercise video but just the upper body part? Or yoga poses that don’t require you to stand or put pressure on your foot? It might take some research, but I bet there are things you can do that would at least help you keep a regular schedule.

    One of the places I look for exercises for my group (I try to change them out every month so no one gets bored) is Shape Magazine. It’s online, and you can search through workouts for specific body areas or just browse the various articles. They have pictures and explanations to go with the exercises, and a ton of short videos with various moves in them. That might be helpful to you.

    Very proud of all of our progress! We need to get a ticker to add up all the weight we lose and see it going up and up and up as we go down. 🙂

  8. Well, I didn’t haven’t hit most my goals, but it leaves room for improvement, right? I did go to the store and buy a bunch of vegetables to experiment with. I also started “The Healthy Writer” board on Pinterest to pin recipes, exercise ideas, etc., if anyone wants to follow it. I made zucchini chips the other night. Pretty good!

    I did lose a pound and a half. I also signed back up for Weight Watchers online, not because I love the plan, so much, as I like the tracker. It helps me remember to take my vitamins, drink my water, get that exercise in. I hate unchecked boxes. My work also reimburses me for half, so that’s nice. 🙂

    Hoping to improve on my exercise and eating this week. Slowly but surely, we can all get there.

    *Plan: less carbs, less sugar, less artificial sweetener, more veggies and protein, more water, more movement, plus some meditation. Down 1.5 lbs, 13.5 to go.

  9. “It only takes a few minutes to feel good.”

    I’ve been using that mantra to get me moving. Like when I’m waiting for the bus, I’ll walk up to the next stop if I’ve just missed one, or do squats or ab.butt flexes (it’s less obvious with a winter coat on).

    Although I haven’t lost anything, I’m figuring out a rough schedule. I missed one workout and, Ella knows, I had a run-in with a cupcake on Monday. But it was a mini cupcake!

    This week I’ll kick up the cardio by digging out my Biggest Loser Workout DVDs!

  10. I lost 2 pounds last week, despite a weekend where good eating went out the window. Saturday was because of circumstances. Sunday was because I didn’t care. But I got back on the bandwagon Monday (except for the gummi bears I ate while finishing revisions last night). I need to do better with water so I’ve taken lemon slices to work and have a large cup on my desk to drink from. That gives me about 20 ounces right there.

    I have to remember that just because you blow it one day, that doesn’t sabotage everything. Let it go and start anew the next day. And today’s a good day to have that in mind because it’s my birthday and we always have cake at work.

  11. “ab.butt flexes (it’s less obvious with a winter coat on)”

    Lordy, that’s hilarious!!!

    Bonnie, I hope you know I was teasing about the cupcake. Heck, sometimes when I just can’t stand it anymore, my one carb at a meal is potato chips. One serving isn’t very many, but you do what you have to do!

    You guys are doing great! Sometimes it’s getting a routine established that is half the work. Remember, I actually started a week ahead (which means I’m going to hit the wall a week ahead of everyone else, ugh!). I struggled the one day that I didn’t get a star because I’d had a rejection that day and darn it, I wanted more than one dumpling in my chicken and dumplings! But Marilyn’s point is right and we need to adopt that mantra when we fail:

    “Today is a brand-new day, and I can do something good with it!”

    Sometimes, as one of the fitness trainers I follow on FB says, you have to quit giving yourself the slack and start today, not start again tomorrow. Find your balance between when you have to be tough on yourself (the majority of the time) and when to give yourself some loving care (a little bit of the time). My balance has usually been the opposite of what it needs to be (too much slack, not enough toughness), but to get what I want, I have to do it the right way as much as I can.

    And as for loving care: enjoy a small piece of cake today, Marilyn, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Drink some extra water, do a little more exercise, eat a salad for lunch beforehand, and know that, on birthdays, a little cake equals no calories. 😉

  12. Oh, I know you were teasing, Ella. It was just such a nice surprise to find you catching me talking about cupcakes on FB.

    Love the idea of starting today. Like right now. 😉


  13. What a great topic, Dani. I was just thinking about this when I was out walking…that it’s easy for me to say “I vacuumed and folded and did dishes…that could be counted as exercise.” But I do those things every day, so I obviously need more exercise. LOL Mindset or attitude is SO important. And I tend to slack off when I lose a few pounds, so I’ll have to be extra-mindful in a week or two and keep up the habit!

    As for the exercising, I didn’t really get started until Monday due to craziness this weekend, but I’ve been consistent with exercising at least 20-30 minutes each day since then. Just got back from a walk, now that the sun is out again. I’m down 2 pounds. Hooray!

    I’m also tracking my calories/food intake on MyNetDiary. I find that if I have to account for everything I consume, I will more easily bypass picking up a quick snack or a bite here or there. If it’s hard to track, I find it’s not worth the effort to eat it.

    Thanks for the group support, everyone! 🙂

  14. Wow! What a great job everyone is doing! Like I said, I had a rough start to. It happens. So y’all don’t beat urself up if you had a bad weekend. Let’s just get on track, be mindful, and as Ella said, start Today!

    I’ll reply to everyone later today, but I’m loving the comments and help from everyone. Very encouraging to me! I hope it is for y’all too. And knowing I had to “face” everyone helped make it easy to say no to cake at an office birthday party today. (it wasn’t mine so I don’t get a pass).

    Thanks, ladies!!!

  15. Lol, Bonnie, I was delaying. When I struggle with a scene, I have gotten in the bad habit of surfing FB. Bad, bad writer!

  16. Liz, We all have bad weeks! Maybe try to plan ahead some — take water with you to the games, make yourself a goal to go up and down the bleachers a certain # of times while you’re there, and get to those daytime classes if you can’t do night.

    I feel ya on the PMS! That’s why my last week was so ugly!

  17. Yay, LJ! Great job! I think you posted something about moving exercise equipment into the room that has your tv so you can get exercise while baseball is on, didn’t you? (on Facebook maybe?) That would really help some too, I think! Let us know how that goes this week.

  18. Kristin, that baby food is a toughy! How old is your child? Try just setting a few on the high chair and let him/her figure out how to pic them up, then a few more, and so on. A little less time in your hands at least. 🙂 What about having something you CAN eat there to munch on while your feeding too? That might keep you distracted and offer something that you can crunch on.

  19. Welcome, Betty! Yep, you want to heel that foot up good, because you’ll do a lot of walking, both in Ireland and at conferences. Ella had some great suggestions for you there.

    Thanks for the inner dialogue tip! I love that and will definitely put that into use.

  20. Some good positive steps, Andrea!!! It’s on your mind and you’re working toward it. Just keep going! And put that treaddesk to good use!!!! 🙂

  21. Bonnie, I have a Biggest Loser DVD that I love! Those are some great workouts and mine offers lots of options. Don’t worry about the cupcake! It’s gonna happen. 🙂 You’re doing great on the exercise and that’s a good inner dialogue tip. I tell myself something similar when I don’t want to walk the stairs during my work break. “You can do anything for 15 minutes! You’ll feel better for the exercise and being out in the sunshine.”

    Really helps!

  22. Ann Marie, Better late than never! Sounds like you’re on the right track with your exercise and tracking everything. 🙂 Great progress!!!

  23. Ah, Ella! What a great right hand you are! You’re doing great too, and have encouraged me a lot this past week. Keep up the hard work.

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