Nationals or Bust Week 3: Work It Girl! with Ella Sheridan

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!

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

Today I have the privilege of hosting my own sister, Ella Sheridan, as she shares some motivation from her own journey!

Don’t Wish For It; Work For It.

Over the past few months, this has become my mantra. I’ve spent a lot of the last thirty or so years wishing my weight was something it wasn’t, wishing my body was different, wishing everything I wanted wasn’t so hard. And you know what? Wishing got me exactly what I put into it: almost nothing.

About two years ago, I tore my rotator cuff in my right shoulder during karate training. It was an accident brought on totally by me, not my partner (I turned the wrong way during a throw). I went to the doctor, went through physical therapy, but the injury never truly healed. Finally, last November, my husband and I decided enough was enough and I went back to the orthopedist, who scheduled me for surgery. The week before Christmas, I was under the knife with a minimum four-month recovery period ahead of me.

Yeah, not an easy task.

Here’s the thing: shoulders rotate more than any joint in the body. Can you imagine how hard it is to function when that rotation is now severely limited by ultratight screws, ties, and anchors? Very hard. I was unable to do any cardio exercise for around two months because the jarring hurt so badly, but I came out of therapy three times a week sweating like a dog and crying because it hurt so horribly just to stretch. I had to do it, though; there was no other choice, not if I wanted to heal and heal right.

As time went on, the therapists and I noticed something that frustrated us both. I couldn’t relax enough to let them take me from mostly healed to completely healed. I didn’t trust them enough not to hurt me beyond what I could bear, and so they could only push me so far. (Honestly, they told me just about every session that they’d never had a patient with such horrible trust issues, lol.) To get beyond where they could take me, I had to do it; if I ever wanted full function of my shoulder again, I had to be the one to push myself, not them. Considering I’m a black-belt karate instructor and need full function to continue teaching, wishing and not working was not an option.

So I did the work.

Do The Work, Healthy Writer, Romance Authors, Nationals or Bust, RWA Nationals, Dani Wade, Ella Sheridan

Every day, my shoulder gets stronger. It might be months before I have complete rotational ability again, but I will get there. And it might be months before I arrive at a good, stable, healthy weight for me, but I will get there. I’m now willing to do the work, not just wish the work was done and I looked the way I want to. We all have to be willing to do the work to be healthy, happy writers. That means overcoming obstacles, sacrificing what we need to sacrifice, refusing to accept our own excuses, and committing to long-term diligence, not just this day or this week or this month.

We have. To do. The work.

Will I ever be skinny? No. Will that wish I had as a teenager of being like all the other thin girls who never have to worry about what they eat ever come true? No. But I can and will be healthy. I can and will be the best I can be in the body God gave me. I can and will…if I do the work.

Challenge: Where could you put more effort into your workouts? Eating habits? Stress relief? Share with us today!


14 thoughts on “Nationals or Bust Week 3: Work It Girl! with Ella Sheridan

  1. Ugh! I totally screwed up this week. Really upped my exercise, but not my eating. As a result, I’m up this week — and totally disappointed in myself. Lots of excuses, but none of them valid.

    This week I’ve got to work on my visualization and motivation, internal thought processes.

  2. Haven’t weighed in yet this morning (hubby’s hogging the bathroom and I don’t get naked and get on the scale in front of ANYONE!), but this week has been a long one. Can you tell I wrote this last week, lol? 🙂 I’ll weigh in a little bit and see where I’m at, but what I do know is I wouldn’t have continued to work if I didn’t know I had to check in here on Wednesdays. Thanks for keeping me accountable, y’all!

  3. I’m down 4 pounds, total. Not sure which came this past week and which the week before, since I was out of town all last week and unable to weigh. Considering I ate out every day while I was gone, I’m happy just to be down. Yesterday I went to the doctor’s office for bloodwork. I took four flights of stairs (parking garage) down and then up. The down was easy. The last two flights of up was not. But I did it. For me, I have to find a way to get more exercise. Not just getting on the treadmill for 30 minutes, but getting up and walking for a few minutes when I’m at the computer for hours at a time. Choosing stairs instead of the elevator. And not just for short while. It needs to be habit. — LJ

  4. That’s great, LJ! I’m proud of you. And yes, I find I have to get up and move while I’m working, which I’m doing for about 16 hours a day right now. Missed my workout yesterday because I was running behind.

    Speaking of which, Danniele helped me a lot yesterday. I told her I missed my workout, and when I told her, she said I should’ve done just part of it rather than dropping the whole thing. Right now I’m working out a minimum of an hour a day, so that takes a huge chunk out of work time, but D was right. I should’ve just cut back to a shorter time and gotten a little bit in instead of dropping it altogether.

    I’m a little worried because I’m sitting right around a weight right now that has caught me up for the last few years when I’ve tried to lose weight, so this coming week is very important because I need to drop into the next ten-pound range. This is the hard part, going farther than I have the last few years. :s

    But…I’m down a pound! That’s 6.5 lbs, with 15 to go before July. Woot!

    *Plan: 1 carb per meal, lots of protein and veggies, 1 hour of exercise 5 days a week, at least 40 oz of water a day Goal: 22.5 lbs; lost 6.5; 15 lbs to go!!!*

  5. I forgot to weigh this morning, but I’ve been running madly for a week. Work has reached the critical hell point where I’m there 10+ hours a day. Grabbing food where I can. Drinking cause I have to blow off steam. (I know this is the point where I should run to blow of steam, but yeah, I drink because I need my brain to get fuzzy and turn off and running doesn’t do that. At least not at the piddly speed and distance I can manage.) I did some traveling and socializing – more drinking, more food. My evenings are taken up with working toward a looming deadline and getting ready to leave town. So much packing. Some nights I just can’t even face the treadmill. A couple nights ago, I couldn’t even face the laptop. Things should be calmer when I get home from RT. I’m hoping I can focus more after that point.

    I need to figure out how to push myself beyond this because it seems to be a constant state in my life.

  6. Great post, Ella!

    I’m down 3 pounds in total, which is fine by me. On Monday I had to do a mad dash to a shopping centre (Warner’s has discontinued my absolutely favourite bra style, OMG!) and I was prepared to take the subway there, but when I stepped outside it was a gorgeous, sunny day — so I walked!

    It took me an hour, but it felt great. Best of all, two stores had some stock left! Hooray!

    Linda, I totally hear you on the stair climbing. It would be nice to not gasp after two flights!

    And that’s a great point about doing a partial workout, Dani!

    The mini-workouts during commercial breaks (stair climbs, lunges, jumping jacks) really work for me. Now I’ve just got to remember to eat more veggies when I’m feeling like a snack.

    Here’s to another great week!

  7. Andrea, I really sympathize. With the amount of work I’ve been doing, the amount of revising I need to do, the research for Nationals and pitch appointments and gah! I get it. We signed my daughter up for high school this past week and she opted to do ROTC. We finally had to tell her she shouldn’t be on a team this year, because neither my husband nor I have time to take her to all the practices. She’s learning about compromise at a young age, and I know she and my son get tired of hearing “I have to work/write/do whatever” but I don’t know how else to handle it. Sometimes I wish the merry-go-round would just STOP!

    I’m not sure there is an answer. But I feel for you and hope you can find some way to bring some peace into your life. It’s hard, I know.

  8. Bonnie, I’m so proud of all your exercise work! How do you live in a town where you can walk to a store? I live in the rural South, and sidewalks are practically nonexistent. I’d rather not get hit by a crazy redneck, lol! But I do love walking outside now. Today it’s raining, but I think later when it slacks off I’m going walking in the rain. I love to, and today’s the perfect opportunity. Maybe it’ll help me relax somewhat during what I truly hope will be the last of these extra hectic work weeks for a while.

  9. Holy hell! Its been admin appreciation week at work and vendors have been providing food. Good thing I weighed in this morning, bc somebody brought lemon squares and chess squares today. Yikes! Must avoid kitchen!

  10. Wow! Ella and LJ, you’re doing great! LJ, eating out can be very hard for me, especially a lot in a short amount of time. Congrats on doing such a great job!

    Ella, on the cusp of that next 10 pound range, you are working really hard and I’m proud of you. You’re gonna meet your goal, I just know it!

  11. Andrea, I wish I had infinite words of wisdom. Alas, I don’t. At least, none that anyone would want to hear. 🙂

    I wonder if, to get past the inertia, you just forced yourself to get on the treadmill for say 15 minutes? At work, I tell myself I can do anything for 15 minutes. Just between now and your trip, if you do 15 minutes a day you can stop. Might not do much calorie burning, but its just a matter of breaking the avoidance. Make sense?

    It might also help you feel better before you travel? Worry about the food stuff when you get home.

  12. Bonnie, Great progress!!!! You are moving in a downward weight direction and that’s great. More important, working out and feeling great. I’m so proud of you for walking to the store!!!! Keep it up. You’re getting somewhere!

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