Monday, December 10, 2007

Could this mean the end to my ever-widening rear?

One of the problems about being a writing mom with children in school is that I spend too much of my time curled up with my laptop and not enough time moving around. This results in some undesirable side-effects like weight gain and rear-end spread.

Like most writing moms I know, I'm a busy writing mom with a number of projects going at one time. I do a lot of writing, editing, grading, designing and more every day. All of this involves spending quality time with my computer instead of my treadmill.

In 2005, I decided I needed to do something to give my writing a boost, so I went back to grad school. It is no coincidence that in 2006 I completed 24 credits for my degree and gained approximately 60 pounds. For most of that year, while attending grad school, I also worked full-time as a newspaper reporter and taught three classes at a college. Factor in a long commute, and it comes down to a choice between family, sleep and exercise, and I had to sacrifice all three in order to get everything done.

If you were family and didn't live in my house in 2006, you didn't hear from me very much. If you did live in my home, you spent a lot of time with me while I was doing something else too. My family went camping, and I brought along my homework, laptop and papers to grade, not to mention my camera and reporter's notebook.

I sacrificed sleep. I had to in order to get everything done. There were several times where I would wake up at 3 or 4 a.m. in order to finish my own homework or to grade my students homework. I tried to leave my evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. free to spend time with the kids and from 8 to 10 p.m. to spend time with my husband. Exercise wasn't always a possibility, but I tried to work it in too. Several mornings my husband and I would wake up at 6 and walk a couple miles.

Since I graduated last August, my schedule has slowed down quite a bit. I am working on exercising more and getting enough sleep as well as eating right. I see my immediate family more often, and I have been able to reconnect with extended family too. Yet, I still spend a lot of time sitting on my butt working on my computer.

In case you didn't know, typing, even typing at over 130 words a minute, doesn't tend to burn very many calories. I have long dreamed of a way that would make it easier to incorporate exercise into my life. I already use my iPod to listen to the writing-related podcast Will Write for Wine while on the tread mill.

This week I saw a possible solution on the news: the Walkstation

It's a combination of a treadmill (3 mph max) and a desktop that is perfect for a laptop and other work-related items. It's billed as the "first truly mobile office." A walking worker can burn up to 100 calories an hour.

My butt is ready, my legs are questioning their stamina, and after a glance at the $4,000 price tag, my wallet has left the building, but it is good to know someone is doing something to help me fit exercise into my busy work day.

It could mean the end to one of the most serious epidemics facing writing mothers today -- putting on pounds when pounding the keys.

1 comment:

Carolyn Erickson said...

I can't help but what my grandfather, who was a farmer, born in the early 1900s, would think about this. :D

Can you really type and walk at the same time I wonder?