Late last year several of my writer friends had debut books releasing soon and were getting ready to promote the books and themselves. I wondered what I'd do in their place, wondered how I'd promote myself and how I'd react to needing to do so. I'm shy and unsure of myself, after all.
But, I realized, if I really want to be a professional writer, I have to do certain things despite being shy. And one of those things is to gain more self-confidence. The easiest way for me to feel more confident is to know I look good.
So in December I started walking almost every single night, two miles at minimum. I started to feel the health benefits almost immediately, which made it easy to keep up. At some point I bought a pair of five-pound hand weights and started doing arm exercises too. And I added sit-ups to the mix--not every night, but I try. I started with five sit-ups, increased to ten sit-ups after a week or two, increased to fifteen, and so on. I'm up to fifty sit-ups now. Yeah, me, the girl who this time last year was worried about my health because I was in such bad shape.
I haven't lost all that much weight by the scale, but I can tell a huge difference in my body. I've gone down two pants sizes. I feel better. I hike a lot and every night when I walk, I try to run at least short distances. And yeah, I've got a lot more confidence.
Has it helped my writing? Not directly (although it's nice to know I probably won't keel over at the computer). But when it's time, when I have to get out there and get loud about myself, I'll be ready. And I will have some damn cute clothes, too.