Jude Hardin

Author, Drummer, Turtle Whisperer

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

How to Lose Weight and Get a Seven-Figure Book Deal, Part One

One of my humanities professors in college, a rather portly fellow I’ll call Dr. Gibbs, once told me vigorous physical exercise is actually very bad for you. You’re only allotted a certain number of heartbeats per lifetime, he said, and exercise makes them tick off way faster than necessary.

Hmm...

About a year ago, I bought a stationary bicycle equipped with enough digital bells and whistles to plot the course of a rocketship to Mars. I’m sure you’ve seen similar ones--in gyms, in sporting goods stores, in dark cobwebbed corners of friends’ basements. Maybe you even have one yourself. Or, maybe you have a treadmill. Or a weight bench. Or the latest gadget from a TV infomercial.

Admit it. At some point during your lifetime, you have purchased an expensive piece of exercise equipment with the intention of finally getting in shape. If you can commit to just twenty minutes per day, you reckon, you’ll be looking like Michelangelo’s sculpture of David in no time. Right?

Well...

The models you see in ads have to work out several hours a day to maintain those perfect physiques. Working out is their job. It’s their life. They're really, like, you know, into it. If you can commit to just twenty minutes per day, it will take you approximately 314 years to have the kind of body those models have.

Okay, so maybe you’ll settle for losing a little weight and improving your overall fitness. That sounds reasonable.

That, I’ve decided, is my goal for 2009. To lose thirty pounds.

Will riding my fancy exer-cycle for twenty minutes every day help me achieve my goal?

First of all, if you’ve ever climbed onto one of those contraptions and started pedaling, you know twenty minutes is a glacial age. If an archeological team digs up my bike in 5000 years, they’ll undoubtedly think it was some kind of 21st century torture device. Back then, interrogators would escort a suspect into a dusty space illuminated by a naked bulb, unveil the machine and say, “Vee half vays of making you talk.” If the suspect lasted twenty minutes, well, it was a safe bet they were never going to give up the goods...

Twenty minutes of huffing and puffing. Twenty minutes of quadriceps screaming for mercy. Twenty minutes of ass-numbing boredom.

Not to mention the...perspiration. You know, you have to take a shower afterward. There’s just no getting around it. You can’t expect another human to want to be around you after your daily Sweat-O-Rama. So, you have to take a second shower for the day, use twice as much water, twice as much electricity, soap, shampoo, deodorant...

When you get down to it, this thing called exercise is costing you--and the planet Earth--a fortune. It’s totally un-green. If everyone stopped exercising today, we could probably stop global warming in its tracks.

But I digress. Back to my goal!

Must...focus...on...goal...Spock...

Regardless of what the latest fad diet book or dietary supplement advertisement might tell you, weight loss/gain is all about calories consumed vs. calories burned. If you eat more and exercise less, you will gain weight. If you eat less and exercise more, you will lose weight. It’s a very simple formula...

So where am I going with this? What could any of this possibly have to do with writing? With getting a seven-figure book deal?

Stay tuned.

10 Comments:

Blogger Mark Terry said...

I just finished reading "Running for Mortals" by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield, and they note in the book that a lot of people start running to lose weight. Their idea originally was to write the greatest weight-loss book of all time. It was four words long: Move more; eat less.

They said they couldn't get a publisher interested.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

It really is that simple, Mark, but a lot of people refuse to believe it. That's why weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry.

9:38 AM  
Blogger lainey bancroft said...

Oh, wow! I really hope this story has a 'happily ever after' ending.

Here, try this:

Jude Hardin lands Seven Figure Book Deal and treats all his chubby little computer gut/butt friends to a month at an exclusive fat farm where all the booze is calorie free!

THE END

12:01 PM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

I'm tuned. Can't wait for the next chapter.
oooo and I like Lainey's idea.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Lainey:

I wish! My book isn't even back on submission yet, but with this economy we all might have to settle for a jump rope and a can of SlimFast.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Aimless:

You are very close to knowing the answer, Grasshopper.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Davin C. Goodwin said...

Jude,

You hit the nail on the head: burn more than you take in....

For me, the easy part is exercise. I actually look forward to my daily treadmill sessions or pool workouts. Summer time is outdoor running....

The hard part is the eating less, more importantly, eating correct.

Hmmm..... lunch today, a plain baked potato and a banana? Or a quater pounder with cheese.....

I default to the latter, and that's my problem.

It's a sad state of affairs when I have to run 5 miles a day just to break even...

11:01 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Hey Dave:

I do love a tasty burger...

On nights I work, I take baked chicken breast and salad, so I do pretty good there. I run into trouble on my days off, though. Pizza, burgers, Chinese, subs...hard to resist those things sometimes.

6:32 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

I built a treadmill desk with my cloudwalker. I write and walk at the same time! It rocks.

PS: Mark & Jude, it's not that simple, I'm afraid. There's allergies, hormonal imbalances, food sensitivities, thyroid issues... I seriously wish with all my heart it were that simple.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Hi Natasha:

True. I should say move more/eat less is a formula that works for most people, barring health concerns.

6:06 PM  

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