October 8

Lady Belly and the Temptations*

IMG_1663My mom, bless her. She’s lived through cancer and heart failure and yet, as social services likes to tell us, she has fine cognitive skills. But wake her from a nap and sometimes the monkeys get out.

In other words, she says stuff. Dream stuff. True stuff. Stuff she wouldn’t ordinarily say. Thus one afternoon I plunked myself down on the couch across from where she was snoozing. Her eyes popped open and she said, “You’re getting a belly.”

I’d like to say I smiled and gently reminded her that she was thinking aloud, but no. I made her move my collection of antique typewriters to the attic. Because, I’ll be damned. She was right.

So what does my Lady Belly have to do with freelancing? I’ll tell you. There’s no jog to the bus or sprint from the lot to the office. There are no coworkers to visit on another floor. There are just those steps to the kitchen. Where there are cookies.

When you work at home, you have to build exercise into your schedule. You know all the important reasons – like health and jeggings. But here’s something else that’s crucial to freelancing: it makes you smarter. A smarter freelancer has an edge. A smarter freelancer makes more money.

According to research, the increase in blood flow and oxygen to the brain is like that oil change I made my mother give my car. It enhances performance and keeps things running smoothly. And here’s why I get so many great ideas while I’m on my stationary bike: aerobic exercise stimulates the part of the brain used for learning and memory – the hippocampus. The neurons get a jolt, which improves the way you think. And, mom, a study shows that exercise might even help reverse the brain shrinkage that happens with age. Just saying.

After a few weeks of obsessing over the profile of my tummy in the full-length mirror, I did some research on how to reduce belly fat. Although I was already exercising regularly, it had been a long time since I felt a burn. I was going to have to ramp it up.

I traded in my stationary bike for a fan bike to give my upper body a better work out. I integrated interval exercising into my routine. I started doing planks. I gave up cookies before lunch, cookies after lunch and cookies before dinner. Oh, there are still cookies – and don’t even mention my Friday night beer – but I’m eating and drinking more mindfully.

It’s been one long month since I started my new regimen, and guess what? I haven’t lost a stinking pound. Not one! But, dang it, I feel fantastic. And I care less about my Lady Belly.

Drats. I had a great conclusion lined up, but I’ve forgotten it. It was really funny, too. You’d have laughed!

Time for a brisk walk.

*No senior citizens or trademarks were harmed in the making of this blog.