writing for children

NaNoWriMo Potato Syndrome

computer-potatoNaNoWriMo means a lot of butts are going to be in chairs for longer than a quick “twitter” update minute. If the average number of words per day is 1700 (some churn out much more than that!), how much daily BIC time does that equal? (just in case you aren’t aware, BIC=Butt in Chair)

For me, NaNo BIC time outweighs exercise time by a ton. I also tend to snack while sitting at the computer, stay up MUCH later and not eat very healthy when I am deep in the writing process.

Putting on weight because of being a couch potato is bad enough. But putting on weight during NaNoWriMo is another story. Therefore, I am going to fight against NaNoWriMo Potato Syndrome.

Here is my plan for the month…

  1. Sweat:  exercise at least 5 hours a week. That can be broken up mr. potato headhowever I see fit.
  2. Sugar free month*: Cut out the candy, brownies and cookies that seem to make their way into my mouth during this time of year. *Thanksgiving Day is the exception!*
  3. Goodbye Soda: Only water, juice or milk and hot russian tea!
  4. Early Bird Special: Eat dinner earlier in the day and refrain from evening snacking while at the computer.
  5. REM: stick to my “hit the sack before midnight” routine. Sleep is good for the body AND the mind.

I can’t be the only one out there fighting against the NaNoWriMo Potato Syndrome. Are you fighting it, too? What is your strategy?


16 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Potato Syndrome

  1. Remembering that running/walking time makes great pre-writing/planning time helps me WANT to get out there for my exercise. It doesn’t feel like time-taken-from-writing, and actually makes me way more productive when I do sit down at the keyboard. So that’s one key strategy for me. No snacking at my desk is the other strategy I’m attempting to embrace. We’ll see how that goes….


  2. Hah! My waistline and butt have grown considerably since I began a writing career. I retained 10 lbs per kid (I have two) and gained another 10 (I suppose you can call writing my third baby). Here are my strategies …

    Walking every day.
    No snacking (this is going to be hard).
    Absolutely no eating after supper.
    Go to bed early before I get hungry again.

    Thanks for the reminder, Donna.


  3. Oh Vijaya – Great strategy!
    And how I wish I had your stats! I gained 50 lbs with the first…and only dropped 30 of those pounds. Then gained 50 with the next…dropped 30 again (notice the 40 lbs STILL on me!. Then…16 months later, found out I was preggers again.

    You guessed it…the same stats. NOW…I’m working to get off ALL the “baby” weight. Those babies are now 5 (almost 6), 7, and 12.

    I’m 5ft7, so folks don’t believe I weigh as much as I do. But my blood pressure reflects it. I can NOT afford NaNoWriMo Potato weight, too. I’m not sure my chair can hold me if I do. 🙂

    You probably didn’t want to know all that, did you?



  4. I am not participating in NaNoWriMo (I am a magazine writer) but I enjoyed your post. It never occurred to me that participants faithfully keeping their BIC would gain more than just 50,000 words.

    Happy (snack-free) Writing!


  5. Hi Kerrie – thank you for stopping by. It’s nice to meet a fellow mag writer! 🙂 My published works are in mags and greeting cards, but I’m working on getting my books published, too. NaNo is great for lighting a fire under my tush in that aspect. 🙂



  6. When my younger one turned five, my husband said that I couldn’t call my extra fat “baby weight” … by the way, I look perpetually 4-5 mo. pregnant and people often ask me if I have another one on the way. Hee hee. I tell them it’s my food baby.

    Height does make a difference. It simply doesn’t show. But if the blood work/blood pressure is showing being in unhealthy range, my Dr. says even a 10 lb loss can make a huge difference on your heart’s load.

    Cutting back the unnecessary sugar should do the trick. I don’t snack much, and I cook good food, but eat too much. I need to start having small bowls of soup, smaller platefuls of food, etc.

    Boy, I wonder how many writers struggle with BIC and weight gain. Food for thought, no? Hee hee.


  7. I’m perpetually overweight and am long past being able to blame it on babies. Writing is such a sedentary pursuit that during a concentrated month of NaNo’ing it’s hard not to send the scales soaring. I can’t recall what I might have gained in other years, but I’m trying to avoid snacking this year and instead reach for another refill of coffee whenever I take a break. The caffeine has a two-fold benefit of speeding up my metabolism and recharging my brain! 😉 BTW, I’ve made it past the 4,000 word mark this morning so am slightly ahead of schedule.


  8. Hi Carol! 4,000 words? WOWZERS! You are ahead of the game! I didn’t get any nearly enough words yesterday, so I’m about a day’s worth behind already. I hope to make it up between now and Sunday, though…plus some!

    And I know what you mean about caffeine. However, my doc says it makes blood pressure soar – so I have to stay away from it. UGH!

    I’m glad you stopped by. Btw – I’m enjoying your blog!



  9. I’m not doing the NaNoWriMo thing, but I do tend to need Peanut M&Ms to jump start my creative juices at times 🙂 When I do indulge, I make sure it’s just a few — no open bag on my desk 🙂

    (Donna, I’m doing a giveaway on my blog for my newsletter subscribers. If you think you might be interested, come check it out!)

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo!


  10. Hi , it’s Thanksgiving Day! I’m enjoying my extra day off, and I am planning to doing something fun that will probably involve a bike ride and seeing something new in Gorham I haven’t seen yet.
    You write something new at Thanksgiving?


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