I live in my computer chair because I’m promoting my new book online. This means that The Home for the Friendless is popping up in social networking places such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GoodReads, and LibraryThing, and all of these important places spell their names funny. In addition to those sites, I’m learning about bookmarking, tags, blogging, html, and RSS feed. If you’re as new to the Internet as I am, these words are daunting.

I take online book tours and I don’t even leave the house. I’m sitting down all the time and usually in my nightgown, housecoat and slippers. I crawl out of the desk chair to get a bite to eat or use the bathroom. Sometimes, it feels like I’ve forgotten how to walk or how to see things in focus. And my torso is one big love handle. The worst part is this: after a lifetime of health, I now have high blood pressure. It went up last summer when I was trying to meet a book deadline. After a long revision, the final manuscript was sent to the printer. Seems like the right time to take a break, doesn’t it? But marketing started while the manuscript was at the printer being transformed into a book, and it’s still going strong. Even though all this work is on the computer screen, I am surrounded by piles of printed pages that I edit the old-fashioned way…with a red pen as I SIT in a lounge chair.

Enter stage left…my doctor.

She says, “Betty, your added weight gain and your physical inactivity have caused your blood pressure to go up.”

I say, “What?”

She says, “Record your blood pressure every day at the same time while standing up (This is the way they do it now) and take a 20-minute walk three times a week. Eat a healthy diet (We all know what that is) and email the results to me every week.”

I am determined to bring down my blood pressure by changing my routine. I will NOT open email the minute I jump out of bed. I WILL get dressed and hit the pavement for a 20 minute walk…ten minutes one way and ten minutes back. I can do this. I’ve started over many times in my life so I’m getting used to it. The best way for me to make a renewed commitment to health is to think about the present day and nothing more. Tomorrow I’ll think about THAT day and nothing more. If I see progress in lowered blood pressure I will welcome each new day with a song in my heart.

One more thing: I found an electronic helper online called It costs $10.00 a month. I log my goal weight and every morsel of food I’ve swallowed and then I enter my exercise. The program reports many things but primarily how many calories I have consumed, what I ate too much of, and what I forgot to eat like vegetables or fruit. Green smiley faces mean that I did a good job and red frowning faces tell me I blew it. I eat three little meals a day and two tiny snacks. Lord only knows how this will end, because I’m hungry and I still need to take my blood pressure.

In spite of frequent lapses in my commitment, the motto, EAT LESS- MOVE MORE is tattooed to the inside of my brain, and it’s permanent…the tattoo AND my brain.

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  • Jean F

    Wonderful post! We all need to live by the motto of the headline – East less, move more!

  • Sandi

    Oh, that’s all I need…frowny faces on my computer :-) Fun article, Betty, and good on you for taking up this challenge.

  • Betty Auchard

    Sandi, I’m not bragging about my progress because I haven’t made much. I take that back. I’ve exercised a fair amount lately, but it sure does make me hungry. Need I say more?

  • Oscar

    As the doctor said, Walking is good for you, but there just isn’t enough time in a day to walk 20 minutes at a time. The world could change in 20 minutes and maybe I would miss a meal. More power to you, Betty. Keep it up.

  • Betty Auchard

    Hi Oscar. I’m lauging because I’m barely able to interrupt what I’m doing just to take a 20-minute walk. What I did instead was attend a crab feed and dance night with my kids and I could NOT stop jiving to the music. I danced nonstop. The next day my toes, feet and legs hurt like the devil but I think I lost two pounds.