WritersButt Wednesday: 5 things you may NOT be doing, and sabotaging yourself.


Hello WritersButt friends!  We’ve been together on this WritersButt journey since January and I have to tell you, I’m having so much fun! There’s pretty much nothing I love more than to hear from you all in the comments, on Twitter (#writersbutt), or on our Facebook page about how you are working to make the mind/body connection for your fitness and health.

As you know, I own a strength and conditioning gym.  Most people who join a gym or start a fitness program have a goal in mind, or many. The first thing I do when I meet someone is try to find out what his or her goals are. Once I know what their goals are, they become my goals.  Anyone who knows me well, and even not so well, knows that I like to get what I want.  So if you let your goals become my goals, and you’re willing to work, well, let’s say it’s a win-win situation.

After finding out what someone’s goals are, I ask what they’ve been doing to achieve them.  If what they have been doing were working, I likely would not be meeting them, so I already know going in that I have to find out what their doing, or most likely – what they’re NOT doing, that is sabotaging their efforts.

The majority of new clients I meet want to lose weight or ‘get in shape’.  In my head, I translate this to mean they want to, be smaller, be stronger, be less giggly, in the basest form; they want to look better naked.  If I ask them if they’d like to be healthier, have more energy, be more alert at their jobs, and accept their bodies, they usually say yes to that as well.

So, the very coolest thing is that if I can get them to focus the health, acceptance, energy, and strength part, the ‘look better naked’ aspect is almost always a welcomed by-product!

Effort and Commitment are always rewarded.

Now, here’s the deal. In most cases, and I do mean the vast majority, what people are doing in their pursuit of weight loss is the exact opposite of what will bring them closer to their goals. They are sabotaging themselves by what they are NOT doing.  Today, I’m going to give you my top 5 things that people are not doing which are holding them back from what they have said is their goal; to lose weight and get in shape.

1.    Not getting enough water.

As you WritersButt veterans know, I challenge you to drink 100oz of water a day. Is this an exact scientific number? No. It’s a nice round, even, easy to remember number that applies to most people.  I don’t think the old 8 glasses of water (8 oz each) a day is enough.  Is it sufficient? Maybe. But do you want just enough when you can be the over-achiever for your body and mind? Plain and simple, getting plenty of water has a ton of benefits ranging from weight loss, better skin, be more productive, mood elevator and even reduces the risk of cancer. Good news, this is the easiest component to fix. If you don’t have water within your reach right now, go grab a water bottle, fill it up and come back and join us. We’ll wait!

2.    Not getting enough sleep

I can already hear the rumblings on this one. You want to tell me that it’s physically impossible for you to get more sleep. I don’t want to argue with you. Consider this, your brain and your body needs adequate sleep to recharge. If you are not giving it enough time to do that, in all the different sleep cycles, you are negatively affecting your brain activity, memory, creativity and reasoning as well as your metabolism, growth hormones and appetite.  I did a whole blog on sleep. Might be worth a reread.

3.    Not getting enough fat

Yep, you read that right. One of the most common things I hear from people trying to get in shape is they cut the fat out of their diet.  Stop doing this! Your body needs fat. Your brain needs fat. Fat is not bad! When you see a product labeled low-fat or non-fat, run away screaming, waving your arms, warn everyone not to buy that junk.  Or, just pass it by for yourself. We can’t save everyone.  Seriously, healthy fats (notice I said ‘healthy’ fats) are a phenomenal fuel source for your body. It’s a slow, long-burning source of energy.  I like to use the analogy of a fire you’re trying to keep burning. Imagine your body is that fire. If you keep feeding it kindling in the form of processed, sugar-laden, food, it will flare up (quick energy burst) then die out fast (afternoon crash in energy).  But, if you feed it coal (raw nuts, coconut oil, avocados, plus protein like eggs, lean meats) your body will harbor that source of high-quality, long-lasting fuel and sustain that fire, your body, your energy!  Remember, if the fat has been removed from a product, it’s tastes like poop, so they have to add something in to make it taste like fudge again, so they pump it with processed sugar. Don’t go there!

4.    Not getting enough food

Just as common as not getting enough fat, many people sabotage their efforts by not eating enough food.  By and large to two nutritional mistakes are drastically cutting calories and only eating non-fat foods.  Our bodies are amazingly efficient. We want to survive.  Bring on a famine and our bodies will retreat and hunker down. When you deprive your body of the calories it needs to function, it goes into survival mode and it will start to conserve the best fuel source it knows.  Guess what that is?  Yep – FAT! So you cut your calories way down. Your body is like, ‘Dude, I’m starving, I’m going to have to hang on to these thighs for a rainy day, no telling when you’re going to give me an avocado again’.  I’m having a little fun here but I’m serious.  Would you expect that fire from above to keep burning if you refused to feed the flames?  Let me make one point though, I am not giving you the green light to belly up to the pasta bar and founder on macaroni.  Your body is still your machine, feed it wisely. Give it good stuff on which to run. Now, be reasonable and use common sense. The bottom line still is that you do have to burn more than you consume or at least make them balance to maintain. You burn more by moving more, being active, which brings me to my last point.

5.    Not moving enough weight.

This might apply primarily to women because men typically love to move some weight around but ladies … get in there and tap into your girl power. Our bodies are built to be strong. Remember, we are survivors! And if we want that firm, lean, physique, you’re going to have to move some significant weight. Don’t be afraid to lift weights. Can you hear that? I hear female voices telling me they don’t want to ‘bulk up’.  You are not going to bulk up! Read that last sentence again. Women are not genetically designed to build muscle that way. Ok, there may be a very small percentage, but I promise you, it’s small.  To look incredibly bulky and muscle-bound as a female, you have to take supplements (like steroids) to achieve this. Women, we are not meant to be weak, frail creatures! Lifting weight will help you to burn excess fat. Once that fat (through your healthy WritersButt nutrition) is reduced, and you’ve been moving some heavy weight around, what is left is a strong, healthy, fit, and completely awesome YOU! Trust me, it is incredibly satisfying to move heavy weight.  Try it!

I want to mention that even at home, if you don’t have access to heavy weight, your body is weight. You can do push-ups, squats, lunges, sit-ups, using your body weight. I’m challenging you to use your body for more than just walking, elliptical, etc.  Get your biggest muscles involved. Make them work for you!


Challenges for this week:

*100 oz water daily

*3-5 Gratitudes in your journal every night or morning

*10 squats and 5 push-ups every single time you go to the bathroom  J Time to kick it up a notch!

Extra workout challenges:

3 rounds of:

10 steps of walking lunges

25 jumping jacks


As many burpees in 5 minutes as you can do.


Run/Jog/Speed Walk 1 mile

~~Every 30 seconds, stop and do 15 squats


Who’s up for the challenge?  Have a great week!


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on May 9, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Elena Aitken

    Ginger, I LOVE your writersbutt posts. I wish you lived closer so you could kick my butt personally. LOVE!

    • Thank you, Elena! Your support means a lot. Oooh, we’d have so much fun together. I don’t know about you but my legs are reminding me of how much ‘fun’ I had yesterday. At least I kick my own butt too! 😉

  2. Oh dear – we’re back to the squats and the lunges. Sheesh. Not that I haven’t been doing them, mind you, cuz I have. A few anyway. Once in a while. I continue to go to the gym and zumba though and drink my water and get my sleep.

    I wished you lived closer so I could use your gym and have you as my personal trainer. You guys wouldn’t want to move to Northern California would you? I need a good gym coach. Hey, it’s worth a try.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Yes … the squats are BACK!! hahahaha I know how much you love them. 🙂 A good friend of mine keeps trying to rope me into moving to Napa. I have a dream of owning/running a vineyard and winery. So, I may get your way yet! Until then, I can train you from Texas, but you have to do what I say.

  3. I’m with Elena and Patricia. I want you nearby because then you could be my personal coach, Ginger, and kick my butt. Off to do some squats…..

  4. Reetta Raitanen

    I’m not drinking enough water and getting enough sleep (here I am, blog commenting after midnight :P).
    “10 squats and 5 push-ups every single time you go to the bathroom” I loved this advice. I think it will work great to tie the excercise to a certain place and activity. Might not work so well for people who have tiny bladders, though. One of my friends has to go to the ladies’ room all the time.

    • Hi Reetta. Well … if you increase your water intake to 100 oz, you will be taking lots of extra trips to the bathroom, at least while your body adjusts, but that’s a good thing. Keep track of your squats and push-ups and you’ll be surprised how many you get done by the end of the day.

  5. As usual, I love the advice here. I hate anything low-fat or non-fat because I wonder what they put in there and really, how do they get the fat out? It sounds like weird science to me. I’ll take my food natural, please. I love avacado and almond butter, so I definitely get enough fat. Recently, I stopped eating cheese pretty much at all, because it was too easy to come home tired and have quesadillas instead of a healthy dinner. Since then when I’ve had some cheese at restuarants I can tell how hard it is on my body. It is definitely making me think that, for me, cheese should be a treat in small quantities like ice cream. But I love plain greek yogurt, especially with fruit and cinnamon. Ok, now I’m hungry. I’m going to go drink some more water, and I’m definitely getting to bed on time. Thanks for the inspiration to sleep! 🙂

    • You and I are so much alike. I too, will only eat cheese for a special treat and then, it has to be worth it, like really good cheese, since I know my tummy will not be happy. Dairy causes so much inflammation, cramps and bloating. Most people don’t realize it because they are used to feeling that way. But once you take it out, at least 2 weeks without, then reintroduce, it’s clear how it makes you feel. I love ‘not’ feeling guilty about going to bed early or sleeping in if I can. I consider it my medicine! 🙂

  6. Great times thanks for the reminders. It’s so easy to go overboard and not really be taking care of ourselves.

  7. I am going back to bed after I eat breakfast and drink a big glass of water! Great post!

  8. lynnkelleyauthor

    Good thing I love water. That’s mainly what I drink, but I’ll drink even more. Thanks, Ginger, for these great tips. I have an avocado at home, nice and ripe, that I’ll dig into as soon as I get off today. And raw almonds are one of my fav snacks. I have a questions: Are almonds fattening if I eat too many? I’ve heard that we should eat 6 almonds a day because they’re so healthy for us, but six doesn’t cut it. I eat 4 to 6 oz. of almonds a day, unless we run out. Is that too much? Thanks again for your help!

    • Karen McFarland

      Excuse me here Ginger!

      Lynn, hooray to you for eating raw almonds! They’re better for you than roasted. Roasting changes the chemical compound in the nut. But it’s good fat, right Ginger? I’ve heard you should eat the amount that will fit in the palm of your hand. But I would like to hear Ginger’s answer to this also. Cause I love raw almonds too Lynn! 🙂

      • Karen answered beautifully. You can have more than 6 in a day! 🙂 That said, if you’re not careful and you’re always grabbing handfuls, the calories can catch up to you, so just be aware if you’re blindly reaching for them. They are a great, healthy fat. I almost always have a baggie of nuts (raw/unsalted) in my pantry that I dip into. I make my own mix from the bulk food section of my grocery store.

  9. Coleen Patrick

    I love these posts too Ginger–I feel they are my extra kick in the motivation pants for me. Thanks!

  10. Such great advice! Thanks for that!

  11. Karen McFarland

    “I’m probably nicer over the internet than I am in person. Could be a blessing for you!” LOL!

    Ginger, you crack me up girl! Okay, I suck at writersbutt! I’ll be the first to admit it!

    But I do drink a lot of water. And green tea is my friend! It boost your metabolism and cleanses your liver. I can’t say enough about it.

    I know from my doctor that weights increase your strength and adrenals. I have weights, but I haven’t been using them. But I’ve been back to walking this week. My exercise routine is so frustrating because I work at building back my strength and then I get sick. And it happens over and over again. It drives me crazy.

    Someone once said that you have memory in your muscles. And I said, I don’t thing that I have memory in my butt! LOL! But I’m working on it! 🙂

    • Hello Karen! 🙂 Ok, you don’t ‘suck’ at WritersButt. I happen to know you take care of yourself, are fully aware of what is healthy to put into your body and try to get activity and fitness into your life. That’s success, not suckage!

      You know, you don’t necessarily have to use the weights you have. Your body is weight too, so when you go out to walk, stop every now and again and do some squats or lunges, or push-ups — even against a park bench. And your muscles do have memories! Sounds like you may have to reintroduce yourself to your butt. haha!

  12. I’m getting better at the Writer’s Butt challenge, Ginger. Yes, I slip up from time to time and did write a post on dessert–but I only ate a bite of those desserts and I haven’t had Dannon’s coffee yogurt since your post on sugar.

    Whittling my sugar intake has helped me lose a couple of pounds. Thanks!

    Ginger, you know I’m a fan, but tell me this is a typo: “Run/Jog/Speed Walk 1 mile

    ~~Every 30 seconds, stop and do 15 squats”

    Every thirty seconds? Fifteen squats? *Whimper.*

  13. I’m doing well on the last three (I actually enjoy lifting weights), but I know I’m not drinking enough water and not getting enough sleep. I’ve gotten into a self-defeating cycle with sleep because I’m exhausted, so I’m not getting enough done, so I stay up too late trying to get more done, and don’t get enough sleep, and it repeats.

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