Thursday, December 19, 2013

From my FAQ Files – Battling Blogger Butt

As most of you know, I am an Image Consultant and Personal Style Coach by day and a Blogger whenever I can fit it in.  Each year at this time, I sort through my file of FAQs from clients and readers and save the best.  Most of us, at some point in our lives, find ourselves engaged in hand-to-mouth combat with our weight, so you can probably relate to the following question I received from a young(ish) woman with a very busy life. 

“Dear M.T., I started a Blog a few years ago, which is doing quite well.  I work on it at night when I come home from my day job.  It’s been great……….except, that I go from sitting in front my computer at work to sitting in front of my computer at home.  The result is………..I’ve gained over 35 pounds in one year!!  I don’t have either the time (working Mom) or the energy (none to spare) to run to the gym every day, and I’ve tried more diets than I can count.  Any suggestions?” 

Courtesy of Jessica Cangiano’s Chronically Vintage Blog

In the 1950s, working girls talked about the dreaded Secretary Spread, the result of sitting in front of a typewriter all day.  The cure for that, believe it or not, was marriage.  Yes, Ladies, the average married woman of the 50s, who generally did not work outside the home, was more active than her unmarried, still-working girlfriends.  Housework, shopping, cooking, fewer modern conveniences and running around after the kids kept most married women pretty fit.  Plus, there was usually one family car, which her husband took to work, so she walked and took public transportation during the day. 

Today, whether married or single, we spend most of our waking hours in front of or connected to some electronic device that forces us to sit for hours on end, and the scale tells the tale.  We bloggers, in particular, are in serious danger of developing Blogger Butt, the 21st century cyber version of Secretary Spread.   

Like many of you, I don’t have time to run to the gym every day and, even if I did, I find exercise excruciatingly boring.   I am neither a health nor weight loss professional, but here are Three Quick Tips that work for me.
1)      Don’t SAVE Yourself Steps; MAKE Yourself Steps.
I take every opportunity during the day to run (not walk) up and down the steps.  Since I work from home, a four-story townhouse, there is no shortage of stairs.  My business phone is in my 2nd floor office, but my home phone is on the first floor.  I see clients in my atelier on the 3rd floor.  The family room is on the lower level with a small fridge in the laundry room with bottled water and white wine.  A snack bin on top contains a variety of nuts.  Get the picture?
The point is to keep things on different levels so that you have to go up and down steps to access them.  Find some way to incorporate trips up and down the stairs each day, and, not only will you be adding some activity to your routine, but you’ll be taking little computer breaks that will cost you very little time. 
2)      Don’t Eat Anything Directly Out of a Bag.

All snacks (and, yes, I do, occasionally, indulge in them), go onto a small plate and the bag is closed and put away.   If you keep the bag with you, the temptation is there to just keep eating from it. 
One of the great things about pistachios, other than their yummy, satisfying taste, is the fact that you have to shell them before you can eat them.  Americans are very lazy about working to get to their food, but, the truth is, instant gratification often leads to overeating before you’ve even realized it.  Just looking at a mound of empty shells on your little plate makes it hard to lie to yourself about how much you’ve actually eaten.   

And, don’t forget that just because it says “LOW FAT” on the label, doesn’t mean it’s “LOW CALORIE.”  In fact, low fat snacks are often higher in calories to make them taste better.   You’re better off going for the taste (moderate fat/low cal) in small quantities.  You’ll feel more satisfied and will have consumed less calories. 

3)      Don’t Eat in Front of Your Computer. 
Even if it’s a “healthy” dish, don’t eat it in front of your computer.   Pardon my (being) French, but nothing eaten in front of your computer tastes as good as if eaten on a nice plate at a proper table with silverware.    You’ll not only enjoy it more, particularly in the company of a friend, but you’ll be paying attention to what and how much you are eating and, again, getting a nice break from staring at that computer screen.   

Bottom line, Ladies, if you can’t run to the gym every day, the more little bursts of activity you can incorporate into your busy day, the better you will feel and, over the long term, the better you will look.  


  1. Excellent tips! I'm suffering from a case of "how did I put that weight on?" these days. I do hate to go to the gym. I used to enjoy it in my 30's, but somehow it lost its charm. I always take the stairs but admit I don't run up them. Seems like I need to. Have a lovely holiday. xoJennifer

  2. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Excellent post and I am glad that we have stairs to run. From the garage up into the house and from the veranda down to the gazebo and also from the front door down to the walkway that leads to the mail box... They are a life saver. In The Netherlands I had to hang my laundry on the attic before I went to work and I was running lots of stairs every day. Keeps us fit; no doubt.
    Now I am trying to scan all our old slides and I do that from my old laptop which I installed downstairs in the Rose Suite. That is running back and forth all the time; with my memory stick transporting them to my PC in the office upstairs and back down again.
    Wishing you a great time leading up to Christmas. Tomorrow it will be 82°F here or 27°C and on Christmas Eve clear and only 55°F during the day and 28°F at night. That will make me wearing my mink to the 11:00 PM Mass perfect.
    Hugs to you and wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  3. I am addicted to yoga and pilates and cycle whenever I can when in London. Here in France there is a steep flight of steps up to the village for the daily baguette and of course walks on the beach in the holidays. These all work to keep my bloggers butt under control. Wishing you a very Happy Christmas.


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