The Career Author Podcast: Episode 123 – The Healthy Career Author

Recording an Audiobook

The Healthy Career Author

Writing is a solitary activity. We sit at our desks alone for hours at a time, typing away, often letting our posture slip and forgetting to stand and take breaks. It can be easy to get lost in our fictional worlds and let our health slip away.

Both Zach and J. have both made their health a priority over the last several years, and each has a unique story and experience to share. Join them on this episode as they dive into the things they’ve done to do better for their bodies and their minds to improve their overall health.

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why making only a single change can make all the difference.
  • The importance of simplicity.
  • How strict dieting can lead to burnout and relapse.
  • How to make better decisions at the grocery store.
  • What types of exercises you should be doing.
  • Why you should never skip warming up and cooling down during your workouts.
  • The importance of recovery and rest.

Also in this episode, learn all about J.’s recent standing desk acquisition.

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

Leave us a comment: What do you do to stay healthy, or what obstacles are standing in your way from achieving better health?

Thanks to our Patrons.

Podcast sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://writinglife.kobobooks.com 

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FLEXISPOT Stand up Desk Converter -35 inches Standing Desk Riser with Deep Keyboard Tray for Laptop (35″, Black, M7MB) – https://amzn.to/3aizsSB 

“Stuck in This House Here With You” Parody Video by Mark Leslie Lefebvre – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFUlLTP1SgE&feature=youtu.be

The Career Author YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/thecareerauthor

Three Story Methodhttps://books2read.com/threestorymethod 

Three Story Method Workbookhttps://amzn.to/37SAR1a 

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27 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 123 – The Healthy Career Author

  • I got the same varidesk but got the electronic version.
    Also 2 monitor club woot woot.
    Also how old is that thinkpad?
    You got to remember to not forget the standing part. I see that you are sitting. Also get a pad for your feet. It really changes the number of minutes you can stand at first.

    I’ll finish the episode in the morning, but I agree with Zach where are monitors 3 and 4?

  • Morning guys, good to see you’re still healthy and happy.
    Enjoyed your way today J. I have a Yo-yo desk converter and I love it.
    Interesting stories both Zach and J. I was fit as a teenager. I joined the army at 16 and ran cross country as my main sport. I left to go to university where Rugby became my main sport and I captained the college first team. Then I joined the Royal Navy and I was offered a career route based on my ability to play Rugby. I chose not to do that because I was also offered the opportunity to serve with the Royal Marines which I chose and loved and I continued to play Rugby. My kryptonite was chocolate but I probably needed the energy when I was burning thousands of calories every day.
    Then I became a school teacher and the fizz stopped instantly. Teaching teenagers, no fizz, stress and chocolate, do not a healthy person make. My weight increased and I got type 2 Diabetes. I chose teaching because I have always written and I thought school holidays would give me plenty of time to write. I was wrong.
    I knew I had to leave teaching so I moved to industry, first as a technical writer for a few years (I got paid as a professional writer yay!) then as an engineer trainer, then early retirement to take up my rightful role as a writer.
    So what do I do to stay healthy and what are the obstacles?
    With me it’s more a case of getting healthy.
    I run again and do some weights and I hope to lose enough weight to effectively cure my Diabetes. I still enjoy a piece of chocolate, but in moderation.
    Love the show.

  • Healthy eating and exercise are getting me through this quarantine, that’s for sure. Thankfully, I’m still working from home; otherwise, I’d eat everything in sight as I do when I’m bored. But since being home for a month so far, I’ve been staying active almost every night doing either Beachbody on demand videos, Just Dance video games with my kids, or weightlifting exercises from a guide I purchased from a fitness Instagrammer. I’m now at my lowest weight I’ve been in 10 years (since before kids)!

    As far as food, I’ve been off most processed foods since January with a few slips and cheats here and there. But doing pretty well although limited grocery runs is making that harder these days.

    So yeah, for health and exercise, I’m good! Now to write more!

  • Finished the episode.
    ( the think pad just seems thick. that is all. Maybe its the stand it is on.)
    I hate exercise. I realize that I need to change my view point since it will let me live longer and keep me healthy longer.
    However, if you think about exercising 1 hour a day each day of the week that is only 7 hours of exercise compared to the 168 hours in a week. So getting out more than just that 1 hour a day is best. I try to move around during the day at the top or bottom of the hour pending on meetings.
    We got a Peloton treadmill and I will say the gamification of the classes has turned around my exercise routine. I still hate it but I want to get the blue dot for the day. I alternate on difficulty so I am never injured and I am not tried of the same routine.
    Also a key point is that you can’t outrun your fork. What you put in has waaaaay more calories than what you can exercise off. So exercise for endurance and health and eat for maintaining the proper weight.
    Like Zach said, one of my previous coaches said that you should stay on the outside of the grocery store. The middle is where all the processed food is. So start at the veggie section and then just walk around the outside.
    There is a good book call “It starts with food” that is a good primer to whole foods.
    The trick about eating healthy is the time. Of course you are trading time now for time later when you are unhealthy.
    Good LANDMARK episode. 🙂

  • Great episode, guys!

    I grew up overweight and sedentary. Lots of yo-yoing on my weight for my first 35 years, but finally something clicked in me and a lost 110lbs and have kept them off for 17+ years now.

    Like Zach, I got the bug to help others, got certified as a trainer and nutritionist, and started writing about it. 6 books later…

    I’m also a standup desk guy, and I’m looking to switch from my current setup to a riser like J. The two levels for keyboard and monitor is key to keeping your neck and upper back healthy.

  • i have a bit of a routine I try to keep up with. Walking on a treadmill and using xbox kinect fitness programs. 🙂
    I really want to get on an adult softball or soccer league, but it’s hard because they want you to sign up with a whole team. And I really want to get back in martial arts, but it’s difficult because there is only 1 place locally that offers classes.

    And of course everything is up in the air with the covid apocalypse.

  • Great podcast guys and thanks J for showing us the standing desk.
    Don’t know how healthy I am, I’m fairly thin naturally which means I can eat most stuff without putting on weight – this is bad of course. As I’ve got older (56 now), certain foods cause other issues so I rarely binge eat or drink. My downfall is carbs ie bread, cake, biscuits, especially home made stuff.
    For exercise, it’s yoga three times a week, and some walking. Been attending yoga since 2011 now, love it for mind and body. But I am aware it’s not much good for cardio, at least not the variety we do (Hatha). So that’s an area I need to look at.
    For mental health, again yoga is great, I also love to meditate, and have been practicing Reiki since Feb last year. I find it so much easier to meditate after doing yoga. Journaling is good too, once it’s not just ranting – like Zach, I dip in and out of it. I’d love to be a daily journal person, but partly, it takes up too much time. I like drawing, only do it now and again, but I find it really relaxing – I get totally into it, so everything else disappears from my mind. Listening to podcasts is great too, especially out walking, or sitting in traffic. Time passes quickly. And singing – I started taking the occasional lesson last August and it’s great for de-stressing the body – I always have a lighter step afterwards and feel more positive.
    Thanks for the podcasts guys, love listening to them, always so positive, really appreciate the time you guys put into preparing and presenting them.

    • That’s awesome! It must be physiological because I’ve had the same feeling after singing, especially after a session with a vocal coach who would really push me hard.

  • I track my activity minutes each week with an app that is synced to my FitBit. It’s called ParticipACTION and they reward users by drawing weekly for Amazon gift cards, plus there are draws for larger prizes like Sport Chek gift cards (sorry, you need a Canadian address to use this app). I’ve won a few $10 Amazon gift cards. What better way for a writer to be rewarded, right? My target each week is to hit over 500 activity minutes, and I do that by going on daily walks and doing a similar routine to Zach’s body-weight exercises 3X/week.

    Great episode! I’m trying to improve my desk setup and appreciated the look at the standing desk, J.

  • Great episode!

    For many years, I was in great shape. I did aikido two or three times a week, I danced a couple of times a week, and I even did Crossfit for a while. I used to play tennis. That all fell apart when I went through menopause. It’s like my body had been completely hijacked. I had ZERO interest in working out or even working up a sweat. I didn’t work out for over three years. I had a negative physical reaction to even the thought of working out. I tried to walk regularly (having a dog helps), and I still danced, but everything else fell away. I’m just now starting to get some mojo back. Even so, the most I can do is a short HIIT workout a few times a week. It’s better than nothing.

    I do yoga almost every day. That’s great not only for keeping my body loose and relaxed, but also for deep breathing. I love to do yoga after my morning writing session.

    The one thing that has been the best, most fun way for me to keep fit is to dance. It’s good for both my physical and mental health.

    My diet had been good for a long time. We went carb free about eight years ago. I had to add some back because I lost too much weight. I discovered I need some carbs in my diet or I feel like I’m starving myself. I can feel it when I eat too many carbs or I eat too much sugar. I’m tired and I get brain fog. Yuck. One of my challenges is that I’m really sensitive to bitter foods, which means I can’t stomach most leafy greens. Even the thought of kale or chard makes me gag.

    One thing you didn’t mention that has been an challenge for me is how important it is to be around people who also eat healthy and exercise. It’s really hard to say ‘no’ when my friends and family, who like to show affection and comfort through food, offer me foods I wouldn’t normally eat. I eat fine at home, it’s when I’m out that it becomes tricky.

  • Great episode, guys. I don’t think you could talk about this topic too much. I agree that focusing on health is foundational and, for me at least, I’m not productive without getting enough sleep, the right food, etc. With a two year old running the show, it’s a bit tough to make those things happen, but I’m always looking for ways to do it.

    The comments about gut biome directing your cravings really resonated with me. I often feel like I’m fighting my own body against cravings for carbs and sugar.

    The most recent change I’ve made is to take a break from alcohol. For some reason I would get a craving for a beer every day around 4pm. This usually coinciding with work ending. It would never be just one beer. While I didn’t really get drunk, I was adding an additional thousands calories or more to my diet between beers and snacking.

    Now that I’m working from home, I realized there was no reason for these triggers and journaled about it, trying to dig into where the craving was coming from. Low blood sugar? Desire for state change? Stress?

    With quarantine happening, I also realized everything about alcohol has been complicating my life. It makes it difficult to get up in the morning, makes my brain foggy, and adds an additional $30 to the grocery bill. The way people are drinking at home now, the bottle return points in my area are also mobbed, so that was just another hassle.

    I’ve only stopped drinking for 30 days now so I don’t feel comfortable calling it sobriety or anything, but I do feel better, and I’m getting more work done. I’ve also lost ten pounds and the scale seems to be trending downward rather than always upward. So that’s been a positive change.

    I think it was Rachel Herron or J who mentioned that meditation was the act of clearing your thoughts, not the clear head itself, and it was the same with going back to the writing page. Going back and writing was the important thing. I’m really trying to focus on that discipline, and I think staying away from things that increase these cravings has been helping me.

    Thanks again!

    • Thanks for being so open and honest with your comment, James. I’ve been sober for so long that I forget how damaging even occasional, moderate alcohol use can be. It’s also on that “any amount more than zero is harmful” list for me. Alcohol, like carbs, is also sugar to your body from the neck down so it’ll have the same effects.

      I know it’s not easy and it’s tempting to think “in moderation” is good enough, but it just isn’t for certain things. The saddest and most deadly example now is opiod addiction.

      Thrilled to hear you’re making the effort. Do everything you can to stay cold turkey on the carbs, sugar, and booze and I guarantee you’ll start to feel better than you ever thought possible.

      Keep it up!

  • @j – Hey Man, what are your thoughts on canned or frozen vegetables (or fruits)? You know in this area during the winter, it’s more difficult and expensive to buy fresh vegetables and the choices get a bit more dicey. Plus, where I live – it’s a 15 minute drive to get to the grocery store, so it can be difficult to get to the store several times a week. So I was just curious if you use/eat canned/frozen at times or strictly stay with fresh.

    • Good question. My order of preference: 1. fresh 2. frozen 3. dried 4. canned

      I know nutritional value varies and that fresh is optimal so I ranked according to taste/texture.

      • Got it, thanks. We usually have more canned because most of the family doesn’ t like frozen. I practically grew up with frozen because my parents grew a big garden and then can and freeze TONS of food. We have a body freezer to keep it all in, though I don’t do much now.

        • From a health coach’s perspective, here.

          Frozen can actually be ‘fresher’ than fresh, so if the goal is micronutrients and antioxidants, keep that in mind. Frozen is harvested very fresh and flash frozen within hours of picking. Fresh, unless it’s grown yourself or from a local farm, is often weeks old by the time you get it home, much less eat it. Foods like broccoli are still good for you even weeks later, but you’ve lost a lot of its nutrition while it was on the road to the produce section.

          The same goes for canned, but these count as cooked veggies, not fresh. Still great nutrition, and since I advise my coaching clients to eat plenty of both raw and cooked, it’s all good.

          Dried, too. Each has something different to offer, from taste, texture, and nutrition.

          Eating on the Wild Side is a great book to read on the subject of nutrition in produce – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FOQRR4M

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