Addiction: The Good Kind

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m an addict. I love every one of my addictions, and am eager to share them with you. In no particular order, here they are:

1. Writing


If I don’t write something every day, I feel… odd. I enjoy writing. Focusing on writing anchors me. Steadies me. Makes me sing inside. Even when the writing is going badly. Well, that isn’t quite true. When I get stuck and can’t write another word until I get unstuck, I angst for hours, sometimes days, hashing over what to do to fix whatever the problem may be.

During this time, don’t expect me to be in a good mood. Trick I have learned over the years to get unstuck: jot down ideas, no matter how ridiculous they seem, get away from the work by doing something totally unrelated,  phone a close writing friend for input. From experience, I have learned that the solution will always come… in its own time.

2. Reading

books 1 blooksbookshelf

Three of the six bookshelves in my home.  The top two are in my office, and include my own books, some of my keeper books (books I reread occasionally and can’t part with) and reference books. The bottom photo is in the family room.

My husband is an avid reader, too, and we have three more bookshelves and a window ledge or two filled with books. Don’t even ask about the books on my e-reader…

3. Coffee


As a naturally caffeinated woman :), I don’t NEED coffee, but I like everything about this drink, from the smell, to the ritual of grinding and brewing, to the taste. I also love treating myself at Starbucks, which I do once or twice a week.

4. Exercise


These are three of my newest exercise T-shirts. Exercise keeps me in shape and makes me feel terrific, and I work out six mornings a week. As you may know from my post last week, I also try to squeeze in a midday walk whenever possible.

Some of my most creative thoughts occur when I’m moving. Don’t ask me why, but I suspect all that physical activity occupies my brain, which allows my subconscious mind to jump to the forefront with really cool ideas.

5. Chocolate

dark chocolate

I can’t do without chocolate. I try to keep it to a minimum, with a square after dinner. But sometimes (who am I kidding: a LOT of the time), one little square is not enough. I like all kinds of chocolate – dark, milk, with or without nuts, with or without fruit, with or without coconut…

I especially enjoy baked goods of all kinds, hot fudge sauce, chocolate malts, candy… Really, all things chocolate.

So there you have it, my top 5 addictions. I’m sure there are more, but I’ve taken enough of your time.

What are your good addictions?  I would love to know, and I’m guessing others would, too!

Until next time,
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My Latest Obsession…

I’ve always considered myself something of a fitness buff, exercising almost every morning at my favorite gym, and occasionally walking around the neighborhood. But lately, those occasional walks have daily musts. Now that the weather is mild and nice, that’s great, but even when it rains, I walk. Around the house. Back and forth, up and down the stairs, and around the house some more. After a big meal, walking makes me feel better.

Now I’m searching for just the right arm band to slip my phone into while I’m walking or at the gym. And all because of an app that came installed on my iPhone 6. It’s called, Health, and it looks like this:

health app

The Health app is similar to the Fitbit, except on the phone instead of a wrist band. I’ve never been interested in the fitbit. Because, heck, I work out six days a week. What do I care about getting in my 10,000 steps every day?

However, with the Health app it quickly became apparent that I do care about those steps. I don’t need 10,000 of them, but I do try to take 5,000-7,000. But carrying my phone with me when I walk–I usually stick it in the back pocket of my jeans–is annoying. I don’t take it to the gym at all. That’s where the arm band will come in handy.

I have to admit, since I increased my steps, I feel amazingly good, even better than I usually do. And I get in some good thinking about whatever story I happen to be working on.

So no matter the weather, I’m going to stick with this extra walking business. While I do, I’ll be counting my steps along the way.

Do you have a fitbit or a health app on your phone?

Until next time and walkingly yours,
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I Am Too Superwoman (Tara Taylor Quinn)

I can lift half a ton of pavers in less than half an hour.  I can move five hundred pounds of cement in minutes.  With my gloved hands.  No machinery.  Just me and the matter.  I can do it all and hike six miles, too.

It’s all done the same way I do everything in life…one step at a time.  The pavers were small.  Individually they didn’t weigh much.  And with my assembly line style bend, lift and hand over to Tim, it really didn’t take long to unload half a ton of pavers from the truck.  It was the same with the cement.  Tim had jack hammered it into little pieces.  Bend, pick, toss in the trailer and it’s done.  The hike…one foot in front of the other.  One step at a time.

Then…I tried to stand up Sunday afternoon and had to sit back down.  My back was protesting.  It protested on Monday and Tuesday, too.  And as I was forced to tend to it, to feel the pain, I knew that I was having another life lesson.  Sometimes life hurts.  If you reach out, open your heart, dare to try to reach an impossible goal, you risk feeling pain.

I looked at the beautiful walkway my husband had created for a couple who were delighted with the finished product.  A solid end that will live on for many many years.  And I saw, too, a few precious moments Tim and I had shared during his workday life.  He took rubble and turned it into beauty.  That’s worth some pain.

On Tuesday, as I sat awkwardly, trying to find a comfortable spot to work – having tried the desk top computer, the laptop computer and then the tablet – my aunt asked me if I’d realized I wasn’t Superwoman. I grimaced.  Shrugged.  But didn’t answer.

I thought of the hike, the magnificent mountain views, the air, the larger than life vigor that filled my soul as I breathed in creation.  I remembered how I felt, walking on the side of the road, looking up at my beautiful Superstition Mountains.  Lucky.  Incredibly thankful.  Strong.

The answer to my aunt’s question was…Nope.  I’m not going to realize that I’m not Superwoman.    I might feel pain, but I am still Superwoman.  I was born Superwoman and as long as I live I will be Superwoman.  Yeah, my back still hurts.  It’ll get over itself.  It always does.  I’ll give it it’s due.  It’s heat and anti-inflammatory.  It can take a bit of a rest as I sit at the computer.  Really, it’s no skin off my back (haha) as I have a printout due, revisions due, and the first three chapters of the first book in the new series due – all by March 15th.  Sitting, or lying propped on pillows with a computer within reach, is all I need to be able to do right now.  Timing is perfect.

I’ll lift pavers again. The next time my husband has pavers to unload and I have half an hour to be able to help. And I’ll risk my heart to love, to dreams, to reaching for the seemingly impossible goals, even though love and dreaming sometimes brings excruciating pain. With everything I do in life, I make a conscious choice.  I’d rather feel the pain than have no gain.  I’d rather participate, live life, and deal with the pain, then sit on the sidelines and miss the things life has to offer.

To quote one of my all time favorite songs…”I am woman, hear me roar.”

Or, one of my favorite childhood stories, the little steam engine who said, “I think I can, I think I can,” and he always did.



Dr. Duffy’s Close Encounter (Maggie)

Help a pal out?

Hi, All!

Someone was sad that I hadn’t posted about my trip to New Orleans.  Well, let me just tell you, it was amazing.  I walked on the Moonwalk, atop the levee, looking out over the Mississippi River in awe.  I listened to jazz on the streets.  I ate great food, and best of all, made friends I’ll never forget.  The keynote was well received, I made them laugh, and then made them cry, and I think they really liked it.  ;)

All very good.  Of course I couldn’t wait to get home, which is always the case.  And now it’s as warm here as it was there, and I’m outside daily and relishing every second.

I have a couple of projects you can get involved with though so I want to get to those right away.  First, our annual SPRING INTO FITNESS CHALLENGE is about to begin over at Maggie’s Health and Fitness.  This year’s challenge is to create a workout plan for the month of April.  It can be anything you like; choose something from the many fabulous workout DVDs, websites, magazines, etc, or make up one of your own.  The idea is to build yourself a month-long schedule.  Make a chart to hang on your wall with what you will do on what day of the week, and what day or days you’ll give yourself for resting up.  Get it all ready so that you can begin on April 1st.

We’ll be sharing our workout plans, and reporting in each day on the page and via the email loop.  (you can subscribe to the email loop too if you prefer it.  Send a blank email to this email address: )

Best part: everyone who manages to get through the month of April sticking to their plan, will be tossed into the drawing for some neat prizes at the end of the month.  (To be announced.)  It’s entirely on the honor system, and you’ll be granted a few cheat days to use or not at your own discretion.  So please pop over to the Facebook page or join the yahoogroup and join in the SPRING INTO FITNESS fun!  (I don’t make any money or anything off this, or even add you to a mailing list or anything.  It’s just because I think we do better if we support each other.)

Buy it on Monday March 26th and save a buck!

Okay, next thing, and this is big.  DR. DUFFY’S CLOSE ENCOUNTER will be ready to publish on Kindle and Nook over this weekend. (Originally titled OUT OF THIS WORLD MARRIAGE, it’s been re-edited, polished, packaged, and I’m re-releasing it.)  I’d like to shoot for a powerful opening day on MONDAY MARCH 26th! I would like you all to help me spread the word and the links (which I’ll have soon) in my “BUY THE BOOK ON MONDAY & SAVE A BUCK” Campaign.  So if you’ll just check in on my facebook page or on twitter (@maggieshayne) over the weekend, (and I’ll try to post here as well on Sunday with my fellow Broads’ permission)  I’ll get an easy to share post up with the Nook and Kindle links to the book, and I’ll ask you to share them for me. The book will be $3.99 on Monday only. Tuesday it goes up to its regular price of $4.99. Let’s see if we can make this work! THANK YOU ALL for playing along.

Do you love this cover?  My daughter Jessica of Author’s Life Saver did it!

And now you’re all updated for the week!  Make it a great one!


Changing My Beliefs (Maggie)

This week, I want to talk a little more about fitness.  Because my approach to the topic is changing, evolving I guess.  Maybe because I’m not 29 anymore.  (I’m 30 now.  Interestingly, so is one of my daughters.  Another is little older. Don’t ask me how that’s possible. I never was any good at math.)

Anyway, as spring rolled around (finally!) I noticed as I emerged from my den of hibernation (have I mentioned that I dislike winter?) and noticed that I was wearing an extra layer of insulation.  The first thing I did was turn to Weight Watchers, which has long been my old standby and has always worked for me.  But it wasn’t working this time.  I had to eat so few “points” to drop any weight.  I also tried low-carb and got a terrible kidney infection–worst of my life–which my two RN daughters blamed on the diet.  Correct or not, I gave it up.  Both methods helped me drop a few pounds fast, then I stalled.  With a good 15 to go.

I thought and thought.  It seemed that it was true, what people say, that as you age your metabolism goes down.  I pondered and pondered.  I thought I was going to have to workout a lot more often to make the diets work.  But I just didn’t have the energy.  I mulled.  I made observations.  I studied the issue through the lens of the Law of Attraction, which says we only age the way we age because we believe it when people tell us “that’s what happens when you get older.”

Hey, wait a minute?  You mean my metabolism hadn’t gone down because me age had (allegedly) gone up?  But rather, it went down because I expected it to, because I’ve heard all my life that it would when I got older?

Well of course.  That’s why everything that happens to us, happens to us.  Because we sort of expect it on some level.  So if I could just change that belief, maybe I could work around this whole aging/metabolism thing.

I started thinking about how when you’re young, you can eat all you want.  And when you’re older, everything you eat goes straight to your backside.  And I wondered, besides the dreaded metabolism, what’s different about you when you’re young?

My conclusion:  you barely ever sit still when you’re a kid. Watch a kid for a couple of hours.  They can’t even sit still for a meal–they wiggle, they jiggle, they fidget.  When they walk, they don’t just plod along.  They bounce along!  Like human Tiggers.  They hop, they skip, they spin, they dance.  They bend and jump and stretch and reach.  What do we do when we’re grown-up?  We just walk.  What’s up with that?

I decided that the best way to have the metabolism of a kid was to start acting like a kid again.

I also thought about dieting from a Law of Attraction standpoint.  When we’re counting and measuring food all the time, eliminating this and that from our diets, denying ourselves goodies, and looking at our weight on the scales every week, we’re focused on the wrong end of things.  The scales puts the focus on weight.  The tape measure puts the focus on fat.  The dieting puts the focus on what we cannot have.

So I stopped getting on the scales at all.  And I started thinking about what I could add to my diet, and to my day, that would be good for me and fun as well.  I got out my bike, I started jogging again, slowly, gently, but I started. I started playing with my light weights again.

Within a week, I caught a snippet of a TV show I never watch–The Doctors–just because the TV had been left on that channel as I passed through the living room on a break.  And they were talking about the best ways to raise your metabolism as you age.  Aerobic exercise early in the day, boosts your metabolism for the entire day, they said.  Hey, I thought, I’m already doing that.  But the best thing, they added, was to start working out with light weights.  Adding pound of muscle burns 100-200 more calories per day.  That’s a pound of fat every two weeks, give or take.  And it only takes three workouts a week of around 15 minutes each.  I was already doing that, too!  What I love about my weight/upper body routine is that it only takes about 15-20 minutes.  It’s quick, so I do it nearly every day.

Interestingly, I was beginning to see supporting evidence that my new approach would work.  Being more active, (like a kid) will boost your metabolism (like a kid’s.)  I suspected it, it made logical sense, and soon enough I saw an authority figure telling me it was true.  Law of Attraction.

I saw something else, too.  I saw my waist shrinking, my legs getting leaner, my arms getting firmer, harder, smaller.  I still didn’t get on the scales.  Maybe around the end of June, just out of curiosity.

Being more active, to me, means never saying no to anything to that involved physical activity.  My daughter Stacie, a nurse, takes a half hour walk every day on her lunch hour.  For some reason (law of attraction) she started using that time to call me to have a daily chat.  So I decided as long as she’s walking, I’d walk too, and I jump on my elliptical.  That’s another 30 minutes nearly every weekday that I’m active, and it’s easy.

Some of you may know I’ve had trouble with my knees in the past.  But I tried the new barefoot style running shoes, that have the natural effect of changing your stride, so that you land more on the whole foot with the ball of the foot taking the main impact, rather than the old heel-toe stride where the heel takes the impact.  When the heels takes the impact, that impact shoots straight up to the knee.  When the ball of your foot hits first, the impact is disseminated throughout your calf, and on up the thigh, with a lot less of it pounding the knee.

I’ve also been doing a knee strengthening exercise DVD called STRONG KNEES by Gaiam, which is brilliant.  And so far, (knocking on my desk here) not one knee issue.  I’ve got a little soreness going on in my heel today, which I’m about to go research.  But all told, I’m feeling great.  And looking better every day.

Oh, right, I nearly forgot my original intent with this blog.  I was going to share my favorite workout music with you.  I have to have music, especially when jogging.  My playlist is painfully small (I’m always looking to add, but only certain songs work for me–I feed on them like a car on gasoline!)

But here are some of my favorites:

Will Smith: Getting Jiggy With It, Wild Wild West, Men in Black  (check out the video for WWW!  It’s awesome)

Billy Joel: Only the Good Die Young, You May Be Right

Kicking Harold: Gasoline (this is the theme song from the TV show, Overhaulin’ and it’s fabulous!)

The Beatles: Paperback Writer (of course)

Katrina and the Waves: Walkin’ On Sunshine

The Police: Canary in a Coal Mine

The Bangles: Walk Like an Egyptian

Blues Traveler: Run Around

Blondie: One Way or Another

Metallica: Here We Go

Whitney Houston: Queen of the Night

Pink: You and Your Hand

Tom Petty: Runnin’ Down the Dream

The Escape Club: Wild Wild West (the other one, from the 80′s)

Okay, those are my faves and I have to run now–not run now, already did that.  But I’m due at the salon so I’m outta here.