Erotic Romance Author Gracen Miller has lost 28 pounds and counting – and it’s not a diet, it’s a life change. She’s here to tell us how and why!
Welcome, Gracen, and thanks so much for joining us to talk about staying sexy and healthy! As you know, hubs and I launched our weekly column, Stay Sexy, in February. Both of us have faced some health challenges, and we’ve thrown ourselves into learning and doing whatever’s in our power to maximize our health and our future.
Over the last year we’ve noticed other erotic romance authors posting about weight loss, diet issues, workouts and health challenges, so we decided it would be great to involve you and others like you in the conversation and give our readers a chance to benefit from what you’ve learned.
You caught my eye on Facebook when you posted about losing twenty two pounds (more, now!) and successfully lowering your cholesterol – congratulations! That’s an amazing achievement. I’m excited to hear how you got started, what worked for you, and any tips you’d like to pass on.
Adriana: Let’s open with how you got started – what tripped your trigger? I think it always helps us to learn how someone made that first step, from inaction to action.
Gracen: I’ve been trying for years to lose weight, but very little works long term. I might lose 5-10 pounds, but then I wouldn’t lose any more regardless of diet change or workout regimen. I hit a slump, felt like nothing ever worked, so why bother. That sent me into a downhill spiral of depression, which meant I ate to fill that emotional void. I woke up one morning and said to myself, “Enough whining about your weight. Get your ass up and do something about it.”
Adriana: That’s fabulous self-talk, sounds like it worked! And you are so right – not moving enough triggers depression, whether or not we’re eating right. Actually there’s a great book that explains how that works: Spark, by John Ratey. I’ll be reviewing it in this column sometime next month.
Did you set a specific goal? Has your goal shifted as you made progress?
Gracen: I wanted to lose 50 pounds. I’m only a little halfway there at the moment, so I still have the same goal, but at the same time, I’m thinking how can I make this work long term. I don’t want to lose it and spiral back up to where I was before I started the “life change”. That’s another thing…every time I’ve wanted to lose weight, I’ve called it a “diet”, now I’m trying to think of it as a “life change”. I don’t want to go back to that sluggish, always tired chick that I was before I started my life change. I want to stay heart healthy and energetic. Most of all, I want to feel good about myself regardless if I’m a size 4 or a size 10.
Adriana: I love your attitude – feeling good about ourselves is definitely part of staying healthy and sexy! Also, it’s so important to be building food and exercise habits we can live with long term, and not just thinking of our change as being “on a diet.” Kudos to you!
Is there a particular person or event that serves as inspiration and motivation for you?
Gracen: Right now, my inspiration is swimsuit season! LOL That’s a great motivator.
Adriana: Love it – vanity can be a huge motivator. I’m with you. I want to like what I see in the mirror J.
What about these changes has been most difficult for you?
Gracen: Cooking dinner for my family and not being able to eat the same foods. I really love pasta and fries, but neither is part of my program. Also, taste-testing. I never thought about the minor calories I was consuming as I taste-tested dinner.
Adriana: That must be really hard, watching them eat what you can’t. I know it was much harder for me to stay on track when the kids were little. Now, with an empty nest, it’s pretty easy – plus my husband is a cardiac patient, so we’re both focused on following the same healthy eating habits. Kind of like having a diet-buddy, except we’re not calling it a diet, either.
When you bump up against one of these hurdles, what are your most tried and true tactics for overcoming it? What works for you?
Gracen: Adriana, I’m not a cardiac patient, but I have a heart valve problem that I see a cardiologist for yearly. That issue was becoming worse as I gained weight and now that I’ve lost 28 pounds, it’s gotten a lot better and hardly gives me any issues. As for what works for me when I bump up against hurdles, I remind myself that I’m going to feel guilty if I eat something I’m not supposed to consume. That doesn’t mean I don’t cheat on occasion, but I prepare for it with my other meals that day rather than it being a spur of the moment indulgence. At least I try!
Adriana: So glad you’re already experiencing improvement with your heart condition. And I love your other responses – guilt can be a great motivator, as long as we don’t overdo it. And planning for cheating episodes – brilliant!
What do you find most rewarding so far?
Gracen: The weight loss is fantastic, but the most rewarding is how good I feel, not just about myself, but my energy level is through the roof. I didn’t know I felt so bad until I made the life change.
Adriana: The energy level is one of my prime motivators, too. If I don’t start my day out with something active, even if it’s only five minutes of elevated heart-rate, I’m sluggish all day. Remembering how I’m going to feel helps get me started, even if I don’t feel like it when I wake up.
Sometimes we start out with one purpose and goal, and as we get going, we find that the changes we’re making spill over into other areas of our lives, hopefully in a good way. Has anything like that been happening for you?
Gracen: Well, if I understand your question, with my increased level of energy I’ve been able to get more writing done.
Adriana: Spoken like an author! What has been the reaction of other people you’re close to – family, friends, support? Any undermining?
Gracen: My husband is extremely supportive. My eleven year old son that I’ve nicknamed NoNo is the diet Nazi. If I want to cheat, he’s the first one to tell me I’m gonna ruin my diet. He went with me to weigh in the other week and I only lost 8 ounces. Since then, if I even look at a piece of food like I want to sample it or stray from my diet he’ll say, “Do you want to lose 8 ounces or 2 pounds this week?”
My 15-year-old son is horrified by how little I eat. He says he’d starve to death. LOL But he plays high school basketball and football, so he burns like a billion calories a minute. 😉 And watching him eat is scary!
Adriana: Have you written a character who faces any of these same issues? Tell us about him or her.
Gracen: I write paranormal romances and so far I haven’t written any of these types of issues into the storyline. All my characters have worse things going on in their lives than this. Although, I did write a 1NightStand story where the heroine was curvier than the current rage, but it was about a brief fling and didn’t allow for the time necessary to tackle such a heavy issue.
BLURB: Fairy Casanova
Las Vegas lawyer Sadie Sinclair has hit rock bottom. Bankrupt, with her reputation ruined, and her fiancé is yachting Aruba with a hot babe. Desperate for a break from reality, she contacts 1NightStand and is shocked to discover she’s been paired with a sexy fairy.
Jace is about to become King of the fairies. One minor glitch, he’s obsessed with humans. Before becoming King, he wants one night with a human before he’s forever forbidden from crossing into the human realm. After a stellar night of sex, Jace is surprised to discover Sadie isn’t just a human, but his mate. Complicating everything with the revelation, he’s willing to forfeit his kingdom for her, but Sadie must decide if he’s worth the biggest gamble yet.
Adriana: I love seeing authors write a curvy heroine – kind of goes with that notion of feeling good about ourselves, whatever our body type.
What advice or tips would you like to pass on to our wonderful readers?
Gracen: Drink at least 96 ounces of water a day. When I drink that much or more, I lose more weight a week than when I skimp on the water.
Adriana: That works for me, too – sometimes when I feel what I think is a hunger pang, all it really means is I’m thirsty. If I reach for the water first, I can decide whether I really need to eat something or not.
Thanks so much for stopping by to chat with us today! We’ll look forward to all those paranormal stories you’ll be writing with the extra energy from the life changes you’ve made. Please feel free to stop by the Stay Sexy column any time and leave us a new tip or idea as you continue your journey!