Thursday, February 18, 2010
Guest Post & Giveaway: Julie Hyzy
Today, it is my pleasure to welcome Julie Hyzy to Pudgy Penguin Perusals. Julie writes the Executive Chef mystery series set in the White House. If you would like to see my review of the first in the series, State of the Onion, see here.
Julie can be found every Tuesday at Mystery Lover's Kitchen, a fantastic blog written by culinary mystery writers who also post some fabulous recipes. It gets no better than that! I asked Julie if she would share a humorous slice of her life with us. Here's what she had to say.
Mary Poppins was Right! by Julie Hyzy
Remember when Mary Poppins conned little Jane and Michael into believing that cleaning up the nursery could be a game? She promised an “element of fun” in every task. I loved that scene loved the music, and I confess, I believed her, too.
As a kid I often stood in the middle of my messy bedroom and snapped my fingers, hoping that magic would spare me an afternoon of cleaning up. Never worked for me as a kid, but as an adult… I’ve discovered that Mary Poppins was right. Don’t misunderstand: My rooms are still a mess. That’s not going to change anytime soon. But why squander magic on housework when there’s a much better way to go?
I hate exercise. I mean I *hate* it. I avoid it as much as possible. I own a treadmill that I use when excessive eating guilts me into motion. But even as I trudge down to the basement and step onto the belt, I’m asking myself “How long until I’m done?.” I try to walk briskly for five minutes. Yep, that’s it. Five lousy minutes and then I’m bored out of my mind. I’d rather be writing, revising, promoting. Can’t my keyboarding fingers,or overtaxed brain burn off a few thousand calories? That’s exercise too,isn’t it?
No matter how I tried, I could never find the will to exercise. But it is clearly time for me to shape up (in more ways than one). My ever-expanding warns me that I needed to find the fun in exercise, or risk having redo my entire wardrobe. Ugh.
Right about when I rediscovered our Wii game, I also remembered Mary Poppins’ insistence that tasks could be fun. We won a Wii (say that three times fast) in a raffle over a year ago, but kept it upstairs in the extra bedroom where my youngest daughter used it whenever the mood struck..
A couple of weeks ago, this same daughter hosted a video game party at our house. The family room is much more spacious than the spare bedroom so we relocated the game to the main level—just outside my door here. Now every time I walk out of my office, the Wii balance board smiles up at me, coaxing, “Come play!”
And I do. Not every day, but pretty close. The best part is that Wii Fit isn’t exercise, it is, truly play. I finally found that magical “element of fun.” Wii technology astounds me—whether I’m hula hoping, boxing, racing down a ski jump, or walking a tightrope—it’s beyond belief. I enjoy the variety, the challenge, and the way my play (er, exercise) time adds up. Before I know it, I’ve completed 20 minutes and I haven’t gotten bored. What surprises me is when the game tells me I’ve done enough for one day “Maybe you should take a break,” it suggests.
At the end of training, the game asks me if I want to participate in a body test. Let me tell you, that’s where it can get scary—BMI and weight readings are plastered across the screen. Because I prefer to maintain an aura of secrecy (I’m a mystery writer, after all), I’m careful to run these “body tests” when no one else is around ;-)
After these measurements comes a final round of tests—ones that the happy little Wii proclaims were chosen “just for me.” Once the results of these tests are complete, the game presents my Wii Fit Age. The first time I did this, I came up at age 80 (UGH!). But after working out a while, improving my posture, practicing more, and yes—playing more—I’ve whittled that age down quite a bit. My best Wii Fit Age yet has been 22. Not bad for a :::mumble:::-something.
I’m having fun, getting into better shape every day, and even feeling more energetic these days. Mary Poppins was right—when you find your fun—jobs do become a game…
Heh heh… Now I bet you’ll have that song stuck in your head for the whole day!
Thank you Julie for that fun post! Now for the giveaway: Julie has generously agreed to give away an autographed paperback copy of her book, Hail to the Chef, a culinary thriller. Details are as follows:
Drawing open to residents of USA who are verifiable followers of P.P.P. PO boxes are okay. Just leave me a comment you would like to win and be sure to leave an e mail address.
Deadline to enter is February 28th at 5 P.M. EST Good luck!