November 03, 2015

Remembering Something New by Steph Beth Nickel

When you’re reading, do you ever stop, look back, and think, “Wow! That’s life-changing”?

That happened to me recently while I was reading Creating a Fit Life. In the introduction the author says, “We are doing too much sitting as creatives, and it’s actually not helping us be more creative. By living sedentary lifestyles, we are actually welcoming a plague called unhealthiness into our lives. It will make us unhappy, unfit, and overweight. Have you ever felt this way? If so, it can be changed. You can become a better you … It’s worth it because how can you create your best art when you aren’t your best in body or soul?”

As a former personal trainer, I know many reasons why it’s important to eat well and be active, but I had never equated creativity with fitness. And like many people, I’ve listened to those nagging voices in my head. “You don’t have time to exercise and prepare healthy meals.” “Besides, you don’t really want to.” “It’s selfish—ungodly even—to take time away from other projects to work out.”

Believe me, I know how lame these excuses are—especially when I see them in print, but there they are.

Those little voices in our head may be “little.” They may whisper. But boy, do they pack a wallop if we give them our attention!

How can we silence these voices? Let’s consider the following. (Call them truths, affirmations, pipe dreams. You choose.)

1. God made me to function most efficiently when I am healthy.

2. Becoming fit is not a selfish goal.

3. I can set a good example for others by tending to my health.

4. I will be more creative when I look after my physical well-being.

5. My productivity level will soar if I exercise and eat well.

6. I will actually get more done in less time if I take the time to tend to my health.

And why did I call today’s post “Remembering Something New”? Well, on some level I knew regular exercise and healthy eating would boost my creativity. This just may be the motivator I need to do better.

How about you? Have you ever considered that tending to your physical health could actually help you be more creative? What are you doing to avoid “the plague of unhealthiness”? How is it influencing your creativity and productivity?

One final word . . . I realize you may be dealing with a physical condition that cannot be overcome simply by exercising and eating well, but doing what we can in this area, almost always lessens the effects. NOTE: Everyone should seek a doctor’s advice before changing their exercise routine.


  1. Oh my! I am convicted!!! About two years ago I committed to a healthier lifestyle. I walked every day and I counted calories using 'My Fitness pal' App. (Great by the way!) I lost some weight, had more energy and generally just felt better about myself. I managed to keep it up for almost 10 months! Coincidentally, it was also my most productive writing year...

    See any correlation?....

    And yet, after all that, I let it slide and now for the last year and a half I have pretty much gone back to being a sedentary slug who eats whatever is in sight. And I'm not getting as much writing doen as I want to. Hm. Thanks for this Steph. Like you, I already KNEW IT, but sometimes we just need a little slap up-side the head to help us remember!

  2. You've convicted me too, Steph. Just this morning I was reading about the offerings in Leviticus and asking the Lord what I have to offer that would be a real sacrifice, since I have so much of everything. What he told me? Time! Time when my mind is free for him to speak to me (like eating a meal without a book or tv or music), time walking the dog (not listening to an iPod). Exercising, cooking, eating mindfully all engage my body, but leave my mind free for him - to thank him, praise him, listen to him... Okay. Now I have to go ponder all this some more!

  3. Thank you for this reminder Steph.
    Now that I think about it, I am more productive when I am more active...I just never thought of tying the two together. Perhaps knowing this will encourage me more to stay active. Thanks!

  4. Anonymous6:34 am GMT-7

    " offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship." Romans 12:1 I've always looked at this as God's direct command to take care of the body He has given me. Often I take advantage of my health, and do not use my body to it's full capacity especially by falling out of my gym routine! Definitely our mind is clearer when we are taking care of our bodies as God designed! Thanks for the reminder!

  5. As Tracy said, we knew some of this, but like many great thoughts and ideas, it is harder to implement. Thanks for this reminder--especially noted for me is #2 - Becoming fit is not a selfish goal. A great question you ask: how can you create your best art when you aren’t your best in body or soul?”

  6. Just today I (re)started my exercise class. I have a gym membership and I go....kind of..... but joining a class with someone else ensures that I will do it. I haven't been to the class for over a year! I was just thinking today how I know it will release endorphins which will make me feel better overall which will hopefully help me feel more motivated in all areas of my life...including writing!

  7. Thanks Steph. I know that for me, exercise definitely helps get those creative juices flowing. My whole outlook on life improves with exercise. It's good to get us all thinking about this.

  8. Ugh. I just gave up my gym membership. Busted.

    Oh, but I'm using my stepper by my desk and my weights under my desk and then 100 situps in the morning and 100 situps before bed (if I don't forget). It just doesn't cost me $35 a month that I sometimes didn't use much. Love the Queen of Excuses. (who wholeheartedly agrees with the creativity/physically fit correlation!

  9. Thank you for this important reminder! I am bookmarking this post and will refer back to it whenever my motivation to get up and get moving starts to flag! The connection between physical health and creativity should not be underestimated.

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  11. Great reminder to all of us writers who so naturally SIT to do some of our favorite activities. Thanks Steph!

  12. Thank you. Thank you, Steph. I now have a headache--mostly, I suspect because of too much sitting and too much eye-time on the computer screen. Maybe I need more I-time. i.e. Looking after myself!


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