Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lose 30 lbs, Write a Book, and Save the World!

A lesson plan for life. Revisiting New Year’s resolutions nine months later.

My first blog with the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales was called Don’t Wait for January 1. I had big plans for the year, and now I’d like to give you a quick update on what’s happened in the past nine month. And yes, friends, it is the first nine months in forever where I didn’t have a baby!

December 28th resolutions with updates
  • Lose the dreaded final 30 pounds. I’ve lost 23 lbs total since January (Including 15 lbs lost since June). I hope never to find these pounds again.
  • Redefine my image. Nothing doing on this one. I’m wearing a few more dresses, but I'm still avoiding wearing heels. Like Popeye, I am what I am.
  • Keep the clutter out of my house. Doing okay, but not great on this. Three kids are constantly conspiring against me. I lieu of cleaning, I just spray bleach. On everything.
  • Update my personal website. Done. Check out 8 Headed Hydra. I also started my personal diet and fitness blog. It is really an online food and exercise journal to keep me accountable to my fitness goals.
  • Enjoy my participation in Petit Fours and Hot Tamales. Absolutely! Nine months and nine blogs later, I have a very different perspective on what I write and how I write it.
  • Focus on my writing. I’m a Maggie Finalist! I'm writing more (and I think better) than I did last year. I’m also working on a short story for our Petit Fours and Hot Tamales. scavenger hunt in October (check back next month). I feel better and stronger about my writing than I ever have before.
  • I also plan to save the world. In progress. One recycled item, one smile, one push-up at a time.
I still don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. If anyone is going to be successful at something they must start it immediately. Change can’t wait for a Monday or the first of the month or the beginning of the year. Neither can you.

Nicki’s Plan to Save the World
  • If you are a writer you have 15 days to register for Moonlight & Magnolias. Back in July, I told you about the importance of writing conference. This conference will change your life and your perspective on writing. To register go to Georgia Romance Writers and click on M&M Conference.
  • If you are a reader, come by the book signing at Moonlight & Magnolias on Saturday, October 3 at 4:00pm. Free and open to the public. Meet #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon and 50 other fabulous authors.
  • Look back on your New Year’s resolutions. If you have done even one thing on your resolution list, you are a success. If you didn’t make a list in January, make one in September. Make one October, but don’t wait for January. Do it now.

My biggest revelations this summer was about the ability to change. I went to Hilton Head Health Institute, and one of the instructors asked why we wanted to get fit. To become healthier? To lose weight? To gain confidence? The answer I gave surprised me. I wanted to see a change in myself. I wanted to be able to become a different person. Not weight loss specifically, but my whole life. Better wife, better mom, better at my job, better at my writing. I’m not really sure how to do this, but I’m trying different things each day. Some days it is more time in the park with my kids, another day it is exercising, another day it is writing a short story for our blog.

Can I save the world? No. Can I change it? Maybe not. (Notice I didn’t say no). Can I change myself? Yes! As always, I thank this blog and group of writers for pushing me forward every day. My final words of advice for saving the world:
  • Have the desire to see change in yourself. When you see the change happening it can be scary. We don't really want to be different. But embrace change like a butterfly. It might be dark, lonely and scary, but then it is suddenly beautiful.
  • Surround yourself with people who want to do more and be more. They will encourage you and change your perspective. I've got great writing buddies and fitness buddies. You don’t have to change the world alone. You can do it with friends.
I have two prizes up for grabs. A writing journal and pedometer. Here's how to win. Anyone one who both 1) registers for M&M between September 1-7 and 2) posts a comment on this blog post between September 1-7 will be eligible to win the journal. Everyone else is eligible to win a pedometer, but you have to post a comment here and on my diet blog. See, if you want free stuff, you've got to work for it. And I'm getting you ready for the scavenger hunt in October. The rest of you let me know how your New Year's resolutions are coming along!

See you in October with my not so spooky story. Until then happy reading and writing!


Tammy Schubert said...


Congratulations on the weight loss and on being a Maggie Finalist! Keep up the great work.


Tami Brothers said...

Hey Nicki,

I'm right there with you! Great job and I LOVE your personal blog...


Very inspiring!!!

Thanks for keeping us hopping and motivated. You definitely have a calling ;-)


Chicki said...

I really admire you for your tenacity with the weight/exercise. That's fantastic!

Debbie Kaufman said...

You're looking good Nicki, but then I always thought you did.

I think I've accomplished a lot this year, but not all I had intended!

I've got to work a little more on my goals, especially the weight loss. Now, if someone would just hide the motivation on that upcoming scavenger hunt :))

Maxine Davis said...


Great post. You are a worker and a doer and that is fantastic. Congratulations on the weight loss and the Maggie! I don't think it gets much better than that!

Have done some of my Resoltions - now I just have to get busy and do some more!

You do encourage people!

Marilyn Baron said...

Congratulations on your weight loss and the Maggie final. Unfortunately I keep losing and gaining back the same five pounds. Even though I need to lose a lot more than that. I joined a gym (hate it) so that's helping a little and I work with a personal trainer once a week (hate that even more) and I do it to improve my health.

Thanks for the great post.

Marilyn Baron

Nicki Salcedo said...

Thanks, Tammy, Tami and Chicki. Come on share something great you've done this year. I know you have all been busy! Do tell.

Debbie, a little bird told me you've been doing Zumba. What a great fun way to work out. I think I hear another rumor about some contests you have entered. Don't be bashful. Today, should be good writing news day on PFHT!

Nicki Salcedo said...

Maxine, I learned working and doing from you! I'll get busy on my other resolutions to keep you company.

Marilyn, here is the part where I chastise you for using hate not once but twice in the same breath. Find some form of exercise that you like. You will only set yourself up for failure if you do something you hate. Walk. Go to the mall. Do something you'll keep up long term. Or ever time you go to the gym, think of something good about it. Really, I like the gym because the alternative is being at home cleaning. There now I extra love the gym. You look fabulous. Keep up the good work!

Sandra D. Coburn said...

You lost 23 pounds and are a Maggie finalist? Nicki, you are hot!!! Congratulations! Going to get big hugs from you and M&M so maybe some of that will rub off on me.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Sandy, I plan to lose three pounds during the Maggie Ceremony. 1 lb from stress/sweat. 2 lbs from dancing. Can't wait to see you. Oh, and I just volunteered you to be one of the volunteers at the booksigning! :) You are the best.

Nicki Salcedo said...

I'm on an airplane and going radio silent for the rest of the day, but I'll check back before midnight! Thanks so much.

Susan May said...

Oh, Nicki you inspire me. Great post. It is the 1st of Sept. and a good place to start.

Michelle said...

I could get mushy on here, but I'll just stop at - you're such an inspiration!

J Perry Stone said...

It truly IS inspiring to be around people who ARE inspired.

I adore you, Nicki.

And those 2 lbs from dancing aren't a lie.

ECSpurlock said...

Oh Nicki, you are such an inspiration! Seeing someone achieve their goals gives the rest of us the courage and hope to push even harder.

I've had lots of change this year, FINALLY getting a new job in a totally unrelated field. I also set aside the WIP I had been working on (those angsty characters were making me even more depressed than my unemployment!) and starting a more exciting, upbeat adventure story that is going great guns and helping my mood at the same time. I pledged to dedicate at least an hour a day to it and so far have kept that up in spite of the job and freelance. My goal is to finish it by the end of the year and to get the finances stable enough again to return to GRW next year also. I'll work on the weight loss later (my multitasking abilities only stretch so far.)

Nicki Salcedo said...

Susan, Sept 1 is a as good of a day as any for a new year. Thanks for stopping by.

Michelle, not an inspiration. I'm a perspiration. Think about it.

JP, this is why I keep company with you. The ladies on RomanceNovel TV, tons of people in GRW and RWA, Pink Fuzzy Slippers, Romance Bandits. Writers everywhere are working hard and I want to be one of them. I'm saving a special 1 lb of dancing just for you. :)

Nicki Salcedo said...

EC, I am my own worst enemy. My setback haven't been from editors or agents or publisher or that peach cobbler. Its been me refusing to rise to the challenge. I really can't do it every day, but this year I'm trying to rise to the challenge more often than before. Then I add prayer and peach cobbler and a good romance novel to read.

I am so glad to hear that you are working on a story that is giving you energy and drive. I hope to see you at GRW soon...and you better have some good updates to give me. Take care.

Anna Steffl said...

I have two pedometers and just need to figure out how to use them. LOL. So, if I win, draw again. Like I'm going to magically know how to use the third.

Congratulations on what you've accomplished this year. Next year, though, you're gonna have to wrestle me for that Maggie finalist thing.

Pamela Varnado said...

What an inspiring post! After reading it, I feel like I can change not only myself, but the world. Thanks for the words of wisdom and congratulations on your Maggie finalist.

Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Nicki,

I got online late today (was writing today with my critique partner), so it a good day.

Weight loss? Are you kidding? I don't even know the definition of those few words, let alone how to do it.

I've reached a couple of my goals this year...but missing the mark on the others doesn't matter as long as I'm still on the road, putting one foot in front of the other and striding forward. I'll get there sooner or later...and so will you.

I hope this has inspired everyone to truly take a look at where they've come since January and that it gives everyone a little shove. We can always do a little more than we do...and accomplish a little more than we think.

Congrats on your accomplishments and good luck at the Maggies.


Anna Steffl said...

Wait, now I'm all depressed. You're going to be in the published Maggies next year. My only consolation would be if James Spader entered my category and I had to wrestle him.

Linsey Lanier said...

Wonderful post.

My wip is progressing more slowly than I'd hoped, but it's coming along. Weight loss? Hahaha!

I've learned a lot this year, much from my PF&HT sisters and their wonderful posts!

And yes, I placed second in the "Mid Michigan RWA Happily Ever After" contest. That was a thrill!

Congrats on being a Maggie Finalist, Nicki. We will dance and celebrate at M&M! You are a special lady.


Nicki Salcedo said...

Anna, I don't know where to start with you. I would sincerely love to be a Maggie Finalist with you next year. Lightining doesn't strike twice, but I will be entering the Maggies again next year and trying my darnest to win. Maybe James Spader and David Bowie should arm wrestle to determine the winner?

I shouldn't say this, but I hate my pedometer. It always falls off and I don't notice for hours. Argh! I'm exercising the old fashioned way. DVDs.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Pam, wisdom? Surely you jest. I spout ramblings, but I'm glad they inspire you. Thank you for the kind words and always being a smiling face.

Sandy, I love "doesn't matter as long as I'm still on the road". Can we put this on a t-shirt please? You've accomplished a lot this year. Probably the most of the PFHTs. As for weight loss, that is another battle. I don't recommend that people pick that fight lightly. Some days I don't win. Congrats to you, too. And thanks!

Nicki Salcedo said...

Linsey, Second Place is something to shout from roof tops. I am thrilled for you. Did you just say you are going to dance with me?!? Do I need to get that in writing? We'll all have something to celebrate come October. Thanks so much.

Ana Aragón said...


Great post! I don't remember my resolutions last January (I've slept since then) but I have accomplished quite a lot in the past 8 months - taken three graduate courses, followed Mark's baseball in Idaho and Florida, spent 3 weeks taking care of my parents and spending time with siblings, wrote...some, not enough, but blog posts, a few chapters and two workshops on writing count, right? Oh, and I'm learning Wordpress for GRW's website! Yeah, me!

Thanks for the inspiration...and I'm headed over to your website to get some inspiration on the weight loss front...I did lose 15 pounds since January, but put back on 5...which I hope to lose before M&M!

Have fun in Philly...go Phillies!


Nicki Salcedo said...

Ana, everything is an accomplishment that you didn't have to do! Taking care of family counts double. Any writing on top of that counts triple. Go Phillies! (But I'ii be Go Braves when I'm back home). Thanks for your support.

Dianna Love said...

Nicki - You have the most amazing outlook on everything. Now I'm thinking twice about indulging in ice cream tonight. I love your time spent on "family counts double and writing counts triple." Very wise.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Dianna, I learned motivated from you years ago! Thanks for stopping by.

Linsey Lanier said...


Yes, I said I'd dance with you!!! I did last year, sort of. The floor was pretty crowded and you had some cool moves. I had a blast and intend to have another one this year.

I'd better get on the recumbant bike and get in shape!


Sally Kilpatrick said...

Perhaps I should work on punctuality. . .no, seriously, I'm down 2 of the 10 pounds I wanted to lose before M&M, but I'm about to go on a cruise. Hmmm. I'm 20 pages into my thesis and have hit a snag with my paranormal. My classes are killing me, and my house looks awful. I may adopt your bleach approach.

*sigh*Or maybe it's just been one of those weeks. That probably being the case, it's time to pick myself up and try again. To err is human, to try again is stubbornness.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Linsey, it is a date.

Sally, you are tackling the world. Enjoy the cruise. Nothing else matters if you aren't having fun. :)