Monday, February 2, 2009

My New Year's Resolution

By Robin Kaye

Okay, I know it’s the first day of February. I’m late. It’s the story of my life but we won’t go there. Today I’m thrilled to be taking the first steps in accomplishing my New Year’s Resolution. I’m finally going to lose weight. I know, you’re all waiting with baited breath to hear how I’m going to do that, right? I’m walking while I work.

It all started last July. I was in Chicago to meet with my publisher. I spent some time with one of my favorite cousins who lives in the area. Dr. Diane Wallis is one of the top cardiologists in Chicago and a real sweetheart. We were talking about why I have such a hard time losing weight. I mean, I do all the right things, I work out, I eat right, I don’t snack, I don’t drink much, but I’m still overweight.

She said it was because I have strong genes. Like that should make sense to me. When she saw I had no clue what she meant, she explained that when man was designed, we were meant to be a nomadic people and walk eight to ten hours a day. Since my genes are strong--or the way I’ve begun to think of them, stubborn--my body needs to do just that in order to stay fit. Diane explained that working out and running—not that I ever ran but I was big into the elliptical machine—doesn’t work since we weren’t designed to run long distances, only to run fast enough to avoid being eaten by predators. Now, I don’t know about you, but sadly, I can’t remember the last time I had to run to avoid being eaten. Therefore, because I sit on my butt for eight to ten hours a day writing and driving, I’m never going to lose weight unless I start doing what my ancestors did.

So where did that leave me? I was not pleased because really, how could I spend eight to ten hours a day walking? That’s insane.

“No, it’s not.” Diane said, “You can walk and work at the same time.” She’d heard of a doctor, Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Clinic, who designed a desk with a treadmill beneath it. Supposedly, this allows you to do anything while sitting at a desk—type, use the phone, drink coffee, surf the Internet, check your email, and play spider solitaire—while walking at a treadmill desk. Just this morning, I found out first hand, he was right

.My husband, the Domestic God, and I agreed that whatever I was doing to stay in shape wasn’t working and it was worth spending a little money to see if this would. I got on the Internet and found a company that sold this type of desk. Because my husband is not only a Domestic God but handy with a hammer, looks great in a tool belt, and can build anything from furniture to football stadiums, we decided to buy the treadmill and the mechanical desk legs (they allow the desk to raise from sitting height to standing height) and he’d build the desk top and platform. Today, after a slow start—-yes, I did order everything the first of January in keeping with my New Year’s Resolution—-everything came together. I’m walking while I write this. The platform isn’t finished; it’s plain plywood but Stephen said he’d cover it with something lovely like hard wood or carpet soon. The important thing is that it’s serviceable. It’s there so you can sit at the desk using a desk chair or, in my case, an exercise ball without falling off the treadmill. If you’ve ever seen me bouncing around on my ball, you’d realize it’s a true necessity. So far, in the time I’ve taken to write this blog, I’ve walked over two miles and have burned about over 250 calories. All I can think of is how many calories I can lose by walking while I write my next book. I’m going to try to keep track. I’ll let you know.

My question to you is: Do you have strong genes and if so, what are you doing to stay in shape?

I just received some amazing news! Romeo Romeo has been chosen as one of the Best Books of 2008 by the reviewers of The Long and the Short of it. There's a poll running this week for everyone to vote on their favorite. I hope you'll consider voting for Romeo, Romeo. Here's the link in case you feel so inclined:

But that's not all! Romeo, Romeo has also been chosen by All About Romance as one of 2008's Buried Treasures. These are books that may have garnered good reviews, but for whatever reason seem not to have received as much attention from readers as All About Romance thinks they deserve. You can find the complete article here:


  1. That looks awesome, Robin! I'd love to know how many calories you can burn while writing a book!!

  2. I'm sure that works better than my method: take the laptop and get as far from the kitchen as possible. (Somehow calories keep following me, like when I walked in to work this morning and one of my co-workers announced she's selling Girl Scout cookies for her granddaughter.)

    Good luck with the new format! I hope it works out! (pardon the pun)

  3. LOL! If my genes were a man, they'd be Arnold Schwartzeneger! I think my DH is thinking about a treadmill for me, too. Now if I could just get some new feet to go with it....
    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

  4. You are my new hero. My problem is I would take one look at all that, grab the laptop, and move to the couch! We shall live vicariously thru your endeavors! Keep us posted.

  5. know...some of us can't even walk and, like, chew gum, so I'm thinking your treadmill would be a concussion waiting to happen for

    I'm wishing you the best, darlin', and congrats on the nominations.


  6. Love it! As someone who has to sweat blood for every lost pound, I'm rooting for you!

    Best--Adele Dubois

  7. I saw a thing on Good Morning America about these desks. I'm so jealous that you have one :)

    Also, congrats on all of the great stuff going for RR right now!!

  8. Walk and write sounds like a great idea, Robin. Good for you!


  9. I'm with Pat. Doing more than one physical thing at a time is just not my forte. :-( But what a great idea, and Robin, your desk looks AWESOME!

    And SUPER CONGRATS on the nominations and awards! The CasaBabes are hauling em in! Hope this bodes well for the Ritas and a few other contests to be announced later in the year.


  10. Thanks everyone!

    I started walking while working three days ago and I've clocked almost 18 miles, burned over 2,100 calories, and I'm so sore, I groan going up and down the steps. Once I start walking though I feel better. I learned the trick is just never to stop, once you do, it's all down-hill.

  11. This is awesome, Robin! One of my other friends just got one of these as well. Seems to be a hit. 18 miles?! I probably need one too. My genes are plenty stubborn. They insist that I always maintain some junk in the trunk. And I do nothing about it (except complain) because I'm, well, lazy. Mad props to you!

    Also, I REALLY like your office. I want one like that.

  12. Fabulous Robyn. I voted for Romeo. Says you're in second place with 20%. I have an exercise bike in my office that I pull up to the desk and ride for 30-45 mn per work day. It's no 6 hours, but it helps.

  13. Congrats on the nomination, I voted!
    On the exercise thing, that looks cool. Of course I am uncoordinated and would end up hurting myself. But, WOW, 2100 calories, that is fantastic!

  14. That's it, I need to import a predator to chase me...but considering all things, I don't think I'd last beyond 25 yards...

    That looks very cool Robin. what a wonderful husband to rig that up for you. I have a friend that has one and he seems to like it.

    I need to get back into walking again. I used to walk 2 miles a day, without fail. Couple of injuries have basically sidelined me this past year and boy can I tell. Blech!

    Good article Robin, and very nice photos! Congrats on the reviews! That should give you plenty of enthusiasm to march along that treadmill...


  15. I don't know if I could stay on my feet that long. I've seen this doctor interviewed.

    I have strong genes too...that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

    Oh - and my vote is in for Romeo, Romeo!

  16. Oh wow. I have truly got to get one of these. My husband's a Domestic God, too - just not that handy with a hammer. But still - I want this!

  17. Hey Robin,

    I was in a time warp or something Monday. I didn't mean to ignore you.

    When I need ideas, or I'm trying to get into a scene, I get up and pace. And I have my own treadmaster--it's called a staircase. Sometimes I don't want to sit back down, to write what I've thought of, because I know I'll lose the rhythm.

    Keep us up with how the walking computer is working for you.

  18. Hi everyone~

    Thanks for all the comments & the votes. If you want more information on my desk (or the part we've purchased).

    Here's the link:

    I've looked around, and this is the least expensive walking desk I've found short of putting a board across the top of your average every day Treadmill. Some people do this, and if you're working on a laptop, that might be fine. I admit to the fact that I'm spoiled. I have a big Mac desktop computer and a second monitor so that wouldn't work for me. I'm addicted to having multiple monitors. I wish my desk was large enough for a third. (Told you I was spoiled!)

    Robin :)

  19. Robin,

    Good for you and congrats on the nominations. I voted -- as usual later than everyone else...

    That desk is fabulous. But what I would like is a recumbant bike so I can still sit on my fat ass while working at the computer.

    BTW, a recumbant bike is the only way anyone ever gets me to do any kind of aerobic exercise. And it's all bout being able to pedal and read at the same time. Every day for 40 minutes: me on the recumbant bike with a romance novel in my hands and my little ol' lady specs on my nose.

    Recumbant bike time is reading time. Never occurred to me that I could maybe rig up one to use while writing.

    Now there's an idea...

    Thanks, as always for the inspiration.

  20. I love your energy Robin. Such a great idea, and so well put together by the god in your house, but I'm with the other Robin recumbent bike and a romance book or treadmill and ditto. I can forget I'm exercising when I'm reading and my fingers refuse to type when my feet are moving. lol.

  21. What a cool operation! Two questions - at least. Is your table steady enough that your coffee doesn't spill and you can truly use your keyboard well?

    And if a 30 minute walk stimulates the creativity, what does walking while you write do?

    Girl, you're going to whittle down to nothing.

  22. Robin, I'm late to the party but I wanted to read the post. If I had something like that at my house, my wife would think I was nuts. (In other words, nothing would change.)

  23. Robin, congratulations on all your wonderful news for Romeo, Romeo!! :)

    Also, thanks for posting the pictures of your treadmill desk. Wow, what a wonderful hubby you have! I'm embarrassed to say my treadmill is folding up by my desk at the moment. D'oh! No pictures necessary. I'll leave it to your imagination. :) WTG on walking so many miles!! Very impressive! :)

  24. Marley~

    Yes the desk shakes just a little (Ihave a bobble-head cat on my monitor and he nods at me) but not enough to spill your coffee at all, it's more of a tremor than a shake.

    I have no problem typing while walking. I walk between 1.3 and 2 mph without much trouble. I did find that you burn more calories walking slower and longer than fast, short bursts.

    I don't know if I put the TreadDesk site on the blog, so here it is if anyone is interested in checking it out. - we bought the legs and the tread only.

    Robin :)

  25. I'm proud of you, Robin. You know I love your mother. I really enjoyed Romeo, Romeo, and you've made a fan of romance novels out of me. Love, Mary Bourbonnais