The Gettysburgh Diet … or Not-So-Much Diet


by Deborah Riley-Magnus

Sometimes you simply gotta get outta town! Period. This past week, two lovely things happened. My roommate landed a terrific new job, and my second book, a non fiction entitled Finding author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Power Within Your Manuscript arrived, (official release date is November 5)! It’s a major event because my fiction is released in ebook format and there’s just something magical about holding a book you wrote in your hands! The publisher was so cool, just sending my copies to my front door. Early Christmas, I tell ya! So what do women do under these circumstances?


My roomie, Natalie, is a native Californian, born and honed in the web of Los Angeles freeways, traffic and diverse population. I spent five years there myself, and now that we’re both here in lovely Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, I seriously appreciate the things I’d taken for granted. She, of course, lives in aw. I don’t think two cities could be so different … outside of Gulliver’s Travels, of course. Taking a road trip across one of the most hilly, beautiful and autumn-colorful states in the country seemed like a perfect way to celebrate our good fortune.

We chose Gettysburg, making reservations at a hotel in Chambersburg (30 miles away) because nothing was available in town. It was perfect! I packed a healthy road-food bag, some clothes and we were off!

Diet? On a spontaneous weekend vacation? I suppose it’s possible but the other side of our New Lifestyle Plan is to actually, you know, live. In reality, jumping in the car and heading off for an unplanned few days isn’t normal, so when it happens, the last thing I want to think about is calories, exercise and getting the burn. Hell, I’m still suffering with some heel pain, so I figured whatever workout I got would be more than I’d gotten lately anyway. As it was, we walked all around the historic town and Cemetery Hill, took a Candlelight Ghost tour covering a few miles, then checked out the things that intrigued us most on those various ventures. THAT was just Saturday! On Sunday we drove back to Gettysburg from Chambersburg (along a road that the soldiers followed, mind you) and climbed onto a bus for an extensive historic tour of the battlegrounds. Several times the bus stopped and the guide walked us around the areas, spouting more (sad, frightening and historic) information along the way.

Needless to say, by the time we got home on Sunday evening, I was exhausted from not only the few hours drive back, but all the walking I’d done. The aching feet held up but want a little rest today, that’s for sure.

Now, about dieting … um … I made good choices, just not all the time. I did taste a homemade Italian lemon cake after my late lunch on Saturday. I did tire of the healthy road food and eat a Snickers bar on the drive home. But, so what. It doesn’t happen all the time and isn’t my real life (anymore than exciting road trips are my normal activity). The scale said nothing … nothing lost and nothing gained, whew. Today I’m fine, had my oatmeal for breakfast, have no desire to eat lemon cake or chocolate candy, and am already thawing the ingredients for a well-balanced, calorie-conscience dinner.

I wasn’t bad, I was on a road trip. I wasn’t out of control, I was fine! What a revelation that I can actually do such a thing! It was exciting to go somewhere and focus less on what I’ll eat at the next meal, and more on “Ohhh, what’s that over there? Let’s do that!”

It was wonderful.

Now, if I can only recover from the strange paranormal stuff that introduced itself to us over the weekend. Seriously, if you like ghosts, are interested in the paranormal, or just want confirmation that something remarkable hovers over places like Gettysburg … it’s a road trip you too should take!


About Deborah Riley-Magnus

Deborah Riley-Magnus is an author and an Author Success Coach. She has a twenty-seven year professional background in marketing, advertising, and public relations as a writer for print, television, and radio. She writes fiction and non-fiction. Since 2010, she had two novels released. In 2013 her nonfiction, Finding Author Success (Second Edition), and Cross Marketing Magic for Authors were released. Her newest book, Write Brain/Left Brain, focuses on bridging the gap between the creative writer and the marketing author. Deborah produces several pieces monthly for various websites and online publications. She writes an author industry blog and teaches online and live workshops as The Author Success Coach. She belongs to several writing and professional organizations. Deborah has lived on both the east and west coast of the United States and has traveled the country widely. She is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and recently returned after living in Los Angeles, California for several years.

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