Open Book Blog Hop new

Thanks to Kelly Williams for the introduction.  You can check out her blog here: and check out her books here:

Do you like to read? Would you like to know more about your favourite authors? Well you have come to the right place! Join the MMB Open Book Blog Hop each Wednesday and we will tell all. Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

This week’s question:  Do you diet? Do you exercise? Tell us what you do to stay healthy.

Twenty years ago I was overweight and suffered from frightening migraines, and generally felt awful.  One day in October 1995 I decided to do something about it.

I began getting up at 5am every morning and walking for half an hour before work.  As my muscles strengthened up and the shin splints started to recede I began to jog, and the weight started to fall off.  I felt great, but still had the migraines.

I began to read up on causes of migraines and found out about the three ‘c’s – chocolate, caffeine and cheese.  There was a terrible month when I gave up all three.  I had the mother of all headaches for a month, and dreadful ‘flu-like symptoms.  After a month these disappeared and I felt better than I had ever felt in my life.

I stopped eating chocolate and cheese altogether, and only drank water or de-caffeinated tea (I never drank much alcohol in the first place). Nowadays I hardly ever have migraines; these happen only if I eat any sort of junk food or inadvertently drink caffeinated tea.  On the whole I try to keep to a very healthy diet of salads, lean meat, fresh vegetables and fruit, with the odd piece of cake thrown in.

I jogged for 11 years, but these days I walk for half an hour twice a day, and often cycle a couple of miles around my village every day too.  It’s kinder on the knees, and I want to preserve them for as long as I can.  I also perform 20 minutes of Pilates exercises every morning without fail to keep my lower back mobile and pain -free and to keep my muscles toned.

Working in a hospital for 13 years taught me a lot.  Every day you would see the results of over-eating in patients, causing arthritic joints, wheeziness, and long queues for the pain clinic and the diabetic clinic.  I’m so glad I worked there, because the reality of an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise stared you in the face every day.  When typing clinic letters I came to know that the majority of the patients were not only overweight and had poor muscle tone, but they were also not pro-active in getting motivated to help themselves.  They wanted a pill to make it all go away, and many were taking up to 15 (sometimes more) pills per day which of course all reacted with each other to make the patient feel ten times worse.  The trick to feeling well is to keep your muscles toned, get out there and walk for at least half an hour every day, and to cut out the junk food and caffeine.

Especially look after those muscles or your ass will take on the shape of your armchair – if you don’t use it you lose it!

All this healthy living never stopped me getting cancer of course, but my particular type of cancer is not caused by lifestyle.  It is a rare form of very slow-growing cancer that I had probably carried around in my body for years before I started exercising. Reading up on my cancer I found out that it may have been caused by either sudden weight gain and loss during two pregnancies, or dental x-rays I had as a child. To date I feel quite well and no further treatment is planned for the moment.

Does P.J Fiala diet and exercise?  You can find out by visiting her blog here: and you can check out her books on her Amazon author page here: