Sunday Mailbag

February 22nd, 2009 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: I’m a college student, and I have very little time as it is, but I also freelance and am about to start drawing caricatures at a theme park for the summer as well… so I have a lot on my plate. Recently I’ve put on a few pounds (more like 20ish…), because I haven’t been eating well or exercising like I used to, because I don’t have the time. My question to you is, how on earth do you find time to make it to the gym, or not eat garbage all the time?

A: The quick answer is… I often don’t find the time to eat right and get to the gym. In the heat of major projects and late nights I will turn to comfort food and eat at odd hours, plus miss gym time as I work very late and can’t make it to the gym at my usual 8 o’clock a.m. time. Right now I’ve got the double whammy of dealing with a major shoulder injury which I will be having surgery on next month. I’ve lost some muscle and gained some wieght recently as well, so I feel your pain.

That said, I’ve found the key to being consistant in any workout/health routine is to not allow slips to derail you. It’s easy to just give up when you’ve missed some time. However you need to get back on that horse, even if for a while you are barely getting anything done. I missed all last week in the gym and ate badly as I was doing this crazy job with an insane deadline and I was up until 4 am every night and slept until 9 am then back to it. I finished the job Thursday and even though it would have been easy to not go into the gym on Friday and just get back to it Monday, I dragged myself to the gym anyway at 8 am. That first time back after missing some time is the hardest one.

Thanks to Kelton Hamm for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!


  1. Quikdraw says:

    Tom is the shoulder to be operated on the side you draw on?
    If so will it effect your drawing?

    • Tom says:

      No, it’s the other arm. Actually I have a tear in the right shoulder also but that happened over 20 years ago. Never got that one fixed. I tore the left one in November.


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