The story vs. novel thing is part of why I was so freaking determined to finish a short story even if it took me three or four months (When I can get a higher word count than that in a novel in the same length of time. Because I kind of haven't stretched those muscles in a while.
I still wrote long, i feel, but then, I always do. My edits invariably include paring down. And sometimes include it again, after I thought I had stripped all that could be.
I need to think more about the exercise; I'm doing gym stuff with my mom, but it feels more like maintenance level than improvement level. Although I have noticed, whenever I pick up the cats, that they're so LIGHT ... because at least I do have to keep lifting a baby.