Monday, June 11, 2012
I am a self-confessed bookaholic. At present, there are 12 bookcases in my house, the smallest a few feet high and the largest two ceiling height, that hold who knows how many books. Two of the bookcases are my husband's, but I claim responsibility for the other ten. I've been a voracious reader ever since I learned how.
In the last couple of years, I've inherited several other people's libraries, one collection as vast as mine. I sold some on ebay, sold some to Amazon, sold some to a book buyer. I've given away countless more.
What does a bookaholic do with all those books? Read 'em, of course! I'd say my biggest contributor to weight gain over the years is sitting in my favorite chair reading with a box/bag/carton of munchies. One of my major wake up moments happened while I was reading a modern translation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. I came upon the following words: "Our only desire and one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to God's deepening life in me." I looked at the box of munchies in my hand and thought, "This is NOT leading to God's deepening life in me."
What else do I do with all those books? For over 20 years, I have led women's spirituality groups, given retreats, presented programs. Many of my books are my source materials. Those are keepers. I am also a spiritual director or spiritual companion. As a graduate of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, my already large library grew extensively during the several years of my studies. Many of those books are gems that I continue to use. As a spiritual director/companion, I listen to people's spiritual stories, noticing together the direction of a person's spiritual life, hence the name; it's not about "directing" people or telling them what to do.
And then, there are the other books, yes, the large number of things unread. These are often books by favorite authors. "Oh, I see s/he wrote that. Sounds good. I need to order one." Oooh, that's gotten me in a lot of trouble! In the last few years, I've tried very hard to convince myself I don't need to own every interesting book I encounter. I've made an effort instead to work my way through the ones I already own.
I do have a few rules for keepers:
1. Keep the ones I enjoy rereading--Harry Potter, Horatio Hornblower novels, Susan Howatch's Church of England and St Benet's series, favorites I grew up with, and the like.
2. Don't buy if I can easily get it at the library. This applies to books I know I'm likely to read once.
3. Keep anything that would be hard to replace, like first editions, out of print, and hard to find.
4. Don't loan anything I can't replace easily.
Do I stick to my rules? No! I admit it; I still have too many books. However, I am very proud of myself. I set myself a goal of having one less bookcase in 2010--and made it. I emptied and gave a small bookcase to a friend who wanted one for her bedtime reading. I set the same goal in 2011. It took me several months into 2012 to accomplish it, but I now have one less medium-sized bookcase. I'm hoping to do the same again by the end of the year. Then I will have only nine!
Fellow bookaholics, I'd love to hear from you.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I could stop right there; that emoticon says it all! Thanks to MAMAWLINDALOU, I just realized I too have just had my . In that time, I've lost 30 lbs, regained 5, and am back on track to lose the next 30. My recent blogs reflect a level of fitness and activity that I never thought would be "me". Since January, I've been doing SparkPeople Officical Challenges and videos. I so appreciate the free resources here, since my budget does not stretch to include a gym, personal trainer, Curves, expensive equipment and the like. With so many videos to choose from, I don't get bored, and I know those things have made a huge difference in my strength and stamina. How else could I have biked over 26 miles in two days without being winded and without sore muscles?
I've had a several months stall foodwise but am ready now to get seriously back on track. I'm doing the 10 Min Daily Fitness Minutes Challenge, and two other little challenges. One is with a couple of members of the Triple Threat Team. We've committed to tracking our food for the next three days. My personal twist on that is not only tracking, which I do anyway for better or worse, but to stay within my calorie range and get myself solidly back into that habit so the pounds will start dropping again. The other little challenge is a 60 sec fitness challenge from one of the daily Sparkblogs. 60 seconds sounds like nothing, but I've already added two minutes to my fitness tracker just by moving while waiting for my computer to come on, reading my email, etc. Any minutes however small add up and reinforce my fitness habit.
Friends, you are the best! I know if I were doing this on my own, I'd have quit by now, another possibly short-term success followed by another failure. Reading your stories, receiving so much encouragement, staying connected with others who face the same daily challenges I do, swapping goodies for fun and support, accountability--all these are what's keeping me going. I could look at those 5 lbs I regained and say, Aw, I knew I couldn't sustain this forever--but it's not true. I really believe it's not's true. You, friends, keep me here. I want to be one of SP's many success stories. I already am, having dropped 30 lbs and 2 sizes, and having gone from obese to overweight. I'm going for the rest of it, whatever it takes to get to NORMAL/HEALTHY. Together, we can do it!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Husband and I are enjoying a wonderful vacation on one of Georgia's barrier islands. Yesterday we climbed a 129 step lighthouse, climbed to a captain's walk, the last bit of which was a ladder--ugh! and did a fair amount of walking. Today's plan was to rent bikes and ride a couple of miles to a fort where we intended to picnic. The fort was great, the moquitoes were not. So, SABLENESS says, "We passed a park yesterday in this direction; let's try there." Hm. It didn't seem that far in the car. But it was less buggy than the marshland around the fort, and after lunch, we walked a short nature trail. OK, now what? Ice cream sure would taste good. That shopping area down the road surely has an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop. ARE WE THERE YET??? Finally--and...there used to be an ice cream shop there--grr. OK, where is the nearest ice cream? We were told down at the roundabout by the grocery store. OK, another mile...and this one was no longer there either. SO--look! Burger King! The mocha thing I had was really good, and I'm sure I worked off every calorie. We could hardly wait to get back and cool off in the pool. Fast forward to after dinner and a long walk on the beach at sunset. Driving back, we looked at the odometer, added up what we'd done earlier on the bicycles--and found we'd ridden not sixteen, but EIGHTEEN miles! Granted, we were on relatively level bike paths, not as challenging as the bike riding I did while on my retreat a few weeks ago, but that was a lot of miles!
I am pleased beyond measure that I'm physically able to do what I did today--and still trek up and down the three flights of stairs to our room instead of using the elevator, except for the last time today. I feel tired but not exhausted, no part of my body is screaming, and I am pleasantly relaxed after walking on the beach. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror this morning, wearing shorts and a tank top, and thought, "Yes, I'm overweight, but a lot less than I used to be," and no way last year could I have managed 18 miles of biking and still have energy to spare for a long walk on the beach. YAY, SPARKPEOPLE!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
It came and went yesterday without my noticing. OK, friends, it's time for me to get moving again. I've done great with exercise, am a LOT more fit than when I started, have done lots of things I'd never done before SP, but these last several months, have not done so well with my food, and it's shown in my weight-loss stall. Granted, I'm not gaining, and some of the weight has got to be muscle!!! but it's time to get serious again and get that scale moving. I have 20 pounds to go in the next five months to reach my original goal. Whether I make it or not is less important than making progress, and that I'm determined to do.
Some thank yous are due to
PRAIRIECROCUS for being a world-class encourager
SparkGuy for this wonderful free site, a real boon for us financially challenged folks
ROXYSMOM for introducing me to SP videos
My loving husband who never once said anything unkind about my weight
All of you who share your ups and downs with painstaking honesty
INDYGIRL for being such an incredible inspiration
Everyone who takes time to read and comment on blogs and feed; it really helps
Much later...I can't count! Starting in mid Aug is NINE months! Where did the time go?
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