Confessions of a Bookworm

AKA: Why I Never Read In Airports.

I have interests a-plenty, but only one grand passion. I adore writing, but even that pales, compared to my full-blown obsession with reading. Hand me a new book and don’t bother talking until it’s finished. I won’t hear you — a fact that has gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion. Let me tell you of the time I started a new book at the airport…

Picture this:

With a couple of hours to spare before my flight, I saunter into the bookshop. I love to look, but I know better than to buy a book at the airport. Twice the price — and sooo dangerous (for me!) Sure enough, staring me in the face is a book that screams BUY ME NOW.

So, I do.

With 90 minutes till the flight, I dash through security and sit just metres away from the gate entrance. It’s so early — I’m the ONLY person in the small lounge. I open the book.

Got the picture? The next thing I knew, someone was calling my name… over the airport sound system.  Lyn McNamee get to your gate now! (or words to that effect.)

Yes, it’s true.

Every single other passenger on that full flight to Queenstown had arrived in the lounge, heard the multiple announcements to board, lined up beside my seat, and boarded the plane.

And I noticed nothing.

If you’ve ever been that passenger who delays departure with their tardiness, you’ll know the glares that greeted me as I slunk onto the plane.

And you also know why I have never dared to open a book at an airport again.

3 Novels To Love

I couldn’t tell you my favourite novel, but I could certainly name my top hundred. Every single one sits on my bookcase waiting to be lovingly plucked up and re-read. Don’t worry — I’m not going to list them all now. But if you’re in the mood for a good book, here are three of the best.


BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty

Cover of book: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

One thing’s clear in Big Little Lies: someone dies. That’s established on Page 7.

But here’s the mystery: Not just whodunnit but WHO DIED?

I love the unusual format of this book; how personalities and situations slowly reveal themselves in every chapter; the hidden twists and turns. Parts of it made me cry. And best of all, it finished fittingly. All in all, a deeply satisfying read.

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY & POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY             by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Cover of book: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.

I can echo that sentiment with “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” Where to begin with such a beloved book? The title alone is surely enough to intrigue…

Written as a series of letters, this novel takes us back first to post-war Britain and then paints a vivid picture of life in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation. I’m a history buff, love getting mail, and a sucker for a little romance so of course I fell in love with each character as soon as I met them. Brilliant.

THE LITTLE WOMEN LETTERS by Gabrielle Donnelly

Cover of book: The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly.

I picked this gem up unexpectedly in Emma’s At Oxford a few years ago now, and for that I’m truly grateful. It’s one of my favourites. Despite the name, though, this one’s not a series of letters.

If, like me, you grew up loving “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, then I guarantee you’ll like this book. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy come to life in unexpected ways as each letter is discovered, and so too, do their modern-day counterparts, Emma, Lulu and Sophie.

It’s a book of love and discovery. Finding who you want to be and where you fit in. Of growing up, and being okay with that.


How’s your bookshelf looking? Or are you more of a Kindle reader these days?

Whichever it is, I bet you have your own favourites . Tell me your top 3 and what you love about them.

 

Indigestion: Such A Horrible Pain

Have you ever experienced indigestion?

Indigestion is an innocuous word for an absolutely horrible feeling. At best it feels like acid rising out of your stomach and up towards your throat. That’s painful enough but antacids will quickly solve it.

But at its worst, pain grasps your stomach, throat, belly and chest. It claws at your gut and refuses to release. You breathe in shallow gasps because it hurts to fill your lungs. Your abdomen is tight, bloated and full of wind. Even your heart hurts. Antacids take forever to kick in. Walking around eases the pain a little, as does drinking hot water. Often it just goes on and on until you vomit.

As you can imagine, after an attack like that your stomach is upset for hours, sometimes days. It’s not much fun!

Tablets Can Help Sometimes

There’s a whole heap of medicine out there dedicated to the relief of indigestion so that you don’t get to that worst-case scenario, and I’ve taken them all. They worked fine for a long time, but in the past few months the long- term, daily-dose pill suddenly stopped working. Oh no! There I was, back in that state where I was popping antacids two, three, even four times a day  just to keep the indigestion at bay.

A Lasting Solution  

Once my sisters and I started the Blitz — Healthy Eating Challenge: Putting on the Blitz — I learned a very important lesson. My body simply won’t tolerate processed junk any more.

During the first three weeks of this healthy eating challenge, I’ve only had indigestion once , and that was the weekend we went out for a meal twice in the same day.  I ate the healthiest things on the menu (which wasn’t saying much) but that night — OUCH! Not the worst kind, but it sure hurt. Back on the Blitz the next day and my stomach was back to normal thank goodness.

A Wake-Up Call

This is a wake-up call because now I realise with my whole being, this is not a game. It’s not something I can do for a while, but then let old habits slip back over time (as has happened in the past.) Forget about  losing weight — that’s a nice by-product, but it’s not the goal any more. Now the health of my digestive system is my number one priority and motivation.

Of course I won’t be Blitzing for life — that’s not realistic. But I will be committing very seriously to eating whole, healthy food once the Blitz is finished. You won’t see pizza, cakes or chips in my hand again. I’m not even tempted by them. I’d far rather eat food like this:

Indigestion Buster: A bowl of quinoa, rice, mushrooms,, spinach decorated with pear slices.
A delicious meal from Week 2.

Healthy Eating Challenge: Putting on the Blitz

Pineapple with leaves, fruit and smoothie

Healthy Eating (Again): Part 1.

You wake up feeling sluggish. You didn’t sleep well — again! In the shower you make a promise: “Today I’ll start my diet. Today I’m going to be healthy. No sugar — no snacks. I can do this!” You step out of the shower completely resolved. Today’s the first day of the rest of your life.

You eat breakfast   feeling good so far. You skip the biscuits at morning tea — now feeling virtuous. Lunch is a big, healthy salad — great.

By 3pm your energy is beginning to flag. 4 o’clock drags around and those biscuits are calling. You turn your back, grit your teeth and carry on.

By tea time you’re ravenous. You load up your plate: healthy but huge. Somehow it’s not enough. All that food and your mind says more, more. I want pudding. You give in. Out comes the ice cream or the cake. You’ve blown it again. “Tomorrow,” you vow. “I’ll try again tomorrow… or maybe next week.”

Sound familiar? This was my life for YEARS. Every day I blew it. Frustration, failure, misery — I knew them all intimately.

Then one day everything changed!

Help Is At Hand.

18 months ago I found a programme that seriously kicked butt. It’s called the Blitz. Run by “superwoman” Tania Campbell of Fitness For Life in Queenstown, the Blitz has changed my life. Not a diet, but a healthy eating programme, the Blitz is guaranteed to help me lose weight AND, more importantly, change my eating habits.

The Blitz gives you six weeks of meal menus, shopping lists and recipes, plus coaching, encouragement and accountability. You have to report your progress to Tania each week, and that’s a huge motivation right there. It costs: that’s part of the motivation too. After all, you’ve forked out good money for this programme. If you cheat it’s all been wasted.

Exercise is part of the deal, of course. It’s a simple formula really: eat healthy food and exercise regularly. I go to fitness classes and yoga, and of course I love to walk.

I seriously loved doing that first Blitz, and carried it on for 9 weeks. By the end I’d lost 12kg and felt wonderful. So much energy… so much more joy in life. Some of the recipes I loved and still use regularly, others I dropped thankfully. In the next few months I looked online for healthy recipes and wasn’t afraid to experiment and try new tastes. I knew I had to keep on with healthy eating if I wanted to keep the weight off and the energy up.

Pineapple with leaves, fruit and smoothie.
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

This week I started another Blitz. Old habits have crept back into my life: bread, ice cream, chips… ahh. It’s time for a reset.

I’m extra excited because this time my sisters are joining me in the challenge. They don’t live in Queenstown; they’re doing the online version. It’s great to have that extra support and to be a support for them in return.  

This is what will happen:

  • We’ll lose weight.
  • Physically, emotionally, mentally we’ll feel great.
  • Sugar cravings will have disappeared.
  • Sleeping will be so much easier.
  • We will be properly hydrated.

I know because I’ve been there before. I’ve slipped off track recently, but not so far that it’s hard to go back.

I’m looking forward to this: Okay Blitzers  –  healthy eating here we come!

 

Please note, this is not an affiliate post. I receive no compensation for this post, it’s just something I really love to do and would recommend.