Thursday, October 25, 2007

For the Love of Books

I really must stop buying books.

My shelves are groaning under the weight of the books they’re carrying and my conscience is groaning under the weight of the guilt it’s carrying because all these books are not being read. It’s not that I don’t want to read them, it’s just that when I take in the sheer volume of books and the range of topics that they cover I am simply overwhelmed and at loss for where to begin.

I have had a bit of a clear out – there were books sitting on my shelves that I knew come hell or high water I just would never read. But even then it doesn’t seem to have made much of a dent to what still sits there.

I rarely buy novels (non-fiction?) these days. My heart doesn’t leap wildly as it scans down the list of books recommended by leading magazines/booker prize/Oprah’s book club etc. It may do a little dance at the sight of a novel by a (but not all) Nigerian writer but that’s about it.

No, the sort of books that make my heart soar and that I splurge on – and I blush as I admit this – are self improvement/ self development books. God, I’m a sucker for them and the prettier the cover/the print/the paper the more of a sucker I am. I don’t know what it is about books of this genre that excite me so – perhaps I am secretly trying to ‘find myself’ and just don’t know it? Or want to admit it? Or perhaps I think ‘someday I’m going to need that’, the latter has often turned out to be right.

Note to self: A strategy

I think what I need to do is make a list of all the books – unread – that I own and then tackle them one after the other as opposed to my current strategy of tackling three or four of them at the same time and ending up reading about five pages before putting them down.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting my Groove Back

The following equation just about sums up what life’s been like for the last five months:

Living in England + two small children + no support (i.e. nanny, house help, au pair, relative) + being a wife and mummy = no time left over for self

In a nutshell that’s life as it is for me at the moment and the reason I haven’t blogged in such a long time.

But never one to remain in a downward spiral for long, I have set about improving my lot.

So after almost five months of slobbing about I am finally coming round to the realization that my excuse of ‘ but I just had a baby’ isn’t going to hold water for much longer and have embarked on a programme of turning PTS from a Slummy Mummy to a Yummy Mummy.

My first stop was to get me back in shape so I signed up for not one but two! , exercise classes. On a Monday I go for Pilates and on a Wednesday I go for Yoga. Best decision I ever made. Not only does it give me three hours clear a week to myself, I feel so much better. I LOVE yoga. I could kick myself for not doing it years earlier. To be honest, I had the ignorant misguided idea in my head that to do Yoga you had to become a mantra chanting, incense burning, vegetable eating, tree hugging hippie type person. Don’t blame me!! Blame the stereotyping I am bombarded with on TV and in the magazines.

Yoga is relaxing, challenging and it teaches you to really focus and BREATHE. Oh, and being flexible is a plus. After just four weeks ( of both classes) I can feel the benefits already. My body feels much stronger – not in terms of muscle but in terms of strength – I feel toned and strangely enough I feel more confident as well.

Second stop in my Yummy Mummy quest is to tackle my diet. I don’t eat bad, bad but I don’t eat so great either. I love my butter and my fat and my fry, fry, fry. I love bread (brown) and cream and milky drinks. I buy fruit but don’t eat much of what I buy. Thankfully my daughter is a fruit freak so nothing goes to waste. I do like vegetables though but half the time I can’t be arsed to make a bowl of salad. It’s such a chore chopping all those vegetables up I find. And I eat way tooooooooooo much meat (ah, the Naija in me!). Hubby has embarked on an Alkaline Diet (see the PH Miracle for further info) and the weight is absolutely dropping off. It’s a bit too drastic for me (I can’t do without meat for too long) but it works so perhaps I will dip in and out of it and tailor it a bit to suit my lifestyle. I am more inclined towards the French Women Don’t Get Fat type diet so we’ll just have to see. Check in for progress reports…

Third stop is my wardrobe – I mean there must be more to life than denim and Gaps’ Favourite T. But where to start?? In being a mum and wife I seem to have lost my sense of style and adventure when it comes to clothes. I always stick with safe choices – blacks, browns, creams and beige. BORING!! So budding fashionistas, any suggestions? But remember, I am a woman on a budget so forget the Prada’s and Jimmy Choo’s for now.

Finally, there is the more, erm, personal side of my personal improvement plan. Let’s just say that after running after two kids, looking after the home and doing the laundry the whole day your hormones aren’t exactly raring to go come bedtime. But that’s a topic for another day. Ha, ha.

And how have the last five months been for you? Oh, silly me, I have to read your blogs to find out!

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