Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26: Fitness for Bookworms

Jane Austen famously wrote of "a truth universally acknowledged"concerning wealthy men and their need for wives.  I propose that equally true is the fact that we bookworms face our own special challenges when it comes to diet and exercise. 

1.     While there are coordinated people who can trot along on a treadmill, engrossed in a book and flipping pages without tripping over their own feet, I sadly cannot number myself among them.  I need to watch where I'm going or I bang into the guardrails on the sides.

2.      Books are as much an escape for me as is food.  When I was going through cancer treatment, I lived in the world of Harry Potter.  Interactions with animals take me to James Herriot country.  And summer days at the pool were perfect for Enchanted, Inc.  I can roam far and wide, forgetting about my to-do list while never flexing more than my page-turning muscles.

3.       I'll happily read anytime, anywhere.  Given the choice between TV and a book, I'll take the book.  Poolside lounge chairs are as conducive to reading as is a living room couch or a grassy patch under a tree.  I'd wager that I'd do quite well reading in a barrel of monkeys. 


Portion control isn't really my problem with food, but it is my problem with books.  Just one more page, just one more page, then, I promise, I'll put my book down.  The page becomes a chapter; the chapter becomes an exciting part; then of course the resolution; and then I need another book!

Trading in exercise for books has obvious plusses and minuses.

What gets me going when I exercise is audio stimulation – music!  But I so love a good story.  Perhaps I need to combine that awareness with my passion for reading.  The solution?  Playaways.  If you spend any time at all in Euclid Public Library, you can't help but have seen bright orange boxes containing these little gizmos: books which you can pause, rewind and fast forward.  The selection is almost painfully small, but I'm sure I can find something to get me through a few miles of cross-training.

So, for the next leg of this Weight Loss Journey, I guess I have to look work not only on diet and exercise, but bring my love of literature back under control.  After all, I want to live my own story and make my own memories.  How can my own life be worth reading about if it's so engrossed in writings of others that it never forms its own plot?


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