Monday, May 28, 2012
Being outside in nature: yes, it's a measurably good thing!
I love walks in the woods, what the Japanese call 'forest bathing".
Swinging a golf club is as far as I'm concerned somewhat optional. Although excursions with a golf club work better if I stay out of the woods and stick to the fairway as much as possible.
Gardening as an Xtreme sport? I engaged in some of that yesterday. About three steady hours, hacking away. And I have the scratches and aching muscles to prove it!
Numerous overhanging branches sawn down (some too high up for me with assistance of DH) and hauled to the compost heap. I was staggering like an ant carrying a burden many times its size.
And I finally cleared out some flower beds and pruned out some old rose canes . . . clipped back spent tulip and hyacinth foliage, removed leaves . . . . weeded a bit too. Enjoying my iris now in bloom as I did that. Nothing else smells exactly like iris, and the shape of the petals is so elegant.
Also planted a few of the geraniums and other annuals I'd picked up at the nursery near the back door. But there's more to be done there, including my flower boxes for the verandah and high back deck. After work I'll try to pick up a new sprinkler head for my hose since the old one is cracked and showering mostly me.
If that article is right, all that exposure to nature means that my cognitive focus ought to be vastly improved today!! We'll see . . . I'm thinking that the distraction of the muscle soreness (hey, I thought I was in shape!!) may reduce any mental sharpness induced by that massive dose of Vitamin N!
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Would you pay $50,000 a year to help your obese teen drop weight? This video link to a school for overweight kids really brought tears to my eyes. Can't agree with everything taught there (for example 0 fat grams) but it's hard to argue with success.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
That would be my own description of my DH, who started SP March 4, 2012. TUFFMUFFIN weighed in today at 171 -- down from 183!! He's comfortably wearing his 34" waist paints, he's carrying his golf clubs . . . and he certainly looks (even more) terrific!
And I was at 141 yesterday, which may be my lowest sustainable weight, although I haven't given up hope of middle number 3 entirely.
Maintenance. That's the challenge! But, it's really helpful having two people thinking about the calorie count (and nutritional benefits) of everything we eat.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
No kidding, she was referring to ME!
I was at the hospital last week (routine test, no problems) and dressed in a hospital gown plus robe, not exactly flattering.
And next to me, another lady similarly clad. Both of us undergoing general anaesthesia, both of us requiring to be weighed so the anaesthetist could determine the appropriate amount of juice on a per pound basis!!
And . . . "It's not fair that I have to get weighed right beside that skinny woman," the lady said indignantly to the nurse.
I looked around to see who she was talking about. Nobody else there. Me??
OK, so I hadn't eaten for about 15 hours in accordance with the protocol required. Nothing to drink, either, so pretty thoroughly dehydrated. Clocked in at 63.5 kg which is just under 140. Don't know what she weighed: I averted my eyes sympathetically to give her at least the illusion of privacy.
And tried not to rejoice. Me? Skinny?
And yeah, I'm back to 142 now that I've resumed my normal maintenance range of calories, my normal quota of coffee!! Darn. Short lived, I guess! But for a couple moments, I was "that skinny woman!"
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Just following up on my blog looking at obesity, bullying and individual "blaming" versus environmental changes, a number of people commented on the environmental issue of safety. When people of all ages aren't safe moving outside, it's not surprising that they will spend more time sitting on a couch watching TV or surfing the internet.
It's so true that we almost never see young children out playing freely by themselves, either individually or with a friend or two, anymore. It's actually unusual to see children under the age of 12 or 13 on their bikes, at the park, even walking to school, by themselves. Before and after school care costs money . . . and it's cheaper to tell kids of 11 or 12 that they can go home alone provided that they stay inside with the door locked.
Like most people of my vintage, I played outside alone from about age 4 onwards. Rode my bike to the community swimming pool with other neighbourhood children from age 4 onwards. Went to the park with baby brother and slightly older sister from age 6 onwards (she was in charge, at age 9!). Was gone from morning to night, often with a picnic lunch, all summer long by the time I was 7: the only restriction was to be home as soon as the streetlights came on. We played pick-up baseball (which meant we had to learn how to get along without adult intervention). We had a croquet set and badminton and tennis rackets. We climbed trees and dug forts. We roller skated in the summer and ice skated in the winter and played pick-up hockey (girls too). We tobogganed and went skiing. It was non-stop motion with plenty of skinned knees and elbows. No helmets!
Mums had a lot more freedom then, not having to hover over children constantly or drive them to scheduled activities or arrange for daycare. (Of course mums were at home doing laundry with wringer washers, pegging out clothes on the line, and peeling carrots and making jam and mending clothes: not exactly a life of leisure for them either! And it all burned calories for them as well . . .)
Were those really the good old days? Kids ran free, but sexual molestation of children occurred, maybe even at the same rate of incidence as currently. It's just that when it occurred, it was generally "hushed up" and ignored. Not a good thing, of course, for those who experienced either the molestation or the subsequent hushing. A relatively small minority . . . and the majority did grow up with so much less restriction.
Does this mean that the current regime of constant supervision of children is unnecessary?
Here in Ontario we've just been reading with horror the news coverage of a small girl murdered by a sexual predator, with the luring assistance of his girlfriend. Rare, of course. Statistically, "stranger danger" is much less of a risk than molestation by a person well-known to the family. But parents seldom want to take the chance. Remember that New York mother who permitted her 9 year old to take the subway unaccompanied: she was vilified. I taught my daughter how to use the public bus system to get across town to the Y alone after school when she was about 11 . . . again, this met with considerable criticism, although my daughter did not have any negative experiences at all doing so and loved the independence.
However, even as a grown woman, when I was running 10 km a day, I was on more than one occasion harassed when out running in the early morning or evening . . . sometimes even when I was running with another woman. For working people, generally early or late in the day is the time available for running. Police warned us that what we were doing wasn't safe. Although I've reluctantly given up running (because of persistent knee/hip issues), I do hesitate to go out for walks in the woods alone, or even in local natural park areas, because I've experienced harassment on those occasions too.
It's "safest" to exercise at a gym, I suppose: and gym memberships do cost money (although Ys subsidize membership fees on a sliding scale for people who need it).
I sometimes think that part of what fuels excess shopping (is it sexist to acknowledge this may be primarily a woman thing? ) is that one of the only places women feel safe is at the shopping mall! Ditto the spa . . .
And all those expensive theme park and water park and organized events for kids: it seems to me they've become necessary because kids are so severely restricted in making fun for themselves.
No question in my mind: creating a safe environment for women and children to exercise vigorously outside is absolutely essential to combatting obesity. And probably to combatting excessive consumerism too. And probably to connecting with nature, experiencing birds and flowers and all of the changes of the season.
Obesity has many multifaceted causes . . . and no easy solution.
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