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Vitamin N

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 5/29/2012 6:08AM

    Vitamin N and vitamin D, definitely the way to go.

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M77355 5/28/2012 10:57PM

    Sounds heavenly to me! I love the idea of 'forest bathing' and will pass that on ... that's just what I love about some hikes.
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful writing style and life with us - which lets us relive happy memories :-)

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NOLAZYBUTT110 5/28/2012 6:22PM

    done that and more...lost a pound doing it too! ( Ya jealous?) But I do know about those sore muscles... I worked yesterday for 2 hours and in the heat and got a sunburn on top of a sunburn yesterday; and today (I was samrter) I took advantage of the cool morning and worked from 8 am until 1:30pm when I started to feel a little sick from the heat (and Hubby brought me water) ! I only ate two meals today. Hoping I lost another pound by going without and exercising in my garden. It will be a real joy if I lose another pound today! lol we shall see. But I do love a good workout in my garden! It gives me twice the rewards! Dont you just love the flowers? susana

Comment edited on: 5/28/2012 6:30:27 PM

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_LINDA 5/28/2012 3:29PM

    LOVE that term -forest bathing -I would be doing it every day if I could! Sounds like someone should have been following Spark's pre-gardening conditioning exercises ;) For sure, we don't do sawing, cutting and digging in the gym! A long hot bath, followed by a soothing massage might help with those muscles..
Your garden sounds awesome! In bloom here now -bleeding hearts, tulips and some of the ground cover. Very few people are putting annuals out -too risky the way our weather has been so cold and wet. Some won't even plant until June. We have had snow at the end of May, although this year its supposed to be nice -keeping fingers crossed so my sister can come in from the farm for my 50th on Thursday!
Hope you can make it through work!!

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PHEBESS 5/28/2012 9:55AM

    Forest bathing - I love the concept! Very Thoreau!

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CRYSTALJEM 5/28/2012 9:12AM

    Forrest bathing - now that's a new term for me and I love it! I intend to add that to my vocabulary since forrest bathing is definitely one of my most favourite activities. Sounds like you got so much done - and included in the process was exercises, nature, fresh air and a "shower" to boot - now what more could you ask for. Have a great day. Here's to vitamin N!

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NANCY- 5/28/2012 8:58AM

    You are in shape, used just put little used muscles through their paces.
Hmmm... fractal patterns for my walls... now there's a thought. For me that article rings true. I find nature walks restorative.
All that gardening you did will help restore you.

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MEADSBAY 5/28/2012 8:41AM

    Interesting article.
My DH, a long time former smoker, adores walking in the woods.
I prefer sitting at the beach, myself, communing with nature (but not when it's crowded).
Great blog- nice way to start my day.

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/28/2012 7:50AM

    There is something about outdoor exercise. One of the reasons I love the bike paths when they go through green space or out into the countryside. I'll be in cornfields and woods today, but somehow I don't think it will have quite the punch of a quiet walk! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 5/28/2012 7:48AM

    Agreed - nothing better for th body, mind or soul!

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Obesity School

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOUTHPONDCAMP 5/29/2012 10:06AM

    They have televised some of these kids joureys...not sure if they are doing any more seasons but it was on TLC or MTV..."reality TV" called "too fat for 15". It was interesting because, while heavily edited, you saw the kids struggle and learn over a period of months. Some did great...some....not so much. Just like the rest of us.

Comment edited on: 5/29/2012 10:07:25 AM

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TEENY_BIKINI 5/28/2012 6:58PM

    Hm.... I see it as no different than parents choosing to pay for a private school - and I think it's kind of neat to instill life skills of any kind in any child. I am sure there are plenty of skinny kids with poor eating habits - and great metabolism - who could also benefit from these skills as well [and they might need them when they get older :)] My friend, Chloe's son, was overeating - she says he gets it from his dad's side of the family - his family just keep eating til "all of the food is gone." She said if it wasn't for the fact that he plays soccer all day long he would be overweight too. So she starting making him more aware of "eating consciously" and portion sizes and it seems to be working. In essence, she is re-training him and how he thinks about food, but she is a VERY involved parent, whatever that means. He is 8 so I'd say he's got a good head start :)

So I guess I am saying - all learning is good learning - and sometimes people need help attaining/learning/teaching good habits. As long as the help is attained, I don't think it matters much "where" it comes from.

Anyway, thanks for the post. Very provocative. You post the coolest stuff. I almost cried when I saw that sweet little girl running. How friggin' cool is that?!!

PS - Zero fat cals - ain't right for me. It is so bad for my hair and skin. I guess that it is one of things you learn along the way .... Cheers.

Comment edited on: 5/28/2012 7:02:14 PM

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LISALGB 5/26/2012 10:40PM

    I saw that on the news the other morning. I agree with all that has already been posted on this subject. I just think it is terribly sad that so many children are obese and unhealthy.

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DDOORN 5/26/2012 8:48PM

    How tragic it is that enough isn't already done and provided for through existing means...family, schools, etc. But even more: that we cannot harness the power of our media for GOOD rather than EVIL! Our kids could grow up salivating over the thought of munching on a broccoli floret rather than a bag of chips or fries!


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_LINDA 5/26/2012 7:15PM

    Great for well-to-do parents I suppose, but the average majority could never afford this. Its nice to know there is some intervention for some of these obese teens. But they are really missing the point. Its how they got there in the first place. If they go back to the same environment they got fat in in the first place, of course they will put it all back on. Change has to happen where you live. This is not much different then that Biggest Loser show everyone is so interested in.
Here is to families waking up and realizing they have to all live a healthy lifestyle together.

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NOLAZYBUTT110 5/26/2012 2:09PM

    I cant believe a child would lose all the weight they gained over night or even in a summer camp. I remember when I was a kid when my brother and I were both sent to a summercamp/health camp. Neither of us put the weight on and in fact they even served what today would not be considered healthy food...like what you get at McDonalds! The first day we went to McDonalds. Kids dont lose as fast as they think or gain as fast as one thinks, it takes years to get like that and years to undo the damage. Its a struggle for a person with any weight issues and its an all your life worry and work in their lives. It never stops! I cant see spending money for someone else to help you lose weight! Money cant buy you love nor weight loss without the desire to lose. And Kids dont know how to desire weight loss without a mother and father supporting them, and I dont believe any child should be sent away to do that! I cant see separating kids form their parents for helping a child lose weight ... when they go back home the parents are still the same; cooking and eating the same as they did before. Kids need parents to take control chaneg their eating habits and ways of living and have to care and learn how to change those bad habits before kids will change their weight goals. Better for the parents to spend time learning how to eat and cope with frustrations so they can help their children. That would be a better investment!

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NANCY- 5/26/2012 11:46AM

    50K for school to help learn healthy habits vs. surgery and possible death, I'd opt for the school. It's a lot of money. I think we all need a better education when it comes to our health.
Personally I'm still trying to teach myself.

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CRYSTALJEM 5/26/2012 10:31AM

    The key for me would have to be intervention before my child got to this point. I'm not trying to be mean, but we all know we don't become obese over night. When I see people, especially children, this obese, it seems to me that they ignored the "obvious" for a long time before taking action. I'm not judging, I realize just how hard it is to take that action. Having said that, if you find yourself in that situation, I can see how it could be a life saver, and if I had no other way you bet I would do whatever I could to help my child. After all, tuition for any private school is usually steep and that's what this basically is.

Thanks for sharing, it's been a real eye opener.

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NELLJONES 5/26/2012 10:14AM

    No. Any weight loss, or any other task that requires 100% willingness to change everything they think they love, 100% commitment 100% of the time, can't be bought. It's a good deal for those selling the camp for $50,000.

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/26/2012 9:20AM

    Actually, I did lay out quite a bit of cash to help my desperately hurting teen (19 back then) get in shape. When his dad left, he practically dragged me and the checkbook to the gym to make this investment. It was the beginning of "no turning back" for him. Gym membership, personal trainer... with the trainer's nutritional advice as well as the workout plan, he dropped weight, got fit, earned back his confidence... went on to acquire GED, driver's license and start college. Which eventually led to his current service and his marriage.

No way the majority of us can afford that $50,000 a year, but I'm pretty sure most of us here on Spark *want* that healthy life for our kids, and will do what we can, to whatever extent we can.

Thanks for sharing the link!

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" . . . . that skinny man!"

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTALJEM 5/30/2012 11:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOPAPGH 5/30/2012 9:25PM

    Good for him and I agree wight loss is easier as a team sport

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    What a great love story! emoticon Pat

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SLENDERELLA61 5/24/2012 9:21PM

    Congrats to your hubby! You should be so proud of your effective influence on him. That is fantastic!!

And oh, I'm so jealous. My hubby has zero interest in nutrition and eating healthy and even less interest in activity and exercise. Despite his diabetes and heart attack history, he still thinks of himself as skinny like he was in high school, when in reality he should lose at least 30 pounds -- probably 40 or more. Oh, well. I try.

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TEENY_BIKINI 5/24/2012 4:18PM

    You. Are. Awesome.


Great work!!

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NOLAZYBUTT110 5/24/2012 9:10AM

    Its alway a nice sight when a twosome become the skinny couple.... lol Hope you can get to the numbers you desire. Isnt it more fun when you can do such things together? Keep up the good work! susana

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DONNACFIT 5/24/2012 12:29AM

    Woohoo..skinny couple!!

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DOKEYOKEY 5/22/2012 8:06PM

    Go, team! emoticon

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ID_VANDAL 5/21/2012 8:03PM

    What a great team you two make!! You should enter the great race!

Glad you're both having so much success in getting to the goal and then maintaining!!

Something I need make happen for me!! Thanks for the inspiration.



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DDOORN 5/21/2012 1:38PM

    What wonderful inspiration you are for each other and everyone else! :-)



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NANCY- 5/21/2012 11:47AM

Here's to that skinny couple.
You are doing an amazing job of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


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KALIGIRL 5/21/2012 11:16AM

    Here's to the two of you!

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/21/2012 8:30AM

    emoticon for both of you.

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_LINDA 5/21/2012 2:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon to your husband -well done!
It does pay to have you both on the same page -double motivation to stay on track!
Keep up the great work!

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MEADSBAY 5/20/2012 10:51PM

emoticon+ emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 5/20/2012 9:19PM

    I think it brings people closer together when they have a common goal! I know you are both spurring each other on in a very positive way. Keep up the good work.

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PHEBESS 5/20/2012 8:26PM

    You must be the skinny couple!!!!!!

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    Well done - what a great team!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/20/2012 4:09PM

    Supporting each other's efforts has GOT to be a huge plus! emoticon to "That skinny woman and that skinny man!"

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LINDAJ0621 5/20/2012 3:13PM

    Congrats to both of you!!! emoticon

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M77355 5/20/2012 2:32PM

    emoticon for BOTH of you!

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. . . . that skinny woman!"

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!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 5/26/2012 3:08PM

    Wooohoooooo :D It's the little things :P I posted my latest pregnancy pic on facebook and a friend made a comment about "beanpole legs" lol... I'm sure it's just the huge tummy making an optical illusion, but it still made me grin all day!

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DONNACFIT 5/24/2012 12:26AM

    Yeah!! Skinny woman!! You rock!!

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SCOOTERGIRLOZ 5/21/2012 9:12PM

    Congrats. I'd say you still are that Skinny Woman. I have been told to see oneself as skinny in order for the body to do what it needs to be skinny. Keep enjoying your skinniness.

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LISALGB 5/20/2012 10:24PM

    Way to go, Miss Skinny!! Love it!!

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NANCY- 5/20/2012 9:26AM

    I can only imagine how wonderful that must have felt.
You still are that skinny woman!
Isn't it amazing what perspective and adjectives can do,
Sometimes we hang on to old perceptions, is it time for you to take a new look?

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CARRAND 5/19/2012 8:27PM

    You would look skinny next to me, too. I'm at 157, and I'd be happy with 150, let alone 140.

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PHEBESS 5/19/2012 7:11PM

    YAY for hitting skinny!!!!!!!!!!

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IMAGINE_IT 5/19/2012 3:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon YES...rejoice..rejoice....because if it is true..it is true!!
This blog makes me smile...thanks for sharing.... skinny woman!! emoticon emoticon

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SALSIFY 5/19/2012 3:39PM

    I can't ever imagine anyone calling me skinny! Although people already are saying that I've lost too much. I just say that, according to the government, I'm still overweight - which is true.

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SLENDERELLA61 5/19/2012 12:51PM

    You are, you are that skinny woman!! Yes, you are. Embrace it. And beside being lean, you are an active, smart and strong woman. Sure hope your routine test turned out well. You are wise to get all that recommended testing. Take care, my lean SparkFriend! -Marsha

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MEADSBAY 5/19/2012 11:23AM

    I would give my first born child for that!

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TRAVELGRRL 5/19/2012 11:22AM

    Don't use the past tense -- you ARE that skinny woman! I would be so happy to be at 142; I weighed that for many years and it was a sustainable weight for me. But I'm only 5'2"!

Yes, you ARE that skinny, strong woman! emoticon

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_LINDA 5/19/2012 9:48AM

    Sometimes all one needs is an external comment to let it finally sink in -you really are that skinny woman! You have succeeded in your weight loss goals. An unbiased stranger has just told you so! You have arrived!
I have to admit I couldn't get used to people in the hospital calling me so skinny, tiny, petite, and 'frail' which wasn't so good, but basically illustrated they thought I was a normal weight and a very small woman.
I hope you test is okay.
Enjoy your skinny day and weekend!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NOLAZYBUTT110 5/19/2012 9:22AM

    Yes, skinny compared to a 300 pound person (man or woman) ! Lol. You got me going! (I am so jealous, would love to be that skinny woman again! ) It looks better when you write KG's! Like to be 63.5 Kgs... YYes, but I am NOT! Yes your even skinny compaed to me at 177! But many people think I am skinny! lol I guess weight is in the eyes of the beholder! lmao! Go skinny girl! (Hope its nothing serious, that is... the surgery!) Hope all is well beside your pride being pinched! lol Call me skinny any day! susana

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/19/2012 9:08AM

    I do a double-take less these days than I did a couple of years ago when someone refers to me as having a "tiny little body". Stay the course, and you'll feel more at home as "that skinny woman"... and rejoice in it!


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Obesity and Safety

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 5/18/2012 11:56PM

    Yes, re: "regime of constant supervision of children"...I pine for those days of yore similar to yours where us kids were able to roam about on foot or bike. While I enjoy relative freedom around our downtown urban area, I realize I'm a 6' 2'' fella with some heft and feel badly for the caution women and children need to exercise.

Certainly some "wrong turns" have been taken by our culture!


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CARRAND 5/18/2012 9:12PM

    I remember playing outside for hours when I was a kid. We all did. There were kids in every house on the block - usually 3 or 4 or 5 kids. Maybe there was safety in numbers. You just don't see that many kids today, and they don't play outside like we used to do, and it's a shame.

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IMAGINE_IT 5/18/2012 3:31PM

    The way you described your childhood reminded me of my own...we used to have to go outside..no 'if's..or 'but's' about it.."A child needs fresh air' used to be my parents comment....lol...which is true....but we did have fun all day long...came up with all kind of activities to keep ourselves entertained....summer time??? ......we spent it in our local public swimming pool....from the time they opened...until they closed...
i often feel sorry for today's children...they seem to miss out on a lot....but unfortunately times have changed..and it is more dangerous to let children go outside and play alone...or even with friends.
And of course Technology (endless video games) makes sure that most children do not have to set one foot outside...except for going to school...from the door..to the car.....or bus..and into the school....where PE (exercise) is no longer on most of the schedules..due to budget cuts!! The future does look emoticon (obese) if we don't try and start turning it around emoticon..somehow...

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NANCY- 5/18/2012 10:11AM

    It all started because we want a safe environment. DBCLARINET made an excellent point about "safety is an excuse." for inactivity. Folks around here thought I was nuts for taking the train into NYC all by myself. To prepare for that I had made several trips into the City with friends.

There are many things we can do to stay active and increase our safety. Time of day. location, exercise buddy, planned events,
No environment is 100% safe. I stubbed my toe on the bathroom door this morning. Duh!

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/18/2012 6:51AM

    Life has changed irrevocably. Here, in Australia, sport is the number one entertainment for adults, but manychildren do participate dependant on their parent's attitude.

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_LINDA 5/18/2012 2:49AM

    I used to walk all over my city at all hours of the day and night. I even walked the dirt trails near where I lived as a kid, was never harassed and indeed if I happened upon a 'bush party' was invited in. Never did though, not my thing. But only eight years ago, when I lived in the 'trouble area' of the city, I was harassed just going out on my scooter! It was youth doing the harassing. One even fired a cap off by my ear to see if I would jump! The other brat ran chasing after me with all kinds of epitaphs and saying he wanted my scooter..As I showed no reaction what so ever, they soon tired of their games and left me alone. I still get the odd cuss thrown at me, from punks driving by. I have no idea what people have against someone in a scooter!
There is hope though -in my Mom's neighborhood they have quite the group of active young children who play hide and seek all over the area, ride their bikes, play ball, all kinds of things. You see them out constantly when the weather is nice and even when its not so nice..

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/17/2012 9:04PM

    I don't believe that safety is as much a concern as my original response might have indicated, because after all, I have walked myself home from work across some neighborhoods my son doesn't think I should, and no one has troubled me. HOWEVER, I don't go with headphones on, and I pay attention to my surroundings.

As Helen Keller said, "Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."

This actually helped me overcome some of the media anxiety / avoidance of DOING that has been discussed. BUT... it is not easy to overcome anxiety and fear, and if we are surrounded by messages that constantly tell us we are not safe, is this not ALSO an environmental element?

Spark helps. Doing it helps. We are worth it... LIVE the message! emoticon emoticon

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DBCLARINET 5/17/2012 8:12PM

    I hear this a lot, and I always have to ask, is it REALLY that unsafe? I have no experience in the world you grew up in; we were limited to where we could go because we lived in a fairly rural area, so when we went bike riding, we were limited to whatever side streets we could ride on. The main roads had too much fast traffic. We also lived too far away from the school to walk, so we drove.

We could still tool around the three little side streets with two friends from down the street for hours. We never had enough people to play any sport, so we played kickball with "ghostmen."

The things we hear about are horrible, but as you pointed out, most of it is very rare. I know the areas of my community to stay away from, so I do, but if I want to go for a run at 5:30am, I can because I'm not going to be the only person out there.

I didn't read all the comments about safety, but my first thought is that safety is an excuse. People have a lot more activities they can do indoors that are interesting: there's a lot more TV to choose from now, there are things like Netflix so you can watch what you want when you want, and video games are a very recent staple in people's homes. When I was a kid growing up in the 1980s, we had one system, but once we had it, our parents did need to coax us to go outside -- it was just so COOL! Now families have two or more systems. Of course kids aren't going to want to go outside!

No, I think the issue is in over-abundance of everything. Over-abundance of food, over-abundance of easy entertainment, over-abundance of comfort. Heaven forbid any of us step outside our comfort zone.

Anyway, that's my Generation Y take on the situation (you know, because nobody was creative enough to give my generation a REAL name, as if it mattered...)

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MEADSBAY 5/17/2012 7:40PM

    It's so true!
My mom used to push us out the door after breakfast and hand a sandwich out the door to us at lunch and just let us in in time to wash up for supper.
We were all skinny healthy kids.

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PHEBESS 5/17/2012 7:24PM

    I used to walk after school at an outdoor mall (by a marina) - then a few men started harrassing tourists and panhandling, and even though I'm not a tourist, I look like one (as in I don't look like I was born here) - so I don't go there as often as I did previously.

Sad, isn't it? I made a report to the mall cops, but it still is frustrating.

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