Category Archives: diet & fitness

Does your kid really need a perpetual snack buffet?

I’ve noticed something with other parents.  Now, I hate to generalize, but it does seem exceedingly common.  What’s with having snacks available to kids every single minute of the day?  Jake and I attend this open gym that our town runs.  Basically, every weekday they use one of their community center gymnasiums, fill it with toddler/preschooler-appropriate toys, and let parents and kids have the run of it for two hours.  Most people aren’t there for the full two hours, maybe an hour, hour and a half tops.  Nearly every single kid there has snacks openly available to them.  They walk around with bags of Goldfish.  They nosh on pretzel sticks, and apple wedges, and Cheerios.  Two babysitters were there with three kids between them, and they literally had a buffet set up for the kids they were watching – four or five different snack choices, plus a drink for each kid.  Then there’s the other moms that follow the kids around as they play and pop food in the kids’ mouths as they’re playing.

You may have guessed, but this is nowhere near my modus operandi.  I make sure my kids get something in their bellies in the a.m., around lunchtime-ish, and at dinnertime.  Snacks are happily supplied if a kid says they’re hungry (unless a mealtime is imminent and that food is forthcoming shortly).  Sometimes I keep snacks with me if the kids say they are hungry, but often I don’t.  When I do have food with me, it only comes out if our time away from home unexpectedly encroaches on a mealtime, and the kids say they’re hungry.  It is rare for me to offer a preemptive snack, unless I realize we’ve missed a meal.

I hate to feel all judgmental about it, but gosh, it just really seems like some parents are still stuck on that infant feeding schedule, thinking that their kid will starve if they don’t eat every hour.


Off my butt

I’m getting off my butt.  I had been sorely lacking in the exercise department for most of the winter.  Our house came with an older-model-but-pretty-nice treadmill, and we finally got it set up a few months ago… and there it sat.  I think I used it once, my brother used it a few more times, and then it just kept on observing us from a corner of our family room.

I’ve got stuff coming up — I’m going to be shooting three weddings in the next three months and would like to have the stamina to do it.  We’re going to Aruba again next April, and I would love not to be embarrassed for myself in a bathing suit.  I’m generally level-headed enough to only care a tiny bit about what I look like in a bathing suit — mostly it is what it is, and while it’s been a long time since I’ve even been a tiny bit pleased about my appearance naked or sparsely clothed, I don’t have huge hangups about it.  I won’t NOT go swimming because I don’t like how I look, you know?  But mostly, I just want to be and stay healthy.

This week I’ve been good about getting the lead out.  I used the treadmill in the morning three of the last four mornings.  Monday, I just walked for a half hour.  Tuesday I did some jogging too.  Wednesday I skipped, and it honestly affected me negatively the whole day.  I really liked how I felt Monday and Tuesday, and then Wednesday I just felt off.  If I can keep myself in the habit of going to bed a bit earlier so I can get up and get on the treadmill, I think it’s going to be a very positive thing.

I’m also watching what I put in my mouth.  I had a bit of an epiphany not too long ago about my eating habits.  I found myself allowing myself to snack whenever I wanted because — well, not because I deserved to have the snack — that’s not quite the mindset, but it’s close.  I think it’s more like I felt like I was denying myself something I wanted if I tried to steer clear.  Then the blatantly obvious epiphany happened — maybe I was being permissive with myself in the now, but at what cost?  What was I denying myself down the road?  Smaller clothes sizes and the escape from my current purgatory of being not quite a plus size, but not quite a misses?  More energy?  Better health?  How many healthy years of living and enjoying my kids and grandkids?

[NOTE: This post was interrupted at this point by the need to clean up an entire bottle of pancake syrup that Frank left on the coffee table — can the man PLEASE just leave condiment bottles in the kitchen??!?  The rest of us seem perfectly content with adding relevant accoutrements before bringing our plates into the dining room or (occasionally) the living room to eat.  I was typing the post and Frank left the room without putting the syrup away, and I didn’t realize it was there… and Jake emptied the contents of the 3/4 full bottle on the coffee table and carpet.  Yay fun.  Thank goodness we have a Hoover SpinScrub carpet cleaner and I cannot begin to rave about its complete awesomeness.]

Anyway — so about the snacking.  With a better mindset I’ve been able to cut it out quite a bit, and with being more active I’m less inclined to eat anyways.

I can’t say with any certainty how well this will all stick — but it feels a bit different this time.

Casting call

I’m giddy with anticipation.

All the coverage around who Barack Obama may or may not pick for the dozens of positions he needs to fill just has me fidgety.  I tend to be a bit of a political watcher, and I find all this stuff pretty interesting anyway.  It’s been eight years since all this happened with Bush 43, and it was pretty interesting to watch then.  Now, that I’m pretty psyched that ‘my guy’ won, and that he’d already picked the guy I REALLY liked for VP, I’m just super interested to see who he taps for his key positions.  It’s not so much because I’m a political junkie, because I wouldn’t label my level of interest “junkie” level.  I think it’s more because Obama/Biden, and the Secretaries, and the Attorney General, and other key folks will take frequent turns in the spotlight on and I’m just interested to see who it will be I’ll be reading about for the next four-to-eight years.  Sort of like a casting call for an unprecedented political TV drama… only the plot lines affect my life on a daily basis.

I really have no point in writing this.  Just that I’m keenly watching it, and it’s fun.

OK, I need to stop babbling.  The problem is, I accidentally left the keys in the ignition of my minivan earlier, in the battery-on position…. yeah, duh, I know.  Then I went to pick Lane up from preschool and, ta da!  Car wouldn’t start.  In-laws weren’t home, friends next door weren’t home, and didn’t have the numbers in my cell phone of anyone else I felt comfortable calling on short notice to beg for help.  So I resorted to the double jogging stroller.  We live about a mile away from Lane’s preschool and I’ve made the trip bipedally before, many time actually.  It’s the only exercise I have gotten lately.  But I didn’t expect to do it today, when it is very cold and windy, and I didn’t expect to have to do it as fast as I had to do it.  But I bundled Jake up to the gills in his snowsuit and a blanket, and off we went.  And I did the 1.2 miles it takes to get from door to door in about 12 minutes, which is by far a personal record for the trek… and pushing 30 pounds in the jogging stroller and in the bitter cold besides.  And for kicks, I jogged some of it on the way home, too.  The funny thing was, when I tried to start the van when we got home, to show Lane how it was broken, the damned thing started right up.  So, it’s running in the driveway, and I’m still feeling short of breath.  Good times.

Not something you hear every day

I was sitting here, contemplating what to write.

My brother, who is here visiting right now, came out from taking a shower and told me, “I really like that peppermint oil body wash you have. My armpits feel invigorated.”

So… now back to my train of thought.

Frank and I started golf lessons last night. Frank’s wanted to start playing for a long time, and I told him if we took lessons together I’d be happy to play with him. The times we’ve tried out trying to hit a golf ball on a driving range, Frank’s had a nasty hook. Or slice. Whichever it is when your golf ball goes seriously way too far right. Frank talked about this fault in his swing as if it were insurmountable, but agreed to go for lessons, doubtful it could ever be corrected.

Well, the golf pro we are taking lessons with had him hitting the ball straight after about ten swings. Insurmountable, indeed.

I hit the ball straight right away. Not that I’m gloating or anything. Frank can hit it farther.

But the instructor did say that Frank and I really both seemed like naturals, and that practice would improve our consistency. It’s always fun to hear that you’re good at something. 🙂


Tired…… soooo tired………

Went to bed right after my post last night. Jake woke up about 12 seconds afterwards. Got him back to sleep, and Lane woke up. Got her back to sleep, slept maybe 30 minutes, (I think in there Frank tried getting randy on me and I may or may not have elbowed him in the jaw) and then Jake woke up again, at like 5:00 a.m., at which point I brought him to bed with me.

Then he decided 6:45 a.m. was just a delightful time to be up for the day.

Oh my goodness. No human should have to try to function on this little sleep.

So, Lane’s still sleeping, Frank’s hitting snooze on his alarm clock as I type, and Jake’s in here with me looking at a brochure for Sesame Place. And the most insane part of the whole thing is I’m actually considering throwing some workout clothes on and heading to the gym, just to make the early wake-up worthwhile. I’ve set a goal to work out 3x a week, and so far this week I’ve done good. There’s a lake near my house with a 3-mile path around it, and Monday and Wednesday were so nice, I took the kids around it each day in the double jogger, right at Jake’s naptime so he got in a good nap and I got a good workout.

OK, I’ve talked myself into it. I’m going to the gym.

Back on the wagon

My in-laws got a coupon thing to give to other people to join their gym – $20 sign-up and $10 a month.  Sort of one of those deals that simply are too good to pass up, so they watched the kids for me today (and are, in fact, still watching the kids) and I went and signed up me and Frank, and then I ran a couple errands kid-free (ahhh) and then went back and did 45 minutes on the treadmill.

Now it’s not like I’ve gotten no exercise the last few weeks.  I’ve jogged the neighborhood a couple times.  We did a lot of walking in Aruba.  I did the March of Dimes walk last weekend (in a very very hilly neighborhood — whoever planned that route needs to be beaten with a stick).  And I have my uber-awesome (I’m only being slightly sarcastic there) Kathy Smith kickboxing video that I do once or twice a week.

So, getting on the treadmill wasn’t painful today, thank goodness.  I planned to do half-lap intervals, where I’d jog a half-lap then walk a half-lap.  Repeat, etc.  I did work up a good sweat… but no big surprise there, I come from a long line of people who sweat profusely (Hi Carolyn!).  But when I was done, I didn’t feel like crying or curling up in the fetal position so I’ll take it as a good sign that I’m not in awful shape, cardiovascularly-speaking.

I’m not quite sure where I am in my quest to drop 37 pounds.  Last I’d checked, I was down about 5.  I haven’t weighed myself in awhile, much to the chagrin of the Weight Watchers online site.  Well, they probably don’t care, I pay them whether I log in or not.  I need to start tracking my eating again.  I was on a roll, then I got lazy about it.

OK, I need to go pick up the kids, the in-laws have a dinner party they need to get ready for.  Ciao!