Fit For A Mom

My ramblings of balancing my passions… fitness, family, & entrepreneurship.

Running With Ghosts and Goblins…and a Yellow M&M October 30, 2009

Last Sunday I ran a 10K which was very exciting for multiple reasons.  One, to race is always a challenge, but this was so laid back that it was a nice breather. Two, this was unique in that it was a Halloween theme.   After having lived all over the country, my husband and I decided to move back closer to family and lucky for me my dad is a runner too. Six weeks before the race, I called him up and after thoroughly convincing him that he wouldn’t have to wear any kind of “costume” he agreed.  That morning as he sat down in the seat, I was thinking, “Why, am I doing this? I am going to freeze!”  I have to fill you in with the fact that we moved from Southern California and back to where there are now seasons, four distinct ones to be exact.  Driving down the road I summon up the courage to look at the temperature reading on the dashboard of my Jeep.  It screams back at me with that bright green hue 38 degrees.  Seriously. 

We arrive and find a place to park and head on up to the start line.  Before taking our place, we stand in line to use the infamous race port-a-potty.  This is one of the situations in my life (next to the monthly thing) that I wish I was a man.  I proceed to pull down and pull up all of my layers while trying to feel what I am supposed to feel.  You get the idea.  Ms. SoCal girl forgot her gloves, or should I say it did not cross my mind to bring them.  Rest assured that it was the first thing on my mind in that bathroom and I was kicking myself  for my hands being red and frozen.

After stumbling out the door I reach the facet where water comes out via the foot pump.  So here I am pumping this make-shift sink with my foot and anxious to get the 5 million germs off of my hands, when at that moment, the water hits my hands and it is ICE COLD.  Why again would I have thought that it would have been warm since it was probably sitting out all night?  After peeling off the layer of ice (of course I am exaggerating, but darn it that’s what it felt like) on my hands, I looked at my watch and realized it was almost time. 

We take our place. The gun goes off and the race begins.  I start running and slowly I began to notice all of the costumes and the original reason that I was excited.  I became intrigued by what I saw and made it a game to take notice of all the varieties of costumes.  Witches, ghosts and goblins were the norm, however there were a few that stood out in my mind;  The Jedi knight, the jockey with the horse actually attached to him, JFK, a fly with huge wings which clearly affected his equilibrium.  Unless, he was just drunk which I would have had to be to wear that awful contraption! Of course I cannot forget the yellow M&M.  He stood out in my mind the most because that was my favorite color as a child and M&M’s were so yummy.  Who am I kidding?  They still are!

The M&M Runner

After I locked my eyes on him, I started to feel sorry for the poor guy.  His running form was all over and he was sweating, a lot.  But, there was a smile on his face.  Not to mention a smile on mine and many others.  After a couple of miles I began to warm up and enjoyed the sights and sounds.  MJ would have been proud that “Thriller” was played on almost every street corner and that the crowd was having just as much fun as the runners, if not more.  With 2 miles left, my competitiveness started to kick in and I set my eyes on the witch in front of me.  Just as I was about to pass her, she veered off to the side.  It was then that I realized that little voices were saying, “Mommy, mommy, we are so proud of you”.  I turned to see two little girls around three and six hugging their mom.  I had to rub my eyes to clearly see.  It was then that I was brought back to my original state of mind.  Take it slow and enjoy the ride, er run.

 

Happy Halloween Mr. M&M guy and everyone!

 

Candy as a reward? October 19, 2009

Halloween is just around the corner and the abundance of candy has made me once again think about how my daughter randomly has it in the bottom of her backpack. The wrappers were the first clue and then I would start to find pieces that she had yet to eat. Three weeks into the school year, I had enough. I ask her “where in the world are you getting this from? Her reply, “my teacher”.  What?  Why would your teacher give you candy I ask?  In her matter-of-fact six year old tone, she says, “Well mom, because our class was good”.   Hmm….because they were good.  Before saying anything further and risk looking like the crazy momma, I tell her to finish her homework. 

My mind becomes flooded with various thoughts such as: Why does our society have this love affair with food? Why are we teaching our children that there is a cause and effect relationship with behavior and food?  Finally, why as a healthy mom do I not have any control or say over what is going into my child’s mouth?  Now keep in mind, I am all for occasionally taking my kids to the ice cream shop or giving them a piece of candy.  I like ice cream just as much as the next mom.  However, the key is “occasionally”.  Furthermore, I as a parent, should be the one that has a voice in what I allow my child to eat.  Now, I do expect that when she is at school there will be the occasional birthday treat or holiday party treat, but a treat just because she was “good?” I would suspect that it would be just as easy for a teacher to provide “trinkets” as “treats”.  Those can easily be bought at a dollar store and used as rewards for the children that are good in class.

This issue filters in to another, which is the alarming obesity rates in this country and how are children are exhibiting chronic disease symptoms which normally would not present itself till adulthood.  Those such as high blood pressure and diabetes are becoming commonplace, when even 20 years ago were unheard of in a 10-year-old. 

Having a wellness background as a consultant, trainer and co-founder of an active living organization, I know I am biased.  So tell me teachers, is there an alternative way to giving candy based on a child’s good behavior? I think there is. Communities, parents, as well as schools are all an integral part of tackling this obesity issue.  We have an ethical responsibility to our children and their future to make sure that we give them the best start possible. As a wellness consultant, I have made an appointment with the principle to see how I can assist with making changes.  Small changes turn into big changes and you have to start somewhere. Rather than pulling out the candy from the backpack, I would be overjoyed to pull out a flower plastic ring instead!