It can happen…I can change my mind! Despite what Mr WLB may tell you, I am a reasonable individual!
I wrote the other day about the headlines we are subjected to. The headline is designed to provoke a reaction and entice us to read further. Which we often do. That’s when things go wrong!
Yesterday’s blog post featured double cream and jam on cereal…a headline I couldn’t resist! My opinion was that this was pretty unbelievable…my opinion didn’t change!
Tonight’s blog post features boxing, push-ups and jogging – hiring personal trainers for your children. Again, this was a headline that I couldn’t resist and I read the article with interest. My first thought was that the article was going to feature a fat kid being pushed to exercise. This was not the case when I saw the picture of the child. Which then made me think, ‘What the feck – this is crazy!’
But then I started reading…
If you can gloss over and ignore the sanctimonious and, at times, inaccurate bullshit – such as, ‘Once the preserve of yummy mummies and celebrities, fitness coaching – which costs upwards of £30 an hour – is now becoming a family activity as middle-class parents seek ways to ensure their children don’t add to the increasing numbers of obese Britons.’, or, ‘Government guidelines recommend children do a minimum of one hour’s physical activity a day to reap proven health benefits – regular brisk exercise greatly reduces the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease and cancer.’, it becomes easier to spot the message.
My favourite comment was from the mum, who said, ‘We want them to be fit, healthy and strong, rather than being fixated on being skinny.’ The dad went on to say, ‘We grew up in the Seventies when children got their exercise playing outdoors on bikes, with footballs, cricket bats and skipping ropes. When I was a child there were only three TV channels and no computers, so after school I went out to play. Now, there are hundreds of channels and children are constantly on the internet or mobile phones. It’s too easy not to go out and play. I suppose it’s sad that we have to be more prescriptive about getting children to exercise but that’s the reality of life in 2012.’
The parents are spot-on in my opinion.
When I think back to my childhood – primary school – I was very conscious that I looked different to the other kids. I quite often couldn’t wear the latest trends in clothes…puff ball skirts on a kid the shape of a puff ball would have been cruel…and I am pleased that my Mum didn’t put me through that! But I knew that I was different…I had eyes and I could see this for myself. So we begin being body-conscious at an early age…earlier than you might think. We went outside and played on our bikes for hours…up and down the pavements outside our house. I went to the horses and was mucking out daily throughout my secondary school days. We were active(ish!) kids.
Our environment is a bit of a struggle. The article mentions school playing fields being sold off for development. Parks have closed and become derelict, or overrun with older kids that may or may not be intimidating…but give off this vibe! So how can you question a family who want to ensure that their kids are active?
The article quoted physiologist Paul Gately, Professor of Exercise and Obesity at Leeds Metropolitan University, who believes in encouraging children to exercise or play sport but has reservations about doing this via a PT. ‘Anything that gets children more physically active is positive, but a broader approach is needed. Not all families can afford a PT and it will make them reliant on having someone else to get them moving. We need children to be autonomous so they choose how and when to be physically active, independently learning the routine and discipline of being active for the long term.’
I agree that making activity part of your life, and loving it, is crucial. I am not sure how I would have responded to a personal trainer as a little fat kid…I might have felt singled-out. Yet this family have training sessions together and seem to enjoy them…so it’s part of their family-life.
I don’t know what the answer is. For me the provision of safer, cleaner, and supervised play areas should be a focus. In the absence of this though, if you can afford to pay a trainer, or afford to get your kids to a gym – mine do classes and activities for children of two years and upwards – and away from the TV and computer games…surely this is a good thing?
My sister gets up early and takes my niece to a tennis lesson once a week before school, and she has a swimming lesson every weekend in addition to activities at school. I know that they struggle to find time to fit it in, and would never consider unsupervised outdoor play. So perhaps hiring a trainer is a good idea? There are plenty of ‘active’ things to do as a family though.
It comes down to responsibility I guess. But what do I know? I am not a parent. If I was, I would build activity into our lives though!
So today. Today has been great and pants! This morning I was up bright and early to load my Mums mare. The first hurdle to overcome was catching her. She kept moving away…so I made her move! Eventually, she allowed herself to be caught. We then walked down the road to the trailer. We looked at it, and she decided that she wasn’t going on. I spent two hours – closer to three – trying to load her. She was not scared in the slightest, but had just decided ‘NO!’ Not much you can do with over 750kg of horse that doesn’t want to move. I had her moving in circles, in zigzags, backwards, forwards, sideways…but at the bottom of the ramp she just planted and would not budge. At one point, I had two hooves on the ramp…until she took a massive leap backwards…dragging me with her. I had the sun beating down on me, the wind, and flies…two of which I swallowed…but have assumed that they are syn-free thanks to an Original day! So I gave up. I hate giving up, I really do. But she is back in the field with the others and not going to her new home anytime soon. The problem is that I am yet to take my trailer towing test…so I have to rely on my Dad to drive, and he is rarely available! The most frustrating thing is that she has never had a bad travelling experience. I worked with the other horses we own, and they would probably load themselves…we even stuck our Shetland on the trailer to show her that it was okay! Another day…and a deep breath. I have to admit that I did lose my patience at the end…with the horse, with my Mum, with myself. It was not a good moment. I didn’t do anything rash – I would never hurt my horses in anyway…but I threw the rope on the floor and stropped off!
However, we then headed to the pub and I caught up with a friend I haven’t seen for years and years. We went through our teen-angst years together. She moved away to university and stayed ‘oop north’, got married and has two beautiful girls now. So it was lovely to catch up and we have promised to do it more often. I also got to catch up with an old foster placement of my Mums and her little girl…it was a lovely afternoon.
Right about now I am supposed to be heading to see ‘Giselle’…but I am pooped, sunburnt, freezing cold…and I want a feed, feet up, and film!
Breakfast: Cherry porridge (5 syns).
A good food day – which, considering the day I have had, is a miracle! Cherry porridge this morning as I had run out of bananas. Lunch was a grilled chicken salad at the pub…I gave away my bread, my dressing, and the butter sachets! Dinner was in honour of last nights deliciousness…but I put sardines with it tonight. So grilled aubergine, courgette and peppers with mixed herbs, pittas and cheese, and a sardine, red onion and cherry tomato combo – lovely! My snacks were of the crispy variety…I needed a bit of crispness. I was seriously tempted when driving past the Chinese to drown my lack of horse-loading ability in a takeaway. But considering the takeaways were one of the reasons I couldn’t work with the horses at one point, it was a stupid thought that was quickly banished!
Exercise: Nothing official…but I was on my feet for a good couple of hours trying to load 750kg of stubborn mare into a trailer!
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx