Saturday, June 6, 2015


        Our family has begun running most Saturday mornings for a couple of reasons. First, we've slowly downplayed our participation in community sports and classes, which means the kids sit around a lot more than before. Second, my two older boys are somewhat fast runners and I would like to see for myself how fast they can get. AND I'd like them to see how fast they can get. There are other benefits to this running program too, like setting an example for the whole family, and making sure Mom and Dad don't get too fat and slow, but they are not as important as the first two, I think.
        America is in agreement that kids are obese these days, right? Not a surprise. Food is everywhere, at every event, and usually whenever you eat out of the house, the food is unhealthy. Lifestyles have changed. Kids don't play outdoors anymore. Kids don't move by their own volition anymore unless they are moving to go plug in their gaming device. Eating habits and lifestyle are the two areas that make people obese. I've been a parent long enough to know that I cannot force my kids to eat healthy outside my home. All I can do is cook them healthy meals and hope they get enough nutrients until they eat with me again. When they are at a party or at the store with their own money, they buy soda, candy, chips, gum. Basically all the junk they can't get at home. They go crazy! It used to piss me off so intensely but now I've chilled a little bit. It's actually quite hypocritical of me to expect them to choose healthy foods all the time when I'm scouring the cupboards for chocolate every night.
        My kids also sit on the butts way too much. What is way too much? Well, since I live in a three bedroom apartment, I see a lot of my kids. They can't go hide downstairs or in their room. I can hear them breathing, I can hear the click of a lego, and unfortunately I can hear them burping and farting. For me there is no "out of sight, out of mind". I feel a constant accountability for my kids and that's how I should feel, I think. Now that they don't participate in sports classes or martial arts or whatever anymore, they don't get their wiggles out and they don't get the exercise they need. I'm studying all the time now and I can't take them anywhere. Neither can Jonathan, cuz he's in the same boat plus working. So, there they are. And there they still are. Playing legos, reading books, playing video games, etc.
        I presented the idea of running around the block to them and they moaned and groaned at first. But when I told them to get their socks and shoes on Atticus and Sherman didn't seem to complain that much. Sherman was actually happy about it because he really into fitness (He's really proud of his pecs). Atticus rarely complains verbally. He will make noises . . . ya know . . . like grunts and huffs. Kind of like a bull getting ready to charge. Cinci, who was sitting on the couch when I shared my idea, abruptly stood up, yelled "Nooooo!!!!" at the top of his lungs, and then threw himself face-first back into the couch while he screamed some more into the cushion.
        On our first day, I had to run around the block (it's about a mile and a half) with each of them individually. Sherman was a snap. Atticus didn't have the endurance to make it without stopping. Cinci refused to run for more than a minute at a time. The rest of the time he stomped angrily with his arms straight down at his sides and his head angled downward. I even thought I saw steam shooting out of his ears. That was not fun.
        Two weeks ago Jonathan was out of town and Atticus and Sherman went on their own. I had expected a fight but I only had to say, "Hey, are you guys going to go on a run this morning? I can't go with you this time, but you two could go together." They were back in a flash, so quick that I thought they hadn't gone at all, but they were breathless and I felt their chests and their hearts were still pounding quickly from the run. I felt so proud of them that they had decided to go for their exercise.
        I gave up on Cinci. That kid is stubborn! I get mad and say things like "fine, sit on your butt all day and be a zombie!" and stomp off. But then I realize that's not very mature of me as a parent. I admit, I'm not mature. I'm easily angered when my kids don't agree to be forced but I feel like I'm learning to let go. I have to cut Cinci some slack though. He's taken care of a lot of things for himself that we, as parents, should have done for him. For example, learning to read, or reminding him to do or help him with his homework. He is surprisingly responsible and resourceful. 
        This Saturday we had a family race. I was almost certain Atticus was going to win us all before the race. Jonathan and I are a bit chunkalicious now. I've gained a good 10 pounds since last year simply from changing my lifestyle. I sit at a computer doing schoolwork every day instead of doing the things I really love. Jonathan has no time to exercise either. Even with my extra chunks I thought I could beat at least Sherman. My predictions were: Atticus, Jonathan, me, Sherman. Here were the final results: Jonathan, Sherman, me, Atticus.
        I vowed to do better next time. I don't know what was up with Atticus. He just got out of breath on Sawtelle and started walking. To make myself feel better I told myself, "I could beat Sherman in a long distance run for sure." Either way, next week will come and we'll see what happens. I'm worried Atticus will feel better and beat me. I guess I shouldn't feel bad about that. My only chance is upping my pace and shedding a few pounds. I guess I shouldn't have eaten that donut that was at the garage sale this morning. . . or Helen's leftover donut either.

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