Monday, May 12, 2008

Food Prices

I think it's interesting that farm subsidies in the US essentially pay farmers to not grow crops. At the same time, we are all complaining about the rising cost of food and food bank crisises. I do not have much knowlege of farming, but this is an interesting conflict in our country's values. My husband explained that the farm subsidies serve the food industry by regulating the supply, and therefore the cost, of food. Where or when does the scale tip the other way? Food costs have spiked and middle-class families are finding it difficult to put food on the table. Food Banks are closing their doors. Can we subsidize farmers to grow crops now? Increase the supply?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mommy Exercise

I recently went to the doctor for my anual check-up, one year post-partum. I remember being pregnant with my first and looking at my naked body in a mirror just before I started to show. I thought, I should say goodbye to my body now. In some remote corner of my mind I held onto the idea that I would bounce back. "I'll be one of those women who works out obsessively, who lathers on creams three times a day. I'll be back to myself within two weeks of delivery." Well, the jokes on me. My doctor did not outright say, "You need to loose a few." He just casually asked if I had the chance to get exercise. To his credit, I think he understands. He has to say something because it's a health risk, but there is no nice way to tell a relatively new mom she's out of shape.

I love how parenting books and magazines toot workout encouragement to mothers. Set a routine. Involve the baby. Just be active.

A few efforts I've made and why they failed:

1 - stroller jogging / walking - I live in desert where it is over ninety degrees for at least half the year. Two different napping rhythms knock out much of my day. Strolling the mall fails to get my heart rate up and does serious damage to our finances.

2 - gym membership with childcare - Everytime I establish the habit and routine, one of my boys gets sick and we're out for a few weeks. I won't mention the poor quality of supervision here, even if it is for just an hour. I worked in the fitness industry though part of college. Believe me, there is not a gym that exists with high quality employees to watch your kids while you work up a sweat. More likely, they are reading a book while your kids fend for themselves. As long as your kids are still there and breathing when you come back, they consider their job done. They are also making fun of fat people in the break room. Disgusting.

3 - workout DVD's at home - Oh, yes. Yoga is so relaxing when your toddler views your body as playground equipment to climb. Someone gave me the Carmen Electra Striptease set. I'm not comfortable giving lap dances in front of my two year old, even if the chair is empty.

To be honest, I know lots of mothers who are successful at working out regularly. Kuddos to them. I will keep trying. If I had not tried at all, my slightly chubby situation would be larger. I promise to continue to exercise occasionally. I just wish that the rest of the world would stop making it sound so easy and trite. "Just get up of the couch and be active!" Well, you know what?! I'm not exercising regularly, but neither am I sitting on the couch! Ladies, don't give up, but don't let those fanatics guilt you either. It's hard!