Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Obesification: Soccer Parents

I am amazed at the excuses people make for not having time to exercise. The other day I was talking to a woman who told me that she wishes she could lose weight but she's too busy with her work schedule and her kids' soccer schedules.

This morning I went for a run where I go past a schoolyard that is often filled with kids playing soccer. The parents park alongside the street during the practice. I am always amazed at the number of people I see, sitting in their cars, sometimes running the engines, presumably for air conditioning, and texting.

When I first ran by, there was a VERY overweight woman sitting in her front seat, texting away. On my way home, about an hour later, she was still there, sitting in the car, still texting. I think it's a safe bet she hadn't moved the entire time.

In that hour, she could have gotten up and walked around the soccer field, getting some good exercise. I think her kid would have respected her more for doing that.

People like that woman in the car are contributing to the enrichment of pharmaceutical and hospital executives and sucking the life out of the rest of us.

6 comments:

Ultra Monk said...

I have thought about the health care costs to the rest of us. But not "sucking the life out of the rest of us". I agree but not happy to realize it.

Olga King said...

When I had kids the age of soccer, and baseball, that's what I did - and all the parents frowned on me as a bad mother not being attached with my eyes to every movement of a little "Johnny" on the field. Honestly, I never learned the rules of most of the games they were participating in teams of besides soccer (which I grew up with)(including softball, baseball, lacrosse, football). Honestly, my kids were embarrassed of me being different when they were under the age of 13 - nobody else ran around the field, everybody else set still and talked about manicure and pedicure, shopping for clothes, cooking batches of cookies, and ate muffins. I wouldn't be able to participate in those conversations anyway as I did none of those things. Anyway, it's one of those things: you have to do in numbers of people, can't go alone. I wouldn't do things differently, but then again, I am an alien anyway.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Laura, the reason I say sucking the life out of the rest of us, is that the resources that get used to take care of people's health who have taken care of themselves, are costing us so much more. Not just on the face of things like increased doctor visits and increased drug costs, but they are surrounded by information about the benefits of good health habits yet choose to ignore it. Then they get sick with these preventable lifestyle diseases and expect everyone to cater to their needs. The pharmaceutical and hospital industries love it. Health care is not at all about health, it's about keeping people sick and coming back for more.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Olga, they frowned on you not because they thought you were a bad mother, but because they knew that you were making them look bad! It's good that you were different, your kids will see that and appreciate it later on when they are adults. Kids never want their parents to make them look different...they are sensitive to that at the soccer age- but the people I see sitting in their cars are not paying attention to their children either, they are completely self-absorbed in their needs for entertainment by a little gadget.

Jackie Nickolaus said...

My husband used to do health assessments (he is an RD and exercise physiologist) and he heard that ALL OF THE TIME. And he always asked why the person couldn't run/walk while their child was playing? I see lots of parents doing the circle around the fields where our kids play and the coaches all breathe a sigh of relief! I also don't understand why people say they can't exercise because they have a young child that won't stay in the stroller or refuses to bike with them. That is such an excuse! My older daughter knew that she could scream like she was dying and we wouldn't let her out of the stroller. It was the one place that she sat still! And now, at 12, I can still convince her to ride along with me on my long runs. It is critical that my kids see me exercise and understand that it is as basic as eating and sleeping.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Jackie, I love hearing people say what you just said, that exercise is as basic as eating and sleeping. That is exactly the point that could save us all! People love to make excuses. if only excuse-making burned calories...
To see parents walking or running around the soccer fields- that would be such a powerful message to the kids. If the parents ALL did that, then the kids wouldn't feel embarrassed that their parent was doing something different...in answer to Olga above.