Thursday, October 4, 2007

I'm Walking Again!


*Photo: Central Park, Lewisville TX where we went today*

Yea, don't get that wrong. I always walk, I have good posture and I don't have a temporary disability to prevent me from walking again. ;)

What I meant is, I'm using walking again as part of my exercise goals. I've been really lazy about exercising lately. But I need to get motivated. Sorting through my not-so-old tiny blouses and skinny pants in my closet the other day, it made me think of the days when I don't have to think too much about what to wear. I can fit into just about anything size 0 to size 2! Gosh, now I am in between size 4 and 6! :(

And last night, I was reading some weight loss articles online just to get me motivated, and this one article about Buddha bellies really hit a note and so I told myself, "Okay, Jocelyn. You need to start making changes about your eating and exercise habits. You know, just start somewhere". Okay, I was scolding myself, lol.

So okay today, my little boys and I woke up early. I was determined to go to the park and walk with the boys (pushing them both in their double stroller). I followed the walking trail and rounded it twice. I probably did about 2 miles total. Well, it turned out- it wasn't bad at all. I'm a bit sore in my calves area right now, but I feel good. I even saw a few mommies pushing strollers like I was. Some of them even look like they needed to do more work than I do. You know what I mean, lol.

So this month of October, one of my personal goals is go to the park and walk at least 2 miles, at least 3 times a week then maybe gradually increase the miles. Hmm, I know I'm a little ambitious at this time to think I can do this. I must admit, part of my issue is getting ready in the morning and packing for the boys. I don't think I have a lot of energy to do that. But then again, I have to remind myself that the rewards of exercising is really worth all the effort and will make me feel and look better in the long run. Besides, I am helping my kids avoid "Nature Deficit Disorder", a syndrome suffered by kids today being coped up indoors, too much TV and computer games, and not having enough exposure to greenery and nature. (Have you all read the book by Richard Louv: "Last Child In The Woods"? He's the guy who coined this term). My kids love being outdoors and 'sightseeing' while mommy is pushing them in their stroller. My toddler always loves the swing and the playground at any park we go to, and today was no different. :)

So anyways, to you out there who needs a little work with your weight like I do, let's try and motivate each other. Hopefully before the end of the year, I can at least lose one dress size. Hmmm...we'll see...

6 Comments:

Tammy said...

You fit in a 4-6!!! There is no way I am going to tell you my size, let's just say it's BIGGER than that :o(

Jocelyn said...

Hi Tammy, you're probably taller than I am. I am not even 5 feet tall so the 25 lbs or so I've gained since I had my two babies doesn't look good on me being short, lol...I Gotta Lose It!!!!! :)

Mike said...

Last Child in the Woods ––
Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder,
by Richard Louv
Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.
November 16, 2006

In this eloquent and comprehensive work, Louv makes a convincing case for ensuring that children (and adults) maintain access to pristine natural areas, and even, when those are not available, any bit of nature that we can preserve, such as vacant lots. I agree with him 100%. Just as we never really outgrow our need for our parents (and grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.), humanity has never outgrown, and can never outgrow, our need for the companionship and mutual benefits of other species.

But what strikes me most about this book is how Louv is able, in spite of 310 pages of text, to completely ignore the two most obvious problems with his thesis: (1) We want and need to have contact with other species, but neither we nor Louv bother to ask whether they want to have contact with us! In fact, most species of wildlife obviously do not like having humans around, and can thrive only if we leave them alone! Or they are able tolerate our presence, but only within certain limits. (2) We and Louv never ask what type of contact is appropriate! He includes fishing, hunting, building "forts", farming, ranching, and all other manner of recreation. Clearly, not all contact with nature leads to someone becoming an advocate and protector of wildlife. While one kid may see a beautiful area and decide to protect it, what's to stop another from seeing it and thinking of it as a great place to build a house or create a ski resort? Developers and industrialists must come from somewhere, and they no doubt played in the woods with the future environmentalists!

It is obvious, and not a particularly new idea, that we must experience wilderness in order to appreciate it. But it is equally true, though ("conveniently") never mentioned, that we need to stay out of nature, if the wildlife that live there are to survive. I discuss this issue thoroughly in the essay, "Wildlife Need Habitat Off-Limits to Humans!", at http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande/india3.

It should also be obvious (but apparently isn't) that how we interact with nature determines how we think about it and how we learn to treat it. Remember, children don't learn so much what we tell them, but they learn very well what they see us do. Fishing, building "forts", mountain biking, and even berry-picking teach us that nature exists for us to exploit. Luckily, my fort-building career was cut short by a bee-sting! As I was about to cut down a tree to lay a third layer of logs on my little log cabin in the woods, I took one swing at the trunk with my axe, and immediately got a painful sting (there must have been a bee-hive in the tree) and ran away as fast as I could.

On page 144 Louv quotes Rasheed Salahuddin: "Nature has been taken over by thugs who care absolutely nothing about it. We need to take nature back." Then he titles his next chapter "Where Will Future Stewards of Nature Come From?" Where indeed? While fishing may bring one into contact with natural beauty, that message can be eclipsed by the more salient one that the fish exist to pleasure and feed humans (even if we release them after we catch them). (My fishing career was also short-lived, perhaps because I spent most of the time either waiting for fish that never came, or untangling fishing line.) Mountain bikers claim that they are "nature-lovers" and are "just hikers on wheels". But if you watch one of their helmet-camera videos, it is easy to see that 99.44% of their attention must be devoted to controlling their bike, or they will crash. Children initiated into mountain biking may learn to identify a plant or two, but by far the strongest message they will receive is that the rough treatment of nature is acceptable. It's not!

On page 184 Louv recommends that kids carry cell phones. First of all, cell phones transmit on essentially the same frequency as a microwave oven, and are therefore hazardous to one's health –- especially for children, whose skulls are still relatively thin. Second, there is nothing that will spoil one's experience of nature faster than something that reminds one of the city and the "civilized" world. The last thing one wants while enjoying nature is to be reminded of the world outside. Nothing will ruin a hike or a picnic faster than hearing a radio or the ring of a cell phone, or seeing a headset, cell phone, or mountain bike. I've been enjoying nature for over 60 years, and can't remember a single time when I felt a need for any of these items.

It's clear that we humans need to reduce our impacts on wildlife, if they, and hence we, are to survive. But it is repugnant and arguably inhumane to restrict human access to nature. Therefore, we need to practice minimal-impact recreation (i.e., hiking only), and leave our technology (if we need it at all!) at home. In other words, we need to decrease the quantity of contact with nature, and increase the quality.

References:

Ehrlich, Paul R. and Ehrlich, Anne H., Extinction: The Causes and Consequences of the Disappearances of Species. New York: Random House, 1981.

Errington, Paul L., A Question of Values. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1987.

Flannery, Tim, The Eternal Frontier -- An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples. New York: Grove Press, 2001.

Foreman, Dave, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior. New York: Harmony Books, 1991.

Knight, Richard L. and Kevin J. Gutzwiller, eds. Wildlife and Recreationists. Covelo, California: Island Press, 1995.

Noss, Reed F. and Allen Y. Cooperrider, Saving Nature's Legacy: Protecting and Restoring Biodiversity. Island Press, Covelo, California, 1994.

Stone, Christopher D., Should Trees Have Standing? Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects. Los Altos, California: William Kaufmann, Inc., 1973.

Vandeman, Michael J., http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande, especially http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande/ecocity3, http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande/india3, http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande/sc8, and http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande/goodall.

Ward, Peter Douglas, The End of Evolution: On Mass Extinctions and the Preservation of Biodiversity. New York: Bantam Books, 1994.

"The Wildlands Project", Wild Earth. Richmond, Vermont: The Cenozoic Society, 1994.

Wilson, Edward O., The Future of Life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.

Abstract:

It is anthropocentric thinking, and irresponsible, to promote the invasion of wildlife habitat without considering: (1) We want and need to have contact with other species, but neither we nor Louv bother to ask whether they want to have contact with us! In fact, most species of wildlife obviously do not like having humans around, and can thrive only if we leave them alone! Or they are able tolerate our presence, but only within certain limits. (2) We and Louv never ask what type of contact is appropriate! He includes fishing, hunting, building "forts", farming, ranching, and all other manner of recreation. Clearly, not all contact with nature leads to someone becoming an advocate and protector of wildlife. While one kid may see a beautiful area and decide to protect it, what's to stop another from seeing it and thinking of it as a great place to build a house or create a ski resort? Developers and industrialists must come from somewhere, and they no doubt played in the woods with the future environmentalists!

Jocelyn said...

Hi Mike,
Good points you made here. Thanks!

Carrie Smith said...

I love walking and since the kids have been back in school I get in a good walk besides walking them to school at least a few times a week. I really enjoy this time with my son as we talk the whole time. And the hardest thing about doing all this walking is that I'm not losing any weight...what's up with that. I am starting my weight loss challenge today to see if I can loose 10 pounds by Christmas!

Anna said...

I bet not too many people are going to feel bad for you that you have to wear a 4-6 now!

Seriously, you know what size and weight your body needs to be, and it's good that you are working to get into shape. And yes, it is very good for the kids to get outside!