I try not to harp or pick on people. Most people know, if they ask me for my opinion I am inclined to offer my honest opinion - I try to be kind but from me you get the truth. I have always been of the opinion that if you have bothered to ask - then you must really want to know.
So that said - I think I know what part of this countriy's weight problem is all about. People sit on their butts too much - mainly in their cars! Seriously, I love our neighborhood. It is a lovely neighborhood. Our yard rocks, we have mature trees! At night, it is so quiet in the neighborhood you can hear a pin drop. Would I like the energy of a more urban setting - some days yes and some days no. Do I feel safe and peaceful here. Yes.
What I am not such a fan of is the fact that it is suburban and as such, walking places is a bit harder. I can walk to the library - more correctly I ride my bike. I can ride my bike to the post office. H and I have ridden our bikes out to breakfast and lunch. I think I could ride my bike to the grocery, it would be a bit of a challenge, but it is possible.
One of the things I love most about Europe, NYC, Chicago, San Fransisco and other large urban centers, is that you can walk so many great places. You can take public transit to so many great places. You can ride your bike so many great places. It is expected that you walk, ride or take public transit so many great places and all points in between.
In the suburbs it is expected that you will squeeze your ever expanding butt into your over sized SUV and drive so many places. I am not down with this. One, I overall hate to drive. Secondly, it is not good for the environment. Currently it is expensive to drive everywhere. Furthermore, it is healthy to walk.
Case in point, I walk everyday to get L from school. It is about an 1/8 of a mile each way. I am one of the only moms in the neighborhood who is doing this. Everyone else is driving. For the most part, I think this lazy. Sure, I guess if your schedule is so tight and your kids are in so many activities, that you have no other recourse - but I have thoughts on that also.
Walking is good for you. It is a time to unwind, to take a breather, to enjoy the day. Sure this week, it was cool and rainy - but last time I checked that is why we have rain boots, umbrellas and rain coats.
So when the other mothers comment on how I have lost weight and always seem so serene, blah, blah, blah - I just smile and say, well I guess it is all those hours in the gym. Which in part have helped - but honestly, if they drove a little less and walked a little more - it just might have an impact on a number of areas in their lives. It would also teach their children the value of life long exercise and and an appreciation for what Urbanites and Europeans have known for along time - walking does the mind and body good.