Tag Archives: Bellies

Touchy Feely

What is it about pregnant women that makes most of us feel like we have the right to just come up to them and start rubbing on their bellies?

No, seriously.

I saw something like that the other day and it got me started thinking about it. I was in the library when a very, very pregnant woman came inside near where I was sitting. She greeted another woman, but you could tell from their stances that they weren’t actually close friends. There was a definite, visible reserve there.

The non-pregnant woman then pulled her youngish dude (maybe six or seven years old) over to them and just thrust his hand onto the pregnant lady’s belly. She was shocked. Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open a bit, but the non-pregnant mom and her son were completely oblivious to the pregnant woman’s distress. They then said good-bye and moved on.

The pregnant woman just stood there for a little while before shaking her head and moving on.

From experience, being around a pregnant woman for a long, long time on three separate occasions, I’ve seen this happen again and again. People would walk up to She Who Must Be Given Her Space and, with the barest of pauses to get any kind of permission, start fondling her belly.

Is a pregnant woman’s belly community property or something?

I really don’t think so. But there’s something in our culture that says pregnant women get to endure this unique form of annoyance.

I know it’s a wonderful thing, a wanted pregnancy that’s going to produce a wanted, loved child. Many pregnant woman do have almost a glow about them from their healthy bodies and their excitement about the growing life (when they’re not suffering from hemorrhoids or swollen ankles) and most people do want to share in that kind of joy. It makes us feel good.

But, seriously, dudes and (mostly) dudettes. Don’t just automatically assume that a pregnant woman wants you to feel up her belly, just because she’s showing. And if you just can’t help yourself, ask for permission first and actually — I know this is a bit out there, but go with me here on this one — wait for permission before you get all touchy feely.

I know I’m not talking to the dudes out there all that much on this one, because we’ve been pretty much conditioned against just randomly touching people we meet in the street. Still, I’d like to see a little thought here, folks. It actually is her pregnancy, not ours.

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Just Let Me Get One More Thing

by Richard

Impulse buying is the bane of any parent’s trip to the grocery store with your little dudes and little dudettes.

Seriously. Mostly because it’s their impulse and you’re the one doing the buying (or not buying as is the case when they start screaming. And screaming. And screaming.), so it’s on your shoulders to monitor what just caught the eye of your little dude.

The thing is, though, grocery stores and super centers and department stores, heck, most of retail, count on the idea of impulse buying to make a lot of their sales. And that might be helping to propagate the nation’s obesity epidemic.

Impulse shopping can wreak havoc on your healthy eating plans, but experts say it may not be entirely your fault.

An editorial published in (a recent) New England Journal of Medicine blames part of the obesity epidemic on our food environment. Dr. Deborah Cohen and Dr. Susan Babey collaborated to write the article “Candy at the Cash Register – A Risk Factor for Obesity and Chronic Disease.”

“The reality is that food choices are often automatic and made without full conscious awareness,” the authors write. “In many cases they may even be the opposite of what the person deciding would consciously prefer.”

Which explains why, when you’re at the cash register, there’s whole shelves dedicated to relatively inexpensive, highly sweetened snacks, gift cards, gum, basically anything that’s not personalized and can be handled and checked out quickly. Heck, go to Walmart some day. Over near the quick checkout with fewer than 20 items line, there’s an entire short wall of . . . stuff that might have come straight from late-night infomercial television. That’s where the first Snuggies went for retail sale.

Just about every box there has a As Seen On TV! sticker on it. They’re cheap and the only way you’ll ever buy one is if you hit the checkout counter with a few extra dollars in your hand. And there they are. Ready for you to grab. The short distance to the checkout also facilitates your purchasing it because you don’t have that long to stare at the silly thing in your cart for too long. If your brain engages, it’s a good chance you won’t actually purchase it.

Candy, on the other hand, if we buy that on the way out, there’s a good chance it never even makes it home. Open up and down the hatch.

Cohen and Babey propose treating product placement as a risk factor for obesity. Comparing it to safety regulations for a building, they write: “Although people could certainly stay away from the edges of balconies and not lean out of windows, mandatory railings and window guards protect them from falling … (regulations could) govern the design and placement of foods in retail outlets to protect consumers.”

 The thing is, we know this sort of stuff happens and we know it’s not good for us. All we need to do now, is exercise a little self control; something we’ve been telling out little dudes and little dudettes for years now. Maybe it’s something we can all work on together.
Tell them that, should we not yell and scream, we’ll have a nice healthy snack at home; a crispy apple or delicious banana. Those are snacks that won’t be jumping onto our bellies and holding on for dear life.

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Me Work You Out Long Time

by Richard

So, we know big bellies are bad for dudes and dudettes of all ages, but most especially those of us of a, shall we say, certain age? The question is what we’re going to do about it.

Basically, I’m going to be a smart alec and tell you to eat more healthily and work out more. I know, not very helpful. But that is the basis for every successful diet in the history of, well, history. And we all know how that goes. Really great. At first. Then we start slacking off.

With that in mind, I’ve got 10 tips for you on how to stick to your workout. Not all in this post, of course, but you’ll get them. Eventually.

Tip No. 1: Date often. Not a romantic date, mind, but a work out date. If you want to keep up the consistent work outs, you really should get a bulge-busting buddy. That is, someone who will join you on workouts. It’s probably best to find someone who is near your fitness level and who’s interested in the same things as you. It won’t help if your workout buddy loves racquet ball and you loathe the sport. Talk to your workout buddy and set up a series of times to get together. It’s harder to bail on a workout when you’ll have to listen to your workout buddy groan at you all the time because of your slack-itude.

Tip No. 2: Speaking of schedules. . . You and your partner need to plan your workouts in advance. Don’t just say you’ll show up at the gym and get some weights done. If you don’t have a plan or don’t follow your plan, that’s a sure recipe for doing less than you should. It’s also much easier to convince yourself to take yet another workout off if there’s nothing specific on the agenda. You can do something as simple as decide to work on your upper body one day and your trunk the next and your legs the next. Just as long as you’ve got a schedule. Remember, 90 percent of life is showing up.

Tip No. 3: Find an exercise you love to do. If you like what you’re doing, you’re more likely to continue to do it. Personally, I hate stair-based cardio and I can’t stand running on a treadmill. I know I need cardio, both for my heart and to help lose that unsightly fat (no, peanut gallery, not my head), so I hit the elliptical machine. It’s easy on my knees and gives me a good workout. Plus I can watch videos on my iPod while I work, so that helps me get through the hour fairly quickly. One last thing for today, though, and that’s to not get too comfortable. Not only will doing the same thing again and again get pretty boring pretty quickly, it’ll also only focus on the same group of muscles and your body will get used to it. You need to change things up to keep your muscles guessing.

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