So I updated my status on Facebook regarding the fact that 40% of McDonald’s sales come from Happy Meals. Predictably, there were some varied responses.
Here’s the deal: sometimes we take the kids to McDonald’s to let them play in the play house. And since it seems wrong to use the facilities without buying something, we get them a smoothie. That’s right: my kids have never eaten food from McDonalds (they have however had grilled cheese sandwiches from Dairy Queen).
I don’t think kids should eat fast food. For that matter, I don’t think anyone should eat it. Can’t say I never do, but I can say that it happens less than four times a year. (I do get me a big ol’ pile of poutine and garlic fingers to share with Steve about twice a month though.)
But here’s the deal: I don’t judge you if you eat it nor do I think you’re a bad parent if you take your kids for Happy Meals sometimes. I don’t really think you should but that doesn’t mean I think you’re not a good person or that it’s really any of my business at all. And so I’ll most likely keep my opinion to myself.
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You know I coach the Team in Training Halifax chapter, right? Well, one of the women who was a beginner runner had a really crappy run a couple of months ago. She had eaten a sandwich for supper and a boiled egg for breakfast and then tried to run 12k. Didn’t happen. Predictably, she bonked (crashed) and ended up having to walk the second half. I walked with her and we talked about fueling for a run. She told me that she had never thought of food as fuel before, but merely as something to fill the hole.
It amazes me that so many people don’t realize what food actually is. It’s fuel. And good fuel equals good performance (whether that be energy level at work or athletic performance).
Leila has quick energy crashes. She needs to eat every few hours and has always been that way. Alena? She gets hungry and asks for something to eat, but not Leila. Leila will end up laying on the couch crying before she realizes that she needs a snack. And so when she was a toddler, and the energy waves were even more pronounced than they are now, I never chose to give her candy or chips or fast food because she needed real fuel that would help her feel better (ie: perform). In a way, yes, I was against feeding her crap, but honestly? It was more from a sense of self-preservation that I didn’t give her a lot of sugar.
It took a while to apply the realization that food fueled Leila to my own life, but I have. I’m not saying that I never eat crap (I just got back from five days vacation where all I did was eat crap and drink too much), but I am saying that about 80% of the time, I put real fuel in my body. And that’s why I don’t think kids (or anyone) should eat fast food: because it’s crap.
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So….. I’m going to Nepal in April. For three weeks. With my dad and older brother to hike the Everest Base Camp.
On one hand: Wow! A three week hike in the Himalayas. Camping, no showers, carrying a heavy backpack. Amazing, unforgettable experience. When I was invited, I couldn’t say no. My dad has an adventure bug, but unfortunately he’s also got a bit of a bum ticker (that is very well controlled with his extremely healthy lifestyle), and this is his last big adventure. So while it’s an amazing thing to experience, it’s also a once in a lifetime thing to experience with my Dad (whom I adore) and my older brother (whom I also adore).
On the other hand: Oh my god I am leaving my children for three weeks and probably won’t have so much as cell service. Panic. Panic. Panic. (Seriously.)
Dad booked the plane tickets yesterday (April 8- April 30) and I kind of thought <em>holeeeee fuck</em> because it’s one thing to talk about three weeks and it’s another to read it on paper and realize that you are going to miss an entire month of life at home.
But! Despite the fact that it’s an extremely selfish thing for me to do (Steve works 60+ hours a week and will also be a single dad. My kids will spend too much time with sitters and at daycare.), it’s also the right thing. Or at least a really awesome thing.
So on top of running 20-ish kms every weekend with Team in Training (plus the couple shorter runs I get in through the week), I’ve been listing weights and hiking with a weighted backpack (I’m now carrying 36lbs for about 3+ hours of hiking per week). Plus school, plus the weekly maintenance of emails and advice to my runners, plus the marking contract I have at school plus four courses… that’s why I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed.
As it is when you train for something big and important to you, it takes precedence over other things in your life (like cleaning).
Anyway, I have four more months of school until I’m finished (and I’m away for one of them!), and then I think I’ll be able to heave a deep sigh of relief, clean my house, get back to some freelance writing and you know, being lazy. Except not really, because I think I’m going to run a marathon in September. But whatever! School will be done.
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On that note, I have to drive to school for a group meeting. Farewell, and hopefully it’s not another month before I post. (sorry bout that)