losing weight on paternity leave in the Swedish slush

I lose weight in Daddyland.  Really, it is automatic.

I was going to write this faux-infomercial about working out the toddler way, about how dancing and baby carrying and crawling and the like was guaranteed to take the pounds off.

Then out came a study that showed that most American stay at home moms with children under 6 do not get even 30 minutes of exercise a day (you can read some good comments at the WSJ blog on the topic).

So no informercial, which is OK, as I am tired and need to have my teeth whitened and the Botox injected to really do it right.

So why do I lose weight then? (Besides my new adherence to a low carb, GI-ish diet which I call the “eating less crap and reasonable portions of pasta diet” and that has taken me almost down to my junior year in high school weight).

With paternity leave, I have the perfect control test, as I am back and forth between the sandbox and the office, so to speak.

And in the office, I gain.  In the sandbox, I lose.

Well, there is one huge difference between me and most American stay at home moms.

I do not drive.  We actively choose to live in a tiny apartment in the middle of the city.  We do not own a car.  I do not even have a drivers license here.

I walk, and I walk, and I walk.  I do not even have time to workout, I am walking so much.

I also do rad, extreme feats of strength … see here.

One day last week, with a heavy backpack on my shoulders, I pushed a stroller – with one to two children in it, probably 50 to 100 pounds – through the slush to daycare, home, the bus stop, the Stockholm library, a restaurant, the bus stop, a second hand children’s clothing store, daycare, the library and home.

It came to more than two hours of exhausting, calorie-burning trudging, all while negotiating the moods of two kids and myself.

And that was the far more difficult feat, making it home with everyone smiling …