Love Handles in Latvia

I’m always looking for new and interesting things to blog about so when my friend Lena called and said she needed a hand with something, I agreed straight away.

Lena blogs over at Walking Mama, a website dedicated to helping new mothers lose weight after they’ve dropped their sprogs. She’d been sent a new product called “Love Handles” and she wanted to write a review of them. They’re basically like two sticks that you put on the sides of your stroller (or “buggy” in normal English) and move up and down while you walk. I’d be the camerawoman and, of course, I could have a go if I wanted to.

You’re probably thinking “But you’re not a mother, Linda, new or otherwise” and you’d be spot on. Still, a chance to give your love handles a little workout should never be passed up.

I was chatting to my friend on Facebook the night before, telling her what I’d be up to the next day.

Me: We don’t exactly have a baby though…

Gundega: You can always use a doll. 

Gundega: Or a dog. 

Gundega: Or 3 cats.

I hate it when my friends are funnier than I am.

On Friday afternoon, I made an effort to look vaguely sporty (looking motherly is beyond me), met Lena and her son, and strolled on over to the park on Matisa.

As I mentioned, the only (slight) problem is that Lena’s son, Jegor, is not a baby any more. In fact, he’s 6 years old and almost the same size I am. However, he was more than game to hop back into his stroller and be pushed around – by his mother anyway. I’m not sure he’d have been quite so keen if he’d known I was going to be steering…

Our 'baby'

Our ‘baby’

Lena attached the Love Handles and started walking around. It actually didn’t look nearly as stupid as I’d been expecting. At least it didn’t when Lena, a stroller pro, did it.

She makes it look easy

She makes this shit look good

Then it was my turn. Things started off quite well, despite the fact that this was my first time ever pushing a stroller, let alone a stroller with elliptical trainer thingies attached to it.

I can do this!

I can do this!

Then I uttered the fateful words:

Me: Can you run with it?

Lena: I don’t know – give it a try…

Luckily for you, the whole thing was captured on video.

In case you’re wondering, the old couple and the child all survived.

Having had our fun with the Love Handles, we decided to share the joy and ask some other mothers to try it and see what they thought. We tried to find someone who looked as if they were even vaguely happy to be alive but we couldn’t, so we settled for the next mother who walked past.


She barely even stopped walking to answer us. We didn’t fare much better with the second woman we asked. Next we stopped a grandmother-mother-baby combo. Having explained what we were doing, we asked her if she’d like to try.

“No, but we’ve been laughing at you from the other side of the park.”

Nice people here. It seems that Latvia is not ready for Love Handles – or fun. Spying one lone father pushing his stroller around, I persuaded Lena to give it one last try, thinking that a man might be slightly more adventurous. I thought wrong. The po-faced locals all seemed far too concerned about what the other po-faced locals think of them. God forbid they’d actually try something new and have a laugh for a few minutes.

Feeling slightly deflated, we left the park, Love Handling our way up the street to the morose looks of passers-by.

That cheered us up.


If you’re just dying to find out more about Love Handles, here’s the website

About BerLinda

Adjusting to life in Germany, after living in Latvia for four years. Should be easy, right?
This entry was posted in Expat, Fitness, Humor, Humour, Latvian people, Riga and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Love Handles in Latvia

  1. Pingback: monthly challenges recap: February edition | my year[s] of sweat!

  2. With the lead-in to the video, I just had to watch it. There should be a warning not to watch it on a full bladder. I nearly peed myself, I was laughing so hard.

  3. a vlog! I was trying so hard to hear your accent.. at one point, it looked like the little one was sleeping and I thought – oh no. he needs to be prepared for this. ya know, ready to jump out..

  4. barbedwords says:

    Hahahahaha, that was hilarious! Thank god they weren’t around when my kids were in strollers!!

  5. Daina says:

    Seriously, Linda, it’s like your life was meant to be blogged about! And I love the grandma who admits to laughing at you from across the park.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha, yeah, once I stopped being offended (around 1.5 seconds), it was very funny! At least we gave someone a laugh – even if it was vicariously! 🙂

  6. 1WriteWay says:

    Glad to see you’re getting some exercise 😉 I loved the video. The bit where Jegor climbs back into the stroller was precious. Guess it’s fairly awkward to get into one compared to being put into one.
    For me, chasing four cats around the house is preferable to raising babies, fussy or otherwise. Plus, the world certainly doesn’t need a mini-Me around 😉

  7. nancytex2013 says:

    So let me get this straight…you exercised AND engaged with a child? On the same day?
    Holy shit woman, you’ve earned your sausage and beer.

  8. Glynis Jolly says:

    It looked like you and Lena were have a great time. The people of Latvia are still a little new to the free world. Be patient with them. Eventually they should start to realize that it’s okay to be silly sometimes.

  9. Anna says:

    I would totally try this thing out, however, knowing my track record with physical activity I would probably end up in a hospital.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha! It’s a bit of a miracle that me, Jegor, Lena and the old couple didn’t end up in hospital really 🙂 I probably shouldn’t try it again though!

  10. MrJohnson says:

    I will stick to the method of eating healthier or eating less to lose weight

  11. Pushchair, Linda, pushchair in NORMAL English 😉
    Five stars to Jegor for being such a good sport. Or just incredibly gullible.

    I’ve a serious question (for a change!) – how do those handle things generate sufficient resistance? Do you think it would actually make a difference to your upper body strength/muscle tone if you used them for at least an hour every day?

  12. Lily Lick says:

    ….a brave little boy 🙂

  13. “In case you’re wondering, the old couple and the child all survived.”
    I admit – after that lead-in, I was covering my face and peeking between my fingers when I watched the video. 😛

  14. I love this video! I watched it twice just to hear that Irish accent…..and it was really funny! That actually looks kind of cool!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yeah, I’d expected it to look kind of ridiculous but it’s no worse than power walking or something! Then again, I have no problem making a twat of myself in public so maybe I’m not the best judge 🙂

  15. Jude says:

    Stroller is a perfectly normal word. You should have tried to fit into it and had Jegor push you!

  16. lafemmet says:

    Brilliant! What a great laugh you gave me. I hope someday I can return the favor.

  17. They look great for a laugh. I’ve got a bit of a thing about baby weight conversations because my first, especially, was so fussy I burned off enough energy to drop back to my early high school weight after the birth (note: I’ve grown several centimetres since then, also aged) so thinking about women who get to sit down, have the occasional two or three hour break between breastfeeds and maybe even eat from time to time when they have newborns and hence have trouble losing the baby weight, well, let’s just say it’s a touchy subject.

    Actually I like that thing. Let them get laughed at from across the park. Teach them for having content babies.


  18. Well – looks kinda silly, but also fun.
    If I’ll ever have a kid I might give that thing a try – of course if by then someone won’t invent some magic way to lose weight by thinking of it 😀

  19. SiriS says:

    Never thought a blog post could make me utterly melancholic! I used to live in Latvia, right next to Matisa park and seeing it in your video brought back so many nice (and weird…) memories! I love your posts, most things you write about are the same I experienced, an absolute gem 🙂 There’s something very particular about Riga, wondering if I’ll ever feel the same way of my new life in Germany. Keep up with the excellent work 🙂

    • Expat Eye says:

      Thanks very much! I’m actually in Germany myself at the moment 🙂 I ate SEVEN sausages today – life is good. Will go and terrorise some locals shortly 🙂 Glad I made you feel nostalgic for Riga!

  20. pollyheath says:

    Probably best you don’t have a child. That short video proved that you’d likely off it within 15-20 minutes after birth. (Tossing it up too high, trying out some new baby exercising equipment, etc)

  21. Thanks for letting us share in your adventure too! 🙂

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