Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

Megan // Author

Author based archive
03 Mar

BLOG 309 BODY CONTOURING

The recent spike in advertising for body contouring procedures sparked my interest to find out more. That’s probably the point of the commercials right haha?? I was lured in for sure. There have been a few new innovations for skin tightening and getting rid of fat (body contouring) in the plastic surgery world. Getting rid of cellulite, make skin more attractive after weight loss, and other methods are now readily available. Of course I am an avid supporter of our lifestyle changes and fitness journey habits, but just like when a lady gets her nails done, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a little nip and tuck that makes you feel better about yourself.
Body contouring post dramatic weight loss include (http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-contouring-after-major-weight-loss.html) :
Facelift: sagging of the mid-face, jowls, and neck
Breast lift: sagging, flattened breasts
Tummy tuck: apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
Lower body lifts: sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
Medial thigh lift: sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh
Arm lift: sagging of the upper arms
The common candidate is over the age of 40 and then the rest of the qualifications seemed to be rather general (https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-contouring-after-major-weight-loss.html?sub=Body+contouring+candidates):
In general, good body contouring candidates are:
Adults whose weight loss has stabilized
Healthy individuals without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
Non-smokers
Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
Individuals that are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness

Cost varies by surgeon and ranges between $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the type of procedure being done. Insurance does not necessarily cover these types of procedures as they are considered for “vanity” purposes. Unless proven medically necessary, most are financed out of pocket. An initial consultation will likely help a person determine what exactly they can afford.
The draw to procedures like these is that they are non-invasive and recovery can be quick. In general, “Body contouring procedures such as liposuction and tummy tucks usually take a few days for a person to recover well enough to return to work. Doctors recommend that patients stay away from cigarettes or anti-inflammatory medication during recovery, and may have additional requirements for compression bandages used to reduce swelling after a procedure. More intensive procedures may require longer recovery times, but many patients can often return to regular exercise routines within three weeks of a procedure” (http://www.bergmancosmeticsurgery.com/learnfaq/faqs/how-long-does-it-take-to-recover-from-most-body-contouring-procedures/).

Like I say, if it makes you feel good and you can afford it, it your choice to have the procedure done. Just remember though that the root problems still have to been addressed for long term success. Our reflections are important to us and body image is no easy feat to feel 100% positive about. Hey, even I was interested in this subject. So if the Workout Queen took a second look, I know that we are all human and see our flaws as we see them. I’m on your team regardless. As always, you are in control of your choices on your fitness journey. Find what works best for you and own it!!!!

18 Feb

BLOG 307 ACCOUNTABILITY

A great element of performance management is having accountability. When we have someone to answer to we have an added level of responsibility to complete the designated task. Sometimes we view this term with a negative connotation like we are being punished. But let’s face, accountability does have a positive impact on our fitness journeys as well as others aspects of our lives. For many, it is part of the reason you hired me.

Let’s start with the dictionary definition of “accountability”: “The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property”. (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/accountability.html) . I love this term. Accountability requires honesty, humiliation, vulnerability, responsibility, communication, obligation, and a sense of promise to do what you said you would do. One must follow through with the plan and meet the outlined requirements. Guess what?? That’s what your fitness journey is in a nut shell. I like this description: “Accountability is the guiding principle that defines how we make commitments to one another, how we measure and report our progress how we interact when things go wrong, and how much ownership we take to get things done. It is, in essence, the nerve center that runs throughout every part of the organization and through every working relationship to every member of every team” (https://www.ozprinciple.com/self/why-accountability/) .

Having a personal trainer, such as myself, helps lead to your success and betters your performance along the way. Your session hour is your meeting with me. There is a sense of guarantee you will get your workout done. When left up to yourself to hit the gym or be active at home, there can be room for error like hitting the snooze button or just deciding to relax after a long day at work. You are accountable to me to be at your session. And then there’s the MyFitness Pal app many of us incorporate. It is an essential tool to truly be accountable with you and I. During this new bodybuilding experience I have undergone, I too, have to be accountable to my coach with my tracking sheets, weekly photos of my body’s progress, and adhering to the assigned workouts. There’s something about taking the time to fill in my chart and report to him what I have done that keeps me aligned every day. Not only to I want to be incomplete, but I want to prove to myself and him that I am capable of meeting all requirements.

Positive results can be achieved when accountability is in place. The following are just a few of those results that can occur in a business or can be applied to yourself: “improved performance, more employee participation and involvement, increased feeling of competency, increased employee commitment to the work, more creativity and innovation, and higher employee morale and satisfaction with the work” (https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/reference-materials/more-topics/accountability-can-have-positive-results/), In the book by, Mark Samuel, The Accountability Revolution, Samuel states, “Accountability can result in increased synergy, a safe climate for experimentation and change, and improved solutions because people feel supported and trusted” (https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/reference-materials/more-topics/accountability-can-have-positive-results/).

Together we can create achievable goals, be open to transition and modification as needed, and be in a trusting and honestly communicating relationship on your fitness journey. I’m accountable to you to create a program tailored to your needs and abilities. I’m accountable to see you be successful. Sounds serious huh?? No, it’s just the facts. So let’s keep being accountable to one another, praise one another’s successes, and build each other up when needed, because one rep at a time…. we are getting better together on your fitness journeys.

11 Feb

BLOG 306 FIT SHAMING

You workout. You eat right. SO what’s the problem?? The stares, the glares, the FIT shaming. Health is a priority and should be. Not everyone feels that exercise, turning down a drink, or choosing a salad over fries is appropriate. How can health be looked down upon??

Ever been told you like fine how you are?? Is working out being self-absorbed?? Is working out pregnant being selfish?? Is leaving the kids at daycare an hour longer so you can hit the gym bad parenting?? Is spending money on memberships and trainers not putting family first?? Is taking a gym selfie of your progress vain?? These are all FIT shaming related topics.

When health is a priority, you make time for it. You wake up earlier, stay up later, spend extra time to prepare food of nutritional value, and this doesn’t mean you are taking time away from anything or anyone. Why does this have to be an either/or situation??

Even I have been told to eat something or get the demeaning tone questioning my working out so much. Eating clean is somehow not normal. It is possible to have work/life balance. It is possible to utilize your time and still accomplish what responsibilities need to get taken care of.
Where do we draw the line between too fit or too overweight?? Polar opposite yet still frowned upon depending upon who you ask.

On our fitness journeys, we have to consider the source of the remarks. Surrounding ourselves with encouraging and supportive people sets us up for better results. We are all entitled to give and take criticism and opinions, but that doesn’t mean they’re fact or truth. The lesson would be to understand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of these words and to not reciprocate or repeat this behavior towards others. We need to LIFT each other up. Otherwise, we continue to build walls, lack communication, and regret not living to our fullest due to fear. Inspire those who need your motivation and ignore those who don’t understand your journey. It’s not for them to understand, it’s for YOU to feel and be your BEST!!!!

04 Feb

BLOG 305 PAIN KILLERS

Every BODY has their own level of tolerance for pain. Sometimes we need assistance to overcome a hurt or sensation that is terribly uncomfortable say from the dentist, a surgery, or from an injury. Doctors will then prescribe medications to alleviate this discomfort, understanding this is a temporary solution for a medical need. But somehow, the use of painkillers has become an apparent problem in our habit forming society who rarely does anything in moderation. On our fitness journeys, pain can occur from injuries and setbacks, thus, let’s take a look at these pills and inspect what they do to our bodies.

Our body detects pain and tells us and boy oh boy we feel it. Here’s the low down: “When part of your body is injured, special nerve endings send pain messages back to your brain. Painkilling drugs interfere with these messages, either at the site of the injury, in the spinal cord or in the brain itself” (http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbrain/howdodrugsaffectyourbrain/howdopainkillerswork). Aspirin and opiates are the two types which are the foundational ingredient. Aspirin comes from willow bark and it helps alleviate pain from inflammation. It helps with swelling. Opiates come from the opiate poppy and are the more dangerous form: “The most active substance in opium is morphine – named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. Codeine, a less powerful drug, is also found in opium. Both these opiates relieve pain, relax muscles and cause drowsiness. All opiates mimic your body’s own painkillers. Morphine is a very powerful painkiller, but it is also very addictive” (http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbrain/howdodrugsaffectyourbrain/howdopainkillerswork/whatareopiates).

The reality is that when something makes us feel good, we like it and want more. Human nature at its finest. In fact, “In the last ten years, stimulant prescriptions have seen an increase from 5 million to 45 million, while opiate/opioid prescriptions grew from 30 million to 180 million” (http://drugabuse.com/). Even worse check this out: “n 2012, 259 million prescriptions for painkillers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Opana, were written in the U.S. When used improperly, these legal opioid drugs can present some of the same risks as illicit heroin sold on the street. While 467,000 people in the U.S. struggled with heroin addiction in 2012, over 2 million were estimated to abuse opioid painkillers” (http://drugabuse.com/featured/the-effects-of-opiates-on-the-body/). Veins can collapse, heart lining can become infected, sedation can occur, breathing becomes slowed causing respiratory issues that can be fatal, you can actually become more sensitive to pain, and your immune system becomes suppressed. The liver is greatly damaged trying to process all this.

Pills and drugs are quick fix solutions and band aids, not part of the life style changes we are aiming to create. Know yourself and your personality when faced with pain and let your doctor know. Communication is critical. Body awareness and self-control are troublesome when tested with convenience but you are so much stronger than you think you are.

28 Jan

BLOG 304 OUT EXERCISING

If only we could out exercise a bad diet. If only it were that easy. No one will argue that it’s easy to put on the LBs, but not so easy to take them off. Why is that?? You can’t out exercise the calories, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates that accumulate in excess. The good old days of being 16 and eating whatever your heart desired and still be thin, just don’t exist anymore. Think about that cheeseburger, shake, and fries, and how much it truly takes to counteract their damage.
So you might what to think again about how many calories you are taking in versus what you are burning. This also might influence your exercise choices.

If you aren’t gearing up for a 100 mile bike ride or Ironman, that super high carbohydrate pasta dinner with a few rolls, isn’t necessary. Jogging a couple miles the next morning won’t undo the intake. On the other hand, dessert last night isn’t going to fuel a quality workout the next day. High fat and high sugar foods aren’t going to equip you for the endurance and energy to have a quality workout to burn them off. Just a few moments on those lips, leads to more fat around the waist and hips. Pizza won’t make those problem areas disappear. The beers don’t add up to a six pack on the belly. That sluggish feeling doesn’t stir up motivation either. In fact, most might agree that when they eat healthy, they feel better, and actually want to workout. Hmmmm, there’s something to this FIT Lifestyle.

Most people underestimate how much they are really eating. Let’s say you at a McDonald’s Bic Mac, Large Fries, and Large Coke = 1330 calories. That would require 6 hours of strength training, or 2.5 hours of running, or 4 hours of walking. That is a major setback. Even if you goal is general fitness to maintain and be able to eat what you want, this e equalizer method doesn’t quite pan out. It’s not just the one bad meal. It can be the accumulation. The nightly glass of wine, the eating out twice per week, the creamer in the coffee…. it adds up and then by the end of the month the caloric totals reflect what has happened on the scale. If one glass of wine has about 110 calories then that takes about 30 minutes of walking to burn off (just that one glass). Being strict is not what I’m promoting, rather, being honest with yourself is the key if you have set numerically driven data goals. You don’t have to bring your egg whites like me, but you do have to tell yourself that your choices directly reflect your results.

The good old metabolism mechanism can only do so much. Healthy choices are critical on your fitness journey and each one counts. Enjoying the foods you like every now and then, really does have to stay to as infrequently as possible. Don’t make too many exceptions to the rules, because your goals and YOU are worth feeling, looking, and operating at their best.

21 Jan

BLOG 303 DANGER: TEEN BINGE EATING

Childhood obesity has been on the rise and it’s a direct reflection of lifestyle and eating choices. We live in a world where most things are a click away or convenient. Technology is the new form of playing with your friends. Less talk, less action, less movement. I recently watched a documentary on Amazon Prime called, “Danger: Teen Binging” (2015), in which 3 teenagers were obese and the movie documented how they coped with this on a day to day basis. Let me share what this film was about with you.

Of course seeing overweight teens is no surprise to me. In fact, everyday around 3pm I see students walking home from school with some sugary beverage in one hand and a bag of chips in the other from AM/PM. They have been sitting all day at school only to go home and sit more, have their terrible snack, and then eat again at dinner. The only good part is the WALK home. I can’t remember getting home before 5pm from school from sports practices and activities. Adding that it if I was home, I was outside with my neighbors playing until it got too dark. Times have changed. Now with school being online and sports cancelled, the problem has only exasperated itself.

In this documentary, we learn that 1 in 5 children are obese. Many reach a point of no return, meaning once they reach adulthood, it is too late to lose this weight. Their metabolism has been ruined and their only hope is surgery. Children as young as 12 are having gastric bypass surgery. The opening scene is of a devastated family whose daughter, Samantha, ate herself to death. She died as a teen from her destructive eating habits that led to such terrible health.

Then the film looked at 3 others teens. Harry was 14 years old, heavy set, but did not even know his current weight. To him, there was no problem. But his parents fought over this issue. He used his bubbly, comedic personality to hide from the truth of his weight. He was the class clown, loved by all, and has his own YouTube Channel. He loved to cook, but had alternative motives to eat many of the ingredients during the process. Harry wanted to be a pilot when he grows up, so his dad had him undergo the real medical evaluation for this process to prove to him that his dreams were unrealistic given his current habits. The army-like nature of his father versus the caring concern of his mother created a recipe for disaster. Regardless, Harry refuses to diet and doesn’t want to waist his childhood starving himself.

Jess was 16 years old. She was bullied at school and comes from a mother who had weight issues herself. Her mom had gastric bypass surgery and she is headed down the same path. Her typical snack is a Frappuccino and bag of chips.

Holly, who was 14 years old suffered from body anxiety. She rarely attended school and her mother was even fined for this. She sees her skinny sister and wonders why she is overweight. Holly is the type who keeps her emotions bottled up.

All 3 teens used food for comfort and pleasure. In the end, they started light activity but ultimately, they didn’t want to change. This means their adult lives will be marked by health issues and weight related issues. The documentary was nothing out the ordinary or shocking, but proves the point that children today need to get moving. Movement is critical so there needs to be a form of activity that is tolerable to them on a daily basis. Looks like the parents are up for a challenge. At the studio, I want to encourage every BODY to lead by example and be part of an active family environment. This is teamwork as you become the best version of yourself.

Danger: Teen Binging (2007) by Ed Kellie, &Katy Lock

14 Jan

BLOG 302 THE TRUTH ABOUT ALCOHOL

Alcohol is a major part of our society and they more you think about it the more, you more you realize how most social occasions, eating, and events, involve alcohol. For me, it takes on a very negative connotation as of a result of life experiences, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be around it or still be in settings that have it. There are a lot of common questions when it comes to this beverage and I’m always asked on fitness journeys tricks and traits to still be able to enjoy a cocktail or two and reach goals. Thus, I had to do some research and found a documentary called, “The Truth About Alcohol”, to help me out.

They say on average people (both men and women) should consume no more than 14 drinks per week. But what is a drink?? A drink should be measured as a unit. 1 shot of whiskey is 1 unit. A glass of wine depending on size is 2-3 units. 1 pint of beer is 2-3 units. As such, most do exceed 14 units.
Alcohol has many effects on the body. The brain functions differently when drinks are involved. Hand-eye coordination is not as sharp because self-control is impaired. Your attention is divided and multi-tasking is out of the question. Your mental energy is very limited, hence poor decision-making results.

It may appear that some people get drunk quicker than others. This has to do with one’s blood alcohol concentration. The amount of water in the body is the key. A person with more water in their body gets less drunk. Essentially, the water is diluting the alcohol. And hey, they also say the more muscle you have, then less drunk you get (that’s up my ally). But the reality is that the bigger you are size wise, the more water you will have in your body and that is why someone petite gets drunk a lot faster.

Alcohol is also calorie rich and all of these are “extra” counted to the daily total intake. 1 shot has 59 calories, 1 glass of wine has 180 calories, and 1 pint of beer has 215 calories. Studies have shown alcohol makes you want to eat more. In fact, someone who drinks usually consumes 11% more than those who don’t in a social setting. That means having nearly 300 extra calories on top of the alcohol calories and not even knowing it. Eating before drinking can however help with processing alcohol in the body. The liver isn’t left on its own and the food helps absorb the beverages and slow them down as they come and move through the body.

Have you ever heard of the French paradox?? Well the French have a diet high in fat but the lowest rate of heart disease. They say the culprit is red wine because of its possible benefits to the heart. Wine dilates blood vessels because it is made up of polyphenols. The best type of red wine, noting that the darker the better, is called Sacration. But the counter argument is that you don’t need wine to help with heart health. The same benefits come from 24 grams of walnuts, 360ml of tea, or 85 grams of blueberries.

Does a night after drinking help with sleep?? The famous “night cap”. Truth is that it may help you fall to sleep quickly into a deeper state, but then the rest of the night is interrupted and light.
Finally, there are some studies relating alcohol to cancer. This is definitely true of the liver and pancreas. But some don’t know that alcohol does alter hormone levels, especially in women. This is the controversial link to breast cancer.

Alcohol and your fitness journey don’t exactly mix well, but I realize that this beverage is a big part of our culture. We always refer to moderation but must keep in mind the designated number of units and don’t exceed that. Again, choices, choices, choices, buy maybe this Blog will make you think twice. That’s what I do right haha??

“The Truth About Alcohol”, 2016, by David Briggs.

07 Jan

BLOG 301 BUTTERFLIES

Well each of you know how much butterflies mean to me and their significance (don’t worry I will fill you in if you don’t). Butterflies are symbolic of our fitness journeys in a number of ways, most obviously revolving around the idea of change. In this Blog, I will discuss both the scientific and symbolic elements of a butterfly. May this spring fill your surrounding air with beautiful butterflies….

So the basic childhood story we learn begins with the caterpillar who eats lots of leaves and grows bigger and bigger over time. It sheds its skin a few times in the process and eventually hangs itself and spins a cocoon. In time, the cocoon emerges into a butterfly.

There are a number of symbolic meanings associated with this process. The butterfly emerging from the cocoon represents a new life and freedom. From a brown and gray cocoon, out comes a bright and colorful flying creature. The stages a butterfly goes through in the process of its transformation are very much like that of our lives and fitness journeys. We experience growth and moments of vulnerability. We are undergoing a transformation ourselves. The caterpillar is unrecognizable in the end. I love to hear clients share stories of when they encounter people in their lives who have not seen them in some times as they have undergone their very own transformation. The compliments and praise are encouraging reminders of the hard work one has accomplished. There are religious and faith related symbols of butterflies as well.

A funny thought I had was the caterpillar’s life revolves around eating. It is in constant search of leaves in order to feel completely stuffed so that it can grow. I’m sure some of us have had that feeling on our fitness journeys as we learn portion control. I’d be a rich woman if I charged for every complaint I heard about never feeling full at first when we start to replace old eating habits. Our weak moments cause us to over indulge, but we learn that we don’t have to be stuffed to be satisfied.
Butterflies are also symbols of lost souls. For me a butterfly represents my mother’s spirit. After her passing, it seemed that any significant occasion, holiday, or moment, was somehow marked by the appearance of a butterfly lingering in my presence. I just knew it was her bringing her love and spirit to be with me. As a result, my husband and I released live butterflies at our wedding (a project my brother was assigned to haha) and our guests were camera ready for the one butterfly that sat on a flower the entire ceremony. It was her.

I remember being told as a child that if you touched a butterfly it would no longer be able to fly. However, this is definitely not true. They’re actually playing dead. I have been to exhibits and personally touched quite a few so don’t be fooled. Some of you might “act” too sore in order to do chores around the house or tasks you want to avoid haha, so you “play dead” to procrastinate.

Well, this Blog served as an emotional release for me as well as sending a little personal touch about myself to you all. For those of you who see my tattoos, now you know their meaning as well. I’d love to hear about your butterfly symbolism if you have any. Go spread your wings now, continue to work on your transformations, and embrace the changes to come on your fitness journeys.

01 Jan

BLOG 300 FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is an agency we that is readily apart of our fitness journeys. Many of our choices and selections are a result of their regulations. We might see the term “FDA Approved”, but what does this mean?? So let’s explore this topic further….

The Food and Drug Administration ensures the safety of our daily choices. Essentially, the FDA makes sure that the products regulated are, “safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labeled; ensuring that human and veterinary drugs, and vaccines and other biological products and medical devices intended for human use are safe and effective” (http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194877.htm).

A noteworthy piece of information on our fitness journeys is that dietary supplements don’t have to be FDA approved. The claims about these products shouldn’t be false or misleading, but that is up to our discretion of course once we purchase and use them. Many nutritional health stores carry items of this nature, so again we have to be careful. The best way to obtain any vitamin or mineral is definitely from our food. In any case, we should always read labels and even more carefully if they don’t state the term “FDA Approved”.
Companies undergo a series of vigorous approval tests. Part of this includes testing the products on animals and humans. Data is compiled and the agency takes it from there. Products continue to be regulated while they’re for sale on shelves so that no new products slip in.

The responsibilities and products the FDA is in charge of is quite extensive, but here are the most common taken right from their website (http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194879.htm):
Foods, including:
dietary supplements
bottled water
food additives
infant formulas
other food products (although the U.S. Department of Agriculture plays a lead role in regulating aspects of some meat, poultry, and egg products)
Drugs, including:
prescription drugs (both brand-name and generic)
non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs
Biologics, including:
vaccines
blood and blood products
cellular and gene therapy products
tissue and tissue products
allergenics
Medical Devices, including:
simple items like tongue depressors and bedpans
complex technologies such as heart pacemakers
dental devices
surgical implants and prosthetics
Electronic Products that give off radiation, including:
microwave ovens
x-ray equipment
laser products
ultrasonic therapy equipment
mercury vapor lamps
sunlamps
Cosmetics, including:
color additives found in makeup and other personal care products
skin moisturizers and cleansers
nail polish and perfume
Veterinary Products, including:
livestock feeds
pet foods
veterinary drugs and devices
Tobacco Products, including:
cigarettes
cigarette tobacco
roll-your-own tobacco
smokeless tobacco
This Blog is just a helpful reminder about choices because we are bombarded with daily decision making. It’s important that we read labels, and always consider the risks and benefits. The FDA is on our side, so use them as a tool to help with this task. Safety is important for the longevity of our fitness journeys.

24 Dec

BLOG 299 MEANING OF FOOD

We live in a food centered society that’s for sure. Every street is lined with food locations; commercials bombard our televisions; cooking is a hobby; and at least 3 times per day we think about eating. Let’s face it, we like to eat and it makes us feel good. Food has many symbolic meanings as well. This blog is even difficult to write as my stomach growls waiting for my next meal.
We know that food fuels our bodies, but it means so much more than that. Socially, food is shared and meals are eaten together. Check out this synopsis: “Food is almost always shared; people eat together; mealtimes are events when the whole family or settlement or village comes together. Food is also an occasion for sharing, for distributing and giving, for the expression of altruism, whether from parents to children, children to in-laws, or anyone to visitors and strangers. Food is the most important thing a mother gives a child; it is the substance of her own body, and in most parts of the world mother’s milk is still the only safe food for infants. Thus, food becomes not just a symbol of, but the reality of, love and security” (http://www.sirc.org/publik/food_and_eating_1.html).

We associate food with celebration and have acquired certain meals to symbolize these holidays and events. The most obvious would be the courses Thanksgiving is composed of, but think about birthday cake, hot dogs at baseball games, pizza for any occasion (haha), potlucks at work, Cinco De Mayo or St. Patrick’s Day, the list goes on and on. When I got straight A’s in school, Baskin Robbins ice cream was the reward to celebrate. A lot of these ties relate back to religious customs that most of us aren’t even aware of.

Food means prosperity. Having an extravagant feast is how kings and queens showed their affluence. The same holds true today in that we are able to impress others with the spread of choices or which location to meet and dine at. Being the host with the most holds value. So yes, even class can come into play with food. We even tend to associate eating organic as fancy compared to pre-packaged cheaper choices.

Eating truly can be an experience. When I returned from Italy, countless times I was asked about the food. And yes, the Italian food culture is different. To us, spaghetti in heaping portions is dinner, but to the Italians this is just one course and it was a smaller serving for sure. We meet our friends for lunch or drinks and the traditional date involves dinner and a movie. You get my drift. So no wonder food is a constant battle on our fitness journeys. Mind over matter. One better choice at a time. Think about food as fuel not the traditional associations. We can talk ourselves into anything is we really try.