Podcast #10; The Rachael Ray Show’s “Story”


In this podcast Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi discusses an ongoing “Story” on the Rachael Ray Show.

Be sure to click the below link; Podcast #10 to listen.

Thank you.

Podcast #10, The Rachael Ray Show’s Story

Why the Rachael Ray Show has me a tad upset — Part II


This column is part II of a two-part series.

{What I am about to write does not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions.} ***Also, you may read some of my other columns concerning adult obesity. I take an entirely different track when it comes to children***

My next BIG issue with the Rachel Ray Show’s “story” about overcoming obesity is the whole “time frame” aspect of losing weight.

This is driven by a goal setting mentality gone amok and it is exacerbated by certain television programing. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with setting goals, but goals should help not hinder your progress. The time setting goal falls into the hinder side of the equation.

When I was dropping my weight, I was often told by many people: “I was losing weight too fast.” I asked them according to who? The answer was always the same; They say you shouldn’t lose weight too fast.”

Well here is the kicker: I wasn’t trying to lose weight at any given pace. By utilizing a new eating plan and an exercise program that consisted of both progressive resistance training and endurance workouts, I was optimizing my weight loss. The goal was a desired final weight, a desired clothing size, a reduction in body fat and improved overall health measures such as blood pressure, pulse rate and lab work. I had interval goals, but the date I was to reach my goals was never an issue.

I tell my clients repeatedly, weight comes off as it comes off. Other than what I instruct, there are other methods to influence the rate of loss, but many of those gimmicks to hasten the speed really do nothing for the long-term goal. Besides, some may have injurious consequences.

I emphasize the need to get the “a certain weight by a certain date” mentality out of their heads. We don’t focus solely on the readings of a scale. Our goal is more that weight loss, it is an improvement in overall health and fitness.

Now on the Rachael Ray Show, they are pigeonholing this young person into a time frame to lose weight. The goal, as stated on the website, is to drop a fixed amount of weight by a fixed future date — the date of the prom.

Which leads me into my next BIG issue with the Rachael Ray Show’s “story;” utilizing the EVENT motivation technique.

Anyone who knows me is well aware I have tried this method myself. I was going to get in shape for my first wedding, though I had gotten in a little bit of shape, I didn’t reach my goal. So what was I to do? Not get married? Well may be I shouldn’t have, but I digress.  Of course, soon after the wedding, I just got out of shape again. So, the next event comes up and I am going to get in shape for that one. I do. Then after? Yep, back out of shape. And so on and so forth.

An adult should never focus on losing weight for any other reason than getting healthier and fit, end of story. All the other extraneous reasons are nothing more than obstacles to the long-term realization of a fit life. So then, why would we apply a different standard to a child?

It again comes to this self-worth theme that appears on the Rachael Ray website.

Are they sending the message that if you weigh too much, you should not attend your prom?

Are they sending the message that you have to be thinner to attend the prom?

Are they taking the risk of exploiting a serious problem for the sake of ratings or are their intentions genuine?

I can’t answer the last question. Rachael Ray is a celebrity. I don’t know the person behind the persona. However, the first two questions are the ones of greater importance, not only to the young person whose “story” is being followed, but to all of our youth.

We should NEVER emphasize whether a child will be loved, accepted or able to attend an important event based upon their weight or appearance. We should endeavor to educate our young people that the importance of preventing or reversing obesity is to live a healthy, fit and active life.

Podcast #9, Fitness


In this podcast Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi discusses fitness

Be sure to click the below link; Podcast #9 to listen.

Thank you.

Podcast #9, Fitness

The LLVLC Show Fan Club


If you follow a low carb lifestyle, the internets most informative site is that of Jimmy Moore he has started a fan club with an introductory rate that expires October 31st….

http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com/shownotes/3141/become-a-charter-member-of-the-llvlc-show-fan-club-with-this-special-offer-by-october-31/

Why the Rachael Ray Show has me a tad upset — Part I


This column is Part I of a two-part series.

{What I am about to write does not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions.} ***Also, you may read some of my other columns concerning adult obesity. I take an entirely different track when it comes to children***

I was emailed a link to a story concerning the Rachael Ray Show by one of my clients. Since I had been overweight as a child, he was interested in my opinion about the young person, in a very public forum, trying to lose seventy pounds for an upcoming prom. I am not home during the airing of the Rachael Ray talk show, thus I’m not very familiar with the goings on of her foray into syndicated t.v. talk, so I had to do some research.

First and most importantly, I am not going to mention the name of the young person. I am aware that the name is public;  however, I choose not to mention it.

Secondly, anything I am about to write is not directed at this young person and if you wish to comment here, I will delete any comments directed at this individual.

Thirdly, for full disclosure, I am a huge fan of Rachael Ray. I have watched her various programming on cable t.v. and enjoyed each and every one of them.

Finally, what I am writing is how I feel about this. I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist or a mental health worker. I am a Chiropractor and educator by profession, a person who underwent bullying as a child because I was overweight and I was, until two years ago, a morbidly obese adult. I am very concerned with the obesity epidemic in the United States and even more concerned about what is happening to our children. It is my hope to one day begin a foundation to increase awareness about childhood obesity and the resultant type II diabetes. You may agree with what I am about to write and say in my podcast or you may disagree, either way I invite your comments, criticisms and concerns. I just ask that you leave out the young person’s name.

With all that said, from the information I was able to gather, I am upset with this continuing “story” on Rachael Ray’s very popular television talk program. I am not sure such a public forum is the place for a child’s battle with obesity. Yet, even with my concerns over the microscope this person will now be scrutinized under, that really isn’t my big issue.

No, I have several BIG issues with how this weight loss “story” is being portrayed and played out. Childhood obesity is a real problem in our country. I have written about the topic on this blog and in guest columns for my local newspaper. I have made myself available to be part of a program on my local PBS affiliate, WVIA, about the topic and next year I will be starting to speak in high schools, to not only students, but teachers and administrators. It may very well be today’s most serious health threat to our children.

My first BIG issue is the way that this is being portrayed on the program’s website. To quote, “Join us for the start of an inspirational journey as we follow one overweight teen’s struggle to take control of her life and finally reach a place where she can love and accept herself.” When I discuss childhood obesity, I never, ever mention appearance. This quote can lead to no other conclusion that the pathway to happiness is improving one’s appearance.  I always discuss the issue in terms of overall health and fitness. By emphasizing appearance, one can open a horrible, self-loathing portal into the attitude that looks are the most important aspect of childhood. Much in the same vein, this line stating that once this-person loses weight, the ability of self-acceptance and self-love will be automatically given.  What a disgusting implication!

Is a person, due to obesity, not worthy of accepting one’s self?

What kind of message does this solitary sentiment send out to other young people who may read it?

If we are unable to accept and love ourselves, does this, to the reader, now intimate we are unable to receive acceptance or love from others?

When we are tackling childhood obesity, it must never me done from these points of view: appearance, acceptance, worthiness or love. We must make our children understand that their weight does not sway our view of them, not one iota. We must convey that we are concerned for their overall health and fitness. We are not concerned about how they appear and we never make their weight a condition of our love for them, nor should they make it a condition of their love for themselves.

In my column entitled: Childhood Obesity and Bullying, I relate about how my parents supported me. They never made my appearance or even my ability to perform in sports I participated in a condition of their support. They were there to congratulate my success and to console my failures. Either way, I never doubted their love for and acceptance of me and I never had self-doubt for either myself.

To conclude part I, it is my opinion that to encourage fitness upon our children, we should only focus on the health aspect. The premise on the Rachael Ray show that the weight loss will equate to self-love and self-acceptance is fundamentally flawed.

Podcast Special; The Voice and Me!


In this podcast special Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi discuss a recent Citizens’ Voice column

Be sure to click the below link; Podcast Special to listen.

Podcast Sepcial, The Citizens’s Voice

The Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice Agrees with Me!


{To be clear what I am about to write does not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have an underlying medical condition.}

The Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice Reads My Stuff!

by: Joe Leonardi

As is my morning custom, I was scanning the paper and came across a very interesting editorial column. It seems the editors at one of our local newspapers, The Citizens’ Voice,  are fans of mine.

In the “Our Voice” section, a column entitled; Draft policy to encourage healthier lifestyles, echos much of what I have been writing and saying over the  last two years.

Whichever editor wrote the piece, agrees with many of my sentiments. The opening point stated; “One of the least-remarked aspects of the roiling debate on health care is the potential for improved public health to bring down health care costs.”

Hmm where have I heard that point before? In August of 2009 I wrote; “In the United States, we are focused on our health care crisis. We are trying to figure out how to pay for care. I am sure that there will be something in one form or another by the end of the year; however, we really need to stop focusing solely on the “care” part of  health care and start putting an emphasis on “health.”

Granted I said it first, and much more eloquently, yet it is nice for a newspaper to finally realize that the problem is much deeper than just who is going to dole out the cash.

The column went on to cite a few statistics and made several of the same, salient summations I have made many times over. The column discussed obesity related diseases and specifically honed in on the increase in type 2 diabetes among our youth. Gee, I wonder where I have heard that discussed or written about before? I can think of three columns off the top of my head where I stressed these same points. I also discussed this on our local PBS station, WVIA‘s State of Pennsylvania. You want to know what the topic was? Childhood obesity.We were far ahead of the local media in acknowledging and suggesting solutions to this growing epidemic.

One suggested solution was reforming the school lunch program. I made the same argument as recently as two days ago in my posting, Childhood Obesity; We Need To Act — NOW! However, I went even further, I called for actually educating the students and the school administrators on how to eat properly.

The conclusion in the newspaper, “….prevention almost always is less costly than the cure. Better overall public health is an obvious and achievable way to get a better grip on escalating health care costs.” Their conclusion once again mirrors much of what I have written or said, however, there is one glaring omission. Not in a single paragraph, nor even in a single sentence did they mention the importance of physical education or fitness. There is not point in doing something, if you are only going to go half way!

All sarcasm aside, I applaud the Citizens’ Voice for agreeing with my views. I am not arrogant enough to believe that I am the only person to arrive at these conclusions. However, now it is time for a news organization to step up and be part of the solution. I will send this posting to the publisher, managing editor, assistant managing editor and the editorial page editor. In that email, I will offer my services to pen a column, from anywhere to one to three times per week, concerning health, wellness and fitness.

I will let you know their answer.

What is difficult?


{To be clear what I am about to write does not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight lossand fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have an underlying medical condition.}

What is difficult?

by: Joe Leonardi

One of the primary tenants relating to the mental energy aspect of the Fat Then Fit Now plan is turning off negativity. How many times has one been told;

“It is  difficult to lose weight.”

“It is difficult to find time to exercise.”

“It is difficult to change my eating habits.”

My clients tell me the above often. They have been discouraged, either by themselves, or others convincing them of the difficulty of their task. I tell them, “losing weight and getting in shape are the easiest things I have ever done.” Most of them look at me as if I have grown an extra eye, or another head. However, I only reiterate my position.

You see, the body will follow the brain. If you tell yourself something is difficult, even if it isn’t, will become more demanding.

I tell them to put things in perspective.

Compare watching what you eat, to a person in a third world country who has no choice in what food, IF ANY, they eat.

Compare the effort it takes to exercise, to the plight  of the Chilean miners, who were stuck underground for more than two months.

Compare the lack of living a full, active life with the self-imposed limits that obesity places upon oneself.

Once the situation is put into perspective, your brain will start forming a new reality. Once you begin to realize that you don’t NEED ice cream to complete a meal, the cravings will subside and then disappear. Once you realize that exercise actually feels good and the results are even better, you won’t want to miss your exercise time.

Difficult is a relative term depending on what you want it to mean and where you chose to apply it. Yes, life has many difficulties.

In these very tough economic times, you may be unemployed, so day-to-day life is more difficult. Will being overweight and out-of-shape make it any easier? Or, will it make things more difficult?

One may be facing a personal crisis, a relationship ending, divorce, the passing of a loved one. Will true solace be found at the bottom of an ice cream container? Will comfort really be found laying on the couch, allowing deterioration of the body?

weight loss exercise class

Image by ninahale via Flickr

A positive aspect of fitness is that it gives the body an opportunity to renew each and every day. As you exercise, freshly oxygenated blood is pushed through the muscles, bringing nutrients to the entire body. As different hormonal releases are stimulated, the mood will change for the positive. This new positive mood will translate into a greater ability to handle the stresses that may otherwise deteriorate your health.

When you have a challenging task at hand, you may not be able to change the task, but you can change how you view it. If you more than simply tell yourself that it is easy, if you convince yourself the difficulty does not exist, then, in the case of obesity, the obstacle will be conquered and unhealthy version of you will be vanquished.

Childhood Obesity; We Need To Act — NOW!


{To be clear what I am about to write does not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have an underlying medical condition.}


Childhood Obesity; We Need To Act — NOW!

by: Joe Leonardi

It is called an epidemic.

It is labeled as a pandemic.

It is heralded as a threat to U.S. national security.

Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years, that’s right tripled! Our kids are more than simply overweight, they are obese, some of them morbidly obese. You can do an internet search and read about many explanations as to the causes. In addition to the dozen or so causes that are listed, we are also told it is a complex issue. Scientists are out there looking for virus and contagions as causes of our obesity epidemic. Have we become that much of scapegoat society?

Well, I disagree on most counts.

In lieu of an underlying medical condition, the cause is a simple, one word answer: laziness! Not on the part of the children, NO, that onus is on the parents and the school system!

Complex? You have to be kidding me; right? It isn’t complex, it is improper eating and lack of exercise.

You see, these so-called experts have it all wrong. It isn’t about a child’s weight or appearance  — it is about a child’s fitness.

Voices from as far back as the 1920′s have been warning us that this impending malady.

Bernarr Macfadden claimed that “weakness is crime” and implored us not to be criminals.

Jack LaLanne receives a Lifetime Achievement A...

Image via Wikipedia

Charles Atlas beaming as a picture of health boasted from print ads  “You too can have a body like mine.”

Jack LaLanne would proclaim on television; “I’m here for one reason; to show you how to feel better and live longer.” Jack is 96 years old, he still exercises and he is still out proselytizing to all who will and should listen.

The above three town criers of fitness tried to get people to focus on healthy living, exercise and their own views on what constituted healthy eating. They warned of the laziness that was hitting the United States. Even back in the 1920′s, Macfadden was aware that the move to industrialization was bringing on a sedentary life.

Unfortunately, their cautionary words fell, and continue to fall, mostly on deaf ears. Adults in the United States continued and continue to grow large and unfit. Now, even more unfortunately, our children are following this example and they to are becoming unhealthy.

Type II diabetes in children is on the rise. It is widely reported that 4% of Childhood diabetes was type II in 1990; that number has risen to approximately 20% today and 85% of those are obese! Am I the only one who sees the obvious?

We have young adults diagnosed with degenerative disorders that are secondary to obesity. I have seen patients in their 20′s with degenerative arthritis I see in people much, much older!

Obesity related diseases and disorders are easily preventable. It is simple; we mustn’t allow ourselves, or our children, to become obese.

The dreadful, government sponsored food pyramid needs to be thrown out the window. Education about the damaging effect of over indulgence in sugar, high fructose corn syrup and processed carbohydrates needs to be part of our educational process. Junk food vending and soda machines should be immediately removed from any institution of education.

Exercise has to be encouraged. We need to stop cutting back on recess and physical education classes. Specifically, physical education, must be an every day class; it must be structured and all students, who are physically able, must participate. We must emphasize the physical fitness of students along with academics.

It is time to start feeding our children properly. I have been admonished for promoting a whole food, low carbohydrate diet by parents who claim that it too costly. Really? Our children’s health and well being is being sacrificed over cost? Anyway, it is a bogus argument and merely just another excuse. If you take the soda, chips, candy, ice cream and the other junk out of the shopping cart, it won’t be that much more expensive if more expensive at all. The ideas isn’t to add these foods to your regular diet, it is to replace fat fueling, fitness robbing foods.

What are the risks if we do not act?

Children being bullied.

Children unable to enjoy an active youth.

Young adults who will sacrifice truly experiencing live because of self-imposed, obesity limitations.

Perhaps, the most troubling risk; our children, for the first time in history, may be robbed of life expectancy equal to our own!

{To be clear what I am about to write does not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have an underlying medical condition.}