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….


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.